The Oxford Union bills itself as “the most prestigious debating society in the world” based on the values of free speech. It is a well-earned reputation for one of the world’s oldest forums for debating the great issues of the day. However, Oxford students are outraged that the Union will allow a debate over transgender ideology. In response, as reported by the The Times UK, the Union has promised to provide a “non-student support team that will remain in a separate welfare space to offer counseling and advice.” This is to deal with the trauma of free speech in simply allowing Dr. Kathleen Stock to speak about her views that biological sex is real and “gender identity” should not alter certain biological truths. Continue reading “Taking Stock: Oxford Union to Set Up “Welfare Spaces” for Students to Cope With Gender Debate”
Thousands cheered King Charles III with ‘God Save The King” as his gilded carriage passed through London. The coronation had all of the pomp and circumstance that people expected from the fifth longest monarchy in history (Japan is the longest). The ceremony included one time-honored tradition that some of us could have done without: the arrest of peaceful protesters. It was all part of “Operation Golden Orb” and follows a long, unbroken British tradition of quashing free speech.
Continue reading ““God Save [Free Speech]”: Britain Celebrates Coronation with Time-Honored Tradition of the Arrest of Anti-Monarchists”
Five years ago, I wrote a column criticizing Democratic and Republican members of Congress who joined the media in gushing over an address from French President Emmanuel Macron as he called for European style censorship. Free speech has been in a virtual free fall in France for decades and Macron is a major voice in that movement. This week, the French added another outrage to Macron’s legacy by promising to prosecute three citizens who protested the President by flipping him off at an event. The use of “Le Doigt” could now land them in “La Prison.”
Continue reading “Macron Gives “Le Doigt” to Free Speech: Protesters to be Prosecuted for Flipping Off the French President”
As previously discussed, after Musk decided to buy Twitter, Hillary Clinton called upon European countries to force social media companies to censor Americans. The European Union quickly responded by threatening Musk and other executives. Now, Technology and Science Secretary Michelle Donelan has announced plans to jail social media executives if they fail to censor so-called “harmful” content on their websites. The government, of course, will determine what is deemed too harmful for citizens to see or hear. Continue reading “The Tower for Twitter? UK Minister Calls for Jailing Social Media Bosses Who Do Not Censor Speech”
A Canadian high school student, Josh Alexander, 16, is at the center of a free speech fight in Ontario after he was arrested and criminally charged for attempting to attend class in violation of an exclusion order. Alexander was suspended from St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Renfrew, Ontario after expressing his religious views on transgender status and rights. Continue reading “Canadian Student Suspended After Speaking Against Transgender Status and Rights”
Today, a trial will begin for a French politician who was charged for criticizing immigration as a public danger. In the meantime, a Christian street preacher was reportedly facing criminal charges in the United Kingdom for declaring that a trans woman was really a “gentleman” and a “man in woman’s clothing.” The counter-terrorism unit arrested David McConnell, a Christian preacher who was already convicted last year for “harassment” in the incident last year. Continue reading “British Minister Faces New Charges Under Counter-Terrorism Laws for Criticizing a Trans Woman”
We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here and here). The latest such case is a criminal trial of French Senator Stéphane Ravier for stating that “immigration kills the youth of France.” It is another example of why free speech is in a virtual free fall in Europe. Continue reading “French Politician Faces Criminal Trial for Immigration Criticism”
Roughly 200 human rights organizations are asking the United Nations to declare that the United States is a violator of “international human rights law” because some states have passed pro-life laws after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. Given that many countries ban and heavily restrict abortion, it is a pitch that is unlikely to gain traction at the U.N. However, the premise shows a significant escalation of rhetoric by groups like Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch and other organizations. Continue reading “Are Pro-Life Laws A Human Rights Violation? Roughly 200 Groups Petition the United Nations for Action”
George Washington University (where I teach) this week became one of the last major universities to drop its mask mandate. Many students had long declined to follow the mandate, but the decision was met with relief by many at the school. Yet, some are vivid about the lifting of such mandates in various schools. One is a professor at the University of British Columbia who has participated in roundtable discussions as an expert with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Dr. Amy Tan is a Clinical Associate Professor in Palliative Care and Family Practice at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary. She recently issued a blistering attack on those going maskless as being “racist, ableist, and classist.” The comments raise long-standing concerns that masks have become a vehicle for social and political rather than medical agendas.
Continue reading “Unmasking Prejudice? Professor Denounces Maskless People as “Racist, Ableist, and Classist.””
Where are the Oompa Loompas when you need them. Willy Wonka’s helpers asked “who do you blame when your kid is a brat? Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat?” The same question could be asked about publishers after Puffin Books hired sensitivity readers to “update” portions of Roald Dahl’s classic books. The changes include dropping references to Augustus Gloop being “fat.” Yet, unlike the Oompa Loompas, who found sanctuary “from hornswogglers and snozzwangers and those terrible wicked whangdoodles,” there is no safe place from woke whangdoodles today.
Continue reading “The Rise of the Woke Whangdoodles: English Company Rewrites Dahl Classics to Remove Offensive Words”
I have been writing about “the Global Disinformation Index” produced by a British group funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which itself is funded by the federal government. That includes a recent column in The Hill. The NED receives a massive $330 million budget through the U.S. State Department. The NED contacted me today after the column ran and informed me that it will no longer fund the GDI. Continue reading “The National Endowment for Democracy To Cut Off Further Support for the Global Disinformation Index”
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.”
Continue reading “Calling Abbe Lowell: The Chinese Make Familiar Claim Over Mysterious Balloon [Updated]”
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.”
Continue reading ““Tragedy … Might be Triggering”: British Universities Add Warnings for Greek and Shakespearean Plays”
Turkish 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”