Canceling Objectivity

Now it’s being made completely manifest in the ivy-coated halls.

The Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, citing Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s (R, NY) “incorrect” claims about voter fraud in the November election, has removed her from its Senior Advisory Committee.

Harvard couldn’t, however, cancel rocks.

Douglas Elmendorf, the school’s dean, said he had first asked her to resign, but she declined.

Stefanik has bigger rocks than the Wonders of Harvard.

Harvard isn’t interested in actual advice, only in echo chamber validation of predetermined choices.

More Censorship

Mark Zuckerberg is at it again, this time blocking a President’s access to his Facebook, which he created explicitly to be a public forum. But only for those of whom he personally approves.

Never mind that President Donald Trump plainly has never intended to obstruct the peaceful transition of power, but merely to continue his fight to ensure only those votes legally cast and counted are counted. That he plainly expected that to demonstrate his reelection rather than confirm his loss is neither here nor there. And it certainly doesn’t compare in the slightest to the refusal to accept the outcome of the 2016 election, and the Left’s and Progressive-Democratic Party’s active and four-year-long attempts to overthrow the President duly elected that year. That was an effort Zuckerberg and his minions at Facebook not only whole heartedly approved, but they actively supported and participated in, going to the point of censoring the President’s speech.

Diversity

A brief thought. Joseph Epstein wrote about true diversity, as opposed to the Left’s and their Progressive-Democratic Party’s ideology of race, sex, et al., diversity before merit in his Wednesday Wall Street Journal op-ed.

In the main, he’s right. I want to add a little, though, to his concluding sentence.

The best way to celebrate diversity, perhaps, is to begin by celebrating diversity of thought.

Number one.

Number two is overtly recognizing the inequality of individual talent, interest, work ethic, plain luck, and a host of other inequalities intrinsic in every man that culminate in unequal outcomes flowing from the utterly necessary equality of opportunity.

Campus Speech

Under some pressure and an appellate court ruling in a Speech First suit, the University of Texas has agreed to stop limiting freedom of speech on campus.

…administrators agree to dismantle the bias-response team and amend policies that chill speech. Gone is a ban on “uncivil behaviors and language that interfere” with the “welfare, individuality or safety of other persons.” Also stricken is a definition of “verbal harassment” that prohibited “ridicule” or “personal attacks.”
Under the settlement, UT reserves the right “to devise an alternative” to its bias-response team, but “Speech First is free to challenge that alternative.”

A Thought on Section 230

Rick White, Republican Representative from Washington at the end of the last century, had a thought on Section 230—he wants to repair it rather than eliminate it—and so (of course) do I. He began with this:

…some saying it allows big tech companies to censor political views, and others saying it enables the spread of disinformation.

What far too many who should know better miss, though, is that both of these are true; it’s not a matter being mutually exclusive, or even a matter of one or the other.

Pocket Veto

This week, the House passed the National Defense Appropriation Act with enough votes that, if repeated, would override a Presidential veto.

President Donald Trump has said he’ll veto the bill because it doesn’t include repeal of Section 230, which confers immunity from publication-related liability on Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet, and a few others.

Now the bill goes to the Senate for passage, and then to the President.

Here’s the thing, folks. As I write this post, it’s 9 December. Congress recesses at COB 18 December.

Censorship

Douglas Vincent Mastriano is a Pennsylvania State Senator. He’s also a retired United States Army Colonel.

Last week, he organized the State Senate’s Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing to uncover[] exactly what happened in the Keystone State regarding the just concluded Presidential and down ballot general election.  Never mind that the Committee heard testimony

from multiple witnesses who gave evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 elections….

Now State Senator Mastriano also is a Twitter Account Suspendee. After the hearing, without warning or explanation, Jack Dorsey’s Twitter suspended Mastriano’s account. His account wasn’t restored–again without explanation–until late Friday.

Tech Company Protections

Tech companies, primarily Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet, get nearly blanket immunity from responsibility for the content that’s published on their outlets. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was instrumental to their initial success, gives them that broad immunity, based on those companies’ initial status as agnostic pipelines that merely provided a place for disparate commentary to be promulgated.

Protected monopolies (vis., pre-breakup Ma Bell) gave government-sanctioned special, protective, treatment to selected companies in order to facilitate their initial success. There came a time when that protection no longer was warranted, and the protection was eliminated.

An Adjacent Issue

A group wants to paint the message “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter” on a street outside a Planned Parenthood site near Capitol Hill in DC. The city’s government has refused to issue the necessary permit, and police arrested two folks who tried just to chalk the message rather than paint it. The group now has sued in Federal court over the refusal and subsequent prevention of painting; the suit reads, in pertinent part,

Your original decision to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the street is government speech. However, your decision to allow protestors to paint “Defund the Police” opened the streets up as a public forum. You are not permitted to discriminate on the basis of viewpoint in making determinations relating to public assemblies in public fora[.]

Tyranny and the First Amendment

On the matter of Target’s initial attempt to ban a book (Irreversible Damage: the Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters for those following along) because some folks objected to it, followed by Target’s reversal and decision to sell the book after all, a letter-writer published in The Wall Street Journal‘s Thursday Letters had this remark:

Lobbying the government to make a book illegal is pro-book banning. Lobbying Target to take a book off the shelves is pro-capitalism.

This is not even close to correct. Lobbying Target to take a book off the shelves is suppression of speech, even when done by private citizens.