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Old 04-23-2010, 09:09 AM   #15
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Here in the US we make a lot of noise about RIGHTS, and Freedomes, for example in this thread we have the right to freedom of expreession.

What we tend to forget is every RIGHT has a responsibility

For example the RIGHT to freely express yourself comes with the RESPONSIBILITY to be truthfull (Except in some special cases, I'll go into that later) And all our rights come with the RESPONSIBILITY to not voilate others rights.

In the case of that 15 year old the bullies were not truthful (And were not one of the exceptiosn listed below) and they did not respect HER rights.

What's more: Your right to freedom of expression really does end at my property line.. If you come into MY house and start spouting stuff I do not agree with, true or not, I have the RIGHT to ask you to leave.. Since SCOTUS has ruled that ISP's can "play favorites" with services.. For example AT&T can process Yahoo! mail ahead of G-mail if they wish (AT&T has an agreement with Yahoo!, I think it was Charter Cable however who brought the case to the court) this means the ISP's have a responsibility to not allow bully-mail And since the text messages are more Internet than phone call.. They may have liabilty here (not a lawyer so don't know for sure... will be interesting to read about though)

I mentioned some cases where people need not be truthful:

Liar's Club contests
Tall Tail Night
Fiction Writers

And so on.. In each case. you may not be speaking the truth, but everyone present knows it is not true, but it is entertainment.

I'm currently reading a "Midnight Louie" murder mystery. Very well written, also not true , but it is not a lie.

How can it be Untrue and still not be a lie? Lie implies an intent to deceive. This is FICTION (Not true, and clearly advertised as such)

There are 3 kinds of untruth

Fiction (Advertised as such)
Error (It's not true, but I think it's true)
LIE (I know it's not true I am trying to decieve)

Lies, in many case are already illegal (One of the 10 commandents is "Though shall NOT bear false witness,,, and a few law books in the law library have codified that commandment into civil law.. Two words that apply are Slander and Liable)

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Old 04-25-2010, 07:13 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SSteve View Post
emiddleb nailed it!

All I can add is that rights and responsibilities walk hand in hand. Our system doesn't work if one is ignored.

I too grow weary of all of those "offended" by something which should not cause offense. Latest one I saw was in the Highways magazine where a reader was offended by those complaining that their RV cooking arrangements didn't allow them to prepare the meals suggested by the cooking dude. Offended? Please!

My point is, we should be able to say what we want as long as we harm no one or are able to substantiate our claims if we do. Those who claim harm also must substantiate the harm. Just because one says there was harm doesn't make it true. PC must die before it destroys common sense.

I fully agree with you. Seems like if anyone can find a reason nowadays to be "offended", they start screaming it.

I do agree with Grey. I believe in our constitutional rights. I am a female veteran who fought for those rights. But what people have forgotten is that for every choice we make, there is a consequence and we have to live with those consequences. My son grew up with that axiom and I still spout it. You do have the right to say what you want - our country was founded on the belief - but you'd better be prepared to pay the piper.

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Old 04-25-2010, 07:39 AM   #17
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Unfortunately, I have had to change my beliefs. I do believe that "politically correct" and "offended" have become far overused. I have become weary of the new catch word used to shut people up or make them feel guilty, "Racism". It is becoming so overused that it no longer has it's original meaning or connotation, and it more often is used as a defense rather than actually being offensive. I even started to believe that the Constitution should be an evolving document based on changes over time and the results of history, then, I got my wake-up call! If we were to let the Constitution be modified or interpreted to accommodate my personal beliefs of change or "rightness", that means I would have to accept those who I vehemently oppose proposing their interpretations and changes. If those I vehemently oppose become a majority, the silent majority would then have no choice but to accept that which is unacceptable. The Constitution must be upheld at all cost!

Why do I digress so much? Today we are faced with the greatest turmoil are country has faced since the Civil War! The conflict far surpasses the Red Menace of the fifties or the Peace Movement of the sixties. I do not know if God has chosen sides in our conflict, it's probably not politically correct to bring God into it. Surely we feel compassion for our fellow man and would like to think that we could find common ground, but it appears that compromise is a word soon to be banned from government.

We are faced with a sea change that will forever alter our course as a Nation. I fear every day that the course may be the one I will choose not to sail. We are currently researching other countries to relocate. No, we know we will not find one that is better or feels like home and the America we grew up loving and respecting. When you feel you may no longer be able to love the country you had and can not accept the country you have become, it's probably time to leave rather than watch the slow death of your Nation!

Please believe that this is not political, it is personal and from my heart!
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:46 AM   #18
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My point is, we should be able to say what we want as long as we harm no one or are able to substantiate our claims if we do.
This is the point. Not ALL speech is free. As I mentioned earlier we have already put limits on what you can say that might cause harm to others.
Free speech is an excellent right but it is also a privilege. It needs to be treated with respect to the privilege so others aren't forced to take away the right.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:34 AM   #19
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Bill, I agree with your sentiments about the two examples you site, but I don't agree with your solution. Anytime we directly attach free speech we are on a dangerous and slippery slope.

Recently the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a case allowing the publication of animal abuse videos. On the surface your first thought is “What are they thinking?” But when you look further you find that if the videos were banned, the ban would include hunting videos which would be a back door assault on our second amendment right to bear arms. In additon, there are already laws against animal abuse which the animal abusers can be prosecuted under.

People who bully are cowards and they do it to boost their self esteem. It makes them feel superior, powerful and in control. It makes the one who is bullied feel they don't have the right to exist. I believe the best way to solve a problem is at its lowest level. We live in a society that discourages fighting but If the bully got smacked a few times it would discourage this type of behavior. Look at it this way, you are not advocating your children to fight, you are simple teaching him to defend his right to exist.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:23 PM   #20
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Free Speech seems a lot like the Right to Bear Arms. I have the right to own a handgun but I need to use it appropriately due to its consequences on others. I cannot threaten to shoot or carry it in certain areas or ways. If I discharge it I am totally responsible.
I see speech as the same in many ways. I cannot yell "Fire" at the movies or threaten another person. I can express my thoughts about politics, religion (except Muslim) and exchange ideas freely with others while being relatively free of oppression. I even support Illegal Alien's Rights to protest although I would be the first to punch their ticket to jail.
In regards to the bully incident. Teachers and Administrators are part of the issue, along with parents and others. I feel the students involved should bear the full responsibility for their actions. Those students knew exactly what they were doing and chose to verbally assault the young woman. In other Countries people this age are being drafted into military service and are expected to act as responsible citizens. The young woman is also responsible. She had many opportunities to ask for help and had many choices that were much more healthy than suicide.
We decry the supposed demise and irresponsible actions of our Government and yet let the students walk having to bear no responsibility for their actions. I wonder why we are in the "boat" we are in when we cannot even figure out who to hang this on.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:40 AM   #21
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I believe in free speech. There.

To those who have posted that the administrators and teachers need to be held responsible, let me ask this question.

Where does it start? Answer: In the home. The parents are the ones that need to be held responsible for their child's actions. It is to many times that the parents are complacent in their child's upbringing.

Teachers and administrators are only responsible for a child's behavior while that child is at school. There is NO way they can control the communication streams that are available today. Well, one way - no cell phones in school. Not a violation of free speech as the phone will be available when the child leaves the school, and then they can talk.
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:25 PM   #22
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Hopefully, no one thinks I am suggesting that speech not be free. However, we have already determined that the use of any language anywhere is not acceptable. If you say it you just need to be prepared for any possible consequences. I'm all for that.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:15 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Wayne M View Post
I believe in free speech. There.
Teachers and administrators are only responsible for a child's behavior while that child is at school. There is NO way they can control the communication streams that are available today. Well, one way - no cell phones in school. Not a violation of free speech as the phone will be available when the child leaves the school, and then they can talk.
Wayne, you are right. No one, teachers, administrators, parents, can control everything kids say or do. In the context of this conversation, I don't want them to try either. No one should control everything that someone else does, even kids.

But let us look at a different way. Did you see the terrible story about the homeless man who died of stab wounds that he got while trying to save a woman? He went out of is way, risked his life and paid the ultimate price for his decision. He didn't have to, however. The surveillance video shows a number of people that saw the situation but didn't want to get involved and simply walked by, allowing him to lie there without help. I suspect that many of them knew that it was wrong that he was lying there. Still, no one, including the fellow who actually moved the homeless man's head acted to save him.

Teachers, administrators and parents see bullying behaviors and do no more about them than the people who passed the man lying on the street did. They know that the actions are wrong, they hear the abusive talk and they simply go on about their business. I agree that the group of kids probably some things, even many things, out of the earshot or notice of anyone. I taught school myself and I know that kids, particularly those working together in a group seldom are sneaky about it. They often blatantly brag to their friends. I fully understand that the range of responses that teachers and administrators have is very limited. They can speak to the students directly, either alone or in a group or they can contact the parents. They are not empowered to take any actions against bullies other than to break up such activities are occurring on school grounds. Even in elementary schools, however, they don't. Unless it turns into physical violence (and sometimes not even then), the behaviors are simply ignored.

Please allow me to add a personal footnote. I was bullied in high school. We moved into a small town situation where everyone had known everyone else all of their lives. I was the odd guy, who hadn't grown up there but showed up for the last three years of school. I also had interests in music that weren't popular. At my 30th high school reunion, one of the ones responsible for the bullying was there...and hadn't changed. He was still a bully. I can vividly remember now, how he and another student were encouraged in their activities by one of our teachers. That teacher clearly saw what was happening to me and several others and not only did not stop it but laughed about it. The only reason that I bring this up is because the teacher taught Social Studies and government. He lectured in class about free speech. He also had a particular political bent and the bullies were turned loose on students who didn't agree with it. The hypocrisy of the situation still amuses me.

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