Saturday, January 16, 2021

Young woman appears in court after allegedly obstructing police and breaching bail

What gives these people the right to disrupt other people's lives? There is no such right but you would never know that from the decisions of the courts

A refugees rights activist charged after a protest in Brisbane has been bailed following a night in custody. Emma Jade Dorge, 24, appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with obstruct police and a breach of bail condition.

About a 100 protesters marched in the streets of Kangaroo Point yesterday blocking peak hour traffic as the Gabba Test finished.

The protest began about 5pm at the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel where scores of immigration detainees have been warehoused since last year. The protesters headed down Main St chanting “we won’t stop until we free the refugees”.

A Queensland Police spokeswoman said there was no permit issued for the demonstration and it was “an unauthorised protest”.

Dorge was the only person charged following the incident.

Representing herself in court this morning Dorge indicated during a bail application that she was likely to plead not guilty to the charges.

If refused bail today she would spend months in custody for offences that are likely to only attract a fine if found guilty, she told the court.

“All of my alleged offences and history are for peaceful protesting. I don’t pose a risk to the community in being let out on bail,” she said.

Magistrate Annette Hennessy granted bail stating she did not consider Dorge an “unacceptable risk”in the community.

Australian 'excess' deaths lower than expected, despite coronavirus pandemic

Australia recorded fewer deaths than expected from medical conditions in 2020, despite being in the midst of a global pandemic.

So, what's behind the numbers. What type of deaths are we talking about?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released provisional mortality figures in December for deaths certified by doctors.

According to the ABS, "excess mortality" is the difference between the number of deaths in a period of time, and the expected number of deaths in that same period.

The ABS's December report showed there were 116,345 deaths registered by doctors between January 1 and October 27, 2020, compared with the 2015-19 average of 117,484.

Doctor-registered deaths include deaths associated with respiratory diseases, dementia and chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

"In 2020 when the initial wave of the pandemic hit, we had an increase in the number of deaths and the increase was sustained only for around a month," ABS health and mortality statistics director James Eynstone-Hinkins said.

"After that, what we've actually seen is a lower number of deaths through the winter months pretty much right the way through until October, which is the latest data that we have now.

"What we can see is that the causes that have the lowest numbers of deaths in comparison to previous years are mostly in the respiratory disease group so that can include chronic lower respiratory diseases, things like influenza and pneumonia.

"It certainly points to a lack of transmission perhaps of some normal infectious diseases during the winter months that may have contributed to a lower-than-expected number of deaths during that period."

The statistics do not include deaths referred to coroners, such as accidents, assaults and suicides, which Mr Eynstone-Hinks said usually accounted for about 10-15 per cent of deaths in Australia.

What happened with influenza?

Federal Health Department figures show that of the laboratory-confirmed influenza cases last year up to late November there were 37 deaths, a 50 per cent decrease from the five-year mean.

There were 21,266 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System in the year to the end of the 2020 influenza season, which was almost eight times fewer than the five-year average of 163,015.

Deakin University chair in epidemiology Catherine Bennett said Australia was heading into an early influenza season before COVID-19 arrived, but restrictions introduced in response to the pandemic slowed transmission not only of coronavirus, but also of other infectious diseases.

"Because we went early and hard with our restrictions, we not only prevented many COVID deaths — we did see 900 or so [COVID-related] deaths — but at the same time we prevented many more," Professor Bennett said.

"In the process, by bringing in an early vaccine for flu and just the effects of the restrictions, the isolation, the extra hygiene people were practising, we also reduced our flu deaths and other communicable, respiratory in particular, deaths really noticeably."

Without restrictions and physical distancing, Professor Bennett said Australia would have recorded similar numbers of influenza deaths to previous years, as well as "many more" COVID-19 deaths than the 900.

Is drilling in Lake Torrens the next Juukan Gorge?

Can a Premier who is also Minister for Aboriginal Affairs really refuse an inquiry sought by Indigenous people into his state’s native title organisations because he says he respects Aboriginal self-determination — yet then approve mining exploration in an area his own Aboriginal heritage body recommended against?

It’s a bob each way on self-determination and it’s at the heart of this month’s decision by South Australian Premier and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Steven Marshall to grant Argonaut Resources subsidiary Kelaray permission to drill on the western shores of Lake Torrens, 450km north of Adelaide. It’s a decision some insist is potentially South Australia’s version of last year’s Juukan Gorge destruction by Rio Tinto in Western Australia.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the nation’s most experienced native title lawyers says: “In some ways Torrens is not directly comparable with Juukan because the destruction of the caves is far more damaging to traditional culture than exploratory drilling at Torrens. Yet, in another way, it is far worse. While it can be argued neither the WA government nor Rio Tinto properly understood the importance of Juukan ahead of the blasting, the Lake Torrens situation is the opposite. The Marshall government has approved drilling of a site even though it had extensive knowledge from the state’s Aboriginal Heritage Commission warning it of the potential destruction of sacred sites.”

The issue is divisive politically and for local people. ABC Online on September 28 reported comments from Kuyani woman Regina McKenzie, who said her people “had a deep connection with the lake”.

“The Kuyani were the law holders of what anthropologists would call the lake’s culture people,” McKenzie said.

Her brother, Malcolm “Tiger” McKenzie, completely disagrees. He is unequivocal that cultural issues need to be traded off to maximise economic benefits to local Indigenous people.

“There’s a lot of people, especially the Greens, that stop Aboriginal people advancing in this country. There are important cultural issues associated with the lake, but without mining how are we going to build the capacity of Aboriginal people to work and to contribute to this country?”

Tiger, 68, lives in the Aboriginal community of Davenport north of Adelaide. He believes concerns about a possible repeat of the Juukan Gorge disaster could be alleviated if people from the various tribal groups associated with the lake could sit down and negotiate with the company and state government.

“That’s what we blackfellas have got to do. Sit down and negotiate. We should not be saying no from the very beginning. Otherwise we are always going to have our arms out for a handout.”

For its part, Argonaut is treading warily; CEO Lindsay Owler, acknowledged by all sides as a thoughtful executive who has good relations with government and local Aboriginal communities, saw no benefit in going on the record for this story. Argonaut wants good relations with local Aboriginal people and is willing to pay royalties to any group that eventually secures native title.

Argonaut’s Kelaray sent a draft Native Title Agreement to the Kokatha in October 2019. A royalty framework agreement and proposed heritage arrangements were sent to the Adnyamathanha, including the Kuyani subgroup that may make its own claim for the area, and the Barngarla in late 2016. None of Argonaut’s draft agreements has been executed.

Professor Peter Sutton, anthropologist with the South Australian Museum, gave evidence in the Overlap case that the Kuyani had the strongest connection to the Lake Torrens area.

As in all things native title since the original Wik Ten Point plan devised by John Howard in 1998, negotiated local agreements are the best way forward. With that in mind, Koolmatrie hopes Marshall’s indication last year that he may be prepared to look at some form of parliamentary inquiry will proceed by mid-2021. Andrew Thomas says Marshall should “be meeting with the Kokatha law and culture committee regularly”.

The complexity of the anthropological evidence considered by Justice Mansfield suggests to reform group members that the path of legal action is not the best way forward for Aboriginal native title holders and those without title who nevertheless have legally recognised cultural connections with proposed mining sites.

In the Lake Torrens matter that process would be complicated by the state’s history of mining approvals in the area. A spokesman for the Premier said records indicated the first exploration hole at the lake was drilled in 1960 and 282 exploration licences had been granted over the area since the 1970s. As well, “previous Section 23 authorisations had been approved in 2010 and 2018 by the former Labor government”. The spokesman said any proposed mining would mean “a separate Section 23 authorisation would have to be sought by Kelaray”.

The Marshall government could lose a lot of political skin pleasing neither side, whatever the anthropological justifications for the Premier’s latest decision. An inquiry and a new, more co-operative approach could benefit miners and Aboriginal groups while minimising political damage. A good place to start might be splitting Marshall’s portfolio responsibilities. Many people spoken to for this story believe it is inappropriate that a Premier with power to override Aboriginal heritage recommendations is also Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.

Nor is there much support for the opposition. The most recent drilling at Lake Torrens was approved three years ago by ALP minister for Aboriginal affairs Kyam Maher, who told ABC radio on Thursday he now believes Marshall’s decision went much further than his own. The present Aboriginal Heritage Act was introduced by Maher in 2016.

Greens upper house MLC and spokeswoman for Aboriginal affairs, Tammy Franks, said in response to Maher’s comments, “We rushed through the Aboriginal Heritage Act in the first place in 2016. It didn’t have the support of the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement or the SA native title services at the time. We didn’t even wait for Law Society advice. It was rammed through the parliament and they got it wrong.

“I will be moving to open up the Aboriginal Heritage Act when parliament resumes in the first week of February. I would hope Labor would be willing to have a respectful conversation that actually listens to Aboriginal voices.”

This issue will only get politically hotter. Lake Torrens is not Juukan Gorge, but activists are keen to make it seem so.

Recovery gathers pace as nation heads back to work

CBD baristas, lunch bar operators, shop keepers and suppliers are geared up and raring to go. Monday in the third week in January traditionally signals a large-scale return to work after summer holidays. This year it is more significant. Many Australians will be stepping out of the shadows of COVID-19 and returning to the workplace for the first time in nine or 10 months. The conditions are auspicious. No new cases of community transmission were recorded on Friday. The US, Britain and Europe can only envy our position. Foot traffic in the Sydney CBD increased this week; Victoria will allow 50 per cent of private sector workers and 25 per cent of public servants on site from Monday. Are the latter more delicate?

Important decisions for employers and governments lie ahead on matters such as workplace rules about vaccinations. Employers, we have reported this week, are seeking clarity. The principle of choice is important. And Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt have made it clear that COVID vaccines will not be compulsory. At the same time, employers such as nursing home operators have long insisted that staff receive an annual flu shot. A sensible, co-operative approach in individual workplaces will help. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is being proactive. In a blueprint that has been well received by Treasury, the Health Department and other business groups, it is proposing that after the inoculation of the elderly, Indigenous Australians and frontline at-risk workers, that staff in manufacturing, international education and other major export sectors receive the vaccine in the second phase, ahead of the general population. Ensuring export supply chains do not become a source of infection and allowing international travel to restart as soon as possible would make sense.

Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox, who represents the nation’s larger employers, says governments will need to issue advice “so employers and employees know what their rights and obli­gations are’’. Fair enough. Vaccination programs will take months to complete; in the interim, social distancing and other precautions will remain vital. Practical decisions will be needed, at some stage, in regard to those who decline or postpone vaccinations because of pregnancy or medical conditions. Workplace layouts, working from home and masks will be part of the mix. Much will depend on Australians’ take-up rate for vaccines. Rolling out vaccines later than other countries is a positive; useful lessons will be learned from overseas experience.

As the nation opens up, we endorse Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ plan, to go to national cabinet on February 5 to allow international students to re-enter his state. It should be adopted nationally. COVID cases are negligible and the higher education sector faces crippling losses if overseas students are locked out in the first semester. Victoria, sensibly, wants a separate entry quota for overseas students, on top of the current quota for international arrivals. Australia’s success in suppressing COVID should be a comparative advantage in a competitive field, which is also Victoria’s largest export industry. Students, including some from China, Malaysia and Pakistan, are backing campaigns to return. They are ready to pay up and follow quarantine rules.

Mr Andrews should extend his thinking to scrapping Victoria’s Stasi-like domestic border regime. It is denying Victorians the chance to return to their own homes as dates for resuming work and school loom large. Out of more than 11,000 people who have applied for exemptions since January 1, about 8000 are yet to be processed. Such tardiness on a matter that is costing Victorians dearly is inexcusable. On Friday, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce accused the Andrews government of “hypocrisy’’ for denying Victorians the right to come home, with some basic precautions, while allowing in more than 1000 overseas tennis players. Provided it is staged safely, with restrictions for preventing the spread of coronavirus applied rigorously, we applaud the holding of the Australian Open and welcome its competitors. But Mr Joyce’s concern about Qantas and Jetstar being forced to cancel almost 3000 flights between Sydney and Melbourne, the nation’s busiest air corridor, with significant social and economic consequences, is valid. Victoria closed its border to NSW on January 1 in response to Sydney’s northern beaches cluster. The move was excessive then and is now out of all proportion with the risk of COVID transmission. As the broader national economy bounces into the new year from Monday, state leaders should be looking outwards to consider how they can safely promote economic recovery and mobility.




Friday, January 15, 2021

The True Oral History of January 6th, 2020. This is from a friend of ours who went to DC. Carol Ann🇺🇸

Hello Family & Friends,

It has been several days since January 6th, 2020. I am going to go out on a limb and assume that unless you have been living under a rock (lucky) that you have been inundated by a mainstream media bombardment of atrocities, terrorist acts and incredible displays of violence that happened in our Capitol at the direction of President Trump. For the past 4 days I have sat in the evening watching as the media portrays what happened in DC on January 6th as a likened act to 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing or the war of 1812. Well my friends, let me take this time to share with you the first hand oral history of that day.

Back in December, Trump sent out a tweet asking patriots to be present on the 6th for a “wild protest.” At the time of that tweet and in discussion with my wife and our closest friends we made the decision to be present in DC on January 6th. For we millennia’s we have lived through 9/11, endless wars, the great recession, the housing crisis and the idea of missing one more “once in a lifetime” event on the historic day where an illegitimate and fraudulent election would be certified sounded like another experience that would be best experienced first hand. For those who would like to delegitimize the crowd or dismiss the size of the event the pictures that have been attached to this email will paint the honest story. We were told at the event that there were roughly 2.5-3 million patriots in DC. For simplicity the photos have been arranged in order to follow along with this email.

Our Trip-

Tuesday was a travel day for our group, the day started picking up friends at the airport who had flown in from other areas of the country (AZ, TX) and making a beeline for DC. The next 10 hours were filled with every gas station we stopped at encountering other travelers with familiar flags, bumper stickers and hand drawn phrases on their vehicles with the same objective of attending the event. While these individuals were strangers they all shared the same passion and found validation in meeting more of the “silent majority” on their way to represent a president that had asked nothing of his people for 4 years. We arrived into Arlington, VA at 10:30 PM, all DC hotels had been booked by mid-December so we stayed outside of DC because of the price point and also the proximity to a highway if necessary. As you can see from the picture it looked like an agriculture convention was being held in the WRONG area. Lots of 4x4 Diesel trucks with our parking lot being represented by AZ, NV, TX, NE, WY, AR, WV, TN, SD, ND, WY, PA, OH. It seemed that everyone we spoke to that evening had the same look on his or her face, “We just drove 10+ hours straight.” We elected to run over to the Metro and purchase our Metro passes before the 6th. We had concerns that there could be lines or issues trying to purchase passes the day of. This would come in handy, as we were able to jump right on the metro the day of the event.

January 6th, 2020

By design the day started early for us, we had no plans to spend another night in DC and we wanted to leave the Capitol by 4pm at the latest. We awoke at 3:45 am and prepared for the day, the DC mayor was kind enough to make sure restaurants and public bathrooms were closed so that would lead to us needing to utilize backpacks to bring in a days worth of supplies for each of us. We had prepared by making sure each of us could carry enough water for ourselves while including nutrition bars to supplement food. Luckily multiple conservative events bussed in port-a-potties but this isn’t the county fair… this is 2.5-3 million people. I guess the old adage is correct, “It’s the thought that counts.” We arrived outside the Whitehouse Ellipse at 5:45 AM. A line of people that was already ¼ mile long had formed for those who wished to get in next to the stage where Trump would be speaking. The problem was that security was not letting attendants in who had backpacks and we were unwilling to part with them, so we quickly looked around and found a great spot with a bench next to a giant monitor, this would be basecamp. For the next 8 hours we would come to experience many emotions, continually find ourselves in awe of the moment while also being a part of many formative discussions about our country, the people who love it and why 3 million people, in 30 degree weather, felt the need to stand with their president. This crowd was a true melting pot, White, Latino, Asian, Indian, African American, the list could go on; the narrative that this event was somehow “white only” is beyond misleading. We were surrounded by flags from South Vietnam, Korea, and Japan all there to protest with us against the embolden face of tyranny; however, the most emotional point for myself came from the Chinese refugees. I cannot tell you how many there was just that there were many. These individuals carried pamphlets about the atrocities that are being carried out against their fellow countryman and families still under the rule of the CCP. Why I say that this was emotional was because through broken English each one tried their best to communicate, tears in their eyes, impassioned tone in their cracking voices. What humbled me was the fact none of these refugees cared about how they would look as they struggled to communicate or the embarrassment of saying a word wrong, instead all of their energy and focus was on one thing, “DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO OUR COUNTRY.”

So what did this terrorist mob due for 8 hours? Well we sang Amazing Grace, the Star Spangled Banner, recited the pledge of allegiance and The Lord’s Prayer. I want to repeat myself for absolute clarity about one thing: we were surrounded by diversity. We had a family from American Samoa next to us; we had 4 African American girls from a local college in front of us; we had Latino Farmers for Trump out of Central Ca. to the left of us, and yet in these moments we all stood simply as Americans. I never heard one racial slur or derogatory comment. 3 million people shoulder-to-shoulder gets pretty uncomfortable yet no one pushed, yelled or cussed one another out. On top of this, anyone who saw Trump’s speech knows that he instructed the crowd to peacefully march to the Capitol for our voices to be peacefully heard. THIS is the truth. There was no rioting or destruction. Another interesting fact was that as the crowd transitioned to marching we were all asked to pick up one piece of trash to help keep the area clean. We watched as many patriots pulled garbage bags out of their backpacks and continued to clean up the areas we used with the reverence and honor our public spaces deserve.

As you can see from the pictures our group walked up to the steps of the Capitol, another thing not being mentioned by the news media is the fact that WE WERE ALLOWED to be there, police did not start to evacuate the area until about 3:45pm. One piece of information I would like to share was the cellular black out that happened in DC. Trump’s speech ended roughly at 1:45pm, by 2:15pm we were on the lawn of the Capitol. At 2:30 the tear gas canisters and flashbang grenades began and the “siege” happened between 2:45-3:30pm. During this 45 minute window all cellular access and GPS went down, TOTAL technological darkness. We were unable to livestream out of DC and unable to showcase the truth that the crowd had identified ANTIFA and BLM and were screaming at the police to stop the segment of individuals who were being destructive. I would like to also comment that my handheld Garmin GPS which had been linked with 5 satellites all day, lost signal during this same 45 minute period. It was during this time period our group decided it would be to our benefit to start leaving DC due to being unable to communicate with loved ones and individuals who had been tracking our movement (for our safety.) As we left the Mall, which is on Madison Avenue, it should be pointed out that approximately 15-20 police cars with police officers were staged in this area. What our group found interesting was how relaxed the officers were with many laughing outside their patrol cars and behaving in such a way that would not make one feel as if these officers were on “high alert” or that the Capitol was “under siege.”

Our trip out of DC was uneventful (thank God.) The Metro was PACKED with fellow patriots many again being very friendly; speaking about their trip to the march and a constant theme of, “Pray for our Country.” What blew our group away at the end of our travel was when we returned to our hotel for a quick shower and to hit the road only to watch as the drive-by media fired up the misinformation machine and started sharing deliberate lies. It was then as I sat on the end of my hotel bed that I knew this email had to be written. My friends and family we are beginning a new era in reporting where the information we consume will need to come first hand. We can no longer trust that the free press means the objective press and that is why I drove to DC. Because I wanted my eyes on this moment in history free from a desired narrative and instead to be moored to the actual lived experience.

I am attaching here some other videos you can view online that show what truly happened. Such as police moving barricades to allow people onto the rotunda and then again with Capitol police opening the doors to statutory hall (allowing patriots INTO the capitol building.) I apologize for the long email but again I feel as if we are moving into the need for written and oral history to be shared fervently with our loved ones and friends. This is the new way of reporting and the new way of staying informed.

Photos & Videos we took ourselves:

So from here we ask that you share this message with YOUR family and friends, allow for this information to lead to more enriched and clarified discussions. This is not our truth or THEIR truth, but THE TRUTH.


Leftist perversion of values

Bruce Hendry

This morning, I realized that everything is about to change. No matter how I vote, no matter what I say, lives are never going to be the same.

I have been confused by the hostility of family and friends. I look at people I have known all my life so hate-filled that they agree with opinions they would never express as their own. I think that I may well have entered the Twilight Zone.

You can't justify this insanity. We have become a nation that has lost its collective mind. We see other countries going Socialist and collapsing, but it seems like a great plan to us.

Somehow it’s un-American for the census to count how many Americans are in America.

People who say there is no such thing as gender are demanding a female President.

Universities that advocate equality, discriminate against Asian-Americans in favor of African-Americans.

Some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, and other people are not held responsible for what they are doing right now.

Criminals are caught-and-released to hurt more people, but stopping them is bad because it's a violation of THEIR rights.

People who have never owned slaves should pay slavery reparations to people who have never been slaves.

After legislating gender, if a dude pretends to be a woman, you are required to pretend with him.

It was cool for Joe Biden to "blackmail" the President of Ukraine, but it’s an impeachable offense if Donald Trump inquiries about it.

People who have never been to college should pay the debts of college students who took out huge loans for their degrees.

Immigrants with tuberculosis and polio are welcome, but you’d better be able to prove your dog is vaccinated.

Irish doctors and German engineers who want to immigrate to the US must go through a rigorous vetting process, but any illiterate gang-bangers who jump the southern fence are welcomed.

$5 billion for border security is too expensive, but $1.5 trillion for “free” health care is not.

If you cheat to get into college you go to prison, but if you cheat to get into the country you go to college for free.

And, pointing out all this hypocrisy somehow makes us "racists"!

Nothing makes sense anymore, no values, no morals, no civility and people are dying of a Chinese virus, but it is racist to refer to it as Chinese even though it began in China.

We are clearly living in an upside-down world where right is wrong and wrong is right, where moral is immoral and immoral is moral, where good is evil and evil is good, where killing murderers is wrong, but killing innocent babies is right.

Wake up America. The great unsinkable ship Titanic America has hit an iceberg, is taking on water and sinking fast.



Democrat Rep. Mikie Sherrill absurdly claims lawmakers led "reconnaissance" tours prior to Capitol attack (Fox News)

To (ahem) heal the nation, Joe Biden plans to "defeat the NRA" (Daily Wire)

Socialist AOC says country will heal with the "actual liberation of southern states" from GOP control (Fox News)

Biden pick for DOJ Civil Rights Division promoted racism and anti-Semitism at Harvard (Free Beacon)

Before becoming Boston's mayor, Biden's labor pick was embroiled in union extortion scandal (Free Beacon)

A lawyer for PBS resigned after being caught describing Trump as "close to Hitler" (AP)

YouTube suspends Trump's ability to upload content indefinitely (Fox News)

After banning Trump and suppressing American news, Twitter condemns Internet censorship ... in Uganda (Post Millennial)

Feds pursuing seditious conspiracy cases in "unprecedented" probe of Capitol riot (Free Beacon)

FBI internal memo warns of plans for armed protests in all 50 state capitals (Fox News)

"This fight is inside the gates today": Pompeo warns lawmakers of the Chinese Communist Party (Breitbart)

Chinese COVID vaccine far less effective than initially reported (National Review)



Thursday, January 14, 2021

'No chance’: Plot to remove Donald Trump from office implodes

Donald Trump may have become first President in US history to be impeached twice but the Democrats will not be able to kick him out of office.

Shortly after the House of Representatives voted to impeach this morning, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted there’s “no chance” the forthcoming trial in his chamber could be wrapped up before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated -meaning Mr Trump will serve a full term.

“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week,” McConnell said in a public statement.

“The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency,” he continued.

“In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump issued a video statement after the vote that interestingly he didn’t mention impeachment. It showed a stark change in tone from his message to Americans before and during last week’s riots.

Last week, he addressed the protesters in that video saying, “We love you” and “You’re very special.” In his message today, he has attacked them.

“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,” Mr Trump said in his new video. “No true supporters of mine could ever endorse political violence.

“No true supporter of mine could disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans.

“If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement- you are attacking it. And you are attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it.”

The single article of impeachment, charging Mr Trump with “incitement of insurrection”, passed by a margin of 232-197.

Every Democrat voted yes. Ten Republicans joined with them, voting against their own party’s President.

If you’re interested, those 10 Republicans are: Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Peter Meijer, John Katko, Fred Upton, David Valadao, Tom Rice and Anthony Gonzalez.

The most significant name on that list is Ms Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, who is the third-highest ranking Republican in the House.


The purge has begun. Cancel culture is going to be worse than ever as the social tyranny rises

President Donald Trump has finally had his Twitter account banned permanently, which had more than 80 million followers.

He got his posting privileges suspended from Facebook yesterday. The account itself may not be too far behind.

The purge has begun. Cancel culture is going to be worse than ever. You either bend the knee, and renounce President Trump — or your days on social media or in official Washington, D.C. could be numbered.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) just had a book contract cancelled. He and his colleague Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are being cut off by the GOP establishment and Republican donors, simply for fighting for election integrity in a process prescribed under law by Congress more than a century ago.

Parler, the social media alternative to Twitter, has been banned from the Google Play store barring it from Android devices

And there are a number of other accounts and cancellations occurring. It is a wholesale assault on the entire Republican Party. Not just Trump supporters.

Make no mistake. This is a bid for one-party rule.

In the fallout of the tragic storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where police were unjustly attacked, doors broken down, windows smashed, and offices robbed — resulting in the death of five individuals including a Capitol Hill police officer — we have entered a brave new world.

If you are alarmed, you should be. And it’s nothing you did. The overwhelming majority of you have never engaged in political violence once in your entire lives.

President Trump at his speech on Jan. 6 at the Save America Rally on the National Mall called for protesters to be peaceful: “We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

After the violence began, Trump on Twitter urged his followers to stop immediately: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”

I cannot guarantee for how much longer you will see our content posted on major social media platforms.

This is a mortal threat to our republic and our two-party system, where some of the most prominent figures in the political opposition who would speak out against the Joe Biden administration are being censored by the largest companies in the world.

In April 2018, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey retweeted an article by Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira that called our political discourse a “new civil war,” with Leyden and Teixeira writing, “America can’t afford more political paralysis. One side or the other must win. This is a civil war that can be won without firing a shot. But it is a fundamental conflict between two worldviews that must be resolved in short order.”

It called for “Democratic One-Party Rule” in the U.S. as a means of reconciling issues facing the country and ultimately implementing the progressive agenda. Dorsey called it a “great read.”

This is exactly what John Stuart Mill warned against in 1859 in On Liberty, the most compelling defense of free speech in human history, the philosopher warned how a tyranny of the majority could impose censorship that would be “more formidable” than even governmental censorship and that it could “enslav[e] the soul” with little room for escape.

Mill wrote, “[W]hen society is itself the tyrant — society collectively over the separate individuals who compose it — its means of tyrannising are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandates; and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.”

This is where we are. It is no longer hypothetical. The social tyranny is here.

So I am urging you to find alternatives. Alternatives to Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. Alternatives to the Republican Party establishment that seems to think you are the problem.

And alternatives to violence. Please. The damage that was caused at the Capitol on Jan. 6 to our country and the Union may be irreparable.

The danger is that this purge will drive more and more people to darker and darker corners of the web. It will become itself a radicalizing element. They are driving you and millions of other Americans into a desperate situation. Submit or be cancelled.

And that, sadly, makes it more likely that the civil society will continue to collapse as individuals give up on believing that our system works at all.

This is dangerous. And it has to stop — before it is too late and we reach the point of no return. We are about to enter into an abyss for which there is no escape.


Liberal Reporter: 'The New...Authoritarian Liberal-left...Is Going to be Absolutely Ruthless'

Liberal reporter Michael Tracey probably saw this event coming from miles away. Months ago, he probably predicted it. Actually, he did—sort of. He said that Twitter’s glorifying violence protocol is arbitrary and can never be fairly enforced. This was the first wave of the social media giant censoring tweets from the president during the Minneapolis riots. Last night, Twitter finally followed through on something they’ve probably have been waiting to do for months: ban Donald Trump. After flagging and censoring his tweets, the storming of the Capitol Building was probably the last straw. Trump is done on Twitter.

Yet, Tracey is not popping champagne. If this company can do this to Trump, they can do it to anyone. For those who are cheering this, you have no leg to stand on when these tech giants start coming after you. Give it time. It’ll happen. Tracey went on a lengthy series of tweets calling out liberals for celebrating this event, while also warning of an increasingly authoritarian future to come.

“The most extreme, coordinated corporate censorship offensive in modern history and liberals/leftists are in a mindless celebratory stupor. Pathetic shillsm” he wrote. Oh, but when Tracey gets going, it’s a mountain of commentary that drives the ‘woke’ Left insane.

“Imagine thinking that the pattern of unaccountable corporations orchestrating increasingly extreme purges of political speech is a positive development for society...idiots,” he added.

“None of this is about ‘safety,’ it’s about purposely inflating a threat in order to assert political and cultural dominance.”

Earlier last night, he slammed Twitter’s decision to ban Trump calling it “absolute authoritarian lunacy.”

Finally, he said that this push could get state sponsorship, as the Biden administration will soon be ushered into the halls of power.

“The new corporate authoritarian liberal-left monoculture is going to be absolutely ruthless -- and in 12 days it is merging with the state. This only the beginning,” he warned.

We appear to have fallen off the slippery slope in the free speech wars. Dark times ahead? Be vigilant.



Transportation Secretary (and wife of Mitch McConnell) Elaine Chao resigns (Washington Examiner)

Senator James Inhofe says he's never seen Mike Pence so angry amid Trump calls to block election certification (The Hill)

U.S. loses 140,000 jobs, first monthly loss since spring (AP)

Trade deficit soars to 14-year high in November (Politico)

Porch pirate gets caught in the act, then gets his car stuck in the snow trying to escape (Not the Bee)

Nancy Pelosi says she spoke to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about protecting nuclear codes from Trump (Fox News)

Quasi-Democrat Joe Manchin on proposed round of $2,000 checks: "Absolutely not" (The Hill)

Marriot, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Commerce Bank suspend donations to lawmakers who objected to certifying Electoral College vote (Washington Examiner)

PGA strips Trump's Bedminster golf course of its 2022 championship (Daily Mail)

The day after permanently banning Trump for "inciting violence," Twitter allows "Hang Mike Pence" to trend (Not the Bee)

Pope Francis prays for Capitol violence victims — but not other victims of violence (Examiner)

Measure creating reparations committee advances at Illinois statehouse (Examiner)

Four dead following hourslong shooting spree in Chicago area (ABC News)

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler assaulted by left-wing agitators while dining (Disrn)

New York is throwing away vaccines rather than distributing them competently (Reason)

Just 1 in 100,000 had severe allergic reaction to vaccine (Insurance Journal)

Study suggests Pfizer vaccine works against virus variant (AP)

Policy: Why ban of @realDonaldTrump proves Twitter is not "just a platform" (NY Post)



Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Did Trump incite a violent demonstration at the Capitol?

He did not. Just one line of his January 6 speech scotches that claim:

"I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. "

So he did incite a demonstration but he wanted it to be peaceful. And it mostly was. It was just a few hotheads and hangers-on who messed up.

Below is the best than the Left can do to make something different out of Trump's speech. I have inserted some comments in italics to counter the false accusations

New York Times best-selling author, journalist and lawyer Seth Abramson dissected the President’s speech on January 6 and found numerous examples of incitement — some subtle, and others far more direct.

Abramson says Trump almost immediately hints at what is to come.

“Seconds into his speech, Trump says, ‘These people are not going to take it any longer. They’re not going to take it any longer … They came from all over our country. I just really want to see what they do’. It’s an astonishing admission he thinks something is going to happen,” Abramson writes.

Yes. He wanted to see them demonstrate but he said it would be their decision about what they did. It was not under his direction

He says Trump is very deliberate with his use of verb tenses. He stresses the urgency that the election is being “stolen”, not in general terms but very specifically by those counting ballots for the Georgia run-off at the US Capitol.

“So when Trump speaks in the present tense of the election being ‘stolen’ by Democrats and the media — it’s ‘what they’re doing’ — he means it literally: he’s telling the Save America March that he and they are imminently facing a ‘stolen election’ due to events at the Capitol.”

They were

Abramson argues that Trump “clearly sees the crowd as an army”.

“He crows about the size of the crowd, claiming it is ‘hundreds of thousands’ strong. That’s important for his ‘mens rea’ (mental state) as a criminal actor: he believes he’s commanding the actions of a massive force near the Capitol.

“The action Trump is demanding isn’t a protest-type action. It’s not a let-your-voice-be-heard action. It is explicitly an intervention — the ‘steal’ will be ‘stopped’ by the assembled army marching on the Capitol as Trump will shortly direct them. There’s no fuzz on this.”

He simply wanted a really big demonstration

The Harvard Law School graduate and author of Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America says the “strangest line in (Trump’s) speech) involves a call for “military, Secret Service, police, law enforcement” to “come up please”.

Trump says: “If those tens of thousands of people would be allowed — the military, the Secret Service, the police, law enforcement, you’re doing a great job — but I’d love it if they could be allowed to come up here with us. Is that possible? Can you just let them come up please?”

Abramson says the line is “beyond a doubt the strangest line in the speech”.

“When he says ‘come up here with us’ he couldn’t be referring to the stage he’s standing on, as he says he’s referring to ‘tens of thousands’ of military people and cops. So where does he want them to ‘come up’ to?

“The obvious answer — indeed, the only answer — is that, as he’s about to reveal, he is well aware (and was pre-speech) that the Save America March he paid for is a march on the Capitol to ‘stop’ the certification, and that ‘we’/‘us’ will be making that march. And therefore he is asking ‘the military, the Secret Service, the police, [and] law enforcement’ (his words) to march with ‘us’ to the Capitol.”

Rubbish. If you read the speech carefully, you will see that Trump was referring to the big crowd in front of him, including many law-enforcement personnel. He was asking them to come up towards the front of the crowd

Abramson’s analysis ends with this: “America must know what this man did/said. He incited insurrection. Just as the article of impeachment says.”

Trump, of course, denies he did anything of the sort. He distanced himself from such accusations in a statement through his spokeswoman, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

“Donald Trump condemns in the strongest possible terms” the violence, she said Thursday.

“Let me be clear: The violence we saw yesterday at our nation’s Capitol was appalling, reprehensible and antithetical to the American way.

“We condemn it — the president and this administration — in the strongest possible terms.”

The Babylon Bee has a good satirical comment on the false accusations


The All-Out Assault on Conservative Thought Has Just Begun

After the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and others renewed their demands for the suppression of conservative speech on social media. After Trump’s supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Big Tech companies clamped down on President Donald Trump and many of his supporters. Incoming President Joe Biden has said he plans to pass a law against domestic terrorism.

While conservatives rightly denounced the violence this week, this response bodes ill for conservative speech not just on social media, but in the public square and even in private organizations.

In the aftermath of the Capitol riots, Twitter suspended President Donald Trump’s account for the first time and Facebook permanently banned the president. After Trump deleted the tweets Twitter had flagged and had his account restored, Twitter proceeded to ban him entirely on Friday, and then it banned the official President of the United States (POTUS) account.

Facebook throttled the great Rush Limbaugh, notifying him that his “Page has reduced distribution and other restrictions because of repeated sharing of false news.” Limbaugh left Twitter in protest after the platform banned Trump. Apple and Google attacked Parler, claiming that the new haven for conservatives had allowed people to plan the violence of the Capitol riots on its platform.

House Democrats filed articles of impeachment that explicitly blame President Trump for the Capitol riots, even though he never told his supporters to invade the Capitol. While the president’s exaggerated rhetoric inflamed the rioters, Democrats repeatedly did the same thing this summer. Before and after Black Lives Matter protests devolved into destructive and deadly riots, Democratic officials repeatedly claimed America suffers from “systemic racism” and institutionalized “white supremacy.”

Columbus’ Proposed Police Witch Hunt Will Send Chills Down Your Spine
Big Tech did not remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s accounts when she called for “uprisings” against the Trump administration. Facebook and Twitter did not target Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she claimed that allegedly marginalized groups have “no choice but to riot.” These platforms did not act against Kamala Harris when she said the riots “should not” stop.

This week, Joe Biden condemned the Capitol rioters, saying, “What we witnessed yesterday was not dissent, it was not disorder, it was not protest. It was chaos. They weren’t protesters, don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic, it’s that simple.”

Yet he refused to speak in those terms when Black Lives Matter and antifa militants were throwing Molotov cocktails at federal buildings, setting up “autonomous zones,” and burning down cities. Instead, he condemned Trump for holding up a Bible at a church — without mentioning the fact that that very church had been set on fire the night before.

Despite this hypocrisy, Biden’s speech on Thursday proved instructive. Biden used the Capitol riots to condemn Trump’s entire presidency, accusing Trump of having “unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of our democracy from the outset.” Biden twisted Trump’s actions into an attack on “democracy.” He claimed Trump’s originalist judges were a ploy to undermine impartial justice — when they were truly the exact opposite. Biden claimed Trump’s complaints about the Obama administration spying on his campaign were merely an “attack” on America’s “intelligence services.” Biden said Trump’s complaints about media bias constituted an attack on the “free press,” when the Obama administration actually attacked the free press.

Despite the fact that leftist violence has wracked American cities for years (remember Ferguson and the shooting of police officers in Dallas in 2016?), Biden seized on the Capitol riots as evidence that everything the Right had been saying the past four years was a blatant and destructive lie.

This reminded me of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a once-noble civil rights organization that has become a far-left smear factory. The SPLC weaponizes its history suing white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan into bankruptcy and monitoring them through its Klanwatch program to silence conservative thought. It brands mainstream conservative organizations “hate groups,” listing them along with the KKK on a “hate map.” This “hate map” inspired a deranged man to target the Family Research Council (FRC) for a mass shooting in 2012.

The Trump administration has worked with conservative organizations the SPLC falsely smears as “hate groups,” and the SPLC has made hay of this fact. Its latest “hate group” report — published last March — mentioned Trump no fewer than 66 times. Yet the SPLC carried water for antifa during the riots this summer.

The SPLC has repeatedly pressured Big Tech to clamp down on conservative “hate groups,” suggesting this is the right way to fight white supremacist terrorism. Amazon has excluded mainstream conservative Christian nonprofits from its charity program, Amazon Smile.

After Charlottesville, the SPLC raked in cash with big donations from Apple and JPMorgan. CNN even shared the SPLC “hate map” on its website and Twitter account, effectively endorsing the false accusations.

Not surprisingly, the SPLC has already seized the moment after the Capitol riots.

“One of the powerful lessons we must take away from this week’s coup attempt by President Trump and his supporters is that 2021 is not a time for half measures in the fight against hate and extremism,” Margaret Huang, the SPLC’s president and CEO, said in a statement on Friday. “This violence is bolstered by the infrastructure of white nationalist movements that the Southern Poverty Law Center has been tracking and fighting for decades.”

She warned that the Capitol riots will become “a recruitment tool for white nationalist movements” and “hate groups.” She claimed that “the violence in Washington was predictable and preventable,” citing the SPLC’s list of “hate groups” — specifically the increase in the number of white nationalist hate groups. (Since the SPLC does not explain how large specific “hate groups” are, the number of such “groups” is arguably meaningless. Some “hate groups” consist of merely one person.)

Prominent leftists are likely to celebrate the SPLC as the harbinger of this violence, and the SPLC does do some important work monitoring white nationalists. Unfortunately, the group also smears conservative and Christian groups because they defend biblical sexuality, oppose illegal immigration, and warn about the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. Even fellow liberals have condemned the SPLC’s “anti-LGBT hate group” accusation against Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative Christian law firm that has won multiple Supreme Court cases.

The SPLC also has skeletons in its closet. In 2019, the SPLC fired its co-founder, had its president step down, and had a prominent member of the board distance herself. The scandal broke out due to accusations of (decades-old) racial discrimination and sexual harassment. Amid the scandal, former employees came forward to expose the “con” of exaggerating hate to bilk donors.

Despite all this, the SPLC still enjoys considerable sway among Big Tech, corporate America, the legacy media, and the Democratic Party. When Attorney General Dana Nessel (D-Mich.) announced a new “hate crimes” unit, she specifically cited the SPLC’s list of “hate groups” in the state. Kamala Harris, soon to become vice president, has repeatedly cited the SPLC in attacking Trump’s judicial and administration nominees.

This makes it all the more ominous that Biden has said he plans to prioritize passing a law against domestic terrorism. Domestic terrorism is indeed a serious problem in America, but Biden’s egregious and blatant double standard on the Capitol riots and antifa, along with his party’s growing alliance with the SPLC, suggests he may use such a law to silence conservative dissent while going soft on far-left rioters.

Conservative Christians should pay close attention to this threat. Biden, like the SPLC, has long championed LGBT activism, and in 2018 at an LGBT activist group, he attacked people who have “tried to define family” in the U.S. as “the dregs of society.” At the CNN LGBT town hall in October 2019, Biden called for a kind of terror watchlist to monitor organizations that oppose same-sex marriage and transgender identity. Biden firmly supports the Equality Act, which would outlaw discrimination against LGBT people. While Americans do not support discrimination, laws like this have been weaponized to punish Christians for refusing to celebrate same-sex weddings.

Buckle up, conservatives. The Biden administration represents a serious threat to conservative thought in the public square, and now Democrats have both houses of Congress to ram their agenda through.



Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Are the covid vaccines safe and effective?

Sebastian Rushworth M.D. writes below. He likes the Moderna vaccine best so I reproduce below just that part of his article

Let’s move on to the final trial, of the Moderna vaccine. I’m going to run through this one a little bit more quickly, because in many respects it is similar to the previous two trials. The results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine at the end of December. The technology used for this vaccine is identical to the technology used for the Pfizer vaccine, so it’s reasonable to expect that the results would be similar. This was a randomized controlled trial involving 30,000 participants, who were recruited from a large number of sites across the United States. The study was primarily funded by the US government and by Moderna. Half the participants received two doses of the Moderna covid vaccine one month apart, and half received two doses of a placebo injection (consisting of saline). The median length of follow-up after receiving the second dose was two months.

As with the previous two trials, the primary objective of the study was to see if there was a reduction in cases of covid-19, which in this study was defined as at least two symptoms suggestive of covid-19 plus a positive covid PCR test.

The study included adults over the age of 18. As with the previous studies, participants had to be healthy or “stable” in terms of any underlying chronic conditions. The study excluded pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with allergies, and people who were immunosuppressed. The average BMI was 29. Only 5% of participants were over the age of 75, so as with the other two studies the proportion of participants in the oldest category was low. 5% had chronic lung disease. 5% had significant cardiac disease. 7% were obese. And 10% had diabetes.

Ok, so what were the results?

Among those who had received the placebo injections, 1,3% developed covid. Among those who had received the vaccine, 0,07% developed covid. That represents a 94% reduction in cases, and it is highly statistically significant. If we look at those over 65 (average age 70), then we see an 86% reduction in cases, so the vaccine seems to be highly effective even for older people (although unfortunately no data is provided for the very oldest people, aged 80+).

The results are even more impressive if we look only at people with severe covid. Among those getting the placebo, there were 30 cases. Among those getting the vaccine, not a single person developed a severe case of covid. So, just as with the previous two vaccines, the Moderna vaccine appears to be highly effective against covid-19.

What about safety?

1,0% of participants in the placebo group experienced a serious adverse event and 1,0% of participants in the vaccine group experienced a serious adverse event. Ideally we would like to see fewer serious adverse events in the vaccine group, but there weren’t enough cases of severe covid-19 for the vaccine to have any noticeable positive effect on the overall number.

If we look through the list of serious adverse events (yes, unlike Pfizer, Moderna actually provided this information), we see that there is nothing that could reasonably be thought to have been caused by the vaccine (unlike the transverse myelitis seen in the Astra-Zeneca study), and there is nothing that sticks out as being more common in the vaccine group than in the placebo group.

Overall, the Moderna vaccine does appear to be both effective and safe. Would I be willing to take it? Yes, I would, actually. There is a strong signal of benefit, and zero signal of harm. Considering that there were 15,000 people in the vaccine group, any serious side effects that can happen as a result of the vaccine are likely to be very rare (in those groups that were included in the study).

Ok, let’s wrap up. So all three vaccines appear to be highly effective at preventing covid-19, although both the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine are clearly more effective than the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. In terms of safety, I have significant concerns about the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, considering that there is a signal suggesting that it increases your risk of developing transverse myelitis by a hundredfold or more. Future research will have to show whether that is a real risk or not. I also have concerns about the Pfizer vaccine, since there was a 60% increase in severe adverse events among those taking the vaccine, an issue that Pfizer hasn’t bothered to address at all, and I am also concerned about the fact that Pfizer does not provide a detailed breakdown of adverse events, which makes it impossible to see if there is anything in there that we should be worried about. The Moderna vaccine does appear to be safe however, based on the data available up to now.


Angela Merkel calls Trump's permanent Twitter ban 'problematic' and says freedom of opinion is a fundamental right

German chancellor Angela Merkel regards Donald Trump's permanent ban from Twitter as 'problematic' because it gives too much power to social media bosses, her spokesman said today.

Trump was permanently booted off the platform on Friday because of the 'risk of further incitement of violence' after his supporters stormed the US Capitol while Congress was certifying his election defeat.

Merkel - a longstanding critic of Trump - said she was 'furious and saddened' by the rampage, but her spokesman Steffen Seibert said today that 'the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the US president have been permanently blocked'.

'The fundamental right to freedom of opinion is a fundamental right of elementary importance,' he said.

'This fundamental right can be interfered with, but through the law and within the framework defined by the legislature, not according to the decision of the management of social media platforms.'

While tech giants were right not to 'stand back' and were justified in red-flagging Trump's tweets, banning his account altogether was a step too far, he said.

He added that social media bosses 'bear great responsibility for political communication not being poisoned by hatred, by lies and by incitement to violence'.

France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire also voiced doubts about Trump's ban today, telling France Inter radio that it should not be for the 'digital oligarchy' to regulate itself.

Echoing Merkel's spokesman, Le Maire said that regulatory decisions should be taken by elected governments rather than by American corporate bosses.

Merkel, an understated multilateralist who has little in common with the brash Trump, has been critical of the US president on numerous occasions during his four years in office - including when she condemned the Capitol riots last week.

But both leaders have clashed with social media giants during their terms in office - with Germany bringing in a new law in 2018 to force them to remove hate speech.

Like several European countries, privacy-conscious Germany has also been at loggerheads with US tech firms over data protection and tax payments.

Merkel herself does not have a Twitter account, although Seibert does and many German government ministers do.

Though Twitter hasn't issued any further statements after its banning of Trump , it appears to be conducting a mass purge of any accounts connected with the 'QAnon' conspiracy theory, banning Trump loyalists Mike Flynn, Sidney Powell, and thousands of others.

The apparent effect has been to massively shrink the follower counts of high-profile conservative figures and Trump allies.

In a video message on Facebook, Don Jr claimed that he had lost 100,000 Twitter followers in the past day.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted an image of an analytical tool showing key elected Democrats gaining tens of thousands of followers, while key Republicans were losing them at the same rate.

'This is how you create an echo chamber...' Pompeo wrote.

In his tweets on Saturday, Don Jr pointed out that Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who tweeted last year calling for 'the elimination of the Zionist regime' through 'firm, armed resistance,' still has multiple official Twitter accounts


Parler Will 'Be Down Longer Than Expected': Difficulty finding a new host

Parler, which emerged as a Twitter alternative for conservatives, officially went offline on Monday after Amazon Web Services refused to host the site any longer. Following the Capitol riots on Wednesday, Apple and Google removed Parler from their app stores, claiming the site had refused to take down posts inciting violence. On Saturday, Amazon announced it would follow suit after employees pressured the company to remove Parler.

Parler saved its data and prepared to switch to a different provider, but on Monday, Parler CEO John Matze announced the process would take longer than expected.

“I wanted to send everyone on Parler an update,” Matze posted. “WE will likely be down longer than expected. This is not due to software restrictions—we have our software and everyone’s data ready to go. Rather it’s that Amazon’s, Google’s, and Apple’s statements to the press about dropping our access has caused most of our other vendors to drop their support for us as well.”

“And most people with enough servers to host us have shut their doors to us,” Matze added. “We will update everyone and update the press when we are back online.”

“Parler is my final stand on the internet,” the CEO concluded. “I won’t be making an account on any social. Parler is my home.”

The All-Out Assault on Conservative Thought Has Just Begun
When conservatives complained about Twitter and Facebook throttling conservative speech, leftists encouraged those on the Right to develop their own social media platforms. Yet when conservatives started flocking to Parler, the established Big Tech companies colluded to destroy this alternative.

Some posts on Parler reportedly encouraged violence before the Capitol riots, but posts on Facebook and Twitter encouraged violence against the police before and during the Black Lives Matter riots over the summer.

Big Tech did not remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s accounts when she called for “uprisings” against the Trump administration. Facebook and Twitter did not target Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she claimed that allegedly marginalized groups have “no choice but to riot.” These platforms did not act against Kamala Harris when she said the riots “should not” stop.

On Thursday, Joe Biden condemned the Capitol rioters, saying, “What we witnessed yesterday was not dissent, it was not disorder, it was not protest. It was chaos. They weren’t protesters, don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic, it’s that simple.”

Tellingly, Biden refused to use such language when Black Lives Matter and antifa militants were throwing Molotov cocktails at federal buildings, setting up “autonomous zones,” and burning down cities. Despite the fact that leftist violence has wracked American cities for years (remember Ferguson and the shooting of police officers in Dallas in 2016?), Biden seized on the Capitol riots as evidence that everything the Right had been saying the past four years was a blatant and destructive lie.

Big Tech companies appear to have applied this same double standard on political violence — and those who were paying attention could have predicted this back in 2017.

In September 2017, after the Charlottesville riots, the credit card processing company Vanco Payment Solutions canceled its contract with the small Catholic nonprofit The Ruth Institute (RI), citing the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). RI aims to help victims of the Sexual Revolution, but the SPLC placed this small conservative Christian nonprofit on a list with the Ku Klux Klan because RI cites the Catechism of the Catholic Church to say that homosexual activity is “intrinsically disordered.”

To conservatives who are familiar with the SPLC, this attack would not come as a surprise. This once-noble civil rights organization has become a far-left smear factory, weaponizing its history of suing white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan into bankruptcy and monitoring them through its Klanwatch program to silence conservative thought. Using the modern version of the Klanwatch program, the SPLC brands mainstream conservative organizations “hate groups,” listing them along with the KKK on a “hate map.” This “hate map” inspired a deranged man to target the Family Research Council (FRC) for a mass shooting in 2012.

Big Tech, the legacy media, Democrats, and corporate America have used the SPLC “hate group” list to cancel mainstream conservative groups.

The SPLC is not a reliable arbiter of hate and it has many skeletons in its closet. In 2019, the SPLC fired its co-founder, had its president step down, and had a prominent member of the board distance herself. The scandal broke out due to accusations of (decades-old) racial discrimination and sexual harassment. Amid the scandal, former employees came forward to expose the “con” of exaggerating hate to bilk donors. I wrote a book, Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center, explaining the many reasons why this far-left smear factory should not be trusted.

Parler’s disappearance from the internet reminds me very much of the SPLC’s nefarious efforts to silence conservative nonprofits. It seems the SPLC’s cancel culture has gone mainstream. With Parler gone, conservatives are flocking to Gab, MeWe, and other alternatives. What happens when Big Tech turns on those, too?



Monday, January 11, 2021

UK: These senseless lockdown fines will only foster contempt among the public

We all know we are in the middle of a pandemic, that Covid-19 is spread by human contact, that the new strain of the virus is significantly more infectious, that cases are soaring and deaths are high – and that the NHS is in danger of being overwhelmed.

We know, too, that we all have a responsibility to keep contact with others to a bare minimum.

It is dangerous and wrong to hold parties, raves and other gatherings – and quite right for the police to use their powers to break them up.

But there comes a point at which over-zealous enforcement of the rules becomes dangerous in itself.

If we want everyone to obey the lockdown rules it is vital that those rules have public consent.

Lose this and we find ourselves in a situation which tends to afflict all dictatorships after a while – where people pay lip service to laws but have such contempt for the rules that they are determined to break them at every opportunity.

Moreover, it destroys public trust even further when police are seen apparently making up the law as they go along.

As the National Police Chiefs’ Council has since acknowledged, there is nothing in the legislation passed last week that prevents someone driving five miles to take a socially distanced walk in the country.

That is exactly what the two women stopped at a Derbyshire reservoir last week had done – they went there, they said, because it was less crowded than the paths near their homes. The tea they had taken to drink on a bitter day apparently constituted a ‘picnic’ and they were fined £200 each on the vague grounds of breaking the ‘spirit’ of lockdown.

Nor is there anything in the legislation to prevent people leaving their home twice a day – the ‘offence’ over which an overly ‘keen’ Thames Valley policeman challenged drivers following the new national lockdown. The ‘once-a-day’ rule is a guideline, but it is not law. The Home Secretary Priti Patel and Health Secretary Matt Hancock surely know that, so why were they so keen yesterday to jump to the support of police officers who appear to have acted outside the powers that Parliament voted to give them?

The irony is that the only social interaction likely to spread Covid in any of these instances was between police officers and the people they were apprehending for perceived breaches of lockdown.

Do these crowds of police hanging around the streets possess some kind of immunity to the disease which the rest of us do not?

I am sure that the vast majority of officers around the country are not acting disproportionately, but are enforcing the rules with common sense – giving advice and verbal warnings to people who, in many cases, are simply confused by the ever-changing rules.

But it damages the reputation of the police as a whole when some start behaving like the Stasi. I wonder whether those individuals who’ve been interrogated by over-zealous boys in blue in recent days will be inclined to cooperate with officers in future if, for example, their assistance is required as witnesses to a real crime?

And I find it particularly worrying that several cases seem to have involved crowds of male officers surrounding women who are either alone or in pairs. It is as if years of equality training have gone out of the window and some officers suddenly think themselves entitled to pick on what they see as soft targets.

We all need to follow the rules of lockdown, but that will be made easier if police forces can retain our respect by acting proportionately, rather than jumping on the first person they can find an excuse to fine.


Parler faces SHUTDOWN: Amazon vows to switch off 'free-speech' site's servers at midnight as Apple follows Google in banning it

Conservative social media platform Parler could be shutdown from midnight Sunday after Amazon said it was shutting down its servers.

Jeff Bezos' Amazon said it had suspended Parler from its Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit, for violating its terms of services by failing to effectively deal with a steady increase in violent content on the social networking service.

Parler's CEO John Matze announced the news, revealing it could leave the app unavailable for a week as the company attempts to rebuild from scratch.

Earlier Saturday night, Apple said it is also suspending the app over accusations it is being used to incite violence.

The Apple suspension comes after the tech giant gave Parler 24 hours to address the 'threats to people's safety' or be removed from its app store.

The move comes one day after Google also removed Parler from its app store, also citing posts inciting violence, and demanded 'robust' content moderation from the app favored by many Trump supporters.

Parler had been flooded by conservatives and right wingers fleeing Facebook and Twitter in recent days in the wake of suspension of prominent conservative figures, including Trump himself, and the warnings from Apple.

Maetze branded the shutoffs and suspensions 'a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place'.

The CEO also revealed late Saturday that Parler had removed a post from right-wing attorney Lin Wood, a staunch Trump supporter, that called for Vice President Mike Pence to be executed by 'firing squads'.

'Yes, some of his parleys that violated our rules were taken down,' Matze told Mediaite, specifying that the post, or parley, about the 'firing squads' was among those removed.

The parley, uploaded Thursday, read: 'They let them in. Get the firing squads ready. Pence goes FIRST.'

In a statement to CNN, Wood denied making any threats against Pence, claiming, 'I don't believe in violence, I do believe in the rule of law.'

'I have reliable evidence that Pence has a engaged in acts of treason. My comments were rhetorical hyperbole. Any journalist should understand that concept. If my information is accurate, law enforcement will address what punishment, if any, should be administered to Pence as they do with all criminals,' Wood said.

News of Wood's controversial post came just hours after Apple announced it would be suspending Parler from its app store indefinitely, having earlier issued the company 24 hours to address the 'threats to people's safety'.

In a letter to the social media site explaining its suspension on Saturday, Apple said: 'Parler has not upheld its commitment to moderate and remove harmful or dangerous content encouraging violence and illegal activity, and is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.'

Apple explained: 'We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity.

'Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people's safety,' it added.

'We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues'.

Matze, in a post on Parler responding to the Apple suspension, said, 'They claim it is due to violence on the platform. The community disagrees as we hit number 1 on their store today'.

'More details about our next plans coming soon as we have many options,' Matze said.

He was forced to post again shortly afterward as Amazon announced the shut off of its servers.

'Amazon will be shutting off all of out servers in an attempt to completely remove free speech off the internet,' he wrote.

'There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the Internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch. We prepared for events like this by never relying on Amazon's proprietary infrastructure and building bare metal products.

‘We will try our best to move to a new provider right now as we have many competing for our business, however Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited and knowing this would inflict the most damage right as President Trump was banned from the tech companies.


Tech giants’ censorship of history must be thwarted

Incoming US president Joe Biden would show his country and the world he is a genuine libertarian and democrat if he took the lead in insisting that Twitter, Facebook, Google and other players overturn their alarming efforts to silence Donald Trump online. Regardless of his faults as a world leader, including his egregious behaviour last week, Mr Trump is an important figure at a fascinating point in history. His election in 2016, as a rank outsider, exposed the deep fissures in American society and since then he has been controversial.

When professional historians come to write and analyse the current period in the context of its strategic challenges, economic struggles, culture wars, Chinese expansionism and the COVID-19 pandemic, primary sources will be central to their work. Twitter has long been Mr Trump’s preferred platform for addressing his followers, whose number had grown to 88 million — foes as well as friends — and millions more who read his tweets but were not signed up. The tweets were candid, spontaneous snapshots of his reactions and attitudes, largely undoctored by officials and spinners. In reaching for the Twitter button at all hours of the day and night, he was often his own worst enemy. But this makes it more important to preserve the record openly and transparently. As former UN ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted: “Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country.’’

Twitter’s attempt to justify its permanent suspension of @realDonaldTrump does not stand scrutiny. Nor is its claim that it acted “due to the risk of further incitement of violence’’ any justification for obliterating his account. The tech giants’ cancelling Mr Trump also provokes a key question. Which controversial figure will they target next? In pulling the plug on the President, they have crossed a crucial line; from being purveyors of first-hand, unedited political utterances to controllers of whose views the public will and will not be allowed to see and hear. Mr Trump has been a consequential president who, in his final days in office, as The Times writes, “may have added another notch to his complicated legacy: bringing the curtain down on the first phase of our social media age’’.

On Friday, we castigated Mr Trump in relation to the violent breach of the Capitol’s security, which resulted in five deaths, including that of a police officer. The President, we said, “had been inciting the mayhem for days, tweeting exhortations to his followers to rally in Washington when both houses of congress were scheduled to go through the ceremonial process of formally certifying Mr Biden’s victory. ‘It’s going to be wild,’ he tweeted. ‘Don’t miss it’.’’ It would be hard to imagine a more incendiary act by an incumbent President, we said, than to exploit passions that were running high. The time for social media to edit or contradict those tweets was then.

In contrast, the two tweets on January 8 that finally provoked permanent suspension of his account were mild. The first said: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” So what? The second, while significant, was not incendiary: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” He will be the first president in more than 150 years not to attend his successor’s inauguration.

Christchurch gunman Brenton Tarrant demonstrated the potential of terrorists and other criminals to misuse the internet to glorify violence. All media, including social media, must guard against such abuses. Examples abound of Twitter giving voice to militant dictators, such as Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei. Social media, in general, is more open to abuse and misuse than traditional media, which accounts for its potential to plant dangerous ideas in the minds of unstable individuals. This, regrettably, is how it has evolved; it is not a call for censorship.

But cancelling Mr Trump violates the principle of free speech, a democratic cornerstone, without sufficient reason. So do the actions of Facebook and Instagram, which have blocked him indefinitely, or for “at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete”, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says. Google, Apple and Amazon are also culpable, for booting Parler, a free speech-focused social media network favoured by conservatives.

Across the world, the general public and traditional media organisations should be wary of the unchecked power of a small group of unelected tech titans, including Californian billionaires Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Mr Zuckerberg, to manipulate public discourse and thinking. They must not be allowed to delete history. As Republican senator Marco Rubio has tweeted: “Even those who oppose Trump should see the danger of having a small and unelected group with the power to silence and erase anyone. And their actions will only stoke new grievances that will end up fuelling the very thing they claim to be trying to prevent.”



Sunday, January 10, 2021

Why Trump Will Weather This Nonsense: He’ll be back

Dov Fischer

We have been through this drill before — as with Charlottesville and as when President Trump held a press conference alongside Vladimir Putin overseas and stated that he believed Putin’s questionable asseveration that Russia had not messed with the 2016 American elections. Everyone is smart except Trump.

I view the video, and more than 95 percent of the people who made their ways inside clearly were just drifting and roaming around, walking mostly in single or double file, as in a tour of the Capitol.

In each case, the Mainstream Media whipped up a froth and frenzy. In all of human history, we essentially were told, there never had been such perfidy. We kept hearing, night after day after night after day, the carefully selected clip: “There were fine people on both sides.” So that meant, we were told, that President Trump, grandfather of Orthodox Jewish children, benefactor of Jared Kushner, doting father of Orthodox Jewish Ivanka, a man who commuted the unfair sentence of Shlomo Rubashkin, endorses Nazis. As recently as this very week, the Mainstream Media still are at it, still lying shamelessly that he endorsed Nazis at Charlottesville. While I was watching the nightly Hebrew news out of Israel on Israel’s equivalent of PBS, the Left-oriented public broadcasting station that the Government funds and that the taxpayers hate because all their Mainstream Media likewise are Left-oriented, their Thursday news report included that same precisely edited clip: “There were fine people on both sides.” Not a word about how the President in truth had condemned Nazism and White Nationalists two separate times in the same four-minute conference. That is why the general Israeli population hate their Mainstream Media and love Trump.

There was a similar froth and frenzy during and after that overseas press conference with Putin: James Clapper and John Brennan were all over CNN asserting that the President had perpetrated treason and such. It was worse than Benedict Arnold giving secrets to the British in the days when the Brits were our mortal enemies. (Interesting how time changes realities.) How could the President publicly say, alongside Putin, that he believes Vladimir Putin and not his own director of intelligence? Why didn’t Trump look Putin in the face, in front of world news media, and call him a liar and a crook and a tyrant — and then privately try to negotiate other issues that were on the table? As if any world leader ever would stare another in the face, in front of the world media, and would speak that way, that directly, rather than scold behind closed doors.

And now the current nonsense.

I have watched video of the Wednesday, January 6, incident over and over and over again. Insurrection? Coup? Yes, the Mainstream Media kept calling them “rioters.” But if you watch again carefully, muting the sound and believing only your own eyes, more than 95 percent of the people inside the Capitol just were milling around. It simply was not anything even remotely approaching what the frenzied Mainstream Media are trying to whip up. They make it sound like an insurrection, a coup. This was not the Bolshevik Revolution. Most trespassers inside had no intention of ending up there. They were rallying outside, and an incredibly deficient police and security detail found itself predictably unable to prevent a comparatively small number of people from knocking over pathetically inadequate barricades. The barricades then were down and the crowd just went forward. They were not armed for insurrection. They were not searching for blood. They were angry but — equally or more — just plain curious: “Let’s see where this goes.”

They meandered inside. I view the video, and more than 95 percent of the people who made their ways inside clearly were just drifting and roaming around, walking mostly in single or double file, as in a tour of the Capitol. The guy in Nancy Pelosi’s chair? OK, he should not have been there. It was not his office, not his chair. My mother taught me that: you don’t sit in someone else’s office chair without permission. But the guy obviously was just playing around, putting his legs on her desk, reading or taking an envelope from her desk. That was not an insurrection; it was a grown-up misbehaving — and, by the way, quite peacefully and jovially. It was not Black Lives Matters breaking a street of windows, ransacking stores, and burning down buildings. It was not Antifa shooting rockets into federal buildings including court houses. Rather, it was a bunch of people who played “Follow the Leader” and, out of curiosity as much as anything else, meandered into and out of the Capitol. It was January D.C. winter, and it was warmer inside.

For the Mainstream Media the incident offered a perfect bookend to their four years of dishonest coverage of a president they hated vitriolically from Day One and from before. They found a nut with a T-Shirt that said “Camp Auschwitz” and did their best to make him a symbol of the day. I am a Jew, an Orthodox rabbi, and I have devoted a good chunk of my life to the causes of American Jewry and Soviet Jewish freedom from Communist tyranny, and I have disseminated the words “Never Again” more than most. Yet I am sophisticated enough to discern that a jerk with a “Camp Auschwitz” T-shirt was but one of countless others having a field day in the Capitol. For comparison: a wonderful middle-aged married couple in Brooklyn, Orthodox Jews and former members of the shul where I am congregational rabbi — and still active financial supporters of my rabbinic work and secular writings from their new home in Flatbush — sent me a photo of the two of them, both very pro-Trump activists who campaigned for him across state lines in Philadelphia because New York electoral votes were not in play but Pennsylvania was an electoral battleground, just having fun and smiling outside the Capitol. Another very close friend, the son of an equally very close friend — both actively devoted for decades to the National Council of Young Israel, an organization of more than 130 Orthodox synagogues (including mine) across America and in Israel — was there. If one guy was wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” t-shirt, there were many times more Orthodox Jews than he thrilled to be there — and so many scores more mainstream, easy-going, perfectly normal pro-Trump activists who just meandered into the Capitol because the House and Senate Sergeants-of-Arms and the Capitol Police defaulted and practically left the doors open. It was like Motel Six: just come on over, and we’ll leave the lights on for you.

This was no insurrection. It just wasn’t. Any objective look at the pictures sees that, yes, a few did break in, did shatter glass. That is inexcusable and must be prosecuted and punished. But, by and large, this simply was a weird day, when the Capitol found itself pathetically unguarded, and masses poured into the building because, well, hey, everyone else is doing it, so why not, and this is so cool, and can I take a selfie? What kind of insurrection and coup is dominated by people taking selfies and snapping photos on their smart phones? Really, c’mon.

OK, it makes total sense that many Congressional representatives and Senators were in a panic because they heard the worst, and you cannot take chances when something crazy like that happens. You have to be cautious, prudent, and secure when throngs throng into your place uninvited. Fair. And yet there is something rich in hearing all those Democrats who have been demanding “Defund the Police!” now screaming about how they have to fire the Sergeant-at-Arms, presumably the Lieutenant-at-Legs, the head of the Capitol Police, all while demanding angrily: Where were the police?

Uh, defunded?

Meanwhile, Trump made a speech. He urged people to march to the Capitol and peacefully protest. That is what he said: “peacefully.” He simply asked his followers to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. Since this is the Charlottesville Big Lie all over again, you have to listen for yourself to the actual speech. Where is the call for insurrection, for a coup? Where is the incitement? He simply called on them to act peacefully and to make their voices heard. When Obama and Holder and that Crew did that, Ferguson burned, Baltimore burned. Obama fanned flames for eight years: If he had had a son, the boy would have looked like Trayvon Martin. Right.

The whole thing, the whole Media froth and frenzy, comprises a shameful denouement of its four-year effort to destroy President Trump. In its context, of course the Elaine Chaos and Betsy DeVoses are jumping ship. It is January, the start of a new year. Their jobs expire in fewer than fourteen days. So they give two weeks’ notice. It gives them a résumé boost, conveying they “left the Trump Administration in protest.” In protest of what – that your job ends in ten days anyway? So they get to do a bit of virtue signaling, and OK. If that is what they feel they need to do to advance their careers, well — since when did Americans never hear of “taking care of Number One”? So be it. Mick Mulvaney leaving his post as a quasi-ambassador to Northern Ireland. Of course he is doing that. He previously served as the acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from November 2017 to December 2018. He also had served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from February 2017 until March 2020, then as acting White House Chief of Staff from January 2019 until March 2020. So, when the president made Mark Meadows the full-time Chief of Staff, sending Mulvaney for a tour of Northern Ireland, it was a clear demotion. So Mick got his chance to “Watch Out for Number One” by announcing, just two weeks before he is out of a job anyway, that he is coming back to America. Good for him. Welcome back. Set a spell.

As for impeaching Trump with ten days left to his first term in office, that also is rich. In a quirky way, imagine Mike Pence suited up as 46th President for, like, a day — and then watching Pence, as his one act in office, doing as Gerald Ford did and issuing a full anticipatory pardon to his predecessor. But that quirky moment will have to wait. The House would impeach Trump seven days a week if it could. And if the Senate went berserk, down to Joe Manchin, and voted for conviction — well, at least the Mormons of Utah would wake up to the shame they have brought on their state by replacing a statesman like Orrin Hatch with a sore loser like Mitt Romney who, like Hillary, never came to terms with how a sometime-bullvahn like Donald John Trump, often seeming to be a bull in search of a china shop, proved to be so much more popular than did either of those two.

In the 24-7 news cycle in which we live, politicians vie frantically for coverage by out-extreming each other, and media do the same. They exaggerate everything shamelessly. And then a few weeks pass, new “breaking news” captures center stage, and sensible people look back and recognize the hyperbole with accurate hindsight. Let the job seekers give their two-weeks’ notice. Play the full actual speech. Listen especially to the embedded link for one minute between 18:00 and 19:00 — and particularly to the words at 18:47-18:56. Read the transcript. And remember the more sensible, calm, and courageous who weathered the passing storm of Mainstream Media Big Lie Number Infinity with President Trump.


Apple bans Parler from App Store in wake of US Capitol riots

The silencing moves into high gear

Apple has suspended an online platform described as a "free speech" Twitter clone from its App Store in the wake of deadly riots at the US Capitol.

Apple says social networking service Parler has not taken adequate measures to prevent the spread of posts inciting violence.

The company had given the platform 24 hours to submit a detailed moderation plan, following complaints it was being used to "plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities".

"Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people's safety," Apple said in a statement. It said it was removing the app "until they resolve these issues".

Parler CEO John Matze complained on his site of being scapegoated. "Standards not applied to Twitter, Facebook or even Apple themselves apply to Parler," he said.

He said he "won't cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech".

Losing access to the app stores of Google and Apple — whose operating systems power hundreds of millions of smartphones — severely limits Parler's reach, though it will continue to be accessible via web browsers.

US President Donald Trump has been either banned or restricted on several social media platforms following riots at the US Capitol Building.

Online speech experts expect social media companies led by Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube to more vigorously police hate speech and incitement in the wake of the Capitol rebellion.

University of California-Irvine law professor David Kaye, a former UN special rapporteur on free speech, believes the Parlers of the world will also face pressure from the public and law enforcement, as will little-known sites where further pre-inauguration disruption is now apparently being organised.

They include MeWe, Wimkin, and Stormfront, according to a report released by The Althea Group, which tracks disinformation.

Professor Kaye rejected arguments by US conservatives including the President's former UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, that the Trump ban savaged the US constitution's first amendment, which prohibits the Government from restricting free expression.

"Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country," Ms Haley said on Twitter.

Professor Kaye said companies also had freedom of speech. "It's not like the platforms' rules are draconian. People don't get caught in violations unless they do something clearly against the rules," he said. "The companies have their freedom of speech too."


DC mayor extends public emergency declaration until after Biden's inauguration (Washington Examiner)

At least the media finally came around to the idea that riots are scary (Washington Examiner)

A confident Stacey Abrams says Georgia runoffs are "just the beginning" (Yahoo News)

George Soros gets behind abolishing the police (Free Beacon)

Two Louisville detectives involved in Breonna Taylor raid are fired (AP)

Half of Chicago teachers refused to return to work this week (Disrn)

Tit for tat: Buffalo Bills fans launch petition to keep Andrew Cuomo from attending Saturday's playoff game (Disrn)

Link found between self-control in childhood and success later in life (Medical XPress)

Policy: With 2021 still young, we already have trouble from Tehran (Daily Signal)