Islam: the religion of war 8

Paul Weston, chairman of the political party Liberty GB and parliamentary candidate, talks about Islam, the religion of war and subjugation.

He challenges Prime Minister David Cameron and other Western leaders to stop being cowards, stop appeasing Islam, declare its true nature, and save the West while it still can (perhaps) be saved.

 

(Hat-tip Ivan M. Lang)

Posted under Commentary, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Videos by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 16, 2016

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Fear of Trump rises in Islam 1

Advancing Islam is beginning to realize that Donald Trump is likely to be the next president of the United States.

He has given Muslim terrorists good reason to fear him. And they do. 

The best proof is to be found in their denials that they do.

PJ Media reports:

The Al-Battar Media Foundation … is reportedly the media operation of elite ISIS Libyan unit Kalibat al-Battar al-Libi.  The first statement [it released] today featured a selfie of [Omar] Mateen … credited with killing “gay crusader infidels in the city of Orlando, America” and putting “horror, fear and heartbreak” in “the hearts of the infidels” during the “great blessed battle successfully carried out by one Muslim man”.

The statement goes on to slam “hypocrites in whose heart is a disease” and “fear of infidel Trump winning the presidency”. 

The sincere believer is not afraid of the head of infidel America, but is struggling as the almighty Allah commanded him, and waits for the victory of Allah… the blessed battle has made the infidels [feel] horror and fear and panic.

Fear of Trump:

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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In defense of hate speech 18

Islam does its utmost to make us infidels afraid of it – and then complains of our “Islamophobia”, our (irrational!) fear of Islam. If we do not fear it, we haven’t been paying attention. We are wise to fear it. We are wise to hate it. It is an evil creed.

Still, it ought not to be silenced by law.

We quote from our post, It’s better to be free to hate than to be free of hatred (April 30, 2014):

When Britain was a free country (ah, yes, I remember it well!), you could insult anyone as much as you pleased short of slander (such as accusing him of a crime). It was called “common abuse”, and there was no law against it. Nor should there have been. Now, in Britain, it’s okay for you to insult white males as much as you like. And Jews. If you insult them loudly and often enough you may get a grant to do it professionally. But if you insult Muslims you will be arrested and charged with a “hate crime”.

It should not be the business of the law to monitor and censure personal opinion.

It is precisely when someone says something you don’t agree with – something you consider stupid, abominable, ugly, offensive, wrong – that you must uphold his right to say it. Argue with him, call him a cretin and a villain; despise him, hate him But do not call for him to be gagged.

Allowing people to say what you don’t like and don’t agree with is the whole point of constitutionally guaranteeing free speech.

The idea of “hate crime” is at the root of this nonsense. Nobody can know what another person feels. If a person  commits a crime, punish him for the crime, not  for the supposed emotion behind it. Such an arrogantly puritanical concept as “hate crime” was  bound to distort the law and threaten liberty. As it does. …

People must be free to be petty, to be prejudiced, to be malicious, to be insulting. They cannot be stopped by the law. To make a law against bad behavior won’t change it, and can only make a mockery of the rule of law itself.

Now that vast bureaucratic tyranny, the European Union, decrees that what it judges to be expression of hate on the social media is to be illegal, and punishable.

Although it insists that “freedom of expression is a core European value which must be preserved”, it also insists that if you say something it doesn’t like, you must be gagged and punished. And it is co-opting “social media platforms” to assist in its policy of repression:

The Framework Decision on Combatting Racism and Xenophobia criminalises the public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. This is the legal basis for defining illegal online content. …

In order to prevent the spread of illegal hate speech, it is essential to ensure that relevant national laws transposing the Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia are fully enforced by Member States in the online as well as in the offline environment. While the effective application of provisions criminalising hate speech is dependent on a robust system of enforcement of criminal law sanctions against the individual perpetrators of hate speech, this work must be complemented with actions geared at ensuring that illegal hate speech online is expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms … [Our emphasis]

The real, unspoken, pathetic purpose of the ruling is to protect Islam from criticism. It is not likely that a Muslim will be censored, let alone prosecuted, for publishing such typical statements as these:

“The Jihad for Allah is the way of the truth and the way for salvation and the way which will lead us to crush the Jews.”  (Yasser Ghalban, Hamas leader, in 2006.)

“The Jews deserved their annihilation by Hitler.” (Dr Wafa Musa, psychologist, in 2009.)

“Jews are bacteria, not human beings.” – (Al Aqsa TV, Deputy Minister of Religious Endowments, Abdallah Jarbu, in 2010), and “The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the earth.” (‘Atallah Abu al-Subh, in 2011.)

And (we repeat), nor should they be censored or prosecuted! Indeed, it would be an excellent thing if the media of every kind displayed such statements prominently as often as they were made (which is every day). Muslims might be pleased at first. But after a while the effect on public opinion could be to provoke contempt and hatred of Islam. And then they’d raise their habitual noisy and violent objections, calling the display of their own words a manifestation of “Islamophobia”, of course.

The following comes from an article at Spiked, by its editor, Brendan O’Neill:

Hatred is an emotion, and the state has no business policing emotion.

“The internet is a place for free speech, not hate speech.” This spectacularly Orwellian comment was made last week by EU commissioner Vĕra Jourová, as she unveiled a new EU code to tackle hatred on the internet. Following three or four years of agitation by officials, politicians, hacks and feminists, all of whom insist that hateful “trolling” online is turning the internet into a cesspool of foul ideas and rotten comments, the EU has decided to take action. It has got web giants YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft to sign a promise that they will hunt down and extinguish illegal hateful commentary, especially racist and xenophobic comments.

Which is to say, they will “hunt down and extinguish” criticism of Islam, warnings of its jihad, objection to the spread of its cruel sharia law – as some have already started doing with zeal.

Some have responded to the new code by asking if it represents overreach. There’s a danger, they say, that angry speech, or just zany speech, will be swept up in the clampdown on hate speech. This will no doubt happen. But we should take our critique of this new code, and of 21st-century censorship more broadly, a step further. We shouldn’t only say “relatively normal speech might be destroyed alongside hate speech” — we should call into question the whole idea of “hate speech”. The category of hate speech is as ridiculous, and abominable, as the idea of thoughtcrime. It represents the criminalisation, not only of racism and xenophobia — which would be bad enough — but of certain ideas, moralities and beliefs. We should bristle and balk as much at the idea of “hate speech” as we do at the idea of thoughtcrime.

Hate-speech codes are an ideological tool disguised as a force for moral good. Consider the recent history of the idea of hate speech … After the Second World War, the keenest proponents of controls on “hate speech” were the Soviets. There were various international gatherings in the 1940s and 50s to hammer out postwar international treaties, and at these the Soviets pushed for a global commitment to repressing “hate speech”, in particular far-right speech. They wanted stipulations against “hatred” and “incitement to hatred”. Amazingly, the West resisted. Eleanor Roosevelt represented the Western powers at some of these debates. She argued that it would be “extremely dangerous” to outlaw hate speech, since “any criticism of public or religious authorities might all too easily be described as incitement to hatred”. Indeed.

Eventually, the Soviets won out. In 1965, the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination was adopted, and it included a proposal to criminalise “ideas based on racial superiority”. The keyword here was ideas. From the outset, treaties and laws against hate speech were about controlling ideas: obnoxious ideas, yes, but ideas nonetheless. It was clear very early on that the category of hate speech was an ideological tool for the repression of bad ideas, of certain convictions. Post-1965, Western countries introduced into their national laws this new commitment to repressing ideas based on racial thinking.

What’s more, the category of hate speech is an extremely elastic tool for the repression of ideas. It has spread from curtailing ideas of racial superiority to suppressing expressions of religious hatred. Some Scandinavian countries want to outlaw misogynistic speech. On campuses there are clampdowns on transphobic speech. Anyone who says that a person with a penis is a man can now be branded a “hate speaker” and find himself No Platformed. So even saying ‘men are men and women are women’ has been encapsulated in the ideological category of hate speech.

Normal, widely held beliefs are casually rebranded “hatred”. Criticise religion too harshly and you’ll be accused of religious hatred; oppose gay marriage and you’re homophobic; doubt gender dysphoria and you’re a “transphobe”. Shouting “that’s hatred!” has become the preferred means for suppressing beliefs we find difficult or uncomfortable. That’s thanks to hate-speech laws. They have sanctioned this rush to rebrand beliefs as hate and to try to crush them. Once you accept that some ideas are beyond the pale … then ultimately no idea is safe

Under the banner of tackling “hate speech”, people are being punished for their moral convictions. … We should feel as angry about state restrictions on hate speech today as we would have done about the Soviet Union’s arrest of political dissidents 40 years ago, because in both cases the same thing is happening: people are punished, not for anything they’ve done, but for what they think.

Hatred is an emotion. … And when we allow figures of authority to control emotion, to fine people for their emotions, to imprison people for their emotions, then we enter the realm of tyranny. It completes the state’s control of the individual. It expands state power from the public sphere of discussion into the psychic sphere of thought and feeling. It invites policing not only of political sentiment but of deep feeling. It is a profound assault on the freedom of the individual.

It’s time to get serious about freedom of speech. It is unacceptable to repress the expression of ideas. It is unacceptable to repress the expression of hatred. “Hate speech is not free speech!”, people say. But it is.

By its very definition, free speech must include hate speech.

Speech must always be free, for two reasons: everyone must be free to express what they feel, and everyone else must have the right to decide for themselves whether those expressions are good or bad. When the EU, social-media corporations and others seek to make that decision for us, and squash ideas they think we will find shocking, they reduce us to the level of children. That is censorship’s greatest crime: it infantilises us. Let us now reassert our adulthood, our autonomy, and tell them: “Do not presume to censor anything on our behalf. We can think for ourselves.”

orwell-freedom-of-speech

Posted under Commentary, liberty by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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Another Islamic atrocity, another victory for the jihad 3

Omar Mateen, an “Afghan-American”, yesterday carried out the worst Islamic atrocity in the United States since 9/11 in the interests of Islam, ISIS, Allah and Muhammad, and gaining an harem in paradise. As all the world knows by now, he did this by shooting 102 people, killing 49 of them in an Orlando, Florida, gay club called Pulse. He was then shot dead by police.

ISIS – or the aptly named Islamic State – “urged jihadists” to carry out terrorist attacks in America during the Muslim “holy month” of Ramadan. This man, violently aggressive by nature, willingly did its bidding. He had been trained by (disingenuous?) Americans to use guns. G4S, a major internationally known security firm (that transports illegal immigrants), confirmed that he had been employed by them since 2007 – to help provide security at federal buildings, airports and nuclear power plants.

He was the son of a man who supports the Taliban yet was allowed to settle in America.

The Obama administration and the Left in general has not reacted to the massacre with anger and sorrow. As usual, the first impulse of the evil men and women who govern us is to defend Islam from  accusation. As also Hillary Clinton does. Next, the Left blames guns and Donald Trump.

What the non-Muslim world must somehow be made to understand is that Islam doesn’t just allow mass-murder such as happened last night in Florida – it insists on it. Killing “the infidel” is commanded by the Quran.

Here are just three of the multitude of suras in the Quran that command fighting, subduing, extorting protection money from, and killing “the infidel”.

9:5 Kill the infidels wherever you find them.

9:29 Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

4.74. Let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fights in the cause of Allah – whether he is slain or gets victory – soon shall we give him a reward of great value.

And here’s an imam preaching that the killing of homosexuals is a good and just punishment, and, what’s more, is in their own interests. He delivered this sermon in Orlando, Florida, in 2013.

Donald Trump has advocated a ban on Muslim immigration, and has said that he will crush ISIS.

It is urgent that he be given the power to do so.

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 13, 2016

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Touché! 1

Here is a gladsome story of citizens striking back at dictatorial government.

From the Conservative Tribune:

If you own something — a business, a home, a car, land, really anything — liberals don’t believe that’s really yours. You’re just allowed to have that because the government lets you!

We saw this recently when the state of Oregon asked residents for access to their land to conduct a survey. One of the homeowners’ responses was so epic that it stopped them in their tracks, though — and will hopefully inspire others to do the same.

“(Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) staff will be conducting surveys for foothill yellow-legged frogs and other amphibians over the next few months,” a letter from the Department of Fish and Wildlife to homeowners Larry and Amanda Anderson that was posted on Facebook read. “As part of this research we would like to survey the creek on your property,” the letter explained. “I am writing this letter to request your permission to access your property.”

And the reason? They might want to declare something on it endangered.

“Recent research indicates that the foothill-yellow legged frogs have declined significantly in recent years … Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated and will help contribute to the conservation of this important species.”

The homeowner in question decided to allow access to his land — on the same terms that government uses when it deals with its citizens.

I have divided our 2.26 acres into 75 equal survey units with a draw tag for each unit. Application fees are only $8.00 per unit after you purchase the ‘Frog Survey License’ ($120.00 resident/$180 non-resident) … You will also need an ‘Invasive Species‘ stamp for the vehicle ($15.00 for the first vehicle and $5.00 each add’l vehicle).

Survey gear can only include a net with 2″ diameter made of 100% organic cotton netting with no longer than an 18″ handle, non weighted and no deeper than 6′ from net frame to bottom of net. Handles can only be made of BPA-free plastics or wooden handles. After 1 p.m. you can use a net with a 3” diameter if you purchase the frog net endorsement ($75.00 resident/$250 non-resident).

Any frogs captured that are released will need to be released with an approved release device back into the environment unharmed.

One can only imagine the crestfallen expressions on the face of eager government functionaries once they opened the letter and realized that not only were Larry and Amanda Anderson not going to allow them to go on their land, but they didn’t even recognize how the government knew what was best for them, goshdarnit!

For the rest of us, however, this letter is a riot from beginning to end. Bravo, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson!

Posted under liberty, Miscellaneous, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 13, 2016

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A taste of socialist honey 5

Bernie Sanders is out of the running for the presidency of the United States. Millions are disappointed. He stimulated a taste for socialism. The Democratic Party is more socialist now than it was before it watched him entrancing his millions of followers.

He conveyed to crowds of Americans apparently innocent of any knowledge of modern history, that socialism is a benign system for an ideal society in which all are equal, and everyone gets free education from kindergarten to college, and free health care for life.

He has managed not to notice that where the system was tried – as in Russia – it did not established unending human happiness.

Although he went to Soviet Russia himself.  He took his honeymoon there.

He got back home again safely, and has continued to the present day to consider socialism a fine thing.

Other Americans who went there – to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – were just as foolish but not as lucky.

We quote from an article by Tim Tzouliadis, published by the BBC in August 2008:

At the height of the Depression, several thousand American emigrants left New York on the decks of passenger liners waving goodbye to the Statue of Liberty, bound for Leningrad.

Over 100,000 Americans had applied for jobs working in brand new factories in Soviet Russia, ironically built for Stalin by famous American industrialists such as Henry Ford.

Those American emigrants who entered the “workers’ paradise” were certain that they were leaving the misery of unemployment and poverty behind them. They considered themselves fortunate.

Their optimism would prove to be short-lived. Most were stripped of their American passports soon after their arrival.

Considered suspect by Stalin’s paranoid totalitarian state, the foreigners were swept away in the Terror.

The American jazz clubs, the baseball teams, and the English-language schools set up in cities across the USSR, would quickly vanish with them. …

The Metropol Hotel became the weekly venue for the party of rich American journalists, businessmen and engineers who would dance around the circular fountain kept stocked with fish in the middle of the dance-floor.

Diners were encouraged to select their supper, at which point a net would be deftly flourished by the waiter, the fish caught and cooked and brought to their table.

Seventy years later the Metropol is still Moscow’s finest hotel, and the marble fountain is still present in the centre of the dining room. The city has changed radically but the key locations of the American emigration are still there.

In Gorky Park, the American baseball teams would compete against each other in the summer evenings of the early 1930s.

The American Ambassador’s residence, Spaso House, where William C. Bullitt once hosted the “party of the century” in April 1935, still has the Stars and Stripes flying in front and the diplomats still drink cocktails on the terrace.

The original American embassy on Mokhovaya Street is now the headquarters of a Russian investment bank. … At the height of the Terror, the American emigrants had besieged their embassy, begging for passports so they could leave Russia.

They were turned away only to be arrested on the pavement outside by lurking NKVD agents.

Inside, the American diplomats had known about these disappearances almost from the very beginning. But they did little to save their fellow countrymen 

The emigrants began their long journey either into the prison cells and the Gulag camps, or the shorter route to the execution grounds.

In the killing fields at Butovo, a suburb 27 kilometres south-east of Moscow, several of the American baseball players were executed during the Terror, and lie in mass graves stretching for hundreds of metres.

Thousands were killed in this quiet country backwater, surrounded by trees to muffle their screams. …

Wearing leather aprons and protective gloves, the masked NKVD guards had set about their nightly work methodically, killing young and old alike, understanding that they too would be killed if they refused.

But many also acted willingly, as the conscious and deliberate agents of the class struggle.

Stalin’s executioners had been convinced of the need to “kill and kill and kill” for the benefit of all mankind. And then they returned each morning to steady their nerves with their specifically-allotted quota of vodka, and to douse their clothes in eau-de-cologne to remove the stench of death, ready for the next night’s work.

Vladimir Putin was recently quoted as saying that Russians have nothing to be ashamed of concerning the Terror.

The iconography of totalitarianism remains firmly in place in modern Russian society. The entrance to the Lubyanka is still decorated with hammer and sickles.

 

(Hat-tip Robert Kantor)

Posted under Russia, Soviet Union, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, June 12, 2016

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A stupid attempt at a political abortion 3

The old ripe-rotten Republican Party, personified by Mitt Romney, is doing all it can to destroy Donald Trump and so prevent a new Republican Party from coming into existence.

From the Political Insider:

Romney is attacking conservative businessman Donald J. Trump. Because Trump is self-funding his campaign, the GOP establishment and political class can’t control him. And that makes Romney angry!

Romney’s full speech was leaked, and included shameless and untrue attacks, such as:

Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat. His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.

But in one tweet, Donald Trump’s son Eric embarrassed Romney in a huge way.

The lack of loyalty is truly astonishing!

Right!

Mitt Romney tried with his ideas, his personality, his policies to gain the presidency, and he failed.

Andrea Tantaros in March, 2016, on Mitt Romney:

How staggeringly stupid the anti-Trump Republican grandees are showing themselves to be – Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Bill Kristol and the rest of them. Because Donald Trump and his style offend their patrician taste, they are trying to abort the new Republican Party that Trump would usher in and set on its new course for a new age. 

They are helping Crooked Hillary Clinton to come to power: she who has sold out her country over and over again. She sold its favors to foreign companies and powers when she was secretary of state through the transparent ruse of getting them to donate vast sums of money to the Clinton Foundation. She allowed its enemies to find out its secrets by using an unsecure server for her emails. She callously let one of its ambassadors and three of its soldiers be killed by Muslim terrorists. She insisted on destroying the frail stability of Libya so that now it is in chaos, with thousands of refugees fleeing from its shores to Europe, many drowning on the voyage. And she is notoriously a bare-faced liar. Is such a person to be trusted with the security and well-being of the nation?

Surely not. But Romney and his anti-Trump conspirators are willing to let her rather than a patriotic, competent, fellow Republican gain the presidency.

They are not only disloyal, they are stupid. Even the smartest among them is being, in this supremely important instance, simply but prodigiously stupid.

Posted under Commentary, corruption, Treason, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, June 11, 2016

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Richard Dawkins: mostly right but rambling 3

Richard Dawkins was unable to attend the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 2016.

Here’s the speech he would have given:

There are those who fear reason as cold, bleak, cheerless, unpoetic. That’s not just untrue; it’s the very opposite of true. Science is the poetry of reality.

The fact that you exist should brim you over with astonishment. You and I and every other living creature are machines of ineffable complexity. This complexity and its powerful illusion of design is why so many people succumb to the God temptation. The temptation to evade, by invoking a designer, the responsibility to explain. The God temptation is an evasion of responsibility because it invokes the very kind of thing it’s supposed to be explaining.

I’m a biologist, so I speak first of the biological version of the God temptation, the false argument destroyed by Darwin. There’s also a cosmological version. The fundamental constants of physics are said to be “fine-tuned” so that, in the fullness of time, eyes and peacocks, humans and brains will come into existence. The God temptation here is to invoke a divine knob-twiddler to adjust the dials of the physical constants so that they have the exquisitely precise values required to bring evolution, and eventually us, into being.

“God did it” can never be an explanation for anything. It is sheer intellectual cowardice. If you’ll stoop to magicking into existence an unexplained peacock designer, you might as well magic an unexplained peacock and cut out the middleman.

Nevertheless, it’s hard not to feel sympathy for such cowardice. The complexity of a living body, every one of its trillion cells, is so mind-shattering to anyone who truly grasps it, the temptation is overwhelming. It’s like when you see a really brilliant conjuring trick. You have to smack yourself and say, “No!” However largely my senses and my instincts are screaming “miracle”, it really isn’t. There is a rational explanation. In the case of the conjuring trick, we know it’s not a miracle. And honest conjurers like Jamy Ian Swiss, James Randi, and Penn & Teller tell us so.

In the case of nature’s apparent miracles, Charles Darwin plays the role of honest conjurer.

But conjurers only tell us that it’s a trick. Darwin tells us exactly how nature’s trick is done: cumulative natural selection. Darwin’s brilliant explanation has withstood 150 years of sustained attack and emerged without a scratch.

Physicists are well on their way to disposing of the cosmic God temptation, too.

My book The God Delusion, celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2016, provoked a score of what came to be called “fleas”: religious books with plagiaristic jacket designs and parasitic titles like The Dawkins Delusion or Deluded By Dawkins. The flea name came from a line of W. B. Yeats: “But was there ever dog that praised his fleas?”

Some of our best theologians, if indeed theology is a subject that can be good at all, if indeed theology is a subject at all, some of our best theologians pathetically tried to argue that, far from being complex, God is simple. There is no limit to the explanatory purposes to which the simple God’s infinite power is put. Is science having a little difficulty explaining X? No problem! Don’t give X another glance! God’s infinite power is effortlessly wheeled in to explain X. Along with everything else. And it’s always a simple explanation, because, after all, there’s only one God. What could be simpler than that?

The effrontery of it is beyond astounding. This supposedly simple God had to know how to set the nuclear force 1039 times stronger than gravity. He had to calculate with similar exactitude the requisite values of half a dozen critical numbers — the fundamental constants of physics.

Do you, with your prodigiously complex brain, understand quantum mechanics? I don’t! Yet God, that paragon of ultimate pure simplicity, not only understands it but invented it! Plus special and general relatively. Plus the Higgs Boson. And dark matter.

Finally, the icing on the cake: On top of being the ultimate mathematics and physics genius, this “simple” God has enough bandwidth to listen to the prayers of billions of people simultaneously, in all the world’s languages. He hears their confessed sins and decides which would be forgiven. He weighs up which cancer patients shall recover, which earthquake victims shall be spared, even who shall win a tennis match. Or a parking space.

God may be almighty, all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, but the one thing He cannot be, if He’s even minimally to meet His job description, is “all-simple”. The statistical argument against the divine designer remains intact and inescapably devastating.

God also presents a temptation to laziness that may define our allegiances.

I am Christian! Well, of course I don’t believe in any of that supernatural stuff, but I was baptized, we go to church at Christmas, and I’m certainly not Jewish or Muslim, so I guess that makes me Christian!

By 2050, the population of Mauritania will be predominantly Muslim. It’s simple demography. Just compare the birthrates of the different communities in Mauritania.That makes the lazy assumption that a child of Muslim parents is defined as a Muslim.

Would you define a child of logical positivist parents as a logical positivist?

Would you define a child as a Keynesian on the basis of her parents’ economic school of thought?

One of the reasons I formed the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science in the United States is to combat America’s legendary religiosity, a form of obstinate backwardness that has serious implications for the rest of the world.

What church do you go to? The question is presumptuous to the point of rudeness, yet informant after informant tells me how often it’s thrown at newcomers to certain neighborhoods in America, as casually and automatically as a comment on the weather. That the newcomer might not attend the place of worship at all simply doesn’t cross the friendly neighborhood mind. It doesn’t cross the mind of a typical American politician, either, which is why they drag God into every speech, why they bend over backwards to appease religious lobbies when taking important decisions on abortion, stem cell research, and the teaching of evolution.

The Reason Rally is the antidote to all this. Today, in Washington, we celebrate science and urge the retreat of superstition. It is people like you, people who have traveled far to be here, who support secular organizations with your time and money, who are courageous enough to make their atheism known, that are the hope for the future.

I’m sorry doctor’s orders stop me from being in Washington today, except by this minor miracle of science, but I hope to see you at the next Reason Rally!

Although we agree with him by and large (of course), we don’t think it’s a very good speech. It is not sufficiently coherent.

The population of Mauritania is right now 100% Muslim. The children of Muslims are defined as Muslim by Muslim tradition and law. If Dawkins wants to say that the child of Muslims does not have to remain a believer in Islam, he should say so, but he doesn’t make the point. In fact from then on his speech rambles.

We like best the part we have emphasized in bold.

Dawkins was apparently kept from making the speech in person by “a small stroke”. We hope the stroke has not permanently impaired his fine brain. While we have always opposed him on political issues, we have read his books on evolution with much pleasure and learnt a lot from them.

Posted under Atheism by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 10, 2016

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Who’re you calling a racist? 4

Straight White Men banned From Equality Conference reads a headline. And the article contains the declaration: “One cannot deny the privileges that straight white men have in today’s society.”

Can’t one? What are they exactly? They are not named. But let’s assume the statement is true. Who grants those privileges? Is there a body, a committee, a secret cabal, that allots them? Is it the Bilderbergers? The Elders of Zion? A convention of Harvard finals clubs? The Finnish Sons of Odin? PEGIDA? The Pacific-Union Club of San Francisco? Or “God”?

Or is White Privilege a specter conjured up by the imagination of the envious, the resentful, the grudging, the failing, the self-pitying and the paranoid? All of them would see success as “privilege”.

It is the “white” as accusation that gives the clue.

The specter has been conjured up by racists. America wanted so much to make up for a past of race discrimination that it elected a totally unqualified black president. And the black president has deliberately made race a stinging issue throughout the land.

A most unintended consequence. An unforeseen development. An enormous irony.

“Racist!” is now considered the worst of insults. Of course anyone can hurl it at anyone just to be nasty. It’s a cuss word. It needs no cause in the speech or behavior of the accused.

But in the unwritten lexicon of political correctness authored and held under continual review by the Left; in the abstract agoras of popular discourse – the media, both mainstream and social; in the institutions of higher learning, where the deep thinkers are – the academies; in the universal legislature of fashionable opinion – Hollywood, it is the law that only Whites can be “racist”.

And the worst of Whites are Republicans. And the worst of Republicans is Donald Trump. Ergo, Donald Trump is the worst racist.

Yet try as they might, the Left, the media, the professoriate and its furious disciples, the propagandists of the entertainment industry cannot find anything useful that Trump has said against Blacks.

However …

Ann Coulter writes:

Annoyed at federal judge Gonzalo P. Curiel’s persistent rulings against him in the Trump University case (brought by a law firm that has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches by Bill and Hillary), Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that maybe it’s because the judge is a second-generation Mexican immigrant.

The entire media — and most of the GOP — have spent 10 months telling us that Mexicans in the United States are going to HATE Trump for saying he’ll build a wall. Now they’re outraged that Trump thinks one Mexican hates him for saying he’ll build a wall.

Curiel has distributed scholarships to illegal aliens. He belongs to an organization that sends lawyers to the border to ensure that no illegal aliens’ “human rights” are violated. The name of the organization? The San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association – “La Raza” meaning THE RACE.

Let’s pause to imagine the nomination hearings for a white male who belonged to any organization for white people – much less one with the words “THE RACE” in its title.

The media were going to call Trump a racist whatever he did, and his attack on a Hispanic judge is way better than when they said it was racist for Republicans to talk about Obama’s golfing.

Has anyone ever complained about the ethnicity of white judges or white juries? I’ve done some research and it turns out … THAT’S ALL WE’VE HEARD FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS.

The New York Times alone has published hundreds of articles, editorials, op-eds, movie reviews, sports articles and crossword puzzles darkly invoking “white judges” and “all-white” juries, as if that is ipso facto proof of racist justice.

Two weeks ago – that’s not an error; I didn’t mean to type “decades” and it came out “weeks” – the Times published an op-ed by a federal appeals judge stating: “All-white juries risk undermining the perception of justice in minority communities, even if a mixed-race jury would have reached the same verdict or imposed the same sentence.”

In other words, even when provably not unfair, white jurors create the “perception” of unfairness solely by virtue of the color of their skin. …

I have approximately 1 million … examples of the media going mental about a “white judge” or “all-white jury”, and guess what? In none of them were any of the white people involved members of organizations dedicated to promoting white people, called “THE RACE”. …

The model of a fair jury was the O.J. [Simpson] trial. Nine blacks, one Hispanic and two whites, who had made up their minds before the lawyers’ opening statements. (For my younger readers: O.J. was guilty; the jury acquitted him after 20 seconds of deliberation.) At the end of the trial, one juror gave O.J. the black power salute. Nothing to see here. It was [police officer] Mark Fuhrman’s fault!

In defiance of everyday experience, known facts and common sense, we are all required to publicly endorse the left’s religious belief that [male] whites are always racist, but women and minorities are incapable of any form of bias. …

At least when we’re talking about American blacks, there’s a history of white racism, so the double standard is not so enraging. What did we ever do to Mexicans? Note to Hispanics, Muslims, women, immigrants and gays: You’re not black.

Other than a few right-wingers, no one denounced now-sitting Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for her “wise Latina” speech, in which she said “our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging”.

But Trump is a “racist” for saying the same thing.

Six months ago, a Times editorial demanded that the Republican Senate confirm Obama judicial nominee Luis Felipe Restrepo, on the grounds that “as a Hispani”, Restrepo would bring “ethnic … diversity to the court”.

You see how confusing this is. On one hand, it’s vital that we have more women and Latinos on the courts because white men can’t be trusted to be fair. But to suggest that women and Latinos could ever be unfair in the way that white men can, well, that’s “racist”.

The effrontery of this double standard is so blinding, that the only way liberals can bluff their way through it is with indignation. DO I HEAR YOU RIGHT? ARE YOU SAYING A JUDGE’S ETHNICITY COULD INFLUENCE HIS DECISIONS? (Please, please, please don’t bring up everything we’ve said about white judges and juries for the past four decades.)

They’re betting they can intimidate Republicans – and boy, are they right! The entire Republican Brain Trust has joined the media in their denunciations of Trump for his crazy idea that anyone other than white men can be biased. … 

The NeverTrump crowd is going to get a real workout if they plan to do this every week between now and the election.

What do Republicans think they’re getting out of this appeasement? Proving to voters that elected Republicans are pathetic, impotent media suck-ups is, surprisingly, not hurting Trump.

We appreciate Coulter’s sarcasm. It’s not surprising at all, of course. The more the Republican establishment attacks Trump – led in the outcry by Speaker Paul Ryan who says Trump’s objection to Judge Curiel is “textbook racism” – the more votes Trump can be sure of getting.

Posted under Race by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 9, 2016

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The Bill to be paid 3

Some alumni of Trump University are dissatisfied with what they got for their money. They have been allowed by Judge Gonzalo Curiel [a US District Judge for Southern District of California] to bring a class action. Donald Trump has protested that the Judge is exhibiting bias against him, and suggests it may be because Curiel is a nationalist Mexican and would likely oppose Trump’s plan, if he becomes president, to build a wall on the US-Mexican border to keep Mexican illegal immigrants out of the US.  The media – even conservative media such as Fox News – have made much of Trump’s protest, headlining the issue for the last several days. Behind all the reporting lurks the implication that Trump University is a shady business. As yet there is no evidence that this is the case.

Trump’s rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton,  has not waited for evidence to denounce Trump University, calling it “a scam” and Trump “a fraud”.

Meanwhile a truly scandalous story about the Clintons themselves and a shady university project that might interest a press dedicated to revealing facts the public should know (a dream press that does not exist), is going unnoticed by the mainstream media.

Bloomberg reports:

Former President Bill Clinton stepped down from his position at Laureate International Universities, part of Laureate Education Inc., on Friday [April 22, 2016]. His five-year term as “honorary chancellor,” the company and Clinton’s staff said, had expired.

But Peter Schweizer [author of Clinton Cash, a book about the Clintons’ financial dealings], suggests a different explanation: Clinton actually resigned in order to avoid a wave of negative publicity. Bloomberg Politics [refers to] … a chapter of the book describing what Schweizer presents as a “troubling” co-mingling of official State Department business with the private financial affairs of Bill Clinton and a nonprofit run by Laureate’s chairman, Douglas Becker.

Laureate, which runs for-profit colleges, hired Clinton just as the Obama administration began drafting tougher regulations for federal financial aid that goes to students who attend for-profit colleges. Around the same time, the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions launched an investigation into the industry. In his book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, Schweizer writes that after Bill Clinton accepted the position at Laureate in 2010 in exchange for unspecified payment, his wife “made Laureate part of her State Department Global Partnership”.

The State Department subsequently provided tens of millions of dollars to a nonprofit chaired by Becker, the International Youth Foundation. Citing the foundation’s tax filings, Schweizer writes that while IYF had received government grants (mainly from the U.S. Agency for International Development) as far back as 2001, they “exploded since Bill became chancellor of Laureate”, accounting for the vast majority of the nonprofit’s revenue.

In 2010, “government grants accounted for $23 million of its revenue, compared to $5.4 million from other sources. It received $21 million in 2011 and $23 million in 2012″.  

The Clinton campaign disputed Schweizer’s characterization. “This is yet another false allegation in a book that is fast being debunked,” said Brian Fallon, a campaign spokesman. “The International Youth Foundation was funded by the Bush administration, well before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State. In fact, the group’s USAID funding actually went down in the year that she arrived at the State Department, not up.” [But] a Bloomberg examination of IYF’s public filings show that in 2009, the year before Bill Clinton joined Laureate, the nonprofit received 11 grants worth $9 million from the State Department or the affiliated USAID. In 2010, the group received 14 grants worth $15.1 million. In 2011, 13 grants added up to $14.6 million. The following year, those numbers jumped:IYF received 21 grants worth $25.5 million, including a direct grant from the State Department.

Laureate has declined to say how much it has paid the former president. Hillary Clinton’s financial disclosure forms in 2012 revealed only that her husband received non-employee compensation of more than $1,000 from the company that year. The Clinton Foundation’s donor disclosures showed that Laureate cumulatively gave between $1 million and $5 million through 2014. In his book, Schweizer noted that Bill Clinton, during the period when his wife was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, spoke at Laureate campuses in Honduras, Mexico City, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Malaysia, Brazil, Peru, and the United States. Schweizer wrote that “based on his typical fee scale”, the half dozen speaking events Clinton has done annually for Laureate “means perhaps $1 million per year”. He dubbed this blend of government service and private remuneration the “Clinton blur”.

Laureate plays up its Clinton ties in a big way. Its homepage prominently features a photo of Clinton speaking this month at a new campus in Panama. Other pages detail Clinton’s role at Laureate and the company’s relationship with the Clinton Global Initiative. The fact [?] that Clinton only signed on for a five-year term was not publicly disclosed when his hire was announced in April 2010 or at any time before [the day he resigned]. In a statement, Laureate spokesman Matthew Yale said, “The politics and motives of the author are obvious and his claims are baseless. We are proud of our association with President Clinton, who shares our commitment to helping young people change their lives through education. We never needed him to defend us, our results speak for themselves — for example the industry leading repayment rates for our students participating in the U.S. government loan program. Regarding the International Youth Foundation, this is an independent non-profit organization; not an affiliate of Laureate. Their contracts with the US government pre-date Secretary Clinton’s arrival at the State Department.”

Schweizer writes, “Isn’t it troubling that while Bill Clinton was being paid by a private corporation, that corporation was also benefiting from State Department actions? Isn’t it troubling that an affiliate of that corporation is also receiving tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money? Isn’t it troubling that this seeming conflict of interest was not disclosed?

It is. It could be described as the routine corruption of the venal Clintons, and of the those – the media, the agency watchdogs – who do not choose to discover and disclose it.

Why did Bill Clinton “abruptly resign” as “honorary chancellor”?

Was the “honorary chancellor” – a title implying he took no fee for acting in that capacity – really paid only “non-employee compensation of [something] more that $1000”, and “perhaps a million per year” between 2009 and 213 for speaking engagements at Laureate colleges?

Breitbart reports and comments under the headline:  Hillary University: Bill Clinton Bagged $16.46 Million from For-Profit College as State Dept. funneled $55 Million Back:

With her campaign sinking in the polls, Hillary Clinton has launched a desperate attack against Trump University to deflect attention away from her deep involvement with a controversial for-profit college that made the Clintons millions, even as the school faced serious legal scrutiny and criminal investigations.

In April 2015, Bill Clinton was forced to abruptly resign from his lucrative perch as honorary chancellor of Laureate Education, a for-profit college company. The reason for Clinton’s immediate departure: Clinton Cash revealed, and Bloomberg confirmed, that Laureate funneled Bill Clinton $16.46 million over five years while Hillary Clinton’s State Dept. pumped at least $55 million to a group run by Laureate’s founder and chairman, Douglas Becker, a man with strong ties to the Clinton Global Initiative. Laureate has donated between $1 million and $5 million (donations are reported in ranges, not exact amounts) to the Clinton Foundation. …

As the Washington Post reports, “Laureate has stirred controversy throughout Latin America, where it derives two-thirds of its revenue.” During Bill Clinton’s tenure as Laureate’s chancellor, the school spent over $200 million a year on aggressive telemarketing, flashy Internet banner ads, and billboards designed to lure often unprepared students from impoverished countries to enroll in its for-profit classes. The goal: get as many students, regardless of skill level, signed up and paying tuition.

“I meet people all the time who transfer here when they flunk out elsewhere,” agronomy student Arturo Bisono, 25, told the Post. “This has become the place you go when no one else will accept you.”

Others, like Rio state legislator Robson Leite who led a probe into Bill Clinton’s embattled for-profit education scheme, say the company is all about extracting cash, not educating students. “They have turned education into a commodity that focuses more on profit than knowledge,” said Leite.

Progressives have long excoriated for-profit education companies for placing profits over quality pedagogy. Still, for five years, Bill Clinton allowed his face and name to be plastered all over Laureate’s marketing materials. As Clinton Cash reported, pictures of Bill Clinton even lined the walkways at campuses like Laureate’s Bilgi University in Istanbul, Turkey. That Laureate has campuses in Turkey is odd, given that for-profit colleges are illegal there, as well as in Mexico and Chile where Laureate also operates.

A hint there of further corruption – that the governments of those countries were bribed to except Laureate Education from the law.

Shortly after Bill Clinton’s lucrative 2010 Laureate appointment, Hillary Clinton’s State Dept. began pumping millions of its USAID dollars to a sister nonprofit, International Youth Foundation (IYF), which is run by Laureate’s founder and chairman, Douglas Becker. Indeed, State Dept. funding skyrocketed once Bill Clinton got on the Laureate payroll  

Throughout ten Democratic Party debates, Establishment Media have not asked Hillary Clinton a single question about her and her husband’s for-profit education scam.

Posted under corruption by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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