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Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 18:26:37 in Fifty

“Saijan,

It doesn't require a conspiracy. The primary author's bias or even conscious manipulation could be sufficient--not to mention the bias of secondary authors. When the majority of studies by non TM practitioners turn out null, and the ones that are positive are mostly by TM practitioners, as the review concluded which I linked to in one of my other comments, it makes sense to infer bias in TM researchers.

In the case of VIOXX, which caused much more harm than poor TM studies could, the primary author was able to fabricate data even with co-authors and peer review. Just because someone's name is listed in a study doesn't indicate how involved they were in that study.

And the study you linked to again has a considerably small sample size and the relative differences in outcome small. There *are* null studies: meaning studies demonstrating no effects of TM. Until more robust studies are conducted by less biased researchers that demonstrate positive outcome insurances, etc should not be expected to pay for TM.

Based on the evidence so far, I do not think there is any good reason to think TM is worth doing for reducing heart attacks or any other cause of death--and it is certainly no more likely to be beneficial than other forms of meditation that are absolutely free.

If you think otherwise, you are welcome to use TM.”
Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 17:56:10 in Fifty

“Carla,

Ah, you are right, I was mistaken that they were all affiliated. So they are all either from Maharishi or Wisconsin?

That, of course, doesnt change anything--anymore than the fact that, in drug studies, not all of the co authors work for a particular drug company; the skepticism still applies because of the influence of the drug company and the any primary authors that are employed by the drug company.

Furthermore, my primary criticisms were not of the authors associations but of quality of the study and the outcomes. If you read my original comment, mention of the authors association comes last.

As I've said multiple times already, I welcome further research on this. And you are welcome to continue using TM.”
Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 21:18:51 in Fifty

“Yes, it does make that study suspicious. The TM university is set to financially gain from positive research outcomes. What does Alexander being a Phd student of Ellen Langer have anything to do with conflicts of interest between Maharishi University and TM research? As I said elsewhere on this thread, my skepticism extends to drug companies who perform their own in house research and come up with positive benefits. If there was Tylenol University, and they did research on the effects of Tylenol--Id be skeptical of it, even if all their researchers graduated from Harvard. Hopefully you would too.

If TM as an independent form of meditation is truly beneficial, studies will eventually be independently conducted and well controlled that support that conclusion, especially if studies such as this, even if by Maharishi University, continue to surface.

Even though I am skeptical of the benefits of TM, this latest research is still good news for those who are not skeptical, because it may spur better research--and if you are right, that research will confirm your views.”

Jeff Peoples on Nov 22, 2012 at 18:26:37

“Saijan,

It doesn't require a conspiracy. The primary author's bias or even conscious manipulation could be sufficient--not to mention the bias of secondary authors. When the majority of studies by non TM practitioners turn out null, and the ones that are positive are mostly by TM practitioners, as the review concluded which I linked to in one of my other comments, it makes sense to infer bias in TM researchers.

In the case of VIOXX, which caused much more harm than poor TM studies could, the primary author was able to fabricate data even with co-authors and peer review. Just because someone's name is listed in a study doesn't indicate how involved they were in that study.

And the study you linked to again has a considerably small sample size and the relative differences in outcome small. There *are* null studies: meaning studies demonstrating no effects of TM. Until more robust studies are conducted by less biased researchers that demonstrate positive outcome insurances, etc should not be expected to pay for TM.

Based on the evidence so far, I do not think there is any good reason to think TM is worth doing for reducing heart attacks or any other cause of death--and it is certainly no more likely to be beneficial than other forms of meditation that are absolutely free.

If you think otherwise, you are welcome to use TM.”

Saijanai on Nov 19, 2012 at 03:45:21

“well, you're missing the point.

skip Alexander at the TM university was the contact person, but a full professor of Psychology whose speciality is mindfulness meditation, was co-author. Are you seriously suggesting that Ellen Langer was in on some vast TM conspiracy to fake evidence?”
Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 20:25:57 in Fifty

“Yes, the article does state that. The article is therefore clearly misleading. All of the authors are affiliated with Maharishi University, the name of which is not even mentioned in the article. While not all of the authors are affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin.

I did not say anything about disqualification, but that is reason to be skeptical. For the same reason I am skeptical of this study, I am skeptical of studies performed by drug companies that support the efficacy of their drugs.

The 48% reduction, not in heart attack, but all causes(the sentence in the article is poorly constructed), is not necessarily remarkable given the sample size and the decrease in smoking. In fact, those two factors are sufficient to withhold any positive judgement about the data.

I can guarantee you there are cardiologists out there who are not as impressed as Oz.

I would still be happy to see more independent scientists thoroughly investigate not just TM but meditation in general.

Here is some links to *skeptical* reviews of the research, as you seem to suggest that there is a clear positive outcome of the research and it is consistent with this latest research.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/t4p2680456176t27/

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004998.pub2/abstract;jsessionid=F029ECC0C87AC2DE1A0EEA828F738B98.d03t03

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17764203

It is also important to point out that the meditation research literature includes adverse events from meditation.”

Jeff Peoples on Nov 22, 2012 at 17:56:10

“Carla,

Ah, you are right, I was mistaken that they were all affiliated. So they are all either from Maharishi or Wisconsin?

That, of course, doesnt change anything--anymore than the fact that, in drug studies, not all of the co authors work for a particular drug company; the skepticism still applies because of the influence of the drug company and the any primary authors that are employed by the drug company.

Furthermore, my primary criticisms were not of the authors associations but of quality of the study and the outcomes. If you read my original comment, mention of the authors association comes last.

As I've said multiple times already, I welcome further research on this. And you are welcome to continue using TM.”

Saijanai on Nov 19, 2012 at 10:01:01

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23149426

Schneider RH, mum

Grim CE, wisconsin

Rainforth MV, mum

Kotchen T, wisconsin

Nidich SI, mum

Gaylord-King C, mum

Salerno JW, mum

Kotchen JM, wisconsin

Alexander CN. mum”

Carla Brown on Nov 19, 2012 at 08:27:29

“You are incorrect in suggesting that this study is conducted solely by Maharishi University of Management researchers.
Clarence E. Grim, MD, Theodore Kotchen, MD,and Jane Morley Kotchen, MD, MPH are physicians and researchers from Milwaukee and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Theodore Kotchen, for example, is Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean for Clinical Research, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Clinical Nutrition
Endocrinology; a graduate of Harvard College and Western Reserve Medical School. He trained in Internal Medicine at the University of North Carolina and Western Reserve, and completed a fellowship in Endocrinology at Yale University. He is Board certified in Internal Medicine and in the subspecialty of Endocrinology/Metabolism. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. His clinical interests in adult endocrinology include endocrine causes of hypertension, and disorders of the adrenal, pituitary, thyroid, and parathyroid glands. His research interests focus primarily on hypertension, and he is author or co-author of over 200 peer reviewed publications. Most deal with mechanisms of blood pressure control, hypertension treatment strategies, and genes of hypertension.

Does that change your view, however? You may be pre-committed to your point of view.

I think a starting point for you is that you incorrectly consider the TM practice religious.

I suggest that you consider the following site and summary.

http://www.truthabouttm.org/truth/TMResearch/TMResearchSummary/index.cfm

Carla Brown on Nov 19, 2012 at 08:00:15

“Authors from Medical College of Wisconsin are
Theodore Kotchen, MD and Jane Morley Kotchen, MD, MPH

Theordore Kotchen, M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean, Clinical Research, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Clinical Nutrition, Endocrinology

Dr. Kotchen is a graduate of Harvard College and Western Reserve Medical School. He trained in Internal Medicine at University of North Carolina and Western Reserve, and completed a fellowship in Endocrinology at Yale University. He is Board certified in Internal Medicine and in Endocrinology/Metabolism. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. His clinical interests in adult endocrinology include endocrine causes of hypertension, and disorders of adrenal, pituitary, thyroid, and parathyroid glands. His research interests focus primarily on hypertension, and he is author or co-author of over 200 peer reviewed publications. Most deal with mechanisms of blood pressure control, hypertension treatment strategies, and genes of hypertension.

Jane Morley Kotchen, MD, MPH is
Professor, Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Director, Master of Science Degree Program - Clinical and Translational Science and Director, CTSI Educational Key Function at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Jane Kotchen received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and her MPH from the University of North Carolina. She has served on academic faculties of the University of Kentucky and West Virginia University, as well as the Medical College of Wisconsin. Her research has focused on the study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in children and adults, community prevention programs and women’s health.”
Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 23:34:34 in Fifty

“No, the lead researcher is at Maharishi University. There are plenty of studies that make it into journals that are poorly conducted or later cannot be duplicated by disinterested parties. 48% is not an astonishing percentage of risk when the absolute number is small. The percentage could in fact not be practically significant. Until further studies are conducted that support the same thing, and greater controls are placed on such things as the reduction of smoking.

This is science, not religion--although religion is what motivates Maharishi University, which is more reason to be skeptical of the study.

It is also important to determine whether there is anything special about TM as opposed to other forms of meditation such as Zen or any generic mantra meditation given that TM is run like amway. If all studies on jogging were done by Nike associates and was "jogging with a shirt with a Nike logo," it would be important to determine whether the Nike logo had any impact or whether it was superfluous.

Furthermore, medication studies are typically done with a significantly larger pool of participants and controlled with more sophistication.

Any disinterested person should be skeptical of this study. You are not disinterested which can easily be determined by your zeal.”

blainek on Nov 21, 2012 at 12:13:05

“Very well said.”

Shaas on Nov 18, 2012 at 12:37:50

“Come on, Jeff, you are arguing like it was some lone research work on some obscure meditation technique that has to be doubted at any cost. But Transcendental Meditation is not so. There are over 500 scientific studies done, majority of them published in peer-reviewed journals - and done on independent research institutes. So, please don't come with childish arguments like "Nike logo impact".”

Carla Brown on Nov 17, 2012 at 10:25:12

“The article above clearly states that the study was conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Robert Schneider’s research is known to be of exemplary quality – as described by the National Institutes of Health. Just because someone has an interest or is delighted with the outcomes of a study, does not disqualify him or her as researcher or reviewer. As renowned scientists have pointed out, the rigors of research often demand that people who have interest in an approach are the only ones with the fortitude and dedication to pursue a scientific study.

48% reduction in risk of heart attack, stroke or death may not be remarkable to you. Heart surgeon Mehmet Oz is among those who think it is remarkable. You will retain your skepticism, no doubt. When examining this research outcome and understanding its place in a 20-year program of research, I see it as an ethical and moral imperative to make this program available to people suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, cardiovascular and heart disease, which plague our society.”

Saijanai on Nov 17, 2012 at 03:27:49

“There are very few comparison studies done on different meditation techniques. It is hard to get the various enthusiasts (virtually all meditation researchers do research on something they already practice) to agree on protocols.

The best such study studied 3 different techniques, with three main researchers who were advocates of one of the techniques. In order to normalize expectations, each technique was taught following roughly the same format used for TM, including the use of practitioners of that technique who made a formal presentation to prospective (already randomly assigned) students, using slick charts and professional sales attire, etc. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=langer%20alexander%20meditation

the contact person "lead researcher" was at the TM university. However, are you really saying that this makes the study suspicious? Ellen Langer is a full professor at Harvard. Alexander was one of her PhD students.

http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~langer/bio.html”
Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Meditation Benefits: Find Out What This Easy Practice Can Do For You

Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 20:50:00 in Fifty

“The article doesn't discuss how much 48% reduction is, and how statistically significant it is; nor does it discuss the effects of the reduction of smoking by those who practiced TM. Given that the study was only 5 years and there were only 201 people 48% reduction probably isnt much. Smoking less is known to increase longevity, thus all, or most, of the health benefits here could be the result of smoking less. Furthermore the research was conducted by Maharishi University, which is financially set to benefit from it. The primary author of the study is Robert Schneider.”

Neil Evansan on Nov 25, 2012 at 07:42:51

“Tot sure what exactly you're looking for, but a very simple read of that 48% reduction would be that, over a 5-year period, of those people who practice TM, 48% fewer die, suffer a Heart Attack or Stroke than comparable populations who only attend a Heath Education class.

If you want more detailed information, read the study. I'm sure it answers what ever questions or concerns you might have.

BTW ..... since smoking is cited an issue ..... here in America, 500,000 people die every year due to smoking and tobacco-related products; 5 Million world-wide. Most people smoke as a coping mechanism regarding stress. TM and other forms of Meditation have shown in study after study to lower and even eliminate the stresses people report as problem areas of their lives.

If smokers were to take up a 20 minute meditation session instead of yet another cigarette, more smokers would become non-smokers, which would slash that 500,000 number dramatically within only a few years. Research shows when a person becomes a non-smoker, almost immediately the body sets about to repair damages done, expelling toxins and carcinogens. It's suggested that for a former 20-year pack-a-day smoker, total reversal of most damage is complete in as little as 7 years, and medical examinations appear as if they never smoked.

Pretty amazing to think what can be accomplished by a couple moments of daily meditation.”

Carla Brown on Nov 16, 2012 at 08:13:03

“This study is a big deal because it has been peer reviewed and published in a highly respected journal. Your questions should be raised about any study, but they have largely been answered in that process. 48% is an astonishing percentage of reduction in risk-- not possible with medication alone.The research was conducted by University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who collaborated with Maharishi University of Management. The study is part of a larger program of research funded over 20 years by the National Institutes of Health, which also has rigorous control processes. The real question: how can a simple and effortless technique produce such results? This research suggests the technique allows people -- even with advanced heart disease-- to get very deep rest and to tap into their own capacity to heal. The study showed that mere health education didn't allow this to happen. Another implication: this technique is like a life-insurance policy. As heart surgeon Mehmet Oz explains,

"Speaking as a scientist the amazing thing about Transcendental Meditation is the very well established research showing that the technique impacts things that we didn't think were changeable. If you look, for example, at basic high blood pressure which is the number one cause of death, you can actually reduce your blood pressure significantly with just using Transcendental Meditation. You can also reduce cholesterol, atherosclerosis, obesity, the risk of stroke, and even reduce death rates due to cardiovascular disease."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1M4GwIbKjM&feature=youtu.be
Health Care Reform Mandate, How Does It Work?

Health Care Reform Mandate, How Does It Work?

Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 22:33:04 in Money

“As many legal decisions before it, the technical legal rationale is not as significant as the political and social sympathies of the judges. If the judgements of Roe vs Wade can be held or citizens united, then really I dont see this being so much a "constitutional" issue.”
American High School Students Are Reading Books At 5th-Grade-Appropriate Levels: Report

American High School Students Are Reading Books At 5th-Grade-Appropriate Levels: Report

Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 04:54:42 in Education

“The quality of a story or the depth of an idea cannot be determined by the complexity of the sentences or how esoteric the vocabulary is. This report is near worthless. The mindset of this study is representative of the education-factory views held by the people responsible for national standardized tests.

Furthermore, the sort of books a person might read for literary pleasure is not necessarily a reflection of the sort of books a person is capable of reading if necessary. Of Mice and Men is one of my favorite books; and I imagine many of the books I hold with high regard dont have a starry ATOS score (Huckleberry Finn, Things Fall Apart, Candide, Brave New World)--but that doesnt mean I havent read or dont read stuff that probably does (Hume, Kant, Shakespeare, Russell, science textbooks).

I think this latest report demonstrates a failure of bureaucratic educators to critically assess the meaning and value of the data they collect more than it demonstrates a failure of students to read "appropriate" literature for their grade level. Of Mice and Men is appropriate to read at any age and at any grade level.”

Ellen Morfei on Mar 24, 2012 at 06:38:47

“A sensible comment. Thank you. The book scoring rubric is incredibly limited and limiting.”

Paganus on Mar 24, 2012 at 05:41:57

“Exactly. If the ATOS rubric produces low scores for stylists like Steinbeck, Orwell, and Lee, then they have a problem with their rubric.

Have you ever noticed how many of the great stylists constantly break the modern "rules" of good prose? Hemingway does it all the time. I was reading the opening of Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's the other day: first sentence - passive voice; second sentence main verb "is," and so it goes on, over and over. And this is the man Norman Mailer called "the most perfect writer of my generation." I just don't see that the common critical criteria of modern style are applied to the "greats."”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 23:50:26 in Religion

“Odd, this is quite offensive. Probably to Christians. If one were to harass you for it--or assault you, would you have deserved it? Would you call the police on yourself for inciting violence? Why do you feel that Muslim feelings should be entitled for special protection?”

Razpooten on Mar 1, 2012 at 02:12:37

“Where did you see special protection?”

Sunwyn Ravenwood on Mar 1, 2012 at 01:44:50

“It is unfortunately, true. Even such seemingly innocuous words as "Jeez" or Gee whiz" are actually corruptions of the word "Jesus."

For people who claim to be his followers many so-called Christians seem to use his name in ways that are certainly disrespectful. How many times have you heard someone use "Jesus Christ" or "Christ" or "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" as an exclamation or a curse.”

myzelf on Mar 1, 2012 at 01:40:32

“Christians aren't required to obey Jesus-God. If they're offended by what the Bible says, they're free to complain to those who wrote ir. That doesn't change what it says (multiple mistranslations notwithstanding).

Exodus 20:4 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing ...."

Exodus 20:7 "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;..."

1 Timothy 6:10 "For the love of money is the root of all evil:.."

Matthew 6:7 "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow - Oral Arguments - Justice Souter: "... this civic exercise as a religious affirmation is so tepid, so diluted ... whatever is distinctively religious as an affirmation is simply lost ... the religious, as distinct from a civic content, is close to disappearing here."

Matthew 6:5-6 "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men... But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."”

myzelf on Mar 1, 2012 at 01:36:18

“Facts are often offensive to people who live in fairy tales (or those who are desperate to get attention by calling themselves victims). Nobody has a right to not be offended. Nobody deserves to be assaulted for stating facts OR opinions. It's perfectly legal to do so - it's called Freedom of Speech.

Posting comments on a message board isn't inciting violence. I have NEVER said that Muslim feelings should be entitled to special protection, nor have I EVER thought that. READ MORE CAREFULLY. Try to stick with the words ON the screen, NOT the ones you WISH were there, or the ones in YOUR OWN imagination.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 23:43:44 in Religion

“Not really, given that we have access to the audio recording of the entire trial and the video that wasnt included in the trial.

Your perspective seems to be exceptionally warped. But you do seem quite personally invested in this case. How come?”

myzelf on Mar 1, 2012 at 00:25:58

“I have no personal involvement in this case. I base my comments on the FACTS, as contained in the laws of PA, the Constitution, the audio recording of the trial that the atheist was ordered not to broadcast, the 2 (inaccurate) transcripts, and the goading video that doesn't show an attack. You don't have to LIKE the facts, but they ARE what they are.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 23:38:57 in Religion

“Im kind of curious about these atheists you are talking about that are calling for violence. I am an atheist, I have no problem asserting that the judge should not be harmed. Unfortunatey though, atheists are not a organized group that adhere to an ethical creed or necessarily have any values in common or claim to worship the same person. Being an atheist only means you dont believe in gods. The people who are allegedly calling for violence against the judge also likely dont believe in the tooth fairy, as you dont either--why arent you calling upon all people who dont believe in the tooth fairy not to invoke violence?

And of course, no one here on this board that I have seen has advocated for Mark's harm. But that is irrelevant to the case.

And the issue isnt whether something is a "moral sin"--the issue is whether it is illegal, and it was illegal for what the defendant in the case did.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 23:29:28 in Religion

“So if I tell everyone that wearing a cross offends me, I will be permitted to harass anyone with a cross?”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 23:25:43 in Religion

“oops, first line should be children of grieving parents.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 23:15:18 in Religion

“myzelf. How many times are you going to point out that he wasnt charged with assault? Whether he was charged with harassment or with the assault, the essence of the case remains--that what he did was against the law and the mishandled the application of the law.

Even if this person said harrassment, you would have said some oppositional comment; from your numerous comments, it is clear that you do not have any respect for the first amendment, and find that offending a person's religious belief is worse than attacking a person for said offense, and in the case of religious offense, first amendment rights should be waved.

What are your personal religious beliefs by the way? Christian? Muslim? Atheist? Buddhist?”

myzelf on Feb 29, 2012 at 23:55:25

“I will happily point out the FACTS of the case EVERY TIME it's obvious that the person commenting doesn't know or understand them (or is in denial or spreading lies about them).

The essence of the case is that the judge acted according to the LAWS of the USA, UNLIKE what those pushing lying propaganda regarding Sharia Law, etc. are claiming. A confrontation occurred. The Muslim was charged with harassment. The prosecution failed to do its job in court. The charges were dismissed. The defendant was released. That's the way the law works in the USA.

You are WRONG. I have the ULTIMATE respect for the First Amendment AND the rest of the Constitution (which protects people from being convicted without due process, etc.). I defend it DAILY.

I have NEVER stated or implied that offending a person is worse than attacking them, OR that First Amendment rights should be waived. Ever. READ MORE CAREFULLY.

I am an atheist.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 00:52:10 in Religion

“Regarding sources-- well, I have one instance more than you. And the latest instance, and given by the supreme court, that takes into account historical precedence. Given that, you have no business speaking so condescendingly to Kaila or anyone else about legal history, and I think you should apologize.

And here is a quote directly from the written opinion of the court:

"Westboro addressed matters of public import on public property, in a peaceful manner, in full compliance with the guidance of local officials. It did not disrupt Mathew Snyder’s funeral, and its choice to picket at that time and place did not alter the nature of its speech. Because this Nation has chosen to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that public debate is not stifled, Westboro must be shielded from tort liability for its picketing in this case. Pp. 14–15.
580 F. 3d 206, affirmed.
ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. BREYER, J., filed a concurring opinion. ALITO, J., filed a dissent-ing opinion."

You can find the full opinion at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-751.pdf . Hopefully the supreme court is a satisfactory source for you.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 00:49:50 in Religion

“No, the fact that he wore a costume insulting to muslims is not sufficient to show that he expected muslims to see it. My brother, a tall (7' 1") mixed race (he would be considered black in our society) wore a grand dragon kkk outfit out in Halloween(to a dance club in Hollywood specifically) a few years back. Although the said outfit would be offensive to neo nazis, he did not wear it with the expectation they would see it and attack him for it. He wore it for those who were not neo nazis, as an ironic gesture, for humor. And even if he had been harassed by a neo nazi at that time and it was recorded on film and the neo nazi told a police officer that he did physically confront him, I find it highly unlikely that if brought to court a judge would dismiss the case and give a lecture to my brother about being sensitive about offending nazis.

Halloween is a non-religious holiday in America that some religious folk think is demonic. Given the anti-secular stance of so much Islam, I would not anticipate a muslim to be at a Halloween parade, especially a muslim who would violently react to the display, a muslim who according to the police testimony thought it was against the law to insult muhammed in the U.S.”

myzelf on Feb 29, 2012 at 02:11:01

“Did your brother shout repeatedly to everyone in sight, "I am a grand dragon of the KKK," and have a camera and commentary ready in case he was attacked?

To whom do you suppose the atheist dressed as Muhammad was shouting during the parade? Was his costume so bad that he had to tell people who he was? Was the zombie Pope shouting too?”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 22:55:07 in Religion

“Yup. That same entitlement does not extend to neo nazis or west boro baptists (or any other ideological group I know of). In fact, people can talk about how much they hate nazis all they like and if a neo nazi were to attack there would be an outcry.”

loutrerouge on Feb 29, 2012 at 03:21:43

“Spot on.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 22:49:13 in Religion

“The defendant admits to the police officer of trying to physically stop the victim. Are you suggesting that the defendant could attempt to physically stop the victim without intending to harass, annoy, or alarm? What do you suggest his intent is?

Here is a dictionary definition of "harass"; if there is a legal one I am not aware of, let me know: b (1) : to annoy persistently (2) : to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct. What he did falls under 2. Of course, 2 is just a repeat of (1) from the legal requirements.

If his intent wasnt to stop the victim by unpleasant or hostile physical content, what do you suggest it was? To give the victim a massage?”

myzelf on Feb 29, 2012 at 00:57:59

“It's not up to me or you to suggest or prove the defendant's intent. It's up to the prosecution. What evidence (not speculation) did they present that PROVED he intended to harass, annoy or alarm by his one-time reaction to being provoked? Not enough, according to the judge.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 22:38:23 in Religion

“uhh, take some time to read some church signs. If a church sign implies that if you dont believe in Jesus you deserve to be tortured for eternity, that is much worse than mockery. If the atheist had said muslims, including muhammed, deserved to be tortured, I suspect the reaction would have been even more violent.

Pastors read from the bible in church every day, and they read passages that slander "non believers" and the "godless" as being wicked, liars, thieves, murderers.

And exulting the bible is an offense to atheists as much exulting mien kampf is an offense to jews. And if "having faith" means exulting the bible... well..

But atheists dont go around physically harrassing Christians for wearing a cross.

Many Christians have a warped view about their treatment of non-christians.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 22:28:01 in Religion

“Why is it unlikely that he did not expect muslims to be at a Halloween parade? I wasnt aware that Halloween was a muslim holy day. Id actually expect Muslims to consciously avoid it.

Someone else wore a zombie pope costume. It's not clear if anyone wore a zombie jesus costume. One can intend to cause many different kinds of reactions, such as laughter or self-reflection without intending to cause physical confrontation. And of course, doing something that might provoke violence from sensitive people is not against the law. There are plenty of Halloween costumes that likely offend people; I wonder how many half naked angels offended christians? KKK marches have been legally permitted. It seems many people here find what the atheist did more offensive than what the KKK does during those marches.

And I looked up "fighting words" rulings. Here is a wikipedia entry on the latest, regarding the westboro baptist church, whose behavior is exceptionally more provocative than what the atheist did:

"In Snyder v. Phelps (2011), dissenting Justice Samuel Alito likened the protests of the Westboro Baptist Church members to fighting words and of a personal character, and thus not protected speech. The majority disagreed and stated that the protester's speech was not personal but public, and that local laws which can shield funeral attendees from protesters are adequate for protecting those in times of emotional distress."

Maybe you would have done well to look it up first...”

thorrsman on Feb 28, 2012 at 23:23:23

“Halloween is a secular holdiay in America. Few outside Wiccans and Druids view it as religious. The very fact that the Atheist wore a costume insulting to Muslims shows that he expected Muslims to see it.

And ONE instance from a poor source like Wiki does not serve as a good argument against something that has existed in American jurisprudence since BEFORE there was an America.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 21:53:31 in Religion

“I said that he didnt anymore than the civil rights protesters did. The civil rights protesters deliberately marched where there were racists who would be insulted. If anything the likelihood of a violent racist reaction in the 60s may have been actually greater than the chances of a muslim being at a Halloween parade in Pennsylvania.

So... no... actually he didnt.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 21:42:26 in Religion

“Im not sure how those 3 things dont prove harassment to you. They prove it to me. How does the victims testimony to the police officer that he physically engaged the defendant not prove harassment? Are you aware of the criteria for harassment in Pennsylvania? I posted them earlier, but I think its important I post them again:

Harassment.
(a) Offense defined.--A person commits the crime of
harassment when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another,
the person:
(1) strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects the
other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to
do the same;

The defendant subjected the victim to physical contact. The evidence for this is his own admission to the police officer, the victims testimony, and the video which was not accepted by the judge (even though it was highly relevant to the case given the other available evidence)”

myzelf on Feb 28, 2012 at 22:10:38

“I've already read the Pennsylvania criteria of harassment.

WHERE does the video (or anyone's testimony) SHOW the Muslim striking, shoving, kicking or threatening physical contact WITH INTENT TO HARASS, ANNOY OR ALARM? Please give the exact timecode that proves his INTENT.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 20:41:47 in Religion

“You dont know the motives of the atheist. He may have been just looking for a chuckle. It was Halloween. Furthermore, what do you think the civil rights protesters motives in the 60s were? Do you think they were provoking violence by getting on busses, by marching, and by claiming that blacks werent inferior to whites? violence was issued upon them. do you sympathize with the attackers there too?”

thorrsman on Feb 28, 2012 at 21:18:19

“Um, he's an avowed Atheist wearing a costume designed to mock the beliefs of an entire religion. His motives are pretty clear, I'd think.

If he wanted to merely offend, he'd have gone with the "Zombie Jesus" bit. He was obviously going for a more physical reaction when he chose to inslut a religion as notoriously touchy as Islam.”

see-ellen2001 on Feb 28, 2012 at 21:12:30

“Once again, I am not justifying any attack on the atheist fellow. As far his doing it fr a "chuckle" hmmm. And there is a BIG difference between the struggle for basic human rights and mocking people's faith. Your pathetic attempt at trying to parallel my comment re the man's motives and civil rights abuses gets points for high drama I guess, even if it is totally irrational.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 20:26:14 in Religion

“The atheist did not incite an attack anymore than civil rights protesters incited attacks in the 60s. A person does not have the right to attack (or harass in legal jargon in this particular case) someone else for ridiculing or insulting their religion.”

myzelf on Feb 28, 2012 at 23:43:31

“The atheist knowingly dressed in a costume he knew would offend Muslims, and even shouted out what he was supposed to be, so to be sure they would notice him. Then he gave commentary on what he claimed was happening as a result (despite the video not showing any of it). If he was being choked as he claims, he wouldn't have been able to continue talking throughout, and, like the judge said, the police officer or spectators nearby would have made an attempt to stop it.

The Muslim stated that he was going to call the police. That doesn't prove intent to harass OR an attack.”

thorrsman on Feb 28, 2012 at 21:21:01

“Well, yes, actually, he did. He deliberately chose to dress in a fashion that would incite angry feelings from a group well-known for their lack of restrain and over-reaction to anything they consider an "insult" to their faith.”
Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Case Against Muslim Accused Of Attacking Atheist Dressed As 'Zombie Muhammad' (VIDEO)

Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 20:21:41 in Religion

“Yes. I watched the video. I also heard testimony from the police officer who said the defendant admitted to it at the scene.”

myzelf on Feb 28, 2012 at 23:30:43

“WHERE is the evidence of a physical attack in the video? Timecode, please.

What were the defendants exact words to the police regarding his INTENT?”
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