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Birthers and ISIS

imageNo, I’m not trying to say that birthers are terrorists. What sparked the comparison was an interview on public radio this afternoon, where an academic Syria watcher commented that while we weaken ISIS with bombing, they don’t seem to lack for new recruits. So far this year 56 Americans had been arrested who supported ISIS, says the New York Times, who also says that ISIS has “sharply increased its appeal to Westerners through Twitter, Facebook and other social media.”

imageThe way that I would compare birthers and ISIS, is that they are in part products of the Internet, recruited by slick propaganda, events spun to support their cause, and appeals to patriotism or religion. They both demonize their enemies online, and they both teach hate.

The November 23 issue of Time Magazine has a chart of Internet censorship, which shows that only 14 countries, including the US, were reported to have no Internet censorship.1

imageOne approach to combatting the spread of ISIS could be censoring ISIS content on the Internet, or to ban it on social media. A Senate bill, later dropped, would have required social media companies to report terrorist content to the government. Of the countries that do censor the Internet, all but Colombia, France and the UK censor criticism of authorities, but those four censor some content related to “news or opinion on conflict, terrorism or violence.”

Birthers are, to use Douglas Adams’ phrase, “mostly harmless” and it would be a monumental overkill to censor the Internet just to reduce birtherism and its related social costs; however, with the incredible persistence of mass shootings, some prompted by hate web sites, and international terrorism, we will once again have to decide as a society between free speech, including terrorist and hate speech, and safety (or something in the middle).

Thought provoking images:


1The others are:

  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Philippines
  • South Africa

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13 Responses to Birthers and ISIS

  1. avatar
    Keith December 3, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    I am not in favor of censorship. At all.

    I am however in favor of accuracy and truth.

    In truth the group of murderous morons you refer to as ‘ISIS’ is neither Islamic nor a State. Thus ‘ISIS’ or ‘ISIL’ or anything that refers to them as an ‘Islamic State’ is a lie.

    “Daesh” is much more accurate because of the Arabic wordplay involved.

    From: ISIL, ISIS, Islamic State, Daesh: What’s The Difference?

    Daesh: This is a term the militant group hates. French President François Hollande has used it since the attacks Friday, and first used it in September 2014. It’s an Arabic acronym for “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham.” It can sometimes be spelled DAIISH, Da’esh or Daech, a popular French version. The hacktivist group Anonymous and President Barack Obama have used the term since the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.

    Thanks to Arabic wordplay, it could also be an insult. “Depending on how it is conjugated in Arabic, it can mean anything from ‘to trample down and crush’ to ‘a bigot who imposes his view on others,'” Boston Globe writer Zeba Khan reported in October 2014. ISIS threatened “to cut the tongue of anyone who publicly used the acronym Daesh, instead of referring to the group by its full name,” the Associated Press wrote in September 2014.

  2. avatar
    Lupin December 4, 2015 at 2:20 am #

    I don’t think the list is accurate. Germany, like France, goes after neo-nazi, holocaust deniers, etc.

  3. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) December 4, 2015 at 5:42 am #

    I actually saw someone on BR (and I think it was a regular, not a guest) saying something to the effect of “I hope ISIS comes and burns everything to the ground so we can have a fresh start”.

  4. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) December 4, 2015 at 5:49 am #

    Lupin: I don’t think the list is accurate. Germany, like France, goes after neo-nazi, holocaust deniers, etc.

    I think it depends on how you define “Internet censorship”.

    The German Constitution explicitly forbids censorship but allows for laws implementing specific limitations of free speech.
    These laws include:
    * protecting minors from pornography
    * outlawing libel and slander
    * outlawing certain additional content, like Nazi propaganda or instructions to build bombs
    (Effectively, this requires e.g. forum owners to remove such content within 24 hours of being noticed thereof.)

    A couple years ago, there were attempts by state (not federal) authorities to force providers to ban access to certain sites (it started out as a means of blocking child pornography but politicians tried to argue in favour of extending the bans to copyright violations etc.). This has pretty much died down.

  5. avatar
    The European December 4, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    Censoring is control before publication. Germany does not (yet).

  6. avatar
    Curious George December 4, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

    The latest from Carl Gallups and Fact Free Friday:

    Larry Klayman is now representing Mike Zullo.

    The birth certificate “investigation is ongoing.”

    “Mike Zullo was pulled into the Arpaio case as a witness and is investigated as a suspect.”

    The Melendres v. Arpaio case was hijacked because of the birth certificate investigation.

    Zullo was threatened by Judge Snow and by plaintiffs with criminal prosecution that’s why Zullo claimed the 5th.

    “Judge threatened to arrest Zullo.” The Main Stream Media didn’t report this.

    Mike Zullo’s testimony was “powerful” and “exhonerates Mike Zullo” and Carl Gallups as conspiracy advocates.

    Obots obtained court testimony prior to it’s release to the press. That link to the Obot website was said to no longer work. It proves a conspiracy by the judge against Zullo and Arpaio.

    Gallups said that Zullo court documents would be posted on PPSimmons / Carl Gallups Freedom Friday show website after today’s show.

    Comment: Zullo was not interviewed on the air. Gallups said he spoke with Zullo twice today. All of it was hearsay. To this date, neither Sharon Rondeau or Carl Gallups has done a recorded interview with Zullo, while at the same time claiming that the main stream media has not bothered to interview Zullo.

    In a word, from one who has closely followed the Melendres v. Arpaio contempt of court hearings, pastor Carl Gallups is simply being less than forthright.

    At no time did pastor Gallups report today that Sheriff Joe Arpaio admitted, while under oath, that he was in contempt of court. At no time did pastor Carl Gallups mention that Sheriff Joe Arpaio verified the accuracy of the Phoenix New Times, Stephen Lemons’ article, while under oath. At no time did pastor Carl Gallups mention that Mike Zullo was implicated by Sheriff Arpaio, while under oath, as being part of the Seattle Operation which was revealed in court as a plan to develop a bogus conspiracy to discredit Judge Snow and his court. At no time did pastor Carl Gallups reveal that Sheriff Arpaio revealed, while under oath, that Mike Zullo possessed many of the Seattle Ooeration documents. At no time did pastor Carl Gallups report that, as a result of Arpaio’s testimony, while under oath, Zullo’s documents were not to be destroyed and they were to be preserved for the court.

    While pastor Gallups continues to spin this story in really disingenuous ways, it should be recalled that pastor Gallups has openly discussed his knowledge of Mr. Zullo’s legal shenanigans. It is my opinion pastor Gallups should be concerned how he is being seen in the eyes if the authorities. Keep digging pastor Gallups. It’s only going to get “deeper” and “darker.”

  7. avatar
    Curious George December 4, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    http://www.carlgallups.com/zullomotion12-2-15.pdf

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 4, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    Klayman should be sanctioned for lying the court.

    Curious George:
    http://www.carlgallups.com/zullomotion12-2-15.pdf

  9. avatar
    Curious George December 4, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO4UL79rBn0

    Carl Gallups Freedom Friday audio excerpt 12/04/15.

  10. avatar
    James M December 4, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

    I’ve been at infowars, saying rational stuff to conspiracy people, and I had to stop when the Farook’s apartment was opened to reporters. It’s shocking. I don’t actually disagree with the infowars people, it’s extremely weird that the FBI has allowed to crime scene to be trashed. I mean, this is the biggest crime to happen in California since Tate-LaBianca, and we lost the crime scene. I saw laptops, thumb drives, documents… how is any of that not in evidence bags? For the first time ever, I’m forced to agree with (some) Alex Jones people. Or maybe the whole “securing a crime scene” is just a TV thing and law enforcement doesn’t actually do that.

  11. avatar
    Curious George December 4, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy
    December 4, 2015

    “Klayman should be sanctioned for lying the court.”

    I agree, that GIL is once again lying to the court and should be sanctioned. It’s amazing that they all claim to be Christians yet they have a very strong aversion to the truth.

  12. avatar
    Rickey December 4, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

    James M:
    I’ve been at infowars, saying rational stuff to conspiracy people, and I had to stop when the Farook’s apartment was opened to reporters. It’s shocking. I don’t actually disagree with the infowars people, it’s extremely weird that the FBI has allowed to crime scene to be trashed. I mean, this is the biggest crime to happen in California since Tate-LaBianca, and we lost the crime scene. I saw laptops, thumb drives, documents… how is any of that not in evidence bags? For the first time ever, I’m forced to agree with (some) Alex Jones people. Or maybe the whole “securing a crime scene” is just a TV thing and law enforcement doesn’t actually do that.

    The FBI said that the apartment was no longer a crime scene and it was turned over to the landlord last night. The FBI collected all of the evidence which it deemed to be relevant,

    It was the landlord who let the news media in.

  13. avatar
    J.D. Sue December 5, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    James M: For the first time ever, I’m forced to agree with (some) Alex Jones people.

    —-
    I hear you, and I can’t stand Alex Jones either.

    I like what Doc said in a recent post, “The dilemma is steering the safe middle course between too much trust in authority and rejecting it in its entirety.”