The implications of being a “publisher” or a “platform”

When you want the federal government to “do something,” always assume that proposed action will eventually be used against you. It is terribly na├»ve to do otherwise. The power you grant the government when controlled by people you like will also be available to the government when it is controlled by people you do not like. That is the primary lesson I wish conservatives would take from designating Twitter and Facebook as “publishers” instead of platforms.

There is a lot of talk on the Right about designating both Facebook and Twitter as “publishers” instead of a “platforms.” This is not totally without merit, especially as both platforms are increasingly using editorial standards for content. Facebook’s algorithm controls what you see in your news feed, and Twitter is moving toward making dissent on transgender ideology unwelcome on the site. A site like the Daily Wire, which screens every post, is liable for content posted there. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, message boards and blog/website comment sections are not. If Facebook and Twitter are going to be implementing editorial standards on user posts, should they be treated as publishers?

No.

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Put the bong down: PETA becomes the language police

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. — Genesis 1:28

We hate authority, and our hatred of authority comes from our rebellion against God’s authority. This rebellion causes us to seek to upend the natural order of the universe, and place the lower over the greater. There is no more perfect example of this than the “animal rights” movement. God placed all of creation under Man, and “animal rights” extremists seek to invert that order. They place animals over man, even going so far as to police our language. (See People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ posts on Twitter and Facebook.)

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Christians should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all

Here is a dirty little secret: Every government on earth is a theocracy. Every government in human history has been a theocracy. All authority flows from Almighty God, as we learn in Romans 13. Therefore, we are to obey the civil magistrate that draws authority from God, unless that government orders us to disobey the higher law we find in Scripture. Christians should be the best citizens a righteous government can have.

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Good riddance to porn on Tumblr

I have had a profile on Tumblr since September of 2012, and have used it almost exclusively to promote my blog. I knew there was some porn on here and I knew it was allowed, but the extent of my use of the platform was pretty much me linking to my blog posts. I had no idea it was as pervasive as it appears to be until the mainstream news media started wailing about the new rule banning porn.

I am a First Amendment absolutist, and I have often attacked the social media establishment for banning opinions they dislike. This includes memes, which are the modern equivalent of political cartoons. So some would expect me to oppose Tumblr’s new ban on porn, right? Well, you don’t know me all that well, then.

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Twitter was wrong to ban Laura Loomer

What far too many conservatives do not understand is that disagreement with certain protest tactics does not mean that you do not support “fighting back.” Disagreement with certain tactics certainly does not mean you are actually on the other side. Movements throughout all of history have had disagreements on tactics. We should not be making enemies of our own side over things like this.

A case in point: Laura Loomer was unjustifiably banned from Twitter a couple weeks ago. Loomer tweeted about radical Islam’s danger to Jews, women and homosexuals. Of course, she is right and her opinion is a relatively mainstream opinion. She was absolutely right to complain about the ban. I have complained about having posts hidden by Facebook, and I have complained about the moderation practices of the local newspaper’s comment section. As customers, we have the right to complain about bad service and the right to argue about matters of public importance.

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The need for a coherent energy policy

Note: I originally posted this on October 2, 2000. Because this version of the blog goes back to 2010, I have over a decade of stuff on the website that is not on this blog. Therefore, I will occasionally post stuff from the archives on the main blog.

With President Clinton’s release of thirty million barrels of oil from the strategic oil reserve, energy policy has become mired in the politics of a presidential election, and a large weakness has been revealed in the Democratic Party platform.

Clinton released thirty million barrels of oil; an incredibly insignificant amount given the amount of oil we use here in America. We use 19 million barrels every single day, so Clinton’s release of the reserves will only last one and a half days. In addition, with domestic oil refineries running at 94% capacity, there is little chance of getting this drop in the bucket to where it needs to go.

Since the release will have no impact, why is Clinton doing it? The answer is simple: to help Al Gore’s chances of being elected President. Gore and the rest of the administration have said that the situation is different now than it was when Gore opposed releasing the reserves early this year. What exactly is different, Mr. Gore? Is it that you are falling behind George W. Bush in the polls and you need to do something to help your chances of being elected?

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Donald Trump is a hammer. He thinks everything is a nail.

One thing conservatives love about President Trump is that when someone hits him, he fights back. We have spent too many decades watching Republicans take it on the chin and not defend themselves. But Trump is a hammer, and he thinks everything is a nail that needs to be pounded. This is why he got into a silly Twitter fight with Republican-appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Now, let’s be clear. On the substance of the argument, Trump is right and Roberts is wrong. Obviously there are “Obama judges” in our federal court system. Roberts is holding to the ideal of what a judge should be – someone who looks at the law and the Constitution and makes decisions based on that, and he does have a vested interest in that image. Trump is saying what everyone knows about human nature. People are biased and carry their bias with them. We should not let idealism blind us to reality.

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A false equivalence on tear gas

Putting aside weather tear gas was appropriate to use at the border, this article in the Washington Post makes a false equivalence.

Tear gas is allowed for use in domestic riot control and SWAT raids because it is a “less lethal” alternative to lethal force. The point is to use something instead of bullets. Many “less lethal” tools used by law enforcement (tasers, flash-bang grenades, etc.) CAN be lethal, but are preferable to force designed to be lethal.

This doesn’t mean the “less lethal” options should be overused, of course. Excessive force by law enforcement is wrong regardless. But we should not confuse means designed to be “less lethal” in order to avoid lethal force with the use of chemical agents in warfare designed to increase lethality.

Young earth creationism and courage

I do not have a problem with Christians who sincerely disagree with young earth creationism (YEC) based on their understanding of Scripture. I do have a problem with Christians who reject young-earth creationism because they are afraid of what people will think of them. That is putting the fear of man over the fear of God, and it is idolatry. Christians engaged in this sin must repent.

Matt Walsh recently came out against young-earth creationism and took some significant heat for it. After following Walsh for years, I am 100% convinced he is in the former camp, not the latter. He has never shown fear of man in taking positions. Christians who reject YEC because they are afraid people will think they are uneducated rednecks are sinning against God. The key here is to act out of faith, not out of fear.

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