The King is Dead! Long Live the King!

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For those of you interested, I have begun writing for Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. I will be writing three alerts weekly over there.

It’s a great organization, and I would urge you all to subscribe to the alerts. We have some great writers over there!

This is my first effort for them. More today and tomorrow.

The King is Dead! Long Live the King!.

Thankfully, we’re not Russia…

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…Yet.

Between Russia’s new anti-piracy laws that are ostensibly made to protect the work of creators, but which can widely be used as a tool for censorship, and Russia’s new regulations criminalizing “gay propaganda,” Moscow can never be accused of respecting the freedom of speech.

The latest assault on the basic freedom of expression is the recent removal of a painting depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin, in a negligee brushing the hair of a similarly-dressed Dmitry Medvedev in a satirical display of queer and somewhat disturbing snugglery.

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As they say in Germany… Ich bin grossed the fuck out.

But hell, it’s art. It’s meant to be provocative and in this case, very observant (although I would have painted Medvedev brushing Putin’s hair instead, despite the fact that Putin has very little of it) of real life.

Moscow, however, has very little sense of humor when it comes to critique or satire of its leadership… or its church, which incidentally is very close to its leadership. Russia even has a law banning insults to the “authorities,” that could result in a one-year prison term.

I guess we’re lucky. Aside from very creepy tracking of media communications and idiotic clown firings and death threats from tolerant progressives as a result of mockery of the President, we haven’t seen too much federal meddling into the freedom of expression.

Instead, we have meddling of a different sort. Hell, the feds don’t have to punish those critical of the administration! Why should they? The administration’s private supporters and citizen fellators are doing a superb job all on their own.

Good news for us, I suppose. Any death threat from any zealot for any criticism of any member of the government would be met with a report to the police, and any physical manifestation of that threat would be met with a .45 ACP round ejected from a metal object with very high velocity.

We have ways of taking care of those who threaten our lives and our families.

And luckily we have the right to do so with the most effective tools on the market today.

Unlike… say… Russia.

For the record I don’t see the legislature passing any bill that would in any way prohibit Americans from criticizing and even insulting public officials.

Unlike…say… Russia.

So far, the brownshirted supporters of Teh Won™ only display their impotent rage by hurling insults and empty threats, because really… I’ve seen some of these unwashed hippie types. NO EFFING WAY they would actually have the testicular fortitude to follow through!

I do wonder, however, how supportive the government is of these losers. If they threaten someone critical of the government, it’s their right, and their freedom of speech must be protected. If a right-winger criticizes said government, it’s “extremism” that must be monitored.

It’s an interesting bit of statesmanship.

The government really doesn’t have to pass laws banning freedom of expression and speech. All it has to do is turn a blind eye to violent speech from one side of the aisle, while condemning “extremist speech” from the other.

Maybe I’m just tired, but it sure makes me uncomfortable.

Two Sides of Tyranny

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In case you missed it yesterday, Russia passed a bill banning “gay propaganda.” The state Duma unanimously passed a bill banning the promotion of “homosexual propaganda” and mandating stiff fines for violators. This came on the heels of another piece of… legislation, which punished those who “insult religious feelings” with fines and jail time. According to the Wall Street Journal, this law was proposed after the feminist anti-Putin punk music group Pussy Riot performed an anti-Kremlin stunt in Moscow’s main cathedral last year.

After the Pussy Riot incident, the Orthodox Church called on the Kremlin to criminalize blasphemy. The Church’s Patriarch Kirill is an ardent Putin supporter, and openly supported his reelection in 2012.

Putin and crew aren’t particularly religious or moral, from what I can tell. Putin’s tight bond with Patriarch Kirill has less to do with his piety and more to do with his desire to retain power with the help of the conservative nationalists. To that end, he and his buds in the Kremlin are courting support from the “values” voters, traditionalists and the conservatives by pushing measures to legislate “morality.”

The bill banning homosexual propaganda makes it a crime to hold a gay pride event, to promote equal rights for gays and to even say out loud that gay relationships are equal to straight ones. In other words, slowly but surely, the Kremlin is banning free speech.

I assess that this is as much an attempt to court traditionalists as it is an effort to set a precedent for state control of speech. Criminalize free speech in one instance, and you have a precedent to criminalize speech. Period.

I know you’re saying, “Yeah? So what? It’s Russia. It’s Putin. It’s to be expected. He’s a fascists tyrant. A dictator!”

All this is true.

However consider, the following:

Judicial Watch reported in late May that the Obama Justice Department warned that using social media to spread information considered inflammatory against Muslims could constitute a violation of civil rights.

Consider also the fact that the Internal Revenue Service has been used to punish conservative groups by delaying their tax free status, based on their political activities.

And remember that the Justice Department targeted a Fox News reporter, tracked his telephone and electronic communications and did so in secret by naming him a co-conspirator in a crime for allegedly having received classified information from an intelligence analyst.

Worse yet, last month, the Obama Justice Department ruled last month that “colleges must eliminate and punish ‘verbal action’ (better known as speech) touching on sexual matters.”

Um… what?

“In a radical departure from Title IX jurisprudence, the federal government declares that ‘any’ unwelcome sexual speech or other conduct is ‘sexual harassment’ regardless of whether it is severe, repeated, or pervasive, and regardless of whether it would offend a reasonable person.

“In its findings, it rejected narrower definitions rooted in federal court rulings, declaring that sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as ‘any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.’”

Dog forbid you ask someone out on a date who isn’t interested in you!

I’m bringing this up to make a larger point. Just like Putin and crew are using government force to ban certain speech in order to court conservative support, it appears the current administration is using government force to ban speech offensive to their preferred demographic, courting feminists and leftists, while punishing those it perceives to be hostile to its agenda.

Tyranny is tyranny no matter from what side of the political aisle it originates, and no matter what side it tries to persecute.

Government force is the same regardless of whether it’s being used to punish conservative speech or liberal views.

And authoritarianism from the left is just as odious and freedom-destroying as authoritarianism from the right.

Recently, I did a blog post comparing Russia’s Putin to Barack Obama. I noted some similarities and parallels between the Russian President and the American one. It appears the likenesses are even more pronounced in the free speech arena, despite the fact that the former is conservative, seeking to pursue support from traditionalist Russians and the Orthodox Church, while the latter seeks support from social leftists seeking an eradication of anything that they find offensive.

Both sides use government force to ban free expression.

And therefore, both sides approach tyranny, albeit from two different sides.

 

Today’s Primaries

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As anyone who’s been watching TV lately knows from the deluge of political ads, it’s primary day today in the Old Dominion. The Republican Liberty Caucus of Virginia made some endorsements in a few key Republican House challenges to incumbents, namely for Mark Berg, Dave LaRock and Dustin Curtis, which I wholeheartedly support. More here from RLCVA board member Joshua Huffman. I also want to offer some personal endorsements in other select primaries across the state.

First, in the 85th District, it is absolutely critical to support Gary Byler. He’s head and shoulders above his opponents, despite the extremely negative campaign Scott Taylor has waged against him. Gary stands for limited government, and is poised to win. Help him bring it home.

Second, I also want to offer my support to Delegate Todd Gilbert in the 15th District. He’s come under attack from the “Virginia Gun Owners Coalition” the past couple of months, a group I had never heard of before that. VCDL has supported Todd, and he is among the most pro-gun members of the House of Delegates, and also responded to the RLCVA candidate survey with very positive answers. He deserves re-election, and should be supported over his primary challenger.

Last, I want to address the statewide Democratic primaries going on today. I’d urge those participating to support Ralph Northam over Aneesh Chopra, and Justin Fairfax over Mark Herring. To me, those races are more about eliminating the worst candidates more than anything else.

Gun Grabbing Nanny Bloomberg & MAIG At It Again

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Per the NYT:

The commercial is an unambiguous appeal to gun owners: a middle-aged hunter, rifle in hand, vows that he will fight to protect the Second Amendment.The commercial is an unambiguous appeal to gun owners: a middle-aged hunter, rifle in hand, vows that he will fight to protect the Second Amendment But in a sensible, father-of-the-house tone, he also urges voters to support comprehensive background checks, “so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can’t buy guns.”

The man behind the advertisement is not known for his kinship with the gun crowd: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the nation’s fiercest advocate of restrictions on firearms since the December rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Determined to persuade Congress to act in response to that shooting, Mr. Bloomberg on Monday will begin bankrolling a $12 million national advertising campaign that focuses on senators who he believes might be persuaded to support a pending package of federal regulations to curb gun violence. The ads, in 13 states, will blanket those senators’ districts during an Easter Congressional recess that is to be followed by debate over the legislation.

It goes without saying that authoritarian scumbags like Michael Bloomberg think they know better than we do. Given his propensity for going after large sodas and salt, there’s no level of micromanagement he won’t stoop to. On Meet The Press, to fellow anti-gun left-wing stool-pigeon David Gregory, he said:

“[W]hile I think we are going to win this [background checks], celebrating in advance isn’t the right thing to do. We’ve got to go out, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. … I don’t think we should give up on the assault weapons ban. But clearly, it is a more difficult issue for a lot of people. And I don’t know that that reflects the N.R.A.’s power. It may be just that people have different views about assault weapons than they do about background checks. … I think I have a responsibility, and I think you and all of your viewers have responsibilities, to try to make this country safer for our families and for each other. And if I can do that by spending some money and taking the NRA from being the only voice to being one of the voices, … then I think my money would be well spent … If 90% of the public want something, and their representatives vote against that, common sense says, they are going to have a price to pay for that.”

Bring it on. We’ll make it our business to punish you and your friends, Nanny.

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