Everybody knows that Democrats and Republicans are barely speaking these days. But two political scientists at the University of California at San Diego are statistically quantifying this mutual contempt: “Political polarization is at a post–Civil War high,” says Keith Poole, poly sci prof who, along with two academics at other institutions, has carefully plotted the partisanship in Congressional roll call votes from the 1870s to the present. Today’s yawning and widening gap between Republicans and Democrats (both Northern and Southern) is startling.

In the adjoining office at UCSD is Gary Jacobson, another poly sci prof. Jacobson plots the polarization of the public, as well as partisans and activists within the public, based on opinion polls. The citizenry is not as starkly divided as the politicians are, but issue-oriented partisan groups despise one another with unprecedented intensity.

Rhetoric is heated. Parents pull their children out of school so they won’t have to hear the president give a speech. Jacobson cites health-care reform. “Democrats favor it and Republicans oppose it without even knowing anything about it,” he says. Opponents spread tales of death committees and free health care for illegal aliens even though such measures are not in the package pushed by President Obama. “The audience for wackiness is larger than it used to be,” says Jacobson. “A larger proportion of people are willing to believe unlikely things because of partisan biases.”

Poole takes a different view of the health-care debate: “The Democrats and the president say we can pass health-care reform, and ‘Happy days are here again.’ But it isn’t true. They can pass it but can’t control costs. We are going to go bankrupt at this rate.” Poole would like to see some kind of a compromise, but polarization blocks the possibility. “We have to rein in the cost of entitlements [primarily Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid],” he says, but “the two political parties are so polarized that they are incapable of coming up with bipartisan deals” to make such reforms.

“Whatever health-care bill emerges will be Democratic — a center/left coalition,” says Jacobson. “The Republicans have no center; they have just a right.” However, he concedes that some Republicans will oppose it on economic grounds, not simply on party strategic grounds.

Poole points out that in the past, important pieces of legislation zipped through Congress with wide backing. “Social Security passed with a bipartisan majority in 1935,” he says. “Medicare passed in 1965 with the support of 50 percent of Republicans in both houses [of Congress].” And in the early 1980s, a bipartisan coalition made changes that stabilized Social Security’s finances for several more decades.

The book that Poole coauthored, Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches, came out in 2006. The split between the two parties has widened since then, says Poole.

Similarly, Jacobson’s book, A Divider, Not a Uniter: George W. Bush and the American People, came out in 2006 and is now being revised to cover the period through 2008. The theme of the book, backed up by polling data, is that although Bush promised to be a uniter, his presidency deepened and widened the ideological split between the parties to an alarming degree. Indeed, polls show that Bush was the most polarizing president since statisticians began testing Americans’ opinions 50 years ago. The most factional issue between Democrats and Republicans continues to be the Iraq War, says Jacobson. Opinion on the Vietnam War “was polarized, but not on party lines,” says Jacobson. (President Lyndon Johnson was a Democrat, but it was liberal Democrats who protested the war most vehemently.)

Poole and Jacobson cite a great irony: although the parties are deeply divided, they are both in the pockets of Wall Street and the business community. You would think it would be warm and snug in those pockets, but it apparently isn’t. Decades ago, Democrats got their funds from labor and Republicans from business and Wall Street. But labor has shrunk and lost its political puissance. “Democrats are much more reliant on business and corporate money than they once were. Democrats are getting plenty of support from Wall Street,” says Jacobson.

Agrees Poole, “Wall Street basically owns the two major parties. It gives so much money, there is not likely to be much reform [of the banking industry] coming forward.” He cites the problem of moral hazard: “Not letting the big banks fail is setting us up for another problem. It is a terrible mess.” But the polarization — and both parties’ sticky fingers — will prevent any solution. “They hate one another, but they are both getting massive amounts of money from huge economic interests. It is a total mess — really depressing. As long as they fly under the radar, the elites control. But if the public gets mad, the Congress does what the people want. What these characters in Congress care about the most is getting reelected.” But the public isn’t aroused enough to rebel, largely because the financial matters are so complex that few understand them.

Poole and his two collaborators have shown that, beginning in 1979, political polarization and income polarization rose in tandem. As a larger and larger share of wealth and income went to the fattest cats, political partisanship also grew. Although many of the superrich gave to both political parties (that’s why each party is in business’s pockets), many billionaires gave more heavily to Republicans. Tax cuts for the rich and increasing economic conservatism may have been factors.

By 2007, the richest 1 percent corralled a startling 23.5 percent of national income, highest since 1928, according to data from economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley and Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics. During the period, political partisanship also widened, says Poole. Piketty and Saez expect that income percentage to drop to between 15 percent and 19 next year. That’s mainly because the superrich are heavily into financial assets, which have lost value dramatically.

If the superrich’s percentage of income declines steeply, will political polarity also decline? Poole doesn’t think so. The political partisanship “is still tied to economic inequality,” he says. “It’s true that the upper end has taken a hit, but the lower end has taken a worse hit, and it will be years and years before we come out of the economic downturn.” Piketty and Saez think the superrich’s percentage of national income is likely to bounce back up once the economy turns up.

Sums up Poole, “The Republicans ran the country into the ditch, and now the Democrats are having their turn running the country into the ditch.” And they enjoy each other’s misery.

More from the web

Comments

Visduh Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:56 a.m.

While not all the points you quote in this piece are what I see, on the whole it is a generally accurate picture of modern-day US politics. In recent years, when the two parties agreed on anything, we suffered for it. Wide-open free trade (which sadly turns out to be terribly one-sided with many countries, notably China) including the NAFTA, the defacto opening of the southern border to a tidal wave of humanity (cheap labor), and financial deregulation fiascos, have all hurt.

I find it ironic that while these public employee unions have so much clout at various levels of government, but especially the state and local level, they don't "own" the Democrats. If they are so darned powerful and rich, what's the problem with them and their shrunken private-sector counterparts insuring that they can dominate the Democrats? Money talks, and we're told they have oodles of it to spread around.

We breathlessly await a post from Anon92107 that again blames it all on the GOP.

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Don Bauder Oct. 15, 2009 @ 12:11 p.m.

Response to post #1: You make a good point that some bad legislation has passed when both parties agreed. However, some such legislation has led to very popular reforms -- Medicare and Social Security, e.g. (although they won't be very popular with succeeding generations who have to pay today's bills). I still chuckle about one thing: both parties are in Wall Street's pocket, yet those two parties battle constantly. Maybe it's like professional wrestling -- all a charade. Best, Don Bauder

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 12:16 p.m.

What's funny about the far-left whackos and the far-right whackos is that they're one and the same. They both want to screw the taxpayer with no Vaseline.

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Anon92107 Oct. 15, 2009 @ 12:35 p.m.

Response to post #1: Hate to disappoint you Visduh, but neither political party has given Special Interest status to We The People for far too many decades, as Don keeps documenting.

It's time for a new Declaration of Independence v.21C.

My Nonpartisan Organization (since it doesn’t seem quite right to designate it as a Party) needs leadership like Don Bauder to restore We The People Democracy, or whoever Don nominates to be the new George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight Eisenhower, and Franklin Roosevelt when we need them most once again.

Otherwise The Reader generations have nothing to look forward too now that both the Republicans and Democrats have betrayed the legacy of The Greatest Generation and created a Decline and Fall of American Democracy scenario.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 15, 2009 @ 2:39 p.m.

Poole points out that in the past.....And in the early 1980s, a bipartisan coalition made changes that stabilized Social Security’s finances for several more decades.

LOL.

You can hardly say that the doubling of the Social Security tax, which was NOT invested in T Bills or anything else- but went straight into the general fund and replaced with an IOU, acted in any manner whatsoever to "stabiliz[ed] Social Security’s finances for several more decades."

In fact it has done the exact opposite.

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Don Bauder Oct. 15, 2009 @ 3:19 p.m.

Response to post #3: The far right wants corporate welfare and the far left wants social welfare. The far right wants to boost military spending while the far left wants to shift military spending to domestic initiatives. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 15, 2009 @ 3:22 p.m.

Response to post #4: Politicians of both parties want to please corporate lobbyists more than they want to please the people that elect them. Why? Look no further than Switzerland or the Cayman Islands. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 15, 2009 @ 3:24 p.m.

Response to post #5: What you are describing is a kind of Ponzi scheme. And, unfortunately, that is what Social Security is. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Oct. 15, 2009 @ 4:30 p.m.

OK Anon, this time you didn't blame it all on the GOP. And you validly point out that We the People are at the bottom of the list of factors the pols look at before they vote. Recently an ultra-conservative friend of mine forwarded a piece decrying the fact that 535 Americans govern all the rest of us, and do many things that "all of us" oppose.

The list of things he forwarded are, I'm virtually certain, just the diametric opposite of things YOU want. See, the problem is that We the People don't agree at all. We the People are spread all across the political spectrum. Politicians are wizards at satisfying (sort of) folks spread all across that spectrum, by tossing crumbs to the various single-issue voters, and tidbits to various special interest groups. For example, although I'm avowedly conservative, I had been supportive of the matter of passenger rail travel and seeing it come back from its current near-death. NO GOP president has been willing to do more than keep Amtrak on life-support. But Obama thinks passenger rail is a good thing to rejuvenate and expand. That's one area where his administration has my support--maybe the only one! As a rail passenger supporter, I'm part of a special interest group. There are many others to which I belong or at least subscribe.

If you want to return to a sort of Golden Age in US politics, I'm not sure you could find one. You mention Jefferson who was very opposed to Hamilton. Each had a notion of what was good for the US and each believed his way was the only way for the new nation to prosper. Hamilton's approach generally won out, and at a couple key points, Jefferson did things that he should have philosophically opposed. Think of the Louisiana Purchase. There was political polarization then and there is polarization now.

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Don Bauder Oct. 15, 2009 @ 8:21 p.m.

Response to post #9: There has always been polarization. Sometimes it has been bitter. Think about the Civil War. Often it has been uncivil. But I do think the poly sci profs are right: the gaps are widening, the discourse is more hostile, even though both sides get their money from the same source: business and banking lobbies. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:25 p.m.

both sides get their money from the same source: business and banking lobbies

If that lobbying is NOT reformed soon we are going to crash and burn....well we have already crashed, and burning is not that that far off.

There are 42,000 registered lobbyists in DC-those are the REGISTERED lobbyists, that is not counting the ones who are unregistered, lobbying off the books.

We have 435 in the conrgess, 100 in the senate, and 42,000+ lobbyist. That is 79 to 1. That is a joke- a joke on the taxpayers. The number of lobbyists have doubled in the last 8 years.

94% of Americans were AGAINST the TARP/Financial bailout-yet it passed. That should make the average citizens blood boil-it does mine.

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:33 p.m.

It's time to arm ourselves,murder every last police officer and politician and start over. What was that about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants every now and then?....

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:37 p.m.

I don't believe everything in this documentary but it is thought provoking.

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gardenparty Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:51 p.m.

The whole quote Pete. It loses a little when taken out of context. "God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

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CuddleFish Oct. 15, 2009 @ 11:03 p.m.

Just goes to show how pointless and stupid it is to continue to endlessly quote these aphorisms. A rebellion every twenty years? Saints preserve us.

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 11:18 p.m.

It's been 233 years since our last rebellion and look at the country. Isn't it time for another revolution? I think so. Without it,this country is slowly being enslaved. The ironic part of it is,we've not only encouraged it and participated in it,we've allowed ourselves to be numbed by it. Who cares how bad our government is stickin' it to us when Desperate Housewives is on,right? :-D

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 12:28 a.m.

I'll check out Democracy In America tomorrow.

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David Dodd Oct. 16, 2009 @ 1 a.m.

Pete:

I've told you before that I think you're rough around the edges. But you think for yourself. And you talk right off of the top of your head. I think you're honest. And I think this is the greatest attribute that a human being can have.

Your opinion is your own, you don't need to justify it to anyone who is judgemental. Be who you are. You don't need to apologize for your opinions, only for perhaps accidentally offending in your execution of the delivery. That video link you posted is awesome. It almost mirrors my opinion of politics in the United States of America. The old boss and the new boss aren't so different. If anyone disagrees with me, I really don't care.

My advice: try and be nice, but never be afraid to be who you are. If someone decides to judge your opinions, ignore them. Learn from intelligent dialogue, ignore the stone throwing.

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 2:55 a.m.

Pete is very honest. He is courageous. What's more, he appears to have the ability to admit when he is wrong. Sorely lacking in others. Everyone has opinions. Sometimes those opinions are wrong. When a person becomes aware that s/he is wrong and can take that on board, that is an enlightened being.

No one is perfect. I am a shining example of imperfection.

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David Dodd Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:13 a.m.

Opinions are never wrong. They are what they are. Imperfection is a noble attribute. Enlightenment is like an epiphany, it comes and goes. Honesty is absolute, and transcends judgement.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:16 a.m.

Hey Cuddle, you're back up! :)

refried advised: "Learn from intelligent dialogue, ignore the stone throwing."

You forgot: "Try to refrain from stone throwing."

That is my problem with Pete; he does not seem to have empathy for other human beings. I could be wrong, but have seen little evidence of it, and his cold behavior this evening about the flu virus just ground that impression in further. I'd love to be proven wrong on this, as I am always happy to be able to be right to expect the best of people.

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:23 a.m.

Yes, I woke up and thought I would see if you were around, SD!!

I see I'm being corrected about opinions. Perhaps I should have stayed in bed! :) Y'all peeps is too smart for me at any hour of the day or night!!

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:36 a.m.

ARg, I wish I could get to bed. Wrote more on cats for you :)

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:49 a.m.

PS: I agree that opinions can be wrong. Opinions can be based on misinformation or expressed with duplicitious intent. So of course they can be as wrong as any other kind of statement. If we get really deep, we can say that there is no such thing as a fact, but we may not want to get that deep ;)

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David Dodd Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:50 a.m.

Hey, Cuddlefish, you need a second chance at something? I mean, since you're the queen of giving out second chances, I just thought I would ask...

After all, I'm just some stupid moron that believes that free speech is more important than your opinion, but obviously I'm an idiot... Right?

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:52 a.m.

I actually was going to respond, What is Truth? But figured I'd get slapped around for not knowing!

Okay, I'm glad we agree on the opinion thing! :)

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:10 a.m.

refriedgringo, I believe it was you who thought so little of my intelligence as to respond in the manner that you did on a subject you may not be surprised to know I think a lot about. I said so.

Assuming that what you said on the subject is what you believe, I find it hard to believe, would find it hard to believe in any case, that my (wrong) opinion would matter to you.

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David Dodd Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:11 a.m.

Look, I've sort of been accused as being a peacemaker. But that's not it, exactly. I do everything I can to not be judgemental. You don't have to do that. But you should. It will give you a clarity that transcends most of your peers.

Trust honesty. You don't have to agree with it. But you can trust it.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:13 a.m.

Whoa, people. I have a lot of respect for the two of you, and know that it can be worked out with the kind of intelligent dialogue and non-stone throwing gringo mentioned, and the perfect imperfection invoked by Cuddle--right? :) :) :)

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:16 a.m.

Everyone is judgmental. Everyone forms opinions. Everyone thinks they know the ultimate truth. Everyone considers themselves to be honest. Trust doesn't come into it. I trust nothing and no one.

Reality is not the cup. Reality is the emptiness inside the cup.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:17 a.m.

Why don't we talk about exactly where lies the source of contention here? The conversation was about Rush Limbaugh. CuddleFish is of the opinion that he is a racist doing damage with his rhetoric, and refried counters that Limbaugh is just capitalizing on the popularity of right-wing sensationalism with the shock jock stuff. Am I correct so far? And then...

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David Dodd Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:17 a.m.

CuddleFish, you insulted me greatly with your comment about "giving me a second chance".

I don't need your second chance, my opinions are mine. You don't like my opinions, then don't read them. I never meant to insult you, and said so. However, I'll gladly cut ties right here and now, based on your self-righteous attempt to make me out to be the bad guy.

Whatever floats your boat.

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David Dodd Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:19 a.m.

No, SD, I'm done.

I've had it.

This is just a waste of my time.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:34 a.m.

I hope cooler heads prevail in the morning, because you two have had productive--and caring--communication in the past. xoxox SD

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:46 a.m.

SD, you are way smarter than me, so I disagree with you at my peril. But I think Pete is empathetic, from what I have read in some of his posts. Most of what he says, as I pointed out to him, is merely posturing. Remnants of the hurt he suffered. I know that it is sometimes tedious, and irritating, to listen to his banal take on issues, but I don't believe he lacks the more important human qualities.

This swine flu issue was badly expressed and poorly timed on his side, as I said to him. Let's see what happens ...

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Anon92107 Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:56 a.m.

Never forget this #1 Fact:

The U.S. Military plus our police and fire personnel are the only true Heroes and Patriots who risk their lives daily to protect and preserve American Democracy today.

Whereas politicians and their Special Interest masters are the same breed of Tory traitors who tried to destroy American Democracy before it was even created.

It's time for a new Declaration of Independence, and Don Bauder is the best person to promulgate v.21C.

It's time for We The People to "pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honour" once again to restore American Democracy.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5 a.m.

"Most of what he says, as I pointed out to him, is merely posturing."

And that goes to my point about honesty and opinion. I see that Pete postures and brags constantly; he is very focused in on himself, and then when he says that he is 'humble,' it makes me laugh in disbelief. He is a total narcissist, and they are not known for being completely honest--they are known for being concerned with creating public images of themselves; something Pete is continuously doing, building on his 'character' for us.

Yes, he has used phrases of politeness lately, apologizing to people here and there, but why should he need to apologize all of the time? It is disingenuous; he means what he says the first time, and had the satisfaction of blurting it out, just as a child does, with no thought to others' feelings. Yes, I do hope I am totally wrong about that. I would just need to see some real proof. As you say, let's see what happens...

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:40 a.m.

I've seen total narcissists. I've had to deal with them. In terms of degrees there is a universe between their conduct and Pete's.

I think we both pointed this out to him, not too gently, on the other thread. Let's see what happens ... Oh, did I say that before? :))

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 9:41 a.m.

Response to post #11: It's the lobbyists who write the legislation, too. The same is true in San Diego. Real estate developer lobbyists pen the legislation gleefully passed by the city council and board of supervisors. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 9:43 a.m.

Response to post #12: I think your violent solution will exacerbate the problem. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 9:55 a.m.

Response to post #13: I had trouble bringing up that UTube. I will say this: I am not bothered by what Obama has done. I am bothered by what he has not done: e.g. regulate and rein in derivatives, completely overturn the SEC so it is not a Wall Street protector, launch more criminal cases against both Wall Street and mortgage operatives, break up financial institutions now considered too big to fail, etc. etc. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 9:59 a.m.

Response to post #14: Jefferson said many things that are apt today, but this quote is only partially so. It was made in a time of societal inflammation. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:01 a.m.

Response to post #15: I don't want a rebellion every twenty years but I also don't like Jefferson's statements being called "aphorisms." They are more profound than that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:02 a.m.

Response to post #16: Rebellion, yes. Violent rebellion, no. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:04 a.m.

Response to posts #s 17 and 18: Recommended reading. Perspicacious. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:06 a.m.

Response to post #19: You won't catch me telling Pete to change. I like his feistiness. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:10 a.m.

Response to posts #s 20, 21 and 22: Pete should continue to throw stones. So should our other contributors -- including yours truly. By venting our complaints online, we are working out our hostilities without resorting to violence. When Pete advocates violence, I really don't think he means it. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:14 a.m.

Response to posts #23-25: People on this blog have opinions. Strong opinions. that's good. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:17 a.m.

Response to posts #s 26-31: What the hell is wrong with having opinions and being judgmental? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:20 a.m.

Response to post #32: Rush Limbaugh and San Diego's Roger Hedgecock appeal to a certain market. It's only partly a political market. It's a psychological market. Both appeal to those who are bitter and resentful. That's a big market. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:24 a.m.

Response to posts #s 33-37: I believe this is the first time anybody on this blog has stated that another contributor is smarter. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:26 a.m.

Response to post #38: There are times, though, when the U.S. military is not protecting our freedoms or spreading democracy. One was Vietnam. Another is Iraq. A third is Afghanistan. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:29 a.m.

Response to posts #s 39 and 40: Is narcissism the correct diagnosis? Best, Don Bauder

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:14 a.m.

First off,I'm sorry SD,that you aren't feeling well. I said that in the Colombus Day thread. I didn't know you wanted me to come over and hold your hand while you threw up. I was simply stating the opinion that this whole swine flu scare is complete and utter bulls. Yes,people have died of the swine flu. I regret the loss of innocent lives but it is what it is. S happens. Life's a bitch. Get over it. That may sound harsh but in reality,I'm only speaking the truth. I too would like to buy the world a Coke and sing on a hilltop singing Kumbaya,my Lord.....kumbaya". Guess what though? Ain't gonna happen.

Which leads me to me and SD arguing over something so lame. SD? You're a smart woman. Maybe too smart to see the forest for the trees. How could any sane,rational person such as yourself not realize just how f***in' ludicris it sounds to say"Yeah. We should criminalize hatespeech"? What comes after that? Hatethought? What if I don't like the pants you wear on a Sunday because I'm a huge believer in women not being seen in jeans on a holy Sabbath day? Are ya startin' to see the slippery slope yet? I,like refriedgringo,saw that NOTHING we'd say to you,AG or CuddleFish regarding how absurd it would be to criminalize such a thing in a free country would make any difference. I took refried's cue and dropped the matter only for you,SD,to bring it right back up.

As for me being narcissistic? Yeah. I'll own up to that. I really try not to because it goes against my nature but my narcissism has made me the truly Independent thinker that I am today. I may not be the most streetsmart and I may not be the most booksmart but I know enough of each to say when I smell a rat. My narcissism is my voice. It's the set of balls I use to overcome the evil I see in this world. You say that I enjoy using hatespeech. I say I don't exact enjoy using it but I'll be damned if I'm not going to because it may hurt someone's feelings. SD? I'd like you to dredge up ANY post where I've directly used a racial epitaph on anyone. You won't be able to. And if you DO find one,I'll admit that I was wrong in using it. A REAL narcissist would try to inject himself into any siuation he's dicussing. I don't do that. There are subjects discussed that I know about but never experienced first hand.

AS for the respected Mr.Bauder,I disagree with you that violence isn't necessary. Violence,unfortunetely,is the only thing those Wall Street bastards will understand. If you don't kick the s*** out of the bully,how will you get him to stop?

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:22 a.m.

Excuse me, where did I say I would criminalize hate speech? I wasn't part of that discussion, as I recall. And by the way, hate speech is a crime.

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Anon92107 Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:24 a.m.

Response to post #54:

DO NOT BLAME WARS ON THE GUYS WHO RISK AND LOSE THEIR LIVES AND BODIES FOR US.

They follow orders regardless of risk because they believe in the American way of life in spite of the traitors in Washington.

AMERICA HAS THE BEST MILITARY IN HISTORY, and it's a damn good thing that is true because Washington deserves to be surrounded and held responsible and accountable for their never-ending acts of treason against American citizens who work their asses off to support our families in spite of the betrayals by Republican Hatemongers and Braindead Democrats.

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Russ Lewis Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:31 a.m.

(#56) "Violence,unfortunetely,is the only thing those Wall Street bastards will understand." Oh, I don't know, Pete. They might understand jail time.

And hate speech, Ms. Fish, is protected, as I understand it. It may be vile and pernicious, but the First Amendment was set up to protect UNpopular speech. Anyone from the ACLU can feel free to weigh in on that.

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:36 a.m.

Okay, I stand corrected. Thanks, russl.

Agree about the jail time. Killing is too good for some people.

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gardenparty Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:44 a.m.

response to 15 and 44. That is indeed the point I was attempting to make to Pete about quoting out of context, however Don, one could argue that we are again, if not still, in a time of societal inflammation. Try reading the quote not in the terms normally associated with a quote from that era, armed revolution. Instead read it thinking more in terms of the other definition in Webster's: Opposition to one in authority or dominance. "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them." We have the means for achieving this each time we go to the ballet box. Over 17 million californians registerd vote in the last election, yet barely half of them took the time to show up to vote. That is our opportunity for " rebellion" yet it goes unsatisfied. A wise man once said that you can't win if you don't show up. How many cry for revolution or rebellion, yet fail to show up.

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:46 a.m.

Yes, unfortunately, the U.S. has its head up its ass (big surprise) when it comes to hate speech. In the CIVILIZED world (ya know, where they have stuff like free health care?), it's mostly illegal.

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:47 a.m.

5 million if you don't count all the ACORN registrations. ;)

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:52 a.m.

63 was directed to #61.

This is directed to #59 and #62.:

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers may sometimes be prosecuted for tolerating "hate speech" by their employees, if that speech contributes to a broader pattern of harassment resulting in a "hostile or offensive working environment" for other employees.[29] See, e.g., Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986), Patterson v. McLean Credit Union (1989).

So I guess there is some hate speech that is a crime.

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 12:04 p.m.

Re #64:

Yeah, I'm familiar with that. The key part of that is "if that speech contributes to a broader pattern of harassment resulting in a "hostile or offensive working environment" for other employees."

So it's not an individual act of hate speech that's prosecutable, and even then it's not the individual that gets prosecuted, but the employer.

America is a land of egocentric, narcissistic bullies and babies that's FAR too focused on individual rights than things like the common good and "domestic peace and tranquility." There's none of that here. It's "me, me, me" and never "us." There is no "us" in U.S., unfortunately.

In other countries, there are things like national unity as a PEOPLE, not just some abstract concept like "Amurrica."

That, and people just plain have better manners.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 12:15 p.m.

CuddleFish-"Pete, you need to re-think what you just said. Seriously." This was in response to what I wrote regarding potential draftees in the NFL not wanting to play for a Rush Limbaugh owned Rams. You and refriedgringo got into it for something you said shortly after that.

Anon-I come from a military family so I can see where you're coming from. However,these soldiers signed up for war. I support our troops but if they die in vain,then that's their own damn fault.

Russl-Jail is too good a place for thieves like this. Hell is better suited.

Gardenparty-I too saw what you were alluding to. Unfortunetely,it's not going to happen. We gave up an opportunity for REAL change ala defeating Prop 8. It was barely defeated because blacks got up to vote only for a brother. What kind of change have we seen from the messiah? Diddly squat. We've been duped. Hoodwinked. Shanghaied. We could've had some real change in this state but it was sold for a $3 bill instead.

AG-The"civilized"world isn't America. I hate to say it because I really do like what you contribute to our discussions but if you hate America so much and love to sing the praises of Europe,go over there! Then you'll have your utopia and you'll get a glimpse of what it's like living in a not-so-free country.

I believe there should be limits on what people say on certain property or certain situations. CuddleFish pointed out one that I believe in. If AG or SD were queen of America,THIS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp9KFd... would be outlawed. Maybe not the movie itself but just talking about it would be. I actually agree with Edward Furlong's character when he talks about the black influence on white suburbia. Does that make me a racist? No,it doesn't. It just means that I'm tired of white boys trying to talk tough and look ghetto because it's cool without knowing the history behind it.

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 12:15 p.m.

In other countries, there are things like national unity as a PEOPLE, not just some abstract concept like "Amurrica."

That, and people just plain have better manners

I can't agree with you there, AG. Will discuss this further on the thread I plan to post today.

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 12:20 p.m.

Here is what was actually said:

36.#36.LMAO@moobs! I'm all for Rush getting the Rams. All politics and racism aside,I think he might actually be able to restore some dignity to the game. One of the reasons the owners don't want him to become like them is simple:the truth hurts. Take Michael Vick for example. It's not the fact that he was involved with dogfighting. That's bad. It's what he did with the losers that's so outrageous. Owners like Rush would say"HELL to the f*** NO!" when it comes to players like Vick. The NFL has become a huge joke in terms of respectable sports and Rush would upset that.

By PistolPete 1:34 p.m., Oct 14, 2009 > Report it

37.#37.You must be on amyl nitrate to come up with "Rush" and "dignity" in the same sentence.

By SDaniels 2:27 p.m., Oct 14, 2009 > Report it

38.#38.LOL! IF you look at it with an open-mind though,you'll understand where I'm coming from. Rush would just be the owner of a football team. Big whoop. Any man(black,white or rainbow sherbert)who would refuse to play a game because of who the owner of the team is,is just f***ed in the membrane. I understood Eli not wanting to come here. His winning the Super Bowl put that argument to rest. Professional sports players should be playing to win. NOT because it's a popularity contest and NOT for the owners or coaches. The NFL has become a huge group of pussies."WAAAAAAAAAA! I don't want to play for the big,bad racist! WAAAAAAAAAAA!". Give me a break. Only in a recession and the worst time in America's short life does this conversation even come up.

By PistolPete 2:38 p.m., Oct 14, 2009 > Report it

39.#39.Pete, you need to re-think what you just said. Seriously.

By CuddleFish 3:07 p.m., Oct 14, 2009

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 12:22 p.m.

And for the record,I'm not condoning that movie's darker undertones. I hate nazis. Limiting speech no matter how ugly it may be IS naziism. A little food for thought. ;-D

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 12:25 p.m.

Ok CuddleFish. I stand corrected and apologize. You're right. You didn't state that you would criminalize hatespeech. You just sympathized with it being done. That IS different. Again,I apologize. I was wrong.

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 12:41 p.m.

Excuse me, Pete. Where did I express sympathy? I already said that I had no part in that discussion. Why do you continue to insist that I did?

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gardenparty Oct. 16, 2009 @ 12:43 p.m.

59

There are exeptions to "hate speech" being protected by the First Amendment. In Brandenburg V Ohio, the Supreme Court held that the constitutional guarantees of free speech do not permit a state to forbid people from speaking in favor of the use of force or other illegal actions unless it was likely to result in immediate violations of the law. The right to free speech can be limited only when the speech can be directly and immediately connected to specific actions that could result in lawless behavior. (Hopefully I gave a correct interpretation; surfpuppy should feel free to correct me if neccessary) Look at some of the free speech laws in other countries.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/world/americas/11iht-hate.4.13645369.html?_r=1

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 1:51 p.m.

Ok. Explain to me why I need to re-think what I said.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 1:52 p.m.

Mr. Bauder, I think you are a great moderator, but before you doff the black robes and take up the gavel, let's make sure you understand what kind of "stone throwing" you are protecting.

Below you will find an admittedly cherrypicked and abridged list of PistolPete's "greatest hits." I have not included all. One of the first posts from him on this site contains a link to a sign that says "Fk N**rs!" There was no call for it. I do believe in 99% of speech being unrestricted, and should add that I have NEVER reported a single post to admin for removal. I think it is more important to get it all out there and see it for what it is. The kind of "stone throwing" I referred to is baseless personal attack, in lieu of true dialogue and supported opinion.

Basically, Pete's point about free speech is that he should be able to say whatever he wants, with no consequences. He typically slings personal insults and racist/misogynistic epithets in lieu of real thinking in discussion. When he does provide a semblance of the latter, it is generally in the form of a red herring, or reductionist thinking that does not allow for reasonable exchange of ideas. He does not truly listen to an interlocutor, or respond point by point. He just reacts from the gut, and without provocation, hurls baseless insults.

Useful Context: At some point, there was what seems to be a genuine change. Pete posted blogs to let us in on why he is such a bitter, angry character, and gave posters the chance to connect with him as a human being. I was one of the first to jump in there and embrace him, and encourage him to continue to write in therapeutic fashion.

My reward? I found out yesterday that I have the H1N1 virus, which is making me unable to take my usual injections for an autoimmune condition. Instead of expressing, however briefly, any kind of sympathy, Pete decided to jeer at what he perceives to be mass hysteria over swine flu, stating he doesn't "believe" it exists. Hence my comments about narcissism. It appears that while Pete has great need for others to understand and empathize with trauma in his own past, it does not seem that he is able to truly empathize with others, based on the evidence of his postings over the last couple of months on the Reader site.

I leave it to you, Mr. Bauder, to determine the usefulness of PistolPete's rhetorical legacy:

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 1:53 p.m.

Random PP Quotations (yes, taken out of context, but I can provide the links for anyone who wishes to see the full series of exchanges for each of these):

Don't get me started on all the Mexicant's who wave their flag so proudly while thumbing their noses at the government who support their lazy a$$es.

If I was therealstoryteller's ex-BF and she keyed my car because I cheated on her,I'd pissed but I would bury her in the desert. therealstoryteller said she TRASHED his car. HUGE difference. Keying a car means a new paint job. Think of the movie Christine when Buddy Repperton TRASHED Arnie's car. That's what she implied.

I'm not mysogynistic. I just have a pair of balls and I'm not afraid to not put up with women's head games. I'm not racist either. I treat people the way I see they deserve to be treated.

And SDaniels,before you go judging me,there was a perfectly good reason why I robbed that Hardee's at knifepoint(I've never held a gun and I don't want to). Fred was dead on. He was smart enough to understand the point that obviously didn't penetrate that feminism shield you call a skull.

I love my sex,drugs & rock'n'roll. It's what keeps me from going postal on all the AHEM....IQ challenged individuals. Without these three things,I'd probably be picking off strangers from a tower on a college campus somewhere in Texas......

And for those offended by my use of the word gay,F**K OFF AND GET A LIFE!

It offends me to see fatf**ks eating cheeseburgers(even though I am one). I LOVE non-smokers who bring up the fact that they're paying higher insurance premiums because of us smokers. Those are the people I just want to go up to and kick their infant down the block.

Now she wants everybody to not use the word retard because she decided to breed one? Fk that bullst. I'll say what I want,to who I want whenever I want and consequences be damned.

-A WORD. Nothing more. Nothing less. I refuse to give ANY words in our lexicon some sort of ritualistic power. It's a word. Ni&&er,g00k,spic,f@g,wop,cameljockey,polak,redskin. All letters typed on a screen. I see her point but I'm not buying it. A ni&&er is a bundle of sticks,a f@g is a cigarette and a retard is a person born without normal reasoning and intelligence.

Save a doughnut,kill a cop.

They have a job and I can respect that. But if they get shot and killed,I'm going to drink a beer. The day Dan Bessant was murdered,I drank a 6-pack.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 1:58 p.m.

I still think Pete has a right to say any of the things I've quoted above, and am not sure why he keeps harping that I and antigeekess would "criminalize" hatespeech, or restrict a citizen's right to speak. What I've proposed is a more comprehensive education in this country, teaching the basics of logical argument as well as the language and philosophy of racial and gender inclusivity. I have stated that people should use a sense of decency when communicating with others; that is a far cry from proposing legislation.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 2:12 p.m.

Oh yes, and my main point: If speech can be seen to incite, or appears clearly capable of inciting violence, then it should be censored in some measure. In exactly what measure, I'm not sure, and would be interested in hearing opinions on this matter.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 2:22 p.m.

You may not have said that you'd want hatespeech criminalized but in my eyes,educating people is the same thing. The article that gardenparty linked us to is a prime example. People who hate this country(SD & AG)will try to change it to their definition of morality. Education leads to reform which leads to the United States looking like those other a**hole countries. I like living in a place that allows me to express my opinions no matter how unpopular they are. If you don't like it,you have two choices. Choice A-Leave. Buh bye. Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya. Thanks. Come again. Choice B-Ignore what you don't like. How hard is that? I use hatespeech to get a point across. Sure,I'm smart and could use alternate words but I CHOOSE not to. I'm trying to get my point across. I'm not trying to buy the world a Coke and be in perfect harmony. I care about what happens in my neck of the woods. Do ya really care what happens in Haiti? yeah? OK THEN! MOVE THERE IF IT CONCERNS YOU SO MUCH! It doesn't concern me so I don't care. I ignore it. Not in the hopes that it'll go away so much as I don't care. I care about one country and one country only. MY country. America.

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gardenparty Oct. 16, 2009 @ 2:31 p.m.

"If speech can be seen to incite, or appears clearly capable of inciting violence, then it should be censored in some measure".

Daniels, I have to say that's simply not going to happen. That was the whole issue in Brandenburg V Ohio. Before the courts ruling in that case, that was pretty much what could happen. In it's ruling the court struck down Whitney V California. They ruled that unless such speech was "likely to result in immediate violations of the law", it could not be censored. I'm sure you would agree at this time it's unlikely the court will reverse itself.

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 2:58 p.m.

All righty. I've skimmed the previous comments a bit, but I'm not going to even bother reading all of them, much less responding.

To clarify, I WOULD criminalize hate speech, and not bat an eyelash at doing so. It serves no constructive purpose whatsoever, and plenty of destructive ones. The older, wiser countries of the world have realized this, and put legislation in effect so that those who don't have the wisdom to censor themselves, find themselves censored.

The Wiki link to what the rest of the world does about hate speech is right here:

If America were older, wiser, and less egocentric, America would follow suit. For those who can't be bothered to read the entire Wiki article, I'm 'only' going to pick out the synopses of the nations that specifically prohibit hate speech.

I'll start with my favorite writeup. Brazil.

"In Brazil, according to the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, racism and other forms of race-related hate speech are "imprescriptible crime(s) with no right to bail to its accused".[5] In 2006, a joint-action between the Federal Police and the Argentinian police has cracked down several hate-related websites. However, some of these sites have recently reappeared—the users have re-created the same sites on American domain. The federal police have asked permission from the FBI to crack down these sites, but the FBI denied, stating that the First Amendment guarantees the right to any speech, even if it involves racism."

Why my favorite? Because of that last part, where the hatemongers have to flee to American webspace, where such things are considered "normal." Next, our neighbors to the north:

"In Canada, advocating genocide or inciting hatred[6] against any 'identifiable group' is an indictable offence under the Criminal Code of Canada with maximum terms of two to fourteen years. An 'identifiable group' is defined as 'any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.' It makes exceptions for cases of statements of truth, and subjects of public debate and religious doctrine."

Silly Canadian hoseheads, what with their free healthcare and all. More to come...

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:04 p.m.

"Denmark prohibits hate speech, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten, ridicule or hold in contempt a group due to race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual orientation.[8]

"Finland prohibits hate speech, kiihotus kansanryhmää vastaan/hets mot folkgrupp, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten or insult a national, racial, ethnic or religious group or a similar group.[9]

"France prohibits the publication of material which is defamatory or insulting, or which incites discrimination, hatred, or violence against a person or a group of persons on account of place of origin, ethnicity or lack thereof, nationality, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or handicap.[10]...

French law allows a plaintiff to launch an action on account of hate speech in a criminal court or in a civil court. The Public Prosecutor can turn a civil action into a criminal action. The penalties include imprisonment, a fine, or both.[13]

"In Germany Volksverhetzung ("Sedition") is a punishable offense under Section 130 of the Strafgesetzbuch (Germany's criminal code) and can lead to up to five years imprisonment. Section 130 makes it a crime to publicly incite hatred against parts of the population or to call for violent or arbitrary measures against them or to insult, maliciously slur or defame them in a manner violating their (constitutionally protected) human dignity. Thus for instance it is illegal to publicly call certain ethnic groups "maggots" or "freeloaders". Volksverhetzung is punishable in Germany even if committed abroad and even if committed by non-German citizens, if only the incitement of hatred takes effect within German territory, e.g. the seditious sentiment was expressed in German writ or speech and made accessible in Germany (German criminal code's Principle of Ubiquity, Section 9 §1 Alt. 3 and 4 of the Strafgesetzbuch).

"In Iceland, the hate speech law is not confined to inciting hatred, as one can see from Article 233 a. in the Icelandic Penal Code, but includes simply expressing such hatred publicly:

    "Anyone who in a ridiculing, slanderous, insulting, threatening or any other manner publicly assaults a person or a group of people on the basis of their nationality, skin colour, race, religion or sexual orientation, shall be fined or jailed for up to 2 years." (The word "assault" in this context does not refer to physical violence, only to expressions of hatred.)

"India prohibits any manner of expression which someone might consider insulting to his religion or which for whatever reason might disturb public tranquility.

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:06 p.m.

"In Ireland, the right to free speech is guaranteed under the Constitution (Article 40.6.1.i). However, the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, proscribes words or behaviours which are "threatening, abusive or insulting and are intended or, having regard to all the circumstances, are likely to stir up hatred" against "a group of persons in the State or elsewhere on account of their race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origins, membership of the travelling community or sexual orientation."[18]

"New Zealand prohibits hate speech under the Human Rights Act 1993. Section 61 (Racial Disharmony) makes it unlawful to publish or distribute "threatening, abusive, or insulting...matter or words likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt any group of persons...on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national or ethnic origins of that group of persons." Section 131 (Inciting Racial Disharmony) lists offences for which "racial disharmony" creates liability.

"Norway prohibits hate speech, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten or ridicule someone or that incite hatred, persecution or contempt for someone due to their skin colour, ethnic origin, homosexual life style or orientation or, religion or philosophy of life.[21]

"Serbia - Serbian constitution guarantees freedom of speech, but declares that it may be restricted by law to protect rights and respectability of others. Because of inter ethnic conflicts during last decade of 20th century, Serbian authorities are very rigorous about ethnic, racial and religion based hate speech. It is processed as "Provoking ethnic, racial and religion based animosity and intolerance" criminal act, and punished with six months to ten years of imprisonment.[citation needed][22]

"Singapore has passed numerous laws that prohibit speech that causes disharmony among various religious groups. The Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act is an example of such legislation. In 2005, three men were convicted for hate speech under the Law of Singapore.[citation needed] The Penal Code criminalizes the deliberate promotion by someone of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different racial and religious groups on grounds of race or religion. It also makes it an offence for anyone to deliberately wound the religious or racial feelings of any person.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:12 p.m.

Thanks to gardenparty and antigeekess for the information. I'm saving all of it in a nice neat document for future reference.

As for PistolPete in #78:

"You may not have said that you'd want hatespeech criminalized but in my eyes,educating people is the same thing... People who hate this country(SD & AG)will try to change it to their definition of morality"

What is there to say to this kind of hate rhetoric? The problem is that it just doesn't open constructive dialogue. Education about hate is the same thing as criminalizing hatespeech? Where's your antithesis? SD and AG "hate" this country? For an "independent thinker," Pete, you sure sound like a very typical, irrational hate monger to me.

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:13 p.m.

"South Africa -- Act No. 4 of 2000: Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.[23] contains the following clause: 10. (1) Subject to the proviso in section 12. no person may publish, propagate, advocate or communicate words based on one or more of the prohibited grounds, against any person, that could reasonably be construed to demonstrate a clear intention to - (a) be hurtful; (b) be harmful or to incite harm; (c) promote or propagate hatred.

"Sweden prohibits hate speech, hets mot folkgrupp, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten or express disrespect for an ethnic group or similar group regarding their race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual orientation.[24]

"In Switzerland public discrimination or invoking to rancor against persons or a group of people because of their race, ethnicity, is getting penalized with a term of imprisonment until 3 years or a mulct.

What's a mulct? I dunno. Let's look it up on Wikipedia:

And now, for the Brits:

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:17 p.m.

"In the United Kingdom, the Public Order Act 1986 prohibits, by its Part 3, expressions of racial hatred. "Racial hatred" is defined as hatred against a group of persons by reason of the group's colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins. Section 18 of the Act says: A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if— (a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or (b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby. Offences under Part 3 carry a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment or a fine or both. The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 amended the Public Order Act 1986 by adding Part 3A. That Part says, "A person who uses threatening words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred." The Part protects freedom of expression by stating in Section 29J: Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system. The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 amended Part 3A of the Public Order Act 1986. The amended Part 3A adds, for England and Wales, the offence of inciting hatred on the ground of sexual orientation. All the offences in Part 3 attach to the following acts: the use of words or behaviour or display of written material, publishing or distributing written material, the public performance of a play, distributing, showing or playing a recording, broadcasting or including a programme in a programme service, and possession of inflammatory material. In the circumstances of hatred based on religious belief or on sexual orientation, the relevant act (namely, words, behaviour, written material, or recordings, or programme) must be threatening and not just abusive or insulting. [25]"

Whew! Hail Brittania!

What's most interesting about this list? Who's NOT on it. Without doing any further research, it would appear that the a-holes that we have the MOST trouble with in the world? Aren't on the list.

So, could it be, that since THEY aren't on the list, and WE aren't on the list, that the real problem is they're too much like us -- angry, violent, and out of control?

Food for thought.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:20 p.m.

Why didn't you post Differing Concepts Of What Is Offensive?

"A central aspect of the hate speech debate is that concepts of what is acceptable and unacceptable differ, depending on eras in history and one's cultural and religious background. For example, personalised criticism of homosexuality (e.g., expressing the belief that homosexuality is "immoral" or harmful because it conflicts with a person's religious beliefs) is, to some, a valid expression of one's values; to others, however, it is an expression of homophobia and is therefore homophobic hate speech. Prohibition in such cases is seen by some as an interference in their rights to express their beliefs. To others, these expressions generate harmful attitudes that potentially cause discrimination.

Furthermore, words which once "embodied" negative hate speech connotations, such as 'queer' or 'faggot' against homosexuals, 'ni--er' against people of African origin, 'retard' and 'retarded' against the mentally and/or physically disabled, and 'bitch' against women, have themselves been reclaimed by their respective groups or communities, who attached more positive meanings to the words, so undermining their value to those who wish to use them in a negative sense. Significations differ following the context, as Judith Butler argues. However, others argue that such epithets demean and undermine these very individuals and so should qualify as hate speech. This point of view has been vehemently articulated by influential and well-known members of minority communities. As an example, the use of the word "ni--er" by African Americans has been condemned by Bill Cosby[32], Rev. Jesse Jackson[33], Richard Pryor and Rev. Ben Chavis, Jr[34], among others.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:20 p.m.

Concepts of what qualifies as hate speech broadened in the late twentieth century to include certain views expressed from an ideological standpoint. For instance, some feminists consider jokes about women or lesbians to be hate speech. Recently, the Canadian government added sexual orientation to the list of relevant characteristics eligible for protection from hate speech. Not everyone accepts that there is a difference between classic forms of hate speech, which were incitements to hatred or even to physical harm, and the use of language that merely shows disrespect. Some discussions between politically right wing and left wing can be viewed as hateful, even though the language used by both sides is not normally classified as hate speech.

Attitudes towards controlling hate speech cannot be reliably correlated with the traditional political spectrum. In the United States, there is a general consensus that free speech values take precedence over limiting the harm caused by verbal insult. At the same time, some conservatives believe verbally expressed "discrimination" against religions such as blasphemy, or sometimes "morally incorrect" or "unpatriotic" speech which opposes deep-seated sociocultural or religious mores, and national interest, should be condemned or prohibited, while liberals feel the same way about verbal "discrimination" against identity-related personal characteristics, such as homosexuality and language of someone who happens not to speak English (in the US and Canada when it comes to bilingualism).

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:20 p.m.

Re #83 & whichever # it refers to:

"SD and AG "hate" this country? For an "independent thinker," Pete, you sure sound like a very typical, irrational hate monger to me."

Yup, I saw that. "So-and-so hates this country." That's your garden variety hatemongering right there. Not even worth responding to.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:23 p.m.

What I don't understand,SD is why you want to squelch my use of certain words to further your righteous(sarcasm)cause? We shouldn't even be debating this. It's not up for debate. That's the point I'm trying to make. I don't envision the Supreme Court shredding the Constitution to appease the minority.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:26 p.m.

ANYONE who wants to change our laws to be like other countries doesn't love this country. Where's the hatemongering in that? That's a fact. You guys love other Western countries so much? Good for you. Nobody is holding a gun to your heads forcing you to stay here. I happen to love my country warts and all. I'm not asking anyone's permission to demostrate with the Nazis or the Klan down Broadway.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:31 p.m.

Here's some food for thought ladies.....Why does it take over 10,000 laws to enforce the 10 commandments? Ever stop to think about that? Say the U.S. someday makes hatespeech illegal. You guys will be patting each other on the back and smiling thinking you've actually made a difference,right? WRONG! All it's going to do is further tear this country apart. Which is what you guys may want to further your agenda of peace,love and harmony. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it.....

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:49 p.m.

Response to post #56: Al Qaeda tried violence against Wall Street and look what happened. The defense and homeland security budgets soared and so did stocks of the aerospace defense companies. Best, Don Bauder

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:49 p.m.

I do not want to “squelch” your words, however ugly they are, Pete. As stated, I have never reported a single posting on this site as inappropriate, and I have not proposed that you be muzzled, though at times, when your speech gets to the point of inciting violence or promising violence against another person, it probably should (e.g. your threat to kill and bury another poster in the desert if she keyed your car). We shouldn’t be debating this issue? Why not? I thought freedom of debate was a “uniquely” American practice, in your opinion, and attempting to debating this particular issue by pushing your hate speech in others’ faces is pretty much all you do—unless you are willing to admit here and now that you do it for the sheer pleasure of attempting to hurt others, and that it isn’t politically motivated after all?

So anyone who wants to change a law is a hatemonger, and hates the US? Again, where’s your antithesis, Pete? It’s a simple form of argument: you make a premise or thesis, then offer an antithesis, then make a conclusion. That allows others to respond to what we like to call the logical substance of your arguments.

I find it immensely amusing that PistolPete has quoted Judith Butler. Pete, do you even know who Judith Butler is? I find it also amusing (in a very sad way, actually) that you are now trying to bring up context as an issue. You, who would continually deny that historical context is valid or even existent, when throwing around your racially and gender-motivated slurs and epithets. You, who believes you can all by your lonesome, create a dictatorship of exactly how your words should be taken at any given moment, and completely control the social ramifications of your hate speech (a “fag” is a cigarette, for example). It is interesting that in the United State of PistolPete words have just the meaning that PistolPete decides, and he alone has the power to defuse or infuse them with meaning and context. Me? I prefer to admit that I cannot control the signification of my words; they will be interpreted variously by others—this is the beauty as well as the bane of language, and this is one important fact to consider when using it. You cannot erase hundreds of years of history behind the words you use, Pete. You can only choose—and yes, you do have the power to choose—to use your words more wisely.

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 3:59 p.m.

Response to post #57: Thank goodness, only certain kinds of hate speech are crimes. Best, Don Bauder

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gardenparty Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:01 p.m.

AG, I'm not going to take a side other than to say that I personally have no problem with the way the First Amendment is currently defined. But I do have a couple of questions. Are you aware that your statement " but I'm not going to even bother reading all of them, much less responding" could be taken as being said with an air of superiority? Just wondering. While I'm sure we all appreciate the link, was there really a need to post them all and did you actually read them all? If so how do you feel about Germany. Do you agree in prosecuting someone who was to write something percieved as promoting discontent or rebellion in Germany simply because it was written or spoken in German and made available in Germany? Even if the author wasn't a German citizen or not even in Germany at the time? One other question. Have you seen Michael Moore's last film? If not, and without passing judgementbad or good, the is one part I did find particularly interesting. the condensed version is that in Pa, one [articular county dicided to privatize juvenile detention. One teenager was incarcerated for saying something on her myspace page her principal didn't like. Another was incarcerated for argueing with her best friend at the mall. Extreme examples? Yes. Do worse things happen elsewhere? Yes. But they didn't happen elswhere, they happened here in this country. Then problem is if you try to "redefine" hate speech and the First Amendment, who decides on the definition??? The nine people who make up SCOTUS. Are you willing to live with their "interpretation"? Obviously not, since SCOTUS made it's interpretation and you disagree. So how would you go about affecting such a change? I'm not trying to be confrontational. I'm just asking how since SCOTUS made their ruling 40yrs ago and to my knowledge, no case brought before them has resulted in a change.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:12 p.m.

Oh, forgot to respond to:

66: “AG-The"civilized"world isn't America. I hate to say it because I really do like what you contribute to our discussions but if you hate America so much and love to sing the praises of Europe,go over there! Then you'll have your utopia and you'll get a glimpse of what it's like living in a not-so-free country.”

Have you ever lived in another country, Pete? Ever even been out of this one? This reminds me of when you condemned Hawaii as an “overrated meth island,” then admitted that you had never actually been there! You have a nasty habit of judging places and people of which and whom you have zero knowledge and experience. From your posts on whole, you appear to be a product of good, old-fashioned sound bite media of lazy nonconclusions, and have gotten off your ass long enough only to google a few arguments that you think will support your frequent habit of slinging hate speech at others.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:22 p.m.

In the United Kingdom, the Public Order Act 1986 prohibits, by its Part 3, expressions of racial hatred. "Racial hatred" is defined as hatred against a group of persons by reason of the group's colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins. Section 18 of the Act says: A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if-... ==========================

Hmmm...so if someone says something that another finds "threatening, abusive or insulting" they are GUILTY? I think half the internet posted in America (and 90% on the Reader) would be guilty under this standard.

All I can say is that is so stoopid!

Anyway-I felt left out of this little love fest, so carry on children!

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:28 p.m.

You are right about me being wrong about Hawai'i. It may be a paradise over there and it wasn't fair for me to judge it on the meth addicts alone. I've never left the U.S. and probably never will. I have no use for any country but my own. America is supposed to be the one place on the planet where you never want to leave and others flock to. Why is that? Maybe because we're the greatest social experiment on the planet. Like I said,I'm not trying to ask anyone to march with me down Broadway. I will NEVER march for the right to hate another citizen of my country. I would however like to be able to discuss race,politics and sex without ever being in fear of the wordpolice. What's so hard to understand about that? I could just as easily demand that you and AG be thrown in a prison for treasonous indoctrination for wanting to overthrow my government. That sounds about as ludicris as you guys wanting naughty words that offend just.....disappear.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:36 p.m.

"I will NEVER march for the right to hate another citizen of my country."

Your boots are on, and you've been walking (or at least talking) for a while. Now look around and see who your companions are.

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:38 p.m.

gardenparty queried:

"Are you aware that your statement " but I'm not going to even bother reading all of them, much less responding" could be taken as being said with an air of superiority?"

It doesn't bother me to be perceived as having a superior attitude toward outright willful ignorance and empty hatemongering rhetoric that doesn't have any real substantive content.

"While I'm sure we all appreciate the link, was there really a need to post them all and did you actually read them all?"

I didn't post them all. The ones I did post, I posted to make a point. I also read them all. I even left off ones that weren't specific enough about what their laws were.

"If so how do you feel about Germany. Do you agree in prosecuting someone who was to write something percieved as promoting discontent or rebellion in Germany simply because it was written or spoken in German and made available in Germany? Even if the author wasn't a German citizen or not even in Germany at the time?"

I'm fine with that. If some hatemonger inside or outside Germany wants to engage in hate speech that could affect Germany because it's done IN GERMAN, s/he can deal with the consequences. It's not that hard to stay out of Germany. :) It'd be interesting to know if Germany's ever had anyone extradited to answer charges, though. I'm betting not.

"One other question. Have you seen Michael Moore's last film?"

Yup. Saw it this week.

"If not, and without passing judgementbad or good, the is one part I did find particularly interesting. the condensed version is that in Pa, one [articular county dicided to privatize juvenile detention. One teenager was incarcerated for saying something on her myspace page her principal didn't like. Another was incarcerated for argueing with her best friend at the mall. Extreme examples? Yes. Do worse things happen elsewhere? Yes. But they didn't happen elswhere, they happened here in this country."

That was a bizarre situation in which multiple levels of officials appeared to be on the take. I think it's been shown repeatedly that privatization of things like prisons and detention camps are never a good idea.

"Then problem is if you try to "redefine" hate speech and the First Amendment, who decides on the definition??? The nine people who make up SCOTUS. Are you willing to live with their "interpretation"? Obviously not, since SCOTUS made it's interpretation and you disagree. So how would you go about affecting such a change?"

Well, laws are usually proposed by senators, as bills. However, since any qualifications at all regarding freedom of speech would be unconstitutional by definition, I suppose you'd go about it in the usual manner for a Constitutional Amendment.

Haven't had one of those in a good while.

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:39 p.m.

Woo-Hoo! #100 SNARF!!!

(Jealous, Pike?)

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antigeekess Oct. 16, 2009 @ 4:45 p.m.

I see SurfPuppy's here with his usual technique of taking things out of context and misquoting. The last part of what he quoted (and deliberately chopped off) is:

"...if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred."

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:09 p.m.

Response to post #58: I have always said that citizens of all nations should have an agreement that if there is a war, the politicians and diplomats should be forced to go to the front first and fire away at each other. Then there would be no wars. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:12 p.m.

Response to posts #59 and #60: And the death penalty is too easy for some people. Remember that lady who was married to a drill instructor at Pendleton, and arranged to have him murdered? She got caught. While the state was contemplating the death penalty for her, the joke went around that the death penalty would be letting her off easy. She should be forced to marry another drill instructor. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:18 p.m.

Response to post #61: This indeed is a time of widespread societal inflammation and deservedly so. I don't know if it can be compared to the period before and after the American Revolution, though. Still, I have been told that under 10% of people living in our country then supported the revolutionaries opposing the British. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:25 p.m.

Response to posts #s 62-65: Prosecution of hate speech is dangerous. If I call someone a no good son of a bitch, I can expect a punch in the nose, but the police have better things to do than riding herd on my invective. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:29 p.m.

Response to post #66: Unfortunately, prison is the only penalty we have for swindlers. How about 50 lashes? The stock? And then prison? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:32 p.m.

Response to post #67: Remember when George Bush II and his cronies denounced anything and everybody French? Most assuredly, none had even heard of the Louvre. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:35 p.m.

Response to post #68: Because of the racist remarks he has made, Rush Limbaugh should not own a part of a pro team. But here's a suggestion: Rush should stand there and let the 350-pound linemen on both teams use him as a tackling dummy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:38 p.m.

Response to posts #s 69-71: If we don't watch out, we will have hate speech aimed at our participants on this blog. Goodness! Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:42 p.m.

Response to post #s 72-74: I am truly sorry to hear that you have swine flu. Get well quickly. And keep posting. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:46 p.m.

Response to posts #s 75 and 76: Tell me more about that robbery at knifepoint. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:53 p.m.

Response to posts #s78-91: Racist hate speech is extremely offensive. But can society afford to have speech police prosecuting people for using invective? I don't think speech that incites people to rebel is so bad. What about our patriots who set off the Revolutionary War? Their speech was called seditious. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:58 p.m.

Response to post #s 92-102: If we ban hate, love-hate relationships will become awfully one-sided. Best, Don Bauder

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gardenparty Oct. 16, 2009 @ 6:40 p.m.

AG, Article V of the U.S. Constitution establishes the means for amending that document. Amendments have been created to change the Articles of the Constitution, such as the 12th Amendment. But to the best of my knowledge, the actual text of an Amendment cannot be changed. Since we already have a constitutional amendment addressing the issue of freedom of speech, the only way to change it is to create an entirely new amendment repealing the First Amendment. Can you really see that happening? Only 1 Amendment ever been repealed. What I am talking about is the court's interpretaton if the First Amendment. Article III of the Constitution specifically gives the Court the authority to review, and affirm or overturn, decisions made by lower courts and tribunals. That is how cases such as Brandenburg V Ohio change the interpretation of the First Amendment. And that is how the nine people that make up SCOTUS define free speech. I don't claim to be a Constitutional scholar, so if anyone has a link showing otherwise, please provided it and I will stand corrected.

Regarding the Michael Moore film, I didn't ignore the obvious corruption. Rather my point was, that a government official, the judge, even had the authority to do this. Surely you, like I have seen this happen in other countries, countries not on the list you cited, and thought it barbaric. You like I probably could not imagine that happening in our country. But it does, bribary and corruption not withstanding, it does. I have no difficulty in imaging strictrr free speech laws and having to same thing occuring only worse because some individual feels they have the power to do it. Haven't we seen enough of what power and corruption have done lately? I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone.To me what anyone says here has no affect on me whatsoever. It's just keystrokes that appear on a screen. If it was in another form or forum it might. But in another form or forum some people might not say the same things that they do here. You have every right to your feelings about hate speech, AG, as Pete has to his, but it's just not that easy to change what the law says about it, whether we like it or not.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 16, 2009 @ 6:45 p.m.

I see SurfPuppy's here with his usual technique of taking things out of context and misquoting. The last part of what he quoted (and deliberately chopped off) is:

"...if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred."

By antigeekess

Grrrrrr...busted again.

AG is the Inspector Clouseau of the Reader!

Carry on kids...................

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 6:58 p.m.

re: #112: Mr. Bauder, be careful what you wish for. Because his delight is to talk about himself at great length, Pete will likely be more than happy to fill you in on the details of that event, but it may not be one you'd want to "scoop."

Re: #113: "But can society afford to have speech police prosecuting people for using invective? I don't think speech that incites people to rebel is so bad."

Mr. Bauder, point taken, but you are speaking from one side of the issue, and if you'd like to fuel PistolPete's fantasy that he is a seditiously-spoken patriotic rebel, knock yourself out.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 7:52 p.m.

Mr.Bauder,in due time I'll be blogging in detail about my armed robbery. I'll be sure to let you know when it's up and viewable.

I've been watching the news since about 5:30-6:00. The Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas is in town. Overall,my opinion of these people is pretty disfavorable. I will however fight to the death to have them have their say. That's what be a TRUE patriot is all about. Like I stated earlier,I love my country warts and all. The protesters that confronted them is what cracks me up. If you don't pour gas on a fire,it will eventually go out.

I also saw more scare tactics regarding the swine flu. It's been reported that over 150 people have flooded the ER at Rady Children's Hospital since the 5 year old girl died a couple of days ago. 150? REALLY? The news sure does do a great job of not causing a panic over something like the(insert dramatic music here)THE SWINE FLU. 1 person per 1,000 dies of the flu/swine flu. I'd hardly call that something to panic over.When people are dropping like flies because of this,let me know. I may run around like my house is on fire.

I then watched AC360 report on a Justice of the Peace in Lousiana who refused to marry an interracial couple. I'll just simply say that if it's discovered that he's being paid by taxpayer money or that he broke discrimination laws,he should be prosecuted and/or fired. If not,he should just be left alone. Why make a mountain out of a molehill?

And SD? I'm not taking your bait. Try as hard as you might,it's not going to happen.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 8:15 p.m.

"When people are dropping like flies because of this,let me know. I may run around like my house is on fire."

Gee, again: I wish somebody had told me it was possible to wish away or just "not believe" in the swine flu, Pete. I am sitting here with over 100 degree temp, going icy then hot--it feels just like a regular flu, though with prior immune problems, it is maybe hitting me a little harder than your average bear.

Why is it so hard to believe? My little cousin has it. Kids at her school have it. An ER doctor, a friend of the family, reports that the area of Fallbrook where I contracted it, has had hospitals and doctors' offices overrun with potential patients. Happily for most people, and likely for myself, since I am sitting up and blogging, it will resolve within a few days. Meanwhile, I am holding off on necessary medications that further suppress the immune system. For some people, it does not.

Sure, the media likes to make "mountains out of molehills." What the hell is new about that? Why was it worth insulting me for no reason, especially when I have offered you so much support on your blogs? You 'love' your country? I have the feeling that love has nothing to do with your relationship either to this country, or any of the people in it.

Great, I'm glad you aren't taking the "bait" in this case, Pete. So noble of you, considering how often you actually control your mouth.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 8:52 p.m.

I did in fact correct what I had said refarding the swine flu. I mistakenly said that I didn't believe in it when in fact what I meant to say was that I don't believe in a swine flu endemic or pandemic. I thought I had made that clear. I also originally wished that you were feeling better. Gor someone who claims that I talk about myself to garner self-pity,you sure are quite the one to call this kettle black. I don't know what else you want me to do other than come over there and clean up your puke and diarrhea. If you'd like,I'll gladly send you a Hallmark card.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 8:55 p.m.

Since this"epidemic"began about 6 months ago,129 people have contracted the swine flu and died as a result. I'd bet $$$ to doughnuts that about 129 people die on county roads every year. I don't see the news using that to terrify residents.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 9:04 p.m.

I just found this on San Diego's county website regarding swine flu O_o

What is CDC’s recommendation regarding "swine flu parties"? "Swine flu parties" are gatherings during which people have close contact with a person who has novel H1N1 flu in order to become infected with the virus. The intent of these parties is for a person to become infected with what for many people has been a mild disease, in the hope of having natural immunity novel H1N1 flu virus that might circulate later and cause more severe disease.

CDC does not recommend "swine flu parties" as a way to protect against novel H1N1 flu in the future. While the disease seen in the current novel H1N1 flu outbreak has been mild for many people, it has been severe and even fatal for others. There is no way to predict with certainty what the outcome will be for an individual or, equally important, for others to whom the intentionally infected person may spread the virus.

CDC recommends that people with novel H1N1 flu avoid contact with others as much as possible. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

Do I have to be the one to say it?

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Don Bauder Oct. 16, 2009 @ 9:06 p.m.

Response to posts #s 115-121: You have to realize the media are profit-making entertainment producers. If the media inflate the importance of swine flu, or hysterically report a mini-dirigible that did NOT carry a six year old lad, you have to realize they are trying to attract an audience. In the newspaper business, such a story is called "a reader." It may be insignificant, but not to the bottom line. Best, Don Bauder

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 9:11 p.m.

Correction:The San Diego county website has the numbers on the swine flu. As of 3:00pm on October 14th,2009 332 people have been hospitalized and 24 deaths have been attributed to the swine flu. One more reason why the news is full of s***. CBS 8 reported at 5:30pm and 6:30pm tonight that 129 people have died in the county as a result of contracting the swine flu. This just proves my point.

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Russ Lewis Oct. 16, 2009 @ 9:55 p.m.

Where you getting those figures, Pete? I been looking all over www.cbs8.com and can't find the story with that claim that "129 people have died in the county as a result of contracting the swine flu." Sounds very suspect to me.

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or Oct. 16, 2009 @ 9:59 p.m.

Pete, perhaps it's the word pandemic that bothers you. It has as much to do with the geographical spread as the number of cases or fatalities. 1. a widespread epidemic of a disease. 2. a widespread epidemic that affects whole countries or the entire world. 3. (of a disease) occurring throughout the population of a country, a people, or the world. As of 11 October 2009, worldwide there have been more than 399232 laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009 and over 4735 deaths reported to WHO. That's quite a bit more than 1 death per 1000 cases as is the 24 deaths in 332 cases in San Diego county.

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SDaniels Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:01 p.m.

Glad you are proving lots of points, Pete.

"Gor someone who claims that I talk about myself to garner self-pity,you sure are quite the one to call this kettle black. I don't know what else you want me to do other than come over there and clean up your puke and diarrhea. If you'd like,I'll gladly send you a Hallmark card."

You're right--I reached out a bit to my online friends tonight, as a result of not feeling well, and of having contracted something that is of interest right now to the general public. I don't make a habit of going on and on about illness, and have pretty much kept the complaining to a couple of tidy blog entries--there is so much else to do and try to think about in life.

Nope, I don't need your pity, orderly duties, or Hallmark cards--I have plenty of friends on and offline for those things. Just wanted to point out that you get as much as you give in life, and you show that while you are more than capable of soliciting pity for yourself, by forcing the most intimate details of your life story on readers comment by comment, you do not seem capable of extending the same regard to others. Too bad, I was getting to sort of like you, but I prefer people who feel as least as much care for others as they demand for themselves. Remember that line from the Beatles? Hopefully one day it will mean something more to you than instructions on how to balance the checkbook.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:20 p.m.

I looked for the video of today's news as well and couldn't find it. Very suspect but I'm not shocked. CBS 8 is one of the few companies to make sure the Chargeless don't get blacked out so you can take that assumption of ethics from that.

Like I said,SD,I'm not sure what else you wanted me to say or do. I wished you the best of health in my original comment on finding out you had swine flu.

You'll find the 1 death in 1,000 cases from wikipedia,occumsrazor. "The new strain was initially described as an apparent reassortment of at least four strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1, including one strain endemic in humans, one endemic in birds, and two endemic in swine.[51] Subsequent analysis suggested it was a reassortment of just two strains, both found in swine.[55] Although initial reports identified the new strain as swine influenza (i.e., a zoonosis originating in swine), its genetic origin was only later revealed to have been mostly a descendant of the triple-reassortment virus which emerged in factory farms in the United States in 1998.[44][44][47][47][48] Several countries took precautionary measures to reduce the chances for a global pandemic of the disease.[56] The 2009 swine flu has been compared to other similar types of influenza virus in terms of mortality: "in the US it appears that for every 1000 people who get infected, about 40 people need admission to hospital and about one person dies."[57] There are fears that swine flu will become a major global pandemic at the end of the year (coinciding with the Northern Hemisphere winter months), with many countries planning major vaccination campaigns.[58]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swine_in...

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:25 p.m.

As I've said before,don't believe the hype. It's media's job to scare the s out of everyone so you'll watch their channel or pick up their newspapers and magazines thereby insuring greater profits. If I actually gave two ss about whatever the flavor of the day was,I'd drink myself to death. Death will come for myself just as sure it will come for every human on the planet. I try not to let newspapers and television stations dictate how I'm going to die. That's something between the God I worship and myself. I'll die when I die but not before living.

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:34 p.m.

I haven't had an Excedrin headache in a number of years but I feel one coming on now.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:39 p.m.

Ok. I've sat here on the computer for two hours with my GF watching TV behind me. I've heard"There was supposed to be 40 million swine flu vaccinations but now there's only 30 million. Find out why at eleven."at least a dozen times. That's only been CBS 8. She was watching L&O on KUSI about an hour ago. I heard"Hundreds flock to local hospitals.News at ten." about half a dozen times. Next time there's a story on the swine flu,count how many times there are swine flu bumpers for the local news. You'll see what I mean.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:41 p.m.

Hey-why don't you two get a room and settle this in private!

BTW, what is the difference between an endemic or pandemic?

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:42 p.m.

I haven't had an Excedrin headache in a number of years but I feel one coming on now.

By CuddleFish

================

If I have to read anymore of these comments I am going to put a bullet in my head.....

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 10:58 p.m.

LMAO! A pandemic is the initial stages of an epidemic.

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CuddleFish Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11 p.m.

Could you make that a double, SurfPuppy?

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or Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:51 p.m.

Pete, actually that came from you. Or more accurately, you used it in your post in a context so as to give the impression that the figures are what you personally believe."1 death out of every 1,000 cases doesn't sound so scary,does it?" Why rely on sources like that when it's just as easy to look at data fron someplace like the CDC or the WHO. Here's the info I found from the CDC. On average,37.5 million people come down with seasonal flu each year. On average, each year 40,000 people die. Thats a mortality rate of just over .001%. The current swine flu mortality rate for San Diego, based on the figures they list is just over .07%. The worldwide figures I gave show a mortality rate of about .0118%. Even at that lower rate, if only the same amount of people are infected with swine flu as with seasonal flu, that means almost 450,000 people could die. That's way more than a 1 in 1000 chance the swine flu could kill you're if infected. If my math skills haven't eroaded to badly, that's closer to a 1 in 100 chance. If you don't believe what you get from the mainstream media, do a little research and find out for yourself

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:57 p.m.

Fair enough. I'm sorry if it seemed as if that was what I believed. In all fairness,that figure was also estimated this past May. In May,as we all know,the swine flu scare was just getting ramped up.

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or Oct. 16, 2009 @ 11:57 p.m.

"If I have to read anymore of these comments I am going to put a bullet in my head....." Surfpuppy, quit teasing us. Didn't you say you don't own any fire arms?

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or Oct. 17, 2009 @ 12:06 a.m.

Pete, if you posted it, why shouldn't it be believed that it's your point of view? And no offense but if you posted something 5 months old, you gotta know you're gonna here about it. I happen to agree with you about the media hype at least as to how much it's being overdone.

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PistolPete Oct. 17, 2009 @ 12:14 a.m.

Like I said,it wasn't my intention to mislead anyone on this thread. I originally posted it on LPR's Colombus Day thread with the link from Wikipedia. I was just repeating it here since both thread got tangled,so to speak. I re-read the link provided by Wikipedia and realized it was from May a few minutes before posting my last reply.

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PistolPete Oct. 17, 2009 @ 12:19 a.m.

102.#102."The 2009 swine flu has been compared to other similar types of influenza virus in terms of mortality: "in the US it appears that for every 1000 people who get infected, about 40 people need admission to hospital and about one person dies."[57] There are fears that swine flu will become a major global pandemic at the end of the year (coinciding with the Northern Hemisphere winter months), with many countries planning major vaccination campaigns.[58]" -wikipedia [57]weblink http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/05/25/take...

1 death out of every 1,000 cases doesn't sound so scary,does it?

By PistolPete 10:08 p.m., Oct 15, 2009 > Report it

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or Oct. 17, 2009 @ 12:25 a.m.

Fair enough Pete. My lady has been enjoying a ladies night out tonight so I probably had a little too much time on my hands anyway. Lucky for me though, she just got home, so there are more important tasks at hand. Sooooooooo, I'm gone.

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Don Bauder Oct. 17, 2009 @ 7:41 a.m.

Response to #s posts 124-143: This colloquy reminds me of one of my favorite cartoons. A tyrannical orchestra conductor (maybe meant to connote Toscanini) is rehearsing the orchestra, screaming at the players' inability to grasp what he wants. He shouts, "Dolce, dolce, you swine!" (Dolce means gently, sweetly.) Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 17, 2009 @ 12:07 p.m.

Response to post #145: I just read a compilation of Jewish jokes that Jewish comedians are tellling Jewish audiences. How long before somebody stops that on the grounds that it isn't politically correct? Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 17, 2009 @ 12:20 p.m.

I just read a compilation of Jewish jokes that Jewish comedians are tellling Jewish audiences. How long before somebody stops that on the grounds that it isn't politically correct?

Not long.

The Onion ran a poarady on public service announcement for anti smoking, and it was funny as hell, but as expected got the group who was the subject of the parody and satire all worked up;

New Anti-Smoking Ads Warn Teens 'It's Gay To Smoke'

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/new_anti_smoking_ads_warn_teens

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PistolPete Oct. 17, 2009 @ 12:51 p.m.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! That's hilarious! Thanks for the laugh SP> I must have missed that one on MySpace. I have a subscription to the onion videos. I need a smoke now. And Mr.Bauder? It won't be long before some Jewy Jew Jew Bean comes along and protests. Here's a quick laugh for you guys.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-Qevr...

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Don Bauder Oct. 17, 2009 @ 6:43 p.m.

Response to post #147: Whatever you utter, there will be some group claiming you are a bigot. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 17, 2009 @ 6:49 p.m.

Response to post #148: McCain certainly looks young in that one. Best, Don Bauder

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