fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
Freedom of speech is not only for nice people. It is not only for people we like. It is specifically for people we disagree with and would cross the road to avoid. We don't have to like them, we don't have to listen to them, and we don't have to support their causes, but it is our absolute duty to prevent their being silenced, not only by direct legal and police means, but by the abuse of public pressure. The gay lobby has been using the weapon of boycott with brutal constancy, to the point where it has become impossible to express a viewpoint they don't like without paying for it professionally and personally. It is time to start resisting this pernicious trend, and I propose we do it for someone not many of us like - a Mormon who has actually argued for the legitimacy of suppressing homosexuality. If you don't defend the likes of him, don't complain when the Thought Police come for you. And I propose to do it in the near-certainty that we are going to lose, because Warner/DC is a gutless corporate beast that not only lists to the PC side as naturally as they bully employees, but finds it convenient to promote any policy that allows it to sexualize its editorial content and sell more or less disguised pornography. It is exactly because the position is difficult that those who take freedom to be a serious matter should be heard.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/we-support-orson-scott-cards-superman-comic/
fpb: (Default)
Freedom of speech is not only for nice people. It is not only for people we like. It is specifically for people we disagree with and would cross the road to avoid. We don't have to like them, we don't have to listen to them, and we don't have to support their causes, but it is our absolute duty to prevent their being silenced, not only by direct legal and police means, but by the abuse of public pressure. The gay lobby has been using the weapon of boycott with brutal constancy, to the point where it has become impossible to express a viewpoint they don't like without paying for it professionally and personally. It is time to start resisting this pernicious trend, and I propose we do it for someone not many of us like - a Mormon who has actually argued for the legitimacy of suppressing homosexuality. If you don't defend the likes of him, don't complain when the Thought Police come for you. And I propose to do it in the near-certainty that we are going to lose, because Warner/DC is a gutless corporate beast that not only lists to the PC side as naturally as they bully employees, but finds it convenient to promote any policy that allows it to sexualize its editorial content and sell more or less disguised pornography. It is exactly because the position is difficult that those who take freedom to be a serious matter should be heard.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/we-support-orson-scott-cards-superman-comic/
fpb: (Default)
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/denmark-forces-churches-to-perform-same-sex-marriages

There may have been a lot of misguided persons who did not believe this would happen and who did not see that it was the obvious, the inevitable, the unstoppable consequence of so-called "gay marriage". Now they have no excuse: it has begun. It is quite evident that the purpose of this law is not to flatter a few hundred people who imagine themselves to be marriageable material, not even to take advantage of the majority that has been subjected to propaganda in a hundred forms till it cannot tell reality from an episode of Will And Grace; the purpose of this law is to break down the Christian Churches and reduce them to an arm of the state, or drive them underground. It goes without saying that the Catholic Church will not comply, and I cannot imagine independent bodies such as the Baptists doing so. On the other hand, the pressure on countries such as Sweden, Britain, Canada, France or Germany to adopt similar atrocities will become intense - in ways that are invisible to the public. And when the deal is done, look for the sudden apparition of indignant or pathetic stories about vicious priests and heartbroken homosexuals, not, mind you, in the traditional left-wing outlets, which have been squared long since, but in the likes of the Daily Mail and Fox News. For the so-called conservative media are just a part of the game.
fpb: (Default)
The Italian partisan resistance against Nazi occupiers and Fascist collaborationists began officially on September 28, 1943, when the great city of Naples rose in unplanned revolt. Nineteen years later, director Nanni Loy celebrated Naples' heroic and victorious insurrection with one of the greatest Italian movies ever made - every one of the actors played anonymously and for free, as a homage to the real heroes, the people of Naples. This is the scene of the start of the revolt:

A failure

Apr. 27th, 2011 09:13 am
fpb: (Default)
I feel very bad about being unable to post my usual April 25 post commemorating the Italian Partisans of WWII.
fpb: (Default)
...I can't help it. I have to put this on record somewhere.

Like I imagine any kind of writer, I am always delighted to find myself quoted and (possibly) discussed. And it just happened in one of the most prestigious conservative blogs in existence. However, my pleasure turned to ashes in my mouth when, one entry before mine, I read the following egregious piece of nonsense:
After all, a sincere belief in universal human rights and equality before the law make it impossible to exclude from a society the kind of immigrants who are incompatible with a strong national identity
If that is the best that the intellectual leaders of conservatism can do, no blankitty-blank wonder the left despised them intellectually. Can you say non sequitur? It does not follow; indeed, it is wholly paralogical. Let me explain. Point one: you cannot have any kind of rights, universal or not, except within a system of law. Point two, independent of the first: no system of law or legal philosophy has ever asserted the right to go and settle where one pleases independently of local authority, local residents and local conditions as a universal human right. To the contrary, "and henceforth let no man enter it without their leave", the words by which a great king of literature grants a community sovereignty over their lands, is the very definition of sovereignty. A community, a nation, a state, a king, a tyrant, any one of them, good or bad, is sovereign, capable of creating and enforcing law, if he or they can decide who enters their land and who does not. You cannot have law without sovereignty, and you cannot have rights without law. The notion that a belief in universal human rights disables the rule of law is mere insanity, deriving from false premises, deriving in turn from a desire to demonize rather than to understand one's opponents. ("They want to abolish borders and let everyone in.") Which incidentally also results, ultimately, in rejection of the basis on which the USA in particular have been built, that is, the Declaration of Indepencence. Because if "a sincere belief in universal human rights" is contrary to the rule of law, then those who were sincere enough to risk an armed revolt in support of the statement that it is self-evident that men are endowed with certain and inalienable rights were wrong, and you should apologize to King George's shade and crawl back into the British Empire with your tails between your legs.
fpb: (Default)
One thing ought to be clear, even though reporting from this most long-running and savage of all wars has been shamefully scarce and ignorant: the North would never even have considered allowing the country peace, let alone an independence referendum, unless they had first experienced total, catastrophic and irreversible defeat on the field. I say this because anything else is simply unthinkable. A desperate guerrilla army with no support from any foreign power and with no weapons except what it could take from its oppressors must, beyond any reasonable doubt, have defeated and demoralized a modern army with tanks, aircraft, flanking Jamjaweed slavers and every device of terror available to a government that could sell oil to pay for them.

The South Sudanese have nothing to help them build their state, except courage. But at a time when freedom seems to going back everywhere from Russia to South Africa, they have the opportunity to crown their epic struggle for freedom, one of the most awe-inspiring ever seen on the face of the Earth, by establishing a free commonwealth under the rule of laws rather than men. The precedent of Eritrea is not encouraging, but it does not have to bind a different society. May God help and be with them.
fpb: (Default)
IERI

OGGI

DOMANI

As I was looking for a Partisan song for my annual commemoration of our 59,000 Partisan dead, I was surprised to find that the most famous of them had taken a second life. It was being used in videos of the heroic and thus far unfortunate struggle of the people of Iran against the monsters who claim to be their government.

I had great trouble finding two videos who suited me exactly. The ones about 1943-45 Italy had mostly been posted by people with agendas I do not share. The Iranian ones, on the other hand, were all pretty much what I wanted - there just were more of them than I needed. I picked this one because it seems to be the original, the one that set off a wave of other videos set to the same song, and because its author seems to have been since murdered by the monsters. But there was another which I also wanted to use, because it contained the most affecting photos on this subject I have ever seen: pictures of white-haired little old ladies, including one on a wheelchair, in the streets with the demonstrators - facing death at the hands of Khamenei's thugs.

That shines a white, unanswerable light on what this really is about. It reminds us that our petty calculations and our attempts to reduce the struggle for freedom into mere political convenience is a very small thing and makes us smaller. It reminds us how great were our fathers who went to war against tyranny, and lost, and died, and never gave up hope. It reminds us of the price paid and still being paid for freedom, and why the most unlikely people are willing to pay it - that the right and the duty to die as a free person rather than live as a slave is as much the precious treasure of a fragile little old woman bent double by a life of work and struggle, as of shining young men and women as handsome as they are brave. And that there is no dishonour in losing and in dying, because even a dead free person is nobler before God, and better and happier in himself or herself, than a living slave or a triumphant thug.

"And so, when they ask you whether freedom has in its power what you call the future, answer them that, what is much more important, it has the eternal." (Benedetto Croce, 1930)

"And the day may yet come when God will bless
Every drop of blood that ever went
Into the writing of the word, FREEDOM!" (Carlo Alberto Salustri, "Trilussa", the 1930s)
fpb: (Default)
Though terrors o'ertake us
We'll not be afraid.
No power can unmake us
Save that which has made.
Nor yet beyond reason
Or hope shall we fall -
All things have their season,
And Mercy crowns all !

Then, doubt not, ye fearful -
The Eternal is King -
Up, heart, and be cheerful,
And lustily sing: -
What chariots, what horses
Against us shall bide
While the Stars in their courses
Do fight on our side ?

(Rudyard Kipling, An Astrologer's Song)
fpb: (Default)
I said a prayer to the God of hosts to defend the right, protect those who are fighting for justice and for freedom, and strike the tyrants who blaspheme His name. This is language I would not ordinarily use, but this is no ordinary moment. From the struggle in Tehran depends much of our future.
fpb: (Default)


Those who have the privilege to take up arms for freedom are more than conquerors, because they have already risen above their tyrants. The only thing that can defeat free people is their own surrender; no enemy have ever been given the ability to break a free man's soul.
fpb: (Default)
In 1821, as the first of the revolts against Austrian rule shook Italy, Alessandro Manzoni, the greatest Italian writer of the time, wrote an enthusiastic ode about the liberators. Ill led and divided, the rebels failed, and two generations were to pass before Italy was united and free; Manzoni lived to see it, but many brave men must have died in disappointment and despair. Nonetheless this song remains as a passionate image of the hopes and anger that drove two generations of men to revolt, fight, die or go into exile rather than tolerate the intolerable - until victory was won, late, messily, with plenty of unresolved issues, but for good.

In 1945, the young Italo Calvino, son of two scientists, joined the partisan fighters and took part in some of the last actions before the German wave of surrender between April 25 and May 2. As partisan actions go, his were not very remarkable, but the lyrics he wrote twenty years later for Italian singer Sergio Lebovici were. It is curious that the two poems share the same metre.

Behind the cut are the texts of both poems. For the convenience of my friends, I have placed my translations first.

Read more... )
fpb: (Default)
A year or more back, a meme asked me in which period I would rather have been born in.Read more... )

Profile

fpb: (Default)
fpb

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    1 23
45678910
1112131415 1617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:44 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios