Sunday Funnies; No Holds Barred

And so this week, AG Barr testified, or at least tried to, since the Demonrats wouldn’t let him speak.

The more things change…

Ahead of the curve

Write your own caption

And, of course

Alive and kickin’

Lots of talk recently about the Silent Majority. I am a member. There are thousands upon thousands of us across America. We’re tight-lipped; play our cards close to the chest. Watch everything; reveal nothing. We are the ninjas – we are the shadow that passes, seen out of the corner of the Left’s eye, almost imperceptible. That’s the way we like it.

I’ve mentioned before that we don’t do polls. The only poll that counts is on election day. The news would have you believe that Joe Biden is ahead in the polls; they’re quite right – of course, he is. The Woke Generation, the Karens, the ‘peaceful’ protesters, the Twitterati – those are the people who participate in polls. They love their voices to be heard – shout, scream, holler, answer a poll. They love to be ‘in your face’, put you up against the wall, get your undivided attention. They’ve done an excellent job so far. We watch, we note, we consider, we remember.

As I’ve lamented, I get every conceivable request for donations to every conceivable Republican across the United States – they use similar scare tactics; the world is going to end if President isn’t re-elected! It’s up to ME, they tell me, to ensure the life of the Constitution, the second amendment, free speech; it’s all up to me and my bank account. If that were true, we’d be in sorry shape, for sure. But I understand the theory behind this – how else to get folks to respond? Fear is a mighty tool – ask the Left. They’ve been using it for decades, all around the world. In case we didn’t get it the four thousandth time around, they are letting us know socialism is a real, very real, threat to America and we’d better be doing all we can to stop it, root it out, kill it once and for all.

I’m ashamed to say I love the latest news from Portland – what a hole that place is! Their mayor ‘found the love’ of the Left when they all but physically attacked him at a protest mob, at 11 o’clock at night, in front of a Federal Court building. He experienced what we always knew would happen. They don’t respect anything or anyone and you can never, ever make them happy. Inch = mile = on your property = doxing your personal information = coming in your house. How do ya like ’em now, Mayor?

We watch, we note, we consider, and we remember. The Silent Majority; alive and kickin’.

Four Things and they’re All Important

Several things today starting with Governor Kristi Noem on reopening schools.

Doing governance as it should be done.


Rachel Bovard at The Federalist has some thoughts about Big Tech and Monopolies.

Conservatives have alleged for years that these companies exhibit a bias against conservative points of view despite the fact that entities like Facebook and Google constitute a “global town square” and see themselves as key facilitators of free expression. This allegation has only grown louder as conservative members of Congress were shadow-banned. […]

In a January field hearing, the antitrust subcommittee heard testimony from small tech businesses who recounted in detail how Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon were “wielding their massive footprints as weapons, allegedly copying smaller competitors’s features or tweaking their algorithms in ways that put new companies at a costly disadvantage.” Or, in the words of Patrick Spence, head of the speaker company Sonos, the platforms “leverage dominance in one market to conquer or destroy adjacent markets, especially markets that may one day pose a threat to their dominance.”

Amazon, in particular, is dealing with discrepancies between what they told Congress — that they do not use third-party sales data to set prices for Amazon-branded products — and what their employees told the Wall Street Journal. Amazon is also facing allegations that they met with startups about investing, only to swipe other companies’ ideas for their own product lines.

Google has faced allegations that it self-preferences its search results, demoting non-Google results even when the information contained therein was more relevant to an individual’s search. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google has altered its search algorithm on behalf of big businesses like eBay while modifying search results for terms like “abortion” and “immigration.”

None of this would matter so much if these companies didn’t wield such unprecedented amounts of power. But when Google constitutes 92 percent of worldwide internet searches, the opaque, unaccountable ways the company decides to filter information has tremendous consequences for business, human behavior, and independent thought.

Conservatives are rightly skeptical of government interference in the marketplace. But violations of existing antitrust law in the form of anticompetitive behavior isn’t regulation, it’s law enforcement. As the supposed champions of small entrepreneurs, conservatives should want to ensure that the field of commerce and innovation is fair and equally accessible.

Many on the political right have said for years that people unhappy with social media platforms should just “build their own.” So shouldn’t those same people want to make sure they still can?

The Threat to Individual Privacy

As an industry that makes money from the commoditization of hyper-individualized data, Big Tech knows more about us than any industry in human history. Indeed, Big Tech’s business model is based on knowing where we go (physically and virtually), what we say in our emails and text messages, what we buy, and even what our voices sound like.

This presents huge policy ramifications around what is “ours” and what is “theirs.” Do human beings have a property right to their data trail? Should there be limits on the type of data companies collect, what Big Tech can do with our data, or who they can share it with?

Consider that under a provision of HIPAA, hospital chains have shared the names, dates of birth, and medical histories of up to 50 million Americans with Google without the knowledge or consent of the patients or doctors. Google won’t say what they’re doing with the data, or the data they’ve recently acquired on 28 million users of Fitbit. In this bizarre legal landscape, Google has a right to your medical record, but you don’t.

These companies are also serial violators of individual privacy, despite presenting themselves as the opposite. Google reads our emails. Facebook reads our texts. Google still tracks the location of users who turn off geolocation services.

There quite a lot more and you should read and understand what she is saying.

Here is my take: I’m basically libertarian on economic policy, which most of you know BUT and its a big but: When the founder’s set up our government they endowed it with checks and balances against any branch becoming all-powerful. Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 28:

Power being almost always the rival of power, the general government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments, and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. The people, by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate. If their rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress. How wise will it be in them by cherishing the union to preserve to themselves an advantage which can never be too highly prized!

This has worked reasonably well over the years, but as business grew so large it became a power center in its own right, as we see now in Big Tech, where Google, for instance, will not cooperate with the US Department of Defense but is readily willing to work with the Chinese military. There are plenty of other examples. So, it seems that the government must be the check on unchecked business, because no other entity is large enough to do so, especially including other businesses. Here too it is as Madison said in Federalist 51

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.


Via CNN:

Herman Cain, the former presidential candidate and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, has died from coronavirus, according to an obituary sent from his verified Twitter account and Newsmax, where he was launching a television show.

May he rest in peace having fought the good fight.


And finally, Sgt Joe Friday has some words for Antifa and Black Live matters that ring as true today as they did when written in 1968.

 

 

Not Polls

I’ve written about polls and why I don’t pay attention to them. The information they provide does not include the thousands of folks who won’t take a poll survey.

We’ve always known that the Silent Majority exists so this video was very interesting to me. I sort of like Tim Pool but I can’t watch a lot of his videos – I have trouble getting through one – because he talks too much. He exhausts my ears. Ben Shapiro talks a lot as well but he does it so quickly, he’s done before my ears complain about assault.

So the title of this video surprised me and I watched it. I fast forward when I need a break from him talking. In an instance like this, where he is sharing an article, moving the red bar allows me to get past him and into the purpose of what he is talking about.

I did a piece for NEO awhile back about the art of glass blowing and a Netflix program about that. I was sort of on a rant and after censoring myself (on my own, no coercion), the point of the piece was misdirected and the piece itself was weaker than my intention. I sent an email to NEO and basically apologized because I had self-censored and it damaged the article. Neo replied that I didn’t have to censor but then I’d have to take the flack that might have ensued and simply mentioned that going too far out of bounds might possibly put the site at risk.

Until I had written – and then watered down – that article, I didn’t realize that I censor myself a lot. The Cato article that Tim Pool shares in the above video was reinforcement of how far the Left has won on the use of words, and how even someone like me, with no particular axe to grind, moderates themselves just because we don’t want people ‘in our faces’. There is another aspect as well, I believe.

The idea that I can use the weakest, most gentle words to describe someone or something to which I may take exception, and those words could be used to support someone’s claim that I verbally abused them or a group. I am a full-grown adult; I take full responsibility for the things I say, do, and write.

In today’s climate, where does that leave me? Who do I talk to? Who do I share my opinions with? I proudly belong to a site in the United Kingdom that shares my views and right here, at our beloved National Energy Observer, I can share my thoughts and insights. That’s two places – only two places – where I feel safe enough to take a shot at airing my outlook on life and politics. In the whole big world. Two places.

This place, NEO, is my ‘not poll’.

 

Sunday Funnies, Wild Pitch

People should refrain from publically demonstrating they are wimpy nerds.

Then there is the team with no name™.

 

This

I don’t know either!!

A reminder

And, of course

Generational Destruction and Teacher’s Unions

Bookworm has some thoughts on keeping schools closed due to union pressures. I think she’s spot on. Let’s have a look.

1. President Trump wants to open the schools, so leftists reflexively oppose opening them.

2. Leftists think they can leverage school re-openings for political extortion. The Los Angeles teachers’ union is demanding, among many other things, that the city de-fund charter schools (their competition), raise taxes on the wealthy, and shrink class sizes by 50%. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a teachers’ union is insisting that they won’t return to the classroom unless the state implemented universal healthcare for citizens and illegal aliens alike.

3. Having children at home puts enormous pressure on families. Single mothers can’t work at all. Two-parent families may be seeing their income shrink by 50%. This creates two possible responses:

The people who are mad with fear about the virus are also the people who think that Biden can actually make it all better.

Possible in 2020 America, but it’s also an indictment of the education these so-called adults received. No president can really do very much short term about the schools. Of course, calling off the Democratic dogs might be another matter. Or there is this:

Then there are the people who know this is all a con, intended to pressure people into voting for Biden. The way the con works is that, once Biden wins, the whole virus madness will end as swiftly as it did during the Black Lives Matter protests. These people want to vote for Trump, but they believe a vote for Biden is the only way to end this Democrat extortion.

Which ties back to my comment on the first option. It also brings to mind a bit of Kipling:

IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: –
“We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight,
 Unless you pay us cash to go away.”And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: –
“Though we know we should defeat you,
we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
 But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
 You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
 For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: —

“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
 No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
 And the nation that plays it is lost!”

Anybody think teacher’s unions are any different?

Then there is the other side:

1. There’s nothing conservatives want more than to see the end of public schools. Students stuck in bad districts don’t get educated at all and students in all districts are subject to non-stop leftist indoctrination. Additionally, the teachers’ unions are consistently the largest Democrat donors in most elections. […]

2. Keeping kids out of school is really bad for them. We know that, unless they’re terribly immune-compromised or weak in other ways, the virus is a mere nothing to them. Keeping them out of school won’t save their lives.

However, long-distance education is nothing fish nor fowl. It’s not homeschooling, which has a separate dynamic that’s very focused on the individual. Instead, it’s drone schooling, […]

Another problem is that children need to socialize. Not only are they being kept from school, but they’re also not even supposed to see other children under this paranoid regime. […]

Lastly, children need to develop their immune systems. By protecting them from the one virus, we’re preventing them from exposure to all the other things that their body needs if it’s to educate the immune system to protect them throughout their lives. […]

A hearty YUP to all five, and probably another dozen neither Book nor I thought of. It’s the worst of all possible non-answers to a non-existent problem. Why exactly should we allow teachers (and their unions) who have time and again proved that they care less than nothing about anybody but themselves and their political power to completely ruin another generation of our children?

I can’t stop thinking about that woman in Arizona who threw her toddler out the window to save it. She was already on fire and might have saved herself by jumping after the baby. She didn’t, though. Instead, she stayed in the apartment, burning to death, to make sure that her 8-year-old daughter survived (which the girl did). Would that mother be so afraid of a virus that she would willingly destroy her children’s education and socialization? (And again, that’s assuming there are such benefits from modern public school education.)

It’s an excellent point and those responsible should be thinking long and hard about it.

Read her full post (linked above). It’s the most common sense I’ve seen on the topic.

%d bloggers like this: