Speak Freely

Gab

In the wake of the 2016 Election we are seeing a tremendous amount of pressure being put on social media networks which, for better or for worse, have revolutionized not just American but global politics as a whole. The Old Guard of mainstream media, television, and newspapers are still struggling to cope with the fact that their influence and power have all but evaporated. Destroyed by their own hubris they are now stumbling around in a fog. Confused. Scared. Indignant that the unwashed masses not blessed by the hand of Corporate America are allowed to participate in national dialogue and present their arguments to the public unfiltered and unrestricted.

It’s like watching an old King suddenly age and fade on his throne. A once powerful warrior whose mere glance could freeze a man in place is now incontinent, smelling of decay while still bellowing demands to an almost bemused, disgusted populous. Even more appalling than this farce is you can already see the heir may be worse. Facebook and Twitter, most certainly, have been anointed to take up the mantle once the inevitable happens and large swathes of the current legacy media die off. Unlike 2016, which caught nearly everyone ‘in the know’ off guard, the same mistake will not be made in 2020. You can already see Twitter and Facebook are trying to drive off, if they haven’t already outright banned, anyone remotely effective in supporting Trump, his policies, or even people who just don’t agree with the current nonsensical liberal platform. These efforts will only intensify as the 2018 mid-terms draw near and will hit a fever pitch in 2020.

So, what to do? What to do when the most popular social media platforms on Earth which, consequently, are the most effective in politics are all tilted against ANYONE who does not toe the liberal-SJW-Democratic party line? Luckily, there is an answer. Gab.

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Open Letter to the Wall Street Journal editors

The following is an email I sent to the Wall Street Journal (email: wsj.ltrs@wsj.com) yesterday after their hit piece on the Youtube star, Pewdiepie, came out. Hard to believe that the Wall Street Journal has now fallen to the levels of the National Enquirer and Buzzfeed but here we are. Without further ado;

Dear WSJ Editors,

 I am writing about a piece that recently appeared in your pages concerning the Youtube personality Pewdiepie. I believe it was written by Ben Fritz, Jack Nicias, and Rolfe Winkler and was, more or less, a hit piece.
     Now it being a hit piece isn’t that concerning. They happen all the time and many papers thrive on them. What is concerning, however, is that the WSJ felt it was necessary to put three reporters on this story. In today’s day and age with the desire for actual journalism at an all time high I find it curious that such an amount of resources would be dedicated to watching Youtube videos and reading a blog to pull quotes out of context to smear a Youtube star. Does that sound like the act of a healthy business or one desperately attempting to stay relevant? Never mind that those reporters could have been allocated to a worthwhile story like investigating the wage gap or discerning the truth about the reports of widespread sexual assaults by migrants and refugees in Europe. But no, why look into serious subjects when you can assist in a libel campaign to silence someone who is making jokes you don’t like.
      If you ever sit in your office and wonder ‘why are we a failing industry?’ look no further than this. The Wall Street Journal, bastion of financial news, commits three full time employees to framing the #1 Youtube star because he is telling jokes or making references some higher up doesn’t like and he decides to try and crush him with the old, dying, dusty paper method of the past. Truly pathetic. 
     Don’t blame fake news. Don’t blame racism or misogyny or privilege. Your industry is dying because you have become a tool of the gestapo who are looking to curtail and limit the speech of anyone who doesn’t say exactly what you want. It used to be people believed not so much in their ideas but in their arguments and that their arguments would persuade people. Nothing has become more apparent to me over the past few years that people have lost faith in their arguments and so seek to silence their opposition because they cannot win a debate.
     You can stand against this trend, WSJ, or you can get sucked down the drain along with all the others who are trying to silence those who are, in black and white, given the right to say whatever they want and whenever they want to say it. Should they? No, probably not all the time but that doesn’t give you, or anyone, the right to try to silence and subjugate anyone who does not express your beliefs.
      We can pretend that’s not what the goal of this piece was but, lets be honest, that’s exactly what the goal was. To try and sever Pewdiepie from the financial powers that allow him to operate on his own, without an overlord, and express his views without fear of getting a pink slip or being socially ostracized (though kudos! You are trying to do that!). That’s the core of this. You, the mighty WSJ, are jealous because some guy in Sweden has more reach, more impact, and is more important than your entire operation. To top it all off he’s saying things you don’t agree with and you are scared. You are scared that you are losing control. Scared that the narrative may be taken away from you. Scared that you are no longer the arbiters of ‘truth’ or the news. Scared that if more and more people listen to people like Pewdiepie who operate on their own, independently, and without your blessing that their arguments may win out against your feeble platitudes. 
      So scared that you assigned three journalists to conjure up this piece to smear Pewdiepie and try to drive away his sponsors because the only way you can compete now is if there is no one playing against you. It won’t work and so I can happily say your fear is not unwarranted. You are a dying institution rotting from within and betraying the very principles you claim to champion.
      Enjoy your last decade in business and good riddance. 
The Mainstream Media is dying a slow, sad, depressing death and the noises it is making as its body fails are truly grotesque.

Aleppo: The 21st Century’s Sarajevo?

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Since March 15,2011 the nation of Syria has been in the grips of a violent civil war which has since grown into a proxy conflict involving up to 45 nations. Hundreds of thousands have died, millions have been displaced, and, after all of that the government led by President Bashar al-Assad remains in power. Furthermore, over the past 48 hours, the primary battleground for this bloody conflict, the city of Aleppo, has finally fallen after years of battle to pro-Assad forces who now, according to the UN and various humanitarian watch groups, are carrying out atrocities in formerly rebel controlled areas of the embattled, ancient city.

It is a conflict that the UN and the international community as a whole have been unable to quell and, it could be argued, may have even exacerbated the conflict. It is certainly true that without Russian-Iranian intervention on the side of Assad and US intervention on the site of the Syrian rebels that, most likely, this conflict would not have lasted as long as it has and the toll in human suffering would not be as high. From the “red line” talk that President Obama declared and then backed away from to the use of chemical weapons which may or may not have been used by the rebels instead of Assad, to the airstrikes from both Russia and the United States that seem to go astray every now and again to kill each other’s personnel on the ground in Syria, this conflict has, truly, devolved into a miasma of violence and confusion to which, seemingly, there are no winners and only losers.

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Tweet-delete

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Following the 2016 US election I made a decision that I think not a lot of aspiring writers would make. I deleted my Twitter.

Now, in writing this, I know what I have done was probably naive. It was probably ill advised and, ultimately, was probably a step back from where I want to be as far as outreach and views and publicity. However, I felt that I had no choice after seeing what Twitter has become. Maybe Twitter had always operated this way (I don’t think so, signed up in 2012) but the selective application of their Terms and Conditions to essentially silence dissent and their manipulation of whatever algorithm they use to either promote or hide trending topics effectively controlling what gets ‘airtime’ and what doesn’t made me realize I detest their business practices. I felt that they were hypocritical, biased, and intentionally attempting to limit, control, and police content that they did nothing to produce or create other than creating the platform through which these ideas were communicated.

Then I realized, why am I using it then? Why am I helping them get bought? Why am I engaging, entertaining, and conversing with people through a platform I dislike? My livelihood isn’t tied to Twitter or the internet. I don’t rely only public opinion or clicks for my paycheck so why subject myself to the thought police and the moral finger waggers? Why operate in a social space that seeks to silence dissent and promotes echo chambers? To watch people fight and yell over the internet at each other using 140 words at a time that they would never use in real life? I couldn’t come up with a good answer for myself.

So…I stopped.

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Civil Dissonance

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With the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States I was legitimately baffled by the response of the Democratic party supporters currently protesting. I didn’t understand their anger, I didn’t understand their frustration, I didn’t understand their objection to a democratic election. You lost. It is a possible outcome. You weren’t cheated. You weren’t suppressed. You weren’t silenced. You lost. That is what happened.

Then, I got it.

This reaction is what happens when objectivity is lost. Make no mistake, there would’ve been an equally stupid and short sighted reaction from the right had Trump lost. No, it wouldn’t have been marching in the streets of America’s cities but you’d be hearing about it. Militias forming and all sorts of nonsense in rural America. But that didn’t happen so now we are graced with the ever impactful protest/riot. Like the Clinton dynasty this is the swan-song for protest movements. The High Water Mark. How do I know this? Simple. This protest will never work. It is, currently, an impossibility. It only exemplifies how powerless their cause is and they know it.

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Patriots blanked by Bills 16-0

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You did good, Rex. Have a snack. Have all the goddamn snacks.

The New England Patriots, after thumping the Houston Texans 27-0, were themselves the victims of being shut out by the Rex Ryan led Buffalo Bills 16-0. As the score indicates, it was an ugly, uneven game in which the Bills dominated for almost its entirety. There were flashes of hope here and there but almost all were negated by a penalty or a miscue that saw the Patriots shut out at home for the first time ever within the confines of Gillette Stadium the first home shutout loss suffered by the Patriots since 1993 (!).

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Patriots Victory nearly Pyrrhic (for 2 more games anyway) as Garopollo suffers shoulder sprain

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Well, first things first, the Patriots are now 2-0 after beating the Miami Dolphins at home 31-24. Now, for the second thing;

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The victory ended up coming at a potentially steep price as the Patriots backup-become-starter Jimmy Garopollo ended up leaving the game in the second quarter after a stellar first half which had most of New England getting ready to call a doctor after four hours. In an emotional roller coaster that would’ve had the most stalwart of thrill seekers turning green, Garopollo was taken down by Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso and landed hard on his throwing shoulder. Clearly shaken up, Garopollo struggled to get off the field but ended up going down onto one knee as trainers examined him on the field and Patriots fans everywhere opted out of their next beer for something a bit stronger.

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Handsome Jim solid as depleted Pats win in Arizona

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In a week filled with more one point games than any other in NFL history the New England Patriots, sans Brady, sans Gronk, sans Ninkovich, sans Solder, sans Dion Lewis, and sans Vollmer went into the desert on Sunday Night Football and defeated the Arizona Cardinals. In a game most had tacitly accepted as an ‘L’ for the 2016 Patriots, the squad from New England was able to buckle down and hold on to a 23-21 victory thanks to a missed FG by Chandler Catanzaro in the waning seconds of the 4th quarter.

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The 2016 New England Patriots Season Preview

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The time is almost upon us. That long, dark period from the first Sunday of February until September 8th is almost over and the sport America loves most is due to make its triumphant return. Obviously, the NFL has not been far from the minds of sports fans across the country but probably hasn’t haunted any one fan base as much as the Foxboro faithful. With Tom Brady’s suspension appeal denied and the GOAT forced to sit out the first four weeks of the season the Patriots are basically giving the AFC a 4 game handicap. Whatever. I’m not expecting any sympathy from the rest of the league towards a team that has been on an unprecedented run of success in the modern era. It’s going to make it that much sweeter when the Patriots hoist their 5th(!!!!!) Lombardi trophy right in that autocratic, soulless, NFLPA crushing robot named Roger Goodell’s face.  The real question is how will they get there?

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Pale Skies

Jared Smith cut the engine and began to unwrap the bandana covering his mouth. He found his hands shaking and fingers fumbling as he tried to undo the knot. He knew it was shock. He knew it was adrenaline. He still couldn’t process what he saw at the grocery store, what he did. The blood…the screams….he realized his hands had stopped moving and he swore at himself angrily and managed to get off the dust caked covering.

It had been about a month since the meteor hit. Each day it was getting worse and worse. The sky was not longer blue but and dusty, almost murky milk-white. Dust, debris, Jared didn’t really give a fuck what it was called. He just knew it meant one thing; doom. The earth was dying, the ship was sinking, and what was humanity’s response? Some nuke fireworks, bathing each other in manmade fire instead of suffocating as the sun’s was blocked out. Civilization already ended elsewhere in the world and now it was starting to end here.

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