Many, perhaps most, of you check in regularly at American Thinker. If so, you may have seen the following notice:
It is news to almost nobody who reads American Thinker that a political witch hunt is underway. Parties in and out of government are looking for excuses to suppress and destroy voices that oppose the left.
Because AT lacks the ability to monitor comments in real time, and because our position that comments are a forum, not something that we publish, is being called into question, we can no longer publish comments.
We take this action with a heavy heart.
I assume that this decision was probably occasioned by threat and/or intimidation from Leftist internet vigilantes, rather than any government agency. No doubt they seized on irresponsible comments by the usual keyboard kommando types who lack a clue about the limits of the 1st Amendment. It's a sad day for the country when the free exchange of ideas is curtailed in this way--it's a victory for the forces of repression.
UPDATE: Andrea Widburg has an important article at American Thinker about a young man who lost a job, in his telling, because a third party (the National Hockey League) objected to his employer (Private Jet Services) hiring someone who had worked for the Trump campaign. Obviously this type of activity relates to freedom of speech as well as association. Yes, this happened in the public realm, so government action wasn't involved, but coordinated campaigns to curtail speech and association are highly threatening to a free society when they are backed up by Big Data methods and capabilities. Constitutional considerations based in the age of the pamphlet and the printing press become small consolation and dubious safeguards, since a vibrant Public Square must be the basis for our freedoms. Political monopolies over the Public Square can be nearly as dangerous as government action:
The public sector purge is beginning
Read it all. Here is Widburg's conclusion:
... Buchanan’s ability to sue PJS depends on whether his employment with PJS was at-will or not. At-will employment allows an employer to fire an employee for any reason except for illegal reasons. However, if it’s true that the NHL blackmailed PJS into firing Buchanan ..., I think Buchanan should investigate whether he can sue the NHL for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage.
What’s important for purposes of this post is that, if Buchanan’s facts are accurate, it’s clear that the left is determined to marginalize Trump supporters and other conservatives. They have already made absolutely clear that they intended to deny them a voice in a computerized world, to leave them without access to banks, and to make sure that they cannot be employed. Indeed, Curt Schilling has been told that, as a high-profile conservative, he’s now uninsurable. I’m sure there’s a lawsuit there too. We are to be driven from pillar to post, like lepers of old.
In the long term, the left’s is an unsustainable tactic. Depending on the circumstances, it’s almost certainly illegal in many cases. And finally, if leftists are determined to “de-person” Trump supporters, it cannot end well for America as a whole. This is the behavior of hardcore socialists, in the communist or fascist mode, not of members of a pluralist liberal democracy.
I'm willing to believe that this tactic is unsustainable, but I'm not sure. Yes, there are lawsuits in many of these individual cases. But lawsuits cost money, and when ideologues are involved the perpetrators may be willing to absorb some pain in the knowledge that leftist judges will drag it all out. Even if this tactic is unsustainable in the long run, the damage to America will be incalculable and long lasting.
I've seen cases in other forums, where they actually post comments then use their own comments against the forum. in efforts to shut them down.ReplyDelete
Silencing the public.
Let the self censorship begin. On the other hand, this site's policy of you approving comments before displaying them is a workable solution. Perhaps due to their volume they think it is not practical to do the same thing there. But even large sites do that.ReplyDelete
I do think, though, that it is better to have AT without comments than to not have AT. In this environment of "shut everything down" by the left, perhaps AT took this step to avoid getting shut down. Maybe they rely on some third party who has threatened to shut them down unless they did this? Maybe their host provider or commenting platform threatened them? Someone "called into question" their position that the comments are part of a forum and not their publication. A lot of conservative sites will have to take similar steps.
In the long run, the solution is to develop an ecosystem of companies and services that have clear support for free speech and no reliance on parties that can de-platform a site when it becomes controversial. This blog, for instance, could be shut down at any moment being hosted by a Google owned company that wants to silence dissent. One of the key missing elements is a payment processing platform. A commenting platform would be useful as well.
No doubt, but there's a limit to what one person can do and still have a life.Delete
For one person, yes. Your site works for you and what you have time to do. I think someone with capital to burn could fund the missing elements. There is certainly profit opportunity given that conservatives have fewer choices these days.Delete
@AnonymousJanuary 14, 2021 at 9:30 AMDelete
Yes. My wife was just observing this morning that the termination of contracts by left wing vendors should open up enormous business opportunities for entrepreneurial conservative or agnostic vendors.
Finding paying new business is often the biggest hurdle confronting entrepreneurs. Its not often that the legacy provider simply walks away from the relationship.
This could lead to great opportunities...assuming we still have a free country in which to pursue business opportunities...
Entrepreneurs sooner or later require financial services along with a host of other "support" type activities.Delete
This will continue to expand outward and downward. The young man in the AT article was merely an intern with the transportation office of the Trump campaign. Most interns are just trying to get a "work history" ball rolling so they can eventually have something to walk into a real job interview with other than a GPA. In other words, he was as low and as near the periphery as it is possible to be. It speaks well for his character that he didn't crawl on his knees to a struggle session and denounce himself to regain human status.
As an aside I find it interesting that the young man claims that, as a Trump intern, he had frequently interacted with PJS arranging transportation services for the Trump campaign; a fact that apparently slipped the mind of the CEO when the NHL contacted him. Seems he kept mum about that detail while sacrificing the young mans career start on the alter of servile fascism. The single force that fascism depends upon is the inertia of moral turpitude.
Re: the public sector purge, as I argue upthread (Anonymous 9:08am and 9:30am) there are a few critical missing pieces. From this blog update of Gab's, it looks like they want to singlehandedly take that task on:Delete
"The only way we can beat Big Tech is to build an internet of our own – and financial system of our own – where Big Tech has no power. "
Personally, I don't care for the frequent overt Christianity of the CEO's posts, but I don't mind it as an option in the free market of ideas. But on this point, he's not wrong. The financial system is key and includes the whole gambit--banking, payment processing, and even insurance.
But Gab may also be right about needing a whole separate internet. They already have a web browser and are working on streaming devices. They've clearly been thinking about a parallel digital society and all that requires for some time now. My prediction: 5 years from now, Gab will be as powerful as one of the other Big Techs. What they need now is a large infusion of cash and investment.
This thought process has the same weakness as discussions around secession. What gives anyone the inkling that they have the prerogative of opting out. The people taking control did not go through all this trouble to hear, "No thanks," and watch people walk away from their power. This is only about money in as far as money equates to power, but power is what it is truly about. A bit of time might be gained by distance, but they will eventually demand all make obeisance.Delete
My initial thought was Twitter had opened themselves up to lawsuits when they banned DJT. I now believe that AWS is way more at risk due to their reasons for de-platforming Parler. In the future, any victim / survivor who can trace threats or incitement back to an app hosted on AWS can assign fault to Amazon. They can win the battle with Parler in the courts and loose the war by winning. I look forward to your thoughts.ReplyDelete
Stepping into the light for a moment - a parallel society is possible. Separate banking, payment and even legal tender(?) are doable.ReplyDelete
Back into the dark.
Yes, blackmarkets inevitably thrive. On the other hand the gov't organs are always ready to utilize them to track specific targets. Example: the Dark Web, used mostly by those that would like to avoid "imperial entanglements". The internet was created, day one, by DoD. I would bet money the Dark Web was created day two by the interagency so those that might have something to hide could feel comfortable out of the light of day.Delete
Sun Tzu says: When you surround an army, leave an outlet free.
A parallel society is possible in the red states. Worth a try.ReplyDelete
AT could convert the entire site to a "platform" and hide behind 230 like Twitter and Facebook do, no?ReplyDelete
As a former employer of rather large numbers of persons, I believe this is an unlawful termination.ReplyDelete
As for AT, although I am registered with Disqus, I have not been willing to give the access to my account that Disqus/AT requires. It is not required at other Disqus sites. I am not an inciter, a loose cannon. Just a believer in the First Amendment and our right to privacy.
Yep. I get that re Disqus. Large sites have a problem. It's expensive and time consuming to moderate comments. Still, at some point idiotic comments calling for violence become problematic. On a really basic level, the comment section of a blog is a really stupid place to advocate for armed revolution.Delete
I hope he has kept good records. This just made things worse for PJS:ReplyDelete
10) So now I'm sharing the story, in its entirety. Even though the owner told me this afternoon that he would deny everything I say if this went any further. But this is the truth, and I feel more empowered and supported if I share it with all of you.
And it seems to me he may have a claim for damages against the NHL as well.
I guess my prior comment skated too close to the edge for you in this new environment of walking on eggshells for fear of drawing deadly fire from Big Tech. I apologize. Please consider adding this link to Daniel Greenfield's trenchant piece:
Daniel Greenfield has a good piece here:
Yes it did.Delete
Statement from second city blog, it was hosted in blogger...ReplyDelete
Here's a better link:Delete
I get your point.
Thank you for the link. I hadn't been to Second City Cop for a while, at least I will know what happened. And thanks Mark for your blog and your insightful commenters. -michaeltDelete
This 19 minute Epoch Times interview with Michael Yon (America's most experienced war correspondent) is worth watching. He analyzes what he saw on the 6th and relates it to what he's seen in Hong Kong and other countries.ReplyDelete
They will never let him, or us, go. People are choosing sides, whether they recognize it or not; those that are sufficiently high enough in the caste system being established to be worthy of a choice that is.
If only there was some organization dedicated to American civil liberties!ReplyDelete
The right needs to fund one.
Unfortunately the ACLU is too afraid of losing funding / donations to protect non Leftist Civil Liberties.
As Mark wrote...
And what was done to General Flynn is a great example of this. The process is the punishment.
But lawsuits cost money, and when ideologues are involved the perpetrators may be willing to absorb some pain in the knowledge that leftist judges will drag it all out. Even if this tactic is unsustainable in the long run, t
I noticed The Daily Signal also started this.ReplyDelete
Laura has Michael Anton on now, referring to Ben Shapiro at Politico, https://thefederalist.com/2021/01, see /14/politico-staff-uproar-over-ben-shapiro-playbook-cameo-proves-newsrooms-are-the-new-college-campuses/ .ReplyDelete
AT also issued a 'statement' refuting work done by Widburg and others around Dominion, after threats by Dominion lawyers.ReplyDelete
AT folded like a wet taco, so...one has to question now the validity of the Dominion narrative by so many in the Trump camp.
I notice however that Lin Wood and Sydney Powell have not been in the news lately or haven't seen if they've also been contacted by Dominion lawyers as was AT.