Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff! Tonight's stories include:
- Bible Verse of the Day - Galatians 5:22
- Whoopi Goldberg
- The hidden tax of inflation strikes again
- And much more.
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1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
If you have a favorite Bible Verse you want to see in one of our newsletters, please email [email protected].
2. Ainsworth on censorship: Nextdoor does it again
by Laura Ainsworth, staff writer/researcher. You can read more of Laura’s work here.
A few months ago, I wrote about my experience with a social media platform that most people might not recognize as Big Tech, as it’s not as humungous as Facebook or Twitter. But it really is big --- worth a couple of billion dollars last time I counted. It’s called Nextdoor. You probably have it in your town. Maybe you’re a member and use it to talk to your neighbors about trash pick-up, car break-ins and missing pets. Especially missing pets.
As I said then, Nextdoor gives the appearance of something local, a way for neighbors to have the online equivalent of over-the-back-fence conversations, like in the “good old days” before social media, but it’s actually a global corporation headquartered in San Francisco and, as you will see, is quite reflective of that mindset. Their “Neighborhood Advisory Board” includes “diverse academics and experts, in the fields of social psychology, equality and civic engagement.”
As I used Nextdoor, I started noticing that when I typed certain words, a screen automatically came up that said “FACTS MATTER...” and lectured me, for example, on using the correct name of the virus: COVID-19. Refer to the Wuhan lab, or China, or concerns about the vaccines, or doubts about mask effectiveness, or anything else that wasn’t sanctioned information (much of which has turned out to be wrong), and your post would be removed. You might even go to “jail” and inexplicably be suspended from Nextdoor for a period of weeks. This happened to me once, and I hadn’t violated their so-called “community standards” even a little bit.
To give an idea, I once typed the word “homeless,” not even in the context of homeless people, and a screen came up telling me to “be kind” in my use of words. Similar screens –- I called them “nanny screens, and ND became “Nanny Dearest” –- would pop up every now and then, quite inappropriately, as I was always kind and always accurate.) Nextdoor was actively trying to “nudge” our use of language and guide the conversation.
It was last October when I wrote for Gov. Huckabee about Nextdoor finally crossing a line. A neighbor I’m calling “Andy” had started posting silly jokes –- very un-PC –- on Nextdoor, just to give people a little something to laugh about during the pandemic. This installment from our archives tells what happened to his fun little project, and also details my research into what Nextdoor actually is...
So here’s where we pick up our story. Andy formed a private group to post “Daily Laughter” instead of putting it in the General Comments, thinking that since it was something neighbors could choose to join or not join, the higher-ups would leave it alone. And for a while, that seemed to be the case. But a few days ago, one of his editions would not post, though he tried repeatedly.
Andy sent me a PM (private message) asking me to help him figure out if it had posted. I said that, no, I couldn’t see it. And then it occurred to me: something in it was being censored. “Send it to me in a PM,” I said, “and I’ll look at it and see if I can tell what they might have had a problem with.”
So he did. Overall, this edition of “Daily Laughter” seemed typical of what Andy sent out every day. But since I’ve done research on Critical Race Theory, specifically on materials that were used by organizations such as the Salvation Army, I knew there was a list of words and phrases that had been called into question for supposedly having “racial” overtones. One of these, unfortunately, was “black sheep.” It’s not intended to be racist, but that doesn’t mean purveyors of CRT view it as not-racist. Believe me, they can FIND a reason to “blacklist” (oops, there’s another one) just about ANYTHING as racist. From Max Avery at The Liberty Loft...
“The Critical Race Theory proponents assert that virtually anything anyone can imagine is racist. The names of certain animals are racist, music theories and genres can be considered racist in general, and even mathematics can be regarded as racist. According to CRT, racism is “normal” and not an aberration, and its advocates call this “systemic racism,” in which case Critical Race Theory is defined as “a study” of this so-called systemic racism by finding racism in all aspects of western society.”
I know, it’s hard to believe that anyone would consider this term racist. For example, Hunter Biden is definitely the black sheep of his family, but if anyone is an example of privilege, he’s it.
I digress. Anyway, the expression “black sheep” happened to appear in that day’s edition of “Daily Laughter,” with no racial context at all. I told Andy that I might have “cracked the code” –- gotten into these so-called progressives’ heads –- and figured out that this was the “problematic” choice of words in that day’s “Daily Laughter” and the likely reason he hadn’t been able to post. I said, “Let’s conduct a test! Try posting again, without the line containing the words “black sheep.”
He did, and it posted right away.
So Nextdoor really is interfering in the “neighborhood” conversation, sometimes, it seems, in subtle ways. We think we’re just talking to our neighbors, but we’re being monitored --- even, as I see now, in the private groups. (Because of the monitoring and constant threat of “going to jail,” I had already stopped posting in General Comments.) So, now what?
Andy wants to keep posting “Daily Laughter” for his group, and it’s such a nice thing for him to do. He works on this every day. Over 400 people have signed up, and we really like getting these old, corny “dad” jokes, “blonde” jokes,” “Little Johnny” jokes,” “man-walks-into-a-bar” jokes, etc. (I submitted a “How cold is it?” joke for yesterday, in keeping with the ice storm we’re having in Dallas-Ft. Worth: “How cold is it?” “It’s so cold, the local flasher is only describing himself.”)
I hope that made you laugh, because it’s time to get serious now, as the saddest part of this story is Andy’s most recent message to me. I had written him to say how offended I was --- and I’m not easily offended --- that Nextdoor had essentially flagged his content as racist, when I knew he would never post racist content and the members of this group would never want it. He wrote, “I agree. But I guess whatever they want to do. I’m not bowing down, I’m just tired of fighting with them!!! I will tell you one thing, if they put me in jail again, I’m done with Nextdoor!!!”
And that’s what Big Tech is counting on, that we’ll just get tired of fighting with them. They’re waiting a bit longer for us to learn to use the right pronouns and vocabulary and to accept that we can never joke about a long list of things. Well, count me OUT. Humor is my last stand, even it it’s just for the right to tell a “blonde joke.” This is a hill I would die on.
3. The hidden tax of inflation strikes again:
Thanks to rising shipping costs, the price of an Amazon Prime subscription is going up from $12.99 to $14.99 a month, or $119 to $139 a year. Under Biden, even free shipping costs more.
4. Another way schools bully students:
As a reminder that COVID restrictions and CRT indoctrination aren’t the only ways in which some school officials are trying to bully students into submission,
last week, high school student David Stout filed a lawsuit against the Plainwell, Michigan, school district for allegedly trying to violate his freedom of speech and religion, even in private conversations.
Stout claims one of the school’s band directors, Austin Hunt, confronted him over conversations about religion that he had with bandmates in a hallway and on private text messages. They included Stout texting that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, and that he would pray for (homosexuals) to repent and find Jesus. He said Hunt chided him for not immediately reporting others’ “inappropriate jokes” and for discussing religion in private social media messages, which he bafflingly claimed was “stealing others’ happiness.”
Stout says he responded that Hunt was being “very one-sided” and trying to “shame, intimidate, and silence conservatives and Christians,” and Hunt said that was a “correct” assessment.
Stout claims school officials also previously punished him for inappropriately joining in booing and jeering the Homecoming King and Queen at a football game when he was changing in the locker room at the time and didn’t even know it was happening.
The Great Lakes Justice Center, part of a Christian defense non-profit, is representing him. A spokesman said, “Public schools may not violate the Constitution and enforce a heckler’s veto of student speech. Nothing David did caused any disruption or problem at the school. He has the right to express his opinion in accordance with his sincerely held religious beliefs, without vilification or punishment from the government for holding to those beliefs.”
Can I get an “Amen” to that? It’s great to see that students and parents are finally standing up to blatant religious discrimination. As Christians, we are obligated to turn the other cheek, but that doesn’t mean we have to let them put their hands over our mouths.
5. Whoopi Goldberg:
I usually don’t comment on every braindead political statement by leftwing celebrities because, as I’ve said before, if I did, that’s all this newsletter would be. Imagine having to write about stuff this stupid dozens of times a day…
But the story about Whoopi Goldberg’s suspension from “The View” has caught fire and is getting coverage far beyond the usual flurry of attention on Twitter. Full disclosure: I like Whoopi, she was always nice to me when I came on “The View,” although that’s not something I’ve done in a while since the show went off the rails and crashed into Crazytown after Trump was elected. But she always struck me as someone who, while we are very different in our viewpoints, was unusually thoughtful and respectful of other views for a Hollywood liberal.
That’s why I was disappointed to say the least by her comments about the Nazi persecution of Jews not being a racial issue. However, I don’t believe she was being deliberately anti-Semitic or dismissive of the Holocaust. I suspect she’s been misled by a decades-long campaign from the left to redefine the term “racism” from the clear, simple, accurate meaning of thinking people of other races are inferior to the current CRT propaganda definition of racism as a crime against blacks that all white people - and only white people - are guilty of. I think Whoopi’s been so indoctrinated in that false premise that she failed to understand that just because German Jews didn’t have black skin, that doesn’t mean the Nazis didn’t see them as a separate and inferior race.
She did apologize, but she came under fire when she tried to explain her thinking again in a way that made some think she was doubling down and not sincere in her apology. I don’t know what’s in her heart and can’t judge that, but I certainly hope that’s not the case and that she now understands why she was wrong and why so many people were upset.
But this story has given rise to a larger issue, and that’s the wide chasm between the media/celebrity protests of Whoopi’s suspension and the same crowd’s mob vengeance reaction to other people who’ve said things they found offensive.
For instance, “The View” is produced by Disney-owned ABC. When Roseanne, a Trump supporter, tweeted an insult about an Obama official that was interpreted as racist, she apologized, said she didn’t intend it to be racial, and explained that she was taking medication at the time and wasn’t thinking clearly. None of that mattered: she was fired from her own show. However, the same company only gave Whoopi a two-week suspension.
When Gina Carano of the “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” used a Nazi metaphor to criticize people who turned in their neighbors to the government for COVID restriction violations, she was accused of all sorts of horrible things that I don’t believe she intended at all. Disney summarily fired her, while keeping her co-star, who was known for outrageous leftist tweets, on the payroll. By the way, Twitter is filled with liberal celebrities calling Republicans “Nazis” and “Hitler” and paying no price whatsoever.
On the liberal cable “news” channels, talking heads are even now demanding that Joe Rogan be fired, silenced, and maybe even hanged for interviewing someone they disagree with, then immediately pivoting to defending Whoopi and denouncing her two-week suspension as too harsh, unfair and a violation of her free speech rights. To use a “Star Wars” reference, their hypocrisy is on hyperdrive.
Some on the right are calling for Whoopi to be fired, in an understandable push to force the left to live up to their own standards (good luck with that!) Personally, I think that kind of mutually assured destruction is not healthy in the long run. I don’t like to see anyone fired for free speech, even if it offends some people (and especially if they apologize for it.) I’m offended by the insane, divisive, leftist lunacy that’s become the daily stock in trade of “The View.” I’d be happy if that got canceled for low ratings because so many people reject it, but not just to suppress their voices. Frankly, I want to know what kind of nuttiness those of us on the side of rationality have to deal with.
I’d prefer that everyone just chill out on the “revenge for saying the wrong thing” crusade. Let this be treated as (to quote the left’s own cliché) a “teachable moment.” How about having some guests on from the Holocaust Museum or some other reputable Jewish organization to teach Whoopi (and by extension, that show’s liberal audience) what the Holocaust was really about. Maybe then, they’d stop tossing facile insults about anyone who disagrees with them being a Nazi.
And by all means, bring back consistent standards. If Whoopi shouldn’t be fired, then lay off Joe Rogan, rehire Gina Carano, put Ricky Gervais back on the Golden Globes, let Dave Chapelle and other comics be free to be funny again, and put “Roseanne” back on her own show because man, is that depressing and unwatchable without her!
Scott Hounsell at Redstate.com has some more thoughts on this along the same lines. Check it out.
6. Suspect Arrested
When someone drew swastikas on Union Station in Washington, DC, certain media outlets rushed to blame it on the alleged “atmosphere of hatred and bigotry” created by Donald Trump and his MAGA supporters. Well, a suspect has now been arrested, and strangely enough, most of those media outlets have mysteriously gone silent and either not reported it or at least reported virtually no details.
Maybe that’s because the suspect is an illegal immigrant from Mexico with a 35-page criminal record who’s already been deported twice.
Luckily for him, thanks to Biden’s changes to immigration law, even being a twice-deported illegal alien with a 35-page criminal record who goes around drawing swastikas on train stations is not justification enough for deporting him a third time.
If he finds America to be so fascistic, I wonder why he keeps coming back like a chronic disease. Also, if he thinks his treatment here is remotely fascist, then I wonder if he even knows what that word means. And I can't help wondering what those certain media outlets would say about a Republican President who shielded a criminal who draws swastikas on public buildings.
7. Latest dispatch from America’s most notorious school district, Loudoun County, Virginia:
Rape a classmate in the girls’ bathroom and they’ll cover for you. Show up at school without a facemask and they’ll charge you with a felony and send you to jail for a year.
8. I Just Wanted To Say:
Thank you for reading the Evening Edition.