Australia’s new Communications Legislation Amendment (Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023 seeks to impose a wide-ranging set of new obligations, very loosely defined, that will constitute offences if not complied with. The obligations fall on digital services providers, who must either comply with a yet-to-be-registered code, or comply with a code that ACMA will determine.
Professions have become managerial cartels. Governing bodies are their godfathers, permitting only proper people and perspectives. Their purpose is not to ensure public access to a variety of professional opinions. Instead, they seek to herd people into “correct” attitudes and behaviors. Propaganda is not evil, but merely a tool to facilitate right results.
the 1984 “Chevron Deference” SCOTUS opinion is the keystone in the arch of current administrative law. And like a keystone, if the “Chevron Deference” were to be successfully challenged and significantly revised by SCOTUS (functionally pulling the keystone out of the arch), the power and integrity of the entire administrative state structure would be compromised and the strength of the unelected fourth branch of government may fall, thereby restoring balance between the remaining three (Constitutional) branches of government.
Take a test voluntarily if you like, if you think it will help to protect your family, friends, and all of your compatriots, or possibly if you think it will help authorities to understand the spread of disease. Respect others and do not try to infect them, as unrealistic as that notion may be. But do not submit to mandatory testing for disease.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments over the Fifth Circuit’s grant of a preliminary injunction in Missouri v. Biden. The injunction would bar officials from the White House, CDC, FBI, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Surgeon General’s office from coercing or significantly encouraging social media platforms to censor constitutionally protected speech.
Thomas Moore’s refusal to violate his conscience cost him everything: imprisoned in the Tower of London, he was eventually beheaded by orders of the King. More was eventually canonized a Catholic saint (he is patron of lawyers and politicians—yes even politicians have a patron saint!). But he can also be considered a martyr for free speech.
The conundrum for free and open societies has always been the same: How to protect human rights and democracy from hate speech and disinformation without destroying human rights and democracy in the process. The answer embodied in the recent coordinated enactment of global censorship laws is not encouraging for the future of free and open societies.
Those who have grounded themselves in politics rather than principles have created a great unmooring that has left us vulnerable to the latest political huckster and led us down a dark, dark, path. Is the speed and force of this shift enough to convince those who had abandoned free speech to renormalise it as a principle? The shoe is now on the other foot.
The $365 million referendum, backed almost unanimously by the governing, educational, financial, media, and sporting institutions and funded generously by them using shareholder and public monies rather than their own, confirmed an alarming gap between the elites and the vast majority. It should but is unlikely to lead to any serious introspection by members of the elite.
Rebuilding from the wreckage of Covid will require reclaiming those fundamental pillars of American society. The freedom to speak was not the first right earned by a people in revolt against ancient-world forms of statism but it might be the most essential. That’s why it is instantiated in the very first amendment to the Bill of Rights. If the regime can control the public mind, they can control everything else too. A loss here is a loss everywhere.
Government censorship reduces our society to just two groups of people: the censors and the censored. While it remains in place, the ranks of the censored will be ever-expanding as the censors require ever more censorship to ensure people continue to disbelieve their lying eyes.