smoke a cigar for liberty

Save liberty — smoke a cigar!

Apparently, cigarettes or cigars are being rubbed out in the UK from photographs of Winston Churchill, The Beatles, and FDR. No cigarette holder set firmly, squarely between the teeth of an attentive looking FDR – no. That would influence someone to take up the deadly cancer sticks. Possibly, your children could be removed from your home for seeing you smoke, if they haven’t already been removed for being fat, at least in the UK.

The UK and all of Europe is ahead of us in this niggling yet fiery war against improper offensive speech and dangerous unhealthy imagery, but since so many people I know want the USA to be just like Europe, this may change soon. In fact, it is already changing. Speech codes proliferate on campus. Young people, at least “well-educated” ones tend to take for granted the idea that speech should be censored and expression pulled through a wire mesh of politicized ideology to sift it down to its least offensive, most palatable — pap.

Here, Dennis Prager, a conservative who actually understands the difference between transsexuals and transgender people, as shown here in an interesting column on the “T” in GLBT and why it is not always the same as “transsexual”, writes about the growing list of words and phrases considered too offensive or dangerous to write or say or apparently, think…

First, his column on transsexuals and transgendered people, which particularly impressed me. You don’t find many people out there who begin to understand the difference. While “transgender” has been used as an umbrella term, and I try not to niggle too much about language, the fact remains that transsexual people are actually quite different in many respects from many who would consider themselves “transgender”. Prager appears to understand this:
Here:
And few people, conservative or liberal, have any trouble accepting a transsexual, i.e., someone who has surgically changed his or her sex.

But what does any of this have to do with the transgendered, i.e., people who do not psychologically identify themselves with their biological sex, who act as if they were a member of the opposite sex, and who have not changed their biology? Why does the Left include the transgendered in its activism on behalf of gays?

Why activists connect men in dresses to same sex marriage

While we may not agree on his opinions in that column regarding same sex marriage, (I believe in it strictly from the perspective of liberty), Prager is absolutely right that the left believes that differences between the sexes are socially constructed and therefore actually part of a greater paradigm of power and powerlessness; everything, even biology, is seen through a mesh of oppression/oppressor. Transsexuals are actually not necessarily interested in destroying binary gender — as it’s called, but this is often conveniently ignored.

And, since the world is viewed by the left as a veritable booby trap of sensitivities and oppressions, language is examined first from the perspective of who it might offend or harm.

Here, in a more recent column, Prager notes the left’s growing attack on speech. And, remember, an attack on speech is ultimately, an attack on — thought.

Dennis Prager writes:

“Graphic torture and frontal nudity may be shown on screen, but smoking cigars or cigarettes may not. A Churchill museum in London has removed the cigars from wartime Churchill photographs, FDR has had his ubiquitous cigarette holder removed from his photographs, and the cigarettes have been removed from the Beatles’ hands in the famous photo of them crossing Abbey Road.

The list of forbidden words and behaviors due to Leftist activism is quite extensive.
The latest example is the left’s war on any words or imagery that come from the worlds of war or guns.

Already, “crusade” has been removed from Americans’ vocabulary — lest it offend Muslims. Overnight, the left effectively banned the use of a perfectly legitimate word that usually described an admirable preoccupation with doing good — “that newspaper is on an anti-corruption crusade.”

Now, the left has announced that words such as “target” and “cross hairs” are offensive — on the idiotic pretense that such imagery causes people to murder. If I were the CEO of Target stores, I would be concerned — will my company be sued because of its name and logo?”

From this article:
Put left-wing speech control in the cross hairs

And, yes, I know it is old news by now, but I was particularly impressed by Palin’s spirited defense of free speech in her post-Arizona shooting speech. I don’t think I have ever heard an American politician speak with such fervor and clarity about speech and why it is important that it remain free.

Caroline Glick had some interesting comments in this regard, even noting that Palin is a “revolutionary leader”, and that the Tea Party movement is also “revolutionary” in its fierce and unapologetic call for more liberty.

“In certain ways, Palin is a revolutionary leader and the Tea Party movement is a revolutionary movement. For nearly a hundred years, the Left in its various permutations has captured Western policy by controlling the elite discourse from New York and Los Angeles to London to Paris to Tel Aviv. By making it “politically incorrect,” to assert claims of Western, Judeo-Christian morality or advocate robust political, economic and military policies, the Left has made it socially and professionally costly for people to think freely and believe in their countries.

What distinguishes Palin from other conservative leaders in the US and makes her an important figure worldwide is her indifference to the views of the Left’s opinion makers. Her capacity to steer debate in the US in a way no other conservative politician can owes entirely to the fact that she does not seek to win over Leftist elites. She seeks to unseat them.

The same can be said of the Tea Party. The reason it frightens the Left, and the Republican leaders who owe their positions to their willingness to accept the Left’s basic agenda, is because it does not accept the Left’s policy agenda. “

From here:
The Aim of Blood Libels

I’m playing catchup here folks, but I did want to note these articles and ideas

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Why Palin and the Tea Party had nothing to do with Arizona

The Arizona shooting on Saturday was heartbreaking. I’ve cried a few tears over the death of the 9 year old girl, Christina Taylor Green, who was born on 9/11, as well as others who were killed, and have sent out my own silent wishes and prayers for the recovery of Representative Giffords and all the people shot that day. And, let’s not forget the judge who was shot and killed, Judge Roll, a largely conservative Federal judge by all counts.

However, from everything I can see, Sarah Palin had as much to do with this as she had to do with the assassination of John Lennon. Apparently, the shooter had an obsession with Representative Giffords that went back to at least 2007, before Palin was even in the national spotlight. Politically, he appears to be a strange mixture of elements, being equally fascinated by Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto , which is actually not surprising at all since both are extremist statist propaganda. The guy was mentally ill, psychotic, end of story. Any one who has viewed the YouTubes he put up can easily see this, and trying to make political hay with this tragedy by blaming the Tea Party or Sarah Palin, or Glenn Beck is wrong. Jared Loughner never mentions Palin, Tea Parties or Beck in any of his rants and if anything, as the left-oriented blog Talk left believes, he is an anti-government anarchist. I have met a few of these and at least one who melted in and out of psychotic states and who babbled a lot like the shooter, without the violent intentions. But I’m not trying to place the blame on anarchists, but on mental illness — this guy was nuts and violent and like the man who shot John Lennon he got some kind of weird obsession with Giffords going and acted out. Giffords, while voting for Obamacare, was a blue dog Democrat and had been Republican earlier in life. She was a moderate and supportive of strong borders as well as a gun rights supporter.

Jeralyn at Talk Left writes:
Loughner was considered pretty normal by those who knew him until 2006 when he dropped out of high school after his junior year. That’s when he started to change. That’s when he became obsessed with lucid dreaming. As Loughner’s interest in dream life grew, his interest in reality decreased.

According to a female friend who was interviewed on the show, it was during this time, in 2007, that he met Rep. Giffords, and asked her the question. “What is Government if words have no meaning.” When Rep. Giffords didn’t give him a satisfactory answer, he decided she was a fake, and his grudge against her began.

Nightline then showed Mark Chapman being interviewed in prison in 1992 by Barbara Walters. In discussing why he killed John Lennon, he tells her he had decided John Lennon was a phony.

And, really now, let’s get real. How many signs in past San Francisco anti-war demonstrations have I seen that depict George Bush decapitated, or that show murderous intent in very graphic language toward Palin or Condoleeza Rice or any number of right wing figures? Let’s not be coy lefties, you know what I mean. Sarah Bernhard “joked” not so long ago that she wanted Palin to be “raped by her black brothers” if she visited New York. There have been cartoons of Palin being socked in the jaw by a male fist, she was hung in effigy in West Hollywood for Halloween in 2008, and it goes on.

Michelle Malkin has an exhaustive list of these threats and violent innuendos directed against the right:

I. PALIN HATE
Flashback — pointing a fake gun at the head of a Sarah Palin likeness sitting next to a cardboard cutout of her daughter in a museum display:

But what about the fact that Palin famously created that map with what many believe are gunsights on a list of names of congress targeted by the Tea Party for removal from office at election time? While some in Palin’s camp are stating that these are not gunsights but surveyor’s symbols, I honestly don’t think it matters. After all, as
Glenn Reynolds writes in the Wall Street Journal, politicians often use gun or shooting or target metaphors since politics is a kind of war, after all. Reynolds reminds us of the fact, now conveniently forgotten, that even President Obama has used gun metaphors politically, stating during the 2008 campaign, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”. He writes here:

With only the barest outline of events available, pundits and reporters seemed to agree that the massacre had to be the fault of the tea party movement in general, and of Sarah Palin in particular. Why? Because they had created, in New York Times columnist Paul Krugman’s words, a “climate of hate.”

Pima County, AZ Sheriff Clarence Dupnik held a press conference during which he blamed vitriolic political rhetoric for provoking the mentally unstable, and lamented Arizona’s becoming the “mecca of prejudice and bigotry.” Video courtesy of AFP.

The critics were a bit short on particulars as to what that meant. Mrs. Palin has used some martial metaphors—”lock and load”—and talked about “targeting” opponents. But as media writer Howard Kurtz noted in The Daily Beast, such metaphors are common in politics. Palin critic Markos Moulitsas, on his Daily Kos blog, had even included Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s district on a list of congressional districts “bullseyed” for primary challenges. When Democrats use language like this—or even harsher language like Mr. Obama’s famous remark, in Philadelphia during the 2008 campaign, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”—it’s just evidence of high spirits, apparently. But if Republicans do it, it somehow creates a climate of hate.

This onslaught of convenient blaming of the Tea Party, Palin and even Glenn Beck is simply another attempt to muzzle free speech, particularly non-left speech, and end open edgy debate. Politics is nasty and there will always be nuts around who might act out on their fantasies or in this case, on their lucid dreams. There’s always a psychotic pineapple in the bunch. That’s what we have law enforcement for, to watch out for these roving loons.

And, about Palin finally… One of the reasons I have always loved Sarah Palin, in spite of some disagreement with her (gay marriage, abortion), is because she is so provocative. While she is certainly a politician, as politicians go – she does not pander. From the beginning, she was larger than life, marching like Wonder Woman on to the stage at the GOP convention to make her first national speech accepting the VP nomination, saying all the things about Barack Obama that no one else, even most Republicans, could quite bring themselves to say. She appeared to me to be fearless. She talked about the fake columns at the Democratic National Convention, those tacky columns that when taken down would reveal that Obama was all flash and no substance. She was unabashedly pro-American, pro-liberty and well, she just was — who she is, a gun toting, caribou killing mother of five from Alaska who was outspoken and unapologetic. The left just could not deal with that, not one. little. bit. And, for that – ya gotta love the woman. She was the real thing, an anti-statist and the anti-Obama, the antidote to the Obamabot chorus of empty, saccharine promises of “hope and change”. And, for that, she is hated by lefties like few other public figures.

So, I hope she doesnt’ tamp it down. I hope she keeps on being herself and being provocative. This guy was a lunatic, a nut, not even necessarily a right winger, or a left winger for that matter- although there are reports that he was a left wing — at least not long ago in high school. He was, unstable, crazy, loony tunes. He borrowed from the political rhetoric of both sides and let it fuel his rage and indiscriminate paranoia and odd fixation on Giffords. The left should not make hay with this tragedy, to do is political opportunism of the worst kind.