Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Some Potentially VERY Good Economic News

Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those with "skin in the game," and who likely possess the best perspective, are betting heavily on an upturn, as highlighted by Friday's Wall Street Journal:

Corporate insiders are buying stock in their own companies at a pact not seen in years, a sign they are betting on a rebound after a coronavirus-induced rout.  More than 2,800 executives and directors have purchased nearly $1.19 billion in company stock since the beginning of March.  That's the third-highest level on both an individual and dollar basis since 1988, according to the Washington Service, which provides data analytics about trading activity by insiders."

Here's why that's important:

Because insiders typically know the…[more]

March 30, 2020 • 11:02 am

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Silicon Valley Censors Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Wednesday, July 11 2018
Facebook's attempt at policing is producing comical failures.

Social media giants like Twitter and Facebook that used to brag about promoting free speech now say they're taking on a new role  the speech police.

Twitter is suspending as many as a million accounts a day, with 70 million silenced in May and June, according to data disclosed Friday. The massive purge is to prevent the spread of fake news, Twitter says. The problem is this: Who decides what's fake?

Democrats in Congress are encouraging the crackdown. They point to how Russians set up social media accounts and flooded the internet with phony news and inflammatory rhetoric in the months before the 2016 presidential election, and according to special counsel Robert Mueller, tilted it in favor of Donald Trump. At a Senate hearing, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., ordered lawyers for Facebook, Twitter and Google to do something about it "or we will."

Don't be fooled by these calls to "clean up" the internet in order to protect our democracy. Fake news, hateful remarks and Russians impersonating Americans are not as dangerous to our democracy as Silicon Valley's misguided drive toward censorship.

It's probably true that Russians tried to meddle with public opinion to tip the election in Trump's favor. But the Russians' antics, laid out in an indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller, are laughably unthreatening.

The 13 Russians named in the indictment created thousands of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and posted messages like "Choose Peace and Vote for Jill Stein. Trust me, it's not a wasted vote." This is the voter manipulation we're supposed to be terrified by?

Mueller's indictment says this tiny crew of Russians "engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump." The correct reaction to these Russian high jinks is "so what?" American democracy has survived political dirty tricks by foreigners for two centuries.

In 1796, agents of the French government tried to tilt the election toward Thomas Jefferson by smearing incumbent Vice President John Adams as a monarchist and organizing local pro-Jefferson societies in many states. In the 1940 presidential election, the British spread propaganda to defeat Wendell Willkie and ensure FDR's re-election, because Willkie opposed the U.S. joining Britain's battle against the Nazis.

Foreign shenanigans are nothing new. You wouldn't be hearing about Russian interference if Hillary Clinton had won.

Far more perilous to our democracy is the misguided expectation that global social media companies should act as the Ministry of Truth, like in George Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four."

Facebook's attempt at policing is producing comical failures. In the run-up to July Fourth, a small Texas newspaper, the Liberty County Vindicator, posted the Declaration of Independence, including its reference to "merciless Indian savages." Facebook uses algorithms to automatically shut down any posting with words that could be hurtful. So Facebook labeled the Declaration hate speech and took it down.

Facebook singles out some postings as misleading. Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center explains that it's "about going after conservative talk on the internet and banning it by somehow projecting it as being false." Similarly, Twitter tags tweets from the conservative news aggregator Drudge Report as "sensitive content," complains House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey is committed to promoting "healthy conversation." That's like colleges calling for safe spaces. It's harmful to democracy, because discord and political controversy are what make democracy thrive. That's why the founders wrote the First Amendment, to protect unrestrained debate in the public square.

Social media platforms should be the 21st-century version of the public square, where the free exchange of information and political opinions is guaranteed, not censored.

Germany's learning that the hard way. A new German law requires social media companies to delete questionable content within 24 hours  taking on a role similar to what Feinstein suggested. Already it's backfiring in Germany. "Legitimate expressions of opinion are being deleted," says Bernhard Rohleder, CEO of Bitkom, Germany's federal association for information technology and new media. Germans see their freedom of expression and access to information being curbed by global social media companies.

Don't let it happen here.


Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and a former lieutenant governor of New York State. 
COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years did Congress first meet in Washington, D.C.?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the federal government to take control of the medical supply market. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker demanded that President Trump take charge and said 'precious months' were wasted waiting for federal action. Some critics are even more direct in demanding a federal takeover, including a national quarantine.It is the legal version of panic shopping. Many seem…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
— Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
 
Liberty Poll   

Who is most to blame for the delay in passage of the critical coronavirus economic recovery (or stimulus) bill?