September 21, 2012

If you could choose/write one sentence to explain the value of free speech to the people of the world who don't get it...

... what would it be? Lawprof Stephen L. Carter — addressing the anti-blasphemy mobs — says:
The best statement of our constitutional rule remains the one announced by the U.S. Supreme Court 40 years ago in Police Department of the City of Chicago v. Mosley: “To permit the continued building of our politics and culture, and to assure self-fulfillment for each individual, our people are guaranteed the right to express any thought, free from government censorship.”
If that's the best statement, we are in trouble. I love the idea of looking for a short, apt sentence saying why we believe in protecting freedom of speech, but surely there must be hundreds of better statements than that.

To assure self-fulfillment for each individual... I think it's creepy for the government to even purport to assure self-fulfillment. You can have all the freedom in the world and it won't assure much of anything. And self-fulfillment... you have to already have a particular view of the meaning of life before you put self-fulfillment at the center of the universe. And if you're trying to convince people who begin with a conviction that God is the center, you're blocking your own pathway into their minds. (And they already want that pathway blocked.)

194 comments:

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Silly proposal. Concept is too important and nuanced to arbitrarily reduce to a single sentence - especially if clear communication to others is the goal.

Hagar said...

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"?

Shouting Thomas said...

Hagar wins in a knockout.

Discussion over.

prairie wind said...

F*ck you, that's why.

Gov98 said...

We hold these truth to be self-evident, that all people are created by God equal, and that they are given by God certain rights, including the right to free independent thought and the right to express those thoughts without threat of punishment from government.

Matthew Sablan said...

It's such a shame. If we could come up with a pithy saying, a "keep your X off my Y" formation, support for free speech would soar.

EMD said...

"We can talk shit about anything. "


(Hagar wins.)

chickelit said...

The West is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Lauderdale Vet said...

The first and second amendments protect the same thing, really. They just use different tools.

TWM said...

Hagar wins!

What's sad is that so many American liberals are included in the people of the world who just don't get it.

Chip S. said...

Thomas Jefferson said it best:

... we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.

dbp said...

Look at the places where free speech is protected and where it is not, which places are nicer?

dbp said...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, those who don't see it our way will not be convinced by one sentence or a million sentences.

Jay Vogt said...

Archbishop Fulton Sheen probably hit it pretty squarely when he noted about freedom (of speech presumably included) that it is not so much the ability to do what you want, but rather the power to do what you should.

Pogo said...

They lack the necessary grounding in Western Civ to understand such a complex topic.

They're backwards, unchanged since the 5th century. It'd be lke explaining colors to the blind.

Western Europeans and American Liberals have, by destroying Western Civ, returned to our barbarian roots, albeit through overly complex word salad bullshit intellectual obfuscatory pap.

Now our own kids know nothing of Western Civ, save for its inherent evil.

Free speech? If you have to ask why, you're too stupid to understand.

smitty1e said...

"Liberty."

If that's too verbose, cool your heels in Cuba for a while.

Bender said...

Before you can explain freedom of expression, freedom of manifesting thought, the person you are explaining it to must first have an understanding of freedom, and that the human person was made to be free.

But freedom has no place in Islam, except for the freedom to be Muslim. Islam = Submission. Do what Allah and his prophet say, period, end of sentence, end of paragraph, end of discussion. Submit.

bridgecross said...

What Hagar said.

And barring that, what Justice Brandeis said.

slarrow said...

The society in which you can speak your mind isn't afraid of your mind.

slarrow said...

The society in which you can speak your mind isn't afraid of your mind.

rhhardin said...

Power is always against what's true.

William said...

If you tell someone to shut up, they can usually give compelling reasons for why their viewpoint should be heard. Thus the most persuasive argument for free speech is the two words: shut up.

AllieOop said...

Free speech is a precious right and privilege, don't cheapen it with thoughtlessness.

TWM said...

"Free speech is a precious right and privilege, don't cheapen it with thoughtlessness."

Can you explain what you mean here? Because it appears to me you are placing some restriction here.

ThomasD said...

It's not so much your free speech they hate as it is your free thought.

Or

Tell you what you can and cannot say is the same as telling you what you can and cannot think.

ThomasD said...

Telling you what you can and cannot say is the same as telling you what you can and cannot think.

traditionalguy said...

Speech is one thing a slavery based society fears from its property. It can lead to an open rebellion.

But more basic than words spoken is the slaves body language and the bold eyes that can assert a posture that resists or intends to fight back.

To combat that, the Masters require salutes, obeisance bows and looking at the ground when in their presence.

Free speech foes are always demanding a better class of beaten down slaves.

Tank said...

I reject the premise. For people who do not value freedom in general as some [and only some] in America do, you can't "explain" it, because they view other values, such as submission to Allah, or diversity, or security, as more important.

To me, free speach is simply one component of the freedom I believe we are all endowed with by our Creator as part of our inalienable rights.

This is not going to convince someone who thinks drawing a cartoon insults their God in a way that requires them to murder you.

It also won't convince those who believe that it's more important not to hurt the feelings of [insert your favorite victim group here], than that you have free speech.

ThomasD said...

A right cannot be a privilege, that's plain nonsensical.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Free speech is a precious right and privilege, don't cheapen it with thoughtlessness."

-- The reason things are valuable are in spite of their flaws, for example, no one is perfect, but people can love each other. Love isn't cheapened because people are imperfect. Free speech is not cheapened because people say mean things. By setting up free speech like this, we can actually justify using force to stop thoughtless speech, so as not to devalue our rights. It is best to simply say: Some people say mean things. The best answer to bad speech is more speech.

Though, given that it now appears there actually was no protest near the Libyan embassy where the actual murders took place, it seems as though the First Amendment was just a scarificial lamb so that we would not talk about the actual thing that was cheapened: our consulate's defenses.

furious_a said...

It'd be lke explaining colors to the blind.

That's not entirely fair -- the Blind develop other senses to compensate as much as possible for the loss of sight.

The Ummah have yet to get over the Crusades.

Pogo said...

"That's not entirely fair -- the Blind develop other senses to compensate as much as possible for the loss of sight."

The comparison notes only that barbarians cannot see the value of liberty. They are simply unable to do so, just as the blind cannot see colors.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
prairie wind said...

The reason things are valuable are in spite of their flaws, for example, no one is perfect, but people can love each other. Love isn't cheapened because people are imperfect. Free speech is not cheapened because people say mean things.

Well said.

Virgil Hilts said...

You know you're no longer a loser when words and ideas stop having the power to hurt your tender sensibilities.

Shouting Thomas said...

Speaking of free speech, I finally located one of the Hebdo Mohammed cartoons with captions translated into English.

AllieOop said...

Think about what you are going to say, when what you say can harm innocents. Restrict or restrain yourselves, that's what I mean. We live in a Democracy or Republic, whatever you choose to call it, free speech cannot be restricted by our government, nor should it be.

That leaves the burden on our shoulders to think about how our speech may affect others. THINK. Is what I'm saying, then SELF censor if your speech will harm innocent others.

No one, not I nor our government can zip your lip for you. No one can make you think beyond your own need to be heard, that is up to you as an individual with morals.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Sounds like Maslow, who was a pretty big deal 40 years ago when the Supreme Court Justice wrote that sentence.

Personally, I always thought Maslow was over-rated. He just expanded on the ideas of the Enlightenment philosophers, who were the real groundbreakers in helping us understand liberty.

Bob said...

Live free or die.

Bob said...

Live free or die.

Bob said...

Live free or die.

creeley23 said...

Free speech is a precious right and privilege, don't cheapen it with thoughtlessness.

Allie weighing in with the Irish nun point of view.

Allie really doesn't get free speech, and maybe not even freedom itself. ThomasD is correct:

A right cannot be a privilege, that's plain nonsensical.

AllieOop said...

ThomasD. We are privileged to HAVE rights, does this make more sense to you?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Think about what you are going to say, when what you say can harm innocents."

-- Don't take away agency from other people. What I say won't harm innocents, no matter what I say. Words have meaning, but meaning does not translate into power. The heckler does not get veto power; the meek should not be threatened into silence.

Shouting Thomas said...

ThomasD. We are privileged to HAVE rights, does this make more sense to you?

No.

Shouting Thomas said...

Allie, really what in the hell are you doing?

No, self-imposition of anti-blasphemy laws is not something any sane person should consider.

And, I'm a religious person.

You've lost it, here, Allie.

The niceness and fear things has crippled your ability to think this through.

TWM said...

"Think about what you are going to say, when what you say can harm innocents. Restrict or restrain yourselves, that's what I mean. We live in a Democracy or Republic, whatever you choose to call it, free speech cannot be restricted by our government, nor should it be.

That leaves the burden on our shoulders to think about how our speech may affect others. THINK. Is what I'm saying, then SELF censor if your speech will harm innocent others."

Seems to me you are saying speech should never be offensive to others. I'm sorry but if there is ANY speech that needs protection that is speech that offends.

Shouting Thomas said...

Fuck the Muslim up their asses, Allie! Fuck Mohammed up the ass!

No, I won't volunteer to adhere to anti-blasphemy laws.

furious_a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TWM said...

"We are privileged to HAVE rights, does this make more sense to you?"

That is nonsense, so no it doesn't.

X said...

Censorin' ain't much of a livin', rage boy.

EDH said...

"If you could choose/write one sentence to explain the value of free speech to the people of the world who don't get it...what would it be?"

Been there, won that. I can name that tune in six words.

"Our worst critics prefer to stay."

Shouting Thomas said...

Allie, it's becoming evident that you really don't understand the U.S. concept of freedom of speech.

Or else, you just don't agree with it.

furious_a said...

Free speech is a precious right and privilege, don't cheapen it with thoughtlessness.

Unclear on the concept -- "unalienable rights" are by definition unconditional. And free speech rights are not "privileges", like some driver's license or builders permit issued (or seized) at the whims of the State.

Paul Zrimsek said...

By the time they're forming mobs against you, you're pretty much past the point where you can say anything more constructive than "lock and load".

eatbees said...

It's an interesting question, and one I've had to face because I live in Morocco, where close friends are upset that our society gives unequivocal support to the right to express views that they (and I) see as reprehensible, an insult to them as Muslims and their most cherished beliefs.

I actually used Hagar's response once, so I'll give him the win. But here's the line I've used most often: "Our nation was founded by people, many of whom were fleeing religious or political persecution. So they decided to guarantee the right to free expression as the most fundamental right of all, because to ensure that their own views would never be persecuted, they also had to guarantee that right to everyone else."

Okay, that's two sentences. I then go on to explain that in such a society, the way to fight a view you find offensive is to come up with a superior claim. You may fight it with scorn and ridicule, superior facts and analysis, or acts of quiet dignity such as those used in the civil rights movement to disprove the inferior status of blacks. What you musn't do is respond in a way that hands your attacker the ammunition to say, "See, I told you those people are thugs and barbarians."

And I believe I persuaded my friends to see my point, because in a society like Morocco that puts sharp limits on expression for those seeking greater democracy, they realize that they themelves would benefit from such a change. Though of course they still see the film as objectionable.

TWM said...

"Allie, it's becoming evident that you really don't understand the U.S. concept of freedom of speech."

Unfortunately that's the case for most liberals. Frightening.

chickelit said...

If people can't control themselves, the government will. If the government can't control itself, another government will. VMB

Darrell said...

Allie meant that the right of free speech is so rare in the world, that we are privileged to have it in the US of A.

Tristram said...

Free speech allows us to pan for the nuggets of golden truth buried in the cumulative 'knowledge' of man.

Free speech allows us to discover the truth about the shape of the Earth, the position of the Earth in the Heavens, the the cause of disease, the cure for disease that supersede the conventional wisdom that the Earth is flat and is the center of the Universe, etc.

AllieOop said...



“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
Sir Winston Churchill

TWM said...

"Allie meant that the right of free speech is so rare in the world, that we are privileged to have it in the US of A."

I don't think so considering her other comments prior to and after that comment.

Darrell said...

but since anyone here can be offended by anything I say, I don't pay it much mind.

Shouting Thomas said...

Allie, what country did you come from?

It's really becoming painfully apparent that, as I said, you either don't comprehend the U.S. concept and history of free speech, or you're just opposed to it.

Winston Churchill is an icon of willingness to fight to the death for freedom of speech.

Don't you know that?

TWM said...

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something in your life."

Sir Winston Churchill"


Lem said...

The phrase has to something to do with making choices and how speech is the best conduit because we don't know where its going to come from.

Out of more voices the best rises to the top... or something.

Balfegor said...

I don't think freedom of speech is an instrumental value, one that we adopt just because it fulfills other goals or needs. We consider it a good in itself. Thus, it sort of misses the point to argue for it on pragmatic grounds, just as it would miss the point to say that we banned slavery because it's economically inefficient in that it makes inadequate use of the full resources of our available human capital.

If we had to make and instrumental argument, though, I think it would have to be something like "Even the crudest and most shocking forms of expression should be protected, because the open clash of viewpoints and ideas spurs us on in our constant drive towards intellectual and social progress." (In highfalutin' form)

Of course, that's exactly why so many people around the world think freedom of speech is kind of undesireable. They look at our "progress" and think, "yeeaaah, no thanks."

ricpic said...

The freer the speech the less likely you are to be killed for rooting for the "wrong" team at a sporting event. "Let's Go Mets!" is not a death sentence at Yankee Stadium. Compare to soccer slaughter, well...everywhere else.

TWM said...

“Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”


Sir Winston Churchill


Matthew Sablan said...

Here's the problem: I agree. We shouldn't go around insulting people. But I believe that because I believe in being decent to others. Not because if we don't, they'll burn our buildings and kill our ambassador.

Once the reasoning is for fear of life and limb, I'm ok with people being rude to demonstrate: No, fear is not an acceptable reason for not speaking. I would rather we all not be rude to each other. But, when the choice is between people being killed or saying mean things, I will decidedly come down on the side of saying mean things.

Note though: All of this is moot. The protest in Libya was non-existent and bad information. I won't call it a lie, I'll just say that our government was too quick to state something as true and then try to silence American citizens using something that turned out to be false as their reasoning.

That's a terrible precedent.

edutcher said...

Every body has the right to make an ass of themselves.

Actually, I wish I was that eloquent.

creeley23 said...

Free speech is a precious right and privilege, don't cheapen it with thoughtlessness.

Allie weighing in with the Irish nun point of view.


Don't say it like that. Over the centuries, the Irish even had their names taken away.

deborah said...

Freedom of speech is important for the exchange of ideas.

furious_a said...

We are privileged to HAVE rights..

American citizenship is a privilege. Free Speech is a right.

eatbees said...

Bender said, "Before you can explain freedom of expression, freedom of manifesting thought, the person you are explaining it to must first have an understanding of freedom, and that the human person was made to be free."

But that understanding is "endowed by our Creator" and "self-evident," remember? And I can assure you that it's no less self-evident to Muslims than it is to all human beings. The Qur'an itself says, "There is no compulsion in religion." And Mohammed said, "Seek knowledge as far away as China." It may surprise you to learn that my Muslim friends see their religion as an invitation to free thought, wherever it may lead. And indeed, they are quite open to free thought on all topics, including religion — more so than many Americans.

AllieOop said...

Shouting Thomas, I was born in Austria, came here in 1955 at age three, my parents where born again evangelical fundamentalist Christians and were Republicans. I think it's reprehensible for you to try to paint me as somehow unAmerican. That's is beneath you and you owe me an apology.

Thank you Darrell, that IS my meaning.

Mister DA said...

Copuld use a little work, but, from Justice Holmes:

"[B]ut if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought -- not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate."

FloridaSteve said...

How about "Shit happens. Get over it."

virgil xenophon said...

I always liked the mast-head of the Eastern Ill Univ newspaper The Eastern Daily News: "Tell The Truth And Don't Be Afraid."

Not being afraid to speak one's mind and hauled away in the middle of the night is, I feel, the essence of free speech..

Mister DA said...

Copuld use a little work, but, from Justice Holmes:

"[B]ut if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought -- not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate."

Dante said...

Free speech keeps our government working for us instead of controlling us, sending us to the Gulag, burning us in ovens, or preventing us from displaying our religious ideas.

John Althouse Cohen said...

"[T]he peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."

-- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."

-- Louis Brandeis

Hagar said...

There is a marvellous story from the old days;

A Viking army was besieging some town in France, and the French count stood forth on the battlements and called out to the Vikings to call their king because he wished to speak with him.
And the Vikings hollered back for him to go right ahead and speak for they were all kings over there!

Probably apocryphal, but shows an attitude that Allie will never understand.

furious_a said...

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” -- Winston Churchill

In the context of Great Britain and the United States fighting side-by-side against the Axis, and that America's rise in the world conferred on it a responsibility to engage in that struggle. From that same speech...

Twice in my lifetime the long arm of destiny has reached across the oceans and involved the entire life and manhood of the United States in a deadly struggle.

There was no use in saying "We don't want it; we won’t have it; our forebears left Europe to avoid these quarrels; we have founded a new world which has no contact with the old. "There was no use in that. The long arm reaches out remorselessly, and every one's existence, environment, and outlook undergo a swift and irresistible change.

[..]

We do not war primarily with races as such. Tyranny is our foe, whatever trappings or disguise it wears, whatever language it speaks, be it external or internal, we must forever be on our guard, ever mobilised, ever vigilant, always ready to spring at its throat. In all this, we march together. Not only do we march and strive shoulder to shoulder at this moment under the fire of the enemy on the fields of war or in the air, but also in those realms of thought which are consecrated to the rights and the dignity of man.

David Gray said...

If the truth matters it must not be silenced and what man can be trusted to judge what the truth is?

Shouting Thomas said...

Shouting Thomas, I was born in Austria, came here in 1955 at age three, my parents where born again evangelical fundamentalist Christians and were Republicans. I think it's reprehensible for you to try to paint me as somehow unAmerican.

I have a lot of experience with immigrants, Allie.

I didn't paint you as unAmerican. Quite often, immigrants just don't understand and fully grasp the history and meaning of freedom of speech in the U.S.

Apparently, you don't.

And, this apology shit is pretty stale. That you see that as your right is just another example of your failure to grasp the U.S. concept of free speech.

The apologizing for perceived offense tactic is the principle tactic the left now uses to try to quash free speech.

No fucking way, Allie.

DADvocate said...

THINK. Is what I'm saying, then SELF censor if your speech will harm innocent others.

No one, not I nor our government can zip your lip for you.


So we should censor ourselves using your rules of censorship, which amounts to you censoring us.

Shouting Thomas said...

My livelihood is dependent on freedom of speech, Allie.

I'll fight you to the death over this one.

I'm both a commercial artist and a creative artist.

You're dead wrong. I won't give you any quarter.

Dante said...

In general, I think you have to stay away from the philosophical bent and needs of the human race for progress and freedom; these may not resonate with people who have given subjugated science and people to their religion.

Instead, pointing out the positives for their religion may work. Yes, we know you have an intolerant religion, but here in the US, you have the right to convince everyone your religion is the best one that everyone ought to adhere to.

AllieOop said...

It's evident that asking people to merely THINK before speaking is seen as an assault on free speech, clearly SOME of you are in full foam at the mouth mode.

Dave said...

Free speech is required for honesty. Protecting speech preserves human dignity. Protecting speech for all preserves justice.

Shouting Thomas said...

You're confused, Allie.

The niceness thing you're into is a great personal attribute, but it's a mess when translated to the political arena.

Quit with the "caring" BS when it comes to politics.

Everybody cares about different things. And, I don't want the fucking government to "care" about me.

pduggie said...

It's you're God-given right to blaspheme against God if you want to.

Tim said...

Shouting Thomas said...

"Fuck the Muslim up their asses, Allie! Fuck Mohammed up the ass!"

I'm thinking you could subcontract that job to the failed hat mannequin, and I'm thinking you'd both be happier for it.

Shouting Thomas said...

Allie, the moment we force ourselves to THINK for a moment about whether we're offending the Muslim is the moment we've given up our freedom of speech.

No, I'm not going to sit around worrying about their feelings. Tough shit.

Tim said...

AllieOop said...

"It's evident that asking people to merely THINK before speaking is seen as an assault on free speech, clearly SOME of you are in full foam at the mouth mode."

So, how would you write that into the Constitution, consistent with the First Amendment?

deborah said...

"Free speech keeps our government working for us instead of controlling us, sending us to the Gulag, burning us in ovens, or preventing us from displaying our religious ideas."


Not really. Today we can pretty much shout what we want from the mountaintops, but still have our private communications monitored and be hauled away without due process.

edutcher said...

Shouting Thomas said...

Allie, the moment we force ourselves to THINK for a moment about whether we're offending the Muslim is the moment we've given up our freedom of speech.

No, I'm not going to sit around worrying about their feelings. Tough shit.


Ever hear the one about cowboys and Moslems?

Hagar said...

edutcher,

Why are the Scots called by the name of the people of Ulster?

Tim said...

"Ever hear the one about cowboys and Moslems?"

Yes.

And, with another atrocity, and a different president, it might not be a joke anymore.

Lance said...

Live free or die.

Smilin' Jack said...

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”

Sir Winston Churchill


So we have a responsibility to tell the muzzies that Mohammad sucks. How else will they learn?

DADvocate said...

To paraphrase Albert Camus - A free speech can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom speech will never be anything but bad.

edutcher said...

Hagar said...

edutcher,

Why are the Scots called by the name of the people of Ulster?


I thought it was Scotch Irish, but I have a feeling I'm about to be educated.

TWM said...

"It's evident that asking people to merely THINK before speaking is seen as an assault on free speech, clearly SOME of you are in full foam at the mouth mode."

Why are you assuming people are not thinking before they speak? I am sure the makers of the controversial film gave it a lot of thought and decided to make it anyway.

You're problem is you want them to, after thinking, come to the same conclusion you would come to.

bagoh20 said...

If it's for the people burning down shit, I'd say: "Allah gave you a mind, a voice, a choice. and the same to your brother - respect the gift."

TWM said...

BTW, in case Shiloh jumps on me about typos again, I meant "your" not you're."

It really upsets him . . .

AndyN said...

I think the question is overly broad, because even liberal democracies around the world don't necessarily share our particular view on free speech. I'm sure Canadians don't consider their government tyrannical, but they're apparently okay with that government establishing a commission that can fine a comedian and ban him for life for insulting lesbians. I think the explanation you'd have to offer Canadians would be different than the explanation you'd have to give Egyptians or Libyans because the former have a different understanding of individual liberty and restrictions on government than the latter.

So, assuming the question is really "If you could choose/write one sentence to explain the value of free speech to the people of the Muslim world who don't get it what would it be?"

The United States will always be better armed than you and the only thing that has prevented us from turning your country into a smoldering wasteland is the right of the more soft-hearted among us to convince a majority of their fellow citizens to treat you far better than your behavior warrants.

Hagar said...

The term "Scotch Irish" refers to "Scots" re-settled in Ireland by the Tudors and Cromwell, etc. after famine and hard times in the "Little Ice Age" decimated the population in northern Ireland.

But how did they come to be called "Scots" in the first place?

Johannes Scotus was Irish, not a "Scot."

AndyN said...

AllieOop said...

ThomasD. We are privileged to HAVE rights, does this make more sense to you?


We have the privilege of living under a government that doesn't try to deny our natural rights? That would make sense.

Saint Croix said...

God rules our spiritual lives, not the government.

edutcher said...

Scotus sounds Latin, although the Romans called Scotland Caledonia.

Looked it up and it means a Scottish person, although I have a feeling it's "Latin" in the same sense of Carolus Linnaeus and Americus Vespucius.

TWM said...

BTW, in case Shiloh jumps on me about typos again, I meant "your" not you're."

It really upsets him . . .


It's tough being that anal retentive.

furious_a said...

Tough to improve on the original "one sentence"...

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.

... which established not only the right but also the precedence of powers establishing that right.

TWM said...

"We have the privilege of living under a government that doesn't try to deny our natural rights? That would make sense."

Actually, even that doesn't make much sense. Our government is always trying to deny - or at least abrige - our natural rights. It's a constant struggle to keep them even here in the freest nation on Earth.

Calypso Facto said...

Dante said: Free speech keeps our government working for us instead of controlling us, sending us to the Gulag, burning us in ovens, or preventing us from displaying our religious ideas.

At least in theory.

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."
George Washington

AndyN said...

TWM said...

Our government is always trying to deny - or at least abrige - our natural rights. It's a constant struggle to keep them even here in the freest nation on Earth.


True, but even when they do they recognize that they have to frame their attempts in the context of recognizing that the right exists. How often do you hear a US politician proposing some form of creeping censorship without prefacing it with some form of "we all respect everyone's right to..."? Yes, it's a constant battle, but as long as they have to do that it's a sign that we still control the field.

furious_a said...

"Scots" re-settled in Ireland by the Tudors and Cromwell, etc. after famine and hard times in the "Little Ice Age"

That's a nice way of putting the re-population of Ulster with Protestant colonists after the English put down the native Gaelic rebellions against English rule.

TWM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ThomasD said...

"We are privileged to HAVE rights, does this make more sense to you?"

Only to the extent that we are privileged to EXIST at all.

Beyond that, no, you are still babbling nonsense.

Here's a clue for you. Privilege is granted by some authority. Rights exist regardless of the absence or presence of authority. (In other words, your totalitarianism is showing...)

TWM said...

"Yes, it's a constant battle, but as long as they have to do that it's a sign that we still control the field."

Made all the more difficult when good folks don't seem to understand what true free speech is.

Kirk Parker said...

"Free speech is a precious right and privilege, don't cheapen it with thoughtlessness."

Oops, too late.

Paddy O said...

Let other people speak so that you never lose your own voice.

ThomasD said...

AndyN,

Privileged and fortunate are generally synonymous, but only remotely so in this particular context.

A privilege is not universal, rights are universal.

wfgodbold said...

The same reason free people have for exercising any of their rights.

Because fuck you, that's why.

Erika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cold pizza said...

Words are tools; hammers or scalpels and everything in-between. Free expression without fear of government intervention does not protect me from libel or slander if I knowingly spout lies or slander. But neither is it slander for me to spout my opinions.

If you don't like my opinions, feel free to counter with your own. Come, let us argue together, and despite the gulf between us, perhaps we can learn and respect the divide.

Insult me or threaten me for my opinion and you have only proven that you're merely an immature toad, unready to enter into the company of intelligent discourse; a naked barbarian wallowing in mud and shit, to be pitied and ignored until you can demonstrate ANY redeeming quality that would elevate you to the lowest concourse of civilization. LOL.

-CP

Hagar said...

In Roman times the people(s) of northern Britain were p-Gaelic speaking tribes, or Bretons.
Later, the Scotti, q-Gaelic speaking people from Ulster sailed across the Irish Sea and established a kingdom called Dal Riada in what is now northwestern England and southwest Scotland. A spalpeen from there named Kenneth McAlpin (anglicized) managed to conquer most of the territory north of Hadrian's Wall and had himself crowned on the Stoone of Scoone as the king of "Scotland."

Thus the "Scots" not only lost their name(s), but also their very language - and twice; first from Breton to Irish, and then to English (of sorts).

Patrick said...

I have neither the time nor the inclination to read this entire thread, but it is possible that Allie's point is that because we have the right to express something, that doesn't mean we must. We can refrain from offensive speech.

To the extent that is what Allie means, it is true as far as it goes, but I don't think it goes very far. Yes, it is a nice thing to refrain from being mean. However, if we consistently refrain from offending just because the offended threaten violence is a poor long term policy.

raf said...

I read somewhere (okay, it was a book on the history of Britain) that the north of Britain was taken over from the Picts by the Scots, who came from that island to the west. That is, Ireland was the original Scotland, if naming conventions had been like that way back when.

This topic seems a bit non sequitorish in relation to this post....

MikeDC said...

We cannot develop conscience or affirm faith if we cannot hear any opinion, therefore we must permit any opinion to be expressed.

Even in Islam, my understanding is that there's still a well-developed idea of conscience, which imo, is pretty universal in normal humans. The right thinking view would be that, to truly become a good person and go to heaven, a Muslim must have a good conscience. He must internally choose good over evil. Without opposing views, the conscience remains ignorant and there is no real choice.

raf said...

So I would say that the Scots, far from losing their name, imposed it on all inhabitants in North Britain. The language is pretty much gone, I agree, but I believe there are still some pockets of it. And I am of Scots-Irish descent, i.e., the only people who care about this stuff.

paul a'barge said...

Ummm, so Althouse ... where is yours?

Ooneed I say Wow?

raf said...

Maybe you could say that the Picts lost their name.

Hagar said...

And there were not really "native Irish" rebellions against English rule. The Tudors created "English plantations" (hopefully Anglican) mostly in what is now the Republic because the Old English who dominated in Ireland were as Catholic as the Irish and represented a real danger to the Tudor government - a Welsh dynasty BTW.

Cromwell's Scots were indeed Protestant, but Presbyterians, not Puritans, and certainly not Anglicans. And the occasion for Cromwell's wars in Ireland was that the Irish led by the Old English sided with Charles I Stuart in the English Civil War.
Charles I was mainly tried and executed because "he set the murderous Irish on hos own people."
Giving the "Scotch Irish" land in the then very scarsely populated counties of Ulster was both a handy means to pay off the "Scottish" army and a way to get large numbers of troublesome Presbyterians off the British mainland. And Ireland was where lot of the ancestors of these knotheaded oat-eaters came from anyway.
So, win-win.

creeley23 said...

So we're still on the Irish.

Don't say it like that [my reference to Irish nuns]. Over the centuries, the Irish even had their names taken away.

edutcher: While growing up, I had years of my youth taken away by sick, tyrannical Irish nuns. My grandfather was sent to America as part of the Irish baby trade. So what?

It's the 21st century. I have no patience with Irish victimology. The Irish have been their own worst enemies for some time now and they are still blaming the English.

EMD said...

However, if we consistently refrain from offending just because the offended threaten violence is a poor long term policy.

And to add to that, who qualifies what is offensive and what is not?

What if I THINK what I'm saying is perfectly fine, but someone takes offense?

Allie wishes to control something (with her very good and thoughtful intentions) that cannot be controlled.

EMD said...

Fuck the Muslim up their asses, Allie! Fuck Mohammed up the ass!"

I'm thinking you could subcontract that job to the failed hat mannequin, and I'm thinking you'd both be happier for it.


I really wish we could lay off this stuff.

(Not curtailing anyone's free speech rights. Just asking.)

creeley23 said...

It's evident that asking people to merely THINK before speaking is seen as an assault on free speech, clearly SOME of you are in full foam at the mouth mode.

Poor Allie. Can't make her argument but she just knows, like a typical liberal, that she's right, right, right and anyone who disagrees is wrong, irresponsible and foaming at the mouth.

Her notion that Americans were killed because of the video has been debunked. If we are to follow Allie's Gentle Guide to Responsible Free Speech, we have to consider not only that fanatical Muslim mobs might be moved to a killing frenzy but the possibility that their shadowy, America-hating masters might exploit what we say to that end.

If those masters chose to launch riots because Obama kept spiking the football about assassinating Bin Laden, would Allie wag her finger at Obama?

What freedom of speech is left, when everything one says must be run through Allie's responsibility filter while Muslims blackmail us with threats of violence?

Shana said...

I wish I could remember who it was that said that trying to regulate internet speech was like trying to hobble an elephant with a rubber band.

creeley23 said...

eatbees made a thoughtful comment earlier:

But that understanding is "endowed by our Creator" and "self-evident," remember? And I can assure you that it's no less self-evident to Muslims than it is to all human beings. The Qur'an itself says, "There is no compulsion in religion." And Mohammed said, "Seek knowledge as far away as China." It may surprise you to learn that my Muslim friends see their religion as an invitation to free thought, wherever it may lead. And indeed, they are quite open to free thought on all topics, including religion — more so than many Americans.

This explains some of our quandary with respect to our Muslim brothers and sisters. They really do believe "There is no compulsion in religion" despite Islamic history from Muhammad to the present day of quite the opposite.

In 2006 Muslim terrorists kidnapped two journalists and forced them to convert to Islam at gunpoint. The Muslims filmed the journalists declaring their conversions and broadcast it to the world. Among Muslims there was no perplexity, no outrage.

The faith Muslims have in their religion is so absolute that they cannot see such contradictions. If you read even moderate Muslims attempting in good faith to communicate with Westerners, you constantly run across these huge blind spots about Islam.

Shana said...

I like pduggie's definition the best.

Peter said...

With apologies to George Orwell, if you want to imagine a world without free speech, imagine a boot stamping on a human face-- forever.

creeley23 said...

EMD said...

However, if we consistently refrain from offending just because the offended threaten violence is a poor long term policy.

And to add to that, who qualifies what is offensive and what is not?


Another added question: what if one touches upon Islamic violence in a lecture to other Western scholars and Muslims run wild and start killing?

That's what happened to Pope Benedict in 2006. He merely quoted one of the last Christian rulers of the Byzantine Empire before it fell to Muslims and that's all it took. Within a few days Muslims were rioting and killing, including an African nun.

Does Allie tell the Pope that he was being irresponsible in his speech at a German university?

Make no mistake. It's not just disrespect of Muhammad that Muslims are trying to stop, it's all criticism of their barbaric religion.

Shana said...

The answer is more criticism of Islam, not less. One thing criticism does is force you to defend your position and refine your arguments. Every high school kid on the debate team knows this. Every student of church history knows this. One is forced to conclude that Islam cannot defend its beliefs and culture, therefore it becomes a "Shut up, he explained" affair with fists and explosions when necessary.

TWM said...

"The answer is more criticism of Islam, not less. One thing criticism does is force you to defend your position and refine your arguments. Every high school kid on the debate team knows this. Every student of church history knows this. One is forced to conclude that Islam cannot defend its beliefs and culture, therefore it becomes a "Shut up, he explained" affair with fists and explosions when necessary."

You're asking a level of tolerance, sophistication and logical thinking that they are simply incapable of.

paul a'barge said...

One sentence?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Look: Rights. Source of those Rights. A list of the unalienable Rights.

You need more than this to explain the value of Freedom of Speech? No we don't. We don't need to explain anything to morons who have no understanding that our Rights are given to us not by government or by a mob or by a cult but by G-D Himself.

May G-d show mercy to those who are incapable of understanding this.

Crunchy Frog said...

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Evelyn Beatrice Hall, "The Friends Of Voltaire" (1906)

creeley23 said...

paul a'barge: Works for me!

Methadras said...

Freedom of speech is the right to articulate yourself in any way you wish without fear of government oppression or suppression regardless of your affiliations.

Methadras said...

AllieOop said...

Think about what you are going to say, when what you say can harm innocents. Restrict or restrain yourselves, that's what I mean. We live in a Democracy or Republic, whatever you choose to call it, free speech cannot be restricted by our government, nor should it be.

That leaves the burden on our shoulders to think about how our speech may affect others. THINK. Is what I'm saying, then SELF censor if your speech will harm innocent others.

No one, not I nor our government can zip your lip for you. No one can make you think beyond your own need to be heard, that is up to you as an individual with morals.


My question to you is, why do you care and defend the sensitivities and sensibilities (or lack thereof) of a murderous religious, with murderous adherents, who would no more rape, torture, and kill you in the most reprehensible way because they perceive you as an insulter of Islam or the Mohammed for the sheer sake of being an American or a westerner? Why do you keep defending them?

Methadras said...

AllieOop said...

Shouting Thomas, I was born in Austria, came here in 1955 at age three, my parents where born again evangelical fundamentalist Christians and were Republicans. I think it's reprehensible for you to try to paint me as somehow unAmerican. That's is beneath you and you owe me an apology.

Thank you Darrell, that IS my meaning.


I don't think it's reprehensible at all that you are painted as unAmerican. Because fundamentally you are. When you call for people to moderate their speech for the sake of other people's sensitivities who aren't even American citizens, then you are advocating for moderated speech and that leads to regulated speech, which leads to government controlled speech.

When you are defending the offended who aren't even American citizens and hate America in what you are saying here, you are in effect being unAmerican. If you don't like that, I'm sure Austria is awaiting you with open arms while the state department awaits your renunciation of American citizenship and a return of your passport and identification. We don't really need you. Bye.

Methadras said...

AllieOop said...

It's evident that asking people to merely THINK before speaking is seen as an assault on free speech, clearly SOME of you are in full foam at the mouth mode


What if the thinking of that speech was to actively offend? In your world, no one would ever be offended. That world is a dead world.

BeckyC said...

Sorry, no one-liners. Just wanted to put in a vote for Christopher Hitchens.

To review the scientific method,

We perform experiments to test hypotheses, and the goal is to develop a theory which explains the past, describes the present, predicts the future... but we’re always open to that one new experiment which might disprove the theory, which is to say it will improve the theory even if it has to kill it.

Per Hitchens, free speech is remaining open to that one voice out of one hundred saying “wait, have you considered...”

If specific words are not allowed, it’s like you won’t allow a specific thought experiment to be performed.

Per the JSM quote, “If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."

AllieOop said...
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AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

Methadras, you dumb asshole, it's not the feelings of the Muslims I care about, I don't give a shit if they get THIER sensibilities hurt, I am no defending THEM. If you cannot understand that you are essentially retarded.

I care about the innocent American bystanders and Coptic Christians who will get hurt by fools like you who shoot off their mouths without thinking . Over the past few days I have said this at least 10 times, yet morons like you ignore it. Go fuck yourself.

So hey! I get to engage in free speech too Meth head! Whoa that felt GREAT, I'm going to have to do that free speech stuff more often.

And I deserve to be here as much as you do, probably MORE, so fuck you again, you pathetic jerk.

AllieOop said...

YEAH! And my free speech was MEANT to OFFEND you Meth head, you fucking pathetic Asshole, WOO HOO, free speech for Allie!

AllieOop said...

And Meth head, I said that with no German accent at all, I hope you understood me, if not I'll be happy to repeat myself.

AllieOop said...

Anybody else want me to offend them with my newely embraced free speech skills? See, you've just created a free speech enthusiast!

The Prophet Mohummad said...

do your worst

B said...

BeckyC said...at 2:03 PM

And very well said.

AndyN said...

AllieOop said...

Methadras, you dumb asshole, it's not the feelings of the Muslims I care about, I don't give a shit if they get THIER sensibilities hurt, I am no defending THEM. If you cannot understand that you are essentially retarded.

I care about the innocent American bystanders and Coptic Christians who will get hurt by fools like you who shoot off their mouths without thinking . Over the past few days I have said this at least 10 times, yet morons like you ignore it. Go fuck yourself.


Say it 10 more times, or 100 more times, but it won't be any more true the 101st time you say it than it was the 1st time. Nobody's getting hurt because fools like Methadras are shooting off their mouths without thinking. People are getting hurt because some Muslim leaders want to incite violence and will use any pretext to do so. There is no amount of deference that can be offered to completely eliminate all possible excuses for intolerant Muslims to fly into a murderous rage.

I'd throw your own words back at you and say "if you cannot understand that you are essentially retarded" but that would be an insult to the retarded. You seem like you're probably mentally developed enough to understand if you chose to, so I'd say your continued appeals for self-censorship probably stem more from a moral failure than a lack of intelligence.

AllieOop said...

AndyN, and fuck you too! :)

Ah that felt soooo good.

creeley23 said...

I care about the innocent American bystanders and Coptic Christians who will get hurt by fools like you who shoot off their mouths without thinking . Over the past few days I have said this at least 10 times, yet morons like you ignore it. Go fuck yourself.

Allie Oop: With varying degrees of respect, people have challenged your position and questioned it. You have chosen not to respond to any of these but instead resorted to silly trash talk.

As many of us have noticed, you are unable to defend your position beyond repeating yourself and casting aspersions upon others.

As to the Coptic Christians you claim to be concerned about, I tell you for the third time that Coptic Christians themselves have translated Ann Barnhardt's Koran/bacon burning video into Arabic and uploaded that version to Youtube. Perhaps these issues are not as simple as you think.

I defend the free speech of Nakoula's video not only because I believe a robust defense of free speech is good in itself and it is now established that the video was not the cause of those deaths, but because in the long run appeasing bullies only leads to more violence. I imagine this is why these Egyptian Copts support the Koran/bacon burning video.

AllieOop said...

Methadras, shooting off his mouth here to me and Althousians will not kill Americans in the ME, he is so brave here in the safe US of A. He would probably shit his pants if he was in the shoes of he Americans he cares so little for over there. Selfish bastard.

AllieOop said...

Ohhhh, Creely, my little buddy, I have an extra special FUCK YOU for you. Have some bacon with your burnt Koran, breakfast of brave American champions and free speech heros.

Ah, I love this free speech stuff, it's heady, makes me feel Sooooo powerful!

creeley23 said...

Thanks, Allie. That was exactly what I expected.

Proving our points once again: you have no substantive debate to offer.

AllieOop said...

BUT Creely, I'm only exercising my newly found free speech rights! Whaaaat you want to silence me?! That would make you a hypocrite.

AllieOop said...

It's so fun being offensive, how do ya like it?

Cedarford said...

AndyN - "People are getting hurt because some Muslim leaders want to incite violence and will use any pretext to do so. There is no amount of deference that can be offered to completely eliminate all possible excuses for intolerant Muslims to fly into a murderous rage."

===============
You confuse peacetime free speech with stupidly giving the enemy (a good deal of the Muslim World) ammunition to be used against us.

You don't appease the enemy by denouncing the wrapping up their ammunition in the 1st Amendment.

Ammunition is ammunition.
Be it by lurid torture stories told endlessly to Muslims by Western journalists wrapped in their 1st Amendment protections...Or CBS helping kill and maim a couple thousand US soldiers by taking Abu Ghraib into each Muslim village in pictures.

The avoiding provocation is not appeasement.
It is good sense when you are in a conflict with an enemy.

Our biggest problem is that politicians on both sides have avoided admitting we face an enemy we have irreconcilable differences with that will persist a long time as either a new Cold War, or a series of hot conflicts that drain lives and treasure on both sides.

The enemy is NOT "Noble Freedom Lovers", they are NOT seduced by our Black Messiah. NO AMOUNT of money given them will get them to love Israel or want a godless Western culture taking over in their lands. Islam is not "The Religion of Peace" the idiot George W Bush proclaimed it to be.

Given the realities...do you want Hot Wars or a Cold War conflict??

Assholes like CBS spilling Abu Ghraib pics out of Bush Hatred, asshole ministers burning Korans, asshole Copts --all want to provoke more Hot War.
(If you study history, you see the 1st Cold War had hotheads too)

I don't believe we should apologize for each thing that gives angry Muslim radicals offense..or chickenshit incidents that we can defend as chickenshit and the violent Muslims as overreacting about essentially nothing.
But we can't really defend Abu Ghraib being handed to the Islamoids as a weapon, nor deliberately sliming their Prophet and saying swallow it...because our Sacred Parchment of the US Constitution is more important than your sacred parchment of a Koran...if you ignorant Muslims would only accept our dogma in things like the 1st Amendment instead of your dogma that the Prophet must not be blasphemed by anyone!

Go for a Cold War, not more hot wars that drain our coffers and open the way for China to be the great power that becomes the main influencer in Muslim lands by default..


AllieOop said...

ALSO, I within my free speech rights to be as unsusbstansive as my heart desires!

I'm practically swooning with delight!

AllieOop said...

Cedarford, you cast pearls before swine.

Gawd that was incredibly offensive of me.

Robert Cook said...

Hmmm...it appears the violence was never a result of anti-blasphemy crowds at all, but was a directed terrorist attack:

Embassy attack not related to "blasphemy"

AllieOop said...

Robert Cook,
All the more reason to tread lightly when there are fellow Americans that must live in that powder keg environment. I'm sure the terrorists are thrilled when they can recruit yet even more suicide bombers to their cause.

BOOM goes the jihadist!

Methadras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

AllieOop said...

Methadras, shooting off his mouth here to me and Althousians will not kill Americans in the ME, he is so brave here in the safe US of A. He would probably shit his pants if he was in the shoes of he Americans he cares so little for over there. Selfish bastard.


Save your fake outrage for someone who cares, you dumb cunt. You don't know anything about me or what I've done for my country. Two of those guys in Libya were my friends. You don't know shit living in your safe little haven, but please continue to subvert and defend the indefensible position of protecting the killers from the horrors of having their sub-human religion being offended, you deviant harpy. This little arm waving smokescreen of yours does nothing to hide the fact that you are nothing but a closeted fascist. Hailing from Austria does that I suppose. Must be genetic. You may have your little white knights on this forum come to save you from people like me, but there is no getting around the fact that you are unamerican garbage. Calling you a cunt isn't even good enough at this point.

Robert Cook said...

Allie Oop,

All the more reason for us to tread lightly to such an extent that we withdraw our military from the region and halt all drone attacks. There's nothing like occupying other people's lands and dropping bombs on them from unseen robot planes in the sky for creating violent anti-American feeling.

Cedarford said...

creeley23 - "I defend the free speech of Nakoula's video not only because I believe a robust defense of free speech is good in itself and it is now established that the video was not the cause of those deaths, but because in the long run appeasing bullies only leads to more violence."

======================

1. Did you defend Anwar al-Awlakis free speech rights as a US citizen to incite violence against Americans? Or are you like me and most other people that believe shutting him up for good was a righteous act and he had long past any point where he could claim 1st Amendment protection?

2. Do you honestly think the enemy in any conflict does not eagerly seek ammunition to boost the willingness to fight? We used the Japs own newsreel footage of the Bataan Death March in films designed to help harden our soldiers and Marines, make them more ruthless and willing to kill the Jap beast.
The Islamoids use each Koran burning, Abu Ghraib, Asshole Copt flick as similar ammunition.

3. Working to help eliminate sources of ammunition the enemy can exploit is not appeasement..it is in America's vital national interests.

4. Like many right-wingers and neocons, your idea of "defend to the death" the rights of provacateurs that want a major hot war with Islam - does not include you. The Americans dead and wounded and in fear each day would be those in proximity to the Muslims you seek to antagonize into violence - expats, diplomats, soldiers like AllieOop's daughter.

oola said...

Yes, Robert Cook, I agree with withdrawing our troops, our embassies, our money, even our drones, unless they attack again, then drone away.

(it's me, Allie)

oola said...

Meth head, if I were to be a fascist Nazi, I would call you subhuman. But since I'm more American than you anyday, even with my Naturalization papers, I won't won't.

You are a big mouthed coward, go to the ME and spout your shit.

Cedarford said...

Neocons and other Right-wingers also forget that much of our security assumptions rest on certain Muslim nations allowing us base operations, refueling, overflight rights, even active assistance if we:

1. Have to reopen the Straights of Hormuz, the Straights of Malacca...

2. Have to strike Iran if the nuclear menace becomes real and not just Likud hysteria.

3. Even defend Israel. We can obviously not count on active cooperation, but some scenarios are based on All Muslim nations not hoining in.

4. Other vital security and economic and "counterterror" scenarios rest on assumptions we will have certain Muslims backing us.


All that becomes less likely if we become known as the Nation of Prophet Blasphemers.

creeley23 said...

Cedarford: What? We didn't kill al-Awlaki because he was exercising free speech rights. We killed him because he was "involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda" as wiki says.

The enemy uses whatever they use against us. In WWII we portrayed the Japanese as squinty-eyed, buck-toothed savages. So we shouldn't have done that lest the Japanese recruit on that basis?

How do you know precisely what Nakoula's motivations were? Or mine for that matter?

I would like Americans to know that Muhammad was a cruel barabaric warlord and that Islam is up there with Communism and Nazism as a repressive force in human history. I would like Americans to know the Quran and the story of Muhammmad. I would like them to know of the Islamic honor killings going on in our own country today. I would like Americans to know that Islam is very different and far more horrible than Christianity and other major religions.

Muslims are already shouting "Death to America" in mass demonstrations. Approximately 20% of Muslims, according to Pew polls, expressed "confidence in Bin Laden to do the right thing" as late as 2010. How much more ammunition do they need?

I would like Muslims to know that we will not be intimidated. I would like them to learn that they can survive American's free speech towards them. I would like them to know that we are not going to kowtow to their threats of violence.

Do you really believe that Muslim leaders can't gin up a violent riot no matter what we do? Should the Pope have refrained from his Regensburg lecture?

That's how I see it. I'm not for our military or government leaders to make films like Nakoula's, but for our ordinary citizens, I say if that's what they want to do, OK.

Methadras said...

oola said...

Meth head, if I were to be a fascist Nazi, I would call you subhuman. But since I'm more American than you anyday, even with my Naturalization papers, I won't won't.

You are a big mouthed coward, go to the ME and spout your shit.


Idiot, I didn't call you a nazi, I called you a fascist. The fact you hail from Austria is coincidental. Save the "I'm more american than you are bullshit." I'm a naturalized citizen myself, so it doesn't play. Call me whatever you like. It really doesn't matter. I know who I am as a patriotic citizen of this country. Of course if you wish to continue to shitting on the most fundamental constitutional principal of the freedom of speech, then I'm sure a short road trip to Dearborn, MI to begin your apology tour against the bill of rights could begin. Afterall, you would only be emulating your pantheon of bureaucrats who've already spent your tax money to publicize how sorry they are for someone using those freedoms to make a movie no one has seen to insult your precious muslims.

Seriously, you inbred hunk of shit, just shut the fuck up already. You're to fucking dumb to even fathom the stupidity you spout.

creeley23 said...

Cedarford: What is your plan? Suspend the First Amendment with regard to Islam for the rest of the century or until Muslims cease to hate us? Good luck with that.

The Muslims rioted and killed based on a false story in Newsweek about a Quran being pissed upon. Should the government have stopped Newsweek from printing that story?

Should the government do something about Pamela Geller or Robert Spencer or evern creeley23 staying bad things about Islams. Where does it end?

Or should we just live like the characters in that Twilight Zone episode who couldn't say or think anything bad about the demonic child played by Bill Mumy?

If you and Allie want to man your bully pulpits to go "Shhh...Stop saying bad things about Islam," that's fine with me.

My plan is that we make the best of a bad situation and live as free Americans as much as we can. I see little benefit in bringing the weight of our government or even the C4s and AllieOops of the country down on individual citizens to stop them from being critical or tasteless about Islam.

And yes, I still call it appeasement that ordinary Americans should walk around on eggshells lest we aggrieve the fragile feelings of a religious people who don't have much problem when one of their major leaders declares it a religious duty of all Muslims to kill Americans anytime and anywhere.

Excuse me, I consider such a religion abominable. Who do I see for permission to say so?

oola said...

Meth head, you hypocrite! How fucking dare you say I am unAmerican, you lowly piece of shit. Now you wan to get in a who is more patriotic contest, you dumbass?

No contest, I win. It's MY daughter that could be affected by your irresponsible free speech advocacy.

So go to the ME, I dare you, you fucking coward. Then get a megaphone and spout your shit in front of the Mosque.

oola said...

Creely same to you, go to the ME, get that megaphone, engage in free speech till the goats come home.

Or do it from here, when my daughter, her fellow troops, the embassies and other Americans aren't there to be your sacrificial lamb.

creeley23 said...

Or do it from here, when my daughter, her fellow troops, the embassies and other Americans aren't there to be your sacrificial lamb.

Is oola the new Allie? We are not killing your daughter or our troops. Muslims are. It's a tough distinction, but I think you are capable of making it.

Since we are being cordial, if you don't like American freedom of speech, why don't you find a new country?

oola said...

No, Creepy, I'm staying here and I'm going to embrace my free speech rights, YOU go somewhere, anywhere, to the ME preferably.

I'm not in a cordial kinda mood, so kiss my ass.

joeshmo99 said...

How about: "I've got a right to free speech, and if you don't agree I'm gonna break your face!"

creeley23 said...

Allie: Congratulations. You have made the customary liberal transition, particularly for Obama voters, to a simple drive-by troll uninterested in facts, logic or civil discussion, just spewing one-line taunts.

If you had a substantive response, I think you would make it, but you don't, so it's just ad homs, fuck you and kiss my ass.

Glad you're enjoying your free speech even if you are uninterested in defending it, or even, as far as I can tell, capable of understanding it.

John Lynch said...

One sentence?

Free speech is for pointing out reality to those who don't want to hear it.

Robert Cook said...

"We didn't kill al-Awlaki because he was exercising free speech rights. We killed him because he was 'involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda' as wiki says."

Yes, as Wiki says, and as our government says.

Since when does saying make it so?

We have seen no proof that Al-Awlaki was involved in planning terrorist operations, and, as an American citizen, he was entitled to due process of law and his day in court, (even in absentia), whatever the accusations against him.

Obama committed murder when he killed Al-Awlaki, and again when he killed Al-Awlaki's son wo weeks later. There has never even been any attempt to claim that the son was involved in any terrorist activities. Thus, his killing was murder undisputed even by those who murdered him.

I'm appalled that Americans are so swift to not only not object to these murders, not just to accept them, but to applaud them. They're cheering for their own subjugation, agreeing that the government has a right, when and if it so chooses, to place them also under an order of execution, one that might be enacted anytime, from anywhere, visiting on us a fate "like a dog,", as Kafka puts it at the end of The Trial.

sleepless nights said...

If you *don't* have it, you're a mental slave. Thought needs to be expressed.

Gene said...

A government that can stop people from saying what they think is a government that can stop people from doing anything too.

Pat Moffitt said...

Free Speech is neither a right nor a privilege but rather a demand made by free people. Free speech is the test for freedom.