America, Fuck Yeah!
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15-08-2012, 07:19 PM
RE: America, Fuck Yeah!
(15-08-2012 07:07 PM)cufflink Wrote:  Holocaust denial, for one.

Laws against Holocaust denial

Note the long list of European countries where denying the Holocaust is a crime. Please don't get me wrong--I think Holocaust deniers are the scum of the earth, and given 20th century European history I can understand the motivation for such legislation. But as someone noted, our philosophy, for better or worse, is "I may hate what you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

If memory serves correctly, it was a Frenchman who provided that quote.

And I agree; holocaust deniers shouldn't be silenced. The most hideous of claims should be freely permitted so that they can be mocked by everyone else.

I didn't look for every European country, but Norway & Sweden aren't on that list. Nor are England&Wales or Scotland (separate legal systems).

My original point remains... provide evidence that the USA is top when it comes to freedom of expression.
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15-08-2012, 07:39 PM
RE: America, Fuck Yeah!
(15-08-2012 07:19 PM)Red Celt Wrote:  
(15-08-2012 07:07 PM)cufflink Wrote:  Holocaust denial, for one.

Laws against Holocaust denial

Note the long list of European countries where denying the Holocaust is a crime. Please don't get me wrong--I think Holocaust deniers are the scum of the earth, and given 20th century European history I can understand the motivation for such legislation. But as someone noted, our philosophy, for better or worse, is "I may hate what you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

If memory serves correctly, it was a Frenchman who provided that quote.

And I agree; holocaust deniers shouldn't be silenced. The most hideous of claims should be freely permitted so that they can be mocked by everyone else.

I didn't look for every European country, but Norway & Sweden aren't on that list. Nor are England&Wales or Scotland (separate legal systems).

My original point remains... provide evidence that the USA is top when it comes to freedom of expression.

Before I saw your response, I added a further example to my previous post, this one about hate speech, where Wikipedia suggests the U.S. is "perhaps unique among the developed world" in that hate speech is not criminalized. That's a rather significant example of freedom of expression, I think.

If you have examples in mind of places where the U.S. is surpassed in terms of freedom of individual expression, I'd be interested in seeing them. I'm always willing to learn.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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15-08-2012, 07:49 PM
RE: America, Fuck Yeah!
(15-08-2012 07:39 PM)cufflink Wrote:  Before I saw your response, I added a further example to my previous post, this one about hate speech, where Wikipedia suggests the U.S. is "perhaps unique among the developed world" in that hate speech is not criminalized. That's a rather significant example of freedom of expression, I think.

If you have examples in mind of places where the U.S. is surpassed in terms of freedom of individual expression, I'd be interested in seeing them. I'm always willing to learn.

Ah yes, hate speech... an odious law (in England & Wales, I'm not sure if there are similar laws in Scotland).

The point that I'm trying to make is that you claimed that the USA is "top" when it comes to freedom of expression. It then becomes your task to provide evidence for making such a claim.

In America, if someone outs them self as being a Socialist or an atheist, they may well be committing social and employment suicide. In the UK, socialists can become Prime Minister. As can atheists. Other than "hate speech" (against race or religion, when urging violent acts) we can say what we want about anything.

On TV, the Doors wouldn't have been told that they couldn't sing the line "get much higher" and Elvis wouldn't have been told that he couldn't swivel his hips. And we certainly didn't have McCarthyism.

This is a very expressive country with very few limitations on our freedoms. And that's just the UK. Other countries... I can't vouch for, from personal experience.
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15-08-2012, 08:01 PM
RE: America, Fuck Yeah!
(15-08-2012 06:41 PM)cufflink Wrote:  If you're talking about whether a country is "the best in the world," you also need clear, measurable standards.

Yes that's what I was asking about, and I agree you could compare nations and decide on a "best" if you could agree on metrics. I'm not interested in doing that, but I thought you were suggesting it couldn't be done.

(15-08-2012 06:41 PM)cufflink Wrote:  What I've never understood is the urge among some of my compatriots to beat their chests and scream "WE"RE NUMBER ONE!" at anyone within shouting distance.

I assume you mean that this happens in a big way, and not just the occasional drunken mob. Where do you see it happen?

(15-08-2012 06:41 PM)cufflink Wrote:  Just so it's clear, you are aware that the "America Fuck Yeah" video in the OP was meant as a parody, right?

Wait, what?

(15-08-2012 06:41 PM)cufflink Wrote:  "America (Fuck Yeah)": Played throughout various parts of the film, along with the "America, Fuck Yeah (Bummer Remix)", intended to mock the stereotypical American's jingoist form of patriotism.

That's just crazy talk

(15-08-2012 06:41 PM)cufflink Wrote:  Apologies if I'm stating the obvious, but I wasn't sure you realized it was a spoof.

Just kidding, yes I understand it's a spoof, that's part of why I love it. But my main point is that I love my country, so let's get back in the I love america mood with this little ditty by the grand daddy of soul, Ray Charles!



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15-08-2012, 09:01 PM
RE: America, Fuck Yeah!
(15-08-2012 07:49 PM)Red Celt Wrote:  
(15-08-2012 07:39 PM)cufflink Wrote:  Before I saw your response, I added a further example to my previous post, this one about hate speech, where Wikipedia suggests the U.S. is "perhaps unique among the developed world" in that hate speech is not criminalized. That's a rather significant example of freedom of expression, I think.

If you have examples in mind of places where the U.S. is surpassed in terms of freedom of individual expression, I'd be interested in seeing them. I'm always willing to learn.

Ah yes, hate speech... an odious law (in England & Wales, I'm not sure if there are similar laws in Scotland).

The point that I'm trying to make is that you claimed that the USA is "top" when it comes to freedom of expression. It then becomes your task to provide evidence for making such a claim.

In America, if someone outs them self as being a Socialist or an atheist, they may well be committing social and employment suicide. In the UK, socialists can become Prime Minister. As can atheists. Other than "hate speech" (against race or religion, when urging violent acts) we can say what we want about anything.

On TV, the Doors wouldn't have been told that they couldn't sing the line "get much higher" and Elvis wouldn't have been told that he couldn't swivel his hips. And we certainly didn't have McCarthyism.

This is a very expressive country with very few limitations on our freedoms. And that's just the UK. Other countries... I can't vouch for, from personal experience.

It depends on what you mean by freedom of expression. I think for most people, freedom of expression means you can say what you want in the way you want and you won't be subject to criminal or civil prosecution--no jail, no fines. It does not mean you can say what you want without fear of consequences. If I tell a potential employer I think his wife looks like a shriveled-up rutabaga and because of that I fail to get the job, you wouldn't count that as an indication of a lack of freedom of expression. I was free to express what i wanted to; whether I was wise in doing so is another matter. Less frivolously but along the same lines, if I mention I'm a socialist and that makes me lose a job, it doesn't mean my freedom of expression has been limited in the legal sense, which is what defines freedom of expression. It may mean the employer is a jerk, but that's a different matter. (We do, by the way, have non-discrimination laws here relating to race, nationality, religion, gender, and, in a few places, sexual orientation. If you can prove you lost a job because you stated you were an atheist, that's illegal and you can sue in court.)

The media thing is trickier. You're right that you can't say certain things on the radio and TV at certain times on certain stations and channels. I can say "fuck" on cable or satellite channels but not on free-to-air channels, which are regulated by the FCC. I assume similar restrictions exist in Scotland, but you know that situation better than I do. The point is, freedom of expression is never absolute. Remember the old cliché about shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater. On the other hand, I grant you that if I'm denied a platform to air my views publicly, my freedom of expression is de facto being limited. With the Internet, however, this is a less cogent argument than it used to be.

My point in saying the U.S. is at the top of freedom of expression was that (1) I think our freedom of expression is commendably high, and (2) I don't know of any countries that surpass us in that regard. I provided two significant examples of how our freedom of expression trumps that of a number of European countries. And I haven't yet seen any counterexamples in the legal sense. The only way my statement could be incorrect is if there were in fact a counterexample. It's true that logically, the fact no counterexample has yet presented itself doesn't mean one couldn't eventually turn up. So I'll be happy to put an asterisk next to my claim--*awaiting disconfirmation. Smile

I think that exhausts what i have to say on the subject. Thanks for the colloquy.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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15-08-2012, 09:17 PM
RE: America, Fuck Yeah!
(15-08-2012 08:01 PM)Jeff Wrote:  
(15-08-2012 06:41 PM)cufflink Wrote:  What I've never understood is the urge among some of my compatriots to beat their chests and scream "WE'RE NUMBER ONE!" at anyone within shouting distance.

I assume you mean that this happens in a big way, and not just the occasional drunken mob. Where do you see it happen?

Guess I shouldn't hang around so many drunken mobs. Confused

But seriously, folks . . .

Where I see the equivalent thing happening--over and over and over--is with politicians. How many times have I heard "greatest country in the world!" in political speeches? It's as if you have to say it to prove you're a real American. I don't hear the English or the French or the Chinese or the Japanese saying anything equivalent; I don't know why we have to. If we're really so fantastic, we shouldn't have to convince ourselves of the fact by boasting. It's disparaging to other countries and obnoxious.

But Ray Charles's "America the Beautiful." AHHHHHHHHHHHH! That is wonderful. Thank you! Smile

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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15-08-2012, 09:26 PM
RE: America, Fuck Yeah!
(15-08-2012 09:01 PM)cufflink Wrote:  I think that exhausts what i have to say on the subject. Thanks for the colloquy.

My short reply (it's 4:14am here and my consciousness is slipping) is that I'm happy that it is amongst the top... but I won't accept a claim for the top spot without proof.

Apart from hate speech (which is a very recent post-9/11 law, that appalled me) we can say whatever we want. Our freedom of expression is unlimited. Even the antiquated blasphemy laws have been dropped now (and I'd have loved to have defended myself against that ridiculous victimless crime).

Norway & Sweden may well be your likeliest opponents.

To answer your earlier question, we have a watershed. Adult language is transmitted un-bleeped from 9pm onwards. The more robust words are usually limited (which consists of just "cunt" these days, as that tops our charts of so-called-badness) and every (non-cable, at least) channel can (and do) contain adult language. Sometimes in abundance. Sex (hetero & homo) can be broadcast, but not with erect penises.
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15-08-2012, 11:30 PM
RE: America, Fuck Yeah!
(15-08-2012 03:52 PM)Jeff Wrote:  We just simply disagree about what patriotism is and I don't feel the need to try to change your mind. I had no desire to discuss it to begin with, but having started a thread, I felt that I wanted to be responsive to comments.
In that case, carry on. Drinking Beverage

As for the whole freedom of speech discussion, it may be a good idea to start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_...by_country

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16-08-2012, 06:01 PM
RE: America, Fuck Yeah!
An oldie but goodie, completely out of date, but a parody of a great american song, "This Land is Your Land". Anyone else miss George Bush? Come on, it's OK, you can say it.



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16-08-2012, 06:13 PM
RE: America, Fuck Yeah!


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