The right to free expression of opinion and belief -- though constrained in its extremes during wartime -- is not something that can be negotiated in a free country. For it is the most fundamental right -- the queen bee in the hive, as it were. Every other freedom depends on this freedom. Take it away, and we no longer have a free country.
A misunderstanding about this is at the root of much conflict between East and West. When cartoonists were invited by a Danish provincial newspaper to present their graphic notions of the Prophet Mohammad, there were riots right across the Muslim world. Danish, or what were believed to be Danish, targets were struck. (The right to riot, with the attendant rights to assault, vandalism, pillage, arson and so forth, are not among our fundamental rights.) Boycotts were placed on Danish products, and diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other Muslim countries pressured both the Danish government and the European Union of which it is a member, to punish the cartoonists. They demanded new legislation across Europe that would criminalize any future blasphemy against Islam...
We, in the West, do not legislate for the Dar al-Islam (the Muslim realm). On the contrary, we endure the fallout from countries in which, because the right to free speech is not secure, opposition to authority must be expressed through violence.
I make this hard point because it is necessary to understand. Freedom of expression did not develop in the West from purely idealistic motives. Nor is it necessarily a pretty thing. Like so much in civil society, we put up with it because the alternative is worse, and we'd rather cope with free speech, than with the free intimidation that results from its suppression.
And I make this point in light of the case that has been brought against Mark Steyn and Maclean's magazine, before Human Rights Commissions for Canada, British Columbia, and Ontario, by the Canadian Islamic Congress, led by Mohamed Elmasry. The first two commissions have already agreed to hear the case, and thus rule on whether Mark Steyn had the right to express the opinions and beliefs in his bestselling book, America Alone, and specifically in the excerpt entitled, The Future Belongs to Islam, which ran in Maclean's last year. According to the complaint, by expressing his opinions and beliefs, Mark Steyn subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and Islamophobia.
That not all Muslims agree, has been made clear by members of the Muslim Canadian Congress, who have entered the fray in defence of Steyn and Maclean's. But that is a tactical side issue.
For more than twenty years, in this column and elsewhere, I have been writing against the human rights commissions, which have quasi-legal powers that should be offensive to the citizens of any free country. They are kangaroo courts, in which the defendant's right to due process is withdrawn. They reach judgements on the basis of no fixed law. Moreover, the process is the punishment in these star chambers -- for simply by agreeing to hear a case, they tie up the defendant in bureaucracy and paperwork, and bleed him for the cost of lawyers, while the person who brings the complaint, however frivolous, stands to lose nothing.
My hope is that this case against Mark Steyn and Maclean's will be fruitful. It will be, if it inspires enough people -- especially journalists, of all political persuasions -- to express outrage at what has been done; and inspires Canada's free citizens into the necessary political action to put an end to the human rights commissions themselves. The worst possible result, is if the case fails to produce this response.
Posted by: Fred ||
12/10/2007 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Global Jihad
i liked the idea on instapundit. Buy Steyn's book. Great Christmas present for yourself or someone else on your list.
For it is the most fundamental right -- the queen bee in the hive, as it were. Every other freedom depends on this freedom. Take it away, and we no longer have a free country.
Wrongo. The right for citizens to keep and bear arms, in order to DEFEND free speech, and all the other rights, is fundamental.
Like so much in civil society, we put up with it because the alternative is worse, and we'd rather cope with free speech, than with the free intimidation that results from its suppression.
Actually, what is being taught by the behavior of such commissions is that the violent wheel gets the grease. Free speech allows for a debate about issues of "right", "wrong", "factual", "true", "false", "fairness", "dessert", that people find fundamental in their thinking. Vis a vis religion, I am positively sure that we would be having religious wars in the United States if it were not for the "compact" that said, "we'll let people change churches without violence. We'll allow debate and talk about which religion is the best, or which one best interprets the scriptures important to them, or which comes up with new scriptures to guide behavior. Let the best ideas win, rather than the ones with the best guns or the best aim." All the Judaeo-Christian religions signed on, and it's been fairly smooth sailing. Not great sailing, because the violence against Mormons was unforgivable, and the pentecostal churches were insitutionally discriminated against in the 1940's, but the genius of the system eventually corrected those abuses.
Rantburgers lament and bitch about the Iron Wall against facts that the MSM has erected against the war on terror. Let me clue y'all in: that wall was first built to suppress the pro-life movement, so every twitch of the MSM with regard to the WoT was "deja vu all over again". There was some blow-back from the ranks. Violent blow-back, but the leadership denounced it and took steps to flush it from the approved membership, even if the MSM made sure you didn't hear about THAT.
Thank god for the Internet, which allows, for the moment, all voices to be heard. Yeah, Daily Kos and Democratic Underground are unsavory, but we have Rantburg and the others in compensation, and that's enough for the moment. Heck, all the attempts at Internet control are reflections of the fact that they know that that IS enough.
The Second Amendment is not the First Amendment for a reason: Our founding fathers wanted us to talk things out, pray things out, and debate things out FIRST. Its when the first amendment is taken away that we reach for the guns to MAKE them put it back.
As a African-American convert to Islam, a soldier, and as someone who actually can read, I would have to say that anyone who thinks what Steyn has said is either racist or objectionable is a complete douchebag. The Canadian Muslim groups that have complained are essentially terrorist front organizations and Steyn should wear there offense as a badge of honor.
I am sick and tired of white liberals apologizing for the subhuman filth that has degraded my beautiful religion. The Islam that I practice stresses self-discipline and tolerance for ones neighbors. I have fought the Wahhabi scum in both Afghanistan and Iraq and will be going back to Iraq soon to finish the job. I personally find it pathetic to find that I am fighting in Iraq to give Iraqis a right to free speech, while Canada seeks to chill legitimate political discourse.
A misunderstanding about this is at the root of much conflict between East and West.
Here David Warren makes a typical Canadian mistake, even typical of Canadian conservatives. The East does not misunderstand the West's freedom of speech. The East reviles the West's freedom of speech as a form of blasphemy. Until we figure out this is about disagreement not misunderstanding we are going to get nowhere. It is the West which misunderstands the East by insisting the real problem is about poverty, nationalism or some enervated miscommunication.
That Henley guy who attacked Steyn as a racist got the worst beatdown I've ever seen in the blogosphere--and it happened on his own blog. From now on, if you look up the term "bitchslap" in Wiki, you're going to see a picture of Jim Henley.
He had more than 600 entries on the thread where he attacked Steyn, and the overwhelming (90+%) of them just wanted to tear him a new one. I suspect it will be a while before he writes something so foolish again.
Over the weekend I read the "comment" you posted above. here are my thoughts on same:
It's not authentic, not by a long shot. I KNOW black (Afro - Americans?) who have converted to islam. The comment you posted is NOT in any way shape or form typical of the black converts to islam with whom I know and have spoken with. Black converts to islam do not harbor "sweetness and light" for their fellow man. Black converts to islam do not - in any way - wish the Jew and Christian peace on earth and goodwill toward man. If the poster you quoted believes otherwise he is a fool and not authentic. Authentic black converts to islam make OBL look pollyannish. We're engaged in a war of ideologoies and a war of ideas...yes...even a war of religions if you want to go there. There is no f*ckin' way the poster you quoted could believe what he posted and still be deemed an authentic muslim convert. the poster you quoted was not a muslim. the poster you quoted was someone "pretending to be muslim".
Posted by: Mark Z ||
12/10/2007 11:45 Comments ||
You may well be right.
OTOH I know several black African muslims who emigrated to the US and who pretty much do track with that comment on Henley's site.
Not saying they're a majority, just noting their existence. And I do know them well enough to be fairly confident that that's not taqqiya on their part.
Neither you nor I know if that commenter is who and what he represents himself to be or not.
That said, I see no objective reason to disbelieve him. I find it quite believable that a combat veteran in the U.S. armed forces who has been engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, having seen what the enemy is like up close and personal, would be eager to polish off the Wahabbis.
I have had experience with black Moslems similar to lotp's. We're talking about a sample set that is probably a few hundred thousand people or more, and I'm sure that in any group of people that large you could find the commenter, Osama sympathizers, and everything in between. It's foolish to assume that in any large sample of people grouped by ethnicity and religion, every single one of them will have identical personalities. (Ever hung out with Irish Catholics? You should meet my extended family sometime!)
If this guy's a for-real, he's an ally, and I'm glad to have him on our side and thank him for his service and welcome others like him to join us. If he's not for real, well, not to put too fine a point on it, he should be, and I want to do everything I can to encourage people like that to come forward.
David Warren is wrong about the Danish cartoon riots. There were no riots for several months after the the cartoons came out, even though the cartoons appeared in several Arabic newspapers.
Then, on cue, riots broke out everywhere. Both Egyptian Sandmonkey and LGF document how this was pre-arranged by the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran.
Posted by: Frozen Al ||
12/10/2007 17:24 Comments ||
I'm with WG4611 on this one. Buy the book. I did and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was insightful, informative, and entertaining. I laughed out loud while reading it at least half a dozen times, it not more. That is the beauty of Steyn. No matter how unpleasant, how politically incorrect, how unsettling, he'll tell you just how it is-- straight, no chaser-- and he'll make sure you have fun while he's doing it.
Steyn is right. Demographics is destiny. Culture matters, too, but at the end of the day, politics in a democratic government is a numbers game. They (and by "They" I mean the Islamists and by "Islamists" I mean those who want to institute Islam or sharia law as a political institution) understand this very well. That is precisely why they do what they do when they take western rules, laws, and values and try to turn them against us.
Silly liberals like this Henley character can't see the forest through the trees. They are so desperate to bask in a utopian version of things ("Can't we all just get along?") and only manage to get there on a politically correct, relativistic, pile of stinkin' you-know-what that stands for absolutely nothing and against everything western civilisation was built on.
Those of us in the West, or rather those who do not want to be ruled by Islamic law, don't seem to understand this so well. It is at our own peril. And this is the point of his book. It has nothing to do with race and creed. But it has everything to do with ideology and desire. They simply want what they want more than us right now. And they have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to get it.
You're correct - NEITHER YOU - or I - KNOW IF the self-proclaimed "afro-american convert to islam" is the peaceful, sweet & light muslim he claims to be. Precisely my point. Read the comment you posted in context of ALL the other postings. IF he is the muslim he claimns to be, and believes what he wrote, then he's welcome to MY side in this war. Here's the problem you and the black muslim convert have to deal with: IF the black convert (big if) you quoted from Hensley's website from this past weekend strictly adheres to the SCRIPTURE of islam (the koran), then he can NEVER be on "my side" AND remain an AUTHENTIC muslim. Think I make this sh*t up as I go along? Then YOU have not read the Koran and IF you have you don't understand what you read. In which case there is no poiont in further argument.
I can't asnwer your post/point where lotp has had experience with black muslims. She SAYS her experience has been with black muslims that emigrated to the USA. Maybe. Don't know. Don't care! Would not trust a black muslim who emigrated to the USA as far as I can spit. Does that make me a racist...make me a badaaaaaad person? Spit. Bullsh*t. There is an effort already underway in the USA to implant sharia law in the USA. Think I'm wrong? If so, then you're new to RB, right? What about the f*ckin' muzzie cabbies that won't carry seeing eye dogs and booze in Minneapolis and Atlanta? Oh..they're okay, right, cause they're just BLACK muzzies who have not had a chance to assimilate in our culture. You stupid f*ckin' people p*ss me off...
My point WAS about black American folk converting to islam who consider themslves muslims first and Americans second. Once converted THEY say THEY are muslims FIRST and no longer American. NOT me saying this: It's black muslims. These black muslims will tell you with a straight face Islam is a religion of EMANCIPATION. God as my witness: black muslims think (and will tell you) the slave trade from Africa was at the behest of the white man from Europe. The black muslims (in the USA) are NOT taught that ARAB MUSLIMS were running the slave trade out of Africa for almost 800 years BEFORE the first white colonist from Europe arrived on the continent. STOP the lies of muslims you stupid Europeans. STOP lying you muzzie bastards in africa and the KSA. The white man taught the muslim to be civil....the muslim taught the white man how to make a living keeping slaves....WAKE UP people.
Posted by: Mark Z ||
12/10/2007 19:54 Comments ||
"Islam in Europe" is a new-to-me blog linked at LGF. Well worth a visit. Excerpt:
Champions League: Milan's jersey offends Turks
A Turkish lawyer, who's also a Fenerbahce supporter, claims that UEFA should invalidate Inter's win over the Turkish team in the Champions League. The reason? The red cross on Inter's shirts is reminiscent of the Knights Templar.
Italian Gazzetta Dello Sport writes today about the Turkish lawyer, Baris Kaska. He thinks Inter's jersey offends Muslims. He says that when he saw the match in San Siro he got very depressed. The cross reminded him of bloody times of the past. Kaska is trying to convince UEFA to invalidate the win and thinks that the organization is too easy-going.
A Turkish journalist also expressed his dissatisfaction in the article, saying he can't understand how UEFA can allow it. "Cross" Inter's three goals must be declared invalid.
Posted by: Seafarious ||
12/10/2007 11:38 ||
Top|| File under: Global Jihad
Mark Steyn predicted that Europe would be overtaken by islam as early as 2040-2050. He was being conservative. More like 2010-2015 as near I can tell.
My daughter spent just over two months in Europe with her godfather/uncle this past summer (2007). He gave her a truncated grand tour of Europe. My brother in-law (her uncle/godfather) is an engineer for GM working in Germany for the past three years. By my daughter's own admission there were "no-go" parts of Germany, Italy, France, and Spain that she and her uncle could not see. Why? The areas are too high in crime according to her uncle. What did the sections of town have in common that were too high in crime such that you could not go there to sight see? Muslims. Muslims. Muslims.
My daughter is quick on the up-take. Uncle tells me she wanted to know why the muzzies are so violently criminal. He tells her that the EU gov't says it's because they're unemployed. Daughter wants to know why they came to Europe in the first place. Uncle says the EU gov't brought them to Europe to work. Daughter wants to know why the muzzies came here to work if there is no work. Why do muzzies get welfare if they came here to work. Does not make sense to my daughter to bring people to the EU from the lands of islam to work if they do not have work.
My daughter's questions make sense. Can anybody explain?
Posted by: Mark Z ||
12/10/2007 12:24 Comments ||
Ignorance on the non-Muslim population. Socialism is what makes things work for the non-Muslim. The entitlements that they get for being "poor" is considered a Dhimmi-Tax. In other words, non-Muslims are infidels, a lower class to the Muslim. The entitlements mean that taxes paid by the non-Muslim is given to the Muslim as the Koran dictates. A Muslim simply has to decline any work and file for support. When they become a majority in Europe, the non-Muslims will pay a tax or be put to death.
Regarding the Turkish lawyer feeling offended, do the Germans, Italians or Japanese feel offended when US teams show up wearing the American flag? Their countries were defeated by the US for trying to conquer the world. The point is, Islam has yet to be conquered entirely. The Crusades was just one successful battle against Islam.
Mark Z, many of the Mulsims came when they had work. Those Muslims worked and had children. Lots of children. Europe stopped bringing folks in to work and started allowing them in as refugees after that.
Europe is racked with guilt over its past and may be its own worst enemy.
So per the EU, the parents get into the EU...get jobs...while mom and dad work the kids can/t get jobs so they qualify for welfare. the welfare isn't enough to make ends meet even though mom and dad work ....so the muzzies create no go areas to keep out tourists....guess that all makes sense in a dualistic muslim sort of way.
This opinion piece address several facets of the mortgage crisis. The hint that Henry Paulson knew of fraud in the securitizing of mortgages while at Goldman is especially striking, given that Goldman Sachs, Paulson's old firm, came out of August's credit crunch with the largest profit by far of any investment bank.
Goldman Sachs is the only major investment bank in the United States that has emerged as yet unscathed from this debacle. The success of its strategy must have resulted from fairly substantial bets against housing, mortgage banking and related industries, which also means that Goldman Sachs saw this coming at the same time they were bundling and selling these loans.
If a mortgage bond investor sues Goldman Sachs to force the institution to buy back loans, could Paulson be forced to testify as to whether Goldman Sachs knew or had reason to know about fraud in the origination process of the loans it was bundling? Dunno...
Anyway, the way this may well play out is that the coming problems from mortgages is so massive 2008 will be a massive turning out of politicians at every level,as voters come to grips with the behavior of our bankers.
Goldman Sachs was just playing both ends of the market to lower their risks. All the big houses do it, so it's not something that will ever find its way inside a courtroom, is my guess ...
I agree. This was a fraud on a massive scale. I said so years ago. Lenders were making loans that they knew people could not repay. They were making their money on the loan origination fees and servicing of the loans. Then they would package up these crap-o-la loans and sell them on the open market through a variety of gimmicks. This is organized crime.
The people who should be punished for this are both the borrowers who took on debts that they should have known they could not pay and the banks who created a machine to sell junk loans.
But for the rest of us who don't deserve this, the adults should make the lenders who created this mess to eat into their own bottom lines to create the credit necessary to keep the entire housing market from going south. Think of it as restitution for their theft. Their balance sheets should get hammered as they dig into their own pockets to make sure that qualified borrowers can stay in their homes. Not for their sake, but for ours.
And you know what should make us really mad is that there are EASY solutions to this problem.
All that the government needs to do is force the mortgage companies to provide alternate loan structures to those provided sub-prime loans. No, I'm not suggesting they get a free deal - but a fair one. Monthly payments can be kept manageable while loan lengths can be extended from 30 - 50 years. Or interest only payments can be made for a period of 7-10 years and then the rate will increase steadily increase beyond that point. What that does is spread out the ability of borrowers to get out from underneath their homes over an extended period and for the foreclosures to occur over an extended period. And the investors are better off because forclosures mean losses to them, not profits.
Banks and investors don't win if the home market collapses. You and I don't win if the home market collapses. It would be an easy task to put borrowers, who were stupid enough to be sucked into these killer teaser loans, into a real loan that keeps them in their homes but does not allow them to get out of their obligations by structuring their payment and principle increases over a longer term.
Hey, if you've got the cash and you are young... now just may be the time to buy no money down. Make sure you know what you are doing. If you think you don't know...you don't and then don't buy. But if you DO know then ..hey... now's the time.
There will be some good deals coming dwon the pike. Let them get stale... don't rush. The market says...buy low. There will be some lows if you have patience and some extra cash. Make sure you KNOW that it is low and then more power to ya. good luck, good hunting.
Still wrestle with pointing out the "bad guys" in this debacle.
What does the concept of the "market going south" mean? I look at the 4 br, 2.5 bath house I sold in CA in 90 for $260,000 and see that it Zillow.com valuation is $1.1 million.
We needed 2 professional incomes to support this middle class home to raise our young kids.
Just how many million $ homes can be afforded by young families raising kids? I don't care how many pay raises we have gotten, the pricing of real estate, and the allure of viewing ones home as an investment rather than a place to raise a family is what has lead us to this place. Certainly local and regional government taxation entities never acted to curb the "spike" in area housing prices... they just looked at how to spend the ever expanding tax revenue base.
When viable mortgages are no longer available to the masses, what will become of the McMansions.
I don't think the mortgage providers are close to being wholly to blame, nor do I think the Fed gov. is in a position to carrot or stick its way out of this sticky wicket.
Let me put it to you guys this way. The opinion from clients in the industry is overwhelming that Paulson had to have known what was going on. Sachs doesn't hold mortgages at the rates some Burgers might be thinking. With their profits noted Paulson had to have known.
If you boys think this is is news wait until the fannie mae bad loan holdings come to light. The savings and loan scandle will look like small potatoes.
By the way Zillow doesn't have flex live updates and the numbers are sometimes static and based on spread stats. Only a currently involved appraiser can read their output with any kind of accuracy. Trust me on this one.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.