Posts Tagged ‘Free speech’
Free speech

Australian Government Response to Freedom of Information Request on Copyright Meeting.

There are moves afoot to fight for free speech in Australia:

Keith Windschuttle: So we come well within Finkelstein’s scope. If his oppressive scheme is ever implemented, we would feel compelled to defend the long tradition of press freedom by engaging in civil disobedience. While ever I am editor, Quadrant would not recognise the News Media Council’s authority, we would not observe its restrictions, and we would not obey its instructions, whatever the price. We hope other publishers will take a similar stand.

It’s great to stand on principle, but will he also defend press freedom from legislative assault at the bequest establishment media vested interests:

Australia’s government won’t disclose its secret copyright meetings because knowing what went on isn’t in the public interest: The government also claims that it can’t release a list of attendees because it doesn’t have such a list — that is, the government doesn’t know who was invited to its secret, eyes-only copyright meeting.

The changes to copyright attack the same fundamental freedom. But in Australia they are at an earlier stage in their assault. It is also subtler, with the nature of the evil impositions somewhat camouflaged under legitimate business interests. Even normally sound groups such as the IPA have been seduced by the rhetoric around copyright protection.

While the IPA is to be applauded for its moves to defend free speech, it needs to recognize that government acting on behalf of vested corporate interests is no less of a threat than when it is acting on behalf of vested ideological ones. Vested interests will always use the rhetoric they believe most likely to be effective. They also tend not to give up after a defeat:

MPAA boss: we’re cooking up a new SOPA behind the scenes: Former Senator Chris Dodd, head of the MPAA, has hinted to the Hollywood Reporter that he’s already greasing the wheels for a new version of SOPA, though he’s shy about revealing details because of the public outcry that might ensue. Dodd is the guy who went on the record to tell Obama that he would instruct his members to stop donating to the Democratic party because Obama didn’t usher in the laws they wanted.

and

Understanding TPP, ACTA’s nastier, more secret little brother: A new report by Carrie Ellen Sager of infojustice.org that compares the provisions in ACTA, the secretly negotiated copyright treaty currently up for adoption in Europe, the USA and other countries; and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a more extreme, more secretive version of ACTA being negotiated by various Pacific Rim countries.

 On “Technological Protection Measures” TPP has two nasty turns of the infringement screw:

 TPP goes beyond ACTA by applying provisions on technological protection where circumvention is carried out unknowingly or without reasonable grounds to know.

 and

 TPP goes beyond ACTA by explicitly limiting the possible limitations and exclusions to the TPM circumvention rules, while ACTA gives a country free reign to create exceptions and limitations it finds reasonable.

 The second of those is particularly troublesome, since it reduces the scope for signatories to introduce more balanced copyright laws even if they wanted to.

 

Perhaps Andrew Bolt will weigh in? He is not legally restricted from doing so.  Sadly I expected human cognitive failings will come into play. We all have our blind spots. Traditional defenders of free markets sometimes miss the fact that corporations are incentivized to get laws changed to maximize their profits, not our welfare or freedom – be it of speech or anythings else.

Introducing an Australia carbon dioxide tax or emissions trading scheme will enrich many, but it will impoverish more. Legislative imposts are imposts, even if they benefit some people and corporations. Bastiat’s broken windows parable made that clear enough. Let’s not allow our liberty to be crushed. Resist restrictions on our ability to espouse our views. It is fundamental to Western civilization. Without it we will slip back into despotism and a new economic dark age. One technology will make hard to escape from.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Don’t let the state deny you the ability to even know what is going on, let alone voice your objection. Let’s delay the return of terror and slaughter.

The Gods Of The Copybook Headings

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

 
Moves to control the internet

Perhaps the music industry is the work of the devil after all:

Canadian music labels demand keys to the Internet: The Canadian Independent Music Association is seeking to create liability risk for social networking sites, search engines, blogging platforms, video sites… it is also calling for a new iPod tax, an extension in the term of copyright, a removal of protections for user generated content, parody, and satire, as well as an increase in statutory damage awards… ADISQ is asking the government to add a requirement for Internet providers to disclose customer name and address information to copyright owners without court oversight. Meanwhile, CIMA wants takedown with no due process and unlimited statutory damages.

They may actually be a bigger threat to our freedom than the greens. Truly  amazing. Of course, once they get something like this through in one jurisdiction they will seek to extend it to all others. In today’s globalized interconnected world the “it can’t happen here” view is indefensible. The same vested interests see the same gain from the same changes. They will go through the same processes to impose them. That”s if they can’t bypass much of the legislative scrutiny by getting an august international body to approve it first.

Australia is not much better. Indeed may be worse, with its fascist tendencies far clearer:

THE Gillard Government’s media inquiry threatens not only our freedom to speak, but to hear and decide for ourselves. But why?

Its report last week, by retired judge Ray Finkelstein, proposes a super media-cop, funded by government, to police all that’s said and written in the media.

It would even have the power to disappear you – or, rather, your words – by requiring offending articles to removed from the Internet, never to be read again.

It’s time to gird your loins and accept that our generations time to stand up for our culture, our freedoms and our rights is fast approaching. That our moment of testing truth is soon to be at hand. Will our descendents wonder how we could have allowed our Hitler to rise? How we could have cast aside the cultural components our forebears fought and died for. That we could have sentenced several generations to tyranny, despotism and destitution.

Your government will be inspired by the moves afoot in Australia and Canada. Even if these specific threats go the way of SOPA and PIPA, they will re-emerge in a new form. The money to be made or power to be maintained by removing your rights, liberties and freedoms are too tempting to those without a moral compass or understanding of what they do.

Many really don’t know what they do as they cut our cultural underpinnings out from under us. Most of the left are thoroughly brainwashed against our culture. While some on the right go so far as to deny there is even such a thing as society. Amazing. Our individual interactions are shaped by our society which reflects our culture.  Just try ordering  beer in Mecca if you think otherwise, or even stepping foot in it. Our society and our culture are good and worth protecting.

It is so sad that we have such a powerful enemy within. The Australian government in particular seems to have taken the “hear no evil, speak no evil see no evil” to heart. It is seeking to impose a distorted version on us:

Hear nothing speak nothing and see nothing that criticizes our government.

We might be being led by a bunch of monkeys, but they are certainly not wise. They rarely are, which is part of the reason why it is best to limit their power and influence over us. The framers of the US constitution got that right. They knew their English history with its the battles between the King and Parliament. They were right to stand up for their rights as Englishmen. You are right to stand up for your rights. It’s your cultural inheritance, you owe it to your descendents to pass it on intact. Take it back.

 

 
Chinese poet on trial after using Skype

Role on the Asian century:

Chinese dissident on trial after using Skype to send poem

Prosecutors charged Zhu Yufu with subversion, citing his poem, It’s Time, as well as text messages sent using Skype… Chinese prosecutors cited a poem and messages sent on Skype in the trial of a dissident, his son and his lawyer said, in the latest case highlighting the Communist party’s drive to silence political challengers.

Hat tip boingboing

Meanwhile in enlightened Australia they are introducing “quiet” carriages on trains. Initially it is to be enforced by signs and other passengers. Later it will not doubt be enforced more forcefully. Perhaps if it is political talk then they can be charged with sedition, as well as speaking. It is such a sad sign of how damaging political correctness is.

Not that long ago good manners were taught. Along with offering seats to pregnant ladies, people on trains did not shout down the phone or blast out music. But political correctness put paid to that. Got to overthrow societies norms so we can create a more just, equitable, insert your choice of adjective, society. Of course we end up with something less pleasant to live in. Manners don”t just maketh the man. Cumulatively they maketh the society. But the goal was so noble. Now they are trying to recreate customary good manners. Can they put Humpty dumpty back together again? If not then it will be the strong arm of the law. People will be prosecuted for speaking or the rule of law will be further undermined. Nice.

The picture heading this post speaks volumes about free speech in the European Union:

Finnish politician charged with inciting racial hatred

“This trial is absurd and preposterous. I voiced my personal opinions during the election debate, and I was not inciting hate against any specific group. You can’t be judged on your opinions,” told Mäenpää to YLE ahead of the hearing on Tuesday.

Politicians saying what they think. We can’t have that. I mean, whatever next?