Net Neutrality Succinctly Explained

For months, it seemed nearly every media figure was in hysterics over the impending repeal of net neutrality. Then, net neutrality was repealed… and nothing much changed. So what exactly is net neutrality, and why do so many people have such strong opinions about something they don’t understand? Jon Gabriel, editor-in-chief of Ricochet.com cuts through the hysteria to bring you the facts.

Leftism vs. Liberalism

Tell the average American you’re a liberal and they’ll assume you’re on the political left. Yet, leftists and liberals hold very different positions on key issues. In this video, Dennis Prager explains how the tenets of liberalism like a belief in capitalism and free speech have more in common with conservatism than with the identity politics and racial resentment preached by the left.

BIG UNIONS and Politicians (Public and School Unions)

Public-sector unions have been gaming the political system for decades, bankrupting whole cities and plunging states into massive debt. How did this happen and can it be stopped? Akash Chougule, senior policy fellow for Americans for Prosperity, has the answers in this sobering video from Prager University.

Who poses the biggest threat to America’s economy by striking deals with crooked politicians? Big Oil, Big Pharma, or Big Unions? Daniel DiSalvo, political science professor at the City College of New York, gives the answer.

There is a dilemma in American education. On the one hand, teachers are essential to student achievement. On the other, teachers unions promote self-interests of their members which are antithetical to the interests of students. So, how do we fix this problem? In five minutes, Terry Moe, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, delineates this quandary and offers solutions.

Can every child receive a good education? With school choice and competition, yes. The problem? Powerful teachers unions oppose school choice. But when teachers and parents understand why school choice works, they support it. Rebecca Friedrichs, a public school teacher who took her case against the teachers union all the way to the Supreme Court, explains why school choice is the right choice.

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-ed…). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

Mass Media’s Bias = Big Brother

Facebook on Friday issued an apology to PragerU for “mistakenly” removing several videosand limiting the reach of others. (DAILY CALLER)

Confronting The Left’s Agenda To Silence Conservative Voices – The dire lesson of the Freedom Center’s recent victory over censorship. (FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE)

Michael Ledeen is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

We’re rightly upset at the censorship of the big social media platforms, and our morale wasn’t improved when something north of three hundred newspapers wrote editorials in virtual unison, or when Mastercard, in cahoots with the Southern Poverty Law Center, attempted to shut down our Center.  Thankfully, we won and they lost. But the efforts to silence conservative spokesmen seem to be intensifying, which makes strategic political sense to me.  If you can’t win an argument on the merits, then either discredit or silence your opponents. 

The Left has lost most of the substantive arguments—from health care to taxation, from foreign policy to defense spending–and their best political chance is to silence the opposition.  This campaign rages throughout the society, from social media to the educational system, from publishers to movie makers. 

There is seemingly no limit to their zeal in silencing their opponents, even to changing our Constitutional system.  Did you know that the Democratic Party is on record against the First Amendment?  Officially, publicly, and, in the United States Senate, unanimously.  They tried to rewrite it in 2014, and introduced a Constitutional Amendment that would have enabled federal and state governments to prohibit various kinds of political spending, broadcasting or publishing. 

This remarkable measure, which flew in the face of the Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, had no chance of being approved by the requisite majorities in Congress and the states.  It was, therefore, a purely political maneuver, laying down a marker for voters and opinion-makers.  Still, the numbers are astonishing:  49 Senators voted for it, and not one—not a single one—voted to preserve the First Amendment.

It gets worse.  Outraged by the Democratic stance against freedom of speech and press, Senator Ted Cruz introduced his own amendment, which consisted of the First Amendment itself.  Once again, the numbers were remarkable.  Not a single Democrat voted for it, either in committee or in the full Senate……

Instagram Makes Free Speech Disappear – Company owned by Navy SEALs banned for criticizing NFL kneelers. (FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE)

Project War Path, a clothing company owned by Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces combat veterans, Charlie Nash of Breitbart News reported Monday, “has been permanently suspended from Facebook’s Instagram platform for ‘hate speech’ after criticizing NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

The post in question read, “This sums it up, Veteran’s defend our freedom and keep us safe. Meanwhile overpaid turds throw a leather ball around in an overpriced stadium and shit on all the men and women who have been killed defending our country.”

Project War Path co-owner Tej Gill, a Navy SEAL veteran, told Breibart “players kneeling really hits home with me and my teammates, I think it’s disgusting, an insult to all veterans, Americans, and especially families of veterans that have been killed and wounded during war.”

The same post on Twitter was not removed but Instagram took it down. As Gill explained to Breitbart, “I tried to reinstate my account, the form I filled out said my account was permanently suspended for hate speech. I have not heard anything back from Instagram since.”

Gill cited “a very aggressive censorship operation that is being conducted by Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the mainstream media.” Instagram, as it happens is owned by Facebook, which purchased the upstart in 2012 and turned it into a profit center……

CENSORED! How Online Media Companies Are Suppressing Conservative Speech (NEWSBUSTERS)

Executive Summary (Full Special Report can be found here.)

Like it or not, social media is the communication form of the future — not just in the U.S., but worldwide. Just Facebook and Twitter combined reach 1.8 billion people. More than two-thirds of all Americans (68 percent) use Facebook. YouTube is pushing out TV as the most popular place to watch video. Google is the No. 1 search engine in both the U.S. and the world.

War is being declared on the conservative movement in this space and conservatives are losing — badly. If the right is silenced, billions of people will be cut off from conservative ideas and conservative media.

It’s the new battleground of media bias. But it’s worse. That bias is not a war of ideas. It’s a war against ideas. It’s a clear effort to censor the conservative worldview from the public conversation.

The Media Research Center has undertaken an extensive study of the problem at major tech companies — Twitter, Facebook, Google and YouTube — and the results are far more troubling than most conservatives realize. Here are some of the key findings:

  • TWITTER LEADS IN CENSORSHIP: Project Veritas recently had caught Twitter staffers admitting on hidden camera that they had been censoring conservatives through a technique known as shadow banning, where users think their content is getting seen widely, but it’s not. The staffers had justified it by claiming the accounts had been automated if they had words such as “America” and “God.” In 2016, Twitter had attempted to manipulate election-related tweets using the hashtags “#PodestaEmails” and “#DNCLeak.” The site also restricts pro-life ads from Live Action and even Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), but allows Planned Parenthood advertisements.
  • FACEBOOK’S TRENDING FEED HAS BEEN HIDING CONSERVATIVE TOPICS: A 2016 Gizmodo story had warned of Facebook’s bias. It had detailed claims by former employees that Facebook’s news curators had been instructed to hide conservative content from the “trending” section, which supposedly only features news users find compelling. Topics that had been blacklisted included Mitt Romney, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and Rand Paul. On the other hand, the term “Black Lives Matter” had also been placed into the trending section even though it was not actually trending. Facebook had also banned at least one far right European organization but had not released information on any specific statements made by the group that warranted the ban.
  • GOOGLE SEARCH AIDS DEMOCRATS: Google and YouTube’s corporate chairman Eric Schmidt had assisted Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The company’s search engine had deployed a similar bias in favor of Democrats. One study had found 2016 campaign searches were biased in favor of Hillary Clinton. Even the liberal website Slate had revealed the search engine’s results had favored both Clinton and Democratic candidates. Google also had fired engineer James Damore for criticizing the company’s “Ideological Echo Chamber.” The company had claimed he had been fired for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” Damore is suing Google, saying it mistreats whites, males and conservatives.
  • YOUTUBE IS SHUTTING DOWN CONSERVATIVE VIDEOS: Google’s YouTube site had created its own problems with conservative content. YouTube moderators must take their cues from the rest of Google – from shutting down entire conservative channels “by mistake” to removing videos that promote right-wing political views. YouTube’s special Creators for Change section is devoted to people using their “voices for social change” and even highlights the work of a 9/11 truther. The site’s very own YouTube page and Twitter account celebrate progressive attitudes, including uploading videos about “inspiring” gay and trans people and sharing the platform’s support for DACA.
  • TECH FIRMS ARE RELYING ON GROUPS THAT HATE CONSERVATIVES: Top tech firms like Google, YouTube and Twitter partner with leftist groups attempting to censor conservatives. These include the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Both groups claim to combat “hate,” but treat standard conservative beliefs in faith and family as examples of that hatred. George Soros-funded ProPublica is using information from both radical leftist organizations to attack conservative groups such as Jihad Watch and ACT for America, bullying PayPal and other services to shut down their funding sources. The SPLC’s “anti-LGBT” list had also been used to prevent organizations from partnering with AmazonSmile to raise funds.
  • LIBERAL TWITTER ADVISORS OUTNUMBER CONSERVATIVES 12-TO-1: Twelve of the 25 U.S. members of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council – which helps guide its policies – are liberal, and only one is conservative. Anti-conservative groups like GLAAD and the ADL are part of the board. There is no well-known conservative group represented.
  • TECH COMPANIES RELY ON ANTI-CONSERVATIVE FACT-CHECKERS: Facebook and Google both had partnered with fact-checking organizations in order to combat “fake news.” Facebook’s short-lived disputed flagger program had allowed Snopes, PolitiFact and ABC News to discern what is and is not real news. Google’s fact-checkers had accused conservative sources of making claims that did not appear in their articles and disproportionately “fact-checked” conservative sources. On Facebook, a satire site, the Babylon Bee, had been flagged by Snopes for its article clearly mocking CNN for its bias. YouTube also had announced a partnership with Wikipedia in order to debunk videos deemed to be conspiracy theories, even though Wikipedia has been criticized for its liberal bias.

[…..]

Fighting Political Desegregation With A Digital First Amendment – Political segregation must end just as racial segregation did. (FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE)

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism

The United States has 325 million people. Facebook has 2.2 billion active users. Google is even bigger. Even a smaller company like Twitter tops the population of the United States with 335 million active users. And not even China has a bigger population than that of the biggest internet companies.

The scale of the internet dwarfs any individual nation-state and obtaining many of the traditional benefits of the nation-state, political freedom, engagement, economic opportunities, requires access through the corporate monopolies that act as the gatekeepers of their own virtual nation states.

Google, Facebook and Amazon aren’t governments, but they have a larger virtual citizenry than any government, and they control access to the marketplace of ideas, determining what ideas billions of people can express, whether they can conduct financial transactions or even exist. Technopolies have a vast sphere of control without having to offer their users any of the personal freedoms of governments.

The virtual state of the internet grew to be controlled by a handful of corporations based out of bicoastal cities, almost universally to the political left of ordinary Americans.

8.8% of tech industry founders voted for Trump, compared to 46% of voters or 56% of the country. 63% of tech bosses are Democrats while only 14% are Republicans. A majority of Americans support the death penalty. A majority of tech bosses oppose it. More Americans want to decrease immigration than increase it. But a majority of tech bosses want to increase immigration levels instead.

60% of Americans oppose socialized medicine backed by tax hikes. 82% of tech bosses support it.

The tools of political participation and engagement, the means by which politicians, political activists and the public interact, are in the hands of leftists. And they’re using them for political segregation.

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, the left blamed social media for its defeat. Campaigns were launched to scour opposition media from social media under the guise of fighting ‘fake news’, conservative organizations and activists were banned from social media and dropped by payment processors after pressure campaigns by left-wing activists denouncing them as ‘hate groups’…….

Michael Medved Interviews Dinesh D’Souza About His New Film

In this wonderful interview, Dinesh discusses his detractors LACK of knowledge about the content of his film and his positions taken in it. Discussion about the “Southern Strategy,” as well as other historical myths is always an added plus to those that enjoy our political and racial history and the mantras surrounding our past. I include some expanded thoughts by Michael in the opening of the following hour in regard to a caller, I also include a snippet of Larry Elder expanding a bit on Michael’s discussion of interracial marriage from PRAGER U. See my PAGE dealing with much of this HERE (it is big and may take a moment to load).

Three Courses On The Electoral College (Civics 101)

Do you understand what the Electoral College is? Or how it works? Or why America uses it to elect its presidents instead of just using a straight popular vote? Author, lawyer and Electoral College expert Tara Ross does, and she explains that to understand the Electoral College is to understand American democracy.

  • James Madison (fourth President, co-author of the Federalist Papers and the “father” of the Constitution) – “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general; been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
  • John Adams (American political philosopher, first vice President and second President) – “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
  • Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration) – “A simple democracy… is one of the greatest of evils.”
  • Fisher Ames (American political thinker and leader of the federalists [he entered Harvard at twelve and graduated by sixteen], author of the House language for the First Amendment) – “A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will provide an eruption and carry desolation in their way.´ / “The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [excessive license] which the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be liberty.”
  • Governor Morris (signer and penman of the Constitution) – “We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate… as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism…. Democracy! Savage and wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtous and wise to thy level of folly and guilt.”
  • John Quincy Adams (sixth President, son of John Adams [see above]) – “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”
  • Noah Webster (American educator and journalist as well as publishing the first dictionary) – “In democracy… there are commonly tumults and disorders….. therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”
  • John Witherspoon (signer of the Declaration of Independence) – “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”
  • Zephaniah Swift (author of America’s first legal text) – “It may generally be remarked that the more a government [or state] resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion.”

Take note that as well ArticleIV, Section4 of the Constitution reads:

“The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government…”

Right now, there’s a well-organized, below-the-radar effort to render the Electoral College effectively useless. It’s called the National Popular Vote, and it would turn our presidential elections into a majority-rule affair. Would this be good or bad? Author, lawyer, and Electoral College expert Tara Ross explains.

You vote, but then what? Discover how your individual vote contributes to the popular vote and your state’s electoral vote in different ways–and see how votes are counted on both state and national levels.

CATO Article:

Critics have long derided the Electoral College as a fusty relic of a bygone era, an unnecessary institution that one day might undermine democracy by electing a minority president. That day has arrived, assuming Gov. Bush wins the Florida recount as seems likely.

The fact that Bush is poised to become president without a plurality of the vote contravenes neither the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution. The wording of our basic law is clear: The winner in the Electoral College takes office as president. But what of the spirit of our institutions? Are we not a democracy that honors the will of the people? The very question indicates a misunderstanding of our Constitution.

James Madison’s famous Federalist No. 10 makes clear that the Founders fashioned a republic, not a pure democracy. To be sure, they knew that the consent of the governed was the ultimate basis of government, but the Founders denied that such consent could be reduced to simple majority or plurality rule. In fact, nothing could be more alien to the spirit of American constitutionalism than equating democracy will the direct, unrefined will of the people.

Recall the ways our constitution puts limits on any unchecked power, including the arbitrary will of the people. Power at the national level is divided among the three branches, each reflecting a different constituency. Power is divided yet again between the national government and the states. Madison noted that these two-fold divisions — the separation of powers and federalism — provided a “double security” for the rights of the people.

What about the democratic principle of one person, one vote? Isn’t that principle essential to our form of government? The Founders’ handiwork says otherwise. Neither the Senate, nor the Supreme Court, nor the president is elected on the basis of one person, one vote. That’s why a state like Montana, with 883,000 residents, gets the same number of Senators as California, with 33 million people. Consistency would require that if we abolish the Electoral College, we rid ourselves of the Senate as well. Are we ready to do that?

The filtering of the popular will through the Electoral College is an affirmation, rather than a betrayal, of the American republic. Doing away with the Electoral College would breach our fidelity to the spirit of the Constitution, a document expressly written to thwart the excesses of majoritarianism. Nonetheless, such fidelity will strike some as blind adherence to the past. For those skeptics, I would point out two other advantages the Electoral College offers.

First, we must keep in mind the likely effects of direct popular election of the president. We would probably see elections dominated by the most populous regions of the country or by several large metropolitan areas. In the 2000 election, for example, Vice President Gore could have put together a plurality or majority in the Northeast, parts of the Midwest, and California.

The victims in such elections would be those regions too sparsely populated to merit the attention of presidential candidates. Pure democrats would hardly regret that diminished status, but I wonder if a large and diverse nation should write off whole parts of its territory. We should keep in mind the regional conflicts that have plagued large and diverse nations like India, China, and Russia. The Electoral College is a good antidote to the poison of regionalism because it forces presidential candidates to seek support throughout the nation. By making sure no state will be left behind, it provides a measure of coherence to our nation.

Second, the Electoral College makes sure that the states count in presidential elections. As such, it is an important part of our federalist system — a system worth preserving. Historically, federalism is central to our grand constitutional effort to restrain power, but even in our own time we have found that devolving power to the states leads to important policy innovations (welfare reform).

If the Founders had wished to create a pure democracy, they would have done so. Those who now wish to do away with the Electoral College are welcome to amend the Constitution, but if they succeed, they will be taking America further away from its roots as a constitutional republic.

How did the terms “Elector” and “Electoral College” come into usage?

The term “electoral college” does not appear in the Constitution. Article II of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment refer to “electors,” but not to the “electoral college.” In the Federalist Papers (No. 68), Alexander Hamilton refers to the process of selecting the Executive, and refers to “the people of each State (who) shall choose a number of persons as electors,” but he does not use the term “electoral college.”

The founders appropriated the concept of electors from the Holy Roman Empire (962 – 1806). An elector was one of a number of princes of the various German states within the Holy Roman Empire who had a right to participate in the election of the German king (who generally was crowned as emperor). The term “college” (from the Latin collegium), refers to a body of persons that act as a unit, as in the college of cardinals who advise the Pope and vote in papal elections. In the early 1800’s, the term “electoral college” came into general usage as the unofficial designation for the group of citizens selected to cast votes for President and Vice President. It was first written into Federal law in 1845, and today the term appears in 3 U.S.C. section 4, in the section heading and in the text as “college of electors.”

Hillary wants a pure Democracy.

Dangerous People Are Teaching Your Kids |Updated|

Dangerous people are filling the heads of young people with dangerous nonsense. Who are these people? They are what Jordan Peterson calls “the post-modernists:” neo-Marxist professors who dominate our colleges and universities. And here’s the worst part: we are financing these nihilists with tax dollars, alumni gifts and tuition payments. Time to wise up.

This comes from THE LID:

TODAY’S PROFESSORS DON’T TEACH, THEY INDOCTRINATE PROGRESSIVISM

[….]

To understand and oppose the post-modernists, the ideas by which they orient themselves must be clearly identified.

First is their new unholy trinity of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is defined not by opinion, but by race, ethnicity or sexual identity; the goal is no longer equality of opportunity, but an insistence on equality of outcome; and inclusion is the use of identity-based quotas to attain this misconceived state of equity.

All the traditional rights of the West are to be considered secondary to these new values. Take, for example, freedom of speech—the very pillar of democracy. The post-modernists refuse to believe that people of good will can exchange ideas and reach consensus.

Their world is instead a Hobbesian nightmare of identity groups warring for power. They don’t see ideas that run contrary to their ideology as merely incorrect. They see them as integral to the oppressive system they wish to supplant and consider it a moral obligation to stifle and constrain their expression.

Second is a rejection of the free market—of the very idea that free, voluntary trading benefits everyone. These rejectionists won’t acknowledge that capitalism has lifted up hundreds of millions of people so they can for the first time in history afford food, shelter, clothing, transportation—even entertainment and travel. Those classified as low-income in the US (and, increasingly, everywhere else) are able to meet their basic needs. Meanwhile, in once-prosperous Venezuela—until recently the poster-child of the campus radicals—the middle-class lines up for toilet paper.

Third, and finally, are the politics of identity. Post-modernists don’t believe in individuals. You’re an exemplar of your race, sex, or sexual preference. You’re also either a victim or an oppressor. No wrong can be done by anyone in the former group, and no good by the latter. Such ideas of victimization do nothing but justify the use of power and engender intergroup conflict.

All these concepts originated with Karl Marx, the 19th-century German philosopher. Marx viewed the world as a gigantic class struggle—the bourgeoisie against the proletariat; the grasping rich against the desperately poor. But wherever his ideas were put into practice—in the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia, to name just a few—whole economies failed, and tens of millions were killed. We fought a decades-long cold war to stop the spread of those murderous notions. But they’re back, in the new guise of identity politics.

The corrupt ideas of the post-modern neo-Marxists should be consigned to the dustbin of history. Instead, we underwrite their continuance in the very institutions where the central ideas of the West should be transmitted across the generations. Unless we stop, post-modernism will do to America and the entire Western world what it’s already done to its universities.

Two short clips from INDOCTRINATE U I like:

Don’t Make Things Worse (Adam Carolla)

Adam Carolla, comedian, social critic and host of the wildly popular Adam Carolla podcast, delivers the 2018 commencement address for PragerU. He offers some sage advice and makes a heart-felt request — as only Adam can.

America’s 2nd War of Independence (War of 1812)

In this video, author Brian Kilmeade sheds light on the largely and unfortunately overlooked War of 1812. Kilmeade explains how this war got started, the daunting odds against a nation in its infancy, and the unlikely hero who secured America’s young nation’s future by pulling off one of the greatest upsets in military history.

First Invasion: The War of 1812, a History Channel documentary that first aired in 2004, portrays a young United States of America “on the brink of annihilation” as it battles the largest and most powerful empire on earth. Critics say the documentary is far too pro-American, and that it ignores or downplays crucial elements of the War of 1812. Others praise First Invasion for its compelling presentation of a far too neglected period of history.

Playing the Black Card

In America, there’s a card more valuable than any card from Visa or American Express. What is it? How can you get one? Candace Owens, Communications Director for Turning Point USA, answers these questions.