Twitter banning continues
Twitter’s banning of conservative accounts continues. The latest batch of the banished includes a parody account of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that was accused of Twitter's violating terms of service by misleading readers, even though it is plainly labeled as a “parody.” Is it their fault if people can't the difference between a parody and her real public statements?
The people behind Twitter built it on the promise that it would be an open forum providing a platform for free speech to every user, an electronic soapbox for every human, with reasonable exceptions such as threats and hate speech. But it seems to be changing into a curated liberal megaphone that censors conservative speech.
Anyone who objects is chided by liberals that Twitter is a private business so they can run it any way they want (these are apparently the only large corporations that liberals think should be allowed to do whatever they want.) But as a giant social media company that it is nearly impossible for competitors to challenge, it’s in effect a monopoly. And as those who keep trying to sue Christian bakers into bankruptcy for declining to make same-sex wedding cakes constantly remind us, businesses are public accommodations that cannot discriminate against customers.
The bakers have a much stronger argument because they not only have First Amendment religious rights protection, but their bakeries do serve all customers; they just decline to take on custom design jobs that violate their religious beliefs. If Twitter is banning conservative users from its core service that is supposed to be open to everyone, and not for just cause but simply because of their political beliefs, that would be like a baker saying, “No cookies for you!” and ordering gay customers off the premises, or a soda fountain owner in the 1950s claiming that he reserves the right to refuse service to black customers.
Here is more on what might have to be done. While I am very wary of government intervention and regulation, protection of free speech is one of the core duties of the government. I sincerely hope that all it will take is for federal officials to start discussing this possibility seriously to scare the tech giants into cleaning up their act.
Fighting for Life in New York
New York’s solidly-Democratic state government recently passed one of the most radical pro-abortion bills in history, allowing abortions up to (and in some cases, even after) the moment of birth. Gov. Andrew Cuomo lighted up One World Trade Center, the site of the 9/11 attacks, in pink, profaning a building dedicated to the memory of slaughtered innocents by celebrating the slaughtering of more innocents.
But if he thought that disgusting in-your-face move against people who stand up for the lives of unborn children signaled the last word on the subject, then he doesn’t understand the resolve or the faith of those in the pro-life movement. He certainly doesn’t understand that pro-abortion forces are not only on the wrong side of morality and decency, they are also increasingly on the wrong side of science and public sentiment.
Saturday, 20,000 people filled Times Square for the largest pro-life demonstration in New York City history. A couple of thousand pro-abortion protesters turned out to try to do their usual thing: drown out views that differ from theirs, wave profane signs, chant lies about how pro-lifers just want to control women and make them die, etc. But they discovered that in this case, their usual tactics were as pointless at lobbing spitballs at a brick wall.
The intellectual bankruptcy of their arguments became apparent when speaker after speaker turned out not to be some villainous straw man who wants to manipulate women, but women who’d had abortions and now feel terrible regret and believe they were lied to and manipulated by people pushing abortion on them. (Read some of their stories at the link.)
The pro-life protesters and speakers also refused to play the confrontation game that their opponents hoped to provoke. Instead, they reached out to the protesters who were cursing them, offering them love and prayers that God would open their eyes so they would realize what an awful thing they are championing, the way Americans eventually woke up to the evils of other practices that were once considered socially acceptable.
And here is today’s Must-Read, from Kevin McCullough at Townhall.com. He was in Times Square, and he believes that what he witnessed was the turning point at which even New York would start to regard abortion as unthinkable.
I'm not surprised that it hinged on showing people the truth that abortion clinics and their defenders work so hard to hide -- or that it involved Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood clinic director whose story was told in the movie they tried so hard to suppress, “Unplanned,” and who has done more than any other person to expose the ugly truth of what abortion really is.
Near the end of the event, Johnson, who is pregnant, entered a mobile clinic behind the stage and underwent the latest high-tech 4D ultrasound. The image appeared on Jumbotron screens. McCullough reports that something amazing happened: Times Square fell silent. Both the anti- and pro-abortion activists stood in quiet awe, listening to the technician talking to the child in the womb as the baby's face seemingly looked down on them from the giant screens above. There was no longer any way to deny it: they were not looking at a “mass of fetal tissue.” They were looking at a human baby.
One of the criticisms of our modern society is that people don’t believe something is real until they see it on TV. But in this case, that might be a blessing. The live image of that beautiful, innocent pre-born child looking down on Times Square rendered thousands of pro-abortion political speeches, editorials, Internet posts and protest signs hollow and meaningless. I’ll bet it made even the pro-abortion protesters feel somewhere deep in their hearts that to murder that child by acid or dismemberment would be a monstrous and, yes, an unthinkable act.
Omar blames Israel for Hamas' missiles
At this writing, things are blessedly quiet in Israel after Monday’s ceasefire agreement with Hamas ended one of the most violent weekends in a long time. Israel estimates that about 700 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. Most were stopped by the Iron Dome missile defense system, but some got through, killing four people. Israel launched retaliatory airstrikes against Hamas targets that killed 27 people. It was reported that the Palestinian fatalities included two pregnant women and two babies, but Israel denied that and said the civilian deaths were caused by Hamas rockets that went astray.
It’s an open question how long the ceasefire will hold. Many experts believe the initial rocket attacks on Israel were just round one in a new wave of Hamas-backed violence.
In the meantime, we can always count on the American left to blame everyone for attacks on Jews except those responsible. Just as the New York Times blamed President Trump after they printed offensive anti-Semitic editorial cartoons, so two of the brightest lights in the Democrats’ House freshman class, Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, blamed Israel for Hamas firing rockets at Israel. This went over about as well as you’d expect.
Lost in the justifiable outrage over their comments was Omar’s bogus claim that Gaza is suffering from “occupation,” presumably by oppressive Israelis. But Tiana Lowe at the Washington Examiner caught it, pointing out to Rep. Omar that Israel formally withdrew all its military and settlements from Gaza in 2005. The residents have suffered under violent and oppressive leadership since 2007, but that’s because Gaza is under the control of the terrorist organization Hamas.
Ms Lowe also makes the excellent point that if Israel hadn’t shown incredible restraint and targeted its airstrikes against Hamas installations – if Israel had simply responded with equal force to the attack on its people by firing 700 rockets indiscriminately into the heavily-populated Gaza Strip – there would be thousands of Palestinian fatalities, not 27.
Lowe’s suggested explanations for Omar’s comments are that she is either an idiot or she’s an apologist for Hamas who repeats their talking points. We shouldn’t have either in Congress, but at least the former wouldn’t stand out as much.
Crisis at the border
One can’t help wondering: If Democrats could just get over their resentment over losing an election and admit that Trump hasn’t started any wars or destroyed the economy – if only half of them could admit that they are really better off now than they were four years ago – what would his approval numbers look like? We might not know until 2020, when Americans go into the privacy of the voting booth and choose between Trump and one of the far-left clowns opposing him without having to tell a pollster which one they really think should be in charge.
Speaking of liberals finally forcing themselves to come around to reality, the New York Times editorial board has at last, after more than two years of attacking Trump’s claim that there is a crisis at the border, admitted that Trump is right: there’s a crisis at the border. They also now say Congress should give him the $5 billion he asked for to deal with it.
Naturally, they still can’t bring themselves to admit that Trump is really right and they were wrong when they declared that there was no crisis at the border. Of course, Trump is still just ranting and playing political games, and none of that money should be spent on his stupid wall. They say some money should go to shoring up border security, but most should be spent on “humanitarian aid” to help the overwhelming wave of migrants that’s flooding across the border and swamping our immigration system.
Question: how many more years will it now take the brilliant New York Times editors to realize that spending nearly $5 billion on aid to migrants who’ve already poured across the border will only encourage more migrants to pour across the border, so maybe – just maybe – Trump was a liiiiittle bit right and we should’ve used some of that money to build a wall?
Fighting for Life in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvanians, surely you can do better than to send a jerk like this to your state house? At the link is a video posted online by state Rep. Brian Sims, a radical supporter of Planned Parenthood and other leftist causes. He actually thinks he made himself look like a hero by posting this:
In it, Sims rudely bullies and harasses an elderly lady who is just standing outside a Planned Parenthood clinic, quietly praying as part of a pro-life protest. Watch him berate her, keep following her and trying to video her even as she walks away or turns her back and asks him to leave her alone. Hear him call on anyone who recognizes her to let him know her name and address so he can protest in front of her home. That would expose her to threats from dangerous and unhinged people on the Internet – which, judging from his behavior, includes Sims himself.
If you look at the original video on Twitter...
...you’ll see that at this writing, it had racked up nearly a million views and about 5,000 “Likes,” which should show even someone as clueless as Sims that the public doesn't agree that he's the hero he thinks he is. Some of the commenters make a point of saying that they are pro-choice, but they’re disgusted by his obnoxious behavior.
Others mention that the woman had a perfect Constitutional right to pray and protest in public, and that it was Sims who violated her rights and the law by harassing her, filming her without permission and attempting to “doxx” her (exposing her private information online to encourage threats against her.) I’m not an attorney, and I don’t know the state laws of Pennsylvania, but I would assume someone reading this has that kind of expertise. If so, feel free to comment or send it to the appropriate authorities. Sims has helpfully provided us with the evidence himself.