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Free Speech

“Draw Mohammed”: Summary

In this fight to retain our freedom, which is the root of the Garland flap, Shari’ah Law and Islamicisation of the West are the adversary. But the principles for which we fight are just as much if not more at risk in the project to Fundamentally Transform the Whole World into some Marxist-Leninist-Progressivist nightmare, and the means by which we fight Islamicisation are to be applied also in this other, all-encompassing fight.

As for the present instance: If we held such events as “Draw Mohammed” every month (but responsibly, as the Garland event was held); if we met every attempt at intimidation by being unimpressed, for instance if our own papers had published the Danish cartoons; such actions would show our enemies that we mean what we say, we will stick by it, we will stand by our principles and defend them in word and deed. If the enemy then wants to impose his will on us by force, by terrorism and war, he will have at least some evidence that we will not run from the fight, fearfully and virtuously clucking our disapproval of it.

With luck he might conjecture that while we would prefer not to meet force with force, we certainly will do so if it is necessary in order for us to live our lives as free men and women and not as serfs or slaves who are at the disposal of other human beings and who are allowed to exist only at their pleasure; and that if we are forced to war in self-defense, we have more than enough strength of will to prevail.

In the ’30′s, Britain and France telegraphed their reluctance to face the facts and to defend themselves against force with force. The guy with the moustache picked up the message and calculated that he could get away with it…and almost did.

How many times must we repeat the same mistake!

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 6: Closing Arguments

The following points have been made by the Prosecution against Pamela Geller (hereinafter, “P.G.”). Each point is followed by rebuttal from the Defense.

1. P.G. held the event specifically to provoke Muslims.

She did not. The underlying point of the event was to EXERCISE freedom of speech in a way that would show that Americans are serious about protecting it. I point out that this is true regardless of whether that freedom is under attack by Islam, the PC crowd, or anybody else … and there are lots of “anybody else’s,” as I hope the various video clips have shown.

But in particular, we in the West are being undermined by capitulating to various strictures of Shari’ah, in this case that one must not even draw the Prophet, let alone criticize, let alone mock him. P.G.’s direct and immediate point in the event was to show that we are determined NOT to “submit” to that stricture.

There is a second point to the event that is equally important, and that is to bring the situation of “creeping Shari’ah,” in this case Shari’ah against Freedom of Speech, into broad public awareness, so that “we” will become not just a few hundred thousand or a few million resisters, but the bulk of the American people: hundreds of millions of resisters.

2. The event predictably invited and incited violence against AFDI, the attendees, and the American public generally. P.G. should, must, have known this, and therefore should not have put others at risk by holding it.

P.G. was well aware that there might be a violent response. That is why she provided additional security forces to the tune of some $37,000 – $ 50,000, according to different published claims.

But in fact no Muslims were forced to respond violently. They chose to do so of their own free will. Miss Geller responds, “This is the same argument as the one claiming that the rape victim is responsible for her being raped because she wore a short skirt.”

(This argument has actually been made often enough against those who claim to have been raped, but the fact is that is both illegal and morally wrong to rape anybody for any reason, even if the victim did intentionally wear a short skirt in a dangerous neighbourhood. We rightly hold the rapist accountable just the same.)

3a. P.G. has the right, specifically the legal, First-Amendment right, to hold the event and say what she wants, but she should not have done it [this may be express or only implied, by the question "…but should she have?"].

This amounts to devaluing all previous statements of defense. It’s like “damning by faint praise.”

(Look for a posting about this line of thought at some point, because there is a good impulse behind it as well as the cowardly refusal to give a fully-committed defense in public.)

3b. Besides, this type of speech, this type of event, “even if it’s allowed, it shouldn’t be done, because it has no value, this type of discussion at this type of event.” Megyn Kelly asks Eugene Volokh to comment on this claim, at 7:09 in their video in Part 5.

Prof. Volokh replies [boldface mine]:

“Well, surely this kind of discussion does have value, it has value in debate about Islam and about the role of Islam and about the action of some Muslims, fortunately only a small portion of Muslims to these kinds of things.

But beyond that, it has value as a re-affirmation of our free-speech rights, it has value as an act of defiance, it has value as people saying “look, we are not going to be shut up. When you tell us that we cannot draw pictures of Mohammed, when you tell us that we cannot say these things or else you’ll kill us, that just means we’re gonna [sic] do it again and again to show that you can not threaten Americans into submission. …. The whole point of this was to say, “You cannot tell Americans, you cannot tell a free people what [they] can and cannot say.” And that’s a very important message to say, especially in times like these.”

I have heard people saying … it’s too provocative. Well, look, there are times when First Amendment rights have to be defended. And they have to be defended by saying [we're] going to say these things even though we realize there’s a risk of violence, even though we realize there’s a risk of attack. The only way we can protect our free-speech rights is by re-asserting our free-speech rights.

By “re-asserting,” Prof. Volokh means showing the existence of the right by using it.

I note that it is up to the Courts through their rulings, and up to us as American (and Western) individuals through our words and actions, to confirm publically the existence of the right and our insistence on not being intimidated into being silenced, on this or any other issue.

4. The event shows that P.G. is “racist,” an Islamophobe, and hates all Muslims.

Horsefeathers. It shows that Miss Geller is aware of the threat from jihadists of both the violent sort and the lawfare/public-condemnation-public-opinion sort, and is fully committed to resisting both.

5. Cartoons at the event clearly are obscene and mock the Prophet.

I haven’t seen any of the cartoons from the contest except Bosch Fawstin’s winning one, which is certainly not obscene in any way. It does call attention to the fact that Mohammed lacks the power to enforce obedience to his command, and I suppose that might be a form of “mockery” in that shows him as “full of sound and fury,” but powerless.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 5: The Defense

A few, a very few, on Fox and elsewhere have seen fit to defend Pamela Geller’s “Draw Mohammed” contest and the Garland, Tex. Free Speech convention in a fully-committed way, that gets to the heart of the issue and the real meaning of the event and the of the terrorist response; as well as to the MSM’s capitulation to Shari’ah’s objective of silencing opposition, as shown by their finger-wagging and jaw-flapping character assassinations. Among them are Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly in the clips below. Each is in two parts, and each is enlightening.

Hannity, Pamela Geller: with Brendan Darby of Breitbart, who was on the scene, shortly after the shooting. (The uploader says 11 a.m. Eastern, 5/4/15, but there’s no statement that that’s when the recording was made.)

Hannity, Pamela Geller: “Mainstream Media Rewarding Jihad Terror,” with clips from various MSM nasties pontificating:

Megyn Kelly, with Eugene Volokh, who points out the practical value of the event as a part of our defense of free speech:

Megyn Kelly follows up with Alan Dershowitz and Rich Lowry, who concur with the bottom line. She makes the core point in her opening:

UPDATE: I think it would be good to let Miss Kelly and Robert Spencer, of Jihad Watch, Stop Islamisation [sic] of America, and AFDI, make another very important point.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 4: Flak

Some of the milder MSM videos in which Pamela Geller takes heavy fire from the “I believe in free speech, but…” crowd.

There are probably more here than anybody has the stomach for, and these are not the really nasty ones! But although the bottom line is the same in all, each differs somewhat in points made or in facts presented or both, so I think I will give you three from Fox, one from CNN, and one from ABC. To close, Senator Rand Paul weighs in, and finally leftist lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

“Judge Jeanine” Pirro, Fox:

In opening her show on May 9, “Judge Jeanine” defended free speech strongly, even including Miss Geller’s right to hold her Free Speech event. But she ended her remarks by saying ‘that she thought Geller’s event, which was attacked by two gunmen last weekend, was probably a “dumb move,” which is pretty much all the critics of it are saying,’ as the video’s uploader observed.

Martha MacCallum, Fox:

O’Reilly, Donald Trump (!), Laura Ingraham, Fox:

Greta van Susteren, Fox: Never mind, you get the idea.

Alisyn Camerata, CNN:

Jake Tapper, ABC:

. . .

Senator Rand Paul.

With Glenn Beck, The Glenn Beck Program:

With Megyn Kelly, Fox. Most of this is about the Iraq War and the Patriot act. Segment on “Draw Mohammed” begins about 6:46.

Raymond Arroyo, Alan Dershowitz, “Free Speech Limits,” EWTN:

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 4a: Flak — Prologue

Coming up: Just a few of the millions of clips out there tsk-tsking Miss Geller’s Free Speech Event and “Draw Mohammed” contest in Garland, Texas, the first weekend in May.

To set the stage:

Peace Offering

Banco.Peace Offering.Cartoon.("Now will you be nice to us?") showing Geller,P.'s head offered to Radical Islam by an appeaser

Pam Geller is being attacked by the “I’m for free speech , but…” crowd, and the mainstream media as though she’s worse than ISIS, again, blaming the victim to fit their narrative. Cartoon by A.F.Branco ©2015.

“Note: You may re-post this cartoon provided you link back to this source. More A.F. Branco cartoons at Patriot Update here.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 3: The Speeches

Here are the speeches* presented at the Garland, Texas Free Speech Convention on May 3, 2015. (It was as people were leaving the building that evening that two Muslim terrorists attacked them, fortunately hurting no one but themselves.) In order below: Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, Bosch Fawstin following an introduction by Robert Spencer, Robert Spencer, and closing remarks from Miss Geller. Many good points, and of course the overarching/cornerstone point.

Pamela Geller, Opening Speech:

Geert Wilders speech:

Bosch Fawstin acceptance speech, Robert Spencer speech at 8:10, Pamela Geller closing speech at 16:10.

*If there were any other speeches, I have neither seen nor heard any reference to them. Nor do I know what other activities there were during the Conference.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 2: The Occasion

“I think there needs to be a change to the law where people do not disrespect especially high people,” Texas Imam Mobasher Ahmed said.

So there you have it — I am not saying it, a Texas imam is. This is the the objective and what I fight against. The media has already submitted to sharia restrictions on free speech and viciously enforced the ban against violators (like myself).

I am not a Muslim. I will not adhere to sharia (Islamic law) and its restrictions on free speech (and freedom).

The reporter for this story sounds surprised that we have supporters and that they own up to it. It’s like Bill O’Reilly on his show tonight. O’Reilly refused to release results from his AFDI Muhammad cartoon poll. He said it was “slammed” in OUR favor, so there for “untrustworthy”.

Thus Pamela Geller, slightly edited for typos, in her Description under a 3-minute news clip.

Pamela Geller is considered a heroine by some and the Devil Incarnate by others. Her cause*: To defend America and the West generally against the encroachment of political Islam as it is today: To fight against Shari’ah as part of the American (and the UK’s, and by extension the West’s) legal system. Her chosen battle field in this fight is the defense of freedom of speech in general.

Of course a part of any defense against political Islam is the fight against Islamic violence. The defense of freedom of speech requires among other things that such violence must not be allowed to cow Americans or anyone else into submission to the Ummah or any part of it. Miss Geller’s thought is that one must face force and resist it, or be complicit in one’s own condition of dhimmitude or slavery.

So, Mohammed thunders: “You can’t draw me!” And Mr. Fawstin replies, “That is why I draw you.” Mohammed is wrong: One certainly can draw him, if one will only exercise his right to draw Mohammed by making the drawing.

We say to Mohammed: You have no power over me.

This series of postings presents material pertaining to the Free Speech Conference organized by Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative (dreadful name — better, “American Initiative for the Defense of Freedom). It was held in Garland, Tex., this past May 2-3.

The event included a “Draw Mohammed” competition, which was won by Bosch Fawstin, whose cartoon is shown in Part 1. Mr. Fawstin grew up as a Muslim in a Muslim family, but he found the misogyny and other factors of his Muslim childhood impossible to accept, and in the end became a former Muslim, an apostate. (I think he’s now an atheist, but probably you cats know more about that than I do.)

As well as the competition, there were at least four speeches given at the event, by Miss Geller, Geert Wilders, Mr. Fawstin, and Robert Spencer, along with a short closing by Miss Geller. I believe that is the order in which they were given, but I can’t prove it. Nor do I know what other seminars or workshops or whatever were a part of the meeting.

However, the meeting ended sometime in the evening (I gather, from news video) of Sunday, May 3. As the crowd of more than 300 people were leaving the venue, two Muslim terrorists opened fire on them. As it happened the Garland police were there and killed the two.

Because of an unnamed officer’s quick thinking, quick draw-and-fire, and accurate aim, none of the attendees was hurt.

*Miss Geller also has fought to defend the physical victims of Islam, such as the many young girls subjected to or under threat of Shari’ah murder, and also the hundreds of thousands of Christians and Jews being slaughtered around the world for the crime of not being Muslim. But that is a topic for another time.

[Edit: Two typos fixed, and one sentence reworded for clarity.]

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 1

I ask assembled Felines to consider the inflammatory and incendiary* incitement to violence shown in this award-winning cartoon by Bosch Fawstin:

Fawstin,B.Winning Cartoon in "Draw Mohammed" contest, ADFI, Garland, Texas, 5:2-3:2015.Lifson, American Thinker, 5:4:15.194522_5_

Now have a look at this piece of high art**, which won a competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), by Andres Serrano:

Piss Christ, by Andres Serrano.Won contest sponsored NEA.[BOX].194521_5_

Lastly, enjoy this one, which I received in an e-mail with no source.

Do You Have Any Idea How Offensive That Is?.Cartoon, Steve eml, 5:23:15, 11;16 a.m.Source Unknown

There is somewhere also a most delightful and accurate (in its implication) cartoon of David Horowitz***, depicting Mr. Horowitz much as the hook-nosed scumbag in the previous drawing, only with, as I recall, a garbage-can’s lid on his head for a hat. Or maybe in his hand for a shield? Can’t remember for sure, and can’t find it again. But one thing is sure: When I said it’s “most delightful and accurate,” I lied. Pure sarcasm. Frankly it P’d me O. As does the mockery of Christ above.

But not enough to go kill people about it, except maybe metaphorically. I suspect that most Christians and Jews and even atheists share the attitude. Of course, the more benighted Muslims at least find that the proper treatment for drawing Mohammed at all is death.

More on this and on the jihadi attack for which the first cartoon served as an excuse (but it wasn’t really the cartoon) in upcoming postings, until I run out of steam.

*Redundancy for emphasis.

**’”Piss Christ,” a photograph of a crucifix in a jar of urine,’ to quote Thomas Lifson, who wonders if it is “enough to justify mass murder.”

***This is the red-diaper baby and former New-Leftist, the author of so many anti-Communist/-Marxist/-socialist/-Leftist works, including the marvelous Radical Son, who is also a champion of free speech and academic freedom (the real kind, not the Progressive version), and the founder of Front Page Magazine.

I don’t know what’s going on with WP. First, the comments were allowed before they weren’t allowed, and now they are allowed again, unless it turns out that they’re not.

Second, originally YrsTrly was the editrix responsible for this yelp of anger, but WP then decided it’s by somebody called “admin” (no caps). Who knows who will finally be elected the reporter. *sneer*

It ain’t just Islam…

This is arguably one of the more bizarre stories I have read. Ever.

A small Jewish ultra-Orthodox newspaper in Israel has found itself in the spotlight after digitally removing Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel from a photo of this week’s Paris march.

World leaders had linked arms to march in Paris against terrorism after Islamic extremists killed 17 people. At the march, Merkel stood in the front row between the French president, François Hollande, and Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

But readers of the Hamevaser newspaper’s Monday edition didn’t know, as she had been digitally removed, leaving Abbas standing next to Hollande. Israeli media joked it was meant to bring Abbas closer to Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu, who was standing nearby.

And why? Why? because of XX-phobia. Seriously. They also took-out the EU foreign affairs supremo and the Mayor of Paris.

Within the insular ultra-Orthodox community, pictures of women are rarely shown, due to modesty concerns. In Jerusalem, ultra-Orthodox vandals frequently deface buses and billboards with advertising deemed to be immodest.

Now if Chancellor Merkel had been strutting her stuff in a sling-shot bikini and heels and nowt else then OK but this is the original photo…

Now I’m no fashionista but that is a modestly dressed woman. And she is also the German Chancellor so she ought to be there. God knows what Abbas was doing there but France and Germany are best buddies these days (thanks for small mercis – I mean we don’t want to go through all of that yet again).

Binyamin Lipkin, editor of Hamevaser, said the newspaper is a family publication that must be suitable for all audiences, including young children.

“The eight-year-old can’t see what I don’t want him to see,” he told Israel’s Channel 10 television station. “True, a picture of Angela Merkel should not ruin the child, but if I draw a line, I have to put it there from the bottom all the way to the top.”

He also said he did not want to tarnish the memories of the people killed in the attacks.

“Including a picture of a woman into something so sacred, as far as we are concerned, it can desecrate the memory of the martyrs and not the other way around,” he said.

I am lost. There is no way anyone could take that image as sexually provocative (I assume that was this loon’s point). I mean it ain’t Miley Cyrus. And in terms of the “family paper” schtick don’t families tend to have female members? Call me old-fashioned but I female relatives. I don’t think that unusual. And what the flying hellskis is the desecration stuff about? These people weren’t martyrs. They were just unlucky by and large. Could have been me, could have been you. This site has republished the Motoons of Doom. And in what way Chancellor Merkel takes away from the loss is beyond me. Also one of the dead was a female French cop. If anyone was a martyr she was dying in the line and all.

But this is only sort of about sexism. I mean it is but there is more. The massacre was about freedom of the press and an Israeli paper chooses to Photoshop inconvenient truths like the sex of the German Chancellor out. OK, fine print what you want but don’t doctor photos and then go on about martyrs for press freedom.

Or is it just plain sexism and they object to a female heading a major nation? Is it that simple? Get over it. We did with Maggie when I was a little kid.

What century are these folk in? I mean really? Moshe Dayan fought for this?

PS. And as someone from a culturally Christian background the idea that an image of a woman is a desecration is just weird.

Cartoon of the Week.

Matt cartoon January 8

The top management of Tesco supermarkets are cowards who have given in to demands for censorship.

The often attacked British press is, in reality, one of the glories of this country. In the United States the normal pattern is for there to be a single dominate newspaper in a town or city and for it to reflect the “liberal” left ideology of the education system (the “Schools of Journalism” and so on) – with, by and large, the only choices being to read the leftist line, presented as “objective, scientific, journalism” or read no newspaper. There is the New York Post, which gives an alternative view of New York and other matters, and the financial and business newspaper the Wall Street Journal (both owned by Rupert Murdoch – which is why the totalitarian left hate him, as he is basically all that stands in their way of gaining a leftist monopoly in the press), but there is little other dissent. Just as on television basically the only dissent from the leftist line is “Fox News” (also owned by Mr Murdoch) with all other television stations reflecting the leftist line.

In the United Kingdom things are very different. There are many newspapers on the left – such as the “I” and the “Independent” and the “Guardian” and the “Daily Mirror” and the “Financial Times” (anyone who thinks a financial and business newspaper can not be on the left has never met the “FT”), but there are also many newspapers on the “right” (in the conservative or old style liberal sense – not the socialist Fascist sense) – such as the “Daily Telegraph”, the “Express”, the “Daily Mail” and the “Sun”. However, annoying the press may be at times this diversity in the press is one of the glories of this country and people who hate it are like people who hate the Queen or Winston Churchill – they really hate Britain.

The left, at least the totalitarian left, seek constantly to destroy the free press in the United Kingdom. For example with the financial backing of, son of Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, Max Mosley (who won a libel case against being accused of being involved in a Nazi themed prostitute event – although he was involved in a Nazi themed prostitute event, work-that-one-out), the left ran a campaign against the newspapers. The left also used a claim in the Guardian newspaper that employees of the Sun newspaper had deleted messages on a murdered girl’s mobile telephone (a claim that turned out to be FALSE – they did “hack” the telephone, in the hope of getting information that would help them crack the case, but they did NOT delete any messages) to get Prime Minister Cameron’s government to impose some censorship on the press. “Hacking” mobile telephones was already illegal (and was done at least as much by Daily Mirror people as by Sun people – but the left does not care about that), and the new censorship rules will not make “hacking” any more illegal – but the left’s objective is censorship, the case of the murdered little girl was just a means-to-an-end to the totalitarian left. And Mr Cameron went along with some of what they wanted (partly because he was embarrassed at employing a person who had once been involved in telephone “hacking” himself) – and he should be ashamed of that.

It should be pointed out that the “Sun” and the, now closed down,”News of the World” are-were Rupert Murdoch newspapers. The leftist campaign against them was nothing to do with them “hacking” telephones more than the leftist “Daily Mirror” people did (they did not “hack” more than Daily Mirror people did) – it was a way of attacking Mr Murdoch, whom (as I have already pointed out) the left see as the main barrier in their way of creating a leftist monopoly in the media of the United States – yes the campaign in Britain was really, in part, about the United States.

However, evil never sleeps and the left have moved on. Far left activist groups have now pushed the management of Waitrose and Tesco supermarkets to physically cover up newspapers.

What exactly has the Tesco chain of supermarkets agreed to do? They have agreed to cover up all but the titles of newspapers that are on sale. The totalitarian leftist activist groups have claimed this will “protect” children (it is always “the children”) from seeing bare breasts. However, women with no tops on are a tradition of page THREE of the Sun newspaper – not the front page, there are no bare breasts on the front page (although there are bare breasts on show in art galleries – no doubt the totalitarian left will now try and get paintings and statues banned, at least if “the children” are their real concern……..).

The cat is let out of the bag by the boasts from the totalitarian left of getting “offensive” headlines covered up – not “just” photographs, HEADLINES.

This makes it clear what this campaign is really about – it is about suppressing, literally “covering up”, any OPINION the left does not like. It is the same sort of thing as the Frankfurt School of Marxism “Political Correctness” or “Critical Theory” that now dominates the education system – turning students into brainwashed zombies who will not tolerate any non “Progressive” opinions.

The evil groups behind the censorship of the press campaign are tiny – organisations such as “Child’s Eyes” and “Stop Page Three” have few members, they could not win any elections. But they do not have to enforce their totalitarian desires by winning elections – not when they are dealing with spineless cowards.

Tesco supermarkets, like so many corporations, is a bureaucracy without any real powerful individual share owners any more. The hired managers are responsible to other hired managers (at Pension Funds and so on – institutional share owners) and they basically want a “quiet life” – they have no passion for what they do, and they have no courage, no principles for which they will risk their jobs. Besides they are mostly ex university students – with all the leftist indoctrination (brainwashing) that a modern school and university “education” implies.

These hired managers at Tesco face ruthless leftist fanatics – who are prepared to do anything, anything at all, to enforce their desire for censorship, so the easy thing to do is to SUBMIT. And, besides, with their “educated” background a lot of the managers half agree with the leftist fanatics – with the totalitarian bullyboy (and bullygirl) censors.

It is difficult not to despair.

Sir William Blackstone – the beginning of the intellectual collapse of liberty?

However, good an 18th century university administrator and judge Sir William Blackstone may have been, and however personally well disposed he may have been to liberty and property, the rights of the latter being the essential foundation for the former, his doctrine of the Sovereignty of Parliament was radically subversive of the principles of liberty – leading, in the short term, to war with the American colonies, and, in the longer term, the undermining of liberty in Britain and elsewhere.

The central “Whig” principle is that there are some things that the ruler or rulers, Kings or Parliaments, may not do – that natural law – natural justice to-each-their-own-liberty, expressed in the Common Law and other traditions, forbids fundamental attacks on liberty and property, either by private criminals or by the government.

This was the position of Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke in “Dr Bonham’s case”, it was the position of Ralph Cudworth and others against the unlimited government doctrine of Thomas Hobbes (whose mentor was that servant of unlimited government “The New Atlantis” Francis Bacon – the great enemy of Sir Edward Coke) who held that humans were not moral agents, and it was the position of Chief Justice Sir John Holt and the other “Old Whigs” of the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

Sir William Blackstone’s doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty destroys this Whig foundation stone of liberty – destroys it utterly. Blackstone might pay lip service to the principles of natural law, the legal principles of Cicero and the view of humans as moral agents of Aristotle, but his doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty negates them. If the “legislature” can do anything it likes – then liberty is naught, and natural law is just an empty term. Things are reduced to the level of the Roman Empire – where no legal thinker denied, in theory, that liberty and natural law, natural justice – to each his own liberty, existed, but held that positive law, the will of the Emperor, trumped them – which was the same, in practice, as denying that the rights of liberty and property existed at all.

Blackstone may be held up as one of the great Common Law thinkers – but his fundamental conception of law was essentially Roman, and that of the Roman Empire, just with a Parliament in place of an Emperor.

Many Americans, holding to old Whig principles, were profoundly shocked and rejected the principle of Blackstone, and those who held the same view, – but in Britain it carried all before it.

The principle of Blackstone simplified law by holding that, at a fundamental level, law is whatever Parliament and Francis Bacon “lions UNDER the throne” style judges say it is – with no appeal to natural law, natural justice (to each his own – liberty) principles against them.

It also flattered Parliament (Thomas Hobbes had always said that the supreme unlimited ruler could be one person or a group of people – thus hedging his bets in terms of the Civil War by trying to flatter both sides, like Francis Bacon before him, he would be a lickspittle apologist for whoever was in power) – it gave them delusions of grandeur, indeed of infallibility, and made them unwilling to compromise with the American colonists. After all the law was whatever they, Parliament, said it was – they were Gods upon this Earth who could do no wrong. At least that is how his doctrine was, inevitably, interpreted. So war was made inevitable – and with war the division of the English speaking peoples, a division that continues to this day.

The tradition of the Bill of Rights, American or British, runs directly counter to this doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty – which is why the British Bill of Rights, oh yes it once existed, is not much talked about any more. What is the point of talking about the right to keep and bear arms – if Parliament can take away this right with a statute? It means that the right, for all practical purposes, is negated. Ditto freedom of speech or anything else. If Parliament wishes to, for example, “redistribute” the property of the Duke of Portland this may be sad – but he has no rights against the “legislature”. As Mark Twain was later to say, but not as PRAISE, that “no man’s life or property is safe when the legislature is in secession” the legislature being the only true “criminal class” in United States – the fact that British opinion would have been shocked by a statement like this in the 19th century shows how much damage the doctrine of Sir William Blackstone and others had done – spread by Victorian legal writers such as Maitland, who pretended (with breath taking dishonesty) that not a single Act of Parliament in history had ever been fundamentally unjust or irrational.

By the 19th century more and more people were starting to use the words “the State” in the same awe struck way that German philosophers had in the time of Frederick the Great and before. The State seen as some sort of God on Earth, with, in this case Parliament, being seen as at least semi divine – infallible.

Sir William Blackstone may not have shared some of the “new”, there are actually ancient precedents for its errors, philosophy that was bubbling up like a witch’s brew in his time – but he opened the door for it. David Hume had made his name by being “sceptical” about everything (whether he really was, or whether it was a performance, to wake people from their dogmatic slumbers, is something I will not try to answer here), even the most obvious self evident things such as the existence of the self (the “I”) as a moral agent. If nothing was secure, if there were no principles that one could “prove”, if even the existence of oneself, as a moral agent free to choose to do otherwise than we do was in doubt, what would step into the chaos? Why the state of course – “the euthanasia of the Constitution” the end of “Whig”, Old Whig, principles. This philosophy horrified some Tories – such as Dr Johnson, who expressed his horror when someone said to him that both he and David Hume were Tories. Dr Johnson believed in the principles of Church and King because he believed they were true, objectively true, not because he believed that nothing was objectively true – that is why the Tory Dr Johnson was more of a friend of the Old Whig Edmund Burke than he was of political “allies” such as David Hume.

Jeremy Bentham, and the rest of the “Bowood Circle” of Lord Shelborne (Lord Shelborne, Sir William Petty kinsman of that other Sir William Petty – the friend of Thomas Hobbes, who wanted to mathematically “plan” Ireland in totalitarian fashion) had nothing but contempt for the principles of the Old Whigs – which were “nonsense on stilts”.

13 departments of State should control most aspects of life, according to Bentham – in this way the “greatest happiness of the greatest number” would be achieved, and pleasure and pain (not traditional right and wrong) should be the only guides to policy. If wickedness produced more “pleasure” than “pain” then it was not evil it was good – so if, according to Bentham, control of most aspects of life via 13 departments of State produced more pleasure than pain then it was to be done – and no silly “old rights” allowed to stand against it. The interests of “the people” trumped the silly (indeed “nonsense on stilts”) old rights of individual persons. The fact that this is a “category mistake” that, for example, one does not work out whether rape or gang rape is morally wrong by sitting down with a “calculator of pleasure and pain” to try and work out if the pleasure of the rapist or rapists was greater or lesser than the pain of the victim, escaped Jeremy Bentham. He made the elementary mistake, which would be shameful even in a young child, of mistaking “good” as in pleasure, with “good” as in moral (as they are the same word they must mean the same thing – NO THEY DO NOT). Just because it may be pleasant to torture someone to death it does not mean that it is morally good to torture someone to death – and this has nothing to do with the pain of the victim being greater than the pleasure of the murderer.

This is the principle of the French Revolution, of Rousseau – not of the Old Whig American Revolution. It is why the French Revolutionaries did not believe that their murdering, plundering, rape and other crimes were crimes at all – as the “welfare of the people” trumped, negated, everything else.

And the belief of Bentham and others in intellectual government administrators taking control of various aspects of Civil Society harks back to Sir William Petty and Francis “The New Atlantis” Bacon, and may even have been foreshadowed by Thomas Cromwell in the reign of Henry VIII – although his schemes, on education and so on, came to naught.

The “liberals” who followed Bentham, there were other factions of liberals of course, included people such as James and John Stuart Mill who endorsed the views on land of David Ricardo, which led to people attacking the rights of property – down with the Duke of Portland and other “Old Whigs” I bet he did not “justly acquire” his property, and he expects rent and rent is evil. This view was refuted by Frank Fetter a century ago, but one still hears it – just as one still hears demands that the state expand the money supply to maintain a “stable price level” as if Frank Fetter had never refuted Irving Fisher (let alone the absurd Lord Keynes).

And there was the Labour Theory of Value, also an interpretation of Ricardo, that holds that factory workers and so on are “exploited” – if private landed estates are, somehow, wrong and large scale non-landed property (factories and so on) are also, somehow, wrong – then the old Whig principles have been utterly destroyed there is nothing left, apart from empty chanting of the words “freedom” and “liberty” (as “liberals” still do today) based on no foundations, philosophical or other.

Of course there is a good side to both James Mill and to John Stewart Mill – but there is also a bad side, a very bad side. And it must not be hidden away – because it did great damage.

A liberal of the 19th century “Westminster Review” type (not other types) may have hoped if nothing is objectively true then there is no justification for state attacks on liberty, and may have held that denying everything, including selfhood, is the ultimate freedom – but, in reality, someone who believes that nothing is objectively true is likely to seek the STATE to fill the void (the “myth” of William James, Sorel or Mussolini). Besides the state NATURALLY expands (those who have power seek to use it – the “Dark Side” tempts them) – and if there are no principles to oppose them with……….

And Sir William Blackstone, whatever his intentions were, has in practice helped get rid of the principles limiting the state – by getting rid of all principles limiting Parliament.

“Ah but Paul – Blackstone trusted Parliament to limit the state” – then he was profoundly foolish and also ignorant, not understanding the typical nature of such statutes as the one that Sir Edward Coke struck down in “Dr Bonham’s Case” – where it was held that someone practicing a trade without a piece of paper called a “license” could not be a crime, because it was not aggression against anyone. The fact that the “Royal College” had both King and Parliament backing it, being irrelevant. If this is a crime whose person or possessions has Mr Bonham attacked? He has attacked no one – so him not buying a “license” CAN NOT be a crime.

Ditto the “Stature of Labourers”, seeking to enforce serfdom, and a thousand other wicked, and unlawful, statutes of Parliament.

But it is more than this – the decline of the respect for Parliament, and there has been such a decline, has not led to the restoration of the principles of the Old Whigs – far from it.

The worship, and “worship” is the right word, has been transferred from Parliament and Congress, Prime Ministers and Presidents – to an ideal state, the public power, “the people” which will impose “Social Justice” (the opposite of real justice – to each their own). Modern “political philosophers” say that they DO believe in liberty, in freedom against elected politicians – but, it turns out, that their “rights” are like the “rights” of the French Revolution, under the mask of “freedom” terrible tyranny, plundering and murder. The words “freedom” and “liberty” chanted endlessly – but divorced from their foundations.

When American judges, and the university class generally- the Harvard Law School, the Imperial German loving Johns Hopkins, the Frankfurt School of Marxism Columbia and on and on, first started to turn against the Old Whig principles of the Founding Fathers they first held that rights and natural law were nonsense (perhaps nonsense “on stilts”) – beasts such as “Justice” O.W. Holmes jr were open friends of Harold Laski and other totalitarians, they held (Buck V Bell) that a screaming woman, who had committed no crime, could be held down and cut up by the servants of the state – because they judged her to be “inferior”. But at least such beasts did not pretend to serve “freedom” “liberty” – they were open followers of Thomas Hobbes and other such creatures.

This sort of “judge” did not, for example, in the gold confiscation and voiding of contracts cases of 1935, hold that they were serving “liberty” and “freedom” when they tore up the Constitution of the United States.

Today Blackstone may be discredited – few would pretend that Parliament, or any other institution of government can do anything it likes. But the Old Whig principles that he helped to undermine have not returned – instead the forces of evil (for that is what they are) have taken the words “freedom” and “liberty” for themselves, and use them to force politicians to expand statism (tyranny) even when they do not wish to do so.

The book shelves groan with books on legal thought that seek to twist the concept of liberty 180 degrees – using it as a justification to destroy liberty, to expand the size and scope of government. The “intellectuals” can get away with this because the old principles have been forgotten – even the very word “right” is no longer understood to be a limitation on government power (under the natural law principle of to each their own – as the late Ayn Rand put it “hands off”), rather a “right” is now seen as an invitation for government to intervene – to enforce “anti discrimination” doctrine (that to “discriminate” is another way of describing freedom of choice, the right to associate or refuse association, is forgotten) and to give people their “rights” to goods and services at the FORCED expense of others.

This is because the old principles are out of sight and forgotten – and, however good his intentions may have been, Sir William Blackstone was one of the people who started to bury them.

The United Kingdom in 1964 – a big government country that was O.K. ish (well perhaps).

Anti big government people often make the assumption that life gets worse as government gets bigger. It is true that if government grows, in size and scope, things will not be as good as they could have been – but life can still, for a while anyway, get better for most people.

Take my home town of Kettering, Northamptonshire. Government started to grow here in 1875 (in other towns it was after 1870 – but we did not vote for an Education Board here), with the rise in national taxation and the increase in functions pushed on local government by the Disraeli Act of 1875. Yet life still got better here till at least 1960 – and government was big indeed by then.

I am not just talking about real wages – but general life also. For example Wicksteed Park (the first amusement park in the country) did not exist in the 19th century – but it was a national institution by 1960, although it has sadly declined in recent years. Also ordinary people were better dressed in 1960 than they were in the 19th century (when some children did not even have boots or shoes – even in a town famous for making them) – although, again, one could hardly call people in 2014 well dressed, or well behaved.

And the buildings were fine (or at least O.K.) – the destruction of so much of the “town that Gotch built” did not really begin till 1960. And the town was not too big with endless housing estates eating the fields and the bluebell woods. It was still the Northamptonshire of the writer H.E. Bates and others.

In 1964 there was full employment and historically high wages, no welfare class (of any size) unlike today. But people were also mostly well behaved, polite, well dressed and so on.

“That is trivial stuff Paul” – perhaps. although I do not think so, but there is rather a lot more.

I have already mentioned the lack of a welfare class in 1964 – there were people who could not take care of themselves, but there were not millions of healthy working age people who had never worked and never would. Is this not important?

Also non state institutions were vastly less unhealthy in 1964 than they are now. “Oh Paul is going to obsess about the Churches again” – actually I was thinking of the family.

In 1964 most people still lived in stable families – now we do not. Is this not an important change – and not for the better.

In 1964 the fertility rate was positive, we could replace ourselves as a nation – now it is negative, we can not. We have vast immigration instead of our own children.

In 1964 most shares were still owned by individuals (there was no Capital Gains Tax) and the City of London was matter of self employed stock brokers and stock “jobbers” (wholesalers). The brokers worked for individual clients who still owned most shares (the “Aunt Agathas”) and stock jobbers worked selling shares for the companies.

Now most shares are owned by institutions (hired manages in control of other hired managers – with real owners a thing of the past) and private investors are taken to the cleaners by faceless organisations in a post “Big Bang” GOVERNMENT DOMINATED City of London.

Even Ulster (Northern Ireland) was quiet before 1964 – the main news stories there were about lost cows and the latest attractions at Port Rush. Not how the IRA (Sinn Fein) was running the government and destroying education.

Indeed education was much better in England and Wales also – Grammar Schools were common, intelligent children could get a good education (at the expense of taxpayers). Qualifications meant something – not like now. And the universities were only just starting to over expand.

And the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was an independent nation in 1964 – not a slave of the European Union, we were are own masters.

Also the British armed forces were still a real force in 1964 – the Wilson-Healey gutting of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force (reducing Britain to a token power dependent on others) had not yet happened. Britain was not a joke – we still mattered. Yes in spite of Suez, and in spite of the pathetic “Super Mac” we still mattered. And there was no conscription – getting rid of conscription was about the only good thing that “Super Mac” ever did.

And there was still freedom of speech and freedom of association – the 1965 (and all the later Acts) had not yet been passed.

“We get it Paul – in 1964 everything was wonderful – everything now is awful”.

No I am NOT saying that.

The advance of technology in the last 50 years has been a good thing (yes I find the internet time consuming – but the advance of technology has been a good thing) – and that has enabled higher living standards, for most people.

And government in 1964, although much smaller than now (the Welfare State has exploded since 1964), was still vastly too big – unsustainable big in the long term, all the seeds of our present and future societal crises were already long planted before 1964. Government dominated health care and education and old age provision (at least for the poor) and none of these things is good – although the old traditions of the pre government dominated schools and hospitals (the grammar schools and hospitals were still private in the 1930s) still dominated the government services of 1964, teachers, nurses and doctors still acted like dedicated professionals (not dominated by endless government rules and union practices).

However, it was a good country in 1964 – it was a better place to live than Britain had been in (say) 1874, when government was vastly smaller.

I am not saying that if government had been kept to the level, size and scope, it had been in 1870 or 1874 that Britain in 1964 would not have been an even better place – of course it would have.

But Britain in 1964 was an O.K. ish place in 1964 – in ways we are not now, and this should not be forgotten.

Belgium bans Sexism – Good luck with that…


In 2012, Sophie Peeters moved to Brussels to undertake a film course and found herself shocked by the casual sexism and street harassment she encountered, to such an extent that she made a film about it “Femme De La Rue” (well what did you expect a film student to do? write a poem?)

In the film, she walks round her neighbourhood wearing jeans and a cardigan and then a knee-length summer dress and flat boots. A hidden camera shows that both times, men – from youths to groups of older men on cafe terraces – leer, cat-call and proposition her. She is called “whore”, “slut”, “bitch” and told that she looks up for sex. One man follows her saying she should come to his house or a hotel room. She says she gets this kind of comment eight to 10 times a day.

Belgium film on street harassment strikes a chord across Europe

I will not attempt to condone or underplay the harassment she encounters and documents, as it is both genuine and repulsive, but as per typical in these sort of circumstances, the cries of “something must be done” becomes music to the ears of politicians on the make, especially in Belgium where they are still embarrassed by their inability to form a government after the 2010 elections.

So instead of saying to the local police commissioner “Oy! Matey. Do your bloody job” and clampdown on this unacceptable behaviour using the numerous existing laws on the statute books that these people are in breech of, they come up with the usual “all encompassing solution” which is like a sledgehammer to crack a nut and threatens massive intrusions into free speech that are already under attack. (more…)

President Warren Harding – the real founder of the modern Republican Party (or the good bit of it anyway).

All most people know of Warren Harding is that he was corrupt – and all that most people know is wrong.

Although certainly no saint (he was a drinker, and a poker player, and a lover of women) Warren Harding was not personally corrupt – and his Administration was actually less corrupt than most. For example vastly less corrupt than the Administrations of Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman – and Hollywood and the rest of the media (and academia) do not present those Administrations as corrupt.

That is all the space I am going to waste on the so called “Ohio Gang” or “Tea Pot Dome” – people who are interested in such stuff can read a good biography of Harding (clue to what a good biography is – the author will not pretend Harding’s papers were destroyed, which is the standard “Progressive” excuse for not reading the documents and writing “history” based on nonsense instead). 0r they can just look at the chapter on Harding in the “Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents” by Steven F. Haywood (a good historian).

I am interested in other matters………

Today it is a common place among Republican politicians to talk of rolling-back-government – reducing the size of government, cutting taxes, getting rid of regulations, and reducing government spending.

Some (alas not enough) of these Republicans actually mean what they say – but WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

Republicans have not always promised smaller government – Republican Presidents (and Governors, and Senators and Congressmen and …..) did not use to make a big thing of this. One does not hear this in the speeches of Lincoln, or in Chester Allan Arthur. or Harrison, or Taft…….

These were not the big (peacetime) government fiends of Rothbardian fantasies – but they were not roll-back-the-state types either.

So where does it come from? This modern identification of the Republicans (sometimes correctly – sometimes NOT correctly) as the make-government-smaller party?

Basically it comes from one man.


Essentially Warren Harding created this role for the Republican Party – he invented the approach, he created the modern Republican Party (or the good bit of it anyway).

In his campaign against the Administration of Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding created all the themes we know today.

When you hear (for example) Senator Rand Paul speak (on civil liberties, on government spending, on ANYTHING) you are really hearing WARREN HARDING – Republicans did not tend to speak in this way before him (he, basically, invented it).

And Harding lived the dream – he made it real. And he was faithfully followed (in his policies) by his Vice President Calvin Coolidge (President Calvin Coolidge) and his Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon (anther viciously libelled man).

As the British historian Paul Johnson (in “Modern Times” – long before Ron Radash’s work on Harding) pointed out – Warren Harding actually did the things he said he was going to do.

He sincerely believed in Civil Liberties.

Warren Harding utterly opposed the politics of the Socialists and Communal Anarchists (the Red Flaggers and the Black Flaggers) – but (ironically) they were physically safer under Warren Harding than they were under the Progressive Woodrow Wilson.

President Harding would not tolerate people (even Reds) being sent to prison on trumped up charges – and if he found them already in prison, he would pardon them to get them of prison.

“The bastard must have done something. so what does it matter what we got him for – after all he would murder millions if he had the chance ” may appeal to nasty people (nasty people including, perhaps, ME), but it horrified Harding.

Harding was also horrified by censorship – or any other aspect of the Police State.

He was denounced as Pro German (totally false) for defending German Americans from persecution – German thinkers (as far back as the 1700s) may have worked on aspects of a “Police State” (see Hayek – “The Constitution of Liberty” and “Law, Legislation and Liberty”), but this did not mean that German Americans deserved to be persecuted by an American Police State.

And Warren Harding defended black people also.

He was born in 1865 the year of defeat for the Slave Power – and Warren Harding did not have the “benefit” of a Rothbardian education (based on the writings of Woodrow Wilson – oh yes that was the source Rothbard based his stuff on) that the Civil War was not “really” about slavery. The old men that Warren Harding knew in Marion Ohio had fought in the Civil War – but what did they know, they were not academics…..

The continued persecution of blacks (above all lynching) disgusted Warren Harding to the core of his being – and he denounced the persecution.

The Democrats (and some Republican Progressives, for racism was a Progressive doctrine then, indeed it still is – accept now Progressives stir up blacks against whites, rather than whites against blacks, the switch came in the 1960s and was quite sudden, but as the Dems control the media they got away with it ) replied by spreading rumours that Warren Harding was part black himself (a lie) – but he carried on.

Unlike Woodrow Wilson (a German style trained intellectual [see my first comment] – and “scientific” racist), Warren Harding (a man with little formal education) held that prices and wages should be set by supply and demand – not government orders.

This is why the crash of the post World War One Credit Bubble in 1920-1921 was not like the crash of 1929.

The crash was just as bad (although the Progressive academics have put it down the “Memory Hole”) but Warren Harding was not Herbert “The Forgotten Progressive” Hoover (a man who became conservative after he left office – having never been so before). Harding did not prevent wages and other prices (a wage is a price) adjusting to the crash – instead he got government out of the way (so mass unemployment was not a feature of year-after-year – as was under Hoover-Roosevelt,  for most of Roosevelt’s policies were started by Hoover).

So what did Warren Harding do?

He cut the Federal government in half – from about six billion Dollars spending in 1920 (a peacetime total) to about three billion Dollars only a couple of years later.

Yes prices were falling – but you try and do that. Cut government spending – dramatically.

No “fool” or “lazy man” could do what Warren Harding did - roll back the government on civil liberties, on taxation, or regulation, and on government spending itself.

That is what “normalcy” (and, contrary to ignorant leftists, “normalcy” was the correct American English in Webster’s dictionary when Harding was young) meant to Warren Harding.

Civil Society – where individuals and private associations (commercial companies, churches, clubs, fraternities……) could exist and thrive – and not have every day of their lives spent looking over their shoulder for the commands of the state. A government limited by the Constitution of the United States - in which Warren Harding believed (unlike Woodrow Wilson who despised it) and even physically saved (the physical document was falling apart when he became President – Warren Harding had preserved).

This (his belief in liberty, in property rights, in limited government)  is why the collectivists hated Warren Harding (and still do) – and that is why they (the academic-media-cultural elite) have spent more than 90 years spitting on his name.

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