Saturday, April 06, 2013

Canada's Precedent in Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage: Is There Any Valid Reason to Be Against Gay Nuptials?

You may remember that a couple of years ago, I wrote a post on gay marriage which, among other things, quoted a prominent constitutional theorist from the 1830s (Joseph Story: "Marriage is … in its origin a contract of natural law … It is the parent, and not the child of society; the source of civility and a sort of seminary of the republic") as well as a prominent constitutional theorist from today (Harry Jaffa: "…it is human families or their representatives, rather than "abstract" human individuals, who found or institute political communities" and "Only as one understands the priority of the partnership of male and female in the generation, nurture, and education of the young can one understand the relationship of individuality to community in the political order").

In case you're wondering why anybody — liberal, conservative, or neutral — would be against two consenting adults marrying (adding that such a position can only be ridiculous, not least because, in the immortal liberal words quoted by George Neumayr, "The political debate over gay marriage is over"), Clash Daily provides a response that mirrors my own post on the subject.
If homosexuals and heterosexuals are really “equal” before the law, then logically heterosexual marriage must collapse into being little more than a legal construct as well. Indeed, marriage and family become mere adjuncts of the state after the removal of the de facto conditions that make the traditional family a pre-political institution in the first place. No longer is family something that, in the words of Douglas Farrow, “precedes and exceeds the state.” No longer is the family a hedge against the totalitarian aspirations of the state because no longer is the family prior to the state.

This is not mere hypothetical speculation about what ‘might’ happen if same-sex marriages are legalized. Canadian theologian Douglas Farrow has shown that after Canada legalized same-sex marriage, even traditional marriage began to be spoken about as little more than a legal construct. In his book Nation of Bastards, Farrow criticized  warned that by claiming the power to re-invent marriage, the Canadian state “has drawn marriage and the family into a captive orbit. It has reversed the gravitational field between the family and the state… It has effectively made every man, woman, and child a chattel of the state, by turning their most fundamental human connections into mere legal constructs at the state’s disposal. It has transformed those connections from divine gifts into gifts from the state.”

Most people are not aware of how gay marriage will undermine the traditional family because it does so in ways that are subtle and ubiquitous.  However, once gay marriage is introduced into a nation, it undermines the integrity of every family and every marriage in the nation. It does this by rearranging the family’s relationship to the state. The state which legalizes gay marriage is a state that has assumed the god-like power to declare which collections of individuals constitute a ‘family.’ But by this assumption government declares that both marriage and family are little more than legal constructs at best, and gifts from the state at worst. In the former case, marriage and family lose their objective fixity; in the latter case, we become the wards of the state.

On the Nation of Bastards book's Amazon page, reviewer Paul Adams writes about Douglas Farrow's book (what another reviewer calls "the check-and-balance on government power that resides in the family — and that's husband/wife/children family, not 'we love each other ergo we are family.' It illustrates that divorcing procreation from marriage leads inevitably to a government that is not only 'big brother,' but 'mother and father' as well"):
By fundamentally redefining marriage, [Douglas Farrow] says, the state has appropriated the institution of marriage and turned children, indeed all citizens, into wards of the state. Marriage and family have always existed in relative autonomy vis a vis the state, resting as they do on the nature of human beings and the natural human family.

In a liberal society, marriage and family mediate between individual and state. As such they are indispensable to liberal democracy. They may or may not be recognized and protected by the state, but marriage and family in any case are not created by it. They are, by their nature and not the state's fiat, the way in which one generation turns from its own concerns to those of the next, requiring a sacrifice and commitment of the autonomous ego to a relationship ordered to procreation, fidelity, and a covenantal relationship involving man, woman, and any children that result from their union.

In abandoning this traditional understanding, Farrow argues, the Canadian state … has overturned the natural family, separating biological from legal parenthood to the point where the terms mother and father are replaced by parent 1 and parent 2. In a recent case, the Ontario Court of Appeals ruled that a child could have three parents - in which case it seems only a matter of time before the state decides that a child's three or more parents can all be married to each other.

 … in deconstructing marriage, the state is defeating a key institution that offsets its power and domination over society. The real contrast is not the bogus one between civil and religious marriage as the Canadian courts described it, but the one they ignored, between state and civil society.

It is true that totalitarian states invariably seek to undermine and subordinate the family and all of civil society, dismantling them and slowly grinding them up, in Nietzsche's expression, "into a random collection of individuals, haphazardly bound together in the common pursuit of selfish ends." That sounds right for Nazi Germany or Communist Eastern Europe, where all civil society, everything that stands between individual and state, is weakened and destroyed.

But Canada? It sounds far-fetched, but if Farrow is right, we can expect to see, as in Europe today, the increasing control of the state over children's education and socialization (home-schooling was outlawed in Hitler's Germany and just recently parents have been arrested for defying the law). Parents cannot be trusted not to raise their children in their own faith, whose values may contradict those of the state; parents will have fewer and fewer rights to exempt their children from the state's version of sex education and instruction in the moral acceptability of fornication. Professionals, denied protections of conscience, will be fired, not for "imposing their moral views on their clients," but for failing to impose the state's.

It's already happening.

Friday, April 05, 2013

"We Are Stark Naked, Hollande Is Stark Naked, the Left Is Stark Naked": The Left "will have to be superhuman to face" the Swiss bank account scandal

President François "Hollande had staged the paragon of his presidency as the only palliative making a stand against the right and against our lack of innovation regarding fundamentals. Our only bonus on the soul side [the only bonus of the French Left, that is] was the moral one." Thus spake a socialist parliamentarian, who goes on to admit that, in the wake of The Cahuzac scandal, that soul bonus "is now dead as a doornail. We are stark naked, Hollande is stark naked, the Left is stark naked."

Added to the continuing rise in unemployment and the shrinking budget policy, writes Le Monde, the scandal is a severe blow to all. "There was already the difficult economic and social issue before us, if we now add moral disqualification, we will have to be superhuman to face" the country's problems, admits Thierry Mandon, the spokesman of the Socialist Party group in parliament.

Meanwhile, Jean-Pierre Raffarin opined that "the moralizing left has collapsed."

"I believe that the Left's pledge is more discredited than any other pledge because it has always been based on moral legitimacy and because the left has always wanted to give lectures to the whole planet," the former Prime Minister declared. François Hollande's campaign program has become obsolete. "It is economically obsolete, politically obsolete, and now morally obsolete as well."
"La gauche morale s'est effondrée", a ainsi estimé Jean-Pierre Raffarin. "Je pense que la parole de la gauche est plus décrédibilisée que toute parole parce qu'elle se fondait toujours sur une légitimité morale et que la gauche a toujours voulu donner des leçons à l'ensemble de la terre entière", a-t-il déclaré à Questions d'Info LCP/France Info/AFP/Le Monde.

… "Le président doit reformuler sa proposition aux Français", a-t-il poursuivi en faisant valoir que "son programme de campagne (était) devenu caduc". "Il est économiquement caduc, politiquement caduc et aujourd'hui moralement caduc."
As for Bastien Bonnefous, this is his report in Le Monde:
Après la haute "trahison", le tout petit espoir d'un "sursaut". Au lendemain des aveux de Jérôme Cahuzac, les députés socialistes ont tant bien que mal tenté de faire bonne figure mercredi 3 avril à l'Assemblée, sonnés et choqués par une vérité que beaucoup pensaient impossible.

Faute de mieux dans l'immédiat, les membres de la majorité se raccrochent comme des naufragés aux maigres annonces de l'exécutif sur un renforcement des règles de moralisation de la vie politique. Réuni le matin devant Jean-Marc Ayrault, le groupe parlementaire a été invité par le premier ministre à rester soudé et à "se projeter dans l'avenir, sur l'horizon", relate son président Bruno Le Roux. "On nous a dit "N'apparaissez pas abattus dans l'Hémicycle"", raconte un député, résumant le message général d'un "Souriez puisque c'est grave" plus dépité qu'ironique.

Rares sont les parlementaires à traîner dans la salle des Quatre Colonnes envahie par les micros et les caméras, comme c'est pourtant l'habitude le jour des questions au gouvernement. Jérôme Guedj (Essonne) confesse qu'"il y a des jours où on préférerait aller se promener dans le jardin des Tuileries". Le jeune député, membre de l'aile gauche du PS, cache mal son spleen. "Le dernier point sur lequel on pouvait se distinguer du précédent quinquennat, celui de la morale politique, vient de passer par-dessus bord", se lamente-t-il.

L'argument est partagé par beaucoup. "Hollande avait mis en scène l'exemplarité de son pouvoir comme seul palliatif face à la droite et à notre absence d'innovation sur le fond. Notre seul supplément d'âme était moral. Il est à présent mort. Nous sommes à poil, Hollande est à poil, la gauche est à poil", dramatise un autre élu. Ajouter le scandale Cahuzac à la hausse continue du chômage et à la politique de contraction budgétaire est un coup rude pour tous. "Il y avait déjà la dure couche économique et sociale, si on ajoute maintenant la disqualification morale, il faut être surhumain pour faire face", reconnaît Thierry Mandon (Essonne), porte-parole du groupe PS.


Ces députés qui appréciaient tant les directs portés à la droite par le boxeur Cahuzac dans l'Hémicycle sont comme des amoureux trompés : leur dépit est à la hauteur de leur admiration d'hier. "Jérôme Cahuzac a démonétisé la parole du politique et celle qui récupère la donne, c'est Marine Le Pen. Maintenant, on ne croira plus personne et on aura tout le temps un doute", enrage Yann Galut (Cher) qui compare l'événement pour la gauche au "21 avril 2002" et craint le retour de flammes dans l'opinion.

"J'ai du mal à imaginer ce que je vais dire à mes électeurs qui vont nous accuser d'être des irresponsables, explique-t-il. La colère que nous avons, ils l'ont encore plus fortement. Toutes les semaines, sur les marchés, j'expliquais qu'il fallait faire des efforts, que tout le monde devait y contribuer..."

  … Les plus cyniques tentent de relativiser, espérant une rapide amnésie générale. Mais craignent de faire un rêve pieux. "On essaie de faire comme si on maîtrisait quoi que ce soit, comme si ce n'était qu'un mauvais moment à passer. On se dit que dans cinq jours, il ne restera rien de l'affaire Cahuzac, mais on se ment à nous-mêmes. On sait qu'on est entré dans une crise politique profonde", admet l'un d'eux.

Car derrière le cas Cahuzac, c'est une partie de l'identité de la gauche qui est questionnée, y compris par ses représentants nationaux. "Mon grand-père était à la CGT-Mineurs, mon père était syndicaliste. Mardi soir, j'ai pleuré car pour moi, Cahuzac, ce n'est pas la gauche pour laquelle je m'engage", explique Nicolas Bays (Pas-de-Calais).

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Devastating News of the French Budget Minister's Secret Bank Account in Switzerland: "The Left's Entire Reform Movement Has Been Disgraced"

The huge scandal rocking the French government for the past couple of weeks is typical of the laws being for the common man and not for the (law-making) élites. A socialist government member, the country's budget minister no less — you know the type of leftist urging the people to be virtuous and upright citizens, to pay their taxes, and not to engage in fiscal fraud — has finally had to admit, after resigning that he has a bank account in Switzerland.

While the Jacques Cahuzac scandal is taking a heavy toll in François "I do not like rich people" Hollande's administration, with interior minister Manuel Valls denying any knowledge of the matter and Pierre Moscovici claiming that his earlier attempts to defend Jacques Cahuzac were part of a conspiracy to "use" him (i.e., to use Pierre Moscovici), in other news we learn that Jean-Jacques Augier (François Hollande's campaign treasurer!!) is known to have… invested in the Cayman Islands.

While Plantu delivers a stinging cartoon (drawing on the — historical — parallel between the Swiss flag and the Red Cross), the conclusion of François Chérèque (président de Terra Nova, ancien secrétaire général de la CFDT): "C'est toute la gauche réformiste qui est humiliée"— it's the left's entire reform movement which has been disgraced.

As for Le Monde, the daily in no way lets François "I do not like rich people" Hollande off the hook: an editorial states that we cannot tell which is worse: either the president knew, and he has been covering a lie, or he didn't  know, and he is incompetent…
Après quatre mois de dénégations solennelles, l'aveu par Jérôme Cahuzac qu'il possédait bien un compte bancaire à l'étranger est dévastateur.

Pour l'ancien ministre, foudroyé par sa faute et son mensonge. Pour le chef de l'Etat et le premier ministre, dont l'autorité a été bafouée. Pour l'Assemblée nationale, dont la confiance a été trahie. Pour tous les responsables politiques, enfin, que les Français mettront, plus que jamais, dans le même sac.

"Faute morale impardonnable", a tranché le président de la République. Certes. Mais dont il est désormais le premier comptable. Le scandale Cahuzac est devenu, dans l'instant, l'affaire de François Hollande. Elle l'atteint au coeur même de son pouvoir.

    Depuis dix mois, la perte de crédit du chef de l'Etat était déjà profonde et handicapait son action. Elle risque de devenir abyssale, paralysante. Aux yeux des Français, soit il a été naïf ou incompétent, soit il a, peu ou prou, couvert ce mensonge. Dans les deux cas, la faute est lourde.

Tout aussi calamiteux : Jérôme Cahuzac était l'un des principaux artisans et l'un des meilleurs avocats de la politique économique menée par le gouvernement. Comment les citoyens ne seraient-ils pas écoeurés ou révoltés de constater que le grand argentier de l'Etat s'était froidement affranchi de la rigueur et des efforts qu'il leur réclamait ? Comment espérer convaincre, désormais, que la "justice" est au coeur du redressement ?

A la crise économique et sociale dans laquelle est plongée la France, au climat politique qui avait pris un tour délétère depuis peu, s'ajoute désormais une profonde crise démocratique, tant le plus élémentaire contrat de confiance entre le peuple et ses gouvernants est rompu.

La responsabilité du président de la République est, aujourd'hui, d'y répondre. Elle est immense. Elle est immédiate. Mais elle s'impose à François Hollande s'il veut éviter au pays des catastrophes politiques et une régression démocratique plus graves encore.

Update: the BBC reports that
French newspapers are calling it the biggest political crisis for Mr Hollande since his election last year, the AFP news agency reports.

He had promised voters morality and integrity in public life after what were nicknamed the "bling-bling" years of his conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.

But this year Mr Hollande's opinion poll ratings have slumped, as the country remains mired in recession and unemployment at 10.6%.

 … But Mr Hollande's administration has been chasing the wealthy with such investments abroad, our correspondent says. So Mr Augier's affairs are a problem for him.
Update: "We Are Stark Naked, Hollande Is Stark Naked, the Left Is Stark Naked"

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

La Marseillaise — The Parody

This parody of La Marseillaise should have been posted a couple of days ago,
on April 1st, but tant pis.

ThDubya also has parodies of such anthems such as those of Germany, Denmark, and of course the United States — not to mention the leftists' Internationale

Monday, April 01, 2013

The post-tinfoil hat era has begun...

How will we be able to spot our betters without their trademark tinfoil hats?

Of course, we are aware of the date.......

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Found in the Sands of Normandy: 69 Years Later, D-Day Veteran Recovers Item Lost on the Beaches

Last September, Stéphane Lamache, director of the Airborne Museum of Sainte-Mère-Eglise, in Normandy, in northern France, was taking a walk on the dunes of Agon-Coutainville with friends. It was a cloudless day. A small piece of metal was sticking out from the surface of the sand.
The historian immediately recognized that it was a dog tag, the metal identification worn around the neck by American soldiers on D-day.
Thus writes Benoît Hopquin in a un article pour Le Monde from the beaches of Normandy (translated by Worldcrunch).
On it were engraved the soldier's name – James Kelson -- his blood type, religion, and next of kin: Elsie Kelson, as well as an address in Washington DC.

This kind of discovery isn’t unheard of in Normandy, where more than 160,000 Allied soldiers landed on D-Day – June 6, 1944 – to liberate Europe from the Nazis. But when locals stumble upon a World War II relic, they usually just put it on a shelf or in a drawer and forget about it.
But being a D-Day historian, Lamache decided to search for Kelson in U.S. military archives and was able to retrieve a partial biography of the soldier.
James Kelson was born in 1921. He was African-American -- a Negro citizen as they were called at the time. He worked small jobs in restaurants, trains and steamboats. He was drafted on Dec 2, 1942, and sent to Fort Myer, Virginia before being sent to England and eventually landing in Omaha Beach, Normandy, in June 1944.
Like many African-American soldiers during the years of segregation, he was not in a combat unit, but in supplies – laundry.
A few words of French
The archives gave information on Kelson’s life but nothing on the circumstances of his death. When he searched death records and burial registers, Lamache found no mention of a James Kelson. He contacted a genealogist network in the U.S., who discovered a daughter, named Joan.
“And then, she told us that her father was still alive,” says Lamache. The 91-year-old veteran lives in a retirement home in Washington DC.

Antonin Dehays, a historian from the Airborne Museum who was in the U.S. for a research project, was able to meet with him in Washington. “I met a lot of French people, good people,” says Kelson. After being stationed in Normandy – in the cities of Cherbourg and Valognes – he was sent to patrol the Franco-Belgian border in late 1944, and then to Japan. He returned to the U.S. in 1946, and found work in construction.
He still remembers a few words of French, like the expression “comme ci, comme ça” (“so-so”).
What about the dog tag? Kelson has no memory of losing it, but it doesn’t matter anymore. Last Friday, the veteran was given his dog tag back in a small ceremony -- nearly 70 years after it was forgotten in the sand of a Normandy beach.