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High Court Hears Free-Speech Case
Posted: 06 October 2010 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]
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as much as this offends me, i still think that “free speech” covers even the most offensive speech.

High Court Hears Free-Speech Case   By JESS BRAVIN

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court struggled Wednesday to protect a bereaved parent from a character attack without stifling free-speech rights.
.The court confronted the problem in a case tailor-made to test how far the First Amendment protects offensive speech. At issue is whether the father of a fallen Marine can sue a fringe religious group that celebrated his son’s death with funeral pickets and online attacks. Online, the group used vulgar language and crude imagery focusing on Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder to amplify its message that America is doomed.

The tiny Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., whose membership largely consists of founder Fred Phelps’s relatives, believes that any misfortune America suffers is God’s wrath for the nation’s failure to follow the sect’s doctrine, which condemns gays, Catholics, Jews and others. Among other messages, Westboro said Cpl. Snyder’s parents raised their son to serve the devil.

Cpl. Snyder’s father, Albert Snyder, sued the church for intentional infliction of emotional distress, winning a $5 million award. A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., threw out the award, ruling that the First Amendment protected Westboro’s speech, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear Mr. Snyder’s appeal.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703735804575536100092251276.html

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Posted: 06 October 2010 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Actually I am one of those people that goes along with the armed society is a polite society.

If it was my son they would find out how many of them would lose the power of speech.

Of course I would have told him that participating in the Iraq nonsense was STUPID in the first place.

psik

[ Edited: 06 October 2010 10:58 AM by psikeyhackr ]
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Posted: 06 October 2010 01:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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skuld - 06 October 2010 10:45 AM

as much as this offends me, i still think that “free speech” covers even the most offensive speech.

High Court Hears Free-Speech Case   By JESS BRAVIN

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court struggled Wednesday to protect a bereaved parent from a character attack without stifling free-speech rights.
.The court confronted the problem in a case tailor-made to test how far the First Amendment protects offensive speech. At issue is whether the father of a fallen Marine can sue a fringe religious group that celebrated his son’s death with funeral pickets and online attacks. Online, the group used vulgar language and crude imagery focusing on Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder to amplify its message that America is doomed.

The tiny Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., whose membership largely consists of founder Fred Phelps’s relatives, believes that any misfortune America suffers is God’s wrath for the nation’s failure to follow the sect’s doctrine, which condemns gays, Catholics, Jews and others. Among other messages, Westboro said Cpl. Snyder’s parents raised their son to serve the devil.

Cpl. Snyder’s father, Albert Snyder, sued the church for intentional infliction of emotional distress, winning a $5 million award. A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., threw out the award, ruling that the First Amendment protected Westboro’s speech, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear Mr. Snyder’s appeal.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703735804575536100092251276.html

I tend to agree, although, in this case, it seemed personal and not about them expressing an opinion per se (do they protest congress routinely?)  It was in poor, make that, horrid, taste either way.

Why don’t they burn some Korans or do something useful ?

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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (Democrat):

“It’s a free country; I wish it weren’t, but it’s a free country.” when speaking of a rally on the Capitol.

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Posted: 06 October 2010 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Believe it or not, Ulster, the WBC agrees with fundamentalist Islam on a lot of things.  Primarily the hatred of America and gays parts.  And they’re protests aren’t ever really personal.  It’s all part of their insane little sideshow.  They just like to piss people off and act like jackasses.

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Posted: 06 October 2010 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I looked into this once and concluded the award of 5 million dollars should be overturned.  The video tape of the day in question shows the hateful speech along roads leading to the funeral not at the funeral itself.  The LA Times reports “The picketers complied with local ordinances and police instructions and stood a safe distance — 1,000 feet, according to an appeals court judge — away from the Catholic church where Snyder’s funeral took place. ”  I am sorry, but three football fields is far enough away from a funeral.  You cannot even hear the shouting of a small group of people from three football fields away, and videotape from the day doesn’t show anything like an amplification system nor excessively loud shouting. It is impossible for them to have disturbed the proceedings of the funeral from that distance.  What is being said here is that the content of their speech is disturbing to the funeral (even unheard) not their actual conduct—that is where 1st amendment gives protection. I am sympathetic, but we make reasonable statutes and they followed them.

[ Edited: 06 October 2010 03:20 PM by qutsemnie ]
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Posted: 06 October 2010 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Dead Monky - 06 October 2010 02:16 PM

Believe it or not, Ulster, the WBC agrees with fundamentalist Islam on a lot of things.  Primarily the hatred of America and gays parts.  And they’re protests aren’t ever really personal.  It’s all part of their insane little sideshow.  They just like to piss people off and act like jackasses.

uhm, thank you for making my point, overall, on these boards the last year or so…islam is just as bad as any radical “Xtian” grouup can be, but more numerous and more accepted in their natural environment, and also, more accepted by politically correct outsiders…

you know, the people who like me, are secularists who support the “Piss Christ” and flag burning..but, unlike me, think someone burning the Koran should be arrested???

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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (Democrat):

“It’s a free country; I wish it weren’t, but it’s a free country.” when speaking of a rally on the Capitol.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yes, because the majority of Muslims are dangerous extremists.  I know, right?  They’re all crazies.  It’s only the minority that want to live their lives and be left alone.  Damn Muslims.

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Posted: 13 October 2010 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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UlsterScots432 - 06 October 2010 03:40 PM

islam is just as bad as any radical “Xtian” grouup can be,

I suppose in terms of having the capacity to be as bad, of course we’re all equals in the ability to behave in the worst ways.

In terms of actual international crimes and human rights violations, as well as an open willingness to bring about the end of world (and the possession of the nuclear arms to do so), Islam wins hands down.

There is a very real difference between the physical reactions taken by offended Christians, and offended Muslims on a worldwide scale. To pretend otherwise is political correctness doing its job: whitewashing any rational and objective thought.

-RC

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Posted: 13 October 2010 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Ruat Caelum - 13 October 2010 02:45 PM

There is a very real difference between the physical reactions taken by offended Christians, and offended Muslims on a worldwide scale. To pretend otherwise is political correctness doing its job: whitewashing any rational and objective thought.

hmmm, considering what the Bush/Cheney administration did - and what our military industrial complex/paradigm has contributed to earthly horrors…

... we got some pretty bloody hands ourselves!


Not to deny the ugly underbelly of fundamentalist Islam… but, let’s not forget the ugly fundamentalist underbelly of the other two Abrahamic faiths.

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Posted: 14 October 2010 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Ruat Caelum - 13 October 2010 02:45 PM
UlsterScots432 - 06 October 2010 03:40 PM

islam is just as bad as any radical “Xtian” grouup can be,

I suppose in terms of having the capacity to be as bad, of course we’re all equals in the ability to behave in the worst ways.

In terms of actual international crimes and human rights violations, as well as an open willingness to bring about the end of world (and the possession of the nuclear arms to do so), Islam wins hands down.

There is a very real difference between the physical reactions taken by offended Christians, and offended Muslims on a worldwide scale. To pretend otherwise is political correctness doing its job: whitewashing any rational and objective thought.

-RC

That’s because we compare modern day Islam to modern day Xianity.

I think a lot of that might be because Islam is a relatively ‘young’ religion - about 600 years younger than Xianity that is - so hasn’t had as much time to evolve.  The behaviors of these radical muslms really are not too different from what 15-16C Xians were up to (crusades, witch hunts etc.).  The difference is that the weapons are bigger now.

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Posted: 14 October 2010 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 13 October 2010 06:43 PM

hmmm, considering what the Bush/Cheney administration did - and what our military industrial complex/paradigm has contributed to earthly horrors…

... we got some pretty bloody hands ourselves!

Do you really think you can compare Bush/Cheney to say, Iraq under Saddam, or to nations under Sharia law? Or even the behavior of Bush/Cheney to the prescribed behavior of the old testament and say they’re even close to equal?

Last I checked, Bush didn’t execute people with plastic shredders as a matter of course, or endorse the honor killing of girls who have been raped.

Can’t really say I’m seeing your comparison…

-RC

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Posted: 16 October 2010 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Guess citizenschallenge.pm doesn’t either.

-RC

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Posted: 18 October 2010 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Baiting?  Really?

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Posted: 18 October 2010 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Ruat Caelum - 14 October 2010 12:16 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 13 October 2010 06:43 PM

hmmm, considering what the Bush/Cheney administration did - and what our military industrial complex/paradigm has contributed to earthly horrors…

... we got some pretty bloody hands ourselves!

Do you really think you can compare Bush/Cheney to say, Iraq under Saddam, or to nations under Sharia law? Or even the behavior of Bush/Cheney to the prescribed behavior of the old testament and say they’re even close to equal?

Last I checked, Bush didn’t execute people with plastic shredders as a matter of course, or endorse the honor killing of girls who have been raped.

Can’t really say I’m seeing your comparison…

-RC

Actually I don’t see anything Saddam did in Iraq justifying what the insane Iraq Adventure has done to Iraq or America or the world’s future, considering the spiral of militarism and hostility creation we have come to embrace this past decade!
Also, why do we keep forgetting that Saddam was the puppet USA supported and protected for years before the dog bit his masters hands?

just for starters
but it goes well beyond those statistics.

Also before you call me a Saddam lover, the guy was a creep and deserved to be brought down, but you don’t get the robber out of the house by destroying the entire neighborhood >>> and that is basically what the right wing war agitation is all about.    angry

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Posted: 19 October 2010 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Ruat Caelum - 16 October 2010 04:48 PM

Guess citizenschallenge.pm doesn’t either.
-RC

Dead Monky - 18 October 2010 11:25 AM

Baiting?  Really?

Gosh how they disappear.
Could it be RC saw the error in his thinking?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Not to deny the ugly underbelly of fundamentalist Islam… but, let’s not forget the ugly fundamentalist underbelly of those other two Abrahamic faiths.

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Posted: 19 October 2010 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 19 October 2010 10:12 AM

Not to deny the ugly underbelly of fundamentalist Islam… but, let’s not forget the ugly fundamentalist underbelly of those other two Abrahamic faiths.

Or the ugly fundamentalist underbelly of various other faiths and non-faiths.

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