I’m Actually Old Enough to Remember Freedom of Speech

 

Poland Proposes $13.5 Million Fines for Tech Giants Engaging in Ideological CensorshipThe Epoch Times

Freedom of Speech

I’m actually old enough to remember when the USA, not Poland, carried the torch for freedom of speech.

We took it for granted I suppose, but Poland has much more recent experience with being told what they are not allowed to think, say or write, and they don’t like it.

Na Zdrowie, Polska!

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote the following:

I was born and raised among people for whom freedom was the most precious of values. In Poland we are so attached to freedom because we know what it is like when someone tries to limit it.

For close to 50 years we lived in a country in which censorship was practiced, in which Big Brother told us how we are meant to live and what we are meant to feel, and what we are not allowed to think, say or write. That is why we are so concerned with any attempt to limit freedom.

One of the synonyms of freedom for us Poles has always been the internet. It is the most democratic medium in history, a forum on which everyone can have a voice. It is a tool which gives everyone the opportunity to have an impact, in a way which was unknown to us even a dozen or so years ago.

The freedoms that came with the lack of regulation of the internet had numerous positive aspects. But there are also negative consequences: with time, it became dominated by huge, international corporations, wealthier and more powerful than many nations. These corporations treat our online activity merely as a source of revenue and a tool to increase their global domination. They have also introduced their own standards of political correctness, and they fight those who oppose them.

We are now increasingly faced with practices we believed were left in the past. The censoring of free speech, once the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is now back, but in a new form, run by corporations, who silence those who think differently.

Discussion consists in the exchange of views, not in silencing people. We do not have to agree with what our opponents write, but we cannot forbid anyone from expressing views that do not contravene the law.

Everything which is not forbidden is allowed. Also on the internet, there is no tolerance for censorship, nor can there ever be. No tolerance for state censorship, such as the one Poland faced under communism, or the private type, which we are seeing today. Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of democracy – that is why we must defend it. It is not up to algorithms or the owners of huge corporations to decide what opinions are correct and which aren’t.

Poland will always stand at the guard of democratic values, including freedom of speech. The owners of social media networks cannot operate above the law. That is why we will do everything to define the frame of operations of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other similar platforms. In Poland we will regulate with appropriate national regulation. We will also suggest similar laws be passed in all of the EU.

Social media platforms have to serve us, and not the interests of their powerful owners. Everyone has the right to freedom of speech. Poland will defend that right.

Nobody Believes in Anything. Problem?

 

I get a daily email newsletter from the New York Times, in which one of this week’s entries was a conversation with John Schwartz, a Times reporter who focuses on the climate. If Schwartz has any qualifications on the subject of climate science like, say, a relevant degree or something, he modestly omits it from his Times bio.

Much of the Pacific Northwest is blanketed in snow. Texas continues to endure frigid weather and electricity outages. Another winter storm is spreading across much of the country.

How is this consistent with global warming? Well, as Schwartz “explains” it, when temperatures go up, that’s a sign of global warming, and when temperatures go down, that’s also a sign of global warming.

He adds, “We’ve always had floods, fires and storms, but climate change adds oomph to many weather events.”

“Oomph”!? Follow the science!

 

Nobody believes anything from the media anymore, probably because almost everything we get from the media is either made-up fairy tale bullshit, or opinions on subjects for which the person giving the opinion has only a fraction of the knowledge they would need to offer a more informed opinion than any random drunk on a barstool.

A Cal Tech physicist, I forget which one — it might have been Murray Gell-Mann — once observed that whenever he heard or read something in the media regarding a topic he knew about, the information was almost always wrong. And he concluded from that, not unreasonably, that information from the media was almost always wrong on all other topics as well.

I’ve observed the same thing, that the media are almost always wrong on topics I know about. Is there any reason to think they’d be accurate on all other topics?

 

Turning now to COVID vaccines, I’ve seen numbers as high as 50 percent of people who, when asked if they would take a COVID vaccine if it were offered to them said no, they don’t believe it’s safe and/or effective.

Vaccines, forgetting about COVID for a minute, are good. We’ve eradicated a lot of diseases with vaccines: smallpox, polio, whooping cough, measles . . . it used to be that mumps, measles and chicken pox were lumped together under the heading of “childhood diseases” and it wasn’t unusual for kids to get them.

I don’t think that’s true anymore. My experience is not super-recent because my kid is now 27 but he didn’t get any of them. We vaccinate for them and no one gets them anymore.

If people don’t believe anything they hear in the media, and that includes information about being vaccinated against a pandemic, it’s not just a philosophical dilemma anymore, it’s life and death now, right?

See You in Hell, John Kerry

 
Satan
Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

He also has a dozen cars, a couple of yachts and about 5 other houses as well. He has the carbon footprint of a medium-size town. Maybe some personal restraint would buy the rest of you fools 10 years instead of just 9.

No, actually it wouldn’t because the Paris Accords that he’s so anxious to get back into ensure that even if the one country that Kerry may actually have some control over went to zero emissions tomorrow, it doesn’t solve the global problem because the Paris Accords give China the right to keep spewing crap into the air for at least another 40 years. It’s true, Lurch! Get a copy and read it.

China is by far the world’s biggest polluter, more emissions than the US and EU combined (and rising), they have an enormous population and a heavy reliance on coal.

The Paris Accords require very little from China and the commies aren’t even going to do that if they don’t feel like it.

Nine years till doomsday!

See you in Hell, Frankenstein!

Preserve Your Right to be Victimized

 

Amazing Randi

How Many Synonyms Can There Be For the Word “Lies”?

 
book lot on black wooden shelf

I’m hearing from the media that whereas President Trump provided “a torrent of lies,” President Biden has “missteps,” “characteristic stumbles” and “false statistical interpretations.”

But not lies. 🙂

I’m envisioning media gnomes wearing out their thesauruses for the next four years trying to come up with synonyms for the word “lies.”

A couple of things I don’t like:

  1. Being treated like an imbecile who doesn’t grasp nuances of the English language and doesn’t know when he’s being brainwashed.
  2. The absence in our country of an honest free press. This would really solve a lot of problems. A lot.

Why I Can’t Be a Liberal

 

I saw a couple of things trending on Twitter today . . . one was the death of Rush Limbaugh, and the other was “Rest in Piss,” a vulgarism that a lot of people were using to celebrate Limbaugh’s death.

My own political views aren’t based on left or right, Democrat or Republican. They’re based mainly on freedom and self-reliance. If you can mind your own business, keep your hands to yourself and you’re not defrauding anyone, you can do anything you like, I don’t care.

For example, if you want to have an abortion, if you want to marry someone of the same sex, go ahead. These views would align me with people on the left of the political spectrum.

I’m also disgusted by the right-wing penchant to inject religion into politics.

But I would never, never, never identify myself as liberal, as progressive . . . liberals are everything they pretend to hate and they’re too dumb to see it. They proclaim themselves as beacons of tolerance and inclusion but they are always the most hateful, violent bigots I ever meet.

Imagine if Donald Trump died! We’d get the Limbaugh celebration to the nth power. We would drown in the vulgarity of it. I mean Limbaugh was just a guy who did a midday radio show, long past his peak of influence.

Let’s do a thought experiment. Pick some prominent left-wing pundit, like Chris Cuomo or Larry O’Donnell. Or pick your own favorite. If one of them got sick and died, would that trigger a vulgar celebration of their death to trend on Twitter? I don’t think it would.

Celebrating a person’s death, except maybe a mass murderer, is abhorrent. I don’t know what else to say . . .

Newsom Recall and Signature Matching

 

Our governor here in California, Gavin Newsom, once considered a rising superstar in the Democratic Party, is suddenly facing a serious effort to get him removed from power.

The petition “Rescue California” has gathered over 1.5 million signatures, enough to qualify to put his recall up for a vote; but the State of California is poised to go into overdrive to throw out signatures that do not match exactly.

man in blue suit jacket holding white printer paper
Photo by Jorge Maya on Unsplash

The state of California is controlled by a whole bunch of Democrats. One-party rule. They are going to go through every single signature and throw out ones they don’t like.

California’s suddenly renewed interest in strict signature-matching when it comes to the Newsom recall petition contrasts with its comparatively low 0.6% ballot rejection rate in the 2020 election, a rejection rate notably lower than the March primary even though more than twice as many people voted.

Donald Trump, of course, would not be able to win California under any set of circumstances, but
the lack of strict signature-matching in 2020 elections in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan, leading to lower ballot rejection rates, was a key complaint by Trump’s re-election campaign.

Ballot rejection rates across most swing states plummeted in the 2020 election, as compared to prior general elections in mid-term and presidential election years.

Georgia’s ballot rejection rate dropped from 6.42% in 2016 to 0.35% in 2020, according to Ballotpedia. Pennsylvania’s dropped from 1% to 0.03%, and Michigan’s from 0.5% to 0.1%.

The consistent enforcement of signature-matching standards would hypothetically have led to fewer votes for Joe Biden, since the mail-in and absentee ballots broke so dramatically in his direction.

Meanwhile, in California, reports indicate that signature-matching is going into overdrive in a bid to protect Newsom.

Newsom is quickly falling from grace, even among Democratic voters. He went back and forth over the legislature’s proposed vaccination rules and has struggled to convince teachers and administrators to reopen schools. California has also changed its vaccine distribution plan several times since vaccines became available, catching some providers unprepared, and currently ranks 39th among the 50 states in terms of percentage of doses administered. And his policy on lockdowns has pleased no one: Conservatives have accused him of strangling the economy with restrictions on businesses, while public-health experts have criticized his decision last month to lift regional stay-at-home orders as premature.

But President Joe Biden seems to be willing to back the California governor publicly. Biden has opposed the Newsom recall effort. No word on if he also opposes the state’s sudden push for strict signature-matching.

EppsNet at the Movies: Happy Old Year

 

Happy Old Year is a Thai movie about letting go of the past, holding on to the past, self-awareness (or lack thereof). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry . . . I had to take off a star because, and I’m not spoiling anything here, the male lead has two girlfriends, not really at the same time, and I can’t imagine what either of them sees in this selfish putz.

I’d give the star back if the lead actress took her clothes off but she doesn’t. 🙁

Rating: 4-stars

Happy Old Year

A woman wants to reorganize her house and convert it into a home office. She will throw away anything that has been lying around unused. However, she faces a great challenge when she comes across some items that belonged to her ex-boyfriend.

Director: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
Cast: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Sunny Suwanmethanont, Sarika Sartsilpsupa, Thirawat Ngosawang

IMDb rating: 7.3 (1461 votes)

Larry Elder Debunks 2020 Election Voter Integrity

 

The boilerplate is a little dramatic but the video is intelligent and fact-based.

Thomas Jefferson on Impeachment 2.0

 
Thomas Jefferson

My fellow Americans –

I remind you that members of Congress are your employees, hired and paid by you, the American people, and that, as you know, they have decided to waste their time on a second impeachment proceeding, a charade for which, like the first impeachment, the outcome is known in advance, rather than to conduct more important business, which might include confirming cabinet appointments, COVID relief, or getting our children back in school.

Think about any employer you’ve ever had and what the result would be if you said “I know you hired me and you’re paying me to do important work, but I’ve decided instead to just waste everyone’s time and money.”

Thomas Jefferson

Why Do We Have Pessimistic Brains?

 

From my notes on Coursera’s Positive Psychology course:

The most recent geological epoch that we lived through, the Pleistocene, was the Ice Ages. Famine, flood, ice, drought, more ice.

Now, imagine a primate mentality that thought, “What a lovely day today out there. I bet tomorrow is going to be really lovely as well.” That mentality got crushed by the ice.

The mentality that survived, the brains that we have, are bad weather brains. They’re brains that say “looks like a nice day out there, but tomorrow the ice is coming.”

And that is the way we process, automatically, information about a good world. Depression, anger, paranoia have served us very well. In the Ice Ages, it was a very good idea to think that bad stuff was coming.

But consider the possibility that human progress actually exists, and that prosperity, a good world, living well, not having a tragedy every day is a normal form of life.

If we have the Ice Age mentality, we are incapable of enjoying the prosperity that we have worked so hard to have.

So, if we actually live in a more benign world, and we want to enjoy the world we live in, we have to break the hammerlock of the negative. What needs teaching, what needs nurturance, support and justification is not pessimism, but an optimistic view of the world.

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is demanding that people stop using animal terms as insults — such as calling other humans “chicken” or “pig” — not because they want to encourage good manners but because it’s “speciesist” language.

I really don’t understand the obsession some people have with telling other people how to speak.

Thomas Jefferson on Impeachment

 
Thomas Jefferson

My fellow Americans –

Now that the dimwits in Congress have decided to run an impeachment trial on a president who is no longer in office, I suppose they could decide to impeach me, even though I am not only no longer in office but dead.

The charges would likely relate to the fact that I was a slave owner.

I don’t think it will happen though, given my approval rating vs. theirs. I actually have a monument in Washington, D.C., which certainly none of the current congressional fatheads will receive.

Thomas Jefferson

Dude, Where’s My Insurrection?

 

Mail-In Voting Not Valid or Fair?

 

My Boyhood Sports Icons Are Dying: Henry Aaron

 

Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron was an outfielder with the Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers. He was a 25-time All-Star, was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in 1982, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

He holds the MLB career records for RBI (2,297) and total bases (6,856), and was baseball’s home run king from 1974, when he hit number 715 off the Dodgers’ Al Downing, until 2007, when he was surpassed by the cheater Barry Bonds, who made a mockery of the most hallowed page of the MLB record book.

Bonds hit 73 home runs in 2001 at the age of 37, and as Reggie Jackson said at the time, he would have hit 100 if anybody had pitched to him (he also had 177 walks). Aaron never hit more than 45 home home runs in a single season.

Muhammad Ali once called Aaron “the only man I idolize more than myself.”

RIP Henry Aaron

Hank Aaron 715

Positive Psychology

 

Discuss:

There is no such thing as virtue.
No such thing as a good life.
No such thing as happiness.
No such thing as a future. The future is merely determined by the past.

How to Defeat Fear

 

Once, there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear.

She didn’t want to do that.

Fear seemed too aggressive. It was scary. It seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle.

The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small and fear was looking big and wrothful. They both had their weapons ready.

The young warrior aroused herself and went toward fear and she asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?”

Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.”

Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?”

Fear replied, “My weapons are, I talk very fast and I get very close to your face. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me. You can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you do not do what I say, then I have no power.”

In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear.

Biden: Nothing We Can Do About Virus

 

Biden’s Initial Approval Rating: 48 Percent!?

 

Biden got 80 million votes (allegedly), fawning news coverage and he starts with a 48 percent approval rating?!

What does that suggest?

(Don’t say it out loud or you’ll be cancelled.)