Free Markets, Free People
One of the most useful things I’ve learned about communication is the importance of stating things plainly and concretely.* But thinking about that lesson frequently makes politics maddening.
Euphemisms are the health of politics. If a government really wants to get away with murder, even secrecy can be less useful than making that particular murder sound unremarkable, justifiable, sensible, or even dutiful.
In a recent study two Harvard professors determined that banning guns will not solve the violence or murder problem. That in fact, guns really have nothing to do with it. Instead it is instead a matter of culture.
The reason that gun ownership doesn’t correlate with murder rates, the authors show, is that violent crime rates are determined instead by underlying cultural factors. “Ordinary people,” they note, “simply do not murder.” Rather, “the murderers are a small minority of extreme antisocial aberrants who manage to obtain guns whatever the level of gun ownership” in their society.
Therefore, “banning guns cannot alleviate the socio-cultural and economic factors that are the real determinants of violence and crime rates.” According to Dr. Kates and Dr. Mauser, “there is no reason for laws prohibiting gun possession by ordinary, law-abiding, responsible adults because such people virtually never commit murder. If one accepts that such adults are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than to commit it, disarming them becomes not just unproductive but counter-productive.”
The sort of reasoning Kates and Mauser use for seems to be foreign to those who want to ban guns. It is not a problem of law abiding citizens because, as the authors state, law-abiding citizens don’t commit murder. Consequently, taking their guns away will have no fact other than to make them easier victims. The counter gun culture tries very hard to correlate guns with violence and murder. But looking at the number of guns owned in America as well as the number of Americans who own guns (45 – 52 million), we see that in reality gun crime and gun violence are statistically small. As the authors state disarming law-abiding citizens is “not just unproductive but counterproductive.”
Additionally, they use these things called “facts” to gut the myths that have grown up around gun ownership and violence. For instance, the myth surrounding the Soviet Union and its strict gun control.
In their piece entitled Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and some Domestic Evidence, Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser eviscerate “the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths.” In so doing, the authors provide fascinating historical insight into astronomical murder rates in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and they dispel the myths that widespread gun ownership is somehow unique to the United States or that America suffers from the developed world’s highest murder rate.
To the contrary, they establish that Soviet murder rates far exceeded American murder rates, and continue to do so today, despite Russia’s extremely stringent gun prohibitions. By 2004, they show, the Russian murder rate was nearly four times higher than the American rate.
The authors also look at the gun control policies in Europe and find evidence that counters the correlation between gun ownership and violence.
More fundamentally, Dr. Kates and Dr. Mauser demonstrate that other developed nations such as Norway, Finland, Germany, France and Denmark maintain high rates of gun ownership, yet possess murder rates lower than other developed nations in which gun ownership is much more restricted.
For example, handguns are outlawed in Luxembourg, and gun ownership extremely rare, yet its murder rate is nine times greater than in Germany, which has one of the highest gun ownership rates in Europe. As another example, Hungary’s murder rate is nearly three times higher than nearby Austria’s, but Austria’s gun ownership rate is over eight times higher than Hungary’s. “Norway,” they note, “has far and away Western Europe’s highest household gun ownership rate (32%), but also its lowest murder rate. The Netherlands,” in contrast, “has the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe (1.9%) … yet the Dutch gun murder rate is higher than the Norwegian.”
Dr. Kates and Dr. Mauser proceed to dispel the mainstream misconception that lower rates of violence in Europe are somehow attributable to gun control laws. Instead, they reveal, “murder in Europe was at an all-time low before the gun controls were introduced.” As the authors note, “strict controls did not stem the general trend of ever-growing violent crime throughout the post-WWII industrialized world.”
Citing England, for instance, they reveal that “when it had no firearms restrictions [in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries], England had little violent crime.” By the late 1990s, however, “England moved from stringent controls to a complete ban on all handguns and many types of long guns.” As a result, “by the year 2000, violent crime had so increased that England and Wales had Europe’s highest violent crime rate, far surpassing even the United States.” In America, on the other hand, “despite constant and substantially increasing gun ownership, the United States saw progressive and dramatic reductions in criminal violence in the 1990s.”
So, if one is honest and reads the evidence clearly, they are left with the understanding that the attempted correlation between gun ownership and violence doesn’t really exist. In fact, it appears that it is indeed the culture that is the cause of violence. One could even argue that disarming the public makes them the culture of victims. For example, one of the things we hear about England is that there has been a vast increase in “hot burglaries” since firearms have been banned. That ban has emboldened the criminals. They no longer fear the homeowner. They know the homeowner does not have a gun. Why? Because they’re law-abiding citizens.
Finally, Kates and Mauser talk about the seeming change in American culture and its impact on violent crime.
Critically, Dr. Kates and Dr. Mauser note that “the fall in the American crime rate is even more impressive when compared with the rest of the world,” where 18 of the 25 countries surveyed by the British Home Office suffered violent crime increases during that same period.
Furthermore, the authors highlight the important point that while the American gun murder rate often exceeds that in other nations, the overall per capita murder rate in other nations (including other means such as strangling, stabbing, beating, etc.) is oftentimes much higher than in America.
As should be obvious to anyone, those that are murdered really don’t care about the means that murder. Dead is dead. The key to reducing murder is cultural. It has nothing to do with the weapon involved. As Kates and Mauser pointed out the per capita murder rate in other nations is often higher than ours. And many if not most of those include countries with strict gun bans.
It should seem clear, given the experience of many European countries with strict gun control, that banning guns does not solve the murder and violence problem. It would be nice for a change if we would learn from the experience of others. As horrific as the Newtown massacre was, it wasn’t perpetrated by a person anyone would consider a law-abiding citizen. In fact, he had no concept of the principle of law or his responsibility to abide by it.
If we want to learn from that incident, the lesson isn’t about guns. It’s about how inadequate our means of handling those who pose a danger to society really are. Megan McArdle does a good job of discussing that very important point.
This study seems to point to what many would argue is obvious. However there is a strong, emotional lobby that continues to want to ignore the primary problem in favor of banning the instrument of murder in this particular case. It is foolish and shortsighted. It would be feel-good legislation, made in haste as usual and in the end accomplishing nothing. We have a history of knee jerk legislation made in haste in which the consequences are unforeseen and usually unintended.
What should be clear is we don’t want to end up like England.
Well “Arab spring” is going swimmingly in Egypt. The second round of elections were just completed and guess who has taken even more control?
The Muslim Brotherhood party secured 39 percent of the vote, while the Salafi Al Nour party won 31 percent of the vote in the second stage of Egypt’s landmark post-Mubarak elections, according to unofficial results published on the website of Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper on Sunday.
The unofficial results for the second stage of elections for the lower house of the Egyptian parliament also showed that the secular, liberal Wafd party won 22 percent of the vote.
Islamist parties won some 70 percent of the total vote, a similar result to the first stage of elections, which took place on November 28.
Of course this wasn’t supposed to happen this way and apologists for it are left with trying to pretend that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “moderate” organization. It’s history tells a completely different story. The classic wolf in sheep’s clothing in this situation. With over 70% control, the Islamists will easily control any legislative body with very little need to compromise with the secular side of the house.
Meanwhile what had begun as peaceful protests in Tahrir Square have turned violent:
Egyptian security forces fought opponents of army rule in Cairo for a fourth day on Monday and the United States, worried by the violence, urged the generals to respect human rights.
Medical sources said the death toll had risen to 13 since Friday. Hundreds have been wounded and scores detained.
Police and soldiers using batons and teargas drove stone-throwing protesters out of Cairo’s Tahrir Square, hub of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February, overnight.
Hundreds had returned to the square by morning after security forces retreated behind barricades in streets leading to parliament, the cabinet office and the Interior Ministry.
The photos of the violence are shocking. But they give good evidence of the fact that any “spring like” feeling is gone from this revolution. It has, as expected, turned toward a military/Islamist takeover as expected and the Egyptian military is now showing its true colors as its powerbase is challenged. This link from the UK’s Daily Mail contains photos and a video that show the results. The photo I’ve included is just an example.
Perhaps now, instead of apologizing for the outcome, those who’ve tried to blind themselves to its reality will face it square on. Egypt is going to end up worse off than it was before Mubarak was deposed. That doesn’t mean Mubarak was someone to support, it is simply a statement of fact. Oppression is likely to be followed by even more oppression. And, as the picture above demonstrates, one of the greatest losers in this particular mess is likely to be women.
One of the interesting things I’ve observed over the years is how the left has sold the idea that the right has the monopoly on violence. Yet, it is almost without exception that the examples of violent rhetoric always seem to emanate from the left.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about (and imagine how a speaker at a right-wing rally would have been treated by the media if he had said something comparable) . This is one of the speakers at the “Occupy LA” event (video at link):
Occupy L.A. Speaker: “One of the speakers said the solution is nonviolent movement. No, my friend. I’ll give you two examples: French Revolution, and Indian so-called Revolution.
Gandhi, Gandhi today is, with respect to all of you, Gandhi today is a tumor that the ruling class is using constantly to mislead us. French Revolution made fundamental transformation. But it was bloody.
India, the result of Gandhi, is 600 million people living in maximum poverty.
So, ultimately, the bourgeoisie won’t go without violent means. Revolution! Yes, revolution that is led by the working class.
Long live revolution! Long live socialism!”
Ballot box? We don’t need no stinkin’ ballot box.
When you use the French Revolution as a “good” revolution, you’re really appealing to blood, death, mayhem and frankly, anarchy. Oh they dressed it up some with various bits of fluff designed to give legitimacy to their murder orgs, but in reality it was just that, organized murder of anyone the mob thought was a threat to their new found power.
It eventually burned itself out when it turned inward. But it was indeed one of the most violent revolutions on record. He’s right, there was a “fundamental transformation”, but not for the better and, later, it went back to square one for a while.
And of course the “fundamental transformation” this boob is asking for is to the failed ideology of socialism. That means heavy and oppressive government, planned economies and ultimate failure.
But some people never learn from history – well except how to kill, maim and destroy.
Naturally, this idiot picked up that part of the lesson (and seems to revel in it) and ignores the rest.
A typical leftist sans sheep’s clothing. Study him well – he’s just saying what many believe (and don’t expect this to show up in any report about violent groups from the Southern Poverty Law Center, because apparently they just exist on the right – just sayin’).
There are a whole lot of folks who have been flapping their gums and saying the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) should be welcomed into the “process” in Egypt. Two things – right now the “process” is an active attempt to overthrow the government in place. I’m not saying it shouldn’t go or that’s a bad thing. I’m just saying let’s be cognizant of what the “process” is at the moment.
Two, as I’ve pointed out in the past and will continue to point out, the MB is a wolf is sheep’s clothing and quite content to say whatever the West wants to hear in order to be considered a legitimate organization bent on the democratic ideal of Western democracy.
To put it bluntly, that’s nonsense. They are and always have been an Islamist organization, i.e. their ideology is rooted in Islam and their method of choice is violent “jihad”. You simply have to look around the net and you can find countless examples of where their Arabic writings and speeches have been translated to understand the point. Don’t look at their English language site – it is designed to placate you. Root out what its leaders have been saying to, shall we say, more local audiences. When they talk of “liberation” they’re not talking about the type of Western freedom you and I assume by the word. They’re talking about something completely different.
Here’s an example from a book by Mustafa Mashhur, entitled “Jihad is the Way”. Mustafa Mashhur was the fifth General Guide, the official leader, of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996 until his death in 2002. He makes no bones about the duty of all Muslims as far as he’s concerned – and he certainly would be seen to speak for the MB’s attitude given he was their leader for 6 years.
Jihad is the way. We need to be fully aware of this and to act and follow in its way. The faltering of faith has led the Muslims to their current state: one of laxity, disintegration, the dominion of Allah’s enemies over the Muslim’s resources, and the succumbing of some of them to abandoning their faith. The revival of the faith is the starting point for the revival and revitalization of the Islamic Ummah [nation], so that it can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men , as the leaders of humanity, and through this religion of truth they will deliver humanity from darkness unto light.
You can read the rest at the link, plus there is a link in the cite with the full pdf. Obviously, encapsulated in that paragraph are the fundamental religious beliefs of the MB as they apply to their politics. Notice how he uses the word "liberated". You are “liberated” if you come under the power of Islam. It certainly refutes the claim of a willingness to establish a secular government as we understand it.
I’m simply saying don’t be fooled by this organization’s expressed willingness to establish a “secular democracy” in Egypt. Like many organizations of its type, it is willing to say anything – and most likely do anything, at least for a while – to establish itself in power. Once there it will justify its takeover in the name of Allah – all things being fair when establishing a theocracy, since all moves will have been ordained by the religion’s all powerful being.
Together with the power of faith, there is no escaping from the power of unity among the Muslims to unify efforts. Then comes the power of arms and weapons, when nothing else will suffice, and this is the role of Jihad. The Imam (Muslim religious leader) and Shahid (Martyr), Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) learned of the need for these three forces, from the biography of the Prophet [Muhammad], may Allah bless him and give him peace…
Fair warning – again.
I guess, perhaps, it is a function of being brought up during the Cold War and watching one "people’s revolution" after another – each promising democracy, freedom and enlightened rule – turn into murderous and oppressive regimes which has me highly suspicious of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt.
I’m also fascinated and perplexed by those who would accept at face value the MB’s declarations in that regard. Carefully reading the words of MB leaders doesn’t at all leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling. Instead I see much of the West falling hook, line and sinker for pernicious propaganda designed to fool them into believing something that isn’t at all in evidence.
For instance, Dr Muhammad Badie is the new leader of the MB. From their English language site (which I understand is much less inflammatory than their Arabic language site) he is quoted:
He concluded by telling reporters that the movement was open to new ideas hence their promoting of reform. The Brotherhood rejects violence and aims to achieve gradual reforms in a peaceful and constitutional way.
“We totally reject violence and denounce it in all its forms," the new leader concluded. [Emphasis mine]
Sounds great. Of course he is quoted as saying things like this on the MB Arabic website:
-Arab and Muslim regimes are betraying their people by failing to confront the Muslim’s real enemies, not only Israel but also the United States. Waging jihad against both of these infidels is a commandment of Allah that cannot be disregarded. Governments have no right to stop their people from fighting the United States. “They are disregarding Allah’s commandment to wage jihad for His sake with [their] money and [their] lives, so that Allah’s word will reign supreme” over all non-Muslims.
–All Muslims are required by their religion to fight: "They crucially need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life." Notice that jihad here is not interpreted as so often happens by liars, apologists, and the merely ignorant in the West as spiritual striving. The clear meaning is one of armed struggle.
Mr. “non-violence” advocating … violence, as recently as October of last year.
Flip over to a little controversy of words between Conor Friedersdorf and Andy McCarthy. Friedersdorf is upset about the way McCarthy worded a particular claim in a recent article. In it McCarthy says, "Hamas is not merely colluding with the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood." . Friedersdorf responds with:
When Andy McCarthy says that The Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas, the point he’s making is that we can anticipate how the group will act if it comes to power in Egypt, because we know how Hamas acts in Gaza, and the two groups are the same. In contrast, Eli Lake doesn’t believe we can know how the Muslim Brotherhood will act in Egypt if it comes to power, he describes a moderate faction of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that is quite different from Hamas, and even in the clip you cite, he isn’t arguing that The Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas – he is arguing that one of its chapters – the one in Gaza – is Hamas, and that an Egyptian government headed by the Muslim Brotherhood might strengthen the hand of Hamas in its ongoing conflict with Israel.
Note the irrelevance of the argument in terms of the big picture. The fact remains, and even Friedersdorf admits it, that the Gaza chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas – a violent terror group (and one which fits perfectly in the new MB leaders “jihadist” framework, no?) We can quibble about whether or not that chapter represents the MB as a whole or not, but the fact remains, it gives total lie to the claim of the MB’s new leader eschewing violence (as do his own words, of course). You see, when it comes to Israel, the MB makes an exception to this declaration.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a translated clip of Muhammad Ghanem, Muslim Brotherhood Representative in London, calling for civil disobedience, including "halting passage through the Suez Canal … and preparing for war with Israel"
Here’s an interview with Khaled Hamza, the editor of the Muslim Brotherhood’s official website. He is described by the interviewer as “a leading voice of moderation within the party, and is central to its youth-outreach efforts.”
One of the things the MB has talked about is “secular government”. They’re for it, well, sort of. I mean that’s what they talk about, but what do they mean when they say it? Well, here’s what they mean:
So the Brotherhood would support the maintenance of a secular government?
When the Muslim Brotherhood uses the word "secular," it does not mean no religion — we are talking about what we call a "civilized state." [emphasis mine]
Uh huh … and what makes a “civilized state?” Read between the lines, people.
Here’s the former MB leader introducing the new MB leader:
Akef addressed a word to the press conference, which had convened for the historical announcement of the eighth Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement. He asserted that the movement was bound by a set of regulations however were and still are open to reform and progress suitable to specific incidents and specific times stressing that flexibility is a must for the success of any trend.
He called on the members of the movement to holdfast to its cause and not to waver or flinch in the face of possible oppression and tyranny. "Continue in your cause with head held high and follow through with integrity and reciprocated respect so that the banner of Islam may be raised. Support your leaders who are as one within your ranks". [emphasis mine]
There’s your “civilized state”.
Back to the Hamza interview:
Do you support the establishment of sharia (Islamic law) in the way the government of Saudi Arabia has established it?
The Brotherhood does not agree with the monarchy in Saudi Arabia, because it is simply not democratic.
So you believe that there has to be a certain way to put sharia into place, but that establishing it through monarchy or by force is unacceptable?
Yes, democracy is the only way.
So the veneer of democracy is to be used to install what they all know they plan on installing – sharia law as a part of a “civilized state”. Once sharia is “chosen”, then they have inoculated themselves against criticism from the West. And, of course, as long as they’re in power, sharia will never be “unchosen”. Democracy is very useful in this way as most of those “people’s revolutions” demonstrated during the Cold War era. Organize for the post-government era so that the MB has the best political organization out there, ban the opposing party (that would be Mubarak’s party which the MB says would be banned from running for office), and win the election. Then implement the agenda:
What role would the Muslim Brotherhood have in creating a new state if it participated in the political process?
We would take part in Parliament and run in the elections for it. [Under Mubarak's ban on the group, members of the Brotherhood must run for office as independents - Ed.) When people choose the Muslim Brotherhood, the West must understand that the people want it. [Emphasis mine]
There you go. And check out this sleight of hand in that same interview. The interviewer asks about the establishment of government in Egypt and whether or not the “Iranian model” is one the MB would follow:
What about the Iranian model?
The Iranians follow the Ayatollah; we do not believe Islam requires a theocracy. In our view, the ulema (clergy) are only for teaching and education — they are out of the political sphere. Iran has some good things, such as elections, but we disagree with all the aggression. We disagree also with the human rights abuses from the government and attacks on the population.
Remember, the former chairman invoked raising the banner of Islam, and this fellow has already told us that “secular” doesn’t mean “no religion”. And anyone who has studied Islam even a little bit understands there is no separation between the religion, law and governance. In fact, that’s how a country becomes a “civilized state”. So this statement is disingenuous at best. So is claiming that the clergy are only “for teaching and education”. And in fact, later on in the interview, he slips a bit. This in a discussion on the role of women in politics:
If the Brotherhood were in power in Egypt, what would be the rights of women to participate in politics? Could a woman serve in Parliament, or as President?
We believe in the complete participation of women in political life — except the presidency.
Except the presidency? Why is that?
Most ulema agree that the president must be a man. Women can run for any political office except president…In Islam there are ideas and options, and Islam says it is possible [for a woman to serve as President], but for now we choose the other option. We say it is a choice, from the religious thinkers or schools of thought. But there are other options and different choices. Some [Islamic] scholars say a woman can be President, but the Muslim Brotherhood, now, at this moment, does not agree with this. Maybe after some years they’d accept this. I think so. For myself, Khaled, I personally think a woman can be President, no problem. [Emphasis mine]
The “ulema agree”? Uh, if they’re just for “teaching and education” who cares? Or are they making "decisions” that government abides by? Sounds like the latter to me. And notice how casually he throws women’s rights to the political process under the bus with “but for now we choose the other option”. What’s to say “we” won’t choose any number of other options for the “civilized state” as decreed by the “ulema”? Stoning. Killing gays and infidels. etc.
Finally, on the subject of violence and Israel:
What about relations with Israel? What would the Brotherhood do regarding the situation between Israel and Palestine?
We think Israel is an occupation force and is not fair to the Palestinians. We do not believe in negotiation with Israel. As the Muslim Brotherhood, we must resist all this. They are an occupation force and we must resist this. Did you see what they do in Gaza, on the flotilla? Israel is a very dangerous force and we must resist. Resistance is the only way, negotiation is not useful at all.
So would the Muslim Brotherhood, if in a position of government, help groups like Hamas?
Do you recognize Israel as a state?
And this guy is a “moderate” and “modernist”.
Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing – the symbol of many a past “people’s revolution”.
California officials argue that they should be allowed to limit minors’ ability to pick up violent video games on their own at retailers because of the purported damage they cause to the mental development of children.
The article Will references says that while the court seemed sympathetic to the aim of the law, it "has been reluctant to carve out exceptions to the First Amendment."
Interestingly, and as an aside, it brings us right back to the point about parents we discussed in the comments about the lip balm issue in North Carolina.
However, the point of the Will article is who it is that is constantly attempting to impose bans and restrictions on the rest of us and why. The money quote is:
Progressivism is a faith-based program. The progressives’ agenda for improving everyone else varies but invariably involves the cult of expertise – an unflagging faith in the application of science to social reform. Progressivism’s itch to perfect people by perfecting the social environment can produce an interesting phenomenon – the Pecksniffian progressive.
Indeed, I agree that progressivism is faith based – AGW being the most recent example of faith in science replacing the healthy skepticism one should always bring to any scientific inquiry. Will points out that scares, such as the video game one now being pushed by the Democratically controlled California legislature, are all too common in our past and were inevitably pushed by progressives and based in questionable science.
As an example, Will points to Fredric Wertham’s crusade against comic books in the early ’50s. Will describes Wertham as “Formerly chief resident in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, he was politically progressive: When he opened a clinic in Harlem, he named it for Paul Lafargue, Karl Marx’s son-in-law who translated portions of "Das Kapital" into French, thereby facilitating the derangement of Parisian intellectuals.”
Since 1948, he had been campaigning against comic books, and his 1954 book, "Seduction of the Innocent," which was praised by the progressive sociologist C. Wright Mills, became a bestseller by postulating a causal connection between comic books and the desensitization of young criminals: "Hitler was a beginner compared to the comic-book industry."
Wertham was especially alarmed about the one-third of comic books that were horror comics, but his disapproval was capacious: Superman, who gave short shrift to due process in his crime-fighting, was a crypto-fascist. As for Batman and Robin, the "homoerotic tendencies" were patent.
This is important because if you read this carefully, you can identify within this old progressive campaign the blueprint for almost every other that has followed it. Based on pseudo-science and faith in that pseudo science, progressives feel both the right and duty to do what is necessary – by whatever means – to save us from ourselves. Never mind, as in the case of the great comic book scare and many other subsequent scares have never panned out as feared. That faith remains undiminished as witnessed by the the California legislature’s attempt to do precisely what the New York legislature tried to do back then – take control of the process and only allow what government deems to be “safe” to be produced “for the children”.
This is the lip balm story writ large. And even if passed, it only means minors wouldn’t be able to pay for these games at the retail counter. It doesn’t mean older brother or sister of legal age couldn’t buy it for them. Or that they couldn’t rent it elsewhere or any of a huge list of ways minors could and would gain access. It seems as if the law is more for the lawmakers to feel good about themselves instead of actually accomplishing anything. Much like AGW – most scientists note that even if we were to put drastic limits on CO2 and implement an extensive and horribly expensive cap-and-trade system, it would hardly make any difference at all. That doesn’t keep the progressives from continuing to pursue that goal though, does it?
Will’s article is another glimpse into the progressive psyche and his observation is dead on. They are Pecksniffian – always have been. No surprise there. The hypocrisy doesn’t bother them. They simply know better than do you. And they certainly know how to better raise and protect your child.
“For the children” is a fairly recent catch phrase for the progressive left – but, as is obvious, they’ve been trying their “for the children” gig for quite some time. They’ll trot it or a form of it out at the drop of a hat.
But it’s not about the children. It’s about, as Will notes, building a “perfect social environment”. One they define as they wish, not you. They have all the faith in the world they can build that utopia and they’re bound and determined to do so by any means necessary. “Science” is their anchor to credibility in their pursuit. Science, after all, simply can’t be disputed – except when it contradicts the wanted outcome.
It is indeed interesting to apply the comic book scare of the ‘50s to the various more recent attempts to apply the same sort of tactical blueprint to other progressive causes. It helps one understand where they’re coming from and what their aim is. And it isn’t freedom, liberty, or smaller and less intrusive government by any stretch.
Do you suppose that’s true? That that’s why we have such absurdities as people climbing in zoo cages to cuddle the animals? It would explain a lot of things.
It would explain, for instance, why the writer of that article is able to regurgitate a century and a half of Socialist propaganda and get commenters calling it “insightful”. Two centuries of modern capitalism have resulted in such ease, such comfort, such near-total safety and security, that Americans (at least, some Americans) don’t just take it for granted but consider it the normal state of affairs, so much so that they are ready and willing to smash the structures that created it, in the confident “knowledge” that the safety and prosperity will remain because they are “normal”.
Ric’s observation stemmed from a Firedoglake post (linked above) in which capitalism is noted as the source of violence. I think Ric pretty much nailed why such thinking is so absurd. Also see Synova’s thoughts on the matter, which are also quite good.
Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t an “extreme right-wing mobster” doing the attacking. The scene was a townhall meeting in St. Louis, MO. The report is from the St. Louis Dispatch:
Kenneth Gladney, 38, a conservative activist from St. Louis, said he was attacked by some of those arrested as he handed out yellow flags with “Don’t tread on me” printed on them. He spoke to the Post-Dispatch from the emergency room at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, where he said he was awaiting treatment for injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face. Gladney, who is black, said one of his attackers, also a black man, used a racial slur against him before the attack.
“It just seems there’s no freedom of speech without being attacked,” he said.
So now we have violence introduced into these meetings where none existed previously.
And what’s been the only change?
The mobilization of unions to counter the protesters from the right.
Yeah, nothing can go wrong with that plan, can it?
UPDATE: Video of the attack.
Listen at about the 1:00 mark when one of the thugs that attacked him claims that Gladney “attacked America”. Also note that the black guy who runs away in the beginning is wearing a union tee-shirt as is the guy who is eventually arrested.
I assume, since China is a totalitarian state, that the US won’t have anything to say about the violence there for at least 10 days:
The official death toll in riots in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region rose sharply Monday, with the government saying that 140 had been killed in what appears to be one of the deadliest episodes of unrest in China in decades.
Police said at least 828 other people were injured in violence that began Sunday in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital. Witnesses said the conflicts pitted security forces against demonstrators, and members of the region’s Turkic-speaking Uighur ethnic group against members of the country’s Han Chinese majority. Many among the predominantly Muslim Uighurs have chafed at Chinese government rule.
As evening fell in Urumqi Monday, witnesses said that paramilitary troops of the People’s Armed Police, backed by armored personnel carriers, were patrolling largely calm city streets. Many businesses remained shuttered and gates of the city’s central bazaar, which was the scene of unrest Sunday night, were closed.
Police said they were still searching for dozens of people suspected of fanning the violence. Several hundred people have already been arrested in connection with the riot, police said, and the government said it was bringing “ethnic officials” from nearby areas to help with interrogations.
Of course the reason given by the Chinese government is much the same as that given by the Iranian government concerning the problems there -
The government blamed the unrest on a prominent exiled Uighur leader, Rebiya Kadeer, president of the World Uyghur Congress, an activist group. Sunday’s demonstration was “instigated and directed from abroad,” according to a government statement cited by Xinhua.
Given that statement, you can expect silence from the Obama administration as they’ll want to ensure they’re not seen as “meddling” in China’s internal affairs. And I can promise you that the Uighur dissidents being rounded up by China’s police forces will not be offered a vacation in Bermuda.
Apparently the only country in which the “no meddling” policy is waved is Honduras.