Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Progressive" logic

Fascists storm freedom activists’…cocktail party

Robert Spencer   

I am in Australia to speak at the SION/Q Society’s First International Symposium on Liberty and Islam. Pamela Geller, Ashraf Ramelah, Nonie Darwish and I made the trip from the States, and we will be speaking alongside a formidable roster of Australian freedom fighters.

Last night, our gracious hosts held a cocktail reception for the speakers and some friends at a local restaurant here in Melbourne. The happy and low-key crowd was taken aback when a gang of screaming, chanting, frothing-at-the-mouth fascist thugs suddenly appeared at the door, trying to get into the room. Our security detail held them back, but the fascists dropped leaflets declaring that they would be disrupting all of our events throughout the weekend.

This incident vividly illustrated the nature of our struggle: it is truly, as Pamela Geller has so indelibly put it, a struggle of the civilized man vs. the savage. One side was enjoying drinks and polite conversation, having gathered together in service of the cause of freedom and human rights. The other side, while it professes to be the true guardian of those things, came to the restaurant determined to harass, assault, and maybe even kill us. They are, as I have said before, the true children and heirs of the Nazi brownshirts who menaced and assaulted people at rallies and speeches of the Nazis’ opponents in the early 1930s. The struggle we are in is one that will determine whether our societies will remain civil and free, or fall prey to violence, thuggery, and authoritarianism.

Here is Pamela Geller’s account:

"The eagle landed in Oz today. Robert Spencer, Ashraf Ramelah, Nonie Darwish and other luminaries in the fight of freedom converged in Melbourne, Australia for SION/Q Society’s First International Symposium on Liberty and Islam. From the airport I headed to a press conference, where Robert and I were interviewed by SBS News (Australia’s PBS). I will upload that video as soon as possible. The interviewer was a typically hostile Leftist reporter (no surprise there).

Then this evening, the Q Society held a welcoming reception for us at a local restaurant. This event was neither open to the public nor publicly announced. It was a lovely affair with longtime supporters and activists greeting us, welcoming us, and taking pictures with us. We weren’t there ten minutes when suddenly a crazed mob of left-fascists attempted to storm the room, attacking and throwing their bodies against our security team while frenziedly screaming that we were the fascists — the irony was unmistakable. These savages were really out of control. Had they managed to break through our security cordon, it is clear that they would have brutally assaulted as many of the freedom-lovers in the room as they possibly could. It was eerily reminiscent of the Muslim riots that took place in Sydney in 2012…"


Leftist haters again

 About three years ago, I attended an event in London which included some top notch grub and resulted in my being seated at a large table with people I mostly didn’t know.

As you can imagine in such a situation, much of the chit-chat over dinner involved introductions and small talk about occupations and hobbies as we all got to know each other. One of these people was a softly-spoken heavily-pregnant lady to my left, at the time a Conservative Councillor. I remember explaining to her that I ran a transport business and – expecting a negative response – that in my spare time I write a blog about lifestyle restrictions … especially on tobacco. I do like to drop that bombshell into situations occasionally because I find reactions to it very interesting. This lady wasn’t fazed in the slightest, in fact she agreed that tobacco control had gone too far and that the smoking ban was badly-drafted.

I spoke to her at length during the evening as she was a genuinely likeable person and one who didn’t seem to have a bad bone in her body. This was borne out at the end of the meal when I made a dreadful faux pas.

The dessert was an arty affair consisting of a coffee-mug shaped piece of chocolate which contained what I thought in the low lighting was jelly or ganache. Perhaps trying my best to show manners, it didn’t cross my mind to pick the cup up with my fingers, so I cut it with the fork and spoon, resulting in it snapping sideways and sending the contents – thick cherry brandy liqueur – flying through the air and coating the lady’s dress from chest to knee! I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me but while I profusely apologised, she just warmly laughed it off as an understandable accident. A kinder, more friendly and tolerant person it would be difficult to find.

But, apparently, she is now being made out to be a nasty, intolerant and hateful bigot.

A UKIP councillor has said businesses should be able to refuse services to women and gay people, in comments posted on an internet forum.

The Argus reported the remarks made by Lewes councillor Donna Edmunds.  Yes, she is now a UKIP candidate for the EU elections, so Tory HQ is getting stuck in too.

UKIP MEP candidate & Cllr says businesses should be able to turn away women, gay & black people. @UKIP do? Nothing. — CCHQ Press Office (@CCHQPress) March 5, 2014

When you read the original article, though, the story turns out to be different from the slavering over-reaction which has surrounded it.

“I believe that all business owners, Christian, Muslim, gay, straight, should be allowed to withhold their services from whomever that (sic) choose whenever they choose.  “It’s their business. Why should they be forced to serve or sell to anyone?”

When asked by The Argus to clarify her statement the EU election hopeful said it would be ok for a shop owner to refuse to serve her based on no other fact than she was a woman, or if service was refused to a gay person.

She said: “I’m a libertarian so I don’t think the state should have a role on who business owners serve.”

Aye, just like it’s wrong for the state to decide that you cannot serve someone.

“I wouldn’t refuse to serve gay people. I’m not saying their position is a correct one. I’m saying they should be free to make that choice themselves.”

This is hardly controversial, or shouldn’t be, because a central plank of free markets is that both vendors and consumers should have equal rights, as the Freedom Association astutely explained today.

The media have seemingly read this as “businesses should be allowed to refuse service to gay people and women”. However, the point isn’t about discrimination towards any “group” but that it should be the property owner’s right to sell his or her own asset in a way that they wish to. If a business owns a particular product, which they’ve bought from their suppliers or produced themselves, then why not allow them not to sell that product to whomever they want to?

It should also be the consumer’s right not to buy from a business, if they choose not to. This can be done for a whole range of reasons and is up to the individual whether they agree with the business practices of the firm in question.

We should live in a free society in which people can choose which shops they visit and, if for any reason they disagree with a company’s policy on a particular issue (whether it be the selling of certain products or an ethical stance), they can go elsewhere. This is the biggest driver for change in business attitudes: if customers leave one business because of their policy/products, then the business has a choice: change or die.

Quite. This is a pillar of free society which has been widely accepted until political correctness jumped in and declared itself the new God.

Those who piled into the outrage bus about this seem to think that laws against discrimination have somehow eradicated discrimination, and that Edmunds is trying to resurrect it.

This is nonsense, of course. Despite the laws we have, I expect businesses discriminate every day, it’s only the ones who declare their honest reasons who will be found out. What has changed is that – whereas businesses can refuse to serve you because they don’t like the shape of your nose if they feel like it, if they are subsequently accused of discrimination on the basis of sex, race or sexual orientation, the law says that they must now prove a negative or face punishment.

What I find most interesting about this, though, is how a law designed to reduce ‘hate’ has panned out for Donna Edmunds.

For expressing a valid theoretical debating point, she is now being attacked and labelled as a hateful bigot. For employing free speech she is now being told to shut up. Despite not being intolerant or bigoted, she is now being forced to prove a negative herself.

But most depressing of all, the righteous defenders of tolerance – the ones who so despise all forms of hate and want it eradicated via legislation – have responded with intolerance, bigotry and vile ignorant hatred of their own against a genuinely decent person instead of calmly debating an opinion which doesn’t agree with theirs. Don’t they remember why they demanded the laws in the first place?

Very sad.


Actor Chris O'Dowd says religion is 'unacceptable'

Since most people have some religious beliefs  -- if only in global warming --  he is taking on an uphill battle

Actor Chris O'Dowd thinks following a religion will eventually become as offensive and unacceptable as racism.

The Irish star of films such as The Sapphires and Bridesmaids says he grew up respecting people of faith despite his atheist views, but has become "less liberal" as he ages.

Now he says religious doctrine is halting human progress and brands it "a weird cult".

He also thinks US president Barack Obama had to overstate his Christian faith in order to get to the White House.

O'Dowd has told Britain's GQ magazine: "For most of my life, I've been, 'Hey, I'm not into it, but I respect your right to believe whatever you want'. But as time goes on, weirdly, I'm growing less liberal. I'm more like, 'No, religion is ruining the world, you need to stop!'.

"There's going to be a turning point where it's going to be like racism. You know, 'You're not allowed to say that weird s**t! It's mad! And you're making everybody crazy!'

"And you know, now America can't have a president that doesn't say he believes in God. So we're f**ked! Like, they f**ked everything!

"You wanna go and live in your weird cult and talk about a man who lives in a cloud, you do that, but don't. I mean, you really think that Barack Obama believes in God? No way!"


Side-effects of Islam

How does Islam shape the way Muslims live? The religion's formal requirements are the narrow base for a far wider structure of patterns that extend the formal rules of Islam, stretching them in unexpected and unplanned ways. A few examples:

The Koran strictly bans the consumption of pork, leading to the virtual disappearance of domesticated pigs in Muslim-majority areas, then their replacement by sheep and goats. These latter overgrazed the land which led, as the geographer Xavier de Planhol observes, to "a catastrophic deforestation" that in turn "is one of the basic reasons for the sparse landscape particularly evident in the Mediterranean districts of Islamic countries." Note the progression from Koranic dietary injunction to the desertification of vast tracts of land. The scriptural command was not intended to cause ecological damage, but it did.

Islam's unattainably high standards for governmental behavior meant historically that existing leaders, with their many faults, alienated Muslim subjects, who responded by refusing to serve those leaders in administrative and military service, thereby compelling rulers to seek personnel elsewhere. This led to their systematically deploying slaves as soldiers and administrators, thereby creating a key institution that lasted a millennium from the eighth century.

Islamic doctrine ingrains a sense of Muslim superiority, a disdain for the faith and civilization of others, which has had two vast implications in modern times: making Muslims the most rebellious subjects against colonial rule and obstructing Muslims from learning from the West to modernize.

Those scriptures also imbue a hostility toward non-Muslims which in turn generates an assumption about non-Muslims harboring a like hostility toward Muslims. In modern times, this projection has created a susceptibility to conspiracy theories which have had many practical consequences: for example, because only Muslims worry that anti-polio vaccinations secretly render their children infertile, polio has effectively become a Muslim-only scourge in 26 countries.

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the Islamic hajj, began in the seventh century as a local custom that then became an international meeting that facilitated the transfer of everything from Islamist ideas and political movements (the Idrisis of Libya) to luxury goods (ivory) plants (rubber to Southeast Asia, rice to Europe), and diseases (meningococci, skin infections, infectious diarrheal and blood-borne diseases, and respiratory tract infections, including perhaps the brand-new MERS-CoV).

Other Islamic injunctions also have unintended, negative health implications. The imperative for modesty has led some Muslim women to wear full head and body coverings (niqabs and burqas) which cause Vitamin D deficiency, discourage exercise, and are implicated in a host of medical problems, including rashes, respiratory disease, rickets, osteomalacia, and multiple sclerosis.

The daytime fast during Ramadan often leads observant Muslims to exercise less and to "tend to overeat upon breaking their fast, and usually the meal involves heavy, fatty foods that are high in calories," notes the head of the Emirates Diabetes Society. One survey in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, found 60 percent of respondents reporting excessive weight gain after Ramadan.

A preference for first-cousin marriages, which harks back to pre-Islamic tribal practices (to keep wealth in the family and to benefit from daughters' fertility) over approximately fifty generations has led to widespread inbreeding with negative consequences, including about twice the incidence rate of such genetic disorders as thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, spinal muscular atrophy, diabetes, deafness, muteness, and autism.

With regard to women, injunctions about mahram protection by male relatives, and a vastly lower social and legal status combined to create such inadvertent patterns as physical seclusion, obsession with virginity, honor killings, female genital mutilation, and (Saudi-style) gender apartheid. Polygamy creates permanent anxiety in wives.

Although orphans enjoy an honored status in Islamic law (kafala), that honor is tied to a tribal structure incompatible with modern society, resulting in Muslim orphans today persistently discriminated against, even by Muslims in the West.

Islam's scriptures have provided the base from which many other patterns evolved, including: the establishment of dynasties through conquest, not by internal overthrow; recurrent problems with dynastic succession; power leading to wealth, not the reverse; the near absence of municipal governments; inadequate regulation of cities; laws arising from ad hoc decisions, not formal legislation, reliance on hawalas for money transfers, and the practice of suicide terrorism.

Inadvertent patterns, sometimes called Islamicate, change over time, with some (slave soldiers) becoming defunct and others (polio) starting only recently. These patterns remain as powerful today as in premodern times and are key to understanding Islam and Muslim life.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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