Author Topic: The day democracy died  (Read 199 times)

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Offline Fiji

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The day democracy died
« on: March 21, 2018, 05:01:13 PM »
As of yesterday, Scotland is no longer a democracy. It is now a fascist dictatorship.
I am of course talking about the conviction of Markus Meechan, aka Count Dankula, for posting a 'grossly offensive' video of his dog doing nazi salutes each time he said Seig heil or gas the Jews.

I remember seeing the video when it was first published and I recall closing the tab after a few seconds as I found it in poor taste and not particularly funny.
However, the fact that the Count is now facing up to two years in jail FOR A FUCKING JOKE is positively insane!
This actually reminds me of blasphemy laws. In both cases, there is no victim. As, apparently, none of the 2.3 million people who watched the video filed a complaint. A police officer, who, it seems, has nothing better to do, stumbled across the video and got the ball rolling.
What further concerns me is the wording of his conviction. He is said to have posed something that is ‘grossly offensive’. This while nowhere in either UK or Scottish law is there any definition of ‘grossy offensive’ … according to whom? How many people need to be grossly offended? Is there a measure of offendedness? Can this be determined? How? Through a psych eval or something?
What this boils down to is that it is entirely arbitrary.
In Dutch we have this term ‘rechtszekerheid’ … as is often the case, I suck at English jargon and legal jargon in particular. Google renders it as legal certainty … the fact that you can trust your rights will be protected by the legal system.
Scotland no longer has ‘rechtszekerheid’.

Hold on, you might say, you’re not British, so what do you care?!
True, I’m not British, however, I have friends living in the UK, some of them in Scotland even. My daughter intended to travel to Scotland this summer. I told her about this case and she, on her own, expressed doubt about traveling there now.
From this point on, if they post anything … or even just like something I posted that some random copper thinks might offend someone … they could face jail time!!! I wish I were kidding, but I’m not.
Just a random cop who, after a hard day of not busting any teen sex slave rings, scrolls through his facebook/twitter/youtube and sees a joke about the Irish/gays/priests and BOOM, court case!

In-fucking-sane!

And why do I care? On principle alone, I care. I may not agree with Count Dankula, but I will defend his right to free speech … to the extent that a random Belgian can.

To finish, two more points … first of all, the mind crushing irony of the case.
What makes the joke ‘grossly offensive’? Loki! I can’t get over that phrase!!! It’s because it’s nazi in nature, right? Can’t have that, right? Must stomp the Nazis, right?
And to do that the Scottish government used the police and the court system to jail someone for speaking his mind … a … tried … and … tested … nazi tactic. When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back into you.

Secondly … I remember Britain as the staunch defender of freedom the US pretends to be. Britain used to stubbornly staunch in their defense of certain principles. In 1940, not that I’m THAT old, Britain effectively defeated the third reich through sheer power of will. But today, they piss themselves because of a pug delivering a nazi salute. Pardon the allcaps, but, WHEN DID THE UK BECOME SUCH … COWARDS?!

Ok, maybe just one more point and then I’m done. In a very real sense, Count Dankula, once he is actually sentenced on april 23ed, will be a political prisoner … eligible for asylum in almost every European country. I'd advise him not to apply for asylum in Denmark, Austria, Germany or Belgium, though … those are rapidly heading for the same level of cowardice as the UK.

You guys know me by now, right? I’m closing in on my 2000th post. Have you ever seen me this pissed off? I’m done. I’m so done. I’m so fucking done!
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Offline magicmiles 2.0

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2018, 06:57:24 PM »
I'd be very interested to read court transcripts to get a fuller sense of what led to this conviction.

On the one hand, I share your concern that a jail sentence might result from posting a video on youtube.

On the other hand, I question your assertion that his actions were victimless. With millions watching it, odds are that people with direct links to holocaust victims saw it and were horrified that some dickhead finds it amusing to declare "gas the Jews". I wonder how many white supremacists saw it and felt encouraged to commence or continue harming those they hate.

I feel uneasy about the trend towards loss of individual freedom of expression, but I'm not particularly upset that this moron has been called to account. If he goes to jail...that will definitely be a worry.

Offline wright

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2018, 07:38:25 PM »
Some links:
https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/03/21/Scottish-Youtuber-guilty-of-hate-speech-for-teaching-dog-Nazi-salute/5471521604813/

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/youtuber-count-dankula-found-guilty-of-hate-crime-for-teaching-pet-pug-nazi-salute-a3794926.html

http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/05/man-taught-dog-nazi-salutes-convicted-hate-crime-7207577/

I find the original video and the whole idea distasteful as well, but I wonder what the actual evidence is for Meecham being motivated by anything more than questionable humor. That he spent hours editing the video is hardly conclusive in that regard.


I'd be very interested to read court transcripts to get a fuller sense of what led to this conviction.

You and me both, magic.

Quote
On the other hand, I question your assertion that his actions were victimless. With millions watching it, odds are that people with direct links to holocaust victims saw it and were horrified that some dickhead finds it amusing to declare "gas the Jews". I wonder how many white supremacists saw it and felt encouraged to commence or continue harming those they hate.

A point. I wonder what UK law says about mentioning the Holocaust in this kind of context. There are almost certainly (sadly) people in the UK who deny the Holocaust ever happened and have said so; to my mind that's far more obscene than what Meecham posted on Youtube. Have many of them been charged and sentenced?
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Offline Fiji

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2018, 03:51:01 PM »
It seems like the entire case boiled down to the judge not believing that the video was a joke. Anti-Semitism was specifically mentioned as an aggravating circumstance … even though Meechan has never previously made any anti-Semitic statements whatsoever, nor is he member of any rightwing organizations, nor does he own any anti-Semitic literature.
This is why, as I mentioned before, this is entirely arbitrary. Get judge A and you get off scot free, get judge B and you’re a dangerous anti-Semite/neo-Nazi who gets to rot in jail for five years. There is no yardstick, no objective measure, no, as I mentioned last time, “rechtszekerheid”.
It all boils down to the judge guessing at the level of offense that was caused to the hypothetical victim … hypothetical since no one actually filed any complaint.

The dankmeme/shitlord/Kekistan community is now talking about how house arrest would be great except that even with a slap on the wrist, the damage is done, the precedent has been established.
The UK government can, from now on, point to anyone who is making a bit too much noise, tell the cops to pick him up and toss his ass in jail. This time around it was supposed anti-Semitism. Next time it will be a Hitler salute. The time after that it might be one guy calling another ‘Marxist’. How low can the bar get? Since there is no measure, no yardstick, no frame of reference the bar can go subterranean.
As an aside … is it now a potentially jailable offence to post a link to the ‘Hitler is right’ sketch from Monty Python? How about Mr. Bean stomping around in a Nazi uniform? How about any part of any episode of Allo Allo? What if you film yourself putting your All the Aces Motorhead album on a record player … there’s an iron cross on that album cover … jailable? What if you’ve been vocal about some skullduggery committed by the local mayor … does it then magically become a jailable offence?
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2018, 04:20:14 PM »
the UK regards rights differently tban tbe US.

rights arent inalienable, and are granted by tbe govrrnment. which can take tbem away.

in the 1970s tbe brits imprisoned suzpected IRA members for as long as 8 years, with no trials or charges. in tbe US tbat doesnt fly.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 04:25:39 PM by kevinagain »
don't make excuses for nasty people. you don't put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.

Offline Fiji

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2018, 05:00:17 PM »
the UK regards rights differently tban tbe US.

rights arent inalienable, and are granted by tbe govrrnment. which can take tbem away.

in the 1970s tbe brits imprisoned suzpected IRA members for as long as 8 years, with no trials or charges. in tbe US tbat doesnt fly.

Two words ... Guantanamo Bay
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Online One Above All

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2018, 05:50:22 PM »
Secondly … I remember Britain as the staunch defender of freedom the US pretends to be.

Sorry to tell you this, but the apple (USA) didn't fall far from the tree (UK) on this one. Or at least so I hear from my British friends.
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2018, 07:41:48 PM »
Two words ... Guantanamo Bay

you're right. the argument is that guantanamo is not in the US. i had a friend stuck for three months in an ICE prison on an island off LA once. it was outside territorial waters, so the constitution was irrelevant. he had no rights.
don't make excuses for nasty people. you don't put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.

Offline Fiji

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2018, 03:20:34 AM »
So the Scottish judge chickened out and 'only' fined Markus Meechan 800 quid, sparing him jail time. If Markus had been jailed, he would have been, in a very real sense, a political prisoner.
But now we have a sentence of 800 pounds. This still puts a very real limit on free speech in the UK.
This takes me back to 'cijnskiesrecht' ... I can't find a English translation for this but in the 19th century, there was a tax on voting in Belgium. A tax too steep for the common man that you had to pay before being allowed to vote. This is what we've got here. There has now effectively been put a tax on free speech in the UK. If you're rich and powerful you can speak your mind, if not, then shut the fuck up or armed men come to your door to drag you away in chains.

One reporter asked Meechan if he acknowledged being a criminal, since he had after all said 'gas the Jews'.
Meechan at this point called attention to the fact that the reporter had now also committed a crime since he too had uttered the offending phrase and the judge had decided that context didn't matter.
A mic drop moment if there ever was one. The reporter just stood there with a baffled expression on his face.

In other UK-ian news ... a teen girl has been sentenced to 8 weeks of community service for copy/pasting Snap Dogg rap lyrics. She did not alter the lyrics, it was just a straight up copy/paste. Does this mean Snap Dogg will never again be allowed to perform in the UK? As with the Meechan case, there was no victim. A police officer decided to take offense at the post. As with the Meechan case, the post was deemed 'grossly offensive' without defining that term. As with the Meechan case, the judge deemed context to be irrelevant.

Rod Liddle who joked about the Severn bridge connecting Wales to the first world has been lambasted by various Welsh organizations. 19 separate complaints were filed.
It seems that Mr. Liddle will not be prosecuted as going after journalists is not something the police wants to do ... yet.

A welsh man is being prosecuted for having a Golliwog doll on display in his window.

Meanwhile, journalist Jonaya Fenessa English received death threats after criticizing Islam. Police refused to take action saying that she should not have criticized Islam in the first place.

The UK is going to hell in a hand basket real fast.

Bruce Dickinson's Born in 58 comes to mind ...

And men where still around.
Who fought for freedom. Stood their ground and died.
That I could be alive and see the damage,
that we've managed since.
In this septred isle. Is nothing sacred.
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 06:18:45 AM »
the right not to be offended is a dubious right. it's exactly tbe same as the anti- blasphemy laws that used to be in force there and still are in asia.
don't make excuses for nasty people. you don't put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.

Offline Fiji

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2018, 08:04:43 AM »
How is that a right in the first place?
The right to physical integrity, sure, but to not have your feelings hurt ... ???

Sticks and stone may break my bones but words will tear my paperthin skin these days
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Online One Above All

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2018, 08:27:56 AM »
Sticks and stone may break my bones but words will tear my paperthin skin these days

You just had to go there...

People have always been offended by things others say. It's the basis of religious persecution (as in, persecution performed on the behalf of religion). The past is (in)famous for issues of offense being solved with violence (wars, fights to the death, that sort of thing). I'd say it's getting better, but not completely solved. Stop romanticizing the past and characterizing this as a new issue.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2018, 08:45:28 AM »
It's not a bad thing to be careful of the feelings of others, because people who get their feelings hurt tend to respond all out of proportion to the actual offense.  As OAA said, this has been going on for a long time.
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Offline Jag

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2018, 11:14:32 AM »
Article II of the Bill of No Rights (NOT an official doctrine of any sort) states that:
You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone—not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

For those who are not familiar, the Bill of No Rights is a VERY libertarian document that seeks to clarify what the bill of rights actually set out.

To be very, very clear - I am not endorsing this creed, I'm just providing another way of looking at the question of 'being offended'. Obviously, the Bill of No Rights corresponds directly to the Bill of Right in the US Constitution and is not necessarily applicable to other countries.

Like it or not (and agree with anything else in that document or not) this point is spot on. No one is given the right to not be offended, at least not in the US. Laws of other countries may differ, and quite likely do.
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: The day democracy died
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2018, 11:29:24 AM »
How is that a right in the first place?
The right to physical integrity, sure, but to not have your feelings hurt ... ???

Sticks and stone may break my bones but words will tear my paperthin skin these days

reasonable or not, its the reality in a lot of places. depends on where rights come from, really. if rights are given to you by society, then society can take them away.
don't make excuses for nasty people. you don't put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.