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Old 03.08.2012, 01:04
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Free speech a criminal offence in U.S.A ?

When Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez was asked over and over again if criticizing religion . read "islam" in the U.S.A. could be a criminal offence he refused to answer. This reflections shows where we're heading.
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Old 03.08.2012, 01:12
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Re: Free speech a criminal offence in U.S.A ?

Could you provide sources for your information? As is the case in the UK and many European countries, criticism of religion is not the issue, but thinly veiled incitement to religious hatred is.
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Old 03.08.2012, 01:42
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Re: Free speech a criminal offence in U.S.A ?

The NY Times has published several excellent articles on the topic, beginning with a book review You Can’t Say That -- ‘The Harm in Hate Speech,’ by Jeremy Waldron (I have not yet read the book). From the review:
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The United States is almost alone among Western liberal democracies in not punishing what is called hate speech — oral or written messages that “incite hatred” against a person or group on the basis of their race, religion, sex, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Canada, Britain, Denmark, Germany and New Zealand have such laws, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights purports to require signatory nations to pass them. In the American constitutional tradition, by contrast, even detestable speech is permitted so long as the speaker does not threaten violence or incite others to it. The Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to engage in hateful picketing of military funerals in opposition to toleration of homosexuality (“God Hates Fags,” one sign said) is a ready example. That case would almost certainly have come out differently in other liberal democracies.
This review was followed by a long op-ed, The Harm in Free Speech and a follow-up op-ed on reader responses, Hate Speech and Free Speech, Part Two.

Much food for thought on a very complex set of issues.
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Old 03.08.2012, 06:28
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Re: Free speech a criminal offence in U.S.A ?

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When Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez was asked over and over again if criticizing religion . read "islam" in the U.S.A. could be a criminal offence he refused to answer. This reflections shows where we're heading.
Who is "we"?

You posted another sh1t stirring post before saying that you've never even been to the US, so... who is this "we" you refer to?


As RetiredInNH says though - yes, "we" are heading in a direction where more and more legal distinction is made between hate speech and regular freedom of expression. The intent of Freedom of Speech was to be able to bring complaint against government or whatever ruling entities without fear of reprisal, NOT to be able to say whatever the flip you want about anyone anytime.

Unfortunately some people simply don't know how to behave these days, it's a pity. (Then again, my views about these things reflect upon my upbringing amongst military folks. Some things you simply don't do, some things you simply don't say.)


Oh, and... I think the forum rules should have something about folks who start threads like this (this is your 2nd now, this being the first, halevai) having to reveal more of themselves than simply this crappy copout:

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Old 03.08.2012, 09:38
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Re: Free speech a criminal offence in U.S.A ?

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Who is "we"?

You posted another sh1t stirring post before saying that you've never even been to the US, so... who is this "we" you refer to?


As RetiredInNH says though - yes, "we" are heading in a direction where more and more legal distinction is made between hate speech and regular freedom of expression. The intent of Freedom of Speech was to be able to bring complaint against government or whatever ruling entities without fear of reprisal, NOT to be able to say whatever the flip you want about anyone anytime.

Unfortunately some people simply don't know how to behave these days, it's a pity. (Then again, my views about these things reflect upon my upbringing amongst military folks. Some things you simply don't do, some things you simply don't say.)


Oh, and... I think the forum rules should have something about folks who start threads like this (this is your 2nd now, this being the first, halevai) having to reveal more of themselves than simply this crappy copout:
I haven't yet been to the States, by "we" I was referring to a democratic civilised country.
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Old 03.08.2012, 10:30
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Re: Free speech a criminal offence in U.S.A ?

The general American attitude is "nobody is gonna tell us what to do, even our government". It's an American's idea of freedom.

If hate speech were outlawed, that would be taking away a freedom. Just like it would be taking a freedom away to own guns and lots of ammunition.

Now excuse me while I get on my trusty steed horse and ride into the beckoning red, white and blue sunset.
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Old 03.08.2012, 10:41
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Re: Free speech a criminal offence in U.S.A ?

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I haven't yet been to the States, by "we" I was referring to a democratic civilised country.
In that case you are behind the times. It is already a crime in most "democratic civilised countries" to incite racial tension/hatred.

Indeed, it is because they are democratic and civilised that it is a crime.

I'll repeat my question (which I am not sure you answered):

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How old are you?
EDIT: I see that RinNH has beaten me to it... that must be because he's retired and has more time to look these things up.
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Old 03.08.2012, 11:02
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Re: Free speech a criminal offence in U.S.A ?

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I haven't yet been to the States, by "we" I was referring to a democratic civilised country.
Oxymoron Alert!
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Old 03.08.2012, 11:16
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Re: Free speech a criminal offence in U.S.A ?

I think it is utterly stupid to persecute people over free speech as you are only making martyrs out of idiots, thus furthering their cause. It's the same with Holocaust denial. I'd much rather see these guys exposed and disarmed in open debate than have them circulate their theories underground where they cannot be challenged and the force with which they are supressed gives them the underdog bonus.
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Old 03.08.2012, 12:34
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Re: Free speech a criminal offence in U.S.A ?

here is the text of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, for those who may not have seen it:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

of course, the founders never intended the First Amendment to restrict actions taken by local governments, which is where the whole train first got off the tracks.
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