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Monday, April 26, 2010

South Park and Mohammed

The latest episode of South Park had an interesting point. It's effectively illegal to publish a cartoon picture of Mohammed. No mainstream media corporation executives will publish it, because they fear violent retaliation.

This illustrates a problem with the State police monopoly. If you make a violent threat against the President, police will visit you and correct you. If you make a violent threat against the authors of a cartoon, that's OK.

Imagine if someone published a picture of JFK getting shot and wrote "Look what happened to the last President who attempted real financial reform!", that might be treated harshly if interpreted as a threat. It's OK to publish pictures of someone else getting murdered because he published a picture of Mohammed, with the implied threat of violence against South Park's authors.

State police do a notoriously bad job at providing protection, when a non-insider is threatened with violence based on their beliefs. The President has a huge security team. Non-insiders threatened with violence are SOL.

However, it's pretty obvious that the episode was intended to be censored. Otherwise, the joke about Mohammed's "censored" box being transferred to Tom Cruise doesn't make sense. Also, they probably knew that "Mohammed" was going to be bleeped out, because they juxtaposed "Mohammed" with other censored words. Censoring those speeches at the end probably gives them an opportunity to air the "uncensored" or "less censored" episode later.

There also is a religious double standard. South Park ridicules Jesus. Nobody threatens violence for that. Even if someone did that, State leaders in the USA would say "That's wrong!" Why don't some Islamic leaders question this policy? Why doesn't someone say "Threatening violence against people who make cartoons of Mohammed is wrong!"?

One advantage of the USA compared to other countries is that it's acceptable to question or ridicule leaders. In other countries, the slaves don't get that perk. Less freedom of thought leads to lower economic productivity.

The State police monopoly does a bad job of protecting people who are threatened with violence based on their non-mainstream beliefs. As another example, I read someone debunking "Unions and corporate greed led to violence, before unions were regulated." What really happened was that State police didn't enforce laws protecting property and individuals, when there was a union dispute.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone have a valid point. Why is it forbidden to ridicule Mohammed? Why should a tiny violent minority be allowed to impose censorship? The State police monopoly is bad at handling situations like this.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Threatening violence against someone is the poor man's tactic.

Anyone clued up would simply use the legal system to threaten and ruin someone's peace of mind.

Just follow the simple point-by-point plan below:

1) Choose a toilet country (maybe the United Kingdom) with unregulated lawyers and bad, confused, old law.

Examples of bad law is libel in the UK. If you write a book or publish an article, you can be sued in the UK even if you don't live in the UK or publish anything there. All the plaintiff has to do is too establish some vague connection with the UK and say his reputation has been damaged there. Maybe you sold 10, 000 books and just 1 of those books found its way into the UK!

Anyway in the UK the burden of proof is on the defendent, not on the plaintiff.

Intellectual property law is huge. The outcome is random. This is another set of laws you can sue under.

I have heard of cases where people sue of dictionary words. People say their own the rights to a word such as "cat". Maybe you wrote a book and used the word "cat" twice out of your 100, 000 words.

2) After choosing your toilet country with a bent legal system and a set of laws that is grey and confused and complex, you then fire off an angry letter. This won't cost you much money - maybe just 1000 UK pounds.

3) The defendant then is in shit. If he/she doesn't reply any court proceeding will be biased against him as you must reply and be reasonable at all times.

Proving even the obvious will be slow and expensive. You can cause major grief at very low cost to yourself.

4) Then as soon as things start to go badly for you, you can drop the case and AT NO COST TO YOURSELF.

YOU CAN CAUSE MAJOR DAMAGE TO YOUR OPPONENT IN THE UK WITH REGARDS TO TIME AND MONEY AND THEN DROP THE CASE AS SOON AS THINGS GO BADLY FOR YOU AND NOT HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING.

If you don't believe me just search for libel law cases in the UK.

It is nasty, very nasty.

But perfectly legal. Legal threats do more damage than a threat of violence. It is just a way to waste weeks to months of someone's time and thousands to tens of thousands of pounds. And after the damage is done you just walk away as soon as the case looks like it is going to collapse.

Anonymous said...

As seen it a recent case, you can really sue someone for libel, waste a huge amount of their time and money and then walk away as soon as things go badly for you and get away with not paying a dime.

However if you want extra insurance, just set up a small, toilet company and sue them under the name of the toilet company with no assets.

I say this not to help crooks, but to highlight how bent and crooked the UK legal system is.

The government won't do anything because they are full of solicitors as well.

Anonymous said...

For those of you outside the UK, you may want to refer to

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/apr/01/simon-singh-wins-libel-court

and

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8621880.stm

If you read the first article, you will find out the poor guy had to spend 200, 000 UK pounds and 2 years of his life just to establish the meaning of a few words!!!

Now this is separate to other matters I referred to before. I have read on the Internet UK lawyers suing over use of dictionary words. Strangely these cases don't get very far - they might even stop short of ever getting to court.

However a lawyer with no conscience will sue over 100 different, completely bullshit things just to waste a huge amount of time and money.

The lawyers collect big money with a few letters flying back and forth and a lot of threats being made, but nothing will ever reach court.

Of course not, because it is all complete bullshit and the lawyers would not want to embarrass themselves in a public court.

So all the threats are hidden in pre-court action that never gets anywhere.

If you are naive, you will spend a lot of money.

In the UK you do have to respond to threats of court action, but solicitors do not play ball and sue over complete bullshit.

Anonymous said...

It has been queried if in the 2 year, high cost Simon Singh libel court cases whether a statistician was present to talk about whether it could be determined from the evidence whether the treatments are effective or not. It is a long time since I did any statistics myself, but you can make statements like with 95% certainty this is true etc.

So if a statistician wasn't in the court, it would be a case of the blind leading the blind with all the judges and lawyers completely clueless as to the pointlessness of everything they are saying and doing.

However the poor defendant is still shelling out vast wodges of cash for something that is just going round and round in circles without proving anything to any degree of certainty.

The whole case was just a huge waste of time and a rip-off.

The court system is a parasite that steals and is so stupid it doesn't understand statistics and truth.

What a huge waste of time and money! The lawyers are so stupid because they never studied maths, science or statistics that they would know the truth if it sat on them.

Anonymous said...

Basically the lawyers were TOO STUPID to study maths and statistics at university and took the easy option.

But because they are so stupid they can make more money by bullshitting in court over the meaning of English words.

If they knew some statistics the time and money would have been better spent actually trying to divine the REAL TRUTH.

What a tragic waste of time and money with stupid lawyers making a bag of cash and only because they are too stupid and lazy to study maths at university!!!

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