theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

When 'CIVILITY' Becomes All The RAGE

Barack Obama (Associated Press)
Barack Obama (Associated Press)


Wesley Pruden

ANALYSIS/OPINION:
Mr. Dooley wouldn’t understand our politics at all. Someone asked Finley Peter Dunne’s mythical Chicago bartender-cum-philosopher where he was going in such a hurry with a pair of brass knuckles.
“I’m on my way to a Democratic unity meeting,” he said.
The politicians of both parties still have unity meetings, and for the purpose they’ve always had them. But in an era when we have politically correct euphemisms for everything, the polite thing to do is to keep the brass knuckles hidden until they’re needed, and needed they nearly always are.
But something called “civility” is all the rage now. Newspaper columnists write about it, books are written about it, social media is rife with admonitions to be kind and gentle. Even George Soros says he’s all for kind and gentle, and he’s putting his millions where his mouth is. But those millions of Soros dollars are hanging out with some very suspicious characters.
Several organizations, notably including the Southern Poverty Law Center, announced the formation last week of something called “Change the Terms” to pressure Silicon Valley, which hardly needs encouraging, to throw conservatives into the street and if possible under the bus, crowded as that place may be.
The coalition warned that “white supremacists and other organizations that incite hatred are using online platforms to organize, fund, recruit supporters for, and normalize racism, sexism, religious bigotry, as well as anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant animus, among other activities.”
Well, that sounds like a good cause. Who’s for hate, racism, sexism, and religious bigotry? But the Southern Poverty Law Center wants to define the sins, and by their definitions that includes everybody who disagrees with them.
“They want to censor free speech,” says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Christian non-profit Liberty Counsel, tells PJ Media. “Most people think of hate speech as somebody encouraging physical violence.” Groups like the coalition want “to extend it to anybody who doesn’t accept their views on LGBT issues, same-sex marriage, abortion, immigration or Islam.”
The poverty center, which is more than the usual telephone, laptop and Xerox machine of “a center,” is operated from a lavish office complex in downtown Montgomery, Ala., locally called the Poverty Palace.
The Poverty Center not only monitors the political views of those with whom they disagree, but theological views, too. Its usual targets are Christians and their faith, but not always. The “poor folks” at the Poverty Center, enriched by the millions of dollars taken in from well-meaning easy marks, recently paid $3,000,375 to settle a defamation lawsuit filed by Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim reformer whom the Poverty Center branded “an anti-Muslim extremist.” More lawsuits are said to be coming.
Many Americans are angered, hurt and seething about the great divide in America, but few are trying to monetize their pain. “It’s like our country is becoming the ‘Hunger Games,’” says Elisa Karem Parker of Louisville, Ky. She thinks the weekend of remarkable violence, particularly at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, could be the spasm of partisan political violence that is the moment when the nation considers how poisonous the culture has become, and becomes the moment the partisan public turns the other way. “If this isn’t it, I’d hate to think about what it would take.”
The tribalism now ingrained in American life will eventually subside, says Robb Willer, a professor at Stanford who studies such phenomena, tells the Associated Press, but not until the public says it has had enough and tells the media and the politicians that it will no longer reward those who use incendiary language and demonize the other side.
We’ve all seen the damage, collateral and otherwise. Long-cherished friendships between Democrats and Republicans have been broken, romance between party partisans has become difficult, and Professor Willer thinks the vitriol has soaked the ground for violence.
Now we’re fighting over who’s responsible. Democrats naturally blame Donald Trump and the Republicans, citing the president’s scorn for his foes, his harsh language on the stump. For their part, Republicans and other conservatives cite the Democratic scorn for the 2016 election returns, their inability to accept defeat as others have done. Barack Obama’s bitter campaign rhetoric of recent days may relieve his frustration and watching the new president’s success with the economy, releasing the regulatory stranglehold on business initiative, and his fashioning a new U.S. Supreme Court and other good things the Democrats said could never happen under a Trump administration. But it doesn’t contribute to a new civility.
Civility is a good thing. Angry arguments rarely make anyone feel good. But the only thing that would make civility and peace and descend on the land would be by one side surrendering to the other. That’s not going to happen, nor should it. Anyone who imagines that’s the good old American way doesn’t know much about the history of our politics.
This, too, shall pass. It always has. But it wouldn’t hurt to turn down the noise, and even occasionally shut up.
Source>https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/oct/29/when-civility-becomes-all-the-rage/

Mattis, Asked If Troop Deployment To Border Is a STUNT: 'We Don't Do STUNTS'

'Mad Dog' Mattis gives no-nonsense response to reporter questioning troop deployment


Samuel Chamberlain

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis emphatically denied a reporter's suggestion Wednesday that the deployment of approximately 5,200 active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border is part of a political stunt ahead of next week's midterm elections.
"We don't do stunts in this department. Thank you," Mattis told a reporter who posed the question after a Pentagon meeting with Mattis' South Korean counterpart. The defense secretary added the deployment was to provide "practical support" to the Department of Homeland Security and was based on a request from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The deployment is in response to the approach of a caravan containing an estimated 4,000 Central American migrants. An additional 2,000 to 3,000 forces have been told to prepare to deploy if needed.
The White House repeatedly has warned members of the caravan that they will not be allowed into the United States. In an interview with Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle"Monday night, President Trump vowed that the migrants "are not coming in" and said the administration would build "tent cities" to house asylum-seekers.
"We're going to have tents, they're going to be very nice and they're going to wait and if they don't get asylum, they get out," the president said.
Federal law prohibits the military from acting as a domestic police force, which means the troops going to the border cannot detain immigrants, seize drugs from smugglers or have any direct involvement in stopping the caravan. Instead, their role largely will mirror that of the existing National Guard troops — about 2,000 in all — deployed to the border over the past six months, including providing helicopter support for border missions, installing concrete barriers and repairing and maintaining vehicles.
The new troops are set to include military police, combat engineers and helicopter companies equipped with advanced technology to help detect people at night.
Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source>https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mattis-when-asked-if-troop-deployment-to-border-is-a-stunt-we-dont-do-stunts

Dem Bashes McCaskill In PROFANITY-LACED Attacck For ‘CRAZY Democrats’ Comment

Dem bashes McCaskill in profanity-laced attack for ‘crazy Democrats’ comment


Adam Shaw


Sen. Claire McCaskill’s, D-Mo., efforts to distance herself from “crazy Democrats” sparked a fiery backlash from a Missouri Democratic state senator, who responded by calling her a “piece of s---” and nicknaming her “Dixie Claire.”
“Claire McCaskill is desperate,” state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal tweeted. “She’s a piece of s---. Instead of knowing why people of color are angered by this administration, she chooses to put us and our families in harm’s way. If my family is harmed, blame it on Claire McCaskill. She deserves to lose. She is not a Democrat.”
Chappelle-Nadal’s comments were first reported by The Daily Caller.
McCaskill said in an interview earlier this week with Fox News’ Bret Baier that she was not a "crazy Democrat," and took a swipe at Chappelle-Nadal in the process. The senator also released a radio advertisement in which a narrator assured constituents, "Claire's not one of those crazy Democrats."
“The crazy Democrats are people who walk in restaurants and scream at elected officials’ faces,” McCaskill told Baier. “The crazy Democrats are ... we have a state senator here in Missouri that actually advocated for the assassination of President Trump. That’s a crazy Democrat.”
McCaskill was apparently referring to a comment from August last year in which Chappelle-Nadal said on Facebook: “I hope Trump is assassinated.” She eventually deleted the post and apologized.
“I posted something on my personal Facebook and I should not have done that, and for that I am sorry for that," Chappelle-Nadal told St. Louis television station KMOV at the time. "But I am not going to shy away from what caused that anger at all, I'm not going to shy away from that."
At the time, McCaskill said that Chappelle-Nadal should resign.
McCaskill is in a tight race with Missouri Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley ahead of next week’s midterm elections.
But the comments, possibly designed to position herself as a moderate in a state  Trump won comfortably in 2016, angered Chappelle-Nadal.
“White Supremacy would place a person of color in physical danger,” she tweeted. “That's what Claire McCaskill has done to my family. Shame on you, Dixie Claire.”
The state senator wasn't the only one McCaskill called out. In the interview with Baier, she also swiped at Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
"I would not call my colleagues crazy, but Elizabeth Warren sure went after me when I advocated tooling back some of the regulations for small banks and credit unions. I certainly disagree with Bernie Sanders on a bunch of stuff. So I’m not afraid -- I’ve done those kinds of things which do separate me, I think, from some of the kneejerk folks that just are against the president no matter what," she said.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.
Source>https://www.foxnews.com/politics/missouri-dem-calls-sen-mccaskill-a-piece-of-s-t-for-distancing-herself-from-crazy-democrats

When Adolescents GIVE UP POT, Their COGNITION Quickly IMPROVES


Even a week without marijuana use improves young people's ability to learn and remember. BURGER/Canopy/Getty Images



RACHEL D. COHEN


Marijuana, it seems, is not a performance-enhancing drug. That is, at least, not among young people, and not when the activity is learning.

A study published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry finds that when adolescents stop using marijuana – even for just one week – their verbal learning and memory improves. The study contributes to growing evidence that marijuana use in adolescents is associated with reduced neurocognitive functioning.

More than 14 percent of middle and high school students reported using marijuana within the last month, finds a National Institutes of Health survey conducted in 2017. And marijuana use has increased among high schoolers over the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

At the same time, the percentage of teens who believe that regular marijuana use poses a great risk to their health has dropped sharply since the mid-2000s. And, legalization of marijuana may play a part in shaping how young people think about the drug. One study noted that after 2012, when marijuana was legalized in Washington state, the number of eighth graders there that believed marijuana posed risks to their health dropped by 14 percent.

Researchers are particularly concerned with use of marijuana among the young because THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, most sharply affects the parts of the brain that develop during adolescence.

"The adolescent brain is undergoing significant neurodevelopment well into the 20s, and the regions that are last to develop are those regions that are most populated by cannabis receptors, and are also very critical to cognitive functioning," says Randi Schuster. Schuster is the director of Neuropsychology at Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Addiction Medicine, and the study's lead author.

Schuster and the team of researchers set out to determine if cognitive functions that are potentially harmed by marijuana use in adolescents – particularly attention and memory – improve when they abstain from marijuana.

They recruited 88 pot-using teens and young adults, ages 16 to 25, and got some of them to agree to stop smoking (or otherwise consuming) marijuana for the month.

Schuster says the researchers wanted to recruit a range of participants, not just heavy users or those in a treatment program, for example. Some of the young people smoked once per week; some smoked nearly daily.

"People were generally fine," she says. "We kind of went through what the next month would look like and helped them come up with strategies for staying abstinent."The researchers randomly assigned the volunteers into an abstaining group and a non-abstaining group. They delivered the bad news to those chosen to be abstainers at the end of their first visit, and Shuster says, they took it surprisingly well.

One motivation for the non-tokers to stick with the program? They received increasing amounts of money each week of the month-long study.

The researchers urine tested both groups on a weekly basis to make sure that the THC levels for the abstinent group were going down, but that the levels for the control group were staying consistent as they continued using.

Also at each visit, the participants completed a variety of tasks testing their attention and memory through the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, a validated cognitive assessment tool.

The researchers found that after four weeks, there was no noticeable difference in attention scores between the marijuana users and the non-users. But, the memory scores of the non-users improved, whereas the users' memories mostly stayed the same.

The verbal memory test challenged participants to learn and recall new words, which "lets us look both at their ability to learn information the first time the words were presented, as well as the number of words that they're able to retrieve from long-term memory storage after a delay," Schuster says.

Verbal memory is particularly relevant for adolescents and young adults when they're in the classroom, says Schuster.

"For an adolescent sitting in their history class learning new facts for the first time, we're suspecting that active cannabis users might have a difficult time putting that new information into their long-term memory," Schuster says.

While this study didn't prove that abstaining from cannabis improves adolescents' attention, other studies have found that marijuana users fare worse in attention teststhan non-users. Schusters hypothesizes it might take more than four weeks of abstinence for attention levels to improve.

Interestingly, most of the memory improvement for the abstinent group happened during the first week of the study, which leaves the researchers feeling hopeful.

"We were pleasantly surprised to see that at least some of the deficits that we think may be caused by cannabis appear to be reversible, and at least some of them are quickly reversible, which is good news," Schuster says.

One weakness of this study is its lack of a non-marijuana-using control group, says Krista Lisdahl, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee who was not involved with the study, but also researches the neuroscience of addiction. Because of this, it's difficult to conclude whether the improvements in memory brought the participants back to their baseline levels prior to using marijuana.

Also, because the study lasted only four weeks, it's impossible to draw conclusions about the long term effects of marijuana usage for young people, such as how marijuana directly affects academic performance or sleep patterns or mood.

Lisdahl says that longitudinal studies like the NIH's Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, could provide more information about what marijuana does to the adolescent brain. It might also reveal what happens if adolescents stop using marijuana, and if their brain functioning can completely recover.

Lisdahl is helping with the NIH study, which has, to date, enrolled over 11,000 children ages nine and 10, and will follow them over into young adulthood. It's the largest long-term research study on child brain development in the U.S., and it assesses how everything from screen time to concussions to drugs affect adolescents' brains.

In the meantime, Lisdahl says the findings from the new study – that abstinence from marijuana is associated with improvements in adolescents' learning and memory – sends a positive message.

"I remain optimistic that we can show recovery of function with sustained abstinence," she says.

Source>https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/10/30/662127406/when-adolescents-give-up-pot-their-cognition-quickly-improves

Dems AFRAID of a Conversation About BIRTHRIGHT Citizenship?

LAURA INGRAHAM: Media, Dems freak out over birthright citizenship debate

Laura Ingraham

It took the mainstream media less than a nanosecond to lose its collective mind once President Trump announced his plans to address birthright citizenship, a nonsensical policy that allows anyone who makes it across our border and has a baby to produce a U.S. citizen.
It is a policy that has been horribly abused and its current application would be unrecognizable to the legislators who crafted the 14th Amendment that supposedly provides for it. But after President Trump’s disclosure to Axios, the “open-borders” media crowd was predictably quick to denounce the president and condemn him for even raising the idea of ending birthright citizenship.
This is the default behavior of all those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome when faced with an inconvenient truth — demonize him and dismiss the issue. Heaven forbid we actually present the American people with a factual, unbiased presentation of the issues.
First of all, Trump had committed to ending birthright citizenship during the 2016 campaign. So aside from his mention of drafting an executive order —the pathway to fulfilling the promise made to the electorate that put him in office -- this is hardly a newsflash.
Why is this an important issue for the president and for so many of his supporters?  Consider the number of children born to illegals each year. In 2010, The Center for Immigration Studies estimated that 300,000 to 400,000 are born to illegal aliens in the U.S. annually.
Rather than demonizing the president or caricaturing his position, let’s have a substantive debate.
The figure is bound to be a lot higher today, given new research showing that the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is at least 22 million, at least double prior estimation.  There are as many as 400,000 children born every year who the hardworking U.S. taxpayers have to educate, and for whom they provide health care and food stamps. The Center estimates that the annual cost to the U.S. taxpayers of children born to illegal immigrants is a staggering $2.4 billion.
Do you think our veterans, homeless and inner-city school children could use that money?
To burrow down a little further: A 2015 Center for Immigration Studies report found 51 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one federal program — cash, food, housing or medical care — compared to 30 percent of native households. And we aren’t just talking about folks on Visa overstays or those who cross the border illegally.
Many Americans would be stunned to know that there are entire industries here and abroad now devoted to gaming the birthright citizenship system. Birth tourism has become big business in the U.S., attracting visitors from China, Taiwan, Mexico and Turkey who come to give birth and ensure their newborns begin life as American citizens.
Pregnant women purchase package deals costing around $50,000, and come to the U.S. as a visitor for several months and have their baby on American soil. Citizenship for their babies means preferential college treatment and even allows them at age 21 to sponsor their parents for green cards. Does anyone really believe this was the intent when Congress put forward the 14th Amendment?
Contrary to what former President Obama and so many on the left are saying today, President Trump - by questioning birthright citizenship, is provoking a conversation that is sorely needed.
Rather than demonizing the president or caricaturing his position, let’s have a substantive debate.  How we want to proceed with immigration in the United States seems a worthy conversation to have — especially during a midterm election.

And up until now, Trump is the only president who has been willing to have it.  It makes you wonder, just what are the Democrats so afraid of?
Source>https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/laura-ingraham-why-are-dems-so-afraid-of-a-conversation-about-birthright-citizenship

Trevor Noah: Fox News Appears Like The REAL 'CARAVAN Of DANGEROUS EXTREMISTS'

Trevor Noah arrives at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) ** FILE **
(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) 


 Douglas Ernst 

Comedian Trevor Noah says President Trump may want to stop concentrating on thousands of migrants marching toward the U.S. border via Mexico and concentrate on a real “caravan of dangerous extremists” — Fox News.
“The Daily Show” host told an audience in Miami Tuesday night that it is absurd for the commander in chief, along with Fox pundits, to frame a caravan of migrants demanding entry into the U.S. as a de facto invasion. He added that such rhetoric was “fear mongering” to excite voters ahead of the midterm elections.
“It’s a group of people who are saying to America, ‘Hey, we’re in trouble. Can you help us?’ ” Mr. Noah said. “Trump is sending the same amount of troops [to the border] as he sent to fight ISIS. … Do you know what’s even worse? Trump is sending more troops than there are migrants so the troops can basically play man-on-man defense.”
The comedian’s commentary was supplemented by multiple pundits calling the caravan an invasion.
“Really? An ‘invasion’? Get the f— out of here, man,” Mr. Noah said.
“Even though this network might seem like one giant caravan of dangerous extremists, I believe there are people in there who mean well,” he said in reference to Shepard Smith.
Mr. Trump is sending roughly 5,200 U.S. troops to the Southern border to control the influx of migrants.
“When they are captured, we don’t let them out,” Mr. Trump told Fox’s Laura Ingraham this week. “We’re not letting them out. … We’re not catching, we’re not releasing. … We’re not letting them into this country.”
Source>https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/oct/31/trevor-noah-fox-news-appears-real-caravan-dangerou/

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Appeasing ISLAMISTS By Enforcing BLASPHEMY Laws Will Make Europe More Dangerous

If Europe believes in enforcing blasphemy laws in order to suppress offensive speech is necessary for maintaining ‘religious peace,’ it’s dead wrong.

Attempting To Appease Islamists By Enforcing Blasphemy Laws Will Only Make Europe More Dangerous



 Helen Raleigh


What do Europe and Pakistan have in common? Recent events demonstrate that both set limits on a person’s freedom of speech and expression by enforcing blasphemy laws, laws that penalize the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things.
In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a 53-year-old Christian woman, has been on death row since 2010. Her alleged crime? Back in 2009 in Punjab, two Muslim women accused Bibi, a mother of five children, of polluting a cup by drinking from it on a hot summer day. In the heat of argument, Bibi allegedly said to the Muslim women: “Jesus had died on the cross for the sins of mankind” and asked, “What did your Prophet Muhammad ever do to save mankind?”
In Pakistan, which enforces the most severe form of blasphemy law and where religious minorities are frequent targets, making a blasphemous comment is itself considered a punishable blasphemous act. Thus, Bibi was quickly arrested on the charge of blasphemy and was sentenced to death in 2010.
She appealed to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. The court reviewed her appeal in early October of this year, but decided to postpone making any verdict indefinitely amid protests led by a hard-line Islamic party, which threatens “terrible consequences” if Bibi is allowed to live and flee to another country. This isn’t an empty threat, because in Punjab, former Christian Gov. Salmaan Taseer, who called Pakistan’s blasphemy statute a “black law” prone to abuse, was murdered by his own body guard in 2011.
If in the end Pakistan’s Supreme Court spares Bibi’s life and lets her flee, she may not want to settle in Europe, because last Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld an Austrian woman’s conviction by an Austrian court for defaming Muhammad.
According to the court ruling, the woman in this case, Mrs. S., held several seminars, entitled “Basic Information on Islam” between 2008 to 2009. In these seminars, she made several statements regarding Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha (Islamic traditions hold that Aisha was six at the time of their marriage and nine at its consummation). An undercover journalist reported her comments to Austrian authorities.
The Vienna Regional Criminal Court found her “guilty of publicly disparaging an object of veneration of a domestic church or religious society, namely Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, in a manner capable of arousing justified indignation.” Thus, she was convicted in 2011 of “disparaging religious doctrines pursuant to Article 188 of the Criminal Code concerning three statements.” She was ordered to “pay the costs of the proceedings and a day‑fine of 4 euros (EUR) for a period of 120 days (amounting to EUR 480 in total), which would result in sixty days’ imprisonment in the event of default.”
Mrs. S appealed the verdict by arguing her comments were protected by freedom of expression and her goal was not to defame Muhammad, but to contribute to a public debate. Her appeal was first denied by the Regional Criminal Court and later by the Austrian Supreme Court in 2014. Both courts upheld the lower court’s verdict by concluding that “the interference with the applicant’s freedom of expression in the form of a criminal conviction had been justified as it had been based in law and had been necessary in a democratic society, namely in order to protect religious peace in Austria.”
Last Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Mrs. S’s conviction didn’t violate Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, covering freedom of expression, even though the ECHR acknowledges that “freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and for each individual’s self-fulfillment. It is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favorably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb. ”
In other words, freedom of expression includes the right to offend. However, after giving the traditional definition of freedom of expression, the ECHR insists “the exercise of the freedom of expression carries with it duties and responsibilities.” Mrs. S’s right to freedom of expression “must be balanced with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria.”
The Vienna Regional Criminal Court found her “guilty of publicly disparaging an object of veneration of a domestic church or religious society, namely Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, in a manner capable of arousing justified indignation.” Thus, she was convicted in 2011 of “disparaging religious doctrines pursuant to Article 188 of the Criminal Code concerning three statements.” She was ordered to “pay the costs of the proceedings and a day‑fine of 4 euros (EUR) for a period of 120 days (amounting to EUR 480 in total), which would result in sixty days’ imprisonment in the event of default.”
Mrs. S appealed the verdict by arguing her comments were protected by freedom of expression and her goal was not to defame Muhammad, but to contribute to a public debate. Her appeal was first denied by the Regional Criminal Court and later by the Austrian Supreme Court in 2014. Both courts upheld the lower court’s verdict by concluding that “the interference with the applicant’s freedom of expression in the form of a criminal conviction had been justified as it had been based in law and had been necessary in a democratic society, namely in order to protect religious peace in Austria.”
Last Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Mrs. S’s conviction didn’t violate Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, covering freedom of expression, even though the ECHR acknowledges that “freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and for each individual’s self-fulfillment. It is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favorably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb. ”
In other words, freedom of expression includes the right to offend. However, after giving the traditional definition of freedom of expression, the ECHR insists “the exercise of the freedom of expression carries with it duties and responsibilities.” Mrs. S’s right to freedom of expression “must be balanced with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria.”
The Europeans like to take pride in saying they enjoy a multicultural society. Yet it seems the more diverse its population gets, the less Europe knows how to integrate them. Rather than helping its immigrants assimilate into the liberal, democratic norm, Europe self-censors its own liberal values. But its appeasement hasn’t bought it peace and its retreat has only invited more repression. Europe has seen some of the deadliest attacks in recent years against novelists, journalists, and cartoonists.
According to a report by United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, 71 countries, including several nations in Europe, still punish blasphemy. Thankfully, there are some bright spots in Europe. The day after the ECHR’s ruling, Ireland voted to remove a blasphemy reference from its constitution, making it possible to repeal a law that punishes blasphemy according to religious sensibilities.
Don’t get me wrong. We should unequivocally condemn any act that causes physical harm to others because of their beliefs. We should count on our criminal laws to punish those who commit violence. But blasphemy laws are relics from the dark ages that have no place in today’s liberal democracies. One of the reasons that liberal democracies are able to enjoy peace and prosperity much more than any form of political systems is the diverse and free exchange of ideas.
As the ECHR admits, “Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society.” Without such a foundation, a liberal democratic society will cease to exist.
Source>http://thefederalist.com/2018/10/30/attempting-appease-islamists-enforcing-blasphemy-laws-will-make-europe-dangerous/