Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Longest Day, The Longest Day

The story of D-Day.

American automated switchboards are hell for the British

Trying to reach a human being on the end of the phone is a nightmare, writes The Daily Telegraph's David Millward, when the voice activated system can't understand your accent ...

Friday, June 05, 2015

Words like "merit" and "colorblind" are like fingernails on the chalkboard to supporters of affirmative action

America’s oldest and most prestigious institution of higher learning, Harvard University, has found itself on the wrong end of a lawsuit filed by a coalition of sixty-four Asian and Asian-American groups
writes Benny Huang.
The plaintiffs allege that the university’s admissions policies are discriminatory; which, in fact, they are. Asian applicants must meet higher academic standards than any other racial or ethnic group. That’s usually called discrimination.
I will part ways with most conservatives here and say that I hope the Asian plaintiffs lose their case, though not because I like Harvard’s discriminatory policy. I hate it. The only thing more loathsome than their policy, however, is private sector nondiscrimination laws which are intrusive and arbitrarily enforced. Granted, I believe that Harvard should lose its federal funding, though not because it practices racial discrimination. Harvard should be weaned from the government teet because it’s private. The taxpayer shouldn’t have to subsidize any private university.

Nonetheless, the lawsuit serves an important purpose—to show the world that affirmative action has real victims.

 … The academic metrics of the [various] racial groups form an embarrassing and (for some) troubling hierarchy, with Asians on top, followed by whites, then Hispanics, and finally, blacks. Harvard and many other universities have responded to the tiered abilities of racial groups with a tiered set of standards. The lowest performing group is judged by the lowest standard and the highest performing group is judged by the highest standard.
 … Proponents of affirmative action don’t like to admit that the policy harms anyone. Blacks and Hispanics benefit because it affords them opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise received, while whites and Asians supposedly benefit because they are exposed to a diverse student body. Everyone’s a winner, so what’s to complain about?
Plenty, actually. My hope for this lawsuit is that it will force academia as a whole to come face to face with the real victims of affirmative action and to admit that they’ve been screwing people for the last forty years. We don’t all “win” when we hold down some to lift up others. Admissions standards are, as the black Berkeley professor Bill Banks once remarked, “an algebraic formula with human casualties.”

University admissions, like so many things in life, are a zero sum game, a pie that can only be sliced so many ways. A bigger slice for one group necessarily means a smaller slice for another, although fretting about one race getting a slice that’s “too big” implies that there’s some theoretical correct size, a notion born out of the all-too-human tendency toward tribalism.
We can and should resist the impulse to play us-against-them in university admissions, but that would require a colorblind, merit-based admissions process, which some people are just unwilling to accept. Those words—merit and colorblind—are like fingernails on the chalkboard to supporters of affirmative action, which explains why they’ve tried, with some success, to banish them from acceptable discourse. My advice is to keep using them. They are not racist code words, just concepts that sore losers don’t like. When we avoid using them we grant the premise that they are illusory and irrelevant.

The concept of merit and the ideal of colorblindness must also be counted among the victims of affirmative action. Though not quite dead and buried, they’ve been fighting for their lives since at least the 1970s. The Indian immigrant Dinesh D’Souza wrote about the demise of merit in favor of “diversity” in his 1991 book “Illiberal Education.”

 … “Basically what [test scores and GPAs] measure is privilege,” [a black student activist, Kimberly Smith,] said to D’Souza. What she means is that the whole system is built from the ground up for white people, by white people. “People of color” can’t compete on the white man’s uneven playing field and they shouldn’t have to.

That would make more sense if “people of color” weren’t lighting up the scoreboard; it just happens that they’re the wrong color—mostly yellow with some brown people from the Indian subcontinent. If academic achievement indicates only “privilege,” as Smith posited, then Asians must be the most aristocratic of the aristocrats.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Wondrous Benefits of Our Forward-Looking Leaders' Avant-Garde Attempts to Educate Us Bitter Racist Xenophobes to Be Tolerant of Foreigners, and to Generously Accept More of Them in Our Living (and Working) Spaces

From the New York Times, Julia Preston brings us a delightful article on the wondrous benefits of being open to our benevolent, forward-looking leaders (business leaders aw well as political) to educate us — the bitter, racist xenophobes that we are — to be tolerant of foreigners, especially to (previously) illegal immigrants, and to generously accept more of them in our living (and working) spaces.
Some [American employees] were performing so well that they thought they had been called in for bonuses.

Instead, about 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

“I just couldn’t believe they could fly people in to sit at our desks and take over our jobs exactly,” said one former worker, an American in his 40s who remains unemployed since his last day at Disney on Jan. 30. “It was so humiliating to train somebody else to take over your job. I still can’t grasp it.”

 … the layoffs at Disney and at other companies, including the Southern California Edison power utility, are raising new questions about how businesses and outsourcing companies are using the temporary visas, known as H-1B, to place immigrants in technology jobs in the United States. These visas are at the center of a fierce debate in Congress over whether they complement American workers or displace them.

  … Too often, critics say, the visas are being used to bring in immigrants to do the work of Americans for less money, with laid-off American workers having to train their replacements.

“The program has created a highly lucrative business model of bringing in cheaper H-1B workers to substitute for Americans,” said Ronil Hira, a professor of public policy at Howard University who studies visa programs and has testified before Congress about H-1B visas.

 … H-1B immigrants work for less than American tech workers, Professor Hira said at a hearing in March of the Senate Judiciary Committee, because of weaknesses in wage regulations. The savings have been 25 percent to 49 percent in recent cases, he told lawmakers.
Thank God Barack Obama is proceeding forward in his dream of radically transforming America, in making the USA more like  other countries, and its citizens consequently poorer, more in need of help from the government, and more in need of bureaucracy oversight.

Yes, we can.

Yes we can make Americans poorer.

Yes we can make proud citizens more dependent on government help.

Yes we can make America more of a bureaucratic nation.

"Oops" — The GOP: The Party in Which No Sin and No Mistake Must Ever Be Forgotten

WILL WEISSERT and STEVE PEOPLES open their June 2015 article of Rick Perry with a recollection, in the very first couple of sentences, of an event from… November 2011.

Naturally, it is a mishap, something negative.

Needless to say, this is compounded in the AOL report by the necessary watering down of the Texas Governor's economic record (generating "more than a third of America's new private-sector jobs since 2001", with the phrase "an oil and gas boom fueled much of that economic growth") and by mention of "a felony indictment on abuse of power and coercion charges" against him.

The New York Times also recalls the 2011 event, with a headline reading Rick Perry, Shrugging Off 2012, Announces He Will Run Again for President and with a description of Perry's "oops" as nothing less than "a political disaster", again in the introductory sentence.

Neither the brain freeze nor the affair involving a drunken public corruption prosecutors (mentioned only in passing by the journalists) are un-newsworthy, of course, far from it, and reporters are supposed to assess everything pertaining to an economic boom (or an economic downfall or any issue at all, for that matter, large or small).

But why the double standards?

Compare with the treatment of America's leftist party the very week (!) that it was revealed that a leading Democrat was (firmly) embroiled in a private email account scandal,

What story did AOL then choose to lead its Clinton family news? Hillary didn't pioneer the pantsuit in DC.

No mention, or little mention, of records and past (family member) indictments in a Democrat's case.

Few attempts at an assessment (over the past sis-seven years) of Barack Obama's economic record.

Few attempts at charging Obama (as a candidate or in the White House) for his foot-in-the-mouth flubs (remember Dubya?).

(No, MSM outlets like the New York Times are more concerned with Obama's "Legacy".)

Good job, mainstream media "professionals". 

Related: Republicans Denounced as "Lizards" (in 2015), as "Reptiles" (in 2010), and as "Reptiles" (in… 1860!)

And: How electoral “firsts” work — The modus operandi is for the media to constantly harp on the fact that their preferred candidate suffers a handicap because he or she is different, which requires them to malign America as a very dark place

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Republicans Denounced as "Lizards" (in 2015), as "Reptiles" (in 2010), and as "Reptiles" (in… 1860!)

First, James Carville calls Republicans reptiles, now New York Magazine’s Annie Lowrey says that she wants GOP presidential candidates to “unleash their lizard brains” during the debates.

Her full comment is even worse, writes Elizabeth Price Foley:
Even in terms of getting a better bread and circus type ludicrous production, which as a journalist is all that I care about, I just want chaos, anarchy, racist comments, sexist comments, I want, I want the worst of these people, I want them to, like, unleash their lizard brains.
This is something altogether new, you believe?

Do you really believe the Democrats' (self-serving) belief that the Democrat and the Republican parties have switched sides from the mid-19th century and today?

Time to bring out the main character from The Life and Times of Abraham Lincoln. Turns out that not much has changed from a century and a half ago, specifically when Honest Abe spoke at the Cooper Union in February 1860 (over 150 years ago), in an attempt to address the Republicans' castigators:
…when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us as reptiles [!], or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to [Republicans]. In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation of [Republicanism] as the first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite — license, so to speak — among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all. Now, can you, or not, be prevailed upon to pause and to consider whether this is quite just to us, or even to yourselves? Bring forward your charges and specifications, and then be patient long enough to hear us deny or justify.

Related: Wondering Why Slavery Persisted for Almost 75 Years After the Founding of the USA? According to Lincoln, the Democrat Party's "Principled" Opposition to "Hate Speech"

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

FBI Profiler: If a criminal orders you to get in a car with him — don't do it!

I shouldn't have started watching Helen Smith's Six (thanks to her husband) after 1:30am, because I couldn't "put it down" and didn't get to bed until 3.

Please note that, basically, the members of the Lillelid family are doomed once they agree to enter the Kentucky teens' van.

As FBI profiler John Douglas writes (with Mark Olshaker) in The Anatomy of Motive (The FBI's Legendary Mindhunter Explores The Key To Understanding And Catching Violent Criminals),
One point I always make is, if you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a crime and the offender orders you to get in a car with him — don't do it!  Your chances of survival are greatly reduced if you follow his instructions and go anywhere with him.
It doesn't matter whether the criminal(s) is/are threatening you with their weapon(s). Yes, you do have a choice: Refuse to enter the vehicle.

Other quotes from the ace in the FBI's elite serial-crime unit:
There's an old saying in law enforcement:
"Killers don't call, and callers don't kill."
(Yes, this would seem to mean that plenty of Hollywood thrillers veer far from the truth.)
 … regardless of your ethical opinion, calling [the death penalty] "premeditated violent homicide" [as the ACLU did] is an action I find morally repugnant because it places the killer and his victim on the same level and therefore trivializes the critical distinction between the guilty and the innocent. We owe [the victim's] memory more than that. And once we lose sight of this distinction in our society, then we're really playing with fire.

Identifying precisely which regulations are pointless, stupid, or tyrannical

It was our boast that in America, unlike in any other country, you could live your life as you saw fit as long as you accorded the same liberty to everyone else
writes Charles Murray (thanks to Instapundit).
The “sum of good government,” as Thomas Jefferson put it in his first inaugural address, was one “which shall restrain men from injuring one another” and “shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.” Americans were to live under a presumption of freedom.

The federal government remained remarkably true to that ideal—for white male Americans, at any rate—for the first 150 years of our history. Then, with FDR’s New Deal and the rise of the modern regulatory state, our founding principle was subordinated to other priorities and agendas. What made America unique first blurred, then faded, and today is almost gone.

We now live under a presumption of constraint.

 … It gets worse. If a regulatory agency comes after you, forget about juries, proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, disinterested judges and other rights that are part of due process in ordinary courts. The “administrative courts” through which the regulatory agencies impose their will are run by the regulatory agencies themselves, much as if the police department could make up its own laws and then employ its own prosecutors, judges and courts of appeals.

 … Regulations that waste our time and money are bad enough. Worse are the regulations that prevent us from doing our jobs as well as we could—regulations that impede architects from designing the most functional and beautiful buildings that would fit their clients’ needs, impede physicians from exercising their best judgment about their patients’ treatment, or impede businesses from identifying the best candidates for job openings.

 … it isn’t just freedom to practice our vocations that is being gutted. Whether we are trying to raise our children, be good stewards of our property, cooperate with our neighbors to solve local problems or practice our religious faith, the bureaucrats think they know better. And when the targets of the regulatory state say they’ve had enough, that they will fight it in court, the bureaucrats can—and do—say to them, “Try that, and we’ll ruin you.”

 … Seen in this perspective, the regulatory state is the Wizard of Oz: fearsome when its booming voice is directed against any single target but, when the curtain is pulled aside, revealed as impotent to enforce its thousands of rules against widespread refusal to comply.

And so my modest proposal: Let’s withhold that compliance through systematic civil disobedience. Not for all regulations, but for the pointless, stupid and tyrannical ones.

 … The full set of criteria for designating regulations that are appropriate for systematic civil disobedience is necessarily complex, but the operational test is this: If the government prosecutes someone for ignoring a designated regulation even though no harm has occurred, ordinary citizens who hear about the prosecution will be overwhelmingly on the side of the defendant.

At the end of the process, we will have a large number of regulations that meet the criteria for being pointless, stupid or tyrannical. Let’s just ignore them and go on about our lives as if they didn’t exist.

 …  I propose two frameworks for implementing this strategy.
Read the whole thing™

Monday, June 01, 2015

The State recognises, at a gut level, that unlike pretty much every other demand for liberty or equality in modern times, the campaign for gay marriage does nothing to threaten their authority — on the contrary, it extends it

Yes, Ireland has entered a new era of equality
writes Spiked Online's Brendan O'Neill (cheers to Matt Keller)
— but not the positive kind.

The most striking thing following the Irish referendum on gay marriage is how few people are talking about gay marriage.
 … Instead of saying ‘We can finally get married’, the most common response to the referendum result from both the leaders of the Yes campaign and their considerable army of supporters in the media and political classes has been: ‘Gays have finally been validated.’
 … The march of gay marriage has a stronger relationship with the new culture of therapy, and the need for recognition, than it does with the more longstanding ideal of legal equality and the need for rights. What is being sought here is not really the right to marry but rather social and cultural validation of one’s lifestyle — ‘societal empathy’ — particularly from the state. What we have witnessed in Ireland is not a new dawn of social equality but the further entrenchment of the value of cultural equality, and this is far from positive.
 … What we have here is not the politics of autonomy, but the politics of identity. Where the politics of autonomy was about ejecting the state from gay people’s lives — whether it was Stonewall rioters kicking the cops out of their bars or Peter Tatchell demanding the dismantling of all laws forbidding homosexual acts — the politics of identity calls upon the state to intervene in gay people’s lives, and offer them its recognition, its approval. For much of the past 50 years, radical gay-rights activism was in essence about saying ‘We do not need the approval of the state to live how we choose’; now, in the explicit words of The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage, it’s about seeking ‘the sanction of the state for our intimate relationships’. The rise of gay marriage over the past 10 years speaks, profoundly, to the diminution of the culture of autonomy, and its replacement by a far more nervous, insecure cultural outlook that continually requires lifestyle validation from external bodies. And the state is only too happy to play this authoritative role of approver of lifestyles, as evidenced in Enda Kenny’s patronising (yet widely celebrated) comment about Irish gays finally having their ‘fragile and deeply personal hopes realised’.
What is being sought through gay marriage is not the securing of rights but the boosting of esteem. And this is a problem for those of us who believe in liberty. For where old, positive forms of social equality were a narrowly legal accomplishment, concerned simply with either removing discriminatory laws or passing legislation forbidding discrimination at work or in the public sphere, cultural equality is far more about… well, culture; the general outlook; even people’s attitudes. It is not satisfied with simply legislating against discrimination and then allowing people to get on with their lives; rather, it is concerned with reshaping the cultural climate, discussion, how people express themselves in relation to certain groups.

In the apt words of the Yes campaign, this goes ‘beyond the letter of the law’. It is undoubtedly the business of society to ensure social equality for gays, so that they may work and live as they choose free from persecution or harassment. But is it the job of society to ensure that there is parity of esteem for gays? That they feel good? That they feel validated, respected? I would say no, for then we invite the state not simply to remove the barriers to gay people’s engagement in public life but to interfere at a much more psychic level in both gay people’s lives, in order to offer ‘sanction for their intimate relationships’, and in other, usually religious people’s lives, in order to monitor their refusal to validate gay people’s lifestyles and offer them ‘support, kindness and respect’.
This is why we have seen, across the West, the bizarre ‘gay cake’ phenomenon, where there are more and more cases of traditionalist bakers (and other businesses) being purposefully approached by campaigners to provide services to gay weddings. The aim of this very modern form of religious persecution is to discover and expose those whose attitudes have not yet been corrected by the top-down enforcement of parity of esteem, of protected feelings, for gays. That cultural equality is concerned not merely with altering laws, but with reshaping culture and even belief itself, is clear from the growing trend for harassing those who do not bow before the altar of gay marriage. Joan Burton made clear that this trend will now intensify in Ireland, when she said there will be no ‘conscience clause’ in the New Ireland: it would be intolerable, she said, to ‘exclude some people or some institutions from the operation of marriage equality’. That is, all must agree, all must partake; there can be no room for the exercise of individual conscience when it comes to the engineering of a new cultural climate.

What Ireland crystallises is that gay marriage has nothing to do with liberty. The presentation of this as a liberal, or even libertarian, issue is highly disingenuous. For in truth, gay marriage massively expands the authority of the state in our everyday lives, in our most intimate relationships and even over our consciences. It simultaneously makes the state the sanctioner of acceptable intimate relationships, the ultimate provider of validation to our lifestyle choices, while empowering it to police the cultural attitudes and consciences of those of a more religious or old-fashioned persuasion. This is bad for gays, because it reduces them, in Kenny’s words, to ‘fragile’ creatures who require constant recognition from others; and it is bad for those uncomfortable with gay marriage, since their ability to in act in accordance with their conscience is limited. Making the state the validator of our intimacies and the policer of our moral outlooks is a very dangerous game.

This goes some way to explaining why every single wing of the Irish state supported gay marriage, from the police, who proudly waved the rainbow flag, to all the political parties, the public sector, the health establishment and the cultural establishment. It’s because they recognise, at a gut level, that unlike pretty much every other demand for liberty or equality in modern times, the campaign for gay marriage does nothing to threaten their authority — on the contrary, it extends it, in a way that the most authoritarian among them could only have dreamt of. 
See also:
A strangling discussion: it’s been ‘a Two Minutes Hate’ against anyone who doesn’t think gay marriage is the greatest idea ever
5 Gay Marriage Myths: "It is those who oppose same-sex marriage who are the true champions of liberty"
Marriage has always been a forward-looking institution aimed at nurturing the next generation of children, not a love license for the adults of the present
• To Understand Liberal Issues Like Gay Marriage Correctly, It Is Vital to Get the Basic Premises Right
What If Someone Told You That "Homosexuals" Do Not Exist? And What If They Were Right?

A strangling discussion: it’s been ‘a Two Minutes Hate’ against anyone who doesn’t think gay marriage is the greatest idea ever

… far from mirroring the blacks who marched for their rights [in Selma], the gay-marriage movement … looks a lot more like the Montgomery cops who batoned those marchers off the streets
wrote Spiked Online's Brendan O'Neill prior to the Irish vote. (Subsequently, he would write that the State recognises, at a gut level, that unlike pretty much every other demand for liberty or equality in modern times, the campaign for gay marriage does nothing to threaten their authority — on the contrary, it extends it.)
The run-up to the referendum has been about as far from a fair or open debate as it’s possible to get. One side in the debate — the side that is critical of gay marriage — is demonised daily, treated virtually as heretics, almost as criminals. It’s accused of causing psychological harm, branded as ‘hate speakers’, and frequently forced to make public apologies simply for expressing its belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. And as a writer for the Irish Independent says, ‘It’s not a debate if one side can’t speak’. The public discussion before the Irish referendum has not been a debate, she says — it’s been ‘a Two Minutes Hate’ against anyone who doesn’t think gay marriage is the greatest idea ever.

Pretty much the entire establishment in Ireland, aside from the increasingly uninfluential bishops and priests, backs gay marriage (giving the lie to the gay-marriage movement’s depiction of itself as a beleaguered minority bravely battling The Man for its civil rights).  … barely a week passes when they don’t demonise the other side, the smaller, less powerful side, the side which, in opposing gay marriage, is apparently harming citizens, causing violence and, worst of all, jeopardising Ireland’s political future.
As with all heretics in history, Ireland’s opponents of gay marriage stand accused of directly harming the public. … the Psychological Society of Ireland …  chastised opponents of gay marriage for promoting ideas that ‘run contrary to the positions of professional bodies’ — that is, for daring to defy the new priests: the expert class — and said their words could wreak mental and moral havoc.

 … So discussion is dangerous; positing a view that runs counter to the elite’s outlook could cause emotional damage. It’s remarkable how much the authoritarian boot has shifted: once it was those who denied Biblical truths who were accused of doing moral harm to citizens; now it is those who cleave to Christian views and doubt gay marriage whose words, whose desire to have a debate, are depicted as dangerous, warping things.

 … The Irish Times has gone further, publishing a piece calling for the establishment of a ‘homophobia watchdog’ in the run-up to the referendum, so that the authorities can ‘monitor the inevitable destructive rhetoric that will colour one side of the debate’. And to those who cry ‘what about free speech?’, the Irish Times has a simple answer: ‘“Free speech” is not a free pass to inflict psychological trauma.’ That is, your words, your very thoughts, are traumatic, even socially destabilising, and thus they must not enjoy liberty; they should not be expressed.

Echoing those eco-illiberals in the UK and elsewhere who slam media outlets that offer a ‘balanced’ view in the debate on climate change, the Irish Times has also called into question the need for media balance on gay marriage in the run-up to the referendum. Too much of the media have ‘a skewed view of what balance is’, it says, feeling the need to offer a platform to ‘Middle Ireland’, ‘the silent majority’, ‘the mainstream’, when the only consequence of such ‘polarised conversations’ is that ‘facts and reason are drowned out by emotional arguments and inaccuracies’. ‘It’s pointless’, it concludes. It means, amazingly, that debate is pointless. Gay-marriage activists see themselves as ‘factual and reasoned’ and anyone who criticises them as emotional, inaccurate, traumatising, psychologically harmful.

 … Experts’ and observers’ depiction of gay marriage’s opponents as emotionally harmful is having a direct impact on how the debate is, or rather isn’t, panning out. It is strangling discussion, stifling the expression of what are increasingly depicted as deviant views.

 … The bishop of Kildare, Denis Nulty, had a point when he recently warned against ‘the danger of groupthink’ on gay marriage. As O’Hanlon says, through groupthink ‘outsiders are demonised and hounded’. Referring to the Twittermobs that formed during a heated debate on gay marriage last year, she says ‘anyone who expressed the slightest reservations about same-sex marriage was howled down as a homophobe and pelted with hashtags and slogans until they either submitted to the mob or were driven offline’.

 … It seems the old bishops have heeded the warnings of the new secular bishops that make up Ireland’s expert and chattering classes, and have agreed to genuflect at the altar of safe, stultified discussion on gay marriage.

 … Around the world, the institutionalisation of gay marriage has been attended by authoritarianism, whether of the violent state variety or what John Stuart Mill called ‘the tyranny of prevailing opinion’. From French riot police’s tear-gassing of protesters against gay marriage to American activists’ witch-hunting of corporate bosses or small-town restaurants that refuse to cheer gay marriage, this supposedly great civil-rights issue of our age has a powerful intolerant streak to it. (The recent fiftieth anniversary of the Selma march really exposed gay-marriage activists’ claims to be the new civil-rights movement: far from mirroring the blacks who marched for their rights, the gay-marriage movement, most notably in France, looks a lot more like the Montgomery cops who batoned those marchers off the streets.) 

Why is the gay-marriage movement so intolerant? Despite winning the backing of almost every powerful figure in the West, from Barack Obama to David Cameron, from Apple to Goldman Sachs, and despite being turned by the media into the great unquestionable, almost sacrilegious cause of our age, still gay-marriage activists hilariously fancy themselves as underdogs and, worse, seek to shush or shame out of existence anyone who opposes them.

 … What’s this all about? Why the illiberalism, the intolerance, the ugliness? It’s because gay marriage is not really about expanding freedom at all. Rather, it represents the emergence of a new, post-traditonalist morality, an attempt by at-sea elites across the West to redefine themselves and their moral missions through the gay issue. Gay marriage has become the favoured means through which our rulers, feeling ever-more detached from their old moral worldview, are institutionalising a new, pseudo-progressive, seemingly consensual morality, based, not around the old ideals of family, commitment and privacy, but around the new po-mo values of relativism (all relationships are the same), non-judgementalism (who are we to say that a mum and dad are better than two mums?), and illiberal liberalism, the central political outlook of our times, which under the guise of building a new liberal consensus seeks to censure and punish anyone who deviates from that consensus. The reason the elites, from the political classes to the influential opinion-forming set, are so instinctually hostile to criticism of gay marriage is because they have invested their very moral rehabilitation, their future political and moral legitimacy, into this issue more than in any other. And thus no ridicule of it can be tolerated. For if you knock gay marriage you are not only knocking gay marriage — you are upsetting Western elites’ efforts to establish a new morality that simplistically distinguishes between Us (good, kind, liberal backers of gay marriage) and Them (the old, the religious, the outdated, the Other).

 …  All this talk of ‘sending signals’ to the world shows how absolutely central gay marriage has become to the project of Western elites making themselves over in these post-Cold War, post-traditionalist, post-political times. The Irish state needs gay marriage for the same reason Obama and Cameron need it — to fashion a new moral worldview and ‘send a signal’ about its elitist progressivism, its decency in comparison to the old world, the old people, the old outlook.
Previously, Jason Smith pointed out that
When I used to run a pub, I told a representative of Wells and Young’s Brewery that I would not stock its Bombardier bitter because the accompanying advertising campaign was anti-German. Was this also unacceptable? There are many more scenarios. Should a West Indian or Asian business be forced to make a product featuring British National Party (BNP) or English Defence League (EDL) slogans? Should a Jewish-run business be able to decline an order from a Holocaust denier? And so on. In short, where does freedom of conscience end and equality legislation begin?

If freedom of conscience, the right to follow one’s own beliefs in matters of religion and morality, means anything, people have to be able to act on their beliefs as they see fit. 

See also:
5 Gay Marriage Myths: "It is those who oppose same-sex marriage who are the true champions of liberty"
Marriage has always been a forward-looking institution aimed at nurturing the next generation of children, not a love license for the adults of the present
• To Understand Liberal Issues Like Gay Marriage Correctly, It Is Vital to Get the Basic Premises Right
What If Someone Told You That "Homosexuals" Do Not Exist? And What If They Were Right?