In a violent breech of American's right to free speech, law enforcement seek to impose criminal penalties on free expression. In my article at The American Thinker, "Now Being American Is Un-American", I quoted Rand, "The principle of free speech is not concerned with the content of a man's speech and does not protect only the expression of good ideas, but all ideas. If it were otherwise, who would determine which ideas are good and where forbidden? The government?"
"Once a country accepts censorship of the press and of speech, then nothing can be won without violence. Therefore, so long as you have free speech, protect it. This is the life-and-death issue in this country: do not give up the freedom of the press -- of newspapers, books, magazines, radio, movies, and other forms of presenting ideas. So long as that's free, a peaceful intellectual turn is possible."
Natan Sharansky in his book, The Case for Democracy, set out by dividing the world between "free" and "fear" societies. Then employed a simple test to discern a free society from a society based on fear: Can one enter a public square and express any opinion without fear of being arrested? If not, one is in a society that runs on fear. We have, my dear fellow Americans, entered the realm of a society of fear.
The first sign not depicting Barack Hussein Obama as the messiah is a crime. But this isn't.
The Dark Knight
Assistant City Manager Darren Gray said city officials have an individual "admitting to putting up 500" of the posters.
Clermont Police Capt. Eric Jensen said the male individual has admitted to putting up some signs, but investigators suspect others were involved and their investigation is continuing.
"We have talked to an individual," Jensen said. "He only admitted to some of it...We're still tracking down leads and talking to folks. We have not arrested anybody."
At this point officials are not sure how much damage was caused by the signs or the dollar amount associated with the clean-up.
Dozens of the posters were pasted around the city earlier this week. A pair of the posters were pasted to a Clermont Post Office collection box. They prompted the postmaster to contact the Postal Inspector's office, which is looking at potential federal crimes for defacing federal property.
City officials, meanwhile, are trying to determine what local crimes might be associated with the posting of the images on public and private properties. They've also been busy ripping down the sticky signs because they're a violation of city ordinance regarding illegal signs.
Back on the 6th of August I wrote an oped piece at Newsmax, Obama's "Racism" vs. Bush "Dissent"
Patriots, be on notice. This is the favorite tactic of the left. Any criticism of Obama, no matter what or how legit, will be labeled racism. Tea party? Racist! Opposition to socialism? Racist! Opposition to nationalized healthcare? Racist! Opposition to cap and tax? Racist! Opposition to the ethnic cleansing of Jewish people in Israel? Racist!
This tactic used to be effective. One case study is the 2006 Virginia Senate race, and the destruction of George Allen’s re-election campaign by the “macaca” incident. A presidential contender was destroyed by a leftopathic lie, despite the fact that the charge of racism was utter nonsense. Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s insult to Indian people went unremarked and unnoticed in the mainstream media.
The media has also ignored the real significance of the Obama Joker poster. It isn’t racism; it’s a sign of America’s rude awakening. The editor of the American Thinker, Thomas Lifson, observed that the poster showed that the inevitable backlash against Obama’s far-left policies has begun: “It is starting. Open mockery of Barack Obama, as disillusionment sets in with the man, his policies, and the phony image of a race-healing, brilliant, scholarly middle-of-the-roader.” But Lifson noted that “the President’s supporters have condemned the image, calling it ‘mean-spirited and dangerous.’ ”
Mean-spirited? Dangerous? Racist?
For years I covered the left’s spiteful and malicious attacks on President George W. Bush. He was likened to Hitler. “Bushitler” was so commonly used, it became a cliché. Leftists compared the jihadi attack on the twin towers to the Reichstag fire. And other motifs came into play as well: Vanity Fair even published an image of Bush as . . . The Joker. No one said a peep. Not a word. Instead, we were told that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
And indeed it can be, at least unless you cross our Dear Leader Barack Obama. After eight years of relentless Bush bashing and America hating, The New York Times’s opinion makers are warning about the dangers of dissent. Bob Herbert recently warned about “right-wing hate-mongers” and “gun crazies.” Frank Rich sounded the alarm about “far-right rage.” Paul Krugman worried over “the rise of right-wing extremism.” Charles M. Blow came out more or less openly for a police state: “Society needs to do a much better job of creating an environment where hateful beliefs are never ignored and suspicious behavior never goes unreported.” What kind of “hateful beliefs”?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it clear who these people have in mind when she lied outright about anti-Obama protesters, claiming that they’re “carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare.”
LIE! This has never happened at any of our rallies and protests. The left employed the swastika for years against Bush; the right has never engaged in this. Pelosi is spreading more lies and smears of good, decent folks. At the leftist rallies, the hatred against Bush was pushed and promoted relentlessly. The rallies that were organized by the far left infrastructure for years never hesitated to orchestrate the most vicious attacks on Bush. But when one poster mocking Obama appears in Los Angeles — a poster that was not orchestrated, not part of any moveon.org strategy — and it’s the shot heard round the world.
What happened to “dissent is the highest form of patriotism”?
UPDATE: Larwyn sent this - da money quote:
In the wake of a Florida news station covering the “vandalism” of Obama as Joker posters going up around the country, Infowars has discovered an Obama quote published in The Washington Post thanking Obamanoids for posting the artwork of Shepard Fairey on government property. Fairey created the now famous image of Obama used during the election.
“I would like to thank you for using your talent in support of my campaign,” Obama wrote the artist last year. “The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe they can help change the status quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign.”