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Essential liberty, temporary safety

Posted by Richard on February 6, 2006

Over at Protein Wisdom, commenter Robert Crawford offered this great observation about the Mohammed cartoon kerfuffle:

Just a week ago, the left was arguing, in the most forceful way it knows—banners—the Ben Franklin quote about giving up liberty in exchange for freedom. Granted, they were starting with a distorted version of it, but the “essential liberty” they were concerned about surrendering was the right to make international phone calls to known terrorists without being listened to. The ACLU lawsuit admitted that was their concern.

Now, though, the loudest refrain—and not, admittedly, always from the same people—is that freedom has limits, and we need to be more sensitive, yadda yadda yadda.

Is there a more essential liberty than free speech? Than the ability to freely criticize a religion?

Is there a more temporary safety than appeasing religious fanatics? Than appeasing fanatics bent on world domination?

Let’s compare and contrast. A Danish newspaper printed the twelve cartoons below, and irate Muslim fanatics burned buildings and killed people.

Mohammed cartoons

Meanwhile, here in George W. Bush’s Amerikka, where civil liberties have been destroyed, regime opponents are being spied upon and suppressed, Christian fundamentalists are well on the way to imposing a theocracy, and we’re all victims of Rethuglican intolerance and repression, the Revolutionary Communist Party’s World Can’t Wait movement held an anti-Bush rally in Washington, D.C. this past Saturday.

One of the attendees at the (sparsely attended) World Can’t Wait rally was this smirking woman holding a poster showing Bush beheaded.

poster of Bush beheaded
The consequences for this over-the-top expression of displeasure with the President? She was scorned and ridiculed by Freepers ("She’s off her meds." "Her artwork needs a little help. Maybe she should sign up for Islamofascist Drawing Class 101."), Michelle Malkin, and Capt. Ed Morrissey, among others.

But if Zawahiri called to congratulate her for her efforts, I bet the NSA listened in.

BTW, in case you’re interested, that Free Republic post has more pictures of the rally, including one suggesting that there were about as many Port-a-Potties as demonstrators.

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3 Responses to “Essential liberty, temporary safety”

  1. ayatollah ahmal shukup said



    Infidel! Danish ham eater!

    A fatwah has been issued for your defloration.

    A herd of camel jockies is going to go ‘Brokeback Mountain’ on your ass. (literally)

  2. James said

    Freedom should not be decided by the feelings of others. Emotions have no place in a discussion of Liberty.

  3. rgcombs said

    ”(The following comment from Karl at was accidentally deleted)”

    What about the emotional desire for liberty?

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