Missile strikes on Syria: punishment, prevention, and warning 4

“What did the missile strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons sites do for America?”

“Why should Americans expend blood and treasure for Syrians victimized by their own government?”

“America is not the world’s policeman.”

Such are the questions and protests that are coming from angry commentators, including many conservatives.

So was President Trump’s decision to act as he did right or wrong?

Claudia Rosett, for long a trusty reporter on the horror show called the United Nations, writes at PJ Media:

With air strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons facilities, carried out jointly with Britain and France, America has done the right thing.

Leading from in front, President Trump is finally redrawing the red line that President Obama erased in 2013. Whatever the threats and criticisms that will surely follow, the world will be safer for it. The vital message is that America is no longer the hamstrung giant of the Obama era. Tyrants such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and his patrons in Moscow and Tehran, have been served notice that it would be unwise to continue to assume that America will waffle, appease or simply retreat while they take upon themselves the shaping – to monstrous effect – of the 21st-century world order. This message is also likely to resonate in Beijing (which has reportedly been planning live-fire naval exercises next week in the Taiwan Strait) and Pyongyang (with its nuclear missile projects).

The immediate aim of the US-led air strikes was to end the chemical weapons attacks that Syria’s Assad regime has continued to inflict on its own people – despite Assad’s promises in 2013 to surrender his chemical weapons, and Russia’s promise to ensure Assad did so. On Friday, speaking at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Nikki Haley charged that by U.S. estimates, “Assad has used chemical weapons in the Syrian war at least 50 times” – some of these attacks within the past year, including the gas attack that killed dozens … in the Syrian city of Douma.

There’s room for debate about whether it is America’s responsibility, on humanitarian grounds, to stop such atrocities. But whatever your views on protecting children in a far-off land from the hideous effects of chemical weapons, there is a larger, strategic reason for trying to stop Assad. Syria, with its liberal use of chemical weapons, has been setting a horrific precedent – repeatedly violating the Chemical Weapons Convention to which Damascus acceded in 2013, and eroding the longstanding international taboo against chemical warfare. This is dangerous way beyond Syria. As Haley told the UN Security Council: “All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalize the use of chemical weapons.”

In theory, the United Nations was supposed to prevent this, ensuring in tandem with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that Assad would give up all his chemical weapons – with the specific oversight and guarantees of Russia, under a deal cut in 2013 by Obama and Putin. As I explained in an article earlier this week for The Hill, the UN has failed utterly, thanks to Putin’s cynical exploitation of the entire setup. Russia used the chemical weapons disarmament deal as a portal for its own military entry into Syria in support of Assad, and has since been using its veto on the UN Security Council, along with a torrent of Kremlin propaganda, to run diplomatic cover for Assad.

As many conservative commentators pointed out at the time, it was stupid (if not collusional) of Obama and his secretary of state John Kerry to hand over the responsibility for overseeing Syria’s WMD abandonment to Russia.

The upshot has been that if the US does not stop Assad’s use of chemical weapons, then nobody will.

Neither Britain nor France would have done it without the US.

The US could have done it on its own. British and French participation in the missile attack was useful for President Trump, though not necessary for the success of the operation. The huge majority of the missiles were American – 88 of the 105. Nine were French and 8 were British.

Prime Minister May allowed British forces to strike Syria along with US forces because she “owed” President Trump for his supporting her, when she hit back at Russia for the poisoning of two Russian expats in Britain by expelling Putin’s diplomats and closing a consulate. She asked President Trump to do the same, and he did. She was able to give the order for the strike on Syria by the RAF without consulting parliament because the MPs were still absent on their Easter break. She seized the moment, and now there’s an outcry in the Commons – as well as the country – about it.

As for President Macron, he seems to be fascinated by President Trump, wanting to follow him and yet also to direct him. Macron claimed that he had “convinced” Trump that he should keep the US military engaged in Syria – and then he retracted the claim.

Last April, after Assad used sarin gas in an attack that killed almost 100 people, Trump ordered a strike of 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airbase. Evidently, that was not enough to stop Assad’s chemical weapons spree.

At a Pentagon press briefing Friday evening held shortly after Trump’s public announcement of the strikes on Syria, Gen. Joseph Dunford listed three targets “struck and destroyed,” which he said were “specifically associated with the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.” The last two on his list were chemical weapons storage facilities, one of which included “an important command post”. On these, I don’t know anything beyond the generic descriptions Dunford gave at the briefing.

But the first target on Dunford’s list had a very familiar ring. He described it as “a scientific research center located in the greater Damascus area”. He added: “This military facility was a Syrian center for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology.”

That sure sounds like the notorious Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, also known as the SSRC. In which case there can be no doubt that these air strikes were aimed at an incredibly high-value target, an outfit central to some of the worst depravities of Assad’s weapons programs, and – as it happens – a longtime client of North Korea and Iran. On the 99 percent probability that this was the research center to which Dunford referred, here’s some background:

For starters, I’d credit Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis with telling it exactly as it is, when he said at the same Pentagon press briefing Friday night, “We were very precise and proportionate. But at the same time, it was a heavy strike.”

The SSRC has been on the U.S. sanctions list for 13 years, first designated under the Bush administration in 2005, with periodic, horrifying updates under the Obama and Trump administrations, targeting its various fronts, procurement arms, officials and connections.

This is not just any old research center. According to the U.S. Treasury, it is “the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the missiles to deliver them”. …

On April 24, 2017, following Assad’s sarin gas attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, the Trump administration blacklisted 271 employees of the SSRC, stating that these individuals “have expertise in chemistry and related disciplines and/or have worked in support of SSRC’s chemical weapons since at least 2012”.  In other words, during the same time frame in which Russia (and former secretary of State John Kerry) were assuring us that 100 percent of the chemical weapons were gone from Syria, the Syrian regime’s SSRC was prolifically busy plowing ahead with Assad’s chemical weapons program.

We also have it on good authority that during roughly that same interval, the SSRC was ordering up shipments from North Korea. According to the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea sanctions, in a report dated March 5, 2018, their investigations into weapons and dual-use shipments to Syria from North Korea turned up more than 40 shipments between 2012 and 2017 “by entities designated by Member States as front companies for the Scientific Studies Research Centre of the Syrian Arab Republic.” Among these shipments were items “with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs”.

If the SSRC was indeed struck and destroyed, the likely benefits are enormous. That would deprive Assad of one of the most diabolical laboratories of his evil regime, quite likely providing a big setback to his chemical weapons program, with the two-fer that it might also have zapped his bioweapons program.

It would also send a useful message to everyone from the SSRC’s suppliers, such as Iran and North Korea, to such predatory dictators as Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi Jinping. Destroying the SSRC with air strikes ought to drive home, in a way that no amount of UN debate and no quantity of sanctions designations ever could, that these days the U.S. and its allies are serious about their red lines. 

The SSRC was struck. According to the caption to this picture in The Independent, this rubble is what’s left of “part” of it.

About the mass destruction of populations 69

Moral clarity is needed on the question of whether the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad can be allowed to get away with using gas against the Syrian people in the civil war over which he presides year after year.

The answer is NO. He cannot be allowed to.

Gas was delivered on to the Syrian town of Douma from the air. No rebel faction has aircraft. It could only have been delivered by Assad, or his Russian allies at his behest.

There is no defense against chemical and biological weapons. They can be used against large numbers of civilians. That is why they are called “weapons of mass destruction”.

So yes, it is worse to kill off whole populations with gas or anthrax than to engage an army with conventional weapons.

If Assad or anyone else in a position to develop and deliver mass-murdering gas gets away with doing it, others will do it too, such as the mullahs of Iran, the despot of North Korea.

And if gas is re-introduced as a weapon of war, no one anywhere will be out of its reach.

Bad actors hesitate to use biological weapons – the spreading of diseases, such as anthrax – because the stuff can kill the attackers as easily as the attacked. Disease is wholly impartial and no respecter of persons. But gas, dropped from the air as it was over Douma, kills only those below, not those who drop it or send it. It is the cheapest weapon of mass destruction an immoral government with an air force can use.

Elliot Friedland writes at the Clarion Project:

[President] Trump was on the phone with the leaders of France and Britain, the only two other Western powers with serious force projection capabilities, although their militaries pale in comparison to that of the United States. …

The question is whether the United States and her allies will wage war on Syria.

Many pundits and politicians from both sides of the aisle feel the question has already been decided. Of course the President should act in the face of such immorality. America has a responsibility to lead, to not let tyrants commit atrocities with impunity. Despite the partisan rancor that normally characterizes Washington, there is remarkable unity around the idea that Trump ought to authorize at least some military action in Syria.

There are many good reasons to support such a position. Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro forcefully argued the case against Assad on Fox News, highlighting the vital importance of maintaining deterrence against chemical weapons attacks.

But opposition to the war is bringing a strange medley of personalities from across the political spectrum together.

Tucker Carlson, one of the most watched right-of-center talk show hosts on American television, delivered a blistering rebuke of the pro-war crowd on his show. He said that even if Assad did order a chemical weapons attack that killed children (which Carlson acknowledges he is perfectly capable of doing), to remove him would only bring further chaos at the expense of American lives and billions more dollars.

In this opinion, he is joined by none other than Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour party, who called for restraint and a multilateral solution brought by the United Nations.

The iniquitous United Nations, that does much harm and no good! (It must be abolished.)

Corbyn has links to Islamist figures, has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” and is embroiled in an on-going anti-Semitism scandal. In the UK, Corbyn’s position was supported by none other than Nick Griffin, former leader of the far-right British National Party. Griffin tweeted that he would vote Labour and support Corbyn if he stopped U.S. airstrikes in Syria.

Left-wing journalist and self-described “anarcho-psychonaut” Caitlin Johnstone wrote in Medium “We All Need to Unite Against War in Syria Regardless of Ideology.” She cites Intercept founder Glenn Greenwald, who got famous breaking Edward Snowden’s Wikileaks as also being against the war.

Patriarcha, an ultraconservative Christian Facebook page even shared her article, calling it “compulsory reading”, despite that page’s longstanding visceral hatred for anything emanating from the left.

The prospect of war is uniting people who normally couldn’t stand to even be in the same room without screaming at each other. The conventional partisan alignments are breaking down in the face of the ever-changing political reality.

Fortunately, the person who will decide what to do is not Tucker Carlson, or Jeremy Corbyn, or Nick Griffin, or Caitlin Johnstone, or Glenn Greenwald, or some “ultraconservative Christian” …

The Islamic Republic of Britain 12

The UK is accelerating its Islamization at an ever-increasing speed. The desire of the British establishment to submit to Islam appears to be overwhelming.

So Judith Bergman writes at Gatestone.

She first demonstrates how the state schools are becoming Islamized, then she continues (in part):

The [Christian] clerical establishment is … pressing Britons to accept and accommodate the ongoing Islamization more readily. …

Britain’s security establishment also seems longing to submit to Islam. Scotland Yard recently warned that hate crimes (“Islamophobia”, in other words, as no other hate crime is taken as seriously) are “hugely underreported”. Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, Scotland Yard’s head of community engagement said: “The Met [the Metropolitan Police force] has seen a steady increase in the reporting of all hate crime, particularly racist and religious hate crime. Despite this rise, hate crime is hugely underreported and no one should suffer in silence.”

[But] it is virtually impossible for “Islamophobia” to be “underreported” in London. The UK is nothing if not clinically obsessed with “Islamophobia”. In 2016, London mayor Sadiq Khan’s Office for Policing and Crime announced it was spending £1.7 million of taxpayer money policing speech online. Less than six months ago, London police teamed up with Transport for London authorities to encourage people to report hate crimes during “National Hate Crime Awareness Week”, which ran from October 14-21. The events were mainly targeted at Muslims, with officers visiting the East London Mosque to encourage reporting hate crimes. British police have even been taking lessons about Islam and “Islamophobia” from radical Islamist groups such as Mend. One of the most active Mend figures, Azad Ali, has said that he has “love” for Anwar Al-Awlaki, an influential US-born Islamic terrorist, who was killed by a US drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

Meantime, while the police obsess over “Islamophobia”, regular crime in London is exploding. The latest statistics from the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime show that in the past year, homicides have increased 27.1%, knife crimes have increased 31.3%, and there were 2,551 incidents of gun crime, representing a rise of 16.3%. Police recorded 7,613 rapes in the 12 months through January 2018 compared with 6,392 for the previous year, a rise of almost 20%. … The figures also show an 8% increase in other sexual offenses in the past year, bringing the total number of reported rapes and sexual assaults in London to almost 20,000. Campaigners have suggested the real figure could be “significantly higher” once unreported attacks are taken into account. British police, meanwhile, say they are at a loss to explain what is causing the rise in rapes.

Because so many of the rapists are Muslims, and no one is allowed to say so. Those who do say so are hunted down by the police, who spend their resources on that absurd mission rather than on fighting real crime.

The Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey was recently asked if he had any idea what was behind the surge. His answer: “No, is the honest answer… there is something going on with sexual offending in London that we don’t fully understand, the causes of it. We see the end of it, [but] we don’t understand the causes.”

Meanwhile, 65,000 cases of child sex abuse reached a record high in 2017, or 177 every day: up 15% from 2016.

In Rotherham alone, after 16 years of dismissing the problem, the number of child abuse cases [Muslims “grooming” underage girls as prostitutes] rose to 1,510. The National Crime Agency (NCA) inquiry, “the biggest of its kind in the UK, has identified 110 suspects, of whom 80% are of Pakistani heritage”, officers said.

In its seeming eagerness to submit to Islam, the security establishment even appears to be willing to compare people responding to Islamization and Islamic terrorism with the Islamic terrorists themselves. In a recent lecture, one of the UK’s top counterterrorism officials, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, outgoing head of counter-terrorism policing, compared Tommy Robinson, an anti-Islamist activist, often described as “far-right,” to Anjem Choudary, a radical terrorist-linked Islamist cleric who has advocated sharia in the UK and is now serving a prison sentence for urging support for ISIS.

“Robinson also became a regular fixture in our media, giving him the platform to attack the whole religion of Islam by conflating acts of terrorism with the faith, often citing spurious claims, which inevitably stirred up tensions” Rowley said, “Each side feeds into each other’s extremist rhetoric with the common goal of increasing tensions and divisions in communities”.

Tommy Robinson’s “claims” about Islam were not spurious. He is a brave teller of the truth about that barbaric ideology.

Islam is supremacist, totalitarian, homophobic, misogynist, deeply intolerant, obdurately dogmatic, murderous and savagely cruel. And that needs to be said publicly, loudly, and often. 

Rowley also said, “The right-wing threat was not previously organized. Every now and then there’s been an individual motivated by that rhetoric who has committed a terrorist act, but we’ve not had an organized right-wing threat like we do now”.

Perhaps Rowley might stop to consider why there is now an organized right-wing threat. The British establishment – people such as Rowley – have categorically embraced the “Islam is peace” narrative. The establishment has even let itself and its police be lectured by radical Islamist organizations such as Mend on what Islam is – and has doggedly refused to listen to any dissident voices.

Here is a video in which a dissident voice makes itself heard. Anne Marie Waters, leader of the new political party For Britain, gives a rousing speech to inspire popular resistance against the Islamization of her country. She rightly rages against the “fascist” EU, then – starting at about the 5.50 minutes mark – daringly condemns Islam. “Millions of us are offended by this religion,” she declares.

 

(Hat-tip for the video to our British associate, Chauncey Tinker)

Human rights for rapists? 11

Another gift of a video from the great Pat Condell:

Posted under Britain, Europe, immigration, Islam, Muslims, United Kingdom, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, March 24, 2018

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Tommy Robinson delivers a banned speech at Speakers’ Corner 8

Martin Sellner, the Austrian leader of Generation Identity, was banned from entering Britain where he was to deliver a speech against the Islamization of Europe at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London.

Martin Sellner

A speech of his was, however, delivered at Speakers’ Corner – by heroic Tommy Robinson yesterday (Sunday March 18, 2018).

Tommy Robinson

Here’s the speech in full, via Breitbart:

Dear Friends, dear Britons, dear lovers of free speech

I assume you all are lovers of free speech because you have come to Speakers’  Corner.

You might not understand all the fuss happening today around this speech. Honestly, I don’t understand it either.

My name is Martin Sellner. I am an Austrian patriot, and at the moment, I’m sitting in a detention cell in Colnbrook Bypass [immigration removal centre] near Heathrow. My smartphone was taken and my girlfriend Brittany [Pettibone] was separated from me. I currently don’t know where she is. We will be deported on Sunday.

Five minutes ago, they unlocked our cells and my fellow inmates are gathering in the prison wing. They are mostly illegals and eastern European criminals.

What brought me into this situation? What was my crime?

My crime was that I wanted to be here with you, to speak at Speakers’ Corner.

But let’s start with the beginning. I was invited by UKIP to present my movement at an event last Autumn. I represent Generation Identity — a patriotic European youth movement that is raising awareness about mass immigration and Islamization.

Far-left people call us right-wing, people who want to shut free speech down call us “fascist”, and folks who hate their own culture call us “racist”.

In reality, we are just a group of young patriots fed up with the system, the mainstream press and lying politicians. We use peaceful activism to make our voices heard, and contrary to our friends on the radical left, who are probably swarming you right now, we never wear masks.

From Paris to Rome, from Vienna to London, we fight peacefully but without compromise for our freedom, our homelands, and our identity.

This is what I wanted to speak about in Autumn. But the conference was cancelled due to threats from the radical left. The venue would not take the risk. So they rescheduled it for March, this time keeping the venue secret — but again the terror of the left prevailed, and the venue dropped out. But this time I did not want to let them win! It was about principles! (Also, our flights were already booked.)

My last refuge was Speakers’ Corner. I remembered my mother telling me about that special place when I was a child. It seemed almost magical to me. A place where everyone, without exception, could just stand on a box and start to speak to those who wanted to listen. I have always loved this tradition of Speakers’ Corner, which seemed very British to me.

But I came only to see that this tradition — the tradition of freedom of speech in the United Kingdom — is dead.

Your Country is blocking you from challenging ideas from the outside. This is a disgrace to our democracy!

I should be speaking in a neat, warm conference room right now, and you should be sitting in comfortable chairs. Instead, I’m in my cell and you are on the street in a standoff with the enemies of freedom of speech.

And this is very telling! Today there is a war going on for our freedom of speech. This war is being fought on the streets, by you!

Every man and woman showing her face today, standing shoulder to shoulder, is standing up against a new totalitarianism that has been growing for far too long. You can be proud of yourself. You might not even agree with me on every point — you are simply giving a statement that I should have the right to speak my mind freely.

I would love to be among you now. They prevented me from it. They locked up the speaker, but I know that the speech will find a way through the iron bars. It will find a way to you and you are going to hear what your government so desperately wants to protect you from.

Those words which they consider more harmful to you then rape gangs or terrorists who are let into your country again and again.

I’m going to tell you something nobody has told you before. It’s the biggest, most obvious secret of our media our politicians and our powerholders: People of Britain, you are being replaced.

There has always been immigration in your history. People coming in, assimilating. But what’s happening today is different: You are being replaced by massive Muslim immigration.

You see it everywhere: in London, in Manchester, but also already in the little countryside towns. A big replacement is going on.

And let me tell you: your politicians have no plan, no vision and no idea how to deal with the problems that come along. Problems like you have seen in Telford, Rotherham, and on Westminster Bridge.

All across Europe, there is a shadow hanging over our heads. The French are whispering about it in the Metro, the Germans murmuring about it when they feel unwatched, Italians look left and right, and if nobody is listening they tell you: “I don’t feel at home anymore in my street. We are becoming foreigners in our own country.”

And again and again I hear: “We are not allowed to talk about it.”

And that’s the bizarre drama of the “strange death of Europe”. We are being replaced, conquered by radical Islam, and we are not allowed to talk about it!

Dear Britons, defenders of free speech. Out of my cell in Colnbrook, I want to ask you something. Be honest and raise your hands.

Who among you has ever been in the following situation: You grab a beer after work, or you are visiting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time, or you meet other children’s parents at school — and suddenly the conversation moves to politics: radical Islam, immigration.

Who of you in this very moment was faced with the decision between speaking his mind and facing problems, or complying and staying silent?

Raise your hands and be honest.

I will not be able to see the results, but every single hand is too much. This amount of fear should not exist in a society. Speech that has social costs and severe consequences is no longer free. It has a price — and our Government and the Antifa are working everyday to raise that price.

No freedom of speech means no democracy. In front of our very eyes this country is becoming a tyranny, shutting all debates about immigration down, until demographics solves the issue by replacement.

People of the UK. I might be in a cell right now, but you all are in a cell. It’s the prison of fear and silence your government and the PC tyranny has locked you in since the days of your childhood.

I ask you, I command you, break free!

Patriots of the UK: come out of the closet. Make your dissent visible by visible acts of resistance that inspire others. I know for certain that millions in the UK think like me. Those millions should be on the street now.

We need a coming out of the silent majority, or Britain is lost. We need a free, open and honest debate about immigration, Islam and demographics, so we can sort these problems out together.

And I know that the force is still in you. With your Brexit vote you stunned the world! The will and the life of the British nation is not broken.

Initially, I asked if freedom of speech is dead in the UK. You, every one of you who came today, is a living sign that the tradition of the UK is not dead! You are the lively tradition of your nation, saving its face before history.

People of the UK — remember who you are! Remember your glorious past, you are sons and daughters of knights, kings, explorers, philosophers and artists. Who is the sovereign in this country? Who is the sovereign in this country?

Is it big money?

The mainstream media?

The politicians?

It’s you — the people. You, the silent and invisible majority who said NO during Brexit. You can say NO again — no to Islamization, no to mass immigration, and no to the great replacement.

And YES to your identity — yes to your security, yes to your heritage and the future for your children.

And all this is impossible without freedom of speech.

I know, if these words will find their way to the UK and even to Speakers’ Corner, it will be a victory for our cause.

If they did, and if you are hearing them now, I tell you: go further on that winning streak. Don’t be afraid because we have an ally that is unbeatable: Truth.

The battle, our battle for freedom of speech, has just begun, and Speakers’ Corner will become a symbolic place in that struggle.

When you go home know I want you to bring the spirit of Speakers’ Corner with you. Every single person who raised his hand because he could relate to this moment of fear, when he did not dare to speak his mind.

Promise me: Next time I will overcome my inner fear. Next time I will speak up!

The terrifying central message of the speech is that the rulers of Britain are replacing the population. 

But Tommy Robinson could hardly be heard over the Muslim and pro-Muslim clamor of opposition to anything he might be saying.

Those who wanted to hear the speech, those who did hear it, were perhaps most encouraged by the fact of its being delivered at all, and by one of the few citizens of the United Kingdom who still will dare to speak aloud in public such forbidden words as “no to Islamization, no to mass immigration, and no to the great replacement“.

Most Britons would probably rather think of themselves as the sons and daughters of valiant yeomen and a free peasantry than of “knights, kings, philosophers and artists”. Knights, kings,  philosophers and artists are more honored in Austria than in Britain. Explorers, okay. Britons’ glorious past includes the vastest empire in history – which they are now expected, by their rulers, the importers of Muslim masses, to be ashamed of.

We strongly recommend Tommy Robinson’s book, Enemy of the State, in which he tells how he was wrongfully arrested, imprisoned for months alone in punishment cells, beaten up so badly that his face became unrecognizable, and then promised that all the pain and persecution would “go away” if he would become a secret agent of the state. He refused.

Robert Spencer, the famous American expert on the history and ideology of Islam, comments:

Last week, Tommy Robinson tried to speak at Speakers’ Corner but was stopped by police. Today [Sunday], he spoke there amid rioting by Muslims determined to silence him. Police, not surprisingly, did little to stop the rioters, focusing more on the Britons who were there to defend the freedom of speech. Robinson read the speech that Martin Sellner, the Austrian free speech activist, had intended to deliver about threats to the freedom of speech, but was banned from entering the country. Britain has recently banned Sellner, Brittany Pettibone, Lauren Southern, and Lutz Bachmann, all for the crime of opposing jihad terror and Sharia oppression, and of course has previously banned Pamela Geller and me for the same offense.

This petty authoritarianism is the act of a society in its death throes. The May government is bowing to the new masters of Britain, who support Sharia blasphemy restrictions, and handing them the leadership of the country. Theresa May will go down in British history, if there are any free Britons in future generations, as … a traitor and betrayer of her nation. 

“If there are any free Britons in future generations” sounds ominous, but the way it looks right now, there will be no such people.

Do as I say, or else 1

Theodore Dalrymple, whose many excellent books commenting illuminatingly on our times includes Our Culture, What’s Left Of It, gives this account of how fascist-communist “anti-fascist” Antifa fell violently upon a quiet literary event in the English town of Lewes.

We quote much but not all of it from New English Review. Go here to read the whole thing:

I was to be the penultimate speaker, followed by a controversial conservative journalist, Katie Hopkins, who was to talk about her own recently published memoir, Rude.

The event ended in violence.

The festival organizer … had informed me in advance that there might be trouble from demonstrators who would want to prevent Hopkins from speaking. …

To say that she is unafraid of controversy or criticism is to understate the case. They are her stock-in-trade. …  [A]n outspoken, not to say militant, mocker of current political pieties, she is herself the object of the most severe objurgation, with no allowances made. In debate, she is uncompromising and fearless. …

She appears genuinely not to mind when attacked on television or in print or on social media: she accepts with good grace the fact that, if you express opinions in public, you must expect criticism and detraction, fair or otherwise, though she always returns blow for blow. She laughs at insults. …

Her main mode of defense is always attack …

She has been a severe critic of the Islamization of Britain. She speaks the truth about it. And that is not permitted in Britain now.

So Hopkins is widely regarded as a purveyor of hate speech — utterance that is to be answered by prohibition, rather than by argument. The category of hate speech is disturbingly expandable and depends on the propensity of groups of people to take offense or feel threatened (where it pays to be offended, people will take offense). Certain groups, but not others, are accorded legal or social protection from unpleasant name-calling, as if they were endangered species. …

Considerable efforts were made to bar Hopkins from speaking at the event. When I arrived in Lewes, posters in many windows proclaimed that Lewes wanted no hate speech. A town councillor had argued that the invitation to Hopkins should be withdrawn. The council had the right to ask for this because it owned and ran the venue, a deconsecrated church; and the councillor argued that the demonstration against Hopkins would be so violent that her appearance would constitute a threat to health, safety, and public order. On legal advice, however, that this argument was blatantly political, the council, with not a single Conservative member despite the town’s evident prosperity, voted overwhelmingly for the invitation to stand.

It turned out that the councillor who had argued for the withdrawal of the invitation was sympathetic to the demonstration against Hopkins, so that in essence his argument had been almost a threat: if you do not do as I say, like-minded people will react violently, and since you have been warned, such violence will be your fault. Do as I say, or else: the new democratic principle.

I gave my talk without interruption from the gathering crowd outside, but during the question-and-answer that followed, as Hopkins’s time to speak grew nearer, I heard some banging on the windows, at which fists and angry faces also appeared. Then there was some chanting, but not so loud as to make me inaudible. The trouble really began after I had finished speaking, in the short break before Hopkins was to start. The councillor’s self-fulfilling prophecy was about to come true.

A crowd of perhaps 120 had by now gathered outside the hall. Initially, only two policemen were present. One was pelted with so many eggs that he looked as if someone were planning to make him into an omelet. Eyewitnesses attested that some of the demonstrators handed eggs to children to throw at the police, presumably because the children would be too young to be arrested for assault. At any rate, it is significant that some adults were so determined to prevent Hopkins from speaking that they thought it reasonable and appropriate to bring children to a potentially violent occasion — an occasion, in fact, at which they themselves were prepared to employ violence. This is surely a demonstration of the ability of ideology to induce practical moral blindness.

Some of the demonstrators were masked. They tried to prevent those who had bought a ticket for the event from entering the building. One of those ticket holders subsequently wrote and published an account of what happened when she [and her companion] attempted to gain entrance:

There was a very large and noisy demonstration in the grounds and spilling onto the road, and we were immediately taunted as we made our way to the lynch gate [sic: a Freudian slip, if ever there was one, from lych-gate], despite no one knowing who we were. A militia of masked young men dressed in black tried to prevent us from entering the grounds. At first I thought they were working with the police, controlling the flow to protect attendees from the scuffles ahead, because a couple of policemen were observing at close quarters. One militiaman asked me why I was there. I said to hear Katie. He immediately swore at me, called me a fascist, bounced against me, manhandled me and tried to push me over. I was wearing stilettos and he easily pushed me into a bush, which thankfully cushioned my fall. I said: I have every right to be here. I looked towards a policeman for support, but he turned away, having seen everything. Anthony, who was now a few yards away, came to my side, and we stayed very close from then on as we determinedly made our way through to the church doors. Anthony is visibly Asian/ethnic and was not attacked as I was. Our keeping very close afforded me some protection as the crowd was chanting that it was pro refugees, unlike fascist Hopkins. 

We came to a stop about six feet from the church’s main doors, which were solidly closed. A line of five thugs, a man on a large mobility scooter, and a woman had blocked our path. I tried to reason with the woman, who looked out of place and even a little scared herself, being so petite. She said that people with vile views should not be allowed to speak. I said I thought we fought two world wars to protect free speech. I mentioned that my grandmother’s brother ended up in a concentration camp because he was a French citizen who stood up against the Nazis’ bullying. She maintained the mantra that evil people should not be allowed to spread their filth. There was no reasoning, and I didn’t want to provoke anyone, as we were trapped, and there were calls for Katie’s blood; so, I kept quiet. 

Suddenly, the crowd behind surged, and it looked like we might be in serious danger as eggs were thrown, a placard headed our way, and more militants appeared. Just then a journalist from More Radio appeared at my side. He was immediately denounced as a fascist by one of the thugs, but he brought out a mike and began to interview the most vociferous one, a particularly on-edge individual who looked a cigarette paper away from hurting someone. The ghastly young thug said it was necessary to stop this speech because if it was allowed we would soon become like Nazi Germany and worse.

It was well after the start time by now, and the journalist phoned a colleague and confirmed to us that the event [of Katie’s speech] had been cancelled.

News got around. The protestors chanted their victory. Some cried something like “When she comes out, we’ll get her.” We could hear others asking what to do when Katie appeared. …  The church door opened briefly and protestors surged forward. It was quickly shut. A policeman, who looked terrified, came to the front and spoke into his walkie-talkie, but soon disappeared into the graveyard. We knew we had to get out, as the crowd wanted blood.

We followed the radio journalist, who conducted a tortuous route to safety through the muddy graveyard. Later, on the pavement, when I suggested to him these folks were Momentum [a militant left-wing organization affiliated with the Labour Party], he said he believed they were from Antifa [a militant, ostensibly antifascist, movement that believes in political homeopathy, namely, that the employment of fascist methods will drive out fascism]. He said that most of the protestors were not people from Lewes (where he lived).

While all this was going on, my wife and I, who had intended to leave to catch our train before Hopkins spoke, were trapped inside the hall, having been advised by the egg-covered policeman to wait. The banging and the chanting were now incessant. There were about 40 of us inside to 120 outside. One lady I spoke to was terrified and in tears because she had been separated from her husband by the mob and did not know where he was. One man described how one of the demonstrators said to him that he would let him pass and enter the hall, as if he had the authority in his gift to permit or prohibit. Another lady wished that she had never come. A German lady said that she had come to live in England in 1968 precisely to avoid this kind of thing, which had then seemed so common in Germany. Where had the tolerance and good humor she had known in those days gone?

Some of the demonstrators managed to break into the church using a crowbar. Bouncers provided by a security company (after another such company had pulled out, fearing more serious violence than it could handle) rushed after the intruders. One bouncer suffered a serious injury to his arm, requiring an operation.

Hopkins was smuggled out of the building, the police having advised her, before she was able to speak, that they could not guarantee her safety if she stayed. She tweeted that she had left the building and asked the demonstrators to disperse peacefully. When police reinforcements arrived, somewhat tardily, the people in the hall were escorted under cover of darkness out through a back entrance and through the ancient graveyard. This was no doubt advisable, but, in effect, it turned the law-abiding rather than the lawbreakers into fugitives.

The police made no arrests, despite having been assaulted themselves and witnessed others being assaulted, despite the fact that a building was illegally broken into, despite the fact that 40 people had been falsely imprisoned, despite the fact that threatening language (of a degree likely to make any reasonably firm-minded person afraid for his safety) had been used repeatedly. They failed to protect citizens who were going about their lawful business. To say that they were useless would be an exaggeration: goodness knows what would have happened had they not been there. But they did not carry out their duty with alacrity, and the social media — videos, sound recordings, photographs — that helped to call the mob into being in the first place are now being used to hold the police to account for their passivity in enforcing the law.

The question arising from the episode is how far it was isolated … and how much was it a harbinger of things to come? Certainly, it gave me another lesson in how fragile public order is and how quickly it can break down. …  The Hopkins incident also demonstrates how weak is the attachment to freedom of speech and thought, especially among people so convinced of their own rectitude that they feel entitled — indeed, duty-bound — to silence others. …

As there, so here in America. And all over the West.

Theodore Dalrymple thinks that what happened in Lewes might be one of the early battles of a second Civil War in England, since violence begets violence.

One of the problems of this, apart from its sheer moral and intellectual idiocy, is that it will eventually call forth equal and opposite violence. Thus, the Lewes Speakers Festival would be an episode in the forthcoming English Civil War, the second of that name.

Civil war all over the West?

It is not impossible. It is not even unlikely.

Posted under Anarchy, Britain, Civil war, communism, Crime, Fascism, immigration, Islam, jihad, Leftism, Muslims, nazism, Race, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

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White refugees from the dark continent 9

Following on from yesterday’s post immediately below –

Newsweek reports:

More than 12,000 people have signed a petition asking President Donald Trump to let white people in South Africa emigrate to the U.S. amid a vote by the country’s parliament favoring a motion that could see South Africa’s constitution amended to allow for land to be stripped from owners without any compensation.

The motion … has once again stoked fears among the country’s white farmers of a violent and disastrous land redistribution akin to that which crippled Zimbabwe in the 2000s.

The online petition calls on Trump to “take the steps necessary to initiate an emergency immigration plan allowing white Boers to come to the United States.” Boer is the term used to describe South Africans of Dutch, German or Huguenot descent, who are also commonly referred to as Afrikaners.

The petition suggests that Trump should stop admitting refugees from Somalia and the Middle East, claiming they “cannot be properly vetted”,  and allow white South Africans into the country instead.

Other sources add: “White South Africans can be easily vetted and also possess skills that make them compatible with our [Western] culture and civilization.”

A similar petition, calling on European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May to allow white South Africans into EU countries, has gained nearly 17,000 signatures.

If those 17,000 who seek asylum in Europe or Britain are granted it, their doom at the hands of Third World barbarians will only be postponed.

According to another source (change.org):

The white South African population currently faces ethnic cleansing and persecutions at the hands of the ANC government, the EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters, the revolutionary political party led by Julius Malema who has threatened the genocide of white South Africans], and various individual anti-white aggressors. Over 4000 white farmers have been brutally murdered, [with the attacks] often including torture and rape and mutilation. Many white South Africans today live in poverty and squalor as a consequence of the ANC government’s Black Economic Empowerment policy which shuts whites out of the labour pool.

That is what the liberals of the Western world – who all but worshipped Nelson Mandela the Communist terrorist leader – have brought about.

The communist government of South Africa seems now to be following the Zimbabwe model. If so, the resulting economic ruin of the country will have repercussions throughout the world. South Africa is mineral-rich. It is one of the world’s biggest producers and exporters of gold. Stock-markets everywhere – including the US – will be hit. Anyone who is concerned about the state of the US economy will be wise to watch what is happening in South Africa.

 

(Hat-tip for the first information about the petition to our valued commenter, liz)

Posted under Africa, Britain, Europe, Refugees, South Africa, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 12, 2018

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The case for free trade 10

President Trump is speaking of imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum to boost domestic production.

To explain the case for free trade, we quote from a speech delivered at the (libertarian) Mises Institute a few days ago by Thomas J. DiLorenzo.

It is not an exaggeration to say that trade is the keystone of modern civilization. For as Murray Rothbard wrote:

The market economy is one vast latticework throughout the world, in which each individual, each region, each country, produces what he or it is best at, most relatively efficient in, and exchanges that product for the goods and services of others. Without the division of labor and the trade based upon that division, the entire world would starve. Coerced restraints on trade – such as protectionism – cripple, hobble, and destroy trade, the source of life and prosperity.

Human beings cannot truly be free unless there is a high degree of economic freedom – the freedom to collaborate and coordinate plans with other people from literally all around the world. That is the point of Leonard Read’s famous article, “I Pencil,” which describes how to produce an item as mundane as an ordinary pencil requires the cooperation and collaboration of thousands of people from all around the world, all of whom possess very specific knowledge … that allows them to assist in the production and marketing of pencils. The same is true, of course, for virtually everything else that is produced.

Without economic freedom – the freedom to earn a living for oneself and one’s family – people are destined to become mere wards of the state. Thus, every attempt by the state to interfere with trade is an attempt to deny us our freedom, to impoverish us, and to turn us into modern-day serfs.

[Ludwig von] Mises believed that trade or exchange is “the fundamental social relation” which “weaves the bond which unites men into society”. Man “serves in order to be served” in any trade relationship in the free market. …

Trade involves the exchange of property titles. Restrictions on free trade are therefore an attack on private property itself and not “merely” a matter of “trade policy”. This is why such great classical liberals as Frederic Bastiat spent many years of their lives defending free trade. Bastiat … understood that once one acquiesced in protectionism, then no one’s property will be safe from myriad other governmental acts of theft. To Bastiat, protectionism and communism were essentially the same philosophy.

It has long been recognized by classical liberals that free trade was the most important means of diminishing the likelihood of war. …

[I]t is not democracy that is a safeguard against war but, as the British (classical) Liberals were to recognize, it is free trade. To Richard Cobden and John Bright, the leaders of the British Manchester School, free trade – both domestically and internationally – was a necessary prerequisite for the preservation of peace. …

As Frederic Bastiat often said, if goods can’t cross borders, armies will. This is a quintessentially American philosophy in that it was the position assumed by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine, among others. A foreign policy based on commerce,” wrote Paine in Common Sense, would secure for America “the peace and friendship” of the Continent and allow her to “shake hands with the world – and trade in any market.” Paine – the philosopher of the American Revolution – believed that free trade would “temper the human mind”, and help people to “know and understand each other”,  and have a “civilizing effect” on everyone involved in it. Trade was seen as “a pacific system, operating to unite mankind be rendering nations, as well as individuals, useful to each other. . . . “War can never be in the interest of a trading nation.”

George Washington obviously agreed. “Harmony, liberal intercourse with all Nations, are recommended by policy, humanity and interest,” he stated in his September 19, 1796 Farewell Address. Our commercial policy “should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favours or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; deversifying by gentle means the streams of Commerce, but forcing nothing . . .”

The period of world history from the middle of the fifteenth to the middle of the eighteenth centuries was an era of growth in world trade and invention and of institutions suited to trade. Technological innovations in shipping, such as the three-masted sail, brought the merchants of Europe to the far reaches of America and Asia. This vast expansion of trade greatly facilitated the worldwide division of labor, greater specialization, and the benefits of comparative advantage.

But whenever human freedom advances, as it did with the growth of trade, state power is threatened. So states did all they could then, as now, to restrict trade. It is the system of trade restrictions and other governmental interferences with the free market, known as mercantilism, that Adam Smith railed against in The Wealth of Nations. … [He] was defending trade on moral as well as economic grounds by enunciating his doctrine of how free trade was part of the system of “natural justice”.  One of the ways he did this was to defend smugglers and the act of smuggling as a means of evading mercantilist restrictions on trade. The smuggler, explained Smith, was engaged in “productive labor” that served his fellow man (i.e., consumers) …

For the same reason, black markets are defensible.

Despite powerful arguments in favor of free trade offered by [Dr. Francois] Quesnay, [Adam] Smith, David Ricardo, and others, England (and other countries of Europe) suffered from protectionist trade policies for the first half of the nineteenth century. But this situation was turned around due to the heroic and brilliant efforts of what came to be known as the “Manchester School,” led by two British businessmen, John Bright and Richard Cobden. Thanks to Bright and Cobden Great Britain achieved complete free trade by 1850.

The British public was plundered by the mercantilist “corn laws” which placed strict import quotas on the importation of food. The laws benefited political supporters of the government who were engaged in farming at the expense of much higher food prices, which was especially harmful to the poor. Bright and Cobden formed the Anti-Corn Law League in 1839 and turned it into a well-oiled political machine with mass support, distributing literally millions of leaflets, holding conferences and gatherings all around the country, delivering hundreds of speeches, and publishing their own newspaper, The League. …

From his home in Mugron, France, Frederic Bastiat single handedly created a free-trade movement in his own country that eventually spread throughout Europe. Bastiat was a gentleman farmer who had inherited the family estate. He was a voracious reader, and spent many years educating himself in classical liberalism and in just about any other field that he could attain information about. After some twenty years of intense intellectual preparation, articles and books began to pour out of Bastiat (in the 1840s). His book, Economic Sophisms, is to this day arguably the best defense of free trade ever published. His second book, Economic Harmonies, quickly followed, while Bastiat published magazine and newspapers all over France. His work was so popular and influential that it was immediately translated into English, Spanish, Italian, and German.

Due to Bastiat’s enormous influence, free-trade associations, modeled after one he had created in France and similar to the one created by his friend, Richard Cobden, in England, began to sprout in Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Prussia, and Germany.

To Bastiat, collectivism in all its forms was immoral as well as economically destructive.

Collectivism constituted “legal plunder,” and to argue against the (natural) right to private property would be similar to arguing that theft and slavery were “moral”. The protection of private property is the only legitimate function of government, Bastiat wrote, which is why trade restrictions – and all other mercantilist schemes – should be condemned. Free trade “is a question of right, of justice, of public order, of property. Because privilege, under whatever form it is manifested, implies the denial or the scorn of property rights.” And “the right to property, once weakened in one form, would soon be attacked in a thousand different forms.”

There is no clearer example of how trade restrictions are the enemy of freedom than the American Revolution. In the seventeenth century all European states practiced the policy of mercantilism. England imposed a series of Trade and Navigation Acts on its colonies in America and elsewhere, which embodied three principles: 1) All trade between England and her colonies must be conducted by English (or English-built) vessels owned and manned by English subjects; 2) All European imports into the colonies must “first be laid on the shores of England” before being sent to the colonies so that extra tariffs could be placed on them; and 3) Certain products from the colonies must be exported to England and England only.

In addition, the colonists were prohibited from trading with Asia because of the East India Company’s state-chartered monopoly. There were import duties placed on all colonial imports into England.

After the Seven Years War (known in America as the French-Indian War), England’s massive land holdings (Canada, India, North America to the Mississippi, most of the West Indies) became very expensive to administer and police. Consequently, the Trade and Navigation Acts were made even more oppressive, which imposed severe hardships on the American colonists and helped lead to revolution.

After the American Revolution trade restrictions nearly caused the New England states — which suffered disproportionately from the restrictions — to secede from the Union. In 1807 Thomas Jefferson was president and England was once again at war with France. England declared that it would “secure her seamen wherever found”,  which included U.S. ships. After a British warship captured the USS Chesapeake off Hampton Roads, Virginia, Jefferson imposed a trade embargo that made all international commerce illegal. After Jefferson left office his successor, James Madison, imposed an “Enforcement Act” which allowed war-on-drugs style seizure of goods suspected to be destined for export.

This radicalized the New England secessionists, who had been plotting to secede ever since Jefferson was elected, issued a public declaration reminding the nation that “the U.S. Constitution was a Treaty of Alliance and Confederation” and that the central government was no more than an association of the states. Consequently, “whenever its [i.e., the Constitution’s] provisions were violated, or its original principles departed from by a majority of the states or their people, it is no longer an effective instrument, but that any state is at liberty by the spirit of that contract to withdraw itself from the union.”

The Massachusetts legislature formally condemned the embargo, demanded its repeal by Congress, and declared that it was “not legally binding”. In other words, the Massachusetts legislature “nullified” the law. Madison was forced to end the embargo in March of 1809. …

John Taylor, a noted Anti-Federalist, was a lifelong critic of mercantilism and laid out his criticisms in his 1822 book, Tyranny Unmasked. Like Bastiat, Taylor saw protectionism as an assault on private property that was diametrically opposed to the freedom the American revolutionaries had fought and died for. The tyranny that Taylor sought to “unmask” was the collection of fables and lies that had been devised by mercantilists to promote their system of plunder. If one looks at England’s mercantilist policies, Taylor wrote, “No equal mode of enriching the party of government, and impoverishing the party of people, has ever been discovered.” …

Many of Taylor’s arguments were adopted and expanded upon by the great South Carolinian statesman John C. Calhoun during the struggle over the 1828 “Tariff of Abomination”,  which a South Carolina political convention voted to nullify. The confrontation between South Carolina, which was very heavily import dependent, as was most of the South, and the federal government over the Tariff of Abominations almost led to the state’s secession some thirty years prior to the War for Southern Independence. The federal government backed down and reduced the tariff rate in 1833.

The Northern manufacturers who wanted to impose British-style mercantilism on the U.S. did not give up, however; they formed the American Whig party, which advocated three mercantilist schemes: protectionism, corporate welfare for themselves, and a central bank to pay for it all. From 1832 until 1861 the Whigs, led by Henry Clay and, later, by Abraham Lincoln, fought mightily in the political arena to bring seventeenth-century mercantilism to America.

The Whig party died in 1852, but the Whigs simply began calling themselves Republicans.

We have often praised the Republican Party for its opposition to slavery, but we do not praise it for this:

The tariff was the centerpiece of the Republican party platform of 1860, as it had been when the same collection of Northern economic interests called itself “Whigs” for the previous thirty years.

By 1857 the level of tariffs had been reduced to the lowest level since 1815, according to Frank Taussig in his classic Tariff History of the United States. But when the Republicans controlled the White House and the Southern Democrats left the Congress the Republicans did what, as former Whigs, they had been itching to do for decades: go on a protectionist frenzy. In his First Inaugural Address Lincoln stated that he had no intention to disturb slavery in the Southern states and, even if he did, there would be no constitutional basis for doing so. But when it came to the tariff, he promised a military invasion if tariff revenues were not collected. …

By 1862 the average tariff rate had crept up to 47.06 percent, the highest level ever, even higher than the 1828 Tariff of Abominations. These high rates lasted for decades after the war.

[B]y 1860 England itself had moved to complete free trade; France sharply reduced her tariff rates in that very year; and Bastiat’s free-trade movement was spreading throughout Europe. Only the Northern United States was clinging steadfastly to seventeenth-century mercantilism.

After the war the Northern manufacturing interests who financed and controlled the Republican party (i.e., the old Whigs) were firmly in control and they “ushered in a long period of high tariffs. With the tariff of 1897, protection reached an average level of 57 percent.” This political plunder continued for about fifty years after the war, at which time international competition forced tariff rates down moderately. By 1913 the average tariff rate in the U.S. had declined to 29 percent.

But the same clique of Northern manufacturers was begging for “protection” and persisted until they got it when Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1929, which increased the average tariff rate on over 800 items back up to 59.1 percent. The Smoot-Hawley tariff spawned an international trade war that resulted in about a 50 percent reduction in total exports from the United States between 1929 and 1932. Poverty and misery was the inevitable result. Even worse, the government responded to these problems of its own creation with a massive increase in government intervention, which only produced even more poverty and misery and deprived Americans of more and more of their freedoms.

The case for President Trump’s tariffs follows immediately in the next post. …

Agenda 21 and the Ministry of Loneliness 19

In our town, and almost certainly in your town, and most of the towns (cities) of the United States, tall buildings are springing up at or near railway and bus stations, consisting of hundreds of very small living-units for single occupants. No areas are provided for cars, though there is accommodation for a limited number of bicycles. Occupants are encouraged to use public transport.

The living-units we have seen contain a narrow bunk bed, a small wardrobe and a couple of drawers to hold a few (standard issue) clothes, a desk big enough for a (frequently called-in and replaced) lap-top computer to stand on, a shelf where a very few books or a framed photograph or two might be displayed. And there is a narrow shower-closet, with the usual facilities, where the luxuries of rationed soap and toilet tissue may perhaps be enjoyed in the hours when the water is centrally turned on. We do not know for sure that there are recording devices hidden here and there, but we very reasonably suspect there are.

These buildings are part of the implementation by your local council of Agenda 21.

A video, issued in January 2009, explains what Agenda 21 is:

So families are to be broken up or never formed. That’s why the new living-units are for single people only.

Yes, the single persons will be lonely. That’s a vital part of the plan. 

The British Prime Minister (by what accumulation of errors?) Theresa May is the first political leader to appoint a Minister of Loneliness. Her name (it would of course be a woman) is Tracey Crouch. She is also the Minister of Sports (and “Digital, Culture, and Media”) who knows everything about team work, uniforms, mass transport, rules, penalties … Good choice, Theresa!

So as not to offend the Muslim community – which must never be offended even if its members rape and murder that little daughter of yours who has been taken away to be educated in group-think – males and females will be separated for all communal activities (pretty well the only kind of activities that will be allowed).

But also not to offend the LGBQTetc communities, there will have to be further separation for sports teams, work forces, organized social gatherings … Public toilet facilities, however, will be as open to all-comers as the borders of the late nation-states.

The human race will be relieved of the sin of private ownership. And of the burden of self-support. And of the responsibility of family support.  And of any cause to envy your neighbor.

Oh, brave new low-CO2 world that has such collectives in it!

Rights or Liberty? 26

Which would you rather be able truthfully to claim:

“I have a right to …”

or

“I am free to …” ?

There has been some discussion in the comments section of our post The Colossus … and the enriching of America (29 January, 2018) about whether government is necessary for the protection of a citizen’s rights or the protection of his liberty. I say, for the protection of his liberty. That is what defines “a free country”. In the United States of America, there are certain “rights” granted in law that are themselves protective of the individual’s freedom. The ultimate aim of the Founders in granting those rights was the protection of liberty.

*

Freedom is not a state of nature but an artifact of civilization

– Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, Chapter Four.

To be for freedom to do what one wants to do is not to be for unbounded liberty. (I use the words “liberty” and “freedom” interchangeably, as they are synonyms.)

What then are the bounds of liberty?

Ideally, my liberty is limited by nothing except everyone else’s liberty.

Sane, sober, sensible self-interest tells me that if I don’t want to be bonked on the nose by my neighbor, I would do well not to bonk him on his nose. But I cannot trust everyone else – or even myself – to be always sane, sober, and sensible.

If I live in a time and place when and where I have to fear continually that I will very likely be assaulted, injured, killed, and that the things I have acquired to sustain my existence, comfort, safety, and pleasure may be forcefully taken from me, I am not free. I am constrained to be perpetually on my guard against attack. I must never venture abroad unarmed. I must carry my possessions with me or stay with them. I am burdened with anxiety. I am severely hampered.

But if my freedom is protected by law and the apparatus of law-enforcement – police, judicial courts, prisons, gallows – I can take the safety of my person and my things for granted, and go lightly about my business among my fellow citizens. (Which is not to argue that it’s unnecessary to insure my house and its contents, or register my intellectual property. These are, it is true, private protections taken on by personal choice, but available to me only in a society governed by the rule of law.)

The city-states of ancient Greece embodied the idea of a society made up of people from many different countries, nations and tribes, all governed by the same rule of law. Your willingness to obey the law made you a worthy citizen, regardless of what region of the earth you derived from. The idea that people of many different nations could melt together into one nation ruled by law (“e pluribus unum”) was lost and forgotten for centuries and was not applied again until the eighteenth century with the founding of the United States of America.

However, the idea of a nation governed by the rule of law rather than by a monarch, re-emerged earlier than that, in England, with the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. By signing it, King John conceded the principle: “Be you ever so high, the law is above you.” It was intended to be a “charter of liberties”, not a bestowal of “rights” on his subjects or on any one class of his subjects such as the barons. Clause 60 declared: “all the customs and liberties which we have granted to our own men shall be observed by all of our men, both lay and clerk [cleric], to their own men”. In other words, just as the king pledged liberty to the barons, so the barons, by the same token (the Charter) pledged liberty to their tenants.

Magna Carta affirmed the vital principle of freedom under the law. Clause 39 of the Charter said: ‘no free man shall be imprisoned or deprived of his lands except by judgement of his peers or by the law of the land’.  Clause 40 said: ‘To no one shall we sell, delay or deny right or justice’ (“right” in the sense of what is right, not “a right”).  Before Magna Carta, the king had been able to do pretty well whatever he liked – and did.  After the making of the charter of liberties, the king was as firmly subject to the law as everyone else.

(It is true that the monarchs of England nevertheless went on for centuries having too much arbitrary power. But it would be a mistake to believe that the continuing existence of an English monarch now means that the people are not as free as the American people. [The British have recently become less free, but not for that reason.] Since the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when William of Orange and his wife Mary became the constitutional monarchs of the United Kingdom, the reigning king or queen is the nominal and ceremonial head of state, not the power of the state. The present Queen has no choice but to sign the acts of law that Parliament passes. The people are “subjects” in name only.)

A free country is one in which the people are free to do anything that is not specifically prohibited by law. Most of its laws proscribe rather than prescribe. They say you must not do this and that, such as murder, steal, perjure yourself. While there  are some that say you must do – for instance, the laws of the fisc: you must pay your taxes – the fewer “must” laws there are, the freer the people.

Now let us suppose that legislators decide that the law should specify everything you may do. Those would be your rights. It would be an infinitely long list, never exhaustive. So the enterprise would be impossible.

Does that mean that there can be no such thing as a “right” granted by law? No, it does not mean that. The law, and only the law, can grant a right. Even if one believes in a god, and makes the claim that the god bestowed certain rights on every human being ever born – the right to life, say – it would be meaningless if it were not recognized as a right, and protected, by the law.

Only the law can grant a right. The rights the laws of a free country can grant are very few. And there is a danger in granting any: that some governments, having granted a few, may claim that what those few permit you is all that you are permitted.

Why can governments only grant a few rights? Because no one can have a right that puts an obligation on someone else.

That is why it is nonsense to speak of a “right” to health care; a “right” to an education, a “right” to a house, a “right” to a minimum income, a “right” to equality of pay; a “right” to social security; a “right” to an abortion; a “right” to contraception; a “right” to a sex-change operation; or, the crowning stupidity, a “right not to be offended”. That takes away the essential freedom on which all the rest depend – the freedom to speak. And it is in itself a deeply offensive notion.

If your “right” compels the labor of someone else, it is not a “right” but a privilege – and what is worse, the indefensible privilege of the parasite.

What of your “unalienable”[1] rights named in the Declaration of Independence as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”? They do not put an obligation on someone else, so aren’t they good rights? You are declared to be endowed with them by your “Creator”, “Nature’s God” – which is a way of saying that they are yours simply because you exist. And many there are who believe that because they exist, they have a right to exist.

If you believe that God or Nature granted you the right to live, to be free, and to pursue happiness, you may also believe that God or Nature will protect those rights of yours. But in fact Nature guarantees you nothing. You have no natural rights. You can call them natural, you can call them God-given, but unless they are recognized and supported by the law, you may find that they are not dependable.

So what rights can the law grant – and sufficiently protect to make the granting of them more than just the wistful thought of a somnolent parliament?

These: The right to speak freely. The right to a trial if you are accused of breaking the law. The right to safeguard yourself, your property, your reputation. They are among the rights granted by the US Constitution in the first ten amendments (the Bill of Rights), and all of them can be, and are, protected by the law. By protecting them, the law – or say the government – is protecting your freedom.

That is what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are all about: realizing the idea on which the USA was founded – the idea of liberty.

 

Jillian Becker   January 31, 2018

 

[1] “Unalienable” means the same as “inalienable”: that which cannot be taken away.

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