The Corner

The Remorseless Assault on Free Speech (cont.)

The other day, Andy McCarthy wrote that “it’s not just Obama’s lies, it’s the premise of Obama’s lies” – ie, the notion that a video (or a cartoon, or a book, or a play) can legitimately be blamed for murderous violence:

Constitutionally protected speech can never be legitimized as a cause of violence. Period.

It’s not a small thing when the President of the United States chooses for political advantage to inflict significant damage on America’s commitment to free speech. One thing the western left shares with Islam is a ferocious need to punish dissent – or (to give it its proper name) apostasy. Down Under, something called the “Australian Communications and Media Authority” (that’s to say, the usual bunch of statist hacks) has just ordered Alan Jones, the country’s Number One morning man, to undergo “factual accuracy training” (that’s to say, re-education camp) for saying the following:

’The percentage of man-made carbon dioxide Australia produces is 1 per cent of .001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the air,” Jones told his listeners on March 15 last year. “Nature produces nearly all the carbon dioxide in the air.”

Apparently, according to a global warm-monger of dubious provenance himself, the correct figure is 0.45 per cent. So the percentage of non-Australian carbon dioxide in the air is 99.55 per cent rather than 99.99999 per cent. For this outrageous crime, Alan Jones must report for “factual accuracy training”.

The death of free speech doesn’t seem immediately relevant to people worried about jobs and mortgages, but it is: When it’s a crime to be skeptical of “climate change” alarmism, it’s harder to object to the diversion of tax dollars from you and yours to Solyndra and other “green” boondoggles. Killing freedom of expression renders honest discussion of everything from the economy to foreign policy all but impossible – which suits both the left and Islam just fine.

If Australia keeps this nonsense up, I may have to come back for another nationwide tour. If they let me in.

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

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