Free Markets, Free People
So, where’s the UN, NATO and R2P? I mean, this should be bad enough to get them involved given the Libya scenario:
Syrian tanks took up positions outside the city of Hama on Saturday, where tens of thousands of people took to the streets to mourn the deaths of at least 65 protesters gunned down by security forces there the day before.
But wait, there’s more:
The government’s violent crackdown against a three-month-old popular uprising continued, with helicopter gunships killing 10 people in a neighboring province and residents of Hama bracing for a military assault that would be the first on the city since the government bombed it in 1982, killing at least 10,000 people.
Wow, that was enough to get Gadhafi the full might of the UN, NATO and the US to come down on him.
What is that? Is that the sound of hypocrisy I hear in DC, Europe and the UN? Inconsistency? Or just cluelessness?
So many were treated for gunshot wounds at local hospitals that blood supplies ran low, residents said. Throughout the night, loudspeakers on mosques normally used for calls to prayer urged people to donate blood.
Yeah, this isn’t anything like our illegal war in Libya, is it?
You perhaps recall that the AGW doomsayers, via the UN, announced in 2005 that by 2010 there would be 50 million “climate refugees” driven from their homes by the adverse effect of global warming.
It’s always nice to check up on the accuracy of such predictions to gauge how well they jibe with reality.
In this case, it’s a complete miss. As most of us know, the measured “global temperature” has been steadily going down (as the natural cycles of the earth again do what they’ve done for billions of years). So what’s the status of all of those refugees?
Well, Gavin Atkinson gives us a nice little update based on the recent census data from various “at risk” places. Remember, we were supposed to see the first effects of warming on the “very sensitive low lying islands of the Pacific and Caribbean”.
Nassau, The Bahamas – The 2010 national statistics recorded that the population growth increased to 353,658 persons in The Bahamas. The population change figure increased by 50,047 persons during the last 10 years.
The island-nation of Saint Lucia recorded an overall household population increase of 5 percent from May 2001 to May 2010 based on estimates derived from a complete enumeration of the population of Saint Lucia during the conduct of the recently completed 2010 Population and Housing Census.
Population 2002, 81755
Population 2010, 88311
The latest Solomon Islands population has surpassed half a million – that’s according to the latest census results.
It’s been a decade since the last census report, and in that time the population has leaped 100-thousand.
How about all those cities that were going to be underwater because of melting glaciers and ice packs?
Meanwhile, far from being places where people are fleeing, no fewer than the top six of the very fastest growing cities in China, Shenzzen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhuhai, Puning and Jinjiang, are absolutely smack bang within the shaded areas identified as being likely sources of climate refugees.
Similarly, many of the fastest growing cities in the United States also appear within or close to the areas identified by the UNEP as at risk of having climate refugees.
When it all comes down to it, AGW increasingly appears to fall in the category of the usual lefty doomsaying that never lives up to the fear factor with which its proponents attempt to radically change the way we live in order to supposedly save us from ourselves. Think the population bomb with fossil fuel as the target instead of government mandated population control.
Of course the unfortunate thing is many of our politicians on the left and a whole raft of politicians throughout the world (and particularly in the UN) continue to push this farce. The reason is simple. There’s a whole lot of money to be extracted from this scare. World governments can cash in on a “problem” they’ve literally invented out of thin air.
So don’t look for it to go quietly into the night. All that crap about putting science first is just that. They’ve picked their side for obvious reasons and intend to push it all the way to the bank.
That’s one of the reasons stories like this need to be highlighted – so when they inevitably try to get in you wallet again, you have something to fight back with. This is the reality of their predictions – and it is completely the opposite of what their “science” told them would happen.
Not that its “role” has been much more than a third-world debating club to this point, but apparently it is tired of that and wants to move on to a more glorious and important role. That’s per George Russell reporting at Fox News. Russell reports that UN Sec Gen Ban ki-Moon and about 60 of his top lieutenants spend the Labor Day weekend at a resort in Austria plotting their takeover of the world. Talk about "mission creep".
Here’s what he was able to glean from the “position papers” that were used at the meeting and what they included:
– how to restore “climate change” as a top global priority after the fiasco of last year’s Copenhagen summit;
– how to continue to try to make global redistribution of wealth the real basis of that climate agenda, and widen the discussion further to encompass the idea of “global public goods”;
– how to keep growing U.N. peacekeeping efforts into missions involved in the police, courts, legal systems and other aspects of strife-torn countries;
– how to capitalize on the global tide of migrants from poor nations to rich ones, to encompass a new “international migration governance framework”;
– how to make “clever” use of new technologies to deepen direct ties with what the U.N. calls “civil society,” meaning novel ways to bypass its member nation states and deal directly with constituencies that support U.N. agendas.
Of course the biggest problem that faces the UN in each of those areas is that old anachronism, at least in the UN’s view – national sovereignty. Each of the above would require severe weakening of national sovereignty and, frankly, that’s what the UN would like to see.
That’s because the UN sees itself as the “go to” organization for global governance, which it obviously feels is “the next step” in the utopian evolution of man.
Hammering away at perceptions that nation-states cannot adequately meet global challenges, but the U.N. can, is a major theme of the position papers, which were assembled by a variety of U.N. think tanks, task forces and institutions, including the United Nations Development Program, and the U.N.’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
This is an organization so inept it can’t carry on a proper peace keeping mission and so corrupt it gives organized crime a bad name. This is the same organization that has included Libya on the Human Rights Commission and whose peace keepers have been cited for cases of rape and child molestation, and stood by doing nothing while Hezbollah rearmed itself in Lebanon.
Yet it feels it could handle the role of global governor and chief of wealth redistribution. And that, of course, would start with their primary potential cash cow – climate change:
Rolling just about every U.N. mantra into one, the paper declares that “nothing is more crucial to preventing run-away climate change than lifting billions out of poverty, protecting our planet and fostering long-term peace and prosperity for all.”
And to do that, the paper suggests, equally dramatic shifts in political power may be needed. “Is the global governance structure, still dominated by national sovereignty, capable of responding with the coherence and speed needed?” it asks. “Or do we need to push the ‘reset’ button and rethink global governance to meet the 50-50-50 Challenge?”
Not only that – a little behavior modification might be in order:
“The real challenge comes from the exponential growth of the global consumerist society driven by ever higher aspirations of the upper and middle layers in rich countries as well as the expanding demand of emerging middle-class in developing countries. Our true ambition should be therefore creating incentives for the profound transformation of attitudes and consumption styles.”
And, of course, as you might imagine, the foregone conclusion of each of these position papers is the UN is the organization best suited to take on the job of global governance:
“At the practical level, through the U.N. system we have all kinds of expertise and capacities, even if not adequate resources, to actually do something,” the paper notes.
Really? Can anyone point to a system anywhere, to include our own governmental system, which is more inept, corrupt or unable to do much of anything it was chartered to do? Is that anyone who actually believes that nation-states are going to willingly give up their sovereignty to a group of bureaucrats who’ve demonstrated neither “expertise” nor “capacities” to do much of anything but waste money?
And speaking of money, that’s part of the plan as well:
It is “urgent to secure U.N. participation” at regular meetings of the G-20 finance ministers and their deputies,” according to one of the papers, a group that the U.N. Secretariat, based in New York City and Geneva, does not interact with very much.
“The much paraded reform of financial governance institutions has not gone far enough,” the position paper for the U.N. leadership’s keynote session asserts, and the voting power of emerging players and developing world, in general, which demand a greater say on these matters, remains inadequate.”
The answer? “An enhanced political will is clearly needed to avoid return to status quo, to push forward regulatory mechanisms, and improve financial governance.”
Or, said another way, the third world demands a seat at the table and a say in how the first world handles its money – and, most likely how it is to be redistributed.
The group also see peace keeping as a means of nation building UN style:
In essence, as another paper observes, the U.N. peacekeeping effort is transforming into a new kind of supervisory organism in which not only conflicts but also national institutions and cultures must be regulated for longer and longer periods of time.
“Even where a semblance of stability is achieved,” the paper by Ban’s peace-building support office argues, the achievement of peace may involve more than “adopting a constitution or holding elections.” It adds that “more fundamental change may be needed in a country’s institutions and political culture as well as in public perceptions and attitudes.”
It was quite a meeting if the position papers were any indication. How much if any of the agenda will see the light of day much less be achieved is anyone’s guess. But the fact remains those are the ambitions of the UN leadership today. The problem is I have no confidence that the administration now in place in the US wouldn’t look favorably at much of what is outlined above. That, of course, would be disastrous – both to the US and the world.
If, like millions of Americans, you’ve been moved by the plight of the poor Haitians in the wake of the recent and terrible killer earthquake, and want to contribute to their relief, may I make a suggestion? Don’t send your hard earned money to the UN. It would most likely not be used to help the Haitians. Instead, you’ll probably help pay for some UN staffer’s catered lunch.
Yes friends, as usual, the UN’s Haiti mission is redefining “bureaucratic efficiency”. Charged with relief and “peacekeeping” duties, most of the budget is being spent – on themselves.
The United Nations has quietly upped this year’s peacekeeping budget for earthquake-shattered Haiti to $732.4 million, with two-thirds of that amount going for the salary, perks and upkeep of its own personnel, not residents of the devastated island.
The world organization plans to spend the money on an expanded force of some 12,675 soldiers and police, plus some 479 international staffers, 669 international contract personnel, and 1,300 local workers, just for the 12 months ending June 30, 2010.
Some $495.8 million goes for salaries, benefits, hazard pay, mandatory allowances and upkeep for the peacekeepers and their international staff support. Only about $33.9 million, or 4.6 percent, of that salary total is going to what the U.N. calls “national staff” attached to the peacekeeping effort.
Presumably, the budget also includes at least part of some $10 million that the U.N. has spent on renting two passenger vessels, the Sea Voyager (known to some U.N. staffers as the “Love Boat“) and the Ola Esmeralda, for a minimum of 90 days each, as highly subsidized housing for some of its peacekeepers and humanitarian staff. The tab for the two vessels, which offer catered food, linen service and comfortable staterooms and lounges, is about $112,500 per day.
So in essence, about $235 million of that $732 million dollar budget is actually going to Haitian relief. Certainly everyone recognizes it costs money to put relief workers and peacekeeping troops in to a situation such as that, but imagine, if you will, the outcry if a private charity was found to be only using 22% of its money to actually do the job for which it was donated, and, instead had spent the bulk on the things the UN seems to think take priority over relief for Haitians.
Then remember that in the total scheme of UN things, the US pays 27% of its budget. That means, if we break it down by shares, that the US taxpayer – that’s you – has “contributed” almost $199 million to the UN Haitian boondoggle with $133 million going to the Love boat, et al.
Tell me again why we continue to sponsor this wretched third world debating club?
The fact that a former railroad engineer has been previously touted as the “world’s leading climate scientist” pretty much sums this whole IPCC/AGW scam in a nutshell.
Of course I’m talking about Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the man directly responsible for ensuring the scientific credibility of that report. As we’re learning it has as much scientific credibility as an Al Gore movie.
There are now calls for him to step down as the chair of that panel. The latest has come from John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK , who says Pachauri should have acted to correct the record immediately after learning that the Himalayan glacier claim contained in the IPCC report had been refuted – even if its correction would have caused embarrassment in Copenhagen.
But of course he didn’t – which brings us to the “what did he know and when did he know it” question.
A journalist working for Science had told Dr Pachauri several times late last year that glaciologists had refuted the IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Dr Pachauri refused to address the problem, saying: “I don’t have anything to add on glaciers.” He suggested that the error would not be corrected until 2013 or 2014, when the IPCC next reported.
The IPCC issued a correction and apology on January 20, three days after the error had made global headlines. Mr Sauven said: “Mistakes will always be made but it’s how you handle those mistakes which affects the credibility of the institution. Pachauri should have put his hand up and said ‘we made a mistake’. It’s in these situations that your character and judgment is tested. Do you make the right judgment call? He clearly didn’t.”
Sauven’s absolutely correct in as far as his assertion goes. But this wasn’t a mistake as Sauven claims. At the point Pachauri learned this claim was untrue and chose not to reveal that, it became fraud. Additionally, a “mistake” is something altogether different than the deliberate inclusion of data which has no basis in scientific fact. Pachauri and those on the panel who included this report knew it had no accepted research to back it and that it had not been peer reviewed. And, of course, the glaciers aren’t the only such problem that’s been found in the IPCC report. We now know the Amazon rain forest claim in the report has been refuted as well and have learned that it’s basis was a paper by the WWF on logging – not global warming – destroying up to 40% of the area.
Sauven’s real concern here is to attempt to save the scientific credibility of both the report and the panel. It’s not going to happen. It is becoming common knowledge that the base data used by the panel to formulate its conclusions are, at best, questionable (CRU). And now we have two examples of decidedly unscientific work being included with the implicit claim that it was researched, peer reviewed and the findings conclusive. They were not. How much more remains to be found that further make the report a scientific laughing stock
But while Sauven’s attempt may not bear the fruit he’d like, it would be nice, just once, to see some public official held accountable for the mess he or she has made. But then, we’re talking about the UN here – the same organization which recently shut down it’s own internal ethics and corruption organization because it was finding too many problems in both areas. Pachauri is probably safe to continue in his position for as long as he desires.
Dr Pachauri did not return calls yesterday but he told Indian television at the weekend that he believed attacks on him were being orchestrated by companies facing lower profits because of actions against climate change recommended by the IPCC.He added: “My credibility has been established because I was re-elected chairman in 2008 by all the countries of the world. They must have been satisfied with what I did in terms of the fourth assessment report [published in 2007] because they have given me the mandate of completing the fifth assessment report [to be released over 2013 and 2014] which I intend doing.”
Of course, his re-election took place well before the revelations about glaciers and rainforests (and while he can’t be held responsible for the temperature fiasco, before that as well). If he remains in his position and produces the next edition of the report, it’s scientific credibility will immediately be called into question before the first paragraph is read.
If the UN wants to have its next attempt at
cobbling together a narrative useful for demanding the redistribution of global wealth outlining the problems of man-made global warming, it had best can Pachauri.
It started as a trickle and is now turning into a flood. More claims found in the “bible of the alarmists”, the UN’s 2007 IPCC report, have been found to be false.
The two latest have to do with extreme weather increases and the disappearance of the Amazon rain forest.
The IPCC 2007 report claimed that global warming was leading to an increase in extreme weather, such as hurricanes and floods. Like its claims about the glaciers, this was also based on an unpublished report which had not been subject to scientific scrutiny — indeed several experts warned the IPCC not to rely on it.
The author, who didn’t actually finish his work until a year after the IPCC had used his research, has now repudiated what he sees has its misuse of his work.
His conclusion: “There is insufficient evidence to claim a statistical link between global warming and catastrophe loss.”
Yet it was because of this — now unproved — link that the British government signed up to a $100 billion transfer from rich to poor countries to help them cope with a supposed increase in floods and hurricanes.
Peer review? Obviously impossible since the work hadn’t even been finished by the time the IPCC report was published. And much the same has been found concerning the IPCC claim that 40% of the Amazonian forests were at risk from global warming and would likely be replaced by “tropical savannas” if temperatures continued to rise.
This claim is backed up by a scientific-looking reference but on closer investigation turns out to be yet another non-peer reviewed piece of work from the WWF. Indeed the two authors are not even scientists or specialists on the Amazon: one is an Australian policy analyst, the other a freelance journalist for the Guardian and a green activist.
The WWF has yet to provide any scientific evidence that 40% of the Amazon is threatened by climate change — as opposed to the relentless work of loggers and expansion of farms.
What was that question that alarmists like to ask about the IPCC report? Oh, yeah – “how can 2,500 scientists be wrong?” Here’s how – take unfinished research, fudged data and un-peer reviewed work and publish it claiming it is none of those things, that’s how.
The good news?
The sceptics may be about to get their first scalp. Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman often wrongly described in the media as the world’s leading climate scientist (he’s actually a railway engineer), at first attacked those who questioned the IPCC’s alarming glacier prediction as “arrogant” and believers in “voodoo science”.
He’s since had to retract the prediction but can’t quite manage an apology — and is now under mounting pressure in his Indian homeland to resign.
And resign he should – the IPCC report, for which he was responsible, seems to be a pack of lies promulgated to advance a political agenda designed to loot rich countries and transfer the wealth to poorer countries under the auspices of “science”. He and that group have, instead, tarnished the reputation of science and set it back at least 50 years. It’s time for a little accountability in this world. Pachauri should resign at a minimum and, if a way can be figured out to do it, brought up on charges of conspiracy to defraud.
Is there a more useless or corrupt organization than the UN? The famous “Third World Debating Club”, primarily supported by US tax dollars, is used as a platform for attacking the US (and the West) and squandering money. It is also famous for corruption, such as the oil for food scandal and many others.
Recently, and as quietly as they could manage, the UN shut down it’s Procurement Task Force, an anti-corruption task force set up in 2006 in the wake of the oil for food scandal. Since its establishment the anti-corruption unit has uncovered 20 more major schemes involving about 1 billion in US contracts and individual aid.
And now? Now those cases are being dropped as the PTF is dissolved:
But at the beginning of 2009, the United Nations shuttered the agency and diverted its work to the Office of Internal Oversight Services’ permanent investigation division.
Since then, the number of cases opened, pursued or completed has dropped dramatically and the division has let go most former task force investigators, the AP found in an examination of U.N. documents, audits and e-mails, along with dozens of interviews with current and former U.N. officials and diplomats.
Over the past year, not a single significant fraud or corruption case has been completed, compared with an average 150 cases a year investigated by the task force. The permanent investigation division decided not to even pursue about 95 cases left over when the task force ceased operation, while another 80 unfinished cases have languished.
What that really says, at least as I see it, is the PTF was all for show – an organization that was established in the wake of the oil-for-food scandal as an effort to placate an enraged world. But 3 years later, the UN feels safe enough that it can disband its only real anti-corruption unit, a unit that was obviously becoming a hindrance to the ability of the corrupt among the body to siphon off billions.
I am not now, nor have I ever been a fan of the UN. It lost its way not long after its formation and has become nothing more than a vehicle for looting richer nations and providing a forum for dictators and authoritarians to condemn those who oppose them.
This development provides the US a perfect opportunity to pull out of the UN. Unfortunately we won’t and I know that as well. Making the best of a bad situation, the least we should do is insist that the PTF be rechartered as a permanent addition to the UN structure and strengthened with more investigators before we send the organization another dime of “dues”. Without that, the corruption that is apparently inherent in the organization will run rampant, and that’s simply unacceptable. No permanent PTF, no dues. And drag our erstwhile “allies” into this as well.
Yeah, I know – accountability, what a concept. Perhaps we ought to try it out here first before we demand the UN do it, huh?
Here’s an interesting twist:
A U.N. human rights investigator warned the United States Tuesday that its use of unmanned warplanes to carry out targeted executions may violate international law.
Philip Alston said that unless the Obama administration explains the legal basis for targeting particular individuals and the measures it is taking to comply with international humanitarian law which prohibits arbitrary executions, “it will increasingly be perceived as carrying out indiscriminate killings in violation of international law.”
Alston, the U.N. Human Rights Council’s investigator on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, raised the issue of U.S. Predator drones in a report to the General Assembly’s human rights committee and at a news conference afterwards, saying he has become increasingly concerned at the dramatic increase in their use, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan, since June.
June. So the Obama administration has one of its favorite excuses – blame Bush – preempted.
And the administration’s response?
He said the U.S. response — that the Geneva-based council and the General Assembly have no role in relation to killings during an armed conflict — “is simply untenable.”
“That would remove the great majority of issues that come before these bodies right now,” Alston said. “The onus is really on the government of the United States to reveal more about the ways in which it makes sure that arbitrary executions, extrajudicial executions are not, in fact, being carried out through the use of these weapons.”
You can’t help but appreciate the irony. They can, as would have the previous administration, stick with their claim that the UN’s Human Rights council has absolutely no jurisdiction or say in the issue (something I happen to agree with) and risk being branded “war criminals”, or they can capitulate to the “legal” argument and submit justification for using these weapons in combat against terrorists (thereby giving said council legitimacy and a say in how the weapons can and can’t be used).
Apparently the UN Human Rights council has yet to issue the same sort of warning to the Taliban who, when blowing up buildings in Pakistan and Afghanistan are, in fact committing “arbitrary executions” and “extrajudicial executions” with the use of their bombs.
But then, other than arbitrary in their application of anything (especially if it is a blow to the US) what would you expect from the UN?
The Copenhagen summit is in December and yesterday UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said he didn’t expect a binding agreement to come out of the meeting, dashing the hopes of environmental extremists that the nations of the world would agree to binding reductions of so-called greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Today India, apparently speaking for, or speaking with the approval of, the world’s developing nations (of which China considers itself one):
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday that the world’s poor nations will not sacrifice their development in negotiations for a new climate change deal.
The issue of how to share the burden of fighting global warming has divided the developing and industrialized worlds as they prepare to negotiate a replacement to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol at a December summit in Copenhagen.
“Developing countries cannot and will not compromise on development,” Singh told an international conference on technology and climate change.
Naturally he threw a little diplospeak out there to soften the refusal to play the game:
However, even poorer countries need to “do our bit to keep our emissions footprint within levels that are sustainable and equitable,” he said.
Riiiight. And that means they’ll decide what constitutes “sustainable and equitable” as it applies to their economy, not the targets some world body wants to put on them. Both India and China, two of the largest emitters of GHGs in the world have repeatedly said no to binding reductions and international monitoring. But they’re up for a little friendly looting:
Developing countries want financial aid for their climate change efforts, and Singh said wealthy nations have an obligation to ensure they get access to new, clean technology that will cut emissions and increase energy efficiency.
“We need technology solutions that are appropriate, affordable and effective,” he said.
I certainly don’t blame them a bit for refusing to hurt themselves economically in the name of specious “science” (thankfully, Americans are beginning to figure out the scam). And the fact they won’t do so should confirm to even the most fanatic global warmist that attempts to cut GHGs will indeed cause major economic distress. Additionally, as pointed out here and elsewhere, cap-and-trade attempts in Europe and elsewhere have been a disaster with no net reduction in such emissions observed.
I look for Copenhagen to be a bust and am quite happy about that, frankly. The US will show up empty handed with nothing but promises (Waxman-Markey thankfully not having passed yet), the UN will play the international “Chicken Little”, 3rd world “developing” countries will have their hands out as usual and industrialized nations won’t be able to agree on much of anything.
This is worrisome. I just featured a story in which Democrats have slipped a “hate speech” bill into the Defense Appropriations bill in a bid to further eroding our 1st Amendment protections. Now we find out that the Obama administration has supported a UN resolution that is also designed to restrict free speech:
Around the world, free speech is being sacrificed on the altar of religion. Whether defined as hate speech, discrimination or simple blasphemy, governments are declaring unlimited free speech as the enemy of freedom of religion. This growing movement has reached the United Nations, where religiously conservative countries received a boost in their campaign to pass an international blasphemy law. It came from the most unlikely of places: the United States.
While attracting surprisingly little attention, the Obama administration supported the effort of largely Muslim nations in the U.N. Human Rights Council to recognize exceptions to free speech for any “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” The exception was made as part of a resolution supporting free speech that passed this month, but it is the exception, not the rule that worries civil libertarians. Though the resolution was passed unanimously, European and developing countries made it clear that they remain at odds on the issue of protecting religions from criticism. It is viewed as a transparent bid to appeal to the “Muslim street” and our Arab allies, with the administration seeking greater coexistence through the curtailment of objectionable speech. Though it has no direct enforcement (and is weaker than earlier versions), it is still viewed as a victory for those who sought to juxtapose and balance the rights of speech and religion.
One of the bedrock sentiments of free speech is “I may not like what you say, but I defend until the death your right to say it”. This resolution may not have the force of law, but it is the second example of a disturbing trend with this administration which essentially assaults that sentiment. In both cases, you’re not allowed to say something which government arbitrarily decides is “hate speech” or “negative racial and religious stereotyping”. In the case of the UN resolution, there’s not even any nod to “incitement”.
I find it disturbing that speech codes are beginning to seep into national and international laws and resolutions in contravention of our Constitutional rights. It is and has been one of the dreams of the far left (which seems to have found its way into power) to institutionalize political correctness. The trend has been toward doing just that in much of the world:
The “blasphemy” cases include the prosecution of writers for calling Mohammed a “pedophile” because of his marriage to 6-year-old Aisha (which was consummated when she was 9). A far-right legislator in Austria, a publisher in India and a city councilman in Finland have been prosecuted for repeating this view of the historical record.
In the flipside of the cartoon controversy, Dutch prosecutors this year have brought charges against the Arab European League for a cartoon questioning the Holocaust.
Do we want to become a part of this anti-free speech circus? While I may find Holocaust deniers to be ignorant fools I find no reason to put them in jail because of it. Yet that is precisely what the sort of resolution just supported by this administration leads toward (and something that actually happens in certain European countries). All in the name of politics. While I may not agree with Christopher Hitchens, I certainly believe he deserves the right to be heard when he speaks of his atheism, no matter how acerbic or insulting his speech may be deemed by some. The right of free speech demands he have that ability. Political correctness demands he speak only what is approved and suffer consequences (TBD) if he strays from that narrow pathway.
Controlling speech is one of the first things totalitarians attempt to impose. As stated, while this resolution does not have the force of law, it and the hate speech legislation pending in Congress suggest a trend. It is a trend that should be resisted mightly. It represents steps down the path toward a form of government that is fundamentally opposed to that our founders instituted here and guaranteed with the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
UPDATE: Here’s a little test for you - read the article and identify those engaged in “hate speech” or “negative racial and religious stereotyping” or both? And who, based on the premise they should, be punished?