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First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
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tanqtonic Offline
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Post: #1
First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
The WaPo recently published an editorial stating "Why America needs a hate speech law".

(link is to an outline.com version for those who do not have access due to WaPo firewall and 'numbers of articles' policies.)

For the world of me I cannot reconcile the last two sentences that the author writes:
Quote:I’m all for protecting “thought that we hate,” but not speech that incites hate. It undermines the very values of a fair marketplace of ideas that the First Amendment is designed to protect.

My initial view of this position may be surmised as an angry old folk deplorable response that seems to be the catcall for having a gd opinion these days.

But I think I would propose an alternative: I would have zero issue with having a law proscribing 'hate speech' --- as long as it reserves to me what constitutes 'hate speech'.

Does it bother others on this board (left, right, somewhere else) that this point of view is mainstream enough to engender a full editorial in the not biased WaPo?

Anyone think it is a good idea? If so, why? And how would you implement it if you think it a good idea?

Not trying to be an acerbic ******* here, but I am very truly interested in the basis of how anyone could actually subscribe to this.
10-31-2019 07:57 AM
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Frizzy Owl Offline
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Post: #2
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
The first part of the article is yet another journalist's whinging about social media encroaching on newspapers' turf. Traditional media no longer have exclusive control of the public's access to information, and of course newspapers vigorously oppose new sources of news because their survival is being threatened.

The second part... he is indeed calling for laws banning any speech that expresses intolerance. His definition of "hate speech" is very broad. Note his choice of words: he isn't calling for laws against inciting violence, he's calling for laws against inciting hatred. That could be applied to just about any negative opinion expressed about anyone.
(This post was last modified: 10-31-2019 08:50 AM by Frizzy Owl.)
10-31-2019 08:50 AM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #3
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
I oppose any laws regarding the prohibition of speaking "wrongthink". We are already seeing the left lean toward this, in the banning of conservative speakers on the grounds they are speaking hate speech, and the desire to ban certain groups from marching or protesting based solely on the definition of their platform as hate speech. Essentially this would lead to one party rule.
10-31-2019 09:27 AM
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georgewebb Offline
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Post: #4
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
The track record for punishing anti-social speech points to Nazi Germany, Maoist China, Soviet Russia, Peronist Argentina, Chavist Venezuela... The fact that modern leftists could take the idea seriously conclusively demonstrates just how stupid and bankrupt modern leftism is.
11-02-2019 12:08 PM
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georgewebb Offline
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Post: #5
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(10-31-2019 07:57 AM)tanqtonic Wrote:  I would have zero issue with having a law proscribing 'hate speech' --- as long as it reserves to me what constitutes 'hate speech'.

You have summed up the entire thought process of modern leftists.

Again and again and again: their overwhelming motive is power for themselves over others. One might say that all else is secondary, but fundamentally, all else is irrelevant.
(This post was last modified: 11-02-2019 12:12 PM by georgewebb.)
11-02-2019 12:12 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #6
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
The Founding Fathers correctly established the First Amendment as it is. Though it is sometimes painful, we are far, far better off if we but learn to understand and tolerate ignorance from whatever our point of view is, than seek to annihilate it for the sake of "order" because, as George correctly points out above, that never works and only makes a bad problem worse.
11-03-2019 11:30 AM
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RiceLad15 Offline
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Post: #7
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-02-2019 12:08 PM)georgewebb Wrote:  The track record for punishing anti-social speech points to Nazi Germany, Maoist China, Soviet Russia, Peronist Argentina, Chavist Venezuela... The fact that modern leftists could take the idea seriously conclusively demonstrates just how stupid and bankrupt modern leftism is.

Don’t a lot of European countries that have nothing to do with Nazi Germany currently have laws that punish hate speech?
11-03-2019 03:30 PM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #8
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-03-2019 03:30 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-02-2019 12:08 PM)georgewebb Wrote:  The track record for punishing anti-social speech points to Nazi Germany, Maoist China, Soviet Russia, Peronist Argentina, Chavist Venezuela... The fact that modern leftists could take the idea seriously conclusively demonstrates just how stupid and bankrupt modern leftism is.

Don’t a lot of European countries that have nothing to do with Nazi Germany currently have laws that punish hate speech?


Defending thought control?
11-03-2019 09:12 PM
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RiceLad15 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-03-2019 09:12 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 03:30 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-02-2019 12:08 PM)georgewebb Wrote:  The track record for punishing anti-social speech points to Nazi Germany, Maoist China, Soviet Russia, Peronist Argentina, Chavist Venezuela... The fact that modern leftists could take the idea seriously conclusively demonstrates just how stupid and bankrupt modern leftism is.

Don’t a lot of European countries that have nothing to do with Nazi Germany currently have laws that punish hate speech?


Defending thought control?

Asking if it really is the case that the sort of speech control measures are actually only related to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes.

Is George really correct? Or do a number of western democracies have methods to punish anti-social speech?
11-03-2019 10:16 PM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #10
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-03-2019 10:16 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 09:12 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 03:30 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-02-2019 12:08 PM)georgewebb Wrote:  The track record for punishing anti-social speech points to Nazi Germany, Maoist China, Soviet Russia, Peronist Argentina, Chavist Venezuela... The fact that modern leftists could take the idea seriously conclusively demonstrates just how stupid and bankrupt modern leftism is.

Don’t a lot of European countries that have nothing to do with Nazi Germany currently have laws that punish hate speech?


Defending thought control?

Asking if it really is the case that the sort of speech control measures are actually only related to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes.

Is George really correct? Or do a number of western democracies have methods to punish anti-social speech?
At one end of the spectrum stands the US of A, with its protected free speech.

At the other end stands North Korea, where saying the wrong things can get you tortured and/or killed.

The rest of the nations occupy various spots on the spectrum between those two.

Some are closer to NK than others. Generally it is the ones we consider totalitarian or socialist.

Which country(ies) would you like us to be more like, and why?

I like freedom of speech, even if I consider it hate speech. When that black guy advocated “killing cracker babies”, I considered that hate speech, but I would not advocate making that statement a crime. Would you?
(This post was last modified: 11-03-2019 11:42 PM by OptimisticOwl.)
11-03-2019 11:23 PM
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RiceLad15 Offline
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Post: #11
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-03-2019 11:23 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 10:16 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 09:12 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 03:30 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-02-2019 12:08 PM)georgewebb Wrote:  The track record for punishing anti-social speech points to Nazi Germany, Maoist China, Soviet Russia, Peronist Argentina, Chavist Venezuela... The fact that modern leftists could take the idea seriously conclusively demonstrates just how stupid and bankrupt modern leftism is.

Don’t a lot of European countries that have nothing to do with Nazi Germany currently have laws that punish hate speech?


Defending thought control?

Asking if it really is the case that the sort of speech control measures are actually only related to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes.

Is George really correct? Or do a number of western democracies have methods to punish anti-social speech?
At one end of the spectrum stands the US of A, with its protected free speech.

At the other end stands North Korea, where saying the wrong things can get you tortured and/or killed.

The rest of the nations occupy various spots on the spectrum between those two.

Some are closer to NK than others. Generally it is the ones we consider totalitarian or socialist.

Which country(ies) would you like us to more like, and why?

I like freedom of speech, even if I consider it hate speech. When that black guy advocated “killing cracker babies”, I considered that hate speech, but I would not advocate making that statement a crime. Would you?

I like freedom of speech too - but we already know that there is speech that is criminalized in the US.

Personally, I think we are at a good place with how we handle speech, and don’t think that hate speech needs to be treated any differently than we already treat other forms of speech. As the author of that op-Ed states:

Quote: The modern standard of dangerous speech comes from Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) and holds that speech that directly incites “imminent lawless action” or is likely to do so can be restricted.

So to your exact example, depending on the exact situation and where that statement was made, it may be considered a crime.
11-03-2019 11:47 PM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #12
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
11-04-2019 12:47 AM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #13
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
Speech that incites lawless action. Hmm.

Like urging that a municipality ignore the law and become a sanctuary city?

In any case...

Speech that incites lawless actions are illegal, whether or not they include “hate”. Even if they include “love”. Love/hate are not necessary for restrictions.

I believe in the widest possible latitude in permitting speech.
11-04-2019 12:54 AM
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tanqtonic Offline
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Post: #14
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-03-2019 10:16 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 09:12 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 03:30 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-02-2019 12:08 PM)georgewebb Wrote:  The track record for punishing anti-social speech points to Nazi Germany, Maoist China, Soviet Russia, Peronist Argentina, Chavist Venezuela... The fact that modern leftists could take the idea seriously conclusively demonstrates just how stupid and bankrupt modern leftism is.

Don’t a lot of European countries that have nothing to do with Nazi Germany currently have laws that punish hate speech?


Defending thought control?

Asking if it really is the case that the sort of speech control measures are actually only related to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes.

Is George really correct? Or do a number of western democracies have methods to punish anti-social speech?

Certainly places like Germany have such things as banning the Nazi flag, or France's hate speech laws, and others. The practice isnt *solely* limited to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes. But the incidence and depth of such regimes speech control to the incidence and depth of that of the Western democracies is a very large ratio.

George's statement is spot on with that analysis. To state otherwise, or in the manner that you wish to use as the yardstick would be much akin to saying 'California isnt a Democratic state, because there are 7 Republicans in the state House'.

And, even with the exemplars of Western democracies that you allude to, the practice of anti-social speech laws, let alone hate speech laws, is simply, succinctly, and pointedly absolutely anathema to the ideals of 'classic liberalism' (i.e. Locke, Bentham, and the entire supporting cast of wide individual personal rights thought makers that the Bill of Rights is cast from) as to be grotesque in nature. So in that vein, George has a valid point about modern liberalism being very adrift in that school.
11-04-2019 07:56 AM
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tanqtonic Offline
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Post: #15
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-03-2019 11:47 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 11:23 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 10:16 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 09:12 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 03:30 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  Don’t a lot of European countries that have nothing to do with Nazi Germany currently have laws that punish hate speech?


Defending thought control?

Asking if it really is the case that the sort of speech control measures are actually only related to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes.

Is George really correct? Or do a number of western democracies have methods to punish anti-social speech?
At one end of the spectrum stands the US of A, with its protected free speech.

At the other end stands North Korea, where saying the wrong things can get you tortured and/or killed.

The rest of the nations occupy various spots on the spectrum between those two.

Some are closer to NK than others. Generally it is the ones we consider totalitarian or socialist.

Which country(ies) would you like us to more like, and why?

I like freedom of speech, even if I consider it hate speech. When that black guy advocated “killing cracker babies”, I considered that hate speech, but I would not advocate making that statement a crime. Would you?

I like freedom of speech too - but we already know that there is speech that is criminalized in the US.

Personally, I think we are at a good place with how we handle speech, and don’t think that hate speech needs to be treated any differently than we already treat other forms of speech. As the author of that op-Ed states:

Quote: The modern standard of dangerous speech comes from Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) and holds that speech that directly incites “imminent lawless action” or is likely to do so can be restricted.

So to your exact example, depending on the exact situation and where that statement was made, it may be considered a crime.

As to your comment the exact example, the exact situation would only be in the context of a criminal conspiracy, or an incitement to riot activity would that statement be criminal. Accordingly, Brandenburg is amazingly narrow in scope.

But remember, there are varying levels of legal 'spear' that havent been considered in the US --- civil liability. The issue I have with the calls for 'hate speech' is not necessarily criminalizing them, but also making the words subject to civil liability.

As an aside, the author brings up Brandenburg as 'dangerous speech', in a column about 'hate speech' (a much, much, much broader category). And he utterly fails to note how extremely narrow Brandenburg is; instead he correctly states it as the standard for 'dangerous' speech and hopes that the audience falls for the 'hate speech creed followers' favorite trick of trying to tie Brandenburg to hate speech. An honest (or more well informed) author would have noted that Brandenburg has *zero* impact on the subject of hate speech. Again, the subtle use of words.
(This post was last modified: 11-04-2019 08:08 AM by tanqtonic.)
11-04-2019 08:03 AM
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RiceLad15 Offline
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Post: #16
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-04-2019 07:56 AM)tanqtonic Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 10:16 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 09:12 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 03:30 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-02-2019 12:08 PM)georgewebb Wrote:  The track record for punishing anti-social speech points to Nazi Germany, Maoist China, Soviet Russia, Peronist Argentina, Chavist Venezuela... The fact that modern leftists could take the idea seriously conclusively demonstrates just how stupid and bankrupt modern leftism is.

Don’t a lot of European countries that have nothing to do with Nazi Germany currently have laws that punish hate speech?


Defending thought control?

Asking if it really is the case that the sort of speech control measures are actually only related to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes.

Is George really correct? Or do a number of western democracies have methods to punish anti-social speech?

Certainly places like Germany have such things as banning the Nazi flag, or France's hate speech laws, and others. The practice isnt *solely* limited to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes. But the incidence and depth of such regimes speech control to the incidence and depth of that of the Western democracies is a very large ratio.

George's statement is spot on with that analysis. To state otherwise, or in the manner that you wish to use as the yardstick would be much akin to saying 'California isnt a Democratic state, because there are 7 Republicans in the state House'.

And, even with the exemplars of Western democracies that you allude to, the practice of anti-social speech laws, let alone hate speech laws, is simply, succinctly, and pointedly absolutely anathema to the ideals of 'classic liberalism' (i.e. Locke, Bentham, and the entire supporting cast of wide individual personal rights thought makers that the Bill of Rights is cast from) as to be grotesque in nature. So in that vein, George has a valid point about modern liberalism being very adrift in that school.

I’m a bit confused by your analysis. George’s original comment was in response to an article arguing for a law the criminalizes “hate speech,” and he said that modern leftists taking that idea seriously is stupid and bankrupt because the track record for such actions points to totalitarian regimes.

I asked if that was really true, and you agreed that there are western democracies with laws criminalizing hate speech, but that asking that question was, in essence, stupid. Weird read.

In reality, what happened was George ignored that laws focused on hate speech are actually quite common in the west, and not limited in any way totalitarian regimes, and I pointed that out to him. And by using that strategy, it becomes very difficult to have an honest conversation about whether we should look to follow the lead of western democracies in establishing hate speech laws, or avoid them to be more protective of speech, regardless of its quality.
11-04-2019 08:37 AM
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tanqtonic Offline
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Post: #17
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-04-2019 08:37 AM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-04-2019 07:56 AM)tanqtonic Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 10:16 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 09:12 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 03:30 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  Don’t a lot of European countries that have nothing to do with Nazi Germany currently have laws that punish hate speech?


Defending thought control?

Asking if it really is the case that the sort of speech control measures are actually only related to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes.

Is George really correct? Or do a number of western democracies have methods to punish anti-social speech?

Certainly places like Germany have such things as banning the Nazi flag, or France's hate speech laws, and others. The practice isnt *solely* limited to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes. But the incidence and depth of such regimes speech control to the incidence and depth of that of the Western democracies is a very large ratio.

George's statement is spot on with that analysis. To state otherwise, or in the manner that you wish to use as the yardstick would be much akin to saying 'California isnt a Democratic state, because there are 7 Republicans in the state House'.

And, even with the exemplars of Western democracies that you allude to, the practice of anti-social speech laws, let alone hate speech laws, is simply, succinctly, and pointedly absolutely anathema to the ideals of 'classic liberalism' (i.e. Locke, Bentham, and the entire supporting cast of wide individual personal rights thought makers that the Bill of Rights is cast from) as to be grotesque in nature. So in that vein, George has a valid point about modern liberalism being very adrift in that school.

I’m a bit confused by your analysis. George’s original comment was in response to an article arguing for a law the criminalizes “hate speech,” and he said that modern leftists taking that idea seriously is stupid and bankrupt because the track record for such actions points to totalitarian regimes.

I asked if that was really true, and you agreed that there are western democracies with laws criminalizing hate speech, but that asking that question was, in essence, stupid. Weird read.

In reality, what happened was George ignored that laws focused on hate speech are actually quite common in the west, and not limited in any way totalitarian regimes, and I pointed that out to him. And by using that strategy, it becomes very difficult to have an honest conversation about whether we should look to follow the lead of western democracies in establishing hate speech laws, or avoid them to be more protective of speech, regardless of its quality.

And I provided the counterpoint that the breadth and depth of those laws when compared to totalitarian regimes is negligible in relative terms. In reality, you are focused on the single pinprick of a statement as opposed to the very broad generalities that underlie it.

George is absolutely correct that the vast, vast majority in depth and breadth of anti-social speech laws runs to totalitarian and authoritarian-bent regimes. You seemingly think that George said that this was exclusive to those regimes. Perhaps you can point out where George said as such. I cannot see that.

But regardless of the source of such 'anti-x' speech laws, the roots are in the belief of the primacy of the state over those individual rights espoused by the so-called 'classic liberals'. I think the fact that the calls for such hate speech restrictions are almost almost exclusively by the left here underlie that movement's beliefs in statism; they are the bedrock of the modern US liberal movement.

I think George's observations are spot on about the relation between the calls for 'hate speech' restrictions and an underlying and undying belief by modern liberalism in statism's primacy over what the classical liberals would have termed fundamentally individual rights in nature.
(This post was last modified: 11-04-2019 09:09 AM by tanqtonic.)
11-04-2019 09:03 AM
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Owl 69/70/75 Offline
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Post: #18
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-03-2019 10:16 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 09:12 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(11-03-2019 03:30 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  Don’t a lot of European countries that have nothing to do with Nazi Germany currently have laws that punish hate speech?
Defending thought control?
Asking if it really is the case that the sort of speech control measures are actually only related to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes.
Is George really correct? Or do a number of western democracies have methods to punish anti-social speech?

Keep in mind the history there. Most of Europe was under the totalitarian/authoritarian rule of divine right monarchs for the better part of two millennia. Their notions of power sprung from the top. They've taken some of that power back in the parliamentary democracies and republics, but they are still subjects, not citizens. They don't have anything like, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." They don't have a 1st Amendment. They have a long tradition of acquiescing to totalitarianism. That's their tradition and it is in their DNA.

So the acceptability of punishing anti-social speech is taken for granted.
(This post was last modified: 11-04-2019 09:43 AM by Owl 69/70/75.)
11-04-2019 09:41 AM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #19
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
(11-04-2019 12:47 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=kil...&FORM=VIRE

No comment, Lad?
11-04-2019 10:02 AM
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Frizzy Owl Offline
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Post: #20
RE: First Amendment --- what should be the boundaries?
Yep. I don't see adopting hate speech laws as "following the lead", as RiceLad puts it. I see that as regression. The First Amendment is a trailblazer.
11-04-2019 10:04 AM
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