Category Archives: Uncategorized

list of alternate search engines

You have to try these: Try each searching for the same word. Try several words and see which provides results most appropriate for what you generally look for. I have found there is a wide difference in what is returned. Some seem to “ignore” .org websites. But it’s a good list. You are NOT STUCK with GOOGLE! That is the message.

https://MetaGer.org – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.

https://SwissCows.com – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.

https://Searx.info – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.

https://Qwant.com – A private search engine based in France.

https://DuckDuckGo.com – A private search engine based in the US.

https://Mojeek.com – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).

https://YaCy.net – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.

https://www.Givero.com – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations

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Can You Say CENSORSHIP?

The Epoch Times 12/10/2021

YouTube announced on Dec. 9 that the company will immediately start removing content pertaining to alleged “widespread fraud or errors” that took place in this year’s presidential election, a move that experts say is unprecedented in its scope and warned such censorship could trickle into every other major platform.

In a statement, the video-sharing platform said it will begin “enforcing this policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come.” The company said news coverage and commentary on these issues “can remain on our site if there’s sufficient education, documentary, scientific, or artistic context.”

The company, which is owned by Google, didn’t provide additional context but offered an example, saying, “We will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors.”

The reason YouTube gave for the change is that the Dec. 8 “safe-harbor deadline” for the U.S. Presidential election” had passed, and that “enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect.”

Scott Watnik, member of the litigation department and co-chair of the cybersecurity practice at Wilk Auslander LLP, noted that YouTube’s self-proclaimed “safe-harbor deadline” is not in the U.S. Constitution. The only date in the Constitution pertaining to the presidential election is Jan. 20, he said.

“The Constitution is the law of the land,” Watnik told The Epoch Times via email. “No rule of law exists that says the status quo as it exists on Dec. 8 is set in stone, and that status quo determines who must be inaugurated on Jan. 20.”

“I fully expect Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to soon follow YouTube’s censorship lead,” he added. “No one should be surprised if Trump’s Twitter account is soon taken down.”

There are still outstanding legal challenges, including one in the Supreme Court, that could change the outcome of the election. YouTube’s statement makes no mention of these, and it made no mention of the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote date.

The Epoch Times will not declare a winner of the election until all results are certified and any legal challenges are resolved.

Mark Grabowski, an associate professor specializing in cyber law and digital ethics at Adelphi University, said this kind of censorship will likely “continue unabated.”

“In fact, it’s probably going to get worse,” Grabowski told The Epoch Times.

“Trump was the only politician really taking a stand against this [censorship],” he added. “Republicans in Congress could have attempted to rein in Section 230 yesterday, but instead passed a bill that renames military bases with politically incorrect names.”

Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, publishers can be held liable for any content they post, while social media platforms are protected by Section 230, which states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

Critics say these companies, which claim to be platforms, aren’t only maintaining a public forum but are also moderating the content, effectively making them publishers.

Grabowski said the censoring of such videos “violates the spirit of Section 230 for platforms like YouTube,” noting that the company shouldn’t “be taking on editorial roles and deciding which viewpoints are objectionable.”

“This is not—to use the law’s own words—an ‘action voluntarily taken in good faith.’ And I doubt YouTube will apply this policy to videos claiming election fraud in other countries,” he said.

A spokesperson for YouTube didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment by The Epoch Times.

YouTuber Tim Pool—who has millions of subscribers on his channels—said that the platform clarified to him that a video must meet two conditions for it to be removed. One condition is alleging “widespread fraud or error”; the other is claiming President Donald Trump won.

“You cannot combine the two … What strange times we live in,” Pool said in a Twitter post.

During a Nov. 17 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, lawmakers questioned the chief executives of Twitter and Facebook over the social media platforms’ content moderation practices, with Republicans accusing the companies of censoring President Donald Trump’s posts about the U.S. election, as well as those of other conservatives.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were mostly in agreement that Section 230 should be reformed, or potentially fully repealed. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said that “a series of hearings on Big Tech is long overdue on antitrust issues, on privacy concerns and Section 230.”

According to Watnik, the widespread exchange of ideas and thoughts on the topic of alleged election fraud can be a potential death blow to the narrative that Joe Biden is the president-elect.

“Suppressing the exchange of free thought and ideas is essential to controlling the narrative,” he said. “That’s why censorship has been used by totalitarian regimes for centuries.”

“They should be treated like traditional publishers and stop receiving special legal protection under Section 230,” Watnik said of Big Tech. “However, entirely eliminating the protections of Section 230 that these social media companies enjoy may have a stifling effect on free speech, as without Section 230, these companies would be subjected to a tsunami of lawsuits and could be sued out of business.”

Source: YouTube Starts Removing Election Fraud Content; Experts Say It’s Unprecedented

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Joke Becames Federal Case? – WSJ

4/29/2020  WSJ

I’m under federal investigation for making a joke on Twitter.

In June 2019, employees at the left-liberal Vox Media Inc. walked off the job demanding a new collective bargaining agreement. As the publisher of a conservative website, the Federalist, I found the clash ironic. I tweeted: “FYI @fdrlst first one of you tries to unionize I swear I’ll send you back to the salt mine.”

Although Twitter leftists were enraged, my employees were amused. They joked about selling branded salt-shakers and writing sympathetic vignettes about union rebels from Federalist salt mines.

Then things took an unfunny turn. The National Labor Relations Board informed me that the leftist writer Matt Bruenig had filed a formal complaint about my tweet. He withdrew it, but Joel Fleming, a Massachusetts lawyer, filed another.

Mr. Fleming alleged I had violated Section 8(a)(1) of the Wagner Act, which states that “it shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7”—namely the rights “to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”

The accusation was laughable. No employee had expressed a desire to unionize. If anyone had, my joke wouldn’t have stood in the way. Mr. Fleming was an interloper anyway—he had no association with the Federalist. But according to the NLRB, anyone can file such a complaint against any company.

The NLRB proceeded to invade our publication, heedless of the freedom of the press. Members of my staff were subpoenaed to testify in New York, where none of them lived and we had no office. The NLRB attempted to subpoena all emails and communications between staff members going back years—including about editorial decisions, hiring decisions, and confidential sources during our coverage of the Russia-collusion hoax.

Help arrived in the form of the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonprofit set up by legal scholar Philip Hamburger that defends constitutional rights against overreach by the administrative state.

The NLRB proposed a settlement: I delete the joke, I post information on the rights of employees to unionize, and the complaint goes away. I said no.

That meant the NLRB’s case against me would be adjudicated by an NLRB employee, Administrative Law Judge Kenneth Chu. As expected, we lost. The board called no witnesses. It submitted my tweet and printouts of Federalist articles and asserted we were not a publication but an “anti-union website.”

The government lawyer claimed that “the editorial positions of the website are reasonably . . . understood as Mr. Domenech’s own,” even though we publish thousands of conflicting opinions under various bylines. Federalist employees filed affidavits stating they viewed my tweet as a joke. Mr. Chu dismissed their opinions as subjective and irrelevant.

Eventually we’ll get to a real court, where we’ll be able to assert our rights and prove our case. Why bother when the stakes seem so low? Because they aren’t. It’s a matter of principle.

It is my good fortune to know many brilliant lawyers who are willing to stand up against abuses of the administrative state. Most people aren’t so lucky. What happens when another small-business owner on social media makes a similar joke? When a neighbor decides to make a federal case out of an impolitic Facebook post? What happens if freedom of speech is only worth what the common business owner is willing to pay in legal fees, missed work and the cost of flying employees to other states to testify in front of bureaucrats?

It’s understandable that those who can’t afford to fight often bend the knee. But in that America, the bureaucrats, and the trolls who use them to shut down speech they don’t like, will keep rolling on until someone stands up and says no.

Mr. Domenech is publisher of the Federalist.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-my-joke-on-twitter-became-a-federal-case-11588113551?mod=opinion_lead_pos5

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Mr. Schiff’s Impeachment Opus

 WSJ 12/4/2019

These columns warned that once the machinery of impeachment was up and running, it would be impossible to stop. And so on Tuesday Adam Schiff released his House Intelligence Committee report on Ukraine that finds President Trump guilty of playing domestic politics with foreign policy. But it’s clear the President’s real sin is being the willful, undisciplined Donald Trump voters elected.

The bulk of Mr. Schiff’s 300-page opus is a prosecutorial account of Mr. Trump’s four-month attempt to persuade new Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations into corruption and Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election. It is not a flattering tale, and it would make a compelling plank in a 2020 campaign indictment of Mr. Trump’s character and poor judgment.

But Mr. Schiff’s report casts himself and his cause as much grander. He is Adam at the bridge of our republic, heroic defender of American democracy. His introduction is worth quoting at length to capture his pretensions to nonpartisan statesmanship.

“The decision to move forward with an impeachment inquiry is not one we took lightly. Under the best of circumstances, impeachment is a wrenching process for the nation. I resisted calls to undertake an impeachment investigation for many months on that basis, notwithstanding the existence of presidential misconduct that I believed to be deeply unethical and damaging to our democracy,” he writes.

But in the end he heard the call of duty: “In making the decision to move forward, we were struck by the fact that the President’s misconduct was not an isolated occurrence, nor was it the product of a naïve president. Instead, the efforts to involve Ukraine in our 2020 presidential election were undertaken by a President who himself was elected in 2016 with the benefit of an unprecedented and sweeping campaign of election interference undertaken by Russia in his favor, and which the President welcomed and utilized.”

Here Mr. Schiff reveals the real impeachment motivation: Mr. Trump never would have won in 2016 without Vladimir Putin’s help, but Robert Mueller failed to prove that. So Democrats are settling for the lesser melodrama of Ukraine, an unchained Rudy Giuliani, and Joe and Hunter Biden. The details may not add up to much more than Mr. Trump obsessing about what he thinks Ukraine did in 2016, but it’s all the Democrats have.

The report’s summary sentence reveals the weakness of its case with overstatement: “The president placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security.”

Yet every President seeks some political advantage in pursuing foreign policy. That includes Barack Obama when he asked Dmitry Medvedev to tell Mr. Putin to go easy on missile defense until after the 2012 election.

As for undermining election integrity, that was Bill Clinton when he vacuumed foreign campaign contributions from the Riadys and multiple other foreigners in 1996. Or Hillary Clinton in 2016 when her campaign financed Christopher Steele to spread Russian disinformation on Mr. Trump to the media and FBI.

Mr. Trump, in his reckless way, asked President Zelensky for the “favor” of investigating Joe Biden and tried to delay military aid. But as Senator Ron Johnson relates in his recent letter that is a more even-handed account of events, Mr. Trump’s attempts were resisted across Washington and ultimately failed.

None of this undermined elections or “endangered” U.S. national security because there was no investigation and the aid was never withheld. Even if aid had been withheld, that would merely have put U.S. policy back to where it was when Mr. Obama denied Ukraine lethal military aid for several years until Mr. Trump provided it.

***

The Starr report laid out irrefutable evidence that Mr. Clinton lied to a grand jury and tampered with witnesses. Those were criminal offenses. The evidence that Richard Nixon obstructed justice was also clear once the tapes became public. By contrast, Mr. Schiff’s report mentions no specific crime and is full of too many inferences and overbroad assertions to provide a convincing impeachment case.

This explains why Mr. Schiff’s report won’t gather a single Republican vote, and why this impeachment will remain partisan. On this score, we had to smile at Mr. Schiff’s high-toned invocation of the Founding Fathers’ fear of “excessive factionalism.” He claims to be defending “democracy’ against “the power of faction” that would dare defend Mr. Trump against impeachment. Like the President, Mr. Schiff lacks the virtue of being self-aware.

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