Thursday, May 23, 2024

Latham tweet ‘offensive, crass, vulgar’ but not defamatory, court told

This case turns on the question of whether a plain language description of a homosexual act is defamatory. The person criticized in the comment was openly homosexual so describing what he does in bed was not news.  He had in effect already admitted to what he does. Clearly the use of plain language on the subject was not politically correct but whether it had any element of illegality seems improbable.

I myself have often wondered what there is to be proud about in "gay pride".  Why are they proud about doing what they do in the bedroom?  And if it is cause for pride, why can it not  be openly described?  It seems that the homosexual person described in this matter is rejecting the notion of gay pride.  He thinks describing a "gay" act is defamatory

A tweet by former NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham targeting independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich over his sexuality was “offensive and crass and vulgar” but it did not defame him, Latham’s barrister has told the Federal Court.

Greenwich filed defamation proceedings against Latham last year after the independent NSW upper house MP posted and later deleted a highly graphic and offensive comment on Twitter, now X, on March 30. Greenwich described the tweet as “defamatory and homophobic”.

Greenwich is also suing Latham over related comments he made to Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph on April 1.

The tweet led One Nation founder Pauline Hanson to remove Latham, a former federal Labor leader, as the party’s parliamentary leader.

On the second day of the defamation trial, which started in Sydney on Wednesday, Latham’s barrister, Kieran Smark, SC, said the tweet was “offensive and crass and vulgar, but we’ll have to grapple with it all”.

Tweet ‘didn’t wound reputation’

“What we say globally is that Mr Latham’s tweet may have wounded Mr Greenwich, but it didn’t wound his reputation,” Smark said.

This was not to deny evidence of the hurt and offence caused to Greenwich by the tweet, Smark said, but to “reflect upon the function of the law of defamation”.

“The concern, not merely a concern, of the law of defamation, is the protection of reputation,” he said.

“It’s such an unusual case because … in a sense it’s not a defamation case at all, on our contention. It’s a case about offensive conduct.”




Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Why The NHS Cancelled My Talk

As both a "climate denier" and an "anti-vaxxer" he was akin to an emissary from the Devil

Written by Norman Fenton

In June 2023 I reported about how a talk I was due to give at the NHS Health and Care Analytics Conference 2023 was cancelled not because of its content (it was about Bayesian network applications) but because of my ‘controversial views’ about the covid vaccines

In July 2023 I reported on the heavily redacted response from Birmingham University (who were hosting the conference) to my subject access request.

In August 2023 I reported on the astonishing response from the NHS to an FOI request that somebody, who I did not know, had made about the cancellation.

After that I finally got a response from the NHS to my own subject access request about the cancellation.

For legal reasons I never reported on that or what happened thereafter because The Free Speech Union lawyers submitted a formal request for an apology on my behalf and a small payment to a charity.

Because there has as yet been no resolution there are still limits to what I can say publicly. But I can reveal some snippets of what the NHS and their lawyers said.

The NHS response to the subject access request contained a covering letter and 17 different heavily redacted documents, each of which contained a thread of one or more emails about me.

Four of the documents were simply email threads in which I had participated before and after the cancellation – so nothing new there. Nine of the documents were correspondence from, presumably, members of the public who had made formal complaints to the NHS about my cancellation.

It was nice to know that people had complained on my behalf, but the most interesting aspect of the exchange was that the documents contained no responses from the NHS and no information as to whether the NHS ever did reply to these complaints.

The remaining four documents were internal communications announcing, and later confirming, that my talk was cancelled, instructing people to remove my name, close down the associated Eventbrite announcement, etc.

Hence, there was little new in the subject access request response to shed light on the real reasons and process that led up to their decision to cancel my appearance. And, to this day, the Conference Chair Ben Goldacre has refused to respond to any of the multiple requests for information about this.

However, following the Free Speech Union letter the NHS lawyers sent a lengthy response that contained many remarkable and offensive statements about me. First, they explicitly referred to tweets I had made AFTER the cancellation announcement on 20 June 2023.

More here:




Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Wow! Google are getting very sharp in censoring my blog posts

They normally wait a week or more before deleting my posts but they have now deleted what I posted yesterday on "Dissecting Leftism". The post was one I downloaded from Trialsite -- a VERY academic site. It was one that explored very fully the issues involved in prosecuting doctors over their prescribing Ivermectin.
Ivermectin must be a red-hot topic at the moment. I can guess why. The source for the deleted post is as under:




Monday, May 20, 2024

Stephen Merchant says ‘people are allowed to criticise things’ amid cancel culture debate

Stephen Merchant has weighed in on recent debates over “cancel culture” and its alleged effect on comedy.

In recent years, a wealth of comedy figures such as Ricky Gervais, Dave Chappelle and John Cleese have maligned criticisms of “wokeness” causing increased sensitivity in comedy.

Most recently, Jerry Seinfeld joined in on the discussion, claiming that “PC crap” from the “extreme left” had caused the death of the TV sitcom.

Comedian and actor Merchant, who co-created The Office with Gervais, shared his take on the conversation in a new interview with The Guardian.

Though he suggested that there has “always” been policing of comedy, Merchant, 49, noted that those on the political right were the enforcers of standards in the past.

“It feels like it’s the Left that’s doing it now, and it’s allowed the Right to become the arbiters of free speech. Which does feel like quite a significant shift,” he said.

Merchant added that comedians were “more cautious” about their work, “because you don’t want to spend weeks on Twitter trying to justify a joke you were just experimenting with. Because putting out the fires is exhausting.”

Merchant then expressed a sense of understanding towards making more considered jokes, in presumed contrast to Gervais.

“I’m also aware that sensitivities shift over time and that people are allowed to criticise and query things, and we do look back at old comedy and think we wouldn’t do that any more,” he said.

“I have no objection to the sands shifting. I think that makes sense and I’m loath to become a kind of ‘old man of comedy’, railing against the younger generation.

“But you do feel like there’s a sensitivity to the words before they’ve even heard the joke or the context. And that is inevitably a straitjacket of sorts – it quashes experimentation.”

In Gervais’s most recent stand-up special for Netflix, Armageddon, the comic joked about his work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, in which he jokes about how he approaches messages for terminally ill children who ask for him.

The joke also included the use of an ableist slur.

After the show’s debut, Gervais hit back at those who expressed their upset over the joke, questioning whether people were actually “offended” by it.

“I’m literally saying in the joke that I don’t do that. But people have a reaction. They don’t analyse it,” he said during an appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“They feel something – that’s what offence is. It’s a feeling. That’s why ‘I’m offended’ is quite meaningless. What do you want me to change?”




Sunday, May 19, 2024

Incorrect speech by Australian men

From what I can read of the messages concerned, the men writing were mainly complaining about being discriminated against, which is a pretty reasonable comment on the present ruling ideology of feminism.  How on earth do women hope to get "respect" from men whom they call "toxic" just for being men?  You have to give respect to earn it.

Aussie actor Jordy Lucas has been left stunned by the gross response she’s received after speaking out about domestic violence and misogyny in Australia.

Lucas, 32, who is famous for her stint on the long-running soap Neighbours, took to TikTok to discuss her experience of going to the Melbourne private school Yarra Valley Grammar after hearing about boys from the same school “ranking” their female classmates.

The shocking list was posted on Discord and discovered by the school. It featured photos of female students and ranked them from best to worst as “wifeys”, “cuties”, “mid”, “object”, “get out” and “unrapeable”.

Two of the four boys involved in creating the document were expelled, with the other two suspended and subject to further disciplinary action.

Lucas said she wasn’t “surprised” by the list, even as a former student, because she believes misogyny in Australia is rife at the moment and a fancy education isn’t going to be enough to stop men from becoming sexist.

“Disrespect and violence does not discriminate based on your socio-economic status. We can’t be complacent in believing this behaviour exists only in private school settings. It is everywhere,” she said.

Lucas argued that that kind of list plays a part in the way “men’s attitudes” towards women are developed and shaped.

The Neighbours star pointed out that there’s always going to be a domestic violence crisis in Australia if men don’t respect women.

Twenty-eight women have allegedly been murdered at the hands of a man in Australia in 2024, according to the Counting Dead Women Australia organisation.

Lucas said that the real “irony” in the gross response she received was that people were being sexist to her while telling her that sexism in Australia isn’t a problem.

“So many of these people are angry at me and trying to make me feel like there isn’t a problem?” she said.

She couldn’t believe that the result of expressing how she felt about the state of violence towards women and the “horrifying levels” of disrespect towards women in Australia was just that she’d experience even more sexism.

The actor told that the response to her video made her “sad” because this is the world her daughter is growing up in.

“It’s scary that there are so many men walking among us who harbour these feelings towards women. I do wonder how brazen they would be if they weren’t able to make these comments anonymously,” she told

Lucas reported the comments to TikTok but was disheartened to find that the comments weren’t getting deleted.

“How vile and hateful does a comment have to be for you to consider it a violation of your community?” she asked.

“I’ve reported so many of these comments but apparently TikTok thinks this is okay. So, there’s really no point wasting my time reporting them. As long as you allow people to anonymously post this kind of vitriol hate and level of disrespect towards women, you’re contributing to the problem.”




Thursday, May 16, 2024

More Wikipedia censorship

Wikipedia censorship of conservative information is now well-known. It ranges from being inaccurate to wiping whole topics out. Their latest action is that they have just deleted their page about Michael Darby, who has a long history as an activist in Australian conservative politics. Their grounds for deleting it is that he is not important enough, which is absurd

I have known Michael as a friend for many years and he has never ceased to make waves in politics. He also has an excellent sense of humour. I remember when he used to drive an old Dennis fire engine round Sydney as his personal transport. He has crammed a lot into his life.

Anyway, all is not lost. A biography site has preserved a full copy of his former Wikipedia entry
To be on the safe side, I have also put it up on my Alternative Wikipedia:
Michael's old blog site is still up and has sone historically interesting stuff
Among his many talents, Michael is also quite a good bush poet. I particularly like his poem "The Stranger". It is online here:
You have to click 44 in the sidebar to get to it. I believe it was based on an actual event

I think I first met Michael when he chaired a big meeting of the NSW Liberal party at which I gave a speech on criminology. The speech was very well received at the time. It is still online


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Student activists demand 'free speech' for themselves, censorship for the rest

Katherine Brodsky

Something curious is going on in the upside-down world we’ve been finding ourselves in. Students are fighting for freedom of speech. Well, their freedom of speech, that is.

Pro-Palestinian protests have been erupting on college campuses across North America for the past few weeks, led, rather prolifically, by Columbia University, followed closely by others such as New York University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale. Some demonstrators have not only set up tent encampments, but have clashed with police and other students, resulting in violence, rule violations, vandalism and ultimately arrests in the U.S. In Canada, tents have been set up in schools like the University of Toronto, McGill in Montreal, and the University of British Columbia.

The protests have tested the boundaries of free expression, since many have taken place on private property against the rules of the institutions. While many protesters have participated peacefully, there have also been reports of harassment, intimidation, calls for violence and support for Hamas, which is a designated terror organization in Canada. In response, many schools have attempted to balance free speech rights with safety concerns and significant academic disruptions — with a number of schools moving to remote learning or cancelling exams. Columbia has even cancelled its commencement ceremony.

On the one hand, where shouldn’t the free exchange of ideas thrive more than on a university campus? Yet, it’s been well-documented for some time now that numerous colleges have abdicated their commitment to free expression.

In my recently published book, No Apologies: How to Find and Free Your Voice in the Age of Outrage, I cite a 2022 survey conducted by the Buckley Institute at Yale University, which reveals that 41 per cent of college students admitted that they favour using violence to stop “hateful” speech, and nearly half agree that some speech can be so offensive that it merits the death penalty. Contrast that with the scenes of clashes between protesters on campuses with police officers. Although the police action isn’t over speech, but rather illegal acts like trespassing, violence and vandalism, a number of people would argue — rightly or wrongly — that the protesters, too, are engaging in “hate speech.” Would violence be justified to stop their speech?




Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Judge knocks out arrogant Australian bureaucrat

<i> Out with Inman!</i>

Australia’s eSafety commissioner’s attempt to force Elon Musk’s X to entirely remove a stabbing video from its platform worldwide was not reasonable, the Federal Court has ruled.

On Monday, a temporary order by Julie Inman Grant to block Australians from viewing footage of the alleged terrorist stabbing attack of Sydney bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was refused in a win for tech giant X.

Ms Inman Grant ordered X (formerly Twitter) to remove access to the video for Australian users last month, slapping the footage with a Class 1 classification, reserved for high-impact violent or child sex abuse material.

While X complied with a take-down notice, “geo-blocking” the content, Australian users with VPNs could still watch the attack on the platform and the tech company has refused to totally remove the footage from its platform.

Federal Court judge Geoffrey Kennett released his reasons for refusing the temporary order on Tuesday, finding X Corp succeeded in its argument that removing the footage for all users globally was not a “reasonable” step it should take in order to comply with the eSafety take down notice.

“The argument that making the 65 URLs inaccessible to all users of X Corp’s platform everywhere in the world is not a step that it is ‘reasonable’ to require X Corp to perform in order to ensure that the URLs are inaccessible to Australian users (and therefore is not a step required by the removal notice) is powerful,” justice Kennett said.

“If given the reach contended for by the Commissioner, the removal notice would govern (and subject to punitive consequences under Australian law) the activities of a foreign corporation in the United States (where X Corp’s corporate decision-making occurs) and every country where its servers are located,” he said.

“The Commissioner, exercising her power under s 109, would be deciding what users of social media services throughout the world were allowed to see on those services.”

As well, if the edict — that X should take down the content globally — was ordered, it’s likely that it would not be taken seriously.

“The potential consequences for orderly and amicable relations between nations, if a notice with the breadth contended for were enforced, are obvious,” justice Kennett said. “Most likely, the notice would be ignored or disparaged in other countries.

“The result is that … the “reasonable steps” required by a removal notice issued under s 109 do not include the steps which the Commissioner seeks to compel X Corp to take in the present case.

“For these reasons I have come to the view, based on the arguments advanced at this interlocutory stage, that the Commissioner will not succeed in establishing that compliance with the removal notice entails blocking access to the 65 URLs by all users of X Corp.”




Monday, May 13, 2024

Australian bureaucrat thinks she can censor the world

Lawyers for social media giant X and its billionaire owner Elon Musk have warned the new power push from Australia’s eSafety Commissioner to demand the global removal of a violent video depicting the stabbing of a Sydney bishop could chill speech worldwide and prevent consumers from accessing “newsworthy” material.

Lawyers for the internet watchdog and the social media site faced off in the Federal Court on Friday in a complex row over the clip depicting the April 15 alleged terror attack on Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, which quickly circulated online.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant ordered X to remove access to the video for Australian users, slapping the footage with a Class 1 classification reserved for high-impact violent or child sex abuse material.

But while the company “geoblocked” the content, or restricted its visibility in Australia, it has not removed the footage from worldwide consumption and Australian users can still access the video via an VPN.

The commission is now pushing for the power to enforce global take-down orders for material that is violent and extreme, arguing worldwide censorship of offensive material is reasonable in light of the Australian parliament’s online safety legislation.

“This is not a proceeding about a free speech policy debate, it’s about the application of the online safety act and the provisions of that act prepared by the parliament,” Tim Begbie KC, appearing for Ms Grant, argued before Justice Geoffrey Kennett.

“If truly the only step you can take because of the way you have set up your systems, is global removal, then that is a reasonable step.”

Mr Begbie noted VPN users accounted for about a quarter of all internet users in Australia and so the material was still accessible to large sections of the population.

He told the court eSafety staffers had tested the company’s compliance with the order with an iPad and VPNs. The staffers found that while logged on to a child’s account, they could access the video, he said.

Mr Begbie further argued that X had the tech and “wherewithal” to organise global take-downs and had policies that supported global removal in certain circumstances.

“X doesn’t stand for ‘global removal is bad’ in some pure sense,” he said.

“X’s own policies repeatedly refer to certain instances in which X will ensure global removal.

“They don’t think global removal is unreasonable, per se, and I pause to say, to their credit, they don’t think that.

“They have got policies which ensure a range of very harmful content will be removed. That’s what responsible services do. There’s nothing wrong with that.

“The real position is this, X says reasonable means what X wants it to mean.

“Global removal is reasonable when X does it, when it wants to do it.

“But it becomes unreasonable when X is told to do it by the laws of Australia.”

The court heard other social media platforms, including Meta, had made the video “wholly inaccessible” to Australian users following Ms Grant’s notice.

“We rather suspect it did involve a complete global removal,” Mr Begbie said.

He also said there was no “lawful obstacle” under US law to prevent the global removal of offensive material.

But Bret Walker SC, appearing for X, called the demand “startling” and said it could deprive consumers around the world of “newsworthy” information.

“The idea it is better for the whole world not to be able to see this obviously newsworthy matter, to form their own views on the conduct in question, and consider the views of others on the conduct in question … that notion is in our submission a startling one,” he said.

Mr Walker argued the powers sought by Ms Grant could have severe and negative effects on third parties and open access to information.

“There should be much more than a ripple of apprehension … that this country would take the approach, if this is the only way we can control what is available to end users in Australia, then yes, we say it is a reasonable step … to deny it to everybody on earth.”

There is also a dispute between the parties on the validity of the take-down notice itself.

Mr Walker argued the decision-making process governing the notice was “deficient” and it was “seriously arguable” whether the footage itself should have been classified as class 1 material.

“In these proceedings, the validity of the notice has been in question since the beginning,” he said.

“They’ve got to justify the notice, and they have not.”

The notice is also directed to the few seconds of the stabbing attack footage, Mr Begbie said, and not the footage prior to or immediately after the event.

“Were not talking about footage that doesn’t include those few graphic moments,” he said.

The court case will test how far national laws can traverse national borders in the social media age.

X owner Elon Musk, posting to the platform, warned national laws could be used to enforce global censorship if the commissioner’s position was upheld.

“Our concern is that if any country is allowed to censor content for all countries … then what is to stop any country from controlling the entire internet?” he wrote.

X’s Global Governance Affairs division stated it would challenge the take-down order.

“This was a tragic event and we do not allow people to praise it or call for further violence,” X stated.

“There is a public conversation happening about the event, on X and across Australia, as is often the case when events of major public concern occur.

“While X respects the right of a country to enforce its laws within its jurisdiction, the eSafety Commissioner does not have the authority to dictate what content X’s users can see globally.

“We will robustly challenge this unlawful and dangerous approach in court.




Sunday, May 12, 2024

Is Anglo-Saxon becoming a banned phrase? Cambridge journal is accused of pandering to 'mad Americans' after ditching the term from its title

"Anglo-Saxon" does in fact seem to be a bit of a misnomer.  Although not mentioned by the Venerable Bede, it would seem that Frisians were the major group in the invasion of post-Roman Britannia, with the Saxon presence not much more than a token  one.  The closest languages to modern English are Friesian ones.  I cover all that in more detail below:

Cambridge has been accused of pandering to 'mad Americans' after its university press ditched the term from the title of a world-leading journal.

Anglo-Saxon England, which has been running since the 1970s, was renamed Early Medieval England and its Neighbours by Cambridge University Press during a relaunch earlier this week.

The university said the title change represented the 'international, interdisciplinary and rapidly evolving nature of research in this field'.

But author and historian Dominic Sandbrook criticised it, saying it was made because the publisher 'didn't have the courage to say no to a handful of mad Americans'.

The term Ango-Saxon is often thought to have a different meaning in the United States as it has been used by white-supremacists to describe white people of British origin.

And in 2019 the International Society of Anglo-Saxonist voted to change its name to the International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England due to the 'problematic connotations' associated with the term.  

David Abulafia, Professor Emeritus of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University today joined criticism of the change.

He told the Telegraph: 'The journal should glory in its distinguished reputation rather than trying to reinvent itself under a bland new name dictated by a passing fashion for dropping the term Anglo-Saxon.'  

Wanjiru Njoya, a former lecturer at Oxford and Exeter, has also criticised it on social media.

She posted 'now Cambridge has changed the name of their journal from 'Anglo-Saxon' to 'Early Medieval' while sharing a news story on how the term was being changed to make teaching at Cambridge anti-racist.

Early Medieval England and its Neighbours is a world-leading journal that includes a variety of works by academics in Cambridge's Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.

The department previously tried to 'dismantle the basis of myths of nationalism' by teaching students that Anglo-Saxons were not a distinct ethnic group.

The term has typically reffered to a cultural group of people who emerged in the period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Norman Conquest.

A spokesperson for Cambridge University Press said: 'The journal will continue to welcome and use the term 'Anglo-Saxon' as it publishes a broad range of high-quality scholarly research on England, its closest geographic and intellectual neighbours, and their wider cultural contacts from the 5th to the 11th century.

'The new title reflects the breadth of that scholarly work, and is one part of a broader relaunch of the journal, which is now Open Access, will have more regular publications, and take on an expanded scope, with the aim to solidify the journal's position as the foremost in this rich field.'




Thursday, May 09, 2024

Suppressing Free Speech Is Not the Anti-Semitism Solution

Combatting bigotry is a great idea, but the best way to do that is with more, not less, free speech.

Leftists have been relentlessly assaulting free speech for several years now. In fact, the attack on the First Amendment might be the gravest threat to American Liberty today. So, what did House Republicans do? Pass a bill that stands on shaky ground when it comes to the First Amendment.

Yesterday, the House passed the Antisemitism Awareness Act by a vote of 320-91. Introduced in October by New York Republican Mike Lawler and Florida Democrat Jared Moskowitz, the bill adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism for the purpose of enforcing federal laws. Anti-Semitism is “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews,” says the IHRA. “Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” The State Department also adopted this definition in 2016.

Anti-Semitism is reprehensible, and Jews have greater reason than most people groups for fearing the escalation of such bigotry.

After the genocidal assault perpetrated by Iran-backed Hamas on Israel on October 7, the response on the American Left was often to link rhetorical arms with Hamas, not Israel. This has divided Democrats, and party pooh-bahs are increasingly alarmed by the radical campus protests roiling the nation — protests that are the hate-filled effluent of Marxist indoctrination Democrats ensure fills the nation’s schools. It’s not without reason that many see parallels with 1930s Germany, and it’s easy to see why some folks think there oughtta be a law.

That said, short of taking violent or otherwise criminal action against someone, saying racist or bigoted things is legal in America, as is the counter-speech necessary to fight it.

Even though the stated intent is now to help deal with campus protests, free speech is why the House legislation is problematic. While there are limits to what Americans can say and where we can say it — your employer is not obliged to let you publicly represent the company however you please, and colleges are not required to allow students to occupy, trash, and vandalize property — Congress’s role in restricting speech is and should be very limited.

Especially concerning for at least some of the 21 Republicans who opposed the bill is that the IHRA’s list of “contemporary examples” of anti-Semitism includes “using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.” Several of those 21 specifically said anti-Semitism is wrong, but they worry that this bill would open the door to prosecuting Christians for preaching the Gospel because of relevant details about the death of Jesus.

I’m not going to get into the debate over who killed Jesus other than to say that many of the people arguing about it are missing the point of the Gospel. I’ll add that Jesus was Jewish and spent a good bit of his ministry criticizing other Jews.

“We’re not interested in messing with the Gospel, nor does this language do that,” insisted Lawler, who is Catholic. “It’s absurd on its face,” he added, to claim that the bill would criminalize the Gospel. “It’s inflammatory and it’s irrational.”

Actually, with administrations like Joe Biden’s, it’s totally reasonable to fear expansive and terrible interpretations of federal law so as to enable the persecution of political opponents. It’s also a good idea to jealously guard free speech.

As an aside, if criticizing the Israeli government ends up being classified as anti-Semitism, the people most guilty of that are Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, and a whole heap of other Democrats.

Wyoming Representative Harriet Hageman voted against the bill because it “provides no actual relief for terrorized Jewish students and infringes on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” Specifically, she added, “By using the definition of anti-Semitism from a foreign non-governmental organization, the bill attempts to criminalize what someone’s ‘perception’ of another person might be, which is a clear violation of the First Amendment.” Anti-Semitism is “offensive,” she said, but it’s also “constitutionally protected speech.”

We’ve been slower than some to assail House Speaker Mike Johnson, knowing that he has a history of rock-solid conservatism and a tiny and fractious majority with which to work against a Democrat Senate and White House. Our Emmy Griffin tackled Marjorie Taylor Greene’s coup today, and I analyzed Johnson and the GOP herd of cats last week.

But I must say the House bill is perplexing, and Johnson has some explaining to do. “What’s happening on college campuses right now is wrong,” he said Tuesday. “It is un-American.” So is restricting free speech.

The First Amendment considerations are paramount, but there are also political reasons this was a bad idea. It comes as Democrats are tearing themselves apart and panicking that these college protests are helping Donald Trump. The least Republicans could have done would be nothing. Instead, it seems like they grabbed the rope and hung themselves.




Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Yarra Valley Grammar School students suspended over disturbing list rating female classmates

This is hysteria over nothing. We all evaluate other people's appearance all the time.  Why not discuss it? The behaviour described  is not uncommon.  It is simply adolescents enlisting their friends in at attempt to get an understanding of females, a common puzzle for males of all ages.  And the sense of humour in it has been missed. There is nothing abnormal or dangerous about it.

Unfortunately, two of the boys  were expelled over their jocular comments

Four boys from a Melbourne private school have been suspended after a list was posted to social media rating their female classmates.

The shocking list was posted by Year 11 students from Yarra Valley Grammar School in Ringwood onto the platform Discord and was discovered by the school last Wednesday.

It featured photos of female students and ranked them from best to worst as 'wifeys', 'cuties', 'mid', 'object', 'get out' and 'unrapeable'.

The students were suspended on Friday pending further investigation, Nine reports.

Yarra Valley Grammar principal Dr Mark Merry spoke to Nine on Sunday and described the post as 'disgraceful'.

'Respect for each other is in the DNA of this school, and so this was a shock not only to us … but it was a shock to the year level and the boys in the year level that see this as way, way out of line,' he said.

He said he was offended by the final category, and has since reported the matter to police to ensure the list wasn't linked to any criminal offence.

'As a father, I find it absolutely outrageous, disgraceful, offensive. As a principal, I need to make some decisions [about] what we do about all of this,' he said.

'My first impulse and concern is about the wellbeing of the girls concerned. I want to make sure they feel assured and supported by the school.'

'We are going to be consulting the police because the language used could be an inferred threat.'

'I don't think it was, but we need to get further advice on that…I'm hoping it was an appalling lapse in judgment.'

It costs around $30,000 a year to send a student to the elite Ringwood private school, and Dr Merry said the school prides itself on teaching 'respectful relationships'.

'We are well aware of the broader issues in relation to respecting women…we need to really do our best to ensure that young men understand their responsibilities and their boundaries of how they should behave,' he said.




Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Why we should defend Nathan Cofnas’s academic freedom

Nathan is a brave guy.  I have had some correspondence with him. His grandparents were Lithuanian Jews who managed to escape Hitler so branding his mention of some undoubted facts as "racism" is absurd

After a controversial blog post he made earlier this year, the professional career of Dr Nathan Cofnas, a Leverhulme early-career research fellow at Cambridge’s philosophy faculty, is dangling by a thread. The American academic has already been defenestrated from an unpaid research associate position at Emmanuel College, and is now the subject of two investigations, one by Cambridge University and another by the Leverhulme Trust, the foundation funding him.

You don’t have to agree with Cofnas to see that the fact he might be fired for expressing his views violates fundamental principles of academic freedom

Dr Cofnas works in the philosophy of biology, in particular what he calls ‘evolution-informed social science’ and its attendant ethical controversies. This includes the thorny topics of race, genetics and intelligence. He’s currently being hauled over the coals for a February blog post titled ‘A Guide for the Hereditarian Revolution’, where he calls for a wider understanding of population genetics in society, something he calls ‘race realism’. The principally offending passage is about affirmative action and meritocracy in elite American academia. He cites Harvard University data which suggest that were the college to use a colourblind system for academic selection, judging applicants by academic qualifications alone, its proportion of black students would fall dramatically, from around 14 per cent to just 0.7 per cent.

When it comes to Harvard faculty, Dr Cofnas added that in a meritocracy they ‘would be recruited from the best of the best students’, meaning ‘the number of black professors would approach 0 per cent’. He adds that black people would ‘disappear from almost all high-profile positions outside of sports and entertainment’ in this society.

Unsurprisingly, his piece prompted outcry on campus after being reported in the student newspaper. A petition denouncing him as ‘bigoted’ and a ‘eugenicist’ and calling for his termination soon gained over 1,000 signatures. Protests were organised and Emmanuel College’s JCR issued a statement condemning his ‘racist views’.

At first, Cambridge authorities nevertheless defended his right to academic freedom. ‘Freedom of speech within the law is a right that sits at the heart of the University of Cambridge,’ said Professor Bhaskar Vira, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education. He pointed out that while they may be offensive, the views of one academic do not reflect the views of the university, adding, ‘We encourage our community to challenge ideas they disagree with and engage in rigorous debate.’

Case closed, one might have thought – especially after the embarrassing debacle of disinviting a world-famous professor at the behest of activists and then performing a very public U-turn. Indeed, it was in reaction to the growing problem of campus cancel culture that the government passed its Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act last year, which strengthens universities’ legal duties to protect academic freedom.

Yet as protests have continued, with one senior academic denouncing Cofnas’s work as ‘abhorrent racism, masquerading as pseudo-intellect’ at a student ‘town hall’ meeting, it seems Cambridge may be about to cave to the mob again. Prof Vira has since told students Dr Cofnas ‘crossed a line’, and in April Cofnas was informed that Emmanuel College was ending its relationship with him.

The letter makes it abundantly clear that this was because his blog posts ‘amounted to, or could reasonably be construed as amounting to, a rejection of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI and EDI) policies’. It maintained that this was ‘inseparable’ from its mission of ‘educational excellence’, and Cofnas’s blog thus ‘represented a challenge to the College’s core values and mission’.

As Peter Singer, the world-famous moral philosopher and Princeton professor of Bioethics, wrote in an op-ed denouncing the move last month, it seems ‘freedom of expression does not include the freedom to challenge [Cambridge’s] DEI policies’. This was an ‘extraordinary’ state of affairs, he said, not least given that Western institutions’ adoption of DEI policies is such a ‘recent phenomenon’.

Thankfully, others are now also weighing in to defend Cofnas’s academic freedom. On Thursday, 14 leading academics and public intellectuals, including Singer, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker, the ethicist Jonathan Glover and US author Coleman Hughes, jointly signed a letter to the Times urging Emmanuel College to reverse its decision, and for the investigations by the Faculty of Philosophy and the Leverhulme Trust to be called off. They were ‘dismayed’ at how he was being treated, adding that ‘there is nothing to investigate’.

The Free Speech Union is also supporting Cofnas with the two ongoing investigations. ‘Free institutions don’t tell academics how they should reason their way from a premise to a conclusion,’ it has said, ‘nor should they say that certain questions are prohibited from the off.’

You don’t have to agree with what Cofnas wrote to see that the fact he might be fired for expressing his views violates fundamental principles of academic freedom. If people believe he is wrong, then they are perfectly within their rights to say why and how and to explain the flaws in his arguments. Instead, the principal claim levelled against Cofnas has been that some find his ideas ‘offensive’ and ‘distressing’. That may well be so, but if universities are to successfully fulfil their truth-seeking mission, academics’ right to explore offensive or controversial topics must come before considerations of hurt feelings. This vital principle must always be defended – especially when it comes to hard cases. Nathan Cofnas must be free to speak.




Monday, May 06, 2024

Understanding Trump's Gag Order: What You Need To Know

Former President Donald Trump is currently embroiled in a hush money criminal trial where he faces a gag order that restricts him from publicly commenting on certain aspects of the case. The New York judge overseeing the trial has already fined Trump $9,000 for repeated violations of the order and has warned of potential jail time if he continues to disregard it.

The gag order, officially titled an “Order Restricting Extrajudicial Statements,” prohibits Trump from making public statements about witnesses, jurors, and certain individuals connected to the trial. However, it does not prevent him from discussing the allegations against him or commenting on the judge or the top prosecutor involved in the case.

Gag orders like the one imposed on Trump are common in high-profile cases to prevent external influences from affecting the proceedings inside the courtroom. Trump is also subject to a similar gag order in his federal criminal election interference case in Washington.

Despite the restrictions, Trump retains the right to testify in court if he chooses to do so. The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that criminal defendants, including Trump, have the constitutional right to take the stand in their defense.

Recent fines imposed on Trump for violating the gag order stemmed from social media posts targeting individuals involved in the trial. The judge found Trump in violation for certain posts but declined to sanction him for others, citing specific circumstances.

While the judge has warned of potential jail time for continued violations of the gag order, it remains unclear what actions would warrant such severe consequences. Trump's defense lawyer has indicated plans to appeal the judge's findings, and prosecutors have requested further fines for additional alleged violations.

As the trial continues, the issue of the gag order and its implications for Trump's legal proceedings remains a focal point, highlighting the delicate balance between fair trial rights and free speech rights in high-profile cases.




Sunday, May 05, 2024

Feds warn employers can be punished for failing to use preferred transgender pronouns

In landmark guidance, the federal commission created to fight racial and sexual discrimination declared Monday that employers that fail to use a worker's preferred pronoun or refuse them the chance to use the restroom of their choice will be engaging in prohibited harassment.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published the new harassment guidelines Monday after voting along partisan lines on Friday to approve them, even in the face of opposition from nearly two dozen red states. Three Democratic appointees approved the rules while two Republicans opposed them.

The new document elevates gender identity as a protected class under discrimination laws like race, sex and religion.

Prohibited harassment includes "repeated and intentional use of a name or pronoun inconsistent with the individual’s known gender identity (misgendering) or the denial of access to a bathroom or other sex-segregated facility consistent with the individual’s gender identity,” the new regulatory document declared.

Job Creators Network, one of the nation's leading small business groups, decried the new guidance.

"The Biden administration's new guidance on transgender employees is yet another example of executive overreach by unaccountable bureaucrats," Job Creators Network CEO Alfredo Ortiz said. "The guidance is a solution in search of a problem, as the overwhelming majority of employers already provide their employees with a respectful working environment, no matter what their backgrounds.

"While the Biden administration is focused on using the correct pronouns, small businesses are suffering under the weight of resurgent inflation, high energy costs, and a credit crunch due to Democrats' bad policies. Rules about how to treat transgender employees amount to another headache for employers at the worst possible time," he added




Thursday, May 02, 2024

Former Biden Disinformation Czar Launches Group to Defend Online Censorship

Former Biden administration disinformation head Nina Jankowicz has launched a new organization to fight against conservative efforts to combat online censorship.

Jankowicz launched the American Sunlight Project this week to fight what she believes to be a campaign by conservatives to undermine the anti-disinformation industry. She co-founded the organization alongside Carlos Álvarez-Aranyos, a communications specialist who worked for left-wing group Protect Democracy during the 2020 election cycle.

The American Sunlight Project wrote a letter on Monday to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R., Ohio.), Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R., Ky.), and Representative Dan Bishop (R., N.C.) accusing them of “McCarthyism” for investigating the disinformation industry and its pressure on social media platforms to censor speech.

“The Weaponization Committee has selectively released  congressional testimony to discredit them, make them targets of harassment, and create a chilling effect across the field of disinformation research. These tactics echo the dark days of McCarthyism, but with a 21st century twist,” the letter reads.

The House Subcommittee on Weaponization, chaired by Jordan, has been investigating the close relationship between federal agencies, disinformation nonprofits, and social-media platforms, particularly in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

Disinformation nonprofits such as the Stanford Internet Observatory and the Center for Election Security coordinated alongside the DHS, FBI, CIA, State Department, and other government agencies to monitor certain kinds of speech on Facebook and Twitter during and after the 2020 election cycles, according to multiple reports compiled by the subcommittee.

This pattern of coordination first received national attention when a group of independent journalists released internal Twitter documents known as the “Twitter Files” shortly after billionaire and prolific Twitter user Elon Musk purchased the platform. Musk quickly fired top brass and instituted a series of changes to the platform to prevent censorship practices targeted at large conservative accounts. He rebranded the platform and changed its name to X last year.

The ability of social-media companies to partner with government agencies to restrict certain forms of speech is at issue in the landmark Murthy v. Missouri Supreme Court case set to be decided later this year.

Two years ago, Jankowicz rose to prominence when the Department of Homeland Security appointed her to lead its infamously short-lived disinformation governance board. Her past amplification of widespread falsehoods surrounding the discredited Russiagate scandal and the Hunter Biden laptop story severely diminished her credibility and lead to the DHS board folding only months after it started.

Most notably, Jankowicz endorsed the debunked letter in October 2020 by 51 former intelligence officials claiming, without evidence, the Hunter Biden laptop archive first reported by the New York Post was likely the product of Russian disinformation efforts. Facebook and Twitter censored the Hunter Biden laptop story and prevented it from being shared.

Testimony last year by one of the letter’s signatories, former senior CIA official Michael Morell, revealed the Biden campaign orchestrated the letter and its publication in Politico days before the final presidential debate between then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump.

Federal investigators verified the contents of Biden’s laptop in late 2019 by cross-referencing it against his Apple iCloud server, according to special counsel David Weiss’ team of prosecutors and IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley. Numerous media organizations have independently verified the authenticity of the laptop archive.

After her brief DHS stint, Jankowicz registered as a foreign agent to work for a British disinformation think tank partially-funded by the U.K. government.




Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Pathologizing the Search for Truth: When is Disagreement with Conventional Wisdom “Misinformation”?

TrialSite has long chronicled the attacks on free speech that have become a normal part of our media eco-system; from our own lawsuit against the Trusted News Initiative in partnership with Robert Kennedy Jr and his Children’s Health Defense, to the Supreme Court’s pending decision in the case against the Biden administration and agencies in which an appeals court gagged them from telling social media firms what to, and to not, publish about issues such as COVID-19, vaccines, and the 2020 election. In this environment, “alternative media” and the “MSM” (Mainstream Media) have radically different conceptions on the important issues of our day, such as COVID-19, war and peace, and how our “MAGA v. Woke” fractured society can reconcile and learn to agree to disagree and make compromises. The key is that all sides tend to vilify folks they happen to disagree with. Also in this environment, the key elements of social science, psychology, communications, and more have arguably been weaponized in service of the MSM-government official truth. The US government has lied to the American people on key, life and death issues more than you can count on your 10 fingers. The Gulf of Tonkin incident was the cassis belli for a Vietnam war that cost over 50,000 American lives and 1-2 million Vietnamese. Supposedly the North Vietnamese attacked US military boats.

Government & Corporate history of lying

Many years later, Robert McNamara acknowledged that this didn’t happen. We cost the lives of one million Iraqis due to deliberate recycling of bad intelligence by top-tier outlets such as the New York Times. Yes, the concept that the MSM serves as a propaganda channel for larger, bigger forces in government isn’t new. Many have unanswered questions about historical incidents such as the JFK assassination as well as various other historical events.

And what about corporate scandal after corporate scandal the American public must endure. What, question a pharmaceutical company? Since the year 2000, Pfizer has violated laws 98 times, racking up $10.9 billion in fines!  What about Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family scandal? The opiate crisis itself at least in part was caused by suppliers priming the pump of demand with evidence that the product was highly addictive. Go back in history and the tobacco industry lies, and you get the point.

On the other hand, for society to function best, we need a certain trust in, and even deference to, government authorities and the MSM. Humans need a core consensus reality to be truly connected, and cohesive for a nation.

But whether this is geared toward freedom or control is an open question at this time.

“Epistemic integrity”

The pro-censorship view is typified by Current Opinion in Psychology’s “Misinformation and the epistemic integrity of democracy” from December, 2023. And the past statements of first author Stephan Lewandowsky  only reinforce the stereotype/reality of experts carefully crafting the public’s opinions. At the outset, the use of “epistemic,” instead of something like “knowledge,” hints at the elitism that is at play as well as the attempts to make the heretofore “soft” human sciences sound more scientific and technical than they actually are, while simultaneously utilizing these sciences to manipulate and control public opinion.

Skepticism versus disinformation

Lewandowsky and colleagues open their epistemic piece with the fact that, “Democracy relies on a shared body of knowledge among citizens, for example trust in elections and reliable knowledge to inform policy-relevant debate.” The authors go on to purport to review evidence of “widespread disinformation campaigns that are undermining this shared knowledge.” Getting a bit meta, they enter that they established “a common pattern by which science and scientists are discredited and how the most recent frontier in those attacks involves researchers in misinformation itself. We list several ways in which psychology can contribute to countermeasures.” Also, “reliable information” is needed when it comes to public policy options, the authors state.

Of course, these authors never cite the egregious and frequent cases that government or corporate interests, or the confluence of the two, lie to the public, which itself is telling, isn’t it?

Are “climate change” theories open for debate?
The authors focus on climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic as issues upon which “misinformation has played a crucial, and adverse, role.” Interestingly, they fail to address the possible validity of something thought to be misinformation by designated experts. Think of some of the examples raised above, like the opiate scandal which falls under existing memory.

For one thing, on the climate change topic, it is entirely possible that global warming caused the release of carbon dioxide from the ocean, and not the reverse, as the official truth holds. And we are still coming out of the last ice-age; in sum, climate is always changing, and the anthropogenic carbon-dioxide focused climate change theory is still just a theory, meaning it’s not a law.

The paper complains that 90% of climate change skepticism has “been linked to conservative think tanks.” But aren’t think tanks an important way for folks to come together and seek both truth and social change?

Wuhan lab “conspiracy” turned out to be true

Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the paper argues that we suffered an “infodemic” of misinformation and “conspiracy theories.” But this ignores the indisputable fact that the government was not forthcoming about the pandemic: for years, the theory that the virus came out of the Wuhan lab where US and Chinese researchers had been modifying bat-based coronaviruses was called out as misinformation, despite the authorities having evidence that this theory was true. Years after the fact, “official truth” is now modified to state that this disease likely did come from a lab. Likewise, the authors deride misinformation about lockdowns, masks, and vaccine safety. Yet all the hard science now says that masks don’t work. This has been shown by meta-studies in top-tier journals like Cochrane Reviews and The Lancet.

Yet earlier in the pandemic if an independent news organization even bothered to raise the specter of a lab leak when discussing SARS-CoV-2, they were immediately censored on the biggest platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and back then, Twitter.

Authors allege misinformation is a conservative phenomenon
 The ”two entwined drivers” that underly “opposition to science” include being suspicious of state-sponsored measures and being “adherents of right-wing libertarianism.” To these authors, left-wing or liberal disinformation does not exist based on the state of the research, but this seems like a quite biased claim. And because these authors don’t acknowledge the basics of sociology, psychology and economic interest—e.g., they are hired by the side representing the group covering up truth, or propagating at least in part, a coverup or lie—and they cannot be considered serious, objective researchers.

In a separate article, Lewandowsky does acknowledge valid reasons for folks to take government claims with the proverbial grain of salt: “Western countries, especially those with colonial histories, have also damaged people’s trust in medical treatments through their previous mistreatment of indigenous populations…and misuse of vaccination centers, for example, by the CIA in its hunt for Osama bin Laden…. It is unsurprising that people would question scientific evidence communicated by the same institutions that caused them harm or deceived them in the past.”  

Don’t take our word on this, read the paper for yourself, and think about the methods used to bolster the prevailing view as fact and absolute truth.




Tuesday, April 30, 2024

VisitBritain issues 50-page inclusivity guide advising against words like 'blacklist', 'man hours' and 'blindspot'

A tourism agency has told workers they can't use words such as 'blindspot' or 'man hours' anymore as the language is not inclusive.

Instead of man hours, travel agency VisitBritain told firms hosting guests from overseas to say 'person hours' as to not to offend anyone.

According to its 50-page language guide, the word blacklist should be replaced by 'deny list' and blindspot by 'missed opportunity'.

The company gave out the 18-point inclusive term sheet to foster a 'culture of belonging', but it has been slammed as being 'out of touch', according to The Sun.  

VisitBritain - which is funded by the government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport - also warned not to use the term 'guru' as it is said to have been appropriated from Hindu culture.

Instead, the £54million-a-year taxpayer funded agency said to use the term 'expert'.

Last year, VisitBritain issued an 'accessible and inclusive' toolkit for those in the tourism business.

In the 2023 information pack, the section of 'inclusive language' encouraged using positive language when asking about disabilities.

It warned people against using negative language such as 'suffers from', 'is a victim of', 'handicapped', 'invalid', 'crippled by' or 'wheelchair bound'.

But the new guidance goes a step further, giving business partners a list of words they can and cannot say.

To avoid offending people with disabilities, the word 'lame' should not be used in a derogatory manner, with the agency suggesting 'uncool' or 'cheesy' as an alternative.

In the place of using 'sanity check', VisitBritain advised saying 'confidence check', and instead of saying 'man up', telling people to 'be brave'.

Similarly, it advises workers to say 'everyone' or 'team' instead of using the term 'guys' to describe a group, despite it being commonly used in an all encompassing manner for all genders.

The inclusivity sheet was sent to the agency's partners to 'help shape the future' of the events hosted.

The same information pack tell event organisers to cater for those who don't drink alcohol and to set up 'low sensory' rooms, according to The Sun.

It tells partners that: 'Words and phrases used for generations are no longer acceptable'.

But Sir John Hayes CBE, who is the chairman of the Common Sense Group of Tory MPs which focusses on 'authentic conservatism', slammed the document.

He told The Sun that those who made the inclusivity sheet are 'out of touch' and should be 'backlisted and blackballed' - using one of the words VisitBritain asked business partners to avoid.

The travel agency's role is to grow Britain's visitor economy and encourage tourists to explore the country.

It also advises the Government on tourism, providing research and insights into the industry.




Monday, April 29, 2024

Wakeley church stabbing: Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel makes emotional return to Christ The Good Shepherd Church, defends free speech

An Assyrian Christian Bishop who was allegedly stabbed in a terror attack inside his Sydney church has made an emotional return to his pulpit.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel received a standing ovation from parishioners on Sunday before delivering a fiery sermon defending free speech and slamming Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

He was allegedly attacked by a 16-year-old boy during a livestream of his sermon at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley in Sydney's south-west on April 15 in horrifying scenes that shocked Australia and the world.

Less than a fortnight later he returned to the altar for Palm Sunday, which is part of Orthodox Easter.

Sporting a white eyepatch over his right eye and carrying a gold cross, Bishop Emmanuel stood in the same place where he was allegedly stabbed and began his service in Arabic.

Several days after he called for the footage of his alleged attack to remain online when the government ordered it removed from social media, the bishop called out Mr Albanese in an impassioned defence of freedom of speech and religion.

Bishop Emmanuel said that he cannot 'fathom' how freedom of speech could not be possible in a democratic country like Australia.

'I say to our beloved, the Australian government, and our beloved Prime Minister, the honourable Mr Albanese, I believe in one thing and that is the integrity and the identity of the human being,' he said.

'This human identity, this human integrity, is a God-given gift, no one else.

'Every human being has the right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion... I should not worry for my life to be exposed to threat or to be taken away.'

He pointed out that Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Atheists had the right to express their beliefs.

'Also the Christians have the right to express their beliefs, and for us to say, that free speech is dangerous, that free speech cannot be possible in a democratic country, I'm yet to fathom this,' he continued.

'We should be able as civilised human beings, as intellectuals, we should be able to criticise, to speak, and maybe, at some certain times, we may sound, or we may come across offensive to some degree, but we should be able to say, "I should not worry for my life to be exposed to threat or to be taken away".




Sunday, April 28, 2024

Meet the UCLA medical school 'fat pride' staffer whose compulsory lectures warn trainee doctors that using the word obesity is 'violence'

Fat pride is rubbish.  Why would anyone be proud of being fat when it is both physically and socially disabling?  The whole idea is simply a defence mechanism by fatties who are unwilling to admit that they eat too much for comfort.  

I once had a medical condition that caused me to eat only half as much as I usually did.  And the weight just dropped off!  I was so pleased about it that I was slow to get the medical condition attended to.

And the whole point of gastric sleeves is to make the person cut back on how much they eat. And I have seen some real transformations in people who have had a sleeve put in. I know one lady whose love-life was really transformed by a sleeve

It really is simple.  If you don't want to be fat, you just have to eat less.  There is nothing inevitable or complicated about it.  What you do to cause yourself to eat less is another matter.  It may not be easy but it is within your power.

UCLA medical school had been condemned by a renowned Harvard doctor for forcing students to take a 'fat-positivity' class.

All first year medical students at UCLA are required to read an essay by Marquisele Mercedes, a self-proclaimed 'fat liberationist' who claims that 'fatphobia is medicine's status quo' and that weight loss is a 'hopeless endeavor.'

Mercedes's article, titled 'No Health, No Care: The Big Fat Loophole in the Hippocratic Oath,' is on the required reading list for the mandatory Structural Racism and Health Equity course.

The class syllabus, obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, shows what students at the elite medical school are learning - which has attracted attention from experts nationwide who disagree with the teachings of the course.

UCLA 'has centered this required course on a socialist/Marxist ideology that is totally inappropriate,' said Flier. 'As a longstanding medical educator, I found this course truly shocking.'

The essay by Mercedes details how weight has come to be 'pathologized and medicalized in racialized terms.'

She offers guidance on 'resisting entrenched fat oppression,' according to the course syllabus.

Mercedes claims that 'ob*sity' is a slur 'used to exact violence on fat people' - particularly 'Black, disabled, trans, poor fat people.'

'This is a profoundly misguided view of obesity, a complex medical disorder with major adverse health consequences for all racial and ethnic groups,' Flier said - adding that teaching these 'ignorant' ideas to medical students is 'malpractice'.




Thursday, April 25, 2024

Australia: Christian Bishop Wants Video of His Stabbing to Remain Online

This will put the cat among the  pigeons.   It will make the  authoritarians of Left and Right who want to censor us  explain WHY they want to ban this video.  To my simple mind I cannot see any intelligent rationale for the ban. It happened  so let us show it.  People need to know what is going on,  Not have it covered up.  Bravo for the bishop

The Assyrian Christian bishop who was attacked during a live-streamed sermon has said he does not want footage of the incident removed from the internet.

The video of the multiple stabbing attack, is at the heart of an ongoing war of words and a legal battle between Australian authorities and X owner Elon Musk.

On April 22, lawyers for the eSafety Commission applied to the Federal Court for an injunction to compel the social media platform to block all videos of the incident across IPs globally—a request, X says, extends far beyond the jurisdiction of local authorities.

On April 24, during a case management hearing, X representative, Marcus Hoyne, provided an affidavit from injured Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel who said the video should not be censored.

“There’s recently been an affidavit … from the bishop, the victim of the attack, stating that he’s strongly of the view that the material should be available,” Mr. Hoyne said.

Mr. Hoyne also said the attempts by Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant to implement a global ban on the spread of the video was “exorbitant.”

He further said the footage was now subject to the “Streisand effect”—the unintended consequence of attempting to hide, remove, or censor information—and instead, resulting in even more publicity.

Any move to remove the video would now be pointless because it had spread beyond the few dozen URLs initially identified by the eSafety commissioner.

The judge ordered the matter to be heard again on May 10 when X could supply more detailed arguments.

The attack occurred in the Western Sydney suburb of Wakeley with footage showing a 16-year-old walking up to the bishop during a live-streamed sermon, before the young man began repeatedly striking the church leader with a flick knife, which appeared to malfunction.

The incident occurred barely two days after a knife attack spree in the east of Sydney, at the sprawling Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre, that resulted in six deaths.

Both incidents have spurred authorities to crackdown on “misinformation” and related videos on social media.




Wednesday, April 24, 2024

It was like the Stasi has come to my door': Woke Exeter University bangs on student's door and threatens him with expulsion after he is overheard saying... 'veganism is wrong'

A philosophy student overheard through the wall of his room saying 'veganism is wrong' and 'gender fluidity is stupid' was threatened with expulsion by his university, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Robert Ivinson said he was disciplined after a student next door in halls of residence at Exeter University heard the comments then complained he had been offensive and 'transphobic'.

Mr Ivinson, who expressed the views in a phone call to a friend, was hauled before university officials and put on a 'behavioural contract' for the rest of his studies.

He was warned he could be expelled if the university thought he had done anything else wrong, and told by letter he had been found guilty of harassment.

Last night, critics condemned Mr Ivinson's punishment as an example of the 'insidious erosion' of free speech in the UK's academic institutions.

Edward Skidelsky – director of the Committee for Academic Freedom, academics fighting to maintain free expression on campuses – said: 'It's extraordinary that in 21st century Britain eavesdroppers can be rewarded, and a student punished for remarks made to a friend in the privacy of his room.

'Robert's case once again underlines the insidious erosion of the freedom to express opinions and ideas which is playing out at our universities.'

At the time of the complaint, Mr Ivinson – who had just started his first year of a philosophy degree – was alone with the door closed.

Mr Ivinson, who is 6ft 5in with a deep intonation, said his voice often carried without him realising.

When an officer from the university's estate patrol banged on his door to tell him his female neighbour had complained, the mature student was shaken.

'It was like the Stasi had come to my door,' he said. 'He stuck his foot in my door and said you've been saying some very offensive things.'

Mr Ivinson was called to a disciplinary hearing and grilled by university officials.

He told The Mail on Sunday: 'The first thing they read out was that I had said veganism is wrong. I couldn't believe it – I thought I was mishearing them. I asked them to repeat it three or four times because I didn't believe I was sitting there for saying that veganism is wrong.'

He says he made the comments about gender fluidity and veganism, but maintains other statements he was alleged to have made had been misheard, such as that President Assad of Syria was 'a good guy'. He says he stated the dictator was 'not a good guy'.

He also denies saying 'people should not parade their sexuality in a gay bar'.

He insists he said that while uncomfortable with public displays of affection – gay or straight – he had no problem if gay people wished to demonstrate their sexuality in bars or clubs.

He says he apologised to the officials for the disturbance but maintained his right to speak freely in his own room. 'I was totally private apart from that someone heard me through a brick wall.'