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Old 04-21-2010, 04:43 PM   #1
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Free Speech

[Soapbox on] There's way too much free speech going on. You should not be able to say some of the things that are said and hide behind the mantle of free speech. Nothing is free. We pay dearly for the rights that we have (often through great lose of life in battle) and everyone is entitled to be free including being free from others abuses. Hopefully, the bulling case that lead a young girl to commit suicide will make it clear that you can't say anything you want to anyone you want without suffering some kind of consequence.[Soapbox off]
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:18 PM   #2
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Your're right, Bill. Unfortunately, we as a society condone bullying. It is rampant in our schools and the kids who see it seem to grow up to believe that it is OK to act that way.

IMHO, there is no broad interpretation of "free speech" which allows many against one actions. Free speech is just that - speaking. You have a right to express your views in public. You do not have the right to call, threaten and harass, especially as a group. That we even think about allowing such conduct in the guise of free speech is part of the problem.

To me, your example was a no less heinous situation than were a mother contrived a fictitious character, lured a young girl into believing that the character cared for her and then casued the character to dump her. That one resulted in a suicide, too. There is no way that a premeditated set of actions that is specifically designed to hurt someone should be counted as free speech. Bullying is bullying. There is no free speech in that.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:59 PM   #3
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We know that you can yell FIRE in a crowded theater or HIJACK on an airplane. Since we know that ALL speech is not free we need to get busy preventing the bullying kind of speech. I remember well the case that you refer to and I was very pleased to see that the local prosecutor at least attempted to bring criminal charges. We, as a society, have chosen a course that says "it's OK if I think it's OK". We all make these choices everyday. Jaywalk, roll through a "right on red AFTER STOP", roll through a stop sign we didn't really think belonged there and on and on. We also know that doing these thing MAY have consequences, we are just willing to take that chance. It's time to make it clear that you can't say whatever you want to whomever you want without any possibility of consequences.
Oops, forgot to turn on my soapbox!
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:21 PM   #4
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Somewhere I once read... "Your right to free speech ends where my ear begins."

I do believe in the RIGHT of Free Speech, but also the OBLIGATION to take responsibility for what you said and the impact of saying it. And if it has caused harm, then appropriate punishment should apply.

Then again, I sometimes wonder what happened to this thing called "Good Manners." Guess I'm old-fashioned.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:27 PM   #5
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I am not sure what bullying case you are referring to, which I am assuming was tragic and inappropriate, but it sounds like you are bullying.

I think bullying laws should be enacted to stop your encroachment on free speech. There is no perfect society with perfect citizens and I am sorry I am unaware of the specific case you are referencing. But, restrictions on free speech have unintended consequences I am not willing to live with. I wish things were always positive, but limiting free speech is where we part ways.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:38 PM   #6
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The case he was referring to was a 15 year old girl that was so tormented by a group of kids harassing her and telling lies about her that she killed herself. It appears as if the Teachers and School Administration was informed by the girls parents about the problem and did not react by many peoples standards, appropriately.

They are learning the consequences of un-bridled free speech. Nine of them have been charged with a variety of felony charges that include statutory rape, violation of civil rights with bodily injury, harassment, stalking and disturbing a school assembly. They are finding out that having no restrictions on free speech have unintended consequences!

Now not to sound too hawkish, I hope they all spend a long time in prison trying to bully the people they are going to meet there. It's funny how life has a way of taking care of societies problems sometimes!
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:48 PM   #7
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The case he was referring to was a 15 year old girl that was so tormented by a group of kids harassing her and telling lies about her that she killed herself. It appears as if the Teachers and School Administration was informed by the girls parents about the problem and did not react by many peoples standards, appropriately.

They are learning the consequences of un-bridled free speech. Nine of them have been charged with a variety of felony charges that include statutory rape, violation of civil rights with bodily injury, harassment, stalking and disturbing a school assembly. They are finding out that having no restrictions on free speech have unintended consequences!

Now not to sound too hawkish, I hope they all spend a long time in prison trying to bully the people they are going to meet there. It's funny how life has a way of taking care of societies problems sometimes!
If you wish to fire or imprison teachers or administrators that would not protect this girl you have my support.

If you wish to go after harassment, stalking, rape, or bodily injury charges against individuals you have my support.

If you want to restrict free speech I suggest you reread my previous comments and recognize your intent violates the constitution which I intend to defend.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:59 PM   #8
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Good for you, I am glad you feel so committed to your defense and quest! I assume that it's OK for me to say that, right?
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:07 PM   #9
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Good for you, I am glad you feel so committed to your defense and quest! I assume that it's OK for me to say that, right?
Absolutely!!!

It is also ok for us to join forces to go after teachers, administrators or students who allowed or committed harassment, stalking, rape, or bodily injury against anyone.

It is just the constitution I do not want trampled on when other issues were the real problem.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:16 PM   #10
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The harassment that they are charged with is verbal harassment, there are laws that prevent verbal harassment under certain circumstances and it is not protected by free speech, it is based on intent and potential danger, similar to the above described "Fire" in the full theater. I think that was the intent of the poster above.

I agree that "free speech" should be protected.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:24 PM   #11
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The harassment that they are charged with is verbal harassment, there are laws that prevent verbal harassment under certain circumstances and it is not protected by free speech, it is based on intent and potential danger, similar to the above described "Fire" in the full theater. I think that was the intent of the poster above.

I agree that "free speech" should be protected.
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Absolutely!!!

It is also ok for us to join forces to go after teachers, administrators or students who allowed or committed harassment, stalking, rape, or bodily injury against anyone.

It is just the constitution I do not want trampled on when other issues were the real problem.
OK now you are re- explaining harrasment and ignoring stalking, rape, or bodily injury against anyone. I think there are plenty of charges to go after these people with out limiting the constitution and citizens right to free speech.

Believe me I am not the enemy. I would be happy to see the individuals responsible for this poor girls life rot in jail or worse. I just do not want to see a stalking, rape and bodily injury case be used to limit our constitution.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:54 PM   #12
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"Sticks and stones may break my bones - but WORDS will never hurt me!"

UNLESS we're weak minded, and lacking in personal control and composure - then we're ANYONE'S valid target!

Be very careful in what YOU want to limit OTHERS in, because YOU may well be the target of the NEXT would-be controller - and YOU just might not LIKE the limits they want to place on YOU!
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:39 PM   #13
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As the mother of a son harrassed in 6th grade, my heart goes out to the kids who fall victim to bullying, and to their families. Yes, teachers and school administrators need to do more, and be held accountable in these extreme cases. Adults who get involved in these situations, like the mother who created the false online idenity to bully the girl, they should be hung high in the town square! I know this sounds harsh but these examples of the downfall of our social structure truly sicken me!

But two points:

1. What ever happened to punishment for wrong doers???? Rather than restrict speech for all, what about PUNISHMENT for the bullies?? If the punishment was harsh, I think we'd see a reduction in bullying. I'm disgusted to see so many micro and macro examples of where the freedoms of those who follow the rules of common decency are lost due to the irresponibility of those who break the rules! Even the way the media has handled this case has sickened me. From the start it has been described as "Bullying". I was shocked when the reporter then said there were charges of rape and assault! Just how broad is the definition of bullying?? These kids criminal thugs, and should be treated as such! Maybe they were bullies in 5th or 6th grade but gone UNPUNISHED they became so much worse!

2. On the 'receiving end'...When it is 'simple schoolyard bullying', what about teaching kids to be a little tougher?? Like Gary said..."Sticks and stones..." I grew up hearing that constantly, and when my son was bullied, I told him the same thing! I'm only 49 and my kids are grown and gone but I see so many parents raising such mamby-pamby kids! Early in life, bullies and their would-be victims, respectively, need to learn that there is punishment for bad behaviors (Can we drop the word 'consequences'??), and how to stand up against those who mean to do harm?

I don't usually read or comment on these kinds of threads but the "Free Speech" title caught my eye. I want to live in a country that is truly free, but for those who abuse those freedoms, I'm all for swift and harsh punishment. If our freedoms continue to be trimmed, we're going to wake up one morning and wonder what the heck happened to America.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:38 PM   #14
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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.

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