Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Afghanistan: the Road to Nationhood

"Losing the war is not an option"

by Arend Jan Boekestijn (original article in Dutch)

Pundits are wont to remind us lately of George Orwell's words: the fastest way to end a war is to lose it. Afghanistan has divided the West. We have acted so recklessly that it appeared at times as if losing the war in Afghanistan was indeed the object. But it would have dire consequences for Western security.

For those who are taking pleasure in debunking Obama: losing the war in Afghanistan is no option. As long as Europe seeks strength in diversity, appeasement and cashing in on peace divident we shall have to settle for Obama. Defeat means nothing less than an affirmation of the jihadists' view that the decadent West has no staying power.

Failure would be a colossal encouragement to even widen the front. In case you're not so sure: defeat in Afghanistan means that the Pakistani jihadists, who won't rest until they've appropriated the national nuclear arsenal, will be able to use Afghanistan as a hide out. To use the word defeat in such a situation, reveals a shocking deficit in responsibility.

It is wiser to learn of ones mistakes. In Afghanistan the US and NATO have chosen for a light military presence. This forced Karzai into making deals with warlords that were in their economic tribal interests. Some were even included in the Government: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Like half a century ago in South Vietnam, when President Ngo Dinh Diem was given to understand that he must democratize, Karzai was driven to an act of similar political suicide given the lack of a loyal opposition. This weakened his position even further. Karzai is quite literally consumed by paranoia. At night he rides his chauffeur driven car through Kabul, hoping to discover what is really going on.

Finally Karzai's political system was made to absorb such insane amounts of aid, that corruption, inherent in this patrimonial system, rose to alarming levels. In Africa we have corrupted many political systems with development aid, but that is insignificant compared to the intervention in Afghanistan. The mistakes in Africa were multiplied hundred fold.

And yet, in all this gloom over this fest of follies and flubs there's some reason for optimism. First of all, it is encouraging that Obama, like his predecessor George Bush, albeit reluctantly, chose for a surge. Admittedly, 30,000 extra troops is minimal, and half of what General McCrystal's requested, but Obama has come through in spite of severe opposition in his own party.

It is very well possible that 30,000 troops are too few to force a breakthrough in the war, but that sounds hollow from the mouth of an inhabitant of a continent whose contribution in the effort is only minimal compared to the American effort. Why doesn't Europe do more?

Secondly, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has shaded somewhat Obama's assurance that withdrawal would go ahead in the summer 2011. That will only happen if the circumstances allow. This is not without significance, because the famous 3-D approach - Defense, Diplomacy and Development - can only succed if the West shows fortitude.

We are talking an involvement of decades here, not just a few years. Anyone who believes the West will never be able to muster the staying power may be right, but should stop complaining about severe damage to the alliance and a potentially fatal defeat in the fight against political Islam. It's not an attractive perspective. Moreover, alternative presence on the ground, like cruise missiles and drones, offer even less chance of success. Whether we like it or not, we won't fix this problem without boots on the ground.

The question is also if the economic crisis will allow America the cost of a major contingent after 2011. If not, we're in deep trouble as the EU is still unable to act militarily. The word 'still' reflects politeness rather than realism. There is no reason for joy over the economic resilience of Obama's country either.

Neither is there about Obama's inquisitiveness. But he steered wisely clear of mentioning democratization in the same breath as failing states. That's a bonus. Anyone who witnessed the blood-curdling spectacle of the Afghan election can rest assured. Ballots without functioning institutions and a loyal opposition - in other words, without a civil society - are a recipe for instability and in-fights.

Elections in closed societies are of a different nature than we're accustomed to. In civil societies temperatures may rise, but they lead to legitimization because the new Government reflects the results of the ballot box, irrespective how disastrously difficult a governing coalition may be formed.

In the absence of a civil society the dynamics of the ballot box potentially undercut the understanding between the leaders of the oligarchy not to use force. As a result few can resist the temptation of vote-buying. And that is precisely what happened in Afghanistan. When the second candidate withdrew, the Americans had no choice but to endorse Karzai. His legitimacy is at an all time low.

Above anything else Afghanistan needs stability and order. Only then there's the chance of a meaningful relationship between the center and the periphery. It is up to us to shield the Afghan regime from becoming a safe-house for those who wish to destroy Western civilization. Jihadists from Pakistan using Afghanistan as a launching pad to topple the regime in Islamabad must also be prevented.

Before we can safely speak of stability we need to ask ourselves why we're training an Afghan standing army. For Karzai? I don't think so. He's a dead man walking. A military corps will only bring stability if it reflects the existing balance of power, giving it legitimacy in the 19th Century meaning of the word. This will not enthuse everyone in the West.

The American proposal to finance tribal militias is very dangerous, but not inept. A tribal balance of power at the provincial and central level is not to be sneezed at. The alternative, training Afghan armed forces, is not without its problems. The current army is tribally unbalanced and it is no wonder upto a third has deserted. It's fairly easy for the Taliban to infiltrate such an artificial construct.

Stability will only be possible in Afghanistan if the Westminster model is neatly tucked away, to gather dust somewhere in a nondescript drawer. Think tribal, practical, undeterred, and bide your time. All other options, democratization, abandonment or just providing development aid, will lead to an instable order, at odds with vital Western interests.

What should the Netherlands do? Forget about being a leading ISAF nation, recoup, and go back to the area where vital interests are at stake: the Greater Middle East. And to those who think that the West lacks the political will to endure this fight over longer stretches of time, I can only advise you to seek refuge under the bed.

Arend Jan Boekestijn is a historian, assocated with the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. His book "De Prijs van een Slecht Geweten" (The Price of a Bad Conscience") (Aspekt Publishing) will hit the bookstores next Friday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

#ClimateGate: Another Reputation Royally Crushed

Another shock! [/sarc] Elsevier Magazine is reporting that the Dutch weather service is also in the tank with ClimateGate.

Elsevier: "Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is also implicated in the scam"

With the exception of the Libertarian Party (VVD) and Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) all politicians are keeping stum on the subject.

(We already went into the rebuttal delivered by the relevant Minister which went along the lines of Barbara Boxer: "Minister for Eco Hysteria Cramer has condescendingly commented on the Hadley hack by attacking the messenger (hackers are criminals!), also charging the emails were published "selectively" and - surprise! - "taken out of context".)

Elsevier's paper version has an indepth article on ClimateGate this week. They're also warning for the consequences for credibility of the field of science, which is indeed in serious peril.

The article by Science journalist Simon Rozendaal goes on to state that (free translation) ...

"I was alerted yesterday to the fact that Dutch climate researcher Rob van Dorland is also caught up in ClimateGate. My esteemed colleague, Science journalist Marcel Crok (a chemist like myself, an advantage when you're writing on the subject of CO2 in my opinion) published an outstanding article in the magazine Physics and Technology about the hockey stick manipulation."

"Marcel Crok showed how the trick was done and cited Rob van Dorland, the inhouse climate man at the Dutch Royal Meteorological Institute (KNMI). Van Dorland at first stated something was wrong, but later on claimed he was ... cited out of context."

"In one of the ClimateGate emails Phil Jones expresses his satisfaction to Michael Mann that Van Dorland was wrongly quoted in "that Dutch magazine". This suggests that Van Dorland - who is a regular IPCC contributor - something which is considered important in the Netherlands - was pressed upon by Jones to recant, so as not to endanger his ICPP status. "

"Enormous interests are caught up in climate research. Researchers are the recipients of great amounts of subsidies, power and reputation, may fly around from convention to convention - business class. Corporations and environmental organizations are making millions, based on their conclusions.

"In other words, it is quite conceivable that scientists, corporations, environmental organizations and sympathetic media are trying to cover up ClimateGate. That should not be happening. Also not in the Netherlands."

Simon Rozendaal

Read it in Dutch >>>


- NOS: "Geen marginalisering van sceptici? Kom nou!", by Hans Labohm
- De Pers: "Scepsis wordt bestreden met overheidsgeld"

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wilders: The Enemy of State

Here follows a free translation of an article published in the Volkskrant newspaper this morning:

"De Volkskrant: "Geert Wilders undermines democracy"

Geert Wilders' Freedom Party is an extreme Rightist party that mobilizes Islamophobia and "hatred of the system". It therefore undermines democracy and social cohesion in the country. This is the opinion of three scientists in an investigation that was carried out at the behest of the Home Office per Parliament request.

Sources say that on account of "political sensitivities" the Home Office wants the conclusions tempered. The scientists however - radicalization researcher Hans Moors, lecturer (counter) terrorism Bob de Graaff and extreme Right expert Jaap van Donselaar  - are holding on to their conclusions.

A Home Office spokesperson said that "discussions over the report are ongoing", but "vehemently excludes discord". Researcher Moors doesn't let on, but confirms that parts, like the qualification of extreme Rightist, are 'sensitive'. "The Minister will choose position on the basis of our paper. She can say we are mad as hatters [sic]. But we stand by our conclusions".

Danger to the state's security
Explosive is the scientists' conclusion that Wilders undermines democracy and social cohesion. Meaning: he is a danger to the state's security. This is the general opinion bureaucrats do not dare vent publicly. They fear Wilders might benefit in retorting that the authorities try to silence him.

Fed up with Wilders
Various public authorities and departments are "fed up with Wilders",  confirms terrorism reseacher Edwin Bakker at the Clingendael Institute for International Relations. "He creates a threat. Not just abroad with his (anti Islam) film Fitna, but he also mobilizes fear at home. Wilders is a danger to state security".

The experts speak of a remarkable paradox. The authorities are much better prepared for a terrorist attack than five years ago whenTheo van Gogh was murdered by Mohammed Boyeri. Society on the other hand is much more vulnerable because of the presence of the Freedom Party. An attack could lead to social unrest. Wilders was not available for comment. >>>

Who are these researchers?

- Radicalization specialist Hans Moors is senior researcher and "an expert" at finding out what moved Van Gogh's killer Boyeri and others like him; since experts do not stop telling us this is all our own fault, it's a safe assumption Moors agrees. If he doesn't I'd like to know about it. His political affiliation can't be gleaned from the information available.

- The most serious of the threesome, sociologist Prof. Dr. Bob de Graaff of Leiden University specializes in (counter)terrorism and has worked on projects in the former Yugoslavia (subjects: the UN Muslim 'safe haven' enclave of Srebrenica, nationalism and state sponsored mass murder). He has published works on investigations into foreign intelligence service, and a report "Terrorism as a art form". Available online is "The American Warriors of the Apocalyps" on Rambo style vigilante movements like the Posse Comitate. He started out with investigations into the far Leftist cause célèbre, a Gladio like outfit in the Netherlands. Affiliation: postmodern Leftist to the hilt.

- Expert on everything deemed Extreme Right, Jaap van Donselaar is well known in those circles as some kind of a snake-oil salesman turned scientist. He's the most politically motivated of the triad. He's turned the Anne Frank Foundation into a headquarters of the witchfinder general of racism and extremism. His liberal or possibly postmodern extreme Leftist credentials are above suspicion.

- Edwin Bakker of the Clingendael Institute of International Relations is safe to say, is a tranzie. He's on the editorial board of the Dutch journal for peace and security and a member of the executive committee of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee. A statist with unknown political affiliation.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The racist history the Democratic Party wants you to forget.

Following are some quotes from prominent Democrats and Democratic Party Platform positions. Even with the exclusion of all quotes that contain the N-word, it is clear that many of the Democratic Party's most important historical figures have long made terrible racist statements. 

Blacks "are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both of body and mind."

--Thomas Jefferson, 1787
Co-founder of the Democratic Party (along with Andrew Jackson)
President, 1801-09

"I hold that the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin, and distinguished by color, and other physical differences, as well as intellectual, are brought together, the relation now existing in the slaveholding states between the two, is, instead of an evil, a good--a positive good."
--Sen. John C. Calhoun (D., S.C.), 1837
Vice President, 1825-32
His statue stands in the U.S. Capitol.

If blacks were given the right to vote, that would "place every splay-footed, bandy-shanked, hump-backed, thick-lipped, flat-nosed, woolly-headed, ebon-colored Negro in the country upon an equality with the poor white man."
--Rep. Andrew Johnson, (D., Tenn.), 1844
President, 1865-69

"Resolved, That the Democratic Party will resist all attempts at renewing, in Congress or out of it, the agitation of the slavery question, under whatever shape or color the attempt may be made."
--Platform of the Democratic Party, 1852

Blacks are "a subordinate and inferior class of beings who had been subjugated by the dominant race."
--Chief Justice Roger Taney, Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1856
Appointed Attorney General by Andrew Jackson in 1831
Appointed Secretary of the Treasury by Andrew Jackson in 1833
Appointed to the Supreme Court by Andrew Jackson in 1836

"Resolved, That claiming fellowship with, and desiring the co-operation of all who regard the preservation of the Union under the Constitution as the paramount issue--and repudiating all sectional parties and platforms concerning domestic slavery, which seek to embroil the States and incite to treason and armed resistance to law in the Territories; and whose avowed purposes, if consummated, must end in civil war and disunion, the American Democracy recognize and adopt the principles contained in the organic laws establishing the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska as embodying the only sound and safe solution of the 'slavery question' upon which the great national idea of the people of this whole country can repose in its determined conservatism of the Union--NON-INTERFERENCE BY CONGRESS WITH SLAVERY IN STATE AND TERRITORY, OR IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" (emphasis in original).
--Platform of the Democratic Party, 1856

"I hold that a Negro is not and never ought to be a citizen of the United States. I hold that this government was made on the white basis; made by the white men, for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever, and should be administered by white men and none others."
--Sen. Stephen A. Douglas (D., Ill.), 1858
Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, 1860

"Resolved, That the enactments of the State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect."
--Platform of the Democratic Party, 1860

"The Almighty has fixed the distinction of the races; the Almighty has made the black man inferior, and, sir, by no legislation, by no military power, can you wipe out this distinction."
--Rep. Fernando Wood (D., N.Y.), 1865
Mayor of New York City, 1855-58, 1860-62

"My fellow citizens, I have said that the contest before us was one for the restoration of our government; it is also one for the restoration of our race. It is to prevent the people of our race from being exiled from their homes--exiled from the government which they formed and created for themselves and for their children, and to prevent them from being driven out of the country or trodden under foot by an inferior and barbarous race."
--Francis P. Blair Jr., accepting the Democratic nomination for Vice President, 1868
Democratic Senator from Missouri, 1869-72
His statue stands in the U.S. Capitol.

"Instead of restoring the Union, it [the Republican Party] has, so far as in its power, dissolved it, and subjected ten states, in time of profound peace, to military despotism and Negro supremacy."
--Platform of the Democratic Party, 1868

"While the tendency of the white race is upward, the tendency of the colored race is downward."
--Sen. Thomas Hendricks (D., Ind.), 1869
Democratic nominee for Vice President, 1876
Vice President, 1885

"We, the delegates of the Democratic party of the United States . . . demand such modification of the treaty with the Chinese Empire, or such legislation within constitutional limitations, as shall prevent further importation or immigration of the Mongolian race."
--Platform of the Democratic Party, 1876

"No more Chinese immigration, except for travel, education, and foreign commerce, and that even carefully guarded."
--Platform of the Democratic Party, 1880

"American civilization demands that against the immigration or importation of Mongolians to these shores our gates be closed."
--Platform of the Democratic Party, 1884

"We favor the continuance and strict enforcement of the Chinese exclusion law, and its application to the same classes of all Asiatic races."
--Platform of the Democratic Party, 1900

"The repeal of the fifteenth amendment, one of the greatest blunders and therefore one of the greatest crimes in political history, is a consummation to be devoutly wished for."
--Rep. John Sharpe Williams (D., Miss.), 1903
House Minority Leader, 1903-08

"Republicanism means Negro equality, while the Democratic Party means that the white man is supreme. That is why we Southerners are all Democrats."
--Sen. Ben Tillman (D., S.C.), 1906
Chairman, Committee on Naval Affairs, 1913-19

"We are opposed to the admission of Asiatic immigrants who can not be amalgamated with our population, or whose presence among us would raise a race issue and involve us in diplomatic controversies with Oriental powers."
--Platform of the Democratic Party, 1908

"I am opposed to the practice of having colored policemen in the District [of Columbia]. It is a source of danger by constantly engendering racial friction, and is offensive to thousands of Southern white people who make their homes here."
--Sen. Hoke Smith (D., Ga.), 1912
Appointed Secretary of the Interior by Grover Cleveland in 1893

"The South is serious with regard to its attitude to the Negro in politics. The South understands this subject, and its policy is unalterable and uncompromising. We desire no concessions. We seek no sops. We grasp no shadows on this subject. We take no risks. We abhor a Northern policy of catering to the Negro in politics just as we abhor a Northern policy of social equality."
--Josephus Daniels, editor, Raleigh News & Observer, 1912

Appointed Secretary of the Navy by Woodrow Wilson in 1913
Appointed Ambassador to Mexico by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933
USS Josephus Daniels named for him by the Johnson Administration in 1965

"The Negro as a race, in all the ages of the world, has never shown sustained power of self-development. He is not endowed with the creative faculty. . . . He has never created for himself any civilization. . . . He has never had any civilization except that which has been inculcated by a superior race. And it is a lamentable fact that his civilization lasts only so long as he is in the hands of the white man who inculcates it. When left to himself he has universally gone back to the barbarism of the jungle."
--Sen. James Vardaman (D., Miss.), 1914
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources, 1913-19

"This is a white man's country, and will always remain a white man's country."
--Rep. James F. Byrnes (D., S.C.), 1919
Appointed to the Supreme Court by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941
Appointed Secretary of State by Harry S. Truman in 1945

"Slavery among the whites was an improvement over independence in Africa. The very progress that the blacks have made, when--and only when--brought into contact with the whites, ought to be a sufficient argument in support of white supremacy--it ought to be sufficient to convince even the blacks themselves."
--William Jennings Bryan, 1923

Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, 1896, 1900 and 1908
Appointed Secretary of State by Woodrow Wilson in 1913
His statue stands in the U.S. Capitol.

"Anyone who has traveled to the Far East knows that the mingling of Asiatic blood with European or American blood produces, in nine cases out of ten, the most unfortunate results. . . . The argument works both ways. I know a great many cultivated, highly educated and delightful Japanese. They have all told me that they would feel the same repugnance and objection to have thousands of Americans settle in Japan and intermarry with the Japanese as I would feel in having large numbers of Japanese coming over here and intermarry with the American population. In this question, then, of Japanese exclusion from the United States it is necessary only to advance the true reason--the undesirability of mixing the blood of the two peoples. . . . The Japanese people and the American people are both opposed to intermarriage of the two races--there can be no quarrel there."
--Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1925
President, 1933-45

"This passport which you have given me is a symbol to me of the passport which you have given me before. I do not feel that it would be out of place to state to you here on this occasion that I know that without the support of the members of this organization I would not have been called, even by my enemies, the 'Junior Senator from Alabama.' "
--Hugo Black, accepting a life membership in the Ku Klux Klan upon his election to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from Alabama, 1926
Appointed to the Supreme Court by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937

"Mr. President, the crime of lynching . . . is not of sufficient importance to justify this legislation."
--Sen. Claude Pepper (D., Fla.), 1938
Spoken while engaged in a six-hour speech against the antilynching bill

"I am a former Kleagle [recruiter] of the Ku Klux Klan in Raleigh County. . . . The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia. It is necessary that the order be promoted immediately and in every state in the union."
--Robert C. Byrd, 1946
Democratic Senator from West Virginia, 1959-present
Senate Majority Leader, 1977-80 and 1987-88
Senate President Pro Tempore, 1989-95, 2001-03, 2007-present
His portrait stands in the U.S. Capitol.

"President Truman's civil rights program "is a farce and a sham--an effort to set up a police state in the guise of liberty. I am opposed to that program. I have voted against the so-called poll tax repeal bill. . .. I have voted against the so-called anti-lynching bill."
--Rep. Lyndon B. Johnson (D., Texas), 1948
U.S. Senator, 1949-61
Senate Majority Leader, 1955-61
President, 1963-69

"There is no warrant for the curious notion that Christianity favors the involuntary commingling of the races in social institutions. Although He knew both Jews and Samaritans and the relations existing between them, Christ did not advocate that courts or legislative bodies should compel them to mix socially against their will."
--Sen. Sam Ervin (D., N.C.), 1955
Chairman, Committee on Government Operations, 1971-75

"The decline and fall of the Roman empire came after years of intermarriage with other races. Spain was toppled as a world power as a result of the amalgamation of the races. . . . Certainly history shows that nations composed of a mongrel race lose their strength and become weak, lazy and indifferent."
--Herman E. Talmadge, 1955
Democratic Senator from Georgia, 1957-81
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, 1971-81

"These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don't move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there'll be no way of stopping them, we'll lose the filibuster and there'll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It'll be Reconstruction all over again."
--Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D., Texas), 1957

"I have never seen very many white people who felt they were being imposed upon or being subjected to any second-class citizenship if they were directed to a waiting room or to any other public facility to wait or to eat with other white people. Only the Negroes, of all the races which are in this land, publicly proclaim they are being mistreated, imposed upon, and declared second-class citizens because they must go to public facilities with members of their own race."
--Sen. Richard B. Russell Jr. (D., Ga.), 1961
The Russell Senate Office Building is named for him.

"I did not lie awake at night worrying about the problems of Negroes."
--Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, 1961
Kennedy later authorized wiretapping the phones and bugging the hotel rooms of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"I'm not going to use the federal government's authority deliberately to circumvent the natural inclination of people to live in ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods. . . . I have nothing against a community that's made up of people who are Polish or Czechoslovakian or French-Canadian or blacks who are trying to maintain the ethnic purity of their neighborhoods."
--Jimmy Carter, 1976
President, 1977-81
Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, 2002

"The Confederate Memorial has had a special place in my life for many years. . . . There were many, many times that I found myself drawn to this deeply inspiring memorial, to contemplate the sacrifices of others, several of whom were my ancestors, whose enormous suffering and collective gallantry are to this day still misunderstood by most Americans."
--James Webb, 1990
Democratic Senator from Virginia

"Everybody likes to go to Geneva. I used to do it for the Law of the Sea conferences and you'd find these potentates from down in Africa, you know, rather than eating each other, they'd just come up and get a good square meal in Geneva."
--Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D., S.C.) 1993
Chairman, Commerce Committee, 1987-95 and 2001-03
Candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, 1984

"I do not think it is an exaggeration at all to say to my friend from West Virginia [Sen. Robert C. Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klan recruiter] that he would have been a great senator at any moment. . . . He would have been right during the great conflict of civil war in this nation."
--Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), 2004
Chairman, Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, 2008

"You cannot go into a Dunkin' Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent."
"My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state has the eighth largest black population in the country. My state is anything [but] a Northeastern liberal state." 
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African American [Barack Obama] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy." 
"There's less than 1% of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than 4% or 5% that is, are minorities. What is it in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with."
Sen. Joseph Biden Jr., (D., Del.), 2006-07
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, 1987-95
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations
Candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, 2008
Vice-President Elect, 2008

Bonus quote:

"It has of late become the custom of the men of the South to speak with entire candor of the settled and deliberate policy of suppressing the negro vote. They have been forced to choose between a policy of manifest injustice toward the blacks and the horrors of negro rule. They chose to disfranchise the negroes. That was manifestly the lesser of two evils. . . . The Republican Party committed a great public crime when it gave the right of suffrage to the blacks. . . . So long as the Fifteenth Amendment stands, the menace of the rule of the blacks will impend, and the safeguards against it must be maintained."
--Editorial, "The Political Future of the South," New York Times, May 10, 1900)

More info on the racist history of the Democratic party:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Muslims versus Sharia: archive

Back to active <<<

Amil Imani: "An Appeal to Cultural Muslims"

There are some 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, the overwhelming majority of which are Cultural Muslims who are generally called moderate Muslims. Muslims are born into Islam, where a great many never go through the process of deciding for themselves if they want to be Muslims. It is not a religion that they choose, it is a belief they inherit. For whatever reason, this great majority of Cultural Muslims are Muslims of sort without fully toeing the line of Islam. The real Muslims are the jihadists, a small minority who lives and dies by the dictates of the Quran and the Sunna, the life examples of Muhammad. (...) >>>

Mar 14, 2009

Shona Darress Notes: "Zuhdi Jasser Against Third Jihad"

Jan 28, 2009

Memri: " Saudi Anti-Terror Cartoons"

On June 25, 2008, the Saudi Interior Ministry reported the arrest of 520 Al-Qaeda operatives who had planned to strike oil facilities and economic centers in eastern Saudi Arabia. According to the report, the leader of the cell, who bore a message from Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, was among those arrested, as were some 50 webmasters of websites that spread extremist ideas and encourage terrorism.

After the arrests were made public, Saudi papers focused on condemning terrorism and terrorist ideology, through articles and cartoons. (...)

"The logic of the terrorist"

Cartoonist: Jihad Awartany

Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), July 1, 2008 >>>

Updated: 21st Aug. 2008

Memri: "Are the Tribes the Best Hope for a Liberal Iraq?"

Iraqi and Arab progressives have long tended to view the persistence of tribes and tribalism as a negative phenomenon that is keeping the Middle East from developing modern societal relations based on voluntarism and a modern political system. This is particularly true in Iraq, where the Ba'th regime exploited tribalism to sustain the dictatorship. Recently, though, some liberals have begun to rethink this view of the Iraqi tribes, and, in light of the successes of the tribal Awakenings Councils, have begun to argue that the tribes can be a force for progress and a positive alternative to Islamists. (...) Iraqi author Hussein Karkush wrote in the liberal Arab e-journal Elaph that the tribes are relatively secular and that the Awakenings are essentially Iraqi civil society's revolt against political Islam. Following are excerpts (...) >>>

Updated: 3rd Aug. 2008

Front Page: "The Demise of Islam?"

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Abul Kasem, an ex-Muslim who is the author of hundreds of articles and several books on Islam including, Women in Islam. He was a contributor to the book Leaving Islam – Apostates Speak Out as well as to Beyond Jihad: Critical Views From Inside Islam. He writes from Sydney, Australia and can be reached at (...) >>>

Updated: 16th July 2008

Politeia: "The Good News: for Muslims and Humanity"

"With the help of our readers we went through the Koran and removed every verse that we believe did not come from Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. However, it is possible that we missed something, and we could use your help. If you find verses in the reformed version of the Koran that promote violence, divisiveness, religious or gender superiority, bigotry, or discrimination, please let us know the number of the verse and the reason why it should be removed. Please email your suggestions to"

"If you could help with translation or distribution of the Reform Koran, please email us at If you could provide financial support, please visit our support page."

In Memoriam of Aqsa Parvez >>>

Updated: 20th Dec. 2007

American Thinker: "Moderate Muslim group slams Sudan over teddy bear case"

Excellent news, worthy of praise: The American Islamic Congress has denounced the government of Sudan for jailing a British schoolteacher, and demands her immediate release. Judith Apter Klinghofer of the History News Netework has the news >>>

Updated: 29tyh Nov. 2007

FrontPage Magazine: "Muslims Against Sharia", by Jamie Glazov

Frontpage Interview's guest today is Khalim Massoud, the president of Muslims Against Sharia, an Islamic reform movement. ...

As you might imagine, Islamists are not particularly happy with our group. According to our poll, over 20% of Muslims want us beheaded. I am perfectly content with my head not being separated from my body and I'd like to keep it that way for as long as I can. >>>

Updated: 24th Nov. 2007

Io Sto Con Oriana: "Integration?"
Updated: 2nd November 2007


- "The Unholy Alliance"
- "In Defense of Liberty"
"The Jihad Project"
- "The Balkan Caliphate"
"Stop Islamization of Europe"
- "Eurabia"
- "Islamization=Apartheid"
- "Apostating Islam"

Ruled by the Mob: archive

Back to the current file <<<

Fausta's Blog: "Well, that didn’t take long"

Yesterday at McClatchy: Sotomayor backers urge reporters to probe New Haven firefighter

Supporters of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor are quietly targeting the Connecticut firefighter who’s at the center of Sotomayor’s most controversial ruling.
On the eve of Sotomayor’s Senate confirmation hearing, her advocates have been urging journalists to scrutinize what one called the “troubled and litigious work history” of firefighter Frank Ricci.

What is “troubled and litigious work history”, pray tell? (...) >>>

July 12, 2009

Can someone discern a pattern here: Chavez, Zelaya, Obama ... ?

Flopping Aces: "“Eh, Who Needs To Follow The Constitution”"

With all the wailing about Bush supposedly doing things his own way and not by the rule of law I wonder if those same people will have a problem with this:

With the clock running out on a new US-Russian arms treaty before the previous Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, expires on December 5, a senior White House official said Sunday said that the difficulty of the task might mean temporarily bypassing the Senate’s constitutional role in ratifying treaties by enforcing certain aspects of a new deal on an executive levels and a “provisional basis” until the Senate ratifies the treaty. (...) >>>

July 6, 2009

Michele Bachman: "We Now Have A Total Gangster Government"

Publish Post

July 1, 2009

Fox/O'Reilley: "Obama and Holder drop charges against Black Panther Party thugs"

Jennifer Ruben on Pajamas has more ...

May 30th, 2009

WSJ: "The President Is 'Keeping Score' - Chicago politics has moved into the White House", by Karl Rove

"Don't think we're not keeping score, brother." That's what President Barack Obama said to Rep. Peter DeFazio in a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic Caucus last week, according to the Associated Press. A few weeks ago, Mr. DeFazio voted against the administration's stimulus bill. The comment from Mr. Obama was a presidential rebuke and part of a new, hard-nosed push by the White House to pressure Congress to adopt the president's budget. He has mobilized outside groups and enlisted forces still in place from the Obama campaign. Senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett and her chief of staff, Michael Strautmanis, are in regular contact with MoveOn.Org, Americans United for Change and other liberal interest groups. Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina has collaborated with Americans United for Change on strategy and even ad copy. Ms. Jarrett invited leaders of the liberal interest groups to a White House social event with the president and first lady to kick off the lobbying campaign. Its targets were initially Republicans, as team Obama ran ads depicting the GOP as the "party of no." But now the fire is being trained on Democrats worried about runaway spending. Americans United is going after Democrats who are skeptical of Mr. Obama's plans to double the national debt in five years and nearly triple it in 10. The White House is taking aim at lawmakers in 12 states (...) >>>

Apr 2, 2009

It's an bl**dy epidemic on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe a variety of Socialists is vilifying free market Czech PM Mirek Topolánek, currently EU chairman. A day after his Government was ousted by a non confidence vote in Prague Topolánek found himself addressing the EP (Strasbourg branch), criticizing the Obama stimulus schemes in no uncertain terms: "This is the road to hell!" Assorted Socialists reeled in disgust: "because they adore Obama", Elsevier opines.

On the other side of the Atlantic - after the hush attempt on Rush - it is now Karl Rove's turn to grow horns (again):

After repeatedly vilifying conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh for saying he hopes that President Obama’s liberal policies fail, the Democrat Party apparently may be trying to make another mountain out of a molehill -- this one involving Karl Rove. (...) >>>

Mar 27, 2009

Michael Savage, also on the case (wow, and I thought I don't suffer fools gladly) ...

Mar 6, 2009

(...) Senator Leahy is holding his hearing today on his proposal to hold a series of show trials (oops sorry, a “Truth Commission”) on the Bush administration’s policies on terrorist detainees and other such matters. I wrote about it over at Politico yesterday. In essence, this is a push to criminalize his political opponents’ views on public policy and how to fight the war on terror. It is more reminiscent of a third-world banana republic than the United States of America. (...) This time, the clueless Hollywood types will cheer the "truth" commissions on. And, how appropriate that the show trials already seem like something that could easily fit into the mindset of old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics! >>>

Mar 5, 2009

The Foundry: "Santelli Responds to Team Obama Character Assassination Attempt"

The left has developed a firm and frightening pattern of how it deals with critics of President Barack Obama. Mere hours after Joe the Plumber had the temerity to question candidate Obama’s tax plans, government employee donors to Obama were socuring his public records digging for dirt. The media then followed up with hit pieces on Joe’s tax, professional, marital difficulties.

CNBC analyst Rick Santelli has come in for the same treatment after he expressed criticism of President Obama’s mortgage bailout plan. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs attacked Santelli personally from the White House podium invoking his name six times in a single press conference. Now Obama’s leftist allies at Playboy have followed up the Santelli smear campaign with an article claiming Santelli staged his criticism and is in fact in the pocket of the co-founder of the John Birch Society. Totally devoid of facts, Playboy has since removed their article without any explanation. (...) >>>

Mar 3, 2009

WND: "Alinskyite Obama hopes to hush Rush", by David Limbaugh
(...) In his eight full years as the recipient of endless vile and often-delusional slander, President George W. Bush rarely grumbled, much less counterattacked his tormentors. Yet before he completed his first week in office, President Barack Obama – a dedicated disciple of Saul Alinsky, who is to left-wing radicalism and social agitation what Karl Marx is to communism – declared war on Rush Limbaugh.

This was a calculated move by a man who professes to be open to all ideas but apparently brooks no dissent. He not only does not tolerate dissent well but also really doesn't even like to be questioned, as we saw during the campaign, when he accused the normally fawning press of grilling him for merely asking a follow-up question. We caught another glimpse of this last week, when he showed irritation at the White House press corps for daring to ask him a policy question after he had decreed that the sole purpose of his visit was to press the flesh. (...) >>> Digg it here

Jan 31, 2009

Remember the police searching Damian Green MP's office? Well it's happened again - but then, should we be surprised with the British police's infestation with Common Purpose members?

BBC: "Police 'entered Tory MP's office'"

A Conservative MP has alleged that police entered his Commons office without a search warrant demanding to see constituency correspondence. Daniel Kawczynski said he found it "disgraceful" after the controversy over the arrest of shadow immigration minister Damian Green last year. (...) He said he had been informed by his office about a police raid as he was due to make a speech in a debate. (...) Fellow Tory MP Tobias Ellwood demanded that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith make a statement to MPs about the matter. (...) >>>

Jan 21, 2009

... in many ways the figure of Joe the Plumber has been Obama's and the Dems Nemesis - again ...

NewsBusters: "Joe the Plumber Data Dive Whistleblower Was Threatened with Firing; Media Will Likely Ignore"

The Columbus Dispatch has done some impressive work exposing the unauthorized and arguably illegal database diving done by State of Ohio employees into the records of Joe the Plumber in October. The rest of Ohio's and the nation's media have been virtually asleep. (...) A story in the Dispatch this morning that should be read in full (HT Michelle Malkin) about Ms. Niekamp's testimony before the Ohio House's Government and Elections Committee reveals just how imperiled she was. While carrying out a personal order from a superior who was trying to cover his tracks, she was reminded that she was an "unclassified" employee. In plain English, she was threatened with her job if she didn't do what she was told (...) >>>

Dec 6, 2008

... a particularly nasty development, now so common it warrants its own dossier ...

Tory website: "Film of police searching Damian Green's office released"

Film of the police searching Damian Green’s Parliamentary office has been released this afternoon, with Dominic Grieve stressing the footage documents “a dark day for democracy”. The office of the Shadow Immigration Minister was searched by Metropolitan Police officers on Thursday 27th November. Dominic Grieve, the Shadow Home Secretary, stressed Damian was “guilty only of doing his job”:

"MPs are not above the law. But they must be allowed to bring the Government to account and to put into the public domain information which may be uncomfortable for Ministers."The footage released today shows Andrew Mackay, Senior Parliamentary and Political Adviser to David Cameron, entering Damian Green’s office as police officers carry out their search.

Watch the footage here

Roots: "The precursors of censorship"

There's quite a bit of confusion about what constitutes "hate speech". To Muslims and Obama supporters ANY criticism is inciting hatred. There have been indications during the US Presidential elections of Democrats trying to criminalize critics, making an equivocation that loosely runs: criticism = lies = libel = criminal.
Muslim groups (OIC) within the UN are pushing resolutions that equivocate: criticism = Islamophia = racism = criminal, or alternatively: criticism = Islamophobia = blasphemy = criminal.
These are precursors of censorship. Initially through the social pressure emanating from political correctness, the swarming and flagging of opponents on Facebook and sites like that, culminating in critique being outlawed altogether. Tolerate it at your peril. >>>

Dec 2, 2008

The Foundry: "Obamabots Know Where You Live"

It’s hard to pick out the scariest part of the still unfolding story of how unionized state government workers violated Joe the Plumber’s privacy for political ends. The Columbus Dispatch reports today that President-elect Barack Obama supporter, donor, and director of Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services Helen Jones-Kelley “had no legitimate agency function or purpose” for pilfering the files of Joe the Plumber. Last month the Dispatch reported that Jones-Kelley personally requested state employees to search Joe’s files after Joe publically criticized then-candidate Obama. (...) >>>

Nov 24, 2008

World Net Daily: "Cops at man's home for opposing Obama"

... here's the source of the breaking LA Times tape hostage story in her own words ...

Nov 1, 2008

Politeia: "We Are All Plumbers Now"

This is perhaps the most ominous aspect yet of both the radicalized Democratic Party in general, and the Obama campaign in particular: they appear to be after ways how the law can the used to criminalize opponents. Uncle Joe would be proud! Point in case is a local Democratic chairman reacting to Philip Berg's valid lawsuit for Barack Obama to present evidence of natural born citizenship. In this footage we can literally see him looking for ways to delegitimise Berg's efforts: either he's on a personal vendetta, or he must be trespassing on somebody's privacy rights, etc. (....) This is as much undermining the rule of law, as ACORN is crushing the very foundation of democracy. Republican rallies are almost certainly infiltrated by agitators. These tactics are truly and utterly irresponsible and destructive.

A Pajamas Media article "Justice Dept. Targets GOP Activists" lists one case of legal abuse, Rick Moore in "Obama Wants to Prosecute Republicans Trying to Stop Voter Fraud" chronicles another. Then there is the minor matter of the Truth Squads (read Missouri Governor Blunt's press release), followed by Obama's judicial obliteration of the Second Amendment. (...)

What cannot be ignored today is the hyena mob attack on citizen Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher which is shedding whatever remnants of respectability that perhaps remained. It tells of an end-justifies-the-means mentality that comes with the pragmatist approach. What's more disturbing? The fact itself, that some don't see the problem, or that others completely miss the point? The unconscionable mob turns on a single citizen, a plumber, so as to divert attention away from the redistributive nature of the Obama policies, the egalitarian collectivism that was to remain shrouded in mystery until "the deal was closed." The episode is exemplary for the ongoing con job. (...) The series on relativism and violence is an ongoing project, but part I and part II have already been posted. >>>

18th Oct 2008

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Legislating Morality: archive

To the current file <<<


(...) It is time for Congress to impeach U.S. District Judge Napoleon Jones. Judge Jones ruled on Wednesday that the Boy Scouts of America must leave their aquatics center on San Diego's Fiesta Island in which the Scouts have invested millions of dollars since 1987. Jones says that the Scouts are "an admittedly religious, albeit nonsectarian and discriminatory organization" and thus violate the constitutional "separation of church and state" by holding a public-private partnership with San Diego. In a similar ruling last summer, Jones found "overwhelming and uncontradicted evidence" that the Boy Scouts violate the separation of church and state by having used San Diego's Balboa Park as a summer camp since 1915. (...) >>>

26th Oct 2008

Dr Sanity: "Benedict weighs in on cultural relativism"

"Human rights are increasingly being presented as the common language and the ethical substratum of international relations. At the same time, the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights all serve as guarantees safeguarding human dignity. It is evident, though, that the rights recognized and expounded in the Declaration apply to everyone by virtue of the common origin of the person, who remains the high-point of God's creative design for the world and for history. They are based on the natural law inscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilizations. Removing human rights from this context would mean restricting their range and yielding to a relativistic conception, according to which the meaning and interpretation of rights could vary and their universality would be denied in the name of different cultural, political, social and even religious outlooks. This great variety of viewpoints must not be allowed to obscure the fact that not only rights are universal, but so too is the human person, the subject of those rights." (...)

If we want to see the consequences of leftist socialism-lite, utopian pacifism, moral equivalence, and cultural relativism, then we need only look at how easily Europe and the leftists in this country have surrendered the fundamental values of Western civilization to the shrill (and violent) demands of Islamic fanatics--all done in the spirit of multicultural tolerance and politically correct compassion. Europe, having given up any objective standard by which to mediate the vastly different perspectives and feelings of its varied populations; having abandoned reason altogether in favor of the expression of feelings no matter how destructive or unreasonable; and, finally, having endlessly touted the critical importance and essential need to "belong" to one's race, tribe, religion or group first and foremost; the outcome is what Stephen Hicks refers to as "group balkinization" --with all its inevitable and inescapable conflict. That politically correct road which the left has taken us all down--billed as the path to peace and harmony--has instead led to a land dominated by emotions (...) >>>

Updated: 3rd Aug. 2008

AWOL Civilization: "A Supreme Embarrassment"

“There are two types of corruption,” wrote Montesquieu in 1748. “One, when the people do not observe the laws; the other, when they are corrupted by the laws: an incurable malady, because it exists within the remedy itself.” Nowhere is this statement more appropriate than when applied to the United States Supreme Court. (...) For well over a generation, the decisions of the Court (and much of the federal judiciary) have consistently and predictably run roughshod over the Constitution and the will of the people, imposing in arrogant and dictatorial fashion the social and political agenda of the Far Left. (...) Key to this movement has been a shift in the understanding of law, particularly constitutional law. In the traditional Western view, law is a set of guidelines that determine the boundaries for our interaction with the wider society. In the new, revolutionary view, law is a tool with which to impose one’s image of the perfect world. Put differently, instead of legislating the structure within which man finds his path, the projected results of someone’s preferred path are pre-ordained. I will not try here to summarize the process of decay. Rather, I would like to sketch the possible future direction of the Court’s attack on the foundations of American law and society, given the current composition of the Court (not to speak of further appointments by a President Obama). (...) >>>

Updated: 13th July 2008
... where are the ethicists in these matters? Surely they must realize that when
the law becomes synonymous with morality we have in effect created a
dictatorship ... anyone care to comment? Here's a Christian
Pajamas: "Great Britain’s Free Speech Breakdown," by John Stephenson

(...) Even in the United States, despite the opinion of some, free speech is not absolute. Some restrictions have to be created in order to protect the safety and certain rights of others. However, in the United States there is no right not to be offended. (...) the Public Order Act 1986 (...) is disturbing in countless ways and reminds too many people of Orwell’s 1984. It opens the floodgates to censorship and abuse of power. What is even scarier is that this law is similar to many of the “hate speech” laws politicians are trying to pass (...) If the trend in other European countries to criminalize the criticism of religions continues to spread, freedom of speech will fall farther into danger and where to draw the line will become even more obscure. (...) >>>

Updated: 7th June 2008

Politeia: "Sacred and Secular Authority: Why We Need It", by Dr Sam Holliday

(...) The weakness of exclusive reliance on secular authority is often ignored or misunderstood. One of the lessons of history is that polities that are growing, building and maturing have both secular and sacred authorities that mutually support each other. In those polities that are in decline one of these two authorities has lost its ability to influence the behavior of its members. It makes no difference if these authorities are united or separated—but they both must be effective and they must be mutually supportive if the polity is to remain strong, efficient, and successful. (...) The lesson is clear: the wisdom of a polity can only be transmitted to succeeding generations if it is internalized by the citizens of that polity, and the institutions of that polity are designed to maintain inherited beliefs, practices and knowledge. In some systems both authorities were united in a God-King, but in others they were separated—but still mutually supporting. (...) >>>

Updated: Mar 11th, 2008

Accuracy in Media: "Liberal Fascism Explained", by Amanda Busse

The side of fascism he attributes to American liberalism is not that associated with the works of George Orwell or the racism and genocide of the Holocaust. It is much less brutal, “smiley-face fascism,” as he puts it. Conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg is tired of being called a fascist. In his latest book, Liberal Fascism, he fights back against the term that those on the right are often saddled with, reminding readers that the original fascists leaned more toward the left.
Goldberg, the editor-at-large for National Review Online, argues in his book that fascism under Benito Mussolini and Nazism under Adolf Hitler came from the same intellectual source as Progressivism, the birth-mother of American liberalism. The term “liberal fascism” comes from a speech made by author H. G. Wells when he told a group of Young Liberals at Oxford that Progressives must become “liberal fascists” and “enlightened Nazis.” (...) >>>

Updated: 11th Feb. 2008

Politeia: "Open Letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown"

In recent days we have been posting on the plight of Lionheart. Euro-Med (bless them) have now come up with the following initiative!We kindly request the readership to follow suit and send an email to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. USpace has details ... >>>

Updated: 8th Jan. 2008

Politeia: "Thanks to Will Smith: a Fresh Take on Good and Evil"

Evil may be committed through good as well as bad intent, but the sinner always remains oblivious he's fallen into the devil's trap until too late! Europe has failed to keep its eyes on the moral ball and has strayed into a subjectivist mindset in which a noble end justifies the evil means: bullying in the name of peace - fascistic methods to combat perceived fascism - committing evil to avert it >>>

Updated: 26th Dec. 2007

Times Online: "Christian magistrate in gay adoption row appeals against ruling"

A Christian magistrate who claimed he was forced to resign rather than place children for adoption with same-sex couples will today appeal against an employment tribunal ruling. Andrew McClintock, 63, stood down from dealing with family cases in Sheffield after he was refused permission to opt out of cases that could result in a same-sex adoption.

Mr McClintock, from Sheffield, lost his claim that he had been discriminated against on grounds of his philosophical and religious beliefs at a tribunal earlier this year. The father of four, a member of the Christian People’s Alliance council, had served as a magistrate in the family courts in Sheffield for 15 years where he decided whether children needed to be taken from troubled families and put into care.

But the new civil partnership laws led to a situation where he could have inadvertently sanctioned the removal of a child from its natural family to be placed in the care of a gay couple.
Mr McClintock said that contradicted ... >>>

Background and clarification on subject matter:

The Lighthouse: "EU Phobia: More Crimes Against the Ideology"

In a post "Victim obsession leading to more oppression, not less in modern Britain" former University teacher John Ray from Brisbane, Australian gives a review on a book called, "Religious Discrimination and Hatred Law", in which practising barrister Neil Addison provides the first comprehensive survey of legislation concerning religion in diverse areas such as criminal law, discrimination, employment and harassment, and charts the growing role of courts in regulating this messy dimension of society.

Addison is concerned about the legal expansion into a complicated moral aspect of human life, and fears that a new generation of laws will remove people's powers to criticise, challenge or defend their religious (or non-religious) views.

He "sees the expansion of law into the terrain of religion as part of 'a new type of philosophy': 'We used to have laws because we considered them necessary, but now it seems we have laws because they are desirable. If something is regarded as good or bad, we use the law to direct it. In effect, we're trying to legislate morality.'

For Addison, the law has now become a tool for some groups to impose their moral positions on others, whether it is the ban on smoking or the ban on foxhunting or restrictions on what we can say about minority groups ... but it is not the function of civil law to prescribe everything that is morally right and to forbid everything that is morally wrong  >>>