The site PrisonPlanet.com manages to convey in its URL a grim view of what it sees happening in the world and what it opposes. A Prison Planet article by Paul Joseph Watson reports on censorship in Britain via YouTube. The British government got YouTube to block a video of a political protest for viewers from Britain. (thanks Lou Pagnucco)
In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.
The latest example is You Tube’s compliance with a request from the British government to censor footage of the British Constitution Group’s Lawful Rebellion protest, during which they attempted to civilly arrest Judge Michael Peake at Birkenhead county court.
It is amazing just how petty the British government can be when it tries to prevent people from seeing something. What's the great threat to the state here?
Britain needs the equivalent of the American 1st amendment. But the article claims the US government asks for videos to be pulled off of YouTube. So what's the pattern in each country on what gets pulled and why?
Baron Bodissey has the speech Geert Wilders delivered on the day his new trial just began. The Lights Are Going Out All Over Europe.
The lights are going out all over Europe. All over the continent where our culture flourished and where man created freedom, prosperity and civilization. The foundation of the West is under attack everywhere.
Our elites are our enemies.
All over Europe the elites are acting as the protectors of an ideology that has been bent on destroying us for fourteen centuries. An ideology that has sprung from the desert and that can produce only deserts because it does not give people freedom. The Islamic Mozart, the Islamic Gerard Reve [a Dutch author], the Islamic Bill Gates; they do not exist because without freedom there is no creativity. The ideology of Islam is especially noted for killing and oppression and can only produce societies that are backward and impoverished. Surprisingly, the elites do not want to hear any criticism of this ideology.
Our multicultural elites are waging total war against their populations.
My trial is not an isolated incident. Only fools believe it is. All over Europe multicultural elites are waging total war against their populations. Their goal is to continue the strategy of mass immigration, which will ultimately result in an Islamic Europe — a Europe without freedom: Eurabia.
The lights are going out all over Europe. Anyone who thinks or speaks individually is at risk. Freedom-loving citizens who criticize Islam, or even merely suggest that there is a relationship between Islam and crime or honour killing, must suffer, and are threatened or criminalized. Those who speak the truth are in danger.
Geert Wilders is on trial for severely criticizing Islam. Since I've personally said things as critical about Islam as Wilders is on trial for I feel very fortunate to be protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Wilders says freedom of expression by Dutch citizens is on trial.
He faces a hefty fine or a year in jail if found guilty on five charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims and insulting their religion for likening, as he routinely does, the Qur'an to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf and describing Islam as fascist.
"I am on trial, but on trial with me is the freedom of expression of many Dutch citizens," he told the Amsterdam district court. "I can assure you, I will continue proclaiming it."
Mr Wilders faces five charges of inciting racial hatred between Oct 2006 and Mar 2008. If found guilty, Mr Wilders faces over a year in prison or a £6,600 fine.
Speaking at his trial yesterday, Mr Wilders said: "I am sitting here as a suspect because I have spoken nothing but the truth. I have said what I have said and I will not take one word back."
We should not have to live in fear of Islam or to hold our tongues about Islam.
If you are a blogger write a blog post about this trial on Thursday which is the day I've suggested a coordinated set of postings for Geert. See my post Modest Proposal: Protest Day For Geert Wilders. Tell other bloggers in email. Announce your intention to do so in a blog post and ask other bloggers to also write blog posts on it on Thursday.
Baron Bodissey has more on the trial at Gates Of Vienna.
You can watch Wilders' video Fitna about Islam and also Submission by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the murdered Pim Fortuyn. Decide for yourself whether your government should have the power to prevent you from watching such videos.
A January 2008 interview of Geert Wilders about his film Fitna. These views are on trial.
What matters most: Is he right? I am struck by reasonable and moderate in tone he is. But he's saying that generations of Dutch politicians made a mistake with multiculturalism and they do not want to admit the scale of their mistake.
Six Englishmen were arrested in Britain for "stirring racial hatred" by burning a couple of Korans and posting a video of their acts on YouTube. Britain does not have freedom of speech
Police have arrested six men over the apparent burning of the Muslim holy book behind a pub in Gateshead on the anniversary of the 11 September attacks on the US. Police refused to say whether those arrested were connected to the far right English Defence League (EDL). A witness said the pub had been the subject of police attention because some customers were alleged to have links to the EDL.
I can't find that YouTube video. But it is possible to find Koran burnings on YouTube.
One wonders: Which race do the police think racial hatred has been stirred in? Whites? Or assorted members of races around the world who are Muslims?
William Dove wants to know since when did Islam become a race?
What I would like to know is which race were these men allegedly stirring up hatred against? After all the Koran is the holy book of the world's second largest faith, so were they stirring hatred against Arabs? Persians? Indonesians? Africans?
Islam is a faith and is no more a race than the Catholic Church is. If these men by their ogreish and uncivilised acts can be arrested on such grounds one might think that the likes of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry and Peter Tatchell might get their collars felt for their protests and comments against the Pope and the Catholic Church last week. After all one could argue that Catholics might view the Pope as being almost as holy as the Koran is to Muslims, so why the double standards?
If you want to defend England it makes you "far-right". Didn't defending England used to make you a hero? Whatever happened with that?
The men, all but one of them members of the far-right English Defence League, set fire to what appears to be the Muslim holy books on the anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities in the United States.
Here's the deal: Our elites want to import populations that then cause our elites to to want to restrict our rights. Our elites also want to do military interventions which then cause our elites to restrict our rights. See a pattern? Elites as our enemies.
While some people pose as wiser and morally superior to Sarah Palin because she opposes the Ground Zero mosque at the World Trade Center site OneSTDV points out that liberals favor cultural and social capitulation to a group that is hostile to what they stand for. Liberals are suicidal at a cultural level. What's with that? Libertarians are equally foolish of course.
So Palin criticizes the proposed Ground Zero mosque, perhaps the most unabashed insult one could lance at the American people. Per a response at HuffPo, opposing cultural and social capitulation to a pernicious group that openly champions the West's destruction represents bigotry and paranoia. Liberals would gladly welcome their own demise if done so under the guise of tolerance for non-Western cohorts. And while I surely support freedom of speech and religion, survival should always be the paramount value. This entails ardently opposing any overt aggression towards our country and our culture, even if it means subverting a cherished ideal. Though if we listen to some right-wing pundits, we can allay Islamic enmity by winning their "hearts, minds, and friendship". Fittingly, so as to not rouse their ire and pique their delicate sensibilities, perhaps we SHOULD let them build the mosque or even adopt their commendable moral standards. (\sarcasm)
Our ruling class will support a mosque at Ground Zero because our ruling class does not want to admit that America has cultural and ethical differences with some other parts of the world that are huge and that should be protected. What to make of this? Roissy points to an essay by Angelo M. Codevilla about how the ruling class and masses have drifted so far apart.
Never has there been so little diversity within America's upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America's upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and "bureaucrat" was a dirty word for all. So was "social engineering." Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday's upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.
Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters -- speaking the "in" language -- serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America's ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.
The two classes have less in common culturally, dislike each other more, and embody ways of life more different from one another than did the 19th century's Northerners and Southerners -- nearly all of whom, as Lincoln reminded them, "prayed to the same God." By contrast, while most Americans pray to the God "who created and doth sustain us," our ruling class prays to itself as "saviors of the planet" and improvers of humanity. Our classes' clash is over "whose country" America is, over what way of life will prevail, over who is to defer to whom about what. The gravity of such divisions points us, as it did Lincoln, to Mark's Gospel: "if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand."
Our enemies rule us. That's a problem.
If all the liberal newspapers go bankrupt how can they cheerlead for Obama? Really, how can the Left show its support for Obama when so many of their institutions for supporting the Democratic Party's goals are getting undermined by Craig's List and web news site? Fortunately President Obama has the wisdom to support measures to prop up the liberal media.
The president said he is "happy to look at" bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.
"I haven't seen detailed proposals yet, but I'll be happy to look at them," Obama told the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade in an interview.
The internet has weakened the hold of the old gatekeepers. So has talk radio. The old gatekeepers are none too happy about this development. While the raw news gathering function of newspapers is still very important and reduction of reporter staffs reduces needed raw information collection the weakening of their ability to influence which issues and positions are legitimate is a beneficial development.
Ordinarily, such numbers would be seen as catastrophic, but these times are not ordinary. The drop in combined print and digital ad revenue last year, 16.6 percent, according to the Newspaper Association of America, was the worst since the Depression. But it looks rosy next to 2009, when revenue fell 28.3 percent in the first quarter and 29 percent in the second.
I like the New York Times in spite of my disagreeing with their editorial position. I hope that newspaper survives. But the better parts of the blogosphere bring some needed balance and bring up stories and information the mainstream liberal media would just as soon ignore.
You might think our elites have discredited and weakened themselves as a result of the on-going financial debacle. Our biggest banks have either collapsed or have been bailed out with central bank and government money. We are descending into probably the biggest downturn since the 1930s Great Depression. Government-Sponsored Entities (GSEs) such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae played large roles in causing the disaster (egged on by Congressional critters who even now point the blame elsewhere with a total lack of shame). So time for a reduction in power in the hands of central governments and international institutions? Fat chance. Ross Douthat expects more centralization and more global regulation and control in the hands of our elites. Less democracy.
If the Western leadership class survives the current crisis, after all, the lesson they're going to draw from it is relatively simple: We must never let this happen again. And while that impulse could be a spur to greater decentralization and democratization, it's more likely to be produce greater supranational regulation, more expansive bureaucracy, and a more hand-in-glove relationship between big government and big business than existed before the crisis. In theory, one way to respond to a "populist whirlwind" would be to make governments more accountable to the voting public. But in practice, I suspect, the more likely response will be to build stronger dikes and firewalls against the dangerous and unpredictable masses, producing post-crisis institutions that are even more insulated from democratic accountability than they were before.
Of course we need to keep holding elections. Those elections bestow legitimacy on our rulers.
I think Holman W. Jenkins of the Wall Street Journal does a nice job of showing us what large segments of our elites think about our (us, the masses) role in this mess. If only the experts had not involved elected office holders in the development of solutions all would be well according to Jenkins.
Never was it a good idea to have a financial crisis in the middle of a presidential election. Involving Congress was a mistake. Letting the technical matter of keeping the banks afloat become a political football was a terrible idea. Letting our willingness to deploy giant sums of taxpayer money become the measure of credibility was a disaster. Letting all this be sold on Capitol Hill amid shrieks about the country collapsing into a Second Great Depression was a confidence killer across the economy, which until that point had held up well.
It's possible in hindsight to imagine a better course. Had matters simply been left in the hands of the Federal Reserve and fellow bank regulators, the "crisis" might have become fodder for little more than future late-night reminiscences by retired bureaucrats, pleasuring themselves with how closely the world came to burning down without the public ever knowing it.
Really, the Mandarins know best. I think we are going to become more like China. The upside: you won't need to feel responsible about larger events. You won't have any control over them.
Barack Obama opposes national borders and declares himself a citizen of the world. By contrast, I think I'm a lot better off by being a citizen of a Western industrialized democracy with strong rule of law and (if only) strongly defended borders.
In an echo of former President Ronald Reagan's speech when he demanded the Berlin Wall be pulled down, Obama said: "The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down."
Obama introduced himself to the Berlin crowd as a proud U.S. citizen and a "fellow citizen of the world."
The Western developed nations need walls to keep out the exploding populations of the Third World. There are many times more of them than there are of us. If we let them all in our quality of life would plummet and we'd lose basic freedoms. Obama's flowery rhetoric amounts to pretty lies. His idealism appeals to people who want to dream impractical dreams. But if you want to hold on to what you've got then impracticality is your enemy.
I would like to see a reporter ask Obama he's saying that Israel's walls around the Gaza Strip and West Bank should be torn down and if Israel's wall on the border of Lebanon should be torn down. I would also ask him if he thinks that the South Korean government should tear down its DMZ barrier with North Korea. Or how about walls around prisons? Should they go too? We've got all manner of walls keeping various groups in and out. Tear them all down? They all start seeming analogous to the Berlin Wall if you just suppress your critical reasoning faculties.
In a post entitled "Obama Christ, Superstar" Rod Dreher argues Obama's liberal internationalism sounds a lot like Bush's.
As I've said elsewhere, I find Obama's stance to be a liberal internationalist version of the same crusading, feelgood, soaring, moralistic universalism that led us down the primrose path when it came out of the mouth of George W. Bush (compare Obama's speech to Bush's second inaugural address). It's perfectly understandable that people want a big change after eight years of Bush. I certainly do. But this Obama Messiah business is absurd. People think the guy is going to usher in a New Jerusalem; guess what, folks -- it's a Potemkin Village.
People like to think happy thoughts. Right now a lot of people are projecting their dreams onto Obama and he's using rhetoric that lets them interpret what he says in the most optimistic way possible. I'm reminded of vague popular song lyrics where different people imagine a song is about different topics.
JERUSALEM — An Israeli defense committee has approved the construction of 22 homes in a barely populated West Bank settlement, Defense Ministry officials said Thursday. The move appeared to catch some Israeli officials off guard, angered Palestinians and was likely to prompt criticism from the international community as it tried to push forward a long-faltering peace process.
Would the settlements be okay without barriers around them? That way the settlements would bring more Palestinians and Israeli Jews into contact with each other. Won't that produce mutual understanding and affection? Or might it produce mutual understanding and hatred?
Ronald Reagan never would have said this. Barack Obama sees small town America full of racist, bitter, gun-loving religious nuts. Yes, the paragraph below came out of Barack's mouth and you can expect the liberal media to defend him or ignore it.
But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
So if you oppose large scale immigration from the Third World you are clinging as a way to explain your frustrations and you have a small town mentality. You have to stop clinging and let the world run you over - oh, and vote for Obama to show you aren't small town.
Obama can get away with saying this stuff because people people do not find Hillary Clinton as friendly and the media wants a liberal in the White House. Plus, lots of people want to prove they aren't racist by voting for a black guy.
With a choice between John "invade the world, invite the world" McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack (uncritically accepted phony) Obama I gotta say I feel like a spectator with no dog in this fight. But I'm disappointed by the lack of real critical analysis of what these candidates say.
While Obama's positive personal image plays an important role in his high favorable ratings, the polling found that his ratings are more influenced by how he makes voters feel than by specific characteristics they attributed to him. In particular, views that Obama inspires hope and pride are the strongest determinants of a person's opinion of him. In other words, he is a charismatic candidate who has made large numbers of Democratic voters feel good, and this is even more important to them than specific perceptions of him.
In contrast, Clinton's image is more driven by opinions about her own qualities, rather than the emotions she engenders in others. Although, making voters feel hopeful does register as a significant factor for her, especially among women, it is much less important than for Obama. Honesty is as much a factor for her as for him, though many fewer see her as honest compared to her opponent.
The press could decide to ignore Obama's comments about small town people so that those people can feel good about themselves due to other things he says.
Hillary says Pennsylvanians need a President that does not look down on them. Well, okay, but isn't it too late for someone else to join the US Presidential race?
“I saw in the media it’s being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who faced hard times are bitter. Well, that’s not my experience.
“As I travel around Pennsylvania, I meet people who are resilient, who are optimistic, who are positive, who are rolling up their sleeves. They are working hard everyday for a better future, for themselves and their children.
“Pennsylvanians don’t need a president who looks down on them, they need a president who stands up for them, who fights for them, who works hard for your futures, your jobs, your families.”
I sure miss Ronald Reagan. And Ike too.