~ OK, SO WE’VE NOT BEEN GLUED to the matter, but Pacheco and Breakenridge have been debating the nature of free speech ‘n’ stuff. Libertarian vs. Papist; a secular freespeecher vs. socon freespeecher. Go read the exchanges, and take account of the arguments: it’s always helpful when two people of good will discuss serious matters: we can at least learn what the right questions are.
I’m glad that during the freespeecher fight-back against soft-totalitarianism in Canada, people of all stripes have worked side by side: Muslims, Christians, Jews, liberals and conservatives, agnostics, all sorts and conditions. But it’s not a happy multi-culti festival where we all dance to the liberal tune. Our agreement includes serious differences (1) over the content and nature of our freedoms, and (b) the origins of our freedoms.
Of course, this blog is Christian, socon, and politically mostly conservative. Oddly enough when this blog first got popular, someone comment to the effect that if FreeMarkSteyn was just a theocrat (i.e. Christian) project, then he wanted no part of the thing. Sigh. Some people can’t unpolitical their brain no matter how hard they try: Christians are a scary tribe, who all think and act one way. Got it.
When it comes to free speech, you might turn that around: we know that our freedom is about loving God and man; it is written into our nature; our nature is fallen and corruptible, but capable of God-given goodness; that freedom has a moral content about what it is good and bad to choose; that in heaven, we will always freely choose the good, the true, and the beautiful.
I sympathize with the ‘ethical’ person seeking to define, defend, and give a justification for what is right and wrong: however, it’s hard to distinguish the libertarian from the communitarian when it comes to them constructing a morela universe according to their own wisdom, and acting within that construct, and trying to make others act and think likewise. The HRC and nanny-staters want good (as they see it), and since (they imagine) people are pod-units to be made compliant for their own and the greater good, any means justify the higher ends. What both lack is any capacity to say that this is true of human nature, and not that; this is good, that is bad. We end up with a kind of moral sleight-of-hand where absolute claims are made, but only grounded in fragments of the natural moral tradition, and bits of Christianity and popular political wisdom of the moment, enforced by government-backed moral busy-bodies.
The libertarians say “See? Too much government is bad! Let free people freely choose!” It’s a sliding scale of just how much government is the right amount.. if we somehow get the recipe right, good things will ensue.
It’s of crucial importance to realize we are in a war of ideas, some already in practice, some tried and failed: democracy is an idea, as is totalitarianism, Caliphatism, utopianism or whatever else drives people to act and think and do. Ideas matter. Bad ideas matter too, in that they should clarify good ideas, and warn us of roads not to be taken.
Anyhow, go read the exchanges and ponder the deep issue about what freedom is; how it relates to God and government and our current crises.
~ | ~
~ THE EZRA DISCUSSION over at Free Dominion continues.. (1) Ezra is a system guy: we need all sorts of friends working from all sorts of directions in this fight; (b) the alternative to party politics is what, exactly? (iii) Rejecting politics and politicians because of imperfection or evil is not a true conservative positionL it’s a liberal excuse for laziness, and for the revolution.
Old-style conservativism is all about the possible evil of people, and the need to protect us from one another and the more powerful by law and custom. It’s not cynical but realistic: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” says Jesus.. it’s liberals who believe in the essential cuddly-bear goodness of humanity (except for evil non-liberals, and Adolf Harper and Sarah Palin) and the perfectability of society, by whatever means. Enter Jennifer Lynch and her inclusive utopia, or progressive master plans to get us all obedient to government objectives.
We are They: Canada is Us. We need to fight, yell, and work to get government working better. It’ll be hard. Mind you, this is a small issue on our plate this 2008. We all have other work to do, too.
This elf has been webbing for nigh on 13+ years, and blogging for 10: hard core intertoob nerd galore. Still, teh interweb is cool and all, but we live in a real world of media, politics, chattering classes and others who still view this medium as a novelty full of pests mucking with the status quo.
The online hothouse of debate and such is all cool, but blogs can’t run the world. We’re privileged to be read by movers and shakers and thinkers and people who get stuff done. The bestest post or discussion tread ever is– at best– a serious contribution to the various debates and issues out there– we have world-changing powers, once in a while, by luck and grace. At worst, blogging can become nerds and cranks in a circle quacking at each other, imagining that they’ve just solved all the world’s problems, and why doesn’t the world get into shape now? Thence the snarks and cheap shots ensue, and– of course– it must be the bigs on our side to blame. Down with Steyn! Ezra sucks! Gyapong is on the take! Vere is a hack! Johnathan Kay is an out-of-closet thespian!
That sort of manure is so easy to fling that those who like flinging it whould join the Obama Campaign and start rabidly attacking Sarah Palin as a slack-jawed breeder fundamentalist hick.
Here at FreeMarkSteyn, we daily thank God for the Steyns and Levants and MPs and clergy and journalists who’ve stepped in on this one, so that the blog-debate has connected to the wider world of politics, media, and society. They’re the ones who’ve largely made the squeak into a roar, the dinner-bell into Big Ben.
Let’s keep our eyes on the prize, and not get distracted.. or as Ezra wrote to this blogger today “…folks should remember the two-step plan: 1. Denormalize the commissions and 2. Press legislators to act. I’ve been saying that since January. Well, which legislators do they think are going to act? Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals? Or maybe some fantasy politician who has yet to reveal himself?”
If we want real-world effects, we need to think and act like serious real-world people.
OK, I shut up now.
~ HEY THERE Free-Speechers: care to send a letter? …. (blazingcatfur.blog)
~ RECENT STEYNIANISM— Pig in a Poke; The problem isn’t the sexism but the lack of discipline – plus: Lipstick on your Corner, The world’s president, La donor e mobile, Two thumbs up, Moose blarney, and O’Bama Watch …. (marksteyn)
~ THE GOLD STANDARD: York-Simcoe MPP Munro: New OHRC Tribunal Appointees Being Vetted With Steyn Questions …. (downwitheverybody)
~ WOMEN – Talking about Mark Steyn! Shameless Hussies! …. (catfur)
~ A WORD FROM EZRA to der Binks– “…folks should remember the two-step plan: 1. Denormalize the commissions and 2. Press legislators to act. I’ve been saying that since January. Well, which legislators do they think are going to act? Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals? Or maybe some fantasy politician who has yet to reveal himself?” …. (EzBot)
~ FREEMARKSTEYN is reporting that the Western Standard Blog is reporting that the Free Mark Steyn Blog is reporting that Ezra is working for the Conservatives. Comments ensue …. (shotgun)
~ DEBORAH GYAPONG— Greetings from Rome …. (deborahgyapong.blog)
~ SLAVE ME UP! New Website To Teach Canadians How To Make Human Rights A Reality…Inside Canada …. (downwitheverybody)
~ SCARAMOUCHE ON “Tammy’s “victory”: The CJC once again goes the extra distance to make Canadian Jewry feel “safe,” this time by extracting an apology from a pea-brain who employed a Hitler analogy” …. (scaramouche)
~ BIG BARBARA: “Aside: Doctors and HRCs” …. (edwardmichaelgeorge.blog)
~ STAY OUT OF JAIL: Register with the Human Rights Commission! “I thought this was a joke when it popped in my inbox” …. (blazingcatfur.blog)
~ CALGARY Herald Column – Hoping for a Freespeechy Election …. (am770chqr)
~ SHAIDLE apparently reads this blog! “FreeMarkSteyn takes aim at a weird, vaguely paranoid little anti-Ezra outburst from one of our own, earlier this week” …. (fivefeetoffury)
~ CATFUR: “The distance between calf and knee is all it takes to launch a Human Rights Complaint in Canada, regardless of worker safety or employer liability”; Clothes Discrimination Complaint Brought To CHRC …. (blazingcatfur.blog)
~ B’SHAIDLE B’MUSED: “B’nai Brith faces human rights complaint? B’wa ha! B’wa ha ha!!” …. (fivefeetoffury)
~ THE 2 MINUTE HATE WATCH: Palin hatred reaching some kind of weird, extreme crescendo; Palin Hate – or “Sin makes you stupid”; KraalSpace: “There is a real stink of brimstone in the hatred I’m reading (warning – the link is to an extremely vile blog)- a sense of people who have surrendered themselves to forces that should have remained subdued” …. (timeimmortal, CAEI, KRall)
~ GUN CONTROL and the NDP on Pedophilia …. (MaD)
~ SHIRE NETWORK NEWS— Podcast Produces Palinpalooza …. (shirenetworknews)
~ BLAZING CATNIP— “To B’nai Brith and all the other special interest groups lining up to exploit Section 13(1)” …. (blazingcatfur.blog)
~ HUZZAH! “A good sign?: It’s refreshing to see a Canadian union break ranks with its fellows and condemn the boycott of Israel, as the carpenters’ union has just done. Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which helped engineer this auspicious event, has high hopes it will encourage other to follow suit” …. (scaramouche)
~ JIMMY LILEKS slaps around Mallick, and, more importantly, beta males (who don’t exist just on the left, btw) …. (fivefeetoffury)
~ EMPTY SYMBOLISM.. better then no symbolism at all? As someone recently said, it does look like old 1840s-WW1 Prussian pickelhauben, wrapped in gauze and lighbulbs (the environmentally correct swirly ones, of course). Why do we need the $105M glowy helmet building (aside from that we’re told so, and irony, and hubris, of course)? “The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is envisioned as an international education centre dedicated to promoting understanding of and respect for human rights, including women’s equality, the rights of the disabled, labour rights and others, and for ethnic, religious, and racial diversity” as our betters inform us. Maybe we can call it the “Steyn & Levant Memorial to Our Past Human Rights”; or “The Barbara Hall & Mohamed Elmasry Rights When We Say So” Edumacational Centre. Needless to say, the Lynch mob would do better to leave a legal monument to themselves by self-reforming the vigilantes at the HRC …. (canadianmuseumforhumanrights)
~ THE WEST IS not decadent? Michael Coren …. (theinterim.ca)
~ WHAT DO YOU MEAN “YOUR” UTERUS? Time Immortal: “It’s no surprise that contemporary feminists are bristling… when one considers that most of them seem to be concerned only about control of the vagina and uterus (and not zippers or skirts) as the fundamental rights of womyn.” In other news, “And you know what? I like Sarah Palin. She’s a better role model for my daughters than Gloria Steinem” …. (timeimmortal, mercatornet)
~ AL MOHLER: “When Conscience and Medical Practice Collide” …. (albertmohler)
~ WHO DA HITLER? Canadian Human Rights Commission to launch investigation of Stephen Harper as “Suspected” Nazi; More ignorance from regressive Liberal fascists. Harper is Hitler etc.; Fullard fails to apologize to real victim of his slander …. (Various)
~ HEATHER MALLICK self-detonates as lunatic-left suicide bomb; Scribe Fight: Barbara Kay Says Media Should Blackball Mallick; The wind between her ears; Fascinating to Watch Heather Mallick Work Through Her Issues …. (Various)
~ ACTUAL HATE: Liberal candidate muses about killing natives …. (rjjago)
~ DR. DAWG PREACHES.. The Conservative culture of obscurantism (the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known). Words fail: this is the general modus operandi of leftianity, Ndipperism, Libranoism, HRCism, and all the rest. Kettle Calling Pot, Dawg! On the other side, the classless & sometimes juvenile pissiness of the current government does need some remedy, to be sure, as we’ve said before. Be classy to your friends, and to your enemies …. (drdawgsblawg.blog)
~ A NICE EFFORT at marginalization going on here by Godless liberal-leftists and their rabid left-wing bureaucratic appointees and media accomplices …. (proudtobecanadian)
~ WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD— Reader Mail: Evolutionary Creation, via Time Immortal …. (timeimmortal)
~ PRE-CRIME WATCH: “If you live in Britain, it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid committing criminal offenses. Since the election of Tony Blair, no fewer than 3600 new criminal charges were created. Oh yeah. The open and tolerant left” …. (anglocath.blog)
~ OLD BOOKS HURT MY STUPID! “Great Literature is Great Literature because it’s full of all the genius and art and contradiction and mystery and curiosity of lived life. That’s why there’s nothing more subversive than studying the Classics. They subvert Dull Thought and Thoughtlessness. They expose the cracks in the virtues of the West, while shining a light on their brilliance and durability. That’s subversion” …. (worldmag.com)
~ HOMOSEXUAL journalist Simon Fanshawe created the documentary “The Trouble With Gay Men”. Says Gay Lifestyle a “Sewer” of Casual Degrading Sex, Drug Abuse and Misery …. (lifesitenews)
~ CRUNCHY-RELIGION: Four failed PMs on climate change …. (shotgun)
America’s Would-Be Saviour/ Emperor
“The danger of Obama’s charismatic healer-redeemer fable lies in the hubris it encourages, the belief that gifted politicians can engender a selfless communitarian solidarity. Such a renovation of our national life would require not only a change in constitutional structure—the current system having been geared to conflict by the Founders, who believed that the clash of private interests helps preserve liberty—but also a change in human nature. Obama’s conviction that it is possible to create a beautiful politics, one in which Americans will selflessly pursue a shared vision of the common good, recalls the belief that Dostoyevsky attributed to the nineteenth-century Russian revolutionists: that, come the revolution, “all men will become righteous in one instant.” The perfection would begin.”
~ Via Sacramouche ~
Jihad & Other Hatreds
~ THE SOFT SELL: “Yesterday the Toronto Star reported that the Khadr family had hired a PR expert to help them soften their image (and help get li’l Omar sprung from Gitmo). Here are some slogan suggestions for the “new and improved” Khadrs” …. (scaramouche)
~ CANADIAN Arab Federation: Stop Callin Terrorists, Terrorists, You Meanies! …. (blazingcatfur.blog)
~ BUTT-KICKER ALERT! Al Qaeda declares Coptic priest Zakaria Botros “one of the most wanted infidels in the world” …. (jihadwatch.org)
~ ATLAS 2K— It’s The Shariah, Stupid! …. (atlasshrugs2000)
~ UK CONSERVATIVES call for review of London mega-mosque plans …. (socialcohesion)
~ STARBUCKS Celebrates Passover Diwali Darwin’s Birfday Plase Don’t Hurt Us Ramadan …. (downwitheverybody)
~ AL JAZEERA, the terrorist’s favorite news channel, is being sued by one of the Western idiots who accepted their money, but now says they’re biased against Christians and women. I wonder what tipped her off? …. (lgf)
~ SHARIA WINS! Iran Executed 26 of 32 Children put to Death Since 2005, the Other 6 Were all Killed by Islamic Countries …. (weaselzippers)
~ PANTS ON FIRE! Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood-linked aide hasn’t really quit …. (jihadwatch.org)
~ OUR WEAK RESPONSE– ICE: “Intelligent, Competent, Enforcement?” Not Quite: “An immigration judge’s decision not to deport a New Jersey imam accused of ties to Hamas exposes deep flaws in the way ICE higher-ups micromanage national security cases, writes a former Immigration and Naturalization Service district counsel. Limited access to evidence, limited witnesses and contradictory testimony from other law enforcement officials doomed the case from the start” …. (investigativeproject.org)
~ SAUDI ARABIA: 8-year-old files for divorce …. (jihadwatch.org)
~ ALL OF LIFE’S A STAGE… “It’s springtime for Iran and Khomeini/Moollahs are foolin’ the world…”: Who knew Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, who are usually into doing the bidding of their crazed genocidal masters, were also into amateur theatrics? …. (scaramouche)
~ MORE THAN 100 Muslim workers planned to march a couple miles to a Greeley meatpacking plant Monday afternoon in protest of what they called JBS Swift & Co.’s sudden reversal of accommodation for their religious fasting …. (atlasshrugs2000)
~ NETHERLANDS to Extend Muslim Face Mask ban to all Schools, Including Private Islamic Institutions …. (Wz)
~ ALL SOCIETIES ARE EQUAL! .. Attacks on impoverished Christians in the northeastern state of Orissa have shocked the nation. In other news, North American Hindus endure the horror of the Simpsons mocking their religion and speech. Down with Apu Nahasapeemapetilon! …. (mercatornet)
~ IRANIAN Lawmakers reject proposal to allow men to marry additional wives without first wife’s consent …. (jihadwatch.org)
~ MACADEMIA.. Hey, boys and girls… “Meet the Khadrs.” …. (hallsofmacadamia.blog)
~ SUDDEN JIHAD SYNDROME in Philly …. (gatesofvienna.blog)
~ MINNESOTA: Muslim Workers Win “Landmark” Lawsuit Against Employer, Will now be Permitted Prayer Breaks and the Right to Refuse Handling Pork …. (Wz)
~ YOU MADE ME DO IT! UK: Mosque Leaders, ‘British Foreign Policy Reason for Jihadism’ …. (weaselzippers.net)
~ NON-SPECIFIC “Youts” in Spain: Jihad juvvies are getting testy in al Andalus …. (scaramouche)
~ TRIBAL THINKING: Liberal MP writes letter of support for drug thug …. (dustmybroom)
~ ARE WE IN COLD WAR II? With Jihadis and terror-nations as participants? …. (blogfreeworld)
~ ISRAEL EASES Checkpoint Restrictions for Ramadan, Palestinian Woman Says Thanks by Throwing Acid on Israeli Soldier’s Face …. (Wz)
~ FEVER SWAMP FUN— Everyday popular delusions and the madness of the Egyptian crowd: There’s a word for good people of Cairo, and that word is “bonkers” …. (scaramouche)
~ MURDER-CULTISTS — Thai Jihadists Execute, Then Behead State Official in Front of Students and Teachers …. (Wz)
~ RENEGADE EVIL & Olmert’s malingering legacy, by Caroline Glick …. (carolineglick)
~ RELIGION OF FORGIVENESS— Iraq: Al-Qaeda Gives “Moderates” 15 Days to Repent or die, Reiterates $100,000 for Killing of Mohammed Cartoonist …. (Wz)