Seems like I always manage to find things I’m not looking for, that end up bothering.
Or perhaps I am looking but don’t know it. Whatever, another very good article, if a bit long, from Front Page caught the eye again. But of course it would considering how often I surf by their stand.
As I said, this is fairly long but might be worth the time.
“A Culture of Cowards”
By Bruce Bawer
This isn’t going to be about Iceland, or about online porn, but there’s a reason nonetheless to start with the news that Iceland’s government – apparently satisfied that it’s safely pulled out of its financial crisis – has turned its attention to a feminist proposal to block online porn using the same technology that China uses to limit its own subjects’ Internet access. This is not good news – for a couple of reasons.
The first, and more frivolous, reason is as follows. I’ve been to Iceland. It’s an interesting place to visit – fascinating, actually – but you wouldn’t want to live there. No, honest – you really, really wouldn’t want to live there. I’m not saying it’s awful in the same way as, oh, Tanzania, where albinos are poached like animals because it’s believed that if you cut off one of their body parts it can bring you power and riches. Or Angola, where the police, if you can call them that, look away from the widespread violence against suspected witches (some of them mere children) because they’re scared of having a spell cast against them. No, Iceland is tough going in a different way. The landscape looks like the surface of the moon. There are almost no trees or other vegetation. Even well-to-do residents of Reykjavik live in ugly, bunker-like concrete structures built to withstand the brutal winters. The population is so small and inbred that when you glimpse somebody on the street whom you find attractive, chances are pretty good that it’s your cousin. The grim, dull life of even the chilly capital’s cooler denizens was captured nicely in the novel 101 Reykjavik by Hallgrímur Helgason, who gave the distinct impression that the only thing more boring than living in Iceland is living in Iceland without online porn.
But my topic here, as I say, is neither Iceland nor online porn – for the blocking of which, I suppose, there are reasonable arguments. The problem is this. If Iceland did opt for such a ban, legislators in other countries would immediately want to get into the act. And for the kind of busybody politicians who consider it their job to sit around thinking up things to regulate, censor, and prohibit (all in the name, naturally, of the common good and their own concept of virtue), such a move would only be a first step. It would – and this is where the subject at hand shifts from frivolous to deadly serious – invigorate the already quite robust crusade to impose government or U.N. controls on the Internet, the principal goal of which, needless to say, is to scrub the Web clean of “Islamophobia” and any other Thoughtcrimes that impede global harmony. As any reader of this site well knows, there are those among us – and above us – who long for the ideological tidiness of the pre-Internet era, when the mainstream news media could have kept a story like, say, Benghazi from ever becoming a story at all, and, more broadly, deluded almost all of us about the basic facts of sharia, jihad, and other pillars of Islam.
It’s alarming how many Americans, more than a decade after 9/11, are still living in La-La Land where Islam is concerned. But imagine how much worse the situation would be if we didn’t have the Internet – if, in other words, pretty much all of our sources of information about Islam were MSM-approved whitewashers like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito. If the Internet has been a crucial asset for Americans in the years since 9/11, moreover, it’s been even more of a boon for Europeans – and a thorn in the side to many European public officials, who recognize, and despise, it for what it is: a First Amendment zone in countries that have no First Amendment and that are, in principle, despite their purported devotion to democracy, firmly opposed to unlimited freedom of expression.
I live in Europe, but if not for a U.S. writer reporting last week here at all-American Front Page, I probably wouldn’t have heard a peep about Germany’s latest “hate speech” conviction.
The competition is stiff. But surely the most inexcusable recent attempt by the mainstream media to deep-six a development they preferred not to acknowledge was their reaction to what any objective reporter with half a brain would recognize as a sensational and deeply consequential story – namely, the foiled attempt, apparently by a Danish Muslim, to murder in cold blood Lars Hedegaard, Denmark’s most prominent critic of the Religion of Peace. To be sure, as I wrote on February 6, the silence was not universal. In Scandinavia, the media were all over the story. And why not? The shooting provided Lars’s ideological enemies in the journalism community with an excellent opportunity to get in a few kicks of their own, calling him a racist and misrepresenting his views. Not surprisingly, the abuse was worst of all in Sweden, which seems determined to become the first sharia-run nation in Western Europe. (In fact – not that it will make the slightest bit of difference – Lars has filed libel charges against Swedish TV and several Swedish newspapers.)
Now imagine if there were no Internet at all, or only a castrated version thereof – in other words, a media landscape in which virtually none of us would have heard of this unspeakable atrocity. Are there very many scarier thoughts?
Why yes, I can. How about Obama making his very own executive order taking control of the entire US communications system, internet, TV, and telephone included? That happened last summer ... and it was hardly even news, other than “oh relax, nothing like that will ever happen.”
IOW he an his minions can put the filters on whenever the @#$! they want to, and you can’t do jack about it. Ooops, sorry, no internet outside the USA today. Oops sorry, the NSA’s super-mega-computer has determined you’re trying to load a page with these proscribed words in it ... and suddenly you get a 404 error instead. And yes, their supercomputers probably have that kind of power. A few hundred billion operations per second, and there’s only 310 million of us, and the telecoms are already so deep in bed with the government every time they go for a reach-around it feels like jerking off. But hey, screw your rights and freedoms, they got the Obamaphone contracts with no oversight.
And now we have him COMPLAINING that he isn’t emperor, merely president.