America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
“Blanket Licensing” – a Collectivist, Bureaucratic, One-Size-Fits-All Deprivation of Property Rights Proposal

America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated a music industry unrivaled in today’s world or throughout human history.

From the first days of the phonograph, through the jazz age, through the rock era, through disco, through country, through hip-hop and every other popular musical iteration since its advent, it’s not by accident that we lead the world in the same manner in which we lead in such industries as cinema and television programming.  We can thank our nation’s emphasis on strong copyright protections.

Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t deter some activists from periodically advocating a more collectivist, top-down governmental reordering of the music industry in a way that would deprive artists and creators of their…[more]

July 06, 2020 • 02:32 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
The Long, Silent Surrender to Radical Islam Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, April 29 2010
At stake here are not cultural sensitivities. “South Park” has none. At stake is the ability to be controversial in a free society without having to hire bodyguards and food tasters.

“ … To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“Never murder a man who is committing suicide” – Woodrow Wilson
 

There are times when it is better to live in an intolerant society than in one that doesn’t understand the purpose of tolerance.  Facing an existential threat, the former will survive in misery while the latter will expire in ignorance.  But any civilization that forces one to consider this Morton’s Fork has already revealed a moral failure.
 
Another sign of cultural cowardice? When the lone defenders of free speech against social totalitarianism are the creators of an animated television show starring a group of foul-mouthed elementary school students. Look in your rearview mirror, America. This particular Rubicon is behind you.
 
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the co-creators of Comedy Central’s alternately profane and profound comedy “South Park,” a show that has traded in irreverence towards every major public figure from Jesus to Barbra Streisand (owners of the two largest fan bases in American life), have found themselves in the literal crosshairs after the show’s 200th episode was set to feature a comparatively anodyne portrayal of the prophet Muhammad.
 
The episode’s plot centered around nearly every celebrity that the show has ever offended joining together in a class-action lawsuit against the city of South Park.  Parker and Stone, congenital provocateurs, used this as an opportunity to revisit a controversy from 2006, when Comedy Central refused to air a portion of a “South Park” episode depicting Muhammad. Coming on the heels of the widespread Muslim violence inspired by Danish newspaper cartoons that portrayed the prophet in an unflattering light, Parker and Stone’s gambit was intended to show solidarity with the principle that free speech cannot be allowed to be suppressed by the threat of force.
 
In the newer episode, “South Park” intended to poke fun at the original controversy and the network’s reaction, having Muhammad appear onscreen in a bear suit, so as not to violate the Islamic prohibition on visual representations of the prophet. In reaction, revolutionmuslim.com, a New York-based jihadist website, suggested that Parker and Stone’s impropriety could result in the pair suffering the same fate as Theo Van Gogh – the Dutch filmmaker whose movie “Submission” chronicled the abuse of women’s rights in the Islamic world.
 
Van Gogh, it should be remembered, was murdered by a Muslim extremist on the streets of Amsterdam.  His assailant shot him eight times in the chest, attempted to decapitate him, and left two knives in his chest, one bearing a five-page manifesto on the violence that awaited those who defy Islam.
 
When the Islamist website posted the address of both Comedy Central and Parker and Stone’s offices – along with a fervent wish that Allah would kill the show’s creators and “burn them in hell for all eternity” – the network decided to defer to the exhortations of the religion of peace. The episode aired with the Muhammad portions edited out.
 
In a high-water mark for Hollywood crassness, Parker and Stone have essentially been abandoned by an entertainment community that prides itself on intellectual independence verging on moral anarchy.  The same creative community that endlessly shops stories of American nefariousness in the Middle East with movies like “Lions for Lambs,” “Syriana,” and “The Green Zone,” has been unable to react with more than a whisper to the notion that defiance of Islam is a predicate for justifiable homicide.  Even “The Simpsons” – one of “South Park’s” comedic forebears – was lukewarm. Bart’s trademark chalkboard gag in last week’s episode found him writing “South Park – We’d Stand Behind You if We Weren’t So Scared.”  So much for the oft-touted “courage” of Hollywood.
 
Parker and Stone’s joke at Muhammad’s expense – like much of “South Park’s” headline-grabbing humor – was doubtlessly in poor taste. But so are the show’s jabs at nearly every aspect of modern society.  The show’s previous shots at Christianity were pointed enough to inspire groans from even the most committed atheist.  But the jabs aired intact and believers mystically managed to subdue the impulse for retributive murder.
 
At stake here are not cultural sensitivities. “South Park” has none.  At stake is the ability to be controversial in a free society without having to hire bodyguards and food tasters. As an isolated phenomenon, this would be troubling. As a microcosmic representation of how Islamists would like to see the entire world operate, it is a front in the war for civilization. An ideology confident of its superiority would present a united front against this specter and blame the terrorists.  A wilting West would blame the cartoonists.

Question of the Week   
John Adams, then-delegate to the Continental Congress and signatory to the Declaration of Independence, said this “… will be the most memorable in the history of America …” with regard to which historic day?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Defunding police will not improve life on the ground in big cities. At a time when cities like Los Angeles and even crime-ridden Baltimore and Chicago adopt 'tough' policies about enforcing lockdowns and arresting violators, they have also returned a generation of criminals to the streets sometimes by suspending bail. Crime is up in many cities, including, San Francisco, New York, and Minneapolis…[more]
 
 
—Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director of the Urban Reform Institute
— Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director of the Urban Reform Institute
 
Liberty Poll   

Has Covid-19 significantly changed your family's typical July 4th weekend activities or are they essentially the same as in previous years?