Oh, That Pesky Free Speech Thing *Open Thread*

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The following Rich Lowry column was in our local paper, The Post and Courier, this Sunday, “The Crisis Of Free Speech.” I thought it was an excellent piece and laid out well the importance of standing true to this concept. I might add, it was one I had just read before our own KenoshaMarge wrote an outstanding comment to follow.

First to the Rich Lowry piece from the National Review:

The message of the Paris terrorists couldn’t have been clearer. They didn’t target the instruments of state power, the military or the police. They didn’t target the representatives of the state, its elected officials. They targeted cartoonists.

They targeted, in other words, some of the most physically harmless people on Earth. Cartoonists don’t carry guns for a living, or command armies. They are formally powerless. They are people whose influence is entirely dependent on free expression.

That’s why the attack on Charlie Hebdo was not just an attack on an institution but on a value. The terrorists wanted to bring a taste of Mosul to the 11th arrondissement of Paris, and they succeeded in ghoulish fashion. Their goal was to undercut free speech itself, and thus the power of people who operate in the realm of images, words and ideas.

In the fight over free expression, the editors and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo occupied the most forward and exposed position. They lit a flare over their own parapet every night and said to the enemy that you may bring your worst, but you can’t make us afraid.

That their craft required such bravery in perhaps the most cosmopolitan city in the world is a testament to the embattled state of free speech in the West.[…]

Ain’t that the truth. That these cartoonists, these satirists, had to display such tremendous bravery just to publish a CARTOON is stunning.

But apparently, these days, that is precisely what is required. And that is a sad commentary, isn’t it? Lowry seemed to think so, and expanded on the reaction of some to what Charlie Hebdo did:

[…] One line of argument is, in effect, that Charlie Hebdo had it coming. A writer for the Financial Times scored the publication in the wake of the attacks for lacking “common sense.” Back in 2012, then-White House spokesman Jay Carney questioned the magazine’s “judgment” for publishing cartoons mocking Mohammed, and rued its “potential to be inflammatory.”

But we don’t usually look to satirical magazines for “judgment.” Besides, no one ever has to question anyone’s death-defying lack of “common sense” for mocking Christians.

After the Benghazi attack in 2012, which the administration pretended was the result of an anti-Islam YouTube video, President Barack Obama said, “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

Since when? Thomas Paine, a quasi-Founding Father, excoriated Christianity. Thomas Jefferson chopped up the Bible to leave in what he considered only the properly enlightened parts. It is true that the U.S. government doesn’t denigrate religions. But it is constitutionally obligated to protect the freedom of those who do. […]

Precisely. That is PRECISELY the job of the government, not this foolishness in which is has been engaging. One last bit from Lowry’s column on that point:

[…] This offensive has long relied on violence, as well as a noxious campaign of international diplomacy, to export the Muslim world’s anti-blasphemy laws to the West. The diplomatic campaign has met with partial success in Europe, where “hate speech” can be prosecuted, and the Obama administration has had a shamefully accommodating attitude to it.

Now, it should be met with the official contempt that it deserves. And, domestically, we should foster a robust culture of free speech that forswears the insidious logic of “your right to free speech ends where my right not to be offended begins.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Yes, yes, YES – that is exactly the “logic” with which we have been dealing, from cutting out any speech that might, on some chance, possibly offend someone, especially certain groups, a little bit lest their feelings get hurt and they go on a murderous rage in response. Ahem.

So after reading Lowry’s good piece, I read this outstanding comment by KenoshaMarge at the “Good Heavens…” post.Some of you may have seen it, but I think it bears repeating:

Everywhere I see “Je Suis Charlie”.

Je Suis my ass! For many of those pretending they stand in solidarity with the unbelievably courageous cartoonists who gave their lives for their belief in free speech this phrase is disgusting on so many levels.

Many are the PC police who pounce every time someone says something that may be offensive to someone. Live with it you clowns. Free speech includes the right to say offensive things. Just as free speech gives others the right to voice their indignation about what someone else said. Hell, I do it all the time.

Most of what spews from politician’s mouths, ditto talking heads, offends me on some level. Does that give me the right to keep them from speaking? Are we such a nation of delicate little flowers that we cannot tolerate something that offends us?

[…]

I don’t know where this country is going. I do know where it’s been headed for too many years. Obama and his liberal cohorts, along with a corrupt media has only hastened that direction.

Does the last election mean that people are starting to wake up? Maybe. Will the horror at what happened in Paris wake up others who have failed to see, or worse yet excused the terrorists? I don’t know.

I do know that if we don’t take our freedom of expression seriously we will lose it. And the idea of people like Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Boxer and other lefty lunatics telling us what we can say, and then it will be what we can think, scares the panties off me. And it’s way to cold in my neck of the woods to be running around without panties. An old lady could get pneumonia. […] (Click here to read the rest of KenoshaMarge’s great comment.)

Indeed – if we don’t cherish them, they will be gone before we know it. And that “scares the panties off of me,” too!

Wise words from both Rich Lowry and our own KenoshaMarge, dontcha think? This is an Open Thread.

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38 Responses to “Oh, That Pesky Free Speech Thing *Open Thread*”

  1. HELENK3 Says:

    first of all GOOD ON MARGE. she gets it right

    thought this article would fit in this post

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/01/journalists_and_jihadis.html

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Thanks for the kind words Helen and Rev Amy.

      Isn’t it amazing that while the rest of the world is proclaiming “Je Suis Charlie”, the Obama Administration seem to be saying “Charlie” who?

      Will this be the stupidity by the Obama Administration and the lefty media that breaks the camel’s back?

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Thank YOU for the outstanding comment, Marge. I could not believe how PERFECT it was after reading Lowry’s piece (and I left part out really for space not because I wanted to do so – I hope people go read the rest of it).

        If this is the stick, it is way, way past due. You woulda thought the IRS going after people would have been it since that is something it will now do with reckless abandon since no one bothered to stop them. And that means they can do it regardless of who is president.

        So, yeah – if this is it, it’s abt damn time!

      • foxyladi14 Says:

        Marge, Applauding your post. 🙂

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Excellent article, Helen. And you are right – it is MOST appropriate for this post!

  2. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.westernjournalism.com/exclusive-investigative-reports/the-mystery-of-barack-obama-continues/

    we have read these things before. when you put them all together it asks a lot of questions and gives no answers

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      We never had a chance to learn much about Obama. The MSM which is where the majority of Americans get their “news” was in the tank for Obama from the minute he came on the scene. Evidently in this brave new world experience, integrity and competence take a back seat to the amount of melanin in your skin.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Well, they KNEW things abt him – they just wouldn’t REPORT those things. Like the video tape the LA Times is still sitting n abt Khalid Rashidi. Or the influence of Emil Jones in playing kingmaker with Obama in the IL Senate, slapping his name on legislation for which he did nothing. Ignoring his ties to Bill Ayers. And the Journolisters, led by Ezra Klein, now at WaPo, over 500 journalists, coluded to not reveal the worst of Jeremiah Wright, and Obama’s connections to him. Just to name a few, of course.

        Oh, but they could send a ton of AP reporters to Wasilla, AK, to turn over EVERY rock they saw in an effort to find information that would be damaging to Sarah Palin – the VP candidate. And when they couldn’t find anything, they just made crap up. I cannot tell you the number of things I got abt her from well-meaning, incredibly misinformed, liberal relatives who SWORE the information was true (it wasn’t) in an effort to discredit this woman by the Democrats, the Party of Women. Yeah. Right.

        You might ask yourselves – why did the AP go after the VP candidate as if she was Obama’s direct opponent? Because of the JournoListers. When they heard her VP acceptance speech, they knew they were in trouble. Or rather, that Obama was in trouble. They LIKED her speech, see, and thus, knew she had to be destroyed lest she affect Obama’s chances to win. And that is just what they set out to do. They succeeded in a number of quarters, too, unfortunately. So many people claim they HATE Palin, but they cannot tell you ONE reason why. When I mention that before she was chosen as the VP candidate, the media was GUSHING abt her, and she had the highest approval rating of governors (pretty sure that’s right – it was around 80%).

        So yeah – they conspired to hide damaging information about Obama lest the people actually know for whom they were voting…

  3. foxyladi14 Says:

    The truth will eventually come out about this Fraud. 🙂

  4. HELENK3 Says:

    http://weaselzippers.us/210726-kerry-to-visit-france-four-days-after-anti-terror-march/

    kerry to visit Paris.
    isn’t that precious. a little too late don’t you think?

  5. HELENK3 Says:

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/bibi-there-is-direct-line-between-paris-attack-and-islamist-extremism-around-the-world/

    whether you like him or not, Bibi tells it like it is

  6. HELENK3 Says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-student-gets-3-jail-term-atheism-152045172.html

  7. HELENK3 Says:

    White House says it erred in not sending higher level official to anti-terror march in Paris – @AP

    You Think????

    • foxyladi14 Says:

      To err is human, But Barry is divine!!!! 😆

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        LOL, oh, my – funny!

        And yeah – no freakin’ kidding it was a mistake. Why the hell did it take them until after people freaked out across the world to realize it was the RIGHT THING TO DO???? Good GRIEF. Heck, no one should have even had to TELL any of those officials that SOMEONE of that level should be there. So immature and juvenile…

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Same old Obama Administration – always a step behind.

  8. foxyladi14 Says:

    Clint was right all along!!! 😆

  9. HELENK3 Says:

    breaking on FOX

    6 members of a terror cell still at large in Paris

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I had no doubt there were still members there. With the No-Go zones there, they have the perfect place to hide…

  10. HELENK3 Says:

    http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/01/12/isis-calls-new-strikes-against-west-fbi-nypd-and-dhs-issue-warnings

    isis calls new strikes against west FBi – NYPD and DHS issue warnings

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I heard abt that this morning – I know many military people are concerned now, and are being told not to expose too much on social media, etc. Truly disconcerting, especially considering who we have in the White House…

  11. HELENK3 Says:

    for a short break

  12. HELENK3 Says:

    DC Fire says at least 6 people taken to the hospital from the smoke that filled the L’Enfant Metro stop and train in the tunnel. 1 serious – @stevebruskCNN
    see original on twitter.com

  13. HELENK3 Says:

    http://moelane.com/2015/01/12/barack-obama-harriet-miers-paris-terrorism/

    WHOA

  14. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.teaparty.org/sarah-palin-obama-missing-unity-rally-good-god-mr-president-76811/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sarah-palin-obama-missing-unity-rally-good-god-mr-president&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

    Sarah on the missing man

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Palin had this up at Facebook, too. I thought it was very good.

      I need to check out her new show – looks good!

  15. HELENK3 Says:

    http://eagnews.org/syracuse-mayor-appoints-nation-of-islam-leader-to-citys-school-board/

    this is worrisome

  16. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/01/muslim-preachers-of-hate-plan-a-rally-in-texas-to-promote-hate-against-americans/

    interesting video.

    muslim rally in Texas planned

  17. HELENK3 Says:

    Fire at Penn Station in New York causing disruption to LIRR, subways; FDNY call it ‘suspicious’ – @MyFoxNY
    Read more on myfoxny.com

    yesterday smoke at a DC station now this.?

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