Tag Archives: freedom

Demonstration on October 30 to protest the trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff

There will be a demonstration on October 30 in support Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who is facing prison in Austria for publicly quoting the Koran and then criticizing what it says. The video below explains the disgusting nature of the charges against her, and how freedom of speech is under direct attack in Austria. Key quote:

“It seems that some people do not appreciate a non-Muslim quoting verbatim from the Koran. . . . Apparently you have to convert to Islam in order to quote from the Koran and not be accused of hate speech.”

You can offer support to her legal defense fund by going here. This fund is not controlled by her, and will only be used to pay her legal fees.

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First ticket issued for deadly butter

Our government doing the really important work! Health officials in Baltimore have handed out their first ticket to a restaurant for not using the proper cooking recipe, as determined by the government. Key quote:

“They originally had a margarine that was above 3 grams, actually, which is very high compared to the .5 that is allowed. Then when we came back and they had replaced it, they replaced it with one that was 2 grams, so it still was too high,” [Health Department agent Juan] Gutierrez said.

And then there’s this: Fake health inspectors at restaurants on the rise.

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Another European on trial for reporting the facts about Islam

Freedom of speech alert! Geert Wilders is not the only European on trial simply for reporting factual information about Islam and the Koran. In Vienna, Austria, feminist and anti-jihad activist Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff faces prison simply because she conducted “public seminars in which she described Islamic doctrine, quoted from the Koran, and explained to her listeners what she considers the dangers of Islam.” Her trial date is now set for November 23. More information can also be found at Jihad Watch.

The website Gates of Vienna has started a campaign to support Sabaditsch-Wolff, and is asking websites and bloggers worldwide to support her. I am glad to lend my voice to her cause. Any government that wants to put a citizen in jail, merely for expressing an opinion or stating facts, should be condemned as loudly as possble. If you go to the campaign site above, you can read about the history of the case in detail as well as find ways you can lend your own support. Also, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s legal defense fund can be found at http://english.savefreespeech.org/ .

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Mark Steyn lecture squelched by Islamists and wimpy bureaucrats

Obeying the orders of local Islamic groups, a London, Ontario, convention center has refused to allow a lecture by Mark Stein. Key quote:

“The reason offered by the London Convention Centre [in a Tuesday morning phone call] was that they had received pressure from local Islamic groups, and they didn’t want to alienate their Muslim clients. It’s interesting to note that the LCC is owned by the City of London, and is therefore a government operation,” wrote Strictly Right’s Andrew Lawton at the website.

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The Juan Williams firing, in his own words

The Juan Williams firing, in his own words. Key quote:

This is an outrageous violation of journalistic standards and ethics by management that has no use for a diversity of opinion, ideas or a diversity of staff (I was the only black male on the air). This is evidence of one-party rule and one sided thinking at NPR that leads to enforced ideology, speech and writing. It leads to people, especially journalists, being sent to the gulag for raising the wrong questions and displaying independence of thought.

Daniel Schorr, my fellow NPR commentator who died earlier this year, used to talk about the initial shock of finding himself on President Nixon’s enemies list. I can only imagine Dan’s revulsion to realize that today NPR treats a journalist who has worked for them for ten years with less regard, less respect for the value of independence of thought and embrace of real debate across political lines, than Nixon ever displayed.

As I said yesterday, defund them.

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Juan Williams firing by NPR

Defund them! NPR’s firing of Juan Williams yesterday is another demonstration that this leftwing news organization has no tolerance for free speech. One of the first things the new Congress should do is end all funding to this corrupt propaganda machine.

Sorry I have been late in posting about this story. I would like to say more, but I have an article for Sky & Telescope that must be finished by tomorrow.

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Closing caves for the convenience and power of the government

A variety of federal government agencies are moving aggressively to shut down human access to all American caves, including those on private property. Key quote:

In Wisconsin, where white nose syndrome has not yet appeared, wildlife managers want to get a jump on the disease by declaring G. destructans [the fungus associated with the syndrome] an invasive species, and declaring four species of bats threatened. Those designations would give wildlife agencies access to new sources of funds. They would also “give police power to the agencies to go onto private land to prevent damage to these newly named threatened species,” said [Peter] Youngbaer, [white nose syndrome liaison for the National Speleological Society]. “We fear that private landowners will be fearful of allowing even inadvertent access to caves, and thus move to seal caves shut. They’ll be causing more damage to the bats that they’re ostensibly trying to protect.” [emphasis mine]

As a caver, I not only have a strong personal interest in this story, I know a lot about bats and caves from personal experience. As a science writer who has also written about white nose syndrome for Science, I am also very familiar with the present state of the science. Based on this background, I find the actions of these government officials unconscionable. As one commenter to this article very correctly noted:

“There is currently *no* evidence that humans have spread this disease, but mountains of evidence for bat-to-bat transmission. The possibility does exist that humans *could* spread it, but even at its worst a human vector would be quite statistically insignificant in comparison to the bat-to-bat transmission.

In other words, closing all caves to human access can accomplish no good, and a great deal of harm. Yet, this is exactly what these government officials and environmental bureaucrats wish to do.

Back in March 2008, soon after white nose syndrome was discovered, I wrote the following:

I am beginning to believe strongly that the situation has worrisome political overtones linked to the unstated desire of some people to limit access to caves. . . . Some people are distorting the situation for their own purposes, either consciously or unconsciously. . . . Some of those people might have an agenda (closing caves to cavers) that is entirely irrelevant to the issue of white nose.

The article above only serves to confirm my opinions from 2008. The government officials who are demanding the indiscriminate closure of caves and the unfettered control over caves on private property are not really interested in protecting or saving the bats. In fact, their actions might actually do great harm to the bats, as the closures, the regulatory restrictions, and the threat to private property will antagonize both cavers and landowners, thus guaranteeing their unwillingness to cooperate with scientists.

So what do these government officials want? As far as I can tell, what they really want is power. And they are using white nose syndrome as a hammer to gain it.

Sadly, I fear that they are going to succeed. Today’s environmental laws are rigged to their advantage. The press is generally on their side. And the opposition to this power grab is diffuse and weak.

Once again, we see the death of freedom. And it dies, not by a single devastating blow, but by the death of a thousand cuts.

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Chicago mainstream reporters threaten reporter asking tough questions of Emanuel

Updated and bumped.The police have now issued an arrest warrent against reporter Jay Levin. (This is based on his behavior in the video below. He is the reporter in the red wind breaker, threatening another reporter, William Kelly, who was asking tough questions of Rahm Emanuel.) Key quote:

This morning, I [William Kelly] filed a police report and signed an arrest warrant against Jay Levine for assault. The Chicago police have already reviewed the video and agreed that an assault was committed.

——
Is there no wonder people joke about a “state-run” media? Here, Chicago mainstream reporters threaten a reporter when he tries to ask Rahm Emanuel some tough questions. More here. Best line from CBS reporter Jay Levin:

Let him finish or I’m going to deck you!

Watch the whole video. The good stuff begins at around one minute.

Sorry that much of today’s posts relate to politics and not science or space. I can only follow the news where it takes me.

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Prosecutors recommend acquital on all charges for Wilders

Dutch prosecutors have recommended acquital for Geert Wilders on all charges. Though this is a vindication for Wilders, it is tragic that government officials thought they had the right to put Wilders on trial to begin with, merely because of things he said. Moreover, the trial is still scheduled to go on next week, despite these recommendations.

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Two Democratic candidates try to silence their opposition

Freedom of speech alert! Rather than debate their opponents, two Democratic House candidates are trying to shut them up.

In the first case, incumbent Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) is trying to use election laws to block an anti-abortion group from putting up billboards against him. Ed Morrissey at hotair.com has more details.

In the second case, incumbent Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pennsylvania) is trying to get radio stations to pull the radio ads of another anti-abortion group which attack her for her healthcare vote.

In both cases, the Democratic candidates voted for the Healthcare bill, and seem to want to hide that fact now from the voters. Not only does this illustrate the contempt they have of freedom of speech, it shows us just how toxic the healthcare bill has become politically. I suspect that this law is going to dog the Democrats who voted for it for years to come.

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We won’t release our contributors because the adminstration will then harass them

Is this how a government in a free society functions? The Chamber of Commerce won’t release its contributors because they fear the administration will harass and threaten them. And they have experience to back that fear up. Key quote:

What this administration wants is a list of who the companies are who are contributors, and we saw last year . . .when we very publicly ran ads against the Patients Protections and Affordable Care Act . . . there was an attempt to try and find out who were the corporations that were contributing to that effort. When some of those corporate names were divulged, not by us, by others, what did they receive? They received protests, they received threats, they were intimidated, they were harassed, they had to hire additional security, they were recipients of a host of proxies leveled at those companies that had nothing to do with the purpose of those companies. So we know what the purpose here is. It’s to harass and intimidate. [emphasis mine]

That the White House and President Obama are right now willing to accuse their opponents of all manner of evils (taking money from foreign governments) without any evidence is further evidence that there are reasons to fear them.

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A Tea Party in Maryland

Last night I attended the most recent meeting of the Maryland Society of Patriots, a tea party group that was founded back in 2009. Attendance was pretty typical, with about fifty people filling the meeting room of the local library in Burtonsville, Maryland. As usual, Sam Hale, the founder of the group, had garnered a range of candidates to speak to us, including Eric Wargotz, the Republican candidate for the Senator, running against Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland).

Eric Wargotz speaking at MSOP meeting

For Wargotz, the questions got a bit heated at one point, as one member of the audience wanted to know his commitment to defending the Constitution.

What makes this group significant is that the majority of its members come from very Democratic districts. Yet, not only has attendance been high at almost every meeting, the membership has including a wide range of ordinary people, most of whom have never done politicial activitism in their lives.

Eric Cary, State Senator candidate

This is Eric Cary, who is running for the Maryland State Senate. I’ve included more pictures below the fold. » Read more

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Geert Wilder’s words make Muslims uncomfortable

How sad. The harsh words that Dutch politician Geert Wilder has for Islam (now facing prison for saying those words) is making Muslims in the Netherlands feel unsafe. Key quote:

“My family and I no longer feel safe in the Netherlands because Mr. Wilders is continually making hateful remarks about Islamic Dutch people,” said one complaint read out by the judge.

Gee. What about the more than 16,000 violent attacks committed by Islamic terrorists since September 11, 2001, leaving tens of thousands of people dead or maimed? How does this violence make these Dutch Muslims feel?

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Murder for the sake of climate idealogy

Bumped. Scroll down to see the update.

This video has been making the rounds on the web. Though I warn you that is somewhat graphic, it is essential that you watch it.

When I first saw this about a week ago, I didn’t quite know what to make of it. It was so vile and offensive I could not believe that it was legitimate. It obviously wants to pay some homage to Monty Python, but even Monty Python never went this far. How could anyone possibly think that killing small children in the name of environmentalism was in any way funny? And how could anyone ever believe that this video would persuade anyone to go along with the 1010 environmental campaign? If anything, the video does an excellent job of discrediting this organization and everyone involved with it.

Thus, despite what some bloggers were saying, I held back commenting, just to make sure the video was real and not a terrible prank meant to sabotage.

There is now no reason to hold back. Late last week, the 1010 organization itself issued an apology, admitting that this video was their handiwork. Before I continue, I think it is worthwhile for you to also read their apology, in all its venal glory. In many ways, it condemns them and their allies far more than the video did:

Sorry.

Today we put up a mini-movie about 10:10 and climate change called “No Pressure”.

With climate change becoming increasingly threatening, and decreasingly talked about in the media, we wanted to find a way to bring this critical issue back into the headlines whilst making people laugh. We were therefore delighted when Britain’s leading comedy writer, Richard Curtis — writer of Blackadder, Four Weddings, Notting Hill and many others — agreed to write a short film for the 10:10 campaign. Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn’t and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended.

As a result of these concerns we’ve taken it off our website. We won’t be making any attempt to censor or remove other versions currently in circulation on the internet.

We’d like to thank the 50+ film professionals and 40+ actors and extras and who gave their time and equipment to the film for free. We greatly value your contributions and the tremendous enthusiasm and professionalism you brought to the project.

At 10:10 we’re all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn.

Onwards and upwards,

Franny, Lizzie, Eugenie and the whole 10:10 team

What does this apology tell us? First, they not only thought that killing children in the name of environmentalism was “funny”, they thought it was “extremely funny.”

Second, they don’t think they did anything wrong. They are merely sorry that some of you are offended. For everyone else, the video was peachy keen and they therefore make it available to the world for as many people to see as possible.

Third, they see no point in trying to persuade anyone to their point of view. They are absolutely sure that they are right, with a certainty that is, for me, quite disturbing.

To put it another way, this film was their movement’s version of a wet dream, a fantasy showing us all exactly what they wish they could do to anyone who does not agree with them. Worse, they are certain that most people agree with them, and will also laugh uproariously at the sight of environmentalists murdering their foolish and wrong-headed opponents, one by one.

As I wrote recently, events like this prove that protecting the climate and environment has nothing to do with the goals of this movement. Instead, what they want is power. And with 1010’s video, they have shown us quite vividly what they will do, once they have that power.

I think it worthwhile to remind everyone what happens when such certainty gets wedded to power. The results are quite horrible.

“In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell, ‘I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.'”

Update: The director of 10:10 UK, Eugenie Harvey, has issued a new apology. According to the Harvey, “We are going to investigate what happened, review our processes and procedures, and share the results with our partners.” Gee, considering that Harvey was one of the signatories to the first apology I would have thought she knew what happened to begin with. Why does she need an investigation? Is she looking for someone to take the rap?

There is a reason for this new apology, however. It seems that at least one financial donor is backing away from the 10:10 organization. The first apology simply failed to spin the story well enough.

Second Update: The original video was pulled by 10:10 several years ago, and is hard to find in its original form. I have now posted a version that has been edited only slightly by an environmentalist. He didn’t really change anything, but merely inserted some preachy text explaining why it is justified to murder little children for the sake of the environmental cause.

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Iranian blogger sentenced to 20 years

So, how does this prove that Islam is the religion of peace? In Iran today a blogger was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Key quote:

Hossein Derakhshan was “convicted of cooperating with enemy states, making propaganda against the Islamic system of government, promoting small anti-revolutionary groups, managing obscene web sites and insulting Islamic sanctities,”

It appears that Derakhshan’s worst crime might have been to visit Israel, though speaking freely in an Islamic state might also have been considered blasphemous.

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Only one step short of tyranny

Obama is asking the court for the right to assassinate American citizens, without due process, and in total secret. Key quote:

Both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality. But what’s most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is “state secrets”: in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality. [emphasis in original]

The Bush administration was wrong when it tried to imprison an American citizen without trial. The Obama administration is even more wrong now to claim it has the right to kill an American citizen without trial. Such behavior is unconscionable.

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Violence by Democrat Party activists

Two violent incidents against innocent citizens, exercising their first amendment rights, have occurred in the past week. The first video shows a man being attacked because he is filming the Democratic candidate for governor at a public event.

Details about this incident can also be read here.

In the second incident, a Republican staffer and Iraqi war veteran was filming at a rally for Ted Strickland, Democrat candidate for Ohio governor, when a Strickland supporter came up behind him and poured a cup of hot coffee down his back.

Details can be found here.

Note that in both cases, it is the Democrat that is committing the violence. This has been the pattern since the Tea Party protests started in April 2009. In almost every case, it has been a liberal/Democrat/union employee who has attacked a conservative protester.

To put it mildly, such stormtrooper behavior by Democratic operatives is not the smartest way to win votes.

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Islam nations looking to squelch criticism

Freedom of speech alert: Rather than criticize the Islamic terrorists who are killing people, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) wants the United Nations to supervise speech in order “to prevent incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims and to take effective measures to discourage negative stereotyping of people on the basis of religion, faith or race.”

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