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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Conspiracies!

I don't think I have ever read anything written by Alex Jones or listened to any of his broadcasts/podcasts. One of my sons finds him entertaining, and has on occasion told me about some one or another of Jones's "conspiracy" theories, e.g., the Sandy Hook shooting being a hoax--I ain't buying it. So, if Jones quietly had disappeared from our public discourse, I would have been among the last to realize it. But, of course, he has not just quietly disappeared. He has been "disappeared" by the combined might of Apple, Google, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Why? Well, it seems these massive American corporations, each of them with a net worth more than that of most nations' GDP, "suddenly" decided that Jones was spewing hate and unfounded conspiracy, so we, the world's public, had to be protected from that. What rubbish. What toxic rubbish.

The Jones ban forms part of a well-coordinated progressive assault on "unpopular" speech, in other words, one the first amendment of or Constitution. The ACLU, once the sterling knight who rode to the defense of the First Amendment, is rather muted about it all, only making a tepid remark. A conspiracy?

We hear progs throwing back in conservative faces the line, "Well, they are private companies, so . . . " Yes, they are indeed private companies . . . I wonder if that prog pro-property argument would hold if these tech giants also owned bakeries and refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding? Or refused to allow Muslims, blacks or hispanics access to their platforms? You know the answer.

I think we need some clever conservative lawyers to revisit the whole public accommodation argument that's been used to open up hotels, restaurants, etc., and expand the definition of a "public accommodation." I wonder if the progs would support that expansion of government power at the expense of the private sector?

Speaking of hateful conspiracies, the single most active one is the whole Russia Collusion narrative. Maybe it's time to shut down anybody pushing that factless nonsense? CNN, you're off the air!

17 comments:

  1. I think the internet telecom giants most resemble common carriers - e.g., AT&T during its monopoly days. Of course the crucial difference is common carriers are subject to regulation and the internet telecoms aren't. Why not is an interesting question in itself. First to come to mind are the anti trust laws. When was it decided that internet monopolies were good? I assume when the telecom companies starting making campaign contributions.

    If treated as common carriers, federal regulation would include to whom service has to be offered to, how companies can or cannot discriminate among potential customers, how they can or cannot regulate content, how they can charge and make revenue available to different classes of customers. Additionally, how they use and share versus protect users'information would be regulated.

    I think everyone would support federal regulation on use and sharing of users' data. Arguably we don't want government in those other areas, but when the companies are monopolies and are doing the discriminating and censoring themselves, we may want regs which prohibit the discrimination and censoring. Hopefully more carefully thought out than "net neutrality' which was subject to misuse to give progressives the right to oust conservatives from the net. That's the thing: Almost all regs are subject to MISUSE, which is why they are so dangerous. But we have not applied any anti-trust policy to the internet and allowed a tiny handful of companies control our communications. These companies themselves are misusing their monopolies. We did not let other common carriers set their own rules of operation. Virtually every aspect of monopoly-era AT&T's operations,including non-interference with speech carried on its lines, was proscribed by federal regulation. While we do have a Republican Administration and Congress, some basic service rules (privacy, non-discrimination, free speech) should be set for the common carriers of the internet.

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    1. Well said, msher, and I fully agree.

      My internet access is through TimeWarnerCable; they also supply my telephone service.

      I've known for some time that if I should post something online that upsets this company, they can restrict or deny my internet access; as has been said again and again, they are a private company and are not bound by the 1st Amendment.

      But doesn't that also apply to my conversations with other people through my telephone? If I say something politically incorrect, can I lose my telephone service? In defamation law, truth is a defense, in this country at least (not in Britain or Australia though.) If I say something true which is not approved by my telecommunications company can they cut me off?

      Note that in England now, even the famed "Speaker's Corner" in Hyde Park, once known as a place where free speech was celebrated, people can be arrested for "hate speech," which is any speech that disturbs a protected class such as muslims or the mentally ill.

      Alex Jones' ban is merely the tip of the spear that is coming to pierce our American custom of freedom of speech. Now that they see how easy it is to do it, we can expect a lot more bannings, and the excuses for those bans will become increasingly vague, just like the reason for Jones' ban. Whatever part of the TOS that he was supposed to have violated has not been specified, and probably won't be.

      It worked; who will be next on the firing line? Who will have the courage to protest, when the cost is being silenced?

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    2. My main issue here is that there's no 'last mile' that requires a monopoly.
      A telephone or internet service provider network can face that kind of hurdle and require regulation. But for a service that's pretty much straight up available over the web only, there's no real barrier to competition.
      The competitive barriers relevant to facebook are simply its user-base, not a government granted monopoly on trenches and easements.
      If we regulate facebook, twitter and google/youtube, we effectively tell the feds that everything should be regulated no matter what.
      When the government grants a monopoly on a common resource (trenches and easements), that should come with regulation (my opinion).
      But anybody can open up a facebook competitor.. it'll be difficult and capital intensive, but it won't involve government permission or endorsement.
      Just my opinion.. I want regulations where the public grants an accommodation to a corporation specially for the use of a shared resource (trenches, easements, wireless spectrum), but that's it.

      I'll just put it this way... if Twitter baked cakes, nobody would want them coerced into making Alex Jones Conspiracy Cakes (tm).

      My bone to pick with the apple/youtube/facebook moves is that they tout themselves as bastions of free speech... they have employees to 'give their life over to Google' and then get depressed and suicidal when google decides they need to make money in China. It's the hypocrisy. It's normal... all the way from Google's "Don't be Evil" on down (note, in the Venn Diagram of everything one can do... carving out only the clearly evil part leaves a lot of pretty nasty options).

      - reader #1482

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    3. This basically comes down to who does the worse job: the anti-trust division of Justice, or the regulators of the FCC. In either case, one needs to acknowledge that the bias of those bureaucrats making the decisions will be towards censorship of conservatives, and protection of leftists. For example, who believes that PBS is conservative?

      But if the companies get too comfortable with their own brand of censorship, they'll find that the use of their platforms decreases, and therefore so will their revenues, influence, and wealth. Indeed, Twitter seems to have already entered a period where their influence is falling off, and it could be argued, only held above water through the postings of a handful of individuals like Trump and Musk.

      Green Bear

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  2. I suppose the problem with Jones is that amongst all the excitable blethers there will be the occasional nugget of embarrassing truth.

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    1. Well, he was right about there being a conspiracy against him.

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  3. Three things; 1) We need to know how much revenue these companies get from ads vs. trafficing in user info. 2) Users need to have an easy "opt out" button that they could push to keep ALL their info absolutely private. 3) Diplomad, Are you still booted off Twitter?

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  4. "One of my sons finds him entertaining" -Haha the bearded one? The one throwing off those alt-right vibes? Better keep an eye on him and be prepared to real him in dip. But, seriously the arrogance of these bastards has shocked me to my core. It goes far beyond alex jones. Banks are refusing to process gun orders. Insurance companies are getting in on the act. WTF

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    1. Yes, the Bearded Viking, he's the one. I am keeping a close eye on him. I don't want him going all nuts on me. But I think he's just a kidder.

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    2. I watched a bit of alex jones years ago... thought it was ok... not too crazy in comparison to the tripe coming out of Pacifica Radio/KPFA or whatever they call themselves.. progressives for a communist america? I can't remember.
      I think infowars was pretty early to identify the resurgence of communism in america, the 'black bloc' Anarchists, and stuff like that. Not wrong on many accounts, wrong on many others.
      I guess Alex Jones can just be glad he didn't kill a cat in Zimbabwe or something.

      - reader #1482

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  5. By a Green Beret:

    https://www.heroesmediagroup.com/what-if-q-qanon-and-thegreatawakening-are-real/

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  6. I come across some Infowars sourced material on occasion. Typically I discount its validity. However, it is different on the left. They believe that Alex Jones is a prophet to the right, and everything he says is exactly what everyone on the right thinks. Alex Jones is cited by the left far more often than he is by the right. I try and explain that nobody on the right who isn't a nut watches or believes Alex Jones. With the leftists banning him, now they will not longer have his rants to cite as how insane the right is. So, it is a double bad deal for the left. They got rid of crazy talk that they like to beat us all down with, and did it in such a manner that slips the mask, and shows their real intentions in a way that attacks the concept of "free speech" in America.

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  7. All of these monopoly giants are not private enterprises. At their foundation grants, tax advantages, deep state allies all gave them a hand up.As a pillar of our nation once stated...You did not build that...Obumbo.

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  8. Via Instapundit: Apparently Jones was booted because CNN sought to get him off the web, and had contacted the various providers to do so. They're also going at getting him banned from Twitter.

    Can you say "Antitrust?"

    Green Bear

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  9. William Howard Taft once said, as Supreme Court Chief Justice, " We must afford the greatest protection to the speech that offends us most, for, if that is banned, where will it stop? "

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