Leftist Censors to Support Communist Line


John R. Houk, Blog Editor

© April 26, 2020

 

A FEE article points that Youtube owned by Google who is owned by Alphabet is preparing to censor any video that does not tow the Communist World Health Organization (WHO) line on COVID-19. FEE author Dan Sanchez points impending Youtube censorship is something you can nothing about because it is a privately owned company. Meaning the government can’t censor Youtube, but Youtube can censor whomever they please. Even if that means favoring Communist propaganda over truth.

 

YOU – a private citizen – can abandon Youtube during censorship to more friendly video platforms such as Vimeo, Dailymotion, DTube, BitChute, Brighteon, Liveleak, etc.

 

I’m also cross posting an Activist Post article that not only touches on Youtube censorship but examines some of the WHO’s Liberty-robbing demands (e.g. no alcohol during COVID), WHO bad-science idiocy to support Communist China, local police persecuting teenager for posting their Instagram experience on Instagram AND Harvard upset closed Public Schools are allowing homeschooled students to bypass Leftist-society brainwashing.

 

JRH 4/26/20

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YouTube to Ban Content That Contradicts WHO on COVID-19, Despite the UN Agency’s Catastrophic Track Record of Misinformation

The policy represents a betrayal of the pioneering platform’s founding principles.

 

Susan Wojcicki – Image credit: TechCrunch on Flickr | CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

 

By Dan Sanchez

April 23, 2020

Foundation for Economic Education

 

Soon, YouTubers will be silenced if they don’t agree with the United Nations on public health. As The Verdict reports:

 

YouTube will ban any content containing medical advice that contradicts World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus recommendations, according to CEO Susan Wojcicki.

 

Wojcicki announced the policy on CNN on Sunday. WHO is an agency of the UN, charged with overseeing global public health. The Verdict report continues:

 

Wojcicki said that the Google-owned video streaming platform would be “removing information that is problematic”.

 

She told host Brian Stelter that this would include “anything that is medically unsubstantiated”.

 

“So people saying ‘take vitamin C; take turmeric, we’ll cure you’, those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she said.

 

“Anything that would go against World Health Organisation recommendations would be a violation of our policy.”

 

While the decision has been welcomed by many, some have accused the streaming giant of censorship.

 

To be clear, for American YouTubers, this kind of censorship is not a violation of their constitutional right of free speech. The First Amendment protects citizens against government censorship, and YouTube is a private platform. Were the US government to force the private owners of YouTube to continue broadcasting certain videos against their will, that would be much more a violation of the First Amendment.

 

While YouTube’s decision is not unconstitutional, it is unwise, exhibiting far too much deference to central authority in general and to WHO especially.

 

WHO’s Track Record on the Issue

 

The World Health Organization is far from infallible. Its handling of information throughout the coronavirus emergency has been a long string of failures. As policy analyst Ross Marchand has recounted here on FEE last week, WHO failed to raise the alarm as the coronavirus rapidly spread through China during the crucial early period of the global crisis in January of this year. Then, as Marchand wrote:

 

The global bureaucracy uncritically reported that Chinese authorities had seen “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus” on January 14, just one day after acknowledging the first case outside of China (in Thailand). WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for his “political commitment” and “political leadership” despite these repeated, reprehensible attempts to keep the world in the dark about the coronavirus.

 

President Donald Trump recently announced that the US would cease its funding of WHO over its many coronavirus-related failures.

 

And it is not just American conservatives who have been critical. As FEE’s Jon Miltimore wrote a month ago:

 

Our World in Data, an online publication based at the University of Oxford, announced on Tuesday that it had stopped relying on World Health Organization (WHO) data for its models, citing errors and other factors.

 

This raises an interesting question: would YouTube censor Oxford if it posted a video on the coronavirus issue with recommendations based on data that contradicts WHO’s?

 

As Miltimore wrote, “Recent reports suggest US intelligence agencies relied heavily on WHO in its national assessment of the COVID-19 threat.”

 

This is gravely concerning because bad information leads to bad policies. This is true not only for government policy (like mayors, governors, and heads of state deciding to largely shut down the economy in their jurisdiction), but for the policies of private decision-makers like doctors, business-owners, and individuals making decisions about the health and overall lives of themselves and their families.

 

Indeed, WHO’s misinformation early in the crisis squandered the most precious part of the world’s prep time, which likely crippled the public’s responses and may have cost many lives.

 

YouTube risks compounding that tragedy by now insisting that the public’s response to the coronavirus emergency conforms even more strictly with WHO’s dubious pronouncements. Wojcicki wants to protect WHO’s recommendations from contradiction. But WHO’s recommendations are necessarily informed by WHO’s information, which has proven to be extremely suspect. Sheltering untrustworthy pronouncements risks amplifying their dangerous influence.

 

Why Censorship Is Counter-Productive

 

So, it is ironic that YouTube justifies this policy in the name of protecting the public from dangerous misinformation.

 

It is true that many videos contradicting official pronouncements are themselves full of medical quackery and other misleading falsehoods. But, censorship is the worst way to combat them.

 

For one, censorship can actually boost the perceived credibility of an untruth. Believers interpret it as validation: evidence that they are onto a truth that is feared by the powers-that-be. And they use that interpretation as a powerful selling point in their underground evangelism.

 

Censorship also insulates falsehoods from debunking, allowing them to circulate largely uncriticized in the dark corners of public discourse.

 

This makes censorship especially counterproductive because it is open-air debunking that is one of the most effective ways to counter misinformation and bad ideas. As Justice Louis Brandeis expressed in a US Supreme Court opinion, the ideal remedy for bad speech, “is more speech, not enforced silence.”

 

Again, YouTube has a right to set the terms of service of its own website. But the general principle applies here as well: the truth has a much better fighting chance with a proliferation of competing voices than with inquisitorial efforts to circumscribe discourse within a narrow orthodoxy.

 

A Systematic Problem

 

Moreover, WHO’s track record of misinformation is not exceptional among government organizations in neither its degree of error nor in its disastrous impact. Governments and the experts they employ not only get things wrong but have frequently proven to be fundamentally wrong-headed on big questions.

 

To take another example in the realm of public health, it is increasingly widely recognized that the high-carb, low-fat diet recommendations, as depicted by the USDA’s “Food Pyramid,” and successfully promoted for decades to the population by the US government and the most respected authorities on dietary science and epidemiology, was basically backward. Science journalist Gary Taub tells the whole story of bad science, corrupt influence, and obtuse orthodoxy in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories.

 

Again, bad information leads to bad advice which leads to bad choices. So how much illness and even death was caused by generations of Americans uncritically swallowing “official” diet advice and by Americans largely only having one choice on the “menu” of diet advice?

 

The more we centralize decision-making and the management of actionable information, the wider the scope of the damage caused by any single error. But if we let a thousand errors bloom along with a thousand truths, any single error will be circumscribed in its damage and more likely to be corrected through experience and counter-argument.

 

Knowledge Problems

 

Champions of policies like YouTube’s like to cast the issue in simplistic terms: as a black-and-white battle between respectable experts and wild-eyed crackpots. But the issue is more complex than that.

 

It is just as often a matter of overweening technocrats making pronouncements on matters that are way beyond them in complexity, that involve factors that fall way outside their domain of expertise, and that drastically impact the lives of millions or even billions. For example: a few dozen epidemiologists, with limited understanding of economics and a great many other relevant disciplines, holding sway over whole economies.

 

It is also a matter of dissenting experts being silenced along with the actual crackpots.

 

And, perhaps most fundamentally, it is a matter of weakening the individual’s ability to discern between truth and falsehood, good advice and bad, by denying them the responsibility and practice of doing so in the first place—of turning self-reliant, free men and women into irresponsible wards to be led by the nose like dumb, deferential livestock by their “expert” caretakers.

 

That is not where we are, but that is the direction that the rigid enforcement of centralized orthodoxies tends toward.

 

A Challenge

 

Let’s choose a different direction. YouTube, do better. Trust your users more. Treat them like human beings with all the capacities for learning, growth, discourse, and cooperation that are the distinctive glories of being human.

 

After all, that is what made you great in the first place. Your very name is derived from your original faith in the individual. YouTube (a crowd-sourced, individual-driven, pluralistic platform) is what made the boob tube (centralized, institutionalized, and homogenizing broadcast television) largely obsolete. As such, you had a starring role in the internet’s democratization of information and learning.

 

Don’t betray that legacy. Not now. Not when we need open platforms for the free flow of information and discourse more than ever.

 

Dan Sanchez is the Director of Content at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and the editor of FEE.org.

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Coronavirus Response: Ban Alcohol, Free Speech, and Homeschooling (This Week’s Dystopian News)

 

Freedom Gagged

 

By Simon Black, Sovereign Man

April 24, 2020

Activist Post

 

For this week’s round-up of articles, we’re taking a look at some of the things the government thinks should be banned in response to coronavirus.

 

WHO urges governments to ban alcohol during lockdown

 

Last week we talked about how the World Health Organization was coming for your sick family members.

 

This week, they want your booze.

 

WHO says that alcohol compromises the immune system. And since we are fighting a virus, they think that prohibition is necessary.

 

In fact, alcohol restrictions can be justified by governments for the same reason coronavirus lockdowns are needed.

 

WHO notes that even in good times, alcohol is the cause of major health issues, addiction, and death. Alcohol accounts for 3 million deaths per year worldwide– far more than the coronavirus.

 

So it almost seems like WHO’s argument for banning alcohol has little to do with the coronavirus.

 

If it’s all about good health and saving lives, why not mandate a WHO-approved diet and exercise regimen for the masses as well? Why not ban sugar while they’re at it?

 

Where does the madness stop?

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Not that you can disagree with the WHO anyhow…

 

Speaking of which, it’s difficult to even disagree with the WHO anymore; YouTube’s CEO indicated yesterday that her video platform would delete any content that goes against official WHO guidance.

 

Specifically she told CNN: “Anything that goes against WHO recommendations would be a violation of our policy.”

 

Bear in mind that the WHO was totally incompetent, especially in the early days of this pandemic. Here’s a quick review:

 

December 31: China first notifies WHO of the outbreak

 

January 5: WHO “does not recommend any specific measures for travellers” and “advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on China”

January 23: Even as China begins its lockdown of Wuhan and the virus spreads across Asia, WHO still insists “it is still too early to declare a PHEIC” [Public Health Emergency of International Concern].

January 30: WHO still “does not recommend any travel or trade restriction” and praises the Chinese government’s “commitment to transparency.”

February 27: After many countries began introducing travel restrictions, WHO lamented that these restrictions would lead to “unnecessary interference with international traffic, including negative repercussions on the tourism sector.”

March 11: After more than 100,000 cases in dozens of countries worldwide, WHO finally declares this a global pandemic.

Oh I almost forgot: the WHO is the same organization that made a brutal murderer– former Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe– one of its GOODWILL ambassadors! You can’t make this stuff up.

 

And now YouTube wants to ban content that disagrees with an organization that is corrupt and incompetent.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

 

Police threaten arrest for Instagram post about coronavirus

 

Amyiah Cohoon is a high school sophomore who went on a band trip to Disney World in March.

 

When she came back home she developed a fever and dry cough and doctors “concluded that her symptoms matched those of COVID-19.”

 

Amyiah posted a picture from the Disney trip on Instagram with a caption telling her friends she had Covid-19 and would not be able to see anyone for a while she quarantined herself.

 

After a short stay in the hospital, Amyiah posted a picture from her stay, again with a caption that she was recovering from Covid-19.

 

The next day, a Sheriff’s Deputy knocked on the family’s door. He demanded that Amyiah delete the Instagram posts, or else he would cite the family for disorderly conduct and “start taking people to jail.”

 

The family offered to show the Deputy the documents from the hospital proving that doctors believed Amyiah had Covid-19. The Deputy was not interested.

 

He said the Sheriff told him to make sure the posts were deleted, because the county officially had no confirmed cases of Covid-19.

 

Intimidated, and threatened with jail, Amyiah compiled and deleted the posts.

 

Turns out it was the school superintendent who contacted the Sheriff about the Instagram post who claimed it was Amyiah’s “foolish means to get attention.”

 

Click here to read the lawsuit.

 

Harvard professor: parents can’t be trusted with their kids

 

With American schools closed, homeschooling is the new normal for many families. This trend was already increasing, and will probably be accelerated by fears of the continuing spread of coronavirus.

 

But a Harvard professor Elizabeth Bartholet, the faculty director of the Child Advocacy Program at the law school, is calling for a ban on homeschooling.

 

She says that homeschooling, “not only violates children’s right to a meaningful education and their right to be protected from potential child abuse, but may keep them from contributing positively to a democratic society.”

 

She adds that a large percentage of homeschool families are driven by conservative Christian beliefs, which she seems to think constitutes child abuse. . .

 

Professor Bartholet says that some parents are deliberately trying to keep their kids from the mainstream culture taught in schools which includes “democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints.”

 

Yep. She’s all about tolerance of other people’s viewpoints. As long as those viewpoints conform with her own. Otherwise she’s not tolerant.

 

It is hard to imagine that this is a real person, and not a caricature villain created by Ayn Rand.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Source: The Daily Bell

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Leftist Censors to Support Communist Line

John R. Houk, Blog Editor

© April 25, 2020

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YouTube to Ban Content That Contradicts WHO on COVID-19, Despite the UN Agency’s Catastrophic Track Record of Misinformation

 

ABOUT FEE

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Coronavirus Response: Ban Alcohol, Free Speech, and Homeschooling (This Week’s Dystopian News)

 

Activist Post – ALTERNATIVE INDEPENDENT NEWS – Creative Commons 2019

 

Why America’s Founders Didn’t Want a Democracy


Gary M. Galles provides a book review of Liberty in Peril: Democracy and Power in American History by Randall Holcombe. The Holcombe book and review author Galles provide a civics lesson certain to drive Dem Party members and their MSM propaganda machine nuts as it explains the Founders disdain for a government by democracy as opposed by a Republic by consensus.

 

JRH 12/21/19

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Blog Editor: Rather than capitulate to Facebook censorship by abandoning the platform, I choose to post and share until the Leftist censors ban me. Recently, the Facebook censorship tactic I’ve experienced is a couple of Group shares then jailed under the false accusation of posting too fast. So I ask those that read this, to combat censorship by sharing blog and Facebook posts with your friends or Groups you belong to.

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Why America’s Founders Didn’t Want a Democracy

In his book “Liberty in Peril,” Randall Holcombe challenges the presumption that liberty and democracy are complementary.

 

Constitution

 

Book Review by Gary M. Galles

December 17, 2019

Foundation for Economic Education

 

When I took history and government in school, many critical issues were misrepresented, given short shrift, or even ignored entirely. And those lacunae undermined my ability to adequately understand many things. Randall Holcombe’s new book, Liberty in Peril: Democracy and Power in American History, fills in some very substantial gaps, particularly with regard to American constitutionalism and how it has morphed from protecting liberty to advancing democracy at the expense of liberty. It does so with a host of novel and important insights rather than the disinterest generated by the books I suffered through in school.

 

The Role of Government 

Holcombe gets right to the main point:

 

The role of government as [America’s founders] saw it, was to protect the rights of individuals, and the biggest threat to individual liberty was the government itself. So they designed a government with constitutionally limited powers, constrained to carry out only those activities specifically allowed by the Constitution. This book describes how the fundamental principle underlying American government has been transformed from protecting individual liberty to carrying out the will of the people, as revealed by a democratic decision-making process. (p. xxii)

 

Holcombe begins by laying out the case that “the Founders had no intention of creating a democracy, in the sense of a government that would be guided by popular opinion,” (p. 5) in sharp contrast to current “understanding.” And what makes the transformation from a central focus on liberty to a central focus on democracy that routinely invades liberty particularly significant is that

 

the powers embodied in America’s twenty-first-century democratic government are those that eighteenth-century Americans revolted against to escape. (p. 7)

 

Since I do not have the space to dissect all of the issues in Liberty in Peril, I would like to highlight a few particularly noteworthy things.

 

Holcombe starts with John Locke, which is a common place to start for those interested in advancing liberty. But he also calls attention to Cato’s Letters, which was one of the most influential—but now almost completely ignored—influences leading to the birth of the American Revolution. I have long been struck by how many of the insights our founders are credited with that actually trace back there (see the first major chapter of my book Lines of Liberty), and I echo Holcombe’s invitation for more people to discover it.

 

Are Liberty and Democracy Complementary? 

Liberty in Peril challenges the typical current presumption that liberty and democracy are complementary.

 

The principle of liberty suggests that first and foremost, the government’s role is to protect the rights of individuals. The principle of democracy suggests that collective decisions are made according to the will of the majority…The greater the allowable scope of democracy in government, the greater the threat to liberty…In particular, the ascendency of the concept of democracy threatens the survival of the free market economy, which is an extension of the Founders’ views on liberty. (pp. 14-15)

 

This is reflected in the changing nature of elections.

 

At one time, elections might have been viewed as a method of selecting competent people to undertake a job with constitutionally-specified limits. With the extension of democracy, elections became referendums on public policy. (p. 20)

 

Consensus vs. Democracy

The book also challenges commonly held presumptions that our Founders wanted democracy. But while “the Founders wanted those in charge of government’s operations to be selected by a democratic process,” they “also wanted to insulate those who ran the government from direct influence by its citizens” because “[b]y insulating political decision-makers from directs accountability to citizens, the government would be in a better position to adhere to its constitutionally-mandated limits.” (p. 15)

 

“Thus, the Constitution created a limited government designed to protect liberty, not to foster democracy.” (p. 16) But the United States “consistently has moved toward more democracy, and the unintended side effect has been a reduction in liberty.” (p. 25)

 

Holcombe lays out issues of consensus versus democracy, with consensus illustrated by market systems in which all those whose property rights are involved agree to transactions, (p. 29) but in government, “a group is able to undertake more extensive collective action if it requires less consensus to act.” (p. 30) And the slippery slope is that

 

[t]he more citizens want to further national goals through government action, the less consensus they will demand in the collective decision-making process. (p. 33)

 

An In-Depth Study of the Constitution

Another notable aspect of Liberty in Peril is how far beyond the typical discussion of constitutional issues it goes, substantially expanding readers’ understanding in intriguing ways. For instance, how many Americans know of the Iroquois Constitution, which focused on unanimity? How many are aware of the Albany Plan of Union, drawn up in 1754, or how it was influenced by the Iroquois Constitution? How many know that a “clear chain of constitutional evolution proceeds from the Albany Plan of Union to the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution of the United States”? (p. 43)

 

How many have noticed that “when compared with the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution clearly less constraining than the document it supplanted…the Constitution did not limit the powers of government; it expanded them”? (p. 48) Yet,

 

[w]hile the authors of the Constitution did deliberately expand the powers of the federal government, they just as deliberately tried to prevent the creation of a democratic government. (p. 52)

 

How many are aware of what the Confederate Constitution tells us about the US Constitution and the drift from its principles since its adoption, especially because “the problems that the authors of the Confederate Constitution actually did address were overwhelmingly associated with the use of legislative powers to impose costs on the general public to provide benefits to narrow constituencies”? (p. 107)

 

The Constitution often is portrayed as a document that limits the power of the federal government and guarantees the liberty of its citizens…When compared to the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution places less constraint on the federal government and allows those who run the government more discretion and autonomy and less accountability. The adoption of the Constitution enhanced the powers of government and laid the foundation for two centuries of government growth. (pp. 66-67)

 

The Elitist Constitution

Holcombe’s section on “The Elitist Constitution” is fascinating. It lays out the case for why “[t]he Constitution devised democratic processes for collective decision-making, but the Founders had no intention of designing a government that would respond to the will of the majority,” (p. 70) as illustrated by the fact that citizens “had almost no direct input into the federal government as the Constitution was originally written and ratified.” (p. 70)

 

The section on the Electoral College is even more striking, as it stands in sharp variance from the presumptions behind almost the entire current debate over the National Popular Vote compact:

 

[A]t the time the Constitution was written the Founders anticipated that in most cases no candidate would receive votes from a majority of the electors. The Founders reasoned that most electors would vote for one candidate from their own states…and it would be unlikely that voting along state lines would produce any candidate with a majority of the votes. (p. 75)

 

Consequently,

 

The Founders envisioned that in most cases the president would end up being chosen by the House of Representatives from the list of the top-five electoral vote recipients…Furthermore, there was no indication that the number of electoral votes received should carry any weight besides creating a list of the top five candidates…The process was not intended to be democratic. (p. 76)

 

I found the issues discussed above to be of particular interest. But there is far more in the book to learn from, and often be surprised by, in comparison to what history courses usually teach.

 

America’s Evolution Away From Founding Values

Such issues include the evolution of parties, the influence of Andrew Jackson, who “fought for democracy, but, ironically, the result of making the nation’s government more democratic has been to expand the scope and power of government in response to popular demands for govern programs,” (p. 91) which “the Founders foresaw and tried to guard against by limiting the role of democracy in their new government,” (p. 91), the War Between the States (“the single most important event in the transformation of American government,” (p. 93) including the elimination of state succession as a real possibility, the Reconstruction Era amendments, the origins of interest group politics, the evolution of federal regulatory power, the evolution of the incentives of civil servants, the Sixteenth Amendment (income tax) as “a response to the demand for a larger federal government,” (p. 149) a different take on the 1920s, in which “[f]ar from representing a retreat from progressivism, the 1920s extended the now-established orthodoxy, (p. 154) added insight into the New Deal and the courts, Social Security as the “one New Deal program for the responsibility for fundamentally transforming the historical, constitutional role of the federal government,” (p. 175) how “The Great Society represents the ultimate triumph of democracy, because for the first time a major expansion in the scope of government was based on the demands of the electorate, with no extenuation circumstances” (p. 205), and far more.

 

In sum, there are very many good reasons to recommend Liberty in Peril. In it, Randall Holcombe provides not just a powerful and insightful look into crucial aspects of America’s evolution away from the principles of the revolution that created it but also an important warning:

 

Unfortunately, many Americans do not appear to fully understand these dangers as they continue to push the foundations of their government away from liberty and toward democracy. (p. 225)

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Blog Editor: Rather than capitulate to Facebook censorship by abandoning the platform, I choose to post and share until the Leftist censors ban me. Recently, the Facebook censorship tactic I’ve experienced is a couple of Group shares then jailed under the false accusation of posting too fast. So I ask those that read this, to combat censorship by sharing blog and Facebook posts with your friends or Groups you belong to.

___________________________

Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. His recent books include Faulty Premises, Faulty Policies (2014) and Apostle of Peace (2013). He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except for material where copyright is reserved by a party other than FEE.

 

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