Contemporary threats to free speech

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chownah
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by chownah » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:35 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:17 pm
In this particular case, the law could compel a citizen (albeit in a limited context) to use words which are not of their own choosing.
If someone feels compelled to use language which presents a health risk for someone under their care then I think that they have violated the ethical standards of health care professionals. Perhaps all care givers should be licensed (perhaps they already are) by gov't and a condition for keeping the license should be to required to use modes of speech which are conducive to etc. Antagonizing patients/clients is known to present a health care risk...should the law allow health care professionals to behave in a way that jeoprodizes heath care quality? I think that you are saying that the law should allow this. Should a health care professional be allowed to be so hostile towards lbjqt people to the extent that it forces them to leave their care? I think that you are saying that the law should allow this.
chownah

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:23 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:44 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:17 pm
Yes, I take your point, Chownah. I'm uneasy about separating the intentions motivating the law from the effects of that law, however. A law with unintended bad consequences is a bad law, for all its good intentions. In this particular case, the law could compel a citizen (albeit in a limited context) to use words which are not of their own choosing. This seems to be a very serious line to cross, and is - as far as I know - unprecedented in the West. It is the legal prescription of discourse, which seems to be totalitarian in spirit, as opposed to the proscription of certain terms, which is a common-sense piecemeal approach to human wickedness.
The Wiki passage I quoted above shows that restrictions to free speech already exist.
The issue now seems to be what exactly constitutes "respect of the rights or reputation of others" and "protection of public health or morals".
Yes, I have not only acknowledged that restrictions to speech exist, but that circumstances dictate that this should be so. I don't see that the issues of respecting others' rights and reputations, or protecting public health or morals, are - or more correctly, should be - relevant. What makes this a bad legal proposal is that it can lead to a person's speech being prescribed, as opposed to proscribed, which is an abrogation of individual agency. A lesser point is that, despite this, it is probably unnecessary, except in the sense of some people finding it "necessary" that some people's feelings trump the autonomy of others.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:30 pm

chownah wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:35 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:17 pm
In this particular case, the law could compel a citizen (albeit in a limited context) to use words which are not of their own choosing.
If someone feels compelled to use language which presents a health risk for someone under their care then I think that they have violated the ethical standards of health care professionals. Perhaps all care givers should be licensed (perhaps they already are) by gov't and a condition for keeping the license should be to required to use modes of speech which are conducive to etc. Antagonizing patients/clients is known to present a health care risk...should the law allow health care professionals to behave in a way that jeoprodizes heath care quality? I think that you are saying that the law should allow this. Should a health care professional be allowed to be so hostile towards lbjqt people to the extent that it forces them to leave their care? I think that you are saying that the law should allow this.
chownah
Claiming that language can be a "health risk" sounds like an attempt to ramp up the emotion rather than reflecting reality. ("My client was so upset that they might actually die!!"). But I'm an open-minded person, so would be amenable to discussing examples of clinically dangerous language...

The law should be able to proscribe certain types of speech, but I can't think of any that might be used in the context of a care or health setting. What it shouldn't be allowed to do is to force anyone to use language which is prescribed by another agent, regardless of who that agent is.

binocular
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by binocular » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:39 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:23 pm
Yes, I have not only acknowledged that restrictions to speech exist, but that circumstances dictate that this should be so. I don't see that the issues of respecting others' rights and reputations, or protecting public health or morals, are - or more correctly, should be - relevant.
Why shouldn't they be relevant?
What makes this a bad legal proposal is that it can lead to a person's speech being prescribed, as opposed to proscribed, which is an abrogation of individual agency.
A professional employed by a company has limited individual agency to begin with, and is bound by company policy.
A lesser point is that, despite this, it is probably unnecessary, except in the sense of some people finding it "necessary" that some people's feelings trump the autonomy of others.
It seems to me that this is more of a specifically American problem (that seems to be spreading across the world, though).
Elsewhere in the world, such things seem to be understood simply as a matter of common sense and common decency, generally not requiring specific regulation or policing.

It's especially Americans who are so vocal about their freedom of speech. But it seems that as a cultural counterbalance, there developed in America also a culture of being sue happy and hyperlegislating details.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:48 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:39 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:23 pm
Yes, I have not only acknowledged that restrictions to speech exist, but that circumstances dictate that this should be so. I don't see that the issues of respecting others' rights and reputations, or protecting public health or morals, are - or more correctly, should be - relevant.
Why shouldn't they be relevant?
Three reasons. Firstly, because in this particular case they don't really apply. Second, because they sound like suspicious totalitarian excuses for the extension of power. No English person should hear the phrase "protection of public morals" without reaching for their copy of J S Mill's On Liberty. Most importantly, though, because my objectioon to this proposal is based upon the prescription/proscription distinction, and I consider the ramping up of concerns about "public morality" to be waffle.
A professional employed by a company has limited individual agency to begin with, and is bound by company policy.
Indeed. Let the sheep work for the shepherds if they want to, but let's not use the state to make the shepherd's life any easier.
Elsewhere in the world, such things seem to be understood simply as a matter of common sense and common decency, generally not requiring specific regulation or policing.

It's especially Americans who are so vocal about their freedom of speech. But it seems that as a cultural counterbalance, there developed in America also a culture of being sue happy and hyperlegislating details.
Yes, that may well be so.

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Mr Man
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Mr Man » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:18 pm

Here are the details of the amendment, which also contains some background. - Senate Bill No. 219

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/face ... 20180SB219

The pronoun bit is only one bit of the bill.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:30 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:18 pm
Here are the details of the amendment, which also contains some background. - Senate Bill No. 219

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/face ... 20180SB219

The pronoun bit is only one bit of the bill.
Yes, it was posted some way upthread.

It's rare that any legislation is completely and uniformly lamentable.

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Mkoll
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Mkoll » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:43 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:30 pm
The law should be able to proscribe certain types of speech, but I can't think of any that might be used in the context of a care or health setting.
HIPAA is kinda a big thing in healthcare in the US, to put it mildly. It's taken very seriously and violations can lead to civil penalties, criminal penalties, and prison.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by PuerAzaelis » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:55 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:08 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:55 pm
My view is that I reluctantly accept the criminalisation of certain types of speech...
For example?
The classic example is shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. In that situation the risk of harm is great, and is a proximate result of the speech - which is not the case with respect to the CA regulation.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

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Mr Man
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Mr Man » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:57 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:30 pm
Mr Man wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:18 pm
Here are the details of the amendment, which also contains some background. - Senate Bill No. 219

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/face ... 20180SB219

The pronoun bit is only one bit of the bill.
Yes, it was posted some way upthread.
Thanks :smile:

Justsit
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Justsit » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:55 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:43 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:30 pm
The law should be able to proscribe certain types of speech, but I can't think of any that might be used in the context of a care or health setting.
HIPAA is kinda a big thing in healthcare in the US, to put it mildly. It's taken very seriously and violations can lead to civil penalties, criminal penalties, and prison.
Most US healthcare settings have policies regarding professional behavior while on the job, including diversity and cultural sensitivity provisions, and penalties for violation can be swift and severe. Patients deserve respect regardless of sex, age, gender, race, etc., and unprofessional speech is not tolerated. A doctor, nurse. dietary aide, maintenance person, or any other employee who is overheard discussing "the faggot in 212" or "That chink in the ER" will quickly find themselves out of a job.
And agree, HIPAA is no joke here.

A quick aside, for those unfamiliar with terms:
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.

Someone upthread mentioned "lbjtq" or some such acronym. In the interest of accuracy, the common usage, in the US anyway, is "LGBT" for Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender. Sometimes "QIA" is added for Queer/Intersex/Asexual; there are a few other variations.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:14 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:43 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:30 pm
The law should be able to proscribe certain types of speech, but I can't think of any that might be used in the context of a care or health setting.
HIPAA is kinda a big thing in healthcare in the US, to put it mildly. It's taken very seriously and violations can lead to civil penalties, criminal penalties, and prison.
Yes, I had to look it up, but we have something similar in the UK. I can see how it would raise anxiety levels. My point was that the types of speech that the law has an interest in proscribing would tend to be very infrequent in health and care settings; and in any case are better dealt with via local arrangements. For example, there is a law in the UK which makes it illegal to incite racial hatred such that people are put in danger by your words and actions. This is about ranting speeches advocating attacks, etc., and although it is rightly forbidden, it is unlikely to feature much in care and health organisations. If it does, it can be easily dealt with.

chownah
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by chownah » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:39 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:55 pm
DooDoot wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:08 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:55 pm
My view is that I reluctantly accept the criminalisation of certain types of speech...
For example?
The classic example is shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. In that situation the risk of harm is great, and is a proximate result of the speech - which is not the case with respect to the CA regulation.
I agree with your example. There is however another idea which sam vera has mentioned which I think deserves some thought. It is the idea that there is a difference between criminalizing saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and criminalizing not saying what is required to be said. Put another way, telling someone to not say something allows them to be passive and does not force them to any action while telling someone that they must say something forces them to action.
chownah

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Sam Vara
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:28 pm

I'm not sure if this particular case has been mentioned on this thread before, but the outlines look interesting. One Dr. Bruce Gilley, of Portland State Uni, apparently submitted a paper to a scholarly journal, The Third World Quarterly. It was bound to be contentious, as it argued that European colonialism was on balance beneficial. From the abstract:
For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. It is high time to question this orthodoxy. Western colonialism was, as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found, using realistic measures of those concepts. The countries that embraced their colonial inheritance, by and large, did better than those that spurned it. Anti-colonial ideology imposed grave harms on subject peoples and continues to thwart sustained development and a fruitful encounter with modernity in many places. Colonialism can be recovered by weak and fragile states today in three ways: by reclaiming colonial modes of governance; by recolonising some areas; and by creating new Western colonies from scratch.
The storm of protest, academic and otherwise, was only to be expected; lots of personal vilification, petitions, and attempts to end Gilley's career. What is particularly interesting, though, is the journal's stated reason for retracting the paper:
“Whilst the essay had undergone double-blind peer review, the journal editor has subsequently received serious and credible threats of personal violence. As the publisher, we must take this seriously. Taylor & Francis has a strong and supportive duty of care to all our academic editorial teams, and this is why we are withdrawing this essay.”
The Independent's coverage of this is interesting for its use of exclusively anti-colonial pictures, despite a balanced verbal account:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 96371.html
(The Indy always did seem to set more store by pictures than text...)

And David Reynolds is rather more partisan and trenchant:
http://politicallyincorrectdharma.blogs ... -mans.html

pulga
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Re: Contemporary threats to free speech

Post by pulga » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:23 am

I don't want to entice anyone into a thoughtcrime, but Professor Gilley's essay is available -- at least for the time being -- online and downloadable.

The Case for Colonialism.

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