Free Speech

Arrest Me!

Featured image Not me: rather, J.K. Rowling, the world’s most popular novelist. I think Rowling started out as a liberal, but she isn’t crazy and she is a feminist. So she is appalled by the “trans” nonsense, and isn’t afraid to say so. Under newly-enacted law in Scotland, where she lives, that could subject her to arrest. I wrote about the insanity now prevailing in Scotland here. JK Rowling has challenged the »

It Can’t Happen Here?

Featured image Some time ago, a house in my neighborhood started flying a gay/trans flag. In response, I suspect, two nearby houses started flying American flags. But recently, there was a change: the gay/trans flag was replaced by the Scottish flag: If you remember Scotland as a country of highland clans, conservative Presbyterians and fearsome warriors, that may seem strange to you. But actually, it makes perfect sense: Scotland is being transformed »

Mr. X

Featured image The current issue of the Claremont Review of Books carries the informative review of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Elon Musk by Helen Andrews. The Andrews review is relatively brief and extremely interesting. I want to single out the penultimate paragraph: Conservatives ought to support Musk because he will need all the help he can get. The deep state has him in its crosshairs and will not stop until he is »

Free Speech and Arson

Featured image Mark Steyn has been trying the defamation case that Michael Mann brought against him in the D.C. Superior Court for the last three weeks–literally trying it, since Mark is pro se. Yet somehow he found time not only for an update on the trial proceedings, but for commentary on my visit to Washington last week and the firebombing of my organization’s offices a few days earlier. He included in his »

Free Speech at UNC

Featured image I wrote here about the fact that the University of North Carolina’s Faculty Council couldn’t bring itself to condemn a speaker at a UNC event who hailed Gaza’s October 7 massacre of Jews as “a beautiful day.” But things at UNC are not all bleak. On Monday, a UNC speaker series hosted Frank Bruni and Bari Weiss, both formerly with the New York Times, for “a discussion of objectivity in »

Happy new year, DFL style

Featured image Reflecting the Democrat mania to control free speech, Minnesota Democrats enacted a law conflicting with the proposition that corporations have a constitutional right to speak independently about politics. I learned about the law from the December 18 Wall Street Journal column “Minnesota’s Xenophobic Restrictions on Speech” by Brad Smith and Eric Wang. The “xenophobia” flagged in the Journal headline is entirely pretextual. The subhead homes in on the problem: “[The] »

Yoram vs. Robby

Featured image In the ongoing controversy about what to do about campus anti-Semitism, Princeton’s Robert P. George advocates for more robust free speech on campus, while Yoram Hazony, author of (among other books) Conservatism Rediscovered and The Virtue of Nationalism, disagrees sharply with his former Princeton mentor in a Twitter exchange that deserves a wider audience. Here’s Robby’s argument: Over the past two months, the public has learned about some crazy things »

For those who have given us such a happy life

Featured image Writing about Edward Gibbon’s view of “Mahomet” and “Mahometans” reminded me of Montaigne. I thought it might be worthwhile to repeat my comments on Montaigne and his use of irony in his discussion of Islam. Please forgive the repetition or, if you remember what I had to say: Reader, pass by! The cultural left exerts a tyrannical force policing our speech. To take just one current exposition of the phenomenon, »

Ireland Goes Fascist

Featured image An Irish author has just won the Booker prize: Irish author Paul Lynch won the Booker Prize on Sunday. His novel, Prophet Song, imagines an Ireland that has fallen under Right-wing totalitarian control, and begins with members of the new secret police rapping on the door of a union leader to interrogate him for “sowing discord and unrest” against the government. The reality, of course, is precisely the opposite: The »

New Low in Liberal Ignorance

Featured image Behold our current secretary of education, who couldn’t get anything more backward if he took LSD and tried really hard: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona: "I think it was President Reagan who said, 'We're from the government. We're here to help!'" Here's the actual quote: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help." — (@townhallcom) November 27, 2023 »

Hope against hope

Featured image As I have mentioned a time or two before, the cultural left exerts a tyrannical force policing our speech. Witness the case of Elon Musk and X/Twitter. The cases can be multiplied endlessly. You don’t need my help on this score. The cause of free speech threatens to become the exclusive property of conservatives. Wherever the left holds sway, free speech is a dying or dead letter. The utopia implicit »

Calls For Genocide Banned From Twitter

Featured image Controversy has been swirling around Elon Musk and Twitter. Musk issued a tweet that was at best stupid and at worst anti-Semitic: You have said the actual truth — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2023 Musk’s tweet apparently was part of his running battle with the Anti-Defamation League, which you can read about here. A number of companies, including IBM and Apple, have suspended advertising on Twitter, and the Biden »

Thought for the day

Featured image John Tierney is the former long-time New York Times reporter and columnist. He is now a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal and can therefore say things like this: Harvard’s abysmal [FIRE free-speech ranking] is based partly on a series of censorship incidents at the school and partly on its students’ answers to questions in a national survey of 55,000 students. At Harvard, three-quarters of students didn’t feel »

“Why should I ever vote for a Democrat again?”

Featured image Matt Taibbi is one of a group of honest liberals who are not blind to the contemporary Left’s faults. At Racket News, he writes about his testimony before Jim Jordan’s House Weaponization of Government Committee, which apparently prompted a visit to his home by the IRS. Jordan’s House committee investigated, with the result that the IRS has announced a new policy on home visits. The substance of the investigation is »

Mark Steyn Goes to Trial [Updated]

Featured image After more than 11 long years, jury selection in Michael Mann’s defamation case against Mark Steyn and others begins on Monday. I had lost track of this case as it wended its tortuous way through the courts, and tried to catch up with it by watching Mark’s deposition, the two short halves of which you can see here and here. The deposition does not lack for entertainment value, but as »

Amy Klobuchar, Censor

Featured image Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has an undistinguished legislative record. She has been a master of small-ball politics, sponsoring unimportant but superficially appealing bills while excelling at constituent service. But now, Klobuchar has stepped out as an advocate for censorship, a key Democratic Party priority. On October 19, she wrote a letter to Jeff Bezos, complaining that when Amazon’s Alexa, which “relies on a variety of sources to answer questions,” responds »

The Rise of Censorship and the Death of Journalism

Featured image Matt Taibbi was the principal reporter who broke the Twitter Files story, one of the major news events not just of the past year, but of the past decade. The fact that federal agencies leaned on, and collaborated with, tech companies to suppress Americans’ freedom of speech and dictate the limits of public debate on several critical issues, is the most important scandal of our time. And the fact that »