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  #651  
Old 09-14-2019, 01:22 AM
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Do you get the impression that I am not serious or sincere about feeling that I should have every bit as much right to cover my face in a drivers license photo as someone who believes in a magical sky father? Does it strike you that I don’t really care about this?
I get the very strong impression that you have no serious or sincere reason whatsoever for wishing to cover your face in a driver's license photo, other than your resentment that somebody who does have a serious and sincere reason for doing so is somehow "getting away with" something that you're not.

This is the part that I referred to as "shallow-minded sulking", and I see no reason for the government to accord it the same deference that it accords to expression of religious belief.
  #652  
Old 09-14-2019, 01:49 AM
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Nonsense; there is a valid distinction between doing something for a serious and sincere reason and doing it for a frivolous or insincere reason, and the government is entitled to take that distinction into account.

That's why, for example, the government is willing to issue a green card to an immigrant who genuinely and mutually wants to be married to a particular US citizen, but not to an immigrant whose only interest in the marriage is to get a green card. In both cases the married couple is carrying out the same action---i.e., getting legally married to each other---but their intentions in the two cases are very different.

One could argue the sham marriage is not getting legally married as it's a sham.
  #653  
Old 09-14-2019, 01:51 AM
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It’s exactly the same reason Michael Newdow (someone I have great respect for) spent so much time, money, and energy to get “In God We Trust” off our money. Most people will dismiss that as harmless, but I say “get your stupid fucking superstitious bullshit off our public currency!” Similarly, Muslim women: “get your stupid fucking superstitious bullshit off our public driving documents!” It’s called identification, FFS. Don’t want to identify yourself? Then don’t drive or fly. Stay in the Dark Ages, but don’t expect the government to enable your backwardness. JFC
  #654  
Old 09-14-2019, 02:29 AM
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In fact, because covering their face is a practice is something they do because they believe their religion tells them to do so, the United States is required by the First Amendment and freedom of religion to afford special attention to their desires. The United States is required to use the least possible violation of those people religious freedom to accomplish their legitimate purpose.

Even I can come up with something obvious for the driver's license: finger prints. They will uniquely identify someone for all legitimate government purposes where a driver's license is used for ID. If the fingerprint matches the one on the license, then you know they are who they say they are.

Having their photo without covering would be useless, as they would never been seen in public without said covering. All it does is encourage conservative Muslim women not to get driver's licenses--i.e. exactly what happened in France when they enacted their anti-burqa law.

Even if you believe those women are oppressed, trying to make the law force them to defy their religion and their husbands is not going to work. And if I can come up with an alternative, anyone could.
  #655  
Old 09-14-2019, 02:44 AM
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In fact, because covering their face is a practice is something they do because they believe their religion tells them to do so, the United States is required by the First Amendment and freedom of religion to afford special attention to their desires.
Regarding the First Amendment, I don't think this is currently the case. As far as I know, the current case law on the First Amendment is that people are not entitled to any "special attention" by the government on the basis of their religion. There are other laws providing that, like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but they exist specifically because of the cases on the First Amendment that found no such entitlement.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 09-14-2019 at 02:45 AM.
  #656  
Old 09-14-2019, 03:32 AM
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...So, have we proven that she fucked her brother yet, or what?
  #657  
Old 09-14-2019, 03:37 AM
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I'm still waiting for that list of "anti-Semitic organizations as designated by the FBI" Sage Rat.

CMC fnord!
I didn't mention a list and nor was "organization" plural but since you're feeling picky about the exact format of the FBI's accusation:

https://www.investigativeproject.org...423.pdf#page=5

III.11

But more relevant, really, is that CAIR sued the government asking for the appellation to be removed and, on the basis of the evidence, the court refused.

It's hard to say that there is no such designation when both you and the Federal court system say that there is, on official court record.

If you're genuinely interested in the topic, you're free to read the documents submitted by the FBI:

https://www.investigativeproject.org...728.pdf#page=6
https://www.investigativeproject.org...ts/misc/20.pdf

And the opinion in the designation suit:

https://www.investigativeproject.org..._docs/1425.pdf
  #658  
Old 09-14-2019, 03:51 AM
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...So, have we proven that she fucked her brother yet, or what?
That’s not the argument at hand.
  #659  
Old 09-14-2019, 04:00 AM
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That’s not the argument at hand.
Really? This guy seems to think so;

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This is not getting much play in the mainstream media, but it really does seem like Omar married her brother to get him American citizenship, among other things.

In my opinion, this needs to be investigated and if true, she needs to be prosecuted.
Let's you and him fight.
  #660  
Old 09-14-2019, 04:18 AM
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Did you read my cite in post #625 about what the ACLU has to say about the FBI's "policy" regarding CAIR?
Your snippet contained no counter evidence nor argument beyond, "It's mean." I have now read the whole thing and that is still true.

CAIR challenged it in court, using that same argument, and lost.

The appelation is in current effect to the best that I can tell, has survived an OIG review and a court review. The evidence against the organization seems decent and one judge describes that evidence (including, possibly, things which they were able to view that are not publicly available) as criminal conspiracy.

That the government did not indict and charge anyone in CAIR, obviously, leaves a lingering question. But the impression one gets from the court decisions is that there wasn't a real question. There may have been some tertiary considerations to the decision of whether to prosecute that had nothing to do with guilt. E.g., they would have had to expose a source who was more valuable elsewhere, the political hit for attacking the group would have been too large, or the evidence is good enough for intelligence experts and Federal judges but insufficient to convince a jury composed of your average persons. I don't know.

Whether ACLU believes that to be fair or not, it remains true that the FBI has, in court, stated on the record that CAIR was founded with the explicit purpose of raising funds for Hamas. They said that the founder of the organization is the person who is in control of that, and that person is still the leader of the organization. FBI advisory to Congress not to talk with members of CAIR still stands (whether they follow it or not).

Last edited by Sage Rat; 09-14-2019 at 04:22 AM.
  #661  
Old 09-14-2019, 04:31 AM
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Really? This guy seems to think so;



Let's you and him fight.
Says nothing about them fucking, you imbecile.

It specifically states for citizenship.
  #662  
Old 09-14-2019, 04:38 AM
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...So, have we proven that she fucked her brother yet, or what?
It is possible for people to enter a sham marriage for reasons of immigration without having sex. I'll grant that this is a hard assertion to prove, but I do believe that it's an obvious truth that doesn't really bear the need to defend.

If your sibling was separated from the family by war and the only way to get them back without having to wait five years was to pretend to marry, would your first instinct on finally meeting them to be to get down and start fucking? If not, and if that's a patently absurd thing to envision happening, then why would that be your first instinct to jump to? Are you sure that it's because you have a desire to discuss the topic in good faith, using reason and evidence?

Last edited by Sage Rat; 09-14-2019 at 04:39 AM.
  #663  
Old 09-14-2019, 06:44 AM
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This is not getting much play in the mainstream media, but it really does seem like Omar married her brother to get him American citizenship, among other things.

In my opinion, this needs to be investigated and if true, she needs to be prosecuted.

There are quite a few reasons why reputable journalists aren't giving your crap o' the day "play", liar.
  #664  
Old 09-14-2019, 10:41 AM
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That’s not the argument at hand.
Meanwhile, to the argument at hand:
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Hello. Non-angry person here with some questions.
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Originally Posted by Not Carlson View Post
Some quickie questions you might want to ask yourself:

1) Considering Omar has been the focus of so much news, and the focus of so many attacks of late, why do you think this story hasn't gained more traction in the mainstream media?
Not juicy enough? Conspiratorial coverup? Disinterest in the private lives of public figures?

2) Does Omar actually have a brother named Elmi?

3) Does Elmi now have US citizenship?

4) If Elmi were her brother, wouldn't he already be eligible for US citizenship?

5) What, if anything, do you mean by "among other things"? And If you don't actually have anything else to suggest, why did you feel the need to vaguely imply other nefarious deeds?

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/il...marry-brother/
Thanks.
  #665  
Old 09-14-2019, 10:50 AM
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Meanwhile, to the argument at hand:
I didn’t answer any of this because the author, you, and several others clearly didn’t read the OP/link where all of those questions were addressed.

Which is not even remotely surprising.
  #666  
Old 09-14-2019, 11:01 AM
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It is possible for people to enter a sham marriage for reasons of immigration without having sex. I'll grant that this is a hard assertion to prove, but I do believe that it's an obvious truth that doesn't really bear the need to defend.

If your sibling was separated from the family by war and the only way to get them back without having to wait five years was to pretend to marry, would your first instinct on finally meeting them to be to get down and start fucking? If not, and if that's a patently absurd thing to envision happening, then why would that be your first instinct to jump to? Are you sure that it's because you have a desire to discuss the topic in good faith, using reason and evidence?

An excellent question which you are guaranteed not to get a serious answer to.
  #667  
Old 09-14-2019, 11:36 AM
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It’s exactly the same reason Michael Newdow (someone I have great respect for) spent so much time, money, and energy to get “In God We Trust” off our money.
No, that's entirely different. The government accommodating individual expression of personal religious belief---which is what our constitutional right to freedom of religion entails---is not the same thing as the government engaging in official state expression of religious belief, such as putting statements of religious belief on US currency.

The US government doesn't have the right to make statements of religious belief (or disbelief) on behalf of the nation as a whole, but it also doesn't have the right to interfere with personal expression of religious belief by individual members of the nation (outside of certain narrowly defined areas where it has a compelling interest).

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Similarly, Muslim women: “get your stupid fucking superstitious bullshit off our public driving documents!” It’s called identification, FFS. Don’t want to identify yourself? Then don’t drive or fly.
There, there, there. You seem to have got yourself a little mixed up about what religious observances are actually protected in which circumstances, and why. Here is a summary of the different rules on religious accommodations in driver's-license photographs in the 50 US states.

Recall that the driver's-license-photo issue we were originally talking about, where both CAIR and the ACLU have legally defended the right of Muslim women to religious accommodation, involved the wearing of the hijab or headscarf rather than the niqab or face veil. AFAICT all constitutional challenges to headscarf bans in driver's-license photos have been successful, but there's only been one challenge to the post-9/11 prohibitions against niqab or veils, which was unsuccessful.

Interestingly, as my first link points out, it's not just some Muslim women who have to weigh the apparently conflicting requirements of getting a driver's license against their religious beliefs: some Christians of both sexes (including some Amish and Mennonite groups) maintain a religious prohibition against being photographed. Thirteen US states explicitly allow no-photograph versions of driver's licenses to accommodate such issues, and only three explicitly prohibit a no-photo option.

My second link concurs with BigT's point that a photograph isn't an indispensable or even necessarily the most effective means of identifying an individual. Technology may soon eliminate this whole problem for us by means of portable fingerprint scanners instead.

So all your spluttering fulmination about "stupid fucking superstitious bullshit" and "backwardness" and what-not, while I hope it made you feel better, is not actually germane to the issue of what the government should do about religious accommodation in photo ID. The government is required to make reasonable accommodation for individuals' exercise of their right to freedom of religion, and is not allowed to hold any official opinion about whose religious opinions are or aren't "stupid" or "backward" etc.

Last edited by Kimstu; 09-14-2019 at 11:36 AM.
  #668  
Old 09-14-2019, 11:44 AM
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I didn't mention a list and nor was "organization" plural but since you're feeling picky about the exact format of the FBI's accusation:

https://www.investigativeproject.org...423.pdf#page=5

III.11

But more relevant, really, is that CAIR sued the government asking for the appellation to be removed and, on the basis of the evidence, the court refused.

It's hard to say that there is no such designation when both you and the Federal court system say that there is, on official court record.

If you're genuinely interested in the topic, you're free to read the documents submitted by the FBI:

https://www.investigativeproject.org...728.pdf#page=6
https://www.investigativeproject.org...ts/misc/20.pdf

And the opinion in the designation suit:

https://www.investigativeproject.org..._docs/1425.pdf
crowmanyclouds, I would also like to note that I didn't reply earlier because I didn't see your posts. You didn't quote me and your posts weren't substantive, my eye skipped over them. I was not avoiding your question, I just did not see it.

But, since this is the Pit, I'll point out that I had already linked to an official FBI release that made the designation and an OIG analysis which confirmed that the designation held and that the field offices were being bad by not following the guidance. Your need and desire for a list was stupid. Whether one had existed or not, it remains true that you decided that between a written, explanatory text that explicitly designated CAIR a funding source for Hamas, or a list of names with little-to-no explanation of what they are, why they are together, or what any one of them might have done, that somehow the list form is better and more damning.

That is, as said, stupid.

You gambled on your format not existing, so that you could try to claim a small personal genius while avoiding having to read an actual explanation of what was problematic - in the eyes of the FBI - about the organization. If you had won that gamble, you would have disappeared off into a hole feeling smug and happy, but you would have unknowningly been nothing more than a deluded ignorant.

Before seeing my evidence, you decided what format that evidence must come in. On seeing that evidence, you disregarded it because you had already predetermined the format. What was it about the topic that lead you to take that path?
  #669  
Old 09-14-2019, 11:52 AM
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Your snippet contained no counter evidence nor argument beyond, "It's mean." I have now read the whole thing and that is still true.
Uh, that's a pretty misleading description of what the ACLU letter actually said. In fuller detail:
Quote:
The OIG report repeats the FBI’s misleading allegations against CAIR, without explanation or context, and seems to endorse these allegations as an appropriate basis for this stigmatizing policy. According to the OIG report, the FBI’s policy began after the Justice Department publicly identified 246 individuals and organizations as “unindicted co-conspirators” during the terrorism-financing prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in 2007, in violation of Justice Department policy and settled law. As you know, the government’s designation of “unindicted co-conspirators” is not an allegation of criminality against these individuals and groups (hence the term “unindicted”), but is often used as a prosecution tactic to lay the groundwork for the possible admission of hearsay statements pursuant to Rule 801(d)(2)(E) of the Federal Rules of Evidence. A court later ruled that the public release of this information, which the government claimed was an “unfortunate oversight,” violated the Fifth Amendment rights of the named organizations. The OIG report’s repeated references to the designation of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator without appropriate explanation only contributes to public misperception, and compounds the government’s original constitutional error.

Given the OIG’s mandate to investigate violations of law by any part of the Department of Justice, the OIG’s failure to investigate the FBI’s anti-CAIR policy is particularly disconcerting. In an earlier generation,the FBI targeted the ACLU with a similar smear campaign, alleging that our work defending conscientious objectors and labor organizers during World War I was evidence of our involvement in a Bolshevik conspiracy. Such tactics offended American values then, just as they do now.We urge the OIG to reopen its review of FBI interactions with CAIR so that the policy’s infringement on CAIR’s constitutional rights itself may be investigated.
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat
Whether ACLU believes that to be fair or not, it remains true that the FBI has, in court, stated on the record that CAIR was founded with the explicit purpose of raising funds for Hamas.
Cite? AFAICT from reading through all the links you gave twelve posts ago, that isn't what they say. Please point out exactly what you are claiming as evidence for your statement.
  #670  
Old 09-14-2019, 12:13 PM
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Kimstu, halfway through your post I was intending to break out a mea culpa of the “I stand corrected” variety. But then I read about this deal with some states (thankfully not a majority) allowing non-photographic drivers licenses. Fuck that shit.

(And yes, it does make me feel a little better to rant about how stupid all this ignorant, benighted religious bullshit is. Thanks for asking.)
  #671  
Old 09-14-2019, 12:39 PM
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So, I'm not gonna get a link to an FBI page that list the organization(s) that the FBI designates as anti-Semitic?

CMC fnord!
  #672  
Old 09-14-2019, 12:50 PM
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So, I'm not gonna get a link to an FBI page that list the organization(s) that the FBI designates as anti-Semitic?

CMC fnord!
Are genuinely questioning whether Hamas is a terrorist organization with a mission to murder Israelis?
  #673  
Old 09-14-2019, 12:55 PM
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Are genuinely questioning whether Hamas is a terrorist organization with a mission to murder Israelis?
No, but that's not what you claimed is it?

Shall I refresh your memory?
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So, Ilhan Omar is not friendly with an anti-Semitic organization, as designated by the FBI and at least one Liberal news organization (Medium)?
CMC fnord!
  #674  
Old 09-14-2019, 01:15 PM
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But then I read about this deal with some states (thankfully not a majority) allowing non-photographic drivers licenses. Fuck that shit.
Dude. While I acknowledge and support the state's legitimate interest in promoting safety and security by being able to confirm that vehicle drivers are who they say they are, we need to avoid turning the concept of the photo ID into a fetish object.

There is nothing intrinsically indispensable to the continuance of civilization in having photos on driver's licenses. Believe it or not, young grasshopper, my own first driver's license (and possibly some subsequent ones too, I forget) did not have a photograph on it, and yet the world managed to survive "that shit".

For something else to make you feel better, I offer some thoughtful comments from the last link in my previous post:
Quote:
[...] the State contended that, without a full-face photograph, law enforcement officers would be at a greater risk when they stopped individuals, given the extra time necessary to verify the driver’s identity. The State also asserted that, despite the fact that such intent does not appear in the driver’s license statute, driver’s licenses are intended for use as identity documents by people in “society at large to cash checks, rent cars and clear airport security.” Moreover, the State distinguished Freeman’s case from earlier cases permitting exceptions to the driver’s license photograph requirements. In adopting the State’s analysis, the court noted that the world is different than it was twenty to twenty-five years ago and that since 1978, when the first of the three cases cited by Freeman was decided, the increased degree of domestic terror has amplified the potential for widespread abuse. [...]

On closer examination, however, there are flaws in many of the arguments favoring safety and security upon which the court relied. [...] It is unquestionable that the state has an interest in identifying pulled-over drivers. However, it is not clear that requiring that Muslim women unveil for their driver’s license photographs will, in actuality, help to achieve that goal. As discussed, required unveiling may constitute a search for Fourth Amendment purposes, and therefore, absent individualized suspicion, police officers will be unable to compel a veiled Muslim woman to remove her veil once they have pulled her over so that they may match her face with the photograph on her driver’s license. [...] In this instance, a less restrictive means of furthering the state’s interest would be to grant these woman an exception to the driver’s license photograph requirement while adding an additional requirement that those women carry with them when they drive certain documents, such as a birth certificate or a social security card, verifying their identity as the person granted the driver’s license. Because the state has not used the least restrictive means of furthering its goal, the state’s interest in speedily identifying drivers does not appear to outweigh the burden the requirement imposes upon a veiled Muslim woman. [...]

Although a full-face photograph may assist in the prevention of fraud in the case of an unlicensed driver who borrows the driver’s license of a licensed driver, the likelihood of such an instance of fraud is extraordinarily rare. Most people who are driving have valid licenses and have no need to use another’s. [...]

Florida’s Motor Vehicles Statute describing the legislative intent for driver’s licenses makes no mention that one of the purposes of a driver’s license is to serve as identification. Although as a general state interest it seems sound that private industry should be able to have a uniform policy regarding what it considers valid forms of identification, the state may maintain this policy while still allowing for an exception for a small minority of its residents. As the Eighth Circuit stated in Quaring v. Peterson, “the state may still achieve its interest... because people may freely refuse to do business [with the respondent] if she is unable to present adequate identification.”
And from my first link:
Quote:
All but a few states offer accommodation for headwear, which reflects increased tolerance and perhaps recognition of the fact that hair is not a reliable identifier—as its appearance and color can be easily altered). [...]

Ten states offer specific accommodation to the religious objection to taking pictures. [...]

A plurality of the states either offer accommodation or are silent on face coverings in driver’s licensing procedures. Twenty-one states do not allow pictures with face covers.

Pennsylvania and Washington acknowledge that a driver’s license need not be seen as a form of identification. A no-photo option would accommodate both groups of Christians and Muslims. To positively identify drivers with no-photo licenses, states can issue identification cards with fingerprints.

Technical advancements, such as portable fingerprint detectors, used now in computer security systems, may be adapted to law enforcement needs. If this is possible, a driver’s license can carry a fingerprint image instead of a digital face picture.
So the notion that being able to have a driver's license without a photograph of your full face on it automatically poses some kind of catastrophic threat to the secure functioning of society is really kind of an overreaction.

After all, the fundamental point of ID is not to see what you look like, but to confirm that you are in fact the individual you say you are. At our present stage of technological development, facial photos on laminated cards happen to be the most customary and efficient way to do that. But they're not the only way, and even while they're the overwhelmingly dominant way, there is no reason to think that allowing a tiny minority of the population to use a different way will cause the gears of civilization to grind to a halt. Chill.

I've stated my opinions in previous threads on the varying legitimacy of the use of niqab/burqa in different aspects of life in a modern western society, so I won't rehash them here. But they aren't really germane to the fundamentally administrative question of whether everybody needs to have a full-face photo on their driver's license.
  #675  
Old 09-14-2019, 02:32 PM
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In this instance, a less restrictive means of furthering the state’s interest would be to grant these woman an exception to the driver’s license photograph requirement while adding an additional requirement that those women carry with them when they drive certain documents, such as a birth certificate or a social security card, verifying their identity as the person granted the driver’s license.

What a load of horseshit. Uber regularly makes me take a selfie to prove I’m not lending my phone to someone else. I suppose Muslim women should be exempt from that requirement too?

Quote:
Although as a general state interest it seems sound that private industry should be able to have a uniform policy regarding what it considers valid forms of identification, the state may maintain this policy while still allowing for an exception for a small minority of its residents.

Another philosophically bankrupt notion. We should not have special rules that are considered OK because they apply only to small portion of the population. If it’s a legitimate rule, it should be able to be applied to the majority if everyone converted to Islam tomorrow.

There was one silver lining in the opinion:


Quote:
the state may still achieve its interest... because people may freely refuse to do business [with the respondent] if she is unable to present adequate identification.

So there’s a little sanity left, at least. Here’s hoping those businesses “freely” avail themselves of this option and tell veiled customers to get bent.

BTW, that’s wild that you once owned multiple rounds of non-photo drivers licenses. I didn’t think there were any such people left, outside of the rare centenarian.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 09-14-2019 at 02:33 PM.
  #676  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:37 PM
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Another philosophically bankrupt notion. We should not have special rules that are considered OK because they apply only to small portion of the population.
Of course we should, and always have. For instance, we have rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act that state Departments of Transportation have to provide ride services for people whose disabilities prevent them from using regular public transportation. If these rules applied to more than a small portion of the population, they'd be too expensive to implement.

Likewise, we have rules that observant Jewish or Muslim prison inmates are entitled to receive meals complying with their religious dietary restrictions rather than having to eat non-kosher/non-halal regular prison fare. If these rules applied to more than a small portion of the population, they'd be too expensive to implement.

If demographic changes cause any such rules to apply to more than a small portion of the population, then we'll have to re-think how we balance providing accommodations for individual religious belief, disability, etc., with practical limitations such as expense. In the meantime, there's absolutely no reason not to provide the required accommodations to the small portion of the population that they apply to.

Your proposed Communistic alternative of the State offering a single one-size-fits-all option in public services that everybody has to identically conform to, irrespective of their individual beliefs or needs, is not a better solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerInc
BTW, that’s wild that you once owned multiple rounds of non-photo drivers licenses. I didn’t think there were any such people left, outside of the rare centenarian.
Oh, you sweet naive summer child. My native state of New Jersey didn't officially discontinue issuing non-photo paper driver's licenses until 2004.
  #677  
Old 09-14-2019, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
I don't believe that I mentioned anything about human rights.

Do they even exist in Egypt in any meaningful way? The link says that there was no arrest warrant and that she was not given information about where Hoda was taken.

But, by similar token, let's say that I pick up a box of lard. The box proudly proclaimed, "Zero Carbs!" It's technically true, but the statement that lard is carb free is an advertising gimmick to falsely make you believe that other lard isn't. It is a sort of lie, trying to catch people who don't know better.

Should there have been a warrant? Is that novel? Should there have been a location reference? Being pissed off about how the police operate doesn't mean that they operated in an unreasonable fashion for their area.

The daughter approves of murder. The mother is, purportedly, a leader in a section of the Muslim Brotherhood - an organization that is likely active in terrorism but also sometimes a very useful ally and it depends on country and location which is which.... Do we have any reason to believe that the daughter's ideas on the sanctity of life - regardless of race and religion - are out of alignment with her mother? What do you actually know about Hoda Abd al-Moneim? Egypt's police seem to believe that she is a threat and it is not inconceivable that they have some information guiding that choice.
You don’t know that, and for human rights purposes you are only falling for what “trump’s favorite dictator” is telling us.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politic...ctator-884509/

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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
Supporting Hoda is very questionable minus greater information. I'm pretty doubtful that, if Omar asked someone in the CIA if it made sense to advocate for this woman or it might come back to bite her, that they would tell her to go ahead.

And that's without even considering hanging out with the daughter and taking a selfie.

If Steve King takes a picture with a neo-Nazi, because the neo-Nazi's dad was wrongly convicted of jaywalking and sentenced to five years hard time, wouldn't you wonder to yourself, exactly what relationship of King's it was that brought him into this particular bit of special pleading? Aren't there other injustices in the world? Did King really need to hang out with the skinhead son and completely gloss over the fact that the son has a "Death to blackies!" about section on his Twitter account? Isn't there some way for him to have bypassed that step and advocated for the jaywalking dad independent of the son?
Lots of tap dancing to ignore the obvious, you are relying on what a dictator is doing and saying, I had enough experiences in the past to know that even if one thinks that a likely sympathizer of revels should be captured and tortured just for expressing bad things the end result is to capture many who are innocent or were not really involved.


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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
I personally find it better if my sources are written independently of one another.
Good because once again VOA did not report anything about the alleged connections with Omar.
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
If the person is writing about Hormuud without mentioning Omar then I do not need to worry that it was written as an attack on Omar by some person at the VOA who has some personal animosity against her. Whether VOA checks out or not, it's still safer.
Safer for your dumb armchair deductive “capabilities”, yes we know /s

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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
Who contacted Omar to ask for her to write a defense piece for Hormuud? Why, of all things happening in Somalia and the world is that the one that she decides to support?

Let's say that it's a person she knows who is affected by telephony outages because of military actions. Does that person contact her and complain, "The telecommunications company Hormuud is being attacked by the military, you must defend them!"? Or is it more likely that an average, every day person would simply say, "The military keeps destroying all the frickin' phone lines! Make them stop Omar! I can't call my mom! What if she's hurt and I need to go help her, but she can't call me to all for help!?"?

What person, not associated with Hormuud, is liable to specify that company and ask specifically for a defense of that company? No one. Even an employee of the company is unlikely to ask for help for the company unless they're high up in the totem pole. So who at the company does she know?

Like King and the neo-Nazi, you sort of have to wonder how this particular message got to King. Of all wrongful arrests in the world, why is this the one that connected through and was followed up on?
Elsewhere, on the SDMB a conservative made the point about how communications and telephone companies are helping people come out of poverty, should we then ask for the banning of that poster for not mentioning how many owners of the telecom companies in the third world are bad hombres?

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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
Chairman Mao believed strongly in the equality of the sexes (by the standards of his time). That almost everything he did was horrible and evil doesn't negate the things that are provably good.

The trolls are the ones looking for accusations to make. They will almost certainly identify the majority of problematic things that Omar has done. Most of those are stupid, overwrought, or stretch the complaint far beyond anything reasonable.
Yeah, but enough about how you are approaching this.

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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
But if it checks out, it doesn't matter where it came from.
Again, that was not VOA, if you even try to get back to your tiresome “but that are reliable sources” you are correct on that item only, but grossly and monstrously wrong on ignoring how VOA are not reporting that Omar is involved with the terrorists.

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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
Omar had a lady who advocates the murder of Jews in her office, in Washington DC, put her arm around her, snapped a selfie, and posted it to the wide public. The right wing did not use a mind control raygun to force her to do that. They didn't mock up the picture, hack into her account, and post it.

As said, even if we accept that Hoda was a sweet ol' granny just being tormented without cause by those nasty police officers, you have to blow by the "chillin' with the murder-lovin' antisemite in your office" in order to raise that defense. I don't see a reasonable way to do that.
Sure there is you numnut, that is called presumption of innocence and until involvement with terrorists is shown in a court of law (or due process that Egypt and even many Americans like you (if you are one) should learn about)

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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
There are plenty of human rights violations in the world. Why did you pick this one? How did you even hear about it? And why did you decide that it made sense to handle it in this way?
You are so deluded that you are willing to ignore that Human rights groups do not agree with your stupid posting, they were the ones that pointed at the Abdelmoniem case as one that deserves attention.

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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
Even if we accept that there was not meant to be any indication of support for the whole "Death to the people of Israel!" thing, it's still a really bad decision.
Yeah, like Obama and Ayers, only that history showed that working in the same government or charity organizations in Chicago does not mean that Obama was “palling around with terrorists”; or that it was a bad decision to be together when local orgs caused Obama and Ayers to be together, in the end it was not Obama the one that revealed state secrets or undermined the USA just because of shits and giggles like Trump.

There is a bad decision here, it is the one that the ones fighting monsters ignore many times nowadays, you have to be careful that you do not become a monster yourself, a monster that ignores human rights and swallows not only what Trolls post out there, but also the bait what dictators in Egypt and authoritarians like Trump are tossing.

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/09/70945...-seeks-u-s-hel
Quote:
Egyptian prosecutors accuse Abdelmoniem of vague charges under the country's broad anti-terrorism laws, which human rights groups say the state frequently uses to target activists and journalists. Her family believes that the unspecific charges are meant to leave them defenseless.
The 60-year-old's health is getting worse. She has a blood clot in her leg and high blood pressure, causing her to lose balance and requiring medical care that she received in prison only recently, according to her husband and lawyer, Khaled Badawy.
The family's lobbying trips came before this week's return visit to Washington, D.C., by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Rights groups say Abdelmoniem's case is one of the latest examples of a sweeping crackdown by the Sissi government against a broad range of citizens.
Quote:
Eighteen other human rights lawyers and activists were arrested in similar raids in Egypt the same day as Abdelmoniem, according to Hussein Baoumi, an Egypt researcher with Amnesty International. Eight women and 11 men are believed to have been forcibly disappeared during this wave of targeted arrests.
Baoumi said Egypt's government has systematically enforced disappearances not only of activists and journalists but also of a wide array of citizens suspected of any form of dissent.
Now the following should give you one important bit of evidence that shows how inadequate are the reports about the daughter being in league with terrorists:

Quote:
In January, Khaled was desperate for solutions. She decided, along with her husband, to fly from Doha, where they currently live, to Washington to advocate on her mother's behalf.
Can you guess what that implies?
  #678  
Old 09-15-2019, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Of course we should, and always have. For instance, we have rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act that state Departments of Transportation have to provide ride services for people whose disabilities prevent them from using regular public transportation. If these rules applied to more than a small portion of the population, they'd be too expensive to implement.

Choosing to ascribe to a particular superstition about imaginary deities is in no way like having a disability. If people could choose to stop being disabled, then those special ride services should not exist either.


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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Likewise, we have rules that observant Jewish or Muslim prison inmates are entitled to receive meals complying with their religious dietary restrictions rather than having to eat non-kosher/non-halal regular prison fare. If these rules applied to more than a small portion of the population, they'd be too expensive to implement.

I didn’t know about this, and it makes me sick. No fucking way should they get that special privilege, unless every prison inmate can choose to get those meals.
  #679  
Old 09-15-2019, 10:35 AM
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I didn’t answer any of this because the author, you, and several others clearly didn’t read the OP/link where all of those questions were addressed.

Which is not even remotely surprising.
Firstly, thank you for reminding me that I’m the author of those questions that I wrote to you.
Good to have that clarified.

The article presents a claim that Ilhan Omar has siblings with the family name of Said Elmi.
It tries to back this up with a game of connect-the-dots, making several leaps of logic, tossing in a generous dose of hyperbole, and using bold, assertive language.
What it doesn’t actually do is demonstrate that Ilhan Omar actually, factually has a brother named Ahmed Nur Said Elmi.
Unless you can point me to the part of the article where it conclusively establishes that connection.

Given your umbrage at the many “hypocrites” in this thread, I take it that you value honesty.
Could you then kindly provide your own honest answers to my questions?
The OP article itself does not touch on No.1, does not definitively answer No.2, and does not adequately address No.3 or No.4.
No.5 pertains not the article, but to your own remarks that Ohmar “married her brother to get him American citizenship, among other things”.

Quote:
1) Considering Omar has been the focus of so much news, and the focus of so many attacks of late, why do you think this story hasn't gained more traction in the mainstream media?
Not juicy enough? Conspiratorial coverup? Disinterest in the private lives of public figures?

2) Does Omar actually have a brother named Elmi?

3) Does Elmi now have US citizenship?

4) If Elmi were her brother, wouldn't he already be eligible for US citizenship?

5) What, if anything, do you mean by "among other things"? And If you don't actually have anything else to suggest, why did you feel the need to vaguely imply other nefarious deeds?

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/il...marry-brother/

With regard to No.3 and 4, I'd like to point out the following statement from the article: “Ilhan and Ahmed married in 2009, presumably to benefit in some way from a fraudulent marriage,” which suggests that the author doesn’t even seem to know what that benefit was. (But we can be absolutely sure it was presumably fraudulent!)
  #680  
Old 09-15-2019, 09:47 PM
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Choosing to ascribe to a particular superstition about imaginary deities is in no way like having a disability.
It is not appropriate for the government to hold an opinion about whose beliefs should be derogated as "superstition" about "imaginary deities" and thus do not warrant freedom-of-religion accommodations.

Honestly, SlackerInc, you've really got your head up your ass about this. The government making accommodations for individuals' religious practices (absent some conflict with a different compelling interest) without making judgements about the validity of said practices is a good thing. This is about preserving individual rights to the exercise of religious belief (however stupid you may think those beliefs are) against the practical incentives to automatically defer to the convenience and preference of the majority.

You personally are free to believe that other people shouldn't believe in deities and to get all angry about the fact that they do, but you don't have to shit all over the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of religion by whining that the government shouldn't do anything to accommodate faith practices that you think are stupid.

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc
I didn’t know about this, and it makes me sick. No fucking way should they get that special privilege, unless every prison inmate can choose to get those meals.
Oh well, if I can't manage to drive any sense into your ass-embedded head on this subject, I can at least have some fun making you mad about it.

Did you know that members of Native American tribal faith communities are allowed to use eagle feathers in public ceremonies although other Americans are prohibited from doing so due to wildlife protection regulations? Did you know that hijab-wearing Muslims and turban-wearing Sikhs enlisted in the US armed forces have been granted exemptions to rules against headcoverings in basic training? Did you know that a Rastafarian prison inmate was allowed to wear religiously-mandated dreadlocks as a special exception to prisoner grooming rules? Isn't it just awful?!

Your attitude here is that of a fretful toddler who automatically howls that he's missing out or being treated unfairly if he sees anybody else doing anything that he's not. What the fretful-toddler mind fails to grasp is that these accommodations and exemptions are constitutionally different from the freedom to follow whims or random desires to do something just for shits'n'giggles, such as wanting to wear a Lone Ranger mask to the bank. The government grants these exceptions to its standard policies in specific cases where an individual feels that they are obligated to deviate from the standard policy because of their religious belief. Respecting the constitutional right to freedom of religion requires treating such perceived obligations differently from ordinary shits'n'giggles whims.

You, SlackerInc, have the right to personally hold the opinion that a perceived religious obligation is no different from any old idle shits'n'giggles whim and therefore ought not to be granted any more deference than any other idle whim. But the government is constitutionally not allowed to hold that opinion or to regulate its actions by it.

Last edited by Kimstu; 09-15-2019 at 09:49 PM.
  #681  
Old 09-15-2019, 09:59 PM
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I didn’t know about this, and it makes me sick.
That's not sickness, that's vapors.

Wanna know what's really sick? The beliefs don't even have to be superstitious to come in for protection. A Neo-Nazi adherent to the genocidal and non-supernaturally-believing World Church of the Creator successfully filed for religious discrimination when he was demoted from supervising employees of color after he was interviewed for a local paper and espousing racial war.

I think our laws on religious freedom are truly fucked, but not because of a hijab.
  #682  
Old 09-15-2019, 10:24 PM
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The beliefs don't even have to be superstitious to come in for protection. A Neo-Nazi adherent to the genocidal and non-supernaturally-believing World Church of the Creator successfully filed for religious discrimination when he was demoted from supervising employees of color after he was interviewed for a local paper and espousing racial war.
But that decision was kind of weird and exceptional, as this analysis explains:
Quote:
Because there was no admissible evidence, in the court's view, that [WCOTC "reverend"] Peterson had treated any of his subordinates unfairly on the basis of their race, the court held that the firm had demoted him unfairly on the basis of his beliefs, rather than on the basis of his actions.

The result in the case is quite anomalous. The following hypothetical illustrates the point. Imagine an employer considering applicants for a job supervising a multiracial team of employees. If the employer asks the applicants if they harbor any racist attitudes — a legitimate question in light of the supervisory job for which the applicants are being considered — it would be perfectly reasonable for the employer to disqualify persons who admit that they are bigots. [...]

In future employment discrimination cases involving the WCOTC, employers will be much more careful than the telemarketing firm in the Peterson case to present admissible evidence that the racial attitudes of members have influenced their actions.

Such evidence was available in the Peterson case; the firm — perhaps because it did not take Peterson's claim seriously enough — simply failed to present it in a form that was acceptable to the court. [...]

Compare McMullen v. Carson, 754 F.2d 936 (11th Cir. 1985) (upholding discharge of Klansman from sheriff's office, despite the fact that he was "courteous, conscientious, and got along well with his fellow" employees, because his retention once his Klan membership was publicly known would have had "a deleterious effect on the Sheriff's ability to enforce the law," particularly in the black community).

In the end, the decision in the Peterson case will be remembered as an interesting piece of academic reasoning, not as an important legal milestone for the WCOTC.

Employers can reasonably expect their supervisory employees to be fair to their subordinates. When a supervisor pledges to "show preferential treatment to ... members of [his] own race" — the pledge that every WCOTC "reverend" makes — courts will not require employers to pretend that that person can be neutral in the workplace.
And I would contend that the WCOTC "creed" on racial issues is plenty superstitious, not to mention outright delusional, even if it doesn't happen to involve belief in a deity.

Last edited by Kimstu; 09-15-2019 at 10:26 PM.
  #683  
Old 09-16-2019, 12:22 AM
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Kimstu: Getting a better quality meal, that you yourself said is significantly more expensive, is not “shits ‘n’ giggles”. It is a material benefit to anyone who gets it, regardless of their religious views. Which is why that particular form of discrimination makes me much angrier than the others you listed. In fact, the one about Native Americans and eagle feathers does not bother me at all. I see that as their right not because of religion but because of ancestral heritage and the land that has been stolen from them.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 09-16-2019 at 12:25 AM.
  #684  
Old 09-16-2019, 12:38 AM
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Kimstu: Getting a better quality meal, that you yourself said is significantly more expensive, is not “shits ‘n’ giggles”. It is a material benefit to anyone who gets it, regardless of their religious views.
Who said that kosher and halal prison meals are "better quality" than the regular prison fare? Not me. I said it would be expensive to serve them to more than a small portion of the prison population, because the mere fact of having to source multiple types of meals instead of just one type for everybody makes it more expensive.

The point of providing kosher/halal meals to religiously observant Jewish or Muslim prison inmates is not to give them any "material benefit" in the form of "a better quality meal", but simply to accommodate their perceived religious obligation to follow their faith's dietary restrictions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerInc
Which is why that particular form of discrimination makes me much angrier than the others you listed.
Well, I guess now that you understand you were wrong about it, you can cool off. Presumably you can now also stop being angry about some Muslim women getting exemptions on acceptable-clothing rules for driver's license photos, since that doesn't provide any "material benefit" either.

[watches with interest as SlackerInc frantically tries to reach into his ass to scratch his head for mental stimulus in making up a reason why being allowed to wear a headscarf in a driver's license photo should be considered more of a "material benefit" than being allowed to wear a turban during basic training]

Last edited by Kimstu; 09-16-2019 at 12:40 AM.
  #685  
Old 09-16-2019, 01:09 AM
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I said that one makes me angrier, not that the others don’t make me angry.

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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Who said that kosher and halal prison meals are "better quality" than the regular prison fare? Not me. I said it would be expensive to serve them to more than a small portion of the prison population, because the mere fact of having to source multiple types of meals instead of just one type for everybody makes it more expensive.

I’ll refrain from the temptation to parallel your ass/head metaphor and simply point out that you apparently need some schooling on economies of scale. So I will attempt to quickly bring you up to speed, but I’m sure we can find Wikipedia articles or a Khan Academy course for you if needed.

First, there is no dispute that it is more expensive to handle multiple types of meals rather than just one—unless the second type is so much cheaper that the increase in logistical difficulty is offset, which is particularly unlikely if the newly added meal is only given to a small percentage of the population.

But this is not relevant to our little debate, because we were talking about the distinction between allowing the special meals to be served to a larger portion of the prison population versus only those who qualify for them based on their religious affiliation.

Assuming that either way, the group getting each type of meal would have to register as that type in advance to avoid the need to make extra food that will go to waste,* and accepting your claim that the Halal and kosher meals are not inherently any more expensive (something I doubt given that gourmets use kosher salt regardless of their religion, and requiring detailed rules for the slaughter of meat and so on makes the process more expensive), it would actually be cheapest if the groups getting each type of meal were roughly equal in size. So if there are three possible meal types, roughly 33% each. Better yet, reduce the logistical costs by offering only Halal or kosher meals and make those who are unaffiliated with Islam or Judaism choose from one or the other.

But of course the reality is much more likely to be what was strongly implied in your previous post. These religions require meals created from ingredients of higher quality than the dreck served to most prisoners, and they just can’t afford to serve such good food to everyone.

I have spent a night in jail, and the mattresses and pillows were very uncomfortable. If I ever find myself sentenced to a prison term, I will clearly have to work to develop a religion that requires the adherents to use feather pillows and SleepComfort mattresses.

————
*Knowing your debate tendencies, you are likely to be tempted to try to wiggle out of this jam by saying you did not share that assumption; but that is honestly weaksauce, so I’d have more respect for you if you did not grab for that desperation gambit.
  #686  
Old 09-16-2019, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Who said that kosher and halal prison meals are "better quality" than the regular prison fare?

Hey, I saw that in Orange s the New Black! It must be true.

Quote:
The point of providing kosher/halal meals to religiously observant Jewish or Muslim prison inmates is not to give them any "material benefit" in the form of "a better quality meal", but simply to accommodate their perceived religious obligation to follow their faith's dietary restrictions.

Correct. The penalty for whatever their crime was does not include an unconstitutional "Screw your religion, we're going to make sure you can't practice it". And just because they committed a crime does not mean that they're permanently in a state of not practicing their religion. I don't hear a lot of complaining about a prison chaplain serving the needs of the Christian prisoners.

Hmm. I'm wondering now if certain posters would freak out if someone dressed in a nun's habit were to enter a bank.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:01 AM
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I said that one makes me angrier, not that the others don’t make me angry.
Hey, if you would rather be angry about an imaginary injustice than understand the constitutionally mandated justification underlying it, that's your choice. Knock yourself out.

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Assuming that either way, the group getting each type of meal would have to register as that type in advance to avoid the need to make extra food that will go to waste,* and accepting your claim that the Halal and kosher meals are not inherently any more expensive (something I doubt given that gourmets use kosher salt regardless of their religion, and requiring detailed rules for the slaughter of meat and so on makes the process more expensive), it would actually be cheapest if the groups getting each type of meal were roughly equal in size. So if there are three possible meal types, roughly 33% each.
You're forgetting that the logistics of keeping track of who gets what meal, how to deliver the correct number of each to which location, how to deal with accidental mixups, etc., becomes more complicated, and hence more expensive, if the groups are roughly equal in size than if one group is a tiny minority.

You're also forgetting that if any reason for preferring one meal over the other(s) is considered just as valid as a religious dietary restriction, then inmates are equally entitled to re-register for a different meal type if they subsequently change their mind about their preference for any reason. That would end up being more expensive too.

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Originally Posted by Monty
The penalty for whatever their crime was does not include an unconstitutional "Screw your religion, we're going to make sure you can't practice it". And just because they committed a crime does not mean that they're permanently in a state of not practicing their religion.
Exactly. And even if kosher/halal prison meals did end up using more expensive "higher quality" ingredients than regular prison fare, it still wouldn't be unconstitutional or unjust to provide them for only Jewish and Muslim inmates. Because the intent of the accommodation is to allow them to practice their religion, not to provide them with higher-quality food.

Moreover, if, say, observant Hindu or Jain inmates request vegetarian meals that are on average cheaper than regular prison fare because of the lack of meat, they are not being unfairly shortchanged. The purpose of the accommodation has nothing to do with the intrinsic cost or quality of the food being provided.

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Originally Posted by SlackerInc
I have spent a night in jail, and the mattresses and pillows were very uncomfortable. If I ever find myself sentenced to a prison term, I will clearly have to work to develop a religion that requires the adherents to use feather pillows and SleepComfort mattresses.
Well, that would be taking shallow-minded sulking to a pretty extreme level, but I'm confident you're capable of it.
  #688  
Old 09-16-2019, 02:44 AM
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Again, I’m not opposed to having those meals be an option as long as any prisoner can avail themselves of that option. In practice, most of them probably would not, as long as some effort was made to make the regular meals palatable.


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Originally Posted by Monty View Post
I don't hear a lot of complaining about a prison chaplain serving the needs of the Christian prisoners.

If the prison chaplain is getting paid by the taxpayers, you’re damn right I’ll complain about that. If it’s just some volunteer from the church in town, then fine by me.


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Originally Posted by Monty View Post
Hmm. I'm wondering now if certain posters would freak out if someone dressed in a nun's habit were to enter a bank.

Hell yes, if I don’t get to wear a baseball cap, then they shouldn’t get to wear their Handmaid outfit. (Although my impression is that nun’s habits are as passé as the weird little caps nurses used to wear.)

I don’t know why this is so hard for many people to understand. It’s somewhere between amusing and annoying that in the third decade of the “new atheism”, so many seemingly otherwise educated people cannot seem to grasp that many of us atheists are opposed to all religion and especially any preferential treatment for the religious. You totally get it when we are trying to keep the Ten Commandments out of the courtroom or Biblical creationism out of the classroom. But for people like Sam Harris, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, and the millions of people like me who agree with those guys, it’s ALL bullshit. We don’t draw some line and say “Many Muslim people are brown, so we’re not against Islam.” It doesn’t work like that. Still against it, just as much as we’re against the most ignorant, inbred southern Baptist. “There was a Holocaust, so we’re not against Judaism, that smacks of anti-Semitism.” No, sorry. If you walk around on a sunny summer day with a black coat on, and leave your apartment complex elevators running up and down automatically on Saturdays so you don’t have to push any buttons, you are a ridiculous dumbshit and I am going to make fun of you.

Nor do we give Western Christianity a pass. It’s just that religious people in the West have increasingly made their practices compatible with secular society. If Muslims and orthodox Jews eventually follow the same path and drop all the dumb rules and stick with religion being something they do in their free time without oppressing women or gays or freethinkers, that’s their business. Until then, I’m going to fight against their bullshit tooth and nail.
  #689  
Old 09-16-2019, 02:58 AM
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Wow. I lost count of the number of fallacies in that post.
  #690  
Old 09-16-2019, 03:20 AM
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Wow. I lost count of the number of fallacies in that post.

“What’s ‘An all purpose, empty retort used by people who don’t have any actual substantive rebuttal’, Alex?”
  #691  
Old 09-16-2019, 04:19 AM
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Again, I’m not opposed to having those meals be an option as long as any prisoner can avail themselves of that option.
(patient sigh) But that would amount to effectively declaring that the government recognizes no difference between religious observance of dietary restrictions and any other reason for picking one meal over another. In other words, it would be placing religious belief on the same footing, accommodation-wise, with any individual preference no matter how trivial or casual. The government is not allowed to do that, because it would infringe the right to freedom of religion.

Look, SlackerInc, the reason the courts interpret the constitutional requirement of religious accommodations in the way they do is not because nobody before you ever managed to think of the argument you're making. The party who's missing the point here is not the entire US judiciary, it's you.

As the Legal Information Institute explains,
Quote:
Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the "separation of church and state." [...] The Free Exercise Clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion.
The explicit specification in the First Amendment of religious practice (including the practice of atheism) as something that individuals have a fundamental right to puts religious practice on a different footing from the broader category of individual personal preferences. If the government were to declare that free exercise of religion will be accommodated only to the extent that any other type of personal preference is accommodated, it would be violating the First Amendment.

SlackerInc, I don't know how I can make this concept any simpler for you. You have a constitutionally guaranteed right to practice your religion. You do not have a constitutionally guaranteed right to obtain your personally preferred type of meal in a prison cafeteria just because you like that type best. Therefore, the government must accommodate prisoners' religious observance of dietary restrictions, but does not have to accommodate their personal meal preferences based on non-religious reasons. See?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerInc
I don’t know why this is so hard for many people to understand.
It's not other people who are having difficulties with understanding in this particular discussion: it's you. Yes, we totally get it that you personally believe that religious observance should not be privileged in any way over any other type of personal preference. You are fully entitled to hold that personal belief. But the government is constitutionally prohibited from setting its policies in accordance with such beliefs, no matter how much you wail about how angry and sick and appalled etc. it makes you that the government enacts and abides by policies for religious accommodation that follow in a totally reasonable and logical way from the First Amendment

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerInc
It’s somewhere between amusing and annoying that in the third decade of the “new atheism”, so many seemingly otherwise educated people cannot seem to grasp that many of us atheists are opposed to all religion and especially any preferential treatment for the religious.
(another patient sigh) It's not that we educated people (including many of us educated lifelong atheists) don't grasp that you are opposed to all religion and to any preferential treatment for the religious. It's that you don't grasp that the First Amendment's specific guarantee of free exercise of religion requires governmental accommodation of that stuff you're opposed to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerInc
You totally get it when we are trying to keep the Ten Commandments out of the courtroom or Biblical creationism out of the classroom.
Because those are "Establishment Clause" issues that for some reason you manage to be less wilfully ignorant and obtuse about than the "Free Exercise Clause" issues currently under discussion. Yes, you are correct that imposing religious content on governmental activities such as judicial practice and public education violates the Establishment Clause and is therefore unconstitutional.

However, you seem stubbornly incapable of understanding that the elimination of governmental accommodations specifically targeted to religious practice would violate the Free Exercise Clause and would therefore also be unconstitutional. I repeat, SlackerInc: you're the one with the comprehension problem here, not those of us trying to explain the Free Exercise Clause to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerInc
But for people like Sam Harris, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, and the millions of people like me who agree with those guys, it’s ALL bullshit.
So what? The world is full of people who think various other people's religious beliefs are bullshit. That doesn't change the fact that the First Amendment, by guaranteeing an individual right to practice of religion without governmental interference, constitutionally obligates the government to provide accommodations for religious practice. If you and Sam and Bill and Richard don't like it, you are free to assemble your "millions of people" and change the Constitution to be more in line with your principles. Have fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerInc
Until then, I’m going to fight against their bullshit tooth and nail.
You are free to "fight against" anybody else's practice of their religious beliefs in any legal and constitutional way you can, if that's what floats your boat. But when you ignore the clear implications of the First Amendment for government accommodation of religious belief in favor of ranting and raving about how terrible it is that the government provides such accommodations, you just sound like an idiot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty
Wow. I lost count of the number of fallacies in that post.
Seriously. Why do we even bother?

Last edited by Kimstu; 09-16-2019 at 04:22 AM.
  #692  
Old 09-16-2019, 04:53 AM
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“What’s ‘An all purpose, empty retort used by people who don’t have any actual substantive rebuttal’, Alex?”
Sorry, but the correct answer was "What's the hoped-for response to a Gish Gallop?".
  #693  
Old 09-16-2019, 04:55 AM
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many of us atheists are opposed to all religion and especially any preferential treatment for the religious. [...] for people like Sam Harris, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, and the millions of people like me who agree with those guys, it’s ALL bullshit.
Well, except for the bits you've arbitrarily decided that you're fine with for illogical reasons, such as the government granting exceptions to wildlife protection regulations to allow practitioners of Native American tribal religions to use eagle feathers. You've decided to consider that particular accommodation okay because you wilfully choose to disregard what it's legally about, namely, enabling free exercise of religion.

In law, though, it's exactly the same sort of "preferential treatment for the religious" that you get so mad about when it's a matter of, say, a devout Christian or Muslim obtaining a no-photo driver's license. (And Native American theological notions about the eagle being sacred because of its physical and spiritual closeness to God and what have you aren't any less "bullshit", from a rational-materialist standpoint, than beliefs that God doesn't want believers to eat pork.)
  #694  
Old 09-16-2019, 05:33 AM
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Kimstu, we are talking past each other because of an “ought” versus “is” disparity. I will grant that it is partly my fault because I didn’t make it clear enough, but I am making a philosophical argument about how a government of any modern, advanced country ought to work, not an argument about the current nature of the actual legal jurisprudence around a 230-year-old document written by a bunch of slaveholding deist men wearing powdered wigs. A document which applies to less than 5% of the world’s population.

My sister and her mother are Canadian citizens, and if I were one too, I would make the same argument even though Canada does not have the same constitution or Bill of Rights. Same if I lived in France or Norway or wherever. (If OTOH I lived in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, I would have more pressing concerns—like getting the hell out of Dodge and trying not to get flogged or hanged in the meantime.)

So, you know, First World problems. But still important to me and other “New Atheists” who have the luxury of not having to worry about more basic existential threats.

Anyway, if you go back and look at your most recent posts with their repeated incantation of the First Amendment, maybe you can see, in light of what I just explained, how irrelevant that legalistic argument is to me (except, in practical terms, when it can help achieve my goals). I haven’t reread all my posts in this thread to check for sure, but I do feel that when I was writing them I tried to avoid talking about the Establishment Clause and that type of thing and instead to hew more to fundamental principles of political philosophy. But it’s entirely possible that I slipped into Constitution-speak here or there. If so, I apologize for muddying the waters.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 09-16-2019 at 05:35 AM.
  #695  
Old 09-16-2019, 06:00 AM
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I am making a philosophical argument about how a government of any modern, advanced country ought to work, not an argument about the current nature of the actual legal jurisprudence around a 230-year-old document [...]

I tried to avoid talking about the Establishment Clause and that type of thing and instead to hew more to fundamental principles of political philosophy. But it’s entirely possible that I slipped into Constitution-speak here or there.
Uh-huh. Well, let's hope that from here on in your focus on the "fundamental principles of political philosophy" will help you avoid sounding like you don't even understand the difference between the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. Or seeming so startled and shocked to learn that the Free Exercise Clause requires various government accommodations for religious practice that wouldn't seem at all surprising to somebody who's actually familiar with "Constitution-speak".

In any case, I think we're all clear now on your position that you think the First Amendment ought to say something different from what it says. What do you think its wording ought to be in order to conform to your "fundamental principles"?
  #696  
Old 09-16-2019, 06:10 AM
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How about shorter and sweeter?

“Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Most “establishment” issues are covered by this. We can fight prayer and Creationism in schools district by district, and vote with our feet.
  #697  
Old 09-16-2019, 06:39 AM
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How about shorter and sweeter?

“Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Most “establishment” issues are covered by this. We can fight prayer and Creationism in schools district by district, and vote with our feet.
How do you figure that removing the Establishment Clause altogether "covers" the "issues" it's no longer there to address? What's to stop Congress from passing a law the next day declaring that the United States is officially a Christian nation and all the money henceforth will bear the message "We Love Jesus"?

Individuals could still use their freedom of speech and the press and assembly and petition to complain about such an establishment of religion, of course, but it's totally valid constitutionally if the First Amendment no longer enjoins separation of church and state. I'm not really seeing how such a setup will make you and Sam and Bill and Richard happier than the current state of affairs.

It also wouldn't do jack-shit to guard against religion-based special "privileges" of the sort you've been objecting to, since legislatures can also write laws along the lines of "Non-Christian prison inmates are hereby required to be given inferior meals in the hope it will help turn their hearts to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ", with entire constitutional impunity.
  #698  
Old 09-16-2019, 07:02 AM
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LOL, that’s a pretty good argument (I have always said you are a wily debater), but I think something like that would run afoul of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Ball’s back in your court!
  #699  
Old 09-16-2019, 07:07 AM
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LOL, that’s a pretty good argument (I have always said you are a wily debater), but I think something like that would run afoul of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Ball’s back in your court!
No. It's not. It's as if Kimstu just returned a volley to the deep third of the court, you wound up, and whiffed completely on it. The ball is sitting against the fence behind you, bouncing slowly, while everyone watching with even the slightest knowledge of the game, is watching you try and convince yourself you just scored a point.
  #700  
Old 09-16-2019, 07:24 AM
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Just to be clear, you acknowledge that the establishment-of-religion measures that I mentioned are constitutionally perfectly permissible once the Establishment Clause is gone, right? If not, what do you think would stop them?

Now, as for the 14th Amendment prohibiting, say, inmate-meals discrimination based on religion: Not seeing it. Prisoners may be treated differently based on their conduct, and if refusing to accept Christ is considered damaging or disruptive conduct (as in a country with an established religion and no specified right to freedom of religion it might well be), then AFAICT it would be completely valid to put pressure on prisoners to change their behavior.
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