Tim Matheson’s nativist blunder

Tim Matheson, an actor whose credits include The West Wing and Leave It to Beaver (he’s no spring chicken) tried to poke fun at former First Lady Melania Trump on Twitter the other day.

Of new FLOTUS Dr. Jill Biden, Matheson tweeted, “so wonderful to have a First Lady with class and heart. And, can speak English!”

This resulted in immediate pushback, including accusations of racism. Even liberal Biden supporters were taken aback.

Matheson, though, is known for his leftwing hyperbole. He has called the GOP a “terrorist organization”, for example. There is a certain cosmic justice here, in seeing hyperbole come back to bite Mr. Matheson.

Now, in regard to language: Melania Trump, as most readers will know, was born in the former Yugoslavia. Her first language is not English; and while she speaks English fluently, she speaks it with a foreign accent.

Melania Trump speaks at least five languages altogether. To the best of my knowledge, she speaks Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, German, English, and French.

I’m not sure if poking fun at someone’s language skills is “racist” or not. An accusation of “racism” is, in our present age, the first resort of the small-minded and uncreative debater. I’ll therefore demur in hurling the eye roll-inducing “r-word” at Matheson. But where language skills are concerned, folks who live in glass houses ought not throw stones.

I’ve studied multiple foreign languages and mastered several. (I used to work as a Japanese-language interpreter.) I know how hard it is. Anyone who speaks five languages is linguistically impressive. I don’t know how many languages Tim Matheson speaks. But I would be willing to bet that the number is significantly less than five, and probably no more than one. Enough said.

False flag protests: conservatives/Republicans should *not* attend

Stay the f#ck at home on Inauguration Day

As I noted in this space the other day, the Left and the mainstream media want nothing more than a bloody fracas on Inauguration Day that can be blamed on conservatives. This will justify not just the demonization of conservatives in the media, but also private- and public-sector efforts to “cancel” conservatives and Republicans.

And then, of course, there is AOC’s “Ministry of Truth”

More reports are coming in that these “calls for armed protests” you’ve been hearing about in the media are false flags, like the flyer below.

Don’t fall for it; stay home on Inauguration Day

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: The January 6th incursion into the US Capitol was a horrible mistake that took five lives, and gave the left/mainstream media a new narrative: that they must restrict our basic rights in order to prevent an imminent rightwing coup. The January 6th action accomplished nothing for conservatives, the GOP, or President Trump. It was a boneheaded fiasco, straight down the line. 

Likewise, there is nothing to be gained by going to your state capitol on Wednesday, and walking around with a gun in public, looking (and acting) like a jackass. If you do that, you will be playing directly into the mainstream media’s/left’s hands. That is exactly what they want you to do. They want you to have a violent confrontation with the National Guard/police officers who will be on duty.

Don’t be a dupe.  Stay home. Observe Inauguration Day with friends and family, or in prayer and meditation. Watch M*A*S*H and Seinfeld reruns if you’d like. But stay away from those “armed protests”, which are almost certainly not the project of conservatives, but of agitators on the Left. 

Lauren Boebert is sued for blocking Twitter user

The social media nonsense just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

On one hand, Twitter arbitrarily blocks the President of the United States.

Nothing wrong there!

Twitter arbitrarily suspends the account of Colorado GOP  Representative Lauren Boebert.

No worries!

But when Lauren Boebert blocks the account of Twitter user Bri Buentello, a former Colorado Democratic state representative (and present constituent of Boebert), all hell breaks loose in the form of a lawsuit and a Twitter mob set on Boebert. 

The problem with Twitter privacy controls

Twitter gives every user the right to block other users. Twitter’s policies allow blocking of other users without any notification, reason, or due process, just like you can individually block someone on your Facebook feed without justification or due process. This is one of Twitter’s key privacy control features. 

But Boebert is not a private citizen. She is an elected official. And if she’s speaking on Twitter in her official capacity, then her constituent, Bri Buentello, arguably has a right to access her representative’s tweets—so long as Buentello isn’t being threatening or profanely harassing. (We’ll see what comes out in that regard.)

The problem with Twitter and elected officials

This is one of the myriad problems with Twitter. It is a “free speech” public square…except when Jack Dorsey and his minions decide that it isn’t. Twitter’s privacy and blocking controls were set up with private use in mind…but every elected official, from Donald Trump and Joe Biden on down, now use it for official notifications.

But Twitter isn’t owned or controlled by the government. It’s controlled by Jack Dorsey and 4,600 mostly lunatic employees in San Francisco. 

There is really no reason for any elected official to be on Twitter in an official capacity. (Is anyone going to challenge my assertion that Donald Trump would have been better off without a Twitter account?) Ideally, elected officials would communicate on Internet platforms that are owned and operated by the public, at whatever level of government they represent. Technically, this would not be difficult. This could be done without adding another digit to Joe Biden’s profligate, gazillion-dollar spending plans. 

Then if someone was harassing a state official on the publicly owned platform, the obnoxious citizen could be dealt with through the due process of the law, if applicable. 

But that isn’t possible on Twitter. If you’re a Republican politician and some yahoo is screaming bloody murder at you, your only option is to block them…which really only makes things worse. Ask Lauren Boebert.

But… you already know that Jack Dorsey hates your guts because you’re a Republican. You’ll get no relief from Twitter itself. (Twitter banned Boebert herself only days ago, remember.)

Yeah, Twitter sucks. I know.

I’m a conservative, and I prefer private-sector solutions whenever possible. But social media is neither fish nor fowl. Social media functions as both—and at the same time, as neither

The privatization of public communications on social media channels like Twitter and Facebook is something that we need to rethink, from the ground up. Thus far, it hasn’t exactly gone well. 

Twitter: perfectly cool with Chinese government propaganda, though

Last week I reported how the Chinese government, using Twitter, puts a happy spin on its brutal suppression of ethnic minorities, especially the Tibetans and the Uighur people. 

The ladies over at the Victory Girls blog point out that Twitter is well aware of the Chinese government propaganda on their platform.

They have no qualms about any of that. But they banned the account of the President of the United States.

In recent days, Twitter has also purged thousands of less well-known conservative accounts, and a leaked video indicates that Twitter CEO and Head Commissar Jack Dorsey is far from done. 

And they wonder why we don’t trust a word they say…

Amazon’s case for banning Parler

I’ve written a lot in recent days about free speech and censorship.

We don’t censor opposing viewpoints here. We address them.

Here is the other side:

Amazon Court Filing Slams Parler For Posts Inciting, Planning “Rape, Torture And Assassination Of Public Officials, Private Citizens”

“AWS reported to Parler, over many weeks, dozens of examples of content that encouraged violence, including calls to hang public officials, kill Black and Jewish people, and shoot police officers in the head … Parler systematically failed to “suspend access” to this content, much less to do so immediately, and demonstrated that it has no effective process in place to ensure future compliance. Parler itself has admitted it has a backlog of 26,000 reports of content that violates its (minimal) community standards that it had not yet reviewed. Parler’s own failures left AWS little choice but to suspend Parler’s account.”

***

Social media is a cesspool. That’s why I avoid it like the plague…as should you.

I have no doubt that Parler was as much of a cesspool as the rest of them, with the caveat that Parler’s cesspool was more conservative and right-leaning. (FWIW, when I was on Twitter, I saw threats of violence everyday.)

It sounds like Parler was woefully understaffed, which explains the backlog of 26,000 reports.

***

“Supporters of reluctantly outgoing President Donald Trump laid violent siege to the Capitol building last Wednesday. Five people died. By the end of the week, Twitter had permanently banned Trump’s account and Facebook blocked him indefinitely. Trump supporters turned even more heavily to Parler, which AWS stopped supporting on Monday.”

***

I’ve repeatedly stated on this blog that I disapprove of all political violence, and encourage everyone, on all sides, to work out their differences peacefully. 

That goes for those who support Trump, and those who oppose him.

My main problem with Amazon here is the company’s lack of consistency. Amazon, going all the way up to Jeff Bezos, offered very vocal support of BLM this past summer, despite the ongoing violence….in which far more than five people died. For several weeks, Amazon went so far as to post a message of support for BLM on its homepage.

From late May through September, our media, government, and corporate elites sent the message: if you believe your cause is just, then the ends justify the means.

This is a dangerous concept, because that always comes down to a certain degree of subjectivity. Many supporters of BLM no doubt believed that their cause was just. So did many diehard Trump supporters who believed (whether rightly or wrongly) that the 2020 election had been stolen.

Amazon can’t tacitly support public rioting when the rioters are associated with BLM, and then suddenly become the corporate champion of law and order when the rioters are Republicans and Trump supporters. You either oppose rioting, or you don’t.

Likewise, two wrongs do not make a right. But over the summer we lowered our standards in regard to the degree of public political violence that we would tolerate. This doubtless gave the January 6 rioters a sense of license. Some of them no doubt figured: if BLM could loot, burn, and break stuff, why couldn’t they?

Amazon makes some valid points in its rebuttal. But where was the company’s abhorrence of public violence and rioting last June?

Sarah Hoyt on online censorship and Facebook

THE STINK OF FEAR

In the essay (which you should read), Hoyt talks about her recent experiences with Facebook banning and suspending her content (which, I assure you, is quite mild as online discourse goes).

Here’s a sample:

“Even the Soviets turned a blind eye to jokes about the regime, because they knew it was a safety valve.”

Yes, but:

1.) The social justice mob has proven time and again that they have no sense of humor.

2.) To compare Mark Zuckerberg to Yuri Andropov would be a slight to the latter.

Walkie-talkies may make a comeback

Can Zuckerberg and Dorsey ban these, too?

Walkie talkies were all the rage during my childhood in the late 1970s. This was especially true during that decade’s brief CB radio craze, around 1976.

You probably haven’t thought about using a walkie-talkie in years. But given the state of things on the Internet, you may want to give old technology a second look. You can purchase a set of walkie-talkies on Amazon.

Shhh….we won’t tell them that your only motivation is to escape the speech codes of the Big Tech CEOs and their minions. 

Ami Kim: ‘The Number of the Beast’

A nice drum cover that brings back 1980s memories

I’ve enjoyed watching YouTuber Ami Kim’s drum covers over the past few months. I have also been an Iron Maiden fan for almost 40 years.

One of Iron Maiden’s most successful albums was The Number of the Beast (1982). In this video, Ami performs a drum cover of the song.

I am not a drummer; but I did take guitar lessons in the early 1980s. (I learned how to play a few of the songs on this album, in fact.) I consider myself a reasonably astute judge of musical talent; and Ami Kim’s drum covers are impressive.

Enjoy. If you like what you hear and see, consider subscribing to her YouTube channel.

Jack Dorsey’s censorship plans exposed in leaked video

Well, Jack Dorsey seems to be moving even faster than AOC to clamp down on free speech in this Brave New World of ours that begins next Wednesday.

In a leaked video, Jack Dorsey states that many more Twitter accounts will be banned.

In other words, this isn’t just about Donald Trump….this is about you.

“We are focused on one account right now, but this is going to be much bigger than just one account, and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week, and the next few weeks, and go on beyond the inauguration.”

The best message we can send Jack Dorsey in return ends with the words, “and the horse you rode in on.”

I mean that figuratively, of course.

Leave Twitter, and never go back.

The good news is that Twitter’s stock is trending downward. It will fall even further as more conservatives, moderates, and freedom-loving independents jettison it.

The only way Twitter makes money is through ad revenue. Users and eyeballs mean money to Twitter. Unlike Facebook, Twitter can’t even sell your personal information, because most people are on Twitter anonymously, or input only minimal personal info.

There isn’t much money to be made showing ads to Antifa radicals…which will be the bulk of Twitter’s user base when this is over.

Twitter will reap what it has sown.

BLOOD FLATS

Former marine Lee McCabe is on the run from the law, mafia hitmen, and rural meth dealers. A gun-blazing chase through the badlands of Kentucky.

Preview BLOOD FLATS on Amazon now.

Suing Facebook, Twitter for censorship

The legal backlash against the Big Tech speech bullies is already underway, starting in North Dakota:

“A bill proposed by Republican lawmakers in North Dakota could enable lawsuits to be filed against Twitter and Facebook by users who have seen their accounts deleted or censored.”

Personally, I tend to favor voting with my feet. I don’t want to sue Twitter. I want so many people to leave Twitter that Twitter will go out of business.

Or, to paraphrase Cato the Elder: “Twitter delenda est.”

Seriously. If Twitter didn’t already exist, who would make the case for inventing it?

But either way, social media is likely to reap the whirlwind as a result of its recent actions. It will not be business as usual from here on out.

Parler may never return

The politically motived, Big Tech collusion against Parler may have shut down the platform permanently, according to a statement from Parler’s CEO, John Matze:

“It [the restart] could be never. We don’t know yet…It’s hard to keep track of how many people are telling us that we can no longer do business with them.”

This is not a technical problem of switching hosting companies. Websites switch hosting providers all the time. This is about organized political pressure.

Apparently, some big guns in the tech industry, aligned with the Democratic Party and progressive interests, have orchestrated a “blacklisting” of the nonconformist social media site.

Worst case, Parler could obtain hosting with an offshore hosting provider. It can’t be that difficult. (Someone hosts Pornhub, after all, right?) But the company may face the additional challenge of finding a source of revenue.

Social media sites don’t ship any product. Their sole source of revenue is usually advertising. But the big advertising networks have no doubt locked out Parler by now. 

There would still be workarounds. But they’re not easy. Matze may have decided to accept defeat.

This will no doubt have a chilling effect on the next social media site that doesn’t want to toe a specific ideological line. The message here is: Do what you’re told, and don’t step outside the establishment-dictated mainstream. Or the Big Tech CEOs and their employees will crush you. 

NY Rangers’ Tony DeAngelo leaves Twitter, baffles journalist

Vincent Z. Mercogliano, a staff writer for the USA TODAY Network, seems befuddled, and more than a little indignant, at the decision of NY Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo to close his Twitter account and (gasp!) open an account at Parler:

“In his latest stunt, the 25-year-old defenseman deactivated his Twitter account — which, had he done quietly, I wouldn’t be writing about it.

But by indicating that it was an apparent protest of the company’s decision to ban Donald Trump, then following it up with a puzzling Instagram post — in which he wrote, “If they let Parler back up at some point I will be on Parler. Until then I will not be using social media apps” — it called extra attention to him and brought on a slew of questions.”

Notice Mercogliano’s use of the dismissive word “stunt”. Everything that famous—or wannabe famous—people do on social media is a “stunt” in one way or another. That’s what the combination of celebrity and social media has always been about, since the very beginning. 

Mercogliano then chides DeAngelo for his embrace of the evil, wicked, very dangerous Parler app—which the tech giants have temporarily crushed through collusion, anyway:

“DeAngelo has been a vocal Trump supporter, so him being upset by Twitter’s decision to boot the outgoing president was no surprise. For me, most of the questions centered around DeAngelo’s decision to align himself with Parler.

I hadn’t heard of Parler, a social network, until a couple days ago, but it’s been in the news since Wednesday’s shocking invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Some planning for the appalling attack apparently took place on Parler, with Google subsequently removing the app while calling it a “public safety threat”

This is, of course, the new party line. If you have an account on Parler, you seek to overthrow the new Democratic Party order that begins on January 20, and  establish a Fourth Reich in the United States. 

I don’t use Parler myself, not because I object to its existence,  but because social media isn’t my thing. But I know several people who do use it. One is a 74-year-old retiree who has never owned a firearm, or thrown a punch in anger in his entire life. The other is my 52-year-old high school classmate. She’s 5’1″ tall, a hundred bounds soaking wet. She runs a dog training service in South Carolina. In high school, she was a mild-mannered wallflower.

The Dangerous People of Parler? The ones I know, at least, are not exactly the fearsome malefactors that inhabit the fevered leftwing imagination. 

To his credit, at least Vincent Z. Mercogliano refrained from trotting out the “white supremacist” bogeyman. But his remarks indicate that he, like most of the journalistic class, is woefully out of touch with the average American.

The man and woman on the street wants nothing to do with Twitter. And we’re appalled at the Big Tech conspiracy to censor Parler, even if we personally want nothing to do with that, either. 

Twitter blocks Rep. Lauren Boebert, too

And why this blog will no longer link to Twitter content

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is one of President Donald Trump’s defenders in Congress. She has been locked out of her Twitter account until Inauguration Day. Interesting timing. 

Twitter has basically decided to censor everyone who doesn’t rigidly adhere to a specific political line. 

As I’ve said repeatedly in recent days, we each need to do our part to free the Internet of social media’s iron grip. And Twitter is the worst of the worst. 

This is not just about the recent election, conservatives, or Republicans. Even the left-leaning New York Times has acknowledged that social media has gotten too powerful, and they are abusing that power. 

A handful of unelected tech executives and their employees should not set the boundaries of acceptable expression on the Internet. This is a very slippery slope, and we have slid too far already.

And yes: “each of us doing our part” applies to me, too. Here is what I am doing:

1.) Account deactivation

This morning I deactivated my personal Twitter account. (It deletes automatically 30 days after deactivation.)

2.) No more Twitter links/embeds

This blog will no longer link directly to Twitter, or embed content from Twitter (which is the same thing as a link to Twitter). When Twitter content must be mentioned or shown, I’ll use a thumbnail screenshot, if available.

***

Twitter is not important. A handful of journalists have made Twitter seem more significant than it actually is or ever was. You don’t need Twitter for your business, your social life, or for informational purposes.

Just stop using Twitter now. Deactivate your account, and don’t go back. 

Forbes buried Jim Collins’s Twitter article

Apparently…

But it’s in the Internet archive:

Twitter Is The Worst Company On Planet Earth. Here’s How To Bet Against The Stock—and Deactivate Your Account

“Twitter is a faux-tech outfit with no competitive moat and a customer base filled with—it would seem—idiots. It’s too small to be considered Big Tech, but the media has given it outsized influence. Only you and I can fight that war and destroy Twitter’s base. So, delete your account, and short the stock. Making money while doing the right thing feels extra good…doesn’t it?”

Hear, hear. 

Although all of the mainstream social media companies have become speech tyrants in recent years, some of them have had their uses.

I won’t deny that I’ve had fun surfing YouTube videos over the years. I am grudgingly grateful to Facebook for enabling me to reestablish contact with long-lost friends from the 2000s, 1990s, 1980s, and 1970s.

But Twitter is always a ride through a toxic cesspool.  I never liked it, even before the most recent controversies. 

Idaho ISP to block Twitter and Facebook over censorship concerns

An Internet service provider in Idaho has announced that it will block both Twitter and Facebook in response to these platforms’ egregious practices of political censorship.

Idaho company to block Facebook and Twitter for censorship

The company, Your T1 WIFI, is based in Priest River, Idaho, and provides Internet service in parts of northern Idaho and nearby Spokane, Washington.

This is obviously only one Internet service provider, in what I would assume to be a sparsely populated area. 

But more may follow. Ultimately there are two ways to fight the censorship practices of Facebook and Twitter: block them back, and vote with your feet. 

On the subject of voting with one’s feet: No one needs a Twitter account. Period.

If you do want to keep your Facebook account intact as your personal rolodex, I can understand that. Admittedly, I have become dependent on Facebook, too. The platform has become my primary means of communicating with some people.

But that will change. I plan to phase out my use of Facebook in Q1 of 2021, so I can permanently delete Mark Zuckerberg’s tarpit from my life. 

But even if you don’t want to delete Facebook just yet, there are still actions you can take, or rather—not take.

Don’t post content on the site, don’t interact with content, and (whatever you do) don’t click on any Facebook ads in your newsfeed. That’s how Facebook makes money.