Shut up and play nice: How the Western world is limiting free speech By Jonathan Turley, October 12, 2012, Washington Post Free speech is dying in the Western world. While most people still enjoy considerable freedom of expression, this right, once … Continue reading
By Stephen D’Allotte, EdTimes staff. With the fuss over the little film on YouTube denigrating the Prophet of Islam being used as an excuse to escalate, Muslim radicals and Imams (who, in my view, are synonymous with radical Islam), continue … Continue reading
300 years later, the French still continue to try to destroy the British monarchy. It seems for French paparazzi you only need to catch a break in life to be exploitable for fun and profit, and have your private life … Continue reading
Stop stand-up urination for men, Swedish politicians urge
Some Swedish politicians say that standing up to empty one’s bladder is unsanitary and less healthy for a man than sitting down. (Blend_Images/iStockphoto)A Swedish political party is taking a stand against upright urination.
At a county council meeting Monday, the Left Party, or Vänsterpartiet, tabled a motion that would require office washrooms to be genderless with a sit-down-only requirement, reported the news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå.
British Freedom of Speech Endangered
John Stuart Mill, where art thou?
By Charles C. W. Cooke March 29, 2012 4:00 A.M.
When Muamba collapsed, said the judge at Stacey’s trial, “not just the footballer’s family, not just the footballing world but the whole world were literally praying for his life. Your comments aggravated this situation.” In fact, it is hard to see how Stacey’s words aggravated anything much at all. What he wrote, utterly appalling and unprintable as it was, had bearing neither on the efficacy of Muamba’s life-saving treatment nor on the likelihood of his survival. It prevented nobody from praying for his life or exercising any of their own rights. And it encouraged nobody to do anything illegal. Sure, what Stacey wrote may have — should have — upset many people. But in a free country, that cannot be a crime.
Explaining his decision to imprison Stacey, the judge noted that he had “no choice but to impose an immediate custodial sentence to reflect the public outrage at what [Stacey had] done.” “To reflect the public outrage”? Translation: British speech law is determined by the sentiments of the mob. That this is the case would constitute a tragedy anywhere that free men live, but it is especially egregious in the land of John Stuart Mill. In On Liberty, Mill averred that “if all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” His words carried no small print, nor did his associated contention that “there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it might be considered.”
It is hard to fathom why exactly Stacey was singled out. It is a sad fact of modern life that people say racist and abhorrent things on social networks and public message boards all the time — YouTube’s comments section, particularly, is a sewer — and yet most go untouched. Given that a popular Twitter reaction to Stacey’s imprisonment on Monday was “I hope he gets raped by a black man in prison” — and there were other, even less charming, variants — one can but ask why such subsequent comments do not constitute as much of an incitement to racial hatred — to violence, perhaps — as the original, and why they are not worthy of the same punishment. If an eye for an eye makes the world blind, an insult for an insult would have seen thousands locked up in British jails this week if the law had been applied consistently.
[Ed. note: from last fall, but still relevant, if not more so.]
by Mark Steyn, October 17, 2011
In 1853 or thereabouts, Czar Nicholas I described Turkey as the sick man of Europe. A century and a half later, Turkey is increasingly the strong man of the Middle East, and the sick man of Europe is Europe — or, rather, “Europe.” The transformation of a geographical patchwork of nation-states into a single political entity has been the dominant Big Idea of the post-war era, the Big Idea the Continent’s elites turned to after all the other Big Ideas — Fascism, Nazism, and eventually Communism — failed, spectacularly. The West’s last Big Idea is now dying in the eurozone debt crisis. Although less obviously malign than the big totalitarian -isms, this particular idea has proved so insinuating and debilitating that the only question is whether most of the West dies with it.
“Europe” has a basic identity crisis: As the Germans have begun to figure out, just because the Greeks live in the same general neighborhood is no reason to open a joint checking account. And yet a decade ago, when it counted, everyone who mattered on the Continent assumed a common currency for nations with nothing in common was so obviously brilliant an idea it was barely worth explaining to the masses. In the absence of ethnic or cultural compatibility, the European Union offered Big Government as a substitute: The project was propped up by two pillars — social welfare and defense welfare. The former regulated Europe into economic sloth even as India, China, and Brazil began figuring out how this capitalism thing worked. The latter meant that the U.S. defense umbrella ensured once-lavish budgets for hussars and lancers could be reallocated to government health care and other lollipops — and it still wasn’t enough. Whatever the individual merits of ever-more-leisurely education, 30-hour work weeks, six weeks’ vacation, retirement at 50, the cumulative impact is that not enough people do not enough work for not enough of their lives. And once large numbers of people acquire the habits of a leisured class, there are not many easy ways back to reality.
Defense welfare does the same at a geopolitical level. In absolving the Continent of responsibility for its own defense, the United States not only enabled Europe to beat its swords into Ponzi shares but, in a subtle and profound way, helped enervate the survival instincts of some of the oldest nation-states on the planet. I tend to agree with John Keegan, the great military historian and my old Telegraph colleague, that a nation without a military is in a sense no longer a nation. One of the few remaining serious second-tier powers is now joining their ranks: Under the “Conservative” premiership of David Cameron, a nation that within living memory governed a fifth of the earth’s surface and a quarter of its population and provided what global order there was for much of the rest will have a military incapable of independent force projection. Were the Argies to seize the Falklands today, Her Majesty’s Government would have to content itself with going to the U.N. and getting a strong resolution. Were the toppling of Saddam to be attempted today, Britain would be incapable of reprising the role it played eight years ago — of holding down the lower third of Iraq all but singlehanded while the Yanks pressed on to Baghdad. But beyond that, in a more general sense, nations that abandon their militaries tend also to abandon their national interests: Increasingly, instead of policies, they have attitudes. “Global warming” — “saving” the planet — is the perfect preoccupation for the ever-more-refined sensibilities of the post-national nation.
While Europe slept in and slept around, new powers emerged. China and India, on course to be the world’s top two economies within a couple of decades, both act as more or less conventional nation-states. So too do Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey — and many lesser players. We live on a planet in which the wealthiest societies in history, from Norway to New Zealand, are incapable of defending their own borders while basket cases like North Korea and Pakistan have gone nuclear, and Sudan and Somalia are anxious to follow. Whatever supple lies it may tell itself, a rich nation that cannot bother keeping up an army is retreating not only from imperialism and conquest but also from greatness. Continentals enjoy more paid leisure time than anybody else, yet they produce less and less great art, music, literature. A land of universal welfare invariably universalizes mediocrity.
Whether Greece defaults or gets bailed out one mo’ time doesn’t really matter: It’s insolvent, and there isn’t enough money in Germany to obscure that fact indefinitely. The longer “political reality” tries to dodge real reality, the bloodier the eventual reacquaintance will be. Europeans are going to have to relearn impulses three generations of Continentals have learned to regard as hopelessly vulgar. Can they do that? A land of 30-year-old students and 50-year-old retirees has so thoroughly diverted the great stream of life that it barely comprehends what’s at stake. “Europe” as a geopolitical rather than geographical concept has been for half a century the most conventional of conventional wisdom. Those, like Britain’s Euroskeptics, who dissented from it were derided as “swivel-eyed” “loony tunes.” The loons were right, and the smart set — the political class, the universities, the BBC, Le Monde — were wrong. “Europe” was a blueprint for sclerosis and decline, and then a sudden, devastating fall. As the “loony tunes” could have told them, it ends with, “That’s all, folks.”
by Donna Laframboise, March 24, 2012
But over the past decade the Royal Society has abandoned its longstanding neutrality and become a political lobby group.
The depths to which this formerly esteemed body
organization has now sunk may be seen on the website for this conference. A number of official blog posts appear there, including one written by the event’s co-chair, Mark Stafford-Smith. It declares:
our science tells us that the Earth has entered the ‘Anthropocene’, a geological era in which human impacts are now as important in driving how the planet operates as geological and astronomical forces have been in past eras. [backup link]
But this is nonsense. As I observed last August, a scientific body called the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) is responsible for naming geological eras. It has made no such determination that a new one has begun.
This strange claim can be traced back to informal musings a decade ago by atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen. He is not a geologist. He’s doesn’t belong to the ICS. He has no more authority to announce the beginning of a new geological era than I do.
The Anthropocene is 100% a political statement. It amounts to a PR strategy on the part of activist scientists. It is a trap laid for gullible journalists. That the co-chair of a conference hosted by the Royal Society has the audacity to suggest that science tells us we’ve entered a new geological era demonstrates not only that science has left the building, it was never there in the first place.
Other conference blog posts are equally disheartening. In one, Liese Coulter – a PR/media relations professional – tells us that she thinks her husband drives their car too much so she “made him” pay for carbon offsets [backup link].
In another, Sunita Narain – who is described as an Indian environmentalist and political activist – calls the United States “the world’s biggest climate renegade” and says that Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Canada are “other big polluting guns.”
She also makes reference to US “Republicans – Neanderthals who do not believe climate change is real” (backup link). Evidently Ms Narain’s mother never taught her that, when you’re trying to change other people’s minds, publicly denigrating them is rarely a successful strategy.
In yet another conference blog post, “independent environmental educator and musician” Mike Edwards declares:
We face a stark choice: we can either carry on destroying the planet to the point of catastrophe, or we can change our habits…we need to…reconnect with nature and shift towards a value system that doesn’t place material wealth first. [backup link]
This session will make the case for a new, holistic thinking paradigm that allows space for multiple scientific, artistic and cultural discourses to achieve the vision of a sustainable world. It will be fun, energetic and participatory but will be based on the message that novel thinkers are needed to provide transformatory ideas to address global environmental challenges. [bold added]
Yeah, that sounds like the sort of thing to which the Royal Society should be linking its scientific reputation.
Her post closes with the typical activist’s rallying cry: “Action has to be taken now.” (backup link)
But matters don’t quite end there. Blogger Bo Kjellén, Sweden’s former chief climate negotiator, pompously opines that “there have to be significant changes in the way our societies and economies operate” – and suggests that humanity’s use of fossil fuels may be analogous to selling our soul to the devil (backup link).
Yvo de Boer – who has served as the UN’s climate chief (and whose academic credentials are apparently in social work) – spends his own blog post lecturing private businesses about how they should run their affairs. In his words:
So if I’m running a business that’s coping with a depressed economy, if I don’t know whether I’ll be able to make payroll next week, does anyone really suppose I’m going to spend five seconds worrying about what a UN bureaucrat thinks I need to do?
I mean, honestly. A lot of money is being spent on this conference. They’re expecting 2,500 people to attend – almost all of whom will arrive there via fossil-fueled modes of transportation.
This is being billed as the “largest gathering of global change and sustainability scientists prior to the Rio+20 Earth Summit” (italics added). But as we can see, many of the individuals involved aren’t scientists at all. They’re politicians and bureaucrats. They’re communications managers and musicians. Most of all, they’re political activists. In some cases, this fact is self-admitted. In others, it’s revealed by how they behave and what they say.
That this conference is being hosted by the Royal Society is nothing short of scandalous.
Visit Donna’s blog and order a copy of her book. You need to read it.
“Why the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can’t be trusted.”
May God have mercy on their souls.
Early last November, during a heated discussion with her fellow passengers on a crowded Wimbledon to Croydon tram, a grumpy and stressed 34-year-old former dental receptionist named Emma West proffered up some rather un-PC opinions about immigration and what she saw as the loss of Britain’s identity. The single mother of two remained in her seat throughout, and issued no threats, either physical or verbal, but she complained – profanely – that Britain’s identity has been lost due to excessive immigration (she singled out Poles, Nicaraguans, and “blacks”) and opined that these people should go back and “sort out (their) own countries.”
She was to pay a massive price. At the time, British Transport officers merely escorted her off the tram and waited with her for the next one, but after one of her fellow passengers posted a cellphone video (language warning) of the incident a few weeks later, a nationwide womanhunt commenced – even the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party got in on the act, issuing an “important appeal” to track her down – and on November 29th West was arrested and charged with racially-aggravated harassment. Denied bail over fears of revenge attacks after her home address was widely circulated online, the distraught West was sent to a category A prison (“the highest security prison in England…for ‘prisoners…whose escape would be highly dangerous to the public or national security'”) and had her children taken away from her by social services.
Now infamous, West became an unwitting lightning rod for inflamed passions on both sides of the immigration debate. British journalist and CNN host Piers Morgan tweeted that she should be deported, scores of “anti-racist” online commenters called for her to be beaten and/or raped, and multiple death threats were issued. On the other side, anti-immigration proponents and white nationalists appropriated her image, and almost bizarrely deified her.
Tough gig for a single working-class mum with a history of severe depression.
A week after Emma West was arrested and jailed, four Somali-born Muslim women who had brutally assaulted a passer-by, rendering her bloody and unconscious with kicks to the head while shouting “kill the white slag!” and “white b****!”, walked free from court. None of them had been charged with any race-related offences.
[H/T - Posted by EBD at December 31, 2011 8:07 PM @ SDA.]