VPN for Americans to get a Chinese IP address and see what Trump and other Deplorables have to say?

Donald Trump has been unpersoned by U.S. tech companies, deplatformed from Twitter and Facebook. Parler, the social media competitor to Facebook that had become popular with Trump supporters, has been deplatformed by Amazon Web Services (AWS, which provides Parler’s servers; the site will go dark tomorrow night). Parler has also been deplatformed by Google/Android from phones and will presumably be banned by Apple from the App Store in due course. Amazon previously deplatformed from their ad network anyone who expressed disagreement with the CDC (post from May; maybe Amazon was right… California’s governor followed the CDC’s guidance (old and new) to the letter and California has not been troubled by coronavirus).

Is there a business opportunity here? How about VPNs for Americans to get a Chinese IP address and surf the Internet from inside the Great Firewall so that they can see all of the stuff that has been banned in the U.S.? If they want to do this with apps they can get a Huawei phone (top-rated for camera performance by dxomark), which will soon run software free from American control.

What’s a good name for our VPN-to-China service? “FreePeking”? “YunnanGonnaBeBlocked”?

Separately, I think this is the time to admit that I was wrong about Docker (“platform as a service”). From a senior software engineer friend:

Docker is a form of Kool-Aid. Think Jim Jones. We all drink it here in the Valley.

If Parler wants to spin itself up somewhere other than Amazon (is that feasible given the 24 hours of notice that Amazon gave Parler? They must have a crazy amount of photos/videos to transfer), Docker could actually be useful!

During my November 2019 trip to Shanghai/Suzhou/Hangzhou (awesome!), the U.S.-educated MBAs with whom I talked said that (a) they preferred living in China to living in the U.S. (they’d previously worked in Manhattan), and (b) they had more freedom of speech in China than in the U.S. (there was a clear line of permissible/impermissible drawn by the Party for published speech (they felt free to say whatever they wanted to at a restaurant table)). I wonder if Americans would experience more practical freedom on the Chinese-run Internet than on the Amazon/Google/Apple/Facebook-run Internet.

From Shanghai:

Finally, is it fair to say that Donald Trump is the new Hannibal Lecter and even the most casual contact with him, such as reading some words that he has written, could be dangerous? This Hannibal Lecter-style power is why my Facebook friends are talking nonstop about all of the ways that Trump can be imprisoned forever. It isn’t enough that Trump will disappear in 11 days. They need him inside a Supermax prison solitary cell in order to feel secure.

The Trump Twitter Archive captured some of the hated dictator’s tweets before Twitter put them into the memory hole. Here’s what he wrote just as the Capitol was being trashed:

  • Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!
  • I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!


27 thoughts on “VPN for Americans to get a Chinese IP address and see what Trump and other Deplorables have to say?

  1. Are you sure that Trump is in permissible area of “clear line of permissible/impermissible drawn by the Party (CPP)” after his fight with Chinese telcos and TikToc? TikToc banned Trump, isn’t it Chinese company? Maybe banning Trump is part of Big Tech strategy to stay in “permissible area”

  2. Now that we’ve seen the Trumpenfuhrer incite a violent mob attack on the Capitol (NYT), how is this different from Twitter and other platforms shutting down ISIS accounts?

    The basic motivation for liberalism (the “liberal” in “liberal democracy”) was the 16th-century wars of religion between Catholics and Protestants, in which each side failed to exterminate the heretics on the other side. Liberal principles, including freedom of speech and freedom of worship, provide a way for people to coexist peacefully despite not sharing fundamental values (like religion).

    But when you have a group organizing violent attacks against others, you need to be able to shut them down.

  3. The difference is that attack on the Capitol was outgrowth of legitimate American democratic process that was hijacked by a few scoundrels and gone wrong. Nobody was killed in the riot but one of attackers who as 14 years veteran of US Airforce and presumably was one of those bringing ISIS down. And Trump was the one who finished ISIS state.

    • Outgrowth based on lies.

      A Capitol police officer was murdered.

      ISIS is still alive and well?

  4. Was trump really denied the platform? The @POTUS account still seems to be there, and the traditional ways (white house briefings etc) are there too.

    It is only the “i am talking to my friends, totally unofficial, don’t hold me to my words” private account that has gone.

    (Shutting down Parler is totally ok; my god, they were planning murder there!)

  5. Observe all the right-wingers freaking out about deregulation and free markets dong their thing. “Big Tech” is the new boogeyman. Trump was loving Facebook when they sent employees to Trump tower and setup an office to facilitate campaign advertising. Twitter provides a free service. Senator Hawley is also whining that his book deal got cancelled. Because a private company no longer wants to do business with a reckless buffoon, now he’s being “censored.” I say write your book and publish it online for free.

  6. @POTUS account is there, but if Trump posts “personal” stuff to it they remove it (he tried)

  7. It has been sad to see “Dr.” Philip Greenspun, PhD descend into full on MAGAworld over the last few years. Phil — get off Facebook! You have been radicalized!

    Of course Apple/Google/Amazon needed to deplatform Parler.

    I would hope Conservatives would spend just five minutes doing some self-reflection: “Why does every company not want to host our increasingly insurrection-causing, racist, hate-filled, murder-planning free speech? Maybe we have gone a little overboard on the insurrection-causing, racist, hate-filled, murder-planning speech? Let’s dial it back a bit, and only plan to overthrow the US Government by force on Saturdays and plan murders of public officials on Wednesdays.”

    What company wants to be liable for this objectively crazy talk? Five people died at the Capitol, and further investigation reveals it could have been much, much worse. We could’ve been watching live-streamed murders of Congressmen. The responsibility for Wednesday has to lie somewhere.

    If I’m a CEO I don’t want the instability of the US to be advanced by people on my platform. Sure, debate the death penalty, the subtleties of immigration law, health care reform best practices, environmental treaty pros/cons, etc. on my site all you want. But don’t openly plan anarchy, martial law, and felonies on my site. The liability is too great, and the moral implications are unacceptable.

    • Mike: My brother is a real doctor! — Philip, merely a Ph.D.

      I’m not sure that I can be tarred with the MAGA brush! First, I deny the existence of “America”. Due to disparate cultures, languages, value systems, and economic situations, the U.S. in my view is populated by people who have little to nothing in common. Donald Trump tried to help the native-born working class and therefore I was able to understand why the working class (of which I am not a part, except in my flight instructor incarnation) supported him. https://newrepublic.com/article/160338/biden-popular-front-doomed-unravel agrees with me!

      It may turn out that Donald Trump was the one force keeping the Democratic Party together.

      Trump didn’t sell out his supporters. In fact, his presidency saw something extraordinary, even if it was all but invisible from the country’s globalized cities: the first egalitarian boom since well back into the twentieth century. In 2019, the last non-Covid year, he presided over an average 3.7 percent unemployment rate and 4.7 percent wage growth among the lowest quartile of earners. All income brackets increased their take. That had happened in the last three Obama years, too. The difference is that in the Obama part of the boom, the income of the top decile rose by 20 percent, with tiny gains for other groups. In the Trump economy, the distribution was different. Net worth of the top 10 percent rose only marginally, while that of all other groups vaulted ahead. In 2019, the share of overall earnings going to the bottom 90 percent of earners rose for the first time in a decade.

      The reasons for Trump’s success are not yet clear. They may well have involved his unorthodox policy choices: above all, limiting immigration.

    • re: limiting immigration

      2015 1,051,031
      2016 1,183,505
      2017 1,127,167
      2018 1,096,611
      2019 1,031,765

      How is this a significant reduction?

    • Philg – the income distribution stats are interesting. Sounds like some good news. What specifically did Trump do to bless the commoners; what was the genius plan? Was is starting a trade war with China? Did the massive tax cuts for billionaires and corporations actually trickle down(for the first time in history)? Or, was it just that the 1%’ers finally ended their run of the table in the aftermath of the Bush devastation, in other words they squeezed everything from the turnip and enough time of growth has passed to where there was finally some positive market pressure for the employed? And, if it was the tax cuts, isn’t that just credit card prosperity ala Reagan? And what about the artificially low interest rates–isn’t that some massive, negative potential energy waiting to burst, ala the Bush years? I mean, if you can’t raise interest rates from near all time lows during “the best economy in history,” when do you do it? Also, what of the massive health and life insurance time bombs waiting to go off? Certainly those industries can’t weather a massive increase in hospitalizations and deaths. There must be some negative accounting for a botched COVID response, surely?

  8. philg, it’s time to believe either DJT or your lyin’ eyes. This has moved beyond splitting hairs and cherry picking quotes. Yes, he is an ignorant fool but not JUST an ignorant fool. He has explicit influence on a huge following of dangerous ignorant fools and our government should be protected from that influence.

  9. As @Mike and @the other Donald’s comments indicate, this is the end of Trump, Trumpism, MAGA, and everyone associated with them. The ramifications of that are going to be much more profound than anyone here is talking about. The moment rioters stormed the Capitol building with his exhortation that “election fraud” gave license to them to use different tactics and “fight like hell” they sealed their own fate and everyone else’s. Cliché terms like: “Destroyed his Legacy” really mean that the institutional support for a complete purge – across every level of society, from corporate boardrooms to local school boards – is not only justified, but necessary, and it’s going to happen. When kids get back to school, they’re going to learn that Donald Trump and everyone with him was a Fascist who orchestrated a violent insurrection to overthrow a Presidential election. Nobody is going to mince words, and that’s just the beginning.

    You could see it building. Everyone was waiting for the justification for the purge. If Trump had accepted the election result and committed to a peaceful transition of power, it’s plausible that he would have been allowed to leave office with at least some of his “Legacy” – which is his movement – intact. That is not going to be permitted now.

    There’s going to be a lot more about what this means in the coming weeks and months. Let’s put it this way: Black Lives Matter is going to have an office at the Department of Education. And the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the DoJ, the NSA and all other alphabet security agencies are going to have offices devoted to eradicating the Deplorables.

    • And by the way, all this is nice to type out on a screen, it’s easy. But what it means is going to be very real world and direct.

  10. > They need him inside a Supermax prison solitary cell in order to feel secure.

    You bet they do. Listen, if the Wall Street Journal wants him removed from office with 10 days to go, do you think they trust him to just walk away afterward, with all the nation’s Tippy-Top-And-Beyond Secrets written on the back of his hand? No, no, no, no, no. They want him to Go. Away. With several members of his family. To a place where everything he does can be monitored all the time. I’ll bet he doesn’t get to walk around afterward.

  11. Trump supporters are now Guilty In Advance for anything else that happens:

    From the Washington Post via. the Seattle Times:


    “Capitol Siege was Planned Online. Trump Supporters Now Planning the Next One.”

    Concerns about more violent incidents appear to be well founded. Calls for widespread protests on the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden have been rampant online for weeks. These demonstrations are scheduled to culminate with what organizers have dubbed a “Million Militia March” on Jan. 20 as Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are to be sworn in on the same Capitol grounds that rioters overran on Wednesday.


    So what’s interesting about this is that presumably, they should rethink the plans for a big inauguration celebration. Having 100,00 or 500,000 or 1,000,000 people outside in Washington probably is not a good idea, given what we’ve already seen. I don’t see how they can go through with it.

  12. I don’t know if DJT deserves incarceration, but the tech sites serving his communications have no obligation to continue. I fault them for setting their threshold so high (low?) that he has already incited federal crimes.

    I also fault the Republican party (although I was a member until Nov 9 2016) for enabling him and shielding him from consequences (most of the party are still doing it!). If this kills the GOP, so be it. Their tone-deaf assembly at Amelia Island right now tells me they are not ready to confront the responsibility of a major party. I have seen my local party taken over by what you call Deplorables, and I quit being active even before that. I saw that the party was stratified between significant donors and and volunteers like me, and I had better things to do than blow up red-white-blue balloons and be a spear carrier in the pageant for photo ops.

    Our political system does not function well with this hostile 50/50 split and it could just collapse. We have seen governments collapse, and it often looks like January 6 at the Capitol. We were about two fervent Q-fools with bullhorns from assassinating elected officials. Enough is enough.

    Joe Biden and the Democrats do not inspire me, but so far they are not irrational, or even as far left as their opponents say. Several liberal Western regimes employ the policies that rabid right-wingers say are poison, and show no tendency to evil communism. I don’t expect the electorate to go even that far, but we cannot tolerate mob interference with government by whoever is elected under our democracy. I hated every minute of DJT and I was vocal about it, but I waited for my day at the election to remove him. The mob didn’t have that restraint and now they should pay the price.

    • @the other Donald,

      To be fair, the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill is not much different from the many other riots that we have seen during Trump’s, Obama’s and those before them. In fact the Capitol Hill riot was far, far less destructive in terms of lives lost, destructions and small businesses destroyed.

      In my opinion, Trump becoming president was accidental and the making of both parties. I don’t think Trump got into the race expecting to win, he wanted to be on TV for that extra 10 minute fame.

      Trump’s policies and standing up for America was all good and I supported them. However, since he is not a politician, he simply didn’t know when to shut-the-f**k-up or simply f**k in private.

      Finally, even before running for office, Trump was disliked by the media, law makers and business executives because at some point he screwed or irritated them. So imagen their surprise and desire to bring him down when the won the presidency.

      Has Trump recognized and accepted his flaws after wining the presidency and adjusted accordingly (see my note eelier about not f**king in public) he would have easily won a second term.

    • George A – In physical terms, that was a few hours worth of rioting. What other riots, BLM or otherwise, produced similar destruction in that amount of time? Also, what of the intangible destruction? Or enemies are surly beaming ear-to-ear at the images of American’s attack their own capital for a reality TV con man, battling an imagined stolen election. Our allies, surely embarrassed for us. What’s the long term damage to our credibility and reputation?

      As for Trump’s election being accidental, that’s nonsense. A lot of things aligned for it to happen, but the GOP has been grooming American’s for decades. Perfecting the use of propaganda to stoke anger by wrongly leveraging emotional words like liberty and patriot, and by branding every dissenting viewpoint as socialism, their sneaky and craven political games, well timed witch hunts and the creepiest political operatives in the game, such as Roger Stone and Manafort who was fresh off a pro-Russia Ukraine fascism tour. They created a monster and it finally grew too big to tame. Even the republicans fought Trump at first, but the legions of ignorant and greedy were more familiar to Trump’s siren song and they couldn’t be reigned back in. Trump had no shame, and so he turned on his own party and did the racism more loudly than republicans even dared. Isn’t it awfully ironic that the people who attacked the capital, for a gaudy, vulgar, reality TV show con man, believe they are all patriots saving America? Donald Trump is the GOP personified, just unfiltered and a little less clever, but more talented at their own BS. Pied piper of deplorables.

    • @Senorpablo,

      So, in your opinion, a riot anywhere else [1] but at the Capital is less embarrassing for the US and destructive even when those riots last for days, burn store fronts and cars, steal goods and destroy businesses and even kill incent by standers? Also, what about those other riots that were encourage and incited by well know community leaders? Are those OK? A riot is a riot, regardless of who and where it is started and they are an embarrassment of our democracy.

      As for Trump accidental precedency, you make my point for me “A lot of things aligned for it to happen”. If Hillary was qualified and is the best the democrats had to offer, she should have won hands down specially after Trumps “Grab ‘em by the pussy” leak [2], but yet she lost.

      And for Trump being greedy, no shame, witch hunter, et al, the same can be said for very much all other politician. Trump does it in public, while others in private, here are some examples: Obama “If you like your …” [3], Obama “After my election …” [4], Hillary, “deplorable” [5], Bush “mass destruction” [6], Clinton “I did not ..” [7], and I can go on and on.

      [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_incidents_of_civil_unrest_in_the_United_States
      [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump_Access_Hollywood_tape
      [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44kyHOPEZV8
      [4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNxEDomUlXw
      [5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basket_of_deplorables
      [6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction
      [7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBe_guezGGc

  13. To clarify, I left my activist role as precinct commiteeman in the GOP before the cult takeover, but didn’t change to “no Party” until after the 2016 election. I don’t know how the grassroots activists are treated now and I’m not curious to learn.

  14. the other Donald, now it is making sense. I did not get right away a hint behind your screen name. You clearly consider the alpha Donald a prime competitor and you were expelled from the pride by his movement. Usually people who do not like cult of personality like hereditary passing of power among George family lines even less, so I do not take that part explanation of you leaving Republican party seriously.

    • LSI, clearly my pearl clutching was not intended for you. I was trying to explain that I did not come late to the Never Trump movement. I knew what he was, but discounted that he could actually be nominated much less elected. I was self-“expelled” before DJT but I formally left the party to avoid the taint it has now earned. This had some expense because I’m in the opposite territory from philg; I have no primary vote because all the candidates are -R.

      As for his alpha-ness, Hahahahaha! Top-to-bottom: combover, scalp reduction, orange makeup over presumed cosmetic surgery, adderall habit, bad suit and tie, lifts in shoes, malignant narcissism, absolutely no taste, never worked for anybody or any cause except himself, should I continue?

      Politics does not attract admirable people, but DJT is as low as they go.

    • the other Donald, as a Low skilled immigrant I am used to being ignored so no offense taken. I apologize for my assumption that “the other Donald” implies our president as primary Donald. Maybe you are referring to Donald Duck as primary Donald. However your enumeration of alpha Donald personal traits and habits, I would not know whether real or imaginable, and no comments on his actual policies look a little obsessive to me. Apologies if I unintentionally caused anxieties, I did not mean to be insulting and wish to close this off-topic.

  15. Only saw a small group of wealthy people take an opportunity to suppress all opposition to Biden’s next economic stimulus package.

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