By Larry Wiwi for the Franklin County Tea Party
I am just finishing The Road to Serfdom, written by Friedrich Hayek and long recognized as a defining text of conservatism. In addition to being difficult to read – very complex topics and writing style, I found it to be less about conservatism than very clearly defining the evils of socialism, and there are many. It is an old book, first published in 1944 so naturally it focuses more on the Fascism of the 1930’s-1940’s than on the communism that became prominent later, but the principles of both liberty and socialism it defines are timeless.
I cannot summarize a complex text in a short article but can build on the single most important tenet of the book: Socialism and personal liberty are diametrically opposed and completely incompatible. Very simply stated, socialism gives government enormous power over our lives under the notion that smart central planners can do things for us better than we can do ourselves and/or the notion that we allow it for the “collective good.” Socialism also come at a high cost to citizens in the form of taxes – people living under socialism give enormous portions of their earnings to the government, sometimes as high as 70% so they can get all the “free” stuff in return – free education, medical care, etc.
Personal liberty is exactly the opposite – as little government control as possible so individuals are free as possible to keep what they earn and pursue their life and happiness as they see fit like making their own choices on education and health care – sounds an awful lot like the opening sentences of the Declaration of Independence doesn’t it?
I believe the modern proponents of socialism in this country are of two stripes: the Obama, Clinton and Warren versions know exactly what they are doing and want to impose socialism on you because of their ideology and their lust for power, and the Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez versions are stunningly ignorant and really don’t understand the oppression and suffering that would result from the policies they espouse.
As a child devouring history, I used to think Patrick Henry’s immortal revolution era statement, “Give me liberty, or give me death,” was an incredibly brave statement. I know longer think that, and instead think it is stating the obvious. I would much prefer death than living under socialism and pray that there are enough Americans who really understand the choice between socialism and personal liberty to defeat the former and defend and protect the latter.
Mass Shootings: The Roots pt. 1
What are the causes of mass shootings? What are the solutions to prevent these horrific crimes? What steps do we need to take as a society in order to prevent them? How can someone commit such a horrible crime?
These are some of the basic questions I believe everyone asks whenever these shootings occur, but one question always remains stuck in my head when these tragedies strike the heart of America.
Why do mass shootings happen?
All people everywhere will answer the question in different ways depending on what your worldview is.
Your worldview is the way in which you view the world and everything in it. Your worldview answers basic questions such as this:
1. Why am I here?
2. What is my purpose?
3. What is wrong with the world?
4. How can what is wrong be made right?
When it comes to mass shootings, your worldview has the potential to answer the question as to why these tragedies occur, and why murderers commit these atrocities. Your worldview has the potential to objectively call every person who commits these murderous acts evil. This is why your worldview is important, because without a correct worldview, you won’t be able to answer these questions.
Now that I’ve gone over a basic overview as to why your worldview is important, I’m going to go back to the original question and answer that original question through my personal worldview.
Why do mass shootings happen? Sin. Sin exists, and sin is everywhere. Sin is the reason why we live in such a fallen and broken world. Sin is the reason why so many kids go to school without hope and go home to destroyed homes. Sin is the reason why kids are finding their identity in everything that the world is offering rather than finding their identity in things that could satisfy their hungry soul. Sin is the reason why rampant leftism has spread everywhere, especially within the education system in America. Sin is the reason why parents think they know their kids, but will turn on the news to find that their child was the next school shooter.
Here are a few Bible verses that speak about the sinfulness of man and the destructive nature of sin:
The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. – Genesis 6:5 (ESV)
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. – Psalm 51:5 (ESV)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)
For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. – Mark 7:21-22 (ESV)
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. – John 3:19-20 (ESV)
Surface Level Symptoms
I’m not here to argue about what you might or might not believe, rather I’m here to simply provide you with the truth. Without the truth, you cannot come up with a rational explanation as to why mass shootings happen.
You say mental health? I say the sinfulness of man.
You say broken homes? I say the depravity of mankind.
Broken homes and mental health issues are all surface level symptoms of the root problems mankind deals with on a daily basis, which is the sinful nature he was born with.
Why do these mass shootings keep happening? Sin.
How do we prevent these mass shootings from happening? I will provide the answers to that question in the upcoming articles.
SHADOW BANNING: Project Veritas Exposes Twitter Censorship Strategy For “Ultimate Control” of “Content”
In the latest of a series of undercover operations targeting the mainstream media and now Social Media, James O’Keefe of Project Veritas has just dropped a new undercover video which reveals Twitter “shadow banning” and creating algorithms that censor certain ideas.
The first clip features a former Twitter software engineer who explains how/why Twitter “shadow bans” certain users:
Abhinav Vadrevu: “One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting but no one sees their content.”
“So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it. I don’t know if Twitter does this anymore.”
Meanwhile, Olinda Hassan, a Policy Manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team explains on December 15th, 2017 at a Twitter holiday party that the development of a system of “down ranking” “shitty people” is in the works:
“Yeah. That’s something we’re working on. It’s something we’re working on. We’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up. It’s a product thing we’re working on right now.”
In the full video (see below) Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Nora explains that Twitter doesn’t have an official written policy that targets conservative speech, but rather they were following “unwritten rules from the top”:
“A lot of unwritten rules, and being that we’re in San Francisco, we’re in California, very liberal, a very blue state. You had to be… I mean as a company you can’t really say it because it would make you look bad, but behind closed doors are lots of rules.”
“There was, I would say… Twitter was probably about 90% Anti-Trump, maybe 99% Anti-Trump.”
Meanwhile, Pranay Singh reveals again just how creepy Twitter can be by digging into your profile and conversation history to determine whether or not you’re a “redneck” and therefore worthy of being banned:
“Yeah you look for Trump, or America, and you have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck. Then you look and parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then you look for stuff that matches that stuff.”
When asked if the majority of the algorithms are targeted against conservative or liberal users of Twitter, Singh said, “I would say majority of it are for Republicans.”
Twitter has been long accused of shadow banning and manipulating various metrics of user accounts. As Paul Joseph Watson of InfoWars reported in August, 2016, Twitter was accused of suppressing tweets from then-candidate Trump in the home stretch of the US election, which some have construed as interfering:
Twitter is provably censoring Donald Trump in order to prevent him raising money for his presidential campaign.
A tweet sent out by Trump yesterday to promote his #MillionDollarMatch donation drive does not appear on Trump’s profile page nor did it appear on the feed of anyone following him.
You can check for yourself. Here is the tweet sent out by Trump yesterday and here is his main profile page – which doesn’t show the tweet. The tweet has been buried as if it never existed.
A Trump tweet in which he declared that “the establishment and special interests are absolutely killing our country” was also shadow banned by Twitter back in April.
While Twitter is censoring Trump, it has repeatedly been accused of gaming its algorithms in support of Hillary. Back in February, users were irate after the social media giant appeared to censor the anti-Hillary hashtag #WhichHillary after it started trending.
Then in October, 2016, Dilbert creator Scott Adams was “shadowbanned” by Twitter, which he noted on his blog:
This weekend I got “shadowbanned” on Twitter. It lasted until my followers noticed and protested. Shadowbanning prevents my followers from seeing my tweets and replies, but in a way that is not obvious until you do some digging.
Why did I get shadowbanned?
But it was probably because I asked people to tweet me examples of Clinton supporters being violent against peaceful Trump supporters in public. I got a lot of them. It was chilling.
Late last week my Twitter feed was invaded by an army of Clinton trolls (it’s a real thing) leaving sarcastic insults and not much else on my feed. There was an obvious similarity to them, meaning it was organized.
At around the same time, a bottom-feeder at Slate wrote a hit piece on me that had nothing to do with anything. Except obviously it was politically motivated. It was so lame that I retweeted it myself. The timing of the hit piece might be a coincidence, but I stopped believing in coincidences this year.
And in March of 2017, Twitter was caught by Ed Dowd – a politically active former BlackRock money manager who noted in early February that Twitter was both “un-retweeting” several of his politically charged posts.
In one instance, Dowd made a decidedly subversive tweet pointing out that the NSA and CIA are “wiretapping” the entire country via continuously archived data collection – a story which Wired magazine broke in 2006 and gained tremendous clarity through the acts of whistleblower Edward Snowden.
When Mr. Dowd checked his twitter feed hours after sending the tweet, he saw that it had accumulated 13 Retweets and 38 Likes. Given the subject matter, he decided to take a screenshot. Lo and behold, upon reloading the tweet five minutes later, Dowd discovered that 11 retweets had mysteriously vanished.
Another phenomenon Dowd noticed was that while he would gain followers throughout the day, there was a reliable “purge” of followers in the dead of night, all around the same time. He began keeping track, and though it wasn’t happening every night, it penciled out to around half a percent of his followers each time it happened, effectively capping his audience. Ed had questions; why was it almost always the same number of people? Who un-follows someone in the middle of the night? Considering most of Dowd’s followers are in North America, the un-followers were likely asleep when it was happening. The logical conclusion was that Twitter had been actively pruning Ed’s audience to limit his growth on the platform.
‘Anti-EU Populism’ Going To Continue to Soar Says Tony Blair’s Think Tank
EUROSCEPTIC parties across the continent will keep gaining momentum in 2018, a report by Tony Blair’s think-tank predicts.
Italy sets election date: Vote risks EU CRISIS with eurosceptic parties leading polls
Italy sets election date: Vote risks EU CRISIS with eurosceptic…
POPULIST UPRISING: Anti-EU parties will continue to SOAR, Tony Blair’s think tank admits
EUROSCEPTIC parties across the continent will keep gaining momentum in 2018, a report by Tony Blair’s think-tank predicts.
The report, commissioned by the ex-Prime Minister, points to the rise of anti-EU parties in Italy, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.
Mr Blair’s Institute for Global Change said populism could become the “new normal” in Europe and “transform public policy in radical ways”.
Research found the share of the vote taken by populist parties has almost trebled since 2000, rising from 8.5 percent to 24.1 percent.
Over the same period, the number of European countries with populist parties participating in government has doubled from seven to 14.
The report explained: “In many countries, the trend line suggests that populists will continue to gain strength in the next round of elections.
“Populists could drive European politics into a more nationalist and protectionist direction.
“The basic norms and institutions of liberal democracy would remain intact.
“But governments would move decisively towards restricting net migration flows; make access to some social benefits conditional on citizenship status; and undermine minority rights in key respects.”
It warned that many of these parties support the “weakening or abolition of international institutions like the European Union”.
In Italy, the institute’s dossier says, the Eurosceptic Five Star Movement is likely to “perform very well in the March 2018 elections”.
The party, which has hinted at holding a referendum on Italy’s Eurozone membership, is soaring in popularity according to opinion polls.
The document also admits Hungary and Poland’s governments, which have both been locked in furious disputes with the EU, “are as popular as ever”.
Hungary has “descended into quasi-authoritarianism” in recent years, it says, while Poland “is already following in these footsteps”.
The report also looks at the rise of left-wing populist parties, such as Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, a fierce critic of Tony Blair’s legacy.
It says socialist parties across Europe have rallied against “privatisation, national political elites and European austerity politics”.
The report’s co-author, Yascha Mounk, said: “2016 was the year that populism went prime time, but as our data makes clear: this rise started well before 2016.
“This populist wave has not crested and unless politicians managed to identify and counteract the structural drivers, populism will keep garnering strength in the years to come.”