Parler, free speech, hypocrisy, collusion and anti-trust

I want to address two things here: Big Tech deplatforming the Parler social network and also deplatforming conservative users including President Donald Trump.

Regarding Parler, we need to make something very clear: Parler has always banned threats of violence and incitement to violence. The excuse for de-platforming Parler is that the social media platform has not effectively moderated objectionable content, but no social media site of any size can screen for everything. There is a ton of objectionable and outright criminal content on Facebook. In fact, Facebook’s content moderators have been psychologically traumatized by the horrific content they screen as part of their jobs. (See here and here and here.) The same thing happens at Twitter and YouTube.

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I am beaming with Hoosier pride

I am deeply disappointed in my fellow Republicans attacking Vice President Mike Pence. It was an act of great political courage by Pence to defy Trump’s demand that he reject lawfully chosen electors. Pence knows that he may never be President as a result of this action.

There has been no one in politics more loyal to Donald Trump than Pence. But when the chips were down, Pence knew he did not have the authority to reject the electors, and Pence chose to do his constitutional duty. Trump has loyalty to no one but himself, and sees any disagreement on principle as an act of personal betrayal.

This is how a cult leader operates.

The violence at the Capitol Building was an act of domestic terrorism and insurrection and cannot be tolerated. We must be a nation of law and order. Most Republicans opposed this inexcusable violence, as well they should.

Finally, Todd Young stood in the middle of protesters – an act which in hindsight was a severe risk to his own physical safety – and stood up for the rule of law. Young has earned my vote for re-election in 2022 based on that alone. Between Pence and Young, Indiana was represented very well on January 6. I have never been more proud to be a Hoosier.

A quick note about mask effectiveness

“Face masks do not stop all COVID-19 infections! Particles carrying the virus can still escape from the mask!”

Come on, folks, we can do better than this. The fact that face masks do not block every single particle does not mean that they are useless. Masks are a tool to be used in combination with social distancing, not a panacea to eliminate the Communist Virus.

We do not need to take an “all or nothing” approach. The fact that something is not perfect does not mean it is useless.

Protect the vulnerable from both COVID-19 and abortion

Printed in the Herald-Times, January 11, 2021

To the Editor:

January 22 will be 48 years since the Supreme Court invented a “right” to abortion, something that never existed in the text of the Constitution. Since that terrible day, well over 60 million babies have been slaughtered by abortion.

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Being bitter and vindictive does not make you a “hero”

Teenagers are stupid. That us one lesson we as a society need to learn. Teenagers are impulsive, immature and prone to say and do things that they will regret later. Everyone who has ever been a teenager knows this, but for some reason some people want to hold teenagers to the same standard as adults – a standard those people know they could never have possibly lived up to. (See here and here for more.)

For an example, see the tragic case of a fifteen year old girl who was overly excited about getting her learner’s permit. She sent a quick video message to her friend saying “I can drive,” followed by a racial slur – a racial slur extremely common in pop culture and usually not meant as a pejorative. The video was passed around the school, and a bitter and vindictive classmate saved it for when he could do the most damage.

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Face masks as a sacrament of a new religion

Before I start, let me state very clearly that I support the use of face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 and that I was wearing a mask in public places before it was mandated by state government or county government. I have never opposed the use of face masks as a public health measure.

With that said, it is clear that face masks have become much more than a tool for pandemic mitigation. They have become a symbol for some people to proclaim their own righteousness and condemn those who disagree with the policy as “sinners” or worse. Take a look at some of the social media posts about masking and some of the videos of how people react to those not wearing masks.

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