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Thread: Is European Freedom Of Speech Better Than American?

  1. #21
    RNG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    How do we judge the validity of the criticism now being flung at Trump and the US government, that his racist speech is inspiring more racist hate crimes, if the black students and protesters in BLM, etc. try to silence everyone's discussion of racism, past and present?



    Note: on private property, this sign is 100% okay, because we have freedom to assemble -- and to exclude anyone we want -- on property we own. But on a public university's property, this sign is as unconstitutional as this one:



    How are we to discuss the cause of the rise in hate crimes in this country when too many of our public colleges and universities saw students wearing pro-Trump gear before the election bullied by other students, without stepping in to protect them? Some were reportedly even threatened that the offended students would ask the college to EXPEL the "offending " Trump supporters among them. Who knows whether any such expulsion did in fact take place?

    Is "polite" protesting BETTER for our society and our democracy, or is it (as I contend) actually almost WORTHLESS in achieving real change? Is a kerfuffle at a protest so terrible that we want -- even demand -- that the 1st amendment be narrow and government censorship powers created?

    Your thoughts?
    The top sign makes sense to me anywhere and anytime. It isn't saying you can't disagree or debate, it's just asking for common courtesy.

    The big problem comes with the "no abuse" reg. How do you define abuse?

    Canada had a system of what I still refer to as kangaroo courts. I believe the official title was Human Rights Tribunal.

    The problem was that initially, the way the relevant legislation was written, all a plaintiff had to do was to show that their feelings were hurt and it was considered a violation. And the tribunals had the power to issue fines into the tens of thousands of dollars and there was very limited ability to appeal their decisions. And they were a freaking, horribly abused joke.

    The laws have now been changed to where real harm has to be shown. Not to the extent that US law requires for libel or slander according to a couple of US lawyer friends of mine but is no longer the unjust joke it was.

    It at least appears to me that there is an attempt to instill some balance between the wild west and participation ribbon city.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Some were reportedly even threatened that the offended students would ask the college to EXPEL the "offending " Trump supporters among them.[/B] Who knows whether any such expulsion did in fact take place?
    Such an expulsion would be a matter of public record. Even in a private school, the student subject to expulsion would have rights to due process. In a public institution, they'd have rights to equal protection.

    Students ask that other students be expelled all the time. They are generally ignored since their opinions and complaints are indicative of nothing. We have a situation on my campus right now where a student was singled out for pillory in the campus newspaper, including a demand that the student be removed. But the student has been convicted of no crimes for which he hasn't already been punished and has never been violent on our campus, so he stays. Tough luck, snowflakes.
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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    Some say we shouldn't censor "unpopular" ideas. But they are unpopular for a reason, usually
    Maybe. But at one point, advocating against racism and racial segregation was an unpopular idea.
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  4. #24
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    I don't see how this big generalization is in any way accurate. European protests are more numerous and often more violent. I don't see that either.
    We're doing a good job of ignoring our ignoble past already.
    What EU protests are anywhere near a good old American riot?

    And anyway, it is true that most European nations ban "hate speech", which necessitates government censorship.

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
    You made a good move, from a 22/100 country(Russia) to a 98/100 Country(Canada) on the Freedom Scale

    https://freedomhouse.org/report/free...dom-world-2016
    No kidding!! He could hardly have chosen more wisely.

  6. #26
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNG View Post
    The top sign makes sense to me anywhere and anytime. It isn't saying you can't disagree or debate, it's just asking for common courtesy.

    The big problem comes with the "no abuse" reg. How do you define abuse?

    Canada had a system of what I still refer to as kangaroo courts. I believe the official title was Human Rights Tribunal.

    The problem was that initially, the way the relevant legislation was written, all a plaintiff had to do was to show that their feelings were hurt and it was considered a violation. And the tribunals had the power to issue fines into the tens of thousands of dollars and there was very limited ability to appeal their decisions. And they were a freaking, horribly abused joke.

    The laws have now been changed to where real harm has to be shown. Not to the extent that US law requires for libel or slander according to a couple of US lawyer friends of mine but is no longer the unjust joke it was.

    It at least appears to me that there is an attempt to instill some balance between the wild west and participation ribbon city.
    Obviously, the no-abusive language laws/rules can work well.

    Most of the time.

    But when they are misused, through inattention or worse, is that cost too high?

    I say "yes". Citizens offended by abusive speech in a government building should shout abuse at the offender. Counter- protest.

    Government has no role IMO unless a crime (such as assault) occurs.
    Last edited by Madeline; 29th May 2017 at 03:50 PM.

  7. #27
    RNG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Obviously, the no-abusive language laws/rules can work well.

    Most of the time.

    But when they are misused, through inattention or worse, is that cost too high?

    I say "yes". Citizens offended by abusive speech in a government building should about abuse at the offender.

    Government has no role IMO unless a crime (such as assault) occurs.
    And what about someone blocking your path while shouting at you? I would consider that a form of kidnapping. That's the problem as I say, it often isn't cut and dried.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    What EU protests are anywhere near a good old American riot?
    Oh, I don't know. How about this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_French_riots

    or these, more recently: PARIS RIOTS MAPPED: Violence spreads to 20 areas including Lile and Rouen | World | News | Express.co.uk

    Or in the past: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1968_events_in_France

    Or further back: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_massacre_of_1961

    Those are just Paris.

    What about when a farm protest leader Jose Bove drove a tractor into a McDonalds?

    https://quod.lib.umich.edu/w/wsfh/06...;view=fulltext

    Germans, Italians, Spaniards all love them a good protest. Compared to Europe, Americans are political shut-ins.

    And anyway, it is true that most European nations ban "hate speech", which necessitates government censorship.
    Yes. I'm opposed to that. But any suggestion that it makes Europe less protest-oriented or less violent omits any understanding of political protest in Europe.
    Last edited by Rasselas; 29th May 2017 at 09:50 PM.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNG View Post
    And what about someone blocking your path while shouting at you? I would consider that a form of kidnapping. That's the problem as I say, it often isn't cut and dried.
    Blocking someone's path can be form of assault. Blocking a public thoroughfare is already a violation.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNG View Post
    And what about someone blocking your path while shouting at you? I would consider that a form of kidnapping.
    The closest I ever came to that was on my way in to an AIPAC dinner (a couple years ago, not the last one), when someone got in my face screaming through a megaphone. It hurt my ears, and I pushed him out of the way. Police did not seem to mind.

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