Tuesday, July 08, 2014
An Irish perspective on Africa
This controversial article by Kevin Myers appeared in The Irish Independent in 2008. There have since then been multiple reports of the Somali population explosion. The situation has not improved since Myers wrote
Somalia is not a humanitarian disaster; it is an evolutionary disaster.
The current drought is not the worst in 50 years, as the BBC, and all the aid organizations claim. It is nothing compared to the droughts in 1960/61 or 73/74. There are continuing droughts every 5 years or so. It's just that there are now four times the population; having been kept alive by famine relief, supplied by aid organizations, over the past 50 years. So, of course, the effects of any drought now, is a famine. They cannot even feed themselves in a normal rainfall year.
Worst yet, the effects of these droughts, and poor nutrition in the first 3 years of the a child's life, have a lasting effect on the development of the infant brain, so that if they survive, they will never achieve a normal IQ . Consequently, they are selectively breeding a population who cannot be educated, let alone one that is not being educated: a recipe for disaster.
We are seeing this impact now, and it can only exacerbate, to the detriment of their neighbors, and their environment as well. This scenario can end only in an even worse disaster, with even worse suffering, for those benighted people and their descendants.
Eventually, some mechanism will intervene, be it war, disease or starvation. So what do we do? Let them starve?
What a dilemma for our Judeo/Christian/Islamic Ethos, as well as Hindu/Buddhist morality.
This is beginning to happen in Kenya, Ethiopia, and other countries in Asia, like Pakistan. Is this the beginning of the end of civilization?
AFRICA is giving nothing to anyone outside Africa, apart from AIDS and new diseases.
Even as we see African states refusing to take action to restore something resembling civilization in Zimbabwe, the Begging Bowl for Ethiopia is being passed around to us outside of Africa, yet again.
It is nearly 25 years since the famous Feed The World campaign began in Ethiopia, and in that time Ethiopia's population has grown from 33.5 million to 78+ million today.
So, why on earth should I do anything to encourage further catastrophic demographic growth in that country? Where is the logic? There is none.
To be sure, there are two things saying that logic doesn't count.
One is my conscience, and the other is the picture, yet again, of another wide-eyed child, yet again, gazing, yet again, at the camera, which, yet again, captures the tragedy of children starving.
Sorry. My conscience has toured this territory on foot and financially. Unlike most of you, I have been to Ethiopia; like most of you, I have stumped up the loot to charities to stop starvation there. The wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a low IQ, AK 47-bearing moron, siring children whenever the whim takes him, and blaming the world because he is uneducated, poor and left behind.
There is no doubt a good argument why we should prolong this predatory and dysfunctional economic, social and sexual system, but I do not know what it is. There is, on the other hand, every reason not to write a column like this.
It will win no friends, and will provoke the self-righteous wrath of, well, the self-righteous, hand wringing, letter writing wrathful individuals, a species which never fails to contaminate almost every debate in Irish life with its sneers and its moral superiority. It will also probably enrage some of the finest men in Irish life, like John O'Shea, of Goal; and the Finucane brothers, men whom I admire enormously. So be it.
But, please, please, you self-righteously wrathful, spare me mention of our own Irish Famine, with this or that lazy analogy. There is no comparison. Within 20 years of the Famine, the Irish population was down by 30%. Over the equivalent period, thanks to western food, the Mercedes 10-wheel truck and the Lockheed Hercules planes, Ethiopia's population has more than doubled
Alas, that wretched country is not alone in its madness. Somewhere, over the rainbow, lies Somalia, another fine land of violent, AK 47-toting, khat-chewing, girl-circumcising, permanently tumescent layabouts, housing pirates of the ocean.
Indeed, we now have almost an entire continent of sexually hyperactive, illiterate indigents, with tens of millions of people who only survive because of help from the outside world or allowances by the semi communist Governments they voted for, money supplied by borrowing it from the World Bank!!
This dependency has not stimulated political prudence or common sense.
Indeed, voodoo idiocy seems to be in the ascendant, with the president of South Africa being a firm believer in the efficacy of a little tap water on the post-coital penis as a sure preventative against AIDS infection.
Needless to say, poverty, hunger and societal meltdown have not prevented idiotic wars involving Tigre, Uganda, Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea etc, etc.
Broad brush-strokes, to be sure, but broad brush-strokes are often the way that history paints its gaudier, if more decisive, chapters. Japan, China, Russia, Korea, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 20th century have endured worse broad brush-strokes than almost any part of Africa.
They are now, one way or another, virtually all giving aid to or investing in Africa, whereas Africa, with its vast savannahs and its lush pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.
Meanwhile, Africa's peoples are outstripping their resources, and causing catastrophic ecological degradation. By 2050, the population of Ethiopia will be 177 million, the equivalent of France, Germany and Benelux today, but located on the parched and increasingly Protein-free wastelands of the Great Rift Valley.
So, how much sense does it make for us actively to increase the adult population of what is already a vastly over-populated, environmentally devastated and economically dependent country?
How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from starvation today, for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty, hunger, violence and sexual abuse, resulting in another half-dozen such wide-eyed children, with comparably jolly little lives ahead of them?
Of course, it might make you feel better, which is a prime reason for so much charity, but that is not good enough.
Self-serving generosity has been one of the curses of Africa. It has sustained political systems which would otherwise have collapsed. It prolonged the Eritrean-Ethiopian war by nearly a decade.
It is inspiring Bill Gates' program to rid the continent of malaria, when, in the almost complete absence of personal self-discipline, that disease is one of the most efficacious forms of population-control now operating.
If his program is successful, tens of millions of children who would otherwise have died in infancy will survive to adulthood, he boasts.
Oh good!! Then what? I know, let them all come here (to Ireland) or America, Or Australia. Yes, that's an idea....
United Church Of Christ Sponsors ‘Gay Games 9’ In Ohio This Summer
A deliberate insult to Bible teachings. They are Christians in name only
For the longest time, homosexuality was considered an abomination in the Christian faith. Citing multiple versus from the book of Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13), Christians and Jews have enforced how the act of men having sexual relations with another man is an abomination and a sin punishable by death. Now, certain denominations have accepted gay people stating that “love is love.” The most prominent denomination to do this is the Presbyterian church by accepting gay marriage in areas where gay marriage is legal, as reported here on The Inquisitr.
Now another denomination is showing their support for gay people, as the Protestant Church has agreed to become a major sponsor for the upcoming Gay Games 9!
According to an initial report by The New York Times, the United Church of Christ has agreed with the organizers of Gay Games 9 to sponsor the upcoming annual which starts on August 9th and ends on August 16th. The games, which will be held in both Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, will play host to more than 35 sporting and cultures events. The church also stated that the two reasons for their sponsorship are geography, and more importantly, ideology. Rev. James Moos, a national officer of the church, had this to say about the their inclusion in the games:
“The United Church of Christ has been a leader in L.G.B.T. inclusion. No matter who you are or where you are in life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
As for their popularity (or notoriety), the United Church of Christ made headline news back in 2004 when they ran a television commercial that depicted two bouncers blocking the entrance to a church to would-be worshippers who did not conform to the overall norms of the church. The commercial would then announce, “Jesus didn’t turn people away, neither do we.”
However, some people don’t agree with the United Church of Christ and their decision to support the gay community. Along with their report, Now The End Begins also included Holy Bible verses to show how this could be associated to apostasy running rampant in the church. The primary verse used, right underneath the subtitle, “The great falling away continues unabated” is 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 10 in which it reads:
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
For those who don’t understand old school “King James”-speak, the big part of the quote is “effeminate” which means a man who partakes in feminine nature, behavior, mannerisms, or styles. Summarized, it is a fancy word for gender roles.
In conclusion, the United Church of Christ is following the progressive movement for gay rights and the people it supports. Other companies that have shown the same support include Burger King, a company that recently revealed the Proud Whopper. However, for some denominations, following in the direction the entire country is following doesn’t mean it is right in God’s eyes.
CANADIAN CITY BANS EVENTS 'ASSOCIATED' WITH CHRISTIANS
It doesn’t affect you when bureaucratic zealots order a Christian baker, against his conscience, to participate in a same-sex parody of a wedding by baking a special cake for it. Why should you care? You’re not a baker. You’re not one of “those Christians” who are getting slapped down by the government they pay for.
But that’s in the United States. In Canada—at least in the city of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island—now all you need, to qualify for persecution, is some vague, undefined “association” with “divisive groups” (Christians) that “promote homophobia and other expressions of hate.”
On May 5 the Nanaimo City Council voted, 8-1, to ban simulcasts of a worldwide “leadership conference” from being shown at the Vancouver Island Conference Center, a public facility, because some unspecified number of the “LBGT community” were “upset” by the conference’s “associations” with “persons and organizations with a long history of promoting homophobia,” blah-blah. You can see videos of this bizarre meeting here.
This is a complicated, crazy story, and it’ll take some explaining.
The conference in question, “Leadercast,” is held every year in one major city and simulcast to public venues in hundreds of other cities. Personally, I would find it unbearably dull. It’s a bunch of motivational speakers, CEOs from big companies, and assorted celebrities of the likes of Desmond Tutu, Laura Bush, and Condoleeza Rice, telling you how to become a big success yourself by acquiring certain leadership skills. The chance of any topic related to “gay” issues coming up is zero.
So why were Nanaimo’s homosexuals so “upset” by it? Two extremely silly reasons emerged from the discussion.
First: One of Leadercast’s innumerable sponsors was Chick-Fil-A, whose CEO once said he was opposed to same-sex “marriage.”
Second: One of the featured speakers had once voiced his support for “reparative therapy” for homosexuals. That was not what he was going to talk about for Leadercast, but never mind. Because of his opinion on one subject, his opinion on any subject must not be heard.
By no means is Leadercast any kind of “Christian” conference. But never mind—there are some Christians “associated” with it. So the Nanaimo City Council ruled that, from now on, no one “associated” with such “hate groups” is to have access to any public facility in their city.
Couldn’t that ban apply to almost anybody?
The councilors used the rest of their time to make hysterical equations of “Christians” with Islamic jihad groups like Bokol Haram in Nigeria, etc. In their zeal to combat “hate,” they hate Christians. It’s their own little jihad.
So Chick-Fil-A equals Bokol Haram, an outfit that kills people and kidnaps girls? I fear for the welfare of any city governed by loons who think like that.
In Nanaimo, it seems, homosexuality has acquired a kind of sacred status. One councilor, an old white man with white hair who likes to have his picture taken wearing ladies’ shoes, bragged, “We have made unanimous decisions to fly the Gay Pride flag, year after year!” Bully for you, champ. Another, a 21-year-old black “student”—we don’t want to know what he’s been studying—went on and on about the Christian religion being a form of “hate.” I wonder what his religion is.
The upshot of all this babble is a doctrine that makes non-persons of “Christians” or anyone even remotely associated with them, and forbids them access to public facilities in Nanaimo. So now you don’t have to say you’re opposed to “gay marriage” to be silenced in Nanaimo. Maybe you ate at Chick-Fil-A once. Maybe your cousin’s orthodontist signed a petition against “gay marriage.” Or maybe some lesbian just thinks you’re a bad guy. It doesn’t take much to get you banned from public life in Nanaimo.
Gaydeology has become the religion of the governing class throughout the Western world. Maybe it’s God’s judgment on us. Maybe God has washed His hands of us and given us over to a reprobate mind—as St. Paul warned us would happen, in Romans Chapter 1.
It is an intolerant religion, to put it so mildly as to be almost laughable. It brooks no dissent. “Gay” is sacred, and woe to anyone who thinks otherwise.
Australian hate-speech laws: no dissent allowed
The Australian government is currently trying to amend Section 18C of the Australian Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA). This is the section which asserts that speech content, judged objectively after the event, must not ‘offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people’. Sadly, what is noticeable about the debate so far is the tendency of those in favour of S18C to ignore or treat with contempt the idea of free speech. Below are 10 ways in which those advocating S18C and hate-speech laws in general are dodging, stifling and running away from the debate.
1) Reliance on abstractions
All censors abhor definite standards. Vagueness is always to be preferred. In times past, it was the elastic tendency-based criminal law of sedition, blasphemy, defamation and obscenity. Nowadays, the obscurantism is expressed in two words, ‘hate speech’, to which an ‘identity-specific’ adjective such as ‘racist’ is applied. Yet apart from Holocaust denial and exhibitionist displays of racial prejudice, particularly at sporting events, on public transport and, more widely, by electronic means – both of which are instantly recognisable – no exact definition of racist hate speech is proffered. As with hardcore pornography, we are all expected to recognise it when we see or read it.
As Eatock v Bolt (2011) and Clark v Nationwide News Ltd (2012) demonstrate, the vagueness of S18C operates to restrict public discussion in controversies about ‘race, colour or national or ethnic origin of [persons or groups]’. The supporters of S18C happily proclaim the discretionary flexibility of the formulation ‘offensive, insulting, humiliating or intimidating’ speech as S18C’s great virtue. The context in which the section is defended is characterised by the use of fashionable but unenlightening abstractions, most notably: ‘diversity’, ‘harmony’, ‘inclusion’, ‘respect’, ‘dignity’, ‘marginalisation’ and ‘cultural sensitivity’. The censor’s obscurantism is buttressed by demands that ‘systemic’, ‘unconscious’ or ‘normative’ racism must be stamped out. When Paul Keating’s Labor government introduced the bill for S18C in 1995, the rationale was that racist speech was a form of violence which could be more harmful than physical violence.
The propositions that you can be a racist without knowing it, and that words can, as it were, break your bones (and spirit), are surely in need of debate. But instead of being up for debate, these ideas are treated as doctrinal. Moreover, the all-pervasive vagueness attaching to the words ‘racism’ and ‘racist’, and the relative ease with which accusations of racism are made, have debased both words. The proponents of S18C censorship bear the burden of identifying exactly what it is they say should be censored. Their rationale for doing so, however, remains an enduring mystery.
2) Ignore one awkward concrete problem
There is another category of ‘racist hate speech’ which extends the reach of S18C. It is interpreted by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) as applicable, selectively, to ethno-religious speech conduct. It is only recently that the archaic Christianity-specific common-law prohibitions on blasphemy have become obsolete. This reflects the reality of the secular state: there should no legally privileged categories of ideas and especially no entanglement of the state in religion. The suggestion that, in order to avoid hurting another person’s religious sensibilities, an individual should be compelled to display ‘respect’ for a religious belief or practice – or the concept of religion itself – which that individual may regard as rank superstition, or that an attack on a religious idea or practice in itself amounts to racism, is profoundly anti-democratic, no matter how much it is dressed up in secular pieties about ‘inclusion’.
However, S18C and some Australian state legislation have, in effect, resurrected a statutory form of blasphemy. In an address to the United Nations in December 2012, then Australian prime minister Julia Gillard asserted that ‘denigration of religious beliefs is never acceptable’. That ‘never’ is by far the most telling recent illustration of the nature and extent of the contest between a defence of the general right to dissent and those who seek state-backed conformity in public discussion.
3) Portray S18C as a protective law
Most S18C advocates emphasise that it is designed to protect minorities, although S18C makes no such distinction. However, even at that disingenuous level, the claim is no more than wishful thinking. Nobody seems to be suggesting that the civil liability imposed by S18C (and its capricious enforcement) has deterred a single person from resorting to Holocaust denial or racist mouthing-off in public. Yet, simultaneously, its supporters trot out the arguments that S18C is little used and that its real utility is symbolic. So much for protecting minorities.
4) Fearmongering about free speech
There has been plenty of hyperbole. If enacted, attorney general George Brandis’s proposed reforms to S18C would usher in a ‘licensing of hate’, ‘give succour to racists’, and be the end of multiculturalism, nay, the end of Australia as we know it. Australia’s race discrimination commissioner went far beyond hyperbole, even, when he said that S18C guards against a repetition of the Holocaust because ‘genocide begins with words’.
5) Misrepresenting the general law
If S18C supporters exaggerate the so-called free-speech protections in S18D of the Racial Discrimination Act (which stipulates that comments made in good faith are permissible as expressions of genuine belief), they fundamentally mis-state the law of defamation and they ignore altogether the torts of intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. They thereby disregard regimes of legal protection for actual psychological harm which apply without regard to ‘race, colour or national or ethnic origin’.
6) Make no concessions
Although the pro-S18C camp is full of acknowledgments that freedom of expression is important, there is a striking absence of any acknowledgment that dissent is central to securing that freedom. One way of testing this is to do a word search of ‘dissent’ on the online archive of AHRC publications, in surveys of social cohesion, or in the vast literature on Australian multiculturalism. As soon as the AHRC acknowledges that dissent – real dissent – is necessary to maintain the health of a free and open society, it undermines its commitment to special legal protection for privileged categories of controversial public debate. It is locked into this position largely because the concept of cultural diversity and sensitivity calls for treating all ‘cultures’ (or at least the privileged minority cultures) as worthy of equal ‘respect’. The end result is that discussion – for example, of barbaric cultural beliefs and practices (including selected religious ones) – is frowned upon for fear of ‘offending’ adherents and being ‘divisive’. This is not all that surprising. S18C is designed to suppress dissent which, by definition, is often offensive, insulting, humiliating and intimidating. Dissent brings about division, disrespect, disharmony, incivility, indignity and so on – all of which are, in theory at least, anathema to inclusiveness theory.
7) Except the ‘Irish jokes’ concession
Then there is the ‘curiouser and curiouser’ dimension of the S18C debate; that is, the unexplained acknowledgment that there are tolerable forms of public racist speech. What are we to make of the endorsement by the AHRC in its submission to the attorney general’s S18C consultation of the following statement in the Report of the National Inquiry into Racist Violence (1991)? ‘No prohibition or penalty is recommended for the simple holding of racist opinions without public expression or promotion of them or in the absence of conduct motivated by them. Nor would any of the proposed measures outlaw “casual racism”, for example the exchange of “Irish jokes”.’ (My italics)
Putting to one side the unexplained concept of ‘casual racism’, what moved the AHRC to use ‘Irish jokes’ to exemplify permissible casual racism? The Irish ambassador to Australia recently complained about the casual stereotyping of national groups in the Australian media and managed to extract a prompt apology from the Fairfax Media group (the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age), which, in an odd role-reversal for the Fourth Estate, is at the forefront of the pro-S18C censorship campaign.
8) Remind the majorities that ‘they just don’t understand’
And then there are the angry ad hominem contributions to the ‘non-debate’. The attorney general’s draft proposal for the amendment of S18C contains a provision which would impose limited civil liability according to an objective test applied by reference to ‘the standards of an ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community, not by the standards of any particular group within the Australian community’. This type of standard is entirely coherent and well-known – for example, in the law of negligence and defamation. Many in the pro-S18C camp have denounced this because, so it is said, only the victimised minorities are capable of understanding what it is to endure racist hate speech and suffer its unique psychic harm. This is a claim that is calculated to stifle debate.
9) Invoke White Australia policy
A harsher variation of the ignorance trope is advocates of S18C invoking the unedifying history of the White Australia policy (discontinued a half-century ago). The objective is clear: to signify that present-day, ordinary, reasonable (white) Australians are still not to be trusted.
10) Argue that the White majorities are ignorant
A more confrontational version of the ‘majorities are ignorant’ thesis is the claim made by one prominent commentator in the Age that there are two types of Australians. The first group consists of the privileged Anglo-Saxon folk who regard being ‘Australian’ as something in respect of which they have a superior claim. The rest are the supplicant subordinated non-white folk. It is the ‘whiteness’ of the ignorance of the former group, sitting at the top of an alleged Australian racial power hierarchy, which precludes them from telling people what they should and should not find racist. The link to this contribution has been conspicuously displayed on the Age since it first appeared in print on 27 March 2014. It might be thought that, to date, it is the standout candidate for the award of unintended irony in the S18C controversy. Yet there has to be space for statements such as these (and for that matter, the denigration of the Irish by the AHRC) if free speech is to have any real meaning. These statements do at least stand in striking contrast to the speech-stultifying mush being preached in the name of ‘harmony’, ‘inclusion’, ‘identity’, ‘respect’, ‘dignity’, ‘civility’ and all their soothing synonyms.
Those supporting the repeal of S18C are having to withstand sustained heckling, including from what passes for the Australian left. The attorney general, they say, will abandon his proposed amendment or be rolled in his party room. In contrast, the most powerful case against the neo-puritan whingeing that propels hate-speech censorship has come from a small minority of outspoken indigenous Australians. ‘People have a right to decide for themselves how they feel about the idea of “race” and racism’, writes Kerryn Pholi, an Aborigine and former social worker. ‘In order to do that, they need to be free to exchange ideas about these matters, and this includes the freedom to say whatever they like — however ugly — about people like me.’ Now, that’s diversity.
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.