Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Barbary Pirates

The 1st amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the very first paragraph in what has been known as the Bill of Rights is under attack in the United Nations. This in itself is not new. What IS new is that the president and secretary of state of the United States have joined with Egypt’s President Morsi in the attack.

At the heart of the matter is President Barack Obama’s specious claim that the attack on the U.S. mission in Libya was not really planned at all and that it was only a spontaneous uprising in response to some obscure amateurish video that was released ten weeks previous that just happened to boil up on the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11.

The president of Egypt claims that the film was all to blame and that there must be new U.S. laws to prevent such expression of opinion. The president of the U.S. and his secretary of state condemn the violence as if the assertion were true and seem to agree that civilized people can not be allowed to offend one another. These are dangerous times in the world for freedom and perhaps more shockingly so in the United States as well. One Muslim group in Kansas City, Missouri (in the very heart of the country) has petitioned the federal government to rescind the freedom of speech clause of the first amendment. No one seems to have batted an eye. You can’t yell fire in a theater, why should you be able to say something, or express yourself in such a way as to make people (not around you, but anywhere in the world) so mad that they can not help but erupt in murderous violence? The president seeming to support this notion concerns me a great deal. I have not, and don’t care to waste my time viewing the video so that I can “understand”. Sure it was amateurish, but some of the work of Salman Rushdie would certainly fall into the same category of materials offensive to Islam. This discussion needs to be terminated quickly and in no uncertain terms.

The president of the United States has sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States”. He is not allowed to change it at will, and even his siding with its critics comes very close to a violation of his solemn oath. But let’s think a bit more about this. The beef seems to be that the “causal” film was blasphemous because it demeaned the “prophet” Muhammad. Just for arguments sake let’s say that the president and his minions were able to ban such speech by executive action. Now what? What of the church bells “singing” to a Christian God on Sunday mornings. Would THAT not be equally demeaning to the prophet? And isn’t the very act of practicing any religion save Islam tantamount to calling Muhammad a false prophet? Isn’t THAT insulting?

So what are we to do to appease Islam? to calm the anger?

The 1st amendment reads like this:
“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.”

Perhaps we can just let the administration strike the parts they don’t like and we will perhaps be able to live with this in its place:
“Congress shall make no law respecting the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Yes, that’s about right. We will STILL have the right to petition. “Please sir, may I have some more?”

Thomas Jefferson refused to pay tribute and sent warships and Marines to North Africa because the Barbary States were threatening freedom of the seas. North African states are once again threatening our freedom, only this time it’s much more fundamental and this time they have an advocate.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

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