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PODCAST: Doctor Video Suffers from Acute Censorship

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.

RELATED VIDEO: Ron Paul on Why Did They Censor ‘America’s Frontline Doctors’?

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action podcast is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Which Is More Valuable: Deodorant or Apple’s New iPhone 6s? by Barry Brownstein

Many college students are eager to upgrade to Apple’s new iPhone 6s — or so my daughter tells me. But she’s not. The battery life of her $100 Android phone is at least 48 hours on one charge; her friends can’t get through the day without charging their iPhones. She’s okay with her smaller screen and its lower resolution; battery life is her value driver.

“What presidential candidate are your iPhone-using friends supporting?” I asked her.

“Bernie Sanders,” she reported, “They’re huge fans.”

Her response surprised me. It was Sanders who said, “You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.” If Sanders thinks consumer choice is unimportant as long as we face unresolved social problems, why would his supporters feel compelled to spend their money on an upgrade to the latest marginally improved iPhone when they could be donating that money, or the time they spend earning that disposable income, to charity?

Do they experience any cognitive dissonance between their enthusiasm for Sanders and their urgency to buy the latest iPhone? Perhaps they believe they are victims of our culture’s “crass consumerism” — and that they themselves need greater guidance from above.

Or maybe they believe that if a socialist planner came to power, only those things that they think are wasteful will be eliminated. But how likely is that? Clearly those who delight in the latest iPhone are free to do so only if others are free to delight in the newest brand of deodorant.

I thought about how consumer choice and “waste” play out in my own life. Every fall, I drive 70 miles round trip to buy freshly picked apples from an orchard. Am I wasting gas and money? The apples in the supermarket might look the same as those I buy at the orchard, but my tongue tells me otherwise. Could my taste buds prevail in a blind taste test? I think so; but even if I failed the taste test, I’d be unrepentant. I believe freshly picked apples are more nutritious and less tainted by chemicals; I will continue to drive way down the road, past the supermarket, to buy my apples.

Fast Company magazine sums up an important lesson about value:

Value isn’t fixed or tangible; it rests in perceived benefit. In other words, value is in the mind of the beholder. This is a key point. Innovators work hard to understand exactly what value means to their customers so they can generate and provide it. Value is an emergent property of supplier and consumer; it cannot take place with only one or the other.

Clearly those who delight in the latest iPhone are free to do so only if others are free to delight in the newest brand of deodorant.

Whether we’re talking about freshly picked apples, deodorant, or the latest iPhone, understanding that value is in the mind of the beholder leads to important corollaries. No one else knows better than you what is valuable to you, and you can’t assume or decide what is valuable to someone else.

When we don’t understand the subjective nature of value, we think we can improve outcomes through government manipulation.

In his latest book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, economist Russ Roberts writes that failed governmental policies are often the consequence of the chessboard fallacy, the belief that we can “improve or manipulate people who don’t necessarily want to be improved or manipulated.”

Roberts is building on Smith’s wise observation in The Theory of Moral Sentiments: “In the great chessboard of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it.”

In other words, live and let live.

Just think of the mental bandwidth we will free up if we don’t judge others for engaging in peaceful activities around what they think is valuable.

Barry BrownsteinBarry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein is professor emeritus of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore.

Will Your Child become a Robot’s Pet? Apple’s Co-founder Thinks So…

I have written about how technology can be used for both good and evil. Technology has become ubiquitous, it is everywhere. Our children and grandchildren are becoming more addicted to technology, as they do so the evil side may rear its ugly head.

The Guardian reports:

Apple’s early-adopting, outspoken co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks humans will be fine if robots take over the world because we’ll just become their pets.

After previously stating that a robotic future powered by artificial intelligence (AI) would be “scary and very bad for people” and that robots would “get rid of the slow humans”, Wozniak has staged a U-turn and says he now thinks robots taking over would be good for the human race.

“They’re going to be smarter than us and if they’re smarter than us then they’ll realise they need us,” Wozniak said at the Freescale technology forum in Austin. “We want to be the family pet and be taken care of all the time.”

Artificial intelligence was the theme of the movie Ex Machina. The prime character is another tech billionaire who believes, like Wozniak, that he can create the perfect AI robot. This dream results in his death and the death of others. As I wrote in my column “Ex Machina: Consciousness without a Conscience“:

This film is disturbing because is shows how humans without a conscience (morality) can, when given the chance, pass along their lack of morality to a machine.

[ … ]

Humans must control their urges to use technology to become God, as Caleb points out to Nathan. Robots must never be allowed to act alone. Think of the film The Terminator. You see machines may have a goal but lack a soul.

If the goal of AI machines is to have us as pets then perhaps we need to rethink having AI machines?

In “Cyber Security: Where are we now and where are we headed?” I warned:

The more we tune in, turn on and hook in to technology the greater the threat to individual privacy and freedom.

[ … ]

What are the future threats?

bio chip embedded in hands

Sub-dermal chip implants.

Restorative and enhancement technologies, biohackers, cyborgs, grinders and sub-dermal technology (chipping). Restorative technologies include devices used to help individuals medically. They are devices, that include a computer chip, used to restore the lives of individuals to normal or near normal. Restorative technologies include devices such as: heart pace makers, insulin pumps and prosthetic devices.

Enhancement devices are those which the individual implants into their bodies outside of the medically approved arena. Individuals can for just $39 buy a glass-encased embeddable chip that works with some Android smartphones.  A full DIY cyborg kit, including a sterilized injector and gauze pads, runs about $100. Amal Graafstra, a cyborg who creates and sells biohacking devices, said, “Some people see the body as a spiritual vessel not to be tampered with.  And some people understand their body is their own, treating it like a sport utility vehicle. I see [biohacking] as, I got fancy new fog lights on my SUV. “

Some of these enhancement devices are being designed to be used with computer games. The idea is to give the gamer a more realistic experience by using sub-dermal technology to provide pleasure and pain as the game is played. Mr. Jorgensen states that the gaming industry is “spending $300 million annually” to provide sub-dermal gaming chips, effectively turning gamers into cyborgs.

Will your grandchild become a cyborg’s pet or become a cyborg? It is immoral to have a human become the “pet” of a robot.

Pet is another name for slave.

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Absolute Truth vs. LGBTQ ‘My Truths’: Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Outrageous ‘Gay’ Claim and the Culture War

Apple CEO Tim Cook writes that he is “proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” Cook was repeating a gay theology falsehood, labeled as “Satan’s Talking Points” by AFTAH. Homosexual activists have worked to switched the societal stigma from people practicing the sin of homosexuality to the people opposing it. Cook is giving heavily to an HRC project to promote homosexuality in the South.

This is the season to dwell on Absolute Truth, lest we reduce “the holidays”—happy or otherwise–to mere sentimentality. Divine Truth. We profess it, but do we actually believe in it? The namesake of Christmas—Jesus Christ–is the most important Absolute Truth anyone can ever know: God becoming man, to solve man’s sin problem. [“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”—1 John 2:2]

The explosion of sexual sin in Western cultures–especially one like ours with a magnificent Christian heritage that still professes to be “under God”–is ultimately a manifestation of losing the Truth of Jesus. Let’s face it: many or even most Americans—secular or professing “Christians”–think they’re “smarter than God” when it comes to sex (and other issues), and the result is a society is awash in sin and its consequences: fornication, broken homes, divorce, abortion, widespread STDs and, yes, homosexualism and extreme gender rebellion.

All sins dishonor God, but there’s something especially deplorable and significant about the spread of homosexuality and related perversions in a civilization. Someone smart once said something to the effect that if homosexual sodomy—what Noah Webster in 1828 defined as “a crime against nature”–is OK, then nothing is wrong. The court-imposed spread of sodomy-based “marriage” is a cultural act of defiance for which America will be judged—or perhaps is already being judged–as a nation. [Read the AFTAH article, “Gay Marriage and Distant Consequences.”]

Following and obeying Jesus is the key to righteousness. I find this reality to be evident in my own life: the more I stray from the Savior, the less virtuous, the less “godly,” I become. The closer I get to Jesus through the Scriptures, the Word of God, the more righteous I become. So it is with nations.

Changing the standard of right and wrong

All people sin. But most of us lack the audacity and hubris to attempt to change the transcendent, eternal standard of Right and Wrong, even as we fall short, sometimes woefully short, of God’s righteous demands.

But the earthly “enemies” against which AFTAH contends are all about changing the Truth standard–in a desperate quest to rationalize their sin. They want to change God’s plumb line of righteousness, based on the authority of, well, their feelings. “LGBTQueer” forces–fueled by seemingly endless financial resources–work day and night to change the standard, but the standard does not change. The standard cannot change.