Tuesday, November 04, 2008

LGF: A Counterjihad of One

I am hoping that by reproducing the GoV post below, I too will be put on Crazy Charlie's index expurgatorius. I am feeling left out! I think I have on my blogroll all the blogs that Charlie says are Fascist. The fact that I have written extensive analyses and condemnations of both Nazism and Fascism shouldn't slow Charlie up. Charlie is pretty Fascist himself in a way. You can't post comments on his blog unless you are a privileged "registered" person. And registrations are CLOSED!

Charlie makes significant money out of his blog so I guess that he is trying to tack towards the centre to maximize his readership. He obviously thinks that the lowest common denominator is the right address for him! Below is a picture of the fine conservative writers Charlie has run over in his bus -- JR

Well, the 99th shoe finally dropped from the LGF centipede. In an open thread on LGF, Charles Johnson has officially excommunicated Robert Spencer. He removed Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch from his blogroll, and consigned Robert to the Outer Darkness where there will weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Oh, and racists. Lots of racists in that nasty Outer Darkness. Read through the comment thread for the full flavor of the lizardoids' reactions. Here's what Charles had to say:
Paul Belien of Brussels Journal is deeply connected with the Vlaams Belang, and Robert knows this. The fact that he's put them back in his blogroll speaks volumes about the choice he's made. And Gates of Vienna has turned into a reeking sewer of racism. I'm done with Robert Spencer. And very, very disappointed in him.
That's not just Dymphna and me he's talking about, ladies and gentlemen - that's you, the esteemed readers of this blog! How can you bear to be associated with a reeking sewer of racism? Another one:
Not that it matters, but when I was still bothering to check Brussels Journal, I saw some extremely hateful antisemitism at the site. I guess Robert has chosen his side. I'm sad that it's come to this.
And this:
You've chosen a different path than I have, Robert. I refuse to be associated with sites like GoV and Brussels Journal, but if you don't see why, and pretend not to notice the reasons for it - you're making a choice. And that choice obviates my support.
Robert has posted a public response, which is very unusual for him. After quoting some of Charles' comments, Robert said this:
[Charles Johnson] also wrote me, asking me to take down the "Designed by Little Green Footballs" logo that had been up on this site.

What heinous crime have I committed? Last month I restored the links here to Gates of Vienna and Brussels Journal, after speaking with Baron Bodissey, Paul Belien, and Geert Wilders in Washington, and wrote that I doubted that Fjordman was a neofascist or race supremacist.

Of course, for many, many months my list of links has carried this disclaimer: "Note: Listing here does not imply endorsement of every view expressed at every linked site." One might have thought that my linking to both LGF and Gates of Vienna was indicative of an openness to perspectives even from people who disagreed with one another and also with whom I might disagree, and not a blanket endorsement of either one or any other site. That, however, was too subtle for some LGF commenters, who dressed me up in jackboots right away, accusing me of an "apparent embrace of the neo-Nazi movement" and claiming that I support genocide.
Disclaimers are not enough. Absolute purity of association is required! And the Grand Lizard is the one who decides what is pure and what isn't - the judge, jury, and executioner all rolled into one.

This time last year Charles was holding forth about who could rightfully be allowed in the Counterjihad. First Pamela was thrown off the sled, then Gates of Vienna and Brussels Journal, with Fjordman following in short order. Later on Diana West and Richard Miniter were ejected, and more recently Andy Bostom. Now we have reached the logical conclusion to all these purges, and Robert Spencer has to go.

All the old Bolsheviks have been airbrushed out of the group photo. There's no one left but Comrade Stalin the Grand Lizard. As the arbiter of membership in the Counterjihad, Charles Johnson has finally made it official: he's a Counterjihad of One.


A real dictator coming?

By Jeff Jacoby

It has been, these past eight years, a favorite trope of the Bush-bashers: The 43d president's power-lust is so insatiable, his disdain for constitutional checks and balances so complete, that he has fashioned himself into a dictator. Crackpots can always be counted on to say such things, of course, but even non-loonies have played fast and loose with the D-word.

"In terms of the power he now claims without significant challenge," Michael Kinsley asserted in 2003, "George W. Bush is now the closest thing in a long time to dictator of the world." When it emerged that the National Security Agency was sifting telephone records for possible counterterrorism leads, CNN's Jack Cafferty fumed that the administration intended to establish "a full-blown dictatorship in this country." A 2007 essay for CommonDreams declared: "Bush has granted himself an immense arsenal of powers for which the term `dictatorial' is a modest understatement." And in a recent piece for the Times of London, Andrew Sullivan informs us that "in war and economic crisis, Bush has insisted that there is no alternative to dictatorial rule."

Well, overwrought cries of "Dictator!" are an old story in American politics. Presidents great and not-so-great have been slammed as "tyrant" and "dictator," not to mention "autocrat," "Caesar," and "slavemaster." Somehow the Republic survived their administrations. Chances are, it will survive the Bush years too.

Bush as a ruthless autocrat? It would be easier to take the idea seriously if it weren't for the omnipresent clamor of voices denouncing the man. Tyrants have a way of squelching public dissent and intimidating their critics. Whatever else may be said about the Bush administration, it has never cowed its opponents into silence. If anything, the past eight years have set new records in vilifying a sitting president: "Bush = Hitler" signs at protest rallies. Crude "Buck Fush" bumper stickers. A 2006 movie depicting Bush's assassination. The New Republic's cover story on "The Case for Bush Hatred." The denunciation has been unending and often unhinged, yet Bush has never tried to censor it. Will we be able to say the same of his successor?

If opinion polls are right, Barack Obama is cruising to victory. As president, would he show the same forbearance as Bush in allowing his opponents to have their say, unmolested? Or would he attempt to suppress the free speech of those whose views he detested? It is disturbing to contemplate some of the Obama campaign's recent efforts to stifle criticism.

When the National Rifle Association produced a radio ad last month about Obama's shifting position on gun control, the campaign's lawyers sent letters to radio stations in Ohio and Pennsylvania, urging them not to run it -- and warning of trouble with the Federal Communications Commission if they did. "This advertisement knowingly misleads your viewing audience about Senator Obama's position on the Second Amendment," Obama's general counsel Bob Bauer wrote. "For the sake of both FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your station should refuse to continue to air this advertisement."

Similar lawyer letters went out in August when the American Issues Project produced a TV spot exploring Obama's strong ties to former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. Station managers were warned that running the anti-Obama ad would be a violation of their legal obligation to serve the "public interest." And in case that wasn't menacing enough, the Obama campaign also urged the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation.

In Missouri, an Obama "truth squad" of prosecutors and other law-enforcement officials vowed to take action against anyone making "character attacks" on the Democratic candidate -- a threat, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt later remarked, that had about it the "stench of police state tactics."

What should we make of these efforts to smother political speech? Perhaps they are simply the overly aggressive tactics of a campaign in an adrenaline-fueled sprint to the finish. Perhaps Obama's staff is taking his admonition about confronting skeptics -- "I want you to argue with them and get in their face" -- a little too vehemently. But what if they're more than that? What if these are the first warning signs of how an Obama administration would deal with its adversaries?

Michael Barone, the esteemed and judicious author of The Almanac of American Politics, fears the worst. "In this campaign," he writes, "we have seen the coming of the Obama thugocracy. . . . We may see its flourishing in the four or eight years ahead."

Pray that Barone is wrong. Our nation's political life is toxic enough when the president is falsely labeled a dictator. It would be infinitely more poisonous if the label were true.


Ministers revolt on British rights bill

The prime minister's high-profile plan to introduce a "bill of rights and responsibilities" is in disarray following a cabinet revolt. Ministers have warned Gordon Brown that his proposed charter laying out the rights and duties of citizens is unworkable and could pave the way for a deluge of court cases.

Earlier this year Brown hailed the proposed bill as "of fundamental importance to our liberties and to our constitutional settlement" and said it "opens a new chapter in the British story of liberty". However, the plan, unveiled to the cabinet last week by the prime minister and Jack Straw, the justice secretary, has been labelled "pointless" and "provocative" by ministers, who fear they will be given a hostile reception by a public weary of the "human rights culture".

The bill is at the heart of Brown's attempt to position Labour as the party of strong national identity. He has encouraged home-owners to fly the Union Jack in their gardens and established Veterans Day to pay tribute to the armed forces. He had hoped that by matching new rights with "responsibilities", the government could avoid accusations of giving people more rights with no duties in return. Some ministers fear that any political gain from laying down new responsibilities for citizens would be outweighed by a public backlash over the new rights proposed.

The draft plan presented by Straw suggests a controversial "right to equality" and an array of socio-economic rights, such as a right to sufficient pay on which to live. Straw, who is committed to producing a green paper on the bill before Christmas, told his cabinet colleagues that it was about "establishing fair rules" and "giving people a fair say". He said the charter would bring under one umbrella European human rights and social and economic entitlements linked to the welfare state.

The government's legal advisers have warned of "massive difficulties", questioning how social and economic rights could ever be "justiciable" - enforced by the courts - and whether a new right to equality was necessary given that the government is also producing an equalities bill. Labour has already passed a Human Rights Act.

One senior Whitehall figure involved with the proposed charter said: "How will all this work? Are people going to use it to demand equality of pay with Jonathan Ross?"

At the cabinet meeting last week several ministers questioned the "point" of the scheme and whether there were "any votes in it". A cabinet source said: "The whole thing was panned. Nobody spoke up for it. It was total humiliation for Jack." Several ministers questioned whether it was appropriate to focus on such an abstract issue at a time when many voters are struggling to pay bills and fear they may lose their jobs. Brown closed the meeting by admitting the public hostility to the Human Rights Act and insisting that a solution be found.

Michael Wills, Straw's deputy, will this week try to revive the scheme by holding one-to-one meetings with key cabinet critics. This month he begins a "roadshow" of Britain, holding focus groups to draft a "statement of British values" to be linked to the bill of rights.

A spokesman for Straw admitted that colleagues had "concerns", but emphasised that the justice secretary still "hoped to get cabinet agreement". He insisted the rights would help to bring people together at a time of economic uncertainty.

The Conservatives have labelled the scheme a "dog's breakfast". Nick Herbert, the shadow justice secretary, said: "No one has a clue how vague and unenforceable socio-economic rights will work, not to mention a meaningless statement of values, and on top of this we'll get the EU's charter of fundamental rights."


Britishness is under threat from Prime Minister Brown, warns Lord Carey

The former Archbishop of Canterbury has accused Gordon Brown of undermining the identity of Britain. Lord Carey of Clifton criticised the Prime Minister for railroading through changes to the country's ancient constitution, damaging institutions such as the Monarchy and the Church of England. In an outspoken lecture, Lord Carey suggested many of Labour's constitutional reforms had lacked `joined up thinking' and had been forced through by Prime Ministerial `fiat'.

He denounced Labour's efforts to reform the House of Lords by ousting hereditary peers as `piecemeal'. And he suggested the Queen and Church leaders had been largely sidelined when Mr Brown scrapped the historic right of Prime Ministers to choose bishops.

Lord Carey also said the Government had damaged the ancient institutions `upon which Britishness is founded'. He said efforts to reform the Privy Council and the office of the Lord Chancellor in the Lords, one of the most ancient offices in the land, had left them emasculated. He said: `Some, if not most, of these acts have been undertaken by Prime Ministerial "fiat" rather than wide ranging debate. This harms the constitutional balance which has taken centuries to develop. It undermines the respect for the institutions on which Britishness is founded.'

Lord Carey cited the example of the way Mr Brown had axed the Prime Minister's role in selecting bishops. In the past, the Church forwarded two names for senior posts, including that of Archbishop of Canterbury, to the Premier, who could choose either or ask for more names. But Mr Brown announced Prime Ministers would no longer have a choice and just one candidate is now forwarded by the Church. Lord Carey said he had been `astonished' by the casual way Mr Brown had waived his historic rights. The comments reflect growing fears in the Church that it is losing the special position it has held in English life since the Reformation.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas sparked controversy a week ago when he said plans to shake up the Lords could result in the Church being stripped of its privileges within decades.



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, OBAMA WATCH (2), 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 readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


No comments: