Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 27th Nov 2010 10:46 UTC
Legal The US is really ramping up its war on intellectual property infringement, a war which I'm sure will be just as successful, cheap and supported by the people as the wars on drugs and terrorism. The US has started seizing the domain names of various websites through ICANN - not because owners of these sites were convicted of anything, but merely because complaints have been filed against them. Anyone want to take a guess how long it will be before the US government blocks WikiLeaks? Update: The blocks function outside of the US too. In other words, the US is forcing its views upon the rest of the world once again.
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RE[7]: Correction
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 27th Nov 2010 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Correction"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, the statement I'm referring to was, "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that a government institution issuing fines for profanities on broadcasting networks is a direct violation of this First Amendment."


It IS a violation of the First Amendment, since the First Amendment ITSELF says NOTHING about profanities or whatsoever. In other words, if profanities are NOT considered protected speech, this decision was made IN SPITE of the First Amendment, NOT because of it. As such, it is STILL a violation of the First Amendment - it's just that lawmakers and courts sanctioned it as okay.

I have a rule in my house that states you're not allowed to smoke inside, period. However, since some of my friends do smoke, I make an exception when it's bad weather outside - just stand by the garden door in my living room while it's opened. This is still a violation of my no smoking rule - yet it is sanctioned as okay.

So, again: go look up what a "seizure warrant" is; go look up what "probable cause" means. Only then can we have an intelligent conversation about "guilty until proven otherwise".


Even a million search warrants and ten million probable causes does not make anyone guilty. Unless a judge (or in the case of the US, the rather - to me - curious and outdated 'jury') decides otherwise, no amount of policemen or warrants or hearsay will ever make you guilty of anything.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Correction
by ricegf on Sat 27th Nov 2010 19:16 in reply to "RE[7]: Correction"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

I've served on several juries, including one in which an drug runner was released (not acquitted - he pled guilty) because several jury members felt that any but the minimum punishment was too harsh for the crime. If I were accused, I would personally prefer that ordinary citizens (whose experiences were more likely to be akin to mine) determine my guilt and punishment, rather than an aloof professional judge.

Maybe that's a cultural thing, though. Americans (and especially Texans) seem to have more faith in the individual than Europeans, AFAICT.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Correction
by jack_perry on Sat 27th Nov 2010 20:40 in reply to "RE[7]: Correction"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom, you're a smart guy. How do you fail to notice the inconsistencies in your reasoning? You appeal to judges when convenient to your argument ("Unless a judge...") right after you don't allow someone else to do the same ("it's just that ...courts sanctioned it as okay").

Take my advice: hang it up before you embarrass yourself any further. Your passion has gotten in the way of your sense.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Correction
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 27th Nov 2010 21:06 in reply to "RE[8]: Correction"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, you're a smart guy. How do you fail to notice the inconsistencies in your reasoning? You appeal to judges when convenient to your argument ("Unless a judge...") right after you don't allow someone else to do the same ("it's just that ...courts sanctioned it as okay").


You're comparing two entirely different things. Whether someone is guilty or not in the legal sense is for judges/juries to decide. In the strictest sense, nobody is guilty until they say so. You may still disagree with their rulings on a personal level, but legally speaking, they decide who is guilty.

Whether or not something violates the First Amendment or not is something else entirely. The Fist Amendment is quite clear in what it does cover - namely, everything and all.

"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."

This means that if the US government censors certain words, this is a direct violation of the First Amendment - since it abridges the freedom of speech. This is a non-negotiable fact; if I say you're not allowed to smoke in my house, yet I still allow you to do so under certain conditions, that allowance is a violation of the no smoking rule.

The fact of the matter, however, is that the Supreme Court simply allows this violation to exist because they believe it serves a greater good. However, it's just their interpretation at that point in time - for all we know, a few years from now, a Supreme Court consisting of different members will decide otherwise.

If you look at the text of the First Amendment as-is, the US government censoring certain words is a direct violation of the First Amendment - no matter if the Supreme Court allows that violation to exist or not.

Reply Parent Score: 0