What possessed Kyle Rittenhouse, a baby-faced 17-year-old, to pick up an AR-15 style rifle and head to Kenosha, Wisconsin in the first place?
There has been a lot of discussion about the harm caused by social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to American youth but very little discussion about the role of violent videogames, where teens arm themselves with massive weaponry to maim and kill.
Rittenhouse claims he and a friend volunteered to go to Kenosha to protect a car dealership that was set upon by rioters the night before. Rittenhouse, who is now a nursing student, wore a medical kit and said he intended to provide medical care. At one point he also carried a fire extinguisher.
It all seems hopelessly naïve, but not altogether implausible for a 17-year-old teenager, especially one who testified Wednesday to playing violent video games.
Rittenhouse ended up killing two men and grievously wounding a third. He’s claiming self-defense. Cell phone videos of the action that evening in Kenosha show Rittenhouse lying on the pavement, while protesters/rioters attacked him and attempted to wrestle the gun away from him. The only reason they didn’t succeed is because it was strapped on his shoulder.
A few decades years ago, a teenager like Rittenhouse might be working to become an Eagle Scout.
Healthline reports that more than 90 percent of kids play video games and more than 90 percent of popular games portray violence.
Continue reading “Kyle Rittenhouse and Violent Video Games”
So, it seems that Big Tech will continue to kick former GOP President Donald J. Trump off the major communications platforms in America.
And Americans are being asked to believe this is because he poses a continuing threat to Democracy.
How gullible do you have to be to buy that explanation?
This week, a Facebook appointed advisory group and YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google, ratified the continued suspension of Trump from their platforms. Twitter has permanently banned Trump.
Trump is the pivotal figure in the Republican Party because 75 million Americans voted for him in 2020. Trump is not only being silenced but he is stymied with respect to fundraising.
Trump’s ban from the modern-day public square could have serious consequences for the GOP in the next election, which will decide control of the Congress.
Two Party System?
The United States has a two-party political system but one party, the GOP, has had one hand tied behind its back by three left-leaning billionaires from Silicon Valley, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter.
Continue reading “Big Tech Tests Gullibility of U.S. Voters”
After a truly disturbing display of political censorship in the past year, Simon & Schuster Chief Executive Jonathan Karp this week drew a sort of line in the sand.
One would expect a book by former Vice President Mike Pence to be the equivalent of processed cereal but that didn’t stop 216 employees at the nation’s third largest publisher from demanding the company refrain from publishing Pence’s memoir.
In an online petition, they call Pence “a central figure of a presidency that unequivocally advocated for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Blackness, xenophobia, misogyny, ableism, islamophobia, antisemitism, and violence. This is not a difference of opinions; this is legitimizing bigotry.”
They forgot to mention that Pence also is the guy who refused to unilaterally halt the certification of electors in the 2020 election, thus earning him the enmity of his boss, GOP President Donald Trump. (It might be interesting to hear Pence’s views on this defining moment?)
In the petition, “Solidarity With the Workforce of Simon and Schuster,” the signers demand S&S cancel any more book deals with former members of the Trump administration. The Wall Street Journal says the petition signers represent about 14% of the S&S workforce.
Delicate Political Situation?
Karp states in an internal letter that S&S’s won’t cancel Pence’s book deal because its core mission includes publishing “a diversity of voices and perspectives.”
However, S&S is owned by ViacommCBS, which finds itself in a delicate situation right now.
Continue reading “Publisher Says Not Right Now To Censorship”
The Florida legislature is working on proposed legislation to deter big tech from engaging in partisan political censorship in the state.
The effort, announced by Florida’s GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, is the first legislative response to big tech’s successful effort to silence former GOP President Donald J. Trump and other conservative voices on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
“We’ve seen the power of their censorship over individuals and organizations, including what I believe is clear viewpoint discrimination,’’ said DeSantis, who was accompanied by Florida House Speaker Chris Sprows and Senate President Wilton Simpson, also Republicans.
DeSantis said “the big tech oligarchy” is “more of a clear and present danger to the rights of free speech than the government itself.”
Continue reading “Florida’s Historic Move To Combat Big Tech Censorship”
It is ironic that an opinion piece in The Washington Post this week argued in favor of regulating companies that dominate our communication infrastructure.
The author, Zephyr Teachout, defended Twitter’s decision to ban President Donald J. Trump from its platform but expressed concern about the threat of “extreme concentration” of corporate power in communications.
Now here’s where irony comes in:
Teachout didn’t mention (understandably) that the owner of the newspaper that hosted her column is Jeff Bezos, who also owns Amazon and its subsidiary, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the leading cloud hosting provider in the country. Bezos is undeniably a dominant force – perhaps the dominant force – in communications and communications’ infrastructure in the United States.
AWS calls itself “the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform… ” It hosts Twitter, Facebook and Linked in, as well as Neflix, ESPN, BBC, Dow Jones, Reddit, Hearst Corp., Turner Broadcasting, top U.S. agencies, (i.e. Department of State and the Food and Drug Administration) and many others.
After Twitter knocked the President off the internet, conservatives flocked by the tens of thousands to Parler, which offers similar services with an emphasis on free speech. Twitter’s stock plunged by seven percent and the Parler app skyrocketed to the top of app store charts.
AWS abruptly “suspended” its provision of cloud hosting services to Parler on Jan. 9, claiming Parler was used to coordinate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building. Parler states in an antitrust lawsuit filed against AWS on Wednesday that no one who has been publicly identified in the Jan. 6 incident even has a Parler account. And yet, Parler has gone completely dark.
It Seems Jeff Bezos Killed Parler
Continue reading “Who Really Killed Parler?”