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How the internet will fall, step one: Remove anonymity

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How the internet will fall step one Remove anonymity

Should I have the right to spread “disinformation” on the internet? Some would say I do not. Thankfully, I have no intention of ever knowingly doing such a thing, but knowing that I can is part of what makes the internet what it is. More importantly, the anonymity the internet provides is one of the cornerstones for its usefulness in modern society.

If a leaked memo last week is any indicator of what’s to come, then my anonymity may no longer be sacred online.

Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet

https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/31/democrats-tech-policy-plans-leakedHere’s how Warner is suggesting we deal:

Mandatory location verification. The paper suggests forcing social media platforms to authenticate and disclose the geographic origin of all user accounts or posts.

Mandatory identity verification: The paper suggests forcing social media and tech platforms to authenticate user identities and only allow “authentic” accounts (“inauthentic accounts not only pose threats to our democratic process…but undermine the integrity of digital markets”), with “failure to appropriately address inauthentic account activity” punishable as “a violation of both SEC disclosure rules and/or Section 5 of the [Federal Trade Commission] Act.”

Bot labeling: Warner’s paper suggests forcing companies to somehow label bots or be penalized (no word from Warner on how this is remotely feasible)

Define popular tech as “essential facilities.” These would be subject to all sorts of heightened rules and controls, says the paper, offering Google Maps as an example of the kinds of apps or platforms that might count. “The law would not mandate that a dominant provider offer the serve for free,” writes Warner. “Rather, it would be required to offer it on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” provided by the government.

Considering how bad the likely interference by Russian operatives through social media really was, it’s easy to see why many would embrace these measures. Nobody wants foreign entities swaying our elections, but what cost are we willing to pay to be protected?

This is a clear example of DC once again attempting to overstep its own powers. We do not need them telling private internet companies what to do and how to handle their members. If Facebook wants to implement these types of measures, so be it. As long as they’re doing so willingly, it’s fine. However, the government does not need to step in. They do not need to “protect” us from our own stupidity.

If I fall for a hoax article claiming President Trump urinated on Russian prostitutes, that’s on me.

Anonymity sucks, but it’s important

To be fair, I have been victim to anonymous trolls on the internet. It bugs me that they can say what they want about or towards me while hiding behind the moniker braveliberal1949, but I would never condone taking his/her right to troll me. They have their reasons for being anonymous and I will fight for their right to remain hidden behind their online persona.

Some would point to Russian interference as a reason to support attacks on our online privacy. It sucks that they can have teams of meat puppets out there trying to mislead as many people as possible. But that’s part of the game. It’s a tactic in the online war we all fight wittingly or not, one that requires diligence but NOT government interference. If they want to help expose foreign actors, that’s on them. They should not use Russia or anyone else as a reason to take away our digital rights just as they shouldn’t have used 9/11 as a reason to take away our other freedoms.

It’s a pretty crazy world online. There’s plenty of bad ideas, false concepts, fake news, and actors intent on hurting us. We have to deal with them. The government cannot provide us with a solution that won’t do more harm than good.

Entertainment and Sports

Man who identifies as transgender woman wins Cycling World Championships

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Man who identifies as transgender woman wins Cycling World Championships

Rachel McKinnon. a transgender woman who was born male and possesses all the physical advantages of a man, won the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles. It’s the latest event that draws questions about the fairness of biological males competing in female events.

Despite outcry by biological females and men alike, it is being billed by some as a victory for the LGBTQ community and transgender men or women around the world. Critics point out that biological males have an unfair advantage over biological females when it comes to activities that require physical strength, speed, or endurance. That doesn’t seem to deter those competing in these events.

Biological Male Wins World Championship Event in Women’s Cycling

https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/10/14/biological-male-wins-world-championship-event-in-womens-cycling/McKinnon celebrated the victory on Twitter, writing: “First transgender woman world champion … ever.” Later, the professor responded to criticism from “transphobic bigots” by tweeting:

Allowing biological males who identify as transgender women to compete in women’s athletic events has been a controversial subject, as critics argue that it puts female competitors at an inherent disadvantage.

My Take

Unlike some of my colleagues, I have no problem with transgenderism. What I have a problem with is the unfairness of women’s competitive sports being infiltrated by those who have clear and scientifically demonstrable biological advantages over their competitors.

If performance enhancing drugs are frowned upon in sports, what could be more performance-enhancing than growing up with the musculature and hormone advantage of a man, then competing in women’s sports?

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Media

There’s one glaring difference between 60 Minutes’ interviews with Presidents Obama and Trump

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Theres one glaring difference between 60 Minutes interviews with Presidents Obama and Trump

Anyone who expected the 60 Minutes interview with President Trump to be anything like their interviews with his predecessor was likely very disappointed. Mainstream media might pretend like they treated the two Presidents the same, but the differences in interviews on 60 Minutes may be the most stark evidence their claim on being unbiased is an absolute lie.

Here’s a portion of the interview with President Trump, which aired tonight:

“Journalist” Lesley Stahl spoke over the President multiple times. If you watch the entire interview, you’ll see that this happened throughout. She would ask a question, most of which were attempts at “gotcha” responses, then would interrupt the President any time he didn’t give the answer she was wanting.

Now, compare that to the interview in the early days of the Obama administration.

Steve Kroft was the embodiment of politeness and civility. He sat aptly silent as President Obama gave his answers.

Mainstream media has given up on pretending they don’t hate President Trump. It no longer behooves him to do these interviews, giving higher ratings to leftist media outlets that simply don’t deserve it.

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News

Is Defense Secretary Mattis out after the midterms?

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Is Defense Secretary Mattis out after the midterms

We already know two major players in the Trump administration are leaving after the midterm elections. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced her resignation last week and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been given everything other than his walking papers. Now we can add Defense Secretary James Mattis to the list of likely exits.

President Trump said on 60 Minutes, which airs tonight, that Mattis is “sort of a Democrat” but that he gets along with one of the most popular members of his cabinet.

“He may leave,” the President said. “I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington.”

There has been speculation the President has been unhappy with Mattis for two reasons. The first is a quote attributed to Mattis in Bob Woodward’s book that says the President’s mentality is comparable to a “fifth- or sixth-grader.”

The second is the popularity of Mattis which some claim threatens the President’s ego.

Trump says Defense Secretary Mattis could leave administration: ‘He’s sort of a Democrat’ | Fox News

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-says-defense-secretary-mattis-could-leave-administration-hes-sort-of-a-democratThe president also called reports that the White House is in chaos “so false” and “fake news.” He added, “I have people now on standby that will be phenomenal. They’ll come into the administration.

“Yeah, other people will go, sure,” Trump told Stahl. “We have a great Cabinet. There are some people I’m not happy with. I have some people that I’m not thrilled with. And I have other people that I’m beyond thrilled with.”

My Take

The love affair many on the right have had with Mattis is silly. He has been adequate, but for a Republican administration to have a Defense Secretary that conspicuously stays out of the news is strange. With so much happening in the world, it has never sat well with me that Mattis seems to be much more passive than his legend dictates.

Exits often happen after midterm elections, but there seems to be an awful lot of them this time around.

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