Jack Dorsey raised himself up one rung in hell by displaying the indifference to the congressional inquisitors that they deserve. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:
The repressive objective of the Democratic-controlled Congress is to transfer the power to police and censor political discourse from these tech giants to themselves.
Over the course of five-plus hours on Thursday, a House Committee along with two subcommittees badgered three tech CEOs, repeatedly demanding that they censor more political content from their platforms and vowing legislative retaliation if they fail to comply. The hearing — convened by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Chair Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of its Subcommittees, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) — was one of the most stunning displays of the growing authoritarian effort in Congress to commandeer the control which these companies wield over political discourse for their own political interests and purposes.
As I noted when I reported last month on the scheduling of this hearing, this was “the third time in less thanfive months that the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms.” The bulk of Thursday’s lengthy hearing consisted of one Democratic member after the next complaining that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have failed in their duties to censor political voices and ideological content that these elected officials regard as adversarial or harmful, accompanied by threats that legislative punishment (including possible revocation of Section 230 immunity) is imminent in order to force compliance (Section 230 is the provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that shields internet companies from liability for content posted by their users).
The government telling, or implying, backed up with an explicit or implicit threat, an ostensibly private media company who they can and cannot publish or broadcast is as much an abridgment of the First Amendment as a direct government ban. From Glen Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:
In their zeal for control over online speech, House Democrats are getting closer and closer to the constitutional line, if they have not already crossed it.
For the third time in less thanfive months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.”
The Committee’s Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of the Subcommittees holding the hearings, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a joint statement that the impetus was “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.” They argued that “these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” adding: “This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation.”
This letter is about that nauseating, trembling fear you felt when that hate exploded at you on January 6. Please don’t forget it. Journal about it before it fades. Tolerate the nightmares. Keep pen and paper on your nightstand to record what woke you from screaming fits. Don’t block it out. Don’t let it go.
If you can bank those emotions you had as you huddled together and hoped the doors would hold, that day may turn out to be a blessing for you…and even better for our republic. In fact, it may just be the thing that saves our republic if that is still possible.
The fear you felt that day was an authentic, if brief, reflection of what millions of people have endured because of the votes you and your past colleagues cast in that very room, sitting in those very chairs, as they authorized trillions upon trillions of dollars to feed and unleash the largest war machine on Earth.
Think about the votes you cast “to support the troops,” which in truth sent them to beat down someone’s door at 2 a.m., rush in, scream at a cowering family, steal their savings, terrorize the women and children, seize the men and tell them all the next time you will make their village “look like the moon.”
Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.
Congress Goes Gender Neutral, Starting with “Amen, and Awomen.”
It’s tradition that an opening prayer is read on the first day of the US House of Representatives.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver led the prayer which he concluded, “Amen, and Awomen.”
Nevermind that ‘Amen’ does not at all refer to sex or gender, it comes from the historical Hebrew word meaning “so be it.”
(and I suppose that ‘awomen’ comes from herstorical Shebrew?)
So Congressperson Cleaver tried to play it off as a lighthearted jest, to welcome the record number of women into Congress.
Except that at the same time, Congress has passed new rules banning gendered speech in the House of Representatives.
“Seamen” is now “seafarer”. “Mother” and “father” are simply “parent”. “Brother” and “sister” become “sibling”.
Even more technical, legal language, like “ombudsman” is now “ombuds”. “Congressman” and “Congresswoman” are now “Member”.
Is Congress recovering a bit of its lost spine? From Eric S. Margolis at lewrockwell.com:
he US Senate, long the lap dog of the man who would be king, President Donald Trump, appears to have finally remembered its proper constitutional role.
Last week, the Senate voted 55/45 for a new bipartisan War Powers Act to constrain military action against Iran. The Congress voted a similar act. Both are designed to start returning the right to make war to Congress, as the Constitution clearly intended. The president is not the Warlord-in-chief in spite of what he thinks.
The Senate has been supine until now, intimidated by an unholy alliance of pro-war Christian evangelists and the Israel lobby, and over $100 million given to the Republican Party by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Senators who dare oppose this powerful special interest risk their political futures. The lifting of limits on political contributions has given Adelson enormous power over Trump and his friend, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
If Turkey leaves NATO then it will want the US to abandon its important airbase at Incerlik. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
After what can only be termed a terrible NATO Not Summit two weeks ago it was clear the alliance has serious fissures forming in its facade.
It opened with French President Emmanuel Macron’s refusal to back down on how ‘brain dead’ NATO’s current mission is. And it ended with an embarrassing hot mic moment with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau which led to President Trump leaving early.
It was Macron’s statements about Turkey reinvigorating ISIS with its invasion of Northern Syria which revealed the depths of European brain death in foreign affairs.
This is a talking point straight out of neocon central to appease the U.S. MIC and Israelis while he asserts the need to decouple European foreign policy from the U.S. and reorient NATO to combat terrorism, which it isn’t designed to do.
But what truly borders on farce today is the U.S. Congress threatening to sanction Turkey over buying Russian S-400 missile defense systems while its President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is actually threatening NATO member Greece, ignoring the idea that Crete even exists and making territorial claims to the eastern Mediterranean that would make Ataturk himself blush.
As guardians of liberty, both Congress and Trump should be tossed out, and we should just start all over again. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
Imagine that President Trump spent his phone call with the Ukrainian president threatening to withhold military aid unless the Ukrainian government agreed to use the money to purchase weapons from a US manufacturer. Does anyone seriously think that foreign service professionals and deep state operatives would be so shocked and offended by Trump’s request that they would launch efforts to impeach him? Would Congress view this as “high crimes and misdemeanors” or applaud Trump for carrying out one of modern presidents’ supposedly most important jobs — acting as salesmen for the American military-industrial complex?
This hypothetical shows that impeachment is not about President Trump’s abuse of power. Instead, it is an attempt to make sure President Trump, and all future presidents, confine their abuses of power to items that advance the agenda of the political establishment.
A renewal of the Patriot Act is slipping through while the nation and the media is preoccupied with the impeachment circus. From Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com:
Even in our polarized and right vs. left political paradigm, there is one thing both republicans and democrats can agree on: The federal government should have vast snooping powers and conduct mass surveillance on everyone. They simply disagree over who should be in charge of abusing those excessive powers.
The impeachment circus did one thing successfully. It took attention from the government’s mass surveillance programs that are constantly expanded. As Reasonproposed: If Democrats really feared Donald Trump’s exercise of the powers of the presidency, why would they propose extending the surveillance powers of the controversial Patriot Act?
The permanent bureaucracy makes the top of the list, probably because it’s both permanent and a bureaucracy. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:
The US federal government is divided up into a variety of institutions, with the three main “branches” of government designed to compete against each other. Theoretically, these three branches were initially thought to place checks on the other branches of government, thus minimizing abuses of power by the federal government overall.
Things haven’t really worked out that way. Thanks to the rise of political parties, coordination between the branches — along party lines — has often replaced competition between the branches. Moreover, as political parties vie for the a controlling majority in the various branches, they are loath to limit the power of these institutions lest these partisans limit their own power in the process. Nor do the different branches represent different socio-economic groups in the manner imagined by John Adams in his Defense of the Constitutions.
Very few people pay attention and for good reason. It’s a flaccid, ineffectual body. From Fred Reed at theburningplatform.com:
It is curious: Though I have for decades worked in journalism, mostly in Washington, I know almost nothing of Congress. I mean this literally. I do not know who Mitch McConnell is, his function, or his politics, though I have the impression that he is a Republican. Who was, or is, Paul (I think it is) Ryan? Is he in the House or the Senate? I don’t know. I have no idea who heads any committee.
You might ask, “What sort of fraud is this Reed guy? Why doesn’t he know stuff that everybody knows?”
Easy. Because Congress doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. It is a bauble that fascinates the strange ingrown world of DC, but the marionettes are less important than those who pull their strings.
It may seem odd, but the national legislature has nothing to do with anything of importance. Consider the most crucial issues affecting America:
The endless wars. These kill millions who have done nothing to deserve killing, threaten America’s position in the world, and cost trillions. Congress does nothing.
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