The end of liberty? 7

“You are all, every one of you human beings living on this earth, threatened by an overwhelming disaster. It is coming for sure. It will mean the end of most of you, a painful end, and acutely difficult conditions for any survivors.”

“Oh, how dreadful! Can nothing be done to prevent it? Can it be mitigated? Can it be postponed? Does anyone have an answer?”

“Well, there are experts who understand this Thing. And yes, they do say that it can be mitigated. But it will take concerted effort. All of you, every single one of you, must join together and agree to take the action that the experts say is essential if you are to stand a chance of surviving and ever finding life tolerable again. Obey the experts implicitly, do what Those Who Know say you must do, tolerate no dissenters, backsliders, rebels, drop-outs, deniers, and there is a chance that the worst effects of this horror can be averted.

“We are the experts. Put yourselves totally in our hands. Do what we say without question. Do that, or suffer and perish.”

“But what is this horror? What is its nature? What is it called?” 

“It is called Global Warming. The earth is heating up and will become so intolerably hot that billions of you will die because YOU have damaged it with your so-called ‘civilized’ way of life, your industrial development, your reckless consumption of resources, your cars and aircraft, your begetting too many children so you have over-populated the planet –  in sum, with your selfish self-indulgence that you like to praise as the freedom to say and do just as you like.

“From now on, put yourselves in our hands, let us rule you, obey us in all things, and we will save you.”

That has been the message from Those Who Know – aka the collectivist Left – for some time now. But it hasn’t worked.

“We don’t believe the earth is burning up. We like our civilization. We still want the freedom to say and do just as we like.” 

But Those Who Know have not finished with their mission to put a stop to that. They speak again:

“We were not telling you everything. There is something worse than Global Warming. There is a Sickness so terrible that it will infect 80% of the world’s population and kill millions. Each and every one of you is threatened by it. You might save yourselves if you all obey us. Now close your businesses. Do not gather together. Keep well apart from each other. If you are sick with any but The Sickness do not seek medical help. If you see any of your neighbors doing anything to defy our rules, inform the police. The police are instructed to arrest the disobedient. Get used to doing what we tell you to do …”

And this time it nearly worked.

We obeyed. We regret that we did. Many among us are the poorer for it, some to the point of despair – and it turns out that The Sickness would not infect 80% of the world’s population. Or even 1%?

So what will be the outcome of this extraordinary historical episode? 

Some of us in America trust President Trump to restore our prosperity.

Some of us in America feel that we have had a taste of totalitarianism, of a police state, of socialism. And it has been horrible. We never again want the heavy hand of tyrannical government holding us down. From now on we want more liberty not less. 

Then there are those – on the Left, of course – who want to build on the success of the Great Obedience. Those Who Know are raising their voices louder than ever.  Only world government will save us, they say. Only socialist world government. A borderless world. The end of the nation-state. The end of the “nuclear family”. The end of private ownership. No great industries. Little travel, only by or with the permission of Those Who Know. The whole Green New Deal. And the end of liberty.

But hasn’t it been shown that not enough can be known for central planning to work?

“Ah,” say Those Who Know, “that used to be the case. Now we can know everything about every one of you. Because we have the Internet.”

Here are extracts are from an article in The Atlantic written by two professors of Law: Jack Goldsmith, a professor at Harvard Law School and a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution [!] who was also an assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration; and Andrew Keane Woods, a professor at the University of Arizona College of Law.

The trend toward greater surveillance and speech control here, and toward the growing involvement of government, is undeniable and likely inexorable.

In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong.

Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.

Who decides what they are?  Those Who Know, of course – who will be the government.

Ten years ago, speech on the American Internet was a free-for-all. There was relatively little monitoring and censorship—public or private—of what people posted, said, or did on Facebook, YouTube, and other sites. In part, this was due to the legal immunity that platforms enjoyed under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. And in part it was because the socially disruptive effects of digital networks—various forms of weaponized speech and misinformation—had not yet emerged. As the networks became filled with bullying, harassment, child sexual exploitation, revenge porn, disinformation campaigns, digitally manipulated videos, and other forms of harmful content, private platforms faced growing pressure from governments and users to fix the problems.

Actually, there was no crisis of free speech. There can be no such thing as a crisis of free speech.

The result a decade later is that most of our online speech now occurs in closely monitored playpens where many tens of thousands of human censors review flagged content to ensure compliance with ever-lengthier and more detailed “community standards” (or some equivalent). More and more, this human monitoring and censorship is supported—or replaced—by sophisticated [?] computer algorithms. The firms use these tools to define acceptable forms of speech and other content on their platforms, which in turn sets the effective boundaries for a great deal of speech in the U.S. public forum.

After the 2016 election debacle [the alleged interference by Russia], for example, the tech platforms took aggressive but still imperfect steps to fend off foreign adversaries. YouTube has an aggressive policy of removing what it deems to be deceptive practices and foreign-influence operations related to elections. It also makes judgments about and gives priority to what it calls “authoritative voices”. Facebook has deployed a multipronged strategy that includes removing fake accounts and eliminating or demoting “inauthentic behavior”. Twitter has a similar censorship policy aimed at “platform manipulation originating from bad-faith actors located in countries outside of the US”.  These platforms have engaged in “strategic collaboration” with the federal government, including by sharing information, to fight foreign electoral interference. …

Facebook, for example, also takes down hate speech

A “crime” invented by the Left and applying only to speech antagonistic to itself …

… terrorist propaganda, “cruel and insensitive” speech, and bullying speech, which are harder to identify objectively and more controversial to regulate or remove.

Yes. But objective judgment is not wanted by Those Who Know.

All these developments have taken place under pressure from Washington and Brussels.

From Washington? From the Trump administration? Or from the Deep State?

In hearings over the past few years, Congress has criticized the companies—not always in consistent ways—for allowing harmful speech. In 2018, Congress amended the previously untouchable Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to subject the platforms to the same liability that nondigital outlets face for enabling illegal sex trafficking. Additional amendments to Section 230 are now in the offing, as are various other threats to regulate digital speech. …

Against this background, the tech firms’ downgrading and outright censorship of speech related to COVID-19 are not large steps.  ..

 As in other contexts, Facebook relies on fact-checking organizations and “authorities” (from the World Health Organization to the governments of U.S. states) to ascertain which content to downgrade or remove.

The iniquitous, corrupt, lying WHO – obedient to the Communist Party of China – relied on as a trustworthy fact-checker!

What is different about speech regulation related to COVID-19 is the context: The problem is huge and the stakes are very high. But when the crisis is gone, there is no unregulated “normal” to return to.

We live—and for several years, we have been living—in a world of serious and growing harms resulting from digital speech. Governments will not stop worrying about these harms.

Which governments?

And private platforms will continue to expand their definition of offensive content …

“Offensive” according to the prejudices of the owners …

… and will use algorithms to regulate it ever more closely. The general trend toward more speech control will not abate.

And in addition to the Internet, “we have many other mechanisms for watching you”.

Over the past decade, network surveillance has grown in roughly the same proportion as speech control. Indeed, on many platforms, ubiquitous surveillance is a prerequisite to speech control.

The public has been told over and over that the hundreds of computers we interact with daily—smartphones, laptops, desktops, automobiles, cameras, audio recorders, payment mechanisms, and more—collect, emit, and analyze data about us that are, in turn, packaged and exploited in various ways to influence and control our lives. We have also learned a lot—but surely not the whole picture—about the extent to which governments exploit this gargantuan pool of data.

Police use subpoenas to tap into huge warehouses of personal data collected by private companies. They have used these tools to gain access to doorbell cameras that now line city blocks, microphones in the Alexa devices in millions of homes, privately owned license-plate readers that track every car, and the data in DNA databases that people voluntarily pay to enter. They also get access to information collected on smart-home devices and home-surveillance cameras—a growing share of which are capable of facial recognition—to solve crimes. And they pay to access private tow trucks equipped with cameras tracking the movements of cars throughout a city. …

The harms from digital speech will also continue to grow, as will speech controls on these networks. And invariably, government involvement will grow. At the moment, the private sector is making most of the important decisions, though often under government pressure. But … the firms may not be able to regulate speech legitimately without heavier government guidance and involvement. It is also unclear whether, for example, the companies can adequately contain foreign misinformation and prevent digital tampering with voting mechanisms without more government surveillance.

The First and Fourth Amendments as currently interpreted, and the American aversion to excessive government-private-sector collaboration, have stood as barriers to greater government involvement. Americans’ understanding of these laws, and the cultural norms they spawned, will be tested as the social costs of a relatively open internet multiply.

COVID-19 is a window into these future struggles. …

And a door into world socialist totalitarian government?

Which will force a reversion to primitivism? A highly sophisticated, technological primitivism. Primitivism-plus-the-internet. The simple life, highly regimented, constantly surveilled by Those Who Know.

The loss of civilization.

The end of liberty.

Cold war with China 1

Yes.

Cold war with China needs no question mark. It is not a question – should there be, or should there not be …?

It is a fact. It is a war even longer than the one in Afghanistan.

Colonel Richard Kemp (who commanded British forces in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans) writes at Gatestone:

Commentators and politicians today worry that the current situation might trigger a new cold war with China. They fail to understand that, in a similar but much more far-reaching pattern to the jihadist conflict, China has been fighting a cold war against the West for decades, while we have refused to recognize what is going on….

Few in the West fully recognize the threat to our own economies, security and liberty. Many who do refuse to speak out for four reasons: 

First, fear of coming into China’s crosshairs, provoking economic harm or character assassination.

Second, fear of accusations of racism, a concern readily exploited by the Chinese state whose own egregious racism is only too obvious.

Third, belief that our liberal values can change those that oppose us. The hope that Chinese exposure to free trade, including entry into the WTO in 2001, would have this effect has proven woefully misguided and served only to strengthen Beijing’s oppressive regime.

Fourth, many political leaders, businessmen, academics and journalists have been bought and paid for by Beijing whether by financial incentive or blackmail.

How can the West fight back? Although still militarily and economically inferior to the US, China is a formidable and growing economic power, interwoven with Western economies to an unprecedented degree. We must begin to divest from and sanction China, repatriate and use alternative sources of manufacturing and technology, restrict capital investment there and curb Chinese investment here, especially in our infrastructure.

We must re-invigorate and develop our own technology, much long abandoned to the Chinese juggernaut. We must enforce the norms of international trade and act vigorously to prevent and penalize China’s orgy of industrial theft that has gone largely unchallenged for decades. We must push back globally against Beijing’s imperialism and propaganda wherever it occurs.

But what if cold war with China leads to hot war with China?

We must also prepare for military conflict, with an emphasis on deterring Chinese aggression.

America will have to lead the fightback as it did previously in the cold war [with Soviet Russia], but success will require Europe and our allies around the world to stand with them for the long term. This is not a party political issue, but must become a fundamental element of enduring Western grand strategies. This is the task of decades and will be high-risk and costly. The alternative is to remain on the hook and in hock to the Chinese communist state and let future generations suffer the incalculable consequences of our continued purblind inaction.

Tom Basile, writing at American Greatness, thinks cold war with China is yet to begin in ernest on our side, but certainly will, and should be unhesitatingly engaged.

Our struggle will not be against China alone, but also against Russia and Iran.

 We shouldn’t be afraid of a new Cold War. …

Economic alliances that have made the Western democracies weaker, less focused, and often playing into the hands of authoritarian competitors seeking to expand their power.

We believed that opening China would produce a stronger level of trust, cooperation, and liberalization. …

It has not done so.

We genuinely wanted the Russian experiment in democracy to succeed. It hasn’t and we need to accept that. …

We may have wanted it to succeed, but not all of us expected that it would.

For decades we failed to make Iran pay for financing global Islamic terrorist networks that have taken countless innocent lives and destabilized countries around the world. The Obama Administration’s capitulation to the mullahs was perhaps the lowest point in American foreign policy of the last half-century.

Agreed.

The troika of China, Russia, and Iran represent a significant and present threat to the safety and security of the free world.

That requires an aggressive response.

Agreed again.

The Chinese, through their Belt and Road Initiative, have set about conquering Africa.

The three are also making inroads in the Western Hemisphere as well, including information manipulation that reaches the eyes and ears of Americans every day.

China, Russia, and Iran will act with insidious intent to damage the United States. Having an economic, military, and diplomatic counter-posture is absolutely critical.

America should not fight the “troika” alone, but with Western allies:

From 1960-1975, the United States threatened or imposed economic sanctions more than 25 times, not counting U.S. support for U.N. sanctions against South Africa and other nations. We invested in the developing world to provide an incentive for those nations to align with the West. The Cold War promoted enterprise-based, free-market capitalism that strengthened our democratic allies. The military effort led to significant technological advancements.

Redrawing the lines of engagement now would mean igniting the ability of the United States and Western economies again to consolidate economic power. The economic opportunity for American and European countries for freezing out Huawei is enormous.

But the opportunity is not being seized by America’s closest European ally. Britain is obstinately sticking to its contract with Huawei to build its G5 network, careless of the risk that doing so further empowers the Communist Chinese enemy.

A new Cold War means creating new trading blocs and incentives to dissuade free nations from supporting authoritarian competitors. It means governments making the tough decision to economically marginalize these regimes. Such a move may increase consumer prices but can lead to a restoration of millions of American jobs, economic growth in the developing world, and protecting superior Western innovation from piracy.

During the Cold War [with Soviet Russia], a vast majority of Americans understood that it was important for the United States and its allies to counter Communism. We cannot allow the moral relativism of the Left in America today to make us timid in the face of real threats to our security and individual liberty, not to mention the sovereignty of other nations.

Sure, there was debate and protest over disarmament and détente. Of course, there were those who were opposed our strong anti-Communist stance and Ronald Reagan’s “We win, they lose” posture, and many who railed against the so-called military-industrial complex.

Today, empowered by the media and digital platforms, those forces clearly have a strong voice.

Nonetheless, America’s destiny is—as it has always been—to be a beacon of freedom and prevent the human race from being dominated by authoritarianism that saps the soul of the individual, devalues life, and prevents human advancement for the sake of ruling elites.

Prevent the whole of the human race from falling under oppressive government? That is a very large assignment. Is it really America’s mission? And if so, is it possible?

Those who today fancy themselves experts in the media will say we can’t shift our posture in such a fashion. …

We would do well to remember our history. In the past century, hundreds of thousands of Americans died fighting the Germans, only to see Germany become one of our staunchest allies. We used the atomic bomb to obliterate two Japanese cities, yet today Japan is one of our closest trading partners.

A new Cold War-style approach to China, Russia, and Iran is a call for America reconstituting the strong allied bloc it once led and rejecting the free-for-all globalist movement that turns a blind eye to enemies allegedly for the sake of cheap products.

America first needs to mean America leads again.

[The pandemic of] COVID-19 can indeed reset the world order placing us in the familiar position of making bold moves to protect freedom. What remains to be seen is whether we have the courage to lead again.

Using economic and if necessary military power to fight China, preferably with the co-operation of Western allies, is one thing – necessary and possible.

But America resetting the world order?

That requires a question mark.

Posted under Africa, China, Iran, Russia, Soviet Union, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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The source 1

A documentary that reveals how COVID-19 came out of a Chinese laboratory (28 minutes forward) and not a food market.

And that the cause of this sickness that is afflicting the whole world, killing many, impoverishing nations, is China’s Communism.

 

Posted under China, communism, Health, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 14, 2020

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Racist racisst ray-cissst! 1

In this interview Mark Steyn denounces with indignation the Left’s inability to talk seriously about the coronavirus pandemic. Instead those “shrieking twerps” bring all discussion within their own “shriveled pointless parameters”, forever crying “racist”:

 

And Deroy Murdock writes at TrumpTrain on the Left’s irrational Trump hatred and its tedious inappropriate accusation of racism:

President Donald J. Trump could announce tomorrow morning that he pulled an all-nighter, whipped out the Bunsen burners and Petri dishes, and created a combined vaccine and treatment against the deadly COVID-19 virus. Furthermore, under his new Injections for All program, 330 million free shots would be available for every American, starting with doses at every Walgreens and Duane Reade, as of High Noon.

Rather than cheer the president’s diligence and creativity, the guttersnipes who slam him at every turn would moan: “So what? Why didn’t he cure breast cancer? Does he hate women? And what about Tay-Sachs Disease? No cure for that? At last, this proves conclusively that he’s an anti-Semite.”

Soon after this pandemic emerged in Wuhan Province, China, and began its long march overseas, Trump banned the arrival of foreign nationals from China and those who had traveled there within 14 days of reaching the U.S. Rather than applaud Trump’s January 31 action to defend America from these dreadful pathogens, his indefatigable foes lined up to smite him.

“This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science,” former vice president Joe Biden thundered [or quavered] on February 2.

Three days later, Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said via Twitter: “The premature travel ban to and from China by the current administration is just an excuse to further his ongoing war against immigrants.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D – California) attacked Trump for “using scare tactics about people coming back to our country”.

CNN warned that “the US coronavirus travel ban could backfire” and wind up “stigmatizing countries and ethnicities”. CNN also berated Trump’s panel of experts on public health and infectious disease for its “lack of diversity”, as if germs gave a damn about skin color.

CNN’s odious Jim Acosta berated Trump for calling COVID-19 a “foreign virus”, since this, too, would fuel — what else? — xenophobia. Never mind that this microbe first arose in China, which is not an American state, but a foreign country. Also, on January 23, Acosta referred via Twitter to “the growing spread of Wuhan Coronavirus.” Wuhan is not in Wisconsin. It’s in China. So, Acosta lacks even toothpicks on which to stand when he spews his ugliness.

Despite the Left’s destructive sniping, Trump’s “bigoted” travel restrictions kept infections and deaths far lower than they would have been otherwise.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, lauded the “original decision that was made by the president”. He added at a February 29 press conference: “If we had not done that, we would have had many, many more cases right here that we would have to be dealing with.”

If Trump had not taken these tough-but-effective steps six weeks ago, dead bodies likely would have piled up, as they have in Italy, and these very same Left-wing jackals would be screaming, “Why didn’t Trump ban flights from China? He knew each one was a missile brimming with biological weapons. But he let them land here anyway. Monster!”

The Daily Mail transmitted this lie via Twitter on March 9: “Trump REFUSES to say if he has been tested for coronavirus and storms out of White House briefing on crisis.”

Garbage!

As Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson demonstrated via a video clip that he posted on Twitter, President Trump finished his press conference and said, “Thank you very much.” As he turned right to exit the White House press room, the gathered journalists inelegantly hollered questions at him, as they have done in that situation for decades. “Have you been tested?” a man in the crowd shouted. “Have you been tested? Mr. President, have you been tested? Mr. President, have you been tested?”

As presidents have done for decades, Trump ignored these screams and very casually walked out the door. He did not “REFUSE” to say anything, nor did he storm out of anywhere.

LIES! Or, more politely, fake news.

The dinosaur media also claimed that President Trump called COVID-19 “a hoax”. In fact, he referred to the Left’s critique of his Corona response as a hoax, designed to sandbag him, like the Russia and Ukraine hoaxes.

Revolting.

It doesn’t matter.

Trump is evil for not getting tested for Corona virus.

“If he understood his role as a moral leader, Trump would submit to the test — modeling appropriate behavior for the public,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza scolded. He cited the president’s CPAC speech, where he had no direct contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. “Sure, it would be done out of an abundance of caution, given that he almost certainly hasn’t been infected. But it would also provide leadership, destigmatizing and demystifying the idea of being tested. It would show that Trump was willing to go above and beyond prescribed conduct for the good of the American people.”

Cillizza added: “The Point: Trump has never understood the moral responsibilities and imperatives of being President. And he doesn’t appear to be starting now.”

So, to summarize: Trump is immoral and failed to destigmatize a non-mysterious test for which people are clamoring and whose limited supply is overwhelmed by enormous public demand.

But if Trump had gotten tested, just imagine the outrage. Cillizza and others would have demanded to know:

Why is Donald Trump wasting precious test kits on himself, while he is asymptomatic? Doesn’t he know that these test kits are extremely scarce, or his he too stupid to understand this? Who the hell does he think he is? This proves, once and for all, that he is a terminal narcissist!

For weeks, these vultures have called Trump’s response lackadaisical.

“What he’s doing is late, too late, anemic,” Pelosi whined. “Hopefully, we can make up for the loss of time.” On February 24, Schumer said Trump was “asleep at the wheel” and had “no plan”.

Perhaps President Trump could have fought this headache harder and sooner if he were not busy battling something that Pelosi, Schumer, and their Democrat comrades concocted all on their own: his impeachment by the House and trial in the Senate. While COVID-19 incubated and expanded, Trump was at least slightly distracted by Democrats’ despicable, futile, and totally failed bid to dislodge him from office. In fact, Trump’s February 6 Senate acquittal came a full week after his Chinese-travel ban.

According to NBC News, “The president doesn’t appear to be taking seriously the threat Americans see to their physical and financial health.”

Trump has failed to take COVID-19 seriously, specifically, through these initiatives: his initial Chinese-travel ban, his original public-health-emergency declaration, his formation of a task force to coordinate these efforts, under the leadership of Vice President Mike Pence; his signature on an $8.5 billion Corona emergency spending bill, meetings with drug companies to speed vaccine development, pressure on the FDA to remove Obama-Biden-era red tape that hinders new-drug production, negotiations with insurance companies to encourage them to offer COVID-19 tests for free (absent co-pays, etc.), and more.

Also, the president addressed the American people from the Oval Office Wednesday night. That’s as serious as a president of the United States can get. He announced a 30-day moratorium on flights from 26 European nations, starting tonight. (The UK and Northern Ireland are exempt.) Centers for Disease Control chief Robert Redfield said: “If you want to be blunt, Europe is the new China.”

Well, now Trump is overreacting. It’s too much. He’s out of control.

“Coronavirus knows no borders but borders are the only thing that President Trump knows with regard to Covid-19,” global-health expert Thomas Bollyky told Vox in an article headlined Coronavirus is already here. Blocking travelers won’t prevent its spread. …

Allowing new cases into America would not be spreading it?

And now that Trump is blocking flights from Austria, France, Germany, Norway and other countries that quite fairly can be called white, does this expose his anti-Caucasian bias? If so, his self-hatred would seem to negate charges of his towering vanity. If not, this suggests that such travel limits are color blind and are a necessary evil when coping with people who, through no fault of their own, carry disease — whether they are Chinese, European, or simply traversing those locations.

It never stops.

Trump haters pummel him with sledgehammers all day, every day, no matter what.

It doesn’t matter.

This reprehensible headline in America’s so-called “Paper of Record” serves as an instruction manual for the enemies of the President of the United States to respond to anything and everything he does or says while battling this national emergency:

“Let’s Call It Trumpvirus.”

So proving the accuracy of Mark Steyn’s description of those “shrieking twerps” on the Left! Having no cause but hatred of President Trump, nothing to say but  “Racist!”, those are the “shriveled parameters” of their discourse.