Freedom of Speech

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by OPTIONAL777, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. I believe in Freedom of speech, but are there limits to what is acceptable?

    In Forum live chat today, we had some American bashing from an elite member, who went so far as to say that the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Omar was a wise man....

    I couldn't believe it, so I took a picture of it posted below. He later did not apologize when I called him on it, but laughed it off in a smug and insensitive manner calling me a pinhead, and saying that Mullar Omar meant wise man in Islamic language.

    What I found most disturbing was that very few members even cared. I am here to trade, here to have fun, joke when the markets are slow, but certain statements that attack our country, when those statements come from an outsider--not an American, I find that truly worth getting upset about. If we are so focused on making money, and don't stand up against those who seek to destroy our country and our way of life---how long are we going to have the freedom to trade anyway?

    It is one thing for Americans to make fun of our leadership, but when someone from Germany consistently lobs criticism of America and its foreign policy, then makes a statement that is supportive of the Taliban and their leadership, saying that Mullar Omar is a wise man, well that is where I draw the line....

    Anything but a public apology from Wild for his insensitive comments that relate the the tragedy of 911 and the Taliban's involvement, is unacceptable in my book.

  2. i'm famous!
  3. The First Amendment was written to protect unpopular speech -- speech everyone agrees with doesn't need protection.

    IMO, you protect your own freedom to say what you want only by giving someone else the freedom to offend you. Granted the guy is crass and way off topic in a stock chat, and maybe he was just trying to get a rise out of you (and succeeding) - but thankfully in the U.S. as long as he wasn't inciting violence or committing fraud he can say whatever he wants.

    (for now, anyway. after a few more years of "the war on terrorism" we'll see...)
  4. If I want your opinion I'll beat it out of you.
  5. agreed.
  6. The first Amendment was written to protect freedom of speech, yet we have laws that prohibit speech that is directly harmful to others......You cannot yell "fire" in a theatre without consequences, and these days you cannot joke about bombs and the like at airports.

    Libel and slander laws exist, because it is clearly seen that speech has power to cause harm.

    So "free speech" has it limits.

    Was the consitution written with non American citizens in mind? Does the constitution guarantee freedom of speech for those who would seek to harm Americans, when their speech is intended to support those who are enemies of the state in a War on Terrorism?

    Should we allow the foreign Taliban supporters to come to America and hold pro Taliban rallies? Would it be cool to have them say how wise the leaders of the Taliban are? There are foreign students here right now in this country from Middle Eastern countries. Do they have the right under the present circumstances to hold pro Taliban rallies without censure? How would that fly right about now? How long would we allow them to stay in the country if that happened?

    No doubt there are those foreign visitiors who sympathize with the Taliban and the terrorists, but at least they have the common sense to keep quiet.

    However, the internet gives people a shield to hide behind.

    When Bill Mahr made his comments that the terrorists showed bravery in flying airplanes into the twin towers, when Jessie Jackson makes statement supporting terrorist activities, when Farrakhan makes statements supporting Saudia Arabia and the terrorism they spread, etc., I don't agree with what they are saying, but if they are American citizens, living in America, enduring life in America, I say they have earned the right to do so.

    Just like in a family, a member of the family has the right to criticize another member of the family, but does a total stranger have the right to come to your house and comment on your family? Would you really put up with that, or would you show him the door?

    Do outsiders from other countries, via the internet, really have the right to step into an American sponsored chat room and trash Americans? Or do those who are running the chatrooms, American citizens running the chat rooms, have the right to censor foreign opressive thinking?
  7. I say freedom of speech for all!!!

    Don't allow the comments of one person on the wisdom (or lack of it) of Mullah Omar to upset you... simply accept that in a Talibanised Afghanistan, there was no freedom of speech... celebrate the fact that you have freedom of speech, and resign yourself to the fact that an offshoot of freedom of speech can be unpopular comments on both sides of the ideological argument... this is healthy, and is part of progressive society... censorship of opinion is the first step on the path to the wrong destination for society...
  8. I totally agree with candletrader. (heck, as an atheist, i can hardly be ANTI freedom of speech! :))

    I am not American citizen, but I love this country, I love what it stands for and I love what it has done for the world. Wild can thank his lucky stars for the existance of the USA - the greatest country to ever exist in the history of the world - otherwise he'd still be saluting swastikas today.
  9. The First Amendment only restricts STATE action (the Fed. Gov't and later extended to the states) -- it does not apply to individuals. So while legislators and cops are (theoretically) prohibited from censoring peaceful speech, a business owner can limit speech as a condition of employment (e.g., prohibiting racist jokes), and Baron can censor this website all he wants, independent of the citizenship of the speaker. While you can launch into an impassioned political tirade in a public park, Wal-mart can (rightly) throw you out for doing that in their store.

    But you raise some great points -- and this is a very complex and contentious issue, evidenced by the fact that hundreds of First Amendment lawsuits are filed every year, 200+ years after it was written.
  10. I think Wild is a very funny man. His comments always make me laugh. Even better, his ability to elicit knee-jerk reactions from hypersensitive U.S. citizens leaves me ROFLMAO.

    I would like to encourage Wild to speak freely.
    #10     Aug 7, 2002