Tag: free speech

Five Existential Threats to Humanity to Worry About This Week

Here are the five top things to worry about this week if you are concerned with the continued existence of humanity.

America’s Political Crisis. America’s political crisis began during the 2016 Presidential campaign and has since morphed into a variety of troubling aspects that threaten the whole world. The three most important right now are the lack of accountability for those in the ruling class for their incompetence and illegal activity, the fight for election integrity, and the likelihood that the President of the United States is a cognitively-impaired dotard. The problem here is that when America is weak, the bad guys come out to test its resolve. Look no further than Putin’s adventure in Ukraine, the stepped-up Communist Chinese rhetoric regarding Taiwan, and North Korea ramping up missile testing for examples.

World War III. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought us to a place we have not been for a long time, which is staring into our collective grave while the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations wag their nukes like two gangbangers flashing their Glocks in a dispute over the drug sales rights on a local street corner. This one has been building for a long time and the fault is mainly that of Clinton, Bush, and particularly Obama and their horrible foreign policy regarding Russia over the years. President Biden hasn’t helped with his incompetent handling of the crisis. While Putin has casus belli, invading another country is so 20th century. Putin could have accomplished so much more with just the invasion threat, and at little risk. It makes you wonder what’s really going on. In any case, if the Ukrainians keep kicking the Russian’s butts, this crisis may resolve itself.

…when America is weak, the bad guys come out to test its resolve.

Control of Personal Information. Two threats are involved here. The first is what has been termed “Surveillance Capitalism”. When you interact with the internet, information is collected about you and your activities. You leave tracks that show who you are, what you like and dislike, what sorts of websites you visit, what do you look for on search engines, and a lot of other things. For example, often I have searched for a product on a website and then later noticed that ads on other sites relate to that same product? The data collected is a commodity that has tremendous value to companies and marketers, and it is used to alter your behavior. In the past, (it is assumed), this has been a rather benign, even beneficial thing that helps connect us with things we need or want. Now we are not so sure that the data is not being used for more insidious purposes. It’s clear personal data is used for suppressing unpopular opinions, social engineering, and for manipulating elections. The second threat is the dissemination of personal medical information. The most nefarious example of this was a report by CBS News about China collecting the DNA data of Americans. The link is here. Why would the Chinese want our DNA? Maybe it is just a way to boost their pharmaceutical industry, or maybe it can be used to genetically tailor bioweapons.

Response to the so-called “Climate Change Crisis” Is there climate change, or not? The answer to that is yes because the climate has always changed. In Charles Mann’s book, “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus”, a book I highly recommend, he discusses the effects of climate on Pre-Columbian civilizations over the 12,000 years since Asians migrated and settled in the Western hemisphere. The fact is that civilizations have long risen and fallen because of the weather and that is just life on the beautiful blue ball we live on. The current “crisis” is a fat brouhaha over .6 degrees C of temperature rise over 150 years, which is how long we have been keeping records. Is that a big deal? Probably not. The measurement margin of error is higher than .6 degrees, so who knows. Unfortunately, a crisis is a path to power and money and I believe that is really what is driving it. The existential threat from this is that there are a lot of people who have a great deal of certainty about things they can’t know. Some of them, like Bill Gates, are proposing solutions, such as geoengineering projects, that have the potential to be disastrous.

The Loss of a Judeo/Christian consensus in the West. I can assure you that I am under no illusion that Christians or anyone for that matter is perfect. I am a Calvinist and firmly believe that the notion that human depravity is universal and pervasive is exhaustively supported by empirical data. However, when the Judeo/Christian consensus reigned in the West, the world made sense and most people were to varying degrees self-regulating in the way they behaved. We are now in the so-called post-Christian era and the world has stopped being rational, and people no longer seem to understand the concept of good and evil. Humans are no longer viewed as autonomous individuals with free will, made in the image of God. In a deterministic/materialistic world, man is viewed as a skin sack of biochemicals, a commodity to be bought and sold, manipulated, and controlled. In a materialistic world, the mass extermination of humans is no longer a moral problem in the twisted logic of tyrants. We saw this in the last century and this century in China. It is also not just megalomaniac tyrants that are the problem. This insane attitude has become ingrained in society as a whole. Just look at the way we treated one another during the pandemic.

I guess we will see how all of this plays out. Don’t worry too much. God is still on the throne.

Websites for Conservative Social Media Refugees

Roughly twenty-four hours later, the attack on free speech by “big tech” continues. The major development is Amazon’s action against Parlor, which bills itself as an alternative to Twitter. Parlor is now suing Amazon for antitrust violations and breach of contract. The petty stuff also continues. Facebook announced it will ban anything mentioning “the steal”, which refers to alleged election fraud.

It is time to turn Facebook and Twitter into leftist echo chambers. The lifeblood of social media is content and users. Deny them both and consider some alternatives. I closed my Facebook account down several weeks ago because I got tired of misleading and mistaken so-called “fact checks”. I haven’t missed it. I also quit advertising my book and website on Twitter. Here are some sites you might consider instead of FB or Twitter.

Parlor.com has been considered the go-to place for Twitter refugees for months. I would provide a link, but they are currently shut down, thanks to Amazon. I opened a Parlor account several weeks ago but found it difficult to use and dominated by a few users who made the site a conservative echo chamber. It may just be me. This site is supposed to be back on-line tomorrow, but we will see.

It is time to turn Facebook and Twitter into leftist echo chambers

gab.com is the latest social media refugee camp for conservatives. Reports are that they gained half a million users yesterday. They apparently run on their own servers, so they are not subject to the approval of the tech masters. I opened an account yesterday and got a brief look. I like the layout better than Parlor. Right now, the downside of this site is that they are having trouble scaling up their server capacity, and the site is slow. Hopefully, they will get a handle on it soon.

mewe.com is another site that bills itself as pro-free speech. I have not used it, but I have some friends who highly recommend it.

Freerepublic.com has been around for a long time. I have been on it for twenty years. It is more of a libertarian site than conservative. I find that the users are not as in lockstep with popular conservative thought as other sites such as Parlor or even Twitter. I find the discussions to be more thoughtful, civil, and diverse than other more prominent sites.

Signal.org received an endorsement from none other than Elon Musk as an alternative to big tech message and texting services. I have quite a bit of experience with their service. I have a couple of sons in the military, and we use it as a family to keep in touch. My oldest is an Army Intelligence officer. He recommended Signal when he was being deployed to Europe because it is encrypted and secure, so we did not have to worry about inadvertent operational security issues in our family discussions. Loose lips sink ships.

Duck Duck Go is a good search alternative to Google if you are looking for a search engine that provides some privacy. I have used it for years, and it is an excellent service.

Protonmail.com is an alternative free e-mail service that I use. It is based in Switzerland and offers privacy, end-to-end encryption between Proton users, and anonymous accounts.

If you have any other suggestions, let me know.

Check out my book, “Trail to Peril”, available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon (unless Amazon shuts me down).

The Purge is On

Tragic events that many have feared has been going on the last couple of days. It is the logical culmination of the “political correctness” movement we have been contending with for years. It has been brewing for months with the “fake news” scares that spawned a fetid nest of self-appointed arbiters of truth. Now we have misguided and misleading social media “fact-checkers”. There is also the widespread practice of suspending and banning people and organizations from social media sites such as Twitter when their utterances are proscribed by our wiser masters, Jack Dorsey at Twitter and Zuckerburg at Facebook.

The most recent outrage is the apparent purge of conservative voices, including a ban on the President of the United States by Twitter and reports of disappearing followers among his supporters. It is not just attacks on MAGA supporters either. There have been attempts to suppress dissenting opinions on everything from voter fraud and climate change to Covid-19. Powerful forces in the media and Big Tech are silencing people with significant and compelling points of view.

Free speech in America is circling the drain.

Sometimes it is going beyond silencing and extends to ruining careers and lives. The conclave of hypocrites and scoundrels that make up the badly misnamed “Lincoln Project” is a pathetic example. They just announced that they would be making up a blacklist of those who worked for the Trump administration, intending to keep them from finding employment in the private sector.

It is chilling. Free speech in America is circling the drain. For those of you nodding your approval and politely applauding from the sidelines because you disagree with those who are being silenced, keep in mind that we have the 1st Amendment right to free speech to avoid the necessity of shooting each other.