Beyond the Cusp

August 16, 2017

Wrong Answer to Google Political Correctness

 

The new Kurt Schlichter article in Townhall titled Conservatives Must Regulate Google And All of Silicon Valley Into Submission was just wrong on so many levels and we just had to have our say. We just could not see how any honest conservative would call for government to correct what is a problem in a business situation. We are supposed to believe that competition and profit motive takes care of any such situation. The real solution is to compete using our own better business and fair practice openly competing to rectify any such problems. Using the sledgehammer of government to rectify the slide leftwards by Google, the Facebooks, the Twitters and presumably much of Silicon Valley would be exactly the kind of acts by progressives which we have spent much of our time fighting and complaining over. His first sentence states, “Google’s fascist witch-burning of an honest engineer for refusing to bow down at the altar of politically correct lies was the final straw, an unequivocal warning to conservatives that there’s a new set of rules, and that we need to play by them.” Nope, that is not the answer. The answer is for conservatives to enter this market investing capital and establish a competing company which either provides a right leaning response in that market, or better to provide a truly neutral centered market response where people can find straight answers to their queries or have honest discussions without censorship by the company providing the platform. That is the conservative answer.

 

Kurt Schlichter stated the conservative approach was to allow profits, and competition would take care of such problems. His claim then that, “For businesses, one obligation was to generally stay out of the cultural and political octagon,” may have been an old rule but political neutrality has not been true in many businesses for quite some time without people demanding a political solution. One prime example is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream who have been extremely left supporting with their actions but there has been no demand for any government intervention as there are many other ice cream vendors where conservatives can buy such products thus avoiding adding to the profits Ben and Jerry’s owners can use on leftist campaigns and causes. His next paragraph gives the crux of his argument stating, “But the Woke Weenies of Silicon Valley, flush with cash, power, and unearned smugness, decided that they just couldn’t keep on the sidelines and make their money. No, they had to make change, as in, changing us. They violated the most important of the old rules – they chose a side.” So they decided to choose a side and work to minimize the conservative message which supposedly cripples the conservative message. The answer, let us state it again, is for conservatives or another entrepreneur to enter the market and compete by providing a better and more honest or a conservative effort, thus providing options for consumers. Yes, granted that competing against Google, Facebook, Twitter and let us even add in YouTube, would be a difficult and challenging prospect and would require finding some means of advertising campaign to get a leg up and then allow competition lead them to gain popularity and a reputation. Complaining that these companies are flush with cash and have the advantage of an established consumer base and in order to level the playing field, government intervention should be used to force these companies to play in a manner conservatives would find appropriate. Let us look at some history in the same arena of the Internet when a company called America On-Line, better known as AOL, had a near monopoly on e-mails, gaming, chat rooms and dial-up modem connections which might have appeared to be overwhelming. AOL did run into competition which eventually led to Google taking over many of these areas and then came numerous free e-mail providers and Twitter and ICQ took over chat with a better system and before you know it, within a couple of years and AOL was fighting for its survival. Why would this be any different? Yes, these companies have everything going for them but as Kurt Schlichter points out, they are making a business decision which might be a shaky and problematic decision. This should indicate an opening for new competition which could establish a foothold and then work into direct competition by offering a better and more equal product. That would be the answer.

 

Kurt Schlichter even pointed to another area where the vast majority of those within this area have taken a leftward position, the media and entertainment industry. He also pointed out that the conservatives managed to make entries and had some established companies which grew their audiences as a response to the leftward lunge by especially the news media and opinion in print media through talk radio and establishing conservative competition. That was the correct message he should have used for this situation as well. There was a time when all there was in news media on the air television were ABC, NBC, CBS and a few scattered media systems as well as local stations. Then came cable television and ninety-nine channels and even then the vast majority of news and opinion remained left leaning. As cable became more affordable, the demand increased for variety and even international news broadcasts became available and we soon had five hundred channels and an array of choices which was unbelievable when compared to what we used to have just a decade or so earlier. Today there are cable companies and satellite television where there are a thousand channels and when adding Internet television the number of channels will soon be virtually uncountable. There will be thousands of channels and while you surf there will be nothing worth watching, or so we will often still complain there is nothing worth watching. Again, technology and advancements produced an environment which permitted sufficient room for competition making the playing field even and everybody had their opportunity to try and be heard. If they offered what people enjoyed, they succeeded.

 

The Internet should be the place where this would be true for any service and if the current Silicon Valley companies desire to take a leftward lunge, then perhaps it is time for some group of startups to build a wonderful area where the weather is nice and start employing those programming engineers and technicians and mathematicians and other related fields required to build competing companies perhaps in or around the Myrtle Beach area (see image below). This could start just what will obviously be required to remedy this situation, not government regulations. Kurt Schlichter wrote, “Yet they still expect the same laissez-faire treatment as any other business even as they try to gut us politically. They discriminate against conservatives,” and they should get exactly that, as should their competitors. He adds, “See, what leftists do not get is that principles are part of systems,” which is why they should be easily competed against as they offer a less and less diverse product.

 

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

 

Kurt Schlichter then uses the argument of, “the period after feminism demanded total female social equality with men, but men still generally picked up the check. That imbalance cannot persist forever; eventually the people on the other side feel like suckers, so they stop playing by the old rules. That’s when the new rules arise,” which is exactly the solution here. The new rules need to be social and in competition and not in rules put in place by government. Then Kurt Schlichter takes a sharp turn back to having the government intervene with, “And that’s why conservatives now need to savagely regulate companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. We need to use our political power in Congress and red state legislatures to incentivize Silicon Valley to return to a system where its companies embrace political and cultural neutrality, or suffer crippling consequences.” That is wrong, wrong, and so very wrong. Then he admits the problem with his argument but stands on it again, with, “Yeah, I know that heavily regulating private businesses is not “free enterprise,” but I don’t care.” Additionally, I just feel like letting him make the argument and then refuse to demand we simply compete stating, “they didn’t keep their part of it, and I see no moral obligation for us to be played for saps and forgo using our political power to protect our interests in the face of them using theirs to disembowel us. I liked the old rules better – a free enterprise system confers huge benefits – but it was the left that chose to nuke them.” And then we get, “Well, size matters, and Silicon Valley’s giants are just too darn big. Time to chop them up like old Ma Bell. Let’s apply the antitrust laws that were made for taming just these types of octopod monopolies.” Ma Bell is a false flag as there were companies attempting to compete with them but the government granted Bell a virtual monopoly. While despite the government using the Silicon Valley services, they are not granted a monopoly and there is no prevention of competitors to step up to the plate and go for the big one, the home run of toppling one of these companies with a better product.

 

Closing, Kurt Schlichter makes recommendations including, “So how about the Algorithm Transparency Act, a law that bans these big Internet companies from putting their fingers on the scale of discourse and requires them to make available online all of their operating algorithms? Yep, that would give competitors a peek at their intellectual property, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for transparency.” I do agree with his last line which reads, “Like I always say, you’re going to hate the new rules.” True, we would hate any new rules as we would rather there be less rules. Our argument for such things will always be competition, competition, competition. As far as making their algorithm opened up to competitors, no. Once there are competitors who come up with competing algorithms such a law would become a double bladed sword and counterproductive as their algorithm would be their advantage. We are sorry Kurt Schlichter but we have to claim that the proper answer is to out compete by giving the people an honestly fair and even product which simply provides the best answers regardless of the political slant and allow Silicon Valley to go as far left as the Democrats and become unusable by the average American or the people of the world, we need remember that competition on the Internet are international so really the competitors could set up on the Riviera or even in Israel where the talent for such a start-up is plentiful.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 3, 2012

My Crucial Difference of the Presidential Elective Choice

I have listened to all sorts of opinions, supposed critical points, and all sorts of angles on the Presidential choice the country will make next Tuesday and have yet to hear my concerns addressed. Perhaps I am that different or my main apprehension is that absurd or perhaps I am that far ahead of the curve and foretelling something most others have either overlooked or is simply beyond their perception. My problem was triggered by a vision, a promise, well, let’s call it what I perceived it to be, a threat made by President Obama at a campaign speech. President Obama was touting the stellar performance of General Motors and Chrysler as they have made their unprecedented comeback after they were saved by his bailout. OK, that is all water over the dam and money thrown good after bad. The next comment I have to include as it has such great humor potential. He then pointed out how General Motors, which he had saved from going out of business, had returned to be the leading car manufacturer and was even beating out Toyota. This speech was given approximately six weeks after the earthquake and tsunami had devastated Japan and completely shut down Toyota which would not reopen its production for about another month or so. Then came a proposition, actually more like a promise, that when reelected President Obama was looking forward to having government build similar relationships of semi-control over more companies and partner government and business for the benefit of both. That was likely one of the scariest things I have ever heard come out of an American politician’s mouth. There is a name for such a relationship between government and business when it becomes a generally applied model, it is called fascism.

 

Fascism is very close to communism with the difference that the government does not take ownership of all property, it allows the wealthy to retain their holdings as long as they follow the directives of the government. In a fascist system the government sets production quotas, decides what will be made and when it will be made. They presume to predict what the needs are of the people and they then prove that they were correct as the public actually does buy the items produced. Like one has a choice. If your refrigerator or car breaks, you need to replace it. If the government decides that all refrigerators will have an ice dispenser, a water dispenser, and two other dispenser for cold liquids, then that is the refrigerator that you will purchase. It is not that this is exactly what you wanted; it is simply that government decided what would be made available and you made the choice out of the limited available options provided by the manufacturer who makes what the government allows. With cars the limitations would be far worse, may I say Chevy Volt? The other limitation under a fascist system is that there is no room for innovations or invention. With the government controlling manufacturing, then there is no advantage to be innovative or inventive as there is no reward for doing such. These become a function of the government and that is another way of saying there will be no real advances or progress. The driving force for innovation and invention in a fascist system is absolutely no different than it would be under communism, and we all likely remember the innovative cars produced by the Soviet Union.

 

Even if President Obama had been near to exemplary in his first term and had performed above and beyond any expectations I would have for a successful President, this idea would put sufficient fight in my mind as to make supporting him impossible. I probably cannot communicate to anyone who does not see the harm in government and business being in such a partnership exactly how foreboding this idea really is. I honestly fear that Mitt Romney might also hold that a partnering of government with business, particularly manufacturing, would not be an anathema. Should he take any moves towards initiating such coordination of government and industry or business in general and I will be writing articles denouncing such actions just as fervently as I am able. Thus far, from what I have heard, Mr. Romney has not proposed any government business partnerships and will hopefully go in an opposite direction and remove government from meddling in business in any manner. I would even gladly support the removal of all taxation on businesses and would view such as a tax break for each and every one of the people. The real truth is that if the manufacturer pays a fifty cents tax on an item, the real cost to them is likely closer to fifty-five cents if not more. That extra nickel of tax will cost the purchaser of the item, after all the markups along the way, closer to a dollar than it is to that original nickel. All this aside, just the idea that President Obama sees the partnering of business with government and allowing government to guide and have any real control over businesses, especially manufacturing, is about as frightening as anything in politics gets.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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