Saturday, January 16, 2021

National Discourse Chronicles 2021-01-16

     Just now, things are looking bleak. If you feel the same, I’m sure you know your reasons. But they might not be the same as mine. My malaise is because we’re letting ourselves be atomized and bludgeoned into silence.

     One of the oldest and most consistently intelligent of blogs in the Right is the venerable American Thinker. Its comments section has frequently been as informative and thoughtful as its articles. But that comments section is going away:

     On January 14, American Thinker founder Thomas Lifson published a blog post about shutting down the comment section. An update to the post said it was either that or shut down the website. AT appears to be very worried about the comments they are getting. The blog post didn’t explain anything. It did say people who read AT are upset about the elimination of the comments, but it didn’t dissuade them.

     From Lifson’s post announcing the change:

     Because AT lacks the ability to monitor comments in real time, and because our position that comments are a forum, not something we publish, is being called into question, we can no longer publish comments.

     We take this action with a heavy heart.

     As our Gentle Readers are surely aware, The Federalist did the same some time back, and for the same reason: certain sentiments being expressed in the comments were being used to attack it through “lawfare,” potentially leading to the destruction of the site.

     Comments sections are becoming rare among Right-inclined sites for that reason.

     Its support for finding and communicating with others of like mind has been one of the great benefits of the two-way World Wide Web. Comments sections have been a major component of that support. But one by one, they’re going away as Leftists seek them and threaten the site owners with expensive lawsuits and threats of other legal entanglements. The largest Right-inclined sites have been the first targets. When faced with the prospect of prolonged, very expensive legal actions, few are willing to stand their ground.

     If you’ll give a few moments of your time to Breitbart’s “Great Purge” section, you’ll get a good sense for the evils abroad. Tellingly, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor says that claims that the election was stolen are not “protected free speech” — a position that, despite its absolute falsity, is being echoed by many other Leftists and Left-inclined sites.

     It’s a sign of something that Pennsylvanians would elect such an arrogant idiot to the second-highest executive position in their state. Something not too good. But I digress.

     This morning, John Hinderaker weighs in:

     Democrats are making extraordinary efforts to suppress all discussion of whether Joe Biden actually won the 2020 presidential election. In fact, they go even farther: they want to suppress all discussion of the extent to which voter fraud occurred. That naturally makes me want to write about voter fraud, and who really won the election.

     First, this question: why are the Democrats so hysterical in their insistence that fraud not be mentioned? One reason is obvious. Joe Biden will take office under a cloud, since close to half of all Americans doubt that he really won the election. The Democrats want to stamp out such doubts to preserve Biden’s authority as president.

     But there is a second reason that may be more important. The Democrats want the lax voting procedures that prevailed in 2020 to continue in the future. They know that efforts will be made in many states to improve ballot integrity, and they want those efforts to fail. By rendering all discussion of voter fraud out of bounds, they hope to forestall reforms that would make it harder for them to cheat, or enable cheating, in the future.

     I’m sure Hinderaker’s assertions are accurate. Add to them another, which has been mentioned in discussions of other Left-promulgated lies:

If you can get a man to parrot a falsehood,
When the truth is plain and open,
You can break him to harness
Through his own sense of humiliation.

     It won’t stop with censorship of our convictions and opinions. It never does.

     Brendan Eich could tell you about what happens to anyone the Left targets. He dared to donate to a California campaign to recognize marriage as applying solely to unions of one man and one woman. You can read about the scurrilous attacks on Eich for yourself. I’m not going to propagate the viciousness of activist homosexual Leftists determined to utterly destroy marriage and its defenders any further than that link.

     As of today, Parler founder John Matze can tell a similar tale:

     A new court filing on Friday from the legal team of Parler, an alternative social media platform favoured by conservatives in the US, has revealed that its CEO John Matze and his family are now in hiding after facing death threats and security breaches.

     "Matze himself, as the CEO of the company Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to vilify, has had to leave his home and go into hiding with his family after receiving death threats and invasive personal security breaches," read the filing....

     "Although AWS's motion to seal focuses only on its own employees, Parler's employees have been similarly harassed and threatened...Parler's CEO, John Matze, Jr., reports in his declaration in support of Parler's TRO motion that many Parler employees are suffering harassment and hostility, fear for their safety and that of their families, and in some cases have fled their home state to escape persecution," the filing read.

     Cross the Left and it will do everything in its power to destroy you utterly – after first attempting a 1984-style “reeducation” on you:

     “We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instant of death we cannot permit any deviation. In the old days the heretic walked to the stake still a heretic, proclaiming his heresy, exulting in it. Even the victim of the Russian purges could carry rebellion locked up in his skull as he walked down the passage waiting for the bullet. But we make the brain perfect before we blow it out. The command of the old despotisms was ‘Thou shalt not.’ The command of the totalitarians was ‘Thou shalt.’ Our command is ‘Thou art.’ No one whom we bring to this place ever stands out against us. Everyone is washed clean.”

     That is the Left’s ideal. That is the end for which they strive.

     You may be aware that I’m in the process of going to a new host for Liberty’s Torch. While Blogger has been good to me, it’s a subsidiary of Google, and Google has already shown its hard-Left character. So I’m getting out while the getting is good...hopefully, to a host that won’t turn tail and run should the Left attack this blog and / or its commenters.

     There must be places where we in the Right can congregate, can exchange opinions, and can discuss methods. It is my intention that Liberty’s Torch remain such a place, for as long as I’m alive to operate, maintain, and defend it. I hope others in the Right-leaning blogosphere (what remains of it) will do the same, but we shall see. And now, I must be off to other tasks.

     Have a nice day.



The Left: Punish those who speak out against it.
Same with Islam.

The Left: Punish, dox, and (reputationally) execute those who leave.
Same with Islam. Except literally.

Both see it as their mission to spread The Word BAMN.

Both use migration as a way to infiltrate (e.g., Adrienne's comment about a family that moved to her neck of the woods, but put up Biden signs)... same in my area.

George True said...

Years and years ago American Thinker was at the top of my short list of daily must-read blogs. The articles were factual, incisive, and hard-hitting. The readership included people who were obviously well-informed and who frequently had first-hand inside information about the article's topic. And so by reading the comments one could often gain knowledge that filled in any gaps of information in the article itself.

Then things began to change, almost imperceptibly at first. Some of the articles began to have a more centrist ideological slant, almost as if they had been written by a RINO Republican. Nothing wrong I suppose with being exposed to diverse viewpoints, but articles such as these contained premises that were provably false. Also, some articles began to appear that were poorly written fluff pieces. I simply chalked that up to the demands of obtaining a dozen or more good articles each and every day. If Lifeson demanded of himself that he must put up X number of articles daily no matter what, quality would necessarily suffer.

At the same time, several things began to change with the comments section. First, as American Thinker's influence grew, it was eventually noticed by the Left, and the Leftist trolls began to frequent the site daily. This became a real problem, as the goal of such trolls is always to derail and shut down the free and polite exchange of ideas and information. They were moderately successful. Many readers including myself pleaded with Lifeson to handle this growing problem. But instead of handling it by performing actual moderation of the comments, and banning trolls when necessary, he converted the comments section to Discus, which in my opinion was a big mistake. The trolling did not stop, making comments became a sometimes cumbersome process, and the Discus algorithm even began evaluating each comment for its level of 'toxicity'.

Getting back to the articles themselves, in 2016 American Thinker adopted a hardcore Never-Trump ideology. I began to wonder if Lifeson had lost his mind similar to Matt Drudge becoming a Leftist. Every single day at American Thinker there was at least one, and often two or three articles that bashed Trump from start to finish. And the worst part of it is that all of these articles said things that were demonstrably and provably false. So I gradually began visiting American Thinker less and less as both the articles and the comments section became less and less informative and interesting.

I believe their decision to eliminate the comments section, if they choose to continue down that road, will be the death knell of a once great website. I understand that performing high quality in-house moderation of a comments section takes a certain amount of time and effort, but it simply must be done if a website is to become or remain a great website.

The way that American Thinner announced their decision to eliminate comments was highly insulting and condescending to their readers. They did not give any actual reasons WHY they reached their decision, and also told their readers that they are not allowed to even ask why. If their goal was to alienate their readers, they are doing a pretty good job of fulfilling that goal.

And they are apparently afraid due to the current self-righteous, whipped-up frenzy on the part of Leftist politicians that is threatening legal consequences for anyone "promoting violence". Thus, any comment that can be construed as "promoting violence" could potentially expose American Thinker to ruinous lawsuits. While this may be true, I think Lifeson's response to this intentially created climate of fear on the part of the Left is an extreme over-reaction. And it is exactly what the Left wants - to shut down the free exchange of conservative ideas everywhere. And Lifeson is just handing it to them. He is self-censoring American Thinker and all of its readers. Once again, the Left wins without having to fire a shot - let that sink in.

Col. B. Bunny said...

Taki's Mag too.

Linda Fox said...

Some of this can be traced back to the fact that few sites on the Not-Left can afford to hire/spend the time to moderate comments. Unfortunately, when a site is successful, it WILL attract the trolls.

We also don't get the kids interested in doing this for free (interns). They can't use the work to pad their resume (it would be a strike against them in many workplaces).

Don't quite know what the solution is. It may be to realize that we will mostly have to be working for peanuts/nothing. If we try to monetize the sites, the Left charges in to overwhelm them with deliberately foul posting. Then, they can point to those posts - which they, themselves created - to label the site as Alt-Right/Nazi/Scum.

Sad, really. Their whole reason for being is to beat their opposition into a pulp. Not to create, not to make.

To destroy, by using lies.

Kind of pathetic.