Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not All Speech Should Be Protected

I love the internet. It’s provided me with hours of entertainment, it’s let me sell a book, and it’s let me meet all of you. That’s pretty darn cool. But the internet does have a downside. Specifically, it lets the most hateful turds do their best to intimidate those they don’t like. We need a law, dammit!! Actually, we don’t.

It really is undeniable that the internet can be a problem, particularly when it comes to “hate speech.” Indeed, some corners of the internet are a seething cauldron of hate and idiocy. But here’s the thing, we don’t need laws to stop hate or idiocy. For one thing, hate and idiocy don’t actually harm us. Sticks and stones, my friends. So why do we need more laws to stop things that don’t really harm us? Isn’t that just using the power of government to force your pet peeves on people?

Not to mention, letting people speak their minds and expose their twisted views is an incredibly useful tool for discovering who you shouldn’t trust. Would you rather know that the normal looking guy in the bowtie thinks Jews are evil creatures, or would you rather only know that he smiles a lot?

Equally problematic is the idea of how we define hate. One person’s hate is another person’s truth. So whose opinion is right, and where will the government draw the line? Moreover, how do you keep the hypersensitive from getting their views imposed through the government? They are the most likely to make such an attempt after all. Do we really trust that the government won’t start declaring things like Christianity “hate speech” merely because it argues that certain acts are immoral? Many liberals already make that argument.

Let’s face it, there are very strong reasons to allow hate speech and there really aren’t any valid ones which justify banning it except that some people don't like it.

But there is another angle to this. Sometimes people hide behind the First Amendment to do more than just spew hate and stupidity. Indeed, they cross over that line and advocate violence. Now that, is a real problem.

And that brings me to Jesse Morton, the founder of a militant Muslim website “Revolution Muslim.” Jesse just got sentenced to 11.5 years for making threats against the creators of South Park because of their episode featuring Mohammed in a bear suit. He also admitted to conspiring to solicit the murder of Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris, who drew Mohammed as part of a protest against the intimidation of Danish cartoonists.

Jesse’s conviction is exactly how “hate” speech needs to be curtailed. Rather than trying to ban people from spewing idiotic opinions, we should only punish those cross the line into advocating illegality. Jesse made threats and conspired to make threats involving the injury or murder of other individuals. That is not some nebulous hateful opinion, it is in fact a crime, and has always has been recognized as such since the foundations of our justice system were laid. When he crossed the line from giving opinion to soliciting crimes, he needed to be punished.

In fact, the same thing needs to be done to the army of idiots who are taking to Twitter to issue their own death threats. If you tweet that you will kill someone or rape them or their children, that is a threat and you should be locked up, whether your target is a public figure or not. If you ask someone to kill someone else, then you have solicited murder. If you suggest that it would please you if someone died or was raped, or you simply hope they are killed or raped, that is solicitation. Those are crimes.

The internet is indeed out of control, but it’s not the handful of lunatics whining about racial purity or how everyone else is evil that are the problem. The problem is this group of supposedly normal people who now think it’s acceptable to make threats or solicit crimes against political opponents they don’t like. It’s time these people got rounded up and sent to jail, just like Jesse Morton, so that people stop doing this. If something isn’t done soon, this will spin out of control, if it hasn’t already.

Thoughts?

P.S. Don't forget, it's Star Trek Tuesday at the film site.

95 comments:

K said...

It would be useful to first define what "hate speech" means.

As usual, the left has re-defined the term "hate" from the dictionary version of feeling extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward something.

Operationally, the left now defines "hate speech" is the act of applying derogatory stereo types or advocating certain policies with respect to classes of people who have their own agenda while reliably also supporting left wing causes.

It is therefore functionally impossible for even the most vicious lies and name calling against the Tea Party, for example, to be considered "hate speech".

Tennessee Jed said...

I think it was Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. who stated the principle so eloquently ; that free speech does not give a person the right to shout "fire" in a crowded theater.

A couple of thoughts: on the one hand, writing something (or streaming) leaves a record so it prevents a person from later denying what they said. On the other hand, there are so many people in the world, and things can be posted from anywhere in the world anonymously, so it becomes harder to catch the perps.

Anthony said...

Has anyone in a position to make it happen proposed banning 'hate speech'? Banning adult content on the internet would be less ambitious (read: marginally less impossible to enforce).

Besides, internet communities tend to consist of the like-minded. I'm sure there are Klan websites which say distressing things, but like most blacks, I've never felt an urge to visit such sites. People can spew all they want as far as I am concerned, so long as they keep it virtual.
------
Lawhawk said:
If you suggest that it would please you if someone died or was raped, or you simply hope they are killed or raped, that is solicitation. Those are crimes.

------

I agree that people who threaten other people ought to be prosecuted no matter where they do it. The question is how many death wishes (not threats mailed to a person, but comments made online) are made daily? I get the impression there are hundreds if not thousands of such comments made daily. If so is that enforceable?

Normal Guy in a Bowtie said...

** SMILE **

DUQ said...

Anthony, It doesn't matter how many get made. Once people start going to jail for it, the others will begin to stop and the numbers will crash.

As for anyone suggesting banning hate speech, I hear this all the time and I see it through speech codes, hate crimes laws, the law the other day in New York to force internet sites to police their comments and to prevent anonymous commenting. This is done all the time. Besides, so many people on the left whine about this that it is an issue whether a specific politician has proposed a law or not.

Individualist said...

Anthony

The latest internet control act they tried to pass made that attempt. It sought to make internet service providers and websites liable for anything said on a chatroom. If they refused to take down offensive contentn then the ISP would be shut down.

This has been applied incountires like Iran and formally Egypt and at least within the country is successful. The bottleneck of the internet if you will is the ISP. You can't control thousands of PC's but you can control the pipeline they all move through.

So it is somewhat possible to enforce although it would severely limit the freedom on the net if put in place.

AndrewPrice said...

K, The problem with defining "gate" is that you can't do it. It's a subjective feeling, meaning it's different for everyone. Different things will cause it, different things won't. People will perceive it differently. That means there's no possible way to get a fair standard to use. That's why the law doesn't creep into considerations like "hate" (at least it didn't use to). Instead, it stuck with actions, e.g. did you become violent, did you solicit violence, etc.

This attempt to criminalize hate sounds good to stupid people who don't grasp how impossible that is, and it's being done by the left with the idea being that if we can ban people from expressing it, then it will go away. Moreover, it's a handy tool to use get people whose crimes you particularly don't like.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, It does become harder, but you would be surprised how easy it actually would be to catch most people. Everything you do on the internet leaves a trace -- an IP address. Once you have that, you can go to the service provider and they will caught up name and address.

Yes, there are ways around that. But I would bet not 1 in 1000 of the Twitter threateners is being careful or knows that. And all it takes is a few prosecutions before the vast majority of these people stop doing this.

DUQ said...

Confused this morning, Andrew? LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Yeah, I had another window open and was writing a note to someone and my brain just imploded and put the message in the wrong place and then used the wrong name. Apparently, I shouldn't try multitasking today.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, People are proposing banning hate speech all the time. Almost every single legislative session in Congress, in the states, and overseas (as well as in rulemaking exercises before the FCC), people are trying to control what can and can't be said online, and "hate" is typically the opening salvo.

And this is something being pushed by the left and the right. It's an idiot thing, not an ideology thing.

As for stopping people from making threats... No, you'll never stop it all. But stopping it complete isn't the problem. The problem is that this is becoming acceptable and so more and more people are doing it. And what was shocking five years ago is now common place, especially among the left. This needs to be stopped before it becomes part of the culture (if it isn't already). And once people hear that others are being prosecuted for making such threats, most will stop. And those that won't can then be dealt with more easily.

AndrewPrice said...

Dear Normal Guy, How did I know someone was going to write that! LOL!

DUQ said...

So what is the deal with Holder's contempt?

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, It happens all the time and they are trying to get at it in weird ways. Hawaii, New York, and Arizona have all tried to pass bizarre over the top internet control acts, I think Hawaii and Arizona succeeded. Britain just did something too, though the details escape me.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Britain actually passed that law, we only tried. Hawaii now makes ISP's keep a record of all the sites you visit for two years so you can be sued for "cyber stalking." France has laws which can lead to you being banned from the internet.

And don't forget, the genesis of this is speech codes. Every liberal college has one of those and they ban "hate speech" which they define as anything offending leftist groups.

This is a real issue. There are many attempts to ban "hate." There just aren't any attempts to stop people who turn their hate into crimes.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, What do you mean what's the deal? That's kind of a broad question.

DUQ said...

I mean, how do you think it will play out and what will it mean? Enquiring minds and all that! :)

Anthony said...

Andrew,

When I was talking about banning hate speeech, I was referring to the US. Sorry for the lack of clarity. I know various foreign countries (including England) have had such laws on the books for some time now.

I know its something that always comes up, but I've never gotten the sense that there was a possibility of it actually happening (as I stated, like porn it is common and in some cases nebulous).

As for the threats, I agree those can and should be stopped, but like I said, the stopping of death wishes is a taller order. I could see people twisting such a prohibition to go after political opponents (nods towards the attempt of some liberals to tie Palin to the Giffords shooting because of the crosshairs).

*Shrurgs* Still, I'm no fan of crazy talk, so I wouldn't oppose a ban despite my reservations (if things go bad, the law can be changed).

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony,

There is no specific piece of US legislation which I have in mind at the moment. I'm thinking more broadly, and in response to the 11.5 year sentence Jesse got.

But I do see this all the time. In Hawaii, they now require ISPs to keep track of every website you visit for two years because a Hawaii representative wanted there to be a record so they could prove that someone might have left hateful or slanderous anonymous comments. In New York, they just proposed that any website which allows comments (Amazon.com, IMDB, blogs) must collect data on the real name and address of all posters and must remove negative anonymous comments immediately upon request. The impulse is there -- especially when you consider how easily speech codes have spread at universities. Also, with other countries moving toward such laws, it's only a matter of time before our idiots in DC try to copy them.

I agree that it would be a tall order to stop the death threats, but I think we could at least make it unacceptable. The real problem with allowing something like this to become common is that it changes what people feel is acceptable and they will start to push the envelop. Thus, internet-posted death-threats become live death-threats, become violence. That's human nature. Not to mention, if thousands of people are doing this, it becomes harder to find the one or two who might really mean it.

You are right that they might try to use this against political opponents. But my answer to that would be that I can't see that being effective unless the opponent really is out of control and saying stupid things. Take the crosshairs, I doubt any jury would ever convict on that, and if they would, maybe people shouldn't be using that kind of symbolism?

I have no problems with allowing the crazy talk primarily because it becomes an outlet to let these idiots vent rather than doing something about it, and it lets us know who they are. I would also be very concerned that "crazy talk" would very quickly come to mean whatever some hypersensitive asshole didn't like.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I think they will vote Holder in contempt. Talk radio will make a huge deal about it. The public will yawn. This is inside baseball to them.

My biggest concern is that the Republicans start talking about impeachment and that dredges up memories of their overreach with Clinton.

I think the best thing they could do would be take him to federal court for a contempt order and let a federal judge jail him.

T-Rav said...

Neckties are where it's at, man. All the people who wear bowties are smug, stuck-up jerks. And Jew-haters.

AndrewPrice said...

For those who missed it yesterday, we briefly discussed what Congress can do regarding Holder being in contempt. They have the power to hold him in contempt (by vote) and they can theoretically have the Sergeant at Arms lock him up until the end of the Congressional term. OR they can sue him in Federal court and seek a contempt ruling there. The federal judge could them order him held in jail until he complies with the order.

I think that's the better route because it makes this seem less like a vendetta because it will be a judge acting rather than a party-line vote.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You know what's funny? They will tell you not to wear bowties to interviews because people who wear bowties are perceived as strange.

Doc Whoa said...

I don't like that people are out there preeching hate, but I think the alternative of trying to use the government to stop people would be much worse for all of us. I do agree about the death threats too.

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, Thanks for the information on Holder. I personally don't think much will come of it, at least not politically. This is theater.

Darrell Issa said something interesting today, he said that Obama can't have it both ways. If he's going to assert executive priviledge, then he has to admit he was involved in Fast and Furious.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, That's how I feel. I don't like all the hate and stupidity, but I would like it even less if the government was deciding what people can talk about. It's like they say about Democracy, it's the worst system except for all the others.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, You're welcome. I don't think much will come of the Holder thing either. That excites the base, but the public at large probably doesn't even know who he is.

I saw the headline on what Issa said, but haven't read the article. That is a good point though, how can Obama claim a privilege based on protecting the advice he's received if he didn't first receive that advice? Issa is a smart man and the Democrats are fools if they try to mess with him.

LawHawkRFD said...

Anthony: "If you suggest that it would please you if someone died or was raped, or you simply hope they are killed or raped, that is solicitation. Those are crimes."

I must have been having an aneurysm if I said that. Please refresh my memory as to when I wrote that so I can either retract it or put it into context.

That would be hateful speech indeed, but only under certain circumstances could it be considered solicitation. The constitutional measure is "clear and present danger." Wishing the worst for an "enemy" is a perfectly valid exercise of free speech, regardless of how obnoxious it may be. Wishing that someone would shoot that enemy, then putting out instructions on how and when to do it gets close to crossing the line, but if there is no real ability to carry out the threat by the person saying the words or anyone it is addressed to, then it is a "veiled threat" which might or might not be prosecutable after a thorough investigation has been conducted.

"I'm going to kill (rape, throttle, beat) you" addressed directly to the purported victim is the only kind of threat that can be made into a statutory crime without violating the Constitution. It doesn't require the actual ability to carry out the threat, since the crime is the threat itself and the reasonable fear it would produce in the target of the threat. If a reasonable person would or could believe that the speaker actually intends to attempt to carry out the threat, only absolute impossibility of carrying it out could be a defense to the charge.

For the wording "it would please you if someone died or was raped, or you simply hope they are killed or raped" to rise to the level of solicitation, there would have to be a whole lot more facts to support the charge. Addressing those comments to a group known for its desire and ability to carry out such actions, then adding some sort of information which would further enable it (such as the home address or work schedule of the potential victim) might satisfy the clear and present danger test. But still, surrounding facts could vitiate. Providing the work schedule and address of the President of the United States would not rise to that level, since it is common knowledge and public information. Providing that same information regarding a highly-unpopular person in the community (like a child molester) might rise to that level, but still would require an investigation and triable issues.

The clearest example of a true solicitation would be "I wish Joe Schmo would die, and I'll pay anyone willing to do it $500. Here's his address." That's what the Black Panthers did with George Zimmerman, and I would be glad to be the prosecutor on the case. I think that (or something like it) must have been what I was referring to if I made the statement you quoted. If not, I claim temporary insanity.

T-Rav said...

Okay, in all seriousness. The argument about hate speech is a pretty solid one, but where exactly would you draw the line? Clearly death threats against people are off-limits, whereas simply saying something nasty about someone isn't; but what about the gray area in between? If I were Morton, and I said something along the lines of "Molly Norris is an enemy to all Muslims, and she needs to be killed," is that over the line? It's not exactly a death threat, since I'm not saying "I'm going to kill you," but it's encouraging others to make an attempt on her life. Does something like that still qualify as free speech?

Or, what about the Jerry Sandusky thing? Because I know some posters on blogs have been saying things like, "If that (expletive) gets off, and we ever meet in a dark alley, that'll be the end of him." What about that?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think he meant me, as I said those words in the article. I was making the point that death threats are much broader than just "I am going to kill you," they can also include solicitation, which can get very subtle under the right circumstances.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's always the question in the law and I think the rule which is generally followed is that when you say something which can be construed as a suggestion of action, and you make that suggestion to people who may act upon on it, then it is illegal. But these are very fact intensive questions.

Thus, two old guys in wheel chairs talking to each other who say "Molly Norris needs to be killed" would not be a death threat, but saying the same thing to an audience of militant Muslims would be.

So on the twitter rants, these people would argue "but we didn't mean it and no one took it seriously." But the response would be that they are talking to a wide audience including people who are likely to act upon these kinds of statements. And in making this statement, you knew or hoped you would encourage others to act.

rlaWTX said...

This is why, even though I might enjoy imagining a world without ole so-and-so, I try to keep my online language away from encouraging so-and-so's actual demise. In some cases (AG E.H.), it's kinda hard, but I am a big girl and I can regulate my speech -especially when written.

The government regulating hate speech - as well as hate crimes - gets awfully sketchy. There has to be a definition, a guide for application - but it is liable to be ephemeral and mushy in order to cover as much ground as possible. Given the ideological perspective of many in our judiciary, I'd rather them not have a vague hammer with which to whack those with whom they do not agree.

LawHawkRFD said...

The "threat" statutes are just an up-to-date rewording of more general assault statutes. "Assault" in most states and the federal jurisdiction is "placing another in fear of an immediate battery." If a mother says to her child "if you ruin your clothes playing in the mud again, I'm going to kill you" is a shaggy dog story, not a threat. On the other hand, saying in a tweet or an online posting "I wish the president would get shot, and if he comes here, it will happen" comes very close to being the kind of threat/assault contemplated in the threat statutes. But even that would still be a matter for a jury to decide. Most successful prosecutions for solicitation of harm or death have been civil suits, not criminal.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, On the Sandusky thing, it's the same thing.

Would a jury think they really had the intent of making a threat? I doubt it because they aren't asking anyone to do anything and they aren't saying they want to do anything. It sound more like chest beating.

T-Rav said...

rla, that's probably for the best. I might loathe Obama and Co. entirely, but I don't want them dead--I just want them retired. Or in the case of Holder and a few others, in prison.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, that sounds reasonable. I don't really have a particular argument here, I'm just spitballing scenarios. Of course, if two guys in wheelchairs did manage to kill Ms. Norris, or if some random dude were to give a freed Sandusky the coup de grace, I guess we'd be looking at a broader range of criminal speech.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I agree and that's the way it should be. There is no need to advocate violence to make any point except that you want something violent to happen. And it's a wise policy for people to learn that they shouldn't be speaking violently. Everyone would be better off if that were the case.

And I agree entirely about the downside of letting the government regulate "hate." It's too nebulous and we should not be letting the government tell people what they can believe. You can believe anything you want, just so long as you don't try to act on it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Oops. I didn't take that away from your article, so I guess I automatically went into defensive mode. Either way, the context is what matters, and what you said is completely valid given the surrounding context. I must have scanned your penultimate paragraph badly, and I see the quote now. I still agree with you.

BTW, great article.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, That's correct, this is simply the modern form of the very old assault laws. And the internet adds a new twist. In the past, you looked at who the person was speaking to, e.g. a hired thug, a friend, a crowd. Now people are out there speaking to specific audiences, such as militant Muslim readers or insane liberal activists. And so all of that needs to be considered.

In any event, if there is one thing I've learned over time, it's that when you let an issue like this fester, it will only get worse. So people need to act fast to put an end to this before it gets out of hand -- which it already is in many ways. You just can't let it become acceptable to average people to spit out death threats of any sort.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Ultimately, it is for the best if people realize that there are certain lines you just don't cross. And wishing violence against people is one of those. I'm all for free speech, but that is the line we should draw.

And yeah, I'd love to see Holder and Obama in prison.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Not necessarily. Laws are about reasonable expectations. It wouldn't make sense to prosecute everyone who said anything which could be remotely considered a threat because that would be impossible, would waste resources from more serious threats, and would just confuse people. There really does need to be some sense that you hoped/intended that it would be carried out.

That's the thing about the twitter users, it's very reckless for them to tell a mass audience that they want to see someone killed. They know that the audience is full of people who might act on that, and whether they admit it or not, that is exactly what they are hoping will happen. And when you get a chorus of people saying the same thing, the odds go way up that a crazy will act upon it.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Lawhawk, I figured you did agree. I just didn't really dig down too far into the mechanics of what would be and what wouldn't be a threat because that would take a law school class to explain!

Anthony said...

Lawhawk,

Sorry for wrongly attributing the quote to you. I blame a lack of caffeine.

Doc Whoa said...

All that makes sense to me, that you would only prosecute if the person was suggesting they wanted to see their beliefs turning into actions. I see too where it would rely a lot on the facts of each instance.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Don't I know it! When I was still teaching, I spent an entire class just on "conditional threats." My favorite was "were it not for assize time, I would run you through." Days of old when knights were bold. The threat was made, the ability to carry it out was very much there, the two knights were standing within inches of each other, but by adding the "condition," the assault/threat was dismissed.

Sorry that my self-defense got so wordy, not to mention irrelevant.

LawHawkRFD said...

Anthony: No problem. And I was still in caffeine-deficiency when I responded, so we're even. LOL

T-Rav said...

Years of chugging Dr. Peppers have made me immune to caffeine. Except when I drink black coffee, and then I can't sit still.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, A lack of caffeine is a tragedy!

Anonymous said...

"That is not some nebulous hateful opinion, it is in fact a crime, and has always has been recognized as such since the foundations of our justice system were laid."

Now THAT is white supremacist hate speech, and I don't recognize your right to say it.

HOW MANY times do we have to tell you hate crime & speech is ABOUT YOU, THE "MASTER RACE", you know, the people still engaged in ethnic cleansing both here and abroad?

I don't think civilization should have to tolerate white christian America attacking our government just because it guarantees constitutional protections for ALL its citizens.

We won't be putting up with your children in schools, public or private, for much longer.

And then guess where you'll be in just a few short generations?

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, It's the sort of thing you need to define as precisely as you can and then leave it up to juries to decide from the circumstances if what you did falls into that category.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Ah yes, conditional threats. It is truly a tricky area. It's interesting too how these doctrines have evolved over time as people realized they could game the system. "It sure would be a shame if something happened to you," wouldn't have been a threat in the past, but would be today because we recognize the intent.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Years of drinking Coke had done that to me too, until I went cold turkey for several months. Now the caffeine affects me again.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Speaking solely for myself, I think this is the answer to your question about Sandusky. First, read my joking comment to Andrew about teaching budding lawyers about conditional threats. "If that (expletive) gets off, and [if] we ever meet in a dark alley, that'll be the end of him." Condition on top of condition. The "ifs" remove the threat so far from the possible action in time and space as to be mere bravado.

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, There are people who actually believe the garbage you've written. Twisted isn't it?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree. I think there is no express intent to injury Sandusky, there's just bravado about how the speaker wants people to believe he would act if confronted with those highly unlikely circumstances. It seems pretty obvious he wouldn't do anything about it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who first announced the clear and present danger test. It's a balancing test, and all the surrounding facts must support both "clear" and "present." And even then, there are exceptions. One cannot shout "fire" in a crowded theater, except when there's actually a fire.

The clear and present danger test wasn't formalized as a legal principle until 1969, when the Supreme Court held that the offensive speech must be capable of provoking an "imminent lawless action." Thus, a "threat" must always be vetted on its apparent ability to provoke a criminal act, now or very soon. That is by way of saying that there simply can't be a hard, fast rule which will fit every threat situation.

Kit said...

"They will tell you not to wear bowties to interviews because people who wear bowties are perceived as strange."

Bow-ties are cool.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That made me laugh out loud when he said that!

rlaWTX said...

A funny line from NRO's Nordlinger:

"Is it not enough that the Left is malicious and defamatory? Do they have to be so all-fired stupid too?"

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Isn't that the truth! Excellent line! :)

Tucker Carlson said...

Bow-ties are the bomb!

AndrewPrice said...

Great Tucker, now we need to start searching bowties before we let people on planes! Thanks.... the bomb indeed!

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, I don't know if anyone else gets e-mails form Obama, but he just sent me one. He's warning me that he will be "outspend". That almost makes me cry. :(

rlaWTX said...

OT: I was reading about Carter's recent mouthing off, and I was wondering: is the US a signatory to the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"? Is this a treaty of some kind or is this just a blathering declaration of no account?

rlaWTX said...

OT part 2: yeah, I should have done my research BEFORE posting - but where's the fun in that!?!

Apparently, it is international law and the US is a signatory...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights

Enough of my random thoughts...

T-Rav said...

rla, if liberals don't do their research before forming opinions, why should you? ;-)

I heard earlier that Carter was slamming Obama for being a Nobel Peace Prize winner who allows innocent people to be killed by our foreign policy and blah blah blah. Which raises the fun question of who the media will throw under the bus: Carter, or Obama?

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Yes, we are a signatory. It was written in 1948 and most countries have signed it (and ignored it). Still, Carter is wrong in his criticism. He's an ass.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, We've signed up to a LOT of treaties like this, but that doesn't mean we are necessarily obligated to anything in particular. Plus, we sometimes sign up to things but don't sign the whole document, etc.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think they'll skillfully avoid mentioning it. There's no way they will throw either under the bus.

rlaWTX said...

Thank you, T-Rav, for that excuse!

Carter is a dimwit.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Carter is more than that. He's done nothing but badmouth this country since he left office. He should go live somewhere better, like a Chinese labor camp.

T-Rav said...

Since this thread is petering out, I'll go OT for a moment and announce GOOD NEWS!!! The NCAA or whoever is in charge of it has announced its approval of a national championship series for college football, starting in the 2014 season. As CBS News announced it, "The BCS is dead."

Excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Petering out? Never!

Also, I warned you about this the other day. I think it's going to be a mess.

Jen said...

When is all this insanity going to end (probably when the world does)?

I regulate my own speech, thank you, gov't. I could use so-called hate speech (like saying I want to kill someone), but I would have no intention on acting it out. It's just one way for me to release some tension.

What I don't like is intimidation, because that just pi$$es me off, and then I'm ready to fire one back. I was taught not to 'throw' the first punch, but was supposed to finish it.

How's that for hate speech?

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, I don't think it will ever end because that's how humans are. But we can at least get some civility back with the right mix of laws.

As for that being hate speech, LOL! Hardly. Check out some of the tweets aimed at Palin and you'll see hate speech!

Jen said...

Andrew, yeah, yeah, I know, that's why I put in the part about the world ending. I agree about the civility.

My dad likes to bring up the part about yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. He agrees with some sort of censorship. I told him no, we just need to use discretion in what we say. Just because we can say something, doesn't mean that we should.

FYI--java junkie here, caffeine headaches SUCK. That's when you don't want to mess with me. Pain can make people do some crazy things.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, That's very true, just because we can do a thing doesn't mean we should.

But for me the line is actually fairly simple. You can have whatever opinions you want, but you also can't whine that people hold those against you. BUT you can't cross that line from having an opinion to advocating people act on your opinion.

I love caffeine. :)

Jen said...

Andrew, caffeine--my drug of choice, but only in the forms of chocolate, coffee, or occasionally tea. Is there anything else I forgot? I'm not much on the other stuff, although I liked to drink Dr. Pepper when I was younger.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, My delivery system of choice is Coca-Cola. I could drink that all day until I exploded if I wasn't careful. :(

Jen said...

Andrew, you already know that we usually mean a lot of things to be taken metaphorically, or figuratively, but the left tends to take everything literally.

Sometimes my opinions are just that--my opinions. I could say I want to kill something because it got into, let's say, my garden for example. It doesn't mean I will really kill whatever it is, I want it to stay out (already had this happen a few days ago). I'll just put a boot in it's a$$ instead.

Jen said...

The boot was meant to be taken literally. I missed getting most of them, but managed to kick loose a few feathers. Stupid birds.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, There is a huge difference between someone saying, "I could kill that stupid dog!" and going online and saying, "Somebody needs to kill President ____." The first is obviously just an expression of frustration. The second crosses that line where the thought itself is much more inappropriate.

And then saying it online, makes it worse because you know that you are broadcasting this to people who may take your desire seriously. It's the difference between telling a friend who knows that you are just venting and announcing to a crowd where you have no idea who might be listening.

Jen said...

Andrew, I get your drift. Hey, can we blame Algore? He claims to be the creator of the internet, so the way I see it, it's his fault. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, I'm all for blaming Algore! He invented the internet, he must have caused all of these problems! :)

AndrewPrice said...

This is wild. Right now the air smells like when you stick your head inside a fireplace -- acidic, burning, charred wood. And there is ash falling on my car.

They just evacuated the part of town near the Air Force Academy too.

Jen said...

Andrew, Is this going to affect you? How far away is it?

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, I doubt it very, very much. So far the fire is moving along the mountains.... where people shouldn't have built houses.

Right now, the fire is about 15 miles away, and half the city is between it and me. If it gets here, then this would be a Katrina size disaster.

Jen said...

Andrew, Is there anything you can do if it does make as far as where you live?

I didn't realize that it had spread as far as it did. I heard about another city/town that I know of which has been affected, because of someone I know whose family lives there. Otherwise, I haven't been paying much attention--don't watch, or read the news usually.

AndrewPrice said...

If it got here, then I would probably be moving to tryanmax's house in Nebraska! ;)

Actually, I have no idea. They have been evacuating parts of town and they've set up shelters and asked people to stay with friends, but if it got all the way over here, then there wouldn't be much of a town left.

I think the first place they evacuated was Manitou, which is actually a separate town, but you wouldn't know it. Then they evacuated Old Colorado City, which is between the Springs and Manitou. But I think they've left all of those people go home again.

AndrewPrice said...

This is really wild. I was out back looking and there are these ridges all over town because the city is built on hills. As you get to the mountains, you see this wall of orange light, like someone has lined the ridge with a 1,000 street lights. This is truly surreal.

Sadly, my favorite tourist attract has burned to the ground? The Flying W Ranch. That's been here since the 1960s and we go back every couple years.

Jen said...

That sucks, about the ranch.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah. It was fun and a very nice place. People held weddings out there. My dad had a birthday party out there too.

T-Rav said...

Oh dear. I am officially getting worried about you. You should probably get a bucket brigade or something organized, just to be on the safe side.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm not worried. But it is strange to see ash falling on your car.

The whole day has had a "nuclear winter" feel too it too. Seeing the massive columns of white/orange smoke blocking out the horizon to the North while the other half of the sky was bright blue, completely clear, and sunny (100 fricken degrees today!), really made it feel like someone had nuked part of the town. It's been very surreal and feels like something out of science fiction.

Individualist said...

Anonynous said: "Now THAT is white supremacist hate speech, and I don't recognize your right to say it."

I am really uncertain as to what your complaint is however I will address the nature of your comment.

Assuming the rhetoric is not calling for violence exactly what are you going to do to people that engage in Hate Speech you don't approve. Are you going to jail them, kill them.

What you are in a sense saying is I don't just disagree with your thoughts I don't agree with your right to have them. You are also saying that you feel either your ability to persuade people is extremely limited or your confidence in the weight of your own arguments so low that you have to resort to banning the person with those thoughts since you will not try to dissuade them through argument.

I find th elast part of your meme ironic. In the 1930's the Nazi's felt that Aryan civilization (the Germanic Norse tradition) was oppressed by the Catholic church and Jewish Bankers. They banned together initially to correct perceived injustices to there people or group. Oddly enough they had the same rhetoric about 'taking" over from the other "races" and empowering themselves and fixing "slights" that you advocate.

So I ask you this question, why should I consider your argument or the group you advocate any better than the Nazi's, the communists or any other group of collectivist socialists that use group identity as a means to power.

I beleive in Individualism and I think it a shame tha you do not.

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