Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

Have you ever known someone who is completely oblivious about a topic one week, but then gets super-attentive to it the next because it’s become a major controversy? Really, that’s Twitter in a nutshell.

Funny I should mention Twitter because this week’s Lexicon entry is related to the recent purchase of the aforementioned social media platform by one Elon Musk. I won’t go into the details because a) they’re not really important to the subject matter at hand, and b) I don’t want to relive the trauma of hearing that many Leftists screech at once.

Instead, we’re going to look into a portion of the takeover that isn’t getting that much attention, but it’s become a cause celebre for Leftists. I’m speaking of Section 230, the sexiest title involving technology ever devised. Believe me, I’m talking 50 Shades of Gray hot!

Okay, it’s not, but it’s still an important aspect of internet culture as a whole that has gotten a lot of attention without a lot of explanation. Grab a big cup of coffee, kids. This is going to be a toughie.

Section 230

What the Left thinks it means – an important regulation that needs to remain in force and enforceable to ensure the future of the Internet

What it really means – a mixed bag of ideas in an obsolete regulation

If you want a solid and balanced analysis of Section 230, I can’t recommend Ballotpedia’s overview enough. For solid and unbalanced analysis, read on!

The short version of what Section 230 does is it protects online services from being held accountable for what members of those services say while using them. It also gives these networks leeway as it pertains to what communication they will allow, even if the communication could be considered protected speech under the US Constitution. In the early days of the Internet, these protections were enough. Then again, back in those days getting a 28.8k modem connection while signing onto America On Line was reason enough to declare a national holiday.

On a side note, if anyone wants one of the free disks AOL gave out like samples at a drug pusher convention, let me know. I have 5 or 6 storage units full of ’em!

Meanwhile, back at the main point, Section 230 worked well enough at the time, but as technology advanced, regulation didn’t. I’m sure there’s a government agency somewhere resisting the trend to upgrade to Windows 95. Given what I’ve seen of the various “upgrades” that may not be a bad thing, but the point is expecting government bureaucracy to move swiftly to an issue is like expecting Joe Biden not to screw up foreign policy: it ain’t gonna happen!

One of the effects of the speed of quiet of regulations is it opens up opportunities to evolve without having to worry about someone telling you no. And online culture took that ball and ran with it. I’ve been online in one form or another since the early 90s and I can attest online culture has gotten very weird. And I’m not just talking about the porn! It’s a completely different world these days with people willingly or unwillingly putting their entire lives online with all the privacy concerns therein.

But the one thing Section 230 couldn’t have seen coming was the politicization of online content. Sure, you can still see pictures of kittens or the occasional funny meme, but outside of that is a nuclear wasteland that makes Chernobyl look like Salt Lake City. And when there’s ideological conflict, there are going to be people who will do whatever they can do to win the argument.

Including twisting the rules of the online road.

Twitter, among other social media platforms, has been accused of silencing conservative voices, and you’d have to be a Leftist not to see it. What started out as subtle biased enforcement of the rules to blatant “we write the rules and you can just fuck right off if you don’t like it” enfarcement. I mean, the Taliban had an active Twitter account as of last year, and their accounts promote violence and hatred. But, try to say men and women are different and you’ll get silenced, temporarily or permanently based solely on who is handling the Ban Hammer.

And therein lies one of my problems with Section 230 as it stands right now. When biases affect who gets to say what on a social media platform, it ceases to be anything but a political tool, which the Left sees no problem with as long as they’re the ones controlling the tool. The kicker here? This actually goes against the spirit and the letter of Section 230.

Funny. I think we’ve just found the first regulation on the books the Left doesn’t deify.

This fact inspired former President Donald Trump and his supporters to push to repeal Section 230 altogether. Given how social media platforms lean so far Left they are parallel to the ground, this seems to have merit. Now that Elon Musk has bought Twitter, through, the idea is gaining more steam on the Left, which doesn’t have merit given how they were in favor of reforming it all the way back in…let me check my notes…two weeks ago.

Obviously, this change of opinion is politically motivated because, duh, Leftists, but it reveals a fundamental lack of understanding, not just of Musk’s stated goals, but of Section 230 itself. Section 230 opens with a Congressional acknowledgement that the Internet is a place for political discourse and should be kept open to diverse points of view. Haphazardly applying terms of service depending on how a poster votes doesn’t accomplish that in the least. If anything, it makes discourse, political or otherwise, nearly impossible. Reversing that trend is what is best for everyone involved. Sure, you are going to have to deal with assholes who will take things too far, but I’d rather know where those assholes are so I can avoid them than to play a perverse game of Three Card Monte where the cards are a white supremacist, a BLM member, and a grandmother in Wyoming who just wants to post funny videos.

Where I deviate from the folks who want Section 230 to go the way of CNN+ is the protection of platforms from the things their users say. If some dumbfuck uses Twitter to call for the extermination of redheads, I don’t want to see Twitter called into court to answer for what the dumbfuck says. They should be busy applying the terms of service equally, not lawyering up every time a Twit posts an ignorant screed. Their business isn’t, nor should it ever be, to be the whipping boy for people looking to get a fast buck because their fee-fees got hurt.

Unfortunately, Elon Musk taking over Twitter won’t fix the fundamental problem with Section 230: the out-of-touch Congresscritters who still ask their staffers to find stamps for their emails. The fact no one in Washington has put forward serious efforts to update Section 230 and create better enforcement tells you just how little they care about the problems its current form poses. Now, if they tied it to pork spending back home, every Congresscritter would be fighting each other to get to a microphone and camera to let his or her opinions be heard.

Or, you know, use Twitter. Or have one of their staffers use it for them.

I’m not usually a fan of keeping regulations on the books, but Section 230 has a lot of good things going for it that would get wiped away if we did away with it completed. Beef up the enforcement a bit to keep social media outlets honest (or at least more honest than they are now), add some actual penalties for non-compliance, and have everything overseen by tech-savvy people who can put their politics aside, and we might just be able to make social media great again.

Then we can tackle the real problems in the world, like figuring out if Mark Zuckerberg is a real person or a wimpier T-1000.



Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

This week the Left experienced a great disturbance in the Farce…I mean Force, as if thousands of voices cried out and were silenced. Did they finally see what was on Hunter Biden’s laptops? Did the Socialist Socialite decide not to run for office again? Did Nickelback announce a new album? Nope! Something far, far worse.

Elon Musk bought nearly 10% of stock in Twitter, giving him a seat on their board.

The Leftist meltdown has been a joy to behold because it gives us an insight into how little the Left understands the underlying concepts at work here and how they’ve managed to screw up something so simple. Plus, it’s funny watching Twitter Leftists with hair color matching their blue checkmarks get triggered.

Twitter

What the Left thinks it means – an influential social media platform run by a private company

What it really means – the online equivalent of a SuperFund clean-up site

Now, for the “Star Wars” fans out there, I was tempted to compare Twitter to Mos Eisley (a.k.a. “a wretched hive of scum and villainy”), but that wouldn’t have been fair. Mos Eisley is far less toxic than Twitter and I don’t want their Chamber of Commerce on my ass for comparing the two.

Anyway, as you might have guessed, I have a pretty low opinion of Twitter, and that’s not without reason. The primary reason for this is the multitude of really dumb things said on it that other Twits…I mean Twitter users think are profound and worthy of further investigation. I point you in the direction of the Tweets of Bette Midler, Keith Olbermann, and my personal favorite Cher, among many, many others. Politicians, celebrities, athletes, and political and social movement spew whatever comes out of their pointy little heads and the world can see it. I know sunlight is the best disinfectant, but too many Twits…I mean Twitter users are using it as a spotlight.

Granted, that is more of a personal thing with me, but Twitter’s application of its own Terms of Service is more far-reaching. Since the advent of President Donald Trump, Twitter and other social media companies have taken it upon themselves to act like information gatekeepers, fact checkers, and Internet cops all in one. And they were as effective as the Weekly World News, PolitiFact, and Paul Blart all in one. From holding conservatives ultra-accountable for infractions (real or imagined) that Leftists get away with repeatedly without consequence to out-and-out banning accounts for “misinformation” for the unforgivable sin of providing information about COVID-19 that wasn’t getting covered otherwise, let’s just say Twitter’s track record in applying inconsistent standards, let alone consistent ones, isn’t good.

Then, there’s Hunter Biden and his laptops. Twitter and other social media actively ran interference for President Joe Biden by punishing people and organizations who decided to, you know, pay attention about something Leftists didn’t want to address right before the 2020 Presidential election. But Russiagate and its offshoot Pissgate are given a wider berth than Michael Moore at an all-you-can-eat buffet. But it’s not like Twitter has been slow to restore accounts they erroneously termina…oh, wait. We’re still waiting on Twitter to man up and restore the accounts.

Let’s just say I’m not holding my breath on that.

Having said that, Elon Musk jumping into the Twitterverse and buying enough stock to make the world take notice may turn out to be a bigger blessing than the Left wants to admit. Within the past few days, he has already shown to be an active listener to the users and actively ask them if they wanted an Edit feature added to Twitter. You would think he was handing out free tickets to a Scandinavian orgy the way Twitter users responded. Whether that comes to fruition is yet to be seen, but I’m going to guess Musk is going to bring Twitter into the 20th Century by allowing something Microsoft Word has had since, oh, Bill Gates had a decent haircut.

As you might expect, Leftists aren’t happy that Musk is getting involved in Twitter because they’re afraid he’s going to change the current model, which is “Let Leftists have all the perks, privilege, and protection while fucking over everyone else.” Who knew such a short-sighted approach would have negative consequences? Even the threat of Musk making slight changes to how the Terms of Service is applied has Leftists screaming about how fascist he is. I mean, more than usual.

For years, Leftists have relied upon Twitter being a private company as a defense against anyone accusing the social media giant of censorship and violation of free speech rights. To be fair, though, they do have a point. Twitter is a private company and can write and enforce whatever rules they want. But with that flexibility comes an expectation to enforce the rules evenly. Even with my already low expectations of Twitter, the brain trust there keeps figuring out ways to limbo under them when it comes to enforcement.

Ah, but there’s the rub. Under the current status quo, Leftists have all the power, thus turning Twitter into an echo chamber of Leftist ideas. Even the most extreme ideas are held on equal footing with merely stupid Leftist ideas, all because a good chunk of Twitter employees think it’s their job to promote “right” thinking. Put another way, these folks are the Ministry of Truth in the cyber world. If someone they agree with says 2 + 2 = 5, you had better be ready to Tweet it without question.

That should scare you more than Elon Musk scares Twitter.

While the Left tries to figure out how to hold onto their Ministry, we can enjoy the shitshow for what it is: well, a shitshow. As far as getting a Twitter account or maintaining it, I would hold off for now if only to see what Elon Musk does with his newfound social media power. I wish him all the best, regardless of what he does, because he’s going to need all the good vibes he can get.

But, to be crystal clear, I won’t get a Twitter account until someone adds a lot of chlorine to the social media swimming pool.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

This past week was another one rich with possible Lexicon topics, but one person dominated the week, as well as Leftist twits on Twitter. I’m speaking of Elon Musk, owner of Tesla and Space-X and recent critic of Leftist ideas. It’s the latter one that has gotten him in hot water with Leftists, namely Senator Elizabeth Warren and MSNBC host Joy Reid, who recently had some not-so-kind things to say about Musk and what they think he should be doing with his billions of dollars.

Because they’re experts on spending other people’s money, apparently.

As much fun as it appears Musk is having giving the Left the business, I’m afraid the Left is more than willing to take it from him, literally. So, while he’s still in the public eye instead of the poorhouse, let’s take a look at the man who makes Leftists froth like Cujo drinking a frothy root beer float in the middle of a bubble run.

Elon Musk

What the Left thinks it means – an evil billionaire who cheats the system and doesn’t pay his fair share in taxes

What it really means – the man who built a better mousetrap, but has people beating a path to his door…to tar and feather him

People’s reactions to success are fun to observe. Some love to see others to succeed. Others hate to see it. Still others take personal offense at someone else doing better than they are and think it’s unfair. Those who fall in the latter category tend to hate the successful with a hatred that burns hotter than a million suns.

Guess which category Leftists fall into.

On paper, Elon Musk would be a billionaire Leftists should love. He’s a big advocate of alternate fuels. He produces electric cars that people want to buy because they look cooler than a Prius. A low bar, I know, but it should be underscored anyway. He takes up (or at least used to) support Leftist ideas on climate change. He’s greener than a sea-sick leprechaun.

But it’s a different kind of green the Left cares about here. He’s broken the cardinal rule of Leftist climate change advocacy: he’s figured out how to fix the problem and make money doing it. See, Leftists don’t really want to fix climate change because it makes them too much money ginning up fear, so they prolong actually doing something about it. And no matter how much eco-weinies like the Socialist Socialite whine, the recycled aluminum can keeps getting kicked down the road, well past the numerous end times that have been predicted for decades. By the way, Leftists, the estate of Dr. Harold Camping would like a word. Something about stealing their act.

Although this chaps Leftists’ hides (Musk’s success, not the Harold Camping thing), their hatred of him stems from the wealth he’s amassed by being good at what he does, Tesla truck notwithstanding. To them, anyone else who is wealthy did so through dubious means. You know, like purposely tanking the currency of a country. No, wait, that’s George Soros, a billionaire Leftists love. So, why do Leftists hate Musk again? Oh, yeah, he’s making “too much money” and took government subsidies to help Tesla get started and grow. Normally, Leftists don’t care if you take subsidies and, in fact, encourage it. But when you use subsidies and, you know, realize the Left’s ideas are nuttier than squirrel shit, then you’re a freeloader. At least that’s what Joy Reid said, in response to Sen. Warren saying Musk isn’t “paying his fair share.”

Those statements alone were enough to get Leftist Twits…er, Twitter users up in arms. In response, Musk told the world he was paying $15 billion in taxes due to him selling shares. Maybe a little TMI, especially to people who would find fault with anything he did outside of prostrating himself before Chief Running Mouth and begging for forgiveness. And even then they wouldn’t trust him. Having said that, Musk used it as the jumping off point for a serious question Reid and Warren aren’t ready for: what constitutes someone’s fair share?

That’s when Leftist number crunchers started talking about percentages rather than actual payments because the percentages make Musk look worse, thus fitting the narrative. What the Left fails to realize here is…they’ve just made the case for a flat tax rather than the current progressive tax rate. Of course, then they’ll complain about Musk paying the same percentage as lower class people, so the tax rates have to be adjusted so people who make more have to pay more.

Which just goes to show Leftists won’t be happy no matter how you try to appease them. Oh, and they suck at math.

The thing that irks the Left the most is what Musk did is perfectly legal. He accepted federal funds and pays his taxes within the current tax oppression…I mean code. In both cases, Congress made these things possible for Musk to use to his advantage, but they’re going to wash their hands of their role in this matter and simply accuse Musk of skirting the law when he’s actually following it. And it’s easy to do because it feeds into the Left’s disdain for the wealthy (except for their wealthy donors, of course) and into feelings of jealousy we all have. It’s a perfect system.

At least, until someone decides to break it.

That’s what Musk is doing here. He’s defending himself and his business practices while letting the Elizabeth Warrens and Joy Reids of the world throw accusations at him that he’s a no-good-downright-rotten-evil-rich-guy. Although Leftists will rally behind Warren and Reid, the rest of us who are paying attention see what’s happening: Leftists are throwing anything they can think of at the wall and seeing what sticks. When you boil down their objections, they have nothing substantive. Elon Musk is a man walking the walk while they talk and talk.

And for the purpose of transparency, I admit I am an Elon Musk fan, but I liked the cut of his jib before he started to be the bane of Leftists’ existences. I’ve found him to be visionary, forward-thinking, and brilliant in the way he looks at problems. The Twitter trolling he does is just the icing on the cake. Maybe someday the Left will realize what I’ve seen and come around to my point of view. Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath.

Besides, Musk is originally from South Africa, which makes him a literal African-American. And from what I’ve heard from the Left, if you hate an African-American, you’re a racist!

Don’t look at me. I didn’t make the rules!

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

While President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill languishes in Congress, Leftists are trying to shame people into supporting it, including members of “The Squad.” For those unfamiliar with them, The Squad is the political equivalent of “The View”: a bunch of uninformed harpies whose voices create more cringe than YouTube. A member of The Squad, Rep. Ilhan Omar, recently tweeted America has a problem with greed.

By the way, this is one reason I don’t have a Twitter account: too many twits.

The Left loves to attack greed, but do they understand what it entails? Let’s just assume not and head right into this week’s Leftist Lexicon.

greed

What the Left thinks it means – unnecessarily hording money so others can’t use it to better society

What it really means – the lust for money, especially money that doesn’t belong to you

Greed is a human emotion everyone has, but the Left has found a way to weaponize it. To the Left, there is a direct line from greed to dag-nasty evil once you connect the dots. The problem is the dots don’t connect nearly as neatly as the Left will have you believe.

Take Amazon founder and executive Jeff Bezos, for example. In spite of his near-perfect record of supporting Leftist causes, he’s still in the crosshairs of the Left because of the money he’s made due to COVID-19. Gee, I wonder how Bezos could have made so much money delivering packages to people stuck inside due to a global pandemic…it’s a mystery!

Granted, the way Amazon treats warehouse workers makes China look good by comparison, which is a valid criticism of the Bezos way, but that’s usually not what the Left talks about first. It’s his money and what he’s done with it, namely going up into space. Shortly after Bezos and fellow rich Leftist Richard Branson took their money and built rockets that took them into space, Leftists went berserk…er. They said the money they (and non-Leftist Elon Musk) spent on what they termed joyrides could have been used for better purposes, such as education and the environment. Heck, they were so serious they made it into a meme! A MEME, PEOPLE!

Here’s the funny thing. Bezos, Branson, and Musk do contribute to society. Bezos alone gave $10 billion to fight climate change. Wait…isn’t climate change something the Left says they care about? Why, yes! Yes, it is! Combine that with the $2 billion and the millions of dollars Branson and Musk have given to numerous charities, respectively. And that’s not even getting into the Warren Buffets and Bill Gateses of the world. And what has the Left contributed?

A meme trying to get us to believe billionaires were bad people because they were greedy for wanting to go into space.

That’s a concept the Left can’t seem to get their heads around: it’s not their money in the first place. It shouldn’t be any of our business how people spend their money so long as it doesn’t infringe on other people’s rights, and I’m going to say taking a craft into space isn’t hurting anybody but NASA and the Left. Not that I advocate either, mind you. It’s a matter of keeping things in perspective, i.e. staying in your lane.

The Left doesn’t recognize that, though, because to them everything is or should be under their control, and I do mean control. If they can figure out a way to create federal control of anything, they will make it happen. Just look at their attempt to federalize fact-checking on Facebook, as helped by a “whistleblower” who just happens to give money to the Socialist Socialite. But I’m sure that was totally a coincidence, though!

The end goal for bringing up greed is to get the Left in control of as much money as possible. Instead of working to, you know, earn it, they try to guilt it into their wallets, and it usually works. That’s why a lot of wealthy people lean Left. Either that, or they’re trying to keep the Left off their backs for a little while. Either way, the Left isn’t satisfied with the money they get from wealthy Leftists. They need to have it all, and will use any means necessary to get it.

Which, oddly yet appropriately enough, is the very definition of greed.

No matter how righteous the Left thinks they are in trying to make things equal…ly bad, the fact remains they epitomize the very thing they claim to be fighting. Aside from the delicious irony and pure comedic gold this brings, there is no up-side to making people feel worse because they have more money than others. Personally, I don’t care if you made your money working in a factory or making TikTok videos because it’s not my purpose to tell you how to make money. If you want my sanction, you’ll have to talk to someone else. (It was part of my wedding vows.)

Besides, what exactly is wrong with being wealthy? The fact someone has more doesn’t mean the world has less. Money isn’t pizza, folks. There’s enough for everyone. Of course, if you made your money  harming others, then I have a problem with it. Fortunately, most wealthy people I know (because I hobnob with the elites on weekends) don’t do that. Even the worst among them have done something to earn their fortune, even if it is just being born into a wealthy family. The point is greed is neither good nor evil, per se, because it’s how we use it that makes the difference. If we use greed as a motivator to become the best in an industry, that’s positive. If we use greed to malign others because we’re too busy playing scratch-off tickets to work, that’s negative.

Let’s just say the Left has scratch-off crumbs on them.

Ultimately, though, we shouldn’t let knuckleheads from The Squad use greed as a weapon to support a $3.5 trillion dollar boondoggle. The only thing greater than the Left’s greed is their lack of self-awareness about it.

Circular Firing Squad, Anyone?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: the Left has no idea how to plan for the long term. Their nature is to gain quick victories that turn pyrrhic over time. Of course, I thoroughly enjoy seeing that because it reminds me of the Road Runner cartoons. Wile E. Coyote (suuuuuuperrrr geeeeeeniussssss) would always think he had the upper hand, but his plans to catch the Road Runner would always fail.

Aside from taking a walk down Old School Cartoon Lane, what does this have to do with anything? Well, the Left is back to the drawing board with another can’t-miss scheme that is sure to blow in up their faces yet again. It’s no secret the Left hates the wealthy, but usually their hate is dependent heavily on how heavily those rich people donate to their causes.

Recently, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have come under fire from the Left for straying a little off the Leftist reservation. Musk has been on record telling people the current shutdown due to COVID-19 needs to end and has even butted heads with Alameda County, California, because he wants to reopen his Tesla factory and allow any of his employees who wanted to go back to work to do so. On the Bezos front, it was reported he would be making one trillion dollars, which angered Leftists who a) don’t want anyone to have that much money, and b) use Amazon for just about everything they need during the COVID-19 situation.

To put it mildly, this is a puzzling situation. Musk is very much on board with electric cars and renewable energy and Bezos is a consistent donor to the DNC and Leftist causes. You would think Leftists would give these two the Golden Ticket for what they’ve done. Instead, what they’re getting is something that looks like chocolate, but sure doesn’t taste or smell like it. And we have people like the Socialist Socialite to thank for it.

Over the past 10+ years, the Left has convinced themselves they have the power to affect change (even if people like the Socialist Socialite can’t make it) and have installed themselves in positions that would allow them to do just that. Then, when these folks start coming up with wish lists of programs, funding, and the like, the people in power above them have two choices: push back or fold. And for the most part, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been folding like a poker player having a cold streak that can only be measured in degrees Kelvin.

This also puts less crazy Democrats in a rough spot. If they don’t at least sound like they back the more radical members of their party, they will get attacked by said radicals. If they do at least sound like they back the more radical members of their party, they will get shunned by people with the money to help their reelection campaigns, which will help more radical members get their seats. Then, the ousted members get tossed aside and forgotten, no matter what they accomplished or how much they advanced Leftist causes. It’s all about the now, baby!

And that’s what Musk and Bezos are experiencing right now. No matter how much money they give, no matter how closely they walk in lockstep, they are ultimately expendable if they don’t produce what the Left wants at a given moment. COVID-19 has given the Left a perfect opportunity to keep people under their thumbs. Having people like Musk and Bezos buck that trend by wanting to work or by providing a service during the outbreak works against the Left’s objective to keep people down as long as possible. Since they’re not on board, the Left has to destroy them by painting them as evil rich guys (unlike a similarly wealthy peer, Bill Gates, who continues to do the Left’s bidding under any circumstances). Gates is helping the world, while Bezos and Musk are only in it for greed and want to endanger the poor so they can get richer.

Although wealth envy works on a lot of people, what Bezos and Musk are doing should be seen not through the eyes of envy, but through the eyes of reason. Running a company like Tesla or Amazon takes more talent and knowhow than the Left possesses in economic affairs. Instead of believing the rich steal from the poor, we should recognize it’s people like Musk and Bezos who help keep the country going. I may disagree with their politics and business practices sometimes, but I won’t let that stop me from acknowledging their contributions to America under COVID-19.

On the other hand, we should question the Left’s approach to this situation because it makes no sense. Politically, it puts otherwise acceptable candidates who could get crossover votes in jeopardy to cater to niche candidates. Economically, it puts the Left in a bad position because they look, sound, and act like they want the economy to grind to a halt. Socially, Americans are getting tired of being in lockdown, especially when we’re moving from spring into summer. Medically/scientifically, the lockdowns are starting to negatively affect us to the point we may get sicker if we wait to “flatten the curve” even as the curve appears to be flattening as we speak. There is no way the Left comes out of this looking good, even if they manage to convince people to keep panicking. At some point, even fear and loathing will give way to a desire to go outside and live.

And not even the Left has the ability to overcome a good bonfire.