There seemed to be enough torpedoes in the water in Washington this week that you could walk across the Potomac without getting your feet wet. On Capitol Hill, the new House Republican majority announced a series of subpoena-ready investigations of President Biden and administration officials. At the Justice Department, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate former President Trump for possible crimes ranging from the 2020 election to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot to the Mar-a-Lago documents controversy.
It was all reminiscent of the movie “The Lord of War,” in which a fictional arms dealer warns that “the problem with gunrunners going to war is that there is no shortage of ammunition.” The same appears true of rival government officials having no shortage of subpoenas.
In this atmosphere of politically and mutually assured destruction, there are some immediate threats for the three main combatants:
Following a rash of widely publicized attacks by climate change protesters on iconic artworks such as Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ and Monet’s ‘Les Meules’, museums have begun tightening security, Swedish broadcaster SVT reported on Wednesday.
Some museums in Germany have adopted bans on bags and jackets inside, according to the Swedish outlet TT, while France’s famous Centre Pompidou and Spain’s Prado Museum have also reportedly increased security in response to attacks by green campaigners affiliated with the group Just Stop Oil and its offshoots.
Patrik Steorn, director of the Gothenburg Museum of Art, revealed to SVT that the Swedish gallery had also upped its security, though he declined to explain exactly how. Steorn acknowledged it was “a little difficult to understand why our common cultural heritage should be exposed to” protests such as Just Stop Oil’s stunts, which often leave protesters, artworks, or both, covered in glue or food.
“We would much rather see social movements and museums try to join hands to raise awareness of climate issues together,” he said. Four other Swedish museums declined to respond to the outlet’s questions regarding securing their exhibits against unruly demonstrators.
Just Stop Oil campaigners have thus far had little difficulty getting close to priceless paintings to douse them in canned food, often concealing their tell-tale t-shirts beneath sweatshirts and jackets. Security guards at the Netherlands’ Maritshuis museum did not intervene to stop a well-known climate activist with the group from gluing his head to Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ last week even as he set off the alarm on the painting, and waited patiently for him to finish his prepared statement before attempting to remove him from the artwork.
That museum allows visitors to carry only “a small handbag” inside but has been reluctant to search anyone, with a spokesperson telling The Guardian that one “can never 100% prevent protest actions.”
Members of the group descended on the British PM’s residence at 10 Downing earlier this week for one last protest before announcing a temporary moratorium on actions in order to give governments time to consider its proposal to ban all new oil and gas projects. Just Stop Oil is funded by oil heiress turned climate crusader Aileen Getty, whose Climate Emergency Fund also backs climate campaigners Extinction Rebellion.
The United Nations’ entity for gender equality was widely mocked for a tweet drawing attention to the fact that 11% of journalists murdered in 2021 were women. As the organization demanded that criminals “stop targeting women journalists,” commenters asked what UN Women thought of the other 89%.
Out of all the journalists killed worldwide in 2021, 11% were women, up from 6% in 2020, the UN’s body for “gender equality and women’s empowerment” wrote in a tweet on Wednesday, citing figures from UNESCO.
“On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, let us say out loud: STOP TARGETING WOMEN JOURNALISTS,” the organization continued.
“So 89-94% of journalists killed are men, why would we make a special plea to stop targeting women?” Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle responded. Writer Noah Smith described the tweet as essentially saying “please target only the male journalists, thanks.”
“Are they calling for gender equality here?” journalist Luke Rudkowski asked, while podcaster Danny Polishchuk joked that he would “not rest until 100% of murdered journalists are male!”
Around 40% of journalists are women, according to figures from 12 countries compiled by Reuters and Oxford University. This means that statistically, female journalists are far less likely to die on the job than their male counterparts, who despite making up 60% of the workforce, account for nearly 90% of deaths.
Independent Voter site Balladeer’s Blog, as always, welcomes all of you, no matter how you vote. The Biden Regime’s banana republic nature gets more and more blatant all the time. Career criminal Joe Biden stated the 2022 elections may be “illegitimate” and then blasted so-called “election deniers!” Repulsive hypocrisy.
The Capitol police, who are supposed to be staffing security cameras at the Pelosi residence (because the privileged white one percenter Pelosis make taxpayers foot the expenses for such things) now admit that they can’t provide film footage of the “break-in” at the Pelosi home.
Speaking of dogs, some of the things police do to dogs is horrid. From John and Nisha Whitehead at rutherford.org:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned. —William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”
Things are falling apart.
How much longer we can sustain the fiction that we live in a constitutional republic, I cannot say, but anarchy is being loosed upon the nation.
We are witnessing the unraveling of the American dream one injustice at a time.
Day after day, the government’s crimes against the citizenry grow more egregious, more treacherous and more tragic. And day after day, the American people wake up a little more to the grim realization that they have become captives in a prison of their own making.
No longer a free people, we are now pushed and prodded and watched over by twitchy, hyper-sensitive, easily-spooked armed guards who care little for the rights, humanity or well-being of those in their care.
The death toll is mounting. The carnage is heartbreaking. The public’s faith in the government to do its job—which is to protect our freedoms—is deteriorating.
With alarming regularity, unarmed men, women, children and even pets are being gunned down by the government’s standing army of militarized police who shoot first and ask questions later, and all the government does is shrug and promise to do better.
Steve Friend, who was a domestic terrorism investigator before being suspended, told the host of “The Andrew Klavan Show” that the FBI broke its own rules when investigating January 6 cases and arrested people without enough evidence. He also explained how one of his superiors told him that January 6 was a higher priority than pursuingchild pornography cases.
“When I was moved over to from my child exploitation cases, the assistant special agent in charge even mentioned that he felt that child pornography was going to be a local issue and that domestic terrorism, specifically January 6th, was the higher priority,” Friend said.
We have been discussing therising support for censorshipon the left in the last few years. Silencing opposing views has become an article of faith for many on the left, including leadingDemocratic leadersfromPresident Joe Bidentoformer President Barack Obama. What is most distressing is how many journalists and writers have joined the call for censorship. However, even with this growing movement, the letter of hundreds of “literary figures” this week to Penguin Random House is chilling. The editors and writers call on the company to rescind a book deal with Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett because they disagree with her judicial philosophy. After all,why burn books when you can simply ban them?
Thepublic letterentitled “We Dissent” makes the usual absurd protestation that, just because we are seeking to ban books of those with opposing views, we still “care deeply about freedom of speech.” They simply justify their anti-free speech position by insisting that any harm “in the form of censorship” is less than “the form of assault on inalienable human rights” in opposing abortion or other constitutional rights.
Yet, the letter is not simply dangerous. It is perfectly delusional. While calling for the book to be blocked, the writers bizarrely insist “we are not calling for censorship.”
While the letter has been described as signed by “literary figures,” it actually contains many who are loosely connected to the “broader literary community” like “Philip Tuley, Imam” and “Barbara Hirsch, Avid reader.” It also includes many who are simply identified by initials or first names like “Leslie” without any stated connection.
Nevertheless, there are many editors and publishing figures who list their companies (including HarperCollins, Random House and other companies) and university presses (including Cambridge, Harvard, Michigan Northwestern, Oxford) with their titles in calling for censorship. The list speaks loudly to why dissenting or conservative authors find it more difficult to publish today. These are editors who are publicly calling for banning the publication of those who hold opposing views from their own.
It also includes academics likeIgnacio Leopoldo Götz Römer, Stessin Distinguished Professor Emeritus, New College of Hofstra University and Carole DeSanti, Elizabeth Drew Professor of English Language and Literature, Smith College (and former VP and Exec Ed, PenguinRandomHouse).
No attack appears to be beyond the pale for media or the left. Barrett sat through days of such baseless attacks on her character, but even had to face attacks referencing her children. Ibram X. Kendi, the director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University,claimed that her adoption of two Haitian children raised the image of a “white colonizer” and suggested that the children were little more than props for their mother.
The most striking aspects of these protests is the insistence that these individuals are still faithful to free speech as they seek to silence those with opposing views. The signatories express a common righteous rage to justify censoring others. We have seen this hypocrisy openly displayed by those who want to censor authors or journalists in the name of free speech or the free press.
Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll has denounced how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that the journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”
An article published in The Atlantic by Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith and University of Arizona law professor Andrew Keane Woodscalled for Chinese-style censorship of the internet, stating that “in the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong.”
These are professors, writers, and editors who are sawing off the very branch upon which they sit. That would not be problem but for the fact that they are doing lasting damage not only to free speech but their professions. For a writer to be against free speech is like an athlete being against exercise. It is the defining right for our country and an existential right for writers and academics.
This letter is not simply another manifestation of viewpoint intolerance. It is a statement of virtual self-loathing from people who work in the literary world; writers and editors who cannot abide the publication of opposing views.
The question is whether the companies listed with these signatories (including HarperCollins, Random House Cambridge, Harvard, Michigan Northwestern, and Oxford presses) will issue their own statements that they do not support such censorship and remain committed to publishing a wide array of views on issues like abortion.
As for Justice Barrett, such attacks are unlikely to deter her from ruling according to her long-held and well-established jurisprudential views. She does not deserve such attacks but these individuals are the face of rage in our society. It is the license of rage that can overwhelm every value. It is a general psychosis that overwhelms every countervailing value; it allows writers and editors to oppose free speech and expect us to love them for it.
It is not that difficult. When it comes to the justices, we have learned to hate the way described by Queen Margaret in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” — “Think that thy babes were sweeter than they were; And he that slew them fouler than he is.”
This year, it emerged he had retained his Green Card, giving him the right to live and work in the US as a permanent resident. He returned it in October last year, ahead of his first American trip as a government
The disclosure occurred around the time it was revealed his wife did not pay taxes as a UK resident…