Cardiff University, Chicago, and Purdue

unknown2None of those schools is very good at American football, lately. But they are good at something else, they are good at freedom, especially of speech.

Jonathon Turley is one of the most passionate about free speech, real free speech. Maybe he picked it up at the University of Chicago, where he studied, as I reinforced mine at Purdue. Both schools are outspoken champions of free speech. There are some others, sadly far too few.

But America has a plethora of champions of free speech compared to the UK. That is why is so wonderful to see a UK university join in on the movement. From Turley

Cardiff took a strong stand for free speech in breaking away from other schools which have have imposed stringent speech codes and regulations. The university pledged to end its past censorship and platforming rules. It declared that it would not bar controversial speakers and that “censorship is not the answer.”

Instead, Cardiff passed a motion that was entitled “Challenge, Don’t Censor.” The motion declared that “students are capable of challenging intolerable views through rigorous debate; censorship is not the answer.”

Amen. This is particularly impressive in Europe where free speech is being sharply curtailed.

via Cardiff and Tufts Universities: Two Divergent Paths On Free Speech | JONATHAN TURLEY

Amen, indeed. May their number grow quickly.

Even more amazing,

The stand against being told what they can hear and think echoes the response of a group of sixth-form students, who were due to hear from Milo Yiannopoulos before his speech was shut down by the UK Government.

In an open letter to censorious authorities, pupils from Simon Langton Grammar School expressed their dismay, saying “we do not need to be protected” from controversial speakers.

cardiff

Those students at the Cardiff Student Union and at Simon Langton Grammar School are heroes of free speech, and that is to all our benefit without regard to our, or their politics. Free and unafraid speech is one of the keystones of freedom itself.

Outstanding to all hands, and remember:

Adfyd a ddwg wybodaeth, a gwybodaeth ddoethineb.

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Merkel Backs Crackdown on Free Speech On Social Media Sites

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) nimmt am 14.08.2013 auf dem Theaterplatz in Ludwigshafen (Rheinland-Pfalz) an einer Wahlkampfveranstaltung zur Bundestagswahl 2013 teil. Foto: Uli Deck/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

One of the things I have noticed in the last few months, as a percentage, people other than Americans and British (especially Niederlanders) have increased rather dramatically. That pleases me, and I hope they are finding what they want. Since, as far as I know, none of them have commented, I just assume that they do.

But since I want them to know they’re welcome, and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what somebody is saying in anything but your first language, I was pleased yesterday when WordPress announced a translation widget for those of us running WordPress.com blogs. The algorithm is Google Translate, which as we all know is not perfect, but it’s surprisingly good. You’ll find it on the sidebar, just above my Twitter feed. If I remember it does something like 103 languages, so it should cover the common ones. Enjoy


One of the things most worrying, everywhere, but especially in Europe, is a tendency to restrict free speech, often by way of so-called ‘hate crime legislation. While America, and to some extent Britain have a pretty strong cultural bias against almost any infringement of our rights, this is one of those areas where an attempt anywhere diminishes them everywhere.

Germany is becoming one of the worst offenders here, and I’m not the only one noticing. Jonathan Turley noted yesterday:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel long ago established herself as a menace to free speech, particularly in her decision to first apologize to authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a satirical poem and then approve the prosecution of the comedian is a shocking and chilling disgrace. Now, she is throwing her support behind a crackdown on “hate speech” on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — radically expanding the already broad scope of government regulation of speech.

Merkel declared “I support efforts by Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere to address hate speech, hate commentaries, devastating things that are incompatible with human dignity, and to do everything to prohibit it because it contradicts our values.”

via Merkel Backs Crackdown on Free Speech On Social Media Sites | JONATHAN TURLEY

As Professor Turley notes, It would maybe be borderline acceptable, except it is completely impossible to provide an objective definition of “incompatible with human dignity”. That leaves the definition completely in the hands of the government, to use as they will. That is simply unacceptable in a free society.

This is a very troubling trend, and we must do our best to stop it in its tracks, In Germany, In Britain, across Europe, and sadly yes, here in America, as well.

The reasons why the globalists are destined to lose

quiblepenglobalismThis is quite interesting. I’m not sure if I completely follow his reasoning (I think I do in the main). His supposition comes down to the old one that there is something innate in human beings to seek after liberty, which is I think, beyond rational debate. So, read carefully, it is a bit dense at places; and enjoy. I surely did.

Under the surface of almost every sociopolitical and economic event in the world there burns an ever-raging, but often unseen, war. This war, for now, is fought with fiction and with truth, with journalistic combat and with quiet individual deeds. It is defined by two sides which could not be more philosophically or spiritually separate.

On one side is a pervasive network of corporate moguls and elites, banking entities, international financial consortiums, think tanks and political puppets. They work tirelessly to reshape public psychology and society as a whole into something they sometimes call the “New World Order;” a completely and scientifically centralized planet in which they control every aspect of government, trade, life and even moral compass. I often refer to them simply as the “Globalists,” which is how they at times refer to themselves.

On the other side is a movement that has developed organically and instinctively, growing without direct top-down “leadership,” but still guided through example by various teachers and activists, driven by a concrete set of principles based in natural law. It is composed of the religious, the agnostic and even some atheists.  It is soldiered by people of all ethnic and financial backgrounds. These groups are tied together by a singular and resounding belief in the one vital thing they can all agree upon — the inherent and inborn rights of freedom. I call them the “Liberty Movement.”

There are those who think they do not have a dog in this fight, those who ignore it and those who are completely oblivious to it. However,everyone can and will be affected by it, no exceptions. This war is for the future of the human race. Its consequences will determine if the next generation will choose the conditions of their environment and maintain the ability to reach their true potential as individuals or if every aspect of their lives will be micromanaged for them by a faceless, soulless bureaucracy that probably does not have their best interests at heart.

As you can probably tell, I am not unbiased in my examination of these two sides. While some of the more “academically minded” cynics out there do attempt to marginalize the entire conflict by accusing both sides of simply trying to impose “their ideology” on the rest of humanity, I would say that such people are generally ignorant of what is at stake.

There is in fact an elemental force behind this war. I would even call it a conflagration between good and evil. For a more in-depth analysis on the evil behind globalism, read my article “Are Globalists Evil Or Just Misunderstood.”

Some people don’t adhere to such absolutes or they think good and evil are fantasies created by religion to keep society in check. I have no intention of trying to convince them otherwise. All I can say is, I have seen and experienced these absolutes first hand and, therefore, I have no choice but to remain a believer.

I would also point out that the general experience of most men and women is that the act of organized and legitimate oppression is inherently evil and such actions in the name of satisfying delusional elitist narcissism are even more evil. While these experiences are subjective, they are also universal, regardless of the culture, place or time in history. Most of us feel the same horror and the same defiance when facing rising tyranny. We can’t necessarily explain why, but we all know.

While I am firmly on the side of liberty and am willing to fight and trade my life to stop the “New World Order” the globalists are so obsessed with, I will not turn this examination of their tactics into a blind or one sided farce. I will point out where the elites are effective just as I will point out where they are ineffective. It would do more harm than good to portray the globalists as “stupid” or bumbling in their efforts. They are not stupid. They are actually astonishingly clever and should not be underestimated.

They are indeed conniving and industrious, but they are not wise. For if they were wise, they would be able to see the ultimate futility of their goal and the world would be saved decades of tragedy and loss. Their cultism has dulled their senses to reality and they have abandoned truth in the name of control. Here are some of the primary strategies that the globalists are using to gain power and work towards total centralization and why their own mindset has doomed them to failure.

Globalism vs. “populism”

via The reasons why the globalists are destined to lose – Personal Liberty®

One thing I would caution the globalists amongst us about is this. Almost everybody harboring these type of dreams, sees themselves as in control, they won’t be, in probably 99% of the cases, the will simply be given enough power to do what they are told to do, without any authority at all to think. Strikes me as a very sterile existence.

The US government was expressly designed to guard against this type of thing, and that is why ‘Job 1’ for these types is to subvert “Rule through and under the law”, always remember that, you don’t have to believe the conspiracy (I too think it is mostly ephemeral, not explicit) to see the dangerous results.

And a word of caution, not everyone who makes noises like they belong to what the author calls ‘the Liberty Movement’ does, many are simply mouthing the words for their own gain. You (and I) need to make our own choices about who really wants freedom. Many are simply contesting who is in charge. And be assured, the media is most assuredly not on the side of freedom.

The Bedrock of Freedom

19th century maquette of Knight Templar St Mau...

19th century maquette of Knight Templar St Maur who signed the Magna Carta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A note: This is pretty much of a reblog of an early post of mine which seems relevant and an area not often discussed.

The Bedrock of Freedom is the Church Militant with its foundation of the Judeo-Christian Ethic, let us delve into this foundation.

Granted, what we were taught in history class (very superficially, I might add) was that the Church Militant fought Crusades, burnt heretics, pagans and other assorted ne’er do wells (in their sight), and was very corrupt and cruel. Which, while true, is certainly not the ‘truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’.[1]

Consider, the church in this timeframe also converted nearly all of Europe to Christianity; conquered (and pretty much lost) the Holy Land, fought off or subverted the various flavors of Vikings and Moslems, and discovered the new world. It also survived the Great Schism and the Reformation and the Black Death, while it did not exactly champion it, it also tolerated and made possible the Enlightenment, in the process rediscovering and colonizing the New World. Oh, and not so incidentally, fought a bunch of intramural wars.

I personally think we need to think about the foundations of a society that could take the broken remains of an ancient empire and achieve all of this and become the greatest, maybe only, outside of Judaism, itself, force for the freedom of the individual the world has ever seen.

These two items are ineradicably linked. The Judeo-Christian tradition is the tradition of the free individual. From Abraham, to Moses, to King David, to Jesus Christ, to St Peter, to Charles the Hammer, to Martin Luther, even to Washington, Lincoln, and Churchill, our heritage is the man, often alone, always saying ‘Hier ich stehe, ich kann nicht anders.’[2] Because they believed, deep in their soul, that they were right, and that some hills are worth dying for. Who comes after Churchill: the great Liberation triumvirate, Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II who were fairly old at their zenith?  And then??

Foundations are important. Why? Because we all have to pick the hills that are that important to us. I suspect we have all seen the sad sight of the house built on sand 30 years ago. It looks like it will fall down tomorrow. We’ve also seen the Tower of London (at least in pictures) 900 or so years old, and looking like it’s ready for the next 1000. That’s what a foundation does, when it is properly constructed.

We of the West had the foundation of most of the greatest thinkers in the history of the world and it seems as if we built our new house beside that foundation for no good reason, except maybe we were bored and thought the vices of the new neighborhood would be more fun than the strictures of the old way of doing things.

My mind tells me that it is a man’s duty to lead; maybe that’s where the problem begins. A hundred years ago the progressives such as Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, Marx and others were preaching their new religion. It wasn’t really new; it was really the old aristocracy with a seductive new song. But it was pretty, and entailed much less responsibility and hard work than the old self-reliant ways, and so many chimed in. But they were outliers.

Then in 1914 Europe from Ireland to the Urals went to war with itself and the world would never be the same again. The flower of that generation was killed in the trenches, the Romanov’s, the Hohenzollern’s and the Hapsburgs all dethroned, this actually may not have been that great a loss except for the tradition and stability they represented. Nobody but the British Empire and the United States resembled themselves after the war and even then the Empire was mortally wounded. America has carried the torch (with help from the Anglosphere) ever since. Can anyone imagine Hitler toppling the Kaiser?

I suspect that the losses in that generation were on the order of the Black Death. But with a huge difference: the Black Death was indiscriminate: it took all ages and sexes with an emphasis on the weak, the Great War however took almost exclusively men in their late teens and twenties with an emphasis on the brave and the leaders, In other words, the champions of their societies. This was also true for the United States although not as strongly, mostly because of our limited involvement, only in 1917-18.

What did the West lose? The best and the brightest of that generation would have led the world from the late twenties through the roughly the fifties. Could there have been a far better alternative to Hitler in the Imperial German Army? I certainly would hope so. How about a better Premier than Petain, a better President than Nixon. Only God knows.

Many have said that the war was the end of the 19th century and/or the Victorian Age and I agree. However, has anyone carried that thought out to its conclusion? What marked the Victorian age if it wasn’t the mighty endeavors mounted in going out into the world and righting at least some of the wrongs found there? How about ending slavery in the west (mostly by the Royal Navy)? Ending the slaughter of innocents around the world (at least sometimes)? Perhaps, the great revolutions in America and France and the quiet one in Great Britain?  Maybe, fighting diseases and the great discoveries and inventions. And always, always doing their duty. Who but a 19th century general would have called duty the most sublime word in the language?[3] When else could the Charge of the Light Brigade have been written (or carried out!)? Or Kipling’s poetry or Sassoon’s?

Our generation, today? Not so much.

What so marked these people from about 1776 to 1914? Freedom, nothing else. Freedom (in large measure) from want, freedom to think, freedom to succeed and also, of course to fail. How will one know one has won if one can’t lose?

What’s the foundation of all these things? It is the absolute and complete sovereignty of the individual, with his rights given by God, himself. The bedrock under that foundation: The Judeo-Christian tradition, expressed primarily in the Church Militant. There exists today in what I tend to call the Church Pacifist or the Church Supine merely the faint echoes of that faith. Where are the Christian soldiers, are they still marching onward? This leaves the questions: Can we go back? Should we? How? That is a question for the sovereign individual to answer.

It is for the sovereign individual to decide but, there are guideposts available, such as the leadership offered by the Catholic bishops on infringements of individual liberty.

If we should, again America will have to lead. The Great War didn’t hurt us as badly as it did Europe. We were the first to answer these questions and have the opportunity to put the answers into practice. Thus,

We were the First. We are the guardians of the flame. Not perfect beings, but in all the world the only ones, it seems, still naive enough, still brave enough, still daring enough to put our money where our mouths are. We are the only ones who are still willing to defend the dream with our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor.’ [4]

And so it becomes our burden, if we choose to accept it, of leading the world back to the society that we of the West created and teaching that world not only the rights, but the duties and obligations that freedom carries. If we do not, undoubtedly we go back to the ninth century, or further.


[1] Obviously, this is the oath a witness takes at a trial

[2] Martin Luther

[3] Robert E. Lee, General, CSA, at Fredericksburg in the American Civil War watching the slaughter of the Army of the Potomac.

[4] Cassandra, Villainous Company, 04 July 2008 Read this post; it may be the best exposition of what America is I have ever read

The Price of Freedom

Western trails in Nebraska. Blue = Mormon Trai...

Image via Wikipedia

Let’s start with a song, shall we:

Keep that in mind, we’ll be coming back to it.

As I sit here in my office, looking out the window, I can see 7 of the great American migration routes, from north to south:  The Lincoln Highway, US Highway 30, The Transcontinental Railroad, Interstate 80, The Platte River, The Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, and  the Pony Express Route. Think about how many hopes and dreams have passed through here.

Now combine that with Shenandoah. The song came about in the early 19th century and was made famous by US sailors all over the world. what does it speak of? It speaks of loneliness, of likely never seeing your friends and family again, and does it hauntingly. It was very appropriate for those sailors, and it was equally appropriate for (and loved by) those thousands/millions trekking through Nebraska on their way to a new and hopefully better life.

Why did they do it? Some, of course, to avoid the sheriff, or their girlfriend’s father but, mostly they were going to, not running from. To what? A better life, maybe, but they were going to have to build it themselves, and if you’ve ever driven I-80, you know what a trek it is today, let alone to walk it, as most did.

What motivated them is the same thing that has motivated American from the very beginning: Freedom. Freedom to build your own life. Freedom to be left alone, Freedom to be the very best that you can be.

What was the price they put on that freedom? That they would most likely, whether they succeeded or failed, never see their family and friends again. If they were very lucky they might receive a few letters in the course of the rest of their life.

And remember, it was out here, on the Oregon trail (and it’s fork in the road, the California trail) that the saying became true. “The sick died, the weak never started”, it was that kind of migration.

That freedom had quite a price, didn’t it?

What is yours worth?

Pope Benedict Warns of “Secularism”, Words Clearly Relevant to American Politics

Pope Benedictus XVI

Image via Wikipedia

From the Technorati blog. We don’t have to be Catholic to understand and appreciate his concern.

Pope Benedict XVI raises his voice against the “dominant culture of secularism in America” and, between the lines, he attacks Obama’s policy in favor of contraception, gay marriage and abortion, preventing a true freedom of conscience to American Catholics. Pope Ratzinger received some American bishops, in the periodical “ad limina” pilgrimage, led by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, head of the church in Washington, and other bishops of the area that was the cradle of American Catholicism, to ask with force “committed lay Catholics”, “well formed” and “having a strong sense critical of the dominant culture” because “secularism” threatens the core values of American culture.

In this important meeting Pope called on the church in America, including politicians and other laypeople, to render “public moral witness” on crucial social issues and to “counter the reductive secularism that would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate on issues critical to the future of American society”, as the Church “has a crucial role to play in countering the cultural currents that, based on extreme individualism, seek to promote concepts of freedom separated from moral truth”. Benedict XVI does not hide his concern in a crucial year for the fate of the United States and consequently in the Western world.

Ratzinger pays strong attention on the campaign of Republican primaries and follows up the term of President Obama. He likes to stress that “the legitimate separation of church and state can not be understood in the sense that the Church must be silent on certain issues, or that the State may choose to disregard the voices of committed believers in determining the values that will shape the future of the nation”. The Pope wants the Church to have space and weight in the cultural and political debates of American society, especially in this period of transition. While aware of the distinction of the different roles and purposes of the Catholic Church, on the ashes of the economic crisis is not over yet, in the light of a growing gap between rich and poor, within a “radical secularism that is increasingly expressed in political circles and cultural”, the head of the Catholic Church launched an alarm on the “serious threats” to “public moral witness of the Church”. And he defined as “particularly worrying” some “attempts to limit freedom more appreciated in America, freedom of religion”

Read more: http://technorati.com/politics/article/pope-benedict-warns-of-secularism-words/#ixzz1kg0Zg0Y9

 

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