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Recently there have been several responses to a certain thread by some who appear to have a misunderstanding concerning the Freedom of Speech, and the exceptions to it. In an effort to clear up any ambiguities, please see below:

Exceptions to free speech in the United States refers to categories of speech that are not protected by the First Amendment. According to the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Constitution protects free speech while allowing for limitations on certain categories of speech.[1]

Categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment (and therefore may be restricted) include obscenity, fraud, child pornography, speech integral to illegal conduct, speech that incites imminent lawless action, speech that violates intellectual property law, true threats, and commercial speech such as advertising.

Along with communicative restrictions, less protection is afforded for uninhibited speech when the government acts as subsidizer or speaker, is an employer, controls education, or regulates the mail, airwaves, legal bar, military, prisons, and immigration.

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America is the country of freedom:

Norman Rockwell’s iconic “Four Freedoms” paintings, perhaps the best-known images ever created by the American artist, will be the subject of a massive travelling exhibition organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The paintings illustrate President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union address, which is based around the idea that people “everywhere in the world” have the right to enjoy four fundamental freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Here, a simple Vermont farmer stands up at the annual Town Meeting to express his opinion, while his neighbors listen respectfully, a tradition that continues to this day.  What you see in this painting is what makes America great.  

Let this stand as a beacon of freedom to the entire world. 

 

Normn Rockwell 4 freedoms.PNG

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(edited)

Americans so treasure their Four Freedoms that they have carefully re-cast the paintings to reflect today's Americans, as depicted in a series of photographs assembled with casts of well-known actors, newscasters, and even museum curators.  Here, Rujeko Hockley, the Curator of the Eli Whitney Museum in New Haven, Connecticut, stands in the famous Freedom of Speech  painting re-cast. The faces of Americans will change from generation to generation; the principles do not.

2038671682_RockwellForFreedomsre-make.PNG.dff1d4ed8d88873a5c0dc584df26a75e.PNG

Remember, and reflect, on what makes America great. 

Edited by Jan van Eck
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As a footnote, careful readers might note that these Norman Rockwell painting and the re-make are set in a church; the pews for worship are clearly shown.  Early rural Vermonters used their community church, typically a Congregational Church, as their public meeting places, as these were the only buildings large enough to hold the assembled peoples of the Town for Town Meeting day (the day when town matters were discussed and the Town Budget and tax rates were voted on).  While some today would see this as a breach of the principle of separation of Church and State, early rural folks saw no contradiction nor inconsistency.  Today, with "political correctness" so rampant, such meetings are held in either a Town Hall itself (if large enough) or in a school auditorium, never mind that a town church would be far more comfortable. 

The Congregational Church is classically New England, a Protestant (Christian) religious tradition that holds that each man shall be totally free to worship God in accordance to the dictates of his own conscience. Thus no one is required to adhere to a specific church observation, including the act of genuflection and the taking of communion, rituals that remain private choices.  Henry Thoreau would be proud.

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(edited)

''legend'' huh ...?    ♥️

Edited by DayTrader

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7 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Recently there have been several responses to a certain thread by some who appear to have a misunderstanding concerning the Freedom of Speech, and the exceptions to it. In an effort to clear up any ambiguities, please see below:

Exceptions to free speech in the United States refers to categories of speech that are not protected by the First Amendment. According to the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Constitution protects free speech while allowing for limitations on certain categories of speech.[1]

Categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment (and therefore may be restricted) include obscenity, fraud, child pornography, speech integral to illegal conduct, speech that incites imminent lawless action, speech that violates intellectual property law, true threats, and commercial speech such as advertising.

Along with communicative restrictions, less protection is afforded for uninhibited speech when the government acts as subsidizer or speaker, is an employer, controls education, or regulates the mail, airwaves, legal bar, military, prisons, and immigration.

Yes, admirable, in principle.  But when any right is subject to limitations, the right is no longer inalienable. Thus the right itself is rendered of limited value.

So let's examine one limitation. Quote: "speech that incites imminent lawless action". So what topics could be seen to be inciting lawless action?  uh, maybe protests calling for independence, secession, and intervention by another country?  And given the citizens have no right to call for such, what would be the retribution?  Let's see, how about the penalties under the law of Sedition, which are capital punishments? 

So when another country imposes the same restrictions upon its citizens, exactly as your country imposes upon you, somehow the govt of that country is evil and tyrannical, while yours is ever so righteous. 

You seem to accept your free speech limitations, yet criticise others for accepting theirs. Rather odd.

 

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1 hour ago, frankfurter said:

So what topics could be seen to be inciting lawless action?  uh, maybe protests calling for independence, secession, and intervention by another country?  And given the citizens have no right to call for such, what would be the retribution?  Let's see, how about the penalties under the law of Sedition, which are capital punishments? 

Americans are perfectly free to call for both independence and secession, and do so all the time, including at this writing.  The people of Nantucket have been agitating for secession from the USA for at least 50 years.  Neither the Federal nor the State authorities have so much as lifted a little pinkie finger in objection.  There is some precedent for joining France, as in the case of Miquelon, but so far the issue has not received majority vote so nothing much happens.  

There are sections in the USA that ask for foreign-power help to secede.  The requests for aid typically go to the Canadian federal authorities.  The Canadians usually do not agree to aid.  The secessionists can be either First Nation nationals,and also the lobstermen at Seal Island ask for Canadian help to secede, and the Canadians have obliged by planting their flag on the island.  However, it is not yet garrisoned, in case you were wondering. As far as Point Roberts goes, that is so placid that nobody much cares, either way, so the issue is ignored.  Trust this explains.

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1 hour ago, frankfurter said:

Let's see, how about the penalties under the law of Sedition, which are capital punishments? 

It is totally absurd that anyone would be executed for advocating secession from the US Federal authorities.  Just ridiculous.  That does not happen in the USA, at least not since the death of Abraham Lincoln.  That was 150 years ago.

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2 hours ago, frankfurter said:

maybe protests calling for independence, secession, and intervention by another country?

The Puerto Rican Independence movement has been agitating for decades for independence of Puerto Rico, and for secession from the USA.  It is a bit of an anomaly is the island was taken over by the USA after the War with Spain in 1898.  Today the Independence Movement is an established political party, with members in the parliament of Puerto Rico.  The idea they would be "arrested for Sedition" is absurd.  They advocate all day long, and ask for help in secession from both Spain and Cuba.  So far, neither Spain nor Cuba have responded, so that part seems to be  a dead-end.  Who knows: maybe some day Puerto Rico will become independent.  Probably not such a bad idea. 

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4 hours ago, frankfurter said:

Yes, admirable, in principle.  But when any right is subject to limitations, the right is no longer inalienable. Thus the right itself is rendered of limited value.

So let's examine one limitation. Quote: "speech that incites imminent lawless action". So what topics could be seen to be inciting lawless action?  uh, maybe protests calling for independence, secession, and intervention by another country?  And given the citizens have no right to call for such, what would be the retribution?  Let's see, how about the penalties under the law of Sedition, which are capital punishments? 

So when another country imposes the same restrictions upon its citizens, exactly as your country imposes upon you, somehow the govt of that country is evil and tyrannical, while yours is ever so righteous. 

You seem to accept your free speech limitations, yet criticise others for accepting theirs. Rather odd.

 

Um, might learn your US history. (And by history, I mean current events) 

Texas has called for secession (and voted on it in some areas). So has California. Puerto Rico has also voted on it if memory serves...

It's never interfered with, and it's never passed. But that doesn't stop people from trying...

What's going on in China isn't anywhere near the same thing. Please, come to the US and see. 

2 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

The Puerto Rican Independence movement has been agitating for decades for independence of Puerto Rico, and for secession from the USA.  It is a bit of an anomaly is the island was taken over by the USA after the War with Spain in 1898.  Today the Independence Movement is an established political party, with members in the parliament of Puerto Rico.  The idea they would be "arrested for Sedition" is absurd.  They advocate all day long, and ask for help in secession from both Spain and Cuba.  So far, neither Spain nor Cuba have responded, so that part seems to be  a dead-end.  Who knows: maybe some day Puerto Rico will become independent.  Probably not such a bad idea. 

I'd actually prefer Puerto Rico became a state... with proper statehood it would receive real benefits and would likely develop/advance fairly quickly. Biggest problem right now is the brain drain to the US, but statehood would help Puerto Rico get capital investments to build infrastructure. First as a tourist destination, then actually get some industry.

Man, I hope we're smart enough to keep them... 

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(edited)

5 hours ago, Otis11 said:

What's going on in China isn't anywhere near the same thing.

Well hold the front page, who would have thought that..? 

I sense another award coming ... ;) 

Edited by DayTrader
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Well, if we use the civil war as the precedent, seemingly what people here are saying is: in America, one may talk about secession, but the act of secession requires a war. Is this correct? 

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