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    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #1

    Mar 16, 2009, 11:33 AM
    WAPO: Free speech ain't free speech
    I was always under the impression that free speech was free speech, now we have things like "hate speech," "free speech zones," the UN's "you can't offend Islam speech," and as I gave an example of today - "politically correct speech."

    The Washington Post claims a distinction between Political Speech and Free Speech.

    'Hillary: The Movie' to Get Supreme Court Screening
    At Issue Is Balance Between Political Speech and Free Speech
    What? You mean the founders didn't intend to protect "political speech?" They didn't mean for us to have the right to criticize or question our government? If there's a distinction between "political" and "free" speech, there isn't any free speech.

    No?
    450donn's Avatar
    450donn Posts: 1,821, Reputation: 239
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    #2

    Mar 16, 2009, 12:41 PM

    As long as it Libs slandering conservatives it is OK. But when someone talks against a Liberal it is not politically correct, or whining, or anti American. So I guess to answer your question it depends on who is talking whether it is free speech or not.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #3

    Mar 16, 2009, 01:01 PM

    Maybe it would help you understand if you knew what free speech actually is. You might try reading what the first amendment actually says.

    There has never been true, totally free speech. The doctrine of not yelling fire in a crowded theatre is one example of that.
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #4

    Mar 16, 2009, 01:16 PM

    So you think there needs to be a balance between political speech and free speech?
    ETWolverine's Avatar
    ETWolverine Posts: 934, Reputation: 275
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    #5

    Mar 16, 2009, 01:22 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottGem View Post
    Maybe it would help you understand if you knew what free speech actually is. You might try reading what the first amendment actually says.
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Seems pretty clear to me. "NO LAW" means no law.

    There has never been true, totally free speech. The doctrine of not yelling fire in a crowded theatre is one example of that.
    First of all, that "doctrine" as you call it, is a misquote of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. The actuall quote is of a prohibition against yelling fire FALSELY in a crowded theatre and CAUSING A PANIC. There's a huge difference. Falsely yelling fire in a crowded theatre to cause a panic presents a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER to the people, and is not protected by the First Amendment because it is a crime. Political speech, no matter how radical or crazy it is and no matter what the political opinion, does not constitute a clear and present danger. It is thus protected by the First Amendment.

    Secondly, the quote didn't exist until 1919. Thus, prior to that decision, there was no such prohibition against even free speech that presented a clear and present danger. That's why the Schenk decision was so important. In any case, using your example, prior to 1919, there was indeed "free speech" even by your definition.

    Third, the decision was eventually overturned by the SCOTUS in 1969 in Brandenburg v. Ohio State, which stated that only speech which advocates or incites IMMINENT LAWLESS ACTION is not protected by the First Amendment. Political Speech does not meet this standard. Neither does disagreement with the political powers currently in office. These are thus protected by the First Amendment. Or they should be.
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #6

    Mar 16, 2009, 01:28 PM

    Hello Steve:

    I don't know. During the last eight years, every time somebody came to Seattle, the cops would fence in a "free speech zone". I didn't hear you complain about it THEN, when the dufus was running things...

    Nope... Free speech zones are NOT a product of the left, and NO, they didn't just start.

    But, if you're on board the free speech movement for the duration, no matter WHO is in the White House, I'll be right along side.

    excon
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #7

    Mar 16, 2009, 02:04 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by excon View Post
    Hello Steve:

    I dunno. During the last eight years, every time somebody came to Seattle, the cops would fence in a "free speech zone". I didn't hear you complain about it THEN, when the dufus was running things...

    Nope.... Free speech zones are NOT a product of the left, and NO, they didn't just start.

    But, if you're on board the free speech movement for the duration, no matter WHO is in the White House, I'll be right along side.

    excon
    I beg to differ, I've complained frequently of speech zones on this and that other site, like here, here and especially here. I think you'll find most if not all of the examples were a product of the left.
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,478, Reputation: 1857
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    #8

    Mar 16, 2009, 02:07 PM
    It's all Bovine Excrement ;)
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #9

    Mar 16, 2009, 02:24 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Curlyben View Post
    It's all Bovine Excrement ;)
    If it ain't free speech that's exactly what it is.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #10

    Mar 16, 2009, 02:46 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ETWolverine View Post
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Seems pretty clear to me. "NO LAW" means no law.
    Exactly, no LAW! That means that the government can't pass laws to prohibit the free exercise... of free speech.

    But that doesn't mean anyone is free to say anything they want anywhere or anytime. And that's the point. This site is a prime example. We are NOT the government, this site is a private enterprise. Therefore we have the right to restrict what people say here. We are NOT violating the 1st Amendment in doing so. If someone comes into my home and starts talking about thing I don't like. I have every right to tell him to stop or leave. I can control what happens on my property.

    But too often people shout free speech without understanding the limitations of it. If someone gets up on a soapbox in a public park and starts ranting about the current president (whoever it might be), he can't be legally stopped because that would violate his free speech rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by ETWolverine View Post
    First of all, that "doctrine" as you call it, is a misquote of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.
    No that was not a misquote, it was a paraphrase, I'm fully aware that there are conditions that need to be applied to the doctrine. I was just using it as an example that free speech is not absolute. So I referred to it generally rather than specifically.
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #11

    Mar 16, 2009, 03:02 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottGem View Post
    Exactly, no LAW! That means that the government can't pass laws to prohibit the free exercise... of free speech.

    But that doesn't mean anyone is free to say anything they want anywhere or anytime. And that's the point. This site is a prime example. We are NOT the government, this site is a private enterprise. Therefore we have the right to restrict what people say here. We are NOT violating the 1st Amendment in doing so. If someone comes into my home and starts talking about thing I don't like. I have every right to tell him to stop or leave. I can control what happens on my property.
    I never intended this to be anything about what AMHD can do. Although some seem to think they should have unrestricted rights here I realize we are bound to your terms.

    But too often people shout free speech without understanding the limitations of it. If someone gets up on a soapbox in a public park and starts ranting about the current president (whoever it might be), he can't be legally stopped because that would violate his free speech rights.
    But if you'll look at the examples I furnished excon, that's exactly what's happening at state and federally funded campuses.

    My question remains though, should there be a "balance between political speech and free speech" as implied by WAPO?
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
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    #12

    Mar 16, 2009, 03:07 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ETWolverine View Post
    First of all, that "doctrine" as you call it, is a misquote of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. The actuall quote is of a prohibition against yelling fire FALSELY in a crowded theatre and CAUSING A PANIC.
    That's exactly the meaning I got from Scott's quote. I'm sure most people understand it the same way as well.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #13

    Mar 16, 2009, 03:26 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by speechlesstx View Post
    I never intended this to be anything about what AMHD can do. Although some seem to think they should have unrestricted rights here I realize we are bound to your terms.
    I didn't think you did, I was using AMHD as an example.
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #14

    Mar 20, 2009, 05:25 AM
    Today's installment of "What Free Speech" comes courtesy of the Alliance Defense Fund, who is defending a Spokane Falls Community College student who was threatened with expulsion "if they chose to hold a pro-life event on campus to share information with other students because the message was "discriminatory" and did not include a pro-abortion viewpoint."

    Beth Sheeran and members of a Christian student group wanted to hold a pro-life event on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, "that involved flier distribution and materials posted in an announcement display case in the student center."

    SFCC Director of Student Funded Programs and member of the school's "Stop the Hate" committee Heather McKenzie rejected Sheeran's request as "college policy prohibits one-sided events and expressive displays on campus and that the pro-life display would not be allowed because it did not include any pro-abortion viewpoints." It violated the campus "fairness doctrine" because the flier didn't offer equal time to pro-abortion views and "because someone might construe statistics cited in their literature--breaking down abortions by ethnic group--as hate."

    It's bad enough that this group was censored for a flier presenting statistics, but the school administration apparently expected these students to make the other side's argument as well. Their crime? The Orwellian term of the day, a "bias incident." Heaven forbid anyone have a bias... a conservative bias that is.
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 341
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    #15

    Mar 20, 2009, 05:57 AM

    I'm sure that every time a campus has a "teach in" about the Palestinians they also have pro-Israeli teachers presenting an opposing view.
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #16

    Mar 20, 2009, 06:53 AM

    Hello again:

    Maybe some day we'll get back our free speech rights...

    But, it AIN'T going to happen when you want YOUR free speech rights, but the other guys can't have theirs... You righty's do that. Nothing is going to change as long as you do that...

    I know, I know. I can tell by your wide eyed stare that you have no idea what I'm talking about... And, THAT'S the problem... You suppress the OTHER guys speech, and you either don't know you're doing it, or you're lying. I can tell which.

    Or, what exactly DO you mean when you call your opposite unpatriotic? Sounds kind of Joe McCarthyish, to me, and HE wasn't a great free speech fanatic.

    excon
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 341
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    #17

    Mar 20, 2009, 07:16 AM

    I've got lots of names for lots of people . How does that suppress their free speech ?
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #18

    Mar 20, 2009, 08:35 AM
    I know, Iím still having trouble translating cryptic answers, but I donít follow. I really donít recall ever trying to stop leftyís from having their free speech rights, seems Iíve defended their right many times but suppressing them? I donít think so. Iíd need examples, and calling someone ďunpatrioticĒ hardly qualifies as suppressing free speechÖitís called engaging in free speech.
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #19

    Mar 20, 2009, 08:37 AM

    I get it, calling someone unpatriotic must be one of those "bias incidents."
    ETWolverine's Avatar
    ETWolverine Posts: 934, Reputation: 275
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    #20

    Mar 20, 2009, 09:56 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by excon View Post
    Hello again:

    Maybe some day we'll get back our free speech rights.....

    But, it AIN'T gonna happen when you want YOUR free speech rights, but the other guys can't have theirs... You righty's do that. Nothing is gonna change as long as you do that....

    I know, I know. I can tell by your wide eyed stare that you have no idea what I'm talking about.... And, THAT'S the problem... You suppress the OTHER guys speech, and you either don't know you're doing it, or you're lying. I can tell which.

    Or, what exactly DO you mean when you call your opposite unpatriotic? Sounds kinda Joe McCarthyish, to me, and HE wasn't a great free speech fanatic.

    excon

    What we have here is a failure to communicate... or rather a failure to understand each other's terminology.

    You seem to be of the opinion that when parties disagree with each other, they are trying to stifle each other's free speech. Even if I call someone unpatriotic, that does not qualify as suppressing free speech. They are still free to say whatever they want. Just as I have the right to call them unpatriotic. That is not suppression of free speech. That IS free speech. Even if I yell louder than them in order to drown them out, that does not constitute suppression of free speech. It's dumb, it's a lousy way to win and argument, but it is not suppressing free speech. By your definition, it would be a suppression of free speech.

    On the other hand, a legal or bureaucratic attempt to silence free speech, as in the establishment of the "fairness doctrine", or using the FCC's lecensure rules to limit political debate on the radio, qualifies as suppression of free speech... organized, legalized, suppression of free speech. That is what is prohibbited by the 1st Amendment.

    Furthermore, creating "free speech rally zones" is not a suppression of free speech either. It does not prevent assembly or quell the expression of free speech. It establishes a specific place to assemble and express free speech in a way that doesn't harm others. You define it as suppressing free speech. That is an incorrect definition by law, precedent, logic and morality.

    Elliot

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