Features Australia

The slow death of free speech

How the Left, here and abroad, is trying to shut down debate —  from Islam and Israel to global warming and gay marriage

19 April 2014

9:00 AM

19 April 2014

9:00 AM

These days, pretty much every story is really the same story:

  • In Galway, at the National University of Ireland, a speaker who attempts to argue against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) programme against Israel is shouted down with cries of ‘Fucking Zionist, fucking pricks… Get the fuck off our campus.’
  • In California, Mozilla’s chief executive is forced to resign because he once made a political donation in support of the pre-revisionist definition of marriage.
  • At Westminster, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee declares that the BBC should seek ‘special clearance’ before it interviews climate sceptics, such as fringe wacko extremists like former Chancellor Nigel Lawson.
  • In Massachusetts, Brandeis University withdraws its offer of an honorary degree to a black feminist atheist human rights campaigner from Somalia.
  • In London, a multitude of liberal journalists and artists responsible for everything from Monty Python to Downton Abbey sign an open letter in favour of the first state restraints on the British press in three and a quarter centuries.
  • And in Canberra the government is planning to repeal Section 18C — whoa, don’t worry, not all of it, just three or four adjectives; or maybe only two, or whatever it’s down to by now, after what Gay Alcorn in the Age described as the ongoing debate about ‘where to strike the balance between free speech in a democracy and protection against racial abuse in a multicultural society’.

I heard a lot of that kind of talk during my battles with the Canadian ‘human rights’ commissions a few years ago: of course, we all believe in free speech, but it’s a question of how you ‘strike the balance’, where you ‘draw the line’… which all sounds terribly reasonable and Canadian, and apparently Australian, too. But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that.

But I don’t really think that many people these days are genuinely interested in ‘striking the balance’; they’ve drawn the line and they’re increasingly unashamed about which side of it they stand. What all the above stories have in common, whether nominally about Israel, gay marriage, climate change, Islam, or even freedom of the press, is that one side has cheerfully swapped that apocryphal Voltaire quote about disagreeing with what you say but defending to the death your right to say it for the pithier Ring Lardner line: ‘“Shut up,” he explained.’

A generation ago, progressive opinion at least felt obliged to pay lip service to the Voltaire shtick. These days, nobody’s asking you to defend yourself to the death: a mildly supportive retweet would do. But even that’s further than most of those in the academy, the arts, the media are prepared to go. As Erin Ching, a student at 60-grand-a-year Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, put it in her college newspaper the other day: ‘What really bothered me is the whole idea that at a liberal arts college we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion.’ Yeah, who needs that? There speaks the voice of a generation: celebrate diversity by enforcing conformity.

The examples above are ever-shrinking Dantean circles of Tolerance: At Galway, the dissenting opinion was silenced by grunting thugs screaming four-letter words. At Mozilla, the chairwoman is far more housetrained: she issued a nice press release all about (per Miss Alcorn) striking a balance between freedom of speech and ‘equality’, and how the best way to ‘support’ a ‘culture’ of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ is by firing anyone who dissents from the mandatory groupthink. At the House of Commons they’re moving to the next stage: in an ‘inclusive culture’ ever more comfortable with narrower bounds of public discourse, it seems entirely natural that the next step should be for dissenting voices to require state permission to speak.

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At Brandeis University, we are learning the hierarchy of the new multiculti caste system. In theory, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is everything the identity-group fetishists dig: female, atheist, black, immigrant. If conservative white males were to silence a secular women’s rights campaigner from Somalia, it would be proof of the Republican party’s ‘war on women’, or the encroaching Christian fundamentalist theocracy, or just plain old Andrew Boltian racism breaking free of its redoubt at the Herald Sun to rampage as far as the eye can see. But when the snivelling white male who purports to be president of Brandeis (one Frederick Lawrence) does it out of deference to Islam, Miss Hirsi Ali’s blackness washes off her like a bad dye job on a telly news anchor. White feminist Germaine Greer can speak at Brandeis because, in one of the more whimsical ideological evolutions even by dear old Germaine’s standards, Ms Greer feels that clitoridectomies add to the rich tapestry of ‘cultural identity’: ‘One man’s beautification is another man’s mutilation,’ as she puts it. But black feminist Hirsi Ali, who was on the receiving end of ‘one man’s mutilation’ and lives under death threats because she was boorish enough to complain about it, is too ‘hateful’ to be permitted to speak. In the internal contradictions of multiculturalism, Islam trumps all: race, gender, secularism, everything. So, in the interests of multiculti sensitivity, pampered upper-middle-class trusty-fundy children of entitlement are pronouncing a Somali refugee beyond the pale and signing up to Islamic strictures on the role of women.

That’s another reason why Gay Alcorn’s fretting over ‘striking the balance’ is so irrelevant. No matter where you strike it, the last unread nonagenarian white supremacist Xeroxing flyers in a shack off the Tanami Track will be way over the line, while, say, Sheikh Sharif Hussein’s lively sermon to an enthusiastic crowd at the Islamic Da’wah Centre of South Australia, calling on Allah to kill every last Buddhist and Hindu, will be safely inside it. One man’s decapitation is another man’s cultural validation, as Germaine would say.

Ms Greer has reached that Circle of Tolerance wherein the turkeys line up to volunteer for an early Eid. The Leveson Inquiry declaration of support signed by all those London luvvies like Emma Thompson, Tom Stoppard, Maggie Smith, Bob Geldof and Ian McKellen is the stage that comes after that House of Commons Science and Technology Committee — when the most creative spirits in our society all suddenly say: ‘Ooh, yes, please, state regulation, bring it on!’ Many of the eminent thespians who signed this letter started their careers in an era when every play performed in the West End had to be approved by the Queen’s Lord Chamberlain. Presented with a script that contained three ‘fucks’ and an explicit reference to anal sex, he’d inform the producer that he would be permitted two ‘crikeys’ and a hint of heavy petting. In 1968, he lost his censorship powers, and the previously banned Hair, of all anodyne trifles, could finally be seen on the London stage: this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius. Only four and a half decades after the censor’s departure, British liberals are panting for the reimposition of censorship under a new ‘Royal Charter’.

This is the aging of the dawn of Aquarius: new blasphemy laws for progressive pieties. In the New Statesman, Sarah Ditum seemed befuddled that the ‘No Platform’ movement — a vigorous effort to deny public platforms to the British National party and the English Defence League — has mysteriously advanced from silencing ‘violent fascists’ to silencing all kinds of other people, like a Guardian feminist who ventured some insufficiently affirming observations about trans-women and is now unfit for polite society. But, once you get a taste for shutting people up, it’s hard to stop. Why bother winning the debate when it’s easier to close it down?

Nick Lowles defined the ‘No Platform’ philosophy as ‘the position where we refuse to allow fascists an opportunity to act like normal political parties’. But free speech is essential to a free society because, when you deny people ‘an opportunity to act like normal political parties’, there’s nothing left for them to do but punch your lights out. Free speech, wrote the Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson last week, ‘buttresses the political system’s legitimacy. It helps losers, in the struggle for public opinion and electoral success, to accept their fates. It helps keep them loyal to the system, even though it has disappointed them. They will accept the outcomes, because they believe they’ve had a fair opportunity to express and advance their views. There’s always the next election. Free speech underpins our larger concept of freedom.’

Just so. A fortnight ago I was in Quebec for a provincial election in which the ruling separatist party went down to its worst defeat in almost half a century. This was a democratic contest fought between parties that don’t even agree on what country they’re in. In Ottawa for most of the 1990s the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition was a chap who barely acknowledged either the head of state or the state she’s head of. Which is as it should be. Because, if a Quebec separatist or an Australian republican can’t challenge the constitutional order through public advocacy, the only alternative is to put on a black ski-mask and skulk around after dark blowing stuff up.

I’m opposed to the notion of official ideology — not just fascism, Communism and Baathism, but the fluffier ones, too, like ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘climate change’ and ‘marriage equality’. Because the more topics you rule out of discussion — immigration, Islam, ‘gender fluidity’ — the more you delegitimise the political system. As your cynical political consultant sees it, a commitment to abolish Section 18C is more trouble than it’s worth: you’ll just spends weeks getting damned as cobwebbed racists seeking to impose a bigots’ charter when you could be moving the meter with swing voters by announcing a federal programmne of transgendered bathroom construction. But, beyond the shrunken horizons of spinmeisters, the inability to roll back something like 18C says something profound about where we’re headed: a world where real, primal, universal rights — like freedom of expression — come a distant second to the new tribalism of identity-group rights.

Oh, don’t worry. There’ll still be plenty of ‘offending, insulting or humiliating’ in such a world, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the Mozilla CEO and Zionists and climate deniers and feminist ‘cis-women’ not quite au courant with transphobia can all tell you. And then comes the final, eerie silence. Young Erin Ching at Swarthmore College has grasped the essential idea: it is not merely that, as the Big Climate enforcers say, ‘the science is settled’, but so is everything else, from abortion to gay marriage. So what’s to talk about? Universities are no longer institutions of inquiry but ‘safe spaces’ where delicate flowers of diversity of race, sex, orientation, ‘gender fluidity’ and everything else except diversity of thought have to be protected from exposure to any unsafe ideas.

As it happens, the biggest ‘safe space’ on the planet is the Muslim world. For a millennium, Islamic scholars have insisted, as firmly as a climate scientist or an American sophomore, that there’s nothing to debate. And what happened? As the United Nations Human Development Programme’s famous 2002 report blandly noted, more books are translated in Spain in a single year than have been translated into Arabic in the last 1,000 years. Free speech and a dynamic, innovative society are intimately connected: a culture that can’t bear a dissenting word on race or religion or gender fluidity or carbon offsets is a society that will cease to innovate, and then stagnate, and then decline, very fast.

As American universities, British playwrights and Australian judges once understood, the ‘safe space’ is where cultures go to die.

Mark Steyn is a Canadian commentator and author of several books, including America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, a New York Times bestseller.

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Show comments
  • celtthedog

    Hear! Hear!

    Hear what? No-one’s allowed to say anything anymore.

    Great article.

    • http://FauxScienceSlayer.com/ FauxScienceSlayer

      “Life without danger is not given to a sovereign city, but to one already conquered” ~ Pericles

    • Scarpy

      Agreed , friend.

      I am sick of this “YOUR RIGHTS END WHERE MY FEELINGS BEGIN” attitude leftists now focus on.

      • you_kid

        Hear hear,
        who will the great leader sack next week for speaking out?

        • Eric M Krehemker

          Maybe it should be called the Censored of the week.

      • DrMaxHathaway

        Kind of makes you want to turn-off their feelings, doesn’t it…

        The left simply needs more medication to deal with the intensifying, or should I say, the “progressive” speed on their descent into sheer insanity and raving lunacy.

        Put this on your local ballot for the next election.

        Voter Referendum: Anyone calling for the suppression of others’ speech should have their tongue cut out and their internet toys taken away.

    • mistercrispy

      Yeah, no one’s allowed to say nothing anymore, said the person who freely typed one of 896 comments in a freely posted article that is available around the world on a site with similar articles all written by authors who continue to write their ideas about the world without consequence, imprisonment or punishment. Oh, how they are victims of speech suppression. Way to make your point, or something.

      • NonPCconservative

        Did you not read the article??

        See what happens when you say something that the left disagrees with then tell us again about how much freedom we have. We are making use of the last remnants of free speech to try to fight its complete elimination.

        • Sheik Mabouti

          MisterCrispy is a tad over fried, and cannot grasp the subtleties of the article, however blatant they may be.

        • FreeSpeechIsNotDying

          Last remnants? When the Westboro Baptist Church can continue to picket soldiers funerals despite near universal condemnation, I’m pretty sure freedom of speech is not becoming extinct. But something the WBC understands, which perhaps you don’t, is that freedom of speech doesn’t mean you are free from social disapproval. It doesn’t mean it will be a nice experience expressing an unpopular point of view. Though I do note that the WBC live for the reactions they get.

          • Phadras Johns

            Westboro is an aberration. When mainstream universities quell speech it is a damming statement of where we are.

          • FreeSpeechIsNotDying

            Of course they are an abberation. That is the point. They are universally despised and yet their rights are upheld because contrary to the hysteria freedom of speech is not dead or dying. This in a country where all you need to pass legislation is put “patriot” in the title.

            I agree that universities should not prohibit “hate” speech. But it is hardly indicative that free speech is dead or dying. It is questionable whether freedom of speech is “abridged” because a university has regulations on hate speech. While I don’t personally agree with “hate speech” regulations per se, the concept is largely a flawed reaction to abusive and violent behaviour.

            So while I don’t agree with hate speech restrictions, including on university campuses which play an important role in fostering open thought and discussion in society, I still do not see these issues as being anything more than borderline issues about where the boundaries are between acceptable and unacceptable speech and conduct and indeed how unacceptable conduct is defined specifically. No one is going to prison because they are racist, or anti-homosexual, or because they don’t like Muslims or because they deny man’s role in climate change.

          • rockyspoon

            And yet there are many “climate activists” that have openly and vociferously called for the jailing or even execution of “Deniers”!!

            That type of advocacy should be condemned and exposed, but the “progressives” completely support it with their silence.

          • chonkus

            people are in prison for denying the holocaust.Didn’t you know that?

        • CitizenCharlesFosterKane

          Try being factually correct and maybe you won’t have your head handed to you so often. Conservatives tend to forget that most people easily see through conservative intellectual dishonesty.

          • caradoc

            You would have risen high in the Third Reich

          • CitizenCharlesFosterKane

            Yawn. And you know this how? Personal experience with Nazism?

          • NonPCconservative

            Ah . . . . you see the problem is that the left has no rational argument, simply feelings, so they don’t hand me my head, ever. What happens is that they censor those they don’t agree with. As described in the article. Censoring means that you don’t need to argue.

            As for intellectual dishonesty I know that is a strictly conservative sin. Leftist can never be described as intellectual.

          • CitizenCharlesFosterKane

            Given your reliance on absolute statements, it’s impossible to take you seriously. Run along, child.

          • CitizenCharlesFosterKane

            In addition, I’m all for your continued talking. You’re an excellent advertisement for intellectual bankruptcy, no censorship needed.

          • NonPCconservative

            Thank you for proving my point. No facts, no logic . . . ad hominem attacks only. Come back when you have something of worth to add to the discussion, or not.

      • jjcbj

        This comment is what happens when a non-reader climbs aboard. What a shame to miss a point so widely.

      • Howienica

        Then you agree that free speech should not be screwed with?

      • 1CatEye

        The author of the article once faced a “political correctness” trial in Canada. So he speaks from experience. You? Pure snark and deliberate misunderstanding. Way to make your point, or something.

        • maisy

          He’s still being sued……. For disagreeing with some idiots “hockey stick” graph of global warming.

          • 1CatEye

            If the case isn’t tossed (and it should be, Mann is a public figure), truth is an absolute defense and Steyn should win and get court costs and attorneys’ fees awarded to deter Mann from wasting the courts’ time. He’s threatened others, too. Typical lefty: silence the opposition when you can’t win on the merits.

      • retro

        Says the guy posting under a pseudonym. Irony. You have it mistercrispy.

      • maisy

        He’s being sued for his opinion. Try that one on . The world is upside down .

      • Gary Crossland

        Idiot.

    • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

      quote; Presented with a script that contained three ‘fucks’ and an explicit
      reference to anal sex, he’d (the censor) inform the producer that he would be
      permitted two ‘crikeys’ and a hint of heavy petting.
      The censor was right too.
      We’ll have copulating in the streets soon.
      At least public toilets when they existed helped shield the unwary from the unpleasant. I’m speaking of matters sexual not fecal hehehehehe

      ‘freedom of speech’ should be changed to ‘freedom to express ideas’

      It is quite apparent that the trendy wendies often wish to suppress open debate because when they indulge they usually lose.

      See u toob where in a one2one Nick Griffin runs rings around Paxman.
      In a one sided gladiatorial contest on Question Time Griffin was annihilated.

    • Bekky Coulson

      Easter egg, over 18’s only

      http://bit.ly/1jTuxtx

    • Howienica

      Liberals would support free speech

      But there are no more liberals

      Only progressives

      They are very different animals.

      • Frank Ulino

        True, except the progressives are actually regressive.

        • Vornak

          That why it’s best to corral them within apostrophes …

          like ‘progressives’ 😉

          • paul4id

            They are more correctly known as Cultural Marxists.

      • armykungfu

        Agreed. Maybe it is time we took back the word.

      • DrMaxHathaway

        You’re making a distinction between Evil and her hand-maidens, her enablers.

        It’s like saying: The demons aren’t that bad, if it wasn’t for Satan!!!
        They are very different spirits…!

        Yes, you fool, one commands and the others follow and obey.

  • ColonelNeville

    I always agree with whatever the government, media, academia, celebrity and my easily frightened fellow citizens say, comrades, but only if that’s o.k with all of them. It’s wrong to have your own original thoughts based on empirical observation, research and reading. It only upsets people. Be kind, have no mind. No, really.

    • Kaine

      Nothing, but it is supreme arrogance to believe that on, say, climate change, the thousands of scientists who have spend decades training in their discipline and refining their ideas under immense scrutiny have it wrong, and you after a couple of hours on the blogs have it right.

      • ColonelNeville

        I agree that the meaningless individual like myself, must bow before the all powerful dominant group, mob, crowd and state. I salute your ironically “supreme arrogance” appeal to numbers and authority. After all, I’m no perfect scientist type who have of course don’t suffer from ordinary human flaws and desires like us little plebians do. Shall I turn myself into the authorities for re-education, comrade? You forgot to post evidence. Your logical fallacy is truly brilliant. No, really. http://thepeoplescube.com/

        • Kaine

          In absense of my own experience or expertise, I turn to members of the group with greater knowledge and wisdom in the subject than myself yes. This is the wonder of being a member of a gregarious species, and a necessity for mortal beings who don’t have time to become experts in everything. If you asked a hundred oncologists whether you had cancer, and 97 said you did, would you start quoting your Wikipedia fallacy definitions at them or would you start treatment?

          Also, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that calling me comrade is an insult.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Which is quite different to suggesting that those who are not determined to be experts should be regulated in the expression of their opinions.

          • Kaine

            Which is quite different to saying every crack-pot has a right to go on Newsnight and have his views given a national platform.

          • ladykrystyna

            How do you define “crackpot”? Does that include a scientist who has done his own research and found the existence of “climate change” to be questionable?

          • Kaine

            If a scientist has a published peer-reviewed paper discovering a hitherto unknown mechanism counter-acting the increase in temperature from CO2 build up then he’d be on course for a Nobel. It’d be the talk of the scientific world. That’s not what we get. What we get are bloggers and weathermen who think they should get equal standing. As I say, by that logic let’s have the alchemists on to debate the chemists and the homeopathy crowd on with the chief medical officer.

          • Edward

            Any Scientist who attempts to publish a paper showing the glaring flaws in AGW theory will have his work trashed or ignored by the “peer reviewers” regardless of his evidence. The AGW crowd have assigned themselves as gatekeepers and then crow about consensus in the club.

            As far as the Nobel committee goes, they lost all credibility when they gave the Peace prize to King Barry.

          • Kaine

            Actually the peace prize lost all credibility when it went to Henry Kissinger.

            Your casual racism aside, if the conspiracy is large enough to encompass the entire scientific community then there is no evidence that could convince you is there? Because everyone who might present it is in on the conspiracy.

            At that point, well, I for one welcome our new Space Lizard overlords.

          • Edward

            Casual racism??? Did I miss the dog whistle?

            And No, the conspiracy does not need to encompass the entire community to be effective. The East Anglia U. emails clearly showed that a few key researchers could squelch review and publication of dissenting research. The shrill voices and witch hunt hysteria are also quite effective at convincing anyone in a college environment that they need to go along to get along.

          • Jake_Was_Here

            Yup. Casual racism. You said something insulting about a black man, therefore you are a racist pig.

          • Edward

            “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”
            – I’m judging King Barry on “the content of his character”

          • Jake_Was_Here

            MLK Jr. would shit himself with rage if he saw what blacks in America have been reduced to by the Left.

          • Kaine

            You know what you said.

            And no, the East Anglia emails do not show that, despite the best efforts of the conspiracy theorists to claim, without evidence, that they did.

            To what end do all these scientists perpetuate the conspiracy? Money? These people who could make far more working in the private sector?

          • Edward

            I said that the Nobel committee “lost all credibility when they gave the Peace prize to King Barry.”

            Please explain what part of that statement is in any way shape or form “Racist”

          • Kaine

            The use of terminology implying illegitimate despotism and the diminutive form of the President’s name are dog whistles.

            Kudos on the oblivious act though, very convincing.

          • Edward

            So you’re saying that illegitimate despotism is somehow limited to Blacks?

            The diminutive form is applicable since his actions and inaction have caused me to lose all respect for the man regardless of his ancestry. Barry is also the name that he himself used in his younger years.

            Your immediate and baseless charge of racism is typical for those on the left that are unable to argue a position based on merit. You must therefore try to dismiss all other positions by denigrating your opponent. Time to throw out your Alinsky manual.

          • Kaine

            Lol, I almost believed you until you threw in the Alinsky jibe. If you know that reference, you know full well what you’re doing.

            Have you actually read “Rules for Radicals”? Do you have an inherent dislike for community organisers or just the ones with those scary foreign names?

          • MissDemeanor

            it’s not racist at all

            it’s truist

          • ladykrystyna

            And the peace prize to Arafat. And a prize to frickin’ Al Gore.

          • ladykrystyna

            As Edward said, right now the AGW community would attack that person trying to prove anything.

            And, btw, aside from that – the gov’t has no power to tell news organizations what they can report on, and who they interview.

            Yeah, let’s have alchemists debate chemists. Why not?

            Let’s have a debate between evolution and creationism. Why not?

            Are you afraid of opinions that are different from your own?

            I’m not.

            I remember when Phil Donahue (not a known conservative) put on these white supremacists on his show back in the 80s. It was disturbing to listen to those people, but you know what, I wasn’t permanently damaged and the idiots were exposed for all to see.

            You statists are afraid of dissenting opinions of any kind. You find every excuse under the sun to determine what speech is acceptable (“Sure I believe in free speech, but not hate speech!” And then of course you define hate speech as anything that is said by your political opponents.)

            This ain’t my first rodeo, sparky. I am for free speech and open debate on any issue. Sunlight is the best disinfectant and the remedy for bad speech is more speech, not less.

          • Colonel Mustard

            It is not about rights but about regulation. The suggestion was made, in all seriousness, that those with opposing views should be regulated before being allowed to air them.

            And I have seen plenty of crackpots spouting on Newsnight, invariably of the left wing persuasion.

          • Kaine

            If Newsnight want to set political junkies against each other fine, that’s not the same as putting scientists on an equal platform with conspiracy theorists and assuming the truth is somewhere in the middle.

          • Colonel Mustard

            The problem is with those who decide who are scientists and who are “conspiracy theorists”. That playing field is far from even and far from clear.

            Besides we have to deal with the left’s tendency to assume that because it believes it is always right about everything that it has the right to determine who should speak and how. Which brings us back full circle to the point of the article.

            By defending that line you are demonstrating the point of Steyn’s article.

          • Fred Beloit

            Every crackpot? By crackpot do you mean people who cite statistics that are made up of whole cloth, like your numbers of pro/con scientists?
            By the way, most people don’t go to 100 oncologists, now do they? What you are maintaining is that in the early 1900s, Newton was really in the right versus Einstein. Good call.

          • Kaine

            No, what I’m saying is that if you want to overturn the scientific consensus (and there were already holes in Newton such as the movement of Mercury) you need extraordinary evidence. Einstein’s theories were tested by observation and found to hold. His theories stood up to rigorous peer review.

            The denialist community has lost the scientific argument and so, like the pro-tobacco lobby before them, go straight to laymen debates which can be won by rhetoric.

            I have to love how you people, backed by the full weight of the fossil fuel industry and conservative media, imagine yourselves to be rebels. It’d be cute if the consequences weren’t so terrible.

          • Fred Beloit

            You deniers, backed up by people whose fortunes are tied to denying global climate stability, use scientific “consensus” as if it were something real It isn’t. Science theory can turn on a dime when observation shows a theory to be false. Why are you not accepting the flaw of global warming theory when observation shows no warming for 12 years?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Who decides? You and people just like you. That is the problem.

            Anyone can very quickly gauge your inflexible and dogmatic approach to any debate by a quick review of your comments in this thread.

          • wudyermucuss

            Yes,but still,climate has always changed.

          • Kaine

            Why do you think the fact something has happened without human intervention is an argument that it can’t happen because of human intervention? Fires can start naturally, but I can still cause one.

          • Baron

            A fallacious argument, Kaine, a fire starts either naturally or by you, climate change has no beginning or end, it’s an inherent feature of climate, you cannot have it, climate, without its changing continuously.

          • Kaine

            You deny that humanity has the ability to change the climate?

          • Baron

            Yup, totally, absolutely, unarguably.

            If all of us, the 7bn plus of humans inhabiting this planet were to run to the shore, pee into the sea to stop a tsunami it would be more successful than our trying to stop climate change. It’s pure, narcissistic arrogance on our part to think we can make even a tiny difference to climate either way, and we”ll get hit for it big, you will see.

            More to the point, CO2 density has nothing to do with climate change, it’s but a small part and parcel of a greater mechanism of which we, the humans, know close to FA.

          • Baron

            Baron’s reply got censored, sorry, Kaine.

          • Baron

            The freedom of expression tossers keep censoring Baron, sorry Kaine.

          • Fred Beloit

            Yes, warm and cool. But these present worthies maintain it is now one way only, i.e., warmer. That is not change. That is acceleration, e.g., 0.032 degrees C per year/per year. After a while they are talking hot and hotter. Fortunately, there is no real evidence for that, quite the opposite (see your local thermometer).

          • nightman

            How about if you asked 100 oncologists if you had cancer based on a phone interview they have with your kids. It would probably be a more accurate analogy to what climate scientists are trying to do. Then once 97% decide you do have cancer based on what your kids say and the treatment is to cut off your arms. They are trying to model a chaotic system. Oncologist can use blood work and an MRI…known variables etc. BIG DIFFERENCE.

          • Kaine

            Yeah, all that tree ring, ice core and coral growth data is in no way like blood work.

          • FrenchNewsonlin

            Wrong thread. Try Delingpole. He’s got plenty to help you over your global warming/freezing difficulties.

          • Edward

            Yes, those items provide data, but they are symptoms of symptoms. Tree rings for example show annual growth. Is that due to increased CO2, increased growing season, reduced cloud cover, increased rain, or any combination of the above. Also, whatever valid data they might provide has been thoroughly washed, squashed, adjusted or dumped to make it say just what they authors want it say through the use of dubious computer models. It’s more like looking in the trash bin for my whole apartment complex and deciding that I will develop diabetes.

          • Kaine

            If you have any evidence of fraud please present it. There have been multiple investigations into the East Anglia emails which found no impropriety.

            But then the government is in on the conspiracy aren’t they? Them and the Space Lizards.

          • Edward

            From: Phil Jones. To: Many. Nov 16, 1999
            “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

            From Phil Jones To: Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University). July 8, 2004
            “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

            “Hiding the decline” and “redefining peer review” may not sound improper to you, but they sure as hell sound improper to me and anyone else who is just the tiniest bit skeptical.

          • Edward

            From Phil Jones. To: Michael Mann. Date: May 29, 2008
            “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise.”

            Maybe emails like this one are the reason the investigation didn’t find much.

          • Kaine

            It’s a reference to anomalous tree ring data in the Northern Hemisphere, and was for a presentation, not a peer reviewed journal.

            Next. You have thousands of emails, surely you have more?

          • Abraham_Franklin

            What does 97% have to do with anything?

            Oh, you’re probably alluding to the fully discredited study whose flaws included the categorization of self-identified global warming skeptics as believers.

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=97%25

            Sorry, but the data speaks for itself. No warming since 1996:

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/05/no-global-warming-for-17-years-8-months/

          • ColonelNeville

            Ah, so you “turn to the group” and “comrade” is not an insult. How revealing…I salute your appeal to authority, appeal to numbers, strawman, ad hoc, tu quoque and ad hominem etc. Wow, you strawman asserted that I went to Wikipedia. So you didn’t go to the link or just assumed? Er, the only link I put up was to the brilliant thepeoplescube com, run by an ex-Soviet KGB propaganda artist, who er, may know a thing or two about why comrade IS an insult to anyone decent, liberty loving and authentic.

            But WHY do you believe this alleged “group?” Gee, I thought scientists were autonomous INDIVIDUALS first or they are not worth a damn secondly. Are not scientists human and thus flawed, capable of failure, error, lying, lusts and greed just like anyone else? Can’t state enforced belief in an alleged ‘scientific’ belief be a fraud as in the Soviets Lysenko madness and Michael Mann’s junk hockey stick?

            Isn’t data largely provisional? Hasn’t most scientific discovery come from individuals and small teams usually against the larger established “group”? When did science become “consensus”? It never did. Politics is consensus. Empirical facts stand or fall on their own.

            Do you often outsource your critical research and reading faculties to other unknowable groups who are likely ignorant of and uninterested in your existence? Using ANY dictionary, the opposite of sceptical is gullible. The opposite of questioning is silence. The opposite of individuality is conformity. Is that you, comrade? http://thepeoplescube.com/

            If ‘global temperature’ has not increased for over 16 years when C02 emissions have, isn’t that a flaw in the GW theory worthy of some er, consideration? Even a widdle teeny weeny bit?

            When Hollywood celebrities, pop stars, ecofascist leftist academics and ever expanding governments have the same views as a government funded bodies and a subset of scientists in a U.N political bodies report, I have my doubts about its er, veracity. What do you do, sir? Apparently nothing but trusting. Why?
            No, really.

          • ColonelNeville

            You babbled that in the “absense of my own experience or expertise…” Then why would I listen to your utter passive outsourcing of critical thinking and conformist laziness?

            You driveled that “This is the wonder”, er, that you can tie your own shoelaces without guidance from the correct government approved group.

            And you drooled that “you seem to be under the mistaken impression that…” Er, you’re the one doing the impressions of a bundled opinion leftist ecofascist twit, bub, and very convincing they are too. No, really.

          • ColonelNeville

            Hey, does this show why you don’t find “comrade” an insult? A great collection of Marxist leftist comrades and their jihadist brothers. No, really.

            http://www.zombietime.com/hall_of_shame/

            http://colonelrobertneville.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/jihad-in-melbourne-cbd-muslim-and.html

        • Netwie

          Free speech and all ,but ending everything you say with “no,really” is sophomoric and not catchy. Are you schilling for your blog too? Classy.

      • ColonelNeville

        Ningo batooty flippity zippo. Flapitty doo doo yowzer! No, really.

        • Abraham_Franklin

          What does that mean?

      • DaveM12

        Oh come on, its not 1,000s of scientists, its a tiny handful and even this little group are not climate scientists.

      • ColonelNeville

        Astoundingly you admit to having exactly the same behavior and mindset as I wrote in my original statement then? Got it. So I can kind of quote YOU as simpatico with the following:

        “I always agree with whatever the government, media, academia, celebrity and my easily frightened fellow citizens say, comrades, but only if that’s o.k with all of them. It’s wrong to have your own original thoughts based on empirical observation, research and reading. It only upsets people. Be kind, have no mind. No, really.”

        Bravo, comrade! To the front of the firing squad and forward to the People’s Glorious Socialist Ecofascist Revolution and Group Re-education Gulag! No, really.

        http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/michelle-recalls-surviving-american-death-camps-t13712.html

      • Russ Graham

        “We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. – J Robert Oppenheimer. Think about that while climate change zealots tell you the debate is over.

      • Fred Beloit

        But Kaine, ask yourself this, do the predictions of many scientists over-rule what is now obvious from our impartial, observational instruments. Can the popularity, and that is what you really mean when you cite ‘thousands of scientists, etc., of a theory overrule accurate thermometers?

        If so then you have joined the ranks of the Earth’s climate stability deniers and skeptics. Congratulations.

        • Kaine

          The observations confirm the scientific consensus. The conspiracy theorists who deny climate change have yet to come up with an explanation as to why in this instance CO2 would not lead to warming, when it always has before. This idea that the laws of physics suspend for their benefit is why the proper comparison is with their ilk in the creationist and geocentrists crowds.

          • Edward

            “The conspiracy theorists who deny climate change have yet to come up with an explanation as to why in this instance CO2 would not lead to warming, when it always has before.”

            Our explanation is simple: Increased CO2 did not lead to warming in this instance because it did not LEAD to warming at any time before, and is NOT the controlling factor in warming.

            It was the AGW crowd that claimed an absolute causal connection between rising CO2 and rising temperature. The current observations plainly refute their “scientific consensus” and It is they who must now provide an explanation as to why the central tenet of their theory has failed. This idea that the scientific method must be suspended for their benefit is why we mock them and their conclusions.

          • Kaine

            The historical record is that an event occurs (usual a period of increased solar activity, or the Earth’s orbit bringing it closer to the sun) and a small amount of warming occurs. This kicks off various positive feed-back mechanisms (warmer oceans retain less CO2, smaller icecaps reflect less solar radiation, permafrost melts releasing green house gases etc). This causes more warming, which causes more positive feedback etc. That’s why CO2 lags temperature, because while it wasn’t (usually) the original spark it did lead to greater warming.

            We have kick-started the positive feedback cycle by releasing huge amounts of CO2. We were the original event.

          • Fred Beloit

            You are talking nonsense. The stability deniers said the Earth would keep warming. It has not warmed in 12 years.

  • ColonelNeville

    I’m tired of the Islamophobia of people screaming as they’re beheaded in jihadist videos. No, really.

    • Will Goulborn

      Jihad means struggle, the meaning of the word has been narrowed by imperialist, islamophobic Western media to only include violent reactionaries.

      • Keith D

        You sir should read the Koran. Useful idiot in extremis.

        • Will Goulborn

          I will admit that I haven’t read all of it, but the parts which I have, including the five pillars, are open to interpretation and a lot hinges on the translation.

          Religious texts are a sea in which you catch whichever fish you wanted to.

          • Netwie

            Keith : I have seen that comment many times :”you sir,should read the quran/bible/torah/owners manual”. It is hardly a weighty come back. The media offers a narrow version of ,well,pretty much everything.
            Will,you are absolutely correct with your last sentence there. It is a sea in which you catch what you seek.

          • Keith D

            If you want a discussion on Islam, its interpretation in this century and the non abrogation of its violent tomes then go ahead. I’ve read that book and the hadith. All of it.

            Theres no doubt what jihad means and the evidence of that is seen daily in the blood soaked streets wherever Jihadists are found.

            I’ve not sought to catch that. It was all there was in the sea.

          • Will Goulborn

            So you don’t believe that Jihad can mean personal struggle at all, despite Mr. Ben Avraham saying that it was an alternative interpretation earlier.

            By holding the view that Islam and violence are inseparable, you make it so. Islamic reactionaries believe that there is a war by the West to destroy Islam, do not make them right.

          • Keith D

            Will, theres been violent jihad against the infidel since the 8th Century. Since 9/11 theres been over 25000 attacks, never mind the ones the authorities intercepted. Rape gangs , FGM and a list of horrors that is endless. And all because they emulate the “perfect man”. Please read it. Do I believe the MSM rubbish that its the ROP, or my own lying eyes?.

            If the West wanted to destroy Islam we’d have pushed a button after 9/11. We didnt.

            Its people who deny Islams supremacist, separatist nature, that make all out war more likely. Evil only respects strength.

          • Will Goulborn

            Meanwhile, in the Middle East, identical arguments are used against the West.

            Bombing civilians with white phosphorous, torture in US military jails, selling Saddam chemical weapons, backing a coup in Iran, military occupation of the fertile crescent. I haven’t even mentioned Israel yet.

            Before you start spitting EDL bile, know this, Islamic fundamentalist terrorism grows when the actions of the USA and its lapdog Britain water it.

          • Keith D

            Eh, I think you’ll find the USA quite a recent establishment. Founded some thousand years after the first Jihad.

            And please quote me where I said I approved of that traitor Blairs actions in the ME.

            Islamic terrorism has always been there, but you didnt bother to check, did you?

            And I’ve no truck with the EDL thanks.

            Typical PC leftie reaction to anything said in defence of the British Working people betrayed by champagne socialists like you.
            Maybe FGM, forced marriage, rape gangs, drug dealers, honour killings and patrol mobs on our streets are reactions to a coup in Iran by the CIA 60 years ago.?

            Get a grip theres a good chap.

            Get yourself a nice glass of Moet, while the rest of us deal with the mess you all left us.

          • Will Goulborn

            Obviously you haven’t appreciated the subtlety with which global events impact one another. Western imperialism subjecting Muslims to foreign rule was one of the major causes of the development of more radical, reactionary, militant forms of Islam. I don’t pretend to be able to predict what would have happened in the Middle East if the League of Nations had respected the promise of self government to the Arab people or if Mohammed Mossadegh’s democratically elected government had been allowed to continue but I imagine that the Taliban would have far less of a raison d’etre. Many of the features which you have identified are synonymous with a patriarchal culture, not Islam, if you don’t believe me, read Nawal El Saadawi.

            As for your decision that I am a champagne socialist, I concede that I am middle class. Not because I asked to be born into a middle class family or anything. On the other hand, I recognise that the only way the capitalist system is maintained is by telling ‘white, british’ working class people that their enemies are other working class people. Marx identified over 100 years ago that tabloid newspapers were used by those in power to spread racial hatred in order to maintain inequality.

            And for your information, the only champagne I’ve ever drunk was stolen and I had to Google Moet.

          • FrenchNewsonlin

            The Daily Mirror the first tabloid style newspaper in the UK, was first published in 1903. Karl Marx died in 1883. Thinking of some one else perhaps?

          • Will Goulborn

            I apologise for that, what he actually wrote was

            Every industrial and commercial center in England now possesses a working class divided into two hostile camps, English proletarians and Irish proletarians. The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standard of life. In relation to the Irish worker he feels himself a member of the ruling nation and so turns himself into a tool of the aristocrats and capitalists of his country against Ireland, thus strengthening their domination over himself. He cherishes religious, social and national prejudices against the Irish worker. His attitude toward him is much the same as that of the “poor whites” to the “niggers” in the former slave states of the U.S.A.
            This antagonism is artificially kept alive and intensified by the press, the pulpit, the comic papers, in short, by all the means at the disposal of the ruling classes. This antagonism is the secret of the impotence of the English working class, despite its organization.

          • NB_Liberallies

            So, the horrific mutilation of women’s genitalia in Muslim countries is the fault of Britain and the USA?

            The oppression by powerful Muslim leaders of their people in Muslim nations is the fault of the USA and Britain?

            The invasion by the Muslim Turks and Moors of Europe, is the fault of the USA and Britain?

            Imams calling for the rape of women, supporting pedophilia is the fault of Britain and the USA?

            So, it is the fault of Britain and the USA when Muslims invaded a city, demanded the children of the town be handed over to them. The girls to be sex slaves and boys to become homosexual slaves of the Muslims. if the town did not give up their children, everyone in the town was slaughtered at the hands of Muslims.

            Yeah, the fault of Britain and the USA….

            You are one crazy nut, you are what the Muslims call a dhimmi.

            I am sure you are aware that in Islam, lying and cheating in order to help the spread of Islam is allowed. In fact, it is one of the commandments of Islam, lie and cheat if you need to in order to spread Islam.

            The sad useful tools on the Left, like Goulborn.

          • PGlenn

            Goulborn, No doubt, western intrusions into the middle east contributed to an extent to formation and/or growth of some radical movements, the radicalization of individual jihadists, etc. But you’re way overemphasizing this aspect . . . resting everything upon it.

            Your problem, though, is that you’ll have to rely on historical revisionism to hold your point

            1. As Keith D and others note above, violent jihad and the terrorizing of non-Muslims is a very old tradition. Naturally, under the glory days of the Caliphate, when it covered a large swath of eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, there was no need for such a pervasive sense among Muslim scholars and political activists that they had to cleanse their own societies and/or destroy the existential-threat bogeyman from outside. But they were very violently imposing their will on neighboring states and unbelievers within.

            2. If you study the origins of the Muslim Brotherhood and other similar political Islamist movements, you’ll learn that they began as reactions against their own governing elites, e.g. against Ataturk. They didn’t need the CIA and MI6 and whatnot to brew their seething hatred for the west and the westernized-influences within their own societies. Later, they would utilize such pretexts to advantage their movements, but it’s ahistorical to blame their rise on western Imperial “terrorism.”

          • ladykrystyna

            “Western imperialism subjecting Muslims to foreign rule was one of the major causes of the development of more radical, reactionary, militant forms of Islam. ”

            Muslim pirates were kidnapping and pillaging American ships when Jefferson was in office. In a letter to Mr. Jefferson, the Muslim pirates said they were just doing what Mohammed commanded them to do – go after the infidels.

            We sent in the Marines and for a while there, we had no problems with them.

            That’s the way you deal with violent nuts who can’t seem to “play nice with others”.

            You are a good little dhimmi, but eventually they will come for you.

          • Edward

            You can ignore all of the supposed “reactionary” attacks against western civilization and still find ample evidence of Islamic brutality. Take a look at any society under Muslim control and you will see their true nature. Take away the “raison d’etre” and the Taliban will still engage in the murder, mutilation, and oppression of it’s own people.

          • lee g

            Hmm. As a cause of Islamic terrorism, you might wish to include the House of Saud subsidizing Wahhabist madrassas which teach a particularly virulent and violent interpretation of Islam. Of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers, 15 of them were Saudi nationals.

          • Alexandrovich

            So, the surface having been scratched and your sophistry not working, you reveal your true colours. How puerile.

          • MissDemeanor

            if palestinians would want palestinians to live peacefully and well, they would;t constantly attack israel

            no misslies = no retaliations

            i think even for a tiny mind, this seems pretty clear and logical

          • Russ Graham

            So you know that there are some barbaric murderous islamic thugs out there beheading people but your beef is over the true definition of what jihad is? That we somehow are misinterpreting the word. I don’t give a flying f@#k what word someone uses to describe it. I wish they would stop doing that.

          • http://readingscripture.org Ron Henzel

            “Islamic reactionaries believe that there is a war by the West to destroy Islam, do not make them right.”

            When Islamic reactionaries stop killing us because they believe idiotic things about us, I’ll start caring about what they believe. But, wait a minute! Why should we ever care when people believe idiotic things about us? That’s their problem, not ours!

          • Hillel ben Avraham

            I must correct you Mr. Goulborn. Jihad finds its route in the Arabic infinitive jahada, “To wage [war]”, uniquely used throughout the Qur’an and early ahadith to refer to battles – often defensive but not all the time, for instance it is used to refer to a number of Jewish poets who authored early polemical criticism of Islam, later assassinated at the orders of Muhammad. If August 12, 1952 was the Night of the Murdered Poets, you could almost assume 624 CE was the Year of the Murdered Poets.

            Granted it is also used for struggle, but this stems from the concept of greater jihad, formed in the 11th century by Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi in his wonderful Ta’rikh Baghdad (History of Baghdad), excluded from the 8,200+ ahadith of Islam, and the main compendium, and was excellently refuted by Imam Abdullah Azzam in his conclusion to “Join the Caravan” (Number 8 of 17), the father of modern global Jihadi movements, revivalist of lesser “pure” jihad, and mentor to Osama bin Laden back when he was laundering money through the Maktab al-Khidamat.

            To be sure the definition of a word can change and its interpretation too, I take the fact that jihad, in the greater sense, now refers to struggle of the mind, heart, and tongue. To ignore the changing interpretation would be to commit etymological fallacy. But to say that jihad when referring to war, whether defensive or offensive, is a term narrowed by “imperialist, islamophobic Western media” is historically incorrect. It may be true that many in the Islamic world believe the West is waging a “New Crusade” against Islam, certainly in an area of the world in which the majority live with low standards of living it is difficult to argue against their experiential derived views, but the Crusades was a reactionary movement for many reasons, but initially a drive against Islamic imperialistic conquest into a shattered and disunited Europe after suffering hundreds of years of pure, unaltered, pre-revisionist jihad.

          • Will Goulborn

            I don’t deny that Islamic teaching has been used as the basis for awful acts but I object to media depictions of Islam as a solely violent, destructive force as it is inaccurate.

          • Hillel ben Avraham

            I wholeheartedly agree on this, there are many facets to this debate beyond the teaching of Islam, such as the experiential views of those who lack basic sanitation, education, health care, etc. Muslims have been gravely mistreated by Western media, I side with you on this – I was appalled when a poppy burning took place by a radical group and the media misappropriated and misused images in order to exaggerate the number of Muslims attending this event, painting the 100+ Muslims who turned out in protest of the burners as equal to them.

          • Will Goulborn

            Thankyou for taking the time to write such detailed and informative responses. I wish the mainstream media would focus more on all the positive things which Islam has contributed to the world in order to change the generally negative perception which is currently held in Britain.

          • wudyermucuss

            The Hells Angels do toy runs,the Mafia give Xmas parties,the Nazis built some lovely roads,that sort of thing?
            Islam is an oppressive,antiquated,totalitarian,supremacist,homophobic, misogynistic,racist ideology.
            And free speech?Come on!
            Nice buildings and science do not in any way balance the scales.

          • Will Goulborn

            Oppressive, antiquated, totalitarian, misogynistic, racist? You could just as easily be talking about UKIP. I’m not talking about materialism here, Islam, like Christianity or any other religion, has helped a lot of people to achieve a better life.

          • DoctorZin

            “Islam is . . . homophobic, misogynistic, racist . . .”

            Yeah, but be fair: there’s bad stuff, too.

          • PGlenn

            For that matter, much of the famed architecture, libraries, science under the earliest Islamic states were inherited from the eastern Roman/Byzantine empires and associated city states. Strangely enough, all the famed culture, science, and learning kept declining as Islam advanced through the centuries.

          • D Bachman

            But why would you wish such a thing, Will Goulbourn? For many years, such allegedly “positive things” (like what, invention of the zero? the kindness of preserving some Greek learning after burning down half the Eastern Roman Empire?) the danger and destructive tendency of Islam, not just in the west but literally everywhere it set foot, has been ignored or deliberately understated. We now desperately need honest exposition of these inconvenient truths. Then we need to ask ourselves how on earth we could ever get to the place we are now, hope it is not too late, and then start backpedalling for all we may still be worth.

          • FrenchNewsonlin

            Well perhaps if manipulative Islamists were less strident in continuously calling for and perpetrating barbaric atrocities in the name of their ideology, and attempting to return the world to the Dark Ages, the media would have less reason to depict anything about Islam at all?

          • Will Goulborn

            See the discussion below if you want to see why the West is equally guilty.

          • PGlenn

            “I object to media depictions of Islam as a solely violent, destructive force”

            Strawman argument. No media that I know of depicts Islam SOLELY as a violent, destructive force. Inasmuch as media are depicting Islam accurately (many media are way too timid to do so), then the violent and destructive tendencies of Islam are depicted as PERVASIVE and CHRONIC.

          • Will Goulborn

            I agree that the violent and destructive tendencies of SOME MUSLIMS are exaggerated so that they are portrayed as pervasive and chronic. Though you seem to be arguing that they do not go far enough.

          • PGlenn

            I was referring to Islam, not individual Muslims. Islam – as promoted by various religious leaders, Theocrats, political Islmaists, etc. – mostly promotes the ideas of global jihad, spread of the Caliphate, etc. The violent and destructive tendencies are truly pervasive and chronic among Islamist movements.

            When it comes to individual Muslims, who really knows? Many aren’t necessarily devout believers in political Islam, but hate Jews and/or the West. No doubt, there are millions of Muslims who would like nothing better than their lives in peace and, if they had their druthers, would put an end to political Islam. Then again, when they hold elections in Muslims countries, they frequently seem to elect insane Islamists.

          • Rodrigo Castalan

            So, you do not deny that Islam can and has in the past been the source of violence, you just take offence that people talk about it.

          • PGlenn

            “Religious texts are a sea in which you catch whichever fish you wanted to.”

            So, why do 90 percent of Islamic teachers only seem to catch Baracudas in their nets?

          • Will Goulborn

            Is that a real figure or just one you’ve made up?

          • PGlenn

            I was being snarky, Ghoulborn. The real number of Islamic teachers who only catch Baracudas in their interpretive nets (in reading Islamic texts) is 93.45 (+/- 0.05) percent.

          • BOB

            88 percent of all statistics are made up.

          • anotherjoeblogs

            ” Religious texts are a sea in which you catch whichever fish you wanted to. ”

            is that why abu hamza had a hook for a hand ?

      • iconoclast

        Poor babies. They are misunderstood.

        Maybe when some declare “jihad” against those violent reactionaries the West might view Islam with less phobia. Until then, we will continue to encourage profiling of Muslims.

      • Dudley Morris

        I have to assume you’re taking the piss here.

      • Fred Beloit

        Struggle = fight. Now isn’t that right?

      • Draven

        You have to be joking, surely? No-one can actually be this stupid, can they?

  • http://ironburka.blogspot.com/ Mullah Lodabullah

    The Left (and Right or anyone pushing the ‘islam is peace’ furphy) should think long and hard about whether Jews, Christians and muslims really do worship the same God, as is so often asserted. Islam has become a protected religion, while Christianity and Judaism can be trashed with impunity (in life, if not in death).

  • Francis Moran

    This is very important. Time grows short. The Erin Chins of the world, lazy of thought, are coming, armed with meaningless degrees to create the new “1984” group think, news-speak fascism. And her generation has more care for dance show outcomes.

    • Kaine

      I take it with the 1984 reference you agree with the author of that tome that the only solution to totalitarianism is democratic socialism?

      • Colonel Mustard

        The problem is, klansman, that the “democratic socialism” espoused by people just like you invariably ends up in totalitarianism. Or perhaps you can give an example of where it has not or there is no leftist “struggle” still going on?

        • Kaine

          Klansman? That’s a new one. Points for creativity darling.

          The Nordics will do as good working examples of democracies with strong social bonds. Not perfect, but what is this side of heaven?

          • FrenchNewsonlin

            Nordics eh! Places like Denmark presumably where Copenhagen now rejoices in a creche with a policy of actively discouraging its infants to use terms such as “boy” and “girl”; where teachers neuter all role play; where they cleanse their teaching materials of any impure thoughts on gender difference and insist the infants be allowed to choose which sex they belong to! Any more examples of social dystopia to offer?

          • Kaine

            You think letting kids decide whether they want to wear trousers or dresses, and whether they play football or bake cakes, rather than letting that be determined by what’s between their legs is dystopian?

            I can only assume you lack imagination.

          • FrenchNewsonlin

            You seem to have got that one back to front! It is precisely what is between their legs (and the associated internal piping) that determines their sex not the dystopian social engineers attempting to gerrymander the boundaries.

          • Kaine

            You seem to be confusing sex, a biological concept, and gender, a social construct.

          • FrenchNewsonlin

            A social construct intimately bound up with a biological reality — what is between their legs — or do you enjoy splitting hairs.

          • Kaine

            There is nothing about having a vagina that means girls like pink, frilly dresses and baking, and there is nothing about having a penis that makes boys like blue, dungarees and kicking a ball.

            However if you truly think this is part of the wiring why the objection? All the boys will pick one thing and all the girls another.

          • FrenchNewsonlin

            Because social engineering is but one instrument in an authoritarian Leftist toolbox aimed at the command and control of our lives to fit a perverse ideology.

          • Kaine

            Err, you’ve got it backwards. Forcing girls and boys into specific gender roles is social engineering, allowing them to pick what they want would be the opposite of that.

          • ClausewitzTheMunificent

            Ever heard of Occam’s Razor? Conspiracy rarely trumps Nature.

          • ladykrystyna

            Few people in any Western country actually force boys and girls into gender roles. Many girls are tomboys and play sports. Many boys like cooking. Ever hear of Wolfgang Puck? Emeril Lagasse? There are dozens more that I can’t even list here.

            Girls playing sports as well, even body building?

            No one is stopping them.

            But a boy liking to cook doesn’t make him a girl and mean that he has to chop off his penis.

            In what is left of the mostly free countries in this world, no one is forced to do anything.

            And studies have shown that the RULE is boys like boy toys and girls like girl toys. Anything else is merely an EXCEPTION TO THE RULE.

          • Kaine

            Citation needed.

          • ladykrystyna

            For what? Studies have been done for decades about kids and toys. But apparently you live in a bubble with your head up your backside.

          • Kaine

            And yet you can’t actually cite any about boys magically liking trucks from birth.

          • ladykrystyna

            If I asked 10 strangers on the street more of them would be able to remember these studies being discussed on news programs for years.

            But you live in a bubble and I can’t help you with that.

          • Kaine

            And yet you still can’t cite them, with all the internet at your fingertips.

          • FrenchNewsonlin

            Be interesting to know how many 3 -4 year olds have the slightest intellectual understanding of what the term “gender” means. Offering an infant an option of “gender” choice at the level you are seeking to defend is patent, absurd nonsense which ought to make even a Leftie blush.

          • Alexandrovich

            They do, you’ve obviously never had children.

          • Kaine

            There are no boys who dislike football, and no girls who like it?

          • ClausewitzTheMunificent

            You’re making a fallacious point here. You are simply picking out simple, commonly used symbols for gender, and identifying them with said gender.This inevitably leads you to the wrong conclusion, namely that gender is superficial and representative, when the real problem is that the symbols you have chosen are superficial and unrepresentative! That which determines gender is the anatomy together with its associated behavioural patterns. Some individuals may be confused about their gender, but the issue is also, ultimately, physiological – the mind is very good at rationalizing but not particularly good at independent action – that is to say it is incorrect to detach mind and body as Descartes was wont to. Also, a fine example of a straw man argument.

          • ladykrystyna

            “There is nothing about having a vagina that means girls like pink, frilly dresses and baking, and there is nothing about having a penis that makes boys like blue, dungarees and kicking a ball.”

            Who says that being a girl means pink and frilly dresses and baking. A “tomboy” is still a GIRL, she just has different interests. Doesn’t mean she should mutilate her body to become what she is not.

            Same with guys who like to cook or even dance.

            You really have no concept of reality.

          • Kaine

            Who spoke about mutilation?

          • ladykrystyna

            Do you even have any grasp of the issue regarding “gender” and self-identifying?

            Apparently not. You like to post a lot of garbage but you have nothing to say.

          • Kaine

            Perhaps if you engaged with what I said as opposed to what you imagine I said you might have better luck darling.

          • ladykrystyna

            But you aren’t saying anything of substance.

          • grrretchen

            Thank you Kaine. I have always had a pet peeve when filling out an application and coming to the question of gender. But I also felt I was being overly critical insisting on the word sex. To me sex had to do with people (male versus female) whereas gender had to do with words and articles (masculine versus feminine). But reading your post above in which gender is also a social construct I no longer feel silly or over critical. Fear of socially constructed boys and socially constructed girls is far more important than my silly worries about grammar.

          • ladykrystyna

            Gender is about grammar, not living people.

            There is only SEX and it’s male or female, with a few genetic mutations. DEAL WITH IT.

          • ladykrystyna

            You are born with a “sex” (with genetic mutations that can happen). But most people are either XX or XY. PERIOD.

            No amount of wishful thinking or mutilation of your body will change that fact.

            And yes, it is dystopian. It’s sick and parents who do those things to there children should be prosecuted for mentally damaging those children.

            Gender exists – there are 2. DEAL WITH IT.

          • Kaine

            Again, sex and gender are not the same thing. Chromosomes determine sex. Gender is a set of performed social roles and presentation. This is pretty basic stuff, but I wouldn’t expect someone who describes Jefferson as ‘right wing’ to understand.

          • ladykrystyna

            Did you learn that in your grievance studies class?

            There is sex and gender is just bovine feces.

            And yes, Jefferson was a “classical liberal” which is a political philosophy that is now represented by conservatives and libertarians. In America, we call that right wing.

            Educate yourself, git.

          • Kaine

            Jefferson, an anti-Christian, anti-banking intellectual who had a relationship with his dead wife’s black half sister wouldn’t win a Republican primary to be dog-catcher.

          • ladykrystyna

            Jefferson was not “anti-Christian”. At best he was anti-organized religion and given the times they lived in, I could understand why.

            Anti-banking? He probably wouldn’t like the Federal Reserve either, but that wouldn’t make him a leftist. He also wrote the Declaration of Independence which lays out our American ideas that the left sure isn’t big into.

            “wouldn’t win a Republican primary to be dog-catcher.”

            Yeah, because the establishment GOP wouldn’t like him.

          • Kaine

            “I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.”

          • Edward

            Yes, Chromosomes determine sex and Gender is a set of performed social roles and presentation. However, the innate characteristics derived from those chromosomal differences are what created the social roles in the first place.

            The people who try to abolish gender roles also tend to be the ones that want to dump the sex part of gender identity. They foolishly think that they can ignore the chromosomal side and convince people with psychological issues that mutilating their genitalia will somehow fix the problem.

          • Kaine

            Sex (with the minuscule exception of those with chromosomal or extreme phenotypical abnormalities) is fixed.

            Gender is not. And while in the past there may have been necessary roles for reasons of group survival, we’re past that now. This is nothing to do with surgery, it’s about letting people decide what suits them without societal pressure based on whether they’re a man or a woman.

          • Edward

            Have you ever interacted with members of the opposite sex? Anyone who has, knows quite well that the physical aspects of sex are the strongest driver of gender identity.

          • Kaine

            How do they know that?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Oh dear.

          • mick0311

            Yeah, they are a good example. An example the size of what? Texas, maybe a few States?

      • grrretchen

        Why would you assume that? There are many strange bedfellows out there. Just because I might agree with a Marxist that Nazism is bad, doesn’t mean I agree with Marxism.

        • Gorga Naibaho

          By the way, Nazism is just as left leaning as Marxism. Slightly to the right of pure Communism perhaps, but there’s nothing right wing-ish about it.

          • Kaine

            Please not this nonsense again. Nazism was a combination of fascism, the political creed of the Catholic Right centred in a deeply traditional patriarchal mindset, and a slew of German Romanticism. It has precisely nothing to do with the foundations of social democratic thought which draw upon the twin sources of the French Revolution and the experience of the working classes under industrial capitalism.

            The desire of conservatives to put everything they dislike in the same box doesn’t work. People and ideas are too complicated for that.

          • ClausewitzTheMunificent

            And what was fascism? Fascism was the middle way, the supposed perfect blend of socialism. National Socialism was not traditional, and far from Catholic. It sought the creation of a new biologically perfect man and the creation of a new, ordered, totalitarian society, a society in which business and the old religion would have no place. Does this sound familiar? Perhaps it is because it shares some salient features with the Soviet New Man, and the end goal of Communist Paradise? The fact that it also happened to draw upon the German romantics is an accident of history, in that NS was born in Germany, and is irrelevant to the argument. Soviet communism was undoubtedly influenced by the Russian way of life and Russian ways of thinking, so why not harp on about that?

          • Colonel Mustard

            “The desire of conservatives to put everything they dislike in the same box doesn’t work.”

            Come orf it! You do exactly that!

            And the Nazis believed they were socialists, just like New Labour. Hitler himself asserted:-

            “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”

            Not too different from you.

          • Kaine

            Do you always believe what Hitler tells you or simply when it suits your political prejudices?

          • Colonel Mustard

            I didn’t say I believed it. I merely recorded the fact that he himself asserted it. That was his own identification of his national socialist party and what it was opposed to. And the assertion contains much that Miliband himself has said recently. Should we believe him more than Hitler? If so, why?

            The desire of socialists (like you) to put everything they dislike in the same box doesn’t work. People and ideas are too complicated for that.

            Or

            The desire of socialists (like you) to put everything they like in the same box (and to pretend it is not flawed) doesn’t work. People and ideas are too complicated for that.

            Self-righteous slogans, you see, not arguments.

        • Behind_You1

          I find it interesting that Kaine did not actually respond to your question.

      • FrankWye

        Democratic Socialism is Totalitarianism… eventually. Animal House…

        • Kaine

          Orwell disagrees.

  • Alec Stuart

    Another excellent Steyn column. Here is a man who really gets it.

    The conformist zombies of the Left, their herd seemingly growing by the day, moves like a plague across what is left of Western civilization. If we cannot find a way to turn the tide, I fear for the world that will be left for my descendants.

    • black11hawk

      Alec, I agree with you that things are by no means where we’d want them to be but I think that certain topics have become slightly easier to discuss over the last few years. For instance the immigration debate has opened up, we are talking more about the role of Islam in our society, there are a number of shows like the Big Questions which provide a forum for such topics as well. There are definitely still limits to freedom of speech and a large group of people who would seek to shrink those boundaries even further, but I don’t think we should be overly pessimistic.

      • Kaine

        So these limits allow you to hear your views expressed merely in national newspapers, political magazines, television and the internet? How awful.

        • Colonel Mustard

          But people just like you are trying to stop that. It’s remarkable that these “limits” always seem to conform to leftist ideology. Why, anyone might think that the left invented “political correctness”.

          “Historically, the term was a colloquialism used in the early-to-mid 20th century by Communists and Socialists in political debates, referring pejoratively to the Communist “party line”, which provided for “correct” positions on many matters of politics. The term was adopted in the later 20th century by the New Left”

          Hmm.

          • GraveDave

            You want to see what’s happened to the Telegraph. Anything relating to Islam, like the Lutfer Rahman debacle, closed to comments. Not just Islam but anything likely to draw controversial opinions. Utter cowardice.

          • Kaine

            Their site, their property, their rules. If you don’t like it you have an entire internet to discuss things in.

          • GraveDave

            Thank you very much for that. If only half their articles weren’t about defending the rights to free speech also.

          • PGlenn

            Kaine, why is the left so poor at reasoning? Stein writes about the intellectual cloistering of elite institutions and media and its implications for western societies. GraveDave gives an example of an elite media outlet shutting down debate. Your non sequitor response is that the media outlet is legally entitled to shut down debate in its (private) forums. No kidding, genius. But what does that tell us about western societies?

          • Kaine

            If Mr Steyn’s objection is to the growing enclosure of the public space by private interests who can determine what is and is not acceptable without recourse to democratic oversight that would be a powerful and intriguing point.

            However this is about free speech, and free speech is not a right to be given a soap box to stand upon. You do not have a right to have your views be published by the Telegraph. This denial of a forum, online comments, that did not even exist twenty years ago, is not robbing you of your birthright.

          • PGlenn

            Kaine, it’s nice that you are attributing to Steyn a powerful and intriguing point concerning the interface between public space and private interests. It’s just that Steyn’s analyses are not so limited. I know the left prefers to focus only on private interests (read: corporations), but Styen also incorporates the roles of academia, pop and high cultures, transnational elites, technocrats, etc. in shutting down debate and the cloistering of PC ideas.

            In that sense, he is not referring to the narrowly-defined 1st Amendment legal definition of “free speech” in this analysis. He’s talking about the importance of having robust debate and freedom of expression in the public and civic realms of democratic systems.

            Similarly to how the left emphasizes positive liberty over narrowly-construed negative liberty, Steyn is talking about the value of “positive” free speech.

            But, with how the left has been treating public discourse of late, I can see how you’d rather narrow the frame-of-reference, lest you accidentally catch yourself looking in the mirror.

          • Kaine

            I’m sure what you just said made you feel awfully clever but you don’t appear to have said anything at all.

            If this is general musings about the role of speech in Western Culture then it’s fun I suppose, but Mr Steyn seems to be alleging an attack, and I simply ask then for the source of this attack to be named. An amorphous ‘the Left’ simply will not do.

          • Caleb50

            Oh for the love of god. Why don’t you check out the website for FIRE to see how it works on campus. Let me be more specific. The leftists on campus are absolutely the ones who are behind the speech codes which are always found to be unconstitutional whenever a brave student fights back. If you want even more specificity, these things spring from faculty in disciplines that focus on identity studies, administrators–especially those from Student Affairs, and leftist students who could be referred to as social justice warriors. This is not amorphous musings. These people on campus come together, sit around big tables, develop these policies, and then enforce them on campus. That is an attack on free speech. Full stop.

          • Kaine

            Who sits at these big tables? I’m assuming the usual suspects; Illuminati, Jesuits, International banking cartel, Space Lizards…

            And “unconstitutional” means sod all in a British newspaper.

          • NB_Liberallies

            Kaine, you are the typical radical Left wing kook. You ask for specifics. You are guided to FIRE, an organization that fights for free speech on college campuses. if you bother to read the cases, you find that most of the cases are due to the fact that professors, administrators are doing everything they can to silence Right wing speech.

            Instead of admitting you are wrong, you dismiss the facts.

            Your poor Left wing kooks.

            The Left hates free speech, which does not conform to Left wing orthodoxy.

          • Kaine

            What facts? That speech codes are dreamt up by unnamed individuals sat around “big tables” as the poster alleged?

          • Pvblivs

            You make this big speech about “not needing to give a forum” to people you think will persuade others that your cherished position is wrong. Because that is what censorship is normally about. The people silencing opposing viewpoints love censorship. The people being silenced hate it. And occasionally the two groups swap places.

            If you found yourself in a position where you could only hear views contrary to your own and were invited to address your concerns to a brick wall so that no one would hear them (essentially what you are advocating for your opponents) you would not take it too kindly.

            I would not require that a specific paper provide an open forum as long as there EXIST open fora (not brick walls) that could be easily found and would reach the ears of people that might not otherwise know about the dissent. You are advocating that such fora should not exist and that only your viewpoint should be heard.

          • Kaine

            I hate reading opposing viewpoints, which is why as a socialist I spend my time debating on the comments section of this well-known bastion of the Fourth International.

            I’m actually all for expansion of the public forums for debate. Let’s start by breaking up the corporate stranglehold on our press. When my voice, or yours, carries the same weight as that of Rupert Murdoch or the Barclay brothers then I’ll look at universities telling people they can’t use racist, misogynistic or homophobic language. Until then it’s arguing over crumbs.

          • zj sky

            jesus you are proudly claiming to be a socialist? How much failure do you need to see before you realize how foolish your political / economic model is? Sorry Kaine, now knowing this makes your arguments here even more vapid.

          • Kaine

            The validity of my arguments are independent of my status, whether I declare myself a socialist, a goldfish or the Messiah.

            Speaking of which, the irony of you taking Jesus’ name in shock at a doctrine of universal brotherhood is rather sweet.

          • zj sky

            Instead of being intellectually lazy, try researching via Google what Steyn went through in Canada.

          • Kaine

            If the author can’t be bothered to name the agents of his plight in the couple of thousand words afforded him here I don’t really see why I should spend my time trawling through innumerable blog articles to try and divine his meaning.

          • grrretchen

            Kaine, I see where you are coming from and you do have a point. Perhaps Mr. Steyn shouldn’t use the Mozilla example because that is a private firm and it has the right to fire its CEO. But do you disagree with Mr. Steyn’s larger point (made in numerous writings) that the state should be very careful about infringing on our right to freely express our opinion even if it be offensive?

          • PGlenn

            grretchen: Styen isn’t saying that Mozilla had no legal right to fire its CEO. He’s criticizing the western left’s growing intolerance for opposing views and the implications of that trend to civic discourse in western democratic societies. Don’t get taken in by Kaine’s red herring.

          • grrretchen

            Thank you for your reply PGlenn. You are right. I took the bait and ended up making a point I didn’t intend to. I should have said I meant to distinguish the Gallway case from the Mozilla case. The Gallway case involved direct shout down of the speaker by leftist radicals whereas the Mozilla case involved the spineless actions of the board responding to the shout downs by leftist radicals. The university should have stepped in on the Gallway case, whereas the board had every right to behave boorishly. But in either case, Steyn remains correct in noticing the steady creeping ever more present shutting down of free speech by the radical left.

          • Newtsundies

            One doesn’t have to be a “leftist” to be outraged by the barbaric actions of Israel and disgusted that anyone would defend that. Your attempt to suggest that to loathe the state of Israel is the act of an extremist is unhelpful to say the least.
            Oh, and just one last in Galway.

          • NB_Liberallies

            Barbaric actions of Israel? Incredible how hate for Israel converts people into irrational and radical human beings.

          • Fergus Pickering

            If you loathe the State of Israel how do you feel about Saudi Arabia? Or Zimbabwe? Or the present government of Iraq? Is there a verb for double-loathe, or do you prefer them to Israel?

          • grrretchen

            Thank you for your reply Newtsundies. I’m not sure what you’re referring to with regard to Israel. But thank you for correcting me about the spelling of Galway.

          • NB_Liberallies

            PGlenn, I think the obvious problems with what Mozilla did are:

            1) They gave into militant pro-homosexuals pressure within Mozilla and outside of Mozilla.

            2) If Mozilla had done the opposite, that is fire a CEO because the CEO gave money to a pro-homosexual cause, the SAME individuals, groups which applauded Mozilla, would be screaming, crying, and demanding criminal charges against Mozilla’s board.

            3) What happened in Mozilla has a chilling effect on free speech. The CEO of Mozilla gave money to a cause 6 years BEFORE he became CEO of Mozilla. On his own time, using his own money, the CEO exercised his freedom of association and freedom of speech and gave money to a cause, which agrees with his Moral beliefs.

            It is chilling and quite scary, that now we are encouraging companies to hire and fire individuals not based on what individuals know, their education, their professional accomplishments, but rather based on Moral beliefs.

            What do you think the lesson for a young individual is when they hear about the Mozilla case? “Well, I may support this cause and I want to give money to the cause, but I better not because I may not going to be hired in the future”. This is a terrifying prospect for free speech and let’s call it what it is, persecution.

            The Left has embraced the persecution of anyone who does not conform to Liberal orthodoxy.

          • simus1

            Are you unaware of the means that led to the Firefox CEO’s terrible private and confidential sin of holding and financial supporting the same views as the two most powerful DemocRats eight years ago being illegally made public? Are you so completely uninformed?

          • Edward

            The other key issue in the Mozilla debacle is that CEO Eichs opponents used the power of government (specifically disclosure laws on political donations) to target him for his private views. The issue then, is not only the specific protections of the first amendment, but the suppression of speech or views, through other seemingly unrelated government laws.

            Another example that Mr. Steyn missed: Dr. Angela McCaskill, the first deaf African-American female to earn a Ph.D. from Gallaudet University in Maryland was fired from her position at Gallaudet because she signed a petition seeking a referendum for traditional marriage. She felt that such an important issue should be decided by popular vote rather than by the state legislator. Opponents of the measure scoured the petition looking for names of anyone they could punish.

            http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/10/11/md-marriage-equality-group-opposes-suspension-of-gallaudet-administrator/

          • GraveDave

            The public soapbox did exist though. That’s just it. As for the DT – then it shouldn’t be calling itself a blog – should it. Or saying ‘comment on this’ when it means comments are closed.
            Yes it actually says that sometimes – directly after inviting us to ‘comment on this’. So unless you’ve been there, you don’t really know what you’re talking about – do you?
            Also is the ridiculous pre-moderation tool that stops you saying something like ‘fag’ when talking about cigarettes.
            I’m not joking.

          • Kaine

            Blogs are simply articles published online. They are under no more obligation to publish your reply than they are to publish a written letter responding to a print article. And yes I have occasionally found myself on the Tele site, though I don’t like the crowd.

            Pre-moderation is a cost measure where things are flagged by algorithms so you don’t need as many people moderating.

          • GraveDave

            Kaine Unable.

          • Kaine

            I’d give you more points if it hadn’t taken you three days to think that up.

          • ISOaPBR

            Point very clearly made. Unfortunately, that point is Steyn’s exactly.

          • black11hawk

            Dave, it’s illegal to divulge information on ongoing criminal investigations and/or trials, so as far as I’m aware they usually close them off to stop that happening. It was the same for the Nigella and her assistants’ expenses debacle.

          • GraveDave

            I know. I do know. And I understand. But it goes beyond that now on the D/T. Besides Andrew Gilligan in particular has been making his case for years on Tower Hamlets without worrying too much about the ‘wrong feedback’ or this other thing called jurisprudence.

          • Paul Austin Murphy

            I agree that Andrew Gilligan is doing some great work. But there are clear limits placed on that work – either by the Telegraph’s editor or by Gilligan himself.

            As far as I know, Gilligan has never once made any connections between all the things he’s uncovered (e.g., Muslim grooming gangs, Tell Mama, Tower Hamlets, etc.) and Islam – or Muslim culture – itself. Then again, as an investigative journalist, I don’t suppose it’s his job to join the dots as such.

          • Tom M

            Cowards they might well be but that is not in infringement of you right to free speech. There is nothing in any definition of free speech that imposes an obligation on any newspaper to print whatever you or anyone else says.
            I read this near every day as to how some blog comlumn has removed my free speech because it has closed down the comments.
            Can we all start by agreeing the correct definition of free speech.

          • Rocksy

            I am offended by your use of the pejorative term ‘hmm’

          • Kaine

            Yep, I have a subscription to the Spectator because I’m trying to shut it down. It’s a complicated Xanatos Gambit.

            What exactly is it that you want to say Colonel that you think you’re prevented from doing so?

          • Colonel Mustard

            “What exactly is it that you want to say Colonel that you think you’re prevented from doing so?”

            You tell me, you seem to have the answer for everything.

          • Kaine

            Don’t pout darling, it’ll give you wrinkles.

          • Colonel Mustard

            You always take refuge in the ad hominem, especially when you are getting a well-deserved spanking, as here.

          • GraveDave

            you seem to have the answer for everything.

            So it thinks.

          • Kaine

            Referring to someone as ‘it’ in English is impolite.

          • GraveDave

            As I don’t know whether you are – He – She – or Trans.
            I just couldn’t be bothered.

          • Kaine

            ‘They’ works as a neutral pronoun in English.

          • BOB

            Don’t expect a response. Conservatives are cartoonishly reactionary and are always afraid their rights are being stripped from them.

          • NB_Liberallies

            LOL…Bob, you mean like the militant pro-homosexuals and Liberals crying and screaming about so called minorities, homosexuals, and what ever other group the Left loves to believe is victimized not having the same Rights and Freedoms as the “evil” White Christian males?

          • Sky Thibedeau

            Political Correctness is a way for post modern people who claim there is no right and wrong to have a right and wrong.

        • grrretchen

          For now. I’m worried what will happen if those are removed as well.

      • seanchpreston

        The Big Question is a bear pit in which nobody listens and Christians are routinely ridiculed. Here in the UK I will vote for UKIP.

        • Will Goulborn

          UKIP claim to stand for freedom of speech but can you really imagine that they will extend that to anarchists or transgender people, or even climate scientists? They don’t even have freedom of speech within their own party.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Anarchists, transgender people, and climate scientists has so MUCH freedom of speech they usually are able to shut down all debate on such subjects that they participate.
            Remember the climate scientist that was calling for the IMPRISONMENT of the “deniers”?

          • David Hill

            Has that happened yet? Has any legislator written a bill and put it on the floor of Congress to imprison climate change deniers? Because I remember, shortly after Obama’s election, Tea Partiers would go to town hall meetings to shout down legislators. I also remember how Bush would have the Secret Service set up “free speech zones” so that protesters would not be seen or heard while he was giving a speech.

            That’s the difference between left-wing kooks and right-wing kooks. We roll our eyes at ours. You elect yours.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            I don’t recall anybody on my side of the debate wanting to jail any of the climate scientists, can you?
            Moral equivalence FAIL.

          • David Hill

            Not really, and for multiple reasons. Has anyone in any position of power said that we should jail deniers besides this ONE person? And he’s not in a position of power. Also the North Carolina legislature banned a state-approved science panel from stating, on the record, that sea levels are rising. Google “North Carolina sea level ban”.

            I do find it hilarious that you feel that a large section of the country thinks a certain thing because one person said it in a news article. But, lest we forget: “We don’t make fun of what liberals think, we make fun of what we THINK they think.”

          • NB_Liberallies

            The Left constantly bans anything from public school that is not approved by Left wingers.

            In the USA, public school after public school has banned Christmas Concerts and replaced them with Holiday Concerts. Christmas songs such as Silent Night, Holy Night!, etc., have been banned from these new Holiday Concerts. Only secular songs like Rudoloph the Red Nose Reindeer are allowed. Public schools have gone so far that they change “We wish you a Merry Christmas!” To, “We Wish you a Happy Holiday!”

            The Left has embraced the depraved pro-homosexual agenda. The Left has allowed pro-homosexual groups to give talks to elementary and junior high students given them material clearly showing drawn pictures of men and women having sex. When parents find out and complain and demand answers, the Left, the local news, the pro-homosexuals do everything they can to silence them, including having parents arrested for daring to stand up to radical PTAs, public school boards and school districts.

            The Left on college campuses, in the USA, as well as in other nations, have made it a point to silence conservative, right wing speakers. If they can’t get the university to back track the invitation extended to a right-winger, intolerant, bigoted left wing students and groups start screaming racist, heterophobic, and countless other degrading epithets at the speaker. Many a conservative speaker has been escorted off a college campus because of the hatred, bigotry and left wing zealotry they were experiencing.

            The Left owns hatred. Left hates speech that does not conform to Liberal orthodoxy.

            The Left desire, as they have in so many occasions clearly said, is to have Obama or someone like him use Executive Powers and the Presidency as a dictatorship to shove down the throat of all Americans, Liberal orthodoxy.

            Just the other day on NPR, global Warming fanatics, who are well respected by the Left, declared the USA, Obama, the Democrats need to imitate China and use totalitarian powers to force Americans into fighting global warming.

          • Will Goulborn

            Surely that’s part of the 1st Ammendment establishment clause

          • Benschachar

            You obviously don’t pay attention to leftist commenters.

          • rockyspoon

            You’re apparently not “up to speed”, David, on how many “climate activists” have called for the jailing/execution of deniers.

            So your comment is worthless being based on a false assumption of just “one”; there have been multiple instances.

            Please do expand your news horizons beyond those that provide a very whitewashed (brainwashing?) opinion on the subject.t

          • mdj

            You’ve said this twice now: could we have a reference, please?

          • bubbasixpack

            Cuchinelli wanted to prosecute Mann for fraud against the Commonwealth of Virginia. I think the act allows jailing Mann if he did not comply with the order to disclose information.

          • rockyspoon

            Actually, “climate scientists” that distort (fudge) data that impacts $Billions in policy decisions because of the distortions SHOULD go to jail–or at least be removed from positions of responsibility for acting…. well…. completely irresponsible

          • Shawn Smith

            You want to know the difference between the the Left and conservatives? Ayers, Dohrn, Boudin. We cast out our violent lunatics. The Left coddles theirs and gives them prestigious university jobs.

          • David Hill

            On several occasions in the past few years (as opposed to the Weather Underground, which has been out of operation for over 30 years), people have engaged in mass shootings and have either said that they were inspired by conservative literature (like Bernie Goldberg’s “50 People Who Are Screwing Up America”, which inspired a guy to shoot up his church in TN) or by listening to their radio show (like the guy who was pulled over with an arsenal in his trunk who said that he’d never even HEARD of the Tides Institute before Glenn Beck kept talking about it). But I guess that’s different because I’m only talking about popular pundits who INSPIRE violent lunatics.

            None of this matters, because you are bound and determined to hate the people who’ve fought to get you things like a pension, Social Security, Medicare, overtime, vacation time, family leave. Your conservative gods will take that away from you in a heartbeat. Enjoy your nothing, sucker.

          • etlib

            From the article under discussion:

            “free speech is essential to a free society because, when you deny people
            ‘an opportunity to act like normal political parties’, there’s nothing
            left for them to do but punch your lights out.”

            “if a Quebec separatist or an Australian republican can’t challenge the
            constitutional order through public advocacy, the only alternative is to
            put on a black ski-mask and skulk around after dark blowing stuff up.”

            Not to excuse the violence you mention but one point of the article is that limits on freedom of speech INCREASE such violence. They don’t reduce it.

          • NB_Liberallies

            You seem to forget the Left wing pro-homosexual who entered a building where a Conservative group has its offices. The Left winger shot at a security guard and thanks to the bravery of the security, they stopped the Left winger.

            The goal of the Left winger? Get into the offices of the Conservative group and kill everyone.

            The Left winger admitted he became enraged at the Conservative group after reading material against them in Left wing blogs and listening to Maddow and other Left wing pundits rant against the Conservative group.

            Hate is a Left-Wing cause. It is what the Left lives for today.

          • Pvblivs

            You show hate sponsored by the left wing. Another shows hate sponsored by the right wing. Hate is not unique to either one. Indeed, when you try to portray hate as specific to your opposition, you participate in the same hate.

          • zj sky

            TRUE – the difference being David Hill has a very odd idea as to how the left treats its fascists

          • rockyspoon

            No, his intent wasn’t to show the hate was just one-sided, Pvblivs–it was to counter the assertion that it existed all on the Right.
            .
            Please try to grasp the full extent of the discussion before castigating someone for something that only you can see.

          • Pvblivs

            I’m sorry you couldn’t see “Hate is a Left-Wing cause. It is what the Left lives for today.” But it was in the comment I replied to.

            I do not believe that it was merely to counter the claim that hate was the MO of the right. It was to claim that to be on the left is necessarily to engage in hate. I did grasp the full extent. It is a pity you couldn’t be bothered to do the same before deciding to castigate me.

          • NonPCconservative

            Please give a citation for inspiration of the mass shootings you refer to? I’m referring to RELIABLE reports, not some idiot left winger trying to blame Sarah Palins bullseyes for the Tuscon shooting.

          • zj sky

            and when theye were in operation they caused the deaths of numerous police officers. FAIL

          • John Markel

            “fought to get you things”

            god you people are frightening

          • Shawn Smith

            Quite frankly, you lie. I know you lie, because if this were true it would have received endless attention from the major news networks. Instead, what actually happens is EVERY SINGLE TIME there is a mass shooting or some other act of violent madness, the media tries to blame conservatives, but the facts eventually come out that it was either a leftist or a radical Muslim.

            You lie.

          • David Hill

            Every single time, eh? Including that guy who shot up his church in TN because he felt it was “too liberal” and said he was inspired by Bernie Goldberg’s book “50 People Who Are Screwing Up America”?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knoxville_Unitarian_Universalist_church_shooting

            The guy who killed three Pittsburgh police offers because he thought Obama was going to take his guns away?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Pittsburgh_police_shootings

            Or that guy in San Fransisco who was stopped trying to shoot up the ACLU and Tides Institute headquarters?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Oakland_freeway_shootout

            Is that what you mean by EVERY SINGLE TIME?

            Just admit that you hate people who disagree with you more than you love America.

          • NB_Liberallies

            Really, you mean Obama hasn’t set up free speech zones? Really? REALLY?! LOL You may want to get an education.

            You are a hyper-partisan hack. Obama gave the Secret Service the same authority of setting up free speech zones!!!

            You don’t know much of anything. I have seen Left wingers shut down legislators they disagreed with. It is stupid, at best, to claim only the Tea Party did this. This practice has been done in the USA since before the founding of the United States of America.

            The Left embraces their kooks. My goodness, you voted for Obama, a kook, for President! You also voted Reid, Pelosi, Weiner, Alan Grayson, just to name a few of the kooks the Left has not only embraced, but voted for.

            And than you have hateful individuals like Dan Savage, embraced, worshiped by the Left.

            The Left not only embraces their kooks, the Left promotes and fosters crazy Left wing kooks who they then vote into political office.

          • Benschachar

            How is what Bush did anti-free speech exactly. The President needs to be able to speak and the anti-Bush protestors were borderline homicidal in the way their histrionics.

          • EllenO

            I believe there is treatment for Bush Derangement Syndrome.

            After you are well you’ll be able to think far more logically and objectively.

          • Phadras Johns

            The attempt to halt debate and render complex controversial subjects “settled” indicates the closed minded mendacity of the left. They are rivalling the nazis in thought control.

          • rockyspoon

            “Free Speech Zones” the size of a living room like the BLM recently established in the Bundy standoff in Nevada?

            Or are you saying only the Right advocates such stupidity?

            Apparently your source of news whitewashes your political agenda of any such nefarious activities.

          • justejudexultionis

            Transgender people constitute a tiny minority of society. I doubt very much that they exert the kind of influence you describe.

          • searcher0

            about as much as the transgender, anarchists, or climate scientists allow the people who disagree with them to talk.

          • Pootles

            I know Nikki Sinclair is no longer in UKIP, but she was elected as a UKIP MEP. Despite her continuing disagreements with Farage, she does not say that she ever experienced any discrimination because she is transexual. Which other parties have had a transexual elected to any parliament or assembly?

          • Pootles

            I see Will doesn’t have an answer to this. Oh, well.

          • Fergus Pickering

            That is irrelevant. They should be free to speak. Or don’t you thin so?.

      • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

        The change re criticism of Islam only occurred after UK born Muslims placed bombs on the streets of London.

        As I recall not much changed in the UK anyway after the twin towers incident.

    • PRP

      “The conformist zombies of the Left, their herd seemingly growing by the day, moves like a plague across what is left of Western civilization.”

      wtf?

      • DwnSouthJukin

        He’s saying that people like you are the new McCarthyites creating neo-blasphemy laws & must be stopped.

        That’s “wtf?”

    • Lance Green

      Your comment really brightened my day. I thank you for giving me some small hope that sanity may one day prevail.

  • JoeDM

    And in Birmingham schools the debate on the cultural terrorism of islamofascist infiltration is sidelined into a discussion on the background on the senior policeman asked to investigate !!!!

  • James Allen

    Woop!! Steyn in the Speccie…. finally a column worth reading! 😉

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      If only we could read it.

      • James Allen

        Ha! Read it at the newsstand….

  • anotherjoeblogs

    Steyn is ‘ The Man ‘ . Has he ever debated George ‘ Ali G.G. ‘ Galloway ? That would be fun.

  • Sean Lamb

    Poor Erin Ching – as I recall back in the 80s there was a tiny furor when Holocaust deniers began printing ads in campus newspapers. Some rather idealistic editors printed them on the grounds they didn’t want to suppress free speech, before eventually realizing that free speech didn’t mean having to print everything.

    This is essentially Erin Ching’s position.

    • geniusloci

      Sounds to me as if Erin’s position is that she’s already made up her mind about everything (what is she, 20?) and having her views questioned, or being prompted to examine them, will be a waste of her time and Daddy’s cash. She’s well on her way to becoming the head of some government department or other.

  • Ambriorix_Le_Belge

    Steyn is one of the finest writers of his generation

    • GraveDave

      First time I’ve read him. And I like it so far.

      • mcp74

        The first time? For real? Take a Saturday and read nothing but Steyn, then go buy his books.

      • grrretchen

        You might also go to youtube and search him. He’s quite funny

      • anotherjoeblogs

        Grrretchen says he is funny..well he is simply hilarious here

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdEGJb5W5ks

  • Pedro Pizano

    Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for writing it. Quick point though, I can’t find the source for this statement: “As the United Nations Human Development Programme’s famous 2002 report blandly noted, more books are translated in Spain in a single year than have been translated into Arabic in the last 1,000 years.” I’m looking here http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/263/hdr_2002_en_complete.pdf. Might it be apocryphal?

  • Keith D

    Yes but the Left now encompasses the Tories, who also want to shut down discussion. We all remember CMD’s Woolwich, it would be wrong to blame this on Islam lies.
    Shutting down debate is one thing. Lying to the electorate to cover your supine surrender to Islamist animals is quite another.

    And this fear that they have of the mess they’ve imported here isn’t based on reality. Muslims always lose when their evil is properly challenged, the fear uis the rest of us notice and hold these traitors to account.

    • GraveDave

      Yes, and the Tories. Let’s not pretend they’re any better.
      Except maybe on all this ‘green crap’.

  • Cyril Sneer

    “There speaks the voice of a generation: celebrate diversity by enforcing conformity.”

    So so true for these progressive shallow thinking liberals.

    • GraveDave

      There are still a few good liberals about. One of them wont be called Damian Thompson though. His excuse for shutting down comments ‘ you don’t know how to behave yourselves’.
      Well, fuck you Damian. We’re not kids.

  • Liz

    Those who are against the encroachment into free speech in this century conveniently overlook the fact that for the previous two millennia there were concerted efforts and systems in place to shape the language and the debate according to the desires and whims of those in power. The books and plays that got published, those that were censored and destroyed, the people who were allowed to speak in public (not women, not the colonised, not the working classes until revolution came), the people who had the financial means and social status to do so (an elite group of white men), the heresies that were invented, punished and silenced, the protection rackets, the language that got codified in the dictionaries, none of that happened by accident.

    A lot of this looks like sour grapes from the elites who now find themselves ousted from Speech Mission Control.

    • Lungfish

      so two wrongs make a right?-

      • Cyril Sneer

        This is essentially the position of the left.

        Now do you see how low these people are? Any wonder I despise them so much.

        • Liz

          Lol. Your power is terrifying.

          • Netwie

            Excellent! Thank you for the chuckle.

          • Colonel Mustard

            No, it is your dogma that is terrifying.

          • Liz

            Your dogma you mean. Your dogmatic right to control the conversation for you and your bros.

          • Colonel Mustard

            There is no such thing as a “dogmatic right”. But your comments are full of sexist dogma. Your hatred of men as a stereotype you have created is both apparent and unhinged.

      • Liz

        It’s hardly bollocks. It’s a matter of historical record that men ran inquisitions, set up heresy courts, that women were not allowed to speak in public, couldn’t publish books, couldn’t vote, couldn’t stand for parliament, couldn’t lead congregations, it’s right there in St Paul’s early letters. Early female Christian authoresses had their books pulped and a number were imprisoned until they agreed to stop, some were burned as heretics.

        The same went for the working classes who until late in the day were deprived of an education specifically to prevent them from learning to read and write and present a threat. It took violent revolution to get the Bible translated into the common language, and to overthrow those protection rackets.

        • grrretchen

          And that’s what you want to go back to, Liz? What exactly is your point?

          • anyfool

            Her man hating venom knows no limits, it has destroyed any semblance of critical thought.
            Taking responsibility like having a child or a real job will cure her.

          • Liz

            Well until the day that women ban you from speaking, burn your books, imprison and execute you, ban you from institutions, and dominate every media channel, as men did to women, you frankly have nothing at all to moan about.

          • grrretchen

            I’m not sure I follow the logic there. Liz, are you saying the left feels that the only victims are entitled to free speech?

          • Liz

            I have no idea why you all imagine I am of the left or am their spokeswoman. Laziness? Lack of free thought?

            I would have thought I was entirely obvious. If your people have spent the best part of 3000 years shutting everyone else up with a mixture of social engineering and censorship, and allowed themselves the luxury of inventing loads of insulting stereotypes about people with no right of reply, it’s not a good look to whine like pyards when those people finally get to answer back and they inevitably point out what total d*cks you’ve all been.

          • grrretchen

            I’m still not following the logic, Liz. Are you saying you agree with the left that only victims have the right to whine about supression of free speech? In other words, are you saying that because Mr Steyn is not female he should be silenced? I would argue that it is NOT entirely obvious from what you wrote that this is your point, if that’s what your point is.

          • Baron

            Liz, are you perhaps the daughter of Susan Sontag, the one of the ‘white race is the cancer of the human race’ fame?

          • ladykrystyna

            Given all the blathering you have been doing about white men, etc., I would say, yes, you are a leftist/statist.

          • Baron

            Liz, you seem a touch too angry, but explain, how is it going to improve things if you substitute men for women? What makes you think your lot will do better than the male lot?

          • ladykrystyna

            Well that’s exactly what you and your fellow statists are working on, isn’t it? That’s Mark Steyn’s point.

            If you believe in freedom of speech than you should be standing up for everyone’s freedom of speech, even if you disagree with it or loath it. Instead, you are saying it’s okay to limit the speech of those that allegedly used to limit the speech of others.

            2 wrongs don’t make a right – didn’t your parents teach you that when you were like 2 years old?

          • Liz

            What an incredibly rude and boorish man you are.

          • Kaine

            The point is that much of they whining about oppression from formerly powerful groups is that they think the fact they now don’t unilaterally control discourse means they’re now being oppressed.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Yeah, right.

          • Kaine

            Glad you agree Colonel.

          • Colonel Mustard

            As a masked urban bouquet thrower I expected you to understand that expression:-

            http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=yeah%20right

            Check out the words related to “yeah right “, all of which can legitimately be applied to your lefty klan BS.

          • Kaine

            As a suspected murderer I expected you to be more precise in your language.

            Also, da yoof use emoticons. If you’re gonna play the game boy you better learn to play it right.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Weak. You and I both know what I meant.

          • Kaine

            I would never presume to know what the little mouse in your brain is up to sweety.

          • grrretchen

            Thank you for your reply Kaine. Okay so you believe Liz is not making the argument as to why free speech should be stifled, but instead she is providing the historical background and justification the left is using as to why they think it is now okay to stifle it? That may be. I hadn’t thought of that. And now her comment makes sense. In other words, Liz isn’t disagreeing with Mark Steyn? That was what I found confusing from her remark. Again, thank you.

          • ladykrystyna

            No, Kaine. Everyone has freedom of speech or freedom of speech is meaningless.

            If you want to shout us down, then you shouldn’t be surprised if we try and shout you down.

            Or we could have a frickin’ discussion. But you guys don’t do that. You try and shout us down.

            That’s the point that you either can’t get because you are as dumb as a bag of monkey nuts, or because you are nothing but a liar and know how things work but don’t care.

        • geniusloci

          Anyone who is nostalgic for all this will soon get it back. Coming to an outpost of the World Caliphate near you…

          • Liz

            I’m not nostalgic for it. I’m looking forward to the day when our language and communication channels represent all points of view, rather than the most vociferous, bullying, over-sensitive group of white men who currently hog them and cry every time anyone else comes remotely close to using their own tactics.

          • ladykrystyna

            2 wrongs don’t make a right. Try and get that through your thick head.

          • Liz

            The West ran and continues to run its own version of the Caliphate.

        • wudyermucuss

          It’s hardly bollocks. –
          Ovaries surely?

          • Liz

            I can’t imagine what Spectator readers think they’d do with freedom of speech, they can’t even be bothered to read the history books that are available.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Don’t confuse history with your version of history.

      • Will Goulborn

        Or, you could provide an actual opinion, maybe even a supporting argument.

    • Will Goulborn

      Freedom of speech should be a core value of people of any political ideology as it legitimises their views.

    • Netwie

      You could be talking about several cultures in any of several millenia,but you happen to be referring to events in 2014. The irony is thick.

    • JohnM

      Right so let me understand you.

      The establishment has from time to time misused it’s power to enforce conformity and this is a bad thing.

      So if I understand you correctly are arguing in support of Mark Steyn

      • grrretchen

        Exactly John. That is where I was confused by her posts as well.

    • wudyermucuss

      Two wrongs do make a right then.I see.

    • Alexandrovich

      Also looks like sour grapes from you. As usual.

  • Baron

    Great stuff, (and courage by Fraser to print it). If we are born free, we should be – as another great, Spinoza, had it – ‘free to think what we like, and say what we think’.

    The pen has always been mightier than the sword, by banning the former we may get the latter, the progressives should be aware of it. The more than displeasure with the running cliques everywhere that began in the Middle East, has reached Kiev, a place not that far from here. The British will register their displeasure in about a month. It may be, just may be, the ball has finally started to roll.

  • jmjm208

    The writer of this article is absolutely correct. Free speech is only allowed if it agrees with the lefty, pro-gay, anti-Israel and anti-Christian agenda. Any views expressed which do not subscribe to this agenda are banned.

    • Kaine

      Which is why you’re reading this article on a hand-written pamphlet passed around by The Resistance as opposed to on the website of a prominent political magazine right?

      • sarah_13

        I think the point is if those the author is referring to had their way, and they are on their way to getting their way, that is precisely where we would, and will, be reading this article.

        • Kaine

          Except the comment above does not say “will be banned” it says, “are banned”. This is demonstrably untrue, but entirely typical of the hyperbole of people who, without a hint of irony, claim that their free speech is being curtailed when the rest of us decline to listen to their mad ramblings.

          • FrenchNewsonlin

            Thank you for that enlightening contribution my Lord Leveson.

          • Colonel Mustard

            There are too many examples for it to be hyperbole.

          • Kaine

            So all anti-gay views are banned? I must have imagined all those comments on this site when equal marriage came about comparing gay men to paedophiles, the mentally ill and proclaiming the collapse of civilisation.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Not what I said. Did I say “all anti-gay views are banned”? No. There are some shocking examples of anti-gay invective over at Guido.

            But people have been warned, arrested and prosecuted for what they have said.

          • Ralph

            Perhaps it is you who is madly rambling. Disappear back to your lefty hole, from the rock you crawled under.

          • Kaine

            Are you a moderator of the Spectator site? No? Then blow me.

          • sarah_13

            Unfortunately that is not the case everywhere certain institutions interpreting the law incorrectly do ban comments, a sort of preemption of what they think the law is in order to avoid what they see as likely litigation. Just as many non-lawyers in councils and other places wrongly interpret the law long before anything is put before lawyers and therefore speech is curtailed as a matter of fact. So they are banned as a matter of fact.

            Also hate speech laws do make comments subject to criminal sanctions, comments that would not have been prior to 2006. I do not accept that this is hyperbole entirely, there is real justified concern and it is perfectly reasonable to express it and are not necessarily the ramblings of mad people.

          • Kaine

            What thing do you want to say that would be banned?

      • jmjm208

        Your sarcasm will not cover up the fact that free speech is not equitable in this country. Only those who promote Gay rights, anti-Israel and anti-Christian views are respected.

        • Kaine

          Call me about persecution when we no longer have bishops in the legislature.

          • jmjm208

            People have been arrested simply for expressing biblical views about homosexuality; people have been sacked from jobs for stating their belief that marriage is one man/one woman. That is a new tyranny which this country has embraced.

          • Kaine

            The ‘biblical’ view of homosexual activity is that it warrant the death penalty.

            So either, a) They were expounding the ‘biblical’ view and so were inciting people to violence, or b) They were not expounding the ‘biblical’ view. Pick one.

            Mozilla sacked their CEO for acting contrary to the principles of the company in financially supporting a campaign to take away people’s rights.

            Your claiming of victimhood because you can’t express your hatred stemming from your repressed attractions without public opprobrium is an insult to the truly persecuted. Get over yourself.

          • jmjm208

            I don’t need to “get over” anything. However, you need to repent of your unbelief and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour or you WILL end up in Hell.

    • Ambriorix_Le_Belge

      Henry Ford once said “The customer can have any colour car he wants as long as its black”. The leftist motto is “You can have any opinion you want as long as its ours”

  • black11hawk

    Mark, you are a big inspiration for those of us on the other side of the pond who believe in freedom of speech. Thank you for all your hard work and keep on slugging!

  • anyfool

    The gruesome Germaine Greer, you would of thought she would prefer hacking the penis of a man as opposed to the clitoris of young girls.
    It has to be said she did write that garbage The Female Eunuch, you would never have thought she would come out in favour of creating them by butchery.

  • northerncanuck

    Muslim is at the top of the favored list, beats out all other identity groups, because leftists know very well the danger of Muslims. Scratch a leftist, find a dhimmi.

    • Mahound

      I think you will find that there is one identity group that trumps Muslims. This particular identity group invented the list in the first place. The Muslims just saw it fit to make good use of the list.

      • MissDemeanor

        really?

        does this group behead people int he streets, burn down churches, embassies and infiltrates british schools?

        nice try, now go back to your cave

  • ADW

    The lefties make one critical mistake (well any number, but one above all else). They assume that they will always have their hands on the levers of power. Therefore, they have no trouble with the principle of curtailing speech. They might be slightly horrified ever to find themselves out of power though …

    • GraveDave

      The lefties make one critical mistake (well any number, but one above all else). They assume that they will always have their hands on the levers of power.
      But whoever gets in the consensus never seems to change much does it?
      Even if UKIP got in I should imagine there will still be ‘twitter haters’ to report and hunt down or arrest and lock up.
      For the mob hath spoken.

      • ADW

        That’s because ever since Cameron took over the Tory party, Labour and the Tories have been left and right cheeks of the same ar+e. They might differ in minor respects, one having a few more boils than the other, but they are substantively the same. The Lib dems are the hole in the middle.

  • anyfool

    Mt Steyn you forgot to mention that Obama wants to hand control of the running of the internet to a UN sanctioned body, that will be a bigger threat than all these witless non entities (currently filling in their time before McDonalds beckon) at useless talking shops that now masquerade as universities.

  • Kaine

    While Mr Steyn is obviously a very good writer, his argument is deeply flawed because the examples he cites are not free speech.

    In the Galway case, he is attacking the very rowdy debate he calls for elsewhere. As he says elsewhere, free speech is not freedom from criticism.

    In the Mozilla case, being a CEO of a large company is not a free speech right, it is a privilege bestowed upon you by the board. Does Mr Steyn believe we should require companies to hire people who publically express views contrasting to their values?

    Free speech does not include a right for your unsupported ideas to be given equal airtime on the BBC with actual scientists. We do not put a geo-centrist on after Brian Cox, we do not give an hour a week to creationists to balance out David Attenborough. Climate deniers are free to publish work in the peer reviewed literature, but with a handful of exceptions they don’t because that is hard and spending six minutes in a Gish-gallop on ITV is easier.

    An honorary degree is not a right, it is granted at the whim of the institution. If you think the institution is so worthless, why would you even want it?

    Restricting the ability of the powerful to say whatever they want, safe in the knowledge that libel cases are long, expensive, and beyond the reach of ordinary people, I s not a restriction on free speech. When the discourse of a nation is controlled by a handful of men who own all the major papers how on earth is that good for free discussion?

    I don’t know enough about Australian law to comment on the last point, however you’ve suggested that these are proposals, and therefore still in flux.

    Mr Steyn does, it appears, at least understand the terms he’s using, which makes a change from the usual conservative cargo-cult approach to the language of social justice. However I fail to see any point beyond the usual cry of oppression, a cry that, as ever, rings hollow coming from the pages of a major political magazine.

    • PatrioticAustralian

      You really haven’t thought it through. If I fired someone for voicing their support for gay marriage you would be appalled. It would be illegal in many jurisdictions. Only those on one side of the debate are happy with it that way.

      • Kaine

        I’ve worked in jobs where expressing an opinion on political matters would be grounds for dismissal. This isn’t new. Indeed I have friends in the civil service who avoided campaigning on this exact issue because of neutrality restrictions on them.

        A CEO is the public face of a company. It is not the same as someone posting something on their blog. I didn’t participate in the boycott, as I really didn’t care, but enough people did to make him a net economic detriment and so he was cut loose. Capitalism is a bitch.

        • PatrioticAustralian

          That may be your opinion, but it’s beside the point. State intervention in public discourse is the issue, and only those on the Left seem comfortable having dissenting views legislated into silence.

          • Kaine

            Mozilla had sod all to do with state intervention. If we’re only talking about governments why did Steyn bring it up?

          • PatrioticAustralian

            Not only about governments, but that’s where the Left inevitably end up wanting to solve every perceived problem. Boycotts and sackings today, legislation tomorrow. Steyn also brought up his prosecution and that of Andrew Bolt.

          • Kaine

            Who is this ‘the Left’? Do they have a manifesto, a public facing set of representatives, a postcode?

            Boycotts are an incredibly individualistic and libertarian mode of dissent, and private companies sack people who lose them money. It is in fact yourself who is arguing for legislation to prevent groups from taking economic actions against companies or individuals they find distasteful.

          • Colonel Mustard

            You know darn well who this ‘Left’ is. You are an enthusiastic member of the klan.

          • Kaine

            Klansmen had to be Protestants. How can I be a Protestant and a Marxist at the same time?

          • wudyermucuss

            You’re a Marxist?
            Say no more,of course you oppose free speech.

          • Kaine

            Marx was an apocalyptic libertarian.

            But no, I’m simply highlighting the shift in the dear Colonel’s invective.

          • Colonel Mustard

            “klansmen” is no more invective than “Tories”. And I am not your “dear” Colonel.

          • Kaine

            Stop calling me a klansman and I’ll stop referring to you affectionately darling. My standard response to insults is kindness. Xxx

          • Colonel Mustard

            No, you have made the point above, klansman, that short of moderation we are free to comment. Don’t confuse smugness and kindness, boy.

          • Kaine

            I was offering you a deal, you seem to have declined. So I suppose we continue with the exchanges sweet cheeks. X

          • ladykrystyna

            Marx was a “libertarian”??????

            Now I’ve heard everything.

            You really are insane.

          • Colonel Mustard

            The klan I’m referring to is leftist, like you. Dressed up in bedsheets and riding up and down this thread desperately trying to undermine the article and those who agree with it because it got to the heart of what you people are about.

            You cannot bear dissent so you try to control everything, even the comments here. There are one or two like you riding up and down the threads in every blog.

          • Kaine

            If Fraser wants to give me a column I’ll happily stop commenting here. If the moderators want to ban me that’s their prerogative. Otherwise, I’m here as long as I wish.

            However, I have to laugh at the idea that you and all your mates are so scared of a little disagreement you have to start calling people names. That you do so on a thread ostensibly about the importance of free discussion is icing on the irony cake.

            You’re not the Rebel Alliance Colonel, you’re the Empire. Get over it.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Don’t mistake an observation about your modus operandi with being scared by it. I realise you have an enormous ego but that is just too much hubris even for you.

            The deception that you people are still engaged in a “struggle” is a good one as it allows you to deny responsibility for your impositions or to deny they even exist, as you have been doing here. You have become the Empire. Steyn represents the insurgency.

          • Kaine

            No one does victimhood identity politics quite like conservatives.

          • Colonel Mustard

            A ridiculous assertion. Don’t mistake people who have rumbled the left’s essential contradictions and dislike them for victims.

          • PatrioticAustralian

            No, I argued for no such thing. Of all the things that were said about Mozilla, I never saw anyone call for their actions to be criminalised. You may find a handful of people who did, but obliviously they are not supporters of free speech.

          • Kaine

            So you accept that boycotts and calls for dismissal are free speech?

          • PatrioticAustralian

            I think they should be, but the Left think not if they’re against gays or other state approved identity groups. They’re already unlawful in many places and the Left have no objection to that. That’s the whole point.

          • wudyermucuss

            They’re never against China,North Korea,Venezuela are they?
            In fact,they seem to be pretty much exclusive to Israel.

          • Kaine

            How exactly would one go about boycotting North Korea?

          • PatrioticAustralian

            Do they have a manifesto? Yes, they do. They hate Western culture, capitalism and themselves.

          • Kaine

            Who is this ‘they’? Illuminati? Jesuits? Rothschild banking cartel? Space Lizards? I mean all the conspiracies are as good as each other. Personally I’m thinking it’s the Gnomes of Zurich.

          • PatrioticAustralian

            How juvenile. Not surprising from someone who can’t tell the difference between shouting over someone and offering them a civilsed rebuttal.

          • Kaine

            So I’m not going to get an answer?

            And I’m glad you too agree we need certain rules and limits on discourse for everyone to get a chance to speak. Now we can move on to discussing what those should be.

          • PatrioticAustralian

            I’m not sure we need a discussion. We agree shouting over people is rude. You are comfortable with the state criminalising people’s opinions.

            A discussion might be downright dangerous

          • Kaine

            Where did I say that?

            If shouting over people is rude, would this apply if, say, I own a megaphone and can shout over you? What if I own a really big megaphone, like, a national newspaper, is our discussion still free speech?

          • PatrioticAustralian

            Nobody’s interfering with your ability to speak or communicate. There’s room enough on the internet for popular newspapers as well as your childish comments. That nobody values your opinion is beside the point.

          • Kaine

            I wondered how long before you’d succumb to the usual righty name-calling tactic.

            If it is wrong to shout over people, as you have said, then what do we define as shouting over people?

          • PatrioticAustralian

            It’s what you didn’t say. You don’t object to criminalising opinions that offend people. You’re comfortable with it. Man up and admit it.

          • Kaine

            Now you’re trying to extract a confession from me for something you think I believe even though you can’t cite anything I’ve said?

            No one expects the Australian Inquisition!

          • PatrioticAustralian

            That is correct. I can’t cite anything you’ve said. Can’t cite anything you’ve said protesting the criminalisation of “offensive” opinions. Can you?

          • Kaine

            It is not for me to prove a negative, it is for you to prove your claims. All else is witch trials.

          • PatrioticAustralian

            Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.

          • wudyermucuss

            Nothing to do with conspiracies,everything to do with totalitarian group think.

          • wudyermucuss

            Do they have a manifesto, a public facing set of representatives, a postcode? –
            Pretty much so,yes.

          • Kaine

            Care to supply such?

        • wudyermucuss

          but enough people did to make him a net economic detriment and so he was cut loose. –
          Really?How many?
          What percentage of the millions who use Mozilla?
          A tiny one surely?

          • Kaine

            It’s not about raw numbers, it’s about who those people are. Mozilla is Reliant upon donations, of both effort and money, from a geek community which was simply not going to work for a company headed by a homophobic bigot.

            The company obviously made this calculation. If they thought he was going to be a net benefit they would have kept him. That’s how companies work.

    • Netwie

      “In the Galway case, he is attacking the very rowdy debate he calls for elsewhere. As he says elsewhere, free speech is not freedom from criticism.” You stop short here and are in support of the loudest one wins.A debate doesn NOT include yelling at the opposition and hurling profanity during their time on the microphone.
      Weak point,by the way.

      • Kaine

        Except Mr Steyn is dismissive of the rules about ‘safe space’ which would have prevented exactly that occurrence. He wants to have his cake and eat it. Any rules placed on debate are a lefty plot against free speech, the absence of such rules is… A lefty plot against free speech.

        • Netwie

          I disagree with allowing shouting during a discourse…why not just arm wrestle?

          • Kaine

            Ok, so you approve of guidelines about politeness and behaviour during discussion and debate? Great, then you’re in favour of ‘safe space’ in principle, and our discussion is about what constitutes a reasonable set of rules.

          • Netwie

            Slow down a little. I am in favor of uninterupted discourse. How else can I form an opinion unless I hear the person out? Do you think yelling “f** you” is acceptable,when somebody is at the podium? How did they get there in the first place? If they have the podium, give them the rope.

          • Kaine

            I don’t think it’s acceptable. I don’t think it’s acceptable to partake in actions which would make people feel frightened of speaking, or rig the discussion in such a way as to diminish or intimidate people. That’s all safe space is, and discussions about how best to facilitate it are why we have good standing orders. The powerful will always make themselves heard, it’s the powerless who need rules.

            Mr Steyn however seems to think that these rules are themselves impositions on free speech, and I suppose to some extent they are, but only to the extent necessary to allow all voices to be heard.

          • Netwie

            Thank you. Im beginning to wonder if I am having comprehension problems, or if sarcasm is so ubiquitous that I cannot tell when it is being used. This particular thread is riddled with sarcasm. Yuck.

          • Jake_Was_Here

            What Mr. Steyn is arguing against is the gang of leftists who have their thumb on the scale — the ones who argue that someone merely having certain opinions would “make other people frightened of speaking” or make them feel “diminished and intimidated”. With careful manipulation of the standards and rules, the progressives can frame any open expression of a non-progressive opinion as an act of rhetorical aggression and a violation of the supposed safe space.

          • grrretchen

            So you agree with Mr Steyn then on the Gallway Case

          • Kaine

            No, because Mr Steyn doesn’t agree with safe spaces. In short he doesn’t want people to heckle, but he doesn’t want to put rules in place to stop them heckling. It’s oddly utopian.

          • grrretchen

            Thank you for your reply Kaine. I’m not sure I can support what you seem to want, though. If I go to see a speaker I want to hear that speaker. I don’t want him drowned out. But by the same token I don’t want the state to put “rules in place” on that heckler’s behavior. We have far too many rules as it is. And those rules are constantly being misapplied and abused. No, that would be a cure worse than the illness. I would prefer the heckler simply listen. It’s called good manners and civility. If he wishes to object let him do so after the speaker has been provided the opportunity to speak. I don’t think my view is oddly utopian. In fact I think my view is quite reasonable.

          • Kaine

            Doesn’t have to be the state. The rules of politeness are social conventions enforced with social opprobrium. That’s what almost all ‘political correctness’ is. People who complain about it confuse me, because unless you want to be able to call someone a hurtful slur I don’t see how one is constrained.

          • ladykrystyna

            If someone gets that disruptive that no one can listen to the speaker, they are disturbing the peace and should be thrown out.

            Simple as that.

            We have plenty of laws on the books that take care of these situations. We don’t have to make up new ones.

          • ladykrystyna

            Every space should be a safe space. We should be encouraging people and teaching people to have civil discourse wherever they go. “Safe space” sounds like a bunch of leftist bovine feces.

    • Colonel Mustard

      “In the Mozilla case, being a CEO of a large company is not a free speech right, it is a privilege bestowed upon you by the board. Does Mr Steyn believe we should require companies to hire people who publically express views contrasting to their values?”

      Except that the it was not a public expression but a private donation. Do you believe that companies should sack people whose private opinions do not conform to leftist groupthink?

      • Kaine

        A donation is a public expression, giving to a campaign is engagement in the public sphere.

        Do you believe companies should be prevented from sacking staff who damage their brand and cost them money?

        • Farbar

          The company had no problem with his beliefs initially. They were pressured by an outside entity and caved to that pressure. What the former CEO did was not a secret to the company.

          • Kaine

            The outside entities had no power to sack The CEO, and Mozilla could have ignored them. Of course, it would probably have lost market share and revenue. It decided sacking the CEO was cheaper.

            As I say, capitalism is a bitch.

          • grrretchen

            Do you say that? Is that your position? That capitalism is a bitch? Interesting.

        • Colonel Mustard

          “A donation is a public expression, giving to a campaign is engagement in the public sphere.”

          Absolute tripe. Private donations are private donations.

          • Kaine

            Nope, an interaction with the demos is by it’s definition a public action. This wasn’t a few quid to the local dogs home, this was a donation to a political campaign attempting to affect the law.

          • ladykrystyna

            Unfortunately not in the state of CA. They have disclosure rules and that’s how Eich got found out.

            Separately, the IRS illegally leaked donation lists related to gay marriage to some left wing gay rights groups.

            They have an enemies list and they will use it.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Ah, I thank you for that clarification.

          • ladykrystyna

            You are welcome. Unlike the Left, I know we “right wing radicals” like to make sure we have the facts straight.

            😀

        • Alexandrovich

          Any evidence of the damage to their brand or the financial cost?

          • Kaine

            If there wasn’t damage they wouldn’t have sacked him. QED.

        • mohdanga

          “A donation is a public expression, giving to a campaign is engagement in the public sphere.”
          So anonymous donations are public expressions then, even if the donor wishes to remain anonymous? There is no legal requirement that any charity, group or organization release its list of donors to PC thugs like you, in fact I would think it illegal from a privacy legislation point of view.

          • Kaine

            On what definition am I a thug?

          • Colonel Mustard

            By your own. We can read. Although I would have said more smug than thug. So certain of your own certitude that there is not a millimetre of compromise or concession.

          • Kaine

            You’re mistaking the fact that your arguments can’t convince me for the notion that I can’t be convinced. That’s rather arrogant of you honey-buns.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I’m not trying to convince you. You wouldn’t be convinced by anything except your own sense of righteousness. You need to recalibrate your definition of arrogance by looking in the mirror, clever clogs.

          • ladykrystyna

            “There is no legal requirement that any charity, group or organization release its list of donors to PC thugs like you, in fact I would think it illegal from a privacy legislation point of view.”

            As I said above, in the State of California, that is not the case. They have disclosure laws and that is how Eich was found out.

        • ladykrystyna

          And the guy who pushed for Eich to be fired gave money to a Utah candidate that supported an amendment to the US Constitution that would define marriage as between a man and a woman only.

          But I was told that’s not the same thing as donating to Prop 8 directly.

          You guys are all over the place.

    • Winston

      With the concept of free speech there is this quaint idea that heckler’s do not have a veto, that you don’t drown out or shout down dissenting voices, that you don’t yell “shut up” and “f off” because someone dares to disagree with you. The idea that you think that what occurred in Galway or in the Mozilla case was consistent with free speech indicate a cluelessness that is remarkable. And equating daring to question orthodox opinion in an area as difficult as climate prediction with geo-centrism or other thoroughly discredited ideas is one of the dumbest things I ever read. Your comment is embarrassing. Yes and dissent is now “libel”? LOL. The irony that you presume to lecture anyone about not understanding the terms of the discussion is incredibly rich.

      • Kaine

        So you agree that we need some restrictions upon free speech to facilitate more people in the discussion? Great, you agree with the concept of safe space, which Mr Steyn dismissed in his article.

        Since you don’t put any argument against the Mozilla case I’ll assume you don’t have one.

        Other than the fact you’ve chosen to believe the scientists and the orthodoxy against the geocentrists, what exactly is the difference?

        No, libel is libel, where did I say dissent was libel?

        Please don’t make stuff up Winston.

        • Winston

          The problem is that your understanding of free speech is surreal. Hooligans shouting down a person before they have a chance to speak at a public debate (the classic heckler’s veto) is”free speech.” Vindictively labeling an honest disagreement about about a radical transformation of ancient institution that the majority of California voters and the president did not agree with as unmitigated bigotry and hounding a person out of a job for private donation is “free speech.” Saying that no
          one should be permitted to question scientific assertions in an unsettled area in the name of science is “free speech.” You equate free speech with thuggery. That isn’t made up.

          • Kaine

            You want limits on free speech, you just don’t want to call them limits, because this clashes with some absolutist code you’ve constructed. I’m prepared to say that some limits are needed, because only under those limits are we truly free.

          • Winston

            The contradictions in your comment are fascinating.

        • mohdanga

          If you actually bothered to read what Steyn has written in innumerable articles you would see that he is for absolute free speech. He has never mentioned anything about ‘safe spaces’.

          • Kaine

            Cite where I said he had.

          • mohdanga

            “Except Mr Steyn is dismissive of the rules about ‘safe space’ which would have prevented exactly that occurrence. He wants to have his cake and eat it. Any rules placed on debate are a lefty plot against free speech, the absence of such rules is… A lefty plot against free speech.”
            Next.

          • Kaine

            So wait, Steyn is in favour of heckling now? So why did he condemn it in the piece above?

          • mohdanga

            Are you thick? Nobody is restricting anybody’s right to heckle, least of all Steyn. What he’s saying is that in a discussion in a public forum such as a university the speakers are actually allowed to speak rather than being bullied and threatened off the stage (or even before they get there) by tolerant lefties who don’t want views different from their own espoused. Intimidating speakers is not quite ‘free speech’, dear.

          • Kaine

            So, again, you want rules for discourse, such as no interruptions, no heckling, jeering, or intimidatory behaviour.

            You want rules, you’re just not prepared to call them rules darling.

        • ladykrystyna

          “So you agree that we need some restrictions upon free speech to facilitate more people in the discussion? Great, you agree with the concept of safe space, which Mr Steyn dismissed in his article.”

          Heckler’s disturb the peace. Disturbing the peace is not protected. It’s not a speech issue, it’s a disturbing the peace issue.

          • Kaine

            Who gets to define what ‘peace’ is?

          • ladykrystyna

            Seriously? The law does. Varies from city to city and state to state. But the legislature defines it. That’s what “disturbing the peace” is (like that kid in Boston the other day who was caught “disturbing the peace” walking around with a rice cooker in a backpack).

            You must be one of those college students that just took Philosophy 101 and you think you are so smart and thought of something new.

            Yawn.

          • Kaine

            Actually I don’t like philosophy, like Marx, I prefer politics.

            So peace, according to you, is determined by the government. So if the government say that ‘inciting hatred’ is disturbing the peace then not allowing people to do that would not be an infringement of free speech.

            According to you.

          • ladykrystyna

            You really aren’t very bright.

            Yes, “disturbing the peace” is determined by the gov’t who probably gets its ideas from the culture that it lives in.

            I suppose you would rather that every debate and protest be able to devolve into anarchy of shouting rather than the peace being kept so people could have a conversation, or people could make their way through the city without being accosted in their cars or having to dodge protestors in the middle of the street.

            There is also ‘defamation’ by the way, but no one has the freedom to lie about other people and cause them damage. Just like I have no freedom to just go around an willy nilly punch people and cause them harm.

            Yes, sounds like you are one of those Philosophy majors that thinks he’s smart, but you are as dumb as a box of rocks.

          • Kaine

            Very good, so your opinion is that governments define free speech. So you agree that the people have the right to restrain what the individual can say.

            And though I’m flattered darling, you really shouldn’t fantasise about people on the internet, it’s unhealthy.

    • Farbar

      In the Galway case that is not rowdy debate. It is shutting down the speaker who is there to speak. If it were a debate it would have been advertised as one. It is also rude.

      In regards to Mozilla, what the former CEO did six years earlier is not a danger to the company and he is free to support that which he believes. It is the company that is infringing on his right to express himself. In fact, the company had no problem with his beliefs. It was pressure from an outside entity that resulted in the dismissal, not the company’s policies.

    • wudyermucuss

      actual scientists –
      Like those who question climate change causes?

      And you really think many don’t just tow the line?
      Do you think someone vocally opposing multiculturalism,(a theory,like agw)would go far in many govt or other public bodies?

      • Kaine

        No, I don’t think that someone with an advanced degree, who could make four times as much in the private sector, goes into their university lab everyday to fake results.

        • Fred Doe

          Evidently you haven’t heard of some leaked e-mails and hockey stick graphs.

          • Dave Sharp

            An inconvenient truth. 🙂

          • Kaine

            Evidently neither have you, since several exhaustive investigations into those hacked (not leaked) emails showed no impropriety.

          • Fred Doe

            LOL! Keep telling yourself that fool. Maybe at least YOU will come to believe it.

          • Kaine

            Say hi to David Icke for me.

          • Fred Doe

            I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you make a list of successful AGW predictions and I’ll make a list that have already failed the test miserably! As you hopefully know, science consists of developing theories and proving them through repeatable, reproducible experiments. What, no takers?

          • Kaine

            No, science is based upon observation of natural phenomena. Plate tectonics can “predict” where the continents are going to be in 10 million years, but none of us are going to be here to see it. That doesn’t mean it’s not scientific.

            CO2 traps heat. Analysis of the paleo-climate record shows CO2 concentrations correlating with temperature fluctuations which are not explainable by variations in orbit and solar irradiance alone.

            And today, we see rising CO2 concentrations and rising temperatures. No, warming has not stopped, even if you draw a cherry-picked graph from a particular El Niño year in the mid nineties. If you think it has please read the MET Office report, not the blogs interpreting it.

            The world is getting warmer, we know it’s not increased solar irradiance from the satellites we have monitoring such things. If it’s not CO2, which explains the warming very well, then it is incumbent upon deniers to find another, hitherto unknown, mechanism. Anyone who did would be a scientific superstar overnight, so the prize is rather big.

    • Dave Sharp

      He made the donation as a private citizen and any good lawyer could shred your flawed assessment of position and donation in a New York minute should he have chosen to fight such absurdity. Politics nothing more. I think I would have sued just for platform!

      • Kaine

        You object to boards being able to dismiss their CEO?

    • mohdanga

      “Climate deniers are free to publish work in the peer reviewed literature, but with a handful of exceptions they don’t because that is hard and spending six minutes in a Gish-gallop on ITV is easier.”
      Who is denying there is a climate? Your mob is the one that went from ‘Global Warming’ to ‘Climate Change’ to ‘Climate deniers’ because the actual evidence is opposite from what you want it to be. There are many eminent scientists who don’t believe in the AGW fraud. But these should be denied a spot on the BBC, well, because they don’t fit the PC model.
      Steyn is not arguing that being a CEO is a free speech right. He’s arguing that politically correct views has overtaken any common sense amongst business, academia and political leaders who fall prostrate before any aggrieved group no matter how egrigious the behaviour of these groups.

      • Kaine

        Climate Change as a term has been in use for over half a century.

        I don’t care how eminent the scientists are, I care what they can publish in the peer reviewed literature, and lately that’s been sod all.

        • mohdanga

          Then you should research the so-called ‘peer reviewed’ literature that makes up so much of the IPCC reports. Might open your blinkered eyes.

          • Kaine

            Have. I trust the scientists, you trust the conspiracists.

          • mohdanga

            You mean conspiracists like this:
            http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/08/21/un-scientists-who-have-turned-on-unipcc-man-made-climate-fears-a-climate-depot-flashback-report/
            So you trust the ‘scientists’ at East Anglia CRU that falsified data to fit their models? OK then.

          • Kaine

            They didn’t falsify data. No investigation, and there were many, said that. You quote-mine thousands of emails and you can make anyone sound suspect.

            You’re either ignorant or lying.

          • mohdanga

            And you are deluded. This has been reported in media outlets all over the world. But I must be ‘ignorant and lying’. All of the scientists resigning from the IPCC are a myth, too.

    • ladykrystyna

      “In the Galway case, he is attacking the very rowdy debate he calls for elsewhere.”

      Shouting someone down and telling them to get the f%$#@ out is not “rowdy debate”. It’s shouting and trying to silence someone.

      And nowhere have I ever read anything by Steyn where he advocates shouting anyone down. And I’ve read a lot of Steyn.

      “In the Mozilla case, being a CEO of a large company is not a free speech right, it is a privilege bestowed upon you by the board. Does Mr Steyn believe we should require companies to hire people who publically express views contrasting to their values?”

      In the Mozilla case, the petition that helped get him to resign demanded that Mr. Eich renounce his beliefs, accept and support gay marriage, or the petitioners would work to get him fired. The Board choked and got him to resign, all the while pretending like they actually support “diversity”.

      And Mr. Eich had only been on the job for 10 days.

      In general, yes, you should be able to be fired for any reason or no reason. But that’s not what this was. Not by a long shot.

      “Free speech does not include a right for your unsupported ideas to be given equal airtime on the BBC with actual scientists.”

      Do you even read what you post? Sure if a private news organization does not want to publish opposing points of view, or give airtime to opposing points of view, that’s fine. That’s a PRIVATE organization. BBC is not private, it’s the gov’t telling people who they can and cannot have on.

      In America, that is a blatant violation of the First Amendment (and in fact our FCC tried to do something similar – monitor what was on and if the different news organizations (private ones) were covering everything that should be covered; it was abandoned once We The People found out about it).

      Unfortunately, Europe has no such protection. So fascism grows unabated.

      “An honorary degree is not a right, it is granted at the whim of the institution. If you think the institution is so worthless, why would you even want it?”

      The same university gave honorary degrees to those that had anti-Semitic views on things, saying that their point of view had nothing to do with the degree. And Brandeis is a historically Jewish university. You should really get your facts straight. But Ms. Ali’s views are suddenly relevant?

      “Restricting the ability of the powerful to say whatever lies they want in print, safe in the knowledge that libel cases are long, expensive, and beyond the reach of ordinary people, I s not a restriction on free speech.”

      You really are a fascist. What lies are powerful people going to publish about “ordinary people”? And you guys don’t have pro bono lawyers?

      “When the discourse of a nation is controlled by a handful of men who own all the major papers how on earth is that good for free discussion?”

      You are insane.

  • Will Goulborn

    As a genuine left-wing liberal who knows the meaning of these words, I encourage an open an honest discussion of ideas which I personally find repellent. I will listen to hate speech and argue against it sooner than have anyone silenced.

    If people use their freedom as the freedom to restrict others, they destroy freedom. But I would be destroying freedom were I to stop them.

    • grrretchen

      Well said!

    • Fred Doe

      Interesting. Doesn’t your use of the term “hate speech” already indicate an immediate attempt to disparage, marginalize and dismiss anyone who may disagree with your opinions and label that opinion as not being worthy of being listened to? Sounds like a little passive aggressive censorship to me. But that is par for the course coming from a liberal. What is your definition of “hate speech”? I’d really like to know. I’d suspect that it is pretty much any speech you don’t agree with.

  • Kaine

    Was Bertrand Russell infringing Oswald Mosley’s freedom of speech when he refused to engage with him?

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lZDNamGnC7E/UYA0Y6tZ1-I/AAAAAAAAYw4/RJlRb0tywvs/s640/Russell.jpg

    • JohnM

      Oswald Mosley’s right to freedom of speech is distinct from Oswald Mosley’s “right” to force someone to debate with him. The latter is a strawman.

      [Incidentally Bertrand Russell “engaged with him” when he wrote him a letter]

      • Kaine

        No, that’s the essence of ‘No Platform’, which Mr Steyn has taken issue with above.

        And if dismissing someone is engagement then no-one has ever been No Platformed as long as they’ve received a rejection letter.

        • JohnM

          Don’t be silly. Your have a right to free speech which does not impose upon me the obligation to debate you

          • Kaine

            Exactly, which is why No Platform is not an imposition upon free speech. Which begs the question as to why the author thinks the policies of No Platforming fascists is an attack on free speech such that he included it in this article.

          • JohnM

            No platform is different. A state institution is banning some speakers but not others based upon their politics. A state institution hosting an event does not imply agreement or disagreement with the speaker.

          • Kaine

            Usually it’s individual societies deciding that there are certain people or organisations so toxic that they see no point in engaging with them, exactly as Russell described.

            Personally I’m not in favour of lists, I’m just in favour of not inviting them because, as I’ve said, you do not have a fundamental right to come and speak at a university podium. By all means set your soap box up at the entrance.

          • JohnM

            Here’s the thing. A state institution is not like you banning me from your home. Universities have students who are encouraged to start societies. Such a society might invite a speaker who is subsequently banned. Given that facilities are supposedly made available on a equitable basis, what can be a possible justification?

        • wudyermucuss

          But no platform has always been against the right,(far has been conveniently dropped).
          Far leftists,Islamists,Communists,seem to have no problem.

          • Kaine

            Sorry, you’re factually incorrect.

            Julie Bindel has been No Platformed, a lesbian radical feminist. Galloway, a socialist and ardent defender of Islam has been No Platformed. Indeed, I remember even seeing a motion to No Platform Tony Benn following his remarks about the Julian Assange case.

          • Colonel Mustard

            You should be concerned about “no platform” not its targets. The fact that you are attempting to defend the practice speaks volumes about you.

          • Kaine

            Actually I’ve specifically said in this thread that I think the policy is not the way to go. Keep up darling.

        • grrretchen

          No Kaine, I believe JohnM is right. There is a very big distinction. Mark Steyn is not arguing that anyone be forced to engage. His point seems to be that those who do not wish to hear what they find offensive should not have the power to stop the offender from speaking.

    • Baron

      No, he wasn’t. Next question, Kaine.

  • Netwie

    The amount of change in North American rhetoric in the last 35 years is shocking. The way we interact and speak to each other, as well as the unearned stature of media in our lives,has helped mutate how honest we can be for fear of being called a “racist” or possibly worse than Hitler.
    There was a news story where a white motorist hit a black child with his car,got out to try and help,and was beaten ,almost to death ,by black by standers in what was described by the gun toting black woman who saved him as a “racial” attack.
    Commenters were dog piling on, calling the aggressors “these animals”and generalizing,which I disagreed with. I said “try and remember that all black people are not represented by those who almost killed this guy”,in an effort to express my point of view,and to try and balance the irrational hatred I was witnessing on the thread. Well…my presumption(which I base on my life’s experience with other races) was my calling card as a racist…apparently,I exposed myself by suggesting that hating an entire race is irrational,because speaking for that race makes me a bigot. Yeah….right on.

  • Mahound

    I am sorry to disturb the Spectator group-hug, but in the name of free speech I think it is fair to point out that not even Mark Steyn or Andrew Bolt dare to mention just what powerful and well-financed ethnic organisations it is that are trying to stop free speech all over the Western world. And succeeding at it I may add. Ezra Levant has at times pointed it out, but then again he’s got more room for manoeuvre on this subject, so to speak.

    So why is the elephant in the room not mentioned? It is because when you start investigating the motives of this censorship lobby that you uncover facts – or rather fact that weren’t really facts – that are so abhorrent that they can’t be mentioned in polite society.

    And there is the key. Steyn or Bolt can write columns all they want, but unless we start dealing with the real censorship lobby, starting with naming them, we won’t get far.

    • Winston

      Oh look. Anti-Semitic drivel.

      • Mahound

        While there are plenty of courageous Semitic individuals who defend free speech, it is with sadness that I have to say that not a single major Semitic organisation has defended it, and most are actively working against free speech. Are we not allowed to point this out lest we be anti-Semitic?

        • Fred Doe

          Oh, you mean like CAIR does?!

    • Fred Doe

      It is obvious to me that the same entities promoting censorship of ideas are the very same ones promoting antisemitism.

      • Mahound

        Why is it so obvious to you? Because your usual media outlets try to put it that way? Why don’t you look at the facts before you take such strong opinions? While some Mohammedan organisations are trying to stop criticism of mohammedanism, there are other Semitic organisations that are trying to silence Europoid people full stop.

        Watch the first two minutes of this episode of The Source with Ezra Levant where Ezra – who can speak more freely on the subject – admits who is behind court cases to limit freedom of speech in Candada:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nls-r1inD-8

        • Fred Doe

          The facts are that the left wants to limit free speech and is now openly saying so. Those who do not accept “global warming” must be silenced they say! Even put in prison! The same for those who refuse to submit to obamcare being “set in stone”. These are the same people who are anti Semite and promoting islam, which is another group attempting to silence their critics.

    • ladykrystyna

      You are looking for Stormfront.

  • Andrew Smith

    I have found everything Nigel Lawson has ever said since c. 1983 to be utter drivel. But I am glad that I was able to hear it and make up my own mind.

  • PRP

    If you made a donation to the Nazi Party and you were the chief executive of my company, you bet i would fire you. It’s a private company, go be a Nazi elsewhere – I think you being a Nazi damages my company’s image.

    • Mahound

      You signed up for Disqus just to write that comment? Uh ok, welcome then.

      • PRP

        Actually I had signed it already, but couldn’t remember my password… Anyway, you don’t think signing to write this comment your be a good enough reason?

        • Mahound

          Not really, I think you just lost under the rules of Godwin’s Law.

          • PRP

            haters gonna hate

    • Farbar

      Comparison of Nazism to traditional marriage support? Yeah, the similarities are, well, there are none. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of people in your imagined company would not think exactly the same way you do and you’d never know it.

      • PRP

        Comparison of Nazism to supporting a kind of segregation based on prejudice*… well, I think it’s a good comparison… The donation was not made to a company promoting “traditional marriage”, it was made to a company trying to impose the prohibition of a new kind of marriage – “traditional marriage” is not at stake. You need to try again to figure what I wanted to say – give me a chance – reread it, reinterpret it, I’m not going to waste time answering again in a comment of someone who doesn’t want to understand.. This not a question of free speech: it’s a question of the image I want for my company – and i am FREE to choose the person i want to have administrative powers of relevance inside my company, based on his/her characteristics! Our opinions matter – they are part of our “hidden curriculum” and it’s only natural that i don’t want an intolerant person to be the chief executive of my company!!, if i consider it to be the case. I am free and we should all, I think, defend this freedom. Also, we need to understand that a mistake made by Barack Obama has a different impact than a mistake made by an ordinary person. Again – our formation and technical capacity is not the only thing that matters: human values, tolerance, sensibility, personal interests, principles causes – all that is important and cannot be dissociated from the rest.

        However, my friend, this is something that happens very rarely. Trust me. Homosexuals, on the other hand, are systematically discriminated in applications for the simplest jobs. Why don’t you speak of this? This has been happening for centuries, it’s completely installed in our society and it’s a much more serious matter with huge implications. Don’t you think it’s unfair and inhuman? Fortunately this paradigm is changing. I’m glad things are turning the other way around and that the ones getting fired are starting to be the intolerant ones: it should always have been like that. I’m glad my friends that are homosexual and that are amazing human beings are starting not to be discriminated. You should meet some homosexuals.

        • grrretchen

          PRP, Could you explain the difference between the views held by the gentleman at Mozilla at the time he made his donation to the views of the President of the United States at that same time?

          • PRP

            You are focusing on the example, on the metaphor rather than in the meaning of the metaphor! I can’t even understand that you are trying to ask! You want me to tell you their views???? Compare them? I have to work…sorry!

          • PRP

            on* what*

          • Fred Doe

            He certainly flummoxed you on that one didn’t he. Those on the left are such hypocrites and have such “selective” memory..

          • PRP

            What the hell? I’m not even on “the left”… What the hell?

          • Dave Sharp

            While he focuses on the supposed metaphor, you focus on fantasy and ignore the question. He’s correct, you are juggling words.

          • PRP

            Now I’m juggling words… Really guys… I wonder if you are able to notice the stories you tell yourselves in order to keep ignoring the truth and to convince yourselves you are right… Really, I would like to know if you know the truth but you are not telling it because of social coercion or, on the other hand, if you ignore it at all because you have never paused to think about it calmly… Even the lack of education of some comments here, the inability to be respectful, should indicate you you need a change. You invent stuff you don’t know! That I’m from “the left”, “traditional marriage”, “juggling words”. What do you know about who is right and who is wrong? This shows clearly you are stuck!, that your mind is biased!

          • Baron

            And the thing that makes you talk as if only you knew the truth, PRP, is what?

            Why should, for instance, a traditional marriage be ‘an invented stuff’ any more than say a man, a woman?

          • PRP

            And I REPEAT with another example, for those who are still wondering about the metaphor:

            If you made a donation to an organization instigating the discrimination of black people I would fire you right away.

            If you made a donation to an organization instigating discrimination based on gender, I would sack you right away.

            And I would do this precisely because I believe in Freedom and on the dignity of the human life. We have been stuck for too long in these middle age minds. People, change yourselves. Make silence and think. Don’t be afraid to use your minds. Read. Contact with people with visions that are different than yours. Don’t just try to make up stories and to invent reasons to stay in your comfort zone.

          • Baron

            Your argument is fallacious, PRP. Making donations to an outfit opposing gay marriage, and one degrading people on the basis of their skin colour, gender, the shape of their nose or whatever is massively different. The former opposes a human construct, the latter opposes humans per se, well, some humans.

            In a free society one should be entitled to make donations to outfits that oppose or support anything a man does except if that doing degrades a human being himself.

            If the guy made a donation to an organisation that promoted hostility, hatred of homosexuals, he would have been wrong, the outfit he gave money to merely argued that homosexuals have to place in the institution of marriage. There were not in it, today they can marry, who knows, in the years, decades since, they may again be prevented to marry. At the same time, homosexuals have existed, will exist whether they can or cannot marry.

            You follow?

    • Dave Sharp

      Ahh, the jump off the bridge defense. Practiced by non thinking witless twits and their back slapping idiot sycophants everywhere to support arguments it was never intended to fit. Nature has its own way of dealing with fools, step lightly.

      • PRP

        I totally agree with the last sentence.
        Also, nature will make people think your comment doesn’t have value because of the education you express…

    • cremaster

      Your comparison is idiotic. There is no similarity between defending traditional marriage and being a Nazi.

      The chief exec’s donation was a private one, that only got publicised by the IRS for poliitical reasons (an action worthy of Dr Goebbels). Go be a bigot elsewhere.

      • PRP

        WHEN do you understand you are not defending traditional marriage??? Traditional marriage IS NOT at stake! and WHEN do you start accepting with education not everyone thinks the way you think?!!!! YOU NAZI!

        • mohdanga

          Add ‘Nazi’ to the following list: xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, sexist, racist, misogynist, bigot. Insert when necessary.

        • Baron

          Few postings ago, you seem to have derided the term ‘traditional marriage’ as a fake, here you seem to be using the term as if you understood it. Hmmm

          Would traditional marriage be ‘at stake’ if we went for polygamy? Of course not, those who wanted to marry just one of the opposing sex would still be able to do so. Why don’t we go for it?

          Similarly, a farther marrying his son, the love between the two should be more lasting than that between to gays if we talk big numbers, would have no impact on any man marrying a woman he wanted to, right? Why don’t we go for it?

      • PRP

        And why don’t you go read my previous comments before commenting? Maybe the explanation is already there… You are more interested in just saying something, isn’t it?

        I don’t care if it was private or public. What the hell? How can someone define with so much sureness what is private and what is public and what implications it must have?

        Don’t be an extremist, cremaster.

      • ladykrystyna

        Actually, Eich’s donation was legally disclosed based on the law of the State of California.

        Yes, the IRS leaked other donations that they should not have. But Eich’s was not part of that.

  • GraveDave

    As feminists go Germane Greer is another fringe wacko extremist.

  • Ethan

    This message is particularly hard for the British to understand. Britain has become so accustomed to regulation that it thinks it can regulate human nature, eradicate human emotions like hatred and envy, and inspire its citizens to cultural suicide. So far, it has largely worked. These days, most Caucasian citizens of other western countries perceive their British counterparts as undesirable immigrants – too lazy and entitled by half, and too intellectually pretzeled to serve any productive purpose

  • randy kowalski

    freedom is the price of equality….and toqueville worried that american democracy might eventually choose to be “equal in slavery than unequal in freedom”…….wise man indeed…

  • Dom Jenks

    Excellent stuff!

  • Dbom

    “Mark Steyn is a Canadian commentator…”

    Hey! He’s our commentator too (says an American, proudly)!!!

    Hell, he even lives here!

    I’d imagine, though, that may not be the case for long given the direction this is all headed…

  • Jeff Woodhead

    To this list one might also add:

    – The NC GOP’s attempts to threaten UNC’s budget because of outspoken liberal law professor Gene Nichol

    – The SC GOP’s threats against USC system funding because of perceived pro-gay curriculum choices

    – Tennessee’s (and a few other states’) efforts to prohibit teachers from even mentioning homosexuality in the classroom

    And several others. Don’t go around pretending like this is just a liberal problem.

    • Fred Doe

      Evidently you cannot perceive the difference between being able to speak freely on your own time and using your position to indoctrinate students at a public institution.

      • Jeff Woodhead

        in-doc-trin-a-tion (n.): the act of exposing someone to ideas that Fred Doe personally finds distasteful.

        Also, Nichol is saying his piece on his own time.

        • ladykrystyna

          “in-doc-trin-a-tion (n.): the act of exposing someone to ideas that Jeff Woodhead personally finds distasteful.”

          We can do this all day.

  • Peter

    The same Australian government which championed free speech by wanting to repeal section 18c is revealed as hypocritical by its intention to ban consumer boycotts on social media and elsewhere and also to monitor the social media sites of public service workers, firing those who criticise government policy in their non official down time.

    The Abbott government doesn’t believe in free speech. It only believes in it’s speech.

  • gjgustav

    I think a lot of people confuse “free speech” with “free speech without consequences.” You are free to state your opinion. But, I am also free to boycott your products. This is not stifling free speech. You got to express your opinion, and I got to express mine through actions which do nothing to curb your freedom. Somewhere along the line, and I don’t think it’s exclusively the right wing, people are trying to define free speech as “You can say what you want and I have to sit there and take it with no consequences to you whatsoever.”

    And the Mozilla case is not a valid point. The Mozilla did not just state his opinion, he tried to actively remove people’s freedoms by donating for a campaign to pass a law. That crossed a line for many people. Had he just stated his opinion, I think he’d still be on the board today. It’s the ultimate in hypocrisy to complain about freedom while trying to get a law passed to remove freedom for others.

    • PGlenn

      Weak reasoning, again (which is par-for-the-course for the left these days).

      Everyone knows that you can’t say whatever you want without any concern for the consequences – trite, trite, trite.

      Steyn’s point is that the left is trying to cloister itself from ideas it finds distasteful and to stifle debate in public and civic realms. Naturally, they’re not going to begin by overturning the 1st Amendment, which they need to use for their own purposes, anyway. No, they’ll use boycotts. They’ll “out” private citizens (even using illegal means to do so because the authorities are helping). They’ll create ever more ridiculous campus speech codes; allow thug students to scream down dissenting speakers; and require “controversial” campus speakers to pay for their own protection, which is only needed because the speaker is a bigot, blah, blah.

      The question is – Why is the left becoming increasingly intolerant of opposing viewpoints, such that it must unleash its “consequences” in ever more petty and fascistic ways? We know that they have the legal power to do so, genius. But is it healthy for civic and intellectual life?

      Your reasoning in the Mozilla case is even more silly. Almost every policy initiative involves expanding some person’s “freedoms” possibly at the expense of others. That’s how government policy works. So, if we accept your precedent: it’s open season on anyone who contributes money to a policy initiative – we ought to go out of our ways to try to get fired anyone who stood on the opposite side of an issue as ourselves.

    • Dave Sharp

      So, by using the slippery slope of self serving logic you’ve elected to use, we can safely say that you would have no problem with child molestation as long as it was approved by the squeaky wheels and rubber stamped by the media?

      In the Mozilla lynching the man exercised his freedom of choice and speech that is available to all in a free society, a progressively frightening thought it would seem to people like you. It is fine for you to express your views, as long as everyone falls in lock step with your version of morality. You seem to think as long as something is approved and not prohibited, that automatically makes permissiveness the superior moral plane. Your logic sucks.

      • gjgustav

        The Mozilla exec has a freedom of choice and speech. And those who heard it have the freedom to boycott his company and tell others about it. Odd how you seem to not want to grant the same freedom of choice and speech of those people? And you have the nerve to say my logic sucks.

        • KhadijahMuhammad

          “And those who heard it have the freedom to boycott his company and tell others about it. ”

          Sure, but that never happened.

    • mohdanga

      “The Mozilla did not just state his opinion, he tried to actively remove people’s freedoms by donating for a campaign to pass a law. That crossed a line for many people. Had he just stated his opinion, I think he’d still be on the board today. It’s the ultimate in hypocrisy to complain about freedom while trying to get a law passed to remove freedom for others.”
      Then the majority of the voting population of California should lose their jobs as they voted in favour of not legislating gay marriage. A gay judge overruled the vote finding it somehow ‘unconstitutional’.

      • gjgustav

        That’s a stretch. It was the mozilla board that decided keeping him would be detrimental to the company. Those that called for the boycott have the same freedom of speech and choice as the Mozilla exec.

        • mohdanga

          No, the Mozilla board decided that they didn’t have the balls to back up their founder and instead catered to the whining minority of PC n*zis that always preach about ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’. If I say “I don’t believe in abortion” and then contribute to a Right-to-Life organization should I be fired because my opinion contradicts the PC crowd’s view on abortion? Nowadays anyone that criticzes any aspect of the the gay lifetstyle is a ‘homophobe’, there is no tolerance for dissent.
          What freedoms for gays ‘are being removed’? Marriage is a social construct not a right. If I want to marry a consenting 15 year old would I be able to? If a referendum asking the population if marrying under aged girls should be allowed was not passed would my freedoms be removed?

          • gjgustav

            The “social construct” as you put it affords spouses to things like health care, death benefits, hospital visitation rights, etc. And if it’s just a social construct, then the government shouldn’t be involved in it at all, but they are, making it more than that. And the law doesn’t consider a 15 year old to be capable of consent, so that argument is ridiculous. Regardless, this is all straying from the actual argument and not worth pursuing here any further.

          • mohdanga

            So because the government is involved in heterosexual marriage it follows that is should be involved/condone in any other marriage arrangement that the participants feel is appropriate to their circumstances. Okey dokey.

          • gjgustav

            Any other marriage arrangement that involves two consenting adults, yes, absolutely.

          • ladykrystyna

            But why just 2? Why not 3 or 4?

          • KhadijahMuhammad

            “Regardless, this is all straying from the actual argument and not worth pursuing here any further.”

            Au contraire. If a Republican businessperson were to take donation rolls and purge his/her company of anyone who donated to (for example) Planned Parenthood (roughly half of Americans oppose abortion) on the grounds that their employment MIGHT cause a boycott, then (according to you) that would be OK?

          • ladykrystyna

            You don’t want to pursue it further because you have gotten your arse handed to you.

        • KhadijahMuhammad

          Political donations are instances of free speech. Firing an empoyee is not an instance of free speech.

    • cremaster

      The chief exec did NOT state his opinion publicly. He gave a private donation which was announced to the public by the tax authorities without his consent. For political reasons, naturally.

      • gjgustav

        I did not know that. Then that makes this example even less relevant than I first stated since it’s not about free speech at all.

        • KhadijahMuhammad

          Hm? The courts have ruled on multiple occasions that political donations are an expression of free speech.

          So, this is PRECISELY about speech.

        • ladykrystyna

          Actually cremaster is incorrect, but it’s not less egregious what happened.

          The State of CA has a law that says that donations can be disclosed so it was easy for the fascists to get a hold of it.

          However, the IRS did illegally disclose information about donations to another organization that was against gay marriage.

    • Joe W.

      Gays can get married just like normal folks can. They simply have to marry the opposite sex. There is no discrimination there at all, Princess.

    • KhadijahMuhammad

      “he tried to actively remove people’s freedoms by donating for a campaign to pass a law. ”

      Nonsense. He voiced an opinion legally, and lost his livelihood for it. That’s chilling.

      If a person can be fired for voicing an opinion six years prior to his employment, then it cannot be said free speech is in fact alive.

      Did you know that if Eich hadn’t resigned, he could have sued Mozilla for the firing, since firing a person for political activity is against the california legal code?

      • ladykrystyna

        “Did you know that if Eich hadn’t resigned, he could have sued Mozilla for the firing, since firing a person for political activity is against the california legal code?”

        Thank you for pointing that out.

    • ladykrystyna

      The petition involved in Mozilla was not “boycott”. They demanded that Eich renounce his beliefs regarding traditional marriage and to embrace gay marriage or they would try and get him fired.

      That’s not a boycott.

      A boycott is “I don’t use Product X, or watch TV show Z, or watch Actor ABC”.

      I hate Sean Penn; won’t support him in anything. But what I don’t try to do is get him pushed out of Hollywood. I just don’t give him my money. If enough people also do not do that of their own accord and he never works again, that’s just a natural progression.

      The Mozilla case is not anything like that. And many leftists on other forums have expressed the desire that people they don’t agree with politically should basically be homeless, jobless, friendless, etc.

      Again, that’s not “boycotting”. That’s destruction. And a short ride to cattle cars on trains and ovens (in fact the other day I did run into a Leftist that outright said he wished “my kind” to be “exterminated”).

  • Babylonandon

    And the greatest catastrophe of all comes to civilization when in the process of silencing ALMOST all opposition – save the one group that scares the Hell out of the elites – they have given free reign to a vicious barbarian cult to fester like a terminal tumor within the center of Society until that tumor breaks out and smashes everything in the process of claiming its victory over the rest.

    If you could go back in history and talk to the Romans – what sort of wisdom would they impart on us today in regards to allowing the rise of Islam as a comparison with their coddling of Attila and his Huns.

  • Dave Sharp

    Nazis and Communists were both excellent at stifling free speech. Pick your political poison as there seems to be an intractability between extremisms at work in society with neither discussing, but rather denouncing, and all conversation, should we dare call it that, devolving into pointless and useless trench warfare being all noise and no progress.

  • RavenRandom

    Great article.

  • edlancey

    Climatecriminal ? Carboncriminal ? Treeringcriminal ? Hockeystickcriminal ? Ciscriminal ?

    Even Orwell couldn’t have imagined this…

  • Raw England

    Freedom of Speech should be absolute.

    The reason Free Speech is now illegal is because of immigration and the Left.

    Speaking the truth regarding race and immigration is literally illegal. Advocating for your own beleaguered, dying people is literally illegal.

    White people now know that merely speaking their mind will get them stalked or killed by foreigners, or arrested.

    And its going to get a worse. In unimaginably terrifying ways.

  • noblesseoblige

    Beautiful. With violence against free speech, we move down the road to violence.

  • Raw England

    “But free speech is essential to a free society because, when you deny people ‘an opportunity to act like normal political parties’, there’s nothing left for them to do but punch your lights out. Free speech, wrote the Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson last week, ‘buttresses the political system’s legitimacy. It helps losers, in the struggle for public opinion and electoral success, to accept their fates. It helps keep them loyal to the system, even though it has disappointed them. They will accept the outcomes, because they believe they’ve had a fair opportunity to express and advance their views. There’s always the next election. Free speech underpins our larger concept of freedom”.

    EXACTLY.

    And the reason the enemy won’t allow it is because they KNOW they’d lose very, very badly in an actual democratic, Free Speech society.

  • Erebus Black

    Great article. The modern left have betrayed the principles of the Enlightenment their predecessors stood up for.

  • John Baker

    Steyn is easily the best English language pundit alive. I am leaning toward to the view that his tangle with Canada’s phoney hate speech laws was a coordinated effort to shut him up. Lucky for us it backfired and the Harper government used the sorry proceedings to get rid of the laws that fed the kangeroo courts. The Canadian left is still reeling from losing one of their star chambers. There can be no compromise on free speech and if it comes to shooting so be it.

    • Raw England

      Absolutely. Regaining Free Speech is one of the very few things remaining worth dying for.

  • Jack

    When I was a kid and you used the “N” word, someone of that persuasion might punch you in the nose, deservedly so, or cause you some other form of grief. Now, the speech and thought police would seek to charge you with a hate crime. Next they’ll be after your silent thoughts if they can find a way to examine them to see if they are “correct.”

    • Raw England

      Eventually, the foreign majority will begin to hunt down all free thinking White people. And they’ll be in government by then; they’ll have the full power of the state and police at their disposal.

      We’ll be beaten, killed in prisons and holding cells for daring to speak.

      Eventually, they’ll begin to carry out executions of any White people who speaks out of turn.

      This is no exaggeration.

      • Fudge

        It’s already happening.

        • Raw England

          Yes. You’re right, Fudge. It actually is.

  • David Govett

    Whatever anybody is for, I’m against it.
    Whatever anybody is against, I’m for it.
    Attempt to deprive me of free speech at your own peril, you Brownshirts.

  • Kurt NY

    The reason why the left parroted Voltaire’s line about defending even offensive speech is that, at the time, it was they whose ideas were characterized by mainstream thought as offensive. But they never really believed it, as witness what they wish to do when it seems they hold the cultural whip hand. Which kind of proves the old adage that the true measure of a man is not what he does in adversity but what he does in the presence of success. And the left wishes to use its success to shut the rest of us up and to push us out of the marketplace of ideas.

    Nor should this really be a surprise to anybody. Back in the mid-70’s at college, I was reading some left-wing rag left at the front desk. Its banner headlines celebrated some anniversary of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, Then a couple pages in, was an article about Dr William Shockley, celebrated inventor of the transistor and less well-loved for his theory of racial genetic inferiority based on IQ tests, wherein our stalwart guardians of free speech urged forbidding him to give a talk, under the banner “no right to speak.” In other words, the proper approach to someone with whom you disagree is not debate but simply to force him to shut up.

    Back then, those calling for that were almost children. Now they run the Democratic Party, our universities, schools, and cultural institutions. Fascists.

  • PRP

    This article can only be a joke! For centuries homosexuals have been discriminated, arrested, hunted, living in obscurity AND fired from companies! Now someone fires an intolerant guy who funds this discrimination and people say “the freedom of speech is dying”. Go treat yourselves.

    #shockedwiththelackofhumanityinthesecomments

    • jackguthrie

      Seen a queer nation ‘pride’ parade recently? Defending the traditional definition of marriage is as much free speech as is queer nation in-your-face politics.

      • PRP

        “Queer”? Why are you so hostile? I don’t get it! How do you believe in yourselves??? Really, you should fight to gain some education and civilization before trying to make a dissertation about other forms of life different than yours. I can’t believe we are still facing this kind of mentality, with people exhibiting openly to each other complete disregard and lack of respect for other human beings.

        • TheAvatarOfEvil

          Just out of curiosity, what is your first language?

          • Raw England

            His profile pic and hysterical tone tells me: Something Muslamic.

            (Last part t’was for comic effect).

          • PRP

            maybe you should learn another language… you seem diminished by only knowing one.

          • PRP

            Portuguese. 😉

        • Raw England

          We had the greatest civilisation ever known.

          Its now being crippled and destroyed by immigrants and White Leftist scum.

          Also, get over yourself.

        • jackguthrie

          I forgot: Only Q’s and N’s can use the Q and N words. So un-PC….

        • Joe W.

          My belief system teaches me that those who indulge in the vulgar, disgusting acts of homosexual sex must be prayed for…NOT given praise, support, and respect for their behavior. What you do in the privacy of your home is your business, but forcing me and others to accept it as normal is flat out intolerant of us. Calling you queer is no big deal, since many of your butt buddies call themselves that.

          • PRP

            Then go pray to the lord: what you do in the privacy of your home is your business, so you can pray to the lord at home. Also, if you ever read the bible you should know you must respect everyone, regardless of what you consider is wrong. You should be ashamed of yourself and of the lack of respect your words denote.

          • Tanks-a-lot

            homosexuality is a religion given top protection by the government.

            wake me up when the “gay gene” is found. The abortion holocaust of homosexuals begins then.

          • PRP

            I hope they find the disgusting-human gene first…

          • Tanks-a-lot

            yes, rubbing one’s penis against another’s poo is disgusting

          • Joe W.

            The Bible does not teach me to respect those who deliberately sin against the Lord. I am taught to love the sinner and hate the sin. And I do that. Respect is earned, Princess. You earn no respect when you stick your penis in another man’s butt. All of your whining…all of your false equivalencies…all of you hissing, purse swinging and attempts to twist the Word of the Bible will gain you nothing. Your behavior is a sin. whether you care to admit it or not. There is no sin in being a homosexual, Cupcake. But it IS a sin to act upon your perverted urges. Not my rule…God’s.

          • PRP

            Yes it does. I know it, i’m a Sunday school teacher. 😉 And I’m not gay. And you should read what the Pope (I think you must at least consider him a moderately nice authority to interpret what the bible says) thinks about the subject 😉 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/05/pope-francis-civil-unions_n_4904060.html

          • Joe W.

            The Pope is a Catholic, and I have no concern for his thoughts or his dogma. If you can show me the passage in the Bible where it says we must ‘respect’ homosexual behavior and those of you who indulge in it, I will give you credit for being correct. But you will not be able to do so, Mr. Sunday School Teacher. That’s because it does not exist. Homosexual behavior is to be hated and those of you who engage in it are to be loved and prayed for. Love does NOT equate to respect. Are we supposed to respect murderers, Princess? Finally, linking to the Huffington Post is nonsense. That web site is run by liberal loons, and I’ll never go there again.

          • PRP

            It’s sad we get to a point in which you asking me for bible citations to verify if the bible teaches you to respect people or not. It’s just sad. And your choice of words is also sad – it shows an incapacity to discuss, to be opened to different points of view – actually it shows you don’t know what democracy and human rights are. It shows you don’t know about the core message of the bible. You don’t know that to love you need to respect the person and to be tolerant. You don’t know you must question yourself. You don’t know you may not be correct. I think God would tell you to be a little bit more humble. 😉 Anyway, here is one of the citations of the bible that says objectively you must respect everyone: “Show proper respect to everyone. Love the brotherhood of believers, fear god, honor the king” 1 Peter 2:17.

            I think you should give some credit to the Pope and at least, as least consider he may have something interesting to say about the matter: stop being so conceited. Here you have the pope’s opinion on abc news: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PTO0cFi_2U

          • Joe W.

            The point of Mr. Steyn’s article was to point out the left and their methodology of free speech. You illustrate his points. I have the right and the freedom to speak my views, just as you have yours. You attempt to shame me and force YOUR interpretation of the Bible by cherry picking on sentence from it and offering words from the pope, who I have no regard for, as I am not catholic and I disagree with much of that church’s dogma. “Proper respect” is just that, Son. there is nothing proper about willfully sinning, thus no respect is warranted. As for the ‘core message of the Bible’, there IS none, pal. The Bible, as you ought to know, is the Word of God. The New Testament is the basis for Christianity, as it was written as a direct result of the Concepcion, birth, life, crucifixion, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The ‘core’ message of Jesus is to accept Him as the son of God, and our savior. We are to repent of ALL sin, and attempt to live our lives as free of sin as possible. This is indisputable, regardless of how much you wish it were not so. God’s Word says that ALL sexual behavior outside of the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman is a sin. That is also indisputable and has been articulated in scripture many times. You are one of those ‘feel good’ Christians who believes it is all right to alter the Word of God to suit the norms and the culture of the day. You claim that God simply wants us to love and respect everyone, and we will all go to Heaven and blah blah blah. And you would be wrong, my friend. If you are teaching your Sunday School class that homosexual behavior is anything other than a sin, you are doing your students a grave disservice and you are fooling yourself.

            As far as my humility goes, you don’t even know me. I am about as humble a man as could be. I live a simple life in a very small house in the sparsely populated country west of Dallas, Texas. I am retired, and I live on a very small Social Security Pension. I have no cell phone, have not been to the movies since 1987, and I stay as far away from the current American Culture that has reduced our nation into the state of deprivation that has been prophesied in the Bible. I believe that it is time for all Christians to get right with God, and quit attempting to change His word to suit their own selfish and perverted desires. That is the only way we stand a chance to attain our Heavenly reward. You can deny this all you wish, and you can challenge me all you wish. But you cannot PROVE me wrong, and I will never acquiesce to accepting sin as anything other than an insult to God.

            The only way for any of us to attain Heaven is to acknowledge our sins and vow to live a life without sin. While it may not be possible to do so, the continuing efforts to live without sin and repent when we fail is our only salvation.

            As for my knowledge of democracy? Irrelevant, son. We live in a Constitutional Republic…NOT a democracy. Human rights are articulated quite well in that document that we call our Constitution. You ought to try reading it. And your Bible.

            As for being ‘tolerant’? I will NEVER be tolerant of sin.

          • PRP

            Man, you are the one trying to impose views… not me… I’m just answering you questions….!

            I quote: “I will NEVER be tolerant of sin.”. You are imposing what you think.

          • Joe W.

            I ‘impose’ nothing, Son. You are free to read my post or not. You are free to accept what I say or reject it. You are the one who opined that I would not engage in dialogue with you, and when I do, you accuse me of forcing my views on you. You are a parody of yourself. When I say that I will NEVER be tolerant of sin, the optimal word is “I”. You can tolerate all the sin you wish. You clearly tolerate the sin of casual, homosexual sex. You may do so all you wish. God has given us all the freedom to accept His Word or reject it. I choose to accept…you choose to modify and accept that which you are comfortable with, and ignore that which you find too difficult. And I say, rock on, Son. You do your thing, and I’ll do mine.

          • ladykrystyna

            “You are imposing what you think.”

            You really are a moron.

          • Baron

            You’re wasting your time arguing with this lightweight, ladykrystyna, it’s always like that, the ones who know next to nothing, shout the loudest.

          • ladykrystyna

            I can see that, yes. LOL. PRP sounds like an adolescent – you can’t tell me what to do, mom!

            Good grief.

          • Joe W.

            If you take the time to read all of 1 Peter, you would know that he is being instructed on how to live Godly lives in a pagan society. Peter was admonished to ‘not make waves’ when living among the Godless. Try quoting the entire passage instead of the part that you are trying to convince me proves your case. It does not. Cherry picking scripture is dishonest. But what can I expect from someone who supports homosexual behavior?

          • PRP

            Then I must quote the rest of the bible to make you understand you should be respectful. You are being dishonest with yourself, trying to justify your outdated morality.

            Naturally, you must have grown in a family that imposed you these anachronistic views, and now you are a slave of your prejudice, acting against god and thinking otherwise.

            I hope life hits you hard. I hope you learn.
            And I hope you never have any power over other people, at least while you uphold these thoughts…especially your children and family.These are the best things I can wish you, really.

          • Joe W.

            Go to hell, Sonny. How dare you. You didn’t even read my post. Had you done so, you would know that I am elderly and most of my life is in the past. My children are grown. I have no more employees under my control. While it’s none of your damned business, I grew up in an agnostic home, where we never went to church and never read the Bible. I came to Christ 5 years ago when life hit me hard, Son. I lost my wife to the ravages of cancer and as I sat by her side for 29 days watching her wither away and die a painful death, I fell to my knees and I got together with God. It was a true revelation for me, and I committed myself to Him and His message at that time.

            As for ‘outdated morality’, you just outed yourself and verified exactly what I have said of you. God and His Word are never ‘outdated’, Sonny. As a Sunday School Teacher, you should know that. But you are NOT a Christian. You are a church goer who likes to teach kids that some sin is O.K. and not really a sin anymore because everybody does it and it’s O.K. with God. I feel so very sorry for your students. And you. But I have had enough of your ill wishes and nasty thoughts. You are disgusting, Son. And I really will pray for you as well as those who you are leading away from God.

            I’ll not bother with any more discussion with you, as I find you repulsive and very detrimental to my efforts to maintain any semblance of serenity. Bless your little heart anyway.

          • PRP

            Joe, my vision is different than yours. You should respect it as an alternative valid viewpoint. You should accept that other visions, different from yours, are also possible and that you are not the one who decides what is a sin and what is not. My answers did not have the intent of being disrespectful, but if you think the whole world has to think precisely the way you think, you still have much to learn. And thanks god we think differently from our parents and grandparents – that’s why development is possible. I advise you to look for people with different points of view about life and the world. You need that.

          • PRP

            And clearly, you need to contact with homosexuals. You need to see for yourself they are not the devil. Your concept of sin need to be actualized. The world keeps moving forward.

          • Joe W.

            I was not going to dignify your garbage with another response, but I feel the need to. As I have said repeatedly, Sonny…I do not care one little bit what you or anyone else thinks about anything. Got it? I also care not for any other ‘visions’. You are a fool to visualize what makes you feel good, but again, I do not care what you ‘envision’. I read the Bible. And I do so daily. I read the teachings of Max Lucado as well. I also read books dealing with God’s Word as it relates to today’s morality and today’s culture. I also study prophecy as it relates to the End Times. Again, as I have said, y’all are free to do and think whatever you wish. As am I. You, sonny, have absolutely nothing to teach me. You ‘advising’ me about anything is laughable. I neither need nor desire your advise, son. You know nothing at all of life, as evidenced by your immature outlook on it. I have lived my 65 years as an agnostic, an atheist, and as a Christian. I have experienced events that you could only imagine. I have seen and done things that I am quite proud of as well as ashamed of. I have led a full and rewarding life. Were it to end tomorrow, I am fine with that. As far as what I need? All I need is God. And I have Him, and for that I am happy. I need nothing at all from you OR your liberal friends. Good night.

          • ladykrystyna

            No you cannot find anywhere that we have to be ‘respectful’ if by respectful you mean that we don’t try and convince people to repent of their sins.

            Jesus saved the adulteress from being stoned by challenging the one without sin to cast the first stone. They, of course, did not. Jesus was teaching us that stoning the sinner isn’t the right thing to do. That is a broad definition of “respect”.

            But then Jesus told the woman to “Go, and sin no more.” He didn’t say “Go and keep sinning and don’t worry about it.”

            That’s what you don’t understand.

            So as was said above – we hate the sin but love the sinner. We want those who sin to repent of their sins. But as it was in the beginning and will be ever so to the ending of the world, most sinners don’t want to repent.

            But in today’s world, they also want to be celebrated and worshipped.

        • ladykrystyna

          They call themselves queer, dear.

      • mohdanga

        “Now someone fires an intolerant guy who funds this discrimination and people say “the freedom of speech is dying”.”
        Note the ‘tolerance’ of the gay rights crowd. Defending traditional marriage is now ‘intolerance’ and ‘discrimination’. Typical.

    • DwnSouthJukin

      Your speech is no more important than the person disagreeing with you.

      Get over yourself & your victim complex.

    • Raw England

      If you think that is all this is about, you’re a retard.

    • Baron

      PRP, calm down, have a cold shower.

      The guy with the donation was not, repeat, was not against gays, but against gays marrying. Get this into your cranium, that difference is the key.

      It was wrong to do to homosexuals all the things you mention, it is equally wrong to elevate but one of the ways humans exploit the pleasures of sex to an institution that has been the prerogative of heterosexual coupling for reproduction since man and a woman appeared on this planet, even if it wasn’t always called marriage.

      • PRP

        That is your opinion! Apply it to yourself and pray your children are not gay. I think it’s legitimate that there are people thinking that marriage’s reproduction is absolutely secondary, that what is absolutely essential is a very special feeling between to people: love. Now, if you contact with homosexual couples, you will sense this feeling also exists in this type of couples – ever contacted with any? Give them a chance!
        As a fact to uphold my viewpoint that there is a true feeling between homosexual couples,I state a widely know statistical fact: the prevalence of divorces is higher in heterosexual couples than in homosexual couples – and the violence too. Which marriages are truer? Do you think you can judge that, decide that alone? If you think so, I tell you are being prepotent.

        • Baron

          One of Baron’s best friends is homosexual, he, Baron. would be perfectly content with gay children.

          The only job humans (and other species) should do well is that of reproduction, for a reason that even you should figure. Love, affection, devotion or whatever are but an accessory to it, not always were there clinics, nurseries, a welfare state that allow the newly born to be looked after by someone other than the parents.

          Furnish a source for the claim of violence and splitting. Baron’s sources tell the opposite, but this isn’t the main reason for keeping marriage where it should be, and will be again at some point in the future.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      If so many homosexuals weren’t Pederasts I might care a smidgen for their past troubles.

      Oh well, now homosexuals will just enslave babies and grow them into sex slaves.

      • PRP

        Want to tell us more about YOUR sexual fantasies? Where else does your imagination takes you? Ever read any Psychology manual? You know pedophilia is much more prevalent in heterosexual than in homosexual, right?

        • Tanks-a-lot

          2% of the population are homosexual yet make up more than 30% of pedophilia reporting.

          #penispoorubbing

          • PRP

            False data. I’m pretty sure you don’t have any kind of academic formation. Go check APA’s records 😉

          • Tanks-a-lot

            The term Pederast exist for a reason. Sorry penispoorubber, you support unfettered Pederasty.

          • PRP

            Pedophilia is a diagnosis of a mental disorder. Pederasty is an outdated term that is no longer used. And pedophilia which, again, is a psychiatric disease, in which the person takes sexual pleasure from sexual intercourse with children (boys or girls) affects predominantly heterosexual men.
            These are facts. You need to study before judging. As a corollary, of these facts, we take that children are more exposed to abuse when they are with heterosexual men than with homosexual.

          • Tanks-a-lot

            homosexuals are mentally ill.

            pedophiles are next to be declassified through political pressure. B4U-ACT is your professional class pedophile normalizers.

            Thanks to homosexuals which always believed in abolishing age of consent laws.

            #penispoorubbing

          • PRP

            go study. haters gonna hate.

          • MissDemeanor

            I think you’re mentally ill

            you’re obsession with homosexuals is clear – it says more about you than it does say about them

      • MissDemeanor

        wow – you and those rabid religious fanatic barbaric troglodyte islamist have a lot in common …..

    • quovadis2014

      The guy was against Gary marriage no Gays. Even Barak Obama was against Gay marriage in 2008. Being against Gay marriage shouldn’t get you fired from a job. But in today’s Liberal version of McCarthyism you can be fired for your political beliefs.
      Was McCarthyism wrong PRP? If you think McCarthyism was wrong then you should hold liberals to the same standard TODAY when they do the same thing.
      But sadly because you are a Liberal you won’t allow Logic to change your mind.

    • ladykrystyna

      2 wrongs don’t make a right. Didn’t your parents teach you that when you were like 2 years old?

  • iconoclast

    And, as if intentionally trying to prove Mark Steyn’s point, a mob of foul-mouthed commenters are condemning Patton Oswalt for daring to agree with Mark Steyn, regardless of the content of the article.

    The Left has long lost the battle of ideas. All they have left are lies and passionate ignorance.

  • ThreeOranges

    What’s this open letter? My Google-fu is failing.

  • DaveGinOly

    “Acceptable speech” doesn’t require a guarantee of freedom of speech, only “objectionable speech” requires such protections. If the only permitted speech is “acceptable speech,” there is no protection for speech, because the type of speech that requires protection has already been suppressed.

  • James

    A great article but one that sort of blurs the lines on certain things. As the saying goes, “you’re entitled to your opinions, but not your facts”.

    Yes, we should all be allowed to question the wisdom and practices of religions, cultures, personal beliefs, etc.

    But to allow media barons to falsely propagate climate denial because it suits their financial interests is not free speech. It’s outright propaganda. Same with the anti-vaccine movement. If there is a war on anything, it’s currently a war on science. Those that deliberately obfuscate fact for their own personal interests are not simply exercising their right to free speech.

    • DaveGinOly

      And your source for the proof that the theory of AGW is correct? I’ve seen nothing but computer models (all of which have been shown incapable of making even short-term predictions) and an acceptance that “correlation” equals “causation” (when other factors, such as solar activity, shows a much stronger correlation over a much longer period of time). The science is not settled.

      • James

        What percentage of climatologists in agreement is sufficient for you to deem it settled? Currently about 97% of climatologists agree that climate change is real and man made. Do you need to wait for 100% to be convinced? Good luck to you.

        • Fudge

          The figures you commies keep regurgitating on command have been proven to be utter BS. You really are stupid beyond belief.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          Where does that “97%” stat come from

          I’ll give you a hint, it’s bogus

        • quovadis2014

          The problem with “Global Warming” is it was blown out of proportion by bad science. Of course you ARE aware that the “Hockey Stick” graph that started all this nonsense was based on bad science:

          http://a-sceptical-mind.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-hockey-stick

        • spacecommander

          Let’s see, climatologists whose livelihood is based upon them finding man made global warming. And, no, it’s not 97% – it’s 97% of those selected to be asked. Obviously you weren’t around in the mid/late 1970’s when ALL of the climatologists agreed we were headed towards global cooling. The climate has been changing since the earth was formed. Of course it’s going to change.

        • RenegadeScholar

          Currently about 97% of climatologists agree that climate change is real and man made

          A lie.

          Provide a link to the ORIGINAL SOURCE study that came to that number–not a reference to a reference to a reference–and then read it and see how bogus it is.

          The fact that you buy this shows how little intellectual curiosity you have.

        • ladykrystyna

          Science is not about voting, you moron. It’s about experiments and being able to falsify your theories. Ever hear of the “scientific method”? Or is that too oppressive for you?

    • KhadijahMuhammad

      Oh, crap on that.

      A belief in free speech accepts that some of that speech will be propaganda. Big deal.

      • James

        I agree with that to an extent. There are always liars. Do the lies used to justify invading a country qualify as “free speech”? Are you okay with that?

        • Behind_You1

          The wonderful thing about free speech is that, while it enables lies, it also enables you to rebut them. It does society no good when a central authority restrict the expression of certain ideas simply because that authority has decided, for whatever reason, that those ideas are “bad” .

          After all, if we were to ban anti-war speech on the grounds that it is composed of lies, I can’t imagine that you would be okay with that.

        • KhadijahMuhammad

          Absolutely, especially that in the case you’re thinking about, the “lies” (let’s put aside the debate on if those were actually lies or not, for the moment) the party of the alleged “liar” got pummeled in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

          So, everything worked just fine.

          Now, since the CURRENT party in power has been found to have lied through their teeth to get the largest piece of social legislation IN OUR HISTORY passed, we can only hope that the American people are again so conscientious as to punish THEM going forward.

          Oh, and by the way, regarding your comment on the anti-vaccine movement — are you aware that the CDC recently released papers indicating that there IS some correlation between autism and one of the preservatives used to extend the shelf-life of vaccines?

          Just curious if you noticed that one or not.

    • ladykrystyna

      War on science? Seriously? You guys think that we can change our behavior and change the Earth’s temperature! A planet that has survived a lot of catastrophes, including one that wiped out the dinosaurs but still managed to leave a lot of life intact, including mammals that eventually became us, amongst other things.

      What is the Earth’s temperature supposed to be? If we are warming then why does the evidence say that we’ve been cooling. And why is it that it went from “global warming” to “climate change” when the cooling was discovered.

      Science is not settled. For 1500 years scientists believed that the Earth was the center of the universe and that the planets and the sun revolved around it in separate spheres.

      But I guess the science was not settled because between Copernicus and Galileo, it was discovered that that was not true.

      And in just the 20th century we found out that there are billions of galaxies and a Catholic priest came up with the Theory of the Big Bang.

      There is no such thing as settled science, bub.

  • DaveGinOly

    The Ali situation exposes the left’s sordid underbelly. You would think she has everything going for her.

    She’s a woman.
    She’s an atheist.
    She’s black.
    She’s a refugee.
    She opposes Islam, a misogynistic religion.
    She opposes Islam, which conflates “religion” and “state.”
    She opposes Islam, which supports the death penalty, and other, more gruesome, forms of punishment for criminals.

    What, exactly, does Ali oppose that puts her at odds with the left?

    By opposing Islam, she is, perforce (at least according to the left), pro-Zionist/pro-Israel and anti-Hamas. And this is their objection to her. The left is anti-Semitic/anti-Jew and it supports terrorist organizations bent on Israel’s destruction. It is the only point upon which the left’s view of Ms. Ali can possibly turn. Everything else about her should make her their poster child in their crusade for women’s rights and against religious fundamentalism. But she is not, and I believe this is why.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Actually, the reason why Jews (Brandeis) and Muslims work together is that both hate that Jesus is God.

      • DaveGinOly

        Brandeis had invited Ms. Ali to speak. Yes, the caved to the demands of the left/Muslims, but if you were correct they would never have invited her to speak in the first place. Also, you’d think an atheist would be better positioned to “erase” Jesus. Muslims at least recognize him as a prophet. Atheists, if they recognize his existence at all, consider him to have been merely human.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          muslims have a revisionist replacement muslim profit like mohammad named “Isa”.

          Since muslims believe the Bible is a corruption and must be destroyed lest it tempt a muslim to become and apostate, part of the genocide of Christianity is the need to destroy the belief that Jesus is God and Jesus is God’s only begotten Son. This belief is blasphamy in islam and punishable by death to any non-muslim that tells the Christian truth.

          atheists love muslims because they share the hate for Christian Jesus. Also, muslims give atheists ammunition to make the absurd claim that “all religion is evil”

          • MissDemeanor

            ahhh, I get it, you’re the town nutter!

      • Guest

        jews and muslims work together?

        on what planet?

        • Tanks-a-lot

          For starters, the invasion of the Iberian peninsula.

  • Astrokid

    Steyn,
    If the muslim cultures are so disgusting, why do Western countries buy oil from their countries, or overthrow unfriendly Govts and install puppet dictators who will redirect oil to the West, much to the expense of the lower classes there?
    Why centuries of colonialism prior to that?
    Why not leave them to their own fate?

    As much as some portions of the Left are loons now with their quashing of free speech (and associated ills), you right wing loons, who will destroy other countries/cultures if it serves your well being, are quite scary. You have enlisted that liar Ayaan Hirsi Ali a.k.a Ayaan Hirsi Magan, whose lies were exposed by the 2006 Dutch Documentary (just see on youtube: Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s lies exposed) . You keep repeating the lie that she was a refugee, and your Right Wing mates go further and repeat the lie that she was in a forced marriage, lived under civil war in somalia, lived under violent father, blah blah. If anything, she’s an opportunist who exploited her fiance to get a ticket to Europe.

    Heck.. Steyn, you are a big time White Knight who’s on record saying that “women and children first” should be forever, and that men should lay down their lives for women. Thats in your article Excusing the men who ran away: The new film ‘Polytechnique’ sidesteps the old norm of ‘women and children first’
    Just as feminists are a danger to men via their man-hating ways, you white knights have helped them along in accomplishing their laws and social policies. You did this by putting women on a pedestal and ultimately harming mid-level and low-level men.

    And now that women have flooded all areas, including academics, where they can quell any criticism, assisted by lowly genuflecting Leftist men, you are complaining about free speech.

    • pedestrianblogger

      FO you POS.

    • quovadis2014

      Just watched the video you reference on Ayaan Hirsi Ali. There’s not much there. Yeah she lied to get political asylum in the Netherlands. So what. Of course a refugee is going to lie. Get over it.
      You just don’t like Ayaan because she’s critical of Islam. Get over it. Islam isn’t a religion of Peace but rather a religion of War and Subjugation. Look up Surah 9:29 some time.

      • Astrokid

        I couldnt care less for Islam, or Christianity or whatever. I am an Atheist. And I couldnt care less for Atheist nitwits like Sam Harris, or Richard Dawkins or other White Knights who are also out to save the damsel-in-distress.
        The thing about Ayaan’s lies is that even though she has admitted to most of the lies, she still runs with the refugee-fleeing-from-arranged-marriage lie, which was also exposed in that documentary. Just the other day, Barbara Kay has an article out where she repeats ALL THE OLD lies.
        The fact is this woman is an opportunist who used her fiance as a ticket to a “better world”, and dumped him once the deed was done (exposed by that documentary as something that loads of African women were apparently doing). White Knights like Stein will ALWAYS wipe women’s ill-deeds under the rug, esp when where is a ulterior motive such as political mileage. My argument is that unless these knuckleheads stop white knighting and hold women accountable, feminists and their associated lapdogs are not going to let free speech reign.

        And Re: Islam being a ‘religion of war and subjugation’, I have a holistic view of the world. If we look at the 20th century, ENORMOUS war and enormous destruction was waged by the Western powers for political and economic ends. Their deception and sophisticated propaganda model via the Media has been well documented by Noam Chomsky in the 70s/80s. As such, I look to the address the bigger evils while keeping an eye on the lesser ones. I will worry about Islam when they start launching drones on a regular basis and do it for years.

        The West is deteriorating into a Police State. Dont take my word for it. This is well argued by Stefan Molyneux and others, and individuals whose lives have been destroyed by State power know it, while the rest turn a blind eye (until its their turn).

        • shawnmer

          The 20th century, hell, have you forgotten it was Islam who started the Crusades?? They weren’t gentle, peaceful lambs who are only just in the past century turning to vengeful violence against us. Why it so hard to accept the fact that they’re bloodthirsty, fanatical, and just plain suck??
          I simply do not get the contortions otherwise intelligent people tie themselves into to defend that cancer on humanity!

          • Astrokid

            So they are bloodthirsty, fanatical and plain suck? Does that cover their “oppressed” women or is it just men?

            Have you seen a MEMRI video with the title

            Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei: The European Races Are Barbaric Race, where Iran’s Khamenei says pretty much the same thing about Europeans, to the approval of a number of muslim women in the audience?

            Howz that Afghanistan and Iraq war working out? Its been a decade, substantial number of ordinary men coming home in body bags, while politicians and the military-industrial complex lols their way to the bank. It was preceded by the same arguments… barbarians blah blah.

          • shawnmer

            Sorry, does this mean I’m supposed to be moved by Khamenei’s attack that is unsupported nonsense, simply because it echoes a criticism of them I could substantiate with news stories and stats virtually non-stop?
            Similarly, wars that were poorly thought out don’t in any way negate the truth of statements that were used to build public support for them. The West being bad at nation-building in those corrupt pustules who would rather live in theocratic slavery instead of in freedom don’t make the criticisms of their brutality any less true.

          • Astrokid

            Khameinei’s attack is unsupported nonsense, and much of the Western propaganda about Muslims is suspect too.
            How can I trust writers who wont STOP propagating the lies of Hirsi Ali’s BACKGROUND. I am pointing out all the RELATED nonsense done by Western States to demonstrate that they are not on some moral high ground. Virtually all nations of the world have been “barbaric” for much of their history. They are at different points of history right now.
            Then I few days ago I looked into another article by Hirsi Ali.
            called ‘Women Victims of Islam’ from 2005. She’s a knucklehead in that article too.

            According to Islamic teachings in the Qur’an and hadith: Muslim men are free to go where they want while most Muslim women are confined to their houses. Muslim men do not need permission to leave the house; women do. Muslim men are not obligated to veil their beauty but Muslim women must. A man may divorce his wife as easily as repeating the words “I divorce you” three times in the presence of two witnesses. A woman who wants to leave her husband must prove at least that he does not meet her material needs. She must prove that he is impotent. She must prove that he cannot make her pregnant. She must have the approval of her wali (or guardian). A man may inherit twice as much as a woman. His testimony in matters of conflict is worth twice hers. Just in case there is a hereafter, women know from the prophet that their sort is over-represented in hell, while men can look forward to 72 virgins and companionship with their men folk.

            So basically.. she’s portraying the asymmetry of traditional-gender-roles as an injustice to women. Do you agree with this crap? If so, just till a few hundred years ago, much of the western world was pretty much like this. Including the asymmetry of men taking on the protestor/provider role of becoming cannon fodder in wars, working in death jobs such as coal mining, construction using explosives, etc. So are the western ancestors barbarians and oppressive to women? (which is the claim of lunatic Left wing feminists)

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Come on man, they only started that 14 centuries ago when the Islam-o-phobes starting disrespecting allah. What else could they do?

        • quovadis2014

          “If we look at the 20th century, ENORMOUS war and enormous destruction was waged by the Western powers for political and economic ends.”

          You mean the Nazis and the Communists? “Western Powers”? wtf…..The West was attacked by two different groups of rabid SOCIALISTS and you blame us for defending ourselves. But of course you would say that. Noam Chomsky thinks the U.S. deserved to be attacked at Pearl Harbor because we had embargoed the Japanese after they raped Nanking. Chomsky thinks WE were the bad guys.

          There’s no talking to types like you. You see through everything but what you don’t realize is you see nothing at all.

    • shawnmer

      So Ali fudged her life story, I guess you just have us anti-Islam folks dead to rights, then. I’m now forced to admit Islam treats their women just AWESOME. Burkas, clitorectomies, forced illiteracy, honor killings, they’re all some fiction. Islam is in fact just the most enlightened social institution on Earth!

  • transponder

    Yep, the Left throws decency under the bus for its warped and absurd ideology. The idea that a sexually tortured woman is someone to shun for speaking out against the crime is abhorrent, disgusting, and unbelievable were it not for the fact that Brandeis & fellow travellers are doing just that. As John Lennon once asked — unserious whereas this is life-or-death stuff: ‘how do you sleep?’.

  • Fudge

    Thank you for your rationality and wonderful ability to put into words what I feel.

  • TokyoTengu

    Exactly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WomynForOmnipotentGovernment WomynForOmnipotentGovernment

    Ugh… typycal RYGHT WYNG FACSYCT NONSENSE!!!!!!!!!!

    • quovadis2014

      Lol…are you serious? You approve of clitoridectomies? You’re a walking contradiction.

    • ladykrystyna

      I love the way you have 2 “guest votes” and then you voted yourself up.

      What a tool.

    • Raw England

      YOU RACIST NAZI ZIONISTICAL ISLAMOPHOBIC TERRORISTICAL XYLOPHONE.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Your keyboard needs service or replacement.

  • JAMES PAINTER

    The Feds do allow us free speech zones, as at the Nevada ranch. What more do you want?
    Of cource I grew up when every place within the U.S. Borders was a free speech zone.

  • Hummus5989

    Generally good article and argument, but the constant implications that global warming deniers are people with something legitimate to say that are simply being silenced by some sort of cabal of the more powerful is laughable. The continued existence of public debate on the issue in spite of the fact that virtually all evidence on the subject points against them should be enough to show this is not the case.

    • ColonelNeville

      Yeah, I couldn’t get a position on any government funded climate body because it was soooo crowded out with sceptics and there wasn’t a variant leftist ecofascist incompetent socialist fraud to be seen. Er, no.

    • kolajo

      If Russia decides to cut off the gas next winter, europeans will be praying for global warming

    • DaveGinOly

      “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.”

      Patrick Moore, Greenpeace co-founder
      to the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
      2/26/14

    • Joe_NS

      Virtually all evidence is evidence from computer models! Which is to say, is no evidence at all. Educate yourself.

      Good grief, what a self-parodying ninny!

    • RenegadeScholar

      virtually all evidence on the subject points against them should be enough to show this is not the case.

      The fact that you believe this is proof in and of itself of how little you’ve been exposed to dissenting views.

    • ladykrystyna

      Did you not read the thing about the BBC and not allowing people to come on that don’t hold with the PC crap on climate change?

      Just because they haven’t been fully successful at silencing the opposition doesn’t mean they aren’t trying, which is the point.

      Some of you are really dense.

    • Ipsophakto

      You may have missed the fact that there is no such “consensus”. 17 years, 8 months, no warming. There’s no increase in frequency or magnitude in extreme weather events. The climate models are not tracking the observed temperatures. Also, “denier” is a stark epithet. Are you an AGW alarmist nazi? You’re the science denier.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/196757-obama-climate-change-is-a-fact

      January 28, 2014, 09:42 pm

      ‘Climate change is a fact,’ Obama declares

      By Laura Barron-Lopez

      President Obama said the debate over climate change is settled during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening.

      “The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way,” Obama said.

      “But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”

    • DianaG2

      Case in point.

  • John
  • Allan

    As usual, Steyn is dead-on and so as usual, he depresses me.

  • FrankensteinsMonster

    “Nick Lowles defined the ‘No Platform’ philosophy as ‘the position where we refuse to allow fascists an opportunity to act like normal political parties’. ” – I don’t know anything about Mr. Lowles, but if he endorses this view it would make him a fascist.

  • John Doman

    Even if you don’t agree with Steyn on anything, you should agree with him on this column.

  • Ilpalazzo

    It’s really insane how extreme and really overnight the whole gay marraige thing has turned. It’s like everything is in Bizarro-reverse.

  • dave72

    The leftist cowards are deathly afraid of Muslims. So, shut up!

    • TommyGunn

      I think its the beards. Yes sir, they have a fear of the beard.

  • Rock Strongo 2.0

    Western democracy will be but a footnote in history.

    Oh, well…time to don assless chaps, jump on a motorcycle and forage for gasoline in the age of Progressive Utopia.

  • Argle_Bargle

    Agreed about the too-powerful Left, which squelched the orgy of lies and stopped the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq before they got underway, swiftly brought to heel the predations of a global financial elite, and railroaded through everyday global action to prevent our ecosphere from becoming a toxic remnant, all while spearheading multinational relief convoys to Gaza. But when they want to cancel a college speaker, enough’s enough. Ahem.

    What seems to have been missed is that these victimization issues du jour are tiny eddies in a vast toilet bowl of Right-driven devolution. The micromanaging by scattered elements of the Left, of various peripheral or entirely irrelevant events *is* weird. But not as much as Steyn’s failure to assess realpolitik. What he quaintly defends as ‘freedom of expression’ is in practical terms license for those above to dictate to everyone below, regardless of the consequences; would anyone dare compare a multi-culti tantrum to the tsunami of spying on private communications? Departure from diktat is a threat to unbridled private power, which enjoys the only “safe space” that now exists.

    Under such conditions, we shouldn’t be too disappointed in the examples that grieve Steyn so. We’ll need people with such experience as politics and ecology worsen.

    • Ipsophakto

      Scratch a liberal, find a totalitarian. You, sir, don’t know what liberty really is.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “Liberal” for the past fifty years or so is short for seeking liberty for oneself.

      • Argle_Bargle

        Isn’t liberty what the richest guy in the room sez it is? Even frat boys on their first Heritage or Olin grant know that!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “We’ll need people with such experience as politics and ecology worsen.”

      Since all of the debates are over, we’ll just defer to you from now on. That should work out swell.

      • Argle_Bargle

        Call me when you need to make sense of shameless, idiotic propaganda, and when misdirection and pettifogging are in short supply I’ll sound the Right Wing Victimization klaxon. Deal?

        • objectivefactsmatter

          I think you have the roles reversed. You are clearly confused.

          • Argle_Bargle

            A truly epic comeback, but you left out a quote from Social Security and Medicare recipient Ayn Rand.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            What quote would that be?

          • Argle_Bargle

            There are many to choose from, which is a fine exercise for any professional commenter.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Have at it then. I can only wonder what you’re waiting for.

          • Argle_Bargle

            Judging from your comments here and elsewhere, you must wonder about a lot of things.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Fine, but where’s the lovely quote you promised?

          • Argle_Bargle

            He Has Risen, Moldy, Dept: the right wing zombie tantrum continues. Begone, servant of darkness! There are no Heritage Foundation grant apps on this thread!

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Isn’t it great that you’re free to say such stupid things?

            You’re certainly welcome.

          • Argle_Bargle

            Among other things it seems you’re a chickenhawk, too, as veterans usually point out their service with such a freedom-shaming comment.

            Do tell us your dates of service and duty stations, so we’ll know you’re not a backfield tough guy, gone to seed on that old-money foundation welfare.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            I’ll award 1 point for creativity.

            I’m sorry but you did not earn any intelligence points.

          • Argle_Bargle

            The NSA confirms that you have none to spare. But a nice gesture anyway.

            Exeunt.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            It would be unfair to the other contestants to award any points for that effort. I’m so sorry.

  • bobjo1972

    The boomers have failed miserably. That generation fought for the very things they now want to restrict. Maybe it was all a lie from the start.

    Listening to the music of the time is now an ironic experience, and terribly sad.

  • kazzer66

    I don’t understand the Left’s multicultural zeal to embrace Islam…Islam will NOT return the favor and embrace them back. They will be just as pleased to lop off the heads of fawning Liberals as anyone else.

    • RenegadeScholar

      I don’t understand the Left’s multicultural zeal to embrace Islam

      Islam is just a convenient hammer to use against the left’s greatest enemies–Christians; the people whose doctrine teaches to “love your enemy” and to correct your own problems before pointing out others’.

    • Jon Newman

      It was Reagan and the Republicans who embraced radical Islam and compared them to the America’s founding fathers.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        That’s right. He had Zbigniew Brzezinski selling us the whole scam too. They were so anxious to deceive us that they began during Carter’s administration.

      • TommyGunn

        That statement makes you a repubphobe. You lose.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “That statement makes you a repubphobe.”

          And stupid as well. Let’s get him fired.

      • Palamas

        You were born in 1996, right?

  • BobM001

    NOW you can clearly see why when “El Rushbo” needs a “hiatus” he calls on MARK STEYN to sit in front of the “Golden EIB mic”. The voice of TRUTH AND REASON.

  • Abiss

    Everyone knows the problem. Everyone knows the only solution to it. Wake me when its time to get on with it.

  • Eaton111

    You see Muslims are proving a point….violence works.

    The progressives are cowards, and they only succeed because we non-progressives are law abiding folks. There will come a day however when non-progressives will go straight Viking…in one way or the other.

    Transgender and feminist theory studies majors are not the type of people capable of defending themselves. If they keep annoying the warrior caste in western countries they will be in big trouble.

  • ladykrystyna

    Hey, Mr. Steyn, we miss you over at NRO. Seriously.

    Although Mr. Williamson is doing his darndest to match you for wit and courage.

    God bless you. You seriously are a hero and an indispensable man in this struggle against totalitarianism. I look forward to the day you can tell us that you have won your case against the vile Mr. Mann.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Churchill4President

    Pure genius! Best article I have ever read. Period.

  • blogagog

    I generally support Mr. Stein, but I WILL NOT STAND for this outrage. The word is ‘skeptic’. Not ‘sceptic’. It looks like a problem with your toilet. What is it with British people not being able to use the letter k or inserting random u’s into words. It has to stop.

    • Ritch Ritchloui

      Yes. I agree. Britain still has a lot of English people to contend with. Still, chin up, on the really important things they’re still putting up a fight
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3y0CD2CoCs

  • Chris68

    Whether you are left, right, in the middle, extremist, white, black, gay, anticonformist, radical, muslim, christian, jewish, hindu, sikh, female, male, the point of the article is this: Everyone has a right to follow their beliefs and talk about them publicly without being hushed. All this politically correctness is ruining society. We’ve got to the point where upon uttering certain words the voice becomes a whisper for fear of being heard, and we succumb to daily bashings of individuals and groups using their creed, colour, sex and sexuality as a defence mechanism for certain behaviour, and then shoving it down our throats. We can’t bite back because that would mean we’re sexist, racist or homophobic. Enough. …. And yes, I’m WHITE, FEMALE and HETERO. So???????

    • Chris68

      Oh, and the article is just soooo spot on. Thank you for writing it.

    • Ritch Ritchloui

      The point is that we are currently in an Orwellian group-think nightmare. Identity politics are all about obliterating the uniqueness of every person. But for group-think totalitarians there is no ‘person’ beyond the specific group identity they were born with. As such, any opinion is that of a member of a given group. An argument is valid only insofar as a) the listener respects the group it emanates from b) the opinion matches what is expected of that group c) group traitors are useful. Basically we are getting wind of something that really stinks. It stinks so bad we’d rather cut of our nose than smell it.

      • Chris68

        “the feminists say nothing of the enslavement of ALL women in islam, the gays say nothing of homosexuals being executed, the civil rights leaders say nothing of the 1,400 year racist Arab supremacist slaving cult that obliterated every indigenous African civilisation it overran, the atheists say nothing of the extermination of people simply because of their ‘unbelief’.”

        Hear, hear. We’re on the same line. Are the “others” allowed to overstep it?

        • Ritch Ritchloui

          You ask “We’re on the same line. Are the ‘others’ allowed to overstep it?” Well, I heard the call “Charge!! ages ago and I’m all in and loving every minute of it. The filthy cult of Islam is SO depraved and SO psychotic it’s actually fun telling it as it is. Imagine people actually thinking a dirty 7th century Arab toy-boy turned hate-preacher turned child raping professional highway robber and slaver is ‘the most excellent example of conduct’. Islam is a criminal slaving cult and those who have submitted to it suffer the resulting gulag of the mind.

    • Rtort

      AMEN SISTER!!

  • Jon Newman

    Being called out on your homophobia/racism/conspiracy theories is not killing freedom of speech. Trying to stop people criticising your views is killing freedom of speech.

    • Steve Groid

      Actually, it is. Freedom of speech exists to protect controversial speech, you tyrant.

      • Jon Newman

        Did you criticise me? Why do you hate freedom of speech? How dare you! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MURKIA YOU FAG LOVING COMMIE!

        See the hypocrisy?

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “See the hypocrisy?”

          Apparently you don’t. Perhaps when we get you fired from your job you’ll understand a little better.

          • Jon Newman

            If I was racist or a homophobic I wouldn’t blame my boss for firing me.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Lucky for you that you set the moral standards.

          • GDMace

            What if you’re a prick which, incidentally, you are?

          • mohdanga

            So disagreeing with gay marriage is homophobia, eh? And grounds for dismissal? And is being a racist a crime?

          • gjsmith_62

            How about for simply being an asshole?

    • dabhidh

      Yeah, you got it, kinda. Steyn’s article is about people on the left trying to stop others from criticizing their views, which, according to you, is the definition of “killing free speech.” Re-read the article, try not to filter it through your personal prejudices.

    • gjsmith_62

      LOL, fear of the same? Racism? Are you a journolister? Or perhaps the reincarnated Robert Byrd?

  • John Dickshott

    This is what happens when you let Liberals become in charge of the institutions that mold young minds. The PC police believe everyone deserves an award for just showing up. I will not buckle or give in, I am a man and I will act like one without any appolgies or regret. Skinny jeans are for p*ssies and men without balls!

  • Viking.

    The Left assume that the multicultural society is a fact and a success, whereas this theoretical society has no existence in reality. Seen objectively and not wishfully, Western societies that were once homogenious consist now of conflicting and incompatible minority cultures.

    Eroding the right to voice an opinion results bizarrely in society submitting ever more to the demands of Islamic fanatics. It is not racist to point out how atrociously Muslims behave, how discriminating Islam is and that Islam is incompatible with democracy and Western values; such as free speech and equality.

    • Raw England

      Multiculturalism is the biggest, most costly, murderous, oppressive ideology ever wrought upon the West.

      Its failure is relentless. People despise it.

      Financially, all things included, its cost us in the region of 100’s of trillions. Yes, trillions.

      Its also enabled nasty, vicious foreign generations to claim our nation, resources and birthright.

      And of course, it is culminating in the total eradication of the global ethnic minority: White people.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        It’s obvious when it’s used against the establishment and looks like it targets “whites” but the real target is “capitalism” and all those that speak for American-style liberty and free markets.

        The goal of multiculturalism is to overwhelm nations and the “establishment” in successful free cultures to make unending arguments for a greater international sovereignty over nations. “Climate change” works towards the same purpose.

        • Raw England

          I have to disagree. Multiculturalism’s entire goal, now, is to render White people impotent minorities in their own countries.

          RE Capitalism: I’m not sure. What I do know is that original, default White society is/was too good, too decent, too intelligent for immigrants. So they destroyed it, and still are destroying it with increasing murderous intent.

          Now, default White society is automatically seen as racist, Nazi and fascist by the immigrants we inexplicable allowed to colonise us.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I have to disagree. Multiculturalism’s entire goal, now, is to render White people impotent minorities in their own countries.”

            That’s true to the extent that “white people” are seen as upholding the establishment and impeding global socialism / communism.

            Yes, some minor players see the enemy in terms of race but those that mastermind these schemes (and most of them are dead) were or are Marxists and neo-Marxists. That’s where the logical framework comes from to engineer these policies. See “Critical Theory.”

            http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/critical-theory/

          • mohdanga

            Agree with everything you say but would add to this comment:
            “Now, default White society is automatically seen as racist, Nazi and fascist by the immigrants we inexplicable allowed to colonise us” the fact that it is white guilt liberals who have foisted this policy on us as a penance for our ‘imperialism’ in 3rd world countries. Ever notice that multiculturalism is never advocated in non-white countries?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Because in the end it’s the radicals versus the establishment. Marx provided the framework and the framework has grown more sophisticated since then. It’s still almost entirely mendacious of course, but sophisticated nonetheless.

  • Roy

    It all started with Stalinism, or the encroachment of Communist ideology into the free world. By mainly foul means they fought to corrupt every meaningful and honest endeavour of the once Christian world, turning it on its head. By the quick involvement of the so-called educated elite it became an easy process of collaborated treachery. These mind numbing miasma of lettered academics leading the charge of the communist dogma was a must to be in the circles that mattered. What better way than turn the heads of the teaching and lecturing fraternity. This was a magnificent move to arms by the authoritarian evil decadence of the day. Since it is on-going and now has infected the US, with the possibility of unseating its long lasting and decent constitution. The inability of Western Governments to comprehend the ferocity of the battle for the minds of the people, not surprising, since they were lectured to by the brain addled scholarly elite. All was vastly brought to a more insidious climax by the radical Islamist infiltration to the homelands of freedom. Add Stalinism to the teachings of the prophet Mohammad and you have a witches brew to stir the stoutest heart.

  • Tom Peters

    The left take the high moral ground on just about every issue. Its the left who are puppets for Islam, the left who are happy to eat into our freedoms to appease the religion of peace and its followers, the left who claim to be supporters of freedom, but in reality are supporters of freedom so long as their leftist views and opinions are upheld, and the religion of peace isn’t offended. The left are a cancer.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15458282944035344707 repsac3

    With Mark on laws against speech… Also think the heckler’s veto in-house is rude and disturbing (and those engaging in those sorts of demonstrations at indoor and especially paid events ought to be ejected–or if necessary, arrested–on those grounds).

    But the rest–letters, boycotts, protests outside the events–is just more speech, and I think it ironic that many who support free speech draw the line when people have the temerity to protest outside an event that they don’t believe the venue should be holding, or if, God forbid, a boycott is actually effective.

    To me, that’s free speech, too. Bring it on…

  • Ted C

    Great article. No wonder he has the left all in a twitter.

    • http://ironicsurrealism.com/ Velvet Hammer

      Left-Wing; willing slaves to the state to lazy to think for themselves so they relinquish their God given free will to instead be led around by the nose.

  • http://ironicsurrealism.com/ Velvet Hammer

    Must see video: The History of Political Correctness: An Anti-American Subversion

    “All must accept the notions of the Politically Correct as truth, or
    else! This is the same mentality that inspired the Inquisition and
    forced Galileo to recant; the same mentality that inspired the Nazis and
    obtained the Holocaust.

    Once expression gets placed in a straitjacket of official truth, then
    the madness that occurs in all totalitarian states is obtained. Life,
    in private and public, becomes a meaningless charade where delusion
    thrives and terror rules….”

    http://www.ironicsurrealism.com/2009/11/16/the-history-of-political-correctness-an-anti-american-subversion/

  • Sky Thibedeau

    Now how could I have reached my limit of free spectator articles when I’ve never before accessed the site? Someone loan me 52 pounds sterling

    • John Hawkins Totnes

      Much of the Spectator is good, some of it rubbish. On balance it is worth the subscription.

  • http://westernhero.blogspot.com/ Silverfiddle

    Sinclair Lewis was wrong: Fascism has arrived in America, and it isn’t wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. It is wrapped in Orwellian PC Speech Codes of “tolerance” and “diversity” and carrying a Rainbow flag, the sword of islam and the Democrat party logo

    • LtColO

      Pure awesome. Spot ON.

  • Pascal64

    What happened to “Falsely shouting ‘Fire!’ in a crowded movie theater?”

    That was the template for understanding free speech in the US for nearly 100 years. It was Oliver Wendell Holmes’ concise explanation of the only speech we don’t need to protect.

    Even an imbecile can see that climate deniers, anti-gay marriage advocates, holocaust deniers, and animal rights zealots do not pose an imminent threat to life and limb (and some may not be “falsely shouting” either).

    To those who think speech restrictions will forestall a street war or worse from these folks, I ask “When? If 100 years of this speech hasn’t started a war yet, then when?”

    • GDMace

      They know it won’t start a war: they simply want to quash speech and beliefs that offend their sensibilities. Instead of agreeing to disagree it’s become , simply, “shut up,”

    • gjsmith_62

      Holmes lost the argument and you’re simply an imbecile.

      • Pascal64

        Thanks for proving that “your side” does, in fact, want to muzzle everyone.

        • Edward

          I think “Holmes lost the argument” is not saying that Holmes was wrong, only that Holmes’ template has been beaten to death by the Progs.

          • Pascal64

            As usual, I missed the subtext of something conservatives fly off the handle over. My understanding was Holmes tried to balance the intent of the Espionage Act with a respect for the 1st Amendment. He ruled in favor of the wartime restrictions USUALLY, but his logic was sound. I.e. Only “Fire!” in crowded theater was worth limiting speech. To clarify my ORIGINAL comment…

            Climate theories, gay-marriage, animal rights and holocaust denials have ZERO national security implications and are clearly not a imminent danger, so even HOLMES would agree they are protected speech. Now my right wing brethren can take a chill pill.

          • Pascal64

            BTW Thx for the civil feedback.

      • Pascal64

        NVM. Looked at your history. You just can’t read.

        • gjsmith_62

          “climate deniers, anti-gay marriage advocates”

          Saying man is not responsible for any warming, isn’t denial.

          Anti-gay? Marriage is defined as between man and woman, being homosexual has nothing to do with it.

          • Pascal64

            forget it. You missed my point ENTIRELY.

  • Brian O’Leary

    My free speech rights are being curtailed. Here is my lengthy article in a high-profile publication to prove it.

    • Pascal64

      Someone spoke, so there’s no issue. That’s really not very bright at all.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15458282944035344707 repsac3

      The difference between the right to speak and the right to someone else’s soapbox, bullhorn, and audience cannot be overstated.

    • YuriTahrded

      And his lengthly lawsuit for Blasphemy that he is currently defending himself against proves too.

    • PatrioticAustralian

      You know he was prosecuted for criticising Islam, don’t you?

      • DaMav

        He sounds like a complete ignoramus so probably not.

    • dabhidh

      Yeah, man. As long as you can still publish an article about free speech rights, there’s obviously no actual curtailments on free speech. Talk to me when you’re in the gulag, then you might have a point.

    • Leah Keever

      Your nonsense strawman is worthy of Obama.

    • gjsmith_62

      He’s been sued moron.

  • dogwonder

    I’ve come to the conclusion we should offend the progressive left as often as possible using any means possible, eventually those professionally aggrieved grievance mongers will stroke out or their wee little brains will pop. I don’t care if I offend them, they’re vile filthy self deluded thugs.

  • Samoht Sartaig

    I’d like to thank all the Twitter swishes out there who complained about Patton Oswalt reTweeting this article. Thanks to their ceaseless nancyboy-rage bitching, I became aware of Steyn’s piece and am in 100% agreement with it. Thanks, f_gs. (You can go back to watching “Doctor Who” now.)

  • Tom Myers

    As a society, we are as doomed as doomed can be….

  • Mickey Kovars

    Mark Steyn is great — period.

  • Robert Schulte

    Can someone explain to me why the self-professed “tolerant” consistently and persistently rage with intolerance?

    • foxoles

      Because they have a complete and utter lack of self-awareness allied to an enormous ego, and can’t understand why other people refuse to do as they’re told.

      • Leah Keever

        Beautifully and succinctly put! That’s a great one-sentence description of almost all of the liberals I know.

        Well, with some of them you can substitute “an enormouse inferiority complex” for “an enormous ego” but the end result is the same. They don’t relate well to others on a human level.

    • anotherjoeblogs

      I think it’s because the self-proclaimed tolerant, progressive holier-than-thou brigade believe by natural default they are superior and they needn’t prove any virtue, the need to show any evidence in action or deed is superfluous to their pure, uncontaminated being. Simply to be among mere mortals and to breathe the same air as ‘ fascists and racists ‘ should satiate any desire for them to try to act responsibly. Plus, their rage is just how they cope with holding an ideal and the contrary evidence they encounter constantly in the real world that they are wrong in every single way.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Because our existence (those that defy socialism and communism) is impeding “social justice.” Social justice is the solving of all the problems identified by the neo-Marxist lunatics. They’ve invented their own virtual universe and now they want us to leave them alone to create a Utopian world.

  • jaydee007

    George Orwell – Prophet!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Kind of. But this type of doublespeak and associated thinking was invented a long time ago.

  • http://Senatormark4.artistwebsites.com/ senatormark4

    Always great to read your take on our slide into “safe”. I wonder, do you think we could start a fund to put your books on thumb drives and have them dropped all over egypt and saudi? Syria and Lebanon? Iran?

    Say the word. I doesn’t seem such a stretch if we can fly drones over the areas carrying a ton of armaments. What would a ton of thumb drive Steyn’s spread across the desert, in Arabic and rainbow colors, do to their cultures. You can’t kill all the peasants!

    I will sorely miss you though.

  • David Barrow

    Steyn: “But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that.”
    The balance is not between mere polite and impolite manners. It is between a fundamental right to freedom of expression, in balance with other competing rights such as to not be maliciously injured in personal reputation by false statements or to be humiliated on an issue of race in the absence of some justification for artistic or scientific or public benefit.

    • LtColO

      There’s no “competing right” not to be humiliated. Please try again.

  • sirjonk

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali advocates for the GENOCIDE of ALL MUSLIMS. Yes, she thinks that all 1.5 BILLION muslims should be KILLED. Her own words. Your comparisons are idiotic.

    • DaMav

      If advocacy of genocide were forbidden speech who would be left to speak for Iran, Palestinians, and those angry young islamists chanting “Death to America” on the nightly news? (Even if your smear of this great woman were true)

    • gjsmith_62

      Try quoting her own words.

    • James

      Get a load of this guy, he makes stuff up and supports mutilating little girl’s private parts with a razor blade.

      What a brave liberal warrior you are.

      • frankie da’ scarf

        Obviously a violentpedofile.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “Ayaan Hirsi Ali advocates for the GENOCIDE of ALL MUSLIMS. Yes, she thinks that all 1.5 BILLION muslims should be KILLED. Her own words.”

      And yet you provide no direct quotes or citations. That’s interesting. It’s not surprising.

      “Your comparisons are idiotic.”

      I’m not sure you’re the one to pass that kind of judgment.

  • David Barrow

    Steyn: “But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that.”

    The balance is not between mere polite and impolite manners.

    It is between a fundamental right to freedom of expression, in balance with other competing rights such as to not be maliciously injured in personal reputation by false statements or to be humiliated on an issue of race in the absence of some justification for artistic or scientific or public benefit.

    • Ms Anonymous

      The right to not be humiliated?

      I believe you just violated your own “right”.

    • Edward

      Now free speech has to be justified? Did you not just quote what Steyn said about “Government policed parameters”? Just who do you propose will be the arbitrator of what constitutes a “false statement” in matters of OPINION? Who gets to decide what is “artistic” Who decides what opinions may be offered for “Public benefit”

      We already have laws on libel, slander, and incitement, that is the only balance that we need to free speech. And, even those few limits must be wielded with the utmost restraint and thorough verification of actual harm.

      • David Barrow

        Edward: “Just who do you propose will be the arbitrator of what constitutes a “false statement” in matters of OPINION?”

        Well, I did not say that striking the balance is dealing in opinions. I was thinking of statements of fact. Opinions may be defensible, however, if the facts on which they are based are articulated or notorious. That way the person to whom the opinion is communicated can make up their own mind as to whether it is justified (meaning reasonable to make in balance against another right or for its veracity or public benefit).

        Example, “Mr X is a child murderer, in my opinion”. Well, that is a statement of fact unless say the circumstances of Mr X’s conviction for child murder is stated at the same time or notorious. Although it may also be defensible if it is true, such as Mr X does in fact have a conviction for child murder — even though not stated.

        As for determing “who decides”, I refer you to my answer to juandos: “Who gets to make that call?”. Human affairs can be messy and some sort of dispute resolution is sometimes required.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          Islam is inherently violent according my analysis.

          Verboten statement or not?

          • David Barrow

            In what context??

          • David Barrow

            Let’s say you make a statement “Islam is inherently violent according my analysis.” — in the context of the Steyn article titled “The slow death of free speech” and the discussion thread that follows, and specifically in this little pocket concerning the differences between statements of fact and opinions. Well, I’m not the ordinary reasonable person, but in the context of all this, I’d say you are expressing an opinion in a general form. You don’t present your analysis that would persuade me. You don’t define Islam. You don’t explain in what ways the Islam you have in mind is violent — inherently or otherwise. You are welcome to express your opinion; but I remain unpersuaded.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            In the context of this conversation my point is that some would condemn my statement as “hate speech.”

        • Edward

          No, “dispute resolution” is not required for speech unless it constitutes libel or slander. Interaction is “Messy”. the only way to make it un”messy” is through limits on free speech. Did you read the article at all?

    • juandos

      On the whole I don’t disagree with your comment, not even a little bit…

      Still we have a real important question that some in this country want answered their way: “in balance with other competing rights such as to not be maliciously injured in personal reputation by false statements or to be humiliated on an issue of race in the absence of some justification for artistic or scientific or public benefit“…

      Who gets to make that call?

      Consider Al Gore and his fairy tale regarding ‘man made‘ global warming, should he all the rest of the fools that climbed onto that band wagon be held accountable for the money wasted chasing that myth?

      • David Barrow

        juandos: “Who gets to make that call?”

        Well, resolving a dispute needs a mechanism to do so. One avenue is the rule of law: the rulings and reasons given by judges (common law) and also Parliamentary legislation (statutory law). We might find the standard to decide in a construct of the ‘ordinary reasonable person’ — which in the case of defamation, for instance, has been held to be a person of fair average intelligence not avid for scandal. Such a person may well be represented in a jury of peers. Another avenue for dispute resolution is with recourse to theories of ethical conduct, such as the natural law of what is universally held to be a duty (such as we should not kill innocent people unjustly). It may be difficult or it may be obvious, or something in between, to decide depending on the circumstances but deciding not to decide is its own form of decision if you think about it.

        • juandos

          Again you make some excellent points but it ‘seems‘ to me that the venues of dispute resolution you’ve elegantly described have all been abused or ignored outright…

          but deciding not to decide is its own form of decision if you think about it“…

          Yes I agree with that also but then seems like chaos fills that vacuum…

          Thanks, you;ve given me something to think about…

          • objectivefactsmatter

            And the clearly unlawful abuse comes in when elected officials use their office and public money to suppress speech by using “naming and shaming” strategies. Their idiotic mob followers finish the job.

            There is a problem that needs to be solved.

  • gjsmith_62

    “a culture that can’t bear a dissenting word” will cease.

    Liberalism’s goal in one sentence.

  • DaMav

    Another spectacularly good Steyn –Thank You!

  • LostBoyPA

    Don’t you mean the slow death of right-wingers hiding behind the first amendment to justify their outdated, often-bigoted opinions? Welcome to societal progress, boys and girls.

    • juandos

      No, Steyn is telling us that panty wetting, whining, limp wristed leftards & progress-0-tards are trying to shape a world conversation in such a way that these pervs are not called to account for their asinine actions…

      • notgonna

        The left is just tired of ignorance and bigots. These things make the world suck. They just want it to suck less.

        • frankie da’ scarf

          Well then, the libturds need to exterminate themselves, post haste.

        • LtColO

          Well the Right is “just tired of ignorance and bigots.” So what now? Civil war? Because that’s exactly Steyn’s point: that’s exactly what you’re asking for when you try to suppress people’s rights. And I have a hunch that when it comes to blows, the Left isn’t going to fare so well from what I’ve seen of them over the years.

    • James

      The opposition to female genital mutilation is an outdated opinion, yes.
      You are exactly who this article is describing.

      • notgonna

        James do you believe in female genital mutilation ? Because that is what your words state.

        • James

          I’m assuming “notgonna” comes from ‘not gonna read the article before commenting’.

          Ayaan Hirsi Ali opposes FGM and she was used as an example in the article.
          Talk about ignorant.

    • GDMace

      I find your opinion offensive and bigoted. Off with his head!

    • Edward

      The first amendment does nothing to “justify” anyone’s opinions, outdated or otherwise. Opinions can only be justified based on substance. Typically, those who wish squelch the opinions of others through placing limits on free speech or through the simple act of labeling other opinions as “outdated” or “bigoted” do so because their own opinions can not be justified or sustained through open debate.

      • notgonna

        Are you denying that when people get called on thier crap they say yell “freedom of speech” indicating a first ammendment issue eventhough the government is not involved at all.
        Because I have seen that a lot.

        • Edward

          Except that people don’t get “called on their crap” They get told that “I think what you’re going to say is crap and I won’t let you say it!”

          It is true that the first amendment limits only what the government may do in regards to speech and that first amendment claims are often misplaced. That said, the primal reaction of most liberals is to demand government intervention when they don’t like the content or even the anticipated content of someone’s speech.

          It should also be noted that the idea of “free speech” is not limited to the first amendment to the constitution. For any society to function, individuals must be free to have their ideas heard and debated. “Free Speech” is the ideal, not just the law.

          • effinayright

            I wish I had seen your post first! Amen, bro!

        • LtColO

          The examples Steyn listed above mentioned government action in Australia and the UK but his case that’s pending IS in the US and it IS about his right to free speech.

        • Da St

          I’ll deny it.

        • effinayright

          I’ll say that *some* people called on their speech (not the prejudiced “crap”) yell “freedom of speech” when it’s not a first amendment issue, but “freedom of speech” isn’t always a first amendment issue —if it were, there would not be laws and statutes relating to slander, libel, defamation.

          The First Amendment says, “Congress shall pass no laws “abridging the freedom of speech.”–which presupposes there is such a freedom in the Common Law.

          But that’s not what Steyn is talking about here . He’s talking about people not just disagreeing with positions, but attempting to destroy people for holding them.

          Is that you, notgonna?

    • notgonna

      my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge

    • Pascal64

      Sometimes its best to let the left speak for themselves. Your post is a keeper. Orwell knew all about “societal progress”.

      • frankie da’ scarf

        Yeah, and you’re one of hisbitches.

        • effinayright

          Yeah, that’s what the Framers of Constitutional form of government envisioned: a government where the citizens who didn’t agree with the POTUS were “hisbitches”.

          You effing FOOL.

          • frankie da’ scarf

            How’s it feel to be weak minded enough to be so ridiculously brainwashed by the NWO? I feel bad for you.

    • frankie da’ scarf

      WHO’S hiding behind the first amendment ???? WHO ae the one’s ALWAYS screeching about their first amendment rights???

      • effinayright

        You are obviously about 15 years old. You obviously don’t remember the McCarthy hearings, where the LEFT was arguing that THEIR first amendment rights were being trampled upon.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          The right to promote Soviet propaganda.

          • cminca

            Guess what IDIOT–in America you are free to have, and to promote, Soviet propaganda if you so desire.
            That is the same freedom that Steyn is whining he no longer has.
            Except no one has blacklisted him–have they?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            In America, speech is virtually unrestricted. Incitement and aid to enemies don’t qualify as absolutely protected. Soviet propaganda is much more likely to cross the threshold than say, criticism of Islam.

            “Except no one has blacklisted him–have they?”

            You’re saying he should be “blacklisted” for what specifically?

        • frankie da’ scarf

          Boy…you really ARE infected aren’t you? Gotta stop reading your history on CPUSA’s site.

    • LtColO

      Amazing. Someone standing on their right to speech guaranteed by the Constitution is now termed “hiding behind the first amendment.” Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Mussolini et al would love thousands of willing drones like you.

    • Da St

      Brilliant non-cognitive reply. Name-calling, illogic, tide-of-history claiming, utterly brainless honking.

  • James

    Great stuff.

    The usual reply is: “Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences”.
    The consequences permitted seem to include anything short of a public execution.
    They are dead serious when they say that someone holding a different view to them should be removed from their job and ostracised, and that it’s actually free speech.

  • SmithWinston6478

    Tyrants fear the people and the truth. Internet reader commentary ‘moderators’ sometimes deny contributors for germane responses contrary to their own opinions, or from specific sources – whether the writer guidelines are followed or not. Anonymous moderators never explain.

    Complain to the site publishers and article authors to review such activity.

    “Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.” ~ Ronald Reagan
    “In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” ~ Thomas Jefferson, 1798

  • John Hawkins Totnes

    Congratulations to the Spectattor for bringing back Mark Steyn.

  • notgonna

    Mark Steyn doesn’t like when his bigoted and ignorant opinions are not popular, film at 11

    • grrretchen

      I think that’s where you miss the point completely. Mr Steyn isn’t talking about the “popularity” of his opinions, (bigoted, ignorant or otherwise), he is concerned with the suppression of those opinions. There is a very very big difference.

      • LtColO

        People like notgonna don’t and won’t get it, grrretchen. That’s why Liberty is under assault. They actually seem to think that because they find someone’s views detestable, they have a RIGHT to silence them from ever speaking. I say this as a Bible-believing Christian and “right wing” Christian. The Progressive Left is the most power-hungry and coercive movement I know of, all the while singing “tolerance.”
        They looooove to go after anybody of faith (well, except for Muslims because they’re all afraid of them) but never look at how the FIRST thing they reach for is a lawsuit or legislation to shut someone up that they don’t like.

        • Rtort

          Super! Well put!

    • frankie da’ scarf

      Boy, are you ‘reaching’ with THAT one!

    • effinayright

      Circular reasoning on Parade!

      Here’s what Steyn has to say:

      “it is not merely that, as the Big Climate enforcers say, ‘the science is
      settled’, but so is everything else, from abortion to gay marriage. So
      what’s to talk about? ”

      Get it? GET IT?

      If you had a working neuron, which obviously you don’t you would englighten us as to WHY Steyn’s comments are bigoted and ignorant.

      Instead, you just engage in drive-by sliming, and pretend you have said something.

      You haven’t —instead you have revealed yourself to be a FOOL.

      • Rtort

        Why not try an argue your (in my opinion) good point sans the personal insults?

        • cminca

          He can’t.

      • cminca

        And yet here he is on a public forum spouting his drivel…….
        In other words–he’s full of “it”.
        Get it? GET IT?

  • FPrefect

    Freedom of speech has never meant that every idea is given a podium in front of a packed audience at every institution. It doesn’t guarantee you that others will like what you have to say or that others will want much to do with you after you say something unpopular. I think public institutions need a fair method for granting space for as many different voices as possible but merely being a biology student shouldn’t mean that every creationist in the country gets a shot at pitching their views to you. However, the internet so far has been the great equalizer. Anyone can write a blog and say whatever they fancy on it. Attracting readers is not a guarantee but there are ways to self-promote.

    • Edward

      No one is asking for a guaranteed podium, they are simply asking that when they are invited to the podium that they get the allotted time to say their piece without threat or disruption, and that their words not be censored.

      I would not demand the podium at an anti-hetero-normative rally nor would I accept having my guest speaker shouted down by outsiders at a pro-life rally where I have rented the hall AND the podium.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Of course. What good is power if you can’t abuse it?

  • jmhall2369

    So Steyn dislikes when those on the Left shout down prejudiced opinions from others but I am curious of Mr. Steyn’s position on the Right labeling those on the Left as un-American when they opposed the policies of George W. Bush. Or when it was brought up about the violent tendencies of some far-right groups in this country, how fast did the outcry come to suppress that information? When the Right suggest liberals are godless, cowards, traitors and other uncomplimentary things are leftists simply supposed to sit back and say of do nothing? Who is allowed to speak their mind? And who is also allowed to decry the words others speak? I did not know anyone was designated a referee for this.

    • Pascal64

      Name a lawsuit, a speech code or a legislative initiative that is initiated by the Right. SOME of Steyn’s are those and ALL are from the left. (we can leave out the Dixie Chix and Chick-Fil-a as they are the grass roots, capitalistic variety).

      • JamesPiekko1

        Yeah im all for the right to make a mockery of themselves by spouting all sorts of ignorant and hateful things. PC is nothing more then the dark place under the refridgerator where cockroaches can hide with the filth the broom missed.

        • Pascal64

          I don’t follow. sorry.

          • JamesPiekko1

            I don’t doubt that. someone wants to shout slurs, im all for it. Why should they have to hide behind “acceptable terms” when the meaning is the same.
            they shouldn’t cry when when there are consequences to the actions, even the Bible says you reap what you sow.

          • frankie da’ scarf

            Don’t try to…it’s just another leftist, twisted, pretzel logic ‘non-answer.

        • frankie da’ scarf

          BRILLIANT reply……egghead.

          • Rtort

            Insults and rudeness repels…try to draw from whatever your education was and put forward some sort of cogent argument. You sound like one of those naughty kids in class who feel so powerless that their only recourse is to insult the other kids as well as the teacher.

          • frankie da’ scarf

            JamesPiekko1 didn’t answer Pascal’s question. His reply was totally irrelevant. What you accused me of of are the tactics of you and the left.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          Shouting slurs is simply rude. “Political Correctness” is about holding something as “incorrect” (contrary to the dogmas of the dominant neo-Marxist culture) when it is otherwise literally a defensible statement as representing something truthful.

          If I say that government sanction of homosexual marriage is silly because it serves no public function, that is a politically incorrect statement. But the truth is that nobody else has any reason to care of gays are “committed for life” but the public does have an interest in keeping parents together to raise children.

          See the difference? Did I say anything hateful? Did I say anything that was politically incorrect?

    • frankie da’ scarf

      Uh-h-h-h-h…because …they ARE un-American??!!

    • LtColO

      Jmhall, I think you’re missing the point entirely by confusing categories. Steyn isn’t complaining about the Left “shouting” about the Right; he’s decrying the ACTUAL LOSS OF LIBERTY, of FREEDOM, imposed on people by Left-leaning governments and other authoritative bodies when those people espouse views they don’t like.

      Where was anyone on the Left forbidden to speak when it came to GW Bush? All I remember from his 8 years was the constant barrage of slamming on Bush from the media, his political opponents, and from the entertainment culture (to include movies that openly fantasized about his assassination). What GOP official pushed for legislation to stop people from speaking? Calling them “un-American” isn’t the same as taking away their speech. After all, people on the Right have the same free speech right to call others “un-American” so there’s nothing wrong there. You may not like it but it isn’t the same as suppression of speech to call someone “un-American.” The two just aren’t the same.

      Where did ANYONE on the Right push for legislation for “speech codes” so that folks on the Left could be silenced? In fact, it was the Left, under the Democrat senate, that talked openly about trying to codify a “Fairness Doctrine” via the FCC to silence or muzzle Right Wing radio. Dinesh D’Souza is out on 1 MILLION DOLLAR BAIL right now because he ran afoul of the so-called “campaign finance” laws by donating too much to a right wing politician (a pitiful amount in the thousands) but interestingly, he was the one that made a movie critical of Obama, “2016 Obama’s America.” No coincidence there, huh?

      You seem to confuse the fact that people on the Right complain about media bias and the blatant MISINFORMATION put out by the Left (like your little tidbit about “far-right” groups having “violent tendencies”; yeah, I see what you did there and am not falling for that), with the actual SUPPRESSION of a person’s right to freely speak. I ask again, can you point to where ANYONE in any power position, elected or at University or similar has actively blocked anyone on the Left from speaking or advocated for the same? WHERE??

      Steyn was at pains in an article of several hundred words to give clear examples of actual SUPPRESSION by the Left and you come back with the Right complaining about “Liberal Media Bias”? What, now you can’t complain about things?? Complaining about media bias and stopping someone from speaking on a campus, or requiring that they get GOVERNMENT PERMISSION to speak are two radically different things.

      If you can’t see the obvious differences, you’re apparently too far beholden to your movement to be honest with the facts, anyways.

    • Da St

      The only labeling of “un-American” that goes on in America–including during the presidency of George W Bush–was done, as it is done today, on the left. So there were none on the right labeling as “un-American” those on the left who opposed Bush’s policies. This is the great figment of lefty imaginations.

      When the right suggests that liberals are godless, cowards, traitors, or other uncomplimentary things, you can say whatever the hell you want. But suppressing speech because you disagree with it is not sitting back and doing nothing, and is not a legitimate response. When the left says that conservatives are religious nuts, cowards, traitors or other uncomplimentary things, which lefties do all the time, should the right suppress lefties’ speech?

      You’re delusional. Liberal media bias isn’t so-called. It’s the daily reality of the media. The only double-standard is the one that is pressed down from above suppressing and persecuting right, insisting it follow rules created by the left and exempting the left from following any rules at all.

      • jmhall2369

        Yeah, well I guess lying about WMD’s to initiate a war with a country that had nothing to do with a terrorist attack, pushing for torture and using 9/11 as an excuse to pass legislature off all kinds should never be frowned upon. As for none on the right labeling people as “un-American” let’s ask the members of the Dixie Chicks what they think….

        Yeah, you’re allowed to say whatever you want, up until it’s slanderous or libel, like when you question someone else’s patriotism because they are in disagreement with your opinion.

        Liberal bias is so-called. Corporations own media and support conservative policies. Sunday morning talk shows always feature two right-wingers and a conservative Democrat and the debates also are directed toward right-wing ideology. Radio is dominated by guys like Limbaugh, Hannity and O’Reilly. Lefties barely exist. I am not delusional. I know there is certainly a left-wing presence out there, specifically most of MSNBC but that pendulum has swung to the right and the only reason you won’t admit that is because you need to keep hanging on to the belief that the “evil overwhelming presence” instead of just being a presence.

        • RecklessProcess

          No one lied about WMD’s. Bush said, “British intelligence says Saddam still has WMD capabilities.” And it turns out that British intelligence said that very thing. That is no lie. And if it was then you need to take heed of the many democrat who said the exact same thing and voted positively.

          • cminca

            Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
            Dick Cheney
            August 26, 2002

            Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
            George W. Bush
            September 12, 2002

            We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.
            Vice President Dick Chaney
            March 16, 2003

            Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
            George W. Bush
            March 17, 2003

            And after:

            For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.
            Paul Wolfowitz
            May 28, 2003

            WMD was a sales pitch sold to a stupid public. Some of us were called un-American for not believing the BS.
            As for democrats voting for the war–I’d like it if ONE of them would admit the truth–that they simply couldn’t fathom that anyone would be so callous, so unprincipled, that they would send American troops into harms way in order to bolster a teenage macho fantasy (Bush) and because it was good for his cronies business (Cheney).
            You are a fool.

        • Da St

          Well, to take it one by one: There was no lying about WMD to initiate a war. It’s just a lie to say that there was. Making you one (among the entire lying left) of the liars. There was no torture, and no pushing torture, liar. And go ahead and ask the Dixie Chicks. They weren’t labeled un-American, but you can ask any Republican office-holder who has opposed Harry Reid or Chuck Shumer or Nancy Pelosi or, pretty much, any leftist congressperson. They have Tourette’s with their labeling people as un-American and unpatriotic. I know you guys lap it up and love it when they do, with absolutely no self-perception of your hypocrisy and dishonesty, but maybe you should do a little reflection on your idols. As always you’re the ones who slander and libel and don’t question, but outright state that your opponents are unpatriotic and un-American.

          I can’t help you with your psychological problems. Corporations that own media are almost entirely left-wing, headed by leftists, and do not support conservative policies. The reporters, producers, editors, are virtually universally leftists. It’s a pure psychological delusion to pretend otherwise. Can’t help you with that.

  • Tom Groenfeldt

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book, Infidel, is tremendous…from a grandmother who lived little differently from the way people did 2,000 years ago to moving around Africa and the Middle East …learning avidly and being influenced by western romance novels to the idea of love — it is fascinating. And she makes a very strong case against Islam. Brandeis must have known it – real cowardice to revoke the invitation.

    • JamesPiekko1

      not just islam, all religions are full of zealots who do horrible things because they think they’ll get a thumbs up from whatever it is they pray to. Heck ever actually read the bible? wooo boy that one would get on the banned book list pretty quickly if it was taken in context.
      Barely make it out of Genesis before that lovely story about Lot and his daughters, it reads like a japanese porn plot.

      • frankie da’ scarf

        I’m a zealot. O-o-o-o-o…I’m gunna GIT’CHA! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!

        • JamesPiekko1

          are you feeling guilty or something too? poor little babies you don’t like being told that there are bad people who do things in the name of your faith still

          • RecklessProcess

            And there are secularists like you who support suppressing books like Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s because you hate free speech and support radical Islam.

          • frankie da’ scarf

            Bwa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa!!!!!!

      • effinayright

        Well great, except that Christianity moved beyond that phase a long time ago. Funny how you mindlessly conflate the Bible –written almost 3000 years ago—with today.

        Whereas Islam is still preaching their “specialness”, making Jihad over it, killing people over it.

        Perhaps you would like to tell us when the last “religious war” was involving Christianity. No bullbleep about Northern Ireland — that was sectarian first and foremost. (Catholics lived in both North and South).

        There’s only one word for you, and it’s F#ckWIT.

        • JamesPiekko1

          Oh i see since you live in a civil country it means things that go on in africa doesn’t happen. Glad to know you can affect the world so much.

          • RecklessProcess

            Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book, the one you are happy to suppress, is about Africa. But since all you can do is plug your ears and gibber you will never know anything about her.

          • JamesPiekko1

            so, what you are saying is only muslims are bad and leftists are bad?

        • Guest

          > Funny how you mindlessly conflate the Bible –written almost 3000 years ago—with today.

          No Christian would ever do that.

        • mambobananapatch

          History began this morning for religious loons.

        • cminca

          “Funny how you mindlessly conflate the Bible –written almost 3000 years ago—with today.”

          Your statement is ironic when you consider how the right wing keeps claiming that we should base civil laws on subjects like abortion and SSM on the bible.

      • RecklessProcess

        Great example of how leftist totalitarians like you plug their ears and gibber instead of hearing and comprehending what is being said.

  • JamesPiekko1

    What kind of crazy redneck nonsense is this? oh boohoohoo i have to have an expanded vocabulary to express myself! English is our language, learn it.

    • effinayright

      LOLZ!!! Steyn, a Belgian-born, English-raised, former Canada-living now America-living multi-lingual guy, with a half dozen serious best-sellers under his belt is a….. REDNECK!!!??

      As for his language…no YOU, you ancestor of the future Idicocracy, YOU learn HIS language, OUR language, which is the language of the educated.

      Apparently you’re far too dim to understand that you can’t call him a redneck and then fault him for his “expanded vocabulary”, which happens to be the vocabulary of an educated class, of which YOU are obviously NOT a member!!!

      Next thing, you’ll be writing back to inform us you got in the “high two figures” on your SAT.

  • thohan

    Solid Steyn.

  • Neal

    Not sure I can rebut any of Steyn’s points or if I would wish to…but does he ever just go hang out with friends and have an enjoyable day? I would quickly weary of having to keep up this level of intensity 24/7.

    • effinayright

      I’ve met Mr. Steyn and seen him at a few venues: he is as affable and approachable as they come.

      If you would listen to him when he subs for Rush Limbaugh you would see what I mean.

  • Tom Bortels

    You’re tarring many different things with the same brush.

    The right – a fundamental human right, so far as I’m concerned – to free speech isn’t actually the right to an audience, or to force your views onto others, or to be free from ridicule when you come off looking like a crazy person.

    Just because, from your example above, people have the right to free speech about climate change doesn’t mean the BBC can or should spend the public’s money on giving those lunatics (yes – people who are willing to ignore clear evidence and the vast majority of the scientific community are lunatics) time on the air to inflict their lunacy on others. This is the fundamental fallacy of “teach the controversy” – in almost every place you hear that called out, there’s not actually a controversy, just crazy people trying to get someone to force others to listen to them.

    As another example – Mozilla had their exec resign not to quash his rights to free speech – he already exercised them, and presumably can continue to do so – but rather because they didn’t want their brand to be associated with the narrow-minded bigotry behind that speech. You pick what you say, and you take the social consequences thereof, and if you don’t want the heat – it’s up to you.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “Mozilla had their exec resign not to quash his rights to free speech – he already exercised them, and presumably can continue to do so – but rather because they didn’t want their brand to be associated with the narrow-minded bigotry behind that speech.”

      No, that was an example of mob rule. All he did was contribute a trivial amount to an amendment that passed in liberal California in 2008. Are all of those voters dysfunctional right-wingers too?

      • Tom Bortels

        if a thousand dollars is a trivial amount – feel free to cut me a check.

        re. mob rule – I didn’t realize they took a vote, or had pitchforks and torches. I kinda thought that the reality was that people like myself who are deeply offended by people who *don’t actually live in California* spending money on California politics with the intent to quash equality for religious or homophobic reasons said “Hey – maybe someone with the colossal arrogance and stupidity to spend money on this sort of thing – publically! – will make equally bad decisions for Mozilla. Maybe we should let this fact be known.”

        And yes – the overwhelming majority of the people who voted *for* Prop 8 were right-wingers (and by definition dysfunctional imho), led by a massive influx of out-of-state financing.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “if a thousand dollars is a trivial amount – feel free to cut me a check.”

          Sure. Because incentivizing stupidity is why people go to work each day.

          “Hey – maybe someone with the colossal arrogance and stupidity to spend money on this sort of thing – publically! – will make equally bad decisions for Mozilla. Maybe we should let this fact be known.”

          If you don’t recognize that as crowd or mob psychology, you might never snap out of it. Then again, objective thinking is dead to most people.

          And by the way, who publicized his contribution?

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “…spending money on California politics with the intent to quash equality for religious or homophobic reasons said ”

          Quashing conflation is not ipso facto quashing equality.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “I kinda thought that the reality was that people like myself who are deeply offended by people who *don’t actually live in California* spending money on California politics with the intent to quash equality for religious or homophobic reasons said “Hey – maybe someone with the colossal arrogance and stupidity to spend money on this sort of thing – publically! – will make equally bad decisions for Mozilla. Maybe we should let this fact be known.””

          You were concerned about Mozilla. Of course you were. Fake altruism is what the left is all about. Every other mob has parallel “community concerns” when they cluster around to chop off metaphorical and physical heads.

          • Tom Bortels

            Heh – I actually didn’t give a crap about Mozilla. Couldn’t care less, didn’t find out he’d stepped down until it had happened. So much for “mob”.

            Apparently name-calling is what the right – or you, in particular – is all about. Bye now. Have a nice life.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Name calling.”

    • effinayright

      You don’t really understand that “free speech” has nothing to do with governments, do you? It’s the anti-thesis of government, actually: if government can decide what public money not to spend on “those lunatics”, then what if those “lunatics” happen to be people who oppose government policies on , say, immigration, or taxation levels, or — you know— all that suff governments spend money on.

      Second, the narro9w-minded bigotry you speak of re Eich REFLECTED THE SAME OPINION BARACK OBAMA HELD AT THE TIME.”

      IOW: you are a freaking inch-shallow “thinker” and a hypocrite to boot.

      • cminca

        “You don’t really understand that “free speech” has nothing to do with governments, do you?” That statement shows the YOU don’t know anything about free speech. What Tom was stating was that there is no reason that a TV show has to feature discredited opinion as an opposing viewpoint to scientific fact.

        “As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law.” Obama June 2008

        http://www.calitics.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=6307

        Obama did not support marriage–but he did not support a law intending to strip marriage rights that had already been acknowledged–which was the point of Prop 8.
        As for your last statement–well, I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

      • Tom Bortels

        Resorting to Ad-hominem means you have nothing else.

        It’s amusing you assert that free speech has nothing to do with governments – then flip and bitch that the government deciding who are “lunatics” is a bad thing.

        The concept that any group – government or other – should give equal consideration to anyone, irregardless of the lunacy (or lack thereof) of their arguments is what we doctors call “Batfuck insane”. Good on you for either having the brass balls or complete lack of connection to reality to suggest it.

        Finally – You’re ugly, and your mother dresses you funny. Does that mean I’m suddenly right now? Or did calling names turn out to be less than convincing. Hmmm.

  • ericmwilcock

    Guess hes non too fond of Trans people. Oh well i agree with him in regards to free speech. On reflection its pretty standard angry stuff, a bit like a polished up Julie Burchill rant or maybe its a subliminal pitch for a pretty TransWoman. Have your say my friend, then go for a long lay down.

  • mambobananapatch

    You poor, poor, oppressed white people! When are you going to get a break?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      You don’t really want to incite a race war and see just how much your enemy has actually contributed to modern society.

      • mambobananapatch

        You really, really don’t want to educate yourself and how much those same people have taken from you. No, much easier to kneel in prayer, without realizing that you’re just bending over.

        • RecklessProcess

          You have nothing worthwhile to say. All you have are cheap insults and comments that prove you don’t even know what the article was about. Your level of comprehension is below awful.

          • mambobananapatch

            I know what the article is about. I disagree with its
            premise.

            You’re a brain-dead ideologue. You liked the article before you read it for no reason other than that you wear the same uniform as the author. You are a pathetic, mindless drone.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          I know very well who takes what and what they’re justifications are.

    • effinayright

      You poor, poor, neuron-depletedFree S#it Army footsoldier. When are you going to get a clue?

      • mambobananapatch

        You don’t get it! I’m on your side! I understand how whites in America have been enslaved and impoverished, their rights stolen, their freedom to …well, their freedom to do anything at all, crushed! This, by other people who think scary different things, have weird, funny-coloured skin, and don’t worship Jesus!

        You poor, poor people! When, oh, when will you get a break?

        • RecklessProcess

          You did not even bother to read the article. There is nothing ‘racist’ in it. You poor thing. Again, why are you leftists suppressing the free speech of people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali? And are you trying to say she is white?

          Anyway we are all tax slaves. Slavery has been extended to every one under democrats

          • mambobananapatch

            History begins every morning for the conservative.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            It would be hard to top that statement for stupidity.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          Your caricatures are stupid. It’s not so much a concern about self but what happens to you idiots and the nation once you interfere too much with the people that actually produce its wealth.

    • RecklessProcess

      More evidence you did not read the article. Who is Ayaan Hirsi Ali and why is she being oppressed by left wing totalitarian speech suppressors like you?

      • mambobananapatch

        If you don’t know I’m not going to waste my time educating you. She’s pretty well-known.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          It was a challenge question.

      • mambobananapatch

        Also I don’t think you really understand what “oppressed” means. You’re just a whiny, stupid little conservative.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          op·pres·sion noun ə-ˈpre-shən
          Definition of OPPRESSION
          1a : unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power
          b : something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power
          2: a sense of being weighed down in body or mind

          • mambobananapatch

            So let’s see. Are you oppressed?

            1a) No, you’re free to speak as you please. You’re not entitled to have your ideas respected, of course, but you’re not suffering anything unjust or cruel.

            b) See 1a).

            2) I think this is it. You want your awful, hateful views to be respected, and when they’re not, you have “a sense of being weighed down in body and mind”.

            Too bad, snowflake. Your children will look back and be embarrassed, not unlike the kids of people who marched in front of the white house protesting interracial marriage.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “So let’s see. Are you oppressed?”

            Not at all.

            “Too bad, snowflake. Your children will look back and be embarrassed, not unlike the kids of people who marched in front of the white house protesting interracial marriage.”

            I think you spend too much time imagining that you can read minds and tea leaves.

          • Asdfgh

            The frequent absurdity and inanity of the arguments of anti-free speech people who at the same time try to act (or maybe even actually believe) that they’re totally liberal and pro-freedom and all that good stuff can at times be entertaining… But I’ll only make this one comment — maybe someone will read it. Just felt like pointing out a couple things.

            >>>1a) No, you’re free to speak as you please. You’re not entitled to have your ideas respected, of course, but you’re not suffering anything unjust or cruel.<<>>2) I think this is it. You want your awful, hateful views to be respected, and when they’re not, you have “a sense of being weighed down in body and mind”.

            Too bad, snowflake.<<<
            Um… now it looks like you pretty much admitted that he is actually right about the "oppression" thing. That's kind of funny.

          • mambobananapatch

            > You should realize that YOUR opinion on that is of very, very little value. Just saying.

            That’s your opinion. Disagree with mine if you wish, but at least I had the wit to clarify it.

            > Um… now it looks like you pretty much admitted that he is actually right about the “oppression” thing. That’s kind of funny.

            I’m sure it is to the easily amused, or stupid. The astute reader will see that I was admitting nothing of the sort; rather, that I was pointing out that he was not oppressed, just whiny and entitled.

          • Dandelo disintegrates

            Very Jewish of you to promote race-mixing.

          • mambobananapatch

            Very white and christian of you to fear it.

  • http://twitter.com/sharialawfan Steve Lawrence

    around blacks, never relax

    • RecklessProcess

      Huh? Where do you racists come from? Media Matters?

  • WBC

    As always Steyn is pithily and exactly correct. It is already illegal for a Catholic chaplain in the U.S. military to publicly proclaim the Catholic Faith. Soon it will be illegal for anyone anywhere to do so and every clause of the First Amendment be damned. T.S. Eliot was right about how the world ends.

    • mistercrispy

      Nonsense (as usual). Wouldn’t want a little thing called “reality” to get in the way of the Big Bad Evil Liberal Baddies being Big Meanies to those Poor, Fragile, Delicate, Powerless, Conservative Victims ™. Catholic priests can evangelize, but not proselytize. This is not anything new, and certainly has been a policy in place during conservative administrations as well. http://www.stripes.com/pentagon-ok-to-talk-about-faith-but-not-to-push-beliefs-on-others-1.219261

      • WBC

        Pull your head out of your rectum, assbiter. This is new. Christian chaplains are not allowed to invoke the name of Christ in a public prayer outside of the confines of a church or chapel and a Catholic chaplains are not allowed to declare orthodox Catholic doctrine on the subjects of homosexuality and marriage. You don’t think that’s an infringement of the First Amendment merely because it’s not your ox being gored, you lightweight piece of dog dirt.

        • mistercrispy

          Show me where this has been reported to be the case. Please refrain from posting a link to a conservative blogger with the credibility of the Weekly World News.

          I’ll bet your momma would be proud if you called her up and recited to her what you just typed about me. Proud, indeed.

  • http://GuardAmerican.com/ GuardAmerican

    The tribalistic commentary herein only emphasizes Steyn’s point. You tribalists seem unaware of how unaware you are.

    He alluded to it, but let me say it more clearly: Beware the silence when it comes. You will not enjoy it.

  • demodocos

    The Liberal Party of Australia that proposed the change to Australia’s anti-racial discrimination laws is actually a centre-right party that supports private businesses, In America, they’d be called ‘libertarians’.

    Even if I had read nothing else from the article, that oversight alone would be enough to discard it.

  • mambobananapatch

    I don’t think anybody should be allowed to say that free speech is being shut down.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      The debate is over. You can indeed speak freely – as long as you don’t cross the threshold of disagreement with me.

    • Soulo_Jacob

      You’re onenof those kook speachers aren’t you?

    • Guest

      Gee, and here I thought conservatives were dull and humourless.

    • mistercrispy

      Can’t stop laughing at the morons below who don’t realize you’re being ironic.

  • hyphenatedamerican

    Mark Steyn, you beautiful bastard. I love how you write.
    Forever envious,
    Hyphenated American.

    • Soulo_Jacob

      I consider “Hyphenated American” offensive. If you’re pure, untouched and proud the proper term is “Intact-American”.

  • effinayright

    ….it is not merely that, as the Big Climate enforcers say, ‘the science is
    settled’, but so is everything else, from abortion to gay marriage. So
    what’s to talk about?”

    There’s the money quote for me.

    I urge EVERYONE to use it when faced with these totalitarian freaks who self-style themselves as “progressives”.

    Please put it up on Facebook ASAP!

  • Mudpie

    Hear hear! Amen brother.

    The choice now is stark: Either we as Americans de-fund these colleges and universities or they destroy the nation as we know it for our kids.

    Nothing could be more clear.

    And we have a sniveling, crying, whining Boehner leading the charge, more concerned about making sure we have more illegals here.

    We are doomed.

    • mambobananapatch

      Please, God, smite the illegals and funny-colour-skinned people! For they are dooming my country by thinking different, scary things that I don’t understand.

      Amen, in Jesus’ love.

      • RecklessProcess

        You completely misunderstand. It is the universities denying alternative thought. And they should certainly be ‘smited’ for denying different opinions. Did you even read the article above? I think you did not.

        • mambobananapatch

          Try thinking for yourself. You will find it liberating and amazing. You don’t need Mark Steyn to tell you what to think.

        • mistercrispy

          Yes, yes. All the fault of the elitist professors in their ivory towers jamming their steel-toed boots down on the soft, fleshy necks of the poor, defenseless conservative victims.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            All the fault of the elitist professors in their ivory towers jamming their steel-toed boots down on the soft, fleshy necks of the poor, defenseless conservative student victims.

            A bit over the top but it’s a valid point if you take out the hyperbole.

          • mistercrispy

            And the dripping sarcasm. And the eye rolling. And any correlation or relation to actual reality.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Because the (leftist) reality is that universities are places where the best ideas are always allowed to bubble to the top in the free marketplace for all ideas. We teach students to think independently while dogmas and dogmatic thinking are purged. Critical Theory dominates and since those theories are scientifically proven to be the best path to social justice, all is nearly well. We just need to help the conservatives to die off a little quicker and the universe will be that much closer to Utopia.

      • Mudpie

        Yeah, I find socialism and communism pretty scary. They have killed more people than any other ideology – including Catholic ideology – in the history of mankind.

        Go get an education. I will hold onto my Ph.D.’s ; )

        • mambobananapatch

          I bet you will. They must have cost you, what, $60?

          • Mudpie

            Unfortunately, multiply that times about 2,000. It was Ivy League. I learned all the absurd social science theories that are beginning to make the U.S. look like Uganda : )

            But do not worry. Once I left academia I saw the light and began to understand how liberty works and how certain groups of people are trading slavery under the Southern slave masters and other tyrants for slavery under the U.S. govt.

          • Mudpie

            Btw, does it work for you?

      • Mudpie

        Your name, by the way, is definitely appropriate. We in fact do live in a banana patch – a Banana Republic, that is : ))))

  • orangestreak

    I can’t help but think that the author has confused ‘the left’ and the populist imperative. Since, the vast majority of people these developed states that the authors reference are right of centre. Further many of the issues e.g. gay marriage enjoy popular support. Therefore this is not about ‘the left’, it is about the average person being too unintelligent to critically evaluate the prescriptive nature of the media. These people are not liberals, they are just people with some liberal influences. For instance most people in Britain support gay marriage, but many do not support the ECHR. If the British people were truly liberals, surely they would support both in great numbers, as the ECHR upholds human rights, including gay marriage which most support.

    People like to conform in the 21st Century, and when people do not, they like to tell other people they are wrong, because if they are right, they then don’t want to be wrong – that is the essence of the populist imperative today. It’s about being on the winning side.

    Free speech has only been allowed if you are saying the right thing. Go against the populist imperative and you are at the tyranny of the majority, and it would appear that anything slightly more radical than that and it has far reaching consequences.

    • James

      “most people in Britain support gay marriage,”
      That’s a stretch, it’s pretty much 50/50.

      “Free speech has only been allowed if you are saying the right thing.”
      So, that means that in 1970 when most people disagreed with gay marriage, it would have been acceptable for people to demand someone be fired for supporting gay marriage with a donation?
      Just curious.

      • orangestreak

        Most of the polls put support for gay marriage at a safe majority, i.e. 60%+.

        Besides, it doesn’t have to be in 1970, it still happens. Take a geographical area dominated by theists who view being gay as sinful, and get yourself a gay teacher and you don’t even need a donation. No seriously. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/gay-birmingham-teacher-resigns-after-parents-complained-that-they-did-not-want-him-to-teach-their-children-9243922.html

        NB – my contention is not that the population as a whole would deem this acceptable, however, in this limited geographical area I would suggest that there probably was a majority of parents who wanted him to resign/be fired. Difficult to prove either way, but circumstance would suggest so.

        I think what I’m trying to suggest that true free-speech is a romanticist concept, that hasn’t ever existed and never will. The reasoning for that is not due to the left. Instead, it’s simply due to the nature of politics. Politics is prescriptive and based on populism, vocalise our most ugly and dark impulses and you win elections. That vocalisation gains ideological populist fervour. That becomes the tyranny of the majority and how can you freely express your opinion when you are at the tyranny of the majority. Because they have the populist imperative, ad hominem is normally sufficient to effectively ‘win’ the argument. The shouts of ‘f*cking zionist’ in the article are a perfect example of this.

        • James

          Whilst I still disagree with the teacher being removed from his position, I don’t think it relates to a CEO being pushed out for a donation. People are a little more sensitive when it comes to their children.

        • RecklessProcess

          In California, and every other state that has held a vote on it, Prop 8 was voted down by 70%. Where do you get your invented numbers that 60%+ accept deviancy? I think you pulled it from your ass.

          • orangestreak

            If you read what I wrote, you’d know that I was talking about in Britain. I also clearly reference ‘polls’, not ‘votes’.

            So yeah, UK polls on gay marriage:
            Populs, for The Times: 61%, for.
            Gallup, 65% for.

            There are plenty of UK polls that support gay marriage. Further, if you add in the option of equal in all but name (i.e. civil partnership) support increases still. I will concede that there a few exceptions, where polls have shown a very small majority, or even somewhere in the 40%s.

    • teapartydoc

      I think he was talking about you, personally.

      • orangestreak

        You think, therefore I am? No.

        I do not believe in free speech, nor am I a pseudo-liberal. The author loosely talks about Liberals, who don’t believe in debate (i.e. free speech) and how this a bad thing. Which I agree with. Plenty of so-called liberals do indeed ram their views down your throat and resort to flawed arguments to counter another view because they feel they are irrefutable.

        Liberals, or Libertarians in particular view that people are capable of making decisions for themselves, and of course acclaim those reasons for decisions, perhaps looking to exert influence, through free speech. I do not believe in this, since it allows people who have views, which are not optimal for society to vocalise them. The very essence of free speech is that people who hold the wrong view have a platform to speak and gain ideological fervour for a given action. It relies on the public to critically evaluate what they are told and come to the right decision. Particularly on complex issues, like the economy, why are people expected to make decisions when fully qualified economists could make them for them, and arrive at a socially optimal decision, whilst they’re at it. Or with moral issues, why are people allowed to oppose gay marriage based upon a completely human fabricated religion.

        I’m under no illusions that I am a liberal, since I actively oppose free speech. That is inherently illiberal, how can the author be possibly be talking about me?

  • zoid

    when is steyn coming to speak in the uk? i would pay good money to hear his views and the money could go to funding his legal team for the hockeystick trial vs mann.

  • lit per

    Why the conservatives can’t stop thinking of gay sex?

    • mambobananapatch

      And rape. They can’t seem to stop talking about rape and gay sex. It would be funny if they weren’t also voters.

    • Scott Faust

      Why can’t you stop thinking about conservatives thinking about sex?

      BTW, the single most gay sex obsessed person I ever came across in the media was “progressive” Air America talk show host Randi Rhodes. I listened to her almost daily during my drive home some years ago, before AA went off air in my area.

      For some damn reason she made some sort of derogatory reference almost every day to “Jeff Gannon,” the involuntarily outed gay conservative columnist (and former gay escort) who obtained White House press credentials during the Bush administration. Only this was YEARS after the story had any currency.

      She once interviewed the purportedly notorious “neocon” Richard Perle, and after the interview SHE COULDN’T STOP TALKING (again in a plainly derogatory fashion, as if it were a bad thing) about how he “sounded gay.”

      Rhodes, during this relatively brief period when I listened, made many other references to gays in connection with conservatives. (Kind of like you are doing now.) They were all utterly gratuitous, highly derogatory, and occasionally even scatological; she even used terms like “fag” and “fudge packer.” At first I thought is was like that thing were leftists and “progressives,” even lily white ones, think it’s O.K. to call blacks hateful terms like “Uncle Tom” or “House Nigger” as long as the subject is a black CONSERVATIVE; but Rhode’s obsession was so intense and so bizarre that I actually began wondering if she had some kind of actual problem with gays.

      Then one day I heard her fawningly interview a LEFTWING homosexual and realized it was the “Uncle Tom” thing.

      So what is with you lefties that makes you think it’s O.K. to be racist, homophobic or misogynistic about someone when the real issue is political ideology? This tendency seems weird and degenerate.

    • Scott Faust

      Amending my previous reply it occurs to me I did come across a more “gay sex obsessed person” in the media than Randi Rhodes, although unlike Rhodes, which was five or six years ago, this was twenty five or thirty years ago. But it makes a point about why free speech should be protected even for repugnant expressions thereof.

      Marlin Maddoux (1933-2004) was a religious (conservative and fundamentalist Christian) broadcaster with a talk show called “Point of View” which was syndicated on Christian radio stations around the US. I used to listen to the show in the 1980s.

      At this time I was agnostic, at best, about gay marriage, to the extent I even considered the issue. Maddoux frequently had on guests discussing homosexuality. Gays were always presented in intensely negative terms.

      I noticed something. A recurring theme in these shows, alongside horrors at the prospect of gay marriage, involved complaints about homosexuals being highly promiscuous, and as a result disease ridden and spreaders of disease. (Yes, it was a lot like how the Nazis talked about Jews.)

      So I thought to myself: “Maddoux viciously derides homosexual promiscuity AT THE VERY SAME TIME he insists on denying homosexuals access to the social institution — marriage — which is the overwhelmingly most efficacious means of mitigating sexual promiscuity. That’s perverse!”

      At that time, incidentally about the same time my political conservatism was firmly establishing itself, I ceased being agnostic or apathetic about gay marriage. I came to FAVOR gay marriage pretty much as a direct result of listening to a hateful bigot argue AGAINST it.

      It wasn’t just that Maddoux’s tone was repellent (although it was) and therefore created a generally negative association in my mind with opposition to homosexuals and to gay marriage. It was more than that. Maddoux, bigot though he was, actually got me thinking about the issue, something which I might not have done, and in ways I might not have done, otherwise.

  • JohnH
    • Emmy Emmenstien

      Best comic EVAR !

  • DoctorAdamBaumb

    As someone who identifies with many “Leftist” viewpoints, I still agree
    that there needs to be dissent. There must be the ability for people in
    deep-left field to trade blows with someone from deep-right field. It’s
    how you change viewpoints and alter perspective (generally for the
    better) to give a subject new light. To educate why something is both
    tolerated and intolerable depending on where you stand.

    My biggest short fall when it comes to supporting some of my more
    left-field ideals is that I’m a white man. My ideas are disregarded as I
    don’t understand the struggles of my fellow “Lefties”. I can’t
    understand the black individual’s struggle because I don’t “understand”
    racism, that I’ve never experienced it. I don’t understand the woman’s
    struggle because I’ve never experienced sexism, that I’ve never been
    sexually assaulted, harassed or molested. I can’t understand the secular
    viewpoint because, as a white male from the Southern United States, I’m
    probably a Christian and that is further bolstered by some of my
    right-field viewpoints. The fact and reality of the matter is that I
    have experienced racism, it’s easy to find if you just go to an area
    where whites are a heavy minority and the general consensus is that they
    are the root of a people’s problems. I might suggest northern border
    and central regions of Mexico or northern Japan. I have experienced
    sexism, harassment and assault both in the work place and with people
    that I’ve trusted very much when I was a child. I’m actually an agnostic
    atheist and not a Christian, I am the son of devout Christians, but I
    didn’t find it as convincing as they did. I am studying multiple
    religions and there aren’t many that seem appealing nor offer any more
    evidence than what Christianity does for why they are “right”. Blind
    belief without evidence, or faith, is not really my cup of tea. The
    agnostic bit comes from the fact that there also isn’t any evidence that
    supports the non-existence of a god or other deities. I take a bit of a
    spiritual approach with my science and view the Universe as the muse
    that inspired god as it is the source of all things. I’m struggling with
    the reality that both sides are equally as hypocritical and full of
    shit as the other because of how I’m treated amongst peers that I agree
    with. I seem to step on a lot of toes in my social circles, especially
    here in college, and my only salvation is the fact that I have the
    freedom to express my views and hold my opinions whether they are part
    of the status quo or not.

    The assumptions and the generalizations
    that bleed through the vale of both sides of this argument from the
    left and right, the conservative and the liberal, the religious and
    non-religious are more alike than it seems some want to admit. The
    evidence to support the retort blaming more “Rightist” peoples for the
    crippling of free speech could be easily found and used to make a
    compelling argument, so I recommend getting perspective from both sides
    before you just mildly support this with a reaffirming comment of
    “That’s right!” or “Damn lefties fucking up everything… blah blah
    blah”.

    This may also be worth the read for some of you: http://theconversation.com/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978

  • Victor Martinez

    You’re confused about what free speec means. Here it is in cartoons: http://xkcd.com/1357/

    • Snipkokken Balsov

      Victor, this cartoon seems only to justify closing down free speech. Hitlers Brownshirts or Beria’s NKVD did plenty of yelling, boycotting, cancelling shows and had there been an internet community, they would have banned people from it.

      • mistercrispy

        Ironically, it was conservative philosopher Leo Strauss who coined the term Reductio Ad Hitlerum for people who failed as miserably at trying to make a point as you just did.

        • Snipkokken Balsov

          Yes, I know that I invoked Godwins Law, but when dealing with the young New Left like Erin Ching (see above), one cannot assume a reciprocity of historical knowledge. Had I only used the example of Beria and the NKVD, it would have appeared partisan (Ironically, leading to an accusation of bias). Mainly though, I’m not really sure that the legion of young “Erin’s” would have any knowledge of Beria. The same cannot be said of Herr Hitler, hence the reference.
          Now, Mr.Crispy, imagine that I had originally posted using the example of Mao’s Red Guard, instead of the Brownshirts. Please explain how I failed to make the point that fascists close down free speech.

          • mistercrispy

            “Please explain how I failed to make the point that fascists close down free speech.” I reread your post, and I don’t see any need; you’ve done it fairly well on your own.

          • Snipkokken Balsov

            Away with you now Herr Krispy, you must have lot’s of YELLING, Boycotting, Cancelling Shows and Banning people from the internet to get on with…..All in the name of free speech, of course.

    • PatrioticAustralian

      What do you suppose is meant by the “slow death of free speech”? Shouting and boycotts today, legislation tomorrow. Oh, wait..legislation today too. He’s already been prosecuted for publishing “offensive” opinions, as has Andrew Bolt under section 18c of our Racial Discrimination Act. If I fired a man for wanting to marry another man I’d be prosecuted too. See? It’s dying. Slowly.

      • mistercrispy

        You define free speech as being able to fire someone for being gay? That’s the epitome of freedom for you? Your idea of freedom is to have no consequences for your bigotry. By all means, fight for that “right”. I guess. Or something. Freedom, and stuff.

        • PatrioticAustralian

          No, not the epitome, just the corollary of what Mozilla did. My idea of freedom of speech is not being prosecuted for expressing my opinion.

          • mistercrispy

            You can express your bigoted opinions all you like. Shout them from the rooftops. Nobody is stopping you, and nobody ever will. But you want to enter into a contract or do business, laws that have nothing to do with your right to rant about how gay people are ruining America apply.

          • PatrioticAustralian

            No, I can’t in Australia. If my opinions offend anyone on the basis of their race, skin-colour, national or ethnic origin, religion or any number of other traits, I can be prosecuted. It is unlawful.

          • mistercrispy

            There’s plenty of gay-hating countries for you to choose from. Many conservatives have traveled to those countries to support them. Might I recommend Uganda? They have a lot in common with you there.

          • PatrioticAustralian

            That’s a rather drastic suggestion, but I’d rather campaign for free speech in my own country, thank you. I obviously shouldn’t count on the support of people of your political stripe.

          • edbarbar

            You are an ass. You pretend you are for free-speech, but in fact you are a jack-booted Nazi.

  • mistercrispy

    While superficially this article brings up some fairly valid points, all credibility disintegrates in Steyn’s argument when he tries to make the Grand Canyonesque leap that the problem of idea suppression originates within the confines of a political ideology he disagrees with and finds inferior. Steyn has provided no evidence and made no effective argument for attributing the recent examples of free speech suppression solely or exclusively to any political stripe, flavor, viewpoint, creed, canon, or ideology. The notion that the examples of free speech infringement that he presented ARE of a particular political brand proves only that he provided examples of a particular brand, not that free speech infringement is inherent of that political brand.

    Also, the logical fallacy of false dichotomy is rampant; outside the hallowed halls of infantile lazy debate on cable news or the AM dial, one does not prove one’s own ideas on any particular subject are superior by solely providing examples of how those one disagrees with aren’t living up to the perceptions he has of their ideals any more than one disproves the sun revolves around the earth by proving the moon isn’t made of cheese. So there have been some unfortunate developments that Steyn displays- all presented in solitary, anecdotal form- none of which we can glean anything other than those who are supposed to be champions of tolerance are not living up to their own ideals. One has nothing to worry about protecting unpopular speech then, when one never had purported to believe in that ideal in the first place, I suppose. Of course, this can go unspoken when the ideological dog whistles blare the failure of the “other” are schadenfreude for the pigs at the trough. The notion that one can comment on the superiority of conservative free speech ideals without once describing them and by merely lamenting the denigration of “progressive opinion” is self-servingly myopic. One does not become the champion of open and free discourse of unpopular opinion by sitting back and lamenting about the failures of others to do so.

    • edbarbar

      Go for it: your opinion is here in black and white. Let’s have those examples of conservatives disallowing free speech.

      • mistercrispy

        There’s so much of it, it’s mind boggling. Just as a primer, here’s some examples. If voter suppression isn’t an example of free speech infringement, nothing is. What’s more basic to free speech in a democracy than having your voice heard in elections?

        http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/topics/voter-suppression

        Of course, I could post a thousand examples, and it wouldn’t sway you, so why bother? As Steyn would say, in your mind it’s already settled. So what’s to talk about?

        • edbarbar

          Right, you are going to lose your job because you think voter fraud is a non-issue.

          Voter fraud is a serious issue in many countries. Here in the US we require ID for all kinds of things. Why not protect our democracy by ensuring people are actually eligible to vote? Your assertion is that voter fraud in the US, which contaminates votes and hence speech in your definition, is less egregious than someone somewhere who wants to vote but can’t because they can’t get an ID, and no one will help them to. I admit it might be true, but it is not evident to me that it is true.

          Meanwhile, there is no way to know one way or the other, because the vote is not monitored. That requires checking. You can’t do that, now can you?

          A rational response would be to protect our democracy by ensuring eligible voters can vote if they chose to, while ensuring the integrity of the vote. With tens of millions of illegals in the country, it makes sense, doesn’t it?

  • bleedinell

    Brilliant, Mark, as always.
    Carry on………

  • Pip

    Tolerance will be the new black.

  • Whothehell Cares

    I used to be a lefty, till I woke up. Now I’m just left handed.

    • mistercrispy

      Too bad you woke up brainless as well.

      • Whothehell Cares

        Too bad you woke at all.

  • Mark Fox

    Speech has consequences. While there is reasonable cause to be worried about punishing individuals for expressing a point of view you’re really jumping the gun claiming oppression is the norm, especially since most of the ideas you’ve defended above are hugely popular by the groups who hold power (though not uniformly in your examples). Until someone is being threatened, intimidated, violently shunned (yelling fucking Zionist, bad form maybe) or forcibly silenced it’s not *really* oppression is it? It’s just people think you’re ideas are shit, probably because they are regressive, and potentially oppressive. It’s an easy mistake to think that you society should tolerate intolerance. This is false. Intolerance is — ironically — the very single thing you’re allowed to be intolerant of. Pretending that your intolerance towards any religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or really any minority group is at all morally defensible as truly “free” speech… well, it’s beyond me really. But the crybabies want to cry. Whatever.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “Speech has consequences. While there is reasonable cause to be worried about punishing individuals for expressing a point of view you’re really jumping the gun claiming oppression is the norm, especially since most of the ideas you’ve defended above are hugely popular by the groups who hold power (though not uniformly in your examples). Until someone is being threatened, intimidated, violently shunned (yelling fucking Zionist, bad form maybe) or forcibly silenced it’s not *really* oppression is it?”

      When you’re arrested or fired from your job…that can be characterized as oppression if the underlying cause can’t be reasonably and rationally justified. That’s what we’re discussing; where lines should be drawn in speech. The thing is we used to consider that question had already been clearly answered. Communists are allowed to agitate for revolution. Conservatives are only allowed to object in limited ways when enemies agitate for revolution. The standards seem inconsistent and tilted towards the revolutionaries. And in terms of leftist mob reactions, things are only looking worse.

      • mistercrispy

        Yes, yes. Conservatives: always the poor, innocent, helpless victims.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          No, but certainly conservatives have a far better grasp on reality.

          • mistercrispy

            Agreed. A reality where they are always the helpless victims of big, mean, nasty Liberals.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Sure. You’re visions are like prophecies straight from our top astrologists.

    • James Gonzalez

      If you think it’s not oppression to subjugate one group to advance another then you’re just living in la la land. See you don’t mind much cause you’re not the one being targeted. I bet you pride yourself on having a superior capacity for empathy, but it is exactly that that you are deficient in.

    • PatrioticAustralian

      “Intolerance is — ironically — the very single thing you’re allowed to be intolerant of. Pretending that your intolerance towards any religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or really any minority group is at all morally defensible as truly “free” speech… well, it’s beyond me really.”

      Typical brain-dead leftist twaddle. You know, Islam is pretty intolerant. But I guess it gets a pass with you because it’s a religion. Moron!

    • Chance Boudreaux

      More so than speech having consequences is that REALITY has consequences. You Leftards can only keep denying economic, biological, diversity realities for so long.

    • Rand0Mone

      “…claiming oppression is the norm…”
      Oppression *IS* the norm among those on the left. They prove time and time again that the only form of free speech they believe in is when it is in agreement with their own ideas.

    • Dandelo disintegrates

      “Speech has consequences.”
      Not for everyone.

  • TheGrouse

    Yes indeed Mark as I understand it the order is for us to “respect what makes me different, while treating me equally”. In other words apply discrimination but don’t discriminate.

    • mistercrispy

      To people like Steyn, “support free speech” is code for “help me legitimize my Flat Earth style views”.

      • edbarbar

        Actually, to people like you, anti-free speech is supporting the new religion. You are a jackbooted ass.

      • TheGrouse

        Whether you agree with M Steyn’s views is hardly the point. As he says in the article…..one side has cheerfully swapped that apocryphal Voltaire quote about disagreeing with what you say but defending to the death your right to say it for the pithier Ring Lardner line: ‘“Shut up,” he explained.’

      • mohdanga

        What, ‘Flat Earth views’ like mass Muslim immigration to the West threatens our culture, global warming is a scam, big, overspending governments are a threat to our well being?

  • http://allrightforum.blogspot.com/ The American Notice

    If Steyn had real guts, he would admit that the ‘left’ is largely funded and aided and abetted by Jews.

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2011/06/new-york-gay-marriage-follow-the-jewish-money/

    • mistercrispy

      A loyal Spectator subscriber here, I see.

    • Dandelo disintegrates

      I agree with you but in fairness that would be a leap off the tightrope for Steyn.
      And there’d be no safety net.

  • mikewaller

    What a load of self-serving twaddle! Old Putin could not have done better. Find several genuine cases of outrageous abuses of free speech and use them as cover for yet another attempt to defend the indefensible: the often appalling behaviour of our press. The regulatory framework that Leveson has proposed is so arm’s length that it would have the most roguish banker jumping for joy; but as with a horribly indulged child, it isn’t good enough for what we used to call Fleet Street’s finest. Yet its current way of behaving is unquestionably deeply harmful to the national interest. Even in sport, as a contributor to “The Media Show” made clear yesterday, although it claims to want UK sporting success, it is more than happy to settle for deeply destructive treatment of those who are trying to bring this about. If you want it in a nut-shell, consider why the following is the one enduring contribution by Humbert Wolfe to English letters:

    You cannot hope to bribe or twist,
    thank God! the British journalist.
    But, seeing what the man will do
    Unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

  • johnsmith500

    And yet liberals loons prove Steyn right again by attacking him for standing up for the rights of others.

    • mistercrispy

      Complaining about how others are not standing up for the rights of others is not the same as standing up for the rights of others.

      • PatrioticAustralian

        Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.

      • johnsmith500

        Whatever, newly minted troll account. Take a hike.

  • Chris Hobson

    The left have always shut down antithetical views its in their DNA, from communists to the national socialist german workers party to Milibands attempts to take on Murdoch.

  • Oliver_K_Manuel

    Thanks, Mark Steyn, for the courage to speak out.

    National Security became the world’s Puppetmaster after WWII. See Steven Goddard’s discussion of Climategate and “What should we be striving for now?”

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/a-different-view-of-extreme-weather-from-1975/

  • Terry Field

    It is not a slow death; it is galloping along. And the anti-science absurdity of climate change denial is a similar part of the irrationality that underpins this universal, infantile, intolerance and bigotry.
    We will all be the losers for it.

  • QA_NJ

    One of the keys to understanding what the left does is the realization that the left doesn’t have principles. Oh, they talk about principles and as if they think they are important, as they’ve done with free speech, but that’s just a strategy to persuade people who, unlike them, have principles. What this means is that they only follow the principles when they give the left an advantage, like free speech did when they were on the minority side of the culture war. But as soon as it becomes advantageous for them to jettison the principles they pretended they have, they will.

    See, the left never really believed in free speech, democracy, individual liberty, or any of the other principles that they held out like a shield when they were in danger of being silenced themselves. They simply wanted to be free to do their thing and win their war and now that they are winning, they are willing to jettison those principles with haste. Don’t believe it? How can anyone who believes in free speech, liberty, individual rights, or democracy write a column like this? (link below)

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/22/divergent_and_hunger_games_as_capitalist_agitprop/

    • mistercrispy

      I’ll bet this nonsense give you a nice, cozy metaphorical quilt that you can wrap yourself in at night to keep yourself warm.

  • Guest

    The comparison between Islam and Israel is not only nonsensical, but actually quite insulting!

    British politicians, who are proving to be traitors to their own country and to their own people, have the audacity to criticise Israel’s foreign and internal policies? Do you hear Israelis telling the brits how to act? At least Israeli politicians are loyal to their people and their country; what do british politicians want from them? That they open their borders to fanatics, and give aways their tiny strip of land, like you’re doing? How about british politicians leaner a thing or two from israelis loyalty to other Israelis, instead of telling them to give their country away.
    And at least when you criticise us, we ignore you – we don;t go on beheading sprees and burn down british embassies. Are you seriously suggesting that this is remotely comparable?

    On the other hand, we have Muslims, who decapitate a british soldier on a London street, spit on remembrance day marches, call for beheading of infidels, start rioting because of a cartoon, blackmail and threaten their hosts who gave them safety, freedoms and a new home, infiltrate into schools to brainwash children, create ‘Muslim patrols’ in London areas, that intimidate and harass white women, beat up men outside pubs and threaten to kill homosexuals!

    The fact that to certain people think this is comparable, is highly offensive for a proud english jew like myself. I shall not be loyal to a people who are comparing me to barbaric troglodytes, when they are the ones who have invited them into this country, and when they wish to kill people such as myself.

    Get a bloody grip people!

    • MissDemeanor

      you are right, you do have a point, I understand your conflicting feelings, but you did not read the article, did you?

  • Richard N

    Mankind will not die with a bang, nor with whimper. It will just go into a coma.

    And that is what is happening now, in our Brave New World of ever-narrowing ‘acceptable opinions’, running alongside the death of democracy in the West – where the ‘furniture’ of democracy is still there – elections, and so on: it’s just that it is now only there as window dressing, to delude people into believing that it makes any difference who you vote for.

    The Supreme Court in the US has just ruled that giant US corporations can give as much money as they want to ensure that someone who will do what they want in Congress will be elected. Thus, gross corruption is now legalised – and the US Congress is no more than a bought and paid for body to pursue the interests of their corporate sponsors.

    In the EU, you can vote for whoever you want: it’s just that it won’t make any difference to the actions and policies of the government of the EU – the totally unelected EU Commission, who can carry on regardless of the make-up of the powerless EU pretend ‘Parliament’, which does not even have the power to introduce new laws – which most vital of all powers is held solely by the unelected EU Commission.

    The media of the entire Western world,is now clearly centrally controlled to have a homogenous collection of ‘messages’ on political matters. In the Ukraine situation, for example, Russia is labelled by all Western media as the ‘aggressor’ – even though it only responded to a US / EU-backed coup to put their puppet into control, who immediately signed Ukraine over to the EU empire.

    With the entire Western media machine under centralised control, with all opinions which do not fall within an approved range which is non-threatening to those in control of this conspiracy – for that is what it is, without question – and with democracy now effectively meaningless, we are already in Brave New World.

  • anosrep

    Anyone remember when the Spectator was a serious magazine with intelligent writers?

    • BenInNY

      Yeah, it was the day before yesterday.

  • rjbh

    Voltaire Sir, i may not agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it.

  • http://thedamnedoldeman.com Walter Romans

    Forty years ago it was the liberal/progressive who fought to defend basic civil rights like freedom of speech. Today it is they who fight to abolish those rights. When the liberals were fighting for power the right to voice one’s dissent was imperative. Now that they hold power, it is that very right that must be abolished. I am reminded of the saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I am also amazed at the irony of their claim that they must abolish dissent in the name of toleramnce and diversity.

  • http://www.lblakenelson.wordpress.com LBLAKEN

    The “president” of Brandeis would have been better served to admit the truth, that he and his fellow administrators are scared of muslim extremist nutbags who might visit jihad upon their fair university should they develop the cajones to have Ayaan Hirsi Ali accept an honorary degree for her bravery in the face of muslim beautification. My hat off to you, sir, for making this political arena bearable, for without your wit and satire, I would surely perish from a broken heart.

    • IskurBlast

      They are not scared of violence. Rich Muslims pay full tuition. Every collage campus in this country is littered with Muslims from rich families paying full tuition. The reason Islam has gotten to the top of the liberal totem pole is money. Islam controls the universities through money. Therefore they control the entire left-wing movement in the western world.

  • NonPCconservative

    One of the main problems is this “multiculturalism” garbage that people have been allowed to spout for years without any challenge. The problem with multiculturalism is that there are just too many different viewpoints to keep everybody happy so tolerance is relied upon.

    The problem is that tolerance is only really widely practiced by western civilization (wait for the cries of cultural bigotry) and when muslims are added to the mix they only tolerate that which they approve of and nothing else is tolerable.

    I’m still waiting for somebody to show me the supposed benefits of cultural diversity. Where are the benefits in Malaysia where one portion of the “diverse” have special priveliges? Where are they in Indonesia where the minorities rights are curtailed? Where was the benefit in Kosovo, Rwanda, India (pre-Partition), Nigeria, Liberia and all of the other countries where multiculturalism added so much to everyday life?

    When all of these other cultures are demanding equal rights and special treatment we get fascism just as we are seeing in the death of free speech.

  • http://www.geoffreylambert.com Geoffrey Lambert

    Take a leaf out of Gandhi’s book, attend every rally, discussion, etc of people whose views you disagree with to support their right to have their views. Don’t let apathy allow the political correctness tyrants to dominate the legislative agenda.

  • Phil

    Thank you Mark Steyn for the lucidity of your article. Being able to articulate the condition of the societies, so many in the west now have to experience.

  • StephanieJCW

    And he hasn’t given one example of the “slow death of free speech” – no police, no arrests, no disappeared people. Just people using their freedom to voice unpopular views….and other people using their freedom to respond to said views. That’s what the Steyns don’t understand – free speech doesn’t mean people are prevented from reacting to what you have said (as long as it is not with violence). Your free speech isn’t impacted. It still exists. None of those people have had their right to speak removed. They are and Steyn are just miffed because others are vocal in expressing their disagreement.

    • Jimmy

      Do seriosiously believe what you’re saying? Shouting down someone at a meeting isn’t “responding to said views”–it’s bullying and illiberal behavior. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was not allowed to speak on campus. And all of the other efforts cited go against liberal values. “Free Speech” is not just some value that’s the responsibility of government, if people are truly liberal, they should welcome diversity of thought in all contexts.

      • StephanieJCW

        Ali wasn’t prevented from giving a talk, she wasn’t awarded an honorary degree. What does that have to do with free speech. And in the other instance yes it may have been a rude thing to do but it is nothing to do with free speech. You and Steyn don’t merely want free speech, you want freedom to force others into always giving you a platform and free from criticism.

        This very article neatly demonstrates how false Steyn’s argument is. In every instance an individual had a right to free speech, they don’t have the right to insist everybody reacts positively/gives them a platform. The fact I wouldn’t let the BNP have a meeting in my home isn’t evidence of me preventing them from having free speech.

        • Jimmy

          There’s a difference between the BNP having a meeting in your home and shouting down someone in a public forum. And you insist on conflating childish bullying with “free from criticism.” There’s an adult, civil way to criticize, and there’s an intolerant, infantile way. Steyn is making the point that the infantile way is becoming more prevalent.

          And these instances have everything to do with the values of free speech. The people doing the bullying evince intolerance. Not “welcoming people” is exactly not welcoming diversity of thought–that is, by definition really, an illiberal action.

          • Jim Palmer

            If that were truly the case, then Steyn would also take to task the conservatives out there who call Obama a Muslim, a Kenyan, a Socialist, and a terrorist and who keep asking to see his birth certificate. He’d also take to task the personal insults that spew from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck… the list is too long and too nauseating to go through in its entirety.

            The fact that he doesn’t shows that he’s not concerned about civility in political discourse–he’s just whining because public opinion is going against conservatives, and he’s scared.

          • Equality7-2521

            Obama’s time in a madrasa is why people call him a Muslim.
            http://victoriajackson.com/7188/obama-is-the-muslim-brotherhood

            You can start by trying to explain away his school picture…

            Obama’s book sleeve admission of being from Kenya is why people call him a Kenyan.
            http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/17/The-Vetting-Barack-Obama-Literary-Agent-1991-Born-in-Kenya-Raised-Indonesia-Hawaii

            Not that it matters, since his mom was a citizen…

            Obama’s policies of socializing medicine (Obamacare) and industry (GM) are why people call him a socialist.

            Terrorist? I don’t think he has the courage to be a terrorist. He only acts when he has big money (Soros) or small minds (Progressives) behind him.

            Your president is an unmitigated disaster. Yet somehow, you still worship Dear Leader. How very Maoist of you…

          • mohdanga

            So Steyn is supposed to take to task anyone you lefties deem to be offensive. Uh, OK. How many lefty commentators do the same when drivel spouts from the mouths of their fellow moronic left wing friends? The list is too long and too nauseating to go through in its entirety.

            “…he’s just whining because public opinion is going against conservatives, and he’s scared.” Yes, Steyn is certainly scared of you lefties. Dopey comment of the day.

          • Jim Palmer

            Mr. Mohdanga, can you actually read?

            I never said Steyn was scared of lefties. I said, “He’s just whining because public opinion is going against conservatives, and he’s scared.”

            And public opinion IS going against conservatives. This is really beyond debate–look at poll results in the U.S. (I don’t care what goes on in the Commonwealth–it’s an anachronistic irrelevance, and its members generally just do what the U.S. tells them to do anyhow) on topics like marijuana legalization, gay marriage, environmental policy, and other hot-button topics. The results of all these polls show that the majority is far to the left of what people like Mr. Steyn advocate.

            Naturally Mr. Steyn and his ilk are scared. They’ve hitched their wagon to a dying ideology, and they realize they’re getting left behind. I feel bad for them, in a way.

            If you’d like to learn more about conservative terror in the face of a shifting zeitgeist, I recommend you read Richard Hofstadter’s seminal book “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” It describes perfectly what Mr. Steyn and his fellow travelers are going through.

          • mohdanga

            I doubt very much that Steyn is scared. As for your assertion that the world is turning left, you may discount the Commonwealth but it has elected conservative governments in the last number of election cycles, and right wing parties are rising in many European countries so conservatism is not exactly a ‘dying ideology’. The US with Obama at the helm will continue to decline due to his infatuation with allowing tens of millions of illegals in and his cozying up to Muslims.

          • Jim Palmer

            Sigh.

            Mr. Mohdanga, once again… are you actually capable of reading? I said U.S. polls. I really don’t care about the Commonwealth. It’s irrelevant. Whatever your population may or may not want, you’ll do what we tell you to do anyhow. Invade Iraq with us, we said. “Yessah, boss!” crowed Mr. Blair. Join us for a jaunt through your former (attempted) colony of Afghanistan, we asked. “Sure thing!” said Mr. Blair. And of course, Canada and Australia jumped on the bandwagon, too.

            So I really could care less what the people of the Commonwealth think, because it doesn’t matter.

            Now as for your assertion about Mr. Obama’s “infatuation with allowing tens of millions of illegals in…” Again, let’s look at the facts. Like, you know, deportation figures from the INS:

            “If you instead compare the two presidents’ monthly averages, it works out to 32,886 for Obama and 20,964 for Bush, putting Obama clearly in the lead. ”

            That’s from Politifact. Got any stats to bolster your statements?

          • mohdanga

            Geez, I don’t know, how about Obama interfering in Arizona’s illegal immigration law because it conflicted with his goal of giving citizenship to illegals.
            Are you capable of thinking? The Democrats want more poor third worlders to ensure a larger voting base in the future. All these immigrants just love the free stuff the government gives to them, that’s why Democrats poll well. But when the money runs out it’ll be a different story.
            And of course you ignore my comment about European right wing/conservative political parties gaining strength…after all, the population of these countries is only a few hundred million.

          • Jim Palmer

            I ignored it because, once again, you made an assertion without providing a single fact to back it up.

            Now, again, with a little digging, we can probably find some facts to counter your arguments.

            If by “conservative/right wing political parties gaining strength,” you mean an upsurge in the membership of neofascist political parties, you’re right. There has been growth in that area, which is completely predictable and understandable. This happens every time there’s financial unrest. But here’s a different question–how many of these parties actually gained parliamentary representation?

            As for “Obama interfering in Arizona’s illegal immigration law”–again, you got a citation for that from a reputable source? And again, how do you explain the fact that, as far as the deportation of illegals goes, Obama has outstripped both Clinton AND Dubya? If he was really trying to increase his base… why would he do such a thing?

            And while we’re at it, care to explain why the Republicans have completely reversed course on both amnesty and the “road to citizenship”?

        • mohdanga

          Try googling ‘Mark Steyn and Canadian Human Rights Commission’ to see how Muslims respond to free speech.

          “Ali wasn’t prevented from giving a talk, she wasn’t awarded an honorary degree. What does that have to do with free speech. And in the other instance yes it may have been a rude thing to do but it is nothing to do with free speech. You and Steyn don’t merely want free speech, you want freedom to force others into always giving you a platform and free from criticism.” She was prevented from speaking because Muslims don’t like what she says and they intimidated those who invited her to do so. Please provide examples of Steyn demanding a platform to speak and silencing of those critical of him. He already has many platforms to do so, it’s the left that are demanding he not have these platforms. Steyn will debate the lefty,multiculti, Islamic appeasing lefties wherever and whenever they want.

      • StephanieJCW

        I disagree with your definition of ‘liberal’, you can tolerate someone’s right to hold a view and oppose attempts to punish them/have them face legal sanctions for expressing such views but you don’t have to welcome them and offer them a platform to be a liberal. I ca choose not to welcome the views of those who think rape should not be crime, without it being illiberal.

    • PatrioticAustralian

      “None of those people have had their right to speak removed.”

      Google ‘Andrew Bolt’, you ignoramus.

  • Jim Palmer

    Mr. Steyn has, as usual, written an article that reveals more about his own limitations and hypocrisy than about the topic it purports to address.

    He draws some ridiculously broad conclusions about about the current state of culture based on a few anecdotes, but cites no statistics or any substantive policy review to bolster his claims–just a few isolated instances that he extrapolates into a vast left-wing conspiracy bent on shutting down conservative opinion.

    But the trouble with anecdotal evidence is that the other side can always come up with anecdotes that counter yours.

    Mr. Steyn conveniently ignores the dismissal from their jobs of both Helen Thomas and Norman Finkelstein, who expressed anti-Zionist opinions. He ignores Phil Robertson, who was reinstated to “Duck Dynasty” after making anti-gay remarks; and he fails to mention Ozzie Guillen, who was penalized by the Florida Marlins for making pro-Castro remarks. Are we to draw from these cases the conclusion that there’s a vast conservative conspiracy bent on shutting down liberal opinion?

    Mr. Steyn, either because he’s being disingenuous or out of genuine ignorance, completely glosses over the real issue, which is that the six corporate conglomerates which control 90% of all global media aren’t interested in ideology. They’re interested in profits–and they will shut down anyone whose opinions threaten their bottom line.

    Mr. Steyn also apparently conflates disagreement with censorship. Climate-change deniers certainly have the right to be heard, and they are–anyone who conducts serious objective analysis of current UK or US environmental policy would certainly conclude that the climate-change deniers have carried the day. But then he whines about the fact that serious scientists in the same field (97% of them at last count) have attacked, and rightfully so, the conclusions of the deniers–and then he whines about the rough treatment the guys on his side of the fence have received. Apparently, free speech is okay when conservatives exercise it, but when liberals and leftists exercise that same right to free speech to attack conservatives, then it’s persecution.

    Finally, I find it revealing that Mr. Steyn decries–justifiably–the nastiness of the Left’s attacks, but then turns right around and insults the Left by calling them “thugs,” “sniveling while males,” “London luvvies,” and “enforcers.”

    This screed is just another example of conservatives screaming “PERSECUTION!” when someone disagrees with them, an exercise in cherrypicking and selective reporting, and hypocrisy. Shame on Mr. Steyn.

    • Jimmy

      You conflate incidents that have nothing to do with each other. And you misrepresent lots of facts.

      Simply put–get in straight. There’s a big difference between strongly opposing someone and shutting down their ability to respond completely (“the debate is over”)

      • Jim Palmer

        Really? Which incidents did I conflate? And which facts did I represent? Could you be more specific? I know, it’ll be a strain on you–conservatives hate to be specific, because it involves using facts, which conservatives just don’t like in the least. They prefer mythology.

        Now who shut someone down completely, and where is that being done? Again, can you provide examples of this?

        • mohdanga

          Steyn was hauled before 3 different ‘Human Rights’ commissions in Canada because he wrote articles that Muslims didn’t like. He was accused of ‘hate speech’ and only because he and Macleans magazine had the balls and money (hundreds of thousands of dollars) to fight these trumped up kangaroo courts were the charges ‘dismissed’ and the section of the law that allowed this debacle to be repealed. Many others who don’t have the financial werewithal to fight these ‘charges’ have had their right to free speech denied. How’s that for an example.
          Steyn doesn’t want to deny the global warming alarmists their right to spout their unproven theories. Why are the Michael Mann’s of this mob so bent on denying his right to speak his mind? They are so threatened by him that they want to sue, harass, shut down him and others who oppose them. But, in your liberal mind, this is an example of left wing ‘free speech’.
          “…conservatives hate to be specific, because it involves using facts, which conservatives just don’t like in the least. They prefer mythology.” Ha, ha, give this guy a prize, laugher of the day!! Any evidence for your 97% of scientists support global warming theories statement?
          Steyn can certainly handle the insults that the left and his opponents lob at him. It’s the left that are bent on restricting free speech and criticism of anything they find ‘offensive’.

          • Jim Palmer

            Mohdanga: “Ha, ha, give this guy a prize, laugher of the day!! Any evidence for your 97% of scientists support global warming theories statement?”

            Why, certainly I can provide some evidence, thank you for asking. Here’s a page from a lil’ ol’ website you may never have heard of. It’s called NASA.gov.

            http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus

          • Jim Palmer

            And just because conservatives of your stripe, Mr. Mohdanga, sometimes need a little help noticing the obvious:

            Mr. Steyn was acquitted.

            He wasn’t imprisoned or fined, Maclean’s wasn’t forced to cease or even suspend publication, and his right of free speech was upheld.

            I’d also point out that it wasn’t some “liberal” conspiracy trying to bring down this brave, brave crusader for free speech–it was a consortium of Muslim groups.

            Now, little troll, don’t you have a bridge you need to be sitting under, waiting for the billy goats gruff to come trip-trapping by?

          • mohdanga

            So Steyn writes a book that Muslims don’t like and he and his publisher have to spend hundreds of thousands defending his right to free speech because someone’s feelings were hurt? Here’s a newsflash for you Mr. Mensa, it’s not just the Muslims that launch these suits but anyone who doesn’t like what someone else says. Is this what your thick brain thinks free speech is?? Having to spend hundreds of thousands and suspend your life while some kangaroo court determines whether someone’s feelings were hurt? As Steyn has said a number of times, it’s the process not the penalty that causes people to keep their mouths shut. But pea brained liberals like yourself think the ‘system’ works just fine when it’s Steyn in the dock….but don’t worry, lefties like you will get your chance to experience the same eventually. Now crawl back to your ‘Progressive Studies’ course and leave the debating to the adults.

          • Jim Palmer

            Wasn’t a book, sonny. It was a series of articles published in Maclean’s. Again, get your facts straight.

            And let’s see. “Here’s a newsflash for you Mr. Mensa, it’s not just the Muslims that launch these suits but anyone who doesn’t like what someone else says. Is this what your thick brain thinks free speech is??”

            Launching a lawsuit is part of the process of free speech–the right do so is protection against slander and libel.

            Now I challenge you to find where I said anything about it being fine that Steyn was in the dock. Personally, I think it’s disgraceful that legal action was brought against him (but then again, the Commonwealth doesn’t have the same First Amendment rights that we enjoy in the U.S.). And, even as much as I disagree with him, I’m glad he was acquitted.

            You conservatives do love your strawman arguments, don’t you?

          • mohdanga

            Try getting your facts straight, the Maclean’s article was an excerpt from Steyn’s book ‘America Alone’.
            Launching a lawsuit is a part of the process of free speech….now this statement takes the cake. Where was the libel and slander involved in Steyn’s case? So you believe that anyone who offends someone with his opinion should be forced to pony up hundreds of thousands to defend his opinion? Brilliant.

          • Jim Palmer

            Mr. Mohdanga… once again, you are guilty of either sloppy research or deliberate falsehood. Since you aren’t very intelligent, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say sloppy research.

            The complaint brought before the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission was not lodged against either Mr. Steyn personally nor his book. They were brought against Maclean’s Magazine, and Mr. Steyn’s article was one–and only one–of 18 different articles included in the complaint. Neither Mr. Steyn personally was indicted, nor was the publisher of his book.

            Now once again, you’re guilty of the strawman. I didn’t say that anyone who offends someone with his opinion should be forced to pony up hundreds of thousands. In fact, I said just the opposite, didn’t I? I said it was shameful that a complaint was lodged and prosecuted, and furthermore, I said that I was glad he was acquitted.

            However, just as he is free to write what he likes–and Maclean’s is free to publish it–other individuals and organizations have the right to defend themselves from libel and slander. This is part and parcel of living in a free society. Steyn and Maclean’s exercised their rights–the Canadian Islamic Congress exercised theirs.

            If you don’t like the cost, take it up with the lawyers who represented Maclean’s.

          • mohdanga

            You mean this survey? “However, although the survey was sent to over 10,000 scientists, there were actually only 79 responses from climatologists, so the 97% figure represented just 75 individuals. [The Hockey Schtick broke this news here] And what was not reported in the paper or in any of the ensuing publicity was that many participants were appalled by the survey and recorded their feelings at the time, calling it simplistic and biased, and suggesting that it was an attempt to provide support for a predetermined view.”
            http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/09/22/contrary-to-reports-global-warming-studies-dont-show-97-of-scientists-fear-global-warming-the-97-figure-represented-just-75-individuals-another-studys-results-add-up-to-little/
            And how about these scientists: “http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/08/21/un-scientists-who-have-turned-on-unipcc-man-made-climate-fears-a-climate-depot-flashback-report/

          • Jim Palmer

            Ah, Climate Depot! Now that’s a good source. Let’s do a little digging about your source, shall we?

            Let’s see, who runs it? Aha. Mark Morano. Who is a former Director of Communications for Rep. Jim Inhofe, who receives most of his campaign funding from… surprise… the fossil fuel industry.

            And who funds Climate Depot? Why, that’d be billionaire businessman Richard Mellon Scaife, who’s a big funder of other conservative “thinktanks,” and who funds it through CFACT, his own in-house PAC.

            So. I cited NASA… you cited a paid shill for the fossil fuel industry.

            Again, the conservative mindset in action: if it’s on the Internet, it must be true, right?

          • mohdanga

            There are numerous links showing the same statistical manipulation, I picked the one that your small brain could understand.
            And how much money has Al Gore (the acclaimed climate scientist) made from his carbon trading companies? But you lefties use his discredited film as the basis of your scientific expertise.

          • Jim Palmer

            Sooooo many strawmen, soooo little time.

            If there are links from a reputable source–not a source directly funded by people who have a lot to gain from the production and consumption of fossil fuels–I’d be interested to see them.

            I don’t know. How much HAS Al Gore made from his carbon-trading companies? Do you have a source for that?

            Mr. Mohdanga, I’ve just debunked every one of your arguments in two different threads. Aren’t you getting tired yet, or are you just a glutton for punishment?

          • mohdanga

            Yup, thoroughly debunked. Free speech according to you means having to spend thousands to defend an opinion from someone’s hurt feelings. Funny how you don’t have a response to the links to the many scientists that have resigned from the IPCC…or are they pawns of the oil industry as well? So keep patting yourself on the back as to how smart you are.

          • effinayright

            Funny how you consider warmistas who make their living through government grants as NOT having a lot to gain from the production of computer models that favor AGW.

            Funny still, that the models have been proven wrong.

            A niggling detail you would like to overlook, I’m sure.

          • Jim Palmer

            Got a citation for that assertion? A citation from a reputable source? Or is that a niggling detail you’d like me not to notice?

            Once again, conservatives make fatuous statements and expect them to be swallowed whole.

          • Renaissance Nerd

            There’s no point in citing a ‘reputable source.’ Anyone who disagrees with you is automatically disreputable. So it can’t be done. As you discount logic in favor of your faith in advanced degrees, your arguments are unassailable. You never get anywhere arguing religion with a priest.

          • Jim Palmer

            Mmmmmm, no, you’re mistaken. If you show me data from a reputable source–and by reputable, I mean one that isn’t funded in toto by someone who has something to gain from it–I’ll take it seriously.

            I don’t discount logic at all. Logic tells me that the people who have put in the time and the work to get an advanced degree know more about the topic than I do. Thus, logically, I should take what they have to say seriously.

          • Renaissance Nerd

            That’s the problem–the sources you list as reputable are indeed paid for by somebody who has something to gain from it. They get the results they’re paid to get. My point is: if you have 10s of billions going to prove that AGW is true, and 10s of millions going to prove it’s untrue, which side is likely to be bigger? Your logic is flawed; those who put in the time and work to get and advanced degree may be failures in other parts of life and compensate by trying to be the smarty-pants in the room. I know; I’m a nerd. I listen to my doctors, of course; but I know perfectly well that most of the time they’re merely making educated guesses. I have never been more frightened than when I realized (20 years ago) that doctors use exactly the same diagnostic method I used in trying to figure out what was wrong with a computer. The only difference is that they couldn’t swap out parts and verify; it’s far more difficult and dangerous, and lots of people die every year because of bad guesses. This is not to say that I discount whatever anybody with an advanced degree says automatically, but I also don’t accept it automatically. I treat them with the same skepticism I do everyone else. Two very important things to remember, no matter who you’re dealing with and no matter how smart they appear to be: caveat emptor and qui bono? And above even those, power corrupts, and who will watch the watchmen? I believe in trust but verify, and Stoic logic, at least, is on my side. Never did trust the Aristotelian version, since it was used to disprove atoms.

          • effinayright

            You really ARE an a-hole. You have committed the Ad Hominem Fallacy without addressing the actual analysis of the 97% figure.

          • Jim Palmer

            Wel! I’d certainly hate to be an a-hole! Let’s address these!

            The above article–posted by Mark Morano and funded by Mr. Mellon–cites two studies: the Zimmerman/Kendall study and the Anderegg study.

            It does not, however, cite the original study which fist mentioned the 97% figure, which was the Oreskes study, which was published in Science Magazine (I know, I know–how can you trust anything in Science Magazine? Peer-reviewed papers don’t stand up to anything Glenn Beck says, right?) and funded by the AAAS.

            The Oreskes study was not a survey. It was a review of the scientific literature on the topic, which found that 97% of the scientists who had published peer-reviewed studies all came to the same conclusion: anthropogenic climate change is a fact.

            Now, as to the legitimacy of the article posted above–the fact that an argument is ad hominem doesn’t necessarily invalidate it. But I’m not a climatologist, and neither are you, which is why it behooves us to listen to the experts. And neither is Mr. Morano, who runs the site and is paid by a billionaire with significant holdings in fossil fuel corporations… and neither is Mr. Montford, the actual author of the piece, who, by the way, makes some rather fatuous statements about the methodology, and who, much like other conservatives, never bothers to back up his assertions, and when challenged, screams, “PERSECUTION! THOUGHT POLICE!!! LIBERAL CONSPIRACY!!!!”, which is a tactic that serves to convince morons.

            Like yourself.

          • haveittodayray

            Well said. Ayaan Hirsi Ali should be honored around the World for honesty about Islam she is a former Muslim that speaks from her personal experience. Further comment here: http://wp.me/p2GpDB-dQ

    • effinayright

      Heh. It’s YOU who repeatedly asks for “reputable sources” for their comments.

      So how about YOU offering reputable sources for that “97% at last count” line?

      Anyone who actually follows the AGW debate knows that the figure is utterly pulled from thin air, by boiling down statistics and collecting the vapors.

      But go ahead: give us your “reputable sources”. NOT people repeating the statistic, but the actual source(s) of it.

      • Jim Palmer

        Sigh. I’ve done so already, but here it is. It’s from NASA.

        Is that reputable enough?

        http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus

        • Jim Palmer

          And here’s one from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, published in Science Magazine. Likewise reputable enough?

          http://www.sciencemag.org/content/306/5702/1686.full

          • Jim Palmer

            You’ll notice, Mr. Effinay, that it wasn’t a “survey” that resulted in that 97% figure. It was a review of the literature on the subject.

            You conservatives just love to lie and obfuscate, don’t you?

          • Joe A Gonzalez

            May I first begin by applauding you. Your counterstrike against effinayright was quick and perfectly linked. You truly are a well trained troll. What I really enjoy about you leftist trolls is really the depths of dishonesty you will dive too. There is no gutter, sewer or ancient catacomb you won’t lower yourself, to ensure the wrong, faked, facts get into the rant. This is like watching the birth of what must be a new psychological diagnosis of sustained perpetual lying. I never thought I would ever meet someone like a true fascist liberal, so self contained in their amniotic fluid of delusion they have convinced what at some point during their development must have been a functioning brain to believe what the mouth is gibbering on about. You chirp along happily content in the belief you are creating the brave new world where everyone will think what you think and act as you act, you are a unrivaled fool.
            I could continue to pound you into the dirt dissecting your juvenile thoughts and your 3rd rate defense of everything stupid and if my many years on this Earth have taught me anything is that is something I like doing. But don’t think your deserve anything more than me pissing on your face and I will warm you that so many other like myself are rapidly approaching my point of view. Not today, not tomorrow but one day and sooner than you think, your ass is going to have to cash the check your moronic mouth has written. What a glorious day that will be for all you.

          • Jim Palmer

            Well, I hate to contradict you… actually, that’s not true. I like contradicting conservatives. It’s not only easy, it’s fun, and one continues to nourish the hope that some day, some salient point may actually break through the crust, worm its way into their thick skulls, and illuminate them.

            But how I digress. Mr. Gonzalez, you haven’t “pounded me into the ground.” I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it would take some real facts, and some genuine argumentative skill, to do so.

            You’ve shown neither.

            What you’ve done is hurl insults the way monkeys throw feces, attempt to sound more intelligent than you are by throwing together sentences so convoluted as to completely obscure their meaning (“This is like watching the birth of what must be a new psychological diagnosis of sustained perpetual lying) and make empty threats, and you’ve done so in a manner marked by poor grammar, stilted rhetoric, and all-around bad writing. These are characteristics that generally mark conservative discourse.

            If you have a point to make or a genuine criticism to make, I’d invite it… but I’m afraid it’s just going to be more of the same violent invective (“pound you into the ground,” “piss on your face,” etc… why do you conservatives always fall back on violence?) that exhibits a complete bankruptcy of ideas and a desperate attempt to wound, rather than dialog with, your opponent.

          • Renaissance Nerd

            And yet, and yet. Since countervailing opinions are not allowed in ‘reputable’ journals, it’s hardly surprising that they all agree with each other. You don’t even realize that AGW is undermining the credit of science and scientists in a way that nothing else has since the 1600s. Your so-called reputable sources are no longer trusted, because they have demonstrated their perfidy, yes, even NASA. They can salve their reputation even now, however, by releasing all their data for review by other scientists. But they won’t, only the club gets to share the data, and strangely enough the members of the club all come to the same conclusion. Shocking! You really need to read the emails from Climategate. These guys are nothing but hucksters, not scientists.

          • Jim Palmer

            Do you read academic journals? Because if you did, you’d realize that there is a great deal of debate in them.

            But tell me, Renaissance Nerd, and again, I’m serious–where do you get your information? And how do you know it’s valid?

        • JR2020

          NASA was home to the hyper-political climate scare-monger James Hansen. So there’s lots of room for skepticism of NASA’s statements on climate change.

          Anyway, since around 2009 when that 97% consensus number was published it has been so thoroughly examined and found wanting that it has become a joke.

          http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=97%25

          • Jim Palmer

            Okay, I’ll bite. So whom should we believe? Which sources are above reproach?

          • Yashmak

            Good question. In empirical science, NO source is above reproach. . .and there’s no such thing as “settled science”.

          • JR2020

            Jim, Reply above (by mistake to myself :()

          • JR2020

            Good question, Jim. It’s probably easier to identify who should not be trusted – for example, as Yashmak suggests, anyone who claims the science is “settled”. Also I wouldn’t trust anyone who labels those with contrary viewpoints as “deniers”, or who has a radical environmental or political agenda.

            However, in general, the climate system is enormously complex and there are significant gaps in our understand of it, so we should approach any published science with a skeptical attitude. It’s the scientific thing to do.

            Aside from that I’d recommend that people look carefully at both the expert arguments and the expert counterarguments, especially, in the case climate science, the latter because they tend to be less well known and even less well understood.

    • Yashmak

      “Mr. Steyn conveniently ignores the dismissal from their jobs of both
      Helen Thomas and Norman Finkelstein, who expressed anti-Zionist
      opinions.”

      Wouldn’t that actually SUPPORT the point of his article? The whole point of your comment confuses. Are you seriously criticizing him for not including each and every example of incidents like these which have occurred recently?

      “Mr. Steyn also apparently conflates disagreement with censorship.”

      No, he does not. He describes attempts at censorship as censorship.

      “Climate-change deniers certainly have the right to be heard”

      And yet, in direct contradiction to your notions about “conflating disagreement”, we have several examples of censorship on just this very issue that are close at hand. To wit, the LA Times recently made public that it will no longer print articles that question global warming/climate change/whatever the goal-posts have been moved to this month.

      “This screed is just another example of conservatives screaming “PERSECUTION!””

      No, it’s another example of a conservative attempting to remind those on the left who would throw free speech away, what it is they’re attempting to throw away. Unfortunately, you provide an shining example of the typical response from the left: “SHUT UP.”

      • Jim Palmer

        To your first point, Mr. Yashmak, it really doesn’t support the point of the article, or what I was saying.

        My disagreement with Mr. Steyn’s article was with his claim that there is some kind of liberal conspiracy that’s bent on silencing conservatives. What I said–I thought clearly, although apparently not–was that there is no liberal agenda driving censorship, it’s a commercial agenda.

        Simply put, the corporate conglomerates which control media don’t censor viewpoints which counter theirs, they censor opinions that threaten their bottom lines. And by mentioning the cases of anti-Zionists who got the ax, I was contradicting Mr. Steyn’s contention that Zionists suffer unfairly. He singles out Zionists–or people friendly to Israel–as victims of this “leftist” world-view. I pointed out that anti-Zionists have also been silenced, which gives the lie to his point.

        I fully support Mr. Steyn’s right to write what he likes, and I support the right of the Spectator to publish what it likes. At no point did I say or imply “SHUT UP.” What I said was, “I disagree.”

        As to your other point, you’re slightly mistaken. The LA Times did NOT say it wouldn’t print articles that question climate change/global warming/whatever. It said that it would no longer print letters to the editor questioning it. A small distinction, but an important one. And here’s why, in the words of Jon Healey, the letters editor, why they made that decision:

        “…When deciding which letters should run among hundreds on such weighty matters as climate change, I must rely on the experts — in other words, those scientists with advanced degrees who undertake tedious research and rigorous peer review.

        And those scientists have provided ample evidence that human activity is indeed linked to climate change. Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a body made up of the world’s top climate scientists — said it was 95% certain that we fossil-fuel-burning humans are driving global warming. The debate right now isn’t whether this evidence exists (clearly, it does) but what this evidence means for us.

        Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying “there’s no sign humans have caused climate change” is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.”

        http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-climate-change-letters-20131008,0,871615.story#ixzz2zeBS7ejW

        And before you point to this as an example of “liberal censorship,” let me point out that the LA Tribune is owned by the Tribune Group, which is, in turn, owned by Sam Zell, who, in 2011, donated over $200,000 to conservative SuperPACs.

        Not exactly a liberal conspiracy at work silencing its critics here.

        • Renaissance Nerd

          You don’t even see that you’re doing it now, do you? You take your opinion, and the opinion of people with advanced degrees, as gospel, and anyone who disagrees is arguing with ‘the facts.’ There were plenty of nazis with advanced degrees; getting an advanced degree is no guarantee of rectitude or nobility. So just go ahead and admit it. You’re on board with silencing conservatives who argue with ‘the facts.’

          If everyone with advanced degrees agreed that the Sun circles the Earth (as once they did) it doesn’t make it true. So if a Galileo shows up and demonstrates the falsehood of the AGW fraud conclusively, we’ll never hear it, because he’s arguing against ‘the facts.’ The left has become everything it once pretended to hate.

          • Jim Palmer

            You’re wrong on both counts. I’m not at all on board with silencing conservatives. I wrote in another thread that I thought it was disgraceful that Maclean’s Magazine and Mr. Steyn were indicted before Human Rights Commissions in Canada.

            I’m not for silencing him. I’m saying I disagree with what he’s saying.

            As to your second point, by no means do I take the “opinion” of people with advanced degrees as gospel. And no one should. There’s enough disagreement between professional scientists that laypeople ought to be cautious about what comes out of the academy.

            I do, however, recognize that the people with advanced degrees know more about the topic than I do. They aren’t sharing their “opinions.” They’re sharing the results of their research.

            This is why, when I’m sick, I go to the doctor. Doctors know more about the human body than I do. Largely because they put in the time and effort to get an advanced degree.

            But tell me, if you disregard what people with advanced degrees have to say because some Nazis also held advanced degrees, where do you get your information, and how do you know it’s valid?

            I’m being quite serious when I ask this.

          • Renaissance Nerd

            You’re quite wrong. They are expressing opinions, even doctors. In every case.

          • Jim Palmer

            Well, I may be wrong, although I’ll take that diagnosis with a grain of salt, coming from someone who clearly doesn’t know what an opinion is.

            But I notice you ducked the question, Renaissance Nerd, so I’ll ask it again: where do you get your information? And how do you know it’s valid?

          • Renaissance Nerd

            I get it from opinions. I deduce political bent (if necessary) and form my own opinions based on what I glean from others. I have a few solid beliefs and a lot of nebulous ones, but I believe that about the only place you’ll find honesty in any media today is in opinion pieces, whether editorial, letter to the editor, blog, or comments like these. I pay no mind to actual news stories any more, because they always include too much bias.

            Also I read a lot. Adam Smith, Frances Hutcheson, Dugald Stewart–the Scottish Enlightenment is my philosophical home. I also like the Stoics, particularly Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius despite his failings as a daddy.

            When I said in another comment that you set logic aside it was not meant as an insult. I am dubious of logic and reason, because in most cases they are post facto rationalization of preexisting prejudices. I use reason and logic, of course, but I don’t trust in them overmuch, they are merely tools that can be helpful or hurtful depending on how they are used.

          • Jim Palmer

            So what do Francis Dugald and Marcus Aurelius have to say on the topic of global warming?

            You’ve got a nice reading list, but it still doesn’t answer the question. Coming back to the question of anthropogenic climate change,specifically, you don’t buy it, or so you seem to imply–I do. So I’m curious now as to what your sources are, and why you find them valid.

          • Renaissance Nerd

            I don’t buy AGW at all, because the solution doesn’t ever fit the problem. And it’s always the same solution; fascism is all that can save us from doomsday! Silent Spring! World fascism now! Coming ice age! World fascism now! Ozone hole and acid rain! World fascism now! It’s always about government control over individuals, decreasing freedom and restricting the economic prospects of the middle class. If they ever attempted to come up with a solution that didn’t line their own pockets while promoting the power of their sugar daddies in government, I might be inclined to listen. So long as we get nothing but one doomsday scenario after another for which the only solution is to increase the power of the very people paying the oracles, I will remain skeptical.

            Incidentally I do not use the word fascism as hyperbole. Complete government control over all corporations and the individual belonging to the state is the shorthand version of Italian fascism, and that is exactly what the environmentalists are preaching. I am a conservationist; I’ve been out with the forest service and the Boy Scouts on many occasions reclaiming an unauthorized jeep trail or cleaning up campsites or recreation areas in National and State Forests, and I’ve never seen an environmentalist show up to help. Because they pretend to care about nature while continually trying to restrict my rights and privileges, I suspect their motives. It is no accident that environmentalists in California have increased the value of their own homes tenfold over the last few decades while pushing poor people out of their neighborhoods. It costs a million dollars for a shack in San Francisco. Qui bono? Yeah.

        • Yashmak

          “My disagreement with Mr. Steyn’s article was with his claim that there
          is some kind of liberal conspiracy that’s bent on silencing
          conservatives.”

          I don’t think that was his claim at all. In fact, I don’t think he believes that. I think he understands that it’s the unintended consequence of a mind-set shared by many who buy into identity politics, etc.etc

          “”…When deciding which letters should run among hundreds on such
          weighty matters as climate change, I must rely on the experts — in
          other words, those scientists with advanced degrees who undertake
          tedious research and rigorous peer review.”

          And yet, there are prominent scientists who DO disagree with the global warming alarmists. . . just saying.

          • Jim Palmer

            Because I think Mr. Steyn is aiming in the wrong direction.

            He sounds a warning-bell against, as you put it, “the unintended consequence of a mind-set shared by many who buy into identity politics,” while missing the broader, and even scarier point, which is that it’s commercial concerns, not ideological ones, that lead to people being silenced. Both people on the right AND on the left have been shut down, fired, marginalized, punished, and hounded out of the public eye not by governments catering to the wishes and feelings of a small group of radicals, but by media conglomerates (and others) who are protecting their bottom lines. Identity politics has zilch to do with it.

            Believe me, I’m all about free speech, and, like I said, Mr. Steyn has a right to voice his opinion, and I hope he continues to do so. But he’s dead wrong in this case. It isn’t “liberals” or “liberalism” that’s the problem here. It’s corporations that spend an awful lot of money researching public opinion and catering to it, and shutting down anyone on either side of the spectrum who rocks the boat or says anything unpopular.

          • Yashmak

            And yet, NONE of the examples he’s presented are of corporations shutting down someone’s free speech. It’s of misguided individuals or groups of individuals, on an ideological basis. So it cannot really be argued that he’s aiming in the wrong direction. Those things ARE happening. Certainly there ARE examples of corporations attempting to silence people both past and probably present (and not just media conglomerates. . .think back to the tobacco companies in the 70’s-80’s). . .but that’s not what he’s writing about.

            Believe it or not, I too share a concern about the influence of corporate money. I think the single most productive thing we as a people could do to return our government to proper function is to completely remove corporate money/lobbying from the equation altogether (although how to do that in a constitutional way could be quite sticky).

  • justejudexultionis

    I agree but transexuals really do need protection given that they are abused and murdered to a far greater degree than almost any other group in society. You may not like or understand transexuality but to mistreat them is to make yourself no better than your average Nazi party member in 1942.

    • Yashmak

      They are protected by the same laws which protect all of us. EQUAL protection under the law, not PREFERENTIAL protection under the law. The former is the guarantee, not the latter.

    • Renaissance Nerd

      Most of the Nazis were just ignorant thugs, so nothing to disagree with there. However is there a systematic government program to eliminate all transexuals? Is there ANY group that openly advocates killing all transexuals? Is there any legal protection for the thugs that harass or harm or kill transexuals, or do they go to jail like anybody else if they can be convicted? Who exactly are the people abusing and murdering transsexuals and getting away with it? State Police? The FBI? County Sheriffs? Or just brutal criminals who manage to get away with it?
      So why are transsexuals uniquely vulnerable that they need extra protection? I’ve got a mother, two sisters and two nieces living in my house, and I do my best to make sure they’re protected, including taking them all shooting so they can defend themselves in case I go under. Why are transsexuals not responsible at least for their own defense? I do not ask these questions merely rhetorically; I am entirely ignorant in this area. I am curious to know how you can prove your assertion, because I have not seen anything in crime statistics that would validate it.

      • Jim Palmer

        Didn’t you just say, in answer to my post, that many of the Nazis possessed advanced degrees, thus we can’t trust anyone with an advanced degree?

        Make up your mind, Renaissance Nerd.

  • DanceswithMorons

    I wanted to comment, but it won’t be allowed.

  • Scott Hickman

    Both “liberal” and “conservative” wonks are just as guilty of abusing what power they have to suppress opposing political viewpoints. This article, with its one-sided verbiage is in effect doing the same thing by casting “liberals in an unpleasant light instead of actually addressing issues, which is to inhibit a free discourse with the objective of finding a sensible course for problem-solving instead of bickering. This in effect, serves to distract most of us from just this kind of discourse, and allow the elite corporatist neo-liberal forces behind BOTH parties to slide policies by that are increasingly hostile to most people. Can you say “New World Order?” Stop all this political bickering and wake up to the fact that populist conservatives and populist progressives have more in common than they think. The banks and financiers are the true culprits in most of todays problems, pulling the strings on everything from the economy to media to education to healthcare to how and when we get involved in international affairs. My $0.02 worth.

    • Equality7-2521

      Do you have *any* evidence supporting conservatives shutting down free speech?

      If so, post. If not, well, re-think (or just plain think) about your post.

    • Doc Narson

      And considering the quality of thought therein, $0.02 is pretty much the correct price for your post.

    • Renaissance Nerd

      Stating an opinion is not suppressing opposing viewpoints. This is Mark’s opinion, and he has no obligation to restate the leftist drivel we all can’t avoid in the various media. That’s what an opinion is, a one-sided point of view. If he didn’t believe it, it wouldn’t be his opinion and he wouldn’t say it. And after all, what are you doing, but telling us all our opinions are worthless and the only thing that matters is your pet conspiracy theory? Does that constitute attempting to suppress opposing political viewpoints too?

  • Retired Nurse

    They have free speech zones in the States…made of wire mesh…aka First Amendment cages – pictured here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone – seems to be what we’re heading for…

  • Ross A Lloyd

    Well said Mark!

  • Ross A Lloyd

    I exercise my freedom of speech in my novels e.g. “Soul Saviour,” “Get Emily” and the soon to be published final desperate solution to the tide of Islamic terror – “For Anastasia”…

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/get-emily-ross-a-lloyd/1115844685?ean=9781490505152

    • saksin

      Should “For Anastasia” happen to contain frank criticism of Islam, you are about to find out what Mark Steyn is talking about in his article.

      • Ross A Lloyd

        Meaning? 🙂

  • fathers4fairness

    Proud to be a Canadian

  • Benton H Marder

    “Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihe fest geschlossen!—-” Who, pray tell, is to be the Horst Wessel of our time?

    • saksin

      Since you quote the unofficial Nazi anthem (it should be Reihen, in plural), allow me to give you my alternate lyrics for its opening line, for those who know German well enough to get the point of the lampoon:
      “Die Hosen hoch, die Gaffer fest geschlossen
      SA marschiert, mit ruhig festem Schritt”
      Roughly rendered in English it says:
      “The pants are up, the zippers tightly zippered
      The SA is marching with firm and steady pace”

  • CallMeIshmael

    The real fascists who impose this degree of intellectual intolerance will inevitably lead us to civil war. By stifling any chance for us to propose another way, they leave us no choice.

    • Renaissance Nerd

      Quite right, and that’s one of the things that worries me. Civil wars are always ugly, and I have family on all eleven sides of the supposedly two-sided argument.

  • http://twitter.com/WinstonCDN WinstonCDN

    Can’t read this article.

    • Jim Palmer

      You’re not missing anything.

      • Yashmak

        Except the insight provided by the article, which is extraordinarily relevant in these disturbing times.

      • http://twitter.com/WinstonCDN WinstonCDN

        why?

  • Peter Carvill

    So we are now passing from the Enlightenment to the Endarkenment. Let us then “Rage, rage against the dying of the light!”

  • Picquet

    Steyn; probably the new messiah. Or something close. Certainly the answer to all the bollocks the Guardian’s been dribbling for the past thirty years.

  • Tony

    There isn’t any end in sight, either. Consider:

    In the medieval universities (universities were invented by Christians in the Middle Ages), you were required to come up with the best objections conceivable to the position you were going to affirm, and you had then to treat those objections one by one, and fairly. See Thomas Aquinas’s great Summa Theologica. They did this, because they believed in the power of reason to attain to the truth, and even when certain theological tenets exceeded the power of reason to demonstrate, they were still subject to the power of reason to declare as rational and possible. But now we no longer believe in that power of reason. Reason is calculative and deductive, and that’s all. You can’t say, “But that kid’s a boy, and he should learn to be one!” Almost everything that normal people saw as a matter-of-course is now ruled outside the bounds of our shriveled up leftover of rational thought.
    Since that’s the case, the Left cannot appeal to Reason, and can only appeal to force. That’s bad already, but since the Left has in fact accepted things that are deeply irrational (as, for instance, that a boy can declare himself a girl, and then really “be” one) and even incoherent with one another (if there are no differences between the sexes, then how can a boy declare himself a girl??), they MUST go farther and farther into the void. They have no way of return. And they cannot allow any questioning. The medieval universities were hotbeds of free discussion! Not ours, no sir. Ours are venomous pits of resentment and madness.

  • cartimandua

    Well yes I hoped to feed into the WWW creative thinking because it tends to polarize and get “stuck”.
    I was banned by the Guardian because I was targeted by Islamists. Everytime I spoke
    online they tried to shut the woman up. In the end the mods supported them and not me.
    I was banned this morning by the Telegraph and have no idea at all why.
    Again perhaps a woman is not allowed to speak. Its all a very masculine environment.
    On the Telegraph at one point someone outed my childs school to intimidate me.
    nice.

  • beaky

    amazing that in the space of a single generation the left went from the cool, hip, free swinging side to the exact mirror image of the right circa 1962

    • Foodie for thought

      Fortunately, youth was, is, and will always be rebellious and questioning authority. Soon the pendulum will swing away from the left.

  • Sheik Mabouti

    At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new Constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinburgh, had this to say about “The Fall of The Athenian Republic” some 2,000 years earlier:

    A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.

    The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 230 years. During those 230 or so years, these nations have progressed through the following sequence:

    1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
    2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
    3. From courage to liberty;
    4. From liberty to abundance;
    5. From abundance to complacency;
    6. From complacency to apathy;
    7. From apathy to dependence;
    8. From dependence back into bondage.

    The way I see it, we are at around 7.5 at present…

    • Dan Wafford

      Too true. The core Democratic constituency, the “ButIdontwannaworks,” are now fully enabled to continue voting for those who will provide them generous gifts from the public treasury – and demonize as “heartless” anyone who dares suggest they get up off their butts and go to work. Whoever you may consider right or wrong, please take note that in general, conservatives promote policies and ideas; liberals shout down any who disagree with them by demonizing them as terrorists, women haters, people who want to push granny off a cliff and destroy the government.

      • Sheik Mabouti

        I agree with you, Dan – the tipping point was reached some time back, and now it is straight plunge into the pit. When you take from government, government owns you. Our democracy has evaporated, and the cycle begins again. So sad.

    • black11hawk

      Sheikh, just looked up your quotes and both were misattributed, although apparently he did say:

      “The people flatter themselves that they have the sovereign power. These are, in fact, words without meaning. It is true they elected governors; but how are these elections brought about? In every instance of election by the mass of a people—through the influence of those governors themselves, and by means the most opposite to a free and disinterested choice, by the basest corruption and bribery. But those governors once selected, where is the boasted freedom of the people? They must submit to their rule and control, with the same abandonment of their natural liberty, the freedom of their will, and the command of their actions, as if they were under the rule of a monarch.”

  • cartimandua

    But it is the press deciding who may speak and what they may say.

    • jpat34721

      Really? You seem to have no trouble spouting off here.

      • cartimandua

        I have been banned on the Graun and now on the Telegraph for supporting women and children and saying things actual politicians are now saying.
        The Internet wants to shut women up. Its a male environment.

        • jpat34721

          How does “the internet” know you’re a woman (I didn’t) and what does the Brandeis decision (abominable as it was) have to do with “the press deciding who may speak and what they may say”? Maybe no one listens to you because you make no sense.

          • cartimandua

            Anyone who reads my posts after a while knows I am a woman and I defend women and children.
            Secondly Cartimandua was a Queen of the Brigantes.
            This whole article is about a general dimunition of free speech around the world.
            In this country print media is owned by offshore proprietors who have their own agendas and align themselves to one party or another.
            They are thus not reporting facts they are deciding they
            may over rule actual Democracy.

        • haveittodayray

          You are so correct. Ayaan Hirsi Ali should be honored around the World for honesty about Islam she is a former Muslim that speaks from her personal experience. Further comment here: http://wp.me/p2GpDB-dQ

      • cartimandua

        Try posting on the Left wing Graun or the Catholic Telegraph and talking about womens rights.
        One gets banned.

  • Smargalicious

    The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visit