Twitter suspended right wingnut Charles C. Johnson this weekend, and this one may be permanent. It’s about time. (More)
When the resident faculty offered me the roving reporter gig, they also appointed me as BPI’s Twitter ambassador. They said 140-character micro-blogging would be my métier, because squirrels invented Chitter and we like things in nutshells.
I later learned the real reason was none of them wanted to be bothered, but by then I’d joined #SquirrelNation and met lots of other tweeps. And I like my job as Twitter ambassador, even if it doesn’t include a tastefully-appointed embassy tree with the BPI flag out front. I suggested a flag pole in front of Árbol Squirrel, but the
Professor of Astrology Janitor reminded me about the resident faculty’s weekly game where the underwear goes flying planning conference and said they might use the flagpole for a clothesline. This is why we can’t have nice things.
A lot of people felt the same way about Charles C. Johnson, a right wingnut who wouldn’t know the truth if he tripped over it and has a long history of harassing and intimidating people he doesn’t like. And this weekend he turned his sights on DeRay McKesson:
So, I woke up to this. Hate is organized in America. & yes, I take this as a serious threat. pic.twitter.com/V0zThcJJs6
— deray mckesson (@deray) May 24, 2015
McKesson is a civil rights activist whom Fortune magazine included in their World’s Greatest Leaders list for 2015. He helped found We the Protestors to document and demand action against police violence, and the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing includes a brief biography.
— Ferrari Sheppard (@stopbeingfamous) May 24, 2015
That’s right. Someone said a celebrated civil rights protestor was “as dangerous as” 9/11 terrorist Mohammed Atta, and Johnson replied “With the right amount of $ I can hunt down anyone.”
This time, finally, Twitter replied with a permanent ban:
Johnson is hardly the only right wingnut to target the #BlackLivesMatter movement. A former staffer is suing James O’Keefe for wrongful termination after being fired for objecting when the notorious agent provocateur plotted to trick civil rights protestors into threatening the police. It’s the kind of stuff the FBI did back in the 1960s under operation COINTELPRO.
Predictably, Johnson has hired an attorney to threaten Twitter with a lawsuit. Their legal theory is that Twitter is not merely a very popular social media platform but one with a “monopolistic position” (never mind that Facebook has three times as many users) and thus Twitter has a legal duty “not to negligently harm the economic interests of actors who enjoy a relationship with your firm.”
In other words, Johnson claims a legal right to make money through a privately-owned, for-profit media company. As PandoDaily’s David Holmes writes:
More to the point, while Twitter may have started as a communication tool, not unlike a telephone or some other utility, Twitter is now a public and for-profit company, and one whose advertising model is more akin to that of a media company like NBC or CBS. Therefore, barring Johnson from using its service to broadcast his message is the same as a television station failing to renew a talk show because its hosts’ controversial or hateful statements had compelled advertisers to pull their support. Johnson can stand in Times Square and spread his crazy hate-speech, but neither Twitter nor any other company “owes” him a digital platform for it. This is the bargain users sign up for when they join Twitter, and so to invoke “censorship” or “free speech” in this context is deeply disingenuous.
Oh, and to claim “censorship” because Twitter refuses to help Johnson harass and silence McKesson … may set a new standard for chutzpah.
In a time where victimhood is celebrated, where discourse is dominated by ineffectual and verbose liberal academics, and society led by inept deceivers – we alone showed the world for the seven years after 9/11/01 that America was the indisputable world super power and that darkness could never put out the light. To the contrary, the light would come with insurmountable power to punish its enemies. We are the brave few volunteers upon whom the existence of the entire free world relies.
We showed the world that, despite our society’s cowardly quibbling, America’s volunteer military was – incomparably – the most powerful and professional in the world, and that we would defend our nation fearlessly when attacked. While civilians who risked nothing and sacrificed nothing trembled and called for surrender, we warriors roared undaunted toward imminent danger.
[O]ne of the greatest stories never told was our victory in Iraq. On its heels, however, was the greatest of betrayals: a deliberate surrender of the already won victory in Iraq to serve anti-American political objectives. We still have troops in Germany, Italy, Japan, and Korea – yet we pull out of Iraq while the ground is still wet with the blood of the best and brightest of our young generation.
This is, of course, merely the latest incarnation of the Dolchstoßlegende: heroic soldiers denied a glorious victory by back-stabbing politicians and cowardly civilians. That self-serving fantasy wasn’t true for Germany after World War I, or for the U.S. after Vietnam. It’s no more true this time around, and someone should remind them that our military exists to serve We the People and our civilian government … not vice-versa.
Up until now, the Koch brothers hadn’t indicated that they’d be taking a side in the primaries. It almost seemed that they viewed that as the kind of thing amateurs like Sheldon Adelson do, throwing money at some candidate based on overly irrational personal feelings, while they keep focused on the real goal of getting a Republican – any Republican – into the White House. By saying they’re going to support several candidates in the primaries, the Kochs are pledging to accelerate the winnowing process, by which the race’s chaff can be sloughed off and the focus can stay on the serious contenders.
Waldman notes that the GOP candidates don’t disagree on any issue the Kochs really care about, so they’re merely going to choose and fund the candidate(s) that they think could win the general election. But there’s enough money sloshing around the GOP field that even the Kochs’ pledge of almost a billion dollars for the 2016 presidential campaign might not be enough to downsize the clown car.
Good day and good nuts