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Friday, November 05, 2021

Links - 5th November 2021 (2) (Big Tech Censorship)

CEO of censor-happy YouTube was given a "Free Expression" award sponsored by, I kid you not, YouTube - "In her actual speech, Wojcicki went on to say she wants YouTube to represent "people of all different backgrounds and all different perspectives, and then a moment later, say "but we also need to make sure there are limits.""

Twitter Permanently Blacklists James O'Keefe After CNN Expose - "James O’Keefe, the founder of the investigative journalism organization Project Veritas, has been permanently blacklisted by Twitter, just as his organization releases bombshell undercover footage showing senior CNN employees admitting to using “propaganda.” @Project_Veritas, the organization’s official account, has also been suspended... This comes directly after O’Keefe and Project Veritas publicly embarrassed the far-left news network CNN...   Project Veritas posted the first of a series of undercover videos exposing CNN technical director Charlie Chester yesterday.  In the first video, Chester admits that CNN’s negative coverage of unproven allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is “propaganda” because Gaetz is a “problem for the Democrats.”  “It would be great for the Democratic party to get him out. So we’re going to keep running those stories to keep hurting him,” continues Chester. In further undercover footage posted today, Chester can be heard admitting that CNN is unlikely to give a great deal of attention to the race of a mass shooter in its coverage if they “aren’t white.”  Chester also admits that “a bunch of black men” have been responsible for recent violent attacks against Asian-Americans, and that this a problem because “the optics of that are not good” and CNN is “trying to help BLM.” In further candid comments, Chester can be heard saying that CNN practices the “art of manipulation” to “change the world.”... As outlined in our policy on platform manipulation and spam, “You can’t mislead others on Twitter by operating fake accounts,” and “you can’t artificially amplify or disrupt conversations through the use of multiple accounts.”  Twitter did not clarify what does and does not count as improper use of multiple accounts. CNN, for example, operates the @CNN, @CNNBusiness, @CNNNewsroom, and @CNNPolitics accounts among others. All are verified."

Melissa Tate on Twitter - "CNN is caught on Camera admitting to lying, using Propaganda & deception. Twitter’s response is not to ban now verified fake news CNN but to ban the real journalists who exposed them, james okeefe"

Following bombshell CNN revelations, Twitter bans James O'Keefe [Updated with O'Keefe lawsuit plans] - "Here are the first three parts of the sting on one of CNN’s technical directors Charlie Chester:
PART 1: CNN Director ADMITS Network Engaged in ‘Propaganda’ to Remove Trump from Presidency
PART 2: CNN Director Reveals That Network Practices ‘Art of Manipulation’ to ‘Change The World’
PART 3: Chester Says CNN ‘Trying To Help’ Black Lives Matter By Protecting Group’s Narrative On Race"

Matt Walsh on Twitter - "Twitter’s verified ads account liked a tweet attacking me for one of my posts. But Twitter is totally objective and not at all biased against conservatives, remember."

Cernovich on Twitter - "Google this exact title - How a Convicted Terrorist used the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Website to Identify Targets No results for it on Google. They completely removed the page, which posted official court records. DuckDuckGo has it. Google just deleted it from search."

Report: Facebook Suppressed Breitbart News Traffic by Twenty Percent - "The Wall Street Journal has published internal material from anonymous sources at Facebook revealing that the company introduced tools that suppressed the traffic of Breitbart News by 20 percent, and other conservative publishers by double-digit margins.  The company introduced two tools after the 2016 election that disproportionately harmed conservative publishers. The Journal highlights internal Facebook research showing that if both tools were removed, it would increase traffic to Breitbart News by 20 percent, the Washington Times by 18 percent, Western Journal by 16 percent, and the Epoch Times by 11 percent. Facebook eventually removed one of the tools while keeping the other — but it is unclear which of them had the most impact on traffic... Facebook is directly paying Breitbart News’s competitors, establishment media conglomerates including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times — while offering no such compensation to Breitbart News.  Despite Facebook’s favoritism and financial support of its establishment competitors, Breitbart News continues to be wildly popular with Facebook’s users... The internal discussions leaked to the Journal reveal employees who skew even more left than the company’s liberal upper management. Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s arguably pivotal efforts to put Joe Biden in the White House, Facebook’s token tolerance of some conservative publishers is considered intolerable by some employees, no matter how popular those publishers are with users... In a discussion thread called “Get Breitbart out of News Tab,” the company’s employees brainstormed new policies that would see Breitbart News ejected from the feature, which distributes news stories to users from a curated list of websites while maintaining the appearance of neutrality. One employee suggested removing websites that saw their internal “trust score” (as measured by Facebook) decline, but expressed concern that the policy might also affect CNN.  As the Wall Street Journal notes, Facebook already punishes Breitbart News in relation to its competitors by relegating it to a “second tier” of the News Tab, which only delivers news tailored to user’s interests. In other words, only users who are already interested in content similar to Breitbart’s will receive its stories, limiting Breitbart’s ability to reach new readers...   While the anonymous Facebook employees quoted in the Journal insist that the company should further suppress Breitbart News or eject it from the News Tab (where it is already relegated to the “second tier”), they provide little evidence of inaccuracy in Breitbart’s reporting...   The slide also puts far-left outlets like Rolling Stone in the “trusted” quadrant, despite the magazine’s long history of publishing hoaxes, including a recent fake story about ivermectin overdose cases flooding Oklahoma hospitals, and the infamous 2014 UVA rape hoax.  Multiple outlets in the top quadrant, including CNN, NBC, The Atlantic, and the New York Times pushed the discredited Russiagate and Ukrainegate hoaxes throughout the Trump years. In 2020, The Atlantic, now owned by left-wing billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs, also published a bogus, still-unsubstantiated story based on anonymous sources claiming President Donald Trump called fallen soldiers “losers.” The Atlantic is set to lose $10 million this year after a $20 million loss last year...  In a “racial justice” chat board in the wake of the George Floyd riots last summer, pro-censorship Facebook employees complained that Breitbart News painted Black Lives Matter “in a very negative light,” but did not show any evidence that Breitbart News’s reporting was false or inaccurate.   To the contrary, the Facebook employee showed a series of screenshots of Breitbart News stories that were entirely accurate: “Minneapolis Mayhem: Riots in Masks,” “Massive Looting, Buildings in Flames, Bonfires!” and “BLM Protestors Pummel Police Cars on 101.”...   In testimony before Congress in 2018, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that Silicon Valley, where his company is based, is an “extremely left leaning place.” The San Francisco bay area regularly tops lists of the most liberal cities in America, and over 75 percent of donations from Facebook employees went to Democrats in the last cycle.  The most leftist employees at Facebook, therefore, are the extreme minority of an already-extreme minority...   With Democrats in charge of the House, Senate, and White House, it appears that disgruntled leftists at Facebook believe the moment has come to start leaking. That much was made clear by the Frances Haugen debacle, a Facebook “whistleblower,” backed by leftist billionaire Pierre Omidyar, who did little but demand government censorship of the platform, with her in charge of it.  Having done all they can to push for censorship internally at Facebook, the company’s most leftist employees now want to generate external pressure as well, including the threat of new legislation and regulatory action. The ultimate goal, as it has ever been, is more censorship of conservatives."
This won't stop people claiming that there's no proof that Facebook censors conservatives with their "evidence" being that most of the biggest pages are conservative ones, since they are positing a false dichotomy of either total or no censorship, and an inability to consider counterfactuals (what their traffic would be without censorship)
The left only likes "whistleblowers" when they can advance their agenda, which is why they will ignore this while obsessing relentlessly about their favored "whistleblower"

Media points out free speech loophole Big Tech missed: Actual speech. - "So much freedom to suppress, so little time.
'Podcasts rife with misinformation remain on social platforms like Apple and Google as extremists exploit a loophole left after the tech companies cracked down on other mediums.'...
"Misinformation," redefined to mean, "information inconvenient to the prevailing state narrative."... These are private companies, but even leaving aside the manner in which they are overtly acting both in concert with each other and the objectives of the state, you would again think that the AP would recognize the danger of what they are advocating. They think they are protected. The New York Post probably thought that too when a completely legitimate and 100% accurate news story was suppressed in a concerted effort by Big Tech to protect one political candidate over another... This is trick that must be called out every time, conflating one thing, "deep state enemies," with something presumably absurd, "cannibals operating a child-sex trafficking ring."  You don't have to believe in a broad organized conspiracy to believe that the permastate of the federal bureaucracy was thwarting and undermining President Trump. They did it openly and were even praised for it by the press.  One literally said, "I am part of the resistance."... Incitement to violence is not protected speech. But hatred? Anyone at the AP spend more than seven seconds on twitter?  It's also important for you to know that podcasts that the AP does not approve of are,      "..supported by ads for products such as survivalist food, unlicensed food supplements and gold coins, which run before and during the podcasts.  This is never brought up again in the article, it makes no particular point, it's just thrown in there and is pure class signaling."

Meme - "It's a private company, sweety if you don't like the biggest tech corporations on the planet secretly influencing public access to information about specific politicised topics then just don't use it lol"

Facebook - "Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone"
"This post is censored... take a look, and then ask yourself: why?"

Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ on Twitter - "Type in, "kids being taught they are white supremacists" in Google and then in DuckDuckGo and see the difference. What the fuck." "Search engines now filter knowledge based on political ideologies. We are rapidly entering a period of epistemic division. Their are no neutral platforms."
Due to this tweet the results are now disrupted though

Facebook - "So, I just got banned ("zucced") for 24 hours last weekend... for insulting myself (1st screenshot) while carrying out a test*.
Even though intent of the post is easily deciphered by anyone with average intelligence, the ban was upheld by humans (employed by Facebook) when flagged for review.
There are 3 takeaways from this:
1) Past Facebook bans are ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—น๐˜‚๐˜๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ต๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ for determining moral standing of a party.
For if a ban can be triggered on something so silly, then it can't be ruled out that a similarly frivolous reason caused a ban of another page or person. The prior ban of Critical Spectator comes to mind.
2) Facebook's moderation algorithms ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ.
I know a few thousand ways to insult a person, but someone less educated will have less options. Eg. I can imply that a village is missing a certain esteemed member of its community, but someone else who tries using the I word directly in retaliation will get caught and zucced. This is an unfair situation.
3) the Facebook moderation team is ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐—น๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜, and the company cannot be trusted to administer policing of speech. Recklessly coded algorithms pose a risk to those who need to run businesses, perform admin roles for big communities, or even administration of pages for political figures.
I would strongly urge businesses, public figures and political office holders to carefully consider any decision that gives unfettered power to a corporation which has shown such reckless disregard in controlling access to what is essentially the modern public town square."

PolitiFact | Ron Paul says federal income tax rate was 0 percent until 1913 - Half true
PolitiFact | Jim Webb says U.S. didn't have income taxes until 1913 - "Correction (Dec. 20, 2016): This fact-check initially published on Aug. 24, 2015, and was rated Mostly True. Upon reconsideration, we are changing our ruling to Half True. The text of the fact-check is unchanged."

Dank Star Wars Memes Cantina - "Anna made a very interesting discovery. Twitter is playing an editorial on Gina Carano's account. If you are new to Twitter or if you are curious about Gina Carano, Twitter will plant on your face a warning on Gina ‘Ultra Danger’ Carano without even allowing you to see her content first. If I read such a sign the first thing on my mind would be Gina Carano tweeting gore images from the Afghanistan war."

Twitter Suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene After She Tweets 'He Is Risen! Happy Easter!'

The year Big Tech became the Ministry of Truth - "Two issues in particular have been central to Silicon Valley’s escalating war on wrongthink: the Covid-19 pandemic and the US presidential elections. It’s hard now to imagine the time when Twitter’s managing director proudly declared his social-media platform to be ‘the free-speech wing of the free-speech party’. Since then, free speech has suffered death by a thousand cuts. Initially, the screws on free expression were tightened under the guise of eliminating ‘hate speech’, but this year, ‘misinformation’ has become the main pretext for censorship... who defines what counts as Covid misinformation? Certainly, the first things to be taken offline were obviously nonsense, such as David Icke’s conspiracy theories linking the virus to 5G. But it quickly became clear that misinformation would essentially be defined as anything that contradicts the authorities.  In April, Facebook began removing pages and posts which were used to organise protests against the lockdown. It had actually reached out to various US state governments to ascertain which posts to take down. Any advertised gathering which did not ‘follow the health parameters established by the government’ and was ‘therefore unlawful’ was liable for removal. In essence, this was state censorship outsourced to the private sector.   When asked what constituted misinformation, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said her platform will remove ‘anything that is medically unsubstantiated’, as well as ‘anything that goes against WHO [World Health Organisation] recommendations’.  But these are two different things entirely. Over the course of the pandemic, the WHO has changed its mind on the utility of lockdown and face masks (the latter due to political lobbying rather than medical evidence). Back in January, it relayed the view of the Chinese authorities that there was ‘no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus’, a statement which, if it came out of a YouTuber’s mouth, would surely be banned as misinformation today.   Under these misinformation rules, YouTube has removed and ‘shadow banned’ lockdown-sceptical journalists, doctors and even former WHO envoys.  When something was medically correct but went against government or WHO guidelines, then social-media platforms sided with the authorities. For instance, an article reporting on a major randomised control trial on the efficacy of masks against Covid, written by Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, was declared to be ‘misinformation’ by Facebook. Randomised control trials are generally seen as the gold standard of medical evidence, but apparently not for social-media ‘fact-checkers’... As the election drew closer, the social-media firms made the terrifying decision to remove and ban stories which were true, but were politically inconvenient. Many had blamed Facebook and Twitter for Trump’s shock win in 2016 – accusing the firms of hosting fake news and failing to spot foreign bots. Neither of these things could actually explain the ballot-box revolt, of course, but the platforms were determined never to be blamed again. In mid-October, the New York Post published its exposรฉ of Hunter Biden. Emails found on the ‘laptop from hell’, according to the Post, suggested that Biden Jr was able to grant access to his father, Joe Biden, for cash. These were allegations of corruption against one of the presidential candidates. But Silicon Valley quickly mobilised to crush the story.   Facebook’s communications director, Andy Stone, announced that ‘we are reducing its distribution on our platform’ as part of ‘our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation’. The story was ‘eligible to be fact-checked’, but there has been no update from Facebook on it since, despite Hunter now facing a federal criminal investigation. Twitter went even further to stop the spread. It blocked users from linking to the story and from posting photos from the reports...   The New York Post was even locked out of its Twitter account for a number of weeks, stopping one of America’s oldest newspapers (founded by Alexander Hamilton, no less) from sharing any of its stories on Twitter... This is for sharing a story that ‘fact checkers’, try as they might, could not say was false. Many of the allegations were never denied by the Biden team, either."

Facebook Oversight Board Rules 4 Deleted Posts Must Be Restored - "Facebook's oversight board on Thursday directed the company to restore several posts that the social network had removed for breaking its rules on hate speech, harmful misinformation and other matters."

Mailchimp Suspends The Babylon Bee - "After Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon shared the news on Twitter, Mailchimp apologized. It was too late, however... “Thank you, but we’re moving to an email service provider that doesn’t make these ‘mistakes.’ We’d also prefer to be on a platform that doesn’t censor conservatives for being ‘hateful’ or ‘misinformative'”... The Babylon Bee has faced many biased attacks before.  Back in 2018, Snopes fact-checked a Babylon Bee satire article claiming that CNN had bought a washing machine to “spin the news.” Yes, seriously. After Snopes declared the article “false,” Facebook warned The Babylon Bee that “repeat offenders will see their distribution reduced.” Recently, The New York Times insinuated that The Babylon Bee is a “far-right misinformation site.” The Times apologized after the Bee threatened a lawsuit, but the “misinformation” smear seems rather persistent.   Snopes has also played satire police in attacking the Bee. In one instance, the fact-checking site declared, “We’re not sure if fanning the flames of controversy and muddying the details of a news story classify an article as ‘satire.’” It appears Snopes has been trying to deplatform the conservative satire site, in part by claiming that the Bee’s satire is somehow not satirical enough. Facebook recently announced upcoming updates to its “satire exception” to its “Hate Speech Community Standard,” warning that “true satire does not ‘punch down.'” One week later, Slate published an article claiming that — you guessed it — The Babylon Bee “has a nasty tendency to punch down.” Facebook had previously demonetized the satire site, claiming that a satirical article that quoted Monty Python and the Holy Grail constituted an incitement to violence."

Meme - "Your post goes against our Community Standards on dangerous individuals and organizations No one else can see your post. We have these standards to prevent and disrupt offline harm. Devon Tracey: Big news! I'm now with Gavin Mcinnes' Censored dot tv. All my videos will be on there from now on. If you sign up, use the coupon code 'aiu' or will get nothing. Get me and Gavin Mcinnes both. All patrons will still get my vids. See you there... See More

James Lindsay - Posts | Facebook - "#Memo   There is a virus that is a thousand times more deadly than #COVID19: The White Virus.   Carriers tend to be hideously ugly (within and without), hideously selfish, hideously inferior and hideously white.    Never underestimate the malice and ugliness of these "people"."
Twitter: "it doesn't seem like it breaches any of Twitter's community guidelines"

Meme - Brick @TheHinduDindu: "don't like being banned, twitter? make your own uganda"
"Compte suspendu"

Facebook is banning leftwing users like me – and it's going largely unnoticed | Akin Olla - "I, along with a number of other leftwing organizers, was deemed a threat to the inauguration of Joe Biden and placed on a restricted list that limited my ability to communicate with others. My account could no longer create Facebook groups or events, two tools that I’ve used over the last decade to coordinate protests and build entire organizations. I was also banned from commenting in Facebook groups, liking Facebook pages, and messaging Facebook pages. The restriction was to be removed the Saturday after the inauguration, but it only fully ceased apparently after public backlash. This is part of a long history of Facebook treating leftwing activists as if they were far-right extremists, and a pattern of silencing those who speak out against racism and fascism.
I like how they're basically complaining that Facebook is trying to be fair in censorship. This is why leftists like twitter so much. They're nakedly partisan.
Weird. I thought leftists are very keen to defend private companies' rights to censor whoever they want
Addendum: "Carolyn Wysinger, an activist and high school teacher, posted that “White men are so fragile and the mere presence of a Black person challenges every single thing in them.” It was a reasonable response to Neeson’s remarks and the long history of white men murdering random Black men. Facebook responded by deleting the post and threatening Wysinger with a temporary ban."
Leftists would say that if someone posting “Black men are so fragile and the mere presence of a White person challenges every single thing in them” didn't get banned, that would show Facebook was racist and biased

The Constitution Can Crack Section 230 - WSJ - "does the 1996 Communications Decency Act really justify Big Tech censorship? The key language, Section 230(c)(2), provides: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of . . . any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.” The companies take this as a license to censor with impunity.  That understanding is questionable. Law is rarely as clear-cut as a binary switch. To be sure, courts emphasize the breadth of Section 230’s immunity for website operators. But there is little if any federal appellate precedent upholding censorship by the big tech companies. The question therefore comes down to the statute itself. The answers should give pause to the companies and courage to those they’ve censored.  The fundamental problems are constitutional—the first concerning the Commerce Clause. Congress’s authority to enact Section 230 may seem indisputable because the Supreme Court has, since the New Deal, adopted an almost open-ended view of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. Yet congressionally emboldened censorship poses unique questions... A second constitutional question arises from the First Amendment. The companies brush this aside because they are private and the amendment prohibits only government censorship. Yet one must worry that the government has privatized censorship. If that sounds too dramatic, read Section 230(c)(2) again. It protects tech companies from liability for restricting various material “whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.” Congress makes explicit that it is immunizing companies from liability for speech restrictions that would be unconstitutional if lawmakers themselves imposed them.  Seventeenth-century censorship, which the First Amendment clearly prohibited, was also imposed largely through private entities, such as universities and the Stationers’ Company, England’s printers trade guild. Whereas privatized censorship then was often mandatory, the contemporary version is voluntary. But the tech companies are protected for restricting Congress’s list of disfavored materials, and this means that the government still sets the censorship agenda... The First Amendment protects Americans even in privately owned public forums, such as company towns, and the law ordinarily obliges common carriers to serve all customers on terms that are fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory. Here, however, it is the reverse. Being unable to impose the full breadth of Section 230’s censorship, Congress protects the companies so they can do it.    Some Southern sheriffs, long ago, used to assure Klansmen that they would face no repercussions for suppressing the speech of civil-rights marchers. Under the Constitution, government cannot immunize powerful private parties in the hope that they will voluntarily carry out unconstitutional policy... the protection of tech companies from being “held liable” may merely mean they can’t be made to pay damages, not that they can’t be held responsible and subjected to other remedies...   The statute, moreover, requires that such action be taken “in good faith.” At common law, that can mean not acting with the effect of destroying or injuring the rights of others and, more specifically, not acting disproportionately to terminate relations. The statute thus doesn’t protect the companies when they take disproportionate action against material, let alone when they unnecessarily restrict other things, such as websites and persons. What is in good faith for a website may be different from what is in good faith for a tech company that operates like a common carrier or public forum. But at least for such tech companies, the statute’s focus on “material”—combined with the requirement of “good faith”—stands in the way of any categorical protection for suppressing websites, let alone demonetizing them or barring persons.  What does this mean in practice? Even if a company technically can’t bar some material without taking down the entire website, it at least must give the operators an opportunity to remove the objectionable material before suppressing the website altogether. As for demonetizing sites or barring persons, such actions will rarely if ever be necessary for restricting material.  Such is the statute’s text. If you nonetheless want large common-carrier-like companies to go beyond “good faith” actions against “material,” pause to consider a little history, if only as a reality check about the proportionality of your desires. Even the Inquisition gave heretics formal opportunities to recant. And even the Star Chamber required its private censors to bar offensive material, not authors.  The next question is viewpoint discrimination. Section 230(c) specifies protection for restricting “material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.” The companies understand this to include nearly anything to which they object.  But Section 230(c) enumerates only categories of content, not viewpoints. The distinction between content and viewpoint is crucial in free-speech law"

Twitter Shadowban Test - "Search Suggestion Ban
Search Ban
Ghost Ban
Reply Deboosting
Twitter reserves the right to limit distribution or visibility of content
But Twitter claims that they do not shadowban

[2012.05101] Setting the Record Straighter on Shadow Banning - "Shadow banning consists for an online social network in limiting the visibility of some of its users, without them being aware of it. Twitter declares that it does not use such a practice, sometimes arguing about the occurrence of "bugs" to justify restrictions on some users. This paper is the first to address the plausibility or not of shadow banning on a major online platform, by adopting both a statistical and a graph topological approach. We first conduct an extensive data collection and analysis campaign, gathering occurrences of visibility limitations on user profiles (we crawl more than 2.5 million of them). In such a black-box observation setup, we highlight the salient user profile features that may explain a banning practice (using machine learning predictors). We then pose two hypotheses for the phenomenon: i) limitations are bugs, as claimed by Twitter, and ii) shadow banning propagates as an epidemic on user-interactions ego-graphs. We show that hypothesis i) is statistically unlikely with regards to the data we collected. We then show some interesting correlation with hypothesis ii), suggesting that the interaction topology is a good indicator of the presence of groups of shadow banned users on the service."

Glenn Greenwald on Twitter - "Watching the same people who drowned the country for 5 years in deranged conspiracy theories -- Putin had taken over the US through clandestine sexual blackmail -- now declare themselves competent to censor the internet to stop "misinformation": the audacity is almost impressive."

Critical Spectator - Posts | Facebook - "Police in Ohio saved a young Black girl's life, as she was about to get stabbed."
"Your post against our Community Standards on hate speech and inferiority"
"Oh, look everyone, hard truths clearly have no place on Facebook. If I was calling for riots, burning down cities, or came out in support of patronizing racism of the left - that would all be fine. Yes, my last post on the police intervention in Ohio, where a police officer shot a teenager trying to stab another girl was removed for "hate speech". This is no place for serious conversations"

An0maly on Twitter - "I’m not even sure what I’m allowed to post on Facebook anymore. Water is wet.
FACT CHECK: MOSTLY FALSE. Also water can evaporate & turn into vapor, which is not wet. Wet water has been associated with far right movements such as the “Surfer Boys” who enjoy walks on the beach."

Kanan Vitolo (Liberty Page) on Twitter - "Imagine growing up reading 1984, studying history, and still being a fan of a social media corporation working with the government to hinder people from questioning the agenda of the White House. ๐Ÿ˜”"
Reply: "I just read Fahrenheit 451 again, where people willing destroyed their civilization for “serenity” and “peace”. They replaced actual families relationships for a four-walled interactive TV screen they called “the family”. I think that’s the moment we’re living in."

Tim Pool on Twitter - "With the admission that the Biden admin is colluding with Facebook to censor people the “But muh private business” argument is over"

Facebook - "Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki sent chills up the spines of every freedom-loving American when she announced that the Biden Administration is pressuring Facebook to censor speech the government considers to be “misinformation.” This morning, we received another reminder of just how perilous our current moment is for free speech.  NPR - a news organization funded by YOUR tax dollars - released a hit piece targeting the Daily Wire, accusing us of spreading “misinformation.”  The article is a masterclass in how the establishment media (in this case, publicly funded!) seek to label everything they don't like as "misinformation," and then suppress it. They're coming for freedom of the press. And they're not hiding the ball. The article concedes that content published by the Daily Wire “[doesn’t] normally include falsehoods.”  But they claim that because we are an overtly conservative news organization, our articles lack the proper context to be truthful.  This quote from the article says it all: “If you’ve stripped enough context away, any piece of truth can be a piece of misinformation.” There it is, gang.  Even the truth can be “misinformation” if the left doesn’t like how you are telling it.  So, to re-cap: the White House acknowledged that they are pressuring social media companies to suppress “misinformation.” Just a few days later, a news organization funded by the federal government dropped a hit piece calling the Daily Wire’s reporting “misinformation.” This is some straight-up authoritarian stuff, folks. The Democrats and the establishment media are upset that they no longer have centralized control over the flow of information. They see the Daily Wire as a threat, which is why they are pressuring Facebook to suppress our reach. There is one thing conservatives like you can do to fight back: subscribe to the news outlets you like and trust. All of them, from Daily Wire to The Blaze to Fox Nation. Because the Left is going to try to suppress them all, and they’re not being subtle about it."

Jen Psaki does U-turn on flagging Facebook content, says no efforts to 'block any individual posts' - "  White House press secretary Jen Psaki has switched rhetorical gears on the Biden administration‘s role in flagging “misinformation” on Facebook.  Days of outrage over multiple comments regarding the removal of COVID-19 posts prompted a U-turn of sorts by Ms. Psaki...   Journalist Glenn Greenwald blasted the administration for its behavior.  “The Biden administration is telling Facebook which posts it regards as ‘problematic’ so that Facebook can remove them,” he tweeted on July 15. “This is the union of corporate and state power — one of the classic hallmarks of fascism — that the people who spent 5 years babbling about fascism support.”"

I,Hypocrite - Posts | Facebook - "What Facebook's independent fact-checkers go after vs what they don't go after."
"Fact Check: Kenosha Protesters Attacking Armed Man NOT Playing 'A Stupid Game' As Shootings Occured"
The Other 98% (verified): "The man who shot a Nazi while defending himself at a protest last week has been murdered by the cops"

Facebook - "⁉️ When Facebook took my video down about the incident in Kenosha, I was furious This is something deeper and more sinister than just taking a video down. This is a purposeful attempt to hide the facts.  I didn’t praise anything, I didn’t even bring up personal history about anyone, I simply stated the facts and presented my legal opinion and tried to do it in the most objective way possible and still, Facebook took my video down... There is no way around it, social media is the way people get their information and the vast majority of people only use the four top social media platforms to get that information. Each and every one of these platforms has demonstrated a blatant bias against 2A content."

Gad Saad - Posts | Facebook - "The heroes of LinkedIn have reviewed my post wherein I criticize Joe Biden for having achieved nothing in 47 years in office. They have reaffirmed the tweet was "bullying and harassment." Stop for a moment and think about it: A major social platform thinks that it is WRONG to criticize a presidential candidate on his 47-year record because it is HURTFUL.  I'm not making this stuff up."

Facebook - "The heroes of @LinkedIn think that it is harassment and bullying of me to criticize those who seek political office.  I did not name anyone.  The mere fact of criticizing politicians is unacceptable."

Facebook - "Well @LinkedIn is at it again.  Apparently, my criticizing a psychiatrist for stating that she wants to kill white people and for giving a talk on the psychopathy of the white mind is out of bounds.  The psychiatrist is ok for saying so; my critiquing her is not." "The moral depravity of the Woke Cancel Taliban:  A then obnoxious teenager (Ollie Robinson) posts idiotic tweets => burn him at the stake.  A psychiatrist fantasizes about killing white people during a @yale talk on the psychopathy of the white mind => bruh, she is a Noble POC."

Facebook - "Let's summarize: @LinkedIn censors one of my posts because it was critical of @joebiden. Apparently, it was a form of HARASSMENT. @Facebook puts me in a partial lockdown because I made fun of a woman who said that the @GOP should be burned down. @TeamYouTube demonetize my clips for absolutely NO reason.  The clips contain NOTHING that is objectionable in any way.     But I'm sure that @joebiden will solve this because he is a staunch protector of the free exchange of ideas.  We are doomed."

Why Don’t They Believe Us? (On Media Disinformation, Public Distrust and Vaccine Hesitancy)

Why Don’t They Believe Us?

Imagine you’re a normal person. The year is 2016. Rightly or wrongly, you believe most of what you see in the media. You believe polls are broadly reflective of public opinion. You believe doctors and scientists are trustworthy and independent. You’re a decent, reasonable person who follows the rules and trusts the authorities.

Imagine your shock, then, when Brexit, which you were assured couldn’t happen because it was a fringe movement led by racists for racists, happens. The polls, which widely predicted it wouldn’t happen, were wrong. The experts and pundits who told you day after day that it wouldn’t happen were also wrong. “Oh well,” you say, “these things happen.”

Imagine that soon after Brexit, Donald Trump is running for president. You are told by the most trustworthy media outlets that he is going to lose. Some experts say his opponent has a 99% chance of winning...

“How did this happen?” you ask yourself. How could everyone I rely on for good information be so wrong? “It was the Russians,” they tell you. “The Russians did Brexit, and they got Trump elected too.” Imagine that for the next three years, day after day, the media and politicians you still trust keep you up to date on this story of Trump’s collusion with Russia. They tell you the how, when, where, and why: the dossiers, the whistleblowers, the peeing prostitutes. Imagine your desperation for things to somehow make sense again.

Here comes the Mueller report. Hard evidence of foreign meddling in Brexit and the 2016 U.S. election is coming to set the world right again.

Imagine your shock, then, when you discover that Brexit had little to do with foreign meddling, and Robert Mueller has very little to report about Trump and the Russians. The collusion story, which dominated your news intake for the better part of three years, slowly dies down. Then it’s gone. No one talks about it anymore. Imagine that bit by bit, you’re starting to feel that the events you were told would not and could not happen not only happened, but happened without some sort of malign interference...

Again, you ask, “How could this happen?” And again, the media outlets and political representatives you’ve always trusted have the answer: racism.

“Your country is racist,” they tell you. If you’re white, this may seem strange to you. Other than a handful of idiots, you’ve never met a racist. If you’re an ethnic minority immigrant like me, this seems even stranger. Why would people in one of the most welcoming, tolerant countries in the world want to convince themselves their country is racist when it’s so obviously not?

But the evidence is right there on your TV screen. Imagine your horror as a famous and beloved gay African American actor is assaulted by MAGA hat-wearing thugs who racially abuse him and put a noose around his neck. In a prime-time interview, he cries while talking about it.

Imagine your outrage as you see news reports of a bunch of MAGA hat-wearing kids from a religious school contemptuously confront a Native American elder. Professional, adult commentators on TV tell you the kid has a “punchable face,” and while you abhor violence, it’s hard to disagree. Imagine that for days you watch coverage of these events, with expert after expert, pundit after pundit, sharing and fueling your outrage. Maybe your country really is racist. Maybe you’re racist. Were you always just blind?

Imagine that soon after, however, the Jussie Smollett story turns out to be an attention-seeking hoax: He made it all up. Imagine you also quickly discover that the Native American elder was the one who confronted the kids, and not the other way around. “If this is such a racist country,” you ask yourself, “why would they need to make up stories of racism?” As you ponder this, you remember that for years now, you’ve been expected to go along with other, more elaborate make-believe stories.

You’re expected to understand that gender is not as binary as school, your eyes, and your own experience have led you to believe. Whatever you learned about biology growing up is not only wrong, it’s pathological and harmful, according to the American Psychological Association. You no longer know how many genders you’re expected to be able to recognize. You do know that asking questions is dangerous.

Imagine that you still want to believe the experts and the commentators, but now that requires you to believe your country is racist, that men are bad, and that gender is a social construct, which is an idea you still don’t really understand.

It’s at this point that a pandemic breaks out in China...

President Trump shuts down travel to the United States from China. He has been widely condemned as a racist repeatedly in the past, and the same explanation is given this time. It’s not just Americans who tell you Trump is racist for calling a virus that emerged in China a “Chinese virus.” In response, the mayor of Florence advises Italian citizens to fight Trump’s anti-Chinese bigotry by “hugging a Chinese person.” Shortly after, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the most respected and powerful Democrats in the country, visits Chinatown in San Francisco to explain that “there’s no reason tourists or locals should be staying away from the area because of coronavirus concerns.”

“Thank God there are some sensible, nonracist people who aren’t overreacting,” you say to yourself. Imagine watching as Trump doubles down on his racism by claiming the virus may have come from a lab in Wuhan. “Nonsense,” you think. You’re more concerned with how best to protect yourself and your family from this deadly disease than with its origins at this point anyway. You consider buying surgical masks...

But the country’s chief medical experts tell you not to wear masks, and to focus on washing your hands instead...

Imagine your confusion as the same people who spent three months telling you not only that masks don’t work, but that there are several reasons you shouldn’t wear or purchase them, suddenly introduce mask mandates. We’re “following the science,” they tell you. This seems to make little sense, but a pandemic is no time for questions. And who knows, maybe our understanding of the science evolved?

As you cautiously go to the supermarket, you notice that masks have made people less likely to socially distance...

You turn on your TV and learn that shoppers at your local supermarket aren’t the only ones who have been ignoring the rules. Nancy Pelosi arranged for a salon, shutdown by government decree, to open privately for her—then publicly blamed the business owner for violating the lockdown. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is seen eating dinner at one of the most expensive restaurants in America with a large group of unmasked people indoors. In the U.K., Neil Ferguson, the epidemiologist whose projections were used as the basis for lockdowns, appears to have broken his own rules to get some action with his married lover. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, drove halfway across the country to ensure he had a better place to isolate. The journalists who berate him for this are later found to have attended an unmasked, indoor birthday party in breach of the rules. The lockdowns continue.

Then a man is killed in Minneapolis by a police officer arresting him for a petty crime. The man is African American. The officer is white...

No one explains what racism had to do with the incident, but they don’t need to. As you know by now, the West is racist, America is racist, and police are racist. Therefore any time a crime has a white perpetrator and an African American victim, there is only one possible motive. The fact that an identical incident led to the death of a white man named Tony Timpa in Dallas in August 2016 is never mentioned for context.

While the lockdown rules remain in place, the protests against injustice spill out into public spaces. Tens of thousands of people crowd into the streets of major cities. Few of them wear masks, and social distancing is nonexistent. Clashes with police ensue, and in the United States, protesters loot stores, destroy businesses, attack residents, and start fires. A retired African American police officer from St. Louis named David Dorn is among dozens of people who are murdered in the chaos.

The media describes these events as “mostly peaceful protests,” as broadcast reporters stand in front of burning buildings. After months of harsh restrictions, the media and political class offer no criticism of protests that violate every element of lockdown policy. After months of telling you to stay at home to avoid spreading COVID, doctors explain that rather than being a potential form of super spreading, “protest is a profound public health intervention.”

Big tech companies go into overdrive to stop the spread of what they call disinformation. Alternative points of view regarding the efficacy of masks and lockdowns, as well as the origins of the virus itself, are increasingly blocked, flagged, and censored. Attempts to discuss the negative impacts of lockdowns on health and mental well-being, especially that of children barred from going to school, are suppressed. As the year runs on, with a pivotal U.S. election looming, Trump promises a huge push to develop a vaccine. Then-Sen. Kamala Harris, running for vice president, says that if Trump advised people to take a vaccine, she wouldn’t take it.

On the eve of the election, a major media outlet releases a damaging report about Hunter Biden, son of presidential candidate Joe Biden. The story alleges corruption that may implicate his father, as well as drug use, paying for prostitutes, and more. Twitter and other social media platforms immediately prevent the story from being shared. The media lines up commentators to claim the story was, yet again, “Russian disinformation.” Once Hunter’s father wins the election, it becomes clear that several key elements of the story are likely accurate, and the laptop from which the information was recovered is not in fact a Russian decoy, but Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., the publicly available number of COVID patients and deaths nationwide turns out to have been inaccurate. For some time, any British citizen who died at any point for any reason after having tested positive for COVID was counted as dying from COVID, even if it was from a car crash. The official figure is later revised again. The number of people who are in hospital because of COVID also turns out to be incorrect.

Now that a bigot is no longer president of the United States, closing national borders to visitors from other countries is no longer considered xenophobic. In fact, it is widely advocated in the media. Likewise, it is no longer considered racist to detain people at the border, to put them in holding cells, to deport them, or to simply turn them away.

The supposedly racist conspiracy theory that the virus came from a lab in Wuhan is now also open for discussion. It even looks like the most credible explanation of the origins of the virus. Imagine your horror as you learn that the reason thousands of people died in the first wave of the pandemic was that elderly patients with COVID were allowed, and sometimes compelled, to be released back into nursing homes. In fact, it was a personal decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, brother of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. Gov. Cuomo’s publisher later suspends promotion of a book he wrote in the meantime. It’s about his leadership during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Texas and Florida, which largely remained open and avoided draconian lockdowns, seem to have made out OK. Kids have been going to school, businesses have stayed open. You look at COVID death rates by state, and neither Florida nor Texas cracks the top half.

It is at this point that vaccines become the main focus of government policy and media commentary.

The same people who told you Brexit would never happen, that Trump would never win, that when he did win it was because of Russian collusion but also because of racism, that you must follow lockdowns while they don’t, that masks don’t work, that masks do work, that social justice protests during pandemic lockdowns are a form of “health intervention,” that ransacking African American communities in the name of fighting racism is a “mostly peaceful” form of protest, that poor and underserved children locked out of shuttered schools are “still learning,” that Jussie Smollett was a victim of a hate crime, that men are toxic, that there is an infinite number of genders, that COVID couldn’t have come from a lab until maybe it did, that closing borders is racist until maybe it isn’t, that you shouldn’t take Trump’s vaccine, that you must take the vaccine developed during the Trump administration, that Andrew Cuomo is a great leader, that Andrew Cuomo is a granny killer, that the number of COVID deaths is one thing and then another … are the same people telling you now that the vaccine is safe, that you must take it, and that if you don’t, you will be a second-class citizen.

Aimee Terese @aimeeterese: "pump OxyContin into red states for decades, insist its safe & incentivise doctors to hand out like candy, watch & ignore the opioid epidemic it causes, then laugh at residents of same states if they die having expressed any skepticism re an experimental vaccine from big pharma"

Understand vaccine hesitancy now?"

Links - 5th November 2021 (1) (Seattle and BLM)

Federal Judge Allows 21 Businesses to Sue Seattle Over Harms Caused by CHOP - "In his decision, Judge Thomas S. Zilly of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington wrote, "Plaintiffs plausibly allege that the City's actions—encouraging CHOP participants to wall off the area and agreeing to a 'no response' zone within and near CHOP's borders—foreseeably placed Plaintiffs in a worse position.""

Seattle is due for an expensive lesson - The Washington Post - "The plaintiffs charge that the city “adopted a policy supporting the CHOP occupation, acting with deliberate indifference toward those suffering harms from it.” It is federal law that local governing bodies can be sued when “the action that is alleged to be unconstitutional implements or executes a policy statement, ordinance, regulation, or decision officially adopted and promulgated by that body’s officers.” This can involve the direct participation of local officials in a deprivation of a constitutional right, or the setting in motion of acts by others that the government knew or should have known would inflict constitutional injury. The city’s policy of “no response” by police within CHOP should itself suffice to establish liability, before tabulating the material and moral support the city government gave to this embryonic utopia.  The injuries claimed by the plaintiffs include unconstitutional takings. The Fifth Amendment says private property shall not be taken “for public use, without just compensation.” The city, by enabling CHOP, deprived plaintiffs of protected property interests. The Washington Court of Appeals has held that “temporary takings are subject to the same categorical treatment as permanent takings where a regulation denies all use of the property.”  Furthermore, the 14th Amendment says no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The absence of law was a CHOP aspiration, one facilitated by the city providing CHOP with beds, medical equipment and barriers to seal off streets from public access.  While a government’s failure to protect an individual from private violence does not constitute a violation of the due process guarantee, there is an exception when a local government acts to restrict the individual’s freedom to act on his own behalf. Or when there is a “state-created danger” — when a local government acts with “deliberate indifference” to a “known or obvious danger.”"

Will Seattle officials use the same lawsuit defense they want to take away from police? - "A year ago, Seattle was in the midst of what its mayor, Jenny Durkan, called a “summer of love” with the establishment of an “autonomous zone” called “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest,” or “CHOP.” Rioters took over a police station and were allowed to occupy an entire section of the city. At the time, I wrote that if someone sued over the resulting mayhem, Durkan and Seattle could find themselves clinging to the very legal doctrine they denounced in police brutality cases: immunity.  That has now happened with a number of state and federal lawsuits. In the latest, a suit by the mother of a young man killed during the reign of CHOP, the city is likely to argue that it has immunity for its discretionary decision-making, including abandoning parts of the city to a mob... As Seattle council members and Durkan were praising CHOP, there also were calls by council members to defund the police, to fire white officers, and to repeal the immunity doctrine protecting police officers. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Seattle City Council President Lorena Gonzรกlez, council members Teresa Mosqueda, Tammy Morales and Kshama Sawant, and other elected officials in the state all called for an end to the immunity defense for police officers. They are not alone. New York City's council voted to end the practice, and President Biden is pushing for the U.S. Senate to enact the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which includes the elimination of qualified immunity for police officers.  The immunity doctrine protects government officials from lawsuits over their discretionary decisions and actions. In 1982, in Harlow v. Fitzgerald, the Supreme Court ruled that “government officials performing discretionary functions generally are shielded from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.”  How “established” is abandoning a whole section of a city to mob rule as a social experiment? A similar question could face a court if, as expected, Seattle claims it cannot be sued over deaths caused by Durkan’s decision to abandon the CHOP area.  Fortunately for Durkan, no leader previously has been so open in ceding territory to a mob. And no one had reason to state the obvious — that the first obligation of a government is to actually govern... we have never encountered the likes of CHOP, or a city that wanted to imagine itself out of existence. This was not just some hostage-taking that lasted a few hours but a weeks-long self-proclaimed, government-recognized occupation by a mob. Trapped within that ceded zone were some citizens who labored under the quaint notion that the government is required to afford them basic protections and not choose between them and a popular mob.  If Seattle gets chopped in court, it will be due not to a failure of government but to a failure to govern."

Andy Ngรด on Twitter - "Journalist @BrandiKruse asks Seattle @MayorJenny directly: You down-played the autonomous zone (CHAZ). People were later killed there. Do you take responsibility?"

Escape The Echo Chamber - Posts | Facebook - "Inside the CHAZ/CHOP zone in Seattle, someone set a business on fire. When the owners detained the armed suspect, a mob showed up to protect the vandal. Over a dozen emergency calls to get fire response and police were ignored."
Damn white supremacy!

Jake Eakin - Posts | Facebook - "I spent a few hours inside Seattle’s ‘Capital Hill Autonomous Zone.’ Black Lives Matter and Antifa have taken over 6 blocks in an enclave they call “CHAZ” — located outside the Seattle Police Department now-deserted East Precinct. They have declared themselves to be a sovereign nation. Painted across city businesses are graffiti stating: “Destroy the police.” “Tear down all racist statues.” “Abolish Prisons.” “Fire all those who refuse to comply.” At one barricaded entrance there is a sign that reads: “You Are Now Leaving the USA.” They’re not wrong. Entering “CHAZ,” I felt like I was entering a third world country. "

Seattle loses almost 20% of police force amid year of nationwide protests: "We're not allowed to intercede" - "Officer Clayton Powell has served nearly 27 years on the streets of Seattle. He said it was his goal to stay on the force for 30 years, but even though he is three years away from that goal, he's retiring early.  "The support that we had in my generation of policing is no longer there"... Last summer's protests over the killing of George Floyd led to violent clashes with Seattle police. Powell said the stress on officers was compounded by city leaders' decisions to abandon a police precinct and letting demonstrators, some armed, occupy an entire neighborhood for a whole month. As a result, Powell said he and other officers had rocks, bottles, and in some cases, cinder blocks thrown at them, and they had to "stand there and take it." "When you see businesses get destroyed and families lose their livelihood because of that destruction and we can't do anything about it. We're not allowed to intercede," he said.  City leaders allowed the police-free zone after protesters were repeatedly hit by tear gas but closed it down after weeks of violence. City Councilwoman Tammy Morales voted for a 13% cut in the police budget in November — and $5 million of funding cuts are still on the table for the police department."

Over 200 Seattle Police officers quit citing ‘anti-police’ city council and climate - "morale on the force is at an all time low. Just this week, a Seattle police officer and trainee were refused service at a local chocolate shop. The incident revealed a pattern of behavior by employees of the chain at other locations.  The same day, a female officer was walking her beat past a local public school when approximately 10 3rdgrade students raised their hands in the 'hands-up-don’t-shoot,' a reference to the Michael Brown incident in in Ferguson, Missouri. BLM activists claimed Brown was a victim of police brutality after he was shot but investigations revealed that Brown had attacked the police officers. According to SPD, there are only 1,080 deployable officers, a record low not seen since the 1980’s when the population of the city was less than half of what it is now... Despite the rise in crime following their defunding efforts, the City Council is considering more cuts to the police department’s budget... In an interview with NPR, Seattle’s former police chief, Carmen Best, who resigned last summer, said the cuts and anti-police climate left her feeling believing that her department was "destined to fail.""

Outgoing Seattle Police Chief Felt 'Destined To Fail' After Cuts And Public Backlash - "It's really interesting that people, they try to make it a strange dichotomy, that somehow being African American means you're anti-cop, or being a cop means you're anti-African American — and neither of those things is true. I think that's a very false narrative. I have ... a lot of family and none of them wants to not be safe in their neighborhood. It's not that they don't want policing. They just want to make sure that when policing happens, that it's fair and just. And that's what we're looking for." Rantz: Seattle City Dept. defends vicious all-staff email labeling cops white supremacists - "The Seattle Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) sent an all-staff email calling police officers white supremacists. Seattle cops are livid, but the agency is backing the hateful, dangerous message. It’s the latest blow to a dwindling police force losing officers at an alarming rate.  Under the heading “Black Lives Matter,” the email excoriated Seattle cops as serving “the false gods of white supremacy,” called them “mercenaries and zealots,” and argued they are “paid in the wages of white privilege.”... Daniel Holmberg, a senior management systems analyst with FAS, wrote the screed. It’s titled, “White supremacy thrives without consequences.”  Holmberg is a member of the Change Team, a group of elected staffers tasked with helping the department reach its equity and anti-racist goals. FAS staff committed itself to a “daily call for us to embed race and equity into everything we do in our department.” To that end, they regularly share thoughts and resources that a department spokesperson says are meant “to stay engaged in hard conversations around race.”...   Holmberg then ties cops to the Jan. 6 riot, which Holmberg says resulted from an unnamed “organized domestic white power terrorist cell (or cells).”  The wokescold repeated the long-retracted claim that rioters “bludgeoned a police officer.” He chides the unstaffed Capitol Police for not using tear gas against the rioters while cops quickly use force against people of color who “protest their own extermination.” “Can any of us truthfully claim a Black person who did even a fraction of what these rioters did would not have left the scene in the back of a police cruiser, or more likely, a body bag?” Holmberg asks, apparently forgetting the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. “This is the cleansing power of whiteness: it turns pigeons into doves and terrorists into tourists.”  Holmberg then pivots to the Seattle Police Department, noting that six officers attended President Donald Trump’s rally. None of the officers have been accused, let alone charged, of attending the riot. Still, Holmberg argues that white supremacy has infiltrated law enforcement and that “Seattle is not an exception.”  “My wish is not to paint all police with a broad brush,” he argues before doing just that... Rather than acknowledge the email is over-the-line and offensive, a FAS spokesperson defended it in a way that a foolish person thinks will be introspective. But it’s mostly condescending and annoying... Staying comfortable is costing us lives! Thus, the email saves lives because some woke dude is making you uncomfortable with some harsh truths!...   Holmberg’s email didn’t make me uncomfortable because it spoke to harsh truths. It made me angry because it’s vile, hateful trash that motivates Antifa thugs and other radicals to try to murder police officers...   Several police officers weighed in to respond to Holmberg’s email. They didn’t hold back.  One officer slammed it as “inappropriate, bigoted, and full of misleading inaccuracies and over-generalizations.”  “This is a prime example of why officers are leaving the force in droves,” one officer noted. “There is absolutely zero support for SPD in this city. Now we have the people who work on our buildings and cars treating us like we are public enemy #1.”  Another called out the double standard.  “If any SPD employee made disparaging remarks about another group of people, they would be under a full bias investigation, yet this individual gets to spew this hateful rhetoric to an entire division of city employees with no consequences,” the officer said.  “Articles like this one cause division and hate towards a group of people. To say they don’t mean to paint all officers with the same brush while at the same time painting all officers with the same brush is hypocritical and reckless.”"

Rantz: Rioters tried to burn Seattle police alive, sealed door during fire at East Precinct - "Seattle rioters used a substance suspected to be quick-dry concrete to seal shut the door to the East Precinct, the Seattle Police Department has confirmed. At the same time, rioters attempted to set fire to the building"

Antifa activists take over hotel near Seattle as owner begs authorities for help - "Homeless Antifa activists took over sixteen motel rooms near Tacoma, Washington on Christmas Eve and are refusing to pay for the lodging, demanding that local government pick up the tab and turn the motel into a shelter... "If you care about protecting empty spaces more than saving human lives, that says a lot about your ethics and values. We will not accept one more death on the streets!" the Twitter account later declared. The homeless residents have been pointed to as a source of spiking crime in the surrounding neighborhoods as well as vandalism and even arson at the hotels. The county has providing alcohol and other controlled substances to entice homeless residents not to leave locations being used as quarantine facilities... Shawn Randhawa, the motel operator, told KOMO News that if the cost of the rooms goes unpaid, it’s only a matter of days before he will have to shut down the motel, which was already devastated by the pandemic, and lay off his employees. Randhawa added that repeated protests in the parking lot have driven away most of the other paying customers... Randhawa told The News Tribune that he feels the group isn’t giving him a choice and he doesn’t feel supported by the police or the city. He said there was destruction of property when one of the doors was broken to a locked motel room."

FACT CHECK: Did Foot Locker Donate $200 Million To Black Lives Matter? - "In the picture, a banner hanging above the doors says, “Racism has no place here. We support the Black community.” The post suggests the damaged storefront is a Foot Locker store... The picture actually shows a Seattle Whole Foods, which can be seen in a Google Maps street view, that was damaged during protests in July 2020. The Seattle-based KOMO News published a photo taken from a slightly different angle of the Whole Foods’ damaged storefront in a July 23, 2020 article. Local Seattle news station KIRO 7 also reported about the Whole Foods and other nearby Seattle businesses being damaged during looting in July 2020."
So much for the virtue signalling
Addendum: Comment: "Communists don't accept your peace offerings."

Trump is calling protesters 'terrorists.' That puts him in the company of the world's autocrats - CNNPolitics
At least 45 arrested after protesters throw explosives and rocks at police in Seattle, authorities say - CNN
Both were published the same day

What's Really Happening In America? - "We continue to lose our minds. This weekend, there was a protest by an armed black militant group, the self-titled Not F*cking Around Coalition, in Louisville, KY. One of these very stable geniuses shot a colleague by accident there as they were marching. The NFAC issued a list of demands yesterday. When backed up by men with loaded guns, this is mafia stuff. I hope no business owner in Louisville complies. But the fact that Louisville business owners now have to decide whether or not to defy a large group of men with loaded guns is insane. Did you hear about the black militant group shooting one of their own in a public protest in Louisville this weekend? If it hadn’t been from a friend of mine in Louisville, I wouldn’t have heard about it at all. At least they can count on police protection, unlike the merchants of Seattle, who received this letter from the city’s police chief... The Chief of Police told business owners that the City Council has banned the cops from using pepper spray and less lethal means of protecting property from violent mobs. She adds that starting this weekend, the police will be on “adjusted deployment,” meaning that they will not intervene to protect property now that the City Council has taken away from them the tools to do so without risking life. On Friday night, though, a federal judge issued an emergency injunction prohibiting the City Council’s rule from going into effect. Good thing, too
Weird. Liberals tell us that blacks protesting with guns are shot on sight

Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ on Twitter - "Seattle is quickly moving forward with its plan to "abolish prisons." I've received a trove of leaked documents from within the King County Executive's Office claiming that the justice system is a "white supremacist institution" that must be dismantled. It's explosive. ๐Ÿงต... during the meetings, King County legal staff repeatedly called the county court system a "white supremacist organization" and even declared that light-skinned emojis in emails are racist symbols of "white approval."... This is a plan emanating from the highest levels of county government, including the senior leadership of the Juvenile Division, County Courts, and the King County Executive's Office. They have embraced critical race theory as the operating philosophy behind "prison abolition." The result will be chaos: Seattle and King County are moving to cut the police department by 50% and the county jail capacity by at least 60%, which will lead to a collapse of public order—all in pursuit of a critical race theory utopia."

"Whites Go to the Back!" - Seattle Black Lives Matter Force All Whites to Back of the March - "Black Lives Matter held a protest march today in Seattle, Washington. The rally organizers forced all whites to the back of the march. And the rally organizers pushed whites to the back if they did not go willingly. What a great organization!"

Video shows white protesters inside Seattle's CHAZ being urged to give $10 to a black person

New poll finds majority of Seattle voters want a new approach in how the city handles 'demonstrations' | The Post Millennial - "90 percent of voters surveyed disapprove of looting, arson or property destruction by demonstrators. While vandalism and arson are against the law in the city, even if the law is not being enforced, 82 percent of voters support a prohibition on arson during demonstrations and 79 percent support a prohibition on property destruction during demonstrations with 85 percent supporting a prohibition on looting during demonstrations... Only 7 percent of African American Seattle voters held a "very favorable" view of the ongoing BLM demonstrations. That was the lowest of any racial group surveyed. More than half of Seattle African Americans, 52 percent, view the demonstrations unfavorably. Meanwhile 88 percent of Seattle voters think it is important to change course in how demonstrations are handled."

Seattle activists ring in New Year with protests and vandalism as City Council decriminalizes crime | The Post Millennial - "members of The Morning March and the Black Indigenous Coalition caused miles long backups by blocking area freeways including the I-90 floating bridge and the 99 tunnel... In the Capitol Hill neighborhood, near the former site of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, another group held a “No Justice” for Tamir Rice protest and used the occasion to burn an American Flag and harass the Seattle Police Department, even though the Rice shooting was in Cleveland. They also launched fireworks at the King County Youth Services Center. Some activists were arrested and found to be in possession of molotov cocktails. BLM activists were photographed carrying communist symbols on signs during the protest. Multiple businesses were also vandalized in the area by BLM activists... Those who were arrested, will most likely be quickly released as part of Seattle’s revolving door justice system. On Christmas Eve, the office of the Seattle City Attorney released a prolific offender with a history of assault as well as other charges, after another assault arrest where he was not charged. The suspect then nearly stomped a 62 year old man to death just a few hours later with kicks “so forceful and loud” a witness heard it from inside a car. In response to spiking crime, the Seattle City Council will be taking up legislation to decriminalize misdemeanors, a plan back by the City Attorney. This will potentially decrease crime, as crimes will no longer be considered crimes and will therefore not be considered as such. With a massive spike in crime and Seattle’s number of homicides doubling from the previous year in the wake of the council defunding the police department, it is clear that activists, rioters and criminals have gotten the message that no one is going to do anything to stop them. Officials have instead decided to doubled down on the failed policies that caused the urban chaos which catapulted Seattle into national headlines."

Meme - Stefan Molyneux, MA @ @StefanMolyneux: "HEY Seattle communists! You don't like the existing system, so you used violence to colonize other people's lands. Congratulations, you are now Christopher Columbus."

Seattle Pride Charge “White Allies and Accomplices” a “Reparations Fee” to Enter Public Park Event - "The event, named ‘TAKING B(L)ACK PRIDE’, will feature a prize raffle, “art healing spaces,” a COVID-19 vaccination clinic and a “Hoevid 19 Ball.” As outlined by the group’s Facebook page, the event will be focused on “black and brown queer trans centred, prioritized [and] valued” persons... White punters, “allies,” and “accomplices” attending the event on June 26th will be expected to pay a $10 to $50 “reparations fee depending on one’s ability to pay,” a program which the non-profit organization, who state their mission as striving to “create unity, honour diversity, and achieve equal human rights,” says will enable persons of “black, brown, trans or queer” backgrounds to attend the event for free. The event, however, was met with opposition from other Pride organisations within the city. Writing to the Seattle Human Rights Commission (SHRC), Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson, the organisers of the Pride march in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle, said the reparations fee represented “reverse discrimination” and constituted a violation of local and federal anti-discrimination laws. However, the SHRC defended the scheme, urging LeFevre and Lipson to “examine the very real social dynamics and ramifications of this issue.”... Seattle City Council president and mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez mirrored the SHRC’s rhetoric. Stating that she would no longer attend Capitol Hill Pride, the mayoral candidate lambasted the sect for “trying to stop Black people in the LGBTQ+ community from celebrating Pride in the manner that they choose.” Attacking LeFevre personally, the organisers of TAKING B[L]ACK PRIDE proceeded to accuse the Capitol Hill Pride march organiser of employing her “power and privilege as a white-passing woman to elicit an emotional response and dangerous reaction from people like herself in order to create unsafe and potentially life-threatening conditions for Black and Brown LGBTQIA folks.”"

Seattle Police Oversight Board Decides Abandoning East Precinct Amid Riots Was A Good Decision - "A police oversight committee has announced that its investigation has determined that Seattle Police Department (SPD) brass hadn’t violated department policy or broken any laws when they ordered officers to abandon the East Precinct station house during the riots after George Floyd’s death... Police struggled for more than a week to keep the East Precinct safe but protesters removed the barricades they erected on a nightly basis... Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan ordered police to remove the barricades around the police station. The next night, officers were ordered to abandon the East Precinct... The move led to complaints that the police department had abandoned the community in the Capitol Hill area... There were multiple shootings and reports that residents and business owners were being extorted by extremists in the cop-free zone. Critics complained that police had abandoned the area after activists manning barricades around the area refused to allow police and ambulances into the area after the shootings... On July 24, 2020, at least 59 law enforcement officers were injured when rioters blew a hole through the wall of the East Precinct, looted and destroyed nearby businesses, and set occupied buildings aflame."

CHAZ: farce followed by tragedy - "CHAZ appears to be a cacophony of various political outlooks. The Black Collective at Capitol Hill published a list of demands on Medium on 9 June, but this is only one group of many within the zone which has stated interests and demands. Strange ideas and practices – from racially segregated gardening to demands for reparations – have littered social media. Over 50 flag designs have proliferated on the zone’s Reddit page, demonstrating the lack of centralised power... A wave of misinformation and misconceptions infested social and mainstream media. But even CHAZ ‘residents’, despite being there in person, were uncertain about the zone’s approach to law and order. Shortly after CHAZ was formed, some residents volunteered to patrol the zone to ensure safety, led by professional rapper Raz Simone. Surreal footage of Simone patrolling the border with an assault rifle has led to allegations that he was acting as some kind of ‘warlord’ in the area. But this appears to be as muddled in fact and fiction as CHAZ’s own political purpose and direction. Contrary to the anarchists’ claims that the CHAZ is a ‘cop-free zone’, the Seattle Police Department initially said that its officers were still responding to calls within the area. But on 20 June, a 19-year-old man was shot dead and one was critically injured within the zone. Seattle police then claimed that a ‘violent crowd’ prevented officers entering the area. When homicide detectives eventually got to the scene, they were abused while collecting evidence. The suspect is still at large. CHAZ’s own voluntary security force has so far been unable (or perhaps unwilling) to apprehend the assailant. The murder is hardly a ringing endorsement of life in a ‘cop-free zone’. Many Black Lives Matter demonstrators are calling for the police to be abolished or defunded. This incident offers a stark illustration of the consequences – it would mean a regression into strongmen governance and an explosion of serious opportunistic crime... In Ashville, North Carolina and Portland, Oregon, protesters attempted to create sister Autonomous Zones, but the police in both areas acted quickly and quashed any possibility of these zones emerging. Where power refuses to exercise itself, something else fills the vacuum and CHAZ – even in all its incoherence – is the result. In fact, the collapse of traditional state authority in Seattle long precedes the formation of CHAZ. Local news network KOMO News has documented the city’s exploding problems of homelessness and heroin addiction as well as the lack of law enforcement in downtown Seattle in a series of documentaries. The most recent documentary, Seattle is Dying , was broadcast in 2019. It contained memorable segments which go a long way to explain the current loss of power and purpose in local state institutions. Over the past five years, Seattle has experienced a huge surge in property crime – eclipsing the growth rates of places like Los Angeles and New York City. Even during the coronavirus lockdown, property crime has increased in the city, including in the east precinct which includes Capitol Hill. Many feel that Seattle has fostered permissiveness towards serious social problems and that has led to the state of the city today. It is therefore no surprise that radicals within the city saw an opportunity to push the state institutions further by forming CHAZ."

The End of Chaz - "Black Lives Matter and Antifa-affiliated activists hoped to create a new regime based on familiar social-justice principles of recent years: they established a social order based on a “reverse hierarchy of oppression,” implemented race-based segregation in public spaces, and maintained a “police-free zone” that they believed would protect “people of color” from the depredations of the state. As it turns out, however, maintaining public order is a complex undertaking and can’t be replaced by academic symbolism. BLM activists might despise George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, but a regime based on the principles of Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ibram X. Kendi, and Robin DiAngelo doesn’t work too well. As CHAZ’s experience demonstrates, when left-wing radicals shift from protest to governance, things fall apart. Ultimately, the problem of violence—and a dangerously naive understanding of policing—doomed the CHAZ. Over its 24-day history, the autonomous zone saw two gun homicides and four additional shooting victims. All the identified victims were black men—precisely the demographic for whom the CHAZ had claimed to offer protection. In the absence of a legitimate police force, armed criminal gangs and untrained anarchist paramilitaries filled the void. Almost every night, gunshots rang through the streets. The first homicide victim was killed in an outburst of gang violence; the second, reportedly unarmed and joyriding in a stolen car, was gunned down by the “CHAZ security force.” In the end, the homicide rate in the CHAZ turned out to be 1,216 per 100,000—nearly 50 times greater than Chicago’s... By instituting a “police-free zone,” the CHAZ didn’t become peaceable; it became lawless, brutish, and violent. As the national media conducts its autopsy of the CHAZ, one tragic detail has escaped notice: the police department’s East Precinct building, which radicals saw as a symbol of “white supremacy,” was originally constructed under the leadership of Seattle’s first African-American city councilman, Sam Smith, who wanted to provide faster response times to the city’s Central District, where black residents had demanded greater police protection. The irony is cutting: Smith, who grew up in the Deep South during Jim Crow, saw policing as a public service; today, college-educated, white radicals see policing as an evil that must be abolished, whatever the consequences for African-Americans. What are the ultimate lessons of the CHAZ? Don’t be fooled by rhetorical premises of radicals and don’t cave to mobs. For more than three weeks, Durkan insisted that the CHAZ was a “block party” or a “Summer of Love,” and entered negotiations with activists and armed gangsters attempting to capitalize on the cultural cachet of BLM. In the coming weeks, when the barricades are cleared and the graffiti is washed away, the true legacy of the CHAZ will be the memory of two black men who died under the false promise of utopia: Lorenzo Anderson Jr., 19, and Antonio Mays Jr., 16. When the television cameras disappear and the bourgeois-radicals go home, who will remember them? Who will say their names?"

My terrifying 5-day stay inside Seattle's 'autonomous zone' - "During five undercover days and nights in the zone, I witnessed a continuing experiment in anarchy, chaos and brute-force criminality. In order to avoid being exposed as a journalist — several reporters have been barred or expelled — I slept and showered outside the zone. (Those inside have no showers but they do have portable bathrooms.) I took meals, and most of my water breaks, elsewhere because I was reluctant to remove my mask and risk being recognized. Every day I entered the zone twice through its semi-porous borders — once in the early afternoon, and again after sundown, staying until the wee hours... police arrested Robert James after he left the CHAZ. He is accused of sexually assaulting a deaf woman who was lured inside a tent. The same day, former city council candidate Isaiah Willoughby was arrested on suspicion of starting the arson attack on the East Precinct on June 12... CHAZ occupants, ranging from several hundred to 10,000, depending on the day, with many openly armed, control all of the Capitol Hill neighborhood near downtown. The neighborhood is the heart of Seattle’s gay and counter-culture district, and is densely filled with businesses and apartment buildings. The CHAZ now claims all of it. Before the takeover, violent clashes between rioters and police defending the East Precinct resulted in dozens of officers injured by rocks and other projectiles. Protesters and rioters complained of police brutality, leading Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Best to ban cops from using tear gas, pepper spray and flash-bangs for 30 days... In Seattle, as soon as police evacuated from the station nearly two weeks ago, masked protesters stole city property — barricades, fencing and more — to create makeshift barriers. These barriers became the official border checkpoints in and out of the CHAZ. They were later fortified with additional layers of security: more blockades and 24-hour guards. A large team of volunteers assembled to designate themselves “security” for the CHAZ. Many of them wear patches signaling they’re part of the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, a far-left militia-type organization named after the radical abolitionist. Last year, one of the group’s members carried out an armed attack on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Tacoma, Wash. Police said Willem van Spronsen tried to ignite the 500-gallon propane tank attached to the facility. He was killed by police. Despite the group’s link to violent extremism, its armed members were celebrated in the CHAZ for “protecting” the new denizens. The head of the CHAZ’s security is a short female named “Creature.” She and the rest of her team communicate with walkie-talkie devices and earpieces. Some of them openly carry rifles, handguns, batons or knives. Their operating base is in the open-air eating section of the Rancho Bravo Tacos Mexican restaurant. Signs posted all over their base declare: “NO PHOTOS. NO VIDEOS.” Another sign lists Venmo names for donations. Though the CHAZ claims to have no rules, it quickly developed a complex code of conduct that varied from zone to zone and even the time of the day. For example, those in the garden area, who are mostly white, need to make sure they do not “recolonize” the space. Mainstream media reports have focused on the “block party” atmosphere of the occupation, repeating a talking point from the Seattle mayor. She, along with Gov. Jay Inslee, a fellow Democrat, have gone to great lengths to emphasize the “peaceful” nature of the occupation. For media crews that arrive during the day, that is certainly what they will see. People have barbecues in the street. Many bring their children to make street art. People walk their dogs. But at night, a whole different side of the CHAZ emerges. Lacking agreed-upon leadership, those who have naturally risen to the top have done so with force or intimidation. For example, rapper Raz Simone, real name Solomon Simone, patrols the CHAZ on some nights with an armed entourage. Simone, originally from Georgia, has an arrest record for child cruelty and other charges. He usually conducts his patrols carrying a long semi-auto rifle and sidearm. Last weekend, a livestream recorded Simone handing another man a rifle from the trunk of a car. Not everyone in the CHAZ recognizes Simone’s police-like presence, but no one is willing to stand up to him and his group. There have been consequences for those perceived as challengers or threats. Independent Los Angeles-based journalist Kalen D’Ameida recorded Simone and his crew in the early hours of Monday. He was spotted by one of Simone’s men, who manhandled him and demanded he turn over his mobile device. Simone’s team chased D’Ameida and tried to drag him to the security tent. He escaped by hiding in a construction site outside the CHAZ until police responded to his 911 call. Those unfortunate enough to have homes or businesses within the CHAZ — an estimated 30,000 residents — have no say over their new overlords. Residents have discreetly voiced their concerns to local media. Gunshots and “screams of terror” at night have been reported. A resident of an apartment building came out twice to ask protesters to leave the alley where the entrance is. They brushed him off. Every business and property inside the CHAZ has been vandalized with graffiti. Most messages say some variation of “Black Lives Matter” or “George Floyd,” but other messages call for the murder of police. Most businesses are boarded up. “ACAB” — “All cops are bastards,” an Antifa slogan — is written over them. Businesses outside the CHAZ are also suffering. Last week, the Trader Joe’s in Capitol Hill announced it was closing immediately and indefinitely because of “safety and security concerns.” Then last Sunday night, around 100 angry protesters sprinted toward a nearby auto repair shop to “rescue” a comrade who had been detained. All it took to sic the mob on the business was one man yelling into a microphone inside the CHAZ. According to the police report, the store’s owner, John McDermott, stopped Richard Hanks after he allegedly broke into the business, stole property and tried to start a fire. The owner and his son said they called police “multiple times” but cops and firefighters never responded... Left-wing political groups have capitalized on the opportunity to recruit new members. The Democratic Socialists of America features prominently in addition to the Seattle Revolutionary Socialists. But in the absence of any vetting, perhaps intentionally, extremists have also set up shop. One station that operates off and on distributes extremist anarchist-Communist agitprop — the political ideology of Antifa. In one manual titled, “Blockade, Occupy, Strike Back,” instructions show how to use human shields against police, and make rudimentary “bombs” using light bulbs and paint. Another booklet is titled “Against the Police and the Prison World They Maintain.” It features short essays on why police, capitalism and the state must be destroyed by any means necessary, including through violence. One section explains how the media are enemies used to “pacify” revolutionaries. “Our contempt for the media is inextricable from our hatred of this entire world,” the booklet reads. Attacks on journalists who are accused of not toeing the line have become commonplace. On Monday, a masked Antifa militant pointed me out to her comrades and tried to assemble a mob. I left before I could be injured. The following day, a Fox News crew was forced out of the zone... Despite the pleas from those who live and work inside Capitol Hill for law and order to be restored, Seattle’s city council has determined that the CHAZ should continue. On Tuesday, the city even provided upgrades to the CHAZ, including street blockades that double as graffiti canvases, along with cleaning services and porta-potties. It is difficult to decipher what CHAZ occupants want. Each faction, whether liberal, Marxist or anarchist, has its own agenda. But one online manifesto posted on Medium demands no less than the abolishment of the criminal justice system. What will happen if demands aren’t met? Jaiden Grayson, a young black woman who has developed a large following in the CHAZ, told a filmmaker: “Respond to the demands of the people or prepare to be met with any means necessary. … It’s not even a warning. I’m letting people know what comes next.”"

Seattle’s Summer of Love - "the Democratic mayor of the city, Jennifer Durkan... who is an experienced lawyer, endorsed an unusual school of American constitutional jurisprudence. The First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law that abridges “the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” There is no mention of the right to fight street battles with police, to annex and occupy city blocks, and to vandalize buildings including a police station, effectively suspending law enforcement. This is not protecting free speech, still less “balancing” the public safety. And, apropos the signs on the barricades that surround the CHAZ which declare “you are now leaving the United States,” the First Amendment also does not protect secession from the union. Last time that was attempted things did not go too well. Durkan did say that she will “restore” the status quo ante, but her description of the occupation as a block party rather undermined any intended resolve... I suspect that this situation has come about because of a years-long history of leniency to far-left protestors in cities like Seattle, where mayors often share the protestors’ ideology, or are duped into thinking the protestors are moderate... The incendiary situation that now exists might well have been avoided had the city administration—like others across the country—enforced the law consistently before now. It is perhaps pertinent here to note that Best has said it was not her decision to withdraw from the precinct, adding “ultimately the city had other plans for the building and relented to severe public pressure.” She bluntly called the decision an insult to her officers and the community. In the meantime, the occupiers have issued a series of demands (they always demand, a red flag for the authoritarian nature of their politics)... [many] betray childishly utopian thinking:
Abolition of the Seattle police force (including, just to add a sting of malice, existing police pensions) and the “attached court system.”
Abolition of imprisonment. (The authors are at pains to make clear that “abolition” in these demands really does mean “100 percent of funding.”)
Retrials for people of colour (no mention of others) currently serving a prison sentence for violent crime.
Replacement (presumably wholesale) of the current criminal justice system by restorative/transformative accountability programs. Nothing here has been thought through. A measure of the activists’ recklessness is that the first and fourth demands I’ve quoted above from their list would appear to annihilate the entirety of the criminal law, an institution that can be traced through its English origins as far back as the Norman conquest. There is not any detailed analysis of the sources of police misbehaviour and of how it might be reduced. There is no detailed examination of the actual results of actual policies to try and find out what works and what does not... I suspect that the bad actors who are inevitably attracted to leadership roles in such movements—which officially have no leaders, but of course always do—are perfectly aware of the unrealistic nature of their demands. They are not serious and are not intended to be. By confronting authorities with ultimatums which cannot possibly be met, they entrench the revolutionary posture indefinitely. At the same time, by maintaining that the demands are the only way of correcting pervasive and systemic racism, they assume an air of high and urgent idealism. This attracts the support of the young and the liberal-minded, and makes the authorities, even those most sympathetic to the cause, appear to be the intransigent representatives of a corrupt and racist establishment. By contrast, the appeal for careful analysis and policy-making can be painted, at best, as cavilling or delay, or worse... At the leadership level the ideology (and perhaps personnel) of BLM starts to blur into that of groups like Antifa, whose extremism can only put the cause of racial justice backwards. If their demands seem to say, in effect, that society should be torn down—well, that is indeed the stated aim of movements like these. Their goals are not reformist, they are revolutionary—they seek conflict not peace, and they have given scant thought about what they wish to build from the rubble of what they destroy. Since they are quite open and vehement about all this, we should probably take them at their word"
Maybe liberals make impossible demands precisely because they are impossible - so they can blame any dysfunction and failure on a failure to meet them totally

Meme - "Welcom to CHAZ CHOP
Racist free zone
Build bridges NOT walls
Say NO to voter ID
"I need to see some ID. Whites pay $10.00" - Man with gun
Capitalism sucks
Ban Guns!
Mom send $$$, food, and sunglasses
Hammer and sickle"

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