The darkness of this world (4) 2

Continuing our series on contemporary Gnosticism, here is the fourth essay under the title The Darkness of This World. (For the first three put Our Gnostic Age in the search slot.)

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The Darkness of This World

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Our Gnostic Age

4

In its defiance of religious and cultural norms, most New Age doctrine and practice (briefly described in the last essay) is comparatively mild. Far more savage messages have come from thousands of pop songs and rap “flows” since the 1960s. Cruelty and religious images are a large if not predominant part of their stock-in-trade. Themes of rape, murder, massacre, torture, Satan, devils, demons, sado-masochism, ultimate doom, universal destruction by nuclear bombs or climate apocalypse, terrorism, suicide, death, are common, hugely popular – and therefore enormously lucrative. Here are words from a rock song called Demons. It was sung by a group named Rigor Mortis – typically connoting something dreaded, in this case death: “We come bursting through your bodies, rape your helpless soul …we force you to kill your brother, eat his blood and brain, shredding flesh and sucking bone till everyone’s insane, we are pestilent and contaminate, the world Demonic legions prevail.”

Such songs could be, and sometimes are, interpreted as instructions to do evil. But then, almost any song could be – and was. Charles Manson, mass murderer and cult-leader of a mass-murdering group, declared himself profoundly stirred by a Beatles song called Helter-Skelter, into whose quite innocuous words about sliding down a fairground slide, he read a coded message about the coming of a final conflict between the black and white races. [1]

But songs, however gruesome, and even if sometimes inspiring real cruelty and murder, are not the source of the moral rot in twenty-first century Western culture.  Nor are the video games that require the killing off of humanoids in such profusion that they’re often blown away as copiously as brown leaves in a gale. Such popular indulgence in Halloween-like fantasy are analogous not to the old Gnostic cults themselves, but to imitations of their rites as pictured and misunderstood by less educated outsiders. The deliberate “sinning” of the Gnostics, with orgies and drugs, was performed for several reasons or excuses: to “use up sin” – ie. commit as much sin as possible in order to hasten the end of the world, on the assumption that there was a fixed amount of sin pre-ordained by the evil Creator, and when all of it had been committed his creation would be done for; or on the grounds that it wasn’t sin at all, only named so by the evil creator, and by defying him they were acting for the good; or on the grounds that true Gnostics – the “Spirituals”, or “Masters”,  or “Perfects” – were incapable of sinning and so were free to do anything they liked. Those who were fascinated by the cults but excluded from them – being despised by the Gnostics as “hylics”, “animal men”, creatures irredeemably belonging to the earth – caught rumor of the rites and misunderstood them to be ways of worshiping the Devil. [2]  The performance of “Satanic” rituals such as the Black Mass may very well have begun in imitation of Gnostic rites as imagined by “hylics” who hoped they would summon up the Devil to grant them occult powers. The Devil was supposed to be able and willing to sell such powers to any buyer willing to pay the price of his or her “immortal soul”. Sometimes the drug-intoxicated, orgiastic rites included human sacrifice. To the Christian churches such beliefs and rituals were not only heresy, they were blasphemy; and through the Middle Ages, when such blaspheming heretics were sniffed out by the moralists of almost any Christian denomination, they were punished with torture and fire; burnt at the stake as witches and “black” magicians. It’s certain, however, that they did far less harm, hurt and killed far fewer victims, than did the churches themselves.

No. The power to effect evil on a vast scale lies not with the many but with the few; not with the uneducated but with the educated; not with adolescent entertainers but with intellectual elites. Evil as, or for, a “higher good” becomes a force that deforms civilization only when it issues from the top of the tower. They affect the way teachers teach, students learn, and governments govern. They are professors, philosophers, priests, psychologists, writers, critics, film-makers, rogue scientists, politicians. They are the revolutionaries with a long reach. They could be called the legislative branch of the new orthodoxy. They write the laws of “political correctness”.

The executive branch whose members are responsible for disseminating the toxic ideas, are the powers that appoint the teachers at the universities; publish books and newspapers; choose the plays and the works of art that are to be presented to the public. They are the givers of grants and awards, the producers of films, the social-engineering bureaucrats.

A counter-culture with a mood of sustained rebellion has become dominant in the early twenty-first century in the West not as an imp daring to do mischievous things to provoke an old-fogey establishment, but as a loud, bullying, relentless thug. It rules in the academies and the press; it permits and cheers on the jolly viciousness of popular culture. And it has come to political power throughout the Western world. It is no longer an amusing adversarial movement confined to a demi-monde of the young, the envious and the frustrated; it is now the culture itself. It camps on the public square, wallowing in its own detritus. It stinks. It threatens. It crows triumphantly on its own dung-heap. It gloats over its crimes. It riots in the streets of the cities, smashing the windows of stores, setting fire to banks regardless of whether there are people in them. It burns cars. It shrilly demands much in exchange for nothing. And it legislates, and it taxes, and it makes war on small nations for no better reason than sentiment.[3]

It prevails. And it seems to have come upon the prosperous, brilliant, powerful West quite recently. It has called itself the Red Army of this or that; or Anarchists against Capitalism; or a movement for Hope and Change; or the Occupy Wall Street Movement… It entered the Parliaments of Europe late in the last century, and now it is in the White House of America. But actually it grew slowly through the last three centuries.

It began in Europe, it spread from Europe, and in Europe it became malignant. It began as a reaction to the Enlightenment, that marvelous long morning when the sun of Reason rose to its zenith in the eighteenth century, and the Age of Science gathered pace. Technology, the daughter of Science, gave birth – first in England – to contraptions, contrivances, devices and engines that spun wheels and let off steam and smoke, appalling those blessed or cursed with sensitive souls. Religion blanched. The power of the Churches drained away. Christianity itself declined, but with its fading came a nostalgia for its mystery, for its visions of dim glories, and even for its guilt and its terror.

 

Jillian Becker    October 31, 2013

NOTES

1. In August 1969, Charles Manson sent Susan Atkins with two other women and  Charles “Tex” Watson to a house in Beverly Hills to kill the actress Sharon Tate and anyone else they found there. Atkins states in her  autobiography Child of Satan, Child of God, that as they approached the house, “I was deeply aware of Evil. I was Evil.” She and her companions brutally murdered Sharon Tate and four other people with knives and a gun. “Tex” Watson said to one of the victims (according to Atkins), “I’m the devil, and I’m here to do the devil’s business.” Atkins wrote: “I was to learn later that this was the home of the beautiful Miss Tate and [her husband Roman] Polanski, who was out of the country at the time. … Polanksi had produced the controversial Rosemary’s Baby, a film about a woman who bore a child by Satan.”  Shortly before meeting Manson, she records, she had refused to participate in a ritual of Satan-worship conducted by Anton LaVey – occultist and musician, founder of the Church of Satan, author of The Satanic Bible, father of a son named Satan LaVey – because she believed in God. When she joined the Manson “family”, she thought that Manson “might be God himself; if not, he was close to him.” Her life with the Manson “family” was full off drugs and orgies which made her feel that she was “one with everyone”. “What Charlie taught us,” she said, “was love”. She bore a child which she insisted was not Manson’s, and named him  Ze Zo Ze Cee Zadfrack “for no other reason than that at the torn and twisted time it seemed like a good name”. (So it must be a coincidence, though an intriguing one, that the magic formula for gaining direct access to the highest heaven of the Gnostics, according toThe Book of Ieû is: aaa ooo zezophazazzzaieozaza eee iii zaieozoakoe ooo uuu thoezaozaez eee zzeeezaozakozakeude tuxuaalethukh. – Gnosticism: An Anthology by Robert M. Grant, Collins, London, 1961.)

2. A misinterpretation of Gnostic ritual as devil-worship probably accounts for some of the testimony given at the trial in France, in 1310, of the Knights Templar, a military branch of the Cistercian order specially founded “to protect pilgrims visiting the Holy Land”. King Philip IV, known as Philip the Beautiful, feared their power and coveted their wealth. They were the international bankers of the age, as well as a considerable military force and an efficiently organized intelligence network. They owned vast estates in France. Their reputation as heroes of the Crusades, as warriors and carers of the sick and wounded, made them glorious in the eyes of the common people. Philip was determined to bring them down, to confiscate their lands and treasure, to extirpate them from his own realms and destroy the order wherever his power or influence could reach. The means he chose was to accuse them of heresy. On the night of October 12, 1307, every Templar in France, along with his servants and dependants, was arrested and imprisoned by order of the King. Two and half years later the trial began. Witnesses told of secret meetings behind locked doors, through whose keyholes they had seen and heard abominable rites. Almost all said that the Knights had denied Christ,  spat upon the Cross, and declared that it was right only to believe in “the Highest God”. Some reported that they had seen them pay reverence to idols and the devil. Some Knights, being broken by torture and unable to face the terrible punishment that awaited heretics, themselves “confessed” to performing such rituals. Though their legal defense was cleverly devised and persuasively presented, the verdict was a foregone conclusion. The last officers of the order  were burnt at the stake on March 19, 1314. Some historians maintain that all the accusations were false and the order was free of any taint of heresy, and no direct evidence has ever been found to prove the case one way or the other. But the more credible testimony of the witnesses strongly suggests that what they glimpsed and heard through keyholes was a Gnostic rite as had been practiced by the Cathars in the Languedoc region of southern France, of whom the  last few were then being hunted down and burnt to death by the Inquisition. But beside the possibly true witness accounts, tales were told of devil-worship, including the ritual kissing of the Devil’s behind, which were probably the stock-in-trade of common gossip in those heresy-obsessed ages of Catholic tyranny.

3. One example of sentiment at work in international affairs to brutal result arose out of the United Nation resolution known as “R2P” –  The Responsibility to Protect. It requires the strong and wealthy nations of the West to be guardians of vulnerable populations in any foreign state. It was invoked as a reason for French, British and American intervention in Libya in 2011, to overthrow the dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Since then, to the time of this writing, there has been no effective government in Libya. Rival Muslim terrorist groups control their fiefdoms, ruling arbitrarily and ferociously by a mixture of sharia law and vicious whim. The population is a lot worse off than it was under Gaddafi. An earlier example was the interference in the 1990s by the West – chiefly America – in the Balkans. The socialist governments of Western Europe and the Democratic government of the United States believed it was right according to leftist principles to make war only where the interests of their own countries were in no way served by it. The American and NATO soldiers who died saving Kosovar and Bosnian Muslims from alleged Catholic or Orthodox Christian oppression (so positively assisting Muslim terrorist groups in Kosovo), gave their lives not for their country, or freedom, but for the need of their leaders to feel good about themselves. The idea that it is the height of morality to sacrifice oneself (or one’s country’s soldiers) for others, particularly if the others are perceived as underdogs, derives directly and exclusively from Christianity.

 

Posted under Art, Articles, Gnosticism, History, Literature, Philosophy by Jillian Becker on Thursday, October 31, 2013

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Muslim savages rule, okay? 1

Megan Kelly showed this video on Fox News, and interviewed Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project.

A student from Florida was brutally beaten by a Muslim gang in London. The gang was part of a self-appointed street patrol enforcing sharia (Islamic) law in London. The “crime” of the student, an American citizen who was in England to advance his studies, was drinking a beer.

The patrols, who began appearing on London’s streets in 2011, are followers of radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary, whose goal is to enforce sharia law even in non-Muslim countries.

The Clarion Project’s National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro discussed this case and the larger phenomenon of the Muslim patrols with Fox News’s Megan Kelly on The Kelly File. On the show, Mauro also discussed the radical Islamic group Jamaat ul-Fuqra which has large communes all around the U.S. where member are trained in guerrilla warfare. A video of women receiving such training at the group’s “Islamberg” headquarters in New York is shown. 

So this is the transformation of America 5

Look up! See the  skies filling with pigs on the wing – because: The left-biased media are exploding with disapproval of the president they have long and deeply adored.

CBS finally got round to airing a report on what happened in Benghazi on 9/11/12  that is not flattering to the Obama administration because it shows – without explicitly stating – that Obama and Hillary Clinton lied about the disastrous events of that night of death and defeat. [But see Postscript.]

Obama’s most faithful dog NBC reveals to its audience that Obama lied when he said that people could keep their health insurance under Obamacare.

Four opinion columnists of the left-leaning Washington Post are shocked, shocked at Obama’s display of incompetence, his denial of culpability, his claimed ignorance of what his administration has been doing badly.

Ruth Marcus becomes quite strong in her disapproval, here. Her theme is “the chaotic reality of the Obama administration’s second term”. She writes:

The menu of current problems [that] go to issues of core competency to govern [are]:

Eavesdropping on foreign leaders. The choices here are unflattering. EitherPresident Obama did not know what his spy agencies were up to, in which case he is not fully in control of the reins of power after nearly five years in office, or he knew, in which case he did not think through the obviously inadequate cost-benefit ratio and his aides are misleading the public now. … How could he not know? If he did know, how could he think the information gleaned could possibly be worth the risk of having foreign leaders discover the surveillance? …

Syria. …   the herky-jerky nature of the administration’s approach — drawing a red line, failing to enforce it, trumpeting enforcement, then suddenly shifting to Congress — does not portray the president in a flattering light. This is first-year-of-first-term amateurishness

Oh yes, health care. The president’s signal domestic policy achievement. Probably the most important legacy of his administration. …  So how could the roll out of the Web site be so bad?

Chris Cillizza writes skeptically:

“Obama didn’t know” has become a regular refrain for this White House. Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the president was unaware of the red flags that had been raised in regards the launch of Healthcare.gov, and back in May the President himself said knew nothing about the reports of the IRS targeting of conservative groups before he read about it in the media.”

And his column is illustrated with a video clip from a CNN report about Obama’s repeated plea that he “didn’t know”, questioning whether this was “a strategy”. The host’s air of mild surprise, his tone of “only asking”, fig-leafs the message that if Obama really doesn’t know what’s going on in his administration, he should.  

Dana Milbank seems more than a little irritated (writing here at IBD):

For a smart man, President Obama professes to know very little about a great number of things going on in his administration. .. Is it better that he didn’t know about his administration’s missteps — or that he knew about them and didn’t stop them?

Richard Cohen – seeming hurt and even a touch angry (here):

[Obama] has lately so mishandled both domestic and foreign policy … [His Syrian policy is] intellectually incoherent and pathetically inconsistent … The debacle of the Affordable Care Act’s Web [raises]questions about confidence. … An erratic presidency has made the world a bit less safe.

Why were they unable to see what sort of man Obama is until now?

They saw what they wanted to see.

What’s happened that they see him more clearly now? Why did they let him get away with so much? Why are they still not complaining about the lies and cover-up of Benghazi?

Is it too late to undo the harm Obama has done to America?

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We now know that perhaps 16 million peoplewill lose their health coverage because of ObamaCare. But David Axelrod sniffs “the overwhelming majority of the population won’t lose their current coverage,” and Anna Eshoo (my congresswoman) assures us that these millions will now be able to purchase “better” insurance (which they don’t want and which doesn’t fit their needs).

Three years of blatant lies from Obama in order to herd the American people, mostly against their will, into an unworkable, financially disastrous system, all in the service of the long-term goal of the Democratic Party: to increase the power, the reach, and the intrusiveness of the federal government, thereby turning free, independent citizens into wards of the state. This is what Obama meant when he proclaimed shortly before his first inauguration that the total transformation of this country will begin in five days. Next on Obama’s agenda is universal pre-school, that is, a year or two more in state-run, generally mediocre schools and a year or two less time with their parents (who may harbor undesirable, reactionary views). And let us not forget the Obama administration’s long-standing policy of not enforcing immigration laws, which means an ongoing rapid transformation of the demographics of this country and a huge increase in the number of people who will vote for welfare state policies.

What is this transformed America that Obama and most Democrats envision? At best, it’s a bloated European-style welfare state similar to the ones that are currently sinking into insolvency, that are unwilling and unable to defend themselves against the enemies within and without, that are becoming more culturally enfeebled with every passing year, and that are locked in a demographic death spiral which ensures their virtual disappearance as a culture in the lifetime of my grandchildren. At worst, it’s a leviathan state which holds the commanding position in every critical aspect of life, both political and economic — something akin to a Soviet Union but perhaps without the gulags, the purge trials, and the sealed borders. This worst case scenario is not so far-fetched when one considers the chief influences in Obama’s life: the Reverend Wright, Frank Marshall Davis (Communist Party member), Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers, and Obama’s revered father, a Marxist revolutionary. Steve Weinberg, Nobel Prize winner in physics, once expressed amazement that religious people actually believe that the Bible is literally true. When it comes to irrational belief, is it as difficult to grasp the notion that Obama might very well believe and wish to put into practice the anti-American, anti-capitalist worldview of those he has chosen to associate with throughout his adult life?

One may argue that a single man cannot possibly do irreparable damage to a society in eight short years. Let us hope this is true. But think about it! In two generations, Greece has gone from a nation of sturdy fishermen, farmers, and merchants into a bankrupt society whose citizens riot at the prospect of not being able to retire at the age or 50 with full pensions. Massive government intervention, in particular unearned benefits, has done to the Greeks what it has done to so many blacks in this country; that is, it has reduced them to feckless wards of the state. As Ambassador Daniel Moynihan pointed out, culture is more important than laws, but culture can be changed by changing the laws.

As far back as the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville described a new and distinctive culture, one that was totally different from those of Europe. It was a culture characterized by individualism, self-reliance, hard work, suspicion of authority, individual generosity, and the willingness to form local associations to solve social problems. It is what shaped and molded America and is the reason why the United States and not Brazil, Argentina, or Russia is the world’s preeminent power. Obama appears to have nothing but contempt for this culture, as exemplified by his off-hand comment about those people who cling to their guns and religion and his wife’s comment (almost certainly approved by him) on the campaign trail to the effect that for the first time in her life she felt proud of her country. When asked what made America great, Obama cited the passage of Social Security and Medicare – implying that the evolution of 13 weak colonies to the most powerful, the wealthiest, and the most innovative and creative nation in a little over two centuries was nothing compared to social welfare legislation. On another occasion, Obama opined that the Constitution was a flawed document in that it stipulates only negative rights (Congress shall not do this or that) and but does not stipulate positive rights (good jobs, free education, free medical care, free housing, etc.). But by their very nature, it is beyond the power of government to guarantee such “rights”. Government can decree the things it wants done but cannot ensure that these things will be done. If it could, the Soviet Union (which had a magnificent constitution) would have been an earthly paradise but, like all other states that have offered cradle-to-grave fulfillment of human needs, was a giant prison whose citizens were equal in their poverty.

 

Robert Kantor   TAC Associate    October 30, 2013 

 

*Footnote:  A Forbes article headlines: Obama officials [predicted] in 2010 that 93 million Americans will be unable to keep their health [insurance] plans under Obamacare.

Postscript 11/13/13: It turns out that the CBS report was based on a false account. This does not alter the fact that an Obama-supporting TV channel was prepared to discuss Benghazi without whitewashing the Obama administration – unless putting out the program was the start of a cunning plan to tell lies, have them exposed, and so make it seem that any adverse criticism of the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack is likely to be untrue. It’s a possibility, but we think it more probable that CBS was simply deceived, and its willingness to criticize the administration’s handling of that dire event remains the notable point.

The know-nothing president 2


Posted under cartoons, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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Tolerate the intolerant – or be punished for intolerance 6

Tolerate the intolerant – or be punished for intolerance?

It just doesn’t make sense, does it? It is illogical.

What does make sense, what is logical is this:

If you tolerate intolerance, you have abandoned tolerance.

Only if you are intolerant of intolerance are you tolerant.

Islam is intolerant. It is therefore not to be tolerated.

But that logic could put you under arrest if the European Union gets its way with its new tolerance decree.

The EU, which is led by mentally challenged pinko nonentities, wants the indigenous peoples of Europe – who have a post-Enlightenment tradition of tolerance (at least in theory, which didn’t stretch all the way to the Jews) – to tolerate the intolerance of the Muslims who are  colonizing their continent.

This is how they work it out. If the Muslims go into the public square anywhere in Europe and display banners calling for the end of democracy (“Democracy Go To Hell” ), or the replacement of the law which protects difference of opinion with sharia law that doesn’t – insists in fact that only one opinion, the ignorant cruel Muslim one, be allowed – then their display of intolerance must be tolerated. If they shout that Christians and Jews (the offspring of apes and pigs in their holy writ) must be slaughtered, you must not shout back at them, or argue with them however politely, or write a reasoned article that they’re promoting intolerance and incitement to insurrection and murder, because if you do you are guilty of intolerance. What’s more, you should be punished for it. Why? Because you would be interfering with the Muslims’ right to free speech.

Perhaps you find it hard to believe that the leaders of the EU could really be as dumb as that?

Well, here’s the evidence.

It comes from an essay by Soeren Kern published by the Gatestone Institute, titled Proposal to Monitor “Intolerant” Citizens. 

While European leaders are busy expressing public indignation over reports of American espionage operations in the European Union, the European Parliament is quietly considering a proposal that calls for the direct surveillance of any EU citizen suspected of being “intolerant.”

Critics say the measure – which seeks to force the national governments of all 28 EU member states to establish “special administrative units” to monitor any individual or group expressing views that the self-appointed guardians of European multiculturalism deem to be “intolerant” – represents an unparalleled threat to free speech in a Europe where citizens are already regularly punished for expressing the “wrong” opinions, especially about Islam.

The proposed European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance was recently presented to members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, the only directly-elected body of the European Union.

It all began with good people having the best of intentions – as mischief and downright evil so often do begin.

The policy proposal was drafted by the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), a non-governmental organization established in Paris in 2008 by the former president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, and the president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor.

The ECTR – which describes itself as a “tolerance watchdog” that “prepares practical recommendations to governments and international organizations on improving inter-religious and inter-ethnic relations on the continent” – includes on its board more than a dozen prominent European politicians, including former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar.

Aznar is very unlike most European leaders, being intelligent and genuinely tolerant.

The ECTR first presented its proposal for a Europe-wide Law on Tolerance to the European Parliament in November 2008 as part of the European Week of Tolerance that marked the 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, a night of anti-Semitic violence that began the Jewish Holocaust in Germany.

After five years of lobbying in Europe’s halls of power, the ECTR proposal appears to be making headway, as evidenced by the European Parliament’s recent decision to give the group a prominent 45-minute time slot to present its proposal to the Civil Liberties committee on September 17.

Also known as the “Model Statute for Tolerance,” the ECTR’s proposal was presented as part of the EU’s ongoing work towards a new “Equal Treatment Directive” (ETD) that would vastly expand the scope of discrimination to all sectors of life in both the public and private spheres.

Poking into private spheres? So it soon became a pernicious thing, in time for its chance of being accepted by the EU’s Parliament. Though that acceptance would not in itself be too dangerous, as the EU Parliament is an impotent organization that merely rubber stamps laws sent to it by the European Commission. (It serves the purpose of making the EU look democratic – which it is not – because its members are elected with extreme indifference in the various member countries.) But it’s at the top of a slippery slope.

Critics of the ETD, currently being negotiated within the Council of the European Union, say the directive seeks to establish an ill-conceived concept of “equal treatment” as a horizontal principle governing the relationships between all and everyone, thus interfering with the right of self-determination of all citizens.

According to European Dignity Watch, a civil rights watchdog based in Brussels,

The principles of freedom of contract and the freedom to live according to one’s personal moral views are in danger of being superseded by a newly developed concept of ‘equality.’ It would undermine freedom and self-determination for all Europeans and subject the private life of citizens to legal uncertainty and the control of bureaucrats. It is about governmental control of social behavior of citizens. These tendencies begin to give the impression of long-passed totalitarian ideas and constitute an unprecedented attack on citizens’ rights.

… The ECTR document is so audacious in scope, while at the same time so vague in defining its terminology, that critics say the proposal, if implemented, would open a Pandora’s Box of abuse, thereby effectively shutting down the right to free speech in Europe..

It is plain from the defining of terms that idiots took over.

According to Section 1 (d), for example, the term “tolerance” is broadly defined as “respect for and acceptance of the expression, preservation and development of the distinct identity of a group.” Section 2 (d) states that the purpose of the statute is to “condemn all manifestations of intolerance based on bias, bigotry and prejudice.”

That is not what “tolerance” means at all. To tolerate something means you put up with it. You bear with it. You don’t like it, but you are not going to take action against it. You don’t have to respect it to be tolerant of it – in fact the word implies that you don’t respect it any more than you like it. It certainly doesn’t mean that you have to try to preserve it. Obviously, you would happy to see it go. The less it’s expressed the better, and if it’s developed any further you will find it ever harder to tolerate. What you tolerate can be anything from your room-mate smoking to a baby crying all night in an airplane to a bad singer insisting on singing … to a group with a “distinct identity”. The distinct group would be the easiest thing on that list to tolerate – unless they’re a group that is trying to overthrow your laws and kill you.

And as for “intolerance based on bias, bigotry and prejudice”, what they seem to imply is that intolerance can only arise out of emotional distaste. It could never be reasonable. And how the source of anyone’s intolerance could be ascertained is hard to imagine.

In fact, if the precedents set in European courts over the last few years are examples of what the ETD is thinking of, no reasons would be accepted for what they choose to call intolerance. It will always be ascribed to “bias, bigotry and prejudice”.   Because …

An explanatory note to Section 2 states: “Religious intolerance is understood to cover Islamophobia”

“Cover” Islamophobia? It is specifically designed to criminalize “Islamophobia”

but it provides no definition at all of “Islamophobia,” a term invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1990s.

If taken to its logical conclusion, Section 2 would presumably ban all critical scrutiny of Islam and Islamic Sharia law, a key objective of Muslim activist groups for more than two decades.

Yes, that’s what it’s all about. The document, in fact, shows every sign of having been written under the close supervision of Muslims. That’s why it is now likely to be accepted by any official body of the EU.

The document also declares that “tolerance must be practiced not only by governmental bodies but equally by individuals”.

There’s tolerance for you!

Section 3 (iv) elaborates on this: “Guarantee of tolerance must be understood not only as a vertical relationship (government-to-individuals) but also as a horizontal relationship (group-to-group and person-to-person). … “

Notice how government is thought of as being above the people. And that it is okay for it to regulate relations between individuals.

Section 5 (a) states: “Tolerance (as defined in Section 1(d)) must be guaranteed to any group, whether it has long-standing societal roots or it is recently formed, especially as a result of migration from abroad.”

The group from abroad that wants the enforcement of this menacing nonsense is intolerant Islam itself.

Section 6 states: “It goes without saying that enactment of a Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance does not suffice by itself. There must be a mechanism in place ensuring that the Statute does not remain on paper and is actually implemented in the world of reality.”

In other words, sniff out “bias, bigotry and prejudice”, and punish it.

“Members of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups are entitled to a special protection, additional to the general protection that has to be provided by the Government to every person within the State. … The special protection afforded to members of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups may imply a preferential treatment. Strictly speaking, this preferential treatment goes beyond mere respect and acceptance lying at the root of tolerance.”

Interpretation: It’s not enough that you may not hate Islam; you must LOVE Islam. Or else.  

One clause prescribes the indoctrination of children in schools at all levels from the elementary grades to the universities. And children who offend will not escape punishment:

Section 7 (b) states that “Juveniles convicted of committing crimes listed in paragraph (a) will be required to undergo a rehabilitation program designed to instill in them a culture of tolerance.”

What will happen to you if you fail to love Islam?

Paragraph 7 (e) states that “victims of crimes listed in paragraph (a) will have a legal standing to bring a case against the perpetrators, as well as a right to redress.”

You won’t only have to pay a fine to the state, you will also have to pay any Muslim who claims you offended him.

Paragraph 7 (f) states that “free legal aid will be offered to victims of crimes listed in paragraph (a), irrespective of qualification in terms of impecuniosity.”

So he, on the other hand, regardless of how rich he is, will have all his expenses paid for by the state – that is to say by you,  the tax-paying citizen.

The media must conform to the code of permitted speech, and each government must set up “a mass media complaints commission”  to “supervise” the program content of  even “privately owned mass media”.

Soeren Kern aptly comments:

The document, if adopted by the European Parliament in its current form, would … establish a right to a freedom from hurt feelings at the expense of the freedom of speech and expression.

Of course any group formed round an opinion is by its very existence forever challenging everyone else. Whether it is a political party, a religion, or merely a school of thought on any subject whatsoever, it is not in agreement with all those who do not hold its opinion. So everyone can be offended all the time.

The entire population of Europe could be crying out in perpetual rage for unendurably hurt feelings.

Or – more likely, since most Europeans have become skulking cowards – a great silence could descend on the continent, as everyone fears to utter a word. Europeans will go about with their heads bowed in case a look at a neighbor cuts him to the bone. They might all put on burkas – men as well as women – so that no piece of them rouses indignation in another’s bosom. They could all decide that it’s safer to become Muslims. Then they’ll abolish the law forbidding intolerance, so Sunnis can be as intolerant as they like of Shi-ites, and Shi-ites of Sunnis – and they can all work together to persecute the Jews.

Hillary Clinton chiefly responsible for Benghazi disaster 2

Apparently recalling that it should provide accurate information rather than shill for Barack Obama, CBS has issued this report on the Benghazi disaster more than a year after it happened:

 

This comes from Breitbart by Joel B. Pollak:

On Sunday evening, CBS News’ 60 Minutes featured an investigative report on the Benghazi attacks by Lara Logan. Logan’s reporting confirmed that the Obama administration had been warned, months in advance, about inadequate security at the U.S. facility in Benghazi, and that it knew the story about a YouTube video was untrue.

It was a reversal for CBS News, which played a key role in the Benghazi cover-up in 2012.

A year ago, CBS News released a previously unaired clip of an interview for 60 Minutes with President Barack Obama on Sep. 12, the day after the Benghazi attack, in which the president suggests clearly that the attack on the U.S. consulate was premeditated. The interview contradicted Obama’s subsequent claims that the attack had been a response to an anti-Islam YouTube video, repeated to the public for several days.

CBS News had withheld that portion of the Sep. 12 interview until Oct. 19, choosing instead to release a portion in which Obama criticized rival Mitt Romney’s condemnation of the administration’s response to events – a repeated theme as the media helped Obama deflect responsibility. …

Whistleblowers testified to Congress earlier this year they were pressured by Clinton’s chief of staff not to cooperate with congressional investigators.

Logan’s investigation featured an interview with one of those whistleblowers, Greg Hicks, who had been the deputy to slain U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Logan also interviewed “Morgan Jones” (pseudonym), a former British soldier who had been advising the U.S. on security in Benghazi and had warned the State Department that Libyan guards being trained to guard the compound were not up to the job.

Morgan’s warnings came to fruition on Sep. 11, 2012, when he saw the guards disperse after being told by the attackers: “We’re here to kill Americans, not Libyans.” Morgan did what little he could to stop the attack. …

Yet the Obama administration did not send any assistance throughout the night, and is thought to have issued a stand-down order to prevent any intervention.

What Logan’s report makes clear is that there is no way that President Obama or his Secretary of State could plausibly claim that a YouTube video had inspired a spontaneous act of violence on that scale against the U.S. consulate, the CIA annex and their personnel.

That story was a lie when it was told – and it was a lie aided and abetted by the mainstream media, including CBS News and 60 Minutes, which could have exploded the administration’s YouTube video alibi even as Obama and Clinton were telling it to the families of the victims, to the voting public, and to the world.

[This CBS] report is commendable, but as an attempt to atone for malpractice, it is far too little, too late.

John Hinderaker comments at PowerLine:

The person most responsible for the Benghazi disaster is Hillary Clinton.

Is there any logical explanation for how she can be considered a viable presidential candidate, given what we now know about her role in Benghazi, and the lies she told to cover up her own culpability?

The war between Reason and Unreason 8

Every day one can find reports that dozens, on some days hundreds, of men women and children have been slaughtered, in hideous ways, as they were going about their daily business. Strangers throw bombs into their homes, mow them down with automatic fire, blow them up in buses and schools and shopping-malls, at street markets and on the roads. The killers are Muslims, the majority of the victims are also Muslims though many are Christians. Why? Had the victims committed a crime? Had they harmed their killers, or threatened them? No. The killers killed because they were instructed to do so by a warlord who reputedly lived some fourteen hundred years ago. His sole grounds for giving the order to murder was that his god desired it. (He discouraged the killing of fellow Muslims, but that part of his inspiring doctrine is not obeyed.)

The Religion of Peace collects the reports and provides links to them. It keeps count of the killings. Today’s tally of  lethal attacks carried out by Islamic terrorists since the massacres of 9/11/2001, is 21,800. (The figures are displayed daily in our margin.)

Where is the outrage? Where is the moral condemnation? That’s much harder to find.

Sam Harris wrote about the violent protests that were whipped up throughout the Muslim world when cartoons of Muhammad (the warlord) were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005:

Let us take stock of the moral intuitions now on display in the House of Islam: On Aug. 17, 2005, an Iraqi insurgent helped collect the injured survivors of a car bombing, rushed them to a hospital and then detonated his own bomb, murdering those who were already mortally wounded as well as the doctors and nurses struggling to save their lives. Where were the cries of outrage from the Muslim world? Religious sociopaths kill innocents by the hundreds in the capitols of Europe, blow up the offices of the U.N. and the Red Cross, purposefully annihilate crowds of children gathered to collect candy from U.S. soldiers on the streets of Baghdad, kidnap journalists, behead them, and the videos of their butchery become the most popular form of pornography in the Muslim world, and no one utters a word of protest because these atrocities have been perpetrated “in defense of Islam.” But draw a picture of the Prophet, and pious mobs convulse with pious rage. One could hardly ask for a better example of religious dogmatism and its pseudo-morality eclipsing basic, human goodness. …

Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe. The demographic trends are ominous: Given current birthrates, France could be a majority Muslim country in 25 years, and that is if immigration were to stop tomorrow. Throughout Western Europe, Muslim immigrants show little inclination to acquire the secular and civil values of their host countries, and yet exploit these values to the utmost — demanding tolerance for their backwardness, their misogyny, their anti-Semitism, and the genocidal hatred that is regularly preached in their mosques.

Political correctness and fears of [being accused of] racism have rendered many secular Europeans incapable of opposing the terrifying religious commitments of the extremists in their midst. In an effort to appease the lunatic furor arising in the Muslim world in response to the publication of the Danish cartoons, many Western leaders have offered apologies for exercising the very freedoms that are constitutive of civil society in the 21st century. The U.S. and British governments have chastised Denmark and the other countries that published the cartoons for privileging freedom of speech over religious sensitivity. It is not often that one sees the most powerful countries on Earth achieve new depths of weakness, moral exhaustion and geopolitical stupidity with a single gesture. This was appeasement at its most abject. …

Our press should report on the terrifying state of discourse in the Arab press, exposing the degree to which it is a tissue of lies, conspiracy theories and exhortations to recapture the glories of the seventh century. All civilized nations must unite in condemnation of a theology that now threatens to destabilize much of the Earth. … Otherwise, we will have to win some very terrible wars in the future.

Or lose them, which looks more probable in the light of the moral failure that Harris rightly diagnoses.

It is time we realized that the endgame for civilization is not political correctness.

It is not respect for the abject religious certainties of the mob.

It is reason.

It should be. But those of us who fight or stand for reason one way or another, have lost all the important battles of the last twenty years – almost all since the end of the Cold War. The Communist ideology we thought had been defeated with the collapse of the Soviet Union reigns in Western schools and universities, drives most of the political parties of Europe, and is in power in America. Islam continues to advance steadily as Sam Harris foresaw it would. We have lost many battles. Have we already lost the war?

The bored kid in power 1

It seems that Obama views the civil war in Syria and the threats that it involves – including the use of chemical weapons, the growth of Russian influence, Iranian power projection, and the plight of refugees pouring into neighboring Arab countries – chiefly as a nuisance to himself personally. He excuses his inability to grasp the issues and decide on a policy by alleging that all presidents must be similarly baffled and annoyed by foreign affairs.

A New York Times report reveals this – though the reporters don’t seem to realize the implications. Relating the long dismal story of Obama’s vacillations over several years whenever he had to consider what if anything should be done about the Syrian bloodbath, they write:

In private conversations with aides, Mr. Obama described Syria as one of those hellish problems every president faces, where the risks are endless and all the options are bad.

Someone who fully realizes the implications of all such information that leaks out of the White House about what sort of president Barack Obama is, and what sort of man, is Daniel Greenfield. He  comments scathingly at Front Page:

Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner, takes going to war every bit as seriously as you would expect.

Even as the debate about arming the [Syrian] rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient or disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.

Obama slept while Americans died in Benghazi because he was prepping to go party in Vegas with Jay-Z. And if Americans weapons fall into the hands of Al Qaeda and end up being used to kill Americans, then while that was being discussed we can take comfort in the fact that the man at the top was taking the time to chew gum, roll his eyes and scroll through his radical pals’ latest Facebook updates.

What did Obama say about Putin again?

The New York Times is reporting that an anonymous source described Russian President Vladimir Putin as “infuriated” when Obama described Putin’s body language “like the bored kid in the back of the classroom.”

Right back atcha, Putin might have said.

Our ridiculous foreign policy is supervised by a ridiculous man-child with more self-esteem than brains who can’t be bothered to pay attention when lives are on the line because his own entertainment comes first.

It’s no surprise that the parents of the Americans murdered in Benghazi have yet to receive a straight answer from Obama. He doesn’t care. That gets in the way of his “Me Time” playing golf and vacationing and partying with music stars and celebs.

War? He’ll show up and play with his phone and then say, “Yes” or “No” or “Let’s think about this some more” and hit the links.

We do not think the US should interfere directly in Syria. There is no good side in that internecine turmoil. But we think America should have a Middle East policy that treats Iran as a threat, Russia as a danger, the Muslim Brotherhood and all its offshoots including al-Qaeda and Hamas as enemies, and Israel as an ally.

Jay Z, Barry O, and the counter-culture becomes the culture 10

Hours after the Arab terrorist attack on the US mission in Benghazi, when four Americans were killed including the Ambassador to Libya, the president managed to conquer his grief and fly off to party with the entertainer Jay Z.

We haven’t taken much notice of Jay Z before now. Who is he, that the president of the United States will hurry away from the seat of government when his country has just suffered an humiliating defeat, to seek his company? What is his compelling message that powerful men will travel far to listen to him in person?

We found some answers in an article titled Jay Z’s American Fascism by David P. Goldman at PJ Media:

Who would have believed that a performing genre (it is a stretch to call it “music”) dominated by convicted and confessed criminals, brutally misogynistic, preaching and practicing violence, would come to dominate American popular culture?

Jay Z, who brags of dealing drugs and shooting an older brother in his youth, and pleaded guilty to stabbing a record producer, could “help shape attitudes in a real (sic) positive way,” according to President Obama.

Jay Z texts regularly with the president and is a regular White House visitor after opening Obama campaign rallies.

Goldman gives this example of Jay Z’s rap message:

We formed a new religion

No sins as long as there’s permission

And deception is the only felony

So never fuck nobody without telling me

Sunglasses and Advil, last night was mad real.

To us this is incoherent nonsense. Some words are obviously put in only because they semi-rhyme with some other word, as is common in  rap songs. But from these lines Goldman concludes that Jay Z believes himself to be “the prophet of a new religion“. And Goldman may be right.

Jay Z’s message, Goldman says, is that “violence is not only a legitimate form of expression: it is the only manly form of expression.” And he quotes:

This might offend my political connects

My raps don’t have melodies

This should make niggas wan’ go and commit felonies

Get your chain tooken

I may do it myself, I’m so Brooklyn!

I know we facing a recession

But the music y’all making gon’ make it the Great Depression

All y’all lack aggression

Put your skirt back down, grow a set man

Nigga this shit violent

The explicit call to violence (including chain-snatching as a form of political expression) is a playful challenge to his “political connects”, namely the president.

Playful? Not to be taken seriously then?

Goldman finds an excuse for Obama’s friendship with such a man. It is, however, an excuse that condemns a large section of the population.

One should not conclude from this that Obama favors criminal violence, but rather that the popular response to Jay Z’s evocation of felonious rage is so great that Obama finds it convenient to exploit it.

The call to violence is, Goldman reminds his readers, “nothing new”:

There is nothing at all new in any of this: we heard it before from Nietzsche in his evocation of the “blond beast’s” life-affirming violence, from George Sorel, from Mussolini’s call for “creative violence”.

We could add to his list many more preachers of the virtue of violence, among them, most prominently: Robespierre, Hegel, Richard Wagner, and of course – as Goldman says – Hitler. 

Jay Z appeals to the same kind of rage that Hitler and Mussolini exploited during the interwar years.

He ascribes the rage, and the consequent readiness to respond with intense enthusiasm to Jay Z’s message, to youth unemployment, for which he gives alarming figures;  and to a falling away from conventional religion by the public in general, in support of which he quotes from an article by a Catholic journalist :

The Catholic Church is besieged by secularism and suffering from the self-inflicted injury of the sex abuse scandals. The resignation of Benedict XVI, one of its great theologians and doctrinal leaders, left its leadership uncertain. Not only Catholicism but the American Evangelical movement … is caught by the receding tide. In an Aug. 16 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Russell Moore, the leader of the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, announced, “The Bible Belt is collapsing.” Moore added, “We are no longer the moral majority. …” The Evangelicals have not retained their young people. The Pew survey reported in 2007 that 32% of Americans aged 50 to 64 are white Evangelicals, against only 13% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29. The public tide has turned against religion.

To us that is good news.

Now of course if people are at work they are not at rage-rousing rallies, so we accept that unemployment may be a cause of the popular enthusiasm for a message of violent rebellion.

But as for traditional religion being an antidote to rage and rebellion, has it not rather been the paramount cause of insurrections, riots, wars, massacres, persecutions, conquests, genocides?

It doesn’t surprise us that Jay Z’s “new religion” of inarticulate violence is gathering a large and passionate following. It only confirms our pessimism.

But if the president of the United States has joined that following, then the counter-culture with all its moral filth has won. Obama endorsed it when he expressed support for the Occupy Movement. If now he accepts, or chooses to exploit, the Nazi message of Jay Z, the counter-culture has become the culture. And our pessimism may turn into despair.

Sharing a little Schadenfreude 0

We never thought we’d applaud Russian police, but for this we do – getting Greenpeace off the streets and into jail:

Posted under Environmentalism, Russia by Jillian Becker on Thursday, October 24, 2013

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