Censorship By Twitter & Facebook Is Stunning

By Royal Alexander

Only days before the election, these tech giants block access to damaging news about the candidate they support

The censorship we have witnessed this week is a perfect example of why millions of Americans trust neither the national media nor social media. This is the behavior of totalitarian regimes and dictatorships.  Not America.

The New York Post, one of the oldest and largest newspapers in the world, broke a story regarding the discovery of credible evidence in the form of emails revealing that Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate, Joe Biden, clearly leveraged his dad’s then-position as Vice President by gaining favors from his dad that benefited the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.  One 2015 email indicates that Vadym Pozharskyi, a Burma adviser, thanked Hunter Biden for “giving an opportunity” to meet former VP Joe Biden. 

This new, independent revelation regarding influence-peddling by Hunter Biden is obviously newsworthy given that the former VP has repeatedly said he had “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”  The new emails strongly suggest that former VP Biden was not only aware of his son’s business dealings but actually participated in meetings to benefit him.

Regardless, Facebook immediately stated that it “was reducing [the New York Post article’s] distribution on our platform.”  What this really means is Facebook would tweak and alter its algorithms to limit the ability of users to view, discuss or share the article.

Twitter’s effort to suppress the Post article went well beyond Facebook’s.  Twitter entirely banned all users’ ability to share the article on both its public timeline and private Direct Message function.  Twitter first responded to attempts to link to the article with the “error” response.  It later changed its response by telling users who tried to post and circulate the article that it judged its contents to be “potentially harmful.”

Twitter then continued its censorship efforts by locking the account of the New York Post itself!  The next day, the Post published a similar article highlighting likely influence-peddling by Hunter Biden with, this time, a Chinese energy company for which he was apparently to be paid $10 million a year for “introductions alone.”  Twitter banned that article as well.  (Imagine the screaming we’d see if even a whiff of this kind of corruption could be attributed to Don, Jr., or Eric Trump regarding Pres Trump.  On behalf of Joe Biden, though, there is media blackout).

It’s simply insufficient to say that no duty of fairness and evenhandedness is owed by Facebook and Twitter because the First Amendment only applies to government, not private, actors.  Government censorship of speech is not the only kind.  Private sector suppression of speech is equally threatening, chilling and damaging.  Democracy can only function with a free exchange of information.  Facebook and Twitter may not be government actors, but they are quasi-public entities, and they are behemoths.  They are essentially monopolies and possess enormous leverage as a result. 

They owe a duty of fairness for many reasons, not least because Twitter and Facebook directly benefit from a valuable legal advantage contained in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  This law protects them from any legal liability for content published on their sites, much of which may be defamatory.  These two giants should not be allowed to receive valuable federal benefits on the one hand then also take the position that “we are private companies so we can suppress speech whenever we like.”

These two companies are no longer, if they ever were, neutral arbiters simply operating information exchange platforms.  They have become the equivalent of media companies who regularly make editorial decisions in the composition of their news feeds and in so doing, reflect a distinctly Leftist bent.  They remain legally unaccountable for damage done by the content on their platform and they have broad discretion to censor 3rd party speech.  This is too much.  I am hopeful changes to Section 230 will be made to limit the legal protections of social media companies.

Given the special status they enjoy, Twitter and Facebook have an obligation to act in the public interest and they are not doing so.  I would support the DOJ either breaking them up on grounds of antitrust and monopoly or Congress removing their Section 230 advantage and regulating them as public utilities.

Shoot for the Blue

By Hayley Loe

Saturday, October 17th Shoot for the Blue hosted their annual shooting competition where RRHS Junior Brett Danzy Jr. placed first in the overall youth division. Brett has competed in this shoot for years, and he has been working his way up to first place for some time now. Brett shot 87/100 giving him the win for the weekend.  

Danzy said, “The Shoot for the Blue event is a great fundraiser put on for the Louisiana State Troopers. I’ve attended this event with the support of Roy O Martin every year since 2016.

“Several months before the event I practice my fundamentals at multiple gun ranges to get a feel for every situation that I might see while shooting.”  Danzy added, “Winning first is an honor for me and I will definitely be back for a second win next year.” 

Fishing Team in Action

We are so excited about our new Riverdale Fishing Teams! We had a great 1st tournament even though fishing was tuff and the weather was chilly. These kids did amazing!

We are so proud of each of them and are excited to see what the future holds! Thank you to all the parents and grandparents who made this possible. Also, thanks to the ones who were able to come out from the Class of 2020 to do the weigh in!

President Approves Hurricane Delta Assistance

President Donald Trump has approved Gov. John Bel Edwards’ request for federal assistance related to Hurricane Delta, opening up aid to people who suffered damage in five parishes. Gov. Edwards submitted the request for a Major Disaster Declaration to the President and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday. 

“I want to thank the President for his quick action on my request for federal assistance related to Hurricane Delta, which impacted the very same communities in Southwest Louisiana that were already reeling from Hurricane Laura,” Gov. Edwards said. “This federal assistance will go a long way in rebuilding our damaged parishes and helping get people recovered and back to their lives.”

FEMA is authorized to provide Public Assistance Category A (debris removal) and Category B (emergency protective measures); and Individual Assistance for Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vermilion parishes. Those affected by Hurricane Delta in these five parishes may begin registering for FEMA assistance today by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585(TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Federal FEMA assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property loss and other programs to help people and businesses recover from Hurricane Delta.  

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will continue working with FEMA and impacted areas to identify and request additional parishes and Public Assistance categories be added to this declaration.

Meanwhile, Louisianans affected by Hurricane Laura have one week remaining to apply for FEMA disaster assistance. Apply for assistance today by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

ETC… Wednesday, Oct 21st

From Clara Springs Camp:  Friday, October 23rd will be our last Fourth Friday Fish Fry for 2020. It will be once again a Drive-by and pick up a plate event. Please make sure you reserve a plate in advance!

You can order plates using this link: clarasprings.wufoo.com/forms/qmcana919qgn9i/,

or by calling the camp office 318-796-3875, or emailing: Mandi@clarasprings.com.

And Saturday we have a Fall Farm & Fam day! There will be food trucks, vendors from all over the state, and Rockin’ I Auction! $1 admission per person and all the fun begins at 9am!

The Journal notes several area churches are planning Fall Festivals or Halloween activities.  If your group is planning something special, let the Journal know.  We plan to publish them next Wednesday, October 28th.

4-H members, the Red River 4-H office reminds you Pumpkins and coloring sheets are starting to come in and they are WONDERFUL! Remember, judging will take place Friday. Riverdale and Country Day students can bring items to the school. All other students can drop off at the 4-h office. We have a Dropbox for coloring sheets and a plastic tub for pumpkins

Louisiana Fall Severe Weather Awareness Week runs from October 18th through October 24th. The Shreveport office of the National Weather Service will highlight a different topic each day. We begin Fall Severe Weather Awareness Week by discussing having a severe weather safety plan. Make a plan! Know the plan! Practice the plan!

According to the Louisiana High School Football social media page, the latest LSWA poll has Red River into the top 10 in 2-A.  Here are the standings this week in 2-A:

  1. Ferriday (5) (3-0)
  2. Lafayette Christian (2) (1-1)
  3. Many (1) (3-0)
  4. Newman (1) (3-0)
  5. St. Charles (3-0)
  6. Notre Dame (3-0)
  7. Episcopal (3-0)
  8. Amite (1-1)
  9. Mangham (3-0)
  10. Red River (2-1)

Gladie Merlee (Speir) Land

Mrs. Gladie was born February 23, 1934 in Chestnut, LA to Richard O. Speir and Leona (Regions) Speir and passed away October 17, 2020. The family will be holding a memorial service for Mrs. Gladie at a later date. She had a love for music, especially listening to her radio and hearing Eddie play. Mrs. Gladie also loved attending outings and reunions with her family.

Mrs. Gladie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert Lee Land, Sr.; son, Robert Lee Land, Jr.; daughter, Sherri Land; brothers, J. W. Speir, Billy Speir, and her sister, Beatrice Quick. Left to cherish her memory are her son, Eddie Stewart; daughter, Donna Land; brother, Jack Speir; sister, Ruby Hatcher; 4 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Wanda Rae Welborn

Services for Wanda Rae Welborn, 75, of Coushatta, LA were held Tuesday, October 20, 2020.  Visitation was from 10 A.M. until 11 A.M. Tuesday at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home, Coushatta, LA with graveside services immediately following in Pelican Cemetery, Pelican, LA with Pastor Roderick Reliford.

Ms. Welborn was born January 20, 1945 in Silsbee, TX and passed away October 18, 2020.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Luther and Gladys Williams; two brothers, Jackie Williams and Cecil Williams; one sister, Gladys Williams; husband, V.G. Welborn; and companion, Donnie Walker.

Ms. Welborn is survived by two sons, Thomas Mathews and Stephanie of Coushatta, LA, Junior Welborn of Coushatta, LA; grandchildren she raised as her own, Katelyn Manshack and husband, Anthony of Coushatta, LA, Brandy Niette and husband, Kinny of Coushatta, LA, and Garth Welborn of Coushatta, LA; five grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Pallbearers will be Mikey Robinson, Kinny Niette, Anthony Manshack, Chase Corley, Winston Reliford, and Zachery Reliford.  Honorary pallbearers will be Thomas Mathews, Junior Welborn, Tommy Mathews, Brock Mathews, Jase Cloud, Alastor Manshack, and Justin Niette.

Inez Giddens Guin Doyal

A funeral service celebrating the life of Mrs. Inez Giddens Guin Doyal, 79, was held at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home Coushatta Chapel on Sunday, October 18, 2020, at 3:30 pm with Reverend Tom Brown officiating. Interment followed in Bethany Church Cemetery. The family received friends beginning at 2:00 pm prior to service time.

Mrs. Inez Doyal, born was born August 1, 1941 in Fairview, LA to Gladys Baxter Giddens, and passed October 15, 2020 in Minden, LA. She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter Kathy Ann Guin; and brother, William Giddens.

Left to cherish her memory are her twins, daughter, Sherry Vaughn and son, Gary Guin; and son, Cecil Ray Guin; brother, James Giddens; sisters, Emily Jackson and Francis Wheeler; grandsons she raised as her own, Jason Lewis Guin and Erik Brandon Guin; 11 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Honoring her as pallbearers were Chad Harkins, Dale Guin, Michael Guin, William Harkins, Erik Guin and Ellis Wynne.