A few years ago, where I live (in rural Nevada), we thought there was going to be a neighborhood tragedy.

 

The 7-11 store which served my rural area started falling on hard times.

 

First, they got out of the gas business.  The powers that be, told the owner that he needed to replace the underground tanks.  He couldn’t justify the expense.  And then, it became public knowledge that Dollar General had purchased the land across the street.

 

The 7-11 franchisee fled.  He was replaced by a remarkably similar independent operator who got a Valero gas franchise and called his store 24-7.

 

And Dollar General built a pretty nice store across the street.

 

The reason for that story is a headline on the CNN Business site:

 

“Dollar stores are everywhere. That’s a problem for poor Americans”

 

That’s right.  The Chicken Noodle News network a/k/a the Trash Trump Net is all of a sudden worried about “poor” Americans.

 

The thrust of the story is that members of a number of city councils are restricting new dollar stores—which can be roughly defined the same way they define “assault weapons”—because many of them only sell fast frozen food thus creating a “food desert”, allegedly because big grocers do not wish to compete.  

 

CNN says, “Advocates of tighter controls on dollar stores say the big chains intentionally cluster multiple stores in low-income areas. That strategy discourages supermarkets from opening and it threatens existing mom-and-pop grocers, critics say.”

 

Of course, that’s also the strategy of McDonalds.

 

““The business model for these stores is built on saturation,” said Julia McCarthy, senior policy associate at the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and a critic of dollar stores. “When you have so many dollar stores in one neighborhood, there’s no incentive for a full-service grocery store to come in.”

 

“Opponents also express concerns that dollar stores don’t offer fresh produce. Dollar General and its dollar store rivals mostly sell snacks, drinks, canned foods and vegetables, household supplies and personal care products at rock-bottom prices.”

 

Imagine that… snacks, drinks, canned foods and vegetables, household supplies and personal care products at rock-bottom prices.

 

How terrible is that?

 

Hey MORONS! (that’s you CNN).  If you don’t have a lot of money, snacks, drinks, canned foods and vegetables, household supplies and personal care products at rock-bottom prices is a GOOD thing.

 

I’m sorry to tell you that Oklahoma City, where I once owned KOKC and Tulsa where I used to own KTRT passed legislation limiting new dollar store openings.  But only in the “poor” neighborhoods.

 

Ahh, the Nanny State.

 

If you can’t afford to buy a lot, we’ll make you drive to a rich neighborhood to buy it cheap.  Only the oil producers in Oklahoma would like that.

 

The thought in the heads of the libs who lobby for this crap is that if you kill off the dollar stores in the neighborhoods who need them the most, Kroger or Albertsons will take the risks and move right in.

 

Sure they will.  When their shareholders don pink pig suits and fly.  That’s what happens when the Jihad Squad followers get themselves elected to city councils.  Maybe Congress, if we let it continue without opposition.

 

We’ll check into what happened in my former stomping grounds in a few years and see if the libs were right.  Here’s a hint.  Find a bookie who will book a long term future bet.  Bet they won’t.  Make sure that bookie can pay off.

 

Oh…to finish the story about my neighborhood, both stores are doing well, several years later.  Which goes to show the truth of the old saying that the best place to locate a shoe store is across the street from another one.

 

FRED WEINBERG

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

 

Published in Opinion

“Who is attacking your First Amendment through illegal censorship more than big tech companies that the government is working with hand in glove? No one!”

First, there was Trey Gowdy, then there was Daryl Issa and Jason Chaffetz, and the latest to come on board with the great American appeasers is Ted Cruz.

The headline delivered by "today’s conservatives, yesterday’s liberals" was “Ted Cruz Grills Google on Censorship of Conservatives”

The show goes on, the people are appeased, and in the end, there is no justice!

One would think that if Teddy here were truly seeking answers from Google on this magnitude, he would have had a panel of top executives within the company answering these questions. Instead, he settles for an incompetent employee.

Notice with me that Ted starts out saying, “As you know, Google enjoys a special immunity from liability under section 230 under the Communications Decency Act.” A special immunity given to Google from whom, I ask?

Americans, did you give delegated authority to your representatives in giving favor to those who are now censoring you today? No, I know that I did not!

Furthermore, the First Amendment of the US Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law.”

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging 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.”

So, I ask, where did Congress receive lawful authority to hand over to Big Tech companies a privilege in censoring free speech?

Ted then goes on and said that this special immunity to Big tech companies was predicated upon a neutral platform, and over and over again this incompetent employee of Google makes up excuses for her lack of preparedness.  She said that it was a busy day as she chuckles it off.

Ted Cruz is merely an appeaser in the circus of politics, the fox that is guarding the chicken coop in protecting the criminals rather than prosecuting them.

When will Americans learn the lesson (Hosea 4:6) that they are in on the censorship, censoring those who would dare criticize anyone in government who is transgressing the Constitution that they swore to uphold? This is how they are allowed to tear down the laws and destroy the nation.  They just leave off justice (Amos 5:7). This is not a grilling indictment on Google, it is a message to appease the conservatives of the day who take it for face value.

Just ask the bad actress congresswoman, Frederica Wilson, who last week told Americans what is going on, and in her confusion, she blurted out the truth.

“Those people that are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace. We're gonna shut them down and work with whoever to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted.”

You would think with all the corruption found within the career politicians, that Americans would figure out why there are no indictments brought forth when it comes to those who are doing the “grilling.” Oh, how Americans love to be entertained by these actors in the circus of politics.

Yet, Americans are conditioned through these appeasers via hearing after hearing, investigation after investigation, and in the end, Americans settle for no indictments and no resolve when it comes to the justice which guards American liberties.  They merely get talk (Isaiah 59).

Appease is defined as, “to bring to a state of peace, quiet, ease, calm, or contentment; pacify; soothe: to appease anger.”

So, what are the purposes and what is the outcome of such appeasements? It creates a nation of pacifists. Instead of prosecuting the criminals, they simply put on a show (WWE at its very worst) to appease, only to say to the American people through their inactions, “Just go back to sleep, we have got this" (Amos 5:7). Americans then drink the Kool-Aid and do as they are told to do (Isaiah 59:5-15) and God-given rights and freedoms then dissipate into thin air, which further enslave their posterity.

Remember that soft judges create hardened criminals, and that is what the American politicians have become, hardened criminals toward the American institution of our constitutional republic (Article 4, Section 4 of the United States Constitution) as they are given a free hand to transgress, at will, without any consequence whatsoever. Meanwhile, Americans are then laughed at behind closed doors and again, justice is left undone which breeds more injustice.

When Americans decide to be the strength of the US Constitution and begin to enforce the laws which apply to all of us, then things will change, but not until then (Jeremiah 6:16).

 

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Bradlee Dean is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions are his own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Genesis Communication Network. Bradlee's radio program, The Sons of Libertybroadcasts live M - Sat here at GCN. This is an edited version of an op-ed originally published by Sons of Liberty Media at www.sonsoflibertyradio.com. Reprinted with permission. 

Published in Opinion

“Job growth was about 227,000 in June but 46 percent of the people surveyed say they are not better off.  Democrats claim the 50 percent growth of the stock market does not help the common people because most do not invest in stocks, except those with 401(k) plans.  But the stock market indicates companies are willing to invest, which leads to job growth.  Please explain.”

Good points from a thoughtful reader.

June job growth of 227,000 was good, and recent upward revisions of prior-month figures likewise.  However, longer-term job growth hasn’t been very robust, even though unemployment is at record lows.

Some people who were dropped from the job market during the Great Recession and tepid recovery that followed it simply haven’t returned.  But some are beginning to.  Some are seniors who entered retirement early and aren’t being welcomed back by hiring managers.  And some are millennials who retired to their parents’ basements or similar quarters.

Dems err when they claim securities market price gains don’t help common folk.  Beyond 401(k) plans and personal portfolios, the much larger impact is that the vast majority of those people depend on retirement plans that are invested in the markets.  Given the poor management of most plans, members need markets to soar, for otherwise their golden years may not be so rosy.

And stock market rises don’t necessarily indicate strong investment by firms, so long-term job growth has been weak, as noted above; however, in the last decade, things have changed significantly from the pre-recession decades: thus, the “new normal.”  And I think those long-term changes explain our national ennui and sourness.

The key fact is that, even after a decade of recovery and stock market growth, our economy is growing significantly slower than in previous decades.  So, people’s incomes and wellbeing are rising much slower than they did during most adults’ lives, when annual per-person real growth of 2.0-2.5 percent meant that standards of living doubled every generation.  Now, the generational growth is only about 40 percent, instead of doubling.

Although people don’t much consciously think or talk about that, it greatly conditions their sense of wellbeing and their outlook.  For example, living space in the average home has doubled over about 40 years, and home amenities have also greatly improved.  So, people are less burdened by preparing and cleaning up after meals with microwave ovens and dish washers.  And they enjoy more TV options on much bigger and higher quality screens.  Life seems better, and it is.

Although they don’t think about per-capita real growth having been cut in half, they do get a sense the last decade that things aren’t getting better the way they had come to expect from life-long experience.  The fact they don’t know the exact reason for that is itself discomforting.

In my controller’s annual reports the last four years, I explained some key reasons for the new-normal slow growth.  Government excess – spending, taxes, and debt rising continuously relative to the economy, plus continuously proliferating regulations of all kinds – all slowed growth ever more.  Labor force participation grew before the turn of the century, helping growth, but has slowed since.

Debt of all kinds grew unsustainably before the recession, accelerating growth, but has stalled since then.   And increasing trade and international investment, plus strong world economic growth, all helped us before the recession, but those trends too have reversed since then.

These are the important drivers people don’t see, but they definitely feel their effects of slow growth of productivity, jobs and incomes.

As noted above, people generally don’t think consciously about then versus now, although such considerations may play a subconscious role in their outlooks.  Instead, regardless of how much their lives have improved, they always focus on us versus them: They are acutely aware of how well off they are compared to other folks.

And when they feel things aren’t going well for them, they look for scape goats and others to blame.  When they don’t understand the economic complexities and long-term issues, they look for single-factor causes and immediate trends.  

 

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Ron Knecht is a contributing editor to the Penny Press - the conservative weekly "voice of Nevada." You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. This is an edited version of his column which has been reprinted with permission. 

 

Published in Opinion

Humor me for a minute.

 

Let’s say that someone sues me in Federal Court over something I said or wrote and the Federal Judge in his or her infinite wisdom puts a gag order on the defense.

 

So, I hold a press conference and the judge threatens to hold me in contempt.

 

I tell the judge, “It’s too late your honor, I already am in contempt of YOUR court.”

 

How do you think I would be spending the next week?

 

OK, let’s look at the million or so illegal aliens roaming around the United States who are already under the orders of a Federal Judge to leave the United States and simply ignore the order.

 

Are they being rounded up and deported?

 

Are they being arrested and held in “contempt” of a Federal Court?

 

Unless President Trump goes through with his plan to round them up, the answer is no.

 

So, let’s review.

 

If I mouth off to a Federal Judge, I get to see the inside of a cell.  But if someone who has already been through the system, is here illegally and is ordered out just ignores the order, nothing happens.  And that’s the way Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat clown show want it?

 

Now the truth be told, over the last 40 years, I’ve had a few lawyers who would have gladly stuffed a sock in my mouth when I was standing in front of a Federal Judge, but I’ve never quite gone as far as my hypothetical example above, largely because not waking up in a cell is usually among my priorities.  (Or a sitting Federal Judge hasn’t made me mad enough.)

 

But it seems to me that we have two systems of justice.  One for citizens of the United States. And a wholly different one for a class of people the establishment wants coddled. Like illegal aliens. Hell, the Democrat clown show doesn’t even want me to call them illegal aliens.  As if undocumented immigrants makes it OK.

 

Folks.

 

What part of illegal do we not understand?

 

Perhaps, when President Trump of overwhelmingly re-elected in 2020, they’ll get the message.

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

 

 

Published in Opinion

The socialists, the Democrats, the Zionists, the Masons, the Illuminati, Council on Foreign Affairs, Skull and Bones, Satanists, The CIA, etc… you name it, the foolish people of today are suggesting or insinuating that these groups of people are somehow in control of the rest of us. These people constantly highlight what it is that these groups, allied with Hell (Isaiah 28:18), are doing to us and what it is that they are going to do to us in the future. For as much as these wicked men and women would love to take credit for having all power over the lives of others, as if to suggest that they are God, I am here to say that they and others that believe these lies are sadly mistaken (Isaiah 14:13), and those only add strength to tyranny by proclaiming it to be so (Proverbs 18:21). And at length, it is paralyzing men by using the fear of man and the fear of consequence, which is diabolical (Proverbs 29:25).


We are to fear God (Proverbs 14:26), not men (Luke 12:4), nor are we to take counsel from our fears.

“For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.” -Psalm 22:28


If in America today, you cannot see the obvious taking place, which is that judgment is turned backward (Isaiah 59), where men in both the pulpits and in politics, along with their followers, have now magnified the crime in omitting the law (Romans 4:15) instead of magnifying the law against the crime in establishing righteousness (Isaiah 51:4).  We have the blind leading the blind directly into the ditch (Luke 6:39).


We are inundated with lies that are magnified over the truth, which is only temporary (Ecclesiastes 12:14) and that the devil is somehow said to be all-powerful and is control over the Most High God and His children.  However, I am here to tell you that you are sadly mistaken.


Though we know the mainstream media that covers for these global conspirators (Jeremiah 11:9), they would love for you to believe that they are what they want you to believe that they are, they are not!

 

One must remember that these are but mere men that will bow their knees (Philippians 2:10) and answer to their Creator for every thought and deed just like the rest of us (Revelation 20:11-15). Their riches will not profit them in the day of wrath (Proverbs 11:4), nor are they able to save their own souls.


“All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.” -Psalm 22:29
How can one be a Christian and not see the Lord's willingness to do for us as He did for the likes of Abraham (Genesis 14), Joseph (Genesis 41:37-44), Moses (Exodus 23:20-33), Joshua (Joshua 1:7-9), David (Psalm 18), Gideon (Judges 6), Samson (Judges 15:16) etc? “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3


For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God.” -Deuteronomy 10:17

Furthermore, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).


People are simply where they are at today because of that which they have submitted themselves (Romans 12:21), nothing more and nothing less. America as you know it has now fallen to the judgments of The Most High because they have refused to act under His blessings (Deuteronomy 28).


“And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.” -Deuteronomy 8:19


325.7 million people capitulating to a small percentage of criminals that think and act as if they are above the law! Why? Because the people have been conditioned to refuse to hold them accountable to the law (Article 6, Section 2, US Constitution). It isn’t like the people on a global scale do not know who the guilty are, because they do, and that by name.  Instead, people just simply refuse to see and act accordingly to the Word of God (Deuteronomy 4) in throwing off tyranny, and in process would rather suffer their abuses, period!


In the light of Scripture, how does anyone justify the unjustifiable when it comes to saying that we are under the globalists control? You cannot. Instead of you worrying about what your enemies are doing (Matthew 6:27), live your life where your enemies are afraid of what you are doing. Never live your life where the enemies of righteousness are not afraid of you. Christians are called to be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37) in overcoming the evil (Matthew 16:18-20), we are called to be the light that reproves the darkness (Ephesians 5:11).


We are to overcome the world “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
When going to the faith chapter, namely Hebrews 11, what is it that we find?


“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” -Hebrews 11:33-35

 

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Bradlee Dean is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions are his own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Genesis Communication Network. Bradlee's radio program, The Sons of Libertybroadcasts live M - Sat here at GCN. This is an edited version of an op-ed originally published by Sons of Liberty Media at www.sonsoflibertyradio.com. Reprinted with permission. 

Published in Opinion

Robert Francis O’Rourke is a classless moron.

 

He actually blamed the drowning deaths on the Rio Grande river of a father and his two-year-old daughter on the President.

 

There is a Yiddish word to describe Bobby O’Rourke.  Schmuck.

 

Bobby.  This young man, the girl’s father, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, made a decision to enter the United States illegally and hoped he could claim asylum.  When they got to the international bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, the family was told the bridge was closed and they should come back the next day.  There were, according to the Washington Post, hundreds in line.  Ramirez and his two-year old daughter waded in to cross the river and, in essence, cut the line.

 

What could have possibly gone wrong?

 

And little Bobby O’Rourke blames the President for that?  

 

Listen to yourself, son.  The United States—above all else—is the land where you are responsible for your own safety.  And your own actions.  If Oscar Ramirez was too dumb to understand rivers have currents and his daughter was only two years old, he could look in the mirror and figure out who was at fault.  If he wasn’t dead, that is—along with his little girl.

 

Here’s a hint you dumbass:  It’s NOT the President's fault.

 

You, sir, are an idiot.

 

Do I feel sorry for young Valeria and her father?  Of course.  It is a heartbreaking scenario when a child dies for no reason at all.  But who is to blame for this boneheaded stunt?  One person. Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez.  He alone is the cause of his own and his daughter’s death.

 

But Bobby’s moronic blathering doesn’t stop there.

 

He thinks that we caused a change in the Earth’s climate that must be cured by changing the way we generate and use energy.

 

Just think.  All of that high dollar education and he never learned that we had an ice age on this planet.  That our climate is ALWAYS changing.

 

If you think that there is anything we can do—short term or long term—to change what God has decided the Earth will do, you are truly smoking crack.

 

As the late George Carlin put it, “And the greatest arrogance of all: “Save the planet!” What?! Are these f**ing people kidding me?! Save the planet? We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet! We haven’t learned how to care for one another and we’re gonna save the f**ing planet?! I’m getting tired of that sh**!”

 

What Democrats like Bobby are really arguing about is a way to raise more money through a tax on carbon emissions.

 

If the American public is really dumb enough to elect this moron and his friends, here’s a very good question.  What do you think might happen after eight years of his nonsense?

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

Published in Opinion

"It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes." -President Andrew Jackson

People need to first understand those who are guilty of the crimes against the American people and how they operate by doing the unthinkable. That is how they get away with what they get away with because people don’t believe that they would do such things. Well, guess what?  They are.

To prove the point, just look to those who are changing American government to that which is foreign to American government on a daily basis by those who are playing the good guys. This is all being done little by little through incrementalism or a siege (Deuteronomy 28:52).

If only the American people would take the time and read their Bibles and founding documents, how soon they could identify these counterfeits that operate under false pretenses (Jeremiah 6:16), both in the Christian realms, as well as the political realms (Mark 8:14-15).

Look at how Americans have been under heightened attack over the last 2 years by those who have been sold as the good guys to represent them.  Free speech, the right to bear arms, the sodomite agenda, personal and national security, etc. all of this during the tenure of the said good guy.

Then again, the old Communist tactic comes to my aid,

“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” -Vladimir Lenin

Today, we see President Donald Trump is sold as the victim by those he fails to prosecute.  Meanwhile, the support that is driven to his base only ensures a victory for his next 4 years in the people's White House. This helps him to further his attacks on his support base.

In other words, Americans are being set up for the fall.

Mark my words.

Just this last week, Fox News, the best that the conservatives have, just put out a fake poll (Causing the enemy, “Americans,” to believe that there is a lot more of them than there really is) stating that their poised and controlled opposition criminal and actor Joe Biden was winning over that of Trump, 49% to 39%.

Have you seen the crowds that go to Donald Trump's engagements? Pretty astounding. There were over 100,000 ticket requests for Trump's presidential 2020 kickoff at the same time that this fake poll came out.

For years, Americans have seen Joe Biden exposed for his perversions. He has the support of no one and Americans know it.

What of lunatic Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, who endorses a coup against Donald Trump?  Warren also argues the illegal border invasion shouldn’t be against the law.”  How much support do you suppose she has in her efforts against Trump? None!  This is exactly what drives support to Donald Trump. It is called controlled opposition. 

Meanwhile, and on the other hand, President Donald Trump releases 196,000 illegals back into the cities of America.

What of criminal Senator Kamala Harris, who recently said that she would usurp Congress and unconstitutionally change gun laws? Again, this takes all eyes off Donald Trump's administration that is actually doing what she is talking about, and drives support to Trump.

The "establishment" knows that Americans will never get behind Kamala Harris and her criminal actions.  No, the "establishment" transgresses (1 John 3:4) the law with the help of those who have been sold to you the American people as the good guys (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Who has attacked gun rights more than that of Donald Trump's administration?

No one.

Twenty-six states have now passed 55 new gun control policies by a majority of Republican governors. 

What about openly gay presidential contender mayor Pete Buttigieg from Indiana, who claims that he cannot help himself, that he was born that way, and then blames God for the choices that he makes (Deuteronomy 30:19)? Outside of the likes of less than 1.7 percent of the population that engage in homosexual behavior, who do you think is going to support this guy? (Editor’s note: The number of people who identify as gay varies depending on the country you live in, but is generally considered to be within the 1% to 2% range; however, in the U.S., that number appears to be much closer to 4%).  Again, this all drives support to Donald Trump, who in turn supports the agenda to decriminalize sodomy on a global scale.

I hope that you are getting my point here friends, this is the enemy play book and has been for decades in this country (Proverbs 20:12). The right wars against the left (Mark 3:25) and who wins and loses at the end of these contrived unconstitutional wars? Americans lose, and corruption wins every-time.

When will Americans learn?

Furthermore, there are hundreds of other candidates who are running for the White House to serve “We the People.”  Why is it that we have only heard from the MainStream Media and their hand-picked candidates and not from the others? All cameras are to be kept on their global players and pushers of a global agenda.

The global agenda players that the American people are trying to rid themselves from are the very agenda's that President Donald Trump is implementing on his followers (Jeremiah 17:5).

This is how the American people, and that of other countries throughout history that have been destroyed are being undermined (1 Kings 13:33). Nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

And just think friends, if I listened to the modern day professed and hypocritical Christians and conservatives of the day we would all be wrong.

-- 

Bradlee Dean is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions are his own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Genesis Communication Network. Bradlee's radio program, The Sons of Libertybroadcasts live M - Sat here at GCN. This is an edited version of an op-ed originally published by Sons of Liberty Media at www.sonsoflibertyradio.com. Reprinted with permission. 

 

 

 

Published in Opinion

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that momentum is building for the U.S. government to subject Google and other Big Tech firms to antitrust scrutiny for fears that they have become too big and too powerful.

In today’s digital ecosystem, politicians, political parties, organizations and media all rely on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Youtube to get the message out because that’s where consumers by and large go to in order to consume information.

A Pew report found 68 percent of adult Americans use Facebook, or over 170 million. 24 percent use Twitter, or about 61 million. A separate Pew report found 73 percent, or 185 million, use broadband internet. Statista reports that Google’s family of sites are the most popular in America, with 255 million unique U.S. visitors in March 2019 alone.

So, the internet is indisputably a huge part of the way people are getting information nowadays.

Now, conservatives and Republicans have become alarmed as many of these platforms are censoring and restricting speech that does not coincide with Big Tech’s social justice agenda. Deplatforming is real. Actor James Woods has been censored on Twitter, Stephen Crowder has been demonetized on Youtube (owned by Google) and Candace Owens was temporarily suspended on Facebook before the company did a reversal and declared it “an error.”

Political discrimination is destructive as it creates an incentive to silence your political opponents. Suddenly you have countrymen reporting on one another to get them deplatformed. Is this healthy for a society?

But it is not merely the reporting features that are being abused on these platforms.

Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe released a video on June 24 that showed how the algorithms that produce Google search results (and other machine learning) are programmed with algorithmic “fairness” in mind to prevent, per an internal 2017 Google document, “unjust or prejudicial treatment of people that is related to sensitive characteristics such as race, income, sexual orientation or gender, through algorithmic systems or algorithmically aided decision-making.”

Just throw in political affiliation, philosophy or religion, and one can immediately recognize how Republicans, conservatives or Christians might feel marginalized on social media platforms, but Google did not end up looking into that. A study by Google in 2018 on algorithmic fairness stated, “due to our focus on traditionally marginalized populations, we did not gather data about how more privileged populations think about or experience algorithmic fairness.”

As a Google executive in the video who was quoted in an undercover camera noted, “Communities who are in power and have traditionally been in power are not who I’m solving fairness for.”

But if Google had looked at other groups, they would have likely found that supposedly “privileged” populations can feel marginalized, too. The 2018 study unsurprisingly found that participants expressed, “In addition to their concerns about potential harms to themselves and society, participants also indicated that algorithmic fairness (or lack thereof) could substantially affect their trust in a company or product” and that “when participants perceived companies were protecting them from unfairness or discrimination, it greatly enhanced user trust and strengthened their relationships with those companies.”

The thing is, nobody wants to be discriminated against, and if they are it will affect their perception of the company or companies that are doing it. Deplatforming, censorship and manipulating search and news results undermines trust in these Big Tech firms, and suddenly makes them a problem that many want to solve. No need for another focus group.

So, what responsibility does Big Tech have to foster our way of life and our competitive system of representative government, if any?

I would argue just as much responsibility as they feel to tackle the issue of fairness for historically marginalized groups, if for no other reason than it is good, sound business to cater to all comers, particularly in the political and governmental sphere. Why make enemies? It’s provocative.

Many solutions have been proposed to help there to be a level playing field on the Internet. Some are heavy-handed and appear to miss the target, while others are more narrow.

There is the Federal Communications Commission route, which might seek to make public utilities out of Big Tech companies, and all the regulation that comes with that. Net neutrality springs to mind, although that appeared more focused on throttling broadband speeds due to how much data was being used, whereas the issues today appear to focus on content-based censorship.

There is antitrust approach, whether via the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, that might envision breaking up these large companies. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has come out for this approach. In a recent statement, she said, “As these companies have grown larger and more powerful, they have used their resources and control over the way we use the internet to squash small businesses and innovation, and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people. To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies.”

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act exempts “interactive computer services” from liability of what their users post, and grants them the power to remove items at their discretion they find objectionable. Some have proposed simply removing the liability protections, which would render sites that allow users to write whatever they want suddenly subject to liability of hundreds of millions of users. It would also effectively destroy the Internet, since nobody would be willing to assume the risk of hosting somebody else’s material that might be defamatory.

Some have called for conservatives to boycott these platforms and to take their business elsewhere or to make their own platforms, but what sort of echo chamber would we wind up with? More to the point, to win elections, Republicans have to appeal to independents and unaffiliated voters. You buy ads where there’s ad space to reach undecideds. Insular practices of exclusively only talking to partisans on your side is a recipe for being in the minority for a very long time. It does not grow a political movement to do that.

This author has posited that perhaps Congress could narrowly expand the franchise of protected groups under civil rights to include politics, philosophy and the like (although excluding employment hiring for exclusive organizations like political parties and organizations) and defining interactive computer services as public accommodations so that services cannot be denied on the basis of partisan differences. Throw in banking, DNS resolution, web hosting and email services as public accommodations while we’re at it for good measure.

From the perspectives of the Big Tech companies, surely they have noticed a marked uptick in calls to regulate their firms? Conservatives complain about censorship. Elizabeth Warren is worried about smaller businesses. The calls for regulation are directly proportionate to how powerful these firms have become. Do any of the above options sound profitable or more like a regulatory headache that will cost millions or billions of dollars to manage?

And these are not even things we would normally consider, but throw in the prospect of censorship and suddenly it’s an existential matter of survival. Republicans who might normally defend these companies from regulation might look the other way when it comes up now. See how that works?

The truth is, I’m taking time out of my column to focus on this issue and so are many other organizations that are worried they too could be censored. The platforms we’re talking about have such market saturation that is so pervasive it could be utilized to discriminate on the basis of politics in order foster conditions conducive to one-party rule, which I believe to be dangerous.

More broadly, groups like Americans for Limited Government and political parties depend on a competitive political system to function. If we and others like us were suddenly barred from posting on social media or hosting a website or sending emails, suffice to say we would not function for much longer.

In a representative form of government, political parties’ access to media and their followers are critical to building and growing constituencies, and in the digital age these represent a digital sort of civil rights, and they must be protected in order for that system to continue to exist. One party systems do not respect civil rights. They squelch dissent to consolidate power and they target political opponents and critics of the system.

The great Renaissance philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli supposed that there were but two forms of government, republics and principalities, perhaps for that reason. One is ruled by the consent of the governed and the separation of powers, and the other by the will and domination of the state and over time needs to instill fear in order to govern.

There are liberal democracies that foster debate, and then there are one party systems that demand loyalty to the state. There’s not much in between.

The alarming trends we’re seeing with Big Tech companies engaging in censorship in the pursuit of “fairness” look a lot like a bid for one party rule. And the thing about one party systems is, once you have one, it’s really, really hard to get rid of it and there’s no guarantee that your favored class will be represented in its leadership. Sometimes those who support the rise of such a system wind up being marginalized by it. Look no further than Elizabeth Warren to see what lies at the end of that tunnel. Is it worth the risk? Be careful what you wish for.

 

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Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government. He is also a guest contributor to the Penny Press - the conservative weekly "voice of Nevada." You can subscribe here at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

Published in Politics
Friday, 05 July 2019 16:39

243 years ago we deposed a whole government

Assuming you are reading this on the day this electronic newspaper is officially dated, this is the 243rd anniversary of some very brave men telling a king, 3,539 miles away, to stuff it and that they were going to chart their own destiny, create their own nation.

 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

 

Back in those days, we had whatever government was installed by that king, 3,539 miles away.  And he enforced his dictates by military “persuasion.”

 

This was the Continental Congressional response:

 

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.”

 

That was then.

 

Today, we no longer have a Continental Congress.  We have a congress in which the House of Representatives is dominated by clowns like Adam Schiff, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.  We have a Senate dominated by Republicans, some of who have higher political ambitions and some who just want to hold the nation together.  

 

And we have a President who many believe was the instrument that many citizens voted for to fix that government which they believe had become “destructive of these ends.

 

We also have a Supreme Court which recently held that it is not unconstitutional to ask a census question about citizenship BUT they didn’t like the attitude of the Secretary of Commerce so they sent it back to a lower court to try and run out the clock.  How judicial of them.

 

In 2020, we are going to have a referendum on what the citizens actually think of the dysfunction we find in our elected government.

 

The President will stand for re-election, so will most of the various clowns in Congress, as you and I get our official say.

 

My guess is that in the 244th year since those men appended their names to the document in the National Archives, you and I will make it clear what we decided in 2016, which is to say that we had enough.  That our government was becoming oppressive and was beginning—actually well past beginning—to take away from those unalienable Rights.  That is why we sent Donald Trump to Washington.

 

The opposition to the President wants open borders, state sponsored and controlled healthcare, the right to kill unborn babies with their hearts beating, the repeal of the right to keep and bear arms, taxing at obscene rates job creators and a host of other stupid ideas which would cripple the very reasons that those guys in Philadelphia wrote and signed that document.

 

They disguise their desires by couching the unacceptable with misleading words.

 

Gun confiscation becomes gun safety.  Killing babies with detectable heartbeats becomes reproductive health rights.  State sponsored and controlled healthcare becomes Medicare for All.  Open borders becomes sanctuary cities and sanctuary states.

 

These folks use their tongues prettier than the hookers who service some of the men in Congress.

 

Frankly, if we don’t put a stop to this nonsense in 2020, we’ll deserve everything we get.

 

I’ve never blamed the Democrats for Barack Obama.  I blamed the Republicans.  2008 and 2012 were winnable elections.  But you cannot beat somebody with nobody.  And John McCain was Obama light.  Mitt Romney invented Obamacare in Massachusetts when he was governor.  Why elect the diet drink when you can have the real thing?

 

That said, Trump’s opposition has done us a huge favor.  They have shown us who they really are.  It’s our job to vote NO!

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

 
Published in Opinion
Friday, 05 July 2019 16:29

Don't be civil in politics?

Here’s what we learned from the first democratic presidential debate last week. Do not fraternize with those you disagree with and never refer to a fellow politician as son, boy or anything similar.  It’s just not “politically correct.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden was roasted for talking about trying to find common ground with conservative southern senators when he served in the U.S. Senate. “At least there was some civility” Biden said about working with segregationists like former Mississippi Senator James Eastland. He should not have been so “civil” says a number of other democratic candidates.

I’ll tell you this. These presidential wannabes have never spent time around the Louisiana legislature.  When I was elected to the Louisiana State Senate back in 1972, I sat in the Senate chambers shrouded by older senators who had served in that body for a number of years.  They included Harvey Peltier from Thibodaux, Jackson Davis from Shreveport, Jesse Knowles, who survived the Baton death march in World War II, and J.E. “Boysie” Jumonville from New Roads.  They all were quite conservative, more so than me.

Many of these senators had served through the segregation era and had opposed any legislation involving civil rights. When I took office, we often disagreed and I did my best to bring them around to my point of view.  But we were always civil and we often socialized and shared a meal when the legislative day was done.

Should I have scorned those who disagreed with me as Joe Biden is accused of not doing.  Of course not. The whole focus of a democracy is to confect workable solutions where a consensus can come together.  Failing to confer with those you disagree with is, in my opinion, a dereliction of one’s oath of office.

I was affectionally referred to by these elder senators, as “the new kid” and “young Brown.” Boysie Jumonville, who sat right next to me, often called me son or boy.  I never took offense, nor did I think his term of “boy” had any racial connotations.  A far cry of the onslaught of criticism Biden is facing today.

Let me tell you how bad the racial tension could have become.  With much humor and gusto, Louisiana’s first black representative, Dutch Moriel from New Orleans, relished telling of his first day at the state capitol in Baton Rouge as a new legislator.  Representatives have seat-mates, with their two desks sitting side by side.  As chance would have it, Dutch sat right next to Representative Jesse McLain, who represented an archconservative district in southeast Louisiana that had been a hotbed of Klu Klux Klan activity.  Now Dutch was from a Creole background and quite light skinned.

Dutch told me that when he took his seat, Jesse leaned over and whispered: “Where’s that N…..? (Yes, the N word.)  Dutch said he just smiled, looked around the room for a minute, then leaned over to Jesse, got right up in his face, and said: “You’re looking at him.” Then he burst out laughing.  A flustered McClain excused himself from the legislature for the rest of the day.

McClain came back the next day and apologized.  Dutch told me that they became friends, and that he worked on McClain for the next four years to make him more enlightened on a number of social issues.

Of course you have to reach out when you are in public office.  We will never agree on all matters, but there is a middle ground on a number of social and economic issues that both make sense and serve the public interest. For some current presidential candidates to argue otherwise is bad policy and bad governing. 

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

 

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Jim Brown is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own. His column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show, Common Sense, each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Communication Network.

 

Published in Opinion
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