Tag: Free Speech

The Apple Daily Is No More

 

Today’s edition will be the last for Hong Kong’s Apple Daily. Police raids, the arrest of top executives, and the harassment of many other employees have brought the paper to the point where, for the safety of hundreds of employees, they felt they could no longer continue. The pressure to toe the Xi line or fold has been ratcheting since China imposed a draconian security law on Hong Kong, abrogating Beijing’s treaty with London when London ceded sovereignty of the island. The fragility of Xi’s rule is underscored by his terror of an honest and free press. More from the Epoch Time.

Bless the management and staff of the Apple Daily, and their leader Jimmy Lai. Their paper is gone, but the fight continues.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Naomi Schaefer Riley, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of several books, including Be the Parent, Please. They discuss findings from her book on how excessive technology use negatively impacts children’s intellectual, social, and moral development – which was even more of a challenge with the wide usage of remote learning during COVID-19. The conversation turns to Riley’s extensive commentary on the relationship between religion and education in American society, and lessons K-12 education policymakers should learn from higher education’s handling of faith on campus. She delves into why religion and church-state issues remain such a stark fault line across American K-12 education. They also talk about the development of anti-intellectual efforts on college campuses, and in the larger society, to use speech codes, political correctness, wokeness, and now cancel culture to shut down the free exchange of ideas, and why such campaigns to undermine the fundamentals of democracy persist.

Stories of the Week: EducationWeek reports that over 1.3 million American students did not return to school this year due to the pandemic-related closures. School districts are scrambling to lure them back, but will it work? Juneteenth, which honors the 1865 ending of slavery in this country, has officially become a U.S. federal holiday.

Learning From Experience, Not

 

A high-school friend had a father who worked in a factory. He had a story…it seems there was this guy who got his left arm caught in one of the machines and horribly mangled. He was out for months, and when he came back, the other workers crowded around him, asking “How did it happen?”

“Like this,” he said, demonstrating with the other arm.

Member Post

 

At a school where 70% of students belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the President of the Church’s wife, Wendy Watson Nelson, is a controversial speaker to some outspoken faculty. It is the usual story, but in a different setting. “Sister Nelson’s own remarks…invited students to drop their contentions, open space […]

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Hubwonk Host Joe Selvaggi talks with constitutional scholar and CATO Institute Research Fellow Thomas Berry about the recently heard U.S. Supreme Court case, Mahanoy Public School District v. B.L., and its implications for free speech, school control, and the integration of social media into the rubric of first amendment protections.

Guest:

QoTD: Liberals Need to Defend Free Speech—says a Liberal. Should We Care?

 

The problem is that people will inevitably differ about which speech qualifies as racist. The term has become our own scarlet letter, an all-purpose way to prohibit ideas you dislike. So we need to defend the free-speech rights of everyone, even avowed racists. The best response to hateful speech is to raise your own voice against it, not ban it.

–Jonathan Zimmerman, in the WSJ

Ayaan speaks with Dave Rubin about the future of liberalism. Can it be saved and if so, how? They discuss faith, religion, and the pseudo-religion of wokeism. Plus, they explore whether or not we still have a free press.

Dave Rubin is an author, comedian, and TV personality best known for his political commentary. He is the host of The Rubin Report, a top-ranking talk show recognized as one of the most influential spaces for candid conversations about complex issues and current events. Dave is known for his iconoclastic and honest approach to big ideas and his unwavering support for free speech.

Wanted: More Safe Spaces

 

We need more safe spaces. No, not the sterile little cubbies that the snowflakes need to avoid being “triggered,” to avoid facing an unpleasant idea or a challenging thought; we have enough of those already. We call those spaces “universities,” and the country is littered with them. No, we need more places where normal Americans can hear and say what they believe without fear of being fired, of their children being ostracized, of their grades being ruined, and of their families being torn apart.

I’ve lived in a lot of America: Kansas City, Denver, Albuquerque, Memphis, Sarasota, Cleveland, Austin, Tucson, rural Missouri, and rural New York. I’ve lived in urban high-rise apartments and on rolling farms, owned homes in lush Florida suburbs and dusty New Mexico river valleys. I’ve met a few people who think America is a racist hellhole full of injustice and oppression, but vastly more who go to church and go to work and make sense and raise their kids and maybe believe too much of what they see on the evening news. Americans aren’t by and large a “woke” people. We’re a gloriously apolitical bunch, a nation of sensible and pragmatic and decent citizens busy making ends meet in an often challenging economy.

Nick Gillespie is the host of The Reason Interview podcast and editor-at-large at Reason Magazine. He and Bridget discuss the need to create meaning in our lives and why this has driven a lot of American culture insane, how he became a libertarian, Burning Man, his time working for a teen magazine, and why we need a government that does fewer things, but does them well. He shares how attending high school graduations and zoning board meetings radicalized him, the difference between liberals and progressives, how we can build a robust culture by having more arguments, and how he learned almost anything is possible. He and Bridget cover their hope for the future, why Walter Kronkite sucked, the consequences of growing up comfortable, and the truth behind our political parties’ ideologies.

Black Lives Matter

 

It is true that young black men are being killed disproportionately — killed brutally, ruthlessly, and unjustly. And we need to talk about it if we hope to put an end to it.

We have data, and that data has been studied carefully. We know, based on that, that police are not the ones doing the killing. We know, based on that data, that police do not disproportionately kill young black men.

A Machine for Preventing Civil War

 

Scott Alexander, in a 2017 post at Slate Star Codex:

People talk about “liberalism” as if it’s just another word for capitalism, or libertarianism, or vague center-left-Democratic Clintonism. Liberalism is none of these things. Liberalism is a technology for preventing civil war. It was forged in the fires of Hell – the horrors of the endless seventeenth century religious wars. For a hundred years, Europe tore itself apart in some of the most brutal ways imaginable – until finally, from the burning wreckage, we drew forth this amazing piece of alien machinery. A machine that, when tuned just right, let people live together peacefully without doing the “kill people for being Protestant” thing. Popular historical strategies for dealing with differences have included: brutally enforced conformity, brutally efficient genocide, and making sure to keep the alien machine tuned really really carefully.

A Letter to My Woke Friends

 

I don’t buy your narrative that America is a racist country. I think you are ignorant: you have a cramped and impoverished understanding of history, and no sense of proportion. I reject your “white privilege” palaver. I don’t slice and dice my fellow man into little groups based on superficial characteristics, and I won’t claim to know any more about a man based on his skin color than you know about me based on mine.

Diversity and inclusion? You can keep it. Diversity of views is lovely. Diversity of race, sexual orientation, color, and other trivial details of anatomy and preference is a crock. Every man is an identity group of one, so keep your woke bigotry. You obsess about it all you like, but I’m not interested.

Why Speak Up? Why Bother?

 

In the most recent Federalist Hour podcast, Tales from the Frontlines of the Woke Revolution, hostess Evita Duffy interviews Jason Hill, a DePaul University professor of Philosophy. Professor Hill has come under fire for stating the obvious truth in an unambiguous way, when he said that it was wrong and unfair to women to have male athletes competing against female athletes.

He’s right, and he’s unapologetic about it. That’s enough both to earn him the scorn of the Woke left and to make him a target for their speech suppression and cancelation efforts. I applaud the Professor for standing firm and exhibiting the spine almost wholly lacking in the invertebrate halls of academia. I know little of what he thinks on any other topic or issue, but am completely with him on his criticism of transgenderism (which I think to be absurd nonsense), and more importantly on his defense of both western civilization and free speech.

Giving the JPod Its Due (or, Horton Gaslights a Who)

 

Despite occasional comments of mine that might suggest otherwise, I’ve always thought John Podhoretz a decent and good-hearted man, obviously bright and articulate (if prone to outrageous and sometimes comic hyperbole).

John made a point in the March 9 Commentary podcast that I thought was perspicacious and worth repeating. I give him full credit for the observation, and nothing I say here adds anything of substance to what he said in the podcast. I’m repeating it mostly for the benefit of those who won’t hear the podcast, and also because I want to reaffirm his observations with my own experience.

The Bad Side of History

 

I’ve never cared for the phrase the wrong side of history, perhaps because it is so often invoked by progressives to justify the grinding away of traditions and values of which I approve and that I think we will miss. When invoked as a defense of as-yet unrealized ambitions, it’s presumptuous: who really knows, after all, how history will judge the latest transformative social experiment?

Speculating about future history’s take on our times is always a high-risk endeavor. Just ask Martin Luther King Jr. or Theodor Geisel, if you doubt that. Or Andrew Cuomo, for that matter.

Free Speech Lives! Parler is Back Online.

 

Parler is back! Seems a bit buggy, but free speech always was. At the moment I can get it on Chrome using my phone, but not on the laptop.

I’ve occasionally toyed with the response I might give when someone is upset that I’m on Parler. I imagine some statement of dismay from a friend or co-worker, something like, “You mean you’re on that website that has extremists, that internet playground for conspiracy theorists?” I lean towards a response along the lines of, “Yes, I’ve been on Facebook for some time.”

The Freedom Seed Vault

 

By Subiet – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=92970583

On the cold and inhospitable little Norwegian island of Spitsbergen is an oddly photogenic structure, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. This austere yet visually striking underground storage facility is intended to secure the world’s agricultural future in the event that some barely imaginable catastrophe threatens it.

I don’t worry much about mass extinctions, v I certainly don’t worry about climate change. And I live way up north, in one of those growth zones where only fence posts, cows, and a few lichens really thrive, so I’m accustomed to plants that scoff at adversity and power on through.