Friday, September 17, 2021
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Self-Censorship Threatens the West

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And the science SAYSSS…

National Post —Move over Donald Trump. In their NP Platformed email available to subscribers, columnist Sabrina Maddeaux calmly explains that Justin Trudeau's recent uncontrolled angry outbursts — one at a citizen who was rude, and one at a reporter who dared challenge him with actual reporter-like questions — provides a clue as to his baser instincts. And if you saw these outbursts, you'd agree, it isn't a good look for him or any normal human. But moreover, it's a terrible look for anyone claiming the title of Prime Minister. But it's this new line of anti-science, pure crass political campaign bullshit that has me riled:
"...At a weekend rally in Oakville, Ont., Trudeau revealed his hand when he claimed that, “If you want this pandemic to end, go out and vote Liberal.” He repeated the message again, even turning it up a notch, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, saying, “If you want this pandemic to end for good, go out and vote Liberal!”
"This is the ultimate false promise by a politician who’s become infamous for making false promises. No one can guarantee he will be able to end the pandemic. In fact, the expert consensus seems to be that there will be no real end to it: the virus will become endemic and we will be forced to live with it, albeit hopefully more normally. ..."
So it's "follow the science," and "the science says... to vote Liberal”? Many, especially the media, would dismiss "bible belt" politicians who insinuated that "God wants you to vote [whatever way].  This blowhard — and his disciples — should be treated no differently.

Two NDP humans resign their candidacy for alleged racist tropes

The National Post headline reads, "Two federal NDP candidates...

Inflation races higher in Canada — another new emergent threat to any economic recovery

Globe and Mail — They're reporting that Canada’s inflation rate jumps to 4.1%, fastest pace since 2003, sending shockwaves to almost nobody in the news media ahead of the stupid election. For example, the state-owned CBC "news media" division of the Trudeau Liberals reports it as their news item number seven or eight from the top. The G&M, as if explaining it to the CBC, wrote:
"The Statscan report arrives just five days before a federal election that’s seen affordability emerge as a key theme on the campaign trail, with all major parties pitching ideas to rein in a variety of costs, including for housing, child care and wireless plans..."
The cost of "wireless plans" is something like priority number 18,539 for me and 99% of the country, but Jagmeet Singh and the NDP — and therefore their loyal media at every opportunity — make out like it's more important than... I don't know.... inflation at 4% and Canada falling out of the economic freedom top ten... to say nothing of trillion-dollar debts and out-of-control budgets, and that thing about the end of our freedom of speech 'n junk like that. But ma wireless plan!!%#

Not “election news,” apparently: Canada drops out of top 10 countries in annual economic freedom report

Fraser Institute — In a sane land with actual journalism, this would be front-page news, one week ahead of an election. "In this year’s report, Canada ranks 14th based on 2019 data, the most recent comprehensive data, part of a downward trend since 2016. (Last year, Canada initially ranked 8th, although data revisions later lowered its rank to 13th.)"
“Due to higher taxes and increased regulation in Ottawa and the provinces, Canadians are less economically free, which means slower economic growth and less investment in Canada,” said Fred McMahon, Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute.
Economic Freedom of the World: 2021 Annual Report is the world's premier measurement of economic freedom, ranking countries based on five areas—size of government [Canada: 111th], legal structure and property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, regulation of credit, labour and business. In this year's report, which compares 165 countries and territories, Hong Kong is again number one—although China's heavy hand will likely lower Hong Kong's ranking in future years—and Canada (14th) trails the United States (6th).

Why isn’t this the biggest story in Canada?

National Review — "Why Isn’t the Attack on Larry Elder the Biggest Story in America?"  Their sub-head put it exactly right:
"A white woman in a gorilla mask threw an egg at a black man seeking to become the first non-white governor of our largest state, and the media shrug."
And they begin their story much as I have over the years: "Do a search for “Larry Elder” and gorilla on the CNN website and nothing comes up. Washington Post? Zilch. Nothing comes up on the New York Times site either..." — only replace those outfits with CBC, CTV, Global, Globe & Mail, etc.
In case you're stupid, let me fill you in: Larry Elder is a black man, but moreover, and in fact almost entirely over, he is a conservative man of considerable intellect and conscience. A Republican.
Indeed, in Canada, wherein they talk endlessly about evvvvvvery instance of "racism" in America in their activist effort to have it spill over into Canada and create divisions here to help fulfill their political ends, they utterly ignored this overt racism doozy. Why? Because they're hypocritical, dishonest, ideological, political... anything but journalists. They should all be ashamed of themselves. But I bet they aren't.
And yet they are so self-assured and arrogant that despite their obvious corruption, which they don't even care if you notice, they continue to demand and accept YOUR taxpayer handouts.

WE: The liberals’, the Liberals’, and Trudeau’s shame —documented in 4-part podcast

The Podcastosphere — I've listened to four parts of the well-done series titled "The White Saviors," narrated by Olusola Adeogun. There will be one more episode. The series documents the "cult" — yes, cult is the word used by an interviewee who worked for them — that is the liberals' own WE organization. I always thought of this WE group as cult-y, and corrupt, and as phony as a Liberal or NDP campaign promise, and as a leftist brainwashing center of bullshittery, but now, more so. Including, or especially because of, Justin Trudeau's participation in it. And the news media's love of it. And Big Public Education's embrace of it. And all of that combined.
The podcast is well described as "the exclusive story of a charity that did well when it was supposed to be doing good."
Produced by Canadaland, which has been on it for years, and arguably broke the story of WE and Liberal Party corruption in 2020.

Click and learn:

Biden’s poll numbers are too embarrassing for the “news” media — I bring you the numbers because the others won't. The "news" media only bring you the news they want you to know, filtered through their very special way of telling it to you — because as you know, they're not really a "news media" at all. Therefore, Biden being increasingly underwater, as demonstrated by the scientific data that the news media studiously refuses to follow at, is ignored. They are lying through omission.
Click to see chart
Read a well-reasoned explanation of Biden's declining poll numbers by Rich Lowry, at Politico, but not at any of the "news media" outlets that couldn't stop reporting on Trump's declining poll numbers.

We won’t “get thru this together,” any more, boyfriend.

Globe and Mail — The Liberals' Globe and Mail division sounded off today on none other than their hero, liberalism's fancy-socked neo-liberal, The Right Woke Justin Trudeau. Seems the marriage is off.
"...We will never find comfort in the Liberal Leader’s corrupted line that we will “get through this together.” He doesn’t mean it. Only certain people matter to Mr. Trudeau – the ones he uses to prosecute identity politics for the singular purpose of furthering his destiny. ..."
The G&M, in a historic fashion reminiscent of the Maclean's revelation of two years ago, suddenly wakes up to discover that the Emperor wears no clothes; or at least those he does wear are just butt-ugly, overly showy, and of poor — possibly Fabrique en Chine —quality. He is, in fact, Right Woke, as I've been saying. And thus, the G&M finally seems to have woken up. Good morning.

Vacation in Progress – a Quicktake

I regret to inform you that even I have...

Vacation in progress

I regret to inform you that even I have to take time off. Plus, my office is getting re-carpeted, and thus my office furniture and computer (whatever that is) is currently jammed into another room, much of it standing on its end, and inaccessible. I could do all my work on a laptop, like I'm doing now, but I'm not an animal. Summer's nearly over, and thus, so will be my vacationing.

The Article

Originally written October 11 2006

All across the Western world, a worrisome phenomenon is spreading.  Fear of incurring Muslim wrath is leading politicians, journalists, artists, professors, teachers and business owners to censor themselves.

A series of historical precursors paved the way for things to come. The fatwa issued in 1989 by Ayatollah Khomeini against the life of “The Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie, the 2004 murder of Dutch “Submission” filmmaker Theo Van Gogh and last year’s Danish cartoon controversy are just a few. Each time, blasphemy was the claim and violence the solution.

The recent comments of Pope Benedict XVI opened the floodgates once again. During a speech at the University of Regensberg in Germany, the pope quoted a 14th century Byzantine Christian emperor on warlike tendencies within Islam and then expounded on the need to for all faiths to emphasize reason over violence. Ironically, the pope’s words led to Muslims reacting violently.

As in times past, we saw effigy burnings, rioting and death threats, with the added dimension of a virulent strain of anti-Christian violence. Churches were vandalized and firebombed in the West Bank and Gaza, Christians in Muslim countries were attacked and a 65-year-old Catholic nun was murdered in Somalia. As usual, apologies were demanded and when given, as in the case of the pope, they were spurned for not being abject enough.

The very idea that sparking an interfaith dialogue through theological discussion should be deemed worthy of an apology, not to mention a death sentence, has apparently become acceptable in the Western media.  A New York Times editorial scolded the pope for his insensitivity, while other voices in the media decried the “bad timing” of the pope’s words in light of an upcoming trip to Turkey.

Operatic Outrage

But there is never a good time to broach the topic of Islam and reform, for the tyranny of the mob rises up at every turn. And with each success at silencing critics, it only becomes more emboldened. Indeed, in the wake of the reaction to the pope’s comments, the situation seems to have spiraled out of control. But this time it’s self-censorship that has taken hold.

Last month for example, word came that the Deutsche Oper in Berlin would be canceling an upcoming production of a 1774 Mozart opera out of fear of provoking violence. The production of “Idomeneo” was to feature an added scene from director Hans Neuenfels showing the King of Crete holding aloft the severed heads of Buddha, Jesus, Poseidon and Muhammad. While this scene reeks of the sort of juvenile, sensationalistic, anti-religious sentiment popular in the arts these days, it was not the Buddhists or the Christians—let alone followers of the ancient Greek gods—who caused Kirsten Harms, the chief director, to cancel the opera. Instead, she was contacted by Berlin police about an anonymous threat that had been made against the opera house, a threat they had reason to believe was Islamist in nature.

In what is perhaps a hopeful sign, the decision to cancel the production has been widely criticized in Germany, with self-censorship being a continuing theme. Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that “self-censorship motivated by fear is not acceptable,” while the Financial Times Deutschland agreed that “the self-censorship of the Deutsche Oper is hysterical and stupid.” Indeed, the criticism has been such that Harms is considering reinstating the production and mainstream German Muslim organizations have apparently voiced their support. Of course, the reaction of the larger Muslim world should the production go forward remains to be seen.

Real and Imaginary Threats

Another case of self-censorship that’s reared its ugly head in the wake of the pope’s speech involves the publishing company Looseleaf Law Publications. Looseleaf was set to publish a book this November written by psychoanalyst Dr. Nancy Kobrin and titled  “The Sheikh’s New Cloth: The Naked Truth About Islamic Suicide Terrorism” when they abruptly canceled because of concerns over the safety of their staff.

The subject of the book may have had a little something to do with their fears. According to feminist, psychotherapist and author Phyllis Chesler, who wrote the introduction, the book sheds light on “the normalization of cruelty and child abuse, including pederasty and daughter-abuse that is pandemic in the Arab Muslim world” and “focuses on the degradation of women in the Islamic world and how that is a crucial factor in suicide terrorism.”

Fearing that the book could lead to violence, and being a small publisher without the funds to provide security to members of its staff, Looseleaf pulled the plug. Fortunately, the blogosphere-inspired publicity surrounding the case has led to offers from two other publishers, so Kobrin’s book may yet come out. But the fact that publishers such as Looseleaf are giving up the prize without a fight says a lot about the effectiveness of intimidation.

French Author In Hiding Robert Redeker, a high school philosophy teacher, journalist and author in France, has also run up against the ramifications of critiquing Islam. Redeker and his family are in hiding after death threats were posted on Islamist Web sites following his Sept. 19 op-ed piece in the French newspaper Le Figaro. Titled “Facing Fundamentalist Intimidation, What Should the Free World Do?” Redeker’s op-ed warns against the totalitarian creep of Islamism in the West.

Predictably, much of the focus has been on the more inflammatory sections of Redeker’s article, such as his calling the Koran “a book of incredible violence” and Muhammad “a merciless warlord, a looter, a butcher of Jews and a polygamist.” But while these are strong words, they should hardly be anathema to a society that claims to support free speech. As Redeker put it, “The Islamists have succeeded in punishing me on French territory as if I were guilty of a crime of opinion.”

Until recently, the French have been slow to rise to Redeker’s defense.  Although provided with police protection, Redecker has had to arrange for his own safe houses. After initially being ignored by the French Education Ministry, Redeker finally received half-hearted support from Education Minister Gilles de Robien, who urged him to be “careful, moderate and sensible.” Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin responded similarly, saying, “Everyone has the right to express his views freely, while respecting others, of course.” One would think that those issuing death threats would be in need of lessons on respecting others, not someone that simply expressed an opinion.

To their credit, a group of French intellectuals, including philosophers Bernard-Henri Lévy, Alain Finkielkraut and André Glucksmann, have rallied around Redeker. In addition, the French Jewish umbrella group CRIF has called on French authorities to protect Redeker and to help him secure another teaching job. Meanwhile, leaders of mainstream French Muslim organizations have condemned the death threats. But comments such as those from Oxford Islamic Studies professor Tariq Ramadan, who called Redeker’s article a ” stupidly provocative text” provide a glimpse into the sort of mind-set Redeker initially warned against.

Until legitimate criticism of Islam is no longer considered “provocative,” this pattern of self-censorship is likely to continue. For fear is an incredibly effective weapon.

There is more than one way to win a war, and societies that are weakened from within can be overtaken without firing a shot. The steady erosion of principles such as free speech can have a devastating effect.

Both for the sake of the West and the possibility of reform within the Muslim world, the critics must not be silenced.


Joel Johannesen
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