Category: International

Calling Abbe Lowell: The Chinese Make Familiar Claim Over Mysterious Balloon [Updated]

Various intelligence and defense figures including former Defense Secretary Mark Esper have suggested trying to capture the Chinese surveillance balloon to analyze its equipment and any content. China admits that this may be its balloon but denies that it is used for surveillance. It says that it was lost accidentally due to weather. So the balloon may be ours but it was lost. However, the government is likely to oppose anyone collecting or using information from the balloon. That sounded vaguely familiar. Indeed, Abbe Lowell may have a new client (Indeed, a client with past dealings with his current client, Hunter Biden).

Update: After the United States shot down the balloon, China appeared to send out a Lowell-like message that “China will resolutely uphold the relevant company’s legitimate rights and interests, and at the same time reserving the right to take further actions in response.”

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“Tragedy … Might be Triggering”: British Universities Add Warnings for Greek and Shakespearean Plays

The problem with universities overwhelmingly controlled by faculty on the left is that there are few to offer a dose of reality or rationality. Left to their own devices, some faculty seem to search for new ways to demonstrate woke priorities. British universities have long been ridiculed for policies controlling speech or symbols. Now, The Telegraph is reporting that British universities are adding trigger warnings to Greek and Shakespearean tragedies to protect students from being triggered by tragedy. Indeed, there are now warnings on other classics for everything from “ableism” to “depictions of rural life.”

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Turkey Blocks Sweden from Joining NATO Due to Sweden’s Free Speech Protections

Flag of TurkeyTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long been one of the most anti-free speech leaders in the world, particularly demanding the censorship and the arrest of those who insult Islam. Now Erdogan is blocking Sweden from NATO membership because it refuses to curtail free speech. It is a tragically ironic moment for an alliance based on what were viewed as shared Western values. It is now held hostage by one of the most authoritarian leaders in the world. Continue reading “Turkey Blocks Sweden from Joining NATO Due to Sweden’s Free Speech Protections”

Sulzberger: Disinformation is the “Most Existential Problem” Facing the Planet Today

There has been much coverage over the resurfacing of former CNN host Brian Stelter as the host for a panel at the World Economic Forum on alleged disinformation and “hate speech.” Stelter previously called for censorship under a “harm reduction model” and led a panel at a conference where Democrats discussed how to shape the news. He was confronted over his own dissemination for false stories targeting Republicans on CNN. Yet, I was most struck by a statement from New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger who described “disinformation” as the “most existential” problem the world is facing today. Sulzberger insisted that disinformation is the reason why there is a loss of “trust” today. He ignores his own history in eroding that trust in the media through flagrantly biased decisions at the New York Times.

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Without a Hope or a Prayer: Why the Arrest of a British Woman Outside of Abortion Clinic is a Wake-Up Call for Free Speech

This week, the arrest of British Catholic woman for ‘praying’ outside an abortion clinic has attracted international attention. However, the jailing of Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, director of anti-abortion group March for Life UK, is neither surprising nor particularly rare as a denial of free speech in Great Britain. While this form of “protest” is uncommon as the basis for an arrest, free speech has been in a free fall in the UK for years. It is also a cautionary tale for those in the United States, which is facing arguably the largest anti-free speech movement in its history. Continue reading “Without a Hope or a Prayer: Why the Arrest of a British Woman Outside of Abortion Clinic is a Wake-Up Call for Free Speech”

EU Threatens Musk With Sanctions Over Suspending Media…After Ignoring Media Bans Under Old Twitter

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Despite my support for Elon Musk’s continuing efforts to reduce censorship and restore free speech protections on Twitter, I have been critical of some of his moves from his use of polls on restoring certain posters to the suspensions of media figures this week. However, this morning, I was struck by the European Union (EU) rushing into the controversy to threaten, again, sanctions against Musk. The EU is apparently aghast that Twitter could suspend media even temporarily after ignoring the bans on conservative media for years under the old management. Continue reading “EU Threatens Musk With Sanctions Over Suspending Media…After Ignoring Media Bans Under Old Twitter”

Oh Canada: Trudeau Denounces China for its Failure to Allow Protests Over Covid Policies

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left many of us gobsmacked this week when he denounced China for its crackdown on protesters. Many of us denounced Trudeau for his authoritarian crackdown on truckers protesting Canada’s Covid policies. Trudeau used terrorist laws to freeze bank accounts, treat truckers as terrorists, and treat trucks as effective weapons.  This is a continuation of Trudeau’s utter lack of self-awareness (and the media continuing lack of objectivity). He previously was praised for his stance against Cuba’s crackdown on protesters.

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The European Union Moves Toward a Possible Ban of Twitter if Musk Restores Free Speech Protections

Twitter LogoWe have been discussing efforts by figures like Hillary Clinton to enlist European countries to force Twitter to restore censorship rules. Unable to rely on corporate censorship or convince users to embrace censorship, Clinton and others are resorting to good old-fashioned state censorship, even asking other countries to censor the speech of American citizens. It is an easy case to make given the long criminalization of speech in countries like France, Germany, and England. Continue reading “The European Union Moves Toward a Possible Ban of Twitter if Musk Restores Free Speech Protections”

“A Very Attractive Model”: China Cracks Down on Reporters and Protesters Days After Praise from the WEF Founder

Leiden University Removes Work of Famed Dutch Artist Due to the Depiction of Only White Males

A painting from the renowned contemporary Dutch painter Rein Dool has been removed from a wall at Leiden University in the Netherlands after the objection that it depicts only white men. Political Science PHD candidate Elina Zonina said that the painting of white men smoking cigars made her feel uncomfortable. According to Dutch News, Zonina insisted that the school needed to add an “ironic or critical” note with such a painting.  In the meantime, it is now turned toward the wall to avoid harming or offending anyone else at the school.

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Erin Go Britain? Ireland Considers Enacting a Bill Criminalizing the Possession of Hateful Material

We recently discussed a troubling conviction in Great Britain of a man for his “toxic ideology.” Now Ireland appears ready to replicate that case a thousand fold. The proposed Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022 would criminalize the possession of material deemed hateful. It is a full frontal assault on speech and associational rights. The law would allow for sweeping authoritarian measures in defining opposing viewpoints hateful. Ireland appears to be picking up the cudgel of speech criminalization from Britain, an abusive power once used against the Irish.

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German Politicians Move To Block Musk From Restoring Free Speech Protections on Twitter

We have been discussing how Hillary Clinton and other Democratic leaders have turned from private censorship to good old-fashioned state censorship. They have called upon their counterparts in England, France, and Germany to prevent the restoration of free speech protections with censorship laws — laws that would be unconstitutional in the United States. The British have already responded to such urgent calls and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently repeated this call for global censorship at the United Nations to the applause of diplomats and media alike. Now the German left has responded with the the ruling Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) calling for censorship before, to use Clinton’s words, “it is too late” and free speech is barred on Twitter. Continue reading “German Politicians Move To Block Musk From Restoring Free Speech Protections on Twitter”

EU Warns Musk Not to Restore Free Speech Protections After Calls from Clinton and Other Democratic Leaders

We have been discussing how Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton called on foreign countries to pass censorship laws to prevent Elon Musk from restoring free speech protections on Twitter. The EU has responded aggressively to warn Musk not to allow greater free speech or face crippling fines and even potential criminal enforcement. After years of using censorship-by-surrogates in social media companies, Democratic leaders seem to have rediscovered good old-fashioned state censorship. Continue reading “EU Warns Musk Not to Restore Free Speech Protections After Calls from Clinton and Other Democratic Leaders”

Pasta Al Dente or Al Des Moines? Barilla Sued Over Claim as “Italy’s No. 1 Brand of Pasta.”

Barilla pasta is facing an interesting class action out of California after Matthew Sinatro and Jessica Prost sued over the claim on every box as  “Italy’s No. 1 brand of pasta.” The problem is that the pasta is actually made in Iowa and New York.  Continue reading “Pasta Al Dente or Al Des Moines? Barilla Sued Over Claim as “Italy’s No. 1 Brand of Pasta.””

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks