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Re: Spin isn't an argument (Re: FW: MS's response to Nader)

  You fool. You don't make legal arguments by quoting Random House dictionaries.
  Okay, I say "white people are an inferior race." A racist statement, I'm
  sure you'll agree. Now cite statutory law and caselaw to tell me how you'll
  punish me for it. Do your worst.
  At 03:08 -0500 11/16/97, Tod Landis wrote:
  >Here is the First Amendment to the Constitution.
  >   Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
  >   of religon, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,  or abridging
  >   the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the
  >   people peacably to assemble,  and to petition the government
  >   for a redress of grievances.
  >Here is a definition of racism:  (Random House Dictionary)
  >  1.a belief that human races have distinctive characteristics
  >     that determine their respective cultures, usually involving
  >     the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right
  >     to rule others
  >  2.a policy of enforcing such asserted right
  >  3.a system of government based upon it.
  >I repeat:  the statement: you made that
  >>>Racism and sexism (though not violence) is protected
  >>by the First Amendment
  >is wrong.
  >(But thank you for the opportunity to quote the
  >First Amendment.  Its been a favorite of mine for
  >a long time)
  >Tod Landis
  >Declan McCullagh wrote:
  >> Of course racism and sexism are protected by the First Amendment. Nazis
  >> have the right to free speech, as they should. So do the Archie Bunkers and
  >> Rush Limbaughs of the world. (Even if you don't speak those views you're
  >> still allowed to think them.) I guess you don't get out much; otherwise
  >> you'd hear ample proof of this every day.
  >> There are narrow exceptions to speech that "incites violence" (urging your
  >> fellow KKKers at a Klan rally to burn down a church), but those don't in
  >> any meaningful sense apply to written text. There are narrow exemptions to
  >> sexist "workplace harassment" but even those have come under fire recently
  >> by legal scholars.
  >> Your "counter to the spirit of American democracy" quip sounds nice but is
  >> just plain wrong. The true spirit of American democracy is the freedom that
  >> lies at the heart of the First Amendment. The way we preserve freedom in
  >> this country is by limiting the power of the state, by barring the
  >> government from deciding whether speech is good or bad. That means the
  >> government is barred from banning racist or sexist speech.
  >> That we allow racist and sexist speech to exist is a sign of the amount of
  >> liberty we enjoy in America.
  >> I don't mean to derail this list on 1A issues. If you care, I maintain a
  >> mailing list called fight-censorship where such discussions are more
  >> on-topic. Y'all are welcome to come over: http://www.well.com/~declan/fc/
  >> -Declan
  >> At 22:43 -0500 11/15/97, Tod Landis wrote:
  >> >
  >> >This is not true.  Racism and sexism are not protected by
  >> >anything in the Constitution or Bill of Rights.  In fact, they
  >> >run counter to the spirit of American democracy and they
  >> >are unconstitutional..
  >> >
  >> >There is a discussion of various landmark cases in this area
  >> >at the Southern Poverty Law Center site:
  >> >        http://www.splcenter.org/legal/la-4.html
  >> >
  >> >Tod Landis
  >> >
  >> >
  >> >Declan McCullagh wrote:
  >> >
  >> >> At 18:35 -0500 11/15/97, Kendall G. Clark wrote:
  >> >>
  >> >> >I heard Rev. Jesse Jackson on CNN this week say that ``exclusion is a
  >> >>form of
  >> >> >violence.'' He was, of course, talking about racism and sexism, but
  >> >>couldn't a
  >> >> >similar moral point be made against MS?
  >> >>
  >> >> Jackson is over the top. Violence violates your right to be free from
  >> >> assault, from someone punching you in the face. Racism and sexism (though
  >> >> not violence) is protected by the First Amendment; I have a right to
  >> >> express my racist/sexist beliefs as long as I don't punch you in the
  >> >>
  >> >> "Exclusion" does not violate your "rights."
  >> >>
  >> >> >Granted, it is not politically fascistic like Stalin, Mao, or Hitler
  >> >>for them
  >> >> >to exclude others from information for profit. But it is, nevertheless,
  >> >>a form
  >> >> >of or desire for totalitarian control.
  >> >>
  >> >> Obviously excluding others from information for profit is a sign of the
  >> >> Antichrist. Every time I buy a magazine's worth of information from the
  >> >> corner newsstand, I can smell the scent of sulfur. When I buy a book's
  >> >> worth of information from Barnes and Noble I see the horns of the
  >>devil on
  >> >> the head of the cashier. When I have to PAY (oh, the horrors!) for a
  >> >> compact disc, I recognize the mark of the beast.
  >> >>
  >> >> You've convinced me: It's time to do away with capitalism! Clearly
  >>Cuba is
  >> >> the economic model we must adopt. Their technology is, of course,
  >> >> to none.
  >> >>
  >> >> >Those facts may be important to evaluating their credibility (the
  >>degree to
  >> >> >which you can take their avowals at face value), but they are
  >>irrelevant to
  >> >> >the logic of the arguments themselves.
  >> >>
  >> >> Agreed. The logic of an argument does not depend on who's arguing.
  >> >> Microsoft should have answered them head-on. It would have been useful
  >> >> (from my perspective) for some of their executives to be there, even if
  >> >> elsewhere in the hotel where they could have answered some of these hard
  >> >> questions.
  >> >>
  >> >> >That's not an argument, and it's not a refutation of an argument.
  >>It's just
  >> >> >pure spin, it's propaganda.
  >> >>
  >> >> Which (let's be honest) was in plentiful supply at the Nader
  >>conference too.
  >> >>
  >> >> -Declan
  >> >>
  >> >>  -
  >> .-