Sunday, January 11, 2015
Gen. Thomas McInerney on Paris attack: ‘Political correctness is killing us’
Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney had a blunt assessment of the terror attacks that killed at least 12 in Paris on Wednesday, telling a Fox News audience that a major driver of the violence was that those in positions of leadership refused to face the realities of radicalized Islam.
"Political correctness is killing us," he told "Fox & Friends," adding that the nation's leaders needed to wake up to the dangers of the religion in order to keep America safe.
The attacks left two police officers and several members of the Paris-based satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, dead. Witnesses said they heard the attackers shout out "the Prophet has been avenged," and "Allahu Akbar," various media reported.
France President Francois Hollande, meanwhile, has labeled the attack an act of terror and placed the city on high alert.
The newspaper - firebombed in 2011 after it published a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed - had actually just printed a new cartoon on Wednesday morning that depicted Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at a podium, making a statement.
Now It’s Really Time to Stop Pretending Liberals Want You to Live Your Life How You Want
GLAAD Condemns Lifestyle Choice of Mormon Families
GLAAD, an aggressive LGBT lobbying group, hasn’t been following the above act for a while — and nor have plenty of liberals — but its latest campaign is as good an example as any of the Left’s open intolerance for orthodox religion and any dissent from sexual liberation.
TLC is about to show a one-hour reality program on a few Mormon males who say they’re attracted to men but have chosen to marry women and have children.
GLAAD thinks broadcasting these grown men’s choices — and, by all accounts and appearances, happy, healthy lives — is simply too “dangerous,” and “downright irresponsible” of TLC. (You might be hazily thinking, wasn’t there a show about religious people handling lethally poisonous snakes that was broadcast basically without hiccup? Yep, there was.)
The group has found 88,000 ostensibly tolerant liberals also trying to keep the show off the airwaves, who have signed a petition asking TLC “to stop telling America that LGBT people should lie to themselves and to their faith communities about who they are and who they love.”
If you’re thinking these petitioners should stop telling these four random Americans that they’re betraying their faith communities and lying about who they are and whom they love . . . well, good luck explaining that to GLAAD.
“The men featured in this show deserve to be shown compassion and acceptance,” the petition demands — compassion and acceptance here, I guess, defined as “telling a few random strangers their lives and faith are dangerous and dishonest.”
The crux of GLAAD and other organizations’ complaint is that TLC’s show promotes “ex-gay” therapy, to reverse homosexual attractions, because GLAAD, alongside a number of state governments who’ve banned the therapy, thinks it’s dangerous. Oddly, it’s not even clear that is featured in the show, or that these men believe therapy can change their attractions (a scientifically controversial concept). The entire point of the show is that the men say they still have homosexual attractions but choose to live by other values. This, by GLAAD’s lights, is obscene.
Of course, conservatives protest against obscene content, too, because they believe some things are wrong and dangerous, too. We’re just long past time when the cultural Left could begin to claim its opponents were the real orthodox censors, indicting helpless individual heretics. The culture war is two-sided — at best.
And yes, here, GLAAD isn’t trying to wield the power of the state to suppress religion and demean individual conscience. It and its backers have the right to sign all the petitions they want. In fact, maybe they should go right ahead: They’re doing a nice job clearing up where there’s no tolerance to be had these days.
Look, all GLAAD’s asking of these guys: Just keep your true self in the closet. Along with your wife and kids.
The right to protest–against abortion
The Spiked Online group of journalists appear libertarian in many of their instincts. I remember attending talks by many of these people back in their Marxist days in the early 1990s. Yet Ann Furedi, former Marxist, writer for Spiked Online, and head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, now opposes the right of opponents of abortion to protest outside clinics! She references JS Mill in her opposition to such protests.
Her recent article argues that “bubble zones” should be created outside abortion clinics within which demonstrations should be illegal—presumably she wants state power to enforce this. While she admits the number of protesters is vanishingly small, the small number of protests that take place should lead to arrests, according to her.
Ann Furedi is trying to have things both ways. She says:
"Another unfortunate and predictable consequence is that many in the media have been prone to present the women bpas is defending as ‘victims’—firstly for needing abortion, secondly for facing bullying and harassment at the clinic’s entrance. This is just the image of women that bpas has fought hard to counter. In truth, most bpas clients are ordinary women in need of straightforward, simple clinical treatment in a place where their privacy and confidentiality is respected and they are answerable only to those who provide their care."
In other words, she has long claimed that abortion is a straightforward medical procedure, akin to sorting out an ingrown toenail, and that the women involved are not “victims” and should not be subject to the type of counselling that assumes there is a moral problem with a decision to have an abortion. In other words, abortion is a normal decision made by a grown-up woman who doesn’t need her hand held. She goes on:
"When women say they are reduced to tears and feel unable to cope with the challenges made to them by protesters, when they say they feel vulnerable and distressed, this is not an expression of their weakness as women, nor is it evidence of the alleged awfulness of making abortion decisions. No, even the strongest among us can feel brittle and scared when we are about to undergo a medical procedure – even one that is not as emotionally loaded as abortion."
Clearly she is also arguing that such women are too vulnerable to be able to give short shrift to protesters outside abortion clinics. I would argue that, reading between the lines, she does look down on the women attending abortion clinics, and views them as fragile victims who should never be confronted with the fact that other people regard abortion as evil.
I could imagine a libertarian perspective—not mine—that said that abortion should be legal on demand, but that demonstrations immediately outside the clinic must be accepted, and the women should be prepared to run the gauntlet of protest if they wish to kill the foetuses inside them. I would also argue that Ann Furedi and other employees of BPAS should be arrested (and imprisoned) for wasting police time if they ever call for police assistance in an unwarranted fashion: there is a law against harassment, but the bar for a harassment suit is necessarily high in a free society, and the police should not be summoned to prevent a woman from facing protest alone.
Ann Furedi says:
"Women attending an abortion clinic should not have to face anyone whose intention is to interfere with them or engage with them. They should not need to face people on the street asking about their circumstances or decisions. They should especially not need to face individuals with banners, placards and cameras, determined to ‘counsel’ them about what an abortion involves. A clinic entrance is not a debating forum or a street theatre. Bpas clients are not seeking a political discussion about abortion with anyone; they are seeking advice or treatment from a provider that they have chosen, and they should be able to access that service without people arguing that their decision is wrong or right."
Women having an abortion should not have to face anyone seeking to engage with them? Time to get out the cotton wool, girls!
All this is based on a distinction between “the right to freedom of speech” and “the right to freedom of protest”. Ann Furedi argues:
"Traditionally, within the classical liberal tradition of John Stuart Mill, the right to protest was understood to be ‘contingent’, and as such is different to freedom of speech, which is ‘absolute’….
Freedom of speech, as properly understood (that is, the freedom to state one’s views for the purpose of being understood), cannot curtail the freedom of others because it impinges on no one but the speaker. It is sometimes described as ‘self-regarding’, in that its purpose is self-expression. For Mill, the premise for freedom of speech was ‘affirmation and respect for the individual’s moral agency and autonomy’. In short, to take away someone’s ability to express their thoughts through speech was to deny them a means to express their internal contemplation—their inner life….
Freedom to protest is different. It can impede others’ rights and freedoms; indeed, that may be its very intention—and when it does, the question of whose freedom triumphs rests in the balance of a number of factors. The law may limit the right to protest by curbing access to certain areas; or brute force may impose limits, as was the case in clashes between fascists and anti-fascists in the 1930s, or between loyalists and republicans in Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 80s—or, indeed, in a milder way by local residents outside the bpas clinic in Southwark in London recently."
Clearly, the right to free speech, which includes private speech, is absolute. To be arrested for private comments would be monstrous in a free society. The right to freedom of protest is, as she points out, subjects to considerations of appropriate venue and timing. An anti-abortion protest that insisted on blocking the M25 every Friday would be tiresome—as it would go well beyond the form of protest required to make a political point and would disrupt other people’s legitimate activities.
The reason why this consideration does not apply to an abortion clinic is that there is a debate over where abortion is a legitimate activity. Protesters outside BPAS centres are not seeking to make political points—but, rather, to persuade the women not to kill their foetuses. It is a last chance to appeal to the girls to do the right thing. I think the legalisation of abortion in 1967—a legalisation the terms of which are commonly ignored by doctors who hand out abortion on demand (which is not legal)—did not envisage a situation where abortion was to be regarded as a normal medical procedure. It was legalised as a bad last resort—and nothing should be done (including the criminalisation of protest outside abortion clinics) to imply to the girls that nothing abnormal is going on inside the clinics.
Ann Furedi’s clinics offer destruction of life: while I don’t wish to attend protests myself, I do admire those who feel strongly enough to do so. If they persuade even one girl to turn back, then their work is worthwhile.
The abortion issue is, for me, one of the key problems with Spiked. On many questions, their views have evolved since the winding up of the Revolutionary Communist Party (of which Ann Furedi was a member) in 1994. Yet on this issue (and on immigration), we see unreconstructed propaganda from the 1970s—possibly because Ann Furedi makes money from abortion.
It would make more sense in the context of the evolving views of Spiked to tell the girls to take charge of their own fertility—by using contraceptives and morning after pills—and to accept the consequences of their own actions otherwise. These “girls” are meant to be adult women, but as long as there are never any consequences to their chosen forms of behaviour, they will remain infantilised, adult-sized girls, which calls into question the whole of the feminist agenda.
The Black Brunch Brats
America's social justice movement has reached a critical turning point. The left's bravest young warriors for change have turned ... back to 1989 and borrowed costumes from Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" music video.
Clad in black-ops black from head to toe with fists held high, stylin' members of the so-called "Black Brunch" brigade look like they're ready to break into some old-school New Jack Swing dance moves. And 5, 6, 7, 8!
But seriously, all you hate-mongering, racist oppressors. You must banish your colonialist, imperialist and patriarchal impulses to mock. The "comrades" (yes, they really call themselves that) who don the solidarity-enhancing Black Brunch costume are sending a revolutionary, transformative message: This is war! On your omelettes.
This weekend, an organizing manual obtained and published by the Weasel Zippers blog (which was subsequently knocked offline for 12 hours by retaliatory activists) explained the Black Brunch agenda. Only those who are "black and of the African diaspora" received the guide. Black Brunch, they were told, is "a form of resistance and a direct action tactic" to "reclaim our humanity and right to unapologetically hold space in public."
By "holding space in public," they mean storming into a private business and screaming in your face while you're spending your hard-earned money as other hardworking people try to make a living serving up a nice meal.
The farce, of course, is that this impudent "resistance" movement deliberately chooses marshmallow-soft targets where they will encounter absolutely no resistance of any kind to their trespassing.
Black Brunchers didn't stomp their way into truck stops, police cafeterias or military bases. They targeted privileged liberal enclaves in Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore and New York City over the past month to raise the consciousness of unsuspecting midmorning diners. The Black Brunch bunch earned their badges of courage by barging into coffee shops, blocking lines at hummus snack stands and even grandstanding at an Apple computer store (huh?) where sympathetic hipsters and pliant employees simply rolled over.
Note: The only clubs the enemy enslavers wielded were their club sandwiches. The only sticks in sight were cinnamon cocoa stirrers.
While annoyed parents covered their hungry toddlers' ears, the grievance-mongers whipped out their smartphones to document their disruption of "white spaces." Protest pics STAT! One defiant Black Brunch marcher asserted on Twitter: "We take up the space that's so often denied us in society and grieve collectively." Another intrepid combatant courageously castigated her enemy (from the safety of her keyboard):
"ATTN WHITE Man, I have no guilt disturbing your brunch. Its (sic) YOU that has no right to be here."
Actually, several photos of the protests showed non-white customers and employees suffering along with the rest of the Privileged White Supremacists. But no matter. No justice, no quiche!
Opposing racism now means practicing it in the most obnoxious manner possible. The Black Brunch bigots painted every innocent customer as a practitioner of "genocide." One participant ordered people of color to "STAND in deference and solidarity." Another accused a black restaurant manager of "internaliz(ing) white supremacy."
This self-indulgent overreach is a hallmark of modern leftist organizers. During the Bush administration, the illegal-alien activist movement was overrun by reconquistadors burning American flags and chanting La Raza hate slogans as they demanded full amnesty and government benefits. Under President Obama, Occupy Wall Street devolved into a circus of rape tents and defecators.
Post-Ferguson, the social justice mob has now looted and burned down stores in its own working-class neighborhoods, cheered the execution of white and minority police officers, and alienated its erstwhile allies with destructive temper tantrums. In Portland, left-wing agitators threw a hissy fit at Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden's town hall — just as a 100-year-old veteran was being honored for his World War II service.
These entitled thugs have beclowned themselves, plain and simple. Their worst enemies are the ones in the reflections of the windows they're smashing. The worst racists are the ones smirking in their own Instagram selfies.
Earth to Black Brunch brats: You're not righteous. You're just rude.
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.