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View Diary: German Spiegel publishes "United Stasi of America" graffiti photo of U.S. Embassy in Berlin! (286 comments)

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  •  Germany doesn't have a 1st amendment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, virginislandsguy

    free speech right like we do in the Stasi States. More irony.

    "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

    by Inland on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:24:01 AM PDT

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    •  It just goes to show you that the fight (8+ / 0-)

      for civil liberties are hard won and constant.  They had a bout with fascism and are still fighting a small % who would still support that party.

      But at least their media discusses matters of the day intelligently.  I don't know why it's so hard to discuss this stuff here in the US and especially on the site.

    •  Factually wrong (5+ / 0-)

      Article 5 [Freedom of expression]

      (1) Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing, and pictures and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship.

      (2) These rights shall find their limits in the provisions of general laws, in provisions for the protection of young persons, and in the right to personal honor.

      •  Um no, the person you replied to said (0+ / 0-)

        they didn't have first amendment rights to free speech.

        Which you confirm - it's in Article 5

        more substantially, whatever Article 5 entails, it is much less than we "enjoy" here in the USA (for example, Nazis are free to disseminate their nonsense here - much less so in Germany!)

    •  Wrong -- Article 5 of the German constitution (8+ / 0-)

      ... says:

      (1) Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing, and pictures and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship.

      (2) These rights shall find their limits in the provisions of general laws, in provisions for the protection of young persons, and in the right to personal honor.

      (3) Art and scholarship, research, and teaching shall be free. The freedom of teaching shall not release any person from allegiance to the constitution.

      The main difference from the US, however, is how this right is weighted against others, particularly as spelled out in part (2). German courts are more willing to restrict speech in certain ways than US courts are, if they find that speech harms someone's rights in other ways.

      The "right to personal honor" in part (2) is a reference to Article 1 ("Human dignity shall be inviolable."), which was intended above all as a rejection of Nazi-era dehumanization. But it is also the basis for laws against insulting people. You can actually be sued for insulting someone -- and the penalties can be pretty stiff if, say, you insult a police officer -- on the grounds that the insult abrogated their inviolable human dignity.

      The courts have involved methods of deciding whether an insult is an acceptable exercise of free speech, or an unacceptable violation of dignity. I may say "you're an idiot" if I argue plausibly for your stupidity. But if I declare that someone is a farm animal, as many common German insults do, well, that's not OK, because a person is obviously not a farm animal.

      Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      by Buckeye Hamburger on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:02:51 AM PDT

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