The Gold Standard for Chutzpah

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  1. Avatar morat20
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    says:

    Some of the responses are hilarious. My favorite so far is “So will there be any journalists involved in the discussion?”Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Kim
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      says:

      The Canadian government is trying to label calls for boycotts and divestment as “hate speech”, which is a prosecutable offense.

      Also a better example of chutzpah than the one in Saul’s post.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to KatherineMW
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        says:

        Westerns society continues it’s downward spiral….Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to KatherineMW
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        says:

        The hate speech laws weren’t supposed to be used like that! They were supposed to be used in good ways!Report

        • Avatar James K in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          @jaybird

          Who could have imagined that our political enemies would gain control over all these powers we gave to government?Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          How dare people interpret hate speech laws in a way that benefits their group.

          Incidentally, Israel-Palestine issues are a really good example of why hate speech laws are a terrible idea. Absent obvious slurs, line between really hostile criticism from an outside group and hate speech to members of that group is really thin. The better solution is not to have hate speech laws at all. We should get rid of the slander-family of torts while we are at it. In the United States, the Sullivan line of cases is good enough protection but the slander family of torts is really incompatible with free speech.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to LeeEsq
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            says:

            @leeesq :
            The better solution is not to have hate speech laws at all.
            This part I agree with.
            It seems like proofs of mens rea without an underlying offense.
            I’m wondering where the compensable injury is.

            But what of outside of tort?
            Say, what if an adult mocking a child’s speech (known to contribute to speech impediments, and emotional harm) could be used as evidence of abusive conduct?
            By a teacher? By a parent? A caregiver?

            We should get rid of the slander-family of torts while we are at it. In the United States, the Sullivan line of cases is good enough protection but the slander family of torts is really incompatible with free speech.
            I disagree with this one.
            Having been a victim of a mob swarm myself, I can tell you it will keep you busy day and night.
            Further, it came as I was moving up professionally, and it would have benefited me greatly to have been able to post my resume at various sites.
            Just for occupying my mental space, some recompense is due.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Will H.
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              says:

              @will-h I think there is a difference between hate speech and abusive speech. With hate speech laws, the law is penalizing the concepts and ideas itself rather than the effect on the listener. Hate speech laws basically say that your not supposed to say certain things even at all and even in a general, abstract sense. Abusive speech is aimed at a specific person and using it as evidence isn’t criminalizing the ideas expressed in the speech but how it effects the listener. It is perfectly permissible to use speech as evidence in cases involving abuse because your penalizing something specific rather than abstract.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                @leeesq
                Hate speech laws basically say that your not supposed to say certain things even at all and even in a general, abstract sense. Abusive speech is aimed at a specific person and using it as evidence isn’t criminalizing the ideas expressed in the speech but how it effects the listener.

                Yes. People should have the right to say anything they want to the general public, or to anyone who has chosen to listen to them.

                But people shouldn’t have the right to harass specific people, or, perhaps a better way of phrasing it is:
                1) They don’t have the right to follow people around and repeatedly say things to them that the other person doesn’t want to hear.
                2) Nor do they have the right to participate in an activity *with* those people and do that towards them, at least not if that activity is basically non-negotiable. By non-negotiable, I mean a school class or their workplace or something like that…anywhere the ‘listener’ can’t refuse to go without bringing hardship on themselves. (Or, to put it another way, the people providing the ‘activity’ have a duty to come up with a way for the person to avoid the harassment, just like they have a duty to remove other things that could cause harm, like oil slicks. And the answer should generally be ‘punish or even bar the harasser’.)

                This is, on a slightly unrelated topic, why so many criticisms of university speech codes are wrong: Because those codes ban ‘harassment’, and people think harassment is a ‘speech’ issue. There is a difference between ‘stating unpopular opinions in class at the appropriate time’ and ‘directing comments at random times, *at* other people in class and around campus ‘. And, yes, *some* speech code do actually go too far, and attempt to bar unpopular opinions, and I won’t defend that…but I see a lot of criticisms of them based on the idea that ‘harassment’ and ‘hate speech’ are the same thing.

                Incidentally, I think directing clearly unwanted speech at people who would have a hardship avoiding the speech sometimes rises to the level of harassment *even if* it’s not ‘repeated’ for a specific person. People outside abortion clinics, or people on a picket line. Although I guess an argument could be made that the ‘repeatedly’ is accomplished by having a dozen people all saying the same thing *at once*.

                While people should be able to explain their point to some extent, we also need to recognize a right for other people to *easily* avoid their speech and just go about their business. (Of course, the parallels between abortion protesters and picketers aren’t identical…picketers tend to be upset at the business, which is way over there and an abstract concept, whereas anti-abortion protesters often get very upset at *people walking among them*, which is, of course, a lot more threatening sounding to those people.)

                And let’s notice there’s an additional right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, so this doesn’t apply *at all* to elected officials. As far as I’m concerned, they don’t get to define speech directed at them as unwanted, at least not if the speech is about what they are trying to do in government.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-liberal-speech-cops-target-alan-greenspan-1431644877

    Wall Street Journal columnist defends free speech by attacking Paul Krugman for writing a column.Report

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