Saturday, January 24, 2009

To my children

We here in America usually don't keep close track of happenings in other nations. That's probably more because we lead extremely busy lives and have full plates just "getting by," much of the time, and not due to our parochialism or arrogance I hope. But I could be wrong.

Anyway, something is now occurring in The Netherlands [nee Holland] that bodes ill for your future, and as the "supreme authority figure in this family" [interpretation: ancient of days] it is my solemn duty to draw the issue to your attention - not that you can change it, but because you need to be aware of the ramifications that might eventually flow over you and yours from it.

Please read this post from one of my favorite web sites. Maybe even follow its links. Afterwards you might want to "google" Geert Wilders and read more about his supposed "crime". The sad fact is that America is the ONLY major nation left in the world that allows our level of "free" speech. Not Canada, not Australia, not Great Britain, not Scotland, not France, not China, not Japan, not any of the major players. All those nations in some way limit "free" speech if the words in question cause someone else to "feel" a certain way. In other words, they've given up one person's freedom to accommodate another person's feelings. I'm trusting you each see the fallacy in this line of thinking.

Now I'm not an absolutist on "free speech". There are reasonable limits to this freedom, such as not being permitted to yell "fire" in a crowded theater when there isn't one, etc. But arresting a person just because one's exercise of free speech might cause others in opposition to the expressed viewpoint to become violent is not "reasonable," in my view. Someone else's criminality is their responsibility, not a speakers merely because the speaker expressed an opinion. And any nation or peoples group which thinks otherwise have slipped a cog in the rationality department I fear.

By-the-way, taking away free speech would be the important first step in eventually altering or removing freedom of religion, and though that end result might at first glance seem far away, in fact once "free speech" could be shackled a restriction on religion is probably less than a decade behind - in my estimation.

The reason I raise this issue with you now is because there is a fear, whether realistic or not, that some radical supporters of our new administration, along with a few congresspersons, also favor the approach taken by The Netherlands in limiting certain aspects of "free" speech. Please be vigilant in the years ahead over this issue. If it comes up please exercise your rights as citizens to be heard. This issue sounds so innocuous at times, but once taken away, freedom of speech can almost never be restored without bloodshed. And the thought of that possibility waiting my offspring's future saddens me.

Ranting lesson over. Resume normalcy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The "Cleanliness" of Hypocrisy

Nothing seems to excite liberals quite so much as when they go about supposedly "righting wrongs" perpetrated by evil conservatives. Latest example is BHO's order closing down - within a year - the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A thread on The Volokh Conspiracy blog has been discussing a few ideas on how that task might be accomplished, but some of the commenters there seem giddy about this supposed "victory" over GWB. See here and here, for instance. Or read the entire thread for more flavor. [208 comments at one count].

Widely seen as the epitomy of torture and brutality, few take the time to remember why "Gitmo" was needed in the first place. For that memory jogger one needs the historical perspective of this Belmont Club entry. During his administration if it hadn't been for WJC's desire to keep his hands "clean" by cruelly and unproductively dealing with terrorists through third party entities, and the deniability - and paucity of intelligence - that afforded him, we likely wouldn't have had the deadly result of 9/11.

But who really knows? What
is provable is that since then, by virtue of the intelligence obtained from interrogations at Gitmo [of non-state affiliated terrorist gunmen captured while dangerously trying to blend in with local citizenry], the war on terror has NOT had to have been fought on our shores. But for some that apparently is not a good thing.

So once again liberals throw out wisdom in search of "cleanliness". The terrorists we capture post Gitmo will apparently not have to worry about gaining weight during incarceration any more, but will they tell us anything to prevent future attacks - or will they even survive? Their future - and ours - looks much bleaker. I suspect we are returning to "don't ask, don't tell" once again. Merely in order to "feel good" about ourselves. Hypocrisy. Hope and change.