Categories
Thoughts

Eric Zorn pushes misinformation regarding who the U.S. Senate represents

For the underinformed or poorly educated the United States Senate does not represent “the people” per se. They are there to represent the state from which they were elected. Elementary school civics teaches you this. If you don’t know this and you were educated in the United States you were either successfully propagandized or you are purposely pushing misinformation.

The Senate, which gives the same two votes to Wyoming’s roughly 580,000 residents as it does to California’s nearly 40 million residents, is already structurally undemocratic. Allowing 41 senators from as few as 21 states to gum up the works of the nation insults the very principle of representative democracy and generally thwarts the legislative agendas of the parties that have won the approval of the voters.

Chicago Tribune

The House of Representatives is the democratic body that is supposed to represent the people directly in Congress. That’s why it has 435 members that are apportioned according to the population in each state. The Senate as originally designed was expressly not democratic. The senators were appointed by each state legislature because the senators are supposed to represent the interests of the entire state. That is why there are only 100. 2 from each of the 50 states.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Article 1 U.S. Constitution Wikipedia

It’s a subtle distinction but a necessary one in order to have a slow deliberate body that makes laws. The interest of an entire state might be different than the interest of a single legislative district. For example, Chicago has vastly different interests than other areas of the state. If the majority of the state wants one thing but Chicago wants another, in Congress, the representatives can vote Chicago’s interests while the senators can vote the interests of the rest of the state (Obviously it doesn’t work this way in Illinois because Democrats control everything.)

When the way we elect senators changed to a direct vote by the people the role of senators changed from voting the interests of the state. It was a dangerous change then and it is showing now how dangerous it was. Ignorant or devious people are misinforming the public on the purpose of the Senate. They do this in the same way they promote employment policies by preying on the ignorance of the public that has never owned a business and have never had to make a payroll. The public education system in the United States does a piss poor job of educating students on the Constitution.

I believe Eric Zorn knows better and is purposely trying to mislead people. Forget about the filibuster argument. You can be for or against it. But if you don’t understand purpose of senate then you don’t have the right to discuss the filibuster.

Categories
Thoughts

Actual government censorship is coming

The First Amendment to the Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” COVID-19 knocked out religion and the freedom to assemble. The 2020 election knocked out the redress of grievances since the courts refuse to hear the cases Trump brought before them. Now Congress is ready to take the next step and kill off freedom of speech.

Tomorrow there will be a Congressional hearing on free speech… or I should say a hearing against free speech.

Free speech scholars argue that for a democracy to function, informed debates and the marketplace of ideas must be able to work off of a shared set of facts. Many experts agree that dangerous disinformation about the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) and the 2020
presidential election has greatly intensified an already deadly public health crisis, further divided the nation, and fomented an insurrection.
While much of the blame has been placed on the widespread disinformation on social media platforms, industry participants have also noted that broadcast and cable outlets have played a role in the spread of disinformation.

house.gov

What are the “shared set of facts” we’re supposed to be debating? The Russian collusion hoax? The Ukraine impeachment hoax? The Charlottesville “very fine people” hoax? That last one is supposedly the entire reason Joe Biden ran for president.

We all knew that the slippery slope was started when social media companies started de-platforming people for disagreeing with people’s opinion on the 2020 election, COVID-19 lockdowns, COVID-19 treatments, and COVID-19 vaccines. Now Congress is moving into actual censorship territory.

Experts have noted that the right-wing media ecosystem is “much more susceptible…to disinformation, lies, and half-truths.” Right-wing media outlets, like Newsmax, One America News Network (OANN), and Fox News all aired misinformation about the November 2020
elections. For example, both Newsmax and OANN “ran incendiary reports” of false information following the elections and continue to support “an angry and dangerous subculture [that] will continue to operate semi-openly.” As a violent mob was breaching the doors of the Capitol, Newsmax’s coverage called the scene a “sort of a romantic idea.” Fox News, meanwhile, has spent years spewing misinformation about American politics. These same networks also have been key vectors of spreading misinformation related to the pandemic. A media watchdog found over 250 cases of COVID-19 misinformation on Fox News in just one five-day period, and economists demonstrated that Fox News had a demonstrable impact on non-compliance with public health guidelines. One online platform suspended and demonetized OANN’s channel online because it was spreading COVID-19 misinformation. Newsmax has amplified allegations that members of the Chinese Communist Party helped to develop the COVID-19 vaccine.

Letter to AT&T from members of Congress

Hmmm… I see no mention of CNN’s coverage of the “mostly peaceful” protests while cities were literally burning behind the reporter.

Does this qualify as misinformation or disinformation?

What the Democrat majority Congress is doing is very dangerous here. Make absolutely no mistake that no good can come of this intimidation.

Categories
Thoughts

What are we allowed to say?

I posted the quote below on Facebook last night. I found it after the Internet seemed to explode over calls for President Trump to resign or be impeached and after he was banned from Twitter’s platform. Glenn Greenwald is referencing a case when white merchants filed suit against the NAACP alleging they advocated the use of “force, violence, and threats” to effectuate a boycott of their businesses. The U.S. Supreme Court rightly decided that while you can punish people for the consequences of actual violence you cannot punish people for expressing their thoughts about violence or even discussing it.

These calls for censorship, online and official, are grounded in the long-discredited, oft-rejected and dangerous view that a person should be held legally accountable not only for their own illegal actions but also for the consequences of their protected speech: meaning the actions others take when they hear inflammatory rhetoric. That was the distorted mentality used by the State of Mississippi in the 1970s to try to hold NAACP leaders liable for the violent acts of their followers against boycott violators after hearing rousing pro-boycott speeches from NAACP leaders, only for the Supreme Court in 1982 to unanimously reject such efforts on the ground that “while the State legitimately may impose damages for the consequences of violent conduct, it may not award compensation for the consequences of nonviolent, protected activity,” adding that even “advocacy of the use of force or violence does not remove speech from the protection of the first amendment.

Glenn Greenwald on Substack

What did Trump tweet that finally got him removed from Twitter?

On January 8, 2021, President Donald J. Trump tweeted:

“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

Shortly thereafter, the President tweeted:

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

blog.twitter.com

Here is Twitter’s analysis of those tweets:

We assessed the two Tweets referenced above under our Glorification of Violence policy, which aims to prevent the glorification of violence that could inspire others to replicate violent acts and determined that they were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

This determination is based on a number of factors, including:

President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim made via two Tweets (1, 2) by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an “orderly transition” on January 20th.
The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a “safe” target, as he will not be attending.
The use of the words “American Patriots” to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol.
The mention of his supporters having a “GIANT VOICE long into the future” and that “They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an “orderly transition” and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election.
Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.

blog.twitter.com

Twitter is a private sector entity and they can and should be able to do what they want with their platform… within reason. They should not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of ideology or thought. They should not be able to project thoughts onto tweets as interpretation is highly subjective. If they are calling their service a platform then either they allow people to speak their minds or they do not. Once they have policies that editorialize they cease being a platform and now are a publisher. They should now be held accountable for any tweet that any reasonable person believes caused a harm.

The bigger question is, what are we now allowed to say? Is everything I wrote above an endorsement of what happened in the protest at the capitol? Are my writings an endorsement of President Trump? How do you know exactly what is in my mind and what my thoughts are?

I think freedom of speech is fundamental to our a free people. Anyone should be able to speak their mind regardless of what another interprets those words to mean. People should be allowed to say even the most repugnant things. The rest of us should be allowed to rebut those words.

Words are what they are… just words. Even if those words inspire someone else to take a heinous action. It’s the action that is prosecutable. That’s where the line has to be drawn. It is a crime to kill your neighbor because you hate them but it is not and should not be a crime to hate them.

Am I allowed to say any of this?

Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay
Categories
Thoughts

Capitol protesters solidifies congress’ opposition to Trump

https://youtu.be/vTXOkcwYxvE

The massive protest at the U.S. capitol today wobbled the legs of the Senate and the House of Representatives. But instead of pushing them to addressing the grievances of half the country they instead will just rubber stamp the Electoral College tally and confirm the election of Joe Biden.

What is genuinely needed here is for the states to re-evaluate their election laws, their COVID-19 lockdown regulations, and get back to the work of protecting the U.S. Constitution. The rights of the people have been trampled like no other time in my life.

The protesters have been labeled by an irresponsible media as terrorists and rioters. While one person reportedly was killed during this protest there were no “riots”. There was virtually no damage to the capitol building. This was not like the protests all across the country during 2020. They didn’t set anything on fire and destroy property. The media is fulfilling the criticism of President Trump by becoming the enemy of the people by continuing to suppress the facts. Twitter froze Trump’s account and along with Facebook deleted his video in which he tells the protesters to go home peacefully. They did this because he didn’t say what they wanted him to say in the way they wanted him to say it.

Does anyone know the size of the rally that turned into the protest? Not reported. While the media was reporting a violent protest the accompanying video showed people mainly strolling through the capitol rotunda and congressional chambers.

It’s a dark day for the United States alright. It’s a dark day because today we have officially moved into a nation of men and not laws.

Categories
Thoughts

What happened to the ACLU?

This is the organization that used to stand up for due process and defend the rights of even the worst people.

If you were looking for more evidence that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been losing its principled approach to civil liberties, look no further: The group has filed suit to thwart Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s recently proposed reforms to bolster due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct.

Reason.com
Categories
Books Thoughts

The relevance and prescience of “Free to Choose”

I just finished Milton Friedman’s book “Free to Choose”. This book was published back in 1979 when the country went through one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression (Seems to keep happening doesn’t it?). Comically Friedman had the opinion that socialism had been adequately relegated as a failed ideology but what he failed to foresee is the Millennial Generation. He did not know that the parenting philosophies of the Baby Boom Generation would bring back the cycle of socialist utopian ideas.

Given the current state of the nation and the opinions of people under the age of 35, I doubt Milton Friedman is discussed much in political science or economics classes in high school or universities. He should be. This book should be in every curriculum.

The final conclusion in the book says it all.

The two ideas of human freedom and economic freedom working together came to their greatest fruition in the United States. Those ideas are still very much with us. We are all of us imbued with them. They are part of the very fabric of our being. But we have been straying from them. We have been forgetting the basic truth that the greatest threat to human freedom is the concentration of power, whether in the hands of government or anyone else. We have persuaded ourselves that is is safe to grant power, provided it is for good purposes.

Fortunately, we are waking up. We are again recognizing the dangers of an overgoverned society, coming to understand that good objectives can be perverted by bad means, that reliance on the freedom of people to control their own lives in accordance with their own values is the surest way to achieve the full potential of a great society.

Fortunately, also, we are as a people still free to choose which way we should go — whether to continue along the road we have been following to ever bigger government, or to call a halt and change direction.

Milton Friedman – Free to Choose

Consider the democrat presidential candidate debates that just occurred this past week. How many of them stand for personal AND economic freedom? Every single candidate wants more control over your life and your wallet. Sure, it’s all in the guise of doing good things for the “middle class” and the “poor”. But that’s the danger. Centralized control over the distribution of wealth only leads to abuse. Human beings are fundamentally flawed that way.

That’s not to say anything is better on the republican side either. They want to do the same thing through different means. The budget deal that just passed the house and senate is proof that few republicans are interested in restraint with our tax dollars.

We need to ask ourselves what has the ever expanding government done for us? Has it liberated us to pursue happiness? Has it made life better? With all the money we spend on war, on education, on the environment, on subsidies for business and the poor have we ever seen an improvement? It seems to me the larger government has grown and the more money we spend on all these things have only made things worse. Maybe it’s time for a change in direction.

Amazon link to Free to Choose