Freedom of Speech

Clayton knows what’s coming…

Independent MP Clayton Cosgrove knows that the Dirty Politics story is far from over.  He’s trying to cauterise some wounds…

dsad

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Clayton, I think the left blogs are to do whatever they like.  They are the left’s best advertisement for everything that puts people off about left politics.  Leave them be.  Also:  what’s with Labour trying to shut people up?  Stop it already.

I realise there is some bad news heading Labour’s way, and it is better if there is no backsplatter from the the blogs.  I understand that.  But it isn’t solved by trying to make them shut down.

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Health nazis complaining about dirty politics

The health nazis are complaining about Dirty Politics.

Apparently it is wrong to challenge them and their gilt edged troughs.

They are even whining in the UK where a massive moan has been published in the British Medical Journal.

Online attacks on public health advocates have been condemned in the British Medical Journal, with New Zealand cited as an example of dirty tricks campaigns.

In an opinion piece in the publication Martin McKee, professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, cited tactics described in investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics book as strengthening suspicions that large corporations were helping fund internet trolls.

While some online critics were the sort of people “who in the past might have spent their days on a soap box in the marketplace” others were “professionals, paid by large corporations to attack others,” McKee said.

Dirty Politics alleged links between Prime Minister John Key’s office, National Party politicians and party-linked figures, and WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater. It was based on emails and Facebook posts hacked from Slater’s computer.

Hager’s book also made allegations tobacco, food and alcohol companies were paying Slater.

Companies engaged public relations consultant Carrick Graham, the son of a senior National Party politician, who reportedly paid Slater $6555 a month to promote his clients’ interests on WhaleOil, and attack those whose work threatened his clients’ interests.

Slater has previously denied any claims that he was paid for content.

McKee said advocates of public health policies were paying the price of speaking out, and big corporations were funding campaigns to undermine them.

“Most of us soon realise that this is the price to be paid for taking a stand and refuse to engage with our attackers, whose main aim seems to be to provoke a hostile response that they can ruthlessly exploit,” he said.

Attacks of this nature were not limited to New Zealand, but had also been made on British public health professionals, particularly those active in tobacco control, he said.

So the paid troughers who push their pet projects are not allowed to ever be criticised?   Read more »

Face of the day

I am a strong woman and I believe in freedom of speech. Freedom of speech means that both sides of every issue get to be discussed. It does not mean that discussion is shut down because one side labels the others speech as ‘ Rape culture ‘ or dismisses it because it was written by a man and the issue is only relevant in their opinion to women.

Jan Logie

Jan Logie

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Are all rightwingers as gutless as you?

As they saying goes, they don’t like it up ‘em.

I get all sorts of emails, as you can imagine.  But sometimes they are really worthy of a wider audience.

Here is today’s masterpiece

From: John [] <[]@hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, Jun 7, 2014 at 9:07 AM
Subject: Are all rightwingers as gutless as you
To: whaleoilbeefhooked@gmail[]

Im banned as you ownly want arselickers who agree with every thing you post.Your blog is the rightwing version of the standard,with the same intolerance to desenting views…..

Now, a few things to keep in mind here.

This was the very first communication I received from John.  I have no idea if he is really blocked or not.  I doubt it, as he hasn’t actually participated on the blog since 2010, and his total contributions that year came to two comments.

Here they are   Read more »

Too right George, now tell them to bugger off

George Brandis is standing up for freedom of speech in Australia despite the howls of outrage from the left who as well all know are only supporters of freedom of speech if it is speech they agree with.

George Brandis has compared himself to Voltaire and derided proponents of climate change action as “believers” who do not listen to opposing views and have reduced debate to a mediaeval and ignorant level.

In an interview with online magazine Spiked, the Attorney-General also declares he has no regret for saying Australians have the right to be bigots and accuses the left of advocating censorship to enforce a morality code on the nation.

It comes as former Australian of the year Professor Fiona Stanley said climate science had been denigrated through politicisation and denial, and issued a stinging attack on the federal government for the absence of a specific department to tackle global warming.

Senator Brandis, who is driving reforms to Australia’s racial discrimination act, describes the climate change debate as one of the “catalysing moments” in his views on freedom of speech.

While he says he believes in man-made climate change, the Queensland senator tells the magazine he is shocked by the “authoritarianism” with which some proponents of climate change exclude alternative viewpoints, singling out Labor’s Penny Wong as “Australia’s high priestess of political correctness”.

He said it was “deplorable” that “one side [has] the orthodoxy on its side and delegitimises the views of those who disagree, rather than engaging with them intellectually and showing them why they are wrong”.

As examples, he points to Senator Wong and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who he accuses of arguing “the science is settled” to shut down political debate on climate change. Read more »

Back in ya box: Mark Steyn discusses the silencing of dissent

Mark Steyn is confrontational, he is also challenging and there are some out there that don’t like that, including Michael Mann (inventor of the hockey stick climate fraud) who is suing him for defamation.

Steyn is fighting it with the best defence of all, the truth.

In his latest offering at The Spectator he discusses the left’s willingness to shout down dissent, to silence opposition, and to use whatever means necessary.

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.

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The culture of “shut up”

Jon Levett writes at The Atlantic about modern society’s propensity to shout down those who we don’t agree with.

A recent example is the ostracisation of the Mozilla CE for daring to democratically put his money where his personal beliefs lay, and for daring to support one side of a democratic argument.

Then there is the case of Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty being bullied off air, and the moves by the media and the pro-warming crowd to silence skeptics on global warming who dare to challenge their views on the matter.

Teacher unions and scientists use this technique all the time…”Shut up, when was the last time you were in a classroom teaching”…as if that is a valid argument for the right to have a say on education. “Shut up, what is your science degree in relation to? Was it in climate science” using the same childish argument to silence critics.

Homer Simpson once said that alcohol is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. And I kept thinking: That’s actually a pretty good description of the Internet and how it’s changing our discourse. It’s basically the cause of, and solution to, everything that plagues our culture.

That’s an exaggeration, of course. The Internet didn’t cause Donald Trump, and it certainly can’t solve Donald Trump. The way you defeat Donald Trump is by getting the ring of power into the hands of a pure soul, a hobbit, say, and that hobbit must journey to Mount Doom and release the ring into its fires. But the Internet: Did you know that every single day, the Internet produces more speech than was created between the dawn of civilization and the year 2006? You didn’t know that, because I just made it up. But it feels true. We are all bombarded. We are drowning in information. It’s no longer thrown on our doorstep each sunrise, or even just broadcast into our living rooms; it’s in our hands every waking hour; the endless stream of talking, as we spend all day moving our eyes from screen to screen to screen; it’s the first thing we see each morning and the last thing we see before we go to bed. The shower is the last safe space, which is why it’s the only place where we have decent ideas anymore.

In many ways this is good and getting better: We have unlocked the gates and we are removing the gatekeepers. We aren’t beholden to the views of the three green elders in the village. (See, I tied it back.) But what happens next—how we face the downside of so much connectedness—will determine whether or not this revolution empowers us, or once again empowers those gatekeepers. And I don’t want that to happen, because those gatekeepers suck. They’re arrogant and easily swayed by big, nice-sounding dangerous ideas; they’re ambitious and careerist and forgetful and unimaginative and shortsighted; they’re subject to groupthink, beholden to corporate interests, and enamored of fame and power.

I don’t want those voices to drown out the diverse and compelling voices that now have a better chance of making it in front of us than ever before—even as we still have a ways to go. And what I think we have to do, then, to protect this new wonderful thing of ‘a good idea can come from anyone anywhere’—is we need to stop telling each other to shut up. We need to get comfortable with the reality that no one is going to shut up. You aren’t going to shut up. I’m not going to shut up. The idiots aren’t going to shut up.

We need to learn to live with the noise and tolerate the noise even when the noise is stupid, even when the noise is offensive, even when the noise is at times dangerous. Because no matter how noble the intent, it’s a demand for conformity that encourages people on all sides of a debate to police each other instead of argue and convince each other. And, ultimately, the cycle of attack and apology, of disagreement and boycott, will leave us with fewer and fewer people talking more and more about less and less.  Read more »

Kim Dotcom commences bullying former staff [AUDIO]

Last week I broke the story of his threats to the security guards who just want their outstanding back pay.

Kim Dotcom has refused to meet or discuss their requests and ignored legal letters regarding the outstanding payments. Failure to pay the guards means that they were effectively on $8-00 per hour, well under the legal requirement of the minimum wage laws of New Zealand.

I posted this audio of his threats against the security guards:

Today he started a twitter campaign against the same guards.

He thinks nothing of legal agreements except in order to protect his interests. He has also falsely claimed that the guards had confidentiality agreements, which is false.

Look at how many tweets he has made about it.

They just want what is owed to them and this is how Kim Dotcom reacts. Where is the Mana party now? Where is Labour? What about the unions?   Read more »

Is an apology good enough and do you buy their excuses?

TVNZ have issues and apology, but is it enough?

What about their explanation that these two muppets thought it was satire?

Sheesh I have literally hundreds of abusive emails, tweets, and Facebook messages I could list…and these guys made some up.

Regan at Throng asks though if anyone will actually take the fall for this cock up?

Shane Taurima scurried out the door after revelations he had bought a serious conflict of interest into the TVNZ newsroom.  Now we find two more TVNZ staff, one of whom has been a trustworthy figure in many homes delivering news most days of the week, have been making stuff up.

While TVNZ will spin this, and have, as a simple misunderstanding of what the piece was, this brings into question the integrity of the newsroom where at least one high profiled news reader has now been found to have made up statements for what was viewed as a serious and truthful news piece.

The question that now goes begging is “What else do TVNZ make up?”

If TVNZ take their stated position as being the country’s most watched news provider seriously, and launched an investigation into Taurima’s conflict of interest after he justifiably resigned, what actions will they take to assure the public that this isn’t endemic in their newsroom because it’s certainly starting tolook that way.

Will there be directions given to the nearest exit or will the transgressions be ignored?

We seem to have a culture of excusing away bad behaviour, especially in government departments…will TVNZ actually do something meaningful in this case.

I’m not holding my breath.

An email from a reader

I have received a great deal of email over the past few days and as you can expect there is the fair share of haters and excuse makers. I even got one from a longtime family friend that followed the usual patterns of people saying no one deserves death threats BUT…you brought this on yourself. There is no BUT…you either condone death threats, rape threats, and violence of the mob or you do not…there is no BUT.

And then buried in that morass of filth you find emails like this from people you have never met nor are ever likely to.

Dear Cameron,

I was saddened to hear both of the cyber attack on your site and the abuse and death threats that have come your way.

I have been the recipient of both abuse and death threats in the past [from some religious conservatives] and know the effect this had on those who are close to me.  My sympathy is with you at this time.   Read more »