Tyranny, Australia Style

Zoe Buhler arrested for a FaceBook post

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That is what we, as Americans believed in 1790, and it is what we believe in 2020. In fact, we’ll even put up with a limited amount of violence to make sure that that freedom is respected. It was actually old news in 1790, Edmund Burke wrote this in 1775…

In this character of the Americans, a love of freedom is the predominating feature which marks and distinguishes the whole: and as an ardent is always a jealous affection, your colonies become suspicious, restive, and untractable, whenever they see the least attempt to wrest from them by force, or shuffle from them by chicane, what they think the only advantage worth living for. This fierce spirit of liberty is stronger in the English colonies probably than in any other people of the earth; and this from a great variety of powerful causes; which, to understand the true temper of their minds, and the direction which this spirit takes, it will not be amiss to lay open somewhat more largely.

He basically considered American and Britons brothers in their love of freedom. Although he found the Americans more touchy about it. He continued with this…

First, the people of the colonies are descendants of Englishmen. England, Sir, is a nation, which still I hope respects, and formerly adored, her freedom. The colonists emigrated from you when this part of your character was most predominant; and they took this bias and direction the moment they parted from your hands. They are therefore not only devoted to liberty, but to liberty according to English ideas, and on English principles. Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found. Liberty inheres in some sensible object; and every nation has formed to itself some favourite point, which by way of eminence becomes the criterion of their happiness.

Burke was, for all his sympathy for America, and it was great, above all an English patriot. He must be rolling over in his grave now at what is happening in the English speaking world, so far has it departed from his tolerant views.

England is bad enough, but have you been paying attention to the news from Victoria, Australia?

A pregnant young lady, in her pajamas, was arrested last week, handcuffed and carted off to jail in front of her children for making a FaceBook post about a coming peaceful protest at the recurring lockdown in that commonwealth. Here’s the video.

 

I can’t speak for you, but she doesn’t look very dangerous to me, for such a thing to happen, especially in such a grotesque manner.

Zoe-Lee Buhler is her name. She has lost her job thanks to Australia’s coronavirus lockdowns. She’s tired of the economic uncertainty, stressed by the suicides it’s causing, and wanted to make a difference. Altogether sounds like the sort of citizen any free country would want to have, sadly she’s in Victoria. From the Spectator Australia:

It follows that, as sovereign, ‘the Australian people must also be free to communicate about government and political matters fully and freely’.

How does the democratic nature of our Constitution can be reconciled with police going into homes without a warrant and arresting a pregnant woman in front of her children because of a Facebook message? This does not look like a democratic government but the actions of a deeply authoritarian regime. It certainly shouldn’t happen in a true edemocracy.

However, Victoria’s police commissioner Luke Cornelius has justified that arrest and handcuffing of Buhler, saying he was completely “satisfied” that officers had acted “properly” and “reasonably”. He also warned that hundreds of police would be deployed to make other similar arrests, and attacked citizens protesting against the government as “selfish” and deserving full punishment: ‘We are very concerned, and in fact, outraged is probably a fair word, to say there are still people in our community who think it’s a good idea … to leave home and protest on our streets … Take the selfish option and leave home to protest, we’ll be there for you’.

The arrest of people for speaking out against their government is a mark of every dictatorial regime. However, Premier Daniel Andrews has described the appalling arrest of a pregnant woman merely as an ‘operational matter for Victoria Police’. When asked whether the left-wing organisers of the Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne’s CBD, on 6 June 2000, should have been charged with incitement as the Ballarat woman, he refused to give a proper answer and said he would have to defer this matter to Victoria Police.

In my opinion, backed up by hundreds of years since Burke spoke those words, the two tyrants and the police officers who executed this monstrosity of an outrage need to be removed instantly, in any feasible manner and prosecuted themselves. What a hideous display of tyranny this is. Neither Henry VIII nor Cromwell would have dared.

But remember this, that is exactly what Biden and Harris want to bring to the United States as well. And remember this too, if the United  States falls, liberty has nowhere to run.

State Government, Facebook, and the Constitution

Well, it’s not often that Nebraska gets grouped in with New Jersey and California, especially involving Facebook (or Farcebook, as many of my friends have it) and denial of the 1st Amendment. Then again, I suspect Pete Ricketts, our governor, had much the same reaction as I did, best classed as WTF!

Emily Jashinsky at The Federalist seems to have it sorted.

At first, the company seemed to be bragging about its work with state governments to remove posts promoting protests of lockdown guidelines. After state governments disputed that characterization, Facebook said it had only consulted the local officials for information on the scope of their guidelines.

On Monday evening, a Facebook company spokesperson clarified the platform’s approach to The Federalist. “Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook,” they said. “For this same reason, events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.”

Speaking on background, the Facebook source added, “We review content about the protests against our policies and whether the protest calls for social distancing where that is required. We require protests to make calls for social distancing clear in their event in states where that is required for protests.”

“State officials can contact us to inform us on their guidance as it relates to social distancing in their state,” they continued. “We reached out to state officials to understand the scope of their orders, not about removing specific protests on Facebook.”

Several news outlets reported early Monday that a Facebook spokesperson sent a statement claiming the company removed posts that promoted quarantine protests from its website at the direction of state governments.

The gist of the story seems to be that Facebook wants us to think they are an official gatekeeper working with our often overzealous governments to suppress our rights. Well, OK then. Facebook is convenient, but no one concerned with their constitutional rights should consider them an ally, or even a very good channel. They have far to often shown themselves to be susceptible to pressure, especially from the left. Simply not to be trusted. Never, not ever.

Meanwhile, over at Townhall, Katie Pavlich tells us that the US Attorney General Bill Barr reaffirmed that our constitutional rights don’t go away just because some new strain of flu shows up, saying:

But it still has the obligation to adapt to the circumstances. Whatever powers the government has, whether it be the president or the state governor, still is bounded by Constitutional rights of the individual. Our federal Constitutional rights don’t go away in an emergency. They constrain what the government can do. And in a circumstance like this, they put on the government the burden to make sure that whatever burdens it’s putting on our Constitutional liberties are strictly necessary to deal with the problem,” he continued. “They have to be targeted. They have to use less intrusive means if they are equally effective in dealing with the problem. And that’s the situation we’re in today. We’re moving into a period where we have to do a better job of targeting the measures we’re deploying to deal with this virus.

And that is fair enough. Americans have always been pragmatic enough to understand that sometimes rights have to give way to common sense. We still do. The problems start when the government gets pushy, without enough justification, or tries to hold on longer than common sense indicates, or goes too far. All of which is happening now. Then the government (state and/or federal) gets pushback, and it tends to be rather blunt. Governor Ricketts is unlikely to be harmed by this, he’s a pretty good man, and he did the right thing when Facebook misrepresented itself. But it too is a warning, it’s time to be getting back to work, this particular threat is diminishing, but the threat to the economy is very real, and getting worse.

InfoWars

So Alex Jones and InfoWars got themselves deplatformed by Facebook, YouTube, Apple, and Spotify. Probably if I didn’t know it, I’d never notice. Like everybody else, I’ve been there a couple of times and decided it was a waste of time, and brain cells. In other words, he ain’t on my playlist. But it does matter.

And that is why it matters. Infowars may be (and likely is) irrelevant.

But Elizabeth Heng is not. She is the daughter of Cambodians who managed to escape the Cambodian genocide. She is a smart, attractive, conservative candidate (endorsed by Victor Davis Hanson, no less) for the California 16th Congressional district, where last I read she was even with her opponent. Her first campaign ad was suppressed by Facebook, presumably for showing scenes of that genocide. It’s her personal story about why she loves America. Which the left has pretty much consigned to the memory hole.

There are plenty of others.

YouTube said this about Alex Jones:

 YouTube explained that, “When users violate … policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.” Facebook’s removals came after they decided that Jones’s material was violent: “Upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence … and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”

Which leads me to conclude. Who died and left these leftist wienies in charge? Where’s the protection for say Candace Owens, who got physically and verbally abusively run out of a Philadelphia diner the other day by Antifa, who never has a problem with YouTube censorship?

Now mind, this is not a First Amendment issue. These are all private companies, and as such, are not subject to it, unlike say a small bakery who does not wish to bake a cake for a gay wedding, because of their religion.

But the thing that needs to be decided is this.

  • Are these companies common carriers, like the phone company? Then they should (must, actually) be allowed (required) to carry all messages without regard to their content. That’s mostly what the tech oligarchy has argued over the years. I’m good with that as well. Actually, I think it the best possible model.
  • Or are they publishers? In that case, they bear the responsibility, and the authority to screen what they publish. They also bear a legal (and financial) obligation to stay within the guidelines. In addition, they are subject to anti-trust laws.

The choice is binary, one can not choose one on every day except every other Tuesday after the sailboat races. One or the other.

Then there is the whole ‘hate speech’ thing. There is NO definition of what ‘hate speech’ is, it all a murky quagmire of what this person or that person is offended by, even if it’s not about him. Mind you, we’re doing a bit better than the UK here, where you can go to jail for such mindless drivel, here you can’t, yet. But you can lose your social media, which many have spent a lot of time and money building into a profit center. Gone because some leftist tech puke has offenditis.

Zuckerberg Talks, Facebook’s Problems Even Worse

From Investor’s Business Daily.

Public Relations: After days of silence in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been talking up a storm. Given the kinds of things he’s been saying, it might be better if he went back to his Silent Zuck routine.

Case in point is his interview with Vox.com, in which Zuckerberg managed to generate a new round of bad press over Facebook’s privacy scandal, talked about having some sort of Supreme Court decide what constitutes “acceptable speech” and how Facebook (FB) hampers independent media outlets. Oh, and he apparently thinks patriotism is arcane.

The latest privacy flap came when Zuckerberg suggested that Facebook scans private messages sent over its Messenger app and blocks those it deems inappropriate.

During the interview, he talked about blocking “sensational messages” that Facebook believed were meant to incite harm. “Our systems detect that that’s going on,” he said. “We stop those messages from going through.”

On Wednesday, Facebook officials confirmed the practice to Bloomberg.

The public response has not been favorable. One Twitter user commented “Facebook is the new NSA.” Another tweeted “Facebook: The world’s youngest surveillance state.”

Completely unacceptable, in my opinion. Either Facebook is a common carrier of information, rather like the phone company, or it is not. If it is not, then it is a private message service, and needs to be transparent in its advertising and public relations that it only carries messages for its favored people and groups, even if that undercuts its model of making (lots of) money by selling its clients information to all and sundry.

“You can imagine,” he said, “some sort of structure, almost like a Supreme Court, that is made up of independent folks who don’t work for Facebook, who ultimately make the final judgment call on what should be acceptable speech in a community that reflects the social norms and values of people all around the world.”

It’s a good thing Zuckerberg wasn’t around when the founders were drafting the First Amendment.

But what exactly does he think would constitute global “social norms and values” in a world that includes countries where gays are executed, infidels killed, political opponents jailed, and free press suppressed?

Zuckerberg also talked about how his company “worked directly” with the German government to monitor content before elections there, saying that “if you work with the government in a country, they’ll actually have a fuller understanding of what is going on.”

That prompted the Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman to write: “The idea of Facebook working with governments around the world to filter news is more frightening than almost any commercial use of user data one can imagine.”

We could not agree more.

I couldn’t agree more either. Worst of all worlds really, being exploited for your personal data, by who knows whom, not to mention various repressive governments, and yes, I include Germany in that category. I wonder when we will start seeing Europeans going to jail for Facebook posts? Shan’t be long, I imagine, the British police are already monitoring Twitter.

At another point, Zuckerberg appears to dismiss pride of country as old fashioned.

“One of the things I found heartening is if you ask millennials what they identify the most with, it’s not their nationality,” he said. “The plurality identifies as a citizen of the world. And that, I think, reflects the values of where we need to go.”

Well, what really is there to add to that. He has his opinion. I and millions of others have a directly opposite opinion, mostly because we are intelligent enough to recognize that some countries are better than others, and some are clearly evil.

He really ought to stop digging, the hole is plenty deep to bury him in, but he won’t, not least because he thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room well world maybe. Watching people blow things up is strangely fascinating though, isn’t it?

Thursday Report and Civil War 2.0

I need to thank The Other McCain for picking up on yesterday’s post and expanding on some aspects of it. I agree with him.


Steven Hayward reminds us that

Because as near as I can tell, what Cambridge Analytica did was exactly what the Obama 2012 digital campaign did with Facebook, with the active cooperation of Facebook it would seem. No one made any fuss about that at the time. But as I never tire of pointing out, if liberals didn’t have double-standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.

In other words, this is a very stupid ‘scandal’, for lack of a better term.


Maybe, just maybe, the Congressional Republicans are not quite as stupid as they sound. If David Catron in The American Spectator is correct, this is rather clever. I have no reason to doubt him, I just don’t know.

The Democrats have ceaselessly clamored for the inclusion of cost-sharing reduction and risk mitigation programs. But they cried “foul” upon discovering that the leading Republican sponsor of the “stabilization bill,” Senator Lamar Alexander, had stipulated that the Hyde Amendment would apply to the bailout funding: The Los Angeles Times reports:

Democrats said they were shocked Monday to find out that Alexander had approved restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions that would, they said, make it impossible for women to purchase abortion coverage under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.… Those restrictions were not in an Alexander-Murray measure released in 2017, they said.

The Democrats know the abortion lobby will crucify them if they accept such language. More to the point, so does the GOP. The stipulation was obviously inserted to force the Democrats to choose between propping up Obamacare and angering the abortion industry. Senator Alexander feigned surprise to find that the Democrats were so worked up:

Heh!


I think we need some Kurt Schlichter, just for reality’s sake. Civil War in America, yep, not likely but it could happen. But what would happen? Carry on, Colonel.

It’s obvious that the central tenet of the Democrat Party platform is now hatred and contempt for Normal Americans. Taking their cue from the elites in Europe and Canada who are stripping dissenters of their free speech rights and religious freedoms, the leftist elite is moving to solidify its hold on power here with the eager assistance of tech companies and the moral support of the Fredocons who yearn to return to pseudo-relevance as the ruling class’s slobberingly loyal opposition. In California, the leftist government is practically firing on Fort Sumter. And nationally, these aspiring fascists are especially eager to disarm Normal Americans – doing so would be an object lesson in who’s the boss, as well as solving that frustrating problem of the Normals having the ability to resist. […]

There are two Civil War II scenarios, and the left is poorly positioned to prevail in either one. The first scenario is that the Democrats take power and violate the Constitution in order to use the apparatus of the federal government to suppress and oppress Normal Americans. In that scenario, red Americans are the insurgents. In the second scenario, which we can even now see the stirrings of in California’s campaign to nullify federal immigration law, it is the blue states that are the insurgents. […]

Let’s talk terrain and numbers. Remember the famous red v. blue voting map? There is a lot of red, and in the interior the few blue splotches are all cities like Las Vegas or Denver. That is a lot of territory for a counter-insurgent force to control, and this is critical. The red is where the food is grown, the oil pumped, and through which everything is transported. And that red space is filled with millions of American citizens with small arms, a fairly large percentage of whom have military training.

Remember what two untrained idiots did in Boston with a couple of pistols? They shut a city down. Now multiply that by several million, with better weapons and training.

Let’s look at the counter-insurgent forces in the Democrat oppression scenario should they attempt to misuse our law enforcement and military in an unconstitutional manner to take the rights of American citizens. There are a lot of civilian law enforcement officers, but the vast majority of the agencies are local – sheriffs, small town police departments. They will not be reliable allies in supporting unlawful oppression of their friends and neighbors. The major cities’ police departments are run by Democrat appointees, so the commands would be loyal. But the rank-and-file? A small percentage would be ideologically loyal. More would be loyal because that’s their paycheck – they could be swayed or intimidated to support the rebels. Others would be actively sympathetic to the insurgents. This is true of federal law enforcement agencies as well.

And the military? Well, wouldn’t the military just crush any resistance? Not so fast. The military would have the combat power to win any major engagement, but insurgents don’t get into major engagements with forces that have more combat power. They instead leverage their decentralized ability to strike at the counter-insurgents’ weak points to eliminate the government’s firepower advantage. In other words, hit and run, and no stand-up fights.

For example, how do a bunch of hunters in Wisconsin defeat a company of M1A2 Abrams tanks? They ambush the fuel and ammo trucks. Oh, and they wait until the gunner pops the hatch to take a leak and put a .30-06 round in his back from 300 meters. Then they disappear. What do the tanks do then? Go level the nearest town? Great. Now they just moved the needle in favor of the insurgents among the population. Pretty soon, they can’t be outside of their armored vehicles in public. Their forces are spending 90% of their efforts not on actual counter-insurgency operations but on force protection. Sure, they own their forward operating bases, and they own a few hundred meters around them wherever they happen to be standing at the moment, but the rest of the territory is bright red. As my recent novel illustrates, American guerillas with small arms are a deadly threat to the forces of a dictatorship.

But the military is so big it would overwhelm any rebels, right? Well, how big do you think the military is?

Keep reading, this is reality.

Something Kurt doesn’t talk about here but is also true. America, or rather American patriots, invented modern insurgency warfare, it was called partisan warfare back then. It’s the old ‘hide behind a tree and take out an officer’ thing that we did, that unnerved the King’s forces back in the Revolution. Ugly as it is, it works, as Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox showed. Eventually, it got so bad that Lord Cornwallis’s forces were pinned into the Yorktown peninsula, waiting for the Britsh fleet, which never came, but the Continental army, naked and barefoot, did, and their muskets worked just fine, as did the captured British artillery.

Kurt’s other scenario is just as valid, and just as true, and just as catastrophic for the left.

And this is why free men, do not give up their arms. It’s also why we are prudent and careful about provoking such ugly scenarios. But I suppose if you think history began with Barack Obama, you wouldn’t know that.

And just a note, we all enjoy thinking about these unlikely scenarios, it’s a common diversion. But real wars are won by logistics, how hard is it to derail a train? wreck a semi? blow up a substation? How you gonna feed the cities without fuel, without electricity, and without food and water? The left is living in a fantasy world, if it goes beyond words, and they’re trying to make it. They lose, fast, hard, and ugly. So does everybody else in the world, of course. And the biggest loser is the US Army, which goes back to being detested just as the King’s soldiers were in the 1770s. No winners at all, except the most important one, freedom.

Thursday Videos

Seems like I’ve been sitting on a few videos, either because they haven’t fir what I’m writing about or they’re a bit long, or both. So here are some of them.

From Laura Perrins at The Conservative Woman. Yes, it is aimed at a British audience, but it is true for us as well.

Another from Laura, and one you want to watch, Jordan Peterson and Camille Paglia

British sports, or is that sport?

Some truth, slightly NSFW, a lot of truth is these days

And more truth, the objective kind.

Are you tired of Jordan Peterson yet? Me neither, here he is with Ben Shapiro.

Have a good day.

 

 

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