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Author Topic: Another one bites the dust
Grummash

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Icon 14 posted February 20, 2006 13:23      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How about this????
Excellent news!

It seems that his line about finding "new evidence that caused him to change his mind" didn't get him off the hook!

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 14:01      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not sure I fully understand. You mean I can be sentenced to prison for saying I don't believe the holocaust happened? That's ridicuous. Not that I am defending neo-nazis or nazi apologetics, but to be able to be thrown in jail for simply saying something is incredibly backwards.

I fail to see how this is good news.

Am I missing something here? Or am I right in saying this constitutes as an infringement on free speech?

And again, just to clarify, I don't defend nazis or any other racist group, but I think there is something bigger at stake here.

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 14:16      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As far as I know you can't be imprisoned for that in the United States. In Germany it is a crime to deny the Holocaust.

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"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
óMiss Piggy

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 14:28      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This, admittedly, is a tricky one. At first viewing it seems appropriate to put the 'freedom of speech' aspects of the case at the top of the agenda. After all, everyone is entitled to their private opinion and, if expressed with due regard for others, everyone is entitled to publicly express that opinion.

Having said this, I believe that there are wider issues involved in this case which centre around the abuse of power.

This man was, once, a respected historian. As a widely published academic he has to be considered an opinion-maker and an influence on the way people think about the subject in question. It is not unreasonable to assume that academics in his position have a real effect on the people who formulate social policies and even legislation.

Given his gauche attempts to explain away opinions which he has propounded for some 30 years or more, it does stretch ones credulity to think that he has genuinely realised that he was 'mistaken'.

My conclusion is that he was lying all along, and doing so with full and conscious intent. He was fully aware of the true scale of the horrors which formed the Holocaust, which he made prolonged efforts to trivialise, and he sought to change the way society remembers and deals with the abomination of the Holocaust. This is why I say the core offence is abuse of power.

Your opinion may, of course, be different, however I hope I have at least explained mine.

Perhaps it is worthwhile adding that we must remember that this was not the only holocaust which man has engineered, but it is the one under discussion at present.

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 16:52      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
As far as I know you can't be imprisoned for that in the United States. In Germany it is a crime to deny the Holocaust.

FWIW, the right to free speech does not protect hate speech. I have a feeling this would qualify. What the punishment for it is, I have no clue.

IANAL.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 18:12      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Right or wrong, the basic reason for this is that Germany's legal system includes a set of laws meant to give the government the power to eliminate any expression of Nazi leanings.

Look at it this way: Imagine that a political movement in your country was responsible for killing millions of people in some very barbaric ways, attempting and coming surprisingly close to taking over the world and starting a war that swept virtually every developed nation on the planet into it.

Would you be willing to reconsider the absolute right to freedom of speech to prevent that from happening again? No? How about to prevent the rest of the world from believing that your people might continue the same behavior that started the war, which might very well lead to the annihilation of your people and eliminating your government? Might that sway your opinion just the teeniest bit?

The German government faced just this sort of decision after WWII. That's why the laws regarding any form of sympathy or justification for the Nazi movement are so harsh. Right or wrong, that's the way it is and it's not likely to change (and, with my family name among those who were executed for war crimes after the war, I lean towards supporting the harshness of those laws).

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magefile
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 18:41      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
As far as I know you can't be imprisoned for that in the United States. In Germany it is a crime to deny the Holocaust.

FWIW, the right to free speech does not protect hate speech. I have a feeling this would qualify. What the punishment for it is, I have no clue.

IANAL.

In the US, you can incite hatred, just not violence or other criminal activity. So when the KKK marched in Skokie (a primarily Jewish town in Illinois not far from where I used to live), they had the permits to do so. But if they'd advocated, say, assault, that would've been a different story.

It's the usual argument of legal vs. moral right. I.e., the first amendment gives US citizens the *legal* right to all sorts of things that I would opine we have no *moral* right to do. But at the same time, I don't think legal rights can cover all moral rights without becoming overly restrictive. I'm not sure how I feel about Euro-style criminalization of hate speech. On a moral level, it feels right; on a legal level, I'm not sure.

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Let them be stupid - the market will sort it out.

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 19:24      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
As far as I know you can't be imprisoned for that in the United States. In Germany it is a crime to deny the Holocaust.

FWIW, the right to free speech does not protect hate speech. I have a feeling this would qualify. What the punishment for it is, I have no clue.

IANAL.

What is freedom of speech without the freedom to say what you want, regardless of whether someone may call it "hate speech"?


BTW - I believe he was convicted in an Austrian, not German, court. But, I'll bet it's just as illegal in Germany.

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Childe Roland

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 21:18      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, looks like I'm wrong. I prefer magefile's answer, as I think it does address what I was going after - that hate speech used to incite violence /is/ criminal. It looks like hate speech could also be treated as slander in certain circumstances.

Furthermore...the right to free speech does not require than anyone listen to the morons speaking. [Smile] (However, in the case of the books mentioned in the above story, it runs the great risk of appearing credible. Cranks are a lot easier to spot when flailing behind podiums. [Razz] )

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Chesty
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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 21:42      Profile for Chesty         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The rights that we as Americans take for granted are not universal. Remember that next time you want to bad-mouth America.

As regards the whole Kraut Nazi Fritz thing, When we let the bloody Hun have their country back after obliterating them, we laid out a few things that they would not do. One was establishing a Nazi Party or make any public praise of Adolph Hitler.

In Japan we did not allow them to have a standing Army (they still have no regular Army).

If G.W. Bush would have followed this example and wiped every trace of Iraqui civilization fromthe map and rebuilt from scratch with no mention of the former ways, we wouldn't have as much trouble with them as we do now.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 22:03      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't want to enter a dragged out battle here, but your suggestions might only work if the war in question was a justified one. In both of your prior examples, you cited how the initial aggressor was dealt with. In this case, we are the initial aggressor, and our 'mission' has not been 'accomplished.' It's a big ugly mess, and I don't see any end coming to it soon. :-/

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 20, 2006 23:37      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
I'm not sure I fully understand. You mean I can be sentenced to prison for saying I don't believe the holocaust happened? That's ridicuous. Not that I am defending neo-nazis or nazi apologetics, but to be able to be thrown in jail for simply saying something is incredibly backwards.

Try publishing a book in the USA that is full of praise for Osama bin Laden and his holy war against the infidel, and see how long you last.

Personally, I find it amusing to hear a Nazi like Irving bleating about being denied his 'freedom of speech'. They should build him a special cell in Auschwitz or one of the other camps he claims never existed.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2006 01:55      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This man was convicted in a austrian court. My only problem with this whole procedure was that he committed the crime in 1989. In america the statue of limmitations would have worn out. I think it is a bit harsh to be sentanced three years for something done 16+ years ago. If what he did was so wrong, he should have been punished much earlier. Why the long wait?
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Geordie

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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2006 02:59      Profile for Geordie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Try publishing a book in the USA that is full of praise for Osama bin Laden and his holy war against the infidel, and see how long you last.

Umm have you done a search on "osama book club" recently:
Results 1 - 20 of about 45,200 for "osama book club". (0.14 seconds)

Books on the list have gone to top ten status on Amazon. (It is so much fun to lie just by stating facts)

Anyway my real point is that there is a difference between economic, social, and governmental censorship. The first two are free speech themselves and the latter is not. Although it is quite likely that you will be mercilessly persecuted for praising Osama Bin Laden, doing so is not in and of itself a crime. That is a very important distinction.

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Geordie

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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2006 06:56      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This speech was just the tip of the iceberg for the things he has done denying the holocaust. He marshalls out his supposed facts, which are then gathered by every hate group on the web and repeated.

This is not his first court case about his work. Just the first to send him to jail.

I make no claims of being unbiased. My great-grandmother died on the way to a camp. That someone with his education and influence does this is so morally repugnant to me, he can rot in jail a few years.

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2006 08:07      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
I don't want to enter a dragged out battle here, but your suggestions might only work if the war in question was a justified one. In both of your prior examples, you cited how the initial aggressor was dealt with. In this case, we are the initial aggressor, and our 'mission' has not been 'accomplished.' It's a big ugly mess, and I don't see any end coming to it soon. :-/

Yeah, I mean it's not like Saddam slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own people without provocation (other than being a threat to his authority). It's not like Sadam invaded Kuwat for their oil.

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Childe Roland

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2006 09:13      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ChildeRoland:
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
I don't want to enter a dragged out battle here, but your suggestions might only work if the war in question was a justified one. In both of your prior examples, you cited how the initial aggressor was dealt with. In this case, we are the initial aggressor, and our 'mission' has not been 'accomplished.' It's a big ugly mess, and I don't see any end coming to it soon. :-/

Yeah, I mean it's not like Saddam slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own people without provocation (other than being a threat to his authority). It's not like Sadam invaded Kuwat for their oil.
<Devil's Advocate>
True, Saddam did invade Kuwait. Fourteen years ago. That situation was dealt with swiftly, if not completely, with general world backing. This time around Saddam was generally minding his own business. Stonewalling to be sure, but not doing anything particularly aggressive.

I think it was a bad idea to go blundering in with a giant (unarmored) club this time around, but it has not meant the end of the world (yet). I also think removing Hussein from power is a Good Thing. Even if he wasn't a direct threat to the USA, he did have aggressive tendencies and could have destabilized the region even more if given the chance. And with enough time I believe he would have found a chance.
</Devils Advocate>

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Ugh!

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ASM65816
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Icon 4 posted February 21, 2006 10:40      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
This time around Saddam was generally minding his own business.
The question becomes: What was Saddam's "business"?

With all the sanctions, resolutions, and restrictions, Saddam should have been impoverished. Yet he could afford to spend a couple of billion dollars on palaces after maintaining the military power to absolutely subjugate the Iraqi people.

* Saddam was "entrusted" with UN money to provide the Iraqi people with food and medicine.

* Somehow, some of the money found its way back into the hands of high level UN officials and associates (cough) bribes (cough).

* Somehow, Saddam was able to smuggle $9 billion of oil and "nobody noticed" (cough) kickbacks (cough) favors in UN (cough).

Is it dangerous if a despot can bribe UN officials so that he is allowed to plunder a country's wealth, enslave its people and do it all without fear of accountability (ie. military action to remove him from power)?

Is it dangerous if UN officials can prop up murderous regimes in exchange for bribes and hide behind diplomatic immunity?

Maybe the UN was more dangerous than Saddam......

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2006 12:34      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
... somewhere .... in the distance .... a dog is barking ...

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2006 13:46      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Back on the original subject:

While I think jailing the guy for spreading that type of ignorance feels satisfying, I don't think it's necessarily productive. A lot of times people like that respond to persecution by developing a type of martyr complex.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2006 22:25      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Somewhat On Topic

"Free speech" typically gets restricted for the protection of others in society; protecting "the many" outweighs "protecting" one. The classic examples are: yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, and slander/libel.

The "repetition of supposed facts" (known to be false) to support a hate belief (paraphrasing Aditu) is a threat to "the many," even though it's used to harm a minority.

Maybe there should be a "credibility/bias" database for publications (Wikipedia pages sometimes have notices of "possible bias" on them.)

Question:

So "hate speech" and inciting violence (in some places) is against the law....

Usually, charges of "inciting violence" (or libel) are made against individuals, but could a "religion" (or any group) be charged with "hate speech" if enough of the leadership and followers adhered to a common expression to incite violence (in clear violation of law)?

EDIT: For reference, in 1993 the ATF, the FBI, and David Koresh (leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect) had an extremely "non-peaceful" confrontation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Koresh

Oh joy ... TFD opened his mouth again....
quote:
in response to TFD ...

Originally posted by Geordie:
Results 1 - 20 of about 45,200 for "osama book club". (0.14 seconds)

#include sarcasm.h
    Now Geordie, do you have proof that the authors, editors, and publishers of those 45,200 results have not been ASSASSINATED?! I think not, maybe you shouldn't be so quick to criticize TFD. [Roll Eyes]

By contrast, if someone wrote a book called "The Satanic Verses," and the author was named Salman Rushdie, and there was criticism of a particular religion common to the middle-east,   the tolerance of people in the region would allow the author to enjoy free speech without fear of bodily harm or death...
    except when Salman Rushdie wrote "The Satanic Verses" in 1988, and international death threats were made against him, including a $3 million bounty for his head. [shake head]   It could have been much worse if he drew cartoons also.

PS: There's a big difference between "praising Osama bin Laden" and proclaiming that you will "dedicate your every thought and action to the destruction of America and all its people, so long as you live." The latter definitely puts you at risk for imprisonment.

By the way ...

TFD, your Feb 21 post was a little cryptic. Did you mean to say:

* Saddam spent all UN money towards the health and welfare of all Iraqis.

* Saddam never used bribery for personal gain or international influence (because he spent every penny helping the poor).

* Saddam always obeyed the law, and consistently chose the path of highest ethical conduct.

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 21, 2006 22:49      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
woof !
woof !
woof !

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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