Speaking freely among the weblogs

All of the following have been taken out of context. Speech is often times taken out of context. That’s the joy. That’s the sorrow.


“And as a visual iconography of suffering, these images
perhaps drew Americans even closer to the Israeli Jews
whom they were already arming.”

Daniel Ord

“Would you kill me because I am Jewish?”

Meryl Yourish

“I haven’t forgotten its stolen election and I strongly disagree with its pro-fatcat policies and screw-the-world unilateralism, but they’re not my main concern about this administration. My main concern is that it is the most arrogant, contemptuous, and profoundly un-American since the criminal cabal of Richard Nixon.”

Eric Grevstad

“Those who hate are victims of self-abuse. I’d ask Meryl to follow the path she and her Polish friend took in their childhood, that most sensible time of our lives. Wait until they stop behaving like idiots, because, most of the time, and if South Africa is anything to go by, they eventually do.”

Mike Golby

“Anyone who believes that women should have equal opportunity for work, equal pay for said work, equal opportunity of religion, equal opportunity to education, equal opportunity to medical care, equal opportunity to speak, equal opportunity to vote, control over what happens with her body, equal say with what happens to her family and her children is a feminist.”

Shelley Powers

“To those who deride these sentiments as “liberal sentiments” and advocate ‘real politic’ or a machiavellian approach, I just remind you that they are the principals and sentiments on which our country was founded, and the source of the strength we now enjoy. America is an adolescent country, founded on hope and a faith in the goodness of man, tempered by admission of common failings. We find ourselves now with the challenges that suggest it is time to grow up.”

Michael Webb

“When I was a kid, blacks were guilty by default. Even so, black and white people lived cheek by jowl. Every white family had a domestic servant or maid. (Many referred to the hired help – to whom they gave a roof over their heads, an afternoon off each week, the most basic food, and a pittance for pay – as ‘the boy’ or ‘the girl’.) And this close co-existence was why so many white South Africans will tell you that their best friend, when they were young, was a black child from whom they learned a great deal.”

Mike Golby

“I agree. Prostitution needs to be legalized, decriminalized, and regulated. I’ve been to Nevada, and believe me, they have it right. To bad the rest of the country can’t be as progessive. In fact, sex laws in general need to be lookd at again. In many states, same sex coupling is a crime, evn in the privacy of their own home. Oral sex is also considred a crime in many states still. To think my wife and I are criminals now….sheesh. ”

In a Comment at Rogi’s weblog

“It is being used to squelch free speech. Criticism. It is being used to pressure. To cower.”

Karl Martino

“This is all beyond absurd. Yemen fails because its people lack the necessary cultural consensus for things like the rule of law, civil enforcement of contracts, and impartial justice. Kristof can’t apply its lessons to American society without implicitly denying the basic nature of Yemeni society. Guns don’t kill people — non-Westernization kills people.”

Josh Trevino

“In this case, there were no calamitous consequences. Her mind was set at rest, what might have been an affront turned out to have an innocent explanation. Still, it’s a strange experience to be comprehensively misjudged, to have one’s character, motives, and worth impugned on the basis of a casual glance. I had to explain myself once. Lots of other people in our society have to explain themselves — or remain silent — a dozen or more times a day.”

Jonathon Delacour

“We have to be brave enough to let anybody say what they want and we have to have enough confidence in our citizens not to assume that they will be swayed by hate-filled speech. That some people will say things we don’t want to hear is the price we pay for our own freedom of speech. There’s just no such thing as a little censorship.”

Will Leshner in comments attached to this post

“Dave’s right. Withdraw their tax-exempt status, and then audit them, and then send the Feds after them for plying the kind of tactics they ply to their followers to keep them in the cult.”

Meryl Yourish in comments attached to this posting.

“Google forced to remove anti-Scientology links. I don’t agreee with the Germans on many things (although I lived there). But, I agree with the Germans when it comes to Scientology (by saying this I am being listed in some Scientology database in the sky). Germany treats Scientology like a cult and they outlaw it under the same laws that prevent distribution of Neo-Nazi propoganda. Scientology is a cult of the worst sort: one that can afford to hire lawyers, manage propoganda, intimidate opposition, and train absolute leaders. They work within the system. Very Nazi. Avoid it. Outlaw it. Denounce it. Besides, anyone who starts a cult based on the thinking of a writer of bad science fiction, should get a life.”

John Robb

“It astonishes and saddens me daily, with each new outrage delivered deadpan by the Resident and his handlers, that the American people are allowing their government – a leadership not even clearly mandated by an election – destroy what good is left there, and throttle what goodwill still remains in pockets amongst the peoples of the nations of the world. Dark days, my friends. Dark days”


“Yeah we like to get laid (or mothered), that’s why we have anything at all to do with women, in our natural unevolved state (evolved men, like women see the value in all points of view). Now women, while they organize, are not win-win beasts, they compete with each other viciously.”

Dave Winer

“What it comes down to is this: I do not believe that the Palestinians will stop their attacks even if they receive everything they’ve asked for but the Right of Return. They were offered nearly everything they demanded, including half of Jerusalem–half of Jerusalem–two years ago at Oslo. It wasn’t enough. Yassir Arafat responded to that offer by first letting all the extreme terrorists out of jail, and then beginning the Intifada.”

Meryl Yourish

“Hardly…the only one that will say a *perceived* gender bias is one that has never experienced it before, in this case, in this discussion, a male. Just an example of how the female experience and thoughts on them are disregarded as flukes, as figments of our collective imaginations. Just another way to denigrate us, something that needs to be done, obviously, to subjugate us, yes?”

Sharon O

“Japanese children now prostitute themselves to buy American Brand Names. When the same is true in Afghanistan, we will have won the war against Evil.”

Happy Tutor

“It’s not that I disagree with Douglas Ord. His deconstruction of “a group of Palestinian men and boys watching the attacks on the World Trade Centre from an almost bare room in their refugee camp” is perhaps the best visual analysis of a news event I have ever encountered. It’s not that I disagree with Ord’s ruthless delineation of Arial Sharon’s complicity in the massacre by Israeli-armed Lebanese militia of hundreds (or thousands) of Palestinian men, women, and children in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila. In post-war Japan, the War Crimes Tribunal executed dozens of Japanese soldiers and civilians for crimes less serious and on the basis of slighter evidence than that amassed against Sharon. It’s not that I don’t support Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

It’s because Douglas Ord’s polemical essay, to borrow Mike Golby’s words, “leaves little room to carve a middle path.” I would find it infinitely more compelling if it did; if Ord had also turned his considerable forensic skills on the actions of Yasser Arafat and the PLO.”

Jonathon Delacour

“Finally, my father told about a night in his childhood when, in their house out beyond town in an area of cornfields, someone knocked at the door in the middle of the night. My grandfather answered it and found a black man frantic on the threshold, explaining through his panic that he was being chased through the field. As my father watched and listened, my grandfather led the man into the house to hide and when the mob arrived a minute later he lied and sent them on their way. Dad recounted it to me matter-of-factly, the way he tells pretty much everything, but the fifty-year-old details were as crisp as the story he’d told me about the squirrels in his garden that morning (another post for another day).

I thought of this while reading that last Friday night in Brookline, a smaller and largely Jewish city near Boston, two teenage boys painted a swastika on the door of a synagogue, but were spotted and reported by some other teens. On Saturday morning, the father of one of the boys arrested was at the synagogue waiting to apologize to the assembled congregation for what his son had done the night before.”

Steve Himmer

“I don’t have any wise compromise or Solomonic solution. Looking at the Middle East these days tears my heart out: I bow my head before the horrific history of anti-Semitism, and I agree and grieve with Meryl that there are monsters in the world who would kill her for being a Jew (which does not preclude my grieving that there are others who would kill her or me for being Americans, or still others for having black skin). The right of Israel to exist is absolute, non-negotiable, in my book. I also believe the policies of Ariel Sharon are bestial; I will concede that anti-Zionism is often a mask for anti-Semitism but I will not concede my right to criticize a government that bulldozes people from their homes and turns artillery on refugee camps, nor my fear that such insane actions will cause Americans to conclude that both leaders are basically terrorists, withdrawing their support of Israel, emboldening her enemies to attempt her destruction, causing the ultimate triumph of hate in a nuclear firestorm to make God weep. Then the idiots will all be murderers, and the murderers will all be idiots.”

Eric Grevstad

“Didn’t blog yesterday. I am too concerned about terrorism apologetics and some unbelievable moral equivalency arguments going around.

Defining deviancy down” was the expression coined by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the retired senior senator from New York, to name a process by which an entire culture slowly accepts and tolerates destructive behaviors. We are in danger of defining terrorism down.

I define suicide bombings of malls, schools, discos, and the events of 9/11 as acts of terrorism. Widely broadening the definition also leads to its acceptance, even if that is not the intent.”

Mike Sanders

“I have tried to model my standard regarding equality and freedom of speech based on the actions of these two men and others like them. To speak out for the oppressed when the oppressed is beautiful, or popular or innocent or winsome is noble. But to speak out for the oppressed when they are ugly and abhorant — that is true equality.”

Shelley Powers

“Sue – If you’re reading this: I love you!
xxx ooo xxx.
Ben, Rachel, Hannah, Jonathon and David – I love you too! !
xxx ooo xxx!
xxx ooo xxx!
xxx ooo xxx!
xxx ooo xxx!”

A love note written by Victor Zalakos to his family, that brought a smile when it was most needed.



Free Speech. And respecting each other’s viewpoint. This is what the web is all about.

See you all in about a week or so.


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