The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Archive for the ‘monthly rant’ Category

Banning the ‘Burka’: a poor performance from UKIP

Posted by rantingkraut on January 17, 2010

Nigel Farage appeared on the BBC arguing that face covering Muslim dress should be banned on security grounds -which seemed uncontroversial- and because it is a symbol of the oppression of women and of a divided society. On the two latter points he lost the argument to his Respect opponent.

To argue that women who choose to wear burka or niqab are as a rule oppressed -even if they say otherwise- is essentially a feminist argument which requires hefty dose of social determinism to conclude that women can’t make genuine choices within a patriarchal society.

Alternatively, one could argue that the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Atheism, Civil Liberties, immigration, Islamism, Libertarianism, monthly rant, Regulation, Religion | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Muslims and Dhimmis in Britain

Posted by rantingkraut on July 19, 2009

The Economist –back in May—offered some strange musings on the fate of Britain’s Muslims:
The unhappiness of British Muslims is easy enough to explain: their living standards tend to be low and relatively few of the women work.” (source)
Hmmm… these two demographic data are presented in juxtaposition as if they were simply two external negative influences from which Muslim households tend to suffer. Could it be that one leads to the other? Could it be that households who, on average, have fewer second earners also tend to have lower household incomes?
Where the low female labour market participation is driven by religiously conservative lifestyle choices I struggle to see how this unhappiness should be seen as anything Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in discrimination, Islamism, media manipulation, monthly rant, Religion | Comments Off on Muslims and Dhimmis in Britain

Communitarianism, Obama and The Economist

Posted by rantingkraut on April 23, 2009

The Economist’s Lexington column  discusses ‘Obama hatred‘ and turns out to be summarily dismissive of Obama’s critics (see also here). Obama is arguably the USA’s first outspokenly communitarian president, so concern over this new brand of collectivism hardly belongs on the lunatic fringe.
One of the articles The Economist shruggs off is Quin Hillyer’s essay in the American Spectator titled “Il Duce, Redux?“. It makes some points similar to the ones this blog made about New Labour a while ago. Some arguments in this piece are indeed debatable: Obama’s economic interventionism, for example, can just as plausibly be attributed to a desparate attempt at fighting off depression as to an ideologically driven desire to rule the economy. Other points are harder to dismiss:
Again and again, Obama has called not just for a change of policies, but to “change America” or Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, monthly rant, quotes, Regulation, Socialism | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Communitarianism, Obama and The Economist

Political correctness doesn’t go mad, it is mad

Posted by rantingkraut on March 18, 2009

To realise how intellectually inconsistent PC politicians really are, consider this from Hazel Blairs:
„Although warning that people should not set out to “deliberately offend people” or make racist jokes, she believes that there should be more scope for people to express themselves.
What I don’t want to see happen is because people are frightened of an over-reaction they don’t raise the issue,” she said. “What I don’t want people to say is that Muslims will be offended by Christmas, because they are not. There is this presumption that we don’t do things because people will be offended.““ (Source)
So she doesn’t want people to offend but then doesn’t want the fall-out which a consistent and forced avoidance of offence necessarily entails. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, discrimination, Freedom of Speech, Islamism, monthly rant, quotes, Religion, UK politics | Comments Off on Political correctness doesn’t go mad, it is mad

Internet Regulation: Think of the Children!

Posted by rantingkraut on December 28, 2008

New Labour seems to be serious about starting to regulate the net more generally rather than in specific cases where real or imagined criminal activity is an issue. The latest idea is an enforced age labelling of websites. As usual, a need to protect the children is at the forefront of justifying government interference. For once, I think the welfare of our children is a genuinely relevant issue, though not in the way that the government has in mind.

The age rating proposed may not sound much like an exercise in censorship Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech, monthly rant, Regulation, UK politics | Comments Off on Internet Regulation: Think of the Children!

Trevor Phillips Demands Quotas for Whites

Posted by rantingkraut on October 28, 2008

Trevor Phillips recently called for white quotas to protect low skilled whites from better qualified immigrant competition. This is intended to prevent them from supporting far right parties:
Mr Phillips argues that ministers should allow councils and education authorities to introduce measures favouring young whites unable to compete with highly-skilled immigrants and he says the financial crisis could trigger anti-immigrant feeling in the UK.” (source)
This blog has argued before that there is no such thing as positive discrimination. If local workers are not as well qualified Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in discrimination, immigration, monthly rant, Regulation, Socialism, UK politics | 1 Comment »

Mark Thompson, Islam and the BBC

Posted by rantingkraut on October 21, 2008

The BBC’s Mark Thompson, according to the telegraph, argued in a lecture to Theos that Muslims should be treated more sensitively than Christians because they “… are a religious minority in Britain and also often from ethnic minorities…”.

These comments, of course were promptly played down by the BBC: “A BBC spokesman said Mr Thompson did not mean Islam should be given preferential treatment, just that all religions are different. He said: “People should look at his actual comments rather than trying to infer additional meaning that isn’t there.” (Source)

Looking at his actual comments is not so easy Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Atheism, Civil Liberties, discrimination, Freedom of Speech, Islamism, monthly rant, Religion, Think Tanks | Comments Off on Mark Thompson, Islam and the BBC

Taming the Bankers

Posted by rantingkraut on September 27, 2008

The current financial crisis predictably has socialists gloating about the demise of capitalism and the blessings of state regulation. They will probably be wrong about the demise of capitalism –a prolonged crisis not withstanding– but may have half a point about regulation. The question is how exactly a leash should be designed if investment bankers are to be kept on it.
Most free market economists would agree that financial markets need prudential
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in monthly rant, Property Rights, Regulation, Socialism | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Taming the Bankers

More on that Bill of Rights and Freedoms

Posted by rantingkraut on August 15, 2008

Almost a year ago, I commented on plans for a UK Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (now renamed to Bill of Rights and Freedoms). I concluded at the time that: “A UK version of the EU charter [of fundamental rights] is then probably the best one can hope for. A more authoritarian document should come as no surprise either.” A draft outline for a “UK Bill of Rights and Freedoms” has now been published by a Joint Committee on Human Rights.
As expected, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, monthly rant, UK politics, Uncategorized | Comments Off on More on that Bill of Rights and Freedoms

Can Cameron Fix Society?

Posted by rantingkraut on July 15, 2008

Cameron’s recent speech: “Fixing our Broken Society” sounds suspiciously like the stuff that Blair came up with before he got elected. A lot of it –emphasising personal responsibility as a counterpart to liberty, making schools and the police more accountable– sounds good, but then much of it is too vague to count as a meaningful commitment.
More worryingly, quite a bit of it sounds very naïve. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in monthly rant, UK politics | 2 Comments »