February 28, 2006

A 21st Century Manifesto For Freedom

Via Michelle Malkin:
MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism

After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.

We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.

Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man's domination of woman, the Islamists' domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.

We reject "cultural relativism", which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of "Islamophobia", an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.

We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.

We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.

12 signatures

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Chahla Chafiq
Caroline Fourest
Bernard-Henri Lévy
Irshad Manji
Mehdi Mozaffari
Maryam Namazie
Taslima Nasreen
Salman Rushdie
Antoine Sfeir
Philippe Val
Ibn Warraq
The first intellectual salvo against the newest threat to freedom. . .

Rather than torch property, issue theats of and execute violent acts, and place blame elsewhere, these extremely brave people have issued a warning to nascent Islamo-fascists, that intolerance for others' beliefs are not acceptable and that excuses, rationalizations, and blackmail will not be tolerated as counter-arguments in order to exploit the liberties allowed by Western democracies. Playing on fear, fomenting violence, and preaching hatred in the name of religious doctrine is simply not compatible with the 21st century global community and the ever-expanding growth of freedom. Intolerance and barbarism, which should have been left behind centuries ago and which resurfaced with such negative force in the 20th century in the form of totalitarianism and ideologically-oriented and state-sanctioned murder--not to mention the innumerable and extremely violent wars exacerbated by the explosion in technology--have once again started to appear. Let us bury them now, or face conflagrations potentially more desctructive and costly.

Also posted at Freedom's Zone

Stop The ACLU A Manifesto Against Islamism


Holland Leading Europe Into The Twilight of Freedom?

So says Douglas Murray, in the London Times:
Holland — with its disproportionately high Muslim population — is the canary in the mine. Its once open society is closing, and Europe is closing slowly behind it. It looks, from Holland, like the twilight of liberalism — not the “liberalism” that is actually libertarianism, but the liberalism that is freedom. Not least freedom of expression.

All across Europe, debate on Islam is being stopped. Italy’s greatest living writer, Oriana Fallaci, soon comes up for trial in her home country, and in Britain the government seems intent on pushing through laws that would make truths about Islam and the conduct of its followers impossible to voice.

Those of us who write and talk on Islam thus get caught between those on our own side who are increasingly keen to prosecute and increasing numbers of militants threatening murder. In this situation, not only is free speech being shut down, but our nation’s security is being compromised.

Since the assassinations of Fortuyn and, in 2004, the film maker Theo van Gogh, numerous public figures in Holland have received death threats and routine intimidation. The heroic Somali-born Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her equally outspoken colleague Geert Wilders live under constant police protection, often forced to sleep on army bases. Even university professors are under protection.

Europe is shuffling into darkness. It is proving incapable of standing up to its enemies, and in an effort to accommodate the peripheral rights of a minority is failing to protect the most basic rights of its own people.

The governments of Europe have been tricked into believing that criticism of a belief is the same thing as criticism of a race. And so it is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous to criticise a growing and powerful ideology within our midst. It may soon, in addition, be made illegal.


February 27, 2006

Clash of Civilizations? No, Modernity Vs. Barbarism

Wafa Sultan's lucid argument in support of free speech, Western Civilization, Western science, and secular modernism destroys attempts by her interviewer to shift the blame from rioting Muslims to a Western scholar (Samuel Huntington and his thesis), and an Imam (who avoids debate by resorting to name-calling), all on MEMRI TV:
Imam: Are you a heretic?

Sultan: You can say whatever you like. I am a secular human being who does not believe in the supernatural...

Imam: If you are a heretic, there is no point in rebuking you, since you have blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet, and the Koran...

Sultan: These are personal matters that do not concern you. Brother, you can believe in stones, as long as you don't throw them at me.
Sultan, as an Arabic woman of Muslim background (ex-Muslim/atheist) is able to say things that would garner any Western pundit charges of racism, neo-colonialism, and Islamophobia. Perhaps those with first-hand knowledge, like those living under Hitler and Stalin, seeing the depravity, atavism, and lack of respect for human dignity first-hand, can most passionately and persuasively argue in favor of the rational alternative to medieval barbarism.

Also posted at Freedom's Zone


Animated Islamic Cartoons From Aljazeera!

Apparently, images of humans and cartoons in general are allowed in Islam, just as long as the target is Israel, Britain, or the USA:

The collection of animated cartoons takes aim (literally) at the West from an Islamist point of view. Another cartoon has a "Christmas" theme, as Santa is passed by Bush in a jet-fighter, about to drop bombs specifically targeted at Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Aljazeera.

Michelle Malkin Still Burning
Expose the Left Matthews Math: Muslim Cartoon Outrage = Bloggers’ Upset Over Port Deal (VIDEO)


February 26, 2006

Sunday's Best

For those who might have missed these fine articles from this past week.

Jeff Jacoby:
Like the Nazis in the 1930s and the Soviet communists in the Cold War, the Islamofascists are emboldened by appeasement and submissiveness. Give the rampagers and book-burners a veto over artistic and editorial decisions, and you end up not with heightened sensitivity and cultural respect, but with more rampages and more books burned. You betray ideals that generations of Americans have died to defend.

And worse than that: You betray as well the dissidents and reformers within the Islamic world, the Muslim Sakharovs and Sharanskys and Havels who yearn for the free, tolerant, and democratic culture that we in the West take for granted. What they want to see from America is not appeasement and apologies and a dread of giving offense. They want to see us face down the fanatics, be unintimidated by bullies. They want to know that in the global struggle against Islamist extremism, we won't let them down.
Mark Steyn:
What, in the end, are all these supposedly unconnected matters from Danish cartoons to the murder of a Dutch filmmaker to gender-segregated swimming sessions in French municipal pools about? Answer: sovereignty. Islam claims universal jurisdiction and always has. The only difference is that they're now acting upon it. The signature act of the new age was the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran: Even hostile states generally respect the convention that diplomatic missions are the sovereign territory of their respective countries. Tehran then advanced to claiming jurisdiction over the citizens of sovereign states and killing them -- as it did to Salman Rushdie's translators and publishers. Now in the cartoon jihad and other episodes, the restraints of Islamic law are being extended piecemeal to the advanced world, by intimidation and violence but also by the usual cooing promotion of a spurious multicultural "respect" by Bill Clinton, the United Church of Canada, European foreign ministers, etc.
Tony Blankley:
To see the difference between traditional Anglo-American criminal jurisprudence and his proposed jurisprudence of prevention, he raises the great maxim of criminal law: better that ten guilty go free, than one innocent be wrongly convicted. That principle led our law to require proof beyond a reasonable doubt before conviction in criminal trials. Most of us agree with that standard.

But then Prof. Dershowitz updates the maxim thusly: "Is it better for ten possibly preventable terrorist attacks to occur than for one possibly innocent suspect to be preventively detained?" I would hunch that most people would not be willing to accept ten September 11th attacks (30,000 dead) in order to protect one innocent suspect from being locked up and questioned for a while.
Walter Williams:
During this class session, Mr. Bennish peppered his 10th-grade geography class with other statements like: The U.S. has engaged in "7,000 terrorist attacks against Cuba." In his discussion of capitalism, he told his students, "Capitalism is at odds with humanity, at odds with caring and compassion and at odds with human rights."

Regardless of whether you're pro-Bush or anti-Bush, pro-American or anti-American, I'd like to know whether there's anyone who believes that the teacher's remarks were appropriate for any classroom setting, much less a high school geography class. It's clear the students aren't being taught geography. They're getting socialist lies and propaganda. According to one of the parents, on the first day of class, the teacher said Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto" was going to be a part of the curriculum.


February 25, 2006

Of Bumper Sticker Ideology, And So Much More

Democrats have a very obvious problem if even the BBC can see they are in trouble:
The Democrats need a message and a new way of communicating that message to a mass audience. They have neither.

And do not be fooled by those who say this malaise is structural, at this stage of the electoral cycle there isn't a presidential candidate etc.

No, it is more than that. The American left has faded away.

Only their bumper stickers remain, like cockroaches after a nuclear holocaust.

"Re-defeat George Bush," they whine. Not knowing, not caring that the world has changed.
Stop The ACLU Open Post


February 24, 2006

Three Month Reprieve for Chief "Shitting Bull" Ward Churchill

"Ward Watch" continues:
BOULDER (AP) - A panel investigating allegations of research misconduct against University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill has delayed a key report for three months.

A five-person investigative committee was to report its findings this week but requested an extension after two members withdrew.

The report is now due May 9th, meaning the school will not decide until June at the earliest whether it will take any action against the tenured ethnic studies professor.


Allard "Most Conservative" In Senate

From the RMN:
Colorado senior Sen. Wayne Allard was doubly pleased today when he was designated "most conservative" in the U.S. Senate and won the Taxpayers’ Friend Award for the ninth year.

The "most conservative" rating came from the "National Journal," a non-partisan political journal, which tied him with Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, all Republicans, saying they were 90.8 percent more conservative than the rest of the U.S. Senate.

"Senator Allard was proud of the designation because it pointed to his curbs on fiscal spending and tax measures," said his spokeswoman, Angela de Rocha.

The same publication rated Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., as being 60.2 percent more liberal than the rest of the senators.
More from the Denver Post. Note that the center-right RMN describes Salazar as "more liberal" and the liberal Denver Post has Salazar as a "centrist." Semantics are very important.


Kerry Campaigns For Perlmutter In Denver

Kerry bloviates:
"The 7th Congressional District in Colorado is a district of middle-class Americans working hard who need health care, people who need schools that work more efficiently, people that want the environment protected."
Note to Ed Perlmutter: East-Coast Liberals don't win national elections--just ask the guy endorsing you--nor does that play well in Colorado. The Salazar brothers won by avoiding explicit ties to the Kerry campaign in '04, and remaining outside the image of the posh, elite, Ivy-league liberalism red states despise.


Support Denmark Update

Never Lego of Free Speech!

Expose the Left has the video Christopher Hitchens’ Speech at Danish Embassy (VIDEO)
Michelle Malkin has photos and roundup SAMMENHOLD: FOR DENMARK
Freedom's Zone Support Denmark Blogburst


Holy Shiite, Batman!

Further proof that the cartoons from Denmark are not accurate in their satirical point:

Who Would Mohammed Bomb?


Why Liberals Are So Depressed

George Will explains:
Liberalism is a complicated and exacting, not to say grim and scolding, creed. And not one conducive to happiness.


Sheehan Headlines Anti-War Concert

Sheehan will address the audience at the concert noting the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Billboard said.

Janeane Garafalo will broadcast her Air America Radio show "The Majority Report" live from the concert.
Oh, goody. She'll bring in a huge, huge audience.


February 23, 2006

League of Conservation Voters: Colorado Scorecard

From LCV:
Vote Scorecard: 109th, 1st session Search Results

Scores for Colorado Sorted by Last Name

Senator State 109th, 1st session Score
Wayne Allard (REP) CO 5%
Ken Salazar (DEM) CO 80%

Representative District 109th, 1st session Score
Bob Beauprez (REP) CO-7 0%
Diana DeGette (DEM) CO-1 100%
Joel Hefley (REP) CO-5 6%
Marilyn Musgrave (REP) CO-4 0%
John Salazar (DEM) CO-3 72%
Thomas Tancredo (REP) CO-6 11%
Mark Udall (DEM) CO-2 100%
Whoda thunk Tancredo would receive the highest grade of the Republican contingent (a measly 11%)? Not surprisingly, the slitherin' Salazar brothers scored lower than their hard-left compatriots, as they try to maintain their pseudo-Western Democrat façade. Scores of 72% and 80% for John and Ken, respectively, might indicate some pressure that will be brought upon them to hew to the enviro-wacko line.


Pope To Muslims: Respect Should Be Reciprocal

Pope Benedict signaled his concern on Monday when he told the new Moroccan ambassador to the Vatican that peace can only be assured by "respect for the religious convictions and practices of others, in a reciprocal way in all societies".
That would include Saudi Arabia which
bans all public expression of any non-Muslim religion and sometimes arrests Christians even for worshipping privately. Pakistan allows churches to operate but its Islamic laws effectively deprive Christians of many rights.
It is hard to turn the other cheeck when you're dead.



When Political Correctness Outlaws Freedom Of Expression

This happens.


Student In "Hot Water" For Shouting At Kennedy

Shouting "Remember Chappaquiddick" can put you in hot water.

Insert joke here.

This of course being more offensive than the usual anti-Bush epithets spewed by liberal activists at any conservative speaker. Like Justice Antonin Scalia, just yesterday.

Expose the Left Student In Trouble For Yelling “Remember Chappaquiddick!”


Everyone's A Winner

No, not really.

In The Incredibles, Dash and his superhero mom Elastigirl discuss his inability to win athletic competitions due to the fact that they are in hiding, and can not demonstrate their superpowers to normal humans. His mother says that "everyone is special, Dash." He insightfully responds, "that's just another way of saying that no one is special." Or something to that effect.

Now, in Boston as in other places across the good ol' US of A, this:
When a youth basketball league in Framingham finishes its season next month, every fifth- and sixth-grader will receive a shiny trophy. Even those on the last-place team.
Like getting an A for "effort," all of the children will receive a trophy. At least some think that this coddling, or in contemporary parlance, "building self-esteem," is not a good thing at all:
''There is something inherently good about trying to raise kids' feelings about themselves, but there has to be balance," said Leonard Zaichkowsky, a Boston University professor and director of its sport and exercise psychology training program, shared by BU's schools of education and medicine. ''We also have to teach kids to be mentally tough, to take criticism, to experience failure, to learn that somebody wins and somebody loses.

''We have to take teachable moments to reach kids and explain that there are going to be setbacks and losses, and to be able to cope with that," he said.

Roy Baumeister, a professor of psychology at Florida State University, said the trophy explosion was a product of the self-esteem movement, which began in the 1970s and gained momentum in the '80s with promises of more successful children. The movement started to unravel a decade later, when questions were raised about its results, said Baumeister, who has specialized in self-esteem issues.

Baumeister said feel-good trophies don't serve any purpose.

''The trophies should go to the winners. Self-esteem does not lead to success in life. Self-discipline and self-control do, and sports can help teach those," he said.
Which brings to mind another recent movie, Meet the Fockers, where Robert De Niro's character looks incredulously at his future son-in-law's "trophy" display, where his parents (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand in new-age, liberal, cookie-cutter roles) proudly display their son's ribbon for 9th place. De Niro scoffs, "I didn't know they gave out awards for 9th place!" They shouldn't. Mediocrity should not be rewarded. The avoidance of excellence is a growing problem for the United States, undoubtedly encouraged by the self-loathing liberal mentality that pervades public schools, and education in general. Awards for things like attendance are ridiculous, good attendance should be expected of all students. Scholarships, admissions to good schools, and job opportunities should be available to the best candidates, not those who fulfill some socially engineered attempt at balance, or some bad implementation of cronyism. Meritocracy is more than just rewarding those who deserve their accomplishments, it is about recognizing excellence in all aspects of life. It is an honor to be a world-class athlete and participate in the Olympics, but still another to achieve the standard of being the best in the world.


Catholics In New Zealand Irate Over South Park

Relapsed Catholic has extensive coverage here.

Some readers in the comments section, and friends on the outside have asked my opinion on the subject, given that I am both Catholic and an advocate of free speech.

Final answer: the network should air the program, and the people should boycott if that is what they choose to do.

Freedom of the press, speech, and expression versus freedom of speech, expression, and assembly.

None outweighs the other.

Both allow for the exchange of ideas. Censorship, whether by the government or in a more personal (self-censorship) but no less insidious way, will not make the situation better, or understanding any easier. Let the viewers decide if the cartoon from South Park is "offensive" or not. Boycotting, peacefully demonstrating, etc. are acceptable means of showing disapproval. Censorship through intimidation, torching embassies, threatening violence, and killing are not acceptable, at least not in 2006.

I have viewed this episode, and continues to be a fan of South Park, because its satire is pointed at any group or sentiment worthy of critique. I do not jump on every Virgin-on-Rye story that pops up in the news, and this episode is geared toward that end. Pope Benedict XVI travels to see whether the statue of the Virgin Mary (not Mary herself) is truly miraculous (spoiler alert), due to the presence of blood in the statue's nether regions. The Pope concludes that the statue is hardly miraculous due to the fact that every woman menstruates each month. Case closed. That is the subject of the episode.

Is it crude? Yes, of course. Does it make a point? Yes, that not all "miraculous" objects such as Mother Theresa in a danish, or Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich are anything more than clever hoaxes at worst, or the projection of truly well-intentioned believers hoping to find proof of the power of God in a breakfast pastry.

South Park skewers any and all parties, and as satire it generally works. The subject of their feature-length movie was Saddam Hussein and a gay Satan. Funny stuff, however crude.

All adults should make their choice about what they choose to see or not see. Some have cited the presence of Piss Christ or the Dung Virgin on these pages as evidence of what is not acceptable to Christians. Frankly, the less you protest about offensive imagery, the less likely more of it will be produced. The question, at least with Serrano's work, was whether or not it should receive government funding. Just like Ward Churchill. Anyone can spout anything they want, just as long as it is not through taxpayer funding.

If nothing else, the violent protests throughout the Muslim world have only elicited more cartoons about Mohammed, many more offensive than the rather innocuous ones published in Denmark. Nothing is more appealing than that which is forbidden. These new cartoons have less to do with any inherent anti-Muslim bias than with a general sense of "screw you, I can publish any cartoon I want" attitude. That is the true measure of freedom in the West, the freedom to do pretty much anything you want, and even if it is illegal, to have redress to try to prove that you are in the right. This will of course open the door to crackpots and racists, but sunshine is the best disinfectant, as it was once said. How do you oppose free speech you don't like? With more free speech! Or the great line in the movie Ben-Hur, "How do you fight an idea? With another idea!"


February 22, 2006

Native Americans Not Environmental Stewards As Believed

From the WaPo:
Indians Depleted Wildlife, Too

Like the Europeans who came later, the first Americans apparently had a propensity for killing and eating any animal they could lay their hands on without giving a lot of thought to the future, judging by the bones they left behind at one notable site.

"The general public probably buys into the 'Pocahontas version' that Native Americans were inherently different and more in tune with nature," said University of Utah archaeologist Jack Broughton. "The evidence says otherwise."

After studying thousands of animal bones found in a garbage heap on the shores of San Francisco Bay, Broughton concluded that Native Americans living in an area where Emeryville is now located hunted several species to local extinction from 600 B.C. to A.D. 1300.

The lowest strata from the Emeryville Shell Mound showed many bones from large geese and cormorants, but the number and size of the birds dwindled over time: "About 1,500 years ago, there's a big crash in cormorants, and by the end of the sequence, all you get is the odd adult that wanders into the area," Broughton said.

Broughton, writing in Ornithological Monographs, said his most recent study of bird consumption showed the same pattern as his earlier studies of mammals and fish.

He said the lowest strata had the largest number of big animals, but number and size both decreased over time: "Longevity decreased due to harvest pressure."

Broughton acknowledged that European settlers speak of a "land of plenty," but they were latecomers, he said. Wildlife probably had rebounded after European diseases thinned the Native American population starting in the 1500s.


Malaysian Paper Prints Cartoon Satirizing Danish Cartoon Conflagration

First, the cartoon in question.

From Aljazeera.net:
A leading government-backed newspaper in Malaysia has defended its decision to re-publish a cartoon satirising the row over the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The New Straits Times denied complaints by disgruntled Muslim groups that the Non Sequitur, first published in its Tuesday edition, mocked Islam.

In an editorial on Wednesday the paper said that it would let the government decide if the drawing was offensive to Islam.

The editorial suggested that the furore over the sketch was politically and business motivated.

"We should ask ourselves whether the attacks on the NST are out of genuine concern for the multi-racial and multi-religious fabric of the country and the image of Islam, or whether there are politics and other personal vendettas involved," it said.
Like many in the West have concluded, this has less to do with religion (though it should not be denied that religion does factor in the rioting) and more to do with politics in terrorist-sponsoring and dictatorial regimes or political correctness in the West:
Predominately Muslim Malaysia is considered more moderate than many nations in the Middle East for example, and reaction to the Danish cartoons has, so far, been more underwhelming than elsewhere, with only small-scale protests and minimal violence.

However, the government has already suspended the licences of two local newspapers for printing a photograph showing the original cartoons.

The newspaper's editors are ready to face the consequences if the government decides that it "crossed the boundaries" and insulted Islam and the Prophet.

"But at the same time, let us ponder the fundamental issue - do we continue to be a society where a vocal few, with personal vendettas and less than honourable motives, can whip up sentiments and make the innocent guilty?" the editorial asked.


Faith Schools Pledge To Teach About Other Religions

From London's Evening Standard:
Faith schools should teach pupils about other religions as well as their own, leaders of the major faiths have said in a statement.

Religious leaders have signed a declaration backing the teaching of not only their own religion, but an awareness of the "tenets" of other faiths in schools.

The signatories to the agreement include the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, the Muslim Council of Britain, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist organisations.
This would ostensibly be to "combat prejudice" and "develop respect and sensitivity to others." Any bets as to which group would most likely skirt this initiative, or has the most incentive to do so? The enlightened conclude:
It encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging and enables them to "flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a pluralistic society and global community. . ."
Alas, not all groups seem to appreciate a pluralistic society, much less a global community that does not hew to its version of reality. Hmmm, which group could this be?


Hamas Elected Official: Right Not To Be Insulted and Offended

More from Aljazeera.net:
--Aljazeera.net: Why have Palestinians been so strongly protesting against the Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad?

Duwaik: These cartoons have been insulting to our religion and injurious to our feelings. They were meant to insult, provoke and offend Muslims. And they have succeeded. I call on the government of Denmark and the people of Denmark and the rest of Europe to stop insulting other people in the guise of press freedom.

We respect press freedom, but ridiculing and besmirching our religious symbols is not press freedom. There is a conspicuous malicious intent here, and people's right not to be insulted and offended overrides a Danish newspaper's right to insult the prophet of Islam. Besides, we are living in a global village now, and we should respect each other.
Right. That would include respecting others' point of view, which includes being offensive to just about anyone about everything. There is no "but" in freedom of speech, expression, or the press.

--People in Europe value their liberties ...

And we value our religion and our prophet (peace be upon him). Press freedom is a great ideal. However, could one argue that Hitler and the Nazis were practising their freedom prior to the Holocaust? We know the Holocaust started with cartoons like this against Jews, and with books like Mein Kampf, and then came Kristallnacht ... and then we know what happened.

These cartoons are a reflection of rampant Islamophobia in Europe, which is very similar and nearly as virulent as the anti-Semitism that existed in Europe, especially in Germany, prior to World War II. This anti-Semitism eventually led to the Holocaust and the deaths of millions of human beings.

You see, when you send out thousands of hate messages against a certain ethnic or religious community every day, you make people hate these people, and when mass hatred reaches a certain point, nobody would object to the physical extermination of the hated community when it happens.
Kinda like what the Danish Imams did in spreading false cartoons and stoking the fires of hatred. . .

--Do you fear a Holocaust against Muslims similar to what happened to the Jews?

Why not? The Holocaust was committed by human beings, not by citizens of another planet, and Germany, where Nazism thrived, was probably the most culturally advanced European country in the 1930s and 1940s.
At least he admits there was a holocaust. . .

--But Europe is now democratic, unlike Nazi Germany?

Yes, but who told you those democracies don't commit genocide? America is a democracy, but we saw recently how this democracy invaded and destroyed two small and weak countries based on lies, while most Americans were duped into believing that Bush was doing the right thing.
Ah, the Americans are genocidal maniacs who kill people and break things because of cartoons.

Nope, not offensive at all. In fact, Christians should kill, burn, and destroy those who do not submit--sarcasm alert--just like the Muslims do!


Terrorism--The Fruit Of Appeasement

IsraPundit on encroaching dhimmitude:
I’m reminded of a cartoon from an ancient edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica 1940 Year Book that graced the shelves in my home as a young kid growing up outside of Boston during WWII. The Cartoon showed a clearly Nazi stalhelm or helmet with SS runes being used to snuff out a single candle. The inscription below, I came to realize later in life was first uttered by British Liberal government Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey on the eve of the outbreak of World War I:

‘the lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”


February 21, 2006

Toonophobia or, That's All Folks!

From Cox & Forkum:


Support Denmark And Free Speech

Christopher Hitchens explains our duty and obligation to support our ally, Denmark.

Slapstick Politics calls on all like-minded to organize rallies, with appropriate signs, at their nearest Danish embassy or consulate. A press-release to media types, who have largely ignored this issue, would also be heavily encouraged.

The Jawa Report Hitchens Looking for a Few Good Folks to Stand With the Danes


Islamic Law Uncivilized? You Bet!

More from Wizbang.

With apologies to Monty Python, of course.

Stop The ACLU Sunday Funnies


February 18, 2006

Rocky Mountain News Publisher Rejects Dhimmitude

More encouraging news from the publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, John Temple:
The images of rampaging mobs are almost unbelievable.

How can it be, we ask ourselves, that people think it’s justified to burn and destroy over what they perceive as an offense to their religion?

In the face of such madness, I was encouraged by the positive response to our decision to print in our Commentary section last Saturday a collection of cartoons offensive to Catholics, Jews, Baptists and, yes, Muslims. You can still find the package of columns and cartoons at RockyMountain-News.com.

I thought you might be interested (emphasis in original) in seeing what readers said, given that the Rocky Mountain News is one of the few American newspapers to expose its readers to any of the Danish cartoons of Muhammad that are blamed for rioting across the Muslim world.

“Thank you,” was the consistent message. (emphasis mine)

“Thank you for taking a stand for freedom of the press when so many of our U.S. newspapers caved in,” an e-mail from Breckenridge told me. “My respect for you and the Rocky Mountain News is renewed.”

“Congratulations on being an equal opportunity offender,” another e-mail said.
“Well done and well said. The Danish cartoon reveals media double standards, bias and political correctness run amok (all of which continue to be denied, save for you and a few others).”

“Thank you, Mr. Temple, for not bowing to the pressure from the Muslim world concerning the printing of the cartoons,” a third writer said.

“It is time for the Western nations to know that the mere existence of the Western world is an ‘insult to Islam.’ There is a double standard at work here. We must tiptoe around to avoid offending Muslim ‘sensibilities’ while they can clearly state a goal as the destruction of Israel and run cartoons with impunity depicting other religions in an ‘insulting’ manner.

“I believe that political correctness is the downfall of a free society. It stifles free speech and expression and leads to both self-censorship and imposed censorship.” (emphasis mine)
Of course, not all were pleased by the republication of the cartoons, and not surprisingly came in an all too predictable format:
I received only a handful, literally, of complaints, and three of them were form letters late in the week.

“Hello,” those e-mails said. “We have officially boycotted THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS newspaper due to your LACK of sensitivity and LACK of RESPECT for the ISLAMIC FAITH and millions of MUSLIMS around the world for REPRINTING images that MILLIONS find distasteful and disrespectful. DO NOT ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE. INSTEAD USE YOUR PLATFORUM (sic) TO PROMOTE PEACE, NOT HATE.”
Who is promoting hate? The cartoonists--or the fanatical race and religion-bating jihadists who stoke resenment in their communities by adding fake and intentionally offensive images, spreading rumors of burning Korans, and encouraging death, arson, and other violence to those who don't see things their way?
Temple places the responsibility and the greatest criticism on the journalistic community (ostensibly the bastion of free speech and free press):

“Boston Globe ‘exercised an uncomfortable but necessary restraint,’ ” one link said. “Not running cartoons is like avoiding the n-word,” a link to the Portland Oregonian said. “We need to respect all religions and all views,” said a link to a column by the editor of the Indianapolis Star.

My colleagues’ words disappointed me. (emphasis in original) Clearly, we don’t need to respect all religions and all views. (emphasis mine) Clearly, there’s a difference between the n-word, a euphemism for an ugly word we all understand, and a cartoon, which can only be understood when it is seen. And of course it’s understandablethat Boston felt its restraint was “uncomfortable.”But “necessary”? I can see making an argument that it was the right decision. A justifiable decision. But necessary?

The Globe reflected a pervasive view when it quoted Editor Martin Baron saying the paper’s policy is not to print phrases or images that are considered “to be grossly offensive to a religious, racial or ethnic group,” a position to which no newspaper, including his own, can hew. Would a picture of a lynching be grossly offensive? How about of stacks of bodies at the death camps? They are to me. But newspapers publish them, for a good reason. People need to know the truth. (emphasis mine)

I was heartened later in the week when the ombudsman for National Public Radio published his own column on the NPR Web site, revealing that “Of the hundreds who wrote to me, more than 70 percent insisted that NPR was wrong not to show the cartoon, while 20 percent agreed that NPR did the right thing in not reprinting any of the drawings. (Ten percent “expressed frustration over being forced to choose between two legitimate values — freedom of speech and religious tolerance,” Jeffrey Dvorkin wrote.)

This whole experience of publishing these cartoons has been enough for me to want to wear a Danish flag pin in solidarity with that country and to regret — at least during this test of journalism’s commitment to free speech — my membership in the American Society of Newspaper Editors. (emphasis mine)

Stop The ACLU Open Thoughts of a Universal Mind
Expose The Left Photoshop This: Muhammad Cartoons


February 16, 2006

The Prophet Issues Fatwas Against Fast Food

Or something like that:
2. Sura 11, Verse 15: "Taco Bell dispenses guacamole and sour cream in grease-guns. Doesn't this kind of bother anyone else? Or is it just me? Wait, I'm the Prophet. It must bother you too. It is thusly commanded."


Don't Be Evil, Unless It Is For Profit

From Cox & Forkum:

Sometimes, situations necessitate--no, demand--bipartisan condemnation:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers lashed out at Google Inc. and other prominent Internet companies on Wednesday, with one Democrat questioning "how your corporate leadership sleeps at night" because of the companies' alleged complicity in human rights abuses by the Chinese government.

As representatives from Google, Yahoo Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. looked on, lawmakers from both political parties delivered withering attacks and called for oversight on dealings with China.

"Your abhorrent activities in China are a disgrace. I simply do not understand how your corporate leadership sleeps at night," said Rep. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on a House International Relations subcommittee on human rights. Lantos' California district includes the high-tech empire of Silicon Valley.
Perhaps Google should reissue their motto, "Don't Be Evil" with a slight modification: "Do No Evil". Or at least quit offering lame excuses:

"The requirements of doing business in China include self-censorship -- something that runs counter to Google's most basic values and commitments as a company," said Google Vice President Elliot Schrage.

"In an imperfect world, we had to make an imperfect choice," he said.
Republicans also condemned such mealy-mouthed equivocation and obfuscation:

Google, the world's most used search engine, breached its own ``Don't be Evil'' policy stated at a 2004 stock offering, said Representative Christopher Smith, who heads the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations.

``It has become evil's accomplice,'' said Smith, a New Jersey Republican.
It is one thing to be censored, or for your internet utilities to be censored by a third party, but to actually assist that third party (the capitalist/Communist/dictatorial Chinese government) in actively censoring its own citizenry by manipulating search results and limiting internet capabilities renders these companies beneath contempt. A Yahoo executive offers further proof of a lack of company values (other than profits) and support for democratic ideals:

``I couldn't sit in an office in California and tell a Chinese citizen in Beijing not to follow a lawful demand of the Chinese government,'' Yahoo's Callahan said.
Not all laws are lawful or just, as the Nuremberg Laws or any Communist fiat surely was not lawful. Google, Yahoo, etc. have just joined the long list of corporate enablers (much closer to actually performing the function of "little Eichmanns" that Ward "Walking Eagle" Churchill mistakenly attributed to the victims of 9/11) who have given cover to totalitarian governments for the sake of the bottom line. Sometimes money isn't everything, or the right thing.

Stop The ACLU Quick Hits


Liberal Humor, Not Funny

From the generally conservative editorial pages of the Rocky Mountain News, the liberal staff editorial cartoonist:



February 15, 2006

Suggested Islamic Textbook Committee In The EU To Weed Out Items "Offensive" To Muslims

The proposal, to cleanse European textbooks of material "offensive" to Muslims:
School textbooks should be reviewed for intolerant depictions of Islam and other faiths by experts overseen by the European Union and Islamic leaders, the European Parliament was told yesterday.
So Muslims should now police European textbooks, eradicating "offensive" thought, in order to "reeducate" the students of Europe:
Mr Pöttering, the head of the centre-Right, but largely federalist European People's Party, said the work of building bridges between Islam and the West had to "begin with young people".

During a debate intended to show Europe's unity in the face of the row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, he said textbooks should be checked to ensure they promoted European values without propagating religious stereotypes or prejudice.
At least one member of the European parliament had the guts to call this proposal by its real name: "appeasement". Or, as it is becoming increasingly clear, another step on the road to dhimmitude.

Tony Blair pushes through additional law banning the glorification of violence in public:

Tony Blair promised last night that the police and courts would take action in future against demonstrators who carried placards praising terrorism and calling for more suicide bombings.
They should have dealt with the offending placards at those rallies, but at least they acknowledge they let the situation get out of hand. Hopefully there will be no hesitation next time to round up the terrorist-hooligans.

Gateway Pundit has Muslims Protest... In Support of Denmark!


RNC 2008 In Denver?

Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. RNC or DNC? The Republican National Committee extended an invitation to Denver to consider hosting the 2008 Republican National Convention.


February 14, 2006

Let Us Hope This Is Not The End Result

Via Cox & Forkum


Not All Professors Shirk Their Duty

James Lindsay, a professor at Colorado State University, showed a couple of the controversial cartoons to his Islamic history class, in an earnest attempt to address current events and also to bridge the gap of understanding between Muslim students in the class who did not approve of the cartoons and other classmates who felt confused by the furor surrounding their publication:
The polar takes on the cartoons has illustrated a large difference between Islam and the West: Tolerance is an aspect of Western life, but not necessarily a part of Islam, Lindsay said.

The professor used the movie "The Life of Brian" as an example. The film, made by the cult comedy crew Monty Python's Flying Circus, lampooned the story of Jesus by following the life of an average guy who was born in the manger next door to Christ.

"Christians aren't really thrilled with 'The Life of Brian' but they don't go and shoot Terry Jones and Monty Python's Flying Circus," Lindsay said.
The cartoons were generally well received in such an academic setting:
Students interviewed on campus Thursday afternoon generally supported the professor's decision, so long as the presentation was tactful.

"I think it's almost necessary ... in an academic setting, if you're studying it," said international studies senior Jonathan Bishop. "It's especially valuable to see what the controversy is over, not just that there is a controversy."

Another student agreed.

"Everywhere I've heard in the media takes the side of the Muslims," said Bobby Hodge, a liberal arts senior. "Since it's (shown in) a class, it's dealing with current events."

Others said they would have been offended in the class if they were Muslim, but noted that the acceptability of the cartoons hinges on their presentation - whether it was objective and academic, or ethnocentric and ignorant.

But Safar was firm in his belief that the blasphemy should simply not have been shown.

"(Lindsay) made a huge mistake by putting up the cartoons," Safar said. "Not only that, he's making the gap between the three religions bigger and bigger. ... Making chaos between people - I don't think that's the correct way of achieving peace."

The professor, on the other hand, articulated Western societies' own uncompromising take on freedom of expression.

"My job is not to bring people together," Lindsay said. "My job is to teach history. History is not pleasant in many cases, and I made it very clear in class that this is America and you all have the right to offend but you do not have the right to not be offended."
Finally, a professor who embraces the academic mission wholeheartedly, who acknowledges that higher education often tackles edgy subjects that might "offend" someone, and believes that the point of thinking critically is to see all sides of a debate and to formulate an opinion based upon the available evidence, rather than simply regurgitate a party line or the professor's own ideology. Students, like the public at large, should make their own determination of the cartoon's standing, rather than leaving that role to the moral arbiters at CNN. Disagreement is not an undesirable outcome, and the professor in this instance makes the clearest case for freedom of speech, one that includes a freedom to offend, but not a right to not be offended.

Michelle Malkin Danes Put Heat On Lying Imam and CARTOON JIHAD IN ILLINOIS
Gateway Pundit Cartoon Wars Shift East, Iran Attacks Germany
Stop The ACLU Iran on Freedom Of Speech


February 11, 2006

Denver Site Of 2008 "Dhimmi-crat" Convention?

Oh, please, for the love of God. . .YES!!

History may be on Denver's side. A century ago, Democrats nominated the gifted orator but electoral loser William Jennings Bryan for the third time (having previously lost to William McKinley in 1896 and 1900).

Narcissus. Puck. 1908.

Political Narcissus. 2000s.

Hopefully, the 2008 election will have the same outcome as the one in 1908--a Republican victory!


Sheikh Your Bomb-Bomb!

Do the Mohammed Dance!


Rocky Mountain Values II

From the Rocky Mountain News, a bastion of liberty and defender of free speech in today's Commentary section:
A world of controversy
The cartoons on this page will offend many people — there is no getting around that fact. A few should offend everyone, they are so obscenely outrageous. Yet they’ve appeared in publications around the world and we present them today in order to make several points. First, many U.S. editors are kidding themselves and misleading their readers when they say they won’t republish any of the Danish cartoons that sparked riots and the torching of embassies because they don’t believe in offending people’s religious beliefs. Some editors certainly hew faithfully to that position, but many American newspapers publish cartoons on a regular basis that offend large groups of believers.The depictions on this page of Pope John Paul II, Southern Baptists and former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin brandishing the Torah are just three examples of savagely critical cartoons from among what are most certainly hundreds published in this country over the years. Second, many Muslim critics — and especially Middle Eastern governments — are hypocritical in demanding that Islamic sensibilities be spared since cartoonsin the state-controlled media of those nations portray Jews, Christians and others in absolutely despicable terms. The example on this page — Israeli soldiers slaughtering Palestinians while other Jews drink their blood — is so typical of the gruesome genre that we concluded it would be superfluous to publish more than one. Third, the Danish cartoons of Muhammad (see the nearby example)
are no harsher than those likely to offend the followers of other religions. All such cartoons paint with a broad brush and are unfair to some degree — grossly unfair, we’d argue, in all five examples on this page. Yet only one has provoked riots, murder, and demands from various governments to suppress a free press. Why? We’ve published a number of commentators who’ve tried to answer that question, and today we offer two more perspectives— from men who differ on every important point. Daniel Pipes is an exponent of the view that the West is engaged in a clash of civilizations with Islam, whether we recognize it or not. Rami Khouri insists that Muslim reaction to the cartoons is a sign of resentment against neo-colonial policies and attitudes. As with all of the material we publish, we urge you to read them and judge for yourself.

Point-Counterpoint, not threats of explicit violence, setting of fires, and killing. That is how the civilized world handles debate.

Stop The ACLU Into The Great Wide Open
Michelle Malkin CNN: "YOU GUYS BLEW IT"
Expose The Left Reynolds to CNN on the Muslim Cartoons: “You Guys Have Blow It” (VIDEO)


February 10, 2006

Blogging From CPAC

Taking a break in the action deep in the trenches at CPAC 2006. Sitting across from Blogger's Row, getting to know those like Girl on the Right who is now a "proud infidel", Mary Katharine Ham of HughHewitt.com, and Bryan Preston of JunkYardBlog. It is nice to put faces to the somewhat invisible netizens of the blogosphere.

Dark Side Conservatives, our online store, was featured along with other political paraphernalia for the 2008 Presidential election on CNN. Video here courtesy of Expose the Left.

Expose The Left CNN Runs Segment on CPAC, Bloggers Corner (VIDEO)
Stop The ACLU Making Profit on the Prophet Controversy


February 07, 2006

Rocky Mountain Values

The Rocky Mountain News joined the few other brave American papers who choose to side with freedom of speech, rejecting opposing arguments on their editorial page and publishing one of the cartoons (34A):

Cartoons that dare not show their face
Europeans must stand up against intolerance
February 7, 2006

The strokes of cartoonists' pens have proven mighty enough to open deep fault lines in European society.

The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten was trying to demonstrate an important truth about tolerance and freedom of speech when it commissioned a dozen cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad that it published Sept. 30. The truth: People in Europe have become frightened of saying things that Muslims might find offensive, for fear of violence and the threat of violence.

The newspaper's demonstration has been more powerful than it could have imagined. Protests in Copenhagen spread to other countries, as newspapers in those nations reprinted the cartoons in solidarity with the Jyllands-Posten and they became widely available on the Web. Over the weekend, mobs burned the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus, and the Danish consulate in Beirut.

A number of Islamic countries have demanded that Denmark apologize for the cartoons, and punish the newspaper for publishing them. Some 200 members of Iran's parliament issued a warning statement reminding anyone who published the cartoons of the death threats made against author Salman Rushdie for his novel The Satanic Verses.

Nothing could better illustrate the total lack of understanding of the foundations of a free society. Their own media are subservient to the government, and not averse to blasphemy, either, as long as the target is a religion other than Islam. The response of Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, "The government refuses to apologize because the government does not control the media or a newspaper outlet; that would be in violation of the freedom of speech" has been met with blank incomprehension.

Rasmussen's response, self-evident to Americans who are accustomed to the protection of the First Amendment even for speech that is highly offensive - or even blasphemous - is not so widely accepted even in Europe. Islam may be treated gingerly, but other offensive speech is suppressed by law. In several European countries, for example, it is illegal to deny the facts of the Nazi Holocaust.

Defense of free speech is not so robust in this country as it could be, either. A State Department spokesman issued a mealy-mouthed statement that recognized the importance of freedom of speech but then added that the publication of cartoons that incite religious or ethnic hatred is unacceptable - as if that is what happened. There is no evidence whatsoever that the cartoons incited hatred against Muslims or Islam, only that they incited violence by Muslims. That is, indeed, unacceptable.

The Vatican also got it wrong, saying on Saturday that "freedom cannot imply the right to offend" religious believers.

On the contrary, freedom must imply the right to offend religious believers - as well as the members of every other organization or group. Otherwise, we will have ceded our freedoms to the veto of the most intolerant among us. The intolerant in Europe and throughout the Muslim world are now trying to exercise such a veto. They must not be allowed to succeed.

Cartoon appearing on the RMN editorial page:


February 06, 2006

Devastated, Devastated!

For those political junkies waiting with baited breath for months to hear whether or not Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper would run for governor of Colorado, today's revelation that he would in fact not run came as quite a shock! (not really) Hick's foot-dragging indicated a lack of desire to run, as the fundraising clock began ticking louder and louder. If anything else his indecision on running for the highest office, or at least the appearance of such irresoluteness did not bode well for those on the left calling for a more liberal alternative to the current Democratic candidates, or those in the "middle"--Colorado's independents.

Back to the drawing board for all those "Draft Hick" proponents:
DENVER (AP) - Mayor John Hickenlooper said Monday he will not run for governor, disappointing some Democrats who hoped for a more liberal alternative to former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter, an abortion opponent.

Hickenlooper said he still has tasks wants to complete as mayor.

"The time right now is for me to focus on the city," he said.

Some Democrats have expressed reservations about Ritter because of his views on social issues. Ritter declined to comment immediately but scheduled his own news conference later.

Independent poll-taker Floyd Ciruli said Ritter won't get a big boost from Hickenlooper's decision because many of the state Democratic Party's big donors are concerned about Ritter's Catholic upbringing and his conservative stand on social issues.

"He's the Holy Mother Church," Ciruli said. "He appears unacceptable to a big wing of the party."
Yes, that comes from the party with a monopoly on tolerance for all points of view. . .


The Real Face Of Islamism

From Cox & Forkum:


A Not So Subtle Attempt At Conversion?

Edward Cline distills the arguments over the cartoons to their essential point; this isn't merely a clash of perspectives or civilizations, or "offense" versus free speech, this is quite plainly backdoor conversion:
Implied in the claim that images of Mohammed constitute blasphemy, is that anyone who creates such an image is guilty of blasphemy. What the Muslims are demanding is that non-Muslims accept that religious tenet. Thus, “respect” by non-Muslims of the tenet, at the price of surrendering the right to criticize Islam, means virtual conversion to Islam, a major step in the direction of actual conversion.


Refreshing Comedy

The Super Bowl commercials in their entirety.

Includes some not seen on television--censorship (godaddy.com)?!?!?

How many would the jihadists approve of?

El Presidente's favorite? FedEx.


February 05, 2006

Some MSM Show Journalistic Integrity

The Philadelphia Inquirer published the most controversial cartoon Sunday, with the following editorial statement:

The Inquirer's senior editors decided at Friday's afternoon news meeting to publish the most controversial image. It is being published "discreetly" with a note explaining the rationale, said Amanda Bennett, The Inquirer's editor.

"This is the kind of work that newspapers are in business to do," Bennett said. "We're running this in order to give people a perspective of what the controversy's about, not to titillate, and we have done that with a whole wide range of images throughout our history," she said.

Bennett compared it to decisions in the past to publish photographs of the bodies of burned Americans hung from a bridge in Iraq, as well as the 1989 photography of an artwork by Andres Serrano showing a crucifix submerged in a jar of urine.

"You run it because there's a news reason to run it," Bennett said. "The controversy does not appear to have died down. It's still a news issue."
The paper published this note to readers:

About This Cartoon

This cartoon and others have inflamed many Muslims since they were first published as a group in a Danish newspaper last year and reprinted in Norway last month. Islam teaches that any portrayal of Muhammad is sacrilegious. Some Muslims accept respectful representations but object to the cartoons' portrayal of Muhammad as a terrorist or as a caricature of Muslims or Arabs.

The Inquirer intends no disrespect to the religious beliefs of any of its readers. But when a use of religious imagery that many find offensive becomes a major news story, we believe it is important for readers to be able to judge the content of the image for themselves, as with the 1987 photograph by Andres Serrano of a crucifix in urine. On that basis we reprint this cartoon.
The online edition of the Rocky Mountain News offered a link to a Danish site showing all twelve cartoons. They may not have published them in print (no screen capture or hard copy as of yet), but allowing their readers to make their up their own mind about the cartoons without the censoring tactics of the Cartoon News Network and its pixellation of the cartoons is a welcome sign.

Why is this important? Not everyone has access to the internet, and of those who do, not all frequent the blogs that have taken up the cause, not in promoting the cartoons themselves, but the right to publish them. Many still rely on their dailies (even though that number is quickly diminishing) or local stations for their news, and a decision to withhold information, which is what a choice to self-censor becomes, prevents people from making intelligent, rational, and informed decisions. That may not be the mode of operation in parts of the Middle East, but over here, it is a welcome and necessary way of life.

BTW: Ask yourself, in the midst of the Ward Churchill controversy, did any paper "choose" not to offend victims of the 9/11 attacks and their families, men and women of the armed forces, or any other American who disagrees with anti-American rhetoric by refusing to publish excerpts of his writings? Absolutely not, and that is the point.



There Is No South Park In Islam. . .

In Islam, nothing like this is permissible:

And that is the point. But some are saying that the cartoons posted in European newspapers and on the internet ad nauseum lack a certain tact, and that the West should not cheer the vulgar and the stupid. In John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, the argument for the extreme is asserted:

"Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being 'pushed to an extreme'; not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case."
Or this from Benjamin Franklin:

Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech; which is the right of every man as far as by it he does not hurt or control the right of another; and this is the only check it ought to suffer and the only bounds it ought to know. . .Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech. . .
James Madison:

There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.
First, take away all the "highly offensive" speech, as defined by those who are most offended. Then take away the "moderately offensive" speech, as defined by those who find certain issues "untouchable." Finally, remove anything that might give the appearance of being "offensive", as sensitivity to others' feelings becomes the paramount objective. This was the path of the PC crowd in the 80's and 90's, and it has become the mantra of the Muslims today, "offended" by the depiction of Mohammed in cartoon form. (see Zombietime's excellent archive on the subject)

The loss of freedom does not come in one step, but is whittled away piecemeal, like the frog who is put in the pot and slowly boiled. The frog does not sense the change in temperature, and people (with glaring exceptions, as in this case) either remain ignorant to the situation, choose to ignore it for fear of the consequences or, as the liberal/PC/Moonbat/appeaser crowd is wont to do, accept restrictions based on a feeble attempt at placation or out of a sense of guilt for supposed Western "wrongdoings."

Ward Churchill's execrable writings about the victims of the 9/11 being "little Eichmanns" is a case in point. Even those who called for his speech to be unfunded by the state of Colorado acknowledged that he had the right to spew his invective in oratory or written form. His rights to speak and publish are secure. That does not mean he has a right to be heard, or even taken seriously. Those who are offended, or merely disagree with his point of view are encouraged to oppose him by offering their own points of view. The only way to fight speech one opposes is with more speech. It has been said that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and helps to expose the idiots through their speech. But one may not challenge another's speech through resorts to violence or even mere intimations of violence, be it from the government or any private citizen.

Freedom to speak and publish, on any subject at any time, should be absolute. If any one person is silenced, others are sure to follow. The following photos and links should make the point more succinctly.

Parody from Ace Of Spades HQ:

Christopher Hitchens points out the obvious. . .

Islam makes very large claims for itself. In its art, there is a prejudice against representing the human form at all. The prohibition on picturing the prophet—who was only another male mammal—is apparently absolute. So is the prohibition on pork or alcohol or, in some Muslim societies, music or dancing. Very well then, let a good Muslim abstain rigorously from all these. But if he claims the right to make me abstain as well, he offers the clearest possible warning and proof of an aggressive intent. This current uneasy coexistence is only an interlude, he seems to say. For the moment, all I can do is claim to possess absolute truth and demand absolute immunity from criticism. But in the future, you will do what I say and you will do it on pain of death.

. . .civil society means that free expression trumps the emotions of anyone to whom free expression might be inconvenient.
Ibn Warraq says that the West should not apologize. . .

A democracy cannot survive long without freedom of expression, the freedom to argue, to dissent, even to insult and offend. It is a freedom sorely lacking in the Islamic world, and without it Islam will remain unassailed in its dogmatic, fanatical, medieval fortress; ossified, totalitarian and intolerant. Without this fundamental freedom, Islam will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality; originality and truth.

Unless, we show some solidarity, unashamed, noisy, public solidarity with the Danish cartoonists, then the forces that are trying to impose on the Free West a totalitarian ideology will have won; the Islamization of Europe will have begun in earnest. Do not apologize.

This raises another more general problem: the inability of the West to defend itself intellectually and culturally. Be proud, do not apologize.
The Volokh Conspiracy on an international trend of suppressing anti-religious speech. . .

So harsh criticism of Scientology should be outlawed (unless somehow the government is empowered to decide that it's not a "real" religion). So would harsh criticism of Catholicism — which may well urge hostility to Catholic teachings and the Catholic hierarchy — on the grounds that it supposedly oppresses women or homosexuals. So would harsh criticism of militant Islam. Religious ideas and religious institutions, which are often among the most important and influential ideas and institutions, would thus be legally protected from strong condemnation, condemnation that in many instances (though of course people disagree on which instances) is entirely merited.
Michelle Malkin lets the Muslims speak, in their own words. . .

Let's see, that's: slay, demolition, behead, butcher, extermination. . .

. . .massacre, exterminate (again). . .

. . .real holocaust (nice touch). . .

. . .behead. . .

. . .and finally (at least from those present in London) annihilate!
Clever choice of words, how very subtle!

This Non Sequitur from '03 illustrates the PC point of view:

The Jawa Report links Mohammed and Islam to Marx and Communism, both resulting in totalitarianism. . . agreeing with El Presidente's point of view:
If the right to not be offended actually existed, no one could say anything about anyone at anytime, without fear of condemnation or persecution. This is the essence of totalitarian regimes or religions. Nothing contradictory, counterrevolutionary, or blasphemous (as defined by the authorities) may be said, published, or thought. This is slavery, pure and simple: slavery of the mind.
Earlier posts:
Note To Europeans: Never Let Go!
Furor Over Cartoons Not Funny

Stop The ACLU Lo, Behold The Open Trackback
The Volokh Conspiracy Suppressing Anti-Religious Speech -- an Emerging International Law Norm?
Ace of Spades HQ Contortionist News Network


February 03, 2006

Freedom of Speech=Western Extremism?

Tolerance-A sign of Western enlightenment.


Video: Second Plane Hits WTC

It is 2006, yet having watched the exceptional A&E Flight 93 this week and seen the conflagration brewing over cartoons, the reminder of exactly what is at stake becomes reclarified. Less the "clash of civilizations" and more the FIGHT FOR CIVILIZATION.

Power Line agrees.

Of course, nothing is more vivid than a (new?) wrenching video of the second plane slamming into the second tower.



February 02, 2006

Note To Europeans: Never Let Go!

Welcome Malkin readers!

relapsed catholic Never Let Go... of free speech
Stop The ACLU Cindy Sheehan Says Bush Worse Than Osama Bin Laden
Expose the Left Sheehan: “Bush Is Ten Times More Worse Than Osama bin Laden” (VIDEO)


Iran Already Nuclear?

Either that or Ahmadinejad is visiting the Burns memorial at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. . .

Once again, sometimes Photoshop is NOT necessary!


February 01, 2006

European Papers Strike Back

Editors in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and Spain have reprinted cartoons originally posted by a Danish newspaper as a sign of solidarity and for the Western value of free speech.

LGF has more here and an update on the spineless French owner who fired his editor upon the publication of the cartoons.

Gateway Pundit has a Mideast Blogger round-up, which indicates the necessity for the free exchange of ideas through the internet.

Michelle Malkin has an update on the puerile but dangerous response to the "offensive" cartoons, and a polite suggestion as to how those in a civilized society respond to contentious material.