Sunday, 16 September 2012

Free Speech & A Mistaken President

Shamefully & disgracefully President Obama's own unexamined  politics & poorly grounded belief system has led him & his administration to betray  freedom of speech not just for Americans but for all of us. Tonight, because of the craven, progressive-politics reaction by the President of America, we are all a little less free & the world is a poorer, narrower and more dangerous place.

No one has the right not to be offended. The very nature of freedom of speech demands that it is the very act of offence that we protect because without that the freedom is meaningless. If, by claiming offence, I may silence speech then all useful or competing speech is silenced & discussion halted. If by rioting I force the President of the most powerful nation on earth to grovel & attempt to extinguish a silly film (of dubious connection to the incident) then we reduce the world to competing mobs of rioters & murderers & end every debate with the threat of death to a diplomat.

Such a world as Obama is building will have neither diplomats nor debates.
Voltaire laid down a principal by which America lived, one that  inspired  Jefferson when writing the First Amendment: I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

If today an idiot cannot say Mohammed was a a thieving child molester, tomorrow a wise man will be silenced for arguing against carbon taxes or zoning: that is the inexorable law of diminution. "It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Slavery has so frightful an aspect to men accustomed to freedom that it must steal in upon them by degrees and must disguise itself in a thousand shapes in order to be received" and tonight Hume's words seem a little more threatening. The freedom to offend, to dissent radically from the acceptable, the safe is far more important because vast swathes of the worlds population either do not enjoy it or are living in societies where it is culturally so alien it will never be supported.

Obama is heir to the title of Leader of the Free World, an encomium earned in a long & successful a struggle against a vile tyranny. Would Eisenhower, Kennedy or Reagan have apologised for the exercise of free speech within the borders of the United States? Would any President bow to the wishes of the murderers of one of the countries ambassadors and try to silence what they said they wanted silenced?

Barack Obama does not believe in free speech as a concept. Just as he believes in the stupid ideas of a managed economy so too he believes in a managed form of freedom: a freedom limited by others ability to be offended. This is a poor, castrated, useless shadow of that vital freedom. It is a that monstrous perverted version of freedom that Marcuse would impose, repressive tolerance.

Sadly, incredibly, a man more influenced by Marcuse than Jefferson sits behind the desk in the Oval Office.  He has abandoned the constitution he swore to uphold. The shades of Voltaire, Kennedy & Reagan can look on and weep for for America, for freedom, for the future.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Evil That men Do....

This day 12 years ago evil men did a very evil deed.

The evil men intended much more than a terrorist outrage. On the anniversary of the date in 1683 that the Sultan's army was forced to retreat from the gates of Vienna, they intended to start a war between the West & Islam. Killing ordinary men and women of all faiths and none was merely a method, not an end. They were Islamic Millenarians with a belief they could shape history in their evil image.

On that day ordinary men and women were victims of their sick, twisted plot but they were also much more. America & New York can be rightly proud of the heroism & courage of those ordinary people on that brutal day. Every year I remember Jimmy Grey, a decent man with two small children who died with his colleagues of Ladder 20 when Tower One collapsed. Jimmy's father was from Kilkenny & and his Grandfather asked us to pray for Jimmy, and very soon, Jimmy's body to be found. He never was. Jimmy's eight year old daughter spoke one of the most heartbreaking lines of 9/11 at his memorial: "Daddy, if I knew you were not coming home I would have let you tickle me a little bit harder".

Today we remember 9/11. We remember the horror, the heroism & the lost & our hearts are heavy. We must also remember what it was that those evil men desired & we must make sure that their evil deed bears no fruit.

A religion which regards it's central text as the unmediated word of God and has no central authority will present problems. It is easy to construct arguments that Islam is disposed to such horrors, easier again to produce empirical evidence for the involvement of its adherents in terror.

Jimmy Grey and the other victims died because evil men wanted a world wide war. The very best commemoration of all those victims, the most scalding is defeat for their murderers, is to deny them that war. That does not mean ignoring terror or dishonestly pretending that we do not have philosophical problems with Islam. Instead, unlike the adherents of  Bin Laden, we must not generalise or fail to see the human. We must not become that which we hate nor wear Ladder 20's heroes as emblems in a religious war. The ultimate defeat of Osama bin Laden is that we seek a way to live with our differences. 

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Collins & Lenin, Decency & the Devil

Last week, making the biggest set piece speech of the year in Ireland, at the Michael Collins Commemoration, in  Beal Na Blá, Cork, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny claimed that Michael Collins was "the outstanding organiser who brought Lenin himself to Ireland to see how the National Loan worked".

The claim was a lie. How does a Prime Minister's huge set piece speech get to contain a lie that a small child could have fact-checked? Even if it was true why would a Fine Gael Taoiseach even think of shaming Collins with such personal connection to Lenin? No one who admired Collins & had the remotest idea of the history of the 2oth century would have thought this was a compliment.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was one off the most destructive & evil men who ever lived. Few could claim to have done so much harm, been responsible for so much murder, so much destruction or set in train so much disaster. 

Lenin was not Czar of Russia, no Czar ever yielded such undisputed utter power over Russia, Russians & their lives. Czar's rule was tempered by some version of law, Lenin recognised no rule, law or curb. His brief tenure as Supreme Godhead was marked by cruelty & ferocity unimaginable and set in train eighty years of such horror, not just for the unfortunate Russians but for people all over the world. 

Collins was ruthless in pursuit of Irish freedom but his actions were always tempered both by mercy & his belief in the lawful, democratic state which was his aim. 

The great fat untruth in Enda Kenny's speech is deeply embarrassing. Far more embarrassing is that the Taoiseach & those close to him are so unaware, so oblivious to the horror that was Vladimir Lenin. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Baby Killing & Real Stupidity

Opposition to abortion is a moral position & moral positions, to be defensible in public discourse must be consistent & fully thought out. It’s not that consistent fully thought out positions will make converts or persuade opponents but they will save you from the exposure as a clown with nothing to offer but damage to the causes you espouse that has been the fate of US Senate candidate Todd Akin. Mr Akin managed, in a single interview, to reveal his own ridiculously poorly thought out views on abortion & to hand the US Democrats a drum to beat, something they badly need as Obama’s poll figures continue to head south. "Thank you Todd Akin" crowed one site "The candidate exposed his party's misogyny, and the swift backlash is reason for defenders of women to celebrate". In the upturned looking-glass universe of the Democratic Party, abortion is a defence of women & opposing mass sacramental killing is misogynistic ignorance. Thank you indeed Todd Akin.

Struggling to justify NOT murdering a baby conceived in rape, Akin went down a rabbit-hole of distinguishing “legitimate rape” & an imagined biology where a woman’s body would reject  pregnancy in such a circumstance. Akins remarks were utterly horrible: he was articulating an utterly untrue & very vicious piece of nonsense. Does he believe that no crime has been committed (legitimate rape?) if a child is conceived? Has this idiot any idea how repulsive that notion is? How satanically cruel to women who have been raped & become pregnant?

Akins has apologised, as well he might, but the apology may have more to do with his substantial lead being put in jeopardy than with any real contrition or understanding. Real contrition, real comprehension of how evil his stupid remarks were & the damage he has done to the pro-life cause would have meant immediately resigning from the ticket. 

Akin was asked a simple question. Any logical opponent of abortion must have answered that question for themselves. Akin, in so much as he had thought about it at all, had certainly never devoted the kind of serious though & discussion one would expect automatic from a man intending to be an elected representative. Missouri Republicans must have better to offer voters than a man too stupid or intellectually lazy to have worked out a viable, articulate position on a major issue? Any local pro-life group would have gladly, freely briefed him so there is also a question of just how unprofessional a campaign was Akin running?

Rape can & does result in pregnancy, among its consequences for the victims. That means an innocent third party, an infant, is now exists. Logical opposition to abortion demands we vindicate that child’s right to life. This is a difficult & for many, horrible & repugnant idea. The alternative is that opposition to abortion is a mere position, not based on any firm philosophical grounds, but on the Yeuch factor: we don’t like it much so we only allow a little baby killing. That kind of shallow reasoning produces the nonsense that Akin spouted or assent to abortion. Recognition that some moral positions are tough & that there are no pain free choices is central to a discourse on abortion. Inability to deal with tough choices & a desire to pretend they don’t exist are the prerogatives of fools.

Until we regard unborn babies as human & not as some nasty STD, we will continue create a culture where unborn children are viewed as legitimate targets for the most horrific deaths imposed on any living creature. While that culture continues the left will continue broadcasting the evil nonsense that abortion is good for women.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Katie Taylor, Not up to Speed on the God Delusion

Katie Taylor is magic in front of the cameras, all steel willed brute & feminine icon, but no one has brought her up to speed on the God Delusion. Shamefully our Olympic Gold Medallist insists on displaying her wilful ignorance publicly.

The national broadcaster has a duty to counter Katie's God referencing with a disclaimer, or in the absence of such, at least bleep the God references out for a daytime audience. Children were listening. Katie Taylor may not have a sense of the responsibility she now carries but we could expect better from RTE than to have them put an attractive, hugely successful young woman talking of God into every living room in the country. The lead taken by The Irish Times in reporting Katie’s victories & interviews but with the shameful God references deleted shows just how a responsible media organisation can affect the public narrative.

Religion is a private matter. If it is to be indulged at all it should be behind closed doors where it will not offend or embarrass more progressive citizens. No one wants to stop those who suffer from religion worshipping on Sundays but that surely as far as our freedom & tolerance could possibly extend. Speaking publicly of God or faith is worse than embarrassing: it is a rejection of Science. The Science that gives us internet & cheap flights now explains everything making God pointless as buggy whips & flint knapping.  Only the stupid, the uneducated or those that deliberately want poverty for their own dark ends reject Science.

It maybe that the Taylor/God matter is already in hand: our Government contains a high level of men who advocated re-education & cultural realignment as a panacea for those that rejected scientific socialism when that faith was in vogue all over the world. Mr Rabbitte I've always believed especially persuasive, perhaps a quiet word from him or one of his colleagues might bring Katie to her senses. Such a fireside chat would be for her own sake as much as for the children of the nation. Sooner or later a bright intelligent young woman like Katie will realise she is wrong about the existence of God. Nobody wants Katie to view the footage of her win with in future the cringing embarrassment that must come from being wrong in public. 

She should count herself lucky given the evil for which Religion has been responsible that freedom of worship is permitted in Ireland but Katie Taylor needs to get with the programme, God is dead.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Infantults & Emotional Incontinence as Fashion

When did public crying for relatively minor inconveniences or disappointments become not just permissible but de-rigueur for adults?

Weeping was  once an expression of deepest emotion, not the sulks of some athlete beaten in a race or an event. This Olympic Games have provided us a the sorry sight of men & women crossing the finish line (or any other indicator of event completion) to hurl themselves on the ground with the abandon of an ill behaved two year old & weep  with all the emotion of someone who has learned their entire immediate family has been put cruelly to death by the government.  

This clichéd emotional incontinence is not just tolerated, it is encouraged as a necessary expression of "passion". 
"Marlene/Marlon is distraught" the commentator will cluck approvingly.
"Yes" will come the answer from the studio"She/he expected to do much better & you just know how passionate he/she is about this event"

Adults function in society by dealing with their feelings. Emotional storms are controlled, our inner turmoil recognised personally but not released in a spoiled child outburst. One of the great lies of the twentieth century, part of the mendocracy of Freudianism, that emotions must run free for health. The opposite is the truth: without emotional restraint, the mark of functioning adults, both society & people are ill. "Feelings" have become the touchstone for all, feeling is elevated above reason and dignity. Civilisation was built by rational restraint, feelings are a private matter, to be indulged in privacy not displayed & indulged publicly. If we do not control our feelings we cannot live in proximity to each other in a civilised manner.

The fact that it is the worlds neediest, least civilised nations such as Britain that put the most emphasis on winning Olympic medals neither excuses nor explains this childish display of sulks nor diminishes the bad example it provides. The infantilised adults, infantults, produced under this tolerance are self serving creeps without the grace of civilisation.

Anger, lust, disappointment, love are part of our interior lives, not the currency of public discourse.  Passion is not some guarantee of quality, merely a statement of the least useful mental process. At the start of the twentieth century Yeats knew this: "..while the worst. Are full of passionate intensity" That century's abandonment of rationality in favour of multiple murdering faiths & emotion conducting tyrants should have confirmed that knowledge. 

Outpourings of emotion at victory or defeat were once regarded as vulgar. They need to be seen both as bad sportsmanship & eroding the restraint necessary for civilised life. Losing is no disgrace, crying in public like a spoiled brat is.

Monday, 30 July 2012

In Praise of Losers

In sport either you win or you lose. The Olympic Games reminds us of that with the constant reiteration of the Gold medallist above the also rans of bronze & silver, the rest of the losers tidily out of the way.

Competition encourages & rewards excellence. Citius, altius, fortius takes effort & application. Achievement has a price: for top level athletes a life dedicated to excellence. That is a price worth paying for Usain Bolt, it may be a horrendous waste for many who will never be top tier.

Life is not sport. While there are no simple metrics to allow us see except in extremes, what might amount to gold medal success, there are multiple winners. Competition does not mean elimination but sharpening, a delivery of improved goods & services to all of us.

As the Olympics progresses there will be an orgy of publicity surrounding the winners. Chest thumping patriotic fervour will break out. Countries that have spent vast amount of wealth on elite athletics & sports programmes need to trumpet victory lest the ordinary people whose wealth was stolen might question the theft. Losers will go home to silence, just glad to have competed.

We should be glad they competed too. Also rans won't be shamed with revelations of cheating. They compete to thee best of their ability & get on with their lives. Too many gold medals are tarnished with syringes. The good sports that never stand on that podium, never hear an anthem play for them, won't have to dilute urine samples with whisky or tranquillise a horse brutalised by banned training methods either. 

It may be with that vast army of good sports that real victory lies.

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