Thursday, February 23, 2017

“When a group of people are being systematically dehumanized and labeled as the alphabet soup of phobias,” writes a Gap honcho, “they will look for a place that will allow them to speak freely without censorship and devoid of Social Justice bullying”

When the white nationalist leader Richard B. Spencer was suspended from Twitter recently, he hopped over to YouTube to address his supporters
reports Amanda Hess, as the New York Times perpetuates the caricature of conservatives (among other ways,  by using words like "slithering"), decides who is a liar and who isn't (hint: it's never a leftist), decides what is harassment and what's not (hint: it is only on the right and only occurs against leftists), and decides what is fake news and what isn't (it never seems to occur in the left's mainstream media).
“Digitally speaking,” he said, Twitter had sent “execution squads across the alt-right.” He accused Twitter of “purging people on the basis of their views,” calling it “corporate Stalinism.” Then he mapped out a path forward. “There’s obviously Gab, which is an interesting medium,” he said. “I think that will be the place where we go next.”

Gab is a new social network built like a hybrid of Twitter and Reddit — posts are capped at 300 characters, and the crowd votes to boost or demote posts in the feed. But Gab’s defining feature is its user guidelines, or rather, its lack thereof. Gab bans illegal activities — child pornography, threats of violence, terrorism — and not much else. “Facebook, Twitter and Reddit are taking the path of censorship,” Utsav Sanduja, Gab’s chief communications officer, told me via email. “Gab does not.”

Think of Gab as the Make America Great Again of social sites: It’s a throwback to the freewheeling norms of the old internet, before Twitter started cracking down on harassment and Reddit cleaned out its darkest corners. And since its debut in August, it has emerged as a digital safe space for the far right, where white nationalists, conspiracy-theorist YouTubers, and minivan majority moms can gather without liberal interference.

This election laid bare the ideological divide on social media, and since the election, the rift has deepened. Just as dejected Hillary Clinton supporters have come together in Pantsuit Nation — a “secret” Facebook group of nearly four million members — some on the right have found their postelection online oasis in the invitation-only Gab.

 Gab’s 25-year-old founder, Andrew Torba, dreamed up the site after reading reports that Facebook employees suppress conservative articles on the site. Mr. Torba — who previously created Kuhcoon, a system for running automated Facebook ad campaigns (it’s now called Automate Ads) — is a rare conservative Christian tech C.E.O. Gab is a corrective to what he dubs “Big Social,” and it’s based on what the company calls “a pluralistic ethos of mutual respect and toleration of dissonant views.”

When other social sites push out disruptive users, Gab opens its arms. Recently, Twitter beefed up abuse rules to police not only threats but also hate speech “against a race, religion, gender, or orientation.” (The move presaged the purge that swept up Mr. Spencer.) And Reddit erased a community called Pizzagate, where conspiracy theorists had gathered to spin lies about Democratic pedophiles operating out of a D.C. pizzeria. On Gab, the topic is always trending.

All the big-name Twitter castaways have resurfaced here: In addition to Mr. Spencer, there is Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart editor who was barred from Twitter for siccing trolls on the “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones; Pax Dickinson, the former Business Insider chief technology officer who rebranded himself as a victim of P.C. culture when he was sacked for posting sexist tweets; and Tila Tequila, the reality TV star who was booted from Twitter after posting racial slurs and pro-Nazi stuff. Gab has also attracted the cutting conservative commentator Ann Coulter; the right-wing media guerrilla Mike Cernovich; and the disinformation king Alex Jones, founder of Infowars. Gab now hosts 98,000 accounts, with tens of thousands more hopeful members on a wait list.

 … While mainstream social networks are promising to crack down on “fake news,” Gab clears the runway for posts like “Satanic PizzaGate Is Going Viral Worldwide (Elites Are Terrified)” to pick up speed. Ricky Vaughn, a pseudonymous white nationalist (he takes his name from Charlie Sheen’s character in “Major League”) also barred from Twitter, posted to Gab that Twitter is effectively dead and should now be used only to pull off “skirmishes” against Twitter denizens. Gab would be a convenient base for recruiting more digital foot soldiers to that cause.

But some have worried that the site’s insulation can dampen their message. “Now that Twitter is purging everyone, I think it’s important for Gab to branch out and attract leftists so we’re not just preaching to the choir,” wrote Paul Joseph Watson, editor at large at Infowars.

When I asked why the site leans conservative, Mr. Sanduja denied that Gab had any ideological bent. “We challenge this premise completely — to the contrary, Gab has a number of diverse users globally,” he wrote. (There is a politely argumentative Democrat who goes by the handle @Democrat, for instance.) But he added that right-wing users would be naturally drawn to Gab. 

“When a group of people are being systematically dehumanized and labeled as the alphabet soup of phobias,” he wrote, “they will look for a place that will allow them to speak freely without censorship and devoid of Social Justice bullying.”

Living Behind the Berlin Wall: Joe Tells the Story of His Youth and Why the Cold War Symbol Is in No Way Comparable to Trump's Wall

At a blogger gathering outside CPAC (Twitter), Da Tech Guy interviews Joe, an American who tells the story of the time living behind the Berlin wall during the Cold War, when his family lived in East Berlin while he went to school in West Berlin (his father being a diplomat),
and thus daily crossed the wall that meant death for other[s] who might consider trying to do so.

I had never heard of such a thing and considered it so unique that I interviewed him on the spot to hear the story and also to ask about the comparison the left is constantly making between the border wall that President Trump will build and the wall in Berlin.

This interview is important because it demonstrates the nonsense here.

In East Berlin you had a wall illegally put up by a soviet controlled government looking to keep people who wished to leave in, much in the same way that the same Soviets that the anti-trump folks revere divided Germany and kept people enslaved in the east.

Meanwhile in Mexico a bunch of people are leaving their country, which is apparently not a place they want to live, and head into the United States which for all of the faults that our friends on the left claim it has, is apparently where the rest of the world wants to be.

However they aren’t willing to bother with the business of coming in legally like hundreds of thousands of others from all over the world.
The left should be ashamed of themselves for comparing those risking their lives to escape illegal imprisonment to freedom to those violating ours laws to enter our country because they don’t like their own. However that shame would involve learning the actual history of Communism in general and East Germany and I suspect that’s a bridge too far.

Roe v. Wade: The plaintiff, her lawyers, and the judges all told breathtaking whoppers in pursuit of their shared legal goal

The entire legal foundation for Roe is pack of lies
writes Benny Huang.
The plaintiff, her lawyers, and the judges all told breathtaking whoppers in pursuit of their shared legal goal.

 … Norma Gene McCorvey [who died at 69 at an assisted-living home in Katy, Texas on February 18] is perhaps better known by another name—Jane Roe

… Roe v. Wade remains the single most shameful decision ever handed down by the court. Other infamous cases—Plessy v. Ferguson, Buck v. Bell, and Korematsu v. United States—do not compare to Roe in terms of sheer evil. Besides the fact that it has been a death warrant for millions of unborn children since 1973, the decision was also completely unmoored from the US Constitution. Even its defenders can’t cite the relevant section of the Constitution; they just think that consequence-free sex is pretty neat.

The entire legal foundation for Roe is pack of lies. The plaintiff, her lawyers, and the judges all told breathtaking whoppers in pursuit of their shared legal goal.

The judges lied when they said that the Constitution demanded the overturning of abortion laws across the country. That’s what the judges wanted, not what the Constitution required. Roe v. Wade is the rule of men, not the rule of law, and these particular men sanctioned lethal violence. The “right” to an abortion was plucked from thin air by seven men who simply wished it into existence. With a bang of the gavel they vacated the duly enacted statutes of 48 states

McCorvey told her own lies too, at the insistence of her ACLU attorneys. “I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion,” said McCorvey. “It was all a lie.” Her fib served to cloud people’s judgement. Even people who understand that a human life is at stake tend to lose the courage of their pro-life convictions when a pregnancy results from rape. Who are we to insist that a rape victim carry her rapist’s child to term? But McCorvey wasn’t raped and the court eventually legalized abortion for any reason at all.

The rape claim was the first of many lies that undergirded Roe v. Wade. For example, McCorvey neither wrote nor even read the affidavit submitted in her name. She did sign it though only because she trusted her attorneys. How she could have sworn under penalty of perjury that the affidavit was true is a mystery.

McCorvey’s informed consent to be a party to the lawsuit is also dubious. As an economically disadvantaged young woman who did not finish the ninth grade, McCorvey did not understand what she was signing up for. “For their part, my lawyers lied to me about the nature of abortion,” McCorvey later said in an affidavit that she actually read. “[Attorney Sarah] Weddington convinced me that ‘It’s just a piece of tissue. You just missed your period.’ I didn’t know during the Roe v. Wade case that the life of a human being was terminated.”

McCorvey was very naïve about the facts of life. “In fact, I did not know what the term ‘abortion’ really meant,” said McCorvey. “Back in 1970, no one discussed abortion…The only thing I knew about the word was in the context of war movies. I had heard the word ‘abort’ when John Wayne was flying his plane and ordered the others to ‘Abort the mission.’ I knew ‘abort’ meant that they were ‘going back.’ ‘Abortion,’ to me, meant ‘going back’ to the condition of not being pregnant.”

This was a young woman who fell for the same fallacy that plenty of people still fall for today—people who should know better. She thought of abortion as hitting a magical do-over button that would reverse what had been done, to make her “un-pregnant” in a matter of speaking. But abortion does not make a woman un-pregnant, it merely makes her the mother of a dead child.

At about the same time that “Jane Doe’s” case was winding its way through the courts, another ACLU lawyer was working to make another young woman’s pregnancy into an abortion test case—whether she wanted it to be or not. The lesser known case, Doe v. Bolton, was decided on the same day as Roe v. Wade. While Roe supposedly only legalized abortion until viability, Doe ensured that abortion would be permitted for the remainder of the pregnancy if the “health” of the mother was in danger. The “health” loophole is absurdly broad because “health” can mean almost anything. For all practical purposes, the Roe case legalized abortion through the first trimester and the Doe case legalized it during the other two.

 … When her lawyer, Margie Pitts Hames, told her to sign what she thought was divorce papers, Cano put her signature down without a second thought. What she actually signed was probably an application to receive a legal abortion under one of a few narrow exceptions that Georgia law permitted at the time. Hames likely expected that Cano would be turned down, at which point she could sue the government.

 … Norma Gene McCorvey and Sandra Cano represented just two of the women used by the abortion movement to further their cause. They had a lot in common—both women were poor and poorly educated. Both women were in tough spots. Both felt vulnerable and alone. Neither woman gave her informed consent, and yet both wound up being the poster girls of a movement, albeit under assumed names. Both women later came forward to tell the truth but found that it was too late. The judiciary had settled that issue and wouldn’t hear it again because the cases were never decided on the facts or even on the law. They were decided according to the judges’ personal preferences, which leaned toward sexual “liberation.” Millions of children have paid for that decision with their lives.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What Is the Subject? 1) Milo's Behavior or 2) the Fact that the Left Is Claiming to be Fighting for Principles All the While Ignoring Any Leftist Engaged in Similar or Worse Behavior?

"Stop changing the subject" we keep hearing from people, including those on the right, who claim that we shouldn't bring up people such as Lena Dunham when we are discussing a supposedly entirely different subject, Milo Yiannopoulos. 

Isn't the point of a discussion to get to the heart of the matter and find out what the (real) subject is?

Is the subject Milo (and joining the for-once principled leftists in a sacred cause) or is the subject that the left is (once more) using the Alinsky tactics to make people on the right — and people on the right alone — live up to their principles while ignoring all people on the left acting in similar, if not worse, ways?

(See also trump's racist "Muslim ban" list that not a single lefty made a fuss over when it was established — by BHO — in 2015 or 2016;
Or Bush's "racist" behavior by not doing enough after flying down to Louisiana for the 2006 floods of hurricane Katrina; versus the crickets, ten years later, when the 2016 floods of Louisiana failed to get BHO to even leave the northeast, and that not even the White House but his vacation spot in Massachusetts;
Or the democrats' principled opposition to Flynn and every other Trump candidate versus their silence regarding BHO candidates such as tax cheats like Geithner.)

More to the point:

I thought that the election of Donald Trump was bringing an end to the right's circular firing squads.

Come on! 

Offhand, none of us is defending "the subject" of the discussion, supposedly Milo, per se; we are pointing out what the true subject of the discussion is, i.e., what leftists are up to (their usual tricks, i.e., demonizing conservatives), and asking people not to act like gullible marks.

As Ace points out, if they can do it to him, they can do it to you too. Glenn Reynolds
adds that
Lena Dunham writes a book where she reminisces about abusing her baby sister and it’s no big deal. Milo talks about being abused, says it wasn’t that bad, and Simon & Schuster cancels his contract. Double standards indeed.
Indeed, what a video of George Takei joking about child molestation surfaces, principled leftists are nowhere to be found.

Ann Althouse is prompted to say, let's look at all the pedophilia talk that public figures have survived:
Madonna jokes about asking her son (who was 14 at the time): "Do you have any friends you could introduce me to?"

 … MayBee brings up "The Vagina Monologues," and that got me looking back in my archive. I found this post from October 2006, just before the midterm election that was harshly affected by the Mark Foley scandal. David Brooks had written a column criticizing liberals for their celebration of "The Vagina Monologues," which includes one story of a woman who (like Milo Yiannopoulos) had as a young teenager been initiated into sex by an adult and who spoke of the experience in an excitedly positive tone.
 … Foley is now universally reviled. But the Ensler play, which depicts the secretary’s affair with the 13-year-old as a glorious awakening, is revered. In the original version of the play, the under-age girl declares, “I say, if it was a rape, it was a good rape, then, a rape that turned my [vagina] into a kind of heaven.” When I saw Ensler perform the play several years ago in New York, everyone roared in approval.
Echoing Ace, Sarah Hoyt points out that If They Take Milo Down, You’re Next:
if the right buys into this, denounces and piles on, it just gives power to the left.  Do you see them distancing themselves from irresponsible, economically corrupt Hillary? No.  But you self-righteous little goody two shoes can’t wait to distance yourselves from Milo.

And his is how you give the left the rope to hang you with.

Milo is taking fire, because he can communicate with college students; because he’s getting a following; because his VERY EXISTENCE denies the stereotype that the right is racist/sexist/homophobic.  The left HAS to destroy Milo.

And if you cooperate in his destruction, you are next.

You can tell them “you took that out of context, and you should be ashamed of yourself for rushing to judgement.”  You can mock them with the Shaw quote.  You can call them the judgmental prudes they are.

Or you can let Milo be taken down and cower in the dark, waiting for the knock on your door.  It WILL come.
Also check out The Dystopic who discusses three or four Alinsky tactics in his piece entitled The Media Strikes Back:
Did Milo defend pedophiles? No. Evidence exists that he did the exact opposite. He has exposed multiple pedophiles in the past, including the aforementioned Nyberg. Salon, one of the publications attacking Milo for this supposed behavior, has published many articles defending pedophilia, calling it a sexual orientation (something Milo has absolutely never done). People like Meryl Streep have given standing ovations to convicted pedophiles, like Roman Polanski. Do you really think any of this is based on principle? That the media has suddenly developed a conscience when it comes to molesting children?

They don’t care. They want Milo gone. And by extension, they want Trump gone.

What are we supposed to do when the "watchdog" journalists lie as much or more than the politicians?

If the latest polling data is any indicator the journalistic establishment is losing its running battle with President Donald Trump
writes Benny Huang.
According to an Emerson College poll released on February 7th, Americans find the Trump Administration to be more truthful than the news media. Poll numbers like that don’t bode well for an industry that lives and dies on its credibility.

The internals of the poll reveal that 49% of voters consider the Trump Administration to be truthful while 48% say the opposite. Only 39% of the public says the news media are truthful while 53% says they aren’t. The results evinced a predictable party-line trend with Republicans vouching for President Trump’s honesty and Democrats defending the Fourth Estate.

And both sides are a bunch of bozos. Yeah, I said it. Both the media and the Trump Administration are deliberately deceptive. Both offer competing narratives that cannot both be true though they are usually both false. It has become almost impossible to discern the faint outline of truth through the fog of lies—and that’s a serious problem.

Now I know that I’m really pissing off the guys in the MAGA hats by calling their man a liar. I can hear them now: “What do you mean Trump’s a liar?! Are you some kind of open borders, new world order, establishment Republican lickspittle?” No, I’m not. I’m actually a pretty doctrinaire conservative, to the right of President Trump on almost every issue—which isn’t surprising in light of the fact that he was a registered Democrat as late as 2008. I challenge anyone to read my catalog of articles on the many different sites I’ve contributed to over the years and tell me that my conservative credentials are lacking. It’s precisely because I’m a conservative that I place a high value on truth. That’s what used to separate us from the liberals. Does it still?

I don’t mean to imply that Trump and the media shovel equal quantities of bull crap. Clearly, the media produce more of it if only because Trump is one man and the media are a deception machine of epic proportions. Even if the entire administration’s lies were considered in aggregate, there’s just no way that Team Trump could possibly lie as much as the networks, the cable news outlets, the big websites, the major newspapers and the weeklies combined.

Part of the reason Donald Trump is the president today, as remote as that possibility seemed just a few short months ago, is that he tapped into America’s justifiable anger with so-called journalists. He popped the bully media in the nose and plenty of Americans, including this American, cheered. He went on CNN and called them the “Clinton [News] Network” to their faces—which they clearly are. We later learned that eight CNN reporters had accepted invitations to what appears to be an official Hillary Clinton campaign media strategy session at the Manhattan home of a wealthy campaign donor. Jeff Zucker, president of the network, declined his invitation though he allowed his “journalists” to attend and he failed to blow the whistle on the unethical schmoozefeest as any responsible newsman would have.

For a particularly egregious example of the media’s lies look no further than their coverage of the Russian hacking allegations. While it’s pretty clear that the plutocrat ex-KGB man Vladimir Putin preferred Trump to Clinton, there is literally no evidence that the Russians “hacked the election.” Hacking the election would have meant Russian agents getting inside voting machines, which would have required the introduction of malware via removable media. The Russians would have had to repeat this feat a few thousand times to have any noticeable effect on vote tallies. Such an operation would have been extremely risky and almost certainly would have left behind incriminating traces. There is zero evidence that this happened. In fact, there’s less evidence of Russia “hacking the election” than there is of Obama being born in Kenya—and admittedly there’s precious little of that.

A more plausible scenario is that the Russian government launched an influence operation not unlike the kind their Soviet predecessors wielded against Ronald Reagan during the 1984 election cycle (see the definitive English-language history of the KGB, “The Sword and the Shield,” p. 243) or the kind the Obama Administration employed in an attempt to unseat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015.

But it wasn’t enough for the media to chase down legitimate leads pointing toward a foreign government-orchestrated influence operation. They had to claim, over and over again, that the election was hacked. Not John Podesta’s email box, not the DNC, but the election itself. Journalists spoke recklessly and seemingly without regard to the actual meaning of words. During a 30-day period ranging from December 8, 2016 to January 8, 2017, the big three networks made claims of a “hacked election” 49 times! They made these claims despite the fact that the Department of Homeland Security specifically denied that Russian hacking had been aimed at vote tallying equipment. Is it any wonder that a majority of Democrats believe that their candidate was literally cheated of her rightful victory by the long arm of Moscow? They’re victims of Fake News™–and from supposedly reputable news outlets.

But Trump engages in his own deception about his Russian connections—namely that he doesn’t have any.

 … The whole situation is rather unsettling. Before the earthquake election year of 2016, I usually felt as if I could make some sense of current events by reading the news with a discerning eye. Those days are over. No one’s telling me the truth and nothing adds up.

So both Trump and the media lie, but whose lies are worse? To put it another way, whose lies are more consequential to the long-term health of the nation? It’s not an easy question to answer and it reminds me of the task we Americans were asked to undertake in 2016—that is, determining which of two candidates sucks less. This time the matchup isn’t Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton but rather Donald Trump against the sorry-ass journalists who form our supposedly free press.

With much reflection, I have decided that I blame the media more than Trump. The media have been absolutely awful for as long as I can remember. They abandoned their sacred charge of protecting us from crooked politicians a long time ago and they lack the credibility to start doing it now.

Part of the reason that Americans enshrined the ideal of a free press in our Constitution is because we always suspected that ambitious men would need some adult supervision. Ambitious men’s deceptions, though not excusable, are almost a given. But the journalists were always supposed to be the watchdogs, a role they completely abdicated in the Obama years if in fact they ever filled it in the first place. What are we supposed to do when the journalists lie as much or more than the politicians?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

What the rest of the world forgets when they point an angrily critical finger at America's racial intolerance

In the New York Times obituary of E. R. Braithwait, Sewell Chan produces some memorable quotes of the Guyanese author, diplomat, and former Royal Air Force pilot whose book “To Sir, With Love,” a memoir of teaching in London’s deprived East End, was adapted into a hit 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier.
Early in the book, Mr. Braithwaite recounts his disillusionment and struggles with joblessness after being passed over for work because of racial discrimination, contrasting his experiences in Britain with the years he had spent in the United States.

He wrote of America: “There, when prejudice is felt, it is open, obvious, blatant; the white man makes his position very clear, and the black man fights those prejudices with equal openness and fervor, using every constitutional device available to him.”

He added: “The rest of the world in general and Britain in particular are prone to point an angrily critical finger at American intolerance, forgetting that in its short history as a nation it has granted to its Negro citizens more opportunities for advancement and betterment, per capita, than any other nation in the world with an indigent Negro population.”

 … [Eustace Edward Ricardo Braithwaite’s] other books include “A Kind of Homecoming” (1962), about searching for his ancestral roots; “Choice of Straws” (1965), a mystery novel set in London; “Reluctant Neighbors” (1972), about a black man and a white man who share a short but fraught train ride; and “‘Honorary White’: A Visit to South Africa” (1975), based on a 1973 visit he made there to lecture.

50 best quotes about Europe and Europeans, from Mencken to Jefferson

50 best quotes about Europe and Europeans, from HL Mencken to DH Lawrence, from WH Auden to Henry Miller, from Churchill to Thatcher, and from Louis XIV to Bismarck, along with, last but not least, Thomas Jefferson:
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.