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9 Responses to RC Radio: Doc and Lupin on the Freedom of Speech

  1. avatar
    Crustacean June 4, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

    Thank you, RC, Lupin, and Doc. I caught the last half-hour or so of the show. You guys did not disappoint. I was so tempted to call in as “Gerbiler1” or “Rambo Gerbil” or some such nonsense, but I couldn’t decide which of the three ridiculous accents I can do that I should use. Plus, it was obvious that the grown-ups were talking, and probably best that I remain unseen and unheard.

    Thanks again for sharing that very interesting discussion!

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 4, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    The podcast is up now. In preparation for this mornings discussion, I boned up on the history of free speech in the United States and was reminded of how precarious our freedoms are. Laws existed in the past limiting speech that were clearly unconstitutional and would be unthinkable today, yet they were passed and stayed on the books for decades until they were finally overturned.

  3. avatar
    Crustacean June 4, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    P.S. I’ve never watched “The Great Dictator” (shame on me, but that will soon be remedied). Thanks, RC, for playing that climactic speech. Its relevance to today’s world gave me chills. That’s good radio right there, my friend!

  4. avatar
    Suranis June 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    It’s a good movie, probably not as good as the reputation over the years has gathered, but its pretty funny. It was pretty controversial at the time as you can imagine, but apparently Hitler himself saw it and enjoyed it.

    Aside from the speech at the end its very much a comedy, but that just made that speech far more powerful at he end when it was delivered.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 4, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    I thought that Lupin and I would have sharper differences on the free speech issue, but I guess when people of good will are striving towards similar goals, finding some common ground shouldn’t be too difficult.

  6. avatar
    Lupin June 5, 2015 at 2:17 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I thought that Lupin and I would have sharper differences on the free speech issue, but I guess when people of good will are striving towards similar goals, finding some common ground shouldn’t be too difficult.

    Like you guys, we have a Constitution (the one currently in effect was put together in 1958). Like you it goes back to & incorporates elements from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, adopted in 1789.

    Like you it contains the same guarantees of free expression, within the framework determined the the Law, with (since 1966) the possibility of appealing before the European Court if you think a French Law violates one’s rights.

    Within all this, yes, certain types of free speech (known usually as “hate speech”) can lead to both civil or criminal legal actions.

    One of the defining criteria is whether such speech threatens actual persons or abstract concepts. The KKK for instance could not operate legally in France because it singles out a precise group of people based on its race; on the other hand, a book like The Bell Curve,which claims black men are less intelligent than white men, is legal.

    Doc made the point that using hate speech laws going after scumbags may be the thin end of the wedge that might lead to going after more acceptable segments of society; OTOH in Europe we’ve seen what scumbags are capable of, so between a theoretical threat and an actual one, we’d rather nip it in the bud.

    I hope this is a fair summary of our conversation.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater June 5, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    I wish I could have joined in on the discussion but alas I had other priorities. I liked the discussion Lupin had with Doc C.

  8. avatar
    Lupin June 6, 2015 at 3:32 am #

    That’s good one:

    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/06/minn-man-says-company-wrong-to-fire-him-over-obama-lynching-threat-my-only-regret-is-being-called-racist/#.VXDe2rcFP3A.twitter

    So if I get it correctly this scumbag’s defense is:

    1) lynching black people = wrong
    2) lynching communists = right

  9. avatar
    Dave B. June 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    There was a South Park episode kind of like that:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chef_Goes_Nanners

    Lupin:
    That’s good one:

    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/06/minn-man-says-company-wrong-to-fire-him-over-obama-lynching-threat-my-only-regret-is-being-called-racist/#.VXDe2rcFP3A.twitter

    So if I get it correctly this scumbag’s defense is:

    1) lynching black people = wrong
    2) lynching communists = right