The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Helen Thomas, Israel, and freedom of speech.

Helen Thomas has recently shown us the limits of free speech in the United States. Indeed, it seems that there is no real freedom of speech in the modern United States.

Helen Thomas is a well-known journalist in the US. She has had, I understand, a stellar career over the last five decades, starting out at UPI, leading to the position of President of the White House Correspondents' Association and ultimately working with Hearst newspapers. Oddly, however, the political class of America think her entire career, her skill and her experience are worth less than a few remarks about Israel.

Helen Thomas recently called for Israel to "get the hell out of Palestine"...and to go back to their former homes in Germany and Poland. Apparently, this was regarded as "offensive" enough by America's, oops I mean Israel's American politicians (by which I mean that Israel seems to own the heart of many American politicians), for calls decrying Thomas to be heard on the left and right, in US politics.

The result? Helen Thomas resigned, after five faithful decades of coverage.

Think about what this situation means for the United States. A journalist has exercised her supposedly constitutional right to freedom of speech and spoken out against Israel. The consequence has been that politicians from both left and right, have denounced her and she has been forced to resign from her job, after fifty years, of dedicated service.

What does this mean? It means that, in truth, there is no freedom of speech in the United States. In the USA you are only notionally free to speak, because if you do, there will be consequences. Thus, the idea of freedom of speech in the US, is a lie. It is a fraud on the public. To test the truth of this, just pick a favoured group – for instance, the Jews, who have long been favoured in the USA – and speak out against them, even in a mildly critical manner. You will soon be out of a job, out of a life and out of a nation. You will become a pariah…for what? For exercising your “right” to “freedom of speech”.

Israel is, at times, bad. I mean this is in the pure sense of good and evil. It was evil of them to board the aid ship to Gaza and kill 9 human rights activists, five of whom were shot in the head, and some had multiple other gunshot wounds. There is just no construing this as a “good” act. Morality was definitely not on the side of Israel in that particular encounter. The question is: was this an uncharacteristic error, a slip that doesn’t truly describe the nation’s core? Unfortunately, no. A quick look at the history of Israel shows that bombing, shooting and crushing by tanks, is the habitual mode of Israel with respect to its neighbours. Israel, that nation founded by a terrorized people, has a long history of terrorizing people. Israel doesn’t make a good, friendly neighbour. It makes an angry, aggressive, absurdly and unpredictably violent neighbour. Israel is a nation that prefers the well-aimed bomb, to a well phrased word. It is a nation, that has chosen to subdue its neighbours in a kind of slow-motion, preemptive war, so that those neighbours will never think of going to war with it.

Yet, there are other ways. A nation, just like an individual, can choose to make friends or make enemies. Israel believes that it is safer to make enemies – and kill enough of them, to get the message across. This is, however, no way to build, maintain or secure a nation. Israel has chosen a shortcut to extinction, as history will, one day, tell.

For now, however, Israel exists, but chooses not to co-exist, with its neighbours. It is constantly attacking them and murdering thousands of people. Yet, the world, in particular, the US, stands by and says nothing. It says nothing because, after all, the people murdered are Muslims and, in the eyes of those who watch in unprotesting silence, Muslims are not truly people, are they? So, it doesn’t matter if Israel kills them by the thousand, does it?

The only way to peace in this world, is if the death of any person, of any religion, of any race, of any nation, is held to be of equal value. The only way to peace in this world is if this universal life, is held to be infinitely precious. All men are infinitely important and no man should be killed by another, for any reason – and especially not for a political end. For, if this is done, it is the end of politics and the beginning of darkness.

I puzzle, greatly, that Israel, founded by a people who experienced mass murder, should become a people who murder the masses, of their neighbours, by the thousand, when they need to send a message that cannot fail to be understood. How is it that a people with such a history of persecution, should become the persecutors? It seems clear that the much vaunted Jewish intellect is a mirage, for it has not been turned to reflect, upon itself, by the Jewish people, as a whole. They have not come to see, that they are becoming, what they once feared. Is there not a single mirror in Tel Aviv, to show its leaders, just what they have become?

The truth of a man, and of a nation, is shown, not by its words, not by its friends, but by its deeds. The truth of Israel, has recently been declared to the world. In murdering the human rights activists on the Mavi Marmara, they have shown themselves to be indistinguishable from pirates. So, why aren’t they treated like pirates, by the US? Why do American politicians speak out in their defense, despite their murderous crimes?

Let us look at what Helen Thomas was saying. “Get the hell out of Palestine”, she said. Well, who in the world, who is not a Jew, or influenced by them, could possibly argue with that? The Palestinian people are besieged, impoverished, bombed, shot, crushed, starved. They are a people under prolonged torture. Who could do otherwise than feel sympathetic towards their plight? Yes, Israel and Palestine may have their differences, but there are other answers than the one they have chosen. Peace can always be sought, even in the midst of total war – so why not seek it, then, in the midst of their much lesser enmity?

She also urged the Jews to return to Germany and Poland. Well, think about what she is saying, here. She is making it clear that she does not think the Jews should have a state in the Middle East. The question is: is she right to think so? Ask yourself this: has the presence of the Jews in the Middle East brought peace or war? Has anyone suffered because of it? Have people died? Have they been bombed, shot, crushed?

What Helen Thomas seems to have been saying is that were the Jews to leave the Middle East, there would be peace there – and she is, of course, right. Were there no Israeli state, there would be peace in the Middle East. The existence of Israel is the direct cause of all the troubles in the Middle East. Were the Jews to leave, therefore, there would be peace, at last.

She isn’t wrong. She might have expressed herself in a way which upset people – because it seems intolerant – but she is right in her underlying reasoning.

Helen Thomas has lost her job because she spoke the truth, as she saw it, of the Jewish situation. She spoke the truth in a land that, in reality, does not want people to speak the truth. “Freedom of speech” is a trap for the unwary. You see, if you use your “freedom” you will be ensnared by your own words and find them used against you. In America, nobody is truly free, anymore, for once free speech, now has a price: the freedom to live as you once did, before you spoke. So, it is with Helen Thomas. She is no longer free to pursue her career, in the way she had hoped, simply because she expressed her views.

It is ironic, actually. You see, Israel and America are not so different from each other. In Israel, or at least, near it, you might be murdered for a difference of belief; in America, you might be persecuted for a difference of opinion. In both, a difference in inner life, once expressed, is enough to bring punishment upon you.

Perhaps that is why the American politicians spoke out so fervently against Helen Thomas: because they feel akin to Israel. They both love to persecute those who dare assert a different view. They both, in fact, enforce a mental conformism, in different ways, but much to the same end: to ensure that their view, their beliefs and their way of life, should prevail, no matter what the cost to any alternatives.

Personally, I wish that all parties would seek peaceful means to resolve their differences. Let the deaths on the Mavi Marmara be the last that Israel inflicts on its neighbours. So, too, let those neighbours leave Israel in peace. Were both sides to choose this way forward, the world, as a whole, would be much safer for it.

However, the sad truth is that Israel's recent murder of human rights activists, will inspire much hate and probable retaliation against Israel, for many years to come. So, the cycle will go on - fueled by Israel's casual disregard for non-Jewish life. If only both sides could come to value each human life as infinitely precious, then this war, in all but name, would come to an end, in lasting peace.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:
Ainan's IMDB listing is at
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This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited. Use only with permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 5:52 PM 


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