Archive for February 9, 2022

I’m old enough to remember when the Fatwa was put on Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses.

Unlike today when phrases like “freedom of speech” are routinely redefined to suit whatever agenda the left happens to have that day in 1989 the idea of the A death sentence being publicly demanded for an author for writing a book a particular Ayatollah didn’t like was rather new and there were plenty of free speech advocates who loudly proclaimed such actions a travesty.

Much to my shock at the time there was also considerable pushback from some in the west those who attacked Rushdie. It was the beginning of what we are seeing today.

At the time I was outraged (and still am at the bounty still on his head) and considered buying the book in response to said threats. but then it hit me:

What is the difference between buying a book I don’t want in response to Islamic threats and not buying a book I do want in response to Islamic threats?

The answer: THERE ISN’T ONE. Either way I would be allowing a bunch of savage barbarians to drive me to an action I had no interest in doing. The essence of freedom is the ability to do something if one chooses or not. So I asked myself a key question: If there was no FATWA on Rushdie would I had any interest in buying this book?

The answer is and remains no.

I haven’t bought the book, I have no interest in buying the book and I don’t see myself buying the book in the future…

…but I have the RIGHT an the ability to buy the book and that right is worth fighting for.

And that brings us to Joe Rogan.

I don’t have a subscription to Spotify and never had plans to get one before the Joe Rogan business.

I am not one of the millions of subscribers who listen to Joe Rogan. I’ve listed to a clip here and there but I have little interest in his podcast in general and had no plans to listen to jump in and start listening.

When the attempt to censor his came out I was as you might guess outraged. I don’t like the idea of people trying to force someone off the air because they don’t like what he’s saying or who he is interviewing.

You can’t have freedom of speech and if you don’t have freedom to listen. I think the attempt to take away that ability to listen is unamerican totalitarian and frankly evil and the people who are pushing that need to be fought because just like redefining words didn’t stop with “marriage” censoring speech and the ability to listen won’t stop with Rogan.

All that being said you can’t have freedom to listen without the freedom to not listen and as much as I want to make sure he has a platform so the people who want to hear him can do so I have no interest in joining that crowd because I freely choose not to.

Some might object saying that is it my moral duty to listen to jump in, perhaps I will like it, perhaps I would be this harkins back to one of the best statements in history concerning this type of thing.

Chancellor James Kent, author of Kent’s Commentaries, and one of the most influential American
legal minds of all time, had a personal story that illustrates how foreign this impulse is to American law. According to Kent’s grandson: [He was] waited upon by a temperance committee and urged to give his authority and sanction to the principles and aims of a mass meeting by adding his name to the list of
those who had pledged themselves not to use intoxicating liquor, being unduly pressed after his first polite negative, he made the following reply, declining the request:

Gentlemen, I refuse to sign any pledge. I never have been drunk, and, by the blessing of God, I never will get drunk, but I have a constitutional privilege to get drunk, and that privilege I will not sign away.”‘

Kent never had the inclination to grant legislative authority over his sobriety.

I have no intention of granting either my political enemies or my political allies the authority to determine what can can’t or what I must listen to.

If some day Rogan has a guest I’m really interested in and I choose to jump in or even subscribe, fine but nobody is going to make that judgement but me.

THAT’s freedom.