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Phelps clan barred from entering Britian
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Author Topic: Phelps clan barred from entering Britian  (Read 11668 times)
Current
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2009, 07:08:25 EST »

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For many years subversive, inflammatory and stupid speech has been perfectly permissible across Western European and North America, and many other places too.
Not really. If you don't believe me, go out on the street and walk around until you see a policeman or patrol car and start shouting "Cops are homosexuals!", adding any degree of profanity you deem apropriate.

After you make bail, come tell us how it worked out.
I see your point.  Those sorts of laws though only prevent this sort of thing is certain contexts of public places.  They don't prevent it generally.

I can insult the police in private, on the internet, in newspapers or even on television.  In fact, in Britain or Ireland you may well get away with insulting the police on the streets too.  I've seen them ignore that sort of behaviour frequently.

Quote from: Current
There is also a difference between judgment and pre-judgment.  Banning someone from entering a country because of something they have not yet done is pre-judgment.
Meh... no different from a restraining order. They've done dumb stuff before and the English government put them under restraining order from their entire population.
It is different from a restraining order.  To begin with a restraining order is issued by a judicial procedure.  The ban in this case was issued by a politician.  It is not the same thing.

Now, are we to accept that politicians can issue bans on individuals for such purposes?  Again we have the whole "public harm" issue.  It is quite easy to show an intent to harm a single person.  Banning one person from getting near another infringes the freedom of the banned party only very marginally.  It is not simple to show that for "intent to harm the public good".  Attempt to ban one person from getting near and entire nation of others may effect the freedom of that person more than marginally.

It is obviously a tool that can be used to stifle debate.  And since government can do that why should they not?

Romanians are widely regarded as degenerates in Ireland.  If the Taoiseach were to say tomorrow "Romanians are all banned from entering Ireland because of the trouble they cause" he would have wide support.  If such bans are not objectionable, then why not?
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2009, 08:33:01 EST »

Something people seem to be accepting here is that it is reasonable to have laws against hate speech, it is not.  The problem is how can perceptions of hate be fully removed from any form of political opinion.  For example, if you disagree with me on some subject you may "hate what I stand for".  How different then is that from hating me?  (This is the differentiation Geert Wilders makes below).

Really the important thing is incitement to violence.

Claiming that it's impossible to be a moderate Muslim is incitement to violence;
Have you read what you have said about religion yourself in the past?

Claiming that someone is not moderate is not an incitement to violence.  Both major parties in the UK have at one time or other labeled the supporters of the other as dangerous radicals.  Many other groups have being labeled so too.

it's conflating every Muslim with the London Underground bombers.
No it isn't.  Saying "none are moderate" does not mean "all are terrorists".

Claiming that gays will end civilisation is an incitement to violence. I shouldn't have to explain that one.
It isn't incitement to violence until they actually come and incite some violence.

But it's not: they've said what they're coming into the country for. They've released statements to the press about it. And they'll do exactly what they've said, if the past is any indication.
If they break the law while protesting they can be arrested and extradited when they do.

So, if a guy has a knife at your neck, it's not a crime? He hasn't actually injured you yet, so it's pre-judgement to think that he will, in fact, slit your throat.
That situation is an entirely different one.  To begin with it involves physical harm.  Intent to insult someone or something is hardly a crime of a similar magnitude.  Secondly it is a person to person situation with clear evidence.  Thirdly it should be dealt with by the law not by politicians.  See my response to Andrei.

If they're wrong, you get the chance to question and challenge them.

Did rational arguments ever work against demagoguery? In a battle between the two, I'd bet my money firmly on the latter.
It may not work on the supporters of such demagoguery.  However, it's almost unnecessary for the rest of the population to even go as far as arguing.  Phelps and his family are a walking comedy show.


Hardly. You might laugh at such displays, but your gay friends are much less likely to. Nor are your American friends. Phelps is taken seriously by a lot more people than you might otherwise think.
I'll put to you a question I often ask Wodan.  If you believe that the public are morons then why do you advocate democracy at all.  Surely what is needed is a wise and noble group of leaders who would not be taken in by such demagoguery?
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Ihlosi
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2009, 08:50:51 EST »

If you believe that the public are morons then why do you advocate democracy at all. 

Err ... isn't the answer obvious? Democracy puts limits on the amount that a particular group of morons can do (since there may be lots of morons, but they usually don't all agree on the same thing), while in a hate group, you only need few morons inclined towards violence (actually, one will do for starters) and people will get hurt or killed.
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2009, 11:28:20 EST »

If you believe that the public are morons then why do you advocate democracy at all. 

Err ... isn't the answer obvious? Democracy puts limits on the amount that a particular group of morons can do (since there may be lots of morons, but they usually don't all agree on the same thing)
I don't really agree.  If people are generally morons then surely they may agree from time to time?  Or a majority may agree.

while in a hate group, you only need few morons inclined towards violence (actually, one will do for starters) and people will get hurt or killed.
However, acts of violence and incitement to violence are already illegal.

What you is being proposed is removing certain views from public debate.  This is to be done in case the public (who are taken to be morons) form the wrong idea.

This is the old aristocractic argument. "We the anointed know the right course, we will shield the public from incorrect opinions".  If that is the case then why do the anointed take the publics opinions into account at all.  Why not cut out the middle-man?
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2009, 12:51:20 EST »

While we're on the subject Geert Wilders has recently visited America.  Unfortunately for those claiming that he would incite violence nothing at all exciting happened.
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Andrei
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« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2009, 13:44:24 EST »

Quote from: Current
I can insult the police in private, on the internet, in newspapers or even on television.  In fact, in Britain or Ireland you may well get away with insulting the police on the streets too.  I've seen them ignore that sort of behaviour frequently.
Just as the Phelps's are free to broadcast their opinions into England via internet, newspapers or television, if they wanted to...

And, BTW, I'd guess overall it's safer to insult the police now than at any other point of human history when a police force existed (as to your argument that this is a new thing).

Besides, toleration of an unlawful act isn't the same as it being legal.

Quote from: Current
It is different from a restraining order.  To begin with a restraining order is issued by a judicial procedure.  The ban in this case was issued by a politician.  It is not the same thing.
(...)
It is obviously a tool that can be used to stifle debate.  And since government can do that why should they not?
And there are plenty of other tools to stifle debate, they've simply been more straightforward in this case.

In a way, I'm more comfortable with government stifling debate in an obvious way than doing it by stretching detainment time laws, outrage laws, slander laws, etc... to stifle debate without appearing to do so.

And this begs the question : "Shouldn't debate be stifled at a certain point?"

I'll give you a specific example : Edgar Escultura (google is good for him).

I understand he was given a chance to prove his point, made an ass of himself and now is just derided into withdrawal whenever necessary.

Is this stifling the debate? Yes, it is.
Without it, however, time and ressources would be wasted.
And this guy was asinine but harmless. The Phelps rhetoric isn't.

Same thing here. The debate the Phelps family wants to open, or could open, is so idiotic - and potentially explosive - that I see no fault in closing it before it starts.

EDIT : I FORGOT

Quote from: Current
Romanians are widely regarded as degenerates in Ireland.  If the Taoiseach were to say tomorrow "Romanians are all banned from entering Ireland because of the trouble they cause" he would have wide support.  If such bans are not objectionable, then why not?
There's a difference here. The Phelps family has engaged in verifiable, documented disruptive behaviour.

To say the same is not true for the entire population of Romania is an understatement. I'd have very little problems if they banned travel to Ireland for Romanians with criminal records, or with a record of disruptive behaviour.

And, for the record, I'll bet most of the Romanian trouble-makers are gypsies. They're way over-represented among criminals in Romania, and they're overrepresented among ex-pats as well (at least those to other europen countries). Not a winning combination.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 13:55:44 EST by Andrei » Logged

He looked severely at me for awhile, then, grabbing his moustaches, he said:
- Boss, with all due respect, you are naive and pedant.

"Alexis Zorba", by Nikos Kazantzakis (translation mine)
Medivh
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« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2009, 18:57:58 EST »

Something people seem to be accepting here is that it is reasonable to have laws against hate speech, it is not.  The problem is how can perceptions of hate be fully removed from any form of political opinion.  For example, if you disagree with me on some subject you may "hate what I stand for".  How different then is that from hating me?  (This is the differentiation Geert Wilders makes below).

Really the important thing is incitement to violence.

Claiming that it's impossible to be a moderate Muslim is incitement to violence;
Have you read what you have said about religion yourself in the past?

Yes. What do my character and past actions have to do with this? Why even bother with an attempt at hiding an ad hominem?

Claiming that someone is not moderate is not an incitement to violence.  Both major parties in the UK have at one time or other labeled the supporters of the other as dangerous radicals.  Many other groups have being labeled so too.

Claiming that a Muslim is not a moderate is a claim that the same Muslim is a radical in most people's eyes. Even those who accept that the vocal minority of Muslims are not representative of the moderates, see that calling someone a radical Muslim is the similar to calling them a terrorist. This is an invitation for vigilante justice.

Saying "politicians call each other radicals all the time" is no counter to this. A radical politician is still a part of what is seen as a rational body. When a politician actually is a radical, they usually get thrown out of whatever analogue of Parliament they're in and raise a rogue army. At that point, they're no longer thought of as a politician. Hell, even radical Christians are still seen as part of society.

it's conflating every Muslim with the London Underground bombers.
No it isn't.  Saying "none are moderate" does not mean "all are terrorists".

When we're talking about Muslims, it does.

Claiming that gays will end civilisation is an incitement to violence. I shouldn't have to explain that one.
It isn't incitement to violence until they actually come and incite some violence.

They have. Their stated intention is to incite more. What's the problem?

But it's not: they've said what they're coming into the country for. They've released statements to the press about it. And they'll do exactly what they've said, if the past is any indication.
If they break the law while protesting they can be arrested and extradited when they do.

So, if a guy has a knife at your neck, it's not a crime? He hasn't actually injured you yet, so it's pre-judgement to think that he will, in fact, slit your throat.
That situation is an entirely different one.  To begin with it involves physical harm.  Intent to insult someone or something is hardly a crime of a similar magnitude.  Secondly it is a person to person situation with clear evidence.  Thirdly it should be dealt with by the law not by politicians.  See my response to Andrei.

Intent to start a riot isn't a physical threat? Bragging about it in advance isn't clear evidence?

You'd feel more comfortable having a brand new department of the police set up just to reject visa applications? Why are police more able than politicians?

If they're wrong, you get the chance to question and challenge them.

Did rational arguments ever work against demagoguery? In a battle between the two, I'd bet my money firmly on the latter.
It may not work on the supporters of such demagoguery.  However, it's almost unnecessary for the rest of the population to even go as far as arguing.  Phelps and his family are a walking comedy show.


Hardly. You might laugh at such displays, but your gay friends are much less likely to. Nor are your American friends. Phelps is taken seriously by a lot more people than you might otherwise think.
I'll put to you a question I often ask Wodan.  If you believe that the public are morons then why do you advocate democracy at all.  Surely what is needed is a wise and noble group of leaders who would not be taken in by such demagoguery?

I don't believe the public are morons. I believe that groupthink means that the group IQ is that of the smartest person among the group, divided by the number of people in it. Thus decisions made on a group level are nearly always stupid.

However, were you to arrive at a conclusion yourself, and argue that conclusion with other people who did the same... Convincing others, or being convinced, with the best arguments available would eliminate the groupthink. Thus, climate change would be argued with facts, not ideology. We'd already be on the "so what the hell do we do" phase, and probably be well into the "now fixing shit" phase. Instead, ideology and groupthink mean that we're still arguing over whether it exists.

I do think that a meritocracy would be better than a democracy, if merit was an objective measure. It's not, so we're stuck with a system that would work in the real world, if people would actually take an interest. And because people don't, no system is going to work.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
wodan46
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« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2009, 21:01:49 EST »

I'll put to you a question I often ask Wodan.  If you believe that the public are morons then why do you advocate democracy at all.  Surely what is needed is a wise and noble group of leaders who would not be taken in by such demagoguery?
I'm curious as to why you think I advocate democracy, when I have in fact repeatedly denounced it.  If you are referring to a representative democracy, then the answer is that it is better than all alternatives when it comes to minimizing negative affects, primarily through its ability to adapt to threats internal and external.

Your system offers no such protections.  The strong would prey on the weak, no one would work together, and society would eat itself.
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The plural of "anecdote" is "anecdotes". Not "data".
Ibian
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« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2009, 09:41:53 EST »

Quote
Thus, climate change would be argued with facts, not ideology. We'd already be on the "so what the hell do we do" phase, and probably be well into the "now fixing shit" phase.
Or maybe, just maybe, we would be on the "what a colossal waste of time and money that was, now what else can we scare the public with" phase.

You are a groupthinker yourself. Every single person who is convinced global warming is a problem that something should be done about is. We dont know enough yet.
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wodan46
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« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2009, 14:20:50 EST »

You are a groupthinker yourself. Every single person who is convinced global warming is a problem that something should be done about is. We dont know enough yet.
All that goes to show is that you are an even bigger groupthink advocate than we are.  The one thing the public likes more than throwing hissy fits over imaginary problems is going into complete denial about real ones, often for decades, until it becomes too hard to deal with.

Take the national debt/social security.  That is a product of the government deciding it can keep borrowing from the future, and the public saying they have no problem with it.  We KNOW that we have to pay it back, but rather than making plans for it, we just keep spending even more and more.

People are very good at being ignorant.  Its what they do best.  And most people are of the attitude that the best way to deal with a problem is ignore it and pretend it will go away.  People are very good at rationalizing such attitudes to the point that they make sense.

We don't know enough yet?  That's exactly the problem.  What we know is that CO2 and Methane levels are not AT the peak of their 100,000 year cycles, their current heights are almost twice the peak, and done so in a mere 100 or so years when it takes thousands for such a shift to occur naturally.  In the mean time, the primary regulator of CO2, plants, have had their population reduced massively and their ability to expand in response to a changing environment curtailed.  We have no knowledge as to whether or not the world environment is capable of adapting to the CO2 shift, and even less of an idea what it will even do to the environment, but there is little reason to believe it will be good or small in effect.
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The plural of "anecdote" is "anecdotes". Not "data".
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« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2009, 21:36:20 EST »

Quote
Thus, climate change would be argued with facts, not ideology. We'd already be on the "so what the hell do we do" phase, and probably be well into the "now fixing shit" phase.
Or maybe, just maybe, we would be on the "what a colossal waste of time and money that was, now what else can we scare the public with" phase.

You are a groupthinker yourself. Every single person who is convinced global warming is a problem that something should be done about is. We dont know enough yet.

You fail.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
Heq
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« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2009, 23:26:51 EDT »

I simply dislike the current fervour and tone of the eco-movement, and believe on that grounds it sound be dismissed, regardless of evidence.

Yes, I am willing to risk the destruction of our species over an issue of ettiquette.
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"No common man could believe such a thing, you'd have to be an intellectual to fall for anything as stupid as that."-Orwell
Medivh
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« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2009, 00:02:38 EDT »

Then you dismiss everything regardless of evidence. There are few who, when they think they are right, argue with the etiquette you want. Never minding that this is in response to people arguing things they know are wrong, but benefit them were they to be right.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
Ihlosi
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« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2009, 03:36:48 EDT »

I simply dislike the current fervour and tone of the eco-movement,

Well, they've tried nicer tones, and lost about a decade in which the other side spewed all kinds of nonsense, just to arrive at the catch-all "We don't have enough evidence yet.", after realizing that pretty much everything else could be trivially disproven.

How about you apply your demands for etiquette to the other side, too? Just to be fair?
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Current
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« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2009, 15:26:46 EDT »

Quote from: Current
I can insult the police in private, on the internet, in newspapers or even on television.  In fact, in Britain or Ireland you may well get away with insulting the police on the streets too.  I've seen them ignore that sort of behaviour frequently.
Just as the Phelps's are free to broadcast their opinions into England via internet, newspapers or television, if they wanted to...
Yes, certainly they can.  This is one of the benefits of modern society, our media cannot be effectively censored by government.

However, that doesn't mean that government should not also allow free movement of people taking trips elsewhere to air their views.

And, BTW, I'd guess overall it's safer to insult the police now than at any other point of human history when a police force existed (as to your argument that this is a new thing).
To be honest I don't know.  In several places insulting the police is legal.  For example, it was recently banned in one of the provinces of Canada.

Besides, toleration of an unlawful act isn't the same as it being legal.
No, but neither is insulting of a police officer similar to the situation we're discussing.

Quote from: Current
It is different from a restraining order.  To begin with a restraining order is issued by a judicial procedure.  The ban in this case was issued by a politician.  It is not the same thing.
(...)
It is obviously a tool that can be used to stifle debate.  And since government can do that why should they not?
And there are plenty of other tools to stifle debate, they've simply been more straightforward in this case.
That there may be other tools has nothing to do with it.  The government should not use any of these tools.  We as members of the electorate should work deprive government of them and insure they are not used.

In a way, I'm more comfortable with government stifling debate in an obvious way than doing it by stretching detainment time laws, outrage laws, slander laws, etc... to stifle debate without appearing to do so.
Obviousness has it's benefits, it tell the public what is going on.  That doesn't mean though that we should tolerate any stifling of debate by government.

And this begs the question : "Shouldn't debate be stifled at a certain point?"

I'll give you a specific example : Edgar Escultura (google is good for him).

I understand he was given a chance to prove his point, made an ass of himself and now is just derided into withdrawal whenever necessary.

Is this stifling the debate? Yes, it is.
Without it, however, time and ressources would be wasted.
And this guy was asinine but harmless. The Phelps rhetoric isn't.

Same thing here. The debate the Phelps family wants to open, or could open, is so idiotic - and potentially explosive - that I see no fault in closing it before it starts.
It's hardly the same thing.  The mathematics community refuse to talk to this nut, that is their decision.  The mathematics community don't make any laws or bar anyone from traveling or send anyone to prison.  Any other group or person who wants to listen to him can do so.

Same thing here. The debate the Phelps family wants to open, or could open, is so idiotic - and potentially explosive - that I see no fault in closing it before it starts.
I fail to see the problem.  If they incite violence they can be arrested, it's very simple.

Quote from: Current
Romanians are widely regarded as degenerates in Ireland.  If the Taoiseach were to say tomorrow "Romanians are all banned from entering Ireland because of the trouble they cause" he would have wide support.  If such bans are not objectionable, then why not?
There's a difference here. The Phelps family has engaged in verifiable, documented disruptive behaviour.

To say the same is not true for the entire population of Romania is an understatement. I'd have very little problems if they banned travel to Ireland for Romanians with criminal records, or with a record of disruptive behaviour.

And, for the record, I'll bet most of the Romanian trouble-makers are gypsies. They're way over-represented among criminals in Romania, and they're overrepresented among ex-pats as well (at least those to other europen countries). Not a winning combination.
My point is that the decision is being made by a politician.  A politician will decide on the basis of political expediency rather than fact.  Most Irish people don't know that Romanian doesn't mean gypsy.  They think that it does, because gypsy Romanians are the only obviously Romanian people they meet.  Had the Taoiseach the power to deny entry to Romanians he might well do it.  A judge or court may not decide well either.  But a judge has (at least) no reason to decide on the basis of popular prejudice.

Besides, this "documented disruptive behaviour", is hardly very major.  They go to funerals of gays with placards saying "God hates fags".  So what?  If that's an offence it's barely a misdemeanor, certainly not something to ban someone from traveling for.
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