Just today I learned (via Hans Bader) that Oberlin, supposedly one of the great liberal arts colleges in the world, has been in a tizzy because of a speech by the rather mainstream conservative feminist Christina Hoff Summers, which supposedly made students feel “unsafe” well in advance. And so on. In no examples that I have seen has there been any actual threat or prospect of violence against the students complaining that they feel “unsafe.”
This is a huge threat to the future of free speech nevertheless. Today’s college students are going to be tomorrow’s judges, and if they truly believe that “safety” means “never having to deal with opinions that disagree with one’s cherished beliefs,” then censorship has a good chance of gaining the upper hand over freedom of speech. After all, public safety can be a justification for suppressing speech, as with the “fighting words” doctrine.
On the NHS, that has gone far beyond a joke. It is not enough to value the idea of universal healthcare free at the point of use as a concept – one must “love the NHS”. Doctors and nurses are not doing their job in difficult circumstances – they’re fighting on the front line. Nobody wants to reform the NHS – Labour leader Ed Miliband wants to “rescue” it. The debate is uncritical, nostalgic, what The Economist called “ideological, ahistorical bunkum” – and nothing short of cowardly.
Andy Burnham, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, has warned that there are “24 hours to save the NHS” so often over the past five years that people are beginning to doubt his grasp of Babylonian concepts of time.
In brief, the SNP’s dislike of the UK is more that the UK might be a brake on their statism than anything else. Hatred of the English is actually hatred of the (vestigial) freedom that England represents.
Due to come into force in August 2016, the Named Person initiative is truly dystopian. Once, it was only abandoned or orphaned children who became charges of the state; now, all Scottish children will effectively be wards of the state under a new, vast system of, in essence, shadow parenting. In an expression of alarming distrust in parents, and utter contempt for the idea of familial sovereignty and privacy, the state in Scotland wants to attach an official to every kid and to keep tabs on said kid’s physical and moral wellbeing.
There’ll be a state spy in every family. In Scotland, Big Brother is not only watching you (it was recently revealed that Scotland has 4,114 public-space CCTV cameras and “camera vans,” which drive through towns filming the allegedly suspect populace); he’s also watching your kids.
The sundry Communist regimes coddled and celebrated by the American Left managed to kill something on the order of 100 million people during the 20th century. Consider that a lesson unlearnt: In our own time, the anti-fracking movement does the bidding of ex-KGB boss Vladimir Putin’s regime, and so-called progressives such as Thom Hartmann are quite pleased to work hand-in-glove with a Kremlin-backed propaganda network. Things will come to a bad end in Venezuela. Sean Penn won’t be there for it, and neither will Chaka Fattah. Perhaps the ghost of Walter Duranty will file a report.
There is an interesting video well worth a watch here called: What LBJ Really Said About Selma.
Considering the people being protested against by the Civil Rights marchers were members of the Democratic Party, there is a certain sense of irony to be had when looking at who seems to have wrapped themselves in the mantle of those times now.
The US government, working tirelessly to bring new opportunities to criminals worldwide:
Microsoft released a security advisory on Thursday warning customers that their PCs were also vulnerable to the “Freak” vulnerability. The weakness could allow attacks on PCs that connect with Web servers configured to use encryption technology intentionally weakened to comply with U.S. government regulations banning exports of the strongest encryption.
At some point tomorrow, the samizdata server is going to be rebooted whilst various arcane rituals are preformed and the hamsters that make it all spin are fed and rested. So if Samizdata is off-line for a while, that is why.
The Samizdata people are a bunch of sinister and heavily armed globalist illuminati who seek to infect the entire world with the values of personal liberty and several property. Amongst our many crimes is a sense of humour and the intermittent use of British spelling.
We are also a varied group made up of social individualists, classical liberals, whigs, libertarians, extropians, futurists, ‘Porcupines’, Karl Popper fetishists, recovering neo-conservatives, crazed Ayn Rand worshipers, over-caffeinated Virginia Postrel devotees, witty Frédéric Bastiat wannabes, cypherpunks, minarchists, kritarchists and wild-eyed anarcho-capitalists from Britain, North America, Australia and Europe.