I have 4 articles for you this morning!
First, 3 regarding free speech, consistency, and hypocrisy in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings:
But as Daniel Wickham points out (as amplified by the journalist Glenn Greenwald), many of the 40 leaders attending the rally in Paris don’t have the best record of defending the principle of free speech so viciously attacked earlier this week:
“This underscores the key point: there are all sorts of ways ideas and viewpoints are suppressed in the west. When those demanding publication of these anti-Islam cartoons start demanding the affirmative publication of those ideas as well, I’ll believe the sincerity of their very selective application of free speech principles. One can defend free speech without having to publish, let alone embrace, the offensive ideas being targeted. But if that’s not the case, let’s have equal application of this new principle.”
What is extraordinary, when even the most cursory consideration of recent history is taken into account, is not that this horrific incident occurred, but that such events do not happen more often. It is a great testament to the enduring humanism of the Muslim population of the world that only a tiny minority resort to such acts in the face of endless provocation.
In the days ahead, a now tired and exhausting theatre of the absurd will continue to play out its inevitable acts. The Western politicians who lock up their own dissidents and survey the every movement of their citizenry will go on waxing lyrical about freedom of thought. Muslim leaders of every hue will continue to denounce a terrorism they have nothing to do with, and will in turn be denounced for not doing so often or vigorously enough. The right will attack the left as sympathisers of Islamist terrorism, and demand we endlessly repeat the truism that journalists should not be killed for expressing their opinions. They will also demand that we accept that white Westerners, not Muslims, are the real victims of this latest political drama.
Finally, an excellent description of the reality of the Pres and the Dems nowadays:
Still, it’s hard to square the extreme fatalism implied in most of these apologetic exercises with the liberal tradition of a confident faith in the public sector. In their deepest recesses, all these wised-up alibis for Obama’s cautious and appeasement-minded approach to governance raise a bleak but unstated question: If the obstacles to progress are really this insuperable-if the Washington game is really so completely and hermetically rigged that even a president is rendered mute and impassive by it-then why bother with the illusion that political change is possible at all?
So how you doin’? 😀