One of the most reliable and comprehensive sources of alternative news is The Epoch Times. And one of the beats covered assiduously by The Epoch Times is the ongoing epidemic of online censorship. This week The Epoch Times exposed two serious new acts of censorship.
The first, in an act that rivals the arrogance of Twitter’s permanent expulsion of President Trump, is YouTube’s decision to take down an interview with President Trump that was posted on the Newsmax TV channel. As quoted in the Epoch Times report, “A Google spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email: ‘We have clear Community Guidelines that govern what videos may stay on YouTube, and we enforce our Community Guidelines consistently, regardless of speaker and without regard to political viewpoints.’”
This is a stunning degree of arrogance on Google’s part. It is also counterproductive. Every time Google, or any of the big media corporations, exercise this level of censorship, tens of thousands of Americans lose trust in them. Ultimately, what Google has done only serves to further divide the nation.
The second, equally arrogant but if anything more sinister, is Amazon’s quietly removing the book “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.” This book is critical of “transgender ideology,” and as a result, according to the arbiters of truth at Amazon, it had to disappear.
These acts stand out simply because of their brazen enormity. YouTube, still owning a near monopoly share of online video viewers, deletes an interview with a former U.S. President. Amazon, the juggernaut that has crushed millions of retail jobs, owning a near monopoly share of online retail purchasing, deletes a book that attempts to, gasp, suggest that encouraging prepubescent children to begin irreversible “gender reassignment” medical treatments may not be a good idea.
Silencing a former president. Silencing any challenge to “trans ideology.”
If the big tech companies that have overwhelmed our public square and public marketplace can do these things, what can’t they do?
Online retail giant Amazon opposed mail-in voting for a union election, according to a filing with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Amazon’s position on mail-in voting conflicts with that of the Washington Post editorial board’s position on mail-in voting. Both companies are owned by Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man.
In a petition filed with the NLRB on Jan. 21, Amazon argued that mail-in voting would decrease turnout and create security concerns in a unionization election at the company’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse.
Amazon argued in the petition, uploaded by The Verge, that “concerns about election security run particularly high” due to the use of “an unreliable electronic signature platform.”
Amazon further claimed that mail-in voting in union elections is fundamentally different from that in political elections. In political elections, the Amazon lawyers wrote, a “continuously updated voter address roll” and the ability to vote in person or by mail “promote security and voter turnout.”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized Amazon on Twitter, saying that the company had to let its workers form unions.
The company’s position on mail-in voting contradicts that of owner Jeff Bezos’s other major company, the Washington Post. The Post’s editorial board ranmultiplearticles assailing then-President Donald Trump’s criticisms of mail-in voting. One op-ed, published August 17, called his comments “bogus fear-mongering.”
Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron said in 2019 of Bezos’s tenure as owner of the newspaper, “He hasn’t interfered with a single story. He hasn’t suggested a story. He hasn’t squelched a story. He hasn’t critiqued a story, hasn’t criticized a story,” according to Deadline.
If Amazon’s efforts to force an in-person vote fail, the Bessemer warehouse will hold the union election between Feb. 8 and March 30, according to AL.com
In late July, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that Google would “conduct ourselves in a neutral way” with regards to the November election. This claim should be met with skepticism by conservatives given that Google joins Facebook and Apple — whose chief executives testified to Congress with Pichai — in having a perfectly liberal corporate culture.
2ndVote ranks Big Tech corporations such as Facebook, Apple, and Google at 1.00 out of 5.00 on the political scale, which means that their corporate actions, cultures, and political donations are explicitly liberal. Amazon is a little better, at 1.29. As a non-profit, 2ndVote can’t and won’t tell these companies which candidates to support — but we will remind Facebook and Apple that their support for the Marxist Black Lives Matter organization didn’t protect them from Democrats’ attacks at the hearing.
These corporations are only hurting themselves by engaging in politics. First, they are alienating millions of potential customers. Second, they are doing so without reward from their supposed liberal allies — and the aforementioned congressional critiques are nothing compared to what the Obama administration did to several Big Tech companies.
Weeks before President Donald Trump took office, the Obama administration sued multiple technology firms for alleged discrimination. The lawsuit did not cite actual cases of employee discrimination but instead used statistical differences between the number of minorities who applied for a job versus the number hired. It did not matter that Google was the first corporate donor to President Barack Obama’s presidential foundation – their support for a left-leaning candidate could not save them from such an unjust lawsuit.
No matter how liberal Big Tech tries to be, they will never fully satisfy the left. Businesses like Home Depot (1.90), Twitter (2.14), and Starbucks (1.14) have also repeatedly tried and failed to make the left happy by endorsing social justice ideologies like abortion and gun control.
Starbucks in particular has been a huge supporter of LGBT rights. That did not stop the left from shaming Starbucks into closing 8,000 of its locations after a Philadelphia store manager asked two loitering customers – who happened to be black – to leave.
It’s past time for Big Tech to go neutral like Google CEO Sundar Pichai promised when he said their search engine would not favor Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Big Tech should appeal to everyone’s political preferences instead of supporting left-leaning candidates, especially when it’s clear these actions gain them no favors with…well, anyone.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png002ndvote .comhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png2ndvote .com2020-09-05 08:27:432020-09-05 08:49:56Big Tech Should Ditch Leftist Politics For a Fair Election
The who’s who of Big Tech took a turn before Congress this afternoon — and not a moment too soon, considering the mess they’re making of free speech. The men behind Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon have a lot of questions to answer about censorship, if House leaders will let Republicans ask. And the first one, considering what happened this week with the frontline doctors’ conference ought to be: Why are you letting your political agenda get in the way of the coronavirus facts?
By the time Facebook had taken it down, their news conference on COVID had beaten out some of the biggest names on the platform. With 17 million views, even the group — America’s Frontline Doctors — was surprised at how desperate people were for information. They’d come to D.C. with one goal: to address some of the rumors about the pandemic and share their views on the best ways to fight it. As men and women who’d spend the last several months treating patients with COVID, their opinion was valuable — to everyone, it turns out, but Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg’s platform pulled the video, insisting it was full of “false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19.” Twitter and YouTube soon followed suit. Dr. Teryn Clark, one of the participants who joined me on Washington Watch yesterday, was “shocked.” First, because the event got so much attention, and then because it was considered controversial. Their intention, she insisted, was only to help answer people’s questions. “The numbers are starting to look like they don’t add up, people are living in fear. There have been a lot of deaths, but recently, more of the people who have … tested positive with this have not had symptoms, have been younger, healthier, and recovered more quickly. So I think there is really a curiosity in our society as well. ‘It’s not looking like in my community, like it’s supposed to look and like it looks on the news. So what’s the story here?'”
Their main goal, Teryn said, was to share what they’d see up close. “We had, as you said, millions and millions of viewers. And then we were equally surprised when we woke up and all of it had been taken down.” Even the website that hosted their conference was gone, along with all the links to the studies that have been done on hydroxychloroquine. That, she shook her head, is where so many people seem intent on shutting down debate. There are papers, she explains, from our own government talking about the drug’s effectiveness in treating other COVIDs. “I don’t know how it’s controversial that we’re looking at NIH paper [from] the time Anthony Fauci was at the NIH.”
The facts, Teryn argued, are being ignored. And she knows it, because she’s treated actual patients and watched them recover. “I was referring people to the CDC’s own website,” she said, which has a two-page fact sheet on the drug, and even that is cause for censorship. Look, Teryn argued, the medical community has studied this drug for years. “It’s been around a really long time… So it’s not a mystery. It’s not unsafe. It’s effective immediately… I just don’t know how it could be seen that we’re [advocating something] dangerous.”
These 20 physicians, from across multiple specialties, aren’t doing this for media attention. “We don’t have a dog in the fight. We have nothing to gain financially… We’re motivated because we want to help people and we want to [cut] through what some of the medical boards are doing with this medication.” It’s so out-of-control, she explained, that pharmacists refusing to fill the prescriptions. “I’ve never been questioned about a prescription,” she said. “[I could probably write a prescription] for a crazy amount of opioids and get less pushback than I get on this for 20 tablets of this medicine.” It’s unprecedented.
What’s driving this “unusual behavior” in the medical community? Teryn doesn’t know. What she does know is that these social media platforms are just as committed to covering up the facts as anyone. And it’s time to call them out.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Family Research Councilhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFamily Research Council2020-07-30 08:05:172020-07-30 08:22:03PODCAST: Doctor Video Suffers from Acute Censorship
Some of America’s largest corporations have pledged or donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the main Black Lives Matter organization, founded by “trained Marxists,” that calls for replacing the nuclear family with a “village.”
Prominent brands giving money include Amazon, Microsoft, Nabisco, Gatorade, Airbnb, and the Atlantic and Warner record labels.
Black Lives Matter as a movement or sentiment is not necessarily tied to the radical organization, called the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, but it has become the greatest beneficiary of corporate largesse.
The Daily Signal previously reported that the website for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation notes that replacing the nuclear family structure and promoting the LGBT political agenda are central to its mission. A co-founder also has said that she and other “trained Marxists” formed the network foundation.
In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>
The BLM Global Network Foundation began in 2016 with the fiscal sponsorship of Thousand Currents, a liberal nonprofit group. Susan Rosenberg, convicted and imprisoned in 1984 for domestic terrorism, is vice chairwoman of Thousand Currents’ board of directors, The Daily Signal also reported.
At least 18 companies have donated or pledged to donate money to the BLM Global Network Foundation, according to a list compiled by the Washington-based Capital Research Center, which monitors nonprofits and charities. Another seven companies have not been clear which Black Lives Matter entity they chose for contributions.
Thousand Currents has said that all donations filtered through it, corporate and otherwise, “are received as restricted donations to support the activities of BLM.”
The Daily Signal contacted spokespersons for all the companies mentioned in this report several times over the course of a week, seeking comment about their financial support for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
The Daily Signal asked whether the companies supported that organization’s stated beliefs and goals, which extend well beyond advocating racial equality and opposing police brutality.
Several companies state merely that they are giving to “Black Lives Matter,” without specifying which organization. The BLM Global Network Foundation likely is the recipient, given its prominence, but that isn’t always clear in an announcement.
It also is possible that, similar to the tech giant Cisco, other companies gave to the Black Lives Matter cause through donations to traditional civil rights groups such as the NAACP and the Urban League.
A growing roster of corporations has issued press releases, memos, and tweets vowing financial support for “Black Lives Matter,” linking directly to or using the Twitter handle of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. Here are 18 of them, plus some examples of ambiguous giving.
DoorDash, which delivers prepared food, gave $500,000 to the organization. In an email to The Daily Signal, DoorDash spokesperson Liz Jarvis-Shean wrote:
In partnership with our Black@DoorDash Employee Resource Group (ERG), DoorDash pledged a total of $1 million in donations, with $500,000 going to Black Lives Matter via the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and $500,000 to create a fund to be directed by the Black@DoorDash ERG towards state and local organizations.
Our goal with these donations and the other actions we announced is to stand with our employees and community members to fight injustice, inequality and discrimination and to support organizations that are working to root out structural and systemic racism and providing local community development, mentorship, education and entrepreneurship programs to support Black communities across the country.
“Deckers as a company is standing together in solidarity to fight for equality,” Deckers Brands said in an email to The Daily Signal.
“To show immediate support, we are donating a total of $500,000 to the following organizations,” the company said, listing seven organizations, including “Black Lives Matter Foundation,” which it said “builds power to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe.”
Although a smaller organization called the Black Lives Matter Foundation exists, as does another called Movement for Black Lives, a blog post from the Deckers brand Ugg links to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. That post uses language similar to the email from Deckers to The Daily Signal.
Amazon linked to the BLM Global Network Foundation in a press release June 9, identifying it as among 12 groups that would get a total of $10 million from the online retail giant. Amazon announced:
As part of that effort, Amazon will donate a total of $10 million to organizations that are working to bring about social justice and improve the lives of Black and African Americans. Recipients—selected with the help of Amazon’s Black Employee Network (BEN)—include groups focused on combating systemic racism through the legal system as well as those dedicated to expanding educational and economic opportunities for Black communities.
Gatorade, the sports drink maker, identified the BLM Global Network Foundation as being among groups benefiting from a $500,000 donation.
Microsoft announced June 5 that it would donate $250,000 to the “Black Lives Matter Foundation,” but linked to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
Microsoft also named five other civil rights organizations with whom it would “deepen our engagement” by donating $250,000 apiece.
Glossier, a skin care and makeup company, said in a May 30 press release that it would divide $500,000 among five organizations, including “Black Lives Matter,” and linked to the BLM Global Network Foundation’s website.
23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki announced June 2 that the company and its employees would donate to “Black Lives Matter” and linked to the BLM Global Network Foundation.
Airbnb announced on Twitter that it was splitting a $500,000 donation between the NAACP and the “@Blklivesmatter Foundation,” using the organization’s Twitter handle.
Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston announced June 3 that the company was giving $500,000 to the BLM Global Network Foundation, tagging the group on Twitter.
Systemic racism and police brutality in this country must end. I’m personally donating $500,000 to @Blklivesmatter to fight racial injustice. I’ll also match every @Dropbox employee’s donation on top of the company’s match. pic.twitter.com/9pTSu7Q0Ej
Skillshare CEO Matt Cooper, in an online message June 1, said the company was “donating to the following organizations” and referred to the “official #BlackLivesMatter Global Network,” which it said “builds power to bring justice, freedom, and space for imagination and innovation to Black people.”Skillshare was among the few businesses to specifically name the network foundation.
16. Square Enix
Square Enix, a game developer, announced that it was giving $250,000 to the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, linking to the BLM Global Network Foundation.
Tinder, the online dating network, announced that it was donating and provided a link to the BLM Global Network Foundation.
The California-based tech firm Cisco identifies @Blklivesmatter, the Twitter handle for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, as among recipients of $5 million in donations.
But a Cisco spokesperson says the company isn’t contributing to that main group.
Cisco’s Robyn Blum told The Daily Signal in an email:
With our recently announced $5M donation, we are pleased to be able to pledge funds to these organizations:
• Equal Justice Initiative–a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons.
• The NAACP Legal Defense Fund–a premier civil rights law organization fighting for racial justice through litigation, advocacy, & public education.
• Color Of Change–America’s largest online racial justice organization.
Contacted again by The Daily Signal with reference to that tweet, Blum said the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation was not among recipients of Cisco’s donations.
The tech company Intel, in a May 31 memo from CEO Bob Swan, announced that the business would donate “$1 million in support of efforts to address social injustice and anti-racism across various nonprofits and community organizations.”
“I also encourage employees to consider donating to organizations focused on equity and social justice, including the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Center for Policing Equity and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, all of which are eligible for Intel’s Donation Matching Program,” Swan said.
However, the Intel CEO’s memo didn’t provide a link to a Black Lives Matter group. Nor did it specify which foundation—the larger and more prominent BLM Global Network Foundation or the smaller Black Lives Matter Foundation.
The Daily Signal sought clarification from Intel, but it did not respond before publication of this report.
The Pokemon Co. is another example of a company that didn’t specify which organization, but said it was donating $100,000 to Black Lives Matter.
Atlantic Records announced that it “will be contributing to Black Lives Matter and other organizations that are doing crucial work to combat injustice.” But the legendary record company didn’t specify whether it was donating to the BLM Global Network Foundation and didn’t respond to multiple inquiries.
Ubisoft also said that it was contributing $100,000 to both the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, without specifying which organization or affiliate.
We stand in solidarity with Black team members, players, and the Black community. We are making a $100,000 contribution to the NAACP and Black Lives Matter and encourage those who are able to, to donate. #BlackLivesMatterpic.twitter.com/KpHZCF6VWx
This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.
The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.
They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00The Daily Signalhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Signal2020-07-08 08:10:042020-07-08 08:17:28These 18 Corporations Gave Money to Radical Black Lives Matter Group
The fix is in. What in that review conceivably violates Amazon guidelines? This is clear evidence that Amazon is not a bookstore, but part of the Left-fascist cabal that is working so hard today to crush all dissent from the Leftist agenda.
Strike a blow against the sinister Leftist establishment: if you have read The Palestinian Delusion and like it, please leave a favorable review at Amazon. If you haven’t read it, please buy a copy now. You could even buy it from Amazon, even as it is clearly trying to suppress this book: buying it from elsewhere is not going to dent this elephantine corporation’s earnings, while buying it from Amazon will show that their attempts to deep-six this book aren’t working.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2019-12-17 04:23:062019-12-17 04:24:15Amazon nixes positive review of 'The Palestinian Delusion', claims it violates its guidelines
Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN), a Tennessee-based non-profit evangelical Christian organization committed towards standing with Israel and fighting antisemitism, has been removed from the AmazonSmile program, which enables Amazon customers to donate a percentage of their purchase to their favorite charity.
PJTN President Laurie Cardoza-Moore told JNS that “all of a sudden, we began being inundated with e-mails from supporters whose AmazonSmile donations to Proclaiming Justice to the Nations had been repeatedly rejected. They were being instructed to choose another charity, despite wanting to support PJTN.” After reaching out to Amazon for an explanation—assuming it was a technical glitch—the retail giant informed PJTN that customers would no longer be able to donate towards the organization using the AmazonSmile platform, following the listing of PJTN as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The SPLC, whose website says that part of its mission is to monitor domestic hate groups in the United States, has PJTN listed on its “hate map” as being one of 36 Tennessee-based hate groups. SPLC specifically accuses PJTN of being “anti-Muslim.”
Amazon employs 566,000 people worldwide. The company clearly does not lack for personnel to study non-profit groups and to advise Amazon as to which ones qualify for its customers to use the AmazonSmile platform, which allows them to donate part of their purchase to a favorite charity.
But Amazon chose not to do that work itself. Instead, it handed over the decision making as to which groups are to be considered “hate groups” to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has a grand total of 254 employees. That means that for every employee of the SPLC, Amazon has more than 2,000 of its own. Is the SPLC so very good at its job that mighty Amazon, with its 566,000 employees, is right to rely on the 254 employees of that outside group? For years, the SPLC presented itself as beyond reproach, an organization of selfless do-gooders at a non-profit. But in recent years, defectors from the group have painted a grim picture of an organization run by scam artists – its head a “flimflam man” — who have arranged colossal salaries for themselves, in some cases have been guilty of sexual harassment of fellow employees, have exhibited racist attitudes, and have been thoroughly unmasked for these and other offenses in numerous damning reports.
Here is some of what Jessica Prol Smith, of the Alliance Defending Freedom, discovered about the SPLC:
For years, former employees revealed, local journalists reported and commentators have lamented: The Southern Poverty Law Center is not what it claims to be. Not a pure-hearted, clear-headed legal advocate for the vulnerable, but rather an obscenely wealthy marketing scheme. For years, the left-wing interest group has used its “hate group” list to promote the fiction that violent neo-Nazis and Christian nonprofits peacefully promoting orthodox beliefs about marriage and sex are indistinguishable. Sometimes, it has apologized to public figures it has smeared, and it recently paid out millions to settle a threatened defamation lawsuit.
These shameful secrets are no longer hidden in shadows. The New York Times, Politico, NPR and a host of other mainstream publications are reporting on the corruption and widening credibility gap. The SPLC dismissed its co-founder in March, and its president has resigned amidst numerous claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and racism within the organization — a parade of disgraces that vividly force the conclusion: The SPLC is hollow, rotten and failing at the very virtues it pretends to celebrate.
Morris Dees, co-founder of SPLC, was dismissed for many reasons. A multimillionaire from his work as a direct-mail marketer before founding SPLC, Dees was reportedly more concerned with fund-raising than with litigating; he had not tried a case in more than a decade, and other than raising money for himself and others, took little part in the SPLC’s day-to-day operations. During his tenure, there were accusations of gender discrimination and racism in hiring and promotions, as well as sexual harassment. The SPLC’s president, Richard Cohen, apparently resigned for much the same reasons — charges of race and gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and other, unspecified offenses. Both Cohen and Dees had been receiving very large salaries, way out of whack with non-profits of similar size.
The criticism comes from many corners. There’s the Current Affairs editor who seems sympathetic to the center’s progressive mission but decries its “hate group” list as an “outright fraud” and a “willful deception designed to scare older liberals into writing checks to the SPLC.”
There’s the retired investigative journalist who helped research and write an eight-part series on the center’s “litany of problems and questionable practices” in the mid-1990s. His Washington Post opinion piece reads with a thinly veiled message: We nearly got a Pulitzer Prize for TELLING YOU SO.
But perhaps most damning of all are the indictments leveled by former employee Bob Moser in The New Yorker. He remembers being welcomed to the “Poverty Palace” and recounts the heart-sinking reality of it all — being “pawns” in a “highly profitable scam.”
Stephen Bright, a Yale law professor and former director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, has long questioned what he calls the center’s “fraudulent” fundraising.
“The chickens have had a very long trip, but they finally came home to roost,” Bright said.
“Morris is a flimflam man and he’s managed to flimflam his way along for many years raising money by telling people about the Ku Klux Klan and hate groups,” he said. “He sort of goes to whatever will sell and has, of course, brought in millions and millions and millions of dollars.”
While the SPLC funded some good work, Bright said, he had long heard complaints about race discrimination and sexual harassment from the center’s former attorneys and interns.
The SPLC has been thoroughly discredited during this last year, yet Bezos has not said a word. Could it be he still doesn’t know about the scandalous goings-on at SPLC, or is that he doesn’t care? Perhaps he’s been busy, swallowing up yet another industry, but he really ought to give Amazon’s reliance on SPLC for deciding which are the “hate groups” to be banned from AmazonSmile more of his attention. And then he might decide to cut the cord.
Given all this, here’s what Jeff Bezos ought to do to spare himself further embarrassment. He ought to read what Tim Moser, the former employee of SPLC, wrote about the organization in The New Yorker. He should read the eight-part series by an investigative journalist on the “problems and questionable practices” at SPLC. He ought to find out what The New York Times, Politico, and NPR have reported about SPLC, which has led many to conclude, with Ms. Smith, that the SPLC “is hollow, rotten, and failing at the very virtues it pretends to celebrate.” And he ought to interview Yale Law Professor Stephen Bright, to find out why he calls Morris Dees a “flimflam man.”
What were the charges, not specified at the time, that forced SPLC co-founder Morris Dees to resign in disgrace? What were the charges that led President Richard Cohen to quit the SPLC? What have close observers of the SPLC discovered about how it has been run, to their dismay and horror?
Jeff Bezos should take a day or two out of his busy schedule of insensate empire-building in order to learn more about the SPLC, on which he has chosen to rely for the identification of “hate groups.” He needs to do more than read what Moser, Bright, and a dozen others who have either worked for SPLC or been close observers of the organization, have written. He needs to talk directly with them, so that he will realize the full extent of the SPLC’s transgressions, can ask them probing questions, and learn more about those “flimflam men” at the top, who have lately been exposed as being guilty of gender and race discrimination, among many other sins.
Bezos should also investigate SPLC’s readiness to label as “anti-Muslim hate groups” those who do not preach hate of any sort, but are simply islamocritics. The SPLC long ago consigned Jihad Watch to the outer darkness. When it included Maajid Nawaz, the founder of the Quilliam Foundation, on a 2016 list of “anti-Muslim extremists,” the SPLC was sued by Nawaz, who won a $3.4 million dollar judgment against the group. That has not stopped the SPLC from continuing to describe Jihad Watch, AFDI, and similar websites as being “hate groups.” SPLC describes, with its wonted tone of hysteria, Robert Spencer as that “notorious Muslim-basher and pretend expert on Islam.”
An email request by JNS [Jewish News Service] to SPLC asking for an explanation about their listing of PJTN went unanswered as of press time.
When asked by JNS what would cause the SPLC to label her organization as being anti-Muslim, Cardoza-Moore responded, “Proclaiming Justice to the Nations exists to fight the oldest hate on earth: antisemitism. We were given no explanation as to why we were blacklisted. If our work highlighting antisemites like [Reps.] Ilhan Omar [D-Minn.] and Rashida Tlaib [D-Mich.] got us on the list, we’ll wear it as a badge of honor. Despite the financial penalties that we are facing with AmazonSmile, will not be silenced for fulfilling our biblical responsibility to defend the State of Israel and Jewish people in the face of growing global antisemitism.”
She added that “sadly, the SPLC lost its way long ago, becoming a tool to shame any organization that doesn’t share their extremist agenda.”
Cardoza-Moore said that initially, she thought it was a joke that PJTN had been placed on the SPLC list of hate groups alongside the KKK. However, she said that “I have now learned that this political witch hunt against those who don’t share SPLC’s extremist liberal views has been adopted as a religious doctrine by Amazon. This could dramatically affect our ability to raise funds and function as a nonprofit organization.”
She added that it appears that Amazon “has become the nation’s new moral compass powered by the subversive Southern Poverty Law Center. Charities should not be persecuted in this way; this has to stop.
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to JNS via email that PJTN had been dropped, saying in a general statement that according to their policy, “organizations that engage in, support, encourage or promote intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence, money laundering or other illegal activities are not eligible.”
Just as a matter of interest, perhaps Amazon would care to tell us if CAIR is eligible to receive donations through AmazonSmile. If it does, would Bezos be willing to consider the evidence that CAIR just might be an organization that “encourages or promotes intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence”? And while we’re at it, have any of the many pro-BDS groups that many of us believe encourage “intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence” been banned from participating in the AmazonSmile program?
The statement [from Amazon] mentioned that since 2013, Amazon has relied on the SPLC along with the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (of the US Department of the Treasury) to make its determination on which organizations are eligible for the AmazonSmile program.
Cardoza-Moore says that as a result of being dropped, she is calling on her donors to bypass Amazon in order to help support Israel and combat antisemitism.
“We have asked our donors to continue supporting PJTN directly instead of through AmazonSmile. Nobody will silence us, even when we stand up against giants like Amazon; we know that we have truth and justice on our side,” she said.
“Our answer to this hateful blacklisting will be to continue building more PJTN chapters across the United States and beyond. We will continue to fight antisemitism and defend the State of Israel, wherever and whenever necessary,” she continued. “We will endeavor to reach more people than ever because our message is needed now, more than ever.”
A statement from PJTN said that in recent months, the organization has led the struggle against the BDS movement in the United States with a wave of state resolutions, and has exposed textbooks used in public schools that it says are indoctrinating children with inaccurate historical information and bias that do not reflect American values.
In 2016, JNS reported that PJTN drafted the state of Tennessee’s anti-BDS resolution, which passed in the General Assembly, making it one of the first states to pass such state-level legislation against BDS.
So PJTN, unbowed, continues to be active in its campaign against the BDS movement. And its donors will now simply find other, more direct ways to support it, now that PJTN has been banned, so absurdly, from the AmazonSmile program. Many people, as they find out more about Amazon, and its continuing reliance on the discredited SPLC for its determination of which groups promote “hatred” and “intolerance,” may want to express their own displeasure with that malevolent and powerful Amazon, and take their custom elsewhere.
Amazon is suing thousands of “fake” reviewers, who, for a fee, have posted positive reviews for various products. These pseudo reviews violate the spirit — and possibly the functionality — of Amazon’s largely self-governed rating system. Customers rely on reviews to guide their own choices, and a wave of sponsored reviews can mislead them into choosing inferior products.
It is no surprise then that the authors favor heroic efforts of an older progressive sort, such as the works of Alice Lakey or her modern-day counterpart Elizabeth Warren. Their work, respectively, led to the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These progressives are seen as heroic for taking “action not selfishly but for the public good.” The trouble with such heroes, however, is that they invariably focus not on educating consumers so that they may make better choices but on corralling the cat herd of bureaucrats and politicians into ever-expanding spheres of regulation.
While it is true that consumer regulation can provide focal points that help buyers and sellers interact — in fact, Amazon appealed to just that in its lawsuit — this truth nevertheless misses the pivotal point (and an awkward one for Akerlof and Shiller) that it is Amazon that is working to resolve the problem, not government regulators.
Make no mistake. Akerlof’s classic paper on the quality of goods in a world of imperfect information clearly outlines a problem that markets must address, but it is a problem for both consumers and the market platforms on which they participate. Those platforms have a natural incentive to promote the information consumers need in order to make more informed decisions. The incentives faced by regulators are less well aligned with consumers’ interests. (But advocates of regulation rarely ask what incentives drive government regulators.)
There is another aspect of Akerlof’s model that is telling in this regard: in equilibrium, the so-called “lemons market” should unravel as more and more consumers become frustrated with ever-decreasing levels of quality. Thus, the market platform should topple over. The trouble with this theoretical outcome is that it again fails to account for the empirical observation that it is markets that are solving market problems.
Akerlof’s co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize, Michael Spence, would have no trouble with this observation. Spence noted that it is far more interesting to compare the outcomes in the market to what is possible in a world of incomplete information, not to what is found where no imperfection exists by assumption. Spence explained in his Nobel address that when facing a world of imperfect information, the asymmetry between buyer and seller “cannot be simply removed by a wave of the pen.”
Compared to What?
Even when we acknowledge that individuals may be limited in their analytical and decision-making capabilities, we must ask ourselves, “Compared to what?” As noted elsewhere in these pages, every flaw in consumers is worse in voters. Furthermore, the immediate call for greater government regulation ignores the ongoing knowledge problem: acquiring information is limited by the abilities of normal people (after all, we can’t all be heroes). Knowing which transactions to avoid is valuable information, but that knowledge must first be discovered to be shared. If this information is not readily attainable, then it is unclear how regulators will know what market processes to target, much less how to improve on them.
And if the information does exist, then there is an opportunity for entrepreneurial action to gather this information and sell it to consumers. Put another way, market failures that cause individuals to make poor decisions are themselves profit opportunities for entrepreneurs to help people make better decisions.
In a world of uncertainty, ensuring quality can be a powerful competitive advantage. Amazon wants you, the customer, to use its search and recommendation system to buy new products, products that you cannot physically touch and inspect. The review system is one method of overcoming this informational asymmetry. When the integrity of the review system is challenged, Amazon is faced with the prospect of a lower volume of transactions and therefore lower profits.
This is why Amazon is acting to curtail its rogue members. Retailers can only justify high prices when they can guarantee quality. Amazon’s feedback system constitutes a significant informational subsidy to its users, and the company is willing to create this information (or have it created by users) because it leads to a higher volume of trade and the accompanying consumer benefits that Amazon brings to book readers worldwide.
What Akerlof and Shiller miss is that creating and maintaining a viable platform for trade opportunities is enormously expensive. Having customers exit the door to never return — or perhaps write negative Yelp reviews — causes instability to the market that can be fatal if left unattended.
Rather than focusing on the failure of consumers, the original sin of our humanity, we should instead notice how information entrepreneurs are enabling us to make better choices. The information revolution led by these innovators has changed the world with the costs of distribution lower than ever.These may not be the welfarist heroes of Akerlof and Shiller’s fantasy world but market troubleshooters of the one we actually occupy.
Public-spirited regulators may be the heroes we want, but they are not the heroes we need.
Adam C. Smith is an assistant professor of economics and director of the Center for Free Market Studies at Johnson & Wales University. He is also a visiting scholar with the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University and coauthor of the forthcoming Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/hero-e1452163994342.png319640Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2016-01-07 05:53:452016-01-07 05:55:48Regulators Are Not Heroes by Adam C. Smith & Stewart Dompe
My latest book, The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS, has zoomed to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list in the “Radical Political Thought” category, topping none other than Saul Alinsky, whose perennial guide to Leftist subversion and character assassination, Radicals, comes in at #2.
The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS is available at any self-respecting bookstore, as well as at Amazon.com in paperback (order here) and on Kindle (order here). Here are a few more advance reviews:
“Robert Spencer has been telling, and warning, us of the activities of the jihadists since 2003. Every single day for twelve years he has kept a vigilant eye on all the barbarisms of the Islamic terrorists and is surely the best informed and almost the only truly qualified expert capable of analyzing the emergence, development, and ideology of the monstrous death cult known as ISIS. Spencer also offers ways to com- bat this group, a group that President Obama refuses to recognize as posing any threat to American security and interests. On so many sad occasions when he was not taken seriously enough, Spencer was forced to remind us, ‘I told you so.’ It is time to listen to Robert Spencer.” — Ibn Warraq, author of Why I Am Not a Muslim and Defending the West
“Robert Spencer has given us a series of immensely informative and accurate books, enlarging our knowledge on vital current issues. This latest one adds a potent analysis of ISIS, the most pressing danger of our time, which Spencer knows to its core. This essential book pro- vides us with the intellectual tools that are indispensable for success- fully overcoming this threat to our civilization, and should be widely read. It is an urgent necessity.” — Bat Ye’or, author of Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis and Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide
“Here is everything you need to know about the gravest threat to the U.S. and the free world today. Spencer goes way beyond the superficial cable headlines and the misleading conventional news reports into the deepest levels of ISIS that no other analyst has ever gone before. It is an eye opening masterpiece that will leave you absolutely shocked. Robert Spencer is truly amazing in how he breaks through the fog of denial and peels away layer upon layer of misinformation surrounding ISIS; how he shows the unparalleled savagery of ISIS and why Western leaders are living in lala land when they ludicrously assert that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam; and discards and destroys the political correctness in Washington that has masked the existential danger to our society by the continued growth of ISIS and the continued charade that it is merely a ‘death cult.’ If you want to know the truth and full story, you have to read Spencer’s book. If you want to blind yourself to reality and the true danger to your family and friends, then ignore this book at your peril. I have been investigating Islamic terrorism for nearly twenty-five years and I can honestly state that this book is one of the most important books on terrorism I have ever read. Buy copies for your family members, for your friends, and last but not least for your elected political leaders.” — Steven Emerson, author of American Jihad and Jihad Incorporated
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Islamic-State1.jpg370640Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2015-08-26 06:08:352015-08-26 06:08:35The Complete Infidel's Guide to ISIS: #1 Bestseller in Radical Political Thought
In Orlando, Florida is a lone climate researcher who, for almost eight years, has been putting the U.S. government’s best scientists and science agencies to shame, when it comes to accurately making major climate predictions. This is especially true when compared to Al Gore-style global warming politicians, government funded university Ph.D. climate scientists and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN-IPCC).
The UN-IPCC is the UN’s climate research arm that historians may someday remember best for unreliable climate models and associated wildly exaggerated, and erroneous temperature and sea level rise predictions. The “climategate’ scandal at the UN will likewise be prominent for the disclosure that its supposed ‘best climate scientists” falsified or manipulated climate data to fit the politically motivated manmade global warming storyline.
In March 2013, while I was the Florida Editor for the online conservative journal Watchdogwire.com, I had the chance to review the track record of this maverick in the field of climatology. When I was done I put my name on a column naming him “America’s best climate prediction expert.” I added to it in April 2014 updating his list of predictions he had made. He is Mr. John L. Casey, a former White House and NASA space program consultant, Space Shuttle engineer, and high tech start-up company executive.
His first important climate research findings were issued in a press release in spring 2007. Later his only, yet seminal, peer reviewed paper with its associated theory on climate change driven by the Sun, was published on line for all to review. It is called the “Relational Cycle Theory.” Despite a sterling background in the space program at the highest levels of the U.S. government, in 2007 and 2008 he was nonetheless without a Ph.D. or any climate research papers. Thus, when he issued his first climate predictions he was immediately labeled by left wing media global warming zealots and even some publicity seeking conservatives as a “scam artist,” “hoaxer,” and a “fraud.” His pronouncements of the end of global warming within a few years and the start of a new cold climate, was a message no one wanted to hear including both Republican and Democrat presidential candidates (McCain and Obama) and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, who were all saying manmade global warming was a real threat. The timing on John’s first predictions could not have been worse.
Many would have given up on this financially ruinous and personally punishing quest to tell the truth about the climate. Fortunately for all Americans, John did not. Over the years, John started the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC), wrote a leading climate book, and in 2013, began to publish the bi-annual Global Climate Status Report (GCSR). He has made well over one hundred radio and TV interviews and public presentations across the United States. He is now the most referenced climatologist on the internet regarding the next potentially dangerous cold climate.
In September 2013, the CEO of influential Newsmax Media, Chris Ruddy, was captivated by John’s first book “Cold Sun.” He decided to throw all of his rapidly growing media company’s resources behind John’s research. John’s first climate book “Cold Sun” was updated and recast as “Dark Winter.” Under “The Cold Truth Initiative” as Newsmax calls it, “Dark Winter” is now being promoted nationwide.
Three months after publication, and “Dark Winter” has reached number four on Amazon’s 100 “Best Sellers” list of climate books! See the list at by clicking here.
The books ahead of him are the typical manmade global warming books one of which is fictional. That makes John’s “Dark Winter” the number 1 best selling global cooling, and I dare say best selling ‘truthful,’ climate book in the USA. Of the top four, his is the only book written by a proven climatologist.
America’s best climate prediction expert is at last receiving the credit he is due. When will the rest of the media, the scientific establishment, and our leaders in Washington recognize this one man’s courage, skills, and his selfless mission to help our people prepare for the new long cold climate?
Congratulations to John L. Casey, a man who understands climate and climate policy better than anyone, period.
Supporters of the Islamic State (IS) are now offering merchandise featuring the organization’s symbols for sale online. The items offered for sale include hats, clothing, and jewelry, all bearing the familiar black flag associated with the IS organization and its slogan – baqiyah (“will remain forever”).
One vendor, an Indonesian named Zirah Moslem, currently uses Twitter to sell his products after his Facebook page and website were shut down in June 2014. Products bearing the IS logo had also been sighted this summer in a local shop in Istanbul.
On Facebook, several pages still advertise T-shirts, baseball caps, flags etc. with the IS black flag logo, such as the “Baqiyah creation” Facebook page, which is run by a French IS supporter based in Toulouse, France. This French salafi is a jihadi sympathizer who enjoys paintball and boxing, according to his Facebook posts. He advertises his products as being high quality and made for the true believers. He warns against wearing the clothes bearing the sacred Muslim creed of the shahada in impure places such as bathrooms. He also posts pro-IS comments and messages on his page.
Another Indonesian vendor who runs the “Al-Faruq Islamic Store” sells his products through Facebook and Ebay. One of the page’s banners on Facebook advertises: “We sell Islamic Flags, Badges, Headbands and other stuff.”
EDITORS NOTE: Screen captures courtesy of MEMRI. For a larger view click on the image.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/ishoodie.jpg396600Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2014-09-21 10:32:152014-09-21 10:33:29Islamic State hoodies, flags and caps selling on Facebook, E-Bay, Twitter, Amazon.com