Mid-Day Digest

May 8, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Without Freedom of Thought there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as Public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.” —Benjamin Franklin (1722)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

No Making Fun of Leftists: Twitter Bans AOC Parody Account

In the latest episode in the Left’s increasing suppression of free speech, Twitter on Tuesday suddenly banned a popular Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez parody account known as AOC Press. The satire account, which poked fun at the leftist representative, had swollen to over 85,000 followers and was a favorite for our own Short Cuts features at the point of its permanent suspension. The question everyone asked following the ban was why it happened, since AOC Press had been in full compliance with Twitter’s service rules. Given her poor handling of criticism, it’s not unthinkable that AOC herself complained.

Twitter dubiously claimed the reason behind the ban was its rule on fake accounts: “You may not register or create fake and misleading accounts. While you may use Twitter pseudonymously or as a parody, commentary, or fan account, you may not use misleading account information in order to engage in spamming, abusive, or disruptive behavior, including attempts to manipulate the conversations on Twitter.” A section of rules was also highlighted noting that a user cannot “post duplicative or substantially similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account, or create duplicate or substantially similar accounts.” Twitter rules require all parody accounts to indicate “non-affiliation” in both the account name and bio — rules AOC Press followed.

The individual who created the AOC parody account, Mike Morrison, also had his personal Twitter account permanently removed. Morrison argues the reason behind the ban was purely political: “I think Twitter banned AOC Press for the increasing amounts of attention it’s been receiving lately. In the past month and a half alone the account grew by roughly 50,000 followers. We’ve had tweets with over 30,000 likes on them, so I think Twitter decided it was time for [the account] to go. They didn’t like how popular an account created by their political opposition had become.”

It’s difficult to argue against Morrison’s conclusion, as Twitter has clearly not applied the same standard to several other accounts that parody President Donald Trump. Parody account Donald J. Drumpf, for example, tweeted, “Many people, including 370 former federal prosecutors, are saying I’m guilty of obstruction. But my hand-picked Attorney General says I’m above the law so #BothSides! #Winning.”

Regarding social media in general, National Review’s David French astutely observes, “Hate-speech policies exist not as easily interpreted, uniformly applied rules that provide all users fair notice of the conditions for using the platforms, but rather as subjectively interpreted, selectively applied weapons to wield on behalf of favored ideas and individuals. The result is that some people are more exposed to abuse than others because those people are deemed less worthy of protection.”

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‘Climate Anxiety’: There’s a Guide for That (Seriously)

A conciliatory CNN report this week touches on the issue of so-called “climate anxiety,” which apparently is becoming widespread. The first paragraph of the report introduces a Willamette University student who “woke at 2 a.m. and then cried for two solid hours about the warming ocean.” That student’s climate professor, Wendy Petersen Boring, asserts, “Back in 2007, [climate change] was the mouse in the room; then, it became the elephant in the room. By 2016, those concerns and fears began to flood over.”

The report goes on to cite a 69-page American Psychological Association/ecoAmerica climate guide published in March 2017 that tenders ways to ameliorate the effects of environmental anxiety. According to the guide, “This … report is intended to further inform and empower health and medical professionals, community and elected leaders, and the public.”

CNN fans the flames by claiming, “Higher temperatures alone have led to more suicides and increased psychiatric hospitalization and have hurt our sleep, which can also harm mental health. These problems will get worse as the temperature continues to rise, research shows.” With statements like that, it’s little wonder students think the sky is falling.

Fact check: It’s not. As veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi has pointed out time and again, our standard of living and gross domestic product on a global scale has never been better because of fossil fuels. Taking those away hastily is a recipe for disaster.

Of course, not everyone is victimized by “climate anxiety.” In March, Gallup reported that 66% of Americans are convinced global warming is man-made. That said, “Fewer than half of Americans — 45% — think global warming will pose a serious threat in their own lifetime and 44% say they worry a great deal about it. Another 21% worry a fair amount about global warming, while about a third (35%) worry only a little or not at all.”

But even that worry seems to become less so come voting time. After every election, climate change as a preeminent issue ends up ranking fairly low among voters. It’s good that at least some people get their priorities straight before casting their votes.

Which bring us to the final point. Tellingly, Gallup also reports, “In terms of demographic differences, there is a 20-percentage-point spread between the youngest and oldest Americans in those classified as Concerned Believers: 67% of those 18 to 29 vs. 47% of those 65 and older. Additionally, only 7% of young adults meet the definition of Cool Skeptics, compared with 22% of seniors.”

Younger generations are more prone to believe climate-change alarmism thanks to our modern-day leftist education complex. Older generations, on the other hand, have lived long enough to know that a plethora of climate doomsday scenarios haven’t unfolded. Propaganda and pollaganda are powerful tools. And for that, we should all be extremely anxious for our future.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE TRIGGERED: “The White House has asserted executive privilege over the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, in its latest confrontation with Congress. The move came shortly before the House Judiciary Committee planned to begin contempt proceedings against Attorney General William P. Barr.” (The Washington Post)
  • A POSITIVELY SURPRISING NINTH CIRCUIT RULING: “[The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit] ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration may, for now, require certain non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait in Mexico pending resolution of their cases. … Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain … wrote that the administration was likely to succeed on legal challenges to the policy under federal immigration and regulatory law.” (Politico)
  • IRAN BAILS: “Iran’s president said Wednesday the country will stop complying with parts of an Obama-era nuclear deal and set a 60-day deadline for new terms of the landmark pact before resuming higher uranium enrichment. Hassan Rouhani’s national address comes a year after President Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 agreement.” (Fox News)
  • ICE EMPOWERS LOCAL POLICE: “Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday announced a new program that would allow local law enforcement officers to start arresting and temporarily detaining immigrants on behalf of the agency, even if established local policies prevent them from doing so.” (The Hill)
  • MIGRATION SURGE “In a shocking demonstration of the latest surge of illegal immigrants border officials are struggling with, over 1% of the populations of Guatemala and Honduras have entered the United States since September, according to the Homeland Security Department chief.” (Washington Examiner)
  • WRAY’S SEMANTICS: “FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifying to Congress Tuesday, said that he would not describe the bureau’s traditional surveillance as ‘spying’ — indicating a possible split with Attorney General William Barr on his controversial use of the term to describe intelligence-gathering during the Russia probe.” (Fox News)
  • THANKS, OBAMA (AND HILLARY): “A traditionally festive month [Ramadan] has turned grim and bloody [in Syria] after hundreds have been killed or injured. The United Nations estimates that more than 150,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in recent days. Since April 28, seven medical facilities and nine schools have been struck. Many schools have been closed as a result of the attacks, the U.N. said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • COLORADO SCHOOL SHOOTING: “An 18-year-old male student was killed, eight others were injured and two suspects were in custody in the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch on Tuesday afternoon. … Multiple sources close to the investigation told Denver7 late Tuesday night that the second suspect, who is a minor, is a transgender male who was in the midst of transitioning from female to male.” (Denver7)
  • HUMOR: It’s time to admit the Kentucky Derby was rigged by Trump and Putin (NPC Daily)
  • POLICY: Where the U.S.-Iran confrontation is heading (The Daily Signal)
  • POLICY: America must take a hard line against China (National Review)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Star Parker: “The House Judiciary Committee has voted out the Equality Act of 2019. It now heads for a vote on the House floor with 240 co-sponsors, which means its passage is virtually certain. The legislation amends all major civil rights law, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act, to include ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ along with race, sex and religion as classes that are protected from discrimination. There is so much wrong here it is hard to know where to start. My dictionary defines psychosis as ‘a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.’ We now have a majority of members of Congress who are prepared to pass into law that the sex individuals are born with — their chromosomal and physical reality — will take a back seat to how those individuals choose to define their own sexual identity. Henceforth, we’ll be done with the idea that there is some objective reality independent of what of any particular individual decides it is. I once complained that our society was denying morality — right and wrong. Now we’re beyond this. We’re denying reality in its entirety.”

SHORT CUTS

For the record: “There’s no denying that [President Donald Trump’s] border taxes on Chinese goods have prodded Beijing to negotiate, though tariffs have also imposed costs on U.S. consumers and producers, especially in agriculture. The tariffs will be destructive unless they lead to a deal that causes China to cease its predatory behavior.” —Wall Street Journal

Upright: “God doesn’t pick sides, and also God is on Buttigieg’s side. You shouldn’t use religion as a weapon, and also religion is Buttigieg’s weapon. God loves everyone, except Republicans. Pete is famous for learning new languages, but maybe he should concentrate on mastering English.” —Jim Treacher

Nailed it: “[Democrats] seem to be hoping for a national crisis for the sake of their own politics.” —Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Braying Jenny: “We took an oath not to try to protect Donald Trump. We took an oath to protect … and serve the Constitution of the United States of America. And the way we do that is we begin impeachment proceedings now against this president.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Belly laugh of the week: “We cannot accept a second term for Donald Trump if we are going to be faithful to our democracy and to the Constitution of the United States.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Political opportunism: “[Joe’s] called Anita Hill, they’ve talked, they’ve spoken, and he said, you know, he feels badly. He apologized for the way the hearings were run. And so now it’s kind of — it’s time to move on.” —Jill Biden

Alpha Jackass: “That past that [Trump] is promising to return us to was never as great as advertised.” —Mayor Pete Buttigieg (Andrew Cuomo, call your office.)

Party of Science? “When a woman gets pregnant, that is not a human being inside of her. It’s part of her body.” —CNN guest Christine Quinn

And last… “My Democratic colleagues seem to be publicly working through the five stages of grief. … The last stage of grief is acceptance. For the country’s sake, I hope my Democratic friends can get there sometime soon.” —Mitch McConnell

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.


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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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