What would you say if your grocery store decided to spy on you and if they didn’t like what you said or did wouldn’t let you buy food ? Well it’s an inconvenience but free association. What if it was more than just one grocery store, what if it was all of them acting in conclusion and what if the power companies joined in, and if  the transportation companies you needed to get around joined in as well and your bank decided it didn’t want to business with you ?

You would think “Ha the author must be deluded that could never happen it’s ridiculous”.  Well it is ridiculous and I wish I were actually deluded because it’s already happening here now.

You may have heard of the Carl Benjamin AKA Sargon of Akkad case where he was banned from Patreon allegedly at the behest of their payment processors, and ostensibly for the crime of making fun of NAZIs years ago on another platform. No big deal a talking head has to change things up. Well when he moved to a new platform and many of the Patreon’s larger draws came with him. Well and good you might say, except that Paypal and Stripe decided to cut off Subscribestar in response to this. WUT ? The two largest internet payment processors decided to cut off a tiny little company because it gave people a way not to use Patreon ?  Needless to say there is legal action in the works on this and there is a FTC complaint being prepared already.

Next up you have the case of Laura Loomer, who has been simultaneously banned from Uber,Lyft,Venmo, Twitter, Uber Eats, Paypal, MGM Resorts and GoFundme. When I read that I thought damn this lady must take the cake in the annoying Olympics. As someone who has been personally accused of being able to trigger snowflakes by just walking in a room, all I have to say is “I am not worthy”. Just what did she do to warrant this ? Did she call for children to be put in woodchipper ? Did she make threats to kill someone in a graphic way ? Well apparently neither of those things is enough to get you banned from these services as long as you are threatening the right people. No Ms Loomer blamed Muslims for October 2017 terrorist attack in NYC

Conservative commentator Laura Loomer was banned from using Uber and Lyft after she posted a series of anti-Muslim tweets following the terrorist attack in New York.

A spokesman for the ride-hailing service Lyft confirmed Thursday that Loomer’s account had been “deactivated” following her daylong tweetstorm that blamed Islam and Muslims for the deadly attack. A representative for Uber also confirmed that Loomer was banned permanently from using the service.

–NBC News

Well I guess being upset about a terrorist attack conducted by people that believe in death to America is worse than wanting to put children into a wood chipper because they smiled the wrong way.

Kidding aside in the case of Patreon and Subscribestar I could actually appreciate the payment processors moving against Subscribestar if they had a valid financial interest. At that point it’s fictional people (corporations) competing with other fictional people and trying to protect the real interests of real people (their shareholders). However that idea is destroyed by the actions taken in concert against Ms. Loomer. She is literally being persecuted by these companies at potential risk to their shareholders because the company has decided they didn’t like what she said even though it had nothing to do with them.

This should be absolutely chilling to anyone in this country. Amazon is rapidly putting brick and mortar retailing in the grave, internet banking and payment systems are vital for nearly everyone to transact business, and if you live in a city access to a ride/taxi service is vital to get around.  She is literally being destroyed for having an opinion.

And make no mistake about this. It is nothing at all like the baker forced to bake an offensive cake. He did not make that kind of cake or offer it before. He even offered to provide a cake sans decoration. Uber and Lyft Drive people and deliver things, Paypal processes payments, and Twitter makes people hate each other, sends short messages. These are all things these companies do and they can hardly claim to not to cater to people with unpopular opinions, they just pick and choose particular unpopular opinions.

These companies have decided to force people to act the way they want, and if you don’t they will stop you from buying or selling unless you conform to their whims. A hundred years ago the nation was worried because Standard Oil wanted to heat and light your homes cheaply, could you imagine how things would have been if John D. Rockefeller insisted on spying on you. I am comfortable with companies competing to supply products for my cash, I am not comfortable with them trying to be conscience or my political officer.


Stolen Without Shame From Diamondback

RedState Slack – Realtime Chat and Private Messaging for the VRWC

Several of us commenters put heads together to address some longstanding desires for features the Disqus platform lacks like private user-to-user messaging, and we’ve started up a Slack server for private messaging and chat. If you’d like to join the fun Slacking Off after hours, your invitation to the party is here.

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Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread