I’m not much of a TV watcher to begin with, so I guess it’s unsurprising that South Park isn’t part of my repertoire. That explains how I missed the fact that, a few years ago, South Park predicted with uncanny accuracy the government’s response to the Mohamed video.
Froggy, who blogs at BlackFive, attended the funeral of Ty Woods, one of the former Navy SEALS who died trying to defend the consulate in Benghazi that State Department policy left completely exposed. Dorothy Woods, Ty’s widow, had the emotional strength to deliver a powerful eulogy for her husband. Froggy was especially struck by two things that she said:
“It is easy to write a book about being a Navy SEAL, but it is very hard to write an obituary for one.”
“To all the Operators here today I give you this charge: Rid the world of those savages. I’ll say it again, RID THE WORLD OF THOSE SAVAGES!”
I won’t comment directly on what Dorothy Woods said, because I think it needs no comment. I will, however, pair it with a discussion of Pamela Gellar’s important Free Speech victory against the New York Transit Authority. It all started when Pamela Geller, who blogs at Atlas Shrugs, wanted to put up an add in the subway system:
Please study the ad carefully to confirm to your own satisfaction that says nothing about Islam or about Muslims generally. Instead, it asks that American citizens “defeat jihad,” which the paragraph above describes as the side of “the savage” in a way. Jihad is not a religion, it is not a race, and it is not a religious practitioner. It is a doctrine: it is a Holy War intended to kill or subjugate those whom the jihadists deem are “infidels.” It is about conquest, rapine, death, and slavery.
In the face of protests from Muslim groups (including CAIR), the subway system backed down on the ground that the ad was “demeaning.” PowerLine asks the right question: Demeaning to whom?
“Demeaning”? Again, demeaning toward whom? Jihadists. Are jihadists now some kind of protected class?
They are to those Muslims who understand that jihadists (coincidentally, I’m sure) all happen to profess the same faith. And one of their numbers was upset because, you know, even though his is a religion of peace, if you upset the jihadists, their co-religionists might have to get violent:
Abdul Yasar, a New York subway rider who considers himself an observant Muslim, said Geller’s ad was insensitive in an unsettling climate for Muslims.
“If you don’t want to see what happened in Libya and Egypt after the video — maybe not so strong here in America — you shouldn’t put this up,” Yasar said.
So, the ad doesn’t mention Muslims, but Muslims understand it to mean that they are savages, which they assure us they are not. Still if you don’t take down the ad, they will be forced into savagery — and it’s all your fault, you infidel!. Oooh, I’m so confused.
But aren’t they [the words] offensive only to jihadists, which is to say, mass murderers and their supporters? If you advocate mass murder, shouldn’t you expect to be offended? At a minimum?
Opponents say the ads imply that Muslims are savages.
But wait! Aren’t we constantly told that jihadists aren’t really Muslims? That Islam is staunchly opposed to terrorism? So how are all Muslims encompassed within the term “jihad”?
“We recognize the freedom of speech issues and her right to be a bigot and a racist,” said Muneer Awad, the executive director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. But he said he hopes the MTA and elected officials “take on a leadership role in denouncing hate speech.”
So now jihadists are a race? I am so confused! And does CAIR really think that denouncing jihadists constitutes “hate speech?” If jihadists can’t be denounced, then who can be?
This is the sort of confusion that is, in its own way, clarifying.
Fortunately, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Engelmayer managed to cut through the confusion in order to reach the correct conclusion: Pamela Gellar’s ad was protected Free Speech. The transit system must place her ads on its subway trains.
Dorothy Woods knows who the savages are. Pamela Geller knows who the savages are. And you and I know who the savages are. “RID THE WORLD OF THOSE SAVAGES.”
I wish I’d said it this well:
It’s really quite amazing. In Pakistan, Egypt, and the Palestinian territories, Christians are being harassed, brutalized, and even murdered, often with state support, or at least state indulgence. And let’s not even talk about the warm reception Jews receive in much of the Muslim world.
And yet, it seems you can’t turn on National Public Radio or open a newspaper or a highbrow magazine without finding some oh-so-thoughtful meditation on how anti-Islamic speech should be considered the equivalent of shouting “fire” in a movie theater.
It’s an interesting comparison. First, the prohibition on yelling “fire” in a theater only applies to instances where there is no fire. A person who yells “fire” when there is, in fact, a fire is quite likely a hero. I’m not saying that the people ridiculing Mohammed — be they the makers of the Innocence of Muslims trailer or the editors of a French magazine — have truth on their side. But blasphemy is not a question of scientific fact, merely of opinion. And in America we give a very wide legal berth to the airing of such opinions. Loudly declaring “it is my opinion there is a fire in here” is not analogous to declaring “it is my opinion that Mohammed was a blankety-blank.”
You know why? Because Muslims aren’t fire, they’re people. And fire isn’t a sentient entity, it is a force of nature bereft of choice or cognition of any kind. Just as water seeks its own level, fire burns what it can burn. Muslims have free will. If they choose to riot, that’s not the same thing as igniting a fire.
‘Well, as everyone knows, once witchcraft gets started, there’s no stopping it’
On a hot spring afternoon in Moscow, a poet and an editor are discussing the non-existence of Jesus. A polite, foreign gentleman interrupts their debate, claiming to have known Jesus in person and to have been present when he was condemned by Pontius Pilate. Moreover, he predicts the editor’s death – a bizarre accident which happens exactly as the foreigner foretells. The Devil has arrived in Moscow and, along with his demons and a large black cat, he carves a trail of chaos and destruction through Soviet society. He exposes the hypocrisy and greed of those around him, their willingness to inform on neighbours, their urgent scrabble for power and their fear for themselves. One man seems different: a writer known as ‘the master’ who, in despair, has burned his unpublished novel about Pontius Pilate and has been incarcerated in an asylum. His lover, the passionate, courageous Margarita, will do anything to save him – including serving the Devil himself.
Writing The Master and Margarita in secret between 1928 and 1940, through the period of Stalin’s purges, Bulgakov was already deemed anti-Soviet; his plays were banned, and he had few illusions that anyone would publish this highly satirical work. Like his main character, he destroyed a draft in despair. Yet, as the Devil tells the master, in a phrase which went on to become a watchword of hope: ‘Manuscripts don’t burn’. In 1966-7, more than 25 years after Bulgakov’s death, The Master and Margarita was published with relatively minor cuts. Smuggled past the censors, its subversive message, dark humour and lyrical force combined to make it an instant success and a beacon of optimism and freedom that spread through Russia and the world. Peter Suart’s dramatic illustrations provide a fitting accompaniment to what is one of our members’ most requested titles.
Have you heard of The Master and Margarita? It seems like a rather amazing book, along the lines of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s books, which were also smuggled out of the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn’s books were important, because they breached the walls built, not just by the Soviet Union, but also by the Walter Duranty’s of America — apologists who deliberately deceived the American people abut the true horrors of Soviet statism. Although he is writing satire, Bulgakov also seems to be one of those who was willing to challenge statist orthodoxy, even at great risk to himself.
If this is indeed a Solzhenitsyn-esque book, I think it’s worth reading, not just for its content, but because of what it represents. I was speaking with a friend today about the abject cowardice that inevitably characterizes people in police states, whether those states are Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Zimbabwe, or the Muslim World. You’d like to think that you’re brave but, when an act of bravery means that the state will brutally and casually destroy, not only you, but every member of your family and all of your friends (and possibly your acquaintances too), most people, even good people, discover that the cannot be brave. They’d like to be, and maybe they would be if only their lives were at stake, but few have the courage to sacrifice everyone in their world. This is especially true in statist situations because the state entirely controls the machinery of communication. Under those circumstances, sacrifices tend to be in vain. Each dead person is a tree falling in an empty forest or one hand clapping.
A few years ago, these thoughts about individual courage were purely hypothetical for most Americans. Things have changed, however. In the last week, our current government showed that it does not value free speech:
Our media, which ought to be entirely supportive of free speech brutally castigated the only famous American politician (that would be Romney) who was willing to voice approbation of our American right to challenge religious belief. The LA Times ran an op-ed piece claiming that First Amendment law, which does indeed prohibit the equivalent of shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater, should be applied to insults to Islam. In other words, because all real or perceived insults to Islam are the equivalent of shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater, insulting Islam, by accident or on purpose, is not protected speech. Voila! It’s sharia through the back door.
When free speech ends, it’s the Bulgakovs and Solzhenitsyns of the world that stand between citizens and perpetual servitude to the state. If I do read The Master and Margarita, I’ll let you know what I think. And if you have read the book, please let me know what you think.
There’s nothing funny about the Obama administration’s decision to trample on the First Amendment in its rush to placate radical Islamists. Well, almost nothing. If you give the conservative masses a crack at their still functioning right to free expression, you end up with marvelous examples of political wit. Here are a few of my favorites, but you really need to check out Zombie’s post, because Zombie trawled through almost a thousand of them to find the best of the best:
If you read nothing else today, nothing else this week, or even nothing else before the election, you must read Glenn Reynolds as he explains why Obama should resign. Then, email it to all your friends, tweet it, put it on Facebook, and print flyers to put on people’s windshields. (Just kidding . . . maybe . . . about that last one.)
Obama made a statement today. Here is the official transcript of what he said (emphasis mine):
I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.
I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.
On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.
The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.
What does that emphasized language mean? “While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others”? Doesn’t that sound as if Obama is saying that it’s official U.S. policy to stifle religious criticism? I know of no such policy. Obama should have been celebrating free speech and talking about the fact that, no matter how unpleasant it is, it is the essence of freedom. Instead, he says that the United States rejects free speech that speaks negatively of religion.
Keep in mind as you think about Obama’s words that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has been trying for years to push through the U.N. a resolution that would make denigrating a religion a criminal offense. Just recently, the Obama Administration refused to state categorically that America will never support such an initiative. And why should it? Just a little while a, our President, speaking to an international audience, said that the United States rejects denigrating religion.
No. No. No. The whole point of the First Amendment is that the government stays out of controlling religion and that the American people are free to speak about religion and all sorts of other things without fear of their government.
UPDATE: The above quotation is from the prepared transcript of Obama’s statements. When he made his actual statement, he expanded upon the prepared text, but kept exactly the same language about speech (emphasis mine):
we’re working with the government of libya to secure our diplomats. i’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. and make no mistake, we will work with the libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. since our founding, the united states has been a nation that respects all faiths. we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence, none. the world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. already, many libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the united states and libya. libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside americans. libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried ambassador stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.
Obama also added some inchoate thoughts that indicate his usual moral equivalence, along the lines of “they’re more to be pitied than censured,” because they can’t help themselves:
but we also know that the lives these americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers. these four americans stood up for freedom and human dignity.
And their attackers’ lives stand for radical Islam? Their attackers’ lives stand for the usual Progressive tropes about poverty? What does that mean? He’s clearly implying that the attackers couldn’t help themselves, but he fails to say why.
Yes, I understand that the embassy in Cairo is besieged but it does strike me as cowardly to abandon core principles as this juncture (emphasis mine):
U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement
September 11, 2012
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
You’d think that you wouldn’t have to provide basic constitutional lessons for U.S. Embassy employees but I guess they need a little review:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
If we Americans want to say Islam is an incitement to violence, we can. If we want to put Jesus in a vat full of urine, we can. If we want to say Jews are greedy, we can. If we want to say Hindus worship cows, we can. If we want to say Mormons wear funny underwear, we can. We are allowed to hurt the religious feelings of religious people. It’s our right as Americans to be rude. Neither tact, nor forbearance, nor non-mutual respect, nor polite lies are required under our Constitution.
Last thought: It is possible that the language from embassy — that it’s bad “to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims” — is as foolish as it is because the embassy people meant them ironically. Perhaps the White House said “say something that won’t hurt Muslim feelings,” and some P.O.’d embassy official came back with this nonsensical, unconstitutional PC fecal matter. I mean, the statement is too close to parody to be real. Isn’t it? Come on, someone. Please agree with me right about now.
Of course, if that statement is a heartfelt expression from America’s representative on Egypt’s soil, God help us all, because our government is in the hands of dhimmis.
UPDATE: For more on embassy awfulness (proving that this is no joke, but is their real thinking) just check their twitter feed:
Is it possible that these government representatives do not understand that the essence of free speech is the ability to criticize religion? No, it may not be very nice, but in a normal, non-sharia, world, this type of criticism leads to a debate that enriches the marketplace of ideas — and may the best idea win. We do America a profound and lasting disservice if we abandon this core principle to pander to a 7th century mentality, the practitioners of which are deathly afraid to subject their beliefs to an intellectual airing and analysis.
A woman named Jane Pitt recently exercised her Free Speech rights by sending a letter to a local paper castigating Obama for supporting same-sex marriage and urging people to vote for Romney, because he will support traditional marriage. She was predictably savaged by Leftists who didn’t merely challenge her beliefs, but effortlessly went to the next step of threatening her physical well-being.
Normally, the MSM would ignore this story. After all, Jane is guilty of wrong-thinking. What makes her story news worthy is that her famous son, Brad, and his paramour, Angelina Jolie, disagree with Mom’s views. Were they normal people, they would say, “We disagree with her views.” But they’re not normal. Instead, they’re Hollywood Leftists, with all the arrogance, shading into totalitarianism, that this implies:
Since the letter was published, Angelina has now reportedly asked Brad to teach his mother not to be so outspoken about same-sex marriage, especially since the celebrity couple clearly support it.
‘(She) has told Brad he must educate his mother, but Brad is too much of a mama’s boy,’ a source told the magazine.
‘If Brad won’t do it, Angelina will have to take matters into her own hands and talk to Jane about how, as the mother of such a prominent celebrity, she shouldn’t be writing letters that clash with her son’s personal opinions.’
Let me translate: Angelina says “Shut up, Jane, you ignorant slut.”
This sorry little news squiblet has ramifications beyond proving what we all know, which is that Jolie is a self-obsessed, not-very-nice excuse for a human being. After all, Jolie’s personality, or lack therefore, is a great big “duh.”
As it is, the story deserves consideration because it so perfectly proves the point the inimitable Zombie makes about the latest book purporting to teach Progressives how to win the argument. You see, George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling, both Leftist academics, just saw published The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic.
You really have to read Zombie’s erudite and well-researched post to appreciate the full Orwellian-think on display in Lakoff’s and Wehling’s book. I just want to focus on one aspect, which is the fact that Lakoff says that the worst thing good-thinking Progressives can do is actually to engage at a substantive level with conservatives:
Lakoff is also the reason why liberals and conservatives never seem to be able to communicate with each other. This frustrating problem is no accident, nor a natural result of differing ideologies simply not seeing eye to eye. Rather, it’s a conscious behavior explicitly recommended by Lakoff over the years, and one which he hammers home repeatedly in The Little Blue Book. Page 43 contains the book’s core message:
“Never use your opponent’s language….Never repeat ideas that you don’t believe in, even if you are arguing against them.”
So central is this notion to Lakoff’s thesis that his publicist sent out a list of “The 10 Most Important Things Democrats Should Know” with each review copy, and guess what comes in at #1:
“Don’t repeat conservative language or ideas, even when arguing against them.”
And many politicians, pundits and talking heads have taken Lakoff’s recommendation to heart. This is why conservatives and liberals can’t seem to have the simplest conversation: liberals intentionally refuse to address or even acknowledge what conservatives say. Since (as Lakoff notes) conservatives invariably frame their own statements within their own conservative “moral frames,” every time a conservative speaks, his liberal opponent will seemingly ignore what was said and instead come back with a reply literally out of left field.
Zombie addresses the major problem with this Leftist approach, which is a problem common to all totalitarian systems: The cognitive dissonance that inevitably arises when the facts on the ground fail to mesh with the totalitarian rhetoric. Zombie uses the abortion debate to focus on the ground one loses when slogans clash with reality. I recommend reading that discussion. If you’re interested in an even more in-depth analysis of the vast chasm between Leftist slogans and reality, not to mention honesty, check out Jonah Goldberg’s The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. Likewise, you can’t go wrong reading Natan Sharansky’s The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, which explains that it was this cognitive dissonance that enabled the refusniks and other dissidents to stand against the weight of the Soviet Union.
The totalitarian conversational approach, in the long-term, turns each of its advocates into slightly insane, and definitely untrustworthy people, who spend their time stalwartly advocating something that fact, reason, and logic deny. In the short-term, though, it has an evil, insidious effect on the Lefts’ political opponents: It effectively turns them into non-people — that is, people who have no right to hold opinions separate from Leftist dogma or, if they have the temerity to have separate opinions, people who must be silenced. This totalitarian imperative is so overwhelming that even family members are suspect and must be controlled. Those of you who lived in the Eastern bloc or the Muslim world probably know precisely what I’m talking about.
Anyone who suspects that Angelina is a self-centered idiot is, of course, correct. But all of us would be wise to realize that she is also the living manifestation of the Leftist world view.
Dan Savage made a name for himself as the face of the “anti-bullying” campaign sweeping America’s schools. He’s gotten lots of money, lots of media face-time, and lots of access within the Obama administration because of his “peaceable” message. Savage’s own behavior, though, makes clear that his anti-bullying message is just another Leftist scam, meant to silence those with whom he disagrees. It’s not about civility, it’s about denying free speech to opposing political views. Savage’s latest bullying attack is on members of the GLBT crowd who dare to deviate from his Leftist orthodoxy.
Fellow Watcher’s Council member Dan Blatt (aka The Gay Patriot) has more about the Cone of Silence the left has erected around this uber-bully.
I bet all of you all remember “Everyone Blog About Bret Kimberlin Day.” After all, it took place less than a week ago. For those unfamiliar with it, this is the way it worked:
Conservatives bloggers learned that Brett Kimberlin, using both the legal system and a bit of self-help, was harassing those bloggers who brought attention to a past that included planting bombs (one of which so terribly maimed a man that the man later committed suicide), drug dealing, and imprisonment. They also brought to light a series of current unsavory associations with far-Left and some not-so-far Left organizations.
In order to expand the scope of available targets for Kimberlin, thereby substantially reducing his ability to harass any one blogger, conservative bloggers engaged in a blog burst. Most of them did precisely what the original bloggers involved had done: they relayed, in straightforward fashion, accurate facts about Kimberlin’s life and associations. Although I have no specific information on the subject, it appears that some of these bloggers may have gotten carried away and made threats. Credible threats constitute an illegal activity.
In the normal world, the law goes after the person making the threats. In Maryland, though, with Kimberlin leading the charge, and Judge Cornelius Vaughey (Ret.) wielding the pen, the person who asked others to tell the truth is imprisoned. I know this sounds unbelievable in a country ostensibly bounded by the First Amendment’s freedom of speech but, until any contrary information is released, this seems to be exactly what happened to blogger Aaron Worthing, who was one of the first to spread the facts about Kimberlin. Patterico explains:
Aaron Walker (aka Worthing) was arrested today in a Maryland courtroom. Several days ago, convicted bomber and perjurer Brett Kimberlin had obtained a “peace order” against Walker, and today Walker was arrested for violating the order. My information is that the judge claimed that Walker violated the provision against electronic communication with Kimberlin, because Aaron blogged about Kimberlin — thus “inciting” others to contact Kimberlin.
In other words, as best as I can tell, Aaron Walker was arrested today in the United States of America for blogging about a public figure.
Go to the Patterico link, please, to get the whole picture.
What happened to Aaron Walker/Worthing isn’t just one bad thing happening to one person. It is a test case. Patterico again:
One wonders if this is his [Kimberlin's] new strategy: he sues you for your blogging, and simultaneously obtains a peace order saying you harassed him. If you blog about him again, he gets a judge to rubber stamp a criminal complaint for violating the peace order.
Now, if you don’t show up for the lawsuit, he gets a default judgment. If you do, you get arrested for blogging.
Catch 22. And a nice scam if you can get judges gullible enough to go along with it.
This is, I had thought, the United States of America. I thought we had freedom of speech here.
It will take a few days to nail down with precision what happened. But if the account I have given here turns out to be correct — if the basis of the arrest today was that Aaron incited others by blogging about a public figure — I want all lovers of the First Amendment to stand tall and ride to Aaron’s defense.
Because they’re not done. They claim they’re just getting started:
Incidentally, I suspect that Vaughey was just a patsy. He’s a retired judge, whose tenure on the Court really predated the internet era. It’s probably that he really did not understand the dynamics here.
[I've added a newer post, with more links and more facts here.]
Before today, I’d been aware of Brett Kimberlin in only the vaguest possible way, since his name suddenly seemed to be popping on various sites I visit. Since his name didn’t actually ring any bells, I didn’t stop to educate myself about him. This morning, though, I’ve had a crash Kimberlin course and, friends, it’s ugly. It’s also something that requires action from as many people as possible in order to use the sunlight of free speech to bleach out the ugly and costly lies that Kimberlin is propagating against conservative bloggers.
First, a few facts.
Kimberlin is a convicted bomber. He even has a nickname: “The Speedway Bomber.” Back in 1978, he set of a series of eight bombs in Speedway, Indiana, one of which blew the limbs off Vietnam Vet Carl DeLong, who later committed suicide because of his injuries. Kimberlin is also a convicted drug dealer. In 1988, he claimed that he sold drugs to Dan Quayle, but there was nothing to corroborate this claim. Given Kimberlin’s far left politics, it’s reasonable to believe that he was lying for political effect. Incidentally, you won’t be able to discover any of this through Wikipedia — it’s been scrubbed.
Kimberlin, who is out of prison, has now made it his life’s mission to go after conservative bloggers to have had the temerity to mention him online. Michelle Malkin explains:
Over the past year, Aaron Walker (who blogged as “Aaron Worthing”), Patterico, Liberty Chick, and now Stacy McCain have been targeted by convicted Speedway bomber Brett Kimberlin because they dared to mention his criminal past or assisted others who did. The late Andrew Breitbart warned about Kimberlin and company.
I have spoken directly with both Patterico and Aaron about their ongoing battles.
The mainstream press, not just the conservative blogosphere, needs to hear and report their stories.
This is a convoluted, ongoing nightmare that combines abuse of the court system, workplace intimidation, serial invasions of privacy, perjury, and harassment of family members. McCain was forced to move with his family out of his house this week, and has just gotten a small taste of what Aaron and Patterico have been enduring over the past year. Aaron and his wife were fired from their jobs after their employer feared the office would be targeted next. Convicted bomber Kimberlin has filed bogus “peace orders” against Aaron, when it is the Walkers who are the victims, not the perpetrators.
And Patterico’s plight will send chills up your spine when he is ready to tell it.
For more information about Kimberlin’s behavior, Lee Stranahan put together a short video:
Kimberlin’s legal actions are not intended to protect himself against unwarranted slander from conservatives. Instead, they are aimed at squelching free — and truthful — speech. His theory is that, if he makes free speech too costly, using a combination of physical threats and legal costs, people will stop speaking. He’s not alone in this belief, since he’s managed to fund his lawsuits with help from various far-left groups that are also deeply committed to ensuring that America’s First Amendment protections are reserved only for pre-approved Leftist speech.
Lee Stranahan offers the best (indeed, the only) way to respond to someone who relentlessly abuses the Free Speech rights America grants — MORE SPEECH:
This is no war of words; Kimberlin is a serial litigator who has filed over 100 lawsuits by his own account and he takes people to court, claiming they are harassing him. He calls their employers. I stand with all these people, some of whom are my friends. I’m launching a new effort on my own that I hope will help.
The only effective way to fight Brett Kimberlin is for as many people to research and write about him as possible.
So I’m declaring this Friday, May 25th as Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day.
Here’s what you do to take part…
- Research Brett Kimberlin on your own. Don’t trust secondary sources; look for the orginal articles articles published about him, too.
- On Friday, May 25th — write an honest, factually accurate post about what you learned and what your OPINION is. Brett may try and sue you, so be accurate, factual and separate fact from opinion.
- The post doesn’t have to be long — ANYTHING helps.
- After you post, Tweet, share, whatever — get the post out there.
As you can see, I’m doing my part right now, by getting the May 25 ball rolling. Indeed, the ball is already rolling, with sufficient numbers of people writing on this subject for Kimberlin’s list of assigned targets to have grown exponentially. Eventually, there’ll just be too many targets and, with luck, this guy will quietly slink away.
On May 25, of course, I’ll write again about Kimberlin. Can you do something to help out too?
UPDATE OF OTHERS BLOGGING:
Instapundit Glenn Reynolds
The American Thinker
Walter Olson at Overlawyered
Blazing Cat Fur
Donald Douglas at American Power
The American Catholic
The Lonely Conservative
Kathy Shaidle at Five Feet of Fury
The Coalition of the Swilling
The Camp of the Saints
Wake Up America
Zilla of the Resistance
Lady Liberty 1885
Goldfish and Clowns
Small Dead Animals
Yid with Lid
Evil Blogger Lady
Day by Day
Kim Priestap (two links)
Bruce Kesler at Maggie’s Farm
This enthusiastic participation, from bloggers (and cartoonists) whom you like and respect is a reminder that this is important. By creating an impossible broad target for Kimberlin and his ilk, we use speech to neutralize entirely his efforts to destroy speech. It’s the wonderful opposite of a boycott.