If you’re one of the folks who’s known for most of your life that the vast majority of leftists’ cries about “free speech” and “questioning authority” are shallow and hypocritical tools to promote speech THEY favor, while silencing the speech of those they oppose, and that the central issue for them is not freedom, but gaining political power over others (which, in turn, leads to greater silencing of dissent) you might be unsurprised by the latest news about Liz Warren.
Still, it’s important to spread the word, see what it reveals, and remember her power-hungry hypocrisy.
The Democrat Senator from Massachusetts this time is showing her unquenchable thirst to save us from ourselves by calling on Amazon to purge books.
That’s okay, though, because they’re books she says are bad, BAD tomes – the contemporary equivalents of HP Lovecraft’s fictional “Necronomicon,” or Robert Chambers’ fictitious play, “The King In Yellow.”
Yes, they are the horror of information, of actual JOURNALISM that questions her fallacious government-science lockstep. They’re books by former New York Times science writer, novelist, and independent journalist, Alex Berenson.
As if it wasn’t enough for Berenson to be hassled by Twitter for publishing verified information that Twitter’s leftist honchos didn’t like, now, one of the 100 Senators controlling the authoritarian US leviathan has him in her sights.
Last week the senator sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy with ‘concerns that Amazon is peddling misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments through its search and 'Best Seller' algorithms.’
Maybe… because they’re the best-sellers, driven by consumer choice?
’During the week of August 22, 2021, my staff conducted sample searches on Amazon.com of pandemic-related terms such as 'COVID-19,' 'COVID,' 'vaccine,' 'COVID 19 vaccine,' and 'pandemic,'’ wrote Warren in her letter. ‘The top results consistently included highly-ranked and favorably-tagged books based on falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and cures.’
Which inspires a few minor considerations – or, perhaps they’re major, depending on one’s point of view.
First, why is it acceptable that Warren blithely had her tax-sucking “staff” conduct “sample searches” for anything on Amazon?
Second – or, again, perhaps First, depending on perspective – is she interested in actually debating the information Berenson and others supply, rather than claiming the political authority of a tyrant and calling “false” things she has not proven to be false?
Somewhere in there, a concept of honest dealing could be found, Ms. Warren.
But, of course, Ms. Warren has not comported herself in the most upstanding ways for much of her political career.
’Warren asked Amazon to conduct a review within 14 days and provide public reports on both the extent to which Amazon's algorithms are directing consumers products containing misinformation and on a plan to change the algorithms,’ reported The New York Times.
Nothing like intimidation, funded by your tax cash.
As Wolfe mentions – and Wolfe does not necessarily subscribe to any of the recommendations on the Amazon site, or any of the ideas, therein – work from well-known writers such as Dr. Joseph Mercola, and former New York Times Science writer Alex Berenson are on her list of “black books,” and she wants Amazon to change the way it offers those books to people.
Warren claims that Amazon already curates its offerings, sometimes cutting out certain books (for example, in February, the corporation removed from its “cyber-shelves” Ryan T. Anderson’s “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement”), and so, evidently, the collectivist Senator appears to think it’s fine to employ the power of the state to lean on the company to do it even more – and do it the way Warren desires.
Warren doesn’t want to start her own online bookstore and compete, to show which selling paradigm customers like better – be they the wide array of COVID19 books Amazon offers, or her strangled, stifled choices – she wants to slyly threaten Amazon.
In the olden days, this might be called political racketeering, or fascism. But, of course, with people like Warren in power, those terms might be banned someday.
For our sake, thank goodness…
As Wolfe notes:
Warren, a font of bad ideas, does this a lot, proffering the idea that the government ought to intervene out of an always-benevolent, vested interest in consumer welfare.
So, perhaps if Liz Warren has her way, the only books promoted by Amazon will be the book on COVID “written by” disgraced former NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, books containing her evidently cribbed recipe for “Pow Wow Chow,” books on how to pretend to be an American Indian when such pretense can help one’s career, and her own, self-congratulatory screeds – of which there are many, and all are for sale at Amazon.
But there is a larger lesson here. It’s good to know about the hypocrisy. It’s good to know about Warren’s conceited and bizarre use of tax cash to have her “staff” scour a bookseller’s website so she could spend further tax cash to send a threatening letter to Amazon, complete with dreaded “deadline.” And it’s good to think that her tumultuous caterwauling over people like Berenson and his journalism. But the extra lesson we get to learn from Liz -- the woman who got paid over $400,000 by Harvard for teaching one class in the spring of 2010 and a second in the fall of 2011 – is about fascism, and the danger of expanding a political unit to such a size that it can wield tremendous influence on what should be private enterprise.
See, Warren’s “letter” doesn’t have to mention how she might go after Amazon.
Amazon has a massive, $600 million, data-storage contract with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that secretly was inked in early 2013.
And in August, NextGov Executive Editor, Frank Konkel, reported on the stunning move by the National Security Agency (NSA, enjoy looking for that in the Constitution) to grant Amazon Web Services a SECRET $10 BILLION contract for “cloud services.”
So, in a United States that is so gigantic, and has so many ties to private companies – so many contracts that funnel riches to those businesses (most of which also have been unconstitutionally granted “corporate” status by said corrupt US government), is it, perhaps, appropriate to consider the profound leverage agents of the government such as Warren can have over the corporate “partners” who have contracts with the US government?
This is a signal moment to see how dangerous it is to try to survive beneath an enormous central state, because, although Amazon is nominally private, it not only has been given corporate status by the federal leviathan (bringing with it all kinds of problems that screw up what should be a government-free marketplace), its direct dealings with the leviathan leave it vulnerable to political pressure.
That means that private enterprise and free speech (which really is private enterprise, as well) are placed in great jeopardy.
And it all comes in a great, big, hypocritical bow, tied by a collectivist US Senator who claims the authority to decide what is true, even as she has been caught, over and over, deceiving, prevaricating, and pretending, and while her own books are easily available on the targeted site.
Big Government is bad for business… That might not be a tribal Indian aphorism, but perhaps it could be. And to it, one could add:
Unless your business is expanding and existing in the big government.