Censorship Abounds

This morning as I was doing my research for this blog, I came across the following article, “Ohio lawmakers propose school choice for all students” at the Washington Examiner. In the morning when I come across an article I think I would like to post on my blog, I copy the link and post it in the Right Wing Granny group on Facebook. Imagine my surprise when it didn’t post and Facebook told me it did not meet the community standards. Wow.

Here are some excerpts from the Washington Examiner article:

Two Ohio lawmakers want to give all Ohio students the option of school choice and create K-12 education competition, which they say would raise the level of public and private education throughout the state.

The Ohio Backpack Bill, originally introduced in May and updated with a sub-bill to House Bill 290 , would allow all parents to send their children to public school or establish an education savings account. The state would send the money earmarked for that student to the public school or into the parent’s account, allowing it to be used for private school tuition or other education expenses.

…The state sends money allocated for each student to the public school district. If a student qualifies for school choice through income-eligibility, the local public school district sends the money to private school.

“It’s about students and increasing the education opportunities for all. This bill seeks to find the right educational opportunity for each of the children in Ohio,” Rep. Riordan McClain, R-Upper Sandusky, said. “It creates a true money-follows-the-child program. Money goes to public school if parents want, and if a parent wants an educational scholarship account, then the state has to put that money in that account, which the parent can use for education expenses.”

The bill addresses only state education funding. Local public school districts still would collect local and federal money. The average state expense per student is $6,600, according to Christian Education Network Executive Director Troy McIntosh. The legislation would allocate $5,500 per K-9 student and $7,500 for 9-12 students.

“This is not a bill intended to benefit the kids that want to run off and attend a private school,” McIntosh said. “We want this bill to benefit every student in Ohio. An overwhelming majority of parents are realizing and asking for this sort of program.”

The state treasurer would oversee the program. Educations savings accounts could be used for private school tuition, homeschool expenses, tutoring, books and other educational expenses.

“This model is not new. This approach is gaining momentum in Ohio and nationwide,” McClain said. “We want to fund students not systems. When parents have options, they are more engaged. When schools compete for students, children’s outcomes rise.”

The article concludes:

Center for Christian Virtue President Aaron Baer said the bill would give parents recourse in districts similar to Upper Arlington, which recently created single-sex bathrooms, or others that imposed mask mandates.

I suspect the previous paragraph is what caused the problem on Facebook.

Censored Again

I have never actually spent time in Facebook jail. Even the Right Wing Granny group on Facebook where I post has never been blocked. From what I can tell, I and the group have on occasion been shadow-banned, but never actually blocked or put in Facebook jail. Unfortunately, there are legitimate mainstream news sources that cannot make that claim.

On Friday, Dan Bongino reported that Facebook had prevented users from sharing the recent article in The New York Post about the real estate purchases of the head of Black Lives Matter.

The New York Post responded in an editorial:

On Thursday, Facebook decided its users should not be able to share a New York Post article about the property-buying habits of one of the founders of Black Lives Matter.

This is the third time we’ve tangled with social media giants in the past year. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we published a column that suggested the virus could have leaked from a Chinese virology lab. Facebook’s “fact checkers” decided this was an opinion you weren’t allowed to have and blocked the article. Today, it’s a commonly discussed theory, with officials from former CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield to CNN’s Sanjay Gupta saying it can’t be discounted. Even the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said it can’t be ruled out.

In October, we published a series of articles about a laptop Hunter Biden left at a Delaware repair shop. Twitter suspended our account. You probably know how that ended. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted to lawmakers months later it was a “total mistake.”

We were right both times. We’re right this time, too.

Please follow both links above to read both articles. Unfortunately, neither the American press or social media is doing a reasonable job of reporting in an unbiased manner or of keeping Americans informed. That is dangerous to our Republic.

 

Fighting The First Amendment

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about Congressional Democrats putting pressure on cable networks to stop carrying conservative news sources.

The article reports:

The attempt by several House Democrats to pressure television carriers to deplatform certain news organizations could trigger a lawsuit, law professor Alan Dershowitz said Saturday.

“When the First Amendment says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, it’s been interpreted to mean, take no action, it doesn’t have to be law. The First Amendment applies to presidents to governors to mayors to anybody who can abridge the freedom of speech. And I think these letters abridge the freedom of speech,” Dershowitz said during an appearance on Newsmax TV.

Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) sent a dozen letters to 12 different carriers this week urging them to deplatform or otherwise take action against Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News for allegedly spreading misleading information about the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and the COVID-19 pandemic.

They pointedly asked the carriers if they were planning on carrying the networks “both now and beyond any contract renewal date.”

…They sent letters to AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter Communications, Dish Network, Cox Communications, Altice USA, Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Hulu.

The letters were sent in advance of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing titled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.”

Eshoo told the hearing that the First Amendment “prohibits Congress from enacting laws abridging the freedom of speech, and I’m an ardent supporter of it.

“It does not, however, stop us from examining the public health and democratic implications of misinformation,” she added.

The article concludes:

Lawmakers heard from Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Media at Columbia University, who claimed that Newsmax and One America News “showed themselves willing to continue to repeat false narratives about the legitimacy of the election result.”

They also listened to Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, who called the deplatforming push similar to the “Red Scare” seen during the Cold War, when anyone suspected of being communist sympathizers were targeted.

Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) criticized the letters as an attack on the First Amendment.

“Anyone who values free speech and a free press should be alarmed by these actions today,” she said. “It’s an attack on the First Amendment when public officials use their power to coerce private companies to censor and silence viewpoints they don’t agree with.”

This is frightening. The First Amendment protects free speech. There is no scenario that gives Congress the right to control what the American people are able to hear.

The Censors At Amazon Are Censoring Any Books They Deem Offensive

There is a whole lot of offensive material out in our society that no one is censoring, so why has Amazon taken it upon themselves to censor anything that they find offensive? First of all, who defines offensive? Well, that seems to be the problem.

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about Amazon’s censorship. Amazon has some interesting ideas about what needs to be censored.

The article reports:

For example, a popular documentary on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was banned from their streaming service this past week. Before that move, the company deplatformed conservative Ryan Anderson’s book critical of gender theory, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement.”

When Just the News reached out to Amazon over the ban on Anderson’s book, the outlet said the company directed them to a page outlining their “Content Guidelines for Books.” Under a section labeled “Offensive Content,” Amazon states that they “don’t sell certain content including content that we determine is hate speech, promotes the abuse or sexual exploitation of children, contains pornography, glorifies rape or pedophilia, advocates terrorism, or other material we deem inappropriate or offensive.”

“A review of those policies suggests that sometime in the last few months Amazon made a major change to the ways in which it moderates book content on its servers, imposing a much stricter standard on books than it had previously done,” the report said. It appears the company recently added so-called “hate speech” to their guidelines on book platforming and is amping up their censorship of the “offensive.”

The article notes an observation by Daily Wire podcast host and conservative author Matt Walsh that if Amazon bans conservative books (which is the direction they are going), publishers won’t publish them due to the lack of marketing outlets. This will abolish half of the political debate in America.

The article notes:

“When a company controls over 83% of the market for books, it begins the process of deleting ideas from a society,” the author argued. “A bookseller can sell whatever it wants. If ‘Marxist Books’ wants to only sell books that conform to its ideology, OK; that has integrity.”

“But this is the ‘world’s largest bookseller.’ Amazon can basically make books disappear for *all readers* — and does so on a blatantly dishonest basis. Under guise of removing ‘inappropriate’ content, they will really be removing ideas they disfavor,” she added.

Amazon has not banned books that speak favorably about transgender teenagers. This is not about objectionable material–it is about promoting a particular point of view–politically and socially.

Behind The Scenes At Big Tech

I received this video in my email this morning from Project Veritas.

The email also noted the following highlights from the video:

  • Vijaya Gadde, Twitter Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead: “One of the interesting things is a lot of the work that we’ve been doing over the last week is work that we’ve built on in other places around the world, where we’ve seen violence unfold as a result of either misleading information or coded rhetoric.”
  • Gadde: “A lot of our learnings here [in the United States] have come from other markets. So, in that sense, you know, we do feel like it is – this is our global approach.
  • Gadde: “We need to be very focused on being able to enforce any of these policies or enforcement decisions we make at scale.”
  • Gadde: “We decided to escalate our enforcement of the civic integrity policy and use a label that disabled engagements to stop the spread of potentially inflammatory content, which is the content around election interference, election fraud, stealing the election, that type of thing.”
  • Gadde: “We think that the severity of what’s happening on the ground, coupled with the information that’s contained in these [election fraud] tweets — misleading information about the election being stolen and massive fraud around the election are what is changing our analysis of how we should enforce this [civic integrity] policy. It [election fraud tweets] is a much more severe violation given what we were seeing on the ground.”
  • Gadde: “We’re going to actually be more aggressive in our enforcement beyond de-amplification.”

This kind of thinking does not fit the paradigm of a free society.

 

Banishing Political Opposition

We have all seen the news that President Trump has been banned from Twitter and Facebook. There are some people who see that as justified, but how many people have to be banned before those people become concerned?

Legal Insurrection posted an article today about Facebook banning the “Walk Away Movement” page. The page consisted of personal testimonies of people who have left the Democrat party discussing their reasons for leaving.

The article quotes a Washington Examiner article:

“FACEBOOK has removed the #WalkAway Campaign and has BANNED ME and EVERY MEMBER of my team!!!” Straka, founder of the #WalkAway movement, tweeted Friday morning.

“Over half a million people in #WalkAway with hundreds of thousands of testimonial videos and stories is GONE,” he added. “Facebook has banned everything related to #WalkAway.”

Straka also included screenshots of messages from Facebook, including one that said the page was “removed for violating terms of use.”

Straka confirmed to the Washington Examiner that his Facebook group, the business page for the nonprofit group, and his personal account were all shut down Friday morning.

He added that people merely associated with the page were also removed from Facebook.

“Every volunteer, every paid employee, banned,” Straka said.

The article at Legal Insurrection notes:

How can this be perceived as anything other than political?

As long as we have people in Congress that take large donations from big tech, no action will be taken to hold Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., accountable. It is unfortunate that somehow the Republicans didn’t get to that when they held the Senate.

 

Some Of Our News Media Is Not Telling Us The News

Just the News posted an article today about some recent censorship by Twitter. They are getting really good at suppressing news that does not agree with the current liberal narrative. It might be time to examine the protected status they have had that prevents them from being sued for censorship.

The article reports:

Twitter has censored a post from White House adviser Dr. Scott Atlas last week arguing that masks and mask mandates are ineffective in stopping the coronavirus.

Atlas, who joined the White House coronavirus team in August as a science adviser tweeted: “Masks work? NO,” and said the widespread use of masks is not supported.

The tweet apparently violated a Twitter policy that prohibits the sharing of false of misleading information pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic.

In such instances, Twitter disables the account of the individual until the person in question deletes the post.

“I don’t understand why the tweets were deleted,” Atlas told the Associated Press. He told the wire service that his tweet was meant to show that “general population masks and mask mandates do not work,” clarifying that his stance is that masks should be used when social distancing cannot be enforced.

Atlas noted that infection rates soared even in places where masks were mandated, including Los Angeles, Hawaii, Miami, the Philippines and Japan.

It seems to me that Dr. Atlas as a doctor has a basis for his statement. His statements should have as much validity as Dr. Fauci’s statements. The fact that Twitter is censoring Dr. Atlas because he does not agree with the current narrative should be concerning to all Americans.

Why Everyone Needs At Least One Alternative News Source

The mainstream media is getting very bold about its censorship of all things conservative.

Yesterday Newsbusters reported the following:

Guest-hosting MSNB’s AM Joy today, Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post and MSNBC suggested that network execs shouldn’t show the “felonious couple,” i.e. the McCloskeys, when they speak at the RNC convention next week.  And guest on the show claimed that President Trump would use the McCloskeys as an example to promote a “violent mutiny” should he lose the election.

The McCloskeys made national news when they defended their home by displaying weapons when a large BLM group entered their gated community. The McCloskeys have been convicted of nothing, and the Missouri Attorney General has intervened, calling their indictment by the Democrat St. Louis Circuit Attorney a “politically motivated prosecution.” And the governor of Missouri has stated that he would pardon the couple, if convicted, saying “they’re being attacked frankly by a political process that’s really unfortunate.”

Okay. Let’s take a look at the McCloskeys and their case. One of the oddities here is that based on some of their statements it is a pretty safe bet that the McCloskeys were not (or ever planned to be) Trump voters. That may or may not have changed recently. The BLM gang that was threatening them broke through the gate of a gated community to get to their house. They were verbally threatened, and the ‘protestors’ were visibly armed. The McCloskeys are protected under the Missouri Castle Doctrine that gives them the right to defend their home and themselves. They were well within their legal rights. There was nothing ‘felonious’ about what they did.

The article continues:

While suggesting the canceling of the McCloskey couple—who benefit from the presumption of innocence—Capehart predictably didn’t utter a peep about the Democrats having given a convention speaking slot to someone convicted of murder in a particularly gruesome and grisly slaying. 

Commenting on the RNC’s invitation to the McCloskeys, activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham claimed that President Trump “wants to give permission to the people who intend to harm us.” 

Cunningham also asserted that President Trump is using the McCloskeys as an example for others to “emulate,” and is “readying his people for violent mutiny” if he loses the election.

Just for the record, the convicted murderer at the Democrat Convention was Donna Hylton.

This is the history of Donna Hylton according to an August 22 article at Fox News:

She was behind bars for her role in the grisly murder and torture of Thomas Vigliarolo, a balding New York businessman found stuffed inside a steamer trunk and left to rot in Harlem. Hylton and six others let him die “in the most heinous circumstances,” the prosecutor said at their trial in 1985. On Thursday, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hailed Hylton as one of “America’s most impactful community leaders” and asked her to participate in a video reading of the Preamble to the Constitution during a televised portion of the convention.

To be fair, Ms. Hylton claimed to be the victim of human trafficking and sexual abuse who was coerced into her role in the torture and murder. She has served her time, and it working to better her community, but I still question the wisdom of putting her in the spotlight.

Meanwhile, if you plan on watching the Republican Convention, find a source that will show you all of it.

When Science Becomes Political

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article titled, “Here’s three examples of why public trust in the scientific community is waning.” Taken together, these examples illustrate how ridiculous some members of the ‘scientific community’ have become in their statements against President Trump and in their support of all things of the political left.

The first example:

The protests over the death of George Floyd have brought to the surface a good example of why so many in the general public no longer trust what public health professionals are saying about the coronavirus pandemic. The information being given to us is confusing and ever-changing. Now the information is being filtered through the lens of social justice activism.

…An open letter signed by 1,300 epidemiologists and public health experts says that “protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must be supported.” These professionals specifically say that their support of racial injustice protests does not mean they endorse other gatherings – you know, like protests about stay-at-home orders. The open letter actually says that “COVID-19 among black patients is yet another lethal manifestation of white supremacy.” Wow. Take that, white people.

The second example:

Example two is one of the scientists from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). They, too, have written a letter. Scientists from the philanthropic organization funded by Zuckerberg but separate from Facebook are none too pleased that the evil Orange Man is allowed to post freely on Facebook without censorship. They long for some authoritarian action (stricter policy enforcement) to be taken against the President of the United States because he spreads “inaccurate information and incendiary language contrary to CZI’s mission to “build a healthier, just, and more inclusive future.”

The third example:

A third example comes from Dr. Fauci and the CDC. Separately they have sent messages that large protests will likely produce a spike in coronavirus cases. Fauci said Friday that protests are “the perfect set-up” for spreading COVID-19. Fauci was sure to put into his warning that the protesters have a constitutional right to do so “because the reasons for demonstrating are valid.” Thanks, Doc. Validity doesn’t override the danger to the public though, does it? Also, he mentions that tear gas and pepper spray make people cough and sneeze, thus increasing the possibility of transmitting the virus.

Somehow I seem to remember that there were a lot of people very concerned when business owners were protesting. There were some serious questions asked about whether the pandemic overrode constitutional rights. It seems as if those questions have disappeared now that the political left is protesting (rioting and looting).

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There are a lot of details that are very interesting.

I think all of us are beginning to wonder if we can trust anyone who claims to be an expert.

Internet Censorship Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a Laura Ingraham interview with Doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi about what they have learned about the coronavirus through their testing and what they believe about what measures should be taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

The article includes the following video:

The doctors had originally placed a video on YouTube explaining what they have learned, but YouTube took that video down. The video was taken down because it did not agree with official WHO policy (which incidentally does not have a great track record for being truthful or helpful).

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

Doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi said their facilities have tested over 5,200 patients for the coronavirus throughout the county, making up for over half of all testing in Kern County. According to their data, the death rate of the coronavirus is similar in prevalence to the flu. And they believe only the sick and elderly should be quarantined and that businesses should open. They also revealed that the state of California is pressuring doctors to pad the COVID-19 numbers.

These two doctors are not the only medical professionals stating that the nationwide lockdown is not the answer. It is becoming obvious to many medical professionals and many others that we have made a mistake by shutting down the entire country and need to reopen it.

The article at The Gateway Pundit also includes a longer video by Dr. Erickson explaining what the doctors have learned about the virus and why they believe that the current lockdown is not the right way to protect Americans.

What We Should Call The Coronavirus

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an editorial giving their opinion on what to name the coronavirus. Their suggestion is a common-sense approach to placing responsibility where it belongs.

The editorial states:

The Epoch Times suggests a more accurate name is the “CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus,” and calls upon others to join us in adopting this name.

The name holds the CCP accountable for its wanton disregard of human life and consequent spawning of a pandemic that has put untold numbers in countries around the world at risk, while creating widespread fear and devastating the economies of nations trying to cope with this disease.

After all, CCP officials knew in early December that the virus had appeared in Wuhan, but they sat on the information for six weeks. They arrested those who tried to warn of the danger, accusing them of spreading “rumors,” and employed the regime’s rigorous censorship to prevent media coverage and to delete any mentions of it from social media.

What might have been contained was allowed silently to spread, showing up in all of China. Individuals who might have protected themselves became victims, in numbers far greater than the CCP has admitted. By late January, there were reports that all of the crematoria in Wuhan were operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week to deal with the crush of dead bodies.

The editorial notes the price of getting too cozy with dictatorships:

In any case, as questions about the origin of the virus have gone unanswered, the CCP has begun throwing out wild charges that the United States is responsible. This will be met around the world with perplexity, if not ridicule. President Donald Trump has pushed back by referring to the “Chinese virus.”

But the CCP likely intends these charges of U.S. responsibility for its domestic audience. The CCP has victimized the Chinese people in its first denial of the virus and now seeks to victimize them again by shifting responsibility for its actions to others.

And this points out why the name “CCP virus” is needed, to distinguish the victims from the victimizer. The people of Wuhan and of China are the victims of the CCP’s arrogance and incompetence, expressed in this viral pandemic.

The name CCP virus also sounds a warning: Those nations and individuals close to the CCP are the ones suffering the worst effects from this virus, as is seen in the raging infections in the CCP’s close ally Iran and in Italy, the only G-7 nation to sign onto the Belt and Road Initiative. Taiwan and Hong Kong, which are highly skeptical of the CCP, have had relatively few infections.

The editorial concludes:

Finally, the CCP virus reminds the people of the world that the source of the virus is itself evil. This is a communist virus, and with the name CCP virus, The Epoch Times reminds the world of the cure: ending the CCP.

The Thin Line Of Censorship

A friend of mine who is in radio advertising tells me that radio stations do not have the ability to refuse political ads. During an election season, a station must air all ads that a political campaign pays for. Evidently this is the result of the fact that radio stations are controlled by the Federal Communications Commission. Unfortunately the new media is very loosely controlled by anything. This is a very mixed blessing. I don’t want the government telling me that I have to accept political ads on my blog whether or not I agree with the ads. However, the censorship of conservative speech that is going on at YouTube, Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc., is not acceptable.

Breitbart is reporting today that according to a report by 60 minutes more than 300 of President Donald Trump’s political ads have taken down by Google and its video platform YouTube, mostly over the summer.

The article reports:

The CBS reporters were unable to find specific reasons for the mass takedowns of Trump ads, a common problem with social media companies, which are often reluctant to explain precisely why a ban or other act of censorship has happened. “We found very little transparency in the transparency report,” concluded 60 Minutes.

The article includes the following quote from CBS News:

60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Wojcicki, “Have you taken down any of President Trump’s ads at all?” YouTube’s CEO responded, “There are ads of President Trump that were not approved to run on Google or YouTube.” When pressed for an example, Wojcicki added, “Well, they’re available in our transparency report.”

In response to concerns raised after the 2016 election cycle, Google and YouTube, like Facebook, keep a searchable archive of political ads that have run on the site.

60 Minutes reviewed the archive to learn more about President Trump’s problematic political ads. We found that over 300 video ads were taken down by Google and YouTube, mostly over the summer, for violating company policy. But the archive doesn’t detail what policy was violated. Was it copyright violation? A lie or extreme inaccuracy? Faulty grammar? Bad punctuation? It’s unclear. The ads determined to be offending are not available to be screened. We found very little transparency in the transparency report. 

We are coming into a very important election season. American voters need to hear both sides of every campaign. We already know that the mainstream media is extremely biased. How are people supposed to get information when free speech is being suppressed?

The Beginning Of Progress In The Trade War With China

It is no surprise that trade negotiations with China have moved slowly. President Trump is attempting to level a playing field that has been tilted for a long time. China has manipulated its currency to gain trade advantage, China has stolen intellectual property, and China has used slave labor to manufacture products at ridiculously cheap prices. We have looked the other way, ignoring human rights abuses. We have also looked the other way in terms of the censorship of speech in China. Google has helped develop a search engine that will meet the requirements of the Chinese censors. We have complied with things that are against our principles for the sake of money. The trade deal being negotiated is not going to change that, but at least it will be a beginning attempt to level the playing field.

Fox Business is reporting today that the U.S. and China agreed to a “phase one deal” in the trade war.

The article reports:

The deal, which has been agreed to in principle and will take three to five weeks to write, includes China agreeing to raise its agricultural purchases to between $40 billion and $50 billion from $8 billion to $16 billion, in addition to making reforms on intellectual property and financial services. The U.S. will not be raising tariffs from 25 percent to 30 percent on Oct. 15. A decision has not yet been made on the tariff increase scheduled for Dec. 15.

A comprehensive trade deal will have two or three phases, according to Trump. China’s trade team is calling the agreement a “pause” in the trade war, and not a deal.

China is not a free country, and the Chinese negotiators who are working out this trade deal will pay a high price if the deal is not totally acceptable to the leadership in China. The fact that a phase one deal has been reached is good news, but China does not have a great track record on keeping promises or abiding by trade agreements.

Truth In Comedy

There is a bit of a dust up going on right now between China and the National Basketball Association. It seems that Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, posted a tweet showing support for Hong King’s freedom movement. Obviously, the Chinese are not a big fan of free speech. Mr. Morey has deleted his tweets and apologized, but that does not seem to be enough for the Chinese.

In an article posted today, CNBC reports:

  • Searches for “Houston Rockets” and “Rockets” in Chinese on Alibaba-owned Taobao and Tmall and another site JD.com, yielded no results.
  • It comes after Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for the anti-government protestors in Hong Kong. The tweet was quickly deleted.
  • Chinese broadcast partners Tencent and state-owned CCTV said they would no longer show Rockets games.

We need to remember that China is NOT a free country.

Meanwhile, enter Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame.

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about their response to the dust up.

The article quotes an article in The Guardian:

South Park’s creators have responded with a mock apology to reports that China has censored the programme, ridiculing the country and comparing President Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.

The “apology” from Trey Parker and Matt Stone comes after reports on Monday that China had scrubbed all episodes, clips and content related to the long-running comedy cartoon from Chinese streaming and social media platforms in response to a recent episode that was critical of the country.

The episode, called Band in China, took aim at what it portrayed as a tendency in US culture to adjust content to accommodate Chinese censorship laws. “It’s not worth living in a world where China controls my country’s art,” says one character in the episode.

The episode also includes a plot line in which a character is caught selling drugs in China and as punishment is sent to a work camp, similar to the mass internment camps in Xinjiang where an estimated one million people, including Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are detained.

The article also includes the non-apology apology from Trey Parker and Matt Stone:

I think that is called ‘speaking truth to power.’

Censorship Run Amok

On Friday, Newsbusters reported that Twitter had recently labeled a tweet by Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott as “sensitive” and covered it up. The tweet was hardly controversial.

The article reports:

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott met with Twitter officials on July 15 to discuss why his tweet about the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, was covered up by Twitter. His original tweet, which retweeted a video, said, “I’ve always loved watching the Blue Angels. They inspire the precision and power that makes the U.S. military the mightiest in the history of the world.” Both this tweet, and the video, were covered as “sensitive” by Twitter.

Users had to click through the “sensitive” filter in order to see the tweet.

Abbott later tweeted, “Multiple reports say Twitter categorized my Blue Angels post as sensitive. Just another way Twitter is erecting challenges for conservatives and for American institutions.”

After the meeting, Abbott announced, “We are working on solutions to ensure posts are seen.”

However, the consequences might be severe. Abbott mentioned that “Greater regulation of Twitter is on the table.”

The only thing that could even remotely be considered sensitive about a Blue Angels video is the pictures taken from inside the plane. The maneuvers those pilots go through are worse than the wildest roller coaster! At any rate, this is another example of overreaching censorship in a place where censorship should not even be allowed.

The Ignored Threat

On October 5, The Daily Signal posted an article about the threat posed to the United States by China.

Vice-President Pence lists four major threats to America from China:

1. Cyber Espionage

…Microchips, about the size of a grain of sand, were inserted into the manufacturing of equipment in China of Super Micro Computer Inc., which is a server supplier for several major companies in the United States.

Investigators determined the chips allowed attackers to create backdoor entry to alter computers. However, Amazon, Apple, Super Micro itself, and the Chinese government all disputed the Bloomberg reporting.

“This is a backdoor into the hardware level in determining personal identification, health care records, and possibly even voting machines,” Dean Cheng, research fellow on Chinese political and security affairs at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

“If the chip story is true, there is something fundamentally wrong with our supply chain,” he added.

Cheng contends these cybersecurity concerns are far weightier than concerns about election interference and spreading propaganda.

2. Election Meddling

…“It’s using wedge issues, like trade tariffs, to advance Beijing’s political influence,” he said.

“When it comes to influencing the midterms, you need only look at Beijing’s tariffs in response to ours,” Pence added. “The tariffs imposed by China to date specifically targeted industries and states that would play an important role in the 2018 election.

“By one estimate, more than 80 percent of U.S. counties targeted by China voted for President Trump and I in 2016. Now, China wants to turn these voters against our administration,” he said.

3. Squeezing US Companies

Pence called out Google for its seeming willingness to work with the Chinese government.

“Google should immediately end development of the ‘Dragonfly’ app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers,” he said in his Thursday speech.

Pence also noted that Chinese officials tried to influence business leaders.

“In one recent example, China threatened to deny a business license for a major U.S. corporation if they refused to speak out against our administration’s policies,” Pence said.

4. Military Buildup

…China wants nothing less than to push the United States of America from the Western Pacific and attempt to prevent us from coming to the aid of our allies. But they will fail.

America had hoped that economic liberalization would bring China into a greater partnership with us and with the world.

Instead, China has chosen economic aggression, which has in turn emboldened its growing military.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. We ignore this threat at our own peril.

It Is Becoming An Honor To Be Put In Facebook Jail

It is becoming obvious that Facebook is doing what it can to limit conservative speech. Their labeling of Diamond and Silk as “unsafe to the community” would have been hilarious if it wasn’t a threat to free speech. Facebook is a private company and has the right to post what they want. We as consumers have the right to use Facebook or not use Facebook. I won’t be boycotting Facebook–it keeps me up to date as to what my grandchildren are up to, but I do understand that the information playing field on Facebook is not level. Please follow the link to The Gateway Pundit to see the actual numbers on the censorship that has already taken place–it is stunning.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article headlined, “Zuckerberg’s Announcement Means Final Remaining Conservative Voices on Facebook Will Be Eliminated by Election Day.”

The article included the following:

Top conservative websites have seen a stunning drop in their Facebook traffic. This was no accident. This was the plan.

In January 2017, Facebook began making algorithm changes to make sure conservative news was no longer so influential. The Gateway Pundit Facebook traffic has consistently decreased with each algorithm change.

A March 2018 study by The Outline organization found conservative publishers were hit the hardest by Facebook algorithm changes. The study also showed that The Gateway Pundit was hit the hardest.

In March 2018 Western Journal also published a study that found conservative publishers were hit the hardest by the recent Facebook algorithm changes. The report found that liberal publishers actually saw a 2 percent increase in traffic. Conservative publishers lost an average of 14 percent in traffic.

Facebook official Campbell Brown, a former anchor on NBC and CNN, told attendees at a recent technology and publishing conference that Facebook would be censoring news publishers based on its own internal biases. And they did.

The best way to counter this is to form a conservative Facebook. I am sure some entrepreneur somewhere is already working on that!

 

Shutting Down The Free Speech Of Conservatives

The alternative media has had an impact on the politics of America. Facebook and Twitter have been a place where conservatives could share information and ideas. Well, that is changing. According to an article posted at The Gateway Pundit yesterday, google and Facebook are purging conservative content from Facebook and YouTube. That is not a surprise, it is simply an unfortunate truth. Because many arguments by the political left are based on emotion rather than fact, they do not like engaging in rational debate. Thus, if they can, they shut down the conservative side of the debate.

The article lists the websites that have been blacklisted or targeted by Facebook and google:

Young Cons: Extremely popular conservative news site and received millions of daily readers during the election.  The website received nearly all of its traffic from Facebook. Since 2016 Facebook shut down stories to Young Cons.  Each algorithm change meant less traffic for the popular website.  YoungCons was blacklisted by Facebook and struggles to maintain readers.  The site regularly switches domains to save traffic.

SarahPalin.com: With over 4 million fans one of the popular conservative pages on Facebook until Facebook blocked all traffic to the website.  The page was forced to change the domain to save traffic numbers.

Right Wing News:  Right Wing News grew to an enormous website in the past few years thanks its popularity on Facebook. In July of 2015, in just a week, the Right Wing News Facebook page reached 133 million people. Because conservatives were sharing content they were interested in, Right Wing News (with 3.6 million Facebook likes ) was driving the same amount of web traffic as some of the biggest newspapers in America.  Since the 2016 election Facebook blocked traffic to the website.  Owner John Hawkins announced he was shutting down the website in January.

Western Journalism: Newsweek reported that the site has grown from receiving 1,000 page views a day in 2009[3] to more than 1 million during 2016. The website was averaging around 6 million page views a day according to Quantcast during the election. Today it is down to around 500,000 a day. Western Journalism was blacklisted by Facebook.

The Gateway Pundit: TGP was ranked as the 4th most influential conservative news source during the 2016 election. The site in 2016 received nearly a third of its traffic from Facebook. This past weekend Facebook blocked all traffic from recent stories to the website. TGP advertised with Facebook and is another top conservative website blacklisted by the company. TGP is also shadow-banned by Google and frequently attacked and smeared by the liberal media.

President Trump Facebook page:  A recent algorithm change has caused President Donald Trump’s engagement on Facebook posts to plummet a whopping 45%. In contrast, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) do not appear to have suffered a comparable decline in Facebook engagement, reported Breitbart’s Alum Bokhari.

Independent Journal Review:  A massive conservative website based on Facebook audience.  The Independent Journal Review (IJR) terminated a number of its employees on Thursday, leaving an unclear future for the millennial-focused conservative website that has recently faced a declining audience.  IDF was also shadow-banned and blacklisted.

Breitbart.com:  Breitbart was the most influential conservative news source in 2016 with a massive audience.  Since the election Breitbart is constantly targeted and smeared by far left operations.  Breitbart advertising was targeted by Sleeping Giants and other Soros sites.

InfoWars:  Infowars is another dominant conservative site with enormous traffic.  After several years of video production and tens of thousands of video YouTube gave Infowars its third strike this week and threatens to shut the YouTube Channel down.

Rightside Broadcasting: This YouTube Channel had millions of views before the election.  Since 2016 YouTube has shadow-banned all of their videos.  YouTube has classified its videos of President Trump at a rally as hate speech.  YouTube has demonetized hundreds of its videos.  YouTube hides its videos.  Income for the site is down 95% since the election.

Natural News: A very prominent health website and the world’s top source on natural health. The site receives tens of thousands of readers every day. YouTube wiped out over 1,700 videos covering everything from nutrition, natural medicine, history, science and current events.

Prager Report:  PragerU, a conservative educational site, is suing Google and its subsidiary YouTube, accusing the video site of censoring its online videos because of their political leanings.  YouTube has banned several of its videos including segments on abortion and Islam.   Prager U has a massive conservative audience in the millions.

Pamela Geller.com:  Pamela is well-known for speaking out against radical Islam.  ISIS has threatened to behead her several times.  During the election PG had over 100,000 daily views from Facebook.  Today Facebook has shut down most of her traffic.  Her website suffered serious losses in revenue since the election.

Diamond and Silk: Pro-Trump YouTube sensations have a suit against YouTube. The Trump supporters announced in August 2017 that 95% of their videos have been demonetized on YouTube.

I will admit that I do not have 100% confidence in all of these websites, but it is troubling that they are being taken down. We may actually have to fight for the First Amendment rights many of us took for granted for so long.

Good News

As google, facebook, and twitter censor conservative speech, it is going to be more difficult to find alternative sources of news. A website called ‘government slaves‘ has made a list of 400 sites google does not want you to visit. Rightwinggranny.com has made that list. That is something of a mixed blessing–it is an honor to be recognized as an alternative news site, but chilling that any news site is being blocked because of their perspective. At any rate, it is a good idea to bookmark ‘government slaves‘ for future reference. I am sure the list will be updated as time goes on, and the websites on it are good alternative news sources.