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No Free Speech If You Talk About Me

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by GoodGame, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    Interesting case about an American citizen trying to exercise free speech in other countries.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16081337


    http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/08/world/asia/thailand-american-insults/index.html?hpt=wo_c2



    Discussion

    Should free speech be a universal right?

    Should this apply to honest criticisms of any ruling party in any country?
     
  2. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    Just the fact that he's an American citizen is irrelevant, you follow the law of the country you're currently in. And here's the real scandal: The guy was in Colorado when he posted the link. He didn't violate any Thai laws while in Thailand. Fortunately there's a good chance he'll be pardoned.
    If he's not pardoned, then it's not only the right, but the duty of the US government to pressure the Thai government for his release.
     
  3. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    His citizenship is irrelevant. Free speech should be a universal right. Criticizing an unjust regime is not only a right but very nearly a duty.
     
  4. aronnax

    aronnax Let your spirit be free

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    I wouldn't call it a duty per se...

    But yeah, free speech should be a universal right. I hope that the American Foreign Office tries to get him out.

    I do find him waving his American citizenship like it's some sort of get-out-of-jail card annoying.
     
  5. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    It's the new civis romanus sum.
     
  6. aronnax

    aronnax Let your spirit be free

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    Michael P. Fay and Bart Simpsons disagrees.
     
  7. de Maistre

    de Maistre Comte

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    I think it should be up to the people of Thailand to decide whether they want freedom of speech. Universalism is always implicitly ethnocentric.
     
  8. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    So you're saying the UN, which guarantees universal rights, is ethnocentric? But it has members from most of the world's countries!
     
  9. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

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    I think this is a bad law and I would like it repealed and this man set free.

    This person was a Thai citizen until his twenties and may well still be.
    As such he would have been aware of this law.

    Having broken Thai law he then decided to go there for medical treatment.

    If people believe that another country applying a law to actions in another country is wrong then they should also turn around and start looking at the actions of their own country.

    From Wiki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartford_Fire_Insurance_Co._v._California

    You cannot have it both ways.
     
  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    And I wanted to visit Thailand at some point :(

    I'm pretty sure I've insulted their monarchy at one point or another.
     
  11. Rulle_Kebab

    Rulle_Kebab Warlord

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    Yeah the third world is filled with people who feel superior and do what they want and then wave their western passports when caught. I was one of them, hehhe.
    Hope he will enjoy his stay in Bangkok Hilton!

    Regarding free speech, yes it should be universal, but there is also the responsabilty of your actions to take into account. Insult people, be it kings or anyone else, you should expect some kind of retribution. Many other countries, even western, have antiracism laws or blasphemy laws where you can get sentenced for uttering racistic or blasphemous ideas.

    On this board there is policies as well to keep us in check cause if there was freedom of speech we would all just shout and argue...

    Freedom of speech is the same as with every other human right, if it serves the strongest people/nations than it is good but when it doesn't, they look away.
     
  12. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    OK, I'll be the guy to say no.
    No, free -as in unrestricted- speech should not be universal. What should be universal is the right to criticize the government and voice your political opinion without fear of repression, but not every opinion should be equally protected in every country.
    Cultures and societies are different and don't necesasrily share the same values, and some sensibilities are very specific. While lese-majeste seems silly to Westerners -including myself- in this day and age, it seems pretty much engrained into Thai culture.
    On the other hand, a lot of Germans wouldn't care if someone gets fined or thrown in jail for writing and publishing an essay on how "The Holocaust never happened, and even if it did it was a good thing", while the typical American would say that unpopular speech must be protected or there's no freedom at all. I would disagree and say that Holocaust denial and Nazi propaganda don't contribute anything useful or beneficial to a society and outlawing it doesn't restrict other freedoms.
    'But where does it end' I hear people say, while they are struggling to push a straw filled wheelbarrow across a slippery slope. 'Well', I answer 'it stops right here at Holocaust denial and Nazi propaganda'. The law is clear and limited towards the speech it limits. What's important is the actual policy and it's likely effect, and not the abstract principle it supposedly upholds or violates.
     
  13. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yes, but not legal.

    You do not have a right to not be insulted.
     
  14. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

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    So does everyone support the burning of flags.
     
  15. NovaKart

    NovaKart شێری گەورە

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    5 years for posting a link? Ridiculous.
     
  16. Hehehe

    Hehehe Emperor

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    From what I understand, Thais are serious about their king. I heard that a tourist got 3 months in prison for yelling "I am the king of Patong" in a public place while drunk (Patong being a place in Thailand)
     
  17. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

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    No, he was more active criminally than that.

    From the BBC link in OP

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16081337

    So he knew what he was doing, then went to Thailand after committing the crime.
     
  18. Rulle_Kebab

    Rulle_Kebab Warlord

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    Well then what kind of retribution would you suggest? I ofcourse can understand when it is trivial matters, but you mean for example that there shouldbe no legal way of sentencing one for outright racist remarks or remarks that violates a person?

    Flags are cloth dyed in different colors and sewn together... why not burn em? Burning is purifying in most beliefs and mythologies...
    I can find far worse things todo with a flag :lol:
     
  19. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    He did something completely legal and then went to a country where it is illegal.
    It's basically the same as.:
    - German police arresting a Dutch citizen because he smoked pot in Amsterdam.
    - American police arresting a German tourist, because he let his at the time underage son have a beer at Oktoberfest 2003.
    -Saudi Arabia arresting an American woman on vaction because she had pre-marital sex, drank alcohol, and drove a car in America.

    This is unacceptable and should cause an international incident.
     
  20. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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