Saturday, May 31, 2008

Everything old is tired again

Some good ideas have their day and then fade away. And then sometimes everything old gets tried again.

Censoring Nazis was a terrific idea.

I'm all for it. I think Nazis should be fought till they're defeated and the ones responsible for major crimes should be hanged. I'm a tad liberal when it comes to defining major crimes, but there is the legal system to even out my attitude. So we might see daylight while walking down the street after all. Courts are a moderating influence on folks like me. Except when folks like me are in charge. Then they're more like kangaroo courts with a strong bent toward revenge rather than sense and justice. Even worse than that, though, would be a court with a mission to seek out and destroy all hints of crime, even if those crimes haven't yet been committed. Thought Crimes. Crimes hunted down and expunged before they happen. Hunters in offices seething with righteous rage and moral fury. Clerks with fire in the eye and a determination to-- git 'em.

We got them already. Nazis are done. We got them years before I was even born, and I'm an old guy. They got got when Dietrich was one of the hottest babes on the planet. Getting Nazis was a great idea then. We got them. We hanged some. Not enough, but we hanged some and made a point. I like it. We got 'em. And then we moved on.

But now, way too many years later, we have people still hunting Nazis. There are lots of folks in the world who are bad enough to feel good enough about hanging to feel some enthusiasm for it. But mostly we don't go after folks who deserve hanging. We find instead we have heresy hunters, creepy little clerks in offices who are so wrapped up in their little dramas of the mind that they've completely lost sight of the world the rest of us live in. We get the same drama with a whole new cast and a whole new set, and the plot doesn't make any sense at all.

Deitrich against Hitler. Yeah!

Cherie Blair against 'discrimination"? Uh....

BC human Rights Tribunal against Mark Steyn?

You get the picture.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mark Steyn. Not Alone.

A well-known Canadian author is soon to be brought before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal in downtown Vancouver. The writer is accused of being a hate-criminal. His right to express opinions is on trial. So too is your right to read and to speak and to openly express yourself. Freedom to speak, to write. There comes a trial. Gaggles of government employees in offices across this nation have decided that it's up to them to decide who can speak and what the the public can say. If one offends the bureaucrat, then there is the Star Chamber awaiting. Mark Steyn will make his appearance in Vancouver's on Monday morning because he wrote words. He will be on trial for writing. He will not be alone.

Hate speech. It's a crime. Free Speech? That's a crime too. If the government decides you are a hate-criminal....

Who is Mark Steyn? Surprisingly, many intellectuals in Canada have never heard of this best-selling and prolific author. He's not Michael Moore. He's not Noam Chomsky. He's a thinker and writer under state assault. He's a funny guy, a clever guy, a Canadian guy who writes books. One tiny group of ideologues in government don't like him-- automatically don't like him-- because he's not automatically a Noam Chomsky. So the government is going after him, attempting to destroy his abilities in Canada to speak and write. The bureaucrats in the Hate-Speech industry just don't like him. It really doesn't matter what he writes. They don't like him anyway, and that's enough to fire hate-speech charges at a man who is many things most Canadians would admire, if they knew of Steyn and had read his works. He's pretty much like you or me. He's not a radical; and the government workers in the Hate-Speech Suppression industry are upset about him. Who is Steyn? He's a funny guy who writes books. The wrong kind of books. You'd probably like him if you knew him.

There are Canadians of many sorts who meet weekly at the city's main library in Vancouver each Thursday evening to discuss issues related to government and politics and culture. We meet in the atrium from 7-9:00 p.m. for coffee and discussion and the sharing of ideas. It's something of a miracle we haven't been arrested for it. We speak freely. This evening we'll sit as we have for two and a half years now, and this evening we'll sit with Mark Steyn, if only in spirit. Mark is not alone. Tonight we are all Mark Steyn.

If you are Mark Steyn too, feel free to sit with us in the Covenant Zone. We're outside Blenz coffee bar in the lobby of the library. We're identifiable by our blue scarves and -- books!. We support free speech. We support Mark Steyn. He is not alone. You're not alone.

VPL 7-9:00, outside Blenz in the atrium. Covenant Zone. Tonight.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Who Is Mark Steyn? You might Never Know.

Monday morning at 8:00 we'll be outside the courthouse on Robson st. here in Vancouver to protest in favor of Steyn's rights and yours to speak freely.

Here in Vancouver Canada a famous and entertaining writer, Mark Steyn, will be making a special guest appearance before a kangaroo court held by Death Hippies who don't like the fact that Steyn wrote poo-poo words. No, not dirty words that would get his mouth washed out with soap, I mean other poo-poo words that the nanny-state doesn't like. Nothing naughty. In fact, Steyn's a very bright and articulate intellectual. It's that, you see, he's not behaving himself on the playground of the nation to the satisfaction of the p.c. minders here. They are very upset with Mr Steyn, and he's been called to the principal's office. I know it's the principal's office because the princi-pal is my "pal." Steyn is called before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to get spanked. He was a bad boy. To which I say, "Fuck off!"

Like so many people today, Steyn wrote something the government has decided they can be upset about. It really doesn't matter what it is that upsets the government. Who the hell do they think they are to tell the people what to say or what to think? Personally I think, and I even write it: The government can fuck off! Bad boy that I am, I just don't care that a gang of bull-shit bureaucrats who aren't elected by anyone at all can haul a writer into a court of quasi-legal standing in the community and harass and bankrupt anyone as they please. They do it to Steyn, they might do it to me, and they'll come for you too someday. I don't really care what they do to you. You might be no good at all and have nothing to say that anyone wants to hear. You might be a rotten bastard altogether, and I might be happy to see you suffer. But even so, I think I have to stick up for you so the government doesn't get into the groove and come for me next or maybe my friends. I help you so I can do good for a guy I do like and tend to protect, he being me. Your free speech is my free speech.

Free speech. I'll be defending Steyn's and yours and that of my friends and the free speech of people I don't know and some I don't like. I'm doing it for myself. Yeah, OK, I'm doing it for the world too, cause that's the kind of guy I like to be though of as.

Don't let the government get away with this crap. No one elected the thought police. Even if someone had, they would still have no place in a democracy and they would be rightly turfed at any cost. The thought police of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal are bad and the work they do is evil. I kid you not, these people are evil. This, friend, is Velvet Fascism, and fascism not less for being "nice."

Monday morning at 8:00 we'll be outside the courthouse on Robson st. here in Vancouver to protest in favor of Steyn's rights and yours too to speak freely. Meet us there. Free speech is an essential aspect of democracy. We're losing it. The thought police are going crazy, and we have to stop them somehow. They won't stop of their own accord. They're out of control, and we have to stop them. Government sponsored psycho baby-sitters have tied up the parents of the nation and we're being tortured in the basement for our own good. No, I really don't like it. Monday morning, Robson st. at 8:00.

Here's the upscale version of why;

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fair is fair, even in Belgium.

Esther at Islam in Europe has the best of the bad new daily. Today she's got a lovely piece up about racist Belgian police attacking yoots at random. Yes, that's what happened, but there's no corrective in the text. I'll think it over and try to leave some positive advice at the bottom here for the police in Belgium. Hmmm, there's my thinking cap going on....

Brussels: Police expect continuation of race riots

The South Zone Brussels Region police says that new violent confrontations are still possible in the Brussels suburb of Anderlecht, particularly on Wednesday or Friday. They advise anyone who doesn't have to come into the area to stay away.

Anderlecht mayor Gaëtan Van Goidsenhoven says that it's rash and even dangerous to accuse the police authorities of racism during their intervention last week, since these accusations ensure a climate of distrust while there's a need for calm.

Municipality council member André Drouart was publicly questioned during the weekend about the reason why the police arrested immigrant youth almost exclusively during the incidents. Of the 194 people who were arrested, 193 were immigrant youth.

Radouane Bouhlal, chairman of MRAX (Movement against racism, antisemitism and xenophobia), accused the Anderlecht municipality of minimizing the racist character of the incidents.

The mayors [said] that there's no issue of preferring one camp upon the other. Those who committed violence will be prosecuted based on concrete evidence. He says people might ask questions and be surprised but he chooses to wait with accusing the police, who were themselves victims of violence. He wants to take the time to analyze the context in which the interventions were done.

"Wallah!" as we say in French. I've got it. To prove their multi-culti creds. the police should randomly arrest 200 members and supporters of Vlaams Belang. How simple. How smart. How come. I mean, how come they didn't think of this themselves? Now, don't you be writing in here to say the Walloonatics instead just beat up Vlaams folk. There's only so much reality I can stand in a day.

L’État c’est Moi.

"War has at last been stripped of glitter and glamour. No more may Alexander, Caesar, and Napoleon lead armies to victory, ride their horses on the field of battle sharing the perils of their soldiers and deciding the fate of empires by the resolves and gestures of a few intense hours. For the future they will sit surrounded by clerks in offices,as safe,as quiet,and as dreary as government departments,while the fighting men in scores of thousands are slaughtered or stifled over the telephone by machinery." Winston Churchill.

The American understanding the of the nature of the state is that it exists to serve the needs of the people. That comes as a shock to most other people. They don't see the state as serving the people at all, but the state is the reason for the existence of the people, the state creating the people, giving them form, substance, meaning, life itself. Without membership in a larger entity, a family, as an example, one is not going to be born, or if so, one cannot live unless by chance as a feral animal having no understanding of life as a human, no walking upright, no speech, no thought, no identity. The feral being is a non-being. The stateless person is a non-person. To the state one owes ones own selfness. The smaller thing, the person as individual, cannot be greater than, (or good in the face of) the state. The lesser must give way to the needs or wants or whims of the greater. The debtor must pay. Individual owes his existence to the state; man must pay with his existence. It's not the American Way. It's the way of almost everyone else, but it's not our way. Our way is that the individual is prime, and the state exists to facilitate the ways of the individual-as-nation-of-individuals. Every man's Humanness is worth just what one finds in the worth of another. Every man is equal in terms of his humanness. Every man is equal before our laws. Every man has a right to live. And yes, some people are such arseholes that the state steps in and tries them, imprisons them, and eventually executes them. There are limits, and we live in a material world of practicality and need. But the state is still less than the individual. The president serves the people. He has his job because we decide to give it to him. Having given the job to a man or a woman, if the case comes up, we have decided in advance we will do as we must as individuals in support of our own individuality and that of others, the people through the state. Thus, we can't do just as we please in spite of others' wishes and wants and rights. As Oliver Wendell Holmes put it: "The right of my fist ends at the tip of your nose." Those who don't respect that right have to deal with an armed public-- in America. Sometimes.

We have police, and they are meant to mediate our violence and crimes and bring us to an impartial body who will decide the right and wrong, and from there we rely on experience of the ages to decide what to do in terms of reward or punishment. We decide that by being citizens of our nation. Already decided. We agree in advance to let our General Will, expressed in our laws, decide the right course of further action. We leave it to the police, to the military, to the state to decide what to do if we are attacked and the attack is over and we can sit back and wait for judgment. We don't become the police just because we wish it. Should we, as The People, not as the one angry man, we as the majority of the individuals who create the state for our mutual good, decide to act, then we act together for our mutual good, even if the state says no. WE don't like the state as it's run by our elected representatives? We toss 'em and find new people who voice our General Will, and that according to our previous agreements as citizens, as written in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights and so on. Legal, and based on what we do because it's the way we do things from the start. We obey ourselves. We do not have any requirement to obey anyone who tells us we have to be murdered. That violates any rational agreement we might have made previously. Even people on death row have right to resist death if they can. But when we make the decision to obey ourselves even if we know we face death, then we deserve death if we try to opt out later when it seems likely we might actually die after all. Don't want to fight for the nation? Then go away immediately and never return. No one will ask you to come back. There are rules to this game, and we have to follow them in step and in line with others. In that we are free and equal. No one has the right to murder us. We cannot go about murdering others if they murder our own. We agreed in advance to leave it to our state who are entrusted to do that for us so we are not savages killing at random. We have police, armies, courts, and prisons for those who do us dirt. If they fail, we have recourse to electing new representatives to right the flaws in the system. We are not the system. We are what the system is for.

The system doesn't seem to be getting the very clear message that the world of jihad is attacking us from outside and in. our fellows don't seem to be getting the sense that it's getting worse and needs a change. It leaves us to talk and make a convincing case that our fellows are failing us as a nation of self-interested citizens. Our own are letting us down here. Much of it we simply have to put up with till they do get it. As bad as it is, we have a duty to endure the idiocies of the majority who don't know or don't care that we are attacked by our enemies.

If a man pulls a knife on me, maybe I can shoot him. But I can't then go and shoot his buddies, not even if they are jihadis just like he is and want to stab me too. We have police and courts for that. Self-defense, yes; vigilante privateering, unfortunately, not so good a concept. Sort of.

I defend myself as I can in times of dire emergency; and I will defend my neighbour as he will defend me under those same conditions. Otherwise, we leave it to those we appoint to defend us all: the law, the police, the military, and so on. We live and the state stays out of it to the greatest extent, it being for us and we being it secondarily. The state is our combined creation, and we have a responsibility to maintain it. It's our mutual defense. We maintain the state and it protects us from our enemies abroad, from our hostile neighbours, from ourselves attacking the innocent in furies. And if we fail? If we fail our state and our neighbours and our selves? If we don't like our laws, we can vote in new legislators to change them. But we can't legitimately vote for new laws that violate the old laws. We can't vote for a dictatorship. We can't vote to deport Muslims. It's not legitimate, and in doing something like that we would offend ourselves, our communities, our nation. We can't rightly violate the Spirit of '76. Nor can anyone else among us, no matter the size of the majority. We have a duty to defend our nation in ourselves as expressed in our laws. We can't rightly attack our state without attacking those who are the makers of our state. Who attacks our state attacks us all. Who attacks our people attacks our people, and our state is needed and able to fight on our behalf as we are the ones who will fight in it as representative of our state. If our state and our people are attacked and our state, because of our people, does nothing? I read somewhere that the times of Alexander and Napoleon and adventurers is over, and that men will not act like men of old and take command of their lives and the lives of nations by force of arms and Will. It'll be about clerks and bureaucrats doing all the thinking and the planning and the committing of Will. Clerks! Not men who conquer and men who fight and conquer or die. I read that for the future they will sit surrounded by clerks in offices, as safe, quiet, and as dreary as government departments, while the fighting men in scores of thousands are slaughtered or stifled over the telephone by machinery. I'm sure I read it somewhere. And I know it's only true if we let it be so, if we let our state control us rather than controlling our state, if we exist because the state gives us life and meaning, our lives determined over the telephone lines-- if they work.

Stripped? That would be a matter of resignation and a giving of ones being to a state that exists as tyrant only in the mind.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day, 2008. Introit: Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Because our nation is one, we serve all in serving it. Some serve, and die for us.

Some serve, and live for us. Not all heroes are soldiers; and not all struggles are against our enemies elsewhere. Some heroes are founders and builders and farmers. Some are teachers and lawyers and thinkers. Some are mothers and fathers and friends. Today I'm thinking of men who went to war armed with ideas and vision, men and women who made America what it is because they wanted to make the wild land their own and to give hope and the rewards of effort to others who would if they could. Seekers, makers, poets. I remember.

Lord, grant them eternal rest; and let the perpetual light shine upon them.

Today I remember farmers and carpenters and boat-makers and track-layers and woodsmen and cattle ranchers and those who had children and gave birth to our nation. Today I remember ordinary folk who do ordinary and beautiful labor for us all in our nation.

"A successful military chieftain is hailed with admiration and applause, and monuments perpetuate his fame. But the bloodless pioneer of the wilderness, like the corn and cotton he causes to spring forth where it never grew before, attracts no notice.... No slaughtered thousands or smoking cities attest his devotion to the cause of human happiness, and he is regarded by the mass of the world as a humble instrument to pave the way for others." Stephen Austin. 1.

Even if I had two eye with which to see well, the relentless war of all against all, I wouldn't see it all, the microscopic death by the myriad eternally. Bugs too tiny and scenes too vast to grasp, I miss it mostly in my way through day by day. I know the slaughter of innocents, and I wait my time and turn, doing my part in the cosmic round till my turn comes. I feel no shame in my appetite for death and destruction. I like it, and I rejoice in it.

Wilfred Owen looked upon the world in the medium, and in the war saw the clouds of death cover his mates and fell them. While D.H. Lawrence hails poison gas, Owen wrote this poem:

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of shells dropping softly behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jilt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori
. 2.

Only a fool would rush unbidden into war; and only a coward would rush away from fear and disregard for his fellows. But he who stands and fights and sees the horror of his fellows suffering would be a monster who couldn't care for their suffering. With that he carries on. Today he fights; tomorrow he builds anew. Tomorrow he cuts down forests and rips up land and churns pristine waters; he kills and kills and kills, and thinks not a thought as just inside the barn half a pigeon with a broken wing cries out as a rat eats its entrails. Life. If you had to see it, it'd drive you mad.

I don't know any bugs, and I don't think any bugs are friends of mine. I maybe kill a billion of them every day, and I really don't care. I'm sure if I could see my keyboard in the tiny I'd be sickened. I live with what I know and with what I can do for good, or maybe less harm than I'm capable of if I were unrestrained. The violence and the terror remain in spite of my and my good intentions. It is a cruel universe.

Karl Popper said in the "Postscript" to his autobiography Unended Quest:

"I know very well that much is wrong in our Western society. But I still have no doubt that it is the best that ever existed. And much that is wrong is due to its ruling religion. I mean the ruling religious belief that the social world that we live in is a kind of hell. This religion is spread by the intellectuals, especially those in the teaching profession and in the news media." 3.

There's all kind a critters that are killing all the time except when they take out time to make more critters that kill to replace those that die. Life is a hunger. America is a terrible place, you can see it, where bugs eat bugs and everything dies. I learned that long ago. I learned too that mine are mine and theirs are theirs and theirs will eat us if we let them. When it comes to peace I find I'm an atheist to the covered bones. To those who make it possible for me and mine, for those uncovered and buried and laid away for Nature's endless feast,
"Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis." Lord, grant them eternal rest; and let the perpetual light shine upon them.

I remember some.

1. Stephen Austin, quoted in H.W. Brands, Lone Star Nation. New York: Anchor Books; 2005; p. 474.

2. Latin verse from Horace, "The Odes," Book iii, 2.13

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori:
mors et fugacem persequitur virum
nec parcit inbellis iuventae
poplitibus timidove tergo."

"How sweet and fitting it is to die for your native land:
Death pursues the man who flees,
spares not the hamstrings or cowardly backs
Of battle-shy youths."

3. Quoted from Jonathan David Carson, "The Left's Theft of the Open Society and the Scientific Method," American Thinker. 24 April 2008