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Main Discussion Zone => Religion In The News => Topic started by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 07:09:46 AM

Title: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 07:09:46 AM
Here is a segment from yesterday's article in the NY Times. 

As violent and sometimes deadly protests consume much of the Muslim world in response to an American-made video mocking the Prophet Muhammad, New Yorkers will soon encounter another potentially inflammatory rendering of Islam: an advertisement in the transit system that reads, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”

It concludes with the words, “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” wedged between two Stars of David.

After rejecting the ads initially, then losing a federal court ruling on First Amendment grounds, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said on Tuesday that the ads were expected to appear next week at 10 subway stations.

“Our hands are tied,” Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the authority, said when asked about the timing of the ad.

In July, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that the authority had violated the First Amendment rights of the group that sought to place the ad, the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The authority had cited the ad’s “demeaning” language in barring its placement.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/nyregion/ad-demeaning-muslims-to-appear-in-new-york-subway.html?_r=1

Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HAL on September 19, 2012, 07:13:50 AM
These ass hole Mulsims that can't take it need to start understanding what free speech means. If they can't, then we're gonna have a real war on our hands until they finally either get it or get killed in a riot, or by delivering a suicide bomb as retribution for a cartoon.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 07:21:41 AM
These ass hole Mulsims that can't take it need to start understanding what free speech means. If they can't, then we're gonna have a real war on our hands until they finally either get it or get killed in a riot, or by delivering a suicide bomb as retribution for a cartoon.

Whoa.  Many corners of the Muslim world have been victimized by cold war posturing that had nothing to do with them.  Land occupied by Muslims was taken away from them and given to another oppressed group.  Today, foreign corporations go in an pillage resources in land that Muslim families have controlled for centuries, and foreign powers court the oppressive monarchies who claim ownership of the oil rights?   

And then some loud, irrational Muslims get mad when their beliefs and culture are insulted?

And the best solution is to put up subway ads calling them savages? 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HAL on September 19, 2012, 07:23:25 AM
And the best solution is to put up subway ads calling them savages?

That's called free speech. How are you going to regulate it in this country dear? I'm all ears.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 07:28:16 AM
And the best solution is to put up subway ads calling them savages?

That's called free speech. How are you going to regulate it in this country dear? I'm all ears.

I don't tolerate hate speech.  I will exercise my freedom of expression by defacing these ads if I see them. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HAL on September 19, 2012, 07:30:54 AM
I don't tolerate hate speech.  I will exercise my freedom of expression by defacing these ads if I see them.

Then you are just as bad as the Muslims who can't tolerate free speech. What a poor example of our right to freedom of expression. Shame on you.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 07:39:22 AM
According to this article, Washington DC decided not to place these ads:

The American Freedom Defense Initiative has also purchased ad space in Washington, but the transit authority there said Tuesday that it had “deferred” the ad’s placement “out of a concern for public safety, given current world events.”

And no.  I do not tolerate hate speech directed towards any group of people, especially in public spaces that the subjects of that hate speech are unable to avoid.  I certainly will not tolerate being subjected to hate speech on public transportation. 

If I had been an ethnic Aryan in Nazi Germany, I would not have tolerated hate speech. If I were a white person in apartheid South Africa, I would not have tolerated hate speech.  As a person of European descent who has spent time in the racially divided, semi apartheid system in Guatemala, I have not tolerated hate speech.  As a New Yorker, living in one of the neighborhoods with the highest Muslim populations in the US, I will not tolerate hate speech. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HAL on September 19, 2012, 07:44:53 AM
As a New Yorker, living in one of the neighborhoods with the highest Muslim populations in the US, I will not tolerate hate speech.

If you can't tolerate "hate" speech, then why are you on this forum dear? Don't you think there are examples of hateful speech here? You're very blustery this AM.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: stuffin on September 19, 2012, 07:50:20 AM
The sad part is the people fanning these fires will be ones most unlikely to not be hurt or killed when things get out of hand.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 07:59:34 AM
As a New Yorker, living in one of the neighborhoods with the highest Muslim populations in the US, I will not tolerate hate speech.

If you can't tolerate "hate" speech, then why are you on this forum dear? Don't you think there are examples of hateful speech here? You're very blustery this AM.

This is a discussion forum, and I am here voluntarily.  I am here, mostly to find a community of support among people who share my world view.  When religious bigots come here, sometimes I engage them, sometimes I don't.  When, in the course of my daily life, I come across individual bigots, I usually challenge them.  But when I see an example of institutionalized bigotry, in a public space, supported by my tax dollars, I will not tolerate it. 

A public transportation system is not an environment that people seek out.  It is a public space, funded by a combination of my tax dollars, user fees, and sponsor's advertisements. The law protects employees from being exposed to hate speech in the work place, and yet allows hate speech in a public space that most New Yorkers must use in order to get to those work places?  That is not acceptable. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HAL on September 19, 2012, 08:05:17 AM
This is a discussion forum, and I am here voluntarily.  I am here, mostly to find a community of support among people who share my world view.  When religious bigots come here, sometimes I engage them, sometimes I don't.  When, in the course of my daily life, I come across individual bigots, I usually challenge them.  But when I see an example of institutionalized bigotry, in a public space, supported by my tax dollars, I will not tolerate it. 

So what if you are here voluntarily? If you can't tolerate hate speech, then you can't tolerate it. What difference does it make where the hell you are?

Quote
A public transportation system is not an environment that people seek out.

Uh, yea it is, they seek it out to get transportation. Duh.

Quote
It is a public space, funded by a combination of my tax dollars, user fees, and sponsor's advertisements. The law protects employees from being exposed to hate speech in the work place, and yet allows hate speech in a public space that most New Yorkers must use in order to get to those work places?  That is not acceptable.

It is acceptable, this is AMERICA dear, and we allow free speech in public. If you want to restrict that then you are as bad as the Muslims who can't take it. Shame on you.

You say you can't tolerate "hate speech". Well what if I created some hate speech right here, right now? What are you going to do about it, since you "can't tolerate it"? Since it won't be anything that hasn't already been said on the forum many times over the years, and isn't against the rules, what will you do?

Leave the forum? I mean if you can't even tolerate it ... and you must tolerate it if you are a member of this forum, what is your recourse?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 19, 2012, 08:08:33 AM
Quote
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”

What's hateful about that?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: naemhni on September 19, 2012, 08:16:18 AM
I will exercise my freedom of expression by defacing these ads if I see them.

Err, no... "freedom of expression" does not protect destruction of other people's property.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 08:17:02 AM
Quote
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”

What's hateful about that?

Really? 

In this case, the Israeli Jews are being portrayed as the "civilized man" and the Palestinians are being portrayed as the "savages."

During the attempted genocide against the Native peoples of the Americas, the Europeans continue to be portrayed as "civilized man" struggling against "savages."  In apartheid South Africa, we had "civilized man" and "savages."  Today in Guatemala, we have "civilized man" and "savages." 

The people with the biggest guns are the most "civilized."  The people on the other end of the guns are the "savages?" 

You really don't see why this would be offensive?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HAL on September 19, 2012, 08:24:01 AM
You really don't see why this would be offensive?

So what? IT'S CALLED FREE SPEECH!

Jezus fucking Krist - what is the matter with you?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Azdgari on September 19, 2012, 08:28:36 AM
Quote
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”

What's hateful about that?

Whether or not it's hateful, it's definitely an incitement to violence.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 08:29:47 AM
I will exercise my freedom of expression by defacing these ads if I see them.

Err, no... "freedom of expression" does not protect destruction of other people's property.

If it is hanging on a wall that I paid for, it is not "other people's property."  It is my property.  It is public property. 

In June 1940, the transportation assets of the former BMT and IRT systems were taken over by the City of New York for operation by the City's Board of Transportation, which already operated the IND system. In 1953 the New York City Transit Authority, a state agency incorporated for the benefit of the city, now known to the public as MTA New York City Transit, succeeded the BoT.
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_New_York_City_Subway

In a thread a while back I wrote about my elderly mother being taken into custody for removing some Bush/Cheney signs from a public school yard.  The police said that she was defacing private property, and she said that was on public property, and that it was illegal to have partisan signage on public property.  Ultimately, she was not charged. 

In this case, two cities have interpreted the laws differently.  I do not doubt that NYC's interpretation of the laws will be challenged.  And I will support those challenges. 



Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: naemhni on September 19, 2012, 08:39:04 AM
I will exercise my freedom of expression by defacing these ads if I see them.

Err, no... "freedom of expression" does not protect destruction of other people's property.

If it is hanging on a wall that I paid for, it is not "other people's property."  It is my property.  It is public property.

The posters were created with private money.  Their placement is being paid for with private money.  It is not your property.  It is private property.

The wall itself is public property, but just because you hang something on that wall, it doesn't automatically become public property.  If you leave your backpack behind one day when leaving the subway (which is public property), your backpack does not become public property, does it?  Even if you leave it there on purpose?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 19, 2012, 08:47:04 AM
Quesi - would it be correct to say that you regard the suppression of hate speech to supercede someone's right to free speech and/or freedom of expression?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 19, 2012, 08:53:23 AM
In this case, the Israeli Jews are being portrayed as the "civilized man" and the Palestinians are being portrayed as the "savages."

In this specific case many people view the Israelis as the "savages" for their oppression of the Palestinians. There has been plenty of language in support of Palestine, here and abroad. Some of that language could be interpreted as hate speech against the Israelis if one is so inclined to interpret them that way.

Would you feel as strongly about the ad if it said the exact same thing but supported Palestine instead?


Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 09:29:23 AM
In this case, the Israeli Jews are being portrayed as the "civilized man" and the Palestinians are being portrayed as the "savages."

Would you feel as strongly about the ad if it said the exact same thing but supported Palestine instead?

I know individuals who are victims from both sides of this conflict, and I always speak up for the victims.

I no more support the removal of Jews from Israel than I support the removal of people of European ancestry from the Americas.  It is not realistic.  Even just a couple of generations into to occupation, this land is home to those who were born there, and those who have sought refuge there, and those who have invested time and resources into creating communities and infrastructure. 

But by portraying the minority group whose ancestors were robbed of their land as "savages" and by capitalizing on existing prejudices against the 1/3 of humanity who practice Islam, this ad promotes hatred and violence.

It was not that long ago that Jews in NYC were frequent victims of discrimination, and often victims of violence related to their Judaism.  And it still even happens from time to time.  But today in NYC, it is Muslims who are being targeted, and who are frequent victims of hate crimes.  As someone who has watched my friends and neighbors and colleagues victimized, I will continue to fight against any efforts to fuel that hatred and put the Muslim community (or people perceived as being members of the Muslim community) at risk. 

And I say this as someone of Jewish ancestry, who is portrayed as being among the "civilized" in this particular piece of hate speech. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 09:35:06 AM
Quesi - would it be correct to say that you regard the suppression of hate speech to supercede someone's right to free speech and/or freedom of expression?

In the US, I support the categorical exclusions to freedom of speech, including those that create threats or incite crime.  I support the laws when they restrict hate speech that has the potential of creating violence, and I contest the laws that protect hate speech with the same passion that I contest the laws that restrict women's controls of our own bodies.  Just because it is a law does not mean that it is just. 

The irony, of course, is that the "savages" portrayed in this ad are not afforded the same protections of freedom of speech that we enjoy in the US. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 19, 2012, 09:37:09 AM
So your answer is "No" you wouldn't feel as strongly about that ad if it were portraying the Israeli's as the savages?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 09:45:35 AM
So your answer is "No" you wouldn't feel as strongly about that ad if it were portraying the Israeli's as the savages?

Have you read anything I've written?  I take Antisemitism just as seriously as I take Islamaphobia. 

I have no problem defining an act as savage.  I have a serious problem with defining a percentage of the human race as savage. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HAL on September 19, 2012, 09:46:54 AM
In the US, I support the categorical exclusions to freedom of speech, including those that create threats or incite crime.

Why not support free speech and the concept that you don't have the right to never be offended?

Why do these groups have a right to not be offended? Where the hell did that come from?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 19, 2012, 10:02:16 AM
These ass hole Mulsims that can't take it need to start understanding what free speech means. If they can't, then we're gonna have a real war on our hands until they finally either get it or get killed in a riot, or by delivering a suicide bomb as retribution for a cartoon.
Funny if the ad was pro muslim and said Support Jihad,destroy Israel you would have to get past the fact you were an anti Semite before you could get the ad up

How do you think that would go over with the pro-Israel lobby in America?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: One Above All on September 19, 2012, 10:03:02 AM
BM
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 19, 2012, 10:08:58 AM
In the US, I support the categorical exclusions to freedom of speech, including those that create threats or incite crime.

Why not support free speech and the concept that you don't have the right to never be offended?

Why do these groups have a right to not be offended? Where the hell did that come from?
So where does free speech end and hate speech begin? if it were Anti-Israel could you get the ad up......or because the pro-Israel side would play the holocaust card would it be banned?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 10:11:50 AM
In the US, I support the categorical exclusions to freedom of speech, including those that create threats or incite crime.

Why not support free speech and the concept that you don't have the right to never be offended?

Why do these groups have a right to not be offended? Where the hell did that come from?

HAL, I'm genuinely trying to understand where you are coming from on this topic.

Freedom of speech is a huge, complex issue, and ironically, in atheist environments, I'm usually arguing the other side.  I'm not particularly offended when a business leader pays to put up a nativity scene in a public park.  I might not like the nativity scene, but I don't see it as infringing on the rights or safety of members of communities that do not share the beliefs of those who put it there.  But the law usually prefers to protect those groups and individuals, and in fact prohibits the freedom of speech of that private investor who wants to put up a nativity scene.  You would fight to support the rights of the private investor who wants to portray the virgin birth?

So you are arguing that there should be NO RESTRICTIONS on free speech.  You would have no concerns about a private investor putting up signs in a public court house, stating that one ethnic group was more dangerous than another?  You would not have problems with a public school displaying a sign by the private sponsor who paid for the new gymnasium, stating that some students are intellectually superior to others, based on their cultural traditions? 

I would consider these to be valid examples of reasons to limit the freedom of speech.  Especially in these weird private sponsorships of public space.  You would not? 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HAL on September 19, 2012, 10:22:33 AM
HAL, I'm genuinely trying to understand where you are coming from on this topic.

You asked a lot of questions but just plain avoided my question, so let's deal with that first.

Do you, or do you not, believe that a person has a right to never be offended?

Please elaborate on your answer, whether it's yes or no.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 19, 2012, 10:24:23 AM
Funny if the ad was pro muslim and said Support Jihad,destroy Israel you would have to get past the fact you were an anti Semite before you could get the ad up

How do you think that would go over with the pro-Israel lobby in America?

Oh I don't know...probably wouldn't be much said about it in national news

(http://imageshack.us/a/img521/1397/palestinev.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/521/palestinev.jpg/)

While these ads don't explicitly call for destruction, they do attempt to persuade us to pick a side. And I don't suspect they merely want our prayers.



Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Death over Life on September 19, 2012, 10:26:08 AM
I was initially thinking with Quesi's ideas, but atm I'm now thinking, how about the Muslims stop getting violent everytime we criticize them?

All this talk about hate speech, as stupid as a lot of it is, I'd personally rather somebody let me know what's really on their mind (kind of like Romney a few days ago. Thanks for re-electing Obama Roms!) as opposed to this bs where we can't express how we feel because it will "upset" some Muslims, or "upset" some Christians.

At least with this form of free speech, you'll know what somebody is genuinely thinking as opposed to covering their tracks.

Btw, I give anti-Christian hate speech to my friends who are Christians all the time and they are still my best friends. They know what I'm talking about, and they don't go all Jihad whenever I say things like it. If the Muslims would stop inciting violence over every nit-picky thing, perhaps they wouldn't have the stigma of "savages". Btw, I do know those are only a couple Muslims while the extreme majority are just like us. Doesn't stop the belief system from being stupid.

And, I do know we don't have freedom of speech in the fullest form. Yell "I have a bomb!" on an airplane and see how fast you will be detained and thrown in jail.

And btw, religion wise, all atheists are anti-semetic by default.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: One Above All on September 19, 2012, 10:27:46 AM
And btw, religion wise, all atheists are anti-semetic by default.

Explain.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Death over Life on September 19, 2012, 10:35:16 AM
And btw, religion wise, all atheists are anti-semetic by default.

Explain.

Key words being religion wise. Are you pro-Christianity? Pro-Islam? Pro-Judaism? As an atheist, your answer will be no. What is the point of getting your atheism out there? To rid the world of religion. What are the big 3 I just mentioned? Religion. To get rid of something, you have to first be against it. Since the 3 belief systems are from the Middle Eastern areas, as well as Zoroastrianism, Sumerian, Mesopotamian etc. but Semetism only really refers to the big 3, that is anti-Semetism, religion wise. Don't think for one second I'm talking about people or individuals here or race. I'm talking only about religion.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: One Above All on September 19, 2012, 10:40:16 AM
<snip>

So, basically, you're projecting and using some false dichotomies. Good to know.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 10:48:11 AM
HAL, I'm genuinely trying to understand where you are coming from on this topic.

You asked a lot of questions but just plain avoided my question, so let's deal with that first.

Do you, or do you not, believe that a person has a right to never be offended?

Please elaborate on your answer, whether it's yes or no.

People get offended all the time.  That is an absurd question.  No government could protect people from being offended, and I don't think that anyone has an expectation of going through life without being offended.   So my answer is no.

I do, however, believe that people have a right to protected from institutionally sanctioned categorization as being inferior to the rest of the species, based on their gender, ethnicity, race, religion, cultural practices, sexual identity, or other characteristics.  I believe that people have the right to be protected against freedom of speech that has the potential of resulting in violence against them as members of a specific group. 

You smited me for, in your words, "being against freedom of speech."  I think you owe me the courtesy of explaining your position on the topic of freedom of speech. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Azdgari on September 19, 2012, 10:48:50 AM
Semitism is not a religion.  Semitism refers specifically to ethnicity.  So "religion-wise, you're anti-semitic" is a contradiction in terms.

If you mean to say that anti-theists are by default against Judaism, then that makes sense.  You picked the wrong words, DoL.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bad Pear on September 19, 2012, 12:03:43 PM

Freedom of speech is a huge, complex issue, and ironically, in atheist environments, I'm usually arguing the other side.  I'm not particularly offended when a business leader pays to put up a nativity scene in a public park.  I might not like the nativity scene, but I don't see it as infringing on the rights or safety of members of communities that do not share the beliefs of those who put it there.  But the law usually prefers to protect those groups and individuals, and in fact prohibits the freedom of speech of that private investor who wants to put up a nativity scene.  You would fight to support the rights of the private investor who wants to portray the virgin birth?

I can't speak for HAL, but if the business leader were paying to put the nativity scene in a public place that was
(a) permanently designated for private expressions or advertisements and
(b) open to any group for such expressions for the same fee
then yes I would, as an agnostic atheist anti-theist who supports freedom speech of expression, support their equal access. I would do so in the same way that I would support a gay art statuette, a tribute to the KKK, or a memorial display for Ted Bundy.

Nativity displays are not analogous to the subway advertisement scenario because public places that allow nativity displays typically don't afford that forum to others with dissenting views.

So you are arguing that there should be NO RESTRICTIONS on free speech.  You would have no concerns about a private investor putting up signs in a public court house, stating that one ethnic group was more dangerous than another?  You would not have problems with a public school displaying a sign by the private sponsor who paid for the new gymnasium, stating that some students are intellectually superior to others, based on their cultural traditions? 

Similar problem as above: When a private sponsor funds the building of a public facility the facility does not magically become privately owned and thus a blank slate for said sponsors views. Any much more than a "Sponsored by..." or "A special thanks to..." is fairly rare I think. If, however, the public place has a sounding board that sells space that is equally available to people with differing views then yes, that should be allowed.

If the NYC board of transportation, and by extension the people of NYC, do not want certain speech on private advertisements in their subways then they have an option: remove private advertisements from their walls. If they choose to keep accepting money from people wishing to advertise on said walls then they should not have the authority to censor certain opinions.

The correct response to bad speech is more speech, not vandalism, theft, or censorship.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 01:10:48 PM
Thank you for your thoughtful response, Bad Pear. 



...then yes I would, as an agnostic atheist anti-theist who supports freedom speech of expression, support their equal access. I would do so in the same way that I would support a gay art statuette, a tribute to the KKK, or a memorial display for Ted Bundy.

You and I would clearly be on opposite sides of the town meeting hearing on the KKK tribute or the Ted Bundy memorial. 



If the NYC board of transportation, and by extension the people of NYC, do not want certain speech on private advertisements in their subways then they have an option: remove private advertisements from their walls. If they choose to keep accepting money from people wishing to advertise on said walls then they should not have the authority to censor certain opinions.

The correct response to bad speech is more speech, not vandalism, theft, or censorship.

We are not limited to the two options of: take the money or say no to anyone who wants to advertise. 

There can and should be guidelines or criteria for anyone who wants to pay to see their name or product or idea promoted in a public place, and the MTA has guidelines.  And as we see an increase in private funding for public facilities[1], this issue is going to come up more and more, so I think it is a really important discussion. 

Schools and courthouses and public parks and transportation systems and other governmental facilities are being increasingly pressured to seek private funding to offset the cost of taxpayer support.  And as the taxpayers allow increasing private funding for these services and facilities, we are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the private forces that control these private funds. 

But we do have options. 

We don't see sexually explicit advertisements on the subways or buses, (which serve as school transportation to more than one million school kids per day) because there are guidelines. 

So they don't just take "anybody's money."  They have a criteria of what is acceptable.  And if an ad which depicts an ethnic minority as "savage" falls within the acceptable criteria, it is time to revise the criteria. 

 1. thanks to our republican leadership
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HAL on September 19, 2012, 02:21:51 PM
Do you, or do you not, believe that a person has a right to never be offended?

People get offended all the time.  That is an absurd question.  No government could protect people from being offended, and I don't think that anyone has an expectation of going through life without being offended.   So my answer is no.

OK, so you don't think a person has the right to never be offended.

Quote
I do, however, believe that people have a right to protected from institutionally sanctioned categorization as being inferior to the rest of the species, based on their gender, ethnicity, race, religion, cultural practices, sexual identity, or other characteristics.  I believe that people have the right to be protected against freedom of speech that has the potential of resulting in violence against them as members of a specific group.

OK, so you do think a person has the right to never be offended ... what?

Which is it? Either you do or don't. You first say no, then mentally equivocate to a yes. How is it we can mind-read what others think is offensive enough to result in them breaking the law just because they are offended by words or pictures? That's on them dear, not anyone else. I'm just as confused as to where you stand as I was earlier.

Quote
You smited me for, in your words, "being against freedom of speech."  I think you owe me the courtesy of explaining your position on the topic of freedom of speech.

Basically, I already stated it - you don't have the right to never be offended. That sums it up pretty well. If you freak out by reading words or viewing pictures and do violence then it's all your fault - not the offensive words or pics.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bad Pear on September 19, 2012, 02:37:06 PM
You and I would clearly be on opposite sides of the town meeting hearing on the KKK tribute or the Ted Bundy memorial. 

You would likely be on opposite sides from the ACLU as well.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/aclu-files-suit-against-state-over-kkk-adopt-highw/nR922/
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 19, 2012, 02:38:27 PM
To quote a popular radio talk show host

"The 1st amendment isn't there to protect speech we agree with."
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: naemhni on September 19, 2012, 02:45:06 PM
To quote a popular radio talk show host

"The 1st amendment isn't there to protect speech we agree with."

Indeed, speech that everybody likes doesn't even need protection.  The only way it even makes any sense to have that protection in place at all is to allow people to say things that are unpopular.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Death over Life on September 19, 2012, 02:54:15 PM
Semitism is not a religion.  Semitism refers specifically to ethnicity.  So "religion-wise, you're anti-semitic" is a contradiction in terms.

If you mean to say that anti-theists are by default against Judaism, then that makes sense.  You picked the wrong words, DoL.

Well, looks like you are correct. That's what happens when you are given incorrect information, things get confusing. I was taught that Semitism dealt with the Middle Eastern people's beliefs and views, not Jews specifically as a people. I definitely did pick the wrong word here.

The point of free speech is I do believe that people at times need to be offended, but in Quesi's case, I'm thinking instead of arguing against the banners being put up, she should instead concentrate on telling Muslims to look away or grow some thicker skin because telling somebody they are a savage is nowhere near as damaging as actually being a savage, you know, attacking all these US embassies and killing US ambassadors because some nut-job made a stupid 15 minute movie about Muhammed.

I mean look at all of our atheist billboards how offensive to Christians they are. Telling a Christian they are mentally ill and need to see a doctor could be translated into hate speech. The difference? They just get mad or laugh at it. They don't go killing people, they don't go stalking people, they don't make death threats or threats against an entire country, however, they do converse about it since it is a conversation starter. You don't get that out of the Muslims this banner would offend. It's do or die, literally.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 19, 2012, 02:58:14 PM
I seem to remember Christians getting their panties all in a wad about sex and violence and language on TV. I remember a particular argument used was "If you don't like the program change the channel" or something equivalent to that.

Same with foul language and content in music and movies. The compromise was to put in place a ratings system or warning of the type of content so that people of tighter moral codes could make a judgement call before watching.

Which is why after a couple decades or so of that system in place...the US was "stunned" by Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction.

There was no warning.

I guess for Palestinians living in the US and particularly in New York...seeing a well made corporate sponsored add calling their people savages would be stunning as well.

All the ads and billboards, either for or against Israeli occupation or Humas violence or however you want to frame it...all those ads disturb me to a certain degree and I can't quit put it into words yet.

Do they seek to influence our vote in the upcoming presidential campaign?

 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: naemhni on September 19, 2012, 03:03:34 PM
The point of free speech is I do believe that people at times need to be offended, but in Quesi's case, I'm thinking instead of arguing against the banners being put up, she should instead concentrate on telling Muslims to look away or grow some thicker skin because telling somebody they are a savage is nowhere near as damaging as actually being a savage

Another interesting point, too: if you call someone a savage and he responds by becoming violent, all he's accomplished is to prove your point.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Timo on September 19, 2012, 03:07:21 PM
I like that some of you are so gung ho about the awesomeness of free speech but seem wholly unprepared to grapple the obvious fact that in no place is freedom of speech absolute.  That HAL would claim that Quesi is somehow "against" free speech because she doesn't share his simplistic view is actually kind of laughable.

When we're discussing free speech, the thing to remember is this.  There are different spheres of life in which restrictions to free speech might apply.  I don't think it's all that obvious that this sign should be legally protected speech.  To begin with, the Supreme Court has long recognized that there is a difference between things like say, billboard ads and newspaper ads.  Going back to Packer Corporation v. Utah (1932), the court recognized that:

Billboards, street car signs, and placards and such are in a class by themselves. They are wholly intrastate, and the restrictions apply without discrimination to all in the same class. Advertisements of this sort are constantly before the eyes of observers on the streets and in street cars to be seen without the exercise of choice or volition on their part. Other forms of advertising are ordinarily seen as a matter of choice on the part of the observer. The young people as well as the adults have the message of the billboard thrust upon them by all the arts and devices that skill can produce. In the case of newspapers and magazines, there must be some seeking by the one who is to see and read the advertisement. The radio can be turned off, but not so the billboard or street car placard. These distinctions clearly place this kind of advertisement in a position to be classified so that regulations or prohibitions may be imposed upon all within the class. This is impossible with respect to newspapers or magazines.

With mass transit systems in particuar, the Court has ruled (in Lehman v. Shaker Heights (1974)) that mass transit systems are not public forums and therefore have the authority to regulate what sorts of advertisements they display.  Right now, there's a little flap over Santa Monica's policy, for example.  They used to run ads for AIDS Walk LA but they've rejected them this year, citing a policy against non-commercial advertisements that they'd had on the books but had not been enforceing until this year.  The policy and the decision are designed to avoid controversies like the one in New York or San Francisco.  Designing a policy that would allow for public service messages but prevent ads like this from running is apparently kind of tricky.  So no, there is not some blanket freedom of speech protection for ads on the subway.  If New York had a policy like Santa Monica's, the ad could have probably been rejected without much hope for a court challenge.

In examining this case in particular, I think that it's helpful to separate this advertisement from the violence that's taking place in the Middle East and North Africa right now.  This ad isn't about that.  This ad predates that.  The city of San Francisco unsuccessfully tried to block the same ad a little while back.  This ad is about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  It calls Palestinians savages specifically, while also suggesting that Muslims or perhaps Arabs in general are savages.  This ad is demeaning and offensive.  And as such, I don't see why the transit authority, recognizing the special nature of these sorts of public displays, shouldn't reject the ad.

Basically this:

We don't see sexually explicit advertisements on the subways or buses, (which serve as school transportation to more than one million school kids per day) because there are guidelines. 

So they don't just take "anybody's money."  They have a criteria of what is acceptable.  And if an ad which depicts an ethnic minority as "savage" falls within the acceptable criteria, it is time to revise the criteria.

Also:

Uh, yea it is, they seek it out to get transportation. Duh.

I don't think you understand what mass transit really is for people like myself that rely on it.  In every place I've ever lived, if you don't own a car then public transportation isn't something you "seek out" in the way that you and I have sought out this forum.  It's something you rely on to get you around town.  Not using public transportation means that you are constricted in where you can live, where you can work or go to school, where you can shop, etc.  The Court recognizes this in Lehman, referring to the commuters as a "captive audience."  Furthermore, this campaign has also bought ads on the sides of buses, which no one needs to seek out to see.

Anyway...


Peace
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bad Pear on September 19, 2012, 03:26:46 PM
Basically this:

We don't see sexually explicit advertisements on the subways or buses, (which serve as school transportation to more than one million school kids per day) because there are guidelines. 

So they don't just take "anybody's money."  They have a criteria of what is acceptable.  And if an ad which depicts an ethnic minority as "savage" falls within the acceptable criteria, it is time to revise the criteria.

Slightly derailing, so feel free to ignore me here: I personally don't see an issue with sexually explicit advertising. The only reason that we focus on restricting it is because we are so freaking uptight as a culture about sexuality in general. Point being: the notion of what is or is not acceptable is highly subjective and therefore up for debate. The very need for such a debate, at least to some degree, begs the purpose of free speech and brings us full circle so to speak.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Gohavesomefun on September 19, 2012, 04:09:51 PM
Basically this:

We don't see sexually explicit advertisements on the subways or buses, (which serve as school transportation to more than one million school kids per day) because there are guidelines. 

So they don't just take "anybody's money."  They have a criteria of what is acceptable.  And if an ad which depicts an ethnic minority as "savage" falls within the acceptable criteria, it is time to revise the criteria.
Slightly derailing, so feel free to ignore me here: I personally don't see an issue with sexually explicit advertising. The only reason that we focus on restricting it is because we are so freaking uptight as a culture about sexuality in general. Point being: the notion of what is or is not acceptable is highly subjective and therefore up for debate. The very need for such a debate, at least to some degree, begs the purpose of free speech and brings us full circle so to speak.
Gonna derail the thread a little more, but I'll put it back on track after I retort to this. If the advertising was strictly left for the right age groups, I might agree, but it simply isn't the case. In reality, this type of advertising is aimed towards at children, as well as adults. Generalling taking the form of terrestrial television advertising; some adverts are designed to be sexually explicit through indirect means, to normally promote products such as toys, clothes and music. This type of advertising is wrong, not only because it unfairly shapes social attitudes at a young age, but the method in which these companies aim their product specifically targets vulnerabilities in a persons psychological development.

Anyhow, I'm way off topic here, so let me try bring it back.

Free Speech is easy - Explaining your speech is a little harder. What I mean by that is; if you're going to come out with any statement, you should be able to say what brought you to that statement. Otherwise, why would you say anything in the first place?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Ambassador Pony on September 19, 2012, 04:14:58 PM
About depriving oneself of the right to hear a message.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcqHSAwMHO8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcqHSAwMHO8)

In Canada, we have hate speech laws, and everything is fine. It ain't north korea, and there is no slippery slope. But, from my vantage point, in the ivory tower of the middle class, I can indulge myself with this debate, and find myself pursuaded my the Hitch.

Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HAL on September 19, 2012, 04:18:50 PM
This ad is about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  It calls Palestinians savages specifically, while also suggesting that Muslims or perhaps Arabs in general are savages.  This ad is demeaning and offensive.  And as such, I don't see why the transit authority, recognizing the special nature of these sorts of public displays, shouldn't reject the ad.

Quote
After rejecting the ads initially, then losing a federal court ruling on First Amendment grounds, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said on Tuesday that the ads were expected to appear next week at 10 subway stations.

“Our hands are tied,” Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the authority, said when asked about the timing of the ad.

In July, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that the authority had violated the First Amendment rights of the group that sought to place the ad, the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The authority had cited the ad’s “demeaning” language in barring its placement.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/nyregion/ad-demeaning-muslims-to-appear-in-new-york-subway.html?_r=1
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Timo on September 19, 2012, 04:53:07 PM
Maybe I wasn't being clear.  Previous rulings have held that a mass transit system need  not serve as a public forum.  In Lehman, a candidate for public office tried and failed to run a political ad on city buses.  The distinction there is that in Lehman, the transit authority had a clear policy against political ads that it could apply consistently.  In other words, if NYC had a policy in place that would more clearly prevent an ad like this from running, even one like Santa Monica's that bans all non-commercial advertising altogether, they could have survived the challenge.  You don't have a first amendment right to advertise on a bus.  The question here was did the transit authority have the right to prevent this ad from being run, given the policy that they had in place.  In my opinion, if they had a clear policy against demeaning advertisements, then they were right to reject this ad.  The court obviously disagreed.  If it gets kicked up to a higher court, they might overturn this decision.  Who knows?

Going forward, I think Quesi's right in that they need to reevaluate the standards they use in accepting or rejecting advertisements.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: darkdragon46 on September 19, 2012, 05:08:49 PM
I'd have to disagree with the judge on this one.  Calling a group savages is where peope get in trouble and genreally a lot of people die.  Dehumanizing a group makes them far easier to kill or to take them being killed, and that's something that we shouldn't take lightly.  Sometimes free speech is more about when to keep your mouth shut than to open it and say what you think.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: shnozzola on September 19, 2012, 06:50:04 PM
              What an interesting thread.  Thanks for the Hitch video, AP.   I learn so much from these debates.  While we know that the freedom of speech and the search for truth go hand in hand, and that logic demands the purity of these actions and laws, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to scream, “we demand our rights as atheists,” from the square in Tehran.

   It reminds me of the great Davedave threads where   - if you weren’t willing to come out as an atheist to your family, you had no business on WWGHA, where the most important atheists on planet earth sacrificed themselves on the altar of truth that everyone else was afraid of.

   Well should we go ahead then and stand on the square in Tehran? We know we are right.  We know what is true.  If we’re lucky enough to live, we can write many books from our jail cells on the purity of truth and freedom of speech.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 19, 2012, 06:54:25 PM
Funny if the ad was pro muslim and said Support Jihad,destroy Israel you would have to get past the fact you were an anti Semite before you could get the ad up

How do you think that would go over with the pro-Israel lobby in America?

Oh I don't know...probably wouldn't be much said about it in national news

(http://imageshack.us/a/img521/1397/palestinev.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/521/palestinev.jpg/)

While these ads don't explicitly call for destruction, they do attempt to persuade us to pick a side. And I don't suspect they merely want our prayers.
They do come with explanation as to why the advertiser(buyer of the ad)thinks Israel is acting criminally or otherwise right in the ads themselves
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 19, 2012, 08:03:44 PM


@HAL
Respectfully, I find it hard to believe that you are incapable of differentiating between hurting someone’s feelings and having a public institution post signage promoting violence against a disenfranchised minority. 

So I will try and say this again.  No HAL.  I do not think that the government has an obligation to make sure people’s feelings don’t get hurt.  I do, however, believe that the government has an obligation to promote policies that protect the welfare and safety of its citizens. 

So HAL, are you going to do me the courtesy of explaining to me your perspective concerning freedom of expression? Or are we just going to go with Timo’s assessment?

@Chrono- I enjoyed the video.  I am surprised that I had not known the origins of the “yelling fire in a movie theater” meme.  However, it does not surprise me that the most commonly cited metaphor for restricting free speech originated when immigrant workers were leafleting against government policies. 

I did not watch the subsequent video, but it seems to me that Hitchens was demonstrating how limits on freedom of expression can be used to further marginalize the disenfranchised, and to limit dialogue on controversial subjects.  It would have been interesting to hear him respond to an example of a form of speech which does not allow dialogue, (such as a poster, financed by a powerful group) designed to further marginalize a disenfranchised minority. 

@Bad Pear – All laws are subjective.  That is why we have a legislative branch to create them, and a judicial branch to interpret them.

@Timo – Really welcomed your input.  I need to look over   Lehman v. Shaker Heights.  NYS incorporated its mass transit system (which used to be a combination of privately owned companies running different subway lines) into a “public benefit corporation.”   It has a state appointed board of directors, and the NYC portion is accountable to the City Council.  That might be a little different from other transpiration systems in the country.  But your sparked my interest, and I’m going to do a little reading.

In terms of mass transit, in my neighborhood, there approximately 40 parking spots for every 300 residential units.  The neighborhood was built alongside the construction of the elevated train, in the 1910’s, at a time when no one imagined each family owning a car. The closest garage is a 10 minute walk away, and charges $300 for monthly parking.  The closest bus is literally outside my front door, and there are 5 different subway lines within a 15 minute walk.  Mass transit is not an option.  It is what the infrastructure supports. 

@Darkdragon46 – I think you really nailed it.  When we dehumanize people, it is easier to kill them.  Militaries throughout history have mastered the skill of dehumanizing the enemy.  And this campaign is designed to dehumanize the Palestinians, and perhaps to dehumanize a third of humanity.     

And finally @Mr. Blackwell and 12 Monkeys – I was genuinely puzzled by those photos, because I have never seen any of those ads.  So I did a little googling.  And guess what?  An organization named Atlasshrugged (which is one of the cosponsors of the ad in the op) led an active campaign to prevent the posting of this “anti-Israeli” ad.   

(http://www.carolineglick.com/e/assets_c/2011/09/anti-Israel%20NY%20subway%20ad-thumb-470x359-2765.jpg)

http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2011/09/ny-subway-ads-calling-for-endi.php
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Timo on September 20, 2012, 04:05:57 AM
Slightly derailing, so feel free to ignore me here: I personally don't see an issue with sexually explicit advertising. The only reason that we focus on restricting it is because we are so freaking uptight as a culture about sexuality in general. Point being: the notion of what is or is not acceptable is highly subjective and therefore up for debate. The very need for such a debate, at least to some degree, begs the purpose of free speech and brings us full circle so to speak.

I'm not sure where you fall exactly in terms of what sorts of sexually explicit advertising you would allow that is not currently allowed, but I would say that I can sort of kind of agree in principle that we're far too restrictive.  And that results in some really silly outcomes.  I find it absurd that on prime time broadcast television, we've decided that graphic examples of physical violence are fine but a female's exposed nipple is beyond the pale.  That said, I think that almost all of us would agree that say, using hardcore pornography in a bus advertisement might be...over the line.  And so there is a line somewhere.  What that line is or where we think that line ought to apply are not things that have remained consistent throughout our history.

In flipping through my handy dandy (now thoroughly outdated) constitutional law textbook for examples relating to this specific case, I also came across a section dealing with obscenity.  One of the interesting cases was Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton (1973), which upheld a Georgia law that regulated what sorts of films were to be considered obscene even in "adult" theaters, which required that patrons be over the age of 21 and which told patrons up front that the material they'd be showing might be considered offensive.  I don't think that most people now would think that the state has a legitimate interest in preventing adults from patronizing a theater that shows adult movies...though maybe today, they'd wonder if these adults don't have internet access.

So yeah...
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 20, 2012, 04:17:17 AM
So I will try and say this again.  No HAL.  I do not think that the government has an obligation to make sure people’s feelings don’t get hurt.  I do, however, believe that the government has an obligation to promote policies that protect the welfare and safety of its citizens. 

So then suppression of hate speech DOES override freedom of expression.  There are some things that are not only currently legally required not to be said, but that there are some things that should always be legally required not to be said.

I have a large leaning towards that point of view.

But what is the cut-off line for "hate speech"?  Its easy to point to the extremes at both ends.  What worries me is the grey area in the middle, where the overapplication of those same laws leads to a blocking of criticism.  At the same time, to deny a group - however much we may disagree with them - the opportunity to air their views in public and have those views challenged, leads to those views only being able to be expressed underground where they gain the "legitimacy" of "the truth the government won't let you hear".

So I have a large leaning towards THAT point of view, too.

I think, in the end, I would rather that everyone be able to say what they want, no matter how repugnant I may find it, because then I have the chance to stand up and tell people why they are wrong. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Ambassador Pony on September 20, 2012, 06:02:00 AM
Quote
I did not watch the subsequent video, but it seems to me that Hitchens was demonstrating how limits on freedom of expression can be used to further marginalize the disenfranchised, and to limit dialogue on controversial subjects.  It would have been interesting to hear him respond to an example of a form of speech which does not allow dialogue, (such as a poster, financed by a powerful group) designed to further marginalize a disenfranchised minority. 


It's just slower dialogue. At some point, someone will respond to the message, hopefully making productive use of their right to free expression. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Timo on September 20, 2012, 06:26:39 AM
@Anfauglir

No disrespect, but I don't think you're at all dealing with any of the arguments at hand.  As a society, we've long recognized that things like billboards and bus advertisements occupy a different place in our thinking about the first amendment than do other forms of speech.  By their very nature, they are rightfully seen as being subject to more state intervention than other forms of advertisement or speech more broadly.

The long and short of it for me is this.  You can say whatever you want to say in this society, but you are not entitled to say it on an ad placed in a mass transit system.  As I've already stated, Lehman v. Shaker Heights holds that mass transit need not serve as a public forum.  The question here is whether or not the transit authority in New York was being fair in the application of its rules, not whether or not the transit authority had the legal right to make rules regarding advertisements in the first place.  Under different circumstances they could have easily barred the group from posting ads.  If they were to have a policy that limited advertisements to commercial ads, as Santa Monica does, this would not have been an issue.  If, somehow, their transit system was able to survive without advertisements then they wouldn't have had to run the ad.

But maybe this is all my way of finding a possible and perhaps legally dubious reason for objecting to the free speech angle.  Honestly, I gather that most of this board is white.  As such, I sometimes wonder how many of you understand exactly what it's like to be told that you're inferior by virtue of the fact of your ethnicity.  And I wonder if you would understand what it would mean to be told that every time you get on a bus because you have the misfortune to have to, as HAL sees it, "seek out" public transportation.  Maybe I'm overstating this, but I can't imagine being asked to tolerate dealing with ads on the bus that I take to work or that I take to school every day calling me a "savage" and lionizing the people that forced my family off its land as the "civilized."  I mean look, I know a lot of Palestinians.  (Ramallah, what what?) This isn't exactly abstract for me.  And being both a Negro and a Latino, I know that when the racists start talking about the dreaded Muslims, it's not too long before they get to niggers and spics.[1]  White atheists, and white homosexuals get a good taste of this too.  And I would think that they'd be more empathetic. 

I'm just throwing this out there.  I mean, you can look at this ad and tell me that maybe I need to like grow up or whatever.  That I'm too thin skinned.  But I just can't imagine being a Palestinian in NYC and having to explain this ad to my child that takes the train to school every day, as my father did going from Queens to Brooklyn in the 70s.  Who knows though?  Maybe he'd have been cool with an ad calling Puerto Ricans savages.
 1. Incedently, an American-Israeli writer, Gershom Gorenberg, posited that (http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/10557?in=29:10&out=30:35) American Jews will continue to vote for Democrats because they recognize that, as an ethnic and religious minority, their interest is in maintaining a pluralistic society.  That kind of makes complete sense to me.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: naemhni on September 20, 2012, 07:18:22 AM
Honestly, I gather that most of this board is white.

I am...

Quote
As such, I sometimes wonder how many of you understand exactly what it's like to be told that you're inferior by virtue of the fact of your ethnicity.

...and I do.  I was born and raised in Honolulu, so I know exactly what it's like to grow up being told that and having the concept essentially institutionalized throughout all of society.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Timo on September 20, 2012, 07:25:17 AM
Indeed. 

That's a caveat I meant to make as my other footnote in that post.  I've known some white folks that grew up in Black and/or Latino neighborhoods that were treated as if their name was "white boy/girl."  I have some conflicting feelings about this sort of group because, on the one hand, they do have access to some of the privilege that being white offers, but on the other they grew up in the same sorts of institutions that a lot of black and brown folks did.  Whatever institutional failures we've dealt with, they've dealt with.  And more to the point here, they definitely have an understanding of what it's like to be a minority, even if the US at large is a majority white nation.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 20, 2012, 07:40:33 AM
.....You can say whatever you want to say in this society, but you are not entitled to say it on an ad placed in a mass transit system......maybe this is all my way of finding a possible and perhaps legally dubious reason for objecting to the free speech angle. 

With all due respect, I think so.  Just because that board is in a public facility does not make it "wrong", while a board in one's front window with the same message would not suddenly be "right" - one may currently be legal, the other not, but either the message itself is one that should never be spoken/printed, or it is not.  It's precisely this distinction between public and private spheres that causes issues and the legal wrangling there has been over this issue.  If the message is wrong, then you do not put it up or voice it ANYWHERE where other people can see or hear it, it doesn't suddenly become acceptable because I paint it on my wall, rather than put it on the side of a communal bus.

Honestly, I gather that most of this board is white.  As such, I sometimes wonder how many of you understand exactly what it's like to be told that you're inferior by virtue of the fact of your ethnicity. 

Nope.  But I've been told I'm inferior for plenty of other reasons.  And the webpage behind this forum says prety clearly that if you don't accept the arguments against the Christian god then you are stupid or deluded or uneducated.....we can be guilty of exactly the same thing. 

I don't want to say that our insults are at the same degree as those you experience.  But since the only thing different IS degree, I wonder at what point our website will itself come under attack for inciting hatred by saying that believers are inferior by virtue of their faith?

I don't like hate speech at all.  I think those people are thoroughly, mightily wrong.  But I'd far rather see the next poster to go up explain clearly exactly WHY they are wrong, than have neither poster be allowed to go up at all - because if we challenge their views of who is superior, aren't we actually saying that THEY are inferior because of THEIR beliefs?  Couldn't we get caught by the same legislation we want in place to protect our children from their views? 

Look at Ireland's blasphemy laws, that specifically prevent publication of material "grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion".  Change a couple words at the end, and you have exactly the same law that would prevent those posters being displayed.

That's it.  I don't like seeing those posters.  I don't like hearing the views they espouse.  But if I had to choose, I'd rather live in a world where those views can be expressed and directly challenged, than a world where certain things just cannot be said.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 20, 2012, 09:51:04 AM
 

^^^ Anfauglir Great post,but where exactly do we draw the line that can't be crossed?  An ad can offend at least someone ALL the time...so we can remove that,because what may be offensive to granny will make me laugh.

 What may be offensive to one group of people will make another group scream out in praise that the ad is there. You can always find someone who will feel wronged or offended.  American TV is a prime example. A show where we study murder and dead bodies and the murderer can be shown on prime time.....a nipple and the whole country is outraged....what seems worse? Who draws the line on what will be allowed or not?

An ad where Israel calls for peace is one thing....but substitute the star of David for a swastika and change the victim to a Jew....would you call it fee speech or hate?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 20, 2012, 10:09:55 AM
Indeed. 

That's a caveat I meant to make as my other footnote in that post.  I've known some white folks that grew up in Black and/or Latino neighborhoods that were treated as if their name was "white boy/girl."  I have some conflicting feelings about this sort of group because, on the one hand, they do have access to some of the privilege that being white offers, but on the other they grew up in the same sorts of institutions that a lot of black and brown folks did.  Whatever institutional failures we've dealt with, they've dealt with.  And more to the point here, they definitely have an understanding of what it's like to be a minority, even if the US at large is a majority white nation.
by 2030 or so white skin will be the minority....you can see the Republicans trying to hold on to the strings of power. You can see the fear they have of their fundamental world changing(sharia law as an example)and the don't know what the fuck to do.  For us people of darker skin tones and alternate views,be they religious or cultural in nature,the change is slow. The white folk the change is furiously quick,it scares them.

Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Timo on September 20, 2012, 03:40:05 PM
With all due respect, I think so.  Just because that board is in a public facility does not make it "wrong", while a board in one's front window with the same message would not suddenly be "right" - one may currently be legal, the other not, but either the message itself is one that should never be spoken/printed, or it is not.  It's precisely this distinction between public and private spheres that causes issues and the legal wrangling there has been over this issue.  If the message is wrong, then you do not put it up or voice it ANYWHERE where other people can see or hear it, it doesn't suddenly become acceptable because I paint it on my wall, rather than put it on the side of a communal bus.

Nah, I don't think so, man.

I think that you're conflating a few different things.  On the one hand, you have the rightness of the transit authority to decide what sorts of things it will advertise on its buses and trains.  On the other, you have the rightness of society at large deciding what it deems as acceptable or unacceptable speech.  These are two seperate things.  The transit authority and society at large are going to have different interests in deciding what sorts of speech are acceptable and where.  To begin with, prior to any sort of regulations that the transit authority might wish to impose on advertisers, you have to contend with the fact that the transit authority must be paid for ad placement.  You don't need to pay anyone to put up a sign in your window.  It's your window.  On the other hand, even when we're just talking about your window, you don't get to put up whatever you'd like for public consumption.  If you doubt my voracity, try this:  Find yourself a hardcore pornographic image.  Blow it up so that it takes up most of the space you're trying to utilize on your preferred window.  Proudly display this image in a place where the public can see it and report back to me how you found free speech laws to protect you.

So there's that.  And yet, there are spheres where this same image would be perfectly acceptable.  If you have a blog with a disclaimer that its content is not appropriate for children, you can run this image all day every day with nary a peep from anyone.  Even if said blog has more traffic than there is foot traffic outside of your home.

But I'd far rather see the next poster to go up explain clearly exactly WHY they are wrong, than have neither poster be allowed to go up at all - because if we challenge their views of who is superior, aren't we actually saying that THEY are inferior because of THEIR beliefs?

I completely disagree.  Or rather, I disagree that buses and subway trains should be the place for this sort of discussion to happen.  In general, yes, I think that we should take time out of our day to rebuke the claims of racists, just as on this board many of our members summon heroic levels of patience to rebuke the claims of those that would deny science.  But you can't really have that kind of in depth discussion through ads.  You'd just have talking points passing each other in the night.  As such, I don't think it's a good thing for people to have their basic humanity challenged every time they try to commute, even if it's going to be accompanied by an ad defending their humanity or, more likely, challenging the humanity of the group that opposes them, which in this case is itself another ethnic minority in this country.

Couldn't we get caught by the same legislation we want in place to protect our children from their views?

Yes.  I guess I should say that I'm not a fan of some of the bus ads and billboards though.  I like the ones that basically just say that we're pretty cool and we're atheists or that it's fine to be an atheist, but I don't think that you should have to have your religious faith challenged through a more agressive ad campaign every time you step on the train or drive down a highway.  Maybe that's my issue?

I don't like seeing those posters.  I don't like hearing the views they espouse.  But if I had to choose, I'd rather live in a world where those views can be expressed and directly challenged, than a world where certain things just cannot be said.

Again, I think you're confusing two different things.  I think that this group of idiots has the right to say whatever idiotic thing that they want to say.   But I think it's fairly obvious that they don't necessarily have the right to say it in ads carried by the transit authority.  Again, the right of transit authorities and municipalities to restrict all sorts of normally protected speech has been upheld for years.  For example, I have an Obama/Biden lawn sign awkwardly displayed in my window that you can see from the street.  As far as I know, I can't run an Obama ad on any of the bus or train lines that serve my community.  And I'm not sure that this is a bad thing.


Peace
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Timo on September 20, 2012, 03:55:38 PM
by 2030 or so white skin will be the minority....you can see the Republicans trying to hold on to the strings of power. You can see the fear they have of their fundamental world changing(sharia law as an example)and the don't know what the fuck to do.  For us people of darker skin tones and alternate views,be they religious or cultural in nature,the change is slow. The white folk the change is furiously quick,it scares them.

Let me ease the concerns of nativist white folks by saying that, by that time, they'll still be a plurality.  That said, yeah, I think that the Republican party is making what some on that side of things have admitted is the last campaign of this sort that the party will make.  The homie, Ta-Nehisi Coates (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/we-are-all-welfare-queens-now/262512/) had a post the other day about how the shrinking ability of politicians to race-bait results in the increasing vulnerability of white people to policies that are intended to marginalize black and brown people.

Then again, maybe, just maybe, the Republican party will decide to be a conservative party that's not particularly concerned with addressing ethnic grievances.  I can dream, can't I?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Brakeman on September 20, 2012, 04:50:02 PM
I think I saw the ad here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205545/Crazed-father-tied-daughter-tree-hacked-death-axe-ashamed-worked-beauty-salon.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205545/Crazed-father-tied-daughter-tree-hacked-death-axe-ashamed-worked-beauty-salon.html)

Oh wait, that wasn't a paid ad... that was the news..
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 20, 2012, 05:21:10 PM
Here’s the thing.  There are lots of legal restrictions on our freedom of speech and our freedom of expression. 

At my job, I am prohibited from telling my employees who they should vote for. I'm pretty sure that in my job, it is a contractual thing, not a legal thing.  But in any case, it is a restriction.   I don’t feel that this infringes on my rights.  I can tell the lady sitting next to me on the bus who I think she should vote for.  I can tell my neighbors, my cousins, and the moms on the playground.  But when I am interacting with people in my capacity as their employer, there is a power imbalance, and I need to sacrifice some of my freedoms in order to protect theirs.  I don’t see a problem with that. 

Let’s take a completely different example.  I can stand on the side of the road and burn a flag.  An American flag, an Israeli flag, any flag I like.  I might piss some people off, but this is a form of expression that is protected under US law.  If, however, while burning the flag, I draw a crowd, and explain that I plan to assassinate former president Bush this afternoon by sprinkling arsenic on his pizza when he stops for lunch at Joe’s Famous Pizzeria, I will probably be taken in to police custody.

I can also stand on the corner and explain that the virgin mother will be arriving at that very spot this evening at 5 PM to preside over a ceremony in which her son Jesus will marry his long-time love, the prophet Mohammad (pbuh).  So far, so good. 

However, if I then explain that at the completion of the ceremony, we will all be taken up to heaven with the happy couple, but only if we successfully kill the evil bodega owner, Mr. Garcia, who is working across the street right now, I am crossing into dangerous territory.  And if I am charismatic enough to convince the crowd that Mr. Garcia needs to die, and they start pulling out their nail scissors and getting ready to stab him, and pulling out their cigarette lighters and getting ready to set the bodega on fire, and heading over to the bodega to do the deed while chanting KILL KILL KILL, while I am kneeling with my head in prayer, I will be taken into custody and charged with inciting a riot. 

Here’s another one.  Let’s say I’m really pissed about a traffic light in my neighborhood that is out of sync with the other traffic lights.  It turns green and yellow and red, but at the wrong times.  So let’s say I put on a bright orange vest, and stand in the intersection and shout at the cars sitting at the red light, telling them that the light is broken, and I wave them through.  I might be right.  The light might be broken.  But I’ve still broken the law by telling the drivers to go through the redlight.

Let’s say I call up homeland security, and explain to them that HAL is part of an al qaeda cell, and that he and his terrorist buddies are using model railroads to act out their plan to blow up the Long Island Railroad this evening during rush hour.  Let’s say I have specific details that make my story sound credible.  And they raid HAL’s house and take all of his railroad stuff away, and then discover I have no evidence at all, and that I’m just pissed at him for smiting me about my freedom of speech.  Well, it would probably turn out that I had abused my freedom of speech, and had filed a false report, and I’m probably going to jail. 

I can’t tell the IRS that I earned $12,000 last year, even if it felt like I was living on 12K.  I can’t tell the bank teller that I have a bomb strapped to my waist and that I would really like her to hand me the contents of the vault.  I can’t leaflet for my favorite candidate in within a certain number of feel from the polling booths.  If I make a widget and tell everyone it has passed extensive quality control testing, and then a dozen people die using it, and it turns out that I did not do extensive quality control testing, I will certainly have some legal liability. 

It is probably not illegal for me to go up to a beat cop and start making explicit comments about the sexual activity of his mother, but if I did, I would probably end up in custody on some other charge. 

If I tell my church congregation that the evil O’Conner family is performing satanic rituals on our pets in their barn, and that we must stop them, and then, some members of my congregation burn down the O’Conner barn, I probably have some liability. 

There are lots of limits on my freedom of speech.  Most of them are designed to protect other people. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Gnu Ordure on September 20, 2012, 05:57:17 PM
Do you, or do you not, believe that a person has a right to never be offended?

People get offended all the time.  That is an absurd question.  No government could protect people from being offended, and I don't think that anyone has an expectation of going through life without being offended.   So my answer is no.

OK, so you don't think a person has the right to never be offended.

Quote
I do, however, believe that people have a right to protected from institutionally sanctioned categorization as being inferior to the rest of the species, based on their gender, ethnicity, race, religion, cultural practices, sexual identity, or other characteristics.  I believe that people have the right to be protected against freedom of speech that has the potential of resulting in violence against them as members of a specific group.

OK, so you do think a person has the right to never be offended ... what?

Which is it? Either you do or don't.

HAL, Quesi's second quote doesn't mention being offended. It mentions speech which implies inferiority, and speech which incites violence. It doesn't mention feelings.

So I don't see a contradiction in her two statements.


And listen, sweetie; every time you address Quesi as 'dear', it diminishes you, not her. You might want to reconsider that rhetorical device, pumpkin. If you know what a rhetorical device is...  dear.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 20, 2012, 07:32:27 PM
Thanks for naming it Gnu. Honestly, I’ve been moving forward assuming that he was using it as a device to illustrate his point by being offensive.

But as I have already stated, there is a difference between something that someone finds offensive, and something that represents a danger.

Racism, sexism, homophobia are offensive.  Are they dangerous?  Well, to the extent that they distance to subject of the attacks from the rest of the population.  And to the extent that they dehumanize the subjects, sometimes just a little nick at a time, making the subjects more vulnerable to increased attacks.  So a single racist, sexist, homophobic attack may be “offensive” but not in itself dangerous.  It becomes dangerous when it become cumulative, or when it is paired with other assumptions, such as the idea that the subject poses a threat to the general population, and needs to be controlled, diminished, marginalized.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently, especially as I’ve been participating in this thread, about the TD Ameritrade ad that is airing on TV these days.  It offends me.  It infuriates me.  I frantically turn off the tv when it comes on, because I’m afraid my daughter will hear it.

It starts with the commonly held misconception that the Mayans, rather than some silly new agers, are predicting the end of the world on December 21, 2012.  The Mayan calendar simply rolls over to the next baktun, which is 144,000 days long.  The commercial mocks the belief, that they falsely attribute to the Mayans.  They go on to say that if the world doesn’t end, you need to pursue retirement planning with them.  And the commercial ends with the words “Who’s in control now, Mayans?”

http://youtu.be/npg0Kr7bMJk

The fact that the Mayan people were stripped of all control over their lives when the Europeans arrived in the Americas was probably not on the minds of the people who made the commercial.  They are probably not aware of the fact that infant mortality rates among the Mayan populations are the second highest in the hemisphere, topped only by Haiti, and that the first people in the hemisphere to develop a written language are now among the most illiterate people in the world. 

The TD Ameritrade people were probably unaware of the fact that in Guatemala, a semi-apartheid system keeps the Mayan people out of government, business, land ownership, and polite society.  I’m assuming that the people who made the ad are unaware of the fact that the Mayans are not mythical creatures, but in fact living, breathing human beings who have been stripped of their culture, marginalized and decimated. 

I’ve called TD Ameritrade.  I’ve written letters.  No one has written back, but the nice ladies on the other end of the phone are genuinely baffled by the fact that this commercial offends me.  Apparently various investors call the complaint line expressing concerns about Matt Damon’s role as the new TD Ameritrade spokesperson.  But the nice ladies have never heard anyone complain about “Who’s on top now, Mayans.” 

I’ve asked myself over and over again if Mayan people are being hurt by this ad.  I know I don’t want my daughter to hear it.  I dread the foolishness that is going to happen in December.  She knows she is Mayan.  She knows her Mayan ancestors were great architects.  Great scientists who studied the stars.  She has seen the ancient Mayan writings, and knows about their history.  She knows about the art and the brilliant textiles and I’ve tried to introduce her to the base 20 mathematical system that can be used to perform complex calculations with just some sticks and some beans.  I want her to be proud of her ancestry.  Not to be mocked. 

I could boycott TD Ameritrade.  That would be easy. Incredibly easy since it would never have occurred to me to do business with them in the first place.  I could get all of my friends to boycott.  Umm… not too many in my social circles go that route.  Those of us who have a little money to put away tend to be more credit union/ TIAA CREF/ socially conscious fund investors.   I could mobilize NY’s Mayan community.  I’ve mentioned it to a few folks.  They are less likely than me to have any money to invest. 

I am offended.  I could take action against the business, as I have taken action against other businesses.  But other than phone calls and letters, it appears I won’t.  They are expressing their freedom of speech by creating this ad and airing it.  They are also demonstrating much more about who they are. 

When the ad comes on, I can turn off my tv. 

But an offensive tv is really different from a dangerous ad in a mass transit system.  And if you don’t know what I am talking about, go back and read Timo’s well-researched posts on the subject.   
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: jetson on September 20, 2012, 07:49:06 PM
Damn, people - this thread is awesome!  This reminds me of why I love this forum. 

Carry on.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 21, 2012, 04:52:38 AM
Just because that board is in a public facility does not make it "wrong", while a board in one's front window with the same message would not suddenly be "right" - one may currently be legal, the other not, but either the message itself is one that should never be spoken/printed, or it is not.....If the message is wrong, then you do not put it up or voice it ANYWHERE where other people can see or hear it, it doesn't suddenly become acceptable because I paint it on my wall, rather than put it on the side of a communal bus.

I think that you're conflating a few different things.  On the one hand, you have the rightness of the transit authority to decide what sorts of things it will advertise on its buses and trains.  On the other, you have the rightness of society at large deciding what it deems as acceptable or unacceptable speech.  These are two seperate things.  The transit authority and society at large are going to have different interests in deciding what sorts of speech are acceptable and where......

When the ad comes on, I can turn off my tv.  But an offensive tv is really different from a dangerous ad in a mass transit system. 

So what it comes down to is that in some locations an offensive message is legally allowed, and in some locations it is NOT legally allowed.

Sure.  I get that.  What I DON'T get is why there is a distinction.  Does the message suddenly become less offensive when you read it on the side of a car parked in the station car park, than on the side of the train you catch two minutes later?  Of course not!  But that is what the law seems to suggest - that over here, we must protect people, but over there we do not.

That's my point.  That if someone will see or hear the message, wherever that message may be, then it is the content of the message that should be subject to the consideration of the law, not its location.

12 monkeys asked me where we should draw the line - I don't think I said a line should be drawn.  Because once you have drawn a line, you can then shift that line around, this way or that.  Too far THAT way, and all of a sudden we are no longer allowed to challenge religion in public because it is offensive to them.  Too far the other way, and the line disappears anyway. 

So no - I suspect I wouldn't have a line at all, despite all the vitriolic nonsense that would then get pushed out by the ignorant.  You don't defeat ignorance by pushing it back into the darkness, you defeat it by shining a light on the idiocy and exposing it for the insecure madness that it is.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Azdgari on September 21, 2012, 06:36:47 AM
When the ad comes on, I can turn off my tv.  But an offensive tv is really different from a dangerous ad in a mass transit system. 

So what it comes down to is that in some locations an offensive message is legally allowed, and in some locations it is NOT legally allowed.

No.  That is not what it comes down to.  What it comes down to is whether the ad - offensive or not - is dangerous when placed in its context.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 21, 2012, 06:57:55 AM
Thank you for your thoughtful feedback Anfauglir. 

I just have to say that I find it really odd that in atheist circles, I’m usually on the other side of this debate.  But it is such a complex issue, that I can argue both sides. 

So there are clearly folks here who think that freedom of speech should be ABSOLUTE with no restrictions. 

There are other folks who think that dangerous content should be restricted, regardless of context. 

I’m assuming that would include the separation of church and state, because that separation is in fact a restriction on freedom of speech and expression, based on context. 

So Anfauglir, (and HAL) is it safe to say that in this thread http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23852.0.html you would fight to protect the rights of those who want to pray before the big game, because their freedom of speech is more important than your right to be protected from hearing their prayers?  The context doesn’t matter?  The freedom of speech gives them the right to pray?

For those of you who seem to be advocating for unrestricted freedom of speech, both in terms of content and context, let’s take another example, which is really not all that different from the virgin Mary/kill Mr. Garcia example that I posted a few entries up.  This time, the state is not part of the equation.  It is all about preparations for the apocalyptic race wars which a self-proclaimed prophet assured his followers, would usher in a new age.

I know some of us here are old enough to remember Charles Manson.  For those of you who don’t, here’s a little background.  He knew that he was the messiah, and that it was his responsibility to usher in a new era, which would begin with race riots depicted in the Beatles song “Helter Skelter.”   

Manson didn’t kill anyone.  He didn’t even go near any of the victims.  He just exercised his freedom of speech, told his followers that it was time for “Helter Skelter” and he waited outside while the faithful slashed and killed at least 7 people on, I think, 3 different occasions.  (anyone more familiar with the details can correct me here.)

Under US law, he was convicted of “conspiracy to murder” even though he never physically touched any of his victims, and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t even physically present for any of the murders.  His followers killed people.  He was just the inspiration.

So do you support his right to unlimited freedom of speech?  Do you believe that he was wrongly convicted of murders that he just inspired, but did not, in fact commit? 

Edited for sloppy typos
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 21, 2012, 07:00:07 AM

No.  That is not what it comes down to.  What it comes down to is whether the ad - offensive or not - is dangerous when placed in its context.

I think that is the direction I'm leaning in.  Of course, "dangerous" is subjective. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 21, 2012, 07:18:16 AM
I just have to say that I find it really odd that in atheist circles, I’m usually on the other side of this debate.  But it is such a complex issue, that I can argue both sides.

I’m curious, Quesi. What are you arguing for in this particular case? Are you arguing that the advertisement you quoted in your OP should be made illegal?

The District Court has ruled that it is not illegal so do you think a new law should be passed to make that particular advertisement illegal? If so, how would you word that law?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 21, 2012, 07:23:11 AM
I just have to say that I find it really odd that in atheist circles, I’m usually on the other side of this debate.  But it is such a complex issue, that I can argue both sides.

I’m curious, Quesi. What are you arguing for in this particular case? Are you arguing that the advertisement you quoted in your OP should be made illegal?

The District Court has ruled that it is not illegal so do you think a new law should be passed to make that particular advertisement illegal? If so, how would you word that law?

Honestly, when I started this thread, I thought that the discussion would be about Israel and Palestine and Judaism and Islam.  But it went in another direction.

Washington DC is not allowing the ad to run on the subways.  NYC is allowing it. 

I think that the ad is not only offensive, but potentially dangerous, and as a resident of NYC, I oppose the decision to run the ad. 

Edited to add: There is a whole lot that is subjective in this discussion.  And huge ethical questions are being pinned against each other. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: naemhni on September 21, 2012, 07:25:52 AM
So there are clearly folks here who think that freedom of speech should be ABSOLUTE with no restrictions.

There are?  Who?  *looks around in bewilderment*
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 21, 2012, 07:29:08 AM
Please answer my other questions, Quesi. Are you arguing that the advertisement you quoted in your OP should be made illegal? The District Court has ruled that it is not illegal so do you think a new law should be passed to make that particular advertisement illegal? If so, how would you word that law?

You say you find the advertisement offensive so are you arguing that things you personally find offensive should be made illegal?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 21, 2012, 07:36:31 AM
So there are clearly folks here who think that freedom of speech should be ABSOLUTE with no restrictions.

There are?  Who?  *looks around in bewilderment*

That appears to be HAL's position.

3sigma- I am arguing that the ad has the potential to be dangerous, and therefore should not be posted in a public space. 

Personally, I am much more offended by the TD Ameritrade ad, because in its ignorance, it touches my family directly.  I find that ad offensive.  But I don't think that it is dangerous.

A subway ad, which depicts a group of people (who are increasingly victims of hate crimes) and who live in NY and ride the NYC subway system, as "savages" has the potential to inspire more violence.

I NEED to get to my office and get a document out this morning.  I promise I will be back later.  3sigma, if I did not answer your question satisfactorily, please call me on it and I'll be back. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 21, 2012, 07:46:53 AM
3sigma, if I did not answer your question satisfactorily, please call me on it and I'll be back.

No, you haven’t answered my questions satisfactorily. Indeed, you haven’t answered them at all.

I’m particularly interested in whether you want the advertisement in your OP to be made illegal and how you would do that. So, do you think a new law should be passed to make that particular advertisement illegal? If so, how would you word that law? Does this mean that you wish advertisements you personally find offensive to be made illegal?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: jedweber on September 21, 2012, 07:48:53 AM
Are you arguing that the advertisement you quoted in your OP should be made illegal?

Choosing not to run an ad =/= "making it illegal"
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 21, 2012, 08:04:57 AM
Choosing not to run an ad =/= "making it illegal"

That’s true, but that isn’t my question to Quesi. Additionally, the New York transit authority no longer has that option. They are now under a court order to run the advertisement.

I’m interested in how Quesi (or anyone else) thinks the display of such advertisements could be prevented. There will probably always be bigots like Pam Geller and the ADFI out there running advertisements like this. You could try appealing to their better nature, but I doubt that will have much effect so how do people propose such advertisements be prevented from running? Do people wish to see such advertisements made illegal? If so, how would you word a law to prevent that particular advertisement in the OP? Does proposing such a law mean that people are wishing to make illegal things they find personally offensive?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 21, 2012, 09:24:16 AM

I’m particularly interested in whether you want the advertisement in your OP to be made illegal and how you would do that. So, do you think a new law should be passed to make that particular advertisement illegal? If so, how would you word that law?

Sigma- It seems that you are asking me to re-vamp everything that I have already written about in this thread.  I have written extensively both about content and context.  And Timo has written even more extensively about the specific context of advertisements in mass transit. 

I am not an attorney, nor am I experienced at drafting legislation. [1] . However in this case, I believe that it is a policy issue, rather than a legislative issue, and as such, would fall under the realm of the executive branch (as represented by the gubernatorial appointees on the MTA Board).  Timo, who clearly knows much more about law than I do, can correct me if I am wrong here. 

I am assuming that you understand the difference between policies and legislation. 

So may I restate your question to read:  Do you think that the MTA should write a policy that would prohibit inflammatory advertisements (like this one) from being posted on Mass Transit?  And if so, how would you word that policy?

If you are ok with that rewording, I would certainly be happy to attempt to address it. 

Does this mean that you wish advertisements you personally find offensive to be made illegal?

I REALLY need to get some work done today, but I most certainly have a great deal to say on this question, and I will come back later and address it at length. 
 1. But I’m very proud to have been consulted by legislative staff on several occasions, (both at the city and federal level) while they were in the process of drafting proposed legislation on various unrelated topics
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Azdgari on September 21, 2012, 09:44:24 AM
... Does this mean that you wish advertisements you personally find offensive to be made illegal?

Quesi was quite clear on this point.  That's why she made sure to distinguish "offensive" and "dangerous".

Her posts certainly do appear less reasonable when one doesn't do the courtesy of reading them.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 21, 2012, 10:17:29 AM
Choosing not to run an ad =/= "making it illegal"

That’s true, but that isn’t my question to Quesi. Additionally, the New York transit authority no longer has that option. They are now under a court order to run the advertisement.

I’m interested in how Quesi (or anyone else) thinks the display of such advertisements could be prevented. There will probably always be bigots like Pam Geller and the ADFI out there running advertisements like this. You could try appealing to their better nature, but I doubt that will have much effect so how do people propose such advertisements be prevented from running? Do people wish to see such advertisements made illegal? If so, how would you word a law to prevent that particular advertisement in the OP? Does proposing such a law mean that people are wishing to make illegal things they find personally offensive?
If it were a white supremacists ad calling for the end of immigration and the shipping out of all non-white "immigrants" by any means necessary I am sure you would not only be offended but would demand its removal,no?

 States like Arizona were already ramping up to rid their state of "immigrants" with their ridiculous laws.....would white supremacists ads be ok there?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 21, 2012, 10:46:38 AM
... Does this mean that you wish advertisements you personally find offensive to be made illegal?

Quesi was quite clear on this point.  That's why she made sure to distinguish "offensive" and "dangerous".

Her posts certainly do appear less reasonable when one doesn't do the courtesy of reading them.

Why thank you.  I do feel like I'm answering the same questions over and over. 

But it is such a huge issue, and one that I spend a great deal of time thinking about and acting on, both in my personal life, and in my professional life.  I'm certainly happy to continue elaborating. 

@12Monkeys - AZ is a great example.  Right now, as they are testing the waters on the implementation of their new "show me your papers" law, I would not feel safe traveling in the state with my daughter.  Although she has a US passport, the paper trail leading up to that passport is complicated.  At 5 1/2 years old, she has had three different names.  The name on her (Guatemalan) birth certificate is not the same as the name on US passport, and one needs to wade through a thick stack of adoption papers and court documents to get from one to the other.  It might be confusing enough to the officials to take her into temporary custody while it all got sorted out, and that kind of trauma to her is a risk I would not be willing to take. 

Ironically, unlike the issue raised in the op, the danger in this case is not from some isolated hate mongers who might be incited to commit acts of violence.  The danger[1] comes from law enforcement. 
 1. In this case, it is danger.  My daughter, like many adopted children, suffers from a "fear of abandonment" which causes her a disproportionate amount of stress, and contributes to her sleep disorders.  If she were forcibly taken away from me, even for a couple of hours, we might risk years of work towards building her sense of security and improving her ability to sleep more than a few consecutive hours.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 21, 2012, 10:54:13 AM
General question - at what point does "offensive" become "dangerous"?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Star Stuff on September 21, 2012, 10:55:07 AM
I was hoping Pat would chime in (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCXHPKhRCVg&list=UUWOkEnBl5TO4SCLfSlosjgg&index=1&feature=plcp) on this.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 21, 2012, 11:00:28 AM
Case in point.  The cartoons of Mohammed have led to rioting and deaths.  So they were dangerous?  So they should have been legally prevented from being published?

I don't think so. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: shnozzola on September 21, 2012, 11:33:15 AM
I was hoping Pat would chime in (http://) on this.

Star stuff, your video shows exactly what is wrong with this debate, IMO.  As long as muslims persist in violence from these perceived offenses, and then the west ramps things up with NY subway signs, we can expect escalation to continue -  until when?  Do we “turn the desert to glass" to prove we are right?  Do muslims plan a better than 9/11 attack to prove they are right?  Maybe we should all just start WW III and be done with it – just to prove we are right.

Even though mentioned in many religions, it is a wisdom of life that works – though not used enough – and that is unlimited forgiveness.   Inviting a muslim family to your house for supper and asking how the kids are doing in school works a lot better than telling them we think they are savages.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 21, 2012, 05:04:41 PM
In my opinion, the media portrayal of the recent protests around the Muslim world have been a caricature of a more complex reality.   Same with the Mohammed drawings. 

If you genuinely believe that all of these wild angry protests are happening simply because someone made a youtube video, then it would not be unreasonable to assume that the Muslim world is at the very least comprised of some very irrational people.  And if these irrational protestors are representative of all Muslims, then perhaps they are “savages.” 

But this video did not come out in a vacuum.  It came out in the context of a lot of violence directed towards countries with a Muslim majority.  A lot of Muslims are somewhat unhappy about the number of drones being dropped on their homelands and disrupting their weddings and grocery shopping trips and killing their family members and destroying their homes and community infrastructure.  Others are not delighted with the occupation of their nations by foreign forces.  And still others are watching leaders all over the Muslim world being unseated and usually ending up dead, sometimes with the direct assistance of foreign troops, and sometimes just with foreign supplied weapons that were provided to minor opposition groups. 

And you know, most of the recently dead Muslim leaders were pretty bad guys.  But if Romney gets elected president, (and I think he is a pretty bad guy) and Iran comes over and has him assassinated, I’m going to be angrier with Iran than with Romney.  So imagine how the many millions of residents of governments that have been overthrown by the US feel?  And the residents of countries who think they might be next on the list.  And the residents of countries with drones dropping.  And the residents of countries being occupied by US troops.  And the residents of countries in which some not so covert actions are taking place. 

In the meantime, we can wax poetic about the Arab spring, but quite a few of the countries who ended up with a vacuum of leadership are watching rival factions struggle for control.  And those factions like to take to the streets and get some visibility.  And protests against some abstract video that is offensive to a huge percentage of the population is a pretty safe way to both get attention and public support. 

And then there are the Palestinians. 

Here is a really good article on the topic.  http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/hidden-causes-of-the-muslim-protests/262440/ 

On an unrelated topic, I’ve heard some rather credible reports that cite the numbers of protesters marking the one year anniversary of the Occupy Movement as exceeding the  number of youtube video protesters.  Which set of protests got more press?  And why? 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 21, 2012, 05:43:57 PM
However in this case, I believe that it is a policy issue, rather than a legislative issue, and as such, would fall under the realm of the executive branch (as represented by the gubernatorial appointees on the MTA Board).  Timo, who clearly knows much more about law than I do, can correct me if I am wrong here. 

I am assuming that you understand the difference between policies and legislation. 

So may I restate your question to read:  Do you think that the MTA should write a policy that would prohibit inflammatory advertisements (like this one) from being posted on Mass Transit?  And if so, how would you word that policy?

If you are ok with that rewording, I would certainly be happy to attempt to address it.

The problem with this is that it is moot. From the news article in your OP, it appears that the MTA already has a policy against running such advertisements, which is why they initially rejected it. However, they were challenged in court under the First Amendment and now they are legally bound to run the advertisement so having a policy against it hasn’t worked in this case and probably won’t work in future cases.

From your reluctance to answer my questions, it would appear that you don’t want to see laws passed prohibiting such advertisements so what would you do about them and how would you decide when to take that action? Personally, I ignore them.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 21, 2012, 05:45:03 PM
Quesi was quite clear on this point.  That's why she made sure to distinguish "offensive" and "dangerous".

Quesi has also stated more than once that the distinction is subjective, which renders it somewhat less than clear. Quesi has said that she thinks this particular advertisement is offensive and potentially dangerous. I’m not faulting her for thinking that, but it did raise questions in my mind about what should be done with such examples of speech and the criteria for making that decision. So far, it seems the only proposed solution is to ban them one way or another and the only criterion we have for banning something is that a number of people find it personally offensive and think others may react to it with violence. My own solution is to ignore such bigotry.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 21, 2012, 05:45:58 PM
If it were a white supremacists ad calling for the end of immigration and the shipping out of all non-white "immigrants" by any means necessary I am sure you would not only be offended but would demand its removal,no?

I would think the people creating such an advertisement were bigoted and extreme, but I wouldn’t demand its removal—I would simply ignore its calls. I also doubt any demand to remove it would succeed in court as we have seen in the case in the OP.

Quote
States like Arizona were already ramping up to rid their state of "immigrants" with their ridiculous laws.....would white supremacists ads be ok there?

It wouldn’t matter where such an advertisement appears, my position would be the same. I would ignore it. What would you do?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 21, 2012, 06:33:51 PM
If it were a white supremacists ad calling for the end of immigration and the shipping out of all non-white "immigrants" by any means necessary I am sure you would not only be offended but would demand its removal,no?

I would think the people creating such an advertisement were bigoted and extreme, but I wouldn’t demand its removal—I would simply ignore its calls. I also doubt any demand to remove it would succeed in court as we have seen in the case in the OP.

Quote
States like Arizona were already ramping up to rid their state of "immigrants" with their ridiculous laws.....would white supremacists ads be ok there?
 



It wouldn’t matter where such an advertisement appears, my position would be the same. I would ignore it. What would you do?
I take it you are Caucasian,and such ads would not bother you because you are not in a group affected by such racist garbage?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 21, 2012, 07:51:13 PM
Sigma, it is not a reluctance to answer your questions.  I’m actually having a problem with the lack of precision in your questions.

However, I am grateful to you for giving me the push to actually look up the ruling and get a better understanding of the situation.  And it is a fascinating study of bureaucratic screw ups. 

I am delighted to report that the first amendment issue being questioned by the judge had NOTHING to do with the “right” of a client to post offensive ads on the subway.  In fact the problem had to do with the fact that the existing MTA policy against demeaning language was too specific.  It lists the specific groups that can’t be discriminated against in MTA ads.  The judge ruled that this was the first amendment violation. 

http://transportationnation.org/2012/09/19/court-rules-that-ny-mta-must-run-anti-jihad-ad/
The ruling reads:

In the July 20 Decision, the Court held that the MTA’s no-demeaning standard violates the First Amendment, because, as presently written, it is explicitly content-based:  The standard proscribes some, but not all, demeaning ads, depending whether the individual or group demeaned by a particular ad falls into one of the “specific disfavored” categories  (eg race, nationality, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation) identified in the standard.

Think of it this way.  The current wording of the MTA policy prohibits ads that are demeaning to homosexuals, but does not prohibit ads that are demeaning to red heads.  So the judge told the MTA they either had to change the policy, so that it prohibits ads that are demeaning to EVERYONE, or they had to put up the anti-Palestinian ad. 

The judge actually encouraged the MTA to come up with a policy that would prohibit ads that were demeaning to anyone.

In court, the judge also asked why the agency had not put in place a stopgap measure for its advertising guidelines, like one that would “simply ban demeaning speech across the board.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/nyregion/mta-urged-to-act-faster-in-advertising-case.html

The judge gave the MTA 30 days to either reword their existing policy, or hang up the ads.  But the 30 day period fell during the August break, during which the MTA does not hold a meeting, so they were unable to change the wording of their policy.  And, apparently, they didn’t take the issue seriously enough to call an emergency meeting.   

The MTA screwed up.  But it is clearly within their rights to prohibit demeaning ads.

So Sigma, do you still want me to write a draft of some imaginary legislation on this topic?  Or are you satisfied? 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 21, 2012, 08:35:56 PM
Now that the "freedom of speech" question has been put to rest, does anyone care to chat about the Israeli/ Palestinian issues? 

Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: screwtape on September 21, 2012, 09:55:33 PM
Now that the "freedom of speech" question has been put to rest, does anyone care to chat about the Israeli/ Palestinian issues?

pretty simple:
Cut all aid to israel. 
If they try to bomb iran, shoot them out of the sky.

Other than that I have no inclination to argue with pro-zionist dickweeds.  Because they tend to have rocks for brains. "But, but the palestinians started it..."  Fuck you, they didn't.  Did you know the Irgun was jewish verision of al qaeda?  Yep.  In the beginning of the 20th century, they were blowing up hotels and killing cops in... British Palestine. 

Feh.  I don't want to talk about it.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 21, 2012, 10:09:28 PM
I take it you are Caucasian,and such ads would not bother you because you are not in a group affected by such racist garbage?

Yes, I am Caucasian. The white supremacist advertisements you described are not attacking me so I can ignore them based on those grounds. The advertisements are also a dog whistle to certain portions of my demographic group and I ignore them because of that as well. I don’t wish to be associated with racists or bigots. I try to respect every individual until their behaviour indicates otherwise.

However, if Christians ran advertisements like these (http://www.cafemom.com/answers/658320/What_do_you_think_of_these_Christian_billboards) I would ignore them as well and I wouldn’t demand they take them down even though they are attacking or demeaning my minority group (atheists).
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 21, 2012, 10:11:51 PM
So Sigma, do you still want me to write a draft of some imaginary legislation on this topic?  Or are you satisfied?

No, I don’t want you to draft some imaginary legislation. However, am I correct in thinking you would still like to see such advertisements banned—if not through legislation then through policy? If so, then isn’t that still a general freedom of speech issue? All you’ve done is shift the restriction on speech from legislation to policy. Second, how would you word a policy that bans the advertisement in your OP? What criteria would you use to determine when to ban something? Would you ban anything that a certain number of people personally find offensive and think others may react violently to it?

Now that the "freedom of speech" question has been put to rest, does anyone care to chat about the Israeli/ Palestinian issues?

I think these issues are rooted in religious differences and, as such, will never be solved.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Azdgari on September 21, 2012, 10:36:23 PM
3Sigma, do you consider this forum's policy against trolling to be a freedom of speech issue?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 21, 2012, 10:54:26 PM
3Sigma, do you consider this forum's policy against trolling to be a freedom of speech issue?

In the strictest sense, yes, though one so trivial it isn’t worth fighting over. Freedom of speech issues cover a range of topics and levels of importance.

As people have already noted, inciting people to violence is illegal and not excused by freedom of speech claims. Some speech is considered libellous in some countries yet free speech in others. Are you arguing that banning advertisements because some people don’t like them couldn’t restrict freedom of speech?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on September 22, 2012, 02:16:11 AM
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”
It concludes with the words, “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” wedged between two Stars of David


The first statement itself is perfectly fine.   Now for the second:  Defeat Jihad is not defeat Islam, defeat Muslims or any such thing.  It is defeat the holy war.  Therefore, it's not hate speech.  It is not advocating the taking of life, or the destruction of either a people or a nation.  It is instead, asking us to consider our civilization, and stand against the violence that the concept of jihad, as embraced by terrorists, is perpetrating against civilization.

However, more can be (and is, here) inferred because the ad's jewish leanings are clearly displayed, so, it is reasonable for the many readers to interpret the statement as inflammatory.

The good news is that the ad's jewish leanings have been clearly displayed.  Speech has been uttered, and everyone knows who has done the talking.  Therefore, we can consider the source and process the content as we see fit.

The reason we have free speech is not to make sure every crank and crackpot gets equal time... it is to bring about discussion, debate and critique.  Let those who dislike the advert exercise their own rights of free speech.  The public will (hopefully) come to a conclusion regarding the merits of the statement while considering its source.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 22, 2012, 07:08:23 AM
However, am I correct in thinking you would still like to see such advertisements banned—if not through legislation then through policy?

Sigma-
I really am at a loss here.  I don’t feel that you’ve shown me the courtesy of having read anything I’ve written. 

I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I do not support the display of these ads in the subway.  I’m actually delighted that the MTA has an advertising standard that is even higher than the standards that I previously stated.  It is the MTA’s intention to block not only dangerous ads, but also demeaning ads.  They may have screwed up on the specific language in their policy, but their intentions are clear.  And the judge supports the MTA’s intentions to prohibit the display of “demeaning’ ads.  The court just wants to ensure they are not protecting some groups, while leaving other groups vulnerable. 

There are also many other circumstances in which I agree with judicial interpretations of the First Amendment.  I don’t want the principal of my daughter’s school to get on the PA and lead a prayer to Jesus Christ or Allah or Ishtar.  I don’t want al qaeda members standing on my street corner encouraging my neighbors to hop on the E train and go burn down the Empire State Building. 

I am vehemently opposed to a display of the Ten Commandments in a public courthouse, because they are not the law of the land and we do not live in a theocracy.  However, unlike (I imagine) many members here, I’m not particularly concerned about a statue of Jesus hidden along a ski slope in a national park.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/25/us/in-montana-jesus-statue-is-focus-of-legal-battle.html 

And I certainly support the right of public facilities to create policies restricting certain types of paid advertising from appearing in public space.  I would hope that they create effective and appropriate policies.  I don’t think it would be good idea to have Anheuser Busch putting up beer ads in a junior high school gym, and I don’t think it would be a good idea to have a company that sells healing crystals put up ads in a public hospital emergency room. 

Is this answer sufficient?

If so, then isn’t that still a general freedom of speech issue? 

Umm.  The courts don’t think so.  And neither do I. 

All you’ve done is shift the restriction on speech from legislation to policy. 

No.  I am not “shifting” any “restrictions.”  I am describing how government works. 


Second, how would you word a policy that bans the advertisement in your OP?

***Deep breath.***  Ok.  I’m really flattered that you want me to try my hand at drafting legal language.  Again, it would be so much easier to answer your questions if you showed me the courtesy of reading my previous responses to your questions.  But let’s start again. 

The court has found that the language that the MTA lawyers wrote (I think in 1993, but I could be wrong) was not adequate to provide equal protection to everyone.  If you read the section of the judge’s statement, which I quoted, you will see that the judge said that by listing “specific disfavored” categories, the policy failed to protect other categories of people who could be harmed.  The judge suggested that the MTA change its policy to put in place a stopgap measure for its advertising guidelines, like one that would “simply ban demeaning speech across the board.”

In this case, I really agree with the judge’s ruling that the MTA policy, as currently written, does not provide enough protection.  The MTA screwed up by not holding an unscheduled August meeting to amend the wording of this policy. 

What criteria would you use to determine when to ban something? Would you ban anything that a certain number of people personally find offensive and think others may react violently to it?

I really am going to ask you to show me the courtesy of reading my previous posts on this topic.  As I have previously stated, different criteria would apply in different circumstances.  I would not object to being asked to bow my head in prayer if I were attending my cousin’s church wedding, because I knew when I walked into the church that churches engage in prayer.  I would strongly object to my daughter being asked to bow her head in prayer in her public school classroom because different standards apply in public spaces. 

I find myself agreeing with the vast majority of judicial interpretations of the First Amendment that currently stand.  If you are unfamiliar with existing restrictions on free speech, in the US, Wikipedia may help.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions

I'm not going to list every lower court decision in the history of the US and explain why I agree (or in some cases, disagree) with their decisions.  If you have a specific case you would like to ask me about, I would be happy to offer my opinion. 

So let me ask you a question.  Do you believe in absolutely no restrictions on freedom of speech?  Do you believe that the courts are violating your rights by any of the existing restrictions? 

edited for formatting
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 22, 2012, 09:53:04 AM

I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I do not support the display of these ads in the subway.

Okay, you think the advertisement in your OP should be banned. I then asked how you would word a policy that bans that particular advertisement.

Quote
Ok.  I’m really flattered that you want me to try my hand at drafting legal language.  Again, it would be so much easier to answer your questions if you showed me the courtesy of reading my previous responses to your questions.  But let’s start again. 

…The judge suggested that the MTA change its policy to put in place a stopgap measure for its advertising guidelines, like one that would “simply ban demeaning speech across the board.”

In this case, I really agree with the judge’s ruling that the MTA policy, as currently written, does not provide enough protection.  The MTA screwed up by not holding an unscheduled August meeting to amend the wording of this policy.

Okay, you appear to be saying that you would include wording to the effect that “demeaning speech is banned”. I consider that to be rather broad and open to interpretation, which is why I asked the next question about what criteria you would use to determine when to ban something.

Quote
I really am going to ask you to show me the courtesy of reading my previous posts on this topic.  As I have previously stated, different criteria would apply in different circumstances…

[examples of different situations, but not the one in the OP]

I have been following your conversation in this thread and you’ve made several comments that could be interpreted as criteria for banning the advertisement in the OP. First, here is the advertisement again.

In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad

You described the advertisement as hate speech here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg531916.html#msg531916) and again here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg531919.html#msg531919) and here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg531942.html#msg531942). Mr. Blackwell asked you what was hateful about the advertisement and you said here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg531932.html#msg531932) the Palestinians were being portrayed as savages, but that isn’t quite what the advertisement says unless you consider all Palestinians to be Mujahideen. Personally, I think describing this particular advertisement as hate speech is a little strong. You also said in that last comment that it was offensive. I presumed you meant offensive to Palestinians.

In a later post (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg532051.html#msg532051), your response to HAL implies that you think this advertisement promotes violence against a disenfranchised minority. I thought you meant the Palestinians, but then you said that the government has an obligation to protect the welfare and safety of its citizens, which suggests you mean U.S. citizens rather than Palestinians (unless you mean Palestinians who are U.S. citizens). You repeat that here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg532210.html#msg532210) again implying that Palestinians ride the NYC subway and that this advertisement would inspire violence against them.

Then you start saying the advertisement is offensive (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg532208.html#msg532208) to you and dangerous (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg532161.html#msg532161) or potentially dangerous (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg532208.html#msg532208). I wasn’t sure whether you meant dangerous to you or to the Palestinians riding the subway.

Please read the advertisement again. You have described it as hate speech, portraying Palestinians as savages, offensive, dangerous and promoting violence against Palestinians riding the subway. I think you are overreacting and your criteria are highly subjective, but I guess we’ll see in a few weeks how many Palestinians riding the subway are assaulted or killed.

Quote
So let me ask you a question.  Do you believe in absolutely no restrictions on freedom of speech?  Do you believe that the courts are violating your rights by any of the existing restrictions?

No, I don’t think there should be absolutely no restrictions on the freedom of speech, but I think you are overreacting in this particular case. No, I don’t think the courts are violating my rights—in any way at all, actually. At least, none come to mind at the moment.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 22, 2012, 02:54:35 PM
I take it you are Caucasian,and such ads would not bother you because you are not in a group affected by such racist garbage?

Yes, I am Caucasian. The white supremacist advertisements you described are not attacking me so I can ignore them based on those grounds. The advertisements are also a dog whistle to certain portions of my demographic group and I ignore them because of that as well. I don't wish to be associated with racists or bigots. I try to respect every individual until their behaviour indicates otherwise.

However, if Christians ran advertisements like these (http://www.cafemom.com/answers/658320/What_do_you_think_of_these_Christian_billboards) I would ignore them as well and I wouldn't demand they take them down even though they are attacking or demeaning my minority group (atheists).
Don't spew this crap.....An ethnicity is not something you can just scrub off to become Caucasian and unlike a religious choice it is out there for everybody to see and stereotypes can make judgments easy.

 Attacking a persons religious choice is NOT the same as stereotyping a group of people of a different ethnic background and singling them out for attack.   If and when the Caucasians become a minority (soon enough) and are singled out for extermination.... then we will see.

 Yes these two factions are of different religions and are of similar ethnicity.....but the Jews are targeting a people and taking over their LAND.....but of course you may be OK with it since your forfathers did it to us in North America (I am Aboriginal)
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 22, 2012, 02:58:56 PM
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”
It concludes with the words, “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” wedged between two Stars of David


The first statement itself is perfectly fine.   Now for the second:  Defeat Jihad is not defeat Islam, defeat Muslims or any such thing.  It is defeat the holy war.  Therefore, it's not hate speech.  It is not advocating the taking of life, or the destruction of either a people or a nation.  It is instead, asking us to consider our civilization, and stand against the violence that the concept of jihad, as embraced by terrorists, is perpetrating against civilization.

However, more can be (and is, here) inferred because the ad's jewish leanings are clearly displayed, so, it is reasonable for the many readers to interpret the statement as inflammatory.

The good news is that the ad's jewish leanings have been clearly displayed.  Speech has been uttered, and everyone knows who has done the talking.  Therefore, we can consider the source and process the content as we see fit.

The reason we have free speech is not to make sure every crank and crackpot gets equal time... it is to bring about discussion, debate and critique.  Let those who dislike the advert exercise their own rights of free speech.  The public will (hopefully) come to a conclusion regarding the merits of the statement while considering its source.
Just how do you figure the Jewish nation is being civilized?.....going house to house to rid neighborhoods of people so you can bulldoz down their houses  and build your own houses is hardly civilized.

 If you know Vancouver BC you know Stanley park....there were Indian villages in the park and surrounding areas.....in the early 1900's(maybe late 1800's) they drove bulldozers into what is now Stanley park and destroyed the houses there to make said park.....hardly the act of the civilized,more a savage act would you agree?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 22, 2012, 04:04:05 PM
@12 Monkeys

How predictable  &)

Of course YOU would take the side of the Palestinians...you come from a long line of filthy savages. 

Jeeze

Why did we ever teach you guys how to read and write? Just shut up and remember your place.

I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.

Just leave the heavy thinking to the master race.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 22, 2012, 04:44:11 PM

Attacking a persons religious choice is NOT the same as stereotyping a group of people of a different ethnic background and singling them out for attack.   If and when the Caucasians become a minority (soon enough) and are singled out for extermination.... then we will see.

Yes these two factions are of different religions and are of similar ethnicity.....but the Jews are targeting a people and taking over their LAND.....but of course you may be OK with it since your forfathers did it to us in North America (I am Aboriginal)

As I said, I try not to stereotype people. I am not singling out a group of people for attack. I am not calling for Palestinians, Native Americans or anyone else to be singled out for extermination. However, here you seem to be stereotyping Caucasians as behaving that way and calling for their extermination. Is this a Poe?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 22, 2012, 04:52:09 PM
You know Sigma, there are few things I enjoy talking about more than issues of race and ethnicity and class and social and economic marginalization and oppression, and policies that impact on social and economic justice. 

But I’m finding responding to your questions to be really tedious.  Your most recent post seems to indicate that you were not even aware of the fact that there were Palestinian Americans until this morning?  You seem to be completely unaware of the exponential increase in (reported) hate crimes against Muslims (and people perceived to be Muslims) in the US in the period following 9/11, which continues 11 years later,   And I’m guessing you don’t know a whole lot about the plight of Palestinians, both in Israel and abroad, or about the way the larger Muslim world views the displacement of the Palestinian people. 

So I thought I would share some resources with you. 

A Palestinian-American (Israeli) provides a glimpse of his reality.   
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/opinion/not-all-israeli-citizens-are-equal.html

A New York based Palestinian organization’s website.  I don’t know them, and haven’t worked with them, but the points on their homepage might be of interest to you. 
http://al-awdany.org/about-al-awda/

An article about the relationship between hate speech and hate crimes. 
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/06/the-rise-of-hate-crimes-can-be-tied-directly-to-hateful-speech.html

I haven’t seen this documentary yet, but I’ve heard about it.  As Palestinians are being evicted from a Jerusalem neighborhood to make way for Jewish settlers, members of the local Jewish community organize protests against the evictions.   Here is the trailer.

http://youtu.be/cqbs8hm9z7A

I think a lot of folks don’t realize how divided Israelis are on the topic of the settlements.  Israel is a home to many refugees.  But as folks arrive in Israel to escape oppression, they find themselves displacing the people whose ancestors lived there for thousands of years. 

Here is a little piece from Wikipedia. 

A July 2009 survey of Israeli public opinion found that people were about evenly divided on the issue of new settlement construction, with 46 percent of those polled in support of further construction and 44 percent opposed.[223]

On 19 June 2011, Haaretz reported that the Israeli cabinet voted to revoke Defense Minister Ehud Barak's authority to veto new settlement construction in the West Bank, by transferring this authority from the Agriculture Ministry, headed by Barak ally Orit Noked, to the Prime Minister's office.[224]

In 2009, Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "I have no intention of building new settlements in the West Bank... But like all the governments there have been until now, I will have to meet the needs of natural growth in the population. I will not be able to choke the settlements."[225] On 15 October 2009, he said the settlement row with the United States had been resolved.[226]

In March 2012, it was revealed that the Civil Administration, a unit of the IDF, has over the years covertly earmarked 10% of the West Bank for further settlement.[227]

0n 7 June 2012, Netanyahu has ordered the construction of 300 new homes in Beit El in the West Bank. He has also authorised the move of five apartment buildings to Beit El from the nearby outpost Ulpana, where they are to be removed by 1 July 2012, after the supreme court ruled that they were built on private Palestinian land.[228] According to Al Jazeera, an additional 550 new homes are to be built elsewhere in the West Bank.[229]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_settlement#New_settlement_construction


Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Azdgari on September 22, 2012, 05:15:43 PM
In the strictest sense, yes, though one so trivial it isn’t worth fighting over. Freedom of speech issues cover a range of topics and levels of importance.

So it is more important, to you, to be able to post public ads calling all Palestinians savages than to be able to troll this forum.  Interesting set of priorities, in terms of which is better or worse to be able to do.

As people have already noted, inciting people to violence is illegal and not excused by freedom of speech claims.

You mean like telling people to go to war with the savages?

Some speech is considered libellous in some countries yet free speech in others. Are you arguing that banning advertisements because some people don’t like them couldn’t restrict freedom of speech?

No.  I'm saying that freedom of speech is restricted in all sorts of cases, and that it's something best decided on a case-by-case basis.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 22, 2012, 06:07:07 PM
Your most recent post seems to indicate that you were not even aware of the fact that there were Palestinian Americans until this morning?  You seem to be completely unaware of the exponential increase in (reported) hate crimes against Muslims (and people perceived to be Muslims) in the US in the period following 9/11, which continues 11 years later,   And I’m guessing you don’t know a whole lot about the plight of Palestinians, both in Israel and abroad, or about the way the larger Muslim world views the displacement of the Palestinian people.

Yes I am aware that there are Palestinians living in the U.S. and presumably many other countries around the world. Yes I am aware that attacks against Muslims in the U.S. increased after 9/11. And yes I am aware of the plight of Palestinians and the aggression of the Israelis.

My question is where do we draw the line on what is or isn’t hate speech. You apparently see the advertisement in your OP as hate speech promoting violence against Palestinians (and presumably anyone who may look Palestinian). I think that position is a little extreme in this particular case. You call for the advertisement to be banned. I’m wondering where the banning ends. Right now, we have the Prime Minister of Pakistan calling for the UN to make blasphemy a crime globally (http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-17623-Blasphemy-should-be-declared-crime-globally-PM). Is that the sort of thing you want to see?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 22, 2012, 06:08:41 PM
So it is more important, to you, to be able to post public ads calling all Palestinians savages than to be able to troll this forum.  Interesting set of priorities, in terms of which is better or worse to be able to do.

The advertisement in question states: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad”. Do you consider all Palestinians to be Mujahideen?

Quote
I'm saying that freedom of speech is restricted in all sorts of cases, and that it's something best decided on a case-by-case basis.

I’m wondering where the restriction ends.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Brakeman on September 22, 2012, 07:23:32 PM

Quote
I'm saying that freedom of speech is restricted in all sorts of cases, and that it's something best decided on a case-by-case basis.

I’m wondering where the restriction ends.

Just like the christians that can't fathom why someone might have a problem with a prayer at a ballgame, some can't grasp the idea that the freedom of speach that can't say anything shocking, virulent, or arousing, isn't freedom at all. In the "scream fire in a theater" example, the issue is immediate danger and truth. First, if the theater is on fire, then of course you can scream fire, it's not fraudulent then. Secondly, if you separate the immediate danger, you can again scream away, such as announcing to the audience beforehand that you are to scream fire sufficiently so that all are aware of the event beforehand.

If the anti-islam poster were instead about a fictional people or a sports team, the words would not offend.

Personally, as a True Atheist, TM, I look forward to the day that the jews are wiped off the map. Not by force or hate, but by reasoning that their identity is based on silly superstition and myth and that they themselves drop the designation and join the rest of mankind in reasoned sanity and brotherhood.

The Palestinians have been greatly wronged, but it is their religion's PR that keeps them from gaining the support that they need to be compensated. Again, atheism could cure this too.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 22, 2012, 07:38:30 PM
Do you consider all Palestinians to be Mujahideen?


It was a little embarrassing the first time you said it.  Even more so when you say it twice. 

Not sure if you took the time to watch the trailer to the documentary that I posted.  Were the old lady and the little kid mujaheddin?  Even if they took up arms after being evicted from their homes, would that make them holy warriors?  Or people fighting to get their homes back.

Now try, for a moment, to imagine yourself in the position of the people in that video.  Imagine if, at 10 AM, a mob of your neighbors came and dragged you out of your home that you had lived in since 1954, and put your possessions in the street.  Imagine they did that to a subset of your other neighbors as well.  And all you guys who got evicted banded together, trying to figure out how to get your homes back.  If you had Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Wiccan parents,  you would not be fighting as a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim to get your home back.  You would be fighting as someone who lost his home. 

The people who evicted them clearly believed that they were "savages."  The cited scriptures saying that this was there land.  They are the chosen people.  The people they are evicting are savages. 

Did you read the article about the Palestinian guy who lives in DC?  Did you read about how he and his wife have to fly into different airports, go over different bridges, go through different security checks, even though they are both Palestinian?  He was born inside of Israel, and has an Israeli passport.  His wife was born 30 miles away, but outside of Israel, and as a Palestinian cannot even enter Israel with her husband.

Are they mujaheddin?  Or is she just a savage?

You want to talk about the lunatics in Afghanistan, (who were, by the way, recruited and trained and fed religious and nationalistic bullshit by the CIA in order to mobilize them to fight against the former Soviet Union, but that is another story)  you can call them mujaheddin.  They are, at this point, religious fanatics fighting a holy war.  Not refugees hoping to get their homes back. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 22, 2012, 09:01:29 PM

Attacking a persons religious choice is NOT the same as stereotyping a group of people of a different ethnic background and singling them out for attack.   If and when the Caucasians become a minority (soon enough) and are singled out for extermination.... then we will see.

Yes these two factions are of different religions and are of similar ethnicity.....but the Jews are targeting a people and taking over their LAND.....but of course you may be OK with it since your forfathers did it to us in North America (I am Aboriginal)

As I said, I try not to stereotype people. I am not singling out a group of people for attack. I am not calling for Palestinians, Native Americans or anyone else to be singled out for extermination. However, here you seem to be stereotyping Caucasians as behaving that way and calling for their extermination. Is this a Poe?
My point was that YOU are Caucasian and YOU do not care if it doesn't burden YOU....and when it  STARTS burdening YOU,,,,YOU heard it HERE with ME first. Just because YOU are not yet burdened by the problems does NOT mean you wont in the future. Caucasians will be a minority by 2030 in North America....

 I bet you will want to take action when things start making your life miserable.......you see decent people try to stand up for what is right all the time not just when it starts to effect them.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 22, 2012, 09:05:20 PM
Case in point.  The cartoons of Mohammed have led to rioting and deaths.  So they were dangerous?  So they should have been legally prevented from being published?

I don't think so.
Is publishing something you must purchase,a magazine or paper to see the offensive different from an advertisment for all to see?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on September 22, 2012, 11:33:14 PM

Just how do you figure the Jewish nation is being civilized?.....going house to house to rid neighborhoods of people so you can bulldoz down their houses  and build your own houses is hardly civilized.

 If you know Vancouver BC you know Stanley park....there were Indian villages in the park and surrounding areas.....in the early 1900's(maybe late 1800's) they drove bulldozers into what is now Stanley park and destroyed the houses there to make said park.....hardly the act of the civilized,more a savage act would you agree?

I didn't say anything about the jewish state.  The first statement says nothing about the jewish state.  It talks about standing against a destructive force/practice/tactic aimed against civilizations.    The US, Spain, Britain, and India, all have had high-profile vicious attacks perpetrated against people who have nothing to do with the conflict in the middle east (civilians, non-combatants, citizens).  Those who think that Israel acts barbarically are free to express their opinion as well.   
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Death over Life on September 22, 2012, 11:44:03 PM
So I get a day off from this thread, and it's now dealing with race as opposed to free speech?  :-\

Seriously, if we want to keep looking at others for their ethnicity or skin color, how about we just drop the human race population to 0 and be done with it. There we go, no more who believe in a god, and thus, won't be offended at stupid movies, and no people to get upset about over skins or ethnicity or who's a minority or who's a majority etc.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on September 22, 2012, 11:52:19 PM
It's a fine example of how easily people can be distracted even without any coordinated effort.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 22, 2012, 11:53:46 PM
Case in point.  The cartoons of Mohammed have led to rioting and deaths.  So they were dangerous?  So they should have been legally prevented from being published?

I don't think so.
Is publishing something you must purchase,a magazine or paper to see the offensive different from an advertisment for all to see?

I don't know.  Is it?  Does a hateful message suddenly become not-hateful because I'd paid money for it before I knew it was there?  Are you saying that it is a terrible thing to have that poster on the subway, that it was hateful and should be banned, but if it was on an ad on page 34 of your favourite magazine it wouldn't cause you the slightest problem?

This has been my point all along.  If the message is wrong, its wrong.  Either you can say something, or you can't (or perhaps that should be "should/shouldn't).  And this is where 3Sigma and I seem to be united in wanting to know exactly what the criteria are.  And in my case, knowing that those criteria will not be used against me in a dozen years time as the boundaries shift.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 22, 2012, 11:58:26 PM
It was a little embarrassing the first time you said it.  Even more so when you say it twice. 

Not sure if you took the time to watch the trailer to the documentary that I posted.  Were the old lady and the little kid mujaheddin?  Even if they took up arms after being evicted from their homes, would that make them holy warriors?  Or people fighting to get their homes back.

I’m not saying all Palestinians are Mujahideen and neither is the advertisement. I imagine most Palestinians are just trying to get by under occupation, but there are groups within Palestine (notably Palestinian Islamic Jihad) that kidnap, shoot and bomb Israelis. The reason I ask the question is because you said the advertisement portrays Palestinians as savages and Azdgari said the advertisement calls all Palestinians savages. However, the advertisement doesn’t actually mention Palestinians at all. It says, “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” It doesn’t say defeat Palestine. It doesn’t say all Palestinians are engaged in jihad. People engaged in jihad are called Mujahideen. The Palestinians are not the only Muslim group engaged in jihad against Israel. Last month there was an attack (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2012/0921/Attempted-attack-on-Israeli-border-highlights-militant-presence-in-Sinai) by Islamic militants on Israel’s Egyptian border and Iran (http://www.timesofisrael.com/iranians-commemorate-al-quds-day) is calling for the elimination of Israel.

Quote
Now try, for a moment, to imagine yourself in the position of the people in that video. 

The people who evicted them clearly believed that they were "savages."  The cited scriptures saying that this was there land.  They are the chosen people.  The people they are evicting are savages.

Are you saying this was caused by the yet to be displayed advertisements in a New York subway or any similar advertisement? This deep-seated hatred appears to have been caused by ancient religious beliefs long before any advertisements.

Quote
Did you read the article about the Palestinian guy who lives in DC?

Are they mujaheddin?  Or is she just a savage?

Yes, I did read that article. I presume neither he nor his wife have kidnapped, shot or bombed anyone so I would say they are neither Mujahideen nor savages. However, there are constant attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants engaged in jihad and, yes, there is constant oppression of the Palestinians by the IDF. I read a first-hand report (http://www.bostonreview.net/BR37.4/oded_naaman_israeli_defense_forces_palestinians_occupation.php) describing this oppression last month. I just don’t think an advertisement in a New York subway is going to change the situation in the Middle East in any way.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 22, 2012, 11:59:17 PM
My point was that YOU are Caucasian and YOU do not care if it doesn't burden YOU....and when it  STARTS burdening YOU,,,,YOU heard it HERE with ME first. Just because YOU are not yet burdened by the problems does NOT mean you wont in the future. Caucasians will be a minority by 2030 in North America....

 I bet you will want to take action when things start making your life miserable.......you see decent people try to stand up for what is right all the time not just when it starts to effect them.

No doubt I will be one the first against the wall come the revolution.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 23, 2012, 12:39:28 AM
My point was that YOU are Caucasian and YOU do not care if it doesn't burden YOU....and when it  STARTS burdening YOU,,,,YOU heard it HERE with ME first. Just because YOU are not yet burdened by the problems does NOT mean you wont in the future. Caucasians will be a minority by 2030 in North America....

 I bet you will want to take action when things start making your life miserable.......you see decent people try to stand up for what is right all the time not just when it starts to effect them.

No doubt I will be one the first against the wall come the revolution.
It is not about that it is about losing what you are comfortable with now...the place you exist in now .....it will change,someday you may have to put up a fight to be treated equally...as you said it does not effect you ,you don't care. Can I ask you why you ignore it?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 23, 2012, 06:06:12 AM
It is not about that it is about losing what you are comfortable with now...the place you exist in now .....it will change,someday you may have to put up a fight to be treated equally...as you said it does not effect you ,you don't care. Can I ask you why you ignore it?
I’m ignoring your supposed future dystopia because, even if your prediction that “Caucasians will be a minority by 2030 in North America” comes true, I doubt it will have any significant effect on my life.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 23, 2012, 07:16:15 AM

I’m not saying all Palestinians are Mujahideen and neither is the advertisement.

(Bold mine)

Actually, it is.  Israeli policies treat all Palestinians as savages.  Their movements are restricted. Their homes and property are not really theirs.  Their access to government services and representation is at most tokenism.  The government imposes curfews it fails to tell its Palestinian residents about, and then feels justified in killing a few dozen folks who violated the curfew. 

And then, when the Palestinians get pissed off about being evicted from their homes or having their family members assassinated, the Israeli infrastructure gets to point at their uprisings as proof of their savagery, or label them as terrorists. 

I think it is impossible to underestimate the role that the Palestinian situation plays on the international stage.  For Muslims around the world, including the non-Arab Muslim majority, the Palestinian situation is a rallying point. 

When Muslims get mad about pictures of Mohammad or youtube videos, please understand that they are really already mad about the dehumanization of Palestinians.[1]  They see these symbolic attacks on their beliefs and practices as a reminder of their vulnerability, and they live with the ever-present fear that their lives could be transformed into the lives that the Palestinians have been forced to endure now for generations, in which their land is not theirs, their national resources are not theirs, and their right to self-determination is stripped away. 

And it is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.  We watch the protests against these cartoons and whatnot from the safety of our comfortable homes, and we shake our heads at how irrational they are, and we forget the greater context.  Just as most Americans look at the 9/11 attacks with outrage, and just as most Americans can identify with the victims, most Muslims look at the Palestinian situation with outrage and identify with the victims.   

But when we fail to recognize the context in which the outrage is taking place, it is indeed easy to dismiss these angry people as savages.

And then those who have a vested interest in the perpetuation of this real and symbolic oppression, want to capitalized on widespread Western ignorance about world events, and  put up a sign (in a public space) naming the primary victims of this oppression as savages. 
 1. And deadly drone strikes on their land and foreign occupation and a few other things as well
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 23, 2012, 07:46:55 AM

I’m ignoring your supposed future dystopia because, even if your prediction that “Caucasians will be a minority by 2030 in North America” comes true, I doubt it will have any significant effect on my life.

And certainly, YOUR LIFE is all that you should be concerned with.   The impact that your life has on the rest of humanity is irrelevant. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 23, 2012, 08:31:23 AM
And certainly, YOUR LIFE is all that you should be concerned with.   The impact that your life has on the rest of humanity is irrelevant.

Oh please, give it a rest would you? Should I take the fact you’ve failed to mention the impact your life has on the rest of humanity as indicating you think it is irrelevant?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: shnozzola on September 23, 2012, 11:09:51 AM
Now that the "freedom of speech" question has been put to rest, does anyone care to chat about the Israeli/ Palestinian issues?
        If I was Jewish, and heard that Israel had now been established as a homeland based on the outcome of World War II, and I could have a family taken out of the house I wanted to move into, I would decline.  That seems madness.

        If I was Jewish, born in Israel since the establishment of the Jewish state, and learned the history of the region, and understood that my family may have a better chance of being killed living in this region - then the Palestinians have won – I’d move.

       If I was Palestinian, and a Jewish family showed up and removed me from my house in the late 1940s, I would swear a few WTF storms, and, being horrified, move my family from the region, never to return, and forever look down on the Jewish families that felt entitled to have someone removed from their homes.  But I would never attack anyone.  Those Jewish families would have won.

   If Jewish, the thing I would not do would be to continue to treat Palestinians with contempt.  The way the two societies separate themselves is madness.   Palestinians would be able to settle and live wherever they want in the region, with ethnicity and/or nationality downplayed as much as possible.

   If Palestinian, the thing I would not do is attack Jewish people, realizing that the sooner the region “gets over” the actions of the past, the sooner the area can progress, with Jewish people and Palestinian people living wherever they want.
___________________________________________
But instead, why don’t Jewish people continue to mistreat the Palestinians, and be surprised at the next bus blowing up, while the Palestinians continue to blow up buses, and be surprised when they are mistreated.  Madness. 

-the only thing we can hope (so the entire world can relax :o) is that the younger generations of both sides get tired of the madness.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: periboob on September 23, 2012, 01:28:00 PM
This ad, and the movie, and the cartoons, and child porn are all examples of how silly it is to talk about Freedom of Speech.

Just the idea of Freedom of Speech is an example of how innocent and primitive the Founding Fathers of the U.S. were. They were just trying to make Baptists and Methodists get along. They could never have imagined a world where Christians had to mingle with Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists, Scientologists, Wiccans, Comet Worshipers, followers of Jim Jones, Atheists... Cool aid drinkers all. If your society and its neighbors have a mixture of beliefs, you cannot have free speech without anonymity--  If your neighbors are saying the wrong thing (or drinking the wrong thing, smoking the wrong thing, displaying the wrong flag, doing the right thing on the wrong day, just generally setting a bad example) it is violence.

If people say the wrong thing, they set a bad example for your children that may cause them to lose the vision of the truth, and burn in a lake of fire forever. Or they may cause your children to rule their life by myths and fairy tales rather than logic and science. One of the reasons that those without religion are uncomfortable around religion is that they know that it can make their children gullible, and more easily rallied into other forms of mob psychology, following the loudest voice into combat with the other tribe.

I see few examples of religion being the cause of human nastiness, but it has frequently been the tool that allowed or helped evil men to rise to power. Religion produces gullibility, and gullibility allows the rabble to be roused to violence against the infidels. Power-hungry leaders have used this characteristic of religion to rally the pack against "enemies" countless times.

There are leaders in every society who use "those violent people over there" to mobilize the mob, and thereby increase their own power. And the greatest ally of the violent leader, is the violent leader on the other side. My analysis is that the maker of the ad, the movie and the cartoons are, perhaps knowingly, inciting violence, so that the resulting storm can be held up as an example of "the savagery" of those over there, and the ad maker etc can grow their own flock.

Those who's way of life is fragile, those who live in despair, the hopeless, are the easiest to lead to extremism, and the easiest to rally violently. Short of joining the serve-and-volley of violence, the only way I can see out, is to help those others out of their hopeless fragile conditions.

Thanks for an interesting discussion, and have a nice Sunday.
-------------------------
Well I'm standing by a river
But the water doesn't flow
It boils with every poison you can think of
And I'm underneath the streetlights
But the light of joy I know
Scared beyond belief way down in the shadows
And the perverted fear of violence
Chokes a smile on every face
And common sense is ringing out the bells
This ain't no technological breakdown
Oh no, this is the road to Hell
And all the roads jam up with credit
And there's nothing you can do
It's all just bits of paper
Flying away from you
Look out world take a good look
What comes down here
You must learn this lesson fast
And learn it well
This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway
Oh no, this is the road to Hell 

~ Chris Rea "Road to Hell II"
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Gohavesomefun on September 23, 2012, 02:36:45 PM
Freedom of speech has an errand of responsibility tied with in it and any person with a sense of morality, can see that at some point someone needs to step in to apprise and educate to as why certain beliefs are inhumane and cruel. It is up to each individual to make their own choices and it's my belief that most people want good things for themselves and others.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 23, 2012, 07:00:17 PM
It is not about that it is about losing what you are comfortable with now...the place you exist in now .....it will change,someday you may have to put up a fight to be treated equally...as you said it does not effect you ,you don't care. Can I ask you why you ignore it?
I’m ignoring your supposed future dystopia because, even if your prediction that Caucasians will be a minority by 2030 in North America comes true, I doubt it will have any significant effect on my life.
Fair enough
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 24, 2012, 07:28:56 AM
I bet you will want to take action when things start making your life miserable.......you see decent people try to stand up for what is right all the time not just when it starts to effect them.....It is not about that it is about losing what you are comfortable with now...the place you exist in now .....it will change,someday you may have to put up a fight to be treated equally...as you said it does not effect you ,you don't care. Can I ask you why you ignore it?

12M, I found this to be a very interesting question.  I can see exactly what you mean by it, hearkening to the famous verse by Martin Niemoller: "First they came for....".  And one significant part of me is right behind that.

But what also worries me is that while I stand by the idea of opposition - stand by the talking against the hateful groups, of spreading the truth, or displaying the rebuttal posters - I have trouble with the idea of refusal: of simply banning anything that "we, today" regard as hateful.  Because I can see the application of Niemoller there as well - "first they took away the right to speak from this group, then from that group.... then when they took away MY right to speak, there was no-one to speak up for me." 

I may agree with the way the courts define "hateful" today....but will I agree with them tomorrow?  Look at Ireland's blasphemy laws, for example.  Laws that - basically - say "you can say this, but not that".  And in general, I don't agree with that at all. 


Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 24, 2012, 07:53:06 AM
I guess I’m just really surprised by the number of people on this forum who take issue with long-standing judicial decisions to weigh freedom of expression against freedom from harm. 

Anfauglir, Sigma, HAL, and others who are concerned about ANY restrictions on freedom of speech, may I ask again if you oppose the restrictions on prayer at sporting events at public universities?

Why or why not? 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 24, 2012, 08:11:29 AM
Anfauglir, Sigma, HAL, and others who are concerned about ANY restrictions on freedom of speech, may I ask again if you oppose the restrictions on prayer at sporting events at public universities?

Why or why not?

I am not opposed to any restriction on free speech and I haven’t said that here or even implied it. In fact, I’ve given instances where freedom of speech should be restricted—notably, direct incitement to violence. The problem I have with your desire to ban the advertisement in your OP is that I don’t consider it to be a direct incitement to violence. I think you are overreacting to it.

You will need to be more specific about the prayers being opposed. If prayers are mandated or led by the school authorities then, while it is still a First Amendment issue, it comes under the Establishment Clause rather than the Freedom of Speech Clause. If they aren’t endorsed by the school authorities then I don’t have a problem with them.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 24, 2012, 10:19:43 AM
I bet you will want to take action when things start making your life miserable.......you see decent people try to stand up for what is right all the time not just when it starts to effect them.....It is not about that it is about losing what you are comfortable with now...the place you exist in now .....it will change,someday you may have to put up a fight to be treated equally...as you said it does not effect you ,you don't care. Can I ask you why you ignore it?

12M, I found this to be a very interesting question.  I can see exactly what you mean by it, hearkening to the famous verse by Martin Niemoller: "First they came for....".  And one significant part of me is right behind that.

But what also worries me is that while I stand by the idea of opposition - stand by the talking against the hateful groups, of spreading the truth, or displaying the rebuttal posters - I have trouble with the idea of refusal: of simply banning anything that "we, today" regard as hateful.  Because I can see the application of Niemoller there as well - "first they took away the right to speak from this group, then from that group.... then when they took away MY right to speak, there was no-one to speak up for me." 

I may agree with the way the courts define "hateful" today....but will I agree with them tomorrow?  Look at Ireland's blasphemy laws, for example.  Laws that - basically - say "you can say this, but not that".  And in general, I don't agree with that at all.


  The Irish law is religious bias against another faction of the same religion and the same ethnic group. It does not single out ethnic groups like the Germans against the Jews,and ironically the Jews using the same tactics against Muslims.  They,like the Nazis call their  "enemies" subhuman,or "savages". The parallel paths are disturbingly close,the methods are not as barbaric,but the result is similar.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 25, 2012, 03:14:01 AM
I guess I’m just really surprised by the number of people on this forum who take issue with long-standing judicial decisions to weigh freedom of expression against freedom from harm. 

I'm really surprised at the number of people who don't get my point!   ;) 

For example, the part I have put in bold here was my point.

I may agree with the way the courts define "hateful" today....but will I agree with them tomorrow?   Look at Ireland's blasphemy laws, for example.  Laws that - basically - say "you can say this, but not that".  And in general, I don't agree with that at all.
The Irish law is religious bias against another faction of the same religion and the same ethnic group. It does not single out ethnic groups like the Germans against the Jews.......

12M concentrated on the trivial example I posed, rather than what was - to me - the point.

I guess I’m just really surprised by the number of people on this forum who take issue with long-standing judicial decisions to weigh freedom of expression against freedom from harm. 

And I repeat:

I may agree with the way the courts define "hateful" today....but will I agree with them tomorrow?

The judicial system today has said "this is right, this is wrong".  So hooray!  All the fights are over, we can sit back and relax....or can we?  If the judicial system is so right, Quesi, what is the issue over the poster?  If the courts got it right, why are we discussing it?

Anfauglir, Sigma, HAL, and others who are concerned about ANY restrictions on freedom of speech, may I ask again if you oppose the restrictions on prayer at sporting events at public universities?
Why or why not?

Personally, I really wish they didn't happen.  But do I want it legally stopped?  On balance, no, I don't.  Because once you say that this group can't say what they want, there is no guarantee that tomorrow that group will still be allowed to speak.  And because I want it to be just as legal for the non-believers in the crowd to be able to stand there saying "Rubbish!  Rubbish!  Rubbish!" all the way through the prayer.

That's my point.  It makes no difference what particular types of speech I may prefer to hear, or not to hear.  My sole point is that I fear that laws made today against them, will tomorrow be used against us.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 25, 2012, 05:46:32 AM

The judicial system today has said "this is right, this is wrong".  So hooray!  All the fights are over, we can sit back and relax....or can we?  If the judicial system is so right, Quesi, what is the issue over the poster?  If the courts got it right, why are we discussing it?

One of the wonderful things about our legal system is that it is designed to grow and evolve.  Sigma cited the establishment clause, as if it were very clear on the topic of prayer in schools.  In fact, it was not until the 20th century that the courts interpreted the establishment clause as a source of protection against publically sanctioned prayers.

Anfauglir I think the court’s decision in this case demonstrates an evolution in the understanding of protections that can and should be afforded.  The court found that by listing the specific groups who were protected against “demeaning speech” they were leaving unnamed groups vulnerable.  The wording of the MTA statement is very similar to the working of the EEO statement that is part of my employer’s anti-discrimination policy.  I can’t discriminate against someone because he is gay and I can’t discriminate against someone because she has limited mobility.  However, if I happen to dislike redheads, the way the policy is written, I am free to discriminate against them.  And the way the MTA policy is written, it in fact does allow for demeaning speech against groups that are not named as protected.  The judge said that was not good enough.  If some groups were protected, then everyone had to be protected. 

The MTA screwed up.  They didn’t call a meeting in time to adjust the wording of their policy.  But I support the judicial decision. 

 
My sole point is that I fear that laws made today against them, will tomorrow be used against us.

I'm advocating for a progressive system that continually evaluates existing laws, and adjusts them as appropriate. [1]

What are you advocating for?
 1. Yeah, our forefathers did not spell out exactly how to weigh freedoms vs protections in subway ads.  The were conspicuously silent on how they viewed the internet.  They didn't say a thing about the Palestinians.  And they would not have acknowledged my input on any of those topics. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 25, 2012, 11:42:10 AM
I think the court’s decision in this case demonstrates an evolution in the understanding of protections that can and should be afforded..... The MTA screwed up.  They didn’t call a meeting in time to adjust the wording of their policy.  But I support the judicial decision. 

And - I'm guessing - had you lived fifty or a hundred years ago (the you as you are today, not allowing for any different you that may have been brought up then), you would NOT have supported the judicial decision made because it would have been quite, quite different.  So whatever the law is today - whether it is today today, or fifty years ago today, or fifty years hence today.....if you follow me.....there is nothing that necessarily makes it "right", or something that you agree with.
 
My sole point is that I fear that laws made today against them, will tomorrow be used against us.

I'm advocating for a progressive system that continually evaluates existing laws, and adjusts them as appropriate.

"As appropriate" - ay, there's the rub.  What happens when the laws start to go further than you want?  Will you still be arguing that they should change and evolve away from what you currently think is right?  Your view (which I'm pretty sure coincides a vast amount with mine) of what is good and right (as opposed to legal) is, happily, the norm.

What if it wasn't?

What are you advocating for?

Sorry, I thought I'd made that clear.  No partisan bars on what you can and cannot say.  "Bad" views can be expressed just as freely as "good" views.  But I've said that several times now, and nobody seems to be hearing it!   ;)
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Azdgari on September 25, 2012, 01:41:13 PM
Anfauglir, do you support the right of Muslim clerics to be able to publicly call for peopls' deaths and such?  That's basically akin to what this ad is doing.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Dante on September 25, 2012, 02:39:42 PM
Anfauglir, do you support the right of Muslim clerics to be able to publicly call for peopls' deaths and such?  That's basically akin to what this ad is doing.

How so? Seems to me it's saying to support Israel, not explicitly calling for murderous intentions. But, I'm open to other interpretations.

Muslim clerics calling for people's deaths are guilty of accessory to murder, methinks.

Quote
In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”

“Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,”

Don't misunderstand, I think the message is not only wrong from an anti-bigotry perspective, but also from a political one.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 25, 2012, 09:58:46 PM

I'm advocating for a progressive system that continually evaluates existing laws, and adjusts them as appropriate.

From your posts in this thread so far, two things seem clear: you think “hate speech” should be banned; and you abhor the situation in the Middle East. Several questions arise from this.

First, when is something considered hate speech and who makes that judgment? Several leaders of Islamic countries are about to demand from the UN that blasphemy be made illegal globally (http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/politics/120925/muslim-nations-push-international-blasphemy-law). They consider blasphemy to be hate speech so do you support their calls? Do you think anything the Muslims consider blasphemous should be illegal and banned? What penalties should be levied against blasphemers and who should decide on those penalties? For example, Muslims call for harsh penalties against anyone convicted (or even accused) of the most trivial slight against whatever they consider sacred. Recall the Sudanese teddy bear case from 2007 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudanese_teddy_bear_blasphemy_case). A schoolteacher was imprisoned then deported for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad. 10,000 protesters took to the streets demanding her execution. It doesn’t matter where people live, Muslims could call for their execution. These aren’t hypothetical situations—they’ve actually occurred—so do you support the call to make blasphemy illegal worldwide? If not, where do you draw the line?

Second, what is your proposed solution to the Middle East situation? Should Israel return land to the Palestinians? How much land? Will the Muslim nations surrounding Israel be satisfied with anything less than the elimination of Israel (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080300629.html)?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Azdgari on September 25, 2012, 11:39:43 PM
How so? Seems to me it's saying to support Israel, not explicitly calling for murderous intentions. But, I'm open to other interpretations.

The key is in the 1st sentence more than in the 2nd one:

Quote
In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”

“Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,”

Israel is, according to this, at war.  At war with the savages.  And this is not a metaphorical war, like the "war on drugs" - military and para-military forces are killing each other.  To support one side is to support the killing of the other.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Anfauglir on September 26, 2012, 05:04:07 AM
Anfauglir, do you support the right of Muslim clerics to be able to publicly call for peopls' deaths and such?  That's basically akin to what this ad is doing.

Very good question.  As Dante points out this may well be covered under "accessory to murder" laws, which I suspect would certainly NOT cover the subway posters.  When a man specifically says to another man, "go and kill this person" then they can and should be arrested under those laws, not freedom of speech laws.

It depends what is actually said.  If that person was saying "I don't think XXX should live", and someone heard that and went off and killed them, would the person who spoke still be guilty?  I'm thinking somewhat of "who will rid me of this turbulent priest" here....specifically, of Brian Blessed in Blackadder.  But I digress.

Point being: if you tell someone specifically to kill someone else, there are laws already around that cover that.  If that is not enough, then we are asking for a law that will take action against someone for expressing an opinion, however odious that opinion may be to us.  As 3Sigma points out, that is exactly what some Islamic leaders want to move towards with blasphemy laws.  How much easier if they can point to existing legislation that says "these laws are already enforced, why not ours?"

So bottom line answer to your question?  Yes, much as I hate it, I do.  Then arrest them for conspiracy to murder, or arrest them for being an accomplice to murder.....but not for speaking their minds - no matter how small or twisted those minds may be.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: screwtape on September 26, 2012, 07:41:44 AM
just some info on the organization who sponsored the ad:

American Freedom Defense Initiative.  Designated as a right wing hate group by the Anti-Defamation League (http://www.adl.org/main_Extremism/pamela-geller-stop-islamization-of-america.htm) and the Southern Poverty Law Center

They have an offshoot called Stop Islamization of America:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Islamization_of_America

Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Dante on September 26, 2012, 08:45:27 AM
Israel is, according to this, at war.  At war with the savages.  And this is not a metaphorical war, like the "war on drugs" - military and para-military forces are killing each other.  To support one side is to support the killing of the other.

I'm not sure that I agree completely with your assessment. If I say that I support our (American) troops, that does not necessarily mean that I am calling for anyone to go out and kill Afghanis or Iraquis, or any one else. I can support them, as well as the cause, without wishing or calling for bodily harm on anyone. We can support their efforts, and their sacrifices, without supporting the bloodshed.

So, should every American with a "support our troops" bumper sticker be subject to your wrath? I think not.

Again, dont misunderstand, I think the advert, as well as the "war", is about as wrong as one could be. However, I dont think the propoganda on the public transport is, or should be, illegal.

If the ad were to say "kill all the hajis" or some such, you'd have a leg to stand on. As it's currently written, I dont think you do.

Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 26, 2012, 08:57:36 AM
just some info on the organization who sponsored the ad:

American Freedom Defense Initiative.  Designated as a right wing hate group by the Anti-Defamation League (http://www.adl.org/main_Extremism/pamela-geller-stop-islamization-of-america.htm) and the Southern Poverty Law Center

They have an offshoot called Stop Islamization of America:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Islamization_of_America

And they have been extraordinarily successful with their disinformation campaign.  I'm disheartened by the number of people in both the general public, and even here, in a community of supposed critical thinkers, who have embraced their propaganda.

Their success has made them bolder.  The NYC subway ad is leap in this targeted campaign to paint both the Palestinians, and the huge percentage of humanity who ascribe to Islam, as "savage" and 'uncivilized" and somehow less human than the rest of us. 

I have no idea how much influence they have had in the recent overload of media coverage in which Muslim protests are presented out of the context of the larger issues. 

And as Azdgari pointed out, the Palestinian situation is not a metaphorical war.  It is a real war with real oppression and real deaths that are shockingly absent within the mainstream media.  It is financed, in part, by your tax dollars, if you live in the US.  And of course, from wealthy pro-Israeli donors.   

Also absent from the media are the hate crimes that Muslim Americans endure with increasing frequency.  It is not until a massacre in an American Sikh temple (which was apparently mistaken for a Muslim mosque) that we even pay attention to the vulnerability of the marginalized Muslims living within our own borders.  But since the ignorant attacker did not even realize he was targeting a community completely unrelated to the Muslim community, the focus has been on the innocent victims, not on the real violence that Muslims face on a regular basis.

It is interesting to note that the Southern Policy Law Center, which tracks the actions of the group that is sponsoring this ad, was also tracking the actions of the gunman in the Sikh temple and his hate-group affiliations.   http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0806/Sikh-temple-attack-Gunman-was-in-racist-hardcore-rock-band
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: screwtape on September 26, 2012, 09:15:31 AM
Some info on the Israel-Palestine conflict
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

Quote
126 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,476 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000

Quote
1,096 Israelis and at least 6,568 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000

Quote
10,792 Israelis and 59,575 Palestinians have been injured since September 29, 2000.

Quote
During Fiscal Year 2011, the U.S. is providing Israel with at least $8.2 million per day in military aid and $0 in military aid to the Palestinians

Quote
0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 24,813 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967.

Quote
Israel currently has 236 Jewish-only settlements and ‘outposts’ built on confiscated Palestinian land. Palestinians do not have any settlements on Israeli land.


If you don't trust that website, wiki confirms the overall numbers, generally.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli%E2%80%93Palestinian_conflict
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Azdgari on September 26, 2012, 10:44:52 AM
I'm not sure that I agree completely with your assessment. If I say that I support our (American) troops, that does not necessarily mean that I am calling for anyone to go out and kill Afghanis or Iraquis, or any one else. I can support them, as well as the cause, without wishing or calling for bodily harm on anyone. We can support their efforts, and their sacrifices, without supporting the bloodshed.

You were right, up until the bolded part.  Then you were wrong.  You can support the troops in some senses without supporting their actions, but once you support the war effort, you are supporting the killing.  That's what a war effort is.

So, should every American with a "support our troops" bumper sticker be subject to your wrath? I think not.

I wasn't aware that I was subjecting anyone to any wrath.  Replace "support our troops" with "support our war against the savage Iraqis/Afghanis" - does the same judgment apply?

Again, dont misunderstand, I think the advert, as well as the "war", is about as wrong as one could be. However, I dont think the propoganda on the public transport is, or should be, illegal.

Then we need to allow clerics to call for peoples' deaths.  Can't pick and choose which savages to go to war with, after all.

If the ad were to say "kill all the hajis" or some such, you'd have a leg to stand on. As it's currently written, I dont think you do.

Yes.  They've couched their words much more subtly than that.  Still, the killing continues.  And they want our support for it.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Dante on September 26, 2012, 11:40:11 AM
I'm not sure that I agree completely with your assessment. If I say that I support our (American) troops, that does not necessarily mean that I am calling for anyone to go out and kill Afghanis or Iraquis, or any one else. I can support them, as well as the cause, without wishing or calling for bodily harm on anyone. We can support their efforts, and their sacrifices, without supporting the bloodshed.

You were right, up until the bolded part.  Then you were wrong.  You can support the troops in some senses without supporting their actions, but once you support the war effort, you are supporting the killing.  That's what a war effort is.

Is it? Again, I disagree. If it were only about killing, the entire mid-east would be a glass parking lot. Since it isn't (yet), I can't conclude that either war, ours or Israel's, is only about killing people. But, that's not what this conversation is about.

Quote
So, should every American with a "support our troops" bumper sticker be subject to your wrath? I think not.

I wasn't aware that I was subjecting anyone to any wrath.  Replace "support our troops" with "support our war against the savage Iraqis/Afghanis" - does the same judgment apply?

Yes, it does. It doesn't necessarily make it right, but it sure doesn't make it wrong in a society where free speech is valued. The veracity of the argument is the determining factor of right and/or wrong.

Quote
Again, dont misunderstand, I think the advert, as well as the "war", is about as wrong as one could be. However, I dont think the propoganda on the public transport is, or should be, illegal.

Then we need to allow clerics to call for peoples' deaths.  Can't pick and choose which savages to go to war with, after all.

Can I ask another question, just for clarification of your views? Should "God Hates Fags" signs be illegal in all instances?

Quote
If the ad were to say "kill all the hajis" or some such, you'd have a leg to stand on. As it's currently written, I dont think you do.

Yes.  They've couched their words much more subtly than that.  Still, the killing continues.  And they want our support for it.

I understand that. I'm still not giving them that support.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 26, 2012, 02:46:18 PM
So, should every American with a "support our troops" bumper sticker be subject to your wrath? I think not.

I am personally opposed to the current military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and very opposed to the drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan and various other regions.  I blame the policy makers who have promoted these wars.

I wholeheartedly support the troops.  The young people who joined the military, mostly for lack of educational and employment opportunities, have lost their youth in these wars.  Many of them have come home physically and emotionally damaged.  And while they were off fighting a war to protect corporate interests, banks were foreclosing on their homes.  Many come home and don't have access to the medical support that they need.  This is outrageous.  I have fought for, and will continue to fight for the individuals and families whose lives were torn apart as they were fighting in the war. 

 
If the ad were to say "kill all the hajis" or some such, you'd have a leg to stand on. As it's currently written, I dont think you do.

Well, if the lawyers for the "kill all the hajis" sign made the same argument that the "savages" folks made, the ruling would have been the same.  The MTA's existing policy provides protection for specifically named groups, but not all groups.  Therefore, it violates the first amendment.  Once the MTA adjusts the wording, as per the judge's recommendations, then all groups will be protected and both examples will be a violation of MTA policy. 


Can I ask another question, just for clarification of your views? Should "God Hates Fags" signs be illegal in all instances?

I have mixed feelings about the court's decision in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church protests.  But a protest can spark a counter protest, as is often the case with the God Hates Fags folks. 

A sign in a public space, like a subway, a public school, or a courthouse, that says "God Hates Fags" would, in my opinion, be just as unacceptable as the sign in the op. 

These "savages" people are, by the way, the same folks who manufactured the "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy.  They are very skilled at manipulating public opinion. 

But my response to their protests was to attend the counter protests.  Probably most New Yorkers live within walking distance of a mosque.  I can walk to three in less than 15 minutes from my front door.  And as my neighborhood goes forward with plans to build a larger mosque, the primary concerns have come from the historic landmarking folks who had to approve the copula to ensure that it conforms to architectural guidelines associated with all new construction in the neighborhood.  And the muslim community is delighted to enjoy the support of various local politicians, including our openly gay protestant city council member, as well as some prominent Rabbis and Ministers. 

On a side note, I'm delighted that Anonymous hacked the God Hates Fags website. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Azdgari on September 26, 2012, 03:50:02 PM
Is it? Again, I disagree. If it were only about killing, the entire mid-east would be a glass parking lot. Since it isn't (yet), I can't conclude that either war, ours or Israel's, is only about killing people. But, that's not what this conversation is about.

I never said that killing was the end purpose of the war.  Just that killing is what a war is.  With no killing, one would be hard-pressed to call a conflict a "war".  And in this case, there's plenty of killing.  Killing is the tool that warfare uses to achieve its aims.  Total annihilation may not be on the table, but that, again, is a difference in end goals.  Are you suggesting that the amount of killing being advocated is relevant to whether the ad or announcement is inciting people to kill each other?

Yes, it does. It doesn't necessarily make it right, but it sure doesn't make it wrong in a society where free speech is valued. The veracity of the argument is the determining factor of right and/or wrong.

Veracity of which statement?  You are interchangeably using "right/wrong" as moral judgments and as factual judgments here.  My point was that "support our troops" does not entail our troops killing anyone at all.  I support the Canadian troops in Afghanistan, and for that reason I want our government to bring them home.  If I supported them in their work, then I would support the requirements of that work as well - which entails killing and risking being killed.  Maybe that support would be justified.  But it's still support for killing.

Can I ask another question, just for clarification of your views? Should "God Hates Fags" signs be illegal in all instances?

Do they call for peoples' deaths?  Again, it was the combination of statements.  If the sign simply said that the Palestinians were savages, then that would be offensive but wouldn't be an incitement to murder.  But it called for support for the war against those savages.  If the signs you're talking about said "God Hates Fags - Leviticus 20:13" then that would be different:

Quote from: Leviticus 20:13
If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

If it just mentioned a "war" against homosexuality, then there would be some wiggle room in the interpretation, as there's no armed conflict between groups of hetero- and homo-sexuals that might reasonably be called a "war" in the literal sense.  That is different from the situation in Palestine.

I understand that. I'm still not giving them that support.

Nah.  You just support their campaign efforts for help in killing.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 27, 2012, 04:06:02 PM
Quesi,

Perhaps you missed my last post (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg532669.html#msg532669) to you on the previous page. Could you try to answer those questions, please?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on September 27, 2012, 06:51:13 PM
Quesi,

Perhaps you missed my last post (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg532669.html#msg532669) to you on the previous page. Could you try to answer those questions, please?

Sigma-

I am genuinely flattered by the fact that you are so actively seeking my opinion on such a wide range of subjects.  Again, I would be even more flattered if you appeared to be reading my posts and paying attention to what I have already written. 

But I will indulge you on this topic one last time. 

Let me start out by saying that, as a US citizen, I feel entitled to have strong opinions about US policies.  I do not, however, feel entitled to proscribe policy to the rest of the world’s autonomous nations.  And quite frankly, I’m embarrassed when my nation imposes its will on independent, autonomous nations, and I’m outraged when we do so with my tax dollars. 

As someone who has worked with refugees from all over the world, I have some strong opinions about how the laws and policies in other nations impact upon their citizens, and I have no trouble articulating my observations and concerns about laws and policies.  Bur only very rarely do I cross that line and suggest policy solutions to problems indigenous to other nations.[1] 

In terms of your multiple questions about the blasphemy silliness, I thought I had made myself clear here.  http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg532391.html#msg532391

But perhaps I was more explicit here:  http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23876.msg532394.html#msg532394 which was an entirely different thread. 

In terms of your other specific examples, I find your questions really tedious, and I do not feel inclined to provide commentary on the multiple examples of people of Muslim descent behaving badly. 


Second, what is your proposed solution to the Middle East situation? Should Israel return land to the Palestinians? How much land? Will the Muslim nations surrounding Israel be satisfied with anything less than the elimination of Israel (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080300629.html)?

Again, I am flattered that you want to hear my proposed solutions to the very issues the global community has failed to resolve.  Furthermore, although I have worked with refugees and displaced people from every part of the world, (and even refugees from opposing sides of the same war), Latin America, not the Middle East, is my area of expertise. 

And again, I feel that I have already expressed my opinions on this topic, right here in this thread. 


I no more support the removal of Jews from Israel than I support the removal of people of European ancestry from the Americas.  It is not realistic.  Even just a couple of generations into to occupation, this land is home to those who were born there, and those who have sought refuge there, and those who have invested time and resources into creating communities and infrastructure. 


I would be inclined to say that perhaps the Israelis and the Palestinians who are portrayed working together in this video are in a better position than I am to work towards a solution. 


I haven’t seen this documentary yet, but I’ve heard about it.  As Palestinians are being evicted from a Jerusalem neighborhood to make way for Jewish settlers, members of the local Jewish community organize protests against the evictions.   Here is the trailer.

http://youtu.be/cqbs8hm9z7A

I think a lot of folks don’t realize how divided Israelis are on the topic of the settlements.  Israel is a home to many refugees.  But as folks arrive in Israel to escape oppression, they find themselves displacing the people whose ancestors lived there for thousands of years. 


Respectfully, I'm getting tired of being asked to answer questions I have already addressed.  And I am also getting tired of being asked to draft imaginary policies or laws.  I may have an optimistic streak, but I am really a pragmatist.  And I spend too much time dealing with real policies and laws to find the creation of imaginary ones (that I could have no impact on) to be an entertaining exercise. 
 1. Some exceptions include anti apartheid work many many years ago.  I have also demonstrated my support for many of Evo Morales anti-corporate policies.  And I have publically advocated for the prosecution of Otto Perez Molina on charges of genocide and torture.  But I have an unusually intimate relationship with many of his victims, which is why I feel entitled to have such strong opinions about this particular foreign head of state.  And perhaps, as a citizen of a nation with a history of imperialism, and as someone of Jewish descent who works with many Muslim refugees from various warzones, I have extraordinarily strong opinions about the role of Israel
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on September 29, 2012, 06:41:12 AM
just some info on the organization who sponsored the ad:

American Freedom Defense Initiative.  Designated as a right wing hate group by the Anti-Defamation League (http://www.adl.org/main_Extremism/pamela-geller-stop-islamization-of-america.htm) and the Southern Poverty Law Center

They have an offshoot called Stop Islamization of America:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Islamization_of_America

Well well.  I have to admit, the formerly jewish part of me was surprised by the ham-handedness of this poster.  It may be a stereotype, but I think Israel is cleverer than that (though with Bibi in charge, I'm always adjusting this impression)

Now to what's being projected from this subway poster, I'll repeat my quote, but since no one seemed to note my last post, I'll bold the main parts...

“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”
It concludes with the words, “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” wedged between two Stars of David

Apparently we can dispense with the Stars of David.  False flag.

Savage:  Who are the savages? Those that conduct jihad.  What does the poster call on people to do?  Support Israel and Defeat Jihad.  You who are so upset with this subway poster are projecting all sorts of other things into this... Settlement policy, Palestine, Israeli atrocities...  The damned poster doesn't mention nor attempt to justify ANY of those things.  These are YOUR projections.  It does heavily imply that Israel stands against jihad, and they may well do, and you may be justified calling bull-shit on that, but the thing that really seems to be bothering you is the use of the word 'savages'

Well here's my f-ing opinion on that:  Anyone who thinks that their cause justifies the taking of lives that are NOT directly involved in opposition to that cause are butchers and murderers who care little for the lives of innocent people.  (Savages? my only problem with the word is that it just isn't the right one... I used two that are).  There have been terrorist attacks throughout the world that were NOT aimed against legitimate targets (which would be Israeli soldiers, and those directly supporting Israeli policies) To stand against such behavior, such anti-civilization war, is a very good suggestion.  To hell with the people who justify the WTC atrocity (and other attacks further from my home) against innocent non-combatants.  There is NO JUSTIFICATION.

Stand against Jihad?  Tell me how!  Stand with Israel... well, I've already passed on that... but against Jihad? F Yeah!
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 3sigma on September 29, 2012, 07:30:19 AM
I am genuinely flattered by the fact that you are so actively seeking my opinion on such a wide range of subjects.  Again, I would be even more flattered if you appeared to be reading my posts and paying attention to what I have already written. 

But I will indulge you on this topic one last time.

How magnanimous of you.

Quote
In terms of your multiple questions about the blasphemy silliness, I thought I had made myself clear here.  http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg532391.html#msg532391

But perhaps I was more explicit here:  http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23876.msg532394.html#msg532394 which was an entirely different thread.

If you look at the questions (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23854.msg532669.html#msg532669) I asked and those posts you’ve quoted, you should be able to see that those posts don’t address the actual questions I asked at all. Never mind though, I can see it is pointless to continue asking.

Quote
In terms of your other specific examples, I find your questions really tedious, and I do not feel inclined to provide commentary on the multiple examples of people of Muslim descent behaving badly.

It is curious that you can be “genuinely flattered” by my questions yet simultaneously find them “really tedious”. I don’t feel flattered by this response, though. I find it rather evasive.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 29, 2012, 04:10:57 PM
just some info on the organization who sponsored the ad:

American Freedom Defense Initiative.  Designated as a right wing hate group by the Anti-Defamation League (http://www.adl.org/main_Extremism/pamela-geller-stop-islamization-of-america.htm) and the Southern Poverty Law Center

They have an offshoot called Stop Islamization of America:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Islamization_of_America

Well well.  I have to admit, the formerly jewish part of me was surprised by the ham-handedness of this poster.  It may be a stereotype, but I think Israel is cleverer than that (though with Bibi in charge, I'm always adjusting this impression)

Now to what's being projected from this subway poster, I'll repeat my quote, but since no one seemed to note my last post, I'll bold the main parts...

“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”
It concludes with the words, “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” wedged between two Stars of David

Apparently we can dispense with the Stars of David.  False flag.

Savage:  Who are the savages? Those that conduct jihad.  What does the poster call on people to do?  Support Israel and Defeat Jihad.  You who are so upset with this subway poster are projecting all sorts of other things into this... Settlement policy, Palestine, Israeli atrocities...  The damned poster doesn't mention nor attempt to justify ANY of those things.  These are YOUR projections.  It does heavily imply that Israel stands against jihad, and they may well do, and you may be justified calling bull-shit on that, but the thing that really seems to be bothering you is the use of the word 'savages'

Well here's my f-ing opinion on that:  Anyone who thinks that their cause justifies the taking of lives that are NOT directly involved in opposition to that cause are butchers and murderers who care little for the lives of innocent people.  (Savages? my only problem with the word is that it just isn't the right one... I used two that are).  There have been terrorist attacks throughout the world that were NOT aimed against legitimate targets (which would be Israeli soldiers, and those directly supporting Israeli policies) To stand against such behavior, such anti-civilization war, is a very good suggestion.  To hell with the people who justify the WTC atrocity (and other attacks further from my home) against innocent non-combatants.  There is NO JUSTIFICATION.

Stand against Jihad?  Tell me how!  Stand with Israel... well, I've already passed on that... but against Jihad? F Yeah!

  Americans are 200 years ahead of the Israeli's in the getting rid of the "savages" department...and they did it against a similarly equipped enemy. Americans did a much more thorough job in getting rid of their terrorists,and they used every weapon available,including germ warfare.

If after WW2 Governments of the world decided Israel would be.....say New York.....I am sure you would have people "fighting" for the freedom of New York as Israeli's bulldozed down their neighborhoods.

 What would they call New Yorker's, freedom fighters or terrorists?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on September 29, 2012, 11:40:58 PM
  Americans are 200 years ahead of the Israeli's in the getting rid of the "savages" department...and they did it against a similarly equipped enemy. Americans did a much more thorough job in getting rid of their terrorists,and they used every weapon available,including germ warfare.

If after WW2 Governments of the world decided Israel would be.....say New York.....I am sure you would have people "fighting" for the freedom of New York as Israeli's bulldozed down their neighborhoods.

 What would they call New Yorker's, freedom fighters or terrorists?

Wow.  Really?  Someone help me out here... what is that?  Red herring?  Moving goal posts? Argument from Absurdity?

And do you think Americans (Brits or the Spanish) would have been attacking citizens in other countries in their holy war?  Would Amercians be blowing up citizens of other nations?  Do you think that civilized people would kill anyone they could get in their sights NOT in theatre... not in the war zone... not in the disputed area... not the people who are supposed to be intended targets?  These aren't strategic targets.  They are not attacking convoys, shipments or even pols who are responsible for aggressive policy... they are attacking innocent people.  They are using terror.

The term freedom fighter only works when the war they're fighting is directed against their oppressors.  Bin Laden, who called for this jihad as well as 11 of the hijackers that committed mass murder in NYC were Saudi.  Tell me, what are the Saudis doing conducting this holy war?

The jihad is not about Israel.  Israel is the excuse.  Why all the bellicosity from the Iranians?  They aren't even arabs.  The thing that radical muslims have in common, whether they are from Pakistan, the Philippines, Iran or Saudi Arabia is a hatred of western civilization.  They are dead set against the modern world.  They, like the funides in the US want to turn the clock back to a 'better' time, only these radical Muslims want to turn it back centuries rather than decades and are willing to conduct terror to do so.   Their intention is to install Islamic theocracies to ensure that happens.  They are not anit-colonial, nor even anti-jewish.  They are civilization.

Palestine has served their cause for over 50 years.  Palestinian refugee camps in arab countries?  If those countries and their patrons (principally Saudi Arabia) cared at all for these displaced people, they would have offered them settlement and compensation, but it served their ends to have the Palestinian people in a perpetual state of exile.

And once again, the damned subway poster isn't about Palestine.  It's about Jihad.  Now that one I get.  That's moving the goal posts.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on September 30, 2012, 05:33:42 AM
Edit 4PP last line: should read anti-civilization
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 30, 2012, 01:43:34 PM
BEFORE there was an America this was a land of MANY different nations.......what  exactly do you think they did with the original inhabitants of America?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 30, 2012, 02:00:12 PM
Any American who supports Israel has the right to establish a land that "God gave them" should really think......because if people can just take back land that was "stolen" from them and because they "say so".  I as a descendant of the original owners of the land will be first in line to take back what is mine. Care to "give back" your land to any of my relatives?

 
 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Brakeman on September 30, 2012, 03:18:00 PM
Any American who supports Israel has the right to establish a land that "God gave them" should really think......because if people can just take back land that was "stolen" from them and because they "say so".  I as a descendant of the original owners of the land will be first in line to take back what is mine. Care to "give back" your land to any of my relatives?

Well, according to Mitt, that is the jews too. Do you wear a Yarmulke?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on September 30, 2012, 08:47:51 PM
 :laugh:no ;D
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on October 01, 2012, 02:02:30 AM
Any American who supports Israel has the right to establish a land that "God gave them" should really think.....

Anyone who uses "God" in whatever situation needs to think.  No god.

Quote
because if people can just take back land that was "stolen" from them and because they "say so".  I as a descendant of the original owners of the land will be first in line to take back what is mine. Care to "give back" your land to any of my relatives?

Nope. 

Why has no one taken up the cause for dispossessed Palestinian property owners, in an attempt to redress their legitimate claims?  The big answer is that the Palestinians have been used as pawns by their Arab benefactors.  The Syrians, the Saudis, and the Iranians don't want to make sure homeowners are compensated for the loss of their property (many fled, abandoning their homes and chose refugee camps instead).  They want the Palestinians as a people kept in a state of flux, so they can keep demanding that Israel be dissolved. 

However, you point out one of the major problems with any questions regarding 'peoples' and lost land.

The only argument that could be used against 'me' and 'my land' would be that 'your' ancestors once held the land.  It is an argument based on ancestral claims. The only argument more specious than this is the theological argument.  It replaces what some imaginary god supposedly desires, with a grievance of long-dead persons.  Admittedly, slightly more legitimate, but fraught with just as many problems. 

Iraq used this excuse to invade and occupy Kuwait.  The Argentine junta used it to invade and occupy the Falkland Islands.  China uses it in their continuing occupation of Tibet.  Germany had used it against Poland.  It goes on and on.  There is no easy way to settle such disputes because they use ancestral claims balanced against actual living people who (in some cases) have lived in the disputed area for generations. There is no easy answer, and in almost all cases with which I'm aware, the only way such claims are addressed is through bloodshed, with the winner settling the claim.

Let's take the cases of the Falklands and Kuwait.  The Kuwaitis don't consider themselves Iraqi, and the inhabitants of the Falklands were British, not Argentinian.  Forget the nations' claims:  The people there did not want to be 'returned' to what they saw as foreign rule.  Both arguments were settled by force.  Kuwait was denied to Iraq, and the Falklands still remain free of Argentina. 

Now on to Israel and Palestine

Dispossessing people of their land is generally frowned on in the 21st century.  Ancestral claims and the even more tenuous religious claims are generally rejected in favor of the claims of current inhabitants to the lands in question.  In light of this, the question of ownership of Israeli land (pre '67) is over.  It was given to them and they kept it by force.  Israel was founded, internationally recognized by the world's powers, admitted into the UN etc.  Since this occurred over 60 years ago, most if not all of the original title holders to the lands are dead.  If Palestinian sympathizers cared for the actual dispossessed owners, they should push for some sort of compensation for those remaining.  Otherwise, this is a done deal.  The children of the original owners have no rights to the land, and whatever compensation there is, should be adjudicated.

However, Israel seized land in 1967 in a preemptive war on the eve of a massive attack that was marshaled at their borders.  They kept that land too long, and even now, are trying to hold onto 'Judea and Samaria' with the insidious Settlement Policy.  This tactic should be roundly denounced.   In fact, it has hurt American-Israeli relations, and in the long run, is dangerous for Israel and undermines the formation of a viable Palestinian state on the West Bank.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on October 01, 2012, 06:53:21 AM
Why has no one taken up the cause for dispossessed Palestinian property owners, in an attempt to redress their legitimate claims? 

Say what?

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the Oslo Accords?  The Madrid Conference?  Even that Camp David Summit.  The Arab Peace Initiative?  Road Map to Peace?

There are even significant efforts within Israel to create reforms.  A significant percentage of both Israeli Jews and Palestinians are opposed to the settlements and the semi-apartheid system.[1]  A few years back at a conference, I was really surprised and delighted to see an Israeli/Bedouin organization dedicated to addressing the issues facing the Bedouin population, and presenters at the conference included both Israeli Jews and Bedouins who have worked together to address the unique issues of the depletion of available land for a traditionally nomadic people. 

There have been numerous efforts, and there continue to be many thousands of people, both within Israel and among members of international communities who are dedicated to attempting to find a resolution to this huge and complex issue. 


The big answer is that the Palestinians have been used as pawns by their Arab benefactors.  The Syrians, the Saudis, and the Iranians don't want to make sure homeowners are compensated for the loss of their property (many fled, abandoning their homes and chose refugee camps instead).  They want the Palestinians as a people kept in a state of flux, so they can keep demanding that Israel be dissolved. 

Respectfully, this is the silliest conspiracy theory stuff that I have heard yet on the topic.  Are there extraterrestrials who have a vested interest as well? 


....and the inhabitants of the Falklands were British, not Argentinian.  Forget the nations' claims:  The people there did not want to be 'returned' to what they saw as foreign rule.  Both arguments were settled by force.  Kuwait was denied to Iraq, and the Falklands still remain free of Argentina. 


Wow.  Don't even know what to do with that one.  The vast majority of the inhabitants of Argentina are of European descent.  You want to argue for the right of the British Crown to hold on to little tiny territories on the other side of the planet, as dusty trophies of their long-ago imperialist ventures.  That is a really different discussion.   

 1. Please look at the video that I posted earlier
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on October 01, 2012, 09:49:21 AM
so are you saying in the 21st century and beyond man will have no more wars where borders and territories are claimed?  You missed my point,Israel said they had a right to land that "God" gave them,which is why Israel was established where it was established.

 Now why did the powers that be agree?,they are mostly religious nuts who think this will bring Jesus back? Why does the nation of Israel need to exist at all? If Israel can use the argument that the land was stolen from them and they deserve it back.......and it is GIVEN to them,why wont that argument work for us aboriginals?

 Your statement that we can't do that just because, doesn't hold up.....if Israel can establish ownership after 2000 years of it being stolen from them,whats to stop us,after all,your ancestors stole our land only 500 years ago.

In your opinion why is it OK for Israel and not the other nations you mentioned who have ancestral ownership of the land to rightfully either be compensated or returned to the lands? Why do you state Israel has had the land too long to give it back? what kind of a statement is that or is it a justification to never give any stolen land back ever?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: screwtape on October 01, 2012, 10:26:31 AM
so they can keep demanding that Israel be dissolved. 

Why would they want that?

However, you point out one of the major problems with any questions regarding 'peoples' and lost land.

I have some friends who are of Italian descent.  They claim that Jupiter promised Rome to them.  They have been without their own country for centuries.  They hope to move to Rome, kick out the Italians who have taken over and start a true Roman scoiety based on the pagan religion actual Romans practiced. 

They figure they need about $300 Billion to get started and an additional $30 billion every year to hold the land until the EU eventually accepts them.  They are looking to the US to finance it. They know the rest of the EU will hate them and the US, but they are going to spend millions on lobbying congressional candidates to sell it to the American people.  Until then, they are going to blow up Italian police stations and hotels around Rome.

I find that puts the Israel situation into perspective. 

So does this:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,13405.msg297542.html#msg297542
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on October 01, 2012, 12:49:40 PM
thanks Screwtape
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: jaimehlers on October 01, 2012, 04:40:58 PM
The situation in Israel/Palestine is all kinds of messed up.  There are Palestinians who want the whole of the land.  There are Israelis who want the whole of the land.  The problem is that both sides are a vocal minority who keep the issue bubbling, interfering with any effort to accomplish anything, that allows the hard-liners to push their own agendas rather than what would be best for the people in general.  That's a tried and true method for radicals to seize power - it's happened elsewhere, and is happening even in this country.

Israel as a whole doesn't benefit from settlements that encroach on Palestinian land.  Palestinians as a whole don't benefit from terrorist and militaristic attacks on Israelis.  I wish there were a way to take the hard-liners and the nuts and shut them in a room together.  Barring that, the best way to solve it is for the moderates on both sides to take charge of the process.  As long as they leave it to the extremists, there'll be no solution.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Timo on October 02, 2012, 01:44:36 AM
@Quesi and whoever else might be interested

Here's an interview that Bob Wright did with little homie from My Neighbourhood.

http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/11003
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on October 02, 2012, 01:50:38 AM
@12 Monkeys

The arab-israeli situation is a quagmire, for them of course, but also for anyone who attempts to discuss or debate it.  You generally declined to respond to my points regarding the subway poster, and instead have posed red-herring questions about resettlement or perhaps, right of return.  I attempted to answer, which I should have avoided. 

You are arguing from emotion, not reason.  I don't really care about the plight of Peoples:  Yours, mine or anyone else's.  I care about the plight of individuals.  I am against Peoples getting land based on god's say-so, as well as based on ancient or outdated claims.  Stacked up against current landholders, deeds, and sums paid, I don't give a rat's ass about anyone's spurious claims based on history, religion or nebulous rights.  So for me, human rights and the rule of law will always trump all other so-called rights and claims.

@ Quesi
I could answer some of your points, get too snarky about you seemingly intentionally misunderstanding my comments about individual compensation, or my crazy conspiracy theory, but again, I would only be engaging in a back and forth that will go on far too long.

If you wish to understand what I've tried to say, please realize that I try to be pragmatic.  The right and wrong of Israel for instance is immaterial to me.  It exists.  It will not disappear except by force.  The UN cannot un-mandate it, and if they could, it would be ignored.  The jews will not relinquish it.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on October 02, 2012, 01:52:10 AM
The situation in Israel/Palestine is all kinds of messed up.  There are Palestinians who want the whole of the land.  There are Israelis who want the whole of the land.  The problem is that both sides are a vocal minority who keep the issue bubbling, interfering with any effort to accomplish anything, that allows the hard-liners to push their own agendas rather than what would be best for the people in general.  That's a tried and true method for radicals to seize power - it's happened elsewhere, and is happening even in this country.

Israel as a whole doesn't benefit from settlements that encroach on Palestinian land.  Palestinians as a whole don't benefit from terrorist and militaristic attacks on Israelis.  I wish there were a way to take the hard-liners and the nuts and shut them in a room together.  Barring that, the best way to solve it is for the moderates on both sides to take charge of the process.  As long as they leave it to the extremists, there'll be no solution.

THIS^
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on October 02, 2012, 02:43:36 AM
@Quesi and whoever else might be interested

Here's an interview that Bob Wright did with little homie from My Neighbourhood.

http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/11003

Thanks for the link.  I really want to see this documentary. 

On an unrelated note, just home from the emergency room with my daughter.  She is ok. 

The intake woman at the hospital asked me my religion.  It was 2 AM and I was with a sick kid and not really expecting the question.  I said "secular."  She clicked away at her computer intake form, and then I asked if they had secular on the list. 

She said "That is ok.  You don't have to tell me your religion if you don't want to." 

It is 3:45 AM and we are home, and I'm wondering which box she clicked.  I'm guessing "refused" or something like that. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: jetson on October 02, 2012, 06:11:20 AM
@Quesi and whoever else might be interested

Here's an interview that Bob Wright did with little homie from My Neighbourhood.

http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/11003

Thanks for the link.  I really want to see this documentary. 

On an unrelated note, just home from the emergency room with my daughter.  She is ok. 

The intake woman at the hospital asked me my religion.  It was 2 AM and I was with a sick kid and not really expecting the question.  I said "secular."  She clicked away at her computer intake form, and then I asked if they had secular on the list. 

She said "That is ok.  You don't have to tell me your religion if you don't want to." 

It is 3:45 AM and we are home, and I'm wondering which box she clicked.  I'm guessing "refused" or something like that.

"None"
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: screwtape on October 02, 2012, 07:03:30 AM
There are Israelis who want the whole of the land.  The problem is that both sides are a vocal minority who keep the issue bubbling, interfering with any effort to accomplish anything,...

the problem is, on the israeli side, this is the party in power and the prime minister.  They support illegal settlements and reject the internationally recognized 1967 borders. 

They way your post reads, it sounds like it is an equal problem on both sides.  It isn't.  When the two groups have such unequal power, you cannot make equivalencies.  Israelis keep saying the palestinians don't actually want peace, while promoting violence themselves.   Even south africa said israel is an apartheid state.

http://www.juancole.com/2012/08/south-africa-label-west-bank-squatter-products-israel-you-apartheid-state.html

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/08/23/israel-south-africa-spar-over-apartheid/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_the_apartheid_analogy


Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on October 02, 2012, 08:18:39 AM

"None"

There you go.  Couldn't quite come up with such a reasonable answer in the emergency room at 2 AM. 

I'm still wondering what she selected from her drop down menu. 
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: naemhni on October 02, 2012, 08:37:55 AM

"None"

There you go.  Couldn't quite come up with such a reasonable answer in the emergency room at 2 AM.

You'd think it was reasonable, but there are no guarantees.

I went to the emergency room myself once, having cut my thumb open on a soup can lid.  The admitting nurse went thru the usual checklist, then when she got to "Religion?", I simply said, "None."  She paused, then looked up with a frown and squinted at me as though she were trying to look thru a dirty window.

"No religion...?"

I nodded.  "Yes, that's right," and didn't offer anything further, my rationale being that I was there for medical treatment, not anything else.  I was wondering whether she might pursue the matter, because I could tell she definitely wanted to.  Instead, though, she stared at me for a moment, then shrugged and went back to the checklist.  It was very unprofessional of her, of course, but then, lots of people are unprofessional -- what else is new?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on October 02, 2012, 09:42:21 AM
@12 Monkeys

The arab-israeli situation is a quagmire, for them of course, but also for anyone who attempts to discuss or debate it.  You generally declined to respond to my points regarding the subway poster, and instead have posed red-herring questions about resettlement or perhaps, right of return.  I attempted to answer, which I should have avoided. 

You are arguing from emotion, not reason.  I don't really care about the plight of Peoples:  Yours, mine or anyone else's.  I care about the plight of individuals.  I am against Peoples getting land based on god's say-so, as well as based on ancient or outdated claims.  Stacked up against current landholders, deeds, and sums paid, I don't give a rat's ass about anyone's spurious claims based on history, religion or nebulous rights.  So for me, human rights and the rule of law will always trump all other so-called rights and claims.

@ Quesi
I could answer some of your points, get too snarky about you seemingly intentionally misunderstanding my comments about individual compensation, or my crazy conspiracy theory, but again, I would only be engaging in a back and forth that will go on far too long.

If you wish to understand what I've tried to say, please realize that I try to be pragmatic.  The right and wrong of Israel for instance is immaterial to me.  It exists.  It will not disappear except by force.  The UN cannot un-mandate it, and if they could, it would be ignored.  The jews will not relinquish it.
so a conquered group of individuals should just STFU and accept they are conquered?  Germany and Japan were conquered,,,,,but somehow they still exist....OK... I understand because you are comfy with your life tipping the apple-cart would disrupt your life,why do you think Israel has the right to exist and the right to steal land?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on October 02, 2012, 09:49:53 AM
BTW the Ad is disgusting because it suggests that the Israeli side is human and the other side(be it Muslim or Palestinian)  is subhuman....Believe me as a first nations person being called subhuman or "savage" kind of wears on you
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on October 02, 2012, 11:32:40 PM
so a conquered group of individuals should just STFU and accept they are conquered?  Germany and Japan were conquered,,,,,but somehow they still exist....OK... I understand because you are comfy with your life tipping the apple-cart would disrupt your life,why do you think Israel has the right to exist and the right to steal land?

We're done
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: changeling on October 03, 2012, 07:59:10 AM
BTW the Ad is disgusting because it suggests that the Israeli side is human and the other side(be it Muslim or Palestinian)  is subhuman....Believe me as a first nations person being called subhuman or "savage" kind of wears on you

The only part of that ad that I agree with is " defeat jihad"
I think that any people that kill other groups of people merely because they
do not believe in their particular sky fairy, are savages.
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: 12 Monkeys on October 04, 2012, 10:01:06 AM
so a conquered group of individuals should just STFU and accept they are conquered?  Germany and Japan were conquered,,,,,but somehow they still exist....OK... I understand because you are comfy with your life tipping the apple-cart would disrupt your life,why do you think Israel has the right to exist and the right to steal land?

We're done
does this mean the Jihadist's have won?
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Brakeman on October 04, 2012, 05:14:45 PM
does this mean the Jihadist's have won?

Depends on which side's jihad you talking about..
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Quesi on October 05, 2012, 03:41:34 PM
Some Christians are worthy of my respect.

The United Methodist Women put up this sign, alongside the sign in the op. 

(http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/UMW-v-Geller1.jpg)
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on October 05, 2012, 11:25:57 PM
so a conquered group of individuals should just STFU and accept they are conquered?  Germany and Japan were conquered,,,,,but somehow they still exist....OK... I understand because you are comfy with your life tipping the apple-cart would disrupt your life,why do you think Israel has the right to exist and the right to steal land?

We're done
does this mean the Jihadist's have won?

[face palm]
Title: Re: Anti-Muslim ad to appear in NYC subways
Post by: HalusN8er on October 13, 2012, 10:08:00 AM
Article about free speech, related to this topic.

http://m.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-four-arguments-the-western-world-uses-to-limit-free-speech/2012/10/12/e0573bd4-116d-11e2-a16b-2c110031514a_story.html?wpmk=MK0000200