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Unlike Others, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend in Speech
NYT ^ | 12 June 2008 | By ADAM LIPTAK

Posted on 06/11/2008 6:01:20 PM PDT by shrinkermd

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A couple of years ago, a Canadian magazine published an article arguing that the rise of Islam threatened Western values. The article’s tone was mocking and biting, but it said nothing that conservative magazines and blogs in the United States do not say every day without fear of legal reprisal.

Things are different here. The magazine is on trial.

Two members of the Canadian Islamic Congress say the magazine, Maclean’s, Canada’s leading newsweekly, violated a provincial hate speech law by stirring up hatred against Muslims. They say the magazine should be forbidden from saying similar things, forced to publish a rebuttal and made to compensate Muslims for injuring their “dignity, feelings and self-respect.”

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, which held five days of hearings on those questions here last week, will soon rule on whether Maclean’s violated the law.

...Some prominent legal scholars say the United States should reconsider its position on hate speech.

“It is not clear to me that the Europeans are mistaken,” Jeremy Waldron, a legal philosopher, wrote in The New York Review of Books last month, “when they say that a liberal democracy must take affirmative responsibility for protecting the atmosphere of mutual respect against certain forms of vicious attack.”

Professor Waldron was reviewing “Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment” by Anthony Lewis, the former New York Times columnist. Mr. Lewis has been critical of efforts to use the law to limit hate speech.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Canada; Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Front Page News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: ac; censorship; firstamendment; freedom; freespeech; humanrights; indanger; of; speech; steyn

1 posted on 06/11/2008 6:01:20 PM PDT by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd

...Some prominent legal scholars say the United States should reconsider its position on hate speech


A little thing like the Constitution gets in the way of this. Of course, that doesn’t bother activist judges too much.


2 posted on 06/11/2008 6:03:42 PM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: shrinkermd
"Unlike Others, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend in Speech "

...except for McCain-Feingold and political correctness.

3 posted on 06/11/2008 6:03:45 PM PDT by gorush (Exterminate the Moops!)
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To: shrinkermd

In my opinion, our right to free speech is one of the least impeded constitutional rights that we have left. However, “campaign finance reform”, along with the rise of hate crimes legislation, is eroding even that bastion of freedom. We MUST fight to maintain this right; otherwise, we will definitely be doomed as free nation, no doubt.


4 posted on 06/11/2008 6:05:03 PM PDT by Arkansas Toothpick
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To: shrinkermd
against certain forms of vicious attack

Here is the problem... Some forms of vicious attacks are OK.

5 posted on 06/11/2008 6:08:39 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (Simple-minded conservative...)
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To: shrinkermd
"No nation, ancient or modern, ever lost the liberty of speaking freely, writing, or publishing their sentiments, but forthwith lost their liberty in general and became slaves" stated John Zenger.
6 posted on 06/11/2008 6:12:15 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (Simple-minded conservative...)
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To: shrinkermd
“It is not clear to me that the Europeans are mistaken,” Jeremy Waldron, a legal philosopher, wrote in The New York Review of Books last month, “when they say that a liberal democracy must take affirmative responsibility for protecting the atmosphere of mutual respect against certain forms of vicious attack.”

1) A religious extremist chops the heads off of people who were kidnapped for no reason other than not being followers of the extremist's faith.

2) A journalist verbally and in writing criticizes the extremists for their violence.

I can't wait to see which of the two is a "vicious attack" according to the PC Police of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

7 posted on 06/11/2008 6:13:11 PM PDT by RogerD (Educaiton Profesionul)
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To: shrinkermd

“democracy must take affirmative responsibility for protecting the atmosphere of mutual respect”

No, you can’t legislate respect, mutual nor otherwise.

If you try, mr-canadian-in-news-story, can you make sure people that hold anti-queer and racist views get the respect that everyone else does? What, you don’t agree with those views, therefore they don’t deserve respect?

OK, I understand. You only want the governement to “respect” the views you agree with. How dictatorial of you.

Try this view: never in my country you stupid socialist trash. I’ll hate who I damn well please and will make that hatred known when I please.


8 posted on 06/11/2008 6:18:07 PM PDT by Liberty 275
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To: shrinkermd
"...the special role given equality and multiculturalism in the Canadian Constitution necessitate a departure from the view, reasonably prevalent in America at present, that the suppression of hate propaganda is incompatible with the guarantee of free expression.”

A departure from the view...? At the risk of being brought before the Star Chamber for examination, I would like to suggest that the author is an imbecile. Devious, creative with words, but still an imbecile.

Of course the "suppression of hate propaganda" is "incompatible with the guarantee of free expression." Only an imbecile would deny it. And only an imbecile would suggest that such an attitude is merely a well-reasoned "departure from the view." As though such an expression lends credibility to the patently irrational argument.

9 posted on 06/11/2008 6:18:09 PM PDT by Rocky
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To: shrinkermd

If truth offends you, you have a big problem.

Multiculturalism is pure hatred; hatred of our national culture, which has proven itself superior to all others by producing a country to which all others wish to come.

Then they defacate on it by dragging the culture from which they escaped with them. Insanity.


10 posted on 06/11/2008 6:24:52 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Jimmy Carter is the skidmark in the panties of American History)
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To: shrinkermd

Freedom has never been an easy thing to gain, or an easy thing to keep. We’re losing it inch-by-inch in this country.


11 posted on 06/11/2008 6:25:30 PM PDT by popdonnelly (Does Obama know ANYONE who likes America, capitalism, or white people?)
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To: gorush

Yeah, and they want us to vote for the first half of that bill’s name.


12 posted on 06/11/2008 6:43:23 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: shrinkermd
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

The kangaroo courts and star chambers in Canada are far scarier than any hate-speech!

“It is not clear to me that the Europeans are mistaken.”
Well it should be, Jeremy.

(Would I be committing a "hate crime" in Canada to observe that Jeremy's intellect could not be considered profound?)

"There is only one justification for making incitement a criminal offense: the likelihood of imminent violence. The imminence requirement sets a high hurdle."
Yes. And so it should.
“Innocent intent is not a defense. Nor is truth. Nor is fair comment on true facts. Publication in the public interest and for the public benefit is not a defense. Opinion expressed in good faith is not a defense. Responsible journalism is not a defense.”
Every single one of these should be an air-tight defense.

The fact that any one is not is scarier than "hate speech".

After witnessing the travesties in Canada and France, I now see the wisdom of the judicial decisions in the U.S. in favor of freedom of speech--many of which seemed wrong--e.g. the desecration of the flag; allowing the Ku Klux Klan to march in Skokie; the criticisms of American foreign policy, the Viet Nam War, the War in Iraq, et al., that seem to border on treason; even restrictions on obscenity and pornography.

13 posted on 06/11/2008 7:21:47 PM PDT by Savage Beast (The de facto motto of the Democrat Party: "God, damn America!")
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To: shrinkermd
Many foreign courts have respectfully considered the American approach — and then rejected it.

What frightens me about this case can be summed up with the following key words; Kelo SCOTUS 2005, 2nd Amendment restrictions, Roe v Wade SCOTUS 1973, Fairness Doctrine and Same-Sex Marriage. Each of the above derives from judicial or regulatory cases and takes something that had previously been considered clear law and brought it into dispute.

I believe that we are only 3 SCOTUS appointees (Obama?) away from having a "Living Constitution" that would take into account 'political realities' and foreign jurisprudence on some equal basis with our Constitution. Either the Constitution is the ABSOLUTE LAST WORD LAW OF THE LAND changeable only by the Amendment process OR it is paper to be interpreted in the ever changing winds of fashion.

This November, vote like your freedom is at stake because it really is!

14 posted on 06/11/2008 7:33:24 PM PDT by SES1066 (Cycling to conserve, Conservative to save, Saving to Retire, will Retire to Cycle.)
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To: Savage Beast
Every single one of these should be an air-tight defense.

On a previous thread on the Steyn / Maclean fiasco,
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2028489 "O Stalinoid Canada"

I posted the following ...

Yet Canadians tout their "CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS" as their equivalent of our "Bill of Rights" and better because it is modern and reflects the high ideals of the United Nations. The pertinent part of this document follows;

FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS.

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

Now to me in my ignorance, it appears that in Mr.Steyn & Maclean Magazine's case, they should simply stand, plead "Article 2b of the Canadian Charter and then sit down. Of course, I am neither Canadian or a "Queen's Counsel", [Where is Rumpole when you need him anyway?]

Sir, I think that you and I are in full agreement. What a travesty of culture to sell your freedoms for domestic 'feel good'. I wonder how well these would operate under Sharia Law?

15 posted on 06/11/2008 7:48:16 PM PDT by SES1066 (Cycling to conserve, Conservative to save, Saving to Retire, will Retire to Cycle.)
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To: shrinkermd
“It is not clear to me that the Europeans are mistaken,”

I have to censor my own reply to this thought. The Constitution is the heart of what it means to be an American.

16 posted on 06/11/2008 7:56:10 PM PDT by denydenydeny (Expel the priest and you don't inaugurate the age of reason, you get the witch doctor--Paul Johnson)
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To: shrinkermd
Simply put restrictive laws on free speech, mean that someone can decide WHICH speech offends. A different weight can be put on that spoken by someone professing Christianity. An adverse weight. On the other hand, as in my native country, England the same violent speech as spoken by a radical cleric can then be attributed to one's culture and or one's religion. These two designations are then sacrosanct.

George Orwell pointed to the epitome of double think. One can see one's view entirely contradicted by another view. One can believe both. Thus pure hate, can be sloughed off, as something else if convenient.- This is if the wording was the same, as some poor condemned wretch would use, with just a different designation.

17 posted on 06/11/2008 8:03:37 PM PDT by Peter Libra
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To: shrinkermd
"...a liberal democracy must take affirmative responsibility for protecting the atmosphere of mutual respect"

Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence. (What if there is no mutual respect?)

18 posted on 06/11/2008 8:03:49 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (Teach your child to be an American. Take him out of public school.)
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To: rbg81
...Some prominent legal scholars say the United States should reconsider its position on hate speech

Unless, of course, it involves pornography or communism.

19 posted on 06/11/2008 8:04:59 PM PDT by Tribune7 (How is inflicting pain and death on an innocent, helpless human being for profit, moral?)
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To: shrinkermd

Professor Waldron is engaging in hate speech.


20 posted on 06/12/2008 6:28:15 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: shrinkermd

FIRE! FIRE!

i hope i don’t get banned...

we have the freedom to say anything, it is up to those hearing it to respond rationally and logically to ascertain its veracity.

if you don’t like it is not a reason to ban it.

teeman8r


21 posted on 06/12/2008 12:53:08 PM PDT by teeman8r (stand up for it all, cause their gonna tear it to shreds soon.)
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To: teeman8r

i hate when i due that..

ugh


22 posted on 06/12/2008 12:54:50 PM PDT by teeman8r (stand up for it all, cause THEY'RE gonna tear it to shreds soon.)
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To: shrinkermd

BTTT!


23 posted on 06/12/2008 10:19:17 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; george76; ...

...other than zero-tolerance policies and hate speech legislation, among other slippery slope P.C. B.S.


24 posted on 06/12/2008 10:25:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: shrinkermd

That is funny, it is pretty clear to me that the Europeans are flat out stupid. Once you give the Government control of your speech (HRC) or thoughts (hate crimes) you pretty much give them control over you. Then again the EU has been trying to enslave Europe under it’s unelected politicians anyways...


25 posted on 06/12/2008 10:43:07 PM PDT by Dawnsblood
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To: All

You take away any aspect of free speech in the United States and very slowly small concerned groups of citizens will organize. Their activity and numbers will grow and it will not be pretty. It will happen.


26 posted on 06/13/2008 1:02:54 AM PDT by warsaw44
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To: SES1066

Virtually every Communist and Fascist state had (and has) pleasant-sounding stuff in their constitutions about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. But there was always some weasel-words about “maintaining public order and respect” that fatally undermined those guarantees. Same thing about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


27 posted on 06/13/2008 1:11:31 AM PDT by garbanzo (Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.)
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To: gorush

Exactly!


28 posted on 06/13/2008 10:46:19 AM PDT by 3areone
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To: shrinkermd

btt


29 posted on 06/14/2008 9:00:32 PM PDT by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: shrinkermd; GMMAC; Clive; exg; kanawa; conniew; backhoe; -YYZ-; Former Proud Canadian; ...

30 posted on 06/15/2008 6:03:00 AM PDT by fanfan ("We don't start fights my friends, but we finish them, and never leave until our work is done."PMSH)
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