Robert Winner

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In the UK, online rants land some in jail

Great Britain prosecutes people who post obscene, offensive, or menacing messages on Facebook & Twitter

Should the US prosecute for obscene or menacing Facebook posts & tweets?

Is there to much anger & negativity.

Should online speech be protected.

Where should the line be drawn.

  • Nov 18 2012: There are real limits in the United States. Don't shout "fire" in a theater.
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    Nov 19 2012: one does not have to destroy liberty. it seems liberty destroys itself. or how else can i interpret the recent upsurge of anti-freedom sentiments coming from the USA, the former home of the free?
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    Nov 18 2012: Well, look at how the Democrats used romney being a confirmed? mormon a lot at the opening stages to your election process at the begining of the year, so , this setup the word mormon with his image and then it was hardly mentioned in the media outside the states as election day drew near, instead the image changed to corporate raider of jobs that your public are so desperately in need of and the presumption of him being out of touch with the American public who are in dire financial strife. his image of good hair good looks healthy skin and expensive suits don't fit with the average voter who sees O as greying from the stress of the job and average looking atire, clean but not looking over the top.

    No one i know ever mentioned this as a major factor that i know of.

    You Americans are subtle creatures of deceit when it comes to your elections but the Brits are in your face stark raving lunatics 80? to 60? million people on a couple of islands not much smaller than my country, it's only understandable that they are a little fed up with each other, i would be too especially when there is hardly any jobs, at the moment there is another immigration invasion of my country from the Poms but this time it's like they are running from something.
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      Nov 18 2012: Ken, Spot on. During the Nixon VS Kennedy election of 1960 Nixon went on the air without makeup and looked terriable. Kennedy understood the image factors that you are speaking of and ovecome the "being Catholic" issue that existed in the US at the time. If you look closely you can see the makeup lines on most politicians.

      Ken why are the Poms rushing to Austrilia? Why are the Brits called in the slang Poms?

      Your right the politicians in Britian are a pesky bunch.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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        Nov 19 2012: It's an Aussie term but we took to using it as well, it goes back to when Aussie was a penal colony and the only people sent there were "Prisoners of her Majesty...something else" i can't fully remember, Cut it down and you have Pohms, it's an affectation since we are connected by the old ties and treaties and a fondness for them as most of us downunder have Pom ancestry somewhere in the bloodlines.

        I would say it's the 3rd great migration of Poms, the 2nd was just after ww2 and the 1st was during the colonial times. We're getting Pommed out as well as the "Southies" South Africans, or those that couldn't get into Australia. There is also a massive influx of Indian and Asian immigrants, The cultural milieu has spiked from just a couple of dominant cultures to suddenly 5 of them in the last 20 years.

        Changing Waters.

        One of our Parties want to give 16 year olds the Vote........Dosen't fly with me, No life experience no vote regardless of education or knowledge or philosophical education, Knowledge can be taught or accessed but experience is a factor that can't be downloaded and integrated, that takes visual,physical and emotional interaction, you can get two online but not all three.
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          Nov 19 2012: They lowered it to 16 in Argentina to gain more votes. Argentina is paradigm of what not to do.
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    Nov 18 2012: Freedom of speech should not mean freedom to say anything and everything including hate speech, threats and intimidation.
    I know that the US would not underestimate threatening online speeches from members of a particular ethno-religious group; certainly there has to be some sort of regulation on the internet because the excesses of some people does threaten freedom itself.
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    Nov 17 2012: At a certain age does the 1st amendment start sounding like a bad idea? Edward was saying that there should be a regulation on political advertising.

    The answer is no.
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      Nov 17 2012: I agree. I just read the first amendment (again), and renewed the fact that libel, slander, obscenity, sedition, copyright violations, and revelation of information classified or otherwise are not protected. Further reading of the Sedation Act of 1918 and the Espionage Act of 1917, and the alien sedition Act of 1798 that included four bills 1) Naturalization Act, 2) Alien Act, 3) Alien Enemies Act, and 4)) Sedation Act. These were all ment to guard against the real threat of anarchy.

      The more I read in history the more I realize that there are few things new. The events of 1798 can be directly related to the events of 2012. Also if read with a open and inquiring mind how wise and visionary the founding fathers were.

      Argument against the suggested changes to the Constitution or implementing policy could be the McCain Finstien act that effected political contributions (I call this the cry baby act because McCain could not get the same amount of donations) that brought about super PACS. Our current legislaters can not envision yesterday let alone 200 years from now.

      In regards to Edwards suggestion we cannot regulate those who can be led, will not read and learn, or are incapable because of stupidity.

      My kids history classes and giovernment classes were essentially ... on what date did this occur .... What we need is more cause and effect. If that happens then the lessons of history would include economics, politics, statistics, and the influencing factors of the day. I cannot see why this is not possible unless it would offend the textbook publishers and the test developers. It would really tick off politicians ... good.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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        Nov 18 2012: The last paragraph would render the preceding paragraphs superfluous?
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        Gail .

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        Nov 18 2012: You wrote: “I agree. I just read the first amendment (again), and renewed the fact that libel, slander, obscenity, sedition, copyright violations, and revelation of information classified or otherwise are not protected.”

        You say that the Alien and Sedition act was legal, but it was not. Just because the act was signed into law by a government run by Federalists who opposed a Constitution with a Bill of Rights does not make the act constitutionally legal. The reason that the act was never brought before the Supreme Court is because it wasn’t until later that the Supreme Court GAVE ITSELF the power to overthrow Constitutional Law, replacing it with British Common Law.

        Have you forgotten that the anti-federalists were successful in blocking ratification of the Constitution without the Bill of Rights because they were afraid of things like the Alien & Sedition Act?

        The Alien & Sedition Act was the major reason why Adams lost his second bid for the presidency. (Though Adam’s belief in the divine right of aristocracy also helped). Granted, the Federalists were also convicted of same by Anti-Federalists just before the act expired, but Jefferson, when he became president, pardoned everyone arrested under the act because the act was unconstitutional.

        You look at the 1st Amendment out of its historical context. “No law” means “NO law”. There is no “except” in the 1st amendment.

        Part of me would like everyone at FOX news arrested and put in jail for their lies, slander, sedition, and libel. How would you feel if that happened?

        PS: Copyright infringement is covered by Article I, Section 8, not the first amendment. Your desire to prohibit publishing information (classified or otherwise) on a federal level is not constitutional without throwing out the constitution. If you want a change, you should support a constitutional amendment.

        Your understanding of early American History is very limited and covered by biases that blind you.