Freedom of speech and Israeli soccer

The Israeli Football Association on Thursday banned fans of Beitar Jerusalem from two home matches after they booed through a minute’s silence in memory of assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

“This was an outburst of a large number, hundreds, of Beitar fans in the stands on an issue that is considered a national consensus and an affront to our existence as a democracy,” the IFA said in a statement. The IFA also slapped the Israeli champions with a suspended punishment of two additional matches without a crowd.

Before kick-off in Sunday’s match against Maccabi Haifa, more than 2,500 Beitar fans refused to observe the silence, called in honour of Rabin and also to protest against violence in Israeli society and at sports stadiums.

This is utterly ridiculous. Why should people be expected to honor someone they have reason to regard as a traitor to their country? Obviously it’s not a “national consensus” or thousands of people would not have been loudly expressing their opinion on the matter.

One would think that this sort of thought-policing behavior in Jerusalem would concern Jews far more than Ann Coulter response to theological questions.

And if speaking your mind in public is truly “an affront to Israel’s existence as a democracy”, it’s pretty clear that Israeli democracy’s days are numbered.

The problem is school

I’ll be surprised when a school killer turns out to be a popular cheerleader or a star athlete who leads a Bible study, not when it’s another atheist and social outcast who was bullied in the process of being “educated”:

The Finnish teenager who killed eight people in a high school shooting was a bullied social outcast but appears to have picked his victims randomly, a senior police official said Thursday.

However, I stand corrected. When I sarcastically mentioned that I had expected to learn that the Finnish killer was an Episcopalian, the Original Cyberpunk noted that “Speaking as an ex-Episcopalian, there’s nothing in his statement that is incompatible with current ECUSA doctrine.”

The Hell?

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything – at least, *you* think so.

I suppose I do like French girls, particularly Parisiennes, ma da verro?

The incoherence of rational materialism

Rational materialists are finding themselves to be increasingly at war with not only science, but even the theory of evolution:

Rationalization is thought to have an evolutionary utility; once a decision has been made, second-guessing may just interfere with more important business. “We tend to think people have an explicit agenda to rewrite history to make themselves look right, but that’s an outsider’s perspective. This experiment shows that there isn’t always much conscious thought going on,” said one researcher.”

This is what will ultimately destroy the New Atheism; not their copious errors and demonstrated historical ignorance, but the fact that an increasing number of godless scientists are beginning to find that the very foundation of their Enlightenment humanism is non-existent. This experiment is, in itself, far from conclusive, but similar evidence is beginning to pile up.

Robert Heinlein pointed out in 1953 that man is not a rational animal, but a rationalizing one. And a rationalizing animal simply cannot hope to order its society on the basis of a reason that it demonstrably does not possess.

Prison interview

Again, I’m not interested in engaging in a discussion about my father, and this time I’m simply going to delete any personal attacks on him, but there’s no point in pretending that this isn’t a news story of interest to people.

I realize that many will be dubious, but at the end of the day, my father is a good, decent, and believe it or not, generally law-abiding man. Now, you might reasonably conclude that he’s mistaken, a religious nut, or even delusional, but no one who has met him, regardless of their stance on the salient legal issues, doubts his sincerity. Perhaps you believe that human decency is defined by unthinking obedience to whatever an authority figure tells you is the law; if so, you and I will simply have to disagree.

If I don’t sound upset, it’s because I’m not. None of this surprises me any more than did the reaction to 9/11, $800 gold, the disappearance of M3 or the mortgage crisis. The Empire never ended.