16 September 2012

Islamophobia: Hate Destroys the Hater

All over the Muslim world, people are angry.

They have every right to express their anger

 as long as it is done nonviolently toward both persons and property and within the laws of the land

...just as the maker of a trailer of the fake movie has the First-Amendment right to express his opinion

 as long as it is not fraudulently harmful or willfully offensive within the limits of freedom of speech in the United States.

The laws in the United States strongly protect the freedom of speech

– to the point of the absurdity that money has been deemed a form of speech by the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission.

However, there are limits to freedom of speech that are based on the “harm principle” and the “offense principle,” i.e. limits on pornography, hate speech, and crying “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire.

In U.S. law, there is legal precedence for prohibiting “fighting words,” which cause those hearing the words to react with a “breach of the peace.” A stampede in a theater would qualify for that, as would an attack on an embassy, it would seem to me.

02 September 2012

Can President Santos Bring Peace to Colombia? or, Let the Wars be of Words

This week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that his government has begun engaging in peace talks with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolutionarias de Colombia (FARC). In a nationally televised speech on Monday, 27 August, he acknowledged that "exploratory talks" had been taking place since February in Cuba, and now, the stage is set for dialogue to be formally launched in Oslo in October that will continue in Havana. Reporting on Colombian media reports, Mercopress states:

The agenda of the dialogue will include issues such as “integral agrarian development policy”, “political participation”, “end of the conflict”, “solution to the problem of illicit drugs”, “victims” and “implementation, verification and ratification” of the agreement.
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