The home office here in england has just published a list of undesirable people who are banned from entering this country, they include a famous right wing American talk show host and a certain Mr Phelps.
This sort of raises interesting issues, the first one being should you ban someone from entering a country simply because you don't like what they say?
The other issue is that according to the home office the famous right wing radio talk show host would be be treated no differently than other extremistist and would be under constant serveilance by security services if he were an English national.
The question being why aren't these right wing extremeists under constant surveilance by American secret services?

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Ive never read so much crap in all my life Felch.
You may be willing and able to deal with the dangers associated with free speech,I just wonder how many Jews where in the same position in nazi Germany.
The problem is that its all very well to say that any nutjob can be dealt with by being shouted down by the general public, but if you have a docile general public trained in the fine art of abediance to authority and the nutjobs control the media, as they do in your own fair country for example, then you have a slight problem.
There is a very good book you might like to read by Stanley Millgram called 'Obediance to Authority. It does explain how rational and sane people can be turned into concentration camp guards by the skillful manipulation of people's innate desire to conform with the perceived norm.
I wonder which particular nutjob owns Fox media,,, hmmm I wonder.....Fox media owns America does it not?
What the fuck has this got to do with Nazi Germany ? For lack of anything educated to say, you walk straight into Godwin's Law. Chances are, given the way you've twisted the argument, you're too obtuse to make the connection - but Nazis are the logical extreme of precisely what you are defending: suppression and control. Of particular favour to the Nazi's were idealistic youth that would mouth off prefabricated soundbites, much like your own, about some kind of greater good or another.

Again, I urge you - print all of this out and put it in a time capsule for yourself. 'Cos otherwise you'll never believe what kind of a dick you were.
Freedom of speech and the press is very important, and you have to accept the warts and turds that come from it to reap from its benefits.

The main problem of restricting free speech is that it prevents discourse of issues that the powers that be are embarrassed about.

One of the reasons why the US is such a basket case is because freedom of the press isn't really all that free. It is only the wealthy and powerful that really have it. The wars and imperialism that the US subjects everybody else in is because the media was easily whipped into submission and limited what was really going on in Iraq and lead people into the fiction that al Quida was working for Sadam Hussain.

The Nazi's also owed their rise by intimidating the press, and by the fact that the wealthy individuals feared that communist were going to take over so the Nazis were doing much of their dirty work to beat back the commies. What they didn't expect was that the Nazi's were going to take over. In reality, I think that there really wasn't much freedom of the press in Germany prior to the Nazi takeover.
Hear, hear. Equal protection under the law means... well, equal protection under the law.
Wow, freedom of speech is ESSENTIAL. It's what allowed MLK to stand up and say blacks should have civil liberties. It's what allowed women to demand the right to vote. It's how we get BETTER. The whole of the US Constitution is based around "protecting the minority from the whims of the majority".

Sure I think Phelps is an asshole. Everyone does! (Not Nathan Phelps though, he's a sweetheart). Nothing about Fred's style is appealing - it's repulsive, and that's his intention. They kick around an American flag at their pickets to piss people off, but it's a protected right. Everytime I take away a bit of his rights, I lose a piece of my own. So we can mock them, as we should. We can also publicly disagree with them, because we have the right to free speech. We can all get loud and disagree and eventually change things. And we can keep from EVER becoming totalitarian, by ensuring the rights of ALL citizens, not just the ones who keep a mainstream view. And yes, I think Phelps is a nutter.

There are days I wish people had to apply for a license to become a parent, but I know that the selection committee for such a thing would eventually exclude potential GOOD parents, because of differences of opinions. For example, if such a thing was run by our majority - Christians, they might decide anyone who didn't use the rod to discipline their kids wasn't allowed to have any. This is all hypothetical of course, but it's an illustration of why in America we value EVERYONE having rights and freedoms, because someday that person in the minority, or with the funny outlook, or ya know, an ATHEIST, or black, or gay, or a woman, might be one of us or someone we love. It's why we get all teary-eyed patriotic. I think my country does a lot wrong, but the Constitution is the closest thing in my life to a sacred text.
>>>>>>>>>It's actually because the US has a functional constitution that actually works

It works, but not as well as you might think.

It might not be as interesting to people who live outside of the US especially since it is about 1,000 pages, but if you were to read A Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn, it does a pretty good job in describing how things we assume came from the goodness of of our forefathers, most of them being the wealthiest men in the United States and many of them owners of slaves, were actually fought by common people.
It works, but not as well as you might think.

In comparison to the fragments of the British Commonwealth, its a steamroller. In OZ people are starting to find out the hard way that free speech is a myth, freedom to associate can be criminalised and the right to travel to and from here is arbitrary. We pretty much don't have any rights whatsoever.
Very well put, Felch. I agree....if you care.
Or if you don't.
I do care. I'm touched. May I kiss your sneakers ?
You may. Also....it's National Nurses Week.....where are my presents????
Send me some sample jars.

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