Wednesday, May 5, 2010
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Arizona Immigration Law So Soon Amended
Changes Soften Enforcement, Focus on Controversial Language
Even as we were reading and analyzing the entire original statute (which took days), already an amendment bill was making its way from the legislature to the governor of Arizona. The amendments included changes to the very areas we noted as the most pertinent and excerpted in our previous issue. In particular, “any lawful contact,” was changed to "lawful stop, detention or arrest,” and “may not solely consider race” was changed to “may not consider race” (“solely” was dropped). The changes are intended to undermine the lawsuits already underway. While the changes will make it a little harder to claim that the law is unconstitutional, they will not deter any lawsuits, or diminish any anti-law fervor from the bulk of the media, or the left. The 80% of the news media, and 30% of the general population that strongly opposes the law is largely also opposed to any enforcement of immigration laws on illegal aliens present in the U.S., as we noted in our May 2 issue. [If in doubt, simply ask any person that expresses strong feelings against the law (uses “racist,” or “Nazi” in describing it) what enforcement measures they would support.] Thus, nothing short of the law’s total repeal – or overturning by the courts – will satisfy.
South Park Episode Censored Again by Comedy Central
Again, Only Mohammed & Tom Cruise Deemed Worthy of Sacred Protection, but Christ, Buddha, and All Others Can Be Damned
In one of the oddest displays of hypocrisy, Comedy Central, which for years has claimed to stand for ‘freedom of speech” as it defended South Parks’ sacrilegious portrayals of many religious figures, from Christ to Buddha, again stood down in the face of real risk. As it did in 2006, Comedy Central decided that offensive portrayals of Islam’s prophet Mohammed are not worth the risk of defending freedom of speech. It looks like it is all about the money after all. Certainly the insurance costs to cover the risk of violent and angry Christian, Buddhist, or Hare Krishna mobs are nothing compared to the risk of an attack in defense of Mohammed. Really, actually putting one’s corporate self in ‘actual’ risk in defense of any principle? Please.
At least the creators of South Park, tasteless though they may be, are equal opportunity offenders, and abide no favoritism towards any religion. And, at least they do seem to be willing to take real risks in defense of the principle of free speech. A character in one of their cartoon episodes says this about the Mohammed cartoon censorship:
Freedom of speech is at stake here, don't you all see? If anything, we should all make cartoons of Muhammad and show the terrorists and the extremists that we are all united in the belief that every person has a right to say what they want.
Look, people, it's been really easy for us to stand up for free speech lately. For the past few decades, we haven't had to risk anything to defend it. One of those times is right now. And if we aren't willing to risk what we have now, then we just believe in free speech, but won't defend it.
Well, don’t hold your breaths, Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker. No American media – not Comedy Central, not CNN, not the New York Times - will do such a thing.