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:
“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?
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. “
The Aim of Blood Libels
I’m playing catchup here folks, but I did want to note these articles and ideas