Oh, Tommy Robinson #FreeTommy | Official Music Video – YouTube

“Oh, Tommy Tommy! Tommy, Tommy, Tommy, Tommy Robinson!”

There can be no question that the arrest and sudden incarceration – all taking place within about five hours – of activist and online journalist Tommy Robinson has struck a nerve with the British people. Whether this will prove the spark that sets the fires of open revolt against the present government remains to be seen, but Robinson has clearly become the icon around which a lot of British anger and resentment has coalesced.

And unlike the so-called “Resistance” against President Trump, here in the U.S., the Brits have a good deal of genuine authoritarianism, even downright tyranny, to revolt against. The sources of resentment are multiple:

  • BREXIT – in which a clear (albeit narrow) majority of the largest percentage of the British electorate to turn out for an election or referendum in decades voted to Leave the European Union, only to see the government stall, waffle, and second-guess until it’s now questionable whether a BREXIT will actually happen, or whether if it does, it will be hedged with so many conditions as to be in practice little better than Remaining.
  • Continued mass immigration, with pressure to submit to still more – most of it from places such as the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southwest Asia (primarily Pakistan) which are both majority Muslim and culturally and ethnically alien to Britons, and which have led to a vastly increased crime rate in the UK as well as considerable cultural dislocation, leading to fears – entirely justifiable, in my view – that Britain is in danger of having its history, heritage, and present culture swept away and replaced by something foreign.
  • On the subject of crime, the dismaying unwillingness of the British police and judiciary to constructively address the problem of “grooming gangs” (or as British journalist Katie Hopkins accurately labels them, “rape squads”) made up of so-called “Asians” (Southwest Asians; again, Muslim Pakistanis) who seduce, enslave, rape, and abuse ethnic British girls with, to date, almost complete impunity, due to the fear by the authorities of being labeled “racist.” It is this that Tommy Robinson was protesting, when he was arrested.
  • And increasingly, thought-policing: Brits have been warned by the police to “be careful” what they post online and in social media, and that they could be arrested for posting anything that might be deemed a “hate crime” or incitement thereto. Given what happened to Tommy Robinson, who was live-streaming outside a court sentencing (a rarity!) members of one grooming gang, this has understandably had a chilling effect on public discourse regarding the above issues!

Draconian anti-gun laws have already stripped Britons of their ability to defend themselves, and now (as described above) their right to express themselves is coming under increasing attack, as well. As I have commented before, in more than one forum, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was not incorrect, it was just a few decades premature!

Nonetheless, as I say, the arrest and imprisonment of Tommy Robinson has galvanized a significant segment of the British public. It has certainly and understandably enraged those who have been frustrated and angry for some time over the issues listed above, but I have a strong sense that it has also awakened many others who, up to this point, had been reluctant to either admit to the problem, or to take a stand.

People are coming – however belatedly – to the realization that they, too, could be arrested and imprisoned simply for speaking their minds, expressing their opinions, in the public square: either literally, as Tommy Robinson did, or online. So it is no surprise to me that this has become a flashpoint in the UK. And maybe, God willing, a turning-point as well. I hope so! Time will tell.

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Students’ attitudes really… *ahem!* …take the cake.

Many or most of my readers may know that a recent Supreme Court decision held that a Christian baker was within his rights to refuse to bake a special cake for a gay wedding. For that he was roundly criticized, some would say harassed, by the party in question. They brought suit, and the case eventually made it to the SCOTUS – which, to the surprise of most observers, found in favor of the defendant.

While their ruling has been criticized by some conservatives for being too narrow, it at least went some way toward upholding the principle that merely because one offers a service to the public, one is not thereby obliged to completely chuck one’s moral standards and religious beliefs into the gutter. (To put a slightly finer point on it, service does not equate to slavery.)

The baker made it clear that he would happily have sold the couple a pre-existing cake; he is, after all, in the business of selling cakes, and has no desire to actively discriminate. However, by demanding that he make one specifically for their occasion, they were forcing him to actively participate in it, demonstrating de facto approval of their actions, and that is what he objected to. The Supreme Court, to their credit, agreed.

Now, I am a bit more extreme in my views, in that I believe a private business owner has the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason, or no reason – with the understanding, of course, that this is likely to have an impact on his or her business, and if that impact is negative (people “vote with their wallet”), he or she has no right to complain. So from that perspective, yes, I agree that it was too narrow a ruling.

But, it is head-and-shoulders above the situation we have had up to this point, which is that basically anyone can be forced to do anything for anyone, if it is in line with their business, and the business owner has no choice in the matter, regardless of their moral qualms. So it is at least a significant step in the right direction!

What causes me to shake my head (in dismay though not, alas, in surprise) is the reactions of the college students interviewed, which demonstrate with all-too-crystalline clarity the extent of the socio-political indoctrination inflicted on our young people by the academic establishment – public school and higher education alike – as well as the lack of critical-thinking skills inculcated by these institutions.

They are emphatic and unanimous that the SCOTUS decision was wrong, that people’s “right” to “be who they are” trumps a business owner’s right to follow his or her own moral and religious standards – even to the point of being forced to do something that is directly against them. But they start to waffle when the parameters are shifted!

Well, what if it’s a black baker, being forced to bake a cake for a KKK rally? They backed off of that one in a hurry, although struggling (and failing) to find some sort of coherent justification for the switch: even admitting, in a couple of instances, that they had contradicted themselves.

What if it’s a Jewish baker, being asked to bake a cake for a Palestinian event (presumably of a “free Palestine” – and thus, anti-Israel – nature)? More waffling. A lot more, in this case, as they are presumably conflicted over which side is “in the right,” here!

But the point is that the argument that someone’s right / freedom to “be who they are” trumps a business owner’s right to be who he or she is, in following their religious and moral standards – even to the point of forcing that person to transgress their religious and moral beliefs – collapses completely, when it’s not some nasty reactionary Christian oppressing some poor, oppressed, “freedom”-loving progressive type.

As my mother used to say, “it all depends on whose ox is getting gored.” And as I have said more than once in various fora, irony and double-standards are endemic among today’s Leftists, and logic, coherence, and rationality appear to be in short supply!

Magna Carta: an introduction | The British Library

Image result for magna carta

King John granted the Charter of Liberties, subsequently known as Magna Carta, at Runnymede on 15 June 1215.

Source: Magna Carta an introduction – The British Library

On this date in 1215, 803 years ago today, King John “Lackland” granted – admittedly under duress! – the “Charter of Liberties,” which was to become known as the “Magna Carta” or “Great Charter,” to the rebel barons and leading churchmen of the Realm of England.

This is of Anglican interest because it protected, among other things, the rights and privileges of the English Church (Ecclesia Anglicana); and is is of general interest for those concerned with the defense of the West because “Magna Carta has… acquired a special status as the cornerstone of English liberties…. [The Great Charter] retains enormous symbolic power as an ancient defence against arbitrary and tyrannical rulers, and as a guarantor of individual liberties.”

The article points out that it is not certain how many copies of the 1215 Magna Carta were originally issued, but four copies still survive: one in Lincoln Cathedral; one in Salisbury Cathedral; and two at the British Library. It is actually the edition of 1225, issued (voluntarily) by King Henry III, which became definitive, and of which three critical clauses are still part of English law:

“Magna Carta established for the first time the principle that everybody, including the king, was subject to the law. Although nearly a third of the text was deleted or substantially rewritten within ten years, and almost all the clauses have been repealed in modern times, Magna Carta remains a cornerstone of the British constitution.

“Most of the 63 clauses granted by King John dealt with specific grievances relating to his rule. However, buried within them were a number of fundamental values that both challenged the autocracy of the king and proved highly adaptable in future centuries. Most famously, the 39th clause gave all ‘free men’ the right to justice and a fair trial. Some of Magna Carta’s core principles are echoed in the United States Bill of Rights (1791) and in many other constitutional documents around the world, as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the European Convention on Human Rights (1950).”

Of the three of those clauses which remain part of English law, one defends the liberties and rights of the English Church, another confirms the liberties and customs of London and other towns, but here is the third and most famous:

“No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.”

“This clause gave all free men the right to justice and a fair trial [although] ‘free men’ comprised only a small proportion of the population in medieval England…

“Magna Carta has consequently acquired a special status as the cornerstone of English liberties. This is despite the fact that the vast majority of its clauses have now been repealed, or in some cases superseded by other legislation such as the Human Rights Act (1998). Magna Carta nonetheless retains enormous symbolic power as an ancient defence against arbitrary and tyrannical rulers, and as a guarantor of individual liberties.”

Perhaps, given the political and social situation there, England is in need of a new “Great Charter”!

Largest Christian university opens ‘sophisticated’ gun range for students | Fox News

The Liberty University shooting team holds their first competition vs. James Madison University on at the new Liberty Mountain Gun Club on February 3, 2018.

Liberty University does it right: “As schools nationwide debate on how to keep firearms away from their campus, Liberty University opened a multimillion-dollar gun range Monday for student activities and hosting competitions.”

Source: Largest Christian university opens ‘sophisticated’ gun range for students | Fox News

As I have commented elsewhere, the best way to deal with gun violence is precisely to train citizens, from childhood and youth on up, in the safe, legal, and responsible handling of firearms. It might be worth considering the wisdom of the Scriptures, here:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The passage – found in Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) – is referring specifically to religious and moral training, of course, but it applies quite well in this case (particularly since decisions on how and when to use firearms are, in fact, moral decisions).

The lure of the forbidden, combined with the very negative and irresponsible examples of firearms use portrayed in the media (including movies and video games), makes it all the more important to provide youth and young adults with appropriate training and role models to counter the pernicious influences of a culture which has, in may respects, lost its way.

[It’s a bit of an aside to this, but I do find it interesting that many if not most of the celebrities – actors and musicians – who are most vociferous in their opposition to firearms would probably be indignant or worse at the idea that we should tone down those elements of, say, rap “music,” video games, or movies that glamorize the amoral or immoral portrayal of firearms violence by “heroes” and anti-heroes.]

Liberty U. is certainly going about this in a big way:

“The lower part of the 600-acre, state-of-the-art gun range has rifle, pistol, and three-gun ranges in a valley located on the other side of Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, a year-round ski and snowboard slope, and at the top has shotgun venues, which include skeet, trap and sporting clay facilities…

“Liberty is now the only campus with a venue fit for all Olympic shooting sports and it hopes to be one of the most luxurious facilities in the world once the project is fully completed.”

Brad Butler, planning coordinator for the University, quotes current university president Jerry Falwell, Jr., and his father, founder Jerry Falwell, Sr., as considering it axiomatic that “if it’s Christian, it ought to be better.” In this, I am reminded of my mother’s saying that we should strive to “put our best foot forward” in all that we do.

So kudos to Liberty Christian University for its stance, and its accomplishment with this! They’re doing it right.

These teens were shooting as others were protesting guns

 

Source: These teens were shooting as others were protesting guns | Yahoo News

“This .22 Rimfire Silhouette Exhibition Match had been scheduled long before 17 people were killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and therefore long before the survivors of that rampage had sparked a national protest movement. But even if this daylong test of marksmanship wasn’t deliberate counter-programming, it did provide an illuminating counterpoint.

“There has been much talk since Parkland of the younger generation — the one that grew up hearing of shootings in other schools and participating in shooter drills at their own — and of how those teenagers are changing the conversation about guns. But every American generation is as multifaceted as the country itself, and the 44 high schoolers who took up their rifles in Georgia as their counterparts took up microphones in Washington also have something to say.

“No doubt a lot of this generation doesn’t think we need to have guns,” said Cole Cook, a ninth grader from Barstow County who has been shooting since his father first taught him at the age of 6. “I think they’re wrong. And I’m part of this generation too.”

This is the point that the contemporary American (and Western, generally) Left does not seem to be able to grasp – or willing to admit: that they are not the sole socio-political and moral gate-keepers of our society; that there are many people who are both intelligent and of good will who simply do not agree with their take on matters.

And despite the attention being given to protesters these days, a lot of the younger generation “gets” this!

Given this reality, along with the simple fact that there is an inherent natural right to bear arms in our own defense – as enumerated, not granted, by the Second Amendment, and confirmed by (inter alia) District of Columbia vs Heller – we should tread very gently indeed when it comes to laws and regulations that would further limit that right.

The best way to deal with gun violence is precisely this: to train citizens, from childhood on up, in the safe, legal, and responsible handling of firearms.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

– Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

Hope Not Hate: anti-fascist authoritarianism | Free speech | spiked

Hope Not Hate: anti-fascist authoritarianism

“There has always been something paradoxical, even ironic, about so-called anti-fascist and anti-racist groups… These anti-fascist bodies are a reminder that people with unshakeable good intentions on their side are always the most dangerous.”

Source: Hope Not Hate: anti-fascist authoritarianism | Free speech | spiked

Online columnist Patrick West notes that

“There has always been something paradoxical, even ironic, about so-called anti-fascist and anti-racist groups. While ostensibly promoting peace, understanding and tolerance in the face of nasty and intolerant far-right groups, they have always seemed to contain an essence of authoritarianism and intolerance themselves – and even an undercurrent of menace…

“These anti-fascist bodies are a reminder that people with unshakeable good intentions on their side are always the most dangerous. People who believe they are fighting evil impose no boundaries upon themselves, because in their battle in the name of good, anything is permitted.”

Now, it seems, “the latest anti-fascist group, Hope Not Hate, which sounds caring and innocent enough… latest campaign has been to urge major booksellers Waterstones, WHSmith and Foyles to stop profiting from selling ‘dangerous books’ with ‘extreme hate content.'” Correctly noting that “the concept of ‘dangerous books’ is both babyish and ridiculous,” Mr. West points out, accurately, that

“It should strike us as ironic that anti-fascists are seeking to ban books in the name of promoting tolerance. What next? Burning books? But this shouldn’t surprise us. Paternal, power-crazy, anti-fascists have a long track record of self-righteous censoriousness. They’ve always feared the ill-educated, unwashed masses of people who might have had too much to think. They always mean well. And that’s what makes them so dangerous.”

Dangerous indeed! Referencing a number of recent cases of authorities in the UK tagging people for anti-PC “thought crimes,” Mr. West continues,

“Free speech means standing up for people you don’t care for, because if your enemies aren’t safe from the encroaching powers of the state, then you and you friends won’t be safe, either. You don’t have to be a libertarian fundamentalist to be worried about the state now prosecuting people for jokes.”

It has until recently been seen as self-evident, here in the U.S., that free speech is meaningless unless it also protects unpopular, even offensive speech. This consensus seems, sadly, to be fading even here, and it appears already to have gone by the wayside in the U.K. (which used to have a robust tradition of free speech, but sadly never one protected – as ours still is, however tenuously – by a written Constitution).

I am, in any case, reminded of C.S. Lewis’ famous dictum:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Unfortunately, at the moment it seems that the tyrannical “omnipotent moral busybodies” are very much in the ascendant in today’s public square, aided and abetted by inaction on the part of those whose greatest fear is to be seen as being “intolerant.” But as the late great G.K. Chesterton observed, “Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” Sadly, there seem to be many such men in the present age of the world.

Gun Rights Don’t Come from the Second Amendment | Mises Wire

Constitution-Declaration

The Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, doesn’t give anyone any rights. Instead, it prohibits the federal government from infringing on rights that are natural and God-given and that preexist government.

Source: Gun Rights Don’t Come from the Second Amendment | Mises Wire

This is the point that is too-often missed on people today – whether due to ignorance or willful misinformation. As this article so accurate states,

“Whenever there is a gun massacre, statists inevitably respond that it’s time to repeal the Second Amendment. The idea is that if the Second Amendment is gone, so will be the right to own guns in the United States.

“There is just one big problem with that position: It’s wrong. The Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, doesn’t give anyone any rights. Instead, it prohibits the federal government from infringing on rights that are natural and God-given and that preexist government.

“The Declaration of Independence sets forth the essential principles. Every person (i.e., not just American citizens) is endowed by nature or God with fundamental rights. These include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

“Thus, given that people’s rights are natural and God-given, they preexist government. The rights come first and the government comes second.”

That is to say, the Bill of Rights does not give anyone rights. It simply enumerates the God-given rights that already exist. Even if it were (God forbid!) repealed, that would not change the facts; the rights themselves would continue to exist. You cannot vote to repeal natural law; you cannot vote to repeal what God has given.

Indeed, the very legitimacy of a government to exist, in our American system, is based on its ability and willingness to protect the rights of the people: this is the basis of government “by consent of the governed.” A government which fails to protect the natural, God-given rights of the people has lost its legitimacy. I wish more people understood this!