Saturday, January 9, 2021

Sen. Casey responds about "platforms"

The following message was returned from the mail servers saying it was sent to an unrecognized email address. Strange, Casey wants to reply but not allow a discussion on the issues. Here is the email "exchange."

  Hon. Sen. Casey:

Thank you for your response. In your response you defeat your own argument for supporting the right of private companies not to be responsible for insuring free speech and to regulate their content.

Yet, that is what's being done with the Act absolving them of any responsibility for speech occurring on their platforms. Either they allow all speech and allow others to argue the positions or prove or disprove the theories presented, which is true free speech, or they should be treated as publishers and regulate the point of views they want on their platform.

You say that "we" cannot allow these platforms to be weaponized to disseminate hate or misinformation... we is a form of preventing free speech. Free speech means we hear that speech (which I do not like either) but we counter it with facts of our own and the reader must be allowed to make up his or hers own mind. Any form of control is you saying people cannot reason on their own, and that is a sad, sad period in our lives.

It's black and white. There is no grey area here. Other publishers are responsible for what they try to control, and so should Twitter, Facebook, Parler, and all the other "platforms" on the Internet.

If we aren't allowed to reason these things out on our own it is a sad day because you show you think you are superior to me and others, and it's to be the other way around, where you are responsible to us.

Sincerely,
D. Scott Miller


On 11/19/2020 6:52 PM, Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. wrote:

Dear Mr. Miller:

 

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about speech regulation on social media platforms.

 

Technological advancements and the accessibility of information online have created unprecedented opportunities for individuals to connect, communicate and expand their knowledge. Yet many Americans have raised concerns about how online platforms regulate the content their users see and whether these platforms may be filtering out certain viewpoints.

 

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution established that, "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech." As private companies, social media platforms are not bound by the First Amendment, but I believe that the right to speak freely and express one's opinions is a core tenet of American democracy. As a society, we must work to ensure everyone has the right to express their viewpoints in a productive, respectful and nonviolent way, including online. At the same time, we cannot allow these platforms to be weaponized to disseminate hate or misinformation designed to facilitate violence, spread distrust and harm our foundational democratic institutions.

 

On March 27, 2019, I introduced S. 917, the Stop HATE Act, which would require the Departments of Commerce and Justice to study how the internet is being used to fuel violence and hate crimes against individuals or groups. It would also require the departments to recommend ways-consistent with the First Amendment-that the government or private citizens can combat these growing threats. A previous version of this report was released in 1993, but it has not been updated in over 25 years.

 

Please rest assured that I will continue to monitor the situation and keep your concerns in mind as legislation related to this issue is considered by the Senate.

 

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.

 

For more information on this or other issues, I encourage you to visit my website, http://casey.senate.gov. I hope you will find this online office a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.

 

Sincerely,

Bob Casey

United States Senator

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Swamp's "healing" nears completion

 

You can blame this “revelation” on my two long-haired black male felines. I awoke from a deep sleep following watching television coverage of the idiot rioters taking over the U.S. Capitol, opening my eyes to see the heads of both of them hovering over my face as if they were looking to see if I was still alive.

     Thinking it was time to get up to start a new day, I arose and wondered out to the kitchen to brew a cup of coffee, and then realize it was only 3:30 in the morning.

     I ended up on the easy chair in the living room and leaned the chair back, not wanting to turn on the TV to see the incessant repeat of the previous day’s events. I laid back and thought. And thought.

     Then it came to me. First, how a proud man such as Donald Trump is having trouble with losing an election, and how many people were devoted to him and his theory about Washington politics.

     I began to understand that Trump and his close friends did not realize just how big, how murky, how mushy, how corrosive and how corrupt “The Swamp” really was.

     Despite the efforts he made to turn this country toward a brighter future the past four years, The Swamp was treating it as a minor scratch wound, and fought it all the way through the four years of his administration.

     The constant smears. The false depositions, the false accusations, the extended and taxpayer-expensive investigations, the attempts at impeachment over ridiculous accusations, the smear tactics against two U.S. Supreme Court judge nominees, it all became clear to me.

     While the opposing party was acting liking 5-year-olds in a kindergarten playground fight – which publicly appeared that way – The Swamp was actually attempting to heal itself of this nick in its skin.

     As the Trump administration nears its now humiliating end, The Swamp was healing already. Not only had it crafted a winning (and I must admit not really an illegal “steal”) election by carefully switching voting procedures in many states as it began the final healing process, it forced the administration to pass a bill that even the news media promoted as an aid package for us, paying us a measly $600 while ignoring coverage of the millions and millions and millions of dollars that The Swamp was giving to nations overseas as “foreign aid.” Foreign aid that sees most of the money come back into the pockets of the corrupt pockets of The Swamp. Millions of dollars being laundered back to corrupt politicians and their cronies.

     So, the picture is about complete.

     Come January 20th, 2021, The Swamp will have completed its recovery from the “nick” it suffered four years ago, and everything will have settled down back to a routine. How perfect it will be with a President who has served in The Swamp for nearly 50 years.

     The young adult generation, which The Swamp has raised from birth and taught through The Swamp’s child care and education programs, will once again think its getting everything they want and deserve without ever working hard for it.

     And The Swamp will once again take from “the rich” -- and us everyday working folks – more of what we worked for to feed the young adults who don’t know any better.

     Donald Trump was right. Washington politicians are part of The Swamp, but The Swamp is much bigger than even he realized. Many of your local and state politicians and their close friends are part of it, too. And they’re out to run your life from everything public to he private bedroom, or should I saw “ruin” your life.

     The news media has already been sucked into the muck, turning news into propaganda by ignoring reporting of anything that would expose The Swamp.

     Who is left to stop it?

 


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A 'Happy' New Year?

This is to be the time when I am to wish you a “Happy New Year.” But there doesn’t seem to be anything happy lurking on the horizon.

     In a few days, I will turn 80 years old, so it’s safe to say I’ve been through a lot of experiences.

     I have seen our government slowly twist its function from recognizing everyone’s right to do what they want, as per the U.S. Constitution, to exercising its “right” of the power to control nearly everything we do. The current pandemic is an example. Years ago the government would recognize our rights and research and promote suggestions on what we should do, and came to our aid with medical help when things got bad. Today, the government does the research and orders us not to do certain things and doesn’t seem to know really what to do.

     I have witnessed us, the citizens, allowing it to happen, going from demanding our government to be responsible for its actions to cowering under its demands that everyone think the same way or be labeled and shoved aside. There was a time our individual rights, all different, were protected and if an individual violated someone else’s rights, no matter their race, religion or other classifications you wish to make, they were punished for it. Now, if someone violates another’s rights, groups of young irresponsible adults run out like little kids on a playground and yell and destroy other people’s precious property even though those victims weren’t involved. And their irresponsibility is protected.

     I have witnessed our news media going from strict presentation of news, letting us make up our own minds if it’s good or bad (and telling us when it is their own opinion or analysis) to today’s common presentation of news using backyard gossip language and tactics, and even ignoring some of the facts if those facts don’t represent the media owners’ opinions and viewpoints. The media that used to uncover corruption has itself become corrupt and is feeding us propaganda in disguise.

     I have witnessed our lawmakers who had different viewpoints on how to make things better actually work together and compromise to do just that, and now are so divided and hateful of each other that nothing actually gets done, and they even try to take power away from each other in the most cowardly of acts.

     I have watched how universities have offered courses labeled “political science” which is nothing more than to teach skills of deception to those who try to get into power … the art of making others feel they are concerned, compassionate about a constituent’s view while really ignoring the subject and seeking to just gain more power for themselves.

     I have watched how “social media platforms” were granted immunity from responsibility because they claim freedom of speech, when they actually should be labeled publishers because they constantly monitor and censor our speech. A true free platform would allow any speech, no matter how hateful or incorrect, because others on the platform would counter it, question it. The moment a speech is interfered with, the platform becomes a publisher.

     I have watched how we struggled to make things better for our children and went so far overboard to do it that the latest adult generation is one that expects they deserve to have everything they want without actually having to work for it. And now, they expect socialist ideas to be most important, taxing others to meet their needs. Oh, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the money runs out.

     And speaking of taxes, our government and its so-called “leaders” continue to tell us that the United States of America is the richest and most successful country on this earth, when in reality we are the biggest debtor nation on the planet.

     The very fabric of our society and government has become so thin that I would not be surprised to see, before I die, the government, the morals, and society itself just rip apart from its inside weakness, not outside pressure.

     I worry for this country because I don’t think it has the backbone needed to stand up straight and take charge and protect itself anymore.

     I hope I am wrong, that there’s enough of us left to right the ship.

     In the meantime, all I can wish to you is a New Year which will turn out better toward its end, because it won’t be one that’s “happy” in the beginning.


 

Monday, November 30, 2020

This explains your Member of Congress well

 

Saw this on Facebook:
   One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. 
   After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this week.'
    The florist was pleased and left the shop.
    When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
    Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing
community service this week.'
    The cop was happy and left the shop.
    The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank
you' card and a dozen doughnuts waiting for him at his door.
    Then a Member of Congress came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.'
    The Member of Congress was very happy and left the shop.
    The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Members of Congress lined up waiting for a free haircut.
    And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.
    --------
    I think that sums it up pretty well.
    It's time to straighten this mess out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Twitter, Facebook should lowered to "Publisher" status

I sent the following message to Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, and my U.S. Representative for my district, Lloyd Smucker:

     I am a voter in your district. I am urging you to consider nullifying the “platform” status of such services as Twitter and Facebook which they enjoy under law today, to a level of “Publisher.”

     My reasoning is that Twitter and Facebook (I know of these in particular, but there may be others) enjoy freedom of no regulation based on First Amendment speech...that anyone can say anything in the open arena and it is up to those who view/listen to decide if it is 1)important or not and 2) factual or not, and for other members to bring forth arguments that dispute and/or present facts that the argument made was not factual or slanted.

     That is the makeup of a true platform-base Internet service.

     But, especially with the past election, these services have altered members’ postings, blocked postings, added “facts” they determined from checking their own sources. They, in effect, are deciding what is and what is not “appropriate” for their “platform” based on their point of view.

     That is the same level as news media, which can choose what or what not to publish, by editing or limiting their writers’ content, or choosing to refuse to post a writer’s content at all, and slant the news if they wish.

     And that is the role of a publisher. A publisher is also liable for what it allows or   publishes, and must be responsible for what it publishes, and therefore reserves the right to alter and/or restrict content of its publication.

     Twitter and Facebook, and other similar services, have chosen to assume roles of publishing and, therefore, should be responsible for their actions to the members/viewers.

     Although they have tried to cloak it before in testimony before government committees, their actions have become clear and irrevocable that they want to control the content which, therefore makes them a publisher.

     I implore you to participate in any action toward making them assume their true identity in their legal standings.