Monday, February 20, 2006


Although I have always been and always will be the most unwavering supporter of the State of Israel, I don't believe that Israel is well-served by muffling free speech -- even idiotic free speech. So I reproduce below a press release from the U.K. Libertarian Alliance

"At 9:30am on Monday the 20th February 2006, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, will appear on Sky News to defend freedom of speech in general, and in particular the right of controversial historian David Irving to say anything he likes about the holocaust. Mr Irving is awaiting trial in Austria for the supposed crime of denying or minimising the holocaust. Commenting ahead of the broadcast, Dr Gabb says:

"Either freedom of speech means the right to say anything at all about politics, religion, science or history, among much else - or it means nothing at all. "There are those who say they believe in freedom of speech, but then insist that the promotion of "hatred" does not come within the meaning of free speech. The Libertarian Alliance utterly rejects this supposed distinction. What some call the promotion of hatred others call telling the truth. In any event, we believe in the right to promote hatred by any means that do not fall within the Common Law definition of assault.

"Whenever the State involves itself in arguments about the truth, disputes between opinions become disputes between opinions and power. And the State has neither special ability nor the right to decide what opinions may be true or false. "Whatever we may think about what he claims, whatever we may think about the motivation for his claims, the claims Mr Irving makes regarding the holocaust are a matter to be settled by historical debate - not by the criminal law....

"We also note with distaste that those journalists throughout Europe who are congratulating each other on how brave and liberal they have been over the anti-Moslem cartoons have not said a word for the freedom of Mr Irving to express himself. "The Libertarian Alliance believes in freedom of speech for all - WITH NO EXCEPTIONS."



Truth, self-seeking and science: "Newspaper articles recently criticized corporate funding of a few journalists. Monsanto gave money to the Hudson Institute to support a biotech book written by Michael Fumento; Phillip Morris apparently supported Steven Milloy, the author of 'Junk Science.' ExxonMobil contributes to think tanks that question the global-warming scare. The underlying idea is that corporate money is tainted because any research it funds will be self-interested: motivated not by the search for truth but concern for profits. Complex issues of disclosure are involved in some of these journalism cases -- questions I shall not examine. Of greater interest is the implied argument that research funded by the government is pure and disinterested. That needs scrutiny. Government agencies have their own interest, entangled with their mission. In particular they seek to expand, or at least sustain, their share of the budget."

Editorial in "The Times" of London: "Many Americans venturing overseas feel that they are held to be culpable merely for the sound of their accent. When an anti-American film opens in Turkey, it becomes an overnight hit. All this also makes it a hard time to be a friend of America. But it is, therefore, a critical time to stand up to those who would caricature the country. And in doing so to cut through the emotive, hyperbolic and infantile manner in which the US is portrayed, not just in the Middle East, but also throughout Europe.... If Europeans want the US to take more account of their concerns, they should take more trouble to appreciate America's instinct and intent. Neither is always right, but there is far more thought in US policy than the moaners would credit. There is a grave danger in this visceral hostility. The number of Americans who believe the US should mind its own business and let other countries get along on their own has leapt in only three years from 30 per cent to 42 per cent. Mr Bush has set himself against this new isolationism and against trade protectionism, for which there is an increasingly powerful lobby in the US. The worst that could happen is that critics of American engagement might just get their wish.

Leave it to reformed Leftist Christopher Hitchens to rile up a crowd of New York Leftists: "The catcalls started almost from the moment the prickly Brit began defending the Iraq adventure during Wednesday night's squabble at the Ethical Culture Society. "Make zoo noises!" Hitchens taunted. "Bear in mind, if you had been listened to, Bosnia would part of greater Serbia, Afghanistan would be run by the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein would still be in charge of Iraq." For good measure, he added: "British intelligence was quite right to say that Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium in Niger. That you can look up." To which a peacenik screamed: "F- you!" "Shut up," Hitchens retorted. "You're rude and silly. And ugly." Afterward, a deeply satisfied Hitchens smoked a cigarette. "I know how to hurt their feelings because I know what they're going through. ... I have a real relish for inflicting pain on them."

Interview with the proprietor of ErosBlog: "Most of my readers want the government out of their bedroom and out of their expressive life, sure. And they may assume I'm a 'liberal' because I'm a free speech absolutist, radically sex-positive, and so forth. But your typical 'liberal' who is a fellow traveler with me on sex and free speech issues might still turn out to think -- as Democrats often do -- that it's perfectly okay to have government goons with guns running around robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. And they usually think it's perfectly okay to further constrain the already-limited choices of poor women 'for their own good' or 'to prevent exploitation' by regulating or prohibiting participation in various sex work trades. I despise that sort of arrogant urge to control other people at gunpoint -- and, as you know, every law boils down to a command that's enforced at gunpoint."

A good summary of Bombay: "And, yes, the poverty is in your face from the moment you step outside the seething, decrepit international airport into the outstretched arms of the swarming touts and beggars. Yet there's a perverse good humour to the hustling. And not just at the airport, either, where we visitors invariably feel at our most vulnerable. What resonates about Mumbai is not the grinding poverty in which most of its 18 million residents live, but the good cheer with which they face what must be the harsh realities of daily life, and the optimism with which they clearly perceive their future. Everyone works. They have to. India has no social security safety net to speak of, at least not one provided by the state. It's one reason family is everything, and why India's upwardly mobile poor tend to arrive in Mumbai with assorted aunts and grandparents in tow, or have them join them as soon as they can. It infuses the city with a sense of purpose and industriousness. And fun. If that sounds a bit like a contradiction, then, that's exactly what Mumbai is. Or maybe a contrast in extremes".

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here).


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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