January 2021 Archives

The biggest companies in the world worked together to destroy President Trump and upstart free-speech platform Parler. You can love Trump, hate Trump, or be extremely conflicted about Trump, but you can't deny the fact that the richest, most powerful corporations in the world have claimed the right and power to decide who can speak and who can't. What's playing out is completely bizarre.

As Silicon Valley censorship radically escalated over the past several months -- banning pre-election reporting by The New York Post about the Biden family, denouncing and deleting multiple posts from the U.S. President and then terminating his access altogether, mass-removal of right-wing accounts -- so many people migrated to Parler that it was catapulted to the number one spot on the list of most-downloaded apps on the Apple Play Store, the sole and exclusive means which iPhone users have to download apps. "Overall, the app was the 10th most downloaded social media app in 2020 with 8.1 million new installs," reported TechCrunch.

It looked as if Parler had proven critics of Silicon Valley monopolistic power wrong. Their success showed that it was possible after all to create a new social media platform to compete with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And they did so by doing exactly what Silicon Valley defenders long insisted should be done: if you don't like the rules imposed by tech giants, go create your own platform with different rules.

But today, if you want to download, sign up for, or use Parler, you will be unable to do so. That is because three Silicon Valley monopolies -- Amazon, Google and Apple -- abruptly united to remove Parler from the internet, exactly at the moment when it became the most-downloaded app in the country.

If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor.

Big Brother claims that Trump and Parler are inciting violence, but the truth is that the Capitol Hill riot was planned on Facebook and Twitter. (I condemn all political violence in America.)

The pretext for singling out Parler is that some people have posted threats there, which is a violation of Parler policy. There is no claim that the riot at the Capitol on January 6 was coordinated through Parler -- not even Apple, in its letter terminating services, made that claim. USA Today, citing other sources, gave examples of calls for violence prior to the Capitol Hill riot -- on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and a single video on Parler:
Violent rhetoric including threats against elected officials and police officers flooded all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube, not just online forums popular with extremists.....

On Facebook, pages and private and public groups urged civil war if Democrats were not arrested for election interference, alleged police officers were assisting "Antifa" and claimed "Antifa" members were impersonating "patriots" at the Capitol. A video encouraged protesters to bring pepper spray, tear gas, batons, tasers and knives.

A Facebook page called Red-State Secession shared addresses of "enemies" including members of Congress. One post urged people to prepare "to use force to defend civilization." Facebook removed the page Wednesday.

Even the president of anti-conservative Media Matters points to Facebook as the main organizing site:

Facebook had much bigger role in creating conditions that led to as well as organizing for January 6 event. We tracked people using FB to organize attendees to bring guns to the Jan 6 event. FB did nothing.

So why aren't Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit being deplatformed? Why are they picking on Parler? [...]

So the claim that Parler represents some unique risk to safety is a lie. It's a lie driven by politics, exploiting the justifiable national outrage at the Capitol Hill riot to purge political rivals through unprecedended collusion among the internet oligopolies, furthered by isolation tactics to cut Parler off from legal and other services.

To top it off, Twitter just had the balls to write this.

twitter uganda.jpg

The response to Twitter has been widespread mockery, as it should be. Will the people behind this behavior come to realize that they've cast themselves as the villains?

leia grip.jpg

As Princess Leia told Grand Moff Tarkin right before the destruction of Alderaan: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." Tarkin didn't care about public sentiment because he believed he could force submission through fear. He destroyed Parler Alderaan as a warning to any other uppity planets that might object to Imperial domination.

darth obiwan.jpg

While we're making Star Wars references, remember that Obi-Wan Kenobi told Darth Vader: "You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

Well... Gab has already brought Trump back from the dead.

Gab CEO completely backed up President Trump's Twitter account before it was deleted and recreated him on Gab! What's even more impressive is he did this while traffic was up 700% and under attack from leftists. Gab is currently having servers upgraded to handle the large influx in traffic but we're told it should stabilize soon.

Will he be more powerful than we can possibly imagine? (I hope not.)

The Left doesn't realize that it's reifying -- acting out -- making real -- bringing into existence -- an instance of the Hero's Journey, and they've cast Trump as the Hero (e.g., Simba) and themselves as the Tyrannical King (e.g., Scar). Note: I'm not saying Trump's a Hero -- the Left is putting him into that role. I'm not saying the Left is the Tyrannical King -- they're taking that role on themselves. I can only speculate why the Left is doing this, but it looks like a foolish plan.

Forbes announces that they will automatically distrust any company that hires vocal Trump supporters. But this totally isn't "cancel culture", of which they disapprove.

Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump's fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We're going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we'd approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world's biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.

This isn't cancel culture, which is a societal blight.

Good thing the media is so widely trusted so we ignorant plebes know who to obey.

Joe Biden will become president on January 20th, but the cloud of uncertainty around the 2020 election will never be dispelled because the people who could do so didn't even try.

I'm not an election or legal expert, but here are some things I've come to believe over the past two months. These are normative beliefs about how things should be, not claims about how things are under the current system.

First: Election officials bear the burden of proof for election integrity. They're the ones in possession of all the material evidence, and they're the ones with the legal obligation to execute fair elections. It's not reasonable to expect a candidate or a member of the public to "just trust us" when it comes to election integrity, and it's not reasonable to expect a candidate or member of the public to bear the burden to prove that an election was executed badly. Election officials must be required to prove they did their jobs well, and not be given the assumption of fairness or competency. Election officials should have to "show their work" transparently after every election.

Second: State election systems seem to be mostly garbage. The rules are bad, and the execution of those rules is worse. Stopping the count on election night in five cities simultaneously looked super-suspicious. I don't know exactly what rules should be in place, but I know that other countries require voters to show identification and greatly restrict mail-in or absentee voting. Some countries count ballots in place rather than transporting them to a central counting facility. Our states need to fix their election systems so that the public and election losers have full confidence in the results. I'm not sure how to fix the incompetent idiots who run our elections, especially if the courts won't grant anyone standing to challenge them -- perhaps standing could be created by law?

Third: Election audits and recounts need to be performed by people other than those accused of fraud. Obviously. No person or organization involved in the contested count should have any role in an audit or recount.

Fourth: There hasn't been a real investigation if there hasn't been discovery and hostile witnesses cross-examined under oath. Either our political system or our legal system needs to provide a way to credibly challenge election results in a timely manner. It doesn't count to simply dismiss cases on procedural grounds without forcing the production of evidence and testimony. It doesn't count for state legislators to issue statements but for the legislatures themselves to be out of session and unable to perform their Constitutional duties. All the court cases and hearings that happened in 2020 may have been handled in a legal and proper manner according to the existing rules, but those rules need to change in order to give people confidence in our elections.

Fifth: Political violence should be condemned by all Americans. Republicans condemned the violent riots that played out across the country all summer, and Republicans should also condemn rioting by Trump supporters in the Capitol. Democrats should have condemned the violent riots over the summer but mostly didn't, hiding behind euphemisms like "mostly peaceful". I'm glad we're all in agreement now that rioting is unacceptable. Peaceful protest is acceptable and American, but violence is wrong (and ineffective).

Sixth: This wasn't America's first badly run election -- I bet this kind of shoddy work has been going on for decades. It's embarrassing to America and needs to be fixed immediately.

It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: riots and political violence are unacceptable in America. All Christians should pray for peace and safety. All Americans should condemn the use of violence for political purposes. I condemn all such violence.

Peaceful protest is fair and legitimate and American. Riots and violence are bad.

Paul wrote the book of Philippians while awaiting execution in a Roman prison. Instead of lamenting the very real corruption and evil of the government that was persecuting him, he encouraged his readers to be fearless and confident because Christ's glory and power and purpose far exceed earthly political concerns, as serious as they are. From Philippians 1:

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Christians do not need to accept corruption quietly, but we need to be fearless and keep our eyes on things above.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2021 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2020 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Supporters

Email blogmasterofnoneATgmailDOTcom for text link and key word rates.

Site Info

Support