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Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:27 PM

Do you support laws against Holocaust denial?


France, of course, does not have the First Amendment that we do.

Free exercise of religion is one big difference between the US and France which, in general, restricts public expressions of religion. For example, we've had lively discussions of the French ban on religious headwear in schools and often the point was raised that "France is different", which it is.

Another area of difference is that France, like many European countries, has a criminal law which provides up to a year in jail for questioning the occurrence of the Holocaust:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial_laws

"those who have disputed the existence of one or more crimes against humanity such as they are defined by Article 6 of the statute of the international tribunal military annexed in the agreement of London of August 8, 1945 and which were a carried out either by the members of an organization declared criminal pursuant to Article 9 of the aforementioned statute, or by a person found guilty such crimes by a French or international jurisdiction shall be punished by one month to one year's imprisonment or a fine."

The U.S. approach to these things is the maxim, "the answer to bad speech is more speech" while many other countries have taken the position that the discussion on certain topics is over and done.

I've seen the sentiment expressed here that one is either for free expression of all kinds or one is opposed to it.

Do restrictions against certain forms of speech and, I must say, a particularly idiotic and pernicious type of speech, pose a problem, or is it possible to define a specific topic to be off limits without falling into a slippery slope of creeping restrictions on speech.

Tangentially one thing I have noticed is that European lawyers consider our near absolutism on the topic of free speech to be a peculiar American fetish. My work is principally in internet trademark issues, and a recurring problem in international arbitrations in the subject are domain names of the form (trademark)sucks.com. European arbitrators nearly unanimously find that criticism of companies by use of such domain names is an unlawful use of the trademark, while US arbitrators find such domain names permissible on free speech grounds. The arguments in these cases invariably devolve into the Europeans essentially dismissing the U.S. position as some kind of paranoid obsession.

But before you go calling me a Nazi, I just want to point out that applying our approach to free speech issues to a European context is not always met with the enthusiastic agreement of Europeans.

As an example, I had to go to a US court in order to reverse this decision:

http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2008/d2008-0387.html

The dissent, written by the U.S. arbitrator on the panel, aptly states my continued irritation at the difference between Americans and Europeans on the entire subject.




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Arrow 104 replies Author Time Post
Reply Do you support laws against Holocaust denial? (Original post)
jberryhill Jan 2015 OP
uppityperson Jan 2015 #1
Codeine Jan 2015 #2
Cha Jan 2015 #28
LuvNewcastle Jan 2015 #65
fishwax Jan 2015 #99
Nye Bevan Jan 2015 #3
zappaman Jan 2015 #4
840high Jan 2015 #84
GGJohn Jan 2015 #5
bravenak Jan 2015 #6
name not needed Jan 2015 #8
PeteSelman Jan 2015 #7
sakabatou Jan 2015 #9
Kurska Jan 2015 #10
Behind the Aegis Jan 2015 #25
leftynyc Jan 2015 #62
stevenleser Jan 2015 #72
TreasonousBastard Jan 2015 #11
jberryhill Jan 2015 #43
former9thward Jan 2015 #12
Recursion Jan 2015 #13
geek tragedy Jan 2015 #16
geek tragedy Jan 2015 #14
tblue Jan 2015 #49
KittyWampus Jan 2015 #15
Nye Bevan Jan 2015 #17
KittyWampus Jan 2015 #18
Nye Bevan Jan 2015 #21
hrmjustin Jan 2015 #22
KittyWampus Jan 2015 #35
hrmjustin Jan 2015 #36
DemocratSinceBirth Jan 2015 #91
KittyWampus Jan 2015 #23
Nye Bevan Jan 2015 #30
KittyWampus Jan 2015 #32
Nye Bevan Jan 2015 #45
Telcontar Jan 2015 #53
KittyWampus Jan 2015 #78
Silent3 Jan 2015 #29
TampaAnimusVortex Jan 2015 #83
Warren DeMontague Jan 2015 #19
nomorenomore08 Jan 2015 #20
KingCharlemagne Jan 2015 #24
Nye Bevan Jan 2015 #34
KingCharlemagne Jan 2015 #39
Nye Bevan Jan 2015 #41
KingCharlemagne Jan 2015 #47
leftynyc Jan 2015 #63
LiberalAndProud Jan 2015 #26
moondust Jan 2015 #27
JI7 Jan 2015 #31
Gman Jan 2015 #33
GGJohn Jan 2015 #37
Nye Bevan Jan 2015 #38
LiberalAndProud Jan 2015 #40
Gman Jan 2015 #71
still_one Jan 2015 #42
Aerows Jan 2015 #44
jberryhill Jan 2015 #50
Aerows Jan 2015 #46
jberryhill Jan 2015 #52
Aerows Jan 2015 #48
jberryhill Jan 2015 #56
Bluenorthwest Jan 2015 #76
dissentient Jan 2015 #51
Zorra Jan 2015 #54
vive la commune Jan 2015 #55
jtuck004 Jan 2015 #57
jberryhill Jan 2015 #58
jtuck004 Jan 2015 #59
Bluenorthwest Jan 2015 #77
Violet_Crumble Jan 2015 #60
Sgent Jan 2015 #64
Violet_Crumble Jan 2015 #68
Sgent Jan 2015 #85
goldent Jan 2015 #104
leftynyc Jan 2015 #61
Humanist_Activist Jan 2015 #66
eridani Jan 2015 #67
branford Jan 2015 #69
jberryhill Jan 2015 #74
branford Jan 2015 #79
True Blue Door Jan 2015 #70
Iggo Jan 2015 #73
jberryhill Jan 2015 #75
treestar Jan 2015 #80
bettyellen Jan 2015 #81
bemildred Jan 2015 #82
WhiteTara Jan 2015 #86
oberliner Jan 2015 #87
WhiteTara Jan 2015 #88
oberliner Jan 2015 #93
WhiteTara Jan 2015 #94
oberliner Jan 2015 #96
jberryhill Jan 2015 #97
oberliner Jan 2015 #98
jberryhill Jan 2015 #100
oberliner Jan 2015 #101
jberryhill Jan 2015 #92
sendero Jan 2015 #89
X_Digger Jan 2015 #90
Paladin Jan 2015 #95
Throd Jan 2015 #102
davidsilver Jan 2015 #103

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:34 PM

1. It is a good question, k&r.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:36 PM

2. I don't support any such law here.

Holocaust Denialism is disgusting filth, but I would not like to see it criminalized.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:41 AM

28. That'd be like supporting a law against idiots. not happening.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:27 AM

65. I don't support it either.

Sometimes I've felt in the past that it would be okay to ban anti-GLBT hate speech. However, I feel that making a taboo of hate speech actually encourages people to break the rules.

Paradoxically, I've found that people are more apt to follow the rules of civilized society when the rules are voluntary. It has to seem like their idea to behave properly. There will always be assholes who will want to say hurtful things. People feel better about themselves when they voluntarily behave well, not conforming to a mandatory code of behavior.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 01:08 PM

99. +1 n/t

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:38 PM

3. Absolutely not. Holocaust deniers need to be exposed and ridiculed (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:40 PM

4. +1

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 11:23 AM

84. ...^ that

 

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:42 PM

5. Not only no, but HELL NO!!!!

It should be countered with facts, not useless laws.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:48 PM

6. No.

 

We should make them look as stupid as they are.

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Response to bravenak (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:52 PM

8. Exactly.

Why involve the state when an accurate depiction of their views will suffice?

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:52 PM

7. Of course not.

Freedom of speech means putting up with speech you may not like.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:54 PM

9. No.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:54 PM

10. As a jew

Let idiots prove they are idiots by talking.

So no.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:34 AM

25. As another Jew, I agree.

Wait, aren't we supposed to have three opinions?!

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:15 AM

62. Nope - I agree also

 

Incitement is one thing but idiocy should be open for everyone to see, point at and ridicule.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 08:27 AM

72. Agree. Although I will admit to more than a little satisfaction when other countries prosecute

 

people for it. Does that make me bad?

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:56 PM

11. I don't know much about the history of European speech, but...

I do share a certain sinking feeling at the thought of a renewal of those Nazi rallies of the 30's. Or the rallying of the French Revolution. I think Europe has seen far more devastation than we have starting with speech.

OTOH, we still have the death penalty, which they see as barbaric.

Go figure.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:19 AM

43. Good point on the death penalty

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:03 AM

12. No.

It is not surprising European lawyers consider the First Amendment to be an "American fetish".

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:03 AM

13. This is a case where I think we're right. But we're also essentially alone in the world

I personally think that Germany's laws (to take one example) against Holocaust denial simply drive it underground where it's harder to find, and turn people who should just be mocked into martyrs.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:08 AM

16. Who gets martyr treatment?

 

Germany takes the "never again" thing more seriously than most countries, with good reason.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:07 AM

14. I oppose such laws here, but don't begrudge Germany et al

 

from taking a different approach.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:54 AM

49. Me too. If they want those laws, it's their call.

After Nazi Germany and Vichy France, I get it why they want to never even begin to go there again.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:08 AM

15. I find it strange that so many DU'ers easily dismiss hate crimes when it's speech.

 

Words matter and they can do tremendous harm.

Some kids bully other kids to death with mere words.

That said, I'm more likely to play devil's advocate on this issue than to be passionately for or against.

The answers in this thread so far are extremely facile.

As if ridicule has done such a great job of dealing with the rightwing freaks in the USA. Newsflash- it hasn't. Ridicule just makes certain segments of society feel more like martyrs themselves and even more likely to lash out.

And then there's the related issue of shame. Many DU'ers don't even think public shaming is valid.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:15 AM

17. I imagine that some Christians would be deeply offended by your "Zombie Jesus" thread.

Here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024847372

And in some countries you could be prosecuted under hate crime laws for such a graphically offensive post.

In the US, of course, you are protected by the First Amendment. Which is how it should be.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:17 AM

18. No, I don't think there's any COUNTRY that would have me prosecuted for Zombie Jesus.

 

we aren't talking about singular groups of annoyed people.

Furthermore, I don't think there's a realistic case to be made that the cartoon i posed eight months ago is going to incite violence or prejudicial action against zombies.

Here is a definition of hate speech from Wiki for a point of reference

In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:27 AM

21. Here's the graphic that you chose to post:



And here is the Irish blasphemy law:

The bill states that a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if:

He or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion.

He or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.


Obviously there would be a prosecutable case against you.

Starting to like the First Amendment a little more now?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:30 AM

22. I hate that cartoon.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:53 AM

35. I like the juxtaposition between Jesus rising from the dead and zombies rising from the dead.

 

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #35)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:54 AM

36. ok.

 

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #35)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 10:59 AM

91. Jesus did rise from the dead ...

Jesus did rise from the dead but I will defend to my death your right to believe and say/write he didn't.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:31 AM

23. Wow, aren't you clever now posting the graphic! I will repost the definition of hate speech

 

Here is what I'd consider a fairly workable definition of hate speech from Wiki for a point of reference:

In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group.

Zombie Jesus does not meet the above criteria.

As to graphic i posted many months ago & Irish Blasphemy Law, you have zero proof that said graphic would be considered grossly abusive and insulting AND would ALSO cause outrage among a SUBSTANTIAL number of adherents.

That's a pretty high bar in the Irish Blasphemy law you cite. It has to meet three sets of criterion.

1. grossly abusive and insulting
2. cause outrage
3. substantial number of adherents

Furthermore, yet again, Ireland may have an overly broad & poorly written law but that doesn't mean the concept is invalid.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:48 AM

30. You can speculate as to whether or not you would be convicted of blasphemy in Ireland.

I am sure they could find several witnesses who would testify to being outraged and insulted by the Zombie Jesus graphic that you posted. Whether the "substantial number" threshold could be met, we could only speculate.

Of course, with the First Amendment, such a law in the United States would be immediately struck down. So because you live in the US you can continue posting offensive Jesus graphics to your heart's content, without fear of prosecution. Which is how it should be.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:50 AM

32. indeed, several witnesses are not a "substantial number". AFAIK, Irish Blasphemy Law

 

is considered by many to be a poorly done piece of law-writing.

That doesn't mean the concept is invalid though.

I won't repost the definition of hate speech that I would start from though. It's posted twice already upthread. It mentions incitement.

Irish Blasphemy Law clearly is too broad.

Apparently some in Ireland want it removed entirely others want it refined.

As regards the detailed content of any constitutional or legislative change, the convention’s report raises a number of further issues, namely whether the offence of blasphemy should simply be deleted from the Constitution or replaced with a new provision prohibiting incitement to religious hatred, and whether we should retain a legislative provision for the offence of blasphemy or replace this at statutory level with provisions prohibiting incitement to religious hatred.

The convention voted in favour of including a new constitutional provision against religious hatred, with 53% of members in favour, 38% against and 9% undecided. There was no clear majority on whether to keep a legislative provision for the offence of blasphemy, with 49% in favour, 50% against and 1% undecided. If a legislative provision is retained, the convention favours replacing the existing offence with detailed legislative provisions against incitement to religious hatred; in this regard it voted 82% in favour, 11% against and 7% undecided.

http://www.michaelnugent.com/2015/01/02/irish-government-ignore-commitment-referendum-blasphemy-law/

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #32)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:20 AM

45. Good to see them moving in the direction of free speech.

Of course a First Amendment like we have would be the best fix.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #32)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:10 AM

53. It really doesnt matter what you think it should be

 

What matters is the laws as written. You stated you didn't think you could be charged by any Christian country. You were presented with factual evidence that in Ireland you could be charged with blasphemy.

Take it as a lesson and move on.

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Response to Telcontar (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 09:40 AM

78. No, I am mainly arguing for laws regarding hate speech. Just because one country got it wrong

 

and it's citizens are currently working to rectify that doesn't mean the concept is invalid.

AND it wasn't at all clear the cartoon I posted 8 months ago would meet the criteria of Irish Blasphemy Law as I pointed out. Didn't you read the posts? Or are you just anxious to dismiss an argument that might take you out of your intellectual comfort zone.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:43 AM

29. Bullying, even if done "only" with words, is not protected free speech in the US.

When words turn into harassment and threats, even veiled threats, that's not protected. Chasing after someone to hurl insults at them is not protected once such behavior becomes persistent and/or threatening.

If you're going to call it "bullying" simply because someone becomes aware of other people's negative opinions and insults towards some group or class that they belong to, calling that bullying is going too far.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 10:42 AM

83. Enjoy that slipperly slope to the bottom...

I hope there are words left legal when we get there.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:21 AM

19. No. And I come from a family that had victims of the Holocaust.

The principle of free speech is a far better bulwark against totalitarianism than telling people they can't promote cockamamie bullshit conspiracy theories.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:26 AM

20. In this country? Certainly not.

On the other hand, I don't really blame the Germans for taking the approach they do. At least they aren't in denial about their fairly recent past, unlike some countries which I won't mention by name.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:33 AM

24. Great question. I think I do and here is why: free speech under capitalism

 

is just like money; some have a lot more of it then others. Free speech in the abstract DOES NOT EXIST.

To put this into concrete terms, imagine that the Koch Brothers were to decide to throw their money and power behind media outlets propagating Holocaust Denial. I wager there would be a hell of a lot less equanimity here about allowing Holocaust Denial free reign were such to occur. Some speech is so offensive to the decent opinions of mankind that I think it should be suppressed. Holocaust denial is one example; another might be the virulent white supremacist notion that black men want to rape white women. Or that women secretly desire to be raped. Yeah, you're free to have those opinions but you should not be free to publish those opinions in print or over the airwaves.

FWIW, I think Germany and the UK may also have some version of laws prohibiting Holocaust Denial. There was a British "historian" (and Holocaust Denier) named David Irving who was convicted of it in 2006 and sentenced to a 3-year term (although he may have been convicted under EU jurisdiction and not UK proper). Irving also lost a libel case he brought against an American historian who accused him of Holocaust denialism. IOW, she had not libelled Irving because truth -- that Irving is a Holocaust Denier -- is an absolute defense against accusations of libel.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:52 AM

34. So you would like "Mein Kampf" banned in the US?

You want the police to confiscate books from bookstores that contain forbidden opinions?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:06 AM

39. Hmm, that's a tough one. It is, after all, a primary source for historians

 

of the period and thus retains some value for understanding the rise of the Nazis and Hitler. There is some pretty offensive stuff in it, though, so I can't give you a definite answer.

The subtext to your question, i suppose, is where one draws the line on the slippery slope of suppressing certain speech while allowing other speech. I'll just restate my original position that some speech is so offensive to the decent opinions of mankind -- like Holocaust Denial -- that it should be suppressed.

Great question though - definitely thought provoking.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:17 AM

41. And what about when the man from the government decides that an opinion of yours is not "decent"?

I'm sure there are many eager prosecutors in the US who would love to be able to prosecute people based upon what their own concept of "decent speech" is. But the First Amendment prevents them from doing so.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #41)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:27 AM

47. Another great question and one for which I have no easy answer. Let me pose a couple questions

 

to you: is Germany doing the right thing outlawing public displays of the swastika? If you do think Germany is doing the right thing, isn't that your way of conceding that certain speech actually is offensive to the decent opinions of mankind? If you think Germany is wrong to suppress public displays of the swastika, why is she wrong?

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #47)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:20 AM

63. Histories are not the same

 

and I really feel that must be put in play here. To suggest every country in the world have the exact same laws is very short sighted.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:38 AM

26. No. I do not.


I believe that Holocaust deniers are wrong, wrong, wrong wrong and oh so wrong. But to limit speech is to limit thought.

No no no no and again no.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:41 AM

27. How about German laws against Nazi stuff?

The German Strafgesetzbuch (Criminal Code) in § 86a outlaws "use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations". This concerns Nazi symbolism in particular and is part of the denazification efforts following the fall of the Third Reich.

The law prohibits the distribution or public use of symbols of unconstitutional groups, in particular, flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans and forms of greeting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strafgesetzbuch_section_86a

I've always respected Germany for facing down its demons and doing what they felt necessary to prevent a resurgence of the Nazi phenomenon. In that vein I've even wondered if the Confederate battle flag shouldn't have been banned in the U.S. after the Civil War to prevent it from being used to rekindle divisive Confederate sympathies and attitudes, though I don't know who would have enforced it across the breadth of the Old South and beyond.

I think European countries have done what they deemed necessary to preventing the unspeakable horrors of the recent past from ever happening again, and I don't blame them a bit.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:50 AM

31. I am ok with the countries that have it

 

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:52 AM

33. Sure do

And here I would add global warming denial and evolution denial.

Only way I know to fix stupid.

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Response to Gman (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:01 AM

37. What other rights would you like to gut?

And you're right, you can't fix stupid. (Hint, hint)

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Response to Gman (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:03 AM

38. You would have the police knock on the doors and arrest those who question global warming?

Please tell me your post is satire.

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Response to Gman (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:11 AM

40. fix stupid

Would that we could. Still, are you the arbiter of stupid? or me. Let me! because I am [strike]right[/strike] correct [strike]all ways[/strike] always.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #40)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 08:18 AM

71. In the public forum

One is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:18 AM

42. Since there are hate groups and websites that already push that bullshit, it is a moot issue.

France has an record of anti-semitism through its history, and I have no doubt that is one of the motivations for the law

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:19 AM

44. I support laws

 

against gunning people down simply because their interpretation of religion requires that people should be gunned down if they don't follow religious laws that are not their own.

That's my unvarnished opinion.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #44)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:57 AM

50. No one disagrees with that

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:25 AM

46. Not even in the same ball park, and maybe around Pluto.

 

If you subscribe to a religion of peace, be peaceful. Gunning people down isn't peaceful.

Then let's review *why* you gunned them down - they displayed an image of your prophet.

If anyone cannot grasp the insanity of people being murdered because they satirize religion, politics and general societal issues, they are ready to cheapen human life and free expression.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #46)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:02 AM

52. Would one approach to be banning speech encouraging terrorist acts?

Do you believe it acceptable for people to make public calls to do those sorts of things you and I both agree are abominable and irrational murders?

Or do you support the right of murderous jihadis to cheerlead these kinds of things?

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:33 AM

48. I support people not killing others

 

over a cartoon.

You are welcome to ride out on whatever tangent that you wish, but I'm not going to sit here and say that murdering people over a cartoon is "standing against racism/bigotry".

Not happening here.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #48)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:38 AM

56. Instead you would lock them up over a cartoon?

I don't know what it is that set you off on a non responsive rant.

Countries like France believe it is okay to lock people up over speech.

I oppose both shooting people over speech AND locking people up over speech.

I gather we agree on the shooting part. Not sure where you are on the locking up part.


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Response to jberryhill (Reply #56)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 09:06 AM

76. Tell me then about the jail time served by staff of this magazine. I believe they were within the

 

law as they'd not been 'locked up'. I think in fact that they had won in court when sued under these laws. So that seems like an important bit of information.

I will also ask you if your dream world of prosecutable speech would include laws against the trash talking and hate speech so constantly provided by the religious communities? Christian ministers and priests regularly say outrageously horrific things about LGBT people, blame us for hurricanes, say that God hates us, the Pope says fighting against our rights is God's own war.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:00 AM

51. No I don't. I literally can't think of any free speech that I need to be protected from.

 

I'm a big boy, and can figure out whether I approve of any speech for myself, I don't need some Big Brother figure to decide that for me. I find the whole concept insulting to my intelligence, to be blunt.

There was a thread posted earlier that essentially said, "If you don't stand up for freedom of speech, you aren't a liberal"
I think that thread was right on the mark, this is very basic stuff. It's a no-brainer.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:12 AM

54. Nope. But I sincerely question the sanity of Holacust deniers.

Seriously.

Like..uh, duh.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:14 AM

55. No, I don't

Let people say stupid stuff. Repressing speech just drives it underground anyway. Better to have the nasty out in the open so it can be counteracted.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:39 AM

57. Limits on speech? Isn't that what the terrorists were about? n/t

 

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #57)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:42 AM

58. The terrorists and the French law differ on the penalty, not the principle

While the terrorists would shoot people for speech deemed unacceptable, the French law would merely lock them up.

Is this a difference of principle of a difference of degree?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #58)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:49 AM

59. But if they continue, and perhaps resist being locked up, do you just go away, or bring force?

 


We aren't talking about shouting fire in the theatre, just the dissemination of words.

People forget police and police-commissioned vigilantes shooting IWW members before they could land in Everett, WA, around 1915. To speak.

Some people just hate words.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #58)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 09:11 AM

77. And yet the French law did not lock up Charlie, terrorists murdered them.

 

Prove your assertion that French law offered penalty to Charlie Hebdo. They were not locked up. They were freely doing their work with I am sure a strong legal staff providing council, councilor.

Show the penalty French law applied to Hebdo. That law says there ARE prosecutable offenses but not that Charlie was guilty of anything.
The degrees are 'law says it is legal' and 'terrorists murdered them anyway'.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 03:29 AM

60. It's not technically illegal here, but it could fall foul of racial vilification laws...

We don't have that American First Amendment thing, which I understand isn't absolute anyway, and we also don't have that dark history that some European countries have that's led to them outlawing it for reasons including that it's incitement. We've got our own homegrown loonies, so for example when David Irving planned to tour here peddling his denial books, the govt refused to give him a visa and he couldn't enter the country.

While the fighting that sort of speech with speech is great in theory, I think most people see Holocaust Denial as simply being someone running round insisting the Holocaust never happened. That's not how the 'professional' deniers operate, and that's why I've seen Holocaust scholars like Debra Lipstein torn on the issue. What they do is assume that most people's knowledge of the Holocaust is basic and they chip away at the Holocaust bit by bit. Or they demand concrete verification of things that because of time and the Nazis habit of destroying as much evidence as they could before the Allies liberated the camps they know can't be proven with concrete evidence. They tend not to say the Holocaust didn't happen. What they'll do is question the number of victims and move the number downwards in a big way and that sort of thing. The Institute of Historical Review (a US based Holocaust Denial group) has even managed to get its crap published in legitimate journals because they fooled people with their legit looking name and their sometimes seemingly harmless 'questions'. Then they turn around and boast that they're legitimate historians because they got published in peer reviewed journals blah blah. They're nasty...

I'm a DUer who's glad we don't have the First Amendment here coz things work pretty well. I really only get to see it in action at DU where it seems to me that depending on the group bigotry's aimed at, there's a flurry of posts going on about nothing else but the First Amendment and how people have the right to say what they want, and there's no condemnation of the bigotry to be seen (Muslims), or no mention of the First Amendment and plenty of condemnation of the words (racism, anti-Semitism), or even demands that people be sacked for their speech (while I detested the back turning thing, what those New York cops did would be protected under the First Amendment?). So my takeaway from it is that Americans tend to be a bit patchy in their support of the First Amendment depending on whether they agree with the speech that's being discussed...

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #60)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:21 AM

64. The first amendment is fairly absolute

the government does not take actions against citizens due to what they say / write alone, although it can be used as a motive when another crime is committed (hate crime laws). There are a very few exceptions including government employees while on the job (but not on their own time), speech intended (not just likely) to cause a riot, rebellion, and a few other rare corner cases (criminal defamation is still around in certain jurisdictions).

The government in certain cases can place time, place and manner restrictions on use of public property, but cannot discriminate based on viewpoint.

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Response to Sgent (Reply #64)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 06:15 AM

68. Thanks for the info...

I knew that the first amendment didn't cover things like making threats against the President, but beyond that my knowledge is pretty sketchy

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #68)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:06 PM

85. Even then

it requires some underlying act to prosecute. Me saying "I'm gonna kill the president" is not enough for a prosecution, they have to show that I actually had a plan and carried out some action towards making that plan happen (casing out the White House, etc.).

Very, very little speech can be prosecuted without an underlying action, and in most cases its limited to espionage (which was a very controversial bill when passed and still is), or speech intending to cause a crime (riot, etc.) or that will cause a dangerous situation (yelling fire in a crowded theater is the classic example).

Harassment laws, hate crimes, etc. all require that there be some other illegal act in combination with the speech to be prosecuted.

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Response to Sgent (Reply #64)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 02:11 PM

104. I think there are also restrictions on certain

types of pornography. Also at least on broadcast media there are some restrictions on foul language, nudity, etc. So I'd agree that the 1st amendment is far from absolute - what is illegal is really just based on what the Supreme Count thinks should be illegal.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:13 AM

61. Absolutely not

 

and I'm Jewish. I understand and respect the laws in Europe against denial but in no way want to see it here in the US. Ridicule is the way to go on imbeciles.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:36 AM

66. No.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 06:07 AM

67. No--the way to counter nasty speech is by well-informed speech.

That takes work, though, and some would prefer the government just make unpleasant people go away. (However, I'm not giving Germany any lessons on what to do about Nazis.)

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 06:51 AM

69. No, no, and hell, no!

 

I'm Jewish and lost a significant part of my family in the Holocaust. However, I do not want some government official, elected or otherwise, from determining what anyone should say or publish.

Many on DU should also realize that much of our current First Amendment free speech jurisprudence was advanced by liberal and progressive groups like the ACLU, often to protect the rights and interests of those on the far left, such as communists and socialists. The same freedoms that protect the garbage spewed by the likes of Nazis and the Westboro Baptist Church also protect the liberties of those on the left with whom many here sympathize. If exceptions in American law were carved out for Holocaust denial, it would be a very, very short slippery slope before controversial left-wing speech was criminalized. Besides, I would rather know exactly who's espousing such hate and what they're saying in order to properly counter it.

I would also note that despite the criminalization of Holocaust denial and other forms of purported "hate speech" in most of western Europe, the far right still thrives, and many neo-Nazis and other violence-supporting bigots have even been elected to national parliaments and the European Parliament. Conservative Republicans are downright cuddly and open-minded compared to substantial number of these elected European leaders. Despite America's very liberal attitude toward such "hate speech" and activity, it would be inconceivable for anyone like these truly far-right Europeans to hold major elected office or be given a large platform by any private enterprise, including the media, in the United States.

It's enough to make one wonder whether Europeans are actually far more hateful than Americans (See, e.g., WWII and the Holocaust), but it's now simply moved underground, or their repressive speech laws actually encourage contrarian and rebellious views.

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Response to branford (Reply #69)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 08:49 AM

74. It is weird about the EU right...

...does seem pretty far out there.

That might be a function of parliamentary systems, since it would also be unusual here for, say, Greens to hold seats in the US legislature. They seem to have a broader spectrum of views represented in general.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #74)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 09:45 AM

79. True, but my primary point was that European speech restrictions

 

have done little to nothing to actually change the views of much of the population.

For instance, have European restrictions against Holocaust denial actually reduced the number of people who deny the Holocaust or hold neo-Nazi type views. In the USA, where you can spew Nazi garbage to your heart's content, it would be scandalous if a neo-Nazi were ever elected to federal or statewide (or local) office, and the dissemination of their views is limited by mere social pressure and acceptance. Neo-Nazis and their ilk are simply ignorant bigots to be ignored by the vast majority of the population, including both Democrats and Republicans. In contrast, in Europe, neo-Nazis are a recognized political faction in many countries and the EU Parliament, and their positions affect policy.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 07:02 AM

70. "A man's got to know his limitations."

France and Germany learned that maxim from the ashes of WW2, and implemented controls where they discovered they were no longer culturally capable of managing themselves. They decided - and the world insisted, really - that they had proven they couldn't control their anti-Semitism by a free exchange of ideas, so it had to be a matter of law.

It's a sad day for any country - for any individual, really - when you confront and accept your limitations.

America has confronted many other kinds of limitations, but this one we've decided to make fundamental. We've decided to put it all on the line for free speech. We will either remain free with free speech, or we will fall completely because of it. Constitutional M.A.D.

I'm on board with that, in our case. I'm willing to make it work, or accept armageddon if we can't live in both peace and freedom.

Let the voice of the most despicable bigot ring out alongside the voice of the most august philosopher, and let their ideas do battle.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 08:42 AM

73. Nope.

EDIT: And by "do you support", I suppose you mean "are you in favor of."

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Response to Iggo (Reply #73)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 08:58 AM

75. Probably a poor choice of words on my part

I should have said something along the lines of "what about those laws?" and I had gotten the impression there was at least some inclination toward that sort of thing.

Either the replies are pretty uniform, or my ignore list is pretty consistent.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 09:51 AM

80. No. I don't know how Europeans manage to keep freedom of speech

And have such laws.

They must prosecutor rarely. You can easily see it getting abused.

Look at how people will accuse a person of saying something by interpreting what they did say outlandishly. Maybe the Europeans have so far not abused that law, but it could happen.

A political opponent could say something and the government interpret it as Holocaust Denial.

Our absolutism is ultimately correct. It means there will be no trials at all and no attempt to define legally what constitutes Holocaust Denial and what does not.

It is interesting that European governments with these laws think Holocaust Denial is a danger. Would it result in war, another Holocaust, some other danger? Here we are able to recognize that it is insane ravings and not worry that it will have some major effect.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 09:52 AM

81. Nope. But I support holding news outlets to scutiny as we used to.

 

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 10:06 AM

82. No. nt

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 10:48 AM

86. Which Holocaust? They started in the 6th century

and that one murdered 6 million people (mostly women.) However, that one is denied, denied, denied.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #86)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 10:51 AM

87. What are you referencing?

 

Can you provide more info?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #87)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 10:54 AM

88. They are commonly called the witch burnings

or The Burning Times and they lasted 400 years. There's so much info that I ask that you use the Google as you'll want to continue with your search.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #88)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 11:03 AM

93. Thanks

 

Just wasn't sure what you were referring to.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #93)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 11:15 AM

94. What makes a holocaust?

the length of time? the number of people? What's the difference between a holocaust and genocide? If you have answers, thanks. If not, I guess we can both look it up?

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #94)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 11:25 AM

96. The term has generally become associated with the Nazi genocide

 

But it certainly has been used in reference to other genocides throughout history as well.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #96)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 12:59 PM

97. It's okay to deny the Armenian one in France

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #97)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 01:02 PM

98. No it's not

 

Armenian genocide denial to be banned in France as senators approve new law

French senators have approved legislation making it a crime to deny that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago constitutes genocide.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jan/23/armenian-genocide-denial-ban-france

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Response to oberliner (Reply #98)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 01:16 PM

100. Guess again...

Your first clue should have been that your reference is a news article to a not-yet-enacted law.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/28/world/europe/france-armenia-genocide/index.html

French court overturns Armenian genocide denial law

---

The law you reference did not last a month.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #100)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 01:18 PM

101. Fascinating

 

Thanks for the extra info!

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #86)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 11:03 AM

92. The one defined in the statute

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 10:55 AM

89. Why would anyone want to do that..

.... it merely lends legitimacy to the idea.

There is no speech that should be illegal unless it contains direct threats of violence to living persons.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 10:59 AM

90. Here? No. Never. n/t

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 11:18 AM

95. Nope. We allow some citizens to think Ben Carson is presidential material, don't we?

Face it, the bar is set awfully low......

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 01:43 PM

102. Not in the USA.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 01:59 PM

103. It would be unconstitutional and also prevent us from identifying many of these idiots!

 

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