London, for long the greatest capital in the world, hub of the vastest empire in history, has recently elected a Muslim to be its mayor.
Intent on his ideological mission of Islamizing London, he’s made a strong start by introducing Thought Police into his fiefdom.
Robert Spencer writes at Front Page:
London’s new Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, is allocating over two million dollars (£1,730,726) to an “online hate crime hub” enabling police to track and arrest “trolls” who “target … individuals and communities”. There can be no doubt, given the nature of the British political establishment today, which “trolls” these new Thought Police will be going after, and which “communities” will be protected from “hate speech”. “Islamophobia”, which David Horowitz and I termed “the thought crime of the totalitarian future”, is now going to bring down upon the hapless “trolls” the wrath of London’s Metropolitan police force – and this totalitarian new initiative shows yet again how easily the Leftist and Islamic supremacist agendas coincide and aid each other.
“The Metropolitan police service,” said a police spokesman, “is committed to working with our partners, including the mayor, to tackle all types of hate crime including offenses committed online.” Given the fact that Khan … has numerous questionable ties to Islamic supremacists, it is unlikely that he will be particularly concerned about “hate speech” by jihad preachers (several of whom were just recently welcomed into a Britain that has banned foes of jihad, including me).
And the “partners” of the London police are likely to include Tell Mama UK, which says on its website: “We work with Central Government to raise the issues of anti-Muslim hatred at a policy level and our work helps to shape and inform policy makers, whilst ensuring that an insight is brought into this area of work through the systematic recording and reporting of anti-Muslim hate incidents and crimes.” Tell Mama UK has previously been caught classifying as “anti-Muslim hate incidents and crimes”, speech on Facebook and Twitter that it disliked. Now it will have the help of the London police to do that.
“The purpose of this program,” we’re told, “is to strengthen the police and community response to this growing crime type.” This “crime type” is only “growing” because Britain has discarded the principle of the freedom of speech, and is committing itself increasingly to the idea that “hate speech” is objectively identifiable, and should be restricted by government and law enforcement action. …
Behind the push for “hate speech” laws is, of course, the increasingly authoritarian Left. Increasingly unwilling (and doubtless unable) to engage its foes in rational discussion and debate, the Left is resorting more and more to the Alinskyite tactic of responding to conservatives only with ridicule and attempts to rule conservative views out of the realm of acceptable discourse. That coincides perfectly with the ongoing initiative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to intimidate the West into criminalizing criticism of Islam.
The excuse Sadiq Khan used for setting up thought policing was a mythical racist “hate surge” concocted by the Left.
Our British correspondent Chauncey Tinker writes at his website*:
The London Mayor wasted no time in trying to link the supposed racial hate surge with the referendum:
You can’t escape the conclusion that there is a link between the referendum and a surge in racial incidents.
During the referendum campaign he had attempted to tar the Leave campaign with the phrase “project hate” …
The wannabe first Muslim Prime Minister of the UK is now seizing his opportunity to set up an Orwellian specialized thought police unit to censor the internet …
For which he needs the co-operation of – or “partnership with” – social media firms, such a Facebook and Twitter.
How did the “conservative” British government react?
As you can imagine our new UK home secretary Amber Rudd, far from trying to damp down the surge in wild exaggeration by our stupid media, jumped on the bandwagon instead and announced a plan to tackle “hate crime”:
She was quoted [by the Independent newspaper] as saying:
Hatred does not get a seat at the table, and we will do everything we can to stamp it out.
You can’t “stamp out” hatred home secretary. Hatred is thought, you can’t “stamp out” what goes on in people’s minds. …
The BBC could be trusted to share the point of view of the Left and the Muslim mayor – and the so-called conservative government:
In the BBC news website [an] article began with this sensational announcement in bold letters:
More than 6,000 hate crimes have been reported to police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the wake of the EU referendum, figures show.
By using the phrase “in the wake of the EU referendum”, the wording here is clearly designed to sensationally suggest that the 6,000 hate incidents are somehow related to the EU referendum. In fact the figure of 6,000 was just the TOTAL number of reported “hate incidents” in the UK for the month. The article then reveals that this figure was only around 30% higher than the same period in the previous year. So even if you take these figures blindly at face value, then the most you could sensibly claim is that 1,800 reported “hate incidents” were somehow POSSIBLY (not NECESSARILY) related to the EU referendum campaign. Furthermore the quoted figures were for a whole month, they were not restricted to the immediate period around the referendum. …
There have been changes in the way “hate incidents” are reported … There had also been an 18% increase in 2015 over the previous year, which was probably due to the fact that the public are being encouraged to report more of these “hate incidents”. …
Some of the reported incidents may have been entirely made up for all we know, many others may well not have qualified as crime at all. It also seems very strange to me that mere “verbal abuse” should be included in a category of “violence against the person”.
The [BBC] article overall contains two videos which both describe particular alleged racist incidents. This helps to build a subliminal impression that the figures related to racist “hate incidents” alone. However there is NO BREAKDOWN of the figures to reveal the more specific nature of the incidents, for example if there was a surge in racism which races were involved.
In summary then the very worst case is that 1,800 extra “hate incidents” were reported in the whole month period. So, out of a UK total population of 65.1 million (at least) then less than 0.003% (or about 1 in every 35,000 people) felt the need to report such an incident to the police in this month over and above incidents reported last year. Also, bear in mind that these included as “hate incidents” behaviour as minor as verbal abuse (one estimate put these at 76% of the reported incidents). For all we know most of these incidents might have been cases of verbal abuse aimed at Leave campaigners. …
I think its fairly safe to say that any actual increase in hate that genuinely can be attributed to the referendum campaign did not by any means all come from the Leave side of the argument. Ironically one of the “hate criminals” revealed in this article is one Noel Fielding, a “comedian” who regularly appears on BBC TV, who apparently had “joked” in 2015:
Don’t applaud Farage, stab him.
But needless to say, he will not be prosecuted for a “hate crime”.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton clarified that while reporting of hate crimes had risen via an online form, there was no evidence to suggest that this was uniquely related to a Brexit vote, nor that the crimes have actually been committed. …
To summarize, the media have attempted to smear the Brexit referendum result as creating a significantly increased climate of racial hatred on the basis of no evidence at all. Our political leaders have hastily responded to the non-event.
So first the Left invented “hate speech”. Then they invented “hate crime”. Then Islam, in the person of the incredibly elected mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, set up Thought Police to stop anyone making any criticism of the appalling ideology of Islam. And finally, the British “conservative” – and apparently now heavily feminist – government endorsed the entire movement.
If only all the people who voted to leave the EU really would make war on their enemies!
Which sigh from our heart the London Thought Police would treat as a “hate crime”.
For a little while yet we may still write such things on a website in America.
*The whole article is worth reading here.
Yesterday we explained how it is the case that the Clintons’ own the State Department and the Justice Department.
They also, it seems, own about half the population of the US.
Put them back in the White House and they will own all the government agencies – already corrupted by Obama – and the whole country.
The way Putin owns Russia.
The way the Castros own Cuba.
The way Maduro owns Venezuela.
We hear pundits on TV saying that after four years, or after eight years, a Republican president could be elected who would … whatever.
No. The Democratic Party is out to destroy Republicanism forever. If there are elections ever again they will be of candidates from the same – the Democratic – party. Saying anything in support of Republicanism will be deemed hate speech. And the First Amendment will be amended by a Democrat-packed Supreme Court to EXCEPT “hate speech”. Speaking against man-made global warming, or Islam, or the Clintons will land you in prison, just as speaking against anything EU officials don’t want you to speak against, such as themselves, or Islam, can land Europeans in prison now.
America will abandon the magnificent concept on which it was founded: the idea of liberty. It is reverting to an old-world pattern of control, not by law but by tyrants – the Clintons and their chosen successors .
It’s a reversion to intolerance. There will be Courts of Inquisition to punish heresy, and the punishments will become more severe as time goes on.
We hear pundits say that historians “in 20, 30, 40 years time” will have access to documents now kept from the public, and the sins of the Clintons and the whole Obama gang will be revealed as criminal.
No. The Clintons will see to it that all such records are permanently destroyed. There will be no more objective historians. Maybe in an aeon or two, archeologists will dig up evidence of a once-free America, find a buried copy of the Constitution, and wonder why the 21st century population discarded it, and abandoned the best system ever devised for human happiness and progress.
There will be no more innovation; no more discovery; no more true science; nothing that has not been authorized by the dear leaders.
Everyone – except the dear leaders and their henchmen – will be poorer. Much poorer. There will be shortages of necessary goods. Even actual famine. As in Venezuela now.
Very possibly, soon after the Clintons, will come the dictatorship by the Muslim Brotherhood. They will buy the country from the Clintons for a sum greater than the present national debt. And the Clintons will happily sell. Even if they have also to convert to Islam.
Will Hillary have to wear a burkha over the pantsuit? No. The Clintons will never suffer any unpleasant consequences of their life in crime.
They are the greatest criminal duo of all time.
And they’ll be happy to share America with its enemies, both at home and abroad. Because while the Clintons will own America, various foreign tyrannies will own them.
We are not alone in predicting this.
Here’s a mild expression of the same foresight from Fox News:
BILL HEMMER: Did the Clinton Foundation on behalf of Bill Clinton use connections to the State Department under Hillary Clinton to gain favor? Yes or no.
LARRY KLAYMAN (founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch): Absolutely, I mean this is a modus operandi of Mrs. Clinton and Bill Clinton. On Tuesday, Judicial Watch released emails that appear to show Clinton Foundation donors had influenced Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. The danger is our government is for sale. The danger is these individuals who made contributions to the Clinton Foundation own the Clintons. They will call in the favors if she is president of the United States – as they did in the 90’s when the Chinese were involved with the Clintons. They helped finance their campaign for reelection. This is nothing new. The Clintons are perhaps the most corrupt couple – I call them the Bonnie and Clyde of American politics – ever to have occupied the White House and now they want to do it again. The United States is at great risk.
If the Clintons gain the White House in November, the United States, as it has been from its inception until very recently, is lost and gone.
When the government agency in charge of seeing that the rule of law is enforced gives up that responsibility, and takes upon itself instead to protect law-breakers and assist corruption, the rule of law is at an end.
Under the Obama administration, that is what has happened. The Department of Justice, first headed by Eric Holder who made it his solemn duty to protect black law-breakers, and subsequently by Loretta Lynch who is manifestly the obedient servant of the corrupt Clintons, is now nothing but a tool of the Democratic Party dictatorship.
Mike Adams, who sadly expects Crooked Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States but hopes that she might be impeached, writes at Townhall:
[Hillary] Clinton is guilty of more serious crimes than those of her husband prior to his impeachment. Next year she will have been placed in office by accepting a series of bribes – some of which have been funneled through her private “charitable” foundation and illegally used to fund her campaign for the presidency. If that is not an impeachable offense then no offense is impeachable.
None of this should come as a surprise. The Clintons began accepting bribes from corporations long before Bill even got out of office. In May of 1999, bankruptcy attorney William Brandt gave $1 million to the Clinton Presidential Library. Three months later, the Clinton Justice Department dropped charges against him for lying under oath about illegal lobbying of federal officials. The same year Anheuser-Busch kicked in $1 million after the Clinton administration dropped a bid to regulate beer advertisements aimed at minors.
It only got worse the following year when Denise Rich paid three bribes to the Clintons in exchange for the pardon of her husband Marc Rich. One bribe was $100,000 to Hillary’s 2000 Senate campaign. Another was $450,000 to the Clinton presidential library. A final bribe was for $1 million to the Democratic Party. Rich was pardoned on Clinton’s last day in office.
Things have only gotten worse since Hillary became the Secretary of State. The Clinton Foundation has been collecting money from foreign-owned businesses … The foundation has also failed to disclose millions of dollars of gifts (bribes) from foreign entities seeking Hillary’s help to approve of transactions with serious national security implications. Speaking of serious national security implications, it is interesting to observe the change in policy toward India since Bill left office in 2001. India had never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and was hit with sanctions for refusing to do so. India attempted to have those sanctions lifted by having Indian entities with a direct financial interest in lifting the sanctions pay Bill Clinton large speaking fees. Indians who could legally do so also made donations to Hillary’s senate and presidential campaigns. Additionally, millions were poured directly into the Clinton Foundation. After the bribes were deposited, Bill and Hillary went to work lifting the sanctions that Bill had imposed as president.
The activities of the Clinton Foundation deserve heightened scrutiny because foreign governments cannot contribute to American political campaigns. But they can donate to a “charity” like the foundation. They are also allowed to pay exorbitant fees for speeches. Americans of all political persuasions should be troubled by the fact that corporations benefiting from State Department actions while Hillary was Secretary of State have funded Clinton speeches. Notably, affiliates of companies funding Clinton speeches have been the direct recipients of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Predictably, the Clintons never disclosed any of the obvious conflicts of interests.
After the initial years following Bill Clinton’s presidency, his income from speeches started to dwindle. Then, when Hillary became Secretary of State in 2009 his high-paying overseas speeches suddenly started to increase in frequency. Of the thirteen speeches Bill Clinton has given for over half a million dollars, eleven occurred when his wife was Secretary of State.
Nigeria, which is one of the most corrupt nations on the planet, has been one of the biggest moneymakers for Bill Clinton. In his first eight years out of office, Bill never spoke in Nigeria. After Hillary became Secretary of State, Bill pulled in two of his top three speeches ever ($700,000 each) speaking in Nigeria.
Despite its record of corruption, Hillary granted Nigeria a waiver so it could continue to receive US assistance. This is despite the fact that in 2006 $1 million from a poverty alleviation fund was funneled into an organization run by Nduka Obaigbena in order to bring Beyonce to Nigeria. Obaigbena is also the alleged underwriter of Bill Clinton’s $700,000 speeches.
Clinton benefactor Gilbert Chagoury has been implicated in numerous bribery and corruption schemes in Nigeria. He has built a financial empire with the help of Sani Abacha, a Nigerian dictator whose time in office was known for brutality, bribery, and corruption. Abacha is also tied to Mark Rich who helped obtain oil assets in Nigeria and sell them for the benefit of General Abacha. During the same time frame, Abacha funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign assistance into European bank accounts.
Chagoury also funneled money into the 1996 Clinton reelection campaign and to the Democratic National Committee. He donated nearly half a million dollars to a voter registration group tied to the DNC. Even the Washington Post had the good sense to recognize that it was done to curry favor with the Clinton administration on behalf of the Abacha dictatorship.
In 2000, Chagoury was convicted in Switzerland of money laundering and of “aiding a criminal organization in connection with billions of dollars stolen from Nigeria”. Since his conviction he has donated millions to the Clinton Foundation. In 2009, after Hillary became Secretary of State, he pledged a whopping billion dollars to the Clintons
Every story of the Clintons’ corruption – of which there are many, though none can ever be complete – requires a mention of their hypocrisy.
Mike Adam duly recalls:
In December of 2009, Hillary Clinton gave a speech as a part of “International Anti-Corruption Day”, in which she praised the work of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in combatting bribery. In fact, she would go on to chair the group two years later. This is the same woman who began her political career with a controversy over turning a $1000 investment in cattle futures into $100,000. Throughout her career, the biggest payments into her coffers have not come from countries like England and Germany. They have flowed from nations rife with corruption and bribery. Nonetheless, in 2012 Hillary stated that fighting corruption is an “integral part of national security” adding that “our credibility depends on practicing what we preach”. She even said that bribery is “morally wrong – and far too common”.
Indeed. Screwing your country with bribes is far more serious than screwing your intern with cigars. Let the [impeachment] proceedings begin.
But they won’t begin, of course. Even if the Republicans retain their majorities in the House and the Senate, it is very unlikely that they will dare to impeach Hillary Clinton.
Why? Because everyone accepts now that the Clintons are above the law.
And the Department of Justice is owned by them.
Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:
The highly politicized Department of Justice swatted down pesky FBI requests to investigate the Clinton Foundation earlier this year, CNN reported yesterday.
CNN buried the lede, as it frequently does on news stories that make Democrats look bad. The online version bears the innocuous-sounding headline, “Newly released Clinton emails shed light on relationship between State Dept. and Clinton Foundation.”
It is not until the 25th paragraph that the article states that an unidentified law enforcement official gave CNN a heads-up earlier this year. As the probe of Clinton’s private email servers was ramping up “several FBI field offices approached the Justice Department asking to open a case regarding the relationship between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation”.
At that time, the article continues, the Justice Department “declined because it had looked into allegations surrounding the Clinton Foundation around a year earlier and found there wasn’t sufficient evidence to open a case”.
Not even enough evidence to look into the foundation’s affairs?
Not more than a year after the publication of Peter Schweizer’s blockbuster book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, opened the floodgates for investigative reporters to dig into the matter. …
Lawyers have told me there is already a strong legal case against Mrs. Clinton. The fact that she destroyed email evidence – evidence subject to a congressional subpoena, no less — is already evidence in itself that she obstructed justice through spoliation of evidence. Spoliation means you can take as evidence the fact that evidence has been destroyed. Courts are entitled to draw spoliation inferences and convict an accused person on that basis alone.
The only reason FBI Director James Comey didn’t recommend she be prosecuted is because, well, he lacks a spine and he’s corrupt. He said there was no evidence of Clinton’s “efforts to obstruct justice”, a requirement that does not actually appear in the Espionage Act.
Evidence of corruption at the Clinton Foundation is everywhere, yet CNN and much of the mainstream media are still doing everything they can to ignore, misrepresent, or downplay the questionable things Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton did through the foundation.
The congenitally corrupt Clintons created their private email system to frustrate Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requesters, shield Hillary’s correspondence from congressional oversight, and steer money to their corrupt foundation, which, amazingly enough, still enjoys tax-exempt status.
These illegal, insecure private email servers Clinton used while at the State Department are at the heart of the scandal over her mishandling of an Islamic terrorist attack in militant-infested Benghazi, Libya on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 that left four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens, dead. Even now, four years after the assault, the Obama administration has failed to provide an autopsy report about Stevens who was initially reported to have been ritualistically sodomized before being murdered by Muslim terrorists.
Every few days Judicial Watch has been releasing emails obtained under FoIA that may ultimately lead to evidence of political interference at the highest levels that provided cover for the anticipatory presidential bribe processing vehicle known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. …
May lead to … ? No. As long as there is a Democrat in the White House there will be no prosecution of the Clintons.
But Hillary Clinton is intent on finding cause to prosecute Trump “for corruption”!
A high-profile watchdog group controlled by Hillary Clinton ally David Brock is demanding the IRS investigate Donald Trump’s personal foundation for allegedly aiding his presidential campaign.
The call by CREW, or Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has to be the most obvious political hit job of this election cycle.
CREW is a member of what some in the conservative think tank community call the “Brocktopus”, that is, the network of groups the disgraced former journalist runs, which spends oodles of money defending all things Clinton. An admitted serial liar, Brock’s empire of sleaze also includes “conservative misinformation” watchdog Media Matters for America, pro-Hillary disaster-control spin site Correct the Record, and American Bridge 21st Century, a super PAC that promotes Hillary and attacks her critics.
CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder asked the IRS to investigate the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a tiny nonprofit founded by Trump decades ago to give away profits from his book, The Art of the Deal.
How the foundation, which ranked 4,347th in the FoundationSearch “Top Foundations by Assets for the state of New York” list would help the Trump campaign isn’t clear. “The Trump Foundation has no full-time staff, and gave away just $591,000 in 2014 — the last year for which records are available,” the Washington Post reports. …
Even if the IRS takes up this piddling little case not much is likely to come of it. It’s a political stunt by CREW, a nakedly partisan group under the boot of one of Hillary’s biggest backers.
It’s the wheeling and dealing Clinton Foundation with its involvement in billion-dollar transactions, its ties to shady figures, and the debt it owes to the unsavory governments of countries around the world that needs to be properly and thoroughly examined.
But as it won’t be examined, because (we repeat) the misnamed Department of Justice is owned by the Clintons –
Should those of us give up hope, who –
- Want to live under the rule of law, with nobody being above it?
- Value, above all else, individual freedom protected by the law?
- Want government to be the servant, not the master, of the people?
If Hillary Clinton is elected to the presidency, then the answer to that question is YES.
Numerous observers of the failed coup in Turkey – including some of our own readers – suspect that Erdogan staged the event in order to crack down on opponents of his Islamization agenda.
Rick Moran at American Thinker concludes in an article titled Did Erdogan Stage The Coup To Crack Down On His Opponents?, which explores the accusation:
The small number of troops involved, the incompetent prosecution of the coup, and the apparent lack of planning by the plotters suggest an extremely amateur attempt to overthrow Erdogan. But might Erdogan’s agents have goaded the plotters into taking action? It’s a seductive theory that has no evidence to back it up.
Even if there was an Erdogan plot, there must have been many participants in the uprising who knew nothing of it and strove sincerely for success.
What is certain is that Erdogan gained a significant victory, not just for himself but also for our enemy, Islam.
Ralph Peters writes at Fox News Opinion:
Friday night’s failed coup was Turkey’s last hope to stop the Islamization of its government and the degradation of its society. Reflexively, Western leaders rushed to condemn a coup attempt they refused to understand. Their reward will be a toxic Islamist regime at the gates of Europe.
Our leaders no longer do their basic homework.The media relies on experts-by-Wikipedia. Except for PC platitudes, our schools ignore the world beyond our shores. Deluged with unreliable information, citizens succumb to the new superstitions of the digital age.
So a great country is destroyed by Islamist hardliners before our eyes—and our president praises its “democracy”.
That tragically failed coup was a forlorn hope, not an attempt to take over a country. Turkey is not a banana republic in which the military grasps the reins for its own profit. For almost a century, the Turkish armed forces have been the guardians of the country’s secular constitution. Most recently, coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980 (with “non-coup” pressure in 1997) saw the military intervene to prevent the country’s collapse.
Erdogan will use the coup as an excuse to accelerate the Islamization of his country and to lead Turkey deeper into the darkness engulfing the Muslim world. His vision is one of a neo-Ottoman megalomaniac.
Each time, the military returned the government to civilian rule as soon as that proved practical. …
Friday night, mid-grade officers led a desperate effort to rescue their country again. They failed. The West cheered. Soon enough, we’ll mourn.
The coup leaders made disastrous mistakes, the worst of which was to imagine that the absence of President Erdogan from Ankara, the capital, presented the perfect opportunity. Wrong. In a coup, the key is to seize the leaders you mean to overthrow (as well as control of the media). Instead of fleeing into exile, Erdogan was able to return in triumph.
So who is the man our own president rushed to support because he was “democratically elected”? Recep Tayyip Erdogan is openly Islamist and affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which President Obama appears to believe represents the best hope for the Middle East. But the difference between ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t one of purpose, but merely of manners: Muslim Brothers wash the blood off their hands before they sit down to dinner with their dupes.
With barely a murmured “Tut-tut!” from Western leaders, Erdogan has dismantled Turkey’s secular constitution (which the military is duty-bound to protect). His “democracy” resembles Putin’s, not ours. Key opposition figures have been driven into exile or banned. Opposition parties have been suppressed. Recent elections have not been held so much as staged. And Erdogan has torn the fresh scab from the Kurdish wound, fostering civil war in Turkey’s southeast for his own political advantage.
Erdogan has packed Turkey’s courts with Islamists. He appointed pliant, pro-Islamist generals and admirals, while staging show trials of those of whom he wished to rid the country. He has de facto, if not yet de jure, curtailed women’s freedoms. He dissolved the wall between mosque and state (Friday night, he used mosques’ loudspeakers to call his supporters into the streets). Not least, he had long allowed foreign fighters to transit Turkey to join ISIS and has aggressively backed other extremists whom he believed he could manage.
And his diplomatic extortion racket has degraded our own military efforts against ISIS.
That’s the man President Obama supports.
And the leaders of the ill-fated coup? What did they stand for? Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s legacy and a secular constitution. One of the great men of the last century, Ataturk (an innovative general by background) pulled Turkey from the wreckage of World War One, abolished the caliphate, suppressed fanatical religious orders, gave women legal rights and social protections, banned the veil, promoted secular education for all citizens of Turkey, strongly advocated Westernization and modernization … and promoted a democratic future.
The officers who led the collapsed coup stood for all those things. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry opposed them.
By Saturday morning, it was clear that the mullahs and mobs behind Erdogan had won. Erdogan will use the coup as an excuse to accelerate the Islamization of his country and to lead Turkey deeper into the darkness engulfing the Muslim world. His vision is one of a neo-Ottoman megalomaniac.
NATO, which operates by consensus, will find itself embracing a poisonous snake. New crises will reawaken old fears in southeastern Europe, which western European states will dismiss condescendingly, further crippling the badly limping European Union. Syria will continue to bleed. And educated, secular Turks will find themselves in a situation like unto that of German liberals in the 1930s. We may see new and unexpected wars.
A desperate, ill-planned coup has failed in Turkey. Here comes the darkness.
Yes – unless the West starts fighting back under new American leadership.
Pat Condell passionately makes the case for “Brexit” – Britain’s exit from the European Union:
Brexit The Movie:
Long as the movie is, it’s riveting. Find out just how horrible the EU is – and what a loser!
On September 3, 2011, and again on September 28, 2015, we posted an article that makes the case for free speech.
Today we repeat this vital part of it:
The greatness of the West began with doubting. The idea that every belief, every assumption, should be critically examined started the might of Europe. When those old Greek thinkers who founded our civilization learnt and taught that no one has a monopoly of truth or ever will have, they launched the intellectual adventure that has carried the human race – not without a long interval in the doldrums – literally to the skies.
Socrates taught the utility of suspicion. He is reputed to have said, “The highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.” He was not, however, the first to use doubt for discovery. Thales of Miletos, who was born 155 years before Socrates, dared to doubt that religion’s explanatory tales about how the world came to be as it is were to be trusted, and he began exploring natural phenomena in a way that we recognize as scientific. He is often called the Father of Science. With him and his contemporary, Anaximander, who argued with him by advancing alternative ideas, came the notion – for the first time as far as we know – that reason could fathom and describe how the universe worked.
Science is one of the main achievements of the West, but it is not the only product of constructive doubt that made for its greatness. Doubt as a habit of mind or tradition of thinking meant that new, foreign, even counter-intuitive ideas were not dismissed. Europe, before and after it stagnated in the doldrums of the long Catholic Christian night (and even to some extent during those dark centuries), was hospitable to ideas wherever they came from. …
Our civilization cannot survive without this openness. Critical examination is the breath that keeps it alive. But it is in danger of suffocation. It is more threatened now than it has been for the last four hundred years by dogmatisms: Marxism, environmentalism, religion – above all Islam which absolutely forbids criticism.
Now to those sources of destructive dogmatism we must add another: the European Union.
The ideas of Marxism, environmentalism, Islam most need to be criticized. Because they are inherently intolerant, terroristic, and totalitarian. Over and over again, unendingly, they need to be torn to pieces by critics who hate them.
And they are the very ideologies that the European Union wants most to shield from critical examination.
Breitbart London reports:
The European Commission has today [May 31, 2016] announced a partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft in order to crack down on what it classes as “illegal hate speech” while “criminaliz[ing]” perpetrators and “promoting independent counter-narratives” that the European Union favours.
A press release from the Commission this morning claims the new initiative has been set up “to respond to the challenge of ensuring that online platforms do not offer opportunities for illegal online hate speech to spread virally”.
The move has been branded “Orwellian” by Members of the European Parliament, and digital freedom groups have already pulled out of any further discussions with the Commission, calling the new policy “lamentable”.
The unelected, executive branch of the European Union (EU) released a Code of Conduct today that “includes a series of commitments to combat the spread of illegal hate speech online in Europe” developed “together with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft (‘the IT companies’)” who have “signed up”.
That the bureaucratic dictatorship of the EU should try such a deplorable move is not surprising.
But why are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft conceding to its authoritarian anti-freedom demands?
The commitments include “educat[ing] and rais[ing] awareness with their users” and building a “network” of “trusted reporters” to flag unwanted content. Facebook and Twitter are to provide “regular training to their staff on current societal developments” and work more closely with national governments and “their law enforcement agencies” to remove content the EU does not favor.
Most alarmingly, however, the platforms have also promised to engage in the active promotion of views and organisations the EU does favour, and the re-education of supposedly hateful users.
Facebook and others must, “recogniz[e] the value of independent counter speech against hateful rhetoric and prejudice, aim to continue their work in identifying and promoting independent counter-narratives, new ideas and initiatives and supporting educational programs that encourage critical thinking.”
Note that in current leftist-dominated jargon, “critical thinking” means “uncritical thinking” – ie. meek acceptance of leftist dogma.
Janice Atkinson MEP told Breitbart London: “It’s Orwellian. Anyone who has read 1984 sees it’s very re-enactment live.
“The Commission has been itching to shut down free speech in the Parliament and now they’re attacking social media. We have already seen Facebook ‘policing’ so-called right-wing postings.
“If an MEP, such as the centre-right Hungarians, the Danish People’s Party, the Finns, the Swedish Democrats, the Austrian FPO, say no to migration quotas because they cannot cope with the cultural and religious requirements of Muslims across the Middle East who are seeking refugee status, is that a hate crime? And what is their punishment? It’s a frightening path to totalitarianism.” …
The Code of Conduct has also been slammed by groups who have been working closely with the Commission. In a sign of an impending backlash, one organisation which promotes privacy, data protection, and net neutrality has already vowed to break ties.
The European Digital Rights (EDRi) announced its decision to pull out of future discussions with the Commission today, stating it does not have confidence in the “ill-considered code of conduct”.
“Faced with this lamentable outcome, and with no possibility to provide meaningful input to this process, the Commission has left us with no other choice but to withdraw from the discussion,” said Estelle Massé, EU Policy Analyst at Access Now. …
What does Facebook have to say about it?
Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management at Facebook, said: “We welcome today’s announcement and the chance to continue our work with the Commission and wider tech industry to fight hate speech.” …
Last September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was overheard confronting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg about “hate speech”, with Mr. Zuckerberg replying: “We need to do some work”
Now, the EU has described how: “The IT Companies support the European Commission and EU Member States… They share, together with other platforms and social media companies, a collective responsibility and pride in promoting and facilitating freedom of expression throughout the online world.”
Promote freedom of expression by censoring it? How does the Commission (ie. the bureaucratic oligarchy that governs the EU) reconcile these two contradictory activities?
The Commission argues that expanding censorship will somehow protect and expand free speech, because “[hate speech] negatively impacts those who speak out for freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination in our open societies and has a chilling effect on the democratic discourse on online platforms”.
Vĕra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said the new measures would counter Islamist terrorism:
“The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech. Social media is unfortunately one of the tools that terrorist groups use to radicalise young people and racist use to spread violence and hatred”.
Some excuse! The Islamic terrorists use code. And it is primarily to protect Islam from justified and desperately needed censure, that this whole scheme is being hatched, anyway.
What do Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft have to say about it? We are given only a Twitter statement:
Twitter’s Head of Public Policy for Europe, Karen White, said: “Hateful conduct has no place on Twitter … We look forward to further constructive dialogue between the European Commission, member states, our partners in civil society and our peers in the technology sector on this issue.”
“Hateful conduct”? People express their opinions on Facebook. They argue for what they like and against what they don’t like. If they can no longer do that, there won’t be much use for it. What will Twitter be used for if not opinion? And how interesting will YouTube be, purged of argument?
Who will use the social media merely to repeat authorized opinions like mantras? By agreeing to carry only permitted orthodoxies, they are destroying themselves.
The government of the United States was intended by the Founding Fathers to be the servant of the people. But it has become the master of the people. The tyrannical master of the people.
And it is not only the statist, collectivist, Democratic administrations that have exercised and hardened the tyranny. Republicans, who oppose tyranny in principle, have done it too.
This is from PJ Media by Michael Walsh:
It was during the first Nixon administration that the hideous monstrosity of the Environmental Protection Agency came into being by executive order, along with its ugly twin, the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Seemingly innocuous and well-intentioned at the time, both agencies have metastasized, their original missions completed and now forever on the prowl for something else to meddle with. They’re both unconstitutional, of course, but what’s even worse is that they’ve turned into rogue agencies, issuing edicts, orders and regulations largely devoid of congressional scrutiny – pure instruments of executive power, with none to gainsay them. …
This week a young rancher in Wyoming, Andy Johnson, won a battle for private property rights against one of the bureaucratic entities that strikes fear in the hearts of farmers and ranchers nationwide, the Environmental Protection Agency. …
Johnson fought back against a mandate from the EPA to dismantle a pond that he had built on his own land with the required state permits. Fines totaling $16 million were imposed before they were finally overturned in the wake of his court victory. …
[He had] obtained a state permit before building the stock pond in 2012 on his sprawling nine-acre farm for a small herd of livestock. [Yet] not long after construction, the EPA threatened Johnson with civil and criminal penalties – including the threat of a $37,500-a-day fine – claiming he needed the agency’s permission before building the 40-by-300 foot pond, which is filled by a natural stream. … You can read all about the Johnson case, which ought to outrage every real American, here.
And another case:
To get an idea of just how obnoxious and intrusive these do-gooder agencies have become, get a load of this from Lou Ann Rieley, who owns a farm in Delaware:
A few years ago we received a notice that there was suspicious material piled behind our commercial poultry houses that looked like it may be illegally piled manure. Airplane surveillance photos showed large piles of material and had to be investigated by the powers-that-be. We got a letter informing us that inspectors would be coming on our farm and we could not refuse to extend our hospitality to them. We complied and they discovered, as we had told them, it was piles of dirt. Our sons were practicing moving dirt with the new front-end loader. After having gained entrance to our property they insisted on being granted complete access to every part of the farm even though there were no violations.
I looked outside one day to see two men that I did not recognize poking around our barn area. I watched them for a few minutes then went outside to question what they were doing. They informed me they were from the SPCA and had received an anonymous tip that someone in the area had a horse that was limping and it might be us. I told them there was none that I was aware of but they could look at the horses if they wished. They inspected the horses and found nothing wrong.
I asked who had made the complaint but was denied the information … I quoted the 4th Amendment to the Constitution and my right to be secure from unreasonable searches. Needless to say, that did not go over well and the investigators began to look for other things that could be violations of animal welfare since I dared to question their authority. I asked again who made the complaint that instigated their investigation and they told me that I could never know unless I was charged with something and went to court. I demanded that they charge me so I could have my day in court but they refused since they could find no violations, but not before threatening my property. These men demanded my vet records, which by law they had no right to access. It did not matter, they were the voice of government authority and I had to comply … or else.
… Faceless bureaucrats with guns arriving one fine day in order to investigate a citizen who is not even under suspicion. The Constitution doesn’t matter to them, nor do legalistic protestations, nor simple human decency. No … agents from EPA or OSHA or any other federal agency with a SWAT team (which is most of them) can simply make demands on citizens in the name of “regulations”.
This is the inevitable result of ceding representative government to cabals of empowered clerks. Recall that while Republicans talk a good game about “limited government”, in fact they’re almost as big proponents of Big Government as the Democrats, and promises to the contrary are just a ruse to sucker the rubes into voting for the junior wing of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party, so we all can pretend to believe in democracy.
But democracy is null and void in the face of faceless tyranny like the EPA, which cannot reform itself, and will never stop until it is put out of business, dismantled and its buildings pulled down around its ears.
The IRS not only penalizes conservative organizations and assists leftists, its also seizes large sums of money belonging to innocent people and keeps it.
This is from the Daily Signal, by Melissa Quinn:
For more than four years, Maryland dairy farmer Randy Sowers has been fighting the federal government, asking it to right what many say was a wrong.
In Feb. 2012, two federal agents told Sowers, who owns South Mountain Creamery in Frederick, Md. that the Internal Revenue Service [IRS] was seizing more than $60,000 from his farm’s bank account under a subset of civil forfeiture laws governing cash transactions.
According to the IRS, Sowers had committed structuring violations. Structuring is the act of making consistent cash deposits or withdrawals of under $10,000 to avoid government reporting requirements.
But the dairy farmer didn’t know he was doing anything wrong, and because Sowers and his wife sold milk at local farmer’s markets — where customers paid primarily in cash — they frequently made cash deposits into the business’s bank account.
Sowers and his wife tried to fight the government to get their money back, but ultimately decided to settle.
The IRS returned $33,436 to the Sowers and kept $29,500.
On Wednesday, Sowers and his lawyer, Robert Johnson of the Institute for Justice, will appear before a panel of lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee to detail Sowers’ lengthy battle with the federal government and discuss broader issues with how the IRS is using civil forfeiture.
“One of the main issues that’s going to come out of this hearing is the IRS still is holding tens of millions of dollars that it seized from people that it wouldn’t have seized under its policies today,” Johnson told The Daily Signal. “Those people deserve to get their money back, and Randy Sowers deserves to get his money back.” …
Civil forfeiture and structuring laws were put in place to curb drug trafficking and money laundering. However, in recent years, the government has taken money and property from innocent property owners who were never charged with a crime and were unaware they were breaking the law. …
In the last two years, the IRS and Justice Department changed their internal policies regarding structuring, allowing the agencies to pursue structuring cases only in instances where the money stems from criminal activity. Under the policy changes, a number of business owners, including Sowers, wouldn’t have had their money taken.
So a small beginning has been made to curb the arrogant powers of the IRS.
There’s still a long way to go to restore – or initiate? – government of the people, by the people, for the people.
How deep did the corruption of the Clintons go when they were in power? And at what human cost did they enrich themselves?
Here’s just one example to judge by: the Clintons’ collusion with a mining company operating in Africa that caused untold human misery, displacement, starvation, and massacre.
Richard Pollock writes at the Daily Caller:
A little known Swedish-Canadian oil and mining conglomerate human rights groups have repeatedly charged produces “blood minerals” is among the Clinton Foundation’s biggest donors, thanks to a $100 million pledge in 2007, a Daily Caller News Foundation [DCNF] investigation has found.
“Blood minerals” are related to “blood diamonds”, which are allegedly mined in war zones or sold as commodities to help finance political insurgencies or despotic warlords. When the Vancouver, Canada-based Lundin Group gave its $100 million commitment to the “Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative”, the company had long been cutting deals with warlords, Marxist rebels, military strongmen and dictatorships in the war-torn African countries of Congo, Sudan and Ethiopia.
Lundin promoted its reputation as a fierce, hard-driving company. Adolf Lundin, who founded the company, audaciously traveled to the French home of Congo dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1996 to secure mining rights for his company. A few years later, Lundin admitted he had offered a “donation” to Mobutu’s “elections campaign”, but later said he never gave the funds. …
The Lundin Group reportedly cut a deal in 1997 with Congolese Marxist warlord Laurent Kabila, with a $50 million down payment toward $250 million they would give to the rebels in exchange for mining rights, according to according to U.N. Inspector Jason K. Stearns. Lundin eventually won majority rights to one of the country’s richest mineral veins.
A Swedish prosecutor, mirroring the views of human rights groups, once characterized the company as filled with “opportunistic, dictator-hugging businessmen”, a description the company has vigorously denied.
In accepting the $100 million, President Bill Clinton hailed Lundin’s contribution, saying “today’s generous support by the Lundin Group is to be applauded because it demonstrates the potential of this global initiative to capture the imagination and support of the mining sector”. It wasn’t the first time Clinton consorted with mining moguls. In the waning hours of his presidency in 2001, Clinton pardoned Glencore International mining and oil magnate Marc Rich after his wife, Denise, made generous donations to the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign and his Clinton Library. Clinton’s pardon erased a 65-count indictment against Rich for trading with Iran against the oil embargo. Rich did the Iranian oil sales while Americans were held captive in the country by the Mullahs.
In the same year the Clinton Foundation accepted Lundin’s money, Swedwatch, a Swedish non-governmental organization that tracks Swedish business dealings in the developing world, released a condemnatory report about the company’s operations in Congo, titled “Risky Business”.
The report detailed widespread suffering in the Congo as whole villages were removed to make way for Lundin’s mining operations.
Six years earlier, the relief organization Christian Aid released a report denouncing the scorched-earth tactics of the Sudanese military to clear villages for Lundin’s petroleum exploration. Its report was titled, “Lundin Oil in Sudan: Scorched Earth”.
Thanks to those reporters and others, Lundin is known in Congress as well. Rep. Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican who co-chairs the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, told the DCNF that “areas with high conflict over minerals are breeding grounds for human rights abuses on a massive scale, and when entities like the Clintons’ Foundation accept donations from these corrupt actors, they are sanctioning the exploitation“. …
Human rights groups have released numerous reports of the devastation wrought by oil and mining companies in Africa, with many focusing specifically on Lundin.
Swedwatch wrote extensively of the horrors caused by Lundin mining in Congo. “Three villages were relocated to make room for the new mining activities. In October 2007, many resettled families that had been promised new houses were still sheltering under plastic sheeting, waiting for their new houses to be built,” the report stated.
Christian Aid said field workers in the Sudan “found thousands of Nuer civilians displaced from villages along this road, hundreds of miles away” due to Lundin oil operations, adding, “Then government troops arrived by truck and helicopter, burning the villages and killing anyone who was unable to flee – in most cases, the old and the very young.”
In April, 2001, Swedish Dagens Nyheter journalist Anna Koblanck toured Lundin’s Block 5A oil parcels in the Sudan with company executives.
Koblanck described seeing death and destruction along the way, writing, “The displaced Bentiu are starving to death.” She reported that “many villages along the road are empty”.
Human Rights Watch in 2003 noted Lundin never mentioned the scorched earth tactics in public statements about its presence in the Sudan: “The oil companies, led by Lundin, made no public statement condemning this destruction and displacement in Block 5A, despite the press attention it garnered and the regular alarms from U.N. agencies about the dire state of the needy in this very area.
“None of this fighting nor mass displacement caused the oil consortium, led by Lundin, to express concern about the well-being of the people living in its concession area,” said Human Rights Watch. “Lundin never mentioned the armed conflict in its public releases.”
Accusations of Lundin human rights violations in Ethiopia were so frequent in 2011, two Swedish journalists went there to investigate … They were arrested by Ethiopian authorities government on “terrorism” charges and in 2012 sentenced to 18 years in prison.
The two “were investigating allegations of human rights violations linked to the activities of the Swedish oil company Lundin Oil”, stated PEN, the international journalist organization. The international outcry finally secured their release after more than a year of imprisonment.
And did the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, try to do anything about this vast atrocity?
No. She profited from it:
Although then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Congo in 2009, she unexpectedly delayed implementation of a landmark “certification” program designed to assure human rights were respected by mining companies like Lundin in Africa. …
Her failure to act was criticized at the time by John Prendergast, president of Enough.org, a nongovernmental organization which championed the “blood minerals” legislation. … Robin Wright, another Enough.org advocate, wrote in Time Magazine that two years after Clinton traveled to the Congo, local villagers told her, “nearly everyone I met asked me to take a message back to ‘Mama Clinton’ to urge her to make good on her promise to implement the certification process“.
Such apparent quid pro quos were common at the Clinton Foundation, charges Charles Ortel, who has extensively studied the foundation.
Since January 2001, the Clinton family has used their public charity as a vehicle to create enormously valuable concessions in numerous desperately poor and corrupt countries, for individuals who claim that they have made extravagantly large ‘pledges’.
The final execution of the certification process was announced by the Department of State the same month Clinton left office in February, 2013.
hir ze! 3
The transgender population of the US is now estimated to be o.3% of the total.
The rest of us 322,000,000+* have to be real nice to them. For their sakes we must all make changes in the way we live and the way we speak. The government orders us to. And it tells us how. And it will punish us with the full force of the law if we disobey.
But with the best will in the world, what is to be done about the huge problem troubling government, business, states, stores, restaurants, hotels, schools, the military, the police, progressives and moralists: Which public bathroom/restroom/locker-room should transgenders use, the one reserved for the gender they started out as, or the one reserved for the gender they have become or are becoming or would like to become?
It is the dilemma of the age.
From Truth Revolt, by Trey Sanchez:
Welcome to Obama’s America, where the government will provide you a list of approved words to speak and those you must never utter. Any violators will be punished and issued stiff fines.
It would sound like a conspiracy theory if it weren’t true, but it’s already happening in places like New York City and Chicago.
The following are legal requirements made by New York City’s Commission on Human Rights:
The NYCHRL [New York City Human Rights Law] requires employers, landlords, and all businesses and professionals to use an employee’s, tenant’s, customer’s, or client’s preferred name, pronoun and title (eg. Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.
Most individuals and many transgender people use female or male pronouns and titles. Some transgender and gender non-conforming people prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir. [Footnote: Ze and hir are popular gender-free pronouns preferred by some transgender and/or gender non-conforming individuals.] …
This isn’t just the government as employer, requiring its employees to say things that keep government patrons happy with government services. This is the government as sovereign, threatening “civil penalties up to $125,000 for violations, and up to $250,000 for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct” if people don’t speak the way the government tells them to speak.
These government-enforced rules don’t apply just to adult citizens but to children as well. The Chicago Public School (CPS) system has now decreed that children must address teachers and classmates with their preferred gender pronouns and if they willfully refuse, they face charges of sexual harassment according to Title IX discrimination policies.
CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson said:
The guidelines released today will help ensure every student and adult in the CPS family can participate in an environment of complete tolerance and respect. CPS, like much of the country, has become far more aware of the needs and experiences of the transgender community, and it’s crucial for CPS guidelines to reflect our commitment to promoting safe and inclusive schools. These guidelines build on our commitment to fostering healthy and supportive learning opportunities across the District so that each of our students can reach their full potential.
What’s more, students who decide to change their gender at school aren’t required to notify their parents and in fact are protected by the school if they would like to keep the decision confidential:
When speaking with other staff members, parents, guardians, or third parties, school staff should not disclose a student’s preferred name, pronoun, or other confidential information pertaining to the student’s transgender or gender nonconforming status without the student’s permission, unless authorized to do so by the Law Department.
Whoa! New problem coming up right there. How will they allude to the student under discussion? The right (preferred) pronoun could let the secret out. But the wrong pronoun could put the staff member, parent, guardian, or third party in trouble with the law.
And that’s not all. A tide of problems is washing in:
This is all going to get extremely difficult to navigate as “gender fluid” folks can change their gender status based on how they are feeling on any given day. Will anyone be able to keep with when “ze” is better than “he” or when “sie” is more appropriate than “she” since the rules themselves are just as fluid?
And who gives his full blessing to the government forcing its ideology about gender on the rest of the country? None other than President Obama himself, who recently gave his own decree to the nation’s public schools, threatening litigation and loss of federal funding if students aren’t allowed to enter the bathroom of their choice while under the care of the state.
This is no longer a plot from some fictional dystopia. It’s reality.
It is to be hoped that when the history of America in 2016 comes to be written, historians will understand that the most important issue facing the government then, in the last year of the 44th president, was not the advancing conquest of the Western world by Islam; not the bellicose threats of Russia to nations under the NATO defense umbrella; not the wars raging in the Middle East; not the vast trade imbalance between the US and China; not Third World poverty; not the zika epidemic; not even the looming general election that would decide the future of the nation and the rest of the world, but the issue of which bathroom transgenders should use.
We hope this post will be of help to them.
*The US population was computed to be 322,762,018 at the start of 2016.
To generalize for a delightful moment of offensive political incorrectness: Germans notoriously lack a sense of humor.
Of course there have been, and are, some German humorists. But that there should be a national scandal, a huge legal controversy, even headlines across the world about a piece of humorous writing by a German in Germany, can only be astonishing.
It has happened.
Stefan Frank writes at Gatestone:
Who would have thought that there is still a law in Germany that makes “lèse majesté” (offending the dignity of a monarch) a punishable crime? And that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now benefiting from just that – and that it could plunge Germany into a (further) “national crisis.”
The terms “national crisis” and “governmental crisis” have been coming up again and again. In light of all the massive problems Germany has, this one is about a poem in which a cabaret performer and comedian, Jan Böhmermann, recently insulted the Turkish President.
Erdogan has called for Böhmermann’s head and, as of last week, has Chancellor Merkel on his side.
The story began in March, when a German regional television station aired a music video during a satirical show, in which repression and human rights violations under Erdogan were pilloried in a humorous way. The Turkish government summoned the German ambassador and demanded that the video be removed from the internet and never be shown again. Germans thereby learned that the German ambassador is regularly summoned to Ankara – three times so far this year. According to reports, the Turkish government once complained about teaching material in Saxony’s schools that dealt with the Armenian genocide.
The revelation that Erdogan is so easy to insult inspired some people to see if they could go the extra mile. Cabaret artist Jan Böhmermann published an “Offensive Poem” (its actual title) on ZDF Neo, a tiny state-run entertainment TV channel with a market share of 1%. It contained speculations about the Turkish president’s digestive and sexual preferences. AFP reports that,
In his ‘libelous poem’, which, as comedian Jan Böhmermann smilingly announced on television, openly exceeds the limits of free speech in Germany, Böhmermann accused Erdogan of having sex with goats and sheep, among other things.
Böhmermann apparently mixed these unsubstantiated claims with (as an example) truthful statements on the oppression of minorities in Turkey (Erdogan wanted to “get Kurds, cut Christians,” he said).
In a preemptive surrender, which many Germans view as the real scandal, ZDF immediately deleted the broadcast from its Internet archives – before Erdogan could even complain. “The parody that satirically addresses the Turkish President does not meet the quality requirements the ZDF has in place for satire shows,” the station explained of this step. “For this reason, the passage was removed from the program.” This, as ZDF program director Norbert Himmler said, occurred “in consultation with Jan Böhmermann.” The limits of irony and satire were exceeded in this case
ZDF editors now criticize this course of action, and are asking for the piece to be accessible in the archives once again.
Chancellor Merkel – who is not otherwise known to react quickly to crises – tried to appease Erdogan shortly after the broadcast of the program. In a telephone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu, she called the poem “deliberately hurtful” and “unacceptable”. She probably hoped to settle things without having explicitly to apologize, which many Germans from across the political spectrum would resent. But Erdogan has no intention of settling down. He called for the criminal prosecution of Böhmermann. …
Laws, some of which date back to the German Empire, complicate the issue. Hardly any German has ever heard of them, but they have suddenly become relevant. In Germany, the term “abusive criticism” has primarily been familiar to lawyers; the fact that gross affronts are prohibited in Germany is probably obvious to many citizens. However, little known – and much less accepted – is a law from 1871, which makes the “slander of institutions and officials of foreign states” an offense carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison.
On April 14, Angela Merkel announced that she is granting the Turkish President’s demand for prosecution against Böhmermann – against the objections of her coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
In Germany, justice should decide such a case, not the government, says Merkel. But many commentators believe this justification to be hypocritical; after all, Erdogan supposedly already filed lawsuits as a private individual at the Court in Mainz. What Merkel will now enable is another court case for “lèse majesté.” The Berlin Tagesspiegel writes:
“The majority of Germans are against the fact that she [Merkel] is complying with Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s majesty demands in this way. ‘Majesty’ is, therefore, the appropriate term, because penal code section 103 from the year 1871 is for lèse majesté. So it comes from a time when we were still driving carriages and had an emperor. And the Turks had a sultan.”
Many also consider Merkel’s decision to be particularly absurd because on the same day, the Chancellor announced that she wants to abolish the law on lèse majesté “by 2018.”
Through her decision, Merkel signaled that the Turkish President’s “honor” is more important than that of normal German citizens, who can only take ordinary legal action when they are slandered, and who do not enjoy the privilege of an extended “protection of honor” for “princes.”
Erdogan has managed to extend what he already practices in Turkey to Germany. A few months ago, when nobody in Turkey had even heard of Jan Böhmermann, Die Welt reported:
Paragraph 299 of the Turkish Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment of up to four years for insulting the head of state, has become the most common political offense. As a CHP party inquiry revealed, 98 people were arrested for this reason in the first ten months of last year. 66 were indicted, and 15 were kept in custody. The number of preliminary proceedings is unknown; human rights activists estimate several hundred. ‘With these reactions, Erdogan shows how justified this criticism is,’ said CHP human rights politician Sezgin Tanrikulu of Die Welt. ‘A regime that responds to all criticism with criminal proceedings is moving toward a dictatorship’.
The Turkish penal code – now in Germany?
The Turkish government called the slander of Erdogan a “serious crime against humanity”. The choice of words is reminiscent of how Erdogan once acquitted Sudanese President Omar al Bashir of genocide allegations in Darfur: “Muslims cannot carry out genocide.” Erdogan at the time was expressing an attitude often widespread in the West: crimes are not crimes when Muslims commit them. This also seems to be the view of many German politicians and journalists; rarely is a Muslim despot or demagogue criticized in Germany, while at the same time, no one in Germany has any inhibitions about vilifying Christianity or the Church.
It is this double standard, among other things, that Mathias Döpfner, CEO of the major German publishing house, Axel Springer, denounced in an open letter to Böhmermann … In it, Döpfner calls for “solidarity with Jan Böhmermann.” He also writes:
First, I want to say: I think your poem succeeded. I laughed out loud. So it’s important to me to say that, because in the past few days, there hasn’t been a single article about your text – whether accusatory or taking your side – that didn’t first (and at the same time captatio benevolentiae) emphasize how tasteless and primitive and insulting your satire about Erdogan was.
According to Döpfner, it’s “as if you were to accuse a Formula 1 car manufacturer of having fast cars.” Being offensive is certainly the goal, and has a useful consequence: “It is very revealing what reactions your satire triggered. A focal point and a turning point.” Döpfner evokes various works by German artists, comedians, and cartoonists that are solely about mocking Christians and their faith. “When it comes to the provocation of religious or, more precisely, Christian feelings, anything goes in Germany,” says Döpfner. However, if someone offends Erdogan, that leads to “a kind of national crisis.”
Döpfner remembers how in Turkey, Erdogan proceeded against freedom of speech, minorities, and equality for women by force, and mentions the “excessive and reckless violence of the Turkish army” against the Kurds. Why, of all things, does insulting Erdogan cause such turbulence in Germany? Döpfner writes:
For the small compensation of three billion euros, Erdogan regulates the streams of refugees so that conditions do not get out of control in Germany. You have to understand, Mr. Böhmermann, that the German government apologized to the Turkish government for your insensitive remarks. In the current situation, they are simply ‘not helpful’ – artistic freedom or not. You could easily call it kowtowing. Or as Michel Houellebecq phrased it in the title of his masterpiece on the self-abandonment of the democratic Western world: submission.
Erdogan, who also campaigned in Germany during Turkish elections, appears to consider Germany an appendage of his Great Ottoman Empire. He calls out to Turks in Germany: “Assimilation is a crime against humanity.” He has great power in Germany. This is not only based on German organizations like the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), which is controlled by the Turkish government, but above all on his ability to provoke upheaval in Germany if he wants. That Chancellor Merkel has delegated even more power to Erdogan in this situation, by imploring him to prevent hundreds of thousands of migrants in Turkey from heading for Europe, has made the situation even worse — particularly because she has explained over and over that this is the only solution to the migrant crisis.
Merkel considers it indecent when Europeans secure their own country’s borders based on current laws, but she gives Erdogan full reign to proceed with migrants at his discretion. …
Böhmermann’s television appearances were canceled; he fears for his life and is under police protection.