“Predatory Censorship”

The title of this post is comprised of just two very apt words from an article published last August by Sir Roger Scruton, called “The Art of Taking Offence.” And I am very grateful for them.

It was the physicist Fred Hoyle, I believe – or was it George Orwell? – who once said “Words are like harpoons, once they go in, they are very hard to pull out.”

I hope the words “predatory censorship” will stick in the mind of all who reflect deeply on what has happened to what used to be called “free speech” in the West. Below is the key paragraph from Scruton’s article:

“There are now experts in the art of taking offence, indeed whole academic subjects, such as ‘gender studies’ devoted to it. You may not know in advance what offence consists in – politely opening a door for a member of the opposite sex? Thinking of her sex as ‘opposite’? Thinking in terms of ‘sex’ rather than ‘gender’? Using the wrong pronoun? Who knows. We have encountered a new kind of predatory censorship, a desire to take offence that patrols the world for opportunities without knowing in advance what will best supply its venom. As with the puritans of the seventeenth century, the need to humiliate and to punish precedes any concrete sense of why.”


And these are the key phrases:

“predatory censorship”

“a desire to take offence”

“the need to humiliate and punish”

Let us reflect on what these words are telling us about the thought-police in our midst




The Prosecution of Free Speech in Canada

Here is a piece from American Thinker that will startle anyone who remembers what “free speech” used to mean.

The best rendering of the underlying principle was articulated in her book Life of Voltaire, by Evelyn Hall (d.1956). This was exactly what Voltaire believed (as do I) but the words are hers:

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Well, there are of course, reasonable limits to free speech, such as to shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater.

The gentleman in this piece, Bill Whatcott, never shouted “Fire” anywhere. He has just voiced reasonable, and largely fact-based objections to the radical nature of contemporary social and moral policies, and has argued that they offend traditional moral principles

I have done so, too. All my writing life. I don’t know why I have not ever been charged. A Canadian newspaper once tried to have some my statements against the normalization of homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia (and a few other things) in The War Against The Family (1993) sent to a so-called Human Rights Tribunal.

I wrote to the newspaper that they might have a more interesting time suing prestigious professional journals such as Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Society) from which all the facts I quoted were taken.

They went silent, and I never heard back from them.

Read on, and weep for the death of free speech in the West.


The Abortion Right, Compassion, and “Accidental Live Birth”

I am part of a freethinker group that debates all sorts of topics by email. Recently, I got into it, as they say, with R and H, who both (thus far) support a woman’s “right” to abortion and they ground this supposed right in the simple fact of her “choice”, which is the virtue-signalling mantra of all modern progressives.
My response to these two gentlemen began when R objected to my phrase “pity party” which I used to describe his worry that a pregnant single mom should not be required to endure a life of raising her child all by herself. Unfair, he argued, and if we are compassionate we should allow her to abort.
I replied: I didn’t mean to sound quite so sarcastic. I was a little worked up. But I did mean to take aim at what looked to me like selective compassion for the mother, over compassion for the unborn child she is about to kill.
Then, I continued, you said: “when has any emotion ever not been selective?” Wow. If you are really arguing that all compassion is selective, then you must also be saying that no compassion has any genuine object of compassion. If all compassion is relative, then  object is simply decided by the person feeling the compassion. Is this what you are arguing? If so, this converts compassion into an arbitrary feeling, and hence a kind of mockery of real compassion, doesn’t it?
Then, you argued that compassion should be extended only to the “extant human being,” but not to what you call “the developing human tissue” in her body. 
I am a little astonished that someone with your knowledge of physiology makes such a statement because the unborn child is genetically, and in terms of the complete DNA info needed for maturation, a fully-formed extant human being that is obviously going to mature to full size. It is not just “developing human tissue,” like, say, a piece of skin, or a piece of a fingernail.
I mean, think about the fact that we now know (as we didn’t not so long ago) that the baby’s heart starts beating around 21 days of gestation – three weeks. Almost 100% of all abortions everywhere in the world, take place after that point. A piece of “tissue” does not have a beating heart. And in a slogan that helped convert me many moons ago from a man who didn’t care, to one who cares very much about this issue: “Abortion stops a beating heart.”
Some other objections:
* Contrary to what you said, Canadian law is completely silent on abortion. We have no law.  No law whatsoever. Parliament declined to create a new law after the last law got struck down by Parliament in 1988, in R. vs Morgentaler.
* There is no 20 week rule or limit for abortion in Canada, as you have assumed. Canada has publicly-funded (and other docs have privately performed) hundreds of thousands of post 20-week abortions over the last forty years, including a smaller but quite significant number of late-term abortions (in the third trimester, after 24 weeks).
Same in the USA, but there, in the millions over forty years. Some of these unborn children are in the two to five pound range, and even much larger.  Professor Ian Gentles, a world expert on this topic from Toronto, can fill you in on the actual numbers.
We simply don’t know how many partial-birth abortions have been performed in Canada (of children too big to pass the unripe cervix and birth canal intact, and so they are extracted feet-first, the skull collapsed by sucking out the child’s brains when all but the head is out – to make the skull smaller so that it can exit more easily. In some US cases of admitted partial-birth abortions, abortionists speak of “disarticulating the neck” (breaking its neck to ensure the baby is dead) before pulling the last of the baby out of the birth canal.
Doctors suck brains out, or disarticulate baby-necks to avoid the charge of delivering and then letting-die a live baby, and then getting charged with murder. It is a way of killing the child before it has “passed completely from the birth canal” (the wording in the Canadian Criminal Code that defines a “human being”) so as to avoid admitting they killed it.
In short, if the child is just a thing still in the womb, then it cannot be murdered. Because – to reference my earlier argument about slavery – the child has already been converted by law from a human into a thing, and is therefore legally the slave-property of its own mother. And, just as many slave jurisdictions in history refused to charge whites with murder for killing a slave, we refuse to charge abortionists with murder when obviously killing a child still alive and (partially) in the womb.
With the position you have supported, and even though you previously knew nothing about it, wouldn’t you and H logically also have to support this gruesome partial-birth procedure? And if not, why not? You both will likely try to argue that you could not support such a horrible thing because of your compassion.  But you argued previously that compassion is just an emotion relative to the person feeling it, and not necessarily justified by any objective circumstance. So, you don’t get to first base.
I think you should come into the open now. You have admitted your “understanding” re the abortion regime we have been operating in Canada (and massively in the USA) is – how should I put this? – not fully-informed.
And H, as a black man, I have a question for you. And the rest of us would like to hear your answer. Black mothers mostly from poor parts of the USA, at 6% of the US population, account for 38% of all US abortions. How do you react to this fact? Hard to believe you will not call it a genocide vs. blacks.
But then … if you support “a woman’s right to abortion,” as you have said, what’s wrong with what even many objecting blacks call “fetal genocide” against the black race?” I am guessing you are either forced to accept this reality by your own logic, or, will be forced to say you are against only racial abortions.
If so, that means you will have to argue for affirmative action in abortion, and push for “abortion quotas,” so that blacks, whites, hispanics, etc, are aborted (killed in the womb), according to their % of the population, that % to be adjusted annually to account for population shifts. I am not joking, this will have to be where such thinking takes us if the charge of selectively aborting blacks and the poor is to be countered. Oh, my goodness …
So both R and H: I would love your answers to my question: Do you support all abortion, even up until the moment of natural birth as justified only by compassion and a woman’s choice? After all, that is the law and a woman’s “right” in Canada.
Incidentally, folks, and your response to this would be of interest as well – CIHI. the Canadian Insittute for Health Information has recently published information that between 2013 and 2018, there were 766 “botched” late-term abortions in Canada (not counting Quebec, where reliable separate numbers show 218 “accidental live births” between 2000, and 2012).
The numbers on these babies:
By age of gestation: 8 babies at 29 weeks and older; 27 babies at 25 to 28 weeks; 557 babies at 21 to 24 weeks; 141 babies at 17 to 20 weeks.
These are situations where late-term abortions were attempted, but … the children were “born alive” (did not die from the injection of acid or saline solution into the womb prior to extraction). The authors of the CIHI report actually called for “feticide” injections directly into the womb, n future,  to more certainly kill the babies before the extraction is attempted, thus to reduce the moral and legal embarrassment of these “accidental live births.”
Now this ought to be an explosive bit of information that challenges all our moral/legal presumptions surrounding abortion. Why? because the mother’s intent was to kill her baby, which she legally can do in her own womb. But the intent failed, and the babies were born alive. So they “magically” as the video below so trenchantly puts it, became human beings. Check it out:
Once these aborted babies magically became human beings, the full panoply of the resources of the medical system should have been brought to bear save the lives of those children, should it not, as they would have done for any other human being found alive on a hospital bed?
But this was not to be. We currently have only anecdotal info that everywhere these children, although now full human beings, are simply”left to die.” We don’t know how long that takes, what suffering they endure, or whether anyone has bothered to call the police and report what by our own law is defined as murder.
Somehow, magically, the mother’s choice to kill her baby gets extended beyond her womb, to outside it.
OOps. Oh well, says the medical team … time to go for dinner …