Saturday, January 31, 2009

Anarcho-tyranny (6) Hemlock for the Masses

Socrates was a public intellectual, and for his efforts he was executed. If he'd been a lesser man, one could almost cheer that. Public intellectuals are the menace of our time, that "time" being from roughly 1750. It's gotten worse by the decade. Public intellectuals have become the scourge of Life. Where is Cincinnatus? Well, in Wasilla, Alaska, now that you mention it. Somewhere in the Netherlands.

We in the West live, so we think, in democratic nations. Comparatively, yes. Ask Geert Wilders where he'd rather be: the Netherlands or Sweden. Obviously he'd rather be in the Netherlands where he faces criminal charges for speaking and making his short film Fitna; in the Netherlands where he's under 24 hour per day guard from jihadis who intend to kill him; in the Netherlands where he spends his nights in different locations out of reach of jihadis who want to kill him. In Sweden, no doubt the government would toss him onto the street and let him be killed. In his own way, Wilders is like Socrates: he asks questions that piss off the ruling classes. So far the Dutch aren't willing to kill him outright. Instead, they hope to toss him in prison or drive him out of the country. The intelligentsia hate Wilders. Rather than deal with the masses of murderers Wilders speaks of, they go after Wilders himself.

Sam Francis, "Mass Immigration + Feckless Feds = Anarcho-Tyranny," VDARE.com; 21 April 2003

"[A]narcho-tyranny": a combination of anarchy (in which legitimate government functions ... are not performed) and tyranny (in which government performs illegitimate functions....)

The result of anarcho-tyranny is that government swells in power, criminals are not controlled, and law-abiding citizens wind up being repressed by the state and attacked by thugs.

[....]

http://www.vdare.com/francis/patriot_act.htm

Socrates was a challenging and infuriating fellow who pissed-off his friends and enemies alike, being a genuine democrat in that sense. He lived off the labours of his wife and neglected his family to go into the agora and chat up people about morality. Today in the West it's unlikely he'd be sentenced to death for his efforts, but he'd definitely be hauled in front of a "human rights" commission of some sort. He'd find himself confronted by a dozen or so nasty little Platos. Nothing much changes. Except when you make it change. You could look at Jefferson and Madison to find out about that. You could look at the U.S. Constitution. Or you might take a peak at Geert Wilders.

Mark Steyn, "Dutch Courage," National Review Online. 21 Jan. 09.

[....]

The Dutch, like the Canadians, think they can maintain social peace by shriveling the bounds of public discourse and bringing what little remains under state regulation. But one notices that the coercive urge, which comes so naturally to Euro-progressives, only goes in one direction. The Swedish Chancellor of Justice shuts down the investigation into the Grand Mosque of Stockholm for selling tapes urging believers to kill "the brothers of pigs and apes" (ie, Jews) because that's simply "the everyday climate in the rhetoric". The masked men marching through the streets of London with placards threatening to rain down another 9/11 on the infidels are protected by a phalanx of Metropolitan Police officers. The PC nellies of the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission, happy to hound the last neo-Nazi in Saskatchewan posting to the Internet from his mum's basement, won't go anywhere near Abou Hammaad Sulaiman Dameus al-Hayitia, the big-time Montreal imam whose book says infidels are "evil people", Jews "spread corruption and chaos", and homosexuals should be "exterminated".

Instead, the state's response to explicit Islamic intimidation is to punish those foolish enough to point out that intimidation. You don't have to be as intemperate as Minheer Wilders can sometimes be: In the Netherlands even the most innocuous statement can get you into trouble. To express his disgust at Theo van Gogh's murder, the artist Chris Ripke put up a mural outside his studio showing an angel and the words "Thou shalt not kill". But the cops thought this was somehow a dig at the local mosque and so came round, destroyed the mural, arrested the TV news crew filming it, and wiped their tape. The Dutch have determined to commit societal euthanasia, and dislike fellows pointing out it might not be as painless as they've assumed.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=N2UyZTQxMDg4MzMyMWM3MjFiYmFkMmJlM2Q3ODBlODA

The Spartan faction is ascendant in the West today. Our public intellectuals are Platonist fascists. Rule by cliques of "enlightened" thinkers, those who "know" and who will, out of their innate goodness, keep us from the horrors of the Truth. The Big Lie. It's all for us and the preservation of society, right up till the time everyone is dead.

Bruce Bawer, "Submission in the Netherlands, City Journal. 22 Jan. 2009

[....]

The same people who demonized Fortuyn have done their best to stifle Wilders. In April 2007, intelligence and security officials called him in and demanded that he tone down his rhetoric on Islam. Last February, the Minister of Justice subjected him to what he described as another "hour of intimidation." The announcement that he was making a film about Islam only led his enemies to turn up the heat. Even before Fitna was released early last year, Doekle Terpstra, a leading member of the Dutch establishment, called for mass rallies to protest the movie. Terpstra organized a coalition of political, business, academic, and religious leaders, the sole purpose of which was to try to freeze Wilders out of public debate. Dutch cities are riddled with terrorist cells and crowded with fundamentalist Muslims who cheered 9/11 and idolize Osama bin Laden, but for Terpstra and his political allies, the real problem was the one Member of Parliament who wouldn't shut up. "Geert Wilders is evil," pronounced Terpstra, "and evil has to be stopped." Fortuyn, van Gogh, and Hirsi Ali had been stopped; now it was Wilders's turn.

[....]
http://www.city-journal.org/2009/eon0122bb.html
Socrates was evil. Geert Wilders is evil. I'm a boatload of disgusting things. You're rotten, too, no doubt. We cannot be allowed to voice or write our opinions or the whole of society will fall into chaos. That's what happens when evil people speak or write. Better to poison the free-thinker than allow chaos and dissent. Yes, it means the jihadis and the fascists will tyrannize the world, but it'll be OK because the elite know... The Truth. Charge Wilders for disrupting the phantasy of multi-culturalism. Throw him in jail.

[T]he Netherlands allows private citizens to petition the courts to compel prosecution. In Wilders' case, eight parties, including a politician from an opposing party, asked the courts to force prosecutors to bring criminal charges.

A three-judge appeals panel on Wednesday ruled that Wilders' insults to Islam were so egregious that the principle of free speech was not sufficient defense.

"The court considers [Wilders' film] so insulting for Muslims that it is in the public interest to prosecute Wilders," a summary of the court's decision said. The court explained that Wilders' claims in "Fitna" and other media statements were "one-sided generalizations ... which can amount to inciting hatred."

[....]
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,481665,00.html
Of course, when one refers to the Truth, one must distinguish between truth as the helots live it and the Truth as the Gnostic Platonists "know" it. And the chaos? Well, again there is the chaos of the helots and the demos and the chaos of putting things right eternally and unchangingly for the good of all later. Right? It means the Will to Death. It's not just a Dutch Disease. It affects us all.

Melanie Phillips, "Britain's Surrender," Wall Street Journal. 19 Jan. 2009.

[....]

Years of demonizing Israel and appeasing Islamist extremism within Britain have now coalesced, as a result of the media misrepresentation of the Gaza war as an atrocity against civilians, in an unprecedented wave of hatred against Israel and a sharp rise in attacks on British Jews.

Throughout the war, London's streets have witnessed a hallucinatory level of violent and explicit support for Hamas from Muslims, members of the far left and supposedly progressive individuals.

Night after night, Israel's embassy in well-to-do Kensington found itself under violent siege. Demonstrators attempted to storm the building, howling their support for the terrorist body whose genocidal intentions toward Israel and the Jews necessarily includes killing every one of the occupants inside.

[....]

The police told pro-Israel demonstrators on at least one occasion to put away their Israel flags because they were "inflammatory." Yet officers allowed some anti-Israel demonstrators to scream support for Hamas -- and even to dress up as hook-nosed Jews pretending to drink the blood of Palestinian babies.

In general, the police have reacted passively to the violence. One recent video clip captured the astonishing spectacle of Muslims stampeding through London's West End hurling traffic cones and other missiles at the police, all the time shrieking "Allahu akbar" and "cowards." The police ran and stumbled backward rather than standing their ground and stopping the rampage.

[....]

It was Britain which took the lead in framing the United Nations resolution calling upon Israel to withdraw all its forces from Gaza while making no mention whatever of Hamas. And it was Britain which also drew a disquieting moral equivalence between Hamas terrorism and Israeli self-defense.

[A]lthough "middle Britain" is beginning to grasp that the Islamists in Gaza are the same as those rampaging through the streets of London, ministers are intent on appeasing Muslim extremism and intimidation both at home and abroad.

[....]

Across the spectrum, Britain's elites are terrified of dealing with militant Islamism. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, in a pattern which goes back to the foundational Christian blood libel against the Jews, they are concealing their fearful inability to deal with Islamist aggression by displacing the blame onto its Israeli victims instead.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123240733254895655.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

Links above, except S. Francis, from Foundation for the Defense of Democracy.

Phillips writes: "Britain's elites are terrified of dealing with militant Islamism.... They are concealing their fearful inability to deal with Islamist aggression by displacing the blame onto its Israeli victims instead."

The Dutch bash Wilders. Every coward government has its favorite. That's not strange. That's totally normal. It's Human to pretend and to sacrifice someone expediently. What doesn't make sense is accepting ones own self as the sacrifice of others for no good reason. Yes, the psychology is there for all of us to grasp; but it's not universal: some will fight back. Some will struggle for the Will to Power against the Will to Death. Ask Geert Wilders.

Our ruling classes will sacrifice the people in small and unnoticed batches till they run out of batches. That's the nature of people. Most will accept death as the way things must be. Some, like Primo Levi, will survive. Some, like Adam Czerniakow, will sacrifice others till the shame drives them to suicide. Such is life. Not everyone is a Jabotinsky.

History isn't determined other than by the confines of Humanness, history being Will, the moment by moment making of the future. Accident is not history. Man's reaction to accident is history. History is Will. Anarcho-tyranny is Will. Revolution is Will.

Plato, Marat, Lenin: all public intellectuals. So too, Socrates, Jefferson, and Sarah Palin. Geert Wilders. What you will.

"Sweden: Muslim demonstrators attack Jews at peaceful pro-Israel rally."

See link for video: http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/024579.php

Sweden: Muslim mob attacks peaceful pro-Israel rally, chants "Hitler! Hitler! Hitler!"

See link for video: http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/024586.php

Criminal jihadis are not controlled, and law-abiding citizens like Wilders wind up being repressed by the state and attacked by thugs. That's not democracy. That's the Netherlands. It will be; and it will be worse-- unless by Will people rise up and reorganise the state.

The best laid plans

If I were a smart guy I woulda saved myself lotsa time and money and skipped the book in favor of the cartoons.
Hit the links while you still can:
http://mises.org/books/TRTS/

Smart people are economical with their time and their money, so I'm told.

My Neyes Ni Seen

I was at a concert at an Anglican church once when in the pew ahead of me a little girl asked her mother during the course of the service, "Do they believe in the Pope?" Her mother said, "Yes, dear, but not as much as we do."

Matthew Drake, "Silenced Christian soldiers: Sandhurst chaplain bans Creed 'so services won't offend minority religions', " Daily Mail. 30 Jan. 2009.

Sandhurst military academy has dropped the Church of England Creed from services over fears that it may offend religious minorities.

The move has outraged worshippers who say centuries of religious tradition have been sacrificed for the sake of political correctness.

Senior chaplain Reverend Jonathan Gough dropped the Christian declaration of faith in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, when he took office earlier this month.

Mr Gough – nicknamed the 'Right On Rev' by some of his flock – says he wants avoid offending non-believers.

But Christian cadets and civilians were furious when the traditional Anglican service abruptly ended without the Creed being read last Sunday.

Although no official announcement was made, a fellow Chaplain said it had been removed 'to stop upsetting cadets who do not believe in God'.

[....]

This is despite the fact that it is not compulsory for any Sandhurst cadets to attend.

[....]

The Creed, found in the book of Common Prayer, begins: 'I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried'.

Theologian, Dr Richard Bell, from Nottingham University, said it was 'something that unites most Christians and for the vast majority it is the act of stating who you are'.

[....]

An Army said it was common practice to alter the service from time to time. 'The people who are angry should sit down with Reverend Gough for a cup of tea,' a spokesman said.

Thanks to Dhimmi Watch.


I dunno, buddy. Angry tea-drinkers bring images of horror to my mind. You know, one of them might say: "I say!" That'd be the end of all peace in the realm. Just start running and let the jihadis have the ruins. "My neyes ni seen nuttin'...."

Friday, January 30, 2009

Don't miss your chance to lecture Dutch freebooters!

Last(?)sign of "Dutch" life: on Manhattan, somewhere south of Harlem (GOV):
Bloomberg supports Wilders

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York yesterday came to the aid of PVV leader Geert Wilders by making a strong stand for freedom of expression.

In the presence of State Secretary Frans Timmermans [PvdA, Socialist, Labour], the Dutch ambassador to the U.S. Renée Jones-Bos and Mayor Cohen of Amsterdam [PvdA, Socialist, Labour], Bloomberg said he was absolutely against any form of restriction on freedom of expression.

“Of course I do not appreciate everything I hear. But when you start restricting that, you step on a slippery slope. Before you know it, you can no longer say what you want,” Bloomberg said at the kickoff of NY400, a year of celebrations in which a central theme is the arrival of the ship “Halve Maen” (Half Moon, of the Dutch East India Company) with the explorer Henry Hudson, who founded a settlement on Manhattan.

Is this Christianity?

My interest in the church is presently that of an outsider who nonetheless has many reasons to believe the revival of Judeo-Christian ways of understanding the human are probably necessary to a revival of our shared Western freedom. One of the debates in today's church that interests me is whether a woman can properly play the role of priest. Of course a woman can be a priest or priestess, in general human terms - history has seen many - but can she be one in a specifically Christian context that will remain coherently and meaningfully Christian (not that I have any firm ideas about any necessary limits of Christianity in relation to any other possible religious positions)?

In other words, can a woman satisfactorily represent Jesus in relation to the church that has been traditionally figured as female (which, by the way, was a tradition continued when the at first Presbyterian and Anglican sons of a somewhat de-ritualized protestantism re-discovered their need for priestly ritual and created all-male priestly fraternities, starting in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. On the initial model of the Freemasons, the fraternal lodges that were, until the last few generations, ubiquitous in Anglo-American civil society were figured as feminine: e.g., one used turns of phrase like "our Mother lodge"; "our sister lodge" to refer to one's lodge's relationship to other lodges, though one's fellow priests were definitely fellows or brothers in the craft.)

While I believe we are primarily cultural beings, culture cannot eliminate or make insignificant certain underlying biological natures and these inevitably influence how we play any role, and how it was first "played" before it became the basis of a ritual. Anyway, this is just to explain why this story grabbed my interest:
Clergy Catwalk Show at Westpoint, showing off the cloths form the cloth is - Reverend Wiz Slater, curate at St Michael's CofE Stoke Gifford (Photo: SWNS)
The ecclesiastical event was a showcase of the latest designs of religious gowns in various colours, patterns, shapes and textures.

Several priests acted as 'models' to strut the cat walk in front of hundreds of clergy at the exhibition .

One model, The Rev James Hutchings, said: "I've done nothing like this before. It has certainly caused lots of laughs in the parish.

"My children thought it was hilarious. They probably won't ask me back. My pirouette was terrible."

Designers featured in the show including J Wippell Ltd, of Exeter, Juliet Hemingway and Shinglers of Sutton.

Ms Hemingway, who has designed vestments for George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, told the Express and Echo: "Women clergy have brought a fresh look to garments.

"They are not as willing to put up with dirty, worn-out robes. I think this has rubbed off on male clergy."

Reverend Hilary Dawson, Church of England curate in the Netherexe Mission Community, near Exeter, modelled various designs. She told the newspaper she had bought four stoles from Juliet Hemingway.

"My stoles say something about my faith, the place in which I am serving and, most of all, point to the gospel of Christ," she said. "My green stole, for example, reflects the water and hills of my new home and parishes."
WWJD?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Caroline Glick on Geert Wilders: Europe's last man standing?

Caroline Glick on Geert Wilders, the latest scapegoat for a dying Europe (HT: Defend Geert Wilders)
"Fitna" ends with a call for Muslims to expunge Koranic verses commanding them to conduct jihad from their belief system, and with a call for Dutchmen to defend their country, their culture and their civilization from the rising current of Islam in Europe.

All the material presented in "Fitna" is accurate. And it is also explosive. But it is hard to see how it could be illegal. By presenting the material in the way that he does, Wilders is not demonizing Muslims, he is challenging - indeed he is practically begging - his countrymen to engage in a debate about whether or not his dim assessment of Islam is correct.

Wilders has been living under 24-hour police protection since a Dutch jihadist murdered filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in 2004. Van Gogh was murdered after he released his short film "Submission," which described the misogyny of the Islamic world and the systematic terrorization of women in Islamic societies. Since then numerous Muslim clerics have issued religious judgments, or fatwas, calling for Wilders to be murdered.

Last month Wilders visited Israel and was the keynote speaker at a counter-jihad conference at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem sponsored by MK Dr. Aryeh Eldad. Speaking to a standing-room only crowd, and under heavy guard, Wilders argued that Israel is a frontline state in the global jihad. The war against Israel, he claimed has nothing to do with territory, and everything to do with ideology. Israel, as the forward outpost of Western civilization in the Islamic world, stands in the way of Islamic expansion. Consequently, he claimed, when Israel defends itself by fighting its enemies, it is also protecting Europe and the rest of the free world.

As he put it, "Thanks to Israeli parents who see their children go off to join the army and lie awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and have pleasant dreams, unaware of the dangers looming."

Unfortunately, the Dutch court's decision to prosecute Wilders for calling attention to the threat of jihad in Europe demonstrates that the Europeans aren't particularly grateful to their defenders. Indeed, they despise them. Films like "Fitna," and Israel's use of its military to defend its citizens from Islamic supremacists, serve to remind them of the growing threat they desperately seek to ignore. Consequently, Europeans embrace every opportunity to blame any messenger.


THE RIPPLE effects of Wilders' indictment were immediately evident. In England, the British Muslim community mobilized to prevent his film from being screened in public. "Fitna" was scheduled to be shown at the House of Lords on January 29. But last Friday, with the threat of mass Muslim riots hanging thickly in the air, the House of Lords announced that it was cancelling the event.

British Lord Nazir Ahmed called the decision to prevent the thought-provoking, factually accurate film from being shown, "a victory for the Muslim community."


WILDERS' INDICTMENT is a textbook example of blaming the victim. Wilders has been forced to live a miserable life for the past four years. He has no home. Security forces move him from place to place every single day. Since Van Gogh's murder, Wilders' entire life has become one long attempt to dodge the bullet permanently pointed at his head by radicalized Muslims in Holland and throughout the world. These would-be killers wish to see him dead not to avenge any violence Wilders committed, but rather, they believe he must die for doing nothing more than talking about Islam and how he interprets its message and meaning.

Needless to say, the Dutch Muslims Wilders caught on tape in Fitna calling for an overthrow of the Dutch constitutional order and threatening homosexuals have not been arrested for inciting hatred.


AND THAT'S the thing of it. Increasingly, throughout Europe, those who point out the dangers of radical Islam are hounded - first by Muslims - and then by legal authorities. In contrast, those who seek to intimidate and physically silence them are embraced by the states of Europe as legitimate leaders of their Muslim communities.

This dismal state of affairs, where jihadists are supported and their victims are oppressed, is true not only of people like Wilders who actively fight radical Islam's encroachment on European freedom. It is also the case for people who are victimized solely on the basis of their ethnic identity.

At the same time Wilders and people like him are forced into hiding, Jews throughout Europe find themselves assaulted and under siege not because of anything they have done, but because they are Jews.

Incidents of anti-Semitic violence in Europe reached post-Holocaust record highs over the past month. Jewish children have been violently attacked in France, barred from schools in Denmark, and harassed in England, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland and Germany just for being Jews.

In Britain, Muslims have now taken to entering into Jewish-owned businesses and kosher restaurants to threaten the owners and patrons - just because they are Jewish. Synagogues have been firebombed and defaced. Calls have been issued in the US Muslim community on the Internet for Muslims in America to similarly intimidate Jews by entering into synagogues during prayer services and condemn worshippers for supporting Israel.

Jewish men have been brutalized by Muslim gangs in Britain and viciously stabbed in France, just because they are Jewish. In Sweden, pro-Israel demonstrators were attacked with stones by Muslims this week. Even in the US, anti-Semitic violence and intimidation has reached levels never seen before. And in almost all cases of anti-Semitic violence throughout what is commonly referred to as the free world, the perpetrators of the violence and intimidation are Muslims. They attack with the full backing of non-Muslim multiculturalists as well as neo-Nazis. The two groups, which are usually assumed to be at loggerheads, apparently have no problem converging on the issue of hating Jews.

And in almost all cases of anti-Semitic violence, the Islamic identity of the attackers has been de-emphasized or obscured by the media and by politicians, or used as justification for their crimes. In France, for instance, from the way government officials talk it, would be reasonable to assume that a dozen Muslim teenagers were provoked to viciously beat a ten-year-old Jewish girl by the IDF's operation against Hamas in Gaza.


HERE THEN, we arrive at the point that the cabinet missed on Sunday when it passed its decision to commit the government to providing legal assistance to any IDF veteran who runs afoul of European legal authorities during vacations in London and Brussels and Oslo and Stockholm. The point that was missed is that in the event that IDF veterans are charged with war crimes, even the best attorneys will be of little use. These veterans will not be defendants at legitimate trials. They will be the victims of politically motivated show-trials.
We know Britain is dying when a member of the House of Lords threatens to bring a mob into the streets if his fellow Lords listen to a speaker he doesn't like. And, when this happens, the thug Lord, a so-called "moderate Muslim" is not immediately put to a vote of expulsion from the House (and/or the nation). How unspeakably sad. But hope in the possibility of ordinary Europeans taking back their nations will only renew from such revelations of the utter failure of the present ruling class. I am confident it will happen. Here is one group trying to guilt what may remain of any conscience in the ruling classes of the once-liberal, now fascist, Netherlands. Consider joining their letter-writing campaign. I think we can assume that the Amnesty International letter-writing clubs around the world have yet to take up the Geert Wilders challenge.

Lauryn Oates on the fight for a little more freedom in Afghanistan

What do Muslims really believe? As I have argued here before, that is a question for which the Koran is at best a partial guide. What anyone really believes is really only revealed when push comes to shove, and choices must be made, in the context of a particular place and time.

Lauryn Oates who spoke in Vancouver on her work in Afghanistan, and whom we were pleased to watch give an intellectual beating to chief Rabble.ca nihilist, Derrick O'Keefe, a year or so ago, on the question of Canada's involvement in Afghanistan, has a powerful column in the Ottawa Citizen which reveals to us something about what Afghans believe, something we could never have learned if Canada and other nations had not engaged that country and its people in the way we have. She also tells us something we have learned about Canadian nihilists:
Every year, all over South Asia, hundreds of women have acid sprayed in their faces for committing the offence of going to school, or for going to work, or for merely walking down a street without covering their faces. In Bangladesh alone, an average of 228 women are subjected to such acid attacks every year.

But there is an important and very specific lesson to be learned from the Kandahar incident.

More than a dozen of the young Kandahari women were seriously injured, two of them blinded, and the victims have all defiantly returned to their classes at the Mirwais Mena school. One of the girls who suffered severe eye injuries is 17-year-old Shamsia: “I will go to my school even if they kill me,” Shamsia said. “My message for the enemies is that if they do this 100 times, I am still going to continue my studies.”

The lesson here is that millions of brave Afghan schoolgirls are dedicated to pursuing their studies, in sometimes perilous and hostile circumstances, and their devotion is heartfelt, homegrown and hardy. It has not been “imposed” upon them by the “West.”
[...]
Our focus should be on how we can do more, and better. Instead, a bizarre kind of cultural relativism has come to infect national debates about the Afghan mission, clouding our judgment and entirely obscuring the very meaning of universal human rights.

I first noticed it when I was in high school, in 1996, when I was circulating a petition to protest the Taliban’s brutal oppression of women. One of my teachers refused to sign the petition, saying, well, that’s their culture, and we have no right to interfere.

Two years ago I spoke on a panel organized by Carleton University’s Students Coalition Against War, in Ottawa. I was accused of exaggerating the suffering of Afghan women, but even if I had a point, it was an “internal cultural matter,” and certainly none of my business.

Human rights are culturally relative, the thinking goes, and the universality of human rights is some sort of western imperialist construction. It is as though girls have no right to read if their “culture” forbids it. It is a rarely scrutinized assumption, but it is ubiquitous in Canadian universities, and it reaches its most toxic concentrations in “anti-war” debates.

The result is that the once great cause of fulfilling the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is rendered merely a “Eurocentric” enterprise, and necessarily something shabby.

Years from now, when our own children look back on us, what will they make of how Canada, one of the richest countries of the world, lived up to the promise of universal human rights? In Afghanistan, where those rights are only now being extended to the people, and are still just nominally available to the women of that country, did we uphold our commitment?

Did we not see in the Afghan people our shared humanity? Did we recognize death-cult misogyny for what it really is? Did we have the courage to call fascism by its proper name, or did we excuse ourselves and retreat into the comfortable, false virtues of pacifist isolationism and cultural relativism?

Afghanistan is not just a theatre of war in the conventional meaning of the term. It is also a battleground of values. But it is not a clash between “western” and “eastern” cultures. The Afghan people want their girls to go to school. The Afghan people do not want the Taliban. But in Canada, it has nonetheless become necessary to point this out, over and over, and also to point out what it is that the Taliban actually do want.
Read it all... (HT: Terry Glavin)

Kinsella's Canada: messed up

So Warren Kinsella goes around Ottawa, videoing himself and publishing (and then trying to hide) what sounds like a depressive's bad jokes about Chinese restaurants serving cat meat, all the while wearing a Che "revolution" cap, and the free speech bloggers are compelled to point out the hypocrisy of this guy who goes about saying we need Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act to control hate on the internet because, as one comment at Small Dead Animals (!) puts it:
If we don't crush WK's rights, we'll lose our freedoms. There'll be Chinese people in ovens and neo-liberal bands of skinheaded leftards wreaking havoc across the land. There'll be small children writing Liberal signs at knee height in bathrooms. Oh, the Horror!!

It's time for this insidious free speech to be crushed so that our rights are protected and our delicate sensitivities are not harmed! After all, someone's FEELINGS may be hurt!!!! What could be worse than that??
Yes it's hypocrisy, or an honest confession of what Warren needs the state to control, and there are probably many reasons Michael Ignatieff might think twice about relying on Kinsella's political instincts, or those of Denis "Hezbollah" Coderre for that matter. But then Ignatieff is what he is, and in my best guess he's not the wise scholarly gentleman some would like to think but an opportunist with a rough touch.

But, anyway, wearing a Che cap? that mass-murdering thug who lined suspected counter-revolutionaries up against the wall and shot them without even a kangaroo court? Where are our scandal priorities?

Meanwhile, some provocateur from an Ottawa Bell account is googling 'Warren Kinsella Racism' and finding months-old posts like ours to leave the press release on Kinsella's cat meat comments from the outraged Chinese Canadian Conservative Association.

Pointing out K's "hypocrisy" is one thing, though it looks like some odd case of mental-emotional confusion to me (I think he has a secret love for Kate at Small Dead Animals), but when conservatives start playing the "gotcha, racist" game, scoring points by being offended, inevitably thus tending to want to be offended, what hope is there for our country? Have we not given in to a game where we must all be victims pleasding to higher authority for points, instead of putting up with the idiocies of our fellow citizens and getting on with ruling ourselves, a top-down game where everything can be reduced to some arbitrarily-wielded code of political correctness? (If you're Chinese, joke about Cantonese peasant food all you like...) We might as well double down on Section 13 and formalize things a little if we can. Maybe, in some strangely dark and brooding way, that's the point of this bizarre Kinsella performance?(HT: Catfur)

Looking Forward To Online Media... In 1981

"Imagine, if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee, turning on your home computer, to read the day's newspaper. Well, it's not as far-fetched as it may seem..."



This video fascinates me, because it is about the future, and that is where we are going to be spending the rest of our lives.

[HT Ann Althouse]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Egyptian Television Transcript

The following post comes from Jihad Watch, commentary by Robert Spencer.

Egyptian Muslim cleric airs Holocaust footage, says: "This is what we hope will happen, but, Allah willing, at the hand of the Muslims"

As you read this and/or watch this clip, keep in mind the open calls for genocide against the Jews made by Muslim demonstrators in recent weeks in the U.S. and Europe. "Egyptian Cleric Amin Al-Ansari Justifies the Holocaust, Airs Footage, and Declares: 'This Is What We Hope Will Happen But, Allah Willing, at the Hand of the Muslims' WARNING: Extremely Disturbing Holocaust Footage," from MEMRI, January 26 (thanks to all who sent this in):

Following are excerpts from a show featuring Egyptian cleric Amin Al-Ansari, which aired on [Egyptian] Al-Rahma [mercy] TV on January 26, 2009.

Warning: The show contains extremely disturbing Holocaust footage.

Amin Al-Ansari: Let us examine the civil strife the Jews have caused throughout the world. Of course, we know what problems they caused the Muslims. They have always been like that, but in modern times, they only turned to the Muslims [relatively] late. They went around the world – to the East and West – because they love money, and the West was full of money – in England, France, Germany, and of course, in America, which was still a new country. This was 200 years ago. They focused on these places, and this is why they have spread in America and control the money. They immigrate to any place where there was money.

The Jews spread corruption in the land during World Wars I and II.

The penalty for spreading corruption in the land, according to Qur'an 5:33, is amputation of a hand and a foot on opposite sides, or crucifixion.

Let me tell you a very short story, so that you understand their way of thinking. The Jews do not know how to climb from the bottom up. They do not want to meet poor people, and then climb up, in order to reach the rulers of any country. Instead, they go straight to the rulers. [...]

The corruption spread by the Jews was very great. Very great. It got to the point that the rulers themselves had no solution but to annihilate them. This was said even by the rulers of America themselves. You see that America supports Israel, but this is partly because it hates and fears Israel, since the [Jews] are corruptors. Most of the U.S. rulers said to the American people: We'd better give them a place of their own, and keep them and their evil at bay from our European countries. They wanted to places them in a country of their own, far from anything to do with the European peoples.

In a nutshell, the holocausts of the Jews in Germany were because of their own deeds. They were killing Germans, kindling civil strife, inciting the people against their rulers, and corrupting the peoples. "Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah extinguishes it." Let me show you what corruption they caused, and what damage they inflicted upon all the countries of the world – upon peoples and governments alike. Let's watch the holocaust that the Jews underwent, which were Allah's way of wreaking vengeance upon them. Let's watch what the German people, or the German army, did to them. This is, of course, a part of the corruption of Germany by the Jews. [...]

These people like to spread corruption, and when they can't, they look for those who can, and encourage them to do it. Back in those days, it was England that they encouraged to spread corruption. This is Germany, and this is the destruction it suffered in 1945.

Observe these cities, and think about what exactly is happening. These are the armies that Israel encouraged to corrupt and destroy the German army and country. See the rubble and the dead people on the ground. The world was dying – country and civilization was being annihilated. This is what the Jews did. The Germans were, of course, strong. When they realized that the Jews were behind all this, they took revenge on them. They were not weak, as the Muslims are today. They had something different in mind. Let's watch what Germany did to Israel – or rather, to the Jews – so we can understand that there is no remedy for these people, other than imposing fear and terror on them.

There is one language that the Jews understand – the language of force. If you are stronger than them, they are afraid of you. That is why Allah said: "They fear you in their hearts more than Allah." Allah said: "Prepare for them whatever force and steeds of war you can, to strike terror in the hearts of Allah's enemies and your enemies."

Qur'an 8:60.

The Jews is afraid of you more than he is afraid of God. When the Germans revealed the treachery and the war of the Jews against them, and the fact that they were spreading corruption in their country – let us watch how oppressors are killed by the people they oppressed.

What we have here are German graves, but let's watch what the Germans do to the Jews. These are corpses of dead humans and the shattered bones of Jews. Here we have a crematorium, in which the Jews were burnt. These are Jews who are being prepared to be burnt. Look, these are Jews dying of hunger or by gas. Look how they round them up and put them on trucks. Note the humiliation on his face, Allah be praised. "Abasement and humiliation were brought down upon them, and they became deserving of Allah's wrath."

He is quoting Qur'an 3:112.

Look what starvation [the Germans] inflicted upon them. Look what humiliation. These are people being buried alive. Does this look like a human being? He is placed in a ditch to be buried alive. This is a pile of bodies. Ibn Mas'oud was right... Look, this is a barbed wire, used to crush their bodies. He and five others will be hanged with a single chain. Concentrate on this, my brothers. Watch this. Look, they are tying five heads together. These are bodies. Here they are drilling a hole in his back with a nail. This child awaits his turn. Watch their humiliation. These are corpses, Allah be praised. The [Jews] are oppressors. They are being deported. Ibn Mas'oud was right when he said: "All the oppressors are killed by those they oppress." These are bodies, these are dead people, these are skulls. These are the bodies of the Jews being loaded like animals. Watch this tractor clearing away the corpses of the Jews, and these are the refugees awaiting their turn to be killed. A German soldier will come now, and you will see a Jewish woman kissing his hand. Notice what humiliation, fear, and terror have struck her. See how much she is kissing his hand. Watch her humiliation. This is what we hope will happen, but, Allah willing, at the hand of the Muslims....
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/024603.php

Heal thyself!

Muslim doctor refuses lesbian patients. Human Rights Commission called on to make the patients whole. How will multiculti wisdom rule this one? (HT: Catfur)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Family Values

When people come to meet us at the library and discuss current events on Thursday evening, this is the sort of thing we get in the mail from them. This is the mind of the kind of people we meet. The person who sent this is the kind of person who makes me love Humanity. I think these people are worth fighting for.

People who do this are those worth fighting against:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Even a poodle will bite back when depressed upon.

Former French President Jacques Chirac was rushed to a hospital after being mauled by his pet dog who is being treated for depression, in a dramatic incident that rattled the ex-president's wife.

The couple's white Maltese poodle, called Sumo, has a history of frenzied fits and became increasingly prone to making "vicious, unprovoked attacks" despite receiving treatment with anti-depressants, Chirac's wife Bernadette said.

"If you only knew! I had a dramatic day yesterday," she told VSD magazine. "Sumo bit my husband!"

Mrs. Chirac, 74, did not reveal where the former president was bitten, but said, "the dog went for him for no apparent reason."
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,481426,00.html

Thanks to American Thinker.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Anarcho-Tyranny, (5): Do not go gentle....

I had a series of photographs of a family, a man and woman about forty, and their ten year old son, all of them standing in front of a trench. Next shot, they are standing with their backs to the camera, naked, their clothes in a pile behind them. Next, the family are kneeling down on their knees while a German officer stands behind them holding a pistol to the back of the man's head.

I had another series of photographs of Italian women standing in a huddle, dressed; then undressed; then laying in a heap after they'd been machine-gunned by Germans. I'd swear to fight.
Edward Olshaker, "Chopra's Delusions," American Thinker. 16 Dec. 2008

[Deepak] Chopra wants to do something, anything, to calm down Islamic terrorist rage. We all do. "Ultimately the [terrorists'] message is always toward Washington," he said. Yet even if the US and Israel were to disappear, there would be no shortage of Islamic extremist rage -- at Buddhist schoolgirls they behead in Thailand; at Christians persecuted for being the wrong religion; at schoolchildren in Beslan, Russia; at blacks they enslave, rape, and kill in genocidal numbers in Sudan; at the Dalai Lama, who is under a death fatwa; at the five fishermen the Mumbai terrorists killed at the start of their mission; at fellow terrorists summarily executed in Palestinian infighting; at their own women who they dispose of in "honor" killings; at their own children who are hanged to death in Iran on suspicion of being gay. It takes no more than a mere cartoon to trigger deadly rage....
American Thinker
.
I used to live a bit close to the edge, and if I'd been wounded or come close to death through some misadventure I'd find myself in possession of photos of Jews who suffered the ultimate. I might have gazed in wonder at the dead to will that I will not go gentle.
Tom Whitehead. "Prison chapel not to have a crucifix,"Telegraph, 15 Dec. 2008.

A new prison chapel has been stopped from having a crucifix in case it offends Muslims.

The multi-faith room at HMP Lewes will have footbaths installed so Muslim inmates can wash their feet before prayers.

For Christians, however, there will now only be a plain wooden cross and a portable altar which can be removed if other faiths are using the room.

The new £200,000 development at the East Sussex jail has been designed as a multi-faith room with the space split into two.

One side is dedicated to Christian worship and the other is for other faiths in the 485 inmate category B jail.

But a spokeswoman from the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) revealed the traditional Christian crucifix depicting Jesus nailed to the cross will not be used.

After discussions between the prison chaplain and Muslim imam it was agreed a toned-down wooden cross would be used instead of a crucifix....
Dhimmiwatch.
Most people freeze in a panic. When they do that, one could walk up to each one separately and individually and shoot them in the head, and not a one would cry out or run away. They wait their turn. We came across a whole village of people who died like that. One woman escaped.
John Bingham, "Blind man's guide dog barred from restaurant for offending Muslims," Telegraph, December 15.

A blind man has been turned away from a fashionable Indian restaurant because his guide dog offended Muslim staff....

"I was made to feel like a piece of dirt. They told me I couldn't come in because it was against their religious beliefs to have a dog in the restaurant....
Dhimmiwatch
.A crowd is one animal itself. I've been in crowds that have frozen in panic; I've seen a mob hack a man to bits; I saw a man in a crowd gutted by an hysteric in a crowd of hysterics. I've seen a big man intimidated by a small man, the big man shrinking from fear like a corpse. I've seen a beaten woman grin in triumph when another man came to rescue her from her boyfriend. I'm getting old. I've seen lots of weirdness. But never in my travels over the course of a long life-time have I seen anything so strange and disgusting as the fall of Modernity, a huge lumbering animal now frozen in a state of fear, shrinking like a corpse before our eyes, grinning in triumph and shame and confusion.

I'll continue here with more from Samuel Francis and his idea of Anarcho-tyranny.
Sam Francis, "Anarcho-Tyranny—Where Multiculturalism Leads," VDARE.Com. 30 Dec. 2004.

In Europe, if not in the United States, some people are beginning to grasp that just maybe they made a mistake when they decided to welcome millions of immigrants over the last several decades.

[....]

To have freedom on a stable political basis, you have to have a homogeneous culture and society, composed of people who share the same values and beliefs.

If they don't share them, you can hold them together only by force.

[....]

"Society cannot exist," wrote the great eighteenth century conservative Edmund Burke, "unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more of it there must be without."

Restraints come from within when a population shares cultural and moral values; when they don't, external force has to provide the restraints.

Only a week or so after the murder of Mr. Van Gogh in Holland, the neighboring country of Belgium outlawed its main opposition party, the Vlaamsblok, for being a "racist organization."

The Vlaamsblok, which two opinion polls found was the most popular political party in Flanders the month before, was notable mainly for its strong opposition to immigration. That's what made it "racist" and that's why it had to go.

This month Great Britain simply arrested two of its leading opponents of immigration, Nick Griffin of the British National Party and the party's founder John Tyndall, on charges of "inciting racial hatred." Each, it seems, had made (in private meetings secretly taped by undercover informants) derogatory (or perhaps merely critical) remarks about Islam.

The arrests are transparent efforts by the British overclass to muzzle rising political challengers, but they're also part of the drift toward authoritarianism that mass immigration provokes.

We see the drift in this country, with the Patriot Act and its spawn at airports and in random searches of law-abiding citizens—all because our own overclass will not enforce standing laws against illegal immigration and does nothing to halt the transformation of American society by millions of aliens.

Unwilling to control immigration and the cultural disintegration it causes, the authorities instead control the law-abiding.

This is precisely the bizarre system of misrule I have elsewhere described as "anarcho-tyranny" -- we refuse to control real criminals (that's the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that's the tyranny).

http://www.vdare.com/francis/041230_multiculturalism.htm

Stealing, raping, and murder are all acceptable under sharia under the right conditions. It's a matter of orthopraxy, of practicing the correct ritual Islamic behaviour. In the state of Velvet Fascism, we have lost even that much sense, delving into banal and ultimately stupid ortholexy. "Whatever you do, don't you ever say that!"

Deflect. Do not look at them. Pretend this is not happening, and perhaps they'll choose someone else. Don't let the trouble-makers rile them up. Silence them. They'll only make it worse.

Following are two examples from the unrelenting daily barrage of the velvet fascism of anarcho-tyranny:
"Mother told to take down her Christmas lights... in case they offend her non-Christian neighbours," from the Daily Mail, 16 Dec. 2008.

A woman has spoken of how she was told to remove her Christmas lights by a housing association worker - in case they offended her non-Christian neighbours.
Dhimmi Watch.
And this:
"After 130 years of fundraising, Sally Army told to stop rattling collecting tins because it might 'offend other religions,'" by Paul Harris in the Daily Mail , December 15 (thanks to James):

For 130 years they have been part of Christmas, filling the air in towns across the land with music and carols.

But one thing is missing from the repertoire of Salvation Army bands this year - the percussion of rattling tins.

Members have been forbidden to shake their charity tins - even if it's done in time to the music - in case it harasses or intimidates people. One said she had been told it might also offend other religions.
Dhimmi Watch.
This is panic gone emasculated, if you will.

Thirty-one people died in the escalator fire at King's Cross subway station, London in 1987. Reporting on this, David Canter, a forensic psychologist says: "We discovered some remarkable things about human behaviour in emergency situations.... We discovered that even in the dark, in choking smoke, commuters kept to their route and tried to behave normally. One police officer said that he saw people on fire queuing to have their tickets validated." 1.

1. Richard Edwards, "Rachel Nickell: Will we ever get inside the criminal mind?" Telegraph.co.uk. 20 Dec 2008

I'm not so naive that I think people just don't know that Modernity is dying, and that if only I can explain it and show some examples that the majority of men and women in the West will rise up and throw off the enemy force that is killing our Revolution. I don't think anyone can say or write anything new that will motivate people to act to save our civilization. Reality is clear already. The clearer it becomes, the less people will be to act to save Modernity. Fathers will kneel with their wives beside them and think not at all as their children join them. Women will strip themselves and lie themselves down quietly to the bloody ground under the pounding of machinery. Men afire will stand patiently and burn.The blind might bark, but the lights will dim, the bells will cease to toll.

It's not for the mere likes of me to set things straight. What is to be done? We've all known that since the womb. Survive. As we've seen above, that's not so simple. Most survive by submitting. We see people surviving to death by submitting. We see a normal family stripped naked and shot to death one after the other, dad, mom, son. We see a group of naked and helpless women murdered. We see the same confession of despair in the lives of all of those above. We see the triumph of the savage anarchy; and we see the demise of the decent to the tyranny of the elite terrified and delighted in their masochism.

Of course we know what is to be done. That's the problem. Do not go gentle into that good night? O! Someone might object. No, do not go gentle....

Radio Memories: Time Marches On

Time marches on: it’s already Sunday! And that means it’s time for this week’s Radio Memories post, where we pause to look back as an aid to thinking about how to look ahead.

Time marches on: it wasn’t all that long ago when neither television or the internet, but radio, was king. Radio offered its listeners an art form of its own: radio drama, theater for the imagination.

Last Sunday's Radio Memories centered around the Edward R. Murrow news program Hear It Now, the first step on the treadmill that led to today’s 24/7 news cycle. I thought it would make an interesting contrast to go a bit further back in time this week, to another approach taken to delivering news over the radio: having current events dramatized as a radio play.

The program for this Sunday therefore is The March Of Time, an early outgrowth of Time magazine. Time, of course, is still being published today, but the radio series didn’t last beyond World War II. A few seasons into its fifteen year radio run Time would create a second series with the same title, destined for movie theater screens, where in that format it outlasted its radio counterpart by many years. (A quick aside: I am appalled at how inaccurate Wikipedia’s entries on old radio programming are proving to be. Last Sunday's Radio Memories post included my disagreements with their entry on Hear It Now; the Wikipedia entry for The March of Time has only one brief statement on the radio series, and yet gets half of it wrong. The series started in 1931 but ran until 1945, not 1935, as affirmed by Wikipedia.)

Each episode of The March Of Time would select stories from that week’s issue of Time Magazine, and dramatize them on the air. A handful of actors would rotate through the many roles each week's script demanded, often with very little rehearsal, as the magazine wanted its shows as up-to-date as possible. From major international figures like Adolf Hitler and President Roosevelt to "ordinary" citizens getting their 15 minutes of fame, The March Of Time makes for intriguing listening from our vantage point today; like a ticking bomb in slow motion, each week is a virtual countdown to the eruption of World War II.

Every so often, however, it is the stories in the margins of history rather than its main streams that seem to say the most about the paths we've traveled in seventy years. Particularly so for this week’s offering, originally aired February 10th, 1938. Among the stories of pirate submarines, arms races and Nazi purges, there’s a short account at the ten-minute mark that seemed fitting to reflect on, given what took place in Washington, DC, this past Tuesday.

Time, indeed, marches on…

video

Previous Radio Memories posts:

Hear It Now: Coming Home From The Korean War
Escape: Vanishing Lady
Rogers Of The Gazette: Rewinding The Town Clock

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hero's Welcome For Miracle Pilot Captain Sully

It's a hero's welcome for the pilot who made the miraculous landing on the Hudson River two weeks ago, as he returns home to Danville, California, to be cheered by a crowd of 3,000 celebrants. Captain "Sully" continues to inspire: in the middle of all this attention, he still retains the humility to pointedly include a mention of the work of the flight crew during his brief speech to the cheering crowds:

Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger was given a hero's homecoming, complete with a marching band, in Danville, the San Francisco suburb where he and his family live.
Sullenberger said he was grateful for the outpouring of support since the Jan. 15 emergency landing, and that he and his crew were only doing their jobs.
"Circumstance determined that it was this experienced crew that was scheduled to fly that particular flight on that particular day," he told the crowd.
"But I know I can speak for the entire crew when I tell you we were simply doing the job we were trained to do."

Sullenberger's brief comments were his first since he brought Flight 1549 to an emergency river landing in New York City. All 155 people on board survived.
The pilot's wife, Lorraine Sullenberger, said through tears that she was amazed at the warm treatment the family has received. She said she was not surprised by her husband's heroism.
"I have always known him to be an exemplary pilot. I knew what the outcome would be that day because I knew my husband," she said. "But mostly for me, he's the man that makes my cup of tea every morning."

When Gratitude Is Music To Our Ears

A violinist may have almost lost his arm but he never lost his love for the blessing that music brings to our lives; now the music animated by that love graces the hospital that saved his arm:

The melodic strains of a violin that emanated Friday from a lobby at Barnes-Jewish Hospital carried the gratitude of a former patient who nearly lost the ability to play the instrument.
"I suppose it's a way of saying `thank you' to the hospital, but it's a lot of things." Ken Wollberg said. "It's a way to share a beautiful thing."
...
Although he enjoyed playing professionally, his real passion was teaching viola and violin. He performed with music groups and symphonies, but it was hard to make a living off his music.
So he and his wife, Peggy, decided to launch careers as truck drivers and in 2002 began hauling rigs cross-country. Eventually, they bought a truck and leased their services.
Wollberg and his wife were hauling three flatbeds, stacked on the back of their truck on Dec. 27, 2007, when it hit a patch of ice in Montana and slid the length of about four football fields before toppling to its side.
Peggy Wollberg and the couple's Yorkshire terrier puppy, also in the cab, were not injured. But the driver's side window had shattered, and Wollberg's left elbow took a beating. His triceps muscle detached, and bone scraped away from his elbow.
"I told him from the get-go that it was uncertain if he'd be able to play again, depending on the amount of nerve damage, weakness and stiffness," said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jay Keener.
Keener reattached Wollberg's triceps muscle to the bone. Plastic surgeon Dr. Ida Fox performed a skin graft to cover the outside of the wound. A second operation last July released scar tissue and stretched the elbow.
After months of exercises and therapy visits, Wollberg returned to teaching music.
"That whole time, I didn't realize how serious it was. My hand worked," he said, but it was a struggle to play again. "It took a month, maybe, to reach the bottom string."
...
When Wollberg returned to Barnes-Jewish Hospital recently for a checkup, he brought along his violin.
"I wanted to show I had my violin-playing back. I wanted them to see the work they'd done was successful," he said.
The doctors were impressed and the hospital asked the patient to schedule another appointment _ but as a performer this time. Wollberg and his friend, guitarist Jim Stieren, appeared Friday at the hospital's Center for Advanced Medicine in St. Louis. Peggy Wollberg joined them and sang a few songs, including "Amazing Grace."


If we concentrate we can almost hear the echo of their performance from here, can't we; just imagine the gratitude, then the peace of mind that comes from it, and the music will begin, faintly, to envelop us. How sweet the sound......

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Prediction Mark Steyn Didn't Make In His Book "America Alone"

From the Daily Mail:

"The outpouring of euphoric optimism currently gripping the U.S. following the inauguration of Barack Obama may yet result in a baby boom towards the end of this year."

What is Left dhimmi Fascism?

"Wilders expects to be sent to prison"

[....]

A member of parliament in the Netherlands who has been charged with "insulting" Muslims says he fears he will be found guilty and sent to prison in only a few months.

[....]

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/024529.php

Dag's Poetry Corner

Due to intense public demand for a poem on occasion of Barka Osama's swearing in as U.S. president I finally relented and decided to write one for my legion of fans. I'm inaugurating my own self as President of Dag's Poetry Corner. In commemoration of that glorious event and this memorable day in world history, I dedicate this poem to myself, which is about myself, written by myself, for myself and all the world's starving poor folk and stuff.

"Obama's S'Mokin' "

My fellow citizens of every country I was born in:

I stand here today near Winston-Salem humbled like a Camel

by the task before us requiring the strength of the Marlborough Man

The smoky words have been filtred during rising tides of prosperity

and the still ashtrays of peace.

Yet, every so often-- fffftttt-- the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds-- ffffwwww-- and raging storms.

At these moments, flick, tap, tap, America has carried on not simply because of the matchless skill

or greenish vision of those in high, yellow-stained office rooms,

but because We the People, cough, have inhaled

the ideals of our pallbearers, and true to our founding package label health warnings.

So it has been when others finally butted out.

So it must be with this generation of Americans Striking it Lucky.

http://www.alternet.org/election08/121123/obama's_inauguration_speech:_a_call_for_responsibility_and_sacrifice_at_a_time_of_gathering_storms/

Orwellian in Catalonia

We meet this evening at Vancouver's Public Library in the atrium from 7-9:00 p.m. to discuss current affairs and the nature of things. For those looking for a more popular gathering, ours would be one to avoid.

Maya Mahler, "Catalunya cancels Shoah memorial ceremony over Gaza op," Israel Jewish Scene. 22.01.09

BARCELONA – The Catalunya government has called off the ceremony marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was scheduled to take place on January 27, citing the Israeli offensive in Gaza as the reason.

[....]

Over 30,000 people marched in Catalunya's streets in support of Hamas, during the three-week campaign, burning Israeli flags and handing out flyers threatening local pro-Israel journalists.

The overwhelming public support for the Palestinians has prompted the government to cancel the Holocaust Remembrance Day service. This was to be the only public event marking the day, and was scheduled to take place in Barcelona's central piazza.

[....]

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3660349,00.html

Feel free to join us for coffee and a few hours of talk. Outside of Blenz coffee bar in the atrium. Tonight and every Thursday night.

Meeting Strangers

"You wonder if you can ever make a difference", she said after a pause, a distant look in her eyes. "You do it week after week, and you wonder if you should stop. What good does it do. Well: one day, a young lady came over to us, and I braced for the usual sharp criticisms. The woman started to talk to me. She said that that five years ago, she was going to enter the very building we were praying in front of; when she got there, she saw us. She read our signs, thought one last time, hesitated, then turned around and went home. 'I couldn't go through with the abortion', she said. 'Now I'd like you to meet my five-year old daughter', and that's when I noticed the shy little girl standing there, holding her hand.

"So you just never know."

She was a stranger to me the morning I met her, but overcoming the usual shyness I have with strangers, we got to talking, and at a later meeting one of my questions led to the above story as a response. I can recount the story with words, but I can't find the means to duplicate the look in her eyes as she told it to me. It was unforgettable, to see her eyes seeing an act of faith fulfilled. But then, the look is not so rare, is it... We see it renewed every time a mother holds their new-born child, a blessed gift of hopes and dreams, given human shape. A stranger, but only for a moment; a stranger, but there will be a lifetime to meet the person that the child is in the constant process of becoming.

It pays to meet strangers... you never can know which of them can teach you about life's most important lessons, about choosing to act on faith, and to live in hope for a better future.

This week, and today especially, is a good time to reflect on that truth...



[thanks to Suzanne at Big Blue Wave for the video]

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More on Geert Wilders' prosecution by foolish lawyers

An English translation of the Dutch Court of Appeal ruling calling for the criminal prosecution of Geert Wilders is here.

It is an argument that we have seen well refuted in Canada over the last year's debate on the Human Rights Commissions. I won't go into it in any detail now. However, one passage jumped out at me:
The Court of Appeal has considered that the contested views of Wilders (also as shown in his movie Fitna) constitute a criminal offence according to Dutch law as seen in connection with each other, both because of their contents and the method of presentation. This method of presentation is characterized by biased, strongly generalizing phrasings with a radical meaning, ongoing reiteration and an increasing intensity, as a result of which hate is created. According to the Court of Appeal most statements are insulting as well since these statements substantially harm the religious esteem of the Islamic worshippers. According to the Court of Appeal Wilders has indeed insulted the Islamic worshippers themselves by affecting the symbols of the Islamic belief as well.

Secondly, the Court of Appeal has answered the question whether a possible criminal prosecution or conviction would be admissible according to the norms of the European Convention on Human Rights and the jurisprudence of the European Court based thereon, which considers the freedom of expression of paramount importance. The Court of Appeal has concluded that the initiation of a criminal prosecution and a possible conviction later on as well, provided that it is proportionate[my emphasis], does not necessarily conflict with the freedom of expression of Wilders, since statements which create hate and grief made by politicians, taking their special responsibility into consideration, are not permitted according to European standards either.
Provided that it is proportionate! In other words, freedom of speech must be balanced against hate speech. This is the given assumption of the court without any serious consideration of just what it is that is being hated. The object of Wilders' hate cannot be considered for the court would not dare to "insult" Muslims by passing any serious judgment on Islam. Otherwise, how could it outlaw religious insults? Of course, I'm sure one can still insult Christianity in the Netherlands, but we are not really talking about anything but arbitrary justice on behalf of those deemed legitimate victims, when we talk about the legal concept of "proportionality".

As was noted in yesterday's post on the concept of "proportionality" applied to Israel, the concept as a ruling legal principle is mindless: we should be disproportionate in our critique or war on certain evils, like Islamist movements that foment war not on behalf of any realistic vision/reality of a state or national interest, i.e. on behalf of an orderly world, but rather in the cause of an apocalpytic ideology that calls for child martyrs to keep its genocidal flame alive.

In Wilders' somewhat different situation, the Dutch court seems to value the "proportionate" because the court refuses to make any judgments on the good and evil in religion and culture. We have no right to "insult" others too much, whatever they believe, or do, but especially if they are not part of some dominant or established religion/culture. Thus Wilders' has some right to the protection of his freedom of speech; on the other hand, he can't hate Islam too much. At a certain point his hatred is a provocation. (By the way, the court is implying that as a member of the Dutch parliament Wilders' provocation is not actually in the cause of proposing duly-constituted or legitimate legislation on immigration and related matters - Wilders is simply written off as violent - in an age when the Dutch parliament has given up much of its sovereignty to European law.) The Court of Appeal doesn't seem to be arguing for Wilders' prosecution for disturbing the peace, or uttering threats, but only because his expression of political-religious resentment is not proportionate to his right to free speech. And it doesn't really matter why. Wilders might believe the Koran is an evil book, but such value judgments have no relevance to a court in a neo-feudal culture. The court chooses, when it decides to hear a case, to single out one man of hate from the rest of us haters, including the many whose hate is encouraged by a certain popular, intuitive, reading of the Koran.

One may conclude that the cult of "proportionality" is the ascendancy of arbitrary justice: whomever offends the empire's favorites of the day will suffer. Today Wilders, but maybe tomorrow some Muslim. That is how the Dutch-EU elites apparently plan to keep the peace: making it too scary to open your mouth. But as to any rational discussion that would distinguish good and evil: it just got a lot weaker in the Netherlands. But you can't build much of a peaceful order without free debate. You can have unpeaceful debate, in recognition of a shared interest worth fighting about, or you can forego recognition of a shared national interest and live with the consequences when one or another group decides to break from the empire. So, in reality, I'm guessing the Dutch will not keep the peace very successfully, not nearly as well as would a society where people had no right not to be insulted because of their religious beliefs.

So, let me insult where I deem it appropriate: the Dutch elite are fools; their multiculti religion is self-righteous and a dangerous delusion. It will rule and end as horribly as every other Gnostic ideology ever put in power. We should all insult them for it.

Here is the statement by Wilders' Freedom Party:
Court decision an all-out assault on freedom of speech
woensdag 21 januari 2009

The Freedom Party (PVV) is shocked by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal's decision to prosecute Geert Wilders for his statements and opinions. Geert Wilders considers this ruling an all-out assault on freedom of speech.

Geert Wilders: "Apparently this is The Netherlands today. If you speak out you might be prosecuted. To participate in public debate has become a dangerous activity."

"If I have to appear in court, not only I will be prosecuted, but also hundreds of thousands of Dutch citizens who reject the Islamisation of the West. In Dutch Parliament only the Party for Freedom is willing to speak up for the preservation of our culture and our many freedoms."

The Freedom Party leader now faces legal proceedings that will probably take years to conclude and will also involve enormous legal fees.

"We depend on small donations. The Freedom Party is the only party in Parliament that does not accept any government funding. This court decision jeopardizes the very existence of the Freedom Party. We simply cannot afford the enormous legal expenses."

"This is a black day for freedom."


See Fitna here

Sign the Petition and pledge to boycott Dutch goods!
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UPDATE: I regret the title of this post: "foolish" was not nearly strong enough. It is a shame that good minds have to waste time on the utter nonsense of the Dutch court's decision. Ezra Levant has an excellent line by line analysis of the court's mindless hypocrisy, its obvious politicization of the law, which Ezra rightly identifies as little more than a suicide note for the Dutch nation which now issues fatwas against its members. When a high court in what was once a leading Western democracy can descend to this self-righteous evil it is surely a wake up call that we must renew our self-ruling nations now or embrace the coming violence.

Mark Steyn also explores the suicide theme:
The Dutch, like the Canadians, think they can maintain social peace by shriveling the bounds of public discourse and bringing what little remains under state regulation. But one notices that the coercive urge, which comes so naturally to Euro-progressives, only goes in one direction. The Swedish Chancellor of Justice shuts down the investigation into the Grand Mosque of Stockholm for selling tapes urging believers to kill "the brothers of pigs and apes" (ie, Jews) because that's simply "the everyday climate in the rhetoric". The masked men marching through the streets of London with placards threatening to rain down another 9/11 on the infidels are protected by a phalanx of Metropolitan Police officers. The PC nellies of the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission, happy to hound the last neo-Nazi in Saskatchewan posting to the Internet from his mum's basement, won't go anywhere near Abou Hammaad Sulaiman Dameus al-Hayitia, the big-time Montreal imam whose book says infidels are "evil people", Jews "spread corruption and chaos", and homosexuals should be "exterminated".

Instead, the state's response to explicit Islamic intimidation is to punish those foolish enough to point out that intimidation. You don't have to be as intemperate as Minheer Wilders can sometimes be: In the Netherlands even the most innocuous statement can get you into trouble. To express his disgust at Theo van Gogh's murder, the artist Chris Ripke put up a mural outside his studio showing an angel and the words "Thou shalt not kill". But the cops thought this was somehow a dig at the local mosque and so came round, destroyed the mural, arrested the TV news crew filming it, and wiped their tape. The Dutch have determined to commit societal euthanasia, and dislike fellows pointing out it might not be as painless as they've assumed.

Geert Wilders prosecuted for hate speech

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/024491.php

The collapse of liberal nations and the growth of a totalitarian empire under the false sign of "tolerance", so ably illustrated in the essay highlighted in our previous post, continues with this horrific news from the Netherlands.

We must fight for freedom and the oppressed individual voice in every country, or soon we will not have a world with free individuals and voices, but only groups organized according to some neo-feudal hierarchy by unpresentative, undemocratic, elites. Such a world cannot know much about right and wrong.

For starters, I am now boycotting all things Dutch, hell European.

Sign the Petition and pledge to boycott Dutch goods!

Excellent essay on the misconceptions of "tolerance" and "open-mindedness" in today's mulitcultural empire

Do read the whole thing (HT: Dag), but here's an excerpt, from the desk of A. Millar:
From prosecuting people for flying the England flag to kindergarten guidelines suggesting that if a child as young as three says “yuk” at spicy food that this is a sign of racism. From the erosion of free speech to the unwillingness of police to prosecute or even investigate crimes such as burglary. From the attempt to deport Gurkha war heroes that had fought for Britain to the protection of terrorists from deportation in case their human rights might be violated abroad. From the harassment of moderate Muslim and Conservative MP Baroness Warsi for suggesting that parliament discuss the crisis in immigration to then London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s open support of terrorism-supporter Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Or from lower sentences for honor-killing (and thus less protection for Muslim women) to cultural apartheid and the creation of Muslim ghettos. Close-minded “tolerance” has encouraged – even demanded – all of this.

And close-minded tolerance has meant that liberals have protested that sharia is a “right” of Muslims, because, they argue, Jews have their own courts. It is not a question of allowing one group to have their law because another has its law, but rather it is a question of whether these laws are just. Are women given an equal or lower status, for example? From what I know about Jewish law it in no way conflicts with democracy. As we know that women, homosexuals, and non-Muslims are regarded as inferiors in sharia, to defend its use as a right is absurd. How, for example, can it be a right of Muslim women to have less rights? Or for a Muslim man to allow his wife or daughters to have less rights?

Of course, if by “tolerance” we had meant the kind of laissez-faire attitude that underpins mature democracies (such as allowing, and even defending the right of, all sides to speak, regardless of whether we agree with the expressed views or vehemently oppose them) then the worst we could say would be that the term was being used wholly inaccurately. “Tolerance” has undoubtedly been peddled in part in a misguided attempt to make it more like the US, but Britain does not understand the country with which they claim to have a “special relationship.” Britain, EU member states, and their populations have a love-hate relationship with the US. On the one hand they admire it for its “diversity,” modernity, cities, etc. On the other hand they believe that US culture, such as freedom of speech, is the culture of a people with no clear view of right and wrong.

I should like to point out that, on the contrary, freedom of speech only emerges in cultures with a very clear view of right and wrong indeed – and that includes the US. Once, Britain was also known for being one of these countries. Journalist Luigi Albertini, who risked his life to write against Italy’s fascist regime, was inspired by his time in London and at The Times newspaper during the first quarter of the twentieth century. This, according to his brother, “confirmed in him the faith in ideas and in the possibility, in a free country, of promoting the elevation of minds through discussion and objective, unprejudiced criticism.” (Frank Rosengarten, The Italian Anti-fascist Press (1919-1945), p 34.) Today no-one would describe Britain in such terms.
[...]
When I first heard someone say that multiculturalism is natural and that Britain had always been multicultural I was entirely skeptical. If so, I wondered, why have we only recently heard of multiculturalism? On reflection, the speaker appears to have meant that it is natural for societies to be composed of different types of people doing and thinking different things, and in this sense he was undoubtedly correct. It would seem, that whether the speaker knows it or not, he or she is saying that multiculturalism is in accord with natural law. But, if so, they are wrong. Marriage may be natural – or at least in accord with natural law – but an ideology of ‘marriage-ism,’ or laws forcing everyone to marry, would quickly undermine marriage, just as laws that appear to enforce the government’s vision of multicultural Britain have fragmented society, created ghettos, have emboldened extremists at the sake of moderates, and given rise to seething resentment.

The natural can be allowed, but cannot be legislated into existence. Open-mindedness is manifest when people feel that they are in the same boat. When people feel this, racial and religious distinctions either disappear or are actually regarded as interesting. Cultures coexist without animosity in cities such as New York (which is now seen as a model for Britain to copy), not because multiculturalism is enforced by law, but because it is not enforced by law. Because the government seems to stay out of people’s private business, and because the police concern themselves with crime, not thought crime.

Indeed, while the US has had its share of racial troubles – and while there is still a problem with illegal immigration in particular – where it has overcome them, it has done so because of a shared belief in its Constitution. It is the belief in “liberty and justice for all” that supports an American nationalism that crosses racial and religious boundaries.
In other words, America works to the extent it remains a covenantal nation where the constitution is the most sacred of all American things (which might help explain to non-Americans the interest in the little scandal of the Chief Justice and President Obama flubbing the oath of office yesterday.)

Thomas Sowell recognizes where Obama can save the people money

One might think that after spending many tens of millions on his fairy-tale inauguration, at a time of great economic losses, Obama will be looking for ways to cut government costs. Thomas Sowell recognizes one redundancy:
Secret service agents may have been concerned (or appalled) when the Obamas got out of their limousine and started walking in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. But anyone who might have tried to harm them would probably have been torn limb from limb by the crowd before anyone could have gotten there to arrest him.
However, this observation might put in doubt Sowell's best wishes for a renewal of normalcy:
Inevitably, much is being made of the fact that Barack Obama is the first black President of the United States.

He is indeed the first "African American" President, unlike the millions of other black Americans whose ancestors were here longer than millions of white Americans. By the time that there was a United States of America, most black Americans had never seen Africa and neither had their grandparents.
[...]
No doubt the race-hustling industry will continue, and no doubt their chief victims will be blacks, especially young blacks, who buy the paralyzing picture of victimhood and the counterproductive resentments which sap energies that could be better used to improve their own lives.

Now that we have the first black President of the United States, maybe we can move ahead to the time when we can forget about "the first" whatever to do what. There is too much serious work to do to spend more time on that.
But what we all need to recognize is that yesterday was a profoundly religious event for millions or billions of people who need a political religion because they often have no other (nor any secular anthropology) of great attraction to help them through the existential trials of human life. Obama's paradoxical fate is that he will only achieve greatness as a worldly president by transcending the dogmas of his own cultic religion, by recognizing and negotiating worldly realities with an eye to recognizing the possible road to greater shared freedoms - which entails (intelligent but still difficult) political risks and people's hard work - and not by focussing on his supporters' hopes that he is some kind of racial saviour. Real political innovators are likely to be scapegoated to some significant degree (blamed for "deepening" the "crises" that make change necessary and hence possible); historians will recognize this in the case of Iraq, if it turns out that after the horror a new page has been turned there, one on which Obama finds his place.