Censorship

Twitter has made itself an open, enthusiastic censor of political speech.

Twitter applied…fact-checking notices late Tuesday to two tweets from the president about the potential for fraud involving mail-in ballots. With a small label—”Get the facts about mail-in ballots”—and a link to more information, Twitter alerted its users that those claims were unsubstantiated.
The tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots,” a Twitter spokesman said.

Never mind that Twitter’s “fact” checking is done by the likes of CNN and The Washington Post.

A First Amendment Case

Oral argument on a 1st Amendment case was heard by the Supreme Court last Wednesday. The case centers on

whether or not a 1991 law that protects people from receiving unwarranted telemarketer calls is a violation of the First Amendment when applied to political organizations.

This strikes me as a no-brainer that never should have gotten out of any District court. The 1st Amendment bars the abridgment of political speech in the public square. It does not take away the right of private citizens to decide for themselves what speech they will hear from within their own, private property.

Making the Case

Senator Marco Rubio (R, FL) decried journalists’ touting America’s Wuhan Virus death rates as being greater than the People’s Republic of China’s.  “Grotesque,” he tweeted about it.  And he’s being generous, I say.

Naturally, journalists’ feelings were hurt by that, and they bellyached loudly.  Michelle Goldberg, for instance:

Journalists are concentrated in cities that are being ravaged by a plague that could have been better contained with a competent president. They’re lonely and scared and reporting while homeschooling their kids. No one feels glee or delight. Some of us feel white hot rage[.]

Scapegoating

…and fake apologies.

Recall that Doctor Li Wenliang, a resident of Wuhan, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China and an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, gave early warnings about the dangers and contagious nature of the Wuhan virus. Recall further that subsequent to his warnings, the police were sicced on him and that they threatened him if he didn’t shut the hell up. Li subsequently died of that same Wuhan virus.

Now the Communist Party of China is pretending to apologize to his family for that behavior.

An Illustration

A businessman in the People’s Republic of China, Ren Zhiqiang—who also is a member of the Communist Party of China—has been for some time an outspoken critic of PRC President Xi Jinping’s handling of the nation’s COVID-19 epidemic, a mishandling that allowed an early infection to blow out of control within the PRC and to become a global pandemic.

Outspoken critic: among other things, Ren wrote a widely disseminated essay that took issue with a 23 Feb speech by Xi. He wrote of a

Progressive-Democrats’ Tuesday Debate

Some are calling it rowdy; others say raucous.  There’s this more concrete description, too, from Tony Katz:

Everyone else is talking to each other, yelling at each other, yelling at the moderators, yelling at the guy in the rafters….

And talking over each other, interrupting each other, trying to drown out each other. Recall the 2015-2016 Republican primary debates—they were rowdy, often rude, as participants occasionally interrupted or tried to talk over each other.  Tuesday’s Progressive-Democrat debate was nothing but a constant rolling drumbeat of that.

I have a different take on that debate from “some,” “others,” and Katz.

This Loss is No Loss

Recall the fact of the tweet that the NBA’s Houston Rockets General Manager sent in support of the Hong Kong freedom protesters.  Recall further the NBA’s abject cowardice in deeply kowtowing to the People’s Republic of China in response to the latter’s projected upset over the tweet and the NBA’s impudence.  The kowtowing was rationalized from the league on down to individual players that they all had money at risk from the GM’s tweet—as if their personal pocketbooks could compare with the sacrifices of life and limb, in addition to economic loss, of those freedom protesters as they struggled for their basic freedoms.

Upset

Republicans have run a video montage that pairs House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA) SOTU speech rip-up with individual quotes from President Donald Trump’s speech.  The Progressive-Democrats have their panties thoroughly twisted over that. Here’s the offending video.

Here’s Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff with a canonical example of the angst:

The latest fake video of Speaker Pelosi is deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people, and every day that these platforms refuse to take it down is another reminder that they care more about their shareholders’ interests than the public’s interests[.]

Criminalizing Speech

That’s what a Progressive-Democrat President Elizabeth Warren would try to do.

She would also lead a charge to criminalize the mere spreading of false information about the process of voting in US elections.
“I will push for new laws that impose tough civil and criminal penalties for knowingly disseminating this kind of information, which has the explicit purpose of undermining the basic right to vote[.]

She masquerades her initial move as a criminalization of false claims concerning when and how to vote, but she ignores the fact that it’s already illegal to interfere with an election; there’s no need for additional laws.  She also declined, as Progressive-Democrats do regarding all efforts to regulate, to identify her limiting principle.

Authoritarian

Recall the slowed down video of a House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) press conference in which the slow-down was done to make Pelosi’s speech seem slurred. It was an obvious, if poor taste, parody of Pelosi’s speaking style and of the incoherence of her anti-Trump position, as viewed by many.

In a The Atlantic interview, Hillary Clinton expressed her outrage over Facebook’s handling of that video.

Google took it off YouTube…so I contacted Facebook. I said, “Why are you guys keeping this up? This is blatantly false. Your competitors have taken it down.” And their response was, “We think our users can make up their own minds.”