Liberty vs Security

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:54 am

A huge majority of people are against the Supreme Court case backing the Westboro Baptist hate machine. See, we only like freedom when it's something we like.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:02 pm

FrankChurch wrote:A huge majority of people are against the Supreme Court case backing the Westboro Baptist hate machine. See, we only like freedom when it's something we like.


Well...

The Supreme Court find itself in an awkward position with this. Because in order to find against the Phelps Phreaks, they would have to rule on a presumed Constitutional right to privacy that extends partly into the public sphere that the right side of the bench is chary of admitting because they still hope to deny such a right exists when it comes to contraception and abortion.

I don't see that granting a reasonable expectation to privacy that allows for the removal of intrusive distractions is an infringement on free speech. Westboro can make all the absurd claims they want to, on the web, in newspapers, even on television---but in this case they're being intrusive into a private moment. I'd love to see what would happen if a crowd of angry feminists showed up to protest at Phyllis Schlafly's funeral. I would lay odds somebody would make the call to remove them and worry about the consequences later and that, if it came before this court, they would argue in support of such removal as a public nuisance.

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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby cynic » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:40 pm

Mark Tiedemann wrote: I don't see that granting a reasonable expectation to privacy that allows for the removal of intrusive distractions is an infringement on free speech. Westboro can make all the absurd claims they want to, on the web, in newspapers, even on television-

interesting you made that distinction

Mark Tiedemann wrote:--but in this case they're being intrusive into a private moment.

because that is what was decided did NOT happen.

"Matthew Snyder’s father (Snyder), pe-titioner here, saw the tops of the picketers’ signs when driving to the funeral, but did not learn what was written on the signs until watch-ing a news broadcast later that night"


Mark Tiedemann wrote: I'd love to see what would happen if a crowd of angry feminists showed up to protest at Phyllis Schlafly's funeral. I would lay odds somebody would make the call to remove them and worry about the consequences later and that, if it came before this court, they would argue in support of such removal as a public nuisance


if "a crowd of angry feminists" planned, cooperated and comported themselves as was offered;i think the SCOTUS would offer them the same protection.

"The picketing took place on public land approxi-mately 1,000 feet from the church where the funeral was held, in ac-cordance with guidance from local law enforcement officers."

"from the church where the funeral was held, in ac-cordance with guidance from local law enforcement officers. The picketers peacefully displayed their signs—stating, e.g., “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “Fags Doom Nations,” “America is Doomed,” “Priests Rape Boys,” and “You’re Going to Hell”—for about 30 min-utes before the funeral began."

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-751.pdf
the quotations i offered can be found in the first paragraph, first page
follow your bliss,mike

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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:42 pm

cynic wrote:
Mark Tiedemann wrote: I don't see that granting a reasonable expectation to privacy that allows for the removal of intrusive distractions is an infringement on free speech. Westboro can make all the absurd claims they want to, on the web, in newspapers, even on television-

interesting you made that distinction

Mark Tiedemann wrote:--but in this case they're being intrusive into a private moment.

because that is what was decided did NOT happen.

"Matthew Snyder’s father (Snyder), pe-titioner here, saw the tops of the picketers’ signs when driving to the funeral, but did not learn what was written on the signs until watch-ing a news broadcast later that night"


Mark Tiedemann wrote: I'd love to see what would happen if a crowd of angry feminists showed up to protest at Phyllis Schlafly's funeral. I would lay odds somebody would make the call to remove them and worry about the consequences later and that, if it came before this court, they would argue in support of such removal as a public nuisance


if "a crowd of angry feminists" planned, cooperated and comported themselves as was offered;i think the SCOTUS would offer them the same protection.

"The picketing took place on public land approxi-mately 1,000 feet from the church where the funeral was held, in ac-cordance with guidance from local law enforcement officers."

"from the church where the funeral was held, in ac-cordance with guidance from local law enforcement officers. The picketers peacefully displayed their signs—stating, e.g., “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “Fags Doom Nations,” “America is Doomed,” “Priests Rape Boys,” and “You’re Going to Hell”—for about 30 min-utes before the funeral began."

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-751.pdf
the quotations i offered can be found in the first paragraph, first page



Ah. Mea culpa. I was basing my observations on some of their earlier, more in-your-face events. Apologies for less-than-thorough research.

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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:44 pm

FrankChurch wrote:A huge majority of people are against the Supreme Court case backing the Westboro Baptist hate machine. See, we only like freedom when it's something we like.


Also, this is the flip-side of years of complaints about ACLU cases.

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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:59 pm

Mark Tiedemann wrote:
FrankChurch wrote:A huge majority of people are against the Supreme Court case backing the Westboro Baptist hate machine. See, we only like freedom when it's something we like.


Also, this is the flip-side of years of complaints about ACLU cases.


And an excellent illustration of why we don't elect justices to the Supreme Court. Do read Alito's dissent however. It's always interesting to examine under what conditions people are willing to compromise liberties.

I'm not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV but I've heard serious discussions from the point of view that the founders intended the first amendment to protect political speech only. You could make a case if you were of the "originalist" bent that this kind of thing is NOT protected. Interesting that not even Scalia would press that point now.
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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:13 pm

Ezra Lb. wrote:I'm not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV but I've heard serious discussions from the point of view that the founders intended the first amendment to protect political speech only. You could make a case if you were of the "originalist" bent that this kind of thing is NOT protected. Interesting that not even Scalia would press that point now.


Which is why the argument that the Constitution is "a living document" carries more weight than Scalia's assertion that it is fixed in time and immutable, since, depending on the period and the context, any kind of speech can become political.

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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby cynic » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:38 pm

ezra wrote:
... Do read Alito's dissent however. It's always interesting to examine under what conditions people are willing to compromise liberties.


i agree, it's good to read dissenting opinions. i would add that it's not a bad thing to read the Opinion of the Court or the concurring opinion .
perhaps more important and usefull when you disagree with that opinion.

ezra wrote:... I've heard serious discussions from the point of view that the founders intended the first amendment to protect political speech only. You could make a case if you were of the "originalist" bent that this kind of thing is NOT protected. Interesting that not even Scalia would press that point now.


ezra and mark T;
i do not agree that these issues are not an example of "political speech".
"this kind of thing" , as you refer to them, were refered to by "others" as "public matters such as war and morality".
none of us, or any on the court appreciate the manner in which these matters have been voiced, but to me, they do seem to have political relevance.

dig beneath the warped god rhetoric and it is about war and morality. Laws.
follow your bliss,mike

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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:10 am

cynic wrote:
ezra and mark T;
i do not agree that these issues are not an example of "political speech".
"this kind of thing" , as you refer to them, were refered to by "others" as "public matters such as war and morality".
none of us, or any on the court appreciate the manner in which these matters have been voiced, but to me, they do seem to have political relevance.

dig beneath the warped god rhetoric and it is about war and morality. Laws.



For the record, I did not claim what Westboro is doing isn't political speech. In their minds, it very much is. But that does depend on which side you're standing on. For the mourners at a funeral, the context is different. Westboro (or similar) shows up and makes it inescapably political just by removing the barrier between private grief and public messaging.

Where I think it gets dicey is in the question over "expectation of privacy"---which is often purely contextual and sometimes problematic. It would be a simple matter for funeral parlors or cemeteries or churches to hire a tent and hold the burial inside it, thus establishing a clear and unambiguous line of privacy. I can see the problem in the case of an open air burial where anything and everything not concerned with the moment could be construed as invasive.

But I still think this court is leery of making privacy arguments because of my previous statement. Scalia at least is on record as stating that there is not "right to privacy" in the Constitution. In his case, I think he's laser-focused on the possibility of overturning Roe v Wade (and possibly even Griswold) which is based largely on a presumed Constitutional right to privacy.

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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby Moderator » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:57 am

Westboro visited our fair city last year -- which I've mentioned a few times. Here is the local paper's assessment of the Supreme Court decision, and a reflection of the community's response to the WBC's provocations. We do have a good record as being one of the few communities they have not been able to sue after they were shown the door.

http://www.presstelegram.com/ci_17524358?source=rss_viewed
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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:30 pm

It says free speech, doesn't mention what kind of speech. Not that it matters since we have not had actual free speech until 1964 when sedition speech laws were struck down.

Elites have always hated free speech, this is why they think they should rule us.

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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby cynic » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:00 pm

ez,mark,maybe steve,
before i struggle with this anymore, please correct me where i'm wrong.
not collectively or toward any individual.
i am reading variedly that;
scotus came up with the right verdict for the wrong reason,
alito may have had the wrong verdict for the right reason,
despite judicial oath, training (ruling narrowly, only concerned with legal aspects bearing on the case at hand) , crossexaminations and judicial debate, the "conservatives" only went their way due to ulterior motives (privacy based abortion ruling)

(this last bit is just for laughs)
andnomatterwhat scalia is just wrong and a badbad totalysilly and illogical heartless hateful man.
or attheveryleast a sadly twisted authoritarianconservative biblethumping douchebagfascist.
follow your bliss,mike

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:23 pm

cynic wrote:ez,mark,maybe steve,
before i struggle with this anymore, please correct me where i'm wrong.
not collectively or toward any individual.
i am reading variedly that;
scotus came up with the right verdict for the wrong reason,
alito may have had the wrong verdict for the right reason,
despite judicial oath, training (ruling narrowly, only concerned with legal aspects bearing on the case at hand) , crossexaminations and judicial debate, the "conservatives" only went their way due to ulterior motives (privacy based abortion ruling)

(this last bit is just for laughs)
andnomatterwhat scalia is just wrong and a badbad totalysilly and illogical heartless hateful man.
or attheveryleast a sadly twisted authoritarianconservative biblethumping douchebagfascist.


Given that this is the SCOTUS that decided corporations are people, I have a difficult time cutting them much of a break on anything of late.

cynic
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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby cynic » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:26 pm

look at some of the recent thrashings brought on corporations in just this regard.
check att of late
follow your bliss,mike

cynic
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Re: Liberty vs Security

Postby cynic » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:39 pm

Mark Tiedemann wrote: Given that this is the SCOTUS that decided corporations are people, I have a difficult time cutting them much of a break on anything of late.
"... this is the SCOTUS... "?
the history of scotus... not only this scotus has the written law to work with,
over a hundred years of congressional (corporate) law and all the blame is laid ...where?

scotus came up with the right verdict for the wrong reason,
alito may have had the wrong verdict for the right reason,
despite judicial oath, training (ruling narrowly, only concerned with legal aspects bearing on the case at hand) , crossexaminations and judicial debate, the "conservatives" only went their way due to ulterior motives (privacy based abortion ruling)
:?

i just want to understand the various...views.
(not on corporate law at the moment)
follow your bliss,mike


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