First they came for Alex Jones and his Info Wars and so many stayed silent, including too many on the political right. When the same social media organizations come to silence their next right wing website will so may remain silent, or will it be too late? Once censorship like this begins, there is usually no way to stop it. The same forces that are silencing Alex Jones have been gunning for Drudge and Breitbart for years. I fear that it will not be long before those two, and many others receive the same treatment. The best and only time to resist censorship is immediately, when it begins, and to resist it as forcefully as possible. Everyone should condemn this shameful treatment of Alex Jones and his Info Wars, no matter if you agree with what he has to say or not.
I firmly believe censorship, of any nature, is always wrong. I firmly believe everyone has a right to say whatever they want to say, and everyone has a right to listen to whatever they want to listen to. The most common justification for silencing someone is to label what they have to say as hate speech. What exactly is hate speech. you might be wondering? That question is impossible to answer because the concept is way too subjective. Far too often, any ideas espoused by those on the political right are labeled hate speech by those on the political left, and then those ideas are banned.
Big tech’s coordinated purge of InfoWars — which was hit by bans from Apple, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube in rapid succession — did not occur in a vacuum. On this issue, Silicon Valley bowed to CNN journalists and Democrat politicians who ceaselessly lobbied for the site to be censored.
It’s a sign of how the concentration of power in America has shifted from big government to big tech that politicians are now lobbying tech companies rather than the other way round, but that’s exactly what happened over the course of the past few months, as Democrats applied relentless pressure on Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants to censor InfoWars.
It is unsociable that members of the Democratic Party would lobby for censoring InfoWars, or anyone else. This attack of Alex Jones’ freedom of speech was politically motivated.
As you can see in this article by the AP, cries of hate speech were the justification for this purge.
Major tech companies have begun to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their services, reflecting a more aggressive enforcement of policies against hate speech following protests on social media.
Facebook has taken down four pages belonging to Jones, including two featuring his “InfoWars” show, for violating its hate speech and bullying policies. Over the past several days, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have also removed material published by Jones. Twitter, which hasn’t banned Jones, has also faced similar calls.
Does Alex Jones or InfoWars engage in anything that can reasonably be called hate speech? On this I am no expert. Before this story broke I had never been to InfoWars, or viewed any of his videos. This is only because I already have a dozen or so websites I visit daily for my news and political information. I did not have time for another. Based on what I’ve seen in the past two days, I have not seen any evidence, on just InfoWars, of what could be called hate speech. Even if the site was nothing but “hate speech” I would still decry the silencing of his sites as forcefully as possible.
Brent Bozell of News Busters has similar opinions on this. Here is what he had to say in this article:
I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces. He’s not a conservative. However, banning him and his outlet is wrong. It’s not just a slippery slope, it’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets….Social media sites are supposedly neutral platforms, but they are increasingly becoming opportunities for the left and major media to censor any content that they don’t like.
Conservatives are increasingly concerned that InfoWars is not the end point for those who want to ban speech. It’s just the beginning. We are rapidly approaching a point where censorship of opposing voices is the norm. That’s dangerous.
Trust in social media is declining nearly as fast as trust in media overall. There’s a reason for that. And it’s not because social media tolerates voices like Jones. It’s because they don’t tolerate voices like Jones while tolerating voices who are just as bad on the political Left – and they show no signs of limiting their censorship to Alex Jones.
Some Democrats are reported to be working on a plan that would very heavily regulate the internet. The main objective of that would be to completely strangle all forms of communication from the political right. Here are the details. Censorship of conservatives by social media is a major problem but government intervention is not the solution. Government intervention will only make this problem far worse, just like government intervention always does. Government intervention is not called for in this case. These companies are private companies. They have every right to run their companies any way they want to, including censoring others. I have every tight to speak out against this censorship, and all censorship, as loudly as I wish to, and I’m imploring others to do so as well.
During my time in Lancaster PA last week I didn’t really have any time to go anywhere or do much of anything as I was constantly doing interviews (the last 11 of them are still uploading as I type this) except for dinner with DaWife in the evenings. On the day we drove back however we stopped at a farmers market in Bird in the Hand and at the famous Bird in the Hand Restaurant and Smorgasbord for breakfast.
Our waitress was enthralled by my stories of covering now President Trump during the campaign and I was enthralled by the place (the food is spectacular) , the people in it (her included) and Lancaster itself for one important reason.
It was so Normal.
I spoke to her about how, horse and buggies in the streets not withstanding, normal it was and how wonderful it was to be in a place that is normal surrounded by normal people acting in normal ways.
I’m 55 years old lifelong Massachusetts resident which means I’m old enough to remember when Massachusetts was normal, when being normal was considered a virtue and stating basic truths was not a crime that could get you fired from a job or the subject of a lawsuit. It was hard to explain just how abnormal things have become here but last week the Massachusetts legislature did it’s best to illustrate the point for me.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Karen Spilka, who said the proposal recognizes the rights of transgender individuals.
“Everyone should be free to live their lives in the way they feel most comfortable,” the Ashland Democrat said. “For those who do not fit neatly into the traditional categories of ‘male’ or ‘female,’ a nonbinary option is a simple way to ensure their ID matches their true lived gender identity.”
Democratic Senate President Harriette Chandler called the measure “a common sense policy for modern-day Massachusetts.”
Spilka, who is in line to replace Chandler as the new Senate president next month, said she decided to file the bill after hearing from a constituent urging her to push for the change.
Strange how if it’s such common sense nobody seemed to notice all these other genders until just a few years ago.
Given that pretending there are more than two genders is a sine non qua these days to be a democrat leader in Massachusetts, not to mention nationwide, it was no surprise that Spika, the Senate President in waiting who might want national office, would push this bill in the Senate. With the Democrat super-majority in the house and a GOP governor desperate to prove that’s he’s just as woke as the next guy (if you’re allowed to say “guy”) was a mere formality and Ms. Spilka would have a liberal badge of honor to help her to a national position in the party if she wanted it.
So the house leadership on the very last day of the session while I was in PA brought up the bill hoping to pass it quickly and quietly in the bustle of last minute business.
Then came GOP House member Jim Lyons who has a history of shining the light of reality in the chamber:
Jim Lyons is often described as an arch-conservative. After all, he is the rep who a few years back forced the state to admit that it annually doled out $1.8 billion in welfare payments to illegal immigrants. The Democrats have never forgiven him for that.
Lyons of course didn’t have to power to defeat the bill but he DID have the power to offer amendments and so he decided to use that power. Gender X? Aren’t there 73 genders according to facebook? Why should only Gender “X” be recognized?
In all, 73 genders, 73 amendments to Spilka’s bill.
Under House rules, Lyons would have 10 minutes to debate each gender he proposed to add to the driver’s license. And then three minutes for a roll call vote, 73 times.
by the time Amendment 35 was filed the house decided that actual business of the state had to take precedence over virtue signaling so at 10:45 PM last Tuesday, while I was getting by to my hotel room with DaWife in Pennsylvania, the bill was withdrawn and died with the end of the legislative session.
But the icing on the cake was his response to a reporter upset by his actions:
“Are you saying you want to leave some genders behind?”
It’s a great story. But satire is hard these days. My fear is that Rep. James Lyons may unintentionally have given us a preview of drivers’ licenses of the future.
It’s a fair point, after all if Lyons hadn’t stood up this would not be the law of the state, but there is one important thing to consider
I think not and here’s why.
If this bill was a no cost bit of virtue signaling then the legislature would not have kept it for the last hours of the last day of the legislative session to bring it before the house. They would have passed it in the light of day with cameras rolling and commentators from CNN and MSNBC there to interview the noble legislative heroes who fought for the cause of gender x.
But the Democrats in the house know how many genders there really are and so do the votes back home and while in Boston and Cambridge et/al this might be an easy vote, for a democrat without leadership or national ambitions who has to actually face normal people and ask them for their vote being on record 73 times to enshrine 73 made up genders from gender non-conforming to intersex woman might not play as well with actual voters back home as it would at Netroots.
That’s the dirty little secret here, The Democrat leaders and members in the house and Senate know what normal is, just like the waitress at the Bird in the Hand does but those leaders don’t have to courage to say it aloud.
I can’t wait to go back to Pennsylvania and if you are a Massachusetts resident with young children who doesn’t want to deal with this anymore, I’d suggest it might be a much better place to raise a family.
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