Posts Tagged ‘Lawsuit’

How Donald Trump Can Save the World (Or at least the Internet)

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Trump Can Save the World… Or at least the Internet

In the wake of the horrific shooting in New Zealand, what we’ve learned is that the country is fully invested in Internet censorship.  They now threaten to jail and fine people who possess, publish, and/or share video of the shooting.  There’s no such thing as Freedom of Speech in New Zealand, and this is a spreading phenomenon as more and more countries use their regulatory power over telecommunications companies as well as plain old tyrannical law to censor their people.  We must never permit this here in the United States, but increasingly, large corporations that claim exemptions under the Communications Decency Act have begun to behave like content publishers rather than mere publishing platforms for content creators.  This is despicable.  On the one hand, Facebook claims indemnification from lawsuits because they are not a content creator, but on the other hand, Facebook wants to control and maintain veto authority over content.   President Trump must act to take this on, and one lever he has against some foreign governments deals directly with Anglophone countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  What he must do is threaten to walk from FVEY(pronounced Five Eyes) and begin denying them access to our signals intelligence.  They already deserve sanctions for assisting the Obama administration in spying on Trump’s campaign, but this is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: Reform and free the Internet along with free speech or the USA will withdraw from the UKUSA agreement.

President Trump should begin on a small scale, by conquering the Anglophone world, first. The first place he must act, sadly, is in the United States.  He must put the various “platforms” on notice that if they insist on censoring content, he will be forced to treat them just like any other content publisher.  Let’s see how that goes, first.  After that, he needs to push this first to the allegedly enlightened Anglophone world, and then to Europe, and from there, Central and South America.  After that, it gets harder, but he’s going to need to tackle this.  Not only can he save the Internet, but in the process, he can save the world. You see, the Internet really only works well when free speech prevails.

This morning, GatewayPundit published an article demonstrating pretty convincingly that Twitter has intentionally depressed the popularity of @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS in order to hamper President Trump directly.  There are two things about this that must be addressed:

  1. This may constitute an illegal campaign contribution to Democrats
  2. This would mean that Twitter is acting as a publisher, and not as a platform, which would end their exemption under the Communications Decency Act

Of course, there are all sorts of other things implied in this case, but it’s clear that Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, (@Jack on Twitter) is going to have some serious explaining to do. It’s clear that his social media platform is acting more like a content provider.  I and other conservatives have noted some “Shadow-banning” in association with our own accounts, and it began in earnest once Twitter began tinkering with its algorithms.  Early on, what you got in your timeline was always in pure date-time order, meaning you got the tweets of the people you followed, and that was it.  Then Twitter inserted ads.  After that, they began manipulating who you saw, and how often, and started trying to determine whose tweets you ought to see, and whose tweets you ought not see.  Then came the great timeline kerfuffle in which they openly and brazenly manipulated the way your timeline received tweets.  The blow-back was pretty severe, so they tucked away an option in your settings, hidden in plain sight, that permits as user to revert to plane date-time ordered timelines.  The problem is that even there, Twitter is still manipulating the results.

For the last several years, it has been strongly suspected, and now proven, that Twitter has shadow-banned users and content for what appear to be wholly political motivations. “Shadow-banning” basically lets a user send out his or her tweets like normal, but those tweets are hidden from the user’s followers, and neither the user nor his followers are aware.  In some cases, they’ve used this to simply delay the posting of tweets, meaning that your tweets will ultimately be seen, but often long after their relevance has been lost.  Sometimes, this seems to be user-based, and sometimes, it’s based purely on the content of a particular tweet.

What all of this means is that Twitter is engaged in systematic discrimination against conservatives and other users they don’t like for various reasons.  This means that they’re actually designing the content of peoples’ timelines, rather than letting come what may, as should be the case if they’re simply a platform for free speech, as they claim. It’s time to address this, and President Trump has that authority.  Yesterday, Devin Nunes(R-CA) filed a lawsuit against Twitter for defamation based on these and related types of discriminatory and misleading activities.  Here’s a clip from Hannity, on which Nunes appeared on Monday:

The President is in a position to do something about all of this, and he should leverage any assistance he can get from Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and any other assets at his disposal.  If Twitter(and other social media companies) is going to maintain its exemption under the Communications Decency Act, then they must immediately cease censorship of content.  Otherwise, they must lose their exemptions and be subject to the myriad of lawsuits that would ordinarily arise if that exemption was not in place.  The whole purpose of that exemption was to create a place where free speech could reign, and not be confounded by endless lawsuits, but when the platform itself is corrupted, it becomes a publisher and not a referee preventing abuses.  That’s where the Federal role to intercede arises.

In our modern age, Twitter is just one of a number of social media companies, but as Nunes contends in his lawsuit, to remain competitive in politics, business, or almost any sort of pursuit, one must be tied into social media or be overrun by competitors.  It’s therefore essential that Twitter and other “platforms” be brought to heel, before they are making all of the decisions about who can speak in any context on any subject.  What they’re doing now is a fraud and a hoax against their users.  If President Trump wants to make a real difference, he can save free speech, and thereby save the prime value of the Internet, which is to give you and I a voice and a way to plug into the global discussion.  Otherwise, it really is just an Orwellian world of double-speak in which freedom doesn’t exist despite flowery words to the contrary.

Go get ’em, President Trump!

 

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Sandra Fluke’s Curious Activism and More Curious Recommendations

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Dumb Luck for the Left?

Isn’t it odd that the Democrats have been pushing this contraception theme as the means by which to derail the heated issue over the Obamacare mandate on religious institutions as a breech of their religious freedoms, and just as Rush Limbaugh stepped into the well-laid snare, the trap was sprung with a ferocity that no talk-show host should warrant, who should rise to the top but Sandra Fluke, 30 year-old Georgetown University law-school student and radical feminist advocate to catch Limbaugh off guard.  I think Rush is a target of opportunity, because I believe they were hoping Rick Santorum would get caught up in all of this.  Having failed to ensnare any of the Republican presidential hopefuls, but having managed to catch the big radio voice they would most like to destroy, they seized upon the opportunity to attack Limbaugh for his imprudent use of the words “prostitute” and “slut.”

Fluke isn’t the innocent she’s been portrayed as having been.  She’s been presented as a bit of a patsy, and a well-meaning young woman, and all of that, but the truth is that Fluke has been a radical activist for years.  In fact, her entire rationale for enrolling at Georgetown University was to try to force this fight.  She’s not some poor, helpless student who was set upon by big mean Rush Limbaugh.  By all reports, she’s a coldly-calculating left-wing conniver who is actively pursuing the goal to compel colleges and other religious institutions to cover not only contraception, but also gender reassignment surgery for transgendered people.  That’s right, Ms. Fluke is hardly some wide-eyed victim of the evil right-wing and other alleged woman-haters. Here’s an excerpt of the article at TheCollegePolitico:

The title of the article, which can be purchased in full here, is Employment Discrimination Against LGBTQ Persons and was published in the Journal’s 2011 Annual Review. I have posted a transcript of the section I will be quoting from here. In a subsection of the article entitled “Employment Discrimination in Provision of Employment Benefits” starting on page 635 of the review Sandra Fluke and her co-editor describe two forms of discrimination in benefits they believe LGBTQ individuals face in the work place:

Discrimination typically takes two forms: first, direct discrimination limiting access to benefits specifically needed by LGBTQ persons, and secondly, the unavailability of family-related benefits to LGBTQ families.

Their “prime example” of the first form of discrimination? Not covering sex change operations:

A prime example of direct discrimination is denying insurance coverage for medical needs of transgender persons physically transitioning to the other gender.

This so called “prime example” of discrimination is expounded on in a subsection titled “Gender Reassignment Medical Services” starting on page 636:

Transgender persons wishing to undergo the gender reassignment process frequently face heterosexist employer health insurance policies that label the surgery as cosmetic or medically unnecessary and therefore uncovered.

To be clear, the argument here is that employers are engaging in discrimination against their employees who want them to pay for their sex changes because their “heterosexist” health insurance policies don’t believe sex changes are medically necessary.

Additionally Sandra Fluke and her co-editor have an answer for why exactly these “heterosexist” insurance policies, and the courts that side with them, deem sex changes as medically unnecessary:

In Mario v. P & C Food Markets, Inc., an employee who was denied such coverage brought claims under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security (ERISA) and Title VII. The court rejected the ERISA claim, finding the plaintiff’s mastectomy and hormone therapy were not medically necessary. The court’s ruling was based upon controversy within the medical community regarding that treatment plan. Much of that controversy has been linked to ignorance and bias against transgender persons, and the American Medical Association has declared the lack of coverage to be discrimination.

You see, all opposition to the determination that sex changes are medically necessary, and therefor must be covered by private employer provided health insurance, is based on “ignorance and bias against transgender persons”.

This gets more absurd, as she appeared Monday on The View with the gaggle of gawking leftists(minus Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who is probably moderately conservative at best.)  Fluke rejected Limbaugh’s apology, as read in part by Barbara Walters, and when asked about Rush Limbaugh, launched into another thing and made a website recommendation.  Guess which one?  (It’s at around the 1:03 mark in the video)

Barbara Walters went out of her way to mention that this isn’t about tax-payer money, and this is somewhat true, but in fact, it’s much worse than this: It’s about compelling religious institutions to pay for coverages that are contrary to their deeply held religious views.  As bad as it would be if Fluke were merely demanding public money, what she’s actually demanding is that the First Amendment rights of religious institutions be over-ridden by her demands.  She’s worse than a welfare moocher for contraception:  She’s a full-on tyrant who doesn’t give a damn for the rights of people and institutions that will be compelled at gunpoint to provide this coverage.  In my view, this doesn’t make the case for Fluke, but merely damns her all the more.

Her recommendation of Media Matters as a source for information is troubling, because what this reveals is a hardcore radical-left activist and advocate bent on an agenda.  The longer this goes on, the more thoroughly I’ve become convinced that it’s a lefty set-up al the way, and that unsuspecting Rush Limbaugh ran headlong into it merely means this was engineered at the highest levels.  As it turns out of course, the testimony happened with Minority Leader(and former Speaker) Nancy Pelosi presiding, while Obama’s administration was pushing this desperately as they were beginning to lose ground in the polls due to the controversy over their violation of the protections of the free exercise of religion.

Now comes word that a push is ongoing in the Senate to get Rush Limbaugh off the radio altogether, and the White House has posted a link to a petition to get Limbaugh off of Armed Forces Radio, while political hack Steny Hoyer(D-MD,) runs around talking up the possibility of Fluke filing suit against Limbaugh.  I doubt such a suit would ever occur, because as Mark Levin pointed out on his show Monday evening, this would open up the matter of discovery, and soon we would find out all the details of Ms. Fluke’s personal life. I can imagine attorneys asking things like:

“Have you ever participated in the events known widely as “slut-walks?”

Of course, nobody knows the full details about Ms. Fluke’s life, never mind whether she’s ever participated in such an event, but that is the way she and the White House would probably like to keep it, because it would cause great harm to this little storm they have swirling around Rush Limbaugh, and it’s for this reason that I doubt she’d file suit.  By testifying before Congress, she’s entered into the realm of public persons by her own volition.  The standards there would be much higher, and she’d be hard-pressed to show that Limbaugh’s questions, little more than opinions, were anything more than any of the millions of other opinions issuing forth about public personae each and every day in media. In short, she’d probably lose, and for her trouble, would be placed into the position of having to air her own laundry, however clean or dirty it might be.

One thing is certain about Fluke: She’s not the poor little school-girl the media has made her out to be, and while Limbaugh probably shouldn’t have used the words he did, it’s clear to me that the left is using this to gin up another false narrative, and more, they’re continuing to push the notion that some alleged entitlement to contraception trumps religious liberties.  It’s a lie, it’s a sham, and if they expect me to forget this, they’re wrong.  Oh, and don’t expect me to abandon Limbaugh to the leftist hyenas. I’m not like those weak-kneed Republicans last seen running for the tall grass.  Not a chance.

Here’s some more interesting background on Fluke.