March 3, 2018

Press Not Interested in Russian Meddling — Against U.S. Fossil Fuels

The establishment press has thus far virtually ignored a Thursday report issued by Republican-majority staff members at the House Science Committee on Russian meddling. Per the report, this meddling involved “Russian agents (who) were exploiting American social media platforms in an effort to disrupt domestic energy markets, suppress research and development of fossil-fuels, and stymie efforts to expand the use of natural gas.” Most of the press apparently doesn’t want the American people to learn about that kind of Russian meddling.

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Google Shopping Briefly and Clumsily Shuts Down Access to Firearms

Though clumsy and quickly withdrawn, the company made it clearer than ever that its interest in advancing leftist agendas, even in (or especially in) news is more important than serving all potential law-abiding customers and ensuring ”comprehensive, impartial, and based solely on relevance” search results.

The Washington Examiner (HT Bearing Arms) covered the botched effort on Tuesday:

In the wake of the Florida school shooting, Google decided to take a stand. The gatekeeper of the Internet decided to filter shopping searches that included the term “gun.” It didn’t go so well.

Early Tuesday morning, Internet shoppers started noticing and documenting the digital gaffes. Users received error notices when they searched for glue guns and water guns, toy guns and airsoft guns, nail guns and nerf guns. The algorithm is apparently so strict that even the color “burgundy” triggered an error because it includes “gun” in the spelling.

(One user) found that Google now censors “Laguna Beach”:

GoogleShopCensorsLagunaBeachBCguns0218.jpg

(Another user) noticed that a search for American hard-rock super-group Velvet Revolver did not return any results. Neither did searches for the Sex Pistols, the Indianapolis Colts, or the word “trifle.”

… The benevolent nanny nerds at Google quickly began cleaning up their mistake. Many of the search terms had been restored by the early evening, but not before an important lesson was learned: Attempts to coddle adults will always backfire.

That assessment is far too optimistic. The non-benevolent “nanny nerds at Google” likely learned that they need to censor “undesirable” content more discreetly.

James Damore’s employment discrimination filing exposed Google’s corporate culture as no longer even feigns neutrality, revealing “nothing short of the psychologies of totalitarianism in their timeless forms.”

Google has placed its politically correct thumb on the scale in many other areas.

Just one example, as reported at the Daily Caller Tuesday:

The Southern Poverty Law Center is assisting YouTube in policing content on their platform …

The left-wing nonprofit — which has more recently come under fire for labeling legitimate conservative organizations as “hate groups” — is one of the more than 100 nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and government agencies in YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers” program …

Thursday, the Daily Caller noted that SPLC “confirmed their participation” in YouTube’s effort.

As I noted Friday at NewsBusters, the SPLC has expanded its center-right smear targets to include Helen Smith, author of Men on Strike, and American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, who wrote The War on BoysWho Stole Feminism?, and opposes “gender feminism.”

SPLC’s participation in YouTube’s censorship brigade supports the notion that the group, with Google’s active support, has the ability to banish these women and others who hold similar views from YouTube.

Meanwhile, the establishment press either ignores or openly supports these efforts, because Google consider them “reliable sources.”

Voting with one’s fingers and wallet to avoid Google’s products and services would appear to be the only way the average person can fight this censorship.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (030318)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: In rare letter, Benedict XVI says he’s ‘on pilgrimage home’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Vatican City:

Feb 7, 2018 / 02:18 am

In a rare new letter penned by Benedict XVI, the retired pontiff said he is in the last phase of his life, and while his physical strength might be waning, he is surrounded by a “love and goodness” that he never imagined.

“I can only say that at the end of a slow decline in physical strength, inwardly I am on pilgrimage home,” Benedict XVI said in the letter, published Feb. 7 in Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

He said that “it’s a great grace for me to be to be surrounded in this last piece of the road, which is at times a bit tiring, by a love and goodness that I could never have imagined.”

Benedict addressed the letter to Italian journalist Massimo Franco of Corriere della Sera, who was charged with the task of presenting the retired pontiff with letters expressing concern and asking about his well-being five years after resigning from the papacy.

He shocked the world when he announced his resignation Feb. 11, 2013, declaring that the See of Peter would be vacant as of 8 p.m. on Feb. 28. A conclave was called to name his successor, and on March 13, 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Bishop of Rome, and took the name Francis.

In his letter, published Feb. 7 on the front page of Corriere della Sera, Benedict said he was moved that so many readers from the paper “want to know how I’ve spent this last period of my life.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.