EXCLUSIVE: Twitter Insider Records CEO Jack Dorsey Laying Out Roadmap for Future Political Censorship … ‘We Are Focused on One Account [President Trump] Right Now, But This is Going well to be Much Bigger Than Just One Account’
Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO: “We are focused on one account [@realDonaldTrump] right now, but this is going to be much bigger than just one account, and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week, and the next few weeks, and go on beyond the inauguration.”
Dorsey: “So, the focus is certainly on this account [@realDonaldTrump] and how it ties to real world violence. But also, we need to think much longer term around how these dynamics play out over time. I don’t believe this is going away anytime soon.”
Dorsey: “You know, the U.S. is extremely divided. Our platform is showing that every single day.”
[SAN FRANCISCO – Jan. 14, 2021] Project Veritas released a new video today provided by an insider at Twitter who recorded Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey calling for more action against President Trump and his supporters on the platform.Play
Dorsey said that censoring Trump was just the beginning.
“We are focused on one account [@realDonaldTrump] right now, but this is going to be much bigger than just one account, and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week, and the next few weeks, and go on beyond the inauguration,” he said.
“So, the focus is certainly on this account [@realDonaldTrump] and how it ties to real world violence. But also, we need to think much longer term around how these dynamics play out over time. I don’t believe this is going away anytime soon.”
Dorsey said that political tensions are high in the United States.
“You know, the U.S. is extremely divided. Our platform is showing that every single day,” he said.
The Twitter insider contacted Project Veritas using the VeritasTips@protonmail.com email address. Project Veritas invites more insiders within Twitter and other tech companies to come forward with further evidence of corruption and malfeasance.
About Project Veritas
James O’Keefe established Project Veritas in 2011 as a non-profit journalism enterprise to continue his undercover reporting work. Today, Project Veritas investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions to achieve a more ethical and transparent society. O’Keefe serves as the CEO and Chairman of the Board so that he can continue to lead and teach his fellow journalists, as well as protect and nurture the Project Veritas culture.
Project Veritas is a registered 501(c)3 organization. Project Veritas does not advocate specific resolutions to the issues raised through its investigations.
Much has been said about the terrifying models that in the spring projected such a staggering number of deaths from the novel coronavirus.
In hindsight, as bad as the pandemic has been, it never even approached the dismal numbers suggested ‒ the very numbers that rationalized society-wide lockdowns in Italy, the U.K., New York City, and then in many other places as the pandemic spread.
What researchers have struggled with since then is how to measure the impact of various actions taken. Do we even know if what we’re doing is working? Where’s the evidence for that, and are there other things we ought to do instead?
Naturally, proponents of lockdowns have long said that strong government action prevented all kinds of horrors. If anything, the poor outcomes we had in the spring and the fall indicated that we didn’t do enough. Skeptics, on the other hand, said that lockdowns did nothing but harm our societies ‒ physically, economically, and mentally ‒ and that infection rate curves moved the way they did regardless of what strong-worded politicians implemented, and often before their strong policies took effect.
The August NBER paper by Andrew Atkeson, Karen Kopecky and Tao Zha, ‘Four Stylized Facts about COVID-19’ spells out the uncomfortable position for most policy-makers: the virus seems to spread rapidly, kill selectively, and in no way responds to anything that well-meaning politicians have thrown at it.
The general corona debate quickly became a battle of pointing to this or that country: Lockdowners picked Australia and New Zealand; skeptics picked Sweden and Taiwan. The angry feuds in political arenas and editorial pages were off to the races. Death rates in Sweden far outstripped those of its neighboring countries, a topic on which we already in August tried to bring some clarity.
To an American and British audience who couldn’t tell Bergen from Ystad, or slurred Danish from Finnish diphthongs, higher death rates and weaker restrictions were conclusive evidence that Sweden’s slightly-more-open strategy had failed. Never mind that the Nordic countries may differ in other respects. One-variable statistical analysis at its worst while practically no one compared Sweden to the much worse-performing UK, Belgium or France.
Maybe countries greatly differed from one another in ways that would make such naive comparisons completely misleading: demographics, population densities, the size of the Covid-shock, the effect of government advice, the soft cultural values of how real people interact and how they responded to the pandemic. Besides, all these countries introduced so many new policies and behavioral changes that even those of us who tried to make sense of them quickly lost track.
What we needed was an experiment, where all of those background differences were controlled for. Ideally, a jurisdiction with similar conditions operating on similar rules; where some of their areas locked down hard, while their neighboring counties, identical in every other way, did not. In a new article, one of us together with another co-author, did exactly that.
In late summer, a new mutation of the Sars-CoV-2 virus was discovered among mink farms in Denmark. That information suddenly became important in Danish debate in October, when researchers from the Danish Serum Institute warned against the mutation, and politicians demanded action.
On November 4, the prime minister announced that in the Danish region of Northern Jutland, seven municipalities were to enter into extreme lockdown, enacting the usual battery of work-from-home, closing of commercial and leisure activities and closed public transport. Scattered among them, all in the same region of Northern Jutland, were four municipalities that didn’t; they remained under the then-fairly moderate rules in the rest of Denmark. In total 280,000 people and 126,000 jobs were affected by the extreme lockdown, as people were banned from crossing municipal borders to go to work.
Here was a golden opportunity to measure the infection impacts of very strict lockdowns. By comparing otherwise very similar municipalities ‒ language, culture, administrative region, geography ‒ the Danish professors could avoid the problems with identifying cause and effect that hampered cross-country observations. In addition, the lockdown of seven municipalities was not justified on different case numbers or spread of the virus, but only on a worry about a new mutation that subsequently proved to be unfounded.
Prior to the heavier lockdowns in our seven municipalities, there was no detectable difference between the two Northern Jutland groups. In the seven days before the lockdowns, the strict group had 0.15 positive tests per thousand inhabitants per day compared to 0.14 in the open group. In the spring, too, when far fewer people were tested, the former group experienced a total of 0.69 positive tests per thousand inhabitants while the open group saw 0.82 positive tests (all differences statistically insignificant).
Treating the two groups as stand-alone units, Planeta Keep and Bjørnskov write that
“[W]e find no statistically significant differences between the two groups of municipalities prior to intervention. The strong similarity in infection rates at different timescales before the intervention strongly supports treating the lockdown as an actual quasi-natural experiment.”
In no statistical specification that the researchers run does the lockdown variable ‒ shifted by 4, 7, or 10 days to allow for an uncertain incubation period of the virus ‒ pass conventional significance tests for its impact on the number of infections. The only thing that seems to be driving positive tests in the North-Danish municipalities are the infections in previous days and weeks.
As seen in Figure 1 of the paper, the number of Covid infections in the two groups was already falling before the onset of the heavy restrictions in the lockdown municipalities ‒ and it keeps falling just the same in both groups. In non-statistical terms: looking at identical counties, with as natural as natural experiments come, the researchers cannot detect any impact from lockdowns. Lockdowns don’t stop, slow down, or seem to affect the future spread of the disease in any way.
What’s remarkable is that the study includes a big enough population to detect that change. It has similar test-and-control groups with hundreds of infections in each. There was a big push for mass testing in both groups, and so virtually no chance that testers did not detect a meaningful number of infections. The professors reflect on the study and describe it as
‘T]he most time- and space-focused empirical dataset available with sufficient statistical power, adequate and homogeneous control group, nearly complete testing, and with the smallest possible confounder pollution imaginable in a real setting.”
In great contrast to the terrifying projections from imagined models, this study showed real outcomes with real people going about their real pandemic lives. It could very well be that lockdowns work in some settings, in some jurisdictions, and under some conditions. But in a setting with voluntary compliance, high trust in government and lots of general information available to the citizen, such as across Denmark (and other Nordic and Northern European countries), lockdowns don’t seem to have added anything to prevent the spread.
Whether this result is unique to a predominantly rural part of Denmark, or whether it translates to lockdown as a preventive policy more broadly remains to be seen. Because it has “lack[ed] actual empirical control cases for the same populations,” the scientific community has not been able to tease out what works and what doesn’t. However, a number of recent studies trying to get around different problems in different ways also conclude that lockdowns don’t work.
What the new study from Northern Jutland shows is that an extreme form of lockdown didn’t work in one of the most law-abiding societies in the world. Why, then, should we expect lockdowns to be effective anywhere else?
Reported infection levels in the administrative region of Northern Jutland around the time of the November lockdown (Blue: daily new positives; orange: running weekly summed positives). (A) The seven municipalities with lockdown mandate. (B) The four municipalities without lockdown mandate. Vertical lines indicate first and last days of mandate effective (November 6 and 9). Any effect has to emerge later than this, since PCR also takes time to manifest in the population of positives.
Figure A2: Increase in infection in December
(A) Municipalities with lockdown. (B) Municipalities without lockdown. The dashed lines are 7-day running averages. Vertical lines indicate day of mandate effective (November 6) and first day where PCR positives can possibly be registered (three days). This shortest possible interval requires almost perfect test intensity. The increase in infection in December is very similar percentwise in both groups (approximate 5-fold increase), confirming similarity also post-NPI within the noise.
Joakim Book is a writer, researcher and editor on all things money, finance and financial history. He holds a masters degree from the University of Oxford and has been a visiting scholar at the American Institute for Economic Research in 2018 and 2019.
His work has been featured in the Financial Times, FT Alphaville, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Svenska Dagbladet, Zero Hedge, The Property Chronicle and many other outlets. He is a regular contributor and co-founder of the Swedish liberty site Cospaia.se, and a frequent writer at CapX, NotesOnLiberty, and HumanProgress.org.
Christian Bjørnskov is professor of economics at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark.
He is also affiliated researcher at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Professor Bjørnskov visiting professor at the University of Göttingen and the University of Heidelberg, and am associated with the Centre for Political Studies in Copenhagen and
What happens when politicians see that their monster stimuli have not delivered? They bring the next rabbit out of a hat. They need a new name and a new magic solution to make citizens believe in the magic of demand-side policies despite the constant failure of those same plans.
The Eurozone Example
A huge stimulus in 2008 in a “growth and employment plan”. A stimulus of 1.5% of GDP to create “millions of jobs in infrastructure, civil works, interconnections, and strategic sectors”. 4.5 million jobs were destroyed and the deficit nearly doubled. That was after the crisis because between 2001 and 2008, money supply in the Eurozone doubled. The Eurozone has been a chain of stimuli since day one.
The so-called “Juncker Plan” or “Investment Plan for Europe” hailed as the “solution” to the European Union lack of growth was the same. It raised 360 billion euros, many for white elephants. Eurozone growth estimates were slashed, productivity growth stalled and industrial production fell in December 2018 to three-year low levels.
The Eurozone’s massive “green” policy plan has made the European Union countries suffer electricity and natural gas bills for households that are more than double those of the US, and unemployment is still twice that of the United States, while growth stagnates. In 2016 household electricity prices averaged 26.6 c/kWh in the Euro area and 12.7 c/kWh in the US.
Let us start debunking some myths about this last rabbit out of the interventionists’ hat.
No, It Is Not a New Deal, and It Should Not Be
When FDR launched the New Deal the size of government, public spending and debt were nowhere close to today’s elevated levels.
At the height of the New Deal, federal spending never went above the 1934 level of 10.7%. Even considering the extraordinary cost of the Second World War period, public sending went from a maximum of 43.6% down to 11.6% by 1948.
Not just that. The public sector had very little debt, a maximum of 45% of GDP. Compare that with an already unsustainable annual deficit that does not fall below half a trillion dollars, and debt to GDP of close to 100%.
In an insightful study titled “New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis”, two economics professors from UCLA, Harold L Cole and vice chair of the Economics Department Lee Ohanian determined that the anti-competition and supposedly pro-employment policies of the New Deal destroyed the possibilities for economic recovery. The two economists concluded that if these policies had not been enacted the depression would have ended in 1936 instead of 1943.
In the 1930s, the unemployment rate never fell below 15%. Five years after starting his “New Deal”, Roosevelt’s economic policies had caused one in five active Americans to be without a job. In 1937 there were 6 million unemployed and by 1938 that figure was 10 million people. In the end, it was the Second World War that “ended “unemployment. How? By forcibly recruiting 20% of the active population to work in the war industry, and by spending the equivalent of 42% of GDP on the entire effort. One significant problem was that during those years inflation which rose to almost 20% and even with 1% unemployment there was rationing of basic consumer goods. The US truly emerged from the depression when, at the end of the war, it abruptly cut taxes by one-third and began paying off the debt.
This may begin to sound familiar to you. The New Deal was yet another example of promising freedom and delivering repression.
It Is Not “Green”
The US is already the second top market for renewable investment according to EY.
Renewable and green investments are already flourishing without the need for politicians to interfere. In fact, the US is investing more than $40 billion per annum in renewables, and if we add infrastructure and energy efficiency, the US is still the top global destination of productive investment in green energy, technology, and infrastructure.
The US has been able to reduce CO2 emissions while the European Union with the largest subsidy plans and high tax on CO2 increased them. The US has achieved more in developing renewables, technology and energy efficiency without massive tax and bill increases. There is nothing “green” on a central planner’s decision to inflate GDP via public spending. it is the opposite. It artificially increases energy and capital utilization to create false demand signals that end up being bubbles that hurt the economy and make it less dynamic.
There is no need for a Green New Deal. We are already living a period of rising government spending, too high deficits, and debt. Innovation and technology disruption are reducing the energy intensity of GDP faster than any government can ever decide.
Why? Because politicians and governments do not have more or better information about the needs of the economy, consumers or about the pace of innovation and technology implementation. In fact, governments havce every incentive to inflate GDP at any cost, pass the bill to consumers and the debt to taxpayers.
Governments of any colour or ideology do not benefit from technology innovation, energy efficiency, and substitution. Why? Because those are disinflationary factors and the short-term effect is always of creative destruction of obsolete industries… Those that they aim to preserve at any cost. If governments truly cared about the climate and environment they would shut down the most polluting industries, which are all state-owned or government concessions.
There is only one way in which governments benefit from massive stimuli: Inflating GDP building massive construction projects. Increasing inflation by artificially pumping more capital spending and energy use. That is and has never been green, innovative or disruptive. Just plain old interventionism.
This will not be the first or last time that we question the merits of enormous government plans. As we have shown on so many occasions, huge spending on white elephants is partially responsible for global stagnation and excessive debt. Huge pharaonic works that promise billions of dollars of growth, jobs, and benefits that, subsequently, are not achieved, leaving a trail of debt and massive operating costs.
Proponents of the mega-stimulus plans ignore the importance of real economic returns in favor of “inflating GDP” in any possible way. A study by Deepak Lal , UCLA professor of international development, discusses the devastating impact on potential growth and debt of stimulus plans in China, and Edward Glaeser’s ” If You Build ” analysis destroys the myth repeated by many of the multiplier effects of public infrastructure. Advocates of infrastructure spending at any cost ignore the most basic cost-benefit analysis, underestimating the cost and magnifying the estimated benefit through science-fiction-multipliers.
Deepak Lal’s study citing Professors Ansar and Flyvbjerg shows that the actual cost-benefit analysis compared to the “estimated returns” when projects are approved, proves to be disastrous. Fifty-five percent of the analyzed projects generated a profit-to-cost ratio of less than one, that is, they created real losses. But, of the rest, only six projects of those analyzed showed positive returns. The rest, nothing. The economy does not grow more, it makes the economy weaker.
The only Green New Deal that works is governments stepping aside and letting the private sector deliver the technology and innovation required. It is already happening.
Of course, there are infrastructure, technology and green economy investments that make sense. They are being implemented as you read this article. The rest is just plain old white elephants for the glory of politicians… with your money.
A Cupertino elementary school forces third-graders to deconstruct their racial identities, then rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.”Christopher F. RufoJanuary 13, 2021 EducationCaliforniaThe Social Order
An elementary school in Cupertino, California—a Silicon Valley community with a median home price of $2.3 million—recently forced a class of third-graders to deconstruct their racial identities, then rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.”
Based on whistleblower documents and parents familiar with the session, a third-grade teacher at R.I. Meyerholz Elementary School began the lesson on “social identities” during a math class. The teacher asked all students to create an “identity map,” listing their race, class, gender, religion, family structure, and other characteristics. The teacher explained that the students live in a “dominant culture” of “white, middle class, cisgender, educated, able-bodied, Christian, English speaker[s],” who, according to the lesson, “created and maintained” this culture in order “to hold power and stay in power.”
Next, reading from This Book Is Antiracist, the students learned that “those with privilege have power over others” and that “folx who do not benefit from their social identities, who are in the subordinate culture, have little to no privilege and power.” As an example, the reading states that “a white, cisgender man, who is able-bodied, heterosexual, considered handsome and speaks English has more privilege than a Black transgender woman.” In some cases, because of the principle of intersectionality, “there are parts of us that hold some power and other parts that are oppressed,” even within a single individual.
Following this discussion, the teacher had the students deconstruct their own intersectional identities and “circle the identities that hold power and privilege” on their identity maps, ranking their traits according to the hierarchy. In a related assignment, the students were asked to write short essays describing which aspects of their identities “hold power and privilege” and which do not. The students were expected to produce “at least one full page of writing.” As an example, the presentation included a short paragraph about transgenderism and nonbinary sexuality.
The lesson caused an immediate uproar among Meyerholz Elementary parents. “We were shocked,” said one parent, who agreed to speak with me on condition of anonymity. “They were basically teaching racism to my eight-year-old.” This parent, who is Asian-American, rallied a group of a half dozen families to protest the school’s intersectionality curriculum. The group met with the school principal and demanded an end to the racially divisive instruction. After a tense meeting, the administration agreed to suspend the program. (When reached for comment, Jenn Lashier, the principal of Meyerholz Elementary, said that the training was not part of the “formal curricula, but the process of daily learning facilitated by a certified teacher.”)
The irony is that, despite being 94 percent nonwhite, Meyerholz Elementary is one of the most privileged schools in America. The median household income in Cupertino is $172,000, and nearly 80 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. At the school, where the majority of families are Asian-American, the students have exceptionally high rates of academic achievement and the school consistently ranks in the top 1 percent of all elementary schools statewide. In short, nobody at Meyerholz is oppressed, and the school’s high-achieving parents know that teaching intersectionality instead of math is a waste of time—and potentially dangerous.
One parent told me that critical race theory was reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. “[It divides society between] the oppressor and the oppressed, and since these identities are inborn characteristics people cannot change, the only way to change it is via violent revolution,” the parent said. “Growing up in China, I had learned it many times. The outcome is the family will be ripped apart; husband hates wife, children hate parents. I think it is already happening here.”
The small fight at Meyerholz reflects a larger development: for the first time, Asian-Americans on the West Coast have become politically mobilized. In 2019, Asian-Americans ran a successful initiative campaign against affirmative action in Washington State; in 2020, Asian-Americans ran a similar campaign in California, winning by an astonishing 57 percent to 43 percent margin. In both cases, they defended the principles of meritocracy, individual rights, and equality under the law—and roundly defeated a super-coalition of the states’ progressive politicians, activists, universities, media, and corporations.
The stakes are high for the Asian-American community. For progressives insisting on the narrative of “white supremacy” and “systemic racism,” Asian-Americans are the “inconvenient minority”: they significantly outperform all other racial groups, including whites, in terms of academic achievement, college admissions, household income, family stability, and other key measures. Affirmative action and other critical race theory-based programs would devastate their admissions to universities and harm their futures.
At Meyerholz Elementary, the Asian-American families are on high alert for critical race theory in the classroom. Since their initial victory, they have begun to consider campaigning against the school board. “We think some of our school board members are [critical race theory] activists and they must go,” said one parent. The capture of our public institutions by progressives obsessed by race and privilege deserves opposition at every level. The parents of Cupertino have joined the fight.
This article is part of an ongoing series on critical race theory in American schools.
The great regrouping of Global Social Media is just starting.
In the last four days 1.7 million new users have signed up to Gab — an alternative site to Twitter. The surge is so strong the site is swamped under the load. Gab are upgrading all the servers to deal with the growth. (The CEO is asking for patience).
Gab has already been thrown off both the big Ap Stores and Amazon too, back in 2018. To ensure that wouldn’t happen again, they bought and set up their own private servers. (The internet really is hardware, after all).
They not only set up their own servers, they even created their own web browser (called Dissenter). They also built a video platform (Gab.TV.) and an encrypted email chat messaging service (Chat.Gab.).I have used Dissenter for months. I like it. There are rumours they are working on a Gab Phone as well.
Nothing will hurt Google, Amazon and Twitter like losing half their base.
Look at the vilification this 30 year old outspoken Christian has had to endure:
As a result of Torba’s free speech principles, both Gab and Andrew have been no-platformed and banned by 25+ service providers over the years including both App Stores, multiple payment processors, and hosting providers.
Torba himself has been personally banned from online banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, and Twitter for many years now. His family is also blacklisted by VISA.
Andrew Torba has also faced numerous threats of violence, doxxing, stalking, and more for his fight to defend free speech online for all people.
Want to see ALL Donald Trumps Tweets?
The CEO Andrew Torba had the wit to back up President’s Trumps entire Twitter account before it was deleted.
The Social Media Monopoly now is so behemoth that, as in China and Russia and Iran, they can close down half the country in minutes.
Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer , Jan 13 , 2021 4:11 Social
Many of us more perspicacious had been warning for months, even for a few years, that severely repressive Social Media Monopoly suppression was coming. We warned and warned. No one took us seriously enough.
Well, it may as well begin now because it was coming anyway, as the behemoths of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and Apple had grown bigger than the old American Telephone & Telegraph and John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopolies combined. They broke up the telephone and gasoline monopolies.
Anti-trust laws? The “Rule of Reason”? Those Silicon Valley behemoths are monopolies that need to be busted up.
While President Trump was directing his Justice Department to study and litigate whether the ever-so-diminished AT&T could buy Time Warner under American anti-trust laws, the Big-Tech giants kept growing and swallowing up the competition. It was one of the areas of public policy that President Trump somehow missed and overlooked for too long.
What has been done now to Trump next can be done in any state to any Republican seeking office in a close race. He cannot be blamed. He was a businessman and developer who never had wallowed in the labyrinth of government, and now he was walking into a Swamp. How does one clean a swamp — with soap, laundry detergent? It cannot be cleaned; one has to drain it. But what if, as one enters the Swamp to drain it, he finds it so massive that it drains him instead?
Though Trump is bigger than life, the D.C. Swamp is bigger than Swamp. He came in ready to clean it up but eventually learned — from the corrupt destruction of Michael Flynn, from the corrupt FBI manipulation of the FISA court, from the corrupt cash pipeline from Hillary Clinton to her Perkins Coie Seattle law firm to Fusion GPS to a fabricated Dossier — that he was as unprepared to take on the Swamp as would be any other entering politics without prior political experience. Such people get swallowed up.
In the end, the Swamp swamped him. He was misdirected to see Paul Ryan as an ally, so also brought in Ryan’s people: Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff and Sean Spicer as Press Spokesman. Those last two are good men, but Trump needed a Mark Meadows and Kayleigh McEnany from Day One. He needed Mike Pompeo at State, not Rex Tillerson. He needed William Barr at Justice, not Jeff Sessions.
Mr. Trump got bad advice, failed to grasp that the 2018 mid-year would turn on health care and assuring uninterrupted coverage of medical preconditions, and soon was busy achieving great things but constantly having to pause to ward off Swamp tsunamis. Along the way he tweeted so often — and good for him for doing so! — that his radar missed the peril of the approaching Social Media Suppression.
In the end, CNN and Jim Acosta were not Public Enemies #1 and #2 among the Enemies of the People. Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg were. But Trump was having so much fun with Twitter that he did not realize it would turn on him like a serpent turning on its snake charmer.
Championship entertainer-wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura came from out of nowhere to be elected governor of Minnesota in 1999, a fresh new warrior ready to clean up that state’s mess. He began with great success and was very popular at the outset. He was the only candidate of the Reform Party ever to win such high office anywhere.
But The Body got swamped. By the end of his first and only term, he was a political goner in 2003, unpopular in virtually all quarters. The Swamp got him.
Similarly in California, a remarkably incapable gray Democrat governor was recalled overwhelmingly by the voters, and popular body builder and film star Arnold Schwarzenegger got elected in 2003, initially as a moderately conservative Republican. Again, a muscle man with no prior political experience — but actually much smarter than people realized. He was enormously popular at first. And then the Swamp consumed him. In 2005 he called a special election to pass four important conservative initiatives that the Democrat state legislature blocked. And the unions demolished him by raising some $160 million to defeat him, crushing his efforts and teaching The Terminator who terminates whom in real life.
The U.S. Supreme Court later found the public employee unions’ use of compulsory fundraising during the campaign had been illegal — but that decision came too late because, by then, the unions had destroyed him. By the end, to survive politically, he had to count on his Kennedy family in-law connections to remain electable as a liberal. And when he proved unfaithful on that front, he was back in the movies.
Today Jesse Ventura is a faint memory evoking a smile, and Arnold — who once exhibited the political incorrectness to call out his Democrat then-opponents as “Girlie Men” — now is reduced to having joined the long line of Those Insulted by Trump who have waited years for the Day of Revenge, to pile on and take down a man who hurt their feelings publicly.
Trump unnecessarily had mocked Schwarzenegger’s inability to capture and hold the audience ratings Trump had built for NBC-TV’s “The Apprentice,” and he once had embarrassed Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney for coughing during a Trump TV interview with George Stephanopoulos. So Arnold and Mulvaney waited on line for the day to strike back.
And now Arnold, whose delightful Austrian accent reflects that he should know better about things Austrian and Nazi, compares the Capitol Hill breach of January 6 to . . . Kristallnacht.
Really? Kristallnacht? OK, here we go again:
On November 10, 1938] Jewish homes, hospitals and schools were ransacked as attackers demolished buildings with sledgehammers. Rioters destroyed 267 synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland. Over 7,000 Jewish businesses were damaged or destroyed, and 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. . . . The Times of London observed on 11 November 1938: “No foreign propagandist bent upon blackening Germany before the world could outdo the tale of burnings and beatings, of blackguardly assaults on defenceless and innocent people, which disgraced that country yesterday.”
Estimates of fatalities caused by the attacks have varied. Early reports estimated that 91 Jews had been murdered. Modern analysis of German scholarly sources puts the figure much higher; when deaths from post-arrest maltreatment and subsequent suicides are included, the death toll reaches the hundreds, with Richard J. Evans estimating 638 deaths by suicide. Historians view Kristallnacht as a prelude to the Final Solution and the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust.
That is just the Wikipedia preface. Here is a bit more:
Over 1,400 synagogues and prayer rooms, many Jewish cemeteries, more than 7,000 Jewish shops, and 29 department stores were damaged, and in many cases destroyed. More than 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps; primarily Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen.
The synagogues, some centuries old, were also victims of considerable violence and vandalism, with the tactics the Stormtroops practiced on these and other sacred sites described as “approaching the ghoulish” by the United States Consul in Leipzig. Tombstones were uprooted and graves violated. Fires were lit, and prayer books, scrolls, artwork and philosophy texts were thrown upon them, and precious buildings were either burned or smashed until unrecognizable.
If Arnold still were a conservative Republican, as he briefly was at the start of governing California, Democrats now would be demanding he be removed from the country and sent back to Austria for invoking despicable Nazi comparisons.
When a Republican misspeaks and references Hitler in an analogy that could be better made, Democrats immediately converge to demand that a perfectly excellent Congressional representative resign. But when Ocasio compares ICE to Nazis, and detention centers that hold illegal border-crossers to concentration camps like Dachau and Auschwitz — well, that’s OK.
Schwarzenegger knows much better about Nazi history in Germany and Austria than does Ocasio because his father was the local chief of police and had served in World War II as a Hauptfeldwebel after voluntarily joining the Nazi Party in 1938. The record is more than clear that Arnold is not a Nazi but a good friend of Israel and the Jewish community. Yet with such a Dad, and he being born in 1947 Austria, Schwarzenegger cannot be excused for comparing January 6 on Capitol Hill to Kristallnacht. He knows the difference — only too well.
Schwarzenegger is not censored on Social Media for his Lie and Defamation because his Lying is Good Lying. After all, he is lying against Trump supporters, comparing them to Nazis.
But Schwarzenegger is not censored on Social Media for his Lie and Defamation because his Lying is GoodLying. After all, he is lying against Trump supporters, comparing them to Nazis. It is a simple mathematical equation: If January 6 at Capitol Hill is Kristallnacht, then Trump is Hitler and his supporters the Nazis. And presumably the fool who sat on Nancy Pelosi’s chair at her desk is akin to Nazis who imprisoned 30,000 Jews and sent them to Dachau and Buchenwald. Yes, that sounds like something that Jack Dorsey can live with at Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, and their counterparts at Apple and Youtube.
The Social Media Monopoly now is in radically partisan left-wing hands. Four years ago they falsified the allegation that Vladimir Putin used their platforms to elect Donald Trump. The Robert Mueller investigation accomplished virtually nothing, but at least it left a clear conclusion that Putin did not elect Donald Trump. Yet the idea came to plant seeds along these lines in Silicon Valley:
Y’know, it actually could be possible, with the right teamwork and coordination, to steal a presidential election. If we all close down Trump’s Social Media footprint at the same time, while leaving the Democrat opponent’s presence and his supporters unchallenged, and if we unilaterally blacklist any breaking news item that might help Trump, like an explosive New York Post exposé regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop, we could actually throw a close election to the other side.
And so they did.
Had it not been for January 6 on Capitol Hill, who knows how much longer the Social Media Monopoly might have waited before coming down with the full power and suppression of a Soviet Union ban on free speech? How much longer would they have waited, continuing to amass control of information and our mass communication platforms, before clamping down at a later critical moment and leaving only their versions of American Pravda and Izvestia as approved media?
January 6 hastened their hands, as they have clamped down on free speech sooner than they otherwise would have. In coordination, the likes of an unelected Jack Dorsey and Jeff Bezos closed down the voice of the President of the United States, even going so shamelessly far as to announce that the voice shall be suppressed permanently. Permanently— wow!
When the president of the United States responded that, OK, he would move his voice to an alternative communications platform, Parler, the Social Media Monopoly rapidly announced that Parler’s very app would be removed from Apple’s iPhones, from Amazon, from Google, from society. Overnight, for the first time, Americans learned that the Social Media Monopoly — with tightly coordinated horizontal synchronization — now is so behemoth that, as in Maoist China and Stalinist Russia and Ayatollah Iran, they actually can close down the voices of half the country in minutes.
It was coming, and since Republican lawmakers have been blind to the approaching catastrophe in American democracy and freedom, it may as well have come now before the midterm elections rev up in September 2022 and the next presidential elections in 2024.
The ball now is in the hands of the recently deposed Republican Senate because the Democrats are using their newly won muscle to restrict speech all around them, banning such words as “father,” “husband,” and “brother,” while ending a congressional prayer with “Amen and Awomen.”
What has been done now to Trump next can be done in any state to any Republican seeking office in a close race. At the 11th hour, they can be closed down while the Democrat is given free sway until after the polls close. Afterwards, senators can hold hearings, and Jack Dorsey will apologize, and Mark Zuckerberg will promise to look into it, and the next election will have been stolen in a way that only a Putin or Erdogan fully could admire and that an Ayatollah will hope to emulate.
After a decade’s service in the American Orthodox rabbinate, Rav Fischer received his Juris Doctor degree in 1993 at UCLA School of Law where he also was selected to serve as Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review. His Law Review Comment on a federal law affecting directors and officers of depository institutions has been cited in nine federal judicial opinions, a remarkable and virtually unheard-of honor for a law student. The following year, Rabbi Fischer served as federal judicial appeals-court clerk to the Hon. Danny J. Boggs, who became Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Rabbi Fischer thereafter practiced complex business litigation for nearly a decade at three of America’s most prominent law firms. As part of his practice, Rav Fischer became uniquely positioned to play ongoing significant pro bonolegal roles representing leaders in the Orthodox Jewish community and advocating legal positions important to the greater Jewish community. Thus, Rav Fischer participated significantly on a pro bono legal team that represented the plaintiff class suing certain European insurance companies over Jewish claims arising from the Holocaust era. He also has performed a wide range of other pro bono legal services for the Jewish community, including successfully helping women obtain Gittin from recalcitrant husbands, stopping an unauthorized autopsy from being performed in Orange County and having another autopsy dramatically modified in scope, and representing religious institutional leaders in a series of public-interest matters. He continues to contribute to American legal education today as Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where he teaches California Civil Procedure and the Law of Complex Torts.
What, however, about Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who constantly tweets anti-Semitic and incendiary tweets and whose regime the US Department of State called “the world’s worst sponsor of terrorism”? Khamenei, in fact, has become so emboldened on Twitter that, on it, he publicly calls for annihilation of Israel and denies Holocaust.
According to Twitter’s “Violent organizations policy”: “There is no place on Twitter for violent organizations, including terrorist organizations, violent extremist groups, or individuals who affiliate with and promote their illicit activities… Our assessments under this policy are informed by national and international terrorism designations…”
More shocking, in November 9, 2014 Khamenei posted a tweet laying out how to annihilate Israel “Why should & how can #Israel be eliminated? Ayatollah Khamenei’s answer to 9 key questions. #HandsOffAlAqsa”. Khamenei actually posted a screen shot exactly detailing the process to destroy Israel. These tweets are still up.
“I kid you not! At a Knesset hearing on Antisemitism, @Twitter rep tells me they flag @realDonaldTrump because it serves ‘public conversation’, but not Iran’s @khamenei_ir call for GENOCIDE, which passes for acceptable ‘commentary on political issues of the day'” — Human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky, July 29, 2020.
Several social media giants recently made a controversial move by banning US President Donald Trump while allowing leaders of what the US Department of State has called the top state sponsor of terrorism, the Iranian regime, to operate freely on their platforms.
First, it was Facebook and Instagram that banned the President “indefinitely.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said:
‘We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
Twitter immediately followed suit by suspending the accounts of President Trump, Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell. Regarding President Trump, Twitter claimed:
‘After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Twitter apparently had a problem with only two tweets of the President: one stated that he would not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” In the second one, President Trump wrote:
‘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!!!”
‘These two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks. After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.”
Such an interpretation of those words seems, bluntly, a bit of a stretch — especially when compared to what is permitted on Twitter without so much as a “thoughtful little note” of any kind.
What, for instance, about Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who constantly tweetsanti-Semitic and incendiary tweets and whose regime the US Department of State has called “the world’s worst sponsor of terrorism“? Khamenei has no problem on Twitter publicly calling for the annihilation of Israel and denying the Holocaust.
‘We will support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime,” Khamenei tweeted on May 20, 2020, “and we do not hesitate to say this. #FlyTheFlag”. On May 18, 2020 he posted a tweet:
‘The West Bank must be armed, just as Gaza. The only thing that can reduce the Palestinians’ hardships is the hand of power. Otherwise, compromise won’t reduce a bit of the cruelty of this usurping, evil, wolf-like entity. #FlyTheFlag”.
‘The people of Palestine should hold a referendum. Any political sys they vote for should govern in all of Palestine. The only remedy until the removal of the Zionist regime is firm, armed resistance.”
‘There is no place on Twitter for violent organizations, including terrorist organizations, violent extremist groups, or individuals who affiliate with and promote their illicit activities… Our assessments under this policy are informed by national and international terrorism designations, as well as our violent extremist group and violent organizations criteria.
Don’t those tweets from Iran’s Supreme Leader violate Twitter’s own rules?
More shocking, in November 9, 2014 Khamenei posted a tweet laying out how to annihilate Israel: “Why should & how can #Israel be eliminated? Ayatollah Khamenei’s answer to 9 key questions. #HandsOffAlAqsa”.
Khamenei actually posted a screenshot exactly detailing the process to destroy Israel. Those tweets are still up.
When asked about the ayatollah’s anti-Semitic tweets, Ylwa Pettersson, Twitter’s head of policy for the Nordic countries and Israel, told the Israeli Knesset’s Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, through a video-conference:
‘We have an approach toward leaders that says that direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy saber-rattling on military-economic issues are generally not in violation of our rules.”
The response commendably sparked outrage. People pointed to the double standards. Member of Knesset Michal Cotler-Wunsh, who was in the session and led the discussion, wrote:
‘Wow. Twitter just admitted that tweets calling for genocide against Jews by Iranian leaders DON’T violate its policy! THIS is a double standard. This is antisemitism.”
‘I kid you not! At a Knesset hearing on Antisemitism, @Twitter rep tells me they flag @realDonaldTrump because it serves ‘public conversation’, but not Iran’s @khamenei_ir call for GENOCIDE, which passes for acceptable ‘commentary on political issues of the day’. cc. @CotlerWunsh”
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He hasauthored several books on Islam and US foreign policy. He can be reached atDr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu
Speaker Nancy Pelosi shocked many in Washington by appointing Eric Swalwell as a house managers in the impeachment of President Donald Trump as he continues to face calls for his removal from the House Intelligence Committee due to his alleged intimate relationship with a Chinese spy. Swalwell has been bunkered down to avoid questions from the media and the public, but he will now be one of those prosecuting the case against the President.
He allegedly first met the spy, Fang Fang or Christine Fang, in 2011. She not only raised money for Swalwell but reportedly had a personal relationship with him. She also pushed successfully for his office to accept an intern. He cut ties with her in 2015 after the FBI contacted him. Pelosi made no mention of the scandal in heralding Swalwell’s credentials:
“Congressman Swalwell serves on House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he chairs the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee, and on the Judiciary Committee,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement. “He is a former prosecutor and is the son and brother of law enforcement officers. He is serving his fifth term in Congress.”
Usually a speaker selects House managers to reinforce the credibility and integrity of the case against a president. Even before the current scandal, Swalwell was viewed as a member who was a raw partisan. Last year, it was revealed that (despite long denials) the FBI did send an agent to report on his observations within the Trump campaign. As I discussed in a column, Democratic members spent years mocking allegations that there was any spying or surveillance of Trump or his campaign by the FBI. That was just a conspiracy theory. Now however there is proof that the FBI used a briefing in August 2016 of then candidate Trump to gather information for “Crossfire Hurricane,” the Russia investigation. It turns out that it did not really matter after all and Rep. Eric Swalwell did not miss a step. Swalwell declared that such targeting of the opposing party and its leading presidential candidate was “the right thing to do.” That’s it. A conspiracy theory suddenly becomes a commendable act.
Previously, Swalwell also declared that if President Donald Trump refused to give Congress the documents and witnesses that it has demanded, he is clearly guilty of all charged offenses. Swalwell declared “We can only conclude that you’re guilty.”
The Swalwell selection is clearly part of a rehabilitation campaign. Swalwell remained secluded as the many in the media refused to carry the story, let alone investigate it. A member of the House Intelligence Committee carried on an intimate relationship with a Chinese spy but major media largely blacked out coverage as they did on the Hunter Biden story. Now Pelosi will use the impeachment as a way for Swalwell to reemerge from seclusion . . . as the accuser and prosecutor of President Donald Trump.
While there are good faith reasons for calling for impeachment, there remain serious questions over the speed and basis for the impeachment. My concern is primarily over the use of a snap impeachment without even a hearing to discuss the implications of this action. That makes the House managers even more important in bringing credibility to this effort. This is putting politics ahead of the institution in my view.
By Jonathan Turley, Professor of Law , George Washington University
There is a concerted effort to tar every Trump supporter with the brush of Capitol mob protester. That is a lie. It is deliberate and malicious. It is a plan to intimidate and silence.
Facebook is purging all content referencing “stop the steal” — although there is ample evidence of voting irregularities and cause for election reform. Twitter is suspending and expelling hundreds of thousands of users. President Trump is among them. Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, who leads public cheers of “Death to America!”, is not.
Trump gave a speech stating: “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” That remark is supposed to qualify as “incitement to insurrection.” What a pathetic, transparent lie! Think of the number of times innumerable politicians have invoked “fight” to express encouragement for active public policy engagement. We “fight” for healthcare, justice, human rights, entitlements, civil rights — even peace.
The criminality of Hillary’s outlaw email server, the phony Russia Hoax, the fake Ukraine Impeachment, FISA Warrant abuse, the politically contaminated and compromised FBI — that all gets a “pass” — but Trump telling supporters to fight for their country — THAT is impeachable?
Biden did not win in a landslide. Many feel disenfranchised.
(Image source: iStock)
Welcome to America’s Cultural Revolution.
China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-76) sought to purge remnants of impure non-Maoist thoughts from Chinese society and economy. It was a radical period of persecution.
We are witnessing and experiencing a perverse and dangerous effort to purge America of all things Trumpian — but more importantly — the conservative, traditional values of millions of Americans. It is not only about erasure, but criminalization. Ordinary Americans who support President Trump — and at least 75 million that voted for him — are being targeted with a barrage of efforts to sensationalize and marginalize their beliefs. The professional political and media classes of America’s East and West Coasts are striking hard and fast to eliminate Trump. There is a concerted effort to tar every Trump supporter with the brush of Capitol mob protester. That is a lie. It is deliberate and malicious. It is a plan to intimidate and silence.
Facebook is purging all content referencing “stop the steal” — although there is ample evidence of voting irregularities and cause for election reform. Twitter is suspending and expelling hundreds of thousands of users. President Trump is among them. Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, who leads public cheers of “Death to America!”, is not. There is little or no public criticism of the big social media corporations’ censorship.
The protests of January 6, 2020 were gravely marred by the sad and unnecessary deaths of five Americans. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick’s death is tragic. So is the death of unarmed Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt. Other “public” deaths in the last nine months have resulted in huge public protests and cities such as Portland burning for weeks. No such reaction to the Sicknick and Babbitt deaths. One wonders why. Where are Antifa and BLM now? Why so quiet? No justice, no peace! — right? Maybe not.
Meanwhile, many are clamoring for Donald Trump’s immediate removal from office. Trump gave a speech stating: “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” That remark is supposed to qualify as “incitement to insurrection.” What a pathetic, transparent lie! Think of the number of times innumerable politicians have invoked “fight” to express encouragement for active public policy engagement. We “fight” for healthcare, justice, human rights, entitlements, civil rights — even peace.
The hypocrisy is breathtaking — and dangerous. Trump supporters are supposed to be rhetorically beaten into silent submission, erased from public discourse, and subject to a new sort of bill of attainder, criminalizing all they believe in and support — because Trump succeeded in disrupting official Washington DC, but was not quite savvy enough to win a second term.
The criminality of Hillary’s outlaw email server, the phony Russia Hoax, the fake Ukraine Impeachment, FISA Warrant abuse, the politically contaminated and compromised FBI — that all gets a “pass” — but Trump telling supporters to fight for their country — THAT is impeachable?
For some people, even raising these points for discussion is “scary.” They would rather “wait for things to settle down,” or “see how the inauguration and the opening days of the new administration go,” before raising objections to the bulldozing of Trump supporters’ civil rights. Well, that is too little and too late. Many critics are overplaying their hands. They sense weakness and seek to snuff out, permanently, any idea that Trumpism could manifest itself again on the American political landscape. It’s time to institute the Uniparty and get consensus. They want to roll the clock back and return to the old rules of the DC game. They are even having an “event” to symbolize it. Ironically, it is a wreath-laying at Arlington Cemetery featuring The Establishment. Everything and everyone Trump fought against. Former presidents of both parties. There are many Americans who want nothing to do with those former presidents and what they represent. Biden did not win in a landslide. Many feel disenfranchised. Erasing and criminalizing those Americans will only exacerbate the deep divisions in America.
Chris Farrell is a former counterintelligence case officer. For the past 20 years, he has served as the Director of Investigations & Research for Judicial Watch. The views expressed are the author’s alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.
In the last three months, tech giants have censored political speech and journalism to manipulate U.S. politics, while liberals, with virtual unanimity, have cheered.
By Glen Greenwald
Critics of Silicon Valley censorship for years heard the same refrain: tech platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter are private corporations and can host or ban whoever they want. If you don’t like what they are doing, the solution is not to complain or to regulate them. Instead, go create your own social media platform that operates the way you think it should.
The founders of Parler heard that suggestion and tried. In August, 2018, they created a social media platform similar to Twitter but which promised far greater privacy protections, including a refusal to aggregate user data in order to monetize them to advertisers or algorithmically evaluate their interests in order to promote content or products to them. They also promised far greater free speech rights, rejecting the increasingly repressive content policing of Silicon Valley giants.
Over the last year, Parler encountered immense success. Millions of people who objected to increasing repression of speech on the largest platforms or who had themselves been banned signed up for the new social media company.
As Silicon Valley censorship radically escalated over the past several months — banning pre-election reporting by The New York Post about the Biden family, denouncing and deleting multiple posts from the U.S. President and then terminating his access altogether, mass-removal of right-wing accounts — so many people migrated to Parler that it was catapulted to the number one spot on the list of most-downloaded apps on the Apple Play Store, the sole and exclusive means which iPhone users have to download apps. “Overall, the app was the 10th most downloaded social media app in 2020 with 8.1 million new installs,” reported TechCrunch.
It looked as if Parler had proven critics of Silicon Valley monopolistic power wrong. Their success showed that it was possible after all to create a new social media platform to compete with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And they did so by doing exactly what Silicon Valley defenders long insisted should be done: if you don’t like the rules imposed by tech giants, go create your own platform with different rules.
List of most-downloaded apps on Apple Store, Jan. 8, 2021
But today, if you want to download, sign up for, or use Parler, you will be unable to do so. That is because three Silicon Valley monopolies — Amazon, Google and Apple — abruptly united to remove Parler from the internet, exactly at the moment when it became the most-downloaded app in the country.
If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor.
The united Silicon Valley attack began on January 8, when Apple emailed Parler and gave them 24 hours to prove they had changed their moderation practices or else face removal from their App Store. The letter claimed: “We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property.” It ended with this warning:
To ensure there is no interruption of the availability of your app on the App Store, please submit an update and the requested moderation improvement plan within 24 hours of the date of this message. If we do not receive an update compliant with the App Store Review Guidelines and the requested moderation improvement plan in writing within 24 hours, your app will be removed from the App Store.
The 24-hour letter was an obvious pretext and purely performative. Removal was a fait accompli no matter what Parler did. To begin with, the letter was immediately leaked to Buzzfeed, which published it in full.
A Parler executive detailed the company’s unsuccessful attempts to communicate with Apple. “They basically ghosted us,” he told me. The next day, Apple notified Parler of its removal from App Store. “We won’t distribute apps that present dangerous and harmful content,” said the world’s richest company, and thus: “We have now rejected your app for the App Store.”
It is hard to overstate the harm to a platform from being removed from the App Store. Users of iPhones are barred from downloading apps onto their devices from the internet. If an app is not on the App Store, it cannot be used on the iPhone. Even iPhone users who have already downloaded Parler will lose the ability to receive updates, which will shortly render the platform both unmanageable and unsafe.
In October, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law issued a 425-page report concluding that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google all possess monopoly power and are using that power anti-competitively. For Apple, they emphasized the company’s control over iPhones through its control of access to the App Store. As Ars Technica put it when highlighting the report’s key findings:
Apple controls about 45 percent of the US smartphone market and 20 percent of the global smartphone market, the committee found, and is projected to sell its 2 billionth iPhone in 2021. It is correct that, in the smartphone handset market, Apple is not a monopoly. Instead, iOS and Android hold an effective duopoly in mobile operating systems.
However, the report concludes, Apple does have a monopolistic hold over what you can do with an iPhone. You can only put apps on your phone through the Apple App Store, and Apple has total gatekeeper control over that App Store—that’s what Epic is suing the company over. . . .
The committee found internal documents showing that company leadership, including former CEO Steve Jobs, “acknowledged that IAP requirement would stifle competition and limit the apps available to Apple’s customers.”
The report concludes that Apple has also unfairly used its control over APIs, search rankings, and default apps to limit competitors’ access to iPhone users.
Shortly thereafter, Parler learned that Google, without warning, had also “suspended” it from its Play Store, severely limiting the ability of users to download Parler onto Android phones. Google’s actions also meant that those using Parler on their Android phones would no longer receive necessary functionality and security updates.
It was precisely Google’s abuse of its power to control its app device that was at issue “when the European Commission deemed Google LLC as the dominant undertaking in the app stores for the Android mobile operating system (i.e. Google Play Store) and hit the online search and advertisement giant with €4.34 billion for its anti-competitive practices to strengthen its position in various of other markets through its dominance in the app store market.”
The day after a united Apple and Google acted against Parler, Amazon delivered the fatal blow. The company founded and run by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, used virtually identical language as Apple to inform Parler that its web hosting service (AWS) was terminating Parler’s ability to have AWS host its site:
‘Because Parler cannot comply with our terms of service and poses a very real risk to public safety, we plan to suspend Parler’s account effective Sunday, January 10th, at 11:59PM PST.”
Because Amazon is such a dominant force in web hosting, Parler has thus far not found a hosting service for its platform, which is why it has disappeared not only from app stores and phones but also from the internet.
On Thursday, Parler was the most popular app in the United States. By Monday, three of the four Silicon Valley monopolies united to destroy it.
With virtual unanimity, leading U.S. liberals celebrated this use of Silicon Valley monopoly power to shut down Parler, just as they overwhelmingly cheered the prior two extraordinary assertions of tech power to control U.S. political discourse: censorship of The New York Post’s reporting on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, and the banning of the U.S. President from major platforms.
Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to find a single national liberal-left politician even expressing concerns about any of this, let alone opposing it.
Not only did leading left-wing politicians not object but some of them were the ones who pleaded with Silicon Valley to use their power this way. After the internet-policing site Sleeping Giants flagged several Parler posts that called for violence, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked: “What are @Appleand @GooglePlay doing about this?” Once Apple responded by removing Parler from its App Store — a move that House Democrats just three months earlier warned was dangerous anti-trust behavior — she praised Apple and then demanded to know: “Good to see this development from @Apple. @GooglePlay what are you going to do about apps being used to organize violence on your platform?”
The liberal New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg pronounced herself “disturbed by just how awesome [tech giants’] power is” and added that “it’s dangerous to have a handful of callow young tech titans in charge of who has a megaphone and who does not.” She nonetheless praised these “young tech titans” for using their “dangerous” power to ban Trump and destroy Parler. In other words, liberals like Goldberg are concerned only that Silicon Valley censorship powers might one day be used against people like them, but are perfectly happy as long as it is their adversaries being deplatformed and silenced (Facebook and other platforms have for years banned marginalized people like Palestinians at Israel’s behest, but that is of no concern to U.S. liberals).
That is because the dominant strain of American liberalism is not economic socialism but political authoritarianism. Liberals now want to use the force of corporate power to silence those with different ideologies. They are eager for tech monopolies not just to ban accounts they dislike but to remove entire platforms from the internet. They want to imprison people they believe helped their party lose elections, such as Julian Assange, even if it means creating precedents to criminalize journalism.
World leaders have vocally condemned the power Silicon Valley has amassed to police political discourse, and were particularly indignant over the banning of the U.S. President. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, various French ministers, and especially Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador all denounced the banning of Trump and other acts of censorship by tech monopolies on the ground that they were anointing themselves “a world media power.” The warnings from López Obrador were particularly eloquent:
Even the ACLU — which has rapidly transformed from a civil liberties organization into a liberal activist group since Trump’s election — found the assertion of Silicon Valley’s power to destroy Parler deeply alarming. One of that organization’s most stalwart defenders of civil liberties, lawyer Ben Wizner, told The New York Timesthat the destruction of Parler was more “troubling” than the deletion of posts or whole accounts: “I think we should recognize the importance of neutrality when we’re talking about the infrastructure of the internet.”
Yet American liberals swoon for this authoritarianism. And they are now calling for the use of the most repressive War on Terror measures against their domestic opponents. On Tuesday, House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) urged that GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley “be put on the no-fly list,” while The Wall Street Journal reported that “Biden has said he plans to make a priority of passing a law against domestic terrorism, and he has been urged to create a White House post overseeing the fight against ideologically inspired violent extremists and increasing funding to combat them.”
So much of this liberal support for the attempted destruction of Parler is based in utter ignorance about that platform, and about basic principles of free speech. I’d be very surprised if more than a tiny fraction of liberals cheering Parler’s removal from the internet have ever used the platform or know anything about it other than the snippets they have been shown by those seeking to justify its destruction and to depict it as some neo-Nazi stronghold.
Parler was not founded, nor is it run, by pro-Trump, MAGA supporters. The platform was created based in libertarian values of privacy, anti-surveillance, anti-data collection, and free speech. Most of the key executives are more associated with the politics of Ron Paul and the CATO Institute than Steve Bannon or the Trump family. One is a Never Trump Republican, while another is the former campaign manager of Ron Paul and Rand Paul. Among the few MAGA-affiliated figures is Dan Bongino, an investor. One of the key original investors was Rebekah Mercer.
The platform’s design is intended to foster privacy and free speech, not a particular ideology. They minimize the amount of data they collect on users to prevent advertiser monetization or algorithmic targeting. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, they do not assess a user’s preferences in order to decide what they should see. And they were principally borne out of a reaction to increasingly restrictive rules on the major Silicon Valley platforms regarding what could and could not be said.
Of course large numbers of Trump supporters ended up on Parler. That’s not because Parler is a pro-Trump outlet, but because those are among the people who were censored by the tech monopolies or who were angered enough by that censorship to seek refuge elsewhere.
It is true that one can find postings on Parler that explicitly advocate violence or are otherwise grotesque. But that is even more true of Facebook, Google-owned YouTube, and Twitter. And contrary to what many have been led to believe, Parler’s Terms of Service includes a ban on explicit advocacy of violence, and they employ a team of paid, trained moderators who delete such postings. Those deletions do not happen perfectly or instantaneously — which is why one can find postings that violate those rules — but the same is true of every major Silicon Valley platform.
Indeed, a Parler executive told me that of the thirteen people arrested as of Monday for the breach at the Capitol, none appear to be active users of Parler. The Capitol breach was planned far more on Facebook and YouTube. As Recodereported, while some protesters participated in both Parler and Gab, many of the calls to attend the Capitol were from YouTube videos, while many of the key planners “have continued to use mainstream platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.” The article quoted Fadi Quran, campaign director at the human rights group Avaaz, as saying: “In DC, we saw QAnon conspiracists and other militias that would never have grown to this size without being turbo-charged by Facebook and Twitter.”
And that’s to say nothing of the endless number of hypocrisies with Silicon Valley giants feigning opposition to violent rhetoric or political extremism. Amazon, for instance, is one of the CIA’s most profitable partners, with a $600 million contract to provide services to the agency, and it is constantly bidding for more. On Facebook and Twitter, one finds official accounts from the most repressive and violent regimes on earth, including Saudi Arabia, and pages devoted to propaganda on behalf of the Egyptian regime. Does anyone think these tech giants have a genuine concern about violence and extremism?
Official Facebook page of the Saudi Justice Ministry
So why did Democratic politicians and journalists focus on Parler rather than Facebook and YouTube? Why did Amazon, Google and Apple make a flamboyant showing of removing Parler from the internet while leaving much larger platforms with far more extremism and advocacy of violence flowing on a daily basis?
In part it is because these Silicon Valley giants — Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple — donate enormous sums of money to the Democratic Party and their leaders, so of course Democrats will cheer them rather than call for punishment or their removal from the internet.
Part of it is because Parler is an upstart, a much easier target to try to destroy than Facebook or Google. And in part it is because the Democrats are about to control the Executive Branch and both houses of Congress, leaving Silicon Valley giants eager to please them by silencing their adversaries. This corrupt motive was made expressly clear by long-time Clinton operative Jennifer Palmieri:
The nature of monopolistic power is that anti-competitive entities engage in anti-trust illegalities to destroy rising competitors.
Parler is associated with the wrong political ideology. It is a small and new enough platform such that it can be made an example of. Its head can be placed on a pike to make clear that no attempt to compete with existing Silicon Valley monopolies is possible. And its destruction preserves the unchallengeable power of a tiny handful of tech oligarchs over the political discourse not just of the United States but democracies worldwide (which is why Germany, France and Mexico are raising their voices in protest).
No authoritarians believe they are authoritarians. No matter how repressive are the measures they support — censorship, monopoly power, no-fly lists for American citizens without due process — they tell themselves that those they are silencing and attacking are so evil, are terrorists, that anything done against them is noble and benevolent, not despotic and repressive.
That is how American liberals currently think, as they fortify the control of Silicon Valley monopolies over our political lives, exemplified by the overnight destruction of a new and popular competitor.