Stalin of course said that there was perfect freedom of speech in Russia – as long as people agreed with him

A friend of mine took his young daughter to visit the famous City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, explaining to her that the place is important because years ago it sold books no other store would – even, perhaps especially, books whose ideas many people found offensive. So, although my friend is no fan of Ward Churchill, the faux Indian and discredited professor who notoriously called 9/11 victims “little Eichmanns,” he didn’t really mind seeing piles of Churchill’s books prominently displayed on a table as he walked in.

However, it did occur to him that perhaps the long-delayed English translation of Oriana Fallaci’s new book, “The Force of Reason,” might finally be available, and that because Fallaci’s militant stance against Islamic militants offends so many people, a store committed to selling banned books would be the perfect place to buy it. So he asked a clerk if the new Fallaci book was in yet.

“No,” snapped the clerk. “We don’t carry books by fascists.”

Now let’s just savor the absurd details of this for a minute. City Lights has a long and proud history of supporting banned authors – owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti was indicted (and acquitted) for obscenity in 1957 for selling Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” and a photo at the bookstore showed Ferlinghetti proudly posing next to a sign reading “banned books.”

Yet his store won’t carry, of all people, Fallaci, who is not only being sued in Italy for insulting religion because of her latest book but continues to fight the good fight against those who think that the appropriate response to offensive books and cartoons is violent riots. It’s particularly repugnant that someone who fought against actual fascism in World War II should be deemed a fascist by a snotty San Francisco clerk…

Strangest of all is the scenario of such a person disliking an author for defending Western civilization against radical Islam – when one of the first things those poor, persecuted Islamists would do, if they ever (Allah forbid) came to power in the United States, is crush suspected homosexuals like him beneath walls.. The store’s website proudly declares that the place is “known for our commitment to freedom of expression”.

More here. (HT Augean Stables)


Google have just introduced the trial (beta) version of a new facility called Google Pages. It is yet another facility that claims to make it easy to create your own home page without your needing to know any html etc. It appears to be in a very rough state at the moment, however. About all I could find that I could usefully do with it was to upload and store images there. The image above comes down from my site there. I hope they allow a bit of bandwidth or the image will NOT come down. They are very generous with diskspace so I hope the same applies to bandwidth. Yes. I do know about photobucket. I have got my most sickening image stored there. See below:

Should Walmart reduce wages? : “Legislators who take orders (and favors) from Walmart’s rivals hope their meddling will raise Walmart’s labor costs and thus render the company less competitive. But this is a delusion. The whole burden will be borne by workers and by those forced into less-desirable work (or none). Maryland’s mandate does not compel Walmart to spend a dollar more on employee compensation. All it demands is that Walmart pays no more than 92 percent of compensation as wages (or non-health benefits). Compelling Walmart employees to accept a larger fraction of their pay in the form of health insurance rather than cash is a particularly bad deal for housewives and students, who are usually covered under Dad’s family plan. It is also a bad deal for seniors covered by Medicare. The law injures actual and potential Walmart employees in Maryland, particularly housewives, students and seniors seeking relatively easy part-time work.”

There is an interesting site called “Union Facts”. They say that “Union leaders have abused the trust of their members. They’ve misspent member dues and harmed the very same people they promise to protect. The Center for Union Facts has gathered a wealth of information about the size, scope, political activities, and criminal activity of the labor movement in the United States of America”. A fact I particularly liked is this one: “Workers at Walmart stores in Ontario earn higher wages than workers at UFCW-represented Real Canadian Super Stores”

Media scum: “Two years ago, a 23-year-old Paris disc jockey called Sebastien Selam was heading off to work from his parents’ apartment when he was jumped in the parking garage by his Muslim neighbor Adel. Selam’s throat was slit twice, to the point of near-decapitation; his face was ripped off with a fork; and his eyes were gouged out. Adel climbed the stairs of the apartment house dripping blood and yelling, “I have killed my Jew. I will go to heaven.” Is that an gripping story? You’d think so. Particularly when, in the same city, on the same night, a Jewish woman was brutally murdered in the presence of her daughter by another Muslim. You’ve got the making of a mini-trend there, and the media love trends. Yet no major French newspaper carried the story.”

Why Summers fell: “Harvard’s 27th president announced his resignation last week, but Lawrence Summers’s fall from grace actually began on Oct. 26, 2001, less than four months after his presidency began. That was the date on which he addressed the annual public service awards banquest at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and had the temerity to speak favorably of American patriotism – and, even more audaciously, to express admiration for the men and women who serve in the US armed forces. Patriotism is a word “used too infrequently” on campuses like Harvard’s, Summers said, and too many academics regard those who wear the uniform with ”disaffection.” He stressed “the importance of clearly expressing our respect and support for the military,” and pointedly voiced the “hope that when you have this award next year, among those who will be recognized will be those who have served our country in uniform…. [W]e need to remember that of all the kinds of public service, there is a special nobility, a special grace, to those who are prepared to sacrifice their lives for our country.” .. Harvard’s motto is “Veritas,” Latin for “truth.” But at Harvard, as in much of academia, ideology, not truth, is the highest value”

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here).

Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country’s labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and “helping” them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin’s Communism. The very word “Nazi” is a German abbreviation for “National Socialist” (Nationalsozialistisch)

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