06
May
09

On air: Does banning people do more harm than good?

geert-wildersMichael Savage had no plans to enter the UK he says, but should he want to, he won’t be allowed. Along with radical islamist preachers and a jewish extremist, the American ‘shock jock ‘ has been listed on a ‘banned list’ of sixteen people, just published by the British Home Office. It’s brought instant notoriety and untold publicity a man who was previously virtually unknown to people outside his native America. So does banning people just do more harm than good, by fanning the flames of publicity and making a new audience aware of their views?

Countries all over the world ban people on the grounds of their views. The Swiss-Egyptian academic Tariq Ramadan has been banned from entering France and the US at various times.

Jewish-American academic Normal Finkelstein has been banned from entering Israel. He regularly criticises the country saying it uses the Holocaust as an excuse for its actions against Palestinians. He’s also expressed solidarity with Hezbollah in the past.

The Dutch politician Geert Wilders has been banned from the UK and it now appears as though Denmark is attempting to do the same. What’s interesting is that his blocking at Heathrow airport received continuous live coverage on the 24-hour television networks. It’s questionable whether the speech he was planning to give in the British parliament would have received as much attention.

Would it be better just to let anyone without a criminal conviction enter, regardless of their thoughts? In the internet age is banning people a superfluous act anyway?


122 Responses to “On air: Does banning people do more harm than good?”


  1. 1 Patti in Cape Coral, FL
    May 6, 2009 at 14:41

    I think they might as well not be banned, because people who think this way won’t change their minds just because you don’t let their “heroes” into your country, and people who disagree will not be swayed to the other side either. I think extremists thrive on this kind of banning, more fodder for their endless yelling and screaming. At least it appears the UK has been consistent in banning all types of controversial/offensive people, not just one type in particular.

  2. 2 Count Iblis
    May 6, 2009 at 14:43

    The next logical step would be to keep British citizens with politically incorrect views behind bars. In fact, it doesn’t make sense to not let these few dozen people enter Britain, if you have many thousands of British citizens who share their views and regularly express these views.

  3. 3 Dan
    May 6, 2009 at 14:51

    Jacqui Smith displays her ignorance and prejudice banning Michael Savage.
    Free Speech was specifically designed to protect OBJECTIONABLE speech. However, it is obvious that Ms. Smith has an agenda as she never banned Kim Jong Il, any Hamas member, Ahmenidijad, bin-Laden etc and that makes her a danger to Democracy and PM Brown would do well to fire her, with prejudice.
    When a Government can decide what is objectionable we are all within a micron of tyranny and it is clear that Ms. Brown is a wannnabe tyrant.

  4. May 6, 2009 at 14:53

    The UK should cease and desist immediately from acting like fascist THOUGHT POLICE.

  5. 5 John in Salem
    May 6, 2009 at 14:56

    Banning people for their views only demonstrates a lack of faith in the government’s ability to take criticism and in the public’s ability to make intelligent choices.

  6. May 6, 2009 at 15:10

    The Home Secretary’s decision to ban Michael Savage, Fred Phelps and others certainly raises a number of very interesting questions. Freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental rights a democratic country can extend to its citizens. This right, however, arguably comes with personal responsibility. As a philosophical example, one person’s freedom of speech should not arguably come at the expense of another citizen’s personal dignity, liberty and especially safety. Savage, Phelps and others on the list are arguably repulsive figures, but the decision to ban them from the UK will certainly continue to raise a number of important questions.

    http://www.boyinbushwick.blogspot.com/2009/05/uk-bans-fred-phelps-and-daughter.html

  7. 7 Kim Johnson
    May 6, 2009 at 15:11

    What’s wrong with Michael Savage? He is a great guy. Radical Islamists are the ones to fear and block! Anyway, UK is full of liberals who are going ruin the UK!

    • 8 Rick
      May 7, 2009 at 15:01

      Do you have something with a little more meat than using “liberals” as a dirty word?
      I could just as easily say right wing radio nut jobs are dividing out lands for no other reason than ratings.

      But I would be lumping all of them together, just as you have liberals. Seriously, an original thought with some valid and reasoned arguments would be welcome. Shouting “liberals” all the time doesn’t convince anyone.

      And if you think that the media cannot be dangerous you should visit a few history books. You know, yellow journalism, propaganda, stuff like that.

  8. 9 Tom K in Mpls
    May 6, 2009 at 15:14

    Wow!!! How do I get on the list! This is just like the McCarthy era in the US. Being on the list was eventually recognized as a sign of integrity and intelligence. Though I doubt it truly applies to a shock jock, that must be a mistake.

    This all comes from people that feel it is better to do the wrong thing, than to do nothing at all. We face government stoked fires of fear, innate fear of things different ( bigotry ) and it is compounded by the absurd fashion of being ‘Politically Correct’.

    Documented recent history has clearly shown all this frenetic activity is not needed for reasonable security. In the US, if agencies had made any attempt to work together, the World Trade Center would still be standing. All this ‘security’ since is a waste of time and money that is being used to make us feel better about our politicians. As an American, I wish Britain would finally show some backbone once again and tell US where to put it. To lead by example as I know they can.

  9. May 6, 2009 at 15:17

    Does banning people do more harm than good?

    No,it is a justified preventative action to maintain law and order,communal harmony and indicates to others what values the host civil society holds dear.

    My aunt and uncle were banned from entering the USA for being Communist,a good thing too because my uncle was a devious cultural anthropoligist and my aunt was a cunning linguist(now opera singer and teacher) they could have done some mean research that would have lead to the end of Capitalism(don’t have to bother now).

  10. 11 Rev. Dr. Jesse W. Bledsoe
    May 6, 2009 at 15:26

    In the early years of Christianity it was a capital offense to speak out for your faith. Later it was declared that speaking out against the Church was a capital offense. Both were wrong. To ban someone from your country because they are radical will not further free speech, it will only bring attention to their agenda. Monitor them while they are there, but don’t offer them more notoriety. I’ve heard Michael Savage before. There was no evidense of hate speech during his radio program, in my opinion. I also have been acused of hate speech because I oppose the ordination of unrepentant homosexuals in the Presbyterian Church.
    Rev. Bledsoe

  11. 12 John Henry
    May 6, 2009 at 15:40

    Politics, religion, ideologies, cultural differences and temper – individual and collective – cause people to be banned. No one, in any community, would want to be assailed by / with systems that they do not feel comfortable with.

    Maybe, banning people does more harm than good since there is no way to have precise control over the variables involved.

    In an ideal world a way should be found to band people together so that differences could become better understood, better tolerated, better accepted and better managed.

  12. May 6, 2009 at 15:48

    Yes, i do believe banning an individual or a group will definitely publish them and their activities. As we know Al-Qaeda being banned worldwide, still doing it’s brutal rigorous activities is just to publish their insane thoughts and beliefs by them on their religion. It’s our responsibility, see to that that their activities not to be published and their insane thoughts not to get succeed.

    Thank you.

  13. May 6, 2009 at 15:50

    While I agree that banning people can add to their notoriety, I feel that it is more harmful to have them in the country where their views could be a focus to extremists from either end of the spectrum – this can easily lead to clashes with the inevitable costs and coverage leading to the publicity that the person banned presumably wants.

    There is no problem with people accessing their views via the media – there is no way I would suggest that anyone’s views should be banned outright.

  14. 15 Rob (UK)
    May 6, 2009 at 15:55

    The problem with these kind of bans is that in today’s digital age, being physically denied entry into a country does not prohibit a person from spreading their message. On the contrary, this ban only serves to raise Mr. Savage’s international profile, which will bring more attention to his views.

  15. 16 Dan
    May 6, 2009 at 15:56

    People should be banned from entering the UK or any other country based on their actions, not their words. The only exception to this is if they explicitly advocate violence against the country they are trying to enter (otherwise the UK would be forced to ban anti-Mugabe advocates, for example). Simply being controversial or offensive should not lead to a person being banned. Wilders should have been allowed into the UK, especially as he had been invited to address Parliament by an MP. Banning Savage is nonsensical, as it only serves to draw attention to him.

    • 17 Jessica in NYC
      May 6, 2009 at 19:00

      As a person who values free speech a fundamental right in my country, I must support the right of people to say offensive nonsense.

      Dan, I agree. Athough, i am not convinced there should be an exception to people advocating violence. Remember, the USA’s founding father advocated violence against England. The law’s of the land should dictate punishment for what is acceptable in their society, simply saying violent “things” is not a good enough reason to ban someone. I missed today’s show but will podcast.

  16. 18 Patti in Cape Coral, FL
    May 6, 2009 at 16:01

    I just read some of what Mr. Savage says about autistic children. As a parent of a severly autistic child, I can’t say was offended, since it was obvious that what he was saying came from an extreme ignorance of what he was talking about. If it wasn’t for the fact that people actually listen and believe it, it would be laughable.

  17. 19 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    May 6, 2009 at 16:08

    Only people who advocate violence should be banned. Full stop.

  18. May 6, 2009 at 16:17

    Without a doubt, the banning of characters such as Michael Savage is the best publicity for the “victim”,who then milk their banishment to the extreme. These folks who spew irrational vitriol under the guise of “a fresh voice with the courage to say what others won’t” are, however, not the enemy. They are a symptom of the irrational portion of the public that lashes out in frustration due to grievances that have not been addressed… or maybe that are not even enunciated. I think a far more effective approach to the destructive forces of the world would be to take each one on, face-to-face, and then demonstrate the fallacious reasoning of this ilk to the folks who are taken in by unabashed, unashamed and duplicitous rhetoric. What a coup for the UK if it were the nation that would debunk the snake-like “logic” of such as Michael Savage and demonstrate to the world that the emperors of hate truly have no clothes. (How many Michael Savages would take any interest in visiting Britain under such a threat as honesty?)

  19. 21 Peter sc
    May 6, 2009 at 16:19

    Its your country , why should you let in people whose views you disagree with. Hell with free speech , ensure a fair justice system and a rule of law. I would’nt want to stay in a country that does not keep order in the name of laws that is not compatible to a sense of decency and encourage chaos.

  20. 22 Dan
    May 6, 2009 at 16:20

    Jacqui Smith displays her ignorance and prejudice banning Michael Savage.
    Free Speech was specifically designed to protect OBJECTIONABLE speech.
    She obviously cannot distinguish between objectionable speec and speech that incites violence.
    What will be next…banning improper thoughts?

  21. 23 Justin from Iowa
    May 6, 2009 at 16:30

    As the saying goes, any advertising is good advertising.

  22. 24 brinda
    May 6, 2009 at 16:32

    These things are like double edged sward. Do something there is a problem, if you dont then again there is a problem.Its better to be preventive than not doing anything.

    But Micheal savage ,,,really,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,please,,,,,,,,, he is a guy who is just putting up a show , that’s all. Such people can never be harmful they are just entertainment . In this case it is really bringing him too much attention. Good for him.

  23. 25 rash
    May 6, 2009 at 16:34

    most of the names on the banned list has word like “considered”… which to me seems like is no proof of what is being accused on to these people. more over, to me there is a hint of arrogance on these descriptions to make people believe in it. but then again, i would only know the obvious on what the UK government is trying to achieve from this-who knows what the hidden agenda is? on the other hand, by banning these people, the world will automatically want to know more about them, giving them the spotlight

  24. May 6, 2009 at 16:52

    Hi madeleine,
    Banning in all its forms does more harm than good because those who are banned use all possible means to be wherever they want to be, to do whatever they want to do, etc. So you see banning is instead a motivation of evil. I tried entering EU illegally and failed, but I have never geven up my barrier is only means, since they make it very difficult we have to use all possible means even drowning into water.

  25. 27 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    May 6, 2009 at 16:53

    It’s difficult to deny that this action may increase the audience for Michael Savage. It’s impossible to measure the influence he will have on these new listeners against the need for a larger discussion of the problem he represents, or how he might have influenced British society if this discussion hadn’t occurred.

    I believe the British Home Office has rightly decided to encourage discussion, despite the irony that it has done so by means of censorship. There will always be those who seek power by turning people against each other. The science of mass psychology has made this a very real danger. Such talk radio hosts have had a measurable influence over US elections.

    The only way to protect large numbers of people from falling victim to this type of propaganda is to raise awareness of the way these programs selectively present the facts to support a one-sided agenda. It is up to the media now to support the Home Office by making critical thinking speak louder than those who simply point their fingers at “the bad guys.”

  26. 28 Anna in Melbourne
    May 6, 2009 at 17:00

    Banning people is simply playing into the hands of any extremist view – it gives them the oxygen of publicity and places them in the role of victim. Extremist views, opinions and people should be out there on display so the arguments and justifications for their views can be rigorously debated, examined and exposed. Dr Philip Nitschke an Australian doctor who campaigns for terminally ill people to be allowed to take their own lives into their hands was recently questioned at British customs for nine hours and then told he could only stay a week. What is everyone so afraid of?

  27. 29 deryck/trinidad
    May 6, 2009 at 17:13

    Banning has done more good than harm because now the popularity of these people are going to soar. The Home Office has brought prominence to these people and their causes because I am now interested in what they have done and I am sure others are also interested.

  28. 30 Dennis Junior
    May 6, 2009 at 17:30

    Banning people is the option that I prefer to keep people out of country that will bring trouble to the citizens of the “homeland”…..

    Banning people doesn’t harm the country…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  29. 31 oreste assereto
    May 6, 2009 at 17:33

    Let them in and ignore them, the public will soon forget them.

  30. 32 Jason, Vancouver WA
    May 6, 2009 at 18:05

    Just sitting back and doing nothing allows the hate to propagate, so something has to be done! For the non-violent types, possibly we should take lessons from Monty Python. It’s hard to take someone seriously when all you can think of is them skipping down the road and banging coconuts together.

  31. 33 Rachel in California, USA
    May 6, 2009 at 18:09

    If a person is a threat to the personal safety of others, or organizing others to commit violence against people in the country he or she is entering, he or she should be banned.

    People who plan to break the laws of the country they enter, whatever those laws are, can also be banned–whether they plan to engage in “hate speech,” mock the dictator, underpay workers, commit financial fraud, pollute the water, or take off their head scarves, if it’s illegal in the country they are entering, that country can fence them out and defend its particular set of laws.

    I have never heard of Michael Savage before, although I gather he’s in the USA somewhere, and I am resisting the temptation to check him out–but it’s clear that banning him brought him to my attention in a way that his other publicity efforts did not.

  32. 34 leorising
    May 6, 2009 at 18:16

    We in America only WISH we could ban the likes of Fred Phelps and Michael Savage from public discourse! We are green with envy.

  33. 35 Dan, DC
    May 6, 2009 at 18:20

    Like Dr. Finklestein, I too have a problem with your introduction. Michael Savage is hardly a top DJ.

    Rev. Phelps keeps saying that this is a text-book case. But a text-book case of what?

  34. 36 James
    May 6, 2009 at 18:20

    Take people like the Phelps off-air. Haven’t they had enough publicity for their backwards, horrid point of view already? They’re being allowed to preach these things on the BBC via London. They’re not allowed into the UK for fair reason – they shouldn’t be on the BBC!

  35. 37 Tod Carson
    May 6, 2009 at 18:20

    I am in complete agreement with banning these extremists. Why provide them with any more of a platform to spread their hate. I do not believe the United Kingdom is obligated to provide freedom of speach to any one other than their own citizens.

  36. 38 Reverend L.McCormack
    May 6, 2009 at 18:21

    Not only should these people be banned, they should be ejected from all civilised society and taken to a an otherwise unoccupied island and left there. They have the right to their opinions but by no means do they have the right to foment hatred and civil discord, especially the two who do so allegedly in the name of the bible.
    to shirley Roper, the bible is NOT the word of God, it is the words of men and women,most of it writ by persons of the Jewish faith. Or have you forgotten the carpenter was a Jew? Shame on you, love thy neighbour and turn the other cheek. ” Vengeance is mine, ” saith the Lord!

  37. 39 Guy Tiphane
    May 6, 2009 at 18:23

    They should be considered like cigarettes: advertising should be banned, because the speech is harmful in many respects. It would be very useful to publish the names of advertisers who are effectively sponsoring the hate speech, so they’ll stop too because they can’t afford to alienate the rest of the population.

    Otherwise the person shouldn’t be banned.

  38. 40 Ron Luce
    May 6, 2009 at 18:25

    Here in Portland, the Phelps came to protest. A non-violence group asked the public in the vicinity to NOT ENGAGE them.

    The Phelps preached. Nobody cared. The Phelps slunk away.

    Success!

  39. 41 Rae in Berkeley
    May 6, 2009 at 18:25

    Let them in so they can be mocked by the rational!

    It is important to listen to and understand opposing view points, no matter how much they don’t make sense. Sometimes, you have to learn that their view points are such that they can’t and won’t be changed. It is a frustrating process, but necessary when trying to understand the various forces in the world.

    The male Phelps representative has mentioned ‘textbook case’ a few times, but hasn’t clarified what he means by that. Which situation is a textbook case of what?

  40. 42 Patti in Cape Coral
    May 6, 2009 at 18:25

    Ann in Melbourne said it better than I could. What are we so afraid of? So long as violence is not involved, wouldn’t it be more acceptable to just have open debate, no matter how foolish or repugnant their views may be? You don’t want to make extremists look like victims.

  41. May 6, 2009 at 18:26

    Why aren’t notorious criminals(Dawood Ibrahim),terrorists(Bin Laden),war criminals(bashir) on the list.
    Only 22 people,surely there are many more individuals than that who pose a threat to the UK.
    Why aren’t they prevented from appearing in the British Media like the BBC,Surely,if they warrant banning ,then their websites and emails should also be blocked.
    Hey I’m on twitter as reallybuffalo click on the link which is my name,need followers

  42. 44 Ruth Brown
    May 6, 2009 at 18:29

    I live in Washington, DC, within walking distance of the National Cathedral, where the funerals of President Reagan (1995) and Gerald Ford (2007) were held.

    I saw up close these people from the Westboro Baptist Church picketing with their signs. In addition to being highly offensive, it made no sense that they would want people to believe that Reagan and Ford were dead because of their views on homosexuality in America.

    It is very unfortunate that these people were not banned from the District of Columbia so that these men could be mourned with the dignity they both deserved.

    Members of the Westboro Baptist Church also wanted to picket the funerals of several Amish girls who had been murdered. According to members of this church, these murders were a punishment from God because Amish people were supposedly too self -righteous. Thankfully, they were dissuaded from doing this. No one in the Amish community would have understood why they were doing this, and their demonstration would have accomplished nothing.

    It is very RIGHT for Britain to ban these people and other like them. Not for their views, but because they have no compassion for those who grieve, and will do anything to draw attention to their peculiar cause.

    Ruth Brown
    Washington, DC

  43. 45 ecotopian
    May 6, 2009 at 18:29

    I don’t know if it does any harm or good. It can make what is banned more enticing to some. So by banning someone or something, you might be giving it publicity it would not otherwise get. Would we be having this discussion if the UK hadn’t taken this action?

    My question to the UK government is, what are you so afraid of? Are you afraid these people will whip a crowd up into a frenzy? Do you find that kind of civil unrest so unsettling you would ban speech? I don’t like what these people have said, but everyone has a right to an opinion and, in the US, has the right to voice that opinion regardless of the popularity of that opinion.

    If the objective is to keep an eye on such people, let them spout out in public. It’s out in the open and not festering underground somewhere. We know where they are and we know where they stand. And because of this, we can challenge them and have an open, honest debate.

  44. 46 Dan
    May 6, 2009 at 18:30

    If this discussion is not about the content of what is said why then did the moderator make a snide comment about what Michael Savage speaks of?

    Definite bias from the BBC …. perhaps she will end up on a banned list.

  45. 47 Ron Luce
    May 6, 2009 at 18:33

    Here in America, conservatives often argue that countries have a sovereign right to ban undesirable foreigners from entry.

    So, I have to smile when they complain that THEY are being banned!

  46. 48 Jackie Fitzgerald
    May 6, 2009 at 18:33

    I think there should be consequences when you are an extremist and you have the power to reach out to many. I certainly would ban Michael Savage from my dinner table and the UK is doing the right thing by banning someone who has the ability to create chaos. If you listen to Mr. Savage, one could easily believe that he belongs to a white supremacist group, or would like to organize one. We call it rif raf here in the states, and life is much more peaceful without it.

  47. 49 Thomas
    May 6, 2009 at 18:35

    George Orwell – 1984

  48. 50 David Griffin
    May 6, 2009 at 18:36

    Banning people gives then publicity and for that reason I thinks it’s a good thing because it reveals their close-minded views.

  49. May 6, 2009 at 18:37

    I had to turn off the radio because I wanted to jump on the airwaves and confront Mrs. Phelps.
    I think religious people should keep the preaching of their ideas within the walls of their churches. Throughout history there has been more harm than good done in the name of God.
    I think radicals should be shunned.
    Thanks,
    Bill

  50. 52 Thomas Mulder
    May 6, 2009 at 18:38

    This question is closely related to the paternalistic role of the government and the degree of self-protection a government should formulate around its citizens. I believe unempirical propositions containing certain (extreme) moral guidance can be harmful to not only desperate minds but also sharp individuals.

  51. 53 Ron Luce
    May 6, 2009 at 18:38

    Please ask the Phelps if homosexual foreigners should be allowed entry to America.

  52. May 6, 2009 at 18:39

    Yes David Ben-Ariel makes a good point, banning people with questionable views makes one think of the “thought police” and George Orwell’s 1984, and it erodes the very idea of freedom of speech and of a democracy, what are we afraid of? Debate on all issues and discussing all views is always a good thing. Even banning people who give “hate speeches” and who speak out supposedly “inciting” people to violence is not the answer, surely people can choose whether to listen to them or not, let’s face it, people who are “incited” to violence by such views would be violent anyway, this smacks of the nanny state!

  53. 55 Jonnan
    May 6, 2009 at 18:41

    In the United States, the 1st amendment unequivocally removes the advocacy of stupid ideas from the list of reasons the government can take action against people.

    I can’t say I’m unsympathetic with the U.K.’s decision that they are not required to allow people that support stupid ideas into their country, but in the long run I think the 1st amendment has turned out to be better. Unfortunately, keeping a person out no longer keeps the stupid, idiotic, irrational, immature, ideas out.

    If it worked to do so, it would be a better plan, but with the lack of an ability to quarantine irrational thought, it is better to ensure citizens have the tools to realize for themselves that these ideas are irrational, unethical, and advocated only by sloppy thinkers.

    On a personal Note, Fred Phelp’s is a great example of the great American ‘Faux Fundamentalist’ that claims to be bound by the word for word truth of the Bible, but ignore all the various points that aren’t convenient to them. They will discuss how the Bible considers Homosexuality an abomination over popcorn shrimp. We apologize to the rest of the world for inflicting this particular species of irrational fool on you.

  54. 56 Ron Luce
    May 6, 2009 at 18:42

    “gospel” literally means “good news”

    Who thinks the the Phelp’s messages is good news?

  55. 57 A.J.
    May 6, 2009 at 18:43

    Man, I am SO sick of religious people telling ME what GOD thinks and how I will be judged. Bull crap! There are millions of decent, loving, fair and wonderful people who are non-believers. Quit shoving God down our throats in ways that are truly NOT very “Christian”.

  56. 58 Jonathan (drizzling San Francisco)
    May 6, 2009 at 18:43

    As an American, respect for freedom of speech and a marketplace of ideas is in the marrow of my bones. The only victim of banning is the freedom of the society that bans. It’s also utterly, obviously futile. Banning a person cannot erase an idea, especially in the internet age.

    Germany has strict laws against expressions of Nazi sympathies; I’d be interested to know how that’s working for them.

    Jonathan
    San Francisco

  57. 59 Tom K in Mpls
    May 6, 2009 at 18:45

    Listening to the Phelps’s, you will understand why it is stupid to ban those that only speak extreme views. They are their own worst enemies. Intelligent people that hear them will only shake their heads and chuckle.

    Now violent people are another issue.

  58. 60 Scott {M}
    May 6, 2009 at 18:45

    “Right out of the bible.” Yippee! As if the bible meant something.

    Unfortunately, you have to let the animals have their lame voice and just teach people, with as much fervor, not to listen to unsound bigoted nonsense.

  59. May 6, 2009 at 18:46

    Although I’m not sure I agree with every specific case of banning, apparently some of them involve harassment and committing or inciting psychological or physical violence. So if we’re about preventing all forms of terrorism, why stop at Islamic extremists?

  60. 62 Tom D Ford
    May 6, 2009 at 18:46

    Hmm, I think that the wackos ought to be studied in order to learn how they got that way! Babies are not born wackos, they are “nurtured” into wacko-ness as they age. So what were the influences that damaged them?

  61. 63 Anthony
    May 6, 2009 at 18:46

    Leviticus says that ONCE about gays, yet it says 3 times that eating Shrimp and Lobster is just as bad, where are there peoples signs stating that people should stop eating shrimp and lobster?

    Also, it says if a wife lied about being a virgin when she is married, its the husband and fathers DUTY to stone her to death, do they also believe in this?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  62. 64 A.J.
    May 6, 2009 at 18:47

    P.S. Sorry, I got off track there. Even though I may dislike the message and way it may be communicated, everyone DOES have a right to their opinions and to express them (as much as some of us may find that message disgusting or divisive).

  63. 65 Dan, DC
    May 6, 2009 at 18:47

    “Persona-non-grata” is not a new policy. The publishing of a list seems to have been the worser idea, not the banning itself.

    Why should the Phelps be able to protest in the UK like they can in the US? They enjoy freedom under the US constitution alone. No one should expect to be able to protest freely as a foreign national in another country.

  64. 66 David - Dallas, Texas
    May 6, 2009 at 18:49

    TO THE PREACHER ON THE SHOW;

    BRO, WHY ARE YOU EVEN DEFENDING YOURSELF ON THIS SHOW?

    Yeshua warned about this. Just leve it as it is and pray for them.
    Walk away…

  65. 67 steve
    May 6, 2009 at 18:50

    I’m rather shocked by this. I don’t agree at all with Reverand Phelps, or Norman Finkelstein, but they have a right to say what they want. We can’t ban everything we don’t like. People are confusing offensive speech with incitement to violence. They don’t incite violence. Disagreeing with someone is not reason to ban their message. Time to grow a backbone.

  66. 68 Ted
    May 6, 2009 at 18:50

    I believe that banning someone from entering any country because of their personal views is wrong. It is wrong because not only does it promote the notoriety of the person or people involved, but it also is another example of governments restricting the rights of individuals to express their opinions no matter how misguided. All it does in the end is teach people to be obedient robots incapable of thinking for themselves.

  67. 69 Chuck Hulsey
    May 6, 2009 at 18:52

    First, I believe in the freedom of speech. However, I do have to say that the followers of Rev Phelps are no better than the followers of the Taliban. They want to force people to heaven. And you simply can’t do that. The one difference between the Taliban and the Phelps is that thePhelps haven’t resorted to killing those that disagree with them. A person might believe that there is a god and that’s fine but don’t expect me to believe that there is. Banning extremist groups may sound like a good thing but I’m not convinced that it is.

  68. 70 Ron Luce
    May 6, 2009 at 18:54

    A.J.,

    I’m a devout Christian and I will never tell you what to believe. More than that, I am sure there are things you can teach me.

    Please know that there are millions and millions of Christians who view difference this way.

    Ron

  69. 71 Liz
    May 6, 2009 at 18:57

    How disappointing that the UK banned the Phelps – the US would be better off without their hate mongering.

  70. 72 Thomas Mulder
    May 6, 2009 at 18:57

    The effects of banning will surely be very limited in a world where communication does not require physical presence. However, the role of the government to sustain information and educational flows within the boundaries of free and humanistic characteristics, is, in my opinion, a good one. Since the boundary is to a large degree arbitrary, it should be decided by the public.

  71. 73 David - Dallas, Texas
    May 6, 2009 at 18:58

    And by the way, Yeshua does not hate people who engage in homosexuality. He does hate sin, not siners.

  72. 74 Citizens can think for themselves
    May 6, 2009 at 19:00

    A list of Banned Persons could just as easily become a Public Enemy List or Wanted List. The tenet of Freedom of speech was borne in the belief that intelligent, law-abiding, citizens can think for themselves and discern bad ideas from good ideas. Using a fear-based mentality to create laws will always be a mistake.

  73. 75 rebecca
    May 6, 2009 at 19:05

    Wow. The American government can stop entry of any person into the United States if that person is deemed to be a likely threat to peace in America. That is the question at hand here, too. As a sovereign nation, the UK can set whatever standards of society that fit for life in the UK. Regardless of the reason for the ban, or for deterring entrance beyond its borders, the government in the UK has the right to allow or disallow entry to whomever it chooses. These folks who want to preach their hatred for gay people, have the right to do so in America. Americans to not have the “right to travel” or the “right to free speech” in any country other than the U.S. unless that destination country grants those rights. How ridiculous to assume otherwise. It’s a shame that the extremist Christians on this program, pushing their biblical agenda, seem to be missing the point. Throwing bible verses at people, mixed with insults and anger will never win anyone over to their way of thinking. God is a deity big enough, all powerful enough to handle people’s deviance from “his laws.” (Not my belief, personally; but expounding on the purported Christianity on air right now). So, it’s my opinion that it would be better if God’s followers let God speak for himself and let God bring wrath or judgment or whatever needs to happen. In the meantime, it would be prudent, sensible, and “Christian” of people to love one another and get on with life here at hand. The issue is travel and speach, not condemnation or proselytizing.

    Just remember, a passport from an issuing country does not grant you access into another country… it simply defines your departure; it does not guarantee your destination.

    Good luck and peace to all of you there at the BBC for bringing this to air.

  74. 76 Tom D Ford
    May 6, 2009 at 19:06

    I suppose that one benefit of allowing such people into your country would possibly be that you could get an idea of who their followers are and their numbers. Sort of a measure of the sickness of your own country.

  75. 77 ALAN HESTER
    May 6, 2009 at 19:09

    It is too bad that no one in America has the courage to ban Mike Savage from the US. Mr Savage is a direct contradicton to the message America wants to send to the world. We ARE tolerant of other peoples!

  76. 78 rebecca in colorado
    May 6, 2009 at 19:11

    In response to another comment posted by Ron Luce:

    Thank you, Ron, for your comment. Most of the Christians that I know are wonderful people who lead good lives and who have a genuine love for others. I know that all faiths require a devotion to a set of principles and that those convictions often conflict with the principles held by others of different faiths. It’s my experience, though, that when a believer’s heart is pure and the love is flowing, there’s just no room for hatred of any kind. Surely that is the case in the UK (and elsewhere) as well as here in the States.

    I’m glad that you commented because it’s a nice reminder that the loudest voices are not necessarily the voices of the masses.
    (Cheers.)

  77. 79 Ansu Tangar in Monrovia
    May 6, 2009 at 19:12

    Banning in some cases does more good than harm.For instance there are certain troublesome former African leaders who have been ban from travelling and others been held in jails which I believe is another way of banning some one and in turns has brought develoment to there countries.

  78. 80 Tom D Ford
    May 6, 2009 at 19:12

    The problem with banning such people is that then they tend to go underground and I would rather that they stay out in public and have their views known to the public.

  79. 81 Bert
    May 6, 2009 at 19:14

    It’s really silly to ban famous people for their views, and yet allow in terrorists whose only intention is to bomb buildings, or worse. Let’s concentrate on keeping out the real threats, and let be those who might merely have outrageous points of view.

    Or do we think that our culture is so very fragile that it can’t even survive some lunatic points of view?

  80. 82 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    May 6, 2009 at 19:16

    These bans and other such hasty advisories are useless in that, the characters that they are aimed at are foreigners. The only thing they will achieve is to give the said ‘rogue’ prominence. We should remember that history is full of rash decisions of witch-hunting of individuals who later turned into prominent role models. It is also prudent to remember that even those societies that are being protected can develop the same tendencies. They will need to be understood even if they will end up being censored in the end.

    It is common knowledge that most Britons have already listened through the media to the person who is subjected to this ban. I do not think that they are supporting his views and certainly would not agree with him even if he were there own.

    The country can provide better propaganda to counter such fears during the ban and even when there is no ban. I do not support the bans. Measures can be instituted to render the influence of such characters infective. On the other hand i do agree that it is up to the British government to use whatever works best in this circumstances.

  81. 83 Chris
    May 6, 2009 at 19:28

    None of the points expressed against banning address the real agenda behind banning. That is to protect the population of the country. The Phelps are only an example of a variety of terrorist groups who are large, well funded, and have an agenda of indescriminantly spreading harm to every person they encounter. By protecting the population at large Britain is also limiting personal freedom in a way. The benefits of banning must be addressed case-by-case, and in the case of the Phelps the loss of freedom is very small.

  82. 84 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    May 6, 2009 at 19:39

    I have no evidence that Britain does not have such characters as it is trying to ban; but I tend to believe that they exist everywhere. It is good to let them talk their mind because this is the only we we have of knowing that different ways of seeing life exist.

    It is times like this that I wonder whether Britain is a country of free speech in this century. May be some people could be shunned this way through trivial circumstances. I love free speech but it seems that I will be forced to wear blinkers if I happened to live in this society.

  83. 85 Luci Smith
    May 6, 2009 at 19:41

    I am o.k. with banning people – especially hate-mongers. That way you do not have to use police to protect them or give them a chance to do stupid things that will get them deported and in the news. I think that the people who make so much trouble ought to stay at home or wherever like-minded people are. And I wish that the Danish Government was not so busy trying to invite all kinds of hotheads to Denmark. I think that stupid, hate-mongering people who do not respect others ought to change their ways and stay in quarantine until they are open to the existence of other people in the world and try to show some respect for their fellow human beings.

  84. 86 Jonathan (partly cloudy San Francisco)
    May 6, 2009 at 19:55

    I continue to be impressed by the instinct at Bush House to stage freak shows, rather than talk shows.

    Today we heard from a frightful collection of witless and unlovely bozos, invited because they had themselves been “banned.” But that direct involvement does not qualify anyone to discuss the merits of an issue. By that logic, if your topic tomorrow were to be animal rights, you would recruit animals from the London Zoo to bark, bray, and grunt at each other. That would, however, not serve your audiece well. I hope that you would instead find people who could advocate and articulate different points of view on the topic at hand.

    Jonathan
    San Francisco

  85. 87 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    May 6, 2009 at 19:57

    Hi WHYSers!

    having listened to today’s programme, which I thought was most interesting and informative, I am inclined to agree that the act of banning may, in a real way, help to promote certain views much more than if they were ignored. The trick though is that Governments cannot get caught up in the issue of whether or not certain groups who go against their state policies, for whatever reasons, are promoted or not. The primary responsibilities of Governments in this context has to be focussed on whether the views which are percieved as threatening are given support by the state, albeit indirectly, by allowing certain groups and expressions free latitudes to do as they please within the boundaries of the state.

  86. 88 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    May 6, 2009 at 20:05

    It also seems to me that there is merit in the position that, banning people before they have committed any criminal acts is decidely presumptious move on the part of the state. However, the banning issue seems to arise where those percieved to be in contravention of state rules, laws, policies, etc. have acted in ways, in the past, that suggest that they do not support the state’s own committment to the promotion of said laws, policies, rules, etc. A ban, though questionable, may be a useful approach to addressing this problem which, as I understand it, is about whether such groups/ views/ persons are allowed free access within the state to say and act as they please. This it seems applies, especially in the case of foreigners. Domestic terrorists, hatemongers, etc. may warrant an alternate response under such circumstances.

  87. 89 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    May 6, 2009 at 20:12

    @ Jonathan (partly cloudy San Francisco)

    Despite the humour in your post, I mnust disagree with your assessment of today’s show. I found it interesting, not so much because the people who were themselves banned were the guests but because of how the conversation evolved. It is was especially interesting to me that Madeliene continued to emphasise that we are not here to discuss the views themselves, that resulted in the guests being banned, but whether or not we are in agreement with the position of the UK Government. That was telling to me, not only because it narrowed the discussion to a very specific focus, but also because it said to me that the BBC has a very clear set of ideas of what constitutes ‘your programme’. Madeliene was especially adept at redirecting the guests to the task at hand, avoiding all the time, the potentially explosive issues which could arise under such circumstances. In that regard, the guests were amazingly civil in their responses towards each other, notwithstanding how offensive their views may have been towards each other, personally. Interesting, indeed!

  88. 90 Dan
    May 6, 2009 at 20:14

    Am I the only person to see the irony in the nation that is home to Speakers’ Corner banning people for exercising free speech? Labour in 2009 is looking more-and-more like the Tories in 1997!

  89. 91 Yogi
    May 6, 2009 at 21:26

    Firstly, i am struck by how much alike Mr. Savage’s views and rhetoric is to those of a number of radical islamic clerics i have heard (just look some up on the net).

    Secondly, I’d have to point out that the US blocks a number of people from entering for even less good reasons (which the UK does not): People who have (even minor) criminal offenses on their records, and people who have or have had any (however minor) connection to a communist-related political party or movement.

  90. 92 Desai
    May 6, 2009 at 22:08

    Country taking a stand against radicals is good. Also they should go after fundamentalists of any kind who rally angry mobs and / or spew radical anti national or anti social speeches with an intention to spread hatred. Free speech has to have boundaries for civil society to function. Its one thing to say something one to one and different when said by someone controlling public opinion through radio / tv / podium in religious place for they ought to follow basic rules of decent speech.

  91. 93 Liam Plumley
    May 6, 2009 at 23:27

    Just as Michael Savage has every right to not have certain people over to his house for dinner, the British Government has the right to not let him in. There is a clear difference between voicing one’s opinion, and intentionally inciting hatred and intolerance, a line that he, and many others on the list, cross at their whim. I wouldn’t want him in my country, either. Sadly, I live in the United States, so I am stuck with him. If British citizens want to know what he has to say, I’m sure they could look him up on the web. Simply, he doesn’t tolerate certain kinds of people, so he shouldn’t be shocked that others wish to treat him in the same way.

    Liam
    Sun Prairie, WI, USA

  92. May 6, 2009 at 23:32

    I would ban conservative talk show hosts because they are thoroughly wicked people who engage in nothing but total fascism!

  93. 95 Serge-didier
    May 7, 2009 at 00:18

    By forbidding these kinds of individuals access to different European countries only prove the extent by which freedom of expression is trying to be replaced by hypocrisy. These restrictions are only putting in question the validity of the core democratic values the west has so much preached. Doesn’t this give extremist movements in autocratic governments the right to suppress people’s freedom of expression?

  94. 96 globalcomedy
    May 7, 2009 at 01:25

    There’s no such thing as “free speech” without taking responsibility for what you say.

    Could the WHYS staff say anything they want and then say it’s “free speech.”? No. A la the Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand case, people would complain. BBC management and Offcom would be involved. Various management would apologize, be sacked. Or in turn sack others involved.

    The point is there are consequences that everyone has to face. With Savage, he has a multi-billion dollar corporate legal staff to back him up. I don’t. What about my “free speech”?

  95. 97 Brucka
    May 7, 2009 at 06:39

    Does that mean we can send Simon Cowell and that really angry chef-person back to y’all?
    Wouldn’t it be more fun if the ‘audience’ i.e. population could vote people off your island instead?
    As for me I’m for banning lumpy gravy and the use of the phrase ‘going forward’. You can ban our ultra right wing social conservative freaks if we can ban the Teletubbies and the (similar) inane drivel they spout – ruining our youth.

  96. 98 peter
    May 7, 2009 at 08:41

    If you are not afraid of other peoples view, why ban them. It is our duty to hear opposing views, however unpalatable it may be.

    Terrorism is caused by banning.

  97. 99 Martin
    May 7, 2009 at 13:09

    This list is “idiotic” There is a price to pay for “Free Speach” Mr Savage is just a stupid loud mouthed American..no reason to ban him..nobody with half a brain listens to the man anyway. This list is not a good idea. Why publish something so silly….just gives the man a “soap box” to stand on…now millions more know this guy exists.

  98. 100 Susan
    May 7, 2009 at 15:40

    As a naturalized American citizen, I believe the Brits have every right to ban whomever they want – it’s THEIR country & THEIR rules/laws. How can this Savage (did he pick his own name?) expect to impose his views on foreigners in THEIR OWN COUNTRY? Would we tolerate that kind of behaviour in America??? And he thinks he can SUE them!!! His audacity is gargantuan. I’ll bet the UK Home Secretary has not stopped laughing yet!!! That’s the most hysterical thing I ever heard! Only in America can your sue anyone for anything, & that is NOT something to be proud of, sadly. Savage is one of the reasons the Brits find Americans laughable, & who can blame them? He’s an embarassment to the USA.

  99. 101 Robert Sinclair Shand
    May 7, 2009 at 15:48

    Just a stupid loud-mouthed American??? Such stupid loud-mouthed American’s have subjected America with religious propaganda to such a degree that idiots like this are regarded as being the norm. Never believe that Freedom Of Speech is something to be played with without some degree of decency and discipline. It never has worked and it never will. To protect humanity from liars such as this guy and his ilk reality must prevail over the stupid arrogance of Egotist’s.

  100. 102 Joe The Libertarian From San Fran
    May 7, 2009 at 17:35

    It is an odd time we live in. Philosophical differences should be met with a stronger philosophical argument. I live in Savage’s bay area and have heard him on the radio for years. I find him to be a religious man which i myself am not. I disagree with many of his views politically and philosophically. For instance his view on gay marriage i disagree with. However Savage is a moral man who backs up his views with a consistent philosophy. Here is a man who is politically to the right, yet he denounced Bush’s policy’s years ago. Long before it became popular here for the conservatives to do so. Savage always speaks very favorably in regards to your Magna Charta. I do not believe he insights hate among the people. Savage rallies against government and its close ties to business. this American government and its take over by corporate America is what I hear savage rant against a vast majority of his show. I have never heard him condone violence. I love the UK as they are our closest brethren. But if the UK sees Michael Savage as a threat, then i question how will your government ban political viewpoints in the future?

  101. 103 john graham
    May 7, 2009 at 17:50

    Does your Government think that the people of Britain are so immature that they will be moved to violence by the rantings of extremists?
    I (aged 23) was at Hyde Park Corner on many occasions in 1959 listening to many single-issuers who ranted on under the indulgent eyes of a few relaxed Bobbies (a category of minders now extinct). What is happening to (Y)Our Society?
    Roosevedlt was rightwhen he said::
    “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
    Who is fostering global fear today; and why?
    PLEASE snow your Home Secretary under with outraged E-Mails.

  102. 104 Thomas Murray
    May 7, 2009 at 17:57

    Our right wing AM radio commentators can be pretty extreme.

    But when has a pro-gay rights stance become a done deal. Minorities (most of them) are born the way they are and can’t (easily) change.

    But I look askance at a social order in which all one has to do is declare oneself gay, and then be accorded the instant royalty of a premium minority status.

    No wonder the world’s in trouble.

  103. 105 Laurence Bates
    May 7, 2009 at 19:39

    People who burn books end up burning people. I would be far more afraid of being in a room with Jacqui Smith than Michael Savage.

  104. 106 Rob
    May 7, 2009 at 21:04

    If fear is the motive to ban people entering a country, one has a weak set of values. Typical about strong values is that they survive all threats. As the UK is no longer a christian country, the christian values and inspiration by Jesus Christ have gone. What is left is a country in a deep identity crisis. To use an Brown term: without a moral compass. And without an identity with it’s set of values strange choices will be made and receiving criticism is threatening. Such countries choose a ban people from their country is their moral defence isn’t working or trustworthy.

  105. 107 Davis Eddy
    May 7, 2009 at 21:39

    Frau Smith of the British Home Office is just protecting the Fatherland from the influence of undesirables who may contaminate the purity of the British race.

  106. 108 Mansur Shehu
    May 8, 2009 at 11:55

    Banning people is a sign of disrepsect to the rule of law and unfaithfulness. But sometimes a good idea if it would lead to voilence or incite.

  107. 109 Alby
    May 8, 2009 at 15:02

    The ban is good and so is the publicity of their horrible views. We need to know what people are out there thinking and spewing, because people are listening to them and over time they adopt more and more of those ideas and their own views are cementing in place. We need to know this is happening in our midst. We are too complacent. After Geert Wilders was banned, I ended up in a conversation with two Ivy League graduates at my church about the difference between the ‘free speech’ and “hate speech’. I was amazed at how confused people are about this. They make no distinction, and the claim “rights” but never mention “responsibilities”.

    We need to have these conversations and once again draw these lines and tell our Congressmen and Judges. I am stunned how confused we are about this. We haven’t had to deal with these troubles ever in our history, and now it is reeling its ugly head. Things are getting too dangerous with so much right-wing press using facts selectively and scapegoating different groups in the population on FCC licensed airwaves.

    There is already rising violence against Latinos, and those right-wing shock jocks blamed them on the Swine Flu epidemic. Never mind the industrial hog farming that caused the flu. Radio shock-jocks will never criticize the corporate businesses that pays their ad revenues, but also jams up Congress to cause this economic crisis with their self-serving de-regulation. They’d rather rail against Latinos, Gays, Muslims, kids with Autism…to scapegoat.

  108. 110 Matthias
    May 8, 2009 at 18:37

    I think the justification of democracy is not the usefullness,
    but idealism!
    even if democracy would effect be the end of the world, this would have been a decision of free persons that have brotherly decided to destroy the world!

    Matthias from Hamburg Germany

  109. 111 GTR5
    May 8, 2009 at 20:42

    As a real American citizen I totally agree with Mr. Michael Savage. The illegal immigrants are destroying our country and soaking up our tax money. They bring nothing but trouble, crime and misery for the US taxpayers to contend with. If you are going to ban him from England for his anti-immigrant views, please have your government ban me also.

  110. 112 Waheedullah Farooqi Zargar
    May 9, 2009 at 11:32

    Regarding the need of “Dictatorship or Democracy”, I would like to say that if there is a weak democracy like it exists in Afghanistan, so it is better we have a dictatorship of a clever and master mind person instead. I would not advocate the dictatorship of Taliban, but neither I want to support the democracy which exists today under the leadership of Mr. Karzai.
    When I was in Pakistan I have experienced the dictatorship of President Musharraf which was better than the democratic governments of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto in its all means. Pakistanis had an increased growth rate, increased GDP and…….etc, during Musharraf’s time. Besides those all, Musharaf was able to suffer from a huge problem of the time “Supporting America against Taliban of Afghanistan”, without any barrier, but you see todays democracy in Pakistan can’t overcome the problem of Talib combatants in Pakistan.
    In our country people are calling the government of Daud Khan a dictator government, but we had the most increased growth rate in that time and we were able to feed all of our population from our own countries agricultural outputs, which is a dream for the current democratic government in Afghanistan. And I beleive that, it is not the problem of democracy, but the problem is, we don’t have real democracy in third world countries.

  111. 113 Shakhoor Rehman
    May 9, 2009 at 12:18

    This is a similar debate to censorship. Censorship is always wrong and pointless. Let the wise and the idiot speak freely.

  112. May 9, 2009 at 14:07

    I have pity for the likes who listen to an immigrant like Savage who calls others immigrants as if he is the Native indian.for heaven sake the lad is hallucinating and needs to be real.IS HE THE NATIVE AMERICAN?

    does he not know how he ended up where he is now?can he tell his audience his origin and the factors that led to the Europeans who ran from hunger,famine etc and those seeking greener pastures in the gold run?isnt he a descendat of them?

    Luckily,Here in uk we do not tolorate such disorderly rants.He has personality disorder and he shouts on his programme,too noisy to be listened to.

    SAVAGE,BE REAL.WAKE UP AND STOP HALLUCINATING

  113. 115 William
    May 9, 2009 at 14:07

    Why is it that England did not ban Michael Savage when he was viciously critical of President George Bush during his two terms? Suddenly, because Savage is now critical of President Obama, he is now considered to be engaged in “hate speech” and is now banned from Britain?

    Why is Rush Limbaugh not banned from England then? Rush has said Much more hateful and violent things against Obama and immigrants than Savage has.

    And, neither Rush nor Savage has referred to the people of Pakistan as “Pakis” or Arabs as “ragheads” or their black friends as “Sooty.” Yet, is Prince Harry or Prince Charles banned from England? I suppose it is much easier to ban certain Americans from your country rather than deal with your own royalty first, isn’t it? A contradiction of the first order, is it not?

    And, how about Tony Blair. Did he not engage in hate speech when accusing Saddam Hussein of having weapons of mass destruction that he did not have? Did he not incite violence by sending troops to Iraq? Was he banned from England? When Gordon Brown said “British jobs for British people” was that not an anti-immigrant statement? Is he banned from England? Yet, when Savage says American jobs for American people, then that is considered anti-immigrant hate speech?

    This is a clear case of the English pot calling the American kettle black and it is pathetic hypocrisy at its finest.

  114. 116 Larry Koskela
    May 9, 2009 at 16:54

    The term ‘shock jock’ refers to shockingly bad taste. Since the English are the final arbiters of good taste, it is only natural that they should ban Mr. Savage. Personally, although I’m in favor of complete free speech, I greatly appreciate the role that the English play.

  115. 117 Sheku Conteh
    May 9, 2009 at 19:39

    I think dictators should not be allow in any country which seek progress and development for its people.

    Thank you.

  116. 118 Cristina in Canada
    May 9, 2009 at 21:48

    This is really unfair, CLEARLY this individual is severely mentally deficient. Governments cannot prohibit people just because they publicly express their lack of mental capacity.

  117. 119 Miriam Epstein
    May 10, 2009 at 00:30

    Speeches dont do any harm; hateful actions do. Look at the war criminals of Pakistan and Sri Lanka who have been committing genocidal crimes for many decades. Instead of punishing them in the Hague, we are rewarding the former with billions over next many years plus billions via DONOR conference.

    Will there be a DONOR conference for Lankan Tamils trying to get social justice?

    How about one for the 80% poor in India where so many children of WW-I AND II, Boxer Revolution veterans live whose FATHERS DIED FOR THE WESTERN CHRISTIANS AND JEWS and whose land has been taken by the Islamic colonial remnants ruling it under theocratic mobocracy?!!

  118. 120 AmericanGrizzly
    May 10, 2009 at 15:34

    “Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as WIsdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.” Benjamin Franklin.

    “For if MEn are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.” George Washington

    “I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking. It cannot be so easily discovered if you allow him to remain silent and look wise, but if you let him speak, the secret is out and the world knows that he is a fool. So it is by the exposure of folly that it is defeated; not by the seclusion of another which constitutes the basis of all common achievement.” Woodrow Wilson

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

    “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences of attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it” Thomas Jefferson

    Speak your mind no matter how unpopular, have courage! It is a citizens duty to hear it all and judge; what words carry fact, and actual truth to form an opinion and policy.

  119. 121 AmericanGrizzly
    May 10, 2009 at 15:45

    So Alby, I disagree! When the bill of Rights was made inclusive to the US Constitution it said it all. The UK has to sort out what constitutes their own freedom. But I will stick with Thomas Jefferson’s last quote on degree of liberty. So while I enjoy the BBC, and some of its grains of fact and truth, it has a leash on it. Thus my view of it is always skeptical, as it is with any source of information from anywhere in the world.

  120. 122 Rick
    May 11, 2009 at 04:49

    Why yes! The United States of America needs a Dictator and we have one! All hail Dear Leader.


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