Category Archives: Socialism

Capitol Siege Was ‘Vile’ but Left’s Suppression of Free Speech Is Worse

He says it better than me. Legitimate protestors could have made their point without breaking into the capital. I hope [my confidence is not that high] that the investigations will expose who was really behind the violence. But how many fires were set? How many police vehicles burned, trashed? Pick some metrics and evaluate the summer riots vs the January six protest. In the metrics include the MSM’s and Democrat’s description and support of… mrossol.

 
 
 
The Epoch Times – January 13, 2021 
 

Radio talk show host and columnist Dennis Prager said in an interview with The Epoch Times’ American Thought Leaders program Tuesday that, while last week’s violent siege of the U.S. Capitol was “vile” and “disgusting” and worthy of condemnation, the ongoing suppression of free speech in America by the left poses a bigger threat.

Prager was responding to a question about criticism leveled by some media personalities against some conservatives and “China hawks” who they accuse of being much more concerned about denouncing censorship and curtailment of freedom of speech rather than criticizing the Capitol riot.

The two are “incomparably imbalanced” in terms of the actual threat they pose to America, Prager said. While denouncing last Wednesday’s unrest, Prager argued that it did not threaten the U.S. nearly as much as the suppression of free speech.

“The whole point of America was freedom,” he said. “The left is suppressing, oppressing the greatest feature of the United States.”

“What threatens the country? A foolish, stupid, wrongheaded, vile attack on the Capitol, which reopened for business within hours, versus the ongoing suppression of free speech? It’s not symmetrical.”

“There’s no comparison,” he said. “The disgusting events of January 6 do not threaten this country nearly as much as the suppression of free speech does,” he contended.

While a full reckoning of the attack on the Capitol has yet to be completed as investigations by the Justice Department and the FBI have only just gotten underway, there is a long historical record of the consequences of leftist repression, Prager said.

The left suppresses liberty everywhere it takes power—there is no exception,” he said, noting the presence of numerous examples in the last 100 years of communist regimes committing egregious acts of oppression against their own people.

And it is happening, incredibly, in the country of the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell, for which they have contempt,” he said, adding that he sees evidence that the left is exploiting the Capitol siege to dial-up restrictions on freedom of expression.

There was no exception in the last 100 years to the left taking power and not suppressing free speech,” he said, adding that, “they’re using January 6 as the excuse to do so” now.

Amazon taking down Parler is a “perfect example” of this, he said. On Monday morning, Amazon Web Services took down Parler, sparking debate about whether the suspension was about stifling free speech.

In reply to a lawsuit brought by Parler, Amazon Web Services said Wednesday that, “This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints. It is not about a conspiracy to restrain trade.”

“Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (‘AWS’) content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens,” the company said.

The CEO of Parler, John Matze, has condemned calls for violence on his platform.

“We would never condone it, we have a lot of things in place to stop it,” said Matze of users inciting violence, adding that Parler is about free speech.

Meanwhile, following the Jan. 6 unrest, social media giants Twitter and Facebook announced stricter measures on their platforms. Facebook is targeting content with the phrase “stop the steal,” a reference to claims of election fraud, while Twitter is taking aim at accounts that focus on the QAnon movement.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM

https://www.theepochtimes.com/dennis-prager-capitol-siege-was-vile-but-lefts-suppression-of-free-speech-is-worse_3655365.html?utm_source=news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2021-01-13-4

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All Donald Trump’s Deplorables

To characterize 70 million Americans (pick a number) as thugs and insurrectionists is dishonest, and I would say unpatriotic. But in a way, not surprising to me, when I consider that many elites, the MSM and the core of the Left want to fundamentally change the nature of the United States from a representative democracy based on the Constitution to a socialist state. mrossol

WSJ 1/12/21 by William McGurn

Whatever political future Donald Trump might have envisioned for himself is now dead. He squandered a good chunk of it in the Georgia runoffs, when he made them all about himself instead of about keeping Republican control over the Senate. But it was finished off by the mob of his own supporters who stormed the Capitol this past Wednesday and inflicted more lasting damage on their man than anything his enemies ever managed.

At the moment, Washington is consumed with just how humiliating Mr. Trump’s exit will be—with a second impeachment, with the 25th Amendment invoked, with his resignation. There’s even talk of holding a Senate trial when he’s no longer president.

 

But for anyone who cares about unity and healing, the president’s fate is no longer the primary concern. More important is the future for the half of America that supported him. Because there is an effort to lump the 74 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump with those who rampaged through the Capitol—thus rendering them unfit for polite society going forward.

There’s no denying the reality of the thugs. But let me tell you about the people I know who attended that rally. To a person, they are decent, ordinary Americans who didn’t enter the Capitol and wouldn’t dream of disobeying a police officer.

Some (but not all) believe the election was stolen. They’re mistaken, but that doesn’t make them white supremacists, domestic terrorists, religious extremists or any of the many noxious names they’ve been called. Those I know personally are now terrified that they will be doxed—meaning vengeful leftists will make their personal information public—and perhaps fired from their jobs if it gets out they were in Washington for the rally.

These are also people who have no problem with arresting and prosecuting those who did break the law that Wednesday. A Reuters/Ipsos poll reports that only 9% of Americans consider the rioters “concerned citizens” and 5% call them “patriots.” The remaining 90% includes millions of Trump voters.

True, those millions include some, perhaps many, who believe in conspiracy theories and don’t trust their government.

But where could that have come from? Might it have something to do with watching leading media outlets proudly declare they wouldn’t even try to be fair in reporting about Mr. Trump, and then go on to promote the conspiracy theory that the president was a Russian agent? Is it any surprise that people might then look to other sources of information, some of which are dubious? Or that distrust in government grew as people learned how leaders at the FBI and Justice Department abused their police powers to interfere in an election and then undermine an elected president?

Everywhere a Trump voter turns, he sees ostensibly apolitical organizations enlisting in the “resistance.” Here’s an email just sent to every kid in America applying to college through the Common App:

 

“We witnessed a deeply disturbing attack on democracy on Wednesday, when violent white supremacist insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undo a fair and legal election. The stark differences between how peaceful Black and brown protesters have been treated for years relative to Wednesday’s coup again call attention to the open wound of systemic racism.”

Mr. Trump’s power to cool passions, now running at a fever pitch, is almost nil, and in any event his time is running out. But if Joe Biden means what he says about being president for all Americans, including those who didn’t vote for him, he has work to do. A healthy start would be to ask his fellow Democrats to call off the impeachment that will only rub raw an open wound, or make clear to the anti-Trump Republicans in the Lincoln Project that their effort to blacklist anyone who served in the Trump administration is a prescription for more rancor and division.

 

Some ask: Why is it on Mr. Biden to soothe disenchanted Trump followers? The answer is because in a week he will be the nation’s leader—and he’s already promised as much. In his victory speech he said it was time to “stop treating our opponents as enemies.” He’s right, but it will take leadership to make these words real for millions of Trump voters who feel, with reason, that the hatred and contempt directed at Mr. Trump is also meant for them.

Hillary Clinton admitted this when she infamously labeled these voters “deplorables.” But funny thing about that: In her original remarks, she made clear she was consigning only half of Mr. Trump’s supporters to her “basket of deplorables.”

The other half, she said, are “people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures.” She went on to advise that “those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”

She was willing to consider at least half of Mr. Trump’s supporters worthy of understanding and empathy. Today, this would make Mrs. Clinton the moderate.

Write to mcgurn@wsj.com.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/all-donald-trumps-deplorables-11610406826?mod=opinion_lead_pos8

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Is Canada Losing the Cold War?

From Epoch Times.  12/26/2020

I’m old enough, just barely, to remember watching Paul Henderson score his winning goal against the Soviets in the final game of the 1972 Summit Series. I knew that something important had happened, but I didn’t fully understand what it was until much later. Yes, it was hockey, and our national pride was at stake, but there was more to it than that. Team Canada was fighting for our way of life against an adversary that sought to tear it down. The United States was the standard flag bearer in conflicts with the Soviets, but in September 1972 the Canadians were combatants in the Cold War.

We think that our side won the Cold War. After decades of political brinksmanship in the latter half of the 20th century, the USSR dissolved in 1991 and the West appeared victorious. But that wasn’t the end of the story. The Cold War wasn’t merely a conflict between nations but also a contest between competing political ideologies. The struggle between freedom and collectivism continues but has moved inside Western countries. The threat is now from our own leaders and citizens who appear to believe that Canada should be a socialist country.

And this time, the socialists are winning.

What lies before us is not Soviet-style communism with gulags and firing squads but our own distinctive made-in-Canada version of neo-Marxist progressive socialism. But don’t get caught up in the labels: capitalism, communism, and fascism; democratic socialism and social democracy; liberalism and populism, to name just a few. The variations shouldn’t obscure the main divide: either individuals are essentially free to pursue their own interests, express their own thoughts, and own their own property, or the state directs their actions, words, and beliefs to comport with official dogma.

“The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled, and those who have no such desire,” science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein has written. The concept of political correctness originated in the Soviet Union as a reminder, according to Angelo Codevilla, professor emeritus of International Relations at Boston University, “that the Party’s interest is to be treated as a reality that ranks above reality itself.”

In its Canadian campaign, one of socialism’s most potent weapons is our disbelief. We are apt to rationalize that the trends in this country do not portend actual socialism, but instead constitute merely a gloss on our unshakeable foundations of free-market liberalism. Unfortunately, that is not what the evidence suggests.

In modern Canada, socialist thinking has become part of the furniture. At its core is the belief that participation in public life requires comportment with progressive ideology. Legislation presently before Parliament will make it a criminal offence to counsel your child not to transition to a different gender; owning property is now regarded as a privilege that should be exercised in the public interest and taxed when it sits empty in busy urban centres; private health care is prohibited; businesses are expected to serve as social welfare agencies, providing benefits to employees even when the employees are unable to provide benefits to the business; doctors who publicly express divergent views on lockdowns or vaccines are apt to be censored or investigated; governments plan and manage the economy, and keep citizens “safe” from the risks of viruses and their own mistakes.

Great civilizations are not conquered from without until they have destroyed themselves from within, wrote historians Will and Ariel Durant: “The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes. …” Do these features sound familiar?

Canada is in retreat, more interested in redistributing wealth than in producing it, more resolved to administer than to build, and more prone to languish than to strive. We trade freedom for the appearance of safety, and competition for the solidarity of victimhood. We are more comfortable with the goal of being equally poor than unequally wealthy. We impede and discredit our own energy exports. We punish risk and reward conformity. Our civil servants get lucrative salaries and pensions while governments shut down small businesses. Who in their right mind would now aspire to be an entrepreneur?

In typical Canadian style, our socialist revolution advances with earnest capitulation. But this fall from grace is not a uniquely Canadian phenomenon. As British doctor and writer Theodore Dalrymple has observed, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph, said Burke, is for good men to do nothing; and most good men nowadays can be relied upon to do precisely that. Where a reputation for intolerance is more feared than a reputation for vice itself, all manner of evil may be expected to flourish.”

Socialism will not work. It never does. But this time it may take Canada down with it.

Bruce Pardy is a law professor at Queen’s University.

pardyb@queensu.ca Twitter @PardyBruce

 

Source: The Cold War Continues, and Now We Are Losing

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A Pandemic of Misinformation – WSJ

WSJ 12-21-20  By Scott W. Atlas

“Believe the Science”.  Yet there is more and more confirmation that “science” is much more politicized that ever before.  The “population” as a whole is probably more likely to make better overall decisions than “the scientists”.    (Oh, and yes, I did get two BS degrees and and a MS degree. So ‘science’ is not foreign to me.). mrossol 

America has been paralyzed by death and fear for nearly a year, and the politicization of the pandemic has made things worse by adding misinformation and vitriol to the mix. With vaccines finally being administered, we should be entering a joyous phase. Instead we endure still more inflammatory rhetoric and media distortion.

Americans need to understand three realities. First, all 50 states independently directed and implemented their own pandemic policies. In every case, governors and local officials were responsible for on-the-ground choices—every business limit, school closing, shelter-in-place order and mask requirement. No policy on any of these issues was set by the federal government, except those involving federal property and employees.

Second, nearly all states used the same draconian policies that people now insist on hardening, even though the number of positive cases increased while people’s movements were constrained, business activities were strictly limited, and schools were closed. Governors in all but a few states—Florida and South Dakota are notable exceptions—imposed curfews, quarantines, directives on group gatherings, and mask mandates.

Mobility tracking verifies that people restricted their movement. Gallup and YouGov data show that 80% to 90% of Americans have been wearing masks since early August. Lockdown policies had baleful effects on local economies, families and children, and the virus spread anyway. If one advocates more lockdowns because of bad outcomes so far, why don’t the results of those lockdowns matter?

Third, the federal government’s role in the pandemic has been grossly mischaracterized by the media and their Democratic allies. That distortion has obscured several significant successes, while undermining the confidence of ordinary Americans. Federal financial support and directives enabled the development of a massive, state-of-the-art testing capacity and produced billions of dollars of personal protective equipment. Federal agencies met all requests for supplemental medical personnel and hospital-bed capacity. Officials in the Health and Human Services Department have told me there are no unmet requests for extra resources.

The federal government also increased the protection of the elderly during late summer and fall. This effort included an intensive testing strategy for nursing-home staff and residents based on community activity, new proactive warnings to the highest-risk elderly living independently, millions of point-of-care tests and extra personal protective equipment for senior living facilities, and new alliances and financial incentives to improve nursing home infection control.

The federal government also expedited development and delivery of lifesaving drugs, such as novel antibody treatments that reduce hospitalizations of high-risk elderly by more than 70%. According to HHS, more than 200,000 doses of these monoclonal-antibody drugs have been delivered to hospitals in all 50 states. Under Operation Warp Speed, the federal government took nearly all the risk away from private pharmaceutical companies and delivered highly effective vaccines, hitting all promised timelines.

In this season when respiratory virus illnesses become more common and people move indoors to keep warm, many states are turning to more severe restrictions on businesses and outdoor activities. Yet empirical data from the U.S., Europe and Japan show that lockdowns don’t eliminate the virus and don’t stop the virus from spreading. They do, however, create extremely harmful health and social problems beyond a dramatic drop in learning, including a tripling of reported depression, skyrocketing suicidal ideation, unreported child abuse, skipped visits for cancer and other medical care.

It adds up to a future health disaster. “For younger people, the lockdowns are so harmful, so deadly, there’s really no good justification,” says Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya, especially when considering their extremely low risk from Covid-19.

States and cities that keep their economies locked down after highly vulnerable populations have been vaccinated will be doubling down on failed policies that are destroying families and sacrificing children, particularly among the working class and poor.

The media has done its best to misinform the public with political attacks about who is to blame for this pain and misery even as it diminishes the great achievement of the new vaccines. The decline of objectivity in journalism has been evident for years. Now we see that even respected scientific journals, which are supposed to vet and publish the best objective research, have been contaminated by politics. Social media has become the arbiter of allowable discussion, while universities intimidate and suppress the free exchange of ideas necessary to uncover scientific truths.

It is not at all clear that American society with its cherished freedoms will survive, regardless of our success in defeating the pandemic threat.

Dr. Atlas served from August through November as a special adviser to the president.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-pandemic-of-misinformation-11608570640?mod=opinion_lead_pos5

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