Friday, May 17, 2019

"You Can't Watch This": new documentary about the deplatforming of "conservatives"

You Can’t Watch This”, a 51-minute film by George Llewlen-John, looks at the censorship and de-platforming of several conservative speakers, from RFSW productions, released May 15, 2019.  

The individuals involved are Alex Jones, Laura Loomer, Gavin McInnes, Tommy Robinson, and Paul Joseph Watson.  Milo Yiannopoulos was not covered on in the film.

Laura Chen shows the trailer and explains the problem.

The film gives a lot of history of Alex Jones, who had set up InfoWars back around 2000 in Austin, TX. It is true that apparently he got into trouble with his accounts of the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012.

Tommy Robinson is well known in the UK apparently for anti-immigrant views.

Laura Loomer had disrupted a Shakespeare presentation and chained herself to Twitter.

But in a short review of a film covering this problem, it isn’t possible for me to assess the claims by the social media companies that these individuals are unacceptable.  Facebook, in its Purge 4.0 on May 2, declared these and a couple other individuals “dangerous” publicly.

Personally, I watch very little of their content, although I have read Milo’s book and watched some of his interviews.  Most of his content is just conservatism. I am aware if a few controversies that Milo and a few others have been involved in (and a few silly or dumb conspiracy claims), but not in enough detail to know the truthfulness of what is said. Some of Alex Jone’s claims about David Hogg were simply dumb, but the only result was that David became stronger as a result.

But Laura’s review explains how these creators are denied a right to defend themselves by the smears and quarantines.

Chen's review emphasizes that the tech companies have over-leveraged Section 230 and acted like publishers when they want to keep the downstream liability protection, the "moderator's paradox".
The far Left tends to see “quarantine” and banishment of “enemies” as a way to protect oppressed minorities and tends to see individualized speech as a grab for power by the already privileged.  

Chen also explains that these person's "online reputation" keeps them from making a living any other way.  That was a problem I foresaw and wrote about two decades ago.

The documentary can be rented on Vimeo for $3.99. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

"What Happens If You Get Deleted?" as per Martin

Martin Goldberg (“Economic Invincibility”) aired a particularly chilling video today “What Happens If You Get Deleted?

He starts out with an anecdote of a woman whose financial records were erased because of a clerical error at Wells Fargo connected to her mother.

But soon he discusses the recent problems of payment processors banning access to supposed dangerous people, probably under “know your customer” rules, but likely motivated by politically motivated collusion coming from far Left lobbying and pressure against “dangerous” individuals with “dangerous” ideology (white supremacy).

He traces the idea of a cashless society where someone who is blackballed is never allowed to buy anything and is forced into possible suicide.
This video was released a day after Tim Pool announced his own “restructuring”.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

"Why China's Social Credit System Is Worse Than You Think" by William C. Fox

“The Exploration with William C. Fox” has a 16-minute video yesterday, “Why China’s Social Credit System Is Worse than You Think”.

The film starts out with a reference to George Orwell’s novel 1984 (which became a film), pre-Internet.

But soon it shows how high tech surveillance watches China’s citizen’s private lives, on issues like playing video games too much or refusing to volunteer.

This seems like an extension of the idea of “right-sizing” people which is getting traction even with the American Far Left, as we are seeing with social media company bans. It certainly sounds as if monopolistic social media companies in the US are joining in.  Is Facebook's prodding users to run their own fundraisers for non-profits the beginning of a "social credit" system? 

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Timcast: "Leftist Activists force Mastercard to Vote on Banning the Far Right"

OK, a Timcast becomes a “film” today. “Leftist Activists force Mastercard to Vote on Banning the Far Right”.
Tim Pool quotes a Buzzfeed News story by Mark Di Stefano   The group promoting the idea is called "Sum of Us" and the name suggests solidarity and collective activism.  The "people before profits" almost sounds like a meme of its own. I don't approach policy problems this way, but I do "report" them. 

Apparently Mastercard will vote on a proposal at a shareholder’s meeting in June.

There have been several instances of “conservatives” or persons with supposed connections to the extreme right having bank accounts, even personal ones, terminated.

It has become common and acceptable (even expected) for payment processors to cut off access for foreign terror organizations (like ISIS).
But domestic terror is much more insidious.  It is much easier to accuse persons falsely of connections to, say, white supremacy than it is to accuse them of connection to radical Islam.  That is why this development sounds so dangerous.

Friday, April 26, 2019

"8 Ways the World Could Suddenly End" Ted Talk from 2014

Steve Petranek gave a TedMidWest talk in May 2014 “8 Ways the World Could Suddenly End”.
The most important was an asteroid, sneaking up, undetected.
He warned that India and Pakistan alone could put the world into nuclear winter.
He warns that a Carrington-style solar storm event (near miss in July 2012) could disable the power grid for 20 years. He says buildings also need much more underground space.
He points out that one of the three substrains of the 1918 Spanish H1N1 influenza was 100% fatal, and this could happen again.  

Monday, April 22, 2019

Innuendo Studios explains "White Fascism": when race is defined by what it is not

This is a pretty disturbing topic, but this 22-minute animated slide-show from Innuendo Studios deserves a watch.  It is called “Endnote 2: White Fascism”.

The film takes the position that the top of the triangular pyramid in fascism is whoever wants to be in power because they were in power before.  So the “in group” in a fascist system is defined by what it is not.

That explains the “one drop rule” for mixed race babies in the US, but it also explains the totally irrational idea that “Jews” are not white.  In fact, in the Middle East, most people (Jews and Muslims alike) are and look Caucasian. But “white fascism” as the video explains, defines whiteness by what it is not, and that changes with time as the quest for power gets narrower.

The film does not get into the notion that one's personal tastes in an intimate partner need have political implications (the body fascism idea), even though white fascism condemns intermarriage. However some social justice warriors believe that personal body fascism leads to political fascism. 

At the end, the film examines whether the Trump administration is fascist -- and is this a matter of intent? 

I can remember this as a boy, that many of the terms being thrown around by my elders did add up as making logical or consistent sense.
You can have an effective conservative YouTube channel and discuss "conservative" ideas without sounding "fascist" by simply not attacking anyone or any other groups.  Discuss the principles only, not the people. Stay away from "them" below "us", from the tribalism. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

"The Most Dangerous Stuff in the Universe": strangelets from neutron stars

“The Most Dangerous Stuff in the Universe – Strange Stars Explained” by Zurzgesagt for his “In a Nutshell” series.

The stuff is called “strangelets”, variations of elementary sub-particles that may form inside neutron stars. When neutron stars collide, these "strange quarks" might be released into the wild open space.

If a strangelet hit a planet, it might “infect” the planet which turns into grey goo, very much the way prion infections in the brain work. The whole Earth gets mad cow disease.
The Sun goes cold, too, if hit.

But it hasn’t happened in four billion years.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

"Why YouTube Banned Hunter Avallone": another conservative explains the bizarre (temporary) banning of a YouTuber with no community strikes

Why YouTube Banned Hunter Avallone” by James Allsup, actually starts out as a video with some pleasant springtime nature scenery until lowering the book (like a typical nuclear war short film). Oh, the video owner may live in Texas and be waiting for a visit from a neighborhood bobcat.  I’ve watched those videos before.

This time, the catastrophe is that a popular young conservative's YouTube channel was suddenly suspended by YouTube – that is Hunter Avallone’s – with no previous community guidelines strikes, on April 8.

It happened the day before a major hearing in the House on harmful content (see my main blog).
Hunter was able to get it restored about seven hours later.
YouTube had tried to claim that collectively it was “hate speech”.  It is not, when judged by normal standards of civility. It is critical of how some people behave and questions some “axioms of non-choice” (the opposite of how mathematics really works).   But the combative far Left is indeed moving the dial to protect its own ("intersectional") tribe(s) from any conceivable “stochastic” harm. This is a case of campus speech codes and ideas like trigger warnings and microaggressions entering big Tech content monitoring staffs. 

Sunday, April 07, 2019

"The PewDiePie Pipeline": video from a self-characterized leftist source does make a case for taking "stochastic terrorism" seriously as an insidious online threat

I’m linking to the one hour film “The PewDiePie Pipeline” by “NonCompete”, with subtitle “How edgy humor leads to violence”.

The video, at about 18:00, defines “stochastic terrorism”, a term originating in the Left (main blog, April 1). He also quotes Thomas Ridgewell as to how gamers and entertainers (like PewDiePie) should take responsibility for younger or more impressionable viewers.

The second video that follows does not recommend content censorship, but does talk about “organizing” and “action” – yet here most of the action is counter-speech.  

The first video contains footage from the Covington Kids incident in January and appears to misrepresent the facts.  We know from other sources and other video (and expressed in some litigation) that the Covington high school students did NOT intend to harass Nathan Phillips.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Reason Magazine editor questions and explains "The Libertarian to Alt-Right Pipeline"

ScotchOikos (apparently Zach Weissmueller from Reason) explains “The Libertarian to Alt-Right Pipleline”.  For a YouTube video, this is a stunning, attention-grabbing and not uplifting title.

It’s rather disturbing, and the speaker, who says he is in his early twenties himself, first admits that people his age are sometimes malleable as to their future political views.

There are circumstances that can lead libertarians and Bannon-ists to support the same ideas, for different motives.  He gives an example of Barry Goldwater’s candidacy against LBJ in 1964.  (I remember the short documentary “The War Game”, seeing it in grad school before being drafted).
Given his own background, it is expected that he would discuss the way anti-Semitism mixes with anti-government ideology. 
The also gets into the idea that non-white peoples today are more likely to believe in collectivism, so the “whites” need to organize themselves because individualists can easily be defeated by an organized, united “enemy”.

There is also simply the idea that persons may be forced into personal interactions with others that they do not want intimacy with, because they have grown up with a certain ideal favored by a more segregated past. Individualists may feel shame in being expected to demonstrate as part of an "oppressed group". 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

"YouTube's Messy Fight": Carlos Maza (in 2017) covers a growing existential threat to independent journalism and newbie self-broadcast free speech, post Charlottesville

YouTube’s Messy Fight with Its Most Extreme Creators”, by Carlos Maza (and Coleman Lowndes).

This video dates back to late 2017 (after Charlottesville) but it right on topic as to the problems with censorship and particularly ad demonetization and showdowbanning of recently some right-wing content.

Maza’s Strikethrough series on Vox is one of my favorites.  Maza is humorous, but sometimes on Twitter goes overboard on how he characterizes some specific people (like Tucker Carlson).
Maza explains that the importance of YouTube (and Blogger and even most hosting plans) is the low barrier to entry and the absence of regulation familiar in broadcast (although in cable the regulation is less).

In the past two years, since Trump’s election, there has developed the idea that gratuitous content (free), or patronage content or channels based on ad-clicks, have become vulnerable to manipulation not only by religious extremism (radical Islam, as a few years ago) but especially by the “alt-right” (for want of a better name) and the particular relation that ideology has to U.S. history.
I used to dismiss the “alt-Right’s” rants as just silly.  If you want to call a particularly vocal teenager (about gun control reform) a crisis actor and then call him an extraterrestrial alien, you’re just making the teenager look powerful, like a future Clark Kent. You’re just being silly. You’re helping the teen get rich before starting college.
But there is also a problem that disturbed individuals with grievances know that if they act out, vloggers and even “for free” bloggers (like me) would want to be perceived as valid libertarian-oriented journalists, have to talk about them and what they did (even if they don’t name them repeatedly). That’s an inevitable artefact of free entry.  I try to isolate the worst cases on this particular blog.

I even feel that if someone who “acted out” published a particular grievance about someone like me (not just for LGBT issues itself but for more subtle things like childlessness and intellectualism) I need to know about it and be prepared to respond to it.  I can’t just join a “group” to protect me.  

There is a moral question about “too much talk” without “action”  -- “skin in the game” – but now even the “Take Action” buttons on non-profit sites could be misconstrued.  We are heading into an environment where, as we have seen (with FOSTA, terror content, and now copyright issues in Europe) there is pressure to take away downstream liability protections from platforms, with a belief that amateur speech (as YouTube and even this Blogger platform) should no longer be encouraged – people need to join up and enlist and work together in groups and support each other – which introverts like me don’t do very well.
We’ll come back to some of the legislative proposals with another video just for this blog soon.  But Maza has gotten a needed conversation started with this particular video.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

David Hogg makes multiple videos on visit to New York City this weekend, while Ford Fischer is coincidentally nearby at the same time; more details on Parkland emerge

David Hogg was in NYC this past weekend and made at least two compelling videos.
In this video he talks to a community organizer in the Bronx (I think) on how facilities to help youth aren’t open.  They look into how a specific shooting happened recently. 
I lived in New York 1974-1978/  I feel a lot more uncomfortable in some parts of DC (esp. some of SE) than in NYC..  
On Friday night, March 22, David found a church with multiple orange ribbons to commemorate those lost to gun violence, and made this video 

Ford Fischer, reporter and filmmaker of News2Share, was a few miles away in NYC filming a pro-Trump rally.  Ford films rallies and protests of all political views and remains neutral.  I tried by Twitter to get them to meet.
At the same time, there were vidoes of new Article 13 protests in Germany and more Yellow Jacket protests in France (which Ford had filmed in February on a visit). 
Here is a short video from late March 2018 where David and one of his teachers describe in more detail what happened on Feb. 14, 2018 at Parkland.

The teacher did a lot to save the students, or the toll could have been much higher.
I would not consider teaching if teachers were expected to “volunteer” to be armed.

Friday, March 22, 2019

IanLive explains "The Alt-Right Playbook" with an episode "Always a Bigger Fish"

The Alt-Right Playbook: Always a Bigger Fish”, from Innuendo Studios, will lead to a postscript, “Endnote 3: The Origins of Conservatism”, by IanLive.

The animated video starts with a debate with his conservative friend who opposes automatic free college tuition.

The video eventually gets into the differences in basic beliefs between conservatives and liberals under “capitalist democracy”.

He gets into the conservative belief that in nature there is always an order where some people have a higher number on the scale than others, it’s a mathematical inevitability. He gets into the idea that sharks lord it over the minnows.  When I was in kindergarten in 1949, the teacher made it about "elves and brownies", and I stayed downstairs with the latter (I am European)  That wouldn't fly today. 

So there will always be a pyramid of station in life, with self-similarity, based on meritocracy.
In the end, any system that believes in natural hierarchy (even libertarianism) is vulnerable to fascism when put under stress by instability or external stress. Egalitarianism and localism provide a natural defense from sliding into fascist thinking, where people have to be “right-sized”.

He claims “the alt-right” is the conservative tradition.  It doesn’t necessarily mean ethno-statism.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"White Right: Meeting the Enemy": A Muslim woman documents white supremacist hate by interviewing the enemy

White Right: Meeting the Enemy”, from Fuuse Films, Women Making Movies, and the BBC, is a shocking 55-minute documentary by Deeyah Kahn, who travels the US to confront white nationalists or supremacists about their beliefs and figure out what makes them tick.  I watched it on Netflix (film).

She visits Charlottesville (even before the 2017 event), Detroit, Tennessee, Wisconsin, North Dakota, New York City and Philadelphia. The common denominator seems to be poor self-concept, leading to joining a tribe or gang, and then rationalizations about the future of the tribe – in this case, blown up to that of a desired white “ethno-state”.  Many of the men are unkempt, overweight and heavily tattooed.  But a group of privileged men also desire “power” and “control”.

She challenges at least two of the men she interviews as to whether they would deport her, and gradually she starts to convince them that befriending her, of a different religion (Muslim) or race would gradually transform them.

That’s somewhat the idea of the group “Better Angels”.

These men are indeed hostile. The people "deplatformed" in recent months are not at all like these men.  For example, Milo never remotely comes close the this kind or rhetoric. Yet the far Left calls everybody remotely like this "racist".

One of the men made a reference to "The Proles" which is my own unpublished novel manuscript about nuclear war from 1969 (handwritten when I was in the Army), one chapter of which (based on my 1968 Basic Training and Special Training Company experience at Fort Jackson SC)  is in my DADT III book (2014).  That was odd. It was as if he felt like he was a "prole" in the Marxist sense and had to join a team of warriors to have a self-concept at all.

The film does show violent footage from Charlottesville, including the actual car collision that led to Heather Heyer’s death. It also shows the immediate aftereffect of the attack of the Sikh center in Wisconsin.

The "conservatives" who have been "de-platformed" in various incidents in the past few months have nothing to do with all this.  The idea that these controversial speakers are feeding this white nationalism and making it a threat is an idea that the far Left has invented to get more solidarity on its side.

This is a very graphic documentary.  I do wonder if it will be shown on PBS POV, or is it too explicit?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Livestream and rapid spread of violent videos (especially Christchurch) seems to lead to draconian warnings from platforms

According to NBC News (no link so far), tech companies (especially Facebook and YouTube) are so pressured by the Christchurch incident that they have said they will close the account of anyone who attempts to upload the full video, or even an edited video (to remove the most graphic violence) of the incident, or even who posts praise or support of the perpetrator(s) or their actions.

The post or praise thing is a very slippery slope indeed.

Shibani Mahtani reported late Sunday that Facebook had removed 1.5 million copies, and had to look for many more, which will exist on the dark web.

As for the title of this blog, “films” involving threats to personal freedom, the17-minute livestream video would logically qualify as a “subject” since it exists and certainly represents a threat. I have not seen it and don’t intend to. (I did read the “manifesto”).  Under New Zealand law, sharing of a violent crime-in-progress video is itself a crime (even after the incident). 

I can remember as a child my parents wouldn’t let me see violence until about age 13 or so.  I actually would have been very traumatized by this. I can remember being rather scared by “The Clutching Hand” on “Movies for Kids” on Saturday mornings when I was about 10. (Choir practice eventually stopped that.)

On the video above (6 min), Ford Fischer (owner of News2Share in Washington DC) discusses the existence and misuse of the tape and manifesto in a session at station I24 News in New York City Friday afternoon March 15.  The video does have a small sample of police activity during the incident. I know the speaker fairy well.  By chance, I was in New York at the same time in a hotel on the upper East Side (to see an unusual play that evening). I found out it was supposed to be on channel 102, but when I went to it, the system told me that the content from that station was no longer available.

Ford talks about the difference (in the case of Trump’s remarks) between condemning specific criminal acts by a specific person, and condemning an ideology.  Many social media and related services have tried to block all content that seems to be associated with the “alt right” (or white supremacy, if that is indeed the same thing). Then you get into a situation where a violent left-wing ideology is permitted but not the right (where they are the same, but where in theory one group is not singled out before mass expropriation starts – in practice the extreme Left (Stalin and North Korea and even Venezuela) has about the same horrific outcomes as Hitler although not always as targeted on specific subgroups. Is the “ideology” (if there is one) of Venezuela’s Chavez or Madura supposed to be unmentionable, then?

There have been other issues with videos and livestreaming of horrific acts (ranging from ISIS to an incident on live TV in Roanike with reporter as the targets, in 2015).  If I were the victim, I don’t have a particular feeling about this personally.
One suggestion might be that Facebook and YouTube could put in 30-second to 1-minute delays during live streaming to give algorithms a better chance of catching some of the worst incidents. On the other hand, livestreaming might help law enforcement reach the site sooner while in progress.

On another occasion, we'll sort out the significance of New Zealand's gun control policy in this incident.

The New York Times has an editorial that certainly hints at slowing down online speech and controlling who is on it more, for the "common good".

Monday, March 04, 2019

CNN: "Alabama Sheriff on Tornadoes"

CNN reports “Alabama Sheriff on Tornadoes”. He said, “Never seen this level of destruction, ever”.

I visited this area in May 2014.

There may have been ten tornadoes on the ground at once early Sunday night.  One wedge tornado ½ mile wide was on the ground for 65 miles, passing north of Columbus GA and Fort Benning (where people took shelter in a bowling alley).

Auburn University and other more populated areas were spared.

So far, 23 deaths reported.

Chad Meyers made a comparison to the April 1974 outbreak in Ohio. For a while the largest tornado reached 170 mph, EF4.
If I had inherited a house in a more storm-prone area I would have had to be prepared for this.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

"Panodrama": a British right-wing activist tries to expose the BBC and gets banned by Facebook; fake news is endangering free speech everywhere

I don’t know Tommy Robinson that well (in the UK), but here is his one hour film "Panodrama: An Expose of the Fake News BBC”.  This is his side of the story.  YouTube is allowing it now, at least.

In the byline, Robinson claims that BBC coaches people before interviewing them, in making a “Panorama” program.

Facebook removed Tommy from FB and Instagram apparently after this documentary was published (Tim Pool’s video yesterday suggests a connection).

He talks about jail time for earlier activism and solitary confinement.

He also talks about an anti-fascist group whom he claims works with media.

It is always difficult for social media and payment processor companies to judge accusations of hate speech objectively.  I had heard very little about him in the U.S. but the details in the latter part of the Wikipedia story are disturbing.

Sargon of Akkad has videos on the banning.

By Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Parkland journalism students observe one year anniversary

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Parkland High School students recall how they covered the events, one year ago today.

Like David Hogg, they all lived through this. They all have detailed accounts of surviving this terrible trauma.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

"The Truth in 15 Minutes": how easily group behaviors at a pubic gathering are misread in a social media storm

Nick Sandmann: The Truth in 15 Minutes”, from Linwood, is a documentary that shows what really happened on January 18, 2019 at the Lincoln Memorial, in the three way confrontation among the Covington Catholic Boys, Nathan Phillipps from the Indigenous People’s March, and the “Black Israelites”.

I put this report here because the way the media ran away with the social media and seriously harmed the reputations of various persons, especially some of the boys, brings up a serious threat of future Internet and user-generated content regulation – even for conceivable national security rationales – at a time when the Trump considers such a declaration over an almost unrelated border issue.

It is true that Nathan Phillips's initial statements seemed way off base, but he tempered them in time.  However, a very recent USA Today story says that Phillips stands by his original claim that the students were disrespectful, and some people discount the Covington school investigation that clears the boys because "white people don't get to decide what is disrespectful".

The documentary shows how easily the intentions of all the groups, but especially the boys, can be misread by seeing only part of the video material.  There is also a serious question about how much the boys and Phillips could actually see.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

"Russia's Avangard Missile" (Euronews)

Russia’s Avangard Missile” is getting attention as Trump questions NATO and Russia stares down the Baltics (maybe even Finland). 
There are many short news reports on this, with Euronews having what looks more like a short film.

The hypersonic missile is said to travel 27 times the speed of sound, and able to defeat any conceivable NORAD defense.

It is supposedly five years ahead of a US system (with “only” 5 times the speed of sound).
Trump’s pulling out of an arms limitation treaty make this more dangerous, despite Trump’s coziness with Putin last summer.
It’s a long stretch, however, before North Korea could get such a weapon.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

"Nuclear Monday" simulates a Russian nuclear attack on the U.S.

Purple Planet offers the short film “Nuclear Monday” (7 min) directed by Stephen Alsheimer. Brian Willis and Chris Murphy appear.

The film shows a young man, first driving with the camera focused on hairy thighs, returning home to get an emergency broadcast network message about an impending nuclear attack from ten Russian missiles, like Putin’s recent hypersonic doomsday missile.

You also learn that the young man is a doomsday prepper.  He has literature around and there is aclip that says that Kim Jong Un (North Korea) ever agreed to anything with Donald Trump.

There is evidence of an EMP effect (turning off electronics) before the blast hits. 
Things do not end well.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Penny University: "What Would Happen After an EMP?"

Penny University, aptly named, seems to be a channel dedicated to the interests of doomsday preppers.

What Would Happen After an EMP?” would be another supplement to follow the short film “EMP” reviewed on Dec. 16.

The film, or rather like a filmstrip, does not distinguish between E1 and E3, and does not correctly described what a coronal mass ejection would do (it doesn’t have E1 effects).
But the moral tone of the clip is quite striking. And it correctly notes that the major media has not covered this topic very well.