Print Story I predict a riot
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By Herring (Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 08:47:20 AM EST) (all tags)
More than one, actually.

Free speech poll.



So, we are set to see the end of smoking in pubs. That's terrible - unless by some chance I manage to quit in the next year or so.

At LCC, they gave chocolates out to all the permenant staff. I pointed out to my colleagues that normally when you give chocolates to someone on Valentines day, it's because you intend to fuck them. Spread a little happiness.

Talking of Valentine's day, Mrs. H. was a bit miffed last year because I got her flowers from the garage (that's all that was open). This year, I went upmarket. Asda.

So, another policewoman shot. What is it with people and guns? I have an ingeneous idea: flood the black market with what appear to be genuine handguns, but in fact the bullet comes out the back. Actually, just the shell casing and the explosive force should be enough.

What is that "tags" field for?

Distinct lack of joy so far on the "get Linux running on the new machine" project. Have even posted a question on one of the fora. Still, with XP64 it does run like shit off a shiny shovel. I do suspect that this is because they haven't got around to porting half the crap that normally runs in background.

I must fnid a way of truly using my 2GB of RAM and meaty CPU. Maybe I'll put Adobe Premier on here.

< been a while | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
I predict a riot | 35 comments (35 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Ignoring the "edit"button by Herring (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 09:02:30 AM EST
Just a thought: what if the likes of Hamza, Griffin and David Irving were given free speech? Surely, if someone's opinions are ridiculous then that same right of free speech allows them to be ridiculed?

I'm not saying I have an answer here.

Also, what's the intrinsic difference between "fire" in a crowded theatre and "the pakis are taking your jobs"? Both could result in injury or loss of life.

I recall reading Bill Hicks' letter to a priest who complained about his show. Ths gist of it is: If I came into your church and did my routine, you'd have a valid complaint. The theatre is my church. If you don't like it, don't come in.



christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

I'll have a go: Intrinsic difference by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 09:11:34 AM EST
Immediacy. I.e. people will certainly be killed within a few minutes by a stampede vs a hypothetical "later" if there's a riot.

Another difference: If you shout fire, people are killed accidentally in the course of the natural desire to escape. If someone goes crazy with a machete because they fear foreigners are "taking over" that's not accidental. I guess I'm trying to say there's (more of) an element of choice on the part of the listener in the latter.

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Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline

[ Parent ]
Do Libel and Slander Count as Limits? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 10:59:11 AM EST
In an anything goes speech-environment, can I willingly and knowingly communicate falsehoods and use freedom of speech as my defense?

[ Parent ]
Duh by TurboThy (2.00 / 0) #31 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 02:01:36 PM EST
Freedom of speech means the GOVERNMENT cannot restrict your speech. Other parties are of course free to pursue civil legal action against you; that doesn't constitute state-sponsored censorship.
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Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.
[ Parent ]
And my point which I forgot was: by TurboThy (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 02:03:00 PM EST
Freedom of speech does not imply you can make statements and don't face the consequences.
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Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.
[ Parent ]
I Don't Think You're Correct by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #33 Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:28:10 AM EST
As I understand it, "governmental censorship" means the government regulates speech. In Milton's time, church authorities regulated publishing and acted as censors. In America, today, voluntary industry bodies are constituted to regulate media output.

Freedom of speech means you are free to speak. Freedom from governmental censorship means the GOVERNMENT, or, even, its less bold and more common Roman type and standard cap little brother, the government, cannot restrict your speech.

Before Holocaust denier Irving (mentioned above) ran afoul of Austrian authorities, he lost some of his right to speak in England as part of the result of civil action - a libel case. Basically, he lost the right to hassle a Holocaust historian who was attacking his "work." He was no longer allowed to engage her in debate - though she was free to continue attacking him.

I point out again, this was a civil case and not governmental prosecution.

Should opinions about the Holocaust, or any issue, really be decided in a courtroom and not in the market of ideas?

In America, an even bigger problem involves the slow death of public space - the mass media bandwidth available to anybody not a media-giant. Does protecting freedom of speech mean protecting the conditions that would allow all people access to communications mediums, or is the domination of the public sphere by corporate interests not a freedom of speech issue?

I feel that viewing freedom of speech as simply a governmental censorship issue misses most of the major issues that surround freedom speech today.

[ Parent ]
Are you obtuse? by TurboThy (2.00 / 0) #34 Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:36:59 AM EST
Acute, rather. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #35 Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:40:12 AM EST
Are you simple or simply clueless?

Or was your question rhetorical?

Do you want to know if my questions were rhetorical? Is that sort of hand holding necessary?

[ Parent ]
copycats! by dr k (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 09:02:55 AM EST
We banned smoking from "pubs" -- also known as bars -- about five years ago here in southern California. Can't you people find your own issues to solve?

:| :| :| :| :|

I know - you bastards by Herring (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 09:35:59 AM EST
It's fucking cold in Tahoe as well.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Tahoe by Man (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:37:30 AM EST
Just go to the Nevada side.

[ Parent ]
No smoking in Toronto bars either now . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 09:45:04 AM EST
. . . and I loved it when I was there.

In China? Movie theatre, train, internet bar - there's always some guy who sits beside you, and then lights up, sending a gaseous ashtray my way.

If that's "freedom", I'm choking on it . . .

Smoking in pubs by andymurd (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 09:51:42 AM EST
I predict an awful lot of "members only bars" springing up. Most of the members will be called F. U. Blair.

Banned too. by Herring (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 10:16:05 AM EST
You will only be allowed to smoke in your own garden between the hours of 7:00am and 11:00pm. The plumber might come into your house - which would make it his workplace.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Then I predict a rise in the number by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 10:28:25 AM EST

of "living rooms" where the guests "chip-in" for "the amenities".


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
I predict by Evil Cloaked User (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 10:49:01 AM EST
A rise in the number of pubs with beer gardens. And the number of those gardens with little heating lamps. And great big gas heaters. And in the case of one place I know, multiple outdoor solid-fuel fireplaces. And canopies. And actual brick-and-mortar rooms with only 3 walls.

[ Parent ]
Not my problem, mate by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:24:24 AM EST

I've quit. Having said that, even as a non-smoker, I always did like those crazy fire-bins and awnings that you find in the gardens and yards of some country pubs; it's a very civilized way of doing business. Even so, before I quit, I was always told that I'd probably see the ban differently as a non-smoker. Now that I am one, I don't, and can't help agreeing with the smokers a lot of the time.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
I've never smoked, by garlic (4.00 / 1) #15 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 01:31:38 PM EST
but I think banning it in bars isn't right. If there was enough demand for non-smoking bars, wouldn't the all-seeing hand of capitalism have created such bars without laws being necessary?


[ Parent ]
Well, yes, basically. by yicky yacky (4.00 / 2) #16 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:03:13 PM EST

But the trouble with that argument is that completely-free-market capitalism isn't a fundamental principle of society. We are free, within limits, to choose the extent to which a society should be capitalistic.

However: Britain is a capitalist society and, whilst I don't subscribe to the entirely unfettered capitalism advocated by some, the smoking ban is a bit too close to a restrictive kind of creeping Stalinism (meaning deleterious impacts on liberty rather more than the associated economic theory) for my liking.

On tonight's Newsnight, they talked to a representative of ASH, and she was hailing this as a great step forward, but talked of "the need to do more". She especially espoused the idea that smoking had to be de-cooled - i.e. the portrayal of smoking had to be changed. I couldn't help thinking, "Yes, this is exactly where this sort of approach ends, isn't it? With self-appointed quangotic guardians dictating what's allowed on-screen."

I also think that there's a tyranny-of-the-unaffected at play which is a disturbingly easy force for Whitehall to manipulate. The government constantly points to surveys and polls, yet surveys actually taken in pubs consistently showed different results to the general "street" figures released. I fear that (a majority of) people who go to pubs maybe once a month have just imposed their will on the (minority of) people who go far more often. Non-smokers are in the majority; it's ever so easy for them to respond 'No' when asked - whether they frequent pubs or not - on the off-chance that they'd like to be in a non-smoking one when they do rarely go. With the hunting ban, you had a number of, basically, completely-unbothered-one-way-or-the-other, middle-class, urban people going with an intuitive dislike, which is fair enough, but the question nobody asks is whether their opinions are relevant. I'm not entirely convinced that a housewife from Clapham's opinion on hunting is as valid as that of a farmer from Somerset etc.

Note that, broadly, I'm against hunting (on a purely gut level) and am unaffected by the smoking ban, but it's the political levers being pulled, and the direction in which they are taking us, which I find disturbing.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Creeping Stalinism by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #21 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:25:17 AM EST
Hewitt (Health Minister) was on telly last night crowing how they'd delivered to the letter of the Labour manifesto regarding smoking in pubs.

No she didn't, the lying sack of shit.  They rushed in the members clubs no longer exempt amendment at the last minute, which was specifically mentioned in the manifesto.  That is largely what has drawn my ire.

No one, (not even the Grauniad or the BBC AFAICT) has actually done any analysis on the tax implication of people smoking less.

Could the IEian Hussies comment on the state of pubs  over there now?  Do they still stink of stale beer, BO and toilet disinfectant?


[ Parent ]
I find them quite nice when I'm there. by ambrosen (4.00 / 2) #26 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 03:51:31 AM EST
But I stink of stale beer, BO and toilet disinfectant, so what would I know.

[ Parent ]
I think there was a reduced tax take. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 03:54:16 AM EST
I hear the government has a plan for this: reduced borrowing.

[ Parent ]
me neither by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #19 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:40:19 PM EST
It is banned in bars here, but only because bars are workplaces. Restricting the ban to licensed premises is just daft. You either decide there is a significant risk to everyone in every workplace, or there isn't. Isolating one particular sector is just daft.

Incidentally, I go out more and stay out longer since smoking in the workplace was banned here than before.

[ Parent ]
Fucking hell. by motty (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:59:46 PM EST
I bloody hope so.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T
[ Parent ]
tags by hulver (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 12:52:43 PM EST
See here

(It's working now by the way)
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Cheese is not a hat. - clock

NIWS? by NoMoreNicksLeft (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 01:25:56 PM EST
That little asswipe's influence is felt even here, if only for 14% of a poll option.
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Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
Smingiubh by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 2) #18 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 04:27:23 PM EST
I dont[\ drtus bib-smjijiers.



I know what you mean. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 03:50:05 AM EST
I think you put an extra 'j' in bib-smijiers, though.

[ Parent ]
Smoking in pubs by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #20 Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:56:27 PM EST
I've been going to a no smoking pub in Hackney recently (mates who've just given up + really nice beer) and it isn't that bad at all. At the beginning of the night I'm popping outside every now and again, but by the end when I'm pissed I've pretty much forgotten all about it. No-where near as bad as I thought it'd be.

It'll help us all give up as well, because let's face it, we really should. It's very bad for you and no fun whatsoever.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Bollocks. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 03:49:11 AM EST
It's great fun.

Really really bad for you, though.

[ Parent ]
It doesn't get you high! by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 03:51:38 AM EST
Unless being a bit dizzy is getting high. What's the point?

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
It gives an overarching sense of contentment. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 03:53:38 AM EST
Until you smell yourself in the morning.

I haven't smoked since August, though. I turned down the offer of a shisha in the shisha bar I was in in Haringey over the weekend as well.

Funnily enough, that place made me stink of charcoal.

[ Parent ]
Contentment? by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:22:19 AM EST
Oscar Wilde: "A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied."

The only reason you think they're great is because you've given up. If you had one now you'd be like "Bollocks, is that it?"

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Become an MP, PPS or lobbyist by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:55:48 AM EST
The ban won't apply in any of the 8 (eight) bars and 6 (six) restaurants in the Palace of Westminster, naturally.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
Fuckers. by priestess (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 01:12:53 AM EST
So the worry is that now the pubs will be smoke-free, they'll fill up with the kind of mealy-mouthed muslei-eating upper-middle-class helath-nuts that voted for this ban in the polls and the commons. The pub used to be a greatly needed respite from their false moralising and their tacit disapproval of anything that's DIFFERENT or doesn't make money for the fucking economy. It used to be an escape from their boring mindless group-think frightened cotton-budded worry-warting.

We'll have to think of some OTHER way to keep those preachy pedagogic patronising pinheads out of our space now.

Fucking politicans. They don't care about freedom AT ALL.

Screw 'em. I've a good mind to start smoking again.

Pre.........
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Chat to the virtual me...

I predict a riot | 35 comments (35 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback