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?

Very little

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I’ve been sentenced to death and I have to choose the manner of death via capital punishment. Do I choose the noose, the chair, an injection, the chamber, or the wall (yes, firing squad is still legal in the US)? It’s a tough choice because ultimately the result is death, but which one will hurt me least?

Choosing a political candidate in the US is kind of a similar choice these days. Did you watch the debate last night? My point exactly.

There has been lots of talk about the presidential debate last night. What a disaster that was! I have heard it called lots of things today: dumpster fire, hot mess, train wreck, kindergarten playground, sh*t show, etc. Honestly, it was all of that!

We learned very little last night. The only thing we learned last night is exactly what we all fear will happen every election.

Choose between the lesser of two evils.

If both are evil, then our choice is screwed either way. Which future do I fear worse? Which one will hurt me least?

For a nation that values choice, we don’t have any. We don’t even have the freedom to not choose. So, that leaves us with no good choice, except to choose a choice we don’t like.

I am tired of this.

Is there any place on earth I to go to be away from people, have freedom to live free, and have access to technology when needed?

Asking for a friend.

Just the facts

photo of head bust print artwork

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I am sure you are aware, but just in case you aren’t…we no longer live in a society that is based on facts. A large portion of our society, our neighbors, or family members just live on feelings.

It is nearly impossible to have a discussion with anyone these days and actually use facts as a counter argument to their hysteria because they just don’t have any reason left.

**Side note: Yes, I am quite aware that Trump has a poor grasp of facts, as well, so you don’t need to point that out. **

As an example, last night I was having a discussion with someone about the whole Home Depot, former founder, and donations/support of President Trump. The individual was jumping on the bandwagon of boycotting Home Depot (never mind that the guy no longer has anything at all to do with the retailer any longer and hasn’t for more than 10 years) because of it and they made the blanket statement about “old, rich white guys ruining the country.”

See my response below:

Here’s the weird thing about picking on rich, old white guys….
Old, rich white guys fought to make the colonies, then states, free and the place you call home. Similarly, old rich white guys fought to keep the colonies from being free and the place you now call home. 
Old, rich white guys fought to give equality to slaves during the Civil War. It was also old, rich white guys that fought to keep slaves and break apart the country you now call home. 
It’s old, rich people (because it just isn’t white or male anymore) fight to keep Planned Parenthood from killing babies. And, it’s old, rich people who fight to keep letting Planned Parenthood kill babies. 
It’s old rich people who fight to let you keep more of your money so you can do with it as you please because, hey, it’s a free country and you have freedom of thought & opinion. It’s old rich people fighting to force you to give up more of your money so they can spend it as they please, tell you what to say and think, and take away the freedoms old white guys gave you in the past. 
Which group of old rich people does right? That’s subjective. 
What is not subjective is that rich people put their money where they believe they can get the best deal and make more money. If the wind blows this way, they invest there. If it blows that way, they invest there. Heck, some invest in both regardless of which way the wind blows because they know eventually the wind will change either way. 
I imagine you are not really all that different from the rest of us, you put your money where you can get the best deal and can get the most out of it. Saying you’ll stop shopping at one place or another isn’t really the truth because you’re really just like those old rich people, and so am I.
This well reasoned response was met with a “I disagree with everything you just said.”
REALLY? Everything? Sorry, are you not an American? Do you have no knowledge and understanding of history at all? Do you not know how the economy and politics of our nation work, whether we like it or not?
Thus, the conversation ended because there is no reasoning with someone who doesn’t have a grasp of basic facts. The problem is, more and more conversations end this way. Reason is getting harder and harder to use, let alone find.
Let’s be honest here, it isn’t old rich people that are ruining the country. They have just done what they have always done, found a way to exploit those who don’t think for themselves and manipulate those people to do the work for them. The problem is that the people who are easily manipulated are multiplying faster than those who have a grasp on Reason.
Therein lies the true danger to the country.

Have you encountered the same sort of difficulty? Do facts and Reason have no place in society any longer?

Time for a face palm

Head in Hands

As if the nation didn’t hear a collective groan from pundits, media personalities, celebrities, and just Democrats in general upon the submission and conclusion of the Mueller Report.

A large segment of the population has waited with bated breath for a conclusion of collusion. What they got instead was their “worst nightmare”? Not sure how the public can openly root and cheer for the demise of a sitting president, but that’s what has been happening.

A whole host of people have waited so impatiently to get dirt on the president so they can kick him out of office. They despise him so much they are willing to perpetuate lies (yes, we know he lies too) and spin information with no reliable source. They have undermined their own democracy for an agenda they can’t justify.

No one deserves a bigger face palm than those who have waited and waited only to find their hopes and dreams dashed with the truth. The problem is, the truth isn’t what they wanted in the first places to the immediately parse, spin, and suggest more conspiracy theories. The hate and vitriol has been astonishing, and quite frankly embarrassing.

I am glad this is over but come on people, it’s time to move on and do the work of the people! The media needs to stop commentating and editorializing everything they “report” and be more transparent about their sources so that information can be vetted and verified.

I am a Trump voter but not necessarily a supporter. I voted the way I did because he was/is better than the alternative, sad but true. I am not happy with all he does and says, but I am happy with some. Did I wonder if the collusion was true? Sure. Did I hope it wasn’t? Yes. Do I want him to be success? Heck yes! I don’t want any president to fail.

So, for those of you out there having to eat a whole flock of crows – get to it and be honest about it!

If you deserve a face palm, I have a palm available if you need it. I would be happy to help you out.

In the meantime, I will continue to do my own face palm as you act like children because you didn’t get what you wanted. You aren’t that three-year old in the cereal aisle at the supermarket, so stop acting like it.