Tea Party Patriots Ordinary citizens reclaiming America's founding principles.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Big Tech is hiding behind the law: update

President Trump convened a summit of social media giants, including Facebook and Twitter. Following the summit, President Trump announced:

“Today, I am directing my administration to explore all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free speech rights of all Americans,” POTUS Trump announced. “We hope to see transparency, more accountability, and more freedom.”

In 2016, before the tech giants began altering their search, publication, and distribution algorithms, conservative speakers were dominant on social media, likely helping propel the president to victory. But by the 2018 elections, based on several studies and investigative reporting, the tech giants had begun — in concert — campaigns to silence conservative, pro-Trump voices, led by the behemoths Facebook and Twitter.

The companies are taking advantage of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which “provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an interactive computer service who publish information published by others,” the Minc Legal Resource Center noted.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation added that “Section 230 says that ‘No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.’” 

But, argue opponents, when Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, and other platforms begin censoring content they find politically objectionable, that makes them publishers, and they therefore should lose their immunity to face legal consequences for those acts of censorship, especially if they have taken money from users they are censoring.

The president’s summit may already be having a positive effect on conservative and independent publishers. For instance, The Western Journal, whose Facebook traffic had been reduced significantly, suddenly found its traffic returning to normal levels a day before the summit — after months of battling with the platform to get it restored.

There is a long way to go, however, to ensure that all conservative and indy publishers’ traffic from their subscribers and followers returns to normal. The president has at least gotten the ball rolling, and well ahead of the 2020 elections.

Well, good. It's a start.
# # #

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Fail: Fox News blacks out

Sundance at Conservative Treehouse reports on yesterday’s power outage in New York City:

Fox News talking hair Leland Vitter uses his best dramatic voice, channels his inner Shep, and proclaims the end of the known universe is nigh, because the power went out in a part of Manhattan, New York City.  Evacuations, crisis, no stoplights… oh, my.

OMG… “pitch black”, it’s the beginning of the zombie apocalypse or something, only this time they’re bringing hashtags!

I’d go a little further. We had Fox News on yesterday evening, and could not help but notice a disproportionate amount of coverage of this power outage, with endless loops of video, pointless man-on-the-street “interviews,” and thrilling footage of fire engines moving down the street with all lights flashing.

But it was Saturday night, and we often tune into The Greg Gutfield Show for a few laughs. After the opening credit, Fox cut to the “Fox News Alert” bit, right back to the power outage. Ten minutes into the hour, they were still blathering on about the power outage. We switched channels. At about the 30-minute mark, I checked back to see if Gutfield & Gang were finally on air. They were not. Yet more “news” about the power outage. 

This “news” warranted maybe 30 seconds, a minute at most. A year or two ago, I might have thought that the producer in the newsroom was merely exercising poor editorial judgment. But I am more cynical these days. While Fox is covering the power outage, they are not broadcasting political satire. And their “news alerts” are not covering real news. With the hiring of Donna Brazile and others, and many anchors not even pretending to be objective (think Chris Wallace), Fox is moving relentlessly away from “fair and balanced” and “we report, you decide.” Moving slowly but relentlessly to the left.

In our household, we usually check in with One America News Network, Lou Dobbs on Fox Business, and Tucker Carlson on Fox. But even Mr. Carlson seems to have dropped his best twice-a-week guest, Mark Steyn, who has not been on for at least a month. I cannot help but wonder how long we will be able to access conservative online sources of news. Scary times.
# # #

Friday, July 12, 2019

Trump the Builder

Karin McQuillan at American Greatness has what I nominate as a Must Read – and a real pick-me-up, about Trump's formula for success. Here’s her closing:

Trump the builder is all about getting things done. He has delivered the best job numbers in history for the very minorities Democrats claim to champion.

Trump has the confidence, energy, and aggression to take on every challenge and move toward victory. Democrats don’t even believe in victory.

President Trump earns his bragging rights. If he then enjoys bragging with gusto, so what? His supporters share his happiness in all he has accomplished for them as individuals, and for the country. They are richer, freer, and more secure because of his capable leadership, and they are grateful, even giddy.

Democrats think they can smear, bribe, bully and cheat their way to the White House. Their voters like the hate, the bull, and the promises of free stuff, and they did very well with those weapons in the midterms. But nothing the Democrats warn about or promise is real. In 2020, they will be coming up directly against President Trump, a master of reality. Reality is a stronger hand.

Read the whole thing here.
# # #

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Census citizenship question

image credit: wprl.org

The Trump administration’s proposed question asks, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” That’s it. 
It’s an important question. In his report “The Census Should Ask About Citizenship to Keep House Representation of Citizens Fair,” Bryan Preston at PJ Media concludes:
The census is at the heart of representation in our republic. The Constitution explicitly connects the census to representation of citizens. Citizenship has been a routine part of the census for most of our national existence, and resuming capturing this data ought not be controversial. Objections to the citizenship question are speculative at best, disingenuous at worst. The citizenship question is only controversial because like nearly everything else in American life, some want to use the census to serve their own political power plays.

I’m no lawyer, but I don't understand why President Trump would need to issue an Executive Order to restore the citizenship question to the census form. The Supreme Court lobbed the issue back to the Commerce Dept. Doesn’t that put the question back on the desk of the Secretary of Commerce? And Trump's administration has precedence on its side.

Although the Trump administration had hoped that the Supreme Court would clear the way for it to include such a question, the justices instead sent the issue back to the Department of Commerce. In a deeply fractured opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberal justices in ruling that the justification that the government offered at the time for including the citizenship question was just a pretext. The decision left open the possibility that the Trump administration could try again to add the citizenship question, but the clock is ticking. . . 

“Pretext” doesn’t seem to square with the history of the census citizenship question that dates back to Thomas Jefferson (see Preston’s full article here). But in any event, if the issue is now back at the Commerce Dept., why doesn’t Secy. Wilbur Ross just restore the question on the census form? Just asking . . .
# # #

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Tall Ships parade into Cleveland

Coming to Cleveland on Thursday, July 11 -- TODAY!. Tall Ships info is here.

These photos, taken a few years ago, are by 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Facts vs propaganda

image credit: legalzoom.com

New York Times, Washington Post, 
Wikipedia, Facebook, etc., etc.

I’m linking to this report by Monica Showalter at American Thinker – not because it’s about the Jeff Epstein-Bill Clinton scandal, but because it shows the blatant corruption in media and information platforms:

With the bust of longtime Democratic donor and Bill Clinton buddy Jeffrey Epstein on sex-trafficking charges, it's pretty amazing, the scope of the Left's effort to pin the whole thing on President Trump.

It's going on all over, as if directed by some Mighty Integral from far above, to borrow a phrase from Tom Wolfe from The Right Stuff.  It's orchestrated.  It's universal.  It's big.  And it's about as honest and fact-filled as the Russian collusion narrative.

Here are the top three areas, and these aren't the only ones:

One, the press. 

The New York Times, the Washington Post, and other media outlets have attempted to pin the matter on President Trump as a matter of his knowing Epstein in the past and saying nice things about him, and the bum deal cut with Epstein earlier in Miami, which involved Trump's now–labor secretary, Alexander Acosta.
. . .
Meanwhile, over at the Wikipedia desk, item two, the second front on pinning-Trump has leftists are beavering away, eliminating all evidence of Democrats involved in the Epstein case, too.

And, three, at Facebook, posts are being censored for references to Democrats, particularly Bill Clinton, regarding the Epstein case.

The effort is strikingly global. Anything to protect Democrats, just as the original bad plea deal in Miami was a deal to protect Democrats (and their campaign money supply) by letting Epstein off.

One can only suppose that it's going to get worse as all the names of the Democrat "faves" start to roll out.

Full article with chapter-and-verse plus links is here.
# # #

Monday, July 8, 2019

Steve Wozniak’s advice for Facebook users

image credit: wsj.com

David Solway at American Thinker asks the question:

Should First Amendment rights be extended to Big Tech corporations to publish and censor as they please?  This is a question that has agitated the discussion on whether antitrust legislation should be applied to infogiants such as Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Amazon, Pinterest and many others that have cornered the market on a public resource, information, and an essential human activity, the consumption of information. A solution to the problem of data sequestration and restricted access practiced by these companies is to rebadge them either as publishers or, alternatively, as public utilities.

Meanwhile, TMZ via Fox News reports:

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has some advice for most Facebook users: Delete your account.

The millionaire, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, recently said that a lack of privacy is his main concern regarding the Menlo Park, Calif. company and Big Tech in general.

“There are many different kinds of people, and some [of] the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy,” Wozniak told TMZ, which spoke with the tech mogul at Reagan National Airport in D.C. “But to many like myself, my recommendation is – to most people – you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.”

Wozniak deleted his Facebook account back in March 2018, shortly after news broke about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, which revealed that the private data of millions of Facebook users was being harnessed by the firm that worked for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The United Kingdom's top data watchdog group concluded that Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook's data was illegal under British law.

Full report is here. Some related info from Business Insider:

Deactivating your Facebook account does not delete your information from Facebook's servers. It's hidden from other users, unavailable to the public, but it continues to live on in Facebook's vast digital-storage vaults. If you're ever interested in revisiting the photos you posted to Facebook way back when, or getting back in touch with that long-lost friend, you may want to deactivate your Facebook page instead of outright deleting it.

# # #