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Wake up, people. There is a divide more fundament than left vs. right. That divide is authoritarian vs. freedom. A free and truly diverse society can coexist only as long as we allow everyone to say and do as they please, as long as they are not hurting others. And fantasy hurts, including mean words, don't count.

Seizing power may feel expedient, or even justified, when those in charge share your ideology, but to be blunt, fuck you. If you are not happy with the degree of authority when your party or tribe is out, then you are not morally entitled to wish for that same power--and the chance to be in control, and use it on others.

People fantasize about national schisms and even secession, usually into liberal and/or conservative countries. I would much rather see us divide into the tolerant and puritan, and then watch the puritans eat themselves.

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The Dark Horse Podcast is one of the only "media" outlets that has kept me sane during this pandemic. They are rational, smart as hell, and willing to let the evidence and data guide their choices - something increasingly difficult to find these days.

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I'm a regular listener to the Dark Horse podcast and I want to add a couple of things to Bret's answer about the Covid vaccines.

They are ALWAYS circumspect, and while they have cautioned about the newness of the vaccines, they've certainly never condemned them. In fact, they have specifically mentioned that their parents have all been vaccinated.

For what it's worth, I never miss a podcast and I got vaccinated. And I felt better about it for having listened to Bret and Heather. I knew they weren't blindly pushing a political agenda like our pols and media.

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This story is a drum that needs to be beat all day everyday.

We’ve all been lied to and this man is trying like hell to tell us the truth, and what does he get? Censored

When in the history of civilization has censorship ever been the cause of the good side?

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Great article. I disagree on one point. Alex Jones' right to free speech is just as important as Bret Weinstein's, because yours and MINE could be viewed as lacking the quality for Weinstein's and being more akin to Jones' by certain "tribally blind" purveyors of censorship, blacklisting and persecution. "I disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it" applies even more to Alex Jones than to Weinstein.

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I wonder how history will treat Trump? As a man, incompetent narcissistic and an ignoramus: there or there about I think . As President, as the office holder, will his endless complaining about establishment conspiracies, corruption and lies be vindicated? I think yes. I also suspect the establishment will be judged to be the greater threat to the American experiment.

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"The Trump election inspired a loss of faith in democracy."

Still struggling with this. I take as a given that both parties cheat in elections. Of course they do. But i think for the most part (excepting, say, hanging chaddery) that the effect is negligible, and advantages probably roughly cancel each other out. I still believe that both Donald Trump and Joe Biden won legitimately.

I bang on about this too much. But Donald Trump apparently won his primary fair and square. Does anyone really think the Republican establishment preferred him over, say, Jeb! the Democratic primary was rigged af. Superdelegates, money, looting state parties, DNC voodoo, don't even know where to start. And this is the party whining about loss of faith in democracy? Give me a fucking break.

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Hi Matt, I just subscribed to this Substack because of your coverage of Bret and the censorship issue. This, and the lack of algorithmic transparency in how we get our information suggested to us, cannot be allowed to stand in a free society. If we the people aren't trusted to make sense for ourselves, we won't have democracy much longer; certainly not one worth the name.

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Thanks Matt. A critical issue well presented. Perhaps in a future article you might examine this purported truth: “The Trump election inspired a loss of faith in democracy.”

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I first became aware of the likelihood of a lab leak by simply googling Wuhan in mid-January 2020, and noting that a virology lab doing coronavirus research was in a densely populated area.

By the end of that month, Zero Hedge posted a lengthy run of speculation on the role of the lab, concentrating on the human factor, namely recent hires at the lab who might not have been well-trained enough to work in such an exacting and dangerous environment. ZH’s twitter account was then suspended.

In April 2020 I read Yuri Deigin’s essay in Medium about the scientific basis for the likelihood that the virus was the result of GOF research. Weinstein interviewed him in June (?) 2020. As Eric Weinstein—Bret’s brother—has said the purpose of propaganda is to create an unwarranted societal consensus. Likewise, the purpose of censorship is to prevent the creation of a warranted consensus.

In mid-December 2019, I was surprised to see dozens of videos leaking out of China and landing on Twitter about something afoot at hospitals. In one such video you see people milling about an emergency room entrance, holding up phones, obviously trying to figure out what the hell is happening. An ambulance pulls up and hospital staff rush to take patients into the hospital. On the way out, the drivers snatch at least three people who were recording with phones and stuff them into the ambulance. I shared this Twitter video with a friend sitting nearby, marveling at how an ambulance became a paddy wagon in the blink of an eye. This image, to me, captures the nature of the current “safety state.”

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Weinstein's and Heying's quack stance on the COVID vaccines is what ultimately made me stop watching their podcast. And make no mistake, it's a quack stance: A PhD in Biology, which sounds fancy and gives an impression of subject-matter expertise to the lay public, is in no way an expert on virology, immunology, or the topic of what would make, say, a "traditional" vaccine safer than this new technology, which prompts your body to mount an immune response to a small harmless piece of the vaccine -- ie, which works very much like all other vaccines -- and we have mountains of evidence of its safety and efficacy at this point.

That being said, my personal decision to stop watching them is a far cry from YouTube deciding that no one can watch them. Their heterodox views sometimes land them squarely in the land of common sense. For example, the lab leak hypothesis is a lot more credible than the zoonotic hypothesis, and they were some of the first people willing to discuss it. We can't simply rule out a lab leak for the sake of political convenience, which is exactly what the international scientific community, several powerful governments, and the mainstream media all attempted to do in early 2020. Now that a zoonotic origin has been drummed so hard into the public imagination that it falls in the category of "things every smart person 'knows,'" it's very hard to revisit the lab leak hypothesis, but let's give Weinstein and Heying credit where credit is due -- they didn't back down.

And that's why, even though in my view they are total cranks on the subject of the vaccine (and worse: in portraying themselves as experts on the topic to an undiscerning public, when they are not, and they know -- or should know -- they are not), I fully support them NOT being censored in any way, no matter how much damage their views about the vaccine might potentially cause.

From the point of view of pure self-interest, we can't shut up people with views we dislike without making ourselves vulnerable to being shut up when we have something unpopular to say. (Ira Glasser speaks eloquently on this; and it's particularly sad to see the ACLU jump on the woke zombie-bus and become as censorious as everyone else in the mainstream -- for example, on the topic of protecting the speech rights of those who perceive serious medical and ethical harms of a blind "affirmative" approach for youth with gender dysphoria. The ACLU is content to shut those people up and claim it's "hate speech," when they seem for all the world to be experienced professionals raising good-faith concerns. But that's a whole 'nother topic.)

So...Trump, Alex Jones, and Weinstein/Heying -- I might hate some of what they say, and yet I defend their right to say it. Let them speak, and ultimately history will be the judge of who was right.

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No one has been able to explain to me how promulgating the lab leak theory was a threat to public health.

This is not about public health and never has been.

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Alright, let's say that the election of Trump inspired a loss of faith in Democracy. So the solution is to embrace intellectual fascism? That's like trying to cure a hangover by downing a bottle of rat poison.

Using poor Gary Webb as an example was spot on but depressing since the guy put a bullet (or 2 depending on who you believe) in his head after losing his entire life over a story that turned out to be true. This doesn't bode well for either Mr. Taibbi or Mr. Weinstein.

Geez, so John Stewart made the lab leak hypothesis palatable? So what's his medical degree in, the humorous side of slow death by pandemic? In other words, the left wing of America is living inside the same pop culture personality cult that they accused right wingers of living in when they voted for Trump. If Jimmy Kimmel or Jon Stewart says it's true then it's true. Great fucking plan.

Sorry for the disjointed nature of this comment. I wrote it as I was reading the article.

Y'know I spent 1/2 hour watching CNN this morning. In that 1/2 hour I learned that I should be terrified of guns & gun owners because the pandemic turned everyone into sad little bunnies who have cracked under the pressure of being locked down with the comfy chair & the enforced binge watching of Netflix. Poor little bunnies. My heart bleeds for your pain.

They followed that up with a story about the weather & how I should be terrified of heat in summer because it's, like, really hot.

For a group of folk who have hitched their wagon to entities like BLM, who want to bring this society down, are they so completely lacking in self awareness that they don't realize they wouldn't survive 10 minutes without this society's big fat nipple in their mouths?

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Today's and yesterday's substack articles were great, and greatly appreciated. This whole situation has a kind of Star Wars plotline (the original,.watchable ones I mean) to it. Every smart person with a platform saying true stuff that pisses off Dark Vader is playing the role of Luke Skywalker. 98% of the media and politicians, and not just in the US, are with the Empire.

Help us Obie One Kenobe.

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Since 1958, the Gallup polling organization has periodically asked Americans how much they trust the federal government to do what is right. In 1958, 73 percent said ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’. Trust hit its high point in 1964, when that figure stood at 77 percent.

Then it began to fall. By 1980, only 27 percent trusted the government to do what is right. That percentage rebounded to the low forties during the Reagan years, then fell to a new low, 19 percent, in 1994. It rebounded again, hitting a short-lived high of 54 percent just after 9/11. Then it plunged again, hitting another new low, 15 percent, in 2011. It has been in the 15- to 20 percent range ever since.

A government that is distrusted by more than 80 percent of the citizens has a bipartisan legitimacy problem.

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Weinstein is an arrogant, self absorbed imperious fuck with a god complex who should have been required to enter an employee assistance program EAP RATHER THAN BE FIRED.

But the 50 pests at his office door suffer from the same problem.

What’s the diff?

Weinstein had and exercised POWER which the students lacked bec they were students and *not* professors… exacerbated because as a “popular” professor he used the additional power of that popularity to brutalize the 50 … and they responded with full retaliatory force.

The students used the only power available to then and Weinstein should have been smart, humble and gracious enough to SIT DOWN on the hall floor, shut up, and fucking LISTEN to them rather than trying to convert them to his point of view in his typical “popular” elite white supremacist settler colonizing Lord God Of All dominant way.

What a twat.

However, that DOES NOT MEAN he should be censored by YouTube et al and that the information and perspective he brings to the covid issues should not be considered …

Indeed, his views SHOULD be considered … in the precise OPPOSITE way that he FAILED to listen to and consider the views of those 50 students and their legitimate — NOT woke — racial justice issues.

A young Lyndon Johnson was once told that ‘when your mouth is open, you ain’t listenin’ nor learning.’ Someone should tell that to Weinstein … and to the Fascists of Silicon Valley, the deep state, the medical Big Pharna insurance industrial complex, the ruling capitalist elites and the damned CIA loving , Wall Street whiting Democrats.

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