Love Me that Censorship

That’s what that icon of the Left, Juan Williams, says.

The reality is that [Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg doesn’t seem to understand, from my perspective, that he’s undermining his brand by allowing political lies to be put on his platform. That, to me, lessens the trust that the consumer has.

Because censoring speech—especially politically speech—is the way to win the hearts and minds and trust of the consumer.

Certainly, controlling speech and allowing only that which the Left approves—what Juan Williams personally approves—can be a tool for winning controlling the hearts and minds of citizens, but trust? No. Censorship destroys trust.

Typical

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, has struck again.  Now he’s banning “all political advertising on Twitter globally.”  He’s justifying this move with this bit of fantastical rationalization:

We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.

I suppose, then, he believes television, radio, print media—along with his competitors, Facebook, Alphabet, et al.—also should ban political advertising on their platforms.  After all, political message reach should be earned, not bought.

A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people.

The Doings of a Star Chamber

Here are some, from the House Intelligence Committee’s canonical Star Chamber, chaired by Congressman and Intell Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D, CA):

a single, printed transcript of every interview…of its impeachment inquiry. Only members of the three committees…allowed to view that printout, and only in the presence of a Democratic staffer

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R, NY) has the right of this one:

Ms Stefanik—an elected member of Congress who sits on the Intelligence Committee—will be babysat while reading by an unelected employee of the Democrats.
“It’s outrageous, and it’s an abuse of power,” Ms Stefanik said in an interview. “Every constituent across this country deserves to have their members have access to all the facts.”

Secular Authority and Morals

A letter writer in a recent Wall Street Journal‘s Letters to the Editor section, demurred from Attorney General William Barr’s remarks on secularism and religion at the University of Notre Dame’s Law School and de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture. The letter’s author wrote,

Our society can teach morality, ethics, civility, self-reliance, and humility without reference to religion or any particular faith. Children can be taught….

Certainly, such principles can be taught.  But how to enforce them? Relying on Government for enforcement means relying on the men who are in Government from time to time, men with views on the legitimacy of those principles and the means of their enforcement that are as variable as those men. And each man’s views will vary over time.

There are Bribes

…and there are bribes.  Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam tried to bribe the good people of Hong Kong the other day.  She gave her annual address on her policies for the coming year, and in it she “promised” (because we’ve seen the value of her commitments in her promise to completely withdraw and rescind her draft extradition law, a promise on which she has since welched)

to boost the supply of low-cost homes, offer mortgage assistance for first-time buyers, and increase mass-transit fare subsidies

if only Hong Kong’s people would just shut up, go home, and submit.

Free Speech and Social Media

Facebook MFWIC Mark Zuckerberg has come out against private enterprise censoring politicians’ speech or the news we citizens choose to consume.

Sort of.

Zuckerberg wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal in which he pushed back, a little, against Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth’s (D, MA) demand that he censor President Donald Trump’s commentary on Facebook.  But he continues to show that he doesn’t take free speech seriously.

He wrote

…a strict First Amendment standard would mean allowing content like terrorist propaganda or bullying.

Red Flag Law in Action

It seems an old veteran in Massachusetts had his legally-owned firearms confiscated by the local police—for no reason at all, other than a waitress chose to call the cops on him after eavesdropping on a part of a private conversation he was having with a friend in her restaurant. The waitress’ uninformed tattling also got him fired from his school-crossing guard job.

While he was at a local diner, [Stephen] Nichols was speaking to a friend about a school resource officer who apparently was constantly leaving his post to go for coffee in the morning.
Nichols said he was worried somebody would come in and “shoot up the school” while the officer was out on one of his coffee runs.

A Judge Got One Wrong

Recall Florida’s citizens, by a 2:1 margin, voting up a State constitutional amendment restoring to convicted felons (except murderers and sex offenders) their right to vote on completion of their criminal sentences.

Recall, further, Florida’s government passing a law that required these felons to pay off their outstanding fines, fees or restitution—in other words, actually to complete their sentences, including court-imposed financial requirements.  This law went further: it provided mechanisms for relief from those financial penalties so the felon could complete their sentences more quickly after release from jail:

  • payment of the financial obligation in full

Censorship

Its name is Jack Dorsey.

The social media company led by CEO Jack Dorsey [that would be Twitter for those of you playing along at home] said in a Tuesday blog post that it will not allow users to like, reply, share or retweet offending tweets, but it will let users quote-tweet them so they can still express their own opinions.

Dorsey has reserved to himself the right to decide how an opinion is expressed on his medium.  Quote-tweet a tweet he finds personally objectionable but not simply retweet it?

A House Impeachment Vote

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), as soon as she returned from the House’s vacation this week, announced that she would not hold a floor vote on whether President Donald Trump should be impeached and the associated investigation should begin forthwith.  Many pundits say Pelosi’s refusal flows from her desire to protect some number of Progressive-Democrats purported to be vulnerable in the 2020 elections.  This is naïve.

Neither Pelosi nor the Progressive-Democrat House caucus that she leads are interested in the slightest in any actual impeachment.  Nor does that disinterest have anything to do with whether there’s a realistic expectation of getting a conviction in the Senate, with the effort’s failure constituting vindication for Trump.