Friday, March 31, 2023

A symphony of disgust

Mark Latham was called  "disgusting" by a homosexual man.  In reply to the insult Latham described a homosexual act and called such acts "disgusting".  But the disgust did not end there.  Latham has been called disgusting by all and sundry for describing what male homosexuals do.

A rather overlooked point however is what the condemnation of Latham implies.  What he described was called disgusting. That surely implies that homosexual acts are disgusting.  Many would agree with that.  But their condemnation of Latham surely implies that his critics too regard homosexual acts as disgusting.  Did they really mean to let that cat out of the bag?

One Nation's Mark Latham under fire for homophobic tweet.
Mark Latham's second controversy over LGBT issues in as many weeks has caused a split in One Nation, with federal senator Pauline Hanson admonishing his remarks as "disgusting".

Mr Latham, the One Nation leader in NSW, posted and deleted a graphic and homophobic tweet, directed at comments by Independent MP Alex Greenwich, on Thursday.

It has sparked widespread condemnation, including from within his party, and comes just 10 days after queer activists were allegedly bashed outside one of his pre-election speeches.

Ms Hanson, the federal senator and One Nation leader, said Mr Latham was not returning her calls last night.

"I want you to know that I don't condone them [the comments], and neither do my members of parliament or party associates," Ms Hanson said in a video statement.

"I think they are disgusting.

"I have actually tried to ring Mark a couple of times, to no avail … and also I've asked him to give the people an apology."

Mr Greenwich said he was not expecting an apology and that he planned not to engage with the matter further.

"We know that some people seek to target the LGBTQ community to get attention, I don't intend to help them with that," he said.

"When you're in public office, and public life, as an openly, proud gay man, you're going to get targeted.

"But I focus more on the majority of people across the state who love, support and celebrate the LGBTQ community."

He later posted a tweet of his own, showing a picture of him with husband Victor Hoeld.

"For those wondering how I'm doing after Latham's homophobic attacks today, I'm fine and I'm more motivated than ever to deliver long overdue LGBTIQA+ reforms … and I have the most handsome husband."

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Google censorship

In the last few months, Google have occasionally been censoring my blogs in various strange ways.  Google own and blogspot, which I use for my blogging.

They do so in two ways: By putting a warning in front of a post  or by deleting the post altogether.  And the odd thing so far is that the posts they attack are old ones, from many years back, when the post concerned no longer matters much.

Sometimes I can see what they are objecting to and sometimes I cannot.  The latest "warned" post is an example of the latter.  It seems amusing but perfectly harmless to me. They must have some very strange person assigned to my blogs. I reproduce below the whole email about it that I received from Google.  

   As you may know, our community guidelines
( describe the boundaries for what we allow – and don't allow – on Blogger. Your post titled 'Just for laughs' was flagged to us for review. This post was put behind a warning for readers because it contains sensitive content; the post is visible at

Your blog readers must acknowledge the warning before being able to read the post/blog.

     Why was your blog post put behind a warning for readers?

     Your content has been evaluated according to our adult content policy. Please follow the community guidelines link in this email to learn more.

     We apply warning messages to posts that contain sensitive content. If you are interested in having the status reviewed, please update the content to adhere to Blogger's community guidelines. Once the content is updated, you may republish it at

This will trigger a review of the post. For more information, please review the following resources:

     Terms of Service:

     Blogger community guidelines:

     Yours sincerely,

     The Blogger Team

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

No free speech in New Zealand

Under Leftist rule they have become racist and Fascist

In September 1969, hippies thronged to Auckland’s Albert Park to stand up for free speech, protest the Vietnam War, and enjoy the grass. It was part of a movement for free love and free minds that was sweeping the English-speaking world at the time. They called the weekend rock concerts ‘jumping Sundays’ after the hippies’ impromptu dancing.

Last Saturday, Albert Park was the site of a very different sort of event. This one was also part of a movement sweeping the English-speaking world; however it wasn’t part of a movement in favour of free speech, but of a movement that opposes it.

Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull (aka Posie Parker), a British activist who is sceptical of contemporary gender ideology, had planned to make two stops in New Zealand (in Auckland and Wellington) after several rallies in Australia.

In Albert Park, she was prevented from speaking. One protester poured a can of tomato juice over her. She was surrounded by a large crowd that her security detail struggled to keep away from her. Keen-Minshull later said that she genuinely feared for her life. She left the country soon afterwards, cancelling her Wellington event.

Nor was this the only violence. An elderly man was elbowed in the face, and an elderly woman punched several times, both apparently by individuals protesting Keen-Minshull’s appearance. Green MP Marama Davidson, who was also protesting Keen-Minshull, was struck by a motorcycle while crossing the road and received medical attention.

There is no doubt that Keen-Minshull is a controversial figure. In 2019, she was questioned by UK police after describing the surgery a trans person had undergone as castration. In January of this year, Pink News reported that a speaker at an event organised by Keen-Minshull had quoted Hitler’s Mein Kampf. And earlier this month, a group of neo-Nazis appeared near where Keen-Minshull was speaking in Melbourne – though their rally seems to have been separate from her event, and she has since explicitly denounced them.

In the end, though, none of this has much bearing in what happened on Saturday. A visitor to this country was prevented from speaking and made to fear for her life by violent bullies. She had her free speech rights violated, and the New Zealand police were nowhere to be seen.

Both the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the New Zealand Bill of Rights protect freedom of expression. In both cases, this includes the right to impart ideas or opinions. Making noise or calling out in order to disrupt a speaker is not normally considered protected speech. As the US jurist Erwin Chemerinksy has written, “Freedom of speech, on campuses and elsewhere, is rendered meaningless if speakers can be shouted down by those who disagree.”

Some within New Zealand have compared the episode to the notorious 1981 Springbok tour of the country. Hundreds swarmed pitches to protest the All Blacks playing against a team from apartheid South Africa, and one test match was called off as a result. But the Springboks were not expressing ideas; nor was Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull representing an explicitly racist regime. Those who argue that Keen-Minshull speaking would have led to the fundamental rights of trans people being disregarded need to spell out which rights would have been violated, and how.

It is true that the vast majority of the protesters did not engage in violence. We should also bear in mind that the vast majority of trans people oppose the violence that took place on Sunday. There are, though, clear signs that many of those who thronged around Keen-Minshull on Sunday had drunk the Kool-Aid that speech can be violence, and therefore that violence is an appropriate response to speech. One protester held up a sign which read ‘These boots stomp TERFs.’

Amid all the arguments and recriminations on social media, one question remains unanswered. What exactly would have happened if Keen-Minshull had simply been allowed to speak on Saturday, with those who wanted to being allowed to disagree with her afterwards?

The answer, of course, is that had the police done their job and protected Keen-Minshull’s free speech rights, the British feminist would have given a short and provocative speech to a few supporters and a much larger group of critics. The critics would almost certainly then have monopolised discussion at any Q&A. Most would have gone away with the same views as they had brought to the event; a few might have had their views changed. And then everyone would have gone home. The universal rights to freedom of expression of everyone involved would have remained intact.

As would the reputation of New Zealand as a one of the world’s most open societies. Now, of course, this reputation has received another much-deserved beating. Only a few weeks ago, Richard Dawkins’ visit to these shores reminded us of the disgraceful actions of the Royal Society in investigating a number of its fellows after they wrote a letter defending science against attacks on it as intrinsically colonialist. Now New Zealand is making headlines around the world once again, and for all the wrong reasons.

That will be the legacy of this weekend’s event at Albert Park. It is difficult to imagine a more complete or a more shameful repudiation of a former generation of Kiwis’ embrace of love, tolerance, and free speech.




Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Hysteria among conservatives in Victoria, Australia

That Moira Deeming  attended a rally that was gatecrashed by Nazis is surely no reflection on her but the Left says it was and the conservatives got frightened by that.  

That the rally was  against transgenders being accepted as fully women might have been a more substantial cause of complaint but she was surely entitled to her view about that.

Should you lose your job if you say that women's spaces should be reserved for women?  Is that the new thoughtcrime? Those who say so would appear to be the real Nazis

Victorian Liberal Party leader John Pesutto’s bid to expel Moira Deeming from the parliamentary party room was meant to be his making. Instead it’s more likely than not to be his undoing.

After a marathon two-hour meeting on Monday, MPs unanimously decided to suspend Deeming from the party room for nine months and strip her of the upper house whip position after she attended an anti-transgender rally which, according to organisers, was gatecrashed by neo-Nazis who were photographed performing the Nazi salute last weekend.

Pesutto justified the backflip by saying he had received “new materials” from Deeming at 6.30am on Monday that included concessions that he says he had been demanding since a meeting held on 18 March.

He said they included condemnation of some of the social media posts of women she attended the rally with. He did not release the materials, nor has Deeming, who released a statement on Monday evening conceding that attending the event “may have been an error of judgement” while also tweeting a denial that she condemned the women who organised or spoke at it.

“As I have stated, I unreservedly condemn the poor taste Nazi jokes and Nazi analogies listed in the annex of evidence against me,” she said.

“I believe I am innocent of all imputations and accusations of any connection whatsoever with nazism in any shape or form and any bigotry whatsoever toward the LGBTQI+ community.”

Pesutto confirmed he called the meeting and spoke on the motion. With the exception of his leadership team, no other Liberal MPs spoke in favour of the motion.

Then came time for those to speak against it, which included Kim Wells, widely considered a moderate and a Pesutto ally, and upper house MPs Joe McCracken and Richard Riordan. Deeming was said to have moved people to tears as she made her case to stay in the party she loves.

Deeming and those three MPs argued that the case against her wasn’t strong enough to warrant an expulsion – they said she should not be found guilty by association. They argued the move to expel Deeming went against freedom of speech, thought and association – philosophies the Liberals hold dear.




Sunday, March 26, 2023

Football Coach Fired for Praying Gets His Job Back

A football coach in Bremerton, Washington, Joseph Kennedy, will be given back his job and have $1.8 million in legal fees paid by the school district as the Supreme Court rules that it’s a violation of religious liberty to prohibit praying after games.

In 2015, Mr. Kennedy, an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School, engaged in prayer alone on the field. When students asked if they could join, he welcomed them, without mandating participation or retaliating against those who abstained.

“Lord,” Mr. Kennedy says in his prayer. “I thank you for these kids and the blessing you’ve given me with them. We believe in the game, we believe in competition, and we can come into it as rivals and leave as brothers.” This was once standard sportsmanship in an America that put “In God We Trust” on its currency.

The school district told Mr. Kennedy to cease and desist. When he refused, he was placed on administrative leave and then fired. With backing from the First Liberty Institute, he began the drive through the courts to defend his stance.

Mr. Kennedy also had strong community support protecting his blindside. At a 2016 game, as he defied the school board, players from his team and rival Centralia High School, a member of the Washington legislature, and what the Seattle Times described as “a huge crowd” knelt on the 50-yard line with him in prayer.

“Tolerance” is a sacrament for the dominant political culture which, since it skews to the secular left, is often hostile to the religious while requiring them to not just tolerate things that run counter to their beliefs but to join in vocal celebration of them — a form of compelled speech.

The First Amendment respects the liberties of all citizens, beginning with the words, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The Constitution also bans religious tests.

In a six to three decision, the Supreme Court ruled for Coach Kennedy. “Both the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment,” Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority, “protect expressions like Mr. Kennedy’s.”

The Establishment Clause, Justice Gorsuch said, doesn’t “require the government to single out private religious speech for special disfavor. The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”

After agreeing to abide by the ruling, the school board president, Alyson Rotter, said they looked forward “to moving past the distraction” to “focus on what matters most: Providing our children the best education possible.”

One interpretation of the ruling is that Mr. Kennedy was fulfilling that higher academic calling by being a quiet role model, and then offering his players the opportunity to tend to their spiritual health as well as their mental and physical wellbeing.




Friday, March 24, 2023

NYC Audubon Society changing name due to ‘white supremacy’ legacy

They’re bidding it Audu-bon voyage. After months of deliberation, New York City Audubon decided to change its name, citing founder John James Audubon’s legacy of white supremacy.

The ornithology-devoted organization announced the bombshell development on its website and in an email sent to members.

“NYC Audubon’s Board of Directors has today announced its decision to change the organization’s name, dropping ‘Audubon,’ ” NYC Audubon Executive Director Jessica Wilson wrote in the email to supporters.

She added that the nonprofit will begin a process to develop a new name that “embodies our organizational values” and is “inclusive and welcoming to all New Yorkers.”

The Audubon-ban marked the culmination of an eight-month-long assessment that deemed the surname to be a “barrier to entry for many into the organization.”

While the nonprofit acknowledged that the naturalist’s contributions to art and ornithology are “significant” and fostered “an appreciation of nature and conservation ethos” in the US, they deemed his views and actions toward “people of color and Indigenous people” to be “harmful and offensive.”

While they didn’t list his specific problematic views, the naturalist’s family owned enslaved people during the early part of the 19th century. Audubon was also infamously critical of the abolitionist moment on both sides of the pond. In an 1834 letter to his wife Lucy Bakewell Audubon, Audubon declared that the British government had “acted imprudently and too precipitously” in emancipating enslaved people in its West Indian colony.

Naturally, Audubon grappled with the potential cost of jettisoning the name of the organization, which has amassed 10,000 members since its founding in 1979, the New York Times reported.

While the nonprofit acknowledged that the naturalist's contributions to ornithology are "significant" and fostered "an appreciation of nature and conservation ethos" in the US, they deemed his views and actions toward black people and indigenous people "harmful and offensive."




Thursday, March 23, 2023

Federal Judge Delivers Major Blow to Biden Administration in Pivotal Censorship Case

A federal judge says the Biden administration may have violated the First Amendment by colluding with social media companies to censor debate on the 2020 election and COVID-19. Pictured: Dr. Anthony Fauci, then-director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on stopping the spread of monkeypox on Sept. 14, 2022. (Photo: Tom Williams, CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images)
A federal judge ruled against the Biden administration’s efforts to dismiss a case involving online censorship Monday, saying that the states of Missouri and Louisiana had “plausibly alleged” First Amendment violations.

United States District Judge Terry A. Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana denied the Biden administration’s motion to dismiss a suit brought on May 5 by Republican Attorneys General Erik Schmitt of Missouri and Jeff Landry of Louisiana. Schmitt and Landry said the Biden administration colluded with social media companies to censor debate on multiple issues, including the 2020 presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged joint action, entwinement, and/or that specific features of Defendants’ actions combined to create state action,” Doughty wrote in the ruling.

“Plaintiffs have clearly and plausibly alleged that Defendants engaged in viewpoint discrimination and prior restraints. As discussed in great detail above, Plaintiffs allege a regime of censorship that targets specific viewpoints deemed mis-, dis-, or malinformation by federal officials,” Doughty added. “Because Plaintiffs allege that Defendants are targeting particular views taken by speakers on a specific subject, they have alleged a clear violation of the First Amendment, i.e., viewpoint discrimination. Moreover, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants, by placing bans, shadow-bans, and other forms of restrictions on Plaintiffs’ social-media accounts, are engaged in de facto prior restraints, another clear violation of the First Amendment.”

Documents posted on Twitter by Landry included an April 14, 2021, email from White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty to an unidentified Facebook employee, demanding the company censor Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s video about vaccines. Carlson is a co-founder of the Daily Caller and Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Since we’ve been on the phone—the top post about vaccines today is [T]ucker Carlson saying they don’t work. Yesterday it was Tomi Lehren [sic] saying she won’t take one,” Flaherty wrote to the Facebook employee, according to the email released by Landry. “This is exactly why I want to know what ‘Reduction’ actually looks like—if ‘reduction’ means ‘pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with [T]ucker Carlson saying it doesn’t work’ then … I’m not sure it’s reduction!”




Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Fairy tales under attack

A few days ago, the UK Telegraph reported that Ladybird had brought in sensitivity readers to go over the publisher’s back catalogue and reexamine a number of children’s books from its vintage collection. Classic fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White, and the characters and plots in the stories, are said to be of particular concern to sensitivity readers. In woke parlance, fairytales are now problematic.

You won’t be surprised which perpetually offended demographic is to blame. When it comes to fairy tales, a recent survey revealed that almost half of those under the age of thirty found them to be inappropriate for children. While a whopping 89 per cent believe they reinforce outdated – what normal people call ‘traditional’  – gender roles.

This incessant need to eradicate offence is something I find deeply disturbing about millennials, and to a certain extent, Generation Z-ers. Emblematic of the purity of their political opinions and the self-righteousness of their convictions, they wish to erase everything from history. Some of these tales date back thousands of years. The reason they have survived relatively unscathed might have something to do with what they can teach us. This is because fairy tales contain a number of universal truths that are as relevant now as they were a millennium ago.

For example, in the tale of the Three Little Pigs, the moral lesson was about the value of hard work, while Goldilocks warns you not to enter  someone else’s home without permission. In Little Red Riding Hood, we learn that we should be cautious about trusting strangers, while Beauty and the Beast taught children to look beyond superficial things like physical appearance. Teaching children that there’s more to life than identity? I can see why they want to consign them to the dustbin of history!




Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Uncensored Enid Blyton books with 'outdated' language are 'being stashed in off-limits spaces by librarians'

Enid Blyton's classic novels are beloved globally but some of her works have been rewritten to remove 'outdated' language.

And uncensored versions are being placed in 'off-limit storage spaces' in libraries to prevent the public from 'stumbling upon' the old wording.

Recently edited works are displayed publicly across Devon's libraries but tales which have not yet been amended are not so easy to access.

If a reader requests an original version of titles like The Famous Five, they will be shown a verbal trigger warning, according to The Telegraph.

The original versions are catalogued online and if a reader chooses to access one, a warning system will remind them of the language used within the older editions.

The changes were revealed in Devon County Council documents.

It was explained that Library Unlimited - which runs the council's library service - regularly audits books, replacing them with altered versions.

The documents say that where popular titles contain 'increasingly outdated' language, libraries purchase new, edited versions.

The off-limits area of libraries also contains books that have been removed due to staff or customer complaints - such as the autobiography of previously-incarcerated Tommy Robinson, the founder of the far-right English Defence League.

Blyton composed more than 700 books, including beloved titles like The Famous Five series and Noddy, from the late 1930s until she died in 1968.

But publishing house Hodder confirmed in 2010 that Blyton's works would be refreshed in order to make them 'timeless'.

In January last year, Jacqueline Wilson gave The Magic Faraway Tree a rewrite to remove 'sexist expectations' of female characters, with domestic chores for the girls replaced with a lesson on gender equality.

And in February, Blyton's Famous Five and Malory Towers books saw words such as 'brown' with reference to tanned faces, 'queer' and 'gay' changed to bring them up to date.

A description of 'a brown-faced fisher-boy' was 'changed to a suntanned fisher-boy', while 'Where's George? She wants spanking' became 'She wants a good talking to.'

English Heritage released updated blue plaque information in 2021 saying Blyton's booked had been linked to 'racism and xenophobia'.

Examples of 'racism' within the books include 1966's The Little Black Doll, in which the main character 'Sambo' is only accepted by his owner 'once his "ugly black face" is washed "clean" by rain', while in Noddy, 'golliwogs' were changed to 'goblins'.

English Heritage also now cites that publisher Macmillan refused to publish The Mystery That Never Was over its 'old-fashioned xenophobia' towards foreign characters.

Dr Byrn Harris, legal counsel for the Free Speech Union told The Telegraph: 'We are bemused by the decision to treat the author of Noddy as dangerous and subversive samizdat.'

He claimed that libraries have a duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient service and alleged 'holding back certain works and making them less accessible might fall short of that standard.'

Dr Harris also alleged the reasoning for the books being placed out of public sight was of 'dubious relevance', despite the many previous criticism of Blyton's works.

'If public libraries insist on having a censorship policy then users, especially children and their parents or guardians, must be clearly informed that the library’s holdings may not be comprehensive as a result of the policy,' Dr Harris added.

MailOnline has approached Devon County Council and Libraries Unlimited for comment.




Monday, March 20, 2023

Cuba Arrests a 24-Year-Old YouTuber for Describing Daily Life on the Communist Island

Fines for defaming the government; threats regarding her child; confiscation of property: These are only some of the things that a Cuban woman has been enduring for covering on YouTube the ongoing crisis in Cuba.

The Cuban regime seems intent on ensuring that 24-year-old Hildina Nuñez Diaz does not post another video. On Thursday, government officials arrested Ms. Nuñez Diaz in her home, leaving the Cuban fearing for her life and uncertain about her future.

About 30 agents stormed into Ms. Nuñez Diaz’s home at Santiago de Cuba and arrested her in front of her five-month-old son, Liam Jesus, her mother, and her father. During the arrest, the officials confiscated all technological devices, including her cellphone, computer, wifi router, and camera.

“When the police arrived at her house, they closed the block so nobody could walk by,” Ms. Nuñez Diaz’s husband, Jesus Reyna, tells the Sun. “They removed her from her own house as if she was a criminal.” Mr. Reyna was working in Texas at the time of the arrest.

Ms. Nuñez Diaz was held at Santiago de Cuba’s police station for seven hours. According to Mr. Reyna, she was passed along to several government officials, who threatened her physical safety and her son’s custody.

“They never told her what her rights were while arrested,” Mr. Reyna says. “She wasn’t even given the right to a lawyer.”

Before releasing her, the officials forced Ms. Nuñez Diaz to sign a consent saying she would no longer post videos. She also received a fine for “taking over social media to discredit the government.” In addition, she was told that she is not allowed to leave Cuba and that Mr. Reyna could not re-enter the island, as they claim he “influenced” her into making those videos.

Ms. Nuñez Diaz opened her YouTube account in 2020 and since then has been posting videos of the daily struggle that Cubans face on the island. The account has 114,000 subscribers.

The dangers one witnesses at night in Cuba, the consequences of the shortage of basic products such as rice and sugar, and how a Cuban can easily spend a monthly salary on vegetables are only some of the many realities of the island that she illuminates on YouTube.

“I want to show you Cuba’s reality, the one that many are afraid to tell but it’s time for the world to know the true situation in which Cubans live today,” Ms. Nuñez Diaz says in one of her YouTube videos. She says that she “loves” her country, but it “hurts to see it like this.”

“Hopefully one day we Cubans will see that light that we so much need at the end of the tunnel,” Ms. Nuñez Diaz adds. The executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, John Suarez, tells the Sun that Ms. Nuñez Diaz “faces great danger in Cuba.”

“Cuba’s penal code has grown more draconian and is targeting individuals expressing themselves in any way that portrays the Cuban government in a negative light,” Mr. Suarez says.

According to Cuba’s penal code, anyone who provides information to international foreign services against the Cuban regime “incurs a penalty of deprivation of liberty from 10 to 30 years, life imprisonment, or death.”

On May 15, 2022, the Castro regime passed a bill that restricts free expression by prohibiting Cubans from receiving foreign funding. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the bill, as the Cuban press has often relied on international funding.

The following day, the Biden administration announced it was easing sanctions against Cuba. What Ms. Nuñez Diaz has undergone “is happening, and has happened before,” Mr. Suarez says. “International leaders need to condemn it and keep drawing attention to this outrage.”

Ms. Nuñez Diaz earlier had received several threats from the regime. In December, she received a call from the university where she works as a professor, telling her to go into the directives office for a check-in meeting.

Instead, she was greeted by officials from the Castro regime, who threatened her job if she did not stop making videos. They said the videos were “against the road to revolution” of the Cuban communist president, Fidel Castro.

The second encounter occurred in February at Havana, where Ms. Nuñez Diaz was recording a video. A policeman, who had been following her for weeks, entered her home and told her that if she did not stop recording, she would be arrested.

“They told me to double think my actions as I am a mother of a child,” Ms. Nuñez Diaz said in a video in which she told her followers about the confrontation.

Ms. Nuñez Diaz is now at her house at Santiago de Cuba with no form of communication. She is prohibited from leaving the island and is in a psychologically ill state of mind, suffering from “severe” anxiety over what the regime holds for her future, Mr. Reyna says.




Sunday, March 19, 2023

He's back!

More than two years after Donald Trump was banned from social media after Big Tech colluded to make the unprecedented decision to deny a sitting president a voice, the last domino has fallen.

Trump’s YouTube page, which boasts 2.65 million followers, was back under his control Friday after it was permanently disabled in January of 2021.

YouTube, which is owned by struggling Google, confirmed the news to The New York Post.

YouTube public policy vice president Leslie Miller said Trump’s channel “is no longer restricted and the ability to upload new content is restored.”

Miller added, “We carefully evaluated the continued risk of real-world violence, balancing that with the importance of preserving the opportunity for voters to hear equally from major national candidates in the run-up to an election.”

She said Trump’s channel “will continue to be subject to our policies, just like any other channel on YouTube.”

He was banned from YouTube after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion as Big Tech worked in tandem to silence the then-president.

Oddly, Meta and Google made decisions to bring back Trump during a time when both struggling with revenue and after making the decision to lay off thousands.




Friday, March 17, 2023

Oxfam's new 92-page inclusivity guide calls English 'the language of a colonising nation' and tells staff to avoid the words 'mother' 'headquarters' - and even 'youth'

Oxfam is a major British charity.  This latest nonsense shows them up for what they are: Applause-seekers

Oxfam came under fire last night for issuing a bizarre 'inclusive' language guide to staff.  The 92-page report warns against 'colonial' phrases such as 'headquarters', suggests 'local' may be offensive and says 'people' could be patriarchal.

Workers were told 'parent' is often preferable to 'mother' or 'father', terms such as 'feminine hygiene' should be dropped, and 'people who become pregnant' should be used instead of 'expectant mothers'.

The guide even suggests that 'youth', 'the elderly' and 'seniors' should be avoided – to afford respect and dignity.

Tory former minister Robert Buckland said: 'Most people will find this particular use of valuable time and resources by Oxfam totally bizarre. It would do them well to remember the old adage that actions speak louder than words.'

The introduction apologises for being written in and about the English language, saying: 'We recognise that this guide has its origin in English, the language of a colonising nation. We acknowledge the Anglo-supremacy of the sector as part of its coloniality.

'This guide aims to support people who have to work and communicate in the English language as part of this colonial legacy. However, we recognise that the dominance of English is one of the key issues that must be addressed in order to decolonise our ways of working and shift power.'

The official advice from the charity – founded in Oxford in 1942 to relieve famine worldwide – attempts to revolutionise its staff's language across a wide range of fields.

It looks to outlaw 'headquarters' as it 'implies a colonial power dynamic'; 'aid sector', which 'cements ideology where an agent with resources gives support on a charitable basis'; and 'field trip' because it can 'reinforce colonial attitudes'.

Oxfam said in a statement yesterday: 'This guide is not prescriptive but helps authors communicate in a way that is respectful to the diverse range of people with which we work. We are proud of using inclusive language; we won't succeed in tackling poverty by excluding marginalised groups.'




Thursday, March 16, 2023

Censorship addicts: Democrats seek to squelch speech on banks

Concerned about your money after recent bank failures? You might want to keep those thoughts to yourself.

While some rushed to get their money after the collapses, at least one leading Democrat is pushing for censorship of those who do not have faith in the banking industry.

The Democratic Party for more than a decade has alienated many of us in the party with its embrace of censorship and speech controls.

Democratic leaders actively promote censorship on social media and vehemently defend government efforts to target citizens or groups.

Some have even adopted McCarthyite labels like “Russian lovers” to paint free-speech advocates as disloyal or dangerous in opposing censorship efforts.

Subjects from climate change to gender identity to COVID to elections have been gradually added to the list of prohibited thoughts.

Now Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) has put bank solvency on the list.

It is only the latest example of censorship’s slippery slope.

Kelly shows how censorship is addictive; it not only builds an increasing tolerance for speech limits but a decreasing tolerance for opposing views.

The immediate inclination becomes to silence those who challenge you or refuse to accept your “truth” on any given subject.

In a Zoom call this week with a couple hundred participants, Kelly asked representatives from the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation about censoring social media to remove those raising doubts over bank solvency in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank crises.

As in past censorship calls, Kelly reportedly cited the danger of “foreign actors” using social media — to undermine banks. It’s those pesky Russians again.

The list of subjects justifying censorship keeps getting longer.

In a critical November 2020 hearing, tech CEOs appeared before the Senate. Twitter’s then-CEO Jack Dorsey apologized for censoring The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story but pledged to censor more people in defense of “electoral integrity.”

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), however, was not happy. He was upset not by the promised censorship but that it wasn’t broad enough.

He noted it’s hard to define the problem of “misleading information,” but tech companies had to impose a sweeping system to combat the “harm” of misinformation.

“The pandemic and misinformation about COVID-19, manipulated media also cause harm,” Coons said. “But I’d urge you to reconsider” putting in place a “standalone climate change misinformation policy” because “helping to disseminate climate denialism, in my view, further facilitates and accelerates one of the greatest existential threats to our world.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also warned he and his colleagues would not tolerate any “backsliding or retrenching” by firms “failing to take action against dangerous disinformation.”

He demanded companies keep using “the same kind of robust content modification” — the new Orwellian term for censorship — they did in the 2020 election.

History has shown censorship becomes an insatiable appetite. Once you silence opposing views in one area, opposing views in other areas become increasingly intolerable.

Rather than convince citizens that their deposits are safe, it is easier to just silence anyone who disagrees with you.

With Democrats’ vocal support, Twitter’s former censors recently revealed the standard they used to censor citizens.  Ex-Twitter executive Anika Collier Navaroli explained at a House hearing last month that Twitter tried not to just “balance free speech and safety.”

Rather, it asked “free expression for whom and public safety for whom. So whose free expression are we protecting at the expense of whose safety, and whose safety are we willing to allow to go the wind so that people can speak freely?”

Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) responded: “Exactly right.”

So now “the expense” of free speech is too high if it might undermine faith in our banks’ stability. It is that easy.

Parag Agrawal explained it years ago. After taking over as Twitter CEO, Agrawal said the company would “focus less on thinking about free speech” because “speech is easy on the Internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.”

The great civil libertarian Justice Louis Brandeis once warned, “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

Sen. Kelly is now that man in seeking censorship to protect banks’ assets while leaving free speech insolvent.




Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Don't use the phrases 'pig out', 'eating like a horse' or 'wolfing down your dinner' because it makes obese people feel like ANIMALS, woke dietitians say

Using the phrase 'pig out' is no longer acceptable as it makes obese people feel like animals, according to new guidelines.

Talking about a 'war on obesity' makes overweight people feel like the enemy, and they should be referred to as 'individuals with higher weight', the British Dietetic Association (BDA) said.

In the latest attempt to address 'stigmatising' language, dietitians have taken aim at 'dehumanising' words for overeating.

They caution against the use of phrases like 'pig out', 'eating like a horse' or 'wolfing down dinner' which, they claim, may make people feel like animals.

Dr Adrian Brown, from the Centre of Obesity Research at University College London, who helped to draw up the guidelines, has even expressed concerns about terms like 'chubby' and 'morbidly obese'.

Tam Fry, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: 'In producing "balanced guidelines" for their in-house communications, the authors have taken medical correctness to a slightly ridiculous level.

Dr Duane Mellor, a member of the BDA from Aston University, said: 'Living with a higher body weight is too often judged by others, and deemed to be less good or less able, which is simply wrong. 'We focus on weight and looks and not health and function.




Tuesday, March 14, 2023

US Navy renames 2 ships in bid to sink Confederate ties

The US Navy is renaming two of its vessels as part of ongoing efforts to cut ties with Confederate history.

The former USNS Maury, an oceanographic survey ship, has been re-named in honor of Marie Tharp, an oceanographer who first mapped the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

It was previously named after former Navy Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury — the founder of modern oceanography who was nicknamed the “Pathfinder of the Seas.”

Maury refused to fight against his home state of Virginia and resigned during the Civil War to join the Confederate Army.

The Navy also renamed a warship formerly known as USS Chancellorsville to the USS Robert Smalls, honoring an enslaved sailor for the Confederates during the Civil War who later went on to serve South Carolina as a US congressman.

It was originally named after The Battle of Chancellorsville on April 30-May 6, 1863, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory during the Civil War.

“The renaming of these assets is not about rewriting history, but to remove the focus on the parts of our history that don’t align with the tenets of this country,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said in a statement.

The new titles were given by a naming commission created by Congress in response to outcry nationwide over existing Confederate memorials following the 2020 slaying of George Floyd.




Monday, March 13, 2023

‘Shut up’ is out: sensitivity editors come for Blyton's Famous Five

The phrases “Shut up”, “Don’t be an ass”, and “Don’t be an idiot” have been quietly cut from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, in the latest example of children’s literature being rewritten to suit modern sensibilities.

The move comes less than a month after UK publisher Puffin was forced into a backdown after attempting to remove words such as “fat” and “ugly” from Roald Dahl classics including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

An audiobook of one of the ­Famous Five’s adventures, The Famous Five Short Story Collection, has been edited in recent months to delete the phrases, ­uttered by the child characters ­beloved by generations of readers.




Sunday, March 12, 2023

British football personalities step up to defend free speech

The BBC’s sports coverage this weekend is in meltdown as sports star presenters and journalists boycotted shows plunging the corporation into a scheduling crisis.

Football Focus and Final Score were axed on Saturday as the row over impartiality and Gary Lineker’s controversial tweets intensified.

Saturday’s Match Of The Day (MOTD) was set to go ahead without a presenter or pundits after Lineker, the BBC’s highest paid presenter, was told to step back from hosting the show after he criticised the Government’s handling of the asylum crisis.

The BBC said it had “decided” Lineker would take a break from presenting the highlights programme until an “agreed and clear position” on his use of social media had been reached.

The move prompted both Ian Wright and Alan Shearer to announce on Friday that they too would boycott the show in solidarity with Lineker.

But, any hope the BBC had of limiting the fallout were scuppered when a flurry of presenters joined what was fast becoming a mass walkout.

At 10.25am on Saturday, the former England player Alex Scott announced that she will not be presenting Football Focus on Saturday.

Glenn Murray, a key pundit on the BBC sports team, then ruled himself out of appearing on both Football Focus and Final Score.

The former Brighton striker tweeted: “Was meant to be up in Media City today but reflecting last night I felt it was the right thing to do to step away from Focus & Score today.

Even the Professional Footballers’ Association waded in to offer players support if they wanted to refuse BBC interviews following weekend matches.

“We have been informed that players involved in today’s games will not be asked to participate in interviews with Match Of The Day,” a spokesman said.

“The PFA have been speaking to members who wanted to take a collective position and to be able to show their support for those who have chosen not to be part of tonight’s programme.

“During those conversations we made clear that, as their union, we would support all members who might face consequences for choosing not to complete their broadcast commitments.

“This is a common-sense decision that ensures players won’t now be put in that position.”

Meanwhile, an online petition calling for Gary Lineker to be reinstated in his post on Match Of The Day reached its target of 100,000 signatures in just 10 hours.

MOTD was effectively being hit for the first time in its 59-year history by strike action by its presenters.




Friday, March 10, 2023

House Committee Hears of ‘Censorship-Industrial Complex’ From New Bombshell ‘Twitter Files’

A new idiom entered the lexicon of the tussle between Republicans in Congress and the social media platforms they believe suppress conservative voices: the “censorship-industrial complex.”

First used by journalist Matt Taibbi and author Michael Shellenberger Thursday morning in another chapter of what has come to be known as the “Twitter files,” the phrase describes the growing practice of government actors collaborating with think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and media watchdogs to pressure social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook to tamp down content labeled as “misinformation” — even if the information is factually accurate — and divert advertising dollars away from conservative-leaning news sites.

The practice was laid bare during the second hearing of the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee’s new select subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government, at which Messrs. Taibbi and Shellenberger testified Thursday. The censorship documented by the two men began as an attempt ostensibly aimed at combating online extremism by terrorists or Russians meddling in American elections, but has evolved into a fight against what its players describe as “domestic misinformation,” Mr. Shellenberger said.

“It’s not a slippery slope,” he told the committee. “It’s an immediate leap into a terrifying mechanism that we only see in totalitarian societies.”

Mr. Taibbi went a step further, describing the links between government agencies and their private-sector proxies — and the censorship they encouraged — as a form of “digital McCarthyism.”

“We learned Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other companies developed a formal system for taking in moderation ‘requests’ from every corner of government,” Mr. Taibbi said. “For every government agency scanning Twitter, there were perhaps 20 quasi-private entities doing the same, including Stanford’s Election Integrity Project, Newsguard, the Global Disinformation Index, and others, many taxpayer-funded.

“A focus of this fast-growing network is making lists of people whose opinions, beliefs, associations, or sympathies are deemed ‘misinformation,’ ‘disinformation,’ or ‘malinformation,’” he added. “The latter term is just a euphemism for ‘true but inconvenient.’”

Representative Mike Johnson, a Louisiana congressman on the committee, said the details unearthed in the Twitter files to date suggest that “Twitter was basically an FBI subsidiary before Elon Musk took over.

“The Twitter files should be a matter of bipartisan concern for every member of Congress and every American citizen, because it is a bedrock principle of our system that the government does not get to decide what speech is acceptable or true,” Mr. Johnson said.

Democrats on the committee expressed skepticism about what they said were “right-wing conspiracy theories” and suggested that, if the shoe were on the other foot, Republicans would be raising cain.

“I’m pretty sure that if the Democrats held a hearing today to force Fox News to post certain content, my Republican colleagues would be up at arms,” Representative John Garamendi, a California Democrat, said. “This is particularly ironic because we know for a fact that Fox News does spread disinformation, and does so while knowing that the material is false.

“No private company has an obligation to amplify anything, and especially not messages that strike at the heart of our democracy,” Mr. Garamendi said.

The latest installment in the Twitter files shows that content moderators at Twitter regularly exchanged spreadsheets with the names or accounts of thousands of users whose posts or comments were deemed problematic. Many were indeed malicious actors spreading false or misleading information about elections or propaganda on behalf of malign foreign players such as Iran or Russia. Many others, though, were not. Among those caught up in these nets were a reporter for the Chicago Sun Times and an Iraqi war veteran who blogged about the war, according to the report.

Among the information flagged for removal or censorship were  “anti-Ukraine narratives” and posts that were technically true but that promoted “vaccine hesitancy,” according to the report. Moderators should watch closely for “viral posts of individuals expressing vaccine hesitancy, or stories of true vaccine side effects,” the censors were informed.

“This content is clearly not mis or disinformation, but it may be malinformation (exaggerated or misleading),” one watchdog reported. “Also included in this bucket are often true posts which could fuel vaccine hesitancy, such as individual countries banning certain vaccines.”

Twitter’s reliance on a network of private actors in the disinformation policing space was even greater than its cooperation with government agencies, Mr. Taibbi and his colleague reported. Non-governmental players with lofty names like the Alliance Securing Democracy, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Aspen Institute played pivotal roles in the campaign to suppress speech, the report said.

The Aspen Institute, which receives millions of dollars in funding annually from the American taxpayers and is described as the “Woodstock of the Censorship-Industrial Complex” by Mr. Taibbi, released a report in August 2021 stating that governments should have complete access to data held by social media platforms in order to better police online speech and restrict disinformation, “even if it means losing some freedom.” Among its other recommendations were that governments should empower agencies like the Federal Trade Commission to police social media platforms “in the public interest.”

The role of the FTC became a major flashpoint during Thursday’s hearing because the committee reported earlier that within weeks of the first of the Twitter files coming online, the agency began demanding information from Twitter about the changes Mr. Musk was making to the platform after he purchased it in October 2022. Twitter has been under a consent decree with the agency for improperly safeguarding user data long before Mr. Musk bought the company.

Among the information requested by the agency were the names of those who had written about the Twitter files, including Messrs. Taibbi and Shellenberger. Mr. Taibbi said the FTC’s demands should send shivers down the spines of journalists everywhere.

“I think it’s none of the government’s business which journalists a private company talks to and why,” Mr. Taibbi said. “I think every journalist should be concerned about that, and the absence of interest in that issue by my fellow colleagues in the mainstream media is an indication of how low the business has sunk.”

The Democrats on the committee attempted to discredit the writers, both of whom described their politics as liberal-leaning — Mr. Shellenberger said he voted for President Biden — as being “hand-picked” by Mr. Musk and using “cherry-picked” data to support their narrative about an assault on free speech and the First Amendment.




Thursday, March 09, 2023

Students Defend Freedom

Ignorant young people are especially eager to ban things like "offensive" speech and "excess" profit. Some would happily ban capitalism.

Fortunately, some students buck the trend.

"It's very easy to lose freedom," says Northwood University's Kristin Tokarev in my new video. "It's very easy for politicians to legislate freedom away. But it's incredibly hard to get back."

Tokarev is one of the winners of my video contest. My nonprofit, Stossel in the Classroom, provides videos to teachers who want teaching aids that help explain economics. Every year, we give out $25,000 in prizes to college, high school and middle school students who write the best essays or make the best videos.

This year's competition is underway. If you know teachers, please let them know about it. The deadline for entries is March 31.

Tokarev watched my videos in school. She found them "more engaging" than listening to a professor lecture.

Unfortunately, most students don't watch our videos.  Instead, teachers tell them that capitalism is a problem.

If they don't hear that in school, they hear it from media. "If capitalism works ... why does it seem to give such a raw deal?" complains MSNBC's Ari Melber. His guest, Michael Moore, eagerly agrees.

"I can't say I'm pro-capitalist without friends, or people on the internet telling me, 'How could you?" says Tokarev. "Everything on social media is, 'eat the rich,' 'kill capitalism.' It's synonymous with greed."

I push back. "That's fair. Capitalists want more money for themselves."

"But with more money, I can create something," she answers. "Then you get new products and innovation."

High school student Kaden Morgan made a video that points out how everyone now "is living a better life than even the richest men of the 1800s" because of capitalism's innovation.

"We got air conditioning, cell phones, microwaves, we got stinking toilets!" he cheerfully exclaims.

Of course, the media are right to point out that because of capitalism, income inequality has increased.

I say to Tokarev, "Some people are really filthy rich. Others don't have enough."

"Under capitalism," she replies, "there's going to be people who are wealthier and some who are poorer. But you have the opportunity to become wealthier! Under socialism, sure, everybody is equal, but they're all equally poor!"

I wish more Americans understood that.

Jaboukie Young-White of "The Daily Show" asked young people what they thought of socialism. "Socialism is on point!" said one. Then she admits, "I don't really know what socialism means."

Tokarev knows. She learned not just from our videos, but from her dad, who grew up under socialism in Bulgaria. Not only were people poor, but modern music was even banned.   "He couldn't listen to rock music without fear of persecution," she says.

The only way he could hear what Americans heard was to smuggle in tapes. "The quality was awful, but he would play them all day."

"What does music have to do with socialism versus capitalism?" I ask.  "Everything!" she responds. "In one system, you're allowed to enjoy it freely. In another system, you're being controlled."

Many of this year's video and essay contestants focused on freedom versus control.

"Individual liberty is crucial for people and communities to flourish," says Ian Hunter, the Concordia University student who won first place in the college division.

"Freedom is essential not only to prosper, to make money," adds Tokarev, "but it's essential to be yourself."

I wish our politicians would listen to these kids.




Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Children's horror author R.L. Stine accuses Scholastic of censoring his books to change references to mental health, weight and ethnicity WITHOUT his permission

One of the world's most successful children's book authors has accused his publisher of censoring his work without his permission.

R.L. Stine, whose Goosebumps series has sold more than 300 million copies and is the second biggest selling book series after Harry Potter, said on Monday the books had been sanitized without his knowledge.

Publisher Scholastic has made more than 100 amendments, changing words such as 'plump' to 'cheerful', and replacing 'crazy' with 'silly'.

Scholastic insisted the changes were necessary to protect young people's mental health, but Stine said he was not consulted.

'The stories aren't true,' the Ohio-born author tweeted, in response to a reader complaining about the modifications. 'I've never changed a word in Goosebumps. Any changes were never shown to me.'

The move came after it emerged Roald Dahl's books had been rewritten - sparking uproar among his fans.

Publishers Penguin were then forced to issue a 'classic' edition of the books, which were unchanged.

Goosebumps became a major hit among teenagers in the 1990s and sold around four million copies a month at the peak of their success.  Stine, 79, wrote 62 books from the series and has previously described how he can write a book in six days.

The franchise spawned a movie in 2015 starring Jack Black, which brought in $158 million at the box office.

Scholastic's changes, first reported by The Times, included removing a reference to fat people with 'at least six chins' who were abducted by aliens. The revised version now says the people are 'at least six feet six.'

In a reissue of the 1998 title Bride of the Living Dummy, the ventriloquist dummy Slappy knocks out a girl unconscious with a 'love tap' but the villain now uses a magic spell.

In the 1996 book Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns, a character is described as 'tall and good-looking, with dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile. Lee is African-American, and he sort of struts when he walks and acts real cool, like the rappers on MTV videos.'

The revised version now calls the character 'tall and good-looking, with brown skin, dark brown eyes and a great, warm smile. He sort of struts when he walks and acts real cool.'

In The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, from 1997, the boys of summer camp 'whistled loudly', instead of having given 'a loud wolf-whistle'.

Another book, I Live In Your Basement, originally features the main character asking: 'Did he really expect me to be his slave – forever?'  The protagonist now asks: 'Did he really expect me to do this – forever?'

Scholastic defended the changes, saying they were to protect mental health. 'For more than 30 years, the Goosebumps series has brought millions of kids to reading through humor with just the right amount of scary,' read the statement.

'Scholastic takes its responsibility seriously to continue bringing this classic adolescent brand to each new generation.

'When re-issuing titles several years ago, Scholastic reviewed the text to keep the language current and avoid imagery that could negatively impact a young person's view of themselves today, with a particular focus on mental health.'




Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Free speech rights must be enforced

The screed below by Professor Stonebook must be the most manic text I have ever read but he makes good points. Only his allusion to turtles escaped me

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)-driven leftist-lamasery Stanford never seems to miss an opportunity to undermine free speech.

Recently I wrote about the Cardinals' little red DEI-to-English dictionary. Stanford's now-removed remedial reader harvested such wisdom pearls as don't say "black box" or "white paper," because they're somehow racializing--actual evidence, had it even been sought, demonstrating the contrary.

Now, the latest news discloses Stanford's Gestapo-inspired bias- reporting system, wherein students turn in classmates for such hateful acts as reading (not out loud) offensive books.

The Wall Street Journal details that controversy erupted at the West Coast crimson collective when a student was anonymously reported through the school's "Protected Identity Harm" system (seriously?) for reading "Mein Kampf," Adolf Hitler's maniacal manifesto. The whole story reads like a sequel to Mel Brooks' "The Producers."

Life can be disturbing. But ostriching won't change reality. And free-speech rights are only meaningful if enforced. Otherwise, they're merely pablum for the masses being subjugated by kleptocratic overlords.

Free-speech rights solely for nursery rhymes, politburo-preferred parlance, or other over-boiled under-salted farina of individual expression are gossamer veneers of psuedo-protection camouflaging a chimera of bygone guarantees that Americans nobly died for.

We must restore the primacy of these rights by rejecting institutional censorship and Stalinist snitching. Irrespective of whether one chooses to read verboten texts like "Mein Kampf" for legitimate or illegitimate reasons, both must remain protected--or neither will be.

My father, a Jew who lived under Nazi occupation and Soviet control during WWII, became an autodidactic expert on the Nazis--likely to better understand the Lord of the Flies savagery that engulfed the then-world. He read "Mein Kampf."

Offended by a book title you spied across the quadrangle? Here's your panacea: Grow up!

Don't feel better? Here's your next cure-all: Grow up!

It's turtles all the way down.

But, alas, someone also might read racist propaganda because he is, in fact, a bigot. So be it.

The alternative of a society of self-appointed sensitivity Stasi is far worse. Does it really matter whether crackpots create themselves their pseudo-confirmation sources or find those elsewhere?

Carroll O'Connor, who starred as iconic racist Archie Bunker in "All in the Family," said he suspected a minority of his viewers didn't see the irony of his character. So be it.

Could you imagine living in a world deprived of laughing at the Smithsonian-celebrated crank, created by a Jew (Norman Lear) who fought the Nazis, simply to satisfy the sensibilities of Stanford students?

Sadly, the answer is yes. That's our world.

And our academic institutions are the grand marshals goose-stepping in this parade of despotic-progressive expurgation--all while proclaiming the pretext of happy feelings, unicorns, and rainbows. As The Wall Street Journal reported: "The [Protected Identity Harm] system is designed to help students get along with one another, said ... a Stanford spokeswoman."

Be afraid of that crypto-martinet--or just take the blue pill for some soma-induced somnolence. Nurse Ratchet is happy to give you that choice.

It wasn't long ago when Arkansas State University maintained unconstitutional "free-speech zones" and used its police to bum-rush Ashlyn Hoggard away from her outdoor card table advertising Charlie Kirk's conservative group Turning Point USA.

I saw Hoggard at a free-speech forum at the Bowen Law School recently. She recounts that ASU never apologized for its unconstitutional behavior. Its spokesman recently claimed that ASU "prevailed" in the litigation Hoggard brought, notwithstanding that the court found ASU's actions unconstitutional and unlawful, because she wasn't paid damages due to qualified immunity. Bill and Hillary must be so proud of their lexical legacy.

The pathology is pervasive. Another panelist at the free-speech forum described the terror conservative University of Arkansas at Fayetteville students felt when sharing their opinions inside or outside of class. In one class, the professor declared this student's views "wrong" and denied her participation credit for her heterodoxy.

As long as the education-industrial complex is given unchecked reign to cement its unfree-speech environment, the contemporary-information monopoly of leftist indoctrination defining higher education will harden.

Conservative stalwarts Dan Sullivan and Rick Beck seek to arrest this dive into DEI darkness through their bill SB125, which modestly maps existing outdoor free-speech guarantees onto indoor common areas on campuses. SB125 explicitly grants universities control over the time, place, and manner of indoor speech and prohibits unlawful disruptions.

How could higher education object (he says naively)? With an onslaught of Chicken Little pretexts designed to disguise higher education's desperate desire to decree everything students hear and say inside the buildings you pay for, that's how. Watch as myriad university mouthpieces--handsomely paid with your precious tax dollars--advocate against your interests. Pure hubris.

For this intellectual carnage to end, higher-education's self-entitled culture must be compelled to change. In Arkansas, let's start with ASU apologizing (in public) to Hoggard for its unlawful (and unkind) actions towards her.

Don't settle for the sad socialist standard of free speech stopping at the thresholds of higher education's castles of conformity. Call your legislators. Demand they pass SB125 to protect free speech indoors on our campuses.

This is your right to know.




Monday, March 06, 2023

Google Tries to Discredit Study Showing Google News’ Left-Wing Bias

Google News heavily skewed in favor of left-leaning media outlets—both in the news articles featured on its homepage and in the search results for specific topics—in five of the days leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, according to an AllSides study Google criticized as “deeply flawed” in comments to The Daily Signal.

“Imbalanced or heavily biased news search results can have a negative impact on our democracy and elections,” Julie Mastrine, director of marketing and media bias ratings at AllSides, told The Daily Signal in a statement Tuesday. “When people cannot access the full range of views on political and societal issues, they are subject to partisan manipulation and cannot truly decide for themselves.”

“The AllSides balanced newsfeed solves the problem of biased online news aggregation by curating articles from the left, center, and right, so people can get diverse perspectives and think for themselves,” she added.

For its part, Google claimed the study “cherry-picked a few topics” for a “brief period of time,” presenting a “misleading picture of Google News.”

AllSides, a media company dedicated to presenting balanced news and diverse perspectives, analyzed the Google News homepage and search results from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, 2022, checking them alongside AllSides’ media bias chart.

The study found that 61% of media outlets on Google News’ homepage skewed to the Left—17% Left and 44% lean Left—while 25% hewed to the center, and only 3% had a conservative bias—3% Right, 0% lean Right.

The homepage heavily featured CNN, which AllSides rates as “Left,” at 15%. “Lean Left” outlets included The New York Times (7%), Politico (5%), NBC News (5%), The Guardian (5%), The Washington Post (5%), and CBS News (4%). “Center” outlets included BBC News (7%), Reuters (6%), and CNBC (5%).

AllSides also analyzed Google News search results on six specific search terms: “Trump” (88% Left or Lean Left), “Election” (96% Left or lean Left), “Biden” (68% Left or lean Left), “Abortion” (88% Left or lean Left), “Crime” (36% Left or lean Left), and “Economy” (48% Left or lean Left). Google News rarely featured conservative-leaning outlets, with a mere 8% of results featuring Right outlets on crime, the largest showing.

AllSides used various methods to obtain objective results, including accessing the Google News homepage in a private browser, blocking cookies, and incorporating “spot checks” to ensure that the same content appeared for different AllSides team members accessing Google News from different locations in the U.S. The analysts did not customize their Google News settings, to avoid personal impacts on the results.

AllSides uses blind bias surveys of Americans across the political spectrum and expert panel reviews from a multipartisan group in order to prevent one individual or group from having a disproportionate impact on the ratings.

AllSides analyzed only the outlets Google News featured, not the specific articles. The report emphasizes that it does not include any determinations on whether Google News’ political leanings or biases are intentional. “Whether Google should provide a broader or more balanced diversity of perspectives, and whether that would support or hinder a healthier democratic society, is a philosophical or ethical question beyond the bounds of this analysis,” the report states.

A Google spokesperson panned the report in comments to The Daily Signal.

“Our systems do not take political ideology into account, and we go to extraordinary lengths to build our products for everyone,” the spokesperson said. “This study’s methodology is deeply flawed. It cherry-picked a few topics and ran for a very brief period of time, presenting a misleading picture of Google News.”

Google also pointed to information on its news publisher help center, noting that its algorithms focus on features such as relevance, authoritativeness, and freshness, rather than political ideology. The company also highlighted a 2019 study from The Economist, which found that “Google rewards reputable reporting more than left-wing politics. Our statistical study revealed no evidence of ideological bias in the search engine’s news tab.”

John Gable, CEO of AllSides, told The Daily Signal that Google News‘ biased results could be “an accident” of Google’s algorithms or a byproduct of a slant in overall internet news content.

“It is possible that an informal policy or the preferences of Google News leadership or employees intentionally support delivering a certain political bias in its news aggregation,” Gable said. “It is also possible that the biased results could be an accident of the algorithms and systems Google uses, or it could reflect the bias of internet news content overall.

“It might also suggest that one political side has been more effective at online communication and marketing than another. Finally, it could just be profit motive, either intentional or accidental, in which news from one political side leads to more views, clicks, and ad revenue than others,” he added.

“Even if not intentional, Google appears to have decided that the problem of political bias is not a sufficiently important problem to address, or has so far been unable to address it effectively,” Gable said. “Regardless of the cause or intent, if Google News intends to support a free and independent democratic society and provide its readers with the ability to consume a variety of perspectives and decide for themselves the best course, it is failing in that objective.”

Google did not respond to follow-up questions about the possibility that its results might be unintentionally biased or that the outlets it features—while generally reliable—may present biased news, especially after serious hits to the legacy media narratives on Hunter Biden’s laptop and the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a lab.




Sunday, March 05, 2023

'We do not have blasphemy laws in Britain'

The Home Secretary has waded into the blasphemy controversy surrounding a West Yorkshire school, saying: 'Nobody can demand respect for their belief system, even if it is a religion.'

Kettlethorpe High School in Wakefield found itself in the spotlight after a 14-year-old boy with autism accidentally dropped a copy of the Quran, causing scuffmarks.

The incident was investigated by West Yorkshire Police as a potential hate crime, while four boys involved in the incident were suspended.

Suella Braverman KC has stated that the UK does not have blasphemy laws and everyone should respect its 'absolute' freedom of speech and pluralism, The Times reports.

She wrote: 'The education sector and police have a duty to prioritise the physical safety of children over the hurt feelings of adults. Schools answer to pupils and parents. They do no have to answer to self-appointed community activists.'

Ms Braverman described a community meeting filmed in the aftermath of the incident as looking 'more like a sharia law trial'.

She added: 'There is no apostasy law in this country, The act of accusing someone of apostasy or blasphemy is effectively inciting violence upon that person.

'Everyone who lives here has to accept this country's pluralism and freedom of speech and belief... This freedom is absolute.'

False rumours the book had been burnt prompted concern among parents and local leaders, who discussed the incident with police during a meeting at the local mosque.

Officers found there had been only 'minor damage' to the Quran during the prank and that no crime had been committed.

However, it was recorded as a 'non-crime hate incident', a designation the police use to record those not meeting the criminal threshold.   

Headmaster Tudor Griffiths said there had been 'no malicious intent' but the pupils' actions were 'unacceptable' because they 'did not treat the Quran with the respect it should have'.

A source close to Ms Braverman told The Times: 'These are very concerning reports. 'The home secretary is clear that the police response should always be proportionate and consider the welfare of young children as a priority over any perceived insults.'

Humanists UK called the decision to suspend the boys 'horrendous' and said the school had allowed itself to be 'pressured into excessive disciplinary action by a religious group'.

West Yorkshire Police said: 'We are aware of local and national concerns following an incident at Kettlethorpe High School in Wakefield last week.

'Police were made aware on the evening of Thursday, 23 February, of an incident that had occurred at the school earlier that day. 'Initial enquiries confirmed that minor damage was caused to a religious text.

'We have recorded a hate incident, but from our enquiries are satisfied that no criminal offences were committed.




Friday, March 03, 2023

There's Something Interesting About How Google Flagged Townhall's Coverage of the COVID Lab Leak

When the Biden administration — specifically the Department of Energy — updated its conclusion on the origins of COVID-19, Townhall reported the news, just like we've done with every revelation and hypothesis about the virus that sent the world spiraling some three years ago.

And, as is often the case these days, Google tried to punish us for going against the left's preferred narrative. In the same manner that Google deemed a Townhall column Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote about the hazards of gain-of-function research to be "unreliable and harmful," our report on the Energy Department's conclusion that COVID "most likely" came from a lab leak was flagged, and our ability to monetize the article was stripped away.

Never mind that Townhall's report quoted the Biden administration — it was deemed "unreliable and harmful" anyway.

As Townhall reported when Google flagged Senator Paul's column, the Big Tech company claimed the op-ed was labeled as unreliable and harmful "in error." Google also said that publishers like Townhall "always have the option to appeal" flags we feel were wrongly placed on our articles.

Once an appeal is filed, Google is supposed to have a real person review the content to determine whether the flag was applied in error or if the flag was justified.

Well, Townhall appealed the flag on our story about the Department of Energy's updated conclusion on the origins of COVID-19…and Google "rejected" the appeal. That is, Google's judgment that Townhall's straightforward reporting on what the Biden administration said is "unreliable and harmful" was reaffirmed by the Big Tech company.




Thursday, March 02, 2023

Free speech means freedom to disagree

An unfathomable number of “free-thinking” liberal universities keep free speech on campus under lock and key. Most recently, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s “free speech” policies were exposed. Turns out that MIT’s faculty are self-censoring. Not as in, refraining from blurting out every thought — self-censoring as in actually restricting controversial speech.

This should be disturbing to the average American because MIT is a cutting-edge research institution where it’s presumed that broad exploration and unfettered discussion of scientific possibilities help make our country and the world better off.

Sadly, the infection of MIT’s speech policy is not isolated; it represents a contagion. A Fifth Circuit judge went so far as to put a moratorium on hiring Yale Law School graduates because they willingly chose to attend an institution that utilizes the heckler’s veto to push out unwanted speakers. Top-tier schools have developed well-deserved reputations for censorship.

Multiply these by many other examples occurring across academia, workplaces, and even the halls of Congress, and there’s a picture of an attempt to create a one-sided view of the world by strangling free speech. Accusing opponents of engaging in ill-defined hate speech, providing “safe spaces” from controversial ideas, and promoting bills that force us to violate our conscience are far more sinister than we once realized.

That’s because conflict is a prerequisite to success. The feats of mankind are awe-inspiring — each one is proof we were made to be extraordinary and use hardship as a catalyst to reach great heights. The first man to ever successfully summit Mt. Everest said, “Challenge is what makes men. It will be the end when men stop looking for new challenges.”  

This timeless principle of iron sharpening iron also applies to ideas. A society needs to hear, understand, and grapple with opposing viewpoints and spar with discomfort. In the words of Frederick Douglass, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”  

If some speech is condemned based on subjective notions of hatefulness, advocacy has no place in our society — how can one defend a position with no opposition? This would create a lackluster and monochromatic world. Suppression creates uniform thought.  

Individuals of all political stripes ought to recognize the disservice in shielding oneself from our brethren on the other side. Even one of former President Barack Obama’s former advisers had words for the modern-day college student: “You are creating a kind of liberalism that the minute it crosses the street into the real world is not just useless but obnoxious and dangerous. I want you to be offended every single day on this campus. I want you to be deeply aggrieved and offended and upset and then to learn how to speak back.”