Friday, September 30, 2022

"Woman" is back

According to American journalist Kaylee McGhee White (writing in the Washington Examiner) it is now officially okay to use the word ‘woman’ again.

As you know I have written in the past about the attempt by the thought police to stop us using the word ‘woman’ – so that, instead of saying ‘pregnant woman’ we had to say ‘pregnant people’. This had something to do with the so-called ‘trans’ movement – although why it was deemed so important was never entirely clear.

Now the edict has been rolled back. And what great authority has made this change? It is found in the latest version of the Associated Press Style Guide. Kaylee McGhee White says Associated Press has ‘updated its guidance to say it is “acceptable” to use the phrases “pregnant women” or “women seeking abortions”.

Considering women are the only people in the world capable of conceiving and bearing children… it’s a wonder this language was considered unacceptable in the first place. But alas, when a crazy and unfortunately influential segment of society has decided to let go of its grip on reality, basic concepts like biological sex become taboo subjects one must defend’.




Thursday, September 29, 2022

PayPal backs down

Toby Young
At 5.30 p.m. this evening, PayPal notified me that it has restored all three of the accounts it cancelled a couple of weeks ago – the accounts for the Daily Sceptic, the Free Speech Union and my personal account. In all three cases, the email read as follows:

We have continued to review the information provided in connection with your account and we take seriously the input from our customers and stakeholders. Based on these ongoing reviews, we have made the decision to reinstate your account. You should now be able to use your account in the normal way. We sincerely appreciate your business and offer our apologies for any inconvenience this disruption in service may have caused.

Forgive me if I don’t jump for joy. Since PayPal dropped the bombshell on 15 September, I’ve been desperately trying to save the Daily Sceptic and the Free Speech Union from going under – ‘inconvenience’ doesn’t begin to describe what I’ve been through. About a quarter of the regular donations people were making to the Daily Sceptic were being made via PayPal and about a third of the Free Speech Union’s members were paying their recurring membership dues using PayPal. We’ve had to write to all those people affected and plead with them to use a different payment processor, as well as redraw our annual budgets in anticipation of the revenue loss. So, telling me now that it was all a terrible mistake is too little, too late.

And it clearly wasn’t a mistake. PayPal told me it had permanently closed all three accounts and appeals in all three cases had been unsuccessful. It couldn’t quite decide why it had closed the accounts – it alternated between telling me I’d breached its policy about not promoting ‘hate, violence or racial intolerance’ and telling newspapers my accounts had been closed because I was spreading ‘Covid-19 misinformation’ – but it had definitely decided to close them. Now, apparently, I’m not guilty of any of these sins and my accounts were just under ‘review’. After ‘input’ from its ‘customers and stakeholders’ it has decided I’m kosher after all.

So what’s happened? I’ve received thousands of emails and messages from people telling me they’ve closed their PayPal accounts in solidarity, so that may be the ‘input’ the company is referring to. Another reason may be because the company’s efforts to cancel me have been universally condemned across the British media. Last week, Danny Kruger MP asked a question about it in parliament and on Sunday a letter was sent to Jacob Rees-Mogg by 42 peers and MPs urging the Business Secretary to hold PayPal to account. It now looks as though a Bill currently going through parliament will be amended to make it illegal for financial services to engage in this kind of political censorship in future.




Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Freespoke offers alternative to Google with emphasis on free speech

Former Republican National Committee finance chair Todd Ricketts launched Freespoke, an alternative to Google, earlier this year because he believes Americans have a "duty to protect" free speech.

"When free speech is under attack, our whole society is under attack," Ricketts told Fox News Digital.

"A few years ago, as I was looking for things in searching on the Internet, I felt like I just wasn't getting results that I expected… I felt like it kind of like was these biased results, and so I started talking to other people and… other people sort of felt the same way,"

Ricketts, who is also the co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, said things like the National Rifle Association were buried on traditional search engines, so he decided to do something about it.

"I was like, ‘This doesn't make sense,’ and then when you see what's happening in like the big tech world of taking people off platforms or moving videos or suppressing information, I just feel like as an American, we have a duty to protect free speech," Ricketts said.

"Free speech is an important part of our society, and I don't know who bestowed upon these big tech companies that they were going to be the purveyors of what people get to see, and so we just said, ‘You know what? This room, this industry needs a little competition,’" Ricketts continued. "I think you're seeing that there's other people who agree, you know, there's other alternative social media platforms that are coming out there to counter the Twitters and the Facebooks and the YouTubes and Googles of the world."

Ricketts, who serves as Freespoke CEO, believes it’s important for Americans to remember Big Tech companies are "not government institutions" and shouldn’t have the power they currently possess.

"No one officially ever bestowed upon Google and Twitter and Facebook to say, ‘This is what people ought to see and this is what people ought not to see,’ but they've kind of taken it upon themselves to do that," he said. "I just think at a certain point, that becomes very dangerous."

Google was never officially put in charge of the content Americans consume, so former Republican National Committee Finance Chair Todd Ricketts wants to provide an alternative.
Google was never officially put in charge of the content Americans consume, so former Republican National Committee Finance Chair Todd Ricketts wants to provide an alternative.  (Associated Press)

Ricketts is concerned that Americans have no clue who is pulling the strings at Big Tech juggernauts, and companies such as Google don’t share anything about their algorithms. He isn’t sure that executives from these behemoths purposely cater to left-leaning results, but has noticed that many things that have been censored or deplatformed have a conservative tilt.

"That trend is kind of troubling to me, but it’s also an indication of where these guys who started these companies come from. I don’t think they started their companies, or run their companies, with the idea of saying, ‘We’re trying to suppress content from a particular point of view," he said. "They just do it naturally."

Freespoke, which uses a privacy-friendly product analytics tool, aims to "deliver a better way to search for what’s going on in America and the world-at-large," according to its website, and encourages Americans to find out what’s going on before forming an opinion.

"We're trying to like, you know, give people a free speech search engine that lets people see their own sides. I have a lot of faith in Americans to consume information and come to their own conclusions," he said before dismissing critics who think attempting to offer an alternative to Google is a fool’s errand.

"It's like, well, after McDonald's, I don't know if we need Shake Shack, but it's certainly carved out a space for itself in this planet," he said.

Ricketts said Freespoke only needs a sliver of the "massive market" of people who use the Internet to use the service in order for it to be a viable company, but it could make a positive impact on Americans simply by existing.

"It really just has to be out there well enough to give people an alternative, right? One of the positive impacts that we could have, even if we don't have everyone coming to use our search engine to search for their news and whatnot, is to get companies like Google to curb their behavior," Ricketts said.

Freespoke launched with little advertising and had 500,000 users during August, and it has grown by an average rate of 51% month-over-month. Ricketts is aware that the free-speech messaging appeals to conservatives but thinks people from all political viewpoints would prefer Freespoke if they gave it a shot.

"We're on a great path. It's going to take us a little while to catch up with Google and the other search engines out there. But I think there's a demand for it," Ricketts said. "I think our product is definitely for everyone."

In addition to putting an emphasis on free speech, Freespoke also bans porn and adult content. Ricketts realizes that it’s "kind of a funny idea" that a platform against censorship would censor pornography, but believes the decision is part of a larger mission to bring Americans a family-friendly place to search and consume news and information.

"We live in, sort of, these uncertain times, and we feel like there's a demand out there, among a big group of Americans who want to inform themselves and want to be able to pull information from different sources and have that information right in front of them to make up their own mind," he said. "We're just trying to serve Americans a product that we think they want."

Freespoke is now available.




Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Biden’s war on free speech is against political opposition itself

Whether it is the Justice Department suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story prior to the election of President Joe Biden, or raiding the residence of former President Donald Trump because he’s still running for President and now targeting his top donors, or locking Jan. 6, 2021 protesters up for more than a year, or using the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to coordinate with social media to suppress opposition speech against Covid policies, election results and other supposed misinformation, the federal government and Big Tech are working together to squelch free speech and of the press every day.

Utilizing  H.R. 3359, passed by unanimous consent without debate right before the Republican-majority Congress of 2017-2018 adjourned, that authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to disseminate information to the private sector including Big Tech social media companies in a bid to combat disinformation by potential foreign and domestic terrorists.

The law authorizes CISA to “disseminate, as appropriate, information analyzed by the Department within the Department, to other agencies of the Federal Government with responsibilities relating to homeland security, and to agencies of State and local governments and private sector entities with such responsibilities in order to assist in the deterrence, prevention, preemption of, or response to, terrorist attacks against the United States.”

So, what did CISA do with the authority to disseminate information to the private sector about terrorist threats? According to the agency’s website, CISA says it “rout[es] disinformation concerns” to “appropriate social media platforms”: “The [Mis, Dis, Malinformation] MDM team serves as a switchboard for routing disinformation concerns to appropriate social media platforms and law enforcement…”

The agency even brags about its “rapport” with Big Tech firms in censoring speech so they’re on the same page: “This activity leverages the rapport the MDM team has with the social media platforms to enable shared situational awareness.”

According to the agency, it began while Trump was still in office: “This activity began in 2018, supporting state and local election officials to mitigate disinformation about the time, place, and manner of voting.”




Monday, September 26, 2022

Must not tell the truth about black crime

The New York Times has been accused of racism over an obituary of a beloved Aboriginal actor that some Australians described as 'shameful'.

The publication's Twitter post about Jack Charles' death said he 'was one of Australia's leading Indigenous actors, but his heroin addiction and penchant for burglary landed him in and out of jail throughout his life'.

Furious social media users claimed the post, which has since been removed, was offensive and an example of 'racial profiling'.

'No, we are not doing this. He was a leading actor and activist. This isn't presenting a complex person, it's straight up racial profiling,' one user wrote.

'Wow. This is … one of the worst ways I've seen his story told. Shame on you,' said another.

'How to say "we're a tone deaf racist publication" without saying "we're a tone deaf racist publication",' commented a third.

The original post has since been removed and replaced with a tweet remembering Charles as 'one of Australia's leading Indigenous actors and activists'

The Indigenous actor died of a stroke on September 13 aged 79.

Senator Lidia Thorpe posted to social media that the Aboriginal community had 'lost our King'.

Charles was taken from his mother as an infant, raised at the Salvation Army Boys' Home in Melbourne's Box Hill - where he was the only Aboriginal child.

He was raised as a Christian and remained religious until his death.

The Aboriginal actor spent decades in and out of prison and battled a serious addiction.

He said his struggles with addiction and the law was a reaction to childhood trauma, such as being taken from his mother as an infant and experiencing both physical and sexual abuse while growing up in an orphanage.




Sunday, September 25, 2022

Big Tech Deplatforms 'Gays Against Groomers'

Digital accounts associated with the Gays Against Groomers Twitter account were shut down this week in what appears to be a coordinated crackdown from Big Tech, according to emails and screenshots shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Google, Paypal and Venmo shut down accounts affiliated with Gays Against Groomers, a Twitter account that is critical of gender ideology, particularly in regard to children. Venmo shut down the account early Tuesday morning, and Paypal blocked the account from its services minutes later, according to an email shared by the account’s founder Jamie Michell; Google shut down her account, including her email address, the following morning, according to a screenshot and an email.

Her Google account was reinstated Wednesday afternoon, according to Michell, who said the company may have been responding to blowback from the right over what looked like a coordinated banning. A Google spokesperson denied that the company coordinated with other companies in a statement to the DCNF and claimed the account had been temporarily suspended because of an automatic system that targets the bulk creation of accounts.

“There is a coordinated attack against our nonprofit organization by Big Tech for the high crime of stepping out of line from the Alphabet Cult,” Michell told the DCNF. “We are being labeled as a hate group for simply being against the sexualization and medicalization of children. This does not deter or intimidate us.” (RELATED: Left-Wing Activists Urge Big Tech To Censor Anti-Pedophile ‘Smear’)

Critics have accused the Gays Against Groomers account of engaging in hateful and anti-transgender conduct for sharing publicly available photos and videos of transgender people, LGBT activists or drag shows, since the videos stir up anger online, but Michell views her account as a way of exposing abusers and predators. Left-wing activist group Media Matters has been pressuring tech companies to crack down on Michell’s account, along with Libs of TikTok and others that repost videos from LGBT activists.

The term “groomer” describes an adult who befriends a child without proper boundaries in order to prime them for for sexual abuse, and it has been used by some activists to criticize child drag events and lessons on sexuality and gender identity targeting young children. Twitter began censoring the term at the behest of Media Matters, which argued the phrase was being used to smear LGBT people as sexual predators.




Friday, September 23, 2022

US Air Force Academy in Colorado is blasted for holding woke 'diversity and inclusion' summit that saw cadets ordered to ditch 'gendered' language including mom, dad, boyfriend and girlfriend

The US Air Force Academy is under fire for holding diversity and inclusion training that urges cadets to use non-gendered language, scrapping words like 'mom,' and 'dad', as well as 'girlfriend' and 'boyfriend.'

According to screenshots from the seminar, obtained by FOX News Digital, Air Force training officials are asking recruits to use generic terms like 'partner' instead of 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend,' and 'parent' or 'parents' instead of 'mom' and 'dad.'

The slides shared by FOX News prompted outrage from many across the country, including Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL).

Waltz, a Green Beret and Afghan War veteran, spoke with the news agency about his feelings regarding what he calls 'destructive' lessons being taught to young cadets.

He even compared the workshops to those seen in the communist Soviet Union and China, held to push extreme ideologies on recruits.

'That is absolutely destructive to morale, to unity, to everything that I know from a military, that by the way, integrated way before the rest of the country in 1948,' Waltz said in the interview.

The Academy is recommending that trainees adopt 'person centered' language, using 'person with disabilities' rather than 'disabled,' or 'transgendered people/service members' rather than 'transgenders.'

'Y'all', 'folks' and 'squaddies' are also given a thumbs up, according to the slides, while 'guys' is out.

The move is part of a push for diversity and inclusion within the Air Force and other armed force branches.

An Air Force Academy spokesperson said in a statement that the training is to help prepare cadets to for any and all future conflict.

'As part of the Diversity & Inclusion Cadet Leadership Program, this conversation was developed by cadet leaders and USAFA staff to introduce all cadets to Department of the Air Force definitions of diversity and inclusion, as well as how these concepts enhance our warfighting effectiveness,' the spokesperson said.  

The seminar also included diversity of thought experience that required cadets to name as many animals that start with 'G' and then come together with a group to see how many they were able to get individually, as opposed to when everyone combined their lists.

Training also suggested that phrases such as 'colorblind,' 'I don't see color,' and 'we're all just people' be phased out.




Thursday, September 22, 2022

Justice Department Harasses Citizens for Exercising First Amendment Rights

The Justice Department has hit Eagle Forum of Alabama with a voluminous subpoena that violates the organization’s First Amendment rights to speak freely, engage in the political process, and talk to its elected representatives.

It’s an intimidation tactic, pure and simple, and shows just how partisan the Justice Department has become. This out-of-control behavior should scare every citizen and volunteer organization, no matter where they stand on the political or social spectrum.

Eagle Forum of Alabama is a small nonprofit. It has one full-time employee and one part-time employee. Virtually all of its work on issues of interest to its members is done by volunteers. It is the quintessential, uniquely American grassroots membership organization that French historian Alexis de Tocqueville lauded in “Democracy in America.”

As Eagle Forum’s motion to quash the government subpoena says, one issue that its members have been concerned over is “gender-altering medical treatment to minors” and the “permanent and adverse effects of such medical procedures on those minors.” Those serious, lifelong effects deeply concern many physicians and parents.

Members of Eagle Forum made their worries known by doing things every American has an absolute right to do: They spoke out, made speeches, organized meetings, talked to other residents and organizations in Alabama, and contacted their elected state representatives.

In other words, they exercised their constitutional rights to engage in “freedom of speech,” to “peaceably assemble,” and “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” They also exercised their right to associate, recognized by the Supreme Court as implicit under the 14th Amendment.

None of these activities should trigger stalking by Justice Department lawyers. So how has this come about?

Earlier this year, the Alabama Legislature passed the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, which became effective May 8. It bans puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgery to alter the biological sex of a minor.

A huge number of left-wing advocacy organizations immediately sued the state, and the Justice Department intervened in the lawsuit, echoing their claims that the new Alabama law violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Eagle Forum is not a party to the lawsuit. Yet the Justice Department has served what is referred to as a third-party subpoena on the organization.

And there isn’t a single, justifiable reason for the Justice Department to do this. Eagle Forum isn’t a party in the lawsuit. It is not a government agency. It is not the Alabama Legislature. It has no power to vote to enact this (or any) legislation or sign it into law.

Keep in mind that the lawsuit is making a constitutional claim: The plaintiffs, including the Justice Department, are arguing that the statute as written violates the U.S. Constitution.

So, what do Eagle Forum’s polling data or social media posts have to do with that constitutional question? What do its internal records, its “policy goals, initiatives, and/or strategies,” or the communications of its members with state legislators have to do with that issue?

The answer is: absolutely nothing. None of the documents or information sought by the Justice Department has any relevance to whether the text of a state law violates the 14th Amendment.

This subpoena, issued by Jason R. Cheeks of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Alabama, has but one intent: to harass and intimidate a conservative organization for daring to engage in the democratic process by working on an issue that inflames the Left.




Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The University of Oxford has changed the name of its Faculty of Oriental Studies

Oxford University has changed the name of its Faculty of Oriental Studies over fears it might be offensive to ethnic minorities.

Scholars say the word ‘oriental’, which many view simply as a byword for ‘of the East’, perpetuates stereotypes and recalls British colonialism.

After a two-year consultation with students and staff, it will now be known as the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

It follows a number of name changes at other universities, prompting criticism that vice chancellors are erasing history.

The word ‘oriental’ was first criticised in 1978 by the theorist Edward Said, but many in the general public are unaware that it is controversial.

Academics say it is reminiscent of a time when Western culture portrayed people in the East as servile and exotic.

Professor David Rechter, faculty board chairman, said: ‘The Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies was selected as the new name after an extensive consultation process and I would like to thank the many staff and students who took part in surveys and gave their views.

‘I am confident this change is the right decision. Many considered the word “oriental” to be inappropriate and, while the change will not affect what the faculty researches and teaches, it does better reflect the breadth and diversity of the academic activity in the faculty.’




Tuesday, September 20, 2022

School censorship by conservatives

The NYT is waxing righteous below about moves by conservative parents and legislators to keep politics out of the classroom. Like most Leftist writing, the article seems very reasonable at first glance. Then you realize the fullness of what is going on.

What is happening is that teachers are abusing their paid positions to preach one brand of politics: Leftist politics. They inject Leftist perspectives into all sorts of subjects.

They are not supposed to do that. They are paid through taxes by the whole community, both Left and Right and they should represent the whole of the community that pays them. They should not take sides. So when they deviate from that, parents and others have a clear right to object. And they do. And it is those objections that the NYT is pouring contempt upon. The censorship is an attempt to restrict leftist preaching -- not in favour of conservatism but in favour of impartiality. Teachers are NOT paid to preach partisan politics

And when the boot is on the other foot -- as when someone in the educational system voices a conservative perspective, Leftists howl for censorship and "cancelling" of him/her. Censorship is bad if conservatives do it but good if Leftists do it, it seems. The Left have NO interest in impartiality. They are bigots who cannot withstand challenge to their beliefs. They can happily exist only in a political monoculture. They NEED their addled beliefs

Fights about free speech can feel rhetorical until they are not. Here’s what censorship looks like in practice: A student newspaper and journalism program in Nebraska shuttered for writing about pride month. The state of Oklahoma seeking to revoke the teaching certificate of an English teacher who shared a QR code that directed students to the Brooklyn Public Library’s online collection of banned books. A newly elected district attorney in Tennessee musing openly about jailing teachers and librarians.

In Florida today it may even be illegal for teachers to even talk about who they love or marry thanks to the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. Of course, it goes far beyond sex: The sunshine state’s Republican commissioner of education rejected 28 different math textbooks this year for including verboten content.

Acts of censorship are often tacit admissions of weakness masquerading as strength. This weakness is on full display with the imposition of so-called educational gag orders, laws which restrict the discussions of race, gender, sexuality and American history in K-12 and higher education. A political project convinced of the superiority of its ideas doesn’t need the power of the state to shield people from competing ideas. Censorship is the desperate rear-guard action of a movement that has already lost the fight for hearts and minds.

This year alone, 137 gag order bills like these have been introduced in 36 state legislatures. That’s a sharp increase from 2021 when 54 bills were introduced in 22 states, according to a report released last month by PEN America, a free speech organization. Only seven of those bills became law in 2022, but they are some of the strictest to date, and the sheer number of bills introduced reflects a growing enthusiasm on the right for censorship as a political weapon and instrument of social control.

These new measures are far more punitive than past efforts, with heavy fines or loss of state funding for institutions that dare to offer courses covering the forbidden content. Teachers can be fired and even face criminal charges. Lawsuits have already started to trickle through the courts asking for broad interpretations of the new statutes. For the first time, the PEN report noted, some bills have also targeted private schools and universities in addition to public schools.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Republican lawmakers around the country were introducing laws designed to protect free speech on college campuses. Now, they’re using the coercive power of the state to restrict what people can talk about, learn about or discuss in public, and exposing them to lawsuits for doing so. That’s a clear threat to the ideals of a pluralistic political culture, in which challenging ideas are welcomed and discussed.




Monday, September 19, 2022

Mike Lindell: They Tried to SILENCE Me!

The level of insanity just went up at least ten levels. Mike Lindell was stopped by the FBI. They weren’t there to arrest him, just to confiscate his phone.

According to Lindell, he runs his businesses completely by phone. And some shady warrant shouldn’t be able to impede his company management. But our FBI is not one of integrity, or competent investigations. It’s clearly the exact opposite. Our FBI is one of witch hunts and fishing expeditions. As such, the FBI knows they had no business interacting with Lindell in the way they did. Which is why they wanted a coverup from the start.

President Trump wasted no time weighing in.

“Breaking News: Mike Lindell, ‘THE Pillow Guy,’ was just raided by the FBI. We are now officially living in a Weaponized Police State, Rigged Elections, and all,” Trump said on his Truth Social account on Tuesday. “Our Country is a laughing stock all over the World. The majesty of the United States is gone. Can’t let this happen. TAKE BACK AMERICA!”

That’s exactly the kind of pressure the FBI tried to exert over Lindell. They want to stomp on conservatives, and then ask us to play nice. Sorry boys, but some Republicans know how to fight back. Republicans like Donald Trump and Mike Lindell. They’re not going to be bullied. Instead, they bully back.

The deeper entrenched this Civil War grows, the more Republicans will learn that you can’t roll over and play dead. We have to fight the leftist regime, or we will face total annihilation.




Sunday, September 18, 2022

Court Rules Against Social Media Companies in Free Speech Censorship Fight

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has ruled in favor of a Texas law that seeks to rein in the power of social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to censor free speech.

The decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans (pdf), handed down on Sept. 16, upholds the constitutionality of a Texas law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott last year and delivers a victory to Republicans in their fight against big tech censorship of conservative viewpoints.

“Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge Andrew Oldham wrote in the opinion.

“Because the district court held otherwise, we reverse its injunction and remand for further proceedings,” Oldham added, setting the stage for a showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Groups Sue

After the law, known as House Bill 20, was passed last year, NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) sued.

The groups argued in their lawsuit that private companies like Facebook and Twitter have a First Amendment right to moderate content that’s posted on their platforms and decide on what forms of speech to allow or ban.

“The Act tramples the First Amendment by allowing the government to force private businesses to host speech they don’t want to,” NetChoice said in a statement. The groups also argued that the Texas law not only does not prevent censorship but allows Texas to “police and control speech online, overriding the First Amendment rights of online businesses.”

A lower court sided with the lawsuit and decided to block the law, with Friday’s ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturning that decision.

“The platforms argue that buried somewhere in the person’s enumerated right to free speech lies a corporation’s unenumerated right to muzzle speech,” Oldham wrote in the opinion.

He said the implications of the big tech platforms’ argument are “staggering” as they would allow entities like social media companies, banks, and mobile phone companies to cancel the accounts of people who express views or spend money in support of political parties or views such corporations oppose.

Oldham also said that the protections sought by platforms in challenging the Texas law would allow them to win a dominant market position by attracting users with misleadings claim of being champions of free speech but later cracking down on expression.

‘Massive Victory’ for Free Speech

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has been a staunch backer of the law, hailed the court’s decision in a statement on social media.

“I just secured a MASSIVE victory for the constitution & Free speech in fed court #BigTech CANNOT censor the political voices of ANY texan!” he wrote on Twitter.




Saturday, September 17, 2022

Renaming pedophilia

The word ‘map’ no longer means just a bit of cartography – it now also means ‘minor attracted person’. In other words – a paedophile. But why would anyone want to call a paedophile anything other than a paedophile? Well, it seems the person promoting this idea of dropping ‘paedophile’ and using ‘map’ instead is someone called Allyn Walker, author of A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity.

Walker, a transgender person, was an academic at a Norfolk, Virginia, university who had to resign that post following a massive backlash against the book. More than 14,000 people signed a petition saying Walker should be sacked. What I find alarming is that the University of California ever decided to publish the book! Just look at the book’s title.

Every sane person believes that paedophiles are not entitled to ‘dignity’ because they harm children. Walker argues that the word ‘map’ for a ‘minor-attracted person’ is less stigmatising and offensive than the word ‘paedophile’. But the rest us of think paedophiles should be stigmatised and what they do is offensive.

Even more alarming is the fact that when the petition appeared demanding Walker be sacked some sixty fellow academics came to Walker’s defence. But the anti-Walker petition got it right when it said, ‘We want to be clear that this is paedophilia and should not be considered a sexual preference’. This is where the sexual revolution in our society is heading – towards normalising paedophilia.

This is about the most appalling example of trying to manipulate language I have ever come across.




Friday, September 16, 2022

Recent police attacks on free speech

Earlier this week, an officer demanded the details of Paul Powlesland, a barrister, for the malefaction of holding up a blank piece of paper outside Parliament. If he dared to write the words “Not my King” on the paper, Powlesland could be arrested, he was told, because “someone might be offended”.

Others found guilty of causing offence have been formally apprehended. Someone who yelled “You’re a sick old man!” at Prince Andrew and a young woman holding up a placard reading “Fuck imperialism. Abolish the monarchy”, were both arrested and charged in Scotland. Another man was handcuffed and put into a police van after shouting out “Who elected him?” during the proclamation of the king’s accession in Oxford. He was later de-arrested.

These actions have created an unusual degree of consensus. From the Telegraph to the Independent, from Piers Morgan to Jeremy Corbyn, the police’s heavy-handed response has been roundly condemned. There has been broad agreement over the need — whether you are republican or royalist — to protect free speech.

This is, of course, absolutely correct: having the freedom to express ideas without being censored, prosecuted or restrained is a vital component of a functioning democracy and must be fiercely protected, even when the cost of that is offending or upsetting people. The past few years of increasing authoritarianism in Hong Kong set a troubling example of what can happen, very quickly, when it is not.




Thursday, September 15, 2022

Scottish football club insists on royal tribute

In Scottish terms it was a "loyalist" (Protestant) club

Ibrox stadium, home of Rangers football club, saw a powerful tribute to the late Queen last night before the team’s Champion’s league game against Napoli. There was a minute’s silence, then an enormous tifo covering the entire Broomloan stand was revealed (of the Union Jack with the late Queen in silhouette in the middle). The national anthem was played on the public address system joined lustily by the capacity crowd. It was stirring stuff.

But Ranger’s tribute to the Queen defied Uefa’s general rules for pre-match ceremony and came after their specific request for an exception had been turned down. And this means the club could now be in hot water. It’s not clear how Uefa will respond but It looks likely the club will be sanctioned in some way with a hefty fine.




UNC-Chapel Hill controversy over free speech

Last week UNC-Chapel Hill’s Faculty Council passed a resolution affirming the right of faculty members to speak freely and the university’s duty to protect their speech.

“[Faculty members] should be encouraged to provide thought leadership, to be public scholars when their work gives them meaningful insight,” said Mimi Chapman during the meeting. “This is what faculty at a great research university does. They weigh in. They share their knowledge and experience. We shouldn’t be intimidated into hiding our light under the proverbial bushel.”

The faculty resolution comes after the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees adopted both the “Chicago Principles” and “Kalven Committee Report" on the University’s Role in Political and Social Action” in late July.

The “Chicago Principles,” crafted at the University of Chicago in 2014, affirm free expression as essential to university culture. Dozens of colleges, universities, and student and faculty groups have adopted them, including the UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Council in 2018.

But the principles are not without controversy. Political conservatives, many who believe right-wing speech and ideology are suppressed in academia, support the principles. Some educators believe they preserve free, open and rigorous debate on campuses.

Yet others say they fail to address some of the thorniest issues about free expression on campus and can be used to justify ignoring or curtailing student activism.

Far more controversial is the Kalven report, a product of the tumultuous political environment on campuses in the late 1960s. The report emphasizes that a university should stay neutral on controversial political issues.

In adopting the Kalven report, the UNC Board of Trustees said it “recognizes that the neutrality of the University on social and political issues ‘arises out of respect for free inquiry and the obligation to cherish a diversity of viewpoints.’

The report “further acknowledges ‘a heavy presumption against the university taking collective action or expressing opinions on the political and social issues of the day,’” the trustees wrote in their resolution of support.

Now that the trustees adopted both the principles and the report, it’s unclear what university leaders and faculty members can say about current controversies, such as the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

As Policy Watch reported in July, many people at UNC-Chapel Hill felt frustrated by the university’s silence about the end of the constitutional right to abortion, even as other major colleges and universities issued statements.

In the absence of an official statement from UNC, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health released its own about the ruling’s impacts on the day it was announced.




Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Affirmation – or else! Jailing teachers over pronouns seems a little extreme

Have you heard the one about the Irish school teacher, jailed for refusing to address a male student as ‘they’?

It sounds like the latest Irish joke, except that authorities aren’t joking and there’s nothing funny about compelled speech.

While technically Enoch Burke was found to be in contempt of court for refusing to stay away from the Church of Ireland school where he teaches history, it all started when he refused to address a male student who was ‘transitioning’ to female as ‘they’.

There is now an investigation underway, conducted by the school, into Burke’s refusal to address a student by the student’s preferred pronouns.

Mr Burke went to the school to prepare for class in violation of his suspension. He was arrested, dragged before a Dublin court, and jailed indefinitely.

It’s unclear whether the student in question was pleased with they self. But I digress.

Mr Burke told the court:

‘I love my school … but I am here today because I said I would not call a boy a girl. It is insanity that I will be led from this courtroom to a place of incarceration, but I will not give up my Christian beliefs.’

Legal counsel for the school board said it was with a ‘heavy heart’ that they had sought Mr Burke’s committal to prison, but the teacher had continued to attend the school, despite a court order last week.

The school board’s heart may well have been heavy, but their brains are mush.

It’s one thing to ban certain words, but it’s another thing to compel a person to lie, which has been happening across the West in relation to gender fluidity.

We must note that while the influence of the Church of Ireland has waned in the past decade, the influence of religion has most certainly not.

The new religion of Woke now casts a dark shadow over every aspect of people’s lives, especially their words. Blasphemy laws have been reinstated, it is only the sacred cow that has changed.

And Mr Burke, now languishing in a prison cell, is just a few short outraged-mob steps from being burned at the stake, so to speak.

‘Oh don’t be so dramatic! No one will be burned at the stake for using the wrong pronouns,’ I hear you say.

Well of course.

And ‘no one will be jailed for using the wrong pronouns’ is what they said in 2016, when Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Petersen warned of that very thing.

They were wrong about the progress of identity politics. They continue to be wrong about the escalation of punishment against those who refuse to bow and scrape at its altar.




Monday, September 12, 2022

In Canada, Free Speech Is Under Fire. America, Take Heed

When Americans consider Canada, they probably think of maple syrup and funny accents. They should start thinking about alarming amounts of authoritarianism.  

What has been jokingly referred to as “America’s hat” has been going through a rough patch recently when it comes to protecting its citizens’ fundamental liberties.  

And next on the chopping block appears to be free speech.  

The government, led by Trudeau’s Liberal Party, has promised to institute a so-called online harms bill that would press companies to censor whatever the government defines as “harmful.”

“Now, more than ever, online services must be held responsible for addressing harmful content on their platforms and creating a safe online space that protects all Canadians,” the Canadian government’s website states.

But the Trudeau government’s track record when it comes to determining actual harmful content is egregious.

During the Freedom Convoy protests earlier this year, the government viciously cracked down on Canadians’ rights to peaceably assemble, all while slandering the organizers as being Nazis and racists.

“Freedom of expression, assembly and association are cornerstones of democracy, but Nazi symbolism, racist imagery, and desecration of war memorials are not,” Trudeau said.  

After claiming that the protests were not really speech and were just hateful bigots complaining, Trudeau’s government proceeded to invoke the Emergencies Act. The invocation granted the government sweeping powers, which it immediately used to crush the free speech of the truckers.  

But Americans shouldn’t look the other way, since Trudeau’s brand of authoritarian speech-policing isn’t isolated to the Great White North.

Here at home, we see so-called hate speech being used against protected groups like Black Lives Matter or transgender people used as an excuse to ban or deplatform those critical of the radical left.

While the American government hasn’t yet been able to destroy that pesky First Amendment and pass laws banning hate speech, social media platforms, most notably Facebook and Twitter, do the job for them and regularly retaliate against their opposition.  

And the key word there is opposition, because hateful speech targeting those the powers that be dislike is allowed to flourish or even encouraged.

Since the leaked draft of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in May, angry protesters have marched their way around the justices’ neighborhoods, chanting vile and hateful things. Thus far, authorities have refused to act, even though what the protesters are doing is against the law.  

Trudeau’s Canada and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Justice Department here are dire warning signs of a frightening new breed of authoritarianism. The state will ruthlessly enforce orthodoxy toward leftist positions and accuse peaceful protests against them as hateful.  

Canadian and American elites alike are trying to strip us of our free speech rights to insulate themselves from criticism. We can’t let them.  

If the left is so afraid of what we have to say, we must keep talking.




Sunday, September 11, 2022

Columbia University is ranked the WORST for free speech with debate stifled by 'sensitive leftists' and seven academics facing disciplinary action for their views, watchdog finds

A free speech watchdog has ranked New York’s elite school, Columbia University, as the worst in the nation for tolerating alternative viewpoints on campus, receiving an ‘abysmal’ score after taking disciplinary action against seven academics.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) monitoring group also awarded low scores to the University of Pennsylvania, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Georgetown University, and Skidmore College.

The University of Chicago came first for campus free speech, scoring 77.9 out of 100 points. Kansas State University, Purdue University, Mississippi State University and Oklahoma State University rounded out the top five.

The scorecard comes amid a long simmering debate about free speech, cancel culture and deplatforming on U.S. campuses, and if so-called ‘snowflake’ students deserve protection from opinions they find hurtful.

Unveiling the ranking of 208 top schools, the watchdog’s CEO Greg Lukianoff said the ‘situation for freedom of speech and academic freedom has been in trouble’ for decades and had ‘gotten far worse in the last few years’.

‘Our new and improved rankings are intended to reward universities that protect and defend the freedom of speech, while empowering students and parents who care about free speech not to attend or support universities that don’t,’ said Lukianoff.

Schools were graded on their formal free speech policies, incidents of deplatforming, the number of academics sanctioned and on the opinions expressed by students in a survey, which collected responses from 45,000 nationwide.

Columbia was awarded only 9.9 out of 100 points. Its score was dragged down for being the ‘most egregious offender’ in sanctioning seven scholars, including two terminations, one of whom was a tenured faculty member.

FIRE has highlighted the case of psychiatry department chair Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, who faced an investigation, suspension and demotion for tweeting about a black model, in which he wrote: ‘Whether a work of art or freak of nature she’s a beautiful sight to behold.’

It also mentions Dinah PoKempner, an adjunct professor who was fired last April after using the ‘N-word’ repeatedly during a Zoom lecture about hate speech, while recounting a conversation to students.

Researchers found there was only one conservative-minded student for every 6.8 liberals campus, and that free speech was poorly supported on campus. Only a third of students said they have rarely or never self-censored at the college.

One Columbia student, who described themselves as politically moderate, told researchers they felt they could not express conservative viewpoints ‘because of the sensitivity of leftists’ in class, says the 36-page report.

Another said they could not express their views that ‘might be too far right’. A self-described liberal complained of ‘no room for nuance in discussion’ and how alternative views were written off as ‘racist and dumb’.

The University of Chicago, by contrast, has been praised as a bastion of free expression since in 2014 publishing a credo for promoting ‘lively and fearless freedom of debate’ and protecting the speech rights of everyone.

Researchers noted how the college defended political scientist John Mearsheimer this year over his controversial analysis that the West — not Russia — was primarily responsible for the war in Ukraine.

Still, researchers warned that self-censorship was ‘pervasive’ across all U.S. colleges. Some 63 percent of those surveyed said they worried about losing face because they were misunderstood. Conservatives suffered more from this than liberals.

Just over one-in-five said they were under pressure to dodge touchy topics in class, while 22 percent said they often self-censored. Abortion, racial inequality, and Covid-19 mandates were the three most controversial subjects, researchers found.

Deplatforming potential speakers who stray from the liberal mainstream remains popular, researchers found. About half of students would bar anyone who called Black Lives Matter a hate group or that transgender people have a mental disorder.

‘That so many students are self-silencing and silencing each other is an indictment of campus culture,’ said researcher Sean Stevens.

‘How can students develop their distinct voices and ideas in college if they’re too afraid to engage with each other?’

While the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bars the government from restricting the free speech rights of individuals, private institutions like schools and businesses are allowed to set their own rules.

Polling by Pew Research Center and others shows that younger Americans increasingly say that feeling safe and comfortable was more important than others being able to speak their minds freely.




Friday, September 09, 2022

Arab States Demand That Netflix Drop ‘Offensive Content’ Egypt joined six Gulf Arab nations in insisting that streaming services take down programs that go against “societal values.”

Egypt became the latest Arab country on Wednesday to demand that Netflix drop content that runs counter to its “societal values,” an escalation of a battle by regional authorities on Western-produced television shows and films that depict gay and lesbian characters onscreen.

The content, in the official telling, is anathema to their majority-Muslim societies.

Egypt’s warning to Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming services, issued by its government media regulator, came a day after six Gulf Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates called on Netflix to take down “offensive content” on its local streaming sites. They said in a statement that such programs “contradict Islamic and societal values ​​and principles.”

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar also joined in the Gulf countries’ request. Egypt’s statement used similar language, warning the streaming services that “legal action will be taken in the event of broadcasting content that conflicts with societal values.”

While the Arab authorities avoided spelling out the offending scenes, they have in recent years repeatedly banned or criticized entertainment that shows same-sex romance or what, under the traditional, conservative standards that still hold sway across much of the region, could be considered promiscuous behavior.

Netflix is widely watched across the Middle East, especially by younger Arabs, its programming eating into the traditional dominance of the Arab entertainment industries. But its first film produced by and for Middle East audiences, “Perfect Strangers,” caused an uproar in Egypt and beyond when it was released earlier this year.

Though it was a hit, audiences criticized scenes that would never appear in Egypt’s award-winning but much-censored homegrown productions, including one in which a male character reveals he is gay and another in which an Egyptian wife, preparing to go out, tugs off her lacy black underwear from under her skirt. One Egyptian lawmaker even called for Netflix to be banned from the country.

Several recent Disney films, including this summer’s “Lightyear,” “Thor: Love and Thunder,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” “West Side Story” and “Eternals,” were all barred from movie theaters in various places across the Middle East because they included L.G.B.T.Q. scenes such as same-sex kisses or touched on other L.G.B.T.Q. topics.

Though it was banned elsewhere, “Eternals” made it to theaters in the United Arab Emirates after Disney edited out public displays of affection.

Disney recently said it would not offer “Lightyear” or “Baymax,” a series that includes L.G.B.T.Q. characters, on the Middle East version of Disney+, its streaming service, to avoid inflaming regional sensitivities.

Though some young Arabs hold more liberal views than their parents and grandparents on sex, alcohol and other traditional taboos — and such vices, condemned in public, are often practiced in private — being gay is deeply stigmatized, and often criminalized, across the Arab world.




Thursday, September 08, 2022

The perversion of the English language

Language is a powerful vessel. It defines how we think, speak, write, and communicate. If you control language, you control the masses.

It is no wonder that left-wing ideologues are working to hijack the English language.

As a writer, it has been deeply concerning to see how certain words and phrases have been altered to suit modern narratives and agendas over the past few years. Take Covid as the example. We saw definitions ‘evolve’ to current needs when the predictions of ‘experts’ failed to live up to historical standards. Instead of an apology, words were changed.

Readers may remember ‘vaccine’ and ‘herd immunity’.

The World Health Organisation’s definition of ‘herd immunity’ on June 9, 2020 was:

Herd immunity is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection. This means that even people who haven’t been infected, or in whom an infection hasn’t triggered an immune response, they are protected because people around them who are immune can act as buffers between them and an infected person. The threshold for establishing herd immunity for COVID-19 is not yet known.

Five months later, on November 13, 2020, the definition was changed to the following:

‘Herd immunity’, also known as ‘population immunity’, is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached. Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.

See the difference?

The scientific concept of herd immunity did not change. There was no ‘new science’ or medical revelations to justify the alteration of its definition.

What we had instead was a gap emerging between public expectation and raw Covid statistics. They even added quotation marks to lower the status of a hard scientific principle to a ‘concept’.

We come to the inescapable reality that the definition was changed to protect governments around the world, their health ministers, and medical bureaucrats.

The CDC also changed their definition of ‘vaccination’ from ‘the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease’ to ‘the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection from a specific disease.’ They claimed it was changed because a false impression was given that vaccines were 100 per cent effective, when no vaccine is. Mind you, most childhood vaccines are over 96 per cent effective while flu vaccines remain generally ineffectual. Covid did not alter this dynamic, merely highlighted a little-known fact.

If you run a ‘fact check’ on this, you’ll come up with the usual screeching of ‘this is fake news!’ but click through to the detail and you find that it is true, it just ‘lacks context’. The context in question is the lacklustre performance of mRNA vaccines.

‘The change also addresses the new technology of mRNA vaccines in light of the Covid pandemic,’ says USA TODAY.

You might as well write, ‘They performed so poorly we had to lower everyone’s expectations via the language.’

Definitions surrounding Covid were not the only ones altered.

More recently, we have seen the definitions of ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ changed to accommodate the Woke teachings of gender fluidity.

(I want to note here that when editing this piece, Microsoft Word’s Editor function, which now has an ‘inclusiveness section’ suggested I change boy and girl to ‘children’ because ‘a gender-neutral term here would be more inclusive’.)

Merriam-Webster ‘updated’ their definition of ‘girl’ to:

A person whose gender identity is female.

Then they ‘updated’ the definition of ‘boy’ to:

A child whose gender identity is male.

They also took the liberty of ‘updating’ the words ‘female’ and ‘male’ to:

Female: Having a gender identity that is the opposite of male.

Male: Having a gender identity that is the opposite of female.

These definitions are vague when they should be distinct. They place the emphasis on identification, not biology. If one identifies as male, or identifies as female, then they are now, by definition, male or female.

Watering down words into ambiguities allows the conflating of sex with gender. Children learning this revised language are led to believe, wrongly, that reality is as malleable as language. It is not hard to see why more people are homeschooling their kids…

Merriam-Webster also changed the definition of ‘racism’, now defining it as:

The systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another. Specifically: WHITE SUPREMACY

Sound familiar? That’s because it is the doctrine of left-wing ideologues. We often hear about how ‘systemic racism’ is a problem in America from these individuals, be they in government, the media, or protesters on the streets at a Black Lives Matter riot (ahem?) protest. There’s a whole lot more of this kind of nonsense on the page for ‘racism’ on Merriam-Webster’s website, which you can take a look at here.

America is now, by means of determining whether a country is in a recession, in a recession. But the government does not want to admit the country is in a recession. The Biden administration knows that it has done a terrible job of managing the economy, but rather than come out and say it, the administration changed the definition recession.

The White House updated their website during the week to declare the following:

What is a recession? While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle. Instead, both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data – including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes. Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year – even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter – indicates a recession.

Biden’s economic adviser, Brian Deese also stated:

‘Two negative quarters of GDP growth is not the technical definition of recession.’

A quick Google search for the definition of ‘recession,’ which comes from the Oxford Dictionary, says the exact opposite:

A period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.

The media went along with it. They told everyone that there were ‘fears of a recession,’ not that the country was already in one. They are rewriting reality as it occurs, much like the Ministry of Truth featured in Orwell’s 1984.

Wikipedia quickly changed their definition of ‘recession’ to favour the Biden administration before locking the page so that no one could change it back to what it truly was. They followed this by updating the page to include a warning at the top stating that ‘some media outlets have circulated an outdated version of this article, claimed to be its current state’. We can’t be having people seeing the true definition of a recession if it makes the government look bad, now can we?

Why should we care about dictionaries and websites changing definitions of words? Why does it matter?

Here’s why.

If they can alter definitions, they can alter are perception of reality. They can alter facts. And, ultimately, they can alter truth.

It is clear that these definitions have been changed to suit political agendas. This is about redefining reality. It is exactly what the Ministry of Truth did in 1984. That fictional regime altered facts and changed what was real to suit the needs of the Party (the government). In fact, they updated the dictionary often, publishing new editions with the acceptable definitions of words. The language used was NewSpeak, a language where terms had been altered beyond recognition, far from what they really meant.

This is taking place around us, and it is only the start. They will go after more terms and change more definitions until no one remembers what the old, true meanings were. And if someone accuses them of changing these meanings, they will gaslight them, claiming they never did.

Gaslighting is a common tactic. For an example, see Planned Parenthood. Prior to Wednesday July 27, their website stated:

Treating an ectopic pregnancy isn’t the same thing is getting an abortion. Abortion is a medical procedure that when done safely, ends a pregnancy that’s in your uterus. Ectopic pregnancies are unsafely outside of your uterus (usually in the fallopian tubes), and are removed with a medicine called methotrexate or through a laparoscopic surgical procedure. The medical procedures for abortions are not the same as the medical procedures for an ectopic pregnancy.

They have since updated the website to remove this distinction. The result has been a heightened sense of fear from those that believe the overturning of Roe v. Wade will prevent them from legally terminating ectopic pregnancies. This is despite the fact that every state exempts ectopic pregnancies from their abortion laws.

If the manipulation of language in pursuit of politics is not addressed, the situation will worsen. We have a consortium of people who seek the death of truth. Eventually, society will no longer be able to tell the truth from a government fiction.




Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Teacher who refused to use student's gender-neutral pronouns condemns 'insanity' as he is JAILED in Ireland

A teacher who refused to use gender-neutral pronouns for a transgender student has been sent to Mountjoy prison for contempt of court.

Enoch Burke was arrested yesterday morning for breaching a court order not to teach at his Westmeath school, or be physically present there.

After Judge Michael Quinn made his ruling, Mr Burke said: 'It is insanity that I will be led from this courtroom to a place of incarceration, but I will not give up my Christian beliefs.'

Counsel for Wilson's Hospital School's board of management said it was with a 'heavy heart' that it sought Mr Burke's committal to prison, but she said her client had been left with no choice as Mr Burke continued to attend the school, despite the court order which it had obtained last week.

The dispute began over his refusal to address a transitioning student as 'they' rather than 'he', as requested by the student and their parents in May, and agreed to by the Church of Ireland school.

This escalated to his suspension on the day before the start of the autumn term, pending the outcome of a disciplinary process.

He had refused to remain away from the school on paid leave for that suspension, the court heard, and would sit in an empty classroom, declaring that he was there to work.

Mr Burke told Judge Quinn: 'I am a teacher and I don't want to go to prison. I want to be in my classroom today, that's where I was this morning when I was arrested.'

He said he loved his students, to whom he teaches German, history and politics, as well as debating.

'I love my school, with its motto Res Non Verba, actions not words, but I am here today because I said I would not call a boy a girl.'

He added: 'Transgenderism is against my Christian belief. It is contrary to the scriptures, contrary to the ethos of the Church of Ireland and of my school.'

Referring to his suspension, Mr Burke said: 'It is extraordinary and reprehensible that someone's religious beliefs on this matter could ever be taken as grounds for an allegation of misconduct.

'My religious beliefs are not misconduct. They are not gross misconduct. They never will be. They are dear to me. I will never deny them and never betray them, and I will never bow to an order that would require me to do so. It is just not possible for me to do that.'

He described his suspension as 'unreasonable, unjust and unfair'. He added: 'There has been a dumbing down of the seriousness of suspension. It is a serious step.

'It has tarnished my good character and my good name, particularly in the profession of a teacher, where one is so close to a large number of members of the local community. It leaves a stain on what has been, for me, an unblemished teaching record.'

Mr Burke said he had a wonderful relationship with his pupils, who knew him as a man of 'professed morals and convictions'.

He asked how he could return to school and bow to something he believed to be 'manifestly wrong', which he also described as a 'violation of my conscience'. Mr Burke told the court that he believed that 'around this country, teachers are being forced to participate... they are being forced to use the pronoun "they" instead of either "he" or "she".'

Rosemary Mallon BL, for the board of management, told Judge Michael Quinn that her client had no choice but to ask the court to send Burke to prison for breach of a court order.

'It is a coercive order we are seeking, not a punitive order. We are simply seeking to have Mr Burke comply with the order.

'...Mr Burke is knowingly in breach of this order, he is therefore in contempt and he has made it clear that if he is not committed to prison he will attend at the school [today], and the concerns of the school regarding the ongoing disruption to the students remain,' she added.

She noted that Mr Burke could make his arguments at court tomorrow, when the injunction obtained last week is due to be reviewed, and at the school's disciplinary hearing this month.

Judge Quinn said he was not ruling on the merits of Mr Burke's arguments regarding his religious belief or his suspension, but merely on the question of whether there had been a wilful breach of a court order.

He said that Mr Burke could purge his contempt at any stage, by agreeing to the order not to attend the school or attempt to teach there.

Mr Burke was accompanied to court by four gardaí, his father Seán and brother Isaac.




Tuesday, September 06, 2022

The Untold Story of the Flight Attendant Fired for Expressing Pro-Life Views

Although she was about to publicly reveal a nightmarish personal experience—and the worst mistake of her life—Charlene Carter strode confidently through a stately Dallas federal courtroom.

Carter knew her testimony would prove pivotal in her five-year quest to be reinstated as a Southwest Airlines flight attendant. But she also believed she was carrying the torch for freedom of speech, employee rights, and right versus wrong.

As muffled gasps rippled through the gallery, Carter disclosed the untold story that gave rise to the anti-abortion views that got her fired. At age 19, she aborted an unwanted pregnancy. The decision would haunt Carter in almost every facet of her life, touching off a chain reaction that thrust her into the national spotlight.

Last month, days after Carter testified in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, a jury voted to award her more than $5 million—a unanimous verdict declaring that Carter’s ex-employer trampled her rights and illegally fired her for “protected speech” about religious beliefs and opposition to her union, Transport Workers Union of America Local 556.

The jury also decided that Local 556 breached its duty to represent Carter. Instead of protecting Carter’s interests, the union president sought to get Carter fired for social media activities. On Facebook, Carter railed against the union’s participation in the 2017 Women’s March—a massive protest that abortion provider Planned Parenthood sponsored in Washington, D.C., the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Now, as lawyers spar over how the will of Carter’s jury should be imposed, Carter still doesn’t know whether she’ll get her job back—and concerns are mounting over the alleged unholy alliance that Carter’s case exposed: union leaders and company management working in concert to target union dissidents for terminations.

“For a long time, Charlene stood by herself, with very few people by her side … people misunderstood the nature of the lawsuit,” said a Southwest worker who asked not to be identified for fear of losing her job.

Now that Carter’s trial transcripts are publicly available, many airline employees have been reading them. “And they see this is much bigger than her, and that she’s not just some crazy right-wing, pro-life nut,” the Southwest employee said. “This is about freedom of speech for all of us, freedom to oppose the union, and to stand up for what you believe in.”




Monday, September 05, 2022

U.S. Forces Ordered to Stop Using Gender Pronouns to Improve ‘Lethality’

A division of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), the branch tasked with confronting China, has ordered its senior leaders and commanders to stop using gender pronouns in written formats, saying the shift to more neutral language will help improve the fighting force’s "lethality."

"In accordance with the Diverse PACAF priority, ‘We must embrace, promote and unleash the potential of diversity and inclusion," states a May email sent to senior leaders and commanders at the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, which operates under the Pacific Air Forces, according to a partial copy of the order obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Leaders at the base are instructed, "Do not use pronouns, age, race, etc." when writing performance reviews or other materials, such as recommendations for awards. "Competition against near-peer adversaries requires a united focus from the command, the joint team, and our international partners. Welcoming and employing varied perspectives from a foundation of mutual respect will improve our interoperability, efficiency, creativity, and lethality."

The policy change is part of a larger effort by the Biden administration and U.S. military to foster what it says is a more culturally sensitive environment. The U.S. Navy, for instance, recently published a video instructing its sailors on proper gender pronouns. The Army also mandates gender identity training and trains officers on when to offer subordinates gender-transition surgery, the Free Beacon first reported in March. Critics of these moves say a woke cultural agenda is handicapping America’s fighting forces and distracting it from pressing global challenges, such as terrorism and China’s aggressive war moves.

A spokesman for the Anderson Air Force Base confirmed the authenticity of the email, telling the Free Beacon that the Air Force is shifting "to a narrative writing format for awards and performance reports." The ban on "pronouns, age, race" and other written descriptors is "intended to eliminate any information that could identify the nominee's name, gender, age, or race so that all members had a fair and equal chance at winning."

The Andersen air base, the spokesman said, specifically "developed local quarterly award guidance to ensure each nominee was considered without the potential of unfair biases." Leaders at the base are "continually working to remove barriers and [are] dedicated to ensuring all members have the opportunity to excel."

The email goes on to list "authorized" and "unauthorized" examples of pronoun use. The "unauthorized examples" include: "He/She did," "Best male/female," "Youngest/Oldest," and "Sergeant Murray." The list of "authorized examples" include: "This sergeant," "This NCO [Non-commissioned officer]," and "This member."

The policy shift jibes with the Pacific Air Forces’ overarching goal to promote "diversity and inclusion" at all levels of the service, according to the military spokesman.

"Unleashing the potential of diversity and inclusion at all levels is a Pacific Air Forces' priority and something we strive for at Andersen," the spokesman said. "Diversity and inclusion are force multipliers and warfighting imperatives that enable our competitive advantage against near-peer adversaries."

Rebeccah Heinrichs, a defense policy expert and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute think tank, told the Free Beacon that the Pacific Air Forces’ intense focus on pronoun issues is "a giant sucking waste of time."

Military leaders who should be focused on defending the United States from an ever-increasing array of threats—particularly in the Pacific, where China is flexing its military might—are instead spending valuable time thinking about rules on proper pronoun use.

"It is painful to think about the amount of time servicemen have already spent writing these rules instead of figuring out how to beat China," Henrichs said. "Somebody needs to remind DoD leadership that they’re in the business of preventing and winning wars and not in the Oberlin lounge."




Saturday, September 03, 2022

Twitter Suspension of "Libs of TikTok" Is Blatant ‘Double Standard

Twitter has suspended the "Libs of TikTok" account, and Sen. Marsha Blackburn says that only further highlights the social media platform’s double standard.

“Time and again, we’ve witnessed Big Tech’s double standard against conservatives,” Blackburn, R-Tenn., told The Daily Signal in an email Tuesday. “The Ayatollah is allowed on Twitter without question, but conservatives who hold up a mirror to the left’s agenda get suspended for ‘misinformation.’”

Libs of TikTok has gained international attention for sharing the radical left’s videos posted on the social media platform TikTok. The posts often highlight the radical nature of the left’s view on issues such as the transgender movement.

Libs of TikTok, which is run by Chaya Raichik of Brooklyn, New York, has 1.3 million followers on Twitter.

On Saturday night, Seth Dillon, the CEO of the satirical news website The Babylon Bee, tweeted that “Libs of TikTok has been locked out for ‘hateful conduct.’”

Libs of TikTok won’t be allowed to post or share content for seven days. It’s not clear which post Twitter found to be “hateful conduct,” but the suspension follows a post containing an audio recording of a telephone conversation that indicates Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., performs “‘gender-affirming’ hysterectomies on minors, including 16-year-olds and ‘younger kids.’”




Friday, September 02, 2022

Woke language

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) once said: ‘The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.’ And if the woke have their way our world is getting smaller all the time; the walls closing in like the trash compactor in Star Wars. And in this world nothing remains where it was the last time you looked. J.K. Rowling is part of the furniture today and on the trash heap tomorrow. In one decade the gay community is sneering at marriage as an outdated institution for ‘breeders’ in the next they are demanding it for themselves.

In this linguistic and ontological fog we are grateful to Kevin Donnelly for shining a bright light in the form of his new book The Woke Dictionary. This is a fully revised, expanded and updated edition of his earlier book, A Politically Correct Dictionary and Guide (2019). What is remarkable is how much has changed in the three years since the earlier publication.

For example, did you know that cow’s milk ‘has long been a symbol of white supremacy’? That is the remarkable claim made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Why this is so, is not exactly made clear. Is it only because it’s white? In which case, is chocolate milk okay? And do we have to stop using white paper as a ‘symbol of white supremacy’?

Or, did you know that whenever you add milk to your coffee you are supporting rape? The Woke Dictionary quotes PETA’s website as saying: ‘Rape is perhaps the single most heinous crime involving both power and violence. But it’s the standard procedure in the dairy industry. Cows on dairy farms are forcibly impregnated so their milk production will continue. They’re restrained in what the farmers themselves call “rape racks” while insemination instruments are shoved into their vaginas’. Well, no, they’re not called ‘rape racks’– they’re called ‘bails’. But, hey, in the world of woke, words the facts don’t matter. I also discover I am often guilty of ‘culinary white supremacy’ – every time I enjoy sushi, tandoori chicken or tacos I have committed ‘cultural appropriation’. Do I have to go back to the meat and three veg I grew up on?

In Dr Donnelly’s own area of expertise, education, the entries are especially revealing. It turns out that schools no longer have ‘students’ or ‘pupils’- instead, kids are now ‘digital natives’ and ‘knowledge navigators’. Those formerly known as ‘teachers’ are now ‘facilitators’ whose work with each child is just to be a ‘guide by their side’. The result, of course, is that our PISA test results continue to tumble. I suspect we are now somewhere below Rwanda.

No fewer than fifteen of Kevin Donnelly’s entry headings contain the word ‘gender.’ In a series of sharp, snappy entries he ushers us through the world in which babies no longer have any ‘gender’– instead, they have a ‘gender assigned at birth’. XX and XY chromosomes have ceased to exist (has anyone told the biosciences yet?) and the dangly bits on the baby boys should be politely ignored.

One of the strengths of the book is that as well as 352 definitions (from ‘ableism’ to ‘zie’) it includes seven articles by Dr Donnelly telling us where this movement came from and (most importantly) what we can do about it. He points the finger at the ‘invisible man’ looming like a giant puppet master over the World of Woke (never openly acknowledged) – Karl Marx.

Kevin also acknowledges the astonishing prescience of George Orwell. In reality, this Woke Dictionary is a dictionary of Newspeak. As Orwell noted, ‘The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the worldview and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc [English Socialism], but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought – that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc – should be literally unthinkable, at least so far thought is dependent of words.’