One of the first principles of free speech is two sides express what they what they think and they compete in the arena of ideas.

Ali Akbar has a regular show on Blog talk Radio, he invited Bill Schmalfeldt to come on and go head to head.

There is absolutely no question what side I’m on here but I think this is incredibly healthy and it says something positive about Ali that he is unafraid to share the platform with an enemy.

And in fairness to Mr. Schmalfeldt by going on faces public critique in a format he does not control

Good form Mr. Akbar, Good Form!

Rick Blaine: What ever gave you the impression that I might help Laszlo escape?

Captain Renault: Because, my dear Ricky, I suspect that under that cynical shell you are at heart a sentimentalist. Laugh if you will, but I happen to be familiar with your record. Let me point out just two items: In 1935, you ran guns to Ethiopia. In 1936, you fought in Spain on the Loyalist side.

Rick Blaine: And got well paid for it on both occasions.

Captain Renault: The winning side would have paid you much better.

Casablanca 1942

It is no secret that I’m a big supporter of Pam Geller & Robert Spencer but being fairly ignorant on the David Stein stuff I’ll simply say this:

I’ve never understood the willingness of people, particularly on the right to go after Pam & Robert. I particularly don’t get the people who seem to have it in their minds they are all in this for the cash.

Let me remind everyone that if Pam & Robert were willing to lend their voices to the other side they would find the financial rewards quite satisfactory, I suspect that would be true even if they were willing to just shut up, plus they could send their bodyguards home.

Yet they fight on.

If that doesn’t clue you in, I don’t know what will.

That is all.

over in France:

Three young Jewish students were attacked by a gang of twelve Muslims in Lyons, France, yesterday on Shabbat. These Muslims were clearly inspired by the devout Muslim and mass murderer Muhammad Merah (as were these Muslims), who gunned down Jewish toddlers and parents in cold blood at a Jewish day school in Toulouse

…and actual bravery in Saudi Arabia

Have you seen this video, from MEMRI.org, of a Saudi woman standing up to the “religious police” in a mall? A treat.

They order her to leave. She says, “I’m not getting out. What are you gonna do about it? I’m not getting out. I’m standing right here. I’m standing right here. For your information, I’m filming it all. Here, smile for the camera.”

The cheek. Unbelievable. She also says, “For your information, the video is on its way to Twitter and Facebook as we speak.” The social media can be overrated. They can be underrated too.

She says, “You are not the boss of me, and you can’t tell me not to wear nail polish. Lipstick on my mouth?! Come look at my mouth. Shame on you! And he pretends to be God-fearing . . .”

And the irony: Kimberlin’s allies often attack their foes as “Islamophobic”.

Looking at the commentary concerning Stacy McCain’s not so excellent adventure as his family continues to live on the run in fear of Convicted bomber, supported by liberal foundations, the most interesting thing about this story has been the great divide as mentioned by the title of this post at Goldfish and Clowns:

Silence Screams Louder Than Words

and notes some interesting omissions from those writing about this subject:

I mention this to discuss the stunning silence in which Brietbart’s minions and others have engaged in regard to this.

He has a large list of “Call outs” Including Breitbart, Hotair , Powerline, Right Wing News, The Daily Caller and RedState. Their silence it’s like watching the relatives at the start of the movie The Devi’s Disciple scurry away when their cousin is taken by the Brits.

One name that was on his list, Michelle Malkin, has come out in a big way this morning:

Over the past year, Aaron Walker (who blogged as “Aaron Worthing”), Patterico, Liberty Chick, and now Stacy McCain have been targeted by convicted Speedway bomber Brett Kimberlin because they dared to mention his criminal past or assisted others who did. The late Andrew Breitbart warned about Kimberlin and company.

I have spoken directly with both Patterico and Aaron about their ongoing battles.

The mainstream press, not just the conservative blogosphere, needs to hear and report their stories. emphasis mine

That last sentence is the big bottom line. Robert Stacy McCain is not just a blogger he is a reporter, he has chosen to cover a story and because he has and his family are in hiding for their own safety.

Run that through your head MSM. This is an American JOURNALIST forced into hiding IN AMERICA for covering a story and you don’t find that newsworthy?

I’d like to say I’m surprised at this but remembering Molly Norris (who is STILL in hiding) but the MSM’s silence doesn’t surprise me.

I’m much more surprised at the silence of other conservative bloggers but most of all Breitbart.com.

Does anyone doubt that Andrew would be screaming at the top of his lungs pushing this if he were alive?

Yeah there are a lot of other issues to write about, yeah the election IS the issue this year, but who would have thought that the site that bears Andrew’s name would be the least worthy of the words “Breitbart is here” upon them?

This doesn’t of course apply to Lee Stranhan who has gone ALL in with this video

Meanwhile Stacy McCain still carries on posting away, Smitty no stranger to danger continues to write

As I’ve said before, courage is the first virtue, without it, nothing else is possible.

Exit question. If we cringe before this loser, what will we do when Holder and DOJ decide to try to shut us up later?

Update: Day by Day gets it:

Update 2: It is worth noting that Back in November of 2010 Liberty Chick at Breitbart.com wrote a long piece of Kimberlin and his connections to the left:

Update 3:
Leave it to a Film Director to find the right way to put it:

Journalist Forced to Flee Home by Streisand-Funded Domestic Terrorist Bomber!

Juicy headline, eh? Guaranteed to bring in the page views. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who’s thought of this angle to the story.

There was a time when this kind of headline would have had reporters running for their typewriters, but nothing trumps the need for the MSM to fight for those who protect Obama.

Update 4: Hotair is now on board. Captain Ed:

Stacy has had to take his family out of their house in order to protect them, at least for a while. It’s no blogospheric secret that Stacy and I have had our differences, but I still count Stacy as a friend and hope he does the same, and no one should have to leave their home in fear simply for engaging in political debate. I hit his tip jar yesterday to help in some small way to defray his travel expenses, and I’d encourage everyone else to do the same.

What else can we do? First, read all of Michelle’s post to get a sense of what the story and its impact actually is. Write about it or don’t, depending on how much focus you believe the story deserves, but try to post something about what these bloggers are enduring — if not on a blog, then on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media channels. At some point, we all need our friends to have our backs. I’ve already been there, and believe me, it’s a lonely place until they arrive.

How long with the MSM continue to ignore this?

Update 5: Yid with Lid is on it along with PopeHat and Ace invokes Kitty Genovese.

Pam Geller has written about the Media embargo of 9/11 images often. If you wonder why that embargo is so important to the totalitarian left Jay Nordlinger discovers it at the Oslo Freedom Forum:

Manal al-Sharif, you have also met. She’s the young Saudi woman who broke the taboo against driving. She is a heroine throughout the Arab world (and beyond). Here’s something I did not know about her: She was once an Islamist, a supporter of al-Qaeda.

The “turning point” for her, she says, was 9/11. “I saw a man throwing himself from one of the towers. He was escaping the fire. That night, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t get that man out of my mind. ‘Something is wrong here,’ I thought. ‘No religion on earth can accept such mercilessness and cruelty.’

“So, I saw that my heroes were nothing but bloody terrorists, and that was the turning point in my life.”

The atheist says that God doesn’t exist period, let alone exists in the hearts of men. This woman was an Islamist, a supporter of Al-Qaeda. She was brought up in a religion where the life of the unbeliever was without value and yet, seeing this image something changed inside her.

It’s good to know that even in this horrible event, the seeds of positive change can grow.

A lot of US journalists talk about speaking truth to power, in Azerbaijan one journalist not only does so, but is not willing to submit to blackmail:

Khadija Ismayilova, who works for Radio Free Europe, has exposed corruption in Azerbaijan, including among the President’s family and inner circle. She received a chilling package in the mail last week, with photographs from a video of her having sex, and a message that she should stop publishing her exposés or the video would be released. Instead, she made the threat public, and this week the video was published online.

and this isn’t just a question of risking a Charlie Sheen embarrassment

“This is a very traditional society where there are still a lot of honour killings, and they clearly calculated that I would prefer to keep quiet and not have this made public,”

Now that’s courage, but then again, considering this report from England, one doesn’t have to live in Azerbaijan to risk honor killing.

but if I was single and never met my wife this post (via a tweet from the black sphere) would generate a spontaneous marriage proposal. Here is the threat:

I’m going to kill you when I find you. Don’t think I won’t, I know where you and your parents live and I’ll need is one phone-call to kil ya’ll.

And here is her response:

You don’t need to “find” me. My address is 9175 Kornbrust Circle, Lone Tree, CO 80124.

She then follows up with DIRECTIONS TO HER HOUSE FROM THE AIRPORT and the following:

Just do me one favor. PLEASE wear body armor. I have some new ammunition that I want to try out, and frankly, close-quarter body shots without armor would feel almost unsporting from my perspective. That and the fact that I’m probably carrying a good 50 I.Q. points on you makes it morally incumbent upon me to spot you a tactical advantage.

She further offers the contact number of the local Mosque in case the person threatening her is unwilling to carry out the deed and wishes to contract out the work.

What a woman! This is American courage, I wish more of our leaders possessed it. I’ll wager she hasn’t forgotten Molly Norris, and if Ms. Norris was rooming with Ms. Barnhardt she would not be in hiding today.

Oh and check out this Twitter Profile:

Absolutely perfect, I can’t imagine a leader like Ms. Barnhardt following anybody!

But you will be able to hear her on DaTechGuy on DaRadio on September 10th at 10 AM on WCRN! Don’t miss it!

One of the busts I’ve had against Tim Pawlenty is that he was a “me too” fellow.

Back in NY-23 when Palin first endorsed Doug Hoffman (back when Newt was backing Dede along with the NRCC) Pawlenty Hemmed and Hawwed and then became “me too”.

Then when Morning Joe was going on about the “Blood Libel” and the target maps, Pawlenty refused to call it the BS that it was on the show. That really angered me.

My comment concerning him on at CPAC was a single sentence: Tim Pawlenty bores me.

Pawlenty was right on a lot of issues, but I wanted to see a leader and Pawlenty wasn’t leading.

Boy what a difference a week makes:

Headline Pawlenty calls for end of ethanol subsidies — in Iowa

Headline: Pawlenty calls for Medicare and Social Security reform — in Florida

This is leading. Little Miss Attila is going all in on Pawlenty in the same way that Stacy is all in on Herman Cain. It’s not a secret who my first choice, nor is it a secret that I’m impressed by Herman Cain but if Pawlenty keeps this up I will certainly be willing to give him a 2nd look.

Today I saw two actions by political candidates that were examples of gutsy and important talk.

First Newt Gingrich. He has really put his foot in his mouth this week on the Ryan plan but he has done something rather solid on a different issue:

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich says he has sought God’s forgiveness for his personal failings and hopes that evangelical voters take time to talk to him about his two divorces and his affair with the woman who is now his third wife.

His chances of winning the nomination of a party dominated by religious conservatives may depend on it.

“I think people have to look at me, ask tough questions, then render judgment,” the former House speaker told The Associated Press on Monday during his first Iowa trip as a declared presidential candidate. “I have made mistakes in my life. I have had to go to God to ask for forgiveness and seek reconciliation.”

“It would be easier in life to skip all this,” he added. “But if citizenship requires these kinds of conversations, these conversations are worth having.”

I think that it’s important to air this out, it’s not going to be pretty or pleasant but it has to be done. Then again considering the headlines he’s getting now it might be an easier topic with primary voters. Forgiving sins in a Christian obligation, forgiving ideological differences is not. Still a willingness to face this music is a sign of spiritual growth.

Meanwhile Herman Cain says the forbidden words for political candidates. I don’t know:

Ever since the South Carolina Republican presidential debate, reporters have continued to challenge me for not having a specific plan for our nation’s involvement in Afghanistan. They continue to think that if you are running for president then you must have an answer for everything. I don’t! A real leader has the right questions for everything.

When asked about what I would do about our involvement in the war in Afghanistan during the debate, I answered by asking the questions that should have been asked before we got involved many years ago. What is our mission? How does it serve our interest? Is there a path to victory? If not, then what is our exit strategy?

I ask these questions instead of “shooting from the lip” because there is obviously a lot of classified information to which I do not have access. There are dozens of experts and military leaders I would need advice from before I could make an informed decision about a real clear plan for the USA’s involvement in Afghanistan.

Cain is of course exactly right, by ceding this ground he takes a risk but also shows political courage. It takes a person very comfortable in their own skin to be able to admit ignorance on a subject, but ignorance can be cured by information and that’s a lot better than flying blind.

Expect the MSM to savage him on this, if they ever deign to admit he exists.

No not because his excellent daily cartoon Day by Day is now available at DaTechGuy’s blog but because of today’s cartoon:

Countdown to FATWA in 3...2...1

The really sad thing about this; it’s not a joke. It has reached a point where such a drawing is an act of courage, where radical Islamists will condemn such a drawing and murder over it. Even worse it has reached a point where people of the west will attack Muir for incitement. It would not surprise me if as Hitchens puts it we see

… self-righteous frenzy married to a neurotic need to take offence; the easy resort to indiscriminate violence and cruelty; the promulgation of makeshift fatwas by mullahs on the make; those writhing mustaches framing crude slogans of piety and hatred, and yelling for death as if on first-name terms with the Almighty. The spilling of blood and the spoliation of property — all for nothing

Yup, likely we will see more of this and it won’t be confined to Chris Muir via Little Miss Attila and Rogers Rules we see another candidate for Fatwa

I’m not a fan of burning books or offending people’s religion but can someone explain to me why this is being condemned by senators and presidents…

…and this is not:

As a Catholic I am outraged by the above video but it is important to show it to make the following point: I don’t recall Harry Reid’s or Lindsey Graham’s condemnation of the desecration of the body of Christ. I don’t recall breathless news stories about P. Z. Myers and his various physical attacks on the Eucharist (oddly enough his own tearing of the Koran elicited no response either) and tell me why when this is brought up the first response (particularly from our atheistic friends) is a history of the sins of Christianity when our response to online Eucharist desecration is this:

and Islam’s response is this:

The truth is that those who attack Christianity in general or Catholicism in particular know there is virtually no risk or danger to do so. They do however know that such attacks against Islam can lead to this:

Theo Van Gogh murdered Nov 2, 2004 on the streets of Amsterdam

Exit question, can someone explain to me why it is was a free speech imperative to defend the Nazi’s right to march in Skokie but not Terry Jones or Ann Barnhardt right to burn the Koran?

Update: Cross posted at The Minority Report