Saturday, November 17, 2007

EU wants to ban "Creationism"

Extreme ideologues at work! It must be very sad for them that Communism is no more. Threy are doing their best to reinvent as much of it as they can, though. Will we be hearing about the wisdom of Trofim Lysenko next? One thing we sure will not be hearing about is free speech

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE) has adopted a resolution to ban creationism from receiving any discussion in schools outside of religion classes. "The Parliamentary Assembly is worried about the possible ill-effects of the spread of creationist ideas within our education systems and about the consequences for our democracies," said the resolution adopted on October 4 by the Parliament made up of 626 members elected from each European Member State. "If we are not careful, creationism could become a threat to human rights which are a key concern of the Council of Europe," said the resolution.

The CoE, an advisory body without power to mandate its resolutions, calls on all nations of Europe "to firmly oppose the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution and in general resist presentation of creationist ideas in any discipline other than religion." The statement has raised eyebrows of many in the scientific community who reject strict 'dogmatic' adherence to Darwinian evolution, and find scientific basis for belief in creation or in 'intelligent design' of the universe.

Over 700 scientists have signed onto a document proclaiming their skepticism about Darwinian evolution. The statement reads: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." Moreover, a movie to be released in February of 2008 exposes how atheists in academia have in some cases brutally silenced scientists who have presented research which counters the Darwinian credo.

David Berlinski, a mathematician and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute (a think tank which is open to scientific inquiry into Intelligent Design) has made many scientific critiques of Darwinian evolution. Commenting on the CoE resolution said, "if this is what a threat to human rights amounts to, count me among its supporters; I'm threatening away with the best of them."

The CoE resolution paints those who question evolution theory and find scientific evidence for intelligent design of the universe as if they rejected science altogether. "The total rejection of science is definitely one of the most serious threats to human rights and civic rights," says the resolution. It ominously paints a "war on the theory of evolution" by religious extremists "closely allied to extreme right-wing political movements" who "are out to replace democracy by theocracy." "If we are not careful, the values that are the very essence of the Council of Europe will be under direct threat from creationist fundamentalists," said the resolution. "It is part of the role of the Council's parliamentarians to react before it is too late."

Prior to its adoption, the European Center for Law and Justice opposed the resolution arguing: "The result of passing the Resolution would be the prevention of academic and educative discussion between the theory of intelligent design and the theory of evolution. This approach can only hamper the educational progress of students by restricting their examination of competing scientific ideas and will necessarily violate the right to freedom of expression, including academic freedom, and the right to free exercise of religion in education."

A Discovery Institute analysis of the resolution countered, "Isn't science supposed to permit - and even embrace - skepticism and doubt? By equating Darwin-doubting with a thought-crime against humanity, the resolution exposes the CoE as being the very types of dogmatists they claim to eschew."


The Real Story of Thanksgiving

Excerpt from Rush Limbaugh

When I was going to grade school and it was time to teach us about Thanksgiving, the basic synopsis of what I was told was the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, a bunch of destitute white people. When they arrived; they had no clue what to do, didn't know how to grow corn, didn't know how to hunt, basically didn't know how to do anything. And if it weren't for the Injuns who befriended them and gave them coats and skins and taught them how to fish and shared their food and corn with them, the Pilgrims wouldn't have survived and the Pilgrims thanked them by killing them and taking over the country and bringing with them syphilis, environmental destruction, racism, sexism, bigotry and homophobia.

"Well, folks, let's allow our real undoctored American history lesson to unfold further. If our schools and the media have twisted the historical record when it comes to Columbus, they have obliterated the contributions of America's earliest permanent settlers, the Pilgrims. Why? Because they were a people inspired by profound religious beliefs to overcome incredible odds. Today, public schools are simply not teaching how important the religious dimension was in shaping our history and our nation's character. Whether teachers are just uncomfortable with this material or whether there's been a concerted effort to cover up the truth, the results are the same. Kids are no longer learning enough to understand and appreciate how and why America was created.

"The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century (that's the 1600s for those of you in Rio Linda, California). The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community. After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible.

"The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims - including Bradford's own wife - died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper!

"This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well. Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.

"He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. That's right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years - trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it - the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future."

Here now, in its entirety, the William Bradford journal, what he wrote about the social experiment after abandoning what essentially was socialism shortly after the Pilgrims had arrived in the United States or in the new world:
"'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing - as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote. 'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice.'
Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They un-harnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products.'"

Not just use themselves and not just send to a common store but they could market. They could grow as much, they could sell it for what they could get for it, and the incentive was clear to do as much as possible on both sides. "And what was the result? 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.' Bradford doesn't sound like much of a Clintonite, does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes. Read the story of Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis 41. Following Joseph's suggestion (Gen 41:34), Pharaoh reduced the tax on Egyptians to 20% during the 'seven years of plenty' and the 'Earth brought forth in heaps.' (Gen. 41:47)

In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.' Now, let me ask you: Have you read this history before? Is this lesson being taught to your children today? If not, why not? Can you think of a more important lesson one could derive from the Pilgrim experience?

"Guess what? There's even more that is being deliberately withheld from our modern textbooks. For example, one of those attracted to the new world by the success of Plymouth was Thomas Hooker. Thomas Hooker established his own community in Connecticut, the first full-fledged constitutional community, perhaps the most free society the world had ever known. Hooker's community was governed by the fundamental orders of Connecticut, which established strict limits on the powers of government. So revolutionary and successful was this idea that Massachusetts was inspired to adopt its body of liberties. The body of liberties included ninety-eight separate protections of individual rights, including no taxation without representation, due process of law, trial by a jury of peers, and prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment. Now, those no doubt sound familiar to you and they should because these are ideas and concepts that led directly to the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Bill of Rights."

"Nevertheless, the Pilgrims and the Puritans of early New England are often vilified today as witch burners and portrayed as simpletons. But to the contrary, it was their commitment to pluralism and free worship that led to these ideals being incorporated into American history, and our history books purposely conceal the fact that these notions were developed by communities of devout Christians who studied the Bible and found that it prescribes limited representative government and free enterprise as the best political and economic systems.

Now, there's only one word for this, folks. It's censorship. There was a time when every schoolchild did learn these basic lessons of the American culture. Now these truths are being and have been systematically expunged from history books in favor of liberal social studies clap trap," and the chapter goes on. "This brings us to our Founding Fathers, the geniuses who crafted the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

"These were men who shook up the entire world by proclaiming the idea that people had certain God-given freedoms and rights and that the government's only reason to exist was to protect those freedoms and rights from both internal and external forces -- and that simple, yet brilliant, insight has been all but lost today in liberalism's relentless march toward bigger, more powerful, more intrusive government," and that's why I wanted to add to the reading today the George Washington First Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789. Thanksgiving was about thanking God for bounty and freedom and opportunity and blessings. Thanksgiving is a time we celebrate the Pilgrims realizing the best way to enjoy prosperity in a new world that was foreign to them. Yes, there was cooperation with the Indians and, yes, the Indians did extend the handshake of freedom when we arrived by teaching the Pilgrims how to farm and so forth, but after that, all the bounty that was created by the first settlers were shared with the Indians.

There was no wiping them out. There was no infiltration. There was no introduction of various diseases and -isms like environmental wackoism or sexism or racism or any of this, as have been attached in recent multicultural curricula to the so-called white Europeans who invaded this pristine land and destroyed the goodness and the oneness that the Indians enjoyed with this land. That's what's being taught today. What is not being taught today is the devotion to God that these people had, but the failure of a socialist compact to adequately provide for the residents of the first colony and how William Bradford himself saw it was failing almost from the outset and devised a new compact which was basically capitalism and unfettered competition, and incentive, and then it was Katie bar the door. All of these things are part of the original Thanksgiving, and even when I go back and remember my days in school, I was not taught this. I was not taught the involvement and the references to God.

I was not taught that the Pilgrims had all this bounty after awhile and shared it with the Indians. It was quite the opposite. The purpose of teaching Thanksgiving when I was a kid was to tell all of us just how wonderful the Indians were and how well they treated us when we arrived because we were basically inept and incompetent. I enjoy passing this story along every Thanksgiving


Jihad and the American Left

A few weeks ago a meeting occurred between Iranian mullahs and assorted international left-wing figures in hopes of generating some sort of "revolutionary solidarity". The guests of honor were the children of Che Guevera, Aleida and Camilo. The attempt ended in unintentional comedy when one of the mullahs present began to praise Che for his hatred for the Soviet Union, his loathing of socialism and communism, and his "godliness". When Aleida Guevara protested, the Iranians threw both her and her brother out, and the affair fell apart.

This isn't the first time the Iranians have attempted a hookup with the international left. Ahmadenijad has been visited recently by both Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega. The results were not all that more impressive than those of the conference, Chavez being a clown and Danny Ortega's glory days long behind him, despite his recent presidential victory. But it does clearly show how seriously the Iranians take the Western left, and how much they would value a relationship.

No Americans were present at the conference, no doubt due to ingrained Iranian hostility. But the question naturally arises: how open would the American left be to an alliance with the Iranian mullahs, and beyond them, the movement in which they play such a large role, Islamofascism?

At first glance, it might appear unlikely, the Jihadis being noted for such non-progressive activities as oppression of women, persecution of minorities, and the execution of homosexuals. But that kind of thing has never stopped the left before - their sole criterion has always been whether or not the other party is useful. It can safely be assumed that the mullahs feel the same way.

Up until now, the left has satisfied itself in responding to the War on Terror by attacking government actions, employing the Vietnam myth, and inciting as much domestic paranoia as humanly possible. But they're getting more frantic. Time has passed, and they have failed to generate anything like a mass movement, while recent successes in guarantee they never will. There's plenty of precedent for left-wing support of Islamic radicals, scattered and sporadic, but undeniable all the same. Recall Michael Moore's characterization of Al-Queda in Iraq as "Minutemen." Consider the left's defense of John Walker Lindh. Consider the self-styled "human shields" who raced to protect Saddam Hussein. Or the effort that has been put into undermining U.S. programs to combat the terrorist threat, such as rendition, wiretapping, and profiling. How large a step does it take to get from where the left is now to where the Jihadis would like them to be? And would they dare take that step?

The Ugly History of Leftist Betrayal

They've certainly shown no hesitation in the past. Left-wing collaboration with movements hostile to the U.S. goes back to the early days of the Communist Party. In the 1930s, party members and sympathizers were often recruited by either the NKVD (ancestor to the KGB) or the GRU, Soviet military intelligence, who encouraged them to break overt ties with the party and establish themselves in positions of intelligence value. Alger Hiss joined the State Department, Harry Dexter White and Lauchlin Currie joined the Treasury Department, Owen Lattimore served in a number of positions where his Far Eastern expertise proved useful.

Hundreds of others joined them at all levels of the government, searching out valuable intelligence and influencing government policy vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. They were at length exposed by Walter Krivitsky (assassinated by Soviet agents in a Washington hotel in 1940), Igor Gouzenko, and Whittaker Chambers, among others. Those revelations were confirmed by the Venona decrypts, in which the U.S. Army obtained a Soviet code book and used it to decrypt thousands of coded messages going back to the 30s. Though American leftists succeeded in obscuring the issue for generations, release of the decrypts in the early 90s demonstrated that cooperation between American communists and the Soviets was both broad and deep.

Most disturbing was the period of the pact. In late August 1939, Hitler and Stalin signed a Nonaggression Pact, clearing the way for Hitler to move into Poland. Stalin, for his part, got eastern Poland and the Baltic states. International communism, for years oriented toward resistance to fascism, made an instantaneous 180-degree turn. For two years, while Hitler chewed up Europe, threatened Britain, and made preparations for the Holocaust, communists across the world, including the U.S., offered direct support to the Third Reich. Not until Hitler turned against his late partner on June 22, 1941 did the left resume its anti-Nazi stance. It would be interesting to hear an explanation for these events in terms of the left's much-vaunted decency, humanity, and moral superiority, but echo answereth not.

The "New Left"

The New Left, born at Port Huron, Michigan in 1962, was supposed to be something totally different from the old communists. An American left, addressing American concerns, in no way beholden to foreign influences. While that may have been the plan, the record shows otherwise. During the Vietnam War the New Left acted in direct support of North Vietnam, a nation engaged in open hostilities with the United States. Tom Hayden, Mary McGrory, Joan Baez, and, most notoriously, Jane Fonda, traveled to North Vietnam to offer assistance to the communists while lacerating their own country. But it went deeper than that. Evidence exists that the New Leftists coordinated their activities -- demonstrations, speeches, student strikes -- with the North Vietnamese communists through contacts in Hanoi, Moscow, and, during the peace talks, in Paris. They may have even stooped lower. POWs from the infamous Hanoi Hilton tell of hearing American voices discussing their answers during interrogations. Men may well have died under communist boots and truncheons because of the actions of these people. As it stands today, we are unlikely ever to know for sure.

During the early 80s (for some unfathomable reason, events of this type seem to recur at two-decade intervals) the last major Cold War crisis centered on Europe. The Soviets had emplaced a new generation of nuclear missiles, the SS-20. The U.S. needed to replace its own weapons, designs twenty years old or more. The Pershing II and a new class of terrain-hugging cruise missile the Soviets could not match were due to be deployed by the mid-80s.

As these plans were being completed, a large-scale public movement arose "spontaneously" in both Europe and the U.S. -- the Nuclear Freeze, demanding that the number of weapons on all sides and in all regions be frozen at the current level as a first step toward disarmament. This was, needless to say, no coincidence.

The entire campaign was a KGB operation, directed from the Washington embassy, the New York consulate, and their equivalents across Europe. This was understood by many at the time, and widely published, including a major story in no less than the pre-Pinch New York Times. It made no difference; literally hundred s of thousands marched and protested, chanting slogans carefully drawn up by KGB propagandists.

But the protestors ran smack into an immoveable object -- more than one, as a matter of fact. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher refused to back down. They persuaded the NATO allies to hold true to their commitments. The missiles went in. The Soviets were caught in their own trap, confronting a NATO even stronger than before they began their machinations. (Along with the Strategic Defense Initiative, a missile-defense proposal artfully designed to undercut not only the USSR, but the protestors themselves.) They never did work their way out. By the end of the decade, the Soviet Union was one with the Romanovs.

There' s no lack of other examples. The Venceremos Brigade was made up of Americans who annually traveled to Castro's Cuba to assist in the sugar cane harvest and other revolutionary chores. None ever ventured to the Isle of Pines, the largest concentration camp in the Western hemisphere, holding over 10,000 "enemies of the people". The "Sandalistas" went to communist Nicaragua "to assist the revolution". Some of them fulfilled this promise by carrying Kalashnikovs with Sandinista patrols. Whether they assisted their hosts with various massacres against villages sympathetic to the Contras or the English-speaking Miskito Indians is unknown.

The record is clear, and can be read only one way. At almost every opportunity, the American hard left has sided with the men of blood. It's as if that was the only criteria, as if everything else, aims, beliefs, methods, or principles, was utterly beside the point. Dig up a mass ideological killer, and the Yankee rojo will be there to sign on that dotted line.

Can Leftists Cozy Up with Jihadis?

It will happen again. They will find their way. Hatred of women, the tormenting of homosexuals, the violation of all known human rights and everyday degradation of the human spirit -- none of that matters. It has never mattered before.

(Leftist persecution of homosexuals -- offered such wide-ranging leftist support in this country -- deserves a chapter of its own. In the mid-1930s Andre Gide, Nobel-winning novelist and one of the first homosexuals to live completely "out", was invited to the USSR, assured by his hosts that homosexuality was perfectly acceptable in the worker's paradise. A few conversations with others of his inclination revealed the horrifying truth, which included brutality, arrests, and disappearances into the Gulag. Gide returned to France and wrote a scathing polemic Le Retour de l' URSS, condemning the entire Soviet experiment.

In China, the Red Guards amused themselves by hunting down homosexuals and beating them to death. Romania attempted to annihilate its homosexual population through death by forced labor. On the Isle of Pines, Castro constructed special facilities in which homosexuals were subject to biological experimentation. The noted Cuban cinematographer, Nestor Almendros, filmed a documentary, Improper Conduct, which dealt in detail with these abuses. Though widely shown in the 80s, it is today utterly forgotten. If any left-wing protest against these crimes was ever made, no record of it exists. So much for leftist sympathy for gays.)

The sole possible drawback to a left-jihadi alliance would be, as occurred at the Tehran conference, friction between ideology and religion. Jihadis are religious fanatics. By definition, their ideology is bound up in their distorted interpretation of Islam. But leftist ideology is infinitely malleable. It can adapt to just about anything, as it adapted, for a short time, to the dogma it has always insisted was its polar opposite, German Nazism. As Arkady Schevchenko wrote in his memoirs Breaking With Moscow, "The dialectic can be used to justify any evil."

What form would such support take? The mind shies away from the possibility that leftists may adapt an active role, that they may choose to aid the Jihadis in carrying out actual terrorist actions. But we need only consider Lindh, or the "American Al-Queda", Adam Gadahn, to realize that the possibility exists. The left has always preyed on the disaffected, the alienated, and the disturbed. It takes little effort to turn such people against their own neighbors, as the record of the Communist Party, the new Left, and the Sandalistas clearly reveals.

Eventually, the Jihadis will realize -- if they haven't already -- that this reservoir exists and is ready for exploitation. When this occurs, we will have to deal with it. We'll have to do a more effective job than previously. The red scare scraped up far more in the way of dilettantes and damaged personalities than it did acting communists. (Most of them had been bagged already.) During the New Left period, next to nothing was done and the Yippies ran riot. Serious social damage resulted in both cases. We need a method of isolating the threat without dragging in bystanders and plain fools. This is more sophisticated epoch than even forty years ago. We can do better.

One thing we can be sure of. If the left does line up with the Jihadis, as they did with Castro and the Viet Cong, it will be the end. Leftism survived the purges, the Hitler-Stalin pact, the Freeze, it even survived the final collapse of the Soviet Union. It won't survive this. Victory in the War on Terror may not only bring the end of Islamic medievalism, but the last of ideological leftism. That'll be something worth seeing.

Note: A curious historical precedent exists for a left/Jiahdi axis: the Anglo-Arabs, Britons of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who were so enamored of the Arabs and their way of life that they abandoned Britain to live among them. These include of course, Lawrence of Arabia, Gertrude Bell, who acted as trusted diplomat to the Arab sheiks, and John Glubb Pasha, father of the Jordanian Army, but also St. John Philby, the leading Arabist of his day and the father of Kim Philby, probably the most effective traitor ever employed by the KGB.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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