UPDATE: Scheer responds to Twitter hashtag that mocks his working-class background
UPDATE: Andrew Scheer has responded to the Twitter trend, also criticizing an MP who partook in the hashtag.
A new hashtag is trending on Twitter, and this one appears to be going after Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer’s upbringing in a poor family.
Trudeau purchased some doughnuts recently at a local doughnut shop in Winnipeg. You’d think that wouldn’t make the news with all the more prescient issues at hand but it seems the pettier the better in our clickbait world. Critics wasted no time chastizing the prime minister for his decision to buy doughnuts on taxpayer dollars.
I want to be clear that I don’t like Justin Trudeau. I didn’t vote for him the first time around. I didn’t like that he ran on his father’s legacy. I don’t like his pious cadence. I don’t like his inability to answer basic questions. He is at worst corrupt and at best, a plug.
One thing I do like, however, is consistency. I want people to hold one another to the same standards as they would anybody else. The political polarization that is often discussed in regards to the United States has undeniably seeped into our home and native land as well. People get in their camps, left or right, and they stay there. Wilful blindness, logic twisting and “whataboutisms” plague the public discourse and there is no better platform to sling mud than Twitter.
It has become increasingly clear that in today’s political climate you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. The Liberals are having a cabinet retreat in Winnipeg and Trudeau stepped out to grab some doughnuts and no doubt a much-needed photoshoot. He and the shop in question, Oh Doughnuts posted about the transaction and lo and behold people on the internet got upset about it.
I don’t wish to advertise for bitter Twitter users in this article but if you happen to be a fan of faux outrage, the hashtag is #doughnutgate. In this thread, you’ll find people whining away, primarily about the cost of the doughnuts which came in at a whopping $47 a dozen. That is what we are squabbling about, the difference of thirty some odd dollars it would have cost if he’d bought the doughnuts at Tim Hortons.
Tim Hortons, the famously Brazilian-owned coffee and doughnut chain was surely open and operating just as close by many complained, so why didn’t he go there and save his compatriots the pocket money? Because he’s an elitist, that’s why. It could also be that Tim Horton’s employees in Winnipeg are currently on strike or the franchisee refusing to raise their wages. It could be because the Prime Minister wanted to photo-op of him shopping locally.
I don’t understand why or how, any Canadian could criticize a politician for shopping locally, I can’t even play devil’s advocate momentarily on that one.
Sure the guy likes to spend our money, there are plenty of vacation receipts to prove that, but it’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff.
One Twitter critic complained about the fact that Trudeau was out shopping himself, claiming he could have got one of his assistants to run the errand. The tweet also opened with “Elitist Trudeau.” It’s hard wrap your head around some of this stuff. How can a politician be elitist for not sending his assistant to run an errand but instead opting for a chance to connect with his fellow citizen? It’s absurd.
Again, I’m no fan of Trudeau or of politicians in general for that matter but my disdain for hypocrisy far outweighs any political leanings. I wonder how positively effective social media could be as a forum for communication if the majority of users weren’t operating through an us vs. them scope. The truth of the matter is that we all have more things in common than we do things uncommon.
The next time a politician, or anybody for that matter that you don’t like is doing something just ask yourself, “how would I feel if it was my politician or my friend in this exact scenario?” I’d be willing to bet it would change your perception of it a great deal.
I think we’d all be a step closer to harmony if we seek truth and fairness over a momentary ‘victory.’
2019 was a landmark year for controversial decisions by Google, YouTube (owned by Google), and Facebook, where their power to snuff out political free expression became more publicly known. More and more evidence is surfacing that suggests efforts from the Big Three to minimize, or stifle, conservative voices.
And with the 2020 presidential election not so far away, the question remains: what effect will these Internet behemoths have on voters?
One of the biggest reveals came from whistleblower Zachary Vorhies. The former Google programmer blew the lid off of Google’s political bias, revealing the manipulation of search placements to tilt toward certain democratic candidates, and an autocorrect to favour them. Armed with his 950 pages of leaked documents, Vorhies asserted that Google programmed its algorithms to scale down the search engine’s results for right-leaning media, Republicans and Christian media.
Vorhies warned, “that they were intending to sculpt the information landscape… I saw something dark and nefarious going on with the company, and I realized that they were going to not only tamper with the elections, but use that tampering with the elections to essentially overthrow the United States.”
“If people don’t fall in line with their editorial agenda, their news articles get de-ranked. And if people do fall in line with their editorial agenda, it gets boosted and pushed to the top.”
Then there’s Project Veritas’ expose. Google executives were caught on undercover camera saying how they were going to influence the 2016 presidential election, and actively undermine Donald Trump. The video caught executives calling right-leaning personalities Jordan Peterson, Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro “Nazis”.
The ramifications of data manipulation are just beginning to come to the surface. Confirming these theories, Dr. Robert Epstein spoke in 2019 to a Senate hearing to discuss his investigation into Google’s data intervention that he believes gave “at a minimum” 2.6 million more votes to Hillary Clinton.
The former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today is a visiting scholar at the University of California, San Diego, and the founder and director emeritus of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in Concord, Massachusetts.
The “very liberal” Clinton supporter dropped this bomb, too: the number one donator to the Clinton campaign of 2016 was Alphabet, a corporation formerly known as Google.
“You can bet all these companies will go all out… (The Big Three are) more powerful than anything I’ve seen in behavioural sciences,” he said in a 2019 government deposition.
He warned that 15 million votes could be shifted to the Democratic Party in the 2020 election due to data manipulation, and search engine tweaking.
But the Big Three’s crosshairs aren’t limited to votes or parties. Scores of “undesirable” media have been placed under the guillotine.
PragerU–a weekly online video series running since 2010 run by the charitable organization of the same name–has seen some 25 per cent of its 400-plus videos placed on YouTube’s “restricted” list. That means schools and libraries cannot view them. One of those is a lesson on “Thou Shalt Not Murder” from the Biblical Ten Commandments.
According to Google, who owns YouTube, teaching youngsters that it’s wrong to murder is off limits. PragerU claims it is censorship, and that Google’s rationale is really noble-sounding cover for squelching right-leaning voices.
PragerU isn’t the only casualty. According to Vorhies’ documents, Google further blacklisted hundreds of media that include Christian Post, Megyn Kelly’s website, Newsbusters, Rebel Media, Daily Caller, and Glenn Beck.
Facebook appears to be gunning down the same road. Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer validated this, saying the media giant is “quick to attack–often in mobs–anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”
So it’s the perfect storm: the amount of power that the Big Three wields, married to the political agenda of those who run them, could mean a 2020 presidential campaign marred by technological tampering.
A right-leaning publication, Epoch Times, is the latest victim in what appears to be the cyber-gagging of those with differing political viewpoints.
Spurred by a Snopes investigation in December 2019, Facebook barred Epoch Times from advertising on the platform, owing to what they believe was a breach of terms of service. They claim this was mostly because Epoch Times has a connection to another outlet, Beauty of Life (BL), accused of inauthentic behavior, spam and misrepresentation, by advertising and posting using fake accounts.
The BL, now banned from Facebook, at one point oversaw 610 Facebook accounts, 89 pages, and 156 groups, says Facebook.
The Post Millennial previously reported on the Epoch Times controversy in reference to a different matter, noting similar results to Capital Research, which found zero connection between Epoch Times and the BL’s online activities. Another rebuttal is unpacked by Epoch’s editor, Steven Gregory, who has stated that there is no link whatsoever to BL.
To whatever extent there was a remotely tenuous connection, happened to be that the two organizations had hired each other’s employees at separate times.
Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, explained the issue (from their point of view) to NBC News: “What’s new here is that this is purportedly a U.S.-based media company leveraging foreign actors posing as Americans to push political content.”
Here’s the upper cut: Gleicher was also director of National Security Council, at the Obama White House, from 2013 to 2015. In 2007, he clerked with Democrat Senator from Vermont, Patrick Leahy.
So, if Facebook relies on “linkage”–tying two loosely-related organizations to the same thread–the same reasoning could be used for Gleicher. Might he have a vested interest in squelching conservative voices, given the liberal politics of his former employers?
Interestingly, Facebook, its investigators-for-hire Graphika, and the Digital Forensics Lab, appeared to overlook the tar-and-feathering by Snopes, laden with a political agenda.
In an NPR interview, Snopes VP of Operations Vinny Green highlighted positive coverage of President Trump as a problem. “What we saw was an extreme amount of pro-Trump content,” Green said. “Almost exclusively what we were looking at …was the amplification of pro-Trump media…” [emphasis mine]
This has the whiff of a politically-motivated hit job.
There’s reason the Big Three should be gnawing at their nails about Epoch Times. Its reach, resources, and readership are gaining a foothold.
At last year’s CPAC–the annual conservative megaconference–the media outlet scored major interviews with Republican politicians, conservative pundits, and Trump cabinet members. Overall, their videos have been viewed billions of times over social media, which analytics company Tubular says ranks eleventh “among all video creators across platforms, outranking every other traditional news publisher.”
And with ten million Facebook followers, “the Epoch Times now wields one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet,” according to NBC.
All the more reason for any liberal organization to target it as persona non grata.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz told me a sobering thought after he published his book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are.
“I think there are, definitely, ethical concerns that come with this powerful data source. Big Data isn’t good or bad, it’s just powerful… we don’t really have any way to regulate what information they are allowed to use, and what information they are not allowed to use.”
Perhaps this sums up the 1984-like Big Brother, in the year 2020. Except now it’s called Big Data.
The United States Space Force unveiled utility uniforms for the newly established branch of the military. As the first new armed service since the establishment of the U.S. Air Force in 1947, the USSF is organized to command space-based operations as the world’s superpowers venture into the final frontier.
Naturally, with Trump Derangement Syndrome at an all time high—and with Trump being the man to have created the USSF—all the blue checkmarks on Twitter were quick to point out that there are, “no trees in space.”
The USSF’s new uniform isn’t all that new. It’s simply the current Army/Air Force uniform repurposed with U.S. Space Force nametags and patches. The reasoning behind the recycled uniform is simple: it would cost a lot of money to design a new uniform for command officers who are going to be working with their joint counterparts on the ground.
“USSF is utilizing current Army/Air Force uniforms, saving costs of designing/producing a new one. Members will look like their joint counterparts they’ll be working with, on the ground,” wrote the USSF on Twitter.
They’re not going to space. As such, there’s no reason to design new uniforms. It’s worth pointing out that the U.S. Army’s “Universal Camouflage Pattern” was introduced at an estimated cost of $5 billion—a boondoggle that’s been described as an absolute failure that failed to hide its soldiers.
Originally intended to camouflage troops in both desert and temperate terrain, the pattern suffered from an optical effect called “isoluminance” that made soldiers wearing the UCP easy to spot at a distance due to the complexity of the camouflage. Failure to include black in the pattern also made it look flat against three-dimensional surfaces. The Army has since ditched the pattern.
Now you might be wondering why I’d go into any sort of detail about the $5b camo—well the truth is simple: there’s not going to be any ground warfare in space until we start killing each other on other planets. As it stands, any sort of warfare to occur in space is going to be done through the deployment of hypersonic missiles and low-orbit spaceplanes. So why would you waste any money on uniforms when the ones the airforce uses right now will suffice just as well? Prestige?
There’s no reason why the USSF should dress up like the Imperial military, Federation officers, or whatever else sci-fi writers can come up with when green patterned camo will work just as well.
If Donald Trump ordered the creation of special uniforms, the same people making fun of the USSF for there being “no trees in space” would be making all these same points—and they’d be correct.
But as it stands, all they have are complaints about how there’s no trees in space. None of these takes are original—each of them regurgitating the other with some way to rephrase the point that the void in all its darkness doesn’t have any greenery for soldiers to hide in.
All these tweets need to be launched directly into the sun.
Davide Mastracci is part of the latest generation of McCarthyites who are attempting to police the discourse on social media. Inspired no doubt by old Joe himself, Mastracci compiled a blacklist of journalists who allegedly support the killing of Iranian terrorist and Quds General Qasem Soleimani. Further evidence of their wrongthink lies in their vocal support of the Iranian people in deposing the totalitarian Iranian regime.
A managing editor at Passage—a Canadian publication that claims to be the bearer of “thoughtful political, economic, and cultural ideas from a left-wing perspective”—Mastracci has bylines at The Walrus, National Observer, Canadaland, Al Jazeera, and Intifada.
The blacklist includes respected veteran journalists such as Tarek Fatah and Terry Glavin.
Mastracci has taken his efforts to policing speech on social media to a level beyond that of other so-called “anti-war” writers who have in various forms expressed support or condolences to Soleimani, or oppose intervention in Iran. Mastracci created an excel spreadsheet containing a detailed list of every writer he judges guilty of thoughtcrime.
The good news is that the blacklist isn’t working out the way he intended. It backfired, as many clever Twitter users used Mastracci’s attempted cancellations as a list of “recommended reading.”
Twitter user Eugene Vizitiu said, “Thank you for keeping these lists of professionals who do journalism, not leftist propaganda. You’re a great guy for promoting them. Keep up the good work!”
The Post Millennial’s own Jakob Glogauer quipped: “The writers should be commended and sincerely thanked for their solidarity with the great people of Iran, who simply want their freedom back.”
Avideh Rafaela Motmaenfar, President of the Council of Iranian Canadians, added, “Supporting the struggle of Iranian people is not party politics, don’t throw Iranians under the bus because you hate right wing. we are not interested in your feelings for Trump or anyone else. Be on the right side of the history! Don’t side with dictators!”
Making a blacklist of writers who oppose the Iranian regime and are using their platform to advocate for an end its human rights violations is beyond the pale. It’s anti-freedom of speech, anti-freedom of the press, and more importantly, it spits in the face of the friends and family of the thousands upon thousands of people Iran has murdered, as well as the innocent victims of Ukranian flight 752.
Indeed, in Iran, journalists are quitting their jobs in lieu of spreading state propaganda. The Guardian reported that “At least two presenters working for the Iranian state broadcaster IRIB have announced they have quit their jobs, with a third saying she quit some time ago after having told lies on behalf of the state for 13 years.”
One of the journalists, Ghanbar Naderi, noted that “Millions and millions took [to] the streets following the assassination of Qassem Suleimani. It was a rare moment of unity but the IRGC blew it. As a journalist you need to be able to sleep at night. I will never ever distance myself from the truth. This a great nation. It has made many mistakes that are unacceptable. If the IRGC shot down a civilian airplane, I have no choice but to condemn it.”
According to The Washington Post, the Tehran Province Association of Journalists stated: “What endangers this society right now is not only missiles or military attacks but a lack of free media. Hiding the truth and spreading lies traumatized the public. What happened was a catastrophe for media in Iran.”
This is the regime that Mastracci is defending? Is that what he wants to see from the media here at home? The Canadian journalists who condemn this tyrannical government are somehow the bad guys?
Making a list of journalists who should be targeted and deplatformed for standing up for human rights is not the kind of thing you would expect to see in a country like Canada. It’s the kind of behaviour that belongs in the worst kind of totalitarian societies where citizens are conscripted to snitch on each other—societies very much like the current Iranian regime. Perhaps Mastracci should consider moving there. He’d fit right in.