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Jamie123

The "Say Nice Things About America" Thread

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5 hours ago, anatess2 said:

Denmark (same in UK, actually) - freedom of expression is a right given by the government to the people. 

I don't know about Denmark, but in the UK (as in the US) the government gets it's very mandate to govern from the people. Yes, the monarch does in theory play a part, but only a formal one. The monarch would not last 5 minutes if he/she acted against a democratic decision.

(P.S. You and I have had this argument before Anatess, and I don't think we're going to agree this time any more than last! :) )

Edited by Jamie123

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Guest Scott
11 hours ago, anatess2 said:

That's what wikipedia says.  But that's not quite accurate. 

I actually heard it from a Dane (Ejnar Fjerdingstad) rather than wiki.  Of note, he's also the only European I know who likes Trump.  

Anyway, Ejnar was ranting because Muslims or protesters can burn the Danish flag in Denmark (which they have done on occasion), but others were apparently punished for flying an American flag in Denmark.  I did find the story on it:

https://www.thelocal.dk/20170620/danish-family-reported-to-police-for-flying-us-flag

People in Denmark were also punished for burning the US flag during Bush's visit.

Quote

It is basically completely up to the government how they want to address each situation depending on how the winds of politics flow. In short, Danes can burn the Dannebrog simply because of the fact that the Danish government chose to ignore it.


Maybe so, but let's just say that people in Denmark are punished for flying or burning flags from other nations, but not their own, because there is no law against it.

Edited by Scott

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Guest MormonGator
4 minutes ago, Scott said:

Of note, he's also the only European I know who likes Trump.  

Oh come now, I assume that MAGA hats are a best seller in Europe. 

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Guest MormonGator
Just now, mordorbund said:

uptup2qg6uby.jpg

Off topic: I've read that she's actually somewhat "liberal" in her views, but I could be wrong. 

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17 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

I don't know about Denmark, but in the UK (as in the US) the government gets it's very mandate to govern from the people. Yes, the monarch does in theory play a part, but only a formal one. The monarch would not last 5 minutes if he/she acted against a democratic decision.

(P.S. You and I have had this argument before Anatess, and I don't think we're going to agree this time any more than last! :) )

I will give you a perfect example.  Tommy Robinson. 

You can say all you want that the UK government gets its mandate to govern from the people.  The fact still remains, the common Brit's freedom to speak is an indulgence given to you by the government to which it can take away.

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12 hours ago, Scott said:

Maybe so, but let's just say that people in Denmark are punished for flying or burning flags from other nations, but not their own, because there is no law against it.

Scott, you're not getting the point.  In Denmark, as well as in Britain, having no law against a specific form of expression does not mean your right to express in such a manner is inalienable to you.  It simply means the government indulged your manner of expression.  Just the basic fact that the Danish (as well as the UK) government can make laws to punish you for it already proves the matter.

Canadian laws are similar in structure to British and Danish law.  The government of Canada has displayed that not only can it ban the speech of Canadians, it can FORCE Canadians to speak in a manner the government sees fit.

This is a paradigm totally opposite of the American paradigm.

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On 7/21/2020 at 2:26 PM, anatess2 said:

You can say all you want that the UK government gets its mandate to govern from the people.  The fact still remains, the common Brit's freedom to speak is an indulgence given to you by the government to which it can take away.

I think what you're alluding to here is that we don't have a written constitution, so there is no well-defined list of things that the government is not allowed to do. We do have "constitutional principles", and we have ancient stuff like Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights (1689), but nothing succinctly codified like the Americans have.

The Bill of Rights (I'm talking about the English one - introduced after the Revolution of 1688) does specify freedom of speech - but it's referring to parliamentary debate, not speech in general. But I'm pretty sure the general freedom of speech would be protected as a "general principle" and an attempt by government to take it away (even if it got through Parliament) would be shot down by the Supreme Court.

It could of course be done by stealth - removing freedoms a bit at a time, e.g. by calling them "hate speech" - and there have been some disgraceful abuses of what constitutes "hate speech". Markus Meechan* springs to mind: much as I think he's a meanie, the criminalization of what he did is a disgrace to this country, and I hope his conviction will eventually be overturned. But there have been a great many other cases where "government" (in the form of the police and CPS) have prosecuted people for alleged "hate speech" (e.g. for calling Muhammad a "war lord", or Scientology "a cult", or on one occasion for calling a police horse "gay") and the courts have sent them away with a flea in their ear. So it would be nice if we had something similar to the US constitution for the sake of greater clarity.

Speaking of clarity though, the old fashioned language of the American constitution does leave it open to some interpretation...

*In case you don't know the story, Markus Meechan is a Scottish comedian who uses the stage name "Count Dankula". He trained his girlfriend's pug dog to do a Nazi salute in response to him saying "gas the Jews" and posted it on YouTube. The point of the exercise was (so he claimed) that he was so sick of his girlfriend droning on about how cute the dog was, he turned it into the least cute thing imaginable: a Nazi. It was in bad taste for sure, but the worst thing about it (to my mind) was that the poor little innocent dog was being made to do things unnatural to it, and had no idea what the joke was about. Nobody complained that it was hate speech until the police started going around showing it to people and asking "aren't you offended?" I mean for goodness sake - if you think offence is a bad thing, why go spreading it around? If somebody made some poison, would police go spooning it out to people so that they could prosecute the poison-maker for making people sick? That was really what made the video go viral! A very stupid magistrate found Meechan guilty of "hate speech" and made him pay a modest fine. But it was an utter disgrace that he was found guilty at all.  I really hope the verdict gets overturned.

Edited by Jamie123

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19 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

I think what you're alluding to here is that we don't have a written constitution, so there is no well-defined list of things that the government is not allowed to do. We do have "constitutional principles", and we have ancient stuff like Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights* (1689), but nothing succinctly codified like the Americans have.

The Bill of Rights (I'm talking about the English one - introduced after the Revolution of 1688) does specify freedom of speech - but it's referring to parliamentary debate, not speech in general. But I'm pretty sure the general freedom of speech would be protected as a "general principle" and an attempt by government to take it away (even if it got through Parliament) would be shot down by the Supreme Court.

It could of course be done by stealth - removing freedoms a bit at a time, e.g. by calling them "hate speech" - and there have been some disgraceful abuses of what constitutes "hate speech". Markus Meechan* springs to mind: much as I think he's a meanie, the criminalization of what he did is a disgrace to this country, and I hope his conviction will eventually be overturned. But there have been a great many other cases where "government" (in the form of the police and CPS) have prosecuted people for alleged "hate speech" (e.g. for calling Muhammad a "war lord", or Scientology "a cult", or on one occasion for calling a police horse "gay") and the courts have sent them away with a flea in their ear. So it would be nice if we had something similar to the US constitution for the sake of greater clarity.

Speaking of clarity though, the old fashioned language of the American constitution does leave it open to some interpretation...

*In case you don't know the story, Markus Meechan is a Scottish comedian who uses the stage name "Count Dankula". He trained his girlfriend's pug dog to do a Nazi salute in response to him saying "gas the Jews" and posted it on YouTube. The point of the exercise was (so he claimed) that he was so sick of his girlfriend droning on about how cute the dog was, he turned it into the least cute thing imaginable: a Nazi. It was in bad taste for sure, but the worst thing about it (to my mind) was that the poor little innocent dog was being made to do things unnatural to it, and had no idea what the joke was about. Nobody complained that it was hate speech until the police started going around showing it to people and asking "aren't you offended?" I mean for goodness sake - if you think offence is a bad thing, why go spreading it around? If somebody made some poison, would police go spooning it out to people so that they could prosecute the poison-maker for making people sick? That was really what made the video go viral! A very stupid magistrate found Meechan guilty of "hate speech" and made him pay a modest fine. But it was an utter disgrace that he was found guilty at all.  I really hope the verdict gets overturned.

The plane fact that you can be prosecuted for Hate Speech, whereby "hate" is defined by government, means you do not have freedom of speech.  You have government-indulged speech.

And yes, I'm very familiar with Count Dankula.

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22 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

The plane fact that you can be prosecuted for Hate Speech, whereby "hate" is defined by government, means you do not have freedom of speech.  You have government-indulged speech.

And yes, I'm very familiar with Count Dankula.

Yeah, well I haven't yet quite given up hope in my country. The decision was wrong, and ought to be reversed. I'm still hoping it will be.

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33 minutes ago, Jamie123 said:

Yeah, well I haven't yet quite given up hope in my country. The decision was wrong, and ought to be reversed. I'm still hoping it will be.

They've come a looooong way from the age of the war of the monarchs. 

Speaking of monarchs... there's a lot of talk that the American princess is gonna be the end of the royals or at least the royalists.  What's your take on it?

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2 hours ago, anatess2 said:

They've come a looooong way from the age of the war of the monarchs. 

Speaking of monarchs... there's a lot of talk that the American princess is gonna be the end of the royals or at least the royalists.  What's your take on it?

If she'd stayed in Britain and done "princess stuff" - like opening schools, giving speeches at charity events, cheering up terminally ill people in hospitals - instead of creeping off in a sulk the moment she got bored with it, I don't think anyone would have cared two hoots that she was American. We like Americans. Its true we do make fun of them, but we make fun of everyone and everything - including ourselves. In fact especially ourselves: I don't know if the writers of Family Guy think they're offending us Brits by portraying us as beer-swilling cockneys with wonky teeth, but if so they've missed the mark by a long way!

Family_Guy_-_British_English.jpg.36499816079b1b67f89be9780dd08cb1.jpg

P.S. Classic British comedy, making fun of British and American stereotypes together:

(Poor old John Cleese was an early victim of the "cancel culture".)

Edited by Jamie123

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