Friday, April 22, 2011

Detroit Riot Police to Protect Muslims from Insults. Or something.

Dearborn, Michigan prepares for Terry Jones and co. protesting on the grass across from America's largest mosque. Why the riot police? Don't Americans have the right to protest just about anything that suits them to protest? Why are Detroit riot police out in force? Why should the Religion of Peace meeting a handful of demonstrators on the lawn across the street be this serious?

[....]

'We'll do it today at 5 or we'll come back next week'

Earlier, after an intense debate in court this morning over free speech and religion, Pastor Terry Jones said that he's not backing down from his plans to protest at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad testified today that there have been at least four serious threats made against Jones from metro Detroiters, arguing that his protest could lead to violence if allowed.

But Jones told the Free Press during his lunch break: "We'll do it today at 5 or we'll come back next week."

Speaking at a McDonald's restaurant down the street from the courthouse, Jones -- who's defending himself -- said he thought the proceedings are going well. And he said the government's case was weak.

As he spoke, someone drove down Michigan Avenue yelling "Get out of Dearborn, you terrorist!"

Jones is facing a jury trial today on whether he should be allowed to protest outside the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

[....]

In his opening statement, Jones repeated negative comments about Islam that he made last month when he oversaw the burning of the Quran in Florida. He said in court today that the Quran "promotes terrorist activities around the world."

He also strongly defended the U.S. Constitution.

"The one thing that makes the Constitution great is the First Amendment," Jones said to the jury.

Except for the Bible, the Constitution is the greatest document in history, Jones said.

"The 1st Amendment does us no good if it confines us to saying what is popular," he added.


More: http://www.freep.com/article/20110422/NEWS02/110422014/Dearborn-jury-deliberates-Terry-Jones-right-rally-mosque?odyssey=mod|mostview

6 comments:

Atlanta Roofing said...

This guy is an idiotic agitator. But to jail him over his speech for fear of someone getting offended? It's the vile and distasteful speech that needs protection. This nation is truly lost. And always thought it was social conservatives that were censoring people....go visit a liberal campus and see their "free speech zones" or now they imprison people because someone might get their wittle wiberal feelings hurt.

Dag said...

Atlanta, not to be contrary here but it's not simply vile and distasteful speech that needs to be protected: it is speech itself, by which I mean simple verbal utterances. There are cases, many, in which people are literally not allowed to speak, regardless of content. You might be familiar with the now old and possibly forgotten expression: "Children are to be seen and not heard." It goes beyond that today among many in our culture and in our nations, that many are not allowed to say so much as "Hello." It might be considered sexist, racist, homophobic, or islamophobic to say so much as that. One risks penalties of a wide variety for simply speaking at all in some social situations, regardless of how flattering such utterances might be meant to be taken.

The point is that we have to fight continuously to preserve the right to speak our minds, even if our minds are tiny and dirty or if they are expansive and brilliant. It is the very fact of speaking that is under assault in many instances, most of them specifically social, which is me being euphemistic. People can be and often are so intimidated that they "are afraid to open their mouths."

An anecdote to illustrate: I lived in a relatively benign police state in which a fellow nervously told me that "everything is illegal here. Our very existence is illegal. It only depends whether the police decide to arrest you."

I've lived in other nations in which people would have been afraid to say that much. So, it's not a matter of defending a bad guy's right to speak, it's a matter of fighting those who would censor for its own sake. One they start, there is often no end to what they censor.

Dag said...

When it comes to "social conservatives" I like to paraphrase Quinton Crisp, the author of the very funny and often wise, _The Naked Civil Servant_. He writes that by being a flamboyant and outrageous homosexual in London in 1939 and by not changing a thing over the next 30 years he had found himself in the suburbs of social behaviour. I can relate to that part, at least. My radical past unchanged basically since the late 60s has left me known to some genius on the Internet as a "Right wing religious bigot." You've gotta know me for a minute to realise how stupid that is. But it isn't, given how crazy normal is. Terry Jones is not a vile guy, hes very much like most of the men I knew back home, a regular guy with a lot of working class assumptions, most of which made America the great nation that Obama et al are so ashamed of that Obama feels he has to bow down and apologize for when he meets genuinely evil despots like the King of Saudi Arabia. I'll take Joe the Plumber, Terry Jones, Sarah Palin, Mr. Jordan the car mechanic, or any other bunch of folks who work and pay taxes and go to baseball games and don't give a shit about what else goes on so long as they are free to do whatever legal and licit things they like.

Dag said...

Social conservatives are, whether Obama and crew get this or not, "negative" libertarians, which is to say, one is free not to [whatever]. Obama, though, is not a democrat in the way Democrats were. Obama is a "postive" liberal. This is to say, you must do [X] to be free. There is a difference between leaving people alone and telling them how to be free.

One might object, as I might, that so-called social conservatives are demanding of other people's behaviour. They might say, do not do that because it is bad for the community. There is some real freedom in that, assuming it doesn't go too far, which is open to enquiry. The community usually has no business in private affairs, I think, except when those liberties and privacies make the lives of everyone else miserable, which to my mind is a result of pot smoking. I don't care if one dies of cancer from smoking cigarettes, so long as one is paying ones own medical bills; and I don't care if some guy eats doughnuts all day so long as he pays the moving company to take him to the hospital. I do care if some goof is wasting my time being so stoned he can't figure out which way to turn the corner, if at all. That pisses on my shoes in ways fat coughers don't.

Dag said...

But, to return to your point about Jones being an agitator: The only difference between Jones and the people I grew up with, those who used to be known as Americans, is that Jones is-- the same kind of guy, actually. My guess is that he could make his way well enough around a stock-yard or strip down a motor and put it back together with no pieces laying left over; but I wouldn't put any money on him knowing one end of a menu from another at Chez Pierre. He's a cowboy, from what I know of him. In my experience and regard, that makes him pretty much OK. He's religious. Well, I'm not, but I can talk intelligently about Rene Girard, the cutting-edge theologian in today's intellectual world, and I have my doubts that Jones has even heard of him. That doesn't make me a good person, nor does it make Jones less good. Like everyone short of God, he knows almost nothing. There is too much to know about an atom for one man to know it all. So, we can't claim that Jones is ignorant or a fool or a bigot because he's not an intellectual. He knows about being around. That should, and for me it does, suffice in this case.

Jones is called "idiotic." That's something I want to take issue with for a moment. Most people today don't know, don't care, don't want to hear about it, that such slurs against another's intelligence is not something we have obsessed over from the beginning of time. In fact, I can almost give you a specific date that the over-concern about intelligence began. Date, place, name.

I'm finishing dinner as I write this. I'll come back and finish in a moment or so.

Dag said...

Why is Sarah Palin an idiot? why is George W. Bush a moron? Why am I often referred to here as a retard? Why is Reagan a dunce? (I had to put myself in good company.) Let's look at Charles Darwin's second cousin, though he probably had far more, the Englishman and gentleman, amateur scientist Francis Galton, who, in c. 1864 came up with the pseudo-science he termed "Eugenics." The idea pre-dates the term, the term meaning, from Greek "good+life" or life that is worth living, not meaning one should have any personal say in that but that scientists such as Galton should decide. Whose life is worth living? You will be surprised when I let you know: Galton and his peers, i.e. upper-class Englishmen. Go figure. And why were upper-class Englishmen special? Because they were genetically disposed to genius, which they would pass on to their children. Conversely, idiots and morons and so on would also pass on their idiocies and c. and, because there are more lower class people than upper class English geniuses, soon the idiot working class folks like me would swamp the nation and turn the entire isle into a giant loony bin of drooling fools. That would be a bad thing, even according to me. But I'm not the only one Galton wanted to eliminate from life's perpetuation. We're talking pretty significant numbers here, like damned near everyone.

It's all science though, and that is for smart people like Darwin and Galton. For the rest of us, Eugenics was to be a religion. He writes about this in _Hereditary Genius_, I believe. I've read too much on this, which proves I'm an idiot. Who's smart and who dies out? Enquiring minds want to know. So they found out. They, meaning doctors and scientists and smart people of all sorts, looked into it, between sessions of phrenology and mesmerism. They discovered that most people are idiots and morons and feeble-minded generally. Many of those found so were sterilised, in America, in our time. If you want to know more, and I mean much more, please wait for my book.

I'll leave it at this, on the assumption that you now understand at least part of why we disparage people's intelligence. None of us wants to be sterilised by the State. We point, like Winston Smith in _1984_, at Julia, "Her! Do it to her. Not me!"

Jones is an OK guy, in my opinion. He riles terrorists and dhimmis. So what? Good for him. He's got some sense.

Dinner was fine, by the way.