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Mootoo
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31 Aug 2016, 6:38 am

Over the Atlantic there is obviously a bigger problem with no mere subtle racism in combination with a smorgasbord of firearms, and whether or not absolute free speech (Westboro for the military aficionados, not seemingly a good combination) is contributory is to be debated, but it's frankly disgusting how, even on these boards, where the level of discussion is certainly more civil and rational than most of social media, people feel free to just say that words mean nothing, or even that when an actual crime is committed hate cannot be attributed based on context and circumstances. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... k-in-essex e.g. - lots of assaults since the referendum, but this one resulted in death (all because he was speaking a different language... what is this, the dictatorship of the illiterate monoglots?)... and then what do we have? Boris Stuck on a Zipwire Johnson? Sure, everyone makes fun of him and he's less insulting than his demonic counterpart over there and likely more intelligent... certainly more humorous. But ultimately, regardless of any attempts at humour he used all sorts of epithets to stereotype races (although by no means were they as brutal as your candidate's) - and yet magically becomes foreign sec just because "he got us into this mess"... still not as horrible as Farage equating refugees with EU citizens, though, a pandora's box of not only bigotry but utter falsehoods (or Syria is part of the EU in his parallel universe, who knows).

'SJW' or whichever newfangled nonsense bigots come up with does not excuse the fact that the butterfly effect exists and things happen in the real world apart from mere words. I had someone proudly proclaiming they're a fascist on social media... which is, I guess, at least honest, in contrast to those who keep going on about how supposedly justice is the wrong thing. If it was then law wouldn't exist, and if people didn't campaign for change then everyone could still be living under an absolute monarchy. For all the 'alt-right' supposedly hating other religions, it sure seemingly loves Saudi Arabia's template for a fascist government.



AspieUtah
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31 Aug 2016, 7:08 am

Mootoo wrote:
Over the Atlantic there is obviously a bigger problem with no mere subtle racism in combination with a smorgasbord of firearms, and whether or not absolute free speech (Westboro for the military aficionados, not seemingly a good combination) is contributory is to be debated, but it's frankly disgusting how, even on these boards, where the level of discussion is certainly more civil and rational than most of social media, people feel free to just say that words mean nothing, or even that when an actual crime is committed hate cannot be attributed based on context and circumstances....

Having been among those in the late 1980s and early 1990s to write and lobby successfully for hate-crime laws in the United States, I can say without reservation that, at the time, the intended public policy was that the First Amendment right of opinion, expressed or not, remained sacrosanct. However, it could, like most admissions and other statements about crime be used to show the state of mind of a defendant who had also acted criminally. In other words, to focus on an individual's opinion required a criminal act to exist in concert with the opinion before the opinion could be presented as an aggravating (or, from the defendant's POV, possibly mitigating) circumstance.

Things have changed in this body of law to now include such silly notions as perceived "privilege" alone as the aggravating circumstance absent any connection to a criminal act. In brief, opinion has now become the criminal act. And, some courts, following the lead of sensationalized news media, see no problem with such imagined jurisprudence.


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Mootoo
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31 Aug 2016, 7:19 am

That is making hate sacrosanct, then... why only wait until after someone is killed? Why would law think, even considering everything in perspective, that somehow cleaning up after a life is taken is somehow less messy? Even if they care not for lives, surely it's legally messier to pursue a murder charge, and longer prison sentences... with, of course, many states exacting retribution as if it was divinely (delusional) in the form of capital punishment when it's their very own fault for preventing it in the first place... I suppose it's the gun control debate too, people seem to only react after something happens, thus necessitating that two lives are destroyed and not just one partially with possibly a deterring effect.



AspieUtah
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31 Aug 2016, 7:45 am

Mootoo wrote:
That is making hate sacrosanct, then... why only wait until after someone is killed? Why would law think, even considering everything in perspective, that somehow cleaning up after a life is taken is somehow less messy? Even if they care not for lives, surely it's legally messier to pursue a murder charge, and longer prison sentences... with, of course, many states exacting retribution as if it was divinely (delusional) in the form of capital punishment when it's their very own fault for preventing it in the first place... I suppose it's the gun control debate too, people seem to only react after something happens, thus necessitating that two lives are destroyed and not just one partially with possibly a deterring effect.

Your description appeals to extremes or "pre-crime;" logical fallacy. Battery and murder does rarely happen as a hate crime, but the vast majority of hate crimes are property damage (vandalism) and verbal assault (threat).

I sympathize with the desire to answer the question about how to prevent crimes when they are happening. Crime-prevention tactics work well before a crime happens, and able prosecution helps to punish criminals after a crime happens. But, after years of thought about the matter, I arrived at the conclusion that the only effective means of stopping a crime while it happens is for the victim to be lawfully armed. Unless victims start carrying law-enforcement officers on their backs everywhere they go, they must, therefore, take matters into their own hands.

Having served from 1997 to 2001 as a hate-crime adviser to the U.S. Office of the Attorney for the District of Utah, I learned that FBI and other law-enforcement data backs up this idea. According to government, university and research polls, individuals who are lawfully armed use their firearms to deter crimes when they happen ( http://www.gunfacts.info/pdfs/gun-facts ... fit,70,720 ). This fact seems to answer the question.


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Jacoby
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31 Aug 2016, 10:32 am

Hate crimes are silly 'feel good' measures for liberals that don't work and are not applied fairly or equally while totally disregarding our right to free speech. There should not be speech or thought crimes, talk about fascism!



AspieUtah
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31 Aug 2016, 11:11 am

Jacoby wrote:
Hate crimes are silly 'feel good' measures for liberals that don't work and are not applied fairly or equally while totally disregarding our right to free speech. There should not be speech or thought crimes, talk about fascism!

I agree somewhat. Hate-crime laws have become a legislative Christmas tree with every special interest adding more and more ornaments and misundertandings about the legal concept.

But, the state and federal governments already prohibit, and enhance the penalties for, certain crimes committed against: 1) lawmakers and other government officials, 2) military service members, 3) law-enforcement officers, 4) emergency-medical service providers, 5) educators, and 6) children. Nobody has ever complained about these lawful prohibitions when applied to these categories of citizens, but the laws that protect them are quite similar to those that protect the citizens who are typically protected under hate-crime laws. The only functional differences are the categories of the defined victims.

Consider the individual who assaults a law-enforcement officer (LEO) with an actionable threat. Then, consider the individual who assaults a gay couple or Jewish senior citizen with the same actionable threat. Laws prohibit such acts and provide for the victims in each scenario to seek enhanced penalties against the perpetrator whether the victims choose to do so, or not.

If the protections provided to some aren't provided to all, what then?


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Mootoo
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02 Sep 2016, 3:01 pm

Jacob, can you even distinguish between an actual committed crime and speech? It didn't seem like it... I'm not sure how 'thought' even comes into the equation when murder was actually committed, or perhaps you didn't even read my post and link entirely...

Who exactly feels good, anyway, when Westboro just hangs signs saying "god hates..."? Are they even feeling good? What kind of collective delusion is this?



AspieUtah
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02 Sep 2016, 5:36 pm

Mootoo wrote:
Jacob, can you even distinguish between an actual committed crime and speech? It didn't seem like it... I'm not sure how 'thought' even comes into the equation when murder was actually committed, or perhaps you didn't even read my post and link entirely...

Who exactly feels good, anyway, when Westboro just hangs signs saying "god hates..."? Are they even feeling good? What kind of collective delusion is this?

Does England not have any free-speech laws? In the United States, such rights are the supreme laws of the land and are the natural rights of those of the Westboro Baptist Church no matter what is stated so long as it doesn't violate relative time and place laws, and even those must pass strict scrutiny before they can be upheld. I ask only because we don't consider any speech a delusion regardless of how few others support it.


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Mootoo
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02 Sep 2016, 6:11 pm

Inciting violence is illegal as far as I know, and Westboro went beyond that last I read... they still restricted them from attending soldiers' funerals, so would you reckon that is taking away their free speech or maybe some sanity? Why would dead soldiers' parents want to be told that somehow "al soldierz r gayz!1" - it's not like I support military institutions, but anyone should grieve in peace, surely.

Do you never wonder whether the murder rate is so high specifically because inciting it is perfectly fine?



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02 Sep 2016, 6:24 pm

Freedom of speech is very strongly protected in America.

Freedom of speech does not exist in the UK. Offensiveness has become blurred with intent and the notion of pre crime, and offensiveness is increasingly witch hunted for. The Westboro Family Church would be in prison in England just for the signs they hold up, and much as that idea might delight many right thinking people, my sense is that the USA has better laws about speech.



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02 Sep 2016, 6:26 pm

To the best of my understanding, the American police action of keeping the Westboro people away from the funeral is so they don't get lynched.



AspieUtah
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02 Sep 2016, 6:29 pm

Mootoo wrote:
Inciting violence is illegal as far as I know, and Westboro went beyond that last I read... they still restricted them from attending soldiers' funerals, so would you reckon that is taking away their free speech or maybe some sanity? Why would dead soldiers' parents want to be told that somehow "al soldierz r gayz!1" - it's not like I support military institutions, but anyone should grieve in peace, surely.

Do you never wonder whether the murder rate is so high specifically because inciting it is perfectly fine?

Incredibly offensive? Of course! But, once again, the Constitution for the United States of America is the supreme law of the land until it is amended or repealed into nonexistence. Since that isn't going to happen, free speech and religious expression can't be curtailed much beyond its traditional limits of time and place. If I remember correctly from my days with the U.S. Office of the Attorney, time-and-place restrictions now prohibit the WBC from encroaching too closely to a funeral, memorial or other protest target. And, as far as the WBC itself is concerned, the Phelps family is pretty much bankrupt and splitting into opposing factions while others have left the family altogether. This description is hardly evidence of a healthy advocacy group attacking the American way of life.

I don't believe that violent crime is "so high." The Annenberg Public Policy Center shows at its FactCheck.org web site ( http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/duelin ... rime-trend ) that violent crimes including murder have declined since the early 1990s and stand now at 1970 and 1962 levels respectively.


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02 Sep 2016, 6:57 pm

AspieUtah wrote:
Mootoo wrote:
Inciting violence is illegal as far as I know, and Westboro went beyond that last I read... they still restricted them from attending soldiers' funerals, so would you reckon that is taking away their free speech or maybe some sanity? Why would dead soldiers' parents want to be told that somehow "al soldierz r gayz!1" - it's not like I support military institutions, but anyone should grieve in peace, surely.

Do you never wonder whether the murder rate is so high specifically because inciting it is perfectly fine?

Incredibly offensive? Of course! But, once again, the Constitution for the United States of America is the supreme law of the land until it is amended or repealed into nonexistence. Since that isn't going to happen, free speech and religious expression can't be curtailed much beyond its traditional limits of time and place. If I remember correctly from my days with the U.S. Office of the Attorney, time-and-place restrictions now prohibit the WBC from encroaching too closely to a funeral, memorial or other protest target. And, as far as the WBC itself is concerned, the Phelps family is pretty much bankrupt and splitting into opposing factions while others have left the family altogether. This description is hardly evidence of a healthy advocacy group attacking the American way of life.

I don't believe that violent crime is "so high." The Annenberg Public Policy Center shows at its FactCheck.org web site ( http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/duelin ... rime-trend ) that violent crimes including murder have declined since the early 1990s and stand now at 1970 and 1962 levels respectively.


The courts have held that incitement to violence or insurrection or mob action is NOT protected speech. The First Amendment protects peaceful assembly and peaceful petition for redress of grievances. Inciting a lynch mob does not fall in that category.


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03 Sep 2016, 7:04 am

BaalChatzaf wrote:
...Inciting a lynch mob does not fall in that category.

Even at its worst, the Phelps famil(ies) are hardly a "lynch mob," incited or otherwise. Most people, even if they agree with the Phelps' opinions, steer clear of them. Just about the only people to discuss their opinions are news reporters looking for headlines. Moreover, as I have written, the Phelps famil(ies) are financially broke and familially fractured. Whatever influence they once had is now a mere memory.


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03 Sep 2016, 10:32 am

Alexanderplatz wrote:
Freedom of speech is very strongly protected in America.

Freedom of speech does not exist in the UK. Offensiveness has become blurred with intent and the notion of pre crime, and offensiveness is increasingly witch hunted for. The Westboro Family Church would be in prison in England just for the signs they hold up, and much as that idea might delight many right thinking people, my sense is that the USA has better laws about speech.


You betcha! We 'merkins are permitted to be as cruel and insensitive as we bloody well please to be. I am glad I am a 'merkin.

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03 Sep 2016, 11:20 am

When I mentioned crime rate I mean compared to other countries... of course, gun laws are a factor too, but it all chimes in to a higher murder rate, it seems:

Image

When your average citizen thinks it's unsafe perhaps in this context it is, but mostly due to internal issues, nothing external like the orangutan demagogue says, and in the same vein essentially giving him total freedom to say absolutely anything is likely to lead to a rise generally in bullying, just as supremacist groups feel invigorated.

There's really a spectrum of free speech... obviously political criticism should always be allowed (well, we'll see about that if free speech, ironically then, elects a fascist which takes away that speech, which happened before and elsewhere...)