Advancing menace 2

The American Left, to our joy, is dashing itself to pieces on the rocks of its own nonsense.

But the biggest strongest menace will continue to advance from the Left. From the farthest Left. From Communist China. 

In addition to its inimical trade practices – which President Trump is actively combating – China uses multifarious means against us.

The johnny-come-lately to the Democratic line-up of presidential candidates, former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, shills for China. We wouldn’t be surprised to learn that his billions have been augmented by generous emoluments from the Chinese communist regime.

China indoctrinates Americans through our own educational institutions and undermines our scientific and technological superiority with our own inventions and discoveries.

Professor Walter Williams writes at Townhall:

Charles Lieber, former chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard, was arrested earlier this year on accusations that he made a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement about work he did for a program run by the Chinese government that seeks to lure American talent to China. He was paid $50,000 a month and up to $158,000 in living expenses for his work, which involved cultivating young teachers and students, according to court documents. According to the Department of Justice, Lieber helped China “cultivate high-level scientific talent in furtherance of China’s scientific development, economic prosperity and national security“.

It’s not just Harvard professors. Newly found court records reveal that Emory University neuroscientist Li Xiao-Jiang was fired in late 2019 after being charged with lying about his own ties to China. Li was part of the same Chinese program as Lieber. A jury found a University of California, Los Angeles, professor guilty of exporting stolen U.S. military technology to China. Newsweek reported that he was convicted June 26 on 18 federal charges. Meanwhile, NBC reported that federal prosecutors say that University of Texas professor Bo Mao attempted to steal U.S. technology by using his position as a professor to obtain access to protected circuitry and then handing it over to the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei.

China is steadily building up its military power.

And even that is not all or the worst of it. China harms the world without firing a single missile. Because it is a badly governed country, it can do nothing effective about epidemics of disease that break out among its own vast population and spread over every inhabited continent – as is happening now with the coronavirus.

Communist government – cruel and oppressive though it is – is not even efficient government. Marxism, collectivism, socialism, communism – call it what you will – is too often spoken of, written about, thought of as ensuring security. At the price of freedom, yes. Given that choice, many, it is said, would choose security over freedom.

Nothing could be plainer now than that Communism does not guarantee security.

To the contrary. All it guarantees is enslavement, poverty, sorrow, sickness and mass death.

Progress to extinction continued 6

We ended the post immediately below with this: 

It is not only “hard to imagine where universities go after peak progressivism”, or where the networks can “go after that”; it is impossible to see a destination for the Left itself, in America or anywhere else in the world.

Except to extinction.

Seems there is at least a section of Left opinion in academia, among the climate alarmists, that sets extinction as its goal; not just the extinction of the Left itself, and certainly not the extinction of the planet, but the total extinction of the human race.

Breitbart reports:

Giving birth to a child is “the worst thing you can do” to the climate, says philosophy professor Patricia MacCormack of Anglia Ruskin University.

The professor, author of The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene who describes herself as an “old school goth,” says that the only way to save the planet is to stop having children and allow humans to become extinct. …

Due to global overpopulation, giving birth is the worst thing you can do to the planet, MacCormack [maintains], while insisting that she is not advocating wiping out the existing population but rather letting it die off.

“Far from advocating mass death, genocide or eugenics, my manifesto is antinatalist,” says MacCormack. “It boycotts human reproduction due to the damage humans have perpetrated on the Earth and its other inhabitants.”

“The manifesto simply asks that humans no longer reproduce – no life is lost, no being is mourned,” she states. “If we no longer reproduce, we can care for all inhabitants already here, human and non-human, as well as care for the Earth itself by mitigating the damage already caused. It’s an activism of care.”

Care for all those other inhabitants? They need us for that? Are you sure, Madam Professor? I mean – in that case, won’t they miss us when we’re gone?

A native Australian, MacCormack says her opinions have been manipulated and misunderstood.

“I simply propose people not reproduce, and it automatically translated into acts of violence,” she has said.

“So, somehow, I want to kill children, which is ridiculous. Somehow, I’m proposing eugenics or some kind of ethnic population control,” she declares, “and I think that what that shows is there is an anthropocentric — or a human — impulse to read acts of grace as, automatically, acts of violence.” …

So she visualizes the human species going very gently into obliteration.

Along with her opinions regarding the human population, MacCormack advocates overcoming “human privilege” through what she calls “abolitionist veganism,” or the notion that no sentient being should be treated as property of another.

Her prescription for stopping lions, tigers, crocodiles, snakes, eagles, bears, wolves, sharks treating their prey as their property to kill and eat, is not reported.

According to MacCormack, her manifesto “questions the value of human exceptionalism, asking are humans really the ‘best’ forms of life, or should we dismantle our understanding of life as a hierarchy for a more ecological, interconnected scheme of living things?”

In no way are we human beings superior to any other form of life! What arrogance to suppose we are!

Among other climate action groups, MacCormack says that those like the protest group Extinction Rebellion have the right idea but are not going far enough.

“Even Extinction Rebellion only focus on the effect this will have on human life, when climate change is something that will affect every living being on the planet,” she states.

Anglia Ruskin University holds up MacCormack’s ideas on climate, but also underscores her expertise in feminism, queer theory, posthuman ethics, animal studies, and horror films.

Posthuman ethics.

Now there’s something to think about – while there’s anybody left to think at all.

Feminist Witch/University Professor Patricia MacCormack

Posted under Climate, Demography, education, Environmentalism, Feminism, genocide, Leftism, Philosophy, Progressivism by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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Progress to extinction 1

The 100 year old international movement towards collectivism, world government, wealth redistribution, anti-individualism, elitist rule over equalized serf populations – in two words, Left Progressivism – is coming to an end.

In an age when ever more people everywhere are literate, have access to information, can communicate with others anywhere, communal subjugation becomes ever less possible.

Sure there are a few countries where populations still suffer under communist tyranny, notably North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela – and China. It is because China is so badly governed that coronavirus, a new killing disease, has emerged from it and is spreading through the world. The harm will last for decades, but Left Progressivism is slowly but surely, and at an accelerating pace, failing and dying, coming to an end.

It has gone about as far as it can go. Victor Davis Hanson writes about its reaching its peak in America; a point from which its only further advance can be to oblivion:

In 2020 we have finally hit peak progressivism

By that I mean the hard-left takeover of the Democratic Party and the accompanying progressive agenda now have reached an extreme—beyond which will only result in the steady erosion of radical ideology altogether. …

From 2009 through 2016, Barack Obama recalibrated the Democratic Party’s liberalism into progressive radicalism. He opened the border and all but dismantled existing immigration law. Sanctuary cities sprang up with impunity. Executive orders bypassed the Congress. The Iran Deal ignored the Senate’s treaty-making responsibilities. Obama sought to nationalize healthcare. The concept of “diversity” replaced affirmative action, by redefining racial oppression as distinct from historical grievance and economic disparity and instead lumping together 30 percent of the population as nonwhite, and thus antithetical to the new buzz construct of “white privilege”. Fast and Furious, the surveillance of the Associated Press reporters, Benghazi, the weaponization of the IRS, and the use of CIA, FBI, and DOJ to seed the spurious Steele dossier were all written off as proof of the “most scandal free” administration in memory.

But today Obamaism has been figuratively guillotined by the New Jacobins. It is found guilty of crimes of insufficient revolutionary zeal, as well as compromises with the U.S. Constitution and capitalism.

Once considered a crank socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) now leads in many Democratic primary polls. Arriving with him at this moment in our politics is peak progressivism.

First-term socialists—House representatives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her fellow “squad” members, inspired by Sanders—now set the new Democratic agenda. And it is one that is more radical than anything seen in modern American history and largely unsustainable: calls to level a wealth tax and new top income-tax rates of 70-90 percent, to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, all student debt, an enforceable southern border, the internal combustion engine, and most Second Amendment rights, and to enact multi-trillion dollar new entitlements as outlined in the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, free college, free healthcare for illegal aliens, and reparations.

Identity politics so rules the rhetoric of the new progressive party that all of its—exclusively white—primary finalists vie to be most vocal in the ritual damning of their own country (that has ironically ensured their own influence, power, success and wealth) as inherently “racist”.

Outside of the political sphere, peak progressivism had reinvented the university, rejecting Martin Luther King, Jr’s vision of racial integration and assimilation, by demanding racially obsessed dorms, safe spaces, and applications.

There is hardly a First Amendment on campuses anymore. Speakers with unpopular views are shouted down with impunity by student activists. “Trigger warnings” seek to censor required texts. The mere accusation of sexual harassment on campus is synonymous with the suspension of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments. Skepticism over abortion, “climate change”, or identity politics can cancel out a faculty career.

It is hard to imagine where universities go after peak progressivism, since it would be the pure nihilism of abolishing grades, admissions standards, and student fees.

Peak progressivism calls for the abolition of the constitutionally mandated Electoral College. Radicals now fault past failed schemes to pack the federal and Supreme Court with left-wing justices only because they failed, and thus advance ways to make court-packing work in the present. The bolder among them wants to reconfigure the U.S. Senate into a proportionally representational house or abolish it altogether.

All that would be left after that would be the formal abolition of the U.S. Constitution itself.

Primary candidates compete with one another to water down voting laws, variously demanding that 16-year-olds, felons, and illegal aliens should be given the franchise.

The now far-Left Democrats fail to see that when their hopes for election lie, as they do, with criminals, lunatics, illegal aliens and the immature, there is something wrong with their policies.

Gay marriage, which Obama opposed in 2008 and later promoted after reelection, is now passé. The new civil rights cause celebre is transgenderism, an ancient syndrome known in the past under a variety of clinical definitions that affects less than half of one percent of the population. Who, after these peak progressive ideas, would be left as ineligible to vote—12-year-olds, those on death row, the rest of the earth’s population?

All moderate Democratic presidential candidates long ago dropped out. Those who have not, such as Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg, are in virtual reeducation camps, as they promise to progressive rivals and the media to renounce most of their past positions, effusively apologizing for prior incorrect thinking and failure to become sufficiently “woke”. …

The much-discussed “intersectionality” is a construct, a myth. The history of ideological extremism is instead a war of all factions against one another.

We see just that in the peak progressive primaries. Michael Bloomberg is deemed a racist and sexist. But then so is Joe Biden. Bernie Sanders supposedly hires racists and sexists and won’t honor minimum wage laws. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) thinks Bernie is condescending to women and minorities. Pete Buttigieg thinks he is the victim of Joe Biden’s subtle anti-gay political adds, and feels, but does not articulate, that the black community is inherently anti-homosexual. The race to tag others as victimizers and selves as victimized is endless.

Radicals also vie to make rivals look counter-revolutionary, as they advance ever more incoherent and unhinged schemes without a clue that they are losing not just moderate support but even liberal followers. The more Warren feels she must become the purest peak progressive on the debate stage and the most radical in the U.S. Senate, the more her former supporters feel she is either a conniving opportunist or nuts or both. …

Peak progressives cannot possibly live up to their rhetoric fantasies and so suffer from rank hypocrisies. Redistributionists like Warren and Sanders either fly on private jets or choose non-egalitarian first-class commercial. Hollywood stars who mouth crazy [socialist, egalitarian] Oscar and Grammy ceremony platitudes vie with each other to wear multi-thousand-dollar clothes, live in mansions, and own yachts—as they drive down ratings to historic lows.

Not long ago, progressive pundits on CNN and MSNBC declared the current indicted lawyer Michael Avenatti presidential material for his fabrications and lies that were used to smear Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Where does a network go after that?

It is not only “hard to imagine where universities go after peak progressivism”, or where the networks can “go after that”; it is impossible to see a destination for the Left itself, in America or anywhere else in the world.

Except to extinction.   

Outrage 7

In July 2017 we reported and commented on the injustice of a Canadian Muslim named Omar Khadr, who went to Afghanistan, joined Al-Qaeda, fought against Canadian and US forces and killed a US soldier, being awarded $10.5 million in compensation for his imprisonment after he was captured. (See here and here.)

Our Facebook reader and commenter Mike Watson has now sent us this short video in which the Canadian military veteran Jeremy MacKenzie, who served in Afghanistan,  expresses his outrage over the injustice. We applaud him for doing so.

The video was shot when Jeremy MacKenzie was being interviewed outside the venue where Omar Khadr was speaking in public in Halifax on February 10, 2020.

Posted under Afghanistan, Canada, Islam, jihad, Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Sunday, February 16, 2020

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The greatest scandal in American history 8

A multitude of crimes have been committed by people who were entrusted with the high responsibility of leading and protecting the nation.

How will history judge them? Which is to say, how will historians judge them?

One excellent historian, Victor Davis Hanson, is already judging them.

Writing  at American Greatness, he lists the evils done. We compile our list from his, mostly in his words:

A systematic and terrible assault was made on our constitutional freedoms.

A group of smug and mediocre apparatchiks assumed they had the moral right to destroy a presidential candidate and later an elected president.

A series of progressive-government-media driven melodramas was aimed at both injuring the Trump presidency and shielding a virtual coup to destroy an elected president.

The FBI and the Justice Department deliberately misled Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges to spy on an American citizen as a way to monitor others in the Trump campaign.

Samantha Power and Susan Rice requested the unmasking of scores of Americans, and the names of some of them were were illegally leaked to the media with the intent of defaming them.

James Comey’s cronies at the FBI, including the disgraced Peter Strzok and Lisa Pagepost facto announced that the leaked Comey versions of his one-on-one talks with the president of the United States were merely confidential rather than top secret and thus their dissemination to the media was not quite felonious – which is why Comey is not in jail.

Comey’s leaking gambit led to the appointment of his long-time friend, former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Mueller then delighted the media by appointing mostly progressive activist lawyers, some with ties to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, in what then giddy journalists called a “dream team” of “all-stars” who in the fashion of a “hunter-killer” team would abort the Trump presidency by proving Trump was what former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on television called a “Putin asset”.

The Mueller investigation—500 subpoenas, 22 months, $35 million—was one of the great travesties in American investigatory history. It was cooked up by fired, disgraced—and furious—former FBI Director James Comey. By his own admission, Comey conceded that he leaked confidential memos of private conversations he had with the president to create a large enough media and political storm to force the naming of a special prosecutor to investigate “Russian collusion”.

The libel of Russian collusion was absurd from the get-go.

In surreal fashion, the main players, under suspicion for seeding and peddling the fraudulent Steele dossier among the high echelons of the U.S. government and using such smears to cripple Trump—John Brennan, James Clapper, and Andrew McCabe—were hired by liberal CNN and MSNBC as paid analysts to fob off on others the very scandals that they themselves had created.

Eric Clinesmith, another FBI lawyer, altered an email presented as evidence before a FISA court to warp the request to surveil Carter Page. If there is any justice left in this sordid mess, he will end up in jail.

When Adam Schiff’s pernicious role in jump-starting the impeachment is finally fully known, he will likely be revealed as the prime schemer, along with minor Obama officials buried within the Trump National Security Council, dreaming up the entire Ukraine caper of the “whistleblower” (during which caper he and Representative Gerald Nadler and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi behaved in a manner that was childish, peevish, and absurd).  

The hatching of the intricate plots, the systematic abuses against Candidate Trump and then President Trump, Hanson calls skullduggery. Which is what it was and what it continues to be. He says that for four years the skulduggery kept a series of melodramas going which shielded a virtual coup to destroy an elected president.

Hanson’s verdict on the whole long-drawn-out episode of crime, corruption, and treachery:

It is the greatest scandal in American history.

How will  the conspirators – the arrogant civil servants, the dirty cops, the media connivers, the politicians – be judged? Will they ever be made to answer for what they did?  Is there “any justice left in this sordid mess”? 

If they were brought to trial, what would their just punishment be?   

What would be the just punishment for the two people behind it all, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?

Revolution? 4

Is America in the throes of a revolution? Are we sliding unstoppably into totalitarian communism?

Angelo Codevilla writes at American Greatness:

Some conservatives, rejoicing that impeachment turned into yet another of #TheResistance’s political train wrecks and that President Trump is likely to be reelected by a bigger margin than in 2016, expect that a chastened ruling class will return to respecting the rest of us. They are mistaken.

Trump’s reelection, by itself, cannot protect us. The ruling class’s intolerance of the 2016 election’s results was intolerance of us.

Nor was their intolerance so much a choice as it was the expression of its growing sense of its own separate identity, of power and of entitlement to power. The halfhearted defenses with which the offensives of the ruling class have been met already advertise the fact that it need not and will not accept the outcome of any presidential election it does not win. Trump notwithstanding, this class will rule henceforth as it has in the past three years. So long as its hold on American institutions continues to grow, and they retain millions of clients, elections won’t really matter.

Our country is in a state of revolution, irreversibly, because society’s most influential people have retreated into moral autarchy, …

Autarchy, or autocracy, is rule by a dictator. Has any Democrat proclaimed a desire for a dictator, or to be a dictator? If so, we missed it. The Democrats want absolute power in their own hands, but have’t yet wished up a Stalin or a Mao. It’s highly likely that Bernie Sanders would like to be an American Stalin, but has he admitted it?

Besides which, there is not a single Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States who could run a poll in Iowa, let alone the country. 

Moral autarchy? Not sure what that means. But okay, let’s accept the term in order to follow the writer’s argument.

… have seceded from America’s constitutional order, and because they browbeat their socio-political adversaries instead of trying to persuade them. Theirs is not a choice that can be reversed. It is a change in the character of millions of people.

Does character change? Does the character of a people – a nation – change? What characterizes any nation must by definition be what does not change about it. For a country to change its character it would have to have its population replaced by a different population – as is happening rapidly in Sweden, France, Spain, and Germany.  The Democrats seem to like the idea of America becoming more “Hispanic” than “Anglo”, but it hasn’t happened yet, and might never happen.

There has been a change in America over the last 70 years or so. It is not a change of character. In all their variety, Americans are recognizably the same as they were 100 years ago. What has changed in America are ideas about values and morals, about what matters and what doesn’t.

And that is what the article under discussion is really about.

The sooner conservatives realize that the Republic established between 1776 and 1789—the America we knew and loved—cannot return, the more fruitfully we will be able to manage the revolution’s clear and present challenges to ourselves. How are we to deal with a ruling class that insists on ruling—elections and generally applicable rules notwithstanding—because it regards us as lesser beings?

The resistance that reached its public peaks in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and the impeachment imbroglio should have left no doubt about the socio-political arbitrariness that flows from the ruling class’s moral autarchy, about the socio-political power of the ruling class we’re forced to confront, or of its immediate threat to our freedom of speech.

Chief Justice John Roberts, presiding over the Senate’s impeachment trial, was as clear an example as any of that moral autarchy and its grip on institutions.

Pursuant to Senate rules, Senator Rand Paul sent a written question through Roberts to House Manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) regarding the extent of collaboration between Schiff’s staffer Sean Misko and his longtime fellow partisan, CIA officer Eric Ciaramella in starting the charges that led to impeachment. Roberts, having read the question to himself, declared: “The presiding officer declines to read the question as submitted.”

The chief justice of the United States, freedom of speech’s guardian-in-chief, gave no reason for declining to read Paul’s question. The question was relevant to the proceedings. It violated no laws, no regulations. The names of the two persons were known to every member of the House and Senate, as well as to everyone around the globe who had followed news reports over the previous months. But the Democratic Party had been campaigning to drive from public discussion that this impeachment stemmed from the partisan collaboration between a CIA officer and a Democratic staffer.

“Collaboration” is the polite term for it; “conspiracy” the more accurate one.

Accordingly, the mainstream media had informally but totally banned discussion of this fact, supremely relevant but supremely embarrassing to Schiff in particular and to Democrats in general. Now, Paul was asking Schiff officially to comment on the relationship. Schiff could have explained it, or refused to explain it. But Roberts saved him the embarrassment and trouble—and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spared senators the problem of voting on a challenge to Roberts’s  ruling. The curtain of official concealment, what the Mafia calls the omertà, remained intact. Why no reason?

Just as no dog wags his tail without a reason, neither did Roberts wag his without reason. Neither the laws of the United States nor the rules of the Senate told the presiding officer to suppress the senator’s question. Why was Roberts pleased to please those he pleased and to displease those he displeased? In short, why did this impartial presiding officer act as a man partial to one side against the other?

This professional judge could hardly have been impressed by the ruling class’s chosen instrument, Adam Schiff, or by Schiff’s superior regard for legal procedure. Since Schiff’s prosecution featured hiding the identity of the original accuser—after promising to feature his testimony—and since it featured secret depositions, blocked any cross-examination of its own witnesses, and prevented the defense from calling any of their own, it would have been strange if Chief Justice Roberts’s bias was a professional one.

Is it possible that Roberts favored the substance of the ruling class claim that neither President Trump nor any of his defenders have any right to focus public attention on the Biden family’s use of public office to obtain money in exchange for influence? That, after all, is what Washington is largely about. Could Roberts also love corruption so much as to help conceal it? No.

Roberts’s professional and ethical instincts incline him the other way. Nevertheless, he sustained the ruling class’s arbitrariness. Whose side did he take? His dinner companions’ side? The media’s? His wife’s? Roberts’s behavior—contrary as it was to his profession, to his morals, and to his political provenance—shows how great is the ruling class’s centripetal force.

The sad but inescapable consequence of this force is that conservatives have no choice but to follow the partisan logic of revolution—fully conscious of the danger that partisanship can make us as ridiculously dishonest as Adam Schiff or CNN’s talking heads, into rank-pullers like John Roberts, and into profiteers as much as any member of the Biden family.

Do conservatives have no choice but to go along with “the revolution”, with the abandonment of the values that inspired the Constitution, with corruption as a matter of indisputable but unchangeable fact?

The writer then seems to change his mind. He suggests there is a choice:

And yet, revolution is war, the proximate objective of which is to hurt the other side until it loses the capacity and the will to do us harm. That means treating institutions and people from the standpoint of our own adversarial interest: controlling what we can either for our own use or for bargaining purposes, discrediting and abandoning what we cannot take from our enemies.

Opposing them by the means they choose, the weapons they use? That – so the writer suggests – is our best recourse?

Unlike our enemies, our ultimate objective is, as Lincoln said, “peace among ourselves and with all nations”. But what kind of peace we may get depends on the extent to which we may compel our enemies to leave us in peace. And for that, we must do unto them more and before they do unto us.

Which is true? Do we have no choice but to join “the revolution” – a change from a free open society of self-reliant individuals into a government-controlled, race and sex obsessed, doom prophesying, totally organized community? Or are we still in control of our destiny? And if we fight our revolutionary enemy, must it be with their weapons, or ours? On their terms, or ours?

We do not see that there has been a revolution – though the Obama administration tried to make one. We do not think the only way to save America from totalitarian one-party rule is by following the rules laid down by the Gramsci-Alinsky school of sedition and the Cloward-Piven blueprint for chaos. (See here and here and here and here.)

By great good luck we have President Trump leading us in another direction, showing us another way, prioritizing better (characteristic) values: freedom, individual enterprise, innovation, industry, competence, patriotism, strength, ambition, self-confidence, prosperity. For a few more years at least. During which the Left revolutionaries may, in the fury of their frustration, stamp themselves into the ground.

Cuba 1

If this video were seen by all Bernie Sanders enthusiasts, it might put them off socialism. No? Well, let’s say some of them? No? Okay, but maybe a few of them? No?

Posted under communism, Cuba, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Friday, February 7, 2020

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On YouTube: the most important liberty 3

Here is the video of Professor Simon Heffer delivering the Third Jillian Becker Annual Lecture on February 3, 2020. (For written extracts from the speech, see our post of a few days ago, The most important liberty.)

The subject of each lecture has to be concerned with the importance of individual freedom and/or the importance of the nation state as the only reliable protector of  individual freedom.

Professor Heffer’s subject is freedom of speech.

The opening remarks are addressed to Simon Richards, CEO of The Freedom Association, under whose auspices the lectures are given. He is now retiring from the job which he has done superlatively well. Under his direction, The Freedom Association contributed substantially to the historic achievement of Brexit.

Posted under liberty, United Kingdom, Videos by Jillian Becker on Thursday, February 6, 2020

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The state of the union 18

President Trump made a terrifically impressive State of the Union speech last night (February 4, 2020).

He listed the many accomplishments of his administration. There was much to applaud – though a white wall of Lefty wymyn sat through most of the speech in passive-aggressive silence, and when he finished, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, furiously, theatrically, like a petulant adolescent, tore the transcript into pieces.

We applaud in particular the President’s unabashed patriotism. Because not only do we recognize the importance of the Nation State as such, we agree with him that (in a world where few countries are free and a majority are more or less hellish) this one, now, is the most admirable on all important counts. We do not disregard its bad spots, nor did the President. In particular he condemned bad government schools, and sanctuary cities where illegal aliens, even criminals, are sheltered from the law by local Democratic authorities.

Here’s what the President said towards the end of his speech. The part we liked best. We quote almost verbatim, only cutting out a few phrases including those that mention “God”:

The American Nation was carved out of the vast frontier by the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and women ever to walk the face of the Earth. Our ancestors braved the unknown; tamed the wilderness; settled the Wild West; lifted millions from poverty, disease, and hunger; vanquished tyranny and fascism; ushered the world to new heights of science and medicine; laid down the railroads, dug out canals, raised up the skyscrapers — and, ladies and gentlemen, our ancestors built the most exceptional Republic ever to exist in all of human history. And we are making it greater than ever before!

This is our glorious and magnificent inheritance.

We are Americans. We are the pioneers. We are the pathfinders. We settled the new world, we built the modern world …

America is the place where anything can happen! America is the place where anyone can rise. …

This Nation is our canvas, and this country is our masterpiece. We look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers just waiting to be explored. Our brightest discoveries are not yet known. Our most thrilling stories are not yet told. Our grandest journeys are not yet made. The American Age, the American Epic, the American Adventure, has only just begun!

Our spirit is still young; the sun is still rising … and, my fellow Americans, the best is yet to come!

*

From our Facebook page, quoting Fox News:

Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley blasted “partisan troll” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday for tearing up President Trump’s State of the Union speech, calling for her to apologize or step down. “Her conduct tore up more than a speech, but decades of tradition and left any semblance of civility in tatters on the House floor,” Turley wrote on his website. “It was the tradition of the House that a speaker must remain in stone-faced neutrality no matter what comes off that podium. The tradition ended last night with one of the more shameful and inglorious moments of the House in its history.” Pelosi ripped up her copy of Trump’s speech as soon as it concluded on Tuesday night in a remarkable scene that has shocked pundits and lawmakers. Asked about the moment by Fox News afterward, Pelosi said she had destroyed the speech “because it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives”. She also said she was “trying to find one page with truth on it but couldn’t”. Turley concluded his column by calling for Pelosi to either apologize or let someone else do her prestigious job. “For those of us who truly love the House as an institution, it was one of the lowest moments to unfold on the floor. If Pelosi does not apologize and agree to honor the principle of neutrality and civility at the State of the Union, she should resign as speaker.”

Posted under United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 5, 2020

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The most important liberty 6

The Third Jillian Becker Annual Lecture is being delivered in London today, February 3, 2020, under the auspices of The Freedom Association, this year by our fellow atheist conservative Professor Simon Heffer of the University of Buckingham. He is an historian, author, and political commentator. He writes a regular column in the Sunday Telegraph, and is an active and influential Brexiteer.

We will post the YouTube video of the lecture when it becomes available.

Meanwhile, here are extracts from the lecture. The examples Professor Heffer cites to illustrate the points he makes are from Britain, but the lessons to be taken from them apply equally to America.

If any of you imagines we live in a country where freedom of speech still pertains, I fear that what I am about to say in the next 40 minutes or so may be the final act of disabusing you of that notion. Some of what I am about to tell you in support of this contention will be familiar; but some of what is familiar is so shocking that it bears repeating; and what is truly shocking is that such damage to our freedom of speech is allowed to happen, and is well-known, and yet too few people with the power to do so wish to raise a finger to stop it, thereby becoming complicit in the erosion of perhaps our most important liberty. And it must be stressed that, while some in public life and in high positions have more power than most to reverse what has become a disturbing trend, we all have a part to play in ensuring that discourse in our society is not closed down. For discourse is, in the end, the means by which rational and civilised people arrive at the truth. …

Few dare to teach history in a way that does not apply the values of a liberal elite in the 21st century to the questions of the past; and anyone who attempts to look at historical questions in their own context, to evaluate why what happened at the time happened, is regarded as a reactionary. By their behaviour they override the fundamental principle of learning, which is to arrive at the truth. But they also, by creating an atmosphere within academia of hostility and hatred, make an important part of the expansion of knowledge nearly impossible, by restricting civilised discussion between those of differing views.

Of course, this hijacking of academic disciplines for the purposes of thought-policing and the propagation of leftist tropes is not restricted to the discipline of history. English literature has long been given similar treatment, though some of the texts that have to be read are now, famously, issued with ‘trigger warnings’, because there so much in Shakespeare … that could upset the sensibilities of the average member of what is cruelly called ‘the snowflake generation’….

It is little wonder that, in their spare time, the students who endure what passes for this sort of teaching now try to close down expressions of opinion with which they disagree, usually for the preposterous reason that those expressions might cause offence, as if being offended is, to use another unfortunate modern expression, a hate crime – which many people think causing offence seriously is. We have lived with this for years. I recall an attempt at Cambridge when I was an undergraduate to ban a Conservative cabinet minister from speaking in the university by a group whose motto was ‘No Platform for Racists and Fascists’. For many of them, simply serving in the Thatcher government was sufficient to earn the label of a racist or a fascist …

Five years ago … [the feminist] Germaine Greer was no-platformed at Cardiff University because she wished to state her opinion that just because a man had had a series of operations to turn him into a woman did not make him like someone who had been female from birth. The University ordered the students to let the meeting go ahead, but said it would not condone ‘discriminatory language’. Professor Greer retorted that this stand by the university was ‘weak as piss’; she was not discriminating against anyone, merely hurting their feelings. Well, she said, her feelings were hurt all the time, and she just got on with it; but she refused to speak in an atmosphere of such unpleasantness, and cancelled her meeting altogether.

Then another celebrated ‘reactionary’, Peter Tatchell – one of the most principled men I have ever met, I hasten to add, principles he demonstrated in his repeated and courageous demonstrations against the aforementioned vicious tyrant, Robert Mugabe – was no-platformed at Canterbury Christ Church University for speaking out in defence of Professor Greer. For defending her right to express her views openly, Mr Tatchell was denounced as ‘racist’ – the catch-all chant for every bigot these days – and ‘transphobic’.

But then there are now many views that it is simply unacceptable to hold in our society today. The Church of England – possibly miraculously – sticks to the view that same-sex couples cannot be married in church because of what many senior clergy feel is the direct opposition such an act would present to scriptural teachings. I think the church is right, and I do so, again, from the point of view of an atheist.

I have a number of homosexual friends who go further even than that, and think the idea of same-sex marriage is patronising to them, and little more than a stunt. Try arguing this in one of our universities today and you would be shouted down, and would be likely to be the victim of a no-platforming campaign, with accusations of homophobia cast at you. The case, like that of Professor Greer stating what she believes to be an obvious fact about men who have sex changes, is an example of the failure by too many half-educated young people in our universities refusing, wilfully and often with the connivance of their teachers who should know better, to acknowledge a distinction between expressing a sincerely held belief, supported by factual evidence, and inciting others to commit some ghastly crime against those you are talking about. Professor Greer was inciting no-one to persecute transgender people; therefore Mr Tatchell was not defending a right for her to incite such people, for no such right exists or can exist in a civilised society; and saying one has a philosophical objection to the notion of same sex marriage is nothing like saying you dislike homosexual people, let alone that others ought to go out and make their lives a misery.

But these are the murky waters into which discourse in our universities has slipped, and, as one distinguished victim of such a process said to me last year, it has been allowed to slip there because of the refusal of heads of institutions or heads of faculties to law down the law with students who engage in this deliberate destruction of freedom of speech under the pretence of it being offensive to the closed minds of their students, and who do so because, in the end, they are afraid of those students.

It is little wonder that, in their spare time, the students who endure what passes for this sort of teaching now try to close down expressions of opinion with which they disagree, usually for the preposterous reason that those expressions might cause offence, as if being offended is, to use another unfortunate modern expression, a hate crime – which many people think causing offence seriously is. …

There is also one other current in some of our universities that I want to refer to, because it is a harbinger of a very unpleasant future unless we do something to check it. … Chinese money has helped develop facilities in some of our universities, but has from time to time occasioned the benefactors to seek to influence aspects of the curriculum. I believe those latter attempts have largely been resisted; but I hope any Chinese student in Britain who is put under pressure about his or her own activities should be able to tell his university authorities, and the authorities should give their full support. Sometimes students may feel their families back in China are at threat if they don’t conform. Universities have to think very carefully before they accept Chinese money about what they might be expected to do, or not do, in return.

Perhaps because the extremism of no platforming has been going on for so long now, many adults are now just as bad. Nearly 15 years ago I wrote an article for The Daily Telegraph about the death penalty. I said – and for what it is worth it is a belief I cling to today – that I felt some murders represented such an act of premeditated wickedness, whether the motive was financial gain or sexual gratification, that the only appropriate punishment given the enormity of the crime was a sentence of death; and that instead of the sentence being mandatory, as it had been for certain murders before abolition, it should be available to the jury, if convicting, to recommend to the judge before he passed sentence. The paper had a year or two before, in an attempt to appeal to that elusive younger reader, hired a right-on, or as we would now say, ‘woke’ comedian to write an arts column every week. He suddenly resigned, saying he could not continue to work for a newspaper that had another columnist (me) who believed in the death penalty, and would publish such a piece. It was my first, but not my last, direct confrontation with the phenomenon that does more to undermine freedom of speech than any other in our society: the professed and overt liberal who is completely intolerant of any opinion other than his or her own. Rather than engage in debate, they simply prefer to close it down. By treating another person, whose only crime is to have professed such an opinion, with the sort of disdain one would normally reserve for a paedophile or mass murderer, they hope to intimidate him or her, and anybody else who might be thinking of transgressing in such a way, into keeping their mouth shut in future, or, possibly, into making a full recantation. …

People have to understand that there is a difference between expressing a strong opinion that may cause offence to those who think entirely differently – such as a feminist arguing against another’s interpretation of transgender rights might – and someone who is inciting violence or hatred against the group they are criticising. In a free society, we just have to put up with the first; but we can never tolerate the second. Most of us are sufficiently mature to make a distinction between a point of view we find offensive – which to some on the left will include almost everything I am saying here today – and something that encourages people to act violently … To things that merely cause offence, all we should say is: grow up, get over it, and move on. We must as a culture stop putting out into adult life former students who have grown up thinking it is normal that people with the temerity to disagree with them should be silenced.

Posted under education, liberty by Jillian Becker on Monday, February 3, 2020

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