Feds Should Delete Anti-Islam Video

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Mon, Sep 17, 2012, 9:45 am  //  John Servais

For our federal government - and our public officials - to wring their hands and be in false distress about not being able to order Google to take down the Anti-Islam YouTube video is just absurd.  Try posting a film denying the Holocaust and see what happens.  Or try posting a film praising Al Queda and see what happens.  Or try posting a film attacking the Catholic Church and the Pope and see what happens.  I mean a really false, mean and totally grotesque film about the Holocaust or Catholic Church - or even Jesus.

Try it - and see how long it takes for you to be charged with a crime - and see how many hours before Google deletes the film.  And taking down the film is the right thing to do.  Why?  Because at their basis, those are fighting words, and at best are so flagrant as to lead to a breakdown of public discourse.  But the Feds do not even allow public discourse if it strays into verboten areas.  This film is way out of bounds - and should have been deleted. But no one should be charged with a crime. 

I can speak to this. The idea of freedom of speech in America is one of the big lies that most buy into.  There is total control of speech.  You can say anything so long as it is not effective - so long as it is not actually threatening any real projects or government programs or insulting the established Jewish, Catholic and Christian religions.  Oh, atheists and such are tolerated and they speak in their little publications.  Our democracy can handle them.  But something really effective is shut down.  

The worst is the criminalization of free speech around the issues of terrorism today.   I could post something tomorrow that would have the Feds taking down my entire website and visiting me - and making sure I truly regret ever having thought such.  Hell, I may be pushing the edge right now. But I am probably not at risk as this blog is considered minor and not influential.  YouTube is influential.

So - to leave the horrible Anti-Islam videos posted on YouTube is a conscious act by our federal government to allow this film to do its dirty work - and inflame the Middle East against our country.    Why?  Well that is another topic.  For now the point is - there is an exception being made by Google and the Feds for this series of videos.  There is plenty of precedent for taking them down.  

Check out this good article "America and the Muslims" by Esam Al-Amin in CounterPunch.  We need to read those who can wake us from our sleep and point out how our America is not what we seem to think it is.  We do practice double standards.  

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Todd Granger  //  Mon, Sep 17, 2012, 6:15 pm

Just like the great local “Answer Me Trial” John?

How much did that cost the local taxpayer?

This author who wrote the fighting words essay, also wrote clearly…,

“...but if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free [279 U.S. 644, 655]  thought-not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate. I think that we should adhere to that principle with regard to admission into, as well as to life within this country. And recurring to the opinion that bars this applicant’s way, I would suggest that the Quakers have done their share to make the country what it is, that many citizens agree with the applicant’s belief and that I had not supposed hitherto that we regretted our inability to expel them because they believed more than some of us do in the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount.

Todd Granger  //  Mon, Sep 17, 2012, 6:43 pm

Terrorism today, or yesterday, or it’s the same old story in any Democracy!

New York Times v. Sullivan,
Succeeding [p257] paragraphs purported to illustrate the “wave of terror” by describing certain alleged events.

Although the Sedition Act was never tested in this Court, [n16] the attack upon its validity has carried the day in the court of history. Fines levied in its prosecution were repaid by Act of Congress on the ground that it was unconstitutional. See, e.g., Act of July 4, 1840, c. 45, 6 Stat. 802, accompanied by H.R.Rep. No. 86, 26th Cong., 1st Sess. (1840). Calhoun, reporting to the Senate on February 4, 1836, assumed that its invalidity was a matter “which no one now doubts.” Report with Senate bill No. 122, 24th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 3. Jefferson, as President, pardoned those who had been convicted and sentenced under the Act and remitted their fines, stating:

I discharged every person under punishment or prosecution under the sedition law because I considered, and now consider, that law to be a nullity, as absolute and as palpable as if Congress had ordered us to fall down and worship a golden image.

Letter to Mrs. Adams, July 22, 1804, 4 Jefferson’s Works (Washington ed.), pp. 555, 556. The invalidity of the Act has also been assumed by Justices of this Court. See Holmes, J., dissenting and joined by Brandeis, J., in Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630; Jackson, J., dissenting in Beauharnais v. Illinois, 343 U.S. 250, 288-289; Douglas, The Right of the People (1958), p. 47. See also Cooley, Constitutional Limitations (8th ed., Carrington, 1927), pp. 899-900; Chafee, Free Speech in the United States (1942), pp. 27-28. These views reflect a broad consensus that the Act, because of the restraint it imposed upon criticism of government and public officials, was inconsistent with the First Amendment.

Todd Granger  //  Mon, Sep 17, 2012, 6:58 pm

Citizen’s United, on the other side of the World?

The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” Laws enacted to control or suppress speech may operate at different points in the speech process. The following are just a few examples of restrictions that have been attempted at different stages of the speech process—all laws found to be invalid: restrictions requiring a permit at the outset, Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of N. Y., Inc. v. Village of Stratton , 536 U. S. 150, 153 (2002) ; imposing a burden by impounding proceeds on receipts or royalties, Simon & Schuster , Inc. v. Members of N. Y. State Crime Victims Bd. , 502 U. S. 105, 108, 123 (1991) ; seeking to exact a cost after the speech occurs, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan , 376 U. S., at 267; and subjecting the speaker to criminal penalties, Brandenburg v. Ohio , 395 U. S. 444, 445 (1969) (per curiam) .

Todd Granger  //  Tue, Sep 18, 2012, 6:17 pm

Let us see what happens John.

It’s so 11th Century?

The Harvard Law Review, on display today!

One Big Lie?

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“temporary spasms among the Established Religionists”

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Paul deArmond  //  Wed, Sep 19, 2012, 10:48 pm

It’s not just that Tod’s comments are incoherent and moronoinc.  The real problem is that he is threat sitting so that there can be no useful discussion.

Unlimber the banhammer and put this idiot on 30 day suspension.  Do it now.

hotpickle  //  Thu, Sep 20, 2012, 8:26 am

Paul, your opinions about Todd’s comments do not give you the right to limit his free speech.

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