American Elephants


About the Constitution and The First Amendment by The Elephant's Child

We talk a lot about Free Speech in America because we believe deeply in the First Amendment. I’m not sure that all of us are aware that it is solely directed at the government, not at us. You can say whatever you want, but it may get you expelled or censored or punched in the nose.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Europeans are free to say only what the courts allow them to say.

When he was 50, the prophet of Islam took as his wife Aisha, who was then six or seven. The marriage was consummated when Aisha was nine.

This is not a smear. It is an accurate account of authoritative Islamic scripture. (See, e.g., Sahih-Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book 58, Nos. 234–236.) Yet it can no longer safely be discussed in Europe, thanks to the extortionate threat of violence and intimidation — specifically, of jihadist terrorism and the Islamist grievance industry that slipstreams behind it. Under a ruling by the so-called European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), free speech has been supplanted by sharia blasphemy standards.

Mrs. S appealed, relying on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. That provision purports to safeguard “freedom of expression” although it works much like the warranty on your used refrigerator.  It sounds as if you would be covered, but the fine print doesn’t follow through.

Article 10 starts out: Europeans are free “to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”  Followed by the legal details: One’s exercise of the right to impart information, “carries with it duties and responsibilities.” What is called “freedom” is actually “subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties” that the authorities decide are “necessary in a democratic society,” including for “public safety” and for “the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others.”

Translation: Europeans are free to say only what they are permitted to say by the unelected judges of the European courts. Truth is irrelevant. As the jurists reasoned in the case of Mrs. S., a person’s freedom to assert facts must be assessed in “the wider context” that balances “free” expression against “the right of others to have their religious feelings protected,” as well as “the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace.”

In other words, you cannot say anything that might upset Muslims. Child marriage, violent jihad, the duty to kill apostates, the treatment of women as chattel, that sort of things. Doesn’t matter if these tenents are accurately stated or supported by scriptural grounding makes no difference. Reliance on what their scriptures say could be classified as “an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam, which could stir up prejucdce and put religious peace at risk.

There is no free speech in Islam. Sharia does not merely forbid speech that insults or denigrates Islam; they regard as blasphemy – and punish viciously – any form of expression that places Islam in an unfavorable light. Enacting laws against child marriage would be tantamount to saying that Mohammed was in the wrong, and that is unacceptable. So child marriage, among other things, remains a major problem in Islamic countries. In Saudi Arabia, efforts to establish the marriage at age 15 and some hope to raise it to 18 have been rejected by sharia authorities.

As we have said before, Europe seems bent on committing suicide.

Here, the Left’s increasing reliance on feelings as the most important guidepost is worrisome, and their contempt for the Constitution is even more a matter for very deep concern.



Democrats Have Gone Far Round the Bend and They are Becoming Laughable. by The Elephant's Child
October 28, 2018, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Kevin Williamson hits a home run again today with his column at National Review titled “Rage Makes You Stupid.” “People have the strongest feelings about the things they know the least about.” That covers the indignant celebrities who sound off from Hollywood whenever there is an event in the news.  Do they assume that it is career-enhancing to provide an example of Williamson’s headline?

An editor at New York magazine has just published a book celebrating “the revolutionary power” of anger. September 21, the Washington Post insisted that “rage is healthy, rational, and necessary for America.” NBC News praised a television show on Friday for depicting “anger as righteous and necessary.” Earlier it had run a segment encouraging certain political partisans to “embrace their rage.”  Do read the whole thing.

At American Greatness  Chris Buskirk asks “Why are Fake Bombs Sent to Democrats More Shocking Than Real Ricin Packages sent to Republicans?” Did  You even know that the deadly poison ricin (contact with the skin can be deadly) — was sent to President Trump, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Admiral John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations? Of course that was way back on October 2.

Again at American Greatness, Adam Ellwanger, in “The Rhetorical Art of Blame- Laying” listed a few of the things that are absolutely not responsible for creating a “climate of political violence” in the United States:

You should be aware of what they are doing, but don’t join in their hate-fest. Make fun of them instead. It’s pretty pathetic, and they really hate being laughed at.



For Arizona, A Splendid Lawsuit Against Tom Steyer by The Elephant's Child

The Arizona Attorney General, Mark Brnovich has filed a lawsuit against Tom Steyer and a renewable energy campaign Steyer supports for launching, what Brnovich claims is a defamatory campaign against him.

Filed on Wednesday, the lawsuit names Steyer and Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona as defendants. Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona — which has benefited from millions of dollars in donations from Steyer — is campaigning to require Arizona electric utility companies derive half their power from renewable energy sources by 2030. The ballot proposal is officially known as Proposition 127.

Brnovich’s lawsuit is in response to Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona’s campaign against him. The renewable energy group has aired attack ads against him, claiming he “bailed out” the state’s largest electric utility company by wording the Proposition 127 ballot language in a way, it argues, puts the proposal in a bad light.

Originally written by the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, Brnovich added language to the ballot measure that said utility companies would have to meet the renewable energy mandate “irrespective of cost” if the proposal passes.

The attorney general argues that his office has acted to word ballot language in a way that is most informatie to voters. Brnovich has maintained that the changes are “factually accurate.”

We always want to err on the side of giving voters as much information as possible, especially consumers, he told the Arizona Republic. “When you add a provision to the constitution that starts mandating that 50 percent of that energy has to come from different sources and non-nuclear sources, that will have an impact on the cost.”

Brnovich’s lawsuit is in response to the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona’s campaign against him. The renewable energy group has aired attack ads against him, claiming that he “bailed out” the state’s largest electric utility compny by wording the Proposition 127 ballot measure language in a way that puts their proposal in a bad light. CEHA has aired attack ads calling Brnovich, who is running for reelection, “corrupt” and called openly for Arizona voters to boot him from office. This has happened in the wake of the renewable energy proposal lagging in the polls.

The battle over Proposition 127 has become the costliest ballot measure campaign in Arizona history with each side spending about $40 million. Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest electric utility is against the proposal and has funded the effort to defeat it.

Billionaire Tom Steyer has spent millions to push his favored renewable energy mandates. He seems to be a “true believer” in the horrors of global warming and has led similar campaigns in Michigan, Nevada and other states. “Renewable” energy, with the exception of nuclear energy and water power dams, remains mostly hogwash.

The wind does not blow steadily, but in puffs and wafts or else gales that are too much for a turbine. Solar energy is too diffuse. There are clouds and rain. Wind turbines kill birds at a disturbing rate, and solar arrays fry them. I don’t know if anyone has studied the effect on the local ecosystem when you are killing off all the birds. Neither wind nor solar can produce the energy required by a normal economy, which requires a steady source of energy that can be depended on.

I wish Mr. Brnovich the best of luck with his lawsuit.




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