Some (Unwanted) Advice for Ireland

English: This protester was on his own and let...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of you may not have noticed but Ireland is going to vote tomorrow on ‘Gay Marriage’ That all well and good, I suppose. At least they get to vote on it, as opposed to here, where it is being imposed by non-elected judges with very dubious legal precedents, but we can let that slide for the moment.

There are some lessons here for them, warning: unsolicited advice to follow. First I, like Robert Tracinski, in the quoted article, as far as what the state recognized as marriage, well I can’t get very worked up about it. I too had a strong preference for the term Civil Union with all the attendant rights and privileges of marriage. Marriage is a specific term, based on religion far more than on the state, which is a johnny-come lately comparatively.

In any case, it’s not about ‘gay marriage’ anyway advocates don’t give any more of a rat’s patootie about gay people than they do about women, or blacks, or Hispanics. The gays are simply getting used, still again. It’s all about power and the ability to control the speech and actions of the people.

Ireland is currently engulfed in a bitter debate over a national referendum on gay marriage to be held this Friday. They could draw some useful lessons from America’s own little experiment with gay marriage—which turns out to be a cautionary tale about what can go wrong.

My own position on gay marriage has run the gamut from profoundly ambivalent to vaguely sympathetic. Back when it was still an option, I was all in favor of “civil unions” that would allow gay couples to create the same legal relationship as marriage but without the name. But the idea that gay unions had to be called “marriage” gave me the heebie-jeebies. I was generally willing to acquiesce to the idea of gay marriage, but I feared that gay marriage advocates were seeking to use the power of the state to coerce public acceptance of homosexuality.

Well, there’s no reason to speculate about that any more. We’ve conducted our national experiment with gay marriage and the results are in. After the attempts to force pastors to officiate gay weddings, after that baker in Oregon got fined $135,000, and after the national campaign against Indiana for passing a law that sought to protect religious freedom, I consider those fears fully vindicated.
What we have learned is that, for a very large number of its advocates, gay marriage is not just about seeking a recognition of the rights of gay people; it is also about beating down Christians and coercing them into renouncing their beliefs. If you can brand gay marriage holdouts as “bigots,” that’s all that is necessary to declare them without rights and outside the protection of the state. Their sincere religious convictions are dismissed as a “flimsy cloak of piety” that is “discordant with cultural norms”—as if that were a crime—so everyone must be made to mouth their support for “the law of the land.”

He goes on to make his case authoritatively, I think. Toward the end, he quotes Thomas Paine a couple of times:

There never yet was any truth or any principle so irresistibly obvious that all men believed it at once. Time and reason must cooperate with each other to the final establishment of any principle; and therefore those who may happen to be first convinced have not a right to persecute others, on whom conviction operates more slowly.

That was in reference to the lessons he learned from the terror that followed the French Revolution, and it looks very clearly to me that that is where much of the left wishes to take us, we were wise enough the first time around to avoid it. Will we be this time? It’s not looking good lately. The second quote is this:

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

And it is desperately important that we remember that one at all times. And that is exactly what the one promoting gay marriage in Ireland, the US and the UK propose to do. I will never support any person who believes in ‘free speech for me but not for thee’. Then it becomes about freedom, not rights.

Read more at Ireland, Look to America’s Cautionary Tale on Gay Marriage.

It’s interesting to note, as Fr. Ray Blake has, for all the sound and fur, and all the lobbying strength just how few the gays are on the ground.

We don’t have Irish statistics that I know of. The U.S. Department of Health did a survey of Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 2013. The survey of 34,557 adults aged 18 or over was published July 2014. They were asked: “Which of the following best represents how you think of yourself?”’ The replies were: Straight 96.6 %. Lesbian or Gay 1.6 %. Bisexual 0.7 %.UK statistics in 2013 are lower. The Integrated Household Survey (2013) found 1.2% of adults identified themselves as gay or lesbian; 0.5% of adults identified themselves as bisexual.If the US percentages are similar for Ireland, we may project the following numbers of people, based on the 2011 Census: Total population 4,588,252. Of these, 3,439,565 were aged 18 or over.We may then estimate the following aged 18 or over: Lesbian or Gay: 55,033; Bisexual: 24,076. Total: 55,033+24,076 = 79,109.The Central Statistics Office (CSO) for Ireland reported that in 2013 there were 20,680 marriages registered in the State, and 338 Civil Partnerships, making a total of 21,018. The 338 Civil Partnerships are 1.61 percent of the total. The percentages may help in having an idea of how many people in your local parish or area identify as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual – that is, if numbers are evenly distributed around the country. It is possible that the percentages are higher in urban areas and lower in rural areas, due to migration.Same-sex couples: statistics for Ireland:According to the 2011 Census, there were 4,042 same sex couples living together in 2011. Of these, 2,321 (57.4%) were male while 1,721 (42.6%) were female. These 4,042 same-sex couples are 0.34 per cent of families in the State. The Census was taken on 10 April 2011, so we do not know how many of those 4,042 same-sex couples in the 2011 Census are included in the total of 1304 Civil Partnerships registered 2011 – 2013.According to the CSO, the number of same sex couples living with one or more children was 230 (reply received from the CSO in March 2015). This is 5.69% of all same-sex couples.

Read more at A Minority Interest

Now mind this carefully, just because they are few in number does not mean that it is OK to violate their rights, that would be unforgivable if there was only one of them. I just find it fascinating how so few can through their amplification system make so very much noise that we think the foundations of the Republic are shaking. Well maybe they are but it ain’t the gays themselves doing it.

Progressive Authoritarianism

responsibility-42This is quite interesting, and a fair read of where our society/government is trying to go, and why. It also goes into some detail as to why if we are wise, we probably don’t want to go there. By Joel Kotkin writing in The Orange County Register.

Left-leaning authors often maintain that conservatives “hate democracy,” and, historically, this is somewhat true. “The political Right,” maintains the progressive economist and columnist Paul Krugman, “has always been uncomfortable with democracy.”
But today it’s progressives themselves who, increasingly, are losing faith in democracy. Indeed, as the Obama era rushes to a less-than-glorious end, important left-of-center voices, like Matt Yglesias, now suggest that “democracy is doomed.”

Yglesias correctly blames “the breakdown of American constitutional democracy” on both Republicans and Democrats; George W. Bush expanded federal power in the field of national defense while Barack Obama has done it mostly on domestic issues. Other prominent progressives such as American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner have made similar points, even quoting Italian wartime fascist leader Benito Mussolini about the inadequacy of democracy.

Like some progressives, Kuttner sees the more authoritarian model of China as ascendant; in comparison, the U.S. and European models – the latter clearly not conservative – seem decadent and unworkable. Other progressives, such as Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir, argue that big money has already drained the life out of American democracy. Like Yglesias, he, too, favors looking at “other political systems.” .
. .
Progressive authoritarianism has a long history, co-existing uncomfortably with traditional liberal values about free speech, due process and political pluralism. At the turn of the 20th century, the novelist H.G. Wells envisioned “the New Republic,” in which the most talented and enlightened citizens would work to shape a better society. They would function, he suggested, as a kind of “secret society,” reforming the key institutions of society from both within and without.

In our times, Wells’ notions foreshadowed the rise of a new class – what I label the clerisy – that derives its power from domination of key institutions, notably the upper bureaucracy, academia and the mainstream media. These sectors constitute what Daniel Bell more than two decades ago dubbed a “priesthood of power,” whose goal was the rational “ordering of mass society.”
Increasingly, well-placed members of the clerisy have advocated greater power for the central state. Indeed, many of its leading figures, such as former Obama budget adviser Peter Orszag and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, argue that power should shift from naturally contentious elected bodies – subject to pressure from the lower orders – to credentialed “experts” operating in Washington, Brussels or the United Nations. Often, the clerisy and its allies regard popular will as lacking in scientific judgment and societal wisdom.

Unlike their clerical forebears, this “priesthood” worships at the altar not of religion but of what they consider official “science,” which often is characterized by intolerance rather than the skepticism traditionally associated with the best scientific tradition. Indeed, in their unanimity of views and hostility toward even mild dissent, today’s authoritarian progressives unwittingly more resemble their clerical ancestors, enforcing certain ideological notions and requiring suspension of debate. Sadly, this is increasingly true in the university, which should be the bastion of free speech.

I find that there is a lot of truth in this concept, unfortunately like any other closed society, it breeds corruption. Who hasn’t noticed amongst this ‘elite’ a huge amount of influence peddling, not mention pandering, to obtain funding. In Wolf Hall, we watched as Thomas Cromwell curried favor with Henry VIII, do we not see the same process underway (for quite a while now) in Washington?

The killer “app” for progressive centralism, comes from concern about climate change. A powerful lobby of greens, urban developers, planners and even some on Wall Street now see the opportunity to impose the very centralized planning and regulatory agenda that has been dear to the hearts of progressives since global “cooling” was the big worry a few decades ago. This new clout is epitomized by the growing power of federal agencies, notably the EPA, as well state and local bodies of unelected regulators who have become exemplars of a new post-democratic politics.

Of course, this is in large part the model presented by postwar Europe, and we are watching as it demonstrably fails, which makes it less and less likely to be a model we should follow. Most likely the free-est country in Europe is the UK, not least because they share our suspicion of government (although it is not nearly as virulent). But the UK has, since 2008, created more jobs than the rest of Europe combined.

The fly in the ointment here, of course, remains the electorate. Even in one-party California, local constituents are not always eager to follow the edicts of the nascent “new Republic” if it too strongly affects their lives, for example, by forcibly densifying their neighborhoods. Resistance to an imposed progressive agenda is stronger elsewhere, particularly in the deep red states of the Heartland and the South. In these circumstances, a “one size fits all” policy agenda seems a perfect way to exacerbate the already bitter and divisive mood.

Perhaps the best solution lies with the Constitution itself. Rather than run away from it, as Yglesias and others suggest, we should draw inspiration from the founders acceptance of political diversity. Instead of enforcing unanimity from above, the structures of federalism should allow greater leeway at the state level, as well as among the more local branches of government.
Even more than at the time of its founding, America is a vast country with multiple cultures and economies. What appeals to denizens of tech-rich trustifarian San Francisco does not translate so well to materially oriented, working-class Houston, or, for that matter, the heavily Hispanic and agriculture-oriented interior of California. Technology allows smaller units of government greater access to information; within reason, and in line with basic civil liberties, communities should be able to shape policies that make sense in their circumstances.

This is, of course, nothing less than the federalism the founders designed into our system, which wasn’t new, even then, the catholic Church calls it subsidiarity, although it, like politicians, has always had trouble practicing it. In the eighteenth century as in the twenty-first, America is simply too large to be governed by an elite, centered in the capital, let alone by a clerisy without the requisite skill to understand even the concepts of what most people do.

One possible group that could change this are voters, including millennials. It turns out that this generation is neither the reserve army imagined by progressives or the libertarian base hoped for by some conservatives. Instead, notes Pew, millennials are increasingly nonpartisan. They maintain some liberal leanings, for example, on the importance of social justice and support for gay marriage. But their views on other issues, such as abortion and gun control, track closely with to those of earlier generations. The vast majority of millennials, for example, thinks the trend toward having children out of wedlock is bad for society. Even more surprisingly, they are less likely than earlier generations to consider themselves environmentalists.

They also tend to be skeptical toward overcentralized government. As shown in a recent National Journal poll, they agree with most Americans in preferring local to federal government. People in their 20s who favor federal solutions stood at a mere 31 percent, a bit higher than the national average but a notch less than their baby boomer parents.

If so, and I tend to agree, they may well save us all, simply by thinking for themselves, and acting in their own self-interest. Because I think it self-evident that being ruled by a distant, connected (to each other) is not in our best interest, either individually or as a society.
Hat tip to Gene Veith at Cranach, The Blog of Veith

Amtrak, Frankford Jct, and the Laws of Physics

Amtrak Train 188 carrying 238 passengers and five crew derailed late Tuesday night, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The train was traveling 106mph when it entered a 50 mph curve at Frankford Junction, the NTSB said.

Amtrak Train 188 carrying 238 passengers and five crew derailed late Tuesday night, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The train was traveling 106mph when it entered a 50 mph curve at Frankford Junction, the NTSB said.

Well, I guess we know enough that we can talk a bit about the Amtrak wreck in Philadelphia. I note that lack of knowledge hasn’t really stopped anyone else, who seem to mostly be special pleaders for increased Amtrak funding. Well, guess what? I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Amtrak. I tend to take it east about once a year. But that’s a planned trip, and I have the time, and I enjoy the relaxed pace. If I have to go any other time, or on a schedule, well, I fly like everyone else.

Here’s the thing, in the northeast corridor, given it clientele, which is business travelers, going downtown to downtown, there is absolutely no reason Amtrak can’t make a profit. It’s basic fare should be based on flying between Washington, New York, and Boston, including surface travel from the airport to downtown on both ends, because that is the service it provides. Last time I looked it was slightly cheaper than the bare airfare between those points, therefore it is enjoying an unfair advantage in its fare structure. I’d bet that if you’re going downtown in those cities, it’s also faster, especially the Acela service, so it should command a premium price.

Understand rail service has costs that others don’t. Nobody who can add two plus two really thinks that gasoline taxes fund all the road building and repair that we do, they likely collect enough but far too much gets siphoned off. Neither does air travel pay for all the infrastructure involved. Railroads are expected to maintain their own rights-of-way and that’s not overly fair until the other modes do as well. But, I personally, am not willing to talk about increased subsidies in the corridor, until they are willing. to charge a fair price for the service they provide. Do that for a couple of years, and then we’ll see.

That’s the corridor. I see no reason at all, except perhaps an unwillingness to anger its supporters amongst the elite for Amtrak not to make a profit in the corridor. That’s a political decision, and a poor one, in my mind, if you can make a profit, well, why not?

Outside the corridor, it’s an entirely different ball game. Like I said, I enjoy taking the train but, it’s neither efficient, nor cheap, nor convenient. Out here, I drive almost as far to get the train as I do to get on a plane (also subsidized) and once I do, it will take me about 36 hours to arrive, if it stays on time.

Frankly the diner sucks, it’s better than the airlines, which is not much of an accomplishment but, not as good as say Perkins. Back in the day, eating in the diner was a fine dining experience, I doubt I’m the only one who had his first really good food on the train, so it can be done but its not being done, probably because it’s not demanded. The cafe car/lounge car/snack car really sucks, unless you have a liking for microwaved frozen pizza to go with a six dollar can of Budweiser.

The thing is, a bank of vending machines would be as good, with a couple of microwaves, there must be a vending machine that can read an ID for controlling sales of beer and such, instead of paying somebody (and to be honest they are nice somebodies, I’ve yet to meet one I didn’t like) around $40/hour to send that car.

That’s true incidentally for all the train service people, I’ve absolutely nothing bad to say about them, nice people doing their best. But long distance train travel in a country this big just doesn’t make economic sense, it perhaps did, when we shipped the mail this way (mail service was better then too, by the way) but without that, it can’t possibly make money, it hasn’t since about 1900 in fact, and the railroad tried hard for most of the twentieth century..

But by comparison, even out here on the prairie, I’m nearly as close to an airport (the time of day is more convenient as well) and my trip takes about six hours, and that mostly because I have to change planes in Denver, and yes, it also costs less. Quite a lot less, in fact. And so, as much as I enjoy taking the train, I’m considering giving up and flying as well.

This particular wreck increasingly looks like it was simply a case of the engineer speeding, something like 107 mph in a 50 mile curve, that would make it completely analogous with the wreck of the Lake Shore Limited on the New York Central on Gulf Curve in Little Falls, New York back on 19 April 1940. You just can’t break the laws of physics, and when you try, people tend to get hurt and die.

You just can’t fix stupid, not even with tax money.

How Liberals Ruined College – Kirsten Powers

1431359490423.cachedKirsten Powers has written a book. So what? I hear many of you say, still another liberal writing a book about how bad things are. Well, yes and yes, Powers is by any American appraisal, a liberal, and she does think a lot of things are bad. If you had asked me back in 2008 if I would ever have praised her, well the answer would have been “NO!” and maybe more emphatic than that.

I would have been wrong. Because Powers is a real liberal, who has an innate respect for freedom and America. Her liberalism reminds me greatly of my youth, in northern Indiana and especially in Minnesota, where people really did believe in good faith that the government could effect changes in the environment, business and such, for the better. And, if we’re honest, working with people like them it did. A lot of us had, even then, philosophical problems with it but it worked amongst people of good will, and still likely would.

The trouble is that her kind of liberalism got swamped by what we see today. The strident, divisive kind that can only really be described as fascist, and Powers, like many others got left behind. And that’s very sad because it is no longer possible to, ‘Come, let us reason together’ for the best for the American people. Because for many that is not even a minor goal for them. They want money and power, without regard of who gets hurt along the way, and they will use the power of the state to silence anybody who gets in their way.

And so, I think Kirsten Powers is making a journey, one that many, including Ronald Reagan, made before her, from liberal to classically liberal, and she has written a book. It’s called The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech. While I won’t recommend it (because I haven’t read it) it is on my wish list and I think you likely should.

She published an excerpt in The Daily Beast yesterday, and here is some of it. I am impressed with what she says.

The root of nearly every free-speech infringement on campuses across the country is that someone—almost always a liberal—has been offended or has sniffed out a potential offense in the making. Then, the silencing campaign begins. The offender must be punished, not just for justice’s sake, but also to send the message to anyone else on campus that should he or she stray off the leftist script, they too might find themselves investigated, harassed, ostracized, or even expelled. If the illiberal left can preemptively silence opposing speakers or opposing groups— such as getting a speech or event canceled, or denying campus recognition for a group—even better.

In a 2014 interview with New York magazine, comedian Chris Rock told journalist Frank Rich that he had stopped playing college campuses because of how easily the audiences were offended. Rock said he realized some time around 2006 that “This is not as much fun as it used to be” and noted George Carlin had felt the same way before he died. Rock attributed it to “Kids raised on a culture of ‘We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.’ Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say ‘the black kid over there.’ No, it’s ‘the guy with the red shoes.’ You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.” Sadly, Rock admitted that the climate of hypersensitivity had forced him and other comedians into self-censorship.

This Orwellian climate of intimidation and fear chills free speech and thought. On college campuses it is particularly insidious. Higher education should provide an environment to test new ideas, debate theories, encounter challenging information, and figure out what one believes. Campuses should be places where students are able to make mistakes without fear of retribution. If there is no margin for error, it is impossible to receive a meaningful education.

Instead, the politically correct university is a world of land mines, where faculty and students have no idea what innocuous comment might be seen as an offense. In December 2014, the president of Smith College, Kathleen McCartney, sent an email to the student body in the wake of the outcry over two different grand juries failing to indict police officers who killed African-American men. The subject heading read “All Lives Matter” and the email opened with, “As members of the Smith community we are struggling, and we are hurting.” She wrote, “We raise our voices in protest.” She outlined campus actions that would be taken to “heal those in pain” and to “teach, learn and share what we know” and to “work for equity and justice.”

Shortly thereafter, McCartney sent another email. This one was to apologize for the first. What had she done? She explained she had been informed by students “the phrase/hashtag ‘all lives matter’ has been used by some to draw attention away from the focus on institutional violence against black people.” She quoted two students, one of whom said, “The black students at this school deserve to have their specific struggles and pain recognized, not dissolved into the larger student body.” The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported that a Smith sophomore complained that by writing “All Lives Matter,” “It felt like [McCartney] was invalidating the experience of black lives.” Another Smith sophomore told the Gazette, “A lot of my news feed was negative remarks about her as a person.” In her apology email McCartney closed by affirming her commitment to “working as a white ally.”

McCartney clearly was trying to support the students and was sympathetic to their concerns and issues. Despite the best of intentions, she caused grievous offense. The result of a simple mistake was personal condemnation by students. If nefarious motives are imputed in this situation, it’s not hard to extrapolate what would, and does, happen to actual critics who are not obsequiously affirming the illiberal left.

 

Keep reading How Liberals Ruined College – The Daily Beast.

Seems to me that the time approaches swiftly for us to welcome another refugee from the illiberal left to ‘The Dark Side’. Smart, easy on the eyes, and thinks for herself, my kind of woman!

Do the U.K. Election Results Matter to US?

Poor guy missed out on the best. from the Guardian

Poor guy missed out on the best.
from the Guardian

While we weren’t paying attention last week, the Brits had an election, a real General Election, where they elect a whole new Parliament (instead of however many seats have opened up) and that party (in theory the majority party) forms a new government.

Does it matter to us, here in the US? Well, yeah, I think it does, for a few reasons.

David Cameron the Prime Minister, is a member of, and the leader of the Conservative Party, and he’s been running a coalition government with some parties from the left because he didn’t have a majority in Parliament. That’s what they mean when they talk about a coalition government. To me, and likely you as well, he makes Jeb Bush look very conservative indeed, that’s why we look askance at Europe so often. But he’s conservative enough to make the UK the Texas of Europe. If I remember correctly, the UK has created more jobs than the rest of Europe combined. That sounds like a fair record to me.

Labour is essentially owned by the trade unions, which came very close to killing Britain in the seventies, their avowed goal is to renationalize many companies because, I don’t know, privatising them meant their members actually have to do some work or something. Most of the rest are insanely left wing, ranging from Bernie Sanders to simply communist, and the Green Party, which still exists for some reason, which wants to outlaw business and industry, and grow flowers or something, while the people starve. OK, likely none of that is entirely fair but, that’s how it looks from here anyway.

In any case, the polls all said that Dave would lose seats and either be out of power or have a very weak coalition. They were, in a word, wrong. Completely and catastrophically wrong. The Conservatives picked up an absolute majority in Parliament and so can do pretty much what they want.

The best write up I’ve seen for Americans is by Charles C. W.. Cooke who is British but now lives here and writes for National Review.

On the morning of April 10, 1992, my father came into the kitchen and told me that something remarkable had happened. The party, which had been widely expected to form the next British government, had somehow managed to blow it, and the Tories would be heading back into power — in clear violation of the pollsters’ predictions. This, my amazed father concluded, represented an “upset for the ages.”

I was seven years old at the time, and, in all honesty, I can’t say I particularly cared about this news. And yet I do remember hearing something that has stuck with me to this day. “I suppose,” my dad said wistfully, “that when the voters went into the booth and thought about sending Neil Kinnock to Downing Street, they just couldn’t bring themselves to do it.”

This line has popped to the forefront of my mind each and every time I have been asked who I thought would win the U.K.’s general election this time around. Naturally, I am as capable of reading a poll as is anybody else. Indeed, when writing soberly about a subject, I do not think it good form to presume that most of the available evidence must be incorrect (as, happily, it proved to be in this instance). And yet, in truth, I never believed in my heart that Ed Miliband and the Labour party were going to form the next government. There are spreadsheets and there are predictive models and then there is good old-fashioned human instinct, and, drawing on the latter rather than the former, I had wondered in earnest whether British voters could actually bring themselves to tick the box for Ed. Apparently, the answer was “no.”

Continue reading Will the U.K. Election Results Doom Labour in the Long Term? | National Review Online.

The “Shy Tories” they are calling them. It’s a cute moniker but I think it means that the average Brit keeps his own counsel, and like us, gets tired of being talked down to. Because, make no mistake, here we talk about the government party and the country party sometimes (we tend to refer to it as the ‘Beltway mentality’, but compared to the Westminster Bubble, it simply doesn’t exist, and in the UK there;s a strong class element to it as well.

And that brings us to the UKIP, the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage’s bunch, universally damned by the other parties, the press, and the church (also run by Parliament, if you recall) as xenophobic, insular, bigoted and all those other things the elites call patriots, including racist.

They only got one seat in Parliament, and a hell of a lot of votes. They came in second a lot. Well, we all know that second really means being the first loser. The Brits call it “First past the post” which means I think, that you have to win in your district. In other words, if I lost in the 3d district in Nebraska but got more votes than the winner in the 1st district of Wyoming, I still wouldn’t win it, because I was running in Nebraska. Seems fair to me.

Looks to me like they are doing their level best to write off UKIP. I think that will bite them in the butt. looks to me like UKIP speaks to a pretty large segment of the British population and it merely needs better organization and perhaps a bit less calumny

I’d say the biggest lesson for us is to not lose heart, and to keep on keepin’ on. We know that our media does not have our best interests at heart any more than the British media has the best interest the average Brit. I’d say our task is to find a way around the media to get our message to the people who need to hear it, and act on it.

Bill O’Reilly, Pam Geller, and Free Speech

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day - Mohammed by Hlkolaya

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day – Mohammed by Hlkolaya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I suppose we should speak a bit about Garland and all that, so let’s have done with it.

First, I carry no brief for Pam Geller, at the risk of sounding sexist, I think she’s a strident, loud, self-promoting jerk. But she has an absolute right to hold a poster exhibition (competition, whatever)about Mohammed, God, Jesus Lucky Luciano, the Devil, or anybody/anything else. It’s just that simple. Wise or not, she has that right.

This is the US and here we value free speech, as a God-given right, whatever Europe says, minus a few very minor exceptions pertaining to public safety, one can say anything one desires. And, incidentally, it is there specifically, to protect offensive speech, inoffensive speech requires no protection.

Second, Bill O’Reilly (of Fox News) is a superficial, idiotic, bloviating, unwatchable, idiot, whose ego gets in the way of his mind being able to figure out that 2+2=4. Anybody who ever uses the construction “There oughta be a law” is an idiotic statist who doesn’t have freedom’s interest (let alone yours) at heart (or anywhere else important to him.

So when he bloviates crap like:

Emotional displays like insulting the prophet Mohammed make it more difficult to rally law-abiding Muslims, for example. Including nations like Jordan and Egypt, who are actually fighting the fanatical Islamists,” O’Reilly said. “In any war, you have to win hearts and minds, and the situation in Garland, Texas goes against that. Again, the freedom of speech issue is bogus. No one is saying the exposition was illegal. The point is winning, defeating the jihad.

As Strieff at Red State said.

This is true if you work from the perspective that Muslims are unable to function in a pluralistic society. That may be the case. From what we’ve seen of how Muslim communities operate in Western Europe and Islamic ghettos like Dearborn, Michigan and the antics of CAIR and various “Muslim student associations” in suppressing free speech I think it is something that should be up for discussion. More to the point, if you need to rally “law-abiding Muslims” to oppose murder we have a problem completely different than the one O’Reilly thinks we have. And if the support of Muslim populations in the Middle East is dependent upon us totally kowtowing to their peculiar set of values then the war with ISIS is already lost because if they make a value judgment that they’d rather live under ISIS than have non-Muslim caricaturing Mohammed  then they were never really in the fight to begin with.

Bill O’Reilly is an idiot.

I was going to tell you what I think, but I thought better of it. Why? Because Bill Whittle has already said it, and better than I could.

And by the way, about those shooters, AP really should learn that they decided to shoot a bunch of people at private affair, there is no reason to mourn that their decision got them dead. I think it comes under, “Good riddance to bad garbage.”

 

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