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  •  what we do is treat hate speech.... (2+ / 0-)
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    wishingwell, ontheleftcoast

    ... the same way as animated kiddie porn.  It's still illegal even though no actual children are used, on the basis that it incites child molestations.  

    What's good for the pedophile goose is good for the murderous gander.

    •  It's a justifiable rage (2+ / 0-)
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      wishingwell, G2geek

      but who determines what is hate speech? You're right back in the murky world of defining pornography. Or how about those horrible "crush fetish" videos? The court ruled the law banning them unconstitutional. The 1st Amendment doesn't really allow restricting speech, even the most offensive speech.

      Those who forget the lessons of history are probably watching Glenn Beck.

      by ontheleftcoast on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 07:37:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  who determines what's kiddie porn? (3+ / 0-)

        An animated movie depicts an adult having sex with a child.  No actual child was harmed to make that movie, but it's illegal to make and even illegal to possess.  

        The rationale is that kiddie porn incites child molesters, and the "imminent" standard (per Brandenburg) does not apply.  The law recognizes that the child molester will take time to plan before committing the kidnap and raping the kid.  

        My assertion is that the same rationale can & should be applied to hate speech, or technically, "incitement."

        Consider the hypothetical of Bin Laden, in his cave, issuing a video tomorrow, calling for his followers to do another 9/11 before the 2012 election.

        Technically that's protected speech under Brandenburg, because Bin Laden and his words are at a distance in space (Afghanistan) and time (a couple of years) before the deed occurs.  

        By removing the "imminent" standard, Bin Laden could be prosecuted in the US for that act.  

        As for proving intent, the fact that Glenn Beck didn't straighten up after the first instance where one of his devotees committed a multiple murder inspired by his rants, and after the second instance, and after the third that was only stopped at the cost of two wounded CA Highway Patrol officers, demonstrates at the very minimum that he has reckless disregard for whether he stirs up lone wolves who later commit violent acts.   That's what I define as "stochastic terrorism," stirring the pot with the statistically predictable but individually unpredictable result of unleashing a lone wolf.   He should go to prison for that.  

        Emotional manipulation may fall within the boundaries of legally protected speech, but as a fact of cognitive science it is an induction procedure that produces behavioral outcomes.  The law needs to recognize this fact and stop playing abstract games that result in people getting away with remote-control murder.  

        •  But there could be an actual "bright line" (1+ / 0-)
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          with child porn. For example, the depiction of a prepubescent. No seconday sexual characteristic (pubic hair, breasts, etc.) could be used to say it's a crime. But what words are hate speech? There is no "bright line". It's all shades of grey. In context the words could mean one thing to someone and another to someone else. To quote Lehrer, "When properly construed, everything is lewd".

          And, as much as I loathe Beck and the lot, they can easily, and rightfully, say that they weren't responsible for the acts of these nuts. Sure, maybe they were the straw that broke the camel's back, but that first mountain of hay could've been losing a job, or years of abuse, or a drug problem, or more likely a combination of those factors. Who are we going to lock up for that?

          However, I am intrigued by your "stochastic terrorism" argument. Basically the idea is you don't know which of your million listeners will do something, nor what or even when they'll do something, but you know one of them eventually will. That by pushing enough random buttons you'll eventually hit the jackpot and say the words that will cause one of them to commit a violent act. In essence this is a form of conditioning, or more colloquially, brainwashing. And the courts have been willing to prosecute that.

          Those who forget the lessons of history are probably watching Glenn Beck.

          by ontheleftcoast on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 09:47:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  kiddie porn, stochastic terrorism, and prediction (1+ / 0-)
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            If the standard for kiddie porn was the absence of secondary sexual characteristics, that lets an awful lot of stuff slip through, like thirteen-year-olds.  And the law doesn't work that way.  It may be easier to prosecute when the stuff depicts some guy raping a 6-year-old, but it can still be prosecuted if she's 13 or depicted as such.

            If she's 14, then the pervert can marry her in at least two states, which also needs to be changed but that's another item for another day.

            So there really is not a bright line when it comes to defining kiddie porn.  And to prove that point, a guy was convicted and sentenced to prison for having a scrapbook composed of photos of children he cut out of Sears catalogs.  Now personally I think that's going too far because the source material was legal and the crime was basically thoughtcrime in the mind of the perp.  But nonetheless, he's rotting in prison for it.

            The standard I have in mind is a reasonable-person test, and might even be expanded to a community standards test, as applies to pornography.   And one of the legal mechanisms I have in mind is to simply expand the definition of pornography and "prurient interest" to include violence.

            What is this pandemic cultural sickness we have, where somehow even consenting-adult porn get banned, but anything having to do with violence gets a pass?   What's this perversion by which murder is entertainment, and incitement to murder is commentary?  Either it's all OK or it's all not-OK, but the double standard has to go.  


            Beck, three times in a row at minimum:  The first time is a tragedy, the second may be a coincidence, but the third makes a pattern.  The guy is a Typhoid Mary for lone wolves, and at some point it crosses the line between a sin of omission and a sin of commission.  


            Stochastic terrorism.  Yep, you've got it.  By pushing enough buttons hard enough over a long enough time, you'll eventually hit the jackpot.  The only place I would differ with you is about "random."  The buttons pushed are calculated, not random.  The lone wolf that pops up when the buttons are pushed, is random.  Thereby giving the button-pusher plausible deniability.  

            I have a reasonable idea of what the motive is.  

            What some of the overt terrorists have said, for example the Hutarees, is that they intended for a specific violent act to be the spark that set off a race war or Civil War II or something along those lines.  

            So we know with a high order of certainty that "sparking a civil war" is a real motive among members of the extreme right.    

            It would be a bit of a reach to assert that the jackpot Beck is seeking is the assassination of, for example, the President or the Speaker of the House.  We don't really have enough evidence to suggest it goes quite that far, though for some of them, such as Ann Coulter, it does indeed go that far (something about poisoning federal judges if I'm not mistaken).  

            But it is by no means reaching to suggest that Beck shares the same motives as many other members of the extreme right: to spark a war, whether you want to call it a race war, a civil war, or whatever.  So he goes around doing the equivalent of telling his audience it's OK to smoke while filling their gas tanks, and predictably, explosions result.

            As I said, once is a tragedy, twice is a horrible coincidence, but three times make a pattern.  

            And the conditioning occurs through repetition.  Just like with advertising.  Repeat it enough times and it sticks in peoples' heads, and sooner or later, a predictable number of them decide to "buy."

            O'Reilly went after Tiller 28 times before the murder.  Beck went after the Tides foundation 29 times before the attempted murder (which was stopped by the CHP).   That is a really interesting numerical coincidence, and it would not surprise me if it was a convergent outcome that reflected an underlying fact: for example that it takes 25 - 35 repetitions in order to get a result.  

            There may even be data in the advertising industry, demonstrating further convergence: that somewhere between 25 - 35 repetitions of an ad are necessary before a viable percentage of a given audience changes its buying habits accordingly.  (I know some people I can ask about this.)  

            This could turn into a useful predictive tool.

            If you want to get in touch to discuss this further in private, my public email address is;

            g2g-public01 (at) att (the dot goes here) net.  

    •  Banning kiddie porn is already enough of a (0+ / 0-)

      under the first amendment.  It's a legal singularity, like Bush v Gore: incapable of repetition or reproduction via analog. (ie "area X is like kiddie porn, so it should be banned."  That argument will never fly)

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