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Well Done, Dearborn

Pastor Terry Jones is an asshat. Of that there can be no doubt.

But even asshats have Constitutional rights. In fact, as is often said, protecting the fundamental rights of the worst of us is a vital part of ensuring that the rest of us can enjoy our liberties in peace.

So the fact that Terry Jones was jailed for, essentially, not promising that he wouldn’t hold a protest at a mosque, is unconscionable. Adding insult to injury, Judge Mark Somers ordered him to stay away from said mosque for 3 years, giving the proprietors a veto on his freedoms.

The Supreme Court has called prior restraint “the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights” Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart (1976) and is presumptively unconstitutional. Prior restraint usually involves publication, rather than actual speech, but the parallels are unmistakable. Judge Somers should have thrown this case out–sua sponte if need be–immediately upon the filing of the indictment. Barring that, he should have held an immediate hearing on the constitutionality of the charges and dismissed it then. Having failed to throw the case out then, he should have entered a directed verdict at the close of the prosecutors’ evidence. Or a judgment notwithstanding the verdict after the jury returned guilty verdicts. But he did none of these things.

Judge Somers did mitigate his errors somewhat by setting bond for Jones and his compatriot at $1, but that is woefully insufficient to make up for everything that went before. The charges against Jones are obviously, patently, incontrovertibly unconstitutional. The entire basis of the indictment is that their planned protest would “likely breach the peace.”

But that is not the standard by which prohibition or punishment of the exercise of free speech is governed. Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) requires three elements to be met before the state can step in:

[T]he constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

Jones’ planned actions don’t even meet the threshold requirement of advocacy of lawlessness. According to Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad, “there have been at least four serious threats made against Jones from metro Detroiters… his protest could lead to violence if allowed.” Brandenburg allows for prohibition or punishment of incitement to lawlessness where one advocates imminent unlawful action that is likely to produce it. But here it was the prospect that his protest might cause a violent reaction by the targets of his protest, not his supporters, that the state used to justify their prior restraint of Jones’ First Amendment rights. There is simply no possible way to justify this prosecution.

This case won’t have to go all the way to the Supreme Court. Michigan’s appellate court should vacate the convictions immediately. And then Pastor Jones will get to file his 1983 action and be entitled to damages from the state. All of which will do nothing but increase his media exposure and generate sympathy for his asshattery.

Image: Rebecca Cook / Reuters

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About Dodd
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He can kill a mime using only his thumb. He joined the staff at OTB in May 2007. Follow Dodd on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Chad S says:

    The mosque should get a restraining order, but I don’t see what’s wrong about barring him from visiting the Mosque if the leadership doesn’t want him there. “Breaching the peace” sans an actual breach(if you don’t consider him nearly shooting himself accidently in his car as one lol) is ridiculous. If you think he’s going to do something that would cause a riot, then have the cops there to arrest him as soon as he tries it.

    Also: odd that you’re complaining about this and not the Mich Gov’s plan to overthrow local governments which would violate the Constitution.

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  2. rodney dill says:

    I like the part where he accidentally discharged his firearm in his rental car in Southfield.

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  3. Dodd says:

    Also: odd that you’re complaining about this and not the Mich Gov’s plan to overthrow local governments which would violate the Constitution.

    Ah, the Balloon Juice fallacy in the very first reply. Bravo!

    And the assertion that it’s odd I’d be commenting on a brand-new First Amendment issue, not to mention taking the same position as the ACLU, instead of some other matter that isn’t a front page Constitutional issue today, is itself rather odd.

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  4. Davebo says:

    Seriously Dodd?

    Balloon Juice has readers, if not idiotic caption contests.

    You should probably stick to that.

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  5. Chad S says:

    So asking for you to be consistent with your believe in strict Constitutionalism is some internet meme? Wow, thats a new low even for you Dodd.

    Keep up the hackery as always. Its always hilarious to hear to me how even the right wing blogsphere who knows you rips on you as an embarrassment.

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  6. Dodd says:

    So asking for you to be consistent with your believe in strict Constitutionalism is some internet meme?

    We all know that’s not what you were doing. Hence the fallacy, the sole purpose of employing which is to try to deflect from the topic at hand by insinuating that the author is somehow hypocritical by not writing about Topic Y merely because he did write about tangentially-related (however strained the tangent, as, for instance, yours) Topic X.

    But I am genuinely confused by your apparent dislike of this post. So, setting aside your ad hominems, please explain to me why my editorial position here that Dearborn’s unconstitutional actions have likely acted to make a bad situation worse and promoted the cause of an *ssh*le is objectionable to you. Because I don’t get it.

    Is it because you don’t think that Terry Jones should be entitled to the same Constitutional rights as everyone else? Is it because, by slagging him and the people wrongfully prosecuting him, you assume I am somehow “defending” him? Or do you just need to vent your spleen so implying I’m a hypocrite outweighs any possibility you’d normally be inclined to agree in the main with my point?

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  7. Last I checked Dillon’s Rule was still good law and state governments can “overthrow” any local government within the state for any reason so long as the action is consistent with their own state constitution and laws (and not done to violate a federal constitutional right such as the right to vote).

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  8. Dodd says:

    Last I checked Dillon’s Rule was still good law and state governments can “overthrow” any local government within the state for any reason so long as the action is consistent with their own state constitution and laws (and not done to violate a federal constitutional right such as the right to vote).

    Indeed.

    Stanford University law professor Richard Thompson Ford wrote that those who criticize the bill as similar to anti-democratic measures enacted by military dictatorships “have no legal argument.”

    There is no constitutional right to local self-government in the United States. In 1907, the Supreme Court decided, in Hunter v. Pittsburgh, that under the Constitution local governments are nothing more than “convenient agencies for exercising … such powers as may be entrusted to them” by the state. As a result, “the state may modify or withdraw all such power, may take without compensation such property, hold it for itself, or vest it with other agencies, expand or contract the territorial area, unite the whole or part of it with another municipality, repeal the charter and destroy the corporation … with or without the consent of the citizens, or even against their protest.”

    But it makes a convenient bit of chaff to hurl in the air when, for some reason, someone needs a distraction. So it must violate the Constitution. Even when it’s well-settled law that it doesn’t.

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  9. john personna says:

    As I understand it, restrictions on “hate speech” still stand as Constitutional under current law.

    Is this another OTB cycle where we play dumb to that?

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  10. Chad S says:

    Dodd, unlike you, I was consistent with my views. I criticized what Jones was charged with. Now you’re(as you often do) trying to bog things down in semantics. I’m done trying to point out your horseshit, since I’ll never have a big enough shovel to get it all.

    Toodaloo ass. I hope one day you get your head out of it, but I doubt that this blog will ever be that lucky lol.

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  11. Dodd says:

    As I understand it, restrictions on “hate speech” still stand as Constitutional under current law.

    Is this another OTB cycle where we play dumb to that?

    Did you not read Snyder v Phelps just a few weeks ago? It was in the news and everything. It upheld the First Amendment right to be an asshat.

    This is not a case like Wisconsin v. Mitchell, where a statute imposing stiffer sentences for racially-motivated assaults than for other types of assaults was upheld. The indictment does not allege that Jones violated a statute prohibiting unprotected speech. On its face, it purports to enjoin his speech because the people he’s protesting might react badly.

    No, this is a case of imposing content-based restrictions on speech, which have long been held unconstitutional.

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  12. Dodd says:

    Dodd, unlike you, I was consistent with my views.

    Except for the part where only one of the two issues actually involves violating the Constitution.

    I criticized what Jones was charged with.

    So it was the spleen thing then. Thanks for explaining.

    Toodaloo ass. I hope one day you get your head out of it, but I doubt that this blog will ever be that lucky lol.

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  13. john personna says:

    There still is a thing called “hate speech,” right?

    Does calling every hate speaker an “asshat” give them a pass?

    Perhaps it time for a Venn diagram. Not all asshats engage in hate speech, though possibly all hate speakers are indeed asshats.

    AFAIK, asshats as a category do not deserve special protections under the law.

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  14. john personna says:

    (I get a kick out of the signaling that OTB columnists hope to achieve with the mild obscenity of “asshat.” Maybe if we recognize that they must be really, really, mad at Jones we’ll punt on the whole “hate speech” idea.)

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  15. john personna says:

    ((my search turns up “0 matches” on “hate speech” in Snyder v Phelps, so I assume it deals with other issues.))

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  16. Dodd says:

    AFAIK, asshats as a category do not deserve special protections under the law.

    I guess I’m missing your point. Who called for “special” protections?

    Certainly not me, since all I’ve noted is that Jones is entitled to the same rights as everyone else, despite the fact that he’s an asshat (not because he is). There’s a reason the ACLU took up his side of the case. It’s much the same reason why we ensure murderers and paedophiles have lawyers. If we decide the worst among us don’t deserve the same basic protections as everyone else, then we don’t have rights at all.

    ((my search turns up “0 matches” on “hate speech” in Snyder v Phelps, so I assume it deals with other issues.))

    Hardly a surprise, since neither that case nor this one involves “hate speech.” As has already been explained.

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  17. Southern Hoosier says:

    Neo-Nazis can march in Skokie. Illinois, a town that that had many Holocaust survivors . The KKK can march in Black neighborhoods. But Christians can’t march in Muslim neighborhoods. Sharia law American style.

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  18. PD Shaw says:

    JP, hate speech can’t be a stand alone offense in the U.S.; it can be an aggravating circumstance to some other offense. Advocating violence against racial or religious groups is protected speech.

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  19. Dodd says:

    Sharia law American style.

    That’s a stretch. But this prosecution certainly feeds into Jones’ martyr complex. Hence the title of my post.

    Advocating violence against racial or religious groups is protected speech.

    I disagree with that characterization of Brandeberg as it does not hold any such thing. Let’s stick with the actual holding I quoted in my post, shall we?

    [T]he constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

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  20. PD Shaw says:

    Dodd, I had forgotten you had quoted Brandenberg in the post. I think if people realize what the KKK wizard was saying (generalized threats of harm to Jews and Blacks, but not specifically planning such harm), I think it’s a little clearer that anything Jones said is well within the protection of the First Amendment.

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  21. anjin-san says:

    Better run to mama SH, evilllllllllll Muslims are coming to get you…

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  22. Southern Hoosier says:

    Dodd says:
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 16:37

    Sharia law American style.

    That’s a stretch

    It is in violation of Sharia law to be disrespectful of the Koran.There is nothing in the Constitution that Rev Jones violated. So Rev Jones is only guilty under Sharia law.

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  23. Southern Hoosier says:

    anjin-san says:
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 16:54

    Better run to mama SH, evilllllllllll Muslims are coming to get you…

    Not just me, but all unbelievers according to the Koran. And you are right Islam is evil.

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  24. Can someone familiar with Michigan law explain what legal authority the City of Dearborn even had to arrest Jones before he’d actually done anything?

    This has got to be the clearest example of an unconstitutional prior restraint that I’ve seen since the Pentagon Papers case (which was, of course, a very different matter on the facts, but nonetheless an attempt to squelch speech before it was published), and I pretty much agree with everything Dodd says here.

    One point:

    There still is a thing called “hate speech,” right?

    In the minds of some people, perhaps. Under the cases that Dodd cites above, along with Snyder v. Phelps, however, a law that attempted to ban or punish speech purely based on it’s content would clearly be unconstitutional,

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  25. Christian says:

    FYI we have only the freedoms granted to us by minorities ever since the jew 1965 Immigration Act was passed into law and White people now have to give our nation over to Others.

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  26. Dodd says:

    Can someone familiar with Michigan law explain what legal authority the City of Dearborn even had to arrest Jones before he’d actually done anything?

    According to the ACLU, the case arose because the Wayne County prosecutor filed an action ‘To Institute Proceedings To Prevent Crime’ under MCL 772.1 et. seq., commonly known as the ‘peace bond’ statute…. The peace bond statute may only be invoked when ‘a person has threatened to commit an offense against the person or property of another.’ MCL 772.2.”

    They then go on to explain how the statute unconstitutionally imposes prior restraint in violation of Forsyth County v Nationalist Party (1992)(speech cannot be financially burdened, any more than it can be punished or banned, simply because it might offend a hostile mob).

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  27. Christian,

    This is your second anti-Semetic comment of the day. The first was on my post about the Tea Party. I’d suggest you review, the Comment Policy

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  28. john personna says:

    Wikipedia tells me:

    Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969), was a United States Supreme Court case based on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It held that government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless it is directed to inciting and likely to incite imminent lawless action.

    That “unless” seems important.

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  29. Actually, it’s like his fitth or six. He made a number over in Dodd’s Franklin Graham article too.

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  30. john personna says:

    Wikipedia also tells me:

    Laws prohibiting hate speech are unconstitutional in the United States, outside of obscenity, defamation, incitement to riot, and fighting words.[36][37][38] The United States federal government and state governments are broadly forbidden by the First Amendment of the Constitution from restricting speech.[39]

    Are we playing dumb that “incitement to riot” never happens? Or if it isn’t here, it isn’t real?

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  31. Southern Hoosier says:

    Dodd says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 17:35
    The peace bond statute may only be invoked when ‘a person has threatened to commit an offense against the person or property of another.’ MCL 772.2.”

    Somewhere along the way Rev Jones was ask to post a $45,000 peace bond. Correct me if I am wrong, but if Rev Jones while peacefully marching was attack by Islamic counter protester, would Rev Jones loose his peace bond?

    The office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy acknowledged it had never filed a complaint like the one it did in this case. The office had sought a $45,000 “peace bond” from Jones. Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for Worthy, said the complaint — based on a 19th-Century law — was an attempt to prevent Jones from breaching the peace, even though Dearborn later denied Jones a permit to protest at the Islamic Center of America, the metro area’s largest mosque. Miller said prosecutors proceeded because their complaint was a separate action.

    http://goo.gl/7cFNy
    They should have sited Sharia law.

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  32. Dodd says:

    Are we playing dumb that “incitement to riot” never happens? Or if it isn’t here, it isn’t real?

    Someone is playing dumb, to be sure. The actual language of the Brandenburg holding has been quoted twice here, so there’s no need to resort to Wikipedia for it. And, as set forth in my post, Dearborn can’t even establish the threshold requirement that Jones did or intended to advocate a violation of the law, much less the three elements required to overcome the presumptive unconstitutionality of prior restraint [that his speech was directed to (1) inciting or producing (2) imminent lawless action and (3) is likely to incite or produce such action.]

    You can move those goalposts anywhere you want, but the ACLU and I are right here, any (wholly understandable) antipathy you may feel for Jones notwithstanding. This isn’t a close case; Dearborn frakked up badly.

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  33. Incite != provoke

    Incitement is intentionally trying to get people to riot, not saying something that upsets them to the point that you become the victim of a riot.

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  34. sam says:

    I agree with all you wrote except this:

    “Adding insult to injury, Judge Mark Somers ordered him to stay away from said mosque for 3 years, giving the proprietors a veto on his freedoms.”

    I’m not aware that the “proprietors” initiated any of the actions taken against the pastor. My understanding is that the Wayne Country prosecutor initiated the action, and the mosque was not involved at all. Do you have other information that implicates the mosque in the prosecution, other than its being where the pastor planned to demonstrate.. None of the news stories I’ve read mentions any.

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  35. john personna says:

    Incitement is intentionally trying to get people to riot, not saying something that upsets them to the point that you become the victim of a riot.

    Jones backed down on the first cycle after everyone and his uncle told him it was a bad idea, that bad things would happen.

    Why did he come back to the brink?

    Was it because he couldn’t communicate any other way, or because he couldn’t incite any other way.

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  36. john personna says:

    Wikipedia tells me:

    The 2010 Koran-burning controversy occurred in July through early September when the pastor of the small Christian Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, U.S., declared he would burn 200 Korans on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The pastor, whose name is Terry Jones, received much media attention, resulting in international outrage and pleas from world leaders to cancel the event. In early September 2010, he cancelled the burning and pledged never to burn a Koran.[1]

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  37. john personna says:

    In a fair world this would be called “incitement” and Jones would get some small sentence. A few months in county.

    It wouldn’t have to be much, just enough to draw a line in the sand, so that next time “asshats” listen when they hear an “international outrage and pleas from world leaders to cancel the event.”

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  38. Southern Hoosier says:

    Christian says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 17:31

    FYI we have only the freedoms granted to us by minorities ever since the jew 1965 Immigration Act was passed into law and White people now have to give our nation over to Others.

    Checked out http://www.stormfront.org/forum/. I use to post there till I got kicked off for not being white enough for them. I’m sure they would welcome you.

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  39. Dodd says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but if Rev Jones while peacefully marching was attack by Islamic counter protester, would Rev Jones loose his peace bond?

    I have no idea. The whole notion of “peace bonds” is so patently unconstitutional I doubt that issue ever gets reached.

    I agree with all you wrote except this:

    “Adding insult to injury, Judge Mark Somers ordered him to stay away from said mosque for 3 years, giving the proprietors a veto on his freedoms.”

    I’m not aware that the “proprietors” initiated any of the actions taken against the pastor. My understanding is that the Wayne Country prosecutor initiated the action, and the mosque was not involved at all. Do you have other information that implicates the mosque in the prosecution, other than its being where the pastor planned to demonstrate.. None of the news stories I’ve read mentions any.

    I was merely summarizing the judge’s ruling which prohibits Jones from going near the mosque for three years unless the mosque’s operators say otherwise. It’s in the news article I linked. My apologies if that was unclear.

    Jones backed down on the first cycle after everyone and his uncle told him it was a bad idea, that bad things would happen.

    Why did he come back to the brink?

    Was it because he couldn’t communicate any other way, or because he couldn’t incite any other way.

    The mental gyrations of an attention whore are entirely irrelevant to the Constitutional issues at hand.

    I would note, however, since you brought it up, that an essential part of Brandenburg’s holding cannot ever be met here: Jones was prosecuted based on Dearborn’s worries as to how the people Jones was protesting might react. Even leaving aside the wholly speculative (and therefore invalid) nature of the supposed threat, Brandenburg only allows for state intervention where one is advocating imminent lawlessness that is likely to create it. Those words cannot encompass reactions from people not being advocated to. Even if one intends to offend with one’s speech, there is no sense in which “advocacy” can be construed as including giving offense to another group.

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  40. john personna says:

    BTW – yes, I’m still down on Jones about the Koran burning.

    It doesn’t sound like Dearborn has gotten to the same brink, but … guys like Jones tend to double-down. Beware.

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  41. In a fair world this would be called “incitement” and Jones would get some small sentence. A few months in county.

    So you think, for example, the imprisonment of civil rights protestors was fair? By your reasoning, MLK was ‘inciting’ riots by saying things racist southerners would react violently to.

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  42. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 18:10
    It wouldn’t have to be much, just enough to draw a line in the sand, so that next time “asshats” listen when they hear an “international outrage and pleas from world leaders to cancel the event.”

    Are you saying that we should restrict an American’s rights because world leaders are outraged? Why don’t we just come out and adopt Sharia law? It has all sorts of restrictions on human rights and other freedoms.

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  43. anjin-san says:

    And you are right Islam is evil.

    First of all, I never said that. I leave the ignorant ranting to you junior. Perhaps people have been laughing at you for so long you are simply not aware of it when it happens.

    Second, radical Muslims feel the same way about us. You have a lot in common with each other.

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  44. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 18:16

    BTW – yes, I’m still down on Jones about the Koran burning.

    I’m down on Rev Jones too! I sent him two Korans to burn last year and he didn’t burn them.

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  45. anjin-san says:

    re you saying that we should restrict an American’s rights

    No worries SH, you have the right to remain stupid…

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  46. john personna says:

    Are you saying that we should restrict an American’s rights because world leaders are outraged? Why don’t we just come out and adopt Sharia law? It has all sorts of restrictions on human rights and other freedoms.

    Do you remember those on the right side of the aisle who wanted a flag-burning amendment?

    I think the right way to handle this is to generalize. If “destroying symbols of identity,” or some such, harm everyone’s cool, then a mild slap can restore balance.

    (The problem with Sharia law is that it tends to chop of hands and stone people and such. Not at all the sort of mild penalties that restore calm.)

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  47. john personna says:

    I’m down on Rev Jones too! I sent him two Korans to burn last year and he didn’t burn them.

    A joke, but nonetheless, not what Jesus would do.

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  48. Southern Hoosier says:

    anjin-san says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 18:19

    And you are right Islam is evil.

    First of all, I never said that. I leave the ignorant ranting to you junior. Perhaps people have been laughing at you for so long you are simply not aware of it when it happens.

    Or maybe you are not aware of your ignorance about Islam. When Pres Bush said, “Islam is peace.” you must have swallowed that lie hook, line, and sinker.

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  49. john personna says:

    (Maybe that’s the trick that many miss. You only need mild penalties on many of these things to restore balance.

    You don’t need to stone Jones to death. You just need to sentence him to … heck, community service … just to set him beyond the pale.)

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  50. Dodd says:

    Do you remember those on the right side of the aisle who wanted a flag-burning amendment?

    I think the right way to handle this is to generalize. If “destroying symbols of identity,” or some such, harm everyone’s cool, then a mild slap can restore balance.

    Flag burning prohibitions were also ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Texas v. Johnson (1989). And rightfully so. Interestingly, for purposes of the present discussion (rather than 20-year-old debates), the statute struck down in Johnson was predicated on the basis that burning the flag tends to incite breaches of the peace. That was found to be well-short of the requirements of Brandenburg. Just like this case.

    So, no, the “right” way to handle this is to not let the state stick its nose in at all. Social disapprobation is more than sufficient — and doesn’t feed the wingnuts’ martyr complexes.

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  51. sam says:

    “I was merely summarizing the judge’s ruling which prohibits Jones from going near the mosque for three years unless the mosque’s operators say otherwise. It’s in the news article I linked”

    Ah, OK, I understand now.

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  52. PD Shaw says:

    JP, there are two issues here. The first is “prior restraint,” which is one of the least controversial issues in the First Amendment. When the Federalist enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts to punish people for speech casting aspersions on the government, the Federalists argued that the only right the First Amendment protected was against “prior restraint.” The government couldn’t stop un-American speech from happening, but once it had happened, the First Amendment didn’t protect the speaker from being punished for what he said. The Federalist lost this argument and now a judge is restraining speech in advance, something the Federalists would not have even argued.

    The second problem is the idea of preventing inflammatory speech, which is probably protected if he was given an opportunity to express it.

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  53. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 18:23

    Do you remember those on the right side of the aisle who wanted a flag-burning amendment?

    Sure do. And I remember the cross in urine and elephant dung on the Virgin Mary. Yeah I remember lots of things that I find offensive, all protected, but I don’t go out and riot and kill people.

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  54. john personna says:

    So, no, the “right” way to handle this is to not let the state stick its nose in at all. Social disapprobation is more than sufficient — and doesn’t feed the wingnuts’ martyr complexes.

    Only “sufficient” if we accept the body count.

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  55. john personna says:

    Sure do. And I remember the cross in urine and elephant dung on the Virgin Mary. Yeah I remember lots of things that I find offensive, all protected, but I don’t go out and riot and kill people.

    Obviously, if the world had your restraint we’d be home free.

    The problem is what to do with this world we have right here around us.

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  56. I think the right way to handle this is to generalize. If “destroying symbols of identity,” or some such, harm everyone’s cool, then a mild slap can restore balance.

    If I do something expressive in nature — such as, say, draw a picture of Mohammed — and someone goes out and tries to kill someone because of it, I’m the one who should be punished?

    The last time I checked, laws against blasphemy were unconstitutional

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  57. john personna says:

    Doug your example wouldn’t fall in my “destroying symbols of identity” category.

    We may have to draw a different line and defend creative arts. Yes.

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  58. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 18:27

    (Maybe that’s the trick that many miss. You only need mild penalties on many of these things to restore balance.

    You don’t need to stone Jones to death. You just need to sentence him to … heck, community service … just to set him beyond the pale.)

    And who is to decide? The UN or some other international body? Rev Jones violated Sharia law when he burnt the Koran, not the Constitution. Why should any punishment, no matter how slight be imposed on him?

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  59. john personna says:

    We Americans get to decide our own laws.

    We can decide if we are all “asshats” or not.

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  60. Dodd says:

    Only “sufficient” if we accept the body count.

    There is no body count. Blaming the speaker for the unreasonable reactions of people who commit violence merely because they were offended by something is no more legitimate when it’s Terry Jones giving the offense than when it’s MLK offending Bull Connor.

    Unconstitutional is unconstitutional, regardless of the message. if we all just ignored Jones, OTOH, he’d eventually go away.

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  61. john personna says:

    BTW, the “South Parking” of a generation probably does mean that yes, we are becoming a nation of asshats.

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  62. john personna says:

    Dodd, when you ignore facts in front of your face, you’ve lost.

    Not just this argument, but integrity, and any self-checks your mind needs for proper function.

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  63. john personna says:

    I’m out for the day. Enjoy.

    (I propose the South Park theme as a replacement Anthem.)

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  64. Dodd says:

    Dodd, when you ignore facts in front of your face, you’ve lost. Not just this argument, but integrity, and any self-checks your mind needs for proper function.

    Well, there’s the most irony-immune statement I’ve seen all month, to be sure.

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll stick with the Constitution rather than worry over these unstated alleged facts that aren’t making their way into my mind so it can function properly. And, look, I have the ACLU and even Alan Colmes on my side whereas you have… well, nothing.

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  65. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 18:38

    The problem is what to do with this world we have right here around us.

    Simple, we live by our laws and require others living in our country to do the same. We let other countries live by their laws no matter how repugnant we find them. If some country wants to burn school girls for not wearing the proper headscarf, let them. http://goo.gl/xvbS2
    If they want to execute 14 year old rape victims, so be it. http://goo.gl/goXym

    Islam is peace.

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  66. john personna says:

    Not quite out the door … I was referring to your assertion of no body count.

    Re. constitutional law and etc., I can see that they recognize incitement and fighting words as bad. I can see that this is related. From there I am proposing small penalties for the same, as a way to maintain civil relations (nationally and internationally).

    I don’t think I’m a horrible guy for choosing 60 days in county for guys like Jones, over innocent deaths of UN staffers, and the like.

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  67. I wonder if those advocating prior restraint in this case would be so willing to apply it consistently across the political spectrum. Well, actually, I don’t.

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  68. john personna says:

    (On the other hand, some of you prefer innocent deaths (as long as “blame” can be assigned!) over 60 days in county, or even just picking up trash. Sleep on that.)

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  69. john personna says:

    I wonder if those advocating prior restraint in this case would be so willing to apply it consistently across the political spectrum. Well, actually, I don’t.

    Didn’t I get there ahead of you, by putting flag burning in the same category?

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  70. Dodd says:

    (On the other hand, some of you prefer innocent deaths (as long as “blame” can be assigned!) over 60 days in county, or even just picking up trash. Sleep on that.)

    No. I prefer we abide by the Constitution even for people we don’t like rather than letting the most unreasonable people anywhere in the world define the scope of our rights.

    Radical notion, I know.

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  71. john personna says:

    Radical notion, I know.

    Immoderate, certainly.

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  72. Dodd says:

    Immoderate, certainly.

    In john personna’s world, thinking the Constitution should not be subject to a heckler’s veto by violent extremists is “immoderate.”

    And, yes, anyone who kills people over the burning of a collection of paper is a violent extremist.

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  73. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says:
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 18:56

    I don’t think I’m a horrible guy for choosing 60 days in county for guys like Jones, over innocent deaths of UN staffers, and the like.

    Nice double standard. They riot and Rev Jones gets punished. They burn my Bible and I don’t riot so no one gets punished. Sounds fair

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  74. John Burgess says:

    If nothing else, the pastor from Florida is now reaping multiples of the pennies he was bringing in from his 40-member church before. He’s an asshat for sure, but not a stupid asshat.

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  75. Obviously, if the world had your restraint we’d be home free.

    The problem is what to do with this world we have right here around us.

    So you propose the creation of a system where you’re free to offend reasonable people, but it’s against the law to offend unreasonable people because they may respond by rioting?

    Don’t you see how that encourages people to be more unreasonable, not less?

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  76. george says:

    Let’s just make it illegal to say anything to anyone which they might find offensive. Because in the end, that’s what it comes down to – people’s right to not be offended.

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  77. Southern Hoosier says:

    John Burgess says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 19:08

    If nothing else, the pastor from Florida is now reaping multiples of the pennies he was bringing in from his 40-member church before.

    There are a lot people that aren’t members of his church that agree and support him. And just because people disagree with another person’s action is no reason to call them names

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  78. John (Personna),

    If someone wants to stage a peaceful protest in front of a mosque, a Catholic Cathedral, a synagogue, or the United States Capitol I can see no basis in law from preventing them from doing so.

    If they violate the private property rights of one of those institutions (the Capitol Building being the exception) or tell people to run across the street and burn the place down, that’s a different story. But there’s no evidence either one of those things was going to happen here.

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  79. Southern Hoosier says:

    george says:
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 19:16

    Let’s just make it illegal to say anything to anyone which they might find offensive. Because in the end, that’s what it comes down to – people’s right to not be offended.

    Amen! Can we have that added to the Constitution?

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  80. Southern Hoosier says:

    Doug Mataconis says:Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 19:19
    John (Personna),

    If someone wants to stage a peaceful protest in front of a mosque, a Catholic Cathedral, a synagogue, or the United States Capitol I can see no basis in law from preventing them from doing so.

    I agree, but Islam and Sharia law are sacred cows. No one wants to offend the Islamic community in Michigan even if it means violating the Constitution.

    “Michigan: Christians banned from delivering tracts on sidewalk” http://goo.gl/MWBuB “Universities Install Footbaths to Benefit Muslims, and Not Everyone Is Pleased” http://goo.gl/QanMb Michigan: Islam forbids dogs, so blind Muslim brings horse to class http://goo.gl/Y9CUZ “Univ of Michigan Health System’s call to accommodate sharia” http://goo.gl/1kwL0.

    More where these come from. http://goo.gl/xQxHw

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  81. SH,

    Except none of what you cite is an example of “Sharia” except to the most paranoid people.

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  82. Trumwill says:

    Every now and again I run across something going on in Dearborn or elsewhere that actually sounds somewhat disturbing. The problem is that completely innocuous things are given the same all-cap formatting and the same number of explanation points. And so even in the event that they might be on to something, it becomes difficult to take them seriously or to even believe what they’re saying.

    (Throwing Terry Jones in jail for saying unpopular things excepted.)

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  83. Guide Horses are becoming increasingly common, and have nothing specifically to do with Islam:

    http://www.guidehorse.com/

    Keep in mind we’re talking about an animal that’s about three feet tall.

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  84. Southern Hoosier says:

    Doug Mataconis says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 20:58
    SH,

    Except none of what you cite is an example of “Sharia” except to the most paranoid people.

    There is more to Sharia law than stoning adulterers or cutting off the hands of thieves.
    Banning seeing eye dogs as unclean animals, isn’t that a violation of Federal law? Doesn’t Michigan State receive Federal funds? So how can they possible ban seeing eye dogs? Isn’t this Shara law trumping the Constitution and Federal law?
    What about Muslim taxi cab refuse to pick up passenger carrying alcohol? Aren’t they licensed by the city? Shouldn’t they pick up all passengers? What if I drove a taxi cab and refused to Blacks? How long would I have my licenses?

    If local authorities refuse to enforce the law in these cases, than Sharia becomes the law by default.

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  85. Southern Hoosier says:

    Stormy Dragon says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 21:35

    Guide Horses are becoming increasingly common, and have nothing specifically to do with Islam:

    But banning a seeing eye dog, because Islam says it is unclean, is about Islam.

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  86. anjin-san says:

    Or maybe you are not aware of your ignorance about Islam. When Pres Bush said, “Islam is peace.” you must have swallowed that lie hook, line, and sinker.

    Actually, I never believed anything Bush said.

    Have you ever read a history book? How many people has the peace loving USA killed? We are past masters at it.

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  87. Southern Hoosier says:

    Doug Mataconis says:
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 20:58

    SH,

    Except none of what you cite is an example of “Sharia” except to the most paranoid people.

    So far, fifteen states in the US have put forth bills to ban international law and Sharia from being applied in their states.

    You’re not paranoid when your fears are real.

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  88. Southern Hoosier says:

    anjin-san says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 22:25

    Or maybe you are not aware of your ignorance about Islam. When Pres Bush said, “Islam is peace.” you must have swallowed that lie hook, line, and sinker.

    Actually, I never believed anything Bush said.

    Have you ever read a history book? How many people has the peace loving USA killed? We are past masters at it

    OK I’ll play your silly games. Yes I have read a history book. In fact at the moment I am reading Stalingrad by Antony Beevor.
    Have you ever read the Koran?
    Killed in what way? War? Genocide? Street crime? Self defense? Lynchings? Does The U.S. Army School of the Americas graduates count?
    If you believe that Islam is Peace then you and Pres Bush have something in common.

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  89. John Burgess says:

    While there is a taboo of sorts concerning dogs within Islam, it’s clearly not a universal belief. Here, for example, is a British mosque that permits a seeing-eye dog, a decision supported by the British Muslim Council.

    Similarly, though pigs are clearly haram, Muslims are not prohibited from using pig-derived insulin or heart valves.

    There is no monolithic Shariah law. Instead, there are a multitude of interpretations. Some consider dogs unclean, no ifs, ands, or buts. Others consider only the dog’s saliva a problem. Yet others don’t see a problem at all. You might be (un)pleasantly surprised to learn that many Muslims pick and choose their own private interpretations of Islam–for better or worse–just as many Christians pick and choose what religious rules they’ll follow.

    I think most people would agree that whatever Shariah law is, Saudi Arabia has it in spades. Yet the Saudis allow seeing eye dogs. See page three of this three-page PDF from the Saudi Embassy.

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  90. Scott says:

    @Southern Hoosier, I doubt that Michigan State banned guide dogs. Do you have any evidence of that? If they did it would be in violation of the law.

    http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusmiguidedoglaws.htm

    See chapter 750 Sec 502c

    Let me also add that not everything you read on the internets is true.

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  91. Southern Hoosier says:

    @ John Burgess Spare me the lecture on Islam and lets talk about

    Michigan: Islam forbids dogs, so blind Muslim brings horse to class http://goo.gl/Y9CUZ

    A Muslim at Michigan State says that seeing eye dogs are unclean and will not be allowed in class. That is an out and out violation of Federal law. Some Muslim is enforcing their version of Sharia law on a state institute that accepts federal money. By allowing this to happen Michigan State is allowing his version of Shara law to become law by default.

    You agree?

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  92. Southern Hoosier says:

    Scott says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 22:48

    @Southern Hoosier, I doubt that Michigan State banned guide dogs. Do you have any evidence of that? If they did it would be in violation of the law.

    I stand corrected. Story is true, but headline is misleading. Islam does forbid dogs. But it was voluntary on her part not to have a dog, That what bothered me, how the school could get away with it.

    Mona Ramouni, a Michigan woman who became blind shortly after birth, wanted to have more independence. But for Ramouni, who is a practicing Sunni Muslim, a leader dog was not an option. Many Muslims view dogs as unclean, and Ramouni, who lives with her family in the suburbs of Detroit, respected her parents’ wishes that she not bring one into the home.

    http://goo.gl/OxewG

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  93. Trumwill says:

    A Muslim at Michigan State says that seeing eye dogs are unclean and will not be allowed in class.

    That’s not what the article says. The article says that a young woman who cannot have a dog for religious reasons, instead brings a horse. It does not say that other students in the class must also have a horse instead of a dog.

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  94. Scott says:

    @Southern Hoosier, I don’t even see that headline as being misleading. Meant to be alarmist surely but factual. I followed your link, then a link to FSM, then a link to this:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j8HfwcLdX-A6-5MMm1Yhb7Zg6-Cg?docId=CNG.907abc4d81c3c1c9a87d6f7bd7a18808.561

    and look what appears a few paragraphs in:

    “While there was some initial concern about whether Cali would make a mess or be a distraction, the tiny brown horse with a shiny black mane is surprisingly tidy and even gets along with the guide dog of one of Ramouni’s classmates.

    “The thing that I love about having Cali and the dog Harper in the class is that it’s such a vivid example to people about how adaptive students can be in going about their lives and achieving what they want to achieve,” Smithson said.”

    Dude, seriously, why the paranoia? Why would you even want to be reading “news” on a site named Creeping Sharia? Isn’t the name warning enough to take whatever you see there with a grain of salt?

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  95. Scott says:

    @Southern Hoosier, If you find Stalingrad interesting you may enjoy Dan Carlin’s 4 podcasts on the German invasion of Russia. They can be found here, shows 27-30:

    http://www.dancarlin.com/disp.php/hharchive

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  96. anjin-san says:

    Scott,

    That’s a nice story. Amazing that SH could turn that into a hate & ignorance filled rant. Of course, he is what he is.

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  97. John Burgess says:

    @Souther Hoosier: So, this particular Muslim doesn’t think dogs are clean and finds an alternative. Many Muslims might agree with her. Other Muslims–like the ones who have dogs, breed dogs, use dogs–don’t.

    This particular Muslim seeks a religious accommodation, based on her belief–not any Shariah law followed by all Muslims, note–and the school says, ‘Sure!’

    You might care to look into the history of religious accommodation in the US, starting, say, back in Founding Fathers days. You know that little thing about how you can ‘affirm’ rather than ‘swear’ an oath? Religious accommodation. Here–as, in fact, throughout US history–it’s Christians being accommodated primarily. The case of this Muslim woman, however, gets flagged by the paranoiacs as an example of how we’re all marching down the road to Islamic death camps.

    You might care to visit Volokh Conspiracy and do a search on ‘religious accommodation’. Eugene Volokh–as libertarian, if it matters–is an expert on 1st and 2nd Amendment Constitutional Law. He gives a pretty good run down of the issue, as well as who benefits from it.

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  98. anjin-san says:

    SH… sorry pal, but I am done with you. Only the worst kind of dirtball could take a story about a blind girl who is simply trying to go to school, improve her life, and exercise constitutional rights and add that up to “Islam is evil”. What a pathetic wretch you are. Well, at least you have wingnut cred.

    Many Jews believe pigs are unclean and forbidden. Do you hate them too?

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  99. Okke says:

    Now, if Jones is uncovering rampant hypocracies, unconstitutional speech suppression and rampant political-religious violence, exactly what makes him an “asshat”? It’s obvious that what he’s doing is important.

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  100. Jack says:

    What was the position taken by the bloggers here regarding the “free speech zones” set up any time President George W. Bush made a public appearance? I don’t see a substantive difference, except for the perception that the “free speech zones” were set up so President Bush wouldn’t have his feelings hurt by having to see people protesting his policies and actions.

    I opposed the “free speech zones”, but if they were OK, why is allowing Jones to protest in a location other than in front of the mosque any worse in terms of “prior restraint”?

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  101. gsr says:

    As a life-long Dearborn resident, all I can say is this: Islam is anti-thetical to Western, American, Judeo-Christian values and traditions. The problem is immigration of muslims. Since the immigration explosion of the 1990’s began, Dearborn has gone from a town with some Mohammedans to one that is almost completely Mohammedan in culture.

    Only way to prevent it from happening to your hometown is to stop Islamic immigration. With muslims comes Sharia Law. Good luck wtih that.

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  102. bppc says:

    Kind of a coincidence, when we have a Mooooslim-boy in the White House, eh? Remember, our effeminate genius Barry Soetoro said in Egypt that he sees it as HIS REPSONIBILITY to defend Islam from anyone’s “negative” criticisms.

    Sounds like Dearborn is putting into practice The One (Term) Wonder’s policy of letting islam grow and flourish in the USA. A year and a half to go until this educated idiot is just a footnote in history. .

    I guess when the media is 99% behind you, you can get away with just about anything. Can you say biased news media? Ha, ha, ha, ha. ha………

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  103. teapartydoc says:

    Most effective asshat we’ve seen in a long time. He’s an asshat all right, but he’s doing a better job defending our liberal values than any of us posting have ever done, whether he knows it or not. A hero is recognized by the fact that when they traipse through a hail of gunfire or walk into a burning building they know exactly what they’re doing. If this dude ever shows that he knew all along what he was doing he deserves a statue.

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  104. sk says:

    “Pastor Terry Jones is an asshat. Of that there can be no doubt.”

    Why do arguments from the right always have to start out with an appeal to the left?

    I don’t recall reading defenders of Larry Flynt stating that “Larry Flynt is an asshat, but…”
    or, arguments about Piss Christ stating that “Serrano is an asshat, but…”

    The Left is comfortable defending the first amendment. The right, even when arguing for an ideological concept, has to signal to the Left (‘don’t worry leftist journalist, I’m smart like you-I dislike Terry Jones! See? I said he’s an asshat! Invite me to your cocktail parties, please….’), that its smart and sophisticated and has all the right opinions on all the right cultural memes.

    Its like you are apologizing for your argument before you make it.

    I think the only guy that has the courage to not care what the Left thinks of him is P.J. O’Rourke-and even he hides it behind a ‘too drunk to take anything seriously’ fratboy persona.

    sk

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  105. john personna says:

    You know, I only proposed a very specific and mild law, against “destroying symbols of identity, or some such.” Everyone who answered “so we can’t protest, bla bla bla” did the worst thing. When you can’t disagree with what someone said, make something else up, and disagree with that.

    ““Destroying symbols of identity,” is very much in line with flag burning laws that so many favored, and … a mild punishment actually makes it a BETTER protest. If you are ready to risk a couple months in county (or remember, community service), then you must think it’s really important, right?

    It allows you to much effectively demonstrate your civil disobedience. That’s the way it worked back in the Apartheid days, when people went down to get arrested protesting at the South African embassy.

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  106. john personna says:

    “Pastor Terry Jones is an asshat. Of that there can be no doubt.”

    Why do arguments from the right always have to start out with an appeal to the left?

    That’s not an appeal to the left, it’s tagging the base at “reason” before going around the bend to “ideological purity.”

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  107. Southern Hoosier says:

    Scott says: Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 23:40

    @Southern Hoosier, If you find Stalingrad interesting you may enjoy Dan Carlin’s 4 podcasts on the German invasion of Russia. They can be found here, shows 27-30:

    Thanks.
    I find the Russians both admiral and repugnant at the same time. Admiral for what how much suffering they were were willing to endure for Mother Russian and repugnant for how much suffering they inflicted on each other in the name of Mother Russia.

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  108. Southern Hoosier says:

    anjin-san says: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 02:04

    Many Jews believe pigs are unclean and forbidden. Do you hate them too?

    So do Muslims, Hindus and Buddhist. But only the Islamic religions believe in killing, converting or enslaving unbelievers. I know I am suppose to love and forgive my enemies, but it is hard to love people that think half world’s population, women, are inferior. It’s hard to love people that that burn little school girls alive for not wearing the proper headscarf. Or kill a 14 year old rape victim for committing adultery. Or what about throwing acid in the face of disobedient wives or cutting off their ears and nose. Then there is the marriage of children to old men. Anybody that defends or practices Islam is sick.

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  109. exceller says:

    Jones is a hero in my book. He has done nothing wrong and has brought much attention to the true nature of the barbaric death cult. Something is wrong with you if it’s his simple gestures which have drawn your ire. Having laws protecting the concept of ‘symbols of identity’ makes about as much sense as hate crime laws.

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  110. john personna says:

    Jones is a hero in my book. He has done nothing wrong and has brought much attention to the true nature of the barbaric death cult.

    This is the stuff that brings 100 year wars.

    And the people who want that are just stupid enough to drag the rest of us along with them.

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  111. Southern Hoosier says:

    sk says: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 07:24

    “Pastor Terry Jones is an asshat. Of that there can be no doubt.”

    Why do arguments from the right always have to start out with an appeal to the left?

    We don’t want to the left to think that we actually agree with Rev Jones for practicing his freedom of expression.

    Simple, lesson learned in war. Dehumanize your enemy. Those are gooks not Vietnamese, makes them easier to kill. Much easier to lynch n***ers than is it Afro-Americans. Rev Jones is not an American citizen with rights he is a asshat. That makes it easier to attack and vilify him.

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  112. george says:

    You know, I only proposed a very specific and mild law, against “destroying symbols of identity, or some such.”

    Who’s symbols of identity? I don’t see how such a list can’t be political. For instance, if the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster decides that a plate of pasta is a symbol of identity for them, does eating pasta become an illegal act?

    And how about art pieces like the piss-Christ? The cross certainly is a recognized symbol of Christianity. Does art like that become illegal? If I’m a member of a group, how do I get my symbols put on the list? Say the Hell’s Patch – they obviously feel strongly about it. Where do they apply? The decision is always going to be political.

    I really don’t see any reason to protect people from being offended. There are real reasons for affirmative action policies. There are real reasons for the state spending money to educate people on issues that lead to prejudice and hate. But if you’re in fact creating a right not to be offended then you completely shut down any sort of progress, because almost any sort of criticism offends someone.

    And about the seeing-eye-horse … it seems like a good idea; its adding an option (now you can choose between seeing-eye dogs and horses). If they banned dogs it would be a very bad idea, but that’s not what happened. Adding options is good, and is actually why free speech, even offensive speech, has to be allowed … it allows people to consider new things.

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  113. Southern Hoosier says:

    exceller says: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 08:21

    Jones is a hero in my book.

    I agree. He is no different than the Danish Cartoonist or Theo” van Gogh.

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  114. Southern Hoosier says:

    I made a mistake on the seeing eye dog story. Either I am the only person to make a mistake or the only one to admit it, which is it?

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  115. PD Shaw says:

    The SCOTUS won’t allow a mild punishment of speech, any more than it will allow civil lawsuits like defamation to abridge public speech. The choices are these: ignore the speech or for private citizens to speak back against it.

    The only other “out,” which I suggested months ago is that if Jones is such a substantial threat to the ongoing wars, the military can send him to Gitmo for temporary detention.

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  116. john personna says:

    PD, you keep forgetting that freedom of speech is not absolute.

    Wikipedia:

    Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on “hate speech”.

    (And sure, protect the Flying Spaghetti Monster)

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  117. Southern Hoosier says:

    PD Shaw says: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 08:49

    The only other “out,” which I suggested months ago is that if Jones is such a substantial threat to the ongoing wars, the military can send him to Gitmo for temporary detention.

    How about we send him to Afghanistan to be tried by the Taliban? It was their law he violated, not ours.

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  118. Epiphyte says:

    John Persona said:

    “It wouldn’t have to be much, just enough to draw a line in the sand, so that next time “asshats” listen when they hear an “international outrage and pleas from world leaders to cancel the event.”

    John, I am a woman and a couple of my favorite people are islamic (Iranian) apostates. Saying that people should be forbidden from protesting or criticising the Quran – which forms the basis of both law and government in several countries (including Iran) – is like saying they should not be permitted to protest their unjust governments and their unjust laws. By accepting this shariah informed view you, are unwitting siding against women, apostates, (often) blaspemous critics, homosexuals and REAL muslim reformers – all of whom are at grave risk under islamic law. This is an abominable postiion t to take. If there is ANYWHERE one should be permitted to criticise the islam and the Quran, it’s in the United States in front of an Iranian linked grand mosque.

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  119. john personna says:

    Ah well, whatever. Between absolutists and non-metaphoric RWar fans, we’ll get what we’ll get.

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  120. john personna says:

    @Epiphyte, I wasn’t saying cancel all protests, by “event” I meant the Koran burning.

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  121. Southern Hoosier says:

    @ Epiphyte
    Thank you. Well said.

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  122. cfpete says:

    john personna says:

    PD, you keep forgetting that freedom of speech is not absolute.

    JP,
    You keep forgetting that we are in the United States and while there are some limitations on speech; the ones you propose are patently unconstitutional.

    You are not proposing some “minor law.” You are proposing an amendment to the Constitution.

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  123. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 08:57

    @Epiphyte, I wasn’t saying cancel all protests, by “event” I meant the Koran burning.

    Any criticism or discussion by unbelievers of the Koran, Islam or Mohammad is just as offensive as burning the Koran. You don’t understand Islam do you?

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  124. john personna says:

    Any criticism or discussion by unbelievers of the Koran, Islam or Mohammad is just as offensive as burning the Koran. You don’t understand Islam do you?

    Really, who was killed for the comments above? Anybody?

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  125. john personna says:

    You keep forgetting that we are in the United States and while there are some limitations on speech; the ones you propose are patently unconstitutional.

    I am not a supreme court justice, let alone a supreme court majority, so I wouldn’t really know.

    But then neither is anyone else here.

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  126. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 08:57

    @Epiphyte, I wasn’t saying cancel all protests, by “event” I meant the Koran burning.

    More than two years ago, the Pentagon issued detailed rules for handling the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, requiring U.S. personnel to ensure that the holy book is not placed in “offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty/wet areas.” The three-page memorandum, dated Jan. 19, 2003, says that only Muslim chaplains and Muslim interpreters can handle the holy book, and only after putting on clean gloves in full view of detainees.

    http://goo.gl/aj0L5
    See if you even touch the Koran, you may offend Muslims. Ever try to read a book without touching it?

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  127. Tom Perkins says:

    “This is the stuff that brings 100 year wars.”

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  128. george says:

    (And sure, protect the Flying Spaghetti Monster)

    Okay, so eating pasta is now illegal, as it destroys the symbol of that church. Do we also forbid screening of films that show someone eating pasta, or do we allow historical displays of such sacrilege?

    I’m going to start a church who’s holy symbol is long grass – and declare that lawn mowers are offensive to our beliefs. If nothing else, it’ll get me out of cutting my lawn, and remove pesky bylaws requiring that.

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  129. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says:
    Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 09:14

    Any criticism or discussion by unbelievers of the Koran, Islam or Mohammad is just as offensive as burning the Koran. You don’t understand Islam do you?

    Really, who was killed for the comments above? Anybody?

    John you just don’t get it, do you?

    Uproars over criticism of radical Islam almost always follow the same ironic trajectory. First, someone makes an observation about the violent character of Mohammed or Islam. Then what follows? Violent protests and rioting, which serve to illustrate and confirm vividly the criticism that occasioned them.

    http://goo.gl/O8Yly

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  130. Southern Hoosier says:

    Tom Perkins says:
    Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 09:24

    “This is the stuff that brings 100 year wars.”

    And if we have to spend a 100 years fighting for our liberty, so be it.

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  131. Terry Jones applied for a permit for a public assembly in a public place, and was denied it. He has never committed a violent act against any human being, nor was his demonstration to be anything but a public expression of opposition to a vile, anti-human creed that preaches the overthrow of all secular governments and the imposition of its barbaric sharia law upon all persons. For this, he has been vilified as if he were a mass murderer, or at least an advocate of such. He and his followers have been threatened with every imaginable doom, including death…for condemning the eminently condemnable contents of a book.

    But his behavior is what you style “asshattery?”

    Check your premises, Mr. Harris. Indeed, check your Americanism. There’s something lacking from both.

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  132. john personna says:

    And if we have to spend a 100 years fighting for our liberty, so be it.

    I believe you are suggesting that we fight 100 years for asshattery.

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  133. Epiphyte says:

    John Persona said,

    “I wasn’t saying cancel all protests, by “event” I meant the Koran burning.”

    But ultimately, all the abominable aspects of islam and shariah law are rooted in either the Quran or the hadith. For example, Iran permits pedoephelic marraige for girls (age 9). The law derives from the example of Mohammad and Ayeshia, but is also supported by a provision in the Quran, verse 65:4, which establishes the waiting period for the divorce of “prepubescent girls.” The Quran also endorses polygamy, wife beating, jihad to establish the supremacy of islamic law and the use of catured kuffar women as sexual slaves – and these aren’t just descriptive passages about times long past, they are current and operative exhortations that are being implemented TODAY, RIGHT NOW, by islamic states like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan (forced conversions and halal sexual enslavement), etc. . . . so I ask, why not burn the Quran? Does the fact that some good muslims find the act offensive trump my right to express my disgust and outrage by burning it? Sorry Johnny, I won’t submit.

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  134. cfpete says:

    JP says:
    I am not a supreme court justice, let alone a supreme court majority, so I wouldn’t really know.

    But then neither is anyone else here.

    JP,
    You never know, Scalia may be lurking.

    It is possible to read the opinions of the Supreme Court.
    I can assure you that you would have no support for your proposal from the current court.
    I can also assure you that no one sharing your opinions has any chance of getting within a mile of the Supreme Court

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  135. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says:
    Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 09:31

    And if we have to spend a 100 years fighting for our liberty, so be it.

    I believe you are suggesting that we fight 100 years for asshattery.

    If that’s what you want to call freedom of speech, then yes.

    I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it

    attributed to Voltaire

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  136. Tom Perkins says:

    “This is the stuff that brings 100 year wars.”

    I very much appreciate the “asshattery” of Terry Jones. It draws out the persons actually breaching the peace in such a case–and as long as he’s burning his own Koran, it’s not him–and exposes those actual wrongdoers to civil, criminal, and yes military prosecution. BTW, it isn’t a 100 year war it’s a 1300 year war.

    If it’s one you want to lose.

    BTW one of the later tacks you’ve taken is to claim Terry Jones action amount to being fighting words. The concept of fighting words is that they’re suddeness and un-anticipatedness leaves persons of usual self control unable to get control of the usual and expected range of emotions, leading to fighting as a matter as a usual matter of course.

    It is to be expected that knowing of Jones beforehand, that Moslems who might be provoked by him can get their emotions under control beforehand. Those who can’t get control of themselves by then are ones who should be enrolled in the criminal justice system for our own protection, or deported. If such happens we should thank Jones for bringing those unstable persons to light.

    Just to re-iterate.

    Burning Korans ok. Rioting about burning Korans not.

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  137. Some Guy says:

    Michigan doesn’t count. For anything.

    (By the way, this website has the most scripts I’ve ever seen. What the heck are you doing to your readers?)

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  138. Tom Perkins says:

    “I believe you are suggesting that we fight 100 years for asshattery.”

    I propose we spend the next 20 to 50 years fighting for our own freedoms, and bringing to an end the 1300 years of war that have already gone on.

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  139. john personna says:

    What you guys are proposing is that Americans should always be inhumane, that we should always oppose the values of others even when they do not infringe our rights in any important way.

    I know it’s hard for you, but remember that I haven’t spoken against free assembly. I haven’t spoken against protest. I haven’t spoken against free speech.

    I even drew a line between Koran burning and cartoon drawing. Why?

    One is unnecessary incitement, and one is necessary to preserve our real rights.

    Or shorter, we wan’t free speech. We don’t really need to be dicks about it.

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  140. willis says:

    “MLK was ‘inciting’ riots by saying things racist southerners would react violently to.”

    Not to mention racist northerners, you bigoted creep. Remember Howard Beach, Boston busing, Detroit and national guard, Watts?

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  141. john personna says:

    Shorter you: “no, it’s important that we be asshats!”

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  142. john personna says:

    BTW, what did the Apostles do when they disagreed with folks in other cities across the world?

    Did they burn their books? Or did they write them letters?

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  143. PD Shaw says:

    john personna, other countries outlaw hate speech, which is all that Wikipedia entry is saying. We need to operate within the parameters of our legal system. One of the reasons I linked to the Brandenberg Wikipedia entry was to give easy access to what was unanimously protected: the burning of crosses, hateful and profane speech against Blacks and Jews, speaking about “revengeance” against them. The defendant was found guilty of advocating violence. Jones is far within the realm of protected speech.

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  144. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says:
    Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 09:45

    BTW, what did the Apostles do when they disagreed with folks in other cities across the world?

    Did they burn their books? Or did they write them letters?

    They were writing to their fellow Christians and discussing in a civil manner a difference of opinion.

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  145. Tom Perkins says:

    “What you guys are proposing is that Americans should always be inhumane,”

    Nothing inhumane about burning a book.

    “that we should always oppose the values of others even when they do not infringe our rights in any important way.”

    We should oppose values which are abjectly and diametrically opposed to ours, and Islamic values are.

    “I know it’s hard for you, but remember that I haven’t spoken against free assembly.”

    Yes you did.

    “I haven’t spoken against protest.”

    Yes you did.

    “I haven’t spoken against free speech.”

    Yes you have.

    “I even drew a line between Koran burning and cartoon drawing. Why?”

    There’s no rational reason for it, you just want to be able to say you bent over for the Moon-god’s rioting followers, which somehow means you weren’t an asshat. I think it means you are one, frankly, just not one Terry Jones would agree with.

    “One is unnecessary incitement, and one is necessary to preserve our real rights.”

    Terry Jones is not telling them to riot, he’s saying, “I don’t like your book and what I think it leads you to do.” He has that right.

    “Or shorter, we want free speech. We don’t really need to be dicks about it.”

    What free speech means is, we are not respectful in law of the sensibilities of either apathetic majorities, apoplectic minorities, or hopefully even apoplectic majorities about when being a “dick” about it is something which can be criminalized.

    What does it take for that to get between your ears?

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  146. Southern Hoosier says:

    @ John

    What part of Islam bad, freedom of speech good, don’t you understand?

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  147. Paul A'Barge says:

    Pastor Terry Jones is an asshat. Of that there can be no doubt.

    Doubt.

    Islam is a cult. And cults should be confronted with their asshattery. And those who confront cults are not asshats. They are to be commended.

    Burn more Korans. Now.

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  148. superdestroyer says:

    The only appropriate response whenever a Muslim claims to be offend by a non-Muslim is to tell them to “shut up and go away.” No one in America should ever have to worry about offending Muslim. Since they do not consider non-Muslims as their equal, there is no reason to treat them as equals. The law should treat them the same as everyone else but society should treat them as idiot and fools until they drag themselves into modern times.

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  149. Southern Hoosier says:

    @John

    I guess I had better not burn my copy of Mein Kampf for fear of offending you and other Neo-Nazis and get 60 days in jail

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  150. john personna says:

    I think it’s obvious Southern Hoosier that this thread is collecting people who want to say “Islam bad” at least as much as they want to say “freedom of speech good.”

    I think that’s sad.

    You live in America. You have freedom of speech. You have freedom of religion(!).

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  151. Jack says:

    Mr. Harris,

    the more I hear the ritual condemnation of Terry Jones, the less tolerance I have for it. Because the ritual condemnation demands that agree with a number of assumptions.

    Is Islam really a “religion of peace”? Don’t make me laugh.

    Is Islam really a “tolerant” religion? Ask people in Darfur, the Congo, Kenya, people at those churches in Saudi Arabia. Again, don’t make me laugh.

    Are Muslims really peaceful and full of love for their fellow man?

    Look at any Muslim charity you like. No Muslim charity gives and supports non-Muslims.

    All of the above isn’t the way I like it, but it is the way it is.

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  152. Southern Hoosier says:

    @superdestroyer
    Why is it only the followers of the religion of peace get offend? Christians, Jews, Buddhist and Hindus never seem to get offended, go out, riot, burn and kill.

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  153. bppc says:

    Mooooslims are, almost completely, non-Americans, in that, Islam is not native to this country. Most mooooslims today are either recent immigrants or the children of recent immigrants.

    They are not like Black Americans who were discriminated against in SOME (not all) areas of the United States, decades ago. Mooooslims are foreigners (like illegal alien Latinos) – they are not Americans. Islam and it’s primitive Sharia Law do not belong here.

    Hundred Years War? I say “bring it on”. Islam and the West can not co-exist.

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  154. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says:
    Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:02

    You live in America. You have freedom of speech. You have freedom of religion(!).

    Yes, quite true. We don’t live an Islamic country and a lot of us on here want to keep it that way.

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  155. Bill Johnson says:

    If TJ is an asshat, then sign me up.

    Each and every one of us needs to defend our freedoms. Burning a single book? Free to do so.

    Or maybe, just maybe, the asshats are on the other side, unable to control themselves, threatening each and every one of us with death if we don'[t let their infantile selves rule the world.
    And bag their women.

    I quite prefer incenting them to riot and kill themselves. Less for us to do. And of course, they managed to burn more of those sacred books than TJ did.

    As ex-military, you should applaud this use of asymmetrical warfare.

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  156. john personna says:

    You do understand that freedom of religion means that we have Islamic Americans, right?

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  157. john personna says:

    (And that a “don’t burn sh*t” law would mean they couldn’t burn Bibles as well. Fair’s fair.)

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  158. Jack says:

    Mr. Personna,

    Remember the Danish Cartoons? (Notice the caps.)

    No MSM organization published them when the Muslims started to riot.
    No, offense, but the KKK was really bad in the 1920’s. Look it up in the Library of Congress. The KKK had rallies of over 100,000 people in Washington, D.C. Oh, and the KKK, the armed wing of the Democratic Party, South, also killed about 4,000 African Americans.

    But it took until the 1960’s for the Federal Govt. to actually take action.

    Oh, yeah, Islam is such a good religion. Just as violent as Christians, and Mormons, and Hindus and Buddhists.

    To agree with you, Mr. Personna, I have to close my eyes and stop up my ears.

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  159. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says:
    Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:09

    You do understand that freedom of religion means that we have Islamic Americans, right?

    Yes, but it does not mean that Muslims have the right to impose their religion on the rest of us. Notice we never have this discussion about Jews, Buddhist or Hindus .

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  160. george says:

    John Personna: cows are sacred to many Hindu’s. Every time someone eats a hamburger or steak, they are committing an act as offensive to some Hindu’s as burning the Koran is to some Muslims. By your argument, burning cows (on a grill or otherwise) should be banned … there doesn’t seem to be any way around it. Moreover, someone who eats a steak is as disrespectful of another’s beliefs as someone who burns a Koran or makes a piss-Christ.

    The only difference seems to be Hindu’s haven’t become violent over the issue. So because they’re not violent, we’re not going to respect their beliefs? We’re actually going to reward violent reaction to offensive action by banning it, while allowing the same sort of action against non-violent groups? Isn’t that backwards? Shouldn’t we be encouraging non-violent response?

    I’m serious, this is the precedent you want us to set.

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  161. Southern Hoosier says:

    @John
    I’ll say it again. You don’t understand Islam and your too stubborn to accept what the rest of us are saying. When I made a mistake on here, I admitted it.

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  162. Bill says:

    Asshat or not, he’s the only person to date in the country with the cojones to stand up to these flaming a-holes.

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  163. john personna says:

    Yes, but it does not mean that Muslims have the right to impose their religion on the rest of us.

    That’s why I proposed a “fair’s fair” law that would protect Bibles and flags as well.

    —-

    I’m kind of bored, but I don’t really feel bad about this thread because it’s one of those times when I’ve been “trapped” into a moderate and compassionate position. I defend free speech, free religion, and just propose a mild injunction against needless incitement. A mild injunction that improves civil relations, peace.

    You could still talk, criticize, protest, even proselytize.

    And on this Easter … I don’t think my attitude is really un-Christian.

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  164. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says:
    Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:28

    And on this Easter … I don’t think my attitude is really un-Christian.

    Not un-Christian, but un-American,

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  165. george says:

    Not un-Christian, but un-American,

    So proposing a law, and having an opinion is un-American? Brings to mind the 50’s and the committee for un-American activities. I dislike what he’s proposing, but there’s nothing un-American about proposing it … and I have to wonder who gets to decide what is American and what is un-American. Poll? Referendum? Congress? Pick random numbers out of a hat?

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  166. Tom Perkins says:

    “You do understand that freedom of religion means that we have Islamic Americans, right?”

    We do not, however, have non-criminal Americans who are Moslem who practice all the tenets of Islam as Mohammed practiced it.

    “That’s why I proposed a “fair’s fair” law that would protect Bibles and flags as well.”

    I propose instead what we have, which is freedom of speech. Which as it happens is antithetical to Islam.

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  167. Dodd says:

    What was the position taken by the bloggers here regarding the “free speech zones” set up any time President George W. Bush made a public appearance?

    I opposed them when the 1988 Democratic National Convention set them up to shove Operation Rescue off in a corner and when the Clinton administration used them and remain opposed to them to this day.

    Little good it does, though, since it’s the Secret Service, not the politicians, who are doing it.

    “Pastor Terry Jones is an asshat. Of that there can be no doubt.” Why do arguments from the right always have to start out with an appeal to the left?

    That’s not what that was. If you’ve read my posts, you’d see that I feel no need to genuflect to lefties when making an argument. The point of the lede is to emphasize the point which follows: Even asshats have Constitutional rights.

    I don’t drink; I don’t care if I get invited to cocktail parties or not.

    You know, I only proposed a very specific and mild law, against “destroying symbols of identity, or some such.”

    As I already said, your proposal is unconstitutional. Nor is it a “mild” punishment to be sent to jail for 2 months for exercising your rights. Even 1 minute is too much.

    I am not a supreme court justice, let alone a supreme court majority, so I wouldn’t really know. But then neither is anyone else here.

    I do. But one doesn’t need a to get a J.D. like I did to grasp this simple concept. You’d know, too, if you’d actually paid attention to the multiple SupCt cases cited in the post and this thread instead of getting your G.E.D. in Constitutional Law from the cherry picked portions of Wikipedia that you think support your untenable position.

    But his behavior is what you style “asshattery?” Check your premises, Mr. Harris. Indeed, check your Americanism. There’s something lacking from both.

    It’s the way he goes about it, not the message per se, that I object to. I think Jones is an attention-whoring egomaniac. That starts with the fact that he thrust himself into prominence by proposing to burn books. I do not hold to that, whatever the book.

    One can make one’s point without such excesses. Theo Van Gogh did. Jyllands-Posten did. MLK did. And Jones himself proposed to do so in this instance. So he does know the difference.

    I believe you are suggesting that we fight 100 years for asshattery.

    Cue Voltaire.

    Or shorter, we want free speech. We don’t really need to be dicks about it.

    And the whole point of this post is that the First Amendment protects even dicks. As it must, or it protects no-one, since there’s always some ninnyhammer who will get offended by just about anything. One person’s hypersensitivity is not the boundary marker of our Constitutional rights.

    Burn more Korans. Now.

    See above. Burning books is a noxious way of expressing oneself and inimical to the values of a free society. It’s Constitutionally protected, but that doesn’t make it okay.

    Mr. Harris, the more I hear the ritual condemnation of Terry Jones, the less tolerance I have for it.

    See above.

    I don’t really feel bad about this thread because it’s one of those times when I’ve been “trapped” into a moderate and compassionate position.

    On the contrary. You would jail people for exercising their Constitutionally protected rights. There’s nothing moderate about that. In fact, your position has become so ridiculous through the course of the thread, only two (not mutually exclusive) conclusions can be drawn from your responses: Either you realize you’re wrong but can’t admit it, so you keep backing and filling hoping to avoid having to do so or you’re trolling.

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  168. Southern Hoosier says:

    @george
    Saying that people need to be punished for offending someone is un-American

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  169. Tom Perkins says:

    “it’s one of those times when I’ve been “trapped” into a moderate and compassionate position”

    The Constitution is an absolute and not a moderate document, and experience hath shewn adherence to it’s tenets produces a more free, happy, satisfied, more prosperous, and to repeat the important part, free society than does “compassionate” accommodations to religious totalitarianism. Which is what you want.

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  170. SDN says:

    john personna, all you reveal by your comments is that you have never read the Koran and do not understand the philosophy behind it.

    Oh, and as for the Apostles, I look at what their Master did when He saw an institution being corrupted away from its’ original purpose: He picked up a whip and ran the criminals out.

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  171. Southern Hoosier says:

    SDN says:
    Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:52

    Oh, and as for the Apostles, I look at what their Master did when He saw an institution being corrupted away from its’ original purpose: He picked up a whip and ran the criminals out.

    It was His house and His right to do so, but don’t tell the Muslims that. John 1:1

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  172. john personna says:

    Shrug.

    “compassionate” accommodations to religious totalitarianism

    No, I found a common ground between Koran burning and flag burning.

    Actually, had we not had this history of flag burning controversy it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me. There wouldn’t have been an obvious generalization.

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  173. Tom Perkins says:

    “No, I found a common ground between Koran burning and flag burning.”

    Both are unconstitutional, and the “conservatives” who want it to be illegal at least want an amendment first to make it otherwise. You want to throw Jones and the Constitution under the bus without benefit of an amendment.

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  174. Did this thread get linked by some anti-muslim blog? There seems to be a sudden drop in the signal-to-noise ratio on the comments.

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  175. Southern Hoosier says:

    Another Koran burner defending freedom of speech and taking on the government. Check out her videos. Bacon makes great book markers for the Koran and lard a good fire accelerate.

    Ms. Barnhardt then moves on to Little Lindsey (Graham)’s declaration that “Free speech is a great idea but we’re in a war.”

    Point One: free speech is not just a great idea, it is “bedrock principle of Western civilization and the United States.”

    Point Two: “Individuals are free sovereign agents. Individuals are not property or drones of the state. The government doesn’t tell the people what to think and say. The people tell the government what to think and say through the mechanisms” of representative government.

    Point three: Intellectual snobbery. Ms. Barnhardt discerns it in Little Lindsey’s remarks. Terry Jones is a redneck Southern preacher with a drawl and a handlebar mustache to match. No fancy Ivy league education. Ergo, he’s not eligible for the same sort of Constitutional protection that, for example, Little Lindsey and his peers enjoy. “Listen, Jackass, it doesn’t work that way. The First Amendment applies to all American citizens equally. It does not operate on a sliding scale based upon how expensive an education one received, what one’s income is, or whether or not one is invited to tony soirées in Georgetown.”

    http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerkimball/2011/04/06/ann-barnhardt-culture-hero/

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  176. excellerq says:

    @ Stormy Dragon

    Nope, just a sanity swarm from Instapundit.

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  177. icc says:

    What “his asshattery” proved is that our “religion of peace” is malarkey. What “his asshattery” proved is that if you killed enough people, the “Land of the Brave” will keel over. What “his asshattery” proved is our “Land of the Free” is as strong as the next killing, ours or somebody else’s. What “his asshattery” proved is that our politicians are stupider than we’ve ever imagined.

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  178. I’ve been seriously contemplating making a huge statement for free speech in the United States by first dousing one of those verminous child-molester death-cult manuals called “Korans” in piss, then smearing dog manure on it, then burning it in gasoline-assisted melted lard, all in front of a high-definition video camera. The Koran would still stink worse than the piss and the manure.

    Copies of the extremely firm statement would go on DVD directly to the Iranian and Saudi Arabian embassies, with additional copies mailed to Al-Jazeera and other Islamovermin media outlets. That death-cult worship building in Dearbornistan would get a copy. YouTube would get a token copy, although those craven cowards would instantly boot it. BitTorrent would get its copy, and that traitorous Mohammedanist piece of shit Osama Obama would get a copy as well. Oh, yeah. That would make the Islamovermin jump and yell for certain. Who the hell cares what a bunch of rapist murderers think?

    Christians, Buddhists, Jews and others in this once-free country can either stand up on their own two hind legs and savagely fight back, or they can get used to crawling around, grovelling in front of the smirking, sneering Islamovermin.

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  179. Warren Bonesteel says:

    Pot, (Dodd) meets Kettle (Jones.)

    I may think that Dodd AND Jones are asshats. That doesn’t mean I sic the government on them and have them charged with crimes against decent behavior and speaking about things I may personally dislike or even despise.

    Free speech…it’s for everyone…especially asshats.

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  180. David R. Graham says:

    IANAL, Thanks for making this point about prior restraint. As you must know, in employer/employee and employee/employee relations it can be present. Probably that is different legally from the public/public context of this Dearborn situation, I do not know. I have experienced prior restraint in the employer/employee context, specifically at the point of mentioning to the employer suspicious activities incoming to their own public operating context that may threaten its reliability and safety. Regulators and regulations seem often to specialize in prior restraint, though probably in their context the courts would uphold it. I do not know.

    “Asshat” is, I submit, not a helpful term. For rhetorical purposes its use is understandable, however, IMO a technical term would best serve the long-term goal of peace and quiet (not suppressed, rather, dynamic and free). A cleric who is not really one — lots and lots of those today — or who deforms the profession — most modern clerics — is a charlatan. The first are uncalled — as many lawyers, teachers and doctors are as well — and the second are perfidious — as, again, many lawyers, teachers and doctors are.

    From a distance I estimate this man has no clerical calling. Let that be considered, and if experience bears out its veracity, let it be said the man is a charlatan, no cleric at all. I think you know that ordination, paper work and vestments do not a cleric make, not any more than comparable certifications a warrior make. The professions are distinguished by their resting in a call. No other occupation grounds so. The chances of this man being a deformed/deforming cleric are, IMO, low. He strikes me as not a cleric to begin with. One can assert “Asshat” but “charlatan” is technical, stronger and sharper. It is a clerical term of art.

    Thank you for your service to our country!

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  181. Tom Perkins says:

    “I think you know that ordination, paper work and vestments do not a cleric make, not any more than comparable certifications a warrior make.”

    You’re free to have an opinion, but it might be good of you to state the government has no place making the call you are making.

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  182. Eric Florack says:

    I think it was Winston Churchill who pointed up that…

    “civilisation is confronted with militant Mahommedanism. The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace. Luckily the religion of peace is usually the better armed.”

    Of course, given the gun laws in and around Dearborn…. Who are such laws protecting, I wonder?

    Chuchill went on to say that:

    “”How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

    “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science – the science against which it had vainly struggled – the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.”

    I happen to agree with Mr Churchill, here as does the pastor, I expect… and the latter being far more directly exposed to what Churchill describes so well.

    But isn’t it interesting how the government both in locality in question, historically a Liberal Bastian and the current administration always seem to fall on the side of overtly protecting the Muslim ?

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  183. An Interested Party says:

    It’s much more interesting how some are using this incident to push their own knee-jerk fears towards particular religions, poilitical ideologies, etc…

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  184. Eric Florack says:

    Say, rather, culture. Or are you afraid of the word?

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  185. Tom Perkins says:

    “It’s much more interesting …particular religions, poilitical ideologies, etc…”

    More interesting by far there are people who don’t think there should be a decisive response to the murder of thousands of Americans, a part of a war against all the rest of mankind by the Islamists going on now for over a thousand years. Past time to be done with them.

    We should have enough faith in our own societal concepts as they differ from theirs, to say these murders and what gave rise to them is intolerable to us, change or be ended.

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  186. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 13:54

    It’s much more interesting how some are using this incident to push their own knee-jerk fears towards particular religions, political ideologies, etc…

    You mean Judeo-Christianity and Western Civilization?

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  187. Southern Hoosier says:

    There is one major difference between Islam and Christianity. The atrocities committed by Christians are contrary to the teaching of Christ. The atrocities committed by Muslims is in keeping with the teachings of Mohammad.

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  188. [...] Jones, who was once again vaulted into the public eye thanks to a bizarre and clearly unconstitutional legal proceeding in Dearborn, Michigan on Friday, now says that he intends to return to Dearborn to protest what happened to him: Saying he was [...]

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  189. jgreene says:

    Islam is an intolerant, hateful political, cultual, legal and religious system that separates human beings into two distinct groups – Muslims and kafirs (non-Muslims).

    There is no Golden Rule in Islam and when Muslims are in a majority in any Nation, nation state or subdivision of a state, they treat non-Muslims as nonhumans. It is quite simple, all ignorant kafirs (that is YOU non Muslims) is read the Koran, Sira and Hadith and you will understand why Muslims have to lie about their ‘Religion of Peace”.

    Isalm is not and has never been a Religion of Peace UNLESS you submit to Islam.

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  190. Mark Regan says:

    Let me try to bring things back to the original post.

    “This case won’t have to go all the way to the Supreme Court. Michigan’s appellate court should vacate the convictions immediately. And then Pastor Jones will get to file his 1983 action and be entitled to damages from the state.”

    First, there aren’t “convictions.” There are peace bonds, and an order restraining Jones from going to the mosque. I agree that the order will be vacated in short order.

    Second, nothing stops Jones from filing a 1983 action while his appeal from the peace bond order is pending.

    Third, you can’t get damages from the State under 1983. Will v. Michigan State Police says that a state agency isn’t a person for purposes of 1983 damages.

    Fourth, it is hard to figure out whether there are officials who might be personally liable for damages under 1983. Aren’t the prosecutors going to get prosecutorial immunity?

    Mark Regan
    Anchorage, Alaska

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  191. Southern Hoosier says:

    jgreene says: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 14:46 Islam is not and has never been a Religion of Peace UNLESS you submit to Islam.

    Even that does not bring peace. Muslim are always killing other Muslims.

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  192. matt says:

    Even that does not bring peace. Muslim are always killing other Muslims.

    One of many bad habits that all religions share…Human nature is so screwed up that there are even Buddhist terrorists which makes utterly no sense according to their own religion..

    The name of the religion changes but the people stay the same..

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  193. matt says:

    This thread cracks me up. There are a bunch of Christians ignoring the terrible things in their own book while criticizing their cousins for all the terrible things in their book. It’s like none of you realize you have a beam in your own religion’s eye that needs removing..

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  194. An Interested Party says:

    Say, rather, culture.

    Oh, you mean like how some people in the majority population of this country seem to be scared to death that “foreign” cultures might be overtaking their own? Watch out for that Sharia Law, I tell ya! It’s coming for you!

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  195. just a sanity swarm from Instapundit.

    Ah, so we were linked by an anti-muslim blog.

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  196. Eric Florack says:

    Oh, you mean like how some people in the majority population of this country seem to be scared to death that “foreign” cultures might be overtaking their own? Watch out for that Sharia Law, I tell ya! It’s coming for you!

    Apparently, you’ve not been to Dearborn, of late.

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  197. Eric Florack says:

    Look, let’s break this out.

    Our culture is being overrun, and the attacks against that are being facilitated by the one entity that was supposed to be protecting it; government. Of course, that facilitation is being done in the name of “equal rights” ignoring, of course, the questions of which culture is responsible for better facilitation of those rights, And what happens to those rights when western culture falls.

    The problem on this kind of thing as with everything else, is that those outside of the mainstream are far more vocal, and usually far more violent than are the rest of us inside the mainstream of western culture . Which is why I have been urging those of us on the inside of the mainstream of western culture to start speaking up and be heard.

    And now of course, demonstrably, thiose attacking the culture are being protected by government.

    And what’s the tool used to eliminate responses to attacks on our culture? “Hate crimes.”
    As we have discussed here previously, hate crimes laws are seletively enforced at best.

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  198. An Interested Party says:

    I’m sure the reeducation campes are soon to follow…

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  199. matt says:

    Erik : I’m reasonably sure the native americans thought the same thing when your ancestors came over here. Unless your family was one of the later immigrants then it would be the group before your family arrived that thought the same thing..

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  200. anjin-san says:

    And now of course, demonstrably, thiose attacking the culture

    Exactly what culture is being attacked? Ignorant crackers?

    The problem on this kind of thing as with everything else, is that those outside of the mainstream are far more vocal, and usually far more violent than are the rest of us inside the mainstream of western culture

    Hmm. Don’t see a single shred of supporting evidence here.

    Which is why I have been urging those of us on the inside of the mainstream

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  201. anjin-san says:

    Which is why I have been urging those of us on the inside of the mainstream

    Lots of ignorance and fear on this thread bit. Your kind of crowd.

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  202. tom beebe st louis says:

    Why not equal treatment like a “Peace Bond” for the Yahoos at Westbrook Church? Says something when a preacher can’t protest the muslims who are killing our sons, but their families must endure the hate-filled insults from this church crowd.

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  203. [...] Dodd Harris recently noted, “even asshats have Constitutional rights”. And Terry Jones – Koran-burning [...]

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  204. Southern Hoosier says:

    Eric Florack says: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 18:10

    Oh, you mean like how some people in the majority population of this country seem to be scared to death that “foreign” cultures might be overtaking their own? Watch out for that Sharia Law, I tell ya! It’s coming for you!

    Apparently, you’ve not been to Dearborn, of late.

    I guess they haven’t been to Miami or many of the Southwestern cities. Try finding someone that will speak to you in English,

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  205. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 19:03

    I’m sure the reeducation camps are soon to follow…

    There here already. Their called public schools for the children and sensitivity training for the adults.

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  206. Mike Hunt says:

    It is no coincidence that Marc Somers “took” this case. The real story is in his relationship to the Arab community

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  207. Says something when a preacher can’t protest the muslims who are killing our sons

    The muslims in Dearborn, MI are not killing US soldiers.

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  208. wr says:

    “I guess they haven’t been to Miami or many of the Southwestern cities. Try finding someone that will speak to you in English,”

    SH — I realize this might be a difficult distinction for an upstanding white person like yourself, but those swarthy characters in the Southwest actually aren’t Muslims. Or Arabs. Or even Persians. And they’re not speaking Arabic. And, although this is probably just as bad to you, they’re not Musims but mostly Catholic.

    Oh, and if you want one of them to admit they speak English when they see you coming, you might want to take off the Confederate flag T-shirt…

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  209. Slartibartfast says:

    Balloon Juice has readers

    Appeal to popularity for the win!

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  210. Dodd says:

    Appeal to popularity for the win!

    And an utterly inapposite one, at that. As 30 seconds reading the link would have shown.

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  211. Southern Hoosier says:

    wr says:Monday, April 25, 2011 at 12:09

    Oh, and if you want one of them to admit they speak English when they see you coming, you might want to take off the Confederate flag T-shirt…

    I guess I should take my American flag shirt off. There is something about the American flag that a lot of Hispanic find offensive.

    I realize this might be a difficult distinction for an upstanding white person like yourself, but those swarthy characters in the Southwest actually aren’t Muslims.

    Sure about that?

    The Republican lawmaker told the Fox News Channel she is concerned about reports that Hezbollah terrorists have traveled to Venezuela, learned Spanish, and then gone into Mexico to mix in with the other illegal aliens trying to enter the United States.

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Security/Default.aspx?id=1089986

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  212. Southern Hoosier says:

    Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, more than 118,000 illegal immigrants who were caught after sneaking over the nation’s borders have walked right out of custody with a permiso in hand.

    They were from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Brazil. But also Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen – among 35 countries of “special interest” because of alleged sponsorship or support of terrorism.

    These are the so-called OTM, or “Other Than Mexican,” migrants too far from their homelands to be shipped right back. More than 70,000 have hit U.S. streets just since this past October.

    http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/immigration/otm.htm

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  213. wr says:

    That’s right, SH. All those gardeners and bus boys are really Islamic terrorists here to kill you and rape your daughters. You’d better buy lots of guns right away.

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  214. Southern Hoosier says:

    wr says:
    Monday, April 25, 2011 at 14:55

    That’s right, SH. All those gardeners and bus boys are really Islamic terrorists here to kill you and rape your daughters. You’d better buy lots of guns right away.

    Just some, not all. Just the ones from Islamic countries entering the country illegally from Mexico. Maybe there is a reason they can’t get in the county legally. Don’t have any daughters. Have plenty of guns, but I could always use more ammo.

    I know the drill when dealing with people that won’t respond to facts. Islam is peace. All those illegals are good hard working honest people that want a better life for themselves. Criminals never cross the border. http://www.ice.gov/

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  215. Southern Hoosier says:

    wr says: Monday, April 25, 2011 at 14:55

    That’s right, SH. All those gardeners and bus boys are really Islamic terrorists here to kill you and rape your daughters. You’d better buy lots of guns right away.

    Not terrorist, just common criminals. More facts for you to ignore

    The federal government is spending more than $1.5 billion each year to jail illegal immigrants throughout the country, according to a new report by the investigative arm of Congress.

    Criminal aliens have consistently made up about 25 percent of the federal prison population since 2001, according to the study

    Nearly 70 percent of the criminal aliens in federal prisons and 66 percent in state prisons were born in Mexico, the report found.

    http://goo.gl/FOSwz

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  216. An Interested Party says:

    There is something about the American flag that a lot of Hispanic find offensive.

    There really is no need for you to resort to projection against groups of people you don’t like…

    I know the drill when dealing with people that won’t respond to facts.

    Not as well as you know the drill when it comes to paranoia…

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  217. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says: Monday, April 25, 2011 at 20:20
    Not as well as you know the drill when it comes to paranoia…

    It’s not paranoia if your fears are real. Here some facts to ignore.

    Criminal aliens have consistently made up about 25 percent of the federal prison population since 2001, according to the study

    Nearly 70 percent of the criminal aliens in federal prisons and 66 percent in state prisons were born in Mexico, the report found.

    Then there are the Muslims coming across the border illegally, but that nothing to worry about. They just want a better life for themselves.

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  218. Southern Hoosier says:

    In what officials caution is now a dangerous and even deadly crime wave, Phoenix, Arizona has become the kidnapping capital of America, with more incidents than any other city in the world outside of Mexico City and over 370 cases last year alone. But local authorities say Washington, DC is too obsessed with al Qaeda terrorists to care about what is happening in their own backyard right now.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=6848672&page=1
    People in Phoenix are just out and out paranoid and have nothing to fear.

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  219. matt says:

    Like I said in the other thread where you were spewing your crap I have family in Pheonix. My fiancee is leaving friday morning to go visit her mom in Pheonix and I’m not the least bit worried. I’ve seen worse crap in Chicago…

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  220. Southern Hoosier says:

    matt says:
    Monday, April 25, 2011 at 21:50

    Like I said in the other thread where you were spewing your crap

    Take it up with the liberal press, ABC. I don’t make this stuff up.

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  221. Southern Hoosier says:

    matt says: Monday, April 25, 2011 at 21:50
    I’ve seen worse crap in Chicago…

    Considering the size of Chicago compared to Phoenix
    I just did a Google news search on phoenix police. Tell me again how safe Phoenix is. Your family does live in Phoenix and not some gated community in suburbia, right? I guess Google is as much a lair as ABC

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  222. Eric Florack says:

    Erik : I’m reasonably sure the native americans thought the same thing when your ancestors came over here. Unless your family was one of the later immigrants then it would be the group before your family arrived that thought the same thing..

    So, are you arguing that this is a natural progression and to be embraced? Or are you suggesting an inevitability here?

    Hmm. Don’t see a single shred of supporting evidence here.

    That’s because you’ve chosen to ignore the evidence compiled over centuries from around the world, and are particularly blind to the last 70 years or so. No shock, that.

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  223. Southern Hoosier says:

    Eric Florack says: Monday, April 25, 2011 at 23:13
    That’s because you’ve chosen to ignore the evidence compiled over centuries from around the world, and are particularly blind to the last 70 years or so. No shock, that.

    So are you saying that like all great empires and civilizations we too will fall? And like most will fall from within?

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  224. Tom Perkins says:

    “The muslims in Dearborn, MI are not killing US soldiers.”

    The ones who would riot in response to Terry Jones are in league with those who are killing US soldiers. It would be good to know who they are so that can be handled.

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  225. Tom Perkins says:

    “that can” /= “that they can”

    Yeesh. Typos. More coffee required.

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  226. anjin-san says:

    That’s because you’ve chosen to ignore the evidence compiled over centuries from around the world, and are particularly blind to the last 70 years or so.

    I already knew you have nothing. You did not need to confirm it…

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  227. matt says:

    Considering the size of Chicago compared to Phoenix
    I just did a Google news search on phoenix police. Tell me again how safe Phoenix is. Your family does live in Phoenix and not some gated community in suburbia, right? I guess Google is as much a lair as ABC

    haha One day I’m a poor welfare liberal living off your hard earned money and the next day I’m a wealthy limousine liberal living in a gated community. You guys crack me up :P

    I wasn’t kidding when I said I lived in a camper for a while..

    So, are you arguing that this is a natural progression and to be embraced? Or are you suggesting an inevitability here?

    I’m suggesting it’s nothing new and is indeed inevitable but also that it would require extreme measures to attempt to control this natural progression. IN the end your efforts would be futile as even without an influx of newcomers we as a society would continue to change based off purely internal growth. To embrace or fight is up to you..

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  228. Southern Hoosier says:

    matt says: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 20:41

    haha One day I’m a poor welfare liberal living off your hard earned money and the next day I’m a wealthy limousine liberal living in a gated community. You guys crack me up :P

    Wasn’t asking about you. I was asking about you family that you made reference to living in Phoenix. I work inside gated communities all the time and I don’t recall a lot of wealthy limousine people living there. Most seem to be either retires or just ordinary people willing to pay for a little extra safety in their lives.

    And the Google news is wrong? And ABC was wrong? You for for to answer those questions.

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  229. matt says:

    And the Google news is wrong? And ABC was wrong? You for for to answer those questions.

    WOW you discovered that crime happens in a city. Good for you.

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  230. Southern Hoosier says:

    matt says: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 22:18

    And the Google news is wrong? And ABC was wrong? You for for to answer those questions.

    WOW you discovered that crime happens in a city. Good for you.

    I did long ago, but you told me when I was talking about crime in Phoenix. “…..you were spewing your crap” And went on to tell me how safe Phoenix was. To hear you talk, there was no crime in what is called the Kidnapping Capital of the United States.

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  231. [...] because of things they said, wrote, or printed.  Don’t think it can’t happen here.  (Police Chief Haddad, paging Police Chief Haddad.  Please report to the white courtesy [...]

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