More Censorship in the Offing

Amazon and YouTube are two companies peddling streamed videos, and they’re looking at “filtering” certain content.

An (unidentified) Amazon spokeswoman says

We continuously review and monitor titles to ensure that they are in accordance with our policies and guidelines. If content is identified as not meeting those standards, it is immediately removed.

YouTube, also:

[A] self-avowed creature of user-generated video, also has faced the challenge of policing objectionable content on its site.

Policing objectionable content.

Indeed.

The Contempt of the Left

Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden says it’s time to start censoring private enterprise eliminate protections for tech platforms that publish user posts [emphasis added].

“Section 230 should be revoked, immediately should be revoked, number one,” Biden said in the interview, which was published on Friday.
The law, which was enacted in 1996 as part of the Communications Decency Act, gives websites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter broad legal immunity—essentially, it eliminates the possibility of legal consequences over what their users post. The statute was created to protect free speech on the internet.

Biden went further:

Political Parties

Joseph Sternberg, in his WSJ op-ed last Thursday, opined that the Democrats aren’t the only liberal party in collapse, averring that Great Britain’s Labour Party and Germany’s Social Democratic Party are in similar straits. He claimed early in his piece that

three of the West’s major economic powers are undergoing leadership turnover within their main center-left parties.

While the US’ and Great Britain’s leftist parties are threatened with leadership turnover (Germany’s SPD has already undergone one, and it may be continuing), Sternberg is operating under a false premise with most of his claim. Neither the US nor Great Britain have a center-left political party anymore.

Impeachment

Now the House Progressive-Democrats have deigned deliver their Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, and the Senate’s trial will begin in earnest (the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has been sworn in, and the Senators have been sworn in) tomorrow right after lunch Eastern Time.  There remains speculation about whether the Senate will call additional witnesses in the course of the trial or whether the Senate should simply dismiss the case.

The matter seems clear to my august self.

Disagreements and Lies

Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidates and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) and Bernie Sanders (I, VT) disagree with each other on whether Sanders ever told Warren that a woman could not win an election for President. That disagreement came to the fore in Tuesday’s Progressive-Democrat primary debate, and became manifest in a post debate, still on the debate stage, spat between the two:

“I think you called me a liar on national TV,” Ms Warren said, according to audio released by CNN.
“What?” Mr Sanders responded.
“I think you called me a liar on national TV,” she repeated.
“You know, let’s not do it right now. If you want to have that discussion, we’ll have that discussion,” Mr Sanders said.
Ms. Warren responded: “Anytime.”
“You called me a liar,” Mr Sanders said.

Privacy and DoJ

I don’t often disagree with Attorney General Bill Barr, but on this I most certainly do.

Attorney General William Barr demanded Monday that Apple help the US government unlock two iPhones in its terror investigation of the Saudi air cadet who last month killed three sailors at a Navy training base in Pensacola, Florida. “This situation perfectly illustrates why it is critical that the public be able to get access to digital evidence,” Mr Barr said.

“The public,” not “the government” or “the police investigators.”  Now, it’s clear that Barr could have been speaking metaphorically in this, so I’ll not pursue this aspect beyond pointing out the possibility of misunderstanding or of misplaced priority.

Diversity Among Candidates

In an article reporting (now ex-) Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Cory Booker’s (D, NJ) withdrawal from Party’s primary campaign, The Wall Street Journal noted that Booker has, and continues to do so, decried the “lack of diversity” remaining among Party’s Presidential candidates.  Then the article’s author, Sabrina Siddiqui, asked the question

How could Democrats encourage more diversity in the presidential field?

To which I answer: any way that suits them.

Of course, the Progressive-Democrats should continue emphasizing ethnicity and race as the primary defining characteristics of a man and not the content of his character or the policies for which he argues.

Private Charity

Readers of this blog know that I’ve long championed private charity as better suited to working our social ills than Government welfare—better economically, better for individual liberty, better for personal responsibility/morality.

Karl Zinsmeister, Editor in Chief of Philanthropy Magazine, offered some ways in which this is shown empirically to be true in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, which was adapted from his piece in the magazine’s winter 2020 issue.  One statistic that jumped out at me is this one:

77 million citizens volunteer time and labor [annually]

A Shootdown

Iran shot down a Ukrainian civilian airliner as it departed a Tehran airport, with the loss of all aboard.  The shootdown occurred shortly (a few hours) after Iran had launched some missiles at Iraqi facilities on which were based a number of American soldiers.

Stipulate the shootdown was accidental.

It also was an example of monumental incompetence: ill- to nonexistent discipline on the part of the antiaircraft missile crew and breathtaking lack of situation awareness by every single individual in the crew’s chain of command from the operational commander all the way to the top in the Iranian military establishment.

Two Impeachment Moves

Senator Josh Hawley (R, MO) has introduced a resolution to dismiss all impeachment charges if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) continues to obstruct the Senate trial by refusing to submit her caucus’ Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Lindsey Graham (R, SC) says he’ll work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) to change Senate rules to allow the Senate to begin the impeachment trial.

Hawley has proposed

So here’s what I think needs to happen. We need to change the Senate rules to allow the Senate to dismiss this case if she refuses to send the articles over[.]