The Ban

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The ban from Twitter heard (or not heard) round the world. An interesting case of “private” versus “public” property, business, and serving the public. Can we trust the ban from tech no matter where or who it is?

Parler, a “conservative” alternative to Facebook, is banned by Apple, Google, and Amazon. The reason, supposedly, is for the fact that there is no “moderation” of the site and the planning of the WA DC riot took place on this venue.

I have seen some of my friends talking about this stuff on social media and saying that such bans don’t violate the 1st Amendment and the Freedom of Speech because the clause specifically refers to protection from oppression of private citizens by the government. That is true.

But over the years, that protection has been expanded beyond just the government oppression of citizens and been used to protect lots of different situations where people were upset with something someone said. Protections was extended to protect what people say because of the “marketplace of ideas” concept.

So there are some real contradictions when you see a private business (whom obviously serves a wider audience than just the public or private citizen, AND us a publicly help corporation) decided who can and who can’t use their service. The issue become rather problematic when you start applying the standards to some, but not others.

A friend posted on Facebook the other day (in regards to Parler), “…They are all privately owned businesses who can do business with whomever they choose. Would you as a business owner,…, like to be ‘forced’ to do business with someone who didn’t match your companies [sic] values?…”

Apparently this justification of “freedom to do business with whomever I please” is appropriate to apply on some situations when it fits the liberal narrative, but not the conservative narrative.

A few situations come to mind:

  • Shall I be forced to create a flower arrangement or bake a cake for a same-sex union if it doesn’t fit with my company’s values?
  • Shall I be forced to pay for abortions or provide health coverage that includes the abortion pill if it doesn’t fit with my company’s values?

In the cases above, the government has forced people and companies to “serve the public” even though the people they were going to be forced to serve were clearly going to go against the company’s values. For all intents and purposes, the lawsuits filed against the owners of these companies were basically told they couldn’t discriminate against people who had different values than they did.

Isn’t that what we have going on here when we talk about banning a service that is used by people who differ in “values?”

Liberals and liberal companies discriminating against conservatives and conservative companies?

Clearly, when violence, threats of violence, or breaking the law is at the heart of the service being provided, then a company should be able to limit those who have violated “community standards.” Did the president do this? Maybe. But, did the vast majority of users on Parler do this? Likely not. We’re talking about a small portion of the community, but the whole community was punished.

The result is you appear to be silencing an entire group of people simply because you don’t agree with their perspective, their opinions, or their beliefs.

There is dangerous precedent in this.

The big deal here is that if it happens here, where else can it happen and who else or what else can they do?

Governmental abuse

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This is what a government looks like when free choice and free will is taken from you.

The premise behind the shutdowns/lockdowns is “we’re protecting you.” However, that premise goes right out the door if that order is limiting your ability to make choices for yourself.

As an adult, you have the free will to make choices that are good or bad for yourself. When your ability to do so is limited or taken away then there is a line that gets crossed and it isn’t one that should be taken lightly.

We all know smoking (anything, really) is bad for you, and those in close proximity to you. Whether is is first-hand or second-hand smoke, there is an affect on the body that deep down you know is going to have detrimental effects. Its a proven fact, be it cigs or marijuana, or whatever. The government hasn’t banned you from being able to make this choice, even when it harms yourself and others. Why? Well, that is probably debatable, but likely because they collect tax dollars from it.

So why then are people not allowed to make the decision to dine out for themselves? People who choose to go out and eat obviously know the risk by now. They are adults and responsible for themselves. They are allowed to make these choices, so why is this choice taken away and not others? The connection is lost and the “we’re protecting you and others” argument holds little water when people are 1) making a free will choice to stay open to the public, and 2) people are willing to take that risk and visit said open establishment. No one is being forced to dine in these places.

Government gone wild. There is no review because the legislature isn’t allowed to meet and the state Constitution has given the governor virtually dictatorial powers in an “emergency” or a real emergency. So, there is no way to stop it and one man (or two, if you include the state health guy) have virtually unlimited power. These rules basically task a governmental department with enforcement powers with little oversight since the people in charge or enforcement aren’t elected.

Smells a lot like late 1930s Germany…or post WWII Soviet Union…

AND…the fact that citizens are snitching on their neighbors or community members smacks of American 1950’s Red Scare, only it isn’t about Communism this time. It is all about “Covid under everybody’s bed.”

Sad. Infuriating. Scary.

Fatigue

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Anyone else just tired of everything? I mean, like, EVERYTHING.

Literally half the country has lost it’s freedom loving mind.

Not to mention that literally three counties in my state control (read that as dictate) the election results for the other 36.

I am just tired. No wonder people wander into the wilderness, live off grid, and desire to never see other humans again.

Cavemen had it good.

Perfect storm

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I could use a perfect storm. Not just any perfect storm though. I want a specific perfect storm of relief, not one that full of problems either.

I want a perfect storm that:

  • Gives me unlimited free time (I don’t want a job).
  • Gives me an unlimited amount of money (ok, doesn’t have to be unlimited, but a VERY VERY large amount).
  • Gives me freedom from all current responsibilities…read that however you’d like…

That’s it.

I am easy to please (ok, not really but those things would go a long way to pleasing me).

You might be thinking, “Oh, but money creates problems too, so it won’t solve all your problems.” If you’re thinking that, you can just take your negativity some place else. I am the only one around here that can have this kind of attitude.

Besides, I have never had that kind of money, time, and freedom. I would like to see if I can handle those “problems” that arise from this perfect storm of relief. I think I can do it.

I know I can!

Who wants to perfect storm with me?

You’re joking, right?

Well, this is something, and it is on point!

I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I had to share something that someone said better than me. Unfortunately, those who believe “it’s just a mask” have been swayed for too easily.

Ben Franklin was right, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty or Safety.”

 

A lesson from Hong Kong

police motorcycle in middle of road

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Wanna know what happens if the progressives and liberals ever win back all the branches of the government in the United States? Too dramatic? Overly cautionary? Hyper-political?

Pay attention to what is happening in Hong Kong.

Am I overreacting? Am I being alarmist? Am I blowing things out of proportion? No, of course it won’t be exactly like that. It will be a slower march towards Communism, but similar nonetheless.

China and their Communist government has designs on domination and they don’t care what freedoms and guarantees they made to the international community over Hong Kong. The freedom that the people who live there is all but about gone, and China is warning the international community to not interfere.

With current trends in progressive and liberal politics, the march towards socialism becomes a greater threat. As the march towards socialism gets stronger, cancel culture, censorship, and the expectation that everyone fall in line with their ideology increases too.

Dissent? Don’t speak out or you will get a mob of unfriendlies descending upon you to ruin your career, life, relationships, and demonize you until you apologize (doesn’t matter if you do, they still blacklist you) or disappear from the public (either from your doing it or from them doing it).

Don’t think it’s possible? When England handed over Hong Kong back to China in 1999, no one really thought it would ever happen there either. “Communist take over of Hong Kong? Nah, it’s enjoyed too much freedom for too long, plus it’s an international hub for the world’s businesses. It’ll never happen!” So much for that thought, right?

The slow march in the US is a lot like a frog in a pot. You don’t know you’re cooked until it is too late. Unfortunately, there are far too many people in the pot who are not paying close enough attention to what is going on.

China is a threat. Russia is a threat. Not from weapons, at least not yet, but from ideology.

There will be a day when we wake up and the state of the States will be piss poor and many were too blinded by the agenda to see it coming.

 

 

 

You have choices

photo of pathway surrounded by fir trees

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Anyone else wanna just throw up your hands, shrug, and say “Screw it!”?

Can’t keep up with the ever changing guidelines and requirements related to your lockdown? Frustrated that you can’t get a straight answer on what you can and can’t do? Irritated by contradictions and uneven applications? Just frustrated by the whole state of affairs?

“Wave your hands in the air like you don’t care…” (thanks Cameo…) and go about life like you normally would, well, at least as much as you can.

I know that some businesses have put their own limitations on customers (you know, to appear they are doing something effective), but you have the freedom to choose where and where you won’t shop too. Consumer choice still rules when it comes to who wins and who looses in the marketplace.

Take precautions, as necessary, because you are a reasonable and rational adult (assumptions…) but don’t let the government and hysterical people dictate to you their fear.

You get to control that too. Something I think a lot of people have forgotten. You can, and should, control your fear. We all assume risk every day of our lives. If we live in fear, which so many people are doing these days, then you won’t get to live. Plain and simple.

Go, live and be free.

 

Pause and reflect

flag of u s a standing near tomb

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Can’t Piss and Moan today.

I mean, I could, but I won’t.

Today we pause and reflect on those that gave their lives so that we might be free, and hopefully continue to be free. That’s why they died. And for that we honor them today.

Thanks, to then men and women who have given their lives in the name of freedom.

Red line

red light beams

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Remember the “red line”?

You know, the one about Syria. Where a former President said that if the government of that country took certain actions then that would cross a red line and then action against said government would be taken in a direct and forceful manner? I know you can recall it. Remember how the red line kept moving? How conditions were met, but the red line just kept getting farther away and the requirements kept changing?

Let me submit for your consideration another red line instance.

A red line that keeps moving but for different reasons. This time, it can be seen at some national department levels, but mostly at the state & county & even the city level with certain government officials and this whole pandemic thing.

Remember how we were told the pandemic was coming and there was a red line that couldn’t be crossed or we would be in big trouble?

You know, “flatten the curve” and all that jazz? Let’s “stay home, stay safe” so we can keep our hospitals from being overrun with the sick? So there wasn’t a major lack of supplies and all?

Well, it seems the curve has been flattened and we never actually got to the red line, but for some reason the red line keeps getting pushed farther and farther out.

The first message was, “We need to do this to keep people safe and to keep the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.” Red line 1.

Okay. This is unknown, and temporary, so sure why not? We can do this so we can get more info.

Then the message was, “OK, this seems to be working, so let’s do it for just a little bit longer so testing can catch up.” Red line 2.

Seems reasonable, but this might actually not be needed. I am a reasonable adult and can make smart choices and be cautious without being told what I can’t and can’t do.

Now the message is, “We’re going to extend the ‘stay home, stay safe’ order because it worked and there isn’t a vaccine or a cure yet and we think everyone should continue to be isolated while we pick the winners and losers in the economy. Schools, businesses, and public areas may or may not open based on a plan that will take weeks, if not months, maybe years, to implement. Please heed the warnings of forecasts that are about as good as weather reports and trust us that we’re doing this because we know best.”

Red line 3.

So, we are being forced to obey the will of the government, by force in some cases, Constitution and rights be damned. Um, is the government working FOR us or AGAINST us here?

I get the red line. The first one was necessary. The second, questionable. But the third? Not so much.

There are few things more irritating than changing expectations or goals that can’t be met because the goal line keeps changing.

As citizens, I think it is time to step up and let the government know, again, who draws the lines and what we are willing and not willing to do, and when we are willing to do it.

 

 

Slaves

hotrod die cast model on board

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We’re all slaves.

Slaves to something. Whether it be an addiction or ideology or habit or whatever, there is something that controls us to some degree. It is inevitable.

Guaranteed you’re a slave to money. So am I.

We all need it to one degree or another. Some of us need it less and some of us need it more but, any way you look at it, we all still need it. We don’t live in a hunter-gatherer society any longer so we obviously live beyond just a subsistence level (those were simpler days, weren’t they?).

So, I was thinking about the fact that we are all slaves today.

Through this whole pandemic thing, I have had to keep asking myself about whom I am willing to be a slave to. I need money, that isn’t an option. Because of that, I have really been questioning which is more important, my job or the government? Essentially, I am asking which am I willing to be a slave to.

Would I rather be a slave to big business or to big government?

Some might argue that they are pretty similar, really, but let’s not get into the weeds of the debate here. Would I rather be at the mercy of big business where, for the most part, there is innovation and some freedom to decide where I want to work OR would I rather be at the mercy of an all powerful government where I have to rely on them for most everything and not question them and there is little to no innovation or freedom of choice?

Business or government? Freedom or oppression?

Now, I am a historian and I know the history. I know big business can be a lot like a government in my ways.

There is always going to be abuse, but at least with business there is always the chance for the little guy to break away and try to make it on his own. Start something new if he doesn’t like the big business or has an idea that could possibly innovate an industry.

But with a government, in most cases, I can’t just pick up and move to a different government if I don’t like it (like I can with a job). Know what I mean? In most cases I am going to be subject to the current government and there isn’t a way for me to break away and say, “Hey, I have a better idea, let’s do it this way!” Thus going about establishing a new government I see fit for me and those who agree with me.

That option doesn’t exist under a government like it does with a business.

Anyway, all this to say, have we let the government(s) go too far with this whole lockdown thing? Which response, meaning what level of government, was appropriate – federal, state, county, city? Whom has abused their powers? The powers WE gave them and that WE may possibly need to fight back to get again?

I feel like I am rambling now. I was hoping to keep this as a short, salient point, but I fear the more I explain it the more confusing it gets.

So, who or what are you willing to be a slave to?