Thursday, June 28, 2007

Stake Through the Heart

The call for cloture failed in the Senate today and the immigration bill, having been revivified earlier this week, is now completely dead. It will not be brought back to life until the Congress and administration give us a secure border instead of just empty promises. Once the door is locked then we can address the question of how to handle the crowd of people sitting in our living room. The vote was 46 to 53 to continue debate, which effectively prevented the bill from coming to a floor vote.

Michelle Malkin has an interesting recap of this morning's events from the time the voting began until the vote was over. Scroll to the bottom and work your way to the top.

Evidently, the advocates of the bill can't bring themselves to believe that the bill lost on it's merits. Senator Dick Durbin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and a host of others are blaming bigotry, "ugliness" and hatred for their defeat.

This is amusing. These people failed to make a case for the bill, in many instances they failed to even read it, they put it together in secret, they could not tell us how much it would cost, or what its consequences would be. They just expected the American people to shut up and trust them, and because we didn't like what they were trying to foist upon us, they call us bigots, nativists, and haters. This despite the fact that the opposition to this bill cut right across ideological lines. Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders voted against it for heaven's sake.

Anyway, the name-calling shows how much the Washington elites appreciate participatory democracy. We can now expect an all-out legislative war by these folks against talk radio and the blogosphere to try to shut down the voices of dissent that shine light on what they're trying to do to us.


Hunkering Down

The research of Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone, has led him to conclude what anyone who has spent any time on a college campus knows empirically: Diverse communities are often comprised of people who prefer to stick with people like themselves. Putting people in communities with others unlike themselves makes them less trusting, less sociable, less involved in their community than they are in more homogenous settings.

Actually Putnam's findings are more profound than this brief summary make make them sound because they bear on the problem of immigration and its short and mid-term consequences. Putnam describes these consequences in terms which sound pretty dire.

John Leo writes about Putnam's conclusions at City Journal. He says:

Neither age nor disparities of wealth explain this result. "Americans raised in the 1970s," he writes, "seem fully as unnerved by diversity as those raised in the 1920s." And the "hunkering down" occurred no matter whether the communities were relatively egalitarian or showed great differences in personal income. Even when communities are equally poor or rich, equally safe or crime-ridden, diversity correlates with less trust of neighbors, lower confidence in local politicians and news media, less charitable giving and volunteering, fewer close friends, and less happiness.

Read Leo's whole column at the link.


Skeptical Skeptic

Famous skeptic Dr. Stan Scanton has recently grown skeptical of his skepticism and fellow skeptic Galapagos Finch is outraged at the betrayal. Indeed, Finch is skeptical that Scanton is really skeptical of his skepticism. Read all about it at The BRITES.


The Shape of Our Future

True or False: Free speech is a value embraced by all western countries. The answer, you may be amazed to read, is false. Consider Paul Belien's article in the Brussels Journal on what is currently happening in Europe:

Last week, a German court sentenced a 55-year old Lutheran pastor to one year in jail for "Volksverhetzung" (incitement of the people) because he compared the killing of the unborn in contemporary Germany to the holocaust. Next week, the Council of Europe is going to vote on a resolution imposing Darwinism as Europe's official ideology. The European governments are asked to fight the expression of creationist opinions, such as young earth and intelligent design theories. According to the Council of Europe these theories are "undemocratic" and "a threat to human rights."

Pastor Johannes Lerle compared the killing of the unborn to the killing of the Jews in Auschwitz during the Second World War. On 14 June, a court in Erlangen ruled that, in doing so, the pastor had "incited the people" because his statement was a denial of the holocaust of the Jews in Nazi-Germany. Hence, Herr Lerle was sentenced to one year in jail. Earlier, he had already spent eight months in jail for calling abortionists "professional killers" - an allegation which the court ruled to be slanderous because, according to the court, the unborn are not humans.

Other German courts convicted pro-lifers for saying that "in abortion clinics, life unworthy of living is being killed," because this terminology evoked Hitler's euthanasia program, which used the same language. In 2005, a German pro-lifer, G�nter Annen, was sentenced to 50 days in jail for saying "Stop unjust abortions in [medical] practice," because, according to the court, the expression "unjust" is understood by laymen as meaning illegal, which abortions are not.

Volksverhetzung is a crime which the Nazis often invoked against their enemies and which contemporary Germany also uses to intimidate homeschoolers. Soon, the German authorities will be able to use the same charge against people who question Darwin's evolution theory.

According to a report of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, creationists are dangerous "religious fundamentalists" who propagate "forms of religious extremism" and "could become a threat to human rights." The report adds that the acceptance of the science of evolutionism "is crucial to the future of our societies and our democracies."

Everyone who prizes freedom should read the whole article. Those who value free speech will be disgusted that in the 21st century, less than a generation after the fall of totalitarianisms in Germany and the Soviet Union, good people would be imprisoned for opposing abortion, homosexuality, Darwinism, and for homeschooling their children. They will also be frightened by the realization that there are many in the U.S., especially among left-wing atheists, who look to Europe as forging the path to our common future.

On the lighter side (somewhat) there's this take on the move to use legislation to enforce belief in Darwinism: