Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Embracing C3ns0rsh1p: A Survival Guide with Helpful Input From China

I marvel at the shock and outrage of some conservative voices as their posts, tweets, and entire websites are progressively downgraded in search visibility, flagged as "fake news," demonetized, deplatformed, or, in the case of a few unruly celebrities like our former President, exiled for life from major social media platforms. It's time for these complainers to embrace the new order and specifically, to embrace what they may call "c3ns0rsh1p." As I will explain, accepting and living with "c3ns0rsh1p" (better to say "fortification of democracy") is a lesson I learned in my 9 years of living in China, a place I love deeply.

As an ardent embracer recognizing the new reality, I'm not going to properly spell out the word I'm embracing (cens0rshi1p, c3nsurship, c3ns0rsh1p, sensorship, etc.) lest our very delicate search engines and deplatforming algorithms misunderstand my warm embrace as some kind of complaint against their valiant fortification work.

If your response is, "C3ns0rsh1p? What c3ns0rsh1p?," then you have already learned a basic survival lesson well. I congratulate you. No need to keep reading -- here, or anywhere else.

If this supportive post were misunderstood as some kind of complaint, that could have serious consequences. For example, Ron Paul, a former presidential candidate, an outspoken critic of President Trump, and a heavy user of social media, suddenly found he was locked out of his Facebook account immediately after he made a post complaining about so-called "c3nsorship" from the Big Tech lords of social media. Some who recognized the importance of shutting down Trump and his supporters on social media were surprised at the silencing of Ron Paul, but it makes sense when you understand social media's new and majestic role in protecting national security, as I will explain shortly. However, the chains on Ron Paul's account were soon removed as Facebook, faced with backlash from Ron Paul's many supporters, felt it was best to back off for now and declare that a mistake had occurred. We can only hope that Paul learned his lesson and will be less critical of our new democracy in the future. 

Being deplatformed for politically incorrect statements can be traumatic, especially when one uses social media tools for one's employment. I, too, have a painful lesson I learned in this regard. 

My current work frequently involves reaching out to people on LinkedIn, which is a prized database of numerous contacts and a source of rich information that helps me almost daily. To be booted from it would be painful and harmful, so it was quite a scare when my former boss once informed me that LinkedIn had just canceled a post of mine for violating some policy. Was I on the path to being deplatformed? Perhaps! The errant post linked to an article summarizing several peer-reviewed studies that suggested we were not being given accurate information by the media about the efficacy of some treatments for COVID. I didn't say I agreed with the article, but did say that if the summary of those studies was accurate, it did raise questions about the integrity of the media. What was I thinking? My boss agreed with my post, but still, posting it was a big mistake since I had questioned the wisdom of the mainstream media and might have even unintentionally supported something once said by Him Who Must Not be Tweeted about potential treatments for COVID. That's pretty shameful, but I must live up to my error and reform.  I have carefully reviewed my past errant attitudes and now recognize the need to accept the established media authorities as authoritative. I will strive to better comply and "follow the science" by accepting authoritative declarations from anointed authorities rather than turning to the science directly or to antiquated notions of the "scientific method" where I may make grave political errors. 

Learning from China

Prior to the rise of our current administration, China was often criticized for "c3nsoring" information. Highly educated Chinese people generally know that information is carefully controlled in China -- searches on some controversial issues will reveal nothing, harmful sources of misinformation like Twitter, Facebook, and the Wall Street Journal are banned, dangerous or critical comments on social media will be censored, and severe penalties may be applied for sharing information that undermines social harmony and national security. But many of the educated in China and probably most citizens in general understand that this is necessary for a stable, healthy Communist society. They have learned that there may be some inconveniences, but that nearly everyone is better off by embracing or at least quietly accepting what Americans call "c3nsorsh1p." Don't think of it as deleting, banning, or rigging information, but as "fortifying" information to enhance national security. That's my take on how information control is generally viewed (though this issue may be highly complex).

When you realize that for a harmonious society, "national security" often means protecting the status quo and keeping the Party firmly in power, then of course the Party must take steps to "fortify" information as it works in unity with information outlets across the land. And then you won't have to worry about whether a report is "true" or not, or whether important information has been withheld or manipulated. You will understand that the information you receive is what is needed for national security and shows you the right way to view things. That should be enough. Through steady trust by the people for the government, security and democracy are fortified. There will be harmony, not the chaos we tend to have, or once had, in America.

Achieving such harmony requires tight cooperation between all aspects of social media, news, and information flow in China. Social media giants, news outlets, publishers of all kinds, and schools and universities all closely cooperate with the government to ensure harmony and national security. National security, of course, entails preserving peace and social stability with the safety, security, and respect of the Party being absolutely essential. The government is the Party. Democracy, a widely accepted and publicized value in China, is all about the rule of the Party, the people's Party, which does receive input from the people in many ways in a fortified form of democracy. (Westerners may be surprised by how frequently one sees the Chinese words for "democracy" all over Shanghai and other cities.) Preserving democracy is preserving the Party. Careful control of information and vigorous actions against sources of trouble are viewed as essential in protecting and strengthening China.

Sadly, many Americans still cling to outdated ways and view such vigorous measures to fortify democracy as "totalitarian," as some form of "thought control" or "brainwashing," and use other pejoratives like "c3nsorship."  They don't understand that such fortification is a vital aspect of national security. Harmful information can fan flames of dissent and threaten national stability, decrease trust in the Party, and stir up lawbreaking, violence, or rebellion against the Party. Violence and rebellion are sometimes used for bringing about revolution, of course, but once the revolution has established the Party as the legitimate reigning authority, the Party must strive in every way to secure national stability  by ensuring its power remains unchecked and unthreatened for the good of the people. This requires careful control of information to ensure that what the people learn engenders trust, compliance, unity, harmony, and other virtues. This should all be so basic, but remarkably, it's still quite foreign to many anti-progressive Americans who haven't waken up to the realities of our new order and still demand what they call "freedom of speech." 

China, for the record, points out that among the many rights that the government kindly provides to its people is freedom of speech, provided that it is done according to law and the dictates of national security, which may differ from the chaotic, non-fortifying version some Americans demand.  (Article 35 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China grants freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly, and Article 36 provides for freedom of religion, though all must be done according to law, which may, of course, impose certain restrictions as needed to fortify national security, etc.) The enumerated rights granted by the government are impressive. On the other hand, many Americans don't see their freedoms as rights that are granted by government and subject to any limitations by law, but insist that their freedoms are given by God and that certain rights cannot be taken away by government. It may take some reeducation to remove those old notions. Our schools and universities are succeeding in shaping proper attitudes among the young who are taught to revile the founders of this nation and its original principles, graduating with almost no real knowledge of the Constitution and the noble principles behind the Republic, but what of those still clinging to the old ways? Limiting their influence may be the most humane thing possible, as far as state security goes.

Fortifying Our Democracy with Fortified Information Control

One you recognize that there is a need to "fortify" information to protect national security (which, of course, means protecting the power of those who rule), you will more easily drop the doubts and stupid questions that can disrupt our national harmony. You won't fall for crazy conspiracy theories, even if they are later accepted by the authoritative media, because you will trust the timing of when you should believe what, knowing that there may be a national security purpose behind it. A very practical example comes from the history of COVID pandemic, when it was initially "bad" to think that everyone needed to wear a mask, and later it was essential to believe that. It's not that the scientific "truth" changed, but that there was initially a political need to suppress individual mask purchases to ensure that there were enough masks for healthcare workers. You might be tempted to complain that Fauci and others "lied" to you at first for political reasons, but the right and noble thing to do is trust that there must be reasons for the information tweaking, and then comply. Ditto for other declarations coming from trusted authorities that seem to change radically over time due to political issues.

When you are enlightened about the need for national security above all, you won't ask harmful, doubt-stirring questions but will comply as needed and maintain harmony. More specifically, you won't read authoritative statements from the Party or its major media outlets/PR organs looking for contradictions or questioning their "truth," resulting in arguments and hostile feelings from others who better embrace the new order.  You won't ask ridiculous questions about why the mainstream media refused to carry stories about the disclosures of Tony Bobulinski ("Tony who?" -- yes, that's the right response!) in October 2020 prior to the election, or why news about Hunter Biden's laptop was not reported widely before the election ("what laptop?" -- another perfect answer). 

You won't make the mistake of millions of angry Americans who misinterpreted the authoritative article in Time Magazine about the fortification of the 2020 presidential election. I refer to the thoughtful and reverent reflections shared by Molly Ball in "The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election" (Time.com, Feb. 4, 2021). This article carefully details how a group comprising insiders from the Party, CEO's of Big Tech and other corporations, and other entities closely cooperated to ensure that Trump was overthrown, the only and obvious "proper outcome" of the election. Angry Americans looking for fault have criticized this as if it were revealing a conspiracy to rig the election. What they don't get is that this shows the the important and benevolent role of Big Tech in fortifying our democracy, something they should celebrate, not condemn. Here's an excerpt on the fortification that some have misunderstand -- but by now, I trust you will understand and embrace it:

This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum. It is the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. “Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated,” says Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan rule-of-law advocacy group. “But it’s massively important for the country to understand that it didn’t happen accidentally. The system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing.”

That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream–a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it. And they believe the public needs to understand the system’s fragility in order to ensure that democracy in America endures.

I think that is beautifully and accurately expressed. The media is not "rigging" or "c3ns0ring" anything; they are just working with the Party to fortify our democracy. Fortification is something you really must learn to embrace if you are to survive the new order. 

Likewise, with a healthy appreciation of the importance of state security, you won't make the offensive and silly mistake of publicly asking why, if COVID is so frightening and requires that we surrender so much, must we then open our borders and allow tens of thousands of people to wander into the country without being tested for COVID, and why our government won't answer questions about how many COVID cases have been introduced through the non-crisis at the border? The answer, of course, is that this must all be about national security and the long-term security of the Party. Trust the decision, trust the omniscience of our rulers, and don't trust those who moan about "crisis" at the border (what crisis??). If national security is being fortified, it's for our good (i.e., the good of the Party) and no complaints should be tolerated, even if some things seem illogical or questionable based on our limited knowledge. And you won't make Ron Paul's mistake of denouncing the enhancement and fortification of information because you will understand that the purpose of social media and of journalism itself is not to spread information or uncover unpredictable stories, but to protect and fortify national security. To criticize the PR team of the nation and its party is, therefore, to undermine national security. You can trust that the silencing, though temporary, was certainly appropriate. It's all about national security and trust.

Remember, in Gov we trust.

Don't criticize and cry foul when you are disappointed by fortification. If the government announces that chocolate rations are being doubled, don't do your own hostile "fact checking" based on outdated data like last month's allotments and cry out that the new 50-gram ration is only half of the previous 100=gram ration. You must recognize that for purposes of national security, there must be a good reason for the new "doubled" ration. Smile, be grateful, and go on, doing your duty quietly. Life will be much more harmonious that way. 

More from China to Ponder

Shortly after President Trump was banned from Twitter, I had a surprising conversation with a citizen of China. "Jeff, how can this happen in America?," she asked. "He's irresponsible, yes, but he's the President of the United States. If he can be censored in his own country, what will happen to freedom of speech for the rest of you? That's what America stands for, and if that's lost, what will happen?" I was somewhat speechless and didn't want to say anything that might encourage her in a potentially sensitive rant. At that time, I didn't understand the nature of our own revolution underway, otherwise I could have simply explained that silencing enemies is necessary for national security in the new state. Perhaps she would have understood, perhaps all too well. 

Caught off guard, I muttered something foolish about biased media with a double standard, citing an example of hateful rhetoric from the leader of Iran calling for the destruction of Israel that has remained on Twitter in spite of its supposed policies against hate speech (I won't risk linking to the article, but you can read one side of the story from the Jerusalem Post under the headline, "Twitter downplays Khamenei calls for genocide as political speech.") I apologize for that error. In fact, I now understand that no hypocrisy or double standard is involved. There is only one standard now: national security, which naturally entails protection of the Party and silencing of enemies. Twitter knows what they are doing, and we should trust them, of course, though China doesn't for some reason.

China has some valuable things to teach Americans as we adjust to the new dawn of enhanced informational guidance in America. I lived there for 9 years and deeply respect the Chinese people and love much about China, and have often been criticized by Americans for talking about some of the very positive things there like its world-class intellectual property system and the economic freedoms that have lifted many from poverty. While China is very different from America, or has been historically, it has much to teach us about surviving and staying out of trouble. 

In the very progressive land of China which has evolved to a one-party state where we don't have the bitterness and divisions that come from multiple parties and the many problems of elections, state security and stability are essential. Security is obtained by preventing dangerous uprisings, requiring most public gatherings to be approved by and monitored by the government, carefully monitoring what people say and do online, using observed behavior and input from others to create a "social credit score" for every person that determines what rights the government chooses to grant you, etc. Though very different than our historic traditions (many of which must be dismantled anyway for social progress), it's a very effective and powerful system, developed in part with the help of tools from Big Tech.

To live in China is to understand that there are some things you just don't want to say, ever. We recognize that our emails, texts, phone calls and online actions are monitored, whether by humans or creative electronic tools. It's important to accept this and act appropriately in China, and we should probably do the same here for our own good. We Americans often say that we want our voice to be heard. We need to adjust that kind of thinking to be more like, "We want our voice to be heard, provided it is consistent with WHO and government guidelines and properly fact-checked by government-approved corporations." Who would want anything more? When you know that your government is  trustworthy, objective and always accurate, then surely it should be wrong to disagree. Why allow people to say and think things that are wrong?

There is an ongoing and politically necessary fortification (critics may call this a "purge") underway now, like fortifications that have happened in many other well fortified nations in the past.  Here it's being done mostly by large, trusted corporations, the ones who vigilantly control most of the information that Americans receive via social media and mainstream media sources to help fortify our nation. Concerted action by these giants has led to the silencing of thousands of unruly voices, the elimination of unwanted competitors, and the creation of fortification warriors (called "mobs" by some haters) that help "cancel" harmful voices of doubt and dissent. It's a new age, and one that we had all better welcome, or else. 

Some benighted foes might say that this is not a step toward a healthy democracy, but a step toward "tyranny. " That's a sad way to describe a fully fortified democracy. I could like to tell you to please disregard what they say, but there's actually no need, for the system will quickly disregard them for you. They will be cancelled and silenced, and we should be grateful for that. The new age brings great progress toward unity by eliminating dissent, and you can stay happy and safe if you just do the new American thing by laying low and cooperating. To achieve peace and unity, it's vital that you don't ask questions. Compliance is peace. Trust is harmony. Canceling is unity. Follow the science.

If you've heard of alleged cases of dissent being cancelled or silenced, don't get agitated, but calmly learn from their experience. Understand where they went wrong and avoid that mistake. This applies to individuals in most cases so far, but will increasingly apply to institutions, including religions. There may be a need to tone down some doctrines and update certain scriptures and policies to more fully fully support whatever national security needs may arise.

This is the time to prepare to more fully embrace the fortification of democracy -- which is absolutely vital, of course, to national security. Follow the science. Comply. Do your duty. And be very careful about what you say and where you say it. It's the enlightened thing to do.


 

 



56 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an embarrassing post.

-- OK

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff Lindsay said...

Sorry about stirring up so much embarrassment, OK. Was it the Tony Bobulinski story that did it? Or perhaps it was the Burisma affair, or, if you followed up on some of the stories mentioned, the $2 million for a book deal (I did not say bribe) to Hunter, or the millions he will be getting for his newfound artistic skills, all of which have caused great embarrassment to those who don't like obvious graft in their government.

I can understand the embarrassment if all this is somewhat new to you. One of the many clever things Google and others did to help fortify the election was to adjust algorithms so unfavorable information sources would be downgraded, making it much less likely for people to learn about these matters unless they already regularly visited unfriendly sites. As a result, many Biden supporters I have spoken with really have no idea about the censorship underway, the fortification that has occurred, Burisma, the border crisis, etc.

You may be in the same boat as two other highly educated friends I visited recently. Knowing that I didn't like Trump, they asked me how I felt about Biden. It was a sincere question so I answered sincerely. While hopeful that we might stop doing things like bombing Syria (ouch, Biden has continued that ugly part on schedule), I mentioned my concerns about corruption, raising issues like the Tony Bobulinski interview, the Moscow payment, Burisma, the $2 million book deal, etc., and my concerns about several other issues, including the economic woes that will follow the severe overspending, the attack on energy independence, etc. They were in shock and it was pretty clear that they knew almost nothing about all that. Definitely an embarrassing moment.

It is embarrassing for us as a nation, as was the previous administration, IMO. Regardless of which party, if any, we prefer, there is a growing need to fortify something: liberty. The inspired principles of the Constitution that sought to limit corruption by limiting the power of men need to be revitalized and applied. No President, whether Trump or Biden, should have the power to unilaterally do what these men and their predecessors did. And a free press, one whose purpose is to inquire and think, not to fawn and support their party leaders, is essential for that purpose.

The abuse of power in states that move toward autocracy always ends up affecting religious liberty. Standing for an accountable, limited government and fighting its abuses while we can is needed to prevent the eventual decline of religious liberty, for religion is one of the dreaded wildcards that can provide information and viewpoints out of control of autocrats. Religion needs liberty. Economic prosperity and human rights require liberty. Corruption and graft are enemies of liberty. These issues are all connected. I hope you'll move from being embarrassed to standing for liberty.

Anonymous said...

July 2 at 1:20 am: "This comment has been removed by a blog administrator"

Does that strike anyone else as ironic, or is it just me?

Anonymous said...

OK. So he may not have been principled or very self aware but at least he was righteous as hell.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Sorry, rants using profanity are quickly deleted. My posted requirement for "civil, intelligent comments" preferably free of insults should make that no surprise, and there's nothing ironic about it.

My personal blog is not a platform for the free expression of the public, but my personal corner for my writings. I've been criticized for allowing anonymous comments at all -- many bloggers don't. Not allowing written certain kinds of comments from others where I write is like not allowing graffiti on my home. It does not curtail anyone's ability to express themselves in major media channels or in other public places. You can start a blog here at Blogger and write all you want or spray graffiti on your own door, windows, driveway, etc. But if you want to take advantage of my liberal acceptance of comments, even from total strangers, don't drop an f-bomb, as the deleted anonymous voice did. Try to say something relevant to the post with a touch of civility.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I'm familiar with the claims about Hunter Biden and Burisma, largely because:

(1) the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post have been reporting on those claims for many years, and

(2) I read the report released last fall by Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley -- you know, the report detailing the results of the investigation of Biden conducted by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Where do you get your information, Jeff?

Judging by your screed, I suspect you've got some junk food in your information diet. And your comparison of content moderation by privately-owned platforms to government censorship in China is laughable.

-- OK

Anonymous said...

I actually fully support your right to remove whatever comments you want from your blog. I just think it's odd that you don't want Facebook or Twitter to have the same privilege. If you want to post things on their platform, abide by their rules. If not, you're welcome to create your own platform, as some have done. And I suspect if I made a sufficiently vulgar blog on blogger, it would get taken down, as it should.

Anonymous said...

Glad I could play a small part in revealing your hypocrisy, Jeff. I'm the one who dropped the f-bomb. My (now gone) thought was that censorship can only come from a government, not from an individual like yourself, let alone a corporation.
I find it incredibly odd that my use of a couple of everyday epithets set you right off your kettle and into the land of Hunter Biden conspiracy theories, of all things. It's a surprise to see your true colors on full display.

Anonymous said...

As for whoever fed you that info:
Get out! For unusual conspiracy knowledge you'll only unfortunately regret, so end legitimizationof fallacies!

Jeff Lindsay said...

F-bombs get deleted regardless of what else they say. Posts using profanity twice, as you did, are especially likely to be deleted.

Censorship can come from large corporations or groups of corporations working as allies of the government. That's what happens in many Marxist nations today. When a story would be unfavorable to the chosen party or candidate and media sources and social media giants actively work to suppress that story and stop it from being shared, that's censorship. The massive, near monopolistic nature of Big Tech and their close alliance with government needs to be considered before saying that there can be no censorship when companies just enforce their rules. They are going far beyond that.

So OK, are you telling me that when the revelation came out about the emails on Hunter Biden's laptop, the shocking details, that you saw them in your normal newsfeed, and that the rest of us could also see them without any apparent concerted efforts to block that news? Or did you notice that the New York Post, a major US newspaper, was simply banned from Twitter after posting a bombshell story about the details in the emails on the laptop showing strong evidence of Russian collusion, but not with Trump. Facebook in concert worked to downplay the reach of that story. What should have been major story on every news channel was not allowed to have much influence on the election.

Stories that challenge the Party's line continue to be downplayed and sometimes are made almost invisible, as I've seen on Facebook with posts from a family member who has been trying to figure out why nobody seems to see or notice posts on serious topics, but she gets tons of feedback on fluffy things. I participated in some of those tests and was amazed and how effectively things were hidden when they didn't carry the "right" message. There are no published rules that explain this. It's deliberate information control by a corporation that operates hand-in-glove with government to achieve political aims. Read the Time story carefully and tell me that this was innocent, normal behavior.

Anonymous said...

Hunter Biden has no influence in my life. However, I don't remember seeing any great concern on your part, Jeff, when right wingers including many Mormons, tried to stop votes from being counted, threatened to kill elected officials and vandalized the seat of our democracy. Or when some states started disenfranchising certain of their voters.

Was that an oversight or do your priorities need some adjusting?

Jeff Lindsay said...

It is the deliberate collaboration between government and Big Tech to control information that indicates that what they are doing is not just a private company making private decisions. For details on one case in point, consider the actions of the California Secretary of State working with Big Tech and the Biden campaign to suppress unwanted videos. See "Report: Big Tech Colluded With California Democrats To Censor Americans" by Jordan Davidson, April 27, 2021. This aligns well with the plotting reveled in the Time.com article.

Ken Cluff said...

Insightful article. May the practice of "fortifying" the democracy and those who support it get what they so justly deserve.

Jeff Lindsay said...

I recognize that those who rely on the New York Times and similar sources that were glad participants in the “fortification” referred to by the Time.com article will not recognize the extent of the cancelling occurring and of the impact on speech. They will read the spin from NYT and believe the the Burisma issue is Russian misinformation. They will accept similar excuses for the bombshells from Tony Bobulinski and the justification for suppressing that story. But the reality of aggressive information control now has become so severe and so threatening to our Republic that I hope NYT devotees will look at the issues more openly. I wish to warn, not to push for one corrupt group of politicians over another.

John Robertson said...

Great article, Jeff. I do not doubt your first hand description of life in China. You are keen to see the emergent parallels in the country I love.

John Robertson

Anonymous said...

Shocking degree of nonsense on display here, Jeff. A new low.

John Robertson said...

Nonsense comes of not anticipating future consequences of present behavior.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for adding to the pile, John. Whatever that's supposed to mean, it's not helpful at all, nor is it even true. Jeff's been programmed to believe something very strange. Sometimes these thoughts rear their head, but these comments of his are a real doozy.

John Robertson said...

My Friend Anonymous,
It really is true that correctly or incorrectly anticipating the future has consequences, positive or negative. Appropriate anticipation of what is ahead is true when we are in the moment of driving, for example. Other people's choices matter too.

Having lost a wife and daughter to someone who chose to drink and then drive affected me. There really is such a thing as good and bad choices. The future effects of current choices do matter, after all.

I can only hope that I have explained what my previous post was supposed to have meant, and that it might have been at least somewhat helpful, and that there is at least some truth to it.

My best,
John Robertson

Anonymous said...

Still doesn't make sense. Jeff's over here revealing his true colors as Q-anon adjacent conspiracy believer, and you're making unrelated statements. Sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Interesting acronym, anon @7:41. You got me.

Anonymous said...

LMAO!

Thank you, 9:55.

Anonymous said...

Jeff's post isn't embarrassing. When the social media platforms have a liberal bias, then there is a bigger chance that conservative leaning news stories will be labeled as disinformation. And the Flat Earth Society's Facebook page lives on and not a single post there has been removed as disinformation (my son subscribed me as a joke). And why is that? Liberals nor conservatives don't have a horse in the race with anything that deals with flat earth. Talk about mountains of disinformation, go check out Flat Earth's Facebook page.

Some of Pager University's videos were banned on YouTube but yet I have not seen a single post removed about conservatives being racist. I'm conservative leaning and I don't know a single racist person nor do I recall racist slurs being said by anyone I know but somehow it is okay to post and spread disinformation that conservatives are racists. In fact polling clearly shows that liberals and conservatives are not racist as was evidenced when President Obama was running for his first term, 94% of Americans said that they would vote for an African American as president and in that same poll (you will recall that Mitt Romney was also running), 74% of Americans would vote for a Mormon as president.

And then the juvenile responses with their overt and covert f-bombs and then declaring how ironic while they give them selves high fives. Feels like high school.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Steve you seem real cool we should hang out some time. I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

Anonymous said...

Steve, Jeff's post is embarrassing because it falsely claims the mainstream media didn't cover the Bobulinski allegations, because it uses cheap rhetoric to conflate censorship by private companies with censorship by the Chinese government, because it treats the perfectly legitimate "conspiracy" of Mike Podhorzer et al as somehow nefarious, because its tone is ludicrously hyperbolic, and because it fundamentally misunderstands freedom of speech and the First Amendment. I'm surprised to see you defending it.

-- OK

John Robertson said...

Dear Friend OK,
I still submit that the future effects of current choices do matter — really do matter.

This is a true statement solely on grounds that where you and I and are today IS in the main, a consequence of choices we made in the past — and and choices we will make in the future, on into perpetuity.

Consider the effects of saying blacks are evil because they are black; or that whites are evil because they were born white.
Consider the effects of saying Jews are evil because they are Jews; or that Muslims are evil because they are Muslims;

— or that Mormons are misguided because they are Mormons; or that atheists are misguided because they are atheists. Even at this level, F-bombs are effectively manifestations of the same paradigm of polarization. At least I find them distracting. They are hardly necessary for decent argumentation.

Imputing sub-humanity (or anything like it) to other humans ends up in sadness, or worse, terror, and at worst, death.

John Robertson

Anonymous said...

Why do I not hear concern when the Mormon church throws out faithful people who dare to speak their minds? Is this not a concern to you when it's not just their temporal lives that are at stake but their eternal lives as well?

Anonymous said...

John, you write "that where you and I are today IS in the main, a consequence of choices we made in the past — and choices we will make in the future, on into perpetuity."

I'm not sure why you addressed those words to me, but I feel I should point that they're not true.

I do, however, agree with your claims about racism, religious bigotry, and f-bombs.

-- OK

John Robertson said...

Dear Friend Anonymous,

Your well-form question is excellent, and certainly deserves an answer. I'll try to do so by inference, using the form of your question, but by substituting corresponding words:

Why do I not hear concern when the leadership of the Chinese government applies severe penalties to its citizens for sharing unacceptable information by speaking their mind? It this not a concern to you, when their temporal lives are at stake, but in so many cases, their very lives are also in danger as well? (pace the Uighurs.) After all, the country must be indivisible, and must be kept so for reasons of national security.

Why do I not hear concern when the State of Utah suspends the drivers licenses of its authentic citizens who dare drive when drunk? Is this not a concern to you when it's not just their temporal livelihoods that are at stake, but the temporal well-being of their families as well? How, after all, is this fair?

Why do I not hear concern when the LDS Church throws out faithful members who dare speak their own minds by attracting and then aggregating public followings, proselytizing other faithful Church members, thereby putting not only their temporal lives at stake, but their eternal lives as well. These behaviors should never constitute grounds for removing such faithful members from the rolls of the Church.

Warmly,
John Robertson

Anonymous said...

Way to dodge the issue warmly John.

John Robertson said...

A little projection there? Disappointed in you. If that's the best you can do, I'm done.

Anonymous said...

Bye warmly John! I feel like I never truly understood you (but only because of the way you tried to communicate ideas (ineffectively)).

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection, I recognize that your trusted sources have told you that it was the darkest moment in American history, etc., but doesn't it strike you as odd that this all-important and dangerous event is the only "armed insurrection" where the only people actually armed were federal agents, and the only person murdered was an unarmed woman, one of the protesters shot by a federal agent whose name still hasn't been disclosed, and where the total damage to property was about $100,000 --- a drop in the bucket compared to the $2 billion of more damage done by leftist mobs during the summer of "peaceful protests" that destroyed federal property and private property.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @7:14, you need to stop listening to your foolish sources, and stop believing in the Q conspiracy foolishness. There's still time for you to save yourself.
Watch the January 6th footage for yourself, directly from the source, not from your filters. You will see they were villains, through and through.

Anonymous said...

Though I think it was a sad moment in our history (almost more embarrassing than sad), calling the Jan 6 events an “armed insurrection is akin to calling a pickup game the NBA finals.

My opinion is those who participated chose Trump over America that day.

Anonymous said...

Anon @12:11, watch the actual, unedited footage and reconsider. NOT from news channels. Go right to the source. You owe yourself that. The truth deserves to be seen. Please!
Dangerous, blood-thirsty individuals tried to stage a coup, some of whom were egged on by elected Mormon politicians. They should be ashamed, and they should be prosecuted. This is why we have a constitution in the first place. Mike Lee, Chris Stewart, and so many others deserve to face the consequences of their words.

Anonymous said...

So bloodthirsty that they forgot to properly arm themselves? A coup attempt that ended in selfies and unforced dispersement? If you want to see a real coup attempt and bloodthirsty-ness look at the recent events in Haiti. Look to most south and Central American countries within the past 50 years. What happened at our capital was a demonstration that got out of control. It’s why our founding fathers were so afraid of pure democracy. Mobs often foment and get unreasonable if left to themselves.

Anonymous said...

Anon @11:47, you clearly haven't watched the footage (except from your filtered, skewed sources). Stop twisting words. It wasn't a "demonstration that got out of control" and your name-checking the founding fathers is nothing but a good-ole-boy Mormon dog whistle. There's so much more to US history and the Constitution than you've been taught.

Jeff Lindsay said...

OK said, "Jeff's post is embarrassing because it falsely claims the mainstream media didn't cover the Bobulinski allegations." OK, seriously, did you not notice that Twitter and Facebook's reaction to the Tony Bobulinski story was to ban links to the New York Post story? People quickly learned that sharing that story might be harmful to their online status. After taking flak from some key people in Congress and millions of outraged Americans, they later backed down to some degree, while the media circled their wagons to downplay the story, give it as little attention as possible, and spin it as a conspiracy theory or lie that had been debunked. NPR, for example, reported that it had been proven false. Only after the election did NPR admit that their report was incorrect. See "NPR issues stunning mea culpa after claiming Hunter Biden laptop story was ‘discredited’ by intelligence."

If you have false memories of CNN providing coverage as the story broke (no, they kept silent as millions were turning in their ballots), please see "CNN contributors say Tony Bobulinski interview is newsworthy as network continues to ignore: There has been a near blackout of coverage of Bobulinski’s shocking claims about Joe Biden." Or you can do your own search at CNN.com to see how thoroughly they shared the story and discussed its many implications in follow up reports. Maybe it's just a system bug, but my searches have turned up something less than a plethora of reports on the Bobulinski story.

So help me out, OK. If CNN didn't cover the story, if Facebook and Twitter banned it at a critical time, if NPR and other media giants spread the lie that it was all discredited, and if it was given essentially zero traction by the mainstream media before the election and vigorously opposed by the social media giants, can you explain why my claims of media silence, suppression, and censorship of one of the most important stories relevant to the election are "embarrassing" and false? The fact that some conservatives saw the story and that it was not completely and instantly erased everywhere does not mean that the media did not successfully prevent many tens of millions from seeing a story that might have influenced the election. The election was fortified, as Time.com reported in a story that seems you are still unwilling to acknowledge. It's a bombshell worthy of much more attention.

Prior to the Bobulinski bombshell that CNN completely ignored, CNN did their best to quell emerging stories about Hunter Biden's laptop by claiming the stories were disreputable, manufactured, perhaps part of Russian disinformation, and just a silly embarrassment, clearly acting as the Party's propaganda arm and not as an actual source of journalism. See their cover-up in "The anatomy of the New York Post's dubious Hunter Biden story, Oct. 18, 2020 -- 11 days before Bobulinski gave powerful evidence confirming key parts of the vitally important story that CNN was working to downplay. Their response: silence. Are you sure you meant that this story was "covered"? Or did you mean "covered-up"? If so, we may agree on something.

Jeff Lindsay said...

The problem is that many people think they know all about a story and have seen it "covered" when what they have seen is a propaganda piece from the PR arm of the Party aimed at assuring people that there's nothing to worry about. Being told that some crazy deplorables are making false claims about Hunter Biden's laptop is not journalism. It is not "coverage." For that, you have to get out of your controlled media comfort zone.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:56

You’re right, I’ve been duped. Now I’m outraged. What do I do about it?

Anonymous said...

Anon @7:17, you speak out against the representatives who refused to certify the election, you speak out against those who spread Q lies, you speak up when loved ones spread false information, you call Jeff on the carpet when he starts spouting Fox News and NY Post Bobulinski dreck.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, Jeff. You're deluded and spreading lies. Not one single conspiracy theory in all of recorded history has been proven true. At no point in all of recorded time has someone from the outside looked in and formulated a convoluted theory about evil machinations only for it to later be proven true. Never. Not once. Not this time, especially. I can't believe you've fallen for this frothing Fox news nonsense. You should be ashamed of yourself and you should apologize for spreading lies, but I know you don't have it in you.

Anonymous said...

“Not one single conspiracy theory in all of recorded history has been proven true.“

What about the coronavirus coming from a Chinese lab instead of a bat?

Anonymous said...

Or Watergate. . .

Anonymous said...

Or Iran Contra. . .

Anonymous said...

Or the government hiding evidence of UFOs

Anonymous said...

Some others. . .

https://www.businessinsider.com/5-conspiracy-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-true-2015-6

Anonymous said...

For yet another conspiracy theory that turned out to be true, see here.

-- OK

Anonymous said...

Those aren't conspiracy theories that have proven to be true. They don't past the basic sniff tests. https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4416

Anonymous said...

From the link above:

"First, it must be specific enough to be falsifiable. This is the fundamental requirement that every scientific theory must comply with to be considered valid. By way of example, compare a vague version of the chemtrails conspiracy theory to a specific disprovable claim. You can't just say "Some airplanes spray some unknown chemical." That's so vague that you could claim you were proven correct the next time a crop duster sprays a field. But if you say "United Airlines tail number NC13327 is equipped to spray VX nerve gas, and that one right there is spraying it right now," then that's a claim that can be disproven with a single inspection. You make a claim that specific, you're proven right, I'll stand behind you 100%.

Second, it must be known to the conspiracy theorist before it's discovered by the media or law enforcement. Simply repeating what someone else's proper investigation has led them to does not constitute developing a theory. Woodward and Bernstein did an intense investigation and put together evidence bit by bit until they had the whole story of the Watergate scandal; at no point did they sit back in their chairs, propose an elaborate conspiracy, then watch as every detail unfolded exactly as they predicted. If you want to impress me with your conspiracy theory, you have to discover it (in detail) before other investigators piece together the proof and make it public for you. Otherwise you're just claiming credit for reading the newspaper."

Nothing you listed passes those two seemingly easy steps.

Anonymous said...

OK provided a very good as well as funny example from the LDS community. Your grandiose claim has very little chance of being true.

Anonymous said...

In his reply at 9:39, Jeff writes as follows:

Twitter and Facebook's reaction to the Tony Bobulinski story was to ban links to the New York Post story[….] After taking flak from some key people in Congress and millions of outraged Americans, they later backed down to some degree, while the media circled their wagons to downplay the story, give it as little attention as possible, and spin it as a conspiracy theory or lie that had been debunked. NPR, for example, reported that it had been proven false. Only after the election did NPR admit that their report was incorrect.

A few comments, from my own perspective as a former newspaper reporter and editor:

[to ban links to the New York Post story] Twitter and Facebook were perfectly within their rights here, just as Fox News is perfectly within its rights not to give a platform to Ilhan Omar, and just as Jeff is perfectly within his rights to ban anti-Mormon links from Mormanity. Jeff might argue that censoring the Bobulinski story impoverishes the marketplace of ideas, but I would argue just the opposite. As Steve Bannon and others have made clear, one of the purposes of the Trumpist propaganda machine is not just to spread lies, but to undermine people's trust in reputable sources and their belief in the possibility of ascertaining truth at all. ("Does two plus two really equal four? Some people say it equals five. Who can really say for sure?")

The public sphere is not improved by the deliberate injection of cunning half-truths and blatant falsehoods. Jeff might disagree with me on this, and that's fine — but Twitter and Facebook do agree with me, and when it comes to their own policies, it's their call to make, not Jeff’s…

[flak from some key people in Congress] … and it's certainly not the government's call to make. If we truly want an independent media, we should condemn this sort of pressure by "key people in Congress." Do we really want powerful politicians pressuring social media platforms into spreading stories that powerful politicians want them to spread? Do we want them similarly pressuring Fox News and Newsmax? Or should the government only exert such pressure against one side?

[the media circled their wagons] The phrase "circled their wagons" implies that the media were working together to shape their responses to the Bobulinski accusations. It seems to me much more likely that they were independently responding to the suspicious timing and poor sourcing of the story.

[downplay the story…] There was every reason for professional journalists to be suspicious of the Bobulinski story. I can totally sympathize with NBC's description of its efforts to corroborate Bobulinski's claims. I would also note here the conservative Wall Street Journal's analysis of those claims. The Journal concluded that "Text messages and emails related to the venture that were provided to the Journal by Mr. Bobulinski, mainly from the spring and summer of 2017, don't show either Hunter Biden or James Biden discussing a role for Joe Biden in the venture." The professional media rightly suspected a classic October Surprise, designed solely to generate negative headlines, rather than a legitimate story.

to be continued….

Anonymous said...

If I may continue:

[NPR … reported that it had been proven false] No, NPR did not erroneously say the allegations had been "proven false." NPR originally said the allegations had been "discredited by the intelligence community," and their correction reads, "A previous version of this story said U.S. intelligence had discredited the laptop story. U.S. intelligence officials have not made a statement to that effect."

Read carefully. Any experienced journalist will recognize the game likely being played here: NPR initially relied on some off-the-record intelligence community sources who said, "We spooks think the laptop story is bogus," and then, immediately after NPR ran the story, some intelligence community public relations official made an angry phone call to NPR and said no, the intelligence community has not issued any such determination.

NPR's initial claim could be perfectly true, and it could simultaneously be perfectly true that "U.S. intelligence officials have not made a statement to that effect." The distinction is between determination and making a statement on that determination. It's the difference between me telling someone off the record that I eat too much ice cream and me issuing a statement that I eat too much ice cream.

Thus NPR's statement is not an admission of error on its part, much less a "stunning mea culpa," as the New York Post called it. It's merely a statement that the intelligence community has not "made a statement" backing up NPR's claim.

[Only after the election] The implication here is that NPR published a falsehood before the election, when the truth would have mattered to the outcome, and then, "only after the election," it published the correction. But that is not at all what happened. The original NPR claim was made on March 31, 2021 — five months after the election — and the story was corrected the very next day, on April 1. To present this as evidence of as some sinister effort to influence the election is, of course, silly.

In the second paragraph of his post, Jeff writes, in support of his claim about just how badly the professional media downplayed the Bobulinski story, that "my searches have turned up something less than a plethora of reports on the Bobulinski story." Jeff then links to a page claiming that a CNN site search for "Bobulinski" "did not match any documents."

Zero hits! That seems pretty damning. But then, we all know that one should always try a variety of search methods before drawing conclusions. I searched cnn.com for "hunter+biden" and that search brought up more than a thousand hits (1,312 to be exact), many of which led to CNN stories on the Bobulinski accusations, including several published before the election. So what is happening here is not that CNN is burying the story, exactly, but that for whatever reason CNN is leaving Bobulinski’s name out of the relevant stories and meta tags. (I have no idea why CNN would do this.)

Jeff is certainly right that CNN downplayed the Bobulinski accusations, but given their questionable provenance, lack of independent sourcing, and Rudy Giuliani’s refusal to share more than selected excerpts from the emails, CNN was right to downplay those accusations. Any decent editor or producer would instantly recognize the signs of a classic October Surprise and, in the absence of any independent corroboration, frame the reporting in those terms. What Jeff calls conspiracy and censorship, I would call professional journalistic judgment.

Finally, given that the Wall Street Journal came to essentially the same conclusion about Bobulinski as the Washington Post, I would say that what distinguishes media outlets who took his accusations seriously from those who did not is not their political leanings but their professionalism.

— OK

Anonymous said...

Asking Jeff to read carefully is rather humorous and ironical to me. The only thing he reads carefully are the nonexistent evidences in his 19th century bible fanfic known as the Book of Mormon. Everything else he's already got figured out. Dude has all the answers on all matters spiritual and monetary. It's a wonder they ain't made him prophet yet.