I recently wrote a column about how “American politics has become a matter of simple amplification.” This week, Lia McGeever vividly made this point at the San Francisco Board of Advisers by choosing to simply scream into a mike as her statement on a recent case. The Board has nothing to do with the case, but McGeever wanted the cathartic moment. Nothing says the age of rage as much as a primal scream session in a public board meeting. Continue reading ““I Don’t Have Any Words”: Trans Activist Simply Screams Into Mike at San Francisco Board Meeting”
One of the most prominent tactics in the modern anti-free speech movement is to “hoist the wretch” — to make examples of those with opposing views to deter others from risking cancel campaigns. The idea is to immediately pile on any prominent person who breaks from the narrative on issues ranging from systemic racism to transgender rights to the pandemic. Few would want the label “controversial” that an enabling media immediately assigns to such targets. The latest example is children’s book author Judy Blume, who has publicly supported transgender rights. Blume had the audacity to say that she supports fellow author J.K. Rowling. The result was immediate and scathing. One liberal site declared “Judy Blume, seemingly incapable of just ‘enjoying her money,’ comes out as TERF.” The term trans-exclusionary radical feminist or TERF is used for feminists like Rowling who have expressed concerns over how transgender policies are undermining the gains of women in the last few decades. In this case, simply supporting a fellow author’s right to speak has earned Blume the label of a TERF and the deadly notation of now being officially “controversial.” Continue reading “Expelliarmus: Pro-Transgender Author Judy Blume is Denounced for Expressing Support for J.K. Rowling”
We have been discussing the right of shareholders to push back on the social and political campaigns of corporations that reduce share value or damage brands. The concern over the “Go Woke, Go Broke” trend is greatest with companies like Disney, which has been particularly open about its corporate advocacy. That has proven most controversial not just in its announced opposition to the Florida education bill but also children’s movies that contained controversial sexual elements. Now, Deadline has released an analysis showing that Disney lost a staggering quarter of a billion dollars on two of these woke movies: Lightyear and Strange World. Continue reading “Mouse Trap: Disney Reportedly Lost Over a Quarter of a Billion Dollars on Two Woke Movies”
We have been discussing the unrelenting campaign against British author J.K. Rowling, who has raised concerns as a feminist over the impact of transgender policies and laws. She has been denounced as a TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist) and even the reading of her famous book series is now considered unacceptable by many. This unhinged response includes cancel campaigns against bars that even briefly show the Harry Potter game. Now, activists are denouncing HBO Max for a new series on Harry Potter in which Rowling will understandably be the executive producer. Continue reading ““You’re Done, Over, Out of the Art Club”: Activists Go Full Dementor Over HBO Max’s Harry Potter Series”
Gabe Kaminsky at the Washington Examiner is reporting that two U.S. nonprofit groups tied to the Global Disinformation Index are withholding information on their operations to protect staff and donors. The redactions of names from 2021 IRS tax returns is being justified on the basis that the GDI is being harassed by critics. It is an ironic move since, as discussed in earlier columns, the GDI targeted and blacklisted conservative groups to drain them of revenue and support. Continue reading “Global Disinformation Index Withholds Information on its Own Operations”
We have been discussing the ability of shareholders and consumers to push back on political or ESG corporate policies. Companies like Disney have already experienced backlash over political campaigns or positions. However, companies are not backing down. This month, both Disney, Bud Light, and NIke are back in the midst of controversies in going head-to-head with critics. This could trigger an interesting period of litigation by shareholders opposing such campaigns as driving down the value corporate stock and brands. Continue reading “Disney, Bud Light, and Nike Go Head-to-Head With Critics With Controversial New Campaigns”
Vito Perrone is out of a job. The incoming Massachusetts school superintendent was ready to start as head of Easthampton Schools when scandal struck. No, it was not embezzlement or some stalking charge as principal of Easthampton High School where he previously served with distinction for eight years. Perrone made the unpardonable error of sending an email to Chairperson Cynthia Kwiecinski and Suzanne Colby, executive assistant to the committee, that referred to them as “ladies.” What is most interesting about the outrage of Kwiecinski and Colby at being sent such a greeting is that it is considered a “microaggression,” but in this case had a decidedly macro impact. Continue reading “Microaggression Goes Macro in Massachusetts: Superintendent Loses Job After Referring to Two Individuals as “Ladies””
I recently wrote how public educators and unions were methodically killing public education. The best example this week comes from New York where a school board committee has solved the dismal math and reading scores for children in the system . . . they lowered the standards. This is not the first system to gut its standards rather than improve its quality of education. As teachers and unions object to school choice, they continue to make the case for private education. Parents are increasingly voting with their feet. The board is simply calling the lack of proficiency “the new normal” and changing the standards. Done.
We have been following the recommendations of reparations for black residents of San Francisco, including a proposed payment of $5 million per resident payment. The Board of Supervisors met Tuesday and reportedly gave unanimous support for reparations. Among the possible forms of reparations, the Board is considering a guaranteed annual income of $97,000 for 250 years and a home “for just $1 a family.”
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”
Fran Drescher, SAG-AFTRA president, appears to taking her signature role as The Nanny to heart. Actress Fran Drescher used the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards to call for a host of initiatives from eliminating all single-use plastics to boycotting any states that do not meet SAG’s view of supporting “freedom, diversity, inclusion and democracy.” That latter proposal follows cities like San Francisco imposing similar boycotts. It also follows calls from Rep. Marjorie Greene (R., Ga.) for a “national divorce,” including limiting the rights of people to move from northern states to southern states for their lower crime and lower taxes. It is the ultimate expression of our age of rage where we seek separation rather than interaction with those who hold different views and values.
A new scientific review raises additional questions over the science behind the mask mandates imposed on the population for years. The new scientific review by 12 researchers from leading universities found little support for the claims that masks reduced Covid exposures. My interest in the story, as usual, focuses on free speech. Numerous experts were suspended or banned for challenging these very claims and the media labeled any such critics as dangerous or fringe figures. Regardless of your ultimate conclusions on the efficacy of masks, there was clearly a scientific basis to challenge the mask policies. Yet, many people were routinely censored on Twitter and other platforms for daring to challenge the official position on masks. Continue reading “Unmasking Covid Claims: Scientific Review Challenges Claim that Masks Reduced Covid Transmissions”
I recently wrote about how public schools and boards are making the case for school choice advocates with failing scores and rising controversies. The latest shocking statistic was released this week that 23 schools in Baltimore City had zero students who tested proficient in math. Those schools include 10 high schools, eight elementary schools, three Middle/High schools and two Elementary/Middle schools. The state found that 2,000 students who took the state test could not do math at grade level. Continue reading “Report: 23 Baltimore Schools Had Zero Students Proficient in Math”
For months, media has been relishing the investor lawsuit against Elon Musk, who became persona non grata when he moved to restore free speech protections on Twitter. Coverage spoke of Musk losing billions in the lawsuit while others speculated that Musk might be “setting himself up to lose Tesla.” Not yet. Not only are stock prices up for Tesla, but Musk just won a unanimous verdict in the investor trial. The reaction to the trial has been a shrug from critics as they continue to try to hammer Musk into submission. It does not appear to be working.