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calendar   Monday - October 05, 2015

erosion of free speech

I found myself at the Spiked site and have no idea how I made that link.  Busy looking for something I read in hard copy, total student stupidity and usual pc at work.  But I found Spiked and couldn’t stop reading. 

What I have posted here is just a small part of what Mr. Adams wrote and posted.  I think many of you might find the site of some interest.  No doubt many of you already know about it.  I’m a late comer to the party.  Adams writes very well I think.  OK, so there were a few words I had to look up.
No shame in that. 

I hope you visit them and read this unedited from the beginning.

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SPIKED.COM

Islamism and identity politics – a destructive mix

The strange alliance between leftists and extremists is eroding free speech.

Alexander Adams
from Spiked

Towards thought reform

Post-liberal identity politics promises emotional justice, but it betrays its own partiality. It supports favoured minorities under the auspices of ‘hate speech’, but hesitates to censor blasphemy. Encouraging individuals to validate themselves through identifying with cultural subsets – and maintaining a double standard separating anti-religious speech from hate speech – strengthens the agenda of Western Islamists.

Another problem with pre-emptive censorship for the sake of protection is that it is effectively impossible. The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists knew they were creating provocative images and could expect a backlash. Consider the case of Salman Rushdie. His book The Satanic Verses is a work of literary fiction. It included references to Muhammad dreamed by a fictional character in a delirium. It led to a fatwa being issued against Rushdie, subsequent attacks against publishers and the murder of a Japanese translator. Rushdie and his colleagues had no reason to expect that instances of blasphemous delirium in a work of fiction might provoke violent hostility. Due-caution caveats cannot be applied in practice as there is no way of predicting how any work of fiction or art touching on Islam may be represented or misrepresented by extremists. The only way to be safe from extremists is never to say anything that touches upon religious culture, never associate with anyone who has and never be in the vicinity of an exploding bomb. But even that position will not hold. 
Even if you avoid opposing extremists, the restrictions they force on others will affect you. Furthermore, accommodation will not work because Islamist demands will never end. Even if another image of Muhammad is never exhibited or published in the UK again, extremist pressure will continue, applied in other areas of the arts. Images seen as denigrating Muslims (especially Muslim women) will be targeted; ‘disrespectful’ art by artists of Muslim heritage will be threatened; artists who take an avowedly atheist stance will be subject to violent protest. There is no way of following ‘rules of safe speech’, because extremists make rules arbitrarily, opportunistically and unilaterally. What may be halal today may be haram tomorrow , with no possibility of reasoned appeal.
How can the apparently alien outlook of the Islamist radical find any succour in secular Western society? To understand how an extremist can be nurtured by a schismatic environment – part Muslim immigrant culture, part secular European – we have to consider the way social discourse in modern Britain changed in the 1970s and 1980s.

If that picture of identity politics and policed civility seems exaggerated, think back 20 or 30 years. Would you then have expected people to be sacked from positions in public and private organisations for expressing contentious political or social opinions, even in private settings? Now, those accused of infractions of civility are only offered the possibility of rehabilitation if they express sufficient contrition. These sound like the tactics of totalitarian regimes, where enforced self-criticism and public shaming were used to suppress dissent and discredit troublesome individuals.
However, these are now the norms we have grown to expect in Western democracies.

While many of us may feel confident that the evident extremeness of religious fundamentalism means it will never make inroads into our way of life, we overlook the willingness with which post-liberals (who are in the mainstream of society and in positions of power) offer concessions to religious sentiment and give away our freedoms to assuage their guilt. The freedom to speak our minds has already been snipped away by post-liberals, religious extremists, New Left supporters, commercial lobbyists, social conservatives and paternalistic governments.
The only way to preserve free speech is to exercise it. Otherwise, the opportunity to use it will be taken from you (by means both overt and covert), the channels of speech will atrophy, and when your time to speak comes, you will be unable to do so.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/05/2015 at 02:08 PM   
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calendar   Friday - June 26, 2015

ASYLUM

Another very good article from Littlejohn of the Mail.

Some years ago a plane was hi-jacked by some Afghans, who asked for and got asylum.
There hasn’t been as far as I’m aware, any updates on what they are now doing. I guess they are among the many who have melted into the population.

Fifteen years ago, after a hijacked Afghan airliner was diverted to Stansted, I invented a spoof game show called Asylum! It’s been doing the rounds on the internet ever since. Here are the edited highlights:

By Richard Littlejohn

Good morning and welcome to a brand new edition of ASYLUM!

We’ve already given away hundreds of millions of pounds and thousands of dream homes, courtesy of the British taxpayer.

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It’s the fastest-growing game on the planet. Anyone can play, provided they don’t already hold a valid British passport. You only need one word of English:

ASYLUM!

The competition is open to everyone buying a ticket or stowing away on one of our partner airlines, ferry companies or Eurostar. No application ever refused, reasonable or unreasonable. All you have to do is destroy your papers and remember the magic password:

ASYLUM!

Only this week 140 members of the Taliban family from Afghanistan were flown Goat Class from Kabul to our international gateway at Stansted. They join tens of thousands of other lucky winners already in Britain.
Our most popular destinations include the world-famous Toddington Services Area in historic Bedfordshire . . .
If you still don’t understand the rules, there’s no need to phone a friend or ask the audience, just apply for legal aid.
Hundreds of lawyers, social workers and counsellors are waiting to help. It won’t cost you a penny. So play today. It could change your life for ever.
Iraqi terrorists, Afghan dissidents, Albanian gangsters, Kosovan drug-smugglers, Tamil Tigers, bogus Bosnians, Rwandan mass murderers, Somali guerillas.

COME ON DOWN!

Get along to the airport. Get along to the lorry park. Get along to the ferry terminal. Don’t stop in Germany or France. Go straight to Britain.
You are guaranteed to be one of tens of thousands of lucky winners in the softest game on Earth. Roll up, roll up my friends, for the game that never ends. Everyone’s a winner, when they play:

ASYLUM!

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We keep being told that the current ‘refugee’ crisis is a direct result of our involvement in the American-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and Britain’s meddling in foreign civil wars, such as the bombing of Libya.
But I wrote Asylum! in February 2000, a full 18 months before 9/11. In the U.S., George W. Bush wasn’t even the official Republican candidate, let alone President. The Afghan and Iraq wars weren’t so much as a twinkle on the Pentagon’s radar. Back then, Tony Blair was too busy bombing the Balkans.

The Sangatte departure lounge opened as long ago as 1999, to accommodate immigrants trying to enter Britain illegally. There were riots at the camp in 2001 and 2002, before it was closed.
So please don’t try to kid us that the mayhem at Calais is a new phenomenon. This all dates back to what Peter Mandelson called Labour’s deliberate decision to ‘scour the world’ for migrants, so they could ‘rub the Right’s noses in diversity’.
Once the Blair government made it plain that everyone was welcome, however they entered this country — and thanks to the newly-adopted Yuman Rites Act would never be sent home — it’s hardly surprising the world beat a path to our door.
Who can forget the sight of the then Home Secretary, Jolly Jack Straw, scuttling down to Dover to welcome in person a lorry load of immigrants from Sangatte, like an obsequious package holiday rep? He should have worn a red coat and a pair of white strides.
This madness was compounded by our membership of the EU, which meant that anyone who managed to set foot in Europe could make straight for the French coast bound for England.
Our island location and our opt-out from the Schengen open-borders treaty was never going to protect us. When our politicians were so keen to expand the EU to embrace former Communist countries in Eastern Europe, did they envisage that, say, Hungary, would become the first port of call for London-bound immigrants from Africa and the Middle East?
Of course they didn’t. No one ever thinks anything through. Plenty of British politicians, including Winston Churchill wannabe Boris Johnson, are lobbying for Turkey to be admitted to the EU.
That would be Turkey, gateway to Islamic State. And, as we all know, gates swing both ways.
Already, known Islamist terrorists, hell-bent on attacking infidel targets in Europe, are stowing away among the migrants being picked up in the Mediterranean and deposited in Italy.
At least 90 per cent of these ‘asylum seekers’ are young, able-bodied men in their late teens/early 20s, wearing the latest designer sportswear. If they were genuinely in fear of their lives and fleeing real persecution, wouldn’t they have brought their female relatives with them?
But no, it’s women and children last when it comes to crossing the Med. We’re not talking the dance band on the Titanic here.
Of course, it’s ‘racist’ to point any of this out. Which is why broadcasters and Left-wing journalists seize on any unfortunate woman with a child they manage to find among the overwhelmingly male multitude.
European ‘leaders’ met yesterday to agree a common response to the crisis. Fat hope of that. France’s idea of a ‘solution’ is shovelling all the migrants massed at Calais across the Channel.
And forget about international law, which demands that refugees apply for asylum in the first ‘safe’ country they arrive in. Europe’s open borders have made a nonsense of that requirement.
Typically, Britain’s response has been pathetic. Fining lorry drivers and sending a few more sniffer dogs isn’t going to work.
Looking back on my Asylum! spoof, I notice that I mentioned the ‘world-famous Toddington Service Area, in Bedfordshire’.
Toddington is still one of the most popular drop-off points today. A local farmer this week revealed that he spends as much time rounding up illegal immigrants as tending his turnips.
You couldn’t make it up.

Fifteen years ago, Asylum! was the world’s fastest-growing game show. Fifteen years from now it’ll be the longest-running.

And those Afghan hijackers are still here, just as I predicted.

Roll up, roll up my friends, for the game that never ends . . .

MORE TO SEE AND READ


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/26/2015 at 05:59 PM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsUK •  
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calendar   Wednesday - December 03, 2014

Mob Rule

Also known as ‘democracy’. Give us what we want or we will trash businesses in our neighborhood and blame the fact that businesses don’t immediately relocate to our neighborhood as racism.

What we seem to have in Ferguson, and other such places, is grown children crying. “I spilled my milk and it’s your fault!”

Now you’ve spilled your milk and somebody got shot and killed for it.

How does it feel Ferguson? It’s your fault that Brown had an attitude that he could attack a police officer.

It’s your fault, Ferguson, that Brown had the attitude that he could rob a store in your neighborhood with impunity.

It’s your fault Ferguson.

Opinions Versus Facts


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 12/03/2014 at 05:48 AM   
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calendar   Friday - November 28, 2014

AT&T and phone problems

I suspect that’s redundant?

Scary.

Got a young tech from ATT here.

Internet works, but no landline phones.

I just showed him around (had to, I’ve rewired the whole house since we bought it in 1990.) and he showed me what he wants to do. I gave him ‘carte blanche’. He’d never heard the phrase. So I retreated to Captain Picard: “Make it so.” He understood that though he’d never heard of Picard. I’m getting so old. The Next Generation is a couple of generations old now!

“Everything was fine until now.” I said.

The tech just looked at me and the wiring mess and opinied: “How did this work at all?”

See, that’s what being a Navy ET does for you. Captain wants underway yesterday. You make it work yesterday. Fix it when we get back into port. Won’t be pretty. Guess I’ve been in port for over two decades and the tech guy is in awe. I made it work! He still can’t figure out how. I can’t either or I wouldn’t have called him.

Of course he ripped everything out, including the stuff in the box outside. Got all new cabling. Set up for what ATT is planning for us in 2020.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 11/28/2014 at 10:20 PM   
Filed Under: • Editorials •  
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Mass insanity!

Shopping. Black Friday. Stupidity. So after spending Thursday giving thanks to God for what we have, now we are shopping with claws unsheathed and teeth bared for what we don’t have. What part of “thou shalt not covet” do we not understand? I’m not participating in the mass insanity. I’ve got too much stuff. Don’t want more ‘stuff’. Takes too much time and energy to care for ‘stuff’. I’m downsizing! 


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 11/28/2014 at 03:58 PM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsPersonal •  
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calendar   Wednesday - November 19, 2014

I’m an idiot!

It was so simple to fix.

Been haunted with internet dropping on me. Took 5-10 minutes each time to recover. Had the ATT tech out twice for this. No joy. While they could see the problem they could not fix it. Even left me a spare modem. (shhhh! Not supposed to do that.)

I finally took a close look at my modem. Power? Check. Telephone? Check. What’s this third line? Unplugged it and no problem. 


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 11/19/2014 at 05:01 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceEditorials •  
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calendar   Wednesday - October 08, 2014

Muslim Shock and Awe in Europe …. from FP

Not being based in the USA now, I really do get out of touch with much back home.  Understandable since so much happening here, in personal life as well as what’s going on generally.  I don’t know about stateside but, the muslim/terror thing is daily. Sure, it sells papers and keeps ppl on a channel when it’s on TV.  But in a very real way, this place is almost on the front line.  And immigration in the form of refugees and asylum seekers has reached staggering proportions.
Then too there is the worry that some of the native born vermin who have trained in the mid east and especially Syria and Libya, will come back here and carry out suicide or Mumbai style of attacks.

This is kind of an afterthought.
After the 2nd war when the death camps were liberated and photos made public, people of the day wondered aloud, how the heck so many Jews allowed themselves to be herded and murdered in that way.  They seemed to go willingly to their own death. Sure, there was that uprising at a ghetto in Poland.
But that too came late in the day.
Well, that’s pretty much how I see Europe and the UK today. And btw, I am not being bigoted (not that I give a flying F if someone thinks I am) but no kidding. I am seeing more of “those ppl” today than I did a few short yrs ago. And where we are, is pretty much away from the worst of it.  You’d have to be here to see it to grasp it all the same way I do.  You know ... as in seeing is believing. While we aren’t exactly over run ... yet ... I’d bet that’s what the future holds. Scary.

So I’ve worked my way up to this.  Take a look.

H/T Front Page Magazine

Muslim Shock and Awe in Europe

by Daniel Greenfield

Steyn Online, Mark Steyn discussed the muted response to the inevitable Islamization of Birmingham.

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The other day, for example, The Daily Mail reported that Birmingham, England (where I chanced to be recently, and where Cameron’s Tories have just wrapped up their party conference) now has more Muslim than Christian children. That means that, absent any countervailing dynamic, its future is Muslim. This is not a small thing: Birmingham is Britain’s second city, and, in a democratic age, its structures will reflect its people. The constabulary, the school system, the hospitals will have a de facto sharia-compliant character. If you’re a Muslim girl, the authorities will systematically turn a blind eye to forced marriages and honor violence, and, if you’re a lower-class infidel girl, to “grooming”. If you’re boorish enough to draw attention to such unpleasantness, you’ll be committing a hate crime, and Cameron’s even squishier successors will explain why there’s “no right to shout fire in a crowded theatre”, which is a polite way of saying we can’t afford this freedom-of-expression stuff…

It’s a bit dispiriting to write a wake-up call only to find everyone you wrote it for simply doubles the strength of their sleeping pills.

Steyn was right then and he’s right now. And the UK represents a fascinating and disturbing example of how moments of shock are smoothed over.

1,400 girls are molested. There is a de facto Muslim majority in Birmingham. A soldier is beheaded.

Those are moments of shock. They might wake some people up. They do wake up some. But the process is really about how the human mind processes a shock event or fact that disturbs its sense of equilibrium.

Most seek a stable state. They want to be reassured that things can go back to the way they were before. Even when they fight, they fight to restore the order of things. This is the base on which conservative parties draw.

As Lauri Regan mentions…

Within hours of the Boston Marathon bombing, I sent an email to my newsletter distribution list with speculation about the perpetrators being of Muslim descent. One self-proclaimed “moderate” on my list told me that he was “done,” accused me of being an extremist, and ordered me to remove him from my list.

The pattern of events is that the right accurately predicts the outcome of the left’s policies, is ridiculed for it, is proven right, and is then told that the outcome is ideal and only reactionaries would oppose it.

R: If you go with socialized medicine, there will be death panels

L: Ha ha death panels. How ridiculous

R: See we told you. There are death panels

L: Only a cruel unfeeling person would want to dismantle our wonderful mandatory free health care system by preventing the system from cutting costs. You probably want to go to the bad old days when everyone was dying in the streets.

The “Shock” though has great potential. It’s the moment that frightens the left, which expects the peasants to rise up. It’s the moment that the right rarely exploits properly because its leaders are not of the right.

A moment of shock can tear away illusions. The left has to transition from one consensus to the other over that moment of shock.

“Yes, there are death panels, and here’s why we need them.” “The UK will be majority Muslim and this is why it’s a good thing.” “Majority Muslim means Sharia law and here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid of it.”

The response of the center-right is invariably, “We don’t want to be alarmist but…” when the thing to do is be alarmist because there is a great deal to be alarmed about.

The left is never shy about being alarmist or claiming that the sky is falling. The sky isn’t falling, but civilization is.

“America Alone is not “alarmist”: If anything, it was insufficiently alarmist. What’s underway is happening far faster than I suggested eight years ago.”

Crises always sneak up on us even when we know they’re coming. The left never wastes them. The right always does.

source. Front Page Mag.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/08/2014 at 05:54 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - August 13, 2014

a few words from littlejohn

My final post for this evening a good way to say good night.

My favorite columnist, Richard Littlejohn has written what many have been thinking for a long time.

Yes, it is a bit long, but worth the read I think. 
What say you Lyndon?

Democracy? No, Britain’s now a judicial dictatorship - and it’s time for revolution, writes RICHARD LITTLEJOHN

By Richard Littlejohn

First, the good news. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled unexpectedly that British prisoners denied the vote are not entitled to compensation or legal costs.

That should go some way to deterring the steady flow of vexatious cases brought against the Government.

If opportunist lawyers believe there is every chance they won’t get paid, they are less likely to tout for business in Britain’s jails.

Claimants who realise they will not be receiving a fat cheque from the taxpayer, even if they win, may decide that resorting to law is not worth the bother.

The good news ends there, though. The bad news is that the European Court has again asserted its supremacy over national parliaments.

It ruled that MPs were wrong to vote overwhelmingly to prevent prisoners taking part in elections and insisted they must be given the right in future.

This case has been rumbling on for almost a decade, at goodness knows what cost in time and money. It was originally brought by ten men serving sentences in Scottish jails, among them notorious repeat sex offenders.

Had the court ruled that they were entitled to compensation, taxpayers could have been landed with a bill for millions of pounds as thousands more convicts crawled out of the woodwork to lodge similar claims.

The most disturbing aspect, however, is that such matters have to be decided by foreign judges and not by British MPs.

How absurd that the question of whether or not prisoners should get the vote rests on a decision by a supra-national court comprised of judges for whom no one has ever had the chance to vote.

We may kid ourselves that we live in a parliamentary democracy, but the reality is that we are ultimately governed by a judicial dictatorship, accountable to no one, with its power base in Strasbourg.

It’s bad enough when government policy is re-written by unelected jurists from countries such as the former Soviet satellite states, with no distinguished history of respect for genuine human rights.

But increasingly, British judges are flexing their muscles, too. Lord Neuberger, president of Britain’s Supreme Court — a typical Blairite, European-style institution — has admitted that the Human Rights Act has given the courts a blank cheque to make up laws as they go along.

Judges are using the excuse of ‘human rights’ to establish new rules on everything from privacy and sham marriages to assisted suicide. They are handing down the most perverse interpretations of statute, which often fly in the face of justice and decency.

Yet far from expressing reservations about this unaccountable judiciary and its implications for democracy, Neuberger declares that it’s a good thing — because it keeps governments in check.

That stands the entire principle of British justice on its head. Our system was founded upon MPs making the laws, and judges interpreting and enforcing them.

All of this stems from the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into British law — which Tony Blair proclaimed as his greatest achievement in politics.

Blair’s wife, Cherie, and her Left-wing activist lawyer friends even set up a new chambers, Matrix, to cash in on the bonanza of cases generated by the new legislation.

This was only to be expected. New Labour was a party of lawyers, for lawyers. If anyone is concerned about the predominance of public school boys at the top of British politics, they should look at the shallow, self-selecting gene pool from which our judges and top barristers are drawn.

Those of us who warned at the time that the Human Rights Act was a charter for criminals, terrorists and illegal immigrants, as well as a goldmine for the legal profession, were howled down as enemies of justice.

The judiciary regularly displays undisguised contempt for public opinion, for the people who pay their wages.

Another judge, Peter King, said recently: ‘There seems to be an expectation that the public interest trumps everything else. It seems to me that is not necessarily the case.’

He was justifying his decision to grant a Bangladeshi double murderer the right to move to England, where he has relatives, under the section of the Act that guarantees ‘the right to a family life’.

As if we haven’t got enough criminals of our own. We used to deport convicts. Now we are importing them — with the full blessing of the courts.

The Home Office will have to issue this Bangladeshi citizen with a visa, despite initially refusing permission on the grounds that his presence was ‘not in the public interest’.

If this ruling stands, what’s to stop criminals from all over the world deciding to make their home in this country? And what’s the betting he goes straight on to benefits?

To add insult to injury, we are not allowed to know the circumstances of his crimes or even his identity. He has been given lifelong anonymity, so he could move in next door to any of us and we would be none the wiser.

The ‘right to a family life’ provision is the most flexible and abused section of the Human Rights Act. It has deprived us of the ability to kick out murderers, terrorists, even war criminals wanted for genocide.

The number of foreign criminals who avoided deportation rose 50 per cent last year. They include murderers, rapists, robbers and paedophiles.

The perverse definition of ‘family life’ has been extended to men with a couple of illegitimate children they never see and to another illegal immigrant whose ownership of a pet cat was cited as evidence of his right to remain here.

A Bangladeshi student who was able to demonstrate he played for a village cricket team was ruled to have the right to a ‘private’ life in Britain and so he, too, could stay.

British judges appear to be more creative and indulgent than their Continental counterparts, who seem to have no compunction in deporting undesirable aliens.

Yet the right to ‘family’ life is not unqualified. The Act itself makes exceptions for public safety, crime prevention and national security; yet these are rarely invoked.

Even when they are, the courts still throw obstacles in the way of natural justice. Just look at the struggle to deport Abu Qatada. Our bored prisoners and their greedy lawyers have also been adept at exploiting their ‘human rights’.

A Jamaican convict avoided deportation by claiming after she was jailed that she had become a lesbian and would therefore face persecution if she was sent home.

Others have won the ‘right’ to heroin and gay porn behind bars. It’s amazing the number of jailbirds who claim to be pagans — and even transsexuals — so they are ‘entitled’ to special privileges.

One prisoner in Birmingham announced she had become a Red Indian and should be supplied with the appropriate cultural artefacts, including a drum and peace pipe — and, presumably, a tomahawk to protect herself in the shower block.

All this madness could explain why Home Secretary Theresa May has finally come round to demanding that we withdraw from the European Convention. Not before time.

It also might explain why the European court, while upholding prisoners’ right to vote, seemed to soft-pedal on compensation and legal costs.

Perhaps they think that throwing Britain a couple of bones might persuade us to stay on board the ludicrous European legal gravy train.

Most Tories want to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights. Why? We managed perfectly well for centuries. Britain had one of the most humane and effective legal systems on Earth, evolved from Magna Carta. Our common law served us well.

Britain has no need of laws made by unelected activist judges, based upon a foreign and wholly alien concept of justice and ‘human rights’.

That’s why we should scrap the Act and withdraw from the Convention.

Labour and the Lib Dems would never support that because it would mean Britain having to leave the EU. Acceptance of the Human Rights Convention is a rigid condition of EU membership.

But quitting the EU and the European Court would be the ideal outcome for Britain.

David Cameron’s best attempts at securing meaningful ‘reform’ of either are doomed to failure.

The only way is out: a clean break and a fresh start as an independent sovereign nation with its own legal system.

Come the referendum in 2017, we could even be magnanimous and give the prisoners a vote.

source


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/13/2014 at 06:21 PM   
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calendar   Monday - August 11, 2014

yeah … a lot of us miss president reagan … there isn’t anyone waiting in the wings either

I’m not sure who this fellow is. I mean beyond US editor.
I think I’ve read him somewhere before this.
Anyway ... I was much surprised (at first) to find this in a lefty paper Drew once described, as a paper that should be printed in pink, it was so left.
But they have had a few voices on the right over time.  Must toss the old dog a bone now and again ya know.

Actually, this paper is somewhat disillusioned with Obama. So maybe that’s why they allowed this. 


Letter from the US Editor: No Drama Obama could use some theatrics

David Usborne

What was it about winning the Nobel Peace Prize within minutes of taking office that made President Barack Obama go so tepid on foreign policy?
The question became urgent when he backed away from striking the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons. Then when Isis stormed through northern Iraq, the White House responded by sending advisers to Baghdad. Even relations with allies have been neglected.

Contrast Mr Obama’s clunky statements on the loss of MH17 to Ronald Reagan’s address to the nation after the downing of Korean Airlines 007 by the Soviets in 1988. “And it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy,” Mr Obama said last Thursday. Looks like it may?

Mr Reagan didn’t do clunky. “Make no mistake about it, this attack was not just against ourselves or the Republic of Korea,” he said, staring at the camera in the Oval Office. “This was the Soviet Union against the world and the moral precepts which guide human relations among people everywhere. It was an act of barbarism, born of a society which wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life.”

What we see now as limpness in the Oval Office may be judged by history as wise restraint. Mr Obama cares only about the right end results. No Drama Obama. And he has a deep sense of history. He hasn’t forgotten the USS Vincennes, when a US surface-to-air missile struck the Iran Air airbus, killing all 290 passengers.
All that said, in the past days Mr Obama has flunked the presidential “optics” test. The day the plane went down, he carried on with his schedule, delivering a speech about repairing roads then attending two fundraising events. On Tuesday he left Washington for three days of fundraising.

In these tricky days, he needs to drop the cool act and give us some presidential theatrics – even if it goes against his better nature.

source


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/11/2014 at 04:32 PM   
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calendar   Saturday - April 12, 2014

Islam Is What Happens When Civilization Loses.

This is not a short article, so there’s only a small portion here.
Mr. Greenfield has a lot to say.

“Western civilization has grown degenerate

At its barest minimum, civilization is co-existence. Islam is the opposite of co-existence and of civilization”

H/T Canada Free Press

Islam Is What Happens When Civilization Loses
By Daniel Greenfield

Saudi Arabia and Qatar aren’t talking to each other. Syria and Turkey are shooting at each other. Not only are the Shiites and Sunnis killing each other in Syria, but the Sunni groups have been killing each other for some time now. There are even two or three Al Qaedas fighting each other over which of them is the real Al Qaeda while, occasionally, denying that they are the real Al Qaeda.

There’s something about Syria that splits down everything and everyone. Even Hamas had to split between its political and military wings when choosing between Iran’s weapons and Qatar’s money. Doing the logical thing, the military wing took the weapons and the political wing took the money so that the military wing of Hamas supported Assad and its political wing supported the Sunni opposition.

It’s not, however, money and weapons that splits Muslims over Syria. Money and weapons are only the symbols. What they represent is Islam. And what Islam represents is the intersection between identity and power.

A modern state derives its power from its identity. That is nationalism. The Japanese and the Russians were willing to die in large numbers for their homeland during WW2. Both countries had undergone rapid de-feudalization turning peasants into citizens with varying degrees of success. Japan and Russia, however, had historic identities to draw on. The rapid de-feudalization in the Arab world had much messier results because countries such as Jordan and Syria were Frankenstein’s monsters made out of bits and pieces of assembled parts of history stuck together with crazy glue.

The Middle East is full of flags, but most are minor variations on the same red, green, black and white theme. The difference between the Palestinian flag and the Jordanian flag is a tiny asterisk on the chevron representing the unity of the Arab peoples.

Every time you see the Al Qaeda “black flag” of Jihad, it’s already represented in the black stripes on the flags of every Arab nation. What Al Qaeda has done is strip out the other colors representing the various succeeding caliphates and gone back all the way to the black of Mohammed’s war flag.

(Mohammed hadn’t originated the black flag. Like the rest of Islam, it was a tribal adaptation. Black had been the color of the headdresses worn into battle. It symbolized revenge. As a warlord, Mohammed often wore black. Black came to symbolize Islam, the color which does not change, for the religion that does not change. Impermeable, offering no illumination or light.)

Greenfield/CFP link for more


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/12/2014 at 12:10 PM   
Filed Under: • Editorials •  
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calendar   Sunday - January 26, 2014

going to hell in a handcart

A couple of item in the news this week past have really upset Littlejohn. Not too sure I can fully agree with regard to the overweight of some.
Yeah, there are too many who over indulge and then expect others to pick up the pieces.  But Littlejohn paints almost all of them with one brush. 
Which isn’t’ entirely fair.

It’s a longish article so I’ll post a small bit of it.

It ends with his opinion that, “ We are all going to Hell in a handcart.”

You can’t park here… you’re not fat enough

By Richard Littlejohn

Two stories stood out for me this week. Both are damning indictments of modern Britain and proof positive of the idiocy of the soft-headed, socialist imbeciles who run so much of what passes for our ‘world class public services’.

The first comes from Walsall, where obese motorists are being issued with disabled parking badges so they don’t have to waddle too far from their cars to the nearest kebab shop.

The second hails from York, where people arrested for being drunk and disorderly are being sent on courses to boost their ‘self-esteem’.

image

Let’s start in the West Midlands. What possessed Walsall Council to hand out ‘blue badges’ to gutbuckets? OK, so there is a minuscule number of people suffering from rare medical and genetic conditions which make it difficult to control their weight.

But most of those categorised as ‘obese’ are not genuinely disabled. Nor are they ‘victims’ by any stretch of the imagination. They are just fat and greedy and won’t stop stuffing their faces.

Already, the NHS spends a fortune treating patients suffering from a variety of ailments caused by self-inflicted gluttony. Diabetes and heart trouble brought on by pigging out on fast-food is said to have reached epidemic proportions.

Stop eating so much and start taking exercise every day, you hideous hippos. Obesity isn’t like a flu epidemic. You can’t catch obesity. It isn’t inflicted on people by dark forces beyond their control.

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Blue Badge for handicapped.

These selfish individuals are grotesquely overweight because they lack willpower and moral fibre.

They have the option to diet or die, but they do not deserve special treatment funded by taxpayers.

No one should have an automatic right to an expensive gastric band provided by a hard-pressed public health service, already struggling to provide life-saving drugs to patients suffering from real illnesses.

It is estimated that up to two million people could qualify for bariatric surgery and that by 2050 half of us will be officially ‘obese’.

By then, Britain’s population will be over 70 million. At this rate there won’t be enough gastric bands to go round and the whole country will be one giant disabled car park.

You can bet, however, that where Walsall leads, other councils will follow in the name of ‘compassion’ and being ‘non-judgmental’. They’ll be handing out blue badges by the tens of thousands to anyone who can prove they have ‘mobility issues’.

No, their ‘mobility issues’ are caused by a revolting, self-inflicted excess of flab which their podgy little legs will no longer support over a distance of more than a few yards.

One of the other curses of contemporary Britain is how the centres of our towns and cities have been blighted by binge drinking.

Every weekend, police have to deal with an orgy of vomit-splattered violence and drunken disorder.

How many times have we seen pictures of young women with their frocks round their waists and their knickers round their ankles wallowing in a pool of their own puke and urine?

This isn’t because the young men and women involved are ‘victims’ of alcohol. It’s because they set out deliberately to get utterly bladdered on cheap booze served in ghastly drinking barns. They enjoy getting mortally intoxicated.

But now York Council has decided that it’s not really their fault, poor darlings. Those legless louts and lasses lying in the gutter are actually suffering from ‘low self-esteem’ which forces them to down pint after pint and cocktail after cocktail against their will.

So anyone arrested five times for being falling-down drunk and disorderly will not be thrown in the slammer, they will be sent on a course to reflect on their ‘behaviour and self-image issues’.

Don’t you just hate that word ‘issues’, a weasely catch-all expression to excuse anyone who is unable to control their own base impulses?

Why should we be expected to accept that they are somehow victims of a disease or compelled by societal pressures to act as they do? And that they can only be ‘cured’ or indulged by a cuddle and lashings of taxpayers’ dosh? Who dreams up this drivel?

READ ALL THE REST HERE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/26/2014 at 07:35 PM   
Filed Under: • Editorials •  
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calendar   Thursday - November 21, 2013

When President Obama told business owners, “You didn’t build that!”

When President Obama told business owners, “You didn’t build that!” this was just one passing skirmish in the war on achievement.

I was reading Thomas Sowell long before his hair turned grey.  Over time and getting involved in other reading and things personal, I’m sorry to say he got lost in my grab bag of hold to read later things.  So I was grateful to an old friend who sent this to me.

It should be required reading here in the UK also because what he writes about sure applies here. In spades as the saying goes.

I have often wondered why we can’t have people like Mr. Sowell in public office, instead of the deadbeats of both parties we are saddled with now.
I don’t have the same cozy, warm and especially trusting feeling I once did.  And if I were a Brit and a voter here, I wouldn’t feel any better about those who
lead.
Having said that ... if I were a voter here, I think I could trust Nigel Farage and UKIP.

Anyway ....  take a look at this if you have not already seen it.

H/T dear friend Lynne

Source for article is Town Hall . com


The War Against Achievement

Thomas Sowell

A friend recently sent me a link to an inspiring video about an upbeat young black man who was born without arms. It showed him going to work—unlike the record number of people living on government payments for “disabilities” that are far less serious, if not fictitious.

How is this young man getting to work? He gets into his car and drives there—using controls set up so that he can operate the car with his feet.
What kind of work does he do, and how does he do it? He is involved in the design of racing cars. He sits at his computer, looking at the screen, with the keyboard on the floor, where he uses his toes as others use their fingers.

His story recalls the story of Helen Keller, who went to an elite college and on to a career, despite being both deaf and blind. Her story was celebrated in books, in television documentaries and in an inspiring movie, “The Miracle Worker.”

But our culture has changed so much over the years that the young man with no arms is unlikely to get comparable publicity. Helen Keller’s achievement was seen as an inspiration for others, but this young man’s achievement is more like a threat to the prevailing ideology of our times.

The vision on which the all-encompassing and all-controlling welfare state was built is a vision of widespread helplessness, requiring ever more expanding big government. Our “compassionate” statists would probably have wanted to take this young man without arms, early on, and put him in some government institution.

But to celebrate him in the mainstream media today would undermine a whole ideological vision of the world—and of the vast government bureaucracies built on that vision. It might even cause people to think twice about giving money to able-bodied men who are standing on street corners, begging.

The last thing the political left needs, or can even afford, are self-reliant individuals. If such people became the norm, that would destroy not only the agenda and the careers of those on the left, but even their flattering image of themselves as saviors of the less fortunate.

Victimhood is where it’s at. If there are not enough real victims, then fictitious victims must be created—as with the claim that there is “a war on women.” Why anyone would have an incentive or a motivation to create a war on women in the first place is just one of the questions that should be asked of those who promote this political slogan, obviously designed for the gullible.

The real war—which is being waged in our schools, in the media and among the intelligentsia—is the war on achievement. When President Obama told business owners, “You didn’t build that!” this was just one passing skirmish in the war on achievement.

The very word “achievement” has been replaced by the word “privilege” in many writings of our times. Individuals or groups that have achieved more than others are called “privileged” individuals or groups, who are to be resented rather than emulated.

The length to which this kind of thinking—or lack of thinking—can be carried was shown in a report on various ethnic groups in Toronto. It said that people of Japanese ancestry in that city were the most “privileged” group there, because they had the highest average income.

What made this claim of “privilege” grotesque was a history of anti-Japanese discrimination in Canada, climaxed by people of Japanese ancestry being interned during World War II longer than Japanese Americans.

If the concept of achievement threatens the prevailing ideology, the reality of achievement despite having obstacles to overcome is a deadly threat. That is why the achievements of Asians in general—and of people like the young black man with no arms—make those on the left uneasy. And why the achievements of people who created their own businesses have to be undermined by the President of the United States.

What would happen if Americans in general, or blacks in particular, started celebrating people like this armless young man, instead of trying to make heroes out of hoodlums? Many of us would find that promising and inspiring. But it would be a political disaster for the left—which is why it is not likely to happen.

Thomas Sowell, Town Hall dot com


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/21/2013 at 11:04 AM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsOUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTUSA •  
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calendar   Wednesday - October 30, 2013

Do we have standing now?

It’s my understanding that a person has to actually suffer damages before they have standing to sue the Government. Any lawyers out there?

If you’ve lost your employer-provided health insurance, you’ve suffered damages under ObamaCare.

If you’ve been down-graded from full-time to part-time because of ObamaCare, you’ve suffered damages.

If you’ve been denied employment because of ObamaCare, you’ve suffered damages.

Most of the country has standing to sue. Again, I’m not a lawyer, but I think there are several class-action lawsuits possible here.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 10/30/2013 at 06:58 PM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsHealth-MedicineObama, The One •  
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calendar   Thursday - October 17, 2013

hitchens believe the cons. here have lost the plot. he may well be correct.

Peter Hitchens is so conservative he doesn’t recognize the current Tory Party (Cons.) as being conservative at all.  Quite a few others who think the same btw.  And usually with good reason.  Anyway, not my place to harp on about the Tories here, that’s Peter’s job, and a good one he does.

Are the Tories lying to us again? Just ask Mandy!

By Peter Hitchens

How good to see that Mandy Rice-Davies is still very much around. Mandy is the most perceptive political thinker of our age, and her wisdom has never been so badly needed.

As an 11-year-old schoolboy, more innocent than it would be conceivable to be today, I was baffled by the Profumo affair.
What was a call-girl? Or an osteopath? Why would anyone want to go to an all-night Soho drinking club? (I still don’t know the answer to that one.)
But amid the yellowish swirling smog of scandal, Mandy’s pert features and her quick wit appealed to me far more than the smouldering mystery of poor Christine Keeler.

I was immensely delighted by her riposte to a barrister who informed her that some peer or other said he had never met her. She replied simply: ‘He would, wouldn’t he?’

This was a person who knew how the world worked. Much later she is said to have described her life as a ‘slow descent into respectability’, which deserves to be true, even if she didn’t actually say it.

Alongside Otto von Bismarck’s advice,

‘Never believe anything until it has been officially denied’,

I have made Mandy’s piece of wisdom about people telling obvious lies because it suits them my watchword during four decades of scribbling on the backs of advertisements, my chosen trade.

If it fits, it’s true. And my goodness, how it fits the Conservative Party Conference just ended. I mean, during decades in full power, and during the past three years in coalition, these Tories have had so many chances to crack down on crime, rip up the Human Rights charter, rescue marriage and remove us from the EU.

Have they lifted a fat finger to do so? Not once. They’ve been too busy legalising same-sex marriage.

But now, with an Election approaching that they will certainly lose, all these things are suddenly being pledged. Do I believe that David Cameron, Chris Grayling or Theresa May really expect (or want) to wake up on the morning of May 16, 2015 and find themselves with the power to do the things they promised last week? Of course not.

Their private polling tells them that they are as likely to land on the Moon that day. But they do have a tiny, pitifully remote hope of forming another coalition with the Liberal Democrats, and it is that which fills their heads.

If only they can save enough seats for a second pact, then they will keep the chauffeured cars, the grandiose offices, the unctuous officials, the large salaries and pensions, and the other baubles that are all they really care about.

And for those baubles, they will abandon everything they pledged to you last week. Mandy’s Law applies as ever. You only had to listen to them to know that they would say that, wouldn’t they?

He also has this to say and he does have a legitimate point to make on the subject.

Why criminals aren’t punished

People who want to get rid of what’s left of our drug laws always make a great fuss when senior policemen join their side, as if this were a hugely important surprise.

In fact, the police have been prominent in this campaign for years. There are two reasons. One is that the senior ranks of the police are crammed with Left-wing social science graduates.

The other is that the police reasonably see no point in arresting people when they know the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts will not punish them. An arrest, under current rules, can ruin a constable’s whole day.

As the retiring magistrate Alan Bissell rightly pointed out last week, we have pretty much abandoned the idea of punishment. Almost all crimes, from drugs to burglary and rape, can now be squared away with a ‘caution’, and marked as solved.

It’ll be murder next, once there are so many killings that the police can’t keep up with them either.

HITCHENS


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/17/2013 at 09:00 AM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsUK •  
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