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Author Topic: Russel Brand V. Westboro  (Read 4552 times)

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Offline Valthazar

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2014, 12:16:40 AM »
I'm sorry, what is your argument there?  That that is definitely the right way of doing it, countries that don't do it that way are wrong and that's just the way it is?  Simply saying "This is a benefit of living in the US and other countries don't have that benefit" isn't an argument.  You need to show that it is a benefit and that the people of France, who haven't shown any interest in having a right to free speech as a people, are wrong/misguided to not have.

I never suggested that any country was doing it wrong, nor did I suggest that any country was misguided.  I said it was a perk, because it is something I like about my country.

I like that I have freedom of speech, because I can display support for any political view or opinion with legal immunity.  There has been a rise in nationalism in Europe, but unfortunately, many Europeans are reluctant to show their support for these parties due to fear that such anti-immigrant perspectives will be construed as hate speech - which it increasingly seems it is being categorized as.  While I may not personally agree with these extreme right-wing parties in Europe, I do see legitimacy in many of their perspectives, and the last thing I would want is for individuals to be unable to represent themselves peacefully over fears of government persecution.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2014, 12:43:24 AM »
You said:

They should definitely exist.

As a flat statement.  I read that to mean that you thought this was a cut and dried matter.  There was no "IMHO" or similar.  You said that they should definitely exist.  Therefore, countries where they wouldn't be allowed to are in the wrong.

My apologies if I've misread your intent with that.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2014, 12:51:49 AM »
Well, what are your thoughts then on my explanation?

Oh, and "They should definitely exist" was in reference to the WBC - meaning, they shouldn't be removed by law in the United States for voicing their opinions.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 12:53:33 AM by Valthazar »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2014, 12:59:09 AM »
Personally, I think that "hate speech" has the potential to cause a lot of harm to a lot of people and should be banned.  Freedom of speech has limits even in the US - fighting words and suchlike - and I see absolutely no reason why harm should be allowed to people in its name.  But that's by the by, my main issue was with what I had read as a certain jingoism in your statement.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2014, 01:08:13 AM »
But that's by the by, my main issue was with what I had read as a certain jingoism in your statement.

It is not a matter of whether you, or I, or anyone else in this thread agrees with these nationalistic, far-right political views that are growing in Europe.  Is is a matter of whether we acknowledge the legitimacy of many of their views, or whether we choose to dismiss their perspectives from the get-go by labeling it as hate speech.

When you state that hate speech has the potential to cause a lot of harm, realize that it is an umbrella term, that may prevent universal discourse of people's opinions.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2014, 01:36:40 AM »
Personally, I think that "hate speech" has the potential to cause a lot of harm to a lot of people and should be banned.  Freedom of speech has limits even in the US - fighting words and suchlike - and I see absolutely no reason why harm should be allowed to people in its name.  But that's by the by, my main issue was with what I had read as a certain jingoism in your statement.

The problem with trying to pass any laws that restrict hate speech is simply this - no one will agree on a universal definition. What would you call hate speech?

"God hates gays!" Hate speech? No - it is someone's personal belief/opinion. You don't have to like it, but they should not be denied the right to say it.

"Blacks shouldn't be allowed to vote!" Hate speech? No - it's someone's personal belief/opinion. You don't have to like it, but they should not be denied the right to say it.

"All muslims are terrorists and should be shot!" Hate speech? No - it's someone's personal belief/opinion. You don't have to like it, but they should not be denied the right to say it.

The point is, just because someone doesn't like what another person/group has to say does not mean they shouldn't be allowed to state their beliefs/opinions. Is some of this shit offensive? Hell yes. I've already stated that if my son were to die serving this country and the WBC showed up to protest at his funeral I'd be going to jail.

Personally, and I am sure I am going to get tore apart for saying this, but I think the world has gotten too damn sensitive. And I do not mean this is a good way. Everyone is so quick to get offended and scream that they are being oppressed or hated on. Yes, there are cases of groups being treated unfairly. But my gods, every time I turn around I'm reading stories of how this group or that group is offended now.

It boils down to this one simple thing.


I have the right to say whatever I want to say. I also have the right to deal with the consequences for running my mouth. You have the right to ignore whatever comes out of my mouth if you do not agree, do not like it or are offended by it.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2014, 05:08:19 AM »
When you state that hate speech has the potential to cause a lot of harm, realize that it is an umbrella term, that may prevent universal discourse of people's opinions.

I fail to see how the benefit of "universal discourse" outweighs the negative consequences.  Further, hate speech is only an umbrella term if you decide to use it that way, there's no supernatural power preventing it being used tightly.  For example: Hate speech in the UK.  "Universal discourse of people's opinions", on the other hand, is definitely an umbrella term.

Personally, and I am sure I am going to get tore apart for saying this, but I think the world has gotten too damn sensitive. And I do not mean this is a good way. Everyone is so quick to get offended and scream that they are being oppressed or hated on. Yes, there are cases of groups being treated unfairly. But my gods, every time I turn around I'm reading stories of how this group or that group is offended now.

It boils down to this one simple thing.


I have the right to say whatever I want to say. I also have the right to deal with the consequences for running my mouth. You have the right to ignore whatever comes out of my mouth if you do not agree, do not like it or are offended by it.

You are indeed free to ignore whatever you want.  But two points - one: your philosophy requires everyone to have a certain level of mental resilience which not all possess for example there was a case a few years ago in Northern Ireland where protestors were protesting outside a primary (5 to 11 year olds) school.  The protestors were screaming abuse at terrified young children.  Should they have just ignored it?

Two - lets imagine me and my BNP (KKK) buddies rock up outside the polling hut on election day and start shouting that Blacks shouldn't be allowed to vote.  Do you not think that's harmful to the democratic process? There are numerous other examples where free speech can be used to justify actions resulting in the loss of various freedoms. Words have consequences and I don't see any benefit to enshrining the right to create a climate of fear and mistrust based on some ill-defined principle with dubiously phrased benefits.

Offline vtboy

Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2014, 05:30:33 AM »
The problem with trying to pass any laws that restrict hate speech is simply this - no one will agree on a universal definition. What would you call hate speech?

"God hates gays!" Hate speech? No - it is someone's personal belief/opinion. You don't have to like it, but they should not be denied the right to say it.

"Blacks shouldn't be allowed to vote!" Hate speech? No - it's someone's personal belief/opinion. You don't have to like it, but they should not be denied the right to say it.

"All muslims are terrorists and should be shot!" Hate speech? No - it's someone's personal belief/opinion. You don't have to like it, but they should not be denied the right to say it.

The point is, just because someone doesn't like what another person/group has to say does not mean they shouldn't be allowed to state their beliefs/opinions. Is some of this shit offensive? Hell yes. I've already stated that if my son were to die serving this country and the WBC showed up to protest at his funeral I'd be going to jail.

Personally, and I am sure I am going to get tore apart for saying this, but I think the world has gotten too damn sensitive. And I do not mean this is a good way. Everyone is so quick to get offended and scream that they are being oppressed or hated on. Yes, there are cases of groups being treated unfairly. But my gods, every time I turn around I'm reading stories of how this group or that group is offended now.

It boils down to this one simple thing.


I have the right to say whatever I want to say. I also have the right to deal with the consequences for running my mouth. You have the right to ignore whatever comes out of my mouth if you do not agree, do not like it or are offended by it.

Amen to all this, to which I would add only that "hate speech" is but a species of the broader category of whatever speech those in power consider politically or morally unpalatable at any particular time. In the U.S., governments (federal and state) have a rather checkered history of attempts to suppress all sorts of ideas then considered threatening, including those of slavery abolitionists, civil rights activists, labor organizers, communists, anarchists, war protesters, and purveyors of sexually explicit matter. Experience in the U.S. with this sort of suppression has tended to be relatively benign in comparison that of some other nations.

Were I confident my government would eradicate only the speech of bigots, I would be happy to let it start with the WBC. Since I am not, I will continue to prefer the disease to the cure.   

Offline Kythia

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2014, 05:37:25 AM »
Were I confident my government would eradicate only the speech of bigots, I would be happy to let it start with the WBC. Since I am not, I will continue to prefer the disease to the cure.   

This is an interesting point.  Is that actual belief or just, I dunno, a rhetorical flourish.  Because, if the former, it sounds like you're taking a slightly different tack to Val and IO.  Rather than "free speech is inherently important" its "the government can't be trusted to regulate speech correctly".  Which is a position I'm far more comfortable with.

Offline vtboy

Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2014, 06:04:30 AM »
This is an interesting point.  Is that actual belief or just, I dunno, a rhetorical flourish.  Because, if the former, it sounds like you're taking a slightly different tack to Val and IO.  Rather than "free speech is inherently important" its "the government can't be trusted to regulate speech correctly".  Which is a position I'm far more comfortable with.

Actual belief. I am convinced we would be much better off without the WBC (and a great many other groups). But, I am also convinced government censorship is far too dangerous a genie to let out of the bottle. Better to tolerate the offensiveness of the WBC than to risk allowing the power to control speech to a government which conceivably could one day be dominated by people who share its views.

You are indeed free to ignore whatever you want.  But two points - one: your philosophy requires everyone to have a certain level of mental resilience which not all possess for example there was a case a few years ago in Northern Ireland where protestors were protesting outside a primary (5 to 11 year olds) school.  The protestors were screaming abuse at terrified young children.  Should they have just ignored it?

Two - lets imagine me and my BNP (KKK) buddies rock up outside the polling hut on election day and start shouting that Blacks shouldn't be allowed to vote.  Do you not think that's harmful to the democratic process? There are numerous other examples where free speech can be used to justify actions resulting in the loss of various freedoms. Words have consequences and I don't see any benefit to enshrining the right to create a climate of fear and mistrust based on some ill-defined principle with dubiously phrased benefits.

Reasonable limitations of time, place and manner of expression are not antithetical to free speech, provided they are content-neutral. Prohibiting mobs from bullying school children at their schools or intimidating voters at the polls would not prevent the same people from spewing their vitriol in more appropriate venues. There is a fine line between speech and conduct. I think the examples you have given cross that line.

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2014, 06:27:34 AM »
Reasonable limitations of time, place and manner of expression are not antithetical to free speech, provided they are content-neutral. Prohibiting mobs from bullying school children at their schools or intimidating voters at the polls would not prevent the same people from spewing their vitriol in more appropriate venues. There is a fine line between speech and conduct. I think the examples you have given cross that line.

I agree to some extent, those two examples were more aimed at IO's Free Speech+ than speech in the sense you are using it.

However, I think that line is so fine as to be invisible.  You are, I'm taking it, fine with the regulation of conduct (I can't imagine a person who isn't, but just to avoid making too many assumptions.)  I don't see a meaningful difference between spewing my hypothetical vitriol all over town on every day except election day and doing it outside the polls on election day.  Both convey the same message - the black voters I intimidated yesterday aren't going to magically become less intimidated today.

Offline vtboy

Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2014, 07:34:58 AM »
I agree to some extent, those two examples were more aimed at IO's Free Speech+ than speech in the sense you are using it.

However, I think that line is so fine as to be invisible.  You are, I'm taking it, fine with the regulation of conduct (I can't imagine a person who isn't, but just to avoid making too many assumptions.)  I don't see a meaningful difference between spewing my hypothetical vitriol all over town on every day except election day and doing it outside the polls on election day.  Both convey the same message - the black voters I intimidated yesterday aren't going to magically become less intimidated today.

Yes, I believe it is legitimate for government to regulate a great deal of conduct. And I recognize that a certain degree of arbitrariness enters into virtually all rule making.

The distinction between allowing government to prohibit intimidating speech at the polls and allowing it a power to prohibit intimidating speech  more broadly, however, lies in the aggravated risk to the orderly functioning of government posed by the former. If we agree that some form of government is necessary, I think we must also agree that that government must enjoy some power to protect its operations from the most intrusive forms of obstruction. I can imagine little that is more fundamental to the operation of government in a society that purports to be a representative democracy than ensuring citizens may exercise the franchise without molestation. It does not seem unreasonable to me to assume that those bent on putting black voters in fear of peril to life and limb are likely to be somewhat more successful in achieving their goal when they appear at election polls than when they march down Main Street or assemble in a park. Obviously, the limited restriction on speech at balloting places is not a complete solution, as some voters will be intimidated by the activities of these groups wherever they take place. But, laws are rarely, if ever, perfect. The potential for government to abuse a broader power to regulate speech still strikes me as the greater evil.     

Offline Kythia

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2014, 07:53:34 AM »
I agree with ensuring democracy happens being one of the principle roles of government, that's actually why I picked that example.

I think we may have reached an impasse here.  You seem to be arguing a version of a slippery slope - that allowing governments to have a say over speech beyond the bare minimum to ensure governments can govern opens a doorway to later abuse even though it allows harms to occur in the present.  My counter would be that we will close that door once it being opens becomes a problem and opening it now carries benefits, you will presumably point out that closing that door while speech is regulated is difficult, I will point to numerous revolutions particularly under the USSR, you will point to numerous failed revolutions, the discussion will continue with a terrifying inevitability with neither of us convincing the other.

I'm not trying to put words in your mouth there, the point is that I think both of us can point to enough evidence to support our position.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2014, 11:40:11 AM »
I think we may have reached an impasse here.  You seem to be arguing a version of a slippery slope - that allowing governments to have a say over speech beyond the bare minimum to ensure governments can govern opens a doorway to later abuse even though it allows harms to occur in the present. 

What harm does it create?  I know you are also aware of the limitations of freedom of speech in the United States in certain cases, which I think we can both agree are important to the functioning of a representative democracy.  However, I feel that repressing "hate" in politics risks masking the views of significant populations.

Every few years around here, the Neo-Nazis have a rally, and have police officers to protect them from protesters while they make their statements.  On the same token, the protesters have their own counter-rally to make their own statements.  While I don't agree with them, I like hearing the rationale that these extremists use to justify their anger and animosity.  I'm a firm believer that people don't spew hate for no reason.  Hate is often a defensive response to a perceived threat, and unless we can engage these discussions in a civilized manner in the political process, we are only masking the true emotions of significant constituencies. 

For example, David Duke was a former grand wizard of the KKK, and as much as I strongly disagree with his principles and attitudes, I respect the fact that he can articulate his views (at least now) in an intelligent, peaceful manner.  He represents the views of a sizable proportion of the ultra right-wing constituency, and was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in the early 90s.  In many countries in Europe, he may not have been able to run, since he represented a very anti-immigration platform - despite the fact that he garnered a majority of the vote in his area.

If I feel personally threatened by something a person say to me, there are legal avenues I can take to sort out that specific threat.  Europe is going through an immense period of political change, and it is a shame that many of these grassroots initiatives are being subverted right from the start, even though they are garnering significant support.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 11:41:15 AM by Valthazar »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2014, 12:02:04 PM »
There are, here in the UK, many parties and groups opposed to immigration.  Ranging from the openly neo-nazi to the major party in our ruling coalition (to a greater or lesser extent).  All are able to speak their piece.  Any of them are capable of running for election - the disqualified groups from being an MP are:

someone who is the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order in England or a debt restrictions order in Wales
someone who has had their estate sequestrated in Scotland and remains undischarged
someone who has been adjudged bankrupt in Northern Ireland and remains undischarged
a convicted prisoner who is serving a prison sentence of more than 12 months
civil servants
members of police forces
members of the armed forces
government-nominated directors of commercial companies
judges
members of the legislature of any country or territory outside the Commonwealth
people found guilty of certain electoral offences (corrupt or illegal practices)
peers who sit and can vote in the House of Lords
bishops of the Church of England (known as the Lords Spiritual) who are entitled to sit and vote in the House of Lords

as you can see, nothing about what views you hold.  There are also various administrative requirements - supporting signatures, deposits, etc, but those aren't relevant either.  I'm not sure what countries you are referring to in banning people who hold anti-immigration views from being in government.  Could you please provide a citation for that?  Its not something I've ever heard of before.

In short, holding anti-immigration views....  or racist, or homophobic, or anything you like ...  is not equivalent to hate speech, you're trying to draw an entirely unjustified comparison between "views one may find disgusting" and "hate speech".  I could, relatively easily, launch into a hate speech promoting gay rights, I could have a non hate speech conversation about how the Nazis were right all along.  They are two entirely different matters.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 12:04:45 PM by Kythia »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2014, 12:13:26 PM »
I'm not sure what countries you are referring to in banning people who hold anti-immigration views from being in government.  Could you please provide a citation for that?  Its not something I've ever heard of before.

Geert Wilders, Dutch MP, charged for hate speech for making anti-Islamic statements.

Marine Le Pen, leader of anti-immigrant National Front. (As mentioned earlier)

Nick Griffin, BNP leader, charged for making homophobic, xenophobic and massively Islamophobic statements.  He was charged, but cleared of rate hate crimes thankfully.  In the US, he would never have even been taken to court.

Significant quotes from the UK-based example:

Chancellor Gordon Brown has told the BBC race laws may have to be revised in light of the acquittal.

He said: "I think any preaching of religious or racial hatred will offend mainstream opinion in this country and I think we've got to do whatever we can to root it out from whatever quarter it comes.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 12:16:12 PM by Valthazar »

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2014, 12:17:56 PM »
You're aware none of those are banned from being in government right?  Those are examples of "people in government (or politics at least) who hold anti-immigration views" not the requested "people banned from being in government because of their anti-immigration views"

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2014, 12:25:17 PM »
You're aware none of those are banned from being in government right?  Those are examples of "people in government (or politics at least) who hold anti-immigration views" not the requested "people banned from being in government because of their anti-immigration views"

There are criminal charges being brought against these individuals, so I am not sure how you get the impression that these are just examples of people holding viewpoints.

Some relevant quotes from those sources:

Quote
"The court also considers appropriate criminal prosecution for insulting Muslim worshippers because of comparisons between Islam and Nazism made by Wilders," it added.   

"The three judges said that they had weighed Mr Wilders's "one-sided generalisations" against his right to free speech, and ruled that he had gone beyond the normal leeway granted to politicians."

My point is that in the US, you will never see examples like this of politicians going "beyond the normal leeway granted" since they are free to express whatever they wish, so long as they are not making personal threats (and the other confines mentioned earlier).

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2014, 12:29:30 PM »
There are criminal charges being brought against these individuals, so I am not sure how you get the impression that these are just examples of people holding viewpoints.

Yes, there are criminal charges in some cases.  But once again that is not what you claimed and not what I asked for evidence of.  You claimed that there were people who were not allowed in government because of their anti-immigration views.  I'm not sure what relevance you feel the criminal charges have?  Unless you're trying to claim that, if convicted and imprisoned, some may not be eligible by virtue of being a serving prisoner?  That's a tenuous argument at best and, further, one that applies to the US as well.

Quote
My point is that in the US, you will never see examples like this of politicians going "beyond the normal leeway granted" since they are free to express whatever they wish, so long as they are not making personal threats (and the other confines mentioned earlier).

I'm sorry, I'm not sure I follow you here. 

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2014, 12:37:50 PM »
Yes, there are criminal charges in some cases.  But once again that is not what you claimed and not what I asked for evidence of.  You claimed that there were people who were not allowed in government because of their anti-immigration views.  I'm not sure what relevance you feel the criminal charges have?  Unless you're trying to claim that, if convicted and imprisoned, some may not be eligible by virtue of being a serving prisoner?  That's a tenuous argument at best and, further, one that applies to the US as well.

That is not my argument, and I quoted in my previous post what my assertion was.  It is the fact that judges are determining what the "normal [freedom of speech] leeway granted to politicians" is.  This is an example of a politician who was threatened to be removed from political office for his viewpoints on Islam.  If he had made similar statements in his campaign leading up to the nomination, then he would equally have been deemed unfit by these same same judges for exceeding the normal leeway granted to politicians.

Here's another quote that might help explain my perspective: "The Amsterdam appeals court has ordered the prosecution of member of parliament Geert Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination, based on comments by him in various media on Muslims and their beliefs," the court said in a statement."

If I remember correctly, he was also barred from entering the UK at one point.

In the United States, no judiciary entity would be making these types of claims for a politician making similar statements, so long as no personal threats were being made.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2014, 12:46:38 PM »
I'm sorry I'm still very confused by your point.  In the US the judiciary determines the constraints on free speech - again, fighting words, etc.  Judges determine what normal freedom of speech is.  The famous "know it when I see it" of pornography comes to mind.  The situation is identical. 

Further, once again, none of the people you list are banned from being in government.  None of them.  Marine Le Pen  is currently in government, albeit European and regional rather than national and Wilders is in national government  The exact opposite of the claims you made.  I'm obviously putting myself across badly here, so let me try again.

In many countries in Europe, he [David Duke] may not have been able to run, since he represented a very anti-immigration platform - despite the fact that he garnered a majority of the vote in his area.

My question is - which countries are you referring to here?

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2014, 12:56:40 PM »
Kythia, I did a Ctrl+F in this entire thread for the word "banned" and you and TheGlyphstone are the only people who used that word, so I am confused how you have transformed that into my assertion.

I will try to make my point clear.  Reasonable minded people, like you or I, will only choose to run for political office, if we know that we have the legal immunity to do so.  We are likely not going to run if we are worried that our political persuasions are going to land us in jail.  One of the great things about the United States, is that you will  never see such prosecution charges being brought against a politician for simply espousing their views - which encourages a more active, vocal citizenry in the political process.  All of here are aware of the limitations of the First Amendment, and many of us, including myself, see the benefits of such restrictions.  But we are adamant in protecting the net sum of our First Amendment rights.

You may not be familiar with David Duke's remarks, but many of those statements would likely have him facing similar prosecution charges as Geert Wilders or Marine Le Pen.  If anything, the situation that happened to both of them, will dissuade similar-minded people from speaking out openly in the political process.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 12:58:06 PM by Valthazar »

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2014, 01:02:36 PM »
Kythia, I did a Ctrl+F in this entire thread for the word "banned" and you and TheGlyphstone are the only people who used that word, so I am confused how you have transformed that into my assertion.

I don't think transforming your, repeatedly quoted "not allowed to run for government" in to "banned from running from EDIT: for government" is particularly a stretch?  If you feel otherwise then fine, I'll adjust as appropriate but that really does seem like an utterly insignificant point.

Quote
I will try to make my point clear.  Reasonable minded people, like you or I, will only choose to run for political office, if we know that we have the legal immunity to do so.  We are likely not going to run if we are worried that our political persuasions are going to land us in jail.  One of the great things about the United States, is that you will  never see such prosecution charges being brought against a politician for simply espousing their views - which encourages a more active, vocal citizenry in the political process.  All of here are aware of the limitations of the First Amendment, and many of us, including myself, see the benefits of such restrictions.  But we are adamant in protecting the net sum of our First Amendment rights.

You may not be familiar with David Duke's remarks, but many of those statements would likely have him facing similar prosecution charges are Geert Wilders or Marine Le Pen.  If anything, the situation that happened to both of them, will dissuade similar-minded people from speaking out openly in the political process.

Jeez.  Both of those, 66% of the people you claim are "not allowed" to run for government, currently sit as members of a legislature.  Our own UK Independence Party, UKIP, is doing progressively better at the polls every election and is gradually forcing politics towards their viewpoint as a result.  In short, the attitude you claim is being quashed by these prosecutions is demonstrably growing and getting more vocal.  For a chilling effect, that seems pretty damn warm to me. 

Honestly, Val, it looks very much like you're mistaken here.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 01:07:28 PM by Kythia »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2014, 01:11:33 PM »
Also, as you appear to have overlooked it somehow:

My question is - which countries are you referring to here?

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Russel Brand V. Westboro
« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2014, 01:13:33 PM »
Ok

Gonna step in here because this back and forth over words is getting silly. Especially when quotes are made but not being read.

Valthazar said:

Quote
For example, David Duke was a former grand wizard of the KKK, and as much as I strongly disagree with his principles and attitudes, I respect the fact that he can articulate his views (at least now) in an intelligent, peaceful manner.  He represents the views of a sizable proportion of the ultra right-wing constituency, and was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in the early 90s.  In many countries in Europe, he may not have been able to run, since he represented a very anti-immigration platform - despite the fact that he garnered a majority of the vote in his area.

He said nothing about definitely not being able to run for government. He said nothing about being banned. You have jumped to that conclusion all on your own.