Saturday, June 29, 2019




from InfoWars: Democratic Senator Ron Wyden pushed for the censorship of ‘the Donald’ subreddit just weeks before it was ‘quarantined’ by Reddit. As we reported on Wednesday, Reddit quarantined the forum, which is often a pre-cursor to a total ban, claiming that comments inciting violence had not been deleted promptly enough by moderators. Moderators hit back by […]



Big tech revenge: Project Veritas banned over expose of Google


After releasing a damning expose of Google’s dark agenda of social engineering and censorship, all of Big Tech are extracting blatant revenge on Project Veritas, including Google, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo and Reddit.The battle is heating up and it is going to get really ugly before it’s over. Many lawsuits have already been lodged against such companies and legislators at all levels are examining what is going on.What few recognize yet is that these self-proclaimed Big Tech social ...


MoA - How Russia's President Putin Explains The End Of The 'Liberal' Order

Antifa Mob Viciously Assaults Journalist Andy Ngo at Portland Rally –

The Forever War Is So Normalized That Opposing It Is "Isolationism"

Pension "Death Spiral" Crisis Reaching Fever-Pitch In The US

Docs Show Navy Got 'UFO' Patent Granted By Warning Of Similar Chinese Tech Advances - The Drive

Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange


I know, you may think I am deluded. How could life in an Embassy with a cat and a skateboard ever amount to torture? That’s exactly what I thought, too, when Assange first appealed to my office for protection. Like

The post Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange appeared first on Global Research.


West’s Moral Bankruptcy Exposed — Strategic Culture

Friday, June 28, 2019

Following in Rome's Footsteps: Moral Decay, Rising Inequality

Here is the moral decay of America's ruling elites boiled down to a single word.
There are many reasons why Imperial Rome declined, but two primary causes that get relatively little attention are moral decay and soaring wealth inequality. The two are of course intimately connected: once the morals of the ruling Elites degrade, what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine, too.
I've previously covered two other key characteristics of an empire in terminal decline: complacency and intellectual sclerosis, what I have termed a failure of imagination.
Michael Grant described these causes of decline in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire, a short book I have been recommending since 2009:
There was no room at all, in these ways of thinking, for the novel, apocalyptic situation which had now arisen, a situation which needed solutions as radical as itself. (The Status Quo) attitude is a complacent acceptance of things as they are, without a single new idea.
This acceptance was accompanied by greatly excessive optimism about the present and future. Even when the end was only sixty years away, and the Empire was already crumbling fast, Rutilius continued to address the spirit of Rome with the same supreme assurance.
This blind adherence to the ideas of the past ranks high among the principal causes of the downfall of Rome. If you were sufficiently lulled by these traditional fictions, there was no call to take any practical first-aid measures at all.
A lengthier book by Adrian Goldsworthy How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower addresses the same issues from a slightly different perspective.
Glenn Stehle, commenting on a thread in the excellent website (operated by the estimable Ron Patterson) made a number of excellent points that I am taking the liberty of excerpting: (with thanks to correspondent Paul S.)
The set of values developed by the early Romans called mos maiorum, Peter Turchin explains in War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires, was gradually replaced by one of personal greed and pursuit of self-interest.
“Probably the most important value was virtus (virtue), which derived from the word vir (man) and embodied all the qualities of a true man as a member of society,” explains Turchin.
“Virtus included the ability to distinguish between good and evil and to act in ways that promoted good, and especially the common good. Unlike Greeks, Romans did not stress individual prowess, as exhibited by Homeric heroes or Olympic champions. The ideal of hero was one whose courage, wisdom, and self-sacrifice saved his country in time of peril,” Turchin adds.
And as Turchin goes on to explain:
"Unlike the selfish elites of the later periods, the aristocracy of the early Republic did not spare its blood or treasure in the service of the common interest. When 50,000 Romans, a staggering one fifth of Rome’s total manpower, perished in the battle of Cannae, as mentioned previously, the senate lost almost one third of its membership.This suggests that the senatorial aristocracy was more likely to be killed in wars than the average citizen...
The wealthy classes were also the first to volunteer extra taxes when they were needed… A graduated scale was used in which the senators paid the most, followed by the knights, and then other citizens. In addition, officers and centurions (but not common soldiers!) served without pay, saving the state 20 percent of the legion’s payroll...
The richest 1 percent of the Romans during the early Republic was only 10 to 20 times as wealthy as an average Roman citizen."
Now compare that to the situation in Late Antiquity when
"an average Roman noble of senatorial class had property valued in the neighborhood of 20,000 Roman pounds of gold. There was no 'middle class' comparable to the small landholders of the third century B.C.; the huge majority of the population was made up of landless peasants working land that belonged to nobles. These peasants had hardly any property at all, but if we estimate it (very generously) at one tenth of a pound of gold, the wealth differential would be 200,000! Inequality grew both as a result of the rich getting richer (late imperial senators were 100 times wealthier than their Republican predecessors) and those of the middling wealth becoming poor."
Do you see any similarities with the present-day realities depicted in these charts?
And how many congresspeople served in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan? How many presidential candidates had boots on the ground in combat theaters? The answer is one. Here is the moral decay of America's ruling elites boiled down to a single word.

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 ebook, $12 print, $13.08 audiobook): Read the first section for free in PDF format.

My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)
My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format.

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Blatant Election Rigging: Twitter Wants To Make Sure We NEVER Have Another President Like Trump



Just in time for the 2020 election, Twitter has come up with a new “policy” that is obviously intended to neuter the effectiveness of President Trump’s Twitter account. Right now, Trump has 61.4 million followers on Twitter, and his tweets regularly make headlines all over the world. Trump has been devastatingly effective on Twitter for […]

The post Blatant Election Rigging: Twitter Wants To Make Sure We NEVER Have Another President Like Trump appeared first on The Most Important News.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Project Veritas Banned By Vimeo After Uploading Undercover Google Exposé


Video hosting platform Vimeo - whose CEO contributed to the 2016 Clinton campaign - has completely banned Project Veritas over a viral video of a surreptitiously recorded Google employee admitting that the search giant is training its algorithms to to avoid the "next Trump situation," raising questions of 2020 election meddling

🚨🚨🚨 BREAKING @Vimeo has REMOVED Project Veritas saying: "You cannot upload videos that are hateful, defamatory, or discriminatory." Perhaps we embarrassed @Google but NOTHING we said was hateful, defamatory, or discriminatory. They're trying to erase us from the internet.

— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) June 26, 2019

BREAKING UPDATE: @Vimeo has BANNED our account days after @YouTube PULLED our video. They keep citing "privacy violations." BEING EMBARRASSED BY LEGITIMATE INVESTIGATE JOURNALISM is not a "privacy violation." Video STILL ON BITCHUTE. DOWNLOAD + SHARE:

— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) June 26, 2019

The Google employee, Jen Gennai, claims that she was referring to election meddling in terms of preventing another "Trump situation," however the Department of Justice is on recrord saying that Russian attempts to influence the 2016 US election did not alter the outcome.

Google Exec Jen Gennai on Hidden Cam says @ewarren is "very misguided" on big tech break-up, "smaller companies who don't have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next @realdonaldtrump situation, it's like a small company cannot do that." #DemDebate

— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) June 26, 2019

On Wednesday, Veritas tweeted a list of big tech companies and their responses to various exposés, asking "DO THINK BIG TECH IS WORKING TOGETHER?" 

1. @YouTube bans @Pinterest investigation
2. @Twitter suspends Veritas for Pinterest story
3. @reddit bans Project Veritas
4. @YouTube bans @Google investigation
5. @Vimeo removes Project Veritas account


— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) June 26, 2019

Meanwhile, for content creators worried about YouTube or Vimeo arbitrarily demonetizing or otherwise deplatforming them, check out BitChute, which has created a method to automatically transfer YouTube videos to the platform


Twitter To Censor Trump Tweets Ahead Of 2020 Election

Report Blames "Rotten" Global Drug-Control Regime For Epidemic Of Abuse And Death

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

All The Candidates' Bad Ideas

The Next Revolution by Murray Bookchin | Liberty Blitzkrieg

Obama appointee confirms: Kids 'cages' created 'under Obama'

A screenshot of the Drudge Report on June 20, 2018, saying President Obama kept migrant children in cages and wrapped them in foil

A screenshot of the Drudge Report on June 20, 2018, saying President Obama kept migrant children in cages and wrapped them in foil

An appointee in the Barack Obama administration has confirmed that those kids “cages,” used to detain illegal alien juveniles, were set up under Barack Obama, a Democrat.

At Paul Bedard’s Washington Secrets at the Washington Examiner, Thomas Homan, Obama’s executive associate director for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said, “I’ve been to that facility, where they talk about cages. That facility was built under President Obama under (Homeland Security) Secretary Jeh Johnson. I was there … when it was built.”

The issue became a controversy when, months ago, images appeared showing illegal alien juveniles in what appeared to be wire cages.

Democrats lashed out angrily at President Trump for putting children behind wire barricades.

But then it was revealed that the images in question were from during Obama’s tenure in the White House.

Homan now is under consideration for a new position of “border czar.”

He exhibited anger at questions about those “cages.”

At a conference held by the Center for Immigration Studies, he previously answered the same question.

He cited a Democrat who demanded of a Trump official: “You still keeping kids in cages?”

He said, “I would answer the question, ‘The kids are being housed in the same facility built under the Obama administration.’ If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.”

He explained actually there are no cages, according to Washington Secrets, “but chain-link fencing that separates kids from adults, done for safety.”

Homan said the facilities are used partly because a Democrat Congress hasn’t provided adequate funding for the surge of illegal aliens entering the U.S.

President Trump, according to Business Insider, “accurately” pointed out that the Obama administration used those “cages” for children at the border.

The report noted that there has been much criticism of Trump’s administration for using those “cages,” “though a lesser-known detail is that those same cages have been used for years, albeit under different circumstances.”

At the Blaze, a report revealed Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., assured Americans that Democrats never would put children in “cages.”

“While addressing the House press corps at the U.S. Capitol, Pelosi called ICE’s enforcement actions ‘outside the circle of civilized human behavior.'” The report said. “During her weekly press conference, she criticized President Donald Trump for taking a definitive stance on illegal immigration.”

She said, “It’s ridiculous to think that the way to protect the border is to put children in cages. Democrats have taken full responsibility for the border, but we don’t think we have to put children in cages to do it.”

The post Obama appointee confirms: Kids 'cages' created 'under Obama' appeared first on WND.


What Rightward Shift in Higher Ed?


Over the past 50 years, American higher education has been “transformed” in a rightward direction by an influx of philanthropic efforts by conservative billionaires and foundations — or so claims a newly released report by David Austin Walsh for the Urban Institute.

The transformation claimed by the Urban Institute report is multifaceted, allegedly bringing an influx of “ideologically conservative, pro–free market institutions hostile to state regulation in American colleges and universities.” In the course of his study, Walsh credits one such effort centering around University of Chicago economist George Stigler with the “transformation of economics programs throughout American higher education” in an “antistatist” and deregulatory direction. It alludes to the “strategic transformation of university cultures” in a rightward direction — “particularly at elite universities,” which then “trickle down” to shape other institutions. In summary, Walsh contends that conservative funding has “normalized right-wing politics in the academy to an extent conservatives could have barely imagined in the 1960s.”

The report itself reflects an unusual hybrid of research styles, containing a somewhat useful bibliographic survey of five philanthropic sources on the political right that have invested to varying levels in faculty research and other college programming. By contrast, its interpretive thesis — that these efforts have collectively resulted in a rightward transformation of the higher-ed landscape — appears to be without evidence. In fact, available data overwhelmingly point to a shift in the opposite direction.

Measuring Ideological Trends on Campus

Walsh’s study, relying on anecdote, strongly implies that a philanthropy-induced rightward shift in the academy has occurred since the mid-20th century. He makes no effort however to measure or test this crucial claim, and offers no empirical control (such as the parallel rise of left-leaning philanthropy on campus) to determine whether his contended phenomenon is unique to the political Right.

Oddly, Walsh is either unaware of or ignores a vast empirical literature on the subject of political ideology in the academy dating back to Everett Ladd and Seymour Martin Lipset’s seminal investigations of faculty ideological self-identification in the 1970s. The first two decades of this literature produced a vibrant debate over whether Ladd and Lipset had correctly identified a pronounced leftward skew among university professors with implications for political content in their research and teaching, or whether their data simply captured a stable snapshot of a left-leaning plurality among a professoriate that nonetheless remained ideologically diverse. That question has been conclusively answered in the past 20 years, and the data are moving in the exact opposite direction of Walsh’s thesis.

As I have documented previously, survey data point to a sharp and overwhelming leftward shift in faculty political self-identification starting around the year 2000 and persisting to the present day. While self-identified liberals comprised a relatively stable plurality of about 40 percent at the time of Ladd and Lipset’s studies, that number grew to a clear 60 percent majority in the last two decades. Conservative faculty, by contrast, dwindled away from one-third of the faculty as recently as 1984 to just 12 percent today.

Furthermore, as the charts below illustrate, the recent shift does not come from gradual ideological drift toward mainstream left-of-center politics. Its primary driver is an explosion in the number of faculty who identify on the far left — a category that includes Marxists, socialists, and adherents of derivative ideological positions such as critical theory.

Sources: UCLA Higher Education Research Institute Faculty Survey (1989-present) and Carnegie Survey of Higher Education (1969-84)

Other survey measures of political ideology reveal that this leftward shift is acute among college professors. As political scientist Samuel Abrams has shown, the long-term ratio between liberals and conservatives is stable when the same questions about ideological self-identification are presented to both incoming college students and to the general American public. Only the professoriate has moved leftward in this same period.

Nor can these patterns be explained by changing definitions of liberalism and conservatism. The Pew Charitable Trust maintains an issue-based index of both partisan and ideological concentrations over time among the American public. Their findings do show widening partisan (Republican/Democrat) and ideological (Left/Right) divides among the general public starting in the 1990s, but the movement between these two poles has played out comparably in both directions. The political Left has moved further left and the Right has moved further right over the same period, with the leftward shift being the slightly more pronounced of the two.

The sharp leftward ideological skew of the professoriate appears in other metrics as well. Although partisan affiliation (Democrat/Republican) is an incomplete proxy for the full range of political attitudes (libertarians, for example, do not fit comfortably in either party), it strongly confirms the survey-data findings on ideological identification.

Mitchell Langbert’s recent study of voter-registration patterns among over 8,000 faculty at elite liberal arts colleges reveals an overwhelming Democratic skew within the professoriate. This pattern affects all disciplines, including non-political STEM fields, but becomes substantially more pronounced in the social sciences and humanities. The leftward skew of elite institutions is also apparent in conservative/liberal self-identification. Using a well-respected survey instrument from UCLA, Samuel Abrams found that the leftward faculty ideological skew becomes more pronounced in the regions where elite institutions are geographically concentrated — the northeastern United States, and a smaller pocket on the West Coast.

In an earlier study of faculty voter registration across different institution types, Daniel B. Klein and Chris Cardiff found that the humanities and social science faculty at elite institutions are essentially a “one party system” almost exclusively favoring registered Democrats. Although faculty at almost every type of college or university skew Democratic, Klein and Cardiff show that this skew only lessens at non-elite institutions and particularly those with Protestant religious affiliations.

Both patterns belie Walsh’s claim of a “trickle down” effect arising from conservative higher-ed philanthropy targeting elite colleges and universities. While conservative and libertarian donations to faculty, students, and research centers at elite programs certainly exist, their measurable effect on the ideological disposition of these institutions appears to be negligible. In every existing metric, the actual patterns play out exactly opposite of Walsh’s theory.

There are no doubt individual conservative and libertarian beneficiaries of targeted philanthropic donations within the American professoriate. Even so, their relative position to other faculty is weakening and their overall numbers are actually shrinking. If conservatives currently comprise 12 percent of the approximately 813,000 full-time college professors in the United States, their actual number across all disciplines is likely fewer than 100,000 individuals — a decline of about 35,000 faculty since 1975, even though the total number of people employed as college professors essentially doubled in this same period.

Although the Urban Institute report does not consider the foregoing literature or any other standard metric of ideological presence on campus, these data present a substantial complication for the existence of a rightward “transformation” in higher education since the mid-20th century. During the same period of conservative philanthropic giving that Walsh examines in his report, the faculty as a whole moved in exactly the opposite direction that one would expect from his descriptions. Far from inducing the rightward transformation of academia that Walsh posits, conservative philanthropic giving has either failed at this supposed objective or — more likely — only slightly slowed a sharp leftward shift of a far-greater magnitude.

Ideological Attitudes Within Specific Disciplines

The data discussed in the foregoing section reflect general ideological trends on campus across all disciplines. But what do they say about the specific areas of philanthropic investment that the Urban Institute report considers?

Walsh singles out two academic disciplines for consideration in his report, economics and law, correctly noting that both (as well as the intersection between them) have been strategic areas of conservative and libertarian philanthropic investment. In a series of case studies, Walsh considers philanthropic investment in the economics department at the University of Chicago by the Walgreen Foundation in the mid-20th century, similar investments by Charles and David Koch at George Mason University in the present day, and an assortment of related funding initiatives for the law-and-economics subfield involving the Kochs, the John M. Olin Foundation, and others.

Without endeavoring to measure any of these initiatives or compare them against other empirical controls, Walsh repeatedly declares them “on-campus successes” and credits them with initiating a broader rightward “transformation” of both economics and legal academia. In Walsh’s telling, each of the associated departments and research centers is responsible for the cultivation of a conservative presence on campus with tangible academy-wide effects. Among the many descriptions, he contends that the recipients of these donations “promote free market and free enterprise principles,” serve as “incubators for probusiness and antiregulation conservatives” among university faculty, have sweeping public policy influence, and form the foundation of a “scholarly network and a financial infrastructure with which to promote their pro–free market ideas.”

While Walsh likely disapproves of these objectives on account of his own political beliefs, it would be inconsistent to describe them as intrinsically objectionable simply because they advance a disliked political perspective.

Academia is awash with left-leaning faculty, research centers, and even entire degree programs dedicated to overtly political and activist causes — to the advancement of “social justice,” to critiques of “capitalism” arising from humanities professors with little to no economic training, to labor-union organizing, to an assortment of environmentalist political causes. Many of these institutions enjoy generous philanthropic contributions by billionaire donors and foundations on the political left that match or exceed similar conservative giving. Many academics on the political left even valorize and champion their own political activism, portraying it as a necessary complement to their scholarly research and even insisting that it should count toward promotion and tenure.

Walsh apparently shares this perspective as well — he touts a description of himself as a “general socialist troublemaker” on his public profile, and frequently writes political-advocacy editorials in left-leaning publications. It would be intellectually inconsistent to maintain that such activities are commendable when they support openly progressive initiatives while objecting to them as a corrupting intrusion when the impetus is coming from the right.

Fostering an internal contradiction of this sort does not appear to be Walsh’s purpose, but his approach carries a high interpretive risk of veering in that direction so long as it remains divorced from empirical measures of the patterns he purports to describe, including suitable comparisons across the ideological spectrum to use as a baseline.

So how, then, does Walsh’s narrower claim about discipline-specific transformations in economics and law hold up against the applicable data? Not very well, it turns out.

Langbert, Klein, and an additional coauthor, Anthony J. Quain, investigated this question in a further study of Democrat-to-Republican voter-registration ratios among selected disciplines at elite universities, including economics departments and law schools. In economics, they found a D-to-R ratio of 4.5 to 1. In law, this ratio increases to 8.6 to 1. Even though this skew is pronounced when compared to the general public or even incoming students, it places economics on the center left of academia. Law schools are comfortably among the disciplines that fall well to the left of center, although they fall short of the extreme “one party system” skews that these authors discovered in the humanities.

While Walsh’s report is keen to emphasize how conservative philanthropy in economics, law, and the law-and-economics subfield have introduced free market content to the research and teaching of these disciplines, empirical measures strongly suggest that these positions remain minority perspectives in the academy.

In a 2015 study, economists Rosemarie Fike and James Gwartney conducted a comparative analysis of the 23 most commonly used college textbooks for U.S. economics classes. They tabulated the amount of space and attention given to “market failure theory” — a generally pro-regulatory perspective that is used to justify “corrective” interventions by government entities to alleviate harms from the unfettered market, both real and alleged. Fike and Gwartney then repeated their tabulations, looking for content in the same textbooks on either “government failure theory” or public choice theory — perspectives that call attention to the political difficulties of accurately diagnosing or correcting a market failure, and the associated harms that can arise from excessive regulation or intervention.

Of the 23 textbooks surveyed, all devoted substantial attention to the market-failure perspective. Approximately half made some mention of government failure or public choice, while the remainder gave this anti-regulatory perspective little or no coverage. In total, market-failure theory received about six times as much space and consideration in economics textbooks as public-choice or government-failure perspectives received.

A similar study by Hugo Eyzaguirre, Tawni Ferrarini, and Brian O’Roark found comparably disproportionate coverage of market-failure theory, as well as deficiencies in the attention given to the status of property rights as an institutional factor in the occurrence of claimed failures.

Recall that Walsh specifically and repeatedly charges conservative philanthropy with shifting the economics discipline away from pro-regulatory perspectives and toward government non-intervention. The empirical results from both analyses of textbooks show the exact opposite to be the case. If anything the anti-regulatory and government-failure perspectives that Walsh describes appear to be adding a small amount of balance to a field that skews heavily toward the regulatory disposition that he favors.

There do not appear to be any similar studies of textbooks or teaching practices for the legal profession. A different type of indicator, however, suggests a strong tension between the Urban Institute report and the reality faced by faculty on the political right in law schools. Noting the aforementioned evidence that conservative and libertarian faculty remain a distinct minority in the legal profession, Stanford’s James Cleith Phillips undertook an empirical investigation of hiring patterns among law faculty. Phillips tracked a decade’s worth of law school graduates who went into legal academia and identified them by ideological disposition. After controlling for comparable credentials such as publication records, he discovered a pronounced disparity in hiring patterns that seems to favor progressive or left-liberal law professors. Conservative and libertarian professors tended to find employment at law schools that rank, on average, 12 to 13 places lower than their equally credentialed left-leaning peers from the same time period. The most severe effects of this placement gap could be seen at top-ranked or elite law schools, while the pattern dissipates among lower-ranked institutions.

Yet again, empirical evidence in faculty hiring belies the expectations arising from the Urban Institute’s report. It further suggests that law school philanthropic giving from the right may be serving a purpose of countering and correcting a preexisting leftward ideological disparity among law faculty, as opposed to exerting a novel and unique rightward pressure.

Assessing Politics and Philanthropy on Campus

Walsh’s bibliographic study reflects a broader academic interest in the relationship between philanthropic giving and political objectives. Taken by itself, this line of inquiry can yield important insights into the role of money in both research and campus politics. The accompanying literature is of widely varying quality, and while Walsh gives reasonable synopses of several case studies of funding on the right, he also unfortunately indulges some of its weaker and most politicized specimens (for example, he approvingly draws upon Nancy MacLean’s error-riddled and conspiratorial Democracy in Chains in his case study of the Kochs).

More importantly though, his multiple inferences and assertions about the allegedly transformative role of conservative money display an approach to social scientific analysis that is unchained from any reasonable measure or control. Walsh may well reply that empirical tests were not his objective; only mapping out specific cases of conservative funding was. And yet each of his descriptive conclusions about the “successes” of these initiatives is a testable claim.

Data from the developed literature on political ideology in the academy, as we’ve seen, do not align with the expectations arising from the Urban Institute report’s underlying theoretical framework. Theories about a growing conservative philanthropic influence in higher ed run counter to measurable evidence of a leftward shift that has played out generally across the academy in the last 20 years, and measurable evidence of the ideological disposition of the targeted disciplines of economics and law.

While this finding does not negate the value of studying conservative philanthropy, it highlights the necessity of doing so empirically and with suitable points of comparison to other ideological perspectives. The alternative yields little more than an exercise in cherry-picking among disliked conservative funders, and reaching conclusions about their effectiveness that far exceed the available evidence.


This article was republished with permission from the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER).

[Image Credit: PXHere]


How Evil Wins: The Hypocritical Double Standards of Political Outrage


“She was asked what she had learned from the Holocaust, and she said that 10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and that 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and that the remaining 80 percent could

The post How Evil Wins: The Hypocritical Double Standards of Political Outrage appeared first on Global Research.


Falling Oil Profits Drive U.S. War Threats Against Iran?


“I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. … We had entire training courses.” That’s what Trump regime Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told students at Texas A&M University on April 15.

On June 14, Pompeo told

The post Falling Oil Profits Drive U.S. War Threats Against Iran? appeared first on Global Research.


WATCH: Cops Detain Entire Bar, Seal Off All Exits, Force EVERYONE to Submit to Record Check

rightsIn one of the largest mass rights violating instances we've ever reported on, an entire bar was detained by police and forced to submit to a background check.


Spotting Doublethink in Ourselves | Intellectual Takeout

"Let me be clear: all of us are in grave danger because of this fact. If you read Arendt, you see that the pieces now are all falling into place for the coming of totalitarianism: the atomized and alienated masses, the discrediting of old political parties and institutions, widespread skepticism of traditional values and ways of seeing the world, and the pleasure people take in transgression."

Is the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Really Underpaid?


The U.S. women’s soccer team is currently playing in the World Cup in France, defending the title they won in 2015. They’ve had an incredible start, scoring 18 goals in the group stage – a record for the tournament – and beating Spain to reach the quarterfinals.

Some see this success as fresh evidence in support of the case for equal pay for male and female players. According to a lawsuit filed on March 8 by the U.S. women’s soccer team, their players are being paid less than the men, in some cases earning just 38 percent of their pay per game.

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) denies the pay differences are related to sex. This week, the two groups agreed to enter into mediation to resolve the dispute.

Sexist Soccer Pay Gap?

The pay gap feud entered the national discussion in 2018 following an impassioned speech from FIFA world champion Abby Wambach. The New York Times reports:

In spring 2018, Abby Wambach, the most decorated soccer player in American history, gave a commencement address at Barnard College that went viral. The player who had scored more goals than any other, male or female, in international competition described standing onstage at the ESPYs the year after she retired in 2015, receiving the Icon Award alongside two peers, Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant. "I felt so grateful,” she recalled. “I had a momentary feeling of having arrived; like, we women had finally made it.”

As the athletes exited the stage, each having, as Wambach put it, “left it all on the field for decades with the same ferocity, talent and commitment,” it occurred to her that while the sacrifices the men made for their careers were nearly identical to her own, their new lives would not resemble hers in one fundamental way. “Kobe and Peyton walked away from their careers with something I didn’t have: enormous bank accounts,” Wambach said. “Because of that, they had something else I didn’t have: freedom. Their hustling days were over; mine were just beginning.”

Reward Is Not Dependent on Your Effort but on Your Product

I don’t doubt Wambach when she says that she, Manning, and Bryant “left it all on the field for decades with the same ferocity…and commitment” and that “the sacrifices the men made for their careers were nearly identical to her own.” But if there is a case for equal pay, this isn’t it. The first hard lesson is that pay is not dependent on your effort but on your product.

According to a 2012 report in The Lancet, Bangladesh has the most physically active population on earth. As one write up explained:

Bangladeshis are exceptionally active due to the country’s primary industries which require physical labour. Most Bangladeshis earn a living through agriculture, primarily cultivating rice and jute but also maize and vegetables.

If pay is related to effort, then the Bangladeshis should be the world’s richest people. Instead, they are among its poorest with a per capita GDP of $3,524 annually in 2017, just 6.5 percent of the U.S. level, ranking them 151st out of 189 countries, according to the World Bank. For all that effort, Bangladeshis, on average, don’t produce very much, so their incomes are low.

In the same way, Abby Wambach was paid less because her efforts generated much less product revenue – for her employers than Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant’s comparable efforts generated for theirs. When Bryant played his last game for the LA Lakers in 2016, they sold $1.2 million worth of Bryant merchandise that day. I can’t find similar figures for what Abby Wambach generated for her last team, the Western New York Flash, but I doubt it was anywhere near that.

So what’s the story with revenues for the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams? The Wall Street Journal reports:

In the three years after the U.S. women’s soccer team won the 2015 World Cup, U.S. women’s games generated more total revenue than U.S. men’s games, according to audited financial reports from the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Doesn’t this disprove U.S. Soccer’s argument that the difference in pay between the men’s and women’s teams is “based on differences in the aggregate revenue generated by the different teams and/or any other factor other than sex”?

Not so fast. These figures relate to “gate” and “game” revenues. But, as the WSJ points out:

…ticket sales are only one revenue stream that the national teams help generate. U.S. Soccer brought in nearly $49 million in marketing and sponsorship revenue in 2018, nearly half of its $101 million operating revenue, according to federation records.

U.S. Soccer sells these broadcast rights and sponsorships as a bundle, not separately for each team. As a result, it’s hard to tell how much of, say, Budweiser’s sponsorship is attracted by the men’s team and how much by the women’s. Presumably, sponsors are paying to get their name in front of potential customers. Considering that data show TV viewing figures for the men’s team are higher than for the women’s team, this might suggest that the men’s team is the attraction for a disproportionate amount of that broadcast and sponsorship revenue. This would explain the pay disparity.

The Value of Your Product Is Subjective

If pay is dependent on the product, what decides the value of that? This is the second hard lesson. Not only is your product not related to your effort, but the value of that product is also determined subjectively by the consumer.

Abby Wambach and Kobe Bryant play different sports, so maybe it’s unfair to compare them. The U.S. women argue that they are underpaid relative to men playing the same sport. How can the same output be valued differently?

Sports offer a particularly good explanation of why. The Minnesota Twins are currently at the top of the AL Central. The Kansas City Royals are at the bottom. But if you offered a Royals fan a ticket for a Twins game for a couple of dollars less than a ticket for a Royals game, they would probably choose the Royals ticket. The Royals fan is not in the market for baseball so much as they are in the market for Royals baseball. These products are not perfect substitutes.

Why wouldn’t U.S. men’s and women’s soccer be perfect substitutes? Maybe sports consumers are sexist. Maybe the women’s product isn’t as good as the men’s in some objective way. From a pay perspective, the reason is irrelevant. There is no economic reason why similar effort should yield similar pay and no reason why different products should yield similar pay.

The U.S. women currently in France have won three World Cup titles. The U.S. men have never won a World Cup and failed to even qualify for the 2018 tournament. The women’s team’s achievements are hugely impressive. If you want to reward them with cash rather than words, put your money where your mouth is. Show you value their product by spending on it.


This article was originally published on Read the original article.

[Image Credit: joshjdss CC BY 2.0]


Google and Big Tech bias hurts democracy, not just conservatives

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

MSM Silent After Google Election Meddling Bombshell; Video Scrubbed From YouTube

7 Figures: How Americans Spend Their Time


Every year the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), which measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, and socializing.

Here are seven figures you should know from the latest report:

1. In 2018, 89 percent of full-time employed persons worked on an average weekday, compared with 31 percent on an average weekend day, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Full-time employed persons averaged 8.5 hours of work time on weekdays they worked, and 5.4 hours on weekend days they worked. Multiple jobholders were more likely to work on an average weekend day than were single jobholders – 56 percent, compared with 28 percent.

2. On the days they worked, employed men worked 34 minutes more than employed women. This difference partly reflects women’s greater likelihood of working part time. However, even among full-time workers (those usually working 35 hours or more per week), men worked more per day than women – 8.2 hours, compared with 7.9 hours.

3. Among workers age 25 and over, those with an advanced degree were more likely to work at home than were persons with lower levels of educational attainment – 42 percent of those with an advanced degree performed some work at home on days worked, compared with 12 percent of those with a high school diploma and no college. Workers with an advanced degree also were more likely to work on an average day than were those with only a high school diploma – 74 percent, compared with 65 percent.

4. On an average day, 84 percent of women and 69 percent of men spent some time doing household activities, such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or household management. On the days they did household activities, women spent an average of 2.6 hours on these activities, while men spent 2.0 hours. On an average day, 20 percent of men did housework – such as cleaning or laundry – compared with 49 percent of women. Forty-six percent of men did food preparation or cleanup, compared with 69 percent of women. Men were slightly more likely to engage in lawn and garden care than were women – 11 percent, compared with 7 percent.

5. On an average day, nearly everyone age 15 and over (96 percent) engaged in some sort of leisure activity, such as watching TV, socializing, or exercising. Men spent 49 minutes per day more in these activities than did women (5.7 hours, compared with 4.9 hours). On average, adults age 75 and over spent 7.8 hours engaged in leisure activities per day – more than any other age group; 25-to 44-year-olds spent a little over 4.0 hours engaged in leisure and sports activities per day – less than other age groups.

6. Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for just over half of all leisure time, on average. Socializing and communicating, such as visiting with friends or attending or hosting social events, accounted for an average of 38 minutes per day, and was the next most common leisure activity after watching TV. Individuals spent about twice as much time socializing on weekend days (59 minutes) as on weekdays (29 minutes).

7. Adults living in households with children under age 6 spent an average of 2.1 hours per day providing primary childcare to household children. Adults living in households where the youngest child was between the ages of 6 and 17 spent less than half as much time providing primary childcare to household children – 50 minutes per day. Primary childcare is childcare that is done as a main activity, such as providing physical care or reading to children.


This article has been republished with the permission of the Acton Institute.

[Image Credit: Flickr-Rawpixel Ltd, CC BY 2.0]


Two-thirds of American employees regret their college degrees - CBS News

Partisan & Political Divide Study: Most Educated, Politically Engaged Americans Know Least about Opponents | National Review

Google Buries Mercola In Latest Search Engine Update Part 2

Google Buries Mercola In Latest Search Engine Update Part 1

Monday, June 24, 2019

NY Times admits it sends stories to US government for approval before publication | The Grayzone

Knitting Behemoth Ravelry Bans Pro-Trump Content Over 'White Supremacy' 

The Night Donald Trump Became President


Thursday night was the night Donald Trump became president. You can imagine the hyperbolic hosannahs that would have been sung if Trump had gone ahead with his planned strikes against Iran, adding to the list of undeclared presidential wars. Instead he pulled back.

Hugh Hewitt called it the “big blink,” inviting Liz Cheney – who is very much her father’s daughter on foreign policy – on his on show to warn, “Weakness is provocative.” Hewitt compared it to Barack Obama’s failure to enforce his “red line” in Syria. “Much worse” argued Kori Schake in The Atlantic. Other reporting focused on a “total breakdown in process.”

It was not a picture perfect approach to national security, to be sure. But it did sharply illustrate the Beltway’s strange priorities. When Trump twice bombed Syria, few of those who fret about his erosion of constitutional norms or authoritarian tendencies protested his failure to seek congressional authorization as required by the Constitution. There was a much larger process-related panic when Trump said late last year he wanted to bring American troops home from Syria.

A Republican-controlled Senate passed a non-binding resolution rebuking Trump for contemplating the end to a war  Congress never authorized. Similarly, war with Iran is Congress’ call under the Constitution, not Trump’s. Still, with the single (but significant) exception of Yemen, Trump has faced more pushback when he has tried to keep his more antiwar campaign promises than when he has escalated the bombing and droning already going on, mostly without congressional authorization, all over the world.

While there is undoubtedly more to the story, Trump has publicly explained his Iran about-face by saying the death of 150 Iranians would be a disproportionate response to hitting an unmanned American drone. “An age of wonders,” tweeted Michael Brendan Dougherty. “A moral and spiritual reprobate articulates a classical Augustinian just war argument. And conservative Christians hate it.”

That might be a bit unfair to conservative Christians as a whole. The Right’s reaction to Trump’s Iran decision was split along largely predictable lines. But the critique applies to much of the establishment. The coverage of veteran Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s book Fear often treated Trump’s concerns about the war in Afghanistan as just another example of White House palace intrigue.

“How many more deaths? How many more lost limbs? How much longer are we going to be there?” Woodward quotes Trump as asking. One Post write-up folded these lines into a broader story about the White House’s “nervous breakdown” and the national security team’s impatience with the president. But these are morally serious questions, not exaggerated inaugural crowd size estimates.

Liberal opposition to the wars that have continued under Trump has been muted while the Never Trump Right has remained generally, resolutely hawkish. It is utterly bizarre to read people who believe Trump is unfit to be president seem disappointed, or even outraged, that he is not overseeing a war with a country larger than Iraq without a permanent, Senate-confirmed secretary of defense in place. It is even odder that Trump seems to be more skeptical of this idea than some of his biggest critics.

Let’s not nominate Trump for the Nobel peace prize yet (that’s been prematurely awarded to presidents before). The “maximum pressure” campaign that brought us to the brink is at least partially a product of his own unrealistic approach to diplomacy. John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are his appointees. It does not require Nostradamus-like skills to anticipate how the good cop, bad cop routine Trump appears to be trying with Bolton in particular could end in disaster.

At the very least, the next strikes might be allowed to proceed with uncertain consequences like so many of our forever wars.

If Trump continues to break with this pattern, however, it will be less celebrated in Washington than it would deserve to be. Putting the unelected hawks in their proper place would be a truly presidential act.


This article has been republished from The American Conservative.

[Image Credit - Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain]


You Are Fighting In The Most Important Battle Of All Time


If you are reading this, it’s most likely the result of a series of events in your life which have drawn your interest and attention to the fact that our world is quite a bit different from what we’ve been told by our school teachers, by the news media, by Hollywood, and by politicians.

At some point, for whatever reason, you’ve come to realize that the consensus narratives in our society about what’s going on are false. The tools that people are taught to use to inform themselves about their government, their nation and their world are not just full of inaccuracies, but deliberate distortions, ranging from the reasons we’re given for why wars are started, to the way our political systems work, to where real power and authority actually lies, to the way nations and governments actually behave in the world.

This awareness has come with a degree of alienation. Not buying into the same consensus narratives about the world as your friends, loved ones and peers comes with an inability to relate to them on some levels, which can cause you to feel a lack of intimacy in those areas. You may have also found yourself the odd one out in conversations about politics or other controversial issues, maybe even lost old friends over it.

But you kept going anyway. For some of us, it’s more important to be true to the truth than it is to fit in. You’re one of those people.

So, I just want to say thank you. Sincerely. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m on-my-knees grateful to anyone who sets about untangling themselves and their species from the deceitful narratives which pervade our society. It is the most important battle that can possibly be fought. The most important battle that has ever been fought.

There is nothing more important than this fight. Our species is on a sure trajectory toward Orwellian dystopia if climate collapse or nuclear war don’t send us the way of the dinosaur first, and the only thing that has the power to steer us out of that trajectory is the people using the strength of their numbers to force an end to the oppressive, ecocidal, omnicidal status quo.

But they don’t. The people don’t use the strength of their numbers to force an end to the oppressive, ecocidal, omnicidal status quo, because they aren’t interested in doing so. Why aren’t they interested in doing so? Because their minds are being manipulated on a mass scale by the same people who have been granted immense power and wealth by the existence of that status quo.

All of mankind’s biggest dilemmas are ultimately due to the fact that propaganda is far more ubiquitous and far more advanced than most people realize.

And it’s not their fault. Not really. Nobody teaches you in school that throughout your entire life your plutocratic overlords will be working to control the thoughts in your head using a highly sophisticated arsenal of psychological operations funneled into your mind via their near-total control of the media. Nobody warns you as a kid that if you ever really want to grow up, you’ll first have to extricate the vast network of lies which have been deliberately sewn into your consciousness since birth.

But their tricks didn’t work on you. You found your way out of that matrix of deception. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t comfortable, but you did it. And now you’re ready to fight.

And fight you have. You have already been doing what you can to share information which counters the disinformation, doing your best to throw sand in the gears of the propaganda machine and show people the little gaps in the code of the matrix in the hope that some light sleeper might spot it and begin waking up from the dream. You don’t need me to tell you to do this, because it’s obvious to anyone who’s seen through the illusion. You’re doing it already.

And you’re going to keep doing it. And you’re going to get better at it.

You’re going to get better at it because you’re going to keep learning and gaining a better and better understanding of how the oppression machine operates, so that you can describe it more lucidly to others.

You’re going to get better at it because you’re going to keep practicing your craft: attacking the propaganda matrix at its weakest and most vulnerable points at every opportunity. Practice makes perfect, and the more you keep at it the more skillful you’ll get at spotting gaps in its armor and firing the most damaging truth bombs straight into them.

You’re going to get better at it because you’re going to keep doing your own inner work to expunge all lies from your system, from the most surface-level propaganda narratives all the way down to your most fundamental assumptions about the nature of reality itself. You understand that only turkeys are done, and that it will always be possible to get a little bit clearer inside every day. The less your vision is impeded by falsehood, the better you’ll be able to see on the battlefield.

You’re going to get better at fighting, and you’re going to keep fighting no matter what. Not because it’s an easy war, nor even because it’s a winnable war, but because you have made truth your highest value, and untruth is therefore intolerable to you. You will keep attacking the lie factory at every turn until it collapses into its own foundations beyond any possibility of repair. You will keep driving your sword through until you see it come out the other side.

And others will join you, because they have awakened to what’s going on too. And then there will be more of them. And more. And more.

There is no more important fight than this. The survival and wellbeing of our entire species depends upon it. The oligarchs and their government agency allies cannot be defeated as long as their propaganda machine is killing off all desire to defeat them.

You are already engaged in this fight, so my purpose here is only to thank you and to encourage you, and to urge you to redouble your efforts. Never doubt that your energy poured into this effort is well-spent. Never let anyone shame you into silence or make you believe that your efforts are in vain. Never doubt that you’re on the right path.

Your edge is your agility and your access to inspiration. No amount of social engineering can move as fast or shine as bright as the truth. You have everything you need to win, and there are more signs than ever that the win is on the horizon. What once seemed impossible now seems inevitable.

I love you.

Keep pushing.




The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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How Free Speech Dies Online


Last year, I explained why it is wrong to consider weakening speech protections to allow bans on speech by the alt-right, neo-Nazis, or other far-Right groups: it is safer to let Nazis speak in a society that places high value on individual rights and has strong legal protections for those rights than it is to risk letting Nazis take control of institutional power in a society where protections on individual rights have been eroded. I explained, with specific examples, how easy it would be for a far-Right regime to turn restrictions on violent or hateful speech against its enemies.

However, since then, while free speech has remained a controversial topic, the focus of the debate has moved away from restrictions on speech by state actors, and toward the question of how corporate entities that privately control the platforms which host a great deal of our speech and debate should regulate and moderate their users.

These platforms are not bound by the US Constitution or by other legal regimes that protect private speech from state coercion, but their rule-making processes should be guided by the same principles that led all Western democracies to implement strong protections for speech—even speech that others may find offensive.

Control of Speech on Social Media

For most of modern history, states have been the only institutions with the coercive power to restrain speech, and so most policymaking related to free speech has focused on what the limitations on that state power should be.

In the United States, the Constitution permits almost no regulation of private speech by the government, with a few very narrow exceptions for defamation, “fighting words” or incitement to violence, obscenity, and regulation of commercial speech to prevent false advertising. Other Western states permit the regulation of some categories of hate speech, but most still have fairly robust free speech protections.

However, in the last decade, the public square has been privatized by social media networks. These companies—primarily Google (which owns YouTube), Facebook (which owns Instagram),  Apple (which controls access to lots of content through its App Store and its Podcast app), the crowdfunding platform Patreon, and Twitter—have offered platforms to billions of people and created media ecosystems that support the livelihoods of many content creators who may not have previously had the opportunity to be media professionals. But the livelihoods of people who professionally produce content disseminated over social media, as well as the smaller platforms of millions of other non-professional users of these networks, are now subject to the whims of these companies.

These networks have already demonstrated the power they can wield over the fortunes of content creators. The influence of figures like Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones waxed as their follower and subscriber counts grew into seven figures on networks like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. But their reach waned considerably after those networks banned them and stripped them of access to their platforms. Yiannopoulos is now said to be millions of dollars in debt and peddling a self-published 96-page book entitled How to Be Poor. It’s a little simplistic to attribute the fall of Milo to the loss of his Twitter platform; while Milo’s influence may have begun to crumble after his Twitter ban, subsequent outrage over his statements about child abuse caused a conservative publishing imprint to cancel his book and CPAC to cancel his appearance, and public revelations of Milo’s connections to white nationalists caused the billionaire Republican fundraiser Robert Mercer to yank his support from Milo Inc. But in the wake of high-profile bans like Jones’s, numerous less-prominent creators have had their income streams disrupted by various YouTube demonetization waves, as a result of YouTube cracking down on content creators to assuage the fears of advertisers.

In 2018, Patreon banned anti-feminist YouTuber Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin, who had been earning $12,000 per month on the site, after he used a racial epithet to describe white-nationalists, who he said had assumed the negative qualities they impute to groups they hate.  Despite the fact that the epithet had not been directed at a black person, Patreon determined he had violated its rules. Sam Harris, Dave Rubin, and Jordan Peterson, who were all earning good money through the platform, left in protest. Peterson is launching a new platform called Thinkspot, which Rubin and Benjamin will be joining. However, they likely lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in income as a result of leaving the more popular Patreon platform.

Recently, Carlos Maza, a progressive host and producer of Strikethrough, a Vox media web show, complained that YouTube should punish the right-wing comedian Steven Crowder for harassment. Crowder had been uploading clips rebutting Maza’s Strikethrough videos, and Crowder often mocked Maza with schoolyard insults that referenced Maza’s sexuality and ethnicity. After YouTube determined that Crowder’s videos had not violated its policies, Google experienced extensive blowback from both social media users and mainstream media. In response, YouTube promulgated a new set of policies banning racist videos and denials of events like the Holocaust and the Sandy Hook massacre. They demonetized Crowder’s channel for linking to a merch store that sold a t-shirt with an offensive epithet printed on it.

Activists who sided with Maza weren’t satisfied with YouTube’s response, and have demanded more decisive action. And, fanning the flames of outrage, the New York Times ran a major feature contending that YouTube permits a flourishing ecosystem of far-Right creators on its platform, and that its recommendation algorithms push impressionable viewers toward extreme content. The implication is that YouTube should do something to change this.

Meanwhile, Twitter is conducting research into how white nationalists and other far right groups use its service in response to widespread calls for the service to ban Nazis.

Social Media’s Existing Rules

Social media platforms already have more restrictive speech codes than most Western states. All platforms have rules barring content that promotes violence or terrorism. Facebook and Instagram prohibit white nationalism, white supremacy, and hate groups. YouTube has a policy against threats of violence as well as harassment and cyberbullying that “crosses the line into malicious attack,” but does not remove videos that are merely “annoying or petty.” Twitter has anti-harassment rules which bar targeted harassment and “hateful conduct.”

Milo Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter for harassment after he posted doctored screenshots of tweets that made it appear that Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones had said provocative things. These images incited angry mobs of his fans to brigade in Jones’s mentions and bombard her with racist invective.

After a video of the beheading of captured journalist James Foley was circulated on social media in 2014, social media platforms began cracking down on ISIS under policies barring terrorism and posts and tweets supporting terrorist groups. Twitter banned hundreds of thousands of ISIS-promoting accounts, and unleashed automated systems to purge terrorist accounts from its services. However, the algorithm hit a lot of false positives, including Arabic-language broadcasters, antiterror watchdog groups, and regular users who were flagged by the software for various reasons. This outcome was considered preferable to allowing terror groups to use the platform as a propaganda tool.

Some users and media outlets, as well as workers inside Twitter have argued that white nationalists should be considered a terror threat similar to ISIS in the wake of violent attacks by far-right activists in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Therefore, they believe it is appropriate for the auto-ban algorithms that Twitter used against ISIS to be deployed against the far-Right. A minor firestorm erupted in April 2019, when Vice’s Motherboard vertical reported that Twitter won’t turn on the algorithms to purge white nationalists the way it did for Islamic State terrorists because it fears some of the false positives will be Republican politicians.

But while the spin was that Twitter felt white nationalists were indistinguishable from Republicans, Twitter’s concern actually seemed to be that it is difficult to draw the line between the unacceptable far-Right and the acceptable mainstream Right in a way that a computer can understand. And, if the algorithm were turned loose, the same blunt tool would probably hit a bunch of mainstream media outlets as well.

For example, David Neiwert, a DailyKos reporter who covers the far-Right, was recently banned from Twitter over his book cover, which depicts the American flag with little Klan hoods on all the stars. Similarly, a history teacher whose channel contained archival footage of Nazi rallies from the 1940s, was banned from YouTube after the platform implemented new policies against hateful content in the wake of the Maza/Crowder dustup. These bans were implemented by human moderators, who are typically low-paid contract workers who must rigidly apply a detailed set of policies to the content they moderate with little leeway for discretion. If these platforms used algorithms to ban people, the false positives would likely increase.

And anyway, Twitter doesn’t need to deploy its algorithms to find prominent white nationalists and far-Right personalities like Richard Spencer, Faith Goldy, and Stefan Molyneux, because it knows exactly who they are and it allows them to remain on the platform. Why? Because, they aren’t breaking its rules.

So, to get rid of them, there will need to be new rules.

Ban Nazis. Then What?

The thing about Nazis is that they’re not all illiterates bellowing epithets at minorities and tweeting gas chamber memes at journalists. Many of the most prominent alt-right figures promulgate their ideologies without calling for violence, without targeting individuals for harassment, and without tweeting anything that explicitly runs afoul of the hateful content policies of Twitter and YouTube.

Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who coined the term “alt-right,” has lately been calling for more explicit speech codes on Twitter and YouTube, so he can form a new “code or lingo” with which to spread his ideology under this new more restrictive regime. It makes sense that Spencer would be skeptical of the idea of free speech, because he holds the basic premises of liberalism in contempt. This is something he has in common with the people who want to ban him. Spencer accepts that those in power will restrict his speech, because if he were in their position, he’d do the same.

So Spencer invites speech codes because he prefers a rigid set of rules to a more nebulously-defined set of principles that will simply declare his ideology to be forbidden and ban him for being persona non-grata, without needing to find him responsible for any specific rules violation beyond just generally being Richard Spencer.

That’s what Facebook did in 2018 by banning “hate organizations.” It banned Spencer’s pages as well as those of other prominent white nationalists after journalists from Vice asked Facebook why a number of organizations branded as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) were still on the site. This is the rule a lot of activists would like to see implemented at Twitter, and the effects of such a rule seems to be what Twitter is currently “studying.”

But Twitter’s current approach is right, and Facebook’s is wrong. Spencer was banned from Facebook because his National Policy Institute was labeled a hate group by the SPLC. But the SPLC has credibility problems of its own. Its list of hate groups has included Christian organizations that oppose gay rights like the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative Christian lawyers’ group. As a result of being labeled a hate group by SPLC, the ADF was barred from receiving charitable donations through the AmazonSmile program.

In 2018, the SPLC paid $3.4 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the counter-extremist Muslim organization Quilliam and its founder, Maajid Nawaz, after the SPLC erroneously included them on a list of anti-Muslim hate groups. That wasn’t the first time the SPLC had experienced such a controversy; in 2015, it named surgeon, former Republican presidential candidate, and current US Housing Secretary Ben Carson an “extremist.” The SPLC later removed Carson from its “Extremist File” and apologized to him. Even if the SPLC is right about Spencer’s organization, do we really want this group making arbitrary determinations about who can use social media?

And once the censors have finished prohibiting white nationalists, which other ideologies will they forbid? The people crying loudest for censorship have long lists of enemies. Once they deplatform the alt-right, they’ll certainly be coming for gender critical feminists, immigration and security hawks, Tucker Carlson, and probably Ben Shapiro, who is often erroneously labeled “alt-right” by progressives, even though the alt-right hates him because of his identity as an Orthodox Jew and because of his politics, which are opposed to white nationalism.

Here is where they get around to me: I’m Jewish, so I’m not a big fan of Nazis. But I’m also pretty skeptical of progressive activists, because when they can’t find a Nazi to punch, they often settle for punching Jews. You see, while the far-Left hates the alt-right, it also hates the state of Israel. Because of this, gay Jewish groups have been banned from LGBT marches, campus Jewish organizations have been aggressively protested, American Jews have been accused of dual loyalty by members of Congress, and NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis voted to boycott their university’s own satellite campus in Tel Aviv.

I believe Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state, and that is a hateful view to many progressive activists. They believe that Israel is an apartheid regime, that Palestine must be free from the river to the sea, and that, therefore, Jewish groups that support Israel are hate groups. All it takes to get Jews who support Jewish organizations like Hillel, B’nai Brith, Birthright Israel, and the Jewish Federation banned from Facebook is for some activists from Students for Justice in Palestine to go work at SPLC and get these organizations added to its hate list.

That may seem implausible; these are mainstream organizations, and support for Israel is a mainstream view. But progressive opinion on Israel has shifted dramatically in the last five years. It is common for progressives to view Zionism as synonymous with white supremacy, and progressive activists are already accusing mainstream Jewish charities of being hate groups.

Richard Spencer hates me. But in order to muzzle him, I’d have to grant censorious power to people who hate him, but who also hate me. And they won’t stop at the groups I’ve mentioned. They’ll go after mainstream conservatives, and they’ll go after center-Right people like New York Times columnists Bari Weiss, David Brooks, and Bret Stephens. They’ll cancel Joe Biden. They’ll deny a platform to everyone to the right of Chapo Trap House, because, like Richard Spencer, they do not believe in free speech and they do not value the rights of people who disagree with them. Their cause is righteous, everyone who stands against them is a villain, and their creed doesn’t permit tolerance of dissent.

It’s Not Worth It

In 1977, a group of Nazis decided to hold a march in Skokie, Illinois, a heavily Jewish Chicago suburb that was reputed to have more Holocaust survivors than any place outside of Israel. The planned march met with strong resistance, and state courts issued injunctions to prevent it from happening. But a Jewish lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union named David Goldberger took up the case to defend the Nazis’ right to speak and assemble. Members of the ACLU’s board quit in disgust over the organization’s decision to represent the Nazis, but Goldberger believed that free speech was free speech, even for the most revolting figures. His view prevailed in the Supreme Court, and the Nazis were allowed to march.

When the event finally occurred in 1978, only about 20 Nazis showed up, and they were met by 2,000 counter-protesters. They dispersed after about ten minutes. What was so dangerous about letting this small group of clowns march around for a few minutes, that it was worth compromising a fundamental liberty?

And, on the same note, is it so dangerous to let Richard Spencer shitpost on Twitter that stopping him is worth giving up on the idea of social media being a forum for the free exchange of opinion? His arguments do not seem to be gaining much traction. The 2016 convention of Spencer’s National Policy Institute, held less than two weeks after Donald Trump’s victory, drew a crowd of only about 275. The 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, one of the largest gatherings of far-Right activists in decades, which devolved into violent clashes during which a Nazi murdered a counter-protester with his car, had only about 500 attendees from a range of far-Right groups. And when the organizers of the Charlottesville rally decided to hold a second Unite the Right event in 2018, only a few dozen far-Right activists showed up. By contrast, Bronycon, the convention for adult men who are fans of the television program My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, drew a crowd of 5,500 attendees in 2018. For every Nazi in America, there are eleven Bronies. Media outlets that fixate on the far-Right are vastly overstating the influence of these groups.

Given that the alt-right is really just a handful of angry dudes who can’t gather enough people in one place to fill a medium-sized hotel ballroom, the only decent argument that they’re a real threat revolves around the idea that they groom and radicalize mass shooters and other terrorists. Alex Fields, the Unite the Right killer, was obviously affiliated with far-Right groups. Robert Bowers, the Tree of Life synagogue shooter, was obsessed with the idea that Jews were supporting illegal immigration as a way of fomenting “white genocide.” Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter, left a 74-page manifesto full of racist rants and memes about “gorilla warfare,” which suggested he’d spent a lot of time on 4Chan.

But long before the alt-right or social media, violent lone psychos justified attacks with all sorts of fringe politics, and mass shootings in the past have been blamed on rap music, video games, and The Catcher in the Rye. If you ban every category of expression that might inspire some nutcase to do something violent, you don’t have individual rights anymore. If any of the far-Right voices on social media were directly connected to any act of violence, they would be guilty of crimes and they would be banned from social media under the existing rules (and probably sent to prison). But none of them calls for violence on any of these platforms and the evidence of a causal connection between far-Right YouTube videos and mass-shootings is tenuous. Political speech is the most important category of speech and it is the first category of speech authoritarians will seek to constrain as they consolidate power.

I say let the Nazis speak. There is no evidence that the alt-right’s propagandists can turn impressionable YouTube viewers into deranged mass-shooters. We have little to fear from open debate. Let the Nazis preach white separatism and white supremacy. Let them deny the Holocaust. Let everybody see how full of shit they are. Let them openly sell a product nobody wants. These ideas have been around for decades, and few people are persuaded by them. There is significant reason to believe that Twilight Sparkle will prevail over the alt-right in the marketplace of ideas.


Daniel Friedman is the Edgar Award-nominated author of Don’t Ever Get OldDon’t Ever Look Back, and Riot Most Uncouth. Follow him on Twitter @DanFriedman81

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