Monday 16 August 2010

Freedom of Speech: Freedom to say "anything"?

In Canada, the anti-Jewish extremist Salman Hossain has been charged in absentia with three counts of promoting hatred and two counts of advocating genocide based on what he said on his web site.

In the United States, the white supremacist "shock jock" radio host Hal Turner has been found guilty of threatening 3 judges based on what he said in his blog.

We all think we're free to say anything we want but are we free to say absolutely anything?

In the USA: Freedom of Speech

The Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights came into effect on December 15, 1791. The first amendment reads:
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.
Wikipedia defines Freedom of Speech as the freedom to speak without censorship or limitation, or both. Wikipedia goes on to further qualify this in its article Freedom of Speech in the United States:
Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by many state constitutions and state and federal laws. Criticism of the government and advocacy of unpopular ideas that people may find distasteful or against public policy, such as racism, sexism, and other hate speech are generally permitted. There are exceptions to these general protection, including the Miller test for obscenity, child pornography laws, speech that incites imminent danger, and regulation of commercial speech such as advertising. Within these limited areas, other limitations on free speech balance rights to free speech and other rights, such as rights for authors and inventors over their works and discoveries (copyright and patent), interests in "fair" political campaigns (Campaign finance laws), protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons (restrictions on fighting words), or the use of untruths to harm others (slander).
A key phrase from the above explanation is this:
Criticism of the government and advocacy of unpopular ideas that people may find distasteful or against public policy, such as racism, sexism, and other hate speech are generally permitted.
Starting from this point that one is free to express any idea; the above explanation notes that there is an attempt to balance the rights to free speech and other rights. I make note here of "protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons" or "the use of untruths to harm others".

Is Freedom of Speech absolute? Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932, wrote in a ruling in the case Schenck vs. United States, 1919:
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.

Mr. Holmes presented a qualifying test to judging free speech by stating that such speech must not bring about a clear and present danger. You can't falsely shout Fire! in a crowded theater as you could cause panic.

About the court case Brandenburg v. Ohio, 1969, Wikipedia states that it held that government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless it is directed to inciting and likely to incite imminent lawless action.

Wikipedia explains Imminent Lawless Action:
Imminent lawless action is a term used in the United States Supreme Court case Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) to define the limits of constitutionally protected speech. The rule overturned the decision of the earlier Schenck v. United States (1919), which had established "clear and present danger" as the constitutional limit for speech. Under the imminent lawless action test, speech is not protected by the First Amendment if the speaker intends to incite a violation of the law that is both imminent and likely.
The doctrine states that speech that will cause, or has as its purpose, "imminent lawless action" (such as a riot) does not have constitutional protection. As of 2009, "imminent lawless action" continues to be the test applied in free speech cases.

The Wikipedia entry on the court case Brandenburg v. Ohio, 1969, ends with:
The Brandenburg test was the Court's last major statement on what government may do about inflammatory speech that seeks to incite others to lawless action. It resolved the debate between those who urged greater government control of speech for reasons of security and those who favored allowing as much speech as possible and relying on the marketplace of ideas to reach a favorable result...
As of 2009, the Brandenburg test is still the standard used for evaluating attempts to punish inflammatory speech, and it has not been seriously challenged since it was laid down in 1969.

The above entry uses the term marketplace of ideas which Wikipedia defines as:
The "marketplace of ideas" is a rationale for freedom of expression based on an analogy to the economic concept of a free market. The "marketplace of ideas" belief holds that the truth or the best policy arises out of the competition of widely various ideas in free, transparent public discourse, an important part of liberal democracy.

Where does this leave us?

It would seem that we arrive at the last major decision on the question of free speech in the United States. The test as to whether one is free to say anything depends on whether what the person says could lead to an imminent lawless action. Otherwise, the marketplace of ideas will in the end ultimately decide the fate of an idea, whether it takes root in the collective conscience or whether it withers and dies.

Subverted Nation by Adam Austin
Subverted Nation is the place to go for hard hitting, no holds barred analysis of current and past events relating to, what many deem, the jewish question, but this is not the question…it is the only answer. This is indeed the one true enemy of mankind, and all that stands for good. So here, they are given no quarter, as they have never given quarter to any peoples throughout history. Undermining whole nations, committing genocide against their peoples, ritually murdering their children. They bring with them viscious depravity in the place of morality, and deeming themselves god’s to rule over humanity, they leave nothing to question. The mission behind Subverted Nation is to disseminate information, in a fashion unlike all other outlets for news pertaining to the “jewish question”. Subverted Nation exposes to the American people how our country has been undermined, by a parasite that eats away at it’s hosts until it is bled dry.
Why would I call for a “final solution” of death to all jews and followers of judaism, cabala, and the like?
I am NOT advocating violence or BREAKING ANY LAWS. Let’s get that disclaimer out there before someone gets a hair up their ass to bother me about what I’m saying. Again, I am merely stating the FACTS to you as they ARE and as they ALWAYS WILL BE, and I am doing so well within the law. In fact, I would LOVE NOTHING MORE than for our military and law enforcement to CARRY OUT THESE TASKS LAWFULLY, but they will not because they are controlled by the jew owned media and hollywood, not to mention they (just like the so-called truth movement) are LEAD BY THE JEW.

A Voice For Men by Paul Elam
[Note: Mr. Elam has modified his web site and the following links are now invalid. I will endeavour to find the associated articles.]
The purpose of this web site is to offer information, perspective, and most importantly direction for men living in the age of virulent misandry.
Feminism is a Marxist strategy designed to undermine the family and all other traditional institutions so that the primary relationship individuals have is ultimately with The State.
Central to pulling this off was to first vilify masculinity, then criminalize it. 
The only thing that remains for men is their own survival. It is men who are the pack animals and indentured servants of this new world order. And their answer is not in going to war against Marxism, which will only result in the certain evisceration of their lives. Their answer is quite simply... to abandon any notion of commitment to women or vulnerability to them.
The emphasis [of this web site] ... will be anti marriage and anti commitment to the core.
Jury Duty at a Rape Trial? Acquit!
Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.
your fellow jurors, who can be assumed to be living unconsciously in the misandric matrix
Women lie about being raped, judicial politicians make careers off of putting away sexual offenders, and a brainwashed public cheers it all on.
If the system is rigged, then the outcome must be assumed to be tainted.

Voting not guilty on any charge of rape is the only way to remain faithful to the concept of presumed innocence.
Better a rapist would walk the streets than a system that merely mocks justice enslave another innocent man.

The Knights Party, USA - The Ku Klux Klan
Hello, all of us at the national office would like to thank you for stopping by our site. We have prepared this site in order to give an accurate portrayal of the nationalist movement.
The entertainment industry backed by individuals with a Marxist agenda have waged an attack upon the consciousness' of white Christians. To further obliterate any remaining racial instinct among our people, those who hate white Christian civilization have chosen to desecrate anything which might cause a stirring of loyalty and heritage in the heart. They say Christianity must go and they say nationalist pride must go.
From changing the names of schools, streets, avenues, stadiums, libraries, etc. to Martin Luther King the toppling of Southern monuments, anything which has the potential of causing a white person to swell with pride is forbidden.
We want to state for the record that we do not endorse hatred. It is hypocritical for one to think a black, Asian, Mexican or any other person should be praised for being loyal to their heritage. Yet a white person can feel the same sense of pride and be criticized for it. It doesn't make sense.
The Knights is a love group not a hate group. We love America and the Christian foundation of our nation. We love our white brothers and sisters world wide and we recognize the contributions they have made to civilization. We also realize that our nation's future and in fact all white Christian civilization is in jeopardy.


3 web sites are supposedly operating within the law of freedom of speech: one anti-Jewish, one anti-women and one anti-non-white. Despite the rhetoric supporting their individual self-prescribed goals, one could argue that there is no threat of an imminent lawless action, the key word here being "imminent". Yes, nothing is going to happen in the next 10 minutes; yes, nothing "may" happen tomorrow or next week. Who knows? Freedom of speech means you are permitted to say what you want, to express whatever thoughts you have. At this point, the marketplace of ideas will decide the fate of these ideas, whether they take root in the collective conscience or whether they wither and die.

Or, is it that simple?

Hal Turner

Mr. Turner is a shock jock radio host and a white supremacist that has a history of threatening public figures. In 2005, disagreeing with the handling of a court case against Matt Hale (another white supremacist who is now in jail), Turner published the names and addresses of the presiding judges on his web site with the suggestion they should be assassinated. In 2008, he once again encouraged violence against a school superintendent who had set up a curriculum supporting gays and lesbians.

On June 2, 2009, in response to a 3 judge panel upholding a handgun ban in Chicago, Turner wrote on his blog:
"Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed. Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty. A small price to pay to assure freedom for millions."
Turner then published information on how to find the judges.

Mr. Turner was arrested on June 3, 2009 on charges of inciting his website's readers to take up arms against the officials. There have been 3 trials. The first trial ended with the jury being deadlocked, the 2nd was declared a mistrial but the 3rd trial found him guilty on August 13, 2010 of threatening the 3 judges. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Hal Turner, in his defence, stated that he did not say that he himself would kill the judges; he merely said that they deserve to be killed.

Postscript: On 21 December 2010, Hal Turner was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

2 Final Points

Point #1

Are we totally free to say anything we want without any consequences whatsoever? Can we be totally absolved of any responsibility, of any complicity in what transpires as a result of our words? Can we falsely yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater then in the ensuing panic say, "Hey! It's not my fault you believed me."?

Point #2

I repeat what I have said elsewhere:
A friend is the principal of a public school in an area where the students come from all over the world, from all sorts of backgrounds. The school board publishes a school calendar on which is noted every religious holiday and celebration for everybody: Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddha, Bahá'í, etc. and all students are always made aware of everybody else's observances. In fact, ofttimes the entire school celebrates various festivals so that everybody is observing Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Diwali or Ramadan.
This friend pointed out to me recently, in talking about the children of this school that children already know how to love; they "learn" how to hate.

Is this "freedom of speech", the freedom to say anything we want, "misused" as the freedom to teach, promote and incite hatred?


I am in no way going to claim I have exhaustively covered this topic. I realize in researching this article that I have not covered all the rulings of various court cases (Hess v. Indiana, 1973) which have had an effect on the law or the differences between the U.S. and Canada and other countries. However, I hope I have provided enough detail and background material to clearly make my point about freedom of speech and its limits and associated issues.

Wikipedia: First Amendment to the United States Constitution

Wikipedia: Freedom of Speech

Wikipedia: Freedom of Speech in the United States

Wikipedia: Shouting fire in a crowded theater

Wikipedia: Brandenburg v. Ohio

Wikipedia: Imminent lawless action

Wikipedia: Marketplace of Ideas

Wikipedia: Hal Turner

Old Fart Rants: Danger Will Robinson


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1 comment:

Leslie Broussard said...


I'd be interested to see how you think the recent events in Tucson possibly have an effect on free speech? I have heard that the Fairness Doctrine might gain some momentum in the Legislature...

I think that we have to acknowledge that words have the power to promote positive action (Tony Robbins certainly has a handle on that concept). And if words can incite positive, most certainly they can incite negative.

The next question then being, who is culpable for the damage that occurs? Can I be held responsible for another adult's choices? If so, then I am definitely NOT free to say as I choose.

Side note: I often give the military credit for defending my right to speak freely...I now wonder if that is just some propaganda I was sold (hook, line and sinker!)?

Thanks for sharing your writing!