Monday, October 05, 2015

This insane fear we have of offending Muslims is getting people killed—and raped

After reading more about the incident, I’m nearly certain that this kid knew exactly what he was doing
says Benny Huang of the Texas teenager who planned to bring a suspicious device to school as part of a deliberate self-victimization hoax.
What [Ahmed Mohamed] was doing, very likely with the help of CAIR, is called desensitization. It’s the processes of conditioning people to ignore what they know to be dangerous. Most people, when they encounter a briefcase with protruding wires will trust their instincts and report it to authorities. As the old saying goes, “If you see something, say something.” But if ordinary people can be made to keep mum out of fear that they will be called names—racist, Islamophobe, etc.—then terrorists can operate without nosy people flubbing up the operation.

Frontpage Magazine aptly coined a new adage for this era of tolerance and diversity: “If you see something, say something—unless the suspicious person is Muslim.” Yeah. Then shut up or you’re racist.

The classic desensitization operation is the “flying imams” incident of November 2006, in which a group of six Muslim clerics (imams) seemed to go out of their way to alarm passengers on a flight to Phoenix. Three of the imams also triggered “red flags” by buying only one-way tickets and not checking baggage. Several passengers quietly complained to flight attendants that they found the imams’ behavior suspicious.
The righteously indignant imams struck back with lawsuits against the airport, the airline and an anonymous passenger who passed a note to a flight attendant. The imams were represented by CAIR, of course. Eventually the suit against the passenger was dropped but the one against airline went to court. The case was eventually settled for an undisclosed amount through court-supervised mediation, which CAIR touted as a civil rights victory. The judge wrote that the imams had done nothing illegal and discarded as irrelevant the fact that reasonable people, lacking the benefit of hindsight, did what they thought prudent to keep people safe. Airlines were put on notice—if you see Muslims doing something that looks suspicious, you’d better be right.

Many observers, myself included, believed that the whole incident was a pre-meditated attempt to provoke exactly the reaction that they got—just like Ahmed Mohamed’s stunt. If you think that sounds crazy, consider for a moment that one of the imams worked for a Hamas front group before it was shuttered by the Treasury Department.

What CAIR will never admit is that people in western societies are socialized to treat Muslims with kiddy gloves. In their world, Muslims are given extra scrutiny. In reality, they are given less. In their world, the innocent actions of Muslims are interpreted as threatening by demented, Islamophobic minds. In reality, people pretend not to find their actions threatening even when they clearly are.
Can anyone dispute that the 2009 Fort Hood shooting could have been prevented if anyone had had the cajones to report Major Nidal Hassan before he started killing people? It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that the Palestinian-American psychiatrist was hot for jihad. Major Hasan went off topic at a military psychiatry conference to deliver a lecture that many in the audience perceived as pro-radical Islam and anti-American, in which he approvingly quoted radical clerics and even Osama bin Laden. A classmate of his says that Hasan later mentioned his support for suicide bombers.

As someone who has served in the Army, I can tell you that career officers are some of the most risk-averse people you will ever meet because the worst fate they can imagine is having an Equal Opportunity (EO) complaint filed against them. There’s nothing worse than being accused of an “-ism” or a “-phobia.”

 … Our reluctance to identify Muslim malfeasance goes beyond terrorism. Try to imagine a society so paralyzed by fear of being labeled Islamophobic that people will look the other way while school-aged girls are raped. That nation really exists. It’s called England.

Between 1997 and 2013, a group of mostly Pakistani men in and around Rotherham, England were luring white English girls as young as eleven into what can only be called sex slavery. A conservative estimate of the victims is 1,400. The pervs managed to keep their little operation secret until 2001 when a Home Office worker named Jayne Senior began interviewing victims and compiling a report which she eventually turned over to authorities…who did nothing for fear of being perceived as racist. Ms. Senior was pressured to remain silent and even ordered to attend an “ethnicity and diversity course.”
 … This insane fear we have of offending Muslims is getting people killed—and raped. I don’t care for a moment if some kid in Texas feels bad because a teacher mistook his bomb-like object for a bomb. He was likely baiting the teacher, and even if he wasn’t, the teacher did nothing wrong. The madness has to stop.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

RIP Adrian Frutiger, the Font Designer I Had a Spat With 20 Years Ago

For more than 50 years, Adrian Frutiger made the world legible
writes Margalit Fox in her New York Times obituary. Twenty years ago, I had a verbal run-in with the Swiss type designer, through the pages of the International Herald Tribune, in which I appealed to the bible of the advertising industry.
    Anyone who has had to strain his eyes to make out a street sign or a highway direction at night, read arduously through a monument inscription, or decipher a direction from the far side of
a Paris Métro platform would tell typographer Adrian Frutiger that the idea is not to "recognize letters one by one" (back page, Sept. 18 [1995]), but words!

    Thus, a text, whatever it is (even a headline or a brief pair of terms), should never be in capitals.  As David Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mather writes in "Ogilvy on Advertising" — the definitive book on the ad world — "The eye is a creature of habit.  People are accustomed to reading books, magazines and newspapers in lower case."  It has been established that "Capital letters are extremely difficult to read" and "retard reading.  They have no ascenders or descenders to help you recognize words, and tend to be read letter by letter."
It was printed, shortened, in the International Herald Tribune (issue # 35,023) on October 5, 1995, as "Signs of the Times."

Back to the Margalit Fox's obituary:
A type designer who died on Sept. 10 at 87 in his native Switzerland, Mr. Frutiger created some of the most widely used fonts of the 20th century, seen daily in airports, on street signs and in subway stations around the world.

Mr. Frutiger, whose career spanned the era of hot lead and the age of silicon, created some 40 fonts, a vast number for one lifetime. Praised for an elegant readability that belied their rigorous engineering, his typefaces over the years have graced signs in the Paris Métro and many international airports, and on Swiss highways and some London streets.

His best-known fonts include Univers, employed throughout the design of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, and Frutiger, ubiquitous on airport signage, including that of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

“Frutiger is basically the best signage type in the world because there’s not too much ‘noise’ in it, so it doesn’t call attention to itself,” Erik Spiekermann, a prominent German type designer and friend of Mr. Frutiger, said by telephone on Wednesday. “It makes itself invisible, but physically it’s actually incredibly legible.”

 … in the early 1960s he founded his own studio in Paris.

Commissioned to create signage for airports and subway systems, Mr. Frutiger soon realized that fonts that looked good in books did not work well on signs: The characters lacked enough air to be readable at a distance. The result, over time, was Frutiger, a sans serif font designed to be legible at many paces, and from many angles.

One of Frutiger’s hallmarks is the square dot over the lowercase “i.” The dot’s crisp, angled corners keep it from resolving into a nebulous flyspeck that appears to merge with its stem, making “i” look little different from “l” or “I.” (For designers of sans serif fonts, the gold standard is to make a far-off “Illinois” instantly readable.)

  … His other fonts include Avenir, Centennial, Egyptienne, Herculanum, Iridium, Serifa, Vectora and Versailles.

As conspicuous as Mr. Frutiger’s work became, it was for its inconspicuousness, he said, that he hoped it would be known.

“The whole point with type is for you not to be aware it is there,” he said in an interview on the Linotype company’s website. “If you remember the shape of a spoon with which you just ate some soup, then the spoon had a poor shape.” He added:

“Spoons and letters are tools. The first we need to ingest bodily nourishment from a bowl, the latter we need to ingest mental nourishment from a piece of paper.”


Saturday, October 03, 2015

Oliver Stone: “Who owns reality? Who owns our history? He who makes it up so that most everyone believes it; That person wins”

Am I the only one in America who’s tired of Hollywood enshrining lies in our collective history through the use of propagandistic movies?
asks Benny Huang a few weeks before the release of Robert Redford’s latest film, “Truth”.
Too many of us learn about history through cinema, a pitfall we should all try to avoid. We shouldn’t confuse movies for depictions of actual historical events. Besides the fact that they’re meant to entertain, most of them are also made by loony leftists.

In that regard, “Truth” reminds me of another cinematic abortion released five years ago called “Fair Game,” which supposedly told the story of Joe Wilson and his CIA officer wife Valerie Plame. Its depiction of events was so far removed from reality that it can only be called fiction.

When the Washington Post asked Joe Wilson about the film’s veracity, he said something very telling its defense—“For people who have short memories or don’t read, this is the only way they will remember the period.” How’s that for honesty? I think what he’s saying is that even though “Fair Game” may not align with the historical record, in time it will become the historical record. People who just didn’t pay much attention to the story, or were born after the fact, will conjure up images of “Fair Game” when they think of Plamegate.

And they will think that they saw events as they really happened. What a terrible disservice.

 … No film has used subterfuge to influence public opinion about an historical event quite like Oliver Stone’s 1991 blockbuster “JFK.” It supposedly tells the true story of District Attorney Jim Garrison of New Orleans, the only man ever to charge anyone for President Kennedy’s murder. As it turns out, the man he put on trial, businessman Clay Shaw, also happened to be innocent. The case Garrison’s office assembled against him was a textbook example of reckless prosecution. After a lengthy trial, the jury deliberated for just 54 minutes before returning a verdict of not guilty.

But that’s not how Stone tells the story. In Stone’s film, Garrison is the hero. His investigation meets stiff resistance from the federal government, presumably because Kennedy’s killers are still very much in power. The assassination is a conspiracy of epic proportions, involving top military brass, defense contractors, the CIA, FBI, Dallas Police, Vice President LBJ, anti-Castro Cubans, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and even the President’s own Secret Service. Lee Oswald not only didn’t act alone, he didn’t act at all. Just a patsy. Oswald was conveniently “sheep-dipped” to look like an unstable Marxist then placed in proximity to the murder so the real killers could make a clean get-away.

The Chicago Tribune editorialized, “The danger is that Stone’s film and the pseudo-history it so effectively portrays will become the popularly accepted version.” Very true, and there’s no doubt that Stone intended to make his film an historical reference that would guide public memory of the assassination. Released with the film was a companion book sent to thirteen thousand teachers across the country. To think that any teacher would present the film to her class as truth! But I’m sure some did and do.

Stone offered an insight into his thinking in an introduction he wrote for a book by Fletcher Prouty, the archetypal crackpot and basis for the mysterious Mr. X character portrayed in “JFK.” Wrote Stone: “Who owns reality? Who owns our history? He who makes it up so that most everyone believes it. That person wins.”

Friday, October 02, 2015

Jyllands Posten Interviews Mark Steyn

In the wake of his passage in Copenhagen to make a speech marking the 10th anniversary of the Mohammed cartoons, Mark Steyn writes that  
Jyllands-Posten, the original publishers of the Mohammed cartoons ten years ago, has a big interview with me in today's paper. Niels Lillelund is somewhat of a cryptic interrogator: Usually when you shoot the breeze with someone from a newspaper or magazine, you can sort of tell how on board they are with your general line. But the poker-faced Mr Lillelund plays his cards close to his chest. So, for our Danish readers, enjoy!
»Vi magter ikke at forsvare os, for vi har glemt hvorfor ...«
Europas fremtid: »Hvis man er moralsk ansvarlig, så gør man verden til et bedre sted. Man flytter ikke bare problemer fra de kollapsede lande og hertil. Det er ikke en løsning,« siger forfatter og kommentator Mark Steyn. Han ser mørkt på Europas situation og betragter sig selv om en gammeldags, mere ærlig kolonialist.
Which I think translates to something like:
'We aren't defending ourselves, because we've forgotten why...'
The future of Europe: 'If one is truly "morally responsible" [for the "Syrian" "refugees"], you have to make the world better, not just move the problems from the collapsed countries to your own. That's not a solution, "said author and commentator Mark Steyn. He looks darkly on Europe's situation and see himself as an old-fashioned, more honest colonialist.
As often with print interviews, I don't recall saying it quite that way originally - I always describe myself as an imperialist rather than a "colonialist". But Mr Lillelund asks interesting questions, and I try to provide interesting answers.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

What if the Refugees Were Blonde and Blue-Eyed Swedes?

Shall we try to figure out what the refugee story is all about?

Specifically, if it has anything to do with Europeans', or Westerners' racism?

In that perspective, let us imagine that the refugees are not Syrians but Swedes — blonde, blue-eyed souls with fellow European and Christian roots.

Wouldn't that prove that the animosity towards the mainly Arab and/or Muslim refugees is all about racism?

Be honest, dude: Wouldn't I be eager to help if the refugees turned out to be of fellow Scandinavian stock?

The answer is as follows:




What if the world were shocked by the photo of a drowned Swedish child on a beach in the Mediterranean?

How would I react then?  Wouldn't I feel empathy for the Swedish child? And for his family?

Here is my first reaction. My reaction would be anger, followed by the question, "Why didn't he simply cross the border?" Why didn't the family first come to Denmark, a neighboring country, aren't we neighbors of theirs good enough for them (for those sonzabitches)?! What's that dead kid doing down in the Mediterranean?

Well, here is where it gets interesting: it turns out that in this imaginary scenario, the governments of Denmark, Norway, and Finland have barred their countries entry for the Swedish refugees.

Reverting to reality, the Syrian refugees have been denied entrance to their brother countries (and the Devil take the Umma). Indeed, the five wealthiest Gulf Nations have so far refused to take a single Syrian refugee. Why? Because Gulf nations argue that accepting large numbers of Syrian refugees is a serious threat to the safety of [their] citizens because terrorists could hide themselves among civilians (shookhran to Glenn Reynolds).

Let us ask the obsessed racebaiters this: is it racist to listen to Arab people?

Or perhaps it is racist to listen to Arabs when smarter-than-thou, more-compassionate-than-thou, more-humanistic-than-thou Western leftists have more soothing (or self-serving) things to tell you?

The second issue is linked to the first.

If the refugee problem is due to an earthquake or to a tsunami that has hit some part of the Swedish seaside, then the best solution, the ideal solution is to bring food, and medicine, and other aid to the region in question — exactly like what happened in the real-life case of an Asian tsunami 11 years ago — or, barring that, take in refugees across the border (not a half continent or more away).

In that case, I know the refugees (including the pretty Swedish lasses) will not particularly want to stay and that (not that I have anything in particular against them — especially the pretty Swedish lasses) they will want eventually, at one point or another, to go home.

But what if the refugee problem is due to tyranny and to war — civil war?

Imagine that under Daniel Westling's soft demeanor, the man has turned out to be a tyrant (petty or otherwise), one who has overthrown the Swedish king and the king's daughter, his (Prince Daniel's) own wife. King Carl 16. Gustav and Crown Princess Victoria have been unceremoniously thrown into a dark dungeon with the rest of their family and self-proclaimed King Daniel has sicced disloyal elements of the Swedish army on the people. Arrests and murders galore ensue.

In that case, taking in refugees may certainly be one solution, but wouldn't the best response, the ideal response, be something else? Wouldn't it be the overthrow of the tyrant Daniel?

The best thing here would be the Swedes overthrowing King Daniel themselves, isn't that correct? But next to that, wouldn't the ideal solution be foreign military aid and intervention to bring that about, with or without foreign troops?

(But even here, another question arises: are our hypothetical Swedish refugees simple victims, or are they — in line with what the gulf states are claiming about the real-life Syrian refugees — maybe extremists aching for a monarchy under Prince Carl Philip (Victoria's little brother) or hard-line Lutherans wanting a Protestant "Caliphate"?)
But there is a historical example here — one that keeps getting memes on the internet and articles in the press as methods to shame people into being fully accepting of the refugees.

The tale of not of Swedish, but of Danish refugees during World War II — when a great number of them came from German-occupied Denmark, streaming into neutral Sweden. (The memes also — as in FaceBook post above — tell of 1.5 million Swedes who emigrated to the United States in the 19th century.)

But the Danish refugees — who did not number in the tens of thousands, or in the millions, far from it — were settled in camps. Not concentration camps, like the Germans' death camps, of course, but refugee camps, which, you may be surprised to know, is something entirely common and entirely acceptable.

You cannot have hundreds, or thousands, of citizens simply loosened into a community. And particularly when there are fighters among them. Today, we know that the Second World War's resistance fighters were good guys, but how sure could one be of that during the war? Plus, aren't there always bad apples in a barrel? In any case, even if they are good guys, a host nation will want to have armed men and women under some sort of control.

More to the point, and even when the warrior element is discounted, they will even want to have unarmed men and women under control. You can't simply have new bakers and shoemakers and so on suddenly integrate themselves into a community, with pre-existing bakers and shoemakers and so on. So refugee camps are quite a normal response to any refugee situation.

Moreover, the solution to the Danish refugee problem was not to bring relief to the Danes in Denmark; it was not to allow Danish refugees to settle in Sweden. The solution was to get rid of the occupying force — so that the refugees could go back; the solution was to overthrow the Nazi government of Adolf Hitler.

If the Danes could not do that, the solution would have to carried out by external forces, forces led by men like Roosevelt, and by men like Churchill.

But see, many of you are not going to like where this conversation is going…

Indeed. Here we are getting to the man who has been the most hated man, the most despised man, most ridiculed man in recent memory.

Needless to say, you know who I am speaking of.

No, t'is not Vladimir Putin. T'is not an Iranian ayatollah. T'is not Assad. T'is not Fidel (or Raúl) Castro. T'is not Saddam Hussein.

Of course we are talking about George W Bush.

Remember the 2000s? Remember when we were pretending that "a rather unremarkable brush war" (Iraq) was the worst thing ever (thanks to Ed Driscroll). (And we still do.)

Remember 2008? Remember when we would finally — thank God! — get rid of the stupid cowboy?

We were all so glad to get rid of Dubya in favor of a man of peace, a man who promised to end wars, a man who earned the Nobel Peace Prize just for winning the election.

Finally, a visionary of unlimited intelligence who noticed that all the foreign policies of previous presidents was so much saber-rattling.

Finally, a man who realized that by simply talking to foreign autocrats, one could bring peace for our time.

Congratulations, people!

Congratulations, Europeans!

You got the U.S. president you were pining for!

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate "ended" the war in Iraq in 2011, and Iraq hasn't had (or has hardly) suffered any violence since then.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate (and Hillary Clinton) hit the reset button with Russia in 2009, and Vladimir Putin hasn't bothered anyone (or has hardly) since then.

During the Bush years, every bad thing that occurred, domestically or internationally, I was told repeatedly (with a grim face, dark eyes, gnashing teeth, and sputtering rage), was "on Bush's watch".

Now that one Barack Obama is in the White House, there is never any sputtering rage accompanied with the "it's on Obama's watch" line. 

Nobody has noticed!

Millions of refugees heading to Europe are on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.

Russian and Iranian troops flowing into Syria (and, more generally, into the Middle East) is happening on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.

Vladimir Putin's invasion of Crimea happened on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.

Russian planes, ships, and subs buzzing the borders of NATO member countries are happening on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.

Iran unleashed, with a $150 billion bonus, is on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.

(Is it any wonder that the Washington Posts' Fred Hiatt says that This may be the most surprising of President Obama’s foreign-policy legacies: not just that he presided over a humanitarian and cultural disaster of epochal proportions, but that he soothed the American people into feeling no responsibility for the tragedy.)

Congratulations, people!

Congratulations, Europeans!

The post-war era of peace that you praised so much, 70 years old now (coupled with obligatory rabid anti-Americanism throughout), is likely coming to an end — a very bloody end.

Thanks to the pacifist visionary you have been pining for.

(Update: Thanks for the instalink, Sarah Hoyt)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The MSM is "an industry that gives itself awards back and forth for courage and bravery—far more than soldiers and firemen do!": Mark Steyn's Speech in Copenhagen (Video)

Among the orations at Copenhagen's 10th anniversary commemoration of the Mohammed cartoons was the 50-minute speech of Mark Steyn (YouTube video).

A couple of quick excerpts:
• on the "courage" of the media: 19:35
• on meeting President Bush in the Oval Office: 14:41
(Dubya's memorable line gets just as much applause when repeated at 33:31)

Mark Steyn remembers Saturday September 26:
we were a merry band, all things considered, at Christiansborg Castle. I thank my friend Katrine Winkel Holm, of the Danish Free Press Society, and her delightful sister, Marie Krarup, defense spokeslady for the Danish People's Party, for arranging to host us behind the fortress-like walls of Parliament - so nobody could bust in and shoot us, as they did at a similar free-speech event in February. I was heartened to meet fellow free-speechers who had traveled from Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Britain and even Canada. My fellow panelists included Henryk Broder, author of The Last Days of Europe; Vebjørn Selbekk, whom the quislings of Norway's government treated disgracefully for publishing the cartoons; and Douglas Murray, who's already written up the event in The Spectator:
My main message for the audience was to keep in mind that freedom has never been particularly popular. Most people prefer their security and comforts to freedom and although history shows that although everyone benefits from being free, it has always been a small minority who actually pursue and protect the cause. I suppose one has to wrestle whatever comfort one can from that. It was a terrible thing to see the security now needed in Denmark, as elsewhere, for people who are simply asserting their right to write and draw what they want, even – shock horror – things that might be mildly critical of the founder of one religion. That a journalist or historian should need bodyguards in 21st century in an indictment on our continent. But still, surveying the room on Saturday I think we've got enough people. A few Danes, a few Swedes and Norwegians. A few Americans and a couple of Brits might be all that is needed. Perhaps by the 15th anniversary things will be better.
Perhaps. On Europe's present course, though, the security we'll need in 2020 doesn't bear thinking about. But I'll be there.

~A transcript of Vebjørn Selbekk's powerful speech can be found here:
We had interviewed leading Norwegian cartoonists. One of them was Finn Graaf. He is maybe the hardest hitting cartoonist in the history of the Norwegian press. One of his specialities is drawing Israeli prime ministers as Holocaust camp guards. He has done that with almost every Israeli prime minister since Menachem Begin in the late Seventies.
But Mister Graff told us that he would never draw the prophet Mohammad. Not because he had more respect towards the Muslim faith than other religions or ideologies. No, he bluntly put it this way in the interview:
'I have to draw the line somewhere. I do not want to get my throat cut. Therefore I will refrain from drawing Muhammad.'
One-way "hard-hitting" isn't really hard-hitting at all, is it? As I said ten years ago, it's the easiest thing in the world to be tediously provocative with those who refuse to be provoked.
The other speeches can be found at Free Press TV (tak til )

Related: Wild Seadogs of the Øresund
(tack sä mycket till Instapundit).
More on Mark Steyn from the files of No Pasarán

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mark Steyn in Copenhagen: "Fight the hate speech fairies, and fight their islamic Enforcers!"

The Free Speech Society's Asger Bonnevie has a (Danish-language) report on The Danish Muhammed Crisis in Retrospect, the 10th anniversary commemoration in Christiansborg castle of Flemming Rose's publication of the Mohammed cartoons.

Translated from Danish:
Make use of the freedom of expression and insist on living as free people. That was the rallying cry as the Free Speech Society gathered around four free speech activists on the occasion of the Muhammad drawings' 10th anniversary.

On the list of speakers were Henryk Broder, Vebjørn Selbekk, Douglas Murray, and Mark Steyn.

The hall had been booked by Marie Krarup [MP of the Danish People's Party], and the speeches were all conducted in English. The sun was high in the sky, and the Landstings Hall was full. 
”Record the state of affairs, so we can remember them”
Henryk Broder, the German journalist and author Hurra, wir kapitulieren! [Hooray, We're Surrendering!] was first to speak. Broder is pessimistic about progress in Europe since the cartoon crisis. 

In the EU system, he sees parallels to the Soviet Union's last days and urges that we witness to what happens in those years, so people in the future will have a record. In conclusion, he called for avoiding complacency in the face of anti-democratic forces.

”Is freedom defended by political arguments, or religious arguments?”
Vebjørn Selbekk is editor of the Norwegian newspaper Dagen [The Day]. In the name of free speech, he reprinted the 12 cartoons from Jyllands-Posten in 2006.

Selbekk had already noticed the trends, but he refused to give terrorists a veto over editorial content. Shortly there after, he was under police protection, living at a secret address.

The Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet, or AP) stabbed him in the back, and he was made a scapegoat. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere spoke of "extremists on both sides," as if the opposing parties were on an equal footing. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg went a step further, suggesting there was even a "joint responsibility" for the embassy attacks.

What drives Selbekk is indignation that people should be afraid to express their opinions. Extremists hate our values ​​and our freedoms, and all will have to deal with this threat.

This is done by not putting restraints on one's utterances — using as much free speech as you like. If people do not do that, assessed Vebjørn Selbekk, then the extremists win. Lately Selbekk has received an award for his efforts. On August 31, 2015, he received the Fritt Ord Honors Prize for his principled defense of free speech.

”When the history of this era will be written, the name of Denmark will be talked about with enormous pride!”
The next speaker was Douglas Murray. He is an English author, journalist, and commentator. He led the think tank Centre for Social Cohesion from 2007-2011 and is now director of the Henry Jackson Society.

His opening remarks with a topical example. The police had approached a London gallery and removed one of the works. The work represented a potential risk, according to the police, and there was uncertainty whether the bill for extra police manpower would possibly be forwarded to the artist or to the gallery owner. Murray was furious at this and refuses to place trust in a police force that acts as art critics.

Murray believes that the ruling class has internalized the fatwa against the Muhammad cartoons. This must be the lesson of the past decade. A majority of the press and a majority of artists, in his opinion, are cowards.

He accused European politicians to only deal with secondary issues, i.e., with the symptoms of the real problem: whether Islam is a religion of peace or not.

Freedom of speech is not only a right, thinks Murray, it is a necessity. We need to hear dissident voices and opposing views, because only if we can hear them, can we take well-informed decisions and avoid mistakes.

Douglas Murray finished by paying tribute to Denmark's example.

“'If it is not the crusades, it is the cartoons'”
The final speaker was the Canadian-American writer and commentator Mark Steyn.

Steyn began with a variation on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Emperor's New Clothes. In Steyn's version, the "multi culti emperor" turned out not to be wearing clothes either. what differed from the original is that no one would listen to the boy, and nor was he thanked. We have perverted Hans Christian Andersen, said Steyn, and in the 22st century the boy is punished.

Back then, Mark Steyn paid a visit to the White House, where he asked George W. Bush about his assessment of the Muslim reaction to the Danish cartoons. The president slightly shook his head:
If it is not the crusades, it is the cartoons. They are always angry about something.
This anecdote was rewarded in the Landsting Hall with applause.

Steyn excoriated the international press for bending to the Islamists' wishes regarding the prohibition of images. Instead of a rational response to violence and threats, one that Steyn felt would lead to the reprinting of the cartoons on all the world's newspapers' front pages, we stand in a situation where CNN pixielates the Muhammad cartoons.

This is particularly shameful in view of the fact of how the media is otherwise loving to go around presenting one award for journalistic courage after another.

Steyn argued that the problem is Western society's lack of confidence. We no longer believe in ourselves and our fundamental values. We are willing to sacrifice them. The aim of terrorism is to hijack the debate and to terrorize us into refraining from certain subjects. And to great success.

Steyn's conclusion was a call to continue to live as free people. Use the freedom of expression and share the risk, so no matter how many people the terrorists kill, they can not succeed in their enterprise.
Fight the hate speech fairies, and their islamic Enforcers. We are free!

• More on Steyn's oration: Bush Remarks Lead to Applause During Steyn's Copenhagen Speech on the 10th Anniversary of the Danish Mohammed Cartoons

UPDATE: The MSM is "an industry that gives itself awards back and forth for courage and bravery—far more than soldiers and firemen do!": Mark Steyn's Speech in Copenhagen (Video)

• More on Mark Steyn from the files of No Pasarán

Saturday, September 26, 2015

"If it's not the crusades, it's the cartoons": Bush Remarks Lead to Applause During Steyn's Copenhagen Speech on the 10th Anniversary of the Danish Mohammed Cartoons

For the tenth anniversary of Flemming Rose's publication of the Danish Mohammed cartoons in Jyllands Posten, Mark Steyn made an appearance in Copenhagen along with fellow freespeechers Douglas Murray, Henryk Broder, and Vebjørn Selbekk. Invited at the behest of The Free Speech Society (Trykkefrihedsselskabet), they were listened to and applauded in a filled hall of the Danish Parliament.

Three or four highlights from the speech in Christiansborg's Landsting Hall:

• From all the attacks on free speech for the past decade or so, it has become apparent now that Muslims came with a deal to Western leaders:
Either we kill you.
Or you kill free speech.
• During a visit to the Bush White House, Steyn recalled during his talk, George W Bush told him that he didn't worry too much about the Islamic world's attitude towards the West. The Canadian author — and Bush's words — drew a long round of applause when Steyn quoted the 43rd president telling him why that was so:
If it's not the crusades, it's the cartoons.
(The Bush quote was repeated 10 minutes or so later, and got just as much applause the second time.)

• By contrast, what got the biggest boos was the story of Barack Obama's speech to
the United Nations in which the Apologizer-in-Chief said that "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

• In reference to the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Emperor's New Clothes, as well as to Steyn's recent article, The Emperor's Moral Narcissism, the Canadian pointed out that Denmark's most famous author had it wrong: in reality — at least in the 21st century — the little boy's remark that the emperor was naked would not cause gales of laughter along with sympathy for he who saw and for he who told the truth. Today, instead, the boy would be beaten to a pulp.
From Steyn Online:
1.30pm Saturday September 26th at the Landsting Hall at Christiansborg (the Danish Parliament)

Steyn marks the tenth anniversary of an important milestone in the struggle between a fainthearted west and a resurgent Islam: the publication of the Danish Mohammed cartoons. Mark will be appearing in Copenhagen along with Flemming Rose, the editor who commissioned the original Motoons, as well as fellow freespeechers Douglas Murray and Henryk Broder. Tickets are 100 krone - or, for members of the Free Press Society, 75 krone. One hundred krone sounds a lot, particularly if you say it like Doctor Evil, but it's about 15 bucks US or ten quid in sterling. You can email for tickets or more details about the event here. There's no need to write to them in Danish: the Danes speak better English than most English-speaking countries. If you're in the general area - Scandinavia, Europe, the Northern Hemisphere - we hope to see you there.

More on Mark Steyn from the files of No Pasarán

(Obrigado to Sarah Hoyt for the link)

Update — Mark Steyn in Copenhagen:
"Fight the hate speech fairies, and fight their islamic Enforcers!"

VIDEO UPDATE: The MSM is "an industry that gives itself awards back and forth for courage and bravery—far more than soldiers and firemen do!": Mark Steyn's Speech in Copenhagen (Video!)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Dropping the Gavel: Boehner to Resign

This just in
(from the Wall Street Journal):
The speaker of the House,
John Boehner, is to resign October 30.

A few past Boehner-related posts:

When American expatriates boast that Obama's election makes them proud to be Americans again (Mon Dieu ! You Like the New Speaker?!)

Launch the Torpedoes (what would Rahm Emanuel do if he had Congressman John Boehner's job as House Minority Leader?)

• Caesarism — Obama’s Executive Order is an open invitation to the teeming masses around the world (we are paying people to come here illegally)

Thanks for the Instalink

When Far Leftists, Even Would-Be Assassins, Utter Historical Falsehoods, the MSM's Anchors Fail to Challenge Them

An post on Progressives Today shows all that's wrong with progressives as well as all that's wrong with the mainstream media (thanks to Ed Driscoll).

The radical leftist who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford 40 years ago is interviewed by CNN's Alisyn Camerota. This allows Sara Jane Moore to opine that she has always been a “pretty good citizen” in addition to making the following remark:
“I don’t know about the rest of the country, but in San Francisco people were saying this all the time [speaking about killing Ford]. Number one, we elect our presidents, we don’t appoint them, and Gerald Ford was appointed, and he was appointed by a crook, if you will pardon the expression. So, uh, it wasn’t a unique feeling. It was partly that there were other people who had talked about it.” 
There you have it, according to commenter John:
If she isn’t the poster child for netherworld leftist drivel I don’t know who is.
While Jeff H adds:
The “Dem/lib/prog/commie/satanist [sorry for the redundancy]®” mindset, in one short statement.
True enough, and of course what is most egregious are the historical falsehoods throughout her statement.

Sara Jane Moore makes it sound like Gerald Ford was a crook because Richard Nixon was a crook (whether either was, or both were, will not be debated here today) and suggests that assassination was the only option available because otherwise both were immune to punishment.

But the facts — the incontrovertible facts and the uncontroversial facts — say otherwise. Ford was not appointed. SJM's suggestion is that Nixon illegally took over a democratic process, and among the candidates he — illegally, unconstitutionally — considered to succeed him in the White House (crooks, all of them, in all probability) he finally singled out one Gerald Ford.

Of course, that's nonsense. Gerald Ford was not appointed, by Nixon or by anyone else, he became president when Nixon resigned. As (duly elected) vice-president, moreover, he was the only person who could (in an entirely legal fashion) succeed the duly elected and the prematurely departed president. As for the suggestion that either or both of these crooks were immune to punishment, doesn't Ford's accession to the Oval Office lie on the fact that Nixon was forced to give up his presidency and leave the White House?

So, yes, we elect our presidents, we don't appoint them, but Gerald Ford was not appointed, the duly elected vice-president duly succeeded the duly elected president when the latter was forced to resign.

What is most jarring, perhaps, is how none of these simple historical corrections are ever brought up, however briefly, by the MSM anchor.

By contrast, in the wake of the Center for Medical Progress's exposition of the shenanigans of Planned Parenthood, the organization's spokesmen as well as the Republicans backing their cause have been berated by the mainstream media journalists (or should that be "journalists", with quotation marks?), most recently George Stephanopoulos. Might not Alisyn Camerotahave, indeed, have been the MSM anchor who repeatedly interrupted David Daleiden?

Do you remember all the outrage the MSM types voiced after Rudy Giuliani suggested barack Obama did not love his country?

In any case, this helps explain why the mainstream media is always standing accused of using double standards.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Self-victimization hoaxes are all too common because society never fails to reward them: Ahmed was arrested not because of his race or religion but because his “clock” looked like a bomb

It sure is hard being a Muslim, isn’t it?
quips Benny Huang.
You can’t even bring a briefcase with protruding wires to school without everybody thinking you’re a terrorist. Sheesh. 
As Glenn Reynolds is fond of saying, it's Potemkin villages all the way down. Benny Huang goes on to ironically heap praise on the kind at the center of the controversy.
Fourteen year-old Ahmed Mohamed has learned well how to play the victim. The MacArthur High School student caused a ruckus last week in Irving, Texas, when he brought a briefcase to school containing clock parts. He claimed it was a “clock” that he “invented” over the weekend—though it now appears evident that he didn’t really invent anything. According to Ahmed, he brought it to school to impress his engineering teacher. When the briefcase began beeping during English class, the teacher mistook it for a bomb and called the principal. 
 … Ahmed has since been invited to bring his briefcase to the White House to meet President Obama. Oddly enough, the Secret Service would never in a million years allow a similar device anywhere near the President of the United States if it weren’t pre-cleared; and for good reason.
 … on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” [when] Hayes asked Ahmed how it felt to go through this whole ordeal Ahmed replied, “I feel really well after, cause before I didn’t think I was going to get any support because I’m a Muslim boy.” I’m sounding the BS alarm. He captured the world’s sympathy because he’s a Muslim boy. I don’t believe for a moment that he could not have foreseen this outpouring of support (and money).

He continued: “So I thought I was just going to be another victim of injustice. But thanks to all my supporters on social media I got this far, thanks to you guys…I see it as a way of people sending a message to the rest of the world that just because something happens to you because of who you are, no matter what you do, people have your back.”

See how he’s framed the issue? This is something that “happened” to him because of “who [he is.]” The implication is clear: this whole situation would have played out differently if he had been a fair-skinned Christian lad. Baloney. Any kid of any race or religion who brought the same item to school would have caused the same stir. The only difference I can see is that a white Christian would not have had the Islamophobia card to play. Consequently, he would not have had the support of a dedicated “civil rights” organization, would not have been invited to the White House, would not have been financially rewarded with multiple crowdsourcing campaigns, and would not have appeared on MSNBC.

Ahmed was arrested not because of his race or religion but because his “clock” looked like a bomb. It’s a briefcase with a bunch of wires and a circuit board. Nor are clocks and bombs mutually exclusive. Time bombs contain clocks. After showing his “clock” to two teachers, both of them told him that it looked a lot like a bomb. His engineering teacher, the one he was supposedly trying to impress, even advised him not to take it to other classes. 

There are some clues that Ahmed baited school officials by knowingly bringing a suspicious device to school. It might have been another self-victimization hoax, an attempt to “prove” other people’s prejudices. Self-victimization hoaxes are all too common because society never fails to reward them. I won’t say for certain that that’s what happened. It’s possible that he really did build a clock to impress his engineering teacher, stumbled into this mess quite by accident, then decided to capitalize on his victimhood. In any case, he is trying to capitalize on his victimhood—and not just financially, though he’s doing that too.

 … I will say this: the teachers, the principal, and the police did nothing wrong except failing to call his parents immediately. They should have done that. The crybabies at CAIR can go stick it. This is not an Islamophobic conspiracy.

  … The situation smells as fishy as last week’s sushi. But I can say with certainty that young Mr. Mohamed, the “inventor” whose “invention” was actually mass-produced by Radio Shack decades before he was born, is milking this for all it’s worth. What he wants is not equal treatment but for Muslims to be handled with kiddy gloves. His goal, and that of CAIR, is to perpetuate the Muslim-as-victim myth so that reasonable people will second-guess their own motives when they see Muslims acting suspiciously. Don’t be fooled by this professional victim.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

World Begs U.S. To Use Military Force in Syria So They Can Bitch About It Later

World leaders met at the United Nations today to beg the United States to use military force to stem the ever-growing humanitarian disaster in Syria
quips DuffleBlog's Dirk Diggler (thanks to Sarah Hoyt),
knowing full well they will then turn around and blame the US shortly thereafter.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said, “We call upon the world’s greatest nation — the United States — to help bring peace to this terrible civil war, because, fuck it, none of us want to.”

“And the best part is, when this whole thing goes to hell in a handbasket — which, quite frankly, happens almost every time you intervene in a multi-sided civil war in a God-forsaken third-world country — none of us are responsible for it!” Ki-Moon added.

The “Blame America First” policy is a time-honored tradition in international relations, dating back to the outrage over the US Air Force’s targeted bombing campaign against the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, followed by consternation over America’s idleness while the same Khmer Rouge murdered millions of their own countrymen.

“It’s pretty shameful, but hey, it got me a Pulitzer prize,” said Sydney Schanberg, whose two-faced coverage of the war in Cambodia in the New York Times inspired the Oscar-winning film, The Killing Fields.

“Amateurs tend to blame America first and then they’re done with it,” said anti-war MIT Professor Noam Chomsky.  “Just this past week, Vox’s Amanda Taub blamed the U.S. for the entire Syrian Civil War instead of blaming, well, the Syrians themselves.”

“But that’s the type of ‘Blame America First’ coverage that gets you a few thousand clicks at best,” Chomsky continued. “If you really want Oscars, Pulitzers, and charity donations, you have to sucker the US into intervening, then blame America!”

“Just look at Somalia: Send the U.S. military to help deal with a famine, then, boom! A firefight, a downed Black Hawk helicopter, and before you know it, a blockbuster movie from Michael Bay!” he concluded.
Read the whole thing

Friday, September 18, 2015

The party of the Kennedy brothers and Daniel Patrick Moynihan is now the party of Valerie Jarrett and Terrence Bean

MSNBC host Chris Matthews and a panel of guests sneered at Appalachian whites last week on Matthews’s Hardball show
writes Benny Huang.
No one on Matthew’s panel betrayed the slightest self-consciousness when speaking in condescending tones about the white working class. It’s hard to imagine any of them speaking the same way about blacks with “attitude” living in urban areas.

“There is part of that white community that—they missed—they didn’t get to go to good colleges or college,” Matthews continued. “They feel like the Democrats have been focused on the elites and the minorities and they’ve been missed somehow.”

That’s because they have. Those working class whites Matthews speaks of, commonly known as “bitter clingers,” are making a slow but justifiable exit from the Democratic Party. When Democrats take a stand against coal, when they bring in boatloads of legal and illegal immigrants, when they make it difficult to exercise second amendment rights, when they support racial discrimination against whites (“affirmative action”), the message that the white working class hears is “not welcome.” And for good reason.

Liberals, who dominate the party and the media—two institutions that are often difficult to distinguish—have employed an effective pincer maneuver against the American majority. They launch their attack from above and below, appealing to the rich, but also to perpetual wards of the state, or what I call “the non-working class.” Liberals will never admit that such a class exists. Perpetual wards of the state are, in their estimation, still part of the working class…even though they don’t work.

It should be noted here that the white working class is not exclusively rural, Appalachian, or even southern. There are white working class people in all fifty states as well as in urban areas. The dwindling Irish Catholic population of South Boston is a good example of working class whites who are neither rural nor southern, though they have traditionally voted Democratic just the same.

… Even Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to grant marriage licenses after the Supreme Court invented a right to same-sex marriage, was elected as a Democrat. Davis was falsely tagged as a Republican in a recent New York Times story. The reporters in this instance assumed that she was a Republican because New Yorkers can’t imagine a person like Davis voting Democrat. It’s weird, I know. In Kim Davis’s neck of the woods, “Democrat” is not synonymous with moonbat leftist. 

The party apparatus still wants the white working class’s support because a vote’s a vote and a win’s a win. Unfortunately, these working class whites tend to be more moderate which poses a problem for the urban elite who dominate the modern liberal establishment. They don’t want to tolerate a contingent within the party that might temper its platform.

The Democratic Party is consequently roiled by a quiet civil war that no one wants to acknowledge. Don’t be fooled for a moment, however, into thinking that the war is fought between the liberal elite and the white working class. The white working class doesn’t have enough clout in the party to stand as a belligerent in this conflict. It’s a war between those who still want to make a bid for the white working class vote and those who find them so embarrassing that they’d prefer to send them packing.

Hillary Clinton made a bid for the white working class vote in 2008 and she’s been paying for it ever since. The media are actually quite critical of Mrs. Clinton, treating her almost like a Republican. The Clinton email server saga has not been dismissed as a “phony scandal” as most Democratic scandals are. Why might that be? My theory is that Hillary made the fourth estate very angry in 2008 when she campaigned against their preferred candidate, Barack Obama, and she has not yet earned her way back into their good graces.

The Clinton campaign made an effort to appeal to more traditional Democrats—a category which includes, but is not limited to, the white working class—while the Obama campaign courted the youth vote, minorities, and unabashed progressives. It was a big gamble on Hillary’s part and she lost. There just weren’t enough traditional Democrats in the party in 2008 and there are even fewer today. The party of the Kennedy brothers and Daniel Patrick Moynihan is now the party of Valerie Jarrett and Terrence Bean.

 … In 2008, Hillary found out that she couldn’t ride to victory with Clintonian overtures to the white working class, either because they weren’t that enthused about her, or because the demographics of the party had shifted. Both factors were probably in play.

Hillary lost more than just the nomination. She lost the adoration of the liberal elite which she still hasn’t won back. They won’t forgive her for pandering to what they perceive to be the worst elements of the party—the Kim Davis wing, the Southie Irish wing, the bitter clingers.

The Democratic Party is suffering from something of an identity crisis. A vestigial constituency group truly embarrasses them to the point that they often can’t hide their disdain when speaking of them, yet they still need their vote. The party is sharply divided as to whether this demographic group, which is already halfway out the door, is worth keeping.