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January 09, 2015 11:17 PM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

"For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first."

–Suzanne Collins, from The Hunger Games


30 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Assertion: It's wrong to intentionally  tread on a people's sincerely held religious beliefs, but if offended, the believers should respond at the same level as the offense; that is, a cartoon should be met by a cartoon or a published opinion, a verbal argument by more discussion, a satire by satire.

    Responding to a published offensive piece with murder and mayhem is way out of line, and only escalates religious bigotry and hatred.

    In case you've been off-planet for the past week, I'm referring to the terrorist attack in Paris against the magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published cartoons making fun of Muhammed, and was met with a vicious massacre of its staff.

    I have Muslim students who pray morning, noon, and night, (on their own time at lunch hour), in a sincere belief that by doing this, they are keeping the world going and preventing a cataclysm. I don't know many Christian or other teens with that level of devotion. It seems to me that should be respected, and if not publishing a likeness of their prophet is what it takes not to offend, the publishing world should not publish likenesses of Muhammed. This applies equally  to other religions.


        1. Are you the little child that had to bring mommy and daddy to court when you got a speeding ticket?  

          Were you the welp on here once claiming you were so smart because your mommy told you you had the biggest bestest IQ thingy?  

          You are a joke.  I would be so ashamed to be you.  Seriously.  


      1. I don't see what Thingy1 posts but I can guess he's missing the irony that we accommodate  a free expression of thought on this page for everyone – an exercise that would find us banned on conservative blogs in this state. 

        1. It rushed here first thing to post a wingnut 'cartoon' reveling in death and murder and the pain and anguish of real people to go all Lindsey Graham and suggest terrorism in France is Obama's fault because of a speech he made. 

          "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war… America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads."

          Oh whoops, my bad, wrong speech.  That one would be the guy who showed up on camera (and now likes to paint himself in the bathtub) for the last GOP administration (the one that missed the OSAMA BIN LADIN DETERMINED TO STRIKE US' briefing before the worst ever terrorist attack on US soil).

          Thingy1 is truly a piece of work and a P.o.S.

    1. It seems to me that should be respected, and if not publishing a likeness of their prophet is what it takes not to offend, the publishing world should not publish likenesses of Muhammed.

      I can't agree with you there.  People who sincerely care about the world should be respected for doing what they believe.  But that doesn't make them right.  Progress for civilization as a whole depends on being able to openly discuss our fundamental beliefs.  Cartoons and satire are powerful, and they further that discussion in our society.  They upset people because they are effective rhetorical tools.

      You're heading down a road where entire conversations are taboo because they will upset people of some belief system.  But nothing is true because someone believes it sincerely enough.  The better elements of humanity have spent thousands of years striving for the truth, evaluating beliefs and ideas, and discarding the relics of the past, even when it was painful, and even violent, to do so.  It is not time to give up on that.

      Does everyone have the right to their beliefs?  Yes, absolutely.  But they do not have the right to live in their comfort zone without ever seeing those beliefs challenged or contradicted… or even satired.  If they want to withdraw from our social discussion, they are free to not read outside media, and to choose their associations carefully.  But demanding that the rest of the world shy away from rhetoric that offends them is short-sighted and wrong.

      1. I don't see a slippery slope where "entire conversations are taboo because they will upset people of some belief system." I see that not publishing a likeness of Muhammed is a small thing that shows respect.

        My own vision of the Creator is of one being or force which wears different faces, bodies, genders because humans need these masks to get their minds around the concept of god. All religions are equally ridiculous and fallible in that quest, and yet, we often become better people, take better care of each other and the creation, by following our different prophets and saviors.

        I have and will continue to mock "Dr. Chaps" – he is dangerous because  he is in a position of power now to force his fundamentalist beliefs upon the world.  But I don't mock his core faith. He has a lot in common with fundamentalist Taliban who also seek to force their beliefs upon an unwilling world.  I'll speak against their ambitions, not their faith or spirituality.  

            1. Right, BC. As I commented at the beginning of this thread,

              if offended, the believers should respond at the same level as the offense; that is, a cartoon should be met by a cartoon or a published opinion, a verbal argument by more discussion, a satire by satire. Responding to a published offensive piece with murder and mayhem is way out of line, and only escalates religious bigotry and hatred.

              I'm not in any way justifying terrorist violence as a response to being "offended", whether by a caricature of Muhammed, or the NAACP bomber being "offended" by whatever he was offended by.

              I guess I'm suggesting that we in the blogosphere and media worlds choose our battles carefully. When I am offensive, I am deliberately offensive, because I want people to think about something, or understand it at a visceral level.  I know the power of words and images; I work with them every day. And yeah, I'd really prefer not to be targeted because of it, but it's a risk I accept.

              Melissa Harris Perry spent her entire two hour show today exploring  the nuances and context around the Paris terrorist attacks. A couple of takeaways:

              • If Charlie Hebdo had apologized for and renounced the Muhammed cartoons, it probably wouldn't have made any difference, because in the view of Al Qaeda in Yemen, the offense had already been committed, and the purpose of terror is….terror.
              • France is to some extent creating a powderkeg of racial resentment,  by deliberately suppressing young Muslim's freedom of religious expression and employability. 60% of those in French prisons are Muslims.



              1. Muslims are the new black in France.  We here in the good ol' Newnited States are doing the exact same thing to the blacks as France does to their Muslim citizenry.  Too lazy to look up the percentage of unemployed African American youth and the huge percentage of incarcerated African American men, but the numbers are amazing.

                Hope you respect any African American students you have equally.

                That said, when I lived in France years ago, I never saw much fraternite, egalite, liberte (brotherhood, equality, liberty). 

                Oh and AC, please drop off the planet.  I know a sinkhole in Siberia just waiting for you.

                1. Potential unequal targeting of black males is something every teacher needs to be aware of. With the best intentions in the world, we tend to come down harder on dark-skinned males, especially if they are loud or assertive, while not actually misbehaving. Statistics on school discipline and suspensions, as well as the school-to-prison pipeline, bear this out.  Fairness takes awareness, every day.

      2. Completely agree, cd. It's not up to the publishing world to judge what may or may not offend and suppress anything that any group has complained about. It's perfectly OK for the offended to organize boycotts if they feel so moved but not to threaten violence or demand legal action. If  the post started running cartoons depicting Jews as subhumans, as the Nazis did, I'd be happy to raise a stink and encourage a boycott.   But it's nobody's right to blow people away because they feel offended.

        When Obama was running in 2008 there were plenty of offensive cartoons circulating; his wife as a terrorist or a gorilla, the White House with a watermelon patch out front to name a few. And I found them terribly offensive. There were, however, no terrorist attacks perpetrated by offended African Americans or anyone else. When you're offended you have the right to complain, to write letters, to boycott, etc. What you don't have the right to do is demand that those who offend you be silenced on pain of death.

        Being offended is no excuse for blowing people away. Ever. Period. No ifs. No ands. No buts. Those who want to live in a society where their religious beliefs will never be mocked need to move to a nice oppressive theocracy that enforces their beliefs. Perhaps Saudi Arabia if you're a Muslim. No worries about having your religious beliefs mocked there. Those who choose to live in free countries need to accept being occasionally offended as the price of admission as do the overwhelming majority of Muslims who have chosen to live here or in France. French Muslim religious leaders and their congregations have been quick to speak out unequivocally against the  against the evil, depraved acts of the perpetrators of the recent acts of terror there. 

        1. It seems that many French imans are rising up to condemn the terror attacks. 

          Worth noting that while William Donohue of the US Catholic League condemned the terror attacks, he also has more or less condemned the articles and cartoons that led to the attack. I've tracked Mr. Donohue for a while. He is not a friend of broad-based freedom of speech or freedom of the press.

  2. House Dems slowly figuring out what voters told them last year:

    WASHINGTON — Anyone who wants to understand the current state of the Democratic Party should pay close attention to what happened this week in the House of Representatives, where Democrats cut down a GOP-backed Wall Street deregulation bill. In response, the bill's supporters avoided talking about who the legislation would have helped (hint: two big banks), focusing instead on calling its victorious opponents a bunch of flip-floppers.

    "They were for this bill before they were against it," said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).

    Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a Goldman Sachs alum, made the same point more softly during an appearance on C-SPAN Thursday morning. (ED. NOTE: Jim Himes is one of those "Blue Dog" Democrats.)

    The Democratic domestic policy agenda is remarkably uniform across the caucus, with one major exception. Nearly every House Democrat supports same-sex marriage, stronger environmental protections and increasing the minimum wage. But on bank reform, the party remains divided. Things have been shifting lately, however, and the 44 Democrats who switched their votes between September and January show which way the wind is blowing. They're listed at the bottom of this article. As for the other supporters of the September bill, 12 aren't in Congress anymore — a politically significant point in its own right — and four didn't vote.

    "People have separated Dems from the minimum wage," Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) told HuffPost in December. "The last election, the problem is that voters believe [Republicans and Democrats are] all in on this cabal together, and nobody's thinking about their families."

    The public is still angry about the bank bailouts. And even with the economy showing signs of improvement, voting for more Wall Street financial aid is an easy way to convince many constituents that you aren't playing for their team.

    (Hint to Ed and Mike. -ed.)

    "Wall Street reform is not only popular with consumers, but constantly under Republican attack," one senior Democratic aide told HuffPost. "I'm glad that Democrats have realized that being pro-business doesn't have to mean being pro-Wall Street."

    He should have said "most" Democrats, because Michael Bennet and Ed Permutter didn't get that memo yet. Maybe someone can CC them next time.

    1. According to your article, you are wrong about Ed  :

      These are the 44 Democrats who supported a version of Wall Street deregulation in September, but voted against it this week:

      Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.)
      Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.)
      Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.)
      Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.)
      Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.)
      Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.)
      Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)
      Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.)
      Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.)
      Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)
      Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)
      Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.)
      Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.)
      Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.)
      Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.)
      Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)
      Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.)
      Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.)
      Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
      Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.)
      Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.)
      Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.)
      Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas)
      Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.)
      Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger (D-Md.)
      Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.)
      Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.)
      Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas)
      Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas)
      Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.)
      Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.)
      Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.)

  3. Believe in America…..Believe in 3rd Chances!

    Willard Mittens Romney has put the word out……he's looking at another run in 2016!  Apparently the bad blood between Jeb Bush and Mitt is fueling his interest.  (His wife is also egging him on.)

    Will the prospect of three RINOs splitting the ever shrinking herd of moderate Republicans open the door to the nomination of (how shall I word this) a more exotic and pure nominee?

    Hillary can only hope…………..

      1. Had to Google-up that one.  My intermediate step toward utopia would include mechanisms that encourage and allow Harold and his contemporary ilk, to actually be able to make competitive runs for office.  

        Citizens United and its antecedents, plus CRomnibus backdoor-meddling, have taken huge steps in exactly the wrong direction in what was already a corrupt and stinking morass.   

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