(Video) “A Progressive’s Guide to Political Correctness”

February 17, 2016

From Prager University, here’s George Will in a very amusing video wherein he imagines the ideal PC universe:

It’s funny because it’s so true. smiley giggle


Supreme Court puts Obama’s “climate saving” power plant regulations on hold

February 10, 2016

This is great news on several fronts, but especially for supporters of limited government and regulatory restraint (such as me), who’ve often viewed the EPA as an arrogant, tyrannical, and arguably unconstitutional agency.

Watts Up With That?

From the skeptics and common sense win one department…

Tanner Creek Power Station in Lawrenceburg, IN - closed in 2015 by new EPA regulations. Photo by A. Watts Tanner’s Creek Power Station in Lawrenceburg, IN – closed in 2015 by new EPA regulations. Photo by A. Watts

A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday abruptly halted President Obama’s controversial new power plant regulations, dealing a blow to the administration’s sweeping plan to address global warming.

In a 5-4 decision, the court halted enforcement of the plan until after legal challenges are resolved.

The surprising move is a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents that call the regulations “an unprecedented power grab.”

By temporarily freezing the rule the high court’s order signals that opponents have made a strong argument against the plan. A federal appeals court last month refused to put it on hold.

The court’s four liberal justices said they would have denied the request.

The plan aims to stave off the worst predicted…

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C.S. Lewis understood the Left very well, indeed

January 3, 2016

It’s hard to find a better description of  one of the key characteristics of the Left –from mild progressive to hard-core communist– than this:

Lewis on the Left

In other words, the Left believes it has figured out History, is certain that it flows in just one direction and where it ends, and that they themselves are the ones best able to facilitate this. Whether you want it or not.

Or, as I like to say, “God save me from those who want to save me.”

Via someone on Twitter, can’t recall who. smiley I dont know


Man, I wish I had bought firearms stocks in 2007

January 3, 2016
"It's all good. No worries!"

“America’s Number One Gun Salesman”

Because Obama would have made me a millionaire by now. Check this headline at PJMedia:

“Obama Urges Citizens to Stand Up Against the National Rifle Association”

It seems the Gun Salesman-in-Chief has come back from his vacation bound and determined to do by “executive action” (read: constitutionally questionable orders) what he cannot get through Congress: further restrictions on the natural right of Americans to keep and bear arms for self-defense. As usual with him and his allies, he set the NRA up as a straw-man:

In the address, Obama went on to urge citizens to stand up against the groups like the National Rifle Association, with which he has had a contentious relationship since entering office.

“The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone,” he said. “The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in defense of our kids.”

Of course, Obama has had that “contentious relationship” because he continues to attack the very rights the NRA was established to protect. It would be noteworthy if the relationship were amicable.

Naturally, Obama left many things unsaid in his address. First, absolutely none of the terrible massacres that have taken place in recent years would have been prevented by anything Obama and the gun-control lobby are proposing. Not Sandy Hook, not Virginia Tech, not Charleston, and not San Bernardino. In the case of San Bernardino, the killers were Muslims waging jihad, one of whom was utterly missed by the Obama administration’s vaunted screening system as she entered the country. California’s notoriously strict gun laws did nothing to stop her and her husband from acquiring their weapons. More laws won’t stop the next mass murders, either.

But that really isn’t the point of what Obama and the gun-control lobby are trying to do, or, at least, “for the children” is more a political club with which to pound Second Amendment advocates than it is an actual goal. If it were a real goal, he’d mention the horrific homicide rate in Democrat-controlled Chicago, again with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.

That, however, would be politically inconvenient.

What Obama and his allies really want is control and a monopoly on deadly force for the State. Push hard enough, and they’ll say that what they have in mind for “reasonable regulations” is “something like Australia.” And there’s your clue: Australia’s response to the massacre in Tasmania was confiscation of most firearms via a mandatory buyback program. That is what Obama wants.

To do so, he uses the tried and true tactic of his community-organizing training as developed by Saul Alinsky:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

The target to “personalize” is the NRA — “The NRA keeps our kids in danger!” And though he hasn’t attacked individuals (yet), he has by extension smeared the membership of the NRA, American citizens one and all.

That’s what a community organizer does: organize one faction and set them against others to achieve his goals.

And that is apparently what the president of the United States plans to do over the next year.

To us.

 


So-Called Paycheck Fairness Was the Nuttiest Idea at the Democrats’ debate

December 20, 2015

Remember what Margaret Thatcher said; it applies to the Democrats: They would rather everyone were poorer, as long as the gap between rich and poor were narrower. We would rather *everyone* be richer, and the “gap” be damned. The difference is crucial and fundamental.

International Liberty

Normally I’m very happy to work for the Cato Institute, both because it is a principled and effective organization.

But I wondered about my career choices last night because I was stuck with the very unpleasant task of live-tweeting the Democrat presidential debate. Cleaning out septic tanks would have been a more enjoyable way to spend my time.

Of all the crazy things that were discussed (you can see my contemporaneous reactions on my Twitter feed), the Clinton-Sanders-O’Malley support for so-called Paycheck Fairness legislation would be at the top of my list.

Yes, I was irked by the myopic fixation on income inequality, the support for class-warfare taxation, and the reflexive advocacy for more government spending, but messing around with the price system – because of an assertion that women are paid 77 cents for every $1 received by men – is an entirely different level…

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Back To The Dark Ages: Top French Weatherman Fired Over Climate Change Book

November 3, 2015

Apparently in France, “liberty, equality, fraternity” does not include the liberty to question dominant opinions. Equality does include equal rights of conscience and intellect. And fraternity ends when you question established dogma. Belief in man-caused global warming isn’t science: it’s a cult that demand unquestioning obedience, or you will be punished.

Watts Up With That?

From: France 24, 1 November 2015 (h/t to The GWPF)
A popular weatherman announced Saturday evening he has been sacked by leading French news channel France Télévisions for publishing a book which accused top climate change experts of misleading the world about the threat of global warming.

Philippe Verdier, a household name in France for his daily weather reports on the France 2 channel, announced in an online video that he had received a letter of dismissal.

“My book ‘Climate Investigation’ was published one month ago. It got me banned from the air waves,” said the weatherman, who was put “on leave” from the TV station on October 12.

“I received this letter this morning and decided to open it in front of you because it concerns everybody- in the name of freedom of expression and freedom of information.”

His announcement comes four days after France Télévisions chief Delphine…

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San Francisco middle school principal disrupts student election for not being “diverse enough.”

October 21, 2015
Lena Van Haren, Educator and Elections Commissar

Lena Van Haren, Educator and Elections Commissar

If California is leading the way toward the nation becoming a banana republic, then San Francisco is the drum major at the head of the parade. Case in point: the Everett Middle School there recently held elections for student government. Great! The kids learn public speaking skills, how to hold office, and participate in a democratic process. One small step in the creation of future good citizens.

Except in progressive San Francisco, where the principal of Everett withheld the election results because the outcome wasn’t racially diverse enough.

The results had been withheld immediately after the election because the principal felt that the winners weren’t diverse enough.

We’ve learned that the majority of the winners were white, despite the fact that the student body is 80% students of color.

The incident happened at Everett Middle School in San Francisco’s Mission District. The voting was held Oct. 10, but the principal sent an email to parents on Oct. 14 saying the results would not be released because the candidates that were elected as a whole do not represents the diversity that exists at the school.

The email went on to say they were thinking of ways to value the students who won, while increasing the diversity of the group.

In other words, the candidates all went out and campaigned, and the voters made their choices. That should be the end of it, right? Content of character, per Martin Luther King, mattering more than the color of one’s skin, right? The student body, 80% of which are “students of color,” freely chose a student government that’s majority White. But ethnicity shouldn’t matter, right? RIGHT??

Wrong answer, class. Just ask the principal:

According to Principal Lena Van Haren, Everett Middle School has a diverse student body. She said 80 percent of students are students of color and 20 percent are white, but the election results did not represent the entire study body.

In other words, democracy and personal preference be damned, it’s the color of skin that really matters. One cannot truly be represented, unless it’s by someone of the same genetic background. Just as the Founders intended, of course.

Some parents, unsurprisingly, were incensed:

Todd David, whose son, Noah, is an eighth-grader at the school, said the principal undermined the democratic process in the name of social justice.

“I think it sends an unfortunate message to students when you say that the people you elected, they’re not representative of you even though you’re the ones who chose them,” he said.

Yeah, such as “the will of the people is important only so long as it delivers results acceptable to progressive elites,” such as middle school principals and other victims of modern teacher-training programs.

More Van Haren wisdom:

“That is concerning to me because as principal I want to make sure all voices are heard from all backgrounds,” Van Haren told KTVU.

Call me hopelessly old-fashioned, but isn’t that what participating in an election does? Again, the minority-majority of the school apparently freely voted for the winners, who just happened to be White. The voters’ voices were heard. And those who didn’t vote expressed their voices, too: they didn’t care.

Message to the administration of Everett Middle School: San Francisco is part of California, and California is a state in the United States of America, not Venezuela. When election results happen, you announce the results and live with it. And you never, ever teach American children that they can be fairly represented only by their own “race.” Leave that racialist, tribalist garbage on the ash heap of history, where it belongs.

And, as for Principal Van Haren, I’m not going to call for her firing, but she definitely needs re-education in democratic politics, Civics, and the rule of law.


France’s Top TV Weatherman Suspended for Criticising Climate Dogma

October 15, 2015

“Liberté, égalité, fraternité” –“Freedom, equality, and brotherhood”– is the famous French motto, but I guess it doesn’t apply to intellectual freedom when discussing global warming.

Watts Up With That?

Liberté, égalité, fraternité - except when it comes to climate change Liberté, égalité, fraternité – except when it comes to climate change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t fobdangerclose and ralfellis – Philippe Verdier, weather chief at France Télévisions, the country’s state broadcaster, has been suspended for publicly criticising Climate Alarmism.

According to The Telegraph;

Every night, France’s chief weatherman has told the nation how much wind, sun or rain they can expect the following day.

Now Philippe Verdier, a household name for his nightly forecasts on France 2, has been taken off air after a more controversial announcement – criticising the world’s top climate change experts.
Mr Verdier claims in the book Climat Investigation (Climate Investigation) that leading climatologists and political leaders have “taken the world hostage” with misleading data.

In a promotional video, Mr Verdier said: “Every night I address five million French people to talk to you about the wind, the clouds and the sun. And yet there…

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In which Meryl Streep incurs the wrath of the Social Justice Warriors

October 6, 2015

streep

Or perhaps the “Cultural Appropriation Cops.” I can never keep them straight.

Either way, Michael Walsh (1) learns a lesson: No matter how stupid the Leftist cause of the moment, they can always find something stupider.

A promotional campaign for the new Meryl Streep film Suffragette has become a PR nightmare thanks to T-shirts worn by Streep and her co-stars, which some say appear to lump the plight of white women in with the horrors endured by slaves. The shirts – worn by Streep, Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff and Romola Garai (all white women)–bear a quote from the suffragette Streep plays in the film, Emmeline Pankhurst: ‘I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.’

Critics have called the campaign tone deaf, in part because the T-shirts inevitably bring to mind the Confederacy by pairing the words ‘rebel’ and ‘slave’, but also because of the uneasy history between the feminist and black civil rights movements.

There’s more glorious politically-correct nonsense to be seen; click through for the details.

I was at dinner the other night with some dear friends, one of whom is a committed liberal. I was caught by surprise when he started complaining to me about the tyrannical depths the modern anti-Free Speech movement has sunk. Sensing an opening, I mentioned how even liberal and progressive columnists, such as (If I recall right) Jonathan Chait, were criticizing the new PC Police for going too far, for attacking even their allies. I thought perhaps we were having a breakthrough moment to the realization that Leftism itself is the source of the problem, but, alas, not yet. Still, I have hopes.

Perhaps I should get him a t-shirt.

Footnotes:
(1) Coincidentally the author of a recent book you should read.


Law Professor: International Court of Justice should silence global-warming skeptics

September 21, 2015
x

Climate science experts. The rest of you shut up.

I suppose I should be grateful; some climate thugs want people like me prosecuted under the RICO statutes for our skepticism, while others have likened us to Holocaust deniers or even called for our death.

In comparison, Professor Phillippe Sands QC, a professor of International Law at University College London and a multiply published author, merely wants the International Court of Justice to curb-stomp our right to free speech:

False claims from climate sceptics that humans are not responsible for global warming and that sea level is not rising should be scotched by an international court ruling, a leading lawyer has said.

Scientific bodies such as the UN’s climate science panel have concluded that climate change is underway and caused by humans, Prof Philippe Sands QC told an audience at the UK’s Supreme Court. But a ruling by a body such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would carry much more weight with public opinion and help pave the way for future legal cases on climate change, he said.

“One of the most important things an international court could do – in my view it is probably the single most important thing it could do – is to settle the scientific dispute,” Sands said, on the eve of a three-day conference on climate change and international law in London.

“A finding of fact on one or more of these matters [such as whether climate change is man-made], or indeed on other pertinent matters, would be significant and authoritative and could well be dispositive on a range of future actions, including negotiations.” Scientifically-settled questions such as whether climate change is even happening are still being challenged by “scientifically qualified, knowledgeable and influential persons”, he said.

I have a two-word response to Prof. Sands that isn’t printable here, so I’ll settle for a sincere “Go to Hell, buddy.”

This is an example of “Lawfare,” using the law to silence or otherwise punish opponents. I originally came across it in cases wherein (usually Saudi, wealthy) Muslim sympathizers with jihad would use the UK’s ghastly libel laws to punish critics of Islam. It seems that climate alarmists, in their frustration, have learned the same lessons: if you can’t win the argument, use the law to harass your opponents into shutting up.

And Professor Sands’ arguments are just chock-full of what’s wrong with climate alarmism: not just involving the law where it doesn’t belong –deciding scientific questions– but failing to recognize the weaknesses and even corruption on one’s own side. The “UN’s climate science panel” (IPCC)? Report summaries are altered to push preferred alarmist conclusions, and the organization relies on computer models of at best questionable accuracy.

What is this garbage about “‘scientifically qualified, knowledgeable, and influential persons'” disagree with the ‘settled science’ of climate change, and we just can’t have that?” If these people are so qualified, shouldn’t we be listening to their criticisms and giving them serious consideration? No, instead we must silence the heretics via court order!

What’s next, an auto da fe?

And as if most Americans could give a tinker’s cuss what the ICJ has to say.

via WUWT


(Video) What does it mean to be on the “Wrong Side of History”

August 24, 2015

For Praeger University, conservative columnist and author Jonah Goldberg takes a look at one of President Obama and the Left’s favorite expressions, “the wrong side of History,” and exposes it for what it is: a pseudo-scientific intellectual club carved from the tree of Marxism and meant to stifle debate and silence criticism.

If you want to look into this in more depth, Goldberg’s recent book “The Tyranny of Clichés” is invaluable.


Ten things you didn’t know were RAAAACIST, you racists

August 23, 2015

Liberal tolerance racist

I had already heard of the folderol over hoop skirts at the University of Georgia and how saying “the most qualified person should get the job” is a microaggression at my alma mater, but some on this list are new to me, and almost all are head-shakers. Below is my favorite. Did you know your favorite Thanksgiving food shows you’re a racist?

Liking white meat is racist. Writer Ron Rosenbaum said in Slate that racism accounts for the popularity of white-meat turkey over more flavorful dark meat. “White meat turkey has no taste,” he explained. “Despite its superior taste, dark meat has dark undertones for some. Dark meat seems to summon up ancient fears of contamination and miscegenation as opposed to the supposed superior purity of white meat.”

The deuce you say, Ron. I think this perhaps says more about the author and his possible fixations than anything about the attitudes of the diner. If I like both white and dark meat, does that make me enlightened, or do I have to actively denounce “white-meat privilege,” too?

Read the rest here, and laugh at the folly.


Back to Square One: Unlawful Collusion with Green Pressure Groups Should Doom U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation

July 30, 2015

Oh, really? Why, oh why am I not shocked to find collusion between Green statists in the government and climate alarmist groups?

Watts Up With That?

EPA_collusion
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), a 501 (c) (3) watchdog group, released an investigatory report, Back to Square One: Unlawful Collusion with Green Pressure Groups Should Doom U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation  and an appendix of source documents.  The report, which is based on e-mails and other documents obtained under numerous Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests and litigation, details illegal activities by EPA staff, colluding with certain environmental lobbyists to draft EPA’s greenhouse gas (GHG) rules behind the scenes, outside of public view, and to the exclusion of other parties.  More importantly, it clearly shows that EPA must start anew if it wishes to regulate GHGs. (A two-minute companion video is available for use.)
With EPA’s GHG rules going final any day, it is critical to inform the public of the emails detailed in this report for what they show about how…

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(Video) How to insult progressives

July 12, 2015

According to Pat Condell, it’s easy: tell them the truth, especially if it’s politically incorrect.

Trigger Warning: Pat is an atheist, so he’s not shy about his opinion of all religions, not just Islam.


Jonah Goldberg is right: there is no compromise with culture warriors – Updated

July 1, 2015

liberal tolerance

And by culture warriors I don’t mean social conservatives; they’ve been on the defensive for so many years, I suspect many would be happy with a social compact or understanding that just left them alone.

No, I’m referring to the culture warriors on the Left (and their brethren, the Social Justice Warriors). They demand not only tolerance, but that you celebrate their preferences and beliefs. All of them. And if you disagree, then keep silent, you racist, White-privileged, heteronormative homophobe! If you don’t, you’ll be punished…

Sorry. Got a bit carried away there.

The point is that CWs and SJWs never have a moment of “enough,” a point whereat they decide they’ve achieved their goals, and now it’s time for everyone to relax, for the lion to lie down with the lamb.

Instead, when one victory is achieved, it’s time to push for another and another and another, until all opposition is crushed. In the name of democracy and justice, of course.

That’s the thrust of Jonah Goldberg’s article on Culture Warriors and compromise, and he provides some illustrations:

It is something of a secular piety to bemoan political polarization in this nation. But polarization in and of itself shouldn’t be a problem in a democracy. The whole point of having a democratic republic, never mind the Bill of Rights, is to give people the right to disagree.

A deeper and more poisonous problem is the breakdown in trust. Again and again, progressives insist that their goals are reasonable and limited. Proponents of gay marriage insisted that they merely wanted the same rights to marry as everyone else. They mocked, scorned, and belittled anyone who suggested that polygamy would be next on their agenda. Until they started winning. In 2013, a headline in Slate declared “Legalize Polygamy!” and a writer at the Economist editorialized, “And now on to polygamy.” The Atlantic ran a fawning piece on Diana Adams and her quest for a polyamorous “alternative to marriage.”

We were also told that the fight for marriage equality had nothing to do with a larger war against organized religion and religious freedom. But we now know that was a lie, too. The ACLU has reversed its position on religious-freedom laws, in line with the Left’s scorched-earth attacks on religious institutions and private businesses that won’t – or can’t – embrace the secular fatwa that everyone must celebrate “love” as defined by the Left.

Jonah concludes with a depressing realization: these people “can’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.”

In other words, and as he describes brilliantly in Liberal Fascism, leftist ideology is all-encompassing; it cannot leave anything outside its field of control. No deviation is allowed, and all in an ideal world would be part of a right-thinking “unity,” a State larger than any individual. If you’re an individual who does not celebrate “correct thought” or an organization whose beliefs run counter to the doctrine of the culture warriors –say, for example, a church that views marriage as a divinely created institution to be entered into by a man and a woman only– you cannot be left to your own devices. You must be made to conform. And telling lies along the way to lull you until a point is reached at which you can no longer resist is just fine and dandy.

And that can’t be good for our politics.

UPDATE: My friend “ExJon” has come up with the perfect bumper sticker.


Meet Senator DeLeon, California’s would-be sex czar

June 3, 2015
"You are allowed on position, two on Sundays."

“You are allowed one position, two on Sundays.”

This must be the kind of thing a once-prosperous, forward-looking state does when it slips into terminal senility. In a state where once everyone could “do their own thing,” the president of our state senate wants to regulate how we have sex:

[California’s new] “yes means yes” law effectively defines every sexual encounter as rape unless you follow the law’s specific requirements — or unless neither party turns the other in to police.

Now [State Senator Kevin] de Leon is moving on to round two: Teaching high school students the “correct” way to have sex. Human nature is no longer the correct way. De Leon knows the correct way — and it involves a lot of questions.

The California state senate just passed S.B. 695, which adds affirmative consent instruction to high school health courses. The bill passed by a vote of 39-0 and had bipartisan support.

“As it stands, we are not doing nearly enough. We can and must educate the youth of our state, especially our young men, about affirmative consent and healthy relationships,” de Leon said in a press release about the new bill. “This bill represents the next step in the fight to change behavior toward young women.”

And, if a young man doesn’t follow the precisely prescribed procedure, he can face charges of rape. Can’t wait for the goat rodeo of cases that will arise from this one.

This is precisely why limited-government conservatives believe what they do: because too many people, such as Senator de Leon, believe the government can and should manage everything.

Even the most basic human functions.

PS: I would love an explanation from the Republican caucus of why they supported this nonsense.


Meet Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, anti-democratic Democrat. @SenWhitehouse

June 2, 2015
"No freedom of speech for you, Denier!"

“No freedom of speech for you, Denier!”

Because all Wrong Thought must not just be criticized, but made criminal:

Fossil fuel companies and their allies are funding a massive and sophisticated campaign to mislead the American people about the environmental harm caused by carbon pollution.

Their activities are often compared to those of Big Tobacco denying the health dangers of smoking. Big Tobacco’s denial scheme was ultimately found by a federal judge to have amounted to a racketeering enterprise.

The Big Tobacco playbook looked something like this: (1) pay scientists to produce studies defending your product; (2) develop an intricate web of PR experts and front groups to spread doubt about the real science; (3) relentlessly attack your opponents.

Thankfully, the government had a playbook, too: the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. In 1999, the Justice Department filed a civil RICO lawsuit against the major tobacco companies and their associated industry groups, alleging that the companies “engaged in and executed — and continue to engage in and execute — a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes, in violation of RICO.”

Thus the law is weaponized to crush dissent. Think the research into anthropogenic climate change is flawed? Question the manipulated data? Point out the fact that none of its apologists’ predictions have come true? Expose the cronyism and rent-seeking between “Green” businesses and the self-dealing statist pols who hand them subsidies in return for campaign donations? Argue that the evidence indicates climate change may be far more due to natural cycles than the harmless trace gas that’s also plant food that man has pumped into the atmosphere?

Do that, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States —including the 1st Amendment!— wants you punished. Even if he isn’t sure you didn’t do anything wrong:

To be clear: I don’t know whether the fossil fuel industry and its allies engaged in the same kind of racketeering activity as the tobacco industry. We don’t have enough information to make that conclusion. Perhaps it’s all smoke and no fire. But there’s an awful lot of smoke.

And thus Sheldon Whitehouse’s progressive, liberal fascist America, skeptics, from bloggers to scientists and any corporations or foundations that wish to support them (1) are under suspicion and liable to have to defend themselves in court — at their own (ruinous) expense.

Because Wrong Thinking and Wrong Speech must be punished.

Mao would approve.

via Pirate’s Cove

Footnote:
(1) If that’s the case, I might as well get some money out of being a Gaea-hating traitor to the planet. Any AGW-skeptic foundations or millionaires want to fund a willing shill, I’m your guy.

 


Free Speech: I find your lack of faith disturbing, America.

May 24, 2015
x

Do we need a refresher?

Via Tom Nichols, here’s Charles Cooke on the results of a survey showing a majority of Democrats and a significant minority of Republicans effectively favor repealing the 1st Amendment:

Depressing news from YouGov:

“YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech, but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents (41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to stir up hatred against particular groups. Support for banning hate speech is also particularly strong among racial minorities. 62% of black Americans, and 50% of Hispanics support criminalizing comments which would stir up hatred. White Americans oppose a ban on hate speech 43% to 36%.”

What’s disturbing is that the speech in question doesn’t directly incite violence. It doesn’t urge people to go right now and burn the shops of those unliked people “over there.”

Rather, the “hate speech” referred to is a vague term (1) meaning “hurtful things you said that I don’t like.” To give a personal example, I’m very clear regarding my dislike for Islam: I think it an antisemitic, misogynistic, and bigoted faith with aggressive imperatives that lead it to demand supremacy over other faiths and to make war on their adherents until they submit. I have serious questions about whether it is or can be compatible with liberal, post-Enlightenment societies, at least with regard to Muslims who choose to live it as Muhammad intended.

For some, that would qualify as “hate speech”under the standards of that survey, because I would be “stirring up hatred” against Islam, though I would never advocate violence against Muslims, no matter how strong my criticisms of their faith. As Cooke explains, that standard is nevertheless exactly what would get me in trouble in the UK, where free speech protections are dying on the vine under the assault of laws such as the Public Order Act.

That a majority of the self-identified adherents of one of our two major parties would favor laws to criminalize the expression of thought — and that a large portion of the supposedly conservative party would agree with them! — is profoundly disturbing. I hope, indeed, I pray, that this is simply because people agreed with something they thought “sounded reasonable” and didn’t think through the implications thereof, rather than indicating a fundamental change to something that has made us, as a nation, truly exceptional.

Otherwise, we’re in deep trouble.

RELATED: While a number of Republicans have lost their way when it comes to free speech, let’s not forget that it was the Democrats who actually proposed an amendment effectively gutting the 1st Amendment.

Footnote:
(1) This is a great analysis of the increasing calls in the MSM for censoring free speech. Well-worth reading. (h/t Charles Cooke)


UK: Labour leader promises to criminalize “Islamophobia”

April 26, 2015

“Big Brother as a young man”

Great Britain is holding a general election on May 7th, and it’s clear that Ed Miliband, the Labour Party leader, is getting desperate. In an interview with the Muslim News web site, Her Majesty’s would-be first minister promised to outlaw Islamophobia:

“We are going to make sure it is marked on people’s records with the police to make sure they root out Islamophobia as a hate crime,” he said, adding: “We are going to change the law on this so we make it absolutely clear of our abhorrence of hate crime and Islamophobia. It will be the first time that the police will record Islamophobic attacks right across the country.”

Now, lest you think “attacks” just means physical assault, bear in mind the UK has a growing problem with the tolerance of free speech. Given these and other examples, it’s clear that what Mr. Miliband has in mind includes the punishment of free speech, which is the expression of a person’s thinking. In other words, Ed Miliband would make “incorrect thinking” a crime — thoughtcrime.

George Orwell, call your office.

I’ll be frank, Eddie, this is pretty damned disgusting. For a major party leader in the land that gave the world the concepts of individual liberty and natural rights –including free speech– to advocate the creation of a crime based on the holding of abhorrent thoughts is, well, almost unspeakably sad. Shall Great Britain, patriarch of the Anglosphere and the font of our liberties, cast off its heritage and become tyrannical out of fear of hurtful words? Do you, Ed Miliband, seriously propose policing people’s thoughts just to pander for votes among the Muslim community?

If Labour had any sense, they’d toss you to the curb for even making the suggestion.

PS: It’s not as if we don’t have a growing problem here, too, with Leftists and their allies assaulting free speech on our college campuses. And the “hate crime” in general is a troublesome concept, criminalizing a person for his or her thoughts, if they can be known with any certainty, and not just their actions. It also creates privileged classes of victims: declare hatred of red hair a crime, and suddenly assaulting a redheaded person is a worse offense than assaulting a blonde person in the exact same manner. That’s not treating all citizens as equal, as the law should.


Another call to arrest climate “deniers”

April 7, 2015

The “authoritarian Left,” Gaea Division, strikes again. One may only dissent on approved topics and with approved thoughts. Failure to comply will lead to punishment.

Watts Up With That?

They believe people should be punished for being climate skeptics They believe people should be punished for being climate skeptics.

Adam Weinstein, of the Gawker, has added his voice to the growing list of greens, who demand a brutal authoritarian response to the vexing problem of people who have a different opinion.

According to Weinstein;

Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate-change liars.

This is an argument that’s just being discussed seriously in some circles. It was laid out earlier this month, with all the appropriate caveats, by Lawrence Torcello, a philosophy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Read More: http://gawker.com/arrest-climate-change-deniers-1553719888

Weinstein bases his claim that man made climate change “kills a lot of people” on a WHO page, which estimates that 150,000 people…

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