Freedom of Religion

Federal Appeals Court Endorses a Heckler's Veto of Provocative Preaching

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thatsunsportsmanlike.com

Two years ago, Ruben Chavez, Arthur Fisher, and Joshua DeLosSantos, members of a Christian evangelical group known as Bible Believers, attracted a hostile crowd while preaching hellfire and damnation at the Arab International Festival in Dearborn, Michigan. The crowd, which consisted mostly of children, pelted the three evangelists with water bottles and other trash. Police responded by threatening to arrest Chavez and his friends for disorderly conduct unless they left the festival. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, banishing the provocative preachers from the public festival was perfectly appropriate and did not violate their First Amendment rights.

In a ruling issued yesterday, the appeals court says video of the incident "demonstrates that [the Bible Believers'] speech and conduct intended to incite the crowd to turn violent." How so? "Within minutes after their arrival," Judge Bernice Donald writes in an opinion joined by Judge Samuel Mays, Chavez and his associates "began espousing extremely aggressive and offensive messages—e.g., that the bystanders would 'burn in hell' or 'in a lake of fire' because they were 'wicked, filthy, and sick'—and accused the crowd of fixating on 'murder, violence, and hate' because that was 'all [they] ha[d] in [their] hearts.' These words induced a violent reaction in short order; the crowd soon began to throw bottles, garbage, and eventually rocks and chunks of concrete. Moreover, members of the crowd can be heard to shout 'get them' and 'beat the s*** out of them'; one Bible Believer was pushed to the ground. Chavez's face was cut open and bleeding from where he had been struck by debris."

Because bystanders reacted violently, in other words, that must have been the reaction Chavez and his friends aimed to elicit. The implication is that they were deliberately inciting a riot, meaning their speech was not protected by the First Amendment. But the majority opinion is ambiguous on this point. It also suggests that the the Bible Believers' preaching was constitutionally protected but that making them do it elsewhere amounted to a reasonable "time, place, and manner" restriction in light of the crowd's hostility. "The threat of violence had grown too great to permit them to continue proselytizing," Donald writes. She explains that Dennis Richardson, deputy chief of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, "had a reasonable good faith belief that the threat of violence was too high because the Bible Believers had already been subjected to actual violence." 

In a powerful dissent, Judge Eric Clay rebukes his colleagues for endorsing a "heckler's veto," as reflected in Richardson's words to Chavez: "What you are saying to them and they are saying back to you is creating danger." Richardson and the other defendants conceded that the Bible Believers' speech was constitutionally protected, Clay notes, and for good reason: It did not qualify as incitement, which requires an intent to provoke "imminent lawless action," or as "fighting words," i.e., "those personally abusive epithets which, when addressed to the ordinary citizen, are, as a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke violent reaction." Clay observes that "fighting words are defined solely by their impact on the 'average person,'" not the "average Muslim child." The fact that the vast majority of people at the festival did not respond violently to the evangelists shows that their preaching, however obnoxious, did not qualify for this (dubious) exception to the First Amendment.

Confronted by citizens lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights and bystanders lawlessly punishing them for it, the police sided with the violent hecklers. Clay argues that they should instead have tried a little harder to calm the crowd (which, again, consisted mostly of rowdy children), because their first duty in this situation was to protect the peaceful party:

In my view, the video tape shows that Defendants did just about nothing to control the crowd as it grew and became agitated. Defendants only stepped in to inform Plaintiffs that the police were powerless and that Plaintiffs needed to leave under threat of arrest. This is not good faith—it is manufacturing a crisis as an excuse to crack down on those exercising their First Amendment rights.

By validating such police work, Clay warns, the court is inviting more violence and more censorship: 

Law enforcement is principally required to protect lawful speakers over and above law-breakers. If a different rule prevailed, this would simply allow for a heckler's veto under more extreme conditions. Indeed, hecklers would be incentivized to get really rowdy, because at that point the target of their ire could be silenced. More perniciously, a contrary rule would allow police to manufacture a situation to chill speech. Police officers could simply sit by as a crowd formed and became agitated. Once the crowd's agitation became extreme, the police could swoop in and silence the speaker. The First Amendment does not contain this large a loophole.

Cathy Young discussed an earlier case involving evangelists at the Arab International Festival in her 2011 essay "Fear of a Muslim America."

NEXT: Papers Please? St. Paul Cop Harassed Black Man Waiting For His Kids for ID, Caught on Tape

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  1. “According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, banishing the provocative preachers from the public festival was perfectly appropriate and did not violate their First Amendment rights.”

    Onion gets more and more exposure.

  2. Clay nailed it. This ruling is a travesty.

  3. Kids are smarter than this…

    Sticks and stones…

    1. Nobody teaches that anymore.

      It’s more like “Stick and stone are for breakin bones of people who say words that hurt me.”

      1. Nobody teaches that anymore.

        I do.

      2. ^^^This is fucking brilliant. Is this something you made up or does it come from somewhere else? Consider it stolen and used!

        1. I just made it up.

  4. I hope the plaintiffs plan to appeal. For all its faults, SCOTUS has been pretty good on 1A matters lately.

    1. Will the Left’s justices stand for the 1st Amendment when on of their disliked classes is making the claim, and one of their favored classes is the defendant?

  5. By this logic, every service and social function I attended as a child at our local First Baptist Church was inciting a riot.

    1. Baptists are intolerant. Tolerant people don’t tolerate intolerance.

  6. If anyone was behaving as a “heckler” it was the three evangelicals. They went to an Islamic festival and loudly and insistently insulted Islam and Muslims. You guys should read up on the jurisprudence on unwelcome speech to a captive audience.

    Freedom of speech does not imply the right to an audience.

      1. No, no…DORP.

      2. Now that’s a compelling argument. Did your mom drink out of the toilet when she was breastfeeding you?

        1. it was more intelligent than your comment.

    1. It wasn’t an “Islamic” festival, it was an “Arab” festival, you dorp!

      Last I heard, there were a few Arab Christians running around in the world.

      1. Wow, I totally misread that. Thanks for the correction. Of course this also means the evangelicals may have been misdirecting their claims of damnation for some of the audience.

        Still, they were a captive audience.

        1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 8:53PM|#
          “Still, they were a captive audience.”

          Is it possible for you to post without lying?

        2. Actually, no they weren’t. Just like the adults that kept walking into the festival, the kids could’ve ignored them and continued walking. They chose to crowd around the evangelists and attack them. Nothing “captive” about it.

      2. “Last I heard, there were a few Arab Christians running around in the world.”

        Well, ISIL and company are working hard to fix that perception.

    2. It was public property, not private. Everyone had the right to be there.

  7. This is going to get smacked down. SCOTUS has a pretty solid record on First Amendment issues and this is a double whammy of free expression and free exercise.

    And honestly the last thing we should be doing is coddling Muslims or any minority lest they become entrenched rather than assimilated into America political culture.

    1. It’s not coddling to not force a captive audience to put up with long-lasting, loud, insulting and derogatory speech. It has nothing to do with it being a minority that was targeted, I’d say the same about Christians accosted similarly at a Christian festival.

      1. It’s not coddling to not force a captive audience to put up with long-lasting, loud, insulting and derogatory speech.

        He’s right! Don Rickles should be shut down along with Triumph the Insult Dog!

        1. Do you know what a captive audience is?

          1. Is it like a studio audience? Or where the audience is behind bars?

            1. I think he’s confused. Or maybe just stupid.

          2. Do you know what a captive audience is?

            Irony is literally no longer possible.

      2. Force? The church forced everyone to come out into PUBLIC SPACE where people are free to say whatever they want as long as it isn’t inciting criminal behavior?

        1. Right, the Muslims had the option of leaving their own peaceful gathering and retreating home. And freedom would have been victorious because the three haters got their way! Yay!

          /sarcasm

          What about the Muslims’ right to peaceably assemble?

          1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 8:51PM|#
            “Right, the Muslims had the option of leaving their own peaceful gathering and retreating home.”
            Yes, the did.
            ————
            “And freedom would have been victorious because the three haters got their way! Yay!”
            Or they could stay and ignore the haters.

            “/sarcasm”
            Shame you haven’t yet /stupidity

            “What about the Muslims’ right to peaceably assemble?”
            Yeah, what about that?

          2. Assemble on private property and then ask them to leave.

            Otherwise, fuck off.

            1. So, no right to assemble. Got it.

              1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 8:58PM|#
                “So, no right to assemble. Got it.”{

                So, lie. Got it.

              2. No, apparently you don’t “got it”, idiot. The right to assemble applies to both groups, moron.

                1. Which group interfered with the other group’s right to assemble first?

                  1. The offended Arabs visiting violence on the Christnuts.

                  2. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:04PM|#
                    “Which group interfered with the other group’s right to assemble first?”

                    The people who threw stuff. Do I have to tell you everything?

                  3. You don’t quite grasp the difference between force and words, do you?

                    1. But those were words some people didn’t like, so they should stop and stuff!

                    2. I do dumbass.

                      What you seem not to grasp is that it’s impossible to have an ethnic festival while people are shouting insults toward you personally and your ethnicity in general.

                    3. What you seem not to grasp is that it’s impossible to have an ethnic festival while people are shouting insults toward you personally and your ethnicity in general.

                      And that gives them the right to pummel the idiot preachers unconscious?

                    4. And that gives them the right to pummel the idiot preachers unconscious?

                      Of course not. In a perfect world, everyone involved would have been thrown in jail. But it was easier for the cops to scare off the three disruptors than to take on the crowd too.

                    5. So aggravated assault is a crime until it becomes too much of a hassle for the police to enforce.

                    6. So aggravated assault is a crime until it becomes too much of a hassle for the police to enforce.

                      Where did I say that? the bible believers committed disorderly conduct, then subsequently the festivalgoers committed assault. The assault does not justify the prior disorderly conduct.

                    7. Where did I say that?

                      You said that when you wrote “But it was easier for the cops to scare off the three disruptors than to take on the crowd too.”

                      The assault does not justify the prior disorderly conduct.

                      And prior disorderly conduct sure as hell doesn’t justify assault.

                    8. Speech in a public square is not disorderly conduct, Tulpa, you fucking asshole.

                    9. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:19PM|#
                      …”But it was easier for the cops to scare off the three disruptors than to take on the crowd too.”

                      Just throwing random people in jail might stop a crime or two also.
                      You know who else decided the ends justify the means?

                    10. Ben Bernanke?

                    11. And that gives them the right to pummel the idiot preachers unconscious?

                      To the Left, it most certainly does.

                    12. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:11PM|#
                      “I do dumbass.”
                      Well, shithead, it certainly isn’t obvious.
                      —————-
                      “What you seem not to grasp is that it’s impossible to have an ethnic festival while people are shouting insults toward you personally and your ethnicity in general.”
                      I ask again: Is it possible for you to post without lying?

                    13. What you seem not to grasp is that it’s impossible to have an ethnic festival while people are shouting insults toward you personally and your ethnicity in general.

                      You sound like an amalgam of the worst parts of Bo, Tony and Buttplug.

                    14. “You sound like an amalgam of the worst parts of Bo, Tony and Buttplug.”

                      Sophistry, lies and stupidity, all for the price of one!

                    15. This argument seems very…Tulpical.

                    16. seems very…Tulpical.

                      I was thinking the same.

                    17. This argument seems very…Tulpical.

                      You know guys, this thread wasn’t ginning up too much commenting until this fella came along. So maybe there really is a Kochspiracy? We’ve been played for fools!

                    18. Tough shit. You have the right to your speech, the assholes have the right to theirs.

                      What you don’t have the right to do is initiate force. Speech is not force.

                    19. He doesn’t until he’s ready to make the government use force against you for your words. Then he understands the difference.

                    20. Duke|8.28.14 @ 9:13PM|#
                      “He doesn’t until he’s ready to make the government use force against you for your words. Then he understands the difference.”

                      Nope, the stupid goes deeper than that.
                      See below; if you call the cops, it’s not force-force!

                    21. Where did I say that dumbass?

                      I said it’s force either way, whether you exert it directly or call the cops.

                    22. Fuck off, Tulpa.

                  4. Seems to me it was the people throwing things.

          3. What about the Muslims’ right to peaceably assemble?

            These words induced a violent reaction in short order; the crowd soon began to throw bottles, garbage, and eventually rocks and chunks of concrete. Moreover, members of the crowd can be heard to shout ‘get them’ and ‘beat the s*** out of them’; one Bible Believer was pushed to the ground. Chavez’s face was cut open and bleeding from where he had been struck by debris.”

            At that point, they revoked that right of their own accord.

            Jus’ sayin’

            1. Every indication is that they would have been peaceably assembling had the Bible Believers not accosted them.

              1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:00PM|#
                “Every indication is that they would have been peaceably assembling had the Bible Believers not accosted them.”

                And every indication is also that they could have continued to do so.

              2. Every indication is that the bitch wouldn’t have a black eye had she had my damn dinner cooked when I got home.

                See how that works?

                1. No, I would hope you’re smart enough to see how that’s a terrible analogy. Otherwise you might forget to breathe soon.

                  1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:08PM|#
                    “No, I would hope you’re smart enough to see how that’s a terrible analogy.”
                    Perfect analogy. Now, take a deep breath…

                  2. So you’re going to dismiss the analogy with an insult, but not bother to explain how the logic of the analogy is faulty.

                    Pathetic.

                    1. Sorry Mr. “Mulatto” I don’t tutor basic logic for free.

                    2. I usually don’t tutor basic anthropology for free either, but I was kind enough to explain the difference between an “Arab” and a “Muslim” to you. So perhaps you’d extend me the same kindness?

                    3. Wow, you got a nitpick and you’re not going to let it go. How pathetic.

                      To summarize your error, you’re conflating activity with inactivity. In your analogy the woman had to give the abuser something he wanted, but had no right to, to avoid being punched. In this case, the festivalgoers’ peaceableness would have been assured by the Bible Believers merely letting them be and letting them exercise the rights that America is supposed to be about.

                    4. You are a moron Tulpa. The analogy is that in both circumstances force was initiated simply because one party was pissed off.

                    5. In your analogy the woman had to give the abuser something he wanted, but had no right to, to avoid being punched. In this case, the festivalgoers’ peaceableness would have been assured by the Bible Believers merely letting them be and letting them exercise the rights that America is supposed to be about.

                      *facepalm*

                      You have no fucking clue what I said, did you? The analogy actually concerns your apologia for the initiation of force. I’m not sure you are able to grasp that, as you are obviously somewhere on the autism spectrum. I’ll spell it out in clear, monosyllabic Anglo-Saxon, if someone is interfering with my right to peaceful assemble that doesn’t necessarily give me the right to attack them.

                      As an aside, your view of Arabs/Muslims must be very low as to you have consistently denied them any moral agency and act as if they were a dangerous rabid animal only capable of reacting to stimuli through violence.

                    6. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:21PM|#
                      “Sorry Mr. “Mulatto” I don’t tutor basic logic for free.”

                      Well, you seem to be lecturing in “stupid” for free.

                    7. Tulpa is allegedly a professor.

                    8. Tulpa is allegedly a professor.

                      He was also allegedly a drug counselor while he was posing as Rollo. I don’t think anything he said about his background can be considered trustworthy.

                    9. It’s the fucking Internet, nobody’s trustworthy.

                      All that matters is logic. Everything else is delusion.

                    10. Fuck off, Tulpa. Your logic is shot full of holes and you have absolutely no credibility. Go suck start a shotgun, you fuckbucket.

              3. Every indication is that they would have been peaceably assembling had the Bible Believers not accosted them.

                Help me, help me, I’m being assaulted with words.

      3. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 8:43PM|#
        …”I’d say the same about Christians accosted similarly at a Christian festival.”

        So at least your catholic in your stupidity.

      4. The Muslims festival goers were held captive at the festival ? They couldn’t leave ?

        Why, that’s kidnapping.

    2. How would you define a “pretty solid record on First Amendment issues?”

      Would it be a record replete with decisions in which the court repudiated arguments that the FA was not absolute and that the framers had not authorized the court to make exceptions?

      Would it be a record replete with opinions in which the court rejected arguments that doomsday would ensue should the FA be literally applied?

      Would it be a record replete with eloquent articulations of reason in support of the proposition that the framers wanted tribunals to be impenetrable bulwarks against each and every effort to vitiate individual liberty, particularly if such efforts were predicated upon speculation of imminent catastrophe if the FA was literally construed?

      You do know who carved out an exception for “fighting words”, don’t you?

      Yeah, the entity that you think has a “solid record.”

      What a joke.

      1. Would it be a record replete with opinions in which the court rejected arguments that doomsday would ensue should the FA be literally applied?

        The same people who think the amendment saying “Congress shall make no law” applies to laws not made by Congress?

        Oh wait, you’re only literalist when it aligns with your ideology.

        1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:03PM|#
          “The same people who think the amendment saying “Congress shall make no law” applies to laws not made by Congress?”

          Oh, goody. Now which laws would those be?

          1. all the laws made by states, since no state legislature is called Congress.

            1. The Fourteenth Amendment and the incorporation doctrine would beg to differ with you.

              1. Not if you’re a literalist.

                I’m simply asking Mr. “Libertymike” to be consistent in his literalism.

                1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:33PM|#
                  “I’m simply asking Mr. “Libertymike” to be consistent in his literalism.”

                  No, you’re simply showing how sophistry fails.

              2. I wuz pretty sure it wuz gonna be some sophomoric claim about states.
                That or a claim that social groups make laws, too!

              3. And if you’re going to quote SCOTUS doctrine to win an argument, you better be prepared to lose every argument with the statists about the commerce clause because SCOTUS doctrine is entirely in their favor.

            2. Fail.
              States may not outlaw rights, either.

              1. Because you say so? I thought we were talking about what the Constitution says.

                1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:34PM|#
                  “Because you say so? I thought we were talking about what the Constitution says.”

                  Oh, LOOK!
                  Random ignoramus called on bullshit decides more obscure mendacity is the ticket!

                2. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

                  English, mutherfucker, do you speak it?

                  1. “English, mutherfucker, do you speak it?”
                    Oh, no it wasn’t about that! It was about whether pedantry is sufficient to call himself a winner!

                    1. He’s a weiner, all right.

                  2. OK, which part, in a literal interpretation, says that if Congress can’t do something, legislatures can’t?

                    1. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

                    2. What is this a fucking Rosary?

                      Repeating the text is not an argument. The text doesn’t say what you’re arguing is true, so you’re going to have to explain it.

                    3. NO STATE SHALL MAKE OR ENFORCE ANY LAW

                    4. Good so far. Where do we get to the part about speech?

                    5. Holy shit you are one dumb motherfucker.

    1. If that’s humiliating, she ought get a load of Obo’s hat-in-hand act in San Francisco.

    2. “It may all be legal “

      But KOCHTOPUS!!!1!one!!

      I guess they’ve trained their flock that Koch is bad, so that’s all she needs to indict him with?

      1. +1 Emmanuel Goldstein

      2. Yep, the Koch brothers control all of government while George Soros, Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffett influence none of it.

    3. So Walker is owned by the Kochs, because he’s encouraged others to donate to Kochs’ organization?

      Shouldn’t the money be flowing the other way?

  8. Those Muslim kids are taught early to respond violently to unwelcome speech.

    1. These crazy-ass preachers accost people in Times Square daily.

      I’ve never heard of a mob of New Yorkers throwing stones and garbage at them.

      1. I’ve never understood why New Yorker’s for whom the characteristic who gives a fuck attitude is a badge of honor turn into such insufferable busybodies when it comes election time.

      2. You mean the “captive audience” in Times Square, that somehow manages to simply ignore them?

  9. So, is Sloth today’s Mary?

    1. I can’t tell if it’s a sock or a random ignoramus who wandered by.

  10. OK how about this as an analogy.

    You’re standing in line at the DMV with your wife and kid getting licenses transfered, renewed, whatever. After an hour you’re halfway through the line. Then the person behind you in line starts accosting you and your family, calling your wife a whore, your kids cocksuckers, and you a pussy, along with other insults and derogations.

    Would taking forceful action against this person be “heckling” their wonderful free speech? Or should you be a good libertarian and just retreat to your home, tail fully between legs, and take a different day off from work to go to the DMV, hoping you don’t have a jerk behind you this time.

    1. By “forceful action” you mean “punch him”, right?

      1. Having the authorities remove him would also be force, and according to your position it would not be legitimate force.

        1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:23PM|#
          “Having the authorities remove him would also be force, and according to your position it would not be legitimate force.”

          Yes it would. Employing thugs to work in your behalf in no way relieves you of being a thug.

        2. At least compare apples to apples. The guys in this case were quoting what’s written in the bible. Your hypothet is what the bible tells people not to do.

          1. Why should I give a shit about how what they’re saying aligns with the bible in a matter of secular law?

            1. Because saying “No, you’re wrong because the bible says THIS!!!” Is not the same as “Your wife is a whore and your kids are cocksuckers!!!”

              But then I’m sure you….nah you’re too stoopid to have known that.

        3. according to your position it would not be legitimate force.

          If they are the authorities, then ispo facto they have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

          Try again.

          1. Having a monopoly on legitimate use of force does not make all one’s uses of force legitimate.

            Though it would be funny to apply your newfound respect for the legitimacy of all government use of force to other threads on this site.

            1. legitimacy of all government

              Wait! That’s equivocation! In your previous post you used the term “authorities”, now you equivocated that to “government”. They are not synonymous.

              Informal fallacies are usually taught in the first semester of symbolic logic, by the way.

              1. In your previous post you used the term “authorities”, now you equivocated that to “government”. They are not synonymous.

                Name a person or group who would have been considered “authorities” but not part of the government, sophist.

                1. Security guards? Mall cops? Superheroes from a certain Warren Ellis comic before the Wildstorm universe was subsumed into the prime DC universe?

                  1. Do security guards and mall cops have “monopoly on legitimate use of force” as you claimed the “authorities” did?

                  2. And we’re talking about a DMV, not a mall or a bank. Keep ignoring context, it helps you dig an ever deeper hole.

                    1. A DMV doesn’t have security guards?

                      C’mon son!

                    2. Are DMV security guards agents of the government, smarty?

                      You’ve already been shown to contradict yourself in your attacks and you continue to attack. So fun is it to watch you step on rake after rake like the Sideshow Bob you are at heart. Oh look, here comes another one.

                    3. I have no interest in playing pigeon chess with you anymore.

                      That you have no argument for your apologia of violence committed by the festival attendees is clear as you can only sputter insults.

                      You have no been added to my fascr filter.

                      Intellectual checkmate, I win.

                    4. Oh look, someone’s taking their ball and going home.

                2. “Name a person or group who would have been considered “authorities” but not part of the government, sophist.”

                  Why the hall monitor at a private school! Do I have to tell you everything?

                  1. Did your hall monitor have a monopoly on legitimate force?

                    1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 11:51PM|#
                      “Did your hall monitor have a monopoly on legitimate force?”

                      Is your goal-post on wheels?

                    2. Here’s what your buddy said and I was responding to:

                      Heroic Mulatto|8.28.14 @ 9:35PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

                      If they are the authorities, then ispo facto they have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

                      Disavow him or answer the question.

          2. If they are the authorities, then ispo facto they have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

            You’re using Max Weber’s definition of government, not “authorities” here, so you yourself had accepted the equivalence of the terms.

            1. Hey Tulpa, how many other socks you running tonight?

              Do you think a new handle will hide the fact that you are a deceptive asshole?

            2. That’s ridiculous. And interestingly enough Weber is one of the first Google hits for the term “monopoly on the legitimate use of force”. Hmmmmm…

              But anyway, the monopoly of use of force is a concept used all the time by ancaps when discussing how private police forces would contract for that monopoly. Are you suggesting folks like Robert P. Murphy accept Weber’s definition of the state?

              1. And interestingly enough Weber is one of the first Google hits for the term “monopoly on the legitimate use of force”.

                Yes, because it’s a famous thing that he wrote. Just like if you google “four score and seven years ago” the first few links are certainly going to mention Abraham Lincoln, or “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is probably going to bring up links related to Charles Dickens. What are you trying to imply? Oh sorry I forgot you’re filtering me so you don’t have to justify your insinuations.

                the monopoly of use of force is a concept used all the time by ancaps when discussing how private police forces would contract for that monopoly. Are you suggesting folks like Robert P. Murphy accept Weber’s definition of the state?

                Many ancaps probably do. Ancaps don’t deny the existence of the state concept, they just want to get rid of the state (while, as you note, attempting to replace many of its useful features, such as police forces, with something arranged voluntarily).

    2. “Would taking forceful action against this person be “heckling” their wonderful free speech?”

      YES!
      Is that clear?

      1. In the Sevo-ocracy one can get through the line at the DMV in 2 minutes just by being rude and making everyone else leave.

        1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:24PM|#
          “In the Sevo-ocracy one can get through the line at the DMV in 2 minutes just by being rude and making everyone else leave.”

          Ah, yes, when called on bullshit, try a diversion!
          Always a winning move.

          1. Just taking your cracked dogma to its logical conclusion.

            You shit the bed, now sleep in it.

            1. Tulpa, your new name makes you no less a moron.

            2. Maybe Tulpa.
              Get called on bullshit, try diversion, lie and claim a win!
              Could be Mary also; the sock McDougal was pulling that same crap late last week.

              1. McDougal was Mary. This is our Law and Order “Libertarian”. I’m certain.

                1. He always did have a soft spot for Dearborn, if I remember correctly.

                2. …and he hasn’t denied it. I have no doubt.

              2. The “If they weren’t guilty they wouldn’t have been arrested” thrust is very Tulpa.

                1. Except nobody was arrested here.

                  1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:52PM|#
                    “Except nobody was arrested here.”

                    Man, the stupid just oooozes out!

                2. As is the resort to pedantry, misdirection, etc.
                  If you can’t win, try to baffle ’em with bullshit; Tulpa was famous for presuming he was smart enough to get away with it.

                  1. It’s misdirection to correctly point out that you never said what someone accuses you of saying? A slanderer’s paradise you’ve crafted.

                    1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 9:57PM|#
                      “It’s misdirection to correctly point out that you never said what someone accuses you of saying? A slanderer’s paradise you’ve crafted.”

                      Does the stupid get between your toes?

                  2. Tulpa was famous for presuming he was smart enough to get away with it.

                    Whomever he was, it’s over. As you can see, we’ve won.

                    1. He’s still at it.

                    2. He can be at it all he wants. I, for one, have him filtered. And besides, we won. That he’s not lucid enough to concede defeat only proves that he is a gibbering, raving, violent lunatic who should be avoided at all costs. There is nothing rational behind his utterances; they are akin more to a shrill asemic caterwaul.

                    3. I’m not filtering you because your arrogance is amusing.

                      Anyone who disagrees with you and doesn’t come around to your point of view is a violent lunatic… right after you argue that words are not force.

                      You tried to nitpick and sophistry me about “authorities” vs “government” and then ran away (declaring victory) when I caught you explicitly contradicting yourself, and I’m the lunatic with no rationality. Sure.

                    4. Shut the fuck up Tulpa. You have zero credibility here.

                    5. And here I thought logic was more important than credibility. Maybe I’m at the wrong magazine.

                    6. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 10:16PM|#
                      “And here I thought logic was more important than credibility.”
                      Well, it IS. And you fail.

                      “Maybe I’m at the wrong magazine.”
                      Maybe you’re just an ignoramus.

                    7. And 30 minutes after he was intellectually checkmated, he is still having a temper tantrum.

                      Doesn’t he get that we won? Decisively.

                      Must be his mental illness. I feel kind of sorry for him.

                    8. I take it you’re not really ignoring me then?

                    9. I don’t know what you wrote, because I have you filtered, but I see your name under every single new post. I’ll just assume that you conceded that you were placed in intellectual checkmate and now you are apologizing for your puerile name-calling.

                    10. So anyone you don’t like is assumed to be “having a temper tantrum” if they dare speak after you tell them to stop.

                      You’d fit right in in some government enforcement agencies… assuming you’re not in one already.

                    11. Heroic Mulatto|8.28.14 @ 10:44PM|#
                      “I don’t know what you wrote, because I have you filtered, but I see your name under every single new post”

                      I really don’t know who s/he is, but s/he is still claiming s/he won, since the tide comes in and the tide goes out and you can’t explain THAT!
                      Honest debate is simply beyond those who hark statism on either end of the spectrum.

                    12. Not much of a feat. Invincible ignorance always wins, hence the name.

                    13. Why won’t you answer me Tulpa? Because you’re outed and don’t want to get caught in yet another lie?

                      You kinda fucking suck. Discovered after what, 3 days?

                      Fuck off you lying piece of shit. Time to get a new handle and try again. Fucking loser!

                    14. I have no obligation to tell you who I am.

                      It is odd that someone would have the same name in real life as an Ayn Rand character. Or… you’re covering up your identity too, liar.

                    15. That line is a dead giveaway. If you’re planning on sticking around, why change the handle?

                      It’s pointless. 2-3 posts and we know it’s you. Do you get a kick out of beating filters? Put that passion to use and go work for email spammers.

                    16. I’ve been Fd’A since I started commenting online. I use my moniker as I wish to remain anonymous, BUT, I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve said under this moniker. In fact, I’m proud of it.

                      Unlike you, who has resorted to deceptive practices and fucked with people for no other reason that you are a sleazebag who enjoys fucking with people.

                      You are a vile worm Tulpa.

                    17. You kinda fucking suck. Discovered after what, 3 days?

                      In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

                    18. Hahahaha.

                      Inflated sense of self? No way you AREN’T Tulpa.

        2. Well it really does suck that the government forces us to go to the DMV, where people can engage in unlimited and unrestricted free speech, and we have to put up with them.

          Maybe the solution is for the state not to own public land.

          1. He’ll, most places you can just renew/change your address on your drivers license online.

    3. And I’m still waiting to hear about the laws not made by Congress.
      Or was that just random bullshitting?

    4. I always use the pay-for-service private DMV contractors, because I value my time highly enough to get it over with sooner. And those locations are most definitely private property, so if some random jackhole starts harranguing me, I’ll ask the staff to request that he stop, or that he leave.

    5. The analogy kind of breaks down in that attendance of this very public festival on public property wasn’t compulsory as is state licensing, nor was the audience corralled into a queue from which they could not leave. Your “captive audience” line of bullshit is still bullshit.

  11. So Tulpa is back. Swell.

    1. He got tired of “Bo”. Decided to run a new sock.

      1. Bo’s not Tulpa. Tulpa can at least handle basic HTML.

  12. OT here’s an odd one:

    http://news.yahoo.com/disputed…..nance.html

    A tanker near Texas loaded with $100 million of disputed Iraqi Kurdish crude has disappeared from satellite tracking, the latest development in a high stakes game of cat-and-mouse between Baghdad and the Kurds

    1. Interesting. You can track vessels with this website in real time. It’s really neat:

      https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/

  13. Sounds like hootie and the blowfish to me dude.

    http://www.CryptAnon.tk

  14. When I was at the University of Tennessee they had street preachers who would hang out on-campus. Once when I was waiting to cross at a crosswalk, a lady street-preacher with what I presume were her 2 elementary-aged daughters yelled out “Girls, if you’re going to act like a whore, you might as well get paid for it!” I found it hilarious.

  15. Sloth Fratelli’s DMV analogy is weak because being part way through a line at the DMV is not equivalent to being outside at a festival. And criticizing someone’s religion is not racism or ethnic bigotry.

    The Bible Believers were obnoxious, but once other people began assaulting them, that was the far greater offense. Sure, it was “easier” for the police to threaten to arrest them, but an obvious miscarriage of justice. If a gay guy gets beaten up for going into a redneck bar, you don’t arrest him and not his assailants because it’s “easier.”

    Once again, members of Religion of Peace? make themselves look good. Were these some of the “moderate Muslims” we’re always hearing about?

    1. The evangelicals in this story aren’t exactly covering themselves with honor here either. Won’t hold my breath waiting for you to attack their religion, though.

      1. Yelling that you’re going to hell unless you accept Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior does not equal violently assaulting people for expressing an opinion.

        The Christians had a right to be obnoxious and the Muslims did not have a right to throw shit at them. End of story. This will get struck down by a higher court.

        Now fuck off.

        1. I never said the Arabs* who assaulted them had a right to do so.

          * I await HM correcting you snottily as he did me.

          1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 10:31PM|#
            “I never said the Arabs* who assaulted them had a right to do so.”

            Anyone else see the weasel who just slipped through here?

            1. Anyone else see the weasel who just slipped through here?

              Yes, and his name is Tulpa.

        2. My problem with the analogy is that the way a normal person would have resolved this dilemma is by contacting the property owner. If none was around, then one can try to escort the disruptive person off of premises. In no sense is it appropriate to pummel the speaker into unconsciousness through mob violence as a first recourse, or really any recourse in a non-violent scenario.

          1. Agreed.

            But the property owner in this case is the govt. And you guys would be up in arms if they had just called the cops and had the Bible Believers removed, too.

            1. I don’t know who “you guys” are, but that would have been an appropriate way to handle it IMO (assuming that the public area had been cordoned off for a specific person for that time period, of course and that the street preachers could preach outside the cordoned-off area and return after the event). I’ve managed and organized large events like this for charities I’ve worked for; this type of stuff happens all the time at religiously-oriented events and a normal person can deal with it without fanfare or actualized (much less spontaneous) violence. Most of the time, taking the disruptive presence to the side and talking to them is enough.

              That’s not the way it went down, which is why the assembled crowd of violent protesters are rightly being described as a bunch of savages and why no one cares about the street preachers. The street preachers are not a big problem in society or at these events (nor do they tell you anything about the state of Christianity). A Muslim crowd devolving into a violent, spastic mob at an instance of what is essentially a fairly normal annoyance or disruption with scarce reaction from their coreligionists is a problem which tells us much about the Dearborn community.

              1. OK, but Mr Sullum is condemning the police for removing the Bible Believers. Sullum’s position would be the same even if the crowd hadn’t attacked them.

                1. The question is, who is the authority to make that call?

                  I can get behind the organizers of the event being that authority — in a sense, that part of the public square was placed under their ownership for the duration of the activity and so if they contacted the police asking for an eviction, I can buy that this was legitimate.

                  If, OTOH, the police arrived sight unseen and escorted away the Bible Believers, that’s a different can of worms — the violence which resulted from the incident was in no way a reasonable response to the speech, and the Bible Believers cannot be held responsible. So the argument presented by the court falls flat — the police should not have the authority to simply stop someone else from speaking because (in their judgement) said speech is inflammatory.

                  The proper authority in that area was an appropriate question in this case, and the only question of importance. The court’s argument regarding inflammation of the crowd was nonsense, and the violence inflicted by the crowd could not simply be held as a given by anyone who ascribes agency to individuals.

              2. The other problem is that, especially because this was a public square, it is a First Am issue and the time/place/content restrictions on speech are (justifiably) broader than your private property rights. If I see a homeless man pissing in a park, I can’t kick him out on my authority in the same way I could if he were on my property, much less beat him into unconsciousness. If that same homeless man is talking about the virtues of socialism, I still can’t beat him to a pulp. There are really no contexts where an act of speech in a public (or semi-public) sphere justifies a citizen using violence simply to stop that speech from continuing. It is disturbing that a court decides to give this right to a Muslim crowd (for little apparent reason).

                So yes, the crowd (and individuals thereof) did have options which they could have exercised to remove a disruptive person. This does not justify their actions — in fact, it makes those actions worse in my eyes.

                1. There are really no contexts where an act of speech in a public (or semi-public) sphere justifies a citizen using violence simply to stop that speech from continuing.

                  And where did I say that it did?

                  In fact I explicitly stated that all of them should have been arrested, the Believers for disorderly conduct and the assaulters for assault. Yet everyone is ignoring this.

                  1. Speech in the public square IS NOT disorderly conduct you ignorant fuck. It is a Constitutionally protected right. Fuck you Rolo!

                  2. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 11:01PM|#
                    “And where did I say that it did?”

                    Yep, there goes that weasel again!

                2. And the court case being discussed is NOT about the violence of the Arabs there. It has absolutely nothing to do with that. It is about the police removing the evangelical preachers from the festival under threat of arrest.

                  1. I’ll repeat what I said above:

                    If the event organizers had contacted the Bible Believers and made clear their preferences, and then called the cops to remove them I would be in agreement. What seems to have happened is that the cops unilaterally decided to restrict the Bible Believers’ speech because it was “too dangerous”. It is the difference between me kicking you out after a heated argument, and having to call the cops on you — and the cops randomly kicking you out because we are in the middle of an argument and the cop perceives that this discussion may lead to violence. I have the right to say what I want unless the appropriate authority says otherwise — and the cops are not the appropriate arbiter for what constitutes appropriate speech on a given parcel of public property.

      2. Won’t hold my breath waiting for you to attack their religion, though.

        I just said that they were obnoxious. The big difference is, how many violent attacks are made in the name of Christianity every day (or month or year or decade)? Compare that to the number of violent attacks made in the name of Islam. There’s no contest.

        1. So it has nothing to do with this story, is what you’re saying, since it was an Arab festival, not a Mulsim one.

          You’ve got it out for Islam and will attack it in any story that’s remotely related.

  16. So, yelling “Jesus” in a crowd of Arabs? Agin the lore.

  17. the bystanders would ‘burn in hell’ or ‘in a lake of fire’ because they were ‘wicked, filthy, and sick’?and accused the crowd of fixating on ‘murder, violence, and hate’ because that was ‘all [they] ha[d] in [their] hearts.’

    The crowd, I’m sure, responded in a way to totally disprove their violent nature and the content of the preachers’ language…

    These words induced a violent reaction in short order; the crowd soon began to throw bottles, garbage, and eventually rocks and chunks of concrete. Moreover, members of the crowd can be heard to shout ‘get them’ and ‘beat the s*** out of them’; one Bible Believer was pushed to the ground. Chavez’s face was cut open and bleeding from where he had been struck by debris.”

    Oh wait no, they didn’t. It strikes me that criminalizing the telling of a truth is at least part of what the 1st is intended to prevent.

  18. I wonder if the children throwing trash at the Christian bible thumpers were Arab Christians or Arab Muslims. Just kidding, I really don’t wonder about that.

    Because bystanders reacted violently, in other words, that must have been the reaction Chavez and his friends aimed to elicit.

    Is “bystanders” the new PC term for Muslims?

    1. Don’t have to dig too deep to find the religious bigots at Reason these days.

      Because we all know that Christians NEVER commit acts of violence.

      1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 10:59PM|#
        “Don’t have to dig too deep to find the religious bigots at Reason these days.”

        “these days”?
        Interesting.

      2. To Sloth, a “religious bigot” is someone who notices that the vast majority* of religious violence in the world today is committed in the name of one particular religion.

        (*I never said other religious violence doesn’t happen, particularly in the past, but let’s talk about now and the last few decades.)

        1. “The vast majority of murders are committed with guns, therefore gun owners should be treated as murderers.”

          Do you agree with that statement, oddball?

          1. Inapt analogy. I am not saying all gun owners are murderers, or should be treated as such. I am not saying all Muslims are violent, or should be treated as such. But you have to be ideologically blind to miss the fact that religious violence tends to come from one religion these days. Recognizing that indisputable fact isn’t “bigotry,” it’s “reality.”

            1. The point is that that “fact” (which you haven’t proven, but I’ll accept for the sake of arggh) is irrelevant… as irrelevant as the fact that most murders are committed with guns.

              Once again, members of Religion of Peace? make themselves look good. Were these some of the “moderate Muslims” we’re always hearing about?

              Perhaps you could explain how you’re just “recognizing facts” with this little tidbit. As opposed to insinuating that all Muslims are extremists.

              1. Most murders are not committed with guns. Remember, “death by gun” also includes suicides in the Government’s eyes.

                1. Umm, no. Guns are used in 60-70% of homocides in the US.

    2. You’re a bit thin-skinned Sloth.

      Everyone get mocked and ridiculed here. You want to carve out a special exemption for Muslims?

      1. I’m not a Muslim, genius. Don’t have a high tolerance for bigotry when it’s directed at others, though, so you may want to re-calibrate your attitudes a bit if you don’t want bad blood.

        1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 11:55PM|#
          …”you may want to re-calibrate your attitudes a bit if you don’t want bad blood.”

          Sorry, twit, BS gets called.

        2. I am a bigot and you don’t tolerate bigots. Doesn’t that make you a bigot too?

          I’m tepid on Ayn Rand, but she got one thing right for sure, ‘judge and be prepared to be judged’.

          1. No, it doesn’t. I don’t tolerate bigoted behavior, you don’t tolerate religions. Big difference.

            Your “joke” was stupid and unfunny in addition to being bigoted. I’ve not contested with the lions of this blog to be pilloried by the babboons.

            1. If you are an Orthodox Jew, for example, you believe that you are of the ‘Chosen People’. Your brain has bigotry diode.

              1. The point of civilization and education is to remedy the thinking errors and disorderly desires hardwired into our brains.

                1. Sloth Fratelli|8.29.14 @ 12:35AM|#
                  “The point of civilization and education is to remedy the thinking errors and disorderly desires hardwired into our brains.”

                  You should give it a try.

              1. Sloth’s bigotry toward baboons is duly noted.

            2. …you don’t tolerate religions.

              I’m too keen on the Islam religion. So there.

  19. It did not qualify as incitement, which requires an intent to provoke “imminent lawless action,” or as “fighting words,” i.e., “those personally abusive epithets which, when addressed to the ordinary citizen, are, as a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke violent reaction.” Clay observes that “fighting words are defined solely by their impact on the ‘average person,'” not the “average Muslim child.”

    So “nigger” isn’t a fighting word when addressing a throng of African-Americans, because most people in the general society aren’t black? You’re getting a bit too cute with the semantics.

    1. Sloth Fratelli|8.28.14 @ 10:57PM|#
      …”So “nigger” isn’t a fighting word when addressing a throng of African-Americans, because most people in the general society aren’t black? You’re getting a bit too cute with the semantics.”

      You’re not getting smarter.

    2. The entire “fighting words” doctrine is an absurdity that imbues words with mystical powers. But that aside, “nigger” isn’t a “fighting word” in almost any context either (shocking as it may be for you to learn, even white supremacists have 1st amendment rights), nor is a racial epithet analogous to telling someone they are going to burn in hell for believing in the wrong god. Even in “those dastardly words made me do it” land, not all personal insults are created equal.

      1. The entire “fighting words” doctrine is an absurdity that imbues words with mystical powers.

        Really? You don’t think uttering certain words is likely to cause the object of those words to feel insulted, and if the utterances continue, to fight you. Care to test that belief out or is it one of those libertarian dogma things? I mean, there should be no problem if you walk down the street in Harlem calling black people “nigger”. Anyone who shies away from doing that must be superstitious.

        1. You don’t think uttering certain words is likely to cause the object of those words to feel insulted…

          Feeling insulted is not a justification for initiating a fight. That’s why the doctrine is bullshit. Human beings have agency. Words cannot overtake our rational minds and force us to do things against our will. One person’s willingness to start a fight because he feels insulted has no proper consideration in the rights of others to say things that make him feel insulted. Actionable threats (i.e., a knife-wielding person tells you “I’m gonna kill you!”) are the only words that should ever justify curtailing free speech rights.

          1. Doesn’t need to be justification, only likelihood of provoking unrest balanced against the amount of ideas/information being expressed by the speech. In the real world there have to be tradeoffs. We can’t allow speech acts like death threats (as you note) or perjury to have first amendment protections, no matter what the ideology says.

            Calling someone nigger does not communicate any idea content, its sole purpose is to insult and incite.

            1. Doesn’t need to be justification, only likelihood of provoking unrest balanced against the amount of ideas/information being expressed by the speech.

              Right. That’s why it’s bullshit. Do you enjoy repeating yourself?

              We can’t allow speech acts like death threats (as you note) or perjury to have first amendment protections, no matter what the ideology says.

              Well, thankfully, there is no ideology under which death threats and perjury (not to mention fraud) are granted protection.

              Calling someone nigger does not communicate any idea content, its sole purpose is to insult and incite.

              I guess there’s no such thing as live hip hop then.

              1. Btw, sarc aside, to your last point: calling someone any personal insult or epithet most certainly does communicate an idea or content. Usually it’s derision. Those words do not justify or mitigate the agency of the recipient. It is specifically because of mobs of thugs with no impulse control that the 1A was created. The likelihood of some word or combination of words to cause mobs of thugs with no impulse control to behave like mobs of thugs with no impulse control shouldn’t have any bearing on the rights of the speaker to say those words. The onus is on the mob of thugs with no impulse control to behave like adults. The court’s “fighting words” exception to the 1A is a joke.

  20. I’ve watched an obnoxious Christian preacher berate people on the UC Berkeley campus, using similar language. Oddly, nobody assaulted him. Some laughed, some mocked him, some tried to argue, and lots of people ignored him, but nobody threw anything.

    1. And that’s Cal, for pete’s sake!

    2. Was he standing in the middle of a frat party doing this?

      A classroom?

      A meeting of the womyn’s studies activist group?

      If he’s just standing on a path where people are just walking by to get somewhere else, it’s not remotely comparable.

      1. If he’s just standing on a path where people are just walking by to get somewhere else, it’s not remotely comparable.

        … even though that’s the exact situation at play in the original story? How is an open-air, outdoor, public festival in any way analogous in your mind to a DMV queue, a frat house, a classroom or a private meeting? Jesus fuck.

        1. Because people hang out at a festival, they don’t just pass through.

          Have you ever left your house? You seem incredibly unfamiliar with how humans behave.

          1. And at an outdoor, open-air, public festival, people can “hang out” in any number of spaces. They are not confined, and certainly not to the extent they would be inside a classroom.

            Have you ever left your house? You seem incredibly unfamiliar with how humans behave.

            Coming from somebody who apparently couldn’t differentiate between an outdoor music festival and a house party, the irony is palpable.

            1. And at an outdoor, open-air, public festival, people can “hang out” in any number of spaces. They are not confined, and certainly not to the extent they would be inside a classroom.

              If they want to partake in certain activities in the festival you are essentially pinned down to the location of that activity. Again, I’m amazed that you don’t understand how festivals work.

              If you want to eat a gyro with your family, you can’t walk away from the gyro stand when the Believers with their pig’s head on a stick (might want to double check the story at a different site if you want to get facts that don’t help Reason’s position on the issue) show up calling Mohammed a pedophile and saying you’re going to burn in hell for having nothing but violence in your heart.

              1. None of the attractions was blockaded by the demonstrators. If you didn’t want to hear what they had to say, you had acres of property in which to hang out and dozens of activities in which you could engage. Even if they were within earshot of a particular event or activity, tough fucking shit. It’s a public space. Ignore it like an adult, or in the absence of any impulse control, go find something else to do where you won’t be “triggered”. 250,000 people managed to attend the same event without going apeshit over 3 guys telling them they’re going to hell.

                1. Yeah, enjoy that festival with someone holding a pig’s head on a stick over you and calling you a violent hellbound heathen. Talk about a heckler’s veto.

                  For all your criticism of the maturity of the Arabs at the festival, there’s none left for the three imbeciles who behaved like utterly spoiled brats blatantly trying to push adults’ buttons.

                2. Sullum’s telling of the story would have you believe that the sole justification for believing the speech was inciteful was because of the crowd’s reaction; that is of course not true if you look at a non-REason source (always recommended these days) for additional facts that don’t help Reason’s position.

                  The court also considered the nature of the “protest” itself, particularly the pig’s head on a stick (how in the world could Sullum leave that out?) and calling Mohammed a pedophile. These are clearly intended to incite Muslims.

                  1. Oh, so Muslims can’t be expected to restrain themselves like civilized people when their religion is mocked?

                    Gee, that sounds like awfully patronizing reasoning, the notion that people can’t be trusted to respond to ideas like reasonable adults.

                    That also seems to run contrary to the Westboro church ruling where SCOTUS unanimously said that GOD HATES FAGS and THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS was protected speech outside of soldier funerals.

                    Why don’t you explain, shit for brains, why pig’s head on a stick is taboo but GOD HATES DEAD SOLDIERS isn’t incitement?

          2. People were hanging out in the area of campus where I used to see this (more than once), not simply passing through (though some were). As PM says, the situation was far more equivalent to an outdoor festival than a DMV line or a classroom.

          3. Sloth Fratelli|8.29.14 @ 12:25AM|#
            ‘Hey, look over there! Oh, no, now look here! Oh, and are you sure you spelled that right?!’

            You do realize you’re a source of laughter, don’t you? I mean, once you decided to ‘get clever’ and avoid the fact that you’re an imbecile who can’t read the first amendment, you have been nothing other than a punching bag.
            But, hey, don’t let me keep you from digging that hole. Need another shovel? We’ll be happy to pee down the hole and tell you it’s raining.

            1. I’d be bored as hell if I were a punching bag cause you guys are whiffing left and right. Your champion “Mulato” had to filter me because he had contradicted himself too many times and couldn’t extricate himself like a man.

              Experiment for vox populi believers: go over to Daily Kos and criticize Obama’s leftist policies. See how they react and attempt to make fun of you.

              1. What we’ve hit on here is the classic internet argument conundrum: when wrestling a pig, both you and the pig will get covered in shit, but the pig enjoys it.

                1. Not necessarily.
                  You can piss on the pig in the hole and call it rain as the pig says you’re ‘engaging’ him.

              2. Sloth Fratelli|8.29.14 @ 1:03AM|#
                “I’d be bored as hell if I were a punching bag”

                You should be bored.

              3. I was wondering about that. You’re pissed off that Heroic Mulatto, one of the lions of this blog, dissed you. You thought he was your intellectual match (unlike me, correctly) and you wanted to take him to the mat for all us to witness. Your goal is to humiliate. You are pathetic.

  21. If you yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater, apparently Reason believes it’s OK for you to sue when the crowd tramples you in their rush to the exits.

    1. If you are so immoral that you will respond to the word “Fire” by trampling other people, then yes you have committed a crime, and yes you owe to those you have harmed.

      If you’re going to act like an animal, you deserve to be treated like one.

    2. Yep, them Arabs just can’t help themselves.

  22. This the City of Dearborn has done this before and was forced to publicly apologize (and pay a fine):

    http://www.cityofdearborn.org/…..-fest-2010

    The city has a history of attempting to exclude or marginalize Christian missionary access to the Arab festival. Keep in mind, it is Constitutionally illegal to prevent view point access even as the festival takes place in public space. The organizers are investigating moving the festival to a private rented space so that they can control speech & access.

  23. Calling someone ‘wicked, filthy, and sick’ sounds like fighting words to me. It’s an insult.
    I also find the way Christians intimate where I’ll spend the afterlife offensive, even if it’s make-believe. But ok…

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