Freedom of Speech
Thursday, 04 April 2019 19:06

Secretary General Calls for UN to Curtail Free Speech

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NEW YORK, March 8 (C-Fam) In a speech to the UN Human Rights Council last month, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced that the UN system is going after what he calls “hate speech.”

Thursday, 21 February 2019 09:01

Religious "vilification" not unlawful in NSW

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In an important decision on religion and free speech in NSW, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal has ruled today in Ekermawi v Nine Network Australia Pty Limited [2019] NSWCATAD 29 (15 Feb 2019) that it is not a breach of the law in NSW to make offensive comments about a religion.
Thursday, 17 January 2019 07:23

The 'Tribunal' Game

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If the legendary TV Lawyer, Denny Crane ever moved to Oz he would make yet another fortune in the maze of Tribunals that beset our nation and people. It is a 'quasi' judicial system designed to give taxpayer cash to lawyers toward the end of their mediocre careers and ready for an ex-Starship Captain Denny to go gunning for and wipe the floor with them.
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:35

Senate Inquiry into "Legislative Exemption" reports

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The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee (“LCAR Committee”) has now handed down its report into Legislative exemptions that allow faith-based educational institutions to discriminate against students, teachers and staff . The inquiry has been incredibly short- the motion referring the topic was only passed on 13 November. As expected (due to the preponderance of ALP and Greens committee members) the report recommends complete removal of religious freedom protections for faith-based schools relating to how those schools deal with same-sex attracted students. There is a strong dissenting report from Coalition Senators.

Monday, 29 October 2018 06:47

Medical Board Ends Political Inquisition

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The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) yesterday dropped its disgraceful investigation into social media activity of Toowoomba based GP, Dr David van Gend. Dr van Gend posted on Facebook that,

the Board got back to me today and (of course) threw out that worthless complaint unconditionally. Not with the profuse apology that good manners would have expected after this vexatious waste of a fellow citizen’s time… Thanks to massive pushback from many doctors and thousands of citizens, I doubt the Board will be expanding their censorship powers in the new Doctors’ Code of Conduct. And that is a small but necessary win.
Friday, 12 October 2018 01:51

High Court Challenge Media Release

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My constitutional challenge to Victoria's abortuary exclusion-zones was heard in the Australian High Court from October 9-11, 2018. Graham Preston's challenge to Tasmanian exclusion-zones was heard alongside mine. Please click here to learn more about exclusion-zones. Please click here to follow the progress of this case of the High Court of Australia website.  

Tuesday, 28 August 2018 18:26

What is the future of Alt-Media?

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Censorship of conservative and pro-life media outlets has been going on for some time, but in recent weeks, this attack on free speech has become even more blatant. For example, controversial commentator Alex Jones of Infowars was banned from Facebook, Apple, Spotify, YouTube, and finally from Twitter then, just a few days ago, PragerU's Facebook account was completely hidden from its 3 million followers. Additionally, pro-life accounts have been censored on Twitter for merely stating that abortion 'kills babies' or that a fetus is a human being. An article on WND shows that public enemy #1, George Soros, is one of the prime movers behind this censorship of conservatives. A 49-page document, said to be promulgated by a group of political elites,  outlines the plan to sabotage Donald Trump's presidency, using Facebook, Google and other online platforms. With their strategy laid out as a four-year operation, Soros and others planned to censor and manipulate news sources under the guise of combatting 'fake news.'

“The earlier we can identify a fake news story, the more effectively we can quash it. With this new technology at our fingertips, researchers monitoring news in real time will be able to identify the origins of a lie with mathematical precision, creating an early warning system for fake news and disinformation.”

The results are staggering: (emphasis is mine)

The Gateway Pundit pointed out that in 2016, Google carried out that plan on the Gateway Pundit blog and other conservative sites, including Breitbart, the Drudge Report, Infowars, Zero Hedge and Conservative Treehouse. Facebook, meanwhile has changed its newsfeed algorithm, ostensibly to combat “fake news,” causing a precipitous decline in traffic for many conservative sites. President Donald Trump himself was affected, with his engagement on Facebook dropping by 45 percent. A study in June by Gateway Pundit found Facebook had eliminated 93 percent of the traffic of top conservative news outlets. Western Journal, in its own study, found that while left-wing publishers saw a roughly 2 percent increase in web traffic from Facebook following the algorithm changes, conservative sites saw a loss of traffic averaging around 14 percent.

  So how widespread is this censorship in Australia, and what can we do about it? Is the internet, as this article in Forbes states, 'the greatest censorship and surveillance infrastructure the world could ever imagine'? Or is there hope? I asked three Australian commentators for their thoughts on the future of online alternative media. Daniel Secomb, of CultureWar Resource, although unable to give a statement due to time restraints, also confirmed that lately his site has had substantially less traffic flowing to it from Facebook than in the past.

Ben Davis

of Caldron Pool Caldron Pool is fast becoming a premier provider of alternative and conservative news in Australia. Although relatively new, their following is growing rapidly as Christians are coming to see the deficiencies in mainstream media outlets and are searching for the news behind the news. Ben said:  

"We’ve probably come to depend a little too heavy on left-leaning social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But what can we do when there really isn’t an alternative, at least, not with the numbers and active users? There seems to be a slow trickle towards websites like MeWe and Minds, but that trickle seems to be largely made up of content providers frustrated by censorship, not necessarily the average reader. Increasingly it seems the only sure way of getting the information you want is by returning to the trusty old bookmark bar, at least for now."

Bill Muehlenberg

of Culture Watch Bill really needs no introduction, having been blogging on conservative and Christian issues for decades. He is also a regular contributor to this website. Bill told me that he has been shadowbanned on Facebook and that traffic to his website from social media has reduced significantly in recent times. Some months ago, Facebook disabled the share button under Bill's articles on that platform, and posts frequently disappear when his followers try to share them manually.  

The Alternative Media Given the near-stranglehold the secular left has on the mainstream media and elsewhere in the West, the rise of alternative media continues to mushroom. Whether it is entire news networks, such as Fox News, or alternative social media platforms to the uber-left Facebook and the like, those concerned about freedom of speech and freedom of thought are leaving the various MSM outlets in droves. It is always the hallmark of totalitarian societies to fully control the media, education and all forms of communication. In the West we continue to see ominous moves in this direction. Not only does big government more and more seek to control what is said and even what is thought (consider hate-speech crimes and the like), but big business is also getting into the act with near-monopolistic power, as we see with Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and so on. So things like alternate media sites, home-schooling, independent websites and bloggers are just part of the fightback. As long as even snippets of truth can be heard and penetrate the statist version of events, freedom can continue and the totalist state cannot fully dominate. As with all things concerning freedom, eternal vigilance is always required.

Dave Pellowe 

of Pellowe Talk Dave is well-known for his ongoing commitment to free speech and encouragement of Christians to get involved in the political process. His website, Pellowe Talk, is dedicated to providing non-pc news articles and opinions. Dave was also one of the organisers of the recent Lauren Southern tour, which mainstream media painted as a hate-speech festival, despite physical violence being perpetrated against attendees by Antifa. Dave has just launched a new, joint venture, the Free Speech Coalition, which will tackle threats to that freedom head-on. Dave's YouTube account was recently demonitised, which means that he is no longer able to earn money by allowing advertising on his very informative videos. However, he remains optimistic about the future:  

In the information age, ignorance is a choice. The future of Alt Media is full of potential. Active or even passive restrictions by giant corporations will only provoke the spawning of new & better alternatives care of eventually more efficient free market solutions. The latent value of Alt Media is that it can provide unrestrained freedom for the critical examination of ideas so we can more freely choose our values as a society. We must embrace & support Alt Media as an imperative to a robust contest in the free market of ideas, independent journalism and the indispensable value of free speech for all.

The Freedoms Project

Just as the word shadowbanning was being introduced into our vocabulary, there was a sudden drop in traffic to this website. Previously, the majority of our readers - upwards of 70% - had come via Facebook. That has slowed to a trickle. According to the stats on Facebook, our page's reach on there was down by 50% in the last month. This is despite the page views increasing and despite more people commenting on the posts. This means that more people are engaged but fewer are seeing our posts; the pool of readers is shrinking, thanks to shadowbanning. Like many readers, I've set up accounts on platforms which claim not to store or mine data, eg MeWe and Gab. But also like most of you, my time is limited, and I find it hard to maintain a presence on those platforms in addition to the more popular - but more liberal - ones. It can be disheartening, not to mention unjust, to see that there is a price to pay, even in this supposedly unrestricted arena, for merely telling the truth. But the flipside of that is, of course, that sites like this one and those mentioned above ARE answering the call to be counter-cultural. We're obviously doing our job! 

Conclusion

My advice for anyone who wants to ensure the future of alternative media is to sign up for the email newsletters of your favourite sites. This is becoming the only way of guaranteeing that you see every article or video from your trusted sources. There has never been a more important time to be aware of the world around us - to know the news behind the news and the reality behind the hype. These aren't just cliches: it is clear that there are forces at work that want to keep the public in the dark: preoccupied with just consuming and paying the bills. Just think how different things could have been if we knew nothing about the Safe Schools programme, for example! Coverage of the true nature of that diabolical programme initially came almost exclusively from alternative news sources, especially through Facebook groups. And it's a similar story when it comes to Donald Trump's successes or even news about censorship and media bias itself. Mainstream media isn't going to admit that it is a propaganda machine for our political and social elites. So, please - choose a few sites and subscribe to them today - you could start with the websites mentioned in this article: Caldron Pool, Dave Pellowe, The Free Speech Coalition, Culture WatchCulture War Resource and also this one, The Freedoms Project. We need your help to get the word out and to change the culture through education.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" [Hos 4:6]

Queensland has moved a step closer to decriminalising abortion with Labor's outrageous bill set to be put forward in August. The bill will draw heavily on Law reform Commission recommendations, and take extreme abortion laws existing in other states even further. While mainstream media emphasises that abortion would be made legal up to 22 weeks, there is less emphasis on proposals for babies over 22 weeks' gestation. That may be due to the public's distaste for late-term abortion: Premier Palaszczuk wants to allow abortions to full term, with merely a sign-off by a second doctor required.

Saturday, 21 July 2018 07:58

This is How Free Speech is Destroyed

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Update to this article: there were violent clashes between police and protesters outside Stefan Molyneux and Laura Southern's Melbourne event last night. According to the ABC report, police blamed the speakers for the violence. Police Commander, Tim Hansen, stated:  "Their actions put their lives, the lives of the public and the lives of police officers at risk. The safety of the community is our main concern and our officers could have been used more effectively across Melbourne on a Friday night. It is disappointing that we had to use significant resources to mediate between two groups with opposing views." I agree: it IS disappointing. Disappointing that the Victorian state government expects a speaker to pay for the police protection it is obliged to provide and doesn't slap violent protesters with the fine! As with the case of Milo Yiannopoulos, it isn't necessary that we agree with their views or with their lifestyles to defend others' right to freely express an opinion. - Ed. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 22:32

Exclusion-zones: High Court Submission

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John Young has summarised the submission made by my legal team to the High Court of Australia, which we propose will show that abortion-facility exclusion zones are unconstitutional. The entire document is 24 pages long and can be read here on the High Court website, along with submissions from the Attorneys-General of the states and territories, and the Commonwealth Attorney-General - all of whom oppose us. American readers may be interested to note that SCOTUS and the Massachusetts bubble-zone case are mentioned in our submission on page 12. Careful readers will see that, on the day of my arrest, twenty police officers were briefed regarding my life advocacy within the exclusion zone. Twenty.

[Offering help outside NSW abortion facilities is now illegal under a law passed less than two weeks ago by the state's parliament. Pro-abortion advocates rushed the law through its final enactment stage to ensure that no woman would have the opportunity to change her mind on her way to an abortion, through the intervention of life advocates. The law was passed despite evidence of coercion being present in many abortion decisions, and despite the fact that many women are unaware of the resources available to them, should they choose to keep their child.

[Note: This article was updated to include a more informative screenshot from Emma Husar's Facebook page.] In the wake of the passing of another  'Safe-Access' zones bill,  a NSW MP has sanctioned the idea that violence against life advocates is acceptable. Emma Husar, Labor's member for Lindsay, made the comment in a thread on her public Facebook page. Husar - or an aide who runs her Facebook account - allowed this comment on her page: "...Anyone who gets in their faces to make a point needs a high five in the face with a brick. It's a horrible, s***** thing to do. Leave these women alone," to which Husar replied, "Agree." If Husar was referring to the end of the comment - that sidewalk advocacy is a 's*****  thing to do', then this should have been made clear. She's wrong, of course - sidewalk advocacy is a loving thing to do. It's the last hope for women who are ambivalent about their abortion, and who feel they have no choice but to go through with one. To publicly agree to a comment suggesting violence is very irresponsible for anyone - but especially for a member of parliament, in a conversation about a highly emotional topic. Members of the pro-life community are no strangers to false accusations, violent threats and even actual violence being perpetrated against them. It is only a few years ago that an elderly man was violently attacked outside an abortion facility in Albury, NSW. Yet, during the debate, parliamentarians continued the false narrative that pro-lifers engage in bullying tactics to 'shame women' and 'shove their ideas onto others.'

Conservative MPs Fail Mothers and Babies

New South Wales voted last week to join Tasmania, Victoria, the Northern Territory and the ACT in setting up, what is in effect, a censorship law designed to stop pro-lifers from offering help to vulnerable women. This outcome was particularly disappointing for conservative voters who have long held confidence in the Nationals to maintain Christian values. National MP Trevor Kahn betrayed his conservative, pro-life base to co-sponsor the bill with the rabidly pro-abortion Penny Sharpe. Many Liberal MPs, also ostensibly conservative voted in favour of the bill. NSW Premer, Gladys Berejiklian, who had previously described the law as 'flawed', gave her party a conscience vote - this was denied to the Labor Party - but voted in favour of the bill. All 19 amendments to the bill were rejected. The final vote was 61 to 18. and the MPs who stood for life - a counter-cultural stance in Australia's contemporary climate - were like a shining light in that dark, dim place. The pro-life speeches were very good, with Minister for Women, Tanya Davies, defending sidewalk advocacy and reaffirming the fact that pro-lifers are in no way confrontational or intimidating. Liberal MP Dominic Perrottet, gave a particularly good speech which can be found in full at his website:

  .... It is fundamentally a crude attempt to sanitise our public places To silence those who refuse to turn a blind eye to the value of both mother and child. And to remove from our public spaces any trace of the witness that is a daily reminder of the dignity of every human life. Speaker, it is no surprise the collectivists opposite have a binding party position on this issue. Their ideology is rooted in the very idea of trampling freedom, denying agency and erasing individual rights in favour of the state. What a damning indictment it is that a party which cannot even offer its own members internal freedom is now in the business of denying the freedoms to others.

David and Goliath

The High Court challenge to exclusion-zones, which is already underway, initially involved the Attorneys-General of both Tasmania and Victoria, since the law was violated by the appellants in both of those states. Both cases are being heard together since the law is very similar in these states, as distinct from the bubble-zone law in the ACT, which has its own features. [See more about a recent ACT case here.] However, a more recent development is the intervention from the Attorneys-General of other Australian states: New South Wales, Queensland, WA and SA as well as the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth have all made submissions to the High Court regarding our case. [Progress of the submissions can be followed here.] Michael Quinlan, dean of Sydney's Notre Dame University, explains that states without exclusion-zones won't be able to automatically introduce them if the High Court challenge is unsuccessful and that states with similar legislation would have to remove existing exclusion-zones - and redraft them -  if the challenge is successful:

Various State AGs getting involved in the Clubb/Preston case is disappointing but it’s not unusual. In constitutional cases, states have a right to appear in the High Court. The state may see this case as a state’s rights issue. If the High Court finds the legislation unconstitutional it probably impacts on other state laws; it stops a state from choosing to pass laws which restrict free speech and probably not just around clinics. If Clubb and Preston lose, a state without exclusion zones would need to prepare and pass a bill in the usual way. If the present Tasmanian or Victorian legislation is read down, such a state will have details about how to draft a constitutional bill, which will be in the written judgment in the way it reads down the existing laws.

Life Advocacy Has a Long History of Success

Exclusion-zone laws protect abortion businesses and allow them to continue to slaughter the innocent while traumatising women and men for life. The laws have been introduced despite the embarrassingly meagre evidence of harassment and intimidation which is alleged to have been perpetrated by the pro-life community. And it is also despite the overwhelming evidence to support the effectiveness of pro-life outreach. Abortion advocates consistently disregard this evidence. Living, breathing babies, children (and now some adults) are the proof! These are the children whose mothers accepted help outside Australian abortion facilities. This can only happen when life advocates are allowed to peacefully witness, pray and offer help to these women in their time of need. The process is underway to gather totals from around Australia, but some of the numbers already available are:

  • 600 women helped, and babies saved in Sydney;
  • 20 mothers helped and babies saved at Croydon, Victoria,
  • 300 mothers helped and babies saved at East Melbourne.
  • 24 mothers helped and babies saved at Albury, NSW.

  The pictures below say a thousand words about life advocacy: [from left] Paul Hanrahan with one of the Sydney babies; Kathy with one of the Croydon babies; Anna von Marburg with one of the Albury babies. But, due to the climate of hostility against the pro-life community, due to misrepresentation and outright lies, these numbers will dwindle. And politicians like Emma Husar, not content with condoning Australia's worst human rights abuse, simply highlight the truth about the abortion industry's violent secrets. 

Monday, 02 October 2017 12:35

Escaping the Herd Instinct.

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In facing up to ‘Group Think’ or ‘The Herd Instinct’, or ‘go with the flow, be modern, with it etc., believing in the majority view point, getting your views from ‘The Age’ and other similar media, to vote Yes to homosexual 'marriage',  some things should be remembered as to why there is a crushing emptiness. Groupthink usually means you have handed over your mind, body, soul, conscience to the head of the herd or the master of Groupthink, to tell you what to think, say and do. This is the case in the good ‘ol’ of USA where the masses have fallen mindlessly, for example the National Riflemen’s Association and their complete opposition to gun control and the dire consequences.

Marcus L'Estrange relates his recent experiences in the Republik of Viktoria: trying to talk sense into Reichskommissariat Merlino, the Education Minister, then navigating a human barricade of LGBTI protesters.

DISSIng Parents?

The 9th of May was a busy night. My first meeting early in the evening saw a clash with State Education Minister over his Doctors in Secondary Schools (DiSS) program (his answers to my questions were waffle and bs, to say the least).
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 05:21

Bill Leak's Last Speech

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"Ladies and gentlemen, I know it’s International Women’s Day so first I must apologise for not being a woman. It’s particularly regrettable that I’m not a glamorous Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian woman who wears a hijab promoting a book about what it’s like being a glamorous Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian woman who wears a hijab. If I was, this wouldn’t be the only event I’ve got lined up on my non-government funded whirlwind Trigger Warning awareness-raising tour. When I met the great cartoonist Bill Mitchell about 34 years ago, he said, “Mate, a cartoonist only has to be funny once a day, but it’s a lot harder than you’d think.” He was right, but he had no idea how much harder it would be for me than it ever was for him.

Monday, 13 March 2017 19:46

18C: Revenge of the Snowflakes

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Conservatives may laugh about the childish intolerance of Generation Snowflake, but in reality, we have much to fear if they are allowed to continue to wield their latest weapon:18C. In fact, it could be argued that cartoonist Bill Leak's untimely death was due, at least in part, to the stress brought about by accusations that he violated 18C. Legal battles and unwanted media attention are a very stressful form of 'humiliation and insult' - precisely the kind of activity that this law purports to eliminate. More about Bill Leak later.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016 10:36

Are We Free to Disagree?

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Another week, another encroachment on our freedoms - that's how it feels in Australia these days. The latest outrage is that there appears to be some doubt as to whether or not a plebiscite to decide the marriage issue will be supported in the Senate, or if we citizens will be deemed too ignorant to vote on it, and be made to leave the decision to our parliamentarians. 'Marriage Equality' Ammunition I was fortunate to be able to see Brendan O'Neill speak in Melbourne last week. For those of you who haven't heard of Brendan, he is an online journalist with Spiked Online, and an atheist libertarian. Brendan gave his Christian audience some fresh insights into the marriage debate and proved, yet again, that this isn't a religious issue, but a natural law (and common-sense) one. Brendan has been ostracised and publicly vilified for his stance on marriage, simply because he doesn't agree with the fashionable ideology of marriage redefinition.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016 06:38

Let's You and Him Fight

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There is a ‘game’ played by dysfunctional people and described by psychiatrist Dr Eric Berne in his capital little book, “The Games People Play”. People often disagree with one another. A protagonist with an ax to grind and a lack of moral, civil or mental sufficiency, sets her or his victim up against external overwhelming forces. They may disagree with the victim and have no cogent or legitimate argument so they call in the police with their ‘authority’ and a gun on their hips, and the Courts that have the full panoply of process and procedure, backed by Laws made by the complainant’s friends. The Laws, the legislators, the police become complicit in gross acts of indecency and bring that Law and authority and panoply into disrespect when they do not punish such dysfunctional protagonists. And they are complicit.