View Poll Results: Would you sign an Open Letter without knowing of other signees?

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28. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    16 57.14%
  • Not Sure

    3 10.71%
  • No

    9 32.14%
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  1. #121
    The Lightbringer GreenGoldSharpie's Avatar
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    And finally, let's cap this bitch by pointing out that NED here is backing abusive people who work with the religious right.

    I give you Amy Dyess, a butch lesbian and former gender critical adherent. She brought receipts.

    They used fear mongering and misrepresentations to manipulate us into believing lesbians were under attack, that our own greater community was silencing and erasing us. There was nonstop criticism of the left, postmodern queer culture, and LGBTQ+ publications and organizations.
    We were constantly triggered. Now I realize we were used as pawns in a culture war. It was never about defending and strengthening lesbians. The goal was to divide our community.

    I reviewed approximately thirty thousand screenshots I took during my time in the GC movement, and it was an emotionally difficult task. Today I see the propaganda for what it is, but back then my living situation was unstable. I had to auto camp (sleep in my vehicle) to make ends meet, and I’d recently had a window broken while I was showering at the gym. Meals were inconsistent and I was usually tired, so I was vulnerable to GC fear mongering propaganda.
    Radical feminists and AfterEllen had already influenced me on Tumblr in 2017 with posts and articles that made me think lesbians were under attack. Now I know that was most likely due to Jocelyn Macdonald’s influence as assistant editor. She’s a radical feminist who supports WoLF (Women’s Liberation Front), an organization that claims to be feminist but works with far right groups who are against women’s and LGBT rights. WoLF called Macdonald a “trusted friend.”
    To be clear, Macdonald was not my recruiter. We were connected on Facebook and she supported my punk protest song in 2019, but we no longer talk. My original recruiter won’t be named in this article because she’s threatened to harm me if I identify her or show her avatar. She has global influence and has been mocking my story, daring me to publish. JK Rowling recently supported her work, which was disturbing. I wanted to tell this story, so I chose to censor her name and image.
    Though I considered working with Republicans, I didn’t go through with Natasha Chart’s suggestion. Now I know they’re religious right people, not regular conservatives. WoLF, Chart, and Emily Zinos had been following me and supporting my work. Chart and Zinos were also in Hands Across the Aisle. Various people suggested I join the organization, but I was dating one of WoLF’s founding members, Terri Strange. The best advice she ever gave me was to avoid them.
    Julia Beck and I became friends. We considered forming a lesbian liberation party and running for president and vice president together. She wanted to join my band, and we would often sing to each other over the phone to work on my music. Sometimes we flirted a little, but that ended after she got a girlfriend on her London visit. She went there in May 2019 to panel at Lesbians on Chairs, which was hosted by Posie Parker. I didn’t approve of the event because it was an attack on almost everything I loved about lesbian culture. They promoted the harmful idea that women can “choose” to be lesbians and strategically deny men sex. That panel was a huge red flag.
    I could go on.

  2. #122
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasierith View Post
    Why not? The ability to project a minority opinion is an important right. It was integral for women's rights, civil rights, LBGTQ rights, and now trans rights. The reason we don't want the government to dictate the morality of speech, to decide what is right or wrong, is because even if you are absolutely convinced that you are 100% right and at no point in the future will your current views be expanded upon further, your preferred political party isnt going to stay in power indefinitely. Even if Trump loses in November, it does not mean that the Democrats will have an eternal monopoly on governance.

    In other words, if you want the government to be able to decide what is protected or what is not depending on context, you need to be ready for that to be turned around on you.
    Hate speech isn't condemned because it's a "minority opinion". It's condemned because it's explicitly abusive, and both directly and indirectly harmful to those it targets.

    As for the "we don't want the government to dictate the morality of speech", that's just false. You're fine with libel and slander laws. With laws against fraud, even though that's mostly verbal. You understand that inciting riots should be illegal, as should be threats of harm. That public use of someone else's copyrighted or trademarked material should not be allowed outside of certain specified niches.

    You're claiming a universal maxim that not even American law treats as true, let alone laws in other nations like Canada or the UK. It's just a false premise, and that renders the entire argument predicated upon it null and void as a result. We absolutely can and do rely on the legal system to be able to adjudicate content and context, and to prosecute the legality of speech based on such.

    You're fearmongering, and it is neither rational nor rooted in legal fact or principle.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenGoldSharpie View Post
    And finally, let's cap this bitch by pointing out that NED here is backing abusive people who work with the religious right.
    I mean, his sig clearly states he's proud of being transphobic. So you're not really revealing anything that they didn't already admit to, frankly.

  3. #123
    The Lightbringer GreenGoldSharpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    I mean, his sig clearly states he's proud of being transphobic. So you're not really revealing anything that they didn't already admit to, frankly.
    Well, yeah, but I want him to know what that means at this point. Dyess doesn't just use words. She posts a mountain of screenshots as well demonstrating that the movers and shakers in the TERF community are working with the religious right and support "political lesbianism" -- the idea that women should become lesbians to withhold sex from men and that being a lesbian is a choice.

    Sucks for Amy since she's a cis lesbian who was more concerned for her community that the religious right her pals were allying with were stomping on.

    He should know what it means to be a TERF.

  4. #124
    Quote Originally Posted by Felya View Post
    or the @Dacien ‘I reported this forum to the White House’...
    I don't know much about this letter, but I will say that I have no idea what this refers to. I haven't reported this forum to anyone, or said that I have. I leave all that for the moderation staff; I'm sure they're on top of anything that needs to be reported to higher ups.

    But like I said, I don't know much about the letter. I think it's a good thing to have an open marketplace of ideas. As an evangelical Christian I can't really dive into my views on the subject matter since it is strictly forbidden by the forum rules and would invite a pretty swift ban/infraction I'd imagine.
    Salted with fire

  5. #125
    The Normal Kasierith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    Hate speech isn't condemned because it's a "minority opinion". It's condemned because it's explicitly abusive, and both directly and indirectly harmful to those it targets.

    As for the "we don't want the government to dictate the morality of speech", that's just false. You're fine with libel and slander laws. With laws against fraud, even though that's mostly verbal. You understand that inciting riots should be illegal, as should be threats of harm. That public use of someone else's copyrighted or trademarked material should not be allowed outside of certain specified niches.

    You're claiming a universal maxim that not even American law treats as true, let alone laws in other nations like Canada or the UK. It's just a false premise, and that renders the entire argument predicated upon it null and void as a result. We absolutely can and do rely on the legal system to be able to adjudicate content and context, and to prosecute the legality of speech based on such.

    You're fearmongering, and it is neither rational nor rooted in legal fact or principle.

    - - - Updated - - -



    I mean, his sig clearly states he's proud of being transphobic. So you're not really revealing anything that they didn't already admit to, frankly.
    Libel, slander, and fraud are based on appreciable damages. Not on morality. With the exception of certai sorts of fraud they are handled in civil courts. Now if I were to say that I think we should enjoy absolute free speech (which I dont) then your retort would apply.

    You've pretty clearly mixed up your responses. And cleanly flew past my main objection. I'll reiterate my point though.

    What are you going to do if you get your way and moral arguments have sway on what is or isn't allowed, and Republicans apply the same moral argument to arguing for abortion rights?

  6. #126
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    With the caveat that I'm a cishet guy, the idea that we should be discussing/debating identity, in the framing of whether some people should be treated as human beings with the same kinds of rights and freedoms and consideration as any other human being, that itself is a hostile and abusive position.

    That anyone thinks that's a matter for discussion and debate is not acceptable. It is bigotry. Arguing about whether trans women should be able to use a womens' bathroom is not functionally different from arguing about whether blacks should be able to use the whites' bathroom. Same kind of bigotry. Same bullshit rationales. It isn't a "discussion", it's a demand that we allow bigotry and hate to be instituted as the law of the land. Just having that discussion is an attack.

    I'm not even the target and I can see this shit clear as day.
    It's not illegal to hold bigoted views. Nor do I think we should be in the realm of policing thought and beliefs.

    When that belief is acted upon, yes, that's where the law steps in. The law's affirmative responsibility is to protect the rights of a person (including bigots) until it infringes on the rights of others (IE, when the bigot acts out against another).

    I can see that Rowling is a bigot. Until she starts beating up trans women on the street, or taking some other action against them, I don't really give a shit - it is enough to counteract her bullshit with actual fact and reason.

    The problem is, now, that you seem to be suggesting that because she's famous, and has a large reach, and expresses her bigotry publicly, this is causing harm and thus should be policed in some way. There is......no good way to do this, legally. Slander and libel are very specific, very niche cases, and even then, they're civil torts, and not criminal actions.

    Words cannot be considered an actual harm for which redress is allowable in the legal system. I was called "sandnigger" growing up, quite a bit. I just had to learn to deal with it. This is why I have problems with the very concept of microaggressions and safe spaces and trigger warnings. They have led to this idea that words cause actual, physical harm, and thus should be.......illegal?

    To be clear: I'm all for a moral standpoint that she should be ignored and ostracized socially. But imo, it shouldn't be illegal to do what she does, and it shouldn't be too hard to avoid her without "censoring" her (which I don't really consider to be something that's happening to her or almost anyone on this list besides Salman Rushdie).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by NED funded View Post
    Lol I can imagine how this sort of talk would fly in the 80s were you could be shunned from society for being gay
    Being gay is an immutable characteristic, and is well on its way to protected class status.

    Being homophobic is a belief.....and able to be changed....and thus isn't protected.

  7. #127
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasierith View Post
    Libel, slander, and fraud are based on appreciable damages. Not on morality.
    No, they are quantified based on those damages. The reason they are considered crimes at all is entirely, 100% moral in nature.

    With the exception of certai sorts of fraud they are handled in civil courts. Now if I were to say that I think we should enjoy absolute free speech (which I dont) then your retort would apply.
    You stated that you did not want government to dictate morality when it came to speech. That was an absolutist statement. Feel free to retract it if you didn't really mean it, but that would kind of make my point.

    What are you going to do if you get your way and moral arguments have sway on what is or isn't allowed, and Republicans apply the same moral argument to arguing for abortion rights?
    They can't.

    Do you seriously not understand what the moral argument in question is?

    Hate speech is "bad" because it targets innocent people and denigrates and encourages violence against those people, based on their membership in some group or another.

    Abortion rights do not target anyone. They do not denigrate anyone. They foster no violence. And they are individual in nature. Literally no moral aspect is the same. How can you claim it's the same argument?

    This is where we get back to the fact that people, and the legal system, are perfectly capable of understanding content and context, and the moment you realize that, your position is revealed to have no merit whatsoever. It's intellectually empty fearmongering.

    "We can't legalize gay sex, if we do that, people will want to legalize beastiality and pedophilia!" Same kind of really bad argument that you're making, which entirely missed the actual point.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by eschatological View Post
    It's not illegal to hold bigoted views. Nor do I think we should be in the realm of policing thought and beliefs.

    When that belief is acted upon, yes, that's where the law steps in. The law's affirmative responsibility is to protect the rights of a person (including bigots) until it infringes on the rights of others (IE, when the bigot acts out against another).
    1> Where did I argue for legal penalties? I think I've been clear in calling for social opprobrium. Bigots should be fired, they should face a storm of backlash for their comments on social media, their businesses should suffer as people boycott them, and so forth. None of that is a penalty emerging from a civil or criminal proceeding.

    2> The moment you open your mouth and speak, or hit "post" on a Twitter comment, you've acted upon a belief. We're now outside of the realm of thoughts and beliefs, entirely.

  8. #128
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    2> The moment you open your mouth and speak, or hit "post" on a Twitter comment, you've acted upon a belief. We're now outside of the realm of thoughts and beliefs, entirely.
    No, you've just spoken. In a public forum.

    Don't be ridiculous.

  9. #129
    The Normal Kasierith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    No, they are quantified based on those damages. The reason they are considered crimes at all is entirely, 100% moral in nature.
    Maybe in Canada. But not in the US. They are, outside of specific instances with fraud, incorporated under tort law. You have damaged others and the government provides a medium for others to seek compensation.

    In the United States, there are different types of law. Criminal law, civil, military, political, others in more niche areas such as immigration. You are playing fast and loose with how they are managed and implemented.

    Now there are a few bastions where it is held out. But you'll find those laws that remain are either very specific for the nature of the criminal offense, or are incredibly archaic and should be removed.

    You stated that you did not want government to dictate morality when it came to speech. That was an absolutist statement. Feel free to retract it if you didn't really mean it, but that would kind of make my point.
    Correct. I do not want the government to be assessing freedom of speech and what should or should not be covered based on what the lawmakers believe to be right or wrong at the time. This really isn't absolutist as much as a statement on where I stand, and that there are laws on the books that still do incorporate moral views on what is or is not considered permissible free speech doesn't change that my political presence is they be struck from the lawbooks and handled civilly


    They can't.
    What an eloquent retort. Next time the Republicans do something I don't like, I'll just say no very emphatically and we'll be good from there.

    Do you seriously not understand what the moral argument in question is?

    Hate speech is "bad" because it targets innocent people and denigrates and encourages violence against those people, based on their membership in some group or another.

    Abortion rights do not target anyone. They do not denigrate anyone. They foster no violence. And they are individual in nature. Literally no moral aspect is the same. How can you claim it's the same argument?

    This is where we get back to the fact that people, and the legal system, are perfectly capable of understanding content and context, and the moment you realize that, your position is revealed to have no merit whatsoever. It's intellectually empty fearmongering.

    "We can't legalize gay sex, if we do that, people will want to legalize beastiality and pedophilia!" Same kind of really bad argument that you're making, which entirely missed the actual point.
    Abortion rights target unborn babies. Your freedom of speech ends where an innocent life is concerned.

    ....is what I would say if I were a republican reading your response. I would be leaping up and down in joy as you validate my position.

  10. #130
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschatological View Post
    No, you've just spoken. In a public forum.

    Don't be ridiculous.
    And that was an action.

    The line between "thoughts and beliefs" and "action" is when any of it exists anywhere outside of your own inner monologue. I can, hypothetically, think about hitting my wife all I want. It's when I actually take a swing that I'll run into problems.

    It's not possible to take action against someone's thoughts or beliefs. We can't read minds. We have to wait until they act upon those beliefs, even if just by voicing them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasierith View Post
    Maybe in Canada. But not in the US. They are, outside of specific instances with fraud, incorporated under tort law. You have damaged others and the government provides a medium for others to seek compensation.
    You're missing the forest for the trees.

    Why are there laws against slander or libel at all? That's the morality question.
    It's the same morality question when it comes to whether hate speech should be against the law.

    You might make a different decision on those two points, but that's you making a moral decision about what you feel should be allowed to occur and what should have legal penalties associated with it. I'm not saying you can't make that decision, or that your decision is wrong. Just that you are making it.

    Correct. I do not want the government to be assessing freedom of speech and what should or should not be covered based on what the lawmakers believe to be right or wrong at the time. This really isn't absolutist as much as a statement on where I stand, and that there are laws on the books that still do incorporate moral views on what is or is not considered permissible free speech doesn't change that my political presence is they be struck from the lawbooks and handled civilly
    And yet, you're fine with this occurring with a whole lot of other kinds of speech. But you're going to claim an absolute principle to argue against the same treatment for hate speech.

    That's my issue.

    If the government shouldn't be assessing whether speech should be "free" or not, then slander, libel, violent threats, all those should be entirely legal.
    If you agree there should be some laws, then you don't actually support the principle that the government should not make such assessments. You think there are cases where they should.

    What an eloquent retort. Next time the Republicans do something I don't like, I'll just say no very emphatically and we'll be good from there.
    Don't be snide. That was the start of a much longer response. You're better than this.

    At least, you used to be.

    Abortion rights target unborn babies. Your freedom of speech ends where an innocent life is concerned.
    Legally, a fetus isn't a child. You know, earlier, when you were a stickler for the specifics of the law as it stands?

    There is no "innocent life" to consider in a decision about abortion. Legally speaking. It's a claim that is objectively, determinably false.

    I know you're playing a role (given the below), but this is a stupid argument, predicated upon a deliberate lie. That's why it doesn't hold merit.

    ....is what I would say if I were a republican reading your response. I would be leaping up and down in joy as you validate my position.
    And?

    They'd be wrong, and lying. Why should I feel bad that they're delusional?

  11. #131
    The Normal Kasierith's Avatar
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    @Endus I want to clarify, because reading your response to Eschatological i think the issue is that we are shooting past each other.

    You said it was a flaw in American law. To us, that statements means criminal law, what actions are on their face not permitted by the country we preside in. That if you cross the line, you get slapped by the government.

    But with your responses to Escha, you're talking about the social burden. If someone is a racist, they should be punished if they bring it forward and attack others. And that those ramifications can include ostracization, losing their jobs, losing their business, and civil liability for any appreciable damages accrued. This is something I agree with.

  12. #132
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasierith View Post
    @Endus I want to clarify, because reading your response to Eschatological i think the issue is that we are shooting past each other.

    You said it was a flaw in American law. To us, that statements means criminal law, what actions are on their face not permitted by the country we preside in. That if you cross the line, you get slapped by the government.
    I mean, you yourself made a point of saying there's more than criminal law. I was specifically referring to the idea that the legal system couldn't tell the difference between a civil rights march and a KKK march. You tell me that's true, and I'm going to say that's a flaw in the legal system, a deliberately crafted and unnecessary blind spot.

    It wasn't actually arguing for any specific fix for that, simply calling into question the ACLU's position that the law has to treat both the same way. It does, but that's not an argument that it should. It was a point about the difference between "is" and "ought".

    But with your responses to Escha, you're talking about the social burden. If someone is a racist, they should be punished if they bring it forward and attack others. And that those ramifications can include ostracization, losing their jobs, losing their business, and civil liability for any appreciable damages accrued. This is something I agree with.
    I don't think legal penalties are all that conducive to change, in this, and prosecuting them is a big investment. I feel social opprobrium is a more appropriate measure. I don't have an issue with Canada's hate speech laws, which are explicitly for calls for genocide against an identifiable group, though. And because of that, when groups like the ACLU fall back on their fainting couch about how impossible it is to tell the difference between civil rights protests and calls for genocide, I'm going to call bullshit. That's what the law in the USA is, but I don't necessarily agree that's it's what that law ought to be.

    As a comparison, when SCOTUS ruled on the Dred Scott decision, the justices were clear they felt it was an unjust decision, but legally, their hands were tied. That condemnation provoked eventual legal reform. With the ACLU, they took pride in defending the KKK, and that's kind of a shitty position to take. .

  13. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    It wasn't actually arguing for any specific fix for that, simply calling into question the ACLU's position that the law has to treat both the same way. It does, but that's not an argument that it should. It was a point about the difference between "is" and "ought".

    As a comparison, when SCOTUS ruled on the Dred Scott decision, the justices were clear they felt it was an unjust decision, but legally, their hands were tied. That condemnation provoked eventual legal reform. With the ACLU, they took pride in defending the KKK, and that's kind of a shitty position to take.
    I've been a card-carrying member of the ACLU for almost 20 years. What you're describing is a feature, not a flaw. It is the end-result of a rights-based system of laws. That I must go above and beyond to protect your rights up until the moment you take action to infringe upon the rights of another.

    Morally, people can see the difference between a KKK rally and a Civil Rights rally. And the U.S. is based on the premise that in the end, the correct, moral side of the debate will win out, while the government sits as a neutral arbiter, ensuring all sides' rights are protected. We live in a system of legal positivism, not a system of natural law, where the government enforces a law as best they know how to as codified by their current lawmakers, and not some inherently unknowable absolute "God-given" law. When overturning Dred Scott, SCOTUS had to argue that the racial animus was so intense that no valid law saying black people were property ever existed, not that "Oh hey, we know this is morally right, now, so we've overturning this." Incidentally, it's that finding that all arguments for Reparations rest on - that slavery was an invalid law, and black men and women were illegally forced into slave labor.

    Per this topic: Chomsky himself has argued the same exact rights for neo-Nazis who denounce him and probably think he's a traitor.

    The only way you get to where you're at is if you insist that holding a KKK rally is in and of itself an action that infringes on the rights of another. To do so would be to make that infringement so broad that any rally could be considered an infringement of someone's rights. That's not to say a KKK rally can't devolve into something that incites violence - in fact, I'd suggest it's probably more likely at a Klan rally than 99% of other rallies.

    The questions come in at the edge cases. Should there be a difference between a Proud Boys rally vs. a BLM rally, in the eyes of the law? Should there be a difference between the rallies at the Michigan state house where protesters with legally carried firearms occupied the state house, and, say, gay pride, in the eyes of the law? Who draws the line? You? What makes a Proud Boy rally more acceptable than a KKK rally, for example?

    In other words - allow it all until they actually incite violence, which violates the rights of others. You can hold a rally all day long to say things about the racial superiority of white folks, or how God hates gay people - when you say, "Let's burn some crosses on some folks' lawns" at one of the rallies, a brightline test has been met, and that becomes a clear violation of the law.

  14. #134
    Void Lord Elegiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschatological View Post
    I've been a card-carrying member of the ACLU for almost 20 years. What you're describing is a feature, not a flaw. It is the end-result of a rights-based system of laws. That I must go above and beyond to protect your rights up until the moment you take action to infringe upon the rights of another.
    Yeah, and the consequence of this attitude is that the United States has an endemic problem with easily platforming all sorts of positions that are considered bonkers or outright dangerous by the rest of the developed world. Shocker.

    What we're saying is that touting the US being a hate speech free for all is not a virtue. Which is why I renounced my ACLU membership after Charlottesville, which they helped enable.

    Maybe a 90 year old man is not the best authority on internet culture and social media as a platform for bigotry. Food for thought.
    Last edited by Elegiac; 2020-07-09 at 05:36 AM.
    "Multiculturalism has failed!" angrily types a person of European descent living in the Americas in a Germanic language using Roman characters on a device coded with Arabic numerals before leaving in a huff to go watch cartoons made in Japan.

  15. #135
    Quote Originally Posted by Elegiac View Post
    Yeah, and the consequence of this attitude is that the United States has an endemic problem with easily platforming all sorts of positions that are considered bonkers or outright dangerous by the rest of the developed world. Shocker.

    What we're saying is that touting the US being a hate speech free for all is not a virtue. Which is why I renounced my ACLU membership after Charlottesville, which they helped enable.

    Maybe a 90 year old man is not the best authority on internet culture and social media as a platform for bigotry. Food for thought.
    Morality can't be based on the possibility of what someone else may do.

    Morality means being your best possible self, and believing in the ability of other people to also do so.

    The minute you say the Proud Boys in Charlottesville shouldn't have had the right to protest (which is what the ACLU did in getting them their permits), you draw an arbitrary line which can say, for example, that BLM protesters shouldn't have the right to protest.

    There is a bright line, which the Charlottesville white supremacists crossed. It was neither enabled nor condoned by the ACLU. Violence is always a choice, and you can't make the decision to protect speech on what may or may not happen if people act on non-inciting speech.

  16. #136
    The Normal Kasierith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    You're missing the forest for the trees.

    Why are there laws against slander or libel at all? That's the morality question.
    It's the same morality question when it comes to whether hate speech should be against the law.

    You might make a different decision on those two points, but that's you making a moral decision about what you feel should be allowed to occur and what should have legal penalties associated with it. I'm not saying you can't make that decision, or that your decision is wrong. Just that you are making it.
    If you want to get historical, the basis of American free speech was a high degree of suspicion that the powers that be, even elected leaders in America, are not always right. And that freedom of speech is, ultimately, freedom of thought (if you want to disagree on that tangent take it up with them, I'm presenting it as historical context for why the founding fathers did what they did) and that the best way to maximize freedom of thought from the government was to allow unilateral free speech. Keep in mind that freedom of speech is incorporated into the bill of rights, protection against the government. That doesn't mean that they agreed with all speech, or thought that all speech should be represented in their works (they were particularly hostile towards pro-British types and pretty much shunted them out of the process that I recall), but if you want to get into the why, the purpose of freedom of speech is actually pretty clear.

    Libel and slander go beyond freedom of speech. They are meant to address direct harm, rather than punish specific words merely for being spoken.

    And yet, you're fine with this occurring with a whole lot of other kinds of speech. But you're going to claim an absolute principle to argue against the same treatment for hate speech.

    That's my issue.

    If the government shouldn't be assessing whether speech should be "free" or not, then slander, libel, violent threats, all those should be entirely legal.
    If you agree there should be some laws, then you don't actually support the principle that the government should not make such assessments. You think there are cases where they should.
    I am fine with it, yes. In the context of the awareness that I am allowed freedom of speech as well, that my own liberty in this regard is maintained at the same level. I don't agree with what they say at all, and if someone I know personally started spouting off things like anti-Semitic remarks things are going to fall apart very, very quickly. But that's my business, my response, not the government's.

    As for the other forms of speech, we obviously aren't talking about speech that causes appreciable damages. Which even criminal libel includes. Let's look through this list https://www.freedomforuminstitute.or...%20misdemeanor.

    If you see the same pattern I am, you see that many states don't have it at all. Of those that do, they fall into two categories. Archaic as hell laws that aren't going to actually be enforced on any practical level (lol Oklahoma), or laws that specifically relate to damages. Be that community discord, financial management, or direct harm.

    So no, the standing criminal laws on libel do not incorporate all freedom of speech. Rather they pertain to a very specific form of speech, one that most states have relegated to civil law since it is the appropriate court for such an offense. When we talk about freedom of speech as a concept, in the context of what the ACLU was talking about for the original frame of reference, it's the ability to voice your thoughts and beliefs into public discourse without legal ramifications. The fact that I am in support of the government not being allowed to place moral limits on freedom of speech doesn't really change that.


    Don't be snide. That was the start of a much longer response. You're better than this.

    At least, you used to be.
    And you used to be better at picking up subtext.

    There are three things that can limit a Republican congress, if they really, really want to do something. First, the president via veto... not a big concern for them right now unless the topic involves Russia. Second, accountability to their constituents. They can piss off moderates and dems all they want, but they have to keep their base happy or they'll fall to internal contenders or to outside parties. Third, the constitution, the highest law of the land, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

    1 and 2 are not an issue. 3? Well.. Roe v Wade is not omnipotent. It is not the great panacea that many think it is. Republican states have demonstrated that they can whittle it down to the very bone, make abortion virtually unobtainable without an extreme effort on the part of the individual wishing to have one performed, something that was occurring even under Obama. And even if they were to push even harder, Roe v Wade can be broken. It wouldn't be repealed entirely, but rather the interpretation of it would be narrowed down to have greater specificity for the original case, as opposed to the very broad interpretation that currently stands.

    So, what is your basis for saying they can't? Roe v Wade doesn't talk about freedom of speech or expression. Hell, abortion is already under assault in the speech department by dictating pamphlets be given out to attempt to deter it, and Roe v Wade has no application to prevent it. What is a mechanism within the American legal system that would prevent a capricious Republican congress and president from limiting freedom of speech related to abortion if you were to suspend first amendment protections?

    Legally, a fetus isn't a child. You know, earlier, when you were a stickler for the specifics of the law as it stands?

    There is no "innocent life" to consider in a decision about abortion. Legally speaking. It's a claim that is objectively, determinably false.

    I know you're playing a role (given the below), but this is a stupid argument, predicated upon a deliberate lie. That's why it doesn't hold merit.
    This isn't what the law says. In fact, the law specifically recognizes the fetus as a living being, but balances the freedom and autonomy of the mother against it. This balancing act operated originally based on trimesters, but shifted to viability... but in either interpretation, it does not simply wave away the unborn child as not being a legal factor period.

    And?

    They'd be wrong, and lying. Why should I feel bad that they're delusional?
    Because Republicans have the ability to hold political power, and are in fact in majority control of the judiciary on all levels of government across the nation, of the governor ships, of state legislatures, and of Congress. Them being wrong does not mean that they do not have the ability to force that on others by legal action.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    I mean, you yourself made a point of saying there's more than criminal law. I was specifically referring to the idea that the legal system couldn't tell the difference between a civil rights march and a KKK march. You tell me that's true, and I'm going to say that's a flaw in the legal system, a deliberately crafted and unnecessary blind spot.

    It wasn't actually arguing for any specific fix for that, simply calling into question the ACLU's position that the law has to treat both the same way. It does, but that's not an argument that it should. It was a point about the difference between "is" and "ought".
    Criminal law is about drawing lines in the sand. If you cross the line, you get hit. If you don't cross the line, you don't get hit. That doesn't mean, however, that the legal system is entirely blind. Additional charges and sentencing is very common when there is a strong racist component involved.

    The job of the ACLU in our society is to ensure that the law applies equally to everyone. Regardless of class, gender, race, ethnicity, orientation, political status, or citizenship status. That is their purpose. Being upset that they hold themselves to their own standard is kind of like getting mad at rain for being wet. You should have known what you were getting into when you went outside.

    I don't think legal penalties are all that conducive to change, in this, and prosecuting them is a big investment. I feel social opprobrium is a more appropriate measure. I don't have an issue with Canada's hate speech laws, which are explicitly for calls for genocide against an identifiable group, though. And because of that, when groups like the ACLU fall back on their fainting couch about how impossible it is to tell the difference between civil rights protests and calls for genocide, I'm going to call bullshit. That's what the law in the USA is, but I don't necessarily agree that's it's what that law ought to be.
    A call to action is actually addressable. There's just a pretty high burden for demonstrating that that call to action actually poses a threat... which, I do believe, is the case in Canada as well. It is more complicated up there than "say hitler was right, go to jail."

  17. #137
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  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschatological View Post
    The only way you get to where you're at is if you insist that holding a KKK rally is in and of itself an action that infringes on the rights of another. To do so would be to make that infringement so broad that any rally could be considered an infringement of someone's rights.
    It really feels like there's this insistence that the legal system cannot consider content and context in determining whether an infringement has occurred, which is baffling because it's clearly not true.

    To use Canada's hate speech laws as an example, a KKK rally would, presuming they're pushing their anti-black rhetoric in said rally, fall afoul of that law, leading to legal penalties and justifying the rally being broken up and, pro-actively, denied permits. This is not based on the idea that "it's a rally", it's based on the content of their message. So pointing to another rally, like a BLM rally, and suggesting the same could happen there, that's just . . . wrong. There's no such content to prosecute, which is the core of the entire issue.

    It's kind of like claiming that if you make date rape illegal, they'll start treating all consensual sex as rape. You ignore the central component of the definition of the crime (lack of consent) and suggest that even in the absence of that component, the law could still apply. And that does not hold up.

    Because the legal system is perfectly capable of examining the content and context of a message to determine whether it is a crime or not. As they already do with issues like slander and threats of violence.

    The questions come in at the edge cases. Should there be a difference between a Proud Boys rally vs. a BLM rally, in the eyes of the law? Should there be a difference between the rallies at the Michigan state house where protesters with legally carried firearms occupied the state house, and, say, gay pride, in the eyes of the law? Who draws the line? You? What makes a Proud Boy rally more acceptable than a KKK rally, for example?
    "Who draws the line" is a silly question to ask. The legislators draw the line. The courts determine if you've crossed it. This is true of every single law. Obviously it wouldn't be me.

    And sure; if "bad politicians" get into power, they can pass a law criminalizing BLM. They can pass laws letting you put Jews into concentration camps. They can pass laws denying all free speech and throw the USA's Bill of Rights and Constitution in the fireplace. If bad actors get into sufficient power, they can do whatever they want. That's always been true, and it doesn't really provide a counter-argument. If they have enough power to change law, then all bets are already off and it doesn't really matter what the pre-existing law was in the first place, and bringing up that possibility doesn't actually provide an argument against the idea of a new, concretely-defined law in the here and now. Like Canada's hate speech laws, which have produced basically no problems or "false positives" in their entire existence.

    And again, we're getting into is/ought stuff here. I understand where American law is, I am focusing on ought.

  19. #139
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasierith View Post
    Libel, slander, and fraud are based on appreciable damages. Not on morality. With the exception of certai sorts of fraud they are handled in civil courts. Now if I were to say that I think we should enjoy absolute free speech (which I dont) then your retort would apply.

    You've pretty clearly mixed up your responses. And cleanly flew past my main objection. I'll reiterate my point though.

    What are you going to do if you get your way and moral arguments have sway on what is or isn't allowed, and Republicans apply the same moral argument to arguing for abortion rights?
    Do you think that human history started on Tuesday or something? Seriously, they’ve been doing that for decades.
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  20. #140
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    And again, we're getting into is/ought stuff here. I understand where American law is, I am focusing on ought.
    I am very much focused on ought, as well. Hell, my username is all about "ought." It's been the main focus of my life - what ought we be.

    It is my belief that the Canadian hate speech law, as outlined by you, is not justice.

    Furthermore, I believe we OUGHT to be striving towards a society that can determine the context you so value by ourselves, and not need the government, which is susceptible to the predilections of history and corruption and popular sentiment at the time, to determine that context for someone. Morality is personal - I don't need the government to tell me that the KKK is fucking abhorrent. And if someone is so susceptible to the KKK that them having a rally is enough to fester hate in their hearts - that's our failing, as a society, which we need to address through education and reason and yes, even compassion. In other words - slavery was wrong, always, despite what the government said. Abolitionists knew this already.

    IDK how this is hard, but traditionally, progressives have embraced non-interference by government in the arena of personal rights, and interference by government in economic and social rights. And conservatives have been the opposite. Right now, you're siding with the side that would have outlawed and censored all sorts of "radical" things from the past - but now, because you're doing it from the left side of the spectrum, it's okay?

    I honestly can't understand why this reactionary attitude on the left exists, seeing as we've been decrying the same reactionary attitude on the right for literally centuries at this point.

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