Patterico's Pontifications

5/16/2010

Should We Defend Provocative Speech Against Violent Thuggery?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:43 pm



At Hot Air, J.E. Dyer writes that Provocation isn’t the highest form of free speech:

There’s no question the Vilks film being aired in the video clip is provocative. I have no trouble seeing why Muslims would find it offensive. Of course they shouldn’t get away with shutting down the film by turning into a pack of baying hyenas. But neither should we be surprised that this particular manifestation of free speech got no vigorous defense from the crowd.

. . . .

[T]he fact that people sat passively while howling Muslims shut down a showing of the Vilks video isn’t an indictment of the West’s moral courage. Provocative videos with subversive sexual overtones – expressions that some people know will offend and incite others – are not the definition of what is “Western.” They are merely what we tolerate, as the detritus – and yes, I mean the detritus; there is nothing high or noble about lampooning someone else’s religion – of the worthwhile, worth-defending attributes that do define us.

You know, when I first wrote about this the other day, a couple of people made similar comments in the comments section. Beldar said that we shouldn’t offend radical Muslims simply to offend them, because the non-radical ones may get offended too; and MD in Philly said he would be happier fighting other free speech battles instead of battles over people like Vilks mocking people’s religion. As MD in Philly said:

I’m not saying the law should institute new and “higher” standards of acceptable speech, but I’d love to see where society would simply turn away from “Piss Christ” as well as things mocking Islam and it would dry up, at least as much as possible.

I respect both men and understand their points. But here’s the thing. Vilks’s home has now been firebombed and he doesn’t feel safe sleeping at his home any more:

A Swedish artist whose drawing of the Prophet Muhammad with a dogs body angered Muslims said Sunday he doesn’t feel safe in his home at night, after a week of attacks against him.

Lars Vilks told The Associated Press he has started sleeping elsewhere since an attempted arson attack Friday against his home in Nyhamnslage, southern Sweden.

Here is what I said to Beldar and MD in Philly:

I get what you’re saying — and Beldar is probably right in one sense: it’s probably not justified to do absolutely anything that offends the radicals, because you could be offending non-radicals. There is a balance to be struck there .

At the same time, as much as “Piss Christ” offended me, I would start posting images of it in support of Serrano if he encountered the same kind of violent backlash that Vilks has encountered. At that point, my intent is not to offend, but to stand up for free speech. . . . When we pick and choose who has the right to free speech based on its content, then nobody has free speech.

I guess I agree with J.E. Dyer that it wasn’t really incumbent on the crowd at the lecture to silence the howling pack of savages; that was the job of the police and the university. But for the authorities to cave, and tell Vilks he is never welcome back — essentially to sanction violence as a way of shutting down speech — is something we should all be appalled by even if that speech is provocative and even arguably irresponsible.

And the more these people pursue tactics like firebombing people’s homes and attacking them physically, the more I feel like mocking their religion.

Look, South Park got its start by portraying Jesus as a goofy character engaged in silly martial arts antics:

If radical Christians tried to kill Matt Stone and Trey Parker for mocking Jesus in this way, I’d be inclined to mock Jesus myself. Just to tell the crazies to fuck off.

213 Responses to “Should We Defend Provocative Speech Against Violent Thuggery?”

  1. I want to be convinced that Islam is nonradical. Since the radicals cite chapter and verse from the Koran and shuras to support their views, where are the nonradicals giving the alternative interpretations of the same literature? Are there alternative interpretatations?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  2. nicely said I was worried at first cause of that was a provocatively stupid question in the title but nicely said

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  3. As a card-carrying Fundamentalist Christian Conservative (that should get your attention), I refuse to watch many programs and many movies due to this very sort of thing. It is disgusting and anyone who thinks it is funny has a very serious problem, very serious. It most definitely incurs my wrath, and I am oftentimes very much outspoken about it.

    But I have zero intentions on killing any idiots who embed this absolutely non-funny garbage on their websites. If it were the first thing I saw on their sites, there would never be a second thing I saw. But I won’t get violent about their idiocy.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  4. What do these radical Islamists hope to gain by using violence? Do they not care about their reputation with the world?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  5. the believe it is a way to ensure their reputation in the next world….

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  6. Islamic scholar and leaders do not condone these attacks and in fact decry them and cast out those who do them – and the fact that Vilks continues to deliberately provoke radical islamists is a danger not only to himself, but to all Swedes everywhere

    Look for legislation soon banning the deliberate and provocative speech against islam

    EricPWJohnson (7ff4d9)

  7. There’s something to be said about NOT poking the sleeping tiger with a stick — of course, if you’re a libby you’re more concerned about the tiger; but I digress (and I’m mixing metaphors, as well as references).

    Although really I’m not. Just as that stupid kid that antagonized the tiger should have realized the potential danger involved, so should Vilks have anticipated a violent reaction to his presentation. Does this then justify the actions of those that threatened and/or perpetrated violence? Absolutely not. But if Vilks was somehow under the impression that radical Islamists were not going to come after him personally, then he’s fooling himself. I don’t know if he actually was surprised by the level of violence, but that seems to be the undercurrent running through the reporting on this story.

    If the Klan is parading down Main street, and a member with a megaphone shouts, “Put all the ni**ers on reservations,” and then a black man jumps out of the crowd and stabs the Klansman — Do we then say that the Klansman should’ve realized that his hate-speech would most likely generate a violent reaction, and therefore for his own good he should’ve self-censored himself? Because he took such a great (or foolish, depending on your viewpoint) risk, we shouldn’t defend his freedom of speech?

    Nope. Life is rarely like an Agatha Christie mystery, where the victim is revealed to have been an uncaring brute, and there are multiple suspects — all with a motive to have killed him. In the end you feel a sense of justice that the killer has been revealed & caught, while simultaneously experiencing a cozy feeling of “well it wasn’t all that terrible, because the victim was a horrible person.”

    If O.J. Simpson had titled his book: “Yeah, I Killed The Beotch! Whaddya Gonna Do About It?” and someone that was so offended by this killed O.J. in the same manner that he allegedly killed his ex-wife — Do we just say “Oh well, Simpson should’ve known better”? Don’t think so. No matter how right it might FEEL, vigilante justice isn’t the way. There’s a by now famous (or infamous) video of a man executing his daughter’s alleged rapist as the accused was being transported through an airport terminal after extradition. Admittedly, there is a tendency to initially react to that video by saying, “Yeah! Took care of that scumbag.” That father received a long sentence for what he did, and the daughter hates him; because not only has she lost her innocence, but she’s lost her dad as well.

    Point is: You don’t allow the thuggery. Sticks & stones, baby . . . sticks & stones. This is why Bill Maher was so wrong when he made the statement that ultimately led to the cancellation of his ABC show, “Politically Incorrect”. He said that the 9/11 hijackers were NOT cowards because they were willing to martyr themselves for their beliefs. Apparently, Bill forgot to take into account the thousands of innocent lives that were also “martyred” that day. For someone of Maher’s political stripe, chutzpah seems to outweigh righteousness in level of importance.

    Icy Texan (07f5ff)

  8. Well, whether you meant to or not, you totally teed that up for me. I have been running a site dedicated to the everyone draw mohammed day protest. I have been publishing cartoons sent to me, and while I haven’t REQUIRED that it be insulting, I haven’t stopped it, either. And to some degree the mere depiction is infuriating.

    So here is a reprint of a post that explains why I am doing it. And it’s a little deeper than just a personal expression for me.

    If you are inclined to contribute, consider going here: http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/

    And this is where this originally appeared. http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/2010/05/why-we-draw-call-terrorists-bluff.html

    —————–

    Why We Draw—Call the Terrorist’s Bluff

    The terrorists threaten to murder anyone who insults or even depicts their prophet in a cartoon. And as long as it is a handful of individuals being threatened—Salman Rushdie, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and the Danish cartoonists—that threat is effective. You might even look at the murder of Theo Van Gogh and conclude it is not a bluff.

    But it is a bluff. Because if enough people do it at once, they will not be able to carry through their threat. They can’t kill us all. It’s that simple.

    That is why we must draw Mohammed. We must draw early and draw often.

    And let me say something to the moderate Muslims who love freedom of speech and their prophet. While I can’t speak for everyone in this movement, I don’t draw to insult Muslims for the fun of it. If I could think of another way to defuse this threat to our sacred freedom of speech, I would do it. Your hurt feelings are the collateral damage in this fight for freedom.

    But if you have not been told, it is time to learn. Freedom of speech is not just the freedom to say what everyone likes. It is the freedom to say what everyone hates. As Voltaire said, “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.” And those of us in this movement are living that principle out.

    And the reason why we believe in this freedom isn’t necessarily because we want to say awful things about your prophet, but if we propose to ban speech the next question becomes “who has the right to decide what exactly is banned and what is not?” You can’t trust the government with this kind of power—they will always use that power to prevent criticism of them. And you certainly can’t trust a bunch of thugs.

    If you want to say, “I really wish you didn’t insult my prophet,” have at it. It’s your right. If you want to “retaliate” by insulting my cherished figures have at it. Here, let me give you a few targets. Jesus is my savior, and my favorite American figures are Lincoln, Washington, Thaddeus Stevens and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Internationally, I like Winston Churchill, Ghandi and Mandela. So sling your mud at them all you want, you won’t get any death threats from me. The correct response to speech you don’t like is counter-speech—that is, speech (not threats) in protest.

    But, if you want to convince me and anyone else not to do it, then you need to offer a solution to this problem. We can’t just have our artists being bullied into silence. And we certainly can’t have any more Theo Van Goghs. So telling us to surrender or do nothing is not a solution.

    And don’t tell me that your culture forbids it, or doesn’t respect freedom of speech and religion. Because here is the thing: I have a culture, too. And in my culture, not only do we believe in freedom, but we defend it, too.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  9. Religion oughtn’t have special rights to non-criticism. It’s that simple.

    The proper response to thuggery is to offend the thugs, in an effort to discourage the thuggery against the loudest voices of dissent.

    And it doesn’t matter who it is doing the thuggery.

    If Richard Dawkins started sending goon squads into anti-atheist speakers’ discussions to threaten speakers’ lives, we should replicate the speech to prevent effective goon squaddery.

    (Aside to Icy Texan: I think Maher was right on this. They weren’t cowards. They were evil. I think Maher’s position is quite clear; he’s very critical of Islam and the terrorists, but “cowardice,” is not one of the character flaws shown. Plenty of people have called for death to the infidels, but most lack the courage to actually incinerate the infidels and themselves. Fervent belief in religious superiority was the problem.)

    (Aside to daleyrocks: Religions generally evolve. The Bible has some quite unpleasant views throughout; Jephthah did not win father of the year. But the Christian faith in the United States isn’t calling for killing infidels. In Poland, they’re jailing infidels, though; that’s not good. I think reviewing a religion based on its adherents’ overall actions is a reasonable measure.)

    –JRM

    0-< – Depiction of Muhammad. In America, you have the right to be offended by my depiction, but you do not have the right to stop it.

    JRM (65bbfb)

  10. A.W.:

    Tremendous!

    –JRM

    JRM (65bbfb)

  11. I might chase Illinois Nazis off a bridge in Lincoln Park but I would not snivel too much if I were arrested for it. We have made a choice on how we want to maintain the common peace and it includes permitting expression, protecting the speaker, and punishing acts of violence. The Dutch have gone in the opposite direction but that’s why we live in America and they live in the Nether Regions (snicker).

    I don’t consider freedom of expression in this context to be a moral or philosophical question, though. More a way of life.

    nk (db4a41)

  12. You know, let me add something else. We talk a lot about how freedom of speech is at stake here, but freedom of religion is, too.

    Look, let’s talk like grown ups here. Most religions are blasphemous to every other. Jews say there has been no messiah. Christians say there has. In this way, Christians blaspheme the jewish faith and vice versa. Meanwhile, Muslims teach that Jesus was not the son of god, and didn’t die on the cross. I suppose it’s necessary. If you are trying to put a mere prophet above the son of god, you need to knock the son of god down a few pegs, first by denying he is God’s son at all. So what Christians teach about Christ is blasphemous to Muslims, and what Islam teaches about Christ is blasphemous to Christians. And don’t even get me started with atheism.

    And the key thing to get is, that even though we are blaspheming each other’s religion all the time, that’s okay. It’s GOT to be okay. Because if we really had a rule against insulting or blaspheming a faith, we wouldn’t be able to have more than one faith. If we want to live together, in peace, we have to accept that some blasphemy will occur.

    And a no-insult/no-blasphemy rule makes it very difficult to argue the merits of faith. For instance, in connection with my website, I engaged in an email conversation with a gentleman in Pakistan. In the first email he was like (paraphrase), “I am a muslim so I can’t draw mohammed but I really like what you are doing. Is there any way to participate without actually drawing him?” In the second, he said, “Don’t worry so much about me being a muslim anymore. I’m not any more.” My curiosity peaked, I asked him if he was willing to share why. One of the two reasons was Mohammed’s relationship with Aisha.

    He said he learned that he married her when she was 6, and consummated their relationship when she was nine. Simply put, that made Mohammed a pedophile and that was unacceptable in his mind. And to be very blunt, I had learned of this years ago, and that was exactly how I saw it.

    But that is pretty insulting, isn’t it? You’re calling Mohammed a pedophile. But how can you ever discuss the merits of that faith without at least dealing with that?

    In the end the freedom to choose your religion implies that the choice should be an informed one. That means you should have the right to know not only what the adherents of a religion want you to think of it, but what its detractors think, too. And sometimes that is going to be insulting. There are no two ways about it. And so a rule against “insulting” any faith is a rule against the free inquiry about religion; it is a rule that prevents you from learning the truth about any faith.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  13. > When we pick and choose who has the right to free speech based on its content, then nobody has free speech.

    Indeed:

    “The only social order in which freedom of speech
    is secure is the one in which it is secure for everyone…
    and, as those who call for censorship in the name of the
    oppressed ought to recognize, it is never the oppressed
    who determine the bounds of the censorship. Their
    power is limited to legitimizing the idea of censorship.”

    – Aryeh Neier –

    The same can be said of the offensive. You cannot pick and choose “which” offensive material you will block.

    You can’t block Pink Flamingos and not be assured you haven’t given the same cudgel to those who would silence Martin Luther King, Jr.

    You can’t say Piss Christ offends and should not be allowed to be shown, and not give an easy hand to those who might have been offended by Gentleman’s Agreement.

    “A function of free speech under our system of government
    is to INVITE DISPUTE. It may indeed best serve its high
    purposes when it induces a condition of unrest, creates
    dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs
    people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging.
    It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have
    profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of
    an idea.”

    – Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas –

    When it comes to offense, the solution is a voluntary boycott, or even futher speech — a peaceful protest of the content — by those who would be offended, not an enforced boycott by misusing either the power of the government, the power of the gun, or even the power of the raised voice to drown out the offensive content. You cannot win arguments by imposition of diktat. All you do is drive the speech underground.

    “If there is time to expose through discussion the falsehoods
    and the fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of
    education, the remedy to be applied is more speech,
    not enforced silence.”

    – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis –

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  14. nk pretty much has it right. Vilks probably should not have been surprised by someone attacking him, as he was waving a red flag. But it was still illegal and thuggery should not shut the lecture down.

    It’s like my example of the guy walking into the Holocaust Museum wearing a swastika. He should probably be prepared to take a punch in the nose. The person who punches him should be prepared to be prosecuted. And if people start firebombing his home, that’s a little over the top, wouldn’t you say?

    Of course, there is a difference: Nazis are standing up FOR a murderous culture; Vilks, to the extent he targets only radical Muslims, is standing AGAINST one.

    Big difference, that.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  15. Islamic scholar and leaders do not condone these attacks and in fact decry them and cast out those who do them – and the fact that Vilks continues to deliberately provoke radical islamists is a danger not only to himself, but to all Swedes everywhere

    EricPWJohnson, I’m looking forward to this list of leaders, especially the casting out part. Or I’m afraid I’m going to add this to the long list of things you seem to believe that simply ain’t so.

    More typical of the islamic religious community are those who took the Mohammad cartoons, fraudently added even more offensive cartoons not published in the Netherlands, and then toured lying about the collection of cartoons.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. Eric

    > the fact that Vilks continues to deliberately provoke radical islamists is a danger not only to himself, but to all Swedes everywhere

    > Look for legislation soon banning the deliberate and provocative speech against islam

    What an amoral load of claptrap. Vilks isn’t the problem, the radical muslims are.

    All you are doing is enabling and justifying their thuggish behavior. you are encouraging them.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  17. > Are there alternative interpretatations?

    Actually, there are, and there are individuals who do such things (though I don’t have any at hand at the moment and am not in the mood to hunt them down).

    The moderates are generally too chickenshit to speak out against the fanats. I understand and continue to ack their existence in fora like these — but I also weight their behavior according to Murrow’s Dictum:

    “If we don’t speak out [against Senator McCarthy], we share responsibility for everything he does.”
    – Edward R. Murrow –

    I’m not so sure I concur with Murrow’s perception of McCarthy, but I do know his principle is correct regardless of the accuracy of that specific application.

    If the moderates fail to reign in their own, they can hardly complain when they get caught up in any backlash.

    > I don’t know if he actually was surprised by the level of violence, but that seems to be the undercurrent running through the reporting on this story.

    Well, this IS the MSM we’re talking about. One can hardly trust their coloring of a story like this, so loaded as it is with radically conflicting OPLMs (Officially Promoted Libtard Memes). Free speech takes a backseat to victimhood ideology, here.

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  18. If I may add, as a practical matter, suppressing non-state-approved speech simply doesn’t work. It only drives it underground and produces schisms, sometimes dangerous schisms, in a society.

    nk (db4a41)

  19. How does a Muslim get cast out?

    All of the foregoing posts are well and good, but at the end of the day, these crazies–some of whom are college students–think they’re supposed to kill you.

    Should we be expecting the non-crazies to do a better job of policing their own? Of dropping the dime?

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  20. igot

    Small quibble. i don’t remember the controversy over the piss christ being about showing it, but giving it a government grant. I consider every subsidy to so-called “modern art” to be wasteful spending.

    But I would also add that there was an inherent problem in that because of the establishment clause when the government funds blasphemous art.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  21. Not actually a small quibble.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  22. spqr

    Well, small in the sense that the main thrust of his argument is correct. he just got a factual issue wrong.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  23. In case you have not checked out A.W.’s site, the category of “Dreaded Stick Figures of Blasphemy” is EPIC.

    JD (b537f4)

  24. I appreciate the discussion. I guess I go so far to say that if an individual felt so inclined as to stand up at the shout down and tell the Islamists, “I do not like this man’s drawings either, but there are other ways to protest it”, I would support such a move. I certainly agree that police and security officials should have intervened.

    I also appreciate nk’s point, that one can with intellectual integrity stand for freedom of speech, and then not complain when tossed into jail for opposing what is considered evil speech.

    Going back to Vilk, I’m just saying with Icy Texan and Jim Croce that “You don’t mess around with Jim” unless you’re up for it. Yes, stand against thuggery, but while I’ll happily help pay for putting a Soviet defector or a murder witness up for witness protection, I’m not so inclined for Mr. Vilk.

    If the Klan is parading down Main street, and a member with a megaphone shouts, “Put all the ni**ers on reservations,” and then a black man jumps out of the crowd and stabs the Klansman — Do we then say that the Klansman should’ve realized that his hate-speech would most likely generate a violent reaction, and therefore for his own good he should’ve self-censored himself? Because he took such a great (or foolish, depending on your viewpoint) risk, we shouldn’t defend his freedom of speech?

    I see that as two points. First, I would say that, “for his own good he should’ve self-censored himself” Just because the law says one thing, it doesn’t negate human nature. I may have the right-of-way in the crosswalk, but if I expect that to help me against the semi coming at me that just lost its breaks I’m in for trouble. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t prosecute the person committing the crime. Often it is not either/or in life, but there is enough “blame” or responsibility to go around that contributed to an incident.

    I understand A.W.’s actions and see merit and I’m glad of the example with the man from Pakistan. There must be many millions of people who consider themselves Muslim who know very little of what is in the Koran or what is taught. It would be very good for many to be exposed to more detail, I’m not sure if tactically this would be the “best” way, but it is one way. For myself, I think one can generally make cartoons which could certainly be informative and at times funny without being “confrontationally disrespectful”.

    I actually think there are many, many more moderate Muslims out there who stand against the Islamists, even though it is dangerous for them, but we don’t hear about them. I think the media is too eager to self-condem the US that to have other Muslims say that America is not to blame, but the extremists are to blame, just doesn’t fit with their narrative. PBS had contracted for a documentary on the view of the moderate Muslims and then didn’t like what they saw and worked to put in under wraps rather than to show it (such is my understanding).

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  25. If radical Christians tried to kill Matt Stone and Trey Parker for mocking Jesus in this way, I’d be inclined to mock Jesus myself. Just to tell the crazies to fuck off

    What if it was Martin Luther King instead of Jesus? Would you start mocking MLK yourself or would you point out the irony of the threats being made on behalf of someone who preached peace? I don’t think you’d be able to do both without looking extremely silly.

    jcurtis (138cbe)

  26. I have no problem telling people that Martin Luther King cheated on his wife with fat, blonde women. I believe that there was even a Spike Lee movie that said it (haven’t seen it.)

    And I have told a ton of Jesus jokes here.

    nk (db4a41)

  27. JD

    Btw, i asked you a question via email. did you get it?

    A.W. (f97997)

  28. You can’t say Piss Christ offends and should not be allowed to be shown

    Can I say I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for it? Is that too much?

    Get the Government out of art.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  29. MD

    Alot of people keep going back to the n-word example, but the facts just aren’t there. I mean even in your example you can only imagine one black dude. But within seconds of that happening, i would suspect that no less than jessie jackson would come on TV and denounce the attack.

    I know there is a popular media stereotype that if you say the n-word in front of a black man he will kick your a–, but its just that, a stereotype. most people in general are raised right, so they know that the right answer to an insult is not violence.

    and with respect to patterico, i think a person could even get away with wearing a swastika in the holocaust memorial museam, and no violence would erupt. I mean look, i have a special level of hate for the nazis. i remember standing in front of the exhibit on t-4, and literally crying in hate. The only other time in my life where i felt such blinding hate was when when i saw the tape of bin laden gloating about 9-11. And if you look up what t-4 was about, you would understand why. But even if a neo-nazi walked in front of me, I wouldn’t hit him. Its just not my values.

    On the other hand, if bin laden was around, i would consider it my patriotic duty to b–ch slap him, but that’s different.

    A.W. (f97997)

  30. A.W.-

    I do not in any way approve, let alone excuse the behavior of Muslims in this regard. But, reality is reality, whether one likes it or not, and one can make choices and needs to be responsible for them.

    It is not reasonable to kill someone over a cartoon. But it is not reasonable to taunt people who will kill over a cartoon with a cartoon and then be surprised when you are the target of violence. It’s like the now dead pedestrian. He/she “should not” have been run over and killed when having the right of way in a cross walk, but the pedestrian “should not” have thought that he/she would be safe in the cross-walk in spite of seeing a semi roaring down the street.

    There are two issues here that are overlapping, how to respond to Islamofascism and the right to free speech.

    Two years ago a parent of a cyber-charter school student in PA started raising questions about the management and business arrangements behind the operation of the school. Eighteen months ago she and a few others were hit with a classic SLAPP, claiming libel and slander against the founder of the school. In the months since then, the state has forced the school to cut all ties to the person in question and demanded the whole-sale resignation and replacement of the school’s board members who had been enabling unethical behavior. The person in question and the board are currently under federal investigation. One of the claims in the SLAPP was that the parent “accused” the school founder of working with someone already known to be under investigation. That person committed suicide just before fed indictments were handed out.

    After all of the claims in the SLAPP have clearly been seen as false by what is known through state and fed investigation, the SLAPP is still alive becuase the defendants do not have the resources to fight it. They had received enough free help to file a response and not face a summary decision, but nothing else.

    Intimidation of free speech by “legal” extortion bothers me more than protecting someone’s “right” to go out of their way to be grossly disrespectful and provoke what should have been an expected violent reaction.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  31. Patterico, you keep saying things to the effect of, “But this really makes me mad because these radical Muslims — and the westerners (mostly hard Lefties) who’re enabling them and joining with them in trying to suppress speech — are really, really, really out of line.

    And I’m convinced of that too.

    I could even join you in a “fight fire with fire” kind of argument, except: You’ll burn more than you intend. I choose not to be a part of that. (I will advocate and defend your right to create or republish deliberately offensive speech, though, even though I wouldn’t want to engage in it with you.)

    You, in turn, don’t dispute my point that you’re likely to give offense to more than the people you intend to offend. It mystifies me why it doesn’t bother you more, but obviously you’ve thought about it, and it doesn’t, at least not enough. We’re obviously weighing things a bit differently in our respective moral calculus, but that’s awfully subjective.

    So yeah, this is indeed a very civil and respectful disagreement we have — certainly compared to the subject matter we’re talking about! I don’t wish to be a scold, and I’ve made my arguments as clearly as I can without having persuaded you, so I think we’re probably at the “agreeing to disagree” stage, and I wish I could buy the next round of beers.

    Beldar (3db4ea)

  32. MD

    > But it is not reasonable to taunt people who will kill over a cartoon with a cartoon and then be surprised when you are the target of violence.

    You are confusing the causation issue with the moral issue.

    When Martin Luther King began his first bus boycott, he said at one point that if he should die the movement must go on. when he was killed, he wasn’t surprised. He knew ever since he got into the civil rights game that it could happen at any moment.

    But does that mean Dr. King shouldn’t have stood up? Or that assassin was right to kill?

    During the election of 1860, no one was deluded about what might happen—they knew all along that if Lincoln was elected there would be Civil War. Does that mean we shouldn’t have elected Lincoln? That we should have let the threat of violence dictate our political decision? And that the South was right to rebel?

    There is one way, and only one way, to defend our God-given right to speak. We must keep drawing mohammed until the terrorist realize it won’t work anymore.

    And of course that doesn’t mean I will be “surprised” if someone even attacks me. I have already gotten death threats. But that doesn’t make their conduct right, or my behavior wrong, nor does it make it less of an outrage if they actually do it.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  33. What do these radical Islamists hope to gain by using violence? Do they not care about their reputation with the world?

    The do care about their reputaion in the world. The reputation they want to have, and do have, is that of people who should not be messed with. Violence works for them – what incentive do they have to stop using it?

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    Subotai (8c175a)

  34. Beldar

    > I could even join you in a “fight fire with fire” kind of argument, except: You’ll burn more than you intend. I choose not to be a part of that. (I will advocate and defend your right to create or republish deliberately offensive speech, though, even though I wouldn’t want to engage in it with you.)

    This isn’t fighting fire with fire. This is calling their bluff, as I say above. This is an action that, if successful, could actually diffuse the threat, if only by showing them it is unsuccessful.

    Or let’s let the creators of south park explain it to you in dialogue spoken the first time South Park addressed this issue:

    > Freedom of speech is at stake here, don’t you all see? If anything, we should all make cartoons of Mohammed and show the terrorists and the extremists that we are all united in the belief that every person has a right to say what they want. Look people, it’s been really easy for us to stand up for free speech lately. For the past few decades, we haven’t had to risk anything to defend it. One of those times is right now. And if we aren’t willing to risk what we have now, then we just believe in free speech, but won’t defend it.

    You can be negative, and complain we are offending moderates all you want. But until and unless you offer a better solution, I’m not interested. The only thing I can think of as more offensive than the cartoons on my site… is living without freedom of speech.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  35. It is not reasonable to kill someone over a cartoon. But it is not reasonable to taunt people who will kill over a cartoon with a cartoon and then be surprised when you are the target of violence.

    I’m not sure that anybody is “surprised” by the way Muslims are behaving. And whether anybody is “surprised” or not is not the issue in any case.

    It’s like the now dead pedestrian. He/she “should not” have been run over and killed when having the right of way in a cross walk, but the pedestrian “should not” have thought that he/she would be safe in the cross-walk in spite of seeing a semi roaring down the street

    So you absolve Muslims of any moral agency or responsibilty. Nice.

    Intimidation of free speech by “legal” extortion bothers me more than protecting someone’s “right” to go out of their way to be grossly disrespectful and provoke what should have been an expected violent reaction

    Just say “I don’t believe in free speech” and be done with it.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    Subotai (8c175a)

  36. Why are all my comments endng up in the spam filter these days?

    Subotai (8c175a)

  37. I don’t think I am even considering the causation issue or the moral issue. I am looking at pragmatic and tactical issues.

    You say, “There is one way, and only one way, to defend our God-given right to speak. We must keep drawing mohammed until the terrorist realize it won’t work anymore.”

    I simply disagree with your opinion that the “only” way to protect “freedom of speech” is through the “draw mohammed” campaign. I agree that freedom of speech is crucial, I agree that there are times to do the right thing means doing something that might provoke violence if it is the right thing.

    Martin Luther King was willing to die over the proposition that people should be treated equally before the law no matter their race or economic level (“Poor People’s March”), etc. He was not willing to die, for example, so that African Americans could insult whites and get away with it like whites could insult African Americans and get away with it.

    I think the issue is much more of tactics and deciding where to draw the battle lines. You are choosing one battle line to defend, Beldar and I would dig in at a different position. I also see it as a difference in secondary, not primary, issues.

    Since my previous post it has occurred to me that your campaign might work very well against SLAPP suits. When a legitimate voice of protest is put under attack because they do not have the resources to defend, have thousands of bloggers raise the same issues on their blog site, and maybe even some can contribute by financially or in kind gifts to stand up to the SLAPP. The thousands of additional bloggers would need to count the cost of potentially becoming targetted by the legal aggressor. That decision would be an interplay between who one fears most and the percieved likelihood of coming under attack (between jihadists or American lawyers).

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  38. It mystifies me why it doesn’t bother you more, but obviously you’ve thought about it, and it doesn’t, at least not enough

    Perhaps because those innocents that might be offended by the offensive speech have been sitting silently on their hands while their co-religionists are out beheading people, blowing up churches and mosques, flying planes into buildings to make a political point, enslaving travelers and weaker populations, crushing the rights of women in the name of “protecting them”, running pirate operations, and generally being pains in the asses to the planet since they began.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  39. A stab at intentionalist, hasn’t the Rushdie, Mahfouz, Wilders, Van Gogh, Westergaard, et al(the times used the Danish cartoons as one of thereasons for young master Shahzad turn toward jihadism. We know the score, don’t we, that’s why the Times refused to publish those cartoons, a Yale
    University Press publication, omitted them from abook on the very subject

    ian cormac (c19bdd)

  40. Why are all my comments endng up in the spam filter these days?
    Comment by Subotai — 5/17/2010 @ 11:00 am

    I’m not sure why Akismet is picking on you. There is a small typo in your email that may be flagging things though. Strange email domains seem to get caught up more often because real spammers don’t spell very well or use unconventional domains. If correcting that typo doesn’t fix things, I’ll try to figure out what we can do.

    The other alternative is to stop spamming. 😉

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  41. Comments by Subotai

    So you absolve Muslims of any moral agency or responsibilty. Nice
    Just say “I don’t believe in free speech” and be done with it

    Let me see if we can back up and try to have clarity rather than make accusations of what people believe, or, in other words, let us clarify intent rather than presume intent, as that is the advantage of a live interchange as opposed to a piece of established writing lying on the page.

    Akin to what I said before, there are multiple issues here. One is “Protecting free speech” as a way of life, and the other is what do we think of the situation with Mr. Vilks.

    Let me change my pedestrian anaolgy to better communicate my intended meaning.

    Suppose a pedestrian gets the “Walk” signal at an intersection, and he steps out to cross the street. Half-way up the block a stolen car is flying at 75 mph trying to outrun police. The person sees something out of the corner of his eye and looks up to the signal to make sure he indeed has the right of way. Yes, he confirms his belief he has the right of way, as the last conscious thought he will ever have.

    The driver of the stolen car has plenty of moral blame, doesn’t he? Does that help the dead pedestrian one bit? No.

    I thought I made it clear that I was not giving the Islamists any moral or legal right to do what they would wish to do. I was merely saying that in real life action and consequences, Vilk should have known that provoking people who are likely to be violent would probably lead to violence, and if that is what he wanted to do then he should have been prepared for it. If that was not what he was prepared for maybe he should have thought more about it.

    The issue at hand, which is always when it gets difficult, is sorting out what to do when there are multiple offenses back and forth. I do believe in the right of freedom of speech when linked with the responsibility of free speech. Don’t think I am making an equality in the moral actions of Vilk and the Islamists, I am not. I’m just saying that if you want me to die for the right of freedom of speech there are plenty of more worthy scenarios than defending offensive cartoonists.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  42. As far as the position of “moderate” Muslims, let me give a few thoughts:

    1. As I said above, I think the voice of moderate Muslims is not being heard because it doesn’t fit the “blame America first” narrative:
    http://97.74.65.51/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=26134
    http://www.q-and-a.org/Transcript/?ProgramID=1129

    2. What do Iranian protesters get from the West when they stand up to radical Islamists? The opportunity to die without any support from the West- WNT “Who needs that?”

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  43. MD

    > I simply disagree with your opinion that the “only” way to protect “freedom of speech” is through the “draw mohammed” campaign.

    Well, as I have said about a hundred times before: offer me another solution.

    > He was not willing to die, for example, so that

    Well, I imagine he decided he had other fish to fry. You know, like equal education

    > I thought I made it clear that I was not giving the Islamists any moral or legal right to do what they would wish to do. I was merely saying that in real life action and consequences, Vilk should have known that provoking people who are likely to be violent would probably lead to violence, and if that is what he wanted to do then he should have been prepared for it.

    Why don’t you just come out and say. We should cower in the corner in fear of islamofascists and avoid infuriating them because gee, they might kill us.

    Look, if you want to be a coward, that is your prerogative, but please don’t pretend that there is anything else to your argument. To quote Mill:

    > The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    Better people (indeed, not all of them are men) are working to keep you free. The least you can do is stop biting our ankles about it.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  44. A.W.,

    Am I a coward as well? I haven’t drawn pictures of Muhammad for your site. Do I have to stand up for freedom of speech exactly the way you say I should? Or might there be reasons other than cowardice for engaging my right to choose for myself?

    You are mischaracterizing MD in Philly’s point badly, maybe through an innocent misunderstanding because you are clearly passionate about this. I hope that’s all it is and you will walk back what you just wrote. It was untrue and uncalled for. Also, if you think what you’re doing makes you “better” than others… it doesn’t.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  45. It’s very simple.

    If one guy calls another an asshole, and the second guy decks the first, who goes to jail, and why?

    Jeff Weimer (952d52)

  46. Stash

    No, if you choose not to, for any number of reasons that is not necessarily cowardice. i mean, maybe you think there’s a better way to do this. Or maybe you just really, really don’t like to offend people even a little. Okay, i disagree, but its not cowardice.

    But when you constantly harp on the concern that they might attack you in response, yeah, that’s cowardice. Its hard to come up with a better example.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  47. Or maybe you just really, really don’t like to offend people even a little.
    Comment by A.W. — 5/17/2010 @ 12:50 pm

    You’re kidding, right?

    Regardless, his point was not that he was concerned they might attack in response. It was that being surprised when they do exactly what you expect them to do is not reasonable. It has nothing to do with bravery, just thinking through the consequences of your actions. I don’t have a problem with people drawing Muhammad as an expression of free speech and will defend their right to do it. I don’t care if people get offended by the drawings, or the Piss Christ, or any number of other “provocations”. It doesn’t give anyone the right to physically attack them.

    I’m offended that tax money subsidizes much of what is considered “art”. For some people, that’s a very important cause they want to fight. I spend my time on other things. It doesn’t make them wrong (or better) because they’re making different choices than I do. But I’ll be damned if they’re going to tell me that I have to protest with them because if I don’t it means I’m a coward. Nor does pointing out to them that there may be consequences to their protest that are unfair or unintended.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  48. I’m just saying that if you want me to die for the right of freedom of speech there are plenty of more worthy scenarios than defending offensive cartoonists

    Can you offer some examples which are “worthy” of defending?

    You either believe in free speech or you don’t. Once you start dividing up speech into that which is worthy of protection and that which is not, you are no longer a defender of free speech. There’s really no essential difference between your position and that of the people on the left who think that e.g objection to amnesty for illegal immigrants is objectionable hate speech deserving of being banned.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  49. To quote Mill:

    > The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
    Better people (indeed, not all of them are men) are working to keep you free. The least you can do is stop biting our ankles about it.

    Comment by A.W. —

    Painted Jaguar: A.W.- I believe your quote of Mill doesn’t match what MD said, though it may or may not match with what you thought MD said, because his intention was not at all to say there is nothing worth dieing for, even if someone changed the “text” without changing the “text”.

    I will thank Stashiu3 for his eagerness to help facilitate communication, for he is as patient as my own dear mummy (though he has no tail to swish as he calmly instructs us). I believe Stashiu3 and all who have ever served in the military (which I haven’t- dogs can get in, but no felines, large or small) would eagerly agree that one is to fight on terms one finds advantageous, rather than simply “choosing to die” at any old place for the sake of showing one’s commitment to the cause.

    And you should realize I nor MD have bitten any ankles- he does not have teeth to bite, and had it been me, I don’t stop at ankles.

    If you want an alternative, which I did not hear our host ask for, I would say a few things:
    1. This has been going on many, many centuries. I am not convinced that a campaign of drawing offensive cartoons will accomplish the end you seek.
    2. I assume you think that an overwhelming amount of harrassment will prove to the Islamists they cannot win and that they will give up. I do not think this is necessarily the case. Any group that encourages martyrdom for martyrdom’s sake is not likely to be easily discouraged. When one’s motivation has to do with eternity different issues come into play than the usual daily calculations. Stashiu3 may have some thoughts on this.
    3. Unfortunately in this life it is necessary for someone to “make the first move”, and it often seems unfair. We could ask/demand for moderate Muslims to take a stronger stand, or we could support the efforts of those who are already trying (see the links above).
    4. More often than not the problem with solutions is they just take longer to work than we like. The appropriate use of the carrot and stick goes a long way, but it needs to be consistent and we often cannot demand a time table. Not letting Jihadists get away with terrorism and showing our intentions to be honorable over a period of time is what won the victory in Iraq (as long as it lasts). It will win all victories when given the resources and opportunity.
    5. Well, I imagine he decided he had other fish to fry. You know, like equal education You’re making MD’s point for him. King had many better things to do than die for the equal right to insult other races. MD thinks there are many worthwhile things to do that have to do with freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression that are routinely done at the risk of death by people he knows in different parts of the world, but so far none of them have included deliberately offending the locals by publishing offensive cartoons.

    To Mr. Weimer- you are exactly correct, and when the first guy is sitting in the ER having his broken jaw wired, his wife tells him:
    a. Honey, it was so brave of you to call that guy an a-hole.
    b. That was a pretty dumb thing to do, and I’m not going to put up with your complaining about not being able to go out for steak on our anniversary.

    MD’s daughter (lovely thing, though her spots are much smaller than mine and are called “freckles”) takes Karate lessons from a 7 time world champion. He teaches that violence is the last resort. When he says the “last resort”, he does not mean “never”, like some do, for he does want her and others in the class to be prepared to deal with violence when necessary, but only bullies resort to violence early.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  50. Only a conservative could make the real issue be about the people who did nothing.

    Jaynie59 (18e5d1)

  51. Stash

    > But I’ll be damned if they’re going to tell me that I have to protest with them because if I don’t it means I’m a coward.

    And that is absolutely not what I said, or what I thought. I based my comment to MD on the numerous statements he made citing the consequences of standing up.

    Let me quote MD again, throughout this thread:

    > I may have the right-of-way in the crosswalk, but if I expect that to help me against the semi coming at me that just lost its breaks I’m in for trouble.

    And:

    > It is not reasonable to kill someone over a cartoon. But it is not reasonable to taunt people who will kill over a cartoon with a cartoon and then be surprised when you are the target of violence.

    These next two are part of one thought:

    > Suppose a pedestrian gets the “Walk” signal at an intersection, and he steps out to cross the street. Half-way up the block a stolen car is flying at 75 mph trying to outrun police. The person sees something out of the corner of his eye and looks up to the signal to make sure he indeed has the right of way. Yes, he confirms his belief he has the right of way, as the last conscious thought he will ever have.

    > The driver of the stolen car has plenty of moral blame, doesn’t he? Does that help the dead pedestrian one bit? No

    And as for “he’s just describing what to expect” theory, is there anyone here, who didn’t know this kind of crap would happen? Do you think Vilk didn’t know? You think I was surprised to receive my first death threat? (Actually, I was surprised and disappointed it took so long.) So your defense of MD is to say he was trying to point out something that is BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS to everyone. Theo Van Gogh saw to that.

    He wasn’t mentioning the danger to inform us that it existed, but to justify cowering in the face of it.

    Oh, and he felt that Vilk shouldn’t even get witness protection:

    > Yes, stand against thuggery, but while I’ll happily help pay for putting a Soviet defector or a murder witness up for witness protection, I’m not so inclined for Mr. Vilk

    Now you may want to interpret it otherwise, but I take that as “I’m not going to stand up for freedom because I am scared. And not only am I not going to stand with you, I don’t even want you to be protected.” Its pretty vile in my book.

    He continually cited the threat, as a reason not to engage in this protest. Its hard to get a clearer example of cowardice. And I stand by it.

    And you know what? I don’t even normally call people out for it, but he has spilled so much “digital ink” trying to convince people not to join in, and pretending that his cowardice had nobility, I had to call him out.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  52. You have to ask the question? What sad times.

    We’re all Lars Vilks. We’re all Geert Wilders. There’s no hiding anymore.

    rrpjr (2f27e3)

  53. I believe Stashiu3 and all who have ever served in the military (which I haven’t- dogs can get in, but no felines, large or small) would eagerly agree that one is to fight on terms one finds advantageous, rather than simply “choosing to die” at any old place for the sake of showing one’s commitment to the cause.

    If we are not willing to “fight” (actually, to enforce the laws against killing people for a drawing) then when exactly do you think will be the more opportune moment to do so?

    The core of the problem here is not a free speech one though. Muslims do not belong in the West.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  54. Yeah, Jaynie, because only a conservative seems to recognize these days that there are ideals that are worth sacrificing “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor” for.

    SDN (85c065)

  55. Can you offer some examples which are “worthy” of defending?
    Comment by Subotai

    Speaking the truth concerning corruption, speaking of religious beliefs that might not be popular, speaking the truth about government policies, these are a few things “worthy of defending”. I am happy to personally defend that which has a responsibility to be said. Things which someone wants to say out of whim or spite are not worthy of your or my life. Yes, I am begging the question a bit about what kind of things “have the responsibility to be said”, and that is not a category that I expect the government to decide. I don’t believe that most “rights” such as freedom of speech, are absolute from a moral perspective. It may be impossible for a government to decide what kind of speech is “morally acceptible” (in fact I think it is impossible for the govt. to have a say about this), but that does not morally/ethically free me as an individual to say whatever I please.

    I think I’ve gone out of my way to say not that you are wrong, but that I have reason to disagree with your strategy and do something different.

    I became involved alongside the cyber school parent I mentioned above even though the possibility of my being drawn into a SLAPP suit and financially ruined was far more likely than anything that is likely to happen to me if I draw a cartoon of mohammed. I actually think the strategy would work much better against SLAPP suits, or any situation where there is a more “rational” or “objective” cost/benefit ratio involved in the behavior you are trying to have victory over.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  56. it is not reasonable to taunt people who will kill over a cartoon with a cartoon and then be surprised when you are the target of violence.

    MD seems to be arging that if only Vilks accepted his murder like a man instead of hiding, he’d be more respectable and worthy of defending.

    Do you feel the same way about Salman Rushdie, MD?

    Subotai (8c175a)

  57. where are the nonradicals giving the alternative interpretations of the same literature? Are there alternative interpretatations?

    They exist, but too many are scared sh-tless to speak up. Case in point, two moderate Islamic Imans were murdered today in Iraq for preaching against AQ…in their own houses of worship. If you can’t protect them, then this conspiracy of silence is bound to continue.

    Dmac (21311c)

  58. I think the students harrassing Vilks should have been arrested. I think doing violence against Vilks should be prosecuted. If you think what I’ve “spilledt so much digital ink over” was obvious, then you could have saved us a lot of time and energy saying so and clarifying the argument, instead of attacking me as a coward. And I have never intended to sway others to not cooperate with you, I thought I was simply providing a discussion as Patterico laid it out.

    Neither A.W. nor subotai know one damn thing about my life and what I’ve risked when and why. If you’re interested I’ll give you some addresses in the “Bad Lands” of Philadelphia where we can meet where I’ve worked as an MD making home visits on my own, day and night, and then you can talk about who is willing to die or not die for what.

    Painted Jaguar: whatever it is in the drinking water, I am glad it is not in the dark, turbid waters of the Amazon.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  59. MD seems to be arging that if only Vilks accepted his murder like a man instead of hiding, he’d be more respectable and worthy of defending.
    Do you feel the same way about Salman Rushdie, MD
    ?
    Comment by Subotai

    You continue to distort what I’m saying and missing the main point of what I’m saying. We haven’t been talking about whether we should protect the person of Mr. Vilks, which I think we should and prosecute those who attempt to hurt him as above.

    I intend to break myself away from this and get some other things done for awhile.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  60. Here is a thought experiment. Take this entire discussion, and substitute “Bloods and Crips” for “Muslims”. As in, “Aren’t you worried about offending all the moderate Bloods and Crips?”, and “Why don’t the moderate Bloods and Crips stand up to the Radical Bloods and Crips?”. Of course, as we all know, there are no moderate Bloods or Crips. The reason you join a violent gang is so you can enjoy the fruits of employing violence against non-members, and not suffer from their violence yourself. From the very beginning, Islam has always been a gangster ideology. It may be a religion (whatever that is) as well, but that doesn’t really make much difference.

    JinEugene (6e32bb)

  61. Md

    > I believe your quote of Mill doesn’t match what MD said

    I am probably going to regret this, but why are you writing in the third person? And why are you just not getting to the point? You have a terrible case of diarrhea of the keyboard.

    Here’s my view. You keep talking about consequences, not because anyone is deluded about what might happen, but because you are too scared to participate.

    > This has been going on many, many centuries.

    Wtf, are you talking about? What has been happening for centuries? Islamofascists telling people in the west what they can and can’t draw? Well, in fact it hasn’t even gone on for A century… Islamofascism is about as traditional in the middle east as sequined jump suits are in the west. The both became popular at about the same time, too.

    > I assume you think

    Well, why don’t you read what I wrote instead of assuming anything?

    > Any group that encourages martyrdom for martyrdom’s sake is not likely to be easily discouraged.

    Especially when the other side isn’t willing to fight at all. Strong horse, weak horse and all of that.

    > Unfortunately in this life it is necessary for someone to “make the first move”,

    We are well past the first move. Almost 400 people have gone before you at my site alone. And I was hardly the first.

    > King had many better things to do than die for the equal right to insult other races.

    Yeah, except I am pretty sure if Dr. King was asked to take up the cause, he wouldn’t have been going, “well, gee a person might be killed” over and over like you have.

    > speaking of religious beliefs that might not be popular… these are a few things “worthy of defending”.

    Well, how the hell can you speak of religious beliefs that might not be popular if the terrorists say you can’t even depict mohammed, let alone insult him? I mean you do understand that this is the issue, right?

    > I am happy to personally defend that which has a responsibility to be said.

    And what of your responsibility to stand up for our god-given rights? What happened to that Voltaire ideal that I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it? But apparently you will only stand up for the right to say things you agree with. Nice to know.

    But hey, f— it, right. So let’s ban Nazis in Skokie, the westburo Baptist church, anti-afganistan and anti-iraq war activists, democrats, and on and on. I mean if we are only picking and choosing whose speech matters, let’s ban everything I don’t like. Keith Olberman, that fat documentary film maker, George Clooney, all of the sex in the city movies… all gone. And on it goes.

    Sheesh.

    > Things which someone wants to say out of whim or spite are not worthy of your or my life.

    Name one word that Matt and Trey said those episodes that was spiteful or based on a mere whim.

    Jaynie59

    Was that supposed to be a coherent point?

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  62. Md

    > We haven’t been talking about whether we should protect the person of Mr. Vilks, which I think we should and prosecute those who attempt to hurt him as above.

    Well, now you are actually lying. Actually, this is what you wrote:

    > Yes, stand against thuggery, but while I’ll happily help pay for putting a Soviet defector or a murder witness up for witness protection, I’m not so inclined for Mr. Vilk.

    So you said you didn’t want him protected.

    Jin

    Not all Muslims are bad. Indeed the majority are just born in the faith like most of us.

    I cite the example of the Iraqi policeman who gave his life on the big Iraqi election day a few years back. he saw a bomber head toward a crowd of voters, and he hugged the man to hold him in place, until the bomb went off and they both died. At his funeral, the policeman’s father said that his son was in paradise, because he died in jihad—that is the jihad for democracy and freedom. And by my Christian beliefs, I agree. He is in Heaven, now.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  63. He wasn’t mentioning the danger to inform us that it existed, but to justify cowering in the face of it.
    Comment by A.W. — 5/17/2010 @ 1:31 pm

    I disagree. Thoroughly. As in, you are wrong. Stand by it all you wish, you’re reacting to what you think he said instead of what he actually said. Rephrasing it to conform with that doesn’t make it so. He didn’t say he was against witness protection, just that he shouldn’t be expected to pay for it when Vilks made his own choices (subject to BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS consequences). That’s just one area that your rephrasing doesn’t actually conform with what was said. Trying to convince others not to join in doesn’t really square with:

    I understand A.W.’s actions and see merit and I’m glad of the example with the man from Pakistan.
    Comment by MD in Philly — 5/17/2010 @ 7:33 am

    That’s another. Again, you’re reading into his comments wrongly. I urge anyone who wants to join your efforts to submit a drawing, knowing that exercising that right may piss off some unreasonable people. But failing to join in doesn’t mean anything beyond a choice not to join. I don’t spend time on every single cause I feel might be worth it. There are just not enough hours in the day for all of them and other things have priority. Sometimes, I just don’t want to be bothered with the ’cause-du-jour. Sometimes I just think about them and maybe share some of those thoughts here.

    In any case, you’re making assumptions that are not supported by the actual comments he made. Read them again as if you wrote them and see if the two are irreconcilable. If it helps, substitute Michael Moore or Rosie O’Donnell for Lars Vilks when considering whether you should have to pay to protect them after they deliberately provoke people. (note: I’m not saying they should be attacked for being annoying idiots, but if they manage to somehow deliberately earn a fatwa from radical Muslims, any protection should not be funded from my pocket.)

    If you are determined to think of MD in Philly as a coward, that’s your right. It may not be possible to reason you out of a position you didn’t reason yourself into. I hope you’re a big enough person to see that you misunderstood and admit it. You can stop with the attacks and ad-hom though, no matter what you decide.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  64. We can and should be standing up with Vilks, not by engaging in or endorsing provocative speech, but by condemning violent intolerance as a betrayal of the values which enable membership in our civil society. Whether engaged in by a person with a radical or moderate orientation (and I assume the intimidators in the Vilks youtube were not of the violent jihad sort which troubles me even more), violent intolerance of another person’s peaceful expression of their views is a crime against our fundamental civil values. The response demanded from all of us here is to stand up and tell those who cannot tolerate another man’s disrespect for Muhammad that they are not members, but rather have made themselves enemies, of our civil society. We can urge them to correct themselves and welcome them to join our civil fellowship. But we can’t gloss over their enmity to our society if they choose not to adopt its fundamental values.

    John E. (0e4816)

  65. You continue to distort what I’m saying and missing the main point of what I’m saying.

    You continue to not answer the questions which people pose to you. Your thoughts on Rushdie, for instance. As for what you are saying, you’re doing a two-step. Here’s an example from the earlier thread.

    I don’t know if it would be good to outlaw pro-Nazi demonstrations, but on the other hand I have a real hard time supporting the “right” to be anti-Semitic and deny the Holocaust.

    So what exactly are you saying? Do you or do you not support the right of people to say things which you find offensive? Or as you call it, the “right”.

    It’s a binary question – yes or no? No more evasion and obfuscation.

    I think I’ve gone out of my way to say not that you are wrong, but that I have reason to disagree with your strategy and do something different.

    That’s where we are poles apart. Free speech is not a strategy to me, a means towards some other end. It’s an end in itself. It’s obvious that you don’t see it that way. If you’d just admit that we could move on to discussion of the pros and cons of different ends and strategies. But at present you keep insisting that I’m misrepresenting your position. And that’s just not the case.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  66. Neither A.W. nor subotai know one damn thing about my life and what I’ve risked when and why.

    I’m critiquing your arguments, not your life.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  67. How about a little comic relief?

    Did you hear the story about the Jew and the Chinaman?

    They were sitting side by side on bar stools, when all of a sudden the Jew punched the Chinaman in the jaw and knocked him to the floor.

    When the Chinaman got up, he asked why the Jew punched him. The Jew said it was because of Pearl Harbor. So as the Chinaman got back on his stool, he explained it was Japan, not China, that attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. The Chinese had nothing at all to do with it.

    The Jew snorted, “Japanese, Chinese, what the hell’s the difference?”

    So, then, in response the Chinaman punched the Jew and knocked him to the floor. The Jew asked why, and the Chinaman said it was for the Titanic. Shocked, the Jew responded by pointing out the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the north Atlantic. The Jews had nothing to do with the catastrophe, nothing at all.

    The Chinaman fixed him with a grin and said, “Iceberg, Goldburg, what the hell’s the difference?”

    ropelight (0433f3)

  68. Stashiu

    > But failing to join in doesn’t mean anything beyond a choice not to join.

    I am going to say this one more time. I did not base my assertion he was a coward SOLELY on his decision not to join in. I based on the words I just quoted to you. Now, you might have a different interpretation of MD’s word, and that is fine, but that was my interpretation and I have always been clear on this point. I have never said the idea you have attributed to me and I never would say it, because it would be fucking retarded. Of course there are many valid reasons not to join. But in my opinion, MD was obsessed with consequences, i.e. he was afraid.

    > If it helps, substitute Michael Moore or Rosie O’Donnell for Lars Vilks when considering whether you should have to pay to protect them after they deliberately provoke people.

    The answer is yes, unequivocally and without hesitation.

    Though I do wonder how they could, ahem, blend in and start a new life. (I may defend their right to freedom, but I will continue to make fat jokes at their expense.)

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  69. Thank you A.W. for the friendly dialogue.

    I have diarrhea of the keyboard because I have difficulty expressing what I think in a concise manner. If you find that objectionable, don’t read what I right or complain to Pat or Stash about having me censored.

    > This has been going on many, many centuries.
    Wtf, are you talking about? What has been happening for centuries? Islamofascists telling people in the west what they can and can’t draw? Well, in fact it hasn’t even gone on for A century… Islamofascism is about as traditional in the middle east as sequined jump suits are in the west. The both became popular at about the same time, too.

    You and others are not talking the same line. You say that the problem has been with us less than 100 years, others say that the problem has been around since 600+ AD since the problem is inherent within Islam. Of course there were no plane hijackings before the last 100 years, either, but that does not mean there has been perfect harmony between those practicing Islam and the West for all those centuries. The cartoon thing is a very, very small part of a bigger issue.

    I am probably going to regret this, but why are you writing in the third person?
    > I assume you think
    Well, why don’t you read what I wrote instead of assuming anything?

    I wrote in third person as a convention I used in the tedious discussions about intent. The character Painted Jaguar is involved in a story where a matter of confusion is quite comical, I use it as humorous relief when I think the conversation is becoming convoluted. You want to champion the right to write offensive cartoons, and you cannot tolerate my idiosyncracies.

    What happened to that Voltaire ideal that I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it?

    Last I heard Voltaire was not considered a founder of our country, nor an author of a book in the Bible. I’ve always thought of him as one of those people who “love mankind, but cannot stand their neighbor”.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  70. rope

    that joke is wrong on so many levels. i am not saying i didn’t laugh but its wrong I say…

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  71. I am not inclined to make a moral crusade about Mr. Vilks, either. I do not want him hurt. But this is really only a contrast between Dutch and American jurisprudence and our respective national respect for freedom of expression. Mr. Vilks is old enough to know what sea he is swimming in. Who are the barracudas who will eat him and who are the anemones who will protect him (few in his case).

    And you hillbillies, don’t go start swinging at the first person who disagrees with you. Save it for the beer bar on Friday night.

    nk (db4a41)

  72. MD

    > I have diarrhea of the keyboard because I have difficulty expressing what I think in a concise manner.

    You’re kidding.

    > You and others are not talking the same line.

    I wasn’t aware I was required to be consistent with them.

    > The character Painted Jaguar

    Well, gee, it clarified things plenty. *rolls eyes* how about you stick to one character at a time?

    > I use it as humorous relief when I think the conversation

    Oh, hilarious.

    > you cannot tolerate my idiosyncracies.

    You have the right to be an idiosyncratic gasbag all you want. I haven’t issued a death threat against you, or a government decree. And criticism of your style is not “intolerance.” Its free speech to counter free speech. Get used to it.

    > Last I heard Voltaire was not considered a founder of our country,

    I didn’t realize that the only persons with a valuable view on freedom were the founders.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  73. With that, I’m off the thread.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  74. He didn’t say he was against witness protection, just that he shouldn’t be expected to pay for it when Vilks made his own choices (subject to BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS consequences).

    I’m getting a little irritated with these constant insinuations that Vilks made his own (unreasonable) choices and provoked people into trying to kill him and should have know better and should accept the conseqences of his foolish and unreasonable actions. Especially coming from people who act aggrieved when their commitment to free speech is then questioned.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  75. Look, Vilks was wearing a miniskirt in a bad part of town. It’s absurd for him to now cry about beng raped! What did he expect after provoking those bad men like that?

    Subotai (8c175a)

  76. Okay, I was wrong. Didn’t see A.W.’s last post until after I wrote that.

    A.W.,

    Fuck off pissant. You think you’re better than anyone else and a great defender of freedom? You’re acting no different than the Muslim’s who closed down Vilks. What, you can’t have a reasonable discussion that differs from your own position? You have to shout them down, call them cowards, mock them, and fucking lie about what they said… anything rather than engage their actual words. Fuck you. I’ve completely lost patience with your bullshit. The next fucking time I acknowledge you even exist using any type of respect will be after you apologize to MD in Philly. Furthermore, Patterico treated him and Beldar with respect in the main post even though he disagrees with their position. You might want to think about that. Fucking asshole. You’re entering Cyrus the Virus territory with me, so don’t ever think I worry about giving offense. Keep it up and you will learn you haven’t seen anything yet.

    Now, I’m definitely out for the night. Fuck you. Everyone else, enjoy your evening.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  77. The only good reason to mock Islam is to make such mockery so commonplace, that the radical(?) Muslims give up on trying to execute everyone who offends them. Maybe it would be a good thing to make mockery of Islam as widespread as mockery of Christianity.

    mbs (149443)

  78. I’m getting a little irritated with these constant insinuations that Vilks made his own (unreasonable) choices and provoked people into trying to kill him and should have know better and should accept the conseqences of his foolish and unreasonable actions.
    Comment by Subotai — 5/17/2010 @ 2:39 pm

    I didn’t insinuate anything. I said exactly what I meant, no more or less. I certainly didn’t imply what you attribute to me. Neither did MD in Philly for that matter. You have a reading comprehension problem here, but it’s your problem. I’m not taking ownership of words or ideas I didn’t write. I’ll be back tomorrow if you want to discuss what I did write.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  79. Patterico:

    Here is what I said to Beldar and MD in Philly:

    I get what you’re saying — and Beldar is probably right in one sense: it’s probably not justified to do absolutely anything that offends the radicals, because you could be offending non-radicals. There is a balance to be struck there .

    At the same time, as much as “Piss Christ” offended me, I would start posting images of it in support of Serrano if he encountered the same kind of violent backlash that Vilks has encountered. At that point, my intent is not to offend, but to stand up for free speech. . . . When we pick and choose who has the right to free speech based on its content, then nobody has free speech.

    OK Patterico, are you posting images of Mohammad to stand up for free speech?

    ed (5b61ec)

  80. I certainly didn’t imply what you attribute to me. Neither did MD in Philly for that matter

    He did. Actually, he did not “imply” it, he said it straight up.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  81. Stashiu3: You’re acting no different than the Muslim’s who closed down Vilks.

    Hey Stashiu3,

    I get that you’re pissed at him. But he isn’t acting like the Muslims who head-butted Las.

    Unless he has actually been physically attacking people for offending him.

    ed (5b61ec)

  82. The emails I was referrring to earlier:
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/05/17/times.square.suspect.emails/

    ian cormac (c19bdd)

  83. MD in Philly

    Speaking the truth concerning corruption, speaking of religious beliefs that might not be popular, speaking the truth about government policies, these are a few things “worthy of defending”. I am happy to personally defend that which has a responsibility to be said. Things which someone wants to say out of whim or spite are not worthy of your or my life. Yes, I am begging the question a bit about what kind of things “have the responsibility to be said”, and that is not a category that I expect the government to decide. I don’t believe that most “rights” such as freedom of speech, are absolute from a moral perspective. It may be impossible for a government to decide what kind of speech is “morally acceptible” (in fact I think it is impossible for the govt. to have a say about this), but that does not morally/ethically free me as an individual to say whatever I please.

    I think that’s the best and most succinct description of your own position. You make a distinction between those those types of speech which are worthy of defending and those which are not, in your opinion. At the end of the day, the only real measure of whether something is “worth defending” is if we’re willing to defend it with our lives.

    I respect your opinion thus stated, even if I don’t agree with it.

    Where I part company with you is when you insist that I’m distorting or misrepresenting your position when I’m actually describing it correctly.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  84. Muslims and Jews eat at my house from time to time. Should I make a point that I fried bacon in the pan in which I made their scrambled eggs and that I broiled pork in the pan I broiled their steaks?

    nk (db4a41)

  85. Whether the non-Muslim Dutch like it or not they now have Muslim neighbors and both have to live with each other.

    nk (db4a41)

  86. Should I make a point that I fried bacon in the pan in which I made their scrambled eggs and that I broiled pork in the pan I broiled their steaks?

    Should they kill you if you do? Or should they simply stop eating at your house?

    I’m serious, what’s your answer?

    Subotai (8c175a)

  87. A KISS response and a motion for solidarity:

    I declare that those in the youtube video and others attacking Vilks in the security of his person and property and in his ability to peacefully express himself make themselves agents of vile tyranny and enemies of precious liberty.

    Johh E. (0e4816)

  88. Whether the non-Muslim Dutch like it or not they now have Muslim neighbors and both have to live with each other.

    The don’t have to live together. One can kill/enslave/convert the other. And one will. The Dutch and the Muslims can no more co-exist on the same ground than Jews and Nazis.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  89. #8 A.W.

    Little more needs to be said.

    &0-|-<=

    ^– Mohammad

    htom (412a17)

  90. Some of my ultra-Orthodox friends will not have even a glass of water in my house. And their rabbi will not have a glass of water in their house. Doesn’t mean we don’t like, respect and value each other.

    nk (db4a41)

  91. Some of my ultra-Orthodox friends will not have even a glass of water in my house. And their rabbi will not have a glass of water in their house. Doesn’t mean we don’t like, respect and value each other.

    Wonderful. But what’s your answer to my question in #86?

    Subotai (8c175a)

  92. We are going away from the subject which is was freedom of expression to religious prejudice, I think, but that’s ok. You never know where a Patterico thread will take you.

    And as far as the venom against MD in Philly … I should have said it sooner. What Stashiu said, you shitheels.

    nk (db4a41)

  93. We are going away from the subject which is was freedom of expression to religious prejudice, I think, but that’s ok.

    If you answer my question about the appropriate reaction of your Muslim friends to the news that you cook their food in pig fat, we’ll be back on topic.

    The topic was “Should we defend provocative speech against violent thuggery?” I’m not hearing a clear “yes” in response.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  94. Wonderful. But what’s your answer to my question in #86?

    Comment by Subotai — 5/17/2010 @ 3:56 pm

    I tried to ask my sister-in-law that, but she pulled a yataghan from under her hajib and nearly took off a piece of my ear. Asshole.

    nk (db4a41)

  95. More evasion and obfuscation.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  96. I did not say that I cook in pig fat. I said I do not have separate dishes. I am a very clean cook and very conscious about cross-contamination. I wash everything well and segregate all foods. And that’s the same deliberate misunderstanding you have demonstrated against MD in Philly. Asshole.

    nk (db4a41)

  97. that’s the same deliberate misunderstanding you have demonstrated against MD in Philly

    Yeah, it is, The exact same “deliberate misunderstaning”. Your own words –

    Should I make a point that I fried bacon in the pan in which I made their scrambled eggs and that I broiled pork in the pan I broiled their steaks?

    But I’m guilty of a “deliberate misunderstanding”. Why don’t you “make a point” of telling your Muslim friends that you broiled pork in the same untensils with which you prepared their steak? And if you do, should they kill you?

    Asshole.

    Imbecile.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  98. 95.More evasion and obfuscation.

    Comment by Subotai — 5/17/2010 @ 4:10 pm

    Forgot. When talk to morons, use simple words. Me no like violence. Me no like people hurt. Me think people no be hurt for what they say.

    nk (db4a41)

  99. Me no like people hurt. Me think people no be hurt for what they say.

    You think Vilks not be hurt for draw picture? Think Muslims bad men for want kill him?

    Then welcome to the good guys free speech club, imbecile. You’ve plainly understood nothing that was discussed on this thread.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  100. Subotai — if I violate my dietary practices because another did not inform me of some detail of my practice that he was violating, it is not my sin. I’m not even sure that it’s his sin. There was a wonderful line in Strangers in a Strange Land … “What a wonderful slice of salmon!”

    htom (412a17)

  101. AW is not the boss of me.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  102. You must act rightly at cusp!

    ropelight (0433f3)

  103. if I violate my dietary practices because another did not inform me of some detail of my practice that he was violating, it is not my sin. I’m not even sure that it’s his sin.

    That’s missing the point, which was whether nk thought that is was all right for somebody to kill him for violating their dietary practices. I’m sure you are a wonderful and peace loving person, but there are lots of Muslims who’ll kill you for doing what was mentioned, for “provoking” them.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  104. You think Vilks not be hurt for draw picture? Think Muslims bad men for want kill him?

    Yes. And nobody here has said otherwise. But you two inbreds seem to want to take the conversation to malice against a major religion, and not an intelligent discussion of a body of laws, and long-held traditions, that protect or not protect speech.

    nk (db4a41)

  105. nobody here has said otherwise

    Bullshit. People here are saying Vilks does not deserve protection. That’s tantmount to passing a death sentence on him.

    you two inbreds seem to want to take the conversation to malice against a major religion

    Ah, that’s your hang up. You are sticking up for Islam. Well, rest assured that I do indeed have considerable “malice” for your precious “major religion”.

    Your “major religion” is what is trying to kill Vilks and take over the West.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  106. an intelligent discussion of a body of laws, and long-held traditions, that protect or not protect speech

    You’ve spent the thread calling people assholes and hillbillies. It’s a little late in the day for you to pretend you’re the heir to Blackstone.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  107. Is it rightful criticism to point out that Mohammed was not a prophet but rather a caravan-robbing pedophile who heard voices and then created – by ripping off Judaism and Christianity – a backwards, hateful and hate-filled supremacist, imperialistic religion (which is in reality a totalitarian political system)?

    Basilsbest (1664b9)

  108. Do I understand correctly that A.W. and Subotai are on an airplane to Holland to stand guard outside Lars Vilks’s house? (Snicker)

    nk (db4a41)

  109. Basilsbest – You are certainly welcome to your opinion.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  110. 107.Is it rightful criticism to point out that Mohammed was not a prophet but rather a caravan-robbing pedophile who heard voices and then created – by ripping off Judaism and Christianity – a backwards, hateful and hate-filled supremacist, imperialistic religion (which is in reality a totalitarian political system)?

    Comment by Basilsbest — 5/17/2010 @ 5:17 pm

    Yup. And Christ was a fictional character created by St. Paul, and filled out by four other cultists 70 years or so after the supposed facts.

    nk (db4a41)

  111. Can it be argued that the very reason we are at this juncture with radical Muslims is because there hasn’t been *enough* serious push back? I can’t help but think of Europe and their intense desire to placate and appease, all in the name of multi-culti global let’s make sure we don’t offend – and look where they are at now. Weakness doesn’t win with these people. Strength can. Strength in numbers does. People just have to decide whether they have the will to fight. And of course, discovering the most effective way to fight.

    And if it’s at the risk of offending some Muslims who are equally appalled by the radicals yet continue to remain silent, then perhaps the push back will force their hand in making a decision – who will they publicly stand with? Again there is strength in numbers. And there have certainly been any number of events in history wherein such decisions had to be made. In the end, it’s a battle, one should expect to face consequences – no matter which side one battles for.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  112. nk

    As a Christian I acknowledge your right to blaspheme and not fear for your safety.

    Basilsbest (1664b9)

  113. Basilsbest – You are certainly welcome to your opinion. Comment by daleyrocks — 5/17/2010 @ 5:25 pm

    In your opinion, for what it is worth. But in reality I’m not, except anonymously. You’ve stumbled upon the crux of the matter. Islam requires that its adherents stifle criticism, by all means necessary.

    Islam does not recognize the right of free speech.

    Basilsbest (1664b9)

  114. No sincerely held religion does. Religion equals what intolerance can we get away with. That’s what makes it religion.

    nk (db4a41)

  115. Stashiu

    I have no idea why you are flying so much off the handle, so I will just assume that given a few days you will reread what I wrote and have some perspective. Hopefully you will then realize:

    1) I never lied about MD. I never misstated any fact at all. The statements you didn’t like were interpretations of his statements that are subject to disagreement. And I am entitled to that opinion, even if you don’t like it.

    2) What he said did sound pretty bad, and kind of was hard to defend, especially the part about not wanting to extend witness protection.

    3) it was more than a little over the top to compare me to people who physically attack others who disagree with them.

    Now, to be fair, I think Sobotai might have a better explanation than the cowardice explanation—he just blames the victim for the crime committed against him. Because he deserves it, I suppose for having the temerity to exercise his God-given rights. His words do have a certain post-9-11 “why do they hate us?” sort of vibe now I think about it.

    But even if my assessment of “cowardice” against MD is wrong, I don’t think that improves things, though.

    Oh, and one other thing. Why don’t you let him fight his own battles?

    A.W. (f97997)

  116. Islam came 660 years or so after Christianity but the Catholics were still burning heretics in Mexico City in 1830. The Puritans were hanging witches in? The Mormons were waging war against the United States in? It takes time for witchcraft to come out of religion and Islam is not doing all that bad.

    nk (db4a41)

  117. No sincerely held religion does. Religion equals what intolerance can we get away with. That’s what makes it religion.Comment by nk — 5/17/2010 @ 5:51 pm

    Liar. You have no clue what makes a religion. Christians no longer kill people for rejecting Christianity. Muslims do kill people who reject Islam. Muslims don’t even allow people to leave the religion. Are you deliberately thick? Have you never heard of Islam’s law against apostasy? Your political correctness is most impressive.

    Let’s go easy on Islam – after it reforms.

    Basilsbest (1664b9)

  118. Oh, and one other thing. Why don’t you let him fight his own battles?

    Comment by A.W. — 5/17/2010 @ 5:56 pm

    Because we like MD in Philly better than you and even though it’s beneath MD in Philly’s dignity to roll in the mud with a shitheel like you, it’s not beneath mine, mouthbreathing, inbred asshole.

    nk (db4a41)

  119. I’ve reconsidered this thread in the light of nk’s revelation, and i think it’s fair to say that the dispute here has a limited amount to do with free speech. It has to do with the beliefs of “anti-anti-Muslims”.

    The anti-anti-Muslim contingent see the cartoons as unfair harrassment of innocent Muslims. If pressed they’ll concede that Vilks does not deserve to be murdered. But they do think he probably deserves a beating.

    To the anti-anti-Mulism people, a defence of Vilks is like defending the Nazis, something only inbred white hillbillies would do. MD actually used the Nazi analogy at one point.

    Of course to the anti-Muslims, it’s the Muslims who play the Nazi role on our stage.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  120. Islam does not recognize the right of free speech.

    Comment by Basilsbest — 5/17/2010 @ 5:43 pm

    No sincerely held religion does. Religion equals what intolerance can we get away with. That’s what makes it religion.

    Comment by nk — 5/17/2010 @ 5:51 pm

    So, are you Jewish or Muslim? You’re not Christian. In fact, you don’t come across as a genuine believer in any faith.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  121. I was an altar boy and rang the death knell, on the church bell, for JFK when we got the news.

    nk (db4a41)

  122. I’m not going to hate anybody because some Book or preacher tells me to.

    nk (db4a41)

  123. I was an altar boy and rang the death knell, on the church bell, for JFK when we got the news.

    So you’re an athiest, right? (Your liberalism you’ve made clear long ago)

    Subotai (8c175a)

  124. I’m not going to hate anybody because some Book or preacher tells me to.Comment by nk — 5/17/2010 @ 6:29 pm

    And your not going to stand up to a religion that requires its adherents to kill non-believers. Wimp.

    Basilsbest (1664b9)

  125. Christ was a fictional character created by St. Paul, and filled out by four other cultists 70 years or so after the supposed facts

    They taught you that in Catholic school, did they?

    Religion equals what intolerance can we get away with.

    Sure, Romans 8:28.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  126. I am a believer in God and a denier of Gospel. I don’t know what that makes me. And what does it matter anyway?

    nk (db4a41)

  127. I am a believer in God and a denier of Gospel. I don’t know what that makes me.

    An imbecile. But we’ve covered that already.

    what does it matter anyway?

    It goes to your anti-anti-Muslim beliefs. And to your liberal beliefs, to whatever extent they are separate.

    Subotai (8c175a)

  128. nk

    Well, thank you for that substantive complaint. I’ll take it with all the seriousness it deserves.

    A.W. (f97997)

  129. “Islamic scholar and leaders do not condone these attacks and in fact decry them and cast out those who do them …”
    Comment by EricPWJohnson

    Name one.

    Blacksmith8 (71602c)

  130. While defending anti-free speech Muslims, nk says things to Christians – which he would never dare say to Muslims becausee he knows that if he did say these things he would be putting his life in their hands.

    nk’s not just a wimp and an imbecile but a substantively ironic moron.

    Basilsbest (1664b9)

  131. So are you three internet tough guys on an airplane to Holland to protect Lars Vilks or still jerking off in front of your computers?

    My fault for engaging creeps like you.

    nk (db4a41)

  132. Checked in by habit before I remembered I was going to cool off a bit. By then it was too late.

    He did. Actually, he did not “imply” it, he said it straight up.
    Comment by Subotai — 5/17/2010 @ 3:14 pm

    Bullshit. You really have a reading comprehension problem. Words have meaning, try reading what he wrote. You can’t point to where he said it “straight up” because he didn’t. You have to read into it dishonestly to make that leap.

    But he isn’t acting like the Muslims who head-butted Las.
    Comment by ed — 5/17/2010 @ 3:15 pm

    He’s acting like they do online. They’re not face-to-face, so the comparison stands. He is acting like all of the ones who weren’t within reach of Vilks. By the way, Patterico has done several posts using the Muhammad images, once within the past few days.

    I have no idea why you are flying so much off the handle, so I will just assume that given a few days you will reread what I wrote and have some perspective. Hopefully you will then realize:
    1) I never lied about MD. I never misstated any fact at all. The statements you didn’t like were interpretations of his statements that are subject to disagreement. And I am entitled to that opinion, even if you don’t like it.
    2) What he said did sound pretty bad, and kind of was hard to defend, especially the part about not wanting to extend witness protection.
    3) it was more than a little over the top to compare me to people who physically attack others who disagree with them.

    [Assume anything you like, you’ll be wrong again. I pointed out twice where the plain meaning of his words did not say what you claimed. Not interpretations, misrepresentations. He didn’t say “not wanting to extend witness protection” dumbass, just not on his dime. You also won’t find him urging anyone not to support the “Draw Muhammad” effort. I don’t know what kind of problems you and Subotai have beyond simple reading, but I am starting to suspect they are extensive. As far as “over the top”, fuck you. Calling someone who is respectfully discussing their views a coward is over the top.]

    Oh, and one other thing. Why don’t you let him fight his own battles?
    Comment by A.W. — 5/17/2010 @ 5:56 pm

    Why don’t you let Vilks fight his own battles asshole? Because you think it’s right. I pointed out two instances where you mis-represented the “facts” back up in #63. Those are not interpretations, they read plainly. You continue to add meanings that are not there under the guise of “interpreting”. Again, fuck you. I tried several times to discuss this with you in a civil manner and you continued to snark and name-call. Since that’s what you apparently understand, that’s the level I’ve met you. I’ll continue to do so because it’s right.

    I pick my battles, not you. I choose not to get involved with many of the injustices that happen every day. Just read the paper. What have you done about the 7-year-old kid shot by police in Detroit? Was it their fault, or the father’s for harboring a murder suspect? You haven’t done anything about it… maybe because you didn’t know. Now you do, so what are you going to do? Nothing still. Because your time is not infinite and you have to pick and choose how to spend it. You give Vilks a higher priority than I do, fine. Good for you. It doesn’t make you better than me or anyone else. I give MD in Philly a higher priority than you might, but I choose how to spend my time… not you.

    If you or Subotai think I’m an apologist for radical Muslims, fuck you again. I was impressed with your efforts until today. Your comment at #43:

    Better people (indeed, not all of them are men) are working to keep you free. The least you can do is stop biting our ankles about it.
    Comment by A.W. — 5/17/2010 @ 12:03 pm

    is very telling though. Now it’s clear that your work is self-aggrandizing and egotistical. You’ve found a cause where you think you can shine and heretics must be mocked and shunned. If there are no heretics, they must be manufactured. Screw that and the horse you rode in on.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  133. OK Patterico, are you posting images of Mohammad to stand up for free speech?

    Click the second link in the post and find out, ed.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  134. It takes time for witchcraft to come out of religion and Islam is not doing all that bad.

    Engaging us? You are indulging yourself with self masturbatory PC nonsense. Islam is supremacist and imperialist. Fool. Coward. Inbecile

    Basilsbest (1664b9)

  135. Fool. Coward. Inbecile

    Comment by Basilsbest — 5/17/2010 @ 7:34 pm

    Imbecile is spelled with an “m”, poopoohead. In any case, unless you’re on an airplane to Holland I won’t waste any more time on you faggots.

    nk (db4a41)

  136. So yeah, this is indeed a very civil and respectful disagreement we have — certainly compared to the subject matter we’re talking about! I don’t wish to be a scold, and I’ve made my arguments as clearly as I can without having persuaded you, so I think we’re probably at the “agreeing to disagree” stage, and I wish I could buy the next round of beers.

    I don’t know that we are, Beldar. I am concerned about the things you are concerned about, and I respect you and what you have to say. I still have an open mind.

    Here are my questions to you:

    1) Do you think that the continual radical Muslim threats to Vilks are wrong?

    2) If so, do you think it is important for the rest of us to help stand up for free speech, and against the thuggery displayed by the people who attacked him and ended his lecture?

    3) If so, how, if not in the way I have suggested?

    Frankly, I am not interested in undertaking the sort of project A.W. has undertaken, primarily for the reasons you have stated. But I did feel honor-bound in my initial post to reproduce, and not just link to, Vilks’s cartoon of Mohammed as a dog — even though I recognize that it could make me a target of violence. And that is why I respect what A.W. is doing on some level. Free speech is worth standing up for — and if we don’t do it in this way, then how?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  137. Sometimes free speech is like an easement, I have to walk it from time to time to maintain it.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  138. Stash

    Okay, let me be real, real with you.

    MD blamed the victim. Yeah, I know you don’t think so, but that’s how I feel about it, and so does Sub, so maybe there’s something to it.

    But Vilks is only doing an even braver version of what I am doing, so when MD attacked him, I take that very personally. I felt like he was attacking me.

    And when he says the man shouldn’t get witness protection on his dime, well, I can’t help but feel like I might someday find myself in the same place. So I take that personally, too.

    So I responded with a personal attack. So sue me.

    I have only used the word coward or any variation of it twice during this whole thing. The first was when Comedy central announced a new weekly show making fun of Jesus my savior. Yes, after all of this, they have no problem being disrespectful to my faith, I guess because we don’t kill over it.

    And the second was with MD.

    In truth, I reserve that term for someone who is 1) is running scared and 2) being a d—k about it. Maybe you don’t think that MD being a d—k, but I do.

    Do I feel superior to him? Yeah, I cop fully to that. Because in case you missed it, I don’t think much of him right now. But that doesn’t translate into me thinking I was better than everyone else.

    And let me be clear about one last thing. Normally I like what you have to say, and even despite all of this I respect you. I do not think you are an apologist for terrorists. If I said anything even accidentally implying that, that was not my intention. I don’t think I said anything that literally said that, and I certainly don’t think it.

    You can either understand why I got angry at MD or not. This is the last time I am addressing this, because you are taking me away from the cause. Yeah, I know, you think this is about self-aggrandizement. I know my own heart and truly don’t care what you think.

    A.W. (f97997)

  139. It should not be a crusade punishable by the burning at the stake of the draft evaders. You’re not going to tell me what to think and what to say. Especially when it’s about what somebody said. (Yes, I know, people took it to violence but that’s why we have police and prisons.)

    nk (db4a41)

  140. Imbecile is spelled with an “m”

    Figures. Too stupid to recognize a typo. M and N are beside each other on the keyboard, cluebat.

    Basilsbest (1664b9)

  141. Are you on an airpalane [typo] to Holland? Othersiwe [typo] get lost.

    nk (db4a41)

  142. OK, I just read (well, skimmed) through the thread. A.W., calling other commenters here cowards is just silly. You should take it back. I get very tired of people calling each other cowards on the Internet. Some smart people have a different view about how to handle this situation. I happen to disagree with MD in Philly on some of this (in another thread he implied that he might not feel comfortable defending the right of people to deny the Holocaust, for example, which I think is wrongheaded, just as denying the Holocaust is) but I am not going to call people cowards because they disagree with me and you ought not either.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  143. You wouldn’t speak to me like that if I was a Muslim, would you? Coward.

    Basilsbest (1664b9)

  144. Are you on an airplane to Holland to protect Lars Vilks? Say yes and I will take you seriously. No “yes”, this is the last time I engage you.

    nk (db4a41)

  145. You are right. Calling someone a coward because he insists my point is invalid because I’m not on my way to Holland to defend that Swede who is in hiding from these Muslims for exercising his right of free speech was wrong. I should have said moron, rather than coward.

    Basilsbest (1664b9)

  146. Fair enough. Never could tell those cold places apart. Are you on your way to Finland or Norway or Sweden or wherever that guy is? Iceland?

    Bye-bye, internet tough guy.

    nk (db4a41)

  147. Patterico

    You know I have thought about it with a little distance. I’ll confess to being honestly wrong. I think subotai had it right at #75. He isn’t a coward, he just blames the victim.

    Which in a real way is worse.

    But he ain’t getting an apology until he apologizes for his blame the victim rhetoric. I took that personally. Funny, that, given that i might find myself in a similar position.

    NK

    You know, not all of us can afford to fly to a foreign country to prove your point. But I’ll confess, he is doing more than me. so is the soldier in iraq who drew a cartoon for us. or the guys in arabic countries who have sent me. one guy even created a cartoon, he held up while taking a photo, so both the offending cartoon and his actual face were clearly visible. i have never maintained i was doing the most. But good to see you were paying attention.

    A.W. (f97997)

  148. Painted Jaguar:

    Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to the discussion, but paws are not conducive to typing and MD needed to take said daughter to said Karate lesson, where they learned more about not being a bully, but taking care of them when you have to. (And, yes, it is right to take care of them, don’t you see?)

    And yes, I am back, and if you are intellectually consistent you will be willing to fight to the death for MD’s right to use this literary convention.

    If, on the other hand, you think it is logically consistent to fight for MD’s right to use me and talk about how stupid it is for MD to use me at the same time, then you are willing to die for something stupid, and I can not help that, for there are more important things to do by the waters of the dark, turbid Amazon. (It is logically consistent for you to be annoyed, as I expect you will be).

    Wonder of wonders, my mummy is swishing her tail as she patiently tells me that this thread has, unexpectedly, been the strongest argument to date for the “intentionalists” view of the world. If you do not understand this, I suggest three things:
    1. Work on being more patient, like my mummy
    2. Read all of the threads and all of the posts ever written on this site about intentionists and intentionalism, especially the ones concerning egrets and statutes. (I made the silly mistake of thinking it was about intentionalists and statues which Mr. nk usually would have noticed and pointed out my humerous 😉 error, as he ever so patiently does. (You must have been very irritating to get the hair on the back of his neck to stand up- not that he has hair on the back of the neck, at least probably not a lot, anyway- it’s a phrase we felines use, both the small and the great).
    3. Do yourself a favor and leave armadillos alone
    4. (I did say three, but this one is very important as some readers will know) Be very, very careful when near rivers where crocodiles swim, and by all means, don’t let your nose get too close to the water, or it may be said you are related to the elephants.

    Now, trusting you have taken heed to my instructions (as I always take heed to the instructions of my dear mummy, for this too is right, you know) you will perfectly understand the following. (And if you haven’t taken heed, that too is not my fault, now is it?)

    When legislation is written and passed and the matter pertaining to the law comes to the attention of a judge in a court of law, there is a disagreement on how the judge is to proceed. (Though there is no disagreement as to how handsome a judge is in his or her black robe, like the dark smooth fur of my mummy’s sister). For one says the judge need simply look upon the text, or signals, or scratches, or whatever one wishes to call them, and understands what the law means and can make a decision as to what is right (for it is important, is it not, to do what is right, right?).

    But there are others, as some are aware, that believe that such a claim by the judge (no matter how splendid one looks in the glossy black attire) is taking him or herself far, far, too seriously. Those others would say that one needs to not only look at the text, or egret marks, or signals, or whatever you call them (I say call them “armadillo tracks”), but that one has to look at the intent of whoever wrote the legislation.

    Now, we will not address that issue further here, nor do we need to, since you are well aware of the issues involved because you read the assignment above (unless, of course, you did not, but I can’t help that either, can I?)

    But what I will now explain for those who have been patient (and to those who have not been, but are reading nonetheless), how the reference to intent, which causes so much trouble with a piece of legislation, is helpful to the matter at hand.

    But first, I must explain something to those of you who are not well acquainted with the animal life of South America, especially the mountain areas which rise up where the mighty Amazon, dark and turbid, is only a thousand small streams. There are two animals that live in the mountains which are ever so important to the people there. Both may remind you of the camels of Africa and Asia, but they are not camels, they are the alpaca and the llama. Llamas are larger, both have fur that can be sheared like sheep, but neither of those characteristics are important to us at this moment. What is important, and what any of you who have had the fortune (or misfortune) of interacting with a llama knows, is that they spit. Yes, they spit, and they spit at you. What is more, they intend to and they practice at it. They are very arrogant and rude beasts. (Their mummies must not be ever so patient to teach them properly as my mummy has me, but then, llama mummies do not have tails to swish as they are being patient. Maybe tails are important in learning to be patient.)

    Now, alpacas are very different. As MD’s friend Steve said (who has the good fortune of being a lawyer and having lived in Peru where he encountered these beasts) alpacas “know their place in the world”, which is to not be rude or spit.

    I do believe my friends Slow-and-Steady Tortoise and Stickly-Prickly Hedgehog would have enjoyed this tale (whether or not you, dear reader, have) and will understand how these ramblings come together.

    Now, PAY ATTENTION TO THIS IF NOTHING ELSE, if you are at all interested in what I have to say.

    The supposed advantage of a real-time interchange or communication like this “blog thread” (as opposed to “legislation”) is that if you don’t understand what someone means, or, in other words, are not clear on what they intended to say when they said it, you can act like one of two animals:
    1. You can be like a rude llama and spit on people
    or
    2. You can have a bit of humility like the noble alpaca and ask for clarification

    Now, MD tells me that humans have a capacity that llamas do not. Humans can say they regret their rude behavior and say they are sorry for it. (Which MD has had to do on many an occasion, but my mummy, patient as she is, has never needed to, so I don’t know if she can or not). Llamas have never, ever, been known, since the beginning of time, to have had one speck of a remorseful thought at spitting, even if it strikes a young infant in the face and wakes it screaming from a nice nap. In fact, dear readers, some say that when the llama shows remorse it will be the end of time, when the lion will dwell in peace with the lamb. (For as you know, a well-fed lion will leave a lamb alone, but a llama, no matter how thirsty, will still spit in your face. And this is true, you know it is.)

    This is one comment which seems to be a very important one, when MD wrote:
    Going back to Vilk, I’m just saying with Icy Texan and Jim Croce that “You don’t mess around with Jim” unless you’re up for it. Yes, stand against thuggery, but while I’ll happily help pay for putting a Soviet defector or a murder witness up for witness protection, I’m not so inclined for Mr. Vilk

    In refering to this it was said:
    So you said you didn’t want him protected

    But MD said what he said, not what you think he said. He did not say he didn’t want Mr. Vilk protected. He said the others were in danger because of acting out of responsible and honorable behavior that put them in jeopardy, and he would be eager, happy, and think it a good thing, to pay any expense to protect such people. Mr. Vilk, on the other hand, deserves to be protected from physical harm done by Islamofascists because it is right that we protect people from violence in general, but not because he is some kind of hero for excercising his “right” to offend people.

    MD says it is easy to care for a sick child brought in by a worried mother at 3 in the morning, but it is not so easy to take care of a demanding SOB with a three day old cut from a fight at 3 in the morning. Both get taken care of, but one easily draws empathy, the other not so easy.

    Now Stash understood this, so I will conclude that it was not my signaling that was off and that what was intended was able to be understood.

    If there is a question or clarification about what I or MD have said, one of us will respond. Otherwise, I think about everything that can be said has been said, but I will venture a little more discussion.

    There are very few things which qualify as a “pure” “good”, or “pure” “right”. For example, “freedom of speech” is not a “pure” right. Few people would argue that it is proper to show child pornography to children at a play-ground. So, if one does not fight to the death for the right of someone to show child porn at a playground, is that person “not really for free speech”? Does anyone make that claim? Not only do most, if not all, say it is “wrong” to do that, most (I think) would also say that the government should make that illegal as well.

    I never intended to say that Vilk, nor A.W., should not be afforded the protection of the law. What I did intend to say is that not all speech is ethically equal, even if equally legally protected. Some speech is ethically closer to child porn. (At some point we as a society agree to supress the free dissemination of such speech). I think purposefully offending humor of a religious nature is closure to child porn than it is to the Gettysburg address.

    These judgements are not easily made, and the moral goodness can not be determined by law (except at the extreme), and people are bound to be in disagreement.

    The other issue was that it is claimed that the “draw mohammed” campaign is the only viable option to defend free speech against Islamofscism. I don’t think that is so, and I’ve given some reasoning why. Those who are not quick to mock may look for that above, if you want, I’m not going to repeat it here.

    One problem with long threads is that points that are important get lost. For example, at #129 it is claimed that there are no Islamic spokesmen who stand against the violent reactionaries. I gave links showing this is not true back at #42.
    A problem with slow typists is that things get cross-posted, especially when people have “digital diarrhea”. The last post up when I started this epic was #130, so take that into consideration if it appears I’m ignoring something past that.

    And as I’ve noted before, a mark of genius is said to be when one can explain a complicated thing concisely. I don’t make the claim of being a genius.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  149. Never had sympathy for victims. Unless they were children. Grown man who gets hisself hurt, I only wonder why.

    nk (db4a41)

  150. NK

    > Grown man who gets hisself hurt, I only wonder why.

    Really, so no sympathy when Martin Luther King was murdered? Or JFK?

    A.W. (f97997)

  151. NK

    I mean, are you sure you want to go with that kind of blanket statement or do you want to modify it a little?

    Because as is, you are implying that you had no sympathy for MLK, JFK, and i suppose those who died on 9-11. But you know, people speak off the cuff on the internet, too, so i will give you a chance to dial it back.

    A.W. (f97997)

  152. Do I understand correctly that A.W. and Subotai are on an airplane to Holland to stand guard outside Lars Vilks’s house? (Snicker)

    Comment by nk — 5/17/2010 @ 5:22 pm

    Considering that Mr. Vilks lives in Sweden flying to The Netherlands to protect him would be rather pointless. But I am glad to see that nk is about as correct on the facts as he usually is.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  153. 151.NK

    I mean, are you sure you want to go with that kind of blanket statement or do you want to modify it a little?

    Because as is, you are implying that you had no sympathy for MLK, JFK, and i suppose those who died on 9-11. But you know, people speak off the cuff on the internet, too, so i will give you a chance to dial it back.

    I’ll answer you when you email me a copy of your ticket to wherever Lars Vilks is. And after you apologize to MD in Philly. Otherwise just play with your computer and do not address me directly again.

    nk (db4a41)

  154. NK

    Ah, so if i don’t spend thousands of dollars i don’t have, i can’t talk. gotcha.

    And meanwhile you leave your idiotic blanket statement in place. Either you said something minorly wrong and are just too prideful to walk back, or you are a severe moral idiot who actually has no sympathy for those who died on 9-11. Child or jerk, your choice. I am going with “child.”

    A.W. (f97997)

  155. MD blamed the victim. Yeah, I know you don’t think so, but that’s how I feel about it, and so does Sub, so maybe there’s something to it.
    But Vilks is only doing an even braver version of what I am doing, so when MD attacked him, I take that very personally. I felt like he was attacking me

    Let’s take a look again at what I said:
    Suppose a pedestrian gets the “Walk” signal at an intersection, and he steps out to cross the street. Half-way up the block a stolen car is flying at 75 mph trying to outrun police. The person sees something out of the corner of his eye and looks up to the signal to make sure he indeed has the right of way. Yes, he confirms his belief he has the right of way, as the last conscious thought he will ever have.

    Did I ever put the blame on the pedestrian for being dead? I didn’t say so, nor do I think so. I think the car thief is at fault. That said, it doesn’t do the dead pedestrian any good, now does it?
    I was not “attacking” Vilks. Perhaps I was actually reacting to Patterico’s adding on the fact that his home was fire-bombed in the previous thread on him, as if that should have gained him additional sympathy.

    I think I made it clear before, I’ll say it again. Vilks should not be given over to the barbarians at the gate, the people who shouted him down should have been escorted out, just as they should have when conservatives have been shouted down. The people who attacked his house and threaten him should be arrested and prosecuted.

    What I will not say is that he is a hero for making offensive cartoons and he is striking a strategic blow for freedom by doing so, and that while others may want to follow his example, some of us do not think that is how “we would do it”.

    As far as the Nazis in Skokie thing, I understand that legally, once you limit some speech it is nigh unto impossible to find a rational line at which to stop. That said, I think speech reflective of Nazi philosophy is abominable. Would I be in favor of a riot breaking out? Not at all. If someone appeared on my doorstep and asked me to sign a petition to say they had the neighborhood’s permission to hold a rally would I sign it? No, I wouldn’t. Would I join nk in a counter demonstration and get locked up for causing a commotion? Perhaps, if he could promise me a good lawyer;-)

    If the person who made “Piss Christ” was threatened or a victim of violence would I want him to be protected? Of course. Am I going to show up at a rally to show solidarity with him in promoting “freedom of expression”? No, I’m not.

    Is there ambivalence in some of my thinking and feeling about it? Yes, as I’ve explained in my previous post.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  156. A point that might be useful to consider: At times some people use hyperbole to make a point, to assume that literal interpretation is “intended” misses the point. To attack for missing the point confirms missing the point, and is acting like a llama.

    Good night, (at least that is my intent).

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  157. MD

    > Let’s take a look again at what I said:

    No, let’s not.

    Let’s try this. A woman is dressed provocatively. She is drunk. She is walking to her car when four men grab her, drag her into the alley and gang rape her.

    Do you say to her, “Sure, it was wrong for them to rape you, but you did wear that short skirt, and low-cut top, and you were drunk, so you really shouldn’t be surprised”?

    then tell me you are not blaming the victim.

    A.W. (f97997)

  158. Just ignore these clowns, MD in Philly. We know you and you don’t need to justify nothing. Sorry I did not come to your defense sooner.

    nk (db4a41)

  159. I just saw this thread – I was at my little brother’s high school graduation ceremony – but if I had been here earlier I would’ve said this: it would take a serious misreading (be it deliberate or accidental) of MD in Philly’s comments to accuse him of any sort of cowardice. The proper word is “pragmatic”, A.W. Get off your high horse. You’re not the only one who values free speech.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  160. A.W. does not value free speech. He only hates Muslims.

    nk (db4a41)

  161. 133.OK Patterico, are you posting images of Mohammad to stand up for free speech?

    Click the second link in the post and find out, ed.

    Comment by Patterico — 5/17/2010 @ 7:28 pm

    You certainly answered my question, Patterico. Well played sir. Well played indeed.

    You are a man of substance.

    And if you think I’m being sarcastic, I’m not.

    ed (5b61ec)

  162. Thanks nk, I always appreciate comments that are helpfully supportive or critical.

    > Let’s take a look again at what I said:
    No, let’s not.

    Comment by A.W.

    Doesn’t sound to me like you are interested in hearing what I would answer, but I will anyway.

    No, I would not say that to her then. But I would like her to understand at some later point that the reality is that walking alone in the dark while drunk is not a wise thing to do, male or female. There is a time to take a stand, and there is a time when one is just “cutting off one’s nose to spite their face”. One is honorable, the other foolish, and it takes wisdom to know the difference.

    Would you advise a woman to dress provocatively, go to a nightclub/bar by herself, get drunk, and leave to go home alone?

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  163. Ok, MD in Philly, your business.

    nk (db4a41)

  164. Thanks also to Stash and Leviticus for your contributions.

    I hope the graduation ceremony went well, Leviticus. Hopefully, if you find time, at least a few of Painted Jaguars comments will bring a smile.

    If you wade through all of the thread you will find that A.W. is convinced that the only way to solve the hostility of Islamofascists as expressed by their outrage to offensive cartoons is more offensive cartoons, and that once enough offensive cartoons are produced, freedom of speech will be preserved, and perhaps the rest of the Islamofascist conflict with civilized society will be resolved as well.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  165. A woman is dressed provocatively. She is drunk. She is walking to her car when four men grab her, drag her into the alley and gang rape her.
    Comment by A.W. — 5/17/2010 @ 9:58 pm

    Analogy/hypothetical = FAIL!!

    How about “A woman is dressed provocatively. She is drunk. Before getting drunk, she loudly and repeatedly announces that she will be dressing and acting in a way to try and get raped. She is walking to her car, yelling repeatedly “It should be blindingly obvious that I dressed this way in order to be raped!”, when four men grab her, drag her into the alley and gang rape her.

    She should not be raped. She should also not be surprised. In your own words, it was “blindingly obvious” how the radical Muslims would react. MD never blamed the victim, he said that the reaction shouldn’t take anyone by surprise.

    You know, an adult with character would have apologized unconditionally once they admitted they were wrong. Adults with character don’t find unrelated excuses to keep from having to apologize unconditionally. Especially excuses that are themselves based on misrepresentations.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  166. My read on this thread is that AW has resurrected the equivalent of the chickenhawk argument over Lars Vilk. The logic of the libs sucked then and the argument sucks now. Plus I have an aversion to being told what to do. Nevertheless, I support free speech and abhor the self censorship I see people exercising at the hint of muslim protest.

    I also never got an answer to my first comment. The fact that EricPW claims that some muslim clerics declaim the actions of the radicals is not an answer to what the dogma of the religion actually says.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  167. It seems to me that there are times when blogs could use some aerosol prozac …

    It also seems to me that the projectives are out in force in this blog post’s comments …

    A number of folk on this comment thread have said things with which I disagree, mostly when they attribute to someone else some characteristic which they themselves both display and simultaneously dislike …

    So what ? So I disagree with them …

    Warning ! WARNING ! Scots diplomacy ahead !!!

    Last comment I can see is #158 – so – working back …

    #158 – great advice – ever thought about *taking* that advice ? (grin)

    #157 – “A woman is dressed provocatively.” – classic judgmental wind-up phrase … to shift your example slightly … woman wearing skimpy bikini swimming around tropical coral reef in area known to have regular shark sightings (= provocative dress) … woman cuts her leg significantly (bleeds a fair amount) on coral and continues swimming (= and is drunk) … woman is attacked by shark (= is attacked by men who rape her) … is it “blaming the victim” to point out that there are certain places where it is NOT sensible to behave in certain ways ? The very phrase “dressed provocatively” is actually blaming the victim …

    #151 – responding to #149 “Never had sympathy for victims.” – I don’t consider MLK to be a victim – I consider him to be a martyr … even JFK, he is more either a martyr or someone who pissed off the wrong mobsters … and I doubt if either MLK or JFK would consider themselves as “victims” …

    Notice the common themes – wherein words are interpreted (possibly misinterpreted) as though “there can only be one meaning!” … which is currently getting folk beheaded, females genitally mutiliated, stoned to death, blown up, and generally mistreated to fatal extremes …

    Personally, I like what AW is doing … and I think he is doing it in a sensible way … well, at least up to the point where he started getting up the noses of those on here who do not choose to be as ‘devout to the cause’ as he himself …

    Personally, I think Vilks is an idiot … (self-absorbed) … Vilks is doing something he chooses to do which is pretty much guaranteed to be blood in the water to certain types of people – and he is choosing to do it where such people gather in numbers … I believe the thugs should be condemned and worse … but I do not see Vilks as a hero, for all that he is doing something which should not be met with thuggery in a civilised society …

    Oh – and I see what was done to Vilks as being just as bad as chasing a Nazi speaker off a stage … it is not nobly anti-Fascist to treat a fascist in fascist ways …

    Those who don’t like what Vilks has done can put together their own counter-movie, showing how Vilks’ work is incorrect, not based upon facts, or whatever … if they can …

    (NOW, I mallard, grinning)

    Alasdair (205079)

  168. There is no true Scotsman…….

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  169. MD

    > Would you advise a woman to dress provocatively, go to a nightclub/bar by herself, get drunk, and leave to go home alone?

    You know it occurred to me as I wrote the hypo how easy it would be to for you to exactly mimicking the logic of islamofascists in regard to the burqa. I thought you would see this difficulty and avoid it. I was wrong.

    Men can’t control themselves, see, so the woman must cover her flesh or else the man will lose control. Its too be expected.

    Indeed, some places in Europe, non Muslim women will wear head coverings just so they won’t get harassed by Muslim men who feel that their uncovered flesh gives them permission.

    > A.W. is convinced that the only way to solve

    If you think there is another solution, I would be happy to hear it. I have said that since it has started. And no, surrender and just taking it is not a solution.

    Stash

    > Analogy/hypothetical = FAIL!!

    MD didn’t think so, but I guess you know better than everyone, right? But I am the egotist. Mmm, kay.

    > MD never blamed the victim, he said that the reaction shouldn’t take anyone by surprise.

    What do you think the phrase “blame the victim” refers to? It is rarely as bald as a specific unequivocal declaration of fault. No, no, its always just like what MD was doing. Sure, its terrible you suffered, but you really should have avoided the situation, you know, and so really you shouldn’t be surprised, what did you expect? That’s the mentality and I don’t accept it with rape, or terrorism.

    > You know, an adult with character would have apologized unconditionally once they admitted they were wrong.

    There is wrong as in inaccurate, and then there is morally wrong. I was not reckless or unfair to conclude what I did. I was simply mistaken, or at least I believe I was now. I know you are having trouble with these subtleties in this thread, but try to think this one through before writing another harangue.

    A.W. (f97997)

  170. Daley-

    Up at #42 I linked to some info about at least some Muslims who are taking a stand against the “extremist” sort and how their story is not being told.

    I understand that there is plenty of stuff in the Koran to argue that Islam is not a religion of peace. I also have Christian friends from predominately Muslim countries whose experience is not one of a “religion of peace”.

    That said, I imagine there are many people who consider themselves Muslim who have no sympathy for Islam as a religion of conquest, but see it simply as part of what they grew up doing with prayers, etc. I think such people would do well to know more of what the religion historically believes, and I was glad to hear that through A.W.’s efforts at least one person was able to get some additional information to think about.
    I just don’t think frontal assault is usually the best way to win friends, where friends can be won.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  171. daleyrocks #168 – do you not think you are being a bit hard on this publication ?

    Alasdair (205079)

  172. MD – It’s not people taking a stand that I care about, I want to know about the interpretation of the religion’s authoritative literature. What does it say about this stuff and other aspects that are troubling to the West? Is there really a “moderate” version of Islam in the dogma?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  173. “Men can’t control themselves, see, so the woman must cover her flesh or else the man will lose control. Its too be expected. ”

    – A.W.

    You are still avoiding MD in Philly’s point:

    He’s not saying that the Muslims are right to threaten Vilks. He’s saying that Vilks is stupid to throw rocks at a hornet’s nest. Most of us learn that lesson when we’re kids.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  174. Alasdiar

    Um, humans are not sharks. Humans can make moral choices. We can and should expect people to deal with “exposed flesh.”

    Free will and thus moral responsibility is precisely what separates us from animals.

    As for the bit about Martin Luther King, etc., cute, but this is what NK said: “Grown man who gets hisself [sic] hurt, I only wonder why.”

    But by the same argument, Vilks ain’t a “victim.” His safety is equally a sacrifice. Which is clearly not what Maryland was saying.

    NK missed this little gem.

    > A.W. does not value free speech. He only hates Muslims.

    Well, good, can you prove it? Of course we already know you can’t.

    I mean I suppose you can imagine you know my real motives, but I will take that with all the seriousness it deserves.

    Daley

    No true scottsman? I presume then you never heard of Sir. Sean Connery! 🙂

    Anyway, goodnight everyone.

    A.W. (f97997)

  175. That said, Vilks can throw as many rocks as he wants. It’s his right as a human being.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  176. A.W.
    Thank you for demonstrating your line of thinking.
    As one side note, just because I answered your question doesn’t mean I agreed with your analogy, and to use that as a point against Stash is what some of us call “triangulating”. Great for causing chaos, not so good for promoting understanding.

    You apparently equate my saying to someone, “Don’t dress provocatively and go to a nightclub/bar by herself and get drunk and leave to go home alone” as “wear a burka”. That’s a bit of a leap, and an irrational one. Alasdair already answered this well.

    Nevertheless, I support free speech and abhor the self censorship I see people exercising at the hint of muslim protest.
    I don’t think one needs to avoid muslim protest, I think there are plenty of things to take a stand for that Muslims will protest. In fact, there are so many I don’t see the need for making offensive cartoons yet another.

    But I don’t believe A.W. is really for free speech until he publicly begins a campaign to get child S+M porn allowed at the grocery store.

    And with that, I’m listening to nk’s advice, seconded by Alisdair

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  177. Humans can make moral choices. We can and should expect people to deal with “exposed flesh.”

    I will refrain from doing something that will cause my brother to stumble- Paul

    Temptations will come, but woe to those who cause a little one to stumble- Jesus

    I can require of myself to make a moral choice, I can not demand that another make a moral choice. In one way not even God does that at the present, as He gives us freedom of will in addition to moral imperatives.

    You are still avoiding MD in Philly’s point:
    He’s not saying that the Muslims are right to threaten Vilks. He’s saying that Vilks is stupid to throw rocks at a hornet’s nest. Most of us learn that lesson when we’re kids.

    Comment by Leviticus

    Next time I’ll wait for you to get home, your brevity is something I painfully lack.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 5/17/2010 @ 11:18 pm
    That is a very good question, but not one for now, at least for me.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  178. They have not tried to burn me at the stake, yet, because I dress up like Chewbacca or the Phantom of the Opera for the Halloween school play.
    Comment by nk — 5/18/2010 @ 4:19

    Don’t push it, nk!;-)

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  179. Comment by Patterico

    Here are my questions to you:

    1) Do you think that the continual radical Muslim threats to Vilks are wrong?
    Of course.

    2) If so, do you think it is important for the rest of us to help stand up for free speech, and against the thuggery displayed by the people who attacked him and ended his lecture?
    Yes, we should be against the thuggery that ended his lecture.

    3) If so, how, if not in the way I have suggested?
    Arrest the perpetrators, better security elsewhere.

    But I would have never made it a priority to have him come to speak. I think someone like Horowitz has more to say and accomplish. You can say people are rude and out of line for shouting down someone who is offensive to them (as for Vilks).
    You can do more than say people are rude when they make clear they support terrorists and the destruction of Israel.

    As to promising to not have Vilks back, I would never had him in the first place, so I personally would not go out of my way to have him back “just to show the Islamists I’m for freedom of speech”. I would have other people who might incite the Islamists to fury while being more fact based in their criticisms, rather than going out of their way to be offensive just to be offensive.

    Some people may want the person behind “Piss Christ” to come to campus. I would not. I would not disrupt it, but I would not support it. I can practice the Golden Rule even with an enemy in not supporting people who go out of their way to be offensive.

    And yes, I think it is practicing the Golden Rule to throw someone in jail who is breaking the law, because in a just world I should be thrown in jail when breaking the law.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  180. Leviticus

    Let me answer this, since MD has owned this comment:

    > He’s saying that Vilks is stupid to throw rocks at a hornet’s nest. Most of us learn that lesson when we’re kids

    The moral inversion is shocking.

    For instance, there is a story I tell repeatedly about an Iraqi police officer on the day of the big election a few years back. The terrorists grabbed a man suffering from down’s syndrome, strapped a bomb on him and sent him off toward a group of voters. The handicapped man’s family says he didn’t do any of this knowingly and given his mental state, I tend to believe him. Nonetheless, an Iraqi police officer saw that this guy was headed toward a group of voters with a bomb strapped around his waist. So he hugged the man, held him in place, until the bomb went off killing both of them. At his funeral, his father said his son was in paradise, because he died in jihad—that is, jihad for freedom and democracy.

    I suppose you would call him stupid. I mean every step of the way was stupid by your lights. I suppose you think he was stupid to have become an Iraqi police officer at all, and really dumb to stop a bomber from reaching innocents. And for that matter, you’d probably think all those voters voting in the face of death threats, even marking themselves with purple ink, as just downright slow. Don’t you know you might get killed?

    What is stupid is the failure to realize that freedom doesn’t just happen. Freedom requires people to sacrifice now and then.

    Shame on you for calling Vilks’ heroism stupidity.

    But hey, your gift for brevity laid it all bare for the world to see. Thank you for that.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  181. You have a fixed view of what you think is true, so much that it is crowding out everything else.

    If you are saying the man who hugged the bomber and died to protect others is a hero, I absolutely agree. “Laying down one’s life for their friends” is the ultimate expression of love. Writing offensive cartoons, not so much.

    If you think there is a moral equivalency between the two it is clear there is no further reason for discussion.

    Do you lock the doors to your house or apartment at night? Because by your line of reasoning you shouldn’t. You should expect all other humans, who are are moral creatures, to behave better than break into a house at night.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  182. MD

    > “Laying down one’s life for their friends” is the ultimate expression of love. Writing offensive cartoons, not so much.

    Except by drawing the offensive cartoons, Vilks is doing exactly that. He is laying down his life for freedom of expression.

    I mean hell, when this latest thing boiled up, he was giving a lecture on freedom of expression. He as “preaching the gospel” as it were.

    And yeah, if you don’t get that, there is nothing more to discuss.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  183. How did my a.m. today comments dissappear?

    nk (db4a41)

  184. Am I banned?

    nk (db4a41)

  185. Stashiu

    Bullshit. You really have a reading comprehension problem. Words have meaning, try reading what he wrote. You can’t point to where he said it “straight up” because he didn’t. You have to read into it dishonestly to make that leap.

    What exactly are you reading? Nothing which MD is writing, that’s for sure. He’s flat out TOLD YOU he does not believe in free speech, and I’ve quoted him doing it! Try to wipe the mud out of your eyes and go back and read my comments. You’ve got people here straight up likening Mulsims to some force of natire with zero moral agency and claiming that Vilks is like some fool who threw rocks at a hornets nest and then complained when he got stung. If you’re not going to read the thread, don’t try to comment on it.

    I don’t know what kind of problems you and Subotai have beyond simple reading, but I am starting to suspect they are extensive

    You’re way out of line. I’m not sure what your emotional investment is in this topic but you are paying zero attention to anything anyone is saying.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    Subotai (a875fa)

  186. You are still avoiding MD in Philly’s point:

    He’s not saying that the Muslims are right to threaten Vilks. He’s saying that Vilks is stupid to throw rocks at a hornet’s nest. Most of us learn that lesson when we’re kids.

    Comment by Leviticus — 5/17/2010 @ 11:27 pm

    Nobody is avoiding that point. It’s a really stupid and immoral point, one which absolves Muslims (who are people, not insects) of any responsibility for their actions.

    Somebody mentioned MLK up-thread. If the Klan had lynched King, would you shrug it off with, “What did he expect, throwing rocks at a hornets nest like that? He should have learned as a kid not to piss off white people.”

    I’ve made this same point in many different ways on this thread, and what’s remarkable is that the anti-Vilks faction have yet to even respond to it. Instead I get “fuck you, you inbred hillbillie asshole!” It’s as if I’ve wandered into Daily Kos by accident.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    Subotai (a875fa)

  187. A woman is dressed provocatively.” – classic judgmental wind-up phrase … to shift your example slightly … woman wearing skimpy bikini swimming around tropical coral reef in area known to have regular shark sightings (= provocative dress) … woman cuts her leg significantly (bleeds a fair amount) on coral and continues swimming (= and is drunk) … woman is attacked by shark (= is attacked by men who rape her) … is it “blaming the victim” to point out that there are certain places where it is NOT sensible to behave in certain ways ?

    Yet again we see Muslims beng likened to something non-human.

    Nobody is going to blame an animal for acting like a animal. Muslms are, allegedly, human beings. If a human being kills a bleeding woman, you are supposed to hold the killer responsible and not her.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    Subotai (a875fa)

  188. My A.M. comments also disappeared — pretty annoying since I spent some time composing them. The gist was that while I agree with & support AW’s Muhammad cartoon campaign, I don’t agree with the way he’s tried to make some points in this thread. Also, nk remains nk — which is to say “annoying”.

    But mainly I wanted to state, since it was his response to my initial post that drew the ire of others, that while I don’t completely jibe with the way that he said it, I concur with MD in Philly that freedom of speech does not abrogate freedom from responsibility! Vilks had to know, and was maybe counting on it in order to further his agenda, that his presentation would most likely be received with threats of violence — if not actual violence itself. Contrast this with the high school principal that banned the wearing of American flag shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Have there ever been ANY documented incidents of violence resulting from that type of situation?

    If I stand outside athe Planned Parenthood office in downtown San Francisco at high noon, carrying a sign with a photo of a fetus on it and a message that reads “Think Before You Act!”, I should not be surprised if within ten minutes there are a hundred people shouting, screaming, wagging their fingers at me, and even shoving me or attempting to wrest the sign from my hands. Despite nk’s hastily thrown out shot at religion, these agnostics, athiests & ‘others’ are just as likely — if not more — to attempt supression of ideas that are at odds with their own. Knowing this, I choose the way in which I speak with a pragmatic view towards the consequences.

    Icy Texan (494e8c)

  189. Also, nk remains nk — which is to say “annoying”.

    Just put some shoes on and stay off my lawn. 😉

    And don’t be starting any fights. How come, one hillbilly start swinging whole town join in? 😉

    nk (db4a41)

  190. “I suppose you think he was stupid to have become an Iraqi police officer at all, and really dumb to stop a bomber from reaching innocents. And for that matter, you’d probably think all those voters voting in the face of death threats, even marking themselves with purple ink, as just downright slow. Don’t you know you might get killed?”

    – A.W.

    The difference is that the Iraqi became a police officer in response to a preexistent threat to others, not a threat he intentionally manufactured in order to get his name in a newspaper.

    “Shame on you for calling Vilks’ heroism stupidity.”

    – A.W.

    I have not said that – I’ve summarized MD in Philly’s comments as such. For what it’s worth, I’m not completely decided on the matter: I see and respect the principle of protecting free speech, but simultaneously realize there are lines to be drawn in that regard (as MD in Philly has aptly pointed out). I just don’t know where to draw those lines. “Piss Christ” is absolutely offensive to me – would the guy that made it deserve police protection if the Hutaree militia had called up his house and told him they were going to slit his throat for it? I dunno. Same thing here. Is Vilks different from Matt Stone and Trey Parker? I dunno.

    Ultimately, the Muslims who threaten those who disagree with them with death deserve blame for causing this whole situation. I can say that with confidence. I can also say with confidence that Vilks is no hero, and the philosophy of fighting fire with fire goes against the Christianity which I was raised in (if that means anything to you).

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  191. Very seldom do I give Thomas Jefferson credit, but he’s right, legitimate government activity extends to actions, not opinions. That film, while gross and vicious, (Jefferson again) broke no one’s arm nor picked anyone’s pocket. To parrot Mill’s On Liberty, we can try and convince those who wish to indulge in it from undertaking needless, juvenile provocation, but we shouldn’t take any action to stop them.

    If they want to yell and scream during his movie, they should be thrown out. If he wants to show his movie during their prayer meeting, throw him out.

    Fritz (0ce6e7)

  192. nk #189 – “How come, one hillbilly start swinging whole town join in?”

    If you are going to start swinging, what, do you expect your neighbours not to join you ?

    (grin)

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  193. Subotai #187 – “Yet again we see Muslims beng likened to something non-human.” – since you are the one bringing Muslims into the analogy, I have to ask – why are *you* likening Muslims to something non-human ? The rest of us were innocently discussing sharks and rapists and people who act like prey …

    Allow me to give an example which addresses some of the problems with the Vilks situation …

    It’s a classic Beginning Sailing Right-of-Way Rules example … a sailboat has right of way over a boat with an engine … so, off the coast of wherever, the 13-foot-long sailboat tries to enforce right-of-way over the oil tanker that is 1000 feet long and 160 feet wide … the result is likely to be one very broken sailboat …

    “But the sailboat has right of way !”

    Yup – yet that’s a case of being dead right rather than right …

    Or an example where you in your Honda Civic want to go from a faster lane on the freeway into a slower lane, and a fully-loaded 18-wheeler wants to go from a slower lane into the adjacent faster lane, which happens to be the same lane into which you want to move … afaik, the driver moving from faster lane to slower has right-of-way … it is, however, a tad presumptuous to challenge the driver of the 18-wheeler (who may not even realise he just ran over you) …

    Do you have the right to stick your head in a hornet’s nest ? Yup … is it sensible to do so ? Nope, no sirree !

    Alasdair (3ea5fb)

  194. I appear to have been smote !

    Is there a Stashiu3 in the house ?

    (grin)

    Alasdair (3ea5fb)

  195. There is. It seems the comment problems are continuing. I see your last few comments on different threads without any problem. Has it disappeared to you? I have made a couple of test comments and left the last one on the top thread. I can see it fine, but I don’t know if anyone else can just now.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  196. What seems to work for me on Internet Explorer is clearing the browser cache — Tools, Internet Options, Delete, Delete All. On my Blackberry, I reboot and that also seems to work.

    nk (db4a41)

  197. You might have to to do it every time you exit.

    nk (db4a41)

  198. Yup. You have to do it every time you exit and come back.

    nk (db4a41)

  199. Minimize and open a new tab to browse other sites.

    nk (db4a41)

  200. And don’t refresh.

    nk (db4a41)

  201. Even after doing all of the manipulations I can’t access the updated version of this thread on my main computer, and it takes input very slow even on my laptop.

    I have written extensively at several points, perhaps too extensively and no one has bothered to read them, so I will give my (intended) last comment.

    At #179 I responded to a series of direct questions from Patterico. If you think what I stated there is inconsistent with something else I said, please point it out so I can address it.

    Subotai- whether it is cars, sharks, drunken women at night, and I suppose sail boats, you and A.W. think we are absolving the bad guys of responsibility, even though multiple people point out that is not what we are doing. The car thief goes to prison, the rapists go to prison, the oil tanker first mate gets disciplinary action, so I don’t see how you can say we are absolving people of their moral culpability.

    I think I can summarize the issue as this:
    Some see Vilks drawing offensive cartoons as a heroic stand for freedom of speech.
    Others of us do not see Vilks’ activities as de novo heroism. We see it as drawing offensive cartoons.
    Even if we want Vilks protected, even if we want those who destroyed his house and threaten his life prosecuted to the fullest extent possible, it is not enough for those who see Vilks as a hero, but rather it is claimed that we are cowards who really don’t believe in free speech.

    There are frequent exaggerations of what is said. A.W. states that for me to not call Vilks a hero is to call him stupid. I don’t think that follows, anymore than equating the suggestion, “It is not wise for a woman to be alone outside at night and drunk and in provocative dress” with “Women should always wear burkas”. I have a young daughter. I do not intend to have her wear a burka, but I do intend to tell her it is not wise to be out alone at night and drunk whether she is in a bikini or a burka.

    The Iraqi police officer acted to save lives that were in imminent danger, even though it would cost him his own life. Mr. Vilks makes offensive comments. The Iraqi policeman deserves the equivalent of at least a bronze star, if not a Medal of Honor. I don’t believe Mr. Vilks deserves a medal of honor.

    Solzhenitsyn was a fighter for free speech and against oppression by exposing the harsh realities of Soviet political prisons. Had he gained the displeasure of the Kremlin by writing dirty jokes about Stalin, I don’t think we would have been as impressed, even though we would want his release and freedom.

    I never said that people should not participate in the draw Mohammed campaign if that is what they want to do.

    Voltaire may have said, “I do not agree with you, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it”. I don’t think that makes sense as a universal statement. I am not willing to die so people can say f— you as as often as they want, and I don’t think any sensible person would expect me to.* That quote is more fitting of an Obama speech.

    Now, if I was in the presence of a person who insulted someone else, would I protect that person from severe physical harm if I could? Yes, but I would not be fighting for his right to say f-you, I would be fighting to defend someone from an unwarranted beat-down.

    MD in Philly (ea3785)

  202. As long as people treat Scientology and Islam as the valuable religions they are, I haven’t a problem.

    tehag (2926ee)

  203. nk, you get partial credit for the “King of the Hill” reference, but that is all.

    Icy Texan (deac71)

  204. I’m mostly pre-screening them for the ones that are suitable for my eight year old. The bluegrass one was one of the best, and overall I think they’re better than the Simpsons or South Park or the one with the talking dog and baby. The theme is often mature but there is seldom nastiness in place of humor.

    nk (db4a41)

  205. Comment by Icy Texan –
    I concur with MD in Philly that freedom of speech does not abrogate freedom from responsibility!

    Thank you. That indeed was a/the main point of what I was trying to say. How one decides that balance is an individual decision that can have pro and cons, but no “right” answer.

    Leviticus, anyone, did anyone find the introduction of Painted Jaguar at all entertaining, or was it an unnecessary example of freedom of speech?

    MD in Philly (88a119)

  206. Leviticus, anyone, did anyone find the introduction of Painted Jaguar at all entertaining, or was it an unnecessary example of freedom of speech?
    Comment by MD in Philly — 5/20/2010 @ 6:32 am

    I thought Painted Jaguar was inspired and was actually a bit jealous of the creativity. Iowahawk-level (higher praise I cannot give).

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  207. Comment by Stashiu3

    Thank you for the feedback. I hope for him to revisit on occasion, but not too frequently.

    Besides, baby elephant hasn’t had a chance to contribute yet.

    MD in Philly (88a119)

  208. Yeah – I liked Painted Jaguar as well.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  209. My $.02….

    All speech should be defended against violent thuggery.

    AD - RtR/OS! (c4618b)

  210. Painted Jaguar:

    I am glad you have enjoyed my contribution, and I shall return from time to time.

    My mummy (every so wise and patient) has told be that I need to be brief, for not all are patient as she (indeed, none of you have tails, to swish with dignity while thinking).

    It is always right to oppose thuggery, with tooth and claw and all vigor, for thuggery is always bad. It is even right to defend a weak thug from a strong thug, for the strong thug must be opposed, and the weak thug may experience mercy and become wise. (Our cousins the leopards may not be able to change their spots, but at times humans can make wonderful changes.)

    To risk one’s life for a just cause is good, even if your mummy is not happy with how you do it; and to give one’s life for a just cause in a way that makes one’s mummy happy some say is even better. The man in Iraq who lost his life while embracing a bomber fought for freedom, and he did that by shielding others from danger. Mr. Vilks also fights for freedom, he does it by making cartoons in a way some people do not like. Now, it is not right for a cartoonist to be subject to thuggery, and the thugs must be stopped. But while I have sat by the dark, turbid waters of the Amazon and contemplated this, I would rather risk my spots by shielding innocents, or by saying things which are true and dangerous, dangerous to thugs because they do not like the truth, for to them it is as the grip of the Anaconda, choking out their life.

    MD in Philly (88a119)

  211. Patterico, I just found your questions above (#136 — 5/17/2010 @ 7:59 pm); I apologize for not checking back sooner. Here are my answers, which I don’t think will surprise you:

    1) Do you think that the continual radical Muslim threats to Vilks are wrong?

    Of course. And the actual violence they or someone has carried out (burning his house) is wrong too. I’m glad you’ve not accused me of defending the threat-makers or bad actors.

    2) If so, do you think it is important for the rest of us to help stand up for free speech, and against the thuggery displayed by the people who attacked him and ended his lecture?

    Yes, I think it’s important in general to stand up for free speech and to oppose violent threats intended to suppress speech. And yes, “thuggery” is an apt term.

    3) If so, how, if not in the way I have suggested?

    Simply by engaging vigorously in free speech, one defends it. I would respectfully (and not very humbly, ’cause I’m not humble) submit that your blog, and mine, and many others, are implicitly defending free speech with almost every post on any topic.

    But beyond that, I agree it’s entirely appropriate to take to the soapbox with persuasive arguments specifically against those who are trying to suppress speech. It’s entirely appropriate to employ humor, even ridicule, as part of that, if it’s reasonably well-targeted. If the day were called “Everyone Peacefully Mock Radical Muslims Who Threaten or Engage in Violence Against Those Who’ve Mocked Mohammed,” I’d post to support that. (I would try to be careful in shaping my verbal condemnation to limit it to those who’ve threatened violence.)

    Seriously, is imitating him the only way you can think of to support Vilks’ right to be offensive? Did the people who inculcated in you your own reverence for Free Speech do so by their own outrageously offensive speech — did they, for example, persuade you of the value of the open marketplace of ideas by shouting obscene suggestions about your mother? — or did they do so through reasoned argument?

    If you want to defend the First Amendment, then concentrate on defending the First Amendment. I think either you or I could make persuasive and, indeed, correct arguments that the First Amendment protects the Klan or the neo-Nazis who dress up in hoods or SS uniforms for their parades. But we need not put on the costumes ourselves or join in the parades to make the arguments. Nor do I feel the need to imitate Vilks to defend him or to condemn those who threaten him with violence; and imitating him wouldn’t really add any persuasive force to my arguments anyway.

    Why would I want to give any of these jerks the effective power to make me engage in tasteless behavior, just because it’s a particular type of tasteless behavior they’ve made subject to violent threats? I do have a choice in the matter. I’d rather find other ways to frustrate them that don’t also leave me feeling like I need to take a shower when I’m done. Doing what they don’t want me to do — just to show them I can, whether they like it or not — is spectacularly unimaginative and accords them way too much respect.

    Beldar (f530ad)

  212. Beldar,

    No, your answers don’t surprise me — and you’ll notice that I set them up in that progression based on the assumption that you would answer the first two questions the way you did.

    You make a decently persuasive case in the abstract, and/but I think that when things get concrete we may agree more than we disagree.

    One of the reasons I wasn’t particularly interested in taking an active role in publishing Mohammed cartoons sent by readers is that I was afraid I might get a lot of tasteless crap. But if you look at A.W.’s site, I think you’ll see that in practice, most of the cartoons are going to be very offensive to the radical Muslims — but really are not that offensive when considered objectively. I’m fine with such speech — indeed, I am pleased to support it actively.

    Maybe there will also be some secondary slopover offense caused to less radical Muslims, just as the South Park folks using Jesus to fight Santa was (to me) funny but is offensive to some Christians (I think John Hitchcock was fairly put out, if I recall correctly). Still, I would risk offending those Christians by actively supporting the South Park creators if the more radical brethren of my Christian friends decided to put out a hit on Parker and Stone.

    Just as I already do support Parker and Stone given the crap they are facing from the radical Muslis.

    But you make a good argument. It is persuasive and causes me to think — which shows me we weren’t really in the “agree to disagree” mode. (I hate that phrase anyway. I do NOT agree to disagree!!!)

    Patterico (c218bd)

  213. All that said, I can’t help it: I love JD’s entry.

    Patterico (c218bd)


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