In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas

The Right has shown a particularly strained reaction to the chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ the artist called “My Sweet Lord”. The Mohamed cartoon story was bound to make a reappearance, but it has been reincarnated as a noble crusade by the Right on behave of free speech which it never was. The Right suddenly discovered the first amendment when it came to making fun of “them”. The Republican blog Captain’s Quarter’s writes, Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 31, 2007 07:21 AM, March 31, 2007, Willy Wanker And His Chocolate Factory

However, I wouldn’t demand that in any case. I can’t peer into his soul to determine whether he meant to be deliberately sacrilegious or is just an idiot who didn’t know any better. What the Catholics and other Christians did was perfectly legitimate — boycotting the host and sponsors of exhibits they find offensive. They didn’t toss bombs at embassies or threated to destroy New York for blasphemy. Given the sympathetic press that Muslims around the world received for doing exactly that.

Pretty strong words in defense of what exactly – the supposed sweetness and light of the Catholic Church. Compare the current outrage over a silly work of art to the history of the Catholic Church and torture. Then there is the current reality versus the nice little sanitized version that old Cap presents, Gallery told to shut down chocolate Jesus display

The hotel and the gallery were overrun Thursday with angry phone calls and e-mails about the exhibit. Semler said the calls included death threats.

And Feministe quotes from another news report, “In this situation, the hotel couldn’t continue to be supportive because of a fear for their own safety,” Semler** said.
We live in the age of the death threat first reasonable behavior later – a sorry state of affairs and not one that started recently or will end anytime soon. On reading that the gallery’s creative director had called the reaction a “a Catholic fatwa “, right-wing blogger My Pet Jawa wrote this very sensitive observation, March 30, 2007. Chocolate Jesus – Updated and Bumped

The gallery’s creative director, mincing metrosexual milquetoast Matt Semler, described calls for a boycott as “a Catholic fatwa.”

Oh come on. Have your artist come up with a statue of Mohammed having sex with child bride Aisha, made of pork suet, and we’ll talk “fatwa,” you pussy.

The creative director is impugned with the suggestion that he might be gay, that said creative director used what some might describe as justified hyberbole in reaction to death threats, so having committed two unforgivable crimes against Jaw’s sensibilities – displaying art, obviously being gay, thus Semler is a “pussy”. Nothing like getting all that misogyny, homophobia and unhinged rage out in just a few sentences. The general reaction is that any insults to Jesus must be meet with the same insults to Muhammad – that is not an argument but rather a cultural call to arms. The creator of “My Sweet Lord” is not Muslim, and is a product of western civilization – supposedly a place that guarantees freedom of speech, religion and expression. Either we keep those ideals in reality or we do not. If not they are meaningless words on a piece of paper, remnants of what the Right says is the great war against “islamofacism” – those radical Muslims that want to take away our freedoms which the creator of chocolate Jesus exercised. As crude as Jawa is at least he was honest in his expression while Captain Ed hides behind the poor taste and respect for other’s religion argument. If all art – sculpture, painting, prose, poetry had to past the “taste” test then we’d be living in Ray Bradbury’s nightmarish world of Fahrenheit 411 where society has done away with any non-government approved art because left to their own people were producing works that made others feel bad. Then Cap moans how the Mohammad cartoons were repressed – such an obvious lie that I wonder if that wasn’t some sly joke that Cap was having with himself. Having a web site that is ostensibly supposed to exist partly as an alternative to the main stream media one assumes he is familiar with the power of the “internets”. He links to Michelle Malkin who it happens made sure that anyone who wanted to see the Dutch cartoons could do so, she linked to over a hundred right-wing blogs that either posted the cartoons or linked to them including Captain Ed – THE MOHAMMED CARTOON BLOGBURST, By Michelle Malkin · February 03, 2006 12:03 PM, Blogger E.L. Core e-mailed me with an excellent idea for a Mohammed Cartoons “Blogburst”:

Ok. Let’s do it. If you’ve posted some or all of the forbidden Mohammed cartoons on your blog in support of Denmark and the Jyllands-Posten, send a track back or e-mail me your link. It’ll actually be a very useful road map for the enormous number of Internet users around the world who are trying to find the cartoons (just check Technorati and you’ll see what I’m talking about). I’ll get started with a few right now and keep adding as many links to this list as humanly possible

The deal with democracy is that it doesn’t work piece-meal. You take all of it with the right to offend and the obligation to be tolerant of the offenders. Liberals are not perfect at it – see this list of winners for the 2006 Jefferson Muzzles, Bush gets one for censorship, but so does the crowd that heckled right-winger Ann Coulter at the University of Connecticut, but as you can see from the well documented list if any political movement in America needs some lessons on freedom and censorship it is Conservatism.

It is about time for another conservative scandal involving corruption. This one isn’t new, it is more new facts on an old scandal New questions arise concerning Mitchell Wade’s first White House contract — and his connections to the vice president.

Meanwhile, the statement of offenses to which Wade pled last February 2006 noted another interesting detail. On or about August 30, 2002, just a month after receiving the $140,000 contract from the White House/OVP, “Wade paid $140,000 … to a third party” for a yacht he gave Duke Cunningham. Among the lingering mysteries of the wider Cunningham probe is the identity of the third party. It would appear to be someone not identified in the statement of offenses as a co-conspirator in the wider Cunningham corruption probe.

It is of course absurd to believe that Cheney or his staff would have had any interest in Wade having the funds, provided through a White House contract, to buy Duke Cunningham antiques and a yacht. It’s not so hard to believe, however, that Wade’s connection to Cheney, going back to their days in the Cheney Pentagon, may be a useful place to start looking for why Wade’s MZM beat out more than fifty more established firms to get its first federal contract from one of the most secretive and powerful offices in town.

Cheney and Rove are like modern crime bosses. Evey time you turn around their fingerprints, at least in the metaphorical sense are all over the latest scandal, but somehow they find away to insulate themselves and if they don’t as in the case of the U.S. attorney firings, then Bush just invokes executive privilege – the king and his hienchmen don’t have to answer to any sopeonas. If Waxman manages to find a trail that leads to Cheney or at least one of his underlings we’ll probably hearing more cries of executive privilege.

Just in case you missed it SusanG at Dkos has an interesting take on Bush and taxes, Partying Down with Bush in His Radio Address . Republicans and their truckload of lies about taxes are an interesting lesson in modern hypocrisy. Somehow like the occasional inventor of the perpetual motion free energy machine, conservatives have figured out a way to keep putting stuff on the national credit card and never having to pay for what they charge. They do keep saying that Democrats don’t know nut’n about economics, but most of us know there is no such thing as a national debt that never has to be repaid – Economics 101.

“Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.” ~Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, 24 February 1959

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