Islam

Pamela Geller is a Terrible Poster Child for Free Speech—and Against Islamist Extremism

Bigotry kneecaps the case against radical Islamism

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Here's what I think about activist Pamela Geller's recent "Draw the Prophet" contest in Garland, Texas, where two wannabe jihadists were killed trying to carry out a terror attack: Geller had every right to organize that contest, and she should not be chided for supposedly abusing that right. When extremists use deadly violence against speech that offends them, tut-tutting "just because you can do it doesn't mean it's a good idea" is unseemly and misguided.

JihadWatch

I also believe that, as I argued in The Daily Beast, Geller and her associate Robert Spencer are terrible poster children not only for free speech, but for combating Islamist extremism—because they routinely blur the lines not only between "anti-jihadism" and a war on Islam, but between criticism of Islam and Muslim-bashing. I don't believe Mohammed cartoons are an attack on Muslims, and I actually thought the contest winner made an excellent point. However, as I documented, Geller and Spencer have spent years stoking anti-Muslim hysteria. I'm not fond of the term "Islamophobia," which lumps together criticism of a religion and hatred toward its adherents; but "bigotry," in this case, is not too strong a term.

In their "rebuttal" on Breitbart.com, Geller and Spencer call my article "vicious and dishonest." Without turning this into a point-by-point exchange, some of their charges must be addressed.

I have no interest in polemics over whether, as Geller and Spencer claim, reformation in Islam is a quixotic project ruled out by Islamic doctrine and scripture. People who have deeply studied Islam and political Islamism, and can hardly be accused of naïveté—such as historian Bernard Lewis or Middle East analyst Reuel Marc Gerecht—disagree. Even as strong a critic of Islam as Ayaan Hirsi Ali has come to believe reform is possible. Geller and Spencer cite liberal Muslim Thomas Haidon, who back in 2005 agreed with Spencer that a reformist movement cannot succeed unless it offers "coherent and irrefutable evidence" that its version of Islam is "the 'correct Islam.'" They do not mention that in the next sentence, Haidon lists several Islamic scholars who he believes have done just that. Nor do they acknowledge his warning against "destructive commentary" that undermine reform "by attacking Muslim reformers as 'stupid,' naïve and useless"—the kind of commentary that is their stock in trade.

That aside, the Geller/Spencer piece offers a striking example of why Spencer, the duo's putative scholar, is simply not trustworthy as an expert.

Defending Spencer's claim that the relative tolerance toward Jews in medieval Islam (compared to Christian Europe) is a politically correct myth, Geller and Spencer quote the 12th Century Jewish philosopher Maimonides—who "lived for a time in Muslim Spain and then fled that supposedly tolerant and pluralistic land"—on the mistreatment of Jews by "the nation of Ishmael." The passage they cite, which refers to specific instances of persecution, is the subject of considerable debate among scholars as far as its context and interpretation. But what's not in dispute is that when Maimonides left Spain after a fanatical Muslim sect came to power, he headed to other Muslim countries: Morocco, present-day Israel, and finally Egypt, where he eventually became the Sultan's personal physician. His actual view of Christianity and Islam, and of the Jews' relationship to both, was complex and on the whole probably more favorable to Islam. These are, to say the least, misleading omissions.

Geller and Spencer accuse me of omissions of my own when it comes to Spencer's sympathetic statements about moderate Muslims. Yes, in more than a decade of blogposts on Spencer's site, JihadWatch, one can find such occasional lip service—nearly always in the context of stressing the isolation of moderate Muslims and the hopelessness of their cause. (For the record, the besieged "Moroccan cleric" Geller and Spencer credit Spencer for praising, Ahmed Assid, is actually a secularist intellectual and Berber nationalist.) But did I misrepresent Geller and Spencer's treatment of Muslim reformers, past and present? Two examples will suffice.

  • I wrote that Spencer "ignores the work of such 20th Century thinkers as Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, who made the case for the abrogation of the Quran's later, harsher texts by the earlier, more peaceful ones." Spencer and Geller counter by citing a 2014 JihadWatch post in which Spencer notes that the Sudanese government executed Taha for heresy, and a 2006 guest post "on the death of Mohammed Taha." I was prepared to concede error until I checked the links. Spencer's post from last year is a long critique of a statement by Muslim scholars denouncing ISIS as un-Islamic; the reference to Taha is a throwaway line challenging one of their assertions (that Islam forbids declaring people non-Muslim unless they have declared disbelief). This has little bearing on my point: that Spencer's claims about the lack of theological basis for Islamic reform ignore scholars who have formulated such a basis.

    As for the 2006 guest post, it's about the wrong Taha: Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed, a Sudanese journalist (and moderate Islamist) abducted and killed by terrorists. The sloppiness would be laughable if it weren't for the tragic subject matter.

  • Geller and Spencer dispute my assertion that they conducted a smear campaign against American Muslim reformer Zuhdi Jasser in 2011; they think it was a "spirited and substantive disagreement." Well, Jasser thought it was a "vicious attack" and "libelous character assassination." The Geller/Spencer piece also congratulates Spencer for defending Jasser against attacks by the Council on American-Islamic Relations last year. But that "defense" was mainly a broadside against CAIR and a rebuttal to its accusations against Spencer himself; Jasser got about 90 words in a 750-word piece.

Meanwhile, here's what Spencer has said about moderate Muslims:

"I have maintained from the beginning of this site and before that that there is no reliable way to distinguish a 'moderate' Muslim who rejects the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism from a 'radical' Muslim who holds such ideas, even if he isn't acting upon them at the moment." (From a 2007 post on an Israeli Arab politician caught aiding Hezbollah; a correction notes that the culprit was a Christian, but Spencer clearly felt that his point still stood.)

"The first thing we would have to do is…understand that really, anybody who professes the Islamic faith, if he delves into the teachings of his own religion, is somebody who could end up being very dangerous to us." (From a 2010 debate at Thomas More College, where Spencer argued that "the only good Muslim is a bad Muslim"—one who doesn't follow and probably doesn't even know the tenets of his or her faith.)

And then there's this advice from Spencer's elusive ex-associate Hugh Fitzgerald:

"Understand how very useless is the concept of the 'moderate' Muslim—because it is impossible to know when someone's 'moderation' is real or feigned. Experience shows that Muslim dissimulation—whether called taqiyya, kitman, or simply dissimulation—comes naturally. Also, by his mere presence a 'moderate' Muslim can swell the ranks, and hence the perceived power, of Muslims… And also because even the 'moderate' can be transformed, sometimes very quickly, into the 'immoderate' Muslim, or can have children who themselves will turn out, in a seeking-your-roots or disaffected-from-the-West attitude, to become 'immoderate.'"

(So much for Geller and Spencer's charge that I can't "produce an actual damning quote" to support my claim that Fitzgerald—whom they describe as a "former writer" for JihadWatch, but who was vice president of its board of directors—describes even peaceful Muslims as a threat to the West.)

Geller and Spencer say that I wrongly accused them of opposing Muslims' First Amendment freedom to worship; the article I cited, they claim, merely shows Geller backing legitimate zoning concerns about the building of a mosque. In other words, we are to believe that when Geller posts a screed titled "Mosqueing the Neighborhood," she is concerned only about traffic congestion and noise, just as she would be if it were a megachurch. Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that the wave of opposition to mosques and Muslim centers following Geller's campaign against the "Ground Zero mosque" was steeped in overt religious animus. And there is Spencer's 2010 blogpost candidly stating that "it is entirely reasonable for free people to oppose the construction of new mosques in non-Muslim countries."

As it happens, the same blogpost offers additional evidence for another charge Geller and Spencer decry as unfair: that they routinely distort and mislead to whip up hysteria about "creeping sharia." One of Spencer's examples of the mosque menace is that here in the U.S., mosques have demanded that "non-Muslims conform to Islamic dietary restrictions." The link leads to another JihadWatch post about "stealth jihad in Knoxville," where a mosque was allegedly seeking to "impose Islamic restrictions on alcohol upon non-Muslims."

The mosque, it turns out, was objecting to the planned opening of a restaurant with beer, music and dancing less than 200 feet away. But is there anything uniquely Islamic about such objections? Knoxville has a city ordinance that prohibits selling alcohol within 300 feet of a house of worship (with a loophole for establishments that have a state liquor license). In Texas, that notorious sharia stronghold, such a prohibition is mandated by state law; twenty-four other states and numerous municipalities restrict the sale of alcohol near places of worship. In 2011, a Baptist church in Queens, New York tried to block a beer and wine license for a hookah lounge next door, arguing that alcoholic beverages were unacceptable "in God's sight." Somehow, Geller missed this shocking religious tyranny right in her backyard. But she reported the Knoxville dispute under the not-at-all-hysterical tags "AMERABIA: LOSING AMERICA" and "CREEPING SHARIA: AMERICAN DHIMMITUDE."

Geller and Spencer also devote much space to defending their debunked horror tales of jihad in our midst.

  • They state that Sulejman Talovic, the Bosnian-born 18-year-old killed after a shooting spree at a Salt Lake City shopping mall in 2007, wore a necklace with a miniature Koran and "was described as a religious Muslim, attending mosque on Fridays and praying outside of mosque." In fact, the 745-page FBI report on the shooting said that Talovic had stopped attending mosque once he started working in 2004 and that coworkers never saw him praying. It also concluded that he was not motivated by jihad. (Geller and Spencer clearly think the Koran necklace suggests otherwise; but, interestingly, such necklaces are apparently viewed as profane and even idolatrous by devout Muslims.)
  • They insist there was evidence of a jihadist connection in the October 2005 suicide-by-homemade bomb of University of Oklahoma engineering student Joel Hinrichs, citing reports (from WorldNetDaily) that "'Islamic jihad' material" was found in Hinrichs's apartment and that he had belonged to a mosque previously attended by September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. But Geller and Spencer fail to mention that none of those rumors were substantiated. The FBI, after an exhaustive investigation, found no evidence that Hinrichs had extremist views or had planned to enter the stadium; the terse note he left on his computer indicated no motive beyond suicide.
  • They insist that we can't be sure Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho wasn't a jihadist Muslim, since the "Ismail Ax" inked on his arm remains unexplained. Never mind that the only religious references in the video rant Cho sent to the media were Christian: he compared his imminent death to that of Jesus and spoke of being "impaled upon a cross" by his perceived tormentors.
  • Bizarrely, they argue that Geller showed "commitment to accuracy" by deleting a post titled "Vehicular Jihad in Arizona"—based on a news report about a car crashing into a storefront and on the dead driver's Muslim name—when it turned out the "jihadist" had suffered a heart attack while driving. Journalism 101: if you have published a false report, and a defamatory one at that, the decent thing is not to scrub it but to post a retraction and an apology.

Geller and Spencer also try to rescue the "sharia judge" canard circulated in 2012 about Pennsylvania magistrate Mark Martin. As I wrote at the time, Martin had chided a complainant—atheist activist Ernest Perce, who was accusing a Muslim immigrant of harassment—for insulting Muslim sensibilities with a Halloween costume that lampooned Mohammed. For this, Judge Martin was rightly criticized. But the story also generated a firestorm based on reports that he told Perce, "I'm a Muslim, I find it offensive." The judge was quickly confirmed to be Lutheran, and even National Review's Andrew McCarthy, who had initially promoted the story, agreed that his remark had been misheard in the audio of the court session. Geller continued to insist that Martin said he was a Muslim and probably was one; she and Spencer still do.

(In a hilariously karmic postscript, Geller's Muslim-bashing atheist hero, Perce, is now a rabidly anti-Semitic preacher leading a fringe Christian ministry—just the kind of hero Geller deserves.)

On the subject of Geller's tendency to excuse or deny Serb war crimes against Bosnian Muslims, Geller and Spencer respond to the charge of "genocide denial" by claiming that the Bosnian Muslim genocide is a subject of legitimate debate. As proof, they cite a 2005 Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal article which questions the "genocide" classification of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 7,000-8,000 Bosnian males. But the passage they quote clearly shows that the debate is on whether the massacre qualifies as genocide or the somewhat lesser offense of "crime against humanity"—not on whether it happened, or whether the perpetrators were criminals or anti-jihad resisters. "War crime denier" may sound better than "genocide denier," but not by much.

Finally, Geller and Spencer defend a post by Spencer vilifying Kurdish fighter Arin Mirkan as a jihadist because she carried out a suicide bombing against ISIS troops in a besieged town. Their position seems to be that any suicide attack, even in combat, is morally unjustifiable. That's debatable (there were kamikaze-like suicide missions by Allied pilots during World War II). But, morality aside, Spencer's post was ludicrously ignorant: it labels Mirkan, a soldier in the military wing of the left-wing, secular Democratic Union Party, a "Kurdish Muslima."

Geller and Spencer end their screed with an absurd accusation: that I wrote my article because I see them, not Islamist terrorists, as the real enemy. Their social-media acolytes have suggested other motives: that I am afraid of Muslims and am trying to placate them, or that I am a "dhimmi" eager to please my Muslim overlords. (This uncannily echoes hostile responses to my critiques of gender-war feminism: I think false accusations are a bigger problem than rape; I'm trying to placate the patriarchy because I'm afraid of male violence; I'm a man-pleaser.)

In fact, I wrote my article mainly for two reasons:

  1. I believe radical Islamism in all its forms—the ISIS version or the official Saudi version—is the greatest challenge and danger of the twenty-first century, and the Geller/Spencer way of dealing with it is highly counterproductive. Incidentally, I agree that many critics of "Islamophobia" tend to downplay the very real problems of jihadist terror, of the entrenched power of oppressive, fanatical Islamist ideology in much of the Muslim world, and of radicalization in Muslim communities. But panic-mongering "anti-jihadists" give those critics ample ammunition—for instance, by jumping on fake news stories of sharia on the march.
  2. I abhor the demonization of any group, especially in the name of a goal I support—be it men demonized under the guise of feminism, or Muslims of anti-Islamism.

Along with missives from Geller/Spencer fans urging me to buy a Muslim prayer rug or predicting my sexual enslavement by ISIS, two emails thanking me for the article are particularly relevant. One was from a man who asked not to use his name, a self-described secular Jew who said that he was a fan of Geller's until he started to find her behavior "very troubling"—though he still credits her for raising his awareness of radical Islam. In his view, "she will have ended up giving the 'counter-jihad' a very bad name, because she's given the institutional left, as Andrew Breitbart called it, a whole bunch of ammo with which to smear the entire 'movement.'"

The other was from Mohammed Al-Darsani, a Muslim U.S. army officer and veteran whom I first met several years ago while speaking at the law school where he was a student. Al-Darsani unequivocally condemned the attack on the Texas event and stressed that the rights of Geller and Spencer (and their supporters) "should be steadfastly protected." But he also added, "It would be nice to see them use their fifteen minutes of fame to issue a statement of unequivocal support for honest, hard-working Americans who happen to be Muslim [and] to thank Muslim United States Military Servicemembers for their service and sacrifices." Al-Darsani readily acknowledges that "there are significant problems concerning hatred and violence in many predominately Muslim communities and sects"; but he wishes Geller and Spencer would acknowledge that "that is not the whole story."

These messages go to the heart of why I wrote my article. I stand by every word.

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  1. Geller is the perfect poster child for free speech. She is also the perfect poster child for assholes. Make 2 posters if you want, but for fuck sake get a clue on what Free Speech means.

    1. Ms Young thinks that you have to play the game. You have to say things like, “Islam is the religion of peace.” or Obama’s line: “The future does not belong to those who insult the prophet.”

      Only then will Ms Young leave out the “but” in the phrase “Yes, we have free speech, but…”

      Sorry, but I hate radical Islam, but I don’t like “moderate Islam” like that practiced in Saudi Arabia. Do I like liberal Islam? Peace loving, liberal Islam is a myth in the minds of liberal leftists.

      Ms Geller speaks the truth. Her bus ad campaigns were the truth. The leftists (except for Bill Maher) are afraid to speak the truth.

      1. You apparently didn’t read Cathy Young’s article.

        I believe radical Islamism in all its forms?the ISIS version or the official Saudi version?is the greatest challenge and danger of the twenty-first century, and the Geller/Spencer way of dealing with it is highly counterproductive.

        1. Yes, it’s the white man’s (or now woman’s) burden to reform Islam – and mocking the absurdities of the dominant extreme version are not helpful to that end.

          1. VG — Oh yeah, that’s the ticket. “It’s the white man’s burden to reform Islam.” Good luck with that.

            The only chance we have of reforming Islam is with a few dozen well placed nuclear weapons.

            1. It is the simplest solution. Much like the progtard, the most efficient way of dealing with Islam is to reduce its ranks. Maybe 50-100 million of them contained to one region would be more manageable.

        2. Saudi Arabia practices completely mainstream Islam. To describe it as “radical” is as contradictory as saying that all the kids in Lake Woebegon are above average.

          Leftists routinely accuse conservatives of “extremist views” despite those views being held by the majority of Americans.

          1. Wahhabism is mainstream because the Saudi’s have spent billions making it mainstream. It stared out as a radical cult.

            1. That’s how every successful religion has done it. Gotta spend money to make money, and it seems like the Saudis have done very well for themselves.

              Still just a bunch of creepy guys in robes. It’s all sex related, the fuglies always need elaborate distractions and rules over people to ever hope of scoring.

            2. And the Sauds fund most of the radical madrassas in other places.

              There is not “radical Islam”. It is all Islam.

              Read the Koran and Hadiths. You know, like Robert Spencer has.

      2. Peace loving, liberal Islam is a myth in the minds of liberal leftists.

        Nope. I’ve lived in Indonesia, and I can tell you first hand that muslims can be just as peace loving as anyone else when they’re not living in a country where there’s a war on.

        -jcr

        1. 18% of Indonesians are in favor for the death penalty for disavowing Islam. 72% of muslims there say sharia should be the law of the land. 48% favor stoning as the penalty for adultery.

          Again, statisticians will tell you that questions like these tend to underestimate the true percentages.

            1. The reference for the statistics is here:

              http://www.pewforum.org/2013/0…..iety-exec/

              That surveys would underestimate actual “politically incorrect” opinions is called the Bradley effect. You can read about it at wikipedia.

              You can find many examples of Indonesian muslim moderate behavior by googling “indonesia burn churches”. For example, you will find this one article by Pam Geller:

              http://pamelageller.com/2010/0…..ches.html/

              What a jerk she is. How dare she bring attention to these church burnings.

          1. What’s with all these facts you’re injecting into the argument? They make muslims look bad.

            Bigotry! Bigotry!

            1. 78% of internet commenters add bullshit statistics to their screeds to add a false air of credibility.

              facts? do you have the mind of a child?

              1. 100% of b.s. leftists will dismiss opponent’s arguments as “rants” or “screeds” despite there being no rant-like or screed-like qualities to their posts.

                Just another way the left says, “Shut up.”

                Funny video by Andrew Klavan on this phenomenon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWHgUE9AD4s

        2. Indonesia is only moderate to the extent that many people aren’t that religious. The country has its own cigarette and beer companies, the cities are full of bars.

          It’s religious citizens are bat crazy – bombing churches and nightclubs, trying to close aforementioned beer company, doing virginity tests on female policewomen etc.

          I see this argument all the time: Islam can be moderate – look at Malaysia!

          But Malaysia is only half normal because the non-Muslims make it so. And I’m not sure that will last in Malaysia and Indonesia. The nutjobs are getting stronger.

        3. Indonesia is only moderate to the extent that many people aren’t that religious. The country has its own cigarette and beer companies, the cities are full of bars.

          It’s religious citizens are bat crazy – bombing churches and nightclubs, trying to close aforementioned beer company, doing virginity tests on female policewomen etc.

          I see this argument all the time: Islam can be moderate – look at Malaysia!

          But Malaysia is only half normal because the non-Muslims make it so. And I’m not sure that will last in Malaysia and Indonesia. The nutjobs are getting stronger.

        4. Yes. Ask the people of East Timor how peace loving are the Indonesians. Apparently not that much.

      3. If you want to convince anyone, you do have to play the game (though you don’t have to say the things you mention and she doesn’t). Unless you want to have an all out war against Islam, just saying “they’re all horrible” doesn’t do any good.
        I am also dismayed at how many people are unwilling to really honestly criticize Islam. But I think that Young does a good job being both critical and not unnecessarily unpleasant toward all Muslims. Most Muslims just want to live their lives and do their thing like everyone else.

        1. Still not understanding the need for criticism of Islam as a religion. Religion doesn’t change because of criticism, it changes because of wealth, diverse friendships, and other worldly distractions that remove the need for the illusion.

      4. Peace loving, liberal Islam is a myth in the minds of liberal leftists.

        You need to learn a little more about Islam. Sufi Islam is broadminded, peaceful, and gets along well with Christianity in places — like Mali — where both religions co-exist. Sufis pose a danger to no one.

        1. Most sufi scholars have supported jihad in the past. One of the attackers in Garland TX was named Soofi which points to some sufi influences in his upbringing. Nevertheless, he still wanted to kill cartoonists.

    2. This. I came in to say that Illinois Nazis were the perfect poster child for free assembly.

      1. X2. As was Larry Flint for free speech. If you’re looking for “nice” people to be your poster child you’re never going to find one. That’s kind of the whole fucking point.

        1. The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
          …H. L. Mencken

        2. What Larry Flynt did to Jerry Falwell was infinitelty more insulting than draw the Prophet contest. And the left wing media cheered him on. The comparisons between Geller and Flynt are pretty specious.

          1. But Jerry Falwell was a white cishet male fundie shitlord, so it’s okay.

    3. The poster child for free speech (or any right) is always an ugly bastard. You don’t need to protect speech nobody objects to, it’s precisely because the speech is objectionable that the right to say it needs defending.

      1. Hammer meeting the nail head which needs repeating:

        “You don’t need to protect speech nobody objects to, it’s precisely because the speech is objectionable that the right to say it needs defending.”

        The left is busily eroding free speech under the guise of “hate speech”, “micro-aggressions”, and “trigger warnings” whose common denominator is that it is speech that they disagree with.

    4. While I admire the accurate use of an old http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/fuck.asp), and still redolent Anglo-Saxon word, I post mainly to agree with your point that Geller’s effort is speech and graphic expression, well within our current tradition of protected expression, and the columnist is wrong to make a case that she isn’t appropriate. Whoever agrees that she isn’t appropriate can start a Pam Geller cartoon contest-we don’t need to support a current effort to marginalize en route to silencing effort currently directed at Geller. Certainly not from a libertarian perspective-maybe from a college campus no-free speech zone, though. Yeah, that might explain it-the author might be a recent graduate of the PC-only-expression-generation being churned out by our colleges now.

      1. “Appropriate” for what? Nothing is just appropriate, full stop. You need a context. Geller is certainly inappropriate for certain contexts.

        Geller should do whatever she wants. And everyone else should feel free to say what they think of her (just not to say that she shouldn’t have said her piece).

  2. Anyone who is physically threatened or attacked solely because they have opinions are poster children for free speech. Is Ms. Young suggesting that the only people that are suitable to be poster children are those with whom she agrees? That turns the concept of freedom of speech on its head.

    1. Exactly. If you wait for nice, clean cut, reasonable people to be censored, you have waited too long and are going to have an uphill battle, if you can win at all. Defense of free speech necessarily involves defending jerks like Larry Flint and jackasses like Jerry Falwell.

      As to the charge of “Islamophobia”, I think the author ?. and a lot of other reasonable people ?. has made a crucial mistake. It is time to stop taking charges of “Islamopobia”, “Homophobia”, “Racism”, etc seriously. They are almost always attempts to shut down speech, and should be scorned. It is not “Islamophobia” to observe that Islamic countries are backward, violent, intolerant, dirty, and ripe for a resurgence of Victorian Colonialism. It is not “Homophobic” to observe that a great many Gay political activists do not want tolerance, they demand submission. It is not “Racist” to observe that if Al Sharpton was a White Republican using the same tactics, he would probably be in jail.

  3. Umm, Free speech is about restraining government. Cathy Young is not a government. ,

    Is Young suggesting that the only people that are suitable to be poster children are those with whom she agrees?

    Do you know what “poster child” means?

    That turns the concept of freedom of speech on its head.

    And here I thought only progressives were confused by the right to free speech. Perhaps the nuance is too complicated for Sharia conspiracists … between defending free speech while also criticizing how it has been used.

    1. Do you know what “poster child” means?

      In this case, engaging in free speech, but only the kind that the author doesn’t find tacky or ‘bigoted’.

      1. Forget about it. You’re in Hihn town.

      2. Do you know what “poster child” means?

        In this case, engaging in free speech, but only the kind that the author doesn’t find tacky or ‘bigoted’.

        I was right. You don’t know, like most of this page. A poster child is somebody whose photo will be selected to promote and advance a cause. And there’s only one.

        Try again: If you wanted to create a new poster to promote free speech, to be placed at thousands of public locations all across America … would Geller be your first choice of whose picture would best convey the concept of free speech?

        Over Jefferson? Thomas Paine? …..
        Again: Young is not a government.

        1. my first choice would be a person who is coming under attack for exercising a right. See, tolerance means putting up with things that I may not like or agree with so long as they are legal and they do not infringe on someone else’s rights.

          Young not being a govt is immaterial. She has a pulpit that she is using to determine who should be considered a legitimate defender of free speech.

    2. The problem with criticisms of Geller is one of focus. It would be the equivalent of article after article focusing on how a woman brutally raped in an ally shouldn’t have been drunk and alone wearing a short skirt in a bad neighborhood. Sure while that is technically true it shows a disgusting ordering of priorities. The overwhelming majority of stories on this topic follow Young’s tact focusing on the trivial transgressions of the victim.

    3. That is the 1st amendment, Cupcake. The first amendment is about restraining government.

      1. The first amendment is about restraining government.

        It’s scary how many comments on this page are oblivious to that simple fact.

        1. So you’re scared, leave.

  4. is SHARIAH EVIL? Open Source Conduct Say yep http://sultanknish.blogspot.co…..jihad.html

    1. Sure it’s evil. So is a huge part of the laws of the US state and federal governments. Find me a legal system that isn’t evil.

      Of course, there are better and worse ones. And Sharia is a pretty bad one in today’s context. But it’s only different in degree.

  5. If the only people who’s free speech rights we had to defend were ones that didn’t offend progtard multicultural sensibilities we’d defend no ones speech rights. Your piece tiptoes right up to the edge of the progtard line of “hate speech”. But here’s hoping that since you rightfully put the cartoon in you piece progtards would have been triggered and run away before reading it.

    Personally I’m done with pretending all culture are equal. Some are just inferior and shoulde be forced to change if they want to play in the modern world.

    The fucking terrorists in this case being conferred victim satus by the left nauseates me.

  6. So we are supposed to find someone who loves Islam but hates “radical Islam”?

    Shocker: I don’t like moderate Islam, say that practiced in moderate Saudi Arabia. Women can’t drive. They behead as many people as Iran. Converting to Christianity is punishable by death. The flog victims of rape.

    Is that “bigotry”? So I am not an ideal poster child to speak freely against radical Islam? Does Cathy Young think I have to ignore these things so that the liberals will defend my free speech?

    1. Who the hell thinks Saudi Arabia practices moderate Islam? Not Cathy Young —

      I believe radical Islamism in all its forms?the ISIS version or the official Saudi version?is the greatest challenge and danger of the twenty-first century, and the Geller/Spencer way of dealing with it is highly counterproductive.

      Did you even read her article before ranting?

      1. “Counterproductive,” i.e. deemed nekulturny by our betters.

        1. There is that. But I also don’t see how it is terribly productive. Attacking someone’s religion isn’t often a good way to convince them to change their mind.

      2. Please enlighten us on the “-Stan” or other Islam-inspired country that we may consider moderate? Pakistan? Yemen? Syria? Egypt? Kazakhstan? Iran? Libya? Somalia? Please do tell.

        There is a common denominator in much of the unrest, torture, murder, terrorism, oppression, rape, hate, etc. in this world. Political correctness is not going to solve this one.

        The author is using Geller for her own self-important bloviation. She’s just trying to dial in her anti-free-speech sentiments.

        1. Peaceful Islam is dominant in Progderpistan.

          1. +1 internets

        2. The author is using Geller for her own self-important bloviation. She’s just trying to dial in her anti-free-speech sentiments.

          Speaking of bloviating, where does the author advocate or support government power to silence Geller?

          1. since she knows that won’t fly, Young is advocating for the power of the public square to denounce the likes of Geller, to use the old tactic of public shaming in hopes of silencing her. People can advocate for silencing others in ways that don’t have to involve the coercive power of govt and many, particularly those on the left, do so all the time.

            Since you missed it, how many journos practically said Charlie Hebdo had it coming or used words that strongly intimated that? How many commencement invitations have been rescinded by bed-wetting administrators because student snowflakes got the vapors? Just because people are not openly calling for govt crackdowns on certain speech does not mean they’re not willing to deploy other means.

          2. Who said anything about government? These lunatics are killing people, chopping off heads, maiming, torturing, beheading (these are bad things) – all to stop others from drawing cartoons of Muhammad. This is rather anti-free-speech. Is this the government?

            Cathy Young is attempting to marginalize the speech of Geller, and also argue in favor of free speech? One is either for free speech or is against it. Period.

            Young is offering only nuanced political correctness. Political correctness and freedom of speech are mutually exclusive.

            Meanwhile, we’re talking about Geller rather than the stark-raving lunatics who are causing nothing but death, destruction, and mayhem across the globe.

            1. Wow. I dont know who you fkers are but you have succeeded in the impossible: making Michael Hihn appear reasonable.

              Hihn is correct here. Disagreeing with someone is not “censorship” nor is it “silencing”. Disagreement is the cornerstone of free speech.

              Young is also correct when she points out that we need not approve of bigotry and label in our support of free speech.

              Finally re: “poster child”, thanks everyone for having the bravery to parrot the same tired cliche of free speech that the dozen commenters before you did. Everyone here is a grownup and understands assholes get to say what they want. Apparently, though, not everyone here is literate enough to grasp a hyperbole when its right in front of their greasy nose. Calm the fk down. Its a figure of speech.

              1. You are very enlightened. Yawn. People continue to die. You are very enlightened. Free speech. Here is some cab fare…

              2. I don’t think Pamela is a bigot. She is anti-jihad. The bigots are the ones that paint muslims with a broad brush and assume that ALL muslims support jihad. Not all muslims support jihad.

        3. Albania, Bosnia, Turkey, Indonesia to some extent. Maybe Kurdistan if you consider it a country.

          They are all at least a whole shitload more moderate than Saudi Arabia, who some people here are claiming is moderate.

          I don’t see why Young should be read as anit-free speech. If someone is going around saying “fuck you” to everyone they see on the street and I tell them that they should stop being so unpleasant, I’m not being anti-free speech. If they want to carry on like that, I’m not going to try to force them to stop. Does Young say that she wants anyone to force Geller to stop what she does?

          1. Albania, Bosnia, Turkey, Indonesia to some extent

            Malaysia. Bangladesh, probably?

            But it’s clear that all the above listed countries are on the periphery of the Muslim world.

            1. Turkey and Indonesia? Hardly.

            2. Turkey and Indonesia? Hardly.

        4. Wait, why are we looking to theocracies to serve as examples of moderation? I wouldn’t consider any religiously defined nation to be moderate, regardless of which religion it’s under.

      3. When you define the Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia — the heart of Islam, the site of Mecca — as radical Islam, you effectively identify mainstream Islam as radical Islam. Saudi Arabia is not some exotic exception to Islam — it is the *standard*.

        It would be like identifying the Vatican City as the seat of radical Christianity. What, then, would be moderate Christianity?

        1. Episcopalian?

          1. Yeah, “radical” isn’t the word for the Vatican. But there are certainly more moderate version of the religion.

        2. Thank you for answering this. If you define Saudi Arabia as radical Islam, then pretty much all of Islam is radical and thus we are at liberty to insult it all.

          Even in “moderate” Indonesia, 30% of muslims support for death for apostasy. (And most likely the percentage is much higher in that people tend to answer such questions dishonestly.)

          1. Aren’t we at liberty to insult it all, radical or not, anyway?

            1. Yep. That’s how the concept of free speech works.
              All or nothing, no more half measures.

        3. I certainly wouldn’t call the Vatican the home of moderate Christianity. They certainly aren’t typical of most of the world’s Christians.

          I could agree that “radical” isn’t the right word for the mainstream religion of Saudi. But it certainly is conservative and rigid Islam and not at all moderate.

    2. So I am not an ideal poster child to speak freely against radical Islam?

      Learn the definition of poster child: http://binged.it/1Fmj2pY

      S’okay, 90% of the comments here don’t know either.

      1. And it’s been holding steady at 91% for so long.

  7. I find Pamela Geller to be a very attractive woman, and really that is all that matters.

    1. I can’t decide if she is D+ or E+. But it is good.

  8. I find Pamela Geller to be a very attractive woman, and really that is all that matters.

    1. Have you considered Lasik?

    2. Would.

    3. It might not be all that matters, but it is important.

  9. Oh, go fuck yourself, Young. No one cares about your pissing match with Geller and Spencer. And of Spencer, I might add, he has a degree in religious studies in combination with being a native speaker of Arabic; you, on the other hand, are merely a journalist who is the embodiment of the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect made manifest into flesh.

    1. Thank you, HM.

    2. HM, quit holding back! Tell us what you think.

    3. My understanding is that Spencer is descended from Armenian Christians who were expelled by the Ottomans. I don’t see how he could be a native speaker of Arabic. That said, he probably knows more about Islam than just about anyone else who has appeared on national TV.

      Brigitte Gabriel, another Islam critic, is a native speaker of Arabic.

      Young really falls short with this article. Just another voice in the “I believe in free speech, but…” chorus.

      1. My bad- Greeks, not Armenians

        My family is from what is now Turkey and actually that is the beginning of my interest in the subject of Islam that my grandparents shortly after World War I were offered the choice of conversion to Islam or exile from the land where they had lived for many hundreds of years ? that is my family had lived. They were ? those chose exile and they came to the United States. They, despite their experiences which involved some violence and some of the ? some killings of some of the family members, they were ? they spoke in a uniformly positive fashion about life over there and made me become quite fascinated with it such that I took the first opportunity I could when I went to college to read the Koran and to begin studying Islamic theology and history.

      2. I don’t see how he could be a native speaker of Arabic.

        Because in his community, Arabic is the common language and Syriac is liturgical language. His church, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church is centered in Syria. Basically, the Greeks who didn’t go with the Orthodox church during the schism. Like many children with immigrant parents or grandparents, he was raised bilingual.

        1. OK. I learned something new today. Thank you, HM!

          I wonder what Robert Spencer would have to say to Chris “did I mention I speak Arabic fluently” Hedges…

          Hedges speaks Arabic, French and Spanish and studied classics, including ancient Greek and Latin, at Harvard.

          http://www.truthdig.com/staff/chris_hedges#bio

          All that education, and yet still. so. stupid.

          1. You mess with HM, you get the horns!

          2. I would hope Spencer would say something like, “Kuss ummak, ibn sharmuta! but he seems too pious for that.

    4. Seconded!

      All those in favor that Cathy Young go fuck herself?

      1. Thirded…

    5. And of Spencer, I might add, he has a degree in religious studies in combination with being a native speaker of Arabic; you, on the other hand, are merely a journalist who is the embodiment of the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect made manifest into flesh.

      That’s completely unfair.

      She’s an expert on Islam, having taken World Religions 101 as a freshman at Rutgers.

      1. Well, if that’s how it works, I’m going to apply for a cushy think tank job based on my expertise in Russian history and culture thanks to my freshman year survey course!

        23-sidkoo, suckaz!

      2. I’ve seen Lawrence of Arabia. Twice.

        1. I stayed at a Holiday Inn once.

          1. I watched a Shriner’s parade.

  10. I wrote that Spencer “ignores the work of such 20th Century thinkers as Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, who made the case for the abrogation of the Quran’s later, harsher texts by the earlier, more peaceful ones.”

    The problem isn’t that Spencer ignores M.M. Taha, the real problem is that ISIS, Boko Haram and suchlike bands of raging savages also ignore him. Don’t waste your time quoting stuff like that to me; go to work convincing al-Qaida.

    1. No, no…don’t you understand? The writings of a rather obscure Islamic thinker (who was executed for apostasy, natch!) is representative of the theological understanding of all four major madhahib of Sunni Islam. Millions of Muslims look to Taha as opposed to the orthodox Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali jurists. Therefore, Spencer’s arguments are invalid.

      At least in the alternate universe in which Young resides. It sounds like a nice place. What quantum flux coordinates shall I input into the Spacetime Regulator?

      1. The fact that poor Mr. Taha was executed for his beliefs (or lack of them) puts the tin hat on the irony of using him as an example of moderation.

    2. I think any read of history can discern key differences between Christianity, which had a reformation, and Islam which would lead them to believe that the latter is likely not to have its own Reformation.

      At its base, Islam and Christianity have different origins. The New Testament was written by rebels and outcasts. It structurally accepts that there will be a ruling government that may not be accepting to Christians. “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” is a perfect example of this. Lessons like this exist all throughout the New Testament and give ammo to those wishing to reform the religion such that the State and Religion are not intertwined. Where the NT gives moral guidance, it is almost always explaining how one should treat another person with ultimate judgement reserved for the afterlife. While plenty of people tried (and still try) to enact these teachings at the state level, the pretext is there that this is about individuals interacting with another.

      Islam on the other hand was written when Islam was the state. It lays down laws, and explains how people must be forced to live their lives. The entire text of the Koran assumes that a leader is in control and will have the power to punish dissenters.

      (Continued…)

      1. I think any read of history can discern key differences between Christianity, which had a reformation, and Islam which would lead them to believe that the latter is likely not to have its own Reformation.

        The reality that few in the west acknowledge is that modern militant Islam is the result of Islamic reformation.

        1. The reality that few in the west acknowledge is that modern militant Islam is the result of Islamic reformation.

          Yes! You mention things like Qutb, the Deobandi movement, etc. etc. and you get blank stares.

          1. *Stares blankly at HM*

            1. If you ever want a laugh, read Qutb’s description of his time as a foreign exchange student in (someplace in the Midwest, I forget where) during the 1950s.

              1. It was Greeley Colorado and he attended a church dance. I know the exact quote you’re talking about:

                “They danced to the tunes of the gramophone, and the dance floor was replete with tapping feet, enticing legs, arms wrapped around waists, lips pressed to lips, and chests pressed to chests. The atmosphere was full of desire…”

                Again – this is a dance in the basement of a church in 1950 Greeley, Colorado. I think he might be overstating the lasciviousness of this particular encounter.

                Then again, knowing Qutb it’s possible the entire story is invented. He is the one who claimed the CIA tried to entice him with a prostitute on his boat ride to America in order to steal his essence and cause him to forsake the prophet. #shitthatdidn’thappen

                1. In the old south there is still a fundamentalist remnant that condemns dancing and mixed-sex swimming as lascivious, so this mindset is not unfamiliar. The Church of Christ regularly condemned the Baptists as immoral for their daincin’, to say nothing of their willingness to fund orphans and widows.

                  Social signalling is really the theory of all religio-political life.

                  1. It is said that the Chuch of Christ (in the South at least) forbids having sex standing up because it may lead to dancing.

                  2. Southern Baptists are just as bad about forbidding dancing, just sayin’.

                2. Have you ever stopped and pondered the tragedy that someone who was completely, bat-shit insane, like Sayeed Qutb, was able to ruin so many lives?

                3. Qutb was SO gay… seriously, look at pictures of him… not that there’s anything wrong with that

              2. He thought this Midwest town was a hive of scum and villainy, reeking of sinful infidel wickedness. And that was just at a church dance (I don’t I’m kidding about that).

          2. You mention things like Qutb

            Sayyid Qutb is a tragic figure given his obviously disturbed sexual desires led him to obsess over purity that probably impacted his crazed religious beliefs. I mean, look at this shit:

            “The American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity,” he wrote. “She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs and she shows all this and does not hide it.” These curvy jezebels pursued boys with “wide, strapping chest[s]” and “ox muscles,” Qutb added with disgust. Yet no matter how lascivious his adjectives, the fastidious, unmarried Egyptian could not convincingly portray the church dances and Look magazines he encountered in sleepy Greeley as constituting a genuine sexual “jungle.”

            1. I’d like to meet some of these round breasted, full-buttocked girls!

              But you already knew that, I figure.

              1. There is two minutes I will never get back. Got another?

          3. This is because in the west they have lost religion and cannot fathom that someone may make life-altering decisions based on religious considerations. So if an Australian pediatrician wants to go work at an isis hospital, westeners think that there must be some political, poverty, lack of opportunities, etc except the obvious reason that the guy was religious and the religion says that the caliphate is something worth helping.

        2. The reality that few in the west acknowledge is that modern militant Islam is the result of Islamic reformation.

          Technically, I suppose that is true. I should have used the capitalized Reformation, as I was referring not just to the restructuring of Islam’s polity (which certainly happened), but specifically to how the Christian Reformation acknowledged that man was answerable to God, not to a Pope or other State leader/Warlord.

          1. don’t tell Ignatius Loyola that

          2. Christian Reformation acknowledged that man was answerable to God, not to a Pope or other State leader/Warlord because the founder of that religion said so:”Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” or something to that effect.

            This could never happen in islam as the founder basically say submit to Allah and to the prophet/caliph (with emphasis on the prophet/caliph who was a warlord anyways).

      2. Marcus Borg, who is otherwise one of those deeply decent progressive Christians who thinks we’d be socialists if we were just really good people, always recasts Jesus’s message as explicitly anti-imperial: Augustus was the “son of God,” so Jesus’s followers claiming the same title for him was a rejection of the Roman Empire, Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday as a clear rebuke to the Roman procession into the city, etc.

        I’m not as pessimistic about Islam’s future as many, as even apparently stiff monotheistic religions that have been around a while can be co-opted to serve whatever ends you want, particularly when people become rich enough that they no longer bother reading their own holy scriptures, but it’s worth wondering whether Christianity began with a slightly larger kernel of protoliberalism than most religions.

        1. particularly when people become rich enough that they no longer bother reading their own holy scriptures

          That’s the problem though, it’s been the opposite in the Gulf. You have the grandsons of nomadic camel herders now some of the richest men on the planet having the time and resources to get some old time religion as opposed to busting their (camel’s) hump to scratch up a living in the sandy wasteland they live in. This money had funded the spread of Wahhabism throughout the Islamic world for the past 60 years. Look at how much Malaysia has changed over that time. Malaysia used to be a pretty chill place where women didn’t cover their heads, now after 5 to 6 decades of Saudi-funded mosques and religious schools, the regional joke is that Malaysia is “Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Annex”.

          1. You also have Indonesia, which is a country with a reputation for being the ‘moderate Islamic’ country, but which stuck a man in jail for 3 years for drawing pictures of Mohammad.

            There was also the time an Indonesian man was sentenced to 5 years in jail for distributing anti-Islamic pamphlets and then 1000 Indonesian Muslims rioted and burned down a bunch of churches because they thought the sentence was too lenient.

            Or that third time when Indonesian Muslims protested during the Danish cartoon situation and chanted that the artists should be put to death.

            You know – because of how moderate that country is.

          2. Compare those states to the American South, where fundamentalism remains common, but its cultural importance has diminished as entertainment & cultural alternatives have emerged. Especially true in the past decade, as the Internet can make even a backwater much more cosmopolitan by breaking ideological monopolies.

            Fundamentalism won’t disappear overnight or even in 50 years, but the idea that the rough edges (like, say, moving from murdering infidels to denouncing them on AM radio) can’t be smoothed off with several decades of banal American sitcoms and Japanese cat videos seems pessimistic.

            1. I was raised in a family where both of my Grandfathers were country Baptist preachers and both founded rual Churches that are laive and thriving today.

              The only people that I have ever heard say the earth is only 8,000 years old are progs trying to convince everyone else that most Christians fully beleive that .

              1. A prog or jihadist athesist that is….

              2. All my people are YECs, hardshell baptists and CoC, mainly. But it’s not like they care or investigate it–it’s just another doctrine to spout to separate the Good People from the Bad.

                They spend most of their time watching satellite tv or listening to music on Youtube, which is where I envision the scions of islamism in 2100. At heart, most people really just want to eat cheeseburgers and sit around shooting the shit, not the dangerous business of cutting out infidels’ hearts or saving souls in perilous lands.

                1. The bulk of my friends are also YECs, though with a 6,000 year timeline – I haven’t heard of an 8,000 year one. Naturally they also don’t believe in evolution.

                  This is Plano, TX, a wealthy northern suburb of Dallas, btw, to give it some context.

                  We’ve had some heated debates about it before (most of them believe in some kind of “water dome” that used to contain the earth that apparently gave ancient men super long lives), but they’re normal in almost every other respect, and we generally don’t talk about it much because said beliefs don’t impact our day-to-day lives in any way.

                  1. I’d also like to point out that I find it very odd that growing up in rural KY, with my family largely split between Southern Baptist and Church of Christ, none of them (to my knowledge) are young earth creationists. We did have a snake-handler church in that area, but I didn’t know any of them personally.

                    Then once I leave the boonies and move to a wealthy, cosmopolitan suburb of a wealthy city, I suddenly meet quite a few YECs. It was the exact opposite of what one would expect, given the general stereotypes about rural v. urban areas.

                    1. One last thing; I was googling around trying to remember what he said about that water dome I mentioned, and here’s a link explaining it.

                      http://creationwiki.org/Canopy_theory

            2. Ok, compare then, show me where they burnt a church or mobbed up for a death chant.

  11. Pamela Geller is a Jew and Robert Spencer is a Papist. Never forget that. It is a religious war with those two. A religious war that almost got a bunch of people killed.

    They both belong in prison.

    http://www.thoughtsandrantings.com

      1. Ending polytheism?

      2. Manischewitz wine? Love the stuff. Tastes like Kool-Aid with ten times more sugar.

        1. Kosher l’Pesach Coke? That snake oil?!?!? There oughtabealaw!

      3. The Producers?

      4. Providing the intellectual core of late 20th-century libertarianism?

      5. Raphael Mechoulam?

      6. No, that’s no true. My dad always get his Christmas lights tangled up and he’s a redneck as it gets. 😉

        1. Someone named Patrick is denouncing “Papist[s]”?

      7. The Atomic Bomb?

    1. They belong in prison . . . Nice one. You’re a funny, funny little man.

    2. I appreciate your disgust with free speech. And your bigotry. And your antisemitism.

      Now go fuck yourself, Nazi.

      1. I can only assume from your criticism of this fine, upstanding gentleman that you’re some sort of running dog of the Papist orthodoxy.

        1. And who the fuck call someone a “Papist” these days? Did our new troll fall through a time warp from 1850? (And how many more questions in a row can I ask before the Judge sues me for impersonation?)

          1. You sound like some sort of Mohammedan.

            1. Thou art an affront to the good name of Christendom!

        2. Not religious. No idea what a Papist is. Not even going to look it up.

          1. There’s one on this very thread.

  12. Well, I don’t care if you like it or not. Or that Pam Geller on almost every issue is a Prog, something I detest. It’s extremely unlikely you’d be so upset if some prick gay haters tried to shoot up a gay pride parade.

    I’m perfectly fine with the contest. That extremely tiny one trillionth of one hundredth of a percent of Muslims who are extremely murderous don’t need coddling and sensitivity. They need to learn we don’t belong to them and say as we please.

    As for Geller’s less than honesty in attempting to change the political landscape, well, you just don’t find much honesty in politics from anyone on any side.

    Now I’m going to take a big dump then wipe my butt with my Mohammad’s face toilet paper. Why? Because I’m a hate filled bigot just asking for it? No. Not at all. I’m going to do it just because I can.

    1. Pics?

      1. I’d love to send you some. But I don’t have to crap and don’t really have any Mohammed toilet paper, I was just trying to make point.

    2. Or that Pam Geller on almost every issue is a Prog, something I detest.

      ??? Pamela Geller’s an objectivist. She has a blog called ‘Atlas Shrugs.’ Where’d you get the idea she’s a prog?

      1. I read it in numerous Internet comments. Ehhhhhh… what the Hell was I thinking…

        Let me rephrase that. I don’t know anything about Pam Geller past that she helped put on a free speech event which I fully one hundred percent support.

    3. “Or that Pam Geller on almost every issue is a Prog, something I detest.”

      Wait, what? She’s a Randian Objectivist right?

      1. She is a Prohibitionist.

    4. I think Geller’s event was perfect exactly because it highlighted the difference between supposed fundamentalists of Islam and those of other religions. It needed to be done because it provided a stark reminder that there is a sickness in that religion that hasn’t gotten better in the past several decades.

  13. BTW: That comment was addressed to Cathy.

  14. Cathy Young is confused. Pamela Geller doesn’t want to be a ‘poster child’ of anything . . . She ran a contest. End of story.

    1. This is the same woman who sans this event is most famous for her efforts to get literal posters up in NYC? You cannot caricature some people!

  15. Us secularists have been fighting Christian Sharia for decades. Now the most vile religion in the world is growing and we have a duty to mock it relentlessly since violence is not an acceptable tactic.

    Got to side with Pam Geller on this one.

    1. It is “we” secularists, not “us”. You ignoramus.

      1. Sometimes Plug pushes it in so far it puts a lot of pressure on the area of the brain that enables formulation of good grammar.

        1. Awwwh. Got it. He’s disabled. 🙂

          1. Exactly.

            1. He should have displayed his “handicapped” sticker before he posted. I would have lowered my expectations and treated him as ‘special’.

      2. The correct first-person-plural subjective pronoun among PB’s demographic is “us-unz.”

    2. They’re everywhere shriek. Just waiting to get you and brainwash you into worshipping with them.

      Trust no one…

  16. What the fuck is wrong with the editors of Reason? Have they forgotten when libertarian means?

    As Robert Tracinski wrote in “The Federalist”, there is no ‘but’ after” I believe in Free Speech”. Any ‘but’ negates the previous statement. Cathy Young’s ‘but’ is “I believe in free speech but Pamela Geller is a terrible poster child”. Good God.

    1. I wasn’t really expecting to wake up from a night of drinking to find an anti-free speech article on Reason. If I didn’t have a headache I certainly do now.

      1. Unfortunately, this isn’t their first foray into the land of ‘but’ . “We believe in libertarianism, but . . .”. Apparently, the talented libertarian writers have moved to The Federalist.

        1. Apparently, the talented libertarian writers have moved to The Federalist.

          We’re talking about folks who decided to basically kick Harsyani to curb and replace him with Richman, of all people.

          *shrugs shoulders*

            1. Yes, he hasn’t been fully exiled, but I remember when Harsanyi was Reason’s policy in the Middle-East man. Also that other fella, the Brit…I can’t remember his name at the moment. Sadly, those two seem to have been replaced by Richman and his ilk.

              1. HM: yes I’m flatly wrong, but going to keep spinning nonetheless…

                1. Coming from Bo…

                  It would truly be magical to experience just a moment of the total and complete disconnect from reality that you enjoy on a constant basis. The first pharmaceutical company that can bottle it will be able to purchase their own universe.

                  1. Maybe he thinks he can get a guest writing spot if he keeps it up? And given the way weekend trolling articles are piling up, he may well be right.

      2. It’s not an anti-free speech article, and the people claiming otherwise are being idiots. It’s a pro-free speech article, but Young is just choosing to bury her head in the sand regarding Islam, so people who are more anti-Islam than she is can never be ‘good poster children’ of free speech.

        People really don’t appear to understand how widespread horribly violent ideas are among Muslims globally.

        Ninety-nine percent of Iraq’s 31 million people are Muslims and 78% believe that honor killings are sometimes justified. Therefore, in Iraq alone there are 24 million Muslims who favor honor killings. There are about 175 million Muslims in Pakistan and 55% of them favor honor killings in some circumstances. By my count, that is 96 million Muslims in Pakistan who favor such murders – a number that seems to me almost incomprehensibly immense.

        We are already up to 120 million Muslims in favor of sexist murder and I have only bothered accounting for two countries. Despite the claims that murderous Islamists are a ‘minority’ who shouldn’t be used to smear the ‘overwhelmingly moderate majority,’ the truth is that hundreds of millions of Muslims globally, possibly over 30% of them, are in favor of men being allowed to murder their wives if those wives ‘dishonor’ them. This does not seem like a fringe to me, and it does not seem particularly moderate.

        1. BTW, if you actually bother going through the entire Pew poll I mention in that post, you’ll find that there among the countries they bothered polling, support for honor killings runs at well over 30%. They polled like 30 Muslim countries, and just in those countries you easily 450-500 million Muslims who support stoning women who cheat on their husbands to death.

          Support for this sort of thing is therefore over 1/3rd of all Muslims on the planet. The idea that this is some sort of ‘radical fringe’ is absurd. If 1/3rd of Americans thought honor killings were justified, no one would be telling me ‘well, most Americans are more moderate!’ and no one would be saying it’s wrong to criticize America when only 100 million of its 300 million citizens support sexist murder.

          1. “no one would be telling me ‘well, most Americans are more moderate!’ ”

            I would, because defining any group by what a minority, even albeit a troublingly large minority, of that group believe or do is rank collectivism.

            1. Coming from someone who believes the majority of Reason commenters to be crypto-Republican social conservatives on the basis of a small minority of posters who generally acknowledge themselves not to be libertarians right from the get go…

              I wonder if when you finally get so far up your own asshole that you inevitably crawl out of your own mouth a new universe will be born.

              1. About half is closer to the truth, and you’ll notice I’m careful to refer to them in such ways PM. You’re just mad I spoiled your little playground by pointing it out.

                1. and you’ll notice I’m careful to refer to them in such ways

                  In the sense that a stopped clock is accurate twice per day, I guess. McCarthy had a better hit percentage than you do. Maybe you, too, should try alcoholism. It couldn’t do anything but improve you.

                2. Says the guy who lumped ME in with the Offended White Guy Brigade.

                  That isn’t ironic at all.

                  1. Check yer womyn privilege, Hamster!

            2. I would, because defining any group by what a minority, even albeit a troublingly large minority, of that group believe or do is rank collectivism.

              So I shouldn’t criticize Communists just because a minority of those Communists starved people to death and murdered tens of millions of people.

              Also, Bo, if 30% of Muslims believe in stoning women to death, what percentage of Muslims do you think are in favor of, I don’t know, beating your wife, or beating your kids, or treating your wife as a second class citizen, etc? Stoning is such a radically extreme position, that it stands to reason an outright majority of global Muslims hold horrifically sexist views that just stop short of stoning people to death.

              Also, I don’t have a problem with individual Muslims. I have a problem with Islam, which is easily the worst religion on planet Earth, and is a religion which guarantees a certain percentage of adherents will murder people. Criticizing an ideology is not ‘collectivism’ you moron because if it was then every time you criticize social conservatives you’re engaging in collectivism.

              1. You admit 2/3 disagree but think the whole group should be tarred for the view?

                1. This is basically slight of hand. People are not condemning all Muslims. They are condemning their anti-liberty Stone Age religion that produces massive numbers of sociopathic murdering assholes.

              2. Let’s analogize. I bet higher percentages of members of the black community support things we’d both find awful, maybe even as high as 1/3 on some issues. Would saying that the black community is the worst community therefore be ok?

              3. Criticizing an ideology is not ‘collectivism’ you moron because if it was then every time you criticize social conservatives you’re engaging in collectivism.

                Well to be accurate, Bo actually does engage in collectivism by placing people of vastly disparate ideologies into the same group, then imagining that they share his caricature of an unrelated ideology, and criticizing them on that basis. It would be analogous to you conflating ethnic Arabs with religious Muslims and criticizing Arab culture on that basis.

                1. What are you talking about? Do even you know at this point?

                  1. I don’t think that was at all unclear to anybody but you.

    2. It’s common to defend someone’s right to speak while denouncing the speech and speaker. Someone can burn the flag or paint the Madonna with dung and I can criticize them while opposing coercive measures against them.

      1. Sounds like a very long-winded ‘but’ to me, Cupcake.

        1. Speech criticizing free speech is protected free speech, too. Let’s not forget that.

          The only “but” I use is “…but be prepared to face criticism for whatever you say.”

      2. Cowardice is common. Men without chests but with manboobs like Bo. C.S. Lewis had no idea how much worse it could get.

  17. Best little rant on a Hillary presidential run I’ve heard yet.

    (Sorry you may have to watch a few seconds of a commercial to hear it.)

  18. Th author seems to think one can be a muslim and reject Islam. Geller and Spencer point out the serious problems that Islam presents to freedom, democracy and western civilization. Are we to understand that adherents of Islam don’t present the same problems ? Can Islam be reformed ?Many have tried and all such sects are deemed heretical and ruthlessly suppressed by classical Islam. The authors argument when Godwinized is that Nazism is bad but nazi party members present no problems at all and it would be wrong to criticize them for adherence to their creed.

    1. Are Jews and Christians who have found ways to reconcile the awful parts of their Scriptures with modern sensibilities not really Jews or Christians? How different than comparable Muslims?

      1. For one thing, modern Islam has reembraced the most vile and disgusting parts of the Koran and Hadith.

        1. Where were Judaism and Christianity 1300 years after their foundings?

          1. Christianity was recovering from a half a millenium of victimization by Muslim inspired aggressive war.

            1. Yeah, they were just this oppressed sea of tolerance and pacifism surrounded by aggression.

              1. Where do you think Christianity and Judaism were 1300 years after their founding?

                1. Christianity was burning apostates and treating religious minorities awfully.

          2. Where were Judaism and Christianity 1300 years after their foundings?

            Are you seriously going back to this retarded idea of yours that Christianity and Judaism just have a ‘head start’ and that’s why they’re less violent?

            Hinduism is the oldest religion on the planet, so by your argument Hinduism ought to be some sort of brilliantly advanced philosophy that leads its adherents to enlightenment. Moreover, Islam’s early years don’t scan with Christianity’s early years. At the beginning, Islam was a hyper-expansionist military power that conquered all of the Middle East, north Africa, Spain, India and invaded France. Christianity started off its existence as an oppressed minority religion in the Roman Empire and only gained wide swaths of land when Emperor Constantine converted.

            Given that their early years were so substantially different, it clearly is not the case that Islam is just a certain period of time behind Christianity.

            1. All three Abrahamic monotheist religions were intensly and violently intolerant through most of their history until over a dozen centuries after their founding. The difference is Islam was founded much later.

              It’s like looking at three men all of who were jerks as young men, but stopping the tape for one at that age and then focusing on the fact that the other two grew out of that phase to become fine upstanding middle aged men.

              1. In other words, we should just be more patient while they grow up.

                1. No, we deal with it like we do bad acting young men-taking an unequivocal stand condemning and standing against the bad things they do while hoping they grow out of it.

              2. The young religion hypothesis is bunk. Sikhism is 500 years old and they are not especially violent. Scientology is 50 years old and they are not violent either.
                Jainism is older than Christianity and it never had a violent period.

                It’s not the age; it’s the doctrine.

                1. Fair enough point, but it’s helpful to limit the comparison to the three Abrahamic monotheist religions I think. When you do it’s inescapable that for all three the long stretch of their early centuries were rife with violent inolerance, and that Islam started much later. The intolerance of modern day conservative Islam looks eerily like that which Christianity exhibited 700 years ago.

                  1. All right, and where was Christianity 200 years after founding? Now, where was Islam? Can you make a single comparison there?

                    1. Christianity was under the boot of the mightiest empire in history, so I’m not sure how many points they get for not causing trouble then. Islamic nations that were under outside domination often behaved relatively well.

                    2. Christianity was under the boot of the mightiest empire in history, so I’m not sure how many points they get for not causing trouble then

                      Way to go, Bo. You just talked your way in circles.

                      Either the two religions are comparable or not. As many have said, the two (or three) religions have totally different origins, and so their age/maturity are not comparable. Your answer seems to be “Sure they are comparable…except for these times when their maturity/age present evidence contrary to Bo’s sweeping and overly generalized theory.”

                      The fact is that Islam was born from hyper aggressive expansionism. Christianity was a grass-roots insurrection of decentralized communities.

                      Two thousand years later, Christianity is more or less embraced its founding roots. 1300 years later, Islam has more or less embraced its roots. This isn’t shocking to anyone looking at it honestly.

                  2. Shorter Bo

                    It’s best to just ignore the reality and believe this false idea that supports my theory.

      2. Quote some of those awful parts from the New Testament why don’t you.

        1. Christians don’t reject the Old Testament (you might have heard of this fondness they have for something called ‘the Ten Commandments’ for example). But of course, I’d still be able to raise the example of Judaism. It’s adherents are quite peace loving today, but at one time were full of apocalyptic fundamentalists, much like contemporary Islam which, interestingly, is centuries behind Judaism.

          1. So that’s a pass thanks for playing. Oh Bo so confident and yet so incompetent. I bet you were mummy’s special widdle boy weren’t you. It’s hard to explain the confidence otherwise.

          2. Christians don’t reject the Old Testament

            But they do believe that the New Testament supersedes it. There is a reason why almost every Christian mass reads one or two short passages from the OT and then devotes a half hour to reading and discussing the message in the New Testament.

    2. No, no, no…Young got a letter from a nice young man saying we can forget all that. AND WHY AREN’T YOU THANKING HIM FOR HIS SERVICE YOU BIGOT?!?!?

  19. People who have deeply studied Islam and political Islamism, and can hardly be accused of na?vet??such as historian Bernard Lewis or Middle East analyst Reuel Marc Gerecht?disagree.

    Of course, “reform” is possible, in the sense that you can turn Islam into a different religion bearing the same name. That’s how Christianity and Judaism have “reformed” after all: you declare most of the holy book to be “allegorical”, ignore the atrocities committed by its followers and sanctified in its holy books, state that all the killings done in its name were not actually according to the religion. Then you pay off the church hierarchy and have them swear allegiance to the state.

    What do you end up with? Another shitty new-age paternalistic movement around, usually tied closely to the government and government finances. While it’s a big advantage that its adherents are considerably less homicidal than they used to be, you just created a huge number of statists who have simply traded belief in one kind of oppression for belief in another kind of oppression.

    I think on the whole, you’re better off weaning people off the Abrahamic religions rather than trying to salvage the unsalvageable.

    1. you’re better off weaning people off the Abrahamic religions rather than trying to salvage the unsalvageable.

      Easier said than done. It would be pretty easy to block Muslims from immigrating to America but of course that’s “xenophobia” and we can’t have that.

      1. What do you suggest, quotas by religion or achieving the same with quotas by nation but targeting largely Muslim nations?

        1. Whatever it takes dumbass.

        2. Whatever it takes dumbass.

        3. Whatever it takes dumbass.

          1. 3rd time is a charm…the Holy Trinity of fuck you Bo!

    2. “I think on the whole, you’re better off weaning people off the Abrahamic religions rather than trying to salvage the unsalvageable.”

      As an atheist, I feel this way about all religions. Religions have done their best work when they stick to charity and “group therapy” in the context of a larger society. Sort of a halfway house for believers, on their way to wholeness and rational thought. Any other ‘feature’ of religion is about control, in my opinion.

      1. The root of misery is not Religion. It is Statism. Give any state power and it will justify its horrors through whatever contemporary excuse is at hand. For all the terror of the Inquisition this period was a minor blip compared to the Khmer Rouge, the Ukrainian Holodomor or the Chinese Cultural Revolution- all perpetrated by Atheists. These psychos were all “weened off the Abrahamic religions” and they did far worse than any of those villains ever did.

        1. The root of misery is not Religion. It is Statism.

          True. But some religions are intrinsically statist; that is how they kill.

          For all the terror of the Inquisition this period was a minor blip compared to the Khmer Rouge, the Ukrainian Holodomor or the Chinese Cultural Revolution- all perpetrated by Atheists.

          You’re making a category error there: Catholicism is a specific organization and a specific religion, and a statist one that ran Europe for more than a millennium. In contrast, atheism is not an organization, political philosophy, religion, or ideology, it’s just a descriptive term. You might as well say that the majority of atrocities in the world were committed by people who believed in heliocentrism: true, but utterly irrelevant.

          These psychos were all “weened off the Abrahamic religions” and they did far worse than any of those villains ever did.

          Those psychos were not weaned off the Abrahamic religions, they never believed in them in the first place. Furthermore, they did not use “atheism” as a justification for their deeds; their atheism was incidental.

          That is in contrast to the numerous atrocities committed by Christians, Jews, and Muslims, directly motivated and justified in the name of God and His teachings. And the Inquisition was really just a blip compared to the huge numbers of people slaughtered by followers of the Abrahamic God in His name.

  20. Scott Walker just on CBS, said we need to have a ‘strong presence’ in Iraq and called for a Reaganesque ‘build up’ of our military. Going to be increasingly fun watching his cheerleaders among the right leaning regulars here contort themselves trying to square their support with their ostensible libertarianism.

    1. Just curious what your parents do/did for a living. Were either of them teachers, by any chance?

      1. What did yours do?

        1. Accountant and housewife.

          1. My dad was a missionary primarily, my mom a homemaker. Dad eventually became an administrator for missions.

            Implicit in your question is that someone who isn’t impressed with Walker must have some irrational reason to dislike him, like a parent that’s a teacher. Do you think that much of him?

            1. I’m in a state that’s being destroyed by unions. I don’t care if the guy has dead bodies in his trunk.

              1. Fair enough. I live in a state misruled by SoCons and where public unions have largely been illegal, so I’m less impressed by him. YMMV.

                1. Gosh, you two should just switch places – win-win!

              2. If you’re in a state being destroyed by unions, you are, after all, used to that sort of thing.

            2. “Dad eventually became an administrator for missions.”

              I don’t want to insult your dad, but this explains a lot about you.

              1. An administrator of missions in a relatively small conservative church might not fit what you think of as the usual admistrator for what it’s worth.

                Dad believed in the message of Christ as a potential personal good for people, much like Ted Cruz seems to understand, and perhaps more importantly he sees the good missions do in materially helping poor people around the world via non governmental efforts.

                1. Like I said, it wasn’t meant as an insult of your dad because I have no idea what kind of a person he is. But I can see how his job alone would color your perception of social conservatives, whether you realize it or not, and that is reinforced by your response. You know all about what he thinks about his role, but not what he does.

                  1. Bear in mind that anything Bo tells you about his/her back story is very likely completely full of shit.

                    1. That is another possibility.

                    2. Bear in mind that anything Bo tells you about his/her back story is very likely completely full of shit.

                      Bo’s family portrait

                  2. My parents, like most SoCons, are good people that I happen to disagree with on some issues. I’ve said that over and over here. People here project that I ‘hate’ SoCons because they hate the ‘progs’ they disagree with and can’t fathom disagreeing with someone that you still respect.

                    1. Are we psychoanalyzing each other now?

                      Barf

                    2. Have a seat on my couch, Scruffy. You’re in a safe place.

                    3. People here project that I ‘hate’ SoCons because they hate the ‘progs’ they disagree with and can’t fathom disagreeing with someone that you still respect.

                      Or they get that impression from your idiot-savant-like focus on more-often-than-not imagined SoCon hobgoblins to the near-exclusion of any other political issue, combined with your ardent defenses of progressive political ideals so long as they remained gilded in a veneer of voluntarism, and your enthusiastic agreement on a wide variety of subjects with the commentariat’s only two persistent griefers.

                    4. Speaking of hobgoblins, it’s nice that you describe people concluding what I think from their readings of implications of who they perceive me agreeing with and what I don’t say as opposed to, you know, what I actually say.

                      I oppose leftist policy all the time, but people like you that are so interestingly intent on covering and carrying water for SoCons only recall my criticisms of them.

                    5. Speaking of hobgoblins, it’s nice that you describe people concluding what I think from their readings of implications of who they perceive me agreeing with and what I don’t say as opposed to, you know, what I actually say.

                      Well, that’s not actually what I said, but then if you could comprehend anything you read, you wouldn’t be Bo. There was most of a paragraph preceding the:

                      …and your enthusiastic agreement on a wide variety of subjects with the commentariat’s only two persistent griefers.

                      part.

                      I oppose leftist policy all the time, but people like you that are so interestingly intent on covering and carrying water for SoCons only recall my criticisms of them.

                      You also defend progressive political ideals all the time. And it’s probably more telling that you accuse me of carrying water for socons when you yourself have admitted when pressed for evidence that I actually am not a socon, than my noticing, along with every other person you happen to have encountered in your time here, your unflappable obsession with socon boogeymen.

                    6. Or they get that impression from your idiot-savant-like focus on more-often-than-not imagined SoCon hobgoblins to the near-exclusion of any other political issue

                      As far as Republican politics go, that is the main issue right now: social/Christian conservatism as a political agenda is both incompatible with libertarianism and political suicide for the Republican party as the number of Christian voters is inexorably decreasing.

                      Note that this has nothing to do with whether your beliefs are socially conservative; I’m pretty socially conservative myself in my beliefs and my own life. Political social conservatism is about imposing one’s beliefs on others, and that simply cannot be reconciled with either libertarianism or Republicanism. And many religious conservatives want selective libertarianism, where they continue to demand special privileges, while denying those privileges to others under the pretext of small government. Liberals and progressives take excellent advantage of that kind of hypocrisy.

                    7. Your best comment so far! Obsessive stalking leads to impulsive errors there, PM!

                    8. Not sure what is so erroneous about that post. Seems to me that PM knocked it out of the park.

                    9. I’m sure it seems that way to you, but my comment was to his aborted comment above the one you like so much.

                    10. It’s cutely narcissistic of you to think that a stranger on the internet failing to press the shift key firmly enough to transform a period into a greater than sign to close an HTML tag properly somehow reflects upon yourself.

  21. Cutting words remove no heads.

    1. Good morning, AC.

      1. Good afternoon, JG.

  22. Reason’s writers are getting really good at kicking hornets nests with their weekend articles. Enjoy the shitshow, everyone.

    1. It’s not just the writers.

      1. HOW MUCH U NEGLECT UR KIDS BRO

        1. I woke the baby up with an air horn this morning. I’m trying to makeup for lost time.

          1. Video?

  23. I have no idea what the author thinks is an adequate “poster child for free speech”. She appears to be eliminating anyone with whom she disagrees or is “controversial”. Respectfully, that is nonsense. The point of free speech is that it applies first to the controversial. The poster children in the past have been the demonized, blacklisted and ostracized. Geller is perfect just as Malcolm X with whom I agreed about nothing, was perfect.

    1. And just like Communists were perfect poster children for free speech despite my disagreements with them.

    2. as Malcolm X with whom I agreed about nothing

      Not even on gun rights?

  24. “I’ll HUFF, and I’ll PUFF….”

  25. Geller and Spencer clearly think the Koran necklace suggests otherwise; but, interestingly, such necklaces are apparently viewed as profane and even idolatrous by devout Muslims.

    Such necklaces are viewed as profane by some Muslims and I think Young’s argument here would have been a bit more convincing if her linked source weren’t a random Muslim internet forum where some people say you shouldn’t do it. An internet forum, incidentally, which contains a poster who says this:

    At-Tama’im is the act of putting an amulet around the necks of children to save them from the
    effects of evil eye! If the amulet contains the verses of the Qur’an or Allah’s Names or Attributes
    then it is allowed by some ancestors and disallowed by some.
    Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased
    with him) was among those who disapproved it,

    So even in Young’s cited source one of the posters mentions that it’s actually controversial as to whether this is allowed or not. ‘Devout Muslims’ can look at this issue both ways, there’s no real Islamic orthodoxy regarding the subject.

    1. the act of putting an amulet around the necks of children to save them from the
      effects of evil eye!

      Think what Frodo coulda done with one of these.

  26. Good spoof! For a minute there I almost believed it was a Reason editor penciling that screed. But no Reason editor would have failed to notice:
    1. Pamela’s website is Atlas Shrugged, and denounces all manner of superstitious drivel, and
    2. That Texans have guns and shoot murdering jihadists. (See American Sniper)
    Mohammed’s myrmidons would have fared much better in the legally disarmed People’s States. But seriously, is Cathy Young an editor at Mother Jones? Utne Reader? People’s World?

  27. “When extremists use deadly violence against speech that offends them, tut-tutting “just because you can do it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea” is unseemly and misguided.” And them the author goes on to two pages of doing just that.

    Gellar and Spencer’s occasionally shrill critique of Islam is, itself, certainly open to critique but doing so in the context of an article that discusses free speech at least pushes toward the “her skirt was too short” territory, disclaimers aside.

    1. If the skirt was shorted kapton insulation could help. What? This isn’t a technical forum. Uh………….

  28. “Bigotry kneecaps the case against radical Islamism”

    A case of ammo is the only one to be made against savages

    And y’all better act right when attending a Texas art show…civility is strictly enforced

    1. Shoot Friendly, The Texas Way.

  29. TP TPP

  30. Neither was Larry Flynt a poster boy for free speech. The ones who get attacked are usually the most obnoxious jackasses. Rarely does the speech of the inoffensive get suppressed.

    1. In many’s view, only speech that would never be criticized (the sky is blue, puppies are cute, etc) is worthy of protection. They’re just too damn stupid/intellectually lazy to realize that kind of speech doesn’t need protection.

    2. Rarely does the speech of the inoffensive get suppressed.

      Inoffensive to whom? In most of the world, if you express an idea that only the people in power find offensive, you’re thrown in jail or worse.

      That’s the kind of speech the first amendment is designed to protect — speech that upsets the powerful. Not speech designed to upset a widely hated and scapegoated minority. The latter is still protected by the first amendment, but this is a necessary evil, not something to celebrate.

      1. There are over 1.57 billion Muslims in the world. If we subtract the number of Muslims from the country’s population, my napkin math tells me the ratio of Muslims world wide to the number of Americans citizens is roughly 5 Muslims for every American.

        Not speech designed to upset a widely hated and scapegoated minority.

        Get out of here with that bullshit.

      2. “Not speech designed to upset a widely hated and scapegoated minority.”

        Is that minority hated for good reason? Do they pull guns when others unpack pens?

        The fact that some group is a minority says nothing about whether what they stand for is worthy of praise, derision or apathy. The same goes for majority groups. Everyone gets judged on their merits or lack thereof, not on where they stand on the victim totem pole.

        1. “Not speech designed to upset a widely hated and scapegoated minority.”
          .
          Just as the Second Amendment was designed to keep the King of England out of our faces and, now that King George III is dead, there’s no more need for that particular right either.
          .
          But you know who else is a widely hated and scapegoated minority? Muslim-bashers. Ball’s in your court as to who is more oppressed then whom, Francis.

          1. I think you replied to the wrong post.

            You are looking for Gyrtrash above, I was just quoting him.

      3. Not speech designed to upset a widely hated and scapegoated minority.

        I think that depends entirely on the minority in question. I have no qualms using speech that is “upsetting” to minorities who advocate killing me, whether they are Muslims, Neo-Nazis, or anybody else.

    3. Larry Flynt was feted at the highest levels of left wing society for his free speech stand. His free speech which consisted of falsely accusing Jerry Falwell of incest. Larry Flynt is a horrible comparative example. He was an odious, warped man turned into a free speech hero by the same people that can’t stand Pam Gellar.

      1. “Larry Flynt was feted at the highest levels of left wing society for his free speech stand.”

        Which is why he is a great comparative example.

      2. His free speech which consisted of falsely accusing Jerry Falwell of incest.

        No, Flynt parodied Falwell, something SCOTUS unanimously decided was protected free speech.

        I suggest you read what Flynt actually had to say about Falwell and the case:

        http://www.latimes.com/la-op-f…..tml#page=1

        (Flynt may have been an “odious, warped man”, I don’t know, but Falwell certainly was.)

        1. I suggest you stop having sex with your sister Win Bear then I’ll read your link.

          Parody.

  31. Pam Geller not a good spokesperson for free speech?

    Really?!

    Actually, here she is defending free speech at the Daily Caller in 2011:

    “Al Jazeera is planning to expand into the United States, and the chattering classes are treating it as a simple free speech matter. Let’s not let the Islamic supremacists once again invoke the freedom of speech to kill our freedom of speech. The ruse of using freedom of speech to allow propaganda broadcasts over our airways is another stealth attack on the United States of America.”

    —-Pamela Geller

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/03…..ed-states/

    Oh wait! That isn’t defending free speech! That’s Geller trying to stop people from speaking.

    Well, anyway, she had Gert Wilders at the event in question, and surely he’s all for free speech, right?

    Actually, no. On his own website, Gert Wilders still calls for banning the Koran.

    “Enough is enough: ban the Koran”

    —-Gert Wilders

    http://tinyurl.com/lezbtwh

    These people are using free speech as a cover for their horseshit.

    They do not deserve one iota of our effort in their defense. Defend their right to spout their bullshit? Absolutely. But just like with the terrorists, it isn’t Geller or Wilders that I’m standing up for–it’s their right to free speech.

    1. What they tried to to do in Texas was free speech in your view?

      1. When you say, “What they tried to do”, are you talking about Geller and Wilders?

        Yes, what they tried to do was free speech.

        What the terrorists tried to do wasn’t.

        You understand the difference between speech and shooting people, don’t you? I assumed anybody that read my comment would. Maybe I should have.

        1. Maybe I [shouldn’t] have.

          1. “But just like with the terrorists, it isn’t Geller or Wilders that I’m standing up for–it’s their right to free speech.”

            You’re right, I was being pedantic. It’s just that I’ve read some off the wall shit on other websites that tries to justify the two wannabe mass-murderers actions (which you weren’t trying to do).

    2. Just because she says pro-free speech things does not mean she is a good defender of free speech. That I attempt to play golf does not make me Jordan Spieth.

      1. The weird perspective, the obtuse objection–it reeks of Tulpa already!

        You are Tulpa, aren’t you?

  32. I don’t know how many know, or care, but the Cathy Young/Robert Spencer pissing match has gone on since 2006, and seems as intractable as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Just to put Young’s article in perspective.

  33. I don’t know how many know, or care, but the Cathy Young/Robert Spencer pissing match has gone on since 2006, and seems as intractable as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Just to put Young’s article in perspective.

    1. CATHAU AKBAR

      1. Ululate when you say that, pal.

        1. Actually, akbar is not spelled with a qaaf, but instead a kaaf. So the sound is the same as our letter K.

          What? I’m studying to be prepared when the terrorists win.

        2. Disregard. Warty is right, I can’t read. I saw “uvulate.”

          1. In two comments, you out Ling-nerded me.

            I tip my fedora to you.

            1. FEDORAHU AKBAR

              And you know I’m too young/naive/precious to understand what “Ling-nerded” means.

                1. Or hosting a Rule 34 Lisa Ling site.

                  Six of one, 1/2 a dozen of the other.

                  1. Ah. I thought Ling was a famous Chinese nerd or something…..racist?

                2. Shit, I have a linguistics degree and I haven’t heard that one before. Guess I’m cooler than that.

      2. ROBERTU AKBAR!!!

        sorry. couldn’t resist.

        now: PAMELAHU AKBAR

  34. If Pamela Geller is a poster child for free speech, the 600 lb guy cruising around Walmart with flab sacs hanging out of every opening in his mobility cart is a poster child for food freedom.

    1. You’re right! We should ban the morbidly obese and force them to work in labor camps to burn off the calories they stole from their fellow AMERICANS!

      1. Is the murder of logic in this comment endorsed by the Koran?

      2. 30% of American liberals agree.

  35. What is the preoccupation with having a “poster child” for a basic human right, anyway. It smells strongly of some being more equal than others.

  36. Also, you know who else wanted idealized children depicted in posters?

    1. Robert Mapplethorpe?

    2. Jeffrey Jones?

      1. Oh yeah!

    3. 23 and Me?

      *ducks*

  37. I also believe that, as I argued recently in The Daily Beast, Geller and her associate Robert Spencer are terrible poster children not only for free speech, but for combating Islamist extremism?because they routinely blur the lines not only between “anti-jihadism” and a war on Islam, but between criticism of Islam and Muslim-bashing.

    Uh, that’s kinda the definition of free speech poster children. If their speech wasn’t offensive, it would need no protection.

    That you have your knickers in a twist over the content is irrelevant to the topic.

    1. Again, check my comment above.

      Just becasue their offensive speech should be protected by the First Amendment doesn’t make them poster children for free speech–when they’re on the record being against free speech.

      Geller is on the record for banning speech.

      1. Geller is on the record for banning speech.

        Check your pretzel logic privilege Ken.

        You only get speech rights if you’re for speech? Got it.

        1. No, but you’re not a good spokesperson for freedom of speech if you oppose free speech when convenient for your agenda.

          1. You seem to be confused. Either you have a right or you don’t. As long as you aren’t harming someone with that right, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing with it. That’s the entire point.

            Rights aren’t utilitarian. Those are called privileges and those are doled out by the ruling class to the well-connected and preferred classes.

            1. So someone like Dianne Fienstein who fights to limit gun rights but who admits to carrying a gun is a good spokesperson for gun rights?

              1. Absolutely right she is.

                Point out her hypocracy and show that even anti-gun liberals know down deep they need to carry in order to protect themselves and she is one of the best advocats of carry rights that exist.

      2. Geller is on the record for banning speech.

        Citation? Geert Wilders is on record for banning speech (specifically the Koran) and deserves criticism for it, but I haven’t been able to find a cite for this claim about Geller.

        1. I posted it above. With the link, here it is again:

          “Al Jazeera is planning to expand into the United States, and the chattering classes are treating it as a simple free speech matter. Let’s not let the Islamic supremacists once again invoke the freedom of speech to kill our freedom of speech. The ruse of using freedom of speech to allow propaganda broadcasts over our airways is another stealth attack on the United States of America.”

          —-Pamela Geller

          http://dailycaller.com/2011/03…..ed-states/

          Obviously, we can’t let free speech get in the way of banning Al Jazeera from saying what they want on American airwaves?!

          And that was like the first link I got on Google about her and free speech.

          1. Okay. Well then fuck her on that subject then. It still doesn’t actually matter when discussing the act of drawing pictures and getting shot at for your blasphemy.

            1. I don’t like the focus on Geller. Is she a good spokesperson for free speech? No, but who cares? The focus in this story should be on the cretins who thought that regardless of who Geller is and her views that the proper response was to use violence to stop her speech. That’s the only focus there should be.

              1. Why? There is basically no dispute that what the attackers did was illegal and wrong. Plus, they are dead so there’s no question of how to punish them. So that “focus” would be pretty boring and masturbatory.

                There is, however, disagreement about Geller, and it seems beneficial to hash this out in the marketplace of ideas.

                1. There seems to be some dispute to the increasing number of Americans sympathetic to the view of these cretins.

                2. On Reason there isn’t. Go to the Daily Kos or Democratic Underground and read the comments on the Geller stories there.

              2. Except it’s almost impossible to make the case for free speech–and not be taken as being supportive of Geller–unless we disavow people like Geller as not really being about free speech.

                The people who need their free speech rights protected are generally shitheads. When we’re standing up for–our own–free speech rights, it is absolutely necessary to point out that we’re not standing up for the shitheads.

                When they go after Pamela Geller’s free speech rights, those are my free speech rights, too–and depriving Pamela Geller of her free speech rights does nothing to advance the cause of tolerance.

                In other words, we have to make the case against Pamela Geller in addition to making the case for our free speech rights. Because the nature of the problem is that people can’t tell the difference between them. So, we have to explain that difference. Yes, Pamela Geller has free speech rights, and they should be defended–but Pamela Geller is a shithead. We need to say both.

            2. Of course the context of that statement is to be found in the larger article in which she argues that Al Jazeera should be banned, not because their reporting is sympathetic to certain factions, but because there is evidence that they are directly cooperating with elements in Al Qaeda and other jihadi groups by providing them with intelligence.

              1. Even assuming that accusation is true, how is broadcasting in the US going to aid in their providing of intelligence to AQ? Claiming that someone should be coercively prevented from speaking in the US because they do bad things in other countries is still anti-free speech.

                1. how is broadcasting in the US going to aid in their providing of intelligence to AQ?

                  Umm…the same way that justifies the regulations against photography by anyone around certain sensitive sites? Now, I happen to think Geller’s claim is a tad hysterical, but her argument it is not what Schultz is characterizing it as.

                  1. Lol

                  2. Taking photographs gains information, so that would be useful for intelligence gathering.

                    Broadcasting does not gain information, and thus is unlikely to be useful for that purpose. I suppose you could argue that they are sending coded messages to operatives in the US, but that’s getting in to A Beautiful Mind territory, and would be prosecutable under “material support” laws were there any evidence.

                  3. Umm…the same way that justifies the regulations against photography by anyone around certain sensitive sites?

                    It’s not clear that those regulations are actually legally justified, or even rationally justifiable.

                    Even if they are justified, I fail to see the analogy you’re trying to make.

              2. “There is evidence that they are directly cooperating with elements in Al Qaeda and other jihadi groups by providing them with intelligence.”

                Well then she should give that evidence to the FBI, so that they can get those broadcasters extradited to the United States (if they aren’t in the U.S. already) and criminally charged with providing material support for specific terrorist attacks.

                I suspect Geller (as she often does) is making more of that “evidence” than might be justified. She’s quite the fearmonger, you know.

          2. If Geller’s cartoon contest wasn’t targeted by lunatics who belonged to (or were influenced) by an organization that’s committed to ending free speech, then she wouldn’t be a poster child for free speech. But it was.

            For obvious reasons, I won’t characterize Al Sharpton to be a “civil rights leader” or even a poster boy for civil rights. But if he went over to Iran to publicly support women’s right to drive and Al Qaida targeted one of his protest events, I wouldn’t be morally opposed to considering him as an icon that stood up for civil rights in a certain context.

            Libertarians and doctrinaire republicans often play this purity game for no reason at all. I bet at least some of the Charlie Hebdo artists were statists and may have even supported measures that suppressed free expression. But that’s mostly moot point, considering that they stood by their work despite existing threats and paid the ultimate price (yes, Gellar didn’t die, I know)

            1. Pamela Geller advocated censorship.

          3. If you equate “free speech” with Al Jazeera’s “incitement to violence” and collusion with terrorists – (that is -) mysteriously acquiring and handling their propaganda videos and being “Johnny-on-the-spot” when their bombs go off (and for which Geller likens them to Al Manar (“the broadcast station for Hezbollah…designated a terrorist organization by the State Department”), then I think you ought to reconsider your definition of “speech”.

            Unless you take issue with the substantive claims made here by Geller, who is rejecting the establishment of a foreign propaganda machine established to incite violence and sedition on American soil, I think she has a stronger leg to stand on then you do.
            And in any case, she does not make entirely clear what would be her preferred mechanism for “not letting them” on the airwaves. Public pressure and boycott, most likely, as she likely has little faith that the current administration would designate them a “terrorist organization”).

            As for Wilders, who has been prosecuted under his country’s hate speech laws, where Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is banned – he is simply demanding that the Koran be given equal treatment with Mein Kampf. I understand that he (properly) fights, long term, for the repeal of such hate speech/print laws.

            1. My above comment (KDo|5.19.15 @ 1:55PM) in this fast-moving thread was aimed at: Ken Shultz|5.17.15 @ 12:39PM|

      3. So is Hilary Clinton and the Senate Democrat Caucus.

    2. If their speech wasn’t offensive, it would need no protection.

      Offensive to whom? If 99% of the people outside the government agree with you, but the government does not like it, in most of the world that means you go to jail or worse. THAT situation is what the first amendment is designed to prevent. Assholes like Geller are just abusing the first amendment’s protections.

      1. Assholes like Geller are just abusing the first amendment’s protections.

        Abuse is doing exactly what the 1st is designed to do?

        What color is the sky on your planet?

      2. If 99% of the people outside the government agree with you, but the government does not like it, in most of the world that means you go to jail or worse. THAT situation is what the first amendment is designed to prevent.

        No it’s not. It’s also meant to protect against the power of the mob or the ‘tyranny of the majority.’ Read your James Madison – he was quite explicit about this and free speech in a democracy is primarily meant to protect the individual against the collective.

        Assholes like Geller are just abusing the first amendment’s protections.

        How can you abuse free speech protections by practicing free speech? She’s taking advantage of America’s wonderful free speech protections which you also happen to enjoy, but that does not constitute abuse.

        1. Read your James Madison – he was quite explicit about this and free speech in a democracy is primarily meant to protect the individual against the collective.

          B-I-N-G-O.

        2. No it’s not. It’s also meant to protect against the power of the mob or the ‘tyranny of the majority.

          That too, though the first amendment only protects against the mob/TOTM to the extent that it acts through government. As that pizza place found out, the mob can fuck you up to punish speech without resorting to govt action.

          And Geller’s speech has no danger of pissing off the majority; it’s carefully crafted to piss off a despised and powerless minority.

          How can you abuse free speech protections by practicing free speech?

          ?????

          That’s like asking how can you abuse cocaine by snorting cocaine. Use is a requirement of abuse. To say that no speech constitutes an abuse of freedom of speech is to say that freedom can never be abused, which is absurd.

          1. freedom can never be abused

            And by what metric are we to gauge this soi-disant abuse? Yours? Who made you God-King of speech?

            1. Well, of course the determination of abuse is going to be subjective. Which is why I don’t think speech should ever be punished or restrained coercively, except in severe, objective cases like perjury or death threats. But, let’s not deny that abuse ever occurs.

              1. We already have words for abuse of speech: “slander,” “libel,” ” fraud,” “defamation,” et al.

                Do you have evidence that Gellar’s art exhibit engaged in any of those acts?

                1. a?buse
                  verb
                  ??byo?oz/
                  1.
                  use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse.
                  “the judge abused his power by imposing the fines”
                  synonyms: misuse, misapply, misemploy; More
                  make excessive and habitual use of (alcohol or drugs, especially illegal ones).

                  noun
                  1.
                  the improper use of something.
                  “alcohol abuse”
                  synonyms: misuse, misapplication, misemployment; More
                  unjust or corrupt practice.
                  “protection against fraud and abuse”
                  synonyms: corruption, injustice, wrongdoing, wrong, misconduct, misdeed(s), offense(s), crime(s), sin(s)
                  “the scheme is open to administrative abuse”

                  1. Except by your own subjective evaluation of its content, that definition doesn’t apply to speech either (and isn’t relevant anyway in a legal context).

                    1. Why doesn’t it apply to speech?

                      Legal context doesn’t matter since I said there should be no coercion in relation to speech (other than perjury/death threats).

          2. And Geller’s speech has no danger of pissing off the majority; it’s carefully crafted to piss off a despised and powerless minority.

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

            The despised minority canard? There are a bunch of Mosques in and around Garland, Texas. Tell me – what happened to those Mosques after the Garland shooting? Precisely. Nothing. In fact, Geller, being a Jew, actually belongs to a minority that is the victim of far more hate crimes in the United States than Muslims, but no one’s whining about how bad we should feel for Geller since she belongs to a minority which is far worse treated than Muslims.

            Furthermore, if Muslims are so powerless, than how is it that so many news organizations refused to show the Charlie Hebdo drawings, why is it that Jyllans Posten (the paper attacked during the Danish cartoon fiasco) won’t publish any more Mohammad drawings out of fear, and why is it that cartoonist Molly Norris is now in hiding from death threats due to ‘Everybody Draw Mohammad day?’ That’s an awful lot of power for a ‘powerless minority.’

            That’s like asking how can you abuse cocaine by snorting cocaine. Use is a requirement of abuse. To say that no speech constitutes an abuse of freedom of speech is to say that freedom can never be abused, which is absurd.

            Great point. Drawing pictures of Mohammad is the perfect equivalent of getting strung out on coke.

            1. The despised minority canard?

              One would think Tulpa, (It seems PM noticed it at the same post I did) would be able to grasp ratios, but I guess one would be wrong.

              Must be the effect of all the high fructose corn syrup in his Coca-Cola. I hear it addles the brain.

              1. It is also irrelevant to these people that anti-Muslim hate crimes are ridiculously rare in the United States – they’re a minority, therefore they must be oppressed or something. Muslims in this country are among the least oppressed Muslims on planet Earth, since in America they don’t have to worry about us murdering them because they’re Shi’ite when everyone knows the Shi’ite offshoot of Islam is a heresy.

                I mean, the Shia believe Mohammad divinely ordained Ali Ibn Abi Talib his successor, when all true Muslims know that the mantle was meant to pass to his wife Aisha’s father, Abu Bakr. How can you expect us not to murder the people who disagree?

              2. By the “logic” of your post, China and India would be the world superpowers.

                Yes, there are more Muslims than Americans in the world. However, very, very few of those Muslims have any influence on the US govt. Outside of the Saudi royal family I can’t think of any examples. And their tiny population in the US means their effect on US elections is minimal, probably even less than that of libertarians. So yes, “powerless” is appropriate.

                If you’re going to dispute “minority” because of the Muslim population outside the US, then we have to stop calling Asians a minority when talking about US matters, too. Possibly Africans as well. The PRC alone has 3x as many people as the US.

                1. By the “logic” of your post, China and India would be the world superpowers.

                  Oh my God, Tulpa put “logic” in scare quotes, thus implying he doesn’t think your logical. How badly have your feelings been hurt by Tulpa’s disdain, HM?

                  Yes, there are more Muslims than Americans in the world. However, very, very few of those Muslims have any influence on the US govt. Outside of the Saudi royal family I can’t think of any examples. And their tiny population in the US means their effect on US elections is minimal, probably even less than that of libertarians. So yes, “powerless” is appropriate.

                  Just gonna ignore all the journalists who won’t criticize Muslims out of fear, the Seattle cartoonist who was forced into hiding, the global attacks and multiple murders associated with The Satanic Verses, the international rioting and violence caused by the Danish cartoons, 17 dead at Charlie Hebdo, two dead in Copenhagen, the shooting in Garland, Boston Bombing, 9/11, 7/7, the bombing of the train in Spain that killed hundreds, the decapitation of Drummer Rigby, South Park censoring itself in the face of death threats, hundreds of college students dead in Kenya, thousands murdered in Nigeria, hundreds of thousands in Iraq and Syria, imprisonments for criticizing Islam in Indonesia…

                  Man, that powerless minority sure does flex its muscles pretty effectively, doesn’t it?

                  1. How badly have your feelings been hurt by Tulpa’s disdain, HM?

                    My very soul was rent asunder.

                  2. Here’s a hint, Tulpa: When a minority group makes journalists too scared to criticize them because those journalists could very well be murdered if they do, they are not ‘powerless’ you fucking idiot.

                    I even forgot to mention all the political assassinations: the gay mayor of France stabbed (though he survived) for being gay, the assassination of Theo Van Gogh, the assassination of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, Ayaan Hirsi Ali fleeing the Netherlands out of fear she would be murdered, and Geert Wilders was one of the people targeted in Garland. By my count, that’s three Dutch politicians who were targeted for assassination, one successfully and a famous Dutch filmmaker murdered. Tell me, how willing do you think other Dutch politicians are going to be to criticize Islam given what’s happened to all the other politicians who have done so?

                    And you think Islam is ‘powerless.’ You have the IQ of a lobotomized ferret.

                  3. The thinking is that if we just preemptively bow to their wishes, they won’t exercise their powerlessness and go along being powerless. Flawless logic.

                    1. The thinking is that if we just preemptively bow to their wishes, they won’t exercise their powerlessness and go along being powerless. Flawless logic.

                      No, that is not the thinking. I’m not advocating bowing to anyone’s wishes.

                      Geller and her ilk are just going out of their way to be assholes… which actually helps the radicals recruit.

                      Conservative Islam is very worried about the West destroying their religion, but they know that will not be accomplished by drawings of Mohammed. It will be accomplished by increased wealth and tolerance and the loss of interest in religion it brings. Same fate that befell Christianity.

                  4. I actually agree with your point that one shouldn’t discount the power of a violent minority group which might be politically or numerically small and less powerful, but HM’s response about their being so many Muslims in the world as a whole was spectacularly silly.

                    1. I actually agree with your point that one shouldn’t discount the power of a violent minority group which might be politically or numerically small and less powerful, but HM’s response about their being so many Muslims in the world as a whole was spectacularly silly.

                      It isn’t silly at all. Islamism is not an ideology that stops at borders – they outright reject the Western concept of nation states and the goal is to spread the ideology internationally without regard for borders.

                      Saudi Arabia has spread Salafist Islam all over the world through the funding of radical Muslim madrassas to the extent that parts of the planet that never had issues with Islamic extremism are now infested with it. The Garland, Texas attempted massacre was supported by international Jihadist organizations and that’s where the two guys actually got the idea. Extremism in France is financed with Saudi oil money.

                      The power of international Islam is absolutely relevant to the discussion and one of the reasons soppy leftists cannot recognize the threat is because they’re myopically looking at the percentage of Muslims in western nations and are not considering the spread of fundamentalism internationally through the use of trans-national, Saudi financed propaganda networks.

                      HM strikes me as being much more educated on this subject than you or Tulpa.

                    2. I actually agree with your point that one shouldn’t discount the power of a violent minority group

                      Full stop. Muslim Americans are not any more violent than any other religious group.

                  5. I don’t think you understand what power is.

                    Power means that you get what you want. If you asked Muslims worldwide what policy changes they would most like the US to do, it’s pretty obvious what #1 would be: withdraw all support for Israel. And there’s no way they’re getting that.

                    The next three would probably be some combination of withdrawing from Afghanistan, ending the drone attacks, and letting more Muslims immigrate. The first two might happen, but due mainly to non-Muslim support for those. The third is not happening.

                    So, I’m not sure where you think Islam is powerful here.

                    You’d have to go way down the list to find “stop people from publishing pictures of Mohammed”. And even there, there was a massive Streisand effect. Reason published them. Wikipedia published them. Tons of outlets published them. They were seen by far more people than if the attacks on Jyllands-Posten cartoonists had never occurred. If that’s the hook you’re hanging the “Muslim influence” hat on, it’s a pretty weak one.

                    1. I don’t think you understand what power is.

                      Oh Tulpa – it’s cute how you’re simultaneously wrong about virtually everything but make up for it by also being completely insufferable.

                      Power means that you get what you want.

                      And Muslims don’t want people to stop criticizing the Prophet? They don’t want politicians who are subservient to them out of fear? Power doesn’t mean you get everything you want – the Koch Brothers are powerful, but last I checked their dream of a libertarian society hasn’t exactly worked out for them.

                      I think you don’t know what power is so you just invent definitions that aid in whatever ludicrous argument you’re currently desperately trying to make.

                      So, I’m not sure where you think Islam is powerful here.

                      In their ability to get people to stop criticizing them and the ability that Islamists have to send random people into hiding for fear they will otherwise be murdered. That’s a pretty extraordinary power, don’t you think?

                      If that’s the hook you’re hanging the “Muslim influence” hat on, it’s a pretty weak one.

                      Yeah, I’ll tell that to all the magazines who purposefully censor all pictures of Mohammad and I’ll tell it to all the people who wrote for Jyllans Posten who were attacked in their homes (including one man attacked with an ax in front of his granddaughter). If that’s not power, power does not exist.

                    2. the Koch Brothers are powerful, but last I checked their dream of a libertarian society hasn’t exactly worked out for them.

                      The Koch Bros. are not really that powerful. They may be able to influence a few GOP House primaries by dumping cash in but that’s it. Nice to see you’re buying in to the left wing myths, though.

                      In their ability to get people to stop criticizing them

                      They don’t have that ability, as obviized by this conversation.

                      I’ll tell that to all the magazines who purposefully censor all pictures of Mohammad

                      Were there pictures of Mohammed on the blank pages before they printed or something? Magazines don’t publish pictures of most people in the world, does that mean they’re afraid of them?

                      I would bet that most media that didn’t publish the Jyllands-Posten cartoons did so primarily because they didn’t want to endure bigotry accusations. Blaming it on the threats of violence was an easier excuse to make.

                    3. I would bet that most media that didn’t publish the Jyllands-Posten cartoons did so primarily because they didn’t want to endure bigotry accusations. Blaming it on the threats of violence was an easier excuse to make.

                      You’d be less annoying if you weren’t so staggeringly ignorant of the subjects you decide to blather on about.

                      Here’s an example of a newspaper admitting they aren’t publishing out of fear.

                      “We have lived with the fear of a terrorist attack for nine years, and yes, that is the explanation why we do not reprint the cartoons, whether it be our own or Charlie Hebdo’s,” Jyllands-Posten said. “We are also aware that we therefore bow to violence and intimidation.”

                      There you go. Any other questions you want to ask for which there are readily available answers that you’ve just chosen to pretend don’t exist?

                    4. Having reading problems again?

                      I would bet that most media that didn’t publish the Jyllands-Posten cartoons did so primarily because they didn’t want to endure bigotry accusations. Blaming it on the threats of violence was an easier excuse to make.

                    5. Also, maybe if one day a fatwa gets put out against you for saying something an Islamic despot in Saudi Arabia doesn’t like and people you know are murdered by an international Islamist movement, you’ll come to conclude that Islam is a pretty goddamn powerful ideology.

                      You just don’t care about anything but your ego (which is why you are incapable of acknowledging your’e wrong), so you ignore the casualties and you ignore the lives destroyed and proclaim the people who did the destroying to be ‘powerless’ because since it didn’t happen to Tulpa, it doesn’t actually matter.

                  6. Didn’t Comedy Central censor South Park?

                2. By the “logic” of your post, China and India would be the world superpowers.

                  You want to pull the Dragon’s tail? Go right ahead. Even not counting the two countries’ economic ascendance, by their population alone they have a proportional effect on global affairs.

                  And their tiny population in the US means their effect on US elections is minimal, probably even less than that of libertarians. So yes, “powerless” is appropriate.

                  I find your comment amusing as it comes from someone who consistently screamed bloody murder about the “Jewish lobby”. You are correct that in the United States, Muslims are a tiny minority, so that what attention is given to them in the media and in politics is evidence of a much larger influence than their numbers would suggest, no? Besides, that’s just a feint. The threats against Geller and the event came from around the world both before and after, so it is appropriate to cite the global Muslim population. Or are you suggesting that Molly Norris should come out of hiding because she has such a miniscule chance of meeting an American Muslim?

                  1. “Even not counting the two countries’ economic ascendance, by their population alone they have a proportional effect on global affairs.”

                    Good grief, he’s compounding the mistake even further.

                    When talking about whether something is a powerful group or not within the US stop pointing to their power outside the US. Sheesh.

                  2. I find your comment amusing as it comes from someone who consistently screamed bloody murder about the “Jewish lobby”.

                    If I do it consistently, it shouldn’t be hard for you to find one example of me doing it.

                    You are correct that in the United States, Muslims are a tiny minority, so that what attention is given to them in the media and in politics is evidence of a much larger influence than their numbers would suggest, no?

                    Attention != influence. Nice try. If it were otherwise, Kim Kardassian and Miley Cyrus would be the most influential people in America.

                    Even not counting the two countries’ economic ascendance, by their population alone they have a proportional effect on global affairs.

                    I don’t think that word “proportional” means what you think it means. India certainly doesn’t have triple the influence as the US in global affairs. Population doesn’t do jack to increase influence unless you put them to good use (creating wealth, subjugating or invading other countries, etc).

                    1. You’re very good at avoiding countering actual evidence, Tulpa.

                      Population doesn’t do jack to increase influence unless you put them to good use (creating wealth, subjugating or invading other countries, etc).

                      You mean ‘good use’ like outsourcing Wahhabism to every corner of the globe until you’ve got radical Islamists on every continent on Earth, except Antarctica? Because that’s what the Saudis have done, but you apparently think this is a trifling, unimportant subject, unworthy of the attention of your towering intellect.

                    2. Again, you don’t seem to understand what power is. Power means that you get what you want.

                      The Saudi royal family does have power over US policy. Muslims in general, basically none.

                    3. The people shooting up Garland Texas and Charlie Hebdo and Copenhagen are aligned with Saudi Arabia because it is through the Saudi outsourcing of Wahhabism that these people exist. As I said elsewhere, this is a global network meant to spread a specific brand of virulent Islam in every single country on Earth. Whether or not Muslims have political power in the US Senate is irrelevant because they don’t view this as a national issue, they view this as a global Jihad.

                      The Saudi royal family does have power over US policy. Muslims in general, basically none.

                      You know, except for the fact that various newspapers have admitted they refuse to publish Mohammad cartoons because they’re afraid of being attacked and South Park actually censored itself in deference to Islam when it has never censored itself in deference to any other religion.

                      Again, you’re unbelievably ignorant about this topic, as proven by the fact that you didn’t know Jylland Posten has admitted they refuse to print any more Mohammad cartoons because they are scared and because, in their words, ‘violence works.’ That happened less than 4 months ago – the fact that you didn’t know it happened and had to ask me for proof that there are any newspapers who have explicitly given in to Islamic terror is evidence, as if any more were needed, that you’re willfully ignorant on this subject and should probably get educated before continuing to embarrass yourself.

                    4. You know, except for the fact that various newspapers have admitted they refuse to publish Mohammad cartoons because they’re afraid of being attacked

                      And even more newspapers, magazines, and internet outlets did publish them with impunity. That’s a pretty damn flaccid power you’re claiming Muslims have. Not to mention that Muslims are completely powerless to change US policy on the issues they actually care about (Israel, global war on terror, immigration/visas from Muslim countries, Afghanistan, etc).

                      South Park actually censored itself in deference to Islam

                      No. Comedy Central censored them and, yet again, that has caused more interest in the episode than there otherwise would be. Oh yeah, and….

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..ontroversy

                      Comedy Central’s decision to censor the image was due to concerns for public safety. The network issued a short statement the day following the episode’s airing: “In light of recent world events, we feel we made the right decision.” “Cartoon Wars” followed only weeks after another religious run-in with the network, in which Comedy Central pulled a rerun of the 2005 episode “Trapped in the Closet” due its apparent mocking of Scientology.

                    5. Heroic Mulatto|5.17.15 @ 1:35PM|#
                      ….

                      I find your comment amusing as it comes from someone who consistently screamed bloody murder about the “Jewish lobby”.

                      Gytrash|5.17.15 @ 1:50PM|#

                      If I do it consistently, it shouldn’t be hard for you to find one example of me doing it.

                      ::crickets::

          3. And Geller’s speech has no danger of pissing off the majority; it’s carefully crafted to piss off a despised and powerless minority.

            Yeah? And?

            abuse

            You sure like those weasel words to back up your righteous indignation. Maybe that’s the abuse you’re looking for.

            Here’s some homework for you. Contrast and compare the following words against speech rights: libel, slander and fraud. I want 750 words on this on my desk by tomorrow.

          4. And Geller’s speech has no danger of pissing off the majority; it’s carefully crafted to piss off a despised and powerless minority.

            Neo-Nazis and communists are “despised and powerless minorities” as well, and I hope they will stay that way.

            Free speech is, in fact, the mechanism by which we in the US decide which political/ideological minorities remain “despised and powerless”, and plenty of political/ideological minorities deserve that status.

        3. Which Madison text are you talking about, anyway? Certainly not the Federalist Papers, which were against the idea of a bill of rights and advocated a constitution with zero protections for freedom of speech.

          1. and advocated a constitution with zero protections for freedom of speech.

            Actually, the fear was that the Bill of Rights would place too many limits on free speech protections. The federal government has no enumerated powers to regulate speech, so the 1st amendment was thought to be superfluous and potentially abused to place more limits rather than less.

            Or stated another way, Aristotle was not Belgian, the central message of Buddhism is not “Every man for himself”, and the London Underground is not a political movement!.

          2. Certainly not the Federalist Papers, which were against the idea of a bill of rights and advocated a constitution with zero protections for freedom of speech.

            Jesus Christ. The Federalist Papers were against the Bill of Rights because the Federalists were worried that if you set down specific rights for protection, then other rights would be considered not protected and the state could eliminate rights not in the Bill of Rights by arguing they weren’t singled out for protection like speech was. They were not opposed to total free speech.

            Here:

            In Virginia I have seen the bill of rights violated in every instance where it has been opposed to a popular current. Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents.

            That quote also explains Madison’s opposition to the Bill of Rights – he didn’t believe it would even work. Now he’s been proven wrong by time, but his problems with the Bill of Rights wasn’t that he opposed uninhibited free speech in practice. He eventually came around on the matter, and was actually a major reason the BOR eventually got passed.

            1. Er, he’s clearly talking about what your debating opponent here said- the majority using the government.

            2. Gytrash is Tulpa.

              You’re arguing with Tulpa.

            3. Which merely confirms that he was against free speech protections (as stated in my comment to which you replied “Jesus Christ” for unknown reasons), and had no answer for how unpopular speech was to be effectively protected. He preferred instead to just wish for the best, apparently.

              So, I’m not sure how “reading Madison” as you suggest can elucidate my understanding of the an amendment Madison opposed.

      3. How, exactly, does one abuse a right?

        Speech is speech. It doesn’t get a happiness rating making some of it “more free”.

        1. How, exactly, does one abuse a right?

          If this were a police related thread you would know the answer.

          1. Murdering people because they fail to sufficiently genuflect to your authoritah is not actually a “right”, Tulpa. It’s not even in the “Officer’s Bill of Rights”, let alone the actual one.

            1. Oh, shit. I’m wasting my time with that epistomological trollop? I feel dirty now.

              1. How sad is it that an individual is SUCH a piece of mendacious shit that he needs to make up new monikers to trick people into talking to him?

                Tulpa, you are a diseased piece of garbage.

                1. Even the dogs wouldn’t play with him with pork chops tied around his neck.

                2. Tulpa is such a dishonest actor he has to deceive people into interacting with him. And this is a place that will argue with shrike and “Tony” for days on end.

                  1. Because shrike and Tony are the type of opponents you wish to have.

                    That the Harlem Globetrotters prefer to play with the Washington Generals rather than LeBron James is not an insult to LeBron.

                    1. Uh-huh, sure. Your delusions are hilarious.

                    2. Tulpa: The Lebron James of H&R.

                    3. Tulpa actually just sits the bench for the Generals. Remember, delusion is his thing. While he doesn’t play, he fantasizes about what he wishes he was. Remember that he’s utterly pathetic. That’s a very important factor here.

                    4. Ha. Seems like I’m the point guard on this thread.

                    5. And there we have it. Perfect. Another three point delusion under your belt, Tulpa. Keep it up, this never gets old.

                    6. Sometimes, his cow-like intellect really hard to tell apart from small, frightened children.

          2. If this were a police related thread you would know the answer.

            Huh?

  38. Since Ms. Geller appears to be one of the few if not only person with cojones large enough to take on these assholes, I think she makes the perfect poster child for free speech!

    More importantly, Pamela Geller has either intentionally or accidentally stumbled upon the perfect way to catch lone wolf terrorists operating in the US. We should have thousands of these draw Mohammed contests every year. All we have to do is strategically place our swat teams at these contests. We eliminate the terrorists and our swat teams get excellent training to boot. Life can be beautiful!

    Go get’em Pam!

    1. “Pamela Geller has either intentionally or accidentally stumbled upon the perfect way to catch lone wolf terrorists operating in the US. We should have thousands of these draw Mohammed contests every year.”

      I think it goes too far to say she did that intentionally. If she did that intentionally, put innocent people in harm’s way, then she better be glad no one got hurt.

      There are people who do that kind of thing on purpose, but they’re generally left-anarchists–and they’re called the black bloc. They go to street protests for the express purposes of antagonizing the police during the demonstration (often with physical violence), and then blend back into the crowd. Their purpose is to antagonize the police into beating some innocent protestors in the hope of getting the police on camera doing so and, thereby, delegitimizing the State.

      Needless to say, most of the protestors have no idea that these people are setting them up to be beaten by the police and have their beating used for propaganda purposes. Doing this, in my personal opinion, makes the black block fucking disgraceful. And if Pam Geller ever used patriotic Americans as sacrificial lambs in the hope that terrorists will harm or kill them–so that she can use that to inflame hatred or government action against Muslims? Then she’s be a fucking disgraceful human being, too.

      1. However, I have seen no indication that Geller intended for anyone to get hurt. Only internet speculation that’s what she did–mostly by people on the left who are trying to discredit her. That you would imply that she might have done this purposefully–in her defense–suggests that you may be subject to a long standing observation I’ve made: that the extremes of the political spectrum endeavor to become the caricatures their opponents on the opposite side of the spectrum make them out to be.

        Seriously, you don’t have to become everything the progressives tell you to be. You could choose to think for yourself instead.

        1. Kenny, Kenny, Kenny — You must have dropped a lot of acid in your days.

          You take supposition to a new level. Let me remind you of the facts. NONE of the good guys got killed! Two bad guys are dead. While you’re running around throwing out insane hypotheticals that Geller might “be a fucking disgraceful human being” for doing nothing but putting positive energy into the conversation leads me to believe you’re having a bad trip.

          Take 2 aspirin and call ANYONE but me in the morning.

          1. “More importantly, Pamela Geller has either intentionally or accidentally stumbled upon the perfect way to catch lone wolf terrorists operating in the US. We should have thousands of these draw Mohammed contests every year. All we have to do is strategically place our swat teams at these contests. We eliminate the terrorists and our swat teams get excellent training to boot. Life can be beautiful!”

            If you’re really going to double down on dangling innocent Americans (men, women, and children) in front of terrorists as bait?

            Then you need to go see a psychiatrist.

      2. Ken — You say:

        “And if Pam Geller ever used patriotic Americans as sacrificial lambs in the hope that terrorists will harm or kill them–so that she can use that to inflame hatred or government action against Muslims? Then she’s be a fucking disgraceful human being, too.”

        To begin with, all of those “patriotic Americans” knew the risks they were taking by showing up at the Draw Mohammad Contest and they proved their patriotism by showing up regardless. And who got killed? Exactly who should have gotten killed.

        Your hypothetical scenario is nothing but a product of your imagination. But feel free to get back to us if that ever happens.

        1. “To begin with, all of those “patriotic Americans” knew the risks they were taking by showing up at the Draw Mohammad Contest”

          You’re making shit up.

          Some of them may have willingly taken a risk, but you’re still making shit up.

          Regardless, if any of them had been hurt, and they could prove to a court that Pamela Geller purposely enticed them there to be human sacrifices in her war against Islam (as you suggested she may have), then they’d have one hell of a lawsuit against her.

          There’s no evidence that proves Pamela Geller purposely did that to anybody.

          But you don’t purposely put innocent people in harm’s way.

          Even if you didn’t pick up the importance of volition in libertarian morality,…

          Did these people sign a waiver?

          Can they sign a waiver to put their children in danger?

          Didn’t your parents teach you right from wrong?

          1. Kenny boy — Now look at who’s making “shit up” (Do you kiss your dog with that mouth?)

            You have no idea if there were children at the event or not. And are you accusing the American people in attendence of being so stupid they can’t even determine the risks of a situation like the drawing contests, or are you just being stupid? I think the latter.

            Your inane comments are beginning to bore me and I’m sure others. I through with you.

  39. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the Free Speech I saw while watching the US news recently. Every day the lead story was ISIS and an extended period of air time was devoted to it. The coverage included numerous experts, current and former government officials, military officers, academics and pundits. I never once saw a spokesperson from ISIS interviewed or given a chance to give the ISIS side of the story. No spokesperson, no one even vaguely sympathetic to the ISIS cause, even though the coverage went on for weeks.

    For all this talk of the test of Free Speech being the willingness to defend the rights of those whose ideas are disagreeable, I find it odd that nobody is willing to advocate for ISIS’s rights to Free Speech. That is the true test, after all.

    1. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the Free Speech I saw while watching the US news recently.

      No one has been terribly impressed by your opinion on any subject, ever, so who really gives a flying fuck what you thought or think about, well, anything? Go jerk off to Loose Change in your mom’s basement and file some more entries on your blog.

      1. “Go jerk off to Loose Change in your mom’s basement…”

        Enough of this Free Speech stuff. Let’s talk about something really interesting.

    2. For all this talk of the test of Free Speech being the willingness to defend the rights of those whose ideas are disagreeable, I find it odd that nobody is willing to advocate for ISIS’s rights to Free Speech.

      Where I come from, we call this “California argumentation”.

      1. I thought it was the Fairness Doctrine

      2. You said ‘California.’ Something tells me you dissaprove.

        1. It’s a play on words that references, and entails, the well-known phrase “California ethics”.

          Get it now?

          1. I can assure you that he does not.

          2. “Get it now?”

            I get the fact that you dissaprove of something. What it is exactly, I don’t know. You want me to guess, is that it?

            1. Well, I do disapprove of your moral relativism. However, I now think I disapprove of the large gaps in your education even more.

              1. “your moral relativism”

                I don’t see how my ‘moral relativism’ enters the picture. Any more than the state of California. I’d like to see a more fully informed and complete discussion on the issue of ISIS, even if it means that spokespersons from ISIS get to contribute a couple of sound-bites of their own. Doesn’t mean that I agree with them, but I’d like to see them making their own case. That fact that I’m completely alone in this desire doesn’t bode well for the future of Free Speech.

          3. “California Ethics”… is that like a “California Stop”?

    3. Guys, guys, look at mtrueman! Look at him! Look, look! He’s defending the voiceless ISIS adherents and taking a principled moral stance! He doesn’t know what free speech entails (freedom from state coercion, not ideological balance), but–look, look!

      Look at him! Watch him climb Mt. Moralhighground!

      Look, look!

      1. “He’s defending the voiceless ISIS adherents…”

        You misunderstand. I’m not defending ISIS adherents. I’m defending Free Speech. I’m also defending the principle of fair and balanced journalism. I’m genuinely interested in what ISIS would have to say for itself and was dissatisfied having the ISIS case made exclusively by people who were hostile to it. Maybe you are happy with the editorial position of the media, most are apparently.

        1. If you’re genuinely interested in what ISIS has to say, they publish an internet journal in English known as Dabiq. No one is stopping you from reading it.

          1. Look, I’ll even do the work for you. Here are all 8 issues in pdf format for you to read at your pleasure.

            Read them and then get back to us with your thoughts.

          2. ” they publish an internet journal in English known as Dabiq”

            That is not an ISIS magazine. That is a wikipedia page. Your other link also links to an outfit hostile to ISIS. You’ve misunderstood my objections. I think it’s important to give ISIS the freedom to speak for itself if only so that we don’t have to have it mediated by those who are hostile to it. That’s why Free Speech is a worthy cause.

            1. That is not an ISIS magazine. That is a wikipedia page.

              Holy fuck but you’re stupid. It’s a wikipedia page about the magazine in question. You can read the actual magazine, but HM probably decided not to link you to it directly because he’s already on enough watch lists.

              Also, freedom of speech is not a guarantee of a platform. ISIS happens to enjoy both. But nobody is required to give them the latter in order that they might have the former.

              1. “but HM probably decided not to link you to it directly because he’s already on enough watch lists.”

                Anyone for Free Speech? No?

                1. Yeah, everybody in fact. You’re the only person here confused as to what “Free Speech” actually means. Protip: It’s not “free” as in beer.

                  1. “Yeah, everybody in fact.”

                    I remain unconvinced. Being added to government watch lists is not Free Speech.

        2. At some point this stuff breaks down.

          Is a piece that unapologetically denounces the Nazis for Auschwitz really unbalanced?

          What about the Rape of Nanking? Do you really need the pro-genocide position to achieve balance?

          ISIS is like that. There is no defense for what they’re doing.

          Just like with Al Qaeda, there may be reasons for what they did–but there are no justifications. Any account of what ISIS is doing that isn’t damning is biased–in their favor.

          1. “At some point this stuff breaks down…”

            Maybe so, but I think I’m willing to take things further than most here. I’ve been curious enough to actually look into the claims made by holocaust deniers. Same goes for the Japanese claims about Nanjing. I suppose I could do a little more digging and find plenty of material that gives ISIS followers the chance to explain themselves in their own words, but seeing as the issue is not buried in history like Auschwitz or Nanjing, but is relevant today, as dozens of nations are bombing Iraq and Syria every day, it shouldn’t be so difficult.

            “There is no defense for what they’re doing.”

            Given the chance, they WOULD defend what they are doing. People are surprising that way. And what’s more, they just might say something you wouldn’t hear from the mouths of their enemies.

            1. As the academic linguist pointed out, they do provide an ideological defense for those curious enough to look. No publication is under any moral or legal obligation to give them a popular outlet for their ideas than it is to give one to Pam Geller.

              And the whole “look at how intellectually curious and honest I am” schtick needs to go. You’ve been here a long time. We know you’re not motivated by an anthropological interest in the bizarre permutations of human culture; you’re motivated by the desire to be a contrarian and run into every thread begging for the attention of the irritable posterati lurking here.

              1. “No publication is under any moral or legal obligation to give them a popular outlet for their ideas than it is to give one to Pam Geller.”

                I’m not arguing a legal or moral case. It’s about how best to keep oneself informed on the issues of the day. If you believe that ISIS’s case is best put forth by those hostile to it, then make the argument. If you don’t believe this but are afraid to say so because you fear ending up on some government watchlist, that’s fine too. Just don’t bother lecturing me about Free Speech.

                1. I’m not arguing a legal or moral case. It’s about how best to keep oneself informed on the issues of the day.

                  Which has exactly fuck all to do with “Free Speech” (which doesn’t need to be capitalized, btw, it’s not a trade term).

              2. Irritable posteriorati? Is that what we’re calling a pain in the ass these days?

                1. We ARE the irritable posterati.

                  We would lose all our charm if we didn’t have people telling Tony to fuck his daddy every time he raises a peep or ripping apart the editor of the Freeman every time he references Roderick Long.

        3. I’m genuinely interested in what ISIS would have to say for itself and was dissatisfied having the ISIS case made exclusively by people who were hostile to it.

          When the ‘ISIS case’ involves hurling gay people from towers, I think hostility is somewhat warranted.

          1. “I think hostility is somewhat warranted.”

            It’s not their hostility I object to. I think it’s important to let people speak for themselves. Isn’t that the essence of Free Speech?

            1. mtrueman|5.17.15 @ 2:35PM|#
              “[…]I think it’s important to let people speak for themselves. Isn’t that the essence of Free Speech?”

              No body here gives a shit what you think. Tell your mommy; maybe she cares if she’s not tired of your act.
              Oh, and fuck off.

              1. “Tell your mommy”

                I will tell her as soon as I finish jerking off in her basement. Anything else I can do for you?

                1. mtrueman|5.17.15 @ 5:20PM|#
                  “Anything else I can do for you?”

                  Yes, fuck off.

        4. The only means of defending free speech I’m aware of in the case of ISIS is moving to Syriraq and fighting with all the other individualists for the right to blaspheme, criticize the state, or produce profane art. I have never known journalism to be fair and balanced, but the relevance of that to the issue of free speech–namely the right to communicate x or not-x without fearing state coercion or reprisal–is lost on me.

          Objecting to a network’s choice of programming does not constitute a defense of free speech.

          1. “Objecting to a network’s choice of programming”

            It’s not a network. It’s several networks in several English speaking countries. And it’s not so much the networks’ editorial position I’m objecting to, it’s the lack of those questioning it. And the willingness to attack me for pointing it out. Now you haven’t told me to jerk off in my mother’s basement, I’ll grant you that, but others have, even by those who, in the next breath, speculate on the motives of Heroic Mulatto, saying he refrains from linking directly to a ISIS magazine out of fear of state reprisal. Specifically, being added to the million or so other Americans who find themselves on some watchlist.

            1. And the willingness to attack me for pointing it out.

              For the sake of clarity, I wasn’t attacking you for drawing this ridiculous false equivalence in support of a false dichotomy and torturing the language to intentionally conflate terms. I was attacking you for being a retarded, mouth-breather, tin foil hat wearing 9/11 Truther and a shit-tier griefer. You’re as stupid as Bo, and way less interesting than Tony or Shreeek. It’s not even fun to play with you. So invective is all the attention you get. If you want something more, step up your troll game.

              1. “For the sake of clarity,”

                Don’t worry yourself over clarity. I’m not all that interested.

            2. “the lack of questioning it”

              You and I both know that isn’t so, so why go through this dance? About a third of us are hardcore ancaps who have zero faith in the mainstream press to do anything but spout conventional wisdom that was tired a generation ago. Another third are CATO-style libertarians, with the other third being a mishmash of conservatarians, objectivists, and various “humorous” types who occasionally spout invective. Virtually none of these people agree that mainstream media outlets are responsible. Most of us bash Reason’s writers–our own people, give or take 5-10% ideology–to really get the weekend started.

              The idea that we’re the ones who need to benefit from your enlightened rejection of vulgar political opinion is absurd, as is the idea that any of us are indifferent to the idea that our Reason subscriptions make us kinda sorta enemies of the state.

              And though I make fun of you for your transparent attention whoring and high-minded lookatme! rhetoric, I am content to simply tease you for being obtuse. I try not to cross the scatalogical-masturbatory bridge when engaging in mockery.

              1. “You and I both know that isn’t so…”

                It is so. I’ve never seen anyone here taking the media to task over failing to let groups like ISIS speak for themselves. It seems like everyone but me is content to let others speak for them.

    4. I never once saw a spokesperson from ISIS interviewed or given a chance to give the ISIS side of the story. No spokesperson, no one even vaguely sympathetic to the ISIS cause, even though the coverage went on for weeks.

      What does that have to do with free speech? Free speech under the US Constitution means that government shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. Are there any such laws keeping ISIS spokespersons from speaking?

      I wasn’t terribly impressed by the Free Speech I saw while watching the US news recently.

      You probably have some deluded European notions about media, where government pre-selects from a range of governmentally acceptable viewpoints (some of them nominally opposed to government views) and then gives them equal coverage on government regulated media. I’m sorry, that’s not free speech, it’s pretty much the opposite.

      1. “What does that have to do with free speech?”

        I thought I was clear on that. If you are denied the opportunity to speak on your own behalf, that is not free speech. If you avoid talking about certain subjects out of fear of being added to a government watch list, that is not free speech.

        “You probably have some deluded European notions about media”

        Check out the BBC coverage of ISIS. It’s not all that different from US, even down to their preferred choice of pundits, government experts etc.

        1. mtrueman|5.17.15 @ 6:01PM|#
          “I thought I was clear on that.”

          No, you were full of shit on that.

          1. “No, you were full of shit on that.”

            Must be those deluded European notions of yours.

            1. mtrueman|5.17.15 @ 8:14PM|#
              “Must be those deluded European notions of yours.”

              You’re full of shit on that, too.

    5. It might have something to do with ISIS beheading any westerner they find that doesn’t immediately convert to Islam. That might put a damper on sending a crew out to interview them.

      But then, you don’t really care about free speech.

      1. “That might put a damper on sending a crew out to interview them.”

        Maybe they could find an alternative, like using the telephone and showing a still photo of the interviewee while talking. Or using an interviewer who has already converted to Islam. You’d be surprised at the risky things an enterprising reporter will do to get a story. Far riskier than picking up a telephone and calling an ISIS member.

  40. What a monumental disaster!
    We got trueman who can’t tell “yes” from “no”, Bo who’ll change his definition on the spot when he’s called on it and tulpa who’s sure “yes” is only what the rules say.
    Have a ball, guys!

    1. You forgot the Hinfection.

      1. And the Tulpatosis.

        1. I have a stash of tetracycline from Mexico that you’re welcome to.

          1. That stuff won’t work. You have to burn it out. Really char it.

      2. “You forgot the Hinfection”

        You’re right and now I see Vanneman is adding to the pollution!
        Playa, that ain’t nearly strong enough.

    2. Jesus fucking Christ this is a shitshow. And if you ever needed proof that Tulpa’s “law and order” platform is a fucking joke, just look at how easily he writes apologetics for muderous thugs. Why yes, I will graciously bow down before your authoritah, just so you can kindly look the other way when some jihadi from Bumfuckistan decides to chop my head off. I suppose ultimately it’s unsurprising; anyone who loves submission as much as Tulpa will be positively enamored of Islam.

      1. And then he’ll say he’s just standing up for a ‘powerless minority’ – a minority so powerless they have managed to assassinate major politicians on three continents and cow major media outlets into fearful submission.

        1. I’m struggling here to find any real ideological distance between mtrueman and Tulpa.

          1. I’m pretty sure trueman’s ideology is “I love to see my name on the screen!”

            1. He will consistently apologize for communism, whine about the designated “victim” groups, and propose a command economy as the solution to every supposed “problem”. There’s an ideology there, but it is quite well obfuscated by his narcissism.

  41. I don’t believe Mohammed cartoons are an attack on Muslims.

    And those Garland clowns did.

    I believe this “belief” stuff is inherently unresolvable, even via “the force of law”.

  42. Bravo, Cathy! It’s a shame, really, that a writer of your intelligence should have to devote so much time and effort to refuting these fanatics.

    1. And Alan turned back to his review of Kramer vs Kramer, his job once again done. It was then that he realized that his colostomy bag was full, but he had just recently emptied it. Such was the drudgery of his life.

  43. Who does Cathy Young prefer as the ‘poster child of free speech’? Herself?

    Where was she when the “Draw Mohammed” contest was being contemplated? Hiding under her desk?

    The problem with the eliterati at Reason – they LOVE to talk about free speech. And that’s it. Talk about it. Do nothing afterward.

    1. That would be a much more interesting comment–if Reason weren’t the very inventors of the “Everybody Draw Mohammed” contest back in 2010.

      https://reason.com/blog/2010/05…..ne-draw-mo

      My memory is faulty, but I remember Geller once being a commenter here. The first time I saw her website was from a comment she put here a long time ago.

      Anyway, I suspect Geller got the idea of an Everybody Draw Mohammed contest from Reason.

      Again, no libertarians are against free speech here. But Geller and company aren’t in favor of free speech–and make terrible ambassadors for free speech. When Reason holds a contest for cartoons depicting Mohammed, it really is about free speech. When someone who is against free speech uses it as an excuse to bash Muslims, it really shouldn’t be surprising to see real free speech advocates, like those at Reason, calling out the phony free speech advocates for being phony.

      1. When someone who is against free speech uses it as an excuse to bash Muslims, it really shouldn’t be surprising to see real free speech advocates, like those at Reason, calling out the phony free speech advocates for being phony.

        Keep grasping for that fainting couch, Ken.

        1. I invoke Poe’s Law.

          1. You keep arguing that only people who support speech rights are worthy of representing that right. Because, you know, non-controversial groups are the only ones who need the protection of that right.

            You might want to reach for something more than Bo-Lite.

            1. Actually what I wrote above is this:

              “The people who need their free speech rights protected are generally shitheads. When we’re standing up for–our own–free speech rights, it is absolutely necessary to point out that we’re not standing up for the shitheads.”

              However, I’m not just saying that Pamela Geller is a bad candidate to represent free speech because just because she’s a shithead.

              I’m also saying that Pamela Geller is a bad candidate to represent free speech–because she’s on the record as being against free speech.

              She doesn’t think Al Jazeera should be allowed to broadcast in the United States.

              She hosted Geert Wilders at a “free speech” event–and his personal blog still says he wants to ban the Koran.

              No, the fox isn’t a good candidate to guard the hen house of free speech. This fox has demonstrated that it has a taste for chickens. They’re just championing free speech–to bash Muslims. And that isn’t really what free speech is about.

              Free speech isn’t about protecting your own provocative speech while advocating the censorship of others–but that’s what Pamela Geller is doing/has done. That’s why Pamela Geller is a shitty spokesperson for the issue of free speech. She’s advocated censorship. She doesn’t really believe in free speech.

              Yes, her bigoted speech should be protected, but I’ll be damned if I have to pretend she’s a free speech advocate in spite of having argued for censorship.

              1. And that isn’t really what free speech is about.

                Oh, Ken. I wish that was the dumbest thing you’ve ever said. It’s so lacking in any factual basis and contrary to, you know, that actual 1st Amendment, that it might as well be.

                This is just folksy blowhards having icky feelings about who is doing the speaking. Stop insulting everyone’s intelligence and pretending it’s anything else than your own discomfort and making noises that sound like an informed argument.

                I’ll make it simple for you: speech isn’t about the content or how appalling the speaker is. Ever. If it is, it’s not speech anymore; instead it’s the mob sharpening their farming implements.

                1. “Oh, Ken. I wish that was the dumbest thing you’ve ever said. It’s so lacking in any factual basis and contrary to, you know, that actual 1st Amendment, that it might as well be.”

                  Did you read my comment? Seems like you’re responding to voices in your head.

                  Here’s what I wrote:

                  “Free speech isn’t about protecting your own provocative speech while advocating the censorship of others–but that’s what Pamela Geller is doing/has done. That’s why Pamela Geller is a shitty spokesperson for the issue of free speech. She’s advocated censorship. She doesn’t really believe in free speech.”

                  That’s what you’re objecting to–because it isn’t compatible with the actual First Amendment?

                  Here’s the First Amendment:

                  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[1]”

                  1. Free speech isn’t only about protecting your own provocative speech from government; it’s also about other people’s speech being protected from government, too. And as I’ve documented above, Pamela Geller has advocated censorship. Pamela Geller’s censorship is not championing free speech. And the First Amendment isn’t just about protecting the right of Pamela Geller to talk–it’s also about protecting the free speech rights of people who hate Pamela Geller.

                    Why someone, like Pamela Geller–who advocates censorship–should be considered a champion of free speech doesn’t make any sense. …because protecting Muslim bashing isn’t just what free speech is about–free speech is also about Al Jazeera bashing Pamela Geller. And if she doesn’t want to defend Al Jazeera’s free speech rights–she actually publicly calls for banning Al Jazeera from the American airwaves because of what they say then she has no business claiming to be a champion of free speech.

      2. Reason didn’t invent Everybody Draw Mohammad Day, they were just one of the many outlets around the internet that popularized it. It was a widely covered national event. I doubt Geller would have had to nose through the Reason archives from 2010 for the inspiration.

        The WBC probably isn’t all that interested in *your* freedom of speech, but they have nevertheless won court cases that were vitally important in securing those rights. Are they also “phony free speech advocates”? What level of purity is required before the person exercising free speech becomes an ambassador for it?

        1. Maybe “invent” wasn’t the right word. There were a lot of other news outlets that wrote about Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, but they didn’t host it, publish images, etc.

          Reason did. Reason was a big part of it. And they held an Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.

          Even the wiki on it gives Gillespie, Moynihan, and Welch a big chunk of the coverage.

          http://tinyurl.com/myl67c9

          Regardless, accusing Reason of hiding from a Draw Mohammed contest is ridiculous considering that Reason held Everybody Draw Mohammed Day some five years before Geller’s recent contest in Texas. Let’s not miss the forest for the trees.

          1. And Cathy Young? Did she draw or did she hide?

          2. Splendid.

            So again – does Cathy Young proclaim HERSELF as the post child, then?

          3. If memory serves, Reason got a case of cold feet at the last minute and withdrew support from that event. They supported and then hid.

            1. Look at the wiki.

              From what I can tell, they were the only news outlet that held a held a contest and posted the images–the rest were posted to a Facebook group.

              Welch and Gillespie announced the winner. You can see it at the wiki. It’s a Mohammed connect the dots. Now everybody can print it out and draw their own Mohammed!

              I believe they shut down the thread when it was taken over by (gay bashing, etc.) trolls. They wanted to hold a free speech rally–not provide a permanent forum for bigots to espouse the killing of specific homosexuals.

              “Update: Due to the high, server-crushing volume of comments and the gratuitously insulting imagery of many of them?it seems that if there’s one group of folks more obsessed with gay sex than Islamic terrorists, it’s critics of the same?we’ve decided to shut down comments to this post. For those who wrongly equate this with censorship, please note that the Web, like the world itself, is wide and there are plenty of places you can go to post your comments about just about anything. If this be censorship, then kicking drunken party guests out of your living room at 6AM is ethnic cleansing. And the murder of Theo van Gogh simply another bad film review.”

              https://reason.com/blog/2010/05…..ne-draw-mo

            2. You’d think Mickey Rat would eventually get tired of being wrong.

        2. The WBC probably isn’t all that interested in *your* freedom of speech, but they have nevertheless won court cases that were vitally important in securing those rights.

          Gotta call bullshit on the “vitally important” claim. The SCOTUS ruling in their favor was a very, very narrow ruling. You can scream at people at a funeral without getting sued. Whoop dee doo.

          Are they also “phony free speech advocates”?

          They don’t support free speech in other contexts, so yeah. Even if they were sincere free speech advocates, you don’t want people to associate them with the cause of free speech. Presumably in whatever business you’re in, you have no trouble understanding that some people are not the sort you want your customers to associate with your product.

      3. “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” was originally conceived by a blogger named Molly Norris. She ditched the idea after some threats, and Reason took up the idea.

      4. Ken, Cirque du Soleil called. They said if you can contort your body as well as you contort logic, you’d be perfect for their next gig.

        1. Again, I invoke Poe’s Law.

          I don’t know how showing that Reason held an “Everyone Draw Mohammed” contest–five years before Pamela Geller–amounts to “contortion”, but maybe you’re being sarcastic.

          Poe’s Law cuts both ways. There are so many people who make these kinds of irrational arguments, if you’re being sarcastic, there’s no way I could be expected to know that. And since what you’re saying is so ridiculous, if you’re being dead serious, there’s no way I could be expected to know that either.

          Again, the charge was that Reason didn’t have the balls to hold their own Draw Mohammed contest.

          “The problem with the eliterati at Reason – they LOVE to talk about free speech. And that’s it. Talk about it. Do nothing afterward.”

          The fact is that Reason held a Draw Mohammed contest five years before Geller.

          If that’s “contortion” to your little mind, then so be it. If you’re being sarcastic, don’t blame me if you forgot to close your /sarc tag.

          My guess? You were being as dead serious with your original comment as you are now. And now you’re doubling down on the stoopid even after you’ve had your little wiener nailed to the floor with the facts. It would have been better to just admit you didn’t know about what Reason had done in the past–than to go full retard.

          Never go full retard.

      5. I fail to understand how Pamella Geller “bashes” muslims…. PAmela is anti jihad terrorism and anti-sharia. Not all muslims support jihad nor sharia.

  44. She’s a better poster child for free speech than Larry Flynt or the Illinois Nazis, but that’s not the POINT, Cathy.

    -jcr

  45. I’m torn between hoping Islam will burn itself out and turn gutless, insincere and harmless – like Christianity – and hopelessness in the face of one observation:

    Islam was deliberately created by a man who had observed Judaism and Christianity his entire life.

    It bears the hallmarks of a creation designed to avoid the ambiguities and imperfections of its predecessors.

    Islam may not reform because it’s more durable than the other religions BY DESIGN.

    Judaism and Christianity are pastiches. There’s always someplace to hide, when dealing with them. Every point and its own opposite have support in the scriptures. The Quran is not like that.

    Picture trying to “reform” a second US constitution, written by me at one sitting, after I’ve spent my life observing the problems in the current one. That doesn’t sound easy.

    1. There’s something especially permanent about them claiming that Muhammad was the last revelation.

      Still, from the Sufi of Morocco to the Eastern influenced versions in Singapore, moderate versions of Islam did evolve.

      …more moderate that Wahabi, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS, certainly.

      1. Moderate Muslims reform quickly when in Saudi Arabia. The same Islamic mouths here in America dribbling bullshit about freedom would be bloodied and silenced rather quickly in places where Islam reigns supreme.

      2. There’s something especially permanent about them claiming that Muhammad was the last revelation.

        Oh, there are many ways around that. They can say that’s a misreading or means something different in its historical context or that a modifying phrase (“the final revelation… in this age”) had gone missing but has been “restored”. Or they can say that God didn’t really mean it, the say way you might say to your child “this is the last time that I’m telling you…”.

        Or, if the rest of the text has been castrated, it doesn’t really matter much whether it’s the final revelation or not.

        Christianity and Judaism have pulled greater stunts in changing the obvious literal meaning of their supposedly divine texts.

      3. Sufis also support jihad.

  46. The nexus of Cathy’s position is genteel and plausibly lofty but secular/liberal Muslims trapped within average Islamic dictatorships can’t give a fuck because Young and the left-wingers surreal nursing of moderate Muslims enjoying freedom in civilized venues is a gigantic void of function when rivers of blood flow from Muslim fingers in countries that utilize Islam to justify everyday tyranny.

    1. I’m not sure what i’m agreeing with, but i agree.

  47. You go to war with the army you have.

    And you defend the free speech rights of the free speakers you get.

    Rather than tut-tutting about the likes of Gellar and Spencer maybe Young should show them she thinks it should be done.

    i.e. Start firing out of the tent.

  48. Didn’t libertarians defend the free speech rights of Communists? You know people who opposed free speech and spread anti-libertarian propaganda?

    1. Why are principles such a difficult concept for you?

      1. I’m saying that Cathy Young and defenders are lacking principle.

        1. Cathy Young lacking libertarian principles? Shocking!

          Next thing you know she’ll be defending wars of aggression that kill hundreds of thousands of people and slurring anyone who opposes them. Surely Reason would never hire such a person.

          1. I expect no less from the mag that hired Dave Weigel and Peter Suderman and publishes Steve Chapman and Sheldon Richman.

          2. You’re referring to her support for the Iraq invasion no doubt, yes that was embarrassing. Speaking of her attitudes toward war:
            https://reason.com/blog/2014/06…..our-of-bat

            Both Gillespie and Young seem to forget that the Inter-War Pacifist movement was a catastrophic failure. Gillespie and Young even bring up Deanna Durbin who appeared in war propaganda, worked at the Hollywood Canteen and promoted War Bonds!

            1. Very much doubt. And somehow I doubt that pacifism was to blame for the conflagration that followed Woodrow Wilson’s Great Adventure.

      2. “Whoosh,” went the point as Francisco waved moronically.

    2. Yes. They didn’t hold them up as heroes and champions of free speech, though.

  49. I still don’t understand why anyone thinks “who got attacked” by the crazy jihadis is even relevant.

    It seems like people don’t feel comfortable denouncing ‘attempted mass-murder’ without first adding that they also think the victim isnt like their favorite person and stuff.

    No one cares – or at least i don’t understand why they think they should.

    it seems to me as ludicrous as saying, “Yes, yes, the turks massacred the armenians… but really, have you ever actually met an Armenian? the *rudest* people””

    I still don’t know who Pam Geller is, and don’t care.

    1. Beings of equilibrium in the estates of the whited sepulchers have never had their hands chopped off for stealing bread.

    2. Do you not have an inquisitive mind? When faced with a bizarre attack like this most people are going to naturally wonder what the motive was. And the motive in this case is tied up with what Geller was doing.

      1. Geller was expending words about Muslims while a couple of Muslims expended bullets into her security people. Words don’t kill, trash. Bullets, knives, swords, and ropes do.

  50. The world is full of people that pick and choose with regard to philosophies and religions. They pick and choose the parts they like and agree with, and ignore the parts they don’t agree with. This is true with many theists, Christians, existentialists, Muslims, atheists, libertarians, Objectivists, Buddhists, Satanists, just about everyone. So if someone identifies as a Muslim, they could be an evil terrorist or they could be a good, peaceful person … or someone in between. They could be consistent with their adherence to their own version of an ideal ideology and some scriptures … or not consistent at all. And they might blend ideas of various philosophies.

    Any Muslim that is not a bad person, not trying to cause harm to anyone, but yet feels that a visual depiction of Muhammad is blasphemy is a person who is entitled to these feelings and these beliefs, as messed up as anyone else might think they are. This is freedom. (There are libertarian Muslims.) This is not a “left-wing” view. It is a classical liberal view. The concept of free speech means no one will be protected from getting insulted with blasphemy, but these peaceful Muslims exist. And many people respect that fact. Many people choose not to deliberately insult them with offensive cartoons, as Geller chooses to do.

  51. Why?

    Many reasons. Empathy, for one. They (people such as Cathy Young) choose to be kind, nice, unoffensive, uninsulting, nonblasphemous, display respectable behavior, civility, decency, good manners, etiquette, etc. Nothing wrong with that. She is free to display respect. But guess what? Even this article shows Bosch Fawstin’s winning cartoon. Right on this page!

    So the large range of Muslims vary from evil terrorists to regular, peaceful people. Yet depicting Muhammad is potentially offensive to any one of them. Painting the whole group with a large brush. This is why some people refer to artist, Bosch Fawstin and contest organizer, Pam Geller as bigots and Islamophobes. I don’t know them well enough to know if they’re bigots or not. But I know that some people think they are and this is why. Stereotyping the whole group based on the actions of a few.

    1. How do Pamela Geller and Bosch Fawstin stereotype a whole group based on the actions of a few.

      If Pamela says jihadi terrorists are evil/savages, is she stereotyping muslims??? No. the people that believe that she’s saying something against muslims are the ones painting ALL muslims with a broad brush by assuming that ALL muslims support jihad terrorism (which is not true and Pamela never said it).

  52. Fawstin and Geller choose to deliberately insult and offend. To provoke. I really like their message. But since it can be interpreted as offensive to innocent people, I realize that many people will never show this art or share the cartoons.

    Mainstream media will likely never show Muhammad cartoons. One reason is fear. But there are many other reasons. Empathy is one of the most important aspects of religion. Any religion … or any philosophy. If you live with other human beings, as we all do, I urge you to study every possible thing ever written about EMPATHY. It, along with the Golden Rule, and reciprocity is the cornerstone of peaceful human relations. Even some atheists and some Satanists get it, and so does almost everyone, other than sociopaths (such as criminals and terrorists).

  53. To champion free speech is an outstanding goal. I appreciate Fawstin’s cartoon and I have shared it on Twitter and Facebook. But I think his opponents and Geller’s opponents, such as Young, have made a few good points. The same points that have been written about for years regarding Satanic images, Danish cartoonists, Kurt Westergaard, Piss Christ, Charlie Hebdo, and others. There are some gray areas when you charge into the radial free speech area regarding good taste, and are maybe just being deliberately provocative and a fear-monger with a desire to stir up people you disagree with. It’s not about adding the “But …” Free speech should never be stopped. And no one stopped the contest, no one stopped the cartoonists, and no one stops anyone from posting/sharing the cartoons. But no one can’t expect OTHERS to share them if they don’t want to.

  54. If a flag stomper or flag burner wants his images to be put on TV or shared, some mainstream media might not want to show that. They would have their own reasons to show it or not show it. Some people who want to stomp on the US flag are ignorant, uneducated without any message at all. But some are highly educated and have a strong anti-American message of protest, as misguided as they both might be. Free speech means they can do it (if the flag is their own property). But they also have to face the consequences of the backlash.

    Muhammad cartoonists face some backlash. The contest, as I understand it, hired extra security. That was smart. Is hiring extra security done out of “fear”? I would say it was done to be safe and protect against unsafe conditions, to be risk averse. If the media won’t show the cartoon, maybe they are doing it because they are risk averse as well.

    If you don’t want to walk in front of the shooters at a gun range, is it because of fear? I would say it is because you’re not stupid. If you don’t want to jump out of a plane without a parachute, is that due to fear. I would say that it’s because you’re not stupid.

    So fear is one reason, but it’s not the only reason. Geller is not the perfect poster child for free speech, and Young has pointed out that she is A-OK regarding free speech. However beyond the topic of free speech, Young has pointed out that she is dishonest. That is all.

    1. When prisons, bullets, and swords seek to balance words and thoughts those wielding the tools of death and oppression have lost all justification to engage in punishment.

  55. Anyone who says that I am a Nazi is an idiot.

    Like most libertarians. Why you’ve never won a national election.

    1. Why you’ve never won a national election.

      This never gets old. Robert Mugabe won an election. So did Hugo Chavez. And Vladimir Putin. Does that make them right?

    2. I also submit the vast majority of the United States Congress, past and present, as strong evidence against any positive association between intelligence and winning elections.

    3. Also, which winning national party exactly is representing your struggle against the Papists and the Jews?

    4. In fairness, not everyone who hates Jews and “Papists” (now there is a name I have not heard in a long time) is a Nazi, but it’s a useful enough insult for brief Internet attacks against anti-Semites and religious zealots, so you’ll just have to cope with it until you tell us what the preferred nomenclature of your particular brand of bigotry is.

      Oh, and please present your evidence that being an idiot prevents one from winning a national election. I’d like both empirical and rational a priori arguments to ensure that all libertarians have a reason to giggle.

    5. This is the worst chat room, ever.

      It was better when Posted was here.

      For a magazine called “reason “…

      drink, drink drink

  56. Excellent piece, you’ve handled the nuances of this debate quite well.

  57. Geller is exactly the right Poster Girl, because she realizes it isn’t enough to simply condemn the violence of extremists, you have to make them pay a price.

    The right price to pay for trying to violently suppress an idea is to have a thousand more people repeat the idea. Kill people for drawing cartoons of Muhammad, and we’ll kill you, then draw a thousand more cartoons of Muhammad.

    Geller is one of the few who get it, and does something about it. Go Geller.

    As for her “bigotry”, I’ve missed the article where you similarly declared as untouchable every Christian and Muslim who maintain that only believers go to heaven, and all the rest *deserve* to be eternally tortured in Hell. Perhaps you can provide a citation.

    Religion is bigotry. Institutionalized hatred of unbelievers. The religious are to have freedom for their hatred, but people need to be declared untouchables if they hate this institutionalized hatred in turn?

    1. I’d like to add a smidgen caveat. This forum has a few Jesus followers advanced enough in their religious experience to cause me to pause and respect them. I think that there may exist a few Muslims along these lines. Religion is not purely bigotry as sum total. This is why I gave Cathy a sliver of respect above in my brain lines. Religion is largely a wasted and corporate exercise designed to mislead masses and enrich insiders. However, even my life study Bertrand Russell understood that religion does have its merit within the right mindsets. People who are spiritually-minded, intuitive, alert, and not at all dumb or repressed. People who worship and even pray deeply who don’t give a fuck about controlling others with their deep faith but who live everyday as seekers of a higher god order.

      Man, I respect that journey. It is metaphysical and altered from my perspective and often beautiful though I can never believe in that sort of god seeking.

      So, let us not entirely erase the god seekers from our libertarian planes. They are journeyers apart from tradition and they seek deep places like many of us do.

      1. I just happened upon this 2 yr old post on a Catholic church site (I hope the author will excuse the copyright infringement):
        Is there anything more foolish than to trust a human institution armed with guns to defend one’s life?

        Is there anything more foolish than to trust a human institution invested in prisons to champion one’s liberty?

        Is there anything more foolish than to trust a human institution with the power to tax to respect one’s property?

        The people may have the power to vote, a Constitution and a Bill of Rights. But the STATE has the guns, the prisons, and the power to tax — and those human inventions trump whatever human rights may be written down on paper.

        In Matthew 22:19-21, Jesus said “Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” They replied, “Caesar’s.” At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

        But what remains when one surrenders ALL (life, liberty, property, and one’s soul) to Caesar?

        What remains of a democracy when enough surrender?

        The STATE (whether secular or theocratic) can have no place in the kingdom of GOD…

        The ultimate purpose of Leftism as it has evolved is not ‘collectivism’ or ‘revolution’ or whatever but to realize the vision of Hegel which inspired Marxism, ‘The State is God’.

      2. “This forum has a few Jesus followers advanced enough in their religious experience to cause me to pause and respect them. I think that there may exist a few Muslims along these lines. Religion is not purely bigotry as sum total.”

        I respect a great many Christians, libertarians or otherwise. Can’t say I know a lot of Muslims, but I have no doubt there are plenty I’d respect as well.

        Religion is not *purely* bigotry, but it is inherently bigoted against those who don’t share the religion’s beliefs. In the particular cases of Islam and Christianity, there is a greater inherent bigotry, because if you don’t believe that the unbelievers *deserve* eternal punishment, and *approve* and *celebrate* their eternal torture, you’re not really a believer. It’s God’s will. Get on board.

        I’m an atheist, but I think that what those I call *serious* believers, believers who actually *care* what God wants, are largely the same people as me and actual atheists, and I’ve always naturally gravitated to them, and they’ve gravitated to me. They care what’s true, which is a rare trait.

        I can still respect Christians while reviling the fundamentals of their religion.

      3. I like this post as much as your acid induced ones. +1babyJesusforyou. Oh…and bless you.

  58. Is this thread still active?

    To me, the overwhelming moral issue is that someone dared stage a Mohammed-cartoon show in order to expose the vileness of radical Islam, that two Islamist terrorists took the bait, and ended up going to join their *houris* while influcting only a wounded leg. The good guy lost nobody, the bad guys lost 2.

    I can’t agree with Geller insofar as she’s an Objectivist with an unnuanced view of Islam. But I think she’s at least as much of a free-speech hero as the Charlie Hebdo people, or (to take an example given above) Larry Flynt (who even had a movie making him a 1st Amendment poster child).

    And she has the courage to expose the extremists. Let the moderate Muslims rebut her by showing the same courage against those extremists.

    To return to a subject above, the Islamist movement *is* the Islamic Reformation, and it is just as disastrous as the Christian Reformation of the 16th century. I’ll go further – what Islam needs is *another Counter-Reformation.*

    1. The greatest fruits of brain streets are mapped best on the libertarian county called the reason cornucopia of scribes and thread minds. I have lived decades on the net from the late 80’s until this night and the entire net is disappearing as a tired retread. Pages of swill and corporate plainness and reddit-murdering. But this place of gathering furies called the scribes and warriors will battle for the future. And NGKC which fuckin sounds like a drug which I … mdma I think is not really that similar but it does Seem similar… so NGKC ends this thing called Cathy Youngs orgasm with distinct slow massage of her intelligent pelvic area because she is brilliant and lovely but ever so slightly wrong but deserving of love from this community…. so her orgasm I hope ended after at least a fucking couple of minutes of shuddering with her husband jacking a ton of sperm onto her legs and knees so … shit.man here we are

  59. The results of the forensic analysis are in:

    There’s cake everywhere.

    1. The cake is a lie!

    2. Playa, WIH are The Lakes at El Segundo?

      1. It’s a less than mediocre municipal golf course in the next town over. Industrial adjacent.

        How did you come across it?

        1. The driving range is nice, though.

          http://www.golfthelakes.com/Cl…..e/home.asp

        2. “How did you come across it?”

          Same way I came across the Jewish Autonomous Region ( http://www.bing.com/maps/?FORM=Z9LH2 [dunno if bing map links keep the location]); I’m a map junkie and when something catches my eye, I investigate.
          Lakes in El Segundo? Not that I can see…

          1. If you look immediately to the south, that’s a water reclamation plant. The lakes are reclaimed water.

            There’s actually a lot of stuff in El Segundo that’s redacted from Google and Bing maps. Aerospace, military, NSA contractors, and so forth.

            If you see a Marriott and a golf course, I’m one of those houses.

            1. Fairway Dr. or Sausalito Cr.?
              I love the sound of golf balls hitting the window in the morning!

              1. I have enemies. No need to get too specific.

                The layout is nice. The golf course is a sump, and floods during heavy rain. The houses are much higher, and have steep slope down to the fairway. They don’t get get hit with golf balls unless someone is trying to do it (I had a 1 year ban as a young lad..)

                1. Pl?ya Manhattan.|5.18.15 @ 12:17AM|#
                  “I have enemies. No need to get too specific.”

                  I was spoofin’; no intent to do otherwise.
                  We have friends who bought and built in a golf course development but didn’t give it a lot of thought first. They found the back yard really isn’t usable for reasons of the errant shots. I’d object to the constant traffic…

                  1. Coto de Caza and a lot of the desert developments got it right. Low course, high lots. Good for drainage, and good views too. You don’t even need a fence.

  60. Sorry, Cathy, you’re full of it this time. “Honor” killings, FGM, and even jihadist attacks do happen regularly in the West, and it is the silence of thousands of “moderate” Muslims that enables them. Geller and Spencer are absolutely right that western Muslim communities need to be at least watched, at least until the “moderate” Muslims start speaking up so those wrongs can be stopped.

  61. For a magazine that has previously said “anywhere I am standing is a free speech zone” and which supported Larry Flints litigation, this is an extreme disappointment to see it doing the “but” boy shuffle. Fuck islam, fuck mohammad, fuck muslims who think they have any right to violent responses to those exercising their rights, and especially fuck any mealy mouthed pussilanimous dips hit who thinks my exercising my right to free speech is ‘provocative’, any more than that its a woman’s fault issues she gets raped. That muslims also blame women like that should also be indicative.

  62. I’m sorry, but Islam is a shitty religion, period.

    Read the Koran. It’s a nasty book. It’s like the Old Testament (where God is a complete asshole) re-written by a schizophrenic psychopath.

    Christianity has its problems, but read the New Testament. It’s a nice book. Most of Christianity’s problems are when people read the OT instead, even though (arguably) the whole point of Christianity is that the OT was wrong and the god in it is a murderous pyschopath.

    But beyond that, it’s not like the regions haven’t produced nice religions. Iran is home to Zoroastriamism, a nice religion, and Ba’hai, a really nice one.

    It’s not like there aren’t alternatives to Islam.

    Until we start treating Islam as the problem it is, the problems in Middle East (and now, much of the rest of the world) won’t stop. It’s not the people, it’s the culture promoted by Islam

    1. JeremyR|5.17.15 @ 11:03PM|#
      “I’m sorry, but Islam is a shitty religion, period.
      Read the Koran. It’s a nasty book.[…]”

      Or, try “What Went Wrong” (Bernard) and one I’m reading now “The Long Divergence” (Kuran). Both make the point that Islam arose in a place where there was no real extant civic structures, even those as weak as the Roman hold on the Middle East during the prototypical era of xianity.
      Consequently, it strove to enforce moral *and* legal requirements on the converted, which leaves no seams for reformers to drive a wedge into the gestalt, and provides no safe refuge for cover if and when they are denounced.
      Any Muslim ‘reformation’ cannot progress by pieces; it must overturn the entire structure all at once. And that will take someone with balls far larger than Martin Luther. And I’m not sure a replacement garnering the required support is anything the world wants to see.

      1. BTW, neither of them draw the conclusion re: the difficulty of a reformation; that’s my claim.

      2. Reformation is already taking place in islam and isis is doing it. Usually reformation means building an ideology going back to the original sources. Christian reformers went to the sources and found a peace loving hippie (Jesus), Islamic reformers (isis) went to the sources and found a warlord, slave trader, killer of critics, pedophile, ethnic cleanser (Mohammed). No wonder isis is doing the same things that mohamed did!!!!

        If you thing reformation will make islam more peaceful, I have a bridge for sale in Mosul.

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  64. You can’t defend a mental delusion which Islam is as is religion in general.ISIS is following the tenets of Islam exactly as Mohammad required.ISIS is the true face of Islam,the so called moderate Muslims are the ones not following the true doctrines of Mohammad.Islam is a belief system based on the delusional mental state of an insane mad man,Mohammad.Allah,the moon god, no more exist than Donald Duck does.

  65. Geller has sand in her twat

  66. @Cathy Young: You’re Full of Shit You Know That. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about! Let’s looks at this situation in context. What Freedom Of Speech Means:
    “The right of people to express their opinions publicly without governmental interference, subject to the laws against libel, incitement to violence or rebellion, etc.” Freedom of speech can be offending and/or insulting but it’s our fundamental right and we paid a hard price to have the Freedom that we have today!

    When People draw, insult, caricaturize & mock the character of a POLITICAL LEADER, No One become violent, riot and kill the ones who criticize them. – Media Silent.

    When People draw, insult, caricaturize & mock the character of JESUS, no Christians become violent, riot and kill the ones who criticize them. Media Silent.

    When People draw, insult, caricaturize & mock the character of MUHAMMAD, Muslims become extremely violent, riot, threat of death and kills the ones who criticize them. Media Not Silent.

    They Oppressor (Islam) always try to silence any opposition (Critics) with Fear, Threat of Death and Real Mass Murder Attempts so the question is: Do we have to submit to those fear, treat and be silent? If so, they win!

    Pamela Geller & Spencer

  67. Excellent rebuttal by Robert Spencer:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015…..journalism

  68. In the light of this article can someone please give me an example of speech that you can guarantee can NEVER be taken as offensive or hate speech by someone under some circumstances?
    Can anyone give any link to an article where this author has in anyway criticised Islam or is she only prepared to comment on people she knows will not physically attack her.
    Also, maybe the author of this article would like to do a commentary on the 1990 Cairo Declaration, in particular Article 25 that subordinates all previous articles to the Sharia, and the Muslim Manifesto for the UK which was released in March this year. She could then explain to me where I am misunderstanding them as I believe both of them put Islam over and above anyone else of any religion or lack of.

  69. Cathy, I’m shocked, utterly shocked. You are an embarrassment to feminism. For goodness sake, give up the personal abuse of Pam and Robert and read the bottom line: Islamic extremists will kill to stifle free speech. Forget the biased politics of ‘left’ versus ‘right’, step aside and embrace reality.

    We cannot give in to murderers. They are trying to impose an Islamic blasphemy code within Western democratic societies. If we allow ourselves to self-censor, the terrorists will have won – and Western democracy lost to a lunatic ideology.

  70. Cathy Young said:
    “In fact, I wrote my article mainly for two reasons:

    1- I believe radical Islamism in all its forms … is the greatest challenge and danger of the twenty-first century, …

    2- I abhor the demonization of any group, especially in the name of a goal I support?be it men demonized under the guise of feminism, or Muslims of anti-Islamism.”

    1- I searched what Cathy has written against what she considers the greatest challenge of the twenty-first century and drew a blank. Only an article about Hebdo Charlie which could be remotely considered anti-islamism.

    2- Cathy has put out zero proof about the demonization by Pamela of muslims. I think Cathy is confusing being anti-jihad and calling jihadis savages with demonizing muslims. This would mean that Cathy is painting ALL muslims with a broad brush as being ALL supporters of jihad which is not true and Pamela has never said that all muslims support jihadis.

  71. 1. On the prospect for a moderate Islamic theology, the concern is whether this can be done in a manner that is scalable (wide acceptance) and sustainable (reversion to Salafism is unlikely). That occasional individuals have created variants is interesting but not culturally significant. In one case that is significant, Geller praised Sisi’s call for reformation (Jan 4, 2015).

    2. The difficulty of radicals pretending to be moderate, doesn’t mean that Geller, Spencer, and Fitzgerald deny the existence of moderates. But there is a vetting problem that arises in the context of immigration that doesn’t exist for other demographic groups. It isn’t a denial that many if not most are moderate.

    3. Finally, there is a ease to which Geller suspects Islam as playing a role in the acts of Muslim crime. Here you are right. She is quick to suspect jihadist motives but she generally drops the case if they are not found and moves on. One would prefer that she note the inconclusive nature of an investigation even if it was an “update” to the original post. But a blog is “thinking out load” and not a final position.

    Overall, I believe you are quick to suspect Geller of bigoted motives just as she is quick to suspect others of jihadist motives. As a personal skepticism on your part that would be fine, but as a call for condemnation ? I have my doubts.

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