No conceptual penis, no global warming.

IT IS NOW more than twenty years since Sokal and Bricmont hoaxed the leftwing academic world with their fake paper, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Theory” (“transformative” is a touch of brilliance there). As scientists, both had grown sick of scientific concepts being misused by postmodernist academics to discredit the very basis of objectivity. They knew that the authors of these papers had no knowledge of understanding or the sciences but would nevertheless be accepted as creditable as long as they showed themselves to be bona fide leftists. This included references to the gods of the postwar pantheon of “fools, frauds and firebrands”, as Roger Scruton so aptly called them — Foucault, Derrida, etc.

Sokal and Bricmont thus concocted a paper out of the meaningless verbiage that typified such research at the time and submitted it to a journal called Social Text, who had it peer-reviewed and published as authentic. A furore followed the revelation that the academic world had fallen for such obvious fakery. Despite the laughter and scorn of many, there were still plenty of defenders of nonsense within academia willing to claim the hoax meant nothing at all. Eventually the waters of discord settled, the academic idiocy continued and the Sokal hoax was gratefully forgotten by its critics and left unmentioned to a new generation of left wing scribblers.

 

Read on at The Fortnightly Review.

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Sucks To Your Revolution – Annoying the Politically Correct

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At last – an antidote to the relentless stream of leftist whingeing on Facebook, Twitter and the media, Sucks To Your Revolution is a selection of my articles for the Currente Calamo column of The Fortnightly Review.

Whether it’s the increasing bands of prodnoses trying to control what we eat, think, say or learn, or the phoney revolutionaries like Russell Brand inciting us to turn the world upside down for the sake of some vague socialist utopia, Sucks To Your Revolution spares none of them.

Articles include:

Stop the March of Cupcake Fascism (yes, eating cupcakes now officially identifies you as a fascist)
Sucks to Your Revolution (the bien pensants wring their hands over the immiserated classes)
Sunnis, Shias and the Religion of Peace (say no more)
The Unintended Horses of Consequence (the EU, Romania and the horsemeat scandal)
Clowns against the Stagnant Quotidian (the Brand buffoon)
Gok Wan’s Bangers (Aussies, boobs and unfunny comediennes)
Kristallnacht in Slow Motion (the growth of acceptable antisemitism).

Plus a new look at Chesterton’s forgotten 1915 classic, The Flying Inn, with its prescient theme of the attempted Islamisation of Britain.

It’s available now in the Kindle Store – Sucks To Your Revolution – at £1.99.

 

Tired old nags and the hacks of correctness.

YOU CAN ALWAYS rely on a Marxist to get things wrong. When it comes to those odd creatures who live outside the Westminster-media circles, otherwise known as the people, Marxists are always doubleplus wrong…

Source: The Fortnightly Review.

European court rules European data retention law invalid.

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Tuesday overturned a controversial* EU directive that allowed telephone and email providers to store private citizens’ data en masse for scrutiny by investigators in later cases of serious crime.

The Luxembourg-based court ruled that the directive – passed by bloc’s Council of Ministers in 2006, after terrorist attacks in London and Madrid – amounted to a grave intrusion into the private lives of citizens in the 28-nation bloc.

“The directive interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data,” the ECJ wrote, because it required providers to retain data and allowed national authorities to access it.

Exact data on a person’s location, travel movements and social contacts were recorded without the affected person ever being informed, the judges said.

Read more at DW.

This is a good one.

The European Union passes a law demanding governments of its member states spy on the internet and phone activity of their citizens.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ), which is the EU’s own court, rules at the time that the directive is perfectly legal.

The British government of the time, under Messrs Blair and Brown, eagerly comply, transposing the directive into British law and planning to build a British database on top of it.

The latter is only scrapped when the cash runs out, on account of Gordon Brown getting his sums wrong and creating a colossal bust.

In the UK a new administration comes in, dedicated to defending civil liberties, and promptly revives the previous government’s plans for the Brownian database.

A couple of year’s later, the ECJ decides that the directive is invalid after all.

This leaves member states in a bit of a quandary (except Germany and Belgium, who only transposed parts of the directive into their law and are thus liable to fines). What are they going to do now?

The Guardian’s take on this is predictably skewed, spinning it as a spanner in the Tory/Coalition’s works, rather than a massive cock-up by its beloved European Union.

Some of the comments below the Guardian article make for hilarious reading as various Europhiles (presumably ignorant of the source of the legislation in the first place) claim this as triumph of EU good sense.

You can read the ECJ’s judgement yourself here.

* The directive was not “controversial” – not in Britain, anyway, where the mainstream media hardly bothered to mention it.
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Mad Greens propose heresy test for government advisers.

Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party in the UK, demands all government advisers who do not believe in global warming be removed from their posts.

Bennett and her ilk are beyond the reach of reason or the lash of satire.

Segregating the sexes. Free speech for religious bigots only.

Universities UK, a body that represents most of the universities in the country, recently issued a document External Speakers in Higher Education Institutions. This was intended “to provide practical assistance to universities in steering a path through all the different considerations, legal and otherwise, that arise in the context of inviting external speakers on campus.”

One section of the guidelines, “Case Study 2: Segregation” (Chapter 3: External Speaker Case Studies) has come in for considerable criticism, since it appears to condone segregation of men and women for religious reasons at public events if demanded by a speaker .

Part of the offending opinion runs as follows:

It should therefore be borne in mind – taking account of the s.43 duty, as well as equality duties and Human Rights Act obligations – that in these circumstances, concerns to accommodate the wishes or beliefs of those opposed to segregation should not result in a religious group being prevented from having a debate in accordance with its belief system…

Those opposed to segregation are entitled to engage in lawful protest…but their views do not require an institution to stifle a religious society’s segregated debate where the segregation accords with a genuinely-held religious belief.

My impression is that UUK are treading as carefully as they can on a path strewn with numerous legal traps accreted over the years by various government bodies, both national and European (the EU and the Council of Europe both have a hand in the legislation). To satisfy one group would be to antagonise and offend another, and the last thing anyone wants is a legal challenge. In our modern, diversity-and-equality-obsessed, (post-)multicultural society, religion ends up trumping the law and giving offence is the biggest crime of all.

So it’s free speech for bigots only.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the human rights industry has now got itself into such a righteous mess that sexism can be justified on religious grounds?