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Thread: Censorship

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink View Post
    Who says only a few select classes would be protected from hate speech? It's a universal idea. No one should be subjected to hate speech.

    And my point about elected officials is that they have been entrusted with your vote in one way or another. They should use that power wisely (unlike the present administration with their abuse of power in the form of the Patriot Act) and lead. If, like the Bush admin., they abuse their power, they will be turfed out. They remain answerable to the voting public. If they misapply censorship, the public can express its disapproval and things will adjust. That's the beauty of a democracy. And a democracy has to mature. It has to make choices about what it stands for.
    OK, by your point you feel Bush has abused power. He is not being "turned out" he hit his term limit. In a perfect world it would be great if every elected official had to answer for every action, but the reality is they don't. They come up for reelction only every so often, and most of them are completely safe. There are dozens and dozens of elected officials on both sides of the aisle that you wouldn't trust alone with your daughter for 10 minutes, or your son, or twenty bucks, yet they keep getting reelected in safe districts because they have the right letter behind their name. I live in the middle of Indianapolis. OUr US Rep for the last 4 terms was Julia Carson. She did not have a great grasp on the English language, sponsored no major legislation in her time, and missed about 50% of the votes. Yet she was regularly reelected and when she passed away last year, her grandson was elected to take her place after serving three solid weeks as a replacement City-County Councilor. If he ever decides to quit, the Dems could run a ham sandwich and the sandwich would win comfortably. Northern suburbs of Indianapolis are represented by Dan Burton who is a Republican. Guy is a thief and misses tons of votes while golfing on the taxpayer's dime. He is also certifiably nuts. He wins every year in a walk-over because he has R behind his name.

    These are the people that you are asking that we allow to decide what is proper speech and what is not. I am sorry, but while I think our form of government is the absolute best one out there, it ain't good enough for that.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eastside Scott View Post
    OK, by your point you feel Bush has abused power. He is not being "turned out" he hit his term limit. In a perfect world it would be great if every elected official had to answer for every action, but the reality is they don't. They come up for reelction only every so often, and most of them are completely safe. There are dozens and dozens of elected officials on both sides of the aisle that you wouldn't trust alone with your daughter for 10 minutes, or your son, or twenty bucks, yet they keep getting reelected in safe districts because they have the right letter behind their name. I live in the middle of Indianapolis. OUr US Rep for the last 4 terms was Julia Carson. She did not have a great grasp on the English language, sponsored no major legislation in her time, and missed about 50% of the votes. Yet she was regularly reelected and when she passed away last year, her grandson was elected to take her place after serving three solid weeks as a replacement City-County Councilor. If he ever decides to quit, the Dems could run a ham sandwich and the sandwich would win comfortably. Northern suburbs of Indianapolis are represented by Dan Burton who is a Republican. Guy is a thief and misses tons of votes while golfing on the taxpayer's dime. He is also certifiably nuts. He wins every year in a walk-over because he has R behind his name.

    These are the people that you are asking that we allow to decide what is proper speech and what is not. I am sorry, but while I think our form of government is the absolute best one out there, it ain't good enough for that.
    That's why precedent and history are so important. Because when you get the incompetent or the corrupt, it is hard for them to swerve too far from the road the nation or the state has been taking.

    I realized after I posted that Bush is not being turfed out (wishful thinking I guess ). But many of his policies will disappear with him. That's the rebalancing that democracy is capable of when one leader screws up too badly.

    In the meantime, American or German or Canadian society stands up for what it believes in and against what it finds unacceptable. Again, it's just as important for a society to express itself as it is for an individual to do so. It's important for a society to stand up against anti-semitism, racism and other forms of hate. Isn't that nation-building at its most fundamental level?

  3. #63
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    btw, BB, did you see the thread Wrigs just posted about the three potential assassins with swastikas that were just arrested? Neo-nazis are irrelevant in America? I don't think so.

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    Oh come on ink, Michael Moore is much more dangerous to our society.



  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by papipapsmanny View Post
    hell this website is censored
    Yeah, it is, but that's because it's a privately owned site that has the right to determine the rules of conduct of those who use it. They're free to edit content, and you're free - as you suggested you have - not to post if you don't like abiding by those rules.
    I blog basketball at Roundball Mining Company///Twitter: @denbutsu

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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink View Post
    btw, BB, did you see the thread Wrigs just posted about the three potential assassins with swastikas that were just arrested? Neo-nazis are irrelevant in America? I don't think so.
    Quote Originally Posted by DenButsu View Post
    Yeah, it is, but that's because it's a privately owned site that has the right to determine the rules of conduct of those who use it. They're free to edit content, and you're free - as you suggested you have - not to post if you don't like abiding by those rules.
    Thanks for saving me time.

    The Bill of Rights, as originally intended, was to protect the rights of the populace against the whims of an overbearing government. More specifically, the first amendment was mean to protect the rights of the unpopular people against not only the whims of an overbearing government, but the popular consensus.

    That's why, and I really don't know enough about Canada's constitutional system to make a blanket statement, censorship and telling people they can't think the way they do or post their legal thoughts on the internet is dangerous to our society. Even, and don't tell anyone I admitted this, more dangerous than Michael Moore!
    "Compromise, hell! That's what has happened to us all down the line -- and that's the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?"

    RIP Jesse Helms

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink View Post
    That's why precedent and history are so important. Because when you get the incompetent or the corrupt, it is hard for them to swerve too far from the road the nation or the state has been taking.

    I realized after I posted that Bush is not being turfed out (wishful thinking I guess ). But many of his policies will disappear with him. That's the rebalancing that democracy is capable of when one leader screws up too badly.

    In the meantime, American or German or Canadian society stands up for what it believes in and against what it finds unacceptable. Again, it's just as important for a society to express itself as it is for an individual to do so. It's important for a society to stand up against anti-semitism, racism and other forms of hate. Isn't that nation-building at its most fundamental level?
    I am all for a society standing up and saying "This is not OK, we will shun you for this". I think that is how things are supposed to work. You are not engaging in society properly, so you don't get a society. I just don't want the government making those decisions. Let society at large make those decisions.

    A good example of what I am trying to say is the Dixie Chicks. They spoke about the President and their distaste for him, which is their right. What they did not take into account is that their fan base was predominantly Conservative and Pro-Bush. Suddenly no fan base. Then the Dixie Chicks are crying that their 1st Amendment rights have been trampled. However, that is not true at all, and all of their crying was actually an attempt to stop other people from exercising their rights. The Dixie Chicks were not punished by the government for their statements against the President. The American public decided to exercise their rights to speak against the Dixie Chicks and not buy their albums. Nowhere in the 1st Amendment does it guarantee the Dixie Chicks album sales. Society decided that they didn't like what the Dixie Chicks had to say, and voted with their wallets. The government did nothing.

    It works the same way with any other kind of speech that you would like censored. The pubic will not buy what these people are selling (look how great Mel Gibson movies are doing lately), or rise up against something if they see fit. We don't need the government telling us when to get outraged and rise up, we do that on our own just fine.

  8. #68
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    ^^^ Exactly. There's nothing in the constitution that says "Air America can't make money." But the American people vote with their wallets, and the radio network's already gone bankrupt. That's the best way to do something, with one's wallet. It's capitalism.
    "Compromise, hell! That's what has happened to us all down the line -- and that's the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?"

    RIP Jesse Helms

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    Maybe money is more sacred than anything else to you two, but I'm happy to say it isn't the arbiter for a lot of nations on earth. That's another thread too. But to me, that's one of the greatest failings of the USA - that money is the gauge by which so much is measured.

    I'm completely unconvinced. You're completely unconvinced. Our positions haven't changed a bit, so the cycle just goes on. I know that well-controlled censorship (that is, the practitioners are the ones that are controlled ... just to be clear) works in a lot of countries. Sure there are controversies. But, what I find so much more favourable in other countries is that the kooks are not given gratuitous opportunities and everyone else that ACTUALLY has something to say gets to say it. Society, lawmakers, courts, and elected government members combine in a parliamentary (or non-American) democracy to work very effectively. I know this is a very long quote, and it's from Wikipedia, but I don't have much time to fact check right now. Here are the laws against hate speech in other countries. I doubt anyone who actually has anything useful to say is being silenced in these countries. Seriously.

    Laws against hate speech

    In many countries, deliberate use of hate speech is a criminal offence prohibited under incitement to hatred legislation.

    * In the United Kingdom, incitement to racial hatred is an offence under the Public Order Act 1986 with a maximum sentence of up to seven years imprisonment. In 2003 the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations was introduced, followed by the 2007 Equality Act which outlaws discrimination in the provision of goods and services based on sexual orientation.

    * In Germany, Volksverhetzung (incitement of hatred against a minority under certain conditions) is a punishable offense under Section 130 of the Strafgesetzbuch (Germany's criminal code) and can lead to up to five years imprisonment. Volksverhetzung is punishable in Germany even if committed abroad and even if committed by non-German citizens, if only the incitement of hatred takes effect within German territory, e.g. the seditious sentiment was expressed in German writ or speech and made accessible in Germany (German criminal code's Principle of Ubiquity, Section 9 §1 Alt. 3 and 4 of the Strafgesetzbuch).

    * In Ireland, the right to free speech is guaranteed under the Constitution (Article 40.6.1.i). However, the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, proscribes words or behaviours which are "threatening, abusive or insulting and are intended or, having regard to all the circumstances, are likely to stir up hatred" against "a group of persons in the State or elsewhere on account of their race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origins, membership of the travelling community or sexual orientation."[1]

    * In Canada, advocating genocide or inciting hatred against any 'identifiable group' is an indictable offense under the Criminal Code of Canada with maximum terms of two to fourteen years. An 'identifiable group' is defined as 'any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.' It makes exceptions for cases of statements of truth, and subjects of public debate and religious doctrine. The landmark judicial decision on the constitutionality of this law was R. v. Keegstra (1990).

    * In Iceland, the hate speech law is not confined to inciting hatred, as one can see from Article 233 a. in the Icelandic Penal Code, but includes simply expressing such hatred publicly:

    "Anyone who in a ridiculing, slanderous, insulting, threatening or any other manner publicly assaults a person or a group of people on the basis of their nationality, skin colour, race, religion or sexual orientation, shall be fined or jailed for up to 2 years." (The word "assault" in this context does not refer to physical violence, only to expressions of hatred.)

    * Victoria, Australia has enacted the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001, which prohibits conduct that incites hatred against or serious contempt for, or involves revulsion or severe ridicule of another on the grounds of his race or religious beliefs.

    * New Zealand prohibits hate speech under the Human Rights Act 1993. Section 61 (Racial Disharmony) makes it unlawful to publish or distribute "threatening, abusive, or insulting...matter or words likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt any group of persons...on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national or ethnic origins of that group of persons." Section 131 (Inciting Racial Disharmony) lists offences for which "racial disharmony" creates liability.

    * France has made hate speech laws restricting the open expression of anti-Semitism, and ethnic bias in public, but it implies to guidelines in news journalism (i.e. newspapers and state-owned Television) in how to report (or be told not to discuss) those matters without creating social tension.[citation needed]

    * Singapore has passed numerous laws that prohibit speech that causes disharmony among various religious groups. The Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act is an example of such legislation. In 2005, three men were convicted for hate speech under the Law of Singapore.[citation needed]

    * In Brazil, according to the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, racism and other forms of race-related hate speech are "imprescriptible crime(s) with no right to bail to its accused".[2] In 2006, a joint-action between the Federal Police and the Argentinian police has cracked down several hate-related websites. However, some of these sites have recently reappeared -- the users have re-created the same sites on American domain. The federal police have asked permission from the FBI to crack down these sites, but the FBI denied claiming that the First Amendment guarantees the right to any speech, even if it involves racism.

    * Sweden prohibits hate speech, hets mot folkgrupp, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten or express disrespect for an ethnic group or similar group regarding their race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual orientation.[3]

    * Finland prohibits hate speech, kiihotus kansanryhmää vastaan/hets mot folkgrupp, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten or insult a national, racial, ethnic or religious group or a similar group.[4]

    * Denmark prohibits hate speech, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten, ridicule or hold in contempt a group due to race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual orientation.[5]

    * Norway prohibits hate speech, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten or ridicule someone or that incite hatred, persecution or contempt for someone due to their skin colour, ethnic origin, homosexual life style or orientation or, religion or philosophy of life.[6]

    * Serbia - Serbian constitution guarantees freedom of speech, but declares that it may be restricted by law to protect rights and respectability of others. Because of inter ethnic conflicts during last decade of 20th century, Serbian authorities are very rigorous about ethnic, racial and religion based hate speech. It is processed as "Provoking ethnic, racial and religion based animosity and intolerance" criminal act, and punished with six months to ten years of imprisonment.[citation needed][7]

    * The Council of Europe has worked intensively on this issue. While Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights does not prohibit criminal laws against revisionism such as denial or minimization of genocides or crimes against humanity, as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe went further and recommended to member governments to combat hate speech under its Recommendation R (97) 20. The Council of Europe also created the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (www.coe.int/ecri ) which has produced country reports and several general policy recommendations, for instance against anti-Semitism and intolerance against Muslims.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech

    As a side-note, the landmark Canadian case referred to above was vs. an Alberta high school teacher named Roy Keegstra who included his holocaust denial beliefs in his high school history class. Even though the guy was obviously a nut, due diligence was done and the whole thing went through the court system all the way to the Supreme Court. There was no arbitrary stripping away of his free speech rights (which we have too). It was orderly and civilized, and the arguments made in the case helped establish precedent for future cases, and for future lawmakers and elected officials to work with. You have to believe in the democracy you have. What I'm finding from the right-leaning posters on this board is that you actually don't believe in your own democracy. You have absolute interpretations of your constitutional amendments - that is, you interpret them to suit your absolute values - but you don't actually believe in the effectiveness of your democracy. I've just provided examples of how hate speech laws came to be in a few other countries. They all depend upon the rule of law, and the orderly functioning of the legal system in conjunction with elected officials, but that isn't good enough for you. As with our health care system, all I can say is that it works well for us. There's no convincing people whose only real arbiter is money.
    Last edited by ink; 08-26-2008 at 12:22 PM.

  10. #70
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    One statement. Who is asking for the "Fairness Doctrine"? A Liberal. If you are so about freedom of speech why must they censor what the Right Wing says?

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    Again I will say that I live in the real world. In the real world it IS important to have money, just ask people who don't. My point on voting with your wallet is that most people who put things out do so in order to make money. If you wish to stop them, you do it financially. The sainted Michael Moore is not writing books and making movies because he just "believes so fiercly". If that was the case, he would donate all proceeds to various "correct" charities. The only people who say it is not about the money are people that have way too much or way too little. People with way too much can actualy be believed, at some point it does not have to be about the money. Take Perot for an example, he was filthy rich so he spread some around trying to make a point. He was batshit crazy, but he was truly dedicated and it was not about the money. People who are looking for handouts from the government also say things like "it is not about money, it is about respect", but that is an outright lie. It is about the money. Ask them whether they want their check this month or if they want a glowing book written about them from which they profit not at all. Three guesses what the answer would be.

    So in the real world, money does matter and elected officials are not infallible judges of what is right or wrong to say. I would love to live in a perfect world where everyone just trusted each other, had no ill will, and had enough money to be happy and healthy. Let me know when that world is here.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eastside Scott View Post
    Again I will say that I live in the real world. In the real world it IS important to have money, just ask people who don't. My point on voting with your wallet is that most people who put things out do so in order to make money. If you wish to stop them, you do it financially. The sainted Michael Moore is not writing books and making movies because he just "believes so fiercly". If that was the case, he would donate all proceeds to various "correct" charities. The only people who say it is not about the money are people that have way too much or way too little. People with way too much can actualy be believed, at some point it does not have to be about the money. Take Perot for an example, he was filthy rich so he spread some around trying to make a point. He was batshit crazy, but he was truly dedicated and it was not about the money. People who are looking for handouts from the government also say things like "it is not about money, it is about respect", but that is an outright lie. It is about the money. Ask them whether they want their check this month or if they want a glowing book written about them from which they profit not at all. Three guesses what the answer would be.

    So in the real world, money does matter and elected officials are not infallible judges of what is right or wrong to say. I would love to live in a perfect world where everyone just trusted each other, had no ill will, and had enough money to be happy and healthy. Let me know when that world is here.
    I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say in a thread about censorship. You're making a lot of assumptions. 1. the list of countries (who all have hate laws) I posted all exist "in the real world", 2. I don't live off the land in the woods, dude, lol, I earn a good living but don't defer to money as the arbiter of what's right and wrong, and 3. I believe in democracy because it's the most consultative and inclusive political system out there. The false distinction I've been noticing on these boards lately is that if you believe in money and capitalism you're a realist, while if you believe in democracy and the rule of law you are dreaming of utopias. Not true at all. Even when our government is crap, as a citizen in a democracy I have to accept that - or I can work to effect change. If a hate law doesn't work, or an elected official misapplies censorship, we correct it through an appeal process. But the solution is definitely not to opt out and do nothing, letting idiots exploit free speech rights they are only intent on abusing. BB said that he would like the neo-nazis to shut up. Well, in the countries I listed above, they are shut up. And no one is any the worse for it.
    Last edited by ink; 08-26-2008 at 02:52 PM.

  13. #73
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    They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security - ben franklin

    you can see how that would pertain to censorship...

    so in your statements of how stopping neo-nazis from talking doesnt hurt anyone...

    but what about if i speak against illegal aliens here in los angeles?

    in fact 2 off duty police officers did that just a few days ago and...

    The conflict erupted when a woman commented that regulations requiring licenses are racist policies and that the city should develop alternative means of keeping streets safe without using checkpoints.

    She went on to say that even people who have not been through a checkpoint live in stress.

    At that point, someone among a group of about a dozen officers shouted: "Get a license!"

    Meeting organizers said people who could not show respect for others would be asked to leave, prompting an officer to shout: "This is a community meeting!"

    Two officers - Phil Bozoich and Jorge Aleman, who were involved in the heated exchange - left the building followed by audience members who with the remaining attendees chanted, "Justicia! Justicia!" meaning justice in Spanish.

    The rest of the officers left the gathering shortly after
    http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_10282911

    what the story doesnt tell you is that the event was in spanish and when people asked them to speak english the organizers got mad and said they cant or they would be there all night

    so here you have people saying that police license checkpoint are racist because it targets illegal aliens that dont have licenses.. what?!?!??!?!


    they would arrest normal citizens if they didnt have a license also, so hows this racist?

    you have 2 police officers CHASED out of a community event... being yelled at in SPANISH... in AMERICA

    in your view if i wanted to rally against the illegal immigration policy in los angeles, i could be arrested for being intolerant?

    would my displeasure with the locals, mayor and policies be categorized as incitement of hatred, discrimination or hate speech and therefor illegal?

    or even their protest of the police checkpoints (as stupid as they are) wouldnt they be shut down as maybe inciting hate towards the police?

    where is the line?

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Fluty View Post
    They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security - ben franklin

    you can see how that would pertain to censorship...

    so in your statements of how stopping neo-nazis from talking doesnt hurt anyone...
    I realize the depth of people's commitment to free speech. But I've cited examples where hate speech laws work and the democracy continues to thrive. As far as I can see from the Franklin quote he's saying that those that suspend essential liberty don't "deserve" liberty or security. Well it's unlikely that the citizens of all of those countries with hate laws listed above would consider their essential liberties given up, and they certainly continue to "deserve" their liberty or security. At any rate, all of those countries continue to have strong democracies. They just don't value crazies. You know, like the crazies that were just arrested for plotting to kill Obama?

    but what about if i speak against illegal aliens here in los angeles?
    What happened there is controversial, but I didn't see any hate speech or censorship in that example. It's another issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DenButsu View Post
    Yeah, it is, but that's because it's a privately owned site that has the right to determine the rules of conduct of those who use it. They're free to edit content, and you're free - as you suggested you have - not to post if you don't like abiding by those rules.
    There's another equally strong reason Den. QUALITY. I remember how exasperated you were at having to moderate a board where people's emotions were running high and insults and epithets were flying all the time. The forum was going nowhere fast. You have been working hard to make this board fair and keep the harassment and personal insults down. Someone could easily argue that their free speech had been curtailed, but you did it carefully by consulting with others on how to keep the content in the forum intelligent enough to keep it going. After consultation and some thoughtful rule posting (and I'm not just blowing smoke here), the forum improved dramatically. A few months ago it seemed pointless to post in this forum. After the rules and "evil censorship" were applied, it has become a place where people challenge themselves to post intelligently. The reason very little "hate" happens in here is not just because the site is privately owned. It's because eliminating it allowed the discussion to improve. This little mini-society realized that giving up the "right" to insult and hate was a small price to pay in order to allow sanity and decent conversation to prevail here. The same holds true in the countries that have hate speech laws in place. The level of discourse improves, and the kooks are weeded out.

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