Free Speech

Conservatism Is Prohibited

Featured image I wrote earlier today about the Democrats’ unprecedented attempts to criminalize disagreement with their policies or criticism of their regime. These are more examples, from today’s news, of the suppression of conservative thought, not necessarily through criminal prosecution. First, Scott Adams’ “Dilbert” comic strip has lost 77 newspapers, apparently because it ridiculed “woke” doctrine: The cartoon strip Dilbert has been removed from almost 80 US newspapers after it started poking »

A Huge Win for Free Speech [Updated]

Featured image This is seismic: a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Texas’s new law banning viewpoint discrimination by the major social media platforms. The case is NetChoice v. Paxton, and the opinion is by Judge Andrew Oldham. Oldham is a brilliant guy with a gilt-edged pedigree. He also was once the General Counsel to Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The Texas law is similar to the one I »

CDC Admits Its Covid Performance Was Lacking

Featured image Today CDC Director Rochelle Walensky released a video to the agency’s 11,000 employees that was sharply critical of CDC’s covid performance: Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Wednesday delivered a sweeping rebuke of her agency’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it had failed to respond quickly enough and needed to be overhauled. “To be frank, we are responsible for some »

The Rushdie affair & us

Featured image Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeni was the architect of the Iranian revolution and the guiding spirit of the Iranian regime that has held sway since 1979. He was the regime’s Supreme Leader. Ayatollah Ali Khameni is his successor. Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses was published in September 1988. A few months later, on February 14, 1989, Khomeni issued a fatwa proclaiming a death sentence on Rushdie “and all those involved in »

Biden Administration Calls For Censorship On Energy

Featured image This is shocking, or would be in a sane world: Gina McCarthy, the Biden administration’s National Climate Advisor, is openly calling on tech companies like Facebook and Twitter to censor any dissent from the administration’s “green” fantasies. McCarthy says the tech companies “have to stop allowing” people to disagree with Biden. No doubt the people she wants to censor include Steve Hayward and me, among many others: Biden's National Climate »

Potentially, A Big Win for the 1st Amendment

Featured image It has been widely reported that the Biden administration has leaned on tech companies, including social media companies, to censor content with which the administration disagrees. This is not a secret. On the contrary, the administration’s spokespeople have bragged about it, and Congressional Democrats have publicly applied pressure to tech employees, in committee hearings, to censor in accordance with the administration’s preferences. The social media companies tirelessly tell us that »

Dems Want to Ban Telling the Truth

Featured image In a virtual Axios event on Thursday, Gina McCarthy, Joe Biden’s top climate official, urged tech companies to suppress truthful information about climate issues: “The tech companies have to stop allowing specific individuals over and over again to spread disinformation,” she told Axios’ Alexi McCammond at a virtual event that aired Thursday. “We need the tech companies to really jump in,” McCarthy said. “Really jump in” means to ban, suspend, »

You Must Participate, Comrade!

Featured image One of the strange phenomena of our time is the co-opting of sports organizations into the service of leftism. I can’t explain it, but here is another case: the French Football [Soccer] Federation organized a pro-LGBTQ+ demonstration by players who were told to wear “rainbow” jerseys. Most went along, but one–a Senegalese Muslim named Idrissa Gueye–apparently didn’t participate. Natalie Solent at Samizdata has the story; links omitted: Idrissa Gueye is »

FBI Investigated Concerned Parents

Featured image You all remember the story: the Biden Department of Justice coordinated with the National School Boards Association to arrange for FBI investigations of parents who are unhappy about their local schools teaching racism and anti-Americanism (Critical Race Theory) and gender confusion, and requiring masks. The episode was so sordid that many state school board associations dropped their affiliation with NSBA, and most people doubted that the FBI would be craven »

Banner Day for the 1st Amendment

Featured image Aside from Leakgate, the other big legal news from the Supreme Court yesterday was its unanimous ruling that the City of Boston exercised impermissible discrimination against religious freedom with its refusal to fly a Christian flag over city hall while allowing flags from some 200 other organizations. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the opinion, saying “When the government encourages diverse expression — say, by creating a forum for debate — the First »

Disinformation and Censorship

Featured image As Scott noted yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security has established a “Disinformation Governance Board” to combat misinformation ahead of the 2022 midterms. Administration spokespeople have widened the alleged portfolio of this group to include covid, election integrity, and much else. The announcement has been greeted with both outrage and ridicule. In a press conference earlier today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took on the Disinformation Governance Board along with a »

Speaking of “disinformation”

Featured image The Axelrod/Atlantic conference on “Disinformation and the erosion of democracy” held at the University of Chicago earlier this month included a rogue’s gallery of purveyors of disinformation. We covered the conference in some detail as renegade students at the Chicago Thinker “staged a media regime takedown,” as the editors put it. The Axelrod/Atlantic conference on “disinformation” was followed by Barack Obama’s April 21 contribution at Stanford University. Obama gave his »

Joshua Katz: Good news & bad

Featured image The good news is that our friends at the New Criterion have appointed Joshua Katz to serve as one of its Visiting Critics next season. Professor Katz is Cotsen Professor of Classics at Princeton. A linguist by training, a classicist by profession, and a comparative philologist at heart, he is the recipient of numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship on the languages, literatures, and cultures of the ancient and »

Elon the Outsider

Featured image Elon Musk has 81 million Twitter followers, and he has used the platform to, among other things, criticize Twitter’s left-wing, anti-free speech practices. So the news that he had become Twitter’s largest shareholder with a 9 percent stake was seismic. It was soon followed by an invitation to join Twitter’s board of directors, which he initially seemed to accept. But on Saturday Musk announced that he was declining the offer »

Can Elon Musk Save Twitter? [Updated]

Featured image I have been concerned for a long time that it might be nearly impossible to build social media platforms that can compete effectively with behemoths like Facebook and Twitter. This is because of network effects, which come into play when the value of a service depends on the number of people who use it. Because of network effects, social media platforms may be natural monopolies like the water company, in »

God & LGBTQ at Yale

Featured image John documented our coverage of Yale University over the years and reminded me of my own reporting from the scene nearly 20 years ago. I happened to be on campus in October 2003 when Navy Judge Advocate General Recruiter Brian Whitaker visited Yale Law School to meet with students interested in serving as Navy lawyers. Virtually every Yale law student had signed a petition vowing that he or she would »

Kate Stith’s tactful dissent

Featured image Kate Stith was a member of the first Dartmouth co-ed undergraduate class. She was among the group of 37 hardy young ladies awarded A.B. degrees along with 809 gentlemen. We were classmates in that class. Kate went on to a distinguished career culminating in her appointment to the faculty at Yale Law School, where she is now Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law. I had read about Kate in the »