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Posts Tagged ‘lawsuit’

Defame Islam, Get Sued?

Posted by Tony Listi on May 15, 2008

No religion is beyond criticism and thoughtful examination, even if it takes the form of satire or humor (including my beloved Catholicism). The US should brace itself against any future pressures to outlaw speech that portrays Islam in a negative light.

The European laws against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial have set a dangerous precedent. Europe is more likely to fail against radical Islam because it is more likely to sew its own lips shut, silencing needed criticism of the more violent and questionable aspects of Islam and its traditions and history. (This includes the death penalty for mocking Muhammad, e.g. the poets Abu ‘Afak and ‘Asma bint Marwan along with her unborn child who were put to death at the Prophet’s command.)

And what about blasphemy in the eyes of Christianity? Judaism? Other religions? Will radical Muslims submit to punishment for their anti-Semitic speech? More likely, a double standard is developing.

Of course, I guess getting sued is better than getting killed or assaulted (139 people were killed and 823 injured in the wake of Muslim rage over the Danish cartoon incident). So I guess this is actually “progress.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080314/ap_on_re_af/islamic_summit_islamophobia

By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, Associated Press Writer Fri Mar 14, 6:26 PM ET

DAKAR, Senegal – The Muslim world has created a battle plan to defend its religion from political cartoonists and bigots.

Concerned about what they see as a rise in the defamation of Islam, leaders of the world’s Muslim nations are considering taking legal action against those that slight their religion or its sacred symbols. It was a key issue during a two-day summit that ended Friday in this western Africa capital.

The Muslim leaders are attempting to demand redress from nations like Denmark, which allowed the publication of cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 and again last month, to the fury of the Muslim world.

Though the legal measures being considered have not been spelled out, the idea pits many Muslims against principles of freedom of speech enshrined in the constitutions of numerous Western governments.

“I don’t think freedom of expression should mean freedom from blasphemy,” said Senegal‘s President Abdoulaye Wade, the chairman of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference. “There can be no freedom without limits.”

Delegates were given a voluminous report by the OIC that recorded anti-Islamic speech and actions from around the world. The report concludes that Islam is under attack and that a defense must be mounted.

“Muslims are being targeted by a campaign of defamation, denigration, stereotyping, intolerance and discrimination,” charged Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary general of the group.

The report urges the creation of a “legal instrument” to crack down on defamation of Islam. Some delegates point to laws in Europe criminalizing the denial of the Holocaust and other anti-Semitic rhetoric. They also point to articles within various U.N. charters that condemn discrimination based on religion and argue that these should be ramped up.

“In our relation with the western world, we are going through a difficult time,” Ihsanoglu told the summit’s general assembly. “Islamophobia cannot be dealt with only through cultural activities but (through) a robust political engagement.”

The International Humanist and Ethical Union in Geneva released a statement accusing the Islamic states of attempting to limit freedom of expression and of attempting to misuse the U.N.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement that objectionable depictions of the Prophet Muhammad do not “give them the right under international human rights law to insist that others abide by their views.”

Hemayet Uddin, the lead author of the OIC report and head of cultural affairs for the group said legal action is needed because “this Islamophobia that we see in the world has gone far beyond a phobia. It is now at the level of hatred, of xenophobia, and we need to act.”

A new charter drafted by the OIC commits the Muslim body “to protect and defend the true image of Islam” and “to combat the defamation of Islam.”

To protect the faith, Muslim nations have created an “observatory” that meets regularly to monitor Islamophobia. It examines lectures and workshops taking place around the world and prints a monthly record of offensive content.

But some of the summit’s delegates said a legal approach would be over the top.

“My general view would be that the confrontational approach is one my country would avoid,” said Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Iftekhar Chowdhruy. Bangladesh is 90 percent Muslim.

While the Muslim world worries about the image of Islam in the West, the U.S. envoy to the OIC attended the summit to try to tackle the thorny question of America’s image among Muslim states.

Sada Cumber calls his campaign the “soft power” of the U.S. — an effort to find common ground with Muslim nations by championing universal values the U.S. holds dear like religious tolerance and freedom of speech.

“America has a deep respect for the religion of Islam,” Cumber told The Associated Press. “The freedom of faith that we exercise, that we enjoy in America, that is also a very important aspect of the American core values. Anyone who wants to practice any faith is never stopped or discouraged.”

Also during the summit, Chad and Sudan signed a peace agreement to stop incursions of rebels across each other’s borders, and the summit delegates committed themselves to addressing the spiraling violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Posted in 1st Amendment-Free Speech, Government and Politics, Islam, Political Philosophy, Politics and Religion, The War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Weather Channel Founder Suing Al Gore for Fraud?

Posted by Tony Listi on March 14, 2008

John Coleman on Fox and Friends suggesting a lawsuit against Al Gore for financial fraud: 

Coleman on Glenn Beck Show denouncing global warming as a scam:

Coleman at IPCC:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0%2C2933%2C337710%2C00.html

The founder of the Weather Channel wants to sue Al Gore for fraud, hoping a legal debate will settle the global-warming debate once and for all.

John Coleman, who founded the cable network in 1982, suggests suing for fraud proponents of global warming, including Al Gore, and companies that sell carbon credits.

“Is he committing financial fraud? That is the question,” Coleman said.

“Since we can’t get a debate, I thought perhaps if we had a legal challenge and went into a court of law, where it was our scientists and their scientists, and all the legal proceedings with the discovery and all their documents from both sides and scientific testimony from both sides, we could finally get a good solid debate on the issue,” Coleman said. “I’m confident that the advocates of ‘no significant effect from carbon dioxide’ would win the case.”

Coleman says his side of the global-warming debate is being buried in mainstream media circles.

“As you look at the atmosphere over the last 25 years, there’s been perhaps a degree of warming, perhaps probably a whole lot less than that, and the last year has been so cold that that’s been erased,” he said.

“I think if we continue the cooling trend a couple of more years, the general public will at last begin to realize that they’ve been scammed on this global-warming thing.”

Coleman spoke to FOXNews.com after his appearance last week at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change in New York, where he called global warming a scam and lambasted the cable network he helped create.

“You want to tune to the Weather Channel and have them tell you how to live your life?” Coleman said. “Come on.”

He laments the network’s decision to focus on traffic and lifestyle reports over the weather.

“It’s very clear that they don’t realize that weather is the most significant impact in every human being’s daily life, and good, solid, up-to-the-minute weather information and meaningful forecasts presented in such a way that people find them understandable and enjoyable can have a significant impact,” he said.

“The more you cloud that up with other baloney, the weaker the product,” he said.

Coleman has long been a skeptic of global warming, and carbon dioxide is the linchpin to his argument.

“Does carbon dioxide cause a warming of the atmosphere? The proponents of global warming pin their whole piece on that,” he said.

The compound carbon dioxide makes up only 38 out of every 100,000 particles in the atmosphere, he said.

“That’s about twice as what there were in the atmosphere in the time we started burning fossil fuels, so it’s gone up, but it’s still a tiny compound,” Coleman said. “So how can that tiny trace compound have such a significant effect on temperature?

“My position is it can’t,” he continued. “It doesn’t, and the whole case for global warming is based on a fallacy.”

Posted in Global Warming and Environment, Government and Politics, Science and Politics, The Media, Old and New | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lobbyists Using Your Money to Lobby?

Posted by Tony Listi on March 3, 2008

http://www.americansforprosperity.org/index.php?id=5094&state=tx

For Immediate Release: February 28, 2008

Contact: Peggy Venable – 512.476.5905

Texas Association of Counties Loses Lawsuit to Taxpayers 

Today, Williamson County served an order against the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) commanding them to refrain from lobbying using dues paid by counties.  TAC has also been ordered by the court to pay attorney fees for the plaintiffs. 

The lawsuit filed by Williamson County taxpayers in 2005 was decided in favor of the taxpayers in October 2007, when the judge found that TAC has been in violation of the law using association dues paid by Texas counties in their advocacy and lobby work.

“TAC realized they were breaking the law and after we filed the lawsuit, the organization claimed they were no longer collecting dues,” said plaintiff Peggy Venable.  “However, they still purport to represent counties.  We don’t know what constitutes a TAC member county if they don’t pay dues.”

“This legal victory is a vindication of our lawsuit which TAC called frivolous,” said Venable.  “Texas counties and TAC had been in flagrant violation of the law for years.” 

Venable, Texas director of the taxpayer group Americans for Prosperity filed the lawsuit along with fellow taxpayers Janice Brauner and Judy Morris.  The taxpayers filed the suit stating that state law prohibited taxpayers from funding a county association that lobbies.    

“The Texas Association of Counties has consistently lobbied against taxpayer protections and legislation which most taxpayers support,” said Venable.  “It took a lawsuit to get their attention.”

Venable said taxpayers cannot spend much time celebrating this victory.  

“TAC has made clear that they are considering segregating dues from other fees so they can continue lobbying, or not collect dues from counties while continuing to fees.  This type of shell game may be acceptable to the court, but it is not acceptable to taxpayers,” said Venable. 

“As TAC may be able to segregate their dues, they continue to collect large fees from counties, and other local government entities and organizations are openly using tax dollars to hire lobbyists,” said Venable.  While not collecting dues, TAC collected well over $500,000 in fees from Williamson County during the time of the lawsuit. 

Just this month the Austin City Council voted to spend a total of $987,000 to hire 12 lobbyists and lobbying firms, and the City of Denton is also approving $81,000 to hire a lobby firm to prepare them for the 2009 legislative session.   

“In their meeting, the City of Denton cited three issues they opposed: property appraisal caps, city spending limits, and a sales tax holiday for textbooks.  Those are things most taxpayers want,” said Venable. 

“We expect our elected officials to communicate with one another, not to hire lobbyists to serve as intermediaries,” said Venable.  “We may have won a victory but we have a lot of work ahead of us to end our tax dollars going to pay lobbyists to lobby against taxpayer interests. “   

To view the Writ of Injunction issued today, click here: http://americansforprosperity.org/includes/filemanager/files/tx/venable_writ_of_injunction.pdf

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Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional

Posted in Government and Politics, Texas Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is There a Trial Lawyer in the House?

Posted by Tony Listi on October 9, 2007

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=22484 

By Ann Coulter

9/19/2007 

The only “crisis” in health care in this country is that doctors are paid too little. (Also they’ve come up with nothing to help that poor Dennis Kucinich.)

But the Democratic Party treats doctors like they’re Klan members. They wail about how much doctors are paid and celebrate the trial lawyers who do absolutely nothing to make society better, but swoop in and steal from the most valuable members of society.

Maybe doctors could get the Democrats to like them if they started suing their patients.

It’s only a matter of time before the best and brightest students forget about medical school and go to law school instead. How long can a society based on suing the productive last?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Government and Politics, Health Care | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »