Newseum Asked to Rescind Free Speech Award to Apple CEO Tim Cook

The following letter was sent today by NLPC President Peter Flaherty  to Peter S. Prichard, Chairman of the Newseum:

We ask the Newseum to rescind the 2017 Free Expression Award conferred on Apple CEO Tim Cook on April 18 in order to preserve the integrity of Newseum mission, as well as the integrity of the Award itself.

Since Cook accepted the Award, he has struck two blows against free expression, either one of which renders him as a completely inappropriate recipient.

Complicity in Chinese government censorship– On July 29, Apple removed all major VPN apps from the China apps store. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. According to Jon Russell, a reporter for TechCrunch:

The App Store purge is hugely impactful because VPNs represent the only way that a China-based individual can bypass state censorship controls to access the internet without restrictions. The Chinese government effectively illegalized VPNs

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‘Women in Tech’ Flap Shows Authoritarians Run Google

Street art by Sabo
 The 10-pager composed by newly unemployed James Damore was provocatively composed (not due to inciteful rhetoric, but tempered reasoning), yet also was imperfectly executed. It would be difficult not to stumble when dealing with an extremely hot button issue over 3,000 words. Imagine you were assigned a thesis titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” with a subtitle of “How bias clouds our thinking about diversity and inclusion,” and see how you do.

Damore deserves credit for tackling head-on such an emotionally charged topic, with which he triggered a passion power-surge. The CEO of Google subsidiary YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, immediately responded at Fortune.com with a “what will I tell my daughter” screed, ignoring Damore’s salient points, and fomenting simplistic “gender bias” accusations.

“When I saw the (Damore) memo that circulated last week,” Wojcicki wrote, “I once again felt that pain, and empathized with the pain it must have … Read More ➡

Former Chrysler Exec, Widow of Auto Workers V.P. Indicted in $1.2 Million Ripoff

With a certain reluctance, Chrysler Corporation accepted the Obama administration’s forcible transfer in 2009 of company stock to the United Auto Workers. The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker now is feeling an aftershock. On July 26, Alphons Iacobelli, the company’s former labor negotiator, and Monica Morgan, the widow of UAW Vice President General Holiefield, were indicted in Detroit federal court for defrauding the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center of $1.2 million over several years. Prosecutors allege Iacobelli, who left Chrysler in 2015, wrote checks from a center bank account to a shady nonprofit controlled by Holiefield, whose wife used much of the pilfered funds for shopping sprees. Iacobelli and Morgan have pleaded not guilty. Another ex-Chrysler official, Jerome Durden, was charged separately; he pleaded guilty yesterday.

Those who follow the U.S. auto industry remember all too well those dark days of nearly a decade ago, when Chrysler and General Motors were heading … Read More ➡

Twitter Censors Another Voice It Doesn’t Like

Lila Rose/IMAGE: YouTube

A pro-life organization has caught Twitter in the act (again) of censoring yet another conservative policy advocate, while allowing the controversial Planned Parenthood to conduct its messaging on the social media platform unfettered.

The accusation – with proof – came from Lila Rose, president of Live Action, who said on several occasions she has tried to expand messaging to Twitter users via paid advertisements and has been denied. At the same time, she says, Planned Parenthood has boosted its Tweets freely.

“I think it’s clear that Twitter is discriminating against the pro-life voice,” Rose told the Washington Times. “Planned Parenthood is allowed to promote their pro-abortion and misleading messages, while Live Action is barred from promoting any content exposing abortion and Planned Parenthood.”

Live Action is an extremely effective organization that has exposed the excesses and extremity of Planned Parenthood’s pro-abortion advocacy and its ghoulish Read More ➡

Amazon Acquisition of Whole Foods Underscores the Big Data Threat

(This piece was first published by The Hill, where I am an Opinion Contributor.)

Traditional grocers and retailers are in a state of shock over what Amazon’s proposed acquisition of Whole Foods might portend for their businesses. The economist Joseph Schumpeter’s characterization of capitalism as “the perennial gale of creative destruction” seems to fit.

While this process may be thought inevitable by anyone who believes in the virtues of free markets, like I do, it is also true that the increasing economic power of big technology firms represent a new and serious threat to our civil liberties.

Constitutional government — or limited government — is still government. It still relies on the state as the ultimate authority even as it permits most economic transactions to remain between private parties.

Government’s real service is not in its regulation of economic activity, which is often counterproductive, but in its guarantee of … Read More ➡

Hypocritical CEOs Blast Paris Climate Deal Withdrawal; Companies are Energy Hogs

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

President Trump’s withdrawal from the un-ratified, legally invalid, and environmentally ineffective Paris Climate agreement offered another opportunity for corporate executives, from Silicon Valley and elsewhere, to once again bash America-first-ism and its No. 1 advocate.

The globalist CEOs, already on the record against pro-U.S. Trump policies such as immigration limitation and rights of religious conscience, fired away immediately upon the president’s announcement last week. That the Paris deal required much in the way of U.S. taxpayer funds and reduced carbon dioxide emissions, while India and China coal plants would belch away for years, was irrelevant.

Out front, as is often the case, was Apple’s Tim Cook, who said he called to convince the president to remain in the agreement, but failed. He felt the need to compose a company-wide memo to employees – under the presumption that they all share his political positions – to explain … Read More ➡

Silicon Valley CEOs Enter the Transgender Bathroom Wars Again

Marc Benioff

Legislators and a governor in yet another state are contemplating laws to protect privacy rights in public restrooms according to biological gender (rather than “sexual identity” or “gender fluidity”) – and once again Silicon Valley tycoons are banding together to oppose it.

This time it’s Texas, about as red a Red State as there is, so unlike battleground North Carolina last year, there is no hope for these liberal plutocrats to oust the Republican governor. But that didn’t stop several tech leaders from collaborating on a letter to the Lone Star State’s Gov. Greg Abbott to lecture him and lawmakers about any law that would “discriminate” against LGBTs. Once again, as in previous instances with Indiana and North Carolina, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff drove the effort.

“We are writing to express our steadfast opposition to the introduction and passage of any discriminatory legislation in Texas,” the executives wrote. … Read More ➡

Rep. Crowley Gets $10M for Group That Pays His Brother

Michael Gartland of the New York Post is applying more scrutiny to Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), the leader of the corrupt Queens, New York political machine. This time, Crowley is enriching his brother (and himself?) by successfully seeking $10 million in federal funding for a co-op for Bronx merchants. From the story:

The federal infrastructure money, which Crowley (D-Queens) and Rep. José Serrano (D-Bronx) led the effort to secure, came just months after Crowley’s brother, Sean, lobbied the House and the US Department of Trans­portation on behalf of the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative, records show.

The merchant co-op, which was awarded the federal funding in August 2013, has shelled out at least $827,000 to the lobbying firm Davidoff, Hutcher and Citron since 2009, federal and state records show.

Its unclear what purpose is served by a near-bankrupt federal government subsidizing particular businesses, but the arrangement serves the Crowleys … Read More ➡

Google Billionaire Eric Schmidt Blames Americans for Wanting Tech Jobs

After saying shortly after the inauguration that he expected Donald Trump to do “evil things,” Alphabet (parent company of Google) executive chairman Eric Schmidt was back with another rant earlier this month about the president.

This time the adjective addressed intellect rather than malevolence. Schmidt seized an opportunity to vent at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, bemoaning limits on special visas for foreign workers in “special occupations,” mainly high-tech fields. But the target of his frustration wasn’t just the president.

“I spent the last 20 years announcing that the single stupidest policy in the entire American political system was the limit on H-1B visas,” Schmidt said. “I have recently been trumped (pun apparently intended) by an America where you take the highly legal and highly technical people of seven countries … and you keep them trapped at JFK so our lawyers can spring them out.”

The well-heeled … Read More ➡

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky Enables Illegal Immigration; Shuns Fiduciary Duties

In the Trump era, information technology moguls have become more explicit in their conviction that America is first and foremost a global sanctuary. One of them, Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of the online lodging service Airbnb, is going that extra mile. The day after President Trump’s January 27 executive order temporarily barring immigration from seven terrorist Islamic-majority countries, Chesky announced his intent to provide free shelter to anyone barred from flights entering the U.S. as a result of the order. This gesture may or may not have been a violation of Trump’s action, but it almost certainly was a negation of fiduciary duty. The executive order later was overturned by a Seattle federal judge and upheld by an appeals court. It was overturned again in modified form by a Hawaii federal judge who only hours ago converted his temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction. Yet that should … Read More ➡

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