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Ear to the Ground

Savage Not Welcome in Britain

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Posted on May 5, 2009
Savage
portland.indymedia.org

Savage fires back: “So who else will be banned—all the people who listen to my show, 10 million people? Should they also not go to Britain?”

Along with the many other potential drawbacks that may ensue from striking an ultra-conservative pose in public, it would appear that radio “personality” Michael Savage’s travel possibilities are now limited in the greater U.K. region as a result of his on-air shtick.

SF Gate:

On Tuesday, British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith published the names of 16 of 22 people banned from the country since October for allegedly fostering extremism or hatred. Along with Savage, who has called the Quran, the Muslim holy book, “a book of hate,” Muslim extremists, jailed Russian gang members and a militant Israeli settler were banned. Smith cited “public interest” reasons for not disclosing six of the names.

Since 2005, the United Kingdom has excluded 101 people for “unacceptable behavior, including animal rights extremists, right-to-life, homophobe and far-right extremists, as well as those who advocate hatred and violence in support of their religious beliefs,” Robin Newmann, spokesman for the British consulate in San Francisco, said by e-mail Tuesday. In 2008, he said, Smith “introduced new measures that favored excluding people who have spread hatred.”

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By Sepharad, May 27, 2009 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

Sodium, good luck dealing with your and your wife’s medical problems. People who have not experienced either circumstance (i.e., the deterioration of their own health or concern for the health of a loved one) have no concept of the intellectual, emotional havoc such things can wreak. Bad enough when one of you is under attack, terrible when both of you are struggling. Requires much sensitivity and resilience and if possible a bit of humor on both sides to make it bearable. I hope it won’t be too long before you are able to resume commenting on TD from time to time—you’ll be missed in the meantime.

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By Leefeller, May 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

Sodium, PS:

I remember Godsend from several years back on TD, his posts were excruciatingly annoying to some though I found them amusing.  For some reason if TD kicked me off, I would be pleased, for my time will be well spent in other endeavors.

Never thought of TD as a textbook example of free speech and still don’t. 

Would it be safe to say, if either of us had our own kingdoms, we would have different qualifiers defining courteous speech?

In my case I would prefer to rule as the Queen of Harts and would be forever yelling off with their heads.

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By Leefeller, May 27, 2009 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

Sodium

May things go well for you.

Pretenders may be what I call opportunists.  A most predatory association to life not necessarily survival, instead grabbing for power, stepping on others to obtain it.  A most disgusting behavior, but real none the less. On the other hand, predators or opportunists think nothing of stepping on others to achieve their goals, maybe they find it pleasant and gratifying?

Seems, History has been one big ground hog day.

Must say some find my posts cryptic and even obtuse as one poster has stated.  Their is a failing of the written word compared to dialog and conversations.  One advantage is in the written word, it is harder to say he said; she said!  Interpretations become prominent via semantics. 

Thanks for the comments even though I do not agree with your comments, they provide for me, clear insight to why differences exist.

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By Sodium, May 26, 2009 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Leefeller,May 24 at 10:29 am.


Leefeller,

I believe that I have covered most of the points you raised in your other posts,in my last two posts. And there is no need to bother you with the same rants of mine all over again. This reminds of what Albert Enstein once said,in a way joking or criticizing himself. The following is not exact wordings of his,but close enough:

“Insanity is when you keep repeating the same experiment all over again and again and you expect to descover different results”

Although I respectfully disagree with some of your comments as spelled out in your above Re,especially the white and black thing about free speech,I just let it go at that.

What I really want to tell you in this post is that,I will be very busy from now on at home and at a near-by hospital,not too far from where I live,to take of my ailing heart and to take care of my disabled wife at home. Therefore,pls do not expect me to respond,if you have a question or a comment you want to hear from me about. I inform of my current circumstances,here,lest you may think I deliberately ignoring your questions or your comments. I may do it to others,but never never to those who have been honest and straight forwards with me and communicate with me through mutual respect and mutual courtesy.

Yeah,I do share your bias against absolutism of which we have plenty of around here,performed by some individuals who are incapable of recognizing that they are doing it in every ranting post they rant…..

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By Sodium, May 26, 2009 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Leefeller,

Please make the following correction in the seventh paragraph of my post of May 26 at 9:45,addressed to you:

In 1959,Nikita Khrushchev,the Head of the Soviet Union was attending a conference at the United Nations in New York,attracted the attention of the whole world when he ponded the conference table in the United Nations before him “BY HIS SHOE”,just for the sole purpose of disturbing etc…etc…

Sorry,I missed typing the three most hilarious words in the paragraph:

BY HIS SHOE….etc….etc…

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By Sodium, May 26, 2009 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: ardee,May 23 at 8:18 pm.

” Would not have been so much easier to have simply noted this first,rather than cryptically referring to my inaccuracies. “

ardee,

Once more I wish to strees the fact that by citing couple of books for you to consult,the only idea that was in my mind as I typed the first post addressed to you was excluding my own personal opinion and let you reach your own conclusion about the accuracies or unaccuracies in your post. I have been doing such a practice in helping people as to where they might get accurate information for years and no one ever complained. On the contrary,many expressed their thanks. I repeat I meant to be a helping hand for you.

Although being a “cryptic” is not really one of my many shortcomings/deficiencies,I do apologize if I hurt your feeling,because you have sounded to me as an honest person with good INTENTS as far as I could detect from reading your posts on some other threads of TD’s website.

By the way,I assume you are perhaps connected to the field of zoology,somehow,since in that field the word “cryptic” or “cryptically” or “crypto” or “cryptogram” or “cryptography” or “cryptographically” used often,especially in the coloration or rather markings of animals. This is just a guess on my part.

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By Sodium, May 26, 2009 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

CONTINUATION TO:

Re: Leefeller,May 22 at11:50

Leefeller,

The following comments of yours in the above Re have spelled out correctly one of the main points I have been after all along,from the start:

” If one wishes to respond to interpreted evil with a like response,so be it. “


EXCELLENT COMMENT,Leefeller. That is good enough for me. Therefore,I have no further comment to make on the above comment of yours,quoted above.


” I fail to see the ” Iron Bends Iron ” comment as relavant in connection to freedom of speech,maybe only as a response to a response. “


Well,Leefeller,the relavancy of the ” Iron Bends Iron ” can be looked at as a positive force,equal in intensity-if not more than that-to the negative intensity of the evil force in a speech in order to neutralize completely the nefarious intent in a speech. It seems to me that you really have said the same thing I have said if you just overcome your none existence ” failure? ” to see the relavancy of the ” Iron Bends Iron ” to the intent embodiedin the free speech-any speech. You really understood what I was after but with your well known,at least to me, your careful manner. Certaily,it is much better to be a bit careful than careless,as so evident to me in what some posters post.

~ Finally,I can assure you,Leefeller,that I am very very comfortable with the freedom of speech as the framers of the Constitution have intended to be used by as a constructive and certainly positive tool to tame the potential tyrany of the government against its own citizens. I do not believe for one single moment they have meant it to be used as a tool for hatred and bigotry as I have the misfortune of witnessing in the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries: The STRONG overwhelms the WEAK,the HAVE takes awy from the needy HAVE NOT….etc…

Yes,there are GENUINE CONTENDERS,in this world,relentlessly trying to establish sustainable harmony amongst peoples,cultures and religions. Of course,there are also the PRETENDERS who,exist in every society,pretending to be doing good for the common good but they really serving their own pocket books and hidden agendas. Those must be exposed through Freedom of Speech,ahead of the facts,if humanity cares to prevent another HOLOCAUST. That’s how Freedom of Speech means to me. I take what the Michael Savages of the world say very very seriously and try to combat it whenever and wherever it is appropriate.

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By Sodium, May 26, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Leefeller,May 22 at 11:50 am.

Leefeller,

~ No qualifier,Leefeller. I only have called for equal opportunity to challenge the nefarious intent in any speech. Equal opportunity does not exist,even at TD website.For a proof,please check an article entitled ” Beyond Disaster ” by Chris Hedges,published on August 6,2007. It is in TD archives. Please read all the comments as published on the forum of the article and give a special attention to the posts posted by Godsend and the protesters against what he posted.Eventually,Godsend was banned from posting at TD’s website. Although I have profoundly dispized every every comment,every paragraph and every post Godsend have posted against the Jews and the Zionists as human beings,I dare ask the following questions:

What is the difference between the hate speeches of Michael Savage and Godsend? There is none. Both are bigotted speeches. Michael Savage still rants his hatred and bigotry while Godsend has been band by TD,one of the most liber website.

Where were the PRETENDING champions of free speech as Godsend’s hateful posts were banned?

What has happened to the Freedom Of Speech for which the ladylike Sepharad supported as an employee of the American Civil Liberty Union(ACLU),inspite of her own disgust with the hateful content of the essay or speech,whatever it was,and subsequently she could not take it any longer and quitted her job?

I firmly believe that the intent of Sepharad was exceptionally genuine but she understably could not put-up with it. What I see here a genuine human emotion reacting to a hateful speech and paying the price for its publication by quitting her(Sepharad)job. I have made the important connection between emotions,intents and free speeches in eariel post addressed to you,Leefeller.

~ No first degree intent and second degree intent as in all legal Courts demand for sentencing the degree of punishment. The whole idea of the concept of intent,I believe,was based on the “FIRST ACT OF WAR” in the entire recorded history of the human race,as Cain murdered his own brother Abel,because God had accepted the offering presented by Abel while rejected the offering made by Cain. God knew before the fact that the intent of both and accepted one and rejected the other. Whether one believes in God or not does not really matter as long as one learns the wisdom behind the story as it is written in the Old Testament. That is why intent is so important in our lives,even when we talk with one another or by exchanging views through the internet/E-mails.

~Yes,intent can be redundant if the intent embodied in every speech we hear is the same. However,Cain-Abel’s biblical story proves that intent in different people can also be totally NONE redundant. I extrapolate even further and provide more credence to my views here,from memories to an event that seemed so hilarious: In 1959,Nikita Khrushchev,the head of the Soviet Union attracted the attention of the whole world when he pounded the conference table before him in the United Nations,just for the purpose of disrupting the speech that was being delivered by the American ambassador to the United Nations then. The presiding moderator of the meeting was demanding calm for an orderly conference but no avail. I saw all that on my Black and White TV while I was still a university student. In this case,I have witnessed three different intents working one against the other in one single place-a hall at the United Nations.

~ To answer your question as to one may see evil intent in a speech while another person may not,I say the answer to this question needs no brainer at all. If one sees the intent of evil in a speech as good,that is one’s prerogative,equally prerogative to the one who detects evil in the speech. I have no idea how to handle that,except let them keep debating the issue and most likely the relative truth will emerge at the end.

TO BE CONTINUED,IF TRUTHDIG PERMITS.
====================================

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By Shenonymous, May 24, 2009 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

The pre-WWII German mindset was not decidedly due to a harsh economy.  There were intentional forces at work long before WWII erupted in Europe.  Remilitarization of Germany by Hitler foretells the intention of that war and Jews were but a smokescreen.  A terrible smokescreen.  BTW:  WWII had its beginning with Japan attacking China in Manchuia 1931.  The German Workers Party was hugely supportive of the Nazi Party.  This indicates a long standing socialist platform and why the Nazis were called the Nationalist Socialist Party.  They were clever enough to commandeer the labor party structure for their own depraved purposes. The Jewry was denied state citizenship back there in the 1920s!  Like any economic system, socialism can be prostituted by a resourceful fascistic contingency.  Interestingly enough capitalism is accused of being fascist as well as is marxist economics.  Words are useful and because they are indifferent can be contorted as wanted.  That is why it is important for responsible human beings to be able to discern the truth.  But if truth is only relative, then recognizing anything as truth is impossible.

Leefeller, do you absolutely have a bias against absolutism?  I would suggest that without a paradigm (a model, an absolute), there cannot be any instance of it, ever, for it to have any meaning at all, for example, the paradigm of freedom of speech.  What is meant by saying the word or phrase without any qualifiers of any kind is what stands for the idea to which all instances of it must be measured (i.e., evil freedom of speech).  It is possible for there to be universals, that is, absolutes. 

You are correct about the use of qualifiers.  To attach qualifiers only gives opportunity for instances which are not the principle.  Thereby by putting emphasis on the qualifier, is to give it meaning rather than the principle.  If attachment of a qualifier is made, much explanation is required that justifies its use for there would be competing qualifiers.  That is what is happening with the freedom of speech issue and Savage.

Nevertheless, one cannot say a word with any meaning unless there is an absolute definition which is how absolutes come to exist. But there is a process by which these come into existence.  Food for thought in a future post. It is a mistake of category to take an absolute for its instances and a worse mistake to take instances for the absolute.  Therein lies the fallacy you so ably describe.

And Leefeller, it does not matter if our comments hit against a solid wall!  On these forums, we work out our own thinking so, most importantly, we can look at them objectively to see if they hold any water.  We are exercising our right to free speech.  I am reminded of a comment by Richard Feynman, the great physicist, when he asked in a book of the same title, “What Do You Care What Other People Think?”  If others respond, good, if not, then still good.

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By Leefeller, May 24, 2009 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Sodium,

Freedom of speech is what it is. Using the word intent in front of it is a qualifier used and designed for interpretation.  If one wants interpretation, then speech becomes interpreted speech according to the qualified intent of the one doing the interpreting, so it is no longer free speech.

If one assigns the specific word evil as in Sodium’s case, (one can actually assign any other word if desired) as intent, speech is no longer free.

What is amusing to me, Freedom of speech may be one of the few things which really seems to be black or white? (For I have a bias against absolutism’s)

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By ardee, May 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

Sodium, May 22 at 9:56 am #

Thank you for your corrections. In my dotage I guess…I had conflated the two wars, the first of which Israel did indeed launch a preemptive strike on the air forces, as both nations, Syria and Egypt had massed their forces in readiness, and the second , in which Egypt and Syria did indeed launch a surprise attack.

Would it not have been so much easier to have simply noted this first,rather than so cryptically referring to my inaccuracies?

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By Shenonymous, May 23, 2009 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

When it is very difficult to speak morally about an issue, when emotions and a confused mind make it that way, such as the severe conflict between Jews and Muslims (Israel/Islam), or the denial of Savage’s freedom of movement because of his spoken beliefs, the resort is to ‘analyze,’ then turn the attention to the moral issues.  And this is made clear in a lecture presented by Moshe Machover in 2006, “Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Resolution” see http://www.amielandmelburn.org.uk/articles/moshe machover 2006lecture_b.pdf

But the moral issues are what is at bottom the cause of the conflict.  The problem lies in the clash of moral beliefs.  The problem lies deeper than that even, in the fact that there are overarching morals that rise above the local, closed-systems of beliefs, that presents unrecognized problems since these universal, or abstract, morals override the local ones.  And the bigger problem then is that the universal ones are conveniently forgotten and individuals emotionally act on their local (personal) morals.  However, a society’s collective morals becomes their code of ethics and those codes are to a fault based on universals.  So when local morals disregard the higher ethical code two kinds of conflict occur:  The conflict with other groups with opposite beliefs; and the conflict within the society that violates the society’s code of ethics.  This is why universals must be concise and epigrammatic so that they are the easiest of morals to remember and behave accordingly.  That is why there are only a few universal morals.  Two I have without rhetoric, and concisely identified are self-integrity and action for the health of the world, meaning for people and the earth.  Simply stated universal morals need to become indelible in the minds of all human beings.

Being denied freedom by other human beings prevents health of the world and that seems a given.  But as was pointed out a few times now, preservation of the health of the world of people overrides freedoms when they are corrupted to injure another and a freedom ceases to be a freedom but is transmuted into a crime. Therefore freedom becomes voided in favor of justice.  Justice is a higher virtue than freedom.

But justice is not easily understood as was demonstrated clearly in the Republic by Plato. 

So what do we do when freedom of speech is stretched to its outer edge and those who nearly cross the line to criminality but don’t quite?  Do we become two-faced and say they do not deserve freedom of speech because their ugly words offend us?  Therein lies one’s own peril.  The definition of freedom of speech needs then to be clear-cut and definite.  The absolute limit must be made precise since arguments such as appear in this forum is aroused when the definition is fuzzy.  Either the law is clear or it cannot function as a law and we become lawless.

Who should like to make that definition?  I dare say only few on this forum has dared to do so.  There has been mainly equivocation this way or that and so far an avoidance of an unreserved and rational answer!  It is so easy to hide behind a plethora of rhetoric.

Leefeller asked a fair question that has been answered only with a lot of circumlocution, not answered at all.  He asked: Would it be possible for one person to interpret an intent as evil while another person would not?  No one has offered an answer.  I will with reasoning attached.  Yes it is possible, of course it is possible, since personal morals are relative.  What one believes is what one wants to believe.  However one’s personal belief is not the measure for the world to gauge morality or evaluate points of view on freedom of speech or any other politically charged issue.  Reasons with unemotional reasoning in its company is the only answer acceptable.  While there is a place for emotions, it is not when a prescription for human behavior is at stake.

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By Sodium, May 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“One can safely say as seen above,intent is clearly judgmental”

Of course,INTENT is judgmental: The U.S. legal courts pass their judgments mainly on INTENT. I have just borrowed the concept of INTENT from our legal system for the purpose of helping me in my attempts to come close to the truth about the concept of free speech which meant different things to different persons. 

In disagreement,one does not have to address the negatives as it seems emotions trump reason every time.”

It is totally true. Even the most astute,intelligent and knowledgeable debaters may fall occasionally in this emotional trap. No question about it.

However,emotion is fundamentally necessary as an integral part of our make-up,as human beings. Although it exists in every human soul,with varying degrees or levels,similar,in a way,to the existence of selfishness in the human soul. In some persons,its existence height is as high as Mount Everest(just a metaphor and no exact easurement),and in others,its depression is as low as the Dead Sea(again,it is just a metaphor,and no exact measurement). Without emotions,selfishness and other abstracts characteristics of our make-up,we might as well be just rocks and stones.

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By Leefeller, May 22, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Sodium, RE:

Specific opinion on free speech, one only sees the desire for qualifiers, Sodium using the word intent, qualifies speech, thus becoming a judgmental interpretation and with the murder comparison adding degrees.  Legal interpretation of intent regarding murder is suspicious only because it has no relevance in freedom of speech.  Unless ones premise is to support degrees of speech which would make it not free speech?  Again I suggest intent is redundant, for all speech should have intent.

So we move into evil Intent,  requires judgment, in the case of evil one falls into the trap of defining evil then degrees of evil?  .  Evil is one word, one could use many others.  Would it be possible for one person to interpret an intent as evil while another person would not? 

Evil as a qualifier seems especially a judgmental.  If one wishes to respond to interpreted evil with a like response, so be it.  I fail to see the “Iron Bends Iron” comment as relevant in connection to freedom of speech, maybe only as a response to a response?

Sodium, my original question was why do you seem to feel uncomfortable with freedom of speech?  After many comments, it seems emotions are overriding reason, emotions should be part of freedom of speech, but not used to control it, and hopefully not for others. 

Qualifiers used as defining freedom of speech seem most personal in this case.

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By Leefeller, May 22, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

“demagoguery,shallowness,repulsiveness,rudeness and sheer arrogance that belong to the lowest of the all lows and the scum of humanity”.

The above quote is an extraordinary example in support of the freedom of speech. 

One can safely say as seen above, intent is clearly judgmental.  In disagreement, one does not have to address the negatives as it seems, emotions will trump reason every time?

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By Sodium, May 22, 2009 at 6:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For ardee,

I can assure you that as I post,I attempt to be helpful as much as I possibly can,but never never to win an argument. It never hit my mind. Besides,I am too old for that.Period. Perhaps,and that is just perhaps,that is your own problem,just to win an argument;and consequently you think that everybody else like yourself-they are posting just to win arguments. The whole idea sounds silly to me!!!

Although I have mentioned in my post to you that I wish to refrain from giving you my own opinion about your errors in the other thread and gave you the names of two books to find out for yourself,I feel now free to do so,since you have asked for it:

(1) you have made the following comment:

Quote
=====

The six day war was quite some time ago and Egypt and Syria have not warred with Israel since.

Unquote
========

Have not warred with Israel Since 1967,the year in which the six day war had taken place?? Who exactly said so beside you??  Sorry,ardee,your above quoted comment is simply wrong. In October of 1973 both Egypt and Syria,and to use your own word,“WARRED” with Israel in October of 1973. That is why I personally call it the “October War of 1973”.The Israelis call it the “Yum Kipour war” becaus it happened on the “Day of Atonement”,if not the holiest day in Judaism,it is one of the holiest days in Judaism. The Egyptians call it the “Ramadan War” because it occurred during the month of Ramadan,the holy month of fasting from dusk to sunset by Muslims,everyday for the whole month of Ramadan,one of the five pillars of Islam. The Syrians call it simply the “October War”. I have preferred the Syrian’s calling,just to keep religions out of it.

(2) You have commented in other comment in the same post referred to above that Egypt and Syria had started the six day war. That is simply not so according to Donald Neff who was originally pro Israel. That is why I refrained to say so,but referred you to Neff’s book entitled “Warriors For Jerusalem” and to make it even easier for you,in case you do not care for reading books( I love it ),I specifically called your attention to read Chapter XV of the book,where Neff described in meticulous details how Israel started the war by destroying the whole Egyptian and Syrian air forces,while they were still on the ground. Israel had won the war the minutes that they succeeded in its sneaky and surprized attacks and in reality it had won the war in six hours,not six days,because the rest of the days of the war was nothing more than desperate attempts by Egypt and Syria to salvage what they possibly could salvage of terribly losing circumstances.

If the above is not enough to show you your mistaken comments,please let me know and I will try to elaborate further,if my time and family obligations allow me to do so.

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By ardee, May 22, 2009 at 3:44 am Link to this comment

For Sodium

What you post regarding the Nazi rise to power is correct in enumerating the reasons for their popularity but the methodology was to silence all opposing voices along the way. That is not the use of free speech. Every totalitarian govenment first seeks to control and silence opposition, one reason why one should never advocate for such actions.

As to your earlier reference to another thread in which I posted information about the Yom Kippur War ( the six day war, never heard it called the ramadan war). You noted that I made mistakes yet were not specific as to what they were. Instead you post a list of reading material as if this was a freshman class in history. It isn’t, it is a discussion, perhaps you might enlighten us all as to my mistakes instead of using hint and allegation as some tool to win an argument. I am curious.

Only iron can bend iron…except , of course, for all the other ways it bends…..just lightening up things…

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By Sepharad, May 21, 2009 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

Sodium, I’ve read and will think more about everything you mentioned in your most recent post. Honesty and intent can, and I hope will, bridge many differences. “Only Iron Can Bend Iron”—something to turn around and look at from various angles, and I will. If TD drops this thread before I understand what you’re telling me, we can continue our conversation on another. Circumstances and questions involving conflicting truths, rights and emotions always require more thought and intuition than average situations usually resolvable through a logical, equation-like process.

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By Sodium, May 21, 2009 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee,

I have overlooked the fact that you mentioned rusted iron,as one can bend it by hand.

What you said is true but the problem with rusted iron is no longer full pledged iron. It has become an OXIDIZED iron. There is a great deal of difference between IRON and OXIDIZED IRON,a great deal of difference,indeed.

Therefore,the Arab saying “ONLY IRON CAN BEND IRON” is solidly correct,as far as common sense is concerned and without subjecting iron to extreme heat or allowing it to rust.

Yeah,that is a free speech(mine)correcting another free speech(yours). That is exactly what I have genuinely attempted to convey to Sepharad,but I have refrained from explicity telling her to do so, because she has her own mind and possibly prefers different ways to accomplish the same end.

I believe that Hitler ascension to power was mainly because of the extreme hardship the German people were subjected to after World War One,when the allies dictated unwisely the harsh economic and financial TREATY OF VERSAILLE on Germany,since Germany lost the war. The result was a bankrupt Germany with inflation reached an astronomical level to a point of forcing a German House wife to fill a brief case full of german currencies to pay a nearby bakery for a loaf of bread. The German people were ready for anyone who would promise them to get them out of their miserable existence then. Hitler and his cohorts knew how to exploit that through free speeches. The Jews were an easy target because they were relatively successful and well known minority. In hindsight,if there was a challenging force as vocal and as loud and as assertive to what Hitler was preaching his hateful agenda,the whole genocide against the Jews and others would have been stopped while still in the buds. That is my contention about free speeches. Challenge them as promptly as you can,and within the context of the laws of the land,the evil INTENT of the free peeches,meaning EXPOSE it immediately and legally.

In other words,one may wish to fight a free speech that one detects it as implicitly evil with one that can neutralize its negative effect completely. Thus,once more:

“ONLY IRON CAN BEND IRON”.

I hope,ardee,I have made what I have in mind, concerning free speech,clearer this time.

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By Leefeller, May 21, 2009 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

“demagoguery,shallowness,repulsiveness,rudeness and sheer arrogance that belong to the lowest of the all lows and the scum of humanity”.

The above quote is an extraordinary example in support of the freedom of speech.   

One can safely say as seen above, intent is clearly judgmental.  In disagreement, one does not have to address the negatives as it seems, emotions will trump reason every time?

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By Sodium, May 21, 2009 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee,

You have missed the whole point I was after:

~ I did not say anything about limiting or dictating the rules for free speech.

~ I was talking about detection of nefarious intent in any speech and how to combat it.

~ I implicitly have given hint to Sepharad to detect the intent in any speech and if the intent is nefarious,combat it with the same medicine the evil doers had/have used in their free speeches and according to existing laws. That is where “ONLY IRON CAN BEND IRON”,applied as a metaphor,indeed.

As to bending iron,we are talking about bending it at room tempreture,not at extremely elevated tempretures. I understand you would have resorted to any cling just to justify and support your response. That is okay as long as you are honest with yourself first before being honest with others.

The problem with some posters who claim to be champions of free speech is that they want the free speech for themselves only and in case anyone else challenges what they claim,they emotionally show their biases and true colors. I went through such experiences so many times in my life to find myself compelled to suspect anyone,I repeat anyone,who shows such eagerness to be a ranting champ.

Advocacy for free speech is best served by low key and quiet approaches based on friendly persuasions,not dictating on others what you want them to adhere to.

New subject: I did want to call your attention to some errors in your Re:ardee,May 19 at 7:50 am on the forum that followed Chris Hedges’s article entitled “The Disease of Perpetual wars”,but I just did not have the time. I take this opportunity to help you out in correcting the errors. I refrain from providing you with my personal opinion,which is not important,but I suggest that you consult the following two books:

For the six day war of 1967 in the Middle East,I suggest you read the following book:

Warriors For Jerusalem(especially Chapter XV)
By
Donald Neff

For the October War of 1973(the Israelis call it Yum Kipour war while the Egyptian call it the Ramadan war)which you seem to have no idea that had ever occurred,I would suggest to read the following book:

The Samson Option
By
Seymour Hersh

Both Neff and Hersh are considered independent journalists and highly respected writers.

Good reading and wish you well…..

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By ardee, May 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

“ONLY IRON CAN BEND IRON.”

Heat can bend iron, rust can make it brittle enough to bend by hand. Hitler as an excuse to end free speech or even limit it forgets that this is precisely what Hitler did to the opposition in order to become what he was.

If one believes that people are smart enough to maintain a democracy then one must perforce allow them to choose what speech they will believe and which they will not. The moment we decide to limit freedom of speech we begin to limit our own freedoms and nothing good will ever come of that.

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By Sodium, May 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sepharad,

I do not know whether or not you will read this post and I,of course,have no idea whether TD will publish it or not,but I do feel that I owe you a response to express my genuine reaction about the following comments of yours,as you expressed them in your last post of May 19 at 12:06 am:

Quote
======

Sodium,your discussion of potencial catastraphic consequences of free speech(on Hitler’s part) and enable by free elections pose a problem that I ‘ve often thought about but have so far found no solution.

Unquote
========

It is so obvious,to me,that honesty and sincerity have shined in the above comment of yours. At least,you acknowledge,or rather admit,publiclly, that you have a dilemma when it comes to Hitlerian
free speeches. I wish I could say such positive comments about some other posters who had posted her with demagoguery,shallowness,repulsiveness,rudeness and sheer arrogance that belong to the lowest of the all lows and the scum of humanity. All is done under the banner of free speech. No self-discipline and critical analysis of one’s own thoughts. That is what I call intelectual emptiness.

Just keep your honesty and sincerity coming from the heart shinning,as you genuinely expressed them in your above quoted comment and you and I may eventually agree even on the subjects you correctly said we disagreed. I believe that we can do so through constructive dialogues based on good INTENT from both of us.

Another comment of yours I do feel I owe you a response for is the following:

Quote
======

If you have developed some construct that would reconcile these dilemma confronting any sort of democracy,I ‘d be very interested.

Unquote
========

Well,Sepharad,I have no magic solution,but I know how to detect falshood and bad INTENT in,what some call,free speech,while it is merely a hate speech and I do know how to combat it and most likely neutralize it completely,provided I have the time and energy for doing so. But I cannot tell you and tell others to emulate what I do through posting. That is your own decision to make,not mine.

However,to help you out as much as I can,I will provide you with a hint as to how to combat your dilemma. And to do so,I have to rely on what I have learned from the Arab Culture to provide with the hint.

The Arabs have a saying which says in Arabic that:

“LA YAFOLO AL-HADEED ELA AL-HADEED.”

and the approximate translation to English is:

“ONLY IRON CAN BEND IRON.”

And I leave the final conclusion,as to what to do about evil INTENT speeches or rather Hitlerian nefarious speeches,for your imagination and intelligence which,I believe,you have both…..

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By Sepharad, May 18, 2009 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Sodium, your discussion of potential catastrophic consequences of free speech (on Hitler’s part) and enable by free elections pose a problem that I’ve often thought about but have so far found no solution. Earlier on this thread somewhere I commented regarding having defended, while working for the ACLU, free speech that I found abhorrent but afterwards quit my job, because I didn’t want to be in the position of having to do that again. And yet the ACLU is correct in their motto that “What can be done to one can be done to everyone.” If you have developed some construct that would reconcile these dilemmas confronting any sort of democracy, I’d be very interested.

Am familiar with your posts, and while we do not agree on some subjects you have never written anything I’ve read that came anywhere close to justifying being censored. If it occurred re a post on this particular thread it would be rather ironic.

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By Sepharad, May 18, 2009 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, re your May 12, 11:44a.m. post, I just realized I didn’t finish the sentence you are responding to. What my mother frequently said was “The trouble with you is that you don’t care what other people think about you.” (Amazing how dropping two words can change the meaning.) You’re “minor contention” that you DO care what people think is very sensible, as what one thinks tends to determine what one says and does.

Also found interesting your and Sodium’s observations re intent.

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By Sodium, May 18, 2009 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Leefeller,

It seems to me I have failed again in making what I have in mind very clear. Let me try to clarify once more what I meant by INTENT in any speech: 

~ I certainly did not mean to control what the person wishes to say by wthether his/her intent is good or evil. Not at all.

~ I certainly will shun any speech the moment I detect evil intent in it and would publically urge others to shun it too. I would do so after I show others where is the hidden evil and pernicious nature of such speech exist. This is the point I was trying to convey to you and others. I am here practicing merely my own right for free speech. Am I not?

As to TD’s restrictions on some of what I had written in the past and never published,I believe the only reason denied publication of some of my posts and other’s (I have a full records of other’s) and TD deleted all posts written by NonCredo(he/she no longer posts on TD)about two years ago,was the real effectiveness of our posts,especially NonCredo’s posts in exposing the nefarious nature of certain and specified groups in washington D.C. I still believe that was an easy exit for TD not to withstand the pressure coming from that specific groups. To me,that is not amusing when the claim by some individuals for free speech does not match the real facts on the ground. I can go on,but frankly I am getting physically tired of trying hard to reach the truth about free speech in the real world,full of conflicting facts and,I dare say,entropic social disorders,world wide…...You figure,Leefeller,I need a cup of coffee and some rest.

Thank you for putting up with my rant…..

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By Leefeller, May 18, 2009 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

Sodium,

Thanks for your response and be sure I appricate your opinion, but respectfully do not agree, as to your premise on free speech. 

Free speech with the qualifier of intent is not free speech.  In the case of free speech qualifying becomes a control or limiting factor, because defining Intent is subjective to anyone who would wish to make it so.  Defining intent should be done by whom? Me, you the Taliban, the pope, if any or all of us had the power to define intent, freedom of speech is no longer such.  Rather,freedom of speech becomes something else entirely, one could call it intent speech. 

Qualifiers used to define always seem to be controls or limiting factors, and seem so in the case of Freedom of Speech.

All speech has intent, so using the word intent as a leading qualifier seems redundant.

Freedom of speech is or is not, there seems to be no in-between my opinion. My defined offense’s may not be yours, so we may have very different concepts of intent or speech dependent on what is acceptable defining our individual intents.

Again, I appreciate your response.  It seems slightly amusing to me, if TD was indeed limiting your freedom of speech according to your intent, would suggest support for my premise!

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By Sodium, May 17, 2009 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Leefeller,May 13 at 2:19 pm.

Leefeller,

After reading your posts again,I have realized that I overlooked the follwing comment in the above Re:

Quote
======

Keeping an iron grip and control of free speech is important,just ask Hitler.

Unquote
========


Just for the sake of common sense,one can use the same comment of yours exactly as quoted above and add a few word to neutralize it completely:

Yeah,keeping an iron grip and control on free speech is important,just ask Hitler HOW HE ASCENDED TO POWER!!! PLEASE TELL ME HOW? If you shy away from ansewring the BIG HOW,I will answer it,not to be against free speech but just to show how the pro and con of free speech can have almost an endless argument:

You know as well as I do that Hitler’s ascension to power did happen through his powerful FREE SPEECHES and,indeed,through FREE ELECTION,the result of which{Free Speeches and Free election} was six millions Jews were burned,another 6-8 millions other ethnogroups of all kinds were slaughtered,22 million Russians killed,600,000 Americans killed and I have no idea how many British nationals and soldiers killed. All these wastes were the result of the Hitlerian oratory and FREE SPEECHES DRIPPED WITH DECEPTION,HATRED AND ABSOLUTE COMMAND OF THE GERMAN LANGUAGE.

Believe me,Leefeller,the INTENT OF FREE SPEECH IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH ITSELF.

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By Sodium, May 17, 2009 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Leefeller,May 14 at 1:16 pm.

“Most question asked go unanswered etc…”
==============================================

Dear Leefeller,

This is to inform you that I have answered your question addressed to me in your post of May 13,at 2:19 pm but unfortunately and for reason or reasons unknown to me the Truthdig’s moderator/editor has decided not to post it

Since this forum is about Free Speech,I just wonder what has happened for my right for Free Speech,as guaranteed by the FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITURION and where is the guarantee? I see none,inspite of my respect for the unfavorable and unfair decision made by the moderator/editor of Truthdig,against posting a well ballanced but critically thoughtful ideas I have painstakingly have written. As one poster has commented correctly that Free Speech is allowed only to those people who do not deviate from the unwritten rules of the ESTABLISHMENT’s conformity.

Leefeller: Although my earlier attempt to answer your question concerning what you have called my “discomfort” with Free Speech has given a rather comprehensive outline,containing examples to stress the point that my cotention is not really with Free Speech,which deep in my heart of hearts I totally and unequivocally endorse,but rather with the INTENT behind some specified speeches. If the claim that whatever the content of the speech,it reflects on the writer or the orator of the speech is really true,why Truthdig has declined to allow any reflection to reflect on me by posting what I have E-mailed them to post? By the way,this is not the first time TD denied posting my valid comments,even in matters of responding to vicious
lies. Yeah,that’s the kind of Free Speech I intend to be against,as long as I have time and energy…

Leefeller: I do hope that these commets addressed to you will be posted by Truthdig. If not,I just may decide to stop attempting to post any more on TD’s threads. what is the point in continually wasting my time here!!!
Rest assured,Leefeller,I will never allow myself to ignore responding and answering valid questions,especially from someone who has managed to maintain courteous and respectful dialogues with me. From my part,I intend to keep it that way,regardless of whether I agree with what you post or not.

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By Sodium, May 16, 2009 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Leefeller,May 14 at 2:19 pm.

“Sodium,is my perception of your discomfort with free speech correct? Your wording suggest such,why does it seem so?”

Dear Leefeller,

You are partly correct in your observation because of what I have been after is mainly exposing the impty minds and nefarious intents of some posters, who claim in a loud,rude and arrogant manner,otherwise. As you so courteously raised the question quoted above,it seems to me I have not done a good job at that. Plese bear with me. I shall explain as vividly as I possibly can. But first is first:

~ Please accept my apology for my tardiness in responding to your valid question. It has to do with my beloved wife for 43 years,who ended-up disabled in the last two years. I cannot leave her unattended since she depend totally on my help for her needs.

~ You and I have managed to maintain an admirable level of respectibility for each other’s thoughts as we expressed them on our respective posts. From my part,I intend to keep it that way. That is why I could not possibly ignore your above question and let it go at that.

Since the first(s) has/have been made clear,I would like to inform you the following points and leave it up to you to reach your own conclusion:

(1) I strongly believe in the US Constitution and dare to consider it as ALMOST DIVINE,especially the Bill of Rights.

(2) Rest assured,Leefeller,I am more for free speech than some loud and arrogant demegoguery that appeared on several threads of Truthdig for the last five months.

(3) The free speech I believe in is based on common sense and sensibility,while some others believe in free speech,it has appeared,at least to me,as based on emotionally charged NEFARIOUS INTENT. I say this as a result of a direct experiences with some of those demagogues I refrain from naming,just to avoid unnecessary bickering and mutual insults.

As you may see,what I was after in my previous posts was to expose the EVEL INTENT of some bloggers who could rant as long as they wanted and they could change nothing in the hearts and minds of people of good well as their NEFARIOS INTENT was exposed.

Please bear with me one step further to show you how important INTENT is in our lives,and all humanity’s life:

When an X-person kills a Y-person,our Legal System demands that our Courts must decide whether the killing is a First Degree or Second Degree murder(I am not sure if there is a Third Degree murder-A lawyer should tell us),before a verdict can be passed against the X-Person,the killer. The question arises: Why dictates such a demand on the Court when the end-result is the same,Y-Person is dead as the result of the killing performed by X-Person?

The answer depends on the INTENT of the killer. Was the INTENT to kill or was not? The severity of the legal punishment depends totally on the INTENT of the killer.

If the concept of INTENT is so important in our legal system,why not exposing the INTENT of those among us who,under the pretext of free speech,want to wage wars,nuke,bash,belittle and defame other bodies,including religions? Yes,Why not? Why not? Why not? And more why not(s)?

LET THE EVIL DOERS RANT IN THEIR HATE SPEECHES AS LONG AS THEY WANT,AS LONG AS OTHERS HAVE EQUEL OPPOTUNITY IN THEIR RIGHTS FOR FREE SPEECHES TO EXPOSE THE INTENT OF THE EVIL DOERS AS THEY RANT.

Leefeller: That should summarize where I stand on the FREE SPEECH AS A RIGHT GUARANTEED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I CANNOT POSSIBLY TAKE A POSITION THAT VIOLATES THE ESSENCE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT. PERIOD. NO WAY.

MY WHOLE CONTENTION HAS BEEN ABOUT INTENT AND EXPOSURE OF THE INTENT THROUGH EQUEL OPPORTUNITY.

Since this forum has been abandoned by everyone except me,in writing this post,I shall appreciate reading a short post from you informing me that you have read this post of mine. Thank you. And keep your cheerful posts coming…..

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By Leefeller, May 14, 2009 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

omop,

Most questions asked go unanswered, let it be clear, this is not an answer, only a comment of opinion. 

If this quote was a speech, it was short and full of bile as it was intended.  It says much about the speaker. 

Freedom even for such as he, should be, or fear becomes an only option.  I would not recommend he go to Saudi Arabia with signs on his car. 

Demonizing is always necessary in the propagating and festering of hate to reach that necessary boiling point, reason has no chance in the minds of fanatics.

Concept of free speech, should even allow hate, as well as love in it’s folds. In the end, the sorting will be in the minds of thinking individuals or the mindless agendas of fanatics.

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By omop, May 14, 2009 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Leefeller Mein friend.

A challenge s’il vous plait (if you will)

Quote: ““One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” —Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, Feb. 27, 1994.

Would this statament be considered “free speech” or “hate speech”?

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By Leefeller, May 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Their are no sides to free speech, only one side that matters, the sanction of closed minds, any limitations or restrictions on speech mean it is not free.  Any restrictions of criticisms, are usually instituted to hide the truths,  there are no sides to free speech, it is or it isn’t.  So what of free thought?

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By omop, May 13, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Free speech was only promised to a select and chosen few. Some of whom will be supporting legislation emphasizing the free speech of a select few in 2009 in the USA.

Its readily available at :  http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts05072009.html

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By Leefeller, May 13, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

“Free Speech,as a pretext,to bash, belittle and defame anybody including religions can do so except in those countries”.  Than it would not be free speech or am I missing something?

Why does one keep hearing they want to come to one of those free speech countries and take one away, for useing free speech because, it impinged on their comfort zone or control system? Is this a political move to control peoples thoughts beyond ones own borders?

Sounds like some people are uncomfortable with free speech, for the ruse is in the words, one persons truth is another persons bashing.  Must be in the eyes of the beholder.  Keeping an iron grip and control of free speech is important, just ask Hitler.

Sodium, is my perception of your discomfort   with free speech correct? Your wording suggest such, why does it seem so? 

In the end, free speech for some should be a right and to others it is not.

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By Sodium, May 13, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Subject: Are All United Nations’ Resolutions Binding? =================================================

For the benefit of those who have no time to dig out the recent resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations,concerning Free Speech
and Hate Speech,the following quote is an exact text of the resolution in English:

Quote
======
The General Assembly

Recalling that all states have pledged themselves under the charter of the United Nations to promote and encourage universal respect for the observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race,sex,language or religion.

Recalling further,the United Nations Millennium Declaration adopted by the General Assembly on September 2000,welcoming the resolve expressed in the Millennium Declaration to take meeasures to eliminate the increasing acts of racism and xenophobia in many societies and to promote greater harmony and tolerance in all societies
and looking forward to its effective implementation at all levels,including in the context of the Durham Declaration and Program of action adopted by the World Conference against Racist,Racial Descrimination,Xenophobia and Related Intolerance from 31 August to 8 September 2001.

Recalling the proclamation of the Global Agenda for Dialogue among civilization,and inviting states,the organization and bodies of the United Nations system,within existing resources,other international and regional organizations and civil societies to contribute to the implementation of the Programme of action contained in the Global Agenda.

Welcoming the launch of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative,intended to respond to the need for a committed effort by the international community,in order,to promote mutual respect and understanding among different cultures and societies,and the appointment in this regard of the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.

Unquote
========

As it may be seen that the above resolution is really general in form and content. And since it is a General Assembly resolution,it is NON-BINDING.
                                   
Only the reslolutions that are passed by the Security Council of the United nations are BINDING.

Therefore,those who like to use Free Speech,as a pretext,to bash, belittle and defame anybody including religions can do so except in the countries that have voted for the resolution that passed by the General Assembly. Even those countries may choose not to enforce the resolution,depending which country and how conservative that country is.

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By Leefeller, May 13, 2009 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

If I were king decider, things would be quite different. Here is the short list:

First, all men would have to were Burkias or Beefeaters outfits, except the king, which would be me.  All women would have to wear bikinis unless they did not want to. 

Weatherboarding as entertainment would be reserved for Republicans because they seem so fond of it.  All discussion would require reason and logic, none of this emotion crap. Fantasy stories would be reserved for fictions writers this would include all relgion. 

As king decider, if I declared war it would only be a war on ignorance, which means our budget would be depleted within the first week and I would no longer be king decider.

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By Sodium, May 13, 2009 at 5:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Crimes of the State Blog,May 11 at 6:27 pm and May 11 at 6:29 pm.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Since your responses are very impressive and have made a great deal to me,may I suggest to review,if you have missed reviewing it,the following post:

By PSmith,May 7 at 3:27 pm.

It is extremely realistic and constructive post also.

Perhaps,you and PSmith may wish to communicate with one another for the benefit of the common good, by extrapolating further on what constitutes Free Speech or Hate Speech and War Crimes. I have some ideas related to some historical perspective,but I am not completely sure of their credibility. I shall appreciate any level of help you and PSmith can provide. I am fully convinced that both of you know well what you are talking about.

Thank you for excellent two posts I have enjoyed reading. Please keep them comming. And as a result,I shall be a regular visitor to your blog which I have already paid a visit to after I read your two most sensible posts.

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By Sodium, May 13, 2009 at 4:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Fadel Abdallah,May 10 at 5:55 pm.

“I leave this without further comment,hoping people endowed with reason will read between the lines and realize how bigotry keeps perpetrating itself.”

Dear Dr.Fadel Abdallah,

WISE COMMENT,INDEED.

Who needs to argue endlessly about the ill defined Free Speech,with some intellectual?? emptiness and intellectual?? morons whose post drips with nefarious intentions,using Free Speech as a pretext to defame people who hold different points of views and to defame Islam that they have NO idea,whatsoever,about its true essence and the totality of its message to all mankind!!!

To those who think they know Islam and want to defame it under the pretext of Free Speech,I have news for them that the Qura’n,the holy book of Islam,is UNTRANSLATABLE. The only way to truly understand it correctly is to read it and eventually study it in its beautiful Arabic Langusge. There is No other way. Period. Therefore,all their endless rants against Islam,Islamic countries,Muslims and Arabs will,as always,fail.

Thank you,Dr.Fadel Abdallah,for your wise comment quoted above. This post is being written as a suplement to it,in an attempt to clarify the unclarifiable to some posters.

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By Sepharad, May 12, 2009 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

ardee, Your comments are thoughtful (and as ever, welcome). Of course my ideas are shaped by my own experiences in various movement politics, as you suggest, and by my family’s experiences and attitudes, and by the social environment I grew up in, which was quite varied what with one thing and another. But I’ve seen little that contradicts the thoughts expressed in that particular post. People know when they are being talked down to, when they are exploited for everything from their labor to their quaint customs (as outsiders often regard them). Lots of leftists (and rightists too) love bluegrass, Bill Monroe’s incredible voice, and other cultural grace notes while still holding the people and socieites from which these things spring in almost seignorial contempt, in need of enlightenment etc etc. So many leftist organizations are narcissistic, self-referential, and condescending that it hardly is surprising that so few of these benighted folk flock to them when they ask for their votes. With the exception of Amy Goodman, Jim Hightower’s weekly program and a few good music genre show, KPFA is so self-satisfied in its commentary, that it’s about as objective as Fox News (though on opposite ends of the spectrum).

One thing I agree with—who should be the “Decider” re exactly what free speech is free speech? Anyone arrogant enough to want such a job should be disqualified from holding it.

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By Leefeller, May 12, 2009 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Fadel Abdallah,

Could you expand on the following or what you intended to mean, when you say, “every aspect of American life”?

Using the word bigotry as you do is most amusing, for your alleged attack on bigotry was done using the same.

In one of your previous posts the word “reason” was used in argument, it should be noted, using the word does not mean one knows the definition, that is to say the word itself does not guarantee the use of reason, I would suggest the opposite is true.  Simply put, using the word reason, is not the same as using reason.

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By Leefeller, May 12, 2009 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

She & Sephard,

Humility requires me to graciously accept your comments with blushing appreciation, please accept my mutual respect and admiration in return.  Agreement should never be a requirement in respect, for in the disagreement is where ones worthy learning can begin. 

Minor contention would be, I do care what people think,.... but not what they write, especially when the written word had little or no thought behind it, supposedly perceived as written in stone, where one can see, the real inert matter is between the ears of the writer. 

Freedom of speech as a right,  is said to be here in the USA, it would be nice if freedom of thought and speech covered the entire world.  As for Savage, my discomfort toward him is only from this article and posters comments. Savages comments nor his right to spew what he wishes was never my view to question. I question the time or place one does the spewing.  As I stated previously, the old adage when in Rome do as the Romans do.  Walking around Rome with a “The Pope Sucks” sign would not be prudent, now would I attempt to do such.  While in England would I demand to drive on the right side of the road.. 

Freedoms of Speech for me, stops at our shores.  So, if I were to attempt my first trip to Jolly Old England,  I would demand to take along my freedom of speech with me and feel it necessary to pack my “Bugger the Queen” sign!

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 12, 2009 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Again, under the Zionists’ pressure and censorship, Facebook was forced to remove the comments of Holocaust deniers, yet they continue to allow Death to Arabs” groups to spew their venomous bigotry. And yet you continue to see many sons and daughter of bitches who deny that Israeli Zionists control every aspect of American life.

In pointing out this split vision, double standards and hypocrisy, a certain “Ann” made the following comment:
================================================
Ann | 05.11.09

“There are literally dozens of groups on Facebook entitled “Death to Arabs.” These groups have thousands of members, many of whom are Israeli. If Holocaust denial and /or revisionist groups are targeted and removed, why are these groups tolerated?”

“The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don’t agree with. - Eleanor Holmes Norton”

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”  Noam Chomsky

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By Shenonymous, May 12, 2009 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

The forum commenter Leefeller is unique and should be declared a National treasure.  Over the years I’ve interacted with him, he has continued to get incisively to the heart of whatever issue a forum is about and with the most economy of words that makes you sober up about it right away if you are at all a reflective person.  He has on occasion in his inimitable way taken me to task for my views without tearing me down as a person and for which I, because of his absolute regard, gave consideration and reconsideration to my thinking.  He is a secret weapon against arrogance to be sure and with the highest caliber of humor I’ve seen.  He always provides a much needed break to the forums when the discussion exceeds reasonable passion (how much is reasonable is debatable of course) putting things in a better perspective. 

As far as my principles go, to address what you said you have concluded about your own, not really caring what anyone else thinks is my mode of operation a well.  You are correct that we have only tiny pieces of truth and often don’t even recognize it when smacked in the face with them except on reflection.  That is the value of reflection to see the consequences of our beliefs! You speak the classic Aristotle observation that all men (and women) have a little bit of the truth.  He did not qualify it as some men, but all.  The task then is for us to learn to see what part each has.  Not an easy job.  And even more difficult to see what we ourselves have.  I more or less use these forums to do that.  I can always be convinced otherwise to my residual thinking if anyone presents a candid and respectful insight.

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By Sepharad, May 11, 2009 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, Having thought it over quite a bit since you asked a couple days ago, I’ve decided I think that the principles of freedom are above the crowd, above popularity, and I suppose I tend to go to the wall with my own principles because I don’t know how not to and still sleep well. My mother frequently said to me, “The trouble with you is that you REALLY don’t care what anyone else thinks.” (I never argued, because she was correct.) Besides, they wouldn’t be my principles if I didn’t think they were right in the first place. What else do we have besides tiny pieces of truth we are able to find and comprehend? There are never enough of them to give us the whole picture, or to develop some immutable agenda, but must be kept close or we would be seriously lost.

As Leefeller put it, “Not being a hypocrite is hard work.” (You’ve probably noticed that Leefeller has more original thoughts and says more true things in fewer words—and charmingly so—than anyone on this site.)

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By Shenonymous, May 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Crimes of the State Blog
Yes Thomas Jefferson, one of my heroes, would have been punished by England had they got their hands on him.  He was seditious to England the home country as England still considered the Colonies the property. Let’s be clear.  They might have even hung him. He was considered a “terrorist” Thomas Paine, another hero not given the recognition he deserves, was an even bigger criminal in England where a price was put on his head and thrown in jail in France.  Do you know in what spirit TJ recommended revolution every 20 years?  About whom and what he was addressing these remarks?  Do some homework.

In a correspondence to William S. Smith, Jefferson says…to give your quote its fullest expression, “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion… We have had thirteen States independent for eleven years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half, for each State. What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion?

“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them.”

Then to his wife, Abigail, he writes, “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.”

TJ also suggested “that the Tree of Liberty needed to be occasionally watered with the blood of patriots. IT is its natural manure.”  Now what could be more degrading than for patriots’ blood be likened to manure?

A thorough reading of both ‘criminals’ Jefferson and Paine would do everyone interested in their government unlimited good.  D. J. Mulloy, author of “American Extremism” offers an alternative interpretation of Jefferson’ call to arms as the attempt to connect it with a call for attention and as an expression of what the militia members regard at their “patriotism.”  How the role of Jefferson’ violent rhetoric plays within the militias’ ideological system.  As I said, while I do not condone Savage’s violent rhetoric, I do defend his right to express it.  And if we don’t do that, we lose our own right to dissent.

It is the slipperiest slope imaginable.  It is pernicious.  That is the nature of fascism.  Fascism can occur on the right as well as the fanatical left.” 
Okay.  I don’t see how any of that is relevant to what I said.

Fascism is easily slipped in on the slope when only half truths are mistaken for whole truths.

My comments were not meant for you explicitly, CotSB, or solely.  But since you have singled me out to puff up some criticism, I will address some of your comments directed at me.  Unless you are just grandstanding, what purpose would an investigation serve?  Again exactly what incitement to violence are you accusing Savage to have committed.  You do not cite dates or places but generalize which in any court would be laughed at.  Surely if Savage does in fact quality, you could provide facts.  Does Savage really call for mass murder?  Do be precise.  Calling me mindless, I see you are another name-caller, a weak trait of many on these forums.  I am not defending Savage, if you can read well you would see that instead of your ego-centric need to trounce me!  I am defending freedom of speech.

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By Shenonymous, May 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

continued to CotSB…
“You who call for limiting Savage’s speech, and travel rights, regardless of how despicable his opinions are, would not censure the Islamists who are calling for the UN via a resolution to outlaw criticism of violent practices in the name of their religion, would you?!”
First of all, I haven’t “called” for whatever it is you are saying.  That a distracting misrepresentation of what I said.

If the shoe does not fit, don’t try it on.  In other words don’t take what I say so personally.  I am using the word ‘you’ in the collective sense, it is obvious.  The only one distracted is an yourself.

What a stupid waste of resources to investigate Savage for war crimes.  What war crimes exactly?  Make your charges or else shut up!  Your argument about those who are prosecutable for (alleged) war crimes is rhetorical blather.  Why don’t you file charges against your list of criminals?  You question them on a dock.  My how mouths love to wag.

Who exactly did Savage incite to violence against Muslims?”
That would be a matter for the court to present.  The US has been at war with Muslims for eight years now.  The bodies are piling up quite high.  Did that elude you?

Yes, you who are completely misty-mouthed.  File charges, see if there is a court to take up your accusations.  Just as you are vague with your stupid question about bodies piling up eluding me, shall I make your statement clear since you do not seem able to do that?  Are you referring to the bodies piled up in Iraq?  No one has reminded the TD forums of this travesty more than I.  Too bad you are so misinformed.  But the US has not been at war with Muslims.  They have been at war with militant terrorist Islamists.  Let us be clear again! It is you who are trying to redefine my comments.

The rest of your continued post is a lot of empty accusations and some attempt to connect Savage with Nazi criminals.  If you are making a case against Savage, then you had better file charges or again, shut up.  And again, I do not defend Savage nor what he stands for, and if you were alert you would be able to see that.  Instead you are blinded by your own sense of self, called hubris.

My position is that those who find freedom of speech of supreme value ought to understand the ramifications of exactly what that entails.  For instance, do you find freedom of speech to be of supreme value?  If so, please define precisely what it means. 

If you wish to have a decent conversation about ideas, trying leaving your glib retorts to my comments out of it.

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By Crimes of the State Blog, May 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Well this seems to be in part a response to me…

“By Shenonymous, May 6 at 4:41 pm #

When an erosion of freedom of speech begins with any ban, unless it is sedition to overthrow a government, banning anyone for political sentiments will eventually erode your own freedoms, make no mistake about it.”

So Thomas Jefferson should have been punished for saying that revolution is a good thing every twenty years or so?


“It is the slipperiest slope imaginable.  It is pernicious.  That is the nature of fascism.  Fascism can occur on the right as well as the fanatical left.”

Okay.  I don’t see how any of that is relevant to what I said.

What I was referring to, context, was incitement to violence: mass murder.  This has been acknowledged as constituting war crimes, such as when the result is genocide. 

“Savage was not in any way suppressing any one else’s freedom.”

Wasn’t he?  That’s a (mindless) blanket defense of a long and stained career. 

“You who call for limiting Savage’s speech, and travel rights, regardless of how despicable his opinions are, would not censure the Islamists who are calling for the UN via a resolution to outlaw criticism of violent practices in the name of their religion, would you?!”

First of all, I haven’t “called” for whatever it is you are saying.  That a distracting misrepresentation of what I said. 

I said he should be INVESTIGATED FOR WAR CRIMES.  War crimes, as we well know, are not actually prosecutable if the person committing them is American, or Israeli apparently.  An American Zionist like Savage is in the most priviledged and protected category on earth at the present time.

My position is that people like Yoo, Cheney, Bush, Rummy, Gonzales, et al ad nauseum—and Savage—shouldn’t be worried about travelling anywhere at all.  Their travel arrangements should long ago have been made for them, and they should be sitting in a dock being read extensive lists of war crimes charges.

It’s obvious that war crimes prosecutions are only meant for the losers in any given conflict.  The victors are spared nuisances like following international law.

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By Crimes of the State Blog, May 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

continues…

“One wonders just how many listen to Savage’s vitriolic broadcasts, and what kind of people they are anyway?  Who exactly did Savage incite to violence against Muslims?”

That would be a matter for the court to present.  The US has been at war with Muslims for eight years now.  The bodies are piling up quite high.  Did that elude you?

“This is a claim without any substance.” 

Propagandists call for people to join the military and go kill the selected enemy.  People listening are influenced to do so.  They go over and murder the enemy as instructed.  There’s a case to be examined.

“Free speech” does not protect gangsters who order hits on their rivals.  Free speech has numerous limitations regarding “terroristic threats,” “coercion,” “blackmail” etc.  Telling people to commit a crime could land you in prison for “conspiracy.”  These are standard, rock solid legal principles. 

If the same standards were applied to monsters like Goebbels and Savage, there is a case to be made that inciting war is criminal.  War is criminal.  The Iraq War was clearly a crime (admitted by the head of the United Nations).

You may not agree with the rationale, but this is certainly not a “claim without any substance.”

“In 1946, Julius Streicher, the Editor of Der Sturmer, an anti-Semitic paper, was sentenced to hang by the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal for Nazi War Crimes. In sentencing him, the tribunal gave as cause the evidence that “with knowledge of the extermination of the Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territory, this defendant continued to write and publish his propaganda of death.” Streicher was convicted of conspiracy to commit crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. His partner in media crimes, Joseph Goebbels, managed to avoid a similar sentence by committing suicide after first killing his wife and children. “

http://dissidentvoice.org/Jan04/Amr0112.htm


“According to prosecutors of the United Nations war crimes tribunal for Rwanda, the answer to both questions is a forceful yes. The three men in the dock, all former Rwandan news media executives, stand accused of genocide and incitement to genocide through their use of radio broadcasts and newspapers. “
http://www.globalpolicy.org/intljustice/tribunals/2002/0303.htm

Just because you’ve never thought about these matters before does not mean that others have not.  That’s a “permicious” variety of myopia.

http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/

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By Leefeller, May 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

“people endowed with reason” so the being of endowed or endued, seems skewed especially when connected to religion the word reason?  one should realize reason is not a birth right, nor is it absorbed from a waving wand. 

If indeed, the UN article suggests all religions, then Muslimism is no better or worse or different then the rest of the religious pack, is it possible, religions are feeling the uncomfortable hot breath of logic breathing down their mind manipulating necks? 

This may have been your intention, but seemed to selectively focus it’s defense for one religion only. Does this mean you approve?  would the UN, protect my special religion of incontinence or the collective order of the High Colonic or my newest higher plain, the Jedi?  Or is the list special, sort of like the good old boys closed door meetings, decisions are being made with intent of exclusion? 

Is their a difference in disagreeing compared to making fun of? Criticisms compared to outrageous hilarity. So in a sense the freedom of speech stops where the UN deciders feel it does?  Sounds like mindless control starts at the UN. 

So why should one not criticize anything, never the less religions?

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By Leefeller, May 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

“people endowed with reason” though being endowed or endued, one should realize reason is not a birth right nor is it absorbed from the waving of a wand. 

If indeed the UN article suggests all religions, then Muslimism is no better or worse then the the pack of any other relgison.  This may have been your intention, but seemed to sound defensive for one religion only, would UN, protect my special religion of incontinence or the order of the High Colonic? Or is the list special, sort of like the good old boys closed door meetings?

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By Shenonymous, May 10, 2009 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

Myopia is a condition where the eyes can only see very close objects.  There is a condition also closely related myopia of the mind.  That is where one can only intuit what it wants to see.  The smoke screen of bigotry is not limited to old dogs of one stripe.  Bigotry also hides within the heart of the pontificators and name-callers.

I am not afraid to stand in the light.  I am the one, now name-called the old dog alluded to by Fadal Abdallah, though I am far from being old, it is all right if it makes the name-caller feel better.  Explanation all over the google map is not necessary since there is and was only one resolution put before the UN, Resolution 62/154 that clearly states,

Alarmed at the serious instances of intolerance, discrimination and acts of violence based on religion or belief, intimidation and coercion motivated by extremism, religious or otherwise, occurring in many parts of the world, in addition to the negative projection of Islam in the media and the introduction and enforcement of laws that specifically discriminate against and target Muslims, particularly Muslim minorities following the events of 22 September 2001, and threatening the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Noting with concern that defamation of religions could lead to social disharmony and violations of human rights.

The rest of the resolution presents 19 further points of deep concerns, deplores, stresses, emphases, urges, underscores, calls upons, and requests…essentially to leave Islam alone!  But you may come to your own conclusion.  A thing is what it is.  This resolution may be pdf accessed in its entirety at http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/RES/62/154 offered in six languages.  Pretty much described by others as an anti-theist, anti-blasphemy law, sought to criminalize opinions expressed under the auspice of free-speech seen as differing with that of the Islamic religion. 

You will believe exactly what you want.  My point was that besides being concerned with the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 that Jews and Christians are not the only ones seeking stifling free speech, but Islam as well.  I am quite proud the United States would not sign this resolution.  Not so proud that it will sign The HCPA 2009.

While it is true that some people have ranted venomously, that does not preclude others (mine included) legitimate criticism and concern.

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

As a follow up to a previous comment and for the purpose of comparison and contrast of issues of free speech versus censorship, free thinkers are invited to read the following piece and see how the bigots are selective in posting what serves to pass their venomous rants as legitimate concern for free speech! 

  http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts05072009.html

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

“There is also a similar document, a resolution passed recently at the UN that would prevent any criticism of Islam!”

“Free Republic website: March 26, 2009
Defamation of religion passes at UN Human Rights Council again
The United Nations Human Rights Council has once again passed a resolution proposed by Islamic countries which urges the creation of laws in member states to prevent criticism of religion (namely, Islam).”
===================================================
The above is a quote from an old dog who insists on proving the the proverbial adage that “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks!”

Though in the same quotation it says that the the United Nations Human Rights Council “urges the creation of laws in member states to prevent criticism of religions” in general, our old rabid dog, or its sources quoted insist on adding (namely Islam), as if Islam is the only religion in the world!

So, in the old dog’s personal words there is insistence that a “resolution passed recently at the UN that would prevent any criticism of Islam!” Yet, in the words quoted from Free Republic Website, since the word Islam is not mentioned, our old dog insisted on adding Islam in parenthesis!

I leave this without further comment, hoping people endowed with reason will read between the lines and realize how bigotry keeps perpetrating itself!

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By Shenonymous, May 10, 2009 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

There is also a similar document, a resolution passed recently at the UN that would prevent any criticism of Islam! 

Free Republic website: March 26, 2009
Defamation of religion passes at UN Human Rights Council again
The United Nations Human Rights Council has once again passed a resolution proposed by Islamic countries which urges the creation of laws in member states to prevent criticism of religion (namely, Islam).

Members of the Human Rights Council voted 23 in favour of a resolution yesterday to combat “defamation of religion.” 11 nations, mostly from the West, opposed the resolution and 13 cowardly countries abstained.

Slate – March 2, 2009
Though it is written tongue-in-cheek in the language of human rights and of opposition to discrimination, the nonbinding U.N. Resolution 62/154, on “Combating defamation of religions,” actually seeks to extend protection not to humans but to opinions and to ideas, granting only the latter immunity from being “offended.” The preamble is jam-packed with hypocrisies that are hardly even laughable, as in this delicious paragraph, stating that the U.N. General Assembly:

So we retreat into caves of ignorance, which are next door to Leefeller’s little houses of illegitimate thought!

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By Folktruther, May 10, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, I think your comments on liberal Elitism are brilliant.  You are very intelligent and perceptive: a pity you identify with evil.

The conflict that you express on civil powers also is salient.  I agree with Ardee, for the reasons he mentions, that any expression whatever should be allowed and let people evaluate them themselves.  But not subsidized by the community as current right wing ranting is.

But racist terrorism, like the KKK and Nazies, and the new religious groupings, should be outlawed.  Since yhou raisse the questions so elequently, it is becoming obvious that these questions have not been settled reasonably, or even discussed properly. 

The ulitmate questions are ones of civil powers, not of civil liberties, which is a subsidary formulation of Western liberalism.  The ACLU, for example, opposed campaign reform on the gournds that contributing money is Free Expresion and the rich should be allowed to fund their candidates as much as they wish. This is bullshit.  But I am not familiar enough with the questions to be confident at all of my answers.

Ardee, the progrssive ideology in the US is liberalism, which is a conservative ideology in most other polities.  While it is true that there have been sincere and effective American leftist, this is by no means the norm. And the left truthers are partially responsible for the sad state of progressive American ideology.  I think this primarily a class problem and that it is necessary to change our class persepctive to tell political and social truth form class based world historical view.

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By Leefeller, May 10, 2009 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

What a crimeng shame, seems crimes are taking over everything, except bigotry.  Let’s see a crime for dolts of doubt, or making it a crime for doubting of dolts, something seems to be permeateing over the breeze,  dolts of doubt must be working overtime in their little houses of illegitimate thought.

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By omop, May 10, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

This bit of disconcerting news may already have been mentioned but I just read about this this am:


  “As soon as the HATE CRIMES PREVENTION ACT OF 2009 IS passed, it will become a crime for any American to tell the truth about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and theft of their lands.”

            It will be a crime for Christians to acknowledge the New Testament’s account of Jews demanding the crucifixion of Jesus.

            It will be a crime to report the extraordinary influence of the Israel Lobby on the White House and Congress, such as the AIPAC-written resolutions praising Israel for its war crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza that were endorsed by 100 per cent of the US Senate and 99 per cent of the House of Representatives, while the rest of the world condemned Israel for its barbarity.

            It will be a crime to doubt the Holocaust.

            It will become a crime to note the disproportionate representation of Jews in the media, finance, and foreign policy.


            *** extracted from a commentary by Paul Craig Roberts in COUNTERPUNCH MAY 7, 2009.

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By ardee, May 10, 2009 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, May 10 at 12:42 am #

PDSmith—Your May 7 post is full of truths not often raised on the TD site. The one that most concerns me is that the literate middle class does indeed laugh at, say, the Sarah Palins thrown up in the political process without understanding the strength of the economically oppressed, culturally derided and very angry people who are drawn to such figures. Liberal populists have long understood this—Cary McWilliams (Nation) for example, who praised central California author Gerry Haslam’s fiction concerning the people he grew up with in Oildale and elsewhere in California’s Great Central Valley as being “country music set to prose.” Of course hip literati stations like KPFA feature bluegrass etc. as an expression of being down with the working country people but it’s usually phony: the same literati will go out and rail against the rednecks, Joe 6pack etc. for their lack of political awareness and sophistication and general lack of taste (a self-fulfilling description if ever there was one).  This is a mistake: what working bluecollar American workers are aware of is that they are getting royally screwed by the system, and made the butt of jokes by the liberals.

.............................................

These comments are both troubling and important. I find the truth in them to be a limited one however, possibly because I do not wish this to be true and, also in part, because it is only a partial truth limited perhaps by your own experiences in movement politics.

Does a certain elitism exist on the Left, of course it does, just as it exists in any movement or human organization I fear. Do the ranks of college activists contain a majority of those who know nothing about the working classes and wish to know nothing more? Again a truism.

But there are literally thousands of leftists who have worked for years among the poor and working classes of many nations, including this one, and there are those who understand fully that any change for the better to our corrupt and exclusive political system will derive from the engagement of this class of people. Also, some of us truly love bluegrass…..;-}

Sepharad, May 10 at 1:34 am #

ardee feels strongly that unbridled comment of any sort should be allowed,

.....................................

Yes , if only for two reasons; one, because I wonder who is capable of judging what is to be censored, and two, because I have basic trust in my fellow Americans to separate the wheat from the chaff. If we cannot trust our fellows with access to all opinion how can we trust ourselves with a truly democratic form of governance?

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By Sepharad, May 9, 2009 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

Follktruther, I don’t know. Am stumped. Free speech with no public platform only gets us into the “how public is public?” issue. On a soap box, the speaker runs the risk of public ridicule or citizens who react by hurling objects somewhat more lethal than rotten tomatos. Originally, too, the cable tv people got into the market by promising to provide local people with small slices of public programming but at least in SF, this quietly died off when so few people viewed such programs. The Internet probably provides more of a public forum: sites attract people who consider themselves in a given category. I haven’t look for KKK, Nazi, white supremacist/Tim McVeigh type sites but will give it a try and see what comes up. Would be interesting to see what such terrorist groups are actually able to say.

ardee feels strongly that unbridled comment of any sort should be allowed, and Shenonymous does too with some qualifications. I’m of two minds re terrorist KKK/ Nazi/Meier Kahane material. If you restrict their comment, you accord them importance and you’re making them hard to find, hence rare—and the quailty of rareness not only gives the rare ones a value they would otherwise lack, if the merits of their cases were looked at critically, but if they become easily accessible they would no longer be so interesting to potential adherents. This is a theory, no data other than my observations over the years and could be completely off the wall, but if true there would be some value in allowing revolting terrorist philosophies on the Internet. (They’re gonna do it anyway. But if prohibited from other mass media, at least they wouldn’t be sucking in people who are just curious and slightly disaffected.)

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By Sepharad, May 9, 2009 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

PDSmith—Your May 7 post is full of truths not often raised on the TD site. The one that most concerns me is that the literate middle class does indeed laugh at, say, the Sarah Palins thrown up in the political process without understanding the strength of the economically oppressed, culturally derided and very angry people who are drawn to such figures. Liberal populists have long understood this—Cary McWilliams (Nation) for example, who praised central California author Gerry Haslam’s fiction concerning the people he grew up with in Oildale and elsewhere in California’s Great Central Valley as being “country music set to prose.” Of course hip literati stations like KPFA feature bluegrass etc. as an expression of being down with the working country people but it’s usually phony: the same literati will go out and rail against the rednecks, Joe 6pack etc. for their lack of political awareness and sophistication and general lack of taste (a self-fulfilling description if ever there was one).  This is a mistake: what working bluecollar American workers are aware of is that they are getting royally screwed by the system, and made the butt of jokes by the liberals. So why is it a surprise that, absent a strong populist labor movement, they vote for the same people that the liberal’s scorn, people who seem to share their recretational preferences and values? (The Ws, the Palins and so forth.) Obama seems to grasp that, or at least so he said to a private meeting of SF elitists, part of which was leaked and nearly scuttled his election, but has yet to enact anything very useful to the people, some of whom are indeed embittered and have every right to be. In this part of California, anyway, I haven’t seen even a glimmer of awareness. Big city, state and national level pols will champion every imaginable minority group—except white farmers, plumbers, storekeepers, people who work in the oilfields, cowboys ... you get the idea. So, a First Dude who does the Iditarod whose candidate wife can shoot and dress a moose, shares religious and family values and says “You betcha” has a certain appeal. And so would a rightwing populist talking redemption of the people who made the country great before it was betrayed by the greasers and the blacks and the Jew bankers and the slant-eyes who live crowded together and save money so their kids get into state colleges and universities and displace honest hardworking white people. White Southerners are also routinely dissed as a group for being racist. The list of prejudices held by progressive liberals is ridiculously long, and is a major stumblock to turning the country around—when the only people accorded respect are the bicoastals. All of this, plus a serious ongoing financial disaster that is throwing thousands, millions, of people out of work, is creating a set of circumstances in this country not unlike ‘30s Germany, where people were strugging and starving under the harsh impositions Britain and France insisted on in the Versailles Treaty.

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By Folktruther, May 9, 2009 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

Well, you’re right about the platform, Shenonymous, if its a private platform that people get together to help erect, I don’t see how one could object.  But it is necessary to take all the money awary from the rich so they cannot hire large media platforms easily.

I would say, off the top of my head, that if an racist terrorist organization like the KKK has a HISTORY of violence, they should be banned from future demos.  Maybe an elected commission to determine violence and give warnings.  Actually, now that I think of it, this the kind of thing that cann4ing would be best at to draw up the guidlines.  I’m just throwing out possible details.

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By Shenonymous, May 9, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Who is doing the providing of the public platform Folktruther?  Soap boxes in the park or on street corners are traditional. We hear everything from communist oratory to radical evangelical caution of the end of the world and everything in between.  I used to hear them on campus.  I had the option to stop and listen, boo, take issue also publicly, or walk on.  I suppose private air space (radio, tv, even blogsites which now serves as our metaphorical soap boxes.) are already helping the former Victorian tightassed, okay okay, tight-corseted brains to fray at the edges.  Still though, the various medieval religious keeps the chains around the throat.  I am always surprised to hear the words vagina and penis spoken on network programs, executions, almost porn sex, curse words which says those former becoming irrelevant values are being eroded as we breathe. 

I agree with most of what you say, Folktruther.  But if miscreants like Savage, Limbaugh, et al, speak there is without a doubt an audience who applauds them.  We see some of them right here on this forum.  Because they agree with Savage does that mean they ought to be banned from this forum?  I don’t think so.  The other side, the one I am on, can respond.  We had better have better arguments or we are the ones who are lost. 

Funny thing, so far all I’ve heard is a lot of name-calling of Savage but no meaty counter arguments to his deranged messages.  That tells me that only frustration is at work and the inability to confront his pathetic views with sound reasons why his are wrong.

The so-called public is not a homogenous group.  The spectrum runs from one extreme to the other which is a similar dynamic of what freedom means.  Perhaps we ought start defining freedom more precisely?  What are we protecting when we say we want to protect our free speech?  What are our limits and does the term really cover our prejudices?  My range allows the freaky extremists as long as they do not promote hurting people physically and we find people actually doing that.  We are already legally compelled to leave the KKK and NeoNazis alone until they commit a crime!  I do not include mental influence since the realm of the mind is very easily changed and does frequently.  Too elusive.  It is only in overt criminal acts that they can be got!  Don’t you agree?

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By Folktruther, May 9, 2009 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

I guess a crucial distinction might be: allowing people to talk vs providing a public platform for them to talk.  Savage should be allowed to travel wherever he wants but he should be fired from tv for spewing anti-people views.  Free speech but no public platform.  Possibly.  What do you think of that as a free speech distinction?  Shenonymous?  Shepharad?

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By Leefeller, May 9, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Freedom is to watch Fox News, listen to Limbaugh, and the Savages of the world, we as the choir absorb and believer of every word spewed as the Gospel from the Pope himself.

We our nation is fighting for freedom (of control) all around the world.  We must all wear flag pins to prove our support of freedom, the freedom to do as we want, do as we say, but not the freedom to do as we do.  Freedom is to be hypocritical above and beyond the capability of other, people, religion and nation.

Now Liberty has been clearly defined by Fox News!

Why do I all of a sudden remember as a little kid, the little piggy who went we,we,we all the way home?

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By Shenonymous, May 9, 2009 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Hearing aids may be bought cheaply at stores like Walmart.  There is an old adage, never believe anything that you hear, and half of what you see.  Perceptions are deceiving.  Problem when listening to your own voice is that it might have been harrowed by preconceived provincial self-regarding notions.  Walmart or Lenscrafters also sell glasses for the nearsighted. 

Another analogy.  Among artists of various sorts some use very narrow brushes with one color to define the image they are after.  Others use a wide brush in order to cover the ground more broadly.  When it comes to freedoms, I advise to not use a narrow brush until ready to speak of specific ones with any intelligence, or you might find you do not have any freedom worth having since you do not have much of a definitive canvas for them.  Definitions when given full investigation, represent a range of and not absolute meaning.  Either freedom has meaning, or it doesn’t.  One can easily and facilely dismiss the extremes of the definition of freedom then there is nothing to grab onto.  Next suggestion – give up the notion of freedom altogether and learn how to bow, for I defy you to define it.

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By Leefeller, May 9, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

My hearing has not been good lately, but I believe I am hearing, “when in Rome do not do as the Romans do”? (or want)

Seems advocates of Savage’s free speech international unlimited have,  joined the Savage sales team and need to tell Queeny what capitalist free speech really is. Savage can provide one of his unique simplistic examples as main speaker. 

After Britain, Everyone can amble over to Holland and Denmark then build up more mentum for the old Savage mob   picking up some baseball bats, (don’t know what the Brits call them, cricket bats?) and take care of Saudi Arabia and their burkas.

Well, with the free tirade agreement, we should have the free Savage agreement?

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By omop, May 9, 2009 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

Have to admit that notwithstanding the various and some challenging viewpoints and still dedicated to the Voltarian stand the most that I for one can do for the “cause” is not to buy any product and/or service from those who advertise on and contribute to Mr. Weiner’s being on the air. Ditto with Mr. Limbaugh and a few others.

Regards to all the mothers in the world.

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By ardee, May 9, 2009 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, May 8 at 1:05 am #
To me, dissent means, for example, calling
for the overthrow of the government, or even the most obscene hate speech denigrating another person or group of people. But to incite others to do harm to other people seems to cross a line, as a sovreign government is also charged with protecting its citizens from physical harm. Then there’s the old saw about one’s liberty to throw one’s arm out ends when that arm strikes another human being.

Isn’t the dilemma of a true democracy allowing complete free expression without allowing bullyboys to destroy the civil rights of others? The agora or free marketplace of IDEAS, and expression of those ideas—- must it also include the acting out of those ideas, causing physical harm, or restricting another’s right to vote or simply live in peace? These may be nitpicking distinctions, and yet they do compose the “slippery slope” on which we might haplessly scramble down into tyranny by commission on the one hand or omission on the other.

Shall we try to come up with an impregnable, solid definition of free speech and dissent without permitting incitement to or commission of physical harm?
.............................................

 
  \di-?sent\
Function:
  intransitive verb
Etymology:
  Middle English, from Latin dissentire, from dis- + sentire to feel — more at sense
Date:
  15th century

1 : to withhold assent
2 : to differ in opinion

I see no delimiter therein which deals with the manner in which dissent is presented, do you? I do understand your reasonable and quite well posed response and thank you for it. Unfortunately I am troubled by the potentially dangerous problem you seem to provide; how to judge the potential harm in ones speech.

You question the limits of free speech, and, as everything in a free society is open to such questioning, that is a good thing and a healthy situation for a society to find oneself. But to suggest that we limit ones speech because there is the potential for harm contained within it is a position I cannot support, if only because you then set up a situation in which someone becomes the judge and jury, deciding what is free speech and what is not.

Far, far better to note that speech itself may insult or embarrass, Gaia knows Ive done plenty of self embarrassing speaking in my day, but such speech is , in itself harmless. Obviously we are all aware of the prohibitions against yelling fire in crowded public places, common sense of course, but yelling most anything else is ones right, and perhaps even ones duty should one feel strongly enough about the subject and its impact upon our nations culture.

I would much rather allow the agora of which you speak be the deciding factor in the utility of such speech; if enough folks believe the speech accurate they will take it up themselves, if not the speeches will die with little or no effect. To suggest a body sitting in judgment over ones right of speech is fraught with peril, in my opinion.

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By Shenonymous, May 9, 2009 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, I think it is for many extremely stressful to uphold universal values when one knows that along with the good, one is compelled to uphold also the rights of the bad.  Some would even hold that there are no such things as universal values.  In that case we ought not to be defending freedoms at all.  It becomes a matter of degree of corruption and how far one can compromise their personal morality to be authentic to one’s principles. It often is a hard road to trudge, it is not an easy walk.  I think the word authentic is the crucial and pivotal term and it decides how far one can go.  Your experience with the ACLU and upholding the rights of Nazis is that kind of ultimate test.  It puts one right on the edge of what we really mean by freedoms.  Moral human beings are tested all the time.  I think Occam’s Razor often decides for them, meaning they take the shortest route to personal comfort and are unable to work within that soul-grinding environment.  This is an emotional response and it is metaphorically speaking to walk on a precipice which is stressful to put it mildly.  That you lasted until your job at the ACLU was over is laudable.  Most would have walked away a lot sooner. 

From many reasons, both nature and nurture, we draw our own lines of tolerance and for most things we cannot be faulted.  Allowing harm to another is something that can demand fault.  We can still have ideals but we often find out that the real is very far below the prototype.

Problem is that people use terms like authentic, genuine, unpretentious without knowing the full extent of their meaning.  They think they know, but when ground down to the absolute quintessence, they don’t pass the ethic.  This is not a general criticism, for as you said, we are only human and our strengths may not be what we imagined them to be.  It is times like that when we have to face ourselves and those principles we think we have.  I believe that is the essence of the Socratic Imperative to Know Thyself. 

I tend to go to the wall with my beliefs and values.  And I have suffered for it, as others with limited vision could not see that ideas like justice, temperance, courage, morality and ethics mean more than merely to give lip service.  Holding unpopular views cannot be the cause to abandon what really are unassailable principles. 

They are worth even being excoriated for.  There have been people who declared friendship retreat when put to the test and prove to have the shallowest of character mainly because they cannot fathom why the ultimate consequences of holding unpopular views are founded on seeing below the surface of emotion.

I am not defending Savage and especially I am not defending his miserable views, I am defending his right to express his views.  It is a demonstration of our strength of mind to counter equally strong our different views.  We think we hold moral views, but then the ultra-right thinks they do too.  We each have our own measure.  Do our principles come down to numbers and how many agree or are the principles of freedoms above the crowd?

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By rollzone, May 8, 2009 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

hello. bravo, Mr. Savage. the ecclectic unreality of being able to walk amongst mere mortals in public and ignite riotous anarchy at your every utterance must tittilate you long into your night. i used to listen to borders, language, and culture long before it came to pass; and enjoyed your insightfulness way back then.did Cat Stevens put them up to this?

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By Sepharad, May 8, 2009 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, I hate scrolling up and down too. And I agree that if we don’t protect the speech of others, ours becomes at risk. This is the ACLU’s position, and a good one. But, as I just explained to Sodium, at one point re one case I couldn’t take the heat so had to exit the kitchen.

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By Sepharad, May 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment

Sodium, I’m not exactly a shining idealist. In my May 8 1:05am post to Shenonymous, I elaborate on the bald “Freedom of speech is absolute or it’s nothing” as a primary dilemma of a free society, and am not always up to carrying the banner myself.

The ACLU’s motto, which I agree with, is “What can be done to one can be done to everyone.” But you and I are only human, right? In the real world: I’d been working a few years with the ACLU when a lawyer and I were handed the case of a white supremacist/Nazi group whose vile recorded message was shut down by the phone company. We did our best to get it restored under the free speech protection and succeeded. I was not happy about it, though, and found being in the same room with our clients nearly unbearable. Afterwards, the head of that group came to our ACLU office, thanked us, told the lawyer (also a Jew) he could be attorney general when they took over and that I could be their head of communications. I quit the same day. SOMEBODY has to protect everyone’s free speech, and I’m glad the ACLU remains vigilant, but I could not continue in a position where I might again have to enable free speech for such repellent ideologies. So I have my principles, but also my limits. (The ACLU lawyer is now a public defender but continues to handle ACLU free speech cases.)

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By Garo, May 8, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Michael Savage is an asshole who lost recently revenues from several former advirtisers who has decided to withdraw from advertising on his radio-show.

England has right-wingers and a Muslims minority,mostly from Pakistan. There is no love lost beteen the two groups.

Maybe Savage wants to visit England to explore if he can make money to compensate what he lost in the US,on the expense of both groups.

Perhaps,the British government has before-hand information about Savage’s intention. Thus,the British government has denied him entry.

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By Leefeller, May 8, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

FT,

Your forgetfulness becomes you, in your haste you forget the raisins in the oatmeal. Just because you have an ITW Ann Rand fetish for Savage, don’t take it out on me.

You need to ask your cat were in hell you got the connection to Savage and the KKK, not me?  My comment was addressed towards hypocrisy not a comparison between Savage and the KKK? 

Okay, so not to be a hypocrite of notoriety, I could also invite Savage over for a bat day fund raiser and he can select out his favorite bat for Muslim batting practice and while he is at it, I can sell him a bible. We don’t call this the bible belt for nothing!

Not being a hypocrite is hard work, more people should try it.

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By Folktruther, May 8, 2009 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, all that oatmeal and other slop that you are feeding your cats are making your brains weak. the KKK is a racist terrorist organziation that in any respectable power systems would be outlawed, as would a uniformed Nazi party.  They are threatening violence.

Savage is not threatening violence by going to Britain.  My cat can’t understand the distinction between the KKK burning crosses and someone, however dispicable, being allowed to travel. But this should be less difficult for a human.  Some humans anyway.

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By Sodium, May 8, 2009 at 7:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Sepharad,May 7 at 12:18 am.

“Freedom of speech has to be absolute or it’s nothing.”

Sepharad,

As much as I want to agree with your idealistic comment quoted specifically above,I had/have found myself compelled NOT to,because the Hitlerism’s oratory is NOT dead yet.

The next victims of such Hitlerism’s oratory,most likely,will be the Atheists,abortionists,homosexuals,Marxists,illegal immigrants,Muslims,Arabs and,possibly once again,the Jews. The KKK-ism is not dead yet either…..

Many a time,in my way,in the car to get medicines for my wife from a pharmacy about three miles away,I tried to tune in for the PR station,I hit by accident some other radio station in which somebody shouting,with profound passion,that this country was built on Judo-Christian ethics,NOT by Atheists,abortionists,homosexuals,Marxists,illegal immigrants and Islamo-fascists. The passionate shouter then asked: When are we going to clean this country from such parasites?

If this is NOT incitement,I just do not know what is !!! 

I am NOT naive in the slightest manner. Therefore,I cannot take such dangerous oratory litely under the pretext of Free Speech. Free Speech? Free Speech my ass!!! Excuse my language.
I very seldom care to use such a word. Out of disgust,I do use it once in a great while.

Please give me a break. If you do,I thank you.

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By Karim, May 8, 2009 at 7:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All these quotes are just a fraction of savages “opinions” that some would like us to protect.

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By Leefeller, May 8, 2009 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

To not be a hypocrite, would really mean inviting the KKK over to my front lawn for a cross burning. Further distancing myself from hypocrisy, I would provide a live band to play Dixie and offer them free beer and as a capitalist sell torches and laundry service, hell I might even sell bibles?

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By Shenonymous, May 8, 2009 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, I am always happy to discuss important topics with you!  I appreciate your moderate and thoughtful views.  I understand completely the weight that glorious books can present, especially when one changes residence!  I’ve done it twice now, and the second time recently, to the horror of my children, since I talk about feet of shelf space, I had added scores more of books! But each and every one are prizes for me, having spent literally thousands of hours in my lifetime in classes on both sides of the dais in the halls of learning.  I knew a brilliant Norwegian woman, a scholar of the positive effects of multiculturalism on society and visual literacy, who had turned her condo into rooms and rooms and aisles and aisles of books and journals.  It was like walking through a mini library of congress!  She said she would never move.  I am not trying to emulate her but her library was stunning.  The electronic media will never substitute for me the feel of a book that you can pick up anytime and ponder over passages without that glaring light of the computer screen and having to constantly scroll up and down when investigating an idea.  I’ve almost got to the point of pathological aversion to the scrolling action

You are right, of course, and I did point out the peril back on May 6 only I called it the slipperiest slope. I gave a similar conclusion that when speech crosses the line and calls for killing and destroying others it then denies others their rights and can no longer be considered the exercise of free speech, it becomes prosecutionally criminal.  Yes, there is a limit.  Being offensive in one’s opinion or language does not qualify one’s speech to be muffled.  I think when a public denial such as Britain and the United States performs with its exclusions what happens is that the bigots are elevated to bask in a limelight, negative as it might be.  They become glamorous and is really the net result.  Britain has their own share of the ideologically offensive.  The practice of depriving people a voice regardless of how disgusting, as long as it does not incite violence is a bad idea.  This kind of exclusionary action comes very close to the abject denial done by militant countries where speech can result in murder and has.  I don’t want to go down that road to perdition and erode our inherent freedoms. People with minds like Paine would never have a voice.  He was considered a rogue and did incite a war for independence.

I completely detest Savage and Stephen Don Black, and Phelps.  I would no more want to listen to their ugly invectives than put my hand on a hot coal.  However, to protect my right of free speech, I must protect theirs.  Otherwise, I would be the hypocrite.

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By Sepharad, May 7, 2009 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous—Wonderful to read your detailed, well-informed posts again. (Also it’s good to know someone else has a personal library and doesn’t automatically google. A word of warning: my mentor, recently deceased, had rooms and rooms of books that I marveled at, but one day he said, “My books are an albatross. I don’t feel free to wander where I would. I can’t leave them, and I can’t carry them.”  My library is much more modest than his, but he was right: can’t live [fully] without them but can’t carry them either.)

You write that sovreign countries have the right to keep dissenters out, but it shows that they are weak. “Dissenters”, true, but are people who have physically harmed and call for others to do harm to other individuals in the category of “dissenter”?

It’s a fine line, and you may be correct. To me, dissent means, for example, calling for the overthrow of the government, or even the most obscene hate speech denigrating another person or group of people. But to incite others to do harm to other people seems to cross a line, as a sovreign government is also charged with protecting its citizens from physical harm. Then there’s the old saw about one’s liberty to throw one’s arm out ends when that arm strikes another human being.

Isn’t the dilemma of a true democracy allowing complete free expression without allowing bullyboys to destroy the civil rights of others? The agora or free marketplace of IDEAS, and expression of those ideas—- must it also include the acting out of those ideas, causing physical harm, or restricting another’s right to vote or simply live in peace? These may be nitpicking distinctions, and yet they do compose the “slippery slope” on which we might haplessly scramble down into tyranny by commission on the one hand or omission on the other.

Shall we try to come up with an impregnable, solid definition of free speech and dissent without permitting incitement to or commission of physical harm?

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By Sodium, May 7, 2009 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:PSmith,May 7 at 3:27 pm.

PSmith,

A GREAT POST,WRITTEN,WITHOUT NOISY FANFARES,BY A GENUINE REALIST IN A WORLD HAS BECOME INCREASINGLY UNREAL.

Thank you,Sir,very very much for the privilege of reading your profoundly realistic comments. They are most appreciated by readers like myself.

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By Sodium, May 7, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Karim,May 6 at *:35 pm.

Karim,

Will you please tell me who has made the hateful comments you have painstakingly quoted in your above Re.

It seems to me that all of the quote you have quoted I had heard it or read it somewhere,but I could not remember where and when. It sounds like one of Michael Savage’s hate speeches and evil propagandas.

Thank you for any additional information you may be in a position to shed on this request.

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By melvin polatnick, May 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The right to yell fire in a crowded theater should be defended. It is true that a few fools might get stampeded to death but the sane ones will survive. Savage has yelled fire many times. He has spread panic among emotionally challenged listeners. Some have even went insane. But it would be a state of panic to silence him for the sake of the weak minded. It is a comment on the state of mind of British listeners that he is not allowed to enter their country.

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By Shenonymous, May 7, 2009 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Now, ardee, you are talking more like a scholar.  It is appreciated.  I agree with most of what you said of Paine.  I had already said that implicit in The Rights of Man is Paine’s veneration of freedoms, of speech and of the press.  It is problematic to include such things as freedoms of thoughts or convictions since those are not repressible no matter how tortured one is. 

Just for your information, I never need to go to the internet for information and that was a pathetic defensive crack on your part. Unworthy of a mature scholar.  My personal library is extensive and is so for professional reasons.

Fact is that Burke shocked Paine because Burke had been a huge supporter of the American Revolution and here he was attacking the French.  The dichotomy of thought was confounding to Paine.  Paine was hugely against heredity government, or divine descent of Kings, where usually it is passed down from father to son, making objections against governmental behavior impossible.  The right of descent from the elder Bush to the younger was a moment of consternation to many in the American public for a close example.  Also the same for the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, the Romneys, and so forth.  Paine’s stellar and completely circular point was that rights cannot in their essential nature be granted because if granted then can be revoked and if revocable then they are privileges, not rights.  Rights are found in nature, are innate and inalienable. 

There is so much more that only a brush with what is there is feasible on a forum such as this.  I too recommend a thorough reading of both The Rights of Man and Common Sense be read by all who are interested in the freedoms they hold so dear.  There are literally hundreds of texts on the thoughts and life of Thomas Paine, that could be the value of a google search.

One quote from Paine’s Rights of Man that shows his sentiments about war that seems to have been similarly expressed by several here on these forums (and I include myself): “I had seen enough of the miseries of war, to wish it might never more have existence in the world, and that some other mode might be found out to settle the differences that should occasionally arise in the neighbourhood of nations.”

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By ardee, May 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

for shenonymous:

I confess to allowing the juvenile japes in your response to me to lead me to a likewise unacceptable level of childishness. I will try not to do so again.

As to your googling of Thomas Paine, better your timer spent reading his, The Rights Of Man to find his belief in free speech

While Paine disliked religious meddling in political matters, and he would not himself censor anyone, confident that the guidance of our shared conscience and reason could mean that with free expression the truth would be “ultimately victorious” (Rights of Man, I, p. 247). For him such truth would clearly include deism in religion and republicanism in politics.

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By Lester Shepherd, May 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The funny thing is:  if these people were not making more money than they could ever have imagined, hate speech would not exist.  It’s about the almighty god damned dollar, which is soon going to be worthless and this bloke will be left with nothing and brought down to our level and forgotten.  Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

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By Shenonymous, May 7, 2009 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Yeah Folktruther, I thought I might have come down with an incurable disease when I found myself agreeing with Fadel Abdallah and you earlier!  Actually I hope I have really!  I tend to believe in civil disagreement as differences will always exist.  That has to be the right way to grow intellectually healthy.  I had to even notify some friends of this anomaly.  Will wonders ever cease?  Can this be our semiotic of hope?  I finally attributed it to our higher overarching intelligence we often hide from each other sometimes out of spite and to Bucky Fuller’s Critical Paths…of confluence. Oh well, all in the name of trooth! right?  Or can we call it truth this time?

I’ve read all the posts here and feel pity for the paranoids. Most of this crowd if not all, have never felt the loss of free speech so retain an ideal that has no substance.  Citing historical figures is good if there is any real content and a lesson that is learnable offered, and pointing out semi-freedoms in other countries is moot given the eminent value Americans place on freedoms.  Americans are still learning the full extent of their ideals, only handicapped by the likes of Savage and other fanatics, both right and left.  Eventually the baby pulls itself up and walks, stumbling until it can walk without holding on.

ardee, since I am neither reasonable nor sane, I happily pass by pursuing any dialogue with the likes such as yourself.

omop you said – It is tragic bordering on being calamitous that the essence of the USA in the 21st. Century is personified in the likes of the Savages, the Limbaughs, et al.  Quite right in my opinion, but as long as it is only “bordering on being calamitous” we are all right.  If we may, we can call those “near death experiences” that sober up the primitive passions.  And sharpen our powers of reason.  The madmen such as Savage and Limbaugh will always find an audience as there are many disgruntleds.  But be careful of the extreme other side as well.  Aristotle, not my favorite philosopher, nevertheless promoted temperance as the proper way to deal with life.  Don’t you think there is something to that?

Not to worry Leefeller, your deliriums are enchanting.  You can’t take it back anyway.  We have all commented from it!  Too bad.  Wait a minute!  Did you mean you take back this very last post or the one before it?

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By Leefeller, May 7, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

She,

When posters do not agree with every profound tidbit of Leefeller rantings, my feelers get hurt and I here now proclaim, I am taking back my “Savage is a poster boy for freedom of speech” posting, ...except ...... if I do that, I am agreeing with Shes disagreement?

Hmm! What shall I do? Deliriums of de ... lamas.  My ego has been violated again, the thought of it.  I know, ... Just pretend my post never existed!

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By ardee, May 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous

I enjoy dialogue with reasonable and sane folks. Should I encounter one such I will happily pursue such dialogue.

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By omop, May 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

SHENONYMOUS & P SMITH.

It is tragic bordering on being calamitous that the essence of the USA in the 21st. Century is personified in the likes of the Savages, the Limbaughs, et al.

They are promoted and glorified at the expense of moral, principled, educated and thinking individuals such as yourselves and others.

Its doubly mortifying to not being able, in an open society as ours to not have for example a “Shenonymous” with a 10 or more million audience.

Mr. “Weiner” Savage has publicaly threatened to sue the Government of the UK for not allowing him to enter Britain…..talk about ‘chutzpah’

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By Folktruther, May 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Gosh, Shenonymous, I agree with your elequently expressed last post.  I must be getting sick.

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By Shenonymous, May 7, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

I don’t think Savage is a poster boy for anything ‘cept maybe for the ultra right to make a bowing tabernacle and elevated to have one wing on the right side (I think they might find it is hard to fly that way). But his freedom of speech vehemently incongruous as it is, fiercely points out the limits to which we who mouth the ultimate virtue of the right of free speech must be willing to travel to preserve its higher purpose.  It is often extremely painful to see the maximum potential of our ideals.  I suppose it could be material for a George Carlin performance, too bad he passed on.  He was (almost) seditious in his amusing diatribes and no doubt would have been prevented from setting a toe in England as well.  Pressing the seriousness that underlies the actions of prohibiting free movement because of undesirable speech under the veneer of humor could be shooting oneself in the head rather than just wounding in the foot.

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By Leefeller, May 7, 2009 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

Am I the only one who finds this amusing? Savage the poster boy for free speech? Maybe we can line them up and have a free speech forum with Limbaugh to Ann Coulter for starters.

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By Folktruther, May 7, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

“All you people who say he has a right to freedom of speech are stupid assholes.  Hate ain’t allowed in free speech.’ 

I like Lester’s straightforward dingbat comment, which expresses so vividly the controdiction in banning speech.  Sleazoids like Savage (Weiner) should never be allowed within talking distance of a public megaphone as the host of media program that slanders ethnic groupings of people.  If the American people controlled their own mass media, and a people ideology promugated, than Savage could be allowed a brie comment as we are in discussing this matter.  He should never be given a public platform to spew hatred of people.

But that is a totally different matter from firing somebody from their jobs, putting them in prison,  preventing them from talking to their friends, or traveling to other places, including other countries because of their immoral views.  You can’t ban Savage without banning others as well, and as a practical matter, power tends to ban any criticism of itself historically.  There is no way to allow people to criticize power, or their power system, without allowing dirty minded dingbats like Savage to promote his disgusting agenda.

Lester’s view, “I hate what you say, so shut up.” differs notably from Voltaire’s, and historically always threatens a police state.

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By Leefeller, May 7, 2009 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Freedom of speech should be everywhere on the globe.  Savage should go to Saudi Arabia and give his baseball bat for Muslims speech, I will donate toward his ticket, he can take the FOX moron known as Hannity with him and and go water boarding together while holding hands. Though some would say that would seem gay.

Who is anyone to tell an other country what they should do, accept or beleive, unless of course it is the USA doing the telling? 

I am not going to Rome and walk around with a sign saying the Pope sucks, nor would I go to Denmark and make derogatory cartoons about a religious icon.  Freedom of speech has limits, would you attend a KKK convention and and tell stupid jokes, or to to a Pygmy convention and tell short jokes, not unless you were suicidal.  Freedom of speech should have some qualifiers, especially when one is a guest in another country.

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By Shenonymous, May 7, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

You are too amusing ardee, when you take one small paragraph I wrote as a distillation of an entire man’s body of work.  Instead of trying to piss farther than I, why not show your doctorate expertise about Thomas Paine.  For this is all I said Thomas Paine’s call to guard against oppression is ironic and did not refer to freedom of speech as he was vocally and in writing preaching sedition and is the most responsible man for the Revolutionary War than any of the others.  He was a criminal in England’s mind.  Perhaps an intent reading of his doctrines and writings would make that clear.  The oppression of which he speaks was that of the English King.  Though I think it is a travesty, as I think he was the first patriot, he was so defiled that to this day there is no statuary of him in Washington D.C., which in fact you did not dispute in any formal way but preferred to strut whatever credential you may have and name-called me self-serving. Should you indeed have a Ph.D. dissertation on the venerable Mr. Paine you could increase your colleagues’ knowledge on this forum instead of allowing them to proceed ignorantly and instead of puffing up your seemingly hollow mind as demonstrated by not saying much of anything like other usual biff bammers on blogs.  You see, I did not do a dissertation on the autodidactic Paine but I did write a thesis.

Shall I do your job for you? Briefly but hardly distorting, essentially, Thomas Paine, who amazingly was quoted by our most recent president in his inaugural, must have been born with a rebellious heart since right from the beginning as a child he witnessed a jeering mob attack others being punished in the stocks. Nor was he very close to his sour-tempered mother but identified with a Quaker father, ran away from home at 16, retrieved by his father, only later to return to the sea for a brief stint as a seaman. He often used the metaphor of the sea in his more seditious writings against England. He became familiar with the criminal element of smuggling as a horseback patrolman who collected taxes, so he was quite familiar with the practice of taxation.  After losing his position for a minor misdemeanor, later to win it back, he is reported by one biographer to have made a new career as a teacher, when bored with that became a traveling preacher, which given that he had not at that time sheered away from a belief in god, it was still unlikely that he was zealously devoted to religion showing his deist beliefs later in his Age of Reason where he declares his own mind was his church.

He became involved in government when reappointed taxman, later joined a local political organization, the Society of Twelve, an élite intellectual group that had long sessions to discuss town politics.  He was declared an outlaw by England and became a political prisoner in France for that country’s revolution upon publishing the most seditious of all The Age of Reason in which he responds to Burke’s condemnation of the French Revolution.  Common Sense was the seminal piece of writing that helped galvanize the Colonies into war.  While another deist, Thomas Jefferson, justified the revolution, Paine incited the passion to convince men to pick up their guns and muskets and fight the war.  It is the nth degree of the effects of freedom of speech, but by that time, the colonists were ready to die for their freedom.

There is nothing that Michael Savage, aka Michael Weiner, says that is remotely as eloquent nor important nor as passionate as what Paine is noted and responsible for.  Your minor Paine quote does not address freedom of speech regardless of how you might like it to.  In Common Sense, he was criticizing the British constitution, in The Age of Reason, it was organized religion.  Always a champion of free thought, free speech, and free press, freedom of speech is included as structural and exercised, but not the main purpose in his writings.

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By ardee, May 7, 2009 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

Sheynonymous:
Thomas Paine’s call to guard against oppression is ironic and did not refer to freedom of speech as he was vocally and in writing preaching sedition and is the most responsible man for the Revolutionary War than any of the others.  He was a criminal in England’s mind.  Perhaps an intent reading of his doctrines and writings would make that clear.

...................................

Thanks for one of the most distorted and self serving interpretations of Paine’s words I have ever been privileged to read. I did my dissertation on Paine so I guess I have indeed read him rather thoroughly, but thansk anyway for the suggestion, in fact that suggestion is a two edged sword and might serve to have you yourself re-read the words, ideals and ideas of Mr.Paine.

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By david, May 7, 2009 at 2:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sometimes, while driving, I tune into “Savage.” At first he frightened me but now I listen and I laugh. His self-confident ravings and shredding of anyone who displays the guts to call in and disagree, periodically punctuated by sound effects that remind me of a UFO taking off (I suppose to transport him between this dimension and the one he came from). The man is completely loony and a blatant opportunist. And yet, I’ve spoken to people who listen to the man and believe he is some sort of prophet. But as the Joe Walsh album title says: “You can’t argue with a sick mind.” Trying to debate the crazies is hopeless- because they are nuts and cannot be reasoned with. The only hope of dealing with this Limbaugh-wanna-be is to shower him, and all his kind, with the ridicule they so richly deserve. That way the sane majority of the population can be saved.

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By Shenonymous, May 7, 2009 at 12:16 am Link to this comment

The hallowed freedom of speech strides mightily with an equally sacrosanct partner called the right of dissent, they are synonyms but not exactly the same.  Without those vital tools, humans are subject to the worst tyranny.  That word tyranny seems to be overworked these days so I’ll give a few euphemisms, see if any ring a bell:  Big Brother the fictional but model of a ubiquitous leader of a totalitarian society, Gessler the Austrian despot shot by William Tell, Brutus Jones escaped American convict who set himself up as an emperor exploiting the ignorance and superstitions of a West Indies island, or how about the decapitating Queen of Hearts in Alice, the mentally unstable Nero, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Hitler, Ghengis Khan, Ivan the Terrible…plug in your favorite tyrant!

Many on these forums rail loudly against the US government for what are perceived as its follies and crimes.  They even call for the prosecution of the former president and vice president.  That is dissent.  For every word you speak or write against this government, that is dissent.  Without that right to speak freely, you would be in jail or executed.  It does not matter whether it is mild or volatile. 

Whether you agree or not with Naruda’s communism, he ought to be tolerated here in the USA an elsewhere, as he has something of consequence to say, he is not seditious against America.  How would you know you disagree unless you had the opportunity to hear what is said?  Also just as the priest, Oscar Romero’s activism ought not to have gotten himself brutally murdered, assassinated for speaking out against his El Salvadoran government, and another Romero, Rafael de Jesus Gallego, outspoken priest who criticizes Columbia, we await his assassination, don’t we?  The list is unending of viciously stifling the mouth. Be careful you are not put on that list someday.  Tolerance is an empty word unless exercised.

Yes, sovereign countries do have a right to keep dissenters out of their country, but that shows they are a weak country, unable to withstand the assault of verbal opposition.  It does not mean anyone has to see exclusion as ethically right.

One has to be willing to test the limits of their freedoms, to see if they can stand the trials of extremism.  For if they cannot then perhaps they weren’t freedoms after all but are guises that satisfy only what appears to be.  That is the most dangerous state of all.

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