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Thread: Problems with forum topics.

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    Administrator DougRich's Avatar
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    Let me just add that the way laws get changed, in both countries, is by citizens challenging them. Yaxley-Lennon's latest incarceration aside, there are others who have gone to jail for nothing but expressing an opinion, however distasteful we may think that opinion to be. We may certainly not agree with the message someone is trying to present, but the freedom they have or do not have to present that message may have vital repercussions regarding the promulgation of a message with which we do agree. It isn't much of a stretch to suggest that the State that has taken for itself the power to imprison a citizen for "hate speech" against Muslims has also the power to imprison me for speaking out against or insulting almost any group - be they neo-Nazis, Russian hackers, or anti-abortion activists.

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    Member jet57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    I was a bit worried this place would just fade away (like there were only two current threads to day), so I introduced a topic about what freedom was a while ago. Now on tPF, I just don't bother any more cos you get all this left vs right nastiness, but I was a bit worried that my discussion here seemed to turn into a US vs UK fight (the only person who remained neutral was Dr. Who). Is people being nationalistic - and I say this with respect, but most Americans are quite nationalistic - as big a danger to discussion as people being party-political?

    What would be a safe, but still interesting to everyone, topic for discussion?
    Where's the thread, I'd like to see it.

  3. #13
    Senior Member William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougRich View Post
    Let me just add that the way laws get changed, in both countries, is by citizens challenging them. Yaxley-Lennon's latest incarceration aside, there are others who have gone to jail for nothing but expressing an opinion, however distasteful we may think that opinion to be. We may certainly not agree with the message someone is trying to present, but the freedom they have or do not have to present that message may have vital repercussions regarding the promulgation of a message with which we do agree. It isn't much of a stretch to suggest that the State that has taken for itself the power to imprison a citizen for "hate speech" against Muslims has also the power to imprison me for speaking out against or insulting almost any group - be they neo-Nazis, Russian hackers, or anti-abortion activists.
    I totally understand the point you are making, and I don't want to live in a society which imprisons people for 'thought crime' (we did 1984 in class), and I understand that after this American experience - Americans would be even more careful about imprisoning people for their views.

    McCarthyism was relatively successful, in that the government and the HUAV achieved the purpose of their investigations. The HUAC had witnesses, people who confessed to working and being a communist or part of a left-wing party, and they had people who were giving up more names of other people involved along with them. The HUAC found the 41 witnesses who gave the names of nineteen people accused of being a communist and having left-wing views. From that nineteen, ten were found guilty and were sent to jail. The HUAC then found more and more people involved, who were all placed on a blacklist if they did not give up any other names of people. McCarthyism destroyed the lives of everyone it found to be guilty or even anyone just placed on the blacklist, "no more than 10 percent would be able to return to careers in Hollywood" (Georgakas). Many people that were blacklisted lost their spouses and others suffered a lot of financial loss. Some of the blacklisted moved to Europe or Mexico to find better work, which they could no longer find in Hollywood. However, in the end, Joseph McCarthy's accusations were based off of inconclusive and questionable evidence, and were proven un-true.
    http://700326.tripod.com/id3.html

    But Yaxley-Lennon was not imprisoned for political views or for what he thinks - he was sent down cos he deliberately disobeyed a court order, and he was originally charged cos his actions were interfering with the course of justice. It was not a political thing.

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    DougRich (07-22-2018)

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    Senior Member William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet57 View Post
    Where's the thread, I'd like to see it.
    I'm not sure how to do this, but I think this will take you to the thread.

    http://politicalfireside.com/newrepl...ewreply&p=1635

    It's in Political Science/History, and called 'What is freedom?'
    Last edited by William; 07-21-2018 at 07:23 PM.

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    Administrator DougRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    I totally understand the point you are making, and I don't want to live in a society which imprisons people for 'thought crime' (we did 1984 in class), and I understand that after this American experience - Americans would be even more careful about imprisoning people for their views.

    http://700326.tripod.com/id3.html

    But Yaxley-Lennon was not imprisoned for political views or for what he thinks - he was sent down cos he deliberately disobeyed a court order, and he was originally charged cos his actions were interfering with the course of justice. It was not a political thing.
    Honestly, I believe the whole Yaxley-Lennon situation sort of derailed the discussion. In any case, yes, the McCarthy era was a nightmare. Now, with a Chief Executive - can't bring myself to use the "P" word in this context - who labels all unfavorable press coverage "fake news" and has even suggested that those who publish or broadcast such be subject to criminal prosecution, it is more vital than ever to bite the bullet and continue to interpret the First Amendment, in terms of its free speech and free press provisions, as broadly and liberally as possible.

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    William (07-22-2018)

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    Senior Member William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougRich View Post
    Honestly, I believe the whole Yaxley-Lennon situation sort of derailed the discussion. In any case, yes, the McCarthy era was a nightmare. Now, with a Chief Executive - can't bring myself to use the "P" word in this context - who labels all unfavorable press coverage "fake news" and has even suggested that those who publish or broadcast such be subject to criminal prosecution, it is more vital than ever to bite the bullet and continue to interpret the First Amendment, in terms of its free speech and free press provisions, as broadly and liberally as possible.
    I agree - let's not talk about Yaxley-Lennon any more.

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    DougRich (07-23-2018)

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