Islam, Free Speech, and Democracy

What really happened in the Pennsylvania "zombie Mohammed" case?

The story that flew around the blogosphere last week was guaranteed to cause an uproar: A Muslim assaults an atheist for mocking Mohammed, and a Muslim judge dismisses the charges and berates the victim—and it all happens here in America. Suddenly, warnings about the threat of Sharia law on our shores got a strong boost.

In fact, there was no "Sharia court," and the judge is not a Muslim. But, however egregious the misreporting of the story and the vilification of the judge—Cumberland Country, Pennsylvania magistrate Mark W. Martin, who graciously answered my queries in an email exchange—the actual facts of the story are troubling. Judge Martin's intent may have been entirely benign, but his handling of the case sends a bad message not only about freedom of speech, but about the place of Islam in American culture.

It all started with a Halloween parade in which Ernest Perce V, head of the state chapter of American Atheists, marched as "Zombie Mohammed" with turban, fake beard, and chants of "I am the prophet Mohammed, zombie from the dead." (A fellow atheist activist was "Zombie Pope.") An offended Muslim immigrant, Talaag Elbayomy, approached Perce and threatened to call the police, apparently believing that such blasphemy was against the law; Perce claims Elbayomy spun him around and grabbed his neck while trying to pull off his beard and his "Mohammed of Islam" sign. Elbayomy was charged with harassment.

On December 6, Judge Martin dismissed the case for lack of evidence. He also gave Perce a lengthy tongue-lashing, chastising him for everything from ignorance of Islam to failure to understand the importance of religion to Muslims to an "ugly American" disregard for other cultures. Noting that Perce's actions would have been punishable by death in many Muslim countries, he continued, "Here in our society, we have a constitution that gives us many rights, specifically First Amendment rights. It's unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others." He told Perce that while he had the right to be offensive, "you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights."

But what got people's attention was a passage in which Martin said that Muslims find such conduct "very, very offensive"—and added what sounded like, "I'm a Muslim, I find it offensive." 

Perce pounced on Martin's alleged admission of Muslim faith, repeatedly flogging it in the 37-minute YouTube clip (an audio recording of the trial with his scrolling transcript and commentary). The blogpost on the American Atheists website was headlined, "Muslim Attacks Atheist. Muslim Judge Dismisses Case, Blames Victim." Dozens of blogs ran with the story, some embellishing it to describe Martin, an Iraq veteran, as "a convert to Islam" (perhaps because his background made him an unlikely Muslim).

Almost immediately, a news site quoted a court secretary as denying that Judge Martin was a Muslim. Then, a statement from the judge himself was posted on several blogs, explaining his decision and asserting that he was not Muslim but Lutheran. National Review writer Andrew McCarthy, a strong anti-Islam polemicist who had first reported the case as an outrage by a Muslim judge, backtracked and amended his transcribed version to the hypothetical, "If I'm a Muslim, I'd find it offensive."

From my review of the audio, I believe the words are, "I'm not Muslim, I find it offensive"—with the "not" spoken so quickly it sounds like a single vowel. (There is nothing unusual about such skipping over short words: later in Perce's transcript, "two sides of the story" is rendered as "two sides [?] the story," with the "of" barely audible.) I can hear the "not" when listening closely; many posters on blogs and forums have picked up on it as well, including ones harshly critical of the judge. Some pointed this out before there were any official denials of his being Muslim. 

Judge Martin, who graciously answered my queries in an email, told me he could not recall exactly what he said at that point. But either way, in context, "I'm a Muslim" makes no sense. The audio shows that Martin consistently refers to Muslims as "them," and says that he knows "a little bit about the faith of Islam" due to having spent over two years in a predominantly Muslim country. He certainly does not, as the American Atheists blogpost asserts, proclaim "how strongly he embraces Islam."

Was the dismissal of the harassment charge improper? Probably not; here, too, the facts have been treated quite loosely.

Thus, it has been widely claimed that a cell phone video corroborates Perce's complaint, contradicting Judge Martin's assertion that it was one man's word against another's. On the National Review blog, McCarthy writes that the video "does not depict the assault but it shows there was a sudden disturbance." Yet the only thing the poor-quality video definitely supports is Elbayomy's statement that he approached "Zombie Mohammed," told him to stop and said he would "call the cops." Then shouts erupt, but what's happening is unclear; Perce's subtitles assert, "He's choking me!", but a moment later Perce resumes his "I am Mohammed" chant unfazed.

McCarthy also writes that "a police officer would have testified that Elbayomy admitted attacking Perce," implying that this testimony was disallowed by the judge. This seems to be a misinterpretation of reports alleging that Judge Martin refused to consider the officer's testimony—originating with this garbled statement in the American Atheists posting: "A Police Officer who was at the scene also testified on Mr. Perce’s behalf, to which the Judge also dismissed by saying the officer didn’t give an accurate account or doesn’t give it any weight" (sic).

But on the audio, Judge Martin says nothing of the sort, only that the testimony did not prove harassment beyond a reasonable doubt. The officer, Sgt. Brian Curtis, actually played a key role in the trial, in the unusual dual role of eyewitness and prosecutor cross-examining the defendant. Curtis, who had interviewed both men on the scene but taken no statement, testified that Elbayomy had admitted to "physical contact" with Perce during the argument—though not to any specific acts such as grabbing or choking. In his own testimony, Elbayomy (whose English is limited) insisted that there had been only a verbal confrontation, and that if he had previously admitted to "physical contact" he might have meant Perce pushing him.

With such conflicting testimony, Judge Martin's decision to dismiss the case is entirely reasonable. The way in which he used his position as a bully pulpit is another story.

It is not unusual for judges to admonish the parties in a case, sometimes harshly, about their conduct. In this instance, though, the lecture was startlingly one-sided. Judge Martin lambasted Perce for his disrespect for other people's culture and faith while not one critical word was spoken to Elbayomy.

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  • ||

    I'm offended by this. No zombie Moses?

  • HeroicMulatto||

    Moses knew how to stay dead.

  • JB||

    "you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights."

    That is complete and total bullshit. That judge is way out of bounds on his ignorance of the First Amendment.

    Mark W. Martin is a cunt. That's an extremely appropriate usage of my First Amendment rights.

    Mark W. Martin should be removed from the bench based on those words alone.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    What, do you work for HBO?

  • Con MD||

    Exactly so (aside from the expletive). That was the sentence that was so offensive. One wonders how the author of this essay, who is doing his best to defend the judge, could just pass this sentence by. It should be gut wrenching to all who read it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I shouldn't mention this, but there is room for a Zombie Moses joke here, since many people attribute the first five books of the Bible to Moses, and the end of the fifth book records Moses' death (Deut. 34:4-7). So how could he have written that part unless, etc.

  • FDR||

    Moses is not real.

  • Extra Sausage||

    This is like the worst chat room ever.

  • Passé Fist||

    Thank you for your kind, thoughtful contribution. Your originality astounded me. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Extra Sausage||

    You're welcome!
    My meme cannot be defeated. It can only be contained.

  • Binky||

    My meme cannot be defeated.

    You misspelled "evah".

  • Extra Sausage||

    "Evah" is so passé, don't you think?
    Or don't you?

  • Father Jack||

    Feck you, your meme and your sausage. Drink! Arse! Girls!

  • Extra Sausage||

    Thank you for your thoughtful commentary.

    But my meme transcends mere blog commentary...

    My meme is a meme for the ages!

  • Extra Peppers and Onions||

    .

  • Brubaker||

    Your meme?

    Your momma.

  • invisible furry hand||

    There were quite a few interesting discussions of this over at the Volokh Conspiracy. It seems that Justice Martin is at the bottom of the judicial food chain - you don't have to be a lawyer, just do a four-week course on mostly traffic law. So his grasp of First Amendment issues, while weak, isn't surprising

  • ||

    Because the Bill of Rights is so exceptionally extensive and complex?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Yeah, that kinda threw me as well. I'm just a lowly, grunting engineer and it seems pretty clear to me.

  • ||

    He's a fucking judge -- it's his JOB to understand the Bill of Rights, and the Bill of Rights fits onto a single sheet of paper. Read it, grasp it, and dispense justice in absolute accordance with it, or get the fuck out.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Political appointee, most likely. Someone's otherwise-unemployable brother-in-law.

  • invisible furry hand||

    He's not appointed - he's elected by his neighbours. And let's be clear, he does really penny ante bullshit cases, and isn't a lawyer. So yes, he should have a better grasp of the First Amendment as a public official, but my point is that IT ISN'T SURPRISING because most people have a shitty grasp of it, and frankly his day-to-day activities on the bench don't require a better one. Finally, it should also come as no surprise to discover he moonlights as a fucking MP - also renowned for their grasp of rights.

  • ||

    I wasn't confronting anything you said. My point was that to be a judge, Constitutional comprehension is paramount.

    "... and frankly his day-to-day activities on the bench don't require a better one..."

    I don't give a shit if he spends his days resolving parking ticket disputes; if you're a sitting judge, ad you are authorized under the force of law to dispense justice, knowledge of foundational text for the system you're operating is absolutely, uncompromisingly essential. No excuses, no exceptions.

  • invisible furry hand||

    On this we agree. It is something in which we will be forever disappointed, but that makes it even more important to insist on it.

  • ||

    forever disappointed? God I hope not. Airline pilots have to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the principles of aeronautics before getting their pilots licence and to my mind that is much harder to learn than the bill of rights (1 page). Innocent lives will be endangered or destroyed in both cases by a failure to understand the simple underlying principles.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I wasn't confronting anything you said. My point was that to be a judge, Constitutional comprehension is paramount.

    I agree, and I didn't take it as a confrontation.

  • invisible furry hand||

    sorry if i came across as a cranky prick, it wasn't intended

  • ||

    It's a good thing we didn't start hitting each other over our conversation on H&R. Maybe Judge Judy can helps us out if we ever get into one of these "fighting words" bouts, eh?

  • invisible furry hand||

    Yep, we could run to the law, but I think you're like me and would settle things the old-fashioned way

  • Jeffersonian||

    You read good, and do other stuff good, too.

  • ||

    What does being an MP have to do with this moron not grasping the BoR? Seeing as the military operates outside of the constitution while on post (Voluntarily, I might add), his grasp of it wouldn't matter in that job.*

    *Disclaimer: my brother in law is an MP (that just made O-4 this week) and treats the constitution with all of the respect it deserves, both on post and off.

  • invisible furry hand||

    How about we call it a gratuitous stupid aside said in the heat of the moment?

  • ||

    Fair enough, and I wasn't trying to be a dick. I just wanted to point out that they volunteer to give up certain rights...

    ...which just got me into an interesting side argument with Banjos. She wants to know how a person can give up certain rights for their future self by joining the military. I guess it's back to the "can you sell yourself into slavery" argument we're about to have.

  • invisible furry hand||

    Well, the sell yourself into slavery argument is the reductio ad absurdam of what is actually a fairly common thing - the renunciation of rights, for a limited period or permanently.

    For example, you're about to marry (mazel tov!). That entails a renunciation of certain rights on behalf of your future self. Some of those renunciations are not legally enforceable (eg there's no law against adultery, so your renunciation of your right to sleep with others only is enforceable through moral suasion), but others are - for example you renounce your right to spend your money as you please, and there is (in most places, in some circumstances) a legally enforceable obligation to support your spouse.

    Charactetr limit means a second post...

  • invisible furry hand||

    Part 2...


    Other renunciations might be implied or explicit but more clearly legally enforceable as they occur subject to contract. An example is a settlement of a legal dispute. I was suing you. I offer to terminate the litigation and renounce my right to sue you, for ever and ever, in respect of the dispute described in the contract of settlement, you agree and hand over the consideration. That's a contract. I now can't sue you in respect of the dispute described in the contract of settlement. And you can enforce that.

    Re your B-I-L, he has renounced certain rights, and has done so pursuant to a contract and in return for consideration. As long as he is bound by the contract, he has renounced those rights. But the contract has a termination process, so it's not a permanent renunciation.

  • Bill||

    No, not that kind of MP.

    The British kind. He's a member of parliament and that's why he does not know the bill of rights. He's a GD traitor!

  • ||

    People with foreign allegiances serving as jurists in the United States? What a disgusting thought.

  • db||

    Actually this is kind of intriguing. What if jurists were selected from certain foreign countries, of widely varying cultures, instructed to rule ONLY ON THE LAW of the pertinent jurisdiction, and not to attempt to take local political or cultural concerns into consideration. What could the result be? I can see good and bad aspects.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    TAR AND FEATHER THE BASTARD

  • Xenocles||

    "Seeing as the military operates outside of the constitution while on post"

    This strikes me as incorrect, or at least incomplete. There's sort of a shadow BoR that works in parallel or in place of the regular one. Cases are often blown because some senior person, fueled by righteous indignation that a crime might have taken place under his purview, tore through a subordinate's stuff to find evidence. You don't need a warrant to do a search on base, but you do need the specific permission of the cognizant CO.

    I maintain, however, that the restrictions on freedom of speech are pragmatically rather than constitutionally derived. I'm all for disciplining an insubordinate person - it generally doesn't go well for your career to tell your boss to fuck off in any situation - but nobody should go to jail for speaking.

  • ||

    What about classified material?

  • Xenocles||

    In those cases, there should be civil penalties incurred by violating the NDA every person with access signs. Criminal penalties should only enter into it when there is a demonstrated harm, as when we punish people who threaten others. The criminal act is not the words but the threat of violence they convey. Likewise, the act of intentionally aiding the enemy ought to be criminal - though I am aware that one could interpret that charge to include (incorrectly, IMO) things like vocally opposing a war, the tactics used to fight it, or the politicians who support it. It's a dangerous slope, and I want it clear here that I'm only speaking in the ideal here. It's not possible to include all the necessary nuance and analysis in a blog comment, let alone a truncated one.

  • ||

    I generally agree.

    Betraying classified information has a high potential to result in the deaths of others, be they front line fighters or, more likely, the gatherers of said intelligence. Don't have a real gripe with that.

    My biggest bitch was, while I voluntarily agreed to give up some of my rights as a prerequisite for the job, I was never given any contractual list of which rights I was giving up, prior to accepting it (because such a list doesn't exist).

    Some "exceptions" were established by Congress under the UCMJ, others embedded in obscure regs and others appeared contradictory and simply made up to suit someone's agenda. I've actually been told (by a commander) that I wasn't allowed to attend a political rally in civilian attire. You never knew what was truly law and what was some asshole's opinion.

    The military was, shall we say, "frustrating" for a libertarian.

  • Xenocles||

    It still is. I work in a joint command these days and word went out that the entire Air Force is prohibited from contributing to candidates. I have been unable to find anything to support that idea, and I suspect that it is untrue.

    Everybody talks about these rights that we surrender but I swear there's no basis for it. The Constitution is the law for everyone in this country; there are no exceptions defined in it. All the court findings to the contrary are 100% pragmatic rulings. Congress is granted the power to make law for the armed forces, but it's not a limitless power. It's still bound by clauses like "Congress shall make no law."

    Washington himself is said to have agreed, saying something like "When we took up the soldier, we did not put away the citizen."

  • ||

    I retired a little over a year ago and they were just starting to push that "no contributions" thing. I could find no reference either. It SEVERELY pissed me off.

    Quite frankly, I can't see that the AF has a leg to stand on. Do you know if other services are saying the same?

    GOD, it's good to be a free man again!

  • ||

    Wife just told me she found it in an AF reg just before she got out (doesn't remember which).

    How dare they? Arrogant pompous asses! ...illegal order!

  • ||

    You know what would be awesome? Really, really awesome? If Obama ordered the military to non-compliant states to quell opposition, and they refused, all the way from the JCS to the platoon level.

  • ||

    You know what would be awesome?

    Most of the folks I've known take that oath to the Constitution very seriously.

  • Xenocles||

    I'm Navy, and nothing like that came out for us.

  • ||

    Is Leroy Jethro Gibbs as awesome as primetime TV audiences think he is, Xenocles?

  • Xenocles||

    It's not a fair question. We all know that TV cops are always right, so no innocent person ever gets hurt when the cops do whatever it takes to get their men.

  • Xenocles||

    Then again if your question was about real NCIS guys, no. They're a bunch of Keystone Kops.

  • ||

    Well, I bet Mark Clookie ain't got a poster of Muhammad Ali in HIS office.

  • ||

    I don't know about Jethro, but Abby is AWESOME!

  • ||

    It depends on what you mean by "awesome". Half the guys that watch the show have perma-hard-ons for her. She's a good character, but I'm not a member of THAT club, sorry. *wink*.

  • Xenocles||

    (reply to FdA)

  • Xenocles||

    That just made it worse. The gist is that my 3:08 was for Francisco and the 3:25 and 3:27 were to RPA.

  • invisible furry hand||

    No. It's not surprising because most people are less that red-blooded in their commitment to free speech. That's one reason for the First Amendment - not because the evil Gubmint hates you, but legislators can be as dumb as a box of rocks and pass laws without thinking of their implications, especially for something as nebulous as someone else's rights.

    I live in a country where most people don't think about this meaningfully, assume that they have the right, and then assume they can restrict others' rights without contradiction. And the Federal Government is looking at extending press regulation to popular bloggers.

  • ||

    Most people love free speech, until it insults their sensibilities. Take, for example, the pro-abortion crowd getting those bubbles around abortion clinic entrances where free speech is not allowed. But you know what, there's not a judge around that will convict a single person for sitting on the trunk of their car holding an "abortion is murder" sign while parked right out front. They know the case will ultimately be a loser for them and free speech will be restored. That's why they have always let me go when I've been arrested and hauled in front of them...twice in the same day. Their order the second time was "don't let me see you again for this or I'll hold you in contempt."

    It's their way around defending bad law, I guess. They sure won't refuse it on it's constitutional merits.

  • anon||

    Because the Bill of Rights is so exceptionally extensive and complex?

    It is. It could be shortened to "Congress shall make no law." and have the desired effect.

  • An unnamed source||

    A big part of the problem we have now is the requirement in many areas that judges be lawyers. That and lawyers writing the laws lead to what we have now. EVERY law should be written to where it can be understood and judged by a high school graduate. All the "lawyer requirement" does is skew the system against the citizens.

  • anon||

    A big part of the problem we have now is the requirement in many areas that judges be lawyers.

    There is no such requirement.

  • Hugo Longbone||

    Some laws can't be written in such a way, unless you are very comfortable with the idea of harsh laws making winners and losers.

  • protefeed||

    yeah, i've been so baffled by that "Congress shall make no law" thing, wondering -- does that mean Congress shall make a buttload of laws about this subject, or completely disregard the text in its entirety.

    Heard a few whackjobs who think it means Congress is actually prohibited from passing any laws at all about this stuff -- talk about failing to understand English!

  • ||

    Yet there is something inherently disturbing about a public official chastising a citizen for engaging in constitutionally protected expression, however obnoxious.

    When I remove Islam from the equation, I don't necessarily come to that conclusion.

    If a belligerent drunk at a baseball game says something obnoxious to my girlfriend, the chances of him getting a knuckle sandwich are very high.

    There is a certain assumption of risk there--a question about where the line is between free speech and fighting words. If someone uses obnoxious speech for the purpose of instigating a reaction, why should any of us feel sorry for a belligerent drunk taking one to the kisser?

    From the judge's perspective, if there was no assault committed, why would he admonish a Muslim for being offended by something that was clearly intended to offend Muslims?

  • Mo||

    Why should any of us feel sorry for a belligerent drunk taking one to the kisser?

    So much for your sacred non-agression principle.

  • ||

    See my post below.

    If there wasn't enough evidence to show that an assault actually occurred, and hence no basis for a judgement, then why would the judge criticize some Muslim just for thinking the government protects the right of Muslims not to be offended?

    That characteristic is hardly unique to Muslims.

  • ||

    People don't have a right not be offended, but they do have a right to feel offended when someone offends them.

  • Mo||

    I was referring to your willingness to resort to fisticuffs (aggression) if some lout was rude to your girlfriend.

  • ||

    Well, non-aggression has never been my problem.

    I believe in the government being non-coercive. I believe that crime is generally defined as undue coercion.

    I'm not sure sticking up for myself when someone's trying to instigate something is necessarily coercion, and I see sticking up for my girlfriend as, more or less, sticking up for myself.

  • Mo||

    Giving a guy "a knuckle sandwich" for being rude to your girlfriend is not something a reasonable person would do. Which is why I pointed out the hypocrisy of an alleged libertarian (if you're not a libertarian, my apologies) resorting to easily to violence, thereby violating the non-aggression principle that is so dear (and rightly so) to alleged libertarians.

  • ||

    The government doesn't have a monopoly on violence.

    When there's a rule against something, it becomes part of the game. Next time you see a basketball game, listen for the announcers to tell you how many fouls someone has to give.

    Again, I'd give the guy an out first. But doing nothing about a belligerent drunk berating your girlfriend because it isn't illegal and their aren't any cops around at the time? Isn't required just because I'm a libertarian.

    There's this thing called fighting words. If I ask for an apology and get more bile spewed at me or my girlfriend instead? Then letting a judge decide the consequences isn't necessarily an un-libertarian thing to do.

  • ||

    There's this thing called fighting words. If I ask for an apology and get more bile spewed at me or my girlfriend instead? Then letting a judge decide the consequences isn't necessarily an un-libertarian thing to do.

    The hell it isn't. Remember the announcement before the game? It said to respect the people around you. The fact that that guy broke that rule doesn't give you carte blanche to do the same, especially when his rulebreaking falls short of physical violence.

    As I said downthread, call security and have him removed. If security ids not available, go to the ticket counter and demand to have your tickets refunded because they did not meet the terms of their contract, which was to have a safe and secure game where their policies are enforced.

    Or, just stop going to baseball games in Philadelphia, for fuck sake.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No Ken just no. Don't even.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Giving a guy "a knuckle sandwich" for being rude to your girlfriend is not something a reasonable person would do.

    This is a very new idea in American culture. I'm pretty sure than my Grandfather would have knocked now any man who was rude to my Grandmother unto his dieing day. (And he was stronger at 80 than I was at eighteen---grew up on a farm and work as an aircraft mechanic.)

  • Jeffersonian||

    "...why would the judge criticize some Muslim just for thinking the government protects the right of Muslims not to be offended?"

    Because the Muslim fellow clearly initated the confrontation with the thought that the law prevented people from mocking Islam and Mohammed. It was very nearly an assault, and may be the next time unless the fellow was admonished to keep his responses verbal.

  • ||

    Maybe somebody should inform the guy that in this country, attacking people is a good way to get shot, at least if you're not in California, New York, New Jersey, or Illinois.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Word is "he needed some killin'" is a positive defense in Texas.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Word is "he needed some killin'" is a positive defense in Texas.

    Not on the books. Though it has been so in fact from time to time.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    attacking [White] people is a good way to get shot, at least if you're not in California, New York, New Jersey, or Illinois.

    Dude, you randomly attack someone in Harlem, you're gonna get shot.

  • ||

    "Perce claims Elbayomy spun him around and grabbed his neck while trying to pull off his beard and his "Mohammed of Islam" sign."

    Sounds a lot like assault to me. Hearsay, but assault.

  • DarrenM.||

    that the law prevented people from mocking Islam and Mohammed.

    It does. Just not in this country.

  • ||

    Perhaps familiarizing yourself with your adoptive culture should be an obvious thing to do when your previous one spends its time harking back to the barbarians of the 13th century.

    "That characteristic is hardly unique to Muslims."

    In this degree, it's unique to Muslims (currently). I've never met a Christian, a Jew, a Jain, a Buddhist, an atheist, an agnostic, or anybody else who seriously thought that insults are grounds for imprisonment and prosecution, and that the physical confrontation one might initiate in response to them would be perfectly legal. False equivalences.

  • ||

    You must have never heard of.......

    The Spanish Inquisition.

    I keed! I keed!

  • ||

    If you dig deep enough, I bet you'll find that even the Holy Inquisition was...

    FOR TEH CHILDURNS!!!!!111

  • ||

  • ||

    While no one expects the inquisition, but then again it has been defunct for a number of centuries now. At this point, it is a false equivalence.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    They had a video of the assault actually occuring, which the judge refused to view because he "didn't think it was relevant to the situation". This had nothing to do with lack of evidence, it's about a local magistrate who, like many of his peers at that level, wants to play daddy and is more interested in lecturing people on his personal views of how they should behave than actually enforcing the law.

  • Passé Fist||

    Why should any of us feel sorry for a belligerent drunk taking one to the kisser?
    So much for your sacred non-agression principle.

    You may have noticed a discernible difference between having an adrenaline gland and carpet fire-bombing Dresden.

  • Mo||

    Huh? Having an adrenaline gland (biology) trumps the non-aggression principle (philosophy)? Good to know that there's a convenient exemption for initiating aggression.

  • Passé Fist||

    It would seem "Mo" needs to add "Ron" as his last name. It would take a moron to not understand the difference between coldly ordering an action (like executing a prisoner or prosecuting a war) and striking out in the heat of the moment. Taken at his word, Mo doesn't want free speech or non-aggression, he wants to be free from the consequences of his actions.

  • ||

    Mo's been around here for goin' on...eight years now?

    Anybody that calls Mo a moron makes themselves look stupid to everyone who's known him.

  • ||

    If someone uses obnoxious speech for the purpose of instigating a reaction, why should any of us feel sorry for a belligerent drunk taking one to the kisser?

    Or, more specifically, why should we criticize a judge for admonishing a belligerent drunk for his constitutionally protected obnoxious speech?

  • Invisible Finger||

    The judhe dorsn't HAVE to admonish anyone. Just make the ruling, state the reasons, and then shut the fuck up. Just because the judge is protrcted doesn't mean he should start babbling - in his authoritative capacity- about subjects he is clearly limited in knowledge.

  • ||

    I think admonishing people for their behavior is perfectly within his authority--and within his rights.

    I have a right to tell people what I think of them, too. If you want to take issue with the way he ruled, that's one thing.

    But telling obnoxious people that you think they're being obnoxious? That doesn't seem like a bad judge to me.

  • AblueSilkworm||

    It seems like a bad judge to me. People have free speech rights, but his job is ruling, not berating. It seems to me it is wholly unprofessional. I don't expect the guy behind the ticket to tell me what he thinks of the event, just to sell me the damn thing. This is one of the reasons why to many people Judges seem by and large to be presumptuous asses.

  • Jeffersonian||

    From the judge's perspective, if there was no assault committed, why would he admonish a Muslim for being offended by something that was clearly intended to offend Muslims?

    Because clearly the Muslim fellow wasn't just offended to the point of shouting something unfriendly from the curb, he got physical with zombie Mo'.

    The analogy about a drunk and your girlfriend isn't apt. A more apt analogy would be a loud drunk getting up at a Mets-Phillies game at Shea (do they still play there?) and announcing that the Phillies are all dirtbags, whereupon a disgruntled Phillies fan in the crowd comes down from a dozen rows away to physically confront the drunk.

  • ||

    Because clearly the Muslim fellow wasn't just offended to the point of shouting something unfriendly from the curb, he got physical with zombie Mo'.

    Actually, from my read of the article, it appears that the judge ruled there wasn't enough evidence to show that contact occurred.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I think the cell phone video shows there was contact. It was the judge's decision that it didn't rise to the level of assault.

    If there's an "obnoxious drunk" here, it's the Muslim.

  • ||

    A disgruntled Phillies fan in the crowd comes down from a dozen rows away to physically confront the drunk.

    There's definitely a question iabout where that blurry line is between free speech and fighting words.

    I think it's possible that criticizing the Phillies fan may be on one side of that blurry line and riding someone's girlfriend could be on the other.

    So which side of the line is ridiculing the Prophet on? I'm not sure, but if there isn't enough evidence to have a trial? Then I don't know why the judge should admonish a Muslim for being offended the same way he would admonish an obnoxious instigator for being obnoxiously antagonistic.

  • Jeffersonian||

    You're minimizing what the Muslim did, Ken. He wasn't just offended, he physically confronted zombie Mo'. Contact or no contact, it was his actions that were aggressive, not zombie Mo's.

  • ||

    I think there is a difference between your example and this one. And that is your example the words are directed at the person. If this guy had gone up to the aggressor and said "fuck Muhammad you raghead" then I think it would be analogous to your example. But that is not what happened. The victim never said anything directly to the attacker. That makes a difference I think.

  • Jeffersonian||

    ^^ this

  • AblueSilkworm||

    Yup.

  • ||

    """"If a belligerent drunk at a baseball game says something obnoxious to my girlfriend, the chances of him getting a knuckle sandwich are very high.""""

    1) If the belligerent drunk initiates a physical altercation and THEN receives a punch in the face, great. But if he's just standing their saying, "Hey, sugar-tits, how 'bout a tugger?", and you attack the guy, don't be surprised when a judge tells you you're a fucking moron and specifies exactly WHY you're a fucking moron.

    2) "He was screwing with/threatening my girlfriend" isn't even in the same moral universe as, "The Prophet Muhammad, PBUH, who ascended to heaven on a winged horse to the garden of Allah, was insulted, and I had punish the blasphemer by being an asshole verbally and then assaulting him."

  • ||

    1) I didn't invent the term "fighting words". And I would probably try to say something to the guy before I socked him. That being said, if a judge admonished me for my actions, that wouldn't be a constitutional crisis, no.

    Some people think freedom of speech means being free from the responsibility of what you say, and that's complete baloney. We're responsible for everything we freely choose to do--and that includes what we say.

    2) You're right. Many Muslims are much more offended by insults directed at the Prophet than most people are by what some random stranger says about their girlfriends. So that obnoxious atheist should have expected much worse--is that what you're saying?

  • Jeffersonian||

    "Many Muslims are much more offended by insults directed at the Prophet than most people are by what some random stranger says about their girlfriends. So that obnoxious atheist should have expected much worse--is that what you're saying?"

    Don't be obtuse, Ken, you're smarter than this.

    He's saying that, in the Land of the Free, some people will use that freedom to lampoon things you may hold dear. You have the right to be offended and to rebut, curse or otherwise gainsay what the lampooner is expressing. What you don't have is the right to physically assail him.

  • ||

    ^^^THIS^^^

  • hk||

    Yes, ^^^This.

  • ||

    Very likely the atheist was being provocative to lead the muslims to show themselves for what they are. Looks like he was successful. I doubt he expected the same thing to happen to the judge, that was just the cherry on top.

  • ||

    Very likely the atheist was being provocative to lead the muslims to show themselves for what they are.

    Yeah, the guy's a regular Martin Luther King, isn't he?

    Actually, I don't remember reading about MLK making fun of people's religious beliefs.

    Again, my question is why the judge should have admonished someone for being offended--by behavior that was intended to offend. ...just as harshly as he admonished someone who was being purposely offensive.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Again, my question is why the judge should have admonished someone for being offended--by behavior that was intended to offend. ...just as harshly as he admonished someone who was being purposely offensive.

    Because the Muslim intiated a confrontation that could easily have escalated to an assault (or have been deemed one in a courtroom less amenable to religious violence than Judge Martin's) on the "fighting words" basis.

  • ||

    "Again, my question is why the judge should have admonished someone for being offended--by behavior that was intended to offend. ...just as harshly as he admonished someone who was being purposely offensive."

    Because he's a judge. His entire post exists in order that he administer justice in accordance with the Constitution of the United States of America and the relevant laws. The guy in the zombie suit had every right, in every sense, to be a dick. He was marching around chanting, and he sure as fuck wasn't harming anybody.

    The Muslim instigated physical confrontation because he was offended. What the judge should have chastised him for isn't that he was offended by the provocateur, but that his reaction to being offended was to physically, almost violently, confront the zombie guy.

  • ||

    Because the sand flea threatened to call the police it seems he was unaware of the rights we have listed in the first amendment. Perhaps the judge should have instructed the muslim instead of admonishing anyone. He was certainly out of line admonishing the atheist.

  • Tim||

    Remember, Ken got the vapors when someone called a woman a "cunt", the proceeded to rant about how it should be banned.

    He's clearly incapable of handling speech he dislikes, as evidenced by his incorrect reliance on the archaic "fighting words" principle to justify an assault.

  • ||

    Banned? So in his heart Ken is a censor. Sorry Ken but if that is true, fuck you. Cunt.

  • ||

    Banned? So in his heart Ken is a censor. Sorry Ken but if that is true, fuck you. Cunt.

    I believe in self-censorship, absolutely.

    I think we should all stop ourselves from saying stupid shit. Don't you?

  • . ||

    "I think we should all stop ourselves from saying stupid shit"

    Then you should probably stop telling people it's ok for this muslim to commit assault because you misunderstand what fighting words are.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I think we should all stop ourselves from saying stupid shit. Don't you?

    Is criticism of Islam "stupid shit?" Is this self-censorship a matter of good manners or is it more fear-based?

  • ||

    Is criticism of Islam "stupid shit?" Is this self-censorship a matter of good manners or is it more fear-based?

    That was an example.

    Should you censor yourself from criticizing Islam? Of course not.

    Should you censor yourself from stupid criticism of Islam? Absolutely.

    You should also censor yourself from stupid criticism of your favorite hockey team, the IMF and Ben & Jerry's.

    "Stupid shit" was specifically referring to the stupid use of the "c-word" in that instance.

  • ||

    the "c-word"

    It's okay Ken, this is America, it's okay to say "cunt". In fact, if your not calling somebody one, it isn't even offensive. It's a word with four letters consisting of a "c", an "n", a "t" and a "u." Words hold no force over anyone.

  • ||

    're...English...how does it work?

  • Bill||

    I don't think he does :)

  • ||

    I never argued that anyone should be banned for using a word or that any word should be banned.

    I did argue that using the c-word pointlessly alienates women, and that if we want libertarianism to get bigger, then alienating women by using that word is a stupid thing to do.

    I think pointlessly antagonizing Muslims is also a stupid thing to do, especially if we want them to embrace American culture and values.

    I can understand why you would say that, though. If I didn't have anything interesting or reasonable to add to the discussion, I might have started attacking some messenger too! ...back when I was 16 years-old or so.

  • . ||

    "I never argued that anyone should be banned for using a word or that any word should be banned."

    "Ken Shultz|11.23.11 @ 8:19PM|#
    The word he used isn't like cussing.

    That's about the closest thing we have to a racial slur against women. If he'd used a racial slur, I'd have said more or less the same thing.

    It should never be allowed, here especially, because it makes Libertarians look bad."

  • ||

    It should never be allowed, here especially, because it makes Libertarians look bad."

    If I wrote that, it as a poor choice of words. I don't think I meant the word should be censored--only self-censored. If Hit & Run struck that word when they saw it--in order to make the site female-friendly? I wouldn't complain.

    If you have the link to that thread, please post it!

    I bet you'll find comments I posted elsewhere in the thread that say I'm not advocating any kind of law. But there's no reason why Reason shouldn't feel free to invoke whatever commenter policy they want. This site is their property.

    People got bent out of shape because they don't like being called out for using the "c-word".

    ...which is ridiculous. That word is hardly ever used in meatspace outside of the UK--because it's so vulgar and offensive to women.

  • . ||

    "People got bent out of shape because they don't like being called out for using the "c-word"."

    No, as I recall they got bent out of shape because you were doing what you're doing here, presuming it's ok for an out of proportion response to something you personally dislike.

  • ||

    Ken - " If Hit & Run struck that word when they saw it--in order to make the site female-friendly? I wouldn't complain."

    What other words would you not complain about being censored? What about ideas? Which ideas would you be comfortable with censoring? How about certain commenters? Which ones would you be ok with being banned?

    I will say it again, without the apology. Fuck you Ken. You are a cunt.

  • ||

    What other words would you not complain about being censored?

    The "n-word". If they struck that word when it showed up, it wouldn't bother me at all.

    Actually, they've struck the "c-word" in the past, especially when it was directed at Reason staff.

    It didn't bother me then, and if they did it all the time, it wouldn't bother me at all.

    The main purpose of the site, as I understand it, is to make the libertarian message as widely available and as widely appealing as possible. Using the "c-word", etc. makes it less so.

    There's a reason why McDonalds doesn't use the "c-word" in their advertising, and it isn't because of the FCC. It's because they want people to like them--and some of those people are women.

    If Reason took the same approach for the same reason, that wouldn't bother me at all.

  • . ||

    "The main purpose of the site, as I understand it, is to make the libertarian message as widely available and as widely appealing as possible. Using the "c-word", etc. makes it less so."

    But so do your paternalistic posts.

    I'm serious. If you genuinely believe what you wrote there, and genuinely believe in self censorship, then you should be leaving now right?

  • ||

    If I'm being paternalistic, it's only subconsciously so.

    Don't get hysterical. Somebody has to wear the pants around here.

    P.S. What's for dinner?

  • ||

    hysterical
    wear the pants
    What's for dinner?

    Is this your way of calling someone a cunt? If so, I applaud it.

  • ||

    LOL

  • ||

    Nigger.
    Cunt.
    Faggot.
    Kike.
    Dago.
    Gook.
    Raghead.
    Papist.
    Beaner.
    Spic.
    Bohunk.
    Honky.
    Polack.
    Redskin.
    Wop.
    Wetback.
    Twink.
    Fudge-packer.
    Bull-dyke.
    Porch Monkey.
    Pikey.
    New Yorker.

    There you go, Ken.

  • invisible furry hand||

    You missed one - Godesky

  • Old Man With Candy||

    He missed another. Wolk.

  • The Mad Titan||

    "New Yorker."

    FIGHTING WORDS!

  • ||

    New York? You mean more like, Jew York.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    Hey, hey hey! Fuck you Inca! Go Yankees!

  • ||

    Damn, HM. That's pretty awful. But not nearly as bad (or offensive) as this.

  • ||

    But it gets worse, thanks to Creed.

    I'll be back as soon as I clean the vomit off my keyboard.

  • ||

    Oh. Dear. God. What. The. Fuck?

  • ||

    Not sure if this is a gay anthem or a football team's.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    Wow. I'm conflicted. I'm a huge P.Funk/Bootsy fan, and this is clearly after Bootsy's 'I'll Do Anything Because I Need Crack' stage.....But...Space Bass.

    Damn you Inca!!!!!

  • ||

  • HeroicMulatto||

    I wept.

  • ||

    Sloop

    I'm offended by the Polack reference.

  • rather||

    Is that your wedding guest list?

  • ||

    Is that your wedding guest list?

    ::claps furiously::

    Now that's some funny shit.

  • ||

    Hayseed, cracker, redneck, with or without commas.

  • ||

    Oh shove your paternalism up your fucking ass! We delicate wimins can handle a fucking word. Go be a progressive if you see us as weak victims who need to be protected by a word.

    In other words, stop being such fucking cunt.

  • ||

    I am slow....it hit me after I posted. A female friendly site? What the fuck ken? There are females here and they hold their own just fine.
    This is supposed to be a Libertarian friendly site. You need to go join e-harmony if you want a non-offensive, female friendly site. Geez what a cunt you are.

  • ||

    My apatment is female friendly,if they cooperate.

  • ||

    "... especially if we want them to embrace American culture and values."

    That'll only happen when Muslims start ignoring their holy texts and technically cease being Muslims. No offense, Ken, but pluralistic bullshit isn't really an admirable philosophy to espouse.

  • ||

    I see your point. Unfortunately Libertarianism isnt going to grow. The percentage of the population that is drawn to Libertarianism is pretty constant because of personality types. Growing Libertarianism is a lost cause. Besides, if we have to be polite and gentle to get people to hitch their wagons to us, we will end up with a bunch of people that we dont want. That kind of tactic always leads to intellectual dishonesty; poison.

  • invisible finger||

    What does MLK have to do with anything? That is just a passive-aggressive attempt to change to subject of an argument you are losing.

    "Fighting words" is a childish excuse to avoid the mature concept of "An eye for an eye".

  • ||

    What does MLK have to do with anything?

    That was a specific response to a specific statement...

    "Very likely the atheist was being provocative to lead the muslims to show themselves for what they are."

    That's what MLK tried to do! Is this atheist antagonizing Muslims the same as MLK antagonizing segregationists?

    I don't think so. I think you have to look at the motives to some extent and look at the strategy, too.

    Trying to alienate Muslims by antagonizing them doesn't seem like an effective strategy for making them more tolerant of atheists, and it doesn't seem like much of a motive either--if he was trying to alienate Muslims. He may have been using MLK/Gandhi tactics, but this atheist is no MLK.

    He ain't no Gandhi either.

  • ||

    Now for a guy that has made sense in the past you are being surprisingly dishonest or blind here. The problem with the raghead's behavior was the assault, not his being offended. The Zombie Mohammed was well within his first amendment rights, and you should be offended that anyone would want to deny him that.

    I am purposely offensive all the time. I sometimes do it to make a point and sometimes to draw someone out just the way the mussie was drawn out in this case. So what? Either I make a good point or I dont, my being an asshole has nothing to do with it. If I make a bad argument, I expect all of the shitheads here to call me on it.

    That a person is so intolerant that they commit an assault over being offended is something worth noting. In a way, yeah, the guy was using the same tactic as MLK did, and against a worse kind of scum.

  • ||

    The judge didn't think there was enough evidence of an assault to render a judgement.

    You're begging the question a little bit here. If he tried to choke the man to death, then we've got a different issue. Go read the article again.

    The judge didn't think there was enough evidence to render a judgement on an assault--and Cathy Young agrees with him.

  • ||

    And I agree with him, on that point. I didnt argue otherwise. What I said is that the judge was way out of line admonishing the atheist. That you are not concerned about a blatant attack on first amendment rights by a sitting judge is deeply troubling to me. You seem to be arguing that he was justified in doing so because the atheist hurt someones feelings. Fuck feelings. And fuck you, cunt.

    ( from now on I will be sure and use the word cunt anytime I see ken.)

  • ||

    Oh no! Ken thinks the "c-word" is vulgar and offensive!

    Somebody stop him, quick!

    Get over yourself.

  • . ||

    "Get over yourself."

    Says the guy who'll commit assault/battery because he can't handle a drunk being mean.

  • . ||

    "The judge didn't think there was enough evidence of an assault to render a judgement."

    Keeping in mind this is the same judge that incorrectly admonished the guy for properly exercising his first amendment rights.

    Sorry Ken, saying "this judge, who has demonstrated he is a poor judge, didn't see grounds for assault" doesn't make much sense.

  • ||

    Keeping in mind this is the same judge that incorrectly admonished the guy for properly exercising his first amendment rights.

    Once again, a belligerent drunk antagonizing my girlfriend at a ballpark is perfectly protected by the first amendment, too.

    There are all sorts of things that are both horribly unethical, ridiculously and pointlessly antagonistic, and obnoxious--and are perfectly protected by the constitution.

    He didn't convict the guy of offending a Muslim. He yelled at him for being a jerk...

    So what? Get over it!

  • ||

    You know, if there's any group in the world that's more easily offended than Muslims?

    It's atheists.

    And it's ridiculous to see so many wingnuts, who would normally be at odds with this atheist--just for being an atheist? Jump to this guy's defense.

    They're jumping to his defense--not because he's an atheist. But because they're Christians, and they don't want Christians to be subjected to Sharia law--because they think we're a Christian nation.

    It's almost sad to see a militant atheist so effete that he runs straight into the arms of his Christian adversaries, but it looks to me like that's what's happened.

  • . ||

    "They're jumping to his defense--not because he's an atheist. But because they're Christians,"

    Or maybe it's a free speech thing.

    "It's almost sad to see a militant atheist"

    Not as sad as your attempt to blame the victim and change the subject.

  • ||

    Or maybe it's a free speech thing.

    Well that's not what they were saying!

    They were saying that he was a Muslim judge, and that he ruled the way he did in order to implement Sharia law.

  • ||

    Here it is straight from the horse's mouth...

    The Sharia Court of Pennsylvania — the Transcript
    By Andrew C. McCarthy
    February 24, 2012 2:59 P.M.

    I have made a transcript of the Pennsylvania case in which state judge Mark Martin, a Muslim convert and U.S. Army reservist who served in Iraq, relied on a sharia law defense (as well as some evidentiary contortions) to dismiss an open-and-shut harassment case against a Muslim man who assaulted an atheist activist at a Halloween parade. (See my earlier post.)

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....c-mccarthy

    ...if it's all about something else now that they realized the judge isn't a Muslim--that indicates nothing.

  • ||

    You are totally misreading the whole situation.

    They are jumping to his defense because a sitting judge criticized him for exercising his first amendment rights.

    No one who believes that our constitution is based on sound principles should want anything to do with sharia law. Sharia is the antithesis of everything our constitution stands for. If it rears it's ugly head here, we should fight it tooth and nail until it is exterminated or the last one of us goes down.

    You did not answer my question before.....other than cunt, what words, ideas and commenters would you be comfortable censoring?

    You are a censor ken, and brother that is a much more offensive word than a silly euphemism for pussy, snatch, whatever.

  • ||

    They are jumping to his defense because a sitting judge criticized him for exercising his first amendment rights.

    That's not what the NRO articles say.

    The atheist should be ashamed for a bunch of right wing nuts running to his defense, ultimately in the name of Christianity--and the right wing nuts should be embarrassed for running to the defense of a militant atheist, too.

    Both groups are apparently VERY easy to manipulate.

  • . ||

    "That's not what the NRO articles say."

    Any more than they say it's for the reasons you outline.

    Now, can we address how your paternalism is a turn off, and thus, you should be censoring yourself?

  • Jeffrey||

    "You know, if there's any group in the world that's more easily offended than Muslims?

    It's atheists."

    In your world, words speak much louder than actions, I guess.

  • ||

    Are you kidding?

    How often do you see Muslim groups suing institutions here in the U.S. becasue something offends their eyes?

    Compare that to how often you see Atheists suing institutions here becasue something offended them?

    Pu-lease.

    If there's a group of people more easily offended in the U.S. than atheists, I don't know who it is.

  • Feminsits||

    "If there's a group of people more easily offended in the U.S. than atheists, I don't know who it is."

    Hi.

  • ||

    Maybe.

    ...but you'd have to concede that the atheist feminists are probably easier to offend than the other feminists!

    Because they're offended by more stuff.

  • ||

    Perception on your part?

    How many cases of atheist 's suing government has to do with separation of church and state? Some, most, all?

    Are the powerful Atheists tying up to much time in the public sphere? lol...

  • ||

    Have you fallen completely off of the fucking rocker?

  • ||

    Holy Jeebus...This guy is a dripping fucking CUNT!

  • . ||

    "Once again, a belligerent drunk..."

    Stay on topic please.

    You made the point that this judge didn't see grounds for assault. The judge also demonstrated he's a poor judge, so your point is a weak one.

    "So what? Get over it!"

    Says the guy who'll commit assault/battery because he can't handle a drunk being mean.

  • ||

    I'm much better about these things than I used to be.

  • . ||

    "The main purpose of the site, as I understand it, is to make the libertarian message as widely available and as widely appealing as possible. Using the "c-word", etc. makes it less so."

    But so do your paternalistic posts.

    I'm serious. If you genuinely believe what you wrote there, and genuinely believe in self censorship, then you should be leaving now right?

  • ||

    I fail to see why arguing that libertarians, who care about the growth of the movement, should restrict themselves from using the "c-word" somehow makes libertarianism less widely appealing.

  • . ||

    "I fail to see why arguing that libertarians, who care about the growth of the movement, should restrict themselves from using the "c-word" somehow makes libertarianism less widely appealing."

    You don't have to, according to the metric you've been using. Others don't find cunt offensive like you do.

    However, it's your AS I CLEARLY STATED paternalistic attitude, and your condescension.

    Regardless, YOUR metric was makes the site less appealing". Your paternalism does that, irrefutably.

    So, you're leaving right?

  • Extra Sausage, Encore||

    This is like the worst chat room ever.

  • ||

    You read it because you love it, and you comment because you care.

  • I||

    I thought that this was a John/MNG cat-fight as I was cruising by at hyper-scroll. Turns out it was just another pointless pissing match, not unlike the typical John/MNG cat-fight.

    Carry on!

  • Better Than Woody||

    Why should I give a fuck about people with such delicate sensibilities that the mere use of a single word would turn their fragile pathetic minds away from libertarianism?

    Oh yay! A new libertarian! Who, the second the word "cunt" is uttered, or someone insults the president, or someone suggests GM should have been left to die, or someone suggest legalizing pot, will run in terror to the safety of the TEAM PURPLE umbrella. Wow, what a loss that would be.

    Thanks, Ken. I'll never use the word cunt again. You've saved me from myself.

  • ||

    Why should I give a fuck about people with such delicate sensibilities that the mere use of a single word would turn their fragile pathetic minds away from libertarianism?

    Excellent question.

    The answer is because we want a more libertarian world. And the more marginally libertarian people we attract into the movement, the more marginally libertarian the world will be.

    I don't believe in the fantasy world where libertarians seize the reigns of power through the ballot box--and ram libertarianism down everyone's throats.

    If we ever achieve power, it'll be the last thing we do--not the first.

    So what we should do is embrace a strategy that widens our appeal to groups that haven't been receptive.

    A good place to start is with women--and groups who imagine us hostile to them. When you use language that alienates those people, you're hurting the movement.

  • ||

    Certainly, as a libertarian, what you say to other people is waaaaaaaay more important than how you vote.

    Politicians aren't the solution t our problems anyway--not even libertarian politicians. More people embracing libertarian ideas is the solution to our problems, so we gotta get in people's heads.

    You're making it harder to do that--and for no reason at all.

  • Better Than Woody||

    In short, we must enslave ourselves in order to be free. No thanks.

    As soon as we are truly free and try to use that freedom, all those people who thought we were one thing and find out we are another will be offended and the entire house of cards will fall down.

    It's like dating a girl, Ken. If you are serious about keeping the girl around, you have to be yourself, because she's going to see the real you eventually anyway. If you just want to get laid, go ahead and pretend, but it's never going to last.

  • ||

    It's like dating a girl, Ken. If you are serious about keeping the girl around, you have to be yourself, because she's going to see the real you eventually anyway. If you just want to get laid, go ahead and pretend, but it's never going to last.

    If you want to date a girl? You better be nice to her before you ask her out, or you may never get to her to go out on the first date.

    And when you take her out on a first date? You better be nice to her then, too!

    There are a few women out there who like it when people call them the "c-word", but we libertarians need more support from women than there are women who like that.

    And if you haven't noticed this is pretty much a sausagefest around here yet, now would be a good time to figure that out.

  • ||

    She's going to see the real you eventually anyway.

    Just as an addendum, the real me doesn't use the c-word.

  • hk||

    I'll say whatever fucking word I want and the judge will put you in jail when you can't handle being in ballparks.

  • ||

    You keep saying 'us' and 'we' and 'our', but it doesn't really look like anyone is wanting to be part of the quasi-leftist claptrap you want to build.

    Marginal libertarianism doesn't seem to be a rousing idea.

  • ||

    "1) I didn't invent the term "fighting words". And I would probably try to say something to the guy before I socked him. That being said, if a judge admonished me for my actions, that wouldn't be a constitutional crisis, no."

    Like I said, the only part that matters is the ruling. If he decided to follow his ruling with admonishments of lectures of a more personal nature, who gives a shit?

    "Some people think freedom of speech means being free from the responsibility of what you say, and that's complete baloney."

    If the responsibility for what you say entails violence, that's EXACTLY what it means, by every conceivable measure.

  • ||

    *or

  • ||

    "We're responsible for everything we freely choose to do--and that includes what we say."

    Absolutely. And when some cocksucker decides to attack me because he didn't like me hating on his religion on H&R, he shouldn't be surprised when I shoot him for it.

    "2) You're right. Many Muslims are much more offended by insults directed at the Prophet than most people are by what some random stranger says about their girlfriends. So that obnoxious atheist should have expected much worse--is that what you're saying?"

    What I'm saying is that their retarded, superstitious asininity makes them far more prone to being offended and responding violently.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    1) I didn't invent the term "fighting words". And I would probably try to say something to the guy before I socked him. That being said, if a judge admonished me for my actions, that wouldn't be a constitutional crisis, no.

    You also don't understand the meaning of the term. "Fighting words" is a grounds for the state to sanction speech, not a defense for assault. If a policeman had told the zombie prophet to remover his costume, and then arrested him for not complying, then we could have a legal argument over whether the costume constituted fighting words. But even if the costume was fighting words, that doesn't legally excuse the person who actually starts the fight from legal culpability.

  • ||

    You also don't understand the meaning of the term.

    "fighting word: noun. a word likely to provoke a fight"

    ----Merriam-Webster Online

    http://tinyurl.com/88zs36r

    "fighting word
    noun
    Usually, fighting words. language that arouses rage in an antagonist."

    ----Dictionary.com

    http://tinyurl.com/7dgt8eb

  • ||

    "fighting words n. words intentionally directed toward another person which are so nasty and full of malice as to cause the hearer to suffer emotional distress or incite him/her to immediately retaliate physically (hit, stab, shoot, etc.) While such words are not an excuse or defense for a retaliatory assault and battery, if they are threatening they can form the basis for a lawsuit for assault."

    ----The Free Online Dictionary

    http://tinyurl.com/86hnchf

    P.S. Words mean things no matter what Wikipedia says.

  • ||

    """"There is a certain assumption of risk there--a question about where the line is between free speech and fighting words. If someone uses obnoxious speech for the purpose of instigating a reaction, why should any of us feel sorry for a belligerent drunk taking one to the kisser?""""

    Attacking somebody because you didn't like something he said is called being a dipshit, and it's also a crime. Why would anybody give you a pass for it? Don't be surprised in such a case if a judge calls you on it and explains exactly WHY you've been a fucking moron.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Fighting words, roughly, occur in the context of a one-on-one confrontation - like with the belligerent drunk.

    The doctrine doesn't apply to offensive speech aimed at the general public, as opposed to harassing a specific person.

    The atheist was in a Halloween parade - he (and the "zombie pope" guy) were directing their speech at any onlookers who happened to be there. They weren't saying, "yo, Mr. Elbayouney, you suck and so does your religion!"

    Unless we go back to the days when the govt could shut down demonstrations for being offensive.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There were times when "Jim Crow Must Go" was considered as offensive to some onlookers as Zombie Mohammed is considered to some onlookers today. Yet that's not a reason to deny First Amendment protection to a demonstrator. Going up to Mr. Bubba Segregationist and calling him a white cracker honky could be fighting words, but Mr. Bubba couldn't claim fighting words simply because a demonstrator was chanting "end white supremacy now!"

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    This is actually a pretty good paper on "fighting words". I learned something today.

    http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/g.....words.html

    If "too long," I suggest skipping to the conclusions.

  • Killazontherun||

    Knuckle sandwich? In the kisser? My biggest worry would be getting my ass kicked by Archie for grabbing Veronica's titties.

  • ||

    Why not just report the obnoxious behavior to the owner of the property the game is being held at and allow them to remove him? You're disrespecting everyone at the game by assaulting someone there as well, Ken.

  • ||

    Maybe.

  • Mo||

    The owner of the establishment, through his proxies (be they bar bouncers or stadium security) is the appropriate respondent to force in these cases. In a wider application, it's why civilized people choose police and courts over vigilantism and anarchy.

  • ||

    There isn't any situation in which it is wrong to defend yourself.

    And there hasn't been any situation that I stuck up for myself that I regretted.

    There have been a few when I didn't stick up for myself and regretted it, but never the other way around.

    Retroactively, I might turn to some authority to right some past wrong, but in real time?

    Life is a lot better when everybody knows instinctively that you're gonna stand up for yourself. It works that way in the hockey rink. It works that way in the office. It works that way in relationships with significant others. It works that way when confronted by a pack of stray Rottweilers.

  • Ashlyn||

    Do you punch people who demean you at the office? Do you throttle your girlfriend when she talks back?

    I like this "standing up for myself" phrase you're using instead of "assaulting people who've done me no physical harm." Neat trick.

  • ||

    Are there a lot of belligerent drunks at your office?


    bel·lig·er·ent
    adj \bə-ˈlij-rənt\

    1: waging war; specifically : belonging to or recognized as a state at war and protected by and subject to the laws of war

    2: inclined to or exhibiting assertiveness, hostility, or combativeness

    ----Merriam Webster

    http://www.merriam-webster.com.....elligerent

  • anon||

    There is a certain assumption of risk there--a question about where the line is between free speech and fighting words.

    No, there is not an assumption of risk here. I can't kill you with my words. At worst you might get a little bit of spit on you from being to close to me yelling. Well, I guess you could get influenza, which could kill you, but you get the point.

    We grant government the monopoly of force because it prevents citizens from deciding arbitrarily what warrants the use of force. Readily violating this compact when nobody's life is in danger is far worse than being rude and obnoxious.

  • ||

    a question about where the line is between free speech and fighting words.

    Nope. You can't do it. There needs to be a line and that line MUST be physical force. It can be no other way. If you unleash the monster of "the words hurt me" it will lead to a total collapse of the intent of self defense AND that of free speech. Who is to say what speech is offensive?

    You striking someone who insults your girlfriend puts YOU in the wrong. Not to say I might not do the same. But, concerning the law, it MUST be thus.

    Sticks and stones.

  • ||

    I guess that will teach me to scroll down before posting.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "If a belligerent drunk at a baseball game says something obnoxious to my girlfriend, the chances of him getting a knuckle sandwich are very high."

    Nowhere in the information presented in this article does it suggest that the Plaintiff made any communication with the Defendant until the latter engaged the former in a hostile manner.

    Further, starting a fistfight simply because some drunk said something obnoxious to your girlfriend is as juvenile as starting a fight because someone else critcized your beliefs.

    You're just being obtuse.

  • ||

    Nowhere...does it suggest that the Plaintiff made any communication with the Defendant until the latter engaged the former in a hostile manner.

    Nowhere does it say that the defendant assaulted the plaintiff. It says the judge threw out the charge for lack of evidence.

    If there wasn't enough evidence to have a trial over whether there was an assault, why would the judge admonish the defendant for being offended?

    You're right that me socking a belligerent drunk isn't like this case in some ways--especially considering that there isn't enough evidence against this Muslim to even have a trial.

    But if this Muslim didn't do anything nearly as bad as me socking a belligerent drunk, then why the hell would the judge yell at the Muslim?

    Yell at the guy that's being obnoxious and antagonistic? Sure! ...but why would you yell at the man he was purposely offending for being offended?

  • M||

    From the judge's perspective, if there was no assault committed, why would he admonish a Muslim for being offended by something that was clearly intended to offend Muslims?

    A pretty good-sized chunk of the popular culture is dedicated to clearly offending Christians. I doubt you'd be so relaxed if Christians started punching the offending people in the face though.

  • Mo||

    Here, too, the facts have been treated quite loosely.

    Always.

  • ||

    "Here in our society, we have a constitution that gives us many rights"
    Neither the Federal Constitution, nor any State or Commonwealth Constitution, endows us with our inalienabal natuaral rights.

    "It's unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others."
    Protecting speech that others might find offensive is a primary goal of protecting this right.

    "you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights."
    Only if he were committing libel, defamation, threatening others with physical harm, or making knowningly false statements that would put others in harms way, i.e. "yelling fire when there wasn't one".

    A Judge at any level doesn't grasp this is part of the problem.

  • ||

    Thank you John. I was about to point that out, that the constitution doesnt give us rights.....

    That the judge made that assertion should be grounds for disbarment.

  • ||

    "Judge Martin's comments seem to suggest that Muslims are far less capable than Christians of dealing sensibly with insults or challenges to their faith."

    That's because they are. Christianity's subversion by the forces of modernity has been vast, and Islam has epochs yet to go before the two can be made valid comparatives. Equating the two is ludicrous.

    "That does a serious disservice both to American democracy..."

    What really does our republic disservice is allowing clueless shitheads to administer justice.

  • ||

    One thing that hasn't been noticed enough is how this shows how natural it is to treat atheists as second-class citizens.

    Here is an atheist expressing his sincere belief that Mohammed was an ignorant , superstitious jackass from a Bronze Age culture that believed in something called "life after death". So some arrogant Muslim starts shouting him down and threatening to call the police. Who is disrespecting whose personal beliefs more in this story? The judge and most of the comments I have seen blithely assume that it's the Muslim that was being most mistreated. An amazing and appalling consensus.

  • Mo||

    +1

  • ||

    I remember when George Bush 1 said to a reporter that he thought atheists should have their citizenship taken away.

  • ||

    Here is an atheist expressing his sincere belief that Mohammed was an ignorant , superstitious jackass from a Bronze Age culture that believed in something called "life after death".

    Here is an atheist who, by your own description, was actively working to antagonize and offend Muslims, and can't believe--Can't believe!--that one of them was actually antagonized and offended.

  • Killazontherun||

    Your argument is silly. Given the creed in Islam as it has developed finds the existence of atheism offensive, there is no line to be crossed by the atheist. So who is it that is really being intolerant? It isn't the atheist who simply refuses not to be quiet about his mistreatment. You really are blaming the victim and you also make Islam sacrosanct.

  • ||

    I'm arguing that admonishing a Muslim for being offended is silly.

    I don't know what you're arguing.

  • Jeffersonian||

    How about admonishing him for physically confronting a person doing nothing but expressing his disdain for Islam?

  • ||

    I can't fit the entire description of what happened from the article. Suffice it to say, I'm not convinced there was a physical confrontation.

    Start with "Thus, it has been widely claimed that a cell phone video...", and then go to the paragraph that ends, "The way in which he used his position as a bully pulpit is another story."

    My position is: Given that there wasn't sufficient evidence to render a judgement, there was no reason to chastise the Muslim for being offended.

    Cathy Young is saying that it's troubling that the judge admonished the atheist for being willfully obnoxious and offensive--but that the judge didn't say much of anything to the offended Muslim.

    I'm arguing that chastising someone for being offended--when someone else was willfully trying to offend him--that would have been worth of criticism. If I were a judge, why would I criticize someone for being offended?

  • Jeffersonian||

    "I can't fit the entire description of what happened from the article. Suffice it to say, I'm not convinced there was a physical confrontation."

    Watch the video. When the Muslim verbally confronted zombie Mo', Mo' just blew him off. Then the guy clearly got physical with Mo', who cried out as a result. When the physical interference ceased, Mo' continued on.

    I've said why the judge should have admonished the Muslim for what he did. You steadfastly refuse to address it.

  • ||

    Because it resulted in a confrontation, physical or otherwise. They were in front of a judge because of it. See?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Because it resulted in a confrontation, physical or otherwise. They were in front of a judge because of it. See?

    Precisely. They weren't there because of the zombie religious figures representation, but because of the Muslim guy's aggressive actions. And the victim gets read the Riot Act? Huh?

  • ||

    And the victim gets read the Riot Act? Huh?

    Victim according to whom?

    Judge says there wasn't enough evidence to make a judgement--Cathy Young thinks that was the right call.

    Do you imagine the atheist has a right not to have his actions criticized by the people he's provoking? Is that what made him a victim?

    Begging the question again! Aren't you? Assuming the atheist was a victim of something?

    The only thing we're sure of is that the Muslim said he was gonna call the cops. That doesn't make anybody a victim.

  • Jeffersonian||

    "Victim according to whom?"

    According to the cell phone clip. And it wasn't what the Muslim said, it's what he did.

  • ||

    Jeebus, what an obtuse dripping cunt. Cunt, Cunt, Cunt, Cunt, Cunt!

  • ||

    In this context, sure. Chastising him for reacting violently to being offended, however, is an entirely different matter.

  • Killazontherun||

    The point that is going over your head is Islam is an existential threat to atheist. How the atheist chooses to defend himself, here by trying to argue the Muslim out of his retarded and potentially violent beliefs is justifiable. Other atheist may want to consider more preemptive tactics, but that is a matter of how serious that threat exist in a given social context.

    The only thing that is constraining the Muslim here from escalation into serious violence is not his conscience because his is one not guided by sound principles, but by the fact our society and its foundations are overwhelmingly antagonistic to the concept of theocracy.

    When those foundations are weakened by decadents like this judge who refuse to do his job, you put the atheist against the wall and he has no other recourse but to defend himself with better weapons than words.

  • ||

    I am sure he can believe it. That was probably the point.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Here is an atheist who, by your own description, was actively working to antagonize and offend Muslims, and can't believe--Can't believe!--that one of them was actually antagonized and offended.

    His pal, the zombie Pope, was working just as hard to antagonize Christians (or at least Catholics), and there was a much greater chance of one of them being in the crowd than a Muslim. Yet I didn't see the zombie Pope confronted, grabbed and threatened with arrest by some Opus Dei operative.

    I wonder what the difference is....

  • ||

    There's no question that Muslims are more offended by satirical depictions of the Prophet than Catholics are by satirical depictions of the Pope or Jesus or anybody else...

    But what difference does that make? Some religions are more easily and deeply offended than other religions.

    Why is it necessary to point that out? Some people shouldn't be offended becasue they're so thoroughly offended? I don't understand what that observation supports or what argument it's supposed to lead to.

  • Jeffersonian||

    The difference is how one expresses that offence-taking, no? I think you'd agree that Muslims are, shall we say, a trifle more extroverted about it? Or am I wrong in recalling a couple of dozen people getting killed recently over the burning of a couple of goddamn books in Afghansitan? Or several dozen killed over "The Satanic Verses?"

  • ||

    Yeah, Muslims take high offense at stuff like that. Libertarians take high offense at having our rights stepped on. I'm sure there are a lot of people who think we libertarians could stand to take things a lot less seriously. ...not be so easily offended.

    But that's the way the world is. We can pine for a world where Muslims aren't so easily offended, but if that's the way they are, that's the world we live in.

  • Jeffersonian||

    "But that's the way the world is. We can pine for a world where Muslims aren't so easily offended, but if that's the way they are, that's the world we live in."

    And it will stay that way, or get worse, if Muslims are not instructed on civilized behavior in the face of mockery of their religion.

  • ||

    Maybe we should invade their countries and remake their governments in the image of the Declaration of Independence?

    Nah, we already tried that.

    We've had Muslims here in the U.S. for hundreds of years, now. Just becasue most of us only became aware of them ten years ago? That doesn't mean their religion suddenly became a problem.

    I just don't see other people's religions as a problem to solve.

  • Jeffersonian||

    "Maybe we should invade their countries and remake their governments in the image of the Declaration of Independence?"

    No, but when they come here I expect them to respect our Constitution, not too much to ask, I think.

    Now, if we could only get Martin to do the same...

  • ||

    "Maybe we should invade their countries and remake their governments in the image of the Declaration of Independence?

    Nah, we already tried that."

    I'm rabidly anti-interventionist. I'm pretty sure everybody else you've been debating here has a distate for interventionism, too, so what the shit was that supposed to mean or accomplish?

  • ||

    "We've had Muslims here in the U.S. for hundreds of years, now. Just becasue most of us only became aware of them ten years ago?"

    Lol.

    "That doesn't mean their religion suddenly became a problem."

    Unacceptably vague. A problem for WHAT?

    "I just don't see other people's religions as a problem to solve."

    As long as they stay the fuck away from me and my republic, neither do I. They can languish in hellish depravity until the the Sun dies, for all I give a fuck.

  • ||

    Equating libertarians militantly opposing despotism (their overt reactions to it) and a confrontational Muslim who's defending the dictat of God Almighty by sewing his daughter's vagina shut and stoning his wife to death? Is that what you're doing? I hope that's not what you're doing. I really, really hope that's now what you're doing.

  • ||

    Equating libertarians militantly opposing despotism (their overt reactions to it) and a confrontational Muslim who's defending the dictat of God Almighty by sewing his daughter's vagina shut and stoning his wife to death?

    Wow, I didn't realize he'd done all that! I thought we just knew for sure that he threatened to call the police!

  • ||

    Don't be a dick.

    http://reason.com/archives/201.....nt_2883235

    I was responding to that. ^

  • ||

    Equating libertarians militantly opposing despotism (their overt reactions to it) and a confrontational Muslim who's defending the dictat of God Almighty by sewing his daughter's vagina shut and stoning his wife to death? Is that what you're doing?

    You author a statement like that and think I'm being a dick?!

    Sewing vaginas shut? Stoning wives to death? Me equating that with something? What the hell are you talking about?!

  • ||

    "There's no question that Muslims are more offended by satirical depictions of the Prophet than Catholics are by satirical depictions of the Pope or Jesus or anybody else..."

    And that's their right. Assaulting someone as a reaction to being offended is not.

    "But what difference does that make? Some religions are more easily and deeply offended than other religions."

    Not intrinsically. External factors make the differences, especially with the three Abrahamic faiths.

    "Why is it necessary to point that out? Some people shouldn't be offended becasue they're so thoroughly offended? I don't understand what that observation supports or what argument it's supposed to lead to."

    I'll say it again: it's not that he was offended, but that he reacted violently to being offended.

  • Jeffersonian||

    "Not intrinsically. External factors make the differences, especially with the three Abrahamic faiths."

    No, it's intrinsic with Islam. Mohammed actively praised followers who murdered people who mocked him. Today's Muslims are just walking the same path.

  • ||

    Sorry, I should have clarified. Ken said that people belonging to some religions are more prone to being offended than people belonging to others, and in the context of the three Abrahamic faiths, I said that the relative tolerance shown by even religious Christians and Jews is a result of external factors, not facets of their faith.

    Don't worry. I'm well aware of Islam's express scriptural barbarity.

  • johnl||

    No Ken. The Catholics might be just as offended as the Moslems. There is no such thing as a offense meter, so we'll never know. But what we know is that Catholics are much more likely to conform to US laws when expressing offense.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "There's no question that Muslims are more offended by satirical depictions of the Prophet than Catholics are by satirical depictions of the Pope or Jesus or anybody else...
    But what difference does that make? Some religions are more easily and deeply offended than other religions.
    Why is it necessary to point that out? "

    By this point, I think you've adequately made your point that you feel certain segments of the population deserve perefential treatment and favoritism showered on them above others on ther basis of religious belief.

  • ||

    You feel certain segments of the population deserve perefential treatment and favoritism showered on them above others on ther basis of religious belief.

    Where do you get that from?

    Somebody pointed out that Catholics weren't as offended by Zombie Pope as this Muslim was by Zombie Mohammed. My question was why that should make a difference!

    I'm not saying people should be treated differently because of their religion--that's pointing out that these people should be treated the same regardless of the difference.

    You can tell because I wrote, "But what difference does that make?"

    Try to keep up.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Somebody pointed out that Catholics weren't as offended by Zombie Pope as this Muslim was by Zombie Mohammed. My question was why that should make a difference!

    That was I, I think, but you mischaracterize what I said. I said that Christians/Catholics witnessing the zombie Pope would likely have been as offended by his presence as the Muslim was of that of the zombie Mo', but they were able to restrain themselves from assaulting the fellow offending them. Which, of course, makes all the difference in the world.

  • Killazontherun||

    Try to keep up.

    Sayeth the special eds guy not realizing everyone else has lapped him thrice over.

  • ||

    Says the guy shakin' in his boots for fear of Muslims.

    They're so scaaaaary!

  • ||

    Doesn't the cowardice get old after a while? Don't you get tired of being afraid?

    I know Bush tried to make a virtue of cowardice--but I thought my fellow Americans had finally manned up about that.

    Really, cowardice is nothing to be proud of. ...and being afraid of something as silly as Muslims is even more disgraceful still.

    Better watch out or the Muslims will have us all on spits!

    LOL

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Where do you get that from?"

    You're rationalizing the attacker's actions by saying people of his religion are "more offended" by such displays than adherents to other religions. Try to keep up.

  • MJ||

    "The judge and most of the comments I have seen blithely assume that it's the Muslim that was being most mistreated. An amazing and appalling consensus."

    The atheists were being nasty douchebags, the Muslim somehow got the idea that the atheists being douchebags was against the law, and the judge had an attack multicultural hypersensitvity. And then the atheist group spread blatant lies about the judge and his motivations.

    A pox on all three houses.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Now you're just trying to argue who was a nasty douchebag first. Whoever expects not to be offended is the first nasty douchebag.

  • MJ||

    No, I am saying that no one in this situation behaved with any honor, dignity, civility, or sense.

  • MJ||

    In other words, neither the atheist group, the Muslim or the judge behaved in a way that deserves any sympathy.

  • Killazontherun||

    By ridiculing Mohammed, Zombie Mo was behaving badly? He was defending your rights by exerting his own. What is so hard to grok about that?

  • MJ||

    It is not contructive criticism, it is ridicule based on bigotry and hate. The atheist group further compounded the problem by slandering the judge.

  • Killazontherun||

    The atheist is the hater here for confronting someone who demands that he remain a second class citizen while holding to a creed that demands the atheist's blood? That is too rich.

  • Killazontherun||

    It is not contructive criticism

    You need a chalk board to write this ten thousand times so it has a chance to sink in. There is no such thing as legitimate speech, and there is no such thing as illegitimate speech, there is only speech. I hate that term 'constructive criticism.' The only thing it means to those who use it is, 'make nice and blow smoke up each others asses.'

  • MJ||

    Apparently, the saying "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" means nothing to you.

  • MJ||

    "The atheist is the hater here for confronting someone who demands that he remain a second class citizen while holding to a creed that demands the atheist's blood?"

    Was Perce and his group demonstrating on that basis or were they just holding religion in general in contempt?

  • The Mad Titan||

    It can't be both?

  • MJ||

    No, one might get a sympathetic hearing, the other poisons the debate and drives any valid points into the background.

  • The Mad Titan||

    "No, one might get a sympathetic hearing, the other poisons the debate and drives any valid points into the background."

    For you maybe. I'm not a hothouse flower who wilts at the first sign of ugly speech.

    Or rather, I don't insist that only my accepted format is appropriate for disseminating information like you appear to.

  • MJ||

    Then you do not want people who disagree with to listen to what have to say, you just want to insult them. Which means you can and should be ignored because you put yourself outside the pale of reasoned discourse.

  • Killazontherun||

    The very fact that a Muslim believed that insulting Mohammed is against American law demonstrates that the mollycoddling of Muslims and other griefers by decadent multiculturalist like MJ is destroying this society one brick at a time.

  • MJ||

    I think the Muslim guy who attacked Perce is incontrovertibly wrong for doing so.

    That being said, I do not think that makes Perce a good guy or his methods ethically defensible.

  • Killazontherun||

    Perce is a hero who by exerting his rights reinforces your own. The fact that you can't understand that truth and the ingratitude own display in your remarks makes Lady Liberty weep for her Nation.

  • MJ||

    Then so are the members of Westboro Baptist Church.

  • Killazontherun||

    So?

  • Killazontherun||

    I suppose you have a problem with them too, right? Not nice enough? They don't invite you over for tea to have a 'civil' discussion on your differences of opinion? They don't abide by the The Harvard Speech and Parliamentary Debate Society rules of conduct that would legitimize their speech in your eyes. They didn't go to J-School so they are not protected members of the press deserving of first amendment protection like legitimate members of the press.

    I can only imagine what subjective criteria for acceptable behavior is going through your silly little head.

  • MJ||

    Where did I say that they did not deserve frees speech protections?

    But that does not mean they are not hateful jackasses. I can defend their right to free speech while deploring what they use it for. I certainly do not have to hold up Westboro Baptist or American Atheist as any kind of heroes.

  • Killazontherun||

    Your complaint has been about the 'uncivil' discourse the atheist engaged in so who knew where the hell you were going with that. Especially with the Westboro people given your penchant for putting your highly subjective social aesthetics ahead of principles.

  • MJ||

    My complaint has been about Perce, the Muslim guy who attacked Perce, and the judge. No one is praising the Muslim guy or the judge the way you are praising Perce.

  • Killazontherun||

    Put aside Islam for a second because it is clouding the matter.

    Suppose a new creed sprung up called Kill Atheist. They might not do anything in the immediate sense to act upon their beliefs, but it is their core belief that Atheist don't deserve to live. Moderate Kill Atheist may actually have friends who are atheist. Given that wiping atheist off the face of the earth is a long term goal and not a realistic possibility in the context of society at the time, they may be willing to indulge in amenities that come with having atheist in their company. For now.

    Is there anything an atheist does to a Kill Atheist that would be considered obnoxious in an a more peaceable context not justifiable?

  • MJ||

    Are you arguing that the atheists should be able to attack "Kill Atheists" pre-emptively with impunity?

    What does this ridiculously hyperbolic hypothetical have to do with what actually happened here? I do not see your point.

  • Killazontherun||

    What's hyperbolic about it? Would it be hyperbolic to have instead said,

    Put aside the KKK for a second because it is clouding the matter. Suppose a new creed sprung up called Kill Niggers. They might not do anything in the immediate sense to act upon their beliefs, but it is their core belief that blacks don't deserve to live. Moderate Kill Niggers may actually have friends who are black. Given that wiping blacks off the face of the earth is a long term goal and not a realistic possibility in the context of society at the time, they may be willing to indulge in amenities that come with having blacks in their company. For now.

    Islamic creed really is as antagonistic to atheist as well as Budhist, Hindus and every one else who has not submitted to the creed as the Klan is to blacks. That is not an exaggeration.

  • MJ||

    OK.

    What I see here is more an altercation between "Kill Theists" and "Kill Atheists". The desires of either group in the long run are not in the best interests of civilized society.

    I noticed you did not answer the 1st question I raised.

  • Killazontherun||

    The question was anticipated and answered in full at Killazontherun|3.3.12 @ 10:56AM|# so I saw no need to address it again. The judge doesn't understand the seriousness of what he did and the potential consequences of not upholding the law. The judge refused to do his job in securing the rights of atheist than atheist have no recourse but to do it for him.

  • Killazontherun||

    'then' instead of 'than.' I originally written, 'if the judge . .', but given it was not a theoretical but he did not indeed do his job, I took it out.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "And then the atheist group spread blatant lies about the judge and his motivations."

    Where does it say the two atheists involved were the ones claiming the Judge was a Muslim, again?

    Or are you just trying to do the Ivory Tower Contrarian, everybody's wrong regardless of how it actually went down kinda thing?

  • MJ||

    From Young's article:

    "The blogpost on the American Atheists website was headlined, "Muslim Attacks Atheist. Muslim Judge Dismisses Case, Blames Victim."

  • ||

    That might have more to do with the judge SAYING that he was a muslim, no? That's what's on the audiotape--no matter what words people now claim to hear. It's very clear.

  • M||

    One thing that hasn't been noticed enough is how this shows how natural it is to treat atheists as second-class citizens.

    Here is an atheist expressing his sincere belief that Mohammed was an ignorant , superstitious jackass from a Bronze Age culture that believed in something called "life after death". So some arrogant Muslim starts shouting him down and threatening to call the police.


    All that shows is that atheists rank below Muslims in the "protected class" category. They're still first class citizens compared to Christians though.

  • ||

    He told Perce that while he had the right to be offensive, "you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights."

    "It was a dual message … that the victim was within his constitutional rights to do what he did."

    Fuck Islam. Fuck the Ooga Booga who attacked the parade. Fuck the Judge. That fucker should be tossed off the bench. Spin it anyway he likes, he was still coddling a barbarian.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The judge likely is going to be dumped from the bench. Pennsylvania elects judges, and given what I know about the culture in that part of PA (I live about 90 minutes away from Mechanicsburg), running for re-election as "The Sharia Judge" is not likely to be a good career move on his part. He'll be getting booted for the wrong reasons, sadly, but there's a certain karma in a judge who let his personal prejudices get in the way of justice getting booted by prejudiced voters.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Good. This guy needs to find another line of work. This situation is clearly beyond him.

  • Brother Grimm||

    Someone, please make the connection between this article and the folic lockdown and how its all the fault of agriculture. Then make sure to use yourself and an essay you wrote in undergrad school based on circular logic and conjecture to back it up. Really. We're buying it. Hell, I might go forage for food this afternoon. Because its.... better. Though it is kinda cold today.

  • ||

    Leaves are fallin' all around, time I was on my way
    Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay
    but now it's time for me to go, the autumn moon lights my way
    for now I smell the rain, and with it, pain
    and it's headed my way
    Aw, sometimes I grow so tired
    but I know I've got one thing I got to do

    Gambol on, and now's the time, the time is now
    Sing my song, I'm goin' 'round the world, I gotta find my girl
    On my way, I've been this way ten years to the day
    Gambol on, gotta find the queen of all my dreams

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    IN the darkest depths of the City-State, I met a girl so fair
    But Ayn Rand and some guy who showered regularly with artificial industrial-era products
    Crept up and gamboled away with here
    That's why I'm posting now

  • Jeffersonian||

    It's only the consumption of agricultural products that makes you say that.

  • ||

    Gambol lockdown is in full effect, muh-fuckaz.

  • anon||

    It's about fucking time.

  • ||

    bottom 10 Zeppelin

  • ||

    Speaking of the legal profession

    http://bigjournalism.com/bshap.....-rankings/

    Law school deans may have violated federal law to inflate Useless News and World Distort rankings.

    My law school has not yet been implicated in any of this. It may well be at some point. But if it isn't and for the graduates of those law schools that didn't cheat, this is an outrage. Their degrees were downgraded by Useless News because they actually went to an ethical institution.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Did Ms. Young ask the judge about the letter attributed to him on Volokh.com? The one where the judge supposedly says that his lecture was supposed to prevent such events from recurring?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "When I asked him why he dressed up as “Muhammad zombie,” he told me that it was because he was reflecting the Muslim belief that Muhammad rose from the dead, walked as a zombie, and then went to heaven. That was one of the reasons I tried to spend 6 whole minutes trying to explain and de-mystify Islam through my own knowledge, and in an attempt to prevent an incident like this recurring in my community."

  • Killazontherun||

    How do you de-mystify mysticism?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    More to the point, how would it be the judge's job to give the correct interpretation of any religion? And if he's trying to avoid another "incident like this," that sounds like he's motivated by censorship - if the statement is authentic.

    That's why I'm interested in authenticating this quote, which doesn't strike me as adequately sourced.

  • Jeffersonian||

    That "explanation" is almost as troubling as his ruling and berating of the victim.

  • ||

    "America's a democracy, and we can't have mean tea party thugs calling obama a tyrant, that'll ruin r duh-maw-kruh-see! i believ the peoples of the 57 states have every right to not have rite-wing neo-confenderates be meany mean to them. oh, btw, i'm a circuit judge, and i'm totaly quaify for my post!"

  • Jeffersonian||

    Did he say that Mohammed didn't walk around as a zombie? Wouldn't that be offensive to Muslims?

  • MJ||

    The judge somehow assumed that Perce acted as he did out of ignorance, rather than as a knowing, deliberate insult to people Perce holds in contempt for their beliefs.

    You cannot cure that kind of bigotry and hate.

  • Killazontherun||

    Zombie Mo wasn't being bigoted; he was being entirely rational in terms of advancing his own interest.

  • MJ||

    How openly mocking other people's beliefs advancing Perce's interest rationally? How is what Perce and his compatriots did not bigoted, not an expression of hate and contempt?

    Please remember the definition of "bigot" is "a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, esp on religion, politics, or race".

    While Perce may have a right to do so, he should rightly be criticized for not advancing civil discourse.

  • Killazontherun||

    We're not talking about just any idea but a creed that would do violence to Perce if followed in its specific dictates.

  • MJ||

    Perce was part of a larger demostration which apparently was quite braod in its mockery. Perce just happened to be ridiculing the one target whose adherents would most likely respond with threats and violence, especially in this country.

  • Jeffersonian||

    How openly mocking other people's beliefs advancing Perce's interest rationally? How is what Perce and his compatriots did not bigoted, not an expression of hate and contempt?

    Let's suppose it was. So?

  • MJ||

    So Perce's and his group's actions can be justly criticized as such.

    Pleas eunderstand my original point was that I do not think anyone's actions in this matter are noble or should be lauded.

  • Killazontherun||

    How do you know that Perce's Zombie Mo was not effective? Do you know what goes on in the minds of every Muslim who attended? How do you know whether or not for every Muslim who was riled to anger, that there were not two who were embarrassed for the shackles the oppressive and violent creed still had on their hearts, and became a little less adherent to it because Zombie Mo exposed what a stupid fantasy Islam is at its core? Why did the guy who assaulted him feel challenged in the first place? Is he having doubts, and was reacting to those doubts? What Perce did was a good thing, even a noble thing. The truth often seems juvenile to those so acculturated in lies that they can't grasp it.

  • MJ||

    "What Perce did was a good thing, even a noble thing."

    American Atheists expresion of bigotry and hatred is noble and pure. Keep telling yourself that if it lets you sleep at night.

  • The Mad Titan||

    Now that you've descended to name calling without making an argument, can we just accept that you know you're wrong?

  • shrike||

    You Christ-fags need to learn something about tolerance of the views of others.

  • Killazontherun||

    Oh, I'm not going to lose any sleep at all. You keep repeating those words 'bigotry and hatred' as if you were advancing an argument that nullifies mine, but you have done no such thing. You haven't made the case that what the atheists were doing is bigoted by any definition where bigotry is applicable as a moral delineation of unacceptable behavior, but instead, you are assuming a pose of undeserved moral superiority. The same goes with your usage of the word 'hatred.' Given how you dance around the questions I ask about what is justifiable for someone to feel about a creed that insist on their death, you are obviously aware you are on very weak footing.

  • MJ||

    "Given how you dance around the questions I ask about what is justifiable for someone to feel about a creed that insist on their death, you are obviously aware you are on very weak footing."

    For one thing, how was "Zombie Pope" protesting a creed that insists upon atheists deaths? From what I gathered here American Atheists were not protesting Muslim intolerance, they were demostrating American Atheist's intolerance towards all theistic religious beliefs in general. How they did it was hateful. The fact that they felt it necessary to slander the judge aferwards as a biased Muslim convert goes a long way in demonstrating that they are not well intentioned.

  • Killazontherun||

    Moving the goal post. You would think it calls for heavy lifting but it really doesn't.

    How they did it was hateful.

    Public protest of ideas to which they object is hateful? You want the connotative meanings (hey, an atheist ridiculing religion in public is the same thing as sicking the dogs on protestors in Selma) of the words 'hate' and 'bigotry' to do all the heavy lifting you can't do in your weak argument but they can only stand so much strain before they give out.

  • MJ||

    "Public protest of ideas to which they object is hateful?"

    It is in the way that it is done not merely that it was done. The idea that "Zombie Mohammed" and "Zombie Pope" are examples of enlightened rational discourse is amusing to say the least. Your steadfastly ignoring American Atheists slandering the judge as a biased Muslim convert while maintaining their noble intent is hilarious.

    "an atheist ridiculing religion in public is the same thing as sicking the dogs on protestors in Selma"

    No, more like the KKK putting on a minstrel show in full blackface during a demonstration.

  • Killazontherun||

    Your steadfastly ignoring American Atheists slandering the judge as a biased Muslim convert while maintaining their noble intent is hilarious.

    It doesn't change anything about the case under discussion so it doesn't get my notice or my time.

    No, more like the KKK putting on a minstrel show in full blackface during a demonstration.

    Yeah, they are exactly alike. How did I not notice this before. Atheist protesting religion are exactly like Klansmen. That is what you just put forth as your idea of a sound argument. I didn't put those words there, you did. Do please continue.

  • MJ||

    "Atheist protesting religion are exactly like Klansmen."

    Sigh. No, "Zombie Mohammed" and "Zombie Pope" are very much similar to a black face minstrel show. It has nothing to do with who is protesting, it has to with the license the protestors grant themselves to denigrate their opponents.

    I get it. By your lights nothing an Atheist group could do protesting religion can be criticized because Atheists are on the side of justice. Similar to the attitudes that black people cannot be racist, I suppose. Genocides have their origins in such smug self-righteousness.

  • Killazontherun||

    With the back tracking on display there, you get it alright. After I pointed out the absurdity of calling the atheist bigots with the Klansman example, you went there anyway. Now, you are trying to pretend I'm the one who put those words in your mouth!

    Then to accuse me of being self-righteous. You're the one declaring a pox on three houses from your high horse as if a protestor ridiculing religion is equivalent to a violent Muslim thug and a judge who shirks his duty. Project much?

  • MJ||

    Not accepting your strawman interpretation of what I wrote is not back tracking.

    I call Perce and American atheist bigots because the "Zombie" caricatures are examples of intolerance on their face. Perce and his group slandering the judge when he did not win his case is confirmation of American Atheist intent on bringing down the level of civil discourse and their general bad faith. What Perce and American Atheist did is indefensible ethically. Which brings us to self-righteousness since you seem to assert that being anti-religion justifies any foul behavior. It does not.

    Perce and American Atheist are lowlifes.

  • MJ||

    That last thought was incomplete.

    Perce and American Atheist are lowlife attention whores.

  • Killazontherun||

    I call Perce and American atheist bigots because the "Zombie" caricatures are examples of intolerance on their face.

    Intolerance? You have no idea what that word means. By your definition ridiculing people who spend money on psychics is socially offensive because it is 'intolerant' of the beliefs of others. You are defining a strongly expressed opinion as intolerance when that has never been accepted usage of the word. A guy dressed as Zombie Mo, or a Zombie Jesus for that matter, is an expression of an opinion on the idea of resurrection. Intolerance only comes into play the moment someone tries to censor his actions.

    You abide by one extremely weird squirrely as fuck ideology.

  • MJ||

    So someone saying that blacks are inferior to whites is not bigoted or intolerant because no strongly expressed opinion can possibly be bigoted or intolerant without affirmative action to enforce it?

    Is that really what you want to say?

  • Killazontherun||

    addendum: Since I don't think you're hopeless if helped out a bit,

    here is the Google define: of the word 'intolerance':

    definitions:
    impatience with annoyances; "his intolerance of interruptions".

    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    In context of social behavior, it can read accurately thus tolerance is the degree to which you are willing to hear what someone has to say even or especially when they do not comport with your beliefs.
    It is quite the opposite of how you define the word as comporting with the beliefs of others to spare their feelings.

    See, you are using the word wrong. Glad we could clear that up.

  • MJ||

    Gee, cause the definitions of "intolerance" i am familiar with are a little more detailed:

    in·tol·er·ance
       [in-tol-er-uhns] Show IPA

    noun
    1. lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds, etc.

    See, there's that word respect there? I think it beyond question that the "Zombie" caricatures betray a lack of respect for the beliefs of Muslims and Catholics.

    But I understand if you still think someone expressing the opinion that Jews make Passover bread with the blood of Christian babies is not bigoted because that's just a strongly expressed opinion.

  • ||

    "Given how you dance around the questions I ask about what is justifiable for someone to feel about a creed that insist on their death, you are obviously aware you are on very weak footing."

    According to most Christian traditions, most of us are going to hell. Jesus is gonna come back seriously pissed. And he's gonna burn you and everyone you care about to a crisp. ...unless you get on his side before he shows up.

    Why pick on Muslims?

    Incidentally, I do think this gets to the heart of the matter for a lot of people. They don't like the Muslim because he's a Muslim. They don't like Muslims, so they're rooting for the atheist.

    It's the same old Republican/Democrat BS dichotomy--other people's rights shouldn't matter unless they matter to me?

    Just because some people think their bigotry against Muslims is really true doesn't mean they aren't bigots.

  • MJ||

    Ken,

    Perhaps some people are against the Muslim because he is Muslim. However, the Muslim was also completely wrong in what he did and that he thought the justice system would consider what Perce did illegal.

  • ||

    Perhaps some people are against the Muslim because he is Muslim. However, the Muslim was also completely wrong in what he did and that he thought the justice system would consider what Perce did illegal.

    If you ever live in another country, you'll be surprised how different they do things there, too.

    I've been in different chatrooms and seen lots of people say that although we might disagree with the president, we shouldn't be allowed to disrespect him in public--since he's the president. ...especially in wartime!

    Yeah, the guy was wrong about that. But then so is about a hundred progressives and conservative groups that want to do everything from banning pron to censoring what we see on television.

    Being wrong about that isn't a crime.

  • MJ||

    It is if the belief you are wrong about leads you to commit an assault.

  • ||

    Telling somebody what you think about them and what they're doing isn't assault.

    Threatening to call the police isn't assault.

    I'm not convinced he assaulted anybody, and the judge wasn't convinced either.

  • Killazontherun||

    Why pick on Muslims?

    In the context of a discussion of this article, that makes absolutely no sense.

  • ||

    In the context of a discussion of this article, that makes absolutely no sense.

    In the context of your statement, "I ask about what is justifiable for someone to feel about a creed that insist on their death, you are obviously aware you are on very weak footing.", it makes perfect sense!

    Weren't you talking about how Muslims feel about atheists?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Pleas eunderstand my original point was that I do not think anyone's actions in this matter are noble or should be lauded.

    Okay, I get that. But let's not lump together everyone in an attempt to put ourselves above it all.

  • ||

    How is disdainfully mocking morally depraved, life-destroying, theocratic, fundamentally unjustifiable bullshit a bad thing?

  • MJ||

    "How is disdainfully mocking morally depraved, life-destroying, theocratic, fundamentally unjustifiable bullshit a bad thing?"

    Please look up the definition of "bigotry".

  • anon||

    Please look up the definition of "bigotry".

    Just because you don't believe in stoning women to death for infidelity doesn't mean you're a bigot.

    Damn, these islam-lovers will go to great lengths to promote islam as a "religion of peace."

  • Killazontherun||

    A definition that does not allow an exception for those who are reacting to a creed that dictates they should die is hardly worth taking seriously. Tolerance can only be stretched so thin before you find yourself roasting on a spit.

  • ||

    Tolerance can only be stretched so thin before you find yourself roasting on a spit.

    You think Muslims are about to roast you on a spit?

    You should visit a mosque sometime. You'll sleep better at night.

    What American Muslims are stoning women? Somebody down thread was talking about them sewing their daughters' vaginas shut? Where do you people get this shit?

    It's like listening to someone from the 1940s talk about Japanese people, and their only source of information was propaganda posters.

    http://tinyurl.com/6p9mkb5

    American Muslims have been here for more than a hundred years. They've been minding their own business, not putting anyone skewers, or eating anyone's children. You should relax.

    You sound worse than McCarthyists during the Red Scare...especially considering that you're talking about an ethnic/religious group.

    Get a hold of yourself.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Please look up the definition of "bigotry"."

    I Googled it, but all that turned up was the section of the Iranian Penal Code which calls for the execution of homosexuals and pastors of non-Muslim faiths.

  • MJ||

    Which is relevent to the message portrayed by the "Zombie" caricatures, how?

  • anon||

    How is disdainfully mocking morally depraved, life-destroying, theocratic, fundamentally unjustifiable bullshit a bad thing?

    It isn't, RPA. It's actually quite glorious, and needs to be done more often.

  • ||

    The point is that our rights aren't a popularity contest.

    Whether you approve of other people's religious beliefs shouldn't matter to anybody but you.

    The establishment clause isn't a popularity contest; neither is the free exercise clause.

    Oh, and other people have rights even if their rights are inconvenient for you. ...even if they're inconvenient for society!

    If you don't like Muslims having rights like everybody else in this country, why should that matter to anyone else but you?

    A lot of people don't like my Second Amendment rights. In a perfect world, that wouldn't matter to anybody.

    I can't imagine why anyone's dislike of Muslims or Islam should matter in a discussion about a legal case or public policy--ever.

  • ||

    It's already been explained to you -- with abandon. If you haven't gotten it this far along, you won't get it at all.

  • ||

    What's the explanation again?

    That they're afraid of Muslims?

    Fear of Muslims isn't an explanation. That's a DSM-IV code.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D....._disorders

  • Chief Muslim Killer Obama||

    "We must learn to respect other religions."

  • US Govt||

    We must learn to respect other religions if they are extremely aggressive. If they turn the other cheek, we shall continue to insult them and trample on their rights.

  • Mo||

    Suffice it to say that some Muslims (as well as Christians, I might add) believe that they have a right not to be offended, and that they are wholly willing to use force (physical or judicial) to silence their detractors.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, "most" seems to be the more accurate choice here.

  • Ice Nine ||

    You are correct, Res; the italicized "some" is painfully pro forma - and in fact is symptomatic of the very thing that this whole kefuffle is all about. The same is true of his parenthetical about Christians, which is simply an obligatory mollifier to mitigate the statement about Muslims lest it, though true, be taken as intolerant or something. Christians, being members of the one religion that it is currently permissible to blithely malign, are well-inured to being offended and rarely raise a whimper.

  • Mo||

    Somebody needs a hug.

  • Ice Nine ||

    A truly incisive reply to the points.

  • Mo||

    It's all you deserve.

  • Pssst||

    Don't piss that guy off. He goes for a swim in the ocean and we're all fucked.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Christians, being members of the one religion that it is currently permissible to blithely malign, are well-inured to being offended and rarely raise a whimper."

    . . . until someone points out that there are half a dozen other holidays in December, or tries to teach science in a science classroom.

  • Legendary Teabagger Vance||

    I would say that three candidates blabbering on about a war on religion counts as little more than a wimper.

    Christians love feeling like victims too.

  • Ice Nine ||

    as little more than a wimper.

    Which is essentially what I said.

  • MJ||

    Some atheists as well.

  • Mo||

    Some "professional" atheists resort to obnoxious speech and behavior, with the intent to provoke, but I haven't seen any atheists car-bomb a church or knock down a building with a plane or hack a neighboring tribe to pieces with machetes, or try to get a judge to force the public schools to teach "atheism" (as Christian and Muslim fundamentalists attempt to do with "creationism" and Koranic nonsense, respectively).

  • MJ||

    Atheism is an ideology like any other. When its militant adherent gain power they go on pogrom as well as any Christian or Muslim fundamentalist. See the what teh Jacobins did during the French revolution. The ends justifying the means brings ruin.

  • ||

    Atheism is an ideology like any other.

    ------------------

    Are you really this fucking retarded? I don't believe in God. That's it. What are you talking about?

  • ||

    *That's it. That's the extent of my atheism.

  • MJ||

    Then you are not a "militant" atheist are you?

    I seriously do not understand why atheists take such great offense to the idea that atheism as a belief system can and has been turned to evil purposes like any other.

    Why do you think atheism has some special immunity?

  • anon||

    I seriously do not understand why atheists take such great offense to the idea that atheism as a belief system

    If it were a believe "system," as you dictate, that system would be reason. Which I'm ok with.

  • MJ||

    Right. "No True Scotsman" defense, got it.

  • anon||

    Right. "No True Scotsman" defense, got it.

    I fail to see how that's a "No true scotsman" defense.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Oh, boy. Looks like it's time to bust out that ole chestnut about how Atheism is a religion/ideology inasmuch as not collecting stamps is a hobby.

  • MJ||

    Do people form organizations and blogs dedicated to spreading the joys of not collecting stamps?

    If not, how do explain American Atheist?

  • anon||

    Atheism is an ideology like any other.

    Wrong.

    Atheism is simply admitting that I don't know if there is a God.

    If I don't know there's a god, I can't possibly believe in him. It's specifically the lack of an ideology.

    The end.

  • Killazontherun||

    That is where I have to admit to myself I'm one. I'm agnostic on the existence of God, but if atheism means no spirit, real or not, has dominion over my soul than I'm most definitely an atheist, even if I have trouble accepting it.

  • anon||

    Yeah, it's a tough hurdle to clear, but you'll be much happier after you do.

    The word "agnostic" was coined in the mid-1800's to get around the negative connotation of "atheist." It's really just a pussy way out.

  • KPres||

    What if you believe that the answer to the question "Does God exist?" is unknowable?

  • Ice Nine ||

    Atheism is simply admitting that I don't know if there is a God.

    No it is not that. Thirty seconds with a dictionary will help you on this.

  • anon||

    If I don't know, then I can't believe. The cognitive dissonance required to not believe and yet still acknowledge the existence of a God could only be maintained by someone willing to believe in whatever religion in the first place.

  • Ice Nine ||

    If I don't know, then I can't believe.

    You seem to think that not knowing if there is a god is the only basis for not believing there is a god. It's not.

  • anon||

    Is there a dead hooker in the back of your car?

    Do you believe there's a dead hooker in the back of your car?

    If I don't know, I can't believe there's a dead hooker in the back of my car. There very well may be, but I'm not going to assume it's true for many reasons.

  • Ice Nine ||

    OK, it is clear that trying to discuss this with you is pointless. I'll leave with the suggestion that while you are in that dictionary looking up "atheism" that you take a look at the definition of "believe" as well.

  • anon||

    I've looked up both words, and you're wrong. I win. Thanks for playing.

  • anon||

    Also, try learning english a little better before attempting to utilize semantic arguments on someone that isn't an ESL student. You'll find it makes you feel less stupid.

  • Ice Nine ||

    Naaa, this discussion with you has very sufficiently served that purpose, thank you.

  • anon||

    Glad I could help in educating you. Use your new knowledge well in the future.

  • Killazontherun||

    The definition you'll find like The theory or belief that God does not exist if you use Google define: is not really consistent with the etymology -- here from the greatest source on earth, Wikipedia -- In early ancient Greek, the adjective atheos (ἄθεος, from the privative ἀ- + θεός "god") meant "godless". It was first used as a term of censure roughly meaning "ungodly" or "impious".

  • MJ||

    "...head of the state chapter of American Atheists,..."

    So this American Atheists group is not built on or promoting an ideology?

    Suggesting that atheists may become militant ideologues is not a personal attck on you or your personal beliefs. Please get over yourself.

  • anon||

    So this American Atheists group is not built on or promoting an ideology?

    Non-sequitur. Try again.

  • Mo||

    I know lots of atheists, and they rarely if ever discuss religion. It isn't important to them, because they know that there is no evidence of the existence of a god and they aren't going to waste their time talking about non-existence, or attempting to disprove a negative.

  • MJ||

    "I know lots of atheists, and they rarely if ever discuss religion."

    Which obviously does not apply to this American Atheists group Perce heads, which is at the center of the subject at hand.

  • anon||

    I know lots of atheists, and they rarely if ever discuss religion.

    I never do in real life, mostly because the arguments "for" God existing all hinge on subscribing to a belief that the unknown cannot be known. I refuse to subscribe to that belief, but there's no point in being known as a "godless heathen" just because I don't believe in Santa Claus.

  • MJ||

    Non-sequitur? Really? After trying to explain away atheism as an "anti-ideology" you are going play that card?

  • anon||

    You take one person that happens to be an atheist promoting atheism and attempt to utilize that.

    It doesn't follow because it's inductive reasoning. Like I said, try again.

  • MJ||

    You definitely asserted that atheism cannot be an ideology. At least one person and one group promoting atheism as a belief shows that it can be.

    Again, all am getting at is that any belief can and has been perverted towards bad ends. Saying thatthat includes atheism is not an attack on your personal beliefs.

  • anon||

    You definitely asserted that atheism cannot be an ideology.

    No, I sure didn't. Try again.

  • MJ||

    "It's specifically the lack of an ideology."

    Come again?

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    ""It's specifically the lack of an ideology."
    "Come again?"

    Atheism.

    A-Theism.

    Without Theism.

    Do we need the handpuppets?

  • MJ||

    i·de·ol·o·gy/ˌīdēˈäləjē/

    Noun:

    1.A system of ideas and ideals, esp. one that forms the basis of economic or political policy: "the ideology of republicanism".
    2.The ideas and manner of thinking of a group, social class, or individual: "a critique of bourgeois ideology".

    Being "without theism" excludes atheism from being the basis of an ideological belief system, how?

    I am sorry, but I dis not have the time to express that thought entirely in words two sylables or less. I am sure you will muddle through...eventually.

  • anon||

    I really think you're trolling, which is the reason for my lack of effort, but it's been a while since you responded so I'll go ahead and make it a little more clear for you.

    I said that atheism isn't an ideology. I did not say "cannot" be.

    Again, all am getting at is that any belief can and has been perverted towards bad ends.

    This is self-evident.

  • MJ||

    Then what are you getting your knickers in a wad about?

  • anon||

    The promotion of Atheism as a religion irritates me to no end. I feel like I'm being equivocated to people with irrational beliefs.

  • MJ||

    That's what I thought. Atheism is a religious type belief. As I said upthread, get over yourself.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "That's what I thought. Atheism is a religious type belief."

    Hypothetical: A child is born into a society with no religious or theosophical beliefs whatsoever. They are raised and live their entire life without a single thought either for or against concepts like an afterlife or a supreme creator. Society forms it's "beliefs" off of scientific method, which in effect precludes them from being beliefs as the word is used in conjunction with religion.
    Since religion is an unnatural, man-made construct, it's existence is not missed any more than the lack of of Miley Cryus records would have troubled the Romans. This society simply lives day to day with no thought given towards a concept it is even unaware of.

    By your argument, these people would be practicing a religious ideology.

  • MJ||

    All you are suggesting is that a society with a homogeneous belief system has no belief system, because the society's belief system has nothing to contrast itself with.

    The other problem with your hypothetical is it steals an intellectual base. It assumes atheism is correct.

  • MJ||

    "Society forms it's "beliefs" off of scientific method, which in effect precludes them from being beliefs as the word is used in conjunction with religion."

    The universal acceptance of the scientific method as a guide in this hypothetical scitey to all beliefs is taught and enforced, how? Frankly, your hypothetical seems scarily totalitarian and bland.

  • MJ||

    You make a huge fuss about an assertion you do not have a fundamental disagreement with because you an emotional reaction to your beliefs being implicit likened to a Catholic, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, etc.

    If that is not a spot on example of intolerance, I do not know what could be.

  • ||

    You have the right to believe as you choose. You choose to believe there is no deity, others choose the opposite.

    Do you have absolute, irrefutable proof that no god could possibly exist? No? And you believe no god exists anyway? Welcome to the ranks of the irrational believers.

    You have beliefs about religion. And you are free to have them.

  • Killazontherun||

    I really think you're trolling,

    I think that too, but Ken went away and I wasn't through with him yet.

  • Lyle||

    Just more sour fruit from the tree of multiculturalism. And it's dogma in America now.

  • ||

    Whether it's the Muslim CAIR, the Catholic League, or the Jewish ADL, these PC thought police need to get it through their heads that there is NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO NOT BE OFFENDED!!!!

  • Ice Nine ||

    Let's call a spade a spade here. Regardless of what the judge did or did not actually say, this case has raised a hue and cry because we all know that what has already become routine in British courts - the ass-licking of Muslims because of perversely skewed "multicultural" sensitivities - is inevitable here, and that this case is a harbinger of that.

  • ||

    I spent some time in England in the early 90's. One day, while sitting on a bus waiting for it to embark a bunch of young english nativists showed up at the bus stop. There were some Muslims on the bus adjacent to mine visible through the windows. The nativists started throwing rocks at the windows and yelling at the muslims to go home, get out of the country etc.

    At the time I was reminded of the segregationists here in the south , but now, considering what has happened to england since then, I am somewhat sympathetic to them.

  • ||

    The English fucked themselves willingly and all on their own anyway. Mephistopheles reigns in that dark, dark place. -(_-(

  • Huh||

    He reigns in the clevage of a woman with abnormally long nipples?

  • anon||

    One day, while sitting on a bus waiting for it to embark

    Too much time in England! You've been corrupted!

  • HeroicMulatto||

    At the time I was reminded of the segregationists here in the south , but now, considering what has happened to england since then, I am somewhat sympathetic to them.

    Because Blacks were getting special privileges in the Jim Crow South?

  • ad for Gillespie and Welch||

    In the Declaration of Independents (in stores now!) we show you how the free market tried to circumvent Jim Crow laws but was stopped by FDR.

    True story.

  • An unnamed source||

    Tell me again how importing 3rd world savages from an alien culture is good for America?

  • Killazontherun||

    For one, the closest thing to a savage in the Middle East is a Bedoion, but most Muslims wh come here do not originate from herder tribes unaccustomed to the city state.
    Two, America in concept is a strong, vibrant nation because our first principle is liberty. So long as decadent multiculturalist like this judge who puts cultural sensitivities above the law are kept to a minimum, we are strong enough to assimilate almost anyone, and strong enough to thrive even with those who we can't amongst us.

  • Killazontherun||

    Bedouin -- autocorrect fucked that up, not me.

  • ||

    That's the key. Anybody and everybody is welcome -- up until the point their personal immorality is tooled to undermine our republic. It's not complex.

  • Ryan||

    It is complex. There are many citizens of the US whose personal immorality is tooled to undermine our republic. Besides, it would be silly to pretend that we know who will and who won't be injurious to our country. There's no way that could stand as an argument for open immigration, assuming that was your intention.

  • protefeed||

    I thought he was talking about actual violent acts, not thoughtcrimes.

  • Ryan||

    Undermining can be done without physical violence.

  • shrike||

    Figures you Christ-fags would stand up for Zombie Mohammed.

  • ||

    God save the Confederate States of America.

  • Jeffersonian||

    So where do you come down on the story, Shriek? Bushpigs?

  • shrike||

    Figures you Christ-fags would stand up for Zombie Mohammed The Constitution.

    My bad.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Figures you Christ-fags would stand up for Zombie Mohammed."

    Don't-a fuhgetta the zombie Pope-a!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    From my review of the audio, I believe the words are, "I'm not Muslim, I find it offensive"—with the "not" spoken so quickly it sounds like a single vowel.

    That's one small step for zombie Muslim; one giant leap for zombie Muslimkind.

  • rather||

  • MJ||

    Does that apply to vegans?

  • rather||

    In a sense, it is a religion too

  • MJ||

    There was a vegan chef on "Top Chef" this season. I wondered how he could possibly compete in that contest and he did not.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    True story: A few years back, I went to a Halloween party and some jackass came dressed in blackface.

    I didn't punch him.

    We had a few beers, partied, and had a good time. By being friendly and non-confrontational, an atmosphere of respect was developed.

    Of course, this requires people to act like adults and not petulant children.

  • invisible furry hand||

    but... but... microaggression!

  • anon||

    Quite original costume idea.

  • ||

    True story: A few years back, I went to a Halloween party and some jackass came dressed in blackface.

    Wouldn't you have only been half-pissed?

    /rimshot

  • HeroicMulatto||

    The problem was his blackface was on the wrong side!

  • ||

    Those monochromatic morons.

    Damn, howdid. Shatner. Not. Win. anEmmyfor . That. Scene. Alone.

  • rather||

    You're a forgiving man HM, I'm half-mad at them

  • +||

    This requires people to act like adults and not petulant children.

    Boy*, are you in the wrong place.

     

    *not a pun

  • Jeffersonian||

    True story: A few years back, I went to a Halloween party and some jackass came dressed in blackface.

    I did that once, kinda. I went as Peter Tosh, dreadlocks and spliff included. No fisticuffs.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "True story: A few years back, I went to a Halloween party and some jackass came dressed in blackface."

    Was he going as the movie 'Soul Man'?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What if someone in the audience for that Halloween parade was opposed to Halloween itself ("the devil's holiday"), and decided to start a confrontation and ask the police to stop the parade altogether?

    Whom would the judge have lectured - the guy who wanted Halloween suppressed, or the paraders for ignoring the religious sensitivities of hard-core evangelical Protestants?

    Come to think of it, if you go to a Halloween parade you'll probably see costumes which offend you.

    Some Wiccans might be offended at the stereotypical portrayal of witches - a portrayal which contributed to the Burning Times of old.

    etc.

  • anon||

    Wait, evangelical protestants don't celebrate halloween?

  • HeroicMulatto||

    Wait, evangelical protestants don't celebrate halloween?

    Many of them think it's "Let's Celebrate Satanism Day!"

  • anon||

    Holy shit. No pun intended.

  • ||

    I always think that was an overblown story by the media. It was rarely, if ever, protested by and large by protestant congregations. Most of them used it, IIRC from my childhood, as an opportunity to have a fall festival and give out candy.

  • ||

    I'm confused, that's why I celebrate Halloween.

  • anon||

    You know, the real funny part of all of the these comments is that I'm pretty much ok with everything from hookers to blow, yet I'm unable to accept Islam as a "Religion of peace." Fuck Mohammad, or however you spell his name, his religion is based in fear and hatred.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I have the same dilemmma as you. I consider myself a very open minded, tolerant person in my inner life, and with others. I don't hate individual Muslims, nor do I consider Islam more than any other religion (atheist here). But I am sick to fuck of hearing the phrase "Religion of Peace", because every time I turn on the radio, a Muslim has blown something up, shot someone, stoned someone, or threatened to do so. Muslims should stop with the "Religion of Peace" bullshit, and take an inventory of their membership. Those who believe it is the "Religion of Peace" need to get to work right fucking now and purge violent members from the mainstream. If they are unable to do so, I recommend a reformation, or consider finding a new religion.

  • Ryan||

    Or they and others could stop using a religion as an excuse for their intellectual laziness and irresponsibility. Many kinds of people can believe in a god, but amoral slavers will be amoral slavers.

    People who are too arrogant and closed-minded to scrutinize their beliefs with the intention of improving their selves aren't worth a moment of my time or consideration. Fuck them and their apologists, as well as anyone else who makes excuses for initiating violence.

  • Ryan||

    Oh yeah, and show them the error of their ways etc.

  • anon||

    It's far easier to subscribe to a system of beliefs rather than figure shit out for yourself. It's why established religions are so prevalent.

  • Midas Touche||

    he specifically drew a distinction between "how Americans practice Christianity" and how Muslims practice Islam

    Nonjudgment and turning the other cheek vs not.

    "Islam is not just a religion, it’s their culture … it’s their very essence, their very being."

    "Their very essence." Unlike Christianity, huh?

  • Jeffersonian||

    "Their very essence." Unlike Christianity, huh?

    Yes, unlike Christianity. Islam is everything, while Christianity makes a clear distinction between this world and the next.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A lesson learned here: there’s a very good reason for Rule 112 of Rules of Criminal Procedure- if someone makes an unauthorized recording in a Court not of Record, there’s no way to control how it might be manipulated later, and then passed off as the truth.

    The operative word there is "control".

  • rather||

    TSA asks woman to prove her breast pump is real at Lihue
    http://www.ksdk.com/news/artic.....mp-is-real

    Why is it always tits? I think men need to prove their penises are TSA approved

  • ØJØʃ verdes||

    Oh, crap, what do you call that TSA prick that grabbed my junk at LAX? He thought I had a wad of something stuffed down there.

  • rather||

    Pics or it didn't happen

  • ||

    Has nobody else noticed that the judge said "How Americans practice Christianity" and "Muslims practice Islam."

    It's as if he's saying American and Muslim are never one and the same. I'm shocked some moderate American Muslim group hasn't piled on the idiot for saying "Americans are Christians." Or a group representative of any other religion, because it was a pretty ignorant statement.

  • anon||

    We're all Muslims now.

  • Xenocles||

    We're all Muslims fucked now.

    FIFY.

  • ØJØʃ verdes||

    The NDAA made us all Muslims.

  • ||

    Is there an inherent conflict of interest for a member of the armed forces to serve as a judge in civilian courts? I would have to say there is, since his obligations as a soldier according to his contract with the military and the oaths he takes, affect his impartiality.

  • anon||

    Using such criteria would prevent everyone from becoming a judge ever. Everyone has their own interests; it's the duty of a justice to try to rule impartially. He appeared to in this case anyways, which I think says more about his integrity than the article gives him credit for.

  • ||

    His obligations as a soldier, and the limitations to freedom they volunteer for, limit his impartiality, IMO, to a degree that should disqualify him.

    For example, he cannot fully exercise his 1A Rights and express displeasure with his Commander In Chief. Can the affect his ability to be impartial? I personally don't think it worth the risk.

  • anon||

    Being a -former- soldier, he has no such restrictions.

  • ||

    I understood he was still in the reserves.

    Either way, my question was not specifically about him, but about people in the military in general.*

    *Including reservists or guardsmen.

  • cw||

    I thought members of the armed forces swear an oath to the U.S. Constitution, as do judges.

  • anon||

    They do.

  • ||

    No, they swear to defend the Constitution. They also agree to certain personal limitations to their constitutional rights. They are subject to limitations of their 1A, 2A, 4A, 5A and other rights. As noted above, I can see how this would affect their impartiality.

  • ||

    As I understand it, as a reservist, he's only bound to the UCMJ when activated. He's just like any other civilian unless he's on orders.

  • ||

    Then that answers my question as to his eligibility. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • ||

    The First Amendment covers more than religious freedom. It also covers freedom of the press -- including freedom to broadcast television. Nonetheless, this basic freedom was denied by an ally so close to us that we are willing to start WWIII on its behalf -- to preserve the fair way it has been conducting itself in the world.
    Since this ally gave only bogus reasons for raiding two private TV stations last week, here is an explanation which is as good as anything else it has said:

    When Palestinian TV is on, it shows Sesame Street.
    When it shows Sesame Street, it shows Bert.
    When it shows Bert, it shows it might be OK to be gay.
    When it shows it might be OK to be gay, the TV censors monitoring start to "come out."
    When the TV censors come out, they get friendly with the Palestinians.
    Don’t let your TV censors get friendly with the Palestinians.
    Go raid Palestinian TV.

  • anon||

    You've seen the Geico ad too many times sir.

  • HeroicMulatto||

  • Walt Disney||

  • Jeffersonian||

    Semtex Willie!

  • ||

    The climate my be nice in parts of that region but the level of religious indoctrination and hate that exist there make it unlivable for any rational person and barely so for the poor wretches misfortunate enough to be born there. The parts of Bill Mahers Religulous and Richard Dawkins The Root of All Evil that were horrific and deeply disturbing on every level to me were the parts where they interviewed various muslims on their ideas of tolerance. Cognitive Disonance fails to describe the gap in our philosophies. And has been noted by others here on many occasions the kinds of barbarities that are common practice and even lauded in that culture would and should result in you being locked away for the rest off your life and disgracing the good name of your family. Greenland,the Kerguelen Islands,the Atacama Desert all are far better places to raise a family in my opinion.

  • ||

    Particularly since the culture of the entire region seems to be that of a violent suicide cult from the 8th century that has suddenly been handed 21st century disruptive technology. The Zombie Mo was in the right and those that ignorantly cling to dated barbarisms should be shamed and forced to explain themselves every time they are trotted out in public view. That is how our ideas will eventually defeat theirs;pandering to them is how ours will be eventually be defeated by theirs.

  • Alt-text ideas?||

  • anon||

    She seems to be new to this game, the pic is too generic.

  • ||

    Gavel.

  • Ha||

    "Don't let Nancy Pelosi near this."

  • Jeffersonian||

    No alt-texts on external article links.

  • ||

    With pale affright and panic flight shall dastard Yankees base and hollow.
    Hear a Celtic race from their battle place charge to the shout of "Faugh a balaugh!"
    By the souls above, by the land we love, her tears bleeding patience, the sledge is wrought that shall smash to naught the brazen liar of nations.

  • ||

    Another down side to this case is that the rael mark Martin may be supplanted on google search's Page 1 by this busybody judge.

  • ||

    The judge's job is to hear cases.

    The offense seems to have been one of those cases that is prosecuted by the police. The local prosecutor should have been involved. The People bring the case. The judge issues a verdict after a trial.

    Dismissing the case is not within the province of the judge in such circumstances.

    The judge had an obligation to hear the case and render a verdict. Dismissing the case was improper; it should have gone to trial.

    Perhaps the judge issued a directed verdict of aquittal at the conclusion of the Peoples' case. Such verdicts are sometimes mistakenly referred to as a dismissal.

    Finally, harassment is a crime involving the use of language or the body in such a way as to taunt, challenge, shove, or otherwise provoke a violent response. It looks like the proper charge, as none of the violence seems to have caused a physical injury.

  • ||

    This is one of the reasons why many communities and states have laws that limit or prohibit people from going around in costumes, so they don't harass others.

    And considering that harassment prohibits "fighting words," it's one of many, many understandable and reasonable restrictions on the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    you consider restricting what people can wear an "understandable and reasonable" abridgment of the right to free speech?

    Maybe you want to mandate a national uniform? Might I suggest brown?

  • ||

    No, I don't consider what people can wear "an 'understandable and reasonable' abridgement of the right to free speech."

  • ||

    Excuse me, RESTRICTING what people can wear. Please excuse the error; it's because of my retardation.

  • ||

    I'm sorry Bill, but...are you fucking retarded?

    This is exactly the kind of speech the framers had in mind when they crafted the 1A. It's harassment only to those that do not exercise their right to walk away from it: or in other words, it's not harassment at all.

    Should the guy in the zombie pope outfit also have been prohibited from parading? Or how about a parade of people dressed as zombie Obamas or zombie Congresscritters. Should they be banned by an "understandable and reasonable restriction" of the 1A?

    Tell you what. Why don't you go and fuck yourself. Until that's restricted as well, lest one of your neighbors be offended.

  • Killazontherun||

    Would Bill make an exception for Disney dressing someone like Mickey Mouse in a parade to advertize their product but object to someone else dressed as Zombie Mo or Zombie Pope? On what First Amendment bases do you even begin to carve out exceptions?

  • ||

    I think he's using the little-known SVE. I've heard of it in practice, but have yet to see it stand up to a constitutional challenge. The SVE, or Sandy Vaagina Exemption to the 1A, means that any grievance organization can petition for anything that generates more than 3ppm of sand in their vagina to be disallowed for anyone else.

  • Killazontherun||

    But Disney still gets that exception right? I don't know what it would be like to live in a world that Disney can't write the laws in its favor. The very thought of that is a little frightening.

  • Nipplemancer||

    Reedy Creek is the the ultimate company town.

  • ||

    The SVE prohibition, that's it exactly.

  • ||

    Obviously you guys have all forgotten your history. Night riders went around after the Civil War, and continued to do so for a hundred years, in white sheets, terrorizing groups of people they didn't like. That was why those laws got passed, and that's why they're considered action, not speech, and are prohibited except on special occasions (like Halloween for example).

  • ||

    Actually, if I fuck myself in public, that could be prohibited as public indecency, despite my prostestations that it's a speech issue.

  • ||

    Yes, "retarded," that's it, I was struggling for the right word.

  • ||

    The Founding Fathers had Zombie Mohammed in mind when they wrote the First Amendmment? Wow, I guess I must be REALLY retarded; I thought the First Amendment was, at first considered important to the idea of having a free press, then secondarily to the issue of speech and association. But it may be my retardation getting in the way of a proper understanding, so keep that in mind.

  • Maxxx||

    Fuck judge Martin with zombie Mohammad's dick. Fuck Islam and most of all fuck progressive pussies like Ken S that lick barbarian's asses.

  • cw||

    That kind of language won't win anyone over to libertarianism.

  • cw||

    In reply to Maxxx.

  • ||

    If I might chip in, the only real libertarian issue I see in the account of this case is the puzzling fact that policemen have been given the power, in some kinds of petty cases (like traffic cases, for example), to be both law enforcer and prosecutor. That strikes me as so deeply opposed to libertarian principles that I'm suprised that I'm the only who's commented on the cop prosecuting the case.

  • ||

    I might also add that the cop acting in the dual role of both prosecutor and witness was creating one of the most fundamental conflicts of interest in the legal profession, that of putting the prosecution in the position of giving evidence or testimony in a case. Ordinarily, such a thing justifies a defense motion to disqualify the prosecutor; to allow such a thing is not only an ethical violation but a violation of the right to a fair trial.

  • ||

    The only real libertarian issue you see...

    I thonk the writer just framed it poorly. The cop was essentially acting as prosecutor since he had the evidence that brought the charge against the defendant. There was no prosecutor, per se, because that's the way this administrative court was set up. He presents his evidence as an arresting officer and the defendant presents his defense (with counsel if he so chooses).

    That to me is a lot less a libertarian issue than, I don't know, a judge admonishing someone over their insensitivity to muslims and how their 1A rights don't cover speech that offends their poor widdle sensitive nature.

  • ||

    So, as long as somebody sets up a tribunal whose job includes determing guilt or innocence of crime, and issues punishments that involve the Fifth Amendment, the cop acting both as the person making the charge and as the person prosecuting it, performing those two things is OK?

    Hell, why not eliminate the middleman and make the cop the judge, too?

  • Realist||

    Democracy: A form of government where fucking idiots with no integrity are elected to power by fucking idiots with no integrity.

  • cw||

    That's pretty much where democracy leads, every time.

  • Mencken||

    Good and hard, baby...

  • prolefeed||

    There is nothing wrong with telling someone that just because he has a constitutional right to say something doesn't mean he should say it

    There is plenty wrong with a JUDGE acting in his official capacity saying that you shouldn't assert your First Amendment right to be an arsehole.

    A private citizen is different.

  • Religious Defamation Police||

    Unless your religion has a divine mandate for decapitating anyone who so much looks at you funny the way Islam does, there's really nothing we can do for you. Sorry, Christians and Jews.

  • RoboCain||

    This.

  • anon||

    Is there an app for that?

  • Killazontherun||

    The trouble with multiculturalist is they believe that reinforcing the Islamist sense of entitlement ultimately advances their own agenda where all differences will some day be overcome, and instead of worshiping Jesus and Mohammed and Jehovah people will adapt to their god, Warm Sunshine On Obedient Sphincters. Islam doesn't work that way. Multiculturist are pussies, Islamist are the guys who will fucking kill you.

  • Jeffersonian||

    The Left in Iran found that out the hard way.

  • Tony||

    Fundamentalist religion is always bad. It should be discouraged as a public goal. The only known way to discourage religious radicalism and cultural strife is to promote "multiculturalism."

    I don't want idiots as masters, and I'm not gonna be OK with them just because they worship the Santa Claus A and not Santa Claus B.

  • cw||

    I don't want idiots as masters....

    And yet you want masters. And idiots at that (e.g., Obama).

  • ||

    I read that the same way. There are those who elect "leaders", and those who elect servants.

    Tony is in the former group. The kind that reveres the idea of intellectuals at the helm of a political body that injects itself in to all manner of life.

    They also sneer at the idea that people can manage their own affairs without society's help, and view this as parochial.

    By inviting power to interfere in things he hates, he's also inviting that power to be used against his interest. So, when Republicans disparage and openly assault his sexuality in public policy he can thank himself. He and his ilk gave them license to do so.

  • Hacha Cha||

    For fellow Pennsylvanians, here is a petition for the impeachment of judge Mark Martin: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KjjCbpZjmEsrhwJbZnlzpthXnF835f3i8rRH_WslqhE/edit

  • ||

    He needs to be sat down and explained the 1A, but I think he ruled correctly in this case, so would not support his impeachment.

  • JB||

    "you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights."

    Anyone that ignorant shouldn't be a judge of anything.

  • ||

    In retrospect, I would agree with you, JB.

  • prolefeed||

    He displayed a dangerous ignorance about the meaning of the 1A, but if misunderstanding huge chunks of the Constitution were grounds for impeachment, Congress would consist of about 8 or 9 members total out of 535, the Prez and everyone below him in the line of succession would be out of office, and SCOTUS would have zero members -- assuming it is possible for impeachable members of Congress to impeach others.

    In other words, near-anarcho-libertarianism.

  • Killazontherun||

    Trying to get a date tonight, prolefeed with that hot and saucy language? Well, it's working on me. If I'm not your type you better let me know before continuing with that kind of talk about impeaching almost everyone who took the oath. Being married a deal breaker?

  • Hacha cha||

    This is so far from he said/she said, not only does my friend Perce say Mr. Elbayomy harassed him, the police officer, AND Mr. Elbayomy HIMSELF all had the same story. Elbayomy admitted in court that he attacked Mr. Perce. The election and training of Magisterial District Judges in Pennsylvania is sometimes troubling, any moron can become an MDJ. Judge Martin has no understanding of the Constitution or the law, and under the Pennsylvania Constitution he can be impeached. I hope others will join me in submitting impeachment petitions to the clerk of the state House of Representatives and also to Representatives interested in this case, like Rep. Rick Saccone.

  • ||

    Poorly worded petition.

  • Hacha Cha||

    Could someone help to improve upon the word of this petition?

  • Hacha Cha||

    *wording.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    Actually, the point of this tale is:

    Who needs any sort of immigration laws? I say we let any and every one in, without any sort of documented proof they are who they say they are!

    Sure, Elbayomy didn't understand the First Amendment. Who cares? All that matters is that he's here. Why take the time to verify if said immigrant is a criminal/infectious/a political activist bent on destroying the country by any means possible? Who cares? He's on our doorstep. It wouldn't play well at Cocktail Parties to ask him a few questions about his past life or future intentions after crossing said doorstep.

    Everyone everywhere totally understands American values, culture, language and laws! So let's not be bigoted, racist, xenophobic, homophobic and against women's health by asking emigres for anything ever.

  • ||

    They must assimilate* before being assimilated! If they don't agree with us before they get here, we should tell them to fuck off.

    Jesus, you're not too bright on the immigration policy America was founded on, are you?

    *Meaning they must assimilate to your exact version of what America should be. We're a society that has too many varying opinions and ideas, and that need to be curtailed. Let's start with the people who want to come here.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    I agree. We should have never let all those German and Dutch folks come in the late 1790's. Fucking Calvinists messing up our Congregationalist American culture.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    It wouldn't play well at Cocktail Parties to ask him a few questions about his past life or future intentions after crossing said doorstep.

    Brilliant idea! Because people never lie!

  • ||

    We'll ask them whether they lie or not. Duh. Stupid libertarian.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    The only "Ugly American" here is the rights-hating Judge Martin, who should be disbarred in shame immediately.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    Uh, no, sloopy, they must prove who they are, fill out paperwork, wait in line, take a medical exam and then a few written tests to make sure they understand the basics American governance.

    "If they don't agree with us before they get here, we should tell them to fuck off."

    Um, isn't that what you (and the other dipshit True Libertarians) are doing to me here? And to those other who disagree with the True Libertarian line on immigration?

  • ||

    None of those things are your business or the government's business. In fact, they are coercive actions.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    Uh, no, sloopy, they must prove who they are, fill out paperwork, wait in line, take a medical exam and then a few written tests to make sure they understand the basics American governance.

    They already have to do that. I know this from the experience of my wife. The written tests only come after applying for citizenship though.

  • ||

    Um, isn't that what you (and the other dipshit True Libertarians) are doing to me here? And to those other who disagree with the True Libertarian line on immigration?

    First off, this is a private website, not a nation that should accept immigrants regardless of whether or not they tow the lion before coming in.

    And second, it's not what we are doing to you here. I can only speak for myself, but what I'm saying is that we shouldn't allow bigotry dictate our immigration policy. It's not a very good way to export our ideas of liberty and respect for differences of opinion.

  • hk||

    Agreed, these anti-immigration people are paranoid.

  • depantic vasant||

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    HM,

    "Ask them a few questions" is flowery language for "present evidence."

    Read much?

  • HeroicMulatto||

    "Ask them a few questions" is flowery language for "present evidence."

    Nice try, but no.
    Your attempt at an enthymeme possesses fallacious reasoning.

    Logic much?

  • Almanian||

    Your papers, please, WHC.

    If that's your REAL name...

  • ||

    American Atheists: sound like they got a batch of moldy peyote.
    Advice: Know your dealer

    Vaginas: I know what it is like to have sand in your vagina. Have sex with sand in your vagina, and have it punctured. I did not see any mentions of vaginas in the article. Unless you have a vagina, do no speak with authority on it.

    I prefer the wild Peni of Madagascar clause. POM which states stapling of testicles to said peni is a ritualistic Northern California drunken tactic.

  • Killazontherun||

    So, Celeste is not an authority on dicks because she doesn't have one? News to those of us who have watched a video or three back in college in the nineties of her sucking one.

  • protefeed||

    Sand in your lover's vagina is a GOOD thing if that means that you are fucking her in the ocean. I mean, the sand itself is a bad thing, but you just gotta pick a lover whose pussy is really wet.

  • ||

    Its only a good thing if a tremendous, blood curdling orgasm is had to expel the sand and the maiden is barely legal ...looking anyway and the fuck-er is a hot older buff glasses wearing hot/crazy Libertarian guy.

  • ||

    Uhhhh...no it isnt. The whole fucking in the ocean thing seems like a good idea, but in reality it isnt. No matter how 'wet' she is the ocean just washes it away, and the sand is a killer. Much better to dry hump in the water or on the beach, then head back to the hotel room.

  • ||

    Not in an absolute sense. That assertion is correct. I will never know what it is truly like to pee from a huge clitoris hanging from my body. This is also correct. :) I remember that porn. Bangkok Ghetto meets the Fly Killaz.

  • depantic vasant||

    can we forgive adam sandler now?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....oWkFkWiiTc

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    Wait, heller, you're saying the Govt. (and by extension the average US citizen) has no right to know who (and for what reason) seeks permanent entry into the US?

    Yeah, good point. No, really, a brilliant point.

    Really, is the best True Libertarians can put forth?

  • ||

    Wait was that a summary of what I said, or an argument against it?

    Hey I have an idea, since strangers are dangerous, we should put up checkpoints at every town demanding a background check and ID for anyone who wants to enter. They also have to be vaccinated and pledge allegiance to the United States of America. Also, they have to pass a civics test. Or is it just non-Americans who are possible terrorists and/or disease carriers?

  • ||

    when the federal government finally implodes under it's own weight, I suspect that many locales will behave exactly like this.

  • ||

    So, life will be like The Postman?

    Fuck, I call dibs on the Tom Petty compound then.

  • 'Nando||

    More evidence that Monsanto is poisoning mankind
    "Roundup destroys testosterone and eventually leads to male infertility, as cited in a study published in the Journal of Toxicology in Vitro."
    http://www.deathrattlesports.c.....g-mankind/

  • Xenocles||

    Think of it as free contraceptives.

  • ||

    +1

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    They should just change their name to Giganticorp or Devour Inc.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    According tot he article, the source is NaturalNews.com
    NaturalNews is a heavily derided and rabidly antiscientific propaganda site which also heavily pushes antivax hysteria (going so far as to claim that HIV was created and spread via vaccinations), promotes every pseudoscientific New Age cure it comes across, spouts 9/11 denialist conspiracy theories for some reason and is run by a guy who's homeboys with Alex Jones and David "Lizard People Are Our Overlords" Icke.

    Real good factfinding.

  • 'Nando||

    which sources to the Journal of Toxicology in Vitro

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Yup. Right alongside a bunch of links to activist websites and only after the obligatory hype and distortion.

    I'm sure you're also aware that one singular study has never proven anything, right? That it's really more about all the peer reviewing that comes after?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    You're not supposed to drink it, dummy.

  • Sevo||

    'Nando|3.3.12 @ 6:25PM|#
    "More evidence that Monsanto is poisoning mankind..."

    Nope.
    More evidence that 'Nando is an ignoramus.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    Heller, yes, of course Americans carry dieases and are possible terrorists, but since we have a record of who they are, it's easier to track them down. Which is my essential point-- being able to identify persons.

    Anyway, this is all just hilarious-- you'd freak out if someone dared to identify themselves as a Libertarian (even though they only held a few Libertarian positions). But any individual can just claim "American Citizenship" and that claim is to be honored as a sacred right with immediate granting of citizenship benefits, questioned by no one, ever. Right?

    Fuck! True Libertarianville must be an awesome place to live.

  • Almanian||

    ...but you're worried about the new Google Privacy Policies™, right?

  • ||

    OK, so you're in favor of these checkpoints so we can keep track of all Americans. Good to know.

    Also stop being a retard.

  • ||

    Each and every individual has a natural, inalienable right to travel unmolested by any badge wearing creep.

    The papers please society will soon be circling the drain.

  • ||

    Heller, yes, of course Americans carry dieases and are possible terrorists, but since we have a record of who they are, it's easier to track them down. Which is my essential point-- being able to identify persons.

    Yeah, like the Branch Davidians. Thank God our government can track down people and waste them.

    Of course, they killed those innocent folks but hadn't a clue about McVeigh.

    Fuck! True Libertarianville must be an awesome place to live.

    If only we had a chance to find out.

  • protefeed||

    Hell, I'd settle for even half-assed Libertariansville over the quasi-police-state we suffer under now.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's only going to get worse, prote. Fifty-fifty odds as to which Team will drop the Martial Law Shithammer, though.

  • Father Jack||

    Feck Islam, Mohammed and this ignorant judge. Drink! Arse! Girls!

  • Almanian||

    "One of these things is not like the others.
    Two of these things are kinda the same..."

    /Sesame Street

  • Mr Whipple||

    The judge dismissed the case, but I bet he still got hit with $50 for "court costs".

  • ||

    Is Martin the judge who banned the Zombie Thurgood Marshall Banjo Band

    ( We Want To Pick Your Brains! )

    from the Philadelphia Mummers parade ?

  • Mr. Cooter||

    cunt

  • Poopy Pants||

    I know you are, but what am I?

  • Mr. Cooter||

    cunt

  • Poopy Pants||

    I know you are, but what am I?

  • Mr. Cooter||

    cunt

  • Poopy Pants||

    I know you are, but what am I?

  • Mr. Cooter||

    cunt

  • Poopy Pants||

    I know you are, but what am I?

  • Mr. Cooter||

    cunt

  • Poopy Pants||

    I know you are, but what am I?

  • Mr. Cooter||

    cunt

  • Poopy Pants||

    I know you are, but what am I?

  • Mr. Cooter||

    cunt

  • Poopy Pants||

    I know you are, but what am I?

  • Mr. Cooter||

    cunt

  • Poopy Pants||

    I know you are, but what am I?

  • Max||

    Ron Paul is still a racist sack of shit.

  • Roaon PUaol's COCK||

    maxiepadster: go vote to reelect your documented killer of innocent black African children instead of the candidate that has never harmed a black person.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racist

    Read it, dumbshit.

    Then... start backpedaling. Or die in a fire.

  • Ron Paul||

    What the hell do I have to do with this topic?

  • WHat??||

    you're denying that Obama is a child-killer?

  • Extra Sausage (redux)||

    This is like the worst chat room ever.

  • F Hart||

    You'd love a little extra sausage in your fudge kitchen, wouldn't you?

  • ||

    In related news, a fist fight broke out when a bystander attacked a parade participant for wearing a "Zombie Richard Dawkins" costume.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    By this Judge's logic, it would have been apropos for Samuel L. Jackson to bumrush Billy Crystal at the Oscars.

  • Almanian||

    Fucking Rob Zombie. ALWAYS good.

    Oh, he's on Palladia. 2011 Download Festival.

    FUCK YEAH!

    As you were...

  • RI||

    -1, "FUCK YEAH" not preceded by "America"

  • ||

    Cumberland Country

    2nd set of eyes. Doesn't even require a dedicated proofreader.

    I think it's way past time that you setup a pre-screening section, where us ardent goldbrickers can do your proofreading for you.

  • ||

    (possibly a feature included with the oft-requested site registration.)

  • F Hart||

    This list is incomplete. It's not even very imaginative. You need to go spend some time with the Philly iron workers.

    Seriously, you could have, at least, gone to "Urban Dictionary".

    This is piss poor trollin'.

  • F Hart||

    Hmmm, it seems someone removed the comment I was responding to.

    (Yeah, I ended my sentence with a preposition, [asshole].)

  • Passé Fist||

    New Yorker.

    Now ya gone 'n done it, callin decent people NYorkers. Duel in Central Park, 3am, at José de Creeft's Alice in Wonderland. Bring your favorite weapon and be sure to yell that the stature is not bronze, but DIRTY COPPER!

  • MJ||

    900 character limit is website security theater.

    The terrorists have won.

  • RI||

    You don't want someone posting 10MB of text.

  • ||

    Constitutional rights are not just secularism, they're my culture … they're my very essence, my very being.

  • ||

    That actually makes a lot of sense dude. Wow.

    www.Been-Anon.tk

  • ||

    The atheist has grounds for appeal. He should appeal the judge's decision; he'll probably win. He should also hire a publicist if he can afford the bucks.

  • ||

    Remember tat asshole kid who had been "bullied and harassed" in Ohio, leading to his homicidal rampage?

    Yeah, looks like it was more about a jealous ex-boyfriend going after the next guy in line.

    I can't wait for all the idiots who claimed it was bullying to jump all over this misfit.

  • ||

    Of course, this kid is still in jail, which is a travesty.

    FTA: He will now face two counts of inducing panic, one count each of aggravated menacing and telecommunications harassment. All of the charges are first-degree misdemeanors.

    Facebook posts with some bluster, but no specific threats whatsoever.

  • RoboCain||

    Also, "an assault rifle"?

  • Which Kid?||

    Every time I try to read the article my eyes drift to the right and I start choosing sides in a battle I don't quite understand.

  • RoboCain||

    It's like that gay college kid who committed suicide after being outed on the internet, except he was already out, and it wasn't over the internet.

  • ||

    Good article

  • ||

    Every time I see a judge speaking on someone down from position of moral superiority on those court TV shows, I wonder why isn’t anyone telling the justice dispenser to shut up and simply do his/her work. I didn’t think judges actually moralize and berate people in real life. Even for a cheesy TV show it lookes humiliating and repulsive. Well, this breed of people has way too much power over our lives. Lawyers covertly trick the law, - judges overtly break it. It’s not enough for them to break the Constitution, - they insist on publicly putting you on your knees and giving you a moral flogging. I guess we need a special law, a law prohibiting judges from voicing their personal opinions and subjecting people to any “pedagogy” in courts.

  • Max||

    Ron Paul is a lying sack of racist shit.

  • ||

    "In fact, there was no "Sharia court,""

    We know that. The problem is, he allowed a muslim attacker to get away with a crime because the attacker's religion allowed him to. That's why it was called an act of sharia. It was not in accordance with our laws/rights, but rather sharia's.

    "Perce claims Elbayomy spun him around and grabbed his neck while trying to pull off his beard and his "Mohammed of Islam" sign"

    Elbayomy also claimed he did that, to a police officer who testified. He even did it on video/youtube. Pretending otherwise is a lie.

    The judge disregarded the testimony.

  • ||

    Since when do Americans have to respect any ideology? What makes any religion above reproach? The judge also disregarded valid eye-witness testimony. This judge is a joke, an incompetent dhimmi joke. Get this moron out of office.

  • ||

    An average 7th grader knows more about the Constitution than this jackass lunatic judge.

    What the hell has this country become?

    As I understand it, he's in an elected position; come on, voters, toss hiss @ss next chance you get. Or try to get him impeached.

  • ||

    TO: All
    RE: Ya'll Got This?

    Assaulting someone because you disagree with their religious-political philosophy is OKAY IF YOU'RE A MUSLIM.

    Welcome to Pennsylvania as 'Jolly Old England Ruined By Muslims'.

    Cathy obviously supports the judge who supports the idea that violence is evidence of REALPOLITIC and therefore worthy of forgiveness in the eyes of THIS 'judge'.

    To hell with the idea of 'equal justice under Law'. He just makes up the law as he goes along.

    In my professional, i.e., military career of 27 years in the infantry, this 'reservist' judge should be stripped of his rank and all benefits.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [The Truth will out....]

  • ||

    P.S. On further consideration....

    ...this 'judge' is an oath-breaker with regards to his oath to "....uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, against ALL enemies, foreign AND domestic...."

    He is blatantly in violation of that oath, in his capacity as a 'judge'.

  • ||

    P.P.S. Cathy is right there with him....

  • ||

    "Judge Martin's comments seem to suggest that Muslims are far less capable than Christians of dealing sensibly with insults or challenges to their faith. That does a serious disservice both to American democracy and to American Muslims."

    Sigh. You're confused. This has nothing to do with "dealing sensibly" with insults. Christians are not called upon by their holy book to kill those that insult their faith. If the bible said kill those that insult Jesus you may have an argument.

    So, to reiterate, the problem is not Muslims... The problem is Islam. And there's not a thing any of us can do about it. It is what it is.

  • ||

    Martin's implication that Islam is particularly sensitive to perceived insult might be given some weight, considering where he's spent several years of his military duty. Hard to say he's an inexperienced bigot.

  • ||

    "Richard Aubrey|3.5.12 @ 10:45AM|#
    Martin's implication that Islam is particularly sensitive to perceived insult might be given some weight, considering where he's spent several years of his military duty. Hard to say he's an inexperienced bigot."

    It has nothing to do with "sensitivity", it has to do with religious teachings. The tenets of Islam include killing those who insult Islam. Muslims that follow these teachings are simply practicing their faith.

    Non-muslims have a great deal of trouble understanding this. They think Muslims are "over-sensitive" or innately violent or something. They're not.... They are simply fulfilling their duty to their faith by physically attacking those that insult Islam.

  • ||

    "The main culprits are those who would sensationalize and twist facts to advance their agenda, be it atheism or Muslim-bashing."

    Actually, the main culprits are (1) a religious fanatic who can't be bothered to acquaint himself with the most basic idea of how the laws work in the country he has chosen to move to and (2) a robed ignoramus who apparently slept though his ConLaw classes (he didn't study under Prof Obama, did he?).

    What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 75?

    You Honor.

  • Christopher Taylor||

    On the tape, the judge clearly identifies himself as a Muslim. Is he really? I doubt he is, but nobody can insist he's definitely not, given the information we have.

  • ||

    Good insightful reporting. My younger brother is a judge and he was baffled at the magistrate's single-focus beratement. He asked "where was the chastisement for the other fellow who attacked another American for his beliefs--no matter how untasteful they may seem to be?". I think you have focused this on where the real story is--a public official trying to do good but not weighing his statements carefully before delivery.

  • ||

    "you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights"

    What bounds? Any limit on the first Amendment would have to come in the form of a subsequent amendment putting restrictions on the first. Last I checked, there was no such thing.

  • myfriend123||

    Nice article.

  • yorutomo||

    Voted Ireland's favourite painting: http://www.yorutomo-gaido.com/levitra

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