Archive for March, 2010

A few relevant links

So, having liberals tell me they want me dead? It turns out I’m in good company.

Libtalker Calls for Deaths of Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly

Tweet of the Day: Canadian leftwing extremist alert by Michelle Malkin

Oh, Canada! by Ann Coulter

Mr. Palmer was right, conservative women do seem to be getting more death threats than men.

But it’s understandable that liberals are concerned about criticism of Obama; it turns out that criticizing Obama can cause ripples in the space-time continuum!

Often after reading some particularly worrisome blog posts, I go out and am surprised to see people driving to work and doing their grocery shopping as if everything were all right. To be sure, news about the looming dangers has been carefully censored, and even my closest friends think I’m a little nuts, but surely if things were really as bad as all that, there would be rioting in the streets, wouldn’t there? Or rather, more rioting?

Gates of Vienna finally explained why so many intelligent people are able to believe that collapse is not imminent:

The accumulated per-capita financial and social capital of European countries are, by and large, so huge that there is a great deal of ‘slack’ in the system. By this I mean that a fairly substantial degradation of that capital can take place before things will really start to bite on a personal level. We can be sure, even given the atrocious game structure between Swedes and Somalis as outlined above, that the Swedish people, on average, still enjoy a very high standard of living, even interspersed as their lives may now be with the occasional to-them-inexplicable piece of ‘cultural enrichment’. The withdrawal of the franchise from hostile Muslim aliens is the last thing on their mental horizons. The losers of a string of zero-sum games though they may be, they have still not suffered enough to want to change the system.

Remember my post about bureaucracy, the “permanent government”? It turns out that the best source of understanding of it is in a work of fiction, the classic British tv series Yes Minister (and its sequel Yes Prime Minister). My dear Hypatia recommended it to me several years ago, but the first scene of the first episode was so dismal that I stopped before it was even over. This winter I decided to give it another go, and discovered that that first scene bears no resemblance whatever to anything else ever to appear in the series, and a good thing, too.

The series is about an MP who is trying to eliminate waste in government and do an honest job for those who elected him, but finds his every effort stonewalled by the civil service, in the person of his Permanent Secretary. Most of the episodes feature our crusading MP being shocked and outraged to discover the venality of the civil service and the stranglehold it has over the government, making it nearly impossible for any politician to carry out the will of the people. The Permanent Secretary explains how the system works in hilarious terms and is endlessly annoyed that his employer will not just sit in his office quietly and not interfere by attempting to do his job.

Netflix has it on Watch Instantly, so take advantage. The show was quite popular, and I am amazed that anyone who watched it continued to believe that elected government was a workable system.

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In my last post, I opened by expressing concern for the many ill effects the Health Care Reform Bill will inevitably have. Then I went on to discuss how we may look after our own health, and one of the books I cited was Greg Critser’s Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World, a book about high fructose corn syrup. I have never actually read the book, but the summary and reviews on Amazon spurred me to do research online about HFCS. Since Amazon’s page on that book was the first place I heard about the dangers of the foul stuff, that book has been my usual citation when I discuss it.

The citation brought me to Mr. Critser’s attention. Now, Mr. Critser has several published books and writes for the LA Times and the New York Times, but he considered it a worthy use of his time to comment on my blog, which is read by a few dozen people. His comment in its entirety reads:

I think you are perfect scum and the only thing that might help you is if you mated with a “mulatto.”
Please die an early death.

This is why I blog under an assumed name. And own a gun.

My esteemed reader G. M. Palmer went to Mr. Critser’s blog and suggested that he apologize. His readers seem undismayed that he is going about telling women that he wants them raped and murdered for unspecified offenses. I would have expected them to at least say, “Of course, this Cassandra Goldman person is clearly evil incarnate, what with being a conservative and all, but don’t you think you were being a tad harsh, Greg?” But no.

Mr. Critser responded by quoting the first two paragraphs of my post. He still has not revealed what about my post rates capital punishment preceded by sexual violation, but we can assume it is in those two paragraphs.

Well, there’s all sorts of things in those two paragraphs. I express concern over the distrust and hostility that black people will likely have to deal with as the disastrous results of Hussein Obama’s policies manifest. Are non-scum people who are happy contemplating the return of racism? Then I worry about the economic depression which will certainly result from the hefty tax hike the HCR Bill will entail. Already Hussein Obama’s measures have given us a debt which our grandchildren will still be paying off. Are non-scum people who enjoy contemplating mass poverty? Or is the problem that I blasphemed against Our Holy Saviour?

By looking over Mr. Critser’s blog, I did learn that he is in favor of the HCR Bill. He even sneered at people who are worried about death panels, but apparently does not grasp that telling people he disagrees with that he wants them dead is not a particularly good way of convincing people that government control of medical care will not be used as a political weapon.

However, there is one other thing. And even though I don’t know if this is what I deserve to be deflowered and devoured for, it is worthy of discussion, since even my dearest friend doesn’t seem to understand why I felt the need to put it in.

Mr. Palmer has speculated that perhaps what has so infuriated Mr. Critser was my use of the word “mulatto”. Not my pointing out that Hussein Obama is unqualified for the office he holds, or for any office, or that he has a decidedly dubious history – so much so that he could not pass a security check to be one of his own Secret Service guards – but my mentioning his well known racial makeup, in the context of worrying about the consequences of his actions to others of his race. My dearest friend, who comments here as Hypatia Cafferty, spent considerable time the other night lecturing me about it. No, she admitted, it wasn’t racist, and she knows perfectly well that I am not racist, but it is, she contended, a loaded word. Also a word which is out of usage. Why didn’t I just call him “biracial”?

Because I refuse to commit such a crime against the English language. But nowadays, simply using correct English has become a crime – in many other countries, one punishable by law. Another example: the “universal he” has fallen out of favor. Many books contain apologies for using it in their opening pages. What is worse is, in order to avoid this heinous oppression of women, in practice we now have the “universal she”. In any context calling for a nonspecific pronoun, people use “she” in order to avoid the impression that they are using the dread “universal he”. This is used particularly in contexts where the hypothetical person would probably be male, as in, “An engineer is designing a machine and she discovers that….” When I became aware of this, I stopped talking about “humanity” and started saying “mankind” instead every chance I got.

Environmentalism gives us other examples. Made-up words such as “wetlands” and “rainforest” have been added to everyone’s vocabulary. Thomas Sowell was the one who pointed out that these fake words were invented because nobody wants to “save” a swamp, marsh or jungle.

Let me cite a few more examples:

Words associated with Christianity and British history taken out of children’s dictionary

Oxford University Press has removed words like “aisle”, “bishop”, “chapel”, “empire” and “monarch” from its Junior Dictionary and replaced them with words like “blog”, “broadband” and “celebrity”. Dozens of words related to the countryside have also been culled.

The publisher claims the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society.

But academics and head teachers said that the changes to the 10,000 word Junior Dictionary could mean that children lose touch with Britain’s heritage.

“We have a certain Christian narrative which has given meaning to us over the last 2,000 years. To say it is all relative and replaceable is questionable,” said Professor Alan Smithers, the director of the centre for education and employment at Buckingham University. “The word selections are a very interesting reflection of the way childhood is going, moving away from our spiritual background and the natural world and towards the world that information technology creates for us.”

Police officers banned from asking for ‘Christian’ names
Police officers have been banned from asking for a person’s “Christian” name because it might offend people with other religious beliefs.

I am Jewish, but as soon as I read this, I dropped the phrase “first name” from my vocabulary and started looking for opportunities to talk about “Christian names”.

Don’t say ‘blind as a bat’, diversity guide warns police

Thousands of police officers have been issued with a 140-page ‘diversity handbook’ containing tips such as ‘Don’t lean on a disabled person’s wheelchair’.

The guide points out that it is unhelpful for officers to cover their mouths when talking to somebody who is lip-reading, and suggests the phrase ‘blind as a bat’ may cause offence.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland spent almost £5,000 on the project, consulting 75 different groups before handing out 7,000 copies of the booklet to all Scottish police forces.

The phrase Old Masters is sexist, authors and students are told

Publishers and universities are outlawing dozens of seemingly innocuous words in case they cause offence.

Banned phrases on the list, which was originally drawn up by sociologists, include Old Masters, which has been used for centuries to refer to great painters – almost all of whom were in fact male.

It is claimed that the term discriminates against women and should be replaced by “classic artists”.

The list of banned words was written by the British Sociological Association, whose members include dozens of professors, lecturers and researchers.

The list of allegedly racist words includes immigrants, developing nations and black, while so-called “disablist” terms include patient, the elderly and special needs.

It comes after one council outlawed the allegedly sexist phrase “man on the street”, and another banned staff from saying “brainstorm” in case it offended people with epilepsy.

However the list of “sensitive” language is said by critics to amount to unwarranted censorship and wrongly assume that people are offended by words that have been in use for years.

Prof Frank Furedi, a sociologist at the University of Kent, said he was shocked when he saw the extent of the list and how readily academics had accepted it.

“I was genuinely taken aback when I discovered that the term ‘Chinese Whisper’ was offensive because of its apparently racist connotations. I was moved to despair when I found out that one of my favourite words, ‘civilised’, ought not be used by a culturally sensitive author because of its alleged racist implications.”

I’d say it’s racist to suggest that any ethnic group might be offended by the word “civilized”.

Council bans brainstorming

A council has banned the term “brainstorming” and replaced it with “thought showers”

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in Kent was accused of taking political correctness to extremes after instructing staff to make the change.

The move came as council chiefs feared the word brainstorming might offend mentally ill people and those with epilepsy.

So back to the term “mulatto”: even if it were a racist slur, which it is not, no one could seriously believe that someone who used it in a paragraph where he (that’s the universal he there) worried about the likely revival of racism Hussein Obama is going to cause was a racist. But then, liberals do not and never have wanted racism to end. Without racism, they are out of a racket. If blacks and other non-whites do not believe they need liberals’ help, they will not vote for them. Liberals need racism.

Which is why they have to keep changing the parameters. It isn’t enough to judge individuals by their own merits, oh no. A few decades ago, the proper polite term for… dark-complected people whose ancestors came from Africa was “colored”. That was jettisoned in favor of “Negro”. Then it was “black”. Now it is “African-American”, leading white South Africans who immigrate to the U.S. to designate themselves as African-American. The whole premise behind this constant changing of polite words is to make sure that people’s efforts to behave decently are constantly frustrated. A few decades ago, you had to actually say something bad about black people to be accused of racism. Nowadays – well, just the other day, I discovered that the name of “Kentucky Fried Chicken” is racist. Let’s see, they name a state and they name the food, a food which is associated with Southerners. Where is the racism? Does the state of Kentucky have to change its name to “Whitepeopleareevil, USA”?

The parameters just keep getting more ridiculous. Even children are not exempt.

How can my son be racist, asks mother of Down’s boy charged after playground spat with Asian girl

Toddlers who dislike spicy food ‘racist’

Toddlers who turn their noses up at spicy food from overseas could be branded racists by a Government-sponsored agency.

The National Children’s Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says “yuk” in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age….

Nurseries are encouraged to report as many incidents as possible to their local council. The guide added: “Some people think that if a large number of racist incidents are reported, this will reflect badly on the institution. In fact, the opposite is the case.”

Girl arrested in racism inquiry

A 14-year-old girl has been arrested for allegedly making racist remarks at a school in Greater Manchester.

Codie Stott said she asked to be moved from a science group where she was with five Asian pupils – only one of whom spoke English.

The 14-year-old was questioned in a juvenile unit before being released without charge.

I declined to search for a term to describe Hussein Obama’s race that contained implicit cowardly protestations that I am not racist, oh gracious no, because that is a useless game and simply plays into the hands of liberals. There is quite literally nothing we can do, no degree of compliance we can exhibit, which will not result only in demands for even more groveling. Mentioning race is wrong, mentioning it with the wrong though inoffensive words is wrong, ignoring race is wrong.

The point isn’t that liberals don’t know what they want in race relations. What they want is laws that are so vague and ill-defined that anyone who annoys them may be thrown into a dungeon, or at least denied medical care. (“Health care” is another stupid PC phrase I refuse to use.) In Europe and Canada, this is already law:

Review interview: Richard Dawkins
The scourge of God is now turning his wrath on schools that dilute science for fear of offending faith

More seriously, Dawkins believes that many science teachers who do believe in evolution are selling our children short by kowtowing to political correctness. At the moment, he points out, Darwinian evolution is taught in British schools at key stages 3 and 4, but under the national curriculum, alternative theories such as “intelligent design” (part of the creationist credo) “could be discussed in schools . . . in the context of being one of a range of views on evolution”, according to a government education minister….

And not only from evangelical Christians. In his view, devout Muslims are a large part of the problem.

“Islam is importing creationism into this country,” he says. “Most devout Muslims are creationists – so when you go to schools, there are a large number of children of Islamic parents who trot out what they have been taught.” …

And science teachers, people who should be Darwin’s flag-wavers, are simply looking the other way. “It seems as though teachers are terribly frightened of being thought racist,” says Dawkins. “It’s almost impossible to say anything against Islam in this country, because [if you do] you are accused of being racist or Islamophobic.”

I seriously doubt that British teachers are in the slightest afraid of showing disrespect for Christian beliefs. They spit on Christianity the rest of the time, why would they suddenly start tiptoeing around intelligent design? But I find it a delicious irony that the Muslims who have been so eagerly embraced by his fellow leftists are now teaching their children creationism.

Chavs become protected species in new PC witch-hunt by Gerald Warner

The great Chav debate waxes ever more furiously. Its most recent escalation has been provoked by Tom Hampson, editorial director of the Fabian Society, in a leader for the Fabian Review that has not yet officially been published. Mr Hampson is deeply exercised about the use of the term “chav” and wants it banned (what else?).

“You cannot consider yourself of the left and use the word,” declares Hampson. Not a problem in my case, Tom. “It is deeply offensive to a largely voiceless group,” he insists. This suggests a lack of empirical evidence to support his case: whatever else chavs may be, they are certainly not voiceless. “It is distancing,” he bleats on, “turning the ‘chav’ into the kind of feral beast that exists only in tabloid headlines.” Poor Mr Hampson – he obviously does not get out much.

Modern Britain: No Laughing Matter

Political correctness has cowed society and politics, and trodden down common sense and humor. Unlike the defiant, bawdy Brit of the past, today he thinks before he speaks, running through the list of forbidden words, and making sure not to let one slip. And so much now is taboo. The English Democrats Party is under investigation for racism, for using the term, “tartan tax,” a student was arrested for calling a police horse “gay,” and, if you need to see the proof of such extreme “politically correct” intolerance, a Youtube video showing a young man being arrested for singing, “I’d rather wear a turban” (deemed racist by the arresting officer), can be seen here.

Teachers drop the Holocaust to avoid offending Muslims

Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed.

It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades – where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem – because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.

Schools are dropping controversial subjects from history lessons – such as the Holocaust and the Crusades – because teachers do not want to cause offence, Government research has found.


Johann Hari: Despite these riots, I stand by what I wrote

Last week, I wrote an article defending free speech for everyone – and in response there have been riots, death threats, and the arrest of an editor who published the article.

Here’s how it happened. My column reported on a startling development at the United Nations. The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights has always had the job of investigating governments who forcibly take the fundamental human right to free speech from their citizens with violence. But in the past year, a coalition of religious fundamentalist states has successfully fought to change her job description. Now, she has to report on “abuses of free expression” including “defamation of religions and prophets.” Instead of defending free speech, she must now oppose it.

I argued this was a symbol of how religious fundamentalists – of all stripes – have been progressively stripping away the right to freely discuss their faiths. They claim religious ideas are unique and cannot be discussed freely; instead, they must be “respected” – by which they mean unchallenged. So now, whenever anyone on the UN Human Rights Council tries to discuss the stoning of “adulterous” women, the hanging of gay people, or the marrying off of ten year old girls to grandfathers, they are silenced by the chair on the grounds these are “religious” issues, and it is “offensive” to talk about them.

Is Brigitte Bardot Bashing Islam?

In 2000, Bardot was again convicted – this time for comments in her book Pluto’s Square, whose chapter “Open Letter to My Lost France” grieved for “…my country, France, my homeland, my land is again invaded by an overpopulation of foreigners, especially Muslims.” And in 2004, another Bardot book, A Cry In the Silence, again took up the question of immigration and Islam – ultimately running afoul of anti-racism laws by generally associating Islam with the 9/11 terror attacks, and denouncing the “Islamization of France” by people she described as “invaders”.

The prosecution has called for the harshest possible punishment in the hope of getting through to Bardot the seriousness of her transgressions of French law. MRAP implored the judge to “take note of this refusal by (Bardot) to learn the lessons of previous convictions and cease using racist language”. The court will make its decision by June, although the repeat convictions on similar charges suggest that Bardot has not exactly been chastened by previous court rulings.

A Degraded Symbol

Susanne Winter, a politician for the Freedom Party of Austria, has been charged with incitement and degradation of religious symbols. She profaned a crucifix and called Jesus some horrible names. I’m only joking, of course: in Europe, such deeds might win you a prize, if they are done with sufficient effect. No, Ms Winter offended against the religion to which the secular authorities of Europe pay deference, the one whose founder Ms Winter called “a warlord” and “a child molester”. [1] It is because of these words that she may get up to two years in prison, not a harsh sentence for sure, for this is still Liberal Europe after all: a place where a transgression of one of its many laws is met with leniency, indeed a place where one can torture and murder a man and reasonably expect only four years in prison [2], and a place where, against the degradation of European civilisation as a symbol and as a reality, there is little will and certainly no law.

Tsk, tsk, Frau Winter. You can’t go saying unpleasant things just because they’re true.

Police Muslim cartoon ‘sacrilege’

A chief constable has condemned the portrayal of Muslims in a police magazine cartoon, describing it as offensive and sacrilegious.

The Police Federation magazine cartoon shows officers taking their shoes off outside a mosque, as a bearded man escapes clutching bags of explosives.

Was the CBC afraid to show the Danish cartoons? “Well, yeah”

To my surprise, the CBC Sunday had another go at the issue yesterday. Again, to their credit — and my surprise — the CBC turned the cameras on itself: Evan Solomon and Carole MacNeil interviewed the CBC’s own “publisher”, John Cruickshank, about the CBC’s decision to blur the images of the Danish cartoons whenever they are shown (though, as I pointed out in my review two weeks ago, sometimes images can make it to the air, unblurred.)…

With Cruickshank, it was his comment that to publish the cartoons was simply being “macho”. Pressed to explain, he said that critics called cartoon self-censorhip a “lack of courage… you’re just afraid that your correspondents in the Islamic world are going to face the consequences of this. Well, yeah.”

Well yeah? I appreciate the honesty: the CBC’s news boss acknowledged, for the first time, that they are afraid that if they cover Muslim news in the wrong way, there could be violence against their reporters in Muslim nations. So they don’t.

That is an astounding admission to make. It’s not just a question about bias; it goes deeper than that. It’s one thing for the CBC to wilfully have an editorial position that is pro-Muslim or anti-Israel, as has often been alleged. But it’s quite another for the CBC news boss to acknowledge that their editorial decisions aren’t even the result of their own views or decisions, but the result of external pressure by Muslim radicals, and the fear of Islamic violence. That’s the equivalent of CNN’s admission that it let Saddam Hussein change their reporting about Iraq, to guarantee access for CNN reporters.

Danish Caricaturist of Muhammad Fame Now Homeless

Two years ago Kurt Westergaard was in his Copenhagen home drawing pictures. One of them was of the Muslim prophet, Muhammad. Now Westergaard is homeless.

Draw a picture offensive to Muslim extremists, and you might find yourself without a roof. Ask Kurt Westergaard, one of the twelve Danish cartoonists whose autumn 2005 Muhammad caricatures lead to violent protests throughout the Muslim world. He was booted from his police-protected hotel room on Feb. 15 for being “too much of a security risk.” And now the 73-year-old cartoonist and his wife are without a place to live.

Freedom Remains Elusive for Journalist in Belarus Jailed For Printing Islamic Cartoons

MINSK, Belarus — Freedom could be years away for Aleksandr Sdvizhkov, the Belarusian journalist sentenced to three years of hard labor for republishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked mass demonstrations and anti-Western violence across the Muslim world.

Sdvizhkov is currently being held with no means of communication at the Belarusian Interior Ministry’s transfer prison in Minsk, said Olexei Korol, co-founder of Zgoda (Consensus) newspaper, which published the cartoons.

Three Little Pigs ‘too offensive’

A story based on the Three Little Pigs has been turned down from a government agency’s annual awards because the subject matter could offend Muslims.

First They Came for Piglet by Mark Steyn

My favorite headline of the year so far comes from The Daily Mail in Britain: “Government Renames Islamic Terrorism As ‘Anti-Islamic Activity’ To Woo Muslims.”…

Well, yes, one sort of sees what she means. Killing thousands of people in Manhattan skyscrapers in the name of Islam does, among a certain narrow-minded type of person, give Islam a bad name, and thus could be said to be “anti-Islamic” — in the same way that the Luftwaffe raining down death and destruction on Londoners during the Blitz was an “anti-German activity.” But I don’t recall even Neville Chamberlain explaining, as if to a five-year-old, that there is nothing German about the wish to terrorize and invade, and that this is entirely at odds with the core German values of sitting around eating huge sausages in beer gardens while wearing lederhosen.

Still, it should add a certain surreal quality to BBC news bulletins: “The Prime Minister today condemned the latest anti-Islamic activity as he picked through the rubble of Downing Street looking for his 2008 Wahhabi Community Outreach Award. In a related incident, the anti-Islamic activists who blew up Buckingham Palace have unfortunately caused the postponement of the Queen’s annual Ramadan banquet.”

Censorship In The Name Of ‘Human Rights’
Canada’s human rights tribunals, once tools for fighting racism and discrimination, have been transformed into a politically correct shakedown racket

The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) is taking Maclean’s magazine to a human rights commission. Its crime? Refusing the CIC’s absurd demand that Maclean’s print a five-page letter to the editor in response to an article the CIC didn’t like.

It may shock those who do not follow human rights law in Canada, but Maclean’s will probably lose….

It’s a new strategy for the CIC, which in the past has tried unsuccessfully to sue news media it disagreed with — including the National Post — using Canada’s defamation laws. But Canada’s civil courts aren’t the best tool for that sort of bullying. In a defamation lawsuit, the CIC would have to hire its own lawyers, follow the rules of court and prove that it suffered real damages — and the newspapers would have truth and fair comment as defences. Launching a nuisance suit against Maclean’s would result in an embarrassing loss for the CIC, a court order to pay the magazine’s legal fees and it would deepen the CIC’s reputation as a group of radicals who don’t understand Canadian values. (Three years ago, Mohamed Elmasry, the CIC’s Egyptian-born president, declared that every adult Jew in Israel is a legitimate target for terrorists).

The CIC, you notice, is not being harassed with hate speech charges for that.

An even more terrifying precedent recently was set in Alberta. The case involved a letter to the editor written by a Christian pastor and published in the Red Deer Advocate newspaper. The letter was a zealous, even rude, expression of the pastor’s belief that homosexuality was a sin, and that there was a homosexual political “agenda” that had to be stopped. But instead of joining the debate by writing a letter to the editor, a local teacher complained to the human rights commission.

The commission’s one-woman panel–a divorce lawyer with no expertise in constitutional rights — ruled that “the publication’s exposure of homosexuals to hatred and contempt trumps the freedom of speech afforded in the Charter.” That was it: Freedom of speech, and of the press, and religion, all of which are called “fundamental freedoms” in our Constitution, now come second to the newly discovered right of a thin-skinned bystander not to be offended.

In a rare move, the Alberta government sent a lawyer to intervene in the case — against the pastor. The government lawyer argued that “if people were allowed to simply hide behind the rubric of political and religious opinion, they would defeat the entire purpose of the human rights legislation.” Borovoy’s well-intentioned laws aren’t about making sure aboriginals can get taxi rides anymore.

Mark Steyn Case Wakes Up Canadian Press to Human Rights Tribunals’ Threat to Free Speech

In today’s Calgary Herald, Rebecca Walberg writes that the Commissions must be “shut down.” Earlier this week the National Post protested that the Steyn case is one of “censorship in the name of ‘human rights'”. The Chilliwack Times ran an editorial calling the Commissions and their tribunals “a powerful ally” in the efforts of some to “further restrict our right to free speech.”

The case that has garnered the attention of Canada’s mainstream media is that brought by the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) against popular conservative columnist Mark Steyn and Maclean’s, Canada’s foremost news magazine. Maclean’s published an excerpt, headlined “The Future Belongs to Islam,” from Steyn’s bestselling book “America Alone” in which he predicts a coming clash between an increasingly aggressive Islamic minority in Europe and the shrinking remnants of European post-Christian social values.

Free Steyn

But the real threat to tolerance here is the CIC, which would have the state impose penalties on those whose writings it disagrees with.

In doing so it only provides evidence for Steyn’s thesis. Another group of Canadian Muslims — the Muslim Canadian Congress — has said as much, denouncing the CIC’s complaint for affirming “the stereotype that Muslims have little empathy for vigorous debate and democracy.” But at the moment, the CIC’s push for censorship advances. Of the three human-rights commissions to which it submitted its complaint, two have agreed to hear the case. (The third has yet to decide.)

Since their founding, Canada’s human-rights commissions have done less to protect the rights of minorities than to undermine the liberties of everyone.

Thankfully, the Mark Steyn affair was in the end thrown out of court. But as the articles above make clear, not every victim of PC gone mad is so fortunate. Take Oriana Fallaci, who had to spend her final years in the U.S. because in her native Italy, there was a warrant for her arrest for writing about the crimes of Muslims in Europe.

Europeans and Canadians are both currently living in fear of accidentally saying the wrong thing, which someone, somewhere might pretend to misinterpret. Just as during the religious wars in England, forgetting whether one was Catholic or Protestant at the mome could get you burned at the stake. Just as in Revolutionary France, referring to Marie Antoinette as “the Queen” instead of “the widow Capet” could get you guillotined. Just as in Soviet and Nazi nations, anyone who fell afoul of the ruling powers could find themselves arrested on any pretense. And this is precisely what liberals want. They no longer feel the need to pretend to be in favor of freedom of speech. They no longer feel the need to feign “compassion”. What they want now, and are openly demanding, is the death of anyone who opposes them.

My dear Hypatia challenged me: “Would you use the word ‘mulatto’ when you were talking to a black Republican?” No, I would not. In my real life, I am as frightened of unjust retribution as any liberal could wish me to be. I am frightened of being fired, sued, and in a couple of years, arrested, for a simple act such as using an inoffensive accurate word like “mulatto” to describe, well, a mulatto. I despise myself for my cowardice. I despise myself for not making a more public stance against the erosion of our freedom of speech. Every time we give in to using the weasel words of the moment, we give liberals more power. I tried to redeem myself a little bit in my own eyes by making the microscopic stance of using an inoffensive but unpopular word under a false identity. My fears, of course, have been amply confirmed: a New York Times journalist is now demanding my blood.

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There comes a point when every traditionalist moves from searching for remnants of a moral and constitutional order to conserve and begins instead to long for the collapse of the current system.

~Farewell, America

Since I was a teenager, I’ve been saying that I hoped that the first President who was not a male WASP would be a good one, as a bad one would likely cause a resurgence of racism. Now we are being given the opportunity to find out if the predictions of the sixteen-year-old Cassandra Goldman were correct, as we have a mulatto president who is both inept and corrupt. Will the ideal of racial equality survive?

I doubt it, because I don’t think much is going to survive. I suppose I can hope that we’ll produce as much good music as the Weimar Republic over the next few years, since we’ll probably have the rest of their predicament. The system was already tottering, and Hussein Obama didn’t have the discernment to see that giving it a good firm push was not a good idea. As I’ve said before, a wise parasite does not kill its host. Liberals are not wise parasites.

However, this gives me an excuse to post about a subject I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while: health. Our medical system is now inevitably doomed to a steady decline. Soon, mothers of my faith will stop urging their sons to go to medical school.

To escape the fate of waiting in line while our bodies suffer irreversible damage or appearing before a death panel to learn if we have been deemed worthy of being allowed to live, we are going to have to take responsibility for our own health. It shouldn’t be too difficult; we’ve already been made responsible for everyone else’s.

Since I had a health crisis some years back, I’ve been studying the subject for myself. It had become too clear that I couldn’t rely on my doctor to look after it all for me, or tell me everything I needed to know. Furthermore, as on so many subjects, the beliefs on health that have been impressed upon us all of our lives could not be more wrong. Bear in mind that this is only what I have learned for myself by reading piles of books. I am not a medical professional of any sort, just someone who wanted to learn. You will have to do your own research and use your own brain.

To begin with, we are going to have to break free of all the lies we have been told about nutrition in recent decades. We all know that most of the health problems that plague us could be corrected with better habits in eating and exercise. I’m just going to list a few of the myths, then a few books that back me up.

* Whole grains are good for you.
* Carbohydrates are good for you.
* All that matters is how many calories a food has.
* Cholesterol is basically Satan incarnate, which is why you should never eat eggs.
* Red meat is unhealthy and you should seldom eat it.
* Chicken is healthier than steak, but be sure to throw away the skin!
* Dietary fat causes people to be fat. Thank goodness that nowadays, we have figured out ways of making low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, low-fat cream, lean pork, and low-fat margarine without any of that yucky milk in it. How on earth did our ancestors survive without these things?
* Running long distances is good for you.
* Foods like meat, dairy products, olive oil and so on are full of things that are bad for you. You’re better off drinking a can of chemicals known as a “diet shake”.
* Caffeine is harmless. Even for small children.
* Most Americans get too much protein. After all, Dr. Atkins died of a heart attack.

Now for the books I recommend. For a detailed survey of the “science” behind the lies above, read Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes. By the time you are finished, you will be amazed that anyone ever had the gall to claim there was evidence for the nonsense above, and will already be on board for In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan. And you’ll be ripe to be infuriated by Greg Critser’s Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World, which explains how our government helped to inflict high-fructose corn syrup on us.

EDIT: I had never actually read Fat Land, only the reviews on Amazon. Now the author, in a comment to this post, has revealed that he wishes for people he dislikes, a category which includes this blogger and presumably her readers, to be raped and murdered. What we have done to deserve such a fate he does not mention. The same information can be found in more compact form without giving money to someone who wants us dead here. /EDIT

For advice about what you should eat, read any book with the words “French paradox” in the title or subtitle. The so-called “French paradox” is that French people do none of this, they drink wine and eat fatty foods and drink coffee and smoke and their rates of obesity and cancer are far lower than ours. The various books all say pretty much the same thing: eat food, not chemicals. Nature knows what she’s doing.

The single nutrition book I would recommend above all others is The Diet Cure by Julia Ross. Or maybe her other book, The Mood Cure. The two have substantially the same message, but if you have a mood disorder such as depression, buy the latter. Ross prescribes a slew of vitamins and supplements according to your body’s needs.

If you have a large amount of weight to lose, read a few books on low-carb diets. They are the only ones which work. Pick one which suits you – Atkins, Paleothin, South Beach, etc. Thanks to the prevalent misinformation I’ve listed above, this can be a tough row to hoe, but if you’re reading my blog, you’re probably enough of a contrarian to eat low-carb.

It’s interesting that on the very day I needed to discuss this, I came across a blog post about low-carb diets treating cancer. There is reason for skepticism about blaming cigarettes for cancer. A few decades ago, a lot more people smoked. I remember my mother smoking in a grocery store. People lit up in movie theaters. In old movies you can see people smoking in the corridors of hospitals – check out Wings of Eagles. There is a delightful scene in The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (Edward G. Robinson, 1938) in which a patient lying on a table, waiting to be operated on demands a cigarette while he waits for the surgeon to scrub up. I have read speculation that since that time, cigarette companies have begun adding a great many synthetic chemicals to their tobacco and that this is the real danger, but I haven’t been able to find solid verification of this. However, I think that, whatever the effect of the chemicals, it is probably true that more of them are used than was the case a few decades ago, because people old enough to remember that era have said that the strong, unpleasant smell now associated with smoking venues never seemed to arise.


According to this chart, lung cancer rates peaked just at the time when the anti-smoking hysteria was really taking off, and today is higher than it was when almost all adults smoked and could do so everywhere. Seems you’d be better off giving up sugar than tobacco.

I am not a “natural medicine” fanatic, but with what the government is preparing to do to allopathic medicine, it is only sensible to study natural remedies. If the government decides that a subversive reactionary like you should, as Garrisson Keillor recommended, be denied any medical care beyond aspirin and hand sanitizer, you need to know what vitamins and herbs can help your conditions. If you have a yard, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to grow the herbs yourself. But don’t be surprised if eventually that gets outlawed.

It seems unlikely that alternative practitioners will be under the same stranglehold as allopathic doctors. My own conviction is that we need both, but if allopathic medicine is put beyond your reach by the government, find a good acupuncturist. (If possible, I recommend finding one who is actually from China.) Also, find a chiropractor whose practice has the words “atlas orthogonal” in its name.

Allegedly, scientists have “proven” that acupuncture is a placebo. I don’t think so, for the simple reason that I have used it and it worked. Similarly, I keep hearing that chiropractors can’t help with anything other than lower back pain. I can only conclude that whatever study determined this had flawed methodology, because after months of mostly useless efforts on the part of my gastroenterologist, it was my chiropractor who finally persuaded my severe gastritis to quiet down. The last time I had a flareup, I felt as if my stomach were on fire. I took a bunch of pills, including prescription medications, and they did nothing. Then I got in the car and went to my chiropractor, and twenty minutes after he started messing with my bones, my stomach was normal and painless again. It’s a tough sell to convince someone that the sky is green when they’ve actually seen it.

I still have some unhealthy habits, even though I know better. It’s a scanty silver lining, but the fact is that responsible people are going to improve their eating and exercise habits now that American medicine is going to be destroyed.

I feel somewhat presumptuous, offering this data when I know how far I am from being an expert. Consider this merely a starting point, to save you too many years struggling to abide by the myths listed above before stumbling across the facts on your own.

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When I was about twelve, the classic British novels I read gave me the idea that I would prefer to be educated by a governess. I contended that I had a right not to be physically battered on a daily basis and that the ostensible purpose of school was for me to learn things, which I was not. My parents didn’t even consider it, but if they had, at that time – my sentence was from 1976-1988 – they would have had great difficulty in getting permission from the government to remove me from brainwashing camp. At that time, only a small handful of genuine nuts wanted to teach their children at home.

It was two years after I was released that I first heard the term “homeschool” and encountered a couple of youngsters who were being educated in that fashion. Since then, thankfully, homeschooling has become steadily more popular, and while the legal rights of homeschoolers are under constant attack, it is nonetheless now possible to keep your children out of the government indoctrination system.

I do not think that the timing is a coincidence.

The parents of my generation went to school in the 50’s and early 60’s, taught by women who grew up in a very different age. (Florence King claims that her teachers were ladies. I cannot even imagine a lady as a teacher.) Then they went to college to smoke pot, protest stuff, and practice free love. Once they had gotten that out of their systems and had children, they did not pause to reflect that their children’s teachers were mostly of the same age and had done the same things in college. When their children reported on the frequent classroom violence and disruption, most of them dismissed it as childish hyperbole. Their teachers would never have allowed such behavior, surely teachers weren’t different now! The kids were just making it up because they would rather stay home and watch cartoons. And it never occurred to them to quiz their kids to check their progress; wasn’t that what teachers were for? I remember one of my English professors being amazed that he had to explain the proper use of an ellipse to my class. It had never occurred to any of our parents to ask us, “Have your teachers told you about ellipses yet?” The result was that an entire generation – mine – was raised by parents who had no clue what was going on in their kids’ schools.

When people just a few years older than me were old enough to have kids of their own, they launched the homeschooling movement, because they knew what schools had become. Those who had been lucky enough to be shielded from the worst of it (generally because they had pushy parents who the teachers didn’t want to have to deal with, or because they themselves were the miscreants) found their illusions shattered by the Mary Kay Letourneau case, which turned out not to be a bizarre fluke but the beginning of a trend.

Which is why I get irritated when people criticize “helicopter parents”. Pick up any newspaper and you will find stories of teenagers raped by teachers, adults murdered by random passerby, and children kidnapped from shopping malls when their parents turned their backs for one moment. And if you are my age or younger, you probably have very bad memories of what classrooms were like. I’m always reading about how in earlier decades or centuries, children roamed much more freely and no harm came to them. That was then. Not being a “helicopter parent” in this age is reckless.

This is on my mind partly because of this blog post. The blogger contends that interacting with teenagers occasionally is beneficial to children. (If we could feel confident they wouldn’t beat up or molest the children, I would agree.) Then he hits the nail on the head:

The General Social Survey shows that sometime in the late ’80s, people’s trust in others started to fall steadily. During the previous decades of high trust, people were afraid for the babysitter — some escaped mental patient might try to hunt her down. When trust started plummeting, people were afraid of the babysitter — now she was the basketcase who would destroy your family. In fairness, some of this decline in trust could be an understandable response to people’s bad experiences with babysitters, even if you think it’s an over-reaction.

He links to the movie The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Hmm, I can think of several “killer nanny” movies. Let’s check on the timing.

1990 The Guardian
1991 The Sitter
1992 The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
1992 Midnight’s Child
1993 Addams Family Values

Just at the time my generation was reaching adulthood. If the GSS is right, people stopped trusting each other at exactly the age when the generation which was raised by former hippies came of age.

That generation declared, “Never trust anyone over 30.” I guess they wanted to prove that they were right.

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