Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Geert Wilders speech in New York

September 25. My thoughts on this speech follow excerpts from Wilders' text:
...I am a lawmaker, and not a movie maker. But I felt I had the moral duty to educate about Islam. The duty to make clear that the Quran stands at the heart of what some people call terrorism but is in reality jihad. I wanted to show that the problems of Islam are at the core of Islam, and do not belong to its fringes.

Now, from the day the plan for my movie was made public, it caused quite a stir, in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. First, there was a political storm, with government leaders, across the continent in sheer panic. The Netherlands was put under a heightened terror alert, because of possible attacks or a revolt by our Muslim population. The Dutch branch of the Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir declared that the Netherlands was due for an attack. Internationally, there was a series of incidents. The Taliban threatened to organize additional attacks against Dutch troops in Afghanistan, and a website linked to Al Qaeda published the message that I ought to be killed, while various muftis in the Middle East stated that I would be responsible for all the bloodshed after the screening of the movie. In Afghanistan and Pakistan the Dutch flag was burned on several occasions. Dolls representing me were also burned. The Indonesian President announced that I will never be admitted into Indonesia again, while the UN Secretary General and the European Union issued cowardly statements in the same vein as those made by the Dutch Government. I could go on and on. It was an absolute disgrace, a sell-out.

A plethora of legal troubles also followed, and have not ended yet. Currently the state of Jordan is litigating against me. Only last week there were renewed security agency reports about a heightened terror alert for the Netherlands because of Fitna.

Now, I would like to say a few things about Israel. Because, very soon, we will get together in its capitol. The best way for a politician in Europe to loose votes is to say something positive about Israel. The public has wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as the aggressor. I, however, will continue to speak up for Israel. I see defending Israel as a matter of principle. I have lived in this country and visited it dozens of times. I support Israel. First, because it is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz, second because it is a democracy, and third because Israel is our first line of defense.

Samuel Huntington writes it so aptly: “Islam has bloody borders”. Israel is located precisely on that border. This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam’s territorial advance. Israel is facing the front lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan, Lebanon, and Aceh in Indonesia. Israel is simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.

The war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel, Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.

Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West. It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel, they can get everything. Therefore, it is not that the West has a stake in Israel. It is Israel.
This is the most painful thing to see: the betrayal by our elites. At this moment in Europe’s history, our elites are supposed to lead us. To stand up for centuries of civilization. To defend our heritage. To honour our eternal Judeo-Christian values that made Europe what it is today. But there are very few signs of hope to be seen at the governmental level. Sarkozy, Merkel, Brown, Berlusconi; in private, they probably know how grave the situation is. But when the little red light goes on, they stare into the camera and tell us that Islam is a religion of peace, and we should all try to get along nicely and sing Kumbaya. They willingly participate in, what President Reagan so aptly called: “the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.”

If there is hope in Europe, it comes from the people, not from the elites. Change can only come from a grass-roots level. It has to come from the citizens themselves. Yet these patriots will have to take on the entire political, legal and media establishment.

Over the past years there have been some small, but encouraging, signs of a rebirth of the original European spirit. Maybe the elites turn their backs on freedom, the public does not. In my country, the Netherlands, 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II. And another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat to our national identity. I don’t think the public opinion in Holland is very different from other European countries.

Patriotic parties that oppose jihad are growing, against all odds. My own party debuted two years ago, with five percent of the vote. Now it stands at ten percent in the polls. The same is true of all smililary-minded parties in Europe. They are fighting the liberal establishment, and are gaining footholds on the political arena, one voter at the time.

Now, for the first time, these patriotic parties will come together and exchange experiences. It may be the start of something big. Something that might change the map of Europe for decades to come. It might also be Europe’s last chance.

This December a conference will take place in Jerusalem. Thanks to Professor Aryeh Eldad, a member of Knesset, we will be able to watch Fitna in the Knesset building and discuss the jihad. We are organizing this event in Israel to emphasize the fact that we are all in the same boat together, and that Israel is part of our common heritage. Those attending will be a select audience. No racist organizations will be allowed. And we will only admit parties that are solidly democratic.

This conference will be the start of an Alliance of European patriots. This Alliance will serve as the backbone for all organizations and political parties that oppose jihad and Islamization. For this Alliance I seek your support.

How "bad" is the situation? I went to Google News and entered: "Geert Wilders" "Hudson Institute" "New York" . This returned only three hits for the last month (the speech was given Sept. 25; you get one more hit if you omit "Hudson Institute"). And these hits are for a couple of Israeli news bulletins and a Quebec blog. Clearly, the Western Establishment believes there is absolutely nothing to Wilders' arguments, or they are scared stiff of them.

This situation should not demoralize people however. I would take it as a sign of an impending paradigm shift. Reality, however much of it Wilders grasps - and surely the answer is some, however much one might disagree with some of his characterizations of the European scene - cannot be denied forever. The world Orwell imagined cannot really come to pass, no more in this worldly world than the Kingdom Christ imagined, or the Umma Mohammed imagined. Things will break open sooner or later and people will have to face up to the need for new paradigms and forms of transcendence, if they are to avoid great violence.

I'm glad Wilders recognizes that the renewal of Judeo-Christian nation-state values can only happen with parties that are not founded on racial hate. But inevitably the opposition to a large Islamic presence in Europe will have racial aspects to it. Islam is not a race, but most Muslims in Europe will not see themselves, nor will they be seen, as of the same race as what Wilders awkwardly calls the "indigenous" Europeans. We cannot run from such questions whether in righteous and imperialistic "anti-racism", or in worship of an atavistic tribalism as Europe's last and only "hope".

We must find a way to talk about reality, e.g. of national cultures which are not tribal entities (the national should be defined as that which transcends the tribal by entering, in its own particular way and tradition, into open conversation with the universal) but as the guarantors of a strict, uncompromising defense of human freedom, of the individual, and of what must be restrained if the free-thinking individual, and the kind of family which can produce them, is to be reproduced in future. In short, individual freedom must be defended against claims that "human rights" or "freedom" can allow for deference to the anti-liberal claims of certain tribal and religious forms of the sacred. There is and can be no right for the free individual to buy into relative unfreedom.

The many who fantasize about the more compact "communitarian" societies of the past must be given endless kicks in the mental butt, or most of them will end up starving or killing in post-scientific, post-liberal, waste lands.

There will be, must be, many more than one way to make the future of free individuals; but today it can only begin by flooding the world with new forms of reason and faith to dissipate the fear that makes a Wilders speech unreportable. Those who would shut such people up in the name of "human rights" must be faced with a higher reason, and love for the human and the human's foundation in the sacred. For in any vicious conflict, that love is what will ultimately be key to motivating and organizing the more creative and winning side.

Without it Europe will be defenseless. There is no such thing as a successful tribe of nihilists. And presently, that's a rough approximation of what both the unsuccessful EU political class, and the more resentful and truly doomed forms of opposition to it, are.

Canada's Do Not Call list launches today

But presently, it is impossible to get on the government website to sign up.
Canada's Do Not Call list to launch Sept. 30

Sunday, September 28, 2008

British paper lauds Conservative Party stand against Sharia courts

But shows it still doesn't quite get the concept of Sharia:
These Islamic tribunals were supposed to rule over religious issues only but are seeking to spread their influence wider into society.
Sunday Express | Express Comment :: Tories are right to target fanatical Islamic courts

Maybe the Sunday Express needs to play Trivia Islamia.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

9-Year Old Terror Bombing Victim Killed For His Kindness

Two deaths and over twenty wounded: the latest butcher's bill from today's bomb attack in India. Once again, India's capital city of Delhi was targeted for terror, this time on a much smaller scale than the last horrific attack two weeks ago.

The bomb exploded at a crowded flower market at Mehrauli, south Delhi, early Saturday afternoon:
Mukesh Hans, owner of a paint and hardware shop that was right next to where the blast happened, was sitting in his shop at 2 pm. "There was a deafening sound and everything became dark. I came out and saw complete chaos with injured people on the street and blood everywhere. There were at least 12 persons being sent to the hospital by the local people. As I stepped out I also saw the body of a girl who was in her schooldress,'' he said.
For one family, the bombing brought about the epitome of terror; imagine their hopeless despair upon hearing that their child could have lived if only he had been raised to be as heartless as the demons whose bomb took his life:

According to eyewitnesses, the electronic goods market was packed with shoppers when a black Pulsar motorbike went through the narrow lane intent on its deadly business. It had two helmeted riders, who dropped the polythene bag with its deadly payload in the middle of the road, in front of a shop, Anisha Electronics.

Out on an errand, the nine-year-old boy, Santosh, thought the men had unknowingly dropped the bag. In a heartbreaking act of kindness to strangers, Santosh rushed to pick it up, running after them as he shouted for them to stop. It was then that white smoke began to pour out of the bag. The little boy dropped it, but too late to save his own life.
The young child was in the market in the first place because he was running an errand for his older brother:
... "My brother's head exploded with the bomb. The poor child didn't even have a chance because the explosion took place right next to him." Bumbum, a rickshaw-puller by day, runs an omelette-and-tea stall at night. He had sent Santosh to Sarai market to pick up a crate of eggs for the evening's business. "Before he left, we were joking about how many eggs he could carry, and within minutes, we heard he had died," said a sobbing Bumbum.
Rekha Devi, his grandmother could not even speak — she just howled and beat her chest. "My poor child, he did not deserve to die like this. May God take care of his soul."
How does a family get over an event such as this? I guess you never really "get over it" at all, you just commit to renewing the love you have for those who remain, and one day enough new affection can arrive to raise you out of the living death that is a life lived without hope.
Easier said than done... which is why it pays to strive to find each and any example of sacrificial love, however small, that falls within your orbit. Sometimes, the reasons to renew our hope can be found in the very shadow of the evil that caused our despair in the first place, such as the courageous passersby who helped the blast victims:
Standing in blood-stained clothes, some of them even waited till after the police reached to see if their assistance was still required and then, just quietly walked away.
... [While the rest of the people ran away from the spot fearing the possibility of another blast, having a fresh memory of the recent series in Karol Bagh and Connaught Place, [Tilak Raj and Sanjay Sherawat] ran towards the centre of all action and helped the local shopkeepers in moving the bodies.
"The scene was horrific. Initially, we thought around three to four dead bodies were lying around, but the police is saying only one child died. There was blood all around and we got plenty on our clothes as we carried the injured to the vehicles. The local shopkeepers acted immediately and got their cars ready. We then drove the injured to the hospital,'' said Sherawat.
Godspeed to the good people of India in their time of grief.

Noted: An Islamic take on freedom of expression

Just came across this (International Quran News Agency - from May 2008):
Sheikh Ghasem Al-Mazrooee , Kenyan Mufti and chief justice, in an interview with IQNA conducted at the sidelines of the 21st international conference on Islamic Unity said that constant barrage of insults by western media and politicians against the sanctities of Islam indicate serious intentions of enemies of Islam to undermine pillars and principles of Islam, therefore Muslims' response should be serious and strong.
Asked on the limits of the freedom of expression and justification of affronts under the freedom of expression by western countries, Kenyan chief justice said, "freedom of expression is an invaluable and advanced principle which is even enshrined in the noble religion of Islam but the point is that freedom of expression like every other positive thing shouldn’t be misused or exploited to serve certain purposes."

He further brought about a question, saying, "would those politicians who justify constant barrages of affronts against sanctities of billions of people tolerate smear campaigns and affronts against their families under the pretext of freedom of expression or freedom of speech? I am sure they won't."
Well, maybe he's learned something from the latest fits of American presidential politics.

I came across this as I was trying to figure out whether the man in the white hair and beard in the thirteenth photo on this page (second from last photo) is Canada's own "not too much" free speech warrior, Mohammed Elmasry. I'm still not sure.

Osama Barka Campaign '84.

I don't believe everything I hear. You have to show me. There is a report that a tv station in Missouri is making threats against those who slag Osama Barka. I'm not sure what to make of it. I'd like some input.

Watch the video: http://www.kmov.com/video/index.html?nvid=285793&shu=1

Link available at Free Republic.

Here's a text synopsis of O Soma Merica.

September 27, 2008

Missouri's Obama Truth Squads

Lee Cary

Last Tuesday, CBS affiliate Channel 4 TV News in St. Louis
reported that some Missouri sheriffs and prosecutors have formed a truth squad to target anyone who engages in misleading ad or statements about Senator Obama.

Here's the transcript of the lede on the CBS story:

"Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading television ad during the presidential campaign."

The implied threat in the Channel 4 report is that prosecutors and sheriffs across Missouri will enforce "Missouri ethics laws" and conduct criminal investigations of "anyone who lies or runs a misleading television ad" against Barack Obama. Although the report did not directly state that intent, that implied message was clearly conveyed.

Two high-profile officers of the court spoke on camera: Jennifer Joyce, St. Louis Circuit Attorney, and Robert P. McCullouch, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney. No one was available at either of their offices on Friday to comment on the story.

Channel 4 mentions the expected support of Jefferson County Sheriff Glen Boyer in the truth squad efforts. Captain Ralph Brown, in charge of press relations for the Sheriff's Department, could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Scott Holste, speaking Friday on behalf of the Missouri Attorney General's office, was available for comment. He said he had already been contacted about the Channel 4 report, that the Attorney General's office was not involved in any way with truth squads, and that he found the CBS news item to be "a mangled story."

Also on Friday, Joe Carroll, Director of Campaign Financing, Missouri Ethics Commission, said that he is "not familiar with any campaign law that applies."

John Mills, the Channel 4 reporter, was unavailable for comment Friday.

Was the St. Louis CBS affiliate complicit in the attempt, by some elected Democrat court officials in the St. Louis area, to stifle free political speech in Missouri on Senator Obama's behalf?

Please feel free to leave a comment on this story. O Brave New World.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Brilliant explanation of why Americans are more tolerant than Canadians

We link to a lot of writing at this blog. I think the following is really exceptional, brilliant in its lucid, straightforward illustration and explanation of basic questions - the nature of tolerance and freedom - we often muddle.

Pete Vere (co-author, with the equally exceptional Kathy Shaidle, of The Tyranny of Nice - the story of Canada's "human rights" commissions) tells a couple of stories to illustrate his keen argument. I'm not sure I believe the second story - Canada can't be that insane a place, can it? - but it doesn't really matter. Sometimes fiction is the best vehicle for clarifying truths otherwise muddled by our rhetorical habits:
...We talk about tolerance in Canada. More often than not, as our electoral choices show, Canadian tolerance is just an excuse to avoid discussing our differences. Thus Canadians stick to what’s comfortable, what’s least likely to offend the most people. We don’t want our differences to cause division and disrupt the social peace.

Americans, on the other hand, relish their differences. Tolerance is created by confronting their differences, then discovering that they share many of the same values and concerns. Americans understand, rightly, that tolerance is a product of free speech. The First Amendment allows them to get past their differences, correct misconceptions, and move on to more pressing issues.

As an aside, I recently spoke with a former neighbor who was even more segregationist than Bill. Yet he’s voting for Obama. I won’t repeat what he said about the Democratic nominee, “but at least he ain’t a Republican. I don’t have to visit the White House while he’s president.”

On the other hand, the folly of subjecting free speech to tolerance and multiculturalism was demonstrated to me during my undergraduate years at a small university in Northern Ontario. During multiculturalism and tolerance week, the university brought in a human rights ‘expert’ from Toronto. She worked for the government, if I recall correctly. She had come to address ‘lingering and systematic discrimination’ among the student body.

Her two prime examples? Two jewels of our Northeastern Ontario geography. Lake Nipissing contained the word ‘nip’ in it, this white woman said, which was a derogatory term for Asians. Obviously whoever named this lake was insensitive to the local Asian community. The other example was Manitoulin Island, which she cited as a misogynous reference to the first white males to settle the island.

Wrong on both counts, something she would have discovered had she brushed up on her local history before pontificating to us rubes living outside of the Greater Toronto Area. But as is so often the case, history and local culture are ignored by government bureaucrats seeking to impose by fiat their enlightened ideology.

In reality, both words are First Nations in origin. Nipissing is the Algonquin word for ‘big water’ and Manitoulin is the Ojibwe word for ‘spirit island’. In retrospect, it’s unfortunate our local First Nations communities did not lodge a human rights complaint over this. This is one complaint I would have supported.

The weeks following this incident were typical of Canadian tolerance and multiculturalism: Everybody avoided everyone different, for fear of giving offense. The Asians, who often visited the lake and who took no offense to the name, felt awkward around the First Nations students. The First Nations students felt persecuted by white people who had once again failed to understand their culture. And feminists and Caucasians didn’t disagree. The latter were horrified that this so-called ‘expert’ was one of them. But how to maneuver these tricky waters without further provoking the First Nations students or causing additional embarrassment to Asian students?

Everyone knew what the problem was. Yet nobody wanted to address it, less they be misinterpreted as intolerant. As for our human rights ‘expert’, she returned to Toronto, blissfully unaware of the division she had sowed among the student body.

Finally, two American students - both black, and both female - said what everyone else was thinking. “This is bullshit, and the only way to end it is to speak freely.”
Read the whole thing.

Pete and Kathy are releasing their new book on Canada's Human Rights Commissions/Tribunals next week. You can order The Tyranny of Nice, at this link.

Brother, Can You Spare Some Change

I've had occasion to do a lot of thinking about the subject of personal initiative lately. Since it's on my mind anyway, maybe that's why I feel I keep encountering more of it than usual in my news reading.

You might have heard about this story, from a few weeks ago...

An Illinois Girl Scout troop leader took some initiative to teach her 2nd-grade girls about the current US Presidential election. She contacted both campaigns to ask for some free materials, like buttons or signs, to give to the 7-year olds as learning aids.

John McCain's campaign responded immediately, sending her several campaign stickers and signs. But the Obama campaign..?
The troop leader said she called Obama's Chicago campaign headquarters and explained why she needed the curios. Walsh said she was directed to Obama's Web site—where she could buy all the buttons and posters she wanted. On the Web, a packet of 50 stickers that say "Obama '08" goes for $5; a yard sign is $8. "Got Hope?" bumper stickers are $3 each, or two for $5.

Walsh found the prices a bit exorbitant her small group. She said she asked Obama's campaign worker again if she could get a few items for free. She pointed out that McCain's camp had agreed to send a box and, well, her 12-member Scout troop runs on a very small budget.

Walsh said the woman at Obama's headquarters put her on hold. After a few minutes, she returned with the same answer. The woman told her that she sympathized, but the Obama campaign needs every penny it can get, Walsh said. "She said, 'We're up against the machine and we just can't hand anything out for free,' " Walsh said. "She was very nice . . . but I wasn't getting anything.

She did eventually get something, to be honest; when the media started to report on the cold shoulder the scout leader had initially received, the embarrassed Obama campaign showered her with more than she asked for, right down to a personal letter from The One, Himself. Apparently it was all a terrible mistake.

It's interesting to note what happened, or should I say, what didn't happen, at the Democratic election headquarters during that fateful phone call.

1) The person who took the call apparently didn't think ahead and ponder the potential public relations consequences of her uncharitable response. A campaign that had succeeded in raising over $55 million in the month of August alone can't afford to spare ten bucks worth of pins and posters, for girl scouts? The campaign worker didn't think, "Won't the average voter think we're stingy unless we help the girl scout troup?" Doesn't the staffer believe in long-term thinking, that actions may have consequences?

2) The person who took the call brings the problem to her supervisor. Now, maybe it was or maybe it wasn't the official policy of the staff to honor all requests like this one for small donations of free stuff. Let's say the supervisor was sincere and he truly believed that it wasn't part of their policy to help people like this girl scout troup leader; why doesn't that supervisor simply say to himself, "You know, the stuff that we're being asked for only costs about $10 or $20, why don't I just pay for this out of my own pocket. My bosses will never know about it, but it would make the candidate look good if his supporters behave charitably... maybe I should just help her myself." Yet that didn't happen.

3) The person who took the call is told by her supervisor not to give a single penny's worth of free stuff to the caller. Why doesn't she then say to herself, "You know, maybe I can just send the campaign trinkets myself... I'm not making very much working here, but if I take up a quick collection from my pals on these phone banks, we should easily come up with enough to make a difference for these kids... it might mean one less coffee today, or tomorrow, but it's for a good cause, plus it will make the campaign look good...I can gather that stuff on my next lunch hour." That initiative didn't materialize, either; it didn't occur to her to take matters into her own hands and try and make a difference.

Today I read of another display of personal initiative. Columnist Dinesh D'souza had established a fund to collect donations for Barack Obama's half-starving half-brother in Kenya. He's raised $1,000 in contributions, and is adding an extra grand of his own money to that amount:

Here are the facts about George Obama. He’s in his twenties. He lives in a slum in a hut. He wants to become a mechanic but doesn’t have the money. He reports that he gets by on a dollar a month. ... He said when people notice he has the same name as Barack Obama, he denies they are related because he is “ashamed.” The Democratic presidential candidate, who made $4 million last year, hasn’t lifted a finger to help his half-brother.
I specifically asked people to send gifts of $5, $10 and $25. The reason is that even a relatively modest sum by American standards is a considerable sum by Kenyan standards. George Obama has said that he is living on a dollar a month. This seems an impossible sum to survive on, so I checked the poverty line in Kenya. According to United Nations estimates, it’s around $100 a year. By this measure, our little fund has provided for George for 20 years. Alternatively, George can move out of his 6 foot-by-10-foot hut and into a more comfortable dwelling. He can also get the training he needs to become a mechanic.

The Kenya newspaper The Daily Nation is outraged at the existence of the George Obama Compassion Fund, and in an opinion piece published over the weekend, they lash out at D'souza for yet another "low" in the US Presidential election. The writer (who is an editor for the United Nations) points to Obama's first of two autobiographies for evidence that he is not self-centered, and that he has room in his heart for others... room enough for everyone:

[Senator Obama] understands that the condition of being poor is not a crime, as some Republicans would have us believe.

But it is a result of global and national forces, which he is seeking to change, not just for the sake of young men like George (whose only fault, he writes, was that he was “born on the wrong side of our father’s cloven world”), but for all the world’s underprivileged people, who remain silent and ashamed of who they are because the world tells them they will never be good enough.

...Obama dared to think of family as all those, regardless of race, tribe or nation, who are committed to a particular “moral course”.

He sees himself not just as someone who can uplift the lives of his immediate family or the people of the US, but as someone who puts the world on a path where not just his half-brother George will have a chance to improve his life and expect justice, but where everyone on this planet will have a reason to hope for a better world.

... He realised early on his career that gaining individual power for himself was futile because “without power for the group, a group larger even, than an extended family, our success always threatened to leave others behind. And perhaps it was that fact that left me so unsettled – the fact that even here, in Africa, the same maddening patterns held sway; that no-one here could tell me what my blood ties demanded or how those demands could be reconciled with some larger idea of human association.”

So it doesn't occur to the man running as the Democratic party's Presidential Candidate that he could spare a hundred dollars and change his half-brother's life for the better, for a while? Must it be total change, for everyone, or else no change, for anyone? Why not spare some change, for some... for one?

Maybe Senator Obama believes in all-or-nothing absolutes, and wants to wait until he's in a position to help every single person before he begins helping any one person. Fortunately, not every American is paralyzed by such deferment of personal initiative. Thankfully for George Obama, and the uncountable millions of others like him around the world whose stories we rarely hear about, some Americans can imagine what it's like to live in a tragic and flawed world, and believe not just in good and bad, they also believe in better and worse... in progress.

These Americans have the hope that they can be agents of change, helping one life at a time, one chance at a time, instead of every life all at once, forevermore, with just one chance... Americans like this donor to the George Obama Compassion Fund:

"I wish I had a brother, or even a step-brother. George is not my relative and not my race or religion but I still want to contribute to his welfare."

"My Hands Are Trembling..."

The violence against Christians in the Indian state of Orissa grows in intensity; now the mobs have taken to attacking the police who try to shield Christians from further assault, burning police headquarters inbetween their torching of churches.

The police and state authorities seem completely incapable of maintaining any kind of order in that region. Yet, lawlessness is not an isolated occurence in India these days.

This week Noida [the "New Okhla Industrial Development Area"] saw a shocking story of absolute anarchy, right in the shadow of the nation's capital city of Delhi: an overwhelmed police force did little to contain an enraged mob of 200 former factory workers as they launched an attack on the plant that had employed them:

According to Graziano employees, the sacked workers rushed into the premises around 12:20 pm when the gates were opened to let in a car. "They smashed each one of the approximately 20 cars inside the compound. Hearing the commotion, our CEO, Lalit Kishore Chaudhary, came out to the building entrance. He was abused while trying to reason with the protesters. And, when he objected, they beat him to death with a hammer," said production supervisor, Udaivir.

... The violence left at least 50 executives and workers of the unit injured. Of the 44 staffers taken to hospital, 34 of them were yet to be discharged until Monday night. Of these, 10 executives of the company remained in the intensive care unit.
The unit also sustained heavy damage in the vandalism that followed. Five Italian technical consultants, who were visiting the unit, barely managed to escape injuries. Some of them had to plead with the raiders to spare them.
Shockingly, despite several Graziano officials phoning up a number of Noida police officials about the violence, only two police constables arrived at the spot after an hour. And, even at 3:30 pm, as the unit's security personnel and some other employees shut themselves up in the unit, only about half a dozen Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel were posted outside. And, there was no officer with them. Which meant that, in case of an emergency, there was nobody there to order any action. And, this was the state of affairs with the district reserve police lines being located half a kilometre away.
The bloodstained hammer, which was allegedly used to kill Chaudhary, was found lying in the premises, and had surprisingly not been seized by the police as evidence.
In the company guesthouse, visiting Italian technical consultant, Forettii Gatii, told TOI , "I just locked my room's door from inside. And I prayed they would not break in. See, my hands are trembling even three hours later."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Prime Minister Harper's Office Email Hacked..?

It seems that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is not the only conservative being attacked by hackers seeking email addresses... it appears that up here in Canada, our Prime Minister Stephen Harper is suffering the same fate.

I'm signed up to be on the Prime Minister's Office email subscription service. For months now, I've been receiving the same official press releases, statements, transcripts of speeches and notifications of future appearances that journalists and media institutions are sent. It's not a closely guarded secret; just go here if you'd like to do the same. Every other day or so there's a new message, stating that it's from the "PMO".

Today, September 21, 2008, at 12:51:20 PM I received the following email, claiming to be from "Stephen Harper" this time, not the usual "PMO" label, with the subject heading "Why you shouldn't fear me", issued from the exact same address as the regular PMO official messages:

Hi The Average Canadian,

Stephen Harper wanted to tell you... My name is Stephen Harper. I am an ALBERTAN, here me roar! My goal is to make Canada America's 51st state and destroy health care that all Canadians cherish by infusing my propaganda with hard core ad hominem attacks. Please vote for me, because if you do, I promise you'll be able to vote for McCain 2012!

We are a tar sands level party, not a grass roots party. We consider anything with the word \"Green\" offensive, except for the almighty American dollar, which we hope to be able to implement in the coming months! We shall first have to make sure that American and Canadian jelly beans have the same standards, and then we shall proceed.

I hope everyone has a great weekend,

Take care,

Stephen \"I can lead you to Hell but not back\" Harper

The bottom of the message links to a site called "willyoubetricked". Who knows what damage visiting that site will do to computers, so visit at your peril. (there's ".ca" tag to add to the end to the above address, to reach it.)

What juvenile delinquency, coming from "patriots" whose idea of patriotism is not so much love of country, or love of much of anything, so much as it is envy of something else.

UPDATE: A second junk email has now been sent through the Prime Minister's email address:

Serbia's Southern province of Kosovo declared independence in February 2008. Harper's government recognized it's independence. Does this lead to slowly accepting sovereignty for Quebec? Here's why Canada must follow International Law, the UN Chart, UNSC Resolution 1244 and the Final Helsinki Act of 1975.

concerned citizen
Stephen Taylor explains what seems to have happened:

Somebody emailed the PMO listserve address sending this email to whoever signed
up on the Prime Minister’s government website for the email mailing list. ...
Also more at Kate O'Malley's blog at Macleans, and Steve Janke, who adds:

The email is absurd in its content, but the goal is to embarrass the Prime Minister by suggesting a major breach in security.

UPDATE II: At 9:48:19 PM, another email, this time seemingly from the government.

Subject: Unauthorized Messages Purporting to be from Prime Minister Stephen Harper
This message is being sent to you on behalf of the Office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada.

As a subscriber to the Prime Minister's website (http://www.pm.gc.ca/), you may have received what appear to be two emails from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Please be advised that these were unauthorized uses of the Prime Minister's email listserv and do not represent the views of the Prime Minister or his Office. We regret these unauthorized communications.

The circumstances surrounding this unauthorized use of the Prime Minister's listserv are under investigation.

First Past The Post But Last Through The Gate

Surely, a new low in hatred against Sarah Palin, as a stand-up comedian antes up $25,000 as the starting bribe for Governor Palin's pregnant daughter to abort her baby:
Please consider my offer as time is of the essence. You don't want this child, the father certainly doesn't want this child and the world doesn't need another wailing mouth to feed.
He tempts her with the siren song of personal experience; he once had a girlfriend who aborted their child, adding a tragic cost to the old expression of "free time" and a ghoulish nuance to the term "disposable income":

We made the right choice and rather than end up bitter rivals in court battles over custody or support, we are great friends who high-five over our decision and have all the free time and disposable income that young mothers never know.

The comedian rallies like-minded troops at his blog with what must be an alluring hook for his fellow-believers:

If you really care about the environment, one abortion does more than any hybrid car or a lifetime of recycling. ... Do the right thing... Empty the chamber.
The comedian is so dedicated to his beliefs that he plans on continuing to spread his message from beyond the grave:
... in my will, I shall have a good portion of my estate turned into the Sarah J Palin Abortion Fund that will help girls from all walks of life from destroying their lives and our natural resources by having children.

The comedian frames his website's offer around a photoshoped image of Palin's daughter cradling a bag of money instead of a baby, and what better revelation could there be for how this materialistic comedian sees his fellow human beings: as things, not people, bearing only costs, without accruing benefits.

Again and again, his statements reveal his obsession with, and ultimately his love of, money; in his view, for there to be one more person seated at the table means amounts only to a smaller serving for himself. I say love of money, rather than love of self; for if he really loved himself, is this truly the position that he would take on bringing new life into the world... and what he would do with his beloved money?

Once upon a time, there was a young child who shared this comedian's starkly limited vision of the world and its potential riches. After six glorious years as the center of his family's attention, the youngster suddenly found himself sharing the spotlight with a young sister. Starting that winter, Christmas would see two groups of presents under the tree, one for him and one for the sister; sadly, his limited mind, a mind closed by limited experiences, saw much less than what was really going on around him. The new arrival needed more, and so received more, while with him needing less he consequently received his due as well. Justice was done to both, but his self-serving point of view, narrowed by his youth, made it seem as if one was being rewarded at the expense of the other.

Thankfully, little by little, as the young fellow grew in age, his perception grew as well. There were many burdens that he began to shoulder, from developing sufficiently sharp eyes and quick reflexes so that he could prevent his sister from eating dirt while both played in the backyard, to learning the patience involved in helping her learn to tie her shoes, then later lessening her fears by explaining what's involved in attending school, and more... so much more, that through these tests even his simple mind began to see the sense in filling more seats around the family's table: through helping her it was really him who was being helped.

The more that was asked of him, the more of him there seemed to give. And most importantly, the greater the sacrifices he seemed to make, the more he saw himself receiving, in his turn: a single smile of gratitude did much to repay an afternoon's expenditure of time and attention, more than he ever would have imagined possible, back at that first shocking Christmas. Such smiles, he recognized, brought more joy to him than any Christmas present ever did. Even though he was the oldest, the younger sister was the true teacher. He arrived first, but acquired wisdom last.

He may have started off as one blind to the feast that was to come, but eventually he couldn't avoid observing that the more he served others, the more he felt that he was the one truly being served.

It took the young chap many years to escape his limited world view, to finally see the blessings brought to his world by the presence of a younger sister. With each breath she brought to life physical proof of the infinite resources available for that most precious of riches: love. It took too long for him to learn that living life with his sibling revealed he was not loved half as much, but equally, meaning that his parents' capacity for sacrificial love had been doubled, not divided.

Today, as the not-so-young brother's hair shows spots of grey, the niece and nephews his sister brought into the world teach him the lesson anew... seeing the oldest take care of the youngest, taking pride in the new responsibilities and expectations thrust upon him, and learning how in great giving there can be great gains. His faith in the existence of this paradox is renewed, through the new generation of "wailing mouths to feed".

If such important lessons can be learned from one sibling to another, how much greater can the education be between parent and child? For in that relationship there are demands for even greater sacrifices... and through the greater service, the chance to witness even greater love.

For the comedian who tries to deny others a seat at the table, falsely believing that in so doing his own slim portions may increase, the joke is ultimately on him: in the long run he'll lose far more than he'd ever have gotten.

For the last will be first and the first will be last.

[Hat Tip to Dave Hartline of the Catholic Report]

Coming soon to a nation near you....

How crazy is Britain? Fjordman suggests that Britain is going to be the first of many scenes of civil war over the Islamization of Europe. Here is one example of why he can come to that conclusion:

Woman arrested over 'golly' doll

Dean Kirby and Rob Dawson
17/ 9/2008

A MUM claims she was arrested and had her DNA and fingerprints taken by police because she had a `golly' doll in the window of her home.

Amanda Schofield, 38, was quizzed by police on suspicion of racially-aggravated public order.

She claims the doll was put in the window by her young daughter, who found it in a bag of toys.

But police say she was arrested after a series of complaints of alleged racially-aggravated behaviour were made against her.

She was released without charge after being questioned.

Amanda, from Borrowdale Road, Heavily, Stockport, said she has been forced to sell the toy because of the incident.

Amanda said: "I feel like a criminal for something my daughter did. I just can't believe that I got arrested for a petty thing like that."

She added: "I know that some people don't like the toys, which is why I took it off the window sill, but I don't think they are offensive. It's just a toy. My daughter is really upset that I had to sell it."

Amanda claims she removed the toy from the window after noticing it while putting her daughter to bed, only to be visited by police later that evening and notified of the complaint from a neighbour. She says she received a phone call nine days later asking her to attend Cheadle Heath Police Station, where she was arrested. She has since been informed that no further action will be taken by police.

Gollies are highly collectable. Badges used by jam company James Robertson and Sons, which featured a character called Golly, can sell for more than £1,000.However, the figure has increasingly been seen as a racially offensive symbol and Robertson's dropped Golly in 2001.Last year, a shop owner in Wrightington, near Wigan, faced prosecution and a £1,000 fine after a customer complained about the golly dolls and keyrings on sale. Police confiscated a doll and a keyring, but the complaint was not taken any further and the items were put back on sale.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "Police received a report that an item deemed to be offensive was placed in the window of a house on Borrowdale Road.

"It is believed that the incident was the latest in a number of previous incidents that the victim perceived to be race-related. A 38-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of a racially-aggravated public order offence.

"The woman was released without charge."


h.t. Fjordman.

There is still a great deal of time till anything like civil war becomes inevitable in Europe; but when we see that in Cologne nationalist speakers were prevented from addressing the public in the town square, 5,000 anti-free-speech demonstrators called out by the mayor of the city threatening violence against them, and the police refusing to maintain order on the behalf of the speakers, then one must wonder if that day is coming sooner than we might expect.

And what of Canada? While Heather Mallick is given space to rant against Sarah Palin at the CBC, paid for by the taxpayer, however unwillingly, we see the Canadian Human Rights Commission hoping to ban library books, and the American Left going berserk even at places such as [redacted] Time Magazine, accusing Palin of breaking the law by using yahoo email for state business, never mind that her email is hacked by a Tennessee Democratic senator's son. It's a mad world, and people are rightly getting mad about it. There's very little civility in a civil war. Time to put a stop to the rumblings before we get that unwelcome visit.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Layton's NDP betrays itself and Canada

Terry Glavin has been going on about the left's and the NDP's betrayal of its anti-fascist values for some time now. His argument is being picked up in the Edmonton Sun by Salim Mansur(HT: Catfur):
...The NDP made a vital political/moral contribution in opposing Communism and denying Communists in Canada the opportunity to acquire any shred of legitimacy by posing as defenders of the working people.

But that good sense, which characterized the NDP leadership from its founding years in the Depression era of the 1930s to the end of the Cold War, seems to be lost to the present leader, Jack Layton, and his federal caucus as it embraces Islamists of the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC).
Since most Canadians are generally uninformed of the distinction between Islam and Islamism, they are readily open to the deception of Islamists.

The tragedy and the scandal in the present circumstance is that while too many brave Canadian soldiers have fallen in securing Afghanistan from Islamist jihad (war), CIC and its allies in Canada go about unchecked in promoting their agenda and making propaganda in support of Islamist organizations such as the Palestinian Hamas, the Lebanese Hezbollah, the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood, the Pakistan-based Jamaat-i-Islami and its offshoots including the Taliban.

It is, however, inexcusable for any federal party to be uninformed about the nature of Islamism and Islamists in Canada. It should be a matter of embarrassment for any federal party to receive public endorsement from an Islamist organization as the NDP has received from the CIC.

Instead of repudiating CIC chief Mohamed Elmasry's support for the NDP, Jack Layton has opened the party to front for Canadian Islamists. In the riding of Bourassa in Montreal, Layton is running a CIC operative, Samira Laouni of Moroccan origin, as NDP candidate.

The mildest thing that can be said about this embrace is how dimwitted the political opportunism of the NDP is in promoting Islamists in Canada.

Opportunism is the staple of politicians, but Layton's dismal judgment backed by his Quebec deputy, Thomas Mulcair, MP for Outremont, comes close to betrayal of Canada's honour and the brave men and women who have given their lives in keeping peace and defending freedom.

In Defence of Heather Mallick

From a Jonathan Kaye column at the National Post comes a creepy opinionator to set the record straight for all those "stupid" people who don't agree with him, (spot91,) on the issue of Heather Mallick's vile hate rant against Sarah Palin:

by spot91

Sep 19 2008
2:48 PM

[P]alin is the biggest idiot ever to walk the earth. A roll of toilet paper would make a more intelligent vice president.


The CBC is a Canadian government-run propaganda organization. What can people do about it? The CBC not only runs filthy rants against Sarah Palin, they laugh at and show their hatred of millions of Canadian and multi-millions of Americans. What can be done?

A clue to why the non-American world vastly prefers Obama?

The Irrationality of Anti-Americanism (HT: CSM) by Joe Loconte:
IF WE NEEDED more evidence that the anti-American vitriol from Europe and the Middle East is largely the product of manipulated imaginations, we have it. A new World Public Opinion poll of 17 nations reveals significant support for the claim that the United States staged the 9/11 terrorist attacks--presumably for its own malicious and imperialistic designs.

The poll, conducted between July 15 and August 31 and involving over 16,000 respondents, suggests that America's European and NATO "allies" are in fact infested with legions of anti-American conspiracy theorists. A slight majority of Britons blame al Qaeda for the attacks (57 percent), but another 26 percent say they don't know who the perpetrators were. The numbers were roughly the same for the French and the Italians, many of whom (8 percent and 13 percent, respectively) think the United States authored the act. Among Germans, nearly a fourth of all respondents (23 percent) finger the United States. Yes, one in four.

Likewise, the poll response among Muslim-majority nations signals that the battle for "hearts and minds" in the Islamic world is not going well. In Turkey, where anti-Americanism has spiked in recent years, an astonishing 36 percent of respondents blame the United States for the attacks. In the comparatively moderate state of Indonesia, less than a fourth of all respondents (23 percent) think al Qaeda orchestrated 9/11, while the majority (57 percent) claims they have no idea.

The poll results also demonstrate the insidious link between anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. A full 43 percent of Egyptians believe that Israel engineered the attacks.
True, the deep suspicions about 9/11 and American credibility in the Muslim world can partly be explained by the Bush administration's wrenching mistakes in Iraq, from the failure to find weapons of mass destruction to the prison scandal at Abu Ghraib. But the conspiratorial culture that engulfs much of the Arab and Muslim world is something altogether different. As a growing number of Arab reformers confess, a widespread sense of failure among Muslims--a crisis of confidence--has produced a desperate search for scapegoats. "The distortion of the image of the United States has become a political objective for Arab governments in their struggle for survival," writes Omran Salman of the Middle East Media Research Institute, "and a tool to banish the specter of democracy and change in the Arab region."

What about the Europeans? How is it that so many enlightened minds seem trapped in a byzantine world of political superstitions? How is it that the children of Rousseau and Voltaire embrace theories that draw strength from the forces of irrationalism and despotism? Despite repeated claims of responsibility by Osama bin Laden for the attacks, despite video confessions of his suicidal minions, despite testimony from scores of witnesses confirming al Qaeda involvement, despite the conclusions of intelligence agencies from around the world--despite all this and more, European suspicions about American guilt persist.

Perhaps the Enlightenment spirit of Voltaire is partly to blame. As Pope Benedict XVI has warned, Europeans who sever themselves from Christian doctrines are vulnerable to all kinds of ideologies eager to fill the void. Secular Europeans, slavishly devoted to the soothing powers of diplomacy, have a difficult time taking the problem of evil seriously, especially when it claims a religious sanction. They instinctively seek a political explanation--no matter how improbable. Americans, whose Constitution pays homage to the doctrine of original sin, find it easier to imagine the existence of individuals, and entire social movements, given over to moral and spiritual corruption. "The Bible says somewhere that mankind is desperately wicked," quipped Abraham Lincoln. "I think I would have discovered that fact without the Bible."

There are many reasons for anti-Americanism, of course...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Who you gonna believe: me or your lyin' ears?

Health Canada scientist gets $4,000 for 'hurt feelings' (HT: Blazing Cat Fur)
OTTAWA - The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has awarded a former Health Canada scientist $4,000 for "hurt feelings" after a supervisor's comment that he liked visible minorities was deemed to be racist.
Friday's decision dealt with a series of complaints filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission by Chopra in 1998 and in 1999. After investigation, the commission referred the complaints to the tribunal in 2004. One involved comments made by Andre Lachance after his 1998 appointment as director at Health Canada's bureau of veterinary drugs, a job that Chopra believed he deserved.

When he was introduced to staff, Lachance told his audience that he liked visible minorities. An offended Chopra complained that the comment was a "deeply insensitive racial remark toward visible minority employees of the bureau." The tribunal concurred, finding that Lachance's comment was "offensive to Dr. Chopra and, by any standard, racist, even if some people in attendance did not find it to be so."
By any standard... except that of some of those in attendance. This kind of "human rights" megalomania makes me into an angry man. I sympathize with the real victim and feel like the guy who's asked if he has stopped beating his wife.

So here's the "human rights" plan to silence Canadians and rule them by an unaccountable oligarchy of the most self-righteous. First we terrorize all and sundry in regards to being politically incorrect, making sure everyone knows that one can give off signs of being an evil racist even when one doesn't realize it, thanks to the systemic and hidden bias of one's inherently racist culture. Then, if one gives off any discombobulated sign of being so terrorized, it's proof he's a racist, with a guilty conscience, by any standard, and must pay!!!

When will the nation rid itself of these witch hunters? Associating "visible minority" "victims" with this witch hunting is really racist, because it makes them seem like primitive religionists in need of human sacrifice to mediate their career resentments. I know that's true, by any standard, because, well, I can make you pay!... Yeah, I know, I'm starting to sound like a crazy man... Witch doctor can make me sane again?

All's Well that Ends. Well....

The TV program NOVA has reported that a police agent in Rotterdam has been dismissed after 19 years of service. The Dutch intelligence AIVD informed the police that the man had spied for the intelligence services of Morocco. www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=trouw%2C+brigadier+ontslagen&bt

The Rotterdam airport has hired the former policeman who was fired from the police force because the Dutch intelligence had found that he worked as a spy for the Moroccan secret service. The airport says that he has no access to the planes. www.volkskrant.nl/binnenland/article1068206.ece/Recherche_start_o

Thanks to Bad News from the Netherlands.

At least the planes are certain to be good hands, he being a policeman and all, and knowing who to keep away from the planes. Whew, I feel safer already.

Dad, can I borrow the keys to the....

One does occasionally hear tales of woe, such as how junior wrecked the car on Saturday night taking his steady girlfriend to the soda-shop for a malted. Here's one of those tales, writ a bit large.

Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News
Friday, 16 May 2008

The brand spanking new Airbus 340-600, the largest passenger airplane ever built, sat in its hangar in Toulouse, France without a single hour of airtime. Enter the Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, such as engine runups, prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. The date was November 15, 2007.

The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area. Then they took all four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Not having read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 really is.

The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had all 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to takeoff but it had not been configured properly (flaps/slats, etc.) Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm.

This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air.

The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can't land with the brakes on.

Not one member of the seven-man Arab crew was smart enough to throttle back the engines from their max power setting, so the $80 million brand-new aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totaling it.

The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown, for there has been a news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere. Coverage of the story was deemed insulting to Moslem Arabs. Finally, the photos are starting to leak out.

Thank to Gates of Vienna.

Hey, it could have happened to anyone. And what's $80 million to dad anyway? I laugh when I think of the times I crashed the family jet airbus. You too, huh? Ah, kids. What can you do?

Sharia's status in the UK

There has been a lot of talk lately in the blogs that Sharia courts are now recognized by higher courts in the UK. What this discussion has not made clear is whether the higher courts will enforce the decisions of Sharia "arbitration" courts if the latters' decisions are themselves contrary to British law.

This article by John O'Sullivan argues that British courts cannot recognize illegal (under British law) rulings and thus helps clarify the issue at stake, which is that ultimately Sharia, with its image of Islamic society (and its outsiders) as a ritually-bound hierarchy of distinct roles that determine each person's place and "rights" is logically and ethically incompatible with a legal system that would treat all members of a nation as free and equal individuals (and would similarly treat all nations as having equal rights and responsibilities internationally).

Thus any compromises made towards Sharia courts in what professes to be a society based on individual liberty is simply a cynical or cowardly deferral of hard choices, and an appeasement of those who refuse to adapt to modernity and its ethical absolutes rooted in the sacredness of the free individual and the kind of society that makes free individuals possible.

The fact that large numbers of the British political and policing classes are just so appeasing at present is not proof of Sharia's present legality in the UK. What we mean, in theory or practise, by "the rule of law" - as something distinct from the rule of arbitrary tyranny, or of multiculti legal pot luck (where you can't be sure which law will be determinative in any given time or place) - cannot be reduced to the political cowardice or bullying of an imperial officialdom. No, "the rule of law," as something freely recognized and widely respected must be ultimately recognizable in terms of a widely-understood revelation about the meaning of history, or its key events. The rule of law cannot be separated from a coherent and freely accepted vision of nationhood (and similarly of a truly inter-national order).

Ultimately, no enduring society, whether Islamic or Western, can be long ruled by bureaucratic fudging by post-national elites invested in an ethic of moral or legal, multiculti, relativism. Inevitably, there comes a place and a time when the meaning of a society and its law has to be clearly represented and renewed by some kind of iconic authority, an authority rooted in revelatory and widely respected events.

This re-presentation should not be dictatorial but rather must renew and hopefully expand the degrees of freedom, e.g. of rational debate, without which the long-evolving social order cannot be sustained. Our revelations thus must be open-ended, never entirely settled, or else they are in need of renewal. But we must not confuse true open-endedness with a kind of multiculti bureaucratic fudging that only limits the growth of a free society by re-ritualizing a system of differential rights.

King John is not yet resurrected as the Sheikh or Fatwa council of every demographically-appopriate British hamlet, if I may mix metaphors without too much bureaucratic incoherence. What is happening today in the UK is just a cowardly and dangerous postponement of some future day of reckoning. Does none of Britain's politicos and police officers have the balls to make clear whether or not all British women have a right to be protected from domestic abuse and third-class status in family law? If not, then the future belongs to others' superior generative capacities. It cannot belong to endless fudge, however distracting the promise of another little chocolate mint is at present.

Preview Of Post-Christian UK: Burdensome Old People Have A Duty To Die

Materialism taken to extremes: Baroness Mary Warnock, Britain's "leading moral philosopher" explains the morality behind licenses to kill burdensome old people who do not measure up to a subjective standard, and why suicide is a patriotic duty that these less-than-perfect people have to fulfill in order to keep the gravy train flowing for the rest:

The veteran Government adviser said pensioners in mental decline are "wasting people's lives" because of the care they require and should be allowed to opt for euthanasia even if they are not in pain.
She insisted there was "nothing wrong" with people being helped to die for the sake of their loved ones or society.
The 84-year-old added that she hoped people will soon be "licensed to put others down" if they are unable to look after themselves.
Lady Warnock, a former headmistress who went on to become Britain's leading moral philosopher, chaired a landmark Government committee in the 1980s that established the law on fertility treatment and embryo research.
A prominent supporter of euthanasia, she has previously suggested that pensioners who do not want to become a burden on their carers should be helped to die.
Last year the Mental Capacity Act came into effect that gives legal force to "living wills", so patients can appoint an "attorney" to tell doctors when their hospital food and water should be removed.
But in her latest interview, given to the Church of Scotland's magazine Life and Work, Lady Warnock goes further by claiming that dementia sufferers should consider ending their lives through euthanasia because of the strain they put on their families and public services.
Recent figures show there are 700,000 people with degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's in Britain. By 2026 experts predict there will be one million dementia sufferers in the country, costing the NHS an estimated £35billion a year.
Lady Warnock said: "If you're demented, you're wasting people's lives – your family's lives – and you're wasting the resources of the National Health Service.
"I'm absolutely, fully in agreement with the argument that if pain is insufferable, then someone should be given help to die, but I feel there's a wider argument that if somebody absolutely, desperately wants to die because they're a burden to their family, or the state, then I think they too should be allowed to die.
"Actually I've just written an article called 'A Duty to Die?' for a Norwegian periodical. I wrote it really suggesting that there's nothing wrong with feeling you ought to do so for the sake of others as well as yourself."
She went on: "If you've an advance directive, appointing someone else to act on your behalf, if you become incapacitated, then I think there is a hope that your advocate may say that you would not wish to live in this condition so please try to help her die.
"I think that's the way the future will go, putting it rather brutally, you'd be licensing people to put others down."

[Hat Tip to Hot Air]

Thursday, September 18, 2008

And now for something completely different!

OK, I think over the last couple of years we've tried out most of the reasons we have for encouraging people to attend our weekly Thursday Covenant Zone meetings at the Vancouver Public Library, or to develop their own covenant zones for the renewal of our political freedom and anticipation of the form and content of our future national covenants. We meet in the atrium of the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library, 7-9pm, in front of Blenz Coffee. Look for the blue scarves.

Finding myself looking for more reasons this Thursday, how about this: it's good for your health! I mean, it could save your life! If you spend too much time sitting in front of that computer, without taking enough breaks to move about in the physical world, something could happen to you that happened to me a while ago, during an internet fix, and almost robbed you of the chance to read my, ahem, grasping weekly prose:
WASHINGTON - Far too many Americans are dying of dangerous blood clots that can masquerade as simple leg pain, says a major new government effort to get both patients and their doctors to recognize the emergency in time.

"It's a silent killer. It's hard to diagnose," said acting Surgeon General Dr. Steven Galson, who announced the new campaign Monday. "I don't think most people understand that this is a serious medical problem or what can be done to prevent it."

At issue are clots with cumbersome names: A deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, forms in large veins, usually a leg or the groin. It can quickly kill if it moves up to the lungs, where it goes by the name pulmonary embolism, or PE.

These clots make headlines every few years when seemingly healthy people collapse after long airplane flights or being in similarly cramped quarters. Vice President Cheney suffered one after a long trip last year. NBC correspondent David Bloom died of one in 2003 after spending days inside a tank while covering the invasion of Iraq.

But that provides a skewed vision of the problem. While there aren't good statistics, the new surgeon general's campaign estimates that every year, between 350,000 and 600,000 Americans get one of these clots - and at least 100,000 of them die.

There are a host of risk factors and triggers: Recent surgery or a broken bone; a fall or car crash; pregnancy or taking birth control pills or menopause hormones; being immobile for long periods. The risk rises with age, especially over 65, and among people who smoke or are obese.

And some people have genetic conditions that cause no other symptoms but increase their risk, making it vital to tell your doctor if a relative has ever suffered a blood clot.

People with those factors should have "a very low threshold" for calling a doctor or even going to the emergency room if they have symptoms of a clot, said Galson, who issued a "call to action" for better education of both consumers and doctors, plus more research.

Symptoms include swelling; pain, especially in the calf; or a warm spot or red or discolored skin on the leg; shortness of breath or pain when breathing deeply.

But here's the rub: Doctors are ill-informed, too. For example, studies suggest a third of patients who need protective blood thinners when they enter the hospital for major surgery don't get them. And patients can even be turned away despite telltale symptoms, like happened to Le Keisha Ruffin just weeks after the birth of her daughter, Caitlyn.

Ruffin made repeated visits to doctors and emergency rooms for growing pain in her leg and groin in December 2003 and January 2004, but was told it must be her healing Caesarean section scar.

Finally one night, Ruffin's husband ran her a really hot bath for pain relief - only to have her climb out minutes later with her leg swollen three to four times its normal size, and then pass out.

"I like to call that my miracle bath," Ruffin said, because the sudden swelling proved the tip-off for doctors.

Pieces of a giant clot in her right leg had broken off and floated to her lung. The ER doctor "said if I hadn't made it in when I did, I may not have lived through the rest of the night," recalled Ruffin, now 32, who spent a month in the hospital and required extensive physical therapy to walk normally again.

These clots "tend to fall through the cracks" because they cross so many areas of medicine, said Dr. Samuel Goldhaber, chairman of the Venous Disease Coalition and a cardiologist at Boston's Brigham & Women's Hospital.

With the surgeon general's campaign, "DVT after all these years will finally get the national spotlight like cigarette smoking did in the mid-60s," he said.

In addition to Galson's report:

-The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is issuing a 12-page booklet to help consumers tell if they're at risk for DVTs and what to do - and a 60-page DVT treatment-and-prevention guide for doctors and hospitals.

-As a prevention incentive, starting Oct. 1 Medicare will withhold payment from hospitals when patients develop the clots after knee-or hip-replacement surgery.


On the Net:

Surgeon General: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov

Venous Disease Coalition: http://www.venousdiseasecoalition.org

Coalition to Prevent DVT: http://www.preventdvt.org

Quoted article from: Menopause - Medbroadcast

K'Dylan Times

It looks like a happening musical trend. Move over, Brittany; heave-ho Lindsey, (no, please, not really); outta the way, McDonna: it's disco time for the old Timers. Break a hip.

The whole thing here:


Decline and Fall of the Times

First we dump Manhattan, then we dump Berlin.

I suspect many people I don't know and don't know of feel much like I do, that the "mainstream media" is ugly and disgusting, like an old friend who has degenerated into drug-abuse and mental illness, and one who, though a long-time friend, must be cut loose.

I watch now as the New York Times dives into the pavement from such a height, and it is fascinating to watch, the thrill of the up-coming crash something to fear and thrill at. The end of an era, the end of a saga of greatness, and the final end of a toilet rag that the NYT has become. It is also the end of a way of American poseur-thinking, of the Europeanization of America's elitist-wanna-be population.

There must be those conformists who will stay with the failed regardless of all objective conditions, conformity and loyalty and unthinkingness being essential to normal life in communities. There must be unthinking adherence to the failed because otherwise panic would set in at each and every failure and chaos would reign in the short experience of life as Man. People cannot easily give up and change, not in the real world, no matter how terrible conditions are: change is disruptive and terrible for society, and it only comes about slowly and from the reluctant in times of genuine dysfunction. The drag of those who continue to hold fast to the ruined save the revolutionary from causing more harm than one might expect. Too much good all at once is little good. Even revolutionaries need a long period of adjustment to a new reality. So, slowly falls the Times. I'll try to avert my eyes when it hits the ground and splashes across the city and the nation in a gush of muck. And then I'll continue reading news of a better sort.

September 18, 2008

Newspaper death spiral accelerates some more

Thomas Lifson

The decline in advertising revenues at the NYT accelerates again, and now the largest newspaper in New Jersey, the Star-Ledger of Newark, is threatening to shut down next January, if its employees do not voluntarily accept buyouts and unions do not agree to concessions.

Editor & Publisher obtained and posted a copy of the email from the Star-Ledger publisher to employees. See it here.
The NYT is not threatening to close yet, but advertisers are deserting it so fast now that its business model can be considered broken-to-year, advertising revenues for The New York Times Media Group decreased 15.1%.

The panic which must be spreading through the ranks of print journalists can be expected to weaken their hold on mental equanimity.

Expect press misbehavior to accelerate.


Have American Values Shifted?

Democratic pollster Mark Mellman suggests today in the New York Times that America is no longer the right-leaning, conservative nation that it had been for the latter half of the twentieth century. From his perspective, the citizens are shifting their traditional views on the role of government, foreign policy and, unfortunately, moral absolutism:

We have documented a similar, if less drastic, shift in public views of morality. Just three years ago, a majority of those we surveyed said that “there are absolute standards of right and wrong that apply to everyone in almost every situation.” Today, however, respondents by a narrow margin say they believe that “everyone has to decide for themselves what is right and wrong in particular situations.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Peaking Behind The Curtain

What a hoot: check out this very funny, and extremely clever, three-minute comment on how the leftwing bloggers and the left-leaning media seem to work hand-in-talon these days in their desperate smearing of Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin:

[Hat Tip to Tammy Bruce]

And another one, this time top-secret footage from inside Obama's campaign headquarters revealing how The Chosen One is dealing with his unexpected competition:

[Thanks to Copious Dissent]


I wanted to make a few comments to introduce some links to the latest news from the Lemire trial and his constitutional challenge of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, presently unfolding in the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. These turned into a mini-essay, if anyone is interested... or skip to the bottom for the links reporting on Tuesday's hearing.

Political and ethical wisdom is often well summed up by the rule that our best choice is not some fanciful vision of reality, some vision of the world as it should be; rather, wisdom and courage is being able truly to face and choose between the lesser of evils. The real choices we face all implicate us in some degree of potential or actual evil.

One of the most invidious things about Canada's hate speech laws, both criminal and "human rights" code, is that instead of allowing us to choose the lesser of evils, they obscure that choice.

For example, they force people to take sides between the kind of Judeophobic people Doug Christie has a reputation for defending, and a law that is premised on unrealistic assumptions about the threats such people hold to others in today's Canada, a law that can and is now being evily used to chill serious political speech, particularly in the context of left-Islamic "lawfare" against Judeo-Christian conservatives.

This choice between Christie's crowd, and the law that punishes them, the choice proferred by supposedly sage liberals who like to emote about the need to "balance" competing rights of free speech and freedom from "hate" speech (as if there were a fundamental human right not to be resented), only creates the false aura of a wise person facing down the choice of the lesser evil and arguing (as it happens, outrageously) like the Government of Canada's own lawyer:
Mr. Fothergill answered that if Section 13 puts a chill on public discourse, it is only to be around the fringes of hate speech, and that this is not "a terribly bad outcome."

"A little bit of chilling … is tolerable" he said.
The problem is that someone like Fothergill takes it for granted that there is an objective, readily identified, extreme of hate speech. But, in fact, this "fringe" is only the political creation of "mainstream" people like himself, created in debate with other "mainstream" people like himself, people who take on the task of representing what is either respectably liberal or conservative, while banishing the rest of the nation's political speech to the margins of their own making.

Such people, of course, are believers in, and the embodiment of, rule by a technocratic, academic-media-legal elite. If you are not such a believer in mutually-accrediting, more or less liberal elites, then exactly what is marginal hate speech is not at all self-evident. Rather, it is something that must be tested and revealed otherwise, i.e. in a truly public laboratory, in the free marketplace of ideas and represented experiences.

Now while we do not have a truly free marketplace of ideas and representations in Canada, to the extent we have something approaching it, our free exchange happens to look a lot like a place where the kinds of people Doug Christie is famous for defending would be destined to be ignored or forgotten losers.

I would also like to say, as if to lawyer Fothergill (and by extension to the Harper - and previous Liberal - government that gave him his instructions) that any chilling from the likes of him (and them) is highly intolerable.

This is because his office represents the crowd of liberal legal minds who like to associate with the philosopher's fantasy that there is always some kind of "balance" to be made among competing rights, which they understand in terms of abstract metaphysical concepts, a "balance" that can lead to general rules of legal conduct, irregardless of context. Such people look for guiding principles to rule all situations; they become fixated on programmatic or dogmatic ideas, rather than recognizing that the real protection of human rights must pay primary attention to the needs of the particular participants and the historical situation in which each conflict is located. This is not to deny our need for general legal principles based on precedents, but to suggest that the more minimally these can be expressed, the better.

In other words, the more we allow legal principles to become infected by grand philosophical ambitions to balance all and sundry, the worse off we will be. It is all too easy to put two different things on the same "balanced" level because in philosophical language everything under the sun can be turned into a concept that seems to be the equivalent of another concept. However, this is often to obscure a reality where certain fundamental human imperatives cannot be balanced, or even represented: freedom is something we can talk about but not actually represent, or thus "balance", since freedom is the basis for our ability to represent but not the representation itself. You cannot show freedom; you can only perform it.

Thus we need wise and learned and truly disinterested judges, and not pre-programmed ones. But as soon as you have a hate speech law, you must politicize the judiciary, because how else than by following the political winds are judges to know where is the line between speech that is grudgingly acceptable to the "mainstream" (elite) and speech that must be condemned as hateful and punishable?

I would not make it a general rule, for all times and all places, that the lesser of evils will always be to strictly minimize the number of permissible limits on freedom of expression (e.g. laws against defamation, fraud, incitement to violence) but I think it certainly applies to a prosperous, modern, well educated, mostly peaceful country like Canada.

In Canada, the vast majority of people would never have heard of Doug Christie or his litany of clients if it had not been for our hate speech laws. That is because in the post-1960s context, these people are rather out of time and place, and they just don't have the ideas, money, influence, charisma, or anything, to get a lot of attention. And despite the fear mongering that goes on around such questions, I challenge anyone to provide a realistic futuristic scenario in which my claim would turn out false.

That's not to say that what is yet unimaginable will not come about. History is but an unfolding of revelations and experiences that are unimaginable, until they happen. If one day, Canada finds itself on the knife edge of violent racial, religious, or other conflict, maybe it will be best to have a government that places some restrictions on public speech.

But that is not Canada today and it seems much more likely that we will avoid the risk of building up great social blocks in conflict with each other if we accent individual rights and not "group rights" (e.g. the "right" not to be deeply offended based on one's group identity). In Canada today, people who resentfully provoke social divisions, without any kind of serious intellectual justification in truth or reason (as recognized by the highly competitive and demanding free market in ideas) are quickly marginalized by most all involved in the marketplace, e.g. in the endless seas of the internet, and especially by polite, connected, and influential people. The terminally resentful are left to grumble to a few other lonely losers. And that is how it should be. They become more resentful and dangerous when they have to fight the state.

In other words, there are exceptions to this kind of marginalized outcome in Canada today. An exception happens when politicized "liberal" elites, those who are generally resented because they are elites, make a go of justifying their elite positions by picking on someone to act as the definition of a "Nazi" hate monger, i.e. a scapegoat. This is the moment when the risk of the nation moving towards group conflict increases. Because there are all kinds of people who will resent and fear those elites and take sides against them and their followers, people who have reason to fear (indeed this should be everyone) that tomorrow they could be the "hate monger". In other words, we no longer live in an age when our elites can make peace by choosing some pathetic scapegoat. We have mostly learned to see through that kind of thing and so for such purposes we no longer need an elite, or the laws that create them.

The greater evil, as it exists in Canada today, lies with those sufficiently self-righteous to think that they are in a state-sanctioned position to dictate to others what should be considered and punished as hate speech. Such people put the dampers on all kinds of conversations that are necessary for our country to have if it is going to peacefully integrate large numbers of immigrants into a self-ruling democracy of free individuals. "Multiculturalism" can quickly become an excuse for rule by largely undemocratic "representatives" of various group identities. In other words, it can lead to a system of imperial, NGO, elitist rule which is likely to entail greater not lesser resentment and violence in the long run (multicultural empires never last and when they crumble it is a nightmare because the people have lost the creative skills to rule themselves and thus find relatively non-violent, decentralized, ways of transcending conflict).

Free expression is in so many respects the fundamental human right since human society is fundamentally based on the act of representation. While one can argue that the right not to be killed is more fundamental, this is just another way of arguing that the individual must be given all protection necessary to maintain his freedom of expression. Unless there is a serious case - a case not based on vague and dubious claims about Germany in the 1920s and 30s, but a cased based on today's realities - to be made that one person's freedom of expression is likely to lead to another's harm and loss of freedom, there can be no serious argument that it is good to put limits on freedom of expression.

The lesser of evils is not to be found in choosing between "rights" of free speech and "freedom from hate speech"; the lesser evil is in refusing that false choice.

Thus I come to make my choice between Doug Christie and the kinds of people he represents, and the government defenders of an invidious piece of legislation, Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act; and I find that I am pretty much entirely in agreement with what Doug Christie argued Tuesday before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. See reports here and here and here and here.