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Friday Talking Points [331] -- Nous Sommes Charlie Hebdo

[ Posted Friday, January 9th, 2015 – 18:13 PST ]

Je suis Charlie. In fact, let's go even further: Nous sommes Charlie Hebdo. Because we are all Charlie, this week.

However, I have to say, most of the American media cravenly allowed the terrorists to dictate their editorial policy this week, which is truly disappointing. People got killed for these cartoons. And the American mainstream media, for the most part (there were a few notable exceptions), refused to show viewers or readers the cartoons in question. Out of fear. That's pathetic.

The proper response to terrorist pressure on cartoonists is to give the cartoons in question the widest audience possible in the largest number of media outlets possible -- that is true solidarity with Charlie Hebdo. Kudos to the Huffington Post for not cowering in fear, and actually running the cartoons, which were a major part of the breaking news story.

What made me really pause and think this week, though, was another story in Huffington Post, about a Saudi Arabian blogger who got a sentence of 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes because he "insulted Islam on a liberal forum." The whippings will begin today, and continue for the next 20 weeks (50 lashes per week). This sentence, I hasten to point out, comes from a government that the United States considers one of our closest allies in the region. So nous sommes Charlie, to be sure; but I am Raif Baddawi, as well. Freedom of expression -- and the freedom to write a blog post critical of any aspect of society -- should be considered absolutes, in my opinion. No matter who is trying to forcefully restrict this basic human right, friend or foe.

In domestic news, unemployment is down once again, job growth continues, gas prices are down, the stock market's booming, and the rate of uninsured Americans continues to plummet (down to 12.9 percent from a pre-Obamacare high of 18.0 percent) as a direct result of Obamacare. The continuing good economic news (and Obama's rising job approval polling) even got a begruduging acknowledgement from the Wall Street Journal.

At the beginning of the week, I wrote a piece which tried to convince Democrats to start taking some credit for all of this, before Republicans try to horn in and grab all the credit for themselves. Not two days later, Mitch McConnell tried to do exactly that. Sometimes I hit the jackpot in the "being prophetic" department, but usually not this quickly!

McConnell was soundly ridiculed, of course. Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, had the best response:

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. That Mitch McConnell is one funny guy. He likes to remind people all the time that he's not a scientist. Now we know he's not a mathematician or an economist either. The fact is, under President Obama we've had 57 straight months of private sector job growth leading to nearly 11 million jobs added. All Republicans have given us is a government shutdown that cost the economy $24 billion. I get why he wants to take credit for the economic recovery. But maybe he should first do something to help contribute to it.

Republicans are so funny. I mean, they always follow pretty much the same playbook: predict doom and gloom, and then when it doesn't happen, claim all the credit. Think this is too harsh? Here's a quick look back at four predictions Republicans were making back in 2012 about how disastrous a second Obama term would be -- gas was supposed to be almost $5.50 a gallon, unemployment was supposed to have stayed at eight percent, and the stock market and the economy were supposed to have crashed by now. Good thing we didn't re-elect Obama, eh?

Back in reality, President Obama is in the midst of unveiling a few policy ideas in preparation for his upcoming State Of The Union speech. Today's proposal is to make community college free for everyone. Can't see Republicans supporting that, but it'll be a dandy issue to run on for all Democrats, come 2016. In a few weeks, the White House will announce a far-reaching and long-overdue rule change on who is entitled to mandatory overtime -- and the even-better news is that Congress won't have much of a say about it.

Speaking of Congress, the 114th such gathering got sworn in this week, and got down to the serious business of passing bills that Obama is absolutely guaranteed to veto. However, we're going to make a conscious decision to punt discussing Congress, for the most part, until next week. Until then, Richard Zombeck has a pretty good rundown of all the mischief Republicans have been up to, and Salon's got a good explanation of why almost all of these efforts will be doomed to fail. We apologize for not getting into these issues, but then this column has been on hiatus for three weeks (two for our year-end awards columns, and last week we ran our monthly "Obama Poll Watch" article because we were still exhausted from the holiday season), so we've just got too much else to cover today.

In fact, this intro is long enough as it is, so let's just quickly note a few odds and ends, and move right along to the weekly awards. Two marijuana stories were in the business news section (which should become a much more common occurrence in the near future): former Senator Mike Gravel announced he'll become the CEO of a marijuana company, and a "high-profile venture capital firm" made a multi-million dollar investment in the company that will soon be marketing marijuana with a Bob Marley ("Marley Natural") brand.

The oldest known time capsule in America was opened this week, which was even more significant because it was originally created by well-known revolutionaries Paul Revere and Sam Adams.

In amusing journalism news, the vaunted New York Times made a major goof by running a story about "Kyrzbekistan" (instead of Kyrgyzstan). Somewhere, Herman "Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan" Cain is surely laughing.

And finally, one of the funniest editorials we've ever read was run by the Frederick News-Post in Maryland, in response to a local politician who was angry at one of their articles about him, and who (get this) threatened to sue the paper for their unauthorized use of his name. The editorial, appropriately enough, gratuitously uses his name over two dozen times, from a mere footnote right up to the article's title: "Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter." If you want a good laugh, this is the article to read this week!

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

As previously mentioned, President Obama is enjoying an upward bounce in his poll numbers. If he gets another boost from the State Of The Union, maybe more people will begin taking note. For now, we'll give him an Honorable Mention for this progress.

But our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week is Senator Barbara Boxer, who just announced she will not be seeking re-election next year.

Now, we could give Boxer an award because she is our senator and she votes a lot closer to our views than California's other senator, but that'd be more of a "lifetime achievement" award, really. Besides, we wrote about that yesterday, so we'd just be repeating ourselves.

Instead, we are handing Boxer the MIDOTW award for her timing. Boxer made her announcement stunningly early in the 2016 election cycle -- so early that even Nancy Pelosi was surprised by it. This insures the maximum amount of time for all other California Democrats to make their case to the public, instead of playing the egotistical game of "maybe I'll run, and maybe I won't" -- which far too many other senators have disgracefully played in the past. Boxer is putting her state and her party before her own self-importance, which is impressive indeed.

What was not so impressive (and we say this with all due respect) was the manner in which she ended her video announcement. She is fond of making rhyming statements, and crafted the following poem to explain why she's stepping down:

The Senate is the place where I've always made my case,
For families, for the planet and the human race.
More than 20 years in a job I love,
Thanks to California and the Lord above.
So although I won't be working for my Senate space,
And I won't be running in that next tough race,
As long as there are issues and challenges and strife,
I will never retire because that's the meaning of my life.

Now, this is normally the moment when we'd make the stock snarky comment "don't quit your day job," but it would just be too ironic to do so (seeing as how that's exactly what she is in the process of doing).

All friendly kidding aside, though, Barbara Boxer will indeed be missed in the Senate. She has been a staunch champion of so many issues, and she has been so reliable in standing up for her convictions that even bad poetry cannot diminish our respect for her. For announcing her plans so early and throwing the race wide open from the very start, Barbara Boxer is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. We can only hope that when it comes time for Dianne Feinstein to do the same thing (two years from now), she'll follow Boxer's classy lead.

[Congratulate Senator Barbara Boxer on her Senate contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We're happy to say we had no candidates for Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week, perhaps an aftereffect of all that holiday good cheer. If you'd like to nominate someone worthy of disappointment that we've ignored or missed, please do so (as always) in the comments section.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 331 (1/9/15)

President Obama is currently out in the country giving some extraordinary speeches. He's doing so to build support for his upcoming State Of The Union address, and it's a pretty sure bet that many of the applause lines in these preview speeches will find their way into the big one later this month.

The speeches are impressive for one big reason: they're optimistic. My (very early) guess is that Obama's State Of The Union speech this year will be compared to Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" campaign speech, in fact.

Now, there will be quibbles from Democrats disappointed that this sort of thing didn't happen before the election, when it might have done a lot more political good. But the hard reality is that six or nine months ago, Obama would have sounded too optimistic if he had given the same speech he just gave in Michigan, to auto workers. Obama -- and, by extension, the Democrats -- would have appeared out-of-touch instead of cheerily optimistic.

But with the last half-year's economic data under his belt, Obama is now free to begin talking up the American economy. He's still treading carefully, you can tell, but he's hitting more positive notes than just about any other politician out there.

Which is why we're taking six of our seven talking points this week from Obama's Detroit speech (a full transcript is available on the White House website). Our third talking point is the only non-Obama one this week, because the president glossed over this point in his speech (devoting only one quick sentence to it) and we felt it needed more emphasis.

All Democrats should be following the president's lead on this: claim some well-deserved credit! If you refuse to, the Republicans will snatch this opportunity away from you, guaranteed.

 

1
   America is coming back

This is where Obama started, which set the theme for the entire speech. As I said, it's very close to Reagan's "Morning In America" idea. Call it "realistic optimism," perhaps.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to make sure that more Americans in Wayne, more Americans in Michigan, more Americans all across this great country -- that everybody feels like they're coming back. And there is no doubt, thanks to the steps that we took early on to rescue our economy and to rebuild it on a new foundation, we are entering into the New Year with new confidence that America is coming back. Now, you don't have to take my word for it. The facts are the facts. And let's face it, a lot of times the media doesn't like reporting on good news, but every once in a while, it's important for us to hear some good news, not to make us complacent, but to give us confidence that if we work harder, we can make even more good news.

 

2
   Jobs are coming back

Obama's been doing a good job of blending job statistics with an "American exceptionalism" spin, of late. He gave this speech before December's numbers were out, so he couldn't add something like: "In my first year in office, in the depths of the Great Recession, unemployment hit 10 percent, but it is now down to 5.6 percent." But the rest of it works just fine, even without that added statistic.

Last year, 2014, was the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s. Since the 1990s. We've now had a 57-month streak of private sector job creation. We've created nearly 11 million new jobs. That's the longest stretch in our history of private sector, uninterrupted job creation. Here's another way of thinking about it. Since 2010, we, America, have put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and every other advanced economy combined. Combined. And let me tell you what's leading the way: American manufacturing. After a decade of decline, American manufacturing is in its best stretch of job growth since the 1990s.

 

3
   Obamacare came back

This is the one Obama glossed over. Again, this speech was likely written before the good news appeared from Gallup, so it's understandable. But it's important enough for me to attempt to put words into Obama's mouth. Here's what he could have said, with the recent data:

"The Affordable Care Act -- or 'Obamacare,' if you will -- is chalking up success after success. The website got fixed. Since then, people have been signing up in droves. About 10 million of them in the past year alone, in fact. Gallup now tells us that the rate of uninsured Americans has fallen sharply since Obamacare went into effect -- and it continues to fall. The quarter before the Obamacare exchanges opened, a full 18 percent of Americans were uninsured. Last quarter, that number had fallen to just 12.9 percent. Obamacare is doing exactly what it was designed to do -- reduce the number of people without health insurance in America. For all the doom and gloom its opponents have been predicting since we started talking about reforming health care, the data trends since implementation have been overwhelmingly positive."

 

4
   Deficits are way down

The way Obama frames this issue is important, because the gap between reality and what the public assumes is a large one, and it'll only shrink if Democrats point these things out over and over again.

We've cut our deficits by about two-thirds. I'd like people to think about that, because when they do surveys of, like, ordinary folks on the street and they ask them, are the deficits going up or are they coming down, everybody automatically assumes, well, government spending and deficits must be going up. Deficits have come down by two-thirds since I took office -- by two-thirds. They're going down.

 

5
   Let's rebuild the middle class together

This is likely to be the core of Obama's big speech in a few weeks, which he even points out. He's pivoting from where we are now to where he'd like to lead us.

America's resurgence is real. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. We've got the best cards and we are doing better than just about anybody else on Earth. And now that we've got some calmer waters, now that the worst of the crisis is behind us, if we all do our part, if we all pitch in, then we can make sure that this rising tide is actually lifting all the boats, not just some. We can make sure that the middle class is the engine that powers American prosperity for decades to come. And that's going to be the focus of my State Of The Union address in a couple of weeks -- building on the progress that we've already made.

 

6
   Auto bailouts have been repaid

This is a big deal, too, because it also fills in one of those gaps between reality and public perception. Of course, this is tailored to the Michigan crowd, but it's still an important point to make.

Last month we actually marked a milestone. Last month, the rescue of the auto industry officially came to an end. The auto companies have now repaid taxpayers every dime and more of what my administration invested in you. You paid the taxpayers back with your hard work, with your dedication. And over the past five years, this industry created about 500,000 new jobs. Last year, American autoworkers churned out cars faster than any year since 2005. Ford has brought jobs back from Mexico, created nearly 24,000 new jobs across this country, including 1,800 new jobs right here in this plant.

 

7
   We come back stronger

And, finally, Obama closes on a high note, once again stoking the American exceptionalism fires.

When our assembly lines grind to a halt, we work together, we get them going again. We don't give up. We get up, we fight back. We come back stronger than before. Thanks to the hard work of people like you, America is coming back. And I'm going to be on your side every step of the way.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

176 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [331] -- Nous Sommes Charlie Hebdo”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Nous sommes Charlie Hebdo. Indeed.

    It is very discouraging, if not surprising, to see how so many news outlets - including the vast majority of the English Canadian media - have decided not to reprint any of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Their reasoning, at least with respect to the Canadian Broadcasting Corportation, demonstrates a cowardice born out of sheer political correctness and, more importantly, a level of incompetence and lack of journalistic integrity that surprised even me.

    Is there anything in the US comparable to Charlie Hebdo?

    And, how many American college and university campuses still refuse to allow certain people to speak because of their offensive ideas?

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Not two days later, Mitch McConnell tried to do exactly that.

    Now, MM is pretty slippery. Look at what he said. He admits it's coincidental. He lets low info types conclude that one has something to do with the other.

    "the uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama administration’s long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress" - Mitch McConnell

  3. [3] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Boxer's poetry wasn't good, but it wasn't Vogon-level bad.

  4. [4] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    We're all Charlie? It doesn't look that way to me.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You're right ... we should all be Charlie. Well, those of us who care, anyway.

    If I had a blog, then I'd have reprinted the cartoon that depicted a returning Muhammad, on his knees about to be beheaded by a violent extremist. This one sums up best what the satirical humour is all about!

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's great to hear all the support for Charlie...

    However, being the stick in the mud that I am, I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't point out that ya'all had a decidedly opposite opinion of Freedom Of Expression when that Florida nutjob (yea, I know.. It's redundant :D) wanted to burn hundreds of korans...

    As CW said, Freedom Of Expression is absolute...

    You can't support it for one and not support it for another...

    I'm just sayin'... :D

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    And, how many American college and university campuses still refuse to allow certain people to speak because of their offensive ideas?

    Would you like a list?? :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    In 2012, in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, the Obama administration famously went out of its way to place the blame for the killing of four Americans on an “anti-Islamic” video that it vociferously condemned. Pulled from YouTube, the video was said to have invited riots by Islamic mobs, to have somehow exceeded the freedoms liberals now champion.

    “I know it’s hard for some people to understand why the United States cannot or does not just prevent these kinds of reprehensible videos from ever seeing the light of day,” said Hillary Clinton. The man who made the video was sentenced to jail on a parole violation.

    Around that time, Jay Carney questioned “the judgment behind the decision” of Charlie Hebdo to publish cartoons satirizing Islam. The Obama administration supported, in 2011, a U.N. resolution “condemning the stereotyping, negative profiling, and stigmatization of people based on their religion.”

    Stereotypes, negativity, criticism, profiling, stigmas, meanness in general—if expressed in print or by voice, these subjective statements are parts of speech (and keep me employed). They may be imprudent. They may be wrong. But they must be free.
    http://freebeacon.com/columns/blasphemy-for-me-but-not-for-thee/

    We need to not just SAY we are Charlie.. We have to PROVE each and every day that we are Charlie...

    It harkens back to a very simply concept that has been taking a pounding in the here and now..

    "I don't agree with what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it.."

    Thank the gods, that's not a problem here in Weigantia... :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    dsws wrote:

    Nous sommes Charlie Hebdo.

    Are we? I'm no more in favor of antisemitic or anti-Islamic violence than I am of anti-anti-Islamic violence. It's not clear to me that Charlie Hebdo shares that position.

    I support freedom of speech for everyone from EarthFirst! to the KKK, from Occupy to the Club for Growth, from Charles Manson to George Soros. (I should note, though, that I do not include delivery of cash to a politician's freezer in the category of "speech".) But I'm not them.

    And let me tell you what's leading the way: American manufacturing. After a decade of decline, American manufacturing is in its best stretch of job growth since the 1990s.

    http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES3000000001?data_tool=XGtable

    The graph shows flat-ish but somewhat declining manufacturing employment from 04 to 08, a crash when the Great Recession hit, and slow but steady recovery from 2010 to the present. But what's really noticeable is that, so far, the recovery only comes to a third of the way from the post-crash low to the pre-crash plateau.

    But there's a pair of drop-down boxes that let you choose the start and end years. If you have it show its whole available range, from 1939 to present, it's even more interesting. The ramp-up to WWII dwarfs the Great Recession. Manufacturing employment peaks in the late 1970s. The line is jagged from 1939 until the mid-1980s and much smoother thereafter. And the crash of the Great Recession is merely the second half of a collapse from about 2000, almost mirroring the ramp-up to WWII, with the plateau of the first graph being only a slowing in the middle of it.

    The scale on the graph has a vanishing zero: the values range from a bit below ten million jobs to a bit below twenty million.

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    (I should note, though, that I do not include delivery of cash to a politician's freezer in the category of "speech".)

    It isn't..

    It's a form of expression...

    And Freedom Of Expression encompasses all the other freedoms, including speech..

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    We're all Charlie? It doesn't look that way to me.

    I think what CW is trying to say is that we should all TRY to be Charlie.. :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    CW-

    I would like to nominate each and every democratic member of the house who voted in favor of suspending the implementation of the Volcker rule this week for the MDDOW with a call out to the members of the California delegation who have previously gone along with this nifty little suspension of the will of the people but changed their mind this time. What did they suddenly remember to vote as the citizens would want? More than likely they decided to payback those lovable scamps on Wall Street for not supporting them during the campaign season.

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    Nous sommes Charlie Hebdo. Are we? I'm no more in favor of antisemitic or anti-Islamic violence than I am of anti-anti-Islamic violence. It's not clear to me that Charlie Hebdo shares that position.

    Here's why I think all of us should be Charlie:

    Ten journalists and two security staff at Charlie Hebdo were killed because they were exercising their rights to freedom of the press and speech, two of the most valued freedoms in any functioning representative democracy. Americans and Canadians have fought and died for those freedoms, after all.

    It doesn't matter one whit whether you find the Charlie Hebdo cartoons offensive or funny.

    There will come a time for a substantive debate about whether the satirical humour of Charlie Hebdo had any merit or not (I say it does, indeed!)but, now is not that time.

    Now is the time to stand up for those freedoms that are under attack and that we so often take for granted.

  14. [14] 
    dsws wrote:

    People are killed all the time, while exercising various rights. When the perpetrators are identified with TPTB's current favorite bogeymen, and only then, the victims are transmogrified into glorious martyrs with whom we should all identify. No thanks.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have no idea what that means, dsws ...

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... but, I think you have missed the point, entirely.

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    In the face of vicious attacks against civil liberty, you can stand to defend liberty or you can stand with the terrorists.

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, there is no middle ground on which to stand here.

  19. [19] 
    LewDan wrote:

    There's always middle-ground. Nothing--especially human rights, is absolute. Every "right" potentially infringes the rights of others. Allowable rights are always a balancing act, a trade-off. Our concept of First Amendment rights is predicated on the assumption that the benefits to a free democracy outweigh the potential harms, not that there is no harm, and can be no harm.

    Terrorism in general, and deadly violence, in particular, should nearly always be condemned. But they may well be appropriate responses to other acts of terrorism and deadly violence. The biblical freeing of Egyptian Jewish slaves by Moses, the American Revolution, The French Resistance of WWII are all examples of acts of terrorism and deadly violence, including violence against civilians, that are generally considered, not just appropriate but highly laudable.

    France's anti-Muslim legislation, backed by police use of force, is terrorism and violence directed against Muslims. Once you start down that path escalation is inevitable.

    I've no problem with criticism of dangerous extremists. But even that, in an environment of religious bigotry, can be an attack against more than just dangerous zealots themselves.

    The lionization of Charlie as if it were merely religious satire, and not a part of a national anti-Muslim campaign that went far beyond targeting dangerous extremists, is dishonest. Charlie itself may not have been simply anti-Muslim, but it did not exist in a vacuum. Just as our Police always portray themselves as "heroes", so does the media.

    The pen isn't just "mightier than the sword" it's even more deadly. Pretending the media "only" attacks people with words and not violence is untrue. Those words foment violence. Pretending "free speech" isn't violence is equally untrue. It often is.

    While the attack on Charlie is unacceptably extreme, and rightly condemned, it isn't the totally mindless unprovoked act it's being portrayed as.--And claims that "free speech" means "journalists" have a right to say anything about anyone at any time without consequence is every bit as extreme, dangerous, and a violent attack on everyone's freedom as the attack against Charlie was.

    "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins" doesn't just apply to physical acts, it applies to all "rights", including the right to free speech.

    If the press thinks it has an unlimited "right" to attack others, then others have an unlimited right to attack the press in return. Only limited attacks against the press are morally conscionable and socially acceptable just as only limited attacks under "freedom of speech" are conscionable and acceptable.

    "Freedom of speech" is not an unlimited right. Your right to speak depends on what you have to say and who you have to say it about. It always has. And it always will. Anyone who believes otherwise is dangerously deluded--extremist zealot.

    I don't care what anyone else says, you cannot fight terrorists by dehumanizing them. They are very human. They act and react in very human ways, and for very human reasons. Pretending otherwise to delegitimize their violence against us and legitimize our violence against them is a recipe for failure--and inciting terrorism.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    The biblical freeing of Egyptian Jewish slaves by Moses, the American Revolution, The French Resistance of WWII are all examples of acts of terrorism and deadly violence, including violence against civilians, that are generally considered, not just appropriate but highly laudable.

    Completely and utterly wrong...

    Terrorism is defined as ongoing and systematic attacks of violence specifically targeted against innocent civilian persons or property for the purpose of furthering a political, economical or ideological agenda.

    The cases you outline do not rise to the bar of terrorism as it is defined..

    Your attempt to humanize terrorists is destined to fail, epic-ly fail...

    There can be absolutely NO justification for terrorism. None whatsoever..

    Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply ignorant of what terrorism really is or is sympathetic and supportive of terrorists and their actions and goals..

    You can nuance it, mitigate it or grey-area it to death, but Liz called it dead on ballz accurate..

    There is no middle ground. You are either with terrorists or you are against them..

    It's that simple...

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    In the face of vicious attacks against civil liberty, you can stand to defend liberty or you can stand with the terrorists.

    That is so dead on ballz accurate, it's scary!!

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins" doesn't just apply to physical acts, it applies to all "rights", including the right to free speech.

    Sticks and stones...

    The fact that you equate speech with terrorism/violence indicates just how far off the reservation you've gone....

    We have the freedom to say what we wish (within the confines of public safety and security) regardless of whether or not it hurts someone's feelings...

    Yelling at someone and calling them names is as far removed from physical violence as is possible to be..

    At least it is with civilized society..

    This incident, and so many others like it, simply prove beyond any doubt what I have always said about Islam..

    Islam is now what Christianity was a thousand years ago..

    Brutal, unforgiving, unrepentant and uncivilized..

    It's a race to see whether or not Islam joins the 21st century or is extinguished due to it's violent nature..

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me put it another way...

    Claiming that terrorism can be equivocated and justified is akin to saying that child molestation can be equivocated and justified..

    For, if one can find justification in terrorism then one can find justification for ANYTHING, no matter how perverse or uncivilized the act..

    There ARE absolutes in the civilized world...

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    People are killed all the time, while exercising various rights.

    This is true..

    The skydiver whose chute doesn't open...

    The bungee jumper whose line snaps...

    The pilot whose plane crashes...

    But none of those compare to the people who are brutally murdered (not killed, but MURDERED) solely and completely BECAUSE they were exercising their freedom of expression rights..

    THAT is a whole different level of frak'ed up..

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LewDan,

    While you make some arguably valid points about balancing rights, I think it is wrong and utterly intellectually dishonest to equate vicious and deadly acts of violence with satirical humour or any other form of freedom of expression.

    There are many issues you point to that I think are entirely worthy of reasoned debate but, when you equate the brutal murder of human beings with political satire, regardless of whether or not the humour has merit or of how offensive some may find it to be, then you have lost me, completely.

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    This incident, and so many others like it, simply prove beyond any doubt what I have always said about Islam..

    If we are ever going to rid the world of violent Islamic extremism, we are going to need the collaboration of moderate Muslims everywhere who peacefully practice their faith and who believe in the same rights and freedoms and representative democracy as you and I do.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    If we are ever going to rid the world of violent Islamic extremism, we are going to need the collaboration of moderate Muslims everywhere who peacefully practice their faith and who believe in the same rights and freedoms and representative democracy as you and I do.

    I completely and unequivocally agree...

    The problem to date is that the actual moderate Muslims are relatively few in number...

    The vast majority of Muslims will publicly condemn such atrocities, but in private, they support the aims and the actions of the terrorists..

    The violent Islamic jihadists simply couldn't exist otherwise..

    In short, Islam is separated into 3 groups.. On the fringes, you have the relatively few Muslims.. On the one side, the ones who practice terrorism.. On the other side, the ones who abhor violence in the name of their religion..

    The group in the middle, by far the largest group, are those Muslims who publicly or privately condone, encourage and/or support the terrorists...

    It's that group who must be convinced of the error of their waves, if Islam is to survive as a viable religion...

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    dsws wrote:

    Everyone has to be Charlie Hebdo, but no one has to be Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein. No one has to be the hundreds of Muslims in the US who have been the targets of lesser hate crimes.

    When a right is violated, do "we" all have to identify with the victim? Is that what it means to have rights? But there are plenty of people "we" aren't going to identify with, even if an atrocity is committed against them for doing things that in any decent society they're supposed to be free to do. If that's what rights are, then those people don't have any.

    I don't buy it. I am not the KKK, but the KKK have the right peaceably to assemble, and to speak. If they don't, then none of us really do. If scum like the KKK don't have the right to speak, then the what the rest of us have is a privilege based on not being scum like them. I am not a kidnapper, rapist, and chronic petty crook, but if people like Ernesto Miranda didn't have the right to remain silent, then none of us really would.

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Your faux equivalence arguments and your insistence on changing the subject is stunning, especially in view of what is happening in Paris, at this very moment.

    Do you not think that there is a war going on here between violent Islamic extremism and the civilized world?

    Must you raise every other issue on the face of the earth to distract from the real global threat of terrorism?

    I just don't understand where on earth you are coming from!

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    When a right is violated, do "we" all have to identify with the victim?

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    I think you might be reading too much into the "WE ARE CHARLIE" sentiment..

    No one is saying you have to stand up with any one and everyone who has ever had their rights curtailed...

    But when there is a threat to the most basic of freedoms, it does behoove all of us to stand up and be counted..

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very well stated, Michale!

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why, thank you.. :D

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You're very welcome!

    Are you watching the rally?

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    there are a lot of valid and worthy topics here, but i just want to back up and give some credit to CW for an outstanding list of talking points this week.

    America is coming back stronger!

    Jobs are coming back stronger!

    Obamacare is coming back stronger!

    Deficits are down, auto bailouts are being repaid, and the middle class and all of america are in this together, coming back stronger!

    That is a super, coherent message people can rally around. i don't know if it'll be enough to stop bush III from taking the white house, but it's a damn good start!

    JL

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yep, things ARE looking a bit better...

    Which would indicate that the Right wasn't being as obstructionist as we were led the believe, eh? :D

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're very welcome!

    Are you watching the rally?

    Nope.. :(

    Unfortunately, working today...

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Each of the examples I gave meets even your definition of terrorism. "The first born of Egypt" were innocent civilians systematically violently attacked, "turncoats" were innocent civilians systematically violently attacked, (George Washington's boys weren't just heroically assassinating Red-coats from behind trees,) French "collaborators" were innocent civilians systematically violently attacked--and every one of them was to promote a political, economic, or ideological agenda.

    Rogue Israeli settlers bombing a Palestinian's home isn't justification for antisemitism. And Muslim terrorists attacking satirists, or anyone else, including us, isn't justification for anti-Muslim sentiment.

    And, no, the KKK doesn't have a "right" to their hate speech. "Either everyone has a right or speak or no one does" is bullshit. We protect the KKKs "right" to speak out of expediency, not because they're entitled. We, as a nation, decided that letting hate speakers speak out is less dangerous to us than allowing government to determine which speakers are acceptable.

    Freedom of speech is a compromise, not an entitlement. And it sure as hell isn't absolute. It's an example of tolerance not an entitlement that supercedes any need for tolerance.

    No one, with any other option, responds to attacks in kind. Responses to attacks, any kind of attack, are always escalations. We attack people we think are leaders of violent movements all the time, regardless of whether or not they personally engage in violent acts. Their speech alone, their organizing, directing, and promoting, violent attacks by others has always been more than enough justification for violent responses on our part. Their "free speech rights" are no shield whatsoever.

    I've not nearly the sympathy the rest of you have for satirists who either couldn't, or wouldn't, find a way to speak against dangerous religious extremists without deliberately, and unnecessarily, blaspheming against, insulting, and attacking a few hundred million followers of a major religion. Particularly when those satirists live in a country becoming ever more intolerant of, and suppressant of the religion in question.

    French Muslims aren't imagining attacks against them. Political, economic, or ideological. You can pretend that participating in those attacks, encouraging them by word alone, means you're not actually involved in the attacks yourself, but the reality is otherwise.

    I'm not saying the attacks on the satirists were justified.--They aren't. But they weren't mad dog crazy either.--And the satirists weren't "innocents" either. Nor are they "free speech" martyrs.

    They are victims of religious intolerance--including their own. I'm against religious intolerance--including their own. I believe intolerance is the root cause of terrorist attacks, not Muslims. I believe stopping terrorism means confronting intolerance, not Muslims.

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, LewDan,

    Are you saying that there is no place in your world for biting satirical humour?

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    I believe stopping terrorism means confronting intolerance

    Which does absolutely NOTHING but reward terrorism and invites MORE terrorism..

    NO ONE that I know of is intolerant of Muslims..

    People are intolerant of Muslim/Islamic terrorism..

    As well they should be..

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    LewDan wrote:

    BTW Michale,

    Your terrorism definition isn't inaccurate but it isn't comprehensive either. The Pearl Harbor attack, for example, was an act of terror in spite of its being directed against military personnel and installations. Just as Russia's Ukrainian intervention is terrorism, (and not solely directed at Ukraine either!) even if civilians aren't the real targets.

    As always, your definitions are tailored to your prejudices. Mine aren't. "Terrorism" is acts intending to instill "terror" in a populace. Unlike you, I don't care how, why, or by whom.

  41. [41] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Liz,

    I love biting satirical humor!

    But you don't have to depict Muhammad to criticize Muslim extremists. And if you make that choice the response, even if its an extreme violent overreaction, is partly your responsibility for choosing to attack others.

    Call me crazy, but simply starting a fight and ending up with far more than you expected, or could handle, doesn't make you a martyr.

    Unlike the majority here I don't think anyone has a right to attack others. Criticizing terrorists and dangerous extremists is a response to attacks. But you leave that arena entirely, and become an attacker yourself, little different from any other extremist or terrorist when you broaden your attack to include anyone who happens to be of a particular community.

    And I'm old-school. I assume that if I attack someone it could get me killed. So I choose who, how, and why to attack people accordingly. And I've little sympathy for anyone whining about how they weren't supposed to get so badly hurt in return when they decided to egregiously attack some other people.

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    If I understand you correctly, LD..

    What you are saying is that the Charlie Hebdo massacre is a legitimate attack in response to Charlie Hebdo's satiracle "attack" on the prophet and islam...

    Does that sum up your position??

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I hope it doesn't but is sure sounds like it does.

    We can have a debate about the merit or lack thereof of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

    It's just not right to have that debate today, in the immediate wake of a vicious and deadly attack in response to political satire and the freedom of expression.

    Today is the day to stand up against radical Islamist extremism and for democracy and the freedoms we hold dear.

  44. [44] 
    LewDan wrote:

    What about my remarks referred to "legitimacy?" The attacks were not unforeseeable, not unpredictable. "Legitimate" is historically determined by the victors. If Islam one day rules the world the attacks may indeed be considered "legitimate." After all, we consider the Spanish Inquisition "legitimate." You, Michale, consider the Iraq war "legitimate."

    You throw around "legitimate" to equate "right" and "wrong" with "agrees with me," or not. As always I'm dealing with reality and you want to address your fantasies.

    In the real world "legitimate" is for history to decide. Could be this whole "Democratic experiment" thing turns out to be misguided and "illegitimate."

    You think U.S. terrorism, or Israeli terrorism, isn't terrorism because its "legitimate." But I'm a simple man. It's all I can handle to try and deal with cause and effect, "legitimate" is beyond me
    . Terrorism is terrorism as far as I'm concerned, "legitimate" is an entire other issue.--But when you throw stones you can get hurt.--Even I can understand that much.

    Its not about "legitimacy" it's about reality. I haven't the arrogance required to delude myself that I can determine "legitimate." Or the hypocrisy required to think "legitimate" terrorism is better than "illegitimate" terrorism.

    "Legitimate" terrorism is simply necessary. It has no other redeeming qualities. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were "legitimate", although that judgment is still subject to change. I don't believe anyone still, (assuming anyone ever did,) believes that they were "good", only necessary. Just as no one's ever pretended their sole purpose wasn't to terrorize the Japanese into surrender before we were forced to invade.--Which, by definition, made us "terrorists".

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LD,

    I love biting satirical humor!

    But you don't have to depict Muhammad to criticize Muslim extremists. And if you make that choice the response, even if its an extreme violent overreaction, is partly your responsibility for choosing to attack others.

    I must vehemently disagree with your view that the deadly Charlie Hebdo attacks can be attributed - in any way, shape or form - to those who created and published satirical cartoons about violent Islamist extremists which depicted the Prophet Muhammad.

    And, I think biting satirical humour, by its very essence and measure of its effectiveness, is going to offend some one or some group. That's the point! It's very hard to understand how you can effectively satirize violent Islamist extremists who carry out vicious and deadly attacks in the name of the Prophet Muhammad without depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

    Tolerance needs a full discussion and expression of ideas to flourish. And, it needs something else, too. It needs biting satirical humour that would necessarily give offence to intolerance, totalitarianism, fascism and other abuses of power and to all those devoted to such.

  46. [46] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Liz,

    As to the appropriateness of my remarks--what happened to you championing free speech? When its your tender sensibilities, or the French, or the media, topics should be avoided "out of respect?!" But when its Muslims who may be offended its the "right to free speech?!"

    My remarks haven't been about whether the attacks on Charlie were "legitimate," they've been about the massive prejudice and hypocrisy rampant in the discussions.--And the minor point that to actually address terrorism that prejudice and hypocrisy is as much a root cause as anything else--including Muslim extremism.

    More of the same prejudice and hypocrisy isn't honestly addressing terrorism, its incubating more terrorism. Continuing, and escalating, the same cycles that have resulted in this terrorism to begin with.

  47. [47] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Liz,

    "Tolerance" does not mean that you have a right to offend anyone else anytime you choose. "Tolerance" means evaluating your speech against how offensive it may be received by your audience. And reality means recognizing that there are ideas people will fight and murder for. And that religious beliefs are chief among them. Whether or not they should is immaterial. The fact is that they will. It's simply human nature.

    There is no "right" to live in the alternative reality of your choosing. Poke a bear and you may be mauled. "Right" and "wrong" don't even enter into it. It's simply a fact. You can certainly criminalize human nature. It's been done often enough! On on occasion its even worked alter behaviors. But sometimes it doesn't.

    But I can promise you that simply wishing human beings didn't behave like human beings.--Or, worse, simply wishing that other human beings didn't behave like human beings! is not ever gonna happen.

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LD,

    As to the appropriateness of my remarks--what happened to you championing free speech? When its your tender sensibilities, or the French, or the media, topics should be avoided "out of respect?!" But when its Muslims who may be offended its the "right to free speech?!"

    I'm not sure what any of that means. Incidentally, I don't have any tender sensibilities - well, none that I would ever admit to publically, anyway. :)

    However, the question of today for all of us is: in the face of vicious and deadly attacks against civil liberty, do we stand up for the freedoms we say we hold dear or do we stand with the terrorists? All other questions must be saved for another day.

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LD,

    And reality means recognizing that there are ideas people will fight and murder for. And that religious beliefs are chief among them. Whether or not they should is immaterial. The fact is that they will. It's simply human nature.

    I hope that doesn't mean that we should allow deranged barbarians to dictate how we choose to satirize them.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    As always, your definitions are tailored to your prejudices. Mine aren't. "Terrorism" is acts intending to instill "terror" in a populace. Unlike you, I don't care how, why, or by whom.

    By your definition, people who make scary movies are terrorists..

    My definition has the benefit of, ya know... Being reality...

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By your definition, people who make scary movies are terrorists..

    Heh.

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Unlike you, I don't care how, why, or by whom.

    I know.. And that's why your definition is totally frak'ed and has nothing to do with reality..

    Because the HOW and the WHY are defining qualities of the definition...

    Take the Irgun attack on the King David Hotel..

    It was not an act of terrorism because it was a legitimate military target. The fact that there were civilians in the way is irrelevant to the definition...

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki were also legitimate military attacks against legitimate military targets...

    Charlie Hedbo was an act of terrorism..

    The Fort Hood shooting was not an act of terrorism...

    You seem to think that A> people being scared and B> people being killed is all that is needed to define the incident as terrorism...

    By your definition, Katrina was terrorism..

    By your definition, the Japanese tsunami was terrorism...

    By your definition, BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was terrorism..

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    LewDan wrote:

    No, Michale,

    The how and why are what you use to tailor your definition so that it (arguably) doesn't apply to you. No one is terrorized by a scary movie. No one suffers PTSD as a result of scary movies.

    Whether a target is military has nothing to do with whether a tactic employed is terrorism. That's sophistry. The stayed intent of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor was to terrorize the U.S. into submission. That's an historical fact. That is terrorism. The stated intent, and actual result, of the dropping of the atomic bomb was to terrorize Japan into immediate unconditional surrender. That too is historical fact and undisputed terrorism.

    The United States us the greatest terrorist organization in the history if mankind. We might gg ave placed second to Nazis if they hadn't been intent in exterminating people rather than simply terrorizing them.

    Your self-serving efforts to define terrorism in a way that allows you to pretend to moral superiority is as self-delusional as all your other false postures. Terrorists aren't subhuman, or even particularly aberrant.

    The universal tendency to define terrorism as what the other guy does

  54. [54] 
    LewDan wrote:

    The universal tendency to define terrorism as what the other guy does is why terrorism isn't meaningfully addressed. When we kidnap, torture, and indefinitely incarcerate innocent people without trial, that's "self-defense". If anyone else does it its "terrorism". That's propaganda not moral superiority.--And it certain isn't reality.

    When we choose to violate the rights of others, physically attacking them, its "the rule of law" because we do it under cover of the law and policing. Anyone else and its terrorism.

    As I said, the American revolution was rioting, looting, assassination, mass murder, terrorism, and thoroughly criminal--until they won. Terrorism is a tactic, and extremely common tactic, not some kind of mental disorder. (And calling it "shock and awe" doesn't change the fact that it is terrorism.)

    And when you think you've a right to violate the rights of others to worship as they choose don't cry to me about them violating your right to free speech. Civilization, and "rights" are about mutual respect and accommodation not excuses for your "rights" to do as you please with impunity while no one else is "allowed" to do anything to you in return.--Your massive disappointment when reality turns out to be other than your delusions seriously underwhelms me as well.

    No, I don't condone murder or terrorism. But the way to avoid being killed for attacking others is not to egregiously attack others in the first place.

    This country was founded on a belief in self-determination. It's a belief that I hold as well. It's a belief that people have a right to determine for themselves how they live and what they do. But too often I see people who expect others to be forced to submit to them. Invariably violence results.

    When you've no respect for the rights of others--big surprise! They've no respect for your rights either!

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LD,

    So, I guess you thought that the big rally in Paris yesterday was just much ado about nothing, then?

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Wait just a minute ... don't tell me there's a word limit, now, at CW.com ... !

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LD[53-54]

    I see, said the blind man to the deaf man.

    Well, THAT certainly explains why the US didn't send a top level official to the big March For Unity rally in Paris, yesterday. Hmmm ...

  58. [58] 
    dsws wrote:

    Your faux equivalence arguments

    What, according to you, am I supposedly saying is equivalent to what?

    Nothing is equivalent to anything. There are rights that are very important, and rights that are less important. Even when it's the same right, there are severe violations and insignificant violations.

    I'm not saying anything is equivalent to anything. I'm providing a small but diverse set of examples to illustrate part of my understanding of what it means for there to be a right. Saying that there is a right is, most directly, just another way of saying that it is wrong to do certain things: the things that constitute violations of the right. But that's not quite all it is. It's not a competent use of the word "right", not good English, to spell out a statement that some mishmash of unrelated things all are wrong for a mishmash of unrelated reasons, and then call that a "right". Rather, the word appeals to certain ideas about right and wrong.

    Key among these ideas is the fact that people have rights based on some sort of objective criteria. If you say some people have a particular right and others don't, based on some criterion like being a citizen, or having entered into a particular type of contract, or just being alive and capable of suffering, that works. But if you try to say that some people have a particular right and others don't, based on some other criterion like being a Christian, or being on the side of the 99% against our evil corporate overlords, or being a "real" American, that doesn't. If you do that, what you're talking about isn't a right. It may be license or privilege, but it's not a right.

    Then there's being someone we identify with. That, I claim, is squarely in the second category.

    No decent person would say "I am the KKK" or "I am Ernesto Miranda", the way we're being asked to say "I am Charlie Hebdo". The KKK is evil. Genuine, honest-to-Satan evil. Even if Ernesto Miranda didn't sink to quite that level, he was still a real scumbag, the kind of person you'd think would have succumbed to SIDS if there were a benevolent God.

    Yet our right to remain silent bears Miranda's name. It's a right: it applies even to filth like him.

    By insisting on "I am Charlie Hebdo", we (meaning the entire world's chattering classes, not present company particularly) are moving away from an outlook based on rights in the tradition of Brandenburg v Ohio and Miranda v Arizona, and toward one based on a grand struggle between the forces of goodness (for whom anything is permissible) and those of evil (whose depravity contaminates their every action).

    Well, I'm not Charlie Hebdo, any more than I'm Ernesto Miranda. That's not because there's anything wrong with Charlie Hebdo. There may not have been, for all I know. It's because I care about Charlie Hebdo's right to publish and not be murdered for it, not about any privileges Charlie Hebdo may have had by virtue of being people we can identify with.

    Do you not think that there is a war going on here between violent Islamic extremism and the civilized world?

    That's right, I do not think that there is a war going on here between violent Islamic extremism and the civilized world. There are various organizations that organize people to commit various atrocities. Some of them wage war. Others, too weak to do so, resort to tactics of asymmetric conflict. Overall, by historical standards, the world is relatively peaceful.

    Wars are fought between states, not between abstractions like "extremism" and "civilization".

    We need more defense of rights, and less epic narrative of us-versus-them.

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, what did you think of the big rally in Paris, yesterday?

  60. [60] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The problem really is fundamentalist Abrahamic religion and not just Islam. When you make up stories about a supernatural being and tell people that he's the Kim Jong Un of the universe, fearful people will react badly. The one and only god of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions is an irrational, sadistic, violent SOB with multiple names & personalities and a surveillance state mentality who inexplicably needs his sheeple to protect him from insult. It's quite scary when anybody says they believe every word of that stuff because the source documents are truly bizarre and plainly not believable.

  61. [61] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I once received a threatening letter in the snail mail at my home because of something that I wrote. It wasn't from a muslim.

    If you want a taste of Christian terrorism, try reading this book:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/zingularity/2014/12/06/the-military-religous-freedom-foundation/

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    No one is terrorized by a scary movie.

    You obviously never saw BLAIR WITCH PROJECT...

    When we choose to violate the rights of others, physically attacking them, its "the rule of law" because we do it under cover of the law and policing. Anyone else and its terrorism.

    But you said that it doesn't HAVE to be a "physical" attack. You said that a satiracle "attack" is as much an "attack" as a physical attack is..

    You said that a physical attack against a Charlie Hedbo is justified because that Charlie Hedbo "attacked" first..

    But now you are making the distinction between a satire "attack" and a physical attack..

    You see, even you acknowledge that there is a difference between a physical attack and a monologue...

    The United States us the greatest terrorist organization in the history if mankind. We might gg ave placed second to Nazis if they hadn't been intent in exterminating people rather than simply terrorizing them.

    If this is what you truly believe, then any hope of common ground is impossible..

    To you, everything is terrorism, so no logical or rational debate is possible..

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    The problem really is fundamentalist Abrahamic religion and not just Islam.

    No.. The problem is religion. Period...

    It's unlikely that the human race will come to their senses and realize that religion is for people what Santa Claus and the BoogeyMan is for little kids..

    A way to keep them in line and obedient and fearful..

    Since the human race will not grow out of religion any time soon, we have to live with religion.

    The best we can do is to limit their damage by exposing the religions that actively harm innocent people..

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's unlikely that the human race will come to their senses and realize that religion is for people what Santa Claus and the BoogeyMan is for little kids..

    A way to keep them in line and obedient and fearful..

    Hmmmmmmmm

    Since religion is designed to keep people in line by fear then that means that, according to LD, religion is terrorism...

    Things that make ya go hmmmmmmmmmm

    Michale

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, THAT certainly explains why the US didn't send a top level official to the big March For Unity rally in Paris, yesterday. Hmmm ...

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/eric-holder-u-s-dignitaries-no-shows-paris-unity-rally-article-1.2073821

    I have to admit, I am perplexed by the administration's lack of respect for the rally...

    Why would it be snubbed like this??

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you want a taste of Christian terrorism, try reading this book:

    Exactly how is that terrorism??

    You and LD are two of a kind..

    You want to ascribe ANY action that results in people being scared as terrorism...

    That's utter and complete felgercarb...

    Newsflash for ya'all..

    When I sneak up on my kids and yell "BOO!!!!" to scare them, that is NOT terrorism...

    When someone dresses up in a really scary costume on Halloween to scare people, that is NOT terrorism....

    Just FYI...

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    "France is our oldest ally. I want the people of France to know that the United States stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow... But hay... The NFL playoffs are on Sunday, so I can't stand with ya'all in Paris.. Sorry..."
    -President Barack Obama

    Sometimes what our POTUS does is just dumb... Inexplicably dumb...

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    The United States us the greatest terrorist organization in the history if mankind.

    So that makes Obama the biggest terrorist in the history of mankind...

    Are you SURE you want to stick with that story???

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have to admit, I am perplexed by the administration's lack of respect for the rally...Why would it be snubbed like this??

    Inexplicable.

  71. [71] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Ils Ne Sont Pas Charlie

    http://rall.com/comic

  72. [72] 
    dsws wrote:

    After all, we consider the Spanish Inquisition "legitimate."

    Got a mouse in your pocket?

    So, what did you think of the big rally in Paris, yesterday?

    I don't have a solid opinion, but my impression is positive. It's important to, as PM Cameron was quoted saying, defend the right to offend. In the coverage I saw, the noticeable icons were flags of various nations displayed together (appropriately representing the moment of international unity), and pencils. People were not baying for the blood of a scapegoat, the way Americans seemed to me to be after 9/11.

    Probably the single most noticeable thing about it was that it was big. The estimate quoted on Wikipedia is 3.7 million nationwide.

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    People were not baying for the blood of a scapegoat, the way Americans seemed to me to be after 9/11

    "We're Americans. We're a simple people. You piss us off, we bomb your cities.."
    -Robin Williams, LIVE AT THE MET

    :D

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    The Paris rally was really quite an amazing event, from start to finish.

    It's important to, as PM Cameron was quoted saying, defend the right to offend.

    Well, the Charlie Hebdo satire in question here was not about offending the mainstream Muslim community, if that's what you're implying. The subject of the satire was some whole other group of Muslims, just to be clear, and a wholly worthy subject of satire.

    Are you familiar with any of the cartoons that allegedly inspired the attacks at the satirical magazine?

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    The subject of the satire was some whole other group of Muslims, just to be clear, and a wholly worthy subject of satire.

    I am also constrained to point out that Charlie also satired and lampooned Jews and Christians as well..

    Funny how we don't see those groups rioting and butchering and murdering, eh??

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    dsws wrote:

    Are you familiar with any of the cartoons that allegedly inspired the attacks at the satirical magazine?

    One shows a naked man on a bed, with a turban and a long nose, saying (in French) "And my buttocks? You love my buttocks?" A man with a movie camera is in the background. The caption (also in French, of course) is "The film that embraces the Muslim world".
    http://www.hsacoalition.org/issue-analysis/here-are-the-five-mohammed-cartoons-published-by-the-french-magazine-charlie-hebdo/

    I think that counts as offensive by any reasonable standard, and not just to terrorists. It's not something I would print, if I were publishing a magazine where I was responsible for the content. But it's something I would host, if I were running a website for open discussion and someone wanted to upload it (and was not in violation of applicable copyright law): the person who uploaded it would be the one making the statement, and I would support their right to do so.

  77. [77] 
    dsws wrote:

    I should add that the man on the bed is supposed to be the Prophet Mohamed.

  78. [78] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Why do your "arguments" always devolve into you lying and just making shit up? Thankfully your insistence on putting words in my mouth spares me from the need to respond further to your idiocy.

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why do your "arguments" always devolve into you lying and just making shit up?

    Except, all you have as evidence is your own word that I am "lying" and "making shit up"...

    Forgive me, but the word of someone who thinks Obama didn't lie and who thinks that the US is the biggest terrorist organization on the planet and who thinks that satire is the same as a physical attack warranting a terrorism response....???

    Well, the word of someone like that doesn't really amount to a whole hill a beans....

    Wouldn't you agree?? :D

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Liz,

    You may think a giant rally in a country becoming ever more anti-Muslim in support of the "right" to defame Muslims is a show of solidarity in support of freedom of speech, but I think its a massive show of religious bigotry. Just as I think attacking "Muslim extremists" for the actions of a trio of murderers is religious bigotry.

    The world is full of "extremists" of every stripe. Members of all sorts of extremist groups commit atrocities, from ambushing cops, park rangers, doctors, and people on the street, to military personnel.--None of which inspires an immediate massive international show of "solidarity" against the anyone who might hold beliefs similar to the perpetrators, two of three of whom are already in custody. The French legal system hardly needs international solidarity to deal with its criminals.

    The rally is clearly a broader attack, a continuation of a broader attack--and a relatively indiscriminate one. And, as is so often true now, attacks on peoples freedoms are being spun as defenses of individual freedom.

    Michale may want continue to spout nonsense about physical vs nonphysical actions but inspiring thousands all across the globe to take up an anti-Muslim cause is one hell of a physical attack. And defending the "right" to defame Muslims is definitely an anti-Muslim cause. It's inconceivable that the rally would be happening were Charlie publishing antisemite "satire". (And, Liz, there is a difference between satire and defamation. Charlie, from what I've seen, tends more to defamation than satire.)

    Too many may believe that they can combat violent Muslim extremism by waging war against Muslims but I don't believe it. There are too many Muslims and "extremist" is far too elastic a term. We tried it and, predictably, only succeeded in converting more Muslims into violent "extremists", while, equally predictably, targeting far more non-extremist Muslims than violent extremists. I'm sure the impromptu rally against "Muslim extremists", and show if solidarity, will be equally counterproductive.

    As to the efficacy of the rally in defending freedoms I recommend you to the comments, here and abroad, attacking people simply for holding religious beliefs. Extending the attack beyond Muslim "extremists", beyond even Muslims in general, but to anyone religious.

    The battle being fought here, Liz, isn't the one you claim it is. Nor is it about the freedoms you claim it is.

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale may want continue to spout nonsense about physical vs nonphysical actions but inspiring thousands all across the globe to take up an anti-Muslim cause is one hell of a physical attack.

    Ho now, buckwheat..

    It was YOU who spouted the nonsense that a non-physical attack such as satire or ridicule is commiserate with a physical attack such as we saw at Charlie Hebdo..

    I simply pointed out that it's complete and utter felgercarp....

    The rally is clearly a broader attack, a continuation of a broader attack--and a relatively indiscriminate one. And, as is so often true now, attacks on peoples freedoms are being spun as defenses of individual freedom.

    Using your reasoning, the Ferguson and Staten Island protests were "broad attacks" and the wholesale slaughter of said protesters would have been justified as a "retaliatory attack"...

    That's your problem, LD.. Like with claiming Obama is the biggest terrorist in the world... You dig yourself into a really big hole because you don't think that your own words and opinions also apply to the causes that you support...

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/01/media-slam-obamas-paris-snub-200928.html

    Looks like the MSM is not going to let the Obama Administration off the hook for it's snub of the anti-terrorism march in Paris...

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Since you insist on debating yourself I'd truly appreciate it if you'd stop claiming that I'm your invisible friend. Anyone interested can read my words above. Your stupid misrepresentations (and stupider rebuttals!) are all your own.

  84. [84] 
    dsws wrote:

    inspiring thousands all across the globe to take up an anti-Muslim cause is one hell of a physical attack

    No.

    defending the "right" to defame Muslims is definitely an anti-Muslim cause

    There's nothing necessarily anti-Muslim about stating a different understanding of what constitutes defamation than you have. It can just be part of a defense of a the right to engage in general category of speech, independent of who the target is.

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    Your stupid misrepresentations (and stupider rebuttals!) are all your own.

    They are your own words, LD...

    They are simply interpreted in a logical and rational manner to show exactly how full of shit you are..

    Don't kill the messenger.. For the messenger is you...

    Michale

  86. [86] 
    LewDan wrote:

    No, Michale,

    Not a single one of my comments ever referred to Obama in any way. You are simply lying. It's what you do.

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not a single one of my comments ever referred to Obama in any way. You are simply lying. It's what you do.

    You said that the US is the biggest terrorist organization on the planet..

    Obama is the head of the US...

    Ergo, you said that Obama is the biggest terrorist on the planet..

    As I said, don't get pissy with me.

    Those are YOUR words, not mine...

    Michale

  88. [88] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DWS,

    Anything is possible. This conversation is about specific actual events. And this series of events, including the underlying "speech", is in fact anti-Muslim.--Like Michale, you want to talk about your fantasies. I'm talking about what's actually happening here on planet Earth.

  89. [89] 
    Michale wrote:

    inspiring thousands all across the globe to take up an anti-Muslim cause is one hell of a physical attack

    And, for the record, it wasn't an "Anti-Muslim" cause..

    It was an anti EXTREMIST Muslim cause..

    And any rational and/or civilized person would NOT have a problem with that cause...

    Only those with terrorist sympathies would have a problem with that cause..

    One is either on the side of civilized human beings or one is with terrorists..

    There is no middle ground...

    Michale

  90. [90] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Obama is not the United States. You said that I said Obama is a terrorist. That is a lie.

    Nor is Obama's presidency permanent. An Organization can be terrorist without currently being actively engaged in terrorism. The US could easily be a terrorist organization that actively engages in terrorism both before and after Obama's presidency without Obama himself ever being a terrorist, or ever engaging in terrorism.

    I know you are as challenged when it comes to logic as you are when it comes to facts and veracity, but the voices in your head are not me speaking. And your claims that I say things that I clearly do not are just lies not "messages."

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    Like Michale, you want to talk about your fantasies.

    Je suis Michale

    hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

    :D

    Michale

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama is not the United States. You said that I said Obama is a terrorist. That is a lie.

    Obama is the leader of the United States..

    If the United States is a terrorist organization then, ipso facto, that makes Obama a terrorist...

    Do you think the leader of Hamas or the leader of the IS is NOT a terrorist???

    Nor is Obama's presidency permanent. An Organization can be terrorist without currently being actively engaged in terrorism. The US could easily be a terrorist organization that actively engages in terrorism both before and after Obama's presidency without Obama himself ever being a terrorist, or ever engaging in terrorism.

    Ahhhhhhhh I see..

    So, the United States is the biggest terrorist organization on the planet.. Right up to 20 Jan 2009....

    AFTER 20 Jan 2009, the US is NOT the biggest terrorist organization on the planet...

    But then, on 20 Jan 2017, then the US once again becomes the biggest terrorist organization on the planet...

    Are you sensing the same pattern I am sensing?? :D

    I think you can see how utterly lame and ridiculous you sound..

    No need for me to point it out.. :D

    Michale

  93. [93] 
    LewDan wrote:

    No, it is anti-Muslim, not just anti-Muslim extremists. Just because people make an excuse doesn't obligate me to believe it. The actual perpetrators are in custody. The rally wasn't against them. It was against unspecified others with no known connection to the murders categorized solely by their adherence to Muslim beliefs.

    You can put lipstick on a pig Michale. But it's still a pig.

  94. [94] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Winger logic is incredible! You bitch and moan over Obama's "illegal" actions because Obama is only President, not King! Then try to claim that anything the Unites States does, did, or might ever do, (in fact anything that happens anywhere in the world!) is Obama's personal responsibility because he, as President, is responsible for everything!

    Your faulty, illogical, contradictory, and factually incorrect "assumptions" notwithstanding, the simple fact remains that you falsely claimed, repeatedly, that I said things that I simply did not.

    You lied. And you continue to lie. I never said Obama is a terrorist. I never said anything about Obama. And nothing I said can reasonably be inferred to be about Obama.

    You are simply a serial liar.

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, it is anti-Muslim, not just anti-Muslim extremists. Just because people make an excuse doesn't obligate me to believe it.

    yet, you are the ONLY one that doesn't believe it..

    What does THAT tell you?? :D

    The actual perpetrators are in custody. The rally wasn't against them. It was against unspecified others with no known connection to the murders categorized solely by their adherence to Muslim beliefs.

    Their EXTREMIST Muslim beliefs.. The beliefs that say you have to kill ANYONE who won't swear allegiance to that luser, Mohammed...

    That's the part you just don't get...

    Michale

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    Their EXTREMIST Muslim beliefs.. The beliefs that say you have to kill ANYONE who won't swear allegiance to that luser, Mohammed...

    "Or, as his friends call him, 'Hay Mo!!.. nyuk nyuk nyuk... Oh, a wise guy, eh!! nyuk nyuk nyuk.'..."
    -Robin Williams, LIVE AT THE MET

    :D

    Michale

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing — and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It's inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma (Islamic world) to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!
    "That thinking — I am not saying 'religion' but 'thinking' — that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It's antagonizing the entire world!
    "Is it possible that 1.6 billion people (Muslims) should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live? Impossible! ... I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move … because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost — and it is being lost by our own hands."

    -Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

    You can deny the reality all you want, LD...

    But the simple fact is, the Islamic extremists are Islam's biggest enemy....

    Michale

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    “The fact is this obviously — a march that the planning for which only begun Friday night and 36 hours later it had begun. What’s also clear is that the security requirements around a presidential-level visit or even a vice presidential-level visit are onerous and significant and in a situation like this they have a pretty significant impact on the other citizens who are trying to participate in a large public event like this,” Earnest said.
    He continued: “We talk about this a lot when it comes to the president attending a basketball game, but the fact of the matter is there were not just thousands of people at the event, there were millions. It wasn’t just an arena that needed to be secured, but a large outdoor area that poses significant security challenges.”

    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2015/01/12/obama-paris-unity-rally/

    So... Basically....

    Obama was too scared to attend...

    I am not sure which is worse...

    That....

    Or Obama just didn't want to miss the NFL playoffs.... :^/

    Michale

  99. [99] 
    LewDan wrote:

    In point of fact the United States is still the World's greatest terrorist organization. (Not sure about it being the biggest.) No one else comes close to us in the number of political prisoners. We deny basic human rights, (such as criminal charges and trials,) and have confirmed our commission of war crimes on a massive scale for over a decade, and refuse still to conform to international law and by facilitating prosecutions.

    We've just completed the destruction of, at least two sovereign nations, destabilized an entire region, fostered two or three new Islamic States that are definitely "extremists", while personally massacring a few hundred thousand people along the way. Not to mention the odd hundred or so tortured and, or, falsely indefinitely imprisoned without trial.

    But none of that can I attribute to Obama personally. I believe Obama has tried to stop it. Or at least curtail it. But Congress, our Republican Congress, has prevented the closure of Guantanamo. That I do know. Which makes THEM "terrorists" for sure.

    IMHO its the previous President, the previous Republican President, and the Republican Congress, past and present, who are terrorist. But Obama may be one also. I simply have seen no evidence of it. Taking charge of a terrorist organization in order to try to stop the terrorism does not make someone a terrorist.

    And, unlike wingers, like you, Michale, my leaping to conclusions is constrained by logic, factuality, and rationality. Winning the Presidency does not make one personally responsible for everything involving the United States.

    The Presidency, the Executive Branch, is responsible for administering the United States Government. This "new rule" of you wingers since Obama gained office that Congress and SCOTUS get to run the country but the President gets all the blame is just another one of your fatuous lies.

  100. [100] 
    Michale wrote:

    In point of fact the United States is still the World's greatest terrorist organization.

    And, as the leader of the United States, that makes Obama the "World's Greatest Terrorist"...

    You simply CANNOT have one without the other, LD....

    It's not allowed...

    You either have to concede that you are full of shit, that the US is NOT a terrorist organization..

    Or...

    You have to concede that Obama is the "World's Greatest Terrorist"....

    Either way, you are as wrong as wrong can be...

    "Simple logic..."
    -Admiral James T. Kirk

    Michale

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    Winning the Presidency does not make one personally responsible for everything involving the United States.

    Uhh....

    Yes it does....

    It's called "Leadership".....

    Perhaps you have heard of it...

    Michale

  102. [102] 
    Michale wrote:

    We've just completed the destruction of, at least two sovereign nations, destabilized an entire region, fostered two or three new Islamic States that are definitely "extremists", while personally massacring a few hundred thousand people along the way. Not to mention the odd hundred or so tortured and, or, falsely indefinitely imprisoned without trial.

    All of which happened in the last 6 years under your Messiah..

    yep... By your definition, Obama is a terrorist...

    Again... These are YOUR words, not mine...

    Michale

  103. [103] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "Leadership" is the President taking responsibility for the actions of the Executive Branch. Taking responsibility for anything involving the United States is--hubris!? Arrogance?! Deluded?! That is if it had actually happened. The President is only in charge of one-third of the government. And he has no access at all to time travel.

    In reality the false claim that blaming the President for anything and everything is "leadership" is Conservative propaganda.--And Republicans avoiding any and all responsibility for their actions. They control TWO-thirds of the government. "Leadership" is accepting responsibility for your actions.--Not being scapegoated for the actions of others.

  104. [104] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    My words are the things that I write. Not the things that YOU write.--Those are lies.

  105. [105] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    No one can fault the persistence of you Wingers, always doubling-down on your lies in the face of incontrovertible proof that you are, in fact, lying.--But it would be far more impressive if you ever did anything other than lie.

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    No one can fault the persistence of you Wingers, always doubling-down on your lies in the face of incontrovertible proof that you are, in fact, lying.--But it would be far more impressive if you ever did anything other than lie.

    You mean, when I said that a satire "attack" on a religion is the same thing as a physical attack??

    Oh no, wait.. That was you..

    You mean, when I said that inspiring thousands to speak out against Islamic extremism is a "hell of an attack"???

    Oh no, wait.. That was you again...

    You mean, when I said that the United States is the greatest terrorist threat on the planet??

    Oh, shuckey darn..

    That was YOU.... again...

    So.... where are my "lies"....??? exactly??

    Michale

  107. [107] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hell, even the Liberal's liberal says that something is rotten in Denmark...

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/01/10/maher_on_islam_when_theres_this_many_bad_ideas_theres_something_wrong_with_the_orchard.html

    Or, in this case, Medina....

    Michale

  108. [108] 
    Michale wrote:

    "If you are free to practice your faith, I must be free to laugh at it."

    That is the crux of the entire issue....

    If you want to have freedom to do whatever, you have to allow others the freedom to criticize it, ridicule it, satire it or laugh at it...

    Otherwise, you are denying the very freedom to others that you yourself demand...

    Michale

  109. [109] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Actually, Michale,
    No.

    In spite of what you Wingers profess, there is no right to lie. There is no right to smear, to defame, to persecute.

    As I said to Liz, there's a difference between satire and defamation. In point of fact, "extremism" completely aside, if you insist on belittling people for their beliefs, mocking their beliefs, denigrating their beliefs, and persecuting them for their beliefs, violent responses will ensue. (And, BTW, France outlawing religious dress is textbook persecution.)

    That is simply a fact. Amply demonstrated throughout history. Many of this country's original colonies were established to escape just that kind of persecution. And while our Constitution protects free speech, it makes it clear that religious persecution is neither a right nor protected.

    Refusal to appreciate the difference between religious persecution and the exercise of free speech will inevitably lead to violence.--As will most forms of persecution. It always has. That is reality, whether you agree or not it is still going to be reality.

    You'd think that you Wingers, arming yourselves in record numbers, in preparation for the eventual "defense" against any number of wholly imaginary threats based entirely on what you've heard, would understand that.--Then again, that would require you to have a clue.--And you ARE Wingers!

  110. [110] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [76] The caption (also in French, of course) is "The film that embraces the Muslim world".

    Actually, that translates as "The film that sets the muslim world ablaze". The cartoon is a reaction to the riots that followed the release of the YouTube movie trailer called "The Innocence of Muslims". The cartoon parodies the 1963 Jean-Luc Godard film "Contempt" in which Bridget Bardot appears naked and asks that same question about her butt.

    I think this is an excellent cartoon although I would not understand it w/o an explanation because I'm not French.

  111. [111] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Remember that Archie Bunker was quite a bigot, but Norman Lear is not.

  112. [112] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "France outlawing religious dress is textbook persecution."

    It also calls their commitment to free expression into question.

  113. [113] 
    Michale wrote:

    The actual perpetrators are in custody. The rally wasn't against them.

    POLICE: AS MANY AS 6 PARIS TERROR SUSPECTS MAY BE AT LARGE
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_FRANCE_ATTACKS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-01-12-15-25-45

    Do you ever get tired of being wrong???

    Just curious... :D

    Michale

  114. [114] 
    Michale wrote:

    "France outlawing religious dress is textbook persecution."

    It also calls their commitment to free expression into question.

    Religious dress, by definition, isn't "free expression"..

    It's an imposed dress code...

    Am I the only one that sees the total incongruity of what you are defending???

    You are defending forcing people to adhere to a arbitrary set of rules under penalty of death by torture???

    Silly me.. I thought ya'all were against torture...

    I guess if it suits your agenda, anything goes...

    Color me shocked... NOT!!

    Michale

  115. [115] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "if you insist on belittling people for their beliefs, mocking their beliefs, denigrating their beliefs, and persecuting them for their beliefs, violent responses will ensue."

    I agree although allowing religionists to run amok with their superstitions results in violence and discrimination, too. Gay people know this all too well.

    There is no right to be unoffended. Muslims need to get over that. Their religion's rules apply to them, not me.

  116. [116] 
    Michale wrote:

    Remember that Archie Bunker was quite a bigot, but Norman Lear is not.

    Archie Bunker was a fictional character... He was whatever the writers made him to be...

    "Did IQs suddenly drop sharply while I was away??"
    -Ripley, ALIENS

    Michale

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is no right to be unoffended. Muslims need to get over that. Their religion's rules apply to them, not me.

    Ding, ding, ding, ding!!!!

    We have a winner!!!!!

    Tell 'im what he's won, Johnny!!!!!

    Michale

  118. [118] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    In spite of what you Wingers profess, there is no right to lie. There is no right to smear, to defame, to persecute.

    What country do you live in, sunshine??

    Because, here in the US, we EXACTLY have that right..

    If it's not to your liking, try Iran or Saudi Arabia.. Their rules will likely fit your personality better...

    On the other hand, you don't have a problem with smearing or defaming or lying about me..

    So your own words seem to belay your claims..

    AGAIN....

    Michale

  119. [119] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    So many strawmen . . .

  120. [120] 
    Michale wrote:

    So many strawmen . . .

    They are only strawmen if you have the mental capacity to knock them down...

    Apparently, they are not strawmen, eh? :D

    Michale

  121. [121] 
    Michale wrote:

    Com'on, big guy.. Take yer best shot.. :D

    Wait!!!

    Let me go grab a beer....

    ..........

    Ok, go fer it.. :D

    Michale

  122. [122] 
    Michale wrote:

    Three million copies of Charlie Hebdo to feature Mohammed cartoons
    http://news.yahoo.com/weeks-charlie-hebdo-feature-mohammed-cartoons-lawyer-145010472.html

    FRAK YOU Islamic Terrorists!!

    Michale

  123. [123] 
    dsws wrote:

    Thankfully your insistence on putting words in my mouth spares me from the need to respond further to your idiocy.

    And yet you keep replying to him.

    Actually, that translates as "The film that sets the muslim world ablaze". ...

    Thank you. Mea culpa. I shouldn't have believed Google Translate. I still don't know enough to say for myself whether the cartoon is excellent, but it still seems pretty clear that it's offensive, and that people should be free to publish it.

  124. [124] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "I still don't know enough to say for myself whether the cartoon is excellent"

    Well, I was giving it an A+ for content. The drawings themselves don't look like much effort is expended.

  125. [125] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Just wanted post a few other Charlie Hebdo comics that aren't getting as much coverage.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/11/1357057/-The-Charlie-Hebdo-cartoons-no-one-is-showing-you

    Many of these are against the far-right Le Pens.

    -David

  126. [126] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Lol,

    Michale, please...I'm smearing and defaming YOU?! Because you keep lying? And I keep telling the truth about your lying?

    Yet another Winger classic! Projection!

    "Look at me! I'm the victim! Not the guy I'm defaming!
    "

    Hilarious. You clowns really do think that if you keep on lying it becomes the truth, don't you?

  127. [127] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    In America religious persecution is illegal. Its in that constitution thingy. Defamation is also illegal, though its almost impossible to get a conviction in court. Smearing is simply unethical and immoral, however. Nothing that would trouble a Republican.

    Your problem is that you mistake the ability to do something with a right to do it.--Unfortunately the founders of this nation expected its citizens to act in good faith and voluntarily abide by the law. They didn't quite anticipate the Conservative Movement. So while gaming the system is certainly possible it is in no way a right.

    Free political speech is a right. Free religious expression is a right. Smearing, defaming, and persecuting is illegal, but conservative courts, and especially our Republican SCOTUS may let you get away with it anyway. That, however, still does not make it a right.

    The absence of criminal law does not equate to a "right." We're lazy. We tend not to write criminal laws until people have sufficiently demonstrated their lack of good sense and abused their rights egregiously enough make it mandatory that we start prosecuting the offenders.--Except, of course, to make paranoid Wingers feel their being protected from their innumerable imaginary attackers so they'll stay scared enough to vote Republican, but not so scared that they vote Tea Party. After all, legislating cuts into Congressional vacation time!

  128. [128] 
    LewDan wrote:

    As for the evils of religion...

    A good atheist pogram is a match for any religious crusade, inquisition, or jihad.

    It ain't about religion its about human nature. Violence over beliefs isn't restricted to religious beliefs, any beliefs will do. Which is why people will kill each other over parking spots and the last slice of pizza. They simply need to believe that they're entitled--and deprived.

    And there is every bit as much evidence for the existence of God as there is for there being no God. Which, basically, is none. More, in fact. As there is at least an historical record of people who supposedly met and talked with God. While the "evidence" against God's existence is all assumption, supposition and theorizing based on not one fact whatsoever. The folks who demand proof of the existence of God sure as Hell don't require any proof for their own belief that there is no God!

    But the idiots who are absolutely positive that there is no God, based on nothing but their prejudices, are convinced that they are "enlightened" and the people who still believe in God based on teachings thousands of years old are fools. Logically a belief based on no evidence is clearly superior to a belief based on evidence you don't accept?!--And its exactly that kind of idiocy that results in violence. People are rarely rational, and apparently have great difficulty maintaining even a semblance of rationality for more than very brief periods of time. Since mindless violence requires an absence of rationality its a much more natural state for most people.

  129. [129] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "the idiots who are absolutely positive that there is no God, based on nothing but their prejudices, are convinced that they are "enlightened" and the people who still believe in God based on teachings thousands of years old are fools"

    No, it's not "based on nothing but their prejudices". It's based on the fact that there is no evidence of gods other than the "historical record of people who met and talked" to various gods, which is normally called "hallucinating" or "lying".

    "Logically a belief based on no evidence is clearly superior to a belief based on evidence you don't accept?!--And its exactly that kind of idiocy that results in violence."

    Actually, "the people who still believe in God based on teachings thousands of years old" can and do find justification for their violence in their insanely violent religious source documents. The violence and discrimination against gay people is not a result of "that kind of idiocy". It's a result of the kind of idiocy that comes from believing "teachings thousands of years old" about what an invisible, supernatural being thinks about what one species of mammal does with their genitals.

  130. [130] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, it's not "based on nothing but their prejudices". It's based on the fact that there is no evidence of gods other than the "historical record of people who met and talked" to various gods, which is normally called "hallucinating" or "lying".

    What he said.. :D

    Michale

  131. [131] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    And I keep telling the truth about your lying?

    No, all you keep doing is saying I am lying without providing ANY facts to back up your claims..

    Basically, you are acting EXACTLY like you accuse the Charlie Hebdo of acting..

    And you keep bullying and attacking anyone who says you are wrong...

    Which, in this commentary alone, is almost a half dozen people...

    Michale

    Michale

  132. [132] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    Your argument that the Charlie Hedbo people were legitimately attacked because they had "attacked" first has one major flaw in it...

    Four French Jews named as victims of Paris kosher deli attack
    http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Four-Jewish-victims-of-kosher-deli-siege-named-387299

    Why was the Paris Kosher Deli attacked??

    What's the justification to kill these 4 innocent French Jews??

    They hadn't mocked anyone's prophet... They hadn't lampooned anyone's religion... They hadn't defamed anyone or ridiculed anyone..

    What was the justification for their brutal murders, eh??

    Face it... In an attempt to justify the unjustifiable, you are fighting a losing battle...

    You are either with the good guys or you are with the terrorists..

    YOUR choice is abundantly clear...

    "He chose..... poorly."
    -Knight, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE

    Michale

  133. [133] 
    Michale wrote:

    "if you insist on belittling people for their beliefs, mocking their beliefs, denigrating their beliefs, and persecuting them for their beliefs, violent responses will ensue."

    ONLY amongst uncivilized savages...

    THAT is the point that you completely and unequivocally miss...

    You can call me all sorts of BS names, fully secure in the knowledge that it won't result in death or destruction or bloodshed or mayhem..

    Why??

    Because you know that I am a civilized person..

    I can tell you that you are totally frak'ed in the head and that your beliefs are as wrong as wrong can be, secure in the knowledge that my family won't be butchered..

    Why??

    Because I know that you are a civilized person...

    THAT is the whole point of this entire commentary.. We are free to ridicule and mock and laugh at and denigrate anything we want to...

    And CIVILIZED people would not resort to murder or terrorism..

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-one-murdered-because-of-this-image,29553/

    That picture is about as offensive to ALL major religions as is possible to get.. It's gross, it's crude, it's perverse, it's disgusting and offensive to high heaven..

    Guess what???

    Not ONE SINGLE PERSON was threatened because of that picture.

    Not ONE SINGLE PERSON was killed because of that picture..

    Not ONE SINGLE LOCATION was firebombed because of that picture..

    Why??

    Because ALL the other religions have grown up and (for the most part) become civilized..

    Sure, there is an outlier here or there that someone can point to...

    But, with islamic terrorists and islamic radicals and islamic extremists, the outliers are the norm...

    No amount of words or pictures, defaming, denigrating, ridiculing or offensive though they may be, justifies a violent response or a death sentence..

    NONE... ZERO.... ZILCH.... NADA....

    THAT's the point you just don't get...

    And, I think it's safe that everyone else DOES get it...

    Michale

  134. [134] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Just one lie after another with you--always.

    The proof that you're lying is right here, and you know it. You've repeatedly claimed that I said Obama is a terrorist. I have not. No where in these comments have I said any such thing. That is simply a fact. Your lying is simply a fact. You prove me wrong. Find the quote where I said Obama is a terrorist. You can't. I never said it. You've been lying.

  135. [135] 
    Michale wrote:

    The proof that you're lying is right here, and you know it. You've repeatedly claimed that I said Obama is a terrorist. I have not. No where in these comments have I said any such thing. That is simply a fact. Your lying is simply a fact. You prove me wrong. Find the quote where I said Obama is a terrorist. You can't. I never said it. You've been lying.

    Nice try... But if THAT is all you have.. :D

    You claimed that the US is the biggest terrorist organization on the planet... Obama is the leader of the US..

    Ergo, your claim is that Obama is the biggest terrorist on the planet..

    I can dumb it down for you further if you need me to.. :D

    Michale

  136. [136] 
    LewDan wrote:

    John,

    Bigotry against gays isn't limited to religious people. And neither is violent prejudice. Nazis, for example were equal opportunity bigots attacking Gays for their sensual orientation. Romani simply for being different. And Jews to being successful. They were as violent as they come and not the least motivated by religious teachings.

    Just as your comments would seem to indicate an atheist and yet you are still a bigot. A feat you've obviously effortlessly managed without any religious instruction.

    As I said, based on absolutely zero evidence you've formed a belief that's an iron-clad certainty that differs from the beliefs of the religious only in details.--And like them, in spite of your total lack of evidence you are not only convinced of the validity of your belief, but of its, and your, superiority.

    Human nature. Not religion. As your personal self-delusions amply demonstrate. You, and your beliefs do not differ one tiny bit from those of the religious, with the sole exception of what you believe validates them. The actual substance of your beliefs are identical.--That you've received truths unknown to, or rejected by, others. That your acceptance of those truths renders you, and your opinions, superior to others. That you have a right, and a duty, to defend your beliefs against the obviously misguided and irrational beliefs of others.

    And you are as clueless as any zealot as to the hypocrisy, arrogance, irrationality, self-aggrandization, and hubris in being so certain of your beliefs, and your superiority based on nothing at all but your personal prejudice. That's what makes people like you dangerous. It always has and it always will.

    No religious teachings were necessary to make you an arrogant irrational self-important hypocrite with sociopathic and meglamaniacal tendencies.--It never is...

    Human nature people. Thinking you're better than others. Smarter than others. Know more than others. That you have a right to do things to others because of your manifest superiority.

    You can pretend that you've a right to inflict emotional distress on others simply because you want to, because your beliefs are so self-evidently superior. You can claim that any harm done to them is their own fault for choosing to cherish such obviously wrongheaded beliefs that they cannot suffer your righteous correction. And you can delude yourself that you can attack others with impunity so long as you do not personally offer them physical violence they are precluded from offering you physical violence in return.

    --Only problem: There are no such rules. Which is why France has a dozen dead bodies that say otherwise.

    And six-thousand years of human history says that until people stop pretending that they've a right to violate the rights of others. That what other people believe may mean something to them but it doesn't mean anything to you--people will go right on killing each other.

    You seem to think people who aren't Gay should respect the desires of those who are. Why? I'm not Gay. What Gays want has nothing to do with me.

    That's what you think of the religious, and the hypocrisy should be self-evident. It's not because you act on your prejudice over rationality.--And that, not religion, is why people kill each other.

    Stopping the violence means stopping the bigotry. It means recognizing that your rights end where they impact others. From that point on everything is negotiable.

    You have no right to do things to others. No right at all. And that includes mocking them, defaming them, embarrassing them, humiliating them, and holding them up to public ridicule. You do not have a right to free speech. NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER!

    If you believed in those crazy religious teachings you might have heard of something called 'The Golden Rule.'

    "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

    It's a simple rule. No belief in a supreme being required. Is basic wisdom should be obvious to agnostics and atheists alike. And if more people honored it the world would have a much lower hypocrisy quotient. To say nothing of a greatly reduced body count.--And the massacre at Charlie would never have happened.--But then, neither would Charlie's cartoons.

  137. [137] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    You do not get to change my words to suit yourself. That is lying. Yes I said America is a terrorist organization. I never said one word about Obama, however.

    You are free to imagine my words mean whatever you please. You do not get to claim that what you imagine my words mean are the words that I said. That is lying.

    And your attempts to justify your lies by means of your own personal interpolation is lying.

    My words are what I say. Nothing more. Nothing less. You do not get to add meaning to them and claim the words are mine. That is lying.

    Saying that America is a terrorist organization is not the same as saying Obama is a terrorist. You may think it means the same given your prejudices and challenges with facts and veracity. But it simply is not the same thing. Claiming it is is a lie.

    Proof, beyond doubt, that you are a liar lying about what I say.

    You Wingers always love to misrepresent the words of others and then lie attributing your fantasies as quotes.--But you are lying.

  138. [138] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apparently, it's impossible to dumb it down enough...

    So be it.. :D

    Michale

  139. [139] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    It's "lying" not "dumbing down."

    Your excuse that my comment about America is the same as commenting about Obama is simply not true. You'd have to make a number of assumptions, none of which are true or a part of my comment.

    Obama is America's representative, he is not America.

    Terrorist organizations do not have to be actively engaged in terrorism at present.

    People associated with terrorist organizations that are not involved in terrorist activity are not terrorists themselves.

    So you'd have to have evidence that America is currently engaging in terrorism and that Obama is a part of it before it would be true that Obama is a terrorist.

    America, on the other hand, only has to have engaged in terrorism in the past with the potential to do so again in the future to be a terrorist organization.

    You have no such evidence. I know that people like you also like to pretend that anyone even remotely involved with any terrorist organization even if the organization isn't currently involved in terrorism is a terrorist.--That, however is also political spin, not objective fact.

    Your definitions are political not factual. It's why you reject the simple fact that acts intended to terrorize are terrorism. You insist on being able to shape the definition to meet political objectives. So adversaries are terrorists and you are not. That's what our official government definitions are for.

    But political spin isn't necessarily fact. And your spin on my comment is still a lie. You are free to spin away. But your spin is not actual fact, and it is not actually what I said. Claiming that it is what I said is lying.

    You are no fool. You know the difference between spin and fact. You simply choose to lie.

    As I recall during the Troubles in Northern Ireland the Irish Republican Army had a political wing that everyone knew was part of a terrorist organization, but which were not terrorists themselves. Recognizing the distinction was necessary to promote a peaceful dialog.

    Your insistence that being an executive in a terrorist organization automatically makes you a terrorist is simply not true.

    Your insistence that saying America is a terrorist organization means Obama I a terrorist is simply mot true.

    You just prefer winger talking-points to facts, and winger spin to the truth.--And that is lying.

  140. [140] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your insistence that being an executive in a terrorist organization automatically makes you a terrorist is simply not true.

    That's your opinion completely and unequivocally unsupported by anything factual in nature...

    The mere fact that you claim the US has committed terrorist acts simply shows how far off the reservation you have gone...

    Michale

  141. [141] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michael,

    It is not my opinion. Its a fact. And I gave evidence to support it. When the NRA was internationally recognized as a terrorist organization its official political wing, and its members, were not. That is historical fact.

    And even if it were my opinion, being subject to opinion means YOUR "interpretation" is "opinion" and not FACT.

    So when you claim that its a fact that saying America is a terrorist organization means that you're saying Obama is a terrorist, that is YOUR "opinion." It is not a fact.

    And making claims that are not factual is "lying". There is nothing you can say that will alter that simple fact!

  142. [142] 
    dsws wrote:

    Oh good grief. Get a room you two.

  143. [143] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Three centuries as a slave nation alone will qualify any nation in the universe as a "terrorist organization." But then we've also got our Indian Wars, the atomic bombing of Japan, support for the Shaw of Iran, support for the Sandinistas in Nicaragua...

    To name just a few of the more blatant examples of American terror campaigns, and without even mentioning our recent forays into mass kidnappings, murder and torture so euphemistically referred to as "extraordinary rendition" and "enhanced interrogation."

    Your simply refusing to accept facts doesn't make them untrue. It doesn't even make them "opinions." It just makes you a liar.

    So...

    The mere fact that you claim the US has NOT committed terrorist acts simply shows how far off the reservation you have gone...

  144. [144] 
    Michale wrote:

    The head of Hamas is a terrorist.. The head of ISIS is a terrorist. The head of Hezbollah is a terrorist..

    If the US is a terrorist group as you claim, then the head of the US is a terrorist..

    No amount of messiah-worship will change that...

    Michale

  145. [145] 
    Michale wrote:

    It is not my opinion. Its a fact. And I gave evidence to support it. When the NRA was internationally recognized as a terrorist organization its official political wing, and its members, were not. That is historical fact.

    Really???

    The NRA, eh??

    Well, I am glad you are so sure of yer facts... :D

    Since you are so sure of yer facts, I guess I have nothing left to counter with...

    Oh, well.. 'Cept for reality.. :D

    Michale

  146. [146] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    Oh good grief. Get a room you two.

    hehehehehehehehehe

    No need.. I think we're done here.. :D

    Michale

  147. [147] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [136] Holy cow! The sheer volume of psychological projection in your comment is astonishing.

    "Bigotry against gays isn't limited to religious people. And neither is violent prejudice. Nazis, for example were equal opportunity bigots attacking Gays for their sensual orientation. Romani simply for being different. And Jews to being successful. They were as violent as they come and not the least motivated by religious teachings."

    The Nazis were christians.

    "As I said, based on absolutely zero evidence you've formed a belief that's an iron-clad certainty that differs from the beliefs of the religious only in details."

    Yeah. Details like I have no interest what-so-ever in forcing my not-god's rules by force of law on anybody else (as if there are any of those).

    "You can pretend that you've a right to inflict emotional distress on others simply because you want to, because your beliefs are so self-evidently superior."

    Actually, that is clearly the christian position and they're not pretending. They are the majority and they inflict their insanity on the rest of us because they can.

    "You seem to think people who aren't Gay should respect the desires of those who are. Why? I'm not Gay. What Gays want has nothing to do with me.
    That's what you think of the religious, and the hypocrisy should be self-evident."

    That's interesting. I didn't say anything like that. Where have I asked for their respect and exactly what faither "desires" am I disrespecting? Their desire to demonize, physically attack, and legally target gay people? Their desire to teach their idiotic ideas in public schools? Their desire to have their crazy ideas go uncriticized and unchallenged?

  148. [148] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [136]

    "You have no right to do things to others. No right at all. And that includes mocking them, defaming them, embarrassing them, humiliating them, and holding them up to public ridicule. You do not have a right to free speech. NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER!"

    Yeah I do have the right to mock them for believing ideas like rising from the grave or virgin births and they have the right to keep on slurring me with their idiotic labels like "sinner" and "sodomite" and "evil".

    "If you believed in those crazy religious teachings you might have heard of something called 'The Golden Rule.'"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

    LOL! I received plenty of religious indoctrination as a young person, but you don't have to believe fantastical stories to understand the golden rule. It's not a concept that was generated by religion anyway, but it would be nice if christians gave it a try.

    Your defensiveness on this subject is quite amusing. You should try this out - "christian privilege". For gay people (and atheists and religious minorities) it describes the situation quite well. christian is the default setting in USA. christian supremacy is institution and structural and it's based on christianity, just like the faithers say it is.

  149. [149] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Still lying. You ignore the facts I offer and offer straw men of your own. Yes NRA instead of IRA was a typo. So what?! Even if you could, and you can't, substantiate your opinion that if America is a terrorist organization then Obama is a terrorist, it wouldn't make your lie that I said Obama is a terrorist true. That is factually a lie. You cannot lie your way out if it. You do not get to put words in my mouth based on your opinions.

  150. [150] 
    LewDan wrote:

    John,

    There's no projection only fact. Just as I said your prejudice blinds you to your own blatant hypocrisy.

    I don't give a damn about your "religious indoctrination," my point was that your bigotry is not the result of obeying some religious tenet, as you claim religion is the cause of bigotry.

    If you're so satisfied with everyone's right to defame each other then why the complaints about the treatment of Gays by the religious? That's contradictory. As is your complaining of "Christian privilege."

    And if Christians have a right to slur you, as you've a right to mock them, then they also have a right to enact laws to criminalize your behavior. To try to exclude you from the benefits of society, because that's just another form of "expression."

    Don't give me "Christian privilege" if you're not against all "privilege," as I am. Because Gay privilege ain't gonna happen and I don't give a damn.

    If you're good with the status quo of everybody slurring and mocking each other, and occasionally killing each other--fine. I'm glad your amused. But, then, you sound like a fool, and fools are notoriously easy to amuse.

  151. [151] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "Don't give me "Christian privilege" if you're not against all "privilege," as I am."

    You clearly are not against christian priv and yeah you project a lot, hypocrite.

    BTW - it really doesn't matter if I'm good with other peoples' free speech rights or not. They have them. That's what is known as a "fact", a word you apparently don't understand.

    "you claim religion is the cause of bigotry"

    Actually, I claimed it is the source of anti-gay violence and bias. Try not to put words in my mouth liar.

    "If you're so satisfied with everyone's right to defame each other then why the complaints about the treatment of Gays by the religious?"

    I've made no complaints about the things they say and criticizing crazy ideas is not defamation regardless of how many times you repeat that tripe.

  152. [152] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    There's something in the air, tonight ...

  153. [153] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    There's something in the air
    And there's something rising up
    Not one, but a million that have had enough
    -Offspring

  154. [154] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Liz,

    I thought everyone else here agreed that there's some new right to speak your mind. That there no need to be civil. And that there's definitely no need to pay any attention at all to how your audience might react to your words. If they can't handle the truth that's their problem!

    Don't you want to come out and play too?

  155. [155] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LD, I guess you haven't seen the Boxer piece. Heh

  156. [156] 
    LewDan wrote:

    John,

    There is no such thing as "free speech rights." Individual rights cease, everyone's individual rights cease, when they conflict with the rights of others. For the simple reason that everyone has the same rights.--Uh, let me qualify that, everyone's rights cease to exist when they conflict with another's IF everyone has the same rights.

    Therein lies the problem with "free speech rights." If I've a right to mock and slander you I reduce your ability to speak, as fewer will heed your words.--Which, after all, is the whole point of mocking and slandering. To negate another's speech so that they do not in fact have the same ability to speak that I do. (So much for "Free Speech rights!")

    "Free speech rights" isn't about everyone having the right to speak. It's about you having the right to speak instead of the other guy.

    In America we have First Amendment rights. Because when individual rights conflict they cease to be individual rights, but, rather, are subject to negotiation. The results of America's negotiations was a mutual agreement to accept the rights delineated in the First Amendment. Which are that all political speech is a protected right.

    The idea being that ensuring citizens have access to all information necessary for them to make informed choices about their governance, and ensuring that corrupt government officials cannot manipulate the electorate by controlling the information that the electorate has, is worth compromising the speech rights of some individuals on occasion.

    The courts generally grant First Amendment protection to nearly all speech on the grounds that almost any speech can be "political" in nature. And also on the pragmatic grounds that we really don't want the potential for abuse in having courts decide what is, and is not, protected speech any more than we want to risk any other government officials making those decisions.

    But no one, ever, has suggested, and it certainly isn't the intent of the First Amendment, to grant "free speech rights." If you don't believe me try walking into any courtroom, the places charged with protecting our First Amendment rights, and exercise your "free speech rights."--When you get out of jail we can talk again.

    There is not now, and there has never been, a "free speech right." Your individual right to say whatever you please any way you want ends the instant it conflicts with another's right say what they want to say--unless, and except, for when there's been some kind of agreement between you giving you a right to speak anyway.--Like the First Amendment.

    Our issues with religious extremists, conservatives, and bigots of all stripes, are a direct result of the misconception that they have rights in effect no matter how their actions may affect others. Rights like "free speech rights" that simply do not, and have never, existed. It's those faulty beliefs that ultimately cause violence as people fight, and kill, over their rights.

    It isn't what rights people believe that they have that's the problem. It's that they believe that their "rights" give them a right to do things to others, whether those others agree or not.--There are no such rights.

  157. [157] 
    dsws wrote:

    BTW - it really doesn't matter if I'm good with other peoples' free speech rights or not. They have them. That's what is known as a "fact", a word you apparently don't understand.

    What constitutes a right, and the ontological and epistemic status of rights, do have a factual component. But methinks there's a wee smidgen of theory involved as well.

  158. [158] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
    And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, Oh Lord
    Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord

    -Phil Collins

    :D

  159. [159] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, it just occurred to me...

    North Korea hacked into Sony and caused all sorts of mischief in an effort to stop people from seeing THE INTERVIEW...

    The result??

    Millions more saw it than would have seen it if NK had left well enough alone. The movie made tons more money than it had a right to..

    Islamic terrorists attack Charlie Hebdo and kill 12 people over their paper's mocking of the islamic prophet..

    The result??

    Hebdo sells 3 million issues of the post-attack issue where normally they would sell around 30,000.... Millions more saw the prophet in all his "glory" than would have if the scumbags would have left well enough alone..

    Are ya'all sensing the pattern that I am seeing???

    The more scumbags try to interfere with our inalienable human rights, the WORSE it is for said scumbags..

    The scumbags are bringing about the very scenarios that they sought to avoid with their attacks...

    It's a welcome trend that I hope continues and expands...

    Michale

  160. [160] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Liz,

    Okay. Now I'm read on Boxer comments.

    Personally, I think America's a good place worth supporting and defending. I just think we could, and should, be better. And I don't think we will be by telling ourselves how awesome we are now, and how much better than everyone else we've always been. I think we need to admit our mistakes, learn from them, and take action to do better in the future.--Call me crazy, but it just appears to me that America has just a little bit of difficulty getting past step one...

    I'm a great-grandson of a slave, descended from Native Americans, who had to get off the sidewalk and walk in the street for white folks when I was a child visiting my Grandparents home. So America's public image is in minor conflict with my own personal experience and family history. It's just a tad difficult to reconcile with America being the ultra virtuous morally impeccable historical role-model for individual freedom, liberty, and justice for all!

    But I recognize that splashing America's shining image with reality is a total buzz kill. It isn't hatred, its "tough love."

  161. [161] 
    LewDan wrote:

    And my take?!

    Charlie initiates an entirely spurious and egregious attack on Islam. Islamic extremists escalate with excessive force and murderous intent. Charlie, naturally, escalates its own attacks in reply...

    Yes, Michale, we're really getting a handle on the violence! Way to fight terrorism! Starting fights, refusing to back down, and escalating them has always been an effective way to prevent violence.--NOT!

  162. [162] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Never let the terrorists win! Hit them with shock and awe!

    Thanks to "The War On Terror (tm)" terrorists are definitely on the run!

    Instead of terrorist havens like Taliban Afghanistan we now have the ISIS Caliphate! Terrorists now have their own country!

    Maybe, if we defeat them enough, they'll end up ruling the world?!

  163. [163] 
    dsws wrote:

    who had to get off the sidewalk and walk in the street for white folks when I was a child visiting my Grandparents home

    How long ago and where?

    It occurs to me that it might be worthwhile to stage a conversation about your experience, and post video of it on Youtube. Much of white America honestly believes that that sort of thing is irrelevant ancient history. To a lot of people, when they hear any date more than five years before their own birth, it's just a four-digit number. It might as well be 1066 or 1492. But if they see video of a person speaking in the first person, the events are automatically understood to have happened within living memory. Of course, odds are that not very many people would watch. But probably more than zero.

  164. [164] 
    Michale wrote:

    But if they see video of a person speaking in the first person, the events are automatically understood to have happened within living memory. Of course, odds are that not very many people would watch. But probably more than zero.

    Which is more than such instances actually happening in the here and now...

    Michale

  165. [165] 
    LewDan wrote:

    We've resegregated schools since charter schools are not subject to federal regulation.

    Given one in five black men felony convictions so that both their rights may be legally taken away and so that they may be legally discriminated against.

    Repealed the fourteenth amendment and reinstituted poll taxes (having to buy photo-IDs) and Jim Crowe laws preventing black people from voting. (Like requiring birth certificates of people born at home during a time when certificates weren't issued. Or requiring a photo-ID to vote, and a photo-ID to get a photo-ID! (I've personally experienced that one here in Illinois, though, thankfully, we do not require a photo-ID to vote.))

    Reoutlawed abortion by making it illegal to perform procedures unless you're the Mayo Clinic! (OK--Yes, I exaggerate--a little.) to force women to carry to term against their will. (AKA "involuntary servitude," AKA "slavery.")

    Sure, "its not actually happening in the here and now", Michale. I believe that when it comes to "white America honestly believes that that sort of thing is irrelevant ancient history..." that you resemble that remark.

    ...But I'll pass on the video. My experiences were common enough, well known enough, well documented enough--people can view "Selma" if they're so inclined. I'm a rather private person. I don't even do Facebook! Much less YouTube videos!

  166. [166] 
    Michale wrote:

    ...But I'll pass on the video. My experiences were common enough, well known enough, well documented enough--people can view "Selma" if they're so inclined.

    Yea....

    And Nixon had the Silent Majority behind him as well... :^/

    And I have a LOT of support... In email... :^/

    You make the claim, ya gots to prove it...

    "Pics or it didn't happen."
    -Charlie Bradbury

    Michale

  167. [167] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    And when I mentioned watching the Selma march on television you claimed that that wasn't "proof" that it ever happened either.

    My word that it happened is all the proof I need to offer. I don't give a damn whether or not you choose to believe me. You've amply demonstrated you only believe what you want to believe based upon your prejudices.

    In fact, its people like you that are the reason I'm not interested in any video. The people who don't believe discrimination is currently happening, I relevant, are uninformed by choice. They don't want to know the truth, so they simply refuse to know the truth. Like you, Michale.

    You are the most prolific bald-faced liar on this site! And your routinely challenge everyone else's veracity while claiming you present rumors and opinions as "fact" with absolutely no proof whatsoever.

    It isn't possible to prove to you anything that you don't want to know, and I'm tired of you libeling me here with your lies. So either YOU provide proof that I'm not telling the truth or STFU!

  168. [168] 
    Michale wrote:

    It isn't possible to prove to you anything that you don't want to know, and I'm tired of you libeling me here with your lies. So either YOU provide proof that I'm not telling the truth or STFU!

    Can't prove a negative, sunshine... :D

    It's possible to prove ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to me...

    All I ask for are FACTS.. Relevant FACTS...

    Something you have a LOT of trouble providing..

    All you have is your "truth", which is as far from factual as is possible to be...

    ".... and so it goes and so it goes...."
    -Billy Joel

    :D

    Michale

  169. [169] 
    dsws wrote:

    Anyone know what Dieudonne actually said, that he got prosecuted for?

  170. [170] 
    LewDan wrote:

    I'll accept your contention that you can't prove a negative as an admission that you have no proof and are simply lying.--As always.

    It is entirely possible to prove that an event did not in fact occur. But it does require evidence. You simply do not have any. Which is why your assertion that I am untruthful is a lie.

    Your lies are not true until proven otherwise, Michale.

    I gave you facts. Relevant facts. I stated that I personally experienced it. That I am a witness.

    And I have proven, repeatedly, that you are a liar. Just as I've already proven, repeatedly, that you are a racist bigot. Those are facts. Facts that I have Proven. Repeatedly.

    And those facts prove that your baseless opinions have no credibility. So I am, in fact, under no obligation to further prove anything to you. I've already proven, repeatedly, that you are a liar. As I have just proven, yet again. So STFU!!

  171. [171] 
    Michale wrote:

    I've already proven, repeatedly, that you are a liar.

    Only to yerself, sunshine..

    Only to yerself... :D

    So STFU!!

    Love you too... ;^*

    Michale

  172. [172] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Just for that, I'll let you have the last word."
    "Thank you."
    "You're welcome."

    -*M*A*S*H

    :D

    Michale

  173. [173] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "Anyone know what Dieudonne actually said, that he got prosecuted for?"

    I was just listening to ATC on NPR and they interviewed an attorney from Paris who specializes in freedom of speech cases and, according to him, Dieudonne tweeted: "I am Charlie Coulibaly.", although I've read online that it was "Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly."

    Maybe this is just a difference in translation to English, but the first one does seem more likely.

  174. [174] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    BTW - neither of those translations seems to convey an especially clear meaning to me. What exactly was he saying? They say he's a comedian, so I suspect that their case against him is probably weak, but who knows? Charlie Hebdo was unsuccessfully prosecuted under the same law.

  175. [175] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The Dieudonne situation reminds me of the 9/11 Bill Maher controversy when Ari Fleischer said that people like Maher "need to watch what they say, watch what they do." and Politically Incorrect was cancelled.

    But we're all Charlie, no?

  176. [176] 
    Michale wrote:

    But we're all Charlie, no?

    Apparently Phil "Duck Commander" Robertson wasn't Charlie..

    Nor was that Florida Nutjob (redundant :D) who wanted to burn korans..

    If you want to talk about people who try and censor and shut down other people's free speech, there is a LOT more blood on Democrat's hands than Republicans...

    Michale

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