Monday, 21 July 2008
Spot the smiley fascism!
"Hey, come on, man! It's not just Islam that does this! All religions are just as bad! Especially the Anglicans!" A. Boob.
No, really... Yeah, like only last week, a couple of Seventh Day Adventist old ladies came around with copies of 'The Watchtower Magazine' lifted those from a Jehovah's Witness no doubt, and said, "Have you heard the good news?"
Colonel Neville: "No, what is it?"
Old fruit cake nibblers: "We've got assault rifles!"
If it wasn't for the Smith & Wesson M76 sub machine gun I keep in the umbrella stand, they would have got me. I hit the one with the Zimmerframe and I'm pretty sure I winged the other with the hump, but she limped away.
"As he was carted off in a police wagon the funny side of Section 132 of SOCPA seemed to go with him. The crowds seemed unsettled, too. Their laughter gave way to bewilderment and shock. If only the architects of SOCPA and all the MPs who voted for it in parliament had been on hand to explain to us all why there was nothing sinister about a man dressed as Charlie Chaplin being arrested outside Downing Street for carrying a sign that said “NOT ALOUD”. Goodbye Magna Carta by Dan Kiernan.
Dear sports, read the following three paragraphs of law and choose the one that starts in cynicism and control freakery and can only end in smiley faced fascism. But don’t worry...that’s not until next week!
Article 19. United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. 1948.
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers".
The Constitution of the United States of America. Amendment 1. Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".
The Racial and Religious Vilification Law 2001. Australia via Premier Steve Bracks.
"...person must not, on the ground of the religious belief or activity of another person or class of persons, engage in conduct that incites hatred against, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of, that other person or class of persons”.
The Magna Carta. England 1215.
“No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned . . . or in any other way destroyed . . . except by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to none will we deny or delay, right or justice".
Colonel Neville: "Congratulations! It's Australia's legislation for smiley fascism! You've won the trip to Barbados and a set of matching luggage!
Er, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't exactly rely on support from the UN, unless you're a local child prostitution ring. So as you can clearly see, the only country I can think of with authentic freedom of speech protected by a great Constitution, is the United States. And if that ever goes, ya better head for the High Sierra's, or similiar, mate.
As Nilk said, check out 2.9, but they all stink of smiley fascism. Oh yes they do".
Excerpt: “...English law has not accorded free speech the status of a `primary right' which takes precedence over potentially conflicting rights and interests (see Kentridge 1996; Barendt 1989).
Rather it has to be weighed against other considerations, such as the right to a fair trial, respect for confidences, and the protection of reputation. When striking the balance, English law has traditionally shown a strong preference for protecting reputation rights over free speech, and a disinclination to differentiate `political' from other sorts of speech”. Kevin Williams.
The Napoleonic Code is a comprehensive and detailed system of laws that nonetheless seriously limited freedom of speech via censorship of the press, books, plays and pamphlets, and the rights of women etc. It did not establish Democracy. [Via Barron’s Passware. Google Books.]
Colonel Neville: "Hey, a lot of major sites and media around the world, took notice of our cruddy law and few saw it as a er, positive. Here's a few of 'em".
Ezra Levant and the CHRC creature. “...explicit constitutional safeguards ensure that political speech is unrestricted. But our northern neighbor has no codified bill of rights. Instead, as a dominion of the British crown, Canada's basic liberties persisted for most of its history as common law traditions.
Today, they are enumerated in a Charter qualified by a "limitation clause," and hence remain vulnerable to legal challenge in ways the the provisions of the US Bill of Rights are not. Having failed to capture a big trophy like freedom of speech in Denmark, theocratic thugs are doing their best to silence individual voices like Levant's through costly, abusive litigation".
"Freedom of speech must be tolerated, and everyone living in the United Kingdom must accept that they may be insulted about their own beliefs, or indeed be offended, and that is something which they must simply endure, not least because some suffer fates far worse". Cranmers Bottom Line.
"Freedom of speech is being able to speak freely without censorship. The right to freedom of speech is guaranteed under international law through numerous human-rights instruments, notably under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, although implementation remains lacking in many countries. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes preferred, since the right is not confined to verbal speech but is understood to protect any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country, although the degree of freedom varies greatly. Industrialized countries also have varying approaches to balance freedom with order. For instance, the United States First Amendment theoretically grants absolute freedom, placing the burden upon the state to demonstrate when (if) a limitation of this freedom is necessary. In almost all liberal democracies, it is generally recognized that restrictions should be the exception and free expression the rule; nevertheless, compliance with this principle is often lacking". Freedom of speech. Wikipedia.
"Constitutional and administrative law govern the affairs of the state. Constitutional law concerns both the relationships between the executive, legislature and judiciary and the human rights or civil liberties of individuals against the state. Most jurisdictions, like the United States and France, have a single codified constitution, with a Bill of Rights. A few, like the United Kingdom, have no such document". Law. Wikipedia.
"The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual". Aristotle.
"While the Premier might like to think he had the wholehearted support of faith leaders, this is not so, at least among the clear majority of Christian faith leaders.
Dismayed both by the early indications of what amendments might be entertained by the Government and the Premier's continued insistence of faith leaders' support, 19 prominent church leaders, including some denominational bishops and moderators, and pastors of some of Melbourne's largest churches, met in January. They subsequently wrote to the Premier requesting a meeting to present their request for the removal of the civil provisions in the act, a minimalist option that, while a compromise, would have made the act somewhat safer.
This request for a meeting with the Premier was declined, making claims of consultation with faith leaders rather hollow.
The overwhelming proportion of church members, as evidenced by 27,000 signatures to a petition calling for the removal of the religious aspects from the act, consider the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act to be deeply flawed and offensive. They have witnessed both Muslims and occultists using it to pursue centuries-old religious conflicts against Christians, in which secular courts are ill-prepared to adjudicate.
This was amply demonstrated in the action brought by the Islamic Council of Victoria against a small Christian group, Catch the Fire Ministries, in which the judge in the case made the bizarre assertion that the 1 billion adherents of Islam regard the Koran as equivalent to the Bible; that it agrees substantially with Christian beliefs save for particular events.
This would be news to most Muslims and Christians. Furthermore, the decision judged the shocking material cited from the Koran by one of the defendants as no longer relevant to the 21st century - this is clearly contrary to the views of those Muslims, including Muslims living in Australia, who regard the Koran as the literal dictated word of Allah and therefore unalterable. A particularly noxious aspect of the judge's decision was that speaking the truth is no longer an acceptable defence”. David Palmer. May 1, 2006. The Age newspaper
"A campaign to dump a religious hatred law in Australia is winning growing support from churches -- including some whose opinion on the law has shifted since two Christians were found guilty of vilifying Muslims.
Mainstream church leaders are adding their voices to other Christians asking the State of Victoria's Labor government to rescind the legislation, saying it poses a danger to freedom of speech.
Victoria's Racial and Religious Tolerance Act made headlines around the world after Muslims took two pastors before a tribunal, complaining about a post-9/11 seminar designed to explain Islam to a Christian audience.
The case made waves in Britain, where the government has been trying to enact a similar proposal....
For the Presbyterian Church the outcome of the Catch the Fire case raised two important issues.
"First, are judges now required to make theological judgments under the Act and just how well qualified are they to do so?" moderator Allan Harman said in a statement.
"Secondly, and more specifically, are we to assume that Christians quoting and commenting on Islamic texts in ways the Muslims object to, will be penalized? This ability to critique another person's position is integral to a free and democratic society."
Both the Presbyterian and Anglican (Episcopalian) churches argue that the legislation has mixed up questions of religious and racial hatred.
"It was a great mistake for the government to lump religious vilification in with racial vilification," Harman said. "Apart from a very few small groupings such as Jews and Sikhs, race and religion in the modern world are not the same thing. Race for any person is a given, not so religion." Jihadwatch.
Patrick Parkinson on why our law is dumb as a bag of gravel. The University of Sydney Law School.
Here's an incredibly comprehensive round up from Australian Christian group, the Saltshakers.
And now a word from the government. Just give them a moment to pull their pants up.
More on why the law sux.
The great Danny Pipes on same.
A hip and related Andrew Bolt piece.
On bogus insulting Turkishness Muslim laws. Hey, do they mean "Hey, do you know you have a certain insulting Turkishness?!" I can't wait until the Instanbul Express reaches Europe with it's seventy million passengers. It'll be like sunshine! Gotta be, Mister!
Excerpt: "Turkey is expected to amend a heavily criticised law which makes "insulting Turkishness" illegal, in order to improve its chances of entering the EU…Breaking the law can mean a sentence of up to four years in jail.
Change of wording: Sahin refused to comment on the nature of the changes to the law before they were discussed at a cabinet meeting on Monday.
However, media reports have said that the term "insulting Turkishness" may change to "insulting the Turkish nation" or "insulting the Turkish people".
Colonel Neville: "Whatever".
Libel Law: free speech on trial by Helene Guldberg.
"...claimants do not have to prove actual harm. They just need to show that the words complained of are capable of lowering their standing in the estimation of 'right-thinking members of the public'. Those who sue do not need to prove that their reputation has been damaged - nor do they need to prove that the words complained of were untrue. The assumption is that the defamatory statement is false, and the burden falls on the defendant to prove its truth. This reverse burden of proof is almost unique to English libel law.
The defendant does not only have to defend the literal meaning of a statement they have made, but also possible interpretations. To argue that a particular defamatory meaning was not intended will not hold up as a defence in court. Claimants can - and often do - succeed in attributing defamatory meanings to statements that the defendant never intended to be defamatory.
No wonder claimants succeed in over 80 percent of cases that get to court. The absurdity of this situation was summed up by Lord Lester in The Times (London): claimants in libel cases, he explained, are able to 'obtain damages for a statement made to others without showing that the statement was untrue, without showing that it did him any harm, and without showing that the defendant was wrong to make it' (1).
With these kinds of odds, the libel courts provide some rich pickings. But only for the wealthy: the costs involved in libel trials frequently amount to six- or seven-figure sums, and there is no legal aid available for those who cannot afford to go to court…there were calls to hold those who financially support the claimant to be liable for the costs of the defendant, if the claimant should lose. But while this might curb some libel actions, it would only make the law even more exclusive to the rich.
The most worrying aspect of the UK libel law is the effect it has on free speech.
If authors, editors or publishers have the smallest inkling that the truth of a proposition cannot be proven in court (even when made in good faith), the knowledge that they would have less than a one-in-five chance of success in a libel trial means the story is most likely to be dropped…As David Pannick QC explains, 'the current state of the English law of defamation is impossible to reconcile with any developed concept of free speech.
Defendants are liable even if they make statements that they reasonably believe to be true on matters of public interest; the plaintiff may receive substantial damages whether or not financial loss has been caused; and legal aid is unavailable....Our libel law assumes that life is lived in a gentleman's club in which damage to reputation is one of the most serious injuries that a person can suffer' (2).
The K-Zone on defamation and free speech. English law has long recognized that a person's good reputation is something that merits protection, and that compensation should be paid by someone who impugnes that reputation.
A person who is a victim of an attack on his reputation can be financially damaged, particularly if the imputation concerns his professional competence. However, in most cases it is not necessary that the victim show that he has suffered any financial loss: libel (publication in permanent form) is actionable per se, as is slander (publication in transient form) when it touches on a person's professional competence.
On the whole, tensions between the law of defamation (libel and slander) and the right to freedom of speech do not arise where the imputation turns out to be true. `Justification' (truth) is, of course, nearly always a complete defence to an action in defamation. As Littledale J said in M'Pherson v Daniels (1829) 10 B & C 263, "the law will not permit a man to recover damages in respect of an injury to a character which he does not, or ought not, to possess".
It is not necessary that the imputation be perfectly true in all particulars; it will suffice as a defence if is is substantially true (AlexanderVNorthEasternRailway1865).
"Governments are stupid.
The term ‘government’ refers to a system by which a small group of corrupt assholes exercise authority over a large group of idiots. In this system, the governing body (assholes) extort money from the society they govern (idiots) for the purpose of generating paperwork, buying fancy office furniture, soliciting whores, and bickering over stupid bullshit on C-SPAN televsion. In return, they offer society the illusion of maintaining order.
Governments perform various tasks that are important to a stable society, but are difficult to perform without highly organized groups. These tasks include, but are not limited to: imprisoning and shooting dangerous people, imprisoning and shooting innocent people, issuing currency, wasting currency, giving speeches, funding scientific research, and lying to children". The Encyclopedia of Stupid.