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I was beginning to think no one would take your side American Woman. However the nature of debate on this forum is fairly pointless. I feel like once a side has been chosen, one will merely stop posting than concede any points what so ever.

Anyways, I completly agree with what you are saying, and they whole diatribe of dying for freedom of speech is ridiculous. Certainly wars fought outside of the US can't be construed to be for ideological lines. You aren't fighting for the US freedom of speech by invading Iraq for example. Unless, ofcourse you actually believe the Taleban could invade, conquer and quell any resistance within the US. In which case you may need to seek help for your paranoia.

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Yes, freedom of speech IS trumped; it doesn't exist for those who oppose the president. That's been my point all along. We do not have freedom of speech; those who oppose the government do not have the same rights to express themselves as supporters of the president. You are supoorting what I have been saying all along-- that those who oppose the president do not have the freedom of speech to say they do where they will be seen and heard.

It's called security. In Canada we have had a Prime Minister who got pied in the face. America is a much larger country in terms of population and in it's global impact. Your president needs alot of protection. Some of them have been shot. It was not so relatively long ago that someone took a pop at Reagan.

You have a higher degree of free speech down there than we do in Canada. Hate speech is not simply about hate either. I understand you don't feel the need to use hate speech. I know what you mean by that. But alot of people conveniently define what hate speech is. Hate speech is not always guaged by how much you hate someone. Rather it seems to also be measured by how offended and hated a person can claim to be. And this effects politics because accusations of "hate speech" can be used to silence credible dissension.

Edited by jefferiah

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I would like to add that even in these so-called free speech countries so far discussed there are limits. We have libel, defamation and slander laws that make things that are said actually illegal. You cannot threaten the life of the president, even in jest, so far as I am aware.

Hate speech is a logical extension of defamation or slander, in that it attempts to not only attack a group prejudiciously but also to foster hate and spread violence.

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I was also reading a copy of the recent Supreme Court decision in FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION v. WISCONSIN RIGHT TO LIFE, INC. (link to decision, open PDF reader first) affirming, once again, the virtually unlimited freedom of speech that is the US citizens' alone.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationw...,1,636064.story

It is interesting that this freedom of expression is not absolute, especially with regard to criticism of the Jewish/Israel lobby. The professor in question is the son of survivors, he is jewish, he is a popular teacher, but his only sin is he does not tow the PC line. Academic freedom??? Freedom of expression???

The same is true with regard to other issues. Freedom of expression is tempered by economic realities, so the constitutional guarantees are perhaps an illusion.

Edited by ft.niagara

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I would like to add that even in these so-called free speech countries so far discussed there are limits. We have libel, defamation and slander laws that make things that are said actually illegal. You cannot threaten the life of the president, even in jest, so far as I am aware.

Hate speech is a logical extension of defamation or slander, in that it attempts to not only attack a group prejudiciously but also to foster hate and spread violence.

Inciting violence is already a crime without hate laws in place. As for defamation and slander against a group, then why only certain groups? Republicans are a group. So when someone says Republicans are stupid weasels should they be liable to an offended Republican? Hate laws are excessive.

For being critical of some feminist groups and individual feminists I was called a misogynist. And alot of people in higher positions of power than I hold, think this way--whether it is over your non-support of a feminist lobby cause, or whatever. If you disagree with these people on any point you are a bigot, racist, sexist, etc. And so therefore, where American Woman places great importance upon freedom to dissent, it is important to realize that hate laws are the novel best way of silencing it. The thing is sometimes people of a certain group can be wrong. When an issue comes to a head sometimes you have to deal with it---when it affects more than the said group. So if it is bigotry to be critical of a certain group and a certain agenda they lobby for, then what you call dissent, they will call a crime. Where it may not be important to her now, she may someday realize her ideas come to a head with someone else's and they will call her a bigot for that.

By the same token there are people on here who have committed defamation (by your standards) against Americans. Would it be logical to hold them legally responsible for making generalizations?

Edited by jefferiah

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I agree. It's like when somebody says they have a **********...if you have to say it, chances are it's not true...

Not really. It's more like remarking on a beautiful, scenic vista or a particularly nice day of weather. Or praising a son or daughter for a school project well done.

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Hate speech is a logical extension of defamation or slander, in that it attempts to not only attack a group prejudiciously but also to foster hate and spread violence.
In the US a "public figure" virtually cannot sue for libel or slander. The requirement of actual malice as an element for a libel suit came about when the New York Times got a minor detail about a quite racist Southern sheriff wrong.

The prospect of those lawsuits are a major chill on free speech rights elsewhere. There are penalties for speech far short of the Gulag.

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I would like to add that even in these so-called free speech countries so far discussed there are limits. We have libel, defamation and slander laws that make things that are said actually illegal. You cannot threaten the life of the president, even in jest, so far as I am aware.

Hate speech is a logical extension of defamation or slander, in that it attempts to not only attack a group prejudiciously but also to foster hate and spread violence.

Didn't some twit make a movie about the assassination of not just some generic president, but Bush himself? I think it was played in the U.S. also.

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Guest American Woman
It's called security. In Canada we have had a Prime Minister who got pied in the face. America is a much larger country in terms of population and in it's global impact. Your president needs alot of protection. Some of them have been shot. It was not so relatively long ago that someone took a pop at Reagan.

You have a higher degree of free speech down there than we do in Canada. Hate speech is not simply about hate either. I understand you don't feel the need to use hate speech. I know what you mean by that. But alot of people conveniently define what hate speech is. Hate speech is not always guaged by how much you hate someone. Rather it seems to also be measured by how offended and hated a person can claim to be. And this effects politics because accusations of "hate speech" can be used to silence credible dissension.

No, it's not called security. It's called keeping those who oppose the president out of sight, out of camera range. It's about making it look as if the president is enjoying nothing but support, even though that's hardly the case. If it were about security, no one would be allowed near him; those holding signs of support would be relegated to the "free speech area" along with those in opposition, because anyone who wanted to harm the president would likely not be carrying a sign indicating their feelings/anger/intent, but would likely be doing just the opposite-- trying to blend in, trying to get as close as possible to the president. Here's the thing-- the person who took a pot shot at Reagan wasn't carrying a protest sign and the person who shot and killed Kennedy wasn't in close range.

Furthermore, saying it's about security is saying that anyone who opposes the president has to be reigned in because they are a danger to the president; that those who are in opposition are all potentially violent. That assumption could be used to stifle free speech anywhere, but again, if the Chinese government were to say that's why they don't have freedom of speech, no one here would be buying it.

------

One final thought about the whole security thing. I've been told by bush_cheney2004 I should be willing to die for the right of freedom of speech. I've been told that people are dying every day for that right. I've been told that freedom isn't free. Assuming all of this is true, shouldn't the leader of such a country be willing to "risk" his life in order to preserve a freedom that others have actually died for and are continuing to die for? Because I think being on a battlefield, being sent to war, is a bigger risk of one's life than allowing someone in opposition of the president to carry a sign within the president's sight/camera sight.

If freedom of speech is that great, that others are dying for it, then we should all enjoy that right equally. Until we do, there isn't freedom of speech.

Edited by American Woman

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationw...,1,636064.story

It is interesting that this freedom of expression is not absolute, especially with regard to criticism of the Jewish/Israel lobby. The professor in question is the son of survivors, he is jewish, he is a popular teacher, but his only sin is he does not tow the PC line. Academic freedom??? Freedom of expression???

The same is true with regard to other issues. Freedom of expression is tempered by economic realities, so the constitutional guarantees are perhaps an illusion.

Nice catch. Poor Norman, he has really been flogged about lately and what happened here is certainly an academic nightmare wrt freedom of expression. I beleive Walt and Mearscheimer have also been cancelled in Chicago. There has been many appearances of those who question the Lobby that have been cancelled or denied (not to mention when one goes to hear some of these brave folks speak it is disgraceful what those oppossed do at these lectures - I've seen it myself).

I also recall the fiasco on CBC Sunday wrt Norman (it was truly sickening).

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I would like to add that even in these so-called free speech countries so far discussed there are limits. We have libel, defamation and slander laws that make things that are said actually illegal. You cannot threaten the life of the president, even in jest, so far as I am aware.

Hate speech is a logical extension of defamation or slander, in that it attempts to not only attack a group prejudiciously but also to foster hate and spread violence.

You can't threaten to kill anybody. Does the level of debate have to stoop to such ridiculous levels to prove a point htat can't be proven? Honestly, do you people read what you post?

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You can't threaten to kill anybody. Does the level of debate have to stoop to such ridiculous levels to prove a point htat can't be proven? Honestly, do you people read what you post?

What do you mean by the last part of your statement? What ridiculous levels? If it pointed at me, I was just adding that there is no complete freedom of speech, there are limits. As to any other points regarding hate speech and such, there are specific areas that its law covers that aren't covered by others. Obvously my definition was very general to say the least. I was just using it as another example of a means to restrict freedom of expression.

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What do you mean by the last part of your statement? What ridiculous levels? If it pointed at me, I was just adding that there is no complete freedom of speech, there are limits. As to any other points regarding hate speech and such, there are specific areas that its law covers that aren't covered by others. Obvously my definition was very general to say the least. I was just using it as another example of a means to restrict freedom of expression.

Of course there are limits. There are limits on everything. Regardless, the USA has the least limits on it in the world.

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Guest American Woman
...the USA has the least limits on it in the world.

And this is where we came in. No, it doesn't. If it did, we'd have the same right to show discontent with the president as we do to show support. And we don't. Hate speech affects everyone the same; our "free speech zone" affects only those who disapprove of the president, therefore it's not "free speech."

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And this is where we came in. No, it doesn't. If it did, we'd have the same right to show discontent with the president as we do to show support. And we don't. Hate speech affects everyone the same; our "free speech zone" affects only those who disapprove of the president, therefore it's not "free speech."

Show me a society that has less limits on free speech than the USA does.

thanks!

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Guest American Woman
Show me a society that has less limits on free speech than the USA does.

thanks!

Every society that doesn't have a "free speech zone" for those opposing the actions of their leader. Every nation that doesn't restrict those who oppose their government from expressing it only where they are out of sight. That would be just about any free society.

You're welcome.

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You can oppose the president on television, in literature, anywhere. No one gets their head cut off for opposing the president. People do it everyday on the internet, in the media.

But let's say I am president. I am going to give a public address somewhere in your city. There are television cameras and people ready to hear my speech. There is a crowd of supporters cheering my arrival and a crowd of protestors with signs shouting slogans. Who do you think is noisier when I actually begin to give my address? Do the supporters scream like Beatle fans over my speech so that I cannot be heard and so that the cameras cannot pick up my speech?

If you watch Canadian Parliament you will observe an interesting phenomenon. When a person from one party gets up to speak, people from the other parties begin to grumble and shout so that he cannot be heard. It is very annoying when you are trying to listen to a person speak. Sometimes supporters of the person speaking make a little noise, claps and the occasional "here here". But this does not override the person speaking, because supporters are not going to try to do that. So the speaker of the house rises and tells the protesting MPs to shut it, thus stifling their free speech momentarily so that an individual can make his point.

Edited by jefferiah

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Guest American Woman

I'm growing weary of repeating myself.

Those who oppose the president do not have the same rights of expression as those who support him. I'm not talking about shouting when he's trying to speak, I'm talking about carrying a sign in his presence. I'm talking about not being allowed to be within his sight/camera sight when his motorcade goes by. People who have been arrested for refusing to be forced into the "free speech zones" were merely holding signs. They weren't shouting. They weren't threatening. They weren't interferring with anything. They were merely opposing the president.

That people aren't outraged over this is difficult enough to understand, but people defending it, while insisting that we have a higher degree of free speech than anywhere else on earth, is downright mind boggling.

Edited to add:

You can oppose the president on television, in literature, anywhere.

How, pray tell, is the average American supposed to get the opportunity to oppose the president on television? Perhaps lin literature, as in a letter to the press or to one's congressman. But if I'm going to oppose the president, I don't want to do it in some obscure newspaper that he's never going to see and I don't want it to be where my representative can see it-- I want it to be where HE can see it. Where HE can get the message. So even if one does oppose the president on television and/or literature, he's not going to see it, so there's no opportunity to let him know. That opportunity is lost. There is no freedom to let him see our opposition.

Because we can't, as you claim, oppose him "anywhere"-- which has been addressed over and over by now.

Edited by American Woman

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Because we can't, as you claim, oppose him "anywhere"-- which has been addressed over and over by now.

Nor should you be able to do so...the entire "country" is not your pulpit from which to express dissent whenever you feel like it. The courts have upheld free speech zones as long as they are established within "sight and sound" proximity comensurate with public safety. Take it up with the courts.

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And this is where we came in. No, it doesn't. If it did, we'd have the same right to show discontent with the president as we do to show support. And we don't. Hate speech affects everyone the same; our "free speech zone" affects only those who disapprove of the president, therefore it's not "free speech."

Hate speech and hate laws only apply to certain protected groups. And I do not complain about it because of that. I don't think it should apply to any. The only case where speech like this should be restricted is where violence is directly incited by command and that is already a criminal act without hate laws in place.

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Show me a society that has less limits on free speech than the USA does. thanks!
He can't.

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Guest American Woman
He can't.

Ummm. I'm a "she," hence the name American Woman. ;)

And I already did.

You all can go on kidding yourselves that it's no big deal not to be able to show disaproval for the President within his sight/the camera's sight, but being able to voice criticism of the government is one of the biggies in the concept of freedom of speech. I don't care if the KKK can march in front of black people expressing their hate; I want to be able to march in front of my president experessing my disapproval. And until I can do that, no one can say this country has the highest level of free speech.

As I already stated, any country that doesn't relegate those who want to express their disapproval with their leader out of sight has greater freedom of speech than America does.

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As I already stated, any country that doesn't relegate those who want to express their disapproval with their leader out of sight has greater freedom of speech than America does.

Ironically, you are even free to express such a falsehood. Lots of folks express there disapproval "with their leader" (Bush is your "leader????)....saw quite a few outside the White House gates last month.

It is difficult to reconcile the position of government funded (and regulated) healthcare as a right (and the obvious limitations) with the notion of absolute free speech without any limitations by government (legislation and courts). Funny how that works.....

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Guest American Woman
Ironically, you are even free to express such a falsehood. Lots of folks express there disapproval "with their leader" (Bush is your "leader????)....saw quite a few outside the White House gates last month.

Are you purposely being dishonest? I'm referring to free speech zones. I couldn't have possibly made it clearer. It's a fact that they exist, and to say otherwise is the falsehood. So don't be accusing me of falsehoods when everything I've said is the truth.

And I referred to country's "leaders" because all country's leaders don't have the title of President. Does that clarifly any problem you have with my using the term "leader????"

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Are you purposely being dishonest? I'm referring to free speech zones. I couldn't have possibly made it clearer. It's a fact that they exist, and to say otherwise is the falsehood. So don't be accusing me of falsehoods when everything I've said is the truth.

And I referred to country's "leaders" because all country's leaders don't have the title of President. Does that clarifly any problem you have with my using the term "leader????"

I don't know what you think is clear or obfuscated. First we had to straighten you out on your own nation's founding documents, then the court rulings upholding free speech zones as long as sight and sound proximity are permitted.

When were your "rights" specifically violated? Please do not offer up more third party anecdotes. Dids you file a complaint? Bring suit? Do you have standing?

President Bush is not my "leader"...but you are free to embrace him as such.

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