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GaiaM
03-07-2006, 12:01 AM
Hello Everyone,

I haven't been one to get into big political discussions, but recently a topic has come up that I feel strong and sure enough about to want to work to get it out there. Conveniently, an excellent article has been written on the subject, so I don't have to wax poetic about it here.

It's a bit long, but well worth the read and I'd love to hear people's comments.

http://amitghate.blogspot.com/2006/03/all-for-one.html

I think freedom of speech is one of our most basic rights and if we can't defend that then how can we defend ourselves and our happiness and right to life.

Take care everyone,

Gaia

Michael Varin
03-07-2006, 04:19 AM
Gaia,

Wow! That was a long article.

Based on your age it would seem that you are fresh out of college. That means that for the first time since you were six you can actually learn some things! It looks like you are off to a good start.

The author made many good points, but some key points are inaccurate.

The author says, "Yet though government exists for the sake of each man, its proper implementation involves having each individual delegate his use of retaliatory force to the government, which then acts as his agent to protect his rights. Thus in civilized nations, the government is the sole legitimate wielder of force."

This sounds like pure United Nations, socialist garbage. This was not the view of the Founders of the USA. They knew first hand that governments were capable of far worse crimes than individuals (this is why we have the Second Amendment). They have been proven right many times over in just the last 60 years. The USSR under Stalin killed 40 million of its own citizens, Germany under Hitler killed 13 million, China 20 million, Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan, etc. In all of these countries the government was/is the sole "legitimate wielder of force." Does that sound very civilized to you?

As far as government protecting individual citzens, the Supreme Court has ruled several times that police (gov agents) have no obligation to protect any individual citizen.

It is interesting to me that freedom of speech is always the most valued right. The Bill of Rights is a package deal. All ten of those Amendments were passed at the same time. All defining stricter limits for the government. All recognizing that individuals have natural born rights that pre-existed the government. However, nowdays most of us see these rights as privleges. Privleges are granted and can be taken away. You are either pro-rights or anti-rights. Period.

We have to realize that the founding of America was the pinicle of ideas of Liberty. The UN, Europe, and certainly not the Third World (with all of its dicators and despots) have nothing to offer us when it comes to these things.

I generally believe in a non-interventionist foreign policy. Governments usually cause more problems than they solve, and then cause more problems trying to solve those problems. We need to stop propping these regimes up with tax dollars and let them sink or swim on their own.

To better understand our country and our Constitution, I recommend reading The Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers, Thomas Paine's writings including Common Sense, and of course anything by Thomas Jefferson. I think you can find them all on the internet, but certainly in a good book store. These works create the proper context for understanding the role of government in a free society. I can almost guarantee that you'll be amazed at how absurd peoples' current ideas of what these men were striving for are.

Michael

ESimmons
03-07-2006, 10:47 AM
The author says, "Yet though government exists for the sake of each man, its proper implementation involves having each individual delegate his use of retaliatory force to the government, which then acts as his agent to protect his rights. Thus in civilized nations, the government is the sole legitimate wielder of force."

This sounds like pure United Nations, socialist garbage. This was not the view of the Founders of the USA. They knew first hand that governments were capable of far worse crimes than individuals (this is why we have the Second Amendment). They have been proven right many times over in just the last 60 years. The USSR under Stalin killed 40 million of its own citizens, Germany under Hitler killed 13 million, China 20 million, Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan, etc. In all of these countries the government was/is the sole "legitimate wielder of force." Does that sound very civilized to you?

The author is describing the social contract, not advocating totalitarianism.

Neil Mick
03-08-2006, 03:29 AM
Hello Everyone,

I haven't been one to get into big political discussions, but recently a topic has come up that I feel strong and sure enough about to want to work to get it out there.

Hoo-kay. I've given this one some thought. I respect the big step you made here, Gaia. It's not easy expressing one's political views (even tho you haven't expressed much).

Conveniently, an excellent article has been written on the subject, so I don't have to wax poetic about it here.

It's a bit long, but well worth the read and I'd love to hear people's comments.

http://amitghate.blogspot.com/2006/03/all-for-one.html


I hope you have more to say about the subject, independent from this article. IMO, this article goes South from the first paragraph:

In reacting to the Islamists’ ongoing cartoon Jihad, most commentators have focused on the issue of free speech. This is natural, and necessary, since eradication of free speech is the most immediate risk; and certainly without free speech there can be no defending other values. Nevertheless it is also vital to take a step back and to view the events as part of a larger pattern, a pattern which poses a grave threat to our core Western values and system of government –- and to their primary consequence and beneficiary: the free individual.

In one parapraph, the author has made three assumptions:

1. Critics of the comics are attempting to censor free speech;
2. That this "censorship" is indicative of a pattern; and
3. By implication, this pattern poses a threat to "core Western values."

In one word...bosh. Nonsense. (OK, sorry, that was two words). The issue of the comics is more complex than simple censorship...altho I will grant you, some Muslim's would doubtless advocate censorship.

It's better to think of the outcry to the cartoons less as a call to censorship, than as an expression of outrage, against the war on terror.

Consider:

'Muslims Angry at War on Terror, Not Cartoons' (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0213-04.htm)

Muzaffar agreed with Badawi's view that the war on terror has aggravated Muslim insecurity. ''Western media images and commentaries have reinforced the erroneous equation of Islam with terror. This explains why some of the offensive cartoons of the Prophet published in the Jyllands-Posten made that link,'' he said.

''But equating Islam and Muslims with violence and terror is not new. It has been going on for a long time,'' Muzaffar said.

''What Muslims have been witnessing in recent years is the stark consequences of global hegemony reflected in the slaughter of innocent Muslims in Palestine and Iraq, the humiliation of occupation and subjugation, the treachery of double standards and the machinations of exclusion and marginalisation,'' he said.

''It explains to a great extent the explosion of violent fury in different parts of the Muslim world over the abusive cartoons. It is anger that is driven by more than their boundless love for Mohammad,'' he said.

At the close of the conference, Malaysia's deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the majority of mankind had allowed a few people to voice biased opinions because ''we have allowed them to speak for us''.

''The terrorist who straps a bomb to his chest and blows up a shopping mall,'' does not speak for Islam any more than does a ''newspaper editor who sees fit to ridicule a holy prophet who is venerated by more than one billion people around the globe,'' said Razak.

Razak dismissed talk of a 'clash of civilisations', saying this need not happen if fundamental fault lines between the Muslim and the Western worlds were adequately addressed.

People responded in outrage to a racist cartoon. Some people went overboard. End of story. "Clash of Civilizations," this isn't.

I think freedom of speech is one of our most basic rights and if we can't defend that then how can we defend ourselves and our happiness and right to life.

Take care everyone,

Gaia

It sure is a basic right. But, with a right comes responsibility. To abuse a right like free speech is to invite calamity.

If I were to start posting racist cartoons in slums on telephone poles: I could expect a good thrashing on my way out, if I had any common sense (of course, such action would preclude any common sense, wouldn't it?)

What I wouldn't expect is some sort of defence, upon my basic rights of free speech. This I would find peculiar. :hypno:

GaiaM
03-09-2006, 06:21 PM
Thank you, Eric, for clarifying that point. The difference between our government (a representative republic) and a socialist government is that our government (theoretically, if it hadn't gotten side-tracked by cow-towing to special interests during the last century) represents us and can and should be "overthrown" (new people elected/new policies enacted) if it does not continue to do so. I appreciate your verbage, Eric, putting this system as a "social contract".


Michael - thank you for your comments. I'm not sure what my age has to do with the post, although I appreciate your implied commentary on the education system (which definitely needs a lot of work), and your compliment :-)

As far as government protecting individual citzens, the Supreme Court has ruled several times that police (gov agents) have no obligation to protect any individual citizen.

I am very curious to learn more about these rulings. Can you share some more information? I'm curious to know what you think the police are for, if not to defend citizens' rights?

We have to realize that the founding of America was the pinicle of ideas of Liberty. The UN, Europe, and certainly not the Third World (with all of its dicators and despots) have nothing to offer us when it comes to these things.

I generally believe in a non-interventionist foreign policy. Governments usually cause more problems than they solve, and then cause more problems trying to solve those problems. We need to stop propping these regimes up with tax dollars and let them sink or swim on their own.

I agree with these thoughts. I do think it is possible to have a government that doesn't cause more problems than it solves, but we are certainly not at that place today.


Neil,

In one parapraph, the author has made three assumptions:

1. Critics of the comics are attempting to censor free speech;
2. That this "censorship" is indicative of a pattern; and
3. By implication, this pattern poses a threat to "core Western values."

1. Would you agree that threatening to kill the cartoonists is an attempt to censor free speech? Many muslims have also called for Denmark and other European nations to censor the cartoons.

2. The article clearly lays out the pattern of extremist Muslim attacks on the west and our core values (freedom of speech included).

3. At this point, the US and many European Nations are bending over backwards to appease the critics of the cartoons. This is clearly allowing them to threaten our values. We should be standing up to defend the right to publish the cartoons, even if, as individuals we may find them offensive.

The issue of the comics is more complex than simple censorship...

Yes it is, and I thought the article did an excellent job of laying out the fundamental philosophies and root problems behind this simple example.

If I were to start posting racist cartoons in slums on telephone poles: I could expect a good thrashing on my way out, if I had any common sense (of course, such action would preclude any common sense, wouldn't it?)

So you think "a good thrashing" is the appropriate way to deal with folks who offend other folks? I don't find the cartoons particularly appealing and wouldn't have published them myself, but I adamantly defend the newspaper's RIGHT to publish them. If we censored everything that was offensive to someone then we would have no media at all, and in fact no public exchange of ideas. Liberals are offended by what conservatives publish and vice versa. There are publications, art exhibits, films and public speakers that offend people every day. This is called an exchange of ideas and is a fundamental piece of the relatively free society we all enjoy so much. By cow-towing to muslim extremists that use violence to threaten/silence our citizens, we are letting ourselves be controlled by the same brutal dictatorships that rule a fearful and oppressed citizenry in many middle-eastern countries, imposing their will on us in the same way they impose it upon their own people.

If you were to post racist cartoons in slums I certainly wouldn't think you were the sharpest tack in the drawer, but I would defend your right to do it and not get beat up! Perhaps it would be a better analogy to say that you posted a racial cartoon on the door of your house and the folks in an inner city three states away threatened to kill you and your family if you didn't take it down. The cartoons were published in a western country under western rule. Folks from the middle eastern countries are trying to impose THEIR rules on our citizens.

People responded in outrage to a racist cartoon. Some people went overboard. End of story.

So if during the LA riots some upset black people "went overboard" and killed your loved ones because they were white, would that just be "end of story"?

To quote from the article you included:

Prominent among the foreign delegates was former Iranian president Muhammad Khatami who, in comments to reporters, said that he hoped lessons had been drawn from the caricature controversy. ‘'The Muslim world has reacted to this issue and if this policy continues, we will be engaging in continuous violence,'' he warned.

I didn't find any substance in this article. It simply reported on a meeting of delegates discussing their opinions. This quote shows the kind of blanket violence that will persist if we do not stand up for our own rights on our own soil.

Hope this helps you understand some of my own thoughts on the matter and gives you more material for thought.

Gaia

Michael O'Brien
03-09-2006, 09:23 PM
I am very curious to learn more about these rulings. Can you share some more information? I'm curious to know what you think the police are for, if not to defend citizens' rights?


I can help with this one; It is the responsibility of the police force to investigate crimes and arrest the criminals so they can be prosecuted by the district attorney. Technicially speaking by the letter of the law, a police officer doesn't "go to work" until the report goes in that a crime either has been or is in the process of being commited.

Michael is right that this has been brought up many times in our legal system that the police force has neither the responsibilty, nor the manpower to protect individual citizens.

Neil Mick
03-10-2006, 01:17 AM
Neil,
1. Would you agree that threatening to kill the cartoonists is an attempt to censor free speech?

...an attempt to censor free speech by some individuals/groups; not by the "Islamic culture," or whatever...just as the abortion-clinic bombings are attempts by right-wing whacko's to control the lives of women.

An outcry from the Christian world to silence the right to abortion, they are not. Regarding the cartoons, the reverse is also true.

Many muslims have also called for Denmark and other European nations to censor the cartoons.

Again, oh well. But I notice something distinctive in your comments...not once do you mention the exact nature of the cartoons.

You're all in Muslims' face about their reaction: and yet you mention zilch about what it is, they're reacting to....hmm.

Well, allow me to make that point clear:

They are reacting to hateful, racist cartoons that insult a religion, practiced by most of the people on the planet, published in a rightwing paper known for its racist remarks.

Gosh, does that sound like a powderkeg to you? It sure does, to me. So please: don't wave the "free speech" flag at me about this one. Yeah, no one should be threatened, but these cartoons were threatening. and that's something you (so far) have failed to address.

2. The article clearly lays out the pattern of extremist Muslim attacks on the west and our core values (freedom of speech included).

No, this article lays out a revisionist fuzzying of the facts. It mentions Khomeini and props him up as some sort of charismatic zealot, and it totally ignores how he got to power and why (anger over the US-propped Shah, who replaced the popular, and democratically elected PM Mossadek); it lists a conveniently blindsided (and myopic...shall we also recount the terrorist and conventional military attacks made by the US alone? The Iranian war with Iraq we helped lengthen; the CIA targeted killings...the list would far, far outweigh the selective reading, provided by your source.

3. At this point, the US and many European Nations are bending over backwards to appease the critics of the cartoons. This is clearly allowing them to threaten our values. We should be standing up to defend the right to publish the cartoons, even if, as individuals we may find them offensive.

Look, this isn't about "values," or "defending" anything. This is about some people getting hot under the collar. Look at this in context: there are foreign occupations going on, in Arabic lands. Stuff is coming down the tubes DAILY, of US-sponsored torture. There's a memo out there suggesting that W talked with Blair about bombing Al Jazeera, the most popular TV network in the Arabic world.

What you're seeing is the equivalent of a Rodney King riot, not some "clash of civilizations."

Step AWAAY from the bullhorn, ma'am... ;)


Yes it is, and I thought the article did an excellent job of laying out the fundamental philosophies and root problems behind this simple example.

The article did an excellent job of masking the fundamental root problems by suggesting that it's some sort of phantom civilizational clash, spurred on by Liberal inattendance. :rolleyes:

I mean, let's get real, here. Look at some of the elements of the site:

Jihadist Threat
6th Column Against Jihad
Infidel Bloggers Alliance
Jihad Watch
Liberty and Culture
Little Green Footballs
Michelle Malkin
Pedestrian Infidel

"Jihadist 'Threat??" "Michelle Malkin??" :uch:

Not exactly subtle or deep thinkers, this bunch. Nor are they know to have a history of Muslim tolerance. These are people with axes to grind, and I have heard this "threat to our way of life" line before.

To quote Edward Said about said theory: "Rubbish."

So you think "a good thrashing" is the appropriate way to deal with folks who offend other folks?

I don't think a good thrashing is appropriate, at all...I did not say that. Pls do not put words in my mouth.

I said that a good thrashing is what's to be expected.

I don't find the cartoons particularly appealing and wouldn't have published them myself, but I adamantly defend the newspaper's RIGHT to publish them.

Good for you. Personally, I think that they should issue an apology and a review of their editorial policies, esp if this is normal.

If we censored everything that was offensive to someone then we would have no media at all, and in fact no public exchange of ideas.

Some yahoo's in the demonstrations calling for shutting down a rightwing rag does not = a general call to censor anything

Liberals

Oh, here we go...I so love it when ppl generalize. :rolleyes:

are offended by what conservatives publish and vice versa.

Wrong, I am not generally offended. Outraged at the silliness, maybe. But, Liberal rags generally don't hit the racism button.

Nor, I might add, do all Conservative rag's, either.

There are publications, art exhibits, films and public speakers that offend people every day. This is called an exchange of ideas and is a fundamental piece of the relatively free society we all enjoy so much.

One question...have you actually SEEN the cartoons in question...?

Let me tell you a story:

A few years' ago, shortly after the Abu Ghraib photo's came out, an artist in SF did a series of paintings on them, using the hooded man as a statue of liberty, etc. They were very graphic, and raw.

I liked them...sort of.

But anyway, the gallery-owner was socked in the eye by an angry patron, one of the paintings were vandalized, and the gallery started receiving phone threats.

Now, at first, ppl around the local Liberal commty were concerned: issues of free speech, etc...all true (in fact, I tried to volunteer for guard-duty for the gallery).

But then, I dug a little deeper, and found out that the gallery was right across the street from a pricey Catholic High School, in an upscale neighborhood.

So, part of the reaction was in response to WHERE the art was being displayed. Likely, one of the upscale parents saw these still-raw torture photo's in big display.

Was the guy reponsible for the vansalism in the wrong? Of course.

Should the artwork have been protected, and allowed to be displayed? Obviously

Was this some grandiose statement from Middle America, Catholic Schools, Red-Stater's or the John Birch Society...? Of course not.

And that's exactly what I am saying, here. All you have is a logical (but not condonable) response to inflammatory, racist cartoons.

By cow-towing to muslim extremists that use violence to threaten/silence our citizens,

so that we may continue to publish racist diatribes against them, whensoever we get out the flag, and wave it. :rolleyes:

we are letting ourselves be controlled by the same brutal dictatorships that rule a fearful and oppressed citizenry in many middle-eastern countries, imposing their will on us in the same way they impose it upon their own people.

And, my bathroom is riddled with Bolshevik's. Cannot seem to get rid of 'em...I tried using Mao, Marx....NOTHING seems to get 'em out!!! :D :D

If you were to post racist cartoons in slums I certainly wouldn't think you were the sharpest tack in the drawer,

Well, that is basically what that Danish paper did. So, there you are.

The cartoons were published in a western country under western rule. Folks from the middle eastern countries are trying to impose THEIR rules on our citizens.

Oh, please. Last I checked, there were Muslim's living in Denmark, too...and, some of them even READ Danish!! :eek:

So if during the LA riots some upset black people "went overboard" and killed your loved ones because they were white, would that just be "end of story"?

You miss my point. I hope I made it clear that the action is not condonable: just understandable. And BTW, YOU seem to forget that Muslim's didn't just all commit violence in protest of the cartoons...there were a variety of responses. Most of them quite peaceful.

Now, regarding the article I posted. The last four paragraphs I quoted were the one's of import...at least for the point I was making. The rest of the article went off on a tangent, unfortunately.

This quote shows the kind of blanket violence that will persist if we do not stand up for our own rights on our own soil.

This quote shows what one former Iranian President stated, in response. Really, Gaia: I suggest a hot bath and a good book. You're overexaggerating the importance of this.

But you're not without help: the corporate media sure like to put it in these terms, don't they?

Hope this helps you understand some of my own thoughts on the matter and gives you more material for thought.

Thank you. I can only hope the same, for you.

Neil Mick
03-10-2006, 01:39 AM
Oh, one more thing:

If this is some sort of attempt by Muslim's to censor Western speech, they sure blundered.

About the quickest way to get someone to view an artwork, is to try to censor it.

Yann Golanski
03-10-2006, 03:27 AM
/flame war on

Freedom of speak is easy when the speaker says something you agree with. Freedom of speak becomes relevant when the speaker says something you utterly disagree with. Mine Kampf, The Protocol of the Elders of Zion, The Communist Manifesto, Al Qeada retorique and a thounsand more should be read and available. The problem is that poeple in general are not given the tools (or maybe they are just born morrons) to distinguished what is rubish and what is not.

Still, the alternative is a totalitarian state: "democratie is the worst political system there is; all other exculded" ----- Another point to whoever tells me (NO google) who said this.

Taliesin
03-10-2006, 07:39 AM
Yann

Your phrase sounds suspiciously similar to: -

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

Sir Winston Churchill

With regard to Freedom of Speech every country in the world has limitations, for example when it amounts to inciting or 'soliciting' an offense, or when it is an assault (any words or actions that cause a person of reasonable person to fear immediate unlawful violence). However those limits must be minimal.

The fact that the cartoons were offensive does not take them to the point that they should be banned. It is a fact that freedom of speech must include freedom to say things others may find offensive.

Nor should we say this is a peculiarly Muslim thing. its just a Muslim example. Moslem's could try to justify their action by asking what the US would do if Nazi's in full SS Uniform wanted to march through a small community of Jewish concentration camp survivors (BTW this is a real life example that does have an answer)

In this case they do not come close to the state of requining to be banned any more that Jerry Springer the Opera did

Yann Golanski
03-10-2006, 08:52 AM
David, you are of course right and my quote was not accurate. Damn, I wish I had that quote dictionary at work.

SeiserL
03-10-2006, 09:11 AM
While I am not a fan of political correctness (because you can never speak the truth), IMHO freedom of speech is a privilege (not a right) that brings with it some measure of accountability and responsibility. If you have the right to say what ever you want, so does everyone else including those who totally disagree with you and they too can express it any way they want whether if offends or incites you too..

GaiaM
03-10-2006, 11:53 PM
Eric,

...an attempt to censor free speech by some individuals/groups; not by the "Islamic culture," or whatever...just as the abortion-clinic bombings are attempts by right-wing whacko's to control the lives of women.

I agree and have never suggested that we destroy all muslims because of the crazy actions of some individuals. I do wonder, however, where all the moderate, peaceful muslims are. I would think that if there are so many of them and they feel strongly against violence they would be making some sort of a statement against the actions of terrorists who are their neighbors and potentially friends. I wish they would.

They are reacting to hateful, racist cartoons that insult a religion, practiced by most of the people on the planet, published in a rightwing paper known for its racist remarks.

Gosh, does that sound like a powderkeg to you? It sure does, to me. So please: don't wave the "free speech" flag at me about this one. Yeah, no one should be threatened, but these cartoons were threatening. and that's something you (so far) have failed to address.

I have seen all the cartoons multiple times. I don't think they're nice, but I think at the most a couple of them are mildly offensive (Mohammed with a bomb in his head and no more virgins in heaven). The others were merely depictions of Mohammed, which is apparently considered offensive in Islam, but could certainly not be considered threatening to any individual. They made no direct threat to anyone, simply made fun of very real threats made by others. Although some might find it threatening to be turned around at the pearly gates because there were no more virgins I suppose...

No, this article lays out a revisionist fuzzying of the facts. It mentions Khomeini and props him up as some sort of charismatic zealot, and it totally ignores how he got to power and why (anger over the US-propped Shah, who replaced the popular, and democratically elected PM Mossadek);

From the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/1/newsid_2521000/2521003.stm

"1979: Exiled Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran
Religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini has made a triumphant return to Iran after 14 years in exile.
Up to five million people lined the streets of the nation's capital, Tehran, to witness the homecoming of the Shia Muslim imam.

Ayatollah Rubollah Khomeini, 78, was imprisoned by the Shah in 1963 for his opposition to reforms and was expelled the following year, to Iraq - via Turkey.
He spent the last few months of his exile in France, near Paris, from where he co-ordinated the revolution in January that forced the Shah of Iran to go into hiding.
The Ayatollah - a title meaning Gift of God - emerged from his chartered plane looking tired and tearful to meet the 1,500 religious and political leaders allowed to meet him in the terminal building.


A force of 50,000 police quickly lost control of the crowds outside the airport clamouring to catch a glimpse of the man who has been their spiritual inspiration."

Sounds like a charismatic zealot to me... And regardless of how he came into power, he was a powerful and respected leader.

it lists a conveniently blindsided (and myopic...shall we also recount the terrorist and conventional military attacks made by the US alone? The Iranian war with Iraq we helped lengthen; the CIA targeted killings...the list would far, far outweigh the selective reading, provided by your source.

The US has done many bad things and I certainly do not support the actions of our current government in many of these issues. Propping up bad leaders for our own political agendas is among the worst that we do. That is a whole other topic. It doesn't change the fact that muslim extremists have a long track record of violent acts against our citizens, most completely innocent bystanders.

Look, this isn't about "values," or "defending" anything. This is about some people getting hot under the collar.

I have no problem with people getting "hot under the collar" and expressing their views loudly and passionately. But when they threaten someone else's life, that becomes inappropriate and unacceptable. If life and liberty, including the right to speak your mind, aren't worth defending, then what is?

Not exactly subtle or deep thinkers, this bunch. Nor are they know to have a history of Muslim tolerance. These are people with axes to grind, and I have heard this "threat to our way of life" line before.

To quote Edward Said about said theory: "Rubbish."

It sounds like you are trying to discount the article because its author's site links to some folks whose names you have heard in an unfavorable light. I am not familiar with all the folks that his blog links to, and those that I am familiar with have ideas I agree with and ideas I don't. I try to be familiar with all kinds of folks, looking for logical theories and good morals behind their arguments.

I do not support "muslim tolerance". I support seeing people for who they are, not what they are and treating them based on that. There are muslim folks out there who are great people and I would in no way support harming them just because they share a religion with terrorist extremists. But I do NOT support tolerance for violence against innocent citizens.

Some yahoo's in the demonstrations calling for shutting down a rightwing rag does not = a general call to censor anything

No, but multiple death threats on the cartoonists, the editor and the Danish Prime minister certainly constitute a call to censor any future ridicule of Islam.

All you have is a logical (but not condonable) response to inflammatory, racist cartoons.

Yeah, when someone makes an inflammatory comment about me or my loved ones, my logical response is to issue death threats to their entire family...

Oh, please. Last I checked, there were Muslim's living in Denmark, too...and, some of them even READ Danish!!

Muslim Danish citizens live under Danish law, which includes freedom of press/speech and separation of church and state. This means that they are free to practice their religion as long as it stays within the bounds of the laws of the secular government. They are free to offend and be offended, just like the rest of the Danish citizens.

And BTW, YOU seem to forget that Muslim's didn't just all commit violence in protest of the cartoons...there were a variety of responses. Most of them quite peaceful.[QUOTE/]

I didn't forget that... but there is no threat or need to respond to peaceful protests - those folks are acting appropriately within the bounds of the law.

[QUOTE]But you're not without help: the corporate media sure like to put it in these terms, don't they?

NO! That's the problem! No media in this country is even covering the topic. Instead, they are bending over backwards to avoid pointing any fingers, even at people who outright threaten and kill our citizens. Furthermore, American media will not support the Danish newspaper's rights to publish what they choose. I wish the "corporate media" would put it in these terms!

If this is some sort of attempt by Muslim's to censor Western speech, they sure blundered.

About the quickest way to get someone to view an artwork, is to try to censor it.

Hey - there's something we agree on! Interesting point... It doesn't negate any of my above statements though ;-)

Gaia

Michael Varin
03-11-2006, 02:28 AM
Gaia,

Your age has little to do with your post. I was making a sarcastic remark about public education, but it sounds like you understood that.

Police are one branch of the criminal justice system. Their duty is to uphold the law and bring those suspected of crimes before a judge and jury.

Here are the judicial opinions that I know of there may be others. They are monotonous to read, but they are interesting.

South v. Maryland (http://www.justia.us/us/59/396/case.html)

Bowers v. DeVito (http://www.healylaw.com/cases/bowers.htm)

Deshaney v. Winnebago County (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=489&invol=189)

Castle Rock v. Gonzales (http://www.dvmen.org/dv-64.htm)

By the way, in general I agree with these opinions. If police were required to protect us, they would inevitably infringe upon our rights.

Lynn,

Freedom of speech is a right. We should accept responsibility for everything we do and everything that happens to us.

Michael

Neil Mick
03-11-2006, 12:27 PM
Eric,

I agree and have never suggested that we destroy all muslims because of the crazy actions of some individuals. I do wonder, however, where all the moderate, peaceful muslims are. I would think that if there are so many of them and they feel strongly against violence they would be making some sort of a statement against the actions of terrorists who are their neighbors and potentially friends. I wish they would.

Perhaps it's because you are so focused upon the violent responses...?

This, (http://islam.about.com/od/currentissues/a/cartoon.htm) after searching for about a min:

In the Quran, Islam's revealed text, God states: "When (the righteous) hear vain talk, they withdraw from it saying: 'Our deeds are for us and yours for you; peace be on to you. We do not desire the way of the ignorant'. . .O Prophet (Muhammad), you cannot give guidance to whom you wish, it is God Who gives guidance to whom He pleases, and He is quite aware of those who are guided." (28:55-56)

The Quran also says: "Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance." (16:125)

Another verse tells the prophet to "show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant." (7:199)

These are the examples that Muslims should follow as they express justifiable concern at the publication of the cartoons.

This unfortunate episode can be used as a learning opportunity for people of all faiths who sincerely wish to know more about Islam and Muslims. It can also be viewed as a "teaching moment" for Muslims who want to exemplify the prophet's teachings through the example of their good character and dignified behavior in the face of provocation and abuse.

As the Quran states: "It may well be that God will bring about love (and friendship) between you and those with whom you are now at odds." (60:7)


They made no direct threat to anyone, simply made fun of very real threats made by others. Although some might find it threatening to be turned around at the pearly gates because there were no more virgins I suppose...

And in these 2 short statements: you reveal your ignorance of Islamic culture.

OF COURSE they're threatening. Do you think people would act this way, if they weren't??

From the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/1/newsid_2521000/2521003.stm

"1979: Exiled Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran
Religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini has made a triumphant return to Iran after 14 years in exile.
Up to five million people lined the streets of the nation's capital, Tehran, to witness the homecoming of the Shia Muslim imam.

Ayatollah Rubollah Khomeini, 78, was imprisoned by the Shah in 1963 for his opposition to reforms and was expelled the following year, to Iraq - via Turkey.
He spent the last few months of his exile in France, near Paris, from where he co-ordinated the revolution in January that forced the Shah of Iran to go into hiding.
The Ayatollah - a title meaning Gift of God - emerged from his chartered plane looking tired and tearful to meet the 1,500 religious and political leaders allowed to meet him in the terminal building.

A force of 50,000 police quickly lost control of the crowds outside the airport clamouring to catch a glimpse of the man who has been their spiritual inspiration."

Sounds like a charismatic zealot to me... And regardless of how he came into power, he was a powerful and respected leader.

A religious figure he was; some messiah of a grand strategy to conquer the West, he wasn't.

Frankly, I couldn't care less what the Ayatollah called himself: it's beside the point. The article completely ignored the reasons for his rise to power, concentrating instead solely on this idea that he was some major figure in a fantastical "culture war."

Again, rubbish.

The US has done many bad things and I certainly do not support the actions of our current government in many of these issues. Propping up bad leaders for our own political agendas is among the worst that we do. That is a whole other topic.

Sorry, I completely disagree. If you're going to discuss an action taken by people, you need to discuss WHY they're doing this action, and you seem to ignore this.

It doesn't change the fact that muslim extremists have a long track record of violent acts against our citizens, most completely innocent bystanders.

All the while, completely ignoring how many Muslim innocent bystanders are hurt, killed, or tortured, by US or Israeli soldiers...some of whose leaders say that they're in a "crusade," or that they get their orders from God.

Please. If you're only going to see one half of the equation: you're going to miss the whole issue. But if you prefer to remain mired in this silly idea of clashes of civilizations: too bad for you.

I have no problem with people getting "hot under the collar" and expressing their views loudly and passionately. But when they threaten someone else's life, that becomes inappropriate and unacceptable. If life and liberty, including the right to speak your mind, aren't worth defending, then what is?

Tell that to the soldiers responsible for the 98 deaths in US prisons, from torture (listed in my sig).

It sounds like you are trying to discount the article because its author's site links to some folks whose names you have heard in an unfavorable light.

If I positively quoted Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, I dearly hope that someone would come by and bring me up short, too.

I am not familiar with all the folks that his blog links to, and those that I am familiar with have ideas I agree with and ideas I don't. I try to be familiar with all kinds of folks, looking for logical theories and good morals behind their arguments.

I do too: but "Jihad Watch" certainly does sound a tad biased, to say the least.

I do not support "muslim tolerance". I support seeing people for who they are, not what they are and treating them based on that. There are muslim folks out there who are great people and I would in no way support harming them just because they share a religion with terrorist extremists.

Why, some of my "best friends" are Muslim! :crazy:

I'm sure that there are Muslims out there who think Christians are a great people too, who would in no way support your being harmed just because you share a religion with terrorist extremists. :rolleyes:

But I do NOT support tolerance for violence against innocent citizens.

If you support this war, you do.

No, but multiple death threats on the cartoonists, the editor and the Danish Prime minister certainly constitute a call to censor any future ridicule of Islam.

Even so, multiple death threats does not = a general call to censorship

Yeah, when someone makes an inflammatory comment about me or my loved ones, my logical response is to issue death threats to their entire family...

I'm beginning to notice an obsession with death threats, here...

Muslim Danish citizens live under Danish law, which includes freedom of press/speech and separation of church and state. This means that they are free to practice their religion as long as it stays within the bounds of the laws of the secular government. They are free to offend and be offended, just like the rest of the Danish citizens.

Yes, and the Muslims living in Denmark are Danish Muslims: not some front-line soldiers in some prosiac ideological culture-war.


NO! That's the problem! No media in this country is even covering the topic. Instead, they are bending over backwards to avoid pointing any fingers, even at people who outright threaten and kill our citizens. Furthermore, American media will not support the Danish newspaper's rights to publish what they choose. I wish the "corporate media" would put it in these terms!

Sorry, but looking at recent stories of CNN and Michelle Malkin (who, unfortunately, IS in the mainstream...if a few notches to the Right) belies your claim.

Hey - there's something we agree on! Interesting point... It doesn't negate any of my above statements though ;-)

Gaia

It wasn't supposed to negate anything.

GaiaM
03-13-2006, 09:03 PM
And in these 2 short statements: you reveal your ignorance of Islamic culture.

OF COURSE they're threatening. Do you think people would act this way, if they weren't??
This sums up your lack of substance and inability to form coherent arguments.

Tell that to the soldiers responsible for the 98 deaths in US prisons, from torture (listed in my sig).
This emphasizes your inability to form coherent arguments, instead retorting with tangential "sound bites".

I'm sure that there are Muslims out there who think Christians are a great people too, who would in no way support your being harmed just because you share a religion with terrorist extremists.
and
If you support this war, you do.
And these quotes reveal a tendency not to listen and an extreme desire to pigeonhole people into convenient political spheres so that you can comfortably attack them with the tangential sound bites that may seem to constitute politics.

I am not a Christian.

I do not support the war in Iraq.

I imagine it may be difficult for you to imagine a person with "left leaning" politics that firmly believes in the US' right to defend its citizens and the good principles that form the foundation of the "West". It's called independant thinking - using my own mind to determine what is right and what is wrong. In this iterative process, I find it useful to discuss these topics with other individuals, because then I can formulate a theory and see if it holds up to the power of reason. Of course, this only works if the people that I share this theory with are reasonable and put some serious thought into the exchange. If I formulate the idea that, "freedom of speech is good, that it is necessary to maintain our quality of life, and that we have the right to defend that right." and then the person that I share it with responds with quotes from the Quran which are barely a tangent to the topic, I find it significantly less rewarding discourse.

Therefore, despite my lack of adherence to any religion, I will take the advice that you have put forth:
"When (the righteous) hear vain talk, they withdraw from it saying: 'We do not desire the way of the ignorant'.
Because using my own mind, I have determined that what you quote from the Quran is right.

I responded to your original post hoping for a quality exchange of ideas. I responded to your more recent posts in the hope that other people reading the exchange might appreciate some of the thoughts that I was presenting. I now respectfully withdraw from our exchange, for I feel that there is no exchange of quality ideas, but rather a steady spiral down towards the "sound bites", personal attacks, and lack of substance that seem to dictate politics in our society today.

Take care.

Gaia

Neil Mick
03-13-2006, 10:26 PM
And these quotes reveal a tendency not to listen and an extreme desire to pigeonhole people into convenient political spheres so that you can comfortably attack them with the tangential sound bites that may seem to constitute politics.

Well, Gaia, thanks for the lecture.

Thanks, also, for the humble and uncritical method of delivery. In your desire to critique my debating style of "pigeonholing:" your sure put me in my place.

I'm...pigeonhole'd, as it were.

I am sure that I could learn much, from such a humble, uncritical approach.

I hope you're noticing the sarcasm there...or was that too muted?

I am not a Christian.

I do not support the war in Iraq.

OH MY HEARTS n STARS!!! :eek: :eek: GAIA UNMASKED!

I never said you did...I admit, tho: that my comments were an attempt to draw you out, a little.

I imagine it may be difficult for you to imagine a person with "left leaning" politics that firmly believes in the US' right to defend its citizens and the good principles that form the foundation of the "West".

And this is where your argument falls down. In your desire to show me the "error of my ways," you have not once taken a stab at my central contention...that this is not some "defence of good principles that form the foundation of the West," this is merely a thinly-veiled apology for racism to propagate.

Really, Gaia, for the purposes of this argument: I couldn't care less your stance on the war. Howeverm you might say that you don't support the war: but what difference does it make if you support some ideology that suggests a "clash of civilizations??" In the end, if you swallow this idea (so far, totally unproven idea by neither you, nor the article): what's the big deal about Gitmo/Abu Ghraib/et al? They sort of brought it upon themselves, worshiping a religion shared by zealots and extremists, right?

Do you see where I am going with this...?

(sigh) No...probably not.

It's called independant thinking - using my own mind to determine what is right and what is wrong.

It's called "swallowing an ideology." - using your mind as an ideological stomach, to gorge on cynical framings probably dreamed up in some think-tank, somewhere...

In this iterative process, I find it useful to discuss these topics with other individuals, because then I can formulate a theory and see if it holds up to the power of reason.

Oh good, we have something in common, then.

I'm still waiting for you to produce the reasoning, behind your theories.

Of course, this only works if the people that I share this theory with are reasonable and put some serious thought into the exchange.

Quid pro quo.

If I formulate the idea that, "freedom of speech is good, that it is necessary to maintain our quality of life, and that we have the right to defend that right." and then the person that I share it with responds with quotes from the Quran which are barely a tangent to the topic, I find it significantly less rewarding discourse.

If I formulate an idea with a person who cannot see the value of using outside sources, I find it a significantly less rewarding resource.

And the reference to the Quran was VERY germane to the point. Go back, and read it again.

Therefore, despite my lack of adherence to any religion, I will take the advice that you have put forth:

Because using my own mind, I have determined that what you quote from the Quran is right.

I responded to your original post hoping for a quality exchange of ideas. I responded to your more recent posts in the hope that other people reading the exchange might appreciate some of the thoughts that I was presenting. I now respectfully withdraw from our exchange, for I feel that there is no exchange of quality ideas, but rather a steady spiral down towards the "sound bites", personal attacks, and lack of substance that seem to dictate politics in our society today.

Take care.

Gaia

good day...

I SAID good DAY! ;)

SeiserL
03-14-2006, 09:16 AM
IMHO, this is where "freedom of speech" discussions often go.

It isn't free, it cost a lot of time and energy to take things personally. And it usually cost someone their life to provide you with the freedom to speak out against what they stood up for.

Its rightness, usually turns into right-versus-wrongness, with each of us thinking we, and all those who agree with us, are right and good, and others who disagree with us are wrong and bad. The attacks on differences usually makes "freedom of speech" something people hide behind without extending it to others.

IMHO, if we look what "freedom of speech" usually turns to, we may question its value as anything more than a ideal goal for intelligent mature individuals to work towards with accountability, responsibility, compassion, and wisdom.

Too bad we don't often exercise our "freedom to listen".

(He bows and steps off his soapbox.)

Mark Uttech
03-14-2006, 10:03 AM
Neil Mick, you are a shameful example of a sandan. You have let politics get in your way in the worst way. In gassho, tamonmark

Mark Uttech
03-14-2006, 10:13 AM
On the other hand, Neil Mick, I've done the same thing with my latest post so....

Neil Mick
03-14-2006, 01:25 PM
Mark Uttrech, I wouldn't dare to suggest what kind of yudansha you are, not having met you or knowing anything other than what you post.

YOU, OTOH, seem far more enlightened, apparently able to tell all from my posts.

I bow to your "superior" prescience. :rolleyes:

Neil Mick
03-14-2006, 01:29 PM
IMHO, this is where "freedom of speech" discussions often go.

Lynn, believe it or not: I have always respected your insight--even tho we sometimes disagree. So, understand what I say is not an attempt to start an argument.

But my point above is that the issue is NOT about free speech--it's about tolerating racism. If Gaia had even acknowledged this, instead of attempting to redirect the conversation...we'd have gotten a lot farther.

SeiserL
03-15-2006, 12:21 AM
But my point above is that the issue is NOT about free speech--it's about tolerating racism.
Your right, entirely different issue.

Mark Uttech
03-15-2006, 10:52 AM
Suzuki Roshi would have told us at this point to go back to the simple practice of counting the breath. And why? Because with this simple practice we can easily notice how quickly we go off the track and bring ourselves back. In gassho.

Neil Mick
03-16-2006, 12:42 AM
Yes, I hope to remember the wise words of Suzuki Roshi...the next time I cast aspersions on ppl I haven't even met, yet. ;)

Mark Uttech
03-16-2006, 07:10 AM
It kind of dawns on me that some of us, (me included) have entirely too much time on our hands.

Neil Mick
03-16-2006, 11:47 AM
;)