Yet Muslims around the world wondered where were these protections of freedom of speech when several American Muslims were indicted and sentenced to as much as life in prison in the U.S. for exercising First Amendment activities, including an American Muslim pharmacist of Egyptian descent in Boston who was sentenced to seventeen years in 2012 for translating passages and uploading videos to the internet, and a cable operator of Pakistani descent who was sentenced to almost six years in 2004 for connecting his New York customers to Hezbollah’s satellite channel. In many of these cases, government prosecutors speculated that the speech of the Muslim defendants was not protected because it could have led to violence even though no evidence was ever presented to support such a theory. Contrast that with the proven record of hate speech spewed by numerous American Islamophobes, many of whom were quoted extensively by anti-Muslim extremist Anders Breivik, who deliberately killed in cold blood 77 people in Norway in July 2011. In his 1500-page manifesto, Breivik cited many American anti-Muslim haters such as Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Pamela Geller, Martin Kramer, and others. They apparently inspired him to commit the atrocious killings, though none were ever held, even morally, accountable, or subsequently condemned for their hateful inciting anti-Muslim speech.Devastatingly true and note that The Ghost has been equally opposed to the prosecutions of Muslims on vacuous charges of "material aid" to terrorists via video and speech. Such charges are bullshit and a total disregard for the first amendment to the US Constitution.
Friday, September 28, 2012
I'd do my usual direct quotes but this piece by Esam Al-Amin thing is so brilliant that it deserves to be read in total. But in reference to the topic of the week, freedom of speech, I offer this portion:
Thursday, September 27, 2012
To show just how much of a fraud the UN is, the Israeli Prime Minister stood up at The Podium(tm) with a picture of a bomb showing how close Iran is to developing a nuclear bomb. Unlike our previous post where we asked "And if we do?" the question has been asked already and the response has been clear from Israel: We will strike Iran. It is the height of hypocrisy and a clear indictment of the UN as a tool of certain governments that the Secretary General felt it was proper to tell Ahmedinejad how he was supposed to speak, and yet, as far as I know, had nothing to say to Netanyahu in regards to threatening Iran with missiles. How are we to take the UN seriously when it allows governments to stand up in broad day light and threaten other governments with strikes and sanctions in clear violation of the UN charter? If the UN had any credibility at all it would state clearly that so long as the US has Iran surrounded with military bases, it will not condemn any actions short of war made by the Iranian regime. That so long as Iran is a signatory to the Anti-Proliferation Treaty, it can enrich whatever Uranium it has as it sees fit, so long as it is within the guidelines of the APT. The Secretary General, if he had balls of his own possession should tell the US that there is only 1 country in this dispute that has not invaded, occupied and installed puppet governments in the region. Secondly, If Russia and China believe in their vetoes as much as they say they do, I say they should float a few military ships into the Straight of Hormuz and conduct "exercises" of their own. If military exercises within' striking distance of a nation is "not threatening" and fine by the UN, then the presence of Chinese and Russian ships doing the same should not bother anyone. Right?
Yesterday during the yearly UN confab where leaders of various countries come to NY, tie up traffic, get the NYPD brass overtime and get up and make speeches that don't matter all that much in terms of actual war and peace, a few leaders made blatant threats against those persons who wish to live in a society where they can speak freely, even disrespectfully and not have to worry about the state locking them up, possibly torturing them or worse, being killed. First we had the new President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi who said:
“Egypt respects freedom of expression, freedom of expression that is not used to incite hatred against anyone.”I'll stop here for a moment to note that his position is not much different from many persons on the liberal left in the United States. In the United States, much to my strenuous disagreement, we have things called "hate crimes" and "hate speech" in which persons can be prosecuted not only for say a physical assault, but have extra time thrown at them for what they were thinking at the moment. I have repeatedly warned that such "thought prosecution" (which is what these really are) is entirely against the purpose and point of the First Amendment to the US Constitution but also the basis of criminal law, that is that one is punished for actions not thoughts or beliefs. On various university campuses people are fired, suspended and the like for engaging in "hate speech" which is usually covered under "harassment" laws. In Europe Judaism and Jews are afforded state protection against things such as Holocaust denial. I've said repeatedly that these laws, even given WWII, are hypocritical and certainly do not serve the interests of the state since it merely pushes those things underground where they go unchallenged by the light of truth. Some European nations also have laws against any speech that "incites" racial or religious hatred and the like. Yes, people have gone to jail for saying things that the state has deemed 'too offensive". I suppose the entire concept of being responsible for one's own behaviors is lost on these folks. Anyway, the point being here that the liberal left and the Muslim Brotherhood have much more in common than they think. Morsi continues:
We expect from others, as they expect from us, that they respect our cultural specifics and religious references, and not seek to impose concepts or cultures that are unacceptable to us,” said Mr. Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. “Insults against the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, are not acceptable. We will not allow anyone to do this by word or by deed.”Let us deal with the "expectations". Morsi as well as others fail to understand the "expectations". The expectation is as follows: In your country you do what you want to do. In your religion you do what you want to do. You don't want to draw Mohammed? Don't do it. You don't want Mohammed satirized or critiqued? Fine. Don't do it. After all if you are in the religion you are obligated to follow the rules. The flip side is that those who are outside the religion (or the country) are not subject to your rules. I can draw Mohammed if I feel like it. I can do Mohammed satire if I so chose. I can write a book about his life and opine on what I think of his behavior if I so chose. I can do that because I am not subject to the rules of a religion to which I am not a part. That said let us deal with the threat. Now it is entirely acceptable for a person to declare that they will not tolerate x,y or z action. No one has to put up with any behavior they do not like. However; the choices that person has in not tolerating certain behaviors is quite limited. There are two choices for those persons who are offended by someone's speech or actions: 1) They may physically attempt to stop the person from speaking or acting via physical means. 2) They may remove themselves from engaging in the person making the offensive speech (that includes not watching videos, reading newspapers, etc.) One may say that one could use "the law" but if we understand government and it's monopoly on authorized use of force; "the law" is simply an extension of option one. Therefore the only obvious response to a statement of "We will not allow anyone to do this by word or action" is: "Exactly what are you going to do about it?" You have to understand that "we will not allow" is a declarative threat. Certainly if you say "I will not allow" something and then when someone does it, you do nothing, you really did not mean "will not". If on the other hand you mean to enforce this "we will not allow" statement, then one must be willing to do whatever is necessary to enforce such a statement. This means that violence is on the table. Let us be clear then, Morsi stood in front of the world's nations as a leader of a country and a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood and issued a threat. Either you toe the line of our religion regardless to your own faith, non-faith, etc or else This should not be taken lightly in the least bit. It is classic Jihadism. And do not allow yourself to be fooled by the commentary of apologetic type Muslims who will insist that Jihad only means inner spiritual warfare. Do not be fooled in the least bit. What Morsi said is classic physical man-to-man Jihad ideology. Submit to our rules, or else And do not think that Morsi is simply one person. This man knows full well that he has high support, whether it be a majority or not is not known nor important, that he has enough support to issue such a blatant threat on an international stage as a representative of a legitimate government should bother a lot of people. Not to be outdone the president of Yemen, Abed Rabbu Manour Hadi, threw his two cents into the argument saying:
“These behaviors find people who defend them under the justification of the freedom of expression,” he said. “These people overlook the fact that there should be limits for the freedom of expression, especially if such freedom blasphemes the beliefs of nations and defames their figures.”Anyone with a knowledge of history of religion in Europe knows full well the stupidity of such a statement. People have been disemboweled, burned at the stake, impaled by stakes and left to bleed to death, dismembered, Had every bone in their bodies broken on water wheels, and tortured with all manner of devices for the "crime" of blasphemy and other "major crimes" like speaking ill of religious leaders, religious institutions and of course, royalty. No one in their right mind would even give a first thought to returning to anything resembling that bullshit. Not to be left out Asif A. Zardari, President of Pakistan said:
“Before I take up my speech, I want to express the strongest condemnation for acts of incitement of hate against the faith of billions of Muslims of the world and our beloved prophet, Muhammad,” “The international community must not become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing freedom of expression,” he said. The United Nations should take up the issue immediately, he added.The Arab League put itself on the record with:
spiritual harm should be treated as a crime, even as he condemned the recent riots. “If the international community has criminalized bodily harm, it must just as well criminalize psychological and spiritual harm,”Ahh yes, the attempts of religious people with thin skins and poor impulse control to have the criticism, satire or other commentary on religion, but especially Islam, criminalized world wide. Spiritual harm? Really? Criminalization of "psychological harm"? Where do they get these ideas from (aside from US liberals who seem to have the same opinion)? You get your feelings hurt (which is essentially what this "spiritual harm" is about) and someone ought to be arrested, tried and imprisoned? No one at the UN laughed out loud when that shit was said? Seriously. Usually when Ahmedinejad gets up to make a speech various Western leaders rudely get up and leave because I take it they do not want to dignify his "rant" by sitting through it. I would think that people that understand just how stupid the statements made here should have gotten up and walked out because THAT nonsense is far more out of order than anything I've heard Ahmedinejad say. I realize that the reason that most of the "leaders" of places where supposed "freedom of speech" is practiced do not speak up (as of this writing) is because of fear. They have business relationships they are afraid will be threatened. They also have large minorities of Muslim populations in their countries that they are afraid of offending. They are afraid of being seen as "racist" or whatever (in their own countries at that). They have feelings of guilt from former colonial activities in these areas of the world (well earned IMO) and so they are afraid to speak up. So long as the so called leadership of these few places where people do not have to fear mob violence for religious insult or state violence for the same, do not speak up forcefully, unapologetically and with the same "or else" message for those who kill and threaten their citizens, they will find their future generations less free than they are now. The warning signs are right in your face.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
The NY Times discussing the Obama administration's issues with the Morsi government in Egypt
What makes Egypt’s uncertain course so vexing for the White House is that Mr. Obama, more than any other foreign leader, has sided again and again with the Arab street in Cairo, even when it meant going expressly against the wishes of traditional allies, including the Egyptian military, the Persian Gulf states and Israel. As recently as June, Mr. Obama was calling on the Egyptian military to quickly hand over power to the democratically elected civilian government — a move that helped Mr. Morsi, whose movement has called for greater use of Islamic law, assume power. At the same time, the administration was chastising the military, which has for 30 years served as the bulwark of a crucial American strategic interest in the Middle East: the 1979 Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. For anti-American unrest to erupt in Egypt after all that could reflect a deeper divergence of a once-staunch ally from the United States.Well that's Obama's fault. Anyone who has any knowledge of history of the Muslim Brotherhood and "Jihadist" type Muslims knows full well that they will cooperate where necessary to get to their aims. So none of the "cooperation" at the time should be confusing. It is the same way that "Jihadist" Muslims in "free" Western countries take advantage of the liberal laws in those countries such as court rights, speech rights,association rights, etc. to further their own aims. Then when the host governments get a clue and try to step in, the 'Jihadist" in question then complains about the rights that are being violated. There is a reason (for better or worse) why previous administrations were quite happy to deal with dictators in that part of the world. Here's my writeup from 2005's "Join the Ummah"
The modern ideology of Jihad was authored by Sayyid Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. While imprisoned he wrote that the world is divided into two realms: Dar Al-Islam- The abode of Islam. and Dar Al-Harb- The abode of war. He wrote that Muslims should not fight for a particular piece of land, but rather the whole Dar- Al -Islam, which we shall refer to as the Ummah. Dar Al Harb is any place that hampered the practice of Islam and/or failed to apply Sharia. Furthermore the abode of war should be combated even if one's own relatives, national group, capital and commerce are there. Later another Egyptian, Muhammad Al-Farag, a leader in Jamaat al Jihad movement wrote in a tract entitled "The Neglected Obligation" that Jihad was the sixth pilar of Islam and that armed struggle was an imperative for all true muslims. "There is no doubt that the first battlefield for Jihad is the extermination of these infidel leaders and to replace them by a complete Islamic Order."Just something to keep in mind.
Even used a "fucking retard" quote like I did [well I misquoted and used "moron". Same thing.].
What Emanuel and Duncan and Obama want is what George Bush wanted: to despoil public education. Of course, this is not what they say. But it is hardly concern for kids, much less poor kids or for their families, that drives Bush-Obama efforts at reforming public education to ruin or that makes “market solutions” and privatization the order of the day. Only hapless Republicans and market theologians (to the extent there is a difference) could believe that. The Obamaites want to privatize public education, to the extent they can, for the same reason they want to privatize so much else: because there is a lot of money – local, state and federal – involved, and the corporate interests Obama and his basketball buddies work for want to get their hands on it.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
*Beware!: Not Very Child Friendly Language ahead. Washington Post Poll:
Obama: 52% Romney: 33% Who would you like to be in command of a ship in trouble? Obama: 46% Romney: 43%What. The. Fuck does having dinner have to do with running the fucking country? I don't want the president of the United States having dinner with me. I want the president of the United States to run shit and represent my interests. Fuck dinner! And to the second question. As far as I know Romney is the ONLY fucker in this race that has a fucking boat. There's even a picture out there
So there's a petition going around to tell Cardinal Dolan to "Don't allow Romney endorsements in church bulletins"
In last Sunday's bulletin, a parish priest reprinted a letter from former Vatican ambassadors which concludes: "We urge our fellow Catholics, and indeed all people of good will, to join with us in this full-hearted effort to elect Governor Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States."I won't be signing this because I think that if the folks behind this were serious they would instead be signing a petition to the IRS asking them to revoke the non-profit status of any Catholic church organization that distributed the endorsement. The non-profit status of any religious institution is on the condition that it does not engage in partisan politics. It cannot endorse any candidate though it may give out 'voter guides" that compare and contrast candidates. Let's get serious with these non-profit organizations that are knowingly and willingly breaking the law. Revoke their non-profit status and demand tax payment and penalties for any year they are found in violation.
Since I'm surrounded by folks who are enthralled by the concept of being a Democrat or Republican like they don't answer to the same bosses, I'll just let that headline sink in:
Paul Ryan on Chicago teachers strike: ‘We stand with Rahm Emanuel’ "Mayor Emanuel is right today in saying that this teacher's union strike is unnecessary and wrong," Ryan said in Portland, Ore., according to a pool report transcript. "We know that Rahm is not going to support our campaign, but on this issue and this day we stand with Mayor Rahm Emanuel."I along with many open eyed and open eared folks (such as those at Black Agenda Report have been saying for years that the entire "school reform" is a corporate take over of the public school system. It is not being done for the benefit of the public, but for private companies who will/are seeking to profit off of education, directly or indirectly. These corporate entities have their claws in both the Democratic and Republican parties and these entities are doing the will of these big boys. Just like with the auto industry the first thing they have to do is demonize the teachers as being lazy and incompetent. Never mind that the teachers have no say on the budgets, the locations, quality of material or student out-of-school life. These miracle workers who often deal with students from homes and environments that are anything but conducive to education are to be blamed for "school failure". No, don't look at things such as schools being funded by local property taxes therefore creating unequal funding. Lets not discuss the sky high unemployment rates in many of the communities that are "failing" (forget 8% try 16 - 20+ percent). Let's not talk underemployment, where parents need to work two or more shifts just to live. Oh no, the teachers are to blame. That Rahm "fucking morons" Emmanuel sees eye to eye with Paul Ryan (his statements to the contrary clearly political rather than factual) is all the evidence that any clear minded person needs to know where the so called "pro-union" Democratic party stands. But hey... Michelle Obama sure looked good in that dress.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
Friday, September 07, 2012
From the NY Times:
The economy added a total of 96,000 jobs in August, down from a revised figure of 141,000 in July and well below the 125,000 level economists had been expecting. The jobless rate fell to 8.1 percent, from 8.3 percent in July, but economists said that was a sign more unemployed workers were discouraged about the prospect of finding new jobs, rather than an indication new jobs were being created.Not surprising to anyone who has been paying attention rather than gushing at Republican and Democratic convention speakers.