Signal Wave

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I'm starting to think that perhaps one can stop the signal.

What Joss Whedon meant when he had Mr. Universe say "You can't stop the signal, Mal," in his movie Serenity, is that it's ultimately impossible to achieve absolute repression of an idea.

Trying to suppress an idea is like trying to hold water in your hand--if you suppress the idea by trying to prevent its expression. You can gain a lot of control (as the USSR and Nazi Germany demonstrated), you can do a lot of damage to people who refuse to be suppressed, but in the end, you can't prevent an idea's expression. Not altogether.

But if you work at the other end, it becomes far from certain that you can't stop the signal.

The way to stop the signal is to stop its reception.

You can do that two ways.

One is to exhaust the populace. Make sure they work long hours for little pay. Assault them with dangers and problems that affect their basic survival, so that they have little energy left for other considerations, such as talking to their neighbors, or listening to the news with a critical ear. Then, if the signal comes by, they'll be too tired to listen.

The other is cultural sabotage. Wreck the education system. Spew propaganda nonstop. Change the rules of how people talk, how we decide if something is proved to be true, how you "win" a debate. And never neglect the opportunity to use a political moment to alter people's basic ethical principles to your advantage.

Well, we're here.

Last May, I said this about our elections:

It's not our politics or policies that will change as a result of elections; it's our beliefs and assumptions: our expectations of our political system, our country, and our lives. The purpose of elections these days is not to make political or policy changes--as a member of the Obama administration said of single-payer healthcare, "All that was decided when Barack Obama was in law school,"--but to make psychological and cultural ones. The idea is to move the American people's expectations ever downward and to the right. Elections do not alter the political map of America; that stays mostly the same. Elections rarely alter American policy, foreign or domestic; our policies are more unchanging than our politics. What changes as a result of elections is our minds, and they almost always change in the same direction: making the unacceptable acceptable, disposing of principles, standards and norms. Elections are the tool that move the goalposts for us, that tie us to a Procrustean bed and lop off inconvenient bits of us that, if they do not provide us with a way to effectively oppose our elites, provide us with a too accurate, too unflattering, assessment of them.

These are the times that try men's souls. And my soul, too.

These are times when you must ask yourself what your basic principles are, and how much you care about them. Which principles matter so much that you would not give them up even if it gave you a profound advantage over your most hated enemy?

Back when Bush was in office (before everyone decided that he's a nice guy, really) most of the Democratic electorate, and all of the independent left, excoriated the right for having a personality-driven, emotion-driven politics. We criticized the right for being willing to dispense with the fundamental moral principles of the Republic because they had been traumatized by Osama bin Laden's attack--or else, because their partisan avidity led them to blindly support any right-wing strongman--or right-wing fool--who attained a leadership position in the Republican party. At the same time that they were embracing authoritarianism, and abandoning our basic values, they were shouting that we were seditious traitors and had no place in America.

Well, we thought that was wrong, and we took our stand on rationalism, empiricism, and the core principles we all learned in Civics class. Those principles were not really at the core of the United States, the actual political entity, but they were at the core of American culture. In other words, people believed that a certain set of moral principles were what America was *supposed* to be about. We planted our feet on those principles.

No one, not even the President, is above the law. I may hate what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. The people do not owe loyalty to politicians; politicians owe service to the people. Due process of law, exercised by the government within well-defined parameters, is how we restrain wrongdoers; informed public discussion and debate is how we decide what the laws that restrain wrongdoers should be. It is the business of politicians to represent those public opinions and embody them in law. Government belongs to all the people, not just the local rich man. Power should be checked and restrained by being dispersed, rather than being unfettered and concentrated into few hands. People have the right to vote for whom they want, and nobody has the right to attack them for it. The vote must be counted with impartial accuracy, so that the people can fulfill their function of conferring authority on their representatives. The duties of a citizen trump partisan loyalty, or ideological preference. The duties of a citizen are defined by these (and other) principles we all hold. If a party, a person, or an ideological faction attacks these principles, we are all being attacked. These principles apply to all equally, and are not commodities to be bought, sold, or monopolized.

I'm sure you all can come up with many more such principles.

For the past little while, the purpose of politics has been to bludgeon us with ugly images, toxic words, and brutal behavior; to force us to choose between two monstrosities over and over again, sacrificing some moral principle each time to the exigencies of the moment, much in the same way that the right wing sacrificed the Bill of Rights to the moment that planes crashed into the Twin Towers. The right wing saw a threat from an evil man, and decided that their moral principles were luxuries they could not afford. In this same way, Democrats and even some leftists have sacrificed everything from our opposition to extrajudicial assassination to our preference for peace over continual war, to our commitment to universal healthcare, because we see a threat from an evil man which makes these moral values seem like luxuries. Yet somehow, no matter how many of our principles we sacrifice, we are still accused of valuing ideological purity over the well-being of our fellow citizens. Eventually, I suspect the only moral value we will have left is loyalty. We will need that to maintain our partisan obedience.

It's particularly easy to get people to sacrifice such principles when you have an asset like Donald Trump. I've said elsewhere that I think Trump is the best gift a propagandist could wish for. When you judge everything according to whether it benefits Trump or hinders him, all propagandists have to do to destroy an idea is to identify it with Trump. That's happening with freedom of speech now, even though, if Trump has incited violence against the government, which I think he has, freedom of speech should not be the issue. As I recall, there were three limits on freedom of speech we all accepted, once upon a time:

1) Using speech in a way that would cause immediate harm (shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater).

2) Using speech in a way that would imperil the standing of an ongoing criminal investigation.

3) Suggesting that people should commit specific violence against the government. This does not apply to generalized statements about guillotines, or how making peaceful reform impossible makes violent revolution inevitable. It is saying that you will, or that someone else will, or should, commit acts of physical violence against government officials (the example was always threatening the life of the President).

In fact, if Trump has incited people to violence against the government, he should be facing, not censorship by a private firm, but legal action: the kind of careful legal action we don't see a lot of nowadays. Because sedition is serious business: if real, it threatens the existence of society; if the accusation of sedition is false, it could encourage the exponential growth of tyranny. Our country has an ugly history of claiming that people are being seditious when they're actually merely opposing the powerful, which means that if there's a case for sedition--which I believe there is--it needs to be dealt with legally and prosecuted with extreme care. Not so much for Trump's sake, but for the sake of all the people who are going to have to live under the legal precedents and cultural expectations that are set by any such action.

Shutting down Trump's Twitter account does not hold him accountable for incitement to sedition. In the first place, it's an entirely inadequate response; in the second place, it's not Twitter's job to administer justice in the matter of sedition and incitement to riot--that is the purview of the courts; in the third place, the timing of the gesture casts doubt on Twitter's good faith in this matter, since, if Trump's words are seditious, violent and dangerous, Twitter should have banned him long ago (h/t Liberal Moonbat).

I know several people have brought up that the well-known exceptions to the rule of free speech, such as shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater, are not actually part of the law. But they were part of the culture we lived in, and, in my opinion, they were not unreasonable limits. If you accept those limits, the moment Trump incites people to sedition, or riot, or a combination of the two, his speech ceases to be protected, and that's when he should be silenced. But he wasn't. He was allowed to incite people to violence on Twitter for quite some time. Then, just as he's on the way out, he's suddenly banned, with great fanfare. That makes it look like a publicity stunt with an ulterior motive. Clearly the motive isn't stopping Trump from inciting violence, since he already did that. Twitter could have done something about that, and still stayed on the side of the angels when it comes to free speech (in my opinion, anyway).

Why does this matter? Because it is far more likely that this incident has been staged, not because Jack Dorsey suddenly figured out Trump's words are bad, but because it's a prime chance to get the American people used to the idea of corporations silencing bad political actors, and used to the idea that media corporations are the ones who get to decide who the bad political actors who need to be silenced are; in short, to get the American people to wholeheartedly accept that private media corporations own public discourse.

Electoral politics is about changing the assumptions and moral principles of the American people, moving them downward and to the right, no matter who wins.

However--

Still here. Still broadcasting.

So far.

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Comments

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Primarily, the debate over whether those three limits on free speech are a good idea or not.

I know there's another side to that issue, and am more than willing to talk about it with people who feel those limits are inadvisable.

It's complicated, because what do you do if your government has become so corrupt that sedition is actually the right thing to do? (For instance, had Trump held onto power, I bet there are plenty of people who would have considered sedition against his "government" to be absolutely the right thing to do).

I tend to think that you do what Daniel Ellsberg did; you break the rule and take the punishment. This is what everybody said Snowden should do; I disagreed (and still disagree) because at this point the punishment is barbaric, because our legal system and politics are now barbaric. Nobody should have to accept the kind of punishments dealt out to Chelsea Manning, for instance. We can't expect our criminal justice system to behave like it belongs to an actual civilized republic, so people like Snowden are well advised to stay far away. Had he done what he did in the 70s, like Ellsberg, I'd have been in favor of his standing trial.

Being a revolutionist might be necessary under some circumstances, but I don't think one can expect a society to protect the right to overthrow that society. Maybe I'm wrong. I'd be glad to talk it over.

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12 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

lotlizard's picture

The Mythocracy of Democracy (OpEdNews)

The White House, U.S. Capitol, Pentagon, etc. should be demolished and the ashes salted. Nothing should ever be built on these places again.

These marble edifices have been birthplace and home of some of the most evil people doing some very despicable and dastardly things. They are not the halls of democracy; they are the bastions of doom. WashedUp, DeCeit is like Mordor without the Hobbits.

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16 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

I had no idea Pelosi made a specific promise to Sheehan to stop the wars, in 2005. Jesus Christ.

She didn't need to do that. That's fucking brutal, to a mother a year out from the untimely death of her son.

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11 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

mimi's picture

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0 users have voted.

"heh, as they say, if you don't dig the blues, you got a hole in your soul" - JS

lotlizard's picture

https://incompetech.com/graphpaper/

Me Aspie nerd lady. Me like.

Offhand, the only category I see missing there is patterns based on Penrose tilings with 5-way symmetry.

And: of more dubious utility, the Amazon Halo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=124&v=MjQZ5TyGJng

Trust Amazon with your health data! Lord Bezos promises not to mess with your heart pacemaker or insulin pump — even if you are a right- or left-wing dissident troublemaker! The halo even analyzes your tone of voice! Practice sounding more properly compliant to the new Biden-Harris junta and enraged about anyone who gets in their way.

And: Way of the Berners on Reddit discuss how not just the US press, but also MSM throughout the Free World™ use the cat-and-laser-pointer distraction of Trump to avoid actual debate about stuff significant to life in their respective countries.

https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/kvppsn/the_worlds_media_o...

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enhydra lutris's picture

@lotlizard

I can see wasting days there and with the products. I can also see combining those with a rocketbook flip to achieve tons that I don't even remotely have time for, but am entranced by the idea anyway. Of curse, this leads to recycling issues, but that can be solved. Seriously, thanks.

be well and have a good one

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7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

usefewersyllables's picture

You can only drive it further underground. Use your favorite non-Google search engine to look up "samizdat", which helped bring down the Soviet Union. We'll probably be there soon. Luckily, I know how to restore mimeograph machines, and I still have my manual typewriter...

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10 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

enhydra lutris's picture

@usefewersyllables

plus TOR plus signal plus all the mobile hams and CBs and the fact that one can build radios.

be well and have a good one

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7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

usefewersyllables's picture

@enhydra lutris

A.B. Dick forever! And radios, of course. I love the smell of ozone almost as much as I do blanket wash...

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6 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

earthling1's picture

@enhydra lutris
live 10 miles apart (crows flight) with the Columbia River between us and only one bridge for miles.
We installed antennas amd small handheld Baofeng ham radios in case of emergencies.
With five family households over there, and four households over here, we can all stay connected.
Two households have since bought their own radios and added to the network.
Plus, we use them as comms while sand dune riding, hiking, Seadooing, and caravaning.
Best investment EVAH!

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7 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@usefewersyllables

for the uplifting words.

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3 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@usefewersyllables

With the Postal Service in disarray, it makes it harder, but I still think it's a good way to go.

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6 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

earthling1's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
the most secure form of communication once again.
Heh, wax seals with your high school ring. Remember those days?

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4 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@earthling1

occasionally recycled for funsies, but it may be time to bring it back for real.

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3 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

lotlizard's picture

@earthling1  
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/home-gift-harry-potter-hogwarts-wax-sea...

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earthling1's picture

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2 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@earthling1

https://www.letterseals.com/

as well as wax, writing paper, etc.

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2 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

lotlizard's picture

@TheOtherMaven  
♫ and brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff…
Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary

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enhydra lutris's picture

needed.

Overlooked in all this is the minor detail that listening isn't always truly passive, and reading and watching less so. I chose to never get into Tweeter, because ab initio I found the whole idea and predominant usage not to my liking. Though it changed, by the time it did I had even less use for it. That said, if I used it, nobody could force me to follow Trump or the Proud Boys, or various neo-nazis and neo-nazi groups. I suspect there are ways to filter damn near anything and everything out, if not built in, then existing as add-ons. Hell, in my younger days I could've written a crude filter myself using off the shelf text processing tools like AWK. Isn't volition part of freedom? I can boycott shit, I don't need third parties to decide what I should boycott and proactively do it for me. Faceboot? Prolly the same, also dunno because don't usse.

Part of those written and unwritten rules of civics (civitas?) is the whole "social compact/social contract" mythos, and that implies and requires volition, willful informed choice. True, it was mythological and has become moreso, but most are blithely unaware of that, so the theory still applies to the ideational space in which the populace dwells, and arguably should continue to do so. The solution to its demise or non-existence is not to abandon the concept but to actualize it and bring it to fruition using the tools at hand ASAP. That requires that we identify the few tools at hand whereby we may secure some control over things, such as boycotts, strikes, true sharing, cooperation and cooperative ventures and the like. We need to begin to be the society we desire and need.

be well and have a good one

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10 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

That said, if I used it, nobody could force me to follow Trump or the Proud Boys, or various neo-nazis and neo-nazi groups. I suspect there are ways to filter damn near anything and everything out, if not built in, then existing as add-ons. Hell, in my younger days I could've written a crude filter myself using off the shelf text processing tools like AWK. Isn't volition part of freedom? I can boycott shit, I don't need third parties to decide what I should boycott and proactively do it for me.

Well, that is a point. I mean, when I was on Twitter (or, as my life partners like to call it, "YouTwitFace"), I never got anything from Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump except through other people (and I don't mean their campaign staff), and that was 2016. I never went looking for it, so it didn't find me.

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4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

Part of those written and unwritten rules of civics (civitas?) is the whole "social compact/social contract" mythos, and that implies and requires volition, willful informed choice. True, it was mythological and has become moreso, but most are blithely unaware of that, so the theory still applies to the ideational space in which the populace dwells, and arguably should continue to do so. The solution to its demise or non-existence is not to abandon the concept but to actualize it and bring it to fruition using the tools at hand ASAP. That requires that we identify the few tools at hand whereby we may secure some control over things, such as boycotts, strikes, true sharing, cooperation and cooperative ventures and the like. We need to begin to be the society we desire and need.

up
4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

snoopydawg's picture

Sheldon Adelson, GOP Megadonor Who Founded Las Vegas Sands, Dies

Adelson was the founder and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which announced his death Tuesday from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Adelson was 17th on the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans in 2020, with a fortune estimated at $26.8 billion.

He lavished political contributions on Republican politicians and was Trump’s largest donor. He famously made the largest single donation to any U.S. presidential inauguration ― a sum of $5 million ― to Trump’s inaugural committee.

He and his wife, Miriam, pumped at least $205 million into campaign and party committees and super PACs to support Republican politicians over the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, according to Federal Election Commission records. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in U.S. elections, reported in October that the Adelsons had set a new record for donations from individuals in a single election cycle, giving $172.7 million to Republican candidates.

Pay to play has one less player this morning:

In February 2017 ― weeks after Trump took office ― Adelson met with the president, ProPublica reported. A day later, Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The president stunned the Japanese leader by asking his government to approve Adelson’s bid for a Japan casino, according to the report, which cited two people present at the meeting.

Adelson was also involved in the spying on Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy. I will not miss him.

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15 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg

Security thing?

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2 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

snoopydawg's picture

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/twitter-bans-qanon-accounts_n_5ffd10fcc5b...

I'm sure they all fit the description. No innocents were caught up in it. But I wonder why none of the press who lied repeatedly about Russia interference Russia this and Russia that were not banned nor will they. Lots of hypocrisy floating around cyberspace these days.

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13 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg

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4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Lookout's picture

That's a good thing...except they tend to be among members of the same tribe.

I enjoyed this discussion.

Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with Brian Becker, host of The Socialist Program, about the implications of the recent Stop the Steal riot in Washington D.C. Becker analyzes direct coordination between rioters and the police and explains why he believes the Biden Era could be one of political instability in the United States.

I don't doubt the capitol invasion was a set up to empower the oligarchy in multiple ways...media companies among them.

I fear impeachment will incite more violence this weekend. The dims are dim...here's a quick 51 vote solution instead of Nancy's theater. From the 14th amendment...

§2383. Rebellion or insurrection

Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=%2Fprelim%40title18%2Fpart1%2Fc...

Why bother with impeachment just apply the law...

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12 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout

that would fly. The judicial power as to all things is specifically granted to the courts and further requires a jury trail except as to impeachment. Impeachment rests with Congress. Iirc, one cannot arrest and try a sitting president without Congress first impeaches them/hir. Enforcement of the 14th, like anything else, is a judicial matter afaict, outside of impeachment.

be well and have a good one

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout @Lookout

Impeachment is more fun, especially when you can easily let it fail; if you cite the law, you might have to actually *do* something. And it's especially delicious to impeach someone who's only supposed to be around for one more week, or something (LOL!)

EDIT: I see I'm wrong about this. Apparently impeachment is necessary before criminal prosecution of a sitting president. Thanks, e.l., for adding that clarity.

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4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

RantingRooster's picture

@Lookout last night. I like what Becker had to say and subscribed to their youtube channel. I like he talked about "militant", direct action!

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C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

lotlizard's picture

 
And from The Scientist magazine:

Watch a plasmid squirm from one plant cell to another

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enhydra lutris's picture

@lotlizard

thanks.

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

@enhydra lutris  
the technical expertise required for a precise understanding of what they are talking about is way above my pay grade.

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ggersh's picture

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8 users have voted.

In the "Age of Trickle Down" why does most money go to billionaires?

We have a government in DC, of the MIC by SV for WS

NO MORE WAR

The situation with Parler should cause some alarm. It looks like they may not be able to find a hosting company as nobody wants to touch them. Given all the available techniques and systems, it looks to me like a person or a group can be totally disappeared as if they never existed and with them any ideas they champion. I think it was either Twitter or FB that when they banned people, they would also delete anything they ever wrote or posted. There was also the earlier moves against Wikileaks where the major credit card companies stopped any contributions to it. I think a number of Senators were behind this. Even if Parler got an overseas host company or got their own hardware, seems many ways to block them like take them off DNS.

Welcome to Oceania 2.0.

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7 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

...then we will truly have become the Fourth Reich.

It was specifically in the course of my studies of the Nuremberg Trials that I had the epiphany that loyalty is the problem.

Loyalty is not moral at all; it is the root of all bias and bigotry. It is an evil concept because the point at which it becomes useful for such a concept to exist (and not just redundant, since up until then you would make "loyal" decisions anyway) is precisely the point at which it ceases to be justified.

BE DISLOYAL. CELEBRATE AND GLORIFY DISLOYALTY. DISREGARD ALL THOSE WHO VALUE IT MOST, FOR IT IS PRECISELY THEY WHO DESERVE IT LEAST.

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5 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

RantingRooster's picture

I'm only acknowledging how things are, not how I want them to be.

Due process of law, exercised by the government within well-defined parameters

If the principle of law matters, then the TOS is the place to start in regards to Trump, or anyone else for that matter, including myself, who was banned from Twitter recently.

While I think Twitter's excuse was bogus, Twitter was within their "legal rights" (i.e. within the scope of the law, i.e "well-defined parameters") to ban Trump, if one has taken the time to actually read the TOS. (Personally, they should have banned him years ago!)

Signing up to use a social media site like Twitter constitutes a "legally binding" contract with that "service". That contract says, they can suspend anyone, for any reason, and at any time. It's very clear. To use "their service" you must agree to their terms.

Twitter is not a "public commons" nor a "public utility". Twitter is "private property".

In other words, no one, has the legal right to use another's private property with out their permission. Meaning, no one, has a "legal right" to use Twitter, unless, one agrees, to their terms.

This must be stated again and again, because people seem to think they have a right to use twitter and express what ever they want, when they don't have that right, at all!

The public does not have the "legal" right to use twitter, UNLESS the public agrees to Twitter's terms of using it, spelled out in the TOS, which is a "legally" binding contract.

We can't claim to be upholding the principle of the rule of law, and the principle of free speech, or even due process, while ignoring the well-defined parameters of the legally binding contract spelled out in Twitter's TOS.

It's crazy to me people are freaking out over Trump's banning from Twitter and making this all about "free speech", while corporations continue to require applicants to piss in a cup and upend one of our country's supposedly most scared "principles of law", innocent until proven guilty!

Gee, what if I traveled to a state where smoking pot is legal. Then came home, took a drug test for employment but was denied employment because of a dirty test? What then?

Where's the outrage of our actual constitutional rights, being allowed by our government to be upended, by private, for profit corporations, just to get a job and not starve to death!?

What signal does that send? Crazy

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C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@RantingRooster

Supporting the general idea of the rule of law is not the same as supporting each instance of the law.
Because the law can be wrong. In this case, the law about private media corporations is wrong. It's wrong, in part, because it's outdated; the law has not adequately kept up with technological advances. But even more so, it's wrong in the same way that the law about the "private clubs" of the Democratic and Republican parties is wrong. It reifies the control that private media and tech corporations have over public speech. The law thus reflects wrong politics which reflects wrong economics. Why are these things all wrong? Because you can't have a republic, much less a democracy, if you accept them.

Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

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4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

RantingRooster's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal some law are wrong.

Like I said I'm just pointing out how things actually are in this moment. I would and do agree some of these laws are wrong, on multiple levels, but, I can't honestly say this is "censorship", when contract law still does apply.

I'm down for changing the law(s) but we need to understand, changing these laws would be a huge undertaking, and if we think getting Healthcare for all is hard, changing contract law, that affects almost every corporation doing business in the US, well is HUGE. Not saying we shouldn't pursue it, just acknowledging the reality of the magnitude of such an adventure.

I point out drug tests just as an easy example to show how corporations already usurp our constitutional rights, and everyone seems to have just accepted it like it's no big deal, but at the same time decry censorship on one hand, while ignoring actual contract law that does apply, on the other.

I admit it's me! I do not understand saying this is about censorship, when contract law applies. But no one is acknowledging the law. That's what disturbs me.

And if it is the law that needs to change, fine, I'm down with that, but first we must acknowledge the law, and then explain why we want it changed, and not just say it's "censorship". Make sense?

Would you go into a bank and incite violence? (I don't think you personally would) But, why would it, or should it, be accepted on a social media platform? (Not saying it should or should not, just asking the question)

The root of the problem, if you will, is the law, that allows this "seemingly" censorship activity to happen in the 1st place. And then it's gets to "private property" issues.

When some wants to borrow my truck to move stuff, I always qualify it with, "don't commit any crimes". Those are my "terms" for using my truck. I can't afford the possible liability. I got a ticket one time because I let someone use my truck and they didn't come to a full stop at a red light. But I was the one that got the ticket, and I didn't even know about it until it had turned into a warrant for my arrest!

What if they robbed a bank and shot and killed someone? Depending on the circumstances, I could be treated under the law, as an accomplice or accessory to a crime.

So, I always "qualify" the terms of using my vehicle for anything, "don't commit any crimes". That includes, but not limited to, speeding, changing lanes with out signalling etc... Make sense?

Would you want some using your private property to engage in questionable, if not illegal behavior with it? Is it okay for corporation to make the same request of "users" who use their private property?

I don't let that guy that didn't stop at a red light to use my truck any more. He's banned from using my private property. He violated the terms of our agreement so I banned him for it.

Let me ask another question, when does a boycott differ from censorship? Other companies deplatforming Trump could be considered a boycott of Trump's brand, no? (Again not saying it is or isn't, just asking the question.)

I'm just pointing out that there is well established law at the root if this issue that nobody seems to even be willing to acknowledge.

If the law needs to change, then by all means let's write up new legislation to deal with it.

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2 users have voted.

C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@RantingRooster

Since I've been protesting them since they started in the 80s, it's a bit of a criticism misfire. If you're saying I should be talking about them on this site, or else I don't really care about civil liberties as much as I say I do, there's too much tyranny about for me to be able to discuss every example of it. That's why we have a community, so that each person does not have to encompass all topics all the time. Perhaps you should write an essay about mandatory drug tests.

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2 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver