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Not a Nothingburger: My Statement to Congress on Censorship.

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Not a Nothingburger: My Statement to Congress on Censorship
The key question in censorship is always the same. Who’s doing it?

For time reasons, I had to cut my actual address a bit short Thursday. This statement, which began with a nod to Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, is what was entered into the congressional record:

November 30, 2023

Chairman Jordan, ranking member Plaskett, members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to speak.

Exactly one year ago today I had my first look at the documents that came to be known as the Twitter Files. One of the first things Michael, Bari Weiss and I found was this image, showing that Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya had been placed on a “trends blacklist”:

This was not because he was suspected of terrorism or incitement or of being a Russian spy or a bad citizen in any way. Dr. Bhattacharya’s crime was doing a peer-reviewed study that became the 55th-most read scientific paper of all time, which showed the WHO initially overstated Covid-19 infection fatality rates by a factor of 17. This was legitimate scientific opinion and should have been an important part of the public debate, but Bhattacharya and several of his colleagues instead became some of the most suppressed people in America in 2020 and 2021.

That’s because by then, even true speech that undermined confidence in government policies had begun to be considered a form of disinformation, precisely the situation the First Amendment was designed to avoid.

When Michael and I testified before the good people of this Committee in March we mentioned this classically Orwellian concept of “malinformation” — material that is somehow both true and wrong — as one of many reasons everyone should be concerned about these digital censorship programs.

But there’s a more subtle reason people across the spectrum should care about this issue.

Former Executive Director of the ACLU Ira Glasser once explained to a group of students why he didn’t support hate speech codes on campuses. The problem, he said, was “who gets to decide what’s hateful… who gets to decide what to ban,” because “most of the time, it ain’t you.”

The story that came out in the Twitter Files, and for which more evidence surfaced in both the Missouri v. Biden lawsuit and this Committee’s Facebook Files releases, speaks directly to Glasser’s concerns.

There’s been a dramatic shift in attitudes about speech, and many politicians now clearly believe the bulk of Americans can’t be trusted to digest information. This mindset imagines that if we see one clip from RT we’ll stop being patriots, that once exposed to hate speech we’ll become bigots ourselves, that if we read even one Donald Trump tweet we’ll become insurrectionists.

Having come to this conclusion, the kind of people who do “anti-disinformation” work have taken upon themselves the paternalistic responsibility to sort out for us what is and is not safe. While they see great danger in allowing anyone else to read controversial material, it’s taken for granted that they’ll be immune to the dangers of speech.

This leads to the one inescapable question about new “anti-disinformation” programs that is never discussed, but must be: who does this work? Stanford’s Election Integrity Project helpfully made a graphic showing the “external stakeholders” in their content review operation. It showed four columns: government, civil society, platforms, media:

One group is conspicuously absent from that list: people. Ordinary people! Whether America continues the informal sub rosa censorship system seen in the Twitter Files or formally adopts something like Europe’s draconian new Digital Services Act, it’s already clear who won’t be involved. There’ll be no dockworkers doing content flagging, no poor people from inner city neighborhoods, no single moms pulling multiple waitressing jobs, no immigrant store owners or Uber drivers, etc. These programs will always feature a tiny, rarefied sliver of affluent professional-class America censoring a huge and ever-expanding pool of everyone else.

Take away the high-fallutin’ talk about “countering hate” and “reducing harm” and “anti-disinformation” is just a bluntly elitist gatekeeping exercise. If you prefer to think in progressive terms, it’s class war. The math is simple. If one small demographic over here has broad control over the speech landscape, and a great big one over there does not, it follows that one group will end up with more political power than the other. Which one is the winner? To paraphrase Glasser, it probably ain’t you.

It isn’t just one side or the other that will lose if these programs are allowed to continue. It’s pretty much everyone, which is why these programs must be defunded before it’s too late.

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Proof that Progressives aren’t prochoice. The State of California Attacks a Woman’s Right to Choose Life

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Proof that Progressives aren’t prochoice. The State of California Attacks a Woman’s Right to Choose Life. I’ve always said that the left is supported of killing babies as long as it isn’t their or their family member.

The comeback has always been that being prochoice means that they at times will choose life. Not in California it isn’t. What these folks are doing is sickening. We have this from  Heartbeat International.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s lawsuit against Heartbeat International is not just a legal skirmish; it’s a clash of ideologies that threatens the very fabric of our values. the story of Kayla and Serenity.

In May 2020,  Kayla initiated a chemical abortion, only to be haunted by a moment of hesitation — a “still small voice.” That voice, barely audible, guided her to reconsider.

Fueled by determination, Kayla turned to Heartbeat International’s Abortion Pill Reversal website, connecting her with compassionate healthcare professionals who guided her through the reversal protocol, which ultimately saved her daughter Serenity’s life.

The AG’S lawsuit seeks to halt the use of the lifesaving procedure used to save the baby’s life.

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Thanks Joe Biden. US Steel idles steelmaking at Granite City plant indefinitely, will likely lead to 1,000 layoffs.

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US Steel idles steelmaking at Granite City plant indefinitely, will likely lead to 1,000 layoffs. This was the location that opened under Donald Trump back in 2018.

Sam Clancy.

GRANITE CITY, Ill. — U.S. Steel announced it would be idling steelmaking at the Granite City Works plant indefinitely.

Workers learned of the decision in an email from U.S. Steel Senior Vice President & Chief Manufacturing Officer Scott Buckiso that was sent out Tuesday morning. As part of the decision, U.S. Steel issued approximately 1,000 employees a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice that they might be laid off and said they anticipated about 60 percent of those workers would likely lose their jobs.

The WARN Act requires most employers with more than 100 employees to provide notice 60 days in advance of planned closings and mass layoffs.

United Steelworkers Local 1899 President Dan Simmons said the email was the official announcement of something the union knew was coming.

The move comes two months after U.S. Steel temporarily idled furnace B in a move it called “risk mitigation” in response to the now-resolved United Auto Workers strike. At the time, Simmons said they weren’t feeling the effects of the United Auto Workers strike and it would take months and more locations going on strike for it to affect them.

In Tuesday’s email, Buckiso said the company could meet demand with other active iron and steelmaking facilities. He said the rolling and finishing lines in Granite City would continue to run using slabs from other facilities.

“They’re claiming there is still some low volume yet, hasn’t increased where they want it to be. But the price of steel is in good shape right now,” Simmons said.

“I don’t see how they can not make the right decision, do the right thing and start us back up at full operation,” he said.

In June of 2022, U.S. Steel told the Pittsburgh Business Times, a sister publication to the St. Louis Business Journal, that it planned to sell two blast furnaces at its big Granite City, Illinois, facility. The company said the sale of the blast furnaces would result in an estimated 550 jobs remaining out of 1,500 at Granite City Works.

As part of the plan, the plant would be sold to a company called SunCoke Energy. SunCoke would use the blast furnaces to produce a type of crude iron called pig iron.

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Progressive writer attacks a child in the name of WOKE.

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Progressive writer attacks a child in the name of WOKE. Yes the left has no shame a no name writer tweeted part of a childs face showing what this writer called racism and somehow connected it as derrogatory towards Native Americans and Blacks. Because of that child the KC Chiefs must stop using an Indian name.

Deadspin writer Carron Phillips smeared an innocent child who attended Sunday’s Kansas City vs Las Vegas game by posting a deceptive photo of only one side of his face.

“It takes a lot to disrespect two groups of people at once. But on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, a Kansas City Chiefs fan found a way to hate Black people and the Native Americans at the same time.” Carron Phillips wrote.

 


deceptive photo used by Carron Phillips

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Hamas has a new friend in high places. Joe Biden.

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Hamas has a new friend in high places. Joe Biden.I’m sure you heard by now that Biden came out and rightly so didn’t believe the Hamas death figures. Well guess what happened the very next day.

President Biden apologized to some prominent Muslim-American leaders for publicly questioning the Palestinian death toll being reported by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health, a new report says. “I’m sorry. I’m disappointed in myself,” Biden told the group, the Washington Post reported.

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Newly Discovered Letter by Thompson Potential Cause of TSA Placing Innocent Americans on Terror Watchlist.

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Newly Discovered Letter by Thompson Potential Cause of TSA Placing Innocent Americans on Terror Watchlist.

On January 6th, 2021, “insurrectionists attacked the United States Capitol intent on preventing the certification of a democratic election and, apparently, inflicting violence upon elected officials… Several lives were lost, including at least one Capitol Police officer…” wrote Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), then-Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security to Transportation Security Administration Administrator David Pekoske on January 11th, 2021, in a previously unrevealed letter. This committee “focuses on legislation and oversight related to the security of the United States” with the goal of “[ensuring] that the American people were protected from terrorist attacks.”

Chairman Thompson started his letter with unproven charges and false information in this salacious statement of fiction as he requested an Executive Branch agency ignore due process and deprive thousands of Americans of their Constitutionally protected rights to travel freely within the United States (a right recognized since at least 1870.) Rep. Thompson’s account of the events on January 6th, 2021, could have been lifted directly from a far-left opinion website like HuffPost or ProPublica. While Thompson does not source his wild allegations, he could have easily credited a ProPublica article that made identical claims: law enforcement agencies were “unprepared,” and “the attack was planned largely in open internet forums.” A subsequent article by the same author falsely claimed that “Officer Brian Sicknick died defending the Capitol.”

But Congressman Thompson’s concern was not about how to better protect the U.S. Capitol. His immediate concern, less than a week after the events of January 6th, was punishing those who came to Washington, DC, without trial or investigation. He said the “perpetrators have continued to enjoy freedom of movement throughout the country. Only a fraction of the insurrectionists have been arrested, and many of those arrested have been released pending a future court date. To our knowledge, the Federal government has not prevented a single insurrectionist from boarding an aircraft.” Perhaps the Chairman is less than familiar with the U.S. Constitution to which he was required to swear allegiance in his 15 terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, but the 5th Amendment is quite clear on the following: “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

Chairman Thompson continued with a statement he attributed to “growing online chatter,” which informed his belief that “many of the same groups that planned and carried out Wednesday’s attack intend to return to Washington, D.C., to cause further disruption and violence in the coming days, including at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.” Those of us who were working in law enforcement during the inauguration of Joe Biden marveled at the speed and efficiency of locking down Washington DC into a Police State scene out of the Cold War. The anti-scale fencing, which was nowhere to be found during the summer riots of 2020, was installed with an efficiency that shocked the government sensibilities in a place like Washington, DC. But at the bottom of his third paragraph, Rep. Bennie Thompson says the so-called quiet part out loud: “It appears little is being done to disrupt the travel of terrorists who just attacked the seat of the U.S. Government and wish to do so again.” Furthermore:

Please provide a briefing not later than the end of this week on the following topics:

  •       Current efforts to disrupt the travel of white supremacist and other domestic terrorist groups who may be planning further attacks against the U.S. Government and may be targeting the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden;
  •       Options available for quickly denying air carrier service to individuals identified as posing a potential threat, including TSA’s authorities to prevent individuals from flying on a temporary or flight-by-flight basis;”

After this letter was received by the top official at the TSA, many Americans who had simply traveled to the National Capitol Region on or around January 6th, 2021, were welcomed to the “Quiet Skies.” These unsuspecting (and unconvicted) American citizens were added to a secretive program known as Quiet Skies—which the TSA claims identifies “international travelers who may require enhanced screening” by a “set of risk-based, intelligence-driven scenario rules.” It further claims that “these rules have strict oversight by the Department of Homeland Security, including the privacy, civil rights and liberties, and general counsel offices.” However, several Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) whistleblowers and retired supervisory FAM Sonya Labosco have blown the lid off some of the abuses of this program in numerous national interviews and a previous article published by UncoverDC. Additional coverage by UnCoverDC’s Wendi Mahoney introduced those unfamiliar with Quiet Skies to the “Quad S” designation.

The simple fact is—thousands of Americans are now subjected to invasive “security” screenings for several years as a form of extrajudicial punishment that was called for by a powerful Congress member and implemented by a feckless administrative agency. The saddest part for those of us who have engaged in surveillance activities of alleged but unindicted terrorists is—legitimate investigations of sworn aspiring members of ISIS or Al-Qaeda are not nearly as destructive to those members’ lives. The entire point of covert surveillance in a law enforcement setting is to document the subject’s behavior without them altering it from the heavy-handed or visible presence of police. The “SSSS” designation on the boarding passes of many attendees of a 1st Amendment-protected activity or even those who coincidentally flew into the region during that timeframe leads to an experience that is the opposite of productive for any “domestic terrorism” investigation. We only know this information because of the tireless work of the AMNC and former FAMs like Sonya Labosco.

Labosco is the Director of a private advocacy group called the Air Marshal National Council (AMNC). Historically, the FAMS have spent the majority of their time traveling internationally. Armed federal agents with specialized training to stop a terrorist hijack attempt or reclaim a seized aircraft, the FAMS are unique in their skillsets and focus on a post 9/11 airborne jurisdiction. But since January 2021, this highly specialized counterterrorism force has been aimed at surveilling Americans who have not been identified under any other federal law enforcement agency watch list.

The AMNC has been quietly working to unravel the chain of events that has led to the weaponization of this agency. This letter from Chairman Thompson appears to be one of the first movements by the eventual “Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol” (J6 Unselect Committee) to craft the Democratic Party fantasy that “white supremacists and domestic terrorists groups” were the cause of the riot that day. It also appears to be an underhanded request to the TSA, an agency Congressman Thompson’s Committee had “special oversight functions” over, to “disrupt the travel” and “[deny] air carrier service” to Americans who simply found themselves on the wrong side of the Congressman’s politics. Of note, this letter was co-signed by the Committee’s Ranking Member, John Katko, a 3-term New York Congressman who declined to seek re-election in 2022. Former Rep. Katko is currently a senior advisor to Hill East Group—a Washington, DC-based consulting and lobbying firm.

What Americans should know after reading this letter is that the Democrat narrative regarding what they would set out to show in their highly curated, nominally bipartisan Committee on January 6th was already sent out as marching orders to one of the federal government’s most inefficient and theatrical entities: the TSA.

You can read the full letter here.

Kyle Seraphin is a former FBI Agent assigned to the Washington Field Office on January 6th, 2021. After a transfer to Las Cruces, NM, he “blew the whistle” on the FBI’s partisan investigations into parents at school board meetings. He was suspended for a year without pay before “resigning,” but not before continuing to blow the whistle on numerous issues, including breaking the story the FBI was targeting Catholics with UnCoverDC. His work has spawned multiple Congressional and Attorney General investigations. 

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Sadly, Israel Must Finish Off Hamas, No Matter What.

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Hamas terrorists stand by vehicles as they hand over hostages who were abducted during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel amid a temporary truce, in an unknown location in the Gaza Strip, Palestine, on Nov. 26, 2023. (Hamas Military Wing/Handout via Reuters)
By Roger L. Simon for EPOCH TIMES  11/27/2023

Yes, it’s sad that Israel must finish off Hamas, no matter what.

Innocent Gazans will die, particularly children.

But they have no choice.

Many of the adults, however, may not be so innocent. They’re people who elected to remain in Gaza under Hamas rule, despite the regime’s brutality equaling the worst in human history, while others sensibly fled.

The horrifying story of Hamas’s methods in overcoming the Palestinian Authority in Gaza in 2007, only two years after the territory was given freely to the Palestinians by Israel for their own rule, is a harrowing narrative worth reading. That they threw each other off 15-story roofs is but one harbinger of the Oct. 7 atrocities including rapes and the parading of victims, the murdering and abducting of babies, and so forth.

That most Arab nations don’t want these people for whom violence is a way of life within their borders is not surprising.

That LGBT folks have joined the pro-Hamas demonstrations without realizing what would happen to them under the terrorist’s rule is the darkest of comedy.

That some supposed conservatives see moral equivalency between Hamas and Israel would be laughable were it not so dangerous. Certainly, it’s a display of massive ignorance.

With the prisoner–hostage swap in progress, the efforts of the left and the United Nations, among others, to push Israel into a permanent cease-fire will undoubtedly redouble.

The U.N. is particularly hypocritical, or worse, in this regard. Little is more repellent than their longtime complicity, through their United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), with Hamas and other extremist organizations. They have literally ignored the use of human shields, the misuse of construction materials for terror tunnels, and similar abhorrent desecrations of human rights for well over a decade for the most malign and selfish of reasons—among them, if there were no more Palestinian refugees there would be no need for a UNRWA.

The U.N.’s other off-shoot, the World Health Organization (WHO) that we know from their obeisance to China during COVID-19, has been curiously silent about the use of hospitals for weapons storage, missile launching, those same tunnels, and even command and control headquarters by Hamas. (The director of Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex in Gaza, is under interrogation by Israel at this moment about this.)

And then there’s the question of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s statement about the Hamas attack.

These are the people who will be clamoring for a cease-fire, the very thing Hamas wants so they can regroup and attack again.

The terrorist organization makes no secret they wish to do this. It’s in the genocidal chant we hear everywhere from Los Angeles to London: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

When I say genocidal, I mean really genocidal. In Paris in the late eighties, just after Hamas was formed, I saw one of their early demonstrations at which they chanted “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” in English and French.

Clear enough?

The good news in all this is that Hamas is finally on the run. We can see this, as the Times of Israel has pointed out, from the nature and timing of the prisoner–hostage exchange. Normally, Hamas asks for a far greater imbalance with a huge number of real terrorists released, as in the case of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas for five years.

Not this time. Hamas, in an unusual hurry for a pause, was willing to exchange for women and young prisoners, and fewer of them.

This is a sign that Hamas, which surprised the Israelis on Oct. 7, has been surprised themselves by the force of the Israeli response. They expected the usual three- or four-day counterattack when the Israelis, under global admonition to be “proportionate,” would relent and all would go back to the status quo ante.

Not this time again. Hamas leadership made a serious miscalculation, and Israel shows no sign of backing off. They have apparently had enough of carping from Western nations. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant made clear on the eve of the temporary truce that the Israel Defense Force will resume fighting “with intensity” for at least two months.

The way things have been going, that would seem sufficient to achieve the fate for Hamas that has already been achieved for its “semblable” ISIS.

It’s hard to know, after that, where things will go for the once-vaunted two-state solution. For some time, the Palestinians haven’t seemed really to want one. In 2007, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinian Authority 97 percent of what they said they wanted, and their leader Mahmoud Abbas walked away.

But you never know. Real power, properly applied, has the ability to change minds.

What we really should do is ask how it came to pass that Hamas got to accrue such an incredible and seemingly endless arsenal of weaponry, not to mention the funds for their leadership to enjoy the lifestyle of billionaires in luxury hotel suites in Turkey and Qatar while flying about in private jets?

The answer, alas, to some degree points to us.

Yes, most of those funds came via Iran, aka the “world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism,” with an assist from the aforementioned Qatar.

But where did and does Iran get its money to wreak havoc across the Middle East and potentially beyond?

To be blunt, I recommend asking Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They’re the ones who relaxed sanctions on Iran to the tune of billions and billions.

As for Israel, there’s no such thing as being “proportionate” when it comes to conquering evil.

 

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Winning. Only 14% of Americans get the latest jab.

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Winning. Only 14% of Americans get the latest jab. If you want or did get the latest jab, that’s fine. But don’t come crying when you get side effects, hospitalization, and of course death (of course it’s too late then).

The loons over at VOX call it a miracle drug. But what they and the CDC leave out is that since the so called miracle drugs arrived, more Vaccinated folks are getting COVID, Hospitalized, and dying.

 

 

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Commentary Daily Hits. How funny is this? Life Links from other news sources. Reprints from others. The Funnies. WOKE

Todays Funnies.

Visits: 7

Everyone is welcome to post their favorite carton gif or meme.





This one is so on target, I have to put it in here (again).





So, for me – This Babylon Bee piece on inflation below is still on target.





”Have a favorite?

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Hand counting ballots the way to go? Another voting machine glitch.

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Hand counting ballots the way to go? Another voting machine glitch. Arizona, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, just to name a few states that are having issues with the voting machines.

Sure hand counting takes longer and you have human error, but human error was the reason used for the last two machine glitches in Pennsylvania. So what’s the difference?

I don’t know the answer, but with 2024 elections 11 + months away, it’s obvious that machines can make a difference in close races.

Social media users are sharing similar sentiments, with one Pennsylvania voter posting to X, “Every. Single. Northampton County voter should sue the county for this travesty. This is disgusting, and these machines cannot be used for another election”:

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