Defending Freedom in the Public Square

Ace has a long and interesting post about the way corporate America is busily censoring the public square. A very important event in this is the banning of Robert Spencer by Patreon at the apparent express command of Mastercard. It does not appear that Patreon wanted to ban Spencer, but Mastercard insisted…and, I guess, quite a lot of Patreon’s transactions flow through Mastercard. Check your own wallet to see how many of your cards go through Mastercard’s system. Essentially, for unexplained reasons, Mastercard has decreed that no one – not even Mastercard – is permitted to make money off of Spencer.

If you are unfamiliar with Spencer, he’s most famed for running the Jihad Watch website. Ace points out that this banning might be, ultimately, at the command of Muslim investors who would prefer that certain subjects unflattering to Islam not be discussed. Ace can’t prove this – neither can I – but it does make sense. The bottom line is that a company normally doesn’t refuse to make money. Most companies will make money any way they can. Cutting off Spencer just means Mastercard is making less, which can’t be in the shareholder’s interests. But, there it is – and I just can’t imagine this happen unless some pressure was exerted somewhere along the line.

Did you know that most banks – perhaps all, but I don’t know for sure – don’t do business with legal marijuana shops. To be sure, such businesses are disreputable, but they are legal. Does it seem right to you that a legal business can be essentially cut off from normal financial activity? It should. Because the precedent of not doing business can be extended endlessly – and eventually to every sort of business that either SJW activists or Ruling Class big wigs simply don’t like.

You may have heard that Google is creating and app just for China – and which will be in accord with China’s strict censorship laws. Oddly enough, information about this doesn’t show prominently in a Google search. It does, however, show up just fine in a Duck Duck Go search. Main thing: Google, a corporate giant which collects data on us, with or without our consent, is making an app which will allow a Ruling Class to govern what people see. How long before every government tries to get in on this? Do you get the feeling that everyone in charge has had just about enough of this whole free flow of information thing the Internet brought to the world about 25 years ago? I do. I think they want it stopped.

I think we’re seeing the dawning of a two-fold control of the public square. One part of it will be simply de-platforming disliked opinions. The other part of it will be rage mobs ginned up by the Ruling Class to punish anyone who speaks out of turn. Think, for a moment, how the totalitarian tyrannies of the past kept control. To be sure, brutal terror played a big role: if you really stuck your head up, you were going to be arrested and tortured and perhaps killed. But you can’t arrest and torture everyone. You can, however, control them by putting not their lives, but their livelihoods at stake. Comrade, you better show up at the pro-government demonstration on Saturday…be a shame if you were to lose your job, or your kid were to be kicked out of school, because you didn’t. See you there!

People who are afraid of losing their jobs are going to be very careful – and with the big corporations already showing themselves willing to both bow to SJW mobs and assist governments in oppressing people, people will more and more come to understand that silence is golden. Just better not to say the things that those who control your employment will find distressing. In fact, might be a good idea to shout along with the SJW’s from time to time, to ensure they don’t turn their insane glare at you. Right now, our rights to free speech, free exercise of religion and freedom of association are already greatly eroded. Give another ten years of this SJW Mob + De-platforming, and our freedoms will be a dead letter.

I know this will cause a lot of knee-jerk opposition on the right, but our only answer to this is to exert pressure of our own. As we don’t own major search engines, nor major computer program companies, and we have no say in the media, we’ll have to use the only power we have: government. We simply must start regulating the protection of freedom into existence. Make so many damned rules and so much damned hoop jumping before anyone can be fired or de-platformed by private companies that it simply won’t be worth the effort. We Conservatives have to get over the absurd notion that just because a company is private, it is part of the public square we Conservatives want to conserve. The bottom line is that the larger the corporation, the more likely it is dependent upon and partnered with government…and that it will work with government to try to warp the public square against the interests of the people.

Some years back, I said that we needed an Employment Free Speech act – a law prohibiting any corporation (above a certain size) from firing anyone for speech made outside the work environment. We still need that; even more than before. But we also need regulations prohibiting companies within the United States – even if not based here – from cooperating with anti-liberty actions of foreign governments. You want your product or service to be available here? Then you cannot cooperate with tyranny over there. We need anti-doxxing laws (ie, laws which make it a major felony to reveal without permission the personal details of another person on line). We need laws strictly regulating what sort of data the tech giants can gather, how long they can keep it, and what they can do with it. We need laws prohibiting the government from accessing any of the tech giant data on us without a specific warrant. In short, we need a whole series of laws and regulations which will essentially make SJW-mobbing and de-platforming illegal. It will be a bitter pill for most Conservatives to swallow, but we have to do it. That is, if we want to remain free.

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9 thoughts on “Defending Freedom in the Public Square

  1. Retired Spook August 18, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    I’ve been accused of being cynical on occasion Mark, but you’ve taken cynicism to a whole new level.

    I think we’re seeing the dawning of a two-fold control of the public square. One part of it will be simply de-platforming disliked opinions. The other part of it will be rage mobs ginned up by the Ruling Class to punish anyone who speaks out of turn.

    The de-platforming part I don’t disagree with; that’s happening now, but “rage mobs” punishing “anyone who speaks out of turn?” I think you’ve watched The Hunger Games too many times. You make it sound like violent mobs of SJWs will operate with impunity. If we truly do head in that direction, I could easily envision conservative individuals, starting with those who have nothing to lose, ie., near end of natural life or suffering from a terminal illness, or even just patriotic individuals who have reached the breaking point, killing large numbers of Leftist mobs, after which the practice would end pretty quickly, especially if the forces (individuals or groups) who “ginned up” the mob to begin with can be identified. You have a couple hundred dead Millennials in the street, and the leaders strung up in the public square, and the Left will learn in short order to be very careful what they wish for.

    Some years back, I said that we needed an Employment Free Speech act – a law prohibiting any corporation (above a certain size) from firing anyone for speech made outside the work environment. We still need that; even more than before. But we also need regulations prohibiting companies within the United States – even if not based here – from cooperating with anti-liberty actions of foreign governments. You want your product or service to be available here? Then you cannot cooperate with tyranny over there.

    I don’t disagree with that, but Conservatives would have to have a veto-proof majority in both houses of Congress plus the White House and a solid majority on the Supreme Court to pass such legislation. We may reach that point in the near future; we may not. If you believe most of the polls (I don’t) you have to think that the majority of Americans really don’t like either prosperity or relative peace. You have to believe that the majority of Americans long for the days when our enemies didn’t fear us, and our friends didn’t respect us; when 1.5% annual GDP growth was touted as the new normal. If that’s truly the case, then God help us.

    • M. Noonan August 18, 2018 / 7:14 pm

      There was an op-ed in the NY Times that essentially urged officials of government not to obey President Trump. I don’t think our liberals and Ruling Class types fully realize what they’re playing with here. You and I know that down the end of that road is firing squads and people forced into exile…but I don’t think they do. I think they believe they can say these things and that someone will do the horrible deed they want done, and that will be the end of it.

      They will be disabused of that notion, if it comes to it.

      • Retired Spook August 18, 2018 / 11:53 pm

        You and I know that down the end of that road is firing squads and people forced into exile…but I don’t think they do.

        There are undoubtedly some on the Left who realize what the end game entails, mostly those in the upper echelons. I go back to your stupid leaders post of a couple days ago. Even though the leaders may well recognize what they’ll have to do to achieve absolute power. I just don’t think 99% of them have thought through the logistics of actually getting beyond the planning stage. Even though their fallback position has almost always been violence, the American Left has never engaged in the kind of violence it would take to bring the center of the country to heel. And anyone who has been in the military knows that even the best laid plan goes out the window when the first shot is fired. Maybe it’s because of where I live and the kinds of people I associate with, but I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say there are tens of millions of fly-over country Americans who are just itching for an excuse to begin offing Progressives. And I think once it starts, it’s not going to stop until a lot of Leftists have assumed room temperature.

      • M. Noonan August 19, 2018 / 1:55 pm

        Had an interesting conversation on Twitter this morning with a lady who is comparing Trump to Sulla Felix: Sully the Happy, as it were. A man of Patrician background but also quite at home in the rough and tumble of the common folk, he felt it his duty to march on Rome and remove a corrupt government from power and restore, as he saw it, the best ways of the Roman Republic. After doing what he thought right, he left office and retired to private life.

      • Amazona August 19, 2018 / 8:09 pm

        It sounds like your Twitter friend is defending the idea of overturning the election and working to unseat Trump. I’m amazed at how many seem to think that is justified because they don’t like Trump.

        I have yet to see any sign of corruption from the Oval Office since Trump’s election. Stupidity, crudity, mistakes, clumsiness, but not corruption. And in the midst of those blunders, he is also doing a hell of a job.

      • M. Noonan August 19, 2018 / 11:36 pm

        I must have been unclear! Quite the opposite: friend thinks Trump is the Swamp Cleaner, as Sulla was…

    • Amazona August 18, 2018 / 7:27 pm

      And this is a logical time for me to come back to my idea of making the oath of office binding.

      1) Legislate that all existing oaths of office, or those existing as of the first of the year, remain in place indefinitely. That would address the ploys of simply eliminating the oath of office altogether, or whining that the government was imposing some new kind of Thought Police tactic.
      2) Legislate that all office holders have to take the oath of office that is already in place for that office.
      3.) Legislate that violating the oath in any meaningful way—such as not upholding the law or the Constitution—-SHALL result in being removed from the office and losing all associated benefits, including pension.

      With all of the concerns about how this legislation could be abused, the fact is that every single law on our books can be abused. And it would be pretty straightforward.

      If a mayor declares his city to be a Sanctuary City, in defiance of the law, that is a pretty clear violation.

      If a judge rules in a way that does not comply with the law or the Constitution—such as overruling a legal decision made by the president or by Congress—and he has clearly violated the Constitutional boundaries of his authority.

      If a sheriff refuses to turn over criminals to federal authority because he doesn’t agree with the federal immigration law, he has made the case that he is not upholding the law.

      There has to be a way to build in some safeguards, but it should be written in such a way that the removal from office can’t be delayed indefinitely through appeals and so on. We’re not talking about subtlety or nuance here—these things are pretty egregious.

      And that would take care of things like that NYT effort to subvert the Constitution. THAT would be a tough case to prosecute, but if they want to play “Let’s Him And You Fight” and then stand back and watch other people carry their water for them, it would make those other people realize they have a lot to lose. Right now there is simply no accountability, and we have to have accountability from our elected and appointed officers.

    • jdge1 August 18, 2018 / 8:03 pm

      ” …I could easily envision conservative individuals, starting with those who have nothing to lose, ie., near end of natural life or suffering from a terminal illness, or even just patriotic individuals who have reached the breaking point, killing large numbers of Leftist mobs, after which the practice would end pretty quickly, especially if the forces (individuals or groups) who “ginned up” the mob to begin with can be identified.

      I believe the leftist puppet masters would love to see such an event or 2 to unfold. They will do everything they need to shield themselves from direct association of any instigating plots creating the tipping point, but certainly use such a crisis to further undermine the constitution advocating for greater restriction of both the 1st & 2nd amendments, or pushing for greater activist judicial control. And in many cases, even if you could determine an association from individuals, organizations, or corporations responsible for masterminding this domino show, such Soros, the Clintons and their foundation, the media, banks, etc., you may find them difficult to bring down for many reasons – they reside outside of our physical control, have power or connections to protect them, or bringing them down would generate a unintended consequence that many would question “Is it worth it?”, like a financial crash or any of a multitude severe hardships.

      Such is often the price for true freedom. Do enough people have the appetite that’ll make a difference. In my opinion the answer is a resound YES and I don’t think the left has thought out just what this will mean or how dramatically different it will likely play out than how they think.

      • Amazona August 20, 2018 / 8:02 am

        I’m a rather voracious reader, and for some reason my reading lately has included some books that touch on the spy scandals of the last few decades—Philby in particular. That got me thinking about the stories of the American city deep in the heart of Russia, where spies in training lived and learned to pass as Americans.

        This has led to the realization that these days, Russia doesn’t need to go to all that trouble. They don’t need to infiltrate this country with people carefully trained to look and sound like Americans, to foment distrust and divisiveness or to ferret out government secrets. They now have Americans doing all this for them. They didn’t need to infiltrate the State Department to learn what the government was up to—they had Hillary Clinton. They didn’t need to plant people who appeared to be Americans to penetrate one of our political parties, because the heads of that party were happy to hire, actually PAY, foreigners to do it, throwing in the communications of many members of Congress as well.

        When people at the top announce that yes, Russia DID “meddle” in our election, they never go on to explain what they mean by “meddle”. It is clear to me that all they had to do to “meddle”, not in the election itself but in the outcome of the election, was to play on the weaknesses of this country. Knowing these weaknesses, which tend to focus on irrational hatred and ignorance, it’s been easy to stir them up and let Americans do their dirty work for them. All they had to do was build on the foundations built for them by decades of Leftist “education” and the disintegration of the American character that marks such a large portion of our populace.

        We now have open calls for insurrection. We have formerly respected “conservative” pundits encouraging conservatives to actually vote for Leftist governance. We have entire online forums dedicated to spewing wildly vitriolic Trump hatred, including at least one started by a formerly respected “conservative” pundit, Erick Erickson. We have the majority of the media cheerleading them, feeding them lies and doing what they can to foment revolution. We have people determined to subvert our electoral process, unseat a legally elected president, and….well, they never seem to quite know what they would do after that,but they are so focused on Trump they can’t see any farther than that.

        Though I am sure their minders can.

        Every voice howling that Trump is doing the bidding of Putin is, actually, doing the bidding of Putin.

        As Pogo in the old cartoon once said, “We have met the enemy, and it is us”..

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