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  •  What you asserted blatantly contradicts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, JesseCW, jethrock

    the First Amendment:

    I'm going to assert right here, that the right to freedom of religion can no longer be interpreted to include the right to promote religious beliefs that are absolutist and expansionist, because promoting such beliefs carries the inevitable necessity that they will lead to violence.

    Sorry, no dice. The KKK gets to have their rallies even though they definitely promote such beliefs and they definitely tended to “lead to violence.” That's America.

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

    by Jyrinx on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 12:33:20 AM PDT

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    •  Ooooo a debate between two people I like (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, G2geek, Andhakari, Jyrinx

      I agree with both of you.

      But as much as I may see any benefits from suppressing unhealthy propaganda...  I happen to agree  with Jyrinx much more.

      You have to allow opinions you don't like and even may threaten the system into the public square.

      I am a staunch Liberal that is opposed to any type of "Fairness Doctrine"

      Although I wouldn't mind if networks that called themselves "News Channels" were required to report verifiable facts and forced to publish corrections when their report had been proven false.

      Baby's on fire And all the laughing boys are bitching, Waiting for photos, Oh the plot is so bewitching-- Brian Eno

      by jethrock on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 12:47:08 AM PDT

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      •  there is an effective alternative to.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jethrock

        ...the Fairness Doctrine, which is to require a certain percentage of local content origination on every broadcast station that is FCC-licensed.

        Thus you wouldn't get wall-to-wall Rush in the rural parts.

        But I would also supplement this with laws requiring a representative distribution of religious broadcasting.  Thus no more wall-to-wall rightwing religious extremism from multiple outlets of the same denomination in a given area, while other denominations (not to mention atheists!) went completely unserved.  

        As for requiring "news" channels to report only verifiable facts, do you have any idea what kind of rabbit hole that leads to?   Who has the authority to determine what is and what is not a fact?   Propaganda can always be packaged up in the trimmings of a news program but be called, for purposes of compliance with a "facts in news" law, entertainment.  

        BTW, according to Jyrinx' expansionist definition of the 1st Amendment, it should not be illegal for someone to call for Rupert Murdoch to be slipped a dose of arsenic in his lunch.  Now I personally would never call for such a thing.  But I would certainly do a Snoopy Dance if it actually happened, particularly if Faux Noize ran the video of Murdoch eating his lunch and then projectile-vomiting and turning purple as he dropped dead from the arsenic.  That and Glen Beck on LSD, swatting imaginary flies and mosquitos as he ranted even more incoherently than usual.  

        •  Ha... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          But I would certainly do a Snoopy Dance if it actually happened, particularly if Faux Noize ran the video of Murdoch eating his lunch and then projectile-vomiting and turning purple as he dropped dead from the arsenic.  That and Glen Beck on LSD, swatting imaginary flies and mosquitos as he ranted even more incoherently than usual.  

          Thanks for the laugh... It's getting late and I'm running on empty.

          Be seeing you

          Baby's on fire And all the laughing boys are bitching, Waiting for photos, Oh the plot is so bewitching-- Brian Eno

          by jethrock on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:14:25 AM PDT

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    •  Are you also asserting that.... (0+ / 0-)

      ... it should be legal to shout Fire! in a crowded theatre, or call for the assassination of elected officials?

      If so, why?

      If not, why not?    

      •  No. But the courts have repeatedly held (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, NDakotaDem

        that the circumstances under which hate speech is deemed illegal are very narrow. “All black people should die” is protected. “We should kill black people” is protected. “We should kill that black man tomorrow” is not. It really is that narrow.

        (This was roughly the spiel Ben Masel gave me at NN. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone better-versed in the intricacies of speech laws. Particularly someone with as much personal experience.)

        “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

        by Jyrinx on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:05:44 AM PDT

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        •  i know Ben's arguements well. (0+ / 0-)

          Classic Ben Masel quote about hate speech:  "There he is! Get him now!"   He and I have a long-running and mostly friendly debate about some of these issues.   Welcome aboard!:-)

          So let's zero in on this more closely:

          Under what principle is it held that shouting Fire! in a crowded theatre is illegal?   Clearly, that panic is an emotional state that deprives individuals of their ability to reason such that their free will is circumvented to the extent that they engage in behavior that constitutes an immediate danger to life and limb, right?  

          Is a person in a state of panic more likely or less likely to harm someone else, than a person in a state of rage?  

          And under what principle is it held that calling for an assassination of an elected official is illegal?  Clearly, that such speech places our elected officials in danger for their lives, even if that danger is not immediate but may exist at some distance in time from the speech.

          Does an elected official deserve greater protection from death threats than an average citizen?    Would you like to test that by sending me your home address and the hours when you are sleeping, so I can post them somewhere along with some inflammatory text?

          And under what principle is it held that child pornography is illegal, even if the images do not involve photographic exploitation of actual children but are wholly artificial as through painting or drawing or computer graphics?  Clearly, that the emotion of lust, stirred up toward children, circumvents the reason and free will of the viewer, and thereby places children at risk of being raped, even if the rapes occur at some distance in time from the rapist viewing the images.  

          Does lust toward children persist as long in the mind of a perpetrator, as hatred or the desire for revenge?  Do you know what a blood feud is?  

          If we add together the bases of those three limits on speech, we find that:

          a)  Immediacy is not relevant to two out of three cases: calls for assassination, and child pornography.  Both of those work at longer ranges in time than "There he is!  Get him now!"  

          b)  Danger of harm to an innocent victim is relevant to all three cases.  

          c)  Emotional circumvention of reasoning and free will, is relevant to two out of three cases (panic and lust toward children).  

          If anything, the common denominator is not the element of time ("now" vs. "later") but the element of emotional circumvention of free will and reason.  

          Whether from the perspective of deontology (first causes) or consequentialism (effects), any differentiation in the law between panic and rage, or between lust toward unwilling persons and hatred or revenge (both of which are by definition directed toward unwilling recipients), is purely arbitrary.  

          Try arguing otherwise.  

          •  Shouting fire is just an example of (0+ / 0-)

            an obvious counterpoint to free speech. It's not supposed to define the exact nature of all exceptions to the First Amendment.

            And your criteria are preposterously vague. How do you determine what speech causes the emotional circumvention of free will and reason? Couldn't one argue that any good politician's speech does exactly that?

            And at any rate “There he is! Get him!” has nothing to do with panic or emotion or reason or free will. It could be very sound, soberly argumented reasoning that leads to that moment.

            “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

            by Jyrinx on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 04:03:24 AM PDT

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            •  "There he is! Get him!" may or may not... (0+ / 0-)

              It may come at the end of a long philosophical discourse where the speaker and the crowd maintain a tone of complete rationality, and the crowd is well and truly persuaded, of their own free will, that a certain person in town deserves to be lynched.  

              However, Fire! in a crowded theatre, and child pornography, don't fit that model.   Nor does fraudulent commercial speech, which is also proscribed: it creates an emotion of trust that is obtained on false pretenses.  

              But leaving aside commercial speech for the speaker's benefit, the emotional states that are known to produce harmful acts against others are fear, rage, hatred, and lust.  Each of these can cause a person to act aggressively in a manner that they otherwise would not, if they were in possession of their faculties.

              This is not an abstraction; this is based on neuroscience that is every bit as solid as the climate science upon which we must now base major changes in our economy so as not to render ourselves extinct.  We can measure the neuropeptides and neurohormones that are the causes of the emotions in question.  

              Yes, I am seeking to systematically define the boundary conditions of free speech, in a clear and unequivocal manner, based on the generalizations that follow from examples that are clear and incontrovertible.  

              If we don't define the exact boundaries of free speech, what we are left with is a fuzzy border that will gradually be encroached based upon whatever expedience happens to rule the day.

              The boundary I am defining is straightforward:  inducing an emotional state that circumvents an individuals's free will and ability to reason, in a manner that causes them to harm another person.  

              And the standard I propose is that actions should have consequences.  1st Amendment protection should not be available to that type of speech when and if it leads to harm.  I wouldn't seek to a-priori muzzle it, since history shows that path to be fruitless.  I would simply open it up to full liability for consequences.  

              Thus, Vanderboog's urging his audience to break Congressmembers' windows, would not be protected speech.  Nor would posting a Congressmember's brother's address, when doing so leads to an attempted multiple murder via severing a propane gas line.  Sarah Palin's target crosshairs on Congressional districts, if they resulted in assassinations, would also come in for strict liability.    

              Or are you arguing for lifting the restrictions on shouting Fire! in a crowded theatre?   Are you arguing for legalizing kiddie porn?  

              •  No, I'm for leaving the First Amendment (0+ / 0-)

                the fuck alone. Again, your criteria are ludicrously broad. Just about any political speech meets  them.

                “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

                by Jyrinx on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:32:11 PM PDT

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