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Wake up, America - Comments

j.mills's Avatar Comment 1 by j.mills

Like Pat, I have issues with the phrase "community cohesion", bandied around by politicos and pressure groups. What does it mean, how is it measured, why does it matter? Why should I accept anything being sacrificed in its name, particularly my right to free speech?

Some people think Pat is unnecessarily abrasive and arrogant, some think he tells it like it is, and some think there is room for all kinds of voices in the rambunctious atheist choir. I say this in the hope of forestalling dozens of posts arguing the toss about his style, but I doubt it will work... :)

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 13:19:00 UTC | #408244

kaiser's Avatar Comment 2 by kaiser

Most of the links are not complete

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 13:24:00 UTC | #408246

stephensmith's Avatar Comment 3 by stephensmith

Good rant. It's great to hear that some people outside the U.S. know about, and admire, our First Amendment. It seems to me that Europeans started down the slippery slope of free speech infringement long before the current debate over Islamism, when they made laws criminalizing the mere questioning of the Holocaust.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 13:39:00 UTC | #408250

exmike's Avatar Comment 4 by exmike

Links fixed.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 14:14:00 UTC | #408260

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 5 by Jos Gibbons

Here are a few revelations about the Cairo Declaration from Wikipedia. It proclaims “the sanctity of life, and declares the "preservation of human life" as "a duty prescribed by the Shariah". (No abortions then.) It “gives men and women the "right to marriage"” (presumably not men and men or women and women, though?) “regardless of their race, colour or nationality, but not religion. In addition women are given "equal human dignity", "own rights to enjoy", "duties to perform", "own civil entity", "financial independence", and the "right to retain her name and lineage", though not equal rights in general. The Declaration makes the husband responsible for the social and financial protection of the family.” It adds: "Islam is the religion of unspoiled nature.” (Everyone pre-Koran somehow missed that state.) “It is prohibited to exercise any form of compulsion on man or to exploit his poverty or ignorance in order to convert him to another religion or to atheism" (But for Islam, it’s OK? People often become atheists either on their own or through influences from others of a nature this wording doesn’t cover, but whether these cases will be tolerated we’ll see.) It says “no individual is to be used for medical or scientific experiments” (even with their consent? Vivisection alone is allowed.)

Also, “there are no other crimes or punishments than those mentioned in the Sharia, which include corporal punishment (whippings, amputations) and capital punishment. The right to hold public office can only be exercised in accordance with the Sharia, which forbids Muslims to submit to the rule of non-Muslims.” (No comment.) "Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah" (Well, that’s all right then: you can say anything you like as long as it’s not anti-Islamist.) "Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah." (Even better!) "Information is a vital necessity to society.” (Agreed – but wait to see where they go with this.) “It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith" Right. "It is not permitted to arouse nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form of racial discrimination." To quote Wikipedia, “The CDHRI concludes in article 24 and 25 that all rights and freedoms mentioned are subject to the Islamic Shariah, which is the declaration's sole source.” OK, we get it.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 14:31:00 UTC | #408268

sornord's Avatar Comment 6 by sornord

One would think the example of Neville Chamberlain would show that appeasement of whack jobs doesn't work, and that's all this "community cohesion" kissing-of-Muslim-ass is.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 14:36:00 UTC | #408269

root2squared's Avatar Comment 7 by root2squared

The US government may support a restricting measure outside the US, but I don't think there is any danger to the first amendment inside the US. Even the crazies over tend to view the constitution as a religious document.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 14:39:00 UTC | #408271

A's Avatar Comment 8 by A

I love Pat (no, not like that).

Another great 'PowerRant™'.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 15:03:00 UTC | #408274

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 9 by TIKI AL

Jos @ 5: from wiki: ""Islam is the religion of unspoiled nature.""

On the bright side, they appear to be against littering.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 15:07:00 UTC | #408275

ANTIcarrot's Avatar Comment 10 by ANTIcarrot

"Here are a few revelations about the Cairo Declaration from Wikipedia."

Here's another newsflash: The damn thing is almost TWENTY years old! Seriously, why is this news?

And when the hell did the American government love unrestricted freedom of speach? Didn't they practically invent the word 'classified'?

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 15:10:00 UTC | #408276

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 11 by Border Collie

Yes, we have the First Amendment. I have noticed over the past few decades, though, that people are becoming more and more, shall I say, 'cautious' about what they say or write. There are some racial/ethnic words not in common public usage or polite conversation any longer, which is probably a more civilized thing. It seems to me, however, that once a core of uncertainty or fear about what can be said or written or not is in place, it becomes much easier to add to the list to the point where it becomes ludicrous and people become fearful to say or write anything. I note many conversations and news stories that are so devoid of content and so politically correct that absolutely nothing of substance is communicated. But, then, if we wait for laws, governments, religions, etc., to 'give' us freedom, we are not free anyway. I say, be free regardless of what 'rights' some individual or group, in their moments of charitable, sanctimonious beneficence, might bestow on us.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 16:15:00 UTC | #408282

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 12 by mordacious1


The First Amendment does not protect you from society's admonishments of your speech. It only removes the ability of the government making laws prohibiting what you say.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 16:38:00 UTC | #408285

sara g's Avatar Comment 13 by sara g

I often forget that other parts of the world don't have the same freedoms I take for granted in America. Some of us over here have become so spoiled by freedom of speech that we would deny it to those who disagree with us. I appreciate being reminded once in a while of the value of things I have.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 16:48:00 UTC | #408286

Stella's Avatar Comment 14 by Stella

This is why I have a bumper sticker that says, "I

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 17:28:00 UTC | #408291

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 15 by Border Collie

Mord ... I understand that, but it can be only a small step from one to the other, esp. given the financial/political influence of corporations, religious groups, overly powerful individuals, etc. I hope it stays somewhat pristine and unassailable, but I'm not bettin' the ranch on it, given the pressures that exist in today's world. I mean, people make laws, people change laws ... it happens every day.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 17:39:00 UTC | #408294

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 16 by SaintStephen

Pat says:

"Speaking your mind is now seen as virtually anti-social, because some opportunistic crybaby is sure to take offense and throw a tantrum, and that might threaten community cohesion."
I experience this every day in America. It is indeed one of our most insidious diseases.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 18:24:00 UTC | #408304

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 17 by the great teapot

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 18:53:00 UTC | #408311

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 18 by KRKBAB

Comment #426537 by TIKI AL on October - TIKI, I always enjoy your humor. Here's something- try to imagine a crunchy granola type Talibanian.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 18:55:00 UTC | #408313

MuayThaiGuy's Avatar Comment 19 by MuayThaiGuy

If you love and value free speech do not visit the forum here it is about as PC as anything can get.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 18:57:00 UTC | #408316

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 20 by KRKBAB

If the Taliban ever succeeds anywhere, will they re-name name their country Talibanistan?

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 18:57:00 UTC | #408317

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 21 by KRKBAB

MuayThaiGuy- Bullshit. I say anything I want here regardless of how PC it is, and so do a lot of other people.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 19:01:00 UTC | #408318

gawddawg's Avatar Comment 22 by gawddawg

Pat Condell is a raving idiot, even though he does make a few good points now and then. He should get over his obsession with Islam and look at the big picture. A first rate demagogue armed with YouTube. Take a chill pill, Mr.Condell. Or some good quality sativa perhaps.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 19:22:00 UTC | #408324

gawddawg's Avatar Comment 23 by gawddawg

All the freedom of speech couldn't get American lawmakers (with notable exceptions) and media to tell like it is on Iraq and Afghanistan. The charade continues to do this - what use freedom of speech when people who truly exercise that freedom are branded 'radicals' or the 'extreme left'? Self-congratulatory masturbation might give you a nice fuzzy feeling, but it won't change the truth.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 19:26:00 UTC | #408326

sonnygll's Avatar Comment 24 by sonnygll

I don't like it, but I don't care much either. It's not just because the constitution prevents it from having affect in the US either. It's because it doesn't mean anything. The UN is utterly useless anymore. North Korea is testing nukes and doing who knows what to their people. All the UN can do is pass some stupid resolution to give them a really stern talking to.

I used to have respect for the UN, but they do nothing but waste time. I say kick them out and turn the building into a homeless shelter.

All Obama is doing is making a gesture to improve relations and smooth over past friction, without actually doing anything. .....And that's just what happened too.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 19:29:00 UTC | #408327

sonnygll's Avatar Comment 25 by sonnygll

Gawd, you're right about what happens when one exercises free speech, but things ARE changing. The cries of "radical and extreme left" are coming from less and less people. It is on its way to becoming a strictly right wing view point. It's mostly old people and rednecks anymore. It's still a problem, but it's improving slowly but surely.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 19:37:00 UTC | #408330

G_Wyn's Avatar Comment 26 by G_Wyn

About the link to the Geert Wilders article. I am an antireligionist and like Wilders I see the threat in a lot of Islamic teaching. But I want to take this opportunity to warn people to choose their allies with great care. Do rationalists like us really want to associate ourselves with politicians who are obviously racist bigots? I don't.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 20:20:00 UTC | #408340

j.mills's Avatar Comment 28 by j.mills

KRKBAB - I think MuayThaiGuy is contrasting the free flow of invective here on the front page with the moderated discussions in the Forum proper (top left), wherein people do occasionally get reprimanded and even banned.

Most humorous flowchart, HandyGeek! Ho ho.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 22:12:00 UTC | #408384

zpokthesecond's Avatar Comment 29 by zpokthesecond

Second G_Wyn. It's one thing to follow an analysis of "the problem", it's another thing to endorse just about any solution.

Geert Wilders is not OK in my book. Not because he warns against islamist views and influences, but because his "solutions" are crap. Dangerous crap. And because he is not an academic researcher, but a politician, looking for a vote-wagon.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 22:13:00 UTC | #408385

hoops mccann's Avatar Comment 30 by hoops mccann

This time I'm not entirely with him. Likening the Peace Prize to being morally blackmailed by Iran reeks of Glen Beck/Rush Limbaugh.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 22:56:00 UTC | #408397