Skeptics Aren't Skeptical, a Case Study

One of the things I've highlighted on this site a number of times is so-called global warming "skeptics" often don't behave like skeptics would or should. I won't bother dredging up past posts right now because I don't want to focus on global warming today. Today, I want to focus on the anti-Muslim bigotry which is growing in the United States. Today's topic involves a discussion which developed from one I've highlighted in a previous post, where I had said:

I personally believe Americans who can’t strongly and vigorously criticize Donald Trump for being a delusional and racist blowhard should be deported to another planet for the sake of the human race. But hey, instead, we give him billions of dollars and consider electing him president. And he’s not even threatening to murder us if we criticize him!

I want to continue on with that point. I don't think it can be stressed how obscenely Donald Trump and many people supporting him are behaving. I'm not just talking about the xenophobia and bigotry. In fact, I'm not going to discuss that at all today. Today, I'm just going to discuss the pure irrationality of this crowd.

Specifically, I'd like to highlight how this irrationality has apparently turned one "skeptic blogger," Jeff Id, into a parnaoid buffoon.

I'm talking about this comment Jeff Id wrote over at The Blackboard. I'm not going to go into all of it. I'm not, for instance, going to dwell on how he creates a strawman to savage by arguing against things nobody ever said. That would take too much time, and I don't want to rehash the discussions being had there. You can check them out if you want. For our purposes though, all that matters is this portion of his comment:

These are distinctly anti-western values. These values are things I want no part of in my country. Despite the demands of the intolerant left, I see no reason why I should accept these ignorant views as equal to my own. Like religion, or ridiculous political opinion, or Sharia law, all views are not created equal. There are many here who have already called this intolerance, I call it common sense.
There are plenty of muslims who act moderate and therefore see islam as good, but there are plenty of liberals who think what Obama has done to America is good too. I watched a video of a few guys with Jesus loves shirts be attacked physically and verbally by a crowd of hundreds of muslims in Dearborn Michigan. I was born in that area and much of my family grew up there. The influx of Muslims to that region has now almost fully displaced Christians and despite there being plenty of opportunities for the ‘peaceful’ muslims to speak out against intolerance, there was nothing but middle east style culture in evidence. Like the European no-go zones, the police refused to intervene.
No common sense moderate Muslims in sight. None of the outrage at how these Christians were being treated that you would expect from modern moderate muslims. I’m sure there was some outrage actually, but the religion as practiced doesn’t allow dissent and those who would speak out in that crowd would likely be punished.

Now if you're a rational-minded individual who pays some attention to the news, you might already realize how utterly insane this is. While Jeff Id claims to be posting "common sense," the reality is what he says is largely delusional. I'm not worried about the little things, like how he says:

I watched a video of a few guys with Jesus loves shirts be attacked physically and verbally by a crowd of hundreds of muslims in Dearborn Michigan.

When in reality there weren't even a hundred people in the crowd he mentions. That sort of exaggeration is poor form, but it's minor in comparison to other things. For instance, Jeff Id says there were "a few guys with Jesus loves shirts" who got attacked. Look at this picture, and tell me, is there anything missing from his description?

I'm thinking the fact the "few guys with Jesus loves shirts" were carrying a severed head of a pig might suggest there is more to this story.

For instance, Jeff Id might have mentioned this took place at the Arab International Festival, a festival where many Muslims attending. And that the "few guys with Jesus loves shirts" were part of agroup called Bible Believers who attended the festival specifically to protest and goad the people there. Or that they carried signs saying things like, "Islam is religion of blood & murder." Or that, you know... they mounted a pig's head on a pole to parade through the festival because they knew pigs were considered unclean by many Muslims.

He somehow left all that out. Instead, he just said "a few guys with Jesus loves shirts" were attacked by a crowd of hundreds of Muslims. According to this depiction, the Christians were innocent bystanders who should be sympathized with. I cannot begin to express how disgusting that is.

You see, Bible Believers is a Christian hate group which publishes all sorts of bigoted literature. I kind of want to show you the antisemitic filth this group publishes, but I can't bring myself to link to any of it. This group of people Jeff Id defends are literal deniers, as in people who publish material denying the Holocaust happened.

Jeff Id is painting antisemitc Holocaust deniers who traveled to an Arab International Festival for the sole purpose of antagonizing people with hateful signs and severed animal heads mounted on poles as innocent victims who did nothing wrong. And somehow, that's not the worst of it! He also says:

The influx of Muslims to that region has now almost fully displaced Christians and despite there being plenty of opportunities for the ‘peaceful’ muslims to speak out against intolerance, there was nothing but middle east style culture in evidence. Like the European no-go zones, the police refused to intervene.

If I were trying to be unfair, I would leave aside that the police did intervene. Multiple times. I won't though as I believe facts and truth have some relevance to the things we say.

You see, the police did intervene. On multiple occasions, the police demanded the Bible Believers stop using a megaphone as it was considered too loud (especially with the racist slurs they were shouting, which Jeff Id failed to mention). And later, the police intervened further by kicking the Bible Believers out of the festival. Jeff Id somehow manages to ignore that, instead pretending "the police refused to intervene." In reality the police did intervene, in a bad way. They likely responded that way because they didn't like the Bible Believers, but as the courts have since ruled, they were in the wrong.

So to be fair to the racist Christians Jeff Id portrays as innocent victims, the police did treat them unfairly. As hateful and disgusting as their behavior was, it was a lawful form of expression protected by the First Amendment. The police were wrong in kicking them out to stop the escalation of violence rather than addressing the people who actually committed the violence. That just doesn't justify this remark:

Like the European no-go zones, the police refused to intervene.

Becauses this is completely and utterly insane. There are no such things as "no-go zones." The idea Muslims are taking over neighborhoods and establishing areas where Sharia law is in effect is beyond delusional. There isn't the slightest basis for it.

There are, of course, some areas in some countries where police are hesitant to venture. Some of them have a predominantly Muslim population. That doesn't mean anything though. I live near St. Louis. I can tell you about plenty of areas police have, at one point or another, been hesitant to venture (Ferguson, anybody?). They weren't because those were "no-go zones" created by Muslims invading they country. They were because police are often disliked in the projects. Or as a quote from the Snopes article on this subject says:

[Some] confound the idea in France of a special economic zone with the problem of the cités, that is, regions in the urban periphery of French cities, that are populated by an underclass consisting largely of immigrants from Muslim countries. Comparable to the "projects" in the United States or "housing estates" in Great Britain, the relationship between the inhabitants of the cités and the police is often adversarial. For example, in a form of protest that has become a sort of annual tradition, 940 cars were set on fire this past New Year's Eve, primarily in the vicinity of the cités. Most French people would consider that police authority is, at best, tenuous in the cités and the police exercise extreme caution performing their duties there. As police would in the US in housing projects, or, these days, in Ferguson, Missouri.

There's actually an entire Snopes article on the idea of "no-go zones." The short version is, they don't exist. The longer version is, you have to be a complete and total moron to believe anything so completely ludicrous. An even longer version can be found in the Snopes article, but there's really nothing more that needs to be said.

There is a thing we call reality. Then, there is this other thing, where antisemitic Holocaust deniers carrying severed pig heads on stakes and signs with anti-Islamic messages like "Islam is religion of blood & murder" and "Turn or Burn" are innocent bystanders being attacked in no-go zones where Muslim invaders have enshrined Sharia law as the new governing doctrine.

I don't know what to call that thing. I don't have the words to describe how... I literally don't have the words. I'm honestly surprised I managed to write this much because I keep finding myself reduced to a stammering mass by how... just, ridiculous this all is.

As a closing thought, I want to emphasize that none of this should be taken as indicating all skeptics hold such insane views. It's just one prominent skeptic blogger. I'm sure he will be widely mocked and ridiculed because nobody would ever support or defend such insane claims. Surely no skeptic will speak in his defense.

155 comments

  1. Brandon,

    You should at least provide the quote in context. You left out everything before: "These are distinctly anti-western values." -- What ar Brandon, what did I exactly write.

    If you are going to be a critic, you need to be a fair one and place the whole quote in context.

    Now I did NOT watch a huge video of what the guys with signs did. I saw a truncated version. I did not look up a group of bible thumpers crazy enough to carry god signs in a muslim neigborhood because they looked like morons. I did not state that they werent. I did watch enough to see them attacked by hundreds of muslims, not less than that. And I did see the police back away from any action to protect these people. Instead they were told that they must leave the area - as in not allowed to express their opinion in that particular zone.

    You really don't deserve a reply for any of this as it is so inaccurate but from your reply to this we will see if you wish to be fair or simply be argumentative.

    My post at Lucia's addressed some generalities made by many bloggers there which needed to be addressed. I knew you would have a problem with it because your opinions were already stated. I did not know you would be so ridiculous as this.

    I will address the rest depending on whether you decide to expand on your context or continue on this inaccurate path.

  2. Jeff Id, if you think there is any relevant context I left out, you're welcome to provide it and explain how it impacts anything I've said in this post. Until then, simply saying:

    You should at least provide the quote in context. You left out everything before: “These are distinctly anti-western values.” — What ar Brandon, what did I exactly write.

    If you are going to be a critic, you need to be a fair one and place the whole quote in context.

    Doesn't accomplish anything. I provided an excerpt from your comment because the excerpt was what I was discussing. As far as I can tell, nothing I've said would be impacted by anything I didn't provide in the quotation. I can add more context if that would serve some purpose, but simply adding extra text to an already lengthy quotation because that text exists seems silly.

    As for your remark:

    Now I did NOT watch a huge video of what the guys with signs did. I saw a truncated version.

    You specifically described the guys as being "a few guys with Jesus loves shirts." As anyone who looked into this issue at all would know, that description is incredibly misleading. The truth is they were carrying signs with messages of hate while parading a severed pig's head on a pole. In no world would it be considered appropriate or fair to describe that as "a few guys with Jesus loves shirts." As for your remark:

    I did not look up a group of bible thumpers crazy enough to carry god signs in a muslim neigborhood because they looked like morons. I did not state that they werent.

    This was not "in a muslim neighborhood." It was in a festival in a public area. Regardless, you described these men as "a few guys with Jesus loves shirts." That they are actually an antisemitic hate group who went to a festival with the sole purpose of causing a scene they could use to further their propaganda is something which you should have mentioned. That you didn't, choosing instead to portray them as innocent victims is disgraceful. Pointing out you never explicitly denied the men are members of a vile, disgusting hate group which yelled racial slurs does not absolve you.

    You really don’t deserve a reply for any of this as it is so inaccurate but from your reply to this we will see if you wish to be fair or simply be argumentative.

    If you feel anything I have said is inaccurate, you should quote it and explain in what way it is inaccurate. Making vague accusations with cheap rhetorical flourishes accomplishes nothing.

    My post at Lucia’s addressed some generalities made by many bloggers there which needed to be addressed. I knew you would have a problem with it because your opinions were already stated. I did not know you would be so ridiculous as this.

    I have no idea what you think is "so ridiculous as this." You've chosen not to acknowledge the men you portrayed as merely being "a few guys with Jesus loves shirts" were actually part of a group known for publishing bigoted propaganda against religious groups, having attended a festival solely to provoke a reaction You've chosen not to acknowledge they publish literature denying the Holocaust. I think that is ridiculous. i don't think me pointing it out is ridiculous.

    I will address the rest depending on whether you decide to expand on your context or continue on this inaccurate path.

    As far as I can tell, you haven't even specified what it is I said that is supposedly inaccurate. I don't know what reaction you expect. Do you wish me to correct errors without having those errors pointed out? Similarly, what context do you wish for me to add? What words that I left out would change the way your comment would be perceived? Are there some words I failed to quote which would have informed people the Muslims in this situation (who no, did not amount to hundreds) were reacting to antagonistic bigots who attended the event specifically to create Anti-Muslim propaganda? Or are there perhaps words which would indicate to the reader the "no-go zones" you refer to are a figment of people's deranged imaginations, existing in nothing more than people fevered imaginations?

    If what I've said is so inaccurate, and if my behavior is so ridiculous, just what is it I said that was actually wrong?

  3. "Jeff Id, if you think there is any relevant context I left out, you’re welcome to provide it and explain how it impacts anything I’ve said in this
    post. Until then, simply saying:"

    provide the whole quote.......

  4. In the main post as it should be.

    It is a short comment on a blog. You can afford the data space to put it in this post. Color the previously unquoted parts (and apparently unimportant parts) in red if you are a fair critic.

  5. Jeff Id, I am not inclined to expand every quote I post just because someone happens to decided they get to demand I do so. If you can explain why any part of the quote I didn't provide is relevant to what I said in this post, I'll be happy to add that part in, but I'm not going to add parts of your quote simply because you spam my site with an excessive number of comments and curse at me.

    Reasonable people can have disagreements, but what you are currently doing isn't remotely reasonable. Demanding a person quote a greater portion of some source material than they did without providing any explanation as to why they should is not fair or reasonable. Posting six comments in the span of 25 minutes to say nothing which couldn't have been said in just one is not fair or reasonable. Cursing at people when they don't immediately bow to your every demand is not fair or reasonable.

    So I'll make this clear. If there is some portion of your comment which I did not quote which you feel is relevant to what this post says, identify it and I'll add that portion in. Unless or until you do, I am content people can read this post, see the relevant portions of your comment, and if they wish to read more, click on the link to be taken to the full comment.

    In the meantime, please learn to behave in something resembling a civil manner and stop the spamming and cursing.

  6. Ah yes, it would be a shame if you provided the whole quote wouldnt' it. Perhaps it might soften your excoriation of the evil "Jeff Id" and god forbid 'lower your status with your reader' .

    You pretend to be an intellectual but you refuse to provide the whole quote in the article.
    What are you afraid of?

    And don't give me your "BS" about swearing when you flat out call me a 'Buffoon' in your article -- loser.

  7. Jeff Id, if I were afraid of people seeing your full comment, I wouldn't have linked to it while explicitly describing the portion I quoted as only one part of it. The simple reality is when quoting text I wish to discuss, I try to quote just the relevant portions so it is easier for people to focus on the topics I'm discussing. Quoting text which has no relevance to the topics I'm discussing would serve no purpose.

    I'll note, while you criticize me for not providing the full quote, you haven't quoted anything I left out to show people it was relevant. It would be easy for you to do. I haven't censored you. I haven't moderated your comments, not even when you posted seven in short period of time and curseed at me. If I've truly left out some relevant portion of this quote, you could easily prove it for anyone who reads these comments. You have no excuse not to show people whatever it is I am supposedly afraid to show them.

    As for this remark:

    And don’t give me your “BS” about swearing when you flat out call me a ‘Buffoon’ in your article — loser.

    I don't know if you truly believe the language you used is of the same level as using the word "buffoon." I can assure you, however, it is not. Buffoon is not a curse word. Calling a person a buffoon is not considered to be cussing. Calling you a buffoon is, in no way, swearing at you.

  8. Put it up sir. Put it right in the article so people don't have to search out the quote. Put it in light, light grey so people can hardly see it.

    But put it where they can..

  9. Jeff Id, I have already explained the situation. You can choose to ignore everything I say and simply repeat yourself if you wish, but if you do, your comments will be nothing more than useless spam. Pretty much all you'll succeed at doing is wasting your time and the time of anyone who happens to read your comments.

    Well that, and making yourself look even more ridiculous than you already do. No fair-minded individual reading your comments here would think your behavior is remotely appropriate. What they'll most likely think is you're resorting to petty and petulant behavior because you have nothing else to respond with.

    Or maybe I'm wrong about how you'd be perceived. Regardless, nothing has changed. If you can identify something I didn't quote which is relevant to anything I said in this post, I will edit the post to add it in. If you can identify anything I said which is inaccurate and explain how it is inaccurate, I will edit the post to correct the mistake. Unless or until one of those two things happen, the post isn't going to change one bit.

    What also won't change is the fact you portrayed bigoted Holocaust deniers as innocent victims of a crowd who did nothing wrong in an attempt to portray Muslims as hateful and violent despite the people you defended actually being members of a hate group who attended a festival for the sole reason of creating propaganda to paint Muslims as hateful and violent by using bigoted language and waving severed animal heads on poles in order to provoke a hostile reaction.

  10. All I'm asking for is context. You have spun yourself ragged about a video and ignored the bulk of my comment. You wish to turn my comment in a 400 plus comment thread to many other bloggers than yourself into something else.

    Why would you do that?
    Why?

    What part of you is so small and so angry at the world that you cannot post my statement.

    You can still bold the part you like. If your superior intellectual assessment is true, it should change nothing in your article. Yet you resist like a preschool kid caught with a sucker they didn't ask for.

    Post the comment in its entity in the main article, and discuss rationally.

  11. Still not able to bring yourself to it Brandon? I mean really bud, you have like 4 readers, what is the harm in posting what I actually wrote instead of a censored clip starting at ---"These are distinctly anti-western values...."

    Certainly even the most brain dead reader can figure out that there must be more to the comment. I'm starting to think you are not intending honesty whatsoever.

  12. Lol, nice meltdown Jeff.

    I especially like the part where you acknowledged doing a piss poor job of verifying a story before posting a sweeping, ignorant comment about it. Oh wait...that never happened because it would require honesty and integrity.

    Tsk, tsk, multiple posts, name calling, profanity. What's the expression again...you know you're over the target when you start taking flak. Seven rhetorical posts in half an hour, yeah I'd say that qualifies as putting up a flak barrage. Makes for a good diversion though.

    For a blog with no readers, it sure as hell got someone's attention.

  13. MichaelS, some small part of me hopes this is really just a person masquerading as Jeff Id, intentionally posting absurdly in order to try to make the real Jeff Id look bad. The comments do use a fake e-mail address, so there's some small glimmer of hope.* I doubt it's the case though. It seems Jeff Id really is just acting completely insane.

    *This is yet another way this guy has decided to break the rules. Normally I wouldn't allow comments from someone using an obviously fake e-mail address, but I can just imagine the crazy things this guy would say if I started deleting his comments for spamming/cursing and lying about his e-mail address.

  14. If you want to make a case against Islamophobia, you should focus on the stronger, smarter arguments and evidence, presented by people who aren't arguing on a populist, propagandist level. Much in the same way that climate change alarmists who want to make an intellectual case should focus on the strong arguments, not trying to debunk every single propaganda piece on WUWT.

    Unfortunately, the way to win in politics _is_ simplifying and distorting. One must come to terms with that. "Hesitant to venture zones" seems like a sufficiently nasty concept, but "no go zones" rhymes...

  15. Hello Brandon

    I do think Trump is a unpleasant buffoon. He has however tapped into fears, some relevant some outrageous. That demonstration seemed foolish and unpleasant. There are however wider issues that need to be addressed without people shouting islamophobia and racism which has prevented a rational debate for much of my lifetime. First, lets look at the context;

    I believe the Muslim population of the US is 2%. In Britain it is 5% in France going on 10%.

    Respectable demographers from Oxford University place the time when the UK has a majority Muslim population as around 2045. France 5 years earlier, together with Sweden. Germany around 2040.

    If you combine the real concerns many people in Europe have over mass immigration by people with little intention of integrating into their host community, with the daily sight of muslim refugees reaching Europe-many of whom are not Syrian refugees-there are real fears over security, as well as the unease that our culture is likely to be further diluted.

    This importation of a foreign culture and the attendant security fears is highlighted by Time magazine Dec 21 2015 in awarding Angela Merkel their 'person of the year' accolade.

    ‘the conservative die welt published a leaked intelligence report warning about the challenge of assimilating a million migrants; ‘we are importing islamic extremism, arab anti-semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other people as well as a different understanding of society and law.’

    Tolerance needs to come from all parts of society not just one section of it.

    tonyb

  16. Here is the video with the muslims I saw.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnJBW49afzg

    You can see they did not use megaphones as they were not allowed. Your claim is false. You can also see them being stoned and the back of their shirt says Jesus saves. Not a bad description of what happened. They were chased by the crowd with stones and boxes. There were hundreds of people, your claim is again false. The bible thumpers were crazy to go into an intolerant muslim community with signs and shirts. Of course, I'm not bible thumper so it always looks crazy.

    Of course this video is NOT what my comment was about, it was an example I used in my comment.

    Brandon, you have always been a jerk on the internet but I never thought of you as dishonest. You have changed my mind on that. I don't like liars much.

    Provide the whole quote!
    MichaelS

    "For a blog with no readers, it sure as hell got someone’s attention."

    He came over to the blackboard and stated that he had severely critiqued me. I expected some rational commentary on what is wrong with a temporary halt to importing muslim extremism. Instead I found he removed everything relevent to the comment I made, pulled the wrong video apparently from a different year and made a bunch of ranting claims while calling me names.

    Brandon is not an honest broker - Like Lewandowsky, he pissed me off.

    Brandon's unwillingness to correct the record means that I will need to do it elsewhere.

  17. k, you say:

    If you want to make a case against Islamophobia, you should focus on the stronger, smarter arguments and evidence, presented by people who aren’t arguing on a populist, propagandist level. Much in the same way that climate change alarmists who want to make an intellectual case should focus on the strong arguments, not trying to debunk every single propaganda piece on WUWT.

    Perhaps that would be true if there were people making "stronger, smarter arguments" and providing "evidence" to justify Islamophobia. I haven't seen that though. You shouldn't fault people for responding to what they see. If you want them to respond to something else, you should try to make that be what they say.

    That goes for climate change too.

    Unfortunately, the way to win in politics _is_ simplifying and distorting. One must come to terms with that. “Hesitant to venture zones” seems like a sufficiently nasty concept, but “no go zones” rhymes…

    The current rhetoric surrounding "no-go zones" explicitly labels them a problem created by Muslims. Conflating that with all areas that have high crime rates and little respect for the police serves no legitimate purpose. There are areas law enforcement officers are hesitant to go to where the dominant population is African American, Hispanic, Korean, Chinese and I imagine dozens of other ethnicities, Those are just the ones I've personally been in. Pretending this is somehow a Muslim problem is absurd, amounting to nothing more than dishonest rhetoric masking bigotry.

    The simple truth is "no-go zones" as people like Jeff Id portray them do not exist. Anyone who wants to be taken seriously should be willing to acknowledge that.

  18. tonyb:

    Respectable demographers from Oxford University place the time when the UK has a majority Muslim population as around 2045. France 5 years earlier, together with Sweden. Germany around 2040.

    If you combine the real concerns many people in Europe have over mass immigration by people with little intention of integrating into their host community, with the daily sight of muslim refugees reaching Europe-many of whom are not Syrian refugees-there are real fears over security, as well as the unease that our culture is likely to be further diluted.

    There is no actual evidence the rise in Muslim immigration will lead to any increased danger of anything. Immigration opponents have always used the same sort of arguments being used now, and they have always been little more than cheap excuses for protecting people's view of what their country ought to be. This same sort of argument has been had in the United States with at least a dozen different ethnicities, and in each case, history has shown the opponents of immigration were wrong in what they said. I see no reason to believe it will be any different this time. So when you say:

    That demonstration seemed foolish and unpleasant. There are however wider issues that need to be addressed without people shouting islamophobia and racism which has prevented a rational debate for much of my lifetime. First, lets look at the context;

    Realize the cries of racism have not been what "prevented a rational debate." What prevented the rational debate was the actual racism. If people want to argue over whether or not immigration should be allowed or about what amounts should be accepted, they can, but that has nothing to do with the fact people are Muslims. Unless one is willing to say they only want people of specific ethnic demographics to emigrate to their country, there is simply nothing about people's ethnicities which is meaningful for these discussions.

    It might be reasonable to impose limits on immigration due to economic concerns, and part of those limits might involve placing different limits on immigration from each by country as a matter of trying to be fair to people looking to emigrate. Those are legitimate topics people might want to discuss. But if people want to oppose immigration simply because they think immigration will harm their cultural heritage, that's xenophobic. By definition.

  19. Jeff Id, your latest comment is utterly absurd. You begin your list of things I supposedly got wrong with the statement:

    You can see they did not use megaphones as they were not allowed. Your claim is false.

    The video gives close captioning for what a police officer says to a member of the group at approximately 1:15 into it:

    The city of Dearborne has an ordinance, okay, that you guys can't use the megaphone. So, if you guys continue to use that you'll get a citation.

    This is what I described in my post by saying:

    You see, the police did intervene. On multiple occasions, the police demanded the Bible Believers stop using a megaphone as it was considered too loud

    You claim I am wrong to say this group used a megaphone, but in reality, the video you provide proves they did use the megaphone. Continuing on, you say:

    You can also see them being stoned and the back of their shirt says Jesus saves. Not a bad description of what happened.

    I don't have words for how disgusting a remark this is. You've been directly informed of this group's antisemitic activities and shown photographic evidence they carried a severed pig's head on a pole while also carrying signs expressing hate for Islam. Despite that, you claim it is not a bad description to refer tothem as merely a few guys with Jesus saves shirts, as though they had done nothing wrong. But while, that is largely an issue of ethics, morality and just personal taste. What isn't is your factual claims, which you consistently get wrong:

    They were chased by the crowd with stones and boxes. There were hundreds of people, your claim is again false.

    You said the men were attacked by hundreds of people. The video you provide shows that is not true. It was only dozens of people who acted violently. Pointing out the total crowd in the area numbered in the hundreds is simply a lame way of misleading people. This was a festival. It is natural there were hundreds of people milling around, and it is also natural many would stop and look when a group carrying severed animal heads on poles showed up to create propaganda painting them as horrible people.

    The bible thumpers were crazy to go into an intolerant muslim community with signs and shirts. Of course, I’m not bible thumper so it always looks crazy.

    That you continue to refer to these men as "bible thumpers" is again, disgusting. I would think anyone who wishes to be taken seriously would want to distance themselves from antisemitic Holocaust deniers. Even if one defends this group's rights, which I would do, pretending this vile hate group well-known for its bigotry merely consistsof "bible thumpers" either covers up their horrendous nature, or it insults all people who might be considered to actually be bible thumpers.

    Of course this video is NOT what my comment was about, it was an example I used in my comment.

    Brandon, you have always been a jerk on the internet but I never thought of you as dishonest. You have changed my mind on that. I don’t like liars much.

    Given you have demonstrably misrepresented the very video you cite as evidence in order to claim I am wrong, I think this statement of yours is remarkable. What is more remarkable, however, is that you think hate groups spouting bigotry in order to provoke a reaction they can use in their propaganda is somehow an acceptable example of how Muslims should be viewed. I would like to think most people realize promoting propaganda as legitimate evidence is a bad idea.

    But even if they didn't, I would like to think most people would realize it is idiotic to say things like:

    He came over to the blackboard and stated that he had severely critiqued me. I expected some rational commentary on what is wrong with a temporary halt to importing muslim extremism. Instead I found he removed everything relevent to the comment I made, pulled the wrong video apparently from a different year and made a bunch of ranting claims while calling me names.

    I'll leave aside that the video you provided shows it is the same incident I referred to, as most of what I referred to can be seen in the video if one looks. I'll leave aside you can clearly recognize specific members of the group shown in the picture I posted in that video. I'll leave aside you can spot a number of the same signs in both the picture I provided and the video you linked to. I"ll leave aside all that because it simply doesn't matter when the video you linked to has this in its description:

    If this extremely disturbing video does not result in a Federal investigation into the human rights violations of those Christians physically attacked at the 2012 Dearborn Arab Festival then we are watching the beginning of a new America, a MUSLIM AMERICA.

    Both articles I linked to for further information about this incident clearly identify this as the event in question. The one I took the picture from says in its first line the ACLU "is defending the free-speech rights of a Christian group that hates Islam, saying its members were unfairly removed from the Arab International Festival in Dearborn in 2012." The second one, which extensively quotes court rulings on the lawsuit which arose from this incident, refers to the same incident while listing numerous facts the Court found which confirm my depiction of events.

    You had absolutely no basis to think I was referring to any other incident than the one you referred to, and had you made the slightest effort to check the facts of the situation, you'd have found I was in fact referring to the same thing as you. Instead, you decided I "pulled the wrong video apparently from a different year" simply because the propaganda film you watched didn't show the people who produced the proganda doing all of what I said they did.

    Any person behaving rationally who was told a film created by a hate group to portray people they dislike in a negative light would at least consider the possibility the film was edited or crafted in a way to give misleading impressions. You seem not to have, even when confronted with indisputable evidence.

    Choosing to label me a liar because I point out proganda created by antisemitic Holocaust deniers to spread hatred against Muslims is misleading is all sorts of bizarre.

  20. (In case anyone noticed that last comment partially disappearing, that was due to an error I made when trying to fix a blockquote tag. I don't normally edit comments, but I'll fix HTML issues in them if people want me to. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted part of the comment in the process. I reverted the change then fixed the tag pretty quickly, but I don't want people thinking there's anything shady going on.)

  21. Have Chinese, Irish, Slav etc immigrants done a lot of car burnings or child grooming gangs? And, is there any way to quantify the impact of mass immigration on culture, is there any way to speculate on it in a way that's politically acceptable? Or is it just a given that the net impact is positive, and this holds for all groups.

  22. Here is the video with the muslims I saw.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnJBW49afzg

    You can see they did not use megaphones as they were not allowed. Your claim is false. You can also see them being stoned and the back of their shirt says Jesus saves. Not a bad description of what happened. They were chased by the crowd with stones and boxes. There were hundreds of people, your claim is again false. The bible thumpers were crazy to go into an intolerant muslim community with signs and shirts. Of course, I’m not bible thumper so it always looks crazy.

    Of course this video is NOT what my comment was about, it was an example I used in my comment.

    Brandon, you have always been a jerk on the internet but I never thought of you as dishonest. You have changed my mind on that. I don’t like liars much.

    Jeff, is the Dearborn incident you referred to in your Blackboard comments the same event Brandon described in this blog? Yes or no?

  23. k, lucia of The Blackboard has a rule forbidding rhetorical questions unless the person asking them immediately provides their own answer. I don't use that rule here, but I do understand the reason for it. Most of the time when people ask questions like you have they are trying to make some set of points, but they wind up forcing people to have to guess what those points may be.

    I could give my answers to your questions, but I have no idea if they would address whatever point you hope to make. For instance, while I imagine Chinese immigrants to the United States did not do "a lot of car burnings," I'm not sure what relevance that has as the major anti-Chinese immigration attitudes in the United States existed before cars were much of a thing. That said, Chinese were accused of being responsible for rashes of crime as a form of bigoted propaganda to try to prevent their immigration to the country. Those accusations were largely false. Was the point you were making perhaps that Muslims are being unfairly smeared in the same way Chinese and other immigrants were? I doubt it, but if you don't actually state whatever your point is, it is difficult to tell what you're trying to say.

    My answers to your other two questions would seem equally unhelpful. There is no way to quantify the impact of immigration on culture as culture simply cannot be quantified. Insofar as we can describe culture though, nothing says the net impact of immigration must be positive. Indeed, nothing says people must agree on whether or not immigration's impact on culture has been or will be positive. The value of culture is inherently a subjective thing, meaning there is no inherent "good" or "bad" to it.

    Ultimately, people are free to view whatever culture they want as "good" or "better" than others. They are free to view immigration as bad for a culture. However, if they go so far as to oppose immigration as a whole simply because immigration will cause changes to their culture, that is xenophobic. By definition.

  24. MichaelS, while you wait for Jeff Id to answer that question (the answer to which is obviously "yes," as the video he linked to is the same one discussed in the articles I linked to ), you might want to check out a post he apparently uploaded today. He titles it, "Yet Another Blog Kerfluffle," but basically all he had to say about the exchanges here was to quote the comment I criticized in full then say:

    Definitely a strong comment, which I do believe is accurate. The evidence of the video however, caused Brandon Shollenberger to go off the deep end and post a blog using the video part of my comment only and left the rest of the context out. I’m rather pissed at him for his mischaracterizations and hadn’t realized just how far some people would go to defend evil behaviors but the internet never seems to have a lower bound.

    So he is doubling down, claiming his statement which portrayed these antisemitic Holocaust deniers who attended an Arab International Festival with signs insulting the religion and a severed pig's head on a pole as "a few guys with Jesus loves shirts" is accurate. He is further claiming I have somehow mischaracterized... I don't know what, by only quoting the portion of his comment which I was discussing - his horrendous defense of a hate group who attended a festival with the purpose of creating propaganda to depict Muslims as bad people, propaganda his own comments show was successful by convincing him these bigots never did things despite there being abundant and obvious evidence that they did. Including a lawsuit in which the facts I alleged were all listed in the appellate court's ruling.

    This "Bible Believers" group is just short of Neo-Nazis in its bigotry and hateful actions, and Jeff Id is continuing to defend them. And to do so, he's painted me as a bad guy who has misrepresented/mischaracterized things that he hasn't even bothered to list.

  25. By the way, Jeff Id's post discusses a number of other things than just this one issue. It's clear he is extremely biased when it comes to the issue of Muslims. For instance, he says:

    The problem with Muslims is that far too many of them wish to use the Koran to justify taking away the rights of other people. To force them into believing in an illogical and impossible god and then to murder them if they don’t agree. This isn’t a fringe opinion of their culture, as much as we would like to imagine otherwise. Pew research has a poll which found that 1 percent of American Muslims believe that suicide bombing and other extreme violence is often necessary – to protect Islam. Worse, 7 percent believe it is sometimes necessary.

    A person who believes suicide bombings or other forms of violence against civilian targets is necessary is someone who actively believes violence should happen. That's not actually what the data was discussing though. If one follows the link Jeff Id provides, the question asked was:

    Some people think that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are
    justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies. Other people believe that, no matter what the reason,
    this kind of violence is never justified. Do you personally feel that this kind of violence is often justified to
    defend Islam, sometimes justified, rarely justified, or never justified?

    That is significantly different. Saying attacking a civilian population is justified is iin no way the same as saying such attacks are necessary. Anyone familiar with history of groups fighting off perceived oppressors knows there is a long history of debate over whether or not civilians are legitimate targetst. There have been many people who said they are legitimate targets yet argued against attacking them. This was quite an issue, for instance, in debates over what path the IRA should take in England. Even people who thought it might be justified to attack civilians often argued it was counter-productive or simply not necessary.

    That Jeff Id conflates some people saying a tactic is justified with them saying it is necessary is terrible. People are free to believe if a nation is taking immoral actions, the citizens of that nation bear responsibility for it and are thus legitimate targets for attacks. It may be an uncomfortable thing to hear, but there is nothing inherently irrational or immoral about it. Pretending anyone who says it is automatically calling for terrorism to happen is ridiculous.

  26. Brandon

    You talk about xenophobia.

    Are you seriously saying that it is wrong to be annoyed at the way that our 1500 year old christian culture, which is woven into the warp and weft of our country, is being changed into a completely alien culture against the express wishes of the people? And that parallel societies have been created with different values to the mainstream that reflect the views of those who gave settled here which are those often matching preenlightenment? Sharia courts have been allowed to proliferate, halal meat is routinely served to the general public our christian cilture subsumed so as not to offend others.

    Sorry, but i dont want britain to become a muslim country by 2040 or so as it will be an utterly different country.i dont think that is unreasonable, xenophobic or racist.

    Tonyb

  27. Brandon

    Just watched the video jeff posted at 5 .34

    It was a near riot. The police behaved very badly.so many young kids pouring out so much hate and the adults werent much better.i dont understand what point you are making if that is the video jeff originally commented on.

    Tonyb

  28. Tonyb

    The point is, this group of bigots deliberately showed up to an otherwise peaceful Muslim festival (for the second year in a row) sporting the severed head of a pig on a stick and carrying signs calling Islam “a religion of blood and murder” while describing the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a “liar,” “false prophet,” “murderer” and “child molesting pervert". Some people in the crowd reacted with violence which is precisely what the instigators were there to initiate.

    It has already been covered numerous times in this blog.

  29. tonyb:

    our 1500 year old christian culture

    Jusgt stating the obvious but we don't have a 1500 year old christian culture. Our culture is nothing like what it was 1500 years ago.

    Being afraid of Muslims screwing up your lifestyle smells of xenophobia to me.

  30. MichaelS

    "Jeff, is the Dearborn incident you referred to in your Blackboard comments the same event Brandon described in this blog? Yes or no?"

    I believe Brandon grabbed the video from a different year as I stated before. I'm not sure because the video I linked is very long. I didn't see any pigs heads, I did not see megaphones because the cop banned them at the beginning of the video and the crazy bible thumper tried to argue and I did not see less than a couple hundred muslims.

    I don't care if there are only 199 Muslims, or half a megaphone or someone had a porkchop. People were physically assulted by a huge group of people as I stated. I owe no apology for my comment, which I not Brandon is still afraid of putting in the post.

    So ask youselves, what is Brandon afraid of? What harm could come from putting my comment in full in this post. He certainly didn't mind his extensive critique of things I didn't say. Neither did you from what I can tell.

    All I'm asking for is my quote in context so that we can have objectivity on the thread.

    Seems that lefties don't like that so much.

  31. Carrick,

    "smells of xenophobia to me."

    Smells aside, reality is what it is. You don't get to chose who kills your daughter or your uncle with a plane. When they told me as a young man they wanted to kill me, I laughed. Then I saw it.

    I was a fool once, I will not be again. Your beliefs are noble but unfortunately for us all they are wrong.

    If you want details see my latest post. If you want more, I can email you but nobody else.

  32. Jeff Id

    I believe Brandon grabbed the video from a different year as I stated before. I’m not sure because the video I linked is very long. I didn’t see any pigs heads, I did not see megaphones because the cop banned them at the beginning of the video and the crazy bible thumper tried to argue and I did not see less than a couple hundred muslims.

    I googled the random words "bible severed pig's head" and got dozens of hits to the entire story. What was so hard about that? Why couldn't you check the validity of your story once it was pointed out to you that you might be wrong. And why when you were confronted about it, did you continue to perpetuate the lie that these bigots were just innocent bystanders and that hundreds of muslims participated in the violence, when only a handful actually reacted to the slurs.

    You wrote this lie after the fact:

    You can see they did not use megaphones as they were not allowed. Your claim is false. You can also see them being stoned and the back of their shirt says Jesus saves. Not a bad description of what happened. They were chased by the crowd with stones and boxes. There were hundreds of people, your claim is again false. The bible thumpers were crazy to go into an intolerant muslim community with signs and shirts. Of course, I’m not bible thumper so it always looks crazy.

    Of course this video is NOT what my comment was about, it was an example I used in my comment.

    This was not just an example you used in your comment, it was the proof to support your assertions regarding muslim behavior. You even added your personal experience about how you were born in that area and much of your family grew up there so stop trying to back down from it.

    So ask youselves, what is Brandon afraid of? What harm could come from putting my comment in full in this post. He certainly didn’t mind his extensive critique of things I didn’t say. Neither did you from what I can tell.

    What the hell do you keep on about this for? Is this extent of your argument? Who gives a rat's behind. If it's so important then post the quote yourself and stop being such a baby about it.

  33. Jeff ID:

    You don’t get to chose who kills your daughter or your uncle with a plane. [...] Your beliefs are noble but unfortunately for us all they are wrong

    There are 1.6 billion Muslims, and you are projecting the acts of the 9/11 terrorists onto everybody else, man, woman and child.

    Your whole behavior here is just extremely prejudicial, and I'm sorry for you that you can't think clearly enough on this to realize that..

  34. Brandon started this post with this quote from JeffID:

    "These are distinctly anti-western values. These values are things I want no part of in my country. Despite the demands of the intolerant left, I see no reason why I should accept these ignorant views as equal to my own. Like religion, or ridiculous political opinion, or Sharia law, all views are not created equal. There are many here who have already called this intolerance, I call it common sense."

    JeffID is objecting to "anti-western values" previously stated in his post elsewhere. I realize that Brandon wanted to discuss JeffID's biased characterization of the events that took place in Dearborn, but why include this part of the quote, out of context, when he didn't really need it? Why not just start in with the Dearborn episode right off? I suspect Brandon's selective quoting was for effect to paint JeffID as a bigot to reinforce his own position. Seems logical. I find that somewhat ironic though, given all the attention he gave to Mark Steyn's selective quoting.

    The events that transpired at the Muslim festival are not that interesting. I accept that JeffID probably mis-characterized them for effect. What the larger issue to me and what I want to know is, exactly what are those "anti-western values" to which JeffID objects, to which Brandon made reference but left out? It makes me wonder, are these so-called "anti-western values" real, is the perceived fear or threat of them justified, do Western values risk becoming diluted or changed by assimilating people who may not respect them? So what were those anti-western values that JeffID wrote about and that Brandon refereed to out of context?

    "Yes there are bad people of all relgions, but the reality of Islam as it is practiced can be seen across the cultures of the middle east. The repression of women legally and physically is rather hard to miss, as is what happens to those who wish to leave Islam. Then there is the blatantly obvious cries of god is great while committing mass murder as is voiceferously advocated by their religious leaders. Which modern Christian religious leaders are calling for mass murder in exchange for going to heaven?"

    You would have to be a hermit to not have read about numerous, if not hundreds of examples of these 'values' occurring around the world over the last decade or so. To use Brandon's favorite word, this is just insane. I don't know whether these are commonly held tenets of Islam or not. Maybe they are not, but that is what I'd like to know. The Dearborn Christians may be racist, bigoted Xenophobes, but I'm pretty sure they are not very representative of most Christians, at least the ones I know. They don't even represent the Western value of tolerance toward others, but these racist bigots probably won't cut your head off for not believing like they do. Many Syrian Christians have had their heads displaced by people of the Muslim faith for not seeing things the same way. Seems like there is reason to be alarmed.

    One thing that struck me about this post is the juxtaposition of one distinctly Western value, free speech, visa vis the intolerance of accepting it. Whether you agree or disagree with the values of the Dearborn haters, they probably had a right to protest. I am not speaking to whether or not they acted legally within their right, just to the idea that they possessed that right within the Western paradigm. Alternately, we have occasionally witnessed what happens when people of Western culture, at the hands of Muslims, when they exercise their free speech right ... think Charlie Hebdo. Intolerance comes in many forms and many levels. Are we quietly importing the kind of intolerance, a distinctly anti-western kind of intolerance, an intolerance that actually epitomizes the idea of xenophobia, into our collective culture? I think people are genuinely skeptical and afraid of this. I think the irony displayed by Brandon who tacitly apologizes for this behavior, ostensibly by ignoring it and inverting the focus, as this post does from the get go, is now pervasive and a little bit disturbing.

  35. tonyb:

    Brandon

    You talk about xenophobia.

    Are you seriously saying that it is wrong to be annoyed at the way that our 1500 year old christian culture, which is woven into the warp and weft of our country, is being changed into a completely alien culture against the express wishes of the people? And that parallel societies have been created with different values to the mainstream that reflect the views of those who gave settled here which are those often matching preenlightenment? Sharia courts have been allowed to proliferate, halal meat is routinely served to the general public our christian cilture subsumed so as not to offend others.

    I never said xenophobia is wrong. People have the choice to be xenophobic if they want. People can determine, based on their own moral codes, if xenophobia is something that should or should not be embraced. But it is xenophobia.

    And saying silly things won't change that. Nobody can change "out 1500 year old christian culture" because, as Carrick pointed out, the culture that currently exists is radicially different than the culture of 1500 years ago. Nor have "Sharia courts... been allowed to proliferate," as they basically don't exist anywhere they didn't exist five, or ten years ago save in that some territory in some parts of the Middle East come under different people's control. As for halal meat being served... I'm sorry, but if you think a change in what restaurants/grocery stores serves should be a determining factor in who gets to immigrate to your country, that's silly.

    Especially since halal meat is the same kind of meat you could otherwise find, just with certain restrictions. Seriously, halal just means "permissible." As in, halal meat is just meat which isn't forbidden by Islamic law. There are certain animals and certain parts of animals it can't contain, but otherwise, it's just meat. The only other differences between halal meat and any other meat is some rules about how the animal can be butchered - most of which are about how to treat the animal humanely.

    In other words, there's no real difference between the meat you're complaining about and plenty of the meat which you've eaten all your life. It may be true that halal meat is often associated with certain seasonings or other preparations you're not used to, and that may make it seem more different than it inherently is. That doesn't justify complaining about the meat itself though. Doing so just shows how little understanding there is to your complaints. To anyone who actually knows what halal meat is you sound ridiculous when you say, "halal meat is routinely served to the general public" as halal meat has been served to the general public by Muslim butchers for as long as Muslims have lived in these countries. You've probably eaten it many times throughout your life, never even noticing it.

    Just watched the video jeff posted at 5 .34

    It was a near riot. The police behaved very badly.so many young kids pouring out so much hate and the adults werent much better.i dont understand what point you are making if that is the video jeff originally commented on.

    MichaelS already explained what the point has been, so I'll just comment on another aspect of this. First, you just watched an anti-Muslim propaganda video by an antisemitic hate group. That you would trust it to be a fair depiction of what actually happened is depressing. The truth is readily available, and I've even provided links which make it easy to find. There was no near riot. In fact, if the police hadn't chosen to tacitly endorse the violence by refusing to make any meaningful effort to stop it, there wouldn't have even been violence. This is from the court decision I've mentioned several times:

    In summary, the Bible Believers attended the 2012 Festival for the purpose of exercising
    their First Amendment rights by spreading their anti-Islam religious message. When a crowd of
    youthful hecklers gathered around the Bible Believers, the police did nothing. When the
    hecklers began throwing bottles and other garbage at the Bible Believers, a WCSO officer
    intervened only to demand that the Bible Believers stop utilizing their megaphone to amplify
    their speech. Virtually absent from the video in the record is any indication that the police
    attempted to quell the violence being directed toward the Bible Believers by the lawless crowd of
    adolescents. Despite this apparent lack of effort to maintain any semblance of order at the
    Festival, each time the police appeared on the video—to reprimand the use of the Bible
    Believers’ megaphone, to suggest that the Bible Believers had the “option to leave” the Festival,
    to trot by on horseback while doing next to nothing, and to expel the Bible Believers from the
    Festival under threat of arrest—the agitated crowd became subdued and orderly simply due the
    authoritative presence cast by the police officers who were then in close proximity.

    Had the police chosen to intervene to keep order, there wouldn't have been any violence. That's not anything close to a riot. When you're getting close to having a riot, one cop coming by on horseback without actually saying or doing anything won't stop it.

    Now maybe that's difficult to realize due to selective editing used in that video to exaggerate what happened. I understand that. What I don't understand is why anyone would trust a video by known bigots to be fair or impartial. It's obvious propaganda people. You have to be a buffoon to take anything it shows without a grain of salt. For instance, the video doesn't show the multiple people who wanted to tried to get others to avoid violence. It doesn't show the fact these clips were taken from multiple incidents, with the violence having died down multiple times between some of them. And it certainly doesn't show that the Bible Believers yelled out slurs at the people in the crowd in order to provoke them.

    My personal favorite is how the Bible Believers yelled at the crowd their prophet was a pedophile who wants to molest children. That, combined with carrying signs that insulted their religion, doing things like calling Muslims thieves, could certainly be expected to provoke violence. You add to that the severed pig's head on a pole the Bible Believers were carrying around, and it's hardly surprising they got the reaction they got. The only surprise is that the police chose not to do their job of keeping the peace, allowing the violence to build and escalate. If the cops had done their job, there wouldn't have been violence.

    But of course, the cops were offended by the Bible Believers bigotry and didn't feel inclined to protect them. Because these guys are a vile, disgusting hate group nobody should support. I think the cops were wrong and I agree with the Court's decision to side with the Holocaust deniers because even disgusting people have rights, but on any moral or social level, people should hold only contempt for these men. That you and Jeff Id have insteaad chosen to unquestionably embrace their propaganda and defend them is obscene.

  36. Carrick,

    I wish that things had gone differently and these issues had never devolved to this point. But let me give you a little analogy:

    As a global warming skeptic, I accept that a small portion of the recent warming over the last century has been caused by humans. However, from studying the issue for many years, over many venues, discussing it with many people from both sides, and actually conducting some University research on the topic myself, I have concluded that the preponderance of the evidence points to the idea that the bulk of the warming is naturally caused and will not lead to catastrophe.

    In a similar vein of following the evidence around the world, the preponderance of violent intolerant acts are perpetrated by people of Muslim faith. Now, I'm not saying that all Muslims are intolerant. I'm not even saying that most Muslims are intolerant. I am saying that extreme acts of intolerance, however, seem to be mostly perpetrated by Muslims. I direct you to a Wiki link that lists acts of terrorism since July of 2015 to present: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents,_July%E2%80%93December_2015 . Look through the list of perpetrators and see for yourself why so many people express the concerns of Jeff ID. Do you think that might 'prejudice' their opinions?

    Now, in the USA you have the right to be intolerant. In the USA and other Western cultures, we have secular controls and restraints, as a cultural meme, even codified into law, that restrict and contain violent intolerant acts, while allowing for a vast array of beliefs to coexist. We have adapted, adopted and accepted the values underpinning those secular controls. You can even be a bigot, racist, xenophobe just as easily in a Western culture as in any other culture. But, here we don't usually kill people over those values and we generally accept that we don't do that. You don't have to look hard to find out what happens when those restraints are not present in some other cultures around the world.

    I would hope that we are not slowly diluting and corrupting those Western values of which we speak. I would wish that any Muslims living in this country openly embrace the values of freedom that embodies our culture. But one thing I detest, is being accused of being a racist, bigoted xenophobe for even bringing it up and talking about it when much of it is easily verifiable and cause for legitimate concern.

    I imagine the hoopla with Jeff ID is mostly a matter of pride, and that if he had vetted his example better he would have used something else. Just my two cents.

  37. JeffMT:

    JeffID is objecting to “anti-western values” previously stated in his post elsewhere. I realize that Brandon wanted to discuss JeffID’s biased characterization of the events that took place in Dearborn, but why include this part of the quote, out of context, when he didn’t really need it? Why not just start in with the Dearborn episode right off? I suspect Brandon’s selective quoting was for effect to paint JeffID as a bigot to reinforce his own position. Seems logical. I find that somewhat ironic though, given all the attention he gave to Mark Steyn’s selective quoting.

    This is fascinating. Jeff Id condemns me for not providing his full comment, and you criticize me for... providing too much of the comment. You can believe I chose to include an extra paragraph due to nefarious reasons, but you have no basis for that. I didn't focus on the extra paragraph you complain about. Nothing I said in this post depends on it. That means the entire basis for your idea I did this with nefarious intent is that I... included the paragraph in a quote.

    Now, I know what the truth it. You obviously don't have to believe what I say it is, and Jeff Id clearly won't, but the truth is I didn't put much thought into including that paragraph. When I wrote this post, I had initially quoted the entire comment. When I looked back over it, the quote seemed to run way long so I decided to cut out the parts that didn't seem necessary. Because I had quoted the phrase "common sense" from that paragraph, I decided not to delete it. That's all there is. The phrase "common sense" had been used a couple times in the thread over at lucia's, and I had wanted to refer to it when I wrote the post. Since I did, I wanted to include the paragraph where Jeff Id had claimed to be posting it.

    The events that transpired at the Muslim festival are not that interesting. I accept that JeffID probably mis-characterized them for effect. What the larger issue to me and what I want to know is, exactly what are those “anti-western values” to which JeffID objects, to which Brandon made reference but left out? It makes me wonder, are these so-called “anti-western values” real, is the perceived fear or threat of them justified, do Western values risk becoming diluted or changed by assimilating people who may not respect them? So what were those anti-western values that JeffID wrote about and that Brandon refereed to out of context?

    First off, this was not "the Muslim festival." I don't know why people criticizing me can't get basic details right. This was an Arab International Festival. While there were Muslims there, there were also many Christians and members of other religions as well. And atheists. I don't know why you would call this a Muslim festival, but... it wasn't.

    And while you might not find the events at the Arab International Festival interesting, they are what this post was about. If you are interested in some other issue, you could go look at Jeff Id's comment which I linked to. Or you could find any of a thousand other posts and articles where it was discussed. The simple reality is I didn't discuss the issue in this post, at all. That you would have the audacity to say:

    I think the irony displayed by Brandon who tacitly apologizes for this behavior, ostensibly by ignoring it and inverting the focus, as this post does from the get go, is now pervasive and a little bit disturbing.

    Is beyond obscene. That I pointed out Jeff Id was giving a incredibly misleading description of events, relying purely on a Anti-Muslim propaganda piece from an known hate group in no way says anything about the larger issue of terrorism from Islamic extremists. If I had wanted to talk about that issue, I would have. I didn't. Calling me an apologist for terrorists because I quoted a couple extra sentences which happen to refer to an issue during a 1500+ word post where i didn't write a single word about that issue is obscene.

    Now I wish I had written about the issue, just so I could have addressed the obscene rhetoric people like you and Jeff Id have been using. This is like labeling people condemning the useless torture programs the United States created as useless and immoral as terrorist apologists. Which was actually a thing, now that I think about it.

  38. There seem to be two "Bible Believer" groups. There's the group in Australia which disseminates anti-semitic hate propaganda (fraudulent documents like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion), and there's the group referenced by Jeff Id, who were attacked in Dearborn, Michigan, and whose leader is Ruben Israel. Their website is officialstreetpreachers dot com . I couldn't find any anti-semitic or Holocaust-denying material, nor any racism in my brief visit, although there was plenty of homophobia and misogyny.

    Brandon, did you check whether the second group are actually anti-semites and Holocaust deniers?

    FWIW I think Jeff paints inaccurately, and with too broad a brush, which isn't helpful.

  39. Whether the Bible Believers are Holocaust deniers or anti semites isn't really relevant to whether the group led by Ruben Israel was provoking an incident at the muslim festival by hurling bigoted slurs. The facts of that event in 2012, are on the record and aren't in dispute, other than in Jeff Id's mind.

    But if they're not Holocaust deniers then Brandon owes them a big, fat, wet apology. Where does he get off labeling them anti semites when all they are is anti muslims lol.

    Jeff Id introduced this topic in his comments at the Blackboard, when he stated that the behavior of the muslims, in response to being taunted and having slurs launched against them was, nothing but middle east style culture in evidence. Apparently, reacting with anger to a group hurling slurs at you is unique to middle eastern culture. Someone ought to let the Westboro Baptists in on that secret.

    I wonder what reaction a group of Muslims would received if they showed up at San Antonio's, Remember the Alamo festival, carrying a burning Texas flag and signs calling Jim Bowie a murderer and pedophile. I'm sure the festival goers would respect their right to free speech and just ignore them.

  40. oneuniverse, it looks like you are right. I'm embarrassed now. I was familiar with the Bible Believers group out of Australia before, and when I heard this group was the "Bible Believers" group, I thought they might be the same one. Naturally, I looked a bit at the things Israel Reuben, the guy who organized all this, preaches. I found hate speech against Muslims, Catholics, Mormons, homosexuals and various other groups, and I'll admit, I didn't look any further. I couldn't stomach what I was seeing so I stopped looking.

    Given the name was the same and they were publishing hate literature against many of the same religious groups (
    ), I just assumed the two groups were the same. It never occurred to me there might be two groups with the same name that say similar things that aren't related to one another.

    I'm going to take a little time to look into just what sort of vile nonsense the American Bible Believers group says so I can try to gauge how they are different from the Australian group. After I've done that, I'll try to write a new post highlighting my mistake and clarifying things. It might take a little while though. I keep getting nauseous when I read these things so trying to work out the nuances and subtle differences between these various hate groups is... not easy.

    Seriously, the Australian group talks about Muslims, referring to their religion as "The Cult of the Moon God." I saw Israel Reuben say the exact same thing about Muslims. I could go find a link as I just had a page open with an example, but I'm honestly too repulsed to do it right now. I mean, Reuben says things like:

    I reminded them I am a Christian not to be mistaken for a Muslim. Those are terrorists.

    He literally calls Muslims... all Muslims, terrorists. I wouldn't be surprised if he really does deny the Holocaust and post antisemitic things. I was obviously wrong to say so while mixing up the Australian with the American group, but... this guy is vile. I'm trying to read through his blog to see just how his group differs from the Australian one, but I don't know if I can. There's nothing he could say which would surprise me at this point because the more I read, the more I realize just how horrible the things he says and believes are.

    Incidentally, the little time I've spent on the American's group's site shows they travel to a number of other countries to spread the same "message." I suspect that didn't help my confusion. I don't know if they've ever been to Australia, but them working internationally doesn't help distinguish their group from other groups with the same name in other countries.

  41. Brandon,

    I missed your remarks about the Arab International Festival the first time round but you are correct, which makes the whole incident all the more preposterous.

    I'm guessing the fact that 10% of Arabs are non muslim is a detail lost on the Bible Believers.

  42. MichaelS, I agree whether or not the Bible Believers group in this particular incident (as opposed to the lawsuit I was familiar with over the Australian group) is antisemitic or made up of Holocaust deniers doesn't impact the underlying issues. Jeff Id promoted this propaganda piece by a hate group as proving Muslims are bad people when all it actually shows is when you intentionally provoke a crowd with bigoted signs, words and actions you can provoke a violent response. That is unchanged by the specific details of what people this group is bigoted against. Jeff Id's actions are reprehensible regardless of any of these details.

    But the issue is certainly relevant in that I screwed up. I saw a group preaching hate against many of the same people another group with the same name preaches hate against, and I just assumed the two were one in the same. Because of that, I made false accusations.* That was wrong of me. Not only was it wrong in that I was mistaken, but one of the worst things you can do for any cause is to overstate that cause. By making these accusations I may have shifted people's focus away from the horrible things this group has done. People should be able to universally condemn this group, without having to think or worry about a side-issue like this.

    *Or at least, accusations I currently have no reason to believe are true. I'm not willing to assume Israel Reuben and his group have never posted antisemitic literature just yet. Given I know they publish such against Mormons, Catholics, Muslims, homosexuals and atheists, I'm wouldn't be surprised if my accusations were true, simply by chance.

  43. Has "history ... shown the opponents of immigration were wrong", or has the impact of past immigration on culture and society been "inherently subjective"? One or the other.

    "Xenophobia", "Islamophobia", etc may have the correct literal meaning, but in actual use they are slurs

  44. Side note, the level of bigotry on display at Jeff Id's blog is incredible. My favorite is this comment, by the user Lynn Clark, which says:

    Jeff, I agree with everything you said. People like Brandon S and the rest of the commenters at Lucia’s blog are simply uninformed. A good reference for understanding Islam is the Islam 101 article at http://www.jihadwatch.org/islam-101. It’s quite long, but fairly comprehensive in describing the early history of Islam and consequently, why Islam “has bloody borders” wherever it gains traction.

    One thing I’d like to know more about is something that was discussed in an article somewhere a while back (I don’t have a URL for it, but this article is a good summary: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Cousin_Marriage_in_Islam — or this: https://www.pinterest.com/madeleinerue/islamic-inbreeding/). In Qur’an 4:23, Muhammed listed all the categories of relatives that are prohibited from marrying. It was a long list, but left out an important one: first cousins. As a consequence, for fourteen centuries in the Islamic world there has been an incredibly high occurrence of first cousins marrying. The article made the point that this much inter-marrying of first cousins over that long a time period would inevitably lead to unhealthy levels of genetic disoders, which might explain the seemingly large number of Muslims in the modern world who favor and/or engage in violence against infidels as a way of advancing Islam. I’m neither a Doctor nor a geneticist, so I can’t say whether the article’s conclusion is plausible or not, but am swayed by the fact that first-cousin marriage is generally frowned on or outright illegal in modern societies (apparently excluding Arabic and Islam societies).

    Yes, that's right. Jeff Id's blog is a place for people who think Muslims genetically predisposed to violence due to in-breeding. Even if one isn't already aware of enough facts to know this user has misrepresented things, I would like to think any site which claims to be for "skeptics" would have enormous pushback against such ludicrous ideas. That doesn't seem to be the case though. As far as I can tell, bigoted beliefs, no matter how absurd, aren't being criticized there.

    We'll see if anyone pushes back against the user Chuckrr for defending the idea of no-go zones, relying on a site which uses the same propaganda Jeff Id did. I doubt it. Even though the claims he makes are easily seen to be false, it doesn't appear any sort of skeptical mindset is at play here.

  45. k:

    Has “history … shown the opponents of immigration were wrong”, or has the impact of past immigration on culture and society been “inherently subjective”? One or the other.

    You're creating a false dichotomy by grossly distorting what I said via taking words out of context. I did not say history has shown the opponents of immigration were wrong. I said

    There is no actual evidence the rise in Muslim immigration will lead to any increased danger of anything. Immigration opponents have always used the same sort of arguments being used now, and they have always been little more than cheap excuses for protecting people’s view of what their country ought to be. This same sort of argument has been had in the United States with at least a dozen different ethnicities, and in each case, history has shown the opponents of immigration were wrong in what they said. I see no reason to believe it will be any different this time.

    I specifically said the people "were wrong in what they said" after describing what they said. There is no way anyone could reasonably misunderstand my remark in the way you have done. I have no explanation for why you did, assuming this wasn't an intentional misrepresentation, but you are responding to what appears to be a figment of your imagination. I'd suggest you try responding to what people say rather than the deranged misinterpretations you can come up with if you grossly distort people's comments.

    “Xenophobia”, “Islamophobia”, etc may have the correct literal meaning, but in actual use they are slurs

    I find the idea of labels for forms of bigotry being considered slurs rather amusing. I hope you'll forgive me if I don't put much stock in your judgment of what things are used to mean. Given your severe misrepresentation of what I said, I don't think you're a reliable source.

  46. Jeff MT:

    In a similar vein of following the evidence around the world, the preponderance of violent intolerant acts are perpetrated by people of Muslim faith.

    I'd say that most of the acts you hear about are from areas where Muslims are the dominant faith. That doesn't mean the people perpetrating the acts are driven by their Islamic faith to do so.

    If you step back from this a bit, you could have easily said "many of the violent acts originate in the Middle East". The Middle East isn't a religion, it's a geographic region.

    I don't think there is a good correspondence between anti-Muslim sentiments and skepticism on global warming. Skepticism of the impacts of AGW should be based on fact. Anti-Muslim sentiments are driven (even with Jeff IDs tirades) by emotion.

    Both, it happens, are planks of the right wing of the US political spectrum, so when I see one believing in both, it makes me wonder how much pure thought was put into either.

  47. Carrick, while I agree with you, I do have to wonder at the idea "the preponderance of violent intolerant acts are perpetrated by people of Muslim faith." I don't know just what acts one would consider to fit this category, but there are tons of countries in this world with lots of violence. Intolerance is hardly exclusive to Muslims, or even religions. If one examined all the violent, intolerant acts of the world, would "the preponderance of" them actually be committed by Muslims? I'm not convinced it would be.

    Take a look at all the violence that happens in South America and Africa. How would we tell which acts there are intolerant ones and which ones aren't? I don't know, but I think if you added them in with all the violence going on in eastern Asia and Central America, you'd probably get a large number. It might come down to whether or not you consider military actions to be "violent intolerant acts." A lot of people claim Israel's military strikes are due to intolerance. If you take that view, you have to add in a lot of violent acts from Jews.

    Of course, he probably didn't come up with a coherent definition or do any analysis before making that claim, so I might be overthinking things.

  48. So things over at Jeff Id's place are being as absurd as ever, and I don't mean on the bigotry level. Though there is that. A little while ago, Jeff Id wrote a comment which said, amongst other things:

    I told you I was willing to discuss it after you put the whole quote in your post. You have refused to acknowledge any of that. It simply isn’t worth my time to have the quote out of context and then respond to ridiculous accusation. The problem was so bad that I had to write my own post here.

    There is no context which makes that more clear. His "it" in the first sentence there has no possible antecedent given the discussion up to that point. You're welcome to look for yourself to see if you disagree, but honestly, I can't begin to guess what he was referring to.

    Regardless, what makes this interesting is he claims I "have refused to acknowledge any of that." I haven't refused to acknowledge anything. I haven't even been asked to acknowledge anything, so I'm not sure how I could have refused. Because of that, I said:

    No, I haven’t. Anyone can look for themselves and see I was never asked to acknowledge anything of the sort. You never said that here, and you never said it on my site despite making over a dozen comments to complain. If you had asked me to acknowledge that, I most likely would have (though I’m not sure just what “it” in your sentence referred to).

    Please quit making things up. It’s absurd how many times you’ve said things across these threads which the slightest examination would show is false.

    If somebody asks me to acknowledge they have said something, I will. Why wouldn't I? The idea I've refused to acknowledge something he said in his very first comment despite the exchange having over 30 comments now is silly. But still, he responded:

    Brandon,

    This is the part of blogging I don’t enjoy. I’m running a company now and don’t have time to look up quotes because you didn’t read them.

    You wrote above:
    ———–
    I told you I was willing to discuss it after you put the whole quote in your post. You have refused to acknowledge any of that.

    No, I haven’t. Anyone can look for themselves and see I was never asked to acknowledge anything of the sort. You never said that here, and you never said it on my site despite making over a dozen comments to complain.

    —————
    My FIRST comment:
    ...
    So lets keep this simple HAVE I or HAVE I NOT stated that I would discuss this if you expand the quote context. Were you accurate in your comment here or are you making things up or are you NOT READING carefully.

    I ellided the comment he quoted and a sentence directing people to a specific part of the comment because you can see the comment above on this page if you want. The part he highlighted was:

    I will address the rest depending on whether you decide to expand on your context or continue on this inaccurate path.

    That shows he "stated that I would discuss this if [I] expand the quote context" which has never been in dispute. What he had claimed was that I "have refused to acknowledge" he had said that. Proving he said something does nothing to prove I refused to acknowledge he said it. And yet, he presents it as though it does.

    I don't have words for how bizarre this is. It may be true I didn't explicitly acknowledge he said that in his initial comment, but people often choose not to explicitly acknowledge every sentence other people write. That isn't refusing to acknowledge things. It's simply not wasting everybody's time by stating the obvious, "You said X; I read that you said X." There had never been any dispute or doubt over whether or not Jeff Id had said that or that I was aware he had said it prior to him claiming I refused to acknowledge he had said it.

    But hey, maybe this is a new debating tactic. Whenever you're in a lengthy discussion, just wait until you're about 20 comments in then look for some undisputed statement nobody explicitly acknowledged. When you find one, start whining and moaning about how people refused to acknowledge it.

  49. Hi Brandon

    I had always vaguely assumed that shollenberger was a Germanic name, but if so you seem unaware of European history.

    Now, I view trump as a horrible racist but he strikes a chord in the US which may or may not be logical. However, In Europe there is a reason that many people dislike Muslims or are fearful of them or suspicious of them and that is because of their failure and refusal to integrate into the mainstream. Here is a useful history, further chapters available via the arrows at the top

    http://www.examiner.com/article/when-the-muslims-nearly-conquered-europe

    Muslims have over the last 1000 years conquered and ruled large parts of Europe, from Spain to Austria, Greece to Hungary and in the process destroyed Byzantium Rome . We view with suspicion and concern, a faith that has this history and who want to maintain large and growing separate and parallel communities within our society and who, through emigration and demographics, are becoming an ever larger and more assertive part of the culture and whose bloody expulsion in the past seems to be Lost on our leaders.

    In this context, very many of us view with concern and irritation the constant hordes of refugees, many of them not refugees at all, forcing their way into our continent and choosing not only which country they want to go to, but sometimes even the town. We also observe that very many of them are young men and many of them are not even Syrian.

    Various state intelligence bodies believe that tens of thousands of the migrants are hostile to us. Why do you think it unreasonable or racist to want to retain our own culture in view of our history and the sheer difficulty of getting people to integrate amidst concerns for our continued well being?

    By the way, I think you gave an apology of sorts about the video. Perhaps you can answer something that is puzzling me. The head wound by the undoubtedly unpleasant and foolish Christian leader was gained towards the end of the video. Until then I had seen no sign at all of the pigs head. Perhaps I missed it, but if not, when and where did it first appear?

    Tonyb

  50. Tonyb, I don't know why you would think I seem unaware of European history. If anything, I seem more aware of European history than you are. For instance, the link you provided is a terrible source which many modern historians would disagree with as contemporary records did not describe the Battle of Tours as any significant turning point. That's why many historians believe the force defeated by Charles Martel there was merely a raiding force, not a force intended to conquer all of France. This is a point historians disagree on so it is fine to believe the view expressed by the source you linked to, but to not even acknowledge the disagreement indicates either a strong bias on the topic or a lack of knowledge of matters.

    Similarly, any decent historian should cringe at the constant labeling you and your source do of these historical invaders as "Muslims." While it is true the empire invading was a Muslim empire, that doesn't mean it is appropriate to label them "the Muslims." It's little better than saying it was "the Christians" whenever France invaded a country under the guise of Christianity. The empire in question was the Umayyad Caliphate, which ended over 1200 years ago. You're blaming a religion for the actions of an empire which ruled under that religion over 1000 years ago. I hope you don't need me to point out how many atrocities I could assign to Christians under the same approach.

    I probably didn't need to say all that, but I wanted to make a point. I could say all that from memory, yet you claim I "seem unaware of European history" based upon... I don't know what. It seems the basis for your conclusion was nothing more than I don't agree with you on certain issues. Telling a person who knows far more about a subject than you they seem not to know about it when they've done nothing to indicate so is an horrible sign of bias. You might as well say, "I have no respect for you or your views because you're clearly uninformed and stupid." That's how anyone in my position will likely take your sort of remark.

    So no, I'm not going to address your concerns. I'm tired of putting up with people's nonsense. You've offended me, and I'm taking a break. Maybe I'll come back and talk about these things more later. Maybe. I don't know. Probably not if you're going to keep saying things like:

    By the way, I think you gave an apology of sorts about the video. Perhaps you can answer something that is puzzling me. The head wound by the undoubtedly unpleasant and foolish Christian leader was gained towards the end of the video. Until then I had seen no sign at all of the pigs head. Perhaps I missed it, but if not, when and where did it first appear?

    I have no idea why you would think I "gave an apology of sorts about the video." I haven't. I haven't said anything remotely resembling an apology about the video. It's bad enough you try to draw conclusions about my levels of knowledge on subjects and fail miserably, but there's no excuse with my words. At least with my thoughts and knowledge you don't have ready access to check the veracity of your beliefs. When it comes to what I have and have not said, you can look and read my comments.

    As for your question, let me be blunt. You're being stupid. Predicating any question on what happened in this situation on a video you've been informed is a propaganda piece is idiotic. Not seeing something in the video, whether for a period or the entire duration, shouldn't be taken to mean anything by anyone who is remotely sensible. Because, and I can't believe I have to explain this, you shouldn't trust propaganda, especially when its produced by hate groups.

    It would be trivially easy to find a source that is not propaganda. I've even provided links, including in the post, such as this one where an interested party could find all the pertinent facts listed in a court decision. In fact, it would take less time to find out the actual facts of the situation than it would to watch the entire propaganda film.

    But to answer your question, because... why not, these men were walking around a festival. The severed pig's head must have first appeared when they pulled it out of their vehicle when preparing to walk around the fesitval. It must have then been with them the entire time they walked around the festival because they never left the festival until they were kicked out. You would have known this if you had taken any time to familiarize yourself with the facts of the situation.

    Instead of, you know, relying solely upon a propaganda piece by a hate group.

  51. Carrick,

    your comment is exactly the reason the quote needs to be placed in context.

    "There are 1.6 billion Muslims, and you are projecting the acts of the 9/11 terrorists onto everybody else, man, woman and child.

    Your whole behavior here is just extremely prejudicial, and I’m sorry for you that you can’t think clearly enough on this to realize that.."

    It is discriminatory, my comment was meant to say that these people have too high a probability of causing problems - because their religion tells them to quite specifically. Brandon turned it into a bunch of nonsense.

    I get that your PC side doesn't want you to think that way but it is an objective review that has led me to this path. We are trained from birth to never assign any negatives to others religions, but it turns out that in reality, this particular religion is not nearly as benign as we expect. I linked a pew research poll at my own blog which is worth looking at. They discuss in detail the 92 percent of Muslims who answered most reasonably, but there were 7 percent of US muslims who felt that suicide bombings were sometimes necessary for protecting islam - it's like 180,000 people. 1 percent felt it was often necessary.

    You need to step back and objectively view this situation. It ain't your grandmas religion.

  52. Carrick,

    I also described 3 separate personal situations on my blog that were rather educational from my perspective. Despite the heads in the sand, I could have quoted a dozen other videos to make my point.

  53. By the way, I feel I should point out European countries had peaceful relations with a number of Muslim empires, off and on, following the Battle of Tours. Even before then, the Umayyad Caliphate accepted Christians (and Jews) into its nation. They weren't treated quite the same, but the inequality was no worse than many other sorts of inequality of the time. It wasn't even that uncommon for Christians and Muslims to get married.

    In other words, there was nothing particularly special about this. Yes, Muslim empires conquered a lot of territory. So did a number of other empires. And really, if you take out matters of how successful they were, what these Muslim empires did was no different than what European countries spent hundreds of years doing to one another. It's not like they were more brutal. In fact, they were less brutal than many Europeans were to one another.

    It wasn't really until the Crusades things between Muslims and Christians got bad. And I challenge anyone to tell me the Christians should be considered the innocent victims there.

  54. oneuniverse, it looks like you are right. [...] I’m going to take a little time to look into just what sort of vile nonsense the American Bible Believers group says so I can try to gauge how they are different from the Australian group. After I’ve done that, I’ll try to write a new post highlighting my mistake and clarifying things.

    Hi Brandon, thanks. If I was in your place, I would move quickly rather than taking my time in checking and if necessary correcting what looks to be a mistaken accusation that Jeff's defending a racist and anti-semitic group . After all, such an accusation may have serious consequences for Jeff, even if it turns out not to be true. IMO the decent thing to do is to retract the accusation until you've researched it properly (something you should ideally have done at the beginning).

  55. Jeff Id just repeated a claim he had made at his blog:

    I get that your PC side doesn’t want you to think that way but it is an objective review that has led me to this path. We are trained from birth to never assign any negatives to others religions, but it turns out that in reality, this particular religion is not nearly as benign as we expect. I linked a pew research poll at my own blog which is worth looking at. They discuss in detail the 92 percent of Muslims who answered most reasonably, but there were 7 percent of US muslims who felt that suicide bombings were sometimes necessary for protecting islam – it’s like 180,000 people. 1 percent felt it was often necessary.

    You need to step back and objectively view this situation. It ain’t your grandmas religion.

    Interestingly, I have already discussed this very claim here, just upthread. As I concluded there:

    Saying attacking a civilian population is justified is iin no way the same as saying such attacks are necessary. Anyone familiar with history of groups fighting off perceived oppressors knows there is a long history of debate over whether or not civilians are legitimate targetst. There have been many people who said they are legitimate targets yet argued against attacking them. This was quite an issue, for instance, in debates over what path the IRA should take in England. Even people who thought it might be justified to attack civilians often argued it was counter-productive or simply not necessary.

    That Jeff Id conflates some people saying a tactic is justified with them saying it is necessary is terrible. People are free to believe if a nation is taking immoral actions, the citizens of that nation bear responsibility for it and are thus legitimate targets for attacks. It may be an uncomfortable thing to hear, but there is nothing inherently irrational or immoral about it. Pretending anyone who says it is automatically calling for terrorism to happen is ridiculous.

    Jeff Id tells Carrick he "need[s] to step back and objectively view this situation." I find that rather amusing given it comes immediately after him giving an incredibly misleading description of what Muslims believe. I would normally suspect the person making obviously untrue claims is the one who has trouble being objective, but that's just me.

  56. Carrick,

    Because I respect you so much, I have a question I want to ask. I would rather do it somewhere else because of the ridiculousness Brandon has promoted but as I already replied to you here...

    I asked a question at my blog, one which I hope you will consider carefully. My full comment concluded that it seems ok to me to put a temporary moratorium on immigration of Muslims until we can resolve this problem. I didn't ask for them to be kicked out of the country or something crazy, just a temporary moratorium because their culture is not healthy.

    So at my blog, I asked in paraphrase, when is it acceptable in modern society for a person to make a cultural decision based on the safety of my family and preservation of our own way of life. If 50% of Muslims believe women are second class, is that a line where we could discuss their immigration based on beliefs? If 50% of them believed we should all be killed, would that be sufficient? Certainly that still leaves 50% good guys. Or is there no level at which you believe it is reasonable to discriminate against a group based on their own cultural biases.

    There is a line somewhere. Is it 90 percent murderers or 10 percent murderers or 1 percent.

    Now I'm not talking war, I'm not talking jail, I'm only talking about a temporary ban on immigration. Where is the line for you?

  57. oneuniverse:

    Hi Brandon, thanks. If I was in your place, I would move quickly rather than taking my time in checking and if necessary correcting what looks to be a mistaken accusation that Jeff’s defending a racist and anti-semitic group . After all, such an accusation may have serious consequences for Jeff, even if it turns out not to be true. IMO the decent thing to do is to retract the accusation until you’ve researched it properly (something you should ideally have done at the beginning).

    Hrm? I didn't call anyone racist. Being antisemitic doesn't require being racist. It's often used as a term for people who are prejudiced against Jews as a religious group. Given the American Bible Believers is a hate group which targets, at the very least: Catholics, Mormons, Muslims and Hindus, it's clear they are prejudiced against religious groups. What serious consequences do you think could arise from incorrectly adding one more religion to the list, if that is in fact what I have done?

    Incidentally, it's trivially easy to see the American Bible Believers hold that Jews will go to hell. The only question is whether or not they actively preach against Jews.

  58. But because of you saying you think I should quickly apologize oneuniverse, I went ahead and checked the results of the scraping I did of the American Bible Believer's website. It turns out yes, they do preach against Jews just like the other religions I listed. So yes, they are antisemitc like I said. The only thing I said that was actually wrong was that they post material denying the Holocaust.

    So... yeah. I'm intending to write a blog post to announce the correction and explain what happened. I don't see any harm in taking a little time to write the post. I'm pretty sure there is no harm someone would suffer for accurately being said to defend a vile hate group that spreads bigotry while inaccurately having the additional claim made the group denies the Holocaust.

  59. Brandon,

    Many people have seen the false narrative you have assigned to me now. You might want to reconsider.

  60. Jeff Id:

    Brandon,

    Many people have seen the false narrative you have assigned to me now. You might want to reconsider.

    I'm not sure anybody could even guess what you're talking about at this point, but I'm confident no fair-minded individual would think your comments have been accurate or your behavior has been appropriate. On the other hand, I think fair-minded people would agree my comments have been largely accurate and I have behaved myself reasonably well.

    I am sure you may disagree with this, but you are also the one who continues to insist it is appropriate to describe a group of people yelling bigoted remarks, carrying signs with hateful messages and parrading severed pig's heads on poles around as merely "a few guys with Jesus loves shirts." You are also the one who has now, on multiple occasions, claimed people who said they believe terrorist attacks against civilian populations can be justified actually said such attacks are necessary.

    But what is most incredible is for all your complaints, you have yet to point to a single word I said in this post that is inaccurate.

  61. Brandon:

    I didn’t call anyone racist.

    I wrote that you accused Jeff of defending a racist, anti-semitic group - there's a difference. You're wrong by the way, you did actually call some people racist, namely Ruben Israel's group ("the racist Christians Jeff Id portrays as innocent victims"). As I said, I couldn't find anything on their website discriminating against people on the basis of their race, neither could I find any Holocaust denial (but plenty of homophobia and misogyny, and promises of hellfire for those of other religions and "general heathen"). It wasn't a thorough search, but it wasn't cursory either. I have to say I was expecting to find racist material as well.

    I'm also not sure if it's correct to say they are anti-semitic, as it seems that they're saying that adherents of all other religions other than Christianity are going to hell - they're didn't seem to be singling out those of the Jewish faith, at least not in the articles I saw - I may well be wrong.

  62. Because this is just too incredible, I'm cross-posting my latest comment from Jeff Id's site here as well:

    Jeff Id, what are you smoking? The fact I didn't explicitly acknowledge every sentence in every comment you wrote in no way makes this a sane or rational response:

    Ahhh, I see. Your lack of acknowledgement is not sufficient for me to observe that you refuse to acknowledge it. In reality you were secretly acknowleging it but weren’t going to admit it until I asked you. Got it.

    So basically you were too emotional about the issue to put my quote in context and have a discussion. Got that too — so I put it here, where more people can read it anyway.

    Rational people understand people don't specifically acknowledge every thing other people say. They don't wait 24+ hours and 20+ comments without saying a word on the issue then suddenly make accusations the reason someone didn't specifically acknowledge one thing they said was they refuse to acknowledge it.

    There is nothing remotely surprising or nefarious about someone reading a comment you write and responding without specifically acknowledging every sentence you write in it. If you think otherwise, you are insane.

    Jeff Id wrote something in his first comment here. I read it but didn't feel it required any specific response. He didn't make an issue of it at the time. Nor did he make an issue of it in any of the next 20+ comments he wrote over the next 24+ hours. But then suddenly, out of nowhere, he randomly accused me of refusing to acknowledge it. And when I pointed out how ridiculous that was, explaining how normal people have discussions, he claimed that is nefarious.

    This is beyond insane.

  63. oneuniverse:

    I wrote that you accused Jeff of defending a racist, anti-semitic group – there’s a difference.

    I don't see how there is a meaningful difference between saying I called anyone a racist and saying I accused Jeff Id of defending a racist group. To accuse Jeff Id of defending a racist group, I'd have to label the group racist, meaning I'd have to call people racist. Which I wasn't doing in any of my accusations. You note one exception:

    You’re wrong by the way, you did actually call some people racist, namely Ruben Israel’s group (“the racist Christians Jeff Id portrays as innocent victims”).

    But that was just due to poor editing on my part. I also refer to the group shouting racist slurs. When I was typing the post, I couldn't think of a way to phrase the sentences to indicate anti-religious bigotry, so I typed "racist" as a placeholder. I meant to go back and replace them before uploading the post. I actually did replace a couple others. I apparently missed two though. You'll note though, I didn't repeat any claims of racism in comments here, on Jeff Id's site or anywhere else.

    I’m also not sure if it’s correct to say they are anti-semitic, as it seems that they’re saying that adherents of all other religions other than Christianity are going to hell – they’re didn’t seem to be singling out those of the Jewish faith, at least not in the articles I saw – I may well be wrong.

    Um... what? You do realize being prejudiced against every group but your own still means you're prejudiced, right? A person who is prejudiced against Jews is antisemitic no matter how many other religious groups they are prejudiced against. I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. If you're just saying the fact they say Jews will go to hell doesn't make them antisemitic... okay, but I have no idea why you would say that in response to a comment which says:

    Incidentally, it’s trivially easy to see the American Bible Believers hold that Jews will go to hell. The only question is whether or not they actively preach against Jews.

    Especially not when the next comment indicates I looked for and found material on the site showing the group preaches against Jews the same way they do against other groups. So I really don't know what point you're making by saying this group doesn't single Jews out when it comes to saying who will go to hell. While that's a true statement, it's one which doesn't tell us anything useful.

    Incidentally, I'm still curious what harms you think any inaccuracies in my accusations could possibly cause.

  64. Brandon, FWIW if you look at their page on Mormonism, Ruben Israel appears to be denouncing the (anti-black) racism of Mormon's Brigham Young, and defending the Jewish against Young's accusation that they're cursed because of their responsibiility for the death of Jesus (according to Young), which was the classic justification of European "Judenhass" .

    Maybe he contradicts himself in other documents, but there he's going in the opposite direction to racist and classically anti-semitic tropes.

  65. oneuniverse -

    ==> "After all, such an accusation may have serious consequences for Jeff, even if it turns out not to be true."

    What would those serious consequences be?

  66. I'm tired bud. I've done my best here to explain my perspective. You have fabricated a bunch of shit about me siding with an anti-semetic, racist group which I never did, and now we find out the group doesn't exhibit those characteristics. They are still crazy Brandon, they did intend to make some ridiculous point, but they were violently stoned by hundreds of muslims. Despite your claims that there were less. They did not use megaphones because the cops told them not to. I didn't see the pigs head on review the second time either but that doesn't mean it wasn't there somewhere, and were it there it doesn't change anything with respect to the point I made.

    You made up a lot of garbage and tried to assign those beliefs to me. It is disgusting and dishonest.

    You have written that you didn't feel the need to respond to my first comment yet in the half dozen other one sentence comments you have spammed the internet about, I requested the same thing.

    You sir, are not honest.

    You are a liar, and intentionally dishonest person who values winning an argument over truth. I don't write that often but when I do, I mean it. Liar, loser and in my opinion unhinged. I'm really sorry that I have read at your blog in the past.

    I don't believe ALL Muslims are evil -- never have, never will. I don't believe most Muslims are evil. I don't believe all liberals are evil either. I don't believe bible thumpers are good people by definition either even considering your nonsense. I have defended none of it - despite your ranting claims. I do believe that the Muslim religion has a serious problem in its core culture because I'm not going to tolerate the subjugation of women in America and I frankly don't care about the rest of the world. The UK can have as much fun with it as they want. I will also not accept Sharia law.

    All I said was -

    We certainly don’t need more of that in the US or anywhere else in the world. I’m no fan of Trump either because it doesn’t make sense to me to trade one narcissist for another, but I certainly wouldn’t mind stopping all muslim immigration for a period of time. I’ve seen enough of it and want no part of their archaic lifestyle, belief system, repression of women, nor do we need to add another layer of nonsensical Sharia law. It certainly wouldn’t harm the US to say no to Syrian immigrants either. The very slight additional risk of bringing any of these people over is not worth it in my opinion, but compared to the rest of the nightmare this nonsensical world is, the issue barely makes the radar.

    I don’t have any real answers to any of this but when faced with a group which behaves in a manner incompatible with freedom, we must see it with clear eyes. We cannot pretend that evils by individual Christians are equal to Imams demanding self-sacrifice against innocent people so their followers can go to heaven. It’s simply not a reasonable opinion to hold.

    Hardly a comment about an evil repression of an evil world. Instead it is a comment about rational pullback from a culture incompatible with our lifestyle.

  67. Brandon:

    Incidentally, I’m still curious what harms you think any inaccuracies in my accusations could possibly cause.

    I'd thought it be obvious. People might wrongly think that Jeff is a racist or a Holocaust denier because that's what you falsely accused the group Jeff linked to of (the group you accuse him of defending). This can affect others' decisions in their social and professional dealings with him. It's not complicated, is it?

  68. Joshua:

    What would those serious consequences be?

    Is this really so difficult to comprehend ? I don't befriend racists or Holocaust deniers (or more pertinently, those I believe to be so), neither do I give them any of my business. Multiply that by the rest of the population of who feel the same way , and it becomes very consequential.

  69. oneuniverse:

    Brandon, FWIW if you look at their page on Mormonism, Ruben Israel appears to be denouncing the (anti-black) racism of Mormon’s Brigham Young, and defending the Jewish against Young’s accusation that they’re cursed because of their responsibiility for the death of Jesus (according to Young), which was the classic justification of European “Judenhass” .

    Maybe he contradicts himself in other documents, but there he’s going in the opposite direction to racist and classically anti-semitic tropes.

    Are you saying bigotry against Jews isn't antisemiticism because it isn't the typical racist antisemiticism you're used to? If not, I have no idea what point you might be trying to make. I've already established I'm not accusing this group of being racist, so pointing out it isn't resorting to racist bigotry isn't exactly informative.

    I’d thought it be obvious. People might wrongly think that Jeff is a racist or a Holocaust denier because that’s what you falsely accused the group Jeff linked to of (the group you accuse him of defending). This can affect others’ decisions in their social and professional dealings with him. It’s not complicated, is it?

    I'm at a loss as to how you think incorrectly accusing someone of defending an antisemitic group which denies the Holocaust when in reality it doesn't deny the Holocaust would make anyone think they are a racist. And that's what I've mostly done. Aside from two errant uses of the word "racist" in this post, my comments have consistently referred to this as antisemitic, which doesn't specify racism as the form of bigotry. Prejudice against Jews as a religious group is a form of antisemiticism, and most people are aware of that.

    Besides which, anyone reading my comments would see I've never done anything to suggest Jeff Id is a member of this group. I've never attributed a reason to his decision to defend them. People would have to stretch very far to misread anything I've said as painting Jeff Id as a racist in the way you suggest they would.

    But that said, the more I think about it, the less I'm sure it is wrong to refer to this as racism. Arabs as a whole are constantly being labeled Muslims in this discussion. Given that, it would seem hatred directed at Muslims is hatred directed at Arabs. That would be racism. When people conflate an Arab International Festival with a gathering for Muslims then express hatred for Muslims, they're expressing hatred for all Arabs. That's racism. Or at least, that seems a pretty solid argument to me.

  70. oneuniverse:

    Is this really so difficult to comprehend ? I don’t befriend racists or Holocaust deniers (or more pertinently, those I believe to be so), neither do I give them any of my business. Multiply that by the rest of the population of who feel the same way , and it becomes very consequential.

    To be clear, are you saying you do befriend people who espouse bigotry toward Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and Hindus? I ask because there's no dispute this group espouses hatred toward those groups, and I've repeatedly made it clear in my comments this group is a hate group. That means the only way your idea of harm could be true is if the harm you have in mind would arise from the claims of antisemiticism/Holocaust denial but not from the other forms of bigotry.

    I'm seriously struggling to understand your point here. Your comments seem like saying, "You're right to say this group is a vile hate group that espouses all sorts of bigotry, but you might cause serious harm if you incorrectly say they espouse bigotry toward this one particular group!" I'm all for accuracy, and I fully plan to acknowledge my mistakes (the post would actually come along faster if not for me responding to you), but... I'm at a loss as to what serious harm you think might be caused here.

    Jeff Id effectively defended a vile hate group. Do you really think people's opinions of things would be much influenced by just which specific groups this hate group espouses bigotry toward?

  71. Jeff Id:

    I’m tired bud. I’ve done my best here to explain my perspective. You have fabricated a bunch of shit about me siding with an anti-semetic, racist group which I never did, and now we find out the group doesn’t exhibit those characteristics.

    I didn't fabricate anything. You've never once addressed my accusations with anything moresubstantive than, "Nuh-uh." Moreover, the group exhibits all the bigotry I claimed. It just reserves its bigotry for religious and social groups, not ethnic/racial groups. If you think that is a substantive point which affects anything, I believe you are wrong.

    They are still crazy Brandon, they did intend to make some ridiculous point, but they were violently stoned by hundreds of muslims. Despite your claims that there were less. They did not use megaphones because the cops told them not to. I didn’t see the pigs head on review the second time either but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there somewhere, and were it there it doesn’t change anything with respect to the point I made.

    Jeff, you're still continuing to deny this group used a megaphone even though the video you posted clearly shows they did use a megaphone. I don't know why you would do this. I also don't know why you would claim "they were violently stoned by hundreds of muslims" when you can't even know the people involved were all Muslims (and no, there were not hundreds throwing stones). But hey, it's good to know you're backing down from your denial of the fact this group carried a severed pig's head on a pole and now accepting the possibility it might be true.

    Of course, having photographic evidence would normally make a person just admit that it is true. As would the court documents which clearly state that it was there. Heck, the group even talked about carrying it in its interviews with the press, and you can find pictures they posted of themselves with it on their website. But... hey, at least you now accept that it is possibly true. That's a step in the right direction.

    You made up a lot of garbage and tried to assign those beliefs to me. It is disgusting and dishonest.

    You keep making baseless accusations you refuse to back up, all while saying things which are obviously false, like:

    You have written that you didn’t feel the need to respond to my first comment yet in the half dozen other one sentence comments you have spammed the internet about, I requested the same thing.

    Anyone with basic reading skills can see I never said I "didn't feel the need to respond to [your] first comment." Not only is that not remotely close to what I actually said, it is completely nonsensical as I did respond to that comment.

    But sure, keep calling me a dishonest liar. Basically everything you say is demonstrably false, to the point simply reading a few sentences is enough for people to see you're full of it. Most of what you say are vague accusations, and whenever you do get specific, what you say is false. I won't resort to rhetoric to try to draw conclusions about what this says about you. All I'll say is it's a pathetic waste of everybody's time.

  72. Brandon:

    I’ve already established I’m not accusing this group of being racist, so pointing out it isn’t resorting to racist bigotry isn’t exactly informative.

    I was saying that they'd spoken out against racism (at least in that article), which is different to merely not resorting to racism, so it's informative.

    Are you saying you do befriend people who espouse bigotry toward Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and Hindus?

    No, quite the opposite.

    That means the only way your idea of harm could be true is if the harm you have in mind would arise from the claims of antisemiticism/Holocaust denial but not from the other forms of bigotry.

    Maybe you don't understand the concept of degrees: religious bigotry is bad, adding homophobia makes it worse, racism would make it additionally worse and Holocaust-denial would continue the worsening. Similarly, people's reactions to the badness can vary according to the perceived magnitude: "Let's not do business with them" vs. "Let's inform all our friends and colleagues not to do business with them either " vs. "Let's organise a campaign to put these monsters out of business" etc. False accusations will falsely inflate the magnitude.

  73. I fully plan to acknowledge my mistakes (the post would actually come along faster if not for me responding to you)

    Please don't let me keep you. My priority would be issuing a correction.

  74. I cannot try to correct your wordy comments. Things I did not say, nor did I imply. Which of a hundred accusations of depravity should I address.

    I've been blogging since 2008, quite popularly, you have accused me of more things than I have seen from the ENTIRETY OF THE INTERNET, including Stuphan Lew, all over a comment with a couple dozen sentences.

    Take a deep breath big guy.

  75. Oneuniverse

    Hi Brandon, thanks. If I was in your place, I would move quickly rather than taking my time in checking and if necessary correcting what looks to be a mistaken accusation that Jeff’s defending a racist and anti-semitic group . After all, such an accusation may have serious consequences for Jeff, even if it turns out not to be true. IMO the decent thing to do is to retract the accusation until you’ve researched it properly (something you should ideally have done at the beginning).

    Oh please, what a bunch of bs. For all Jeff knew, they were racists and anti semites because he couldn't even be bothered checking on the very story he used to support his phobic views. Even when their behavior was brought to light, he "doubled down" on it, as Brandon put it. He was so concerned, he not only refused to check it out himself, he continued perpetuating a lie that these individuals were innocent bystanders. Yeah, some serious consequences.

    These people are pigs who promote hatred and intolerance. They incite violence by slandering other religious groups and promoting bigotry against those with whom they disagree. Whether they're racists, bigots, anti semites, anti muslim, Holocaust deniers, who gives a sh*t, they're filth either way, so you can save the faux concern for someone who's actually offended by being associated with this human waste.

  76. oneuniverse -

    ==> "Is this really so difficult to comprehend ?"

    I don't know how difficult it is to comprehend. Not sure what that has to do with anything:

    ==> "I don’t befriend racists or Holocaust deniers (or more pertinently, those I believe to be so), neither do I give them any of my business."

    I find it quite unlikely that anyone is going to not befriend Jeff or give him business because someone (rightly or wrongly) said or implied that Jeff defended racists or holocaust deniers. IMO, your concern that might happen is pretty much standard blog-o-spheric drama queening...whereby you're blowing what happens in these threads waaaaaaaaay out of proportion.

  77. oneuniverse:

    Maybe you don’t understand the concept of degrees: religious bigotry is bad, adding homophobia makes it worse, racism would make it additionally worse and Holocaust-denial would continue the worsening. Similarly, people’s reactions to the badness can vary according to the perceived magnitude: “Let’s not do business with them” vs. “Let’s inform all our friends and colleagues not to do business with them either ” vs. “Let’s organise a campaign to put these monsters out of business” etc. False accusations will falsely inflate the magnitude.

    I have no idea why you'd suggest I might not "understand the concept of degrees." My comments to you directly deal with just that, pointing out the degree of harm caused by any inaccuracy in what I said would be dependent upon what it was surrounded by. That's the very reason I expressed disbelief at your suggestion this could possibly cause serious harm. The difference in degree between what you describe is far too minor to cause the sort of harm you suggested it might cause.

    I've got to agree with MichaelS here. He's right in that since Jeff Id didn't care about what this group was or did, the specifics really don't make much difference. Jeff Id would have minimized any sort of bigotry from these guys, so even if they aren't racists, it doesn't change that he would have been willing to cover it up if they were. That makes it basically impossible for there to be any damage like you claim as even if he didn't do what I said, this incident proves he would have been willing to. The difference is so immaterial it couldn't possibly cause serious harm to his reputation.

  78. Jeff Id:

    I cannot try to correct your wordy comments. Things I did not say, nor did I imply. Which of a hundred accusations of depravity should I address.

    I’ve been blogging since 2008, quite popularly, you have accused me of more things than I have seen from the ENTIRETY OF THE INTERNET, including Stuphan Lew, all over a comment with a couple dozen sentences.

    If you have any difficulty handling the discussion, I would suggest you look at how you have chosen to participate in this discussion. You have constantly made false ]accusations so vague they couldn't be understood, much less examined and refused to elaborate. You've then made numerous factual claims which were false, sometimes choosing to drop these claims when they were proven false but other times choosing to simply repeat them while ignoring the disproof that was offered. And most importantly, you've constantly made things up about what I've said, misrepresenting my remarks in ways so bizarre nobody could possibly guess at how you came up with them.

    Put simply, the reason there are a large number of accusations against you is you keep saying more and more obviously untrue things while ignoring most of what I say, constantly refusing to admit any of the many mistakes you've made. It's rather cheeky to blame it on me. You're literally making mistakes then blaming me for pointing them out because there are so many.

  79. oneuniverse -

    Well, you can breathe easier now. Brandon wrote the post. Your concerns have been addressed.

    Jeff now won't lose any business or be passed over for friendships.

  80. Brandon

    You said;

    'Telling a person who knows far more about a subject than you they seem not to know about it when they’ve done nothing to indicate so is an horrible sign of bias.'

    No you don't.

    I linked to a whole series of pieces covering hundreds of years. None of them are perfect as history is always being revised. I could have linked to more, but none would give a 100% accurate picture. It is absurd for anyone to claim muslims are inherently evil. Of course they are not.

    Their religion however, as well as many plus points, does have a number of traits that do not fit well with the western world, not helped by the acute differences between the two main sects.

    Misogyny, anti semitism, fmg, arranged marriages, forced marriages, hatred of homosexuals, Human rights. They are not traits I want to see expanded, excused or accepted on my continent. That does not mean I am racist or islamopohobic, just one who prefers my own culture and wants to see it remain the prime mover in my country and my continent as it has been for centuries. Lets leave it there

    Thank you.

    tonyb

  81. Joshua, I wonder whether Jeff shares your lack of concern, even if this is a quiet corner of the internet. You're presumably aware that occasionally these things can snowball. Anyway, I do care about Jeff (and Brandon), even if I don't personally know them. The fact that you perceive my concern as "drama-queening" isn't really relevant to me.

    Brandon, thank you for the correction.

  82. Oneuniverse,

    I can answer that question. Jeff indeed shares Joshua's lack of concern as evidenced by one of his most recent posts at 8:00pm last night, in which he continues to lie about the events that took place at the Arab Festival in 2012.

    Despite the easily available evidence that these individuals were inciting hated and trying to draw the crowd into a confrontation (to which only a handful out of the tens of thousands in attendance, reacted), he continues to stick his fingers in his ears and say, la, la, la, la, I didn't see it so I don't know if it happened.

    You seem more concerned about his reputation than he is. Why is that?

  83. Michael, you're free to conflate true accusations of religious bigotry and homophobia with what appear to be false accusations of racism and Holocaust-denial, I decline to do so. Note the distinction, one is true, the other is false.

  84. tonyb:

    ‘Telling a person who knows far more about a subject than you they seem not to know about it when they’ve done nothing to indicate so is an horrible sign of bias.’

    No you don’t

    Interesting. You had said I seemed to not be aware of European history. You then linked to an objectively bad source as a reference on historicial details while providing no meaningful information of your own. I responded by, from memory, providing nuanced context with accurate references to names of people, events and empires. Based on this, I concluded I know more about the subject than you. You state, with certainty, that's not true.

    I'm tired of the topics surrounding bigotry, so I'd like a break. As such, I'm going to apply a rule this site has. It doesn't come up a lot, but, as a rule, whenever a person makes a factual statement, anyone can demand they provide support for that statement. Once this happens, the person must answer the demand in a direct manner, such as by providing the evidenciary basis they have for their claim or perhaps acknowledging they overstated the certainty of it. As this is an implementation of a moderation rule, the person may not continue to post on the site unless they are willing to abide by that requirement.

    So tonyb, you've stated, with certainty, I do not know more about this subject than you. That statement has been challenged under this site's rules. Please address the challenge in a direct manner.

  85. And for anyone watching, yes, I realize this is a bit of a dick move. People often state things about other people with certainty they couldn't know to be true. I don't actually know that I know more about European history than tonyb. I've explained the basis for my statement I do just above, and it clearly doesn't support me stating that I do as a fact. He would have been free to call me out on it. I would have had no problem with that. I think when people say things about other people they couldn't actually know to be true, it is perfectly reasonable to insist they admit they couldn't know those things to be true. Or to at least explain what makes them so sure they're right.

    So by all means, feel free to apply this same rule if you want. It's a rule anyone can apply whenever they want. It can even be applied toward me. If someone wants me to explain a statement I make as a factual claim, they can demand I do so, and I will, no matter what. I don't hold myself above the rules here.

  86. oneuniverse
    December 17, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Michael, you’re free to conflate true accusations of religious bigotry and homophobia with what appear to be false accusations of racism and Holocaust-denial, I decline to do so. Note the distinction, one is true, the other is false.,

    What you decline to do or not do, is of absolutely no interest to me. You are incidental.

    Meanwhile, there are bigots who have committed mass genocide, while there are racists who have only posted their views on blogs. There are homophobes who have committed murder and Holocaust deniers who have only carried signs. There are white religious protesters who have blown up clinics, yet muslim protesters who have marched peacefully.

    Hate is hate and the only people who don't seem to get that are the hairsplitters who talk about "degrees of bad" as if being a Holocaust denier is somehow worse than being a racist, which is worse than being a homophobe, which is in turn worse than being a bigot. Who put you in charge of defining degrees of hate. Does the gay man who reads about a homosexual being murdered, feel any less horror than the Jew who sees a Holocaust denier's sign.

    What is of interest to me, is your angst over Jeff's reputation? Why are you more concerned than he appears to be.

  87. oneuniverse -

    ==> "Joshua, I wonder whether Jeff shares your lack of concern, even if this is a quiet corner of the internet."

    It isn't only that it's a quiet corner of the Internet. It's that (1) accusations of racism and such are all over the Internet in blog comment threads, with little actual impact on anyone's lives although people drama queen the impact, (2) anyone whose interested in whether Jeff's a racist (or supports bigotry) would presumably look at the reasons why the claim was made and determine for themselves their veracity, (3) Jeff put himself out there, well-knowing that many people would interpret his comments as either bigoted or supportive of bigots, and so the responsibility lies on him and, (4) Jeff is quite happy to make similar kinds of derogatory comments about other people on the Internet himself. If Jeff is concerned about losing new friends or business because Brandon made some assertions you think are unfounded, I suggest that you can help him to put on his big boy pants, stop engaging on line in blog comments, or conduct himself differently when doing so.

    ==> "You’re presumably aware that occasionally these things can snowball. "

    Snowball? What kind of snowballing to you think is a concern here?

    ==> "Anyway, I do care about Jeff (and Brandon), even if I don’t personally know them. The fact that you perceive my concern as “drama-queening” isn’t really relevant to me."

    I commend you for being concerned, but I'm suggesting that you're concern is rather unnecessary. I'm saying that it's extremely unlikely that either of them will have their lives affected materially by this whole dime-a-dozen kind of blogospheric food fight, and even it it were, they each acted in the way that they acted with full knowledge of how these kinds of food fights devolve into ugly name-calling.

    ==> "The fact that you perceive my concern as “drama-queening” isn’t really relevant to me."

    That's fine. And your concern about the damage to Jeff's reputation isn't really relevant to me.

  88. oneuniverse -

    I'll also point out that it may well be, and while I'd say it's probably extremely unlikely, it's probably more likely than your conjecture, that you haven't accounted for the possibility that Jeff will in balance win friends and business because people out there see him as some poor victim of Brandon's political correctness. Indeed, it seems that many people of Jeff's ideological orientation respond quite favorably when these kinds of events occur - just witness the consolidation of support around Trump's policy suggest of suspending any admission of Muslim immigrants into the country. Among a certain subset of the population, that kind of posturing on Trump's part has boosted his support quite notably - to the point where at least for now, he has support from a significant plurality of Republicans responding to polling on the Republican primary.

    The bottom line, is that people (IMO) are most likely to interpret this food fight completely in line with their preexisting orientation on these topics. People who align with Jeff ideologically will see him as a victim of Brandon's political correctness. People who align with Brandon ideologically will see Jeff as lashing out because his bigotry and/or support for bigots has been spotlighted by Brandon's comments.

    It's sameosameo.

    That is the main reason that your concern seems unfounded to me, and why it appears to me to be drama-queening.

  89. Brandon

    Sigh...Talk about two nations divided by a common language...no you don't is referring to 'oh No you don't, youre tryIng it on, 'I.e Accuse me of some horrible bias. You parse things to such an extent sometimes that you miss the overall context. Several things you said made me wonder if you were ThaT conversant with European history I helpfully( I thought) politely suggested you seem to be unaware not that you were unaware.

    Europe is currently being invaded. In the past it has been invaded. The source provided to you offered a good overview of hundreds of years of European history. As such it was useful as it explains the attitudes of such as the Greeks and Hungarians. I don't claim it to be definitive as that would require you to read several books that I think provide a good detailed history.

    Tonyb

  90. Yeah, I'm done. I was actually writing a comment about how it is ridiculous to complain that people don't understand you write simple sentences with the intent they not be interpreted as written, but rather be interpreted in some idiomatic manner. I commented on the absurdity of claiming saying a person seems unaware of something is the same as suggesting they seem unaware that they are unaware of it. I said more. But then I got down toward the bottom of the comment, and I saw;

    Europe is currently being invaded. In the past it has been invaded.

    I'm done. I'm walking away now. You don't want me to say anything more at this point.

  91. Brandon

    Two things

    First the author of the article you dislike so much is a perfectly reasonable historian who has been teaching the subject for some Years. If you know more about the subject than him then good luck to you. I generally visit Europe three times a year on informal history tours and generally visit similar places in the UK five or six times a year. I wasn't able to follow the entirety of the context of your current article in real time as I was staying in a hotel in Exeter after taking a tour of the roman walls and cathedral.

    Secondly you seem to have sidestepped the original issues we were discussing

    Firstly halal meat is not the same as ordinary meat. For one thing a proportion of the animals are not stunned before killing in a ritual fashion and secondly the Islamic slaughter man will recite a blessing

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/what-is-halal-meat-the-big-questions-about-religious-slaughter-answered-9331519.html

    There was a big fuss about this here in the UK last year as many people were unaware that halal meat was being sold without labelling.

    Secondly, you were wrong about sharia courts They have been proliferating here in the uk as per the link I gave. Our home secretary ( possibly our next prime minister) is looking into the issue and over 100 women's groups are petitioning the govt because of concerns over their impact on women in particular ŵho may not realise they have no basis in uk law as they often live in very enclosed societies.

    Thirdly I gave you quotes from a Times writer and also from the German intelligence agency, the latter was couched in very careful terms but both stress the concerns at how to ensure migrants, mostly muslim, can fit into a western society. Perhaps you would care to comment on them? Angela merkel has just said that there is no room in Germany for multi cultural ism. This is the opposite of what of our leaders have often said for decades Again, perhaps you might like to comment. Is she bigoted?

    Tonyb

  92. Brandon,

    Leftards are always slamming Christians and right wingers for being violent, right?? Yet you apparently have no issue with the fact that Muslims regularly use violence when they are INSULTED and NOT physically attacked. I agree with you that these people were being provocative. Why did the Muslims go along with it and show yet again that they will physically attack people over insults??

    Why are you so intent on being an apologist for a culture that teaches intolerance and violence?? Nit picking details is apparently your method of distracting from this basic issue. Are you one of those who claim that there are not any no-go zones in the western world, yet, you would defend the activities that create these no go zones?

  93. ==> "Yet you apparently have no issue with the fact that Muslims regularly use violence when they are INSULTED and NOT physically attacked. "

    Really? What gave you the impression that is an accurate description of Brandon's perspective?

    And I noticed a logical problem with your characterization of Brandon's perspective.

    It lies in that you say..."with the fact that Muslims regularly..." which describes all Muslims collectively. For example, I know many Muslims that don't "regularly" use violence for any reason whatsoever. To me, it seems that Brandon has a problem when Muslims use violence as you described, and that he has a problem when non-Muslims use violence as you describe. But maybe I'm interpreting his perspective incorrectly, so I'm wondering what led you to your conclusion?

  94. ==> "Why are you so intent on being an apologist for a culture that teaches intolerance and violence?? "

    Lol! KuhnKat - let me ask you a question. Do you self-describe as a "skeptic?"

  95. You either didn't read anything beyond the first paragraph of this entire blog or you are trolling. No one could be so stupid as to completely miss the point after some 100 posts.

  96. Tonyb, your comment is stupid. Saying:

    you seem to have sidestepped the original issues we were discussing

    When all I've done is respond to the things you've said is idiotic. You've chosen to, time and time again, stop discussing topics you've brought up without resolving the issues being discussed. That you might wish to resume discussing one of those issues at some later point in no way justifies saying I am sidestepping anything you stupic prick. I responded to what you said about halal meat, and you chose to not respond to me. That was your decision. That you now portray me as having sidestepped the issue and bring it up again is as obscene as it is ridiculous you dishonest twit.

    Sorry I must have been writing my comment just as you were walking away so i hadn’t seen it before replying.

    Good. Now go away you bigoted whore.

  97. Joshua and MichaelS, thanks for responding to KuhnKat. As my last comment shows, I probably shouldn't talk to people who are saying stupid things right now.

  98. I think Jeff has it right with regards to no-go zones and you have it wrong.
    Admittedly, I have seen none in person.
    However, a few officials have said they exist.
    In addition, there was a commenter at Lubos Motl's site, Shannon, who tends to take the pro-Islamic side of arguments, who said that she personally wears a veil in certain areas around Paris.
    That is not fear of high crime that has nothing to do with Islam.

  99. MikeN, exactly what do you think Jeff Id is right about when it comes to these supposed "no-go zones"? I've spent time in areas cops wouldn't go to if they could avoid it. As in, you could walk down the street waving a gun in the air then shoot at some buildings, and cops wouldn't even get called because as long as nobody died, people figured they wouldn't bother to come.

    Guess what? They weren't Muslim neighborhoods. They were just areas with high crime rates and a general distrust for/dislike of police. I don't doubt there may be some similar areas with predominantly Muslim populations. I don't know of any myself, but I'm not going to claim there are no Muslim projects anyhwere in the world. What I do know is the idea there is some special Muslim phenomena going on that's creating areas like this is nonsense. What I also know is every time I look into any specific examples people cite, they turn out to be wildly exaggerated, if not completely bogus.

    If people were discussing this issue in a reasonable manner, I wouldn't dismiss their claims so readily. For instance, large amounts of immigration can often result in areas with significant economic problems. That can result in increased crime rates and other such problems. It wouldn't be surprising if that were a consequence of the immigration/refugee crisis. If people were complaining about that, rather than claiming there was some problem arising from Muslim culture, their claims might sound believable.

  100. So because you've seen some areas that are "no-go" zones for a non-Muslim reason, I should consider that there are not no-go zones of a Muslim nature?

    On top of that, even if you were right, that would still be a reason to stop Muslim immigration. You don't have a choice about the first, but hy deliberately create the second?

  101. BTW - an interesting adjunct to my last comment is the notion of a Semitic culture, which speaks to a large cultural overlap between Jews and Arabs (obviously, many of whom are Arabs). Also interesting is considering what "Jewish culture" might mean when you consider the cultural similarities and differences between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews.

  102. MikeN, that is not what I said, at all. It might help if you quoted my words and explained what you think they said rather than just asking questions predicated on the idea I said things which I didn't say. Especially given you say things like:

    On top of that, even if you were right, that would still be a reason to stop Muslim immigration. You don’t have a choice about the first, but hy deliberately create the second?

    I can't tell if you misunderstood what I said rather severerly or are making a really dumb argument. What I said was:

    For instance, large amounts of immigration can often result in areas with significant economic problems. That can result in increased crime rates and other such problems. It wouldn’t be surprising if that were a consequence of the immigration/refugee crisis. If people were complaining about that, rather than claiming there was some problem arising from Muslim culture, their claims might sound believable.

    I said certain things can happen when you have a large amount of immigrants/refugees. You say if I am right, that's a reason to stop Muslim immigration. The fact something could conceivably happen is, in no way, a reason to stop Muslim immigration. There are about a hundred different problems with this claim of yours, and honestly, I'm having trouble finding the energy to get beyond the first, "It's completely and utterly idiotic."

    If people had showed Muslim immigration would lead to a significant rise in project-like areas where crime and distrust for police were so high as to make policing them incredibly difficult, that might be a reason to argue for a change in policy. It hasn't happened though. Nobody has shown anything of the sort will happen. Your remark here holds that just because someone could conceivably make this argument successfully, we should take the most drastic action available to address it.

    I'm hoping you just really misunderstood what I said. If not, your remark is utterly idiotic. The exact issue I mentioned has been raised regarding immigration from all sorts of different areas, time and time again. It didn't result in countries banning immigration in those cases. There's little reason to think it would now.

    Besides which, saying we should ban Muslim immigration is kind of stupid in and of itself. How in the world do you test to see if someone is a Muslim?

  103. No I think you have it backwards. That the default position should be to not allow Muslim immigration(and other types of immigration as well), and the burden of proof is to show the benefit to allowing it. Your position appears to be prove there is a problem that would be caused, and then it can be discussed if changes are needed.

    As far as testing for Muslims, that is a silly argument. Soviet Jews were given refugee status, yet no one seemed to think that was impossible.

  104. Off-topic, but check out the latest paper from Oreskes and Lewandwosky about how the pause in global warming. The part about the economic experts being commissioned to reach the same conclusion- I was wondering if this experiment could be modified a bit?

  105. MikeN, I'm baffled at your idea here:

    No I think you have it backwards. That the default position should be to not allow Muslim immigration(and other types of immigration as well), and the burden of proof is to show the benefit to allowing it. Your position appears to be prove there is a problem that would be caused, and then it can be discussed if changes are needed.

    The person calling for drastic changes to policy is the one who needs to do the work to show those changes are a good idea. You don't get to tell people they should make drastic changes then respond to them pointing out you've shown no reason they should by saying, "That's because you have the burden of proof!" If you try, their response is probably going to be, "Bugger off."

    As far as testing for Muslims, that is a silly argument. Soviet Jews were given refugee status, yet no one seemed to think that was impossible.

    Calling something a silly argument then failing, completely, in your attempt to rebut it is pretty pathetic. There are two huge problems with your statement here. First, a person can be a "Jew" by religion or ethnicity. Yes, there is a Jewish race. You can't conflate ethnic and religious groups. You might be able to prove a person is Jewish by birth, but you can't prove someone is Muslim by birth because Muslim is not an ethnicity.

    Second, and far more importantly, using religion as a criteria for allowing people into a country is very different from using religion as a criteria for banning people. People will volunteer that they belong to a religious group if it will help them get into a country they want to move to. That's quite different from what will happen if you say Muslims can't enter. You do that, and people will just say they're not Muslims. You're usually not going to be able to prove them wrong as it's almost impossible to prove someone actually holds certain religious beliefs.

    If a country actually were going to put a ban on immigration, it would need to use a standard that could be objectively applied, not one which amounts to asking, "Are you a member of religion X?" and then maybe trying to prove people who say no lied. That would never work.

  106. MikeN:

    This British paper found rank and file cops agreeing o the no-go areas. One even added what you said about how there are white no-go areas too.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/625545/Donald-Trump-Muslims-speech-British-police-ISIS-radicalisation-London

    You're citing a news organization that frequently runs conpsiracy theory stories about the death of Princess Diana on its front page (even fifteen years after her death). And it has a strong anti-immigrant bias, leading what it labels a, I kid you not, "Crusade" to stop immigration from a number of countries. It's not exactly a credible source.

    If they publish officer's names and/or detailed testimony so it can be verified or identify specific areas supposedly being referred to by those officers, I'll look into what it says. Otherwise, I'm not going to waste my time. These issues have shown there is no shortage of people willing to say and believe things that simply aren't true. It wouldn't surprise me you could find a few cops in that crowd and get them to say the same things people like Donald Trump does. That doesn't mean much of anything.

    If these officers want to say their superiors are wrong, that's fine. I can accept the possibility plain old officers might be aware of a problem their superiors either deny or somehow don't see. However, accepting that possibility only means that I'd be willing to listen if they present a case. It doesn't mean I'm going to just assume they're right because I like their message.

    If people like Donald Trump are right on this issue, they should be able to draw maps or otherwise point out just where these zones supposedly exist. Then, people could check the listed areas and see if they match the descriptions and portrayals being given. That's how people should determine if something is true or not. They shouldn't determine it by saying, "Well, we found X people who say it is, so..."

  107. The current immigration policy involves changing the population of the country each year by about a million people. So yes, I think the burden of proof should be on those who would want to make this change.

    If for example, the call was to deport a million Muslims, that would be a different thing.

  108. People who are non-Jews will also volunteer that they are Jews if they think it will help them enter.

    And Jews being a race is a bit complicated. There are Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazi, etc. Muslims who are keen on religious scripture refer to the Jews in Israel as 'fake Jews', because the Koran says Israel belongs to the Jews. Presumably it wouldn't be as much an issue for Soviet Jews.

  109. > but you can’t prove someone is Muslim by birth because Muslim is not an ethnicity.

    According to strict Islamic law in many countries, you are Muslim if your father is a Muslim, and thus Obama is actually subject to death penalty.
    Again, you are arguing asking 'Are you a Muslim?' and then prove those who said no lied.
    The burden of proof is on those who wish to enter the country. And if you declare such a ban, the number who try to enter is lower, making the task easier.

  110. ==> "As far as testing for Muslims, that is a silly argument. Soviet Jews were given refugee status, yet no one seemed to think that was impossible."

    A non-sequitur. You didn't actually address the point outside of calling it silly).

    How would you suggest testing for whether someone's a Muslim? What do you suppose the reliability of that test will be? Do you think that by using such a test, we would materially increase our security? If so, could describe, a bit, the mechanism by which it would? Do you see no downside to excluding immigrants on the basis of being Muslim?

  111. ==> "The burden of proof is on those who wish to enter the country. "

    How does someone "prove" that they aren't a Muslim?

  112. By the following: "How would you suggest testing for whether someone’s a Muslim? " I mean to ask what is your standard of measurement? That they say that they aren't a Muslim? Is there some maximum number of times that they'd be allowed to have read the Koran? Is there some statute of limitations (they can only have read the Koran a certain number of times over a certain recent period)?

  113. ==> "The current immigration policy involves changing the population of the country each year by about a million people. So yes, I think the burden of proof should be on those who would want to make this change."

    But the existing policy is to "change the population" each year through immigration. So you are suggesting a change to existing policy - which was the point that Brandon made. Your response was non-responsive to his point. Don't you think that in order to change existing policy, there should be a compelling reason, for which you can provide evidence?

  114. Well yes, it would be a change of existing policy, but no, I don't think it needs to be proven that this change would be beneficial. Because doing this change to policy would result in less change to the country than not doing the change.

    The compelling reason that brought about the call for no Muslims was the attacks in San Bernardino, but I think the impact on wages at the low end is sufficient to go for the overall immigration ban, rather than just the 100k or so Muslims.

  115. What correct physics is telling us is explained here where you are invited to make a submission for a reward of several thousand dollars if you can prove the thermodynamics wrong and produce a study showing opposite results to mine which showed that more moist regions have both lower daily maximum and minimum temperatures than drier regions at similar latitude and altitude.

    Q.1: What is the sensitivity for each 1% of water vapor in the atmosphere?

    Q.2: Based on your answer to Q.1, how much warming does a mean of 1.25% of water vapor produce?

    Q.3: Also based on the above, how much hotter should be a rain forest with 4% WV compared with a dry region with 1% WV?

    Q.4: Taking into account the fact that solar radiation reaching Earth's surface ranges between zero and about 1,000W/m^2 with a mean between 160 and 170W/m^2 and that radiation from the colder atmosphere is known not to penetrate water more than a few nanometers (thus unable to "warm" it) explain, using the Stefan Boltzmann equation and a typical range of flux between 0 and 1,000W/m^2 how the ocean surface reaches observed temperatures.

    For answers, study the new 21st century paradigm shift in climate change science which will be widely publicized in 2017 and common knowledge by 2025 whilst the current hiatus continues until about 2028 to 2030. Long-term (500 year) natural cooling will start before 2100 and mean temperatures will not rise more than about 0.4 to 0.6 degree before the cooling starts, as shown here.

    Who's next to take me on?

  116. You can start by just not bringing in immigrants from Muslim countries, though of course that would bring up the possibility of Christians or Jews from those countries.
    I will concede that weeding out white Muslims who aren't wearing burkas or other symbolic attire would be pretty much impossible. Iranians would be a difficult case for example, though they would be covered by the national ban.

  117. ==> "Because doing this change to policy would result in less change to the country than not doing the change."

    Do you think that we should have a blanket rule to not cut any programs paid for by tax dollars, even if they don't bring net benefit, because eliminating those programs would cause more change in our country than keeping them?

    Seems to me that you should judge when to change existing policies on the expected net benefits from doing making that change, and that you should be able to provide evidence of those likely benefits as a rationale before making a change.

    Changing existing policy because of inchoate fear when you don't have any evidence that those changes will increase our security meaningfully seems pretty irrational to me. There is no limit to such a paradigm. Why not just close the borders completely? Why not keep spending on programs that have no proven utility? The fact of the matter is that as horrible as the recent terrorist attack was, the damage caused to our country by terrorists is tiny in relation to so many other realities of our every day lives. Over-reacting out of emotion and fear doesn't seem particularly smart, to me. It seems to me that policies, whether they're changed policies or not, designed respond to the threat should be proportional, and based on clear cost/benefit analyses. To what degree would your proposed changes to immigration policy reduce the threat? I would guess hardly any at all. They would present little in the way of a meaningful barrier against a terrorist who wants to attack in this country. I would think that the money, time, and energy could be better spent. This issue has been successfully demagogued by politicians seeking to exploit fear for political gain, ironically very much in line with what terrorists intend. This is precisely why they target civilians in the way that they do - because they can influence disproportionate responses made out of fear-based, emotionally-laden reasoning.

    ==> "The compelling reason that brought about the call for no Muslims was the attacks in San Bernardin"

    I don't see how you consider that a compelling reason, unless you're saying that a kind of emotional reaction that has no actual benefit other than at an emotional level, reaches the bar of being "compelling." It doesn't for me. That's the kind of thinking that lead to support for invading Iraq as a response to 9/11. That's the kind of thinking that has politicians calling for turning desert sand into glass via carpet bombing regions where there will be high levels of civilian collateral damage, when it's quite likely to increase support for jihadists among 1.5 billion Muslims.

  118. ItsNotCO2 asks:

    Who’s next to take me on?

    The answer is me. I will take you on by pointing out your comment has absolutely nothing to do with anything being discussed in this thread, and as such, but rather, is part of your effort to spam many sites with off=topic comments promoting certain views and websites. That isn't welcome here, and I won't allow it.

    If you wish to post comments discussing such topics, you may do so here only on threads where similar topics are being discussed. If you can't find any, well, tough luck. I am not going to begin discussions of subjects on this site simply because one person happens to feel he should be allowed to spam any and all sites with his views, no matter how off-topic they may be.

    For the record, I will not be giving you this warning again. I've seen you spam far too many sites with these sort of comments to think giving you a second or third chance would be beneficial. From here on, I'll simply delete comments like these from you if and when they are wildly off-topic.

  119. MikeN:

    The current immigration policy involves changing the population of the country each year by about a million people. So yes, I think the burden of proof should be on those who would want to make this change.

    The current tax policy of this nation involves changing the distribution of wealth by billions of dollars ever year. I think I'm going to need you to prove to me that is beneficial or else we're just going to have to stop all taxation of white people. And yes, only white people, because the compelling reason for this change is I looked at how much money my family has payed in tax this year, and it makes me unhappy.

    If you think that's an illogical reason, well... tough luck. If you think applying this argument to only one demographical group is inappropriate, well... tough luck. Until you write a lengthy treeatise showing taxation is beneficial, it needs to stop. For us white people.

  120. So I was doing once last skim of the comments at Jeff Id's place as it appears things have died out and i wanted to get a "last look" when I saw this comment by Jeff Id:

    Here is a logical question for your clearly superior mind,

    Jeff Id watched a group of extremists use non-violent methods to cause a different group of extremists to react violently, and didn’t say the first group was bad people, therefore Jeff Id supports the first group of extremists and all of their views.

    True or False

    This is apparently how Jeff Id views what I've said. It's idiotic. I didn't say Jeff Id supports the Bible Believers group or any of their views. What I said is he supported/defended their actions by portraying the situation in a false light which painted the situation as having been caused by Muslims reacting to innocent bystanders who had done nothing wrong. I don't remember if I said why he did this, though if I had said what I assume to be the reason, it would have been that Jeff Id is so biased against Muslims he simply doesn't care what the Bible Believers did as long as their propaganda supports his pre-conceived views that Muslims society is a senselessly violent one (or whatever it is he claims about them).

    Anyone with basic reading skills should have seen the difference between saying Jeff Id supported/defended the Bible Believers actions by pretending those actions amounted to nothing more than walking around while wear "Jesus loves shirts" and saying Jeff Id supported/defended the views of the Bible Believers. Jeff Id didn't. And apaprently Joshua didn't. While he's been commenting here, he hasn't seen fit to make any remarks (at least, that I can see) like these he addressed to Jeff Id:

    To be clear, I think that Brandon’s accusations in this whole dust-up with you are not well-founded. It is rather typical in this discussions for people to go from a differing perspective to accusations of racism and the like – in a way that isn’t logically supported. FWIW, I think that Brandon is guilty of that in this case, and that his engagement in this kerffulle suffers from similar logical problems as yours. IMO, Brandon often has serious logical problems with the arguments that he makes.
    ...
    I think that your scenario does a good job of pointing out the logical flaw in Brandon’s argument.

    Which led to Jeff Id saying:

    I’m pleased to see you can be honest with your reply on my question. Brandon has come to an opposite conclusion and put my quote completely out of context so that others would also come to that conclusion.

    So yeah... apparently both Joshua and Jeff Id have concluded me pointing out Jeff Id covered up the bigoted actions of the Bible Believers group means I am saying he supports the group in general and agrees with their views. That's definitely not what I said, but I'm sure convincing themselves it is will help confirm their preconceived views.

    But it is a shame they didn't do anything to check that those views actually match what I've said or believed. And since Joshua made a number of remarks about how this logical failure on my part, which isn't anything I've said or believed, is supposedly part of a trend in my actions, I'll point out this sort of misrepresentation on his part is a large part of why I stopped responding to him for quite a while.

  121. ==> "Anyone with basic reading skills should have seen the difference between saying Jeff Id supported/defended the Bible Believers actions by pretending those actions amounted to nothing more than walking around while wear “Jesus loves shirts” and saying Jeff Id supported/defended the views of the Bible Believers."

    Fair enough, Brandon. I admit to not having read carefully enough to check to see what you said in a precise manner (and whether Jeff's characterization was accurate). Guilty. Apologies. Not an excuse, but I skimmed the direct exchanges between the two of you and came away with the impression that you were arguing that Jeff supported their bigotry. You shouldn't be held accountable if I draw a conclusion not directly supported by the evidence, particularly if I don't ask you for clarification.

    I have more to say about this...no time now..will try to get back to it at some point.

  122. Joshua, thanks for taking the time to at least make that comment. There's a reason even though I had decided to stop responding to you some years back, I've allowed you to comment here and am even willing to respond to you when you do. That reason is I think no matter what past disagreements people may have had, they should always be able to work toward a common understanding if they wish to. As a host of a forum where discussions can be had, I don't want to preclude things like that from happening.

    I think your comment shows something of why I feel that way.

  123. > blanket rule to not cut any programs

    That is the current rule. I thought Brandon's response was better, and basically the opposite of yours.

  124. ==> " That is the current rule. "

    Really? The current rule is to not cut any programs? What is your evidence of that?

  125. That's how the federal government budgeting process works. They assume the previous year's budget as the baseline, with increases according to various formulas. That's why most of the announced cuts are actually increases in spending.

  126. > the damage caused to our country by terrorists is tiny in relation to so many other realities of our every day lives.

    You can say that about lots of things, but that doesn't mean you should ignore it. Unlike say car wrecks, terrorists are out to kill you.

  127. MikeN -

    ==> "That’s how the federal government budgeting process works. They assume the previous year’s budget as the baseline, with increases according to various formulas."

    Let's try again.

    Do you think that we should have a blanket rule to not cut any programs paid for by tax dollars, even if the programs don’t bring net benefit, because eliminating those programs would cause more change in our country than keeping them?

  128. >To what degree would your proposed changes to immigration policy reduce the threat?

    I think it would substantially reduce the threat of Jews having to leave the country, as is happening in France and other parts of Europe. Synagogues and Jewish schools being under armed guard due to the threat from Muslims.

    Yes the native treatment of Jews is not as good as in America, but the reason for the negative treatment now is 50 years of Muslim immigration.

  129. ==> "No.

    Thank you for acknowledging that. Took a while, didn't it?

    ==> "And I think you are really straining your analogy but go ahead.

    How so? It isn't really an analogy. It's asking you to be (1) consistent in you logic and, (2) address what I actually said rather than address something else and, (3) support your assertions.

    ==> "I think it would substantially reduce the threat of Jews having to leave the country, as is happening in France and other parts of Euro"

    Substantially? Given that there are millions of Muslims already here, you think it would increase our security substantially for American Jews by increasing alienation in that group by preventing an exponentially smaller number of Muslims from coming into the country, of which it is likely that a very small % would have any hostile intent towards Jews?

    Rates of antisemitism as reported by the ADL are pretty low by historic standards, but I would guess that by a large %, in this country most are from Jew-hating non-Muslims. If your intent is to protect Jews, there are probably much more effective places to target your energies.

    Right-wing facists are also behind some of the antisemitism in Europe as well, actually from many of the same rightwing facists that foment antipathy with Muslims. But of course, again, you're drifting off topic as the question is whether there would be reduced threat to our security from your proposed policy change. And of course, in order to evaluate any benefit of reduced antisemitism that might result from banning Muslims from entering the country, you'd have to account for any potential for increased threat to our security from increasing the sense of being threatened among the millions of Muslims here already, increasing the anti-American sentiment and support for Islamic fascists among the non-radicalized population of Muslims around the world.

    In short, while it seems that you might derive some emotional satisfaction from banning Muslims from entering the country, your policy proposal seems very short of any well-supported rationale.

    ==> "Yes the native treatment of Jews is not as good as in America, but the reason for the negative treatment now is 50 years of Muslim immigration."

    Could you explain that sentence? I couldn't follow.

  130. I am talking about the treatment of Jews in Europe. I think the non-Muslims in Europe are more hostile towards Jews than the non-Muslims in America.

    It is not an exponentially smaller number of Muslims immigrating. The rate since 9/11 was higher than the rate before. More than 1 million Muslims in the next decade is the current pace.

    And the logic that if we don't let in more Muslims, the existing Muslims are going to become violent, well I think that more proves my point.

  131. > in this country most are from Jew-hating non-Muslims. If your intent is to protect Jews, there are probably much more effective places to target your energies.

    That is because there are not as many Muslims. Increasing the number of Muslims would likely increase that ratio, and more importantly create a critical mass where such attacks become acceptable.

  132. > you’re drifting off topic as the question is whether there would be reduced threat to our security from your proposed policy change.

    That was Trump's proposal which was indeed an emotional response to terror attacks. I think it is desirable for other reasons even if there had been no terror attack. The cultural impact of substantial number of Muslims is not something I want to see. Already we are seeing groups self-censor or fear of offending Muslims, like Yale University Press refusing to publish a scholarly work on the Mohammed cartoons, or even a hotel in Vermont that chose not to advertise their bacon.

  133. ==> "would likely increase "

    Where is your evidence - in particular in comparison to focusing on other ways of preventing antisemitism? Have you seen some evidence to show that increasing number of Muslims in this country has led to increased antisemitism? Is there evidence of as "dose dependent' relationship?

    ==> "and more importantly create a critical mass where such attacks become acceptable.

    How have you determined what point increased "mass" becomes "critical mass?" Do you have any evidence to support you conclusions?

    ==> "The cultural impact of substantial number of Muslims is not something I want to see. "

    Once again, you're drifting off topic. You seem to be arguing that not allowing Muslims into the country would have significant benefits to our security. What is your evidence? It's clear that you would derive some kid of emotional satisfaction from such policies, but should we base policies on your emotional satisfaction?

    I'm not going to respond to the other stuff you're throwing out there, like your "self-sensor" argument, until you provide some evidence for your earlier assertion (or just acknowledge that you don't actually have any).

  134. In February 2012 for example, Amine El Khalifi, a Moroccan residing in the United States illegally, was arrested for planning a suicide bombing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Prior to settling on the Capitol, he expressed to undercover agents, whom he believed to be Al Qaeda operatives, his desire to attack a synagogue, among other potential targets.

    Ahmed Ferhani, a legal resident from Algeria, and Mohammad Mamdouh, a naturalized U.S. citizen awaiting trial, were arrested in May 2011 for plotting to attack a synagogue in New York City. Two years earlier, three American Muslim converts and one Haitian national allegedly plotted to attack synagogues in the Bronx and to shoot down airplanes at a military base in Newburgh, New York.

    The attacks on synagogues in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Norway by Muslims is plenty of evidence. I suppose you think US Muslims are just different somehow?

    Would a policy of not allowing Muslim immigrants have prevented the San Bernardino attacks? You put that up against a loss from not having the immigrants, which you claim would have made the other Muslims in America more violent.

  135. You seem to think alleging emotional satisfaction is some sort of argument stopper, when it is basically irrelevant.

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