It's not just conservatives.
I'm no fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, my friend Michael Gryboski has dubbed me the "Scourge of the SPLC," as Attila the Hun was dubbed the "Scourge of God." I'm quite proud of this monicker.
But it does seem Twitter unjustly censored an SPLC writer who was attacking white supremacy. My big beef with the SPLC is when they stray from focusing on race, branding conservative and Christian organizations "hate groups." When it comes to race, they're actually not too bad, monitoring black nationalist groups like the Nation of Islam along with white supremacist groups.
So when Twitter suspends an SPLC writer because of his work against white supremacy, I'm on the SPLC guy's side.
Twitter temporarily suspended my account this week after I posted a tweet that opposed far-right extremism.
The incident, which has since been resolved with an apology from Twitter and the unlocking of my account, underscores the struggles Twitter has had with keeping white supremacists from weaponizing their platform to further an agenda of cruelty.
To be more specific about what happened to me, the social media giant locked me out and also threatened me with a permanent suspension for posting a tweet that demonstrates a connection between an American white supremacist leader, the terrorist who gunned down 50 worshippers including children at two New Zealand mosques in March, and a mysterious fire that recently ravaged a Tennessee-based building linked to the civil rights movement.
Twitter apologized, but this suspension should not have happened in the first place.
So why did it happen? White supremacists have adopted the same tactic many Social Justice Warrior liberals do — they mark tweets that offend them as "hateful." Twitter seems to have listened to the white supremacists here, as it listens to SJWs in the cases of conservative tweets.
Naturally, this is the SPLC we're talking about, so the writer had to advocate for social media companies to adopt the SPLC's Orwellian "Change the Terms" effort to ban conservative and Christian "hate" from social media, along with racism.
Twitter and other tech companies need to Change the Terms, as well as enact and enforce comprehensive policies to protect the voices of underrepresented communities, and combat the spread of hateful ideologies.
Twitter shouldn't have suspended this SPLC writer. But the SPLC is also horrifically wrong on "Change the Terms." As conservatives, we should oppose both.
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How's that for perspective?
The changing (not to mention, challenging) economics are largely to blame for what's happened to the news industry, but I can't help but think there's a lot of "Get Woke, Go Broke" going on here, too.
From the mid-'80s through the early 2000s, I subscribed to and read all three major newsweeklies -- Time, Newsweek, USN&WR -- cover to cover, every week. Back then, Time was fairly liberal, Newsweek tried to straddle the fence, and USN&WR leaned right at least some of the time. I didn't read them because I agreed with their editorial stances, but because they usually provided solid news with more perspective than the newspapers could or would.
Same thing with newspapers. I got the NYT, the WSJ, and whatever the local daily morning paper was.
I didn't let my subscriptions drop because of the web; I let my subscriptions drop because in most cases, mere leftwing bias degenerated into shrill progressive cheerleading. And as the newsrooms shrank, so did the content I still thought might be worth paying for.
As a huge consumer of news going back to my mid-teens, it's been a sad thing to watch.
I began writing this last week and it took some time because I ended up going down a rabbit hole of research. I didn't include most of the research in the post, because it's mostly about my feelings as the father of a female college athlete.
Best news of the day.
I bet the beer industry is happy with Trump's America:
Part of the boom, of course, is the result of the exponential growth of craft breweries in the U.S., currently 13.2 percent of the market (up from 6.5 percent in 2012). To those of you who sacrifice day and night to contribute to the growth of the brewing industry: American thanks you.
What is Christianity?
Many have rightly attacked South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg for his decision to lecture Mike Pence on Christianity and sexual ethics. The fact of the matter is, Buttigieg's Episcopal Church is far off from the Bible's teaching. I was baptized Episcopal and now attend an Anglican Church that broke away from the Episcopal denomination because the Episcopal Church was adopting statements that people can be saved without Jesus and that the Bible's sexual ethics does not apply today.
When Washington Post reporters like Eugene Scott slam critiques of Buttigieg, they are aiding anti-Christian animus. In the tweet below, Erick Erickson is right and Scott is wrong.
Lede of the day courtesy of Washington Monthly:
Chuck Schumer, one of the most powerful people in Washington, uses a flip phone. The kind of phone with a tiny screen and real buttons, designed for making actual phone calls, not writing emails. But then, the Senate minority leader rarely emails, telling the New York Times a few years ago that he sends about one every four months. In case manufacturers stop making his favorite flip phone, Schumer has stockpiled ten of them.
The article goes on to make the larger point that the people making decisions about high-tech issues like social media algorithms, cryptocurrency, AI, and cybersecurity are mostly, like Schumer, Luddites:
Schumer’s practically a techie compared to Lindsey Graham, though. The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee told NBC’s Meet the Press in 2015, “I don’t email . . . I’ve never sent one.” The Luddite tendencies extend to other members of Congress. When Senator Richard Shelby needs to write to his staff, he favors handwritten notes. “I’ve been here a while; I’m a little older than y’all,” he told Politico,by way of justification. When Paul Ryan paid a visit in 2014 to Jim Sensenbrenner, who at the time was a senior member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, he found the congressman tapping out letters on an IBM Selectric II.
Some are suggesting it's time to bring back the Office of Technological Assessment (OTA) a program that was disbanded during the Gingrich era:
Part of the problem was that members and staff didn’t have enough in-house knowledge even to choose which outside experts to consult—a role the OTA used to play. “Staff can get any number of industry lobbyists, or think tanks, or advocacy groups, or even academics to come in and give them opinions, and I think that’s not sufficient,” said Zach Graves, an associate fellow at the right-of-center think tank R Street and the head of policy at Lincoln Network, a conservative tech nonprofit. “A lot of these experts have other motives. Think tanks have donors and ideologies, and having worked in that space for a while, the quality of work is very inconsistent.” The result is a war of experts, each with their own data and diagnosis of the problem.
Another option is to do away with salary caps for congressional staffers in some cases. When a tech professional can make 2-3 times more in the private sector, you're not going to get the best people working for the government at a time when tech expertise is critical. Relying on lobbyists to help form tech policy seems like the worst possible path, though it is most surely the path of least resistance.
Steve: Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air made the case that Buttigieg could be a threat to Trump should he win the nomination. He offers as evidence this fluff piece from WaPo:
Pete Buttigieg was sitting in the back of a black SUV with a couple of staffers, sipping a still-steeping cup of tea to ease the fatigue from his suddenly frenetic schedule, when he looked out the window and interrupted himself.
“Man,” said Buttigieg, taking in the rainbow-hued signs and colorfully dressed passersby that signaled he had entered West Hollywood, Los Angeles’s de facto gay neighborhood. “It got real gay real quick out there.”
Few Democratic presidential candidates could assess their surroundings so bluntly without seeming painfully out of line. But Buttigieg is not like any other Democratic presidential candidate — in part, if not exclusively, because he is gay.
He's the gay Beto and the media is absolutely swooning over him. Moreover, his nice guy image might appeal to voters in the middle who don't know how radical he is. Jazz writes:
Republicans will have to walk a fine line in going after him, even if there’s some hot oppo out there. The public seems focused on all the stories about what a nice guy he is. You probably already heard about how he rushed out of the house to gather paperwork, round up witnesses and marry a couple only minutes before the wife gave birth to their child, just so the baby wouldn’t be born out of wedlock. There are others describing how he’s shown up at the scene of local problems in South Bend and just jumped in to lend a hand without announcing his presence. For all I know the guy has been rescuing cats out of trees and helping put our fires.
The point is, I’m hearing more people, including close personal friends, talking about how much they admire him. If he gets up at a lectern in a debate against the President and Trump starts swinging haymakers at him, viewers are going to start asking why the mean orange man is picking on nice Mayor Pete so much. It’s a potential trap.
Even though he's a white male, his gayness earns him a spot near the top of the intersectional pyramid, so watch for the media to be all-in for Buttigieg. Heck, even Matt Drudge seems to be on Mayor Pete's team.
We've been warned.