The young today are immersed in a virtual world in which coarseness, nastiness, decadence, perversion, superficiality, egoism and nihilism are the norm. They are instilled with moral relativism’s only guide, “If it feels good, do it,” and then their feelings are twisted in the worst possible way, through vile entertainment, so that what feels good is cultural poison. The result is that we are breeding barbarians wholly incapable of sustaining a healthy constitutional republic.
According to Selwyn Duke in his latest editorial, this is the future the Internet is creating. It appears as if Duke misses the point of a free uncensored Internet completely, as well as falling into the very generation gap he cites in his own piece.
Let’s break Duke’s piece down point by point. He opens by discussing modern media’s remarkable ability to disseminate information and cause change, which he says is making ‘civilization very unstable.’ He says that in the past, the only way to rapidly change the human condition was through war. It may have been the fastest way, but it certainly wasn’t the only one or the most effective. He says that now the Internet has overtaken war as the fastest way to change society; in his eyes for the worse. He now reaches the crux of his argument with this point: the Internet is a channel for the instantaneous broadcast of lies and disinformation. Vapid hyperbole aside, this argument is false. Duke forgets that we have been improving our ability to spread ideas for hundreds of years. He forgets the printing press, an invention which enabled people to spread ideas and facilitated the Reformation, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment. He forgets the entire history of the media.
But most of all, he forgets that the Internet can also broadcast truth at the same rate it can broadcast lies. What about the people Tweeting from Iran during the student uprising, a time in which the only way to describe the situation on the bloody streets of Tehran was through the very medium Duke claims is corrupting our youth? What about online news? And the role the Internet now plays in bringing down Obama while the mainstream ‘old media’ are trying to protect him? Duke is a blogger; it’s ironic how much he benefits from the very medium he accuses of ‘breeding barbarians.’
This flawed idea of civilizational destabilization continues with his next point that modern media-induced rapid change is widening the generation gap. And he’s right, it is. The spirit of the age is indeed changing, from one based on oppressive Christian values to free secular ones. Twenty years ago the idea of an atheist conservative would have been absurd. Just look at us now. And does new media affect consumers? Yes, it does, but I sincerely hope we as a race are mature enough to choose our entertainment for ourselves. That’s part of the beauty of the Internet: if I want porn, I can get porn. If I want news, I can get news. New media, and especially the Internet, have something for everyone. If you don’t like some of it, don’t view it. Nobody is forcing you to.
When someone from the far side of the generation gap writes an article against the freedom of the Internet, they almost invariably cite the anonymity-induced vitriol and profanity that appears in chat rooms, message boards, and comments sections. Duke follows this trend, in the article’s style of extreme exaggeration and worst-case scenario extrapolation: an uncensored Internet message board ‘destroys every wall of propriety that should exist among the family of man.’ He claims that our youth are becoming corrupted by these chat conversations and comments threads because they ‘normalize vice.’ Find me an example of someone truly ‘corrupted’ by the Internet. Some blame the Internet for their transgressions simply to shirk personal responsibility. I find the idea that a kid reading an angry blog comment or chat in an anonymous chat room – or even the word fuck – is going to be forever perverted quite comical.
The claim that the Internet will make perversions appear far more commonly is false as well. Duke is wrong, sexuality is determined at birth. A pervert will become a pervert regardless of whether or not he has access to the Internet (I use the word ‘pervert’ loosely here, as I’m sure that Duke considers anything other than sex between a married man and woman for the purpose of procreation perverted).
Duke has a fundamental misunderstanding of a free Internet. He only sees the smut, which to him must be removed. He overlooks the power of such an instantaneous and open medium of communication. One can find truth just as easily as one can find lies on the Internet. It is with freedom of speech and the spread of ideas that civilization progresses; the Internet provides both as no medium ever has before. It is imperative that it remain free.
– Matthew Slipper June 25, 2010
A fascinating article from Caroline Glick.
WHEREAS UPON examination it is clear that the Obama administration is wrong in insinuating that Israel is in breach of its international legal commitments through its refusal to bar Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, the Obama administration’s own policy toward the Palestinians places it in clear breach of both binding international law and domestic US law.
On September 28, 2001, the UN Security Council passed binding Resolution 1373. Resolution 1373, which was initiated by the US government, and was passed by authority of Chapter VII, committed all UN member states to “refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts.” Resolution 1373 further required UN member states to “deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts or provide safe haven” to those that do.
In 1995, the US State Department acknowledged that Hamas fits the legal definition of a terrorist organization. Today, due to its policies toward Hamas, the Obama administration is in breach of both Resolution 1373 – that is, of international law – and of US domestic law barring the provision of support and financing to foreign terrorist organizations.
The Onion reports:
J Post reports on the continued riots.
Here’s a video of live ammunition being fired into the crowd.
Hard to tell how much is true of this, but there is no doubt of the cruel methods being used by the authorities:
“We can see the smoke and the helicopters from our house,” said a source in Teheran. “They have closed down all the roads, trapping the people, who are being bombarded.”
People were chanting “Allah Akbar” and “We will kill those who kill our brothers” from their windows, balconies, and rooftops, he said.
Most of Mousavi’s supporters “are not leaving our homes,” he went on.
“God help those people [who have gone out] in Freedom Square. The last we heard, helicopters are pouring boiling hot water on the people,” said another source. His account could not be confirmed, but other reports also spoke of boiling water being dropped from the helicopters, and of an undefined “acid” being sprayed at demonstrators by security forces on the streets. “Hospitals are overflowing and the embassies in Teheran have left their doors open to provide a haven for the injured for sanctuary,” the source added.
Obama’s starting to speak.
He is urging Iran’s leaders to “govern through consent, not coercion” And in a statement from the White House on Saturday, he said: “The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.”
No direct condemnation. A country that funds the murder of your soldiers in Iraq is crippled with angry young voters. If the protesters had the backing of the world’s most powerful man behind them, it would give their cause an energy and possibility of success. Some have argued that this would give the hardliners real ammunition: the chance to blame America – the interfering superpower. But this is nonsense, the protesters are people young and old, deeply religious and not at all. They have the chance to change something here. And they won’t for the most part believe that the whole protests are being fomented by Israeli and US agents – as the regime is claiming.
Iran seems to have a revolution every 35 years, and they’re overdue for one now.
But now People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling it an “execution,” wants the commander-in-chief to show a little more compassion to even “the least sympathetic animals.”
“Believe it or not, we’ve actually been contacted by multiple media outlets wanting to know PETA’s official response to the executive insect execution,” a blog on the group’s website explained. “In a nutshell, our position is this: He isn’t the Buddha, he’s a human being, and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act.”
Obama’s response to the depostic Iranian suppression of the riots is appalling. Powerline points out what Reagan might have said:
Make no mistake, their crime will cost them dearly in their future dealings with America and free peoples everywhere. I do not make this statement lightly or without serious reflection.
Apparently he’s ‘deeply troubled.’
One of our readers, A.G.S., sent us an idea he had for an article comparing America now to the early days of Mussolini’s Italy. The thought came to him, he wrote, when he read Mario and the Magician by Thomas Mann. He outlined the article he had in mind and asked me [JB] if I would complete it. At first I was a little skeptical; I felt he was exaggerating. But the more I thought about it, the more I found myself in agreement with him. The following is the result of our collaboration.
In his famous story Mario and the Magician, Thomas Mann demonstrates how fascism under Mussolini corrupted the Italian populace. At the start of his regime a general feeling spread among the Italians that it was right to impose conformity, and society was gripped by a mood of collective censoriousness. In the story, set in an Italian holiday resort, a child takes off her bathing suit to wash the sand out of it in the sea, and her momentary nudity arouses the wrath of the crowd on the beach, the police are informed and the child’s family is fined. The story as a whole is about the destruction of individual will during an evening’s entertainment by an evil hypnotist. The allegorical implications are unmistakeable.
As in Italy then, an atmosphere of authoritarian regulation is spreading in the US now. There is a powerful demand, emanating from the president and his circle, for mental and physical conformity.
Proofs of this intent abound. Group action and community involvement are encouraged, with the aim of inducing non-conformists to fall in line. The Department of Homeland Security issues a memo warning that persons who have a political point of view different from the present federal government majority are a threat to society. Anyone challenging the theory of anthropogenic global warming, which the Democrats in power have embraced as an orthodoxy, is denounced as a heretic. In the cause of mitigating the projected undesirable effects of climate change, the government proposes to dictate what sources of energy you may use and to what extent. It will regulate the temperature of your house, the clothes you may wear, the food you may eat, and the car you may drive. In sickness and infirmity your body will be treated as the government decides when its nationalized health policy is imposed. Government will decree what opinions you may express on talk radio, in the universities and schools, and soon in any public forum. By ‘spreading the wealth around’ it will set a limit to how high any individual may rise by his own efforts. Government will rule on how much business managers may be paid and under what union-dictated terms an employee may work.
When conformity is legislated and imposed by force, dissent criminalized and punished, authoritarianism has become tyranny.
Obama is the Mussolini of America.
Here in full is Melanie Phillips’s article in the Spectator (and please click on the link to Sultan Knish):
As predicted here repeatedly – Obama is attempting to throw Israel under the Islamist bus, and he’s getting American Jews to do his dirty work for him. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly told the Israel lobbying group AIPAC on Sunday that efforts to stop Iran hinged on peace talks with the Palestinians. General James Jones, National Security Adviser to Obama, reportedly told a European foreign minister a week ago that unlike the Bush administration, Obama will be ‘forceful’ with Israel. Ha’aretz reports:
Jones is quoted in the telegram as saying that the United States, European Union and moderate Arab states must redefine ‘a satisfactory endgame solution.’ The U.S. national security adviser did not mention Israel as party to these consultations.
Of course not. If you are going to throw a country under the bus, you don’t invite it to discuss the manner of its destruction with the assassins who are co-ordinating the crime. As I said here months ago, the appointment of Jones and the elevation of his post of National Security Adviser at the expense of the Secretary of State was all part of the strategy to centralise power in the hands of those who want to do Israel harm.
Yesterday Vice-President Joe Biden and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry turned the thumbscrews tighter, telling Israel to stop building more settlements, dismantle existing outposts and allow Palestinians freedom of movement.
This is all not only evil but exceptionally stupid. The idea that a Palestine state will help build a coalition against Iran is demonstrably absurd. The Arab states are beside themselves with anxiety about Iran. They want it to be attacked and its nuclear programme stopped. They are desperately fearful that the Obama administration might have decided that it can live with a nuclear Iran.
The idea that if a Palestine state comes into being it will be easier to handle Iran is the opposite of the case: a Palestine state will be Iran, in the sense thatit will be run by Hamas as a proxy for the Islamic Republic. The idea that a Palestine state will not compromise Israel’s security is ludicrous.
It is of course, by any sane standard, quite fantastic that America is behaving as if it is Israel which is holding up a peace settlement when Israel has made concession after concession – giving up Sinai, giving up Gaza, offering all the territories to the Arabs in return for peace in 1967, offering more than 90 per cent of them ditto in 2000, ditto again to Mahmoud Abbas in the past year — only to be attacked in return by a Palestinian terrorist entity, backed in its continued aggression, let us not forget, by the countries of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which has made no concessions at all and is not being pressured to do so.
It is not the aggressor here but the victim of aggression that America is now choosing to beat up. In any sane world, one might think the Americans would be piling the pressure on the Palestinians to renounce their genocidal ambitions against Israel, to stop teaching and training their children to hate and kill Jews, to adhere to the primary requirement in the Road Map that they must dismantle their infrastructure of violence as the first step in the peace process; one might think, indeed, that they would view Mahmoud Abbas’s repeated statements that the Palestinians will never accept Israel as a Jewish state to be the main impediment to peace.
But no. The repeated professions that America will never jeopardise Israel’s security are stomach churning when Obama is actually blaming Israel for measures it has taken to safeguard its security – the settlements were always first and foremost a security measure, and the travel restrictions are there solely to prevent more Israelis being murdered – and trying to force it to abandon them. Today comes further news that Obama will also try to force Israel to give up its nuclear weapons – which it only has as a last ditch insurance against the attempt to annihilate it to which several billion Arabs remain pledged.
Of course Obama doesn’t care that Hamas would run any Palestinian state. Of course he doesn’t care that Israel would be unable to defend itself against such a terrorist state. Because he regards Israel as at best totally expendable, and at worst as a running sore on the world’s body politic that has to be purged altogether (see this bleak assessment by Sultan Knish). His administration is proceeding on the entirely false analysis that a state of Palestine is the solution to the Middle East impasse and the route to peace in the region. What that state will look like or do is something to which at best the administration’s collective mind is shut and at worst makes it a potential cynical accomplice to the unconscionable. So Israel is to be forced out of the West Bank. Far from building a coalition against Iran, Obama is thus doing Iran’s work for it.
None of this, however, should come as the slightest surprise to anyone who paid any attention to Obama’s background, associations and friendships before he became President and to the cabal of Israel-bashers, appeasers and Jew-haters he appointed to his administration, with a few useful idiots thrown in for plausible deniability.
American Jews, meanwhile, are reacting as predicted – with a total absence of spine. As IsraelMatzav reports, AIPAC was sending delegates to visit Congress to ‘convince’ Representatives and Senators to sign a petition calling for a two-state solution. Inspired! Almost eighty per cent of American Jews voted for Obama despite the clear and present danger he posed to Israel. They did so because their liberal self-image was and is more important to them than the Jewish state whose existence and security cannot be allowed to jeopardise their standing with America’s elite.
But the ordinary American people are a different matter. They do value and support Israel. They do understand that if Israel is thrown under that bus, the west is next. And it is they to whom Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu must now appeal, over the heads of the politicians and the media and certainly America’s Jews and everyone else. He must tell the American people the terrible truth, that America is now run by a man who is intent on sacrificing Israel for a reckless and amoral political strategy which will put America and the rest of the free world at risk.
This is shaping up to be the biggest crisis in relations between Israel and America since the foundation of Israel six decades ago. Those who hate Israel and the Jews will be gloating. This after all is precisely what they hoped Obama would do. To any decent person looking on aghast, this is where the moral sickness of the west reaches the critical care ward.