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ACLU Sues To Protect Your Right To Swear

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the seven-words-you-can-always-say-in-public dept.

Censorship 698

The ACLU is suing the police in Pennsylvania for issuing tickets to people who swear. They argue that it is every American's constitutional right to drop an F-bomb. From the article: "'Unfortunately, many police departments in the commonwealth do not seem to be getting the message that swearing is not a crime,' said Marieke Tuthill of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. 'The courts have repeatedly found that profanity, unlike obscenity, is protected speech.'" This is a big f*cking deal.

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Hmmmm (3, Insightful)

haderytn (1232484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239094)

This should be fun.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239164)

This is a big f*cking deal.

And still slashdot censors curse words too.

Re:Hmmmm (4, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239308)

That wasn’t Slashdot censoring, it was samzenpus self-censoring. He could’ve said fucking if he’d wanted.

Re:Hmmmm (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239318)

This should be fun.

Niggers! (for once it's not offtopic!)

Let it rip... (3, Funny)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239098)

This will, I think, shape up to be a filthy comment section...

Re:Let it rip... (3, Funny)

pjfontillas (1743424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239128)

Why the fuck do you think so?

Re:Let it rip... (-1, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239712)

Really? Is the state of your communication such that you're limited to swearing where clearly it doesn't convey any sense whatsoever other than your own limited vocabulary?

Seriously, I've often wondered how people who swear constantly, and use the F-bomb as noun, verb, adverb and pronoun ever communicate anything useful other than their own ignorance and lack of literacy.

I'm not a prude or anything, I just find that most people who swear all the time have almost nothing useful or interesting to say, or otherwise full of self importance.

They use swearing as some sort of over compensation, trying to sound important, but only coming across as the dimwit they are.

The funny thing is, while I stand with the ACLU on this one, at least on principle, I find that their legal support of such people as some sort of "enlightened" viewpoint is almost just as shallow.

Re:Let it rip... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239754)

Fuckin' whoosh...

Re:Let it rip... (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239192)

You want to suggest, that this thread will have a much higher ratio of posts with the word FUCK in them, the average /. thread?

How can you?..

Re:Let it rip (1)

cc1984_ (1096355) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239396)

If ever I'm in Pennsylvania, I might spontaneously decide to sing "Killing in the Name" by RATM for no reason other than it's an awesome tune. Think of it as a free concert for anyone that wants to listen.

Re:Let it rip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239476)

They[1]'ll sue you to death and beyond with copyright claims.

[1] They being the record companies, of course.

Re:Let it rip (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239556)

I think the police finally had enough of people playing (loud mind you) a certain old song by NWA. Anyone else remember "Fuck the police"?

I have and know other people who got pulled over and everything was looked at by the police if they had that song playing. I asked the police for an inspection sticker since they basically just performed one. Word of advice, don't do that. The police keep you pulled over even longer. I never got a ticket. I was pulled over for the song being played. This was in NJ and Philadelphia.

Re:Let it rip... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239196)

This will, I think, shape up to be a filthy comment section...

Fuck you, you stupid cocksucker. You're a stupid fucking cunt.


/kidding

Re:Let it rip... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239328)

Please dont use that word. Calling someone stupid is rude and insulting.

Re:Let it rip... (5, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239312)

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who replied so he could type FUCK IT!
He burned all his karma, and wasted your time,
and as for the bucket, well there is none.

Re:Let it rip... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239688)

Yeah, well, what about his dick?

Re:Let it rip... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239730)

If his dick was an ear he would listen to it?

America (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239406)

You have to love a country where girls will let you fuck them up the ass to preserve their "virginity" for marriage, but it's illegal to curse in public or on TV.

Re:America (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239466)

anal sex to preserve virginity dates back thousands of years before the USA was founded, and it's not illegal to curse in public or on TV in the US. Otherwise, you're post was dead on accurate.

Re:Let it rip... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239536)

I don't know what this fuck word means...

Re:Let it rip... (2, Insightful)

greyline (1052440) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239706)

It is the most versatile word in the English language. Fuck can mean just about anything! Simply use your imagination...

Already settled? (5, Interesting)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239102)

I was under the understanding that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had already shot down the "disorderly conduct" law that was used to disenfranchise people's rights. It would be nice if the ACLU could come to New York and do the same for our law.

Re:Already settled? (4, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239174)

Sounds like the precedent has been set, but the police haven’t quite gotten the message yet...

“Cops don’t understand that there’s a legal definition of obscenity and therefore issue citations for profanity,” said Sara Mullen, a spokeswoman for the ACLU.

Tuthill added that the ACLU will continue to bring lawsuits until the practice of issuing citations for swearing is stopped.

Re:Already settled? (3, Insightful)

truetorment (919200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239278)

It's depressing to me that we still need the ACLU to come in and fight unjust laws or their applications like this. I guess we should just be thankful that they exist at all. :(

Re:Already settled? (1)

MediaCastleX (1799990) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239434)

I have decided to let it go, but I was going to the movies recently at the Sheepshead Bay UA and parked in the theaters parking lot. I was thereafter given a ticket for tresspassing since I had failed to go buy my tickets in a timely manner. WTF, NYPD?! Boycott that fucking theater!!! -sorry-

Re:Already settled? (5, Funny)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239590)

I go to NY, every few years for my sister and the last time I was there I distinctly remember a cop giving directions to some Midwesterner tourist swearing every other word while the tourist sat there wide-eyed with kids.

" Yeah, you take the fucking right and go right past fucking Portland street. "

first f-ing post! (0, Offtopic)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239104)

Sorry, I couldn't f-ing resist!

Re:first f-ing post! (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239392)

too fucking late.

You lose TWICE! (4, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239414)

Sorry, I couldn't f-ing resist!

Oh, that's fucking sad. You lose TWICE!

Fuck (2, Interesting)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239118)

Do I understand correctly that I'm within my rights to suggest a cop "Fuck off.", but I can't advise him, "Go fuck yourself."?

-Peter

Re:Fuck (2, Funny)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239276)

I'm within my rights to suggest a cop "Fuck off.", but I can't advise him, "Go fuck yourself."?

As long as you include a disclaimer you should be fine in either case...

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult with your physician or health practitioner prior to beginning any exercise/diet program.

Mod point cops and trolls... (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239124)

What could possibly go wrong?

Jail?! For swearing?! (5, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239132)

An American rights group is suing the police in Pennsylvania for issuing tickets, which carry a jail sentence, to people for swearing.

...

One lawsuit involves an unidentified woman in Luzerne County in northeast Pennsylvania who was given a citation which carries a maximum penalty of $300 and 90 days in jail after she yelled an offensive word at a motorcyclist who swerved close to her in October 2008.

I think I speak for most people when I say: Fuck that.

Re:Jail?! For swearing?! (4, Funny)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239246)

I think I speak for most people when I say: Fuck that.

Right then, you know the rules, into the paddy wagon.

Re:Jail?! For swearing?! (3, Funny)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239456)

I think I speak for most people when I say: Fuck that.

Right then, you know the rules, into the fucking paddy wagon.

fixed.

Re:Jail?! For swearing?! (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239526)

In some jurisdictions you can't call it a "Paddy Wagon" in police documentation / reports because it's considered a slur against Irish people. It comes from the slang for Irish, plus the stereotype that police are typically/historically/whatever Irish.

What's with the asterisk, Slashdot? (4, Insightful)

prichardson (603676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239144)

"This is a big f*cking deal."

No. It's a big fucking deal. Just print the U please, it won't hurt anyone.

Replacing the vowel in profanity with some other character doesn't fool anyone. Everyone knows still you're swearing.

Re:What's with the asterisk, Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239302)

I think they were going for ironic censorship.

Re:What's with the asterisk, Slashdot? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239348)

Replacing the vowel in profanity with some other character doesn't fool anyone. Everyone knows still you're swearing.

Not to mention ironic, since the article in question deals with anti-censorship statutes.

Re:What's with the asterisk, Slashdot? (5, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239448)

Just print the U please, it won't hurt anyone.

Ok. This is a big *u***** deal.

Re:What's with the asterisk, Slashdot? (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239636)

people read /. at work, saying 'fuck' is NSFW.

Well... (1)

Huwawa (923056) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239150)

FREEDOM OF SPEECH, FUCK YEAH!

TAKE THAT FUCK-O! (-1, Offtopic)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239152)

And while you're at it, lets see if we can get Steve Jobs to jerk off once on his iPad.

Re:TAKE THAT FUCK-O! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239588)

And while you're at it, lets see if we can get Steve Jobs to jerk off once on his iPad.

"The iPad gets too much hype so I'm gonna bring it up in a totally unrelated thread!"

America.. (2, Funny)

conares (1045290) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239158)

FUCK YEAH!!!!!

Re:America.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239674)

Coming to save, the motherfucking day yeah!

What's so bad about swearing, anyway? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239160)

Can somebody explain to me what exactly is bad about swearing?

Re:What's so bad about swearing, anyway? (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239262)

Can somebody explain to me what exactly is bad about swearing?

It's fucking uncouth, you stupid fucking cunt.

Fucking nothing (4, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239338)

Can somebody explain to me what exactly is bad about swearing?

Not really, no.

Apparently some people think certain words are evil, bad and offensive regardless of the context in which they are used. This argument is of course fucking absurd. Word have no meaning without context. I believe George Carlin addressed this issue at some length and expense [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Fucking nothing (5, Interesting)

Mr. Pibb (26775) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239592)

I think the question is not that certain words are evil, but that profanity can be valuable. This value is lost from overuse.

One of my HS English teachers (roughly) described it this way:

If you call everyone a motherfucker, then everyone is a motherfucker and it doesn't have value.
But if you rarely or never use the word and walk into the principal's office and say "LISTEN HERE, MOTHERFUCKER!" then you're making a point."

Re:Fucking nothing (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239598)

I belive that a recent tv show [wikipedia.org] showed that curse words are called that for a reason. You ignorant fuck! :)

Re:What's so bad about swearing, anyway? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239378)

It might endanger children’s tender young ears, or some nonsense like that.

Re:What's so bad about swearing, anyway? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239498)

Despite the fact that many children swear like fucking sailors? I've always wonder what sort of fucking wanker wrote those rules.

Fuck.

Re:What's so bad about swearing, anyway? (4, Interesting)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239574)

Can somebody explain to me what exactly is bad about swearing?

While words have power, there's some non-small number of folks who believe that words have intrinsic power. As in, for some reason, a particular combination of sounds has some inherent ability to produce effects.

I attribute this to magical thinking, frankly. Believing that profanity is inherently bad is akin to believing that if I say the right faux-latin words and wave a stick at you, I can produce some effect. (Hell, the alternative word "cursing" plays right into that hypothesis)

Re:What's so bad about swearing, anyway? (3, Interesting)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239676)

Can somebody even define what separates swear words from acceptable words? In learning a couple foreign languages, I had to be often corrected when a word I picked up turned out to be on a community's do-not-utter list.

Crossing the line (4, Funny)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239170)

Is it okay to yell "fuck" in a crowded theater?

Re:Crossing the line (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239216)

If you're in the movie...

Re:Crossing the line (1)

Dunega (901960) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239474)

How about a crowded bordello?

Some one has to do it. (5, Insightful)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239224)

In English, fuck falls into many grammatical categories:

        As a transitive verb for instance.. John fucked Shirley.
        As an intransitive verb... Shirley fucks.

Its meaning is not always sexual, it can be used as...

        An adjective such as... John's doing all the fucking work.
        As part of an adverb... Shirley talks too fucking much.
        As an adverb enhancing an adjective... Shirley is fucking beautiful.
        As a noun... I don't give a fuck.
        As part of a word... absofuckinglutely -or- infuckingcredible.
        And as almost every word in a sentence... Fuck the fucking fuckers.

As you must realize, there aren't too many words with the versatility of fuck...such as these examples describing situations such as:

        Fraud: I got fucked at the used car lot.
        Dismay: ahhh fuck it.
        Trouble: I guess I'm really fucked now.
        Aggression: Don't fuck with me buddy.
        Difficulty: I don't understand this fucking question.
        Inquiry: Who the fuck was that?
        Dissatisfaction: I don't like what the fuck is going on here.
        Incompetence: He's a fuck-off.
        Dismissal: Why don't you go outside and play hide and go fuck yourself...

I'm sure you can think of many more examples.

With all these multi-purpose applications, how can anyone be offended when you use the word. We say use this unique, flexible word more often in your daily speech.

It will identify the quality of your character immediately.

Say it loudly and proudly: FUCK YOU!

Re:Some one has to do it. (3, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239306)

George Carlin was a fucking genius. Fuck! I fucking miss him.

Re:Some one has to do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239436)

So many holidays..

Where can we squeeze in the FUCK pride parade?

Re:Some one has to do it. (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239442)

The fucking fuckers fucking fucked fucking. Fuck!

Re:Some one has to do it. (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239624)

I'm not offended by the profanity of the word so much as the frequent use of the word itself. Soon we will degrade into a society of cavement, but instead of grunts, will communicate through slight variations of the word 'fuck'. E.g. Fuck this fucking test. It fucking fucks. It's a fine word, when used in moderation. But it quickly becomes tiresome when used in place of creatively articulating the situation at hand.

Re:Some one has to do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239632)

A Marine's poem. (After a M60 General Purpose Machine Gun jammed during training, and the instructor was unable to clear the jam by the usual procedure, he uttered the following which has become a hallowed bit of Marine Corps poetry.)

Fuck! The fucking fucker's fucking well fucked!

Re:Some one has to do it. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239684)

And the big all-rounder: WTF

No surprise (4, Informative)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239232)

If you live in PA this won't surprise you. We just started selling alcohol on Sundays and a handful of grocery stores have had the audacity to try selling beer/wine!

Re:No surprise (1)

truetorment (919200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239368)

Did grocery stores actually get the ability to do so in PA? I know that the package stores were fighting like mad to prevent it. We had the same awful fight here in MA, with the liquor stores going out of their way to paint allowing grocery stores to sell beer & wine as a 'safety issue'. Sadly, it cowed enough people so that the ballot measure failed. Hopefully PA wasn't as foolish?

Re:No surprise (1)

CheshireFerk-o (412142) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239584)

O hell no, in fact if you have a six-pack/convenience store you must have a separate entrance/exit for the beer section, with separate registers. I don't think we'll ever see liquor/wine outside of the state stores especially where the children can SEE it... damn quaker state

Have you done your hail marys today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239248)

shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits

Re:Have you done your hail marys today? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239316)

"It was all I could think of in one sitting!"

RIP, Mr. Carlin. You are missed :(

750 a year? (1)

truetorment (919200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239250)

With $300 per offense, that's ~$225K per year just for swearing. That's a big "bad word" jar.

Same goes for flipping off cops (3, Insightful)

areusche (1297613) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239274)

I had a friend flip off a cop once for cutting him off on a road in Erie. The cop turned around, put his lights on, and gave him a ticket for obscenity.

He challenged the ticket mentioning freedom of speech as well as the fact that the officer didn't even show up. In the end he won, but that doesn't excuse the fact that police officers in Pennsylvania can waste people's time like this on power trips.

Re:Same goes for flipping off cops (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239358)

Police can waste people's time with power trips pretty much everywhere. Hence the phrase "you can beat the rap; but you can't beat the ride"...

What is worse is that there are so seldom any repercussions for them doing so.

Re:Same goes for flipping off cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239572)

Your friend flipped off a cop and was surprised he got pulled over?

You need smarter friends.

What about non-profanity obscenities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239354)

What about words or phrases which are obscene, but not profanity?

I.e. "dildo", "douche" "anus", "jerk-off", "retarded", etc. Will they protect my right to use common language into obscenities?

What about MY right to not listen?.. (-1, Troll)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239356)

Just as your fist's freedom of movement ends at my face, your speech's freedom ends at my ears, if I so choose.

If FCC can limit swearing on public airwaves, police can do it too — even if the waves are in different medium and frequency...

Re:What about MY right to not listen?.. (3, Insightful)

Changa_MC (827317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239502)

No.
You can get a pair of earphones and protect your right to not listen for yourself, without calling the cops down on me for exercising my first amendment rights.

Fuck you.

Re:What about MY right to not listen?.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239508)

You're wrong. My fist's freedom of movement ends about half a foot up your asshole. Because you like being fisted by sweaty, hairy greek dudes, such as myself.

Re:What about MY right to not listen?.. (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239700)

Apparently you've never heard of earplugs or tuning out the person talking. I do it all the time, it is quite easy.

Re:What about MY right to not listen?.. (4, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239734)

One right you do NOT have is to not be offended.

So fuck off.

Profanity is the inevitable linguistic crutch (3, Interesting)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239360)

of the inarticulate motherfucker.

OBOnion (4, Funny)

PvtVoid (1252388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239374)

From The Onion [theonion.com] .

What part of the fucking First Amendment don't you understand, motherfucker?

Wait.... (1)

bobwrit (1232148) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239398)

Yeah, well, Miller v. California...

Love It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239420)

Slashdot. News for nerds. The "smart" news aggregator. So what does everyone do when this story is posted? Fall all over themselves to post the word "fuck"

Re:Love It (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239604)

Yes. But we're doing it to be ironic. That makes it ok.

A personal invitation (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239424)

Some police tend to write tickets, or even arrest people just to give a hard time. Maybe it is sometimes out of ignorance of the law.

I had a friend given a ticket for flashing his headlights, at 2:30 pm. The ticket was for using his high-beams at night when there is oncoming traffic. They just didn't like people being warned about the speed trap.

Even if an arrest is in violation of the law, to win a lawsuit on it, you have to show that it was not only improper, but that the cop knew it was improper -- a high standard to meet. In the meantime, you are still locked up, have to pay an attorney. But on the good side, you get to make new friends when locked up.

Even when right, you should be nice to people who carry guns and give you a personal invitation to jail. Even if he/she/it is an asshole.

Re:A personal invitation (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239612)

>> Even if an arrest is in violation of the law, to win a lawsuit on it, you have to show that it was not only improper, but that the cop knew it was improper.

isn't there a case for requiring a cop to know the law that he is enforcing? The last thing we need is incompetent cops around. They should be just as subject to dismissal because of incompetence as any other professional job. In fact even more so, given the impact they have on peoples lives.

specifically to your case, I think even the most pro-cop judge would find it hard to defend a cop claiming that he didn't know 2:30pm wasn't night time.

Joke? (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239450)

Tell me you're trying to pull a joke on your non-american readers.... The country that mocks us about cease & decist letters for an open WLAN router is actually using the police to stop you from swearing? I sincerely hope you're just kidding.

Sometimes I just shake my head and wonder (0, Troll)

Coder4Life (1396697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239460)

Even though it's not illegal, it's still not a wise idea to curse at a police officer doing their job.

In a separate case a man was arrested, cited for disorderly conduct and briefly jailed after shouting a double expletive at a policeman who was writing him a parking ticket.

I guess it's my non confrontational manner, but if a cop was writing me a ticket for being illegally parked, I'd offer a quick apology, say it won't happen again, and just pay the fine. The minute you start questioning the cop's authority is when you land in hot water. IMO if you act like a fool over something you did wrong in the first place, maybe you deserved to be hauled off to jail.

Also, if you ever saw "Parking Wars" on A&E, these are the type of people I'm talking about. Unfortunately, the Philly Traffic Authority can't haul you off to jail.

"Protected speech" (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239492)

The whole notion that there is "protected" and "unprotected" speech is ridiculous. Can you believe that whether speech is protected or not depends mostly on the judge's or jury's gut feelings and opinions about something? That art or communication can be judged by general people for its merits instead of just letting anyone interested in it decide?

This is not a free country, never was and never will be. Free speech is hilariously meaningless if free speech only means certain types of speech--it then becomes simply "allowed" speech. You can't -ever- claim that you have something called free speech if you're going to have committees of some sort vet the speech for content.

The obscenity and profanity issues, often like hate crimes (when the "hate crime" is nonthreatening") are really all the same thing--someone got conditioned to have a negative emotional reaction to some word or image, and thus they throw a hissy fit and start babbling on about "morality" and "greater good" blah blah blah blah.

This isn't a conservative/liberal thing. Both groups are equally fascistic when it comes to freedom of speech. If the ACLU is buying into the "protected speech" meme the courts have arbitrarily generated over time (that's the beauty of precedent, isn't it? You can create legal truths out of thing air!) then they're pretty useless too if they're going to just kowtow and toe the line of the judicial system's own bias and dogmas.

The whole idea of "protected" and "unprotected" speech should overturn in your mind COMPLETELY faith in the legal system as a whole. It shows that the legal system is full of ridiculous, moralistic dogma (often a different sort than your typical liberal/conservative slants, but a dogma nonetheless) and that you can go to jail for a long period of time without harming a single person. Who the fuck are geriatric judges to say what is and is not "offensive," and why should content be filtered by the state for whether it's offensive or not? And why does MY opinion not count, but a bunch of generic suburban imbeciles does? Nobody has the right not to be offended, regarding sex or politics or otherwise. If you find anything offensive enough to silence, the defect is with you, not the person making the speech.

Again, the entire notion of "unprotected" speech should shatter your entire view of the legal system and society in general, because it means you really are nothing more than a serf on some levels. "Free speech"--you're free to say what we say you can say. What a bunch of tripe. The legal system is a fucking cult, filled with priests (judges, in robes no less), dogmas (precedent), meaningless and arbitrary tradition, a holy text to interpret (the law, and just like any holy texts there are tons of interpretations of it), and even their own religious jargon (legalese, that only the priesthood is fit to interpret).

lol... swearing was even allowed in nazi germany.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239506)

...oh wait

Vocabulary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32239520)

I never understand why people feel the need to limit my vocabulary based on some belief that a word is somehow "bad". What makes bitch somehow worse than scumbag, which has a much more disgusting and vulgar meaning?

I know "Think of the children" and all that nonsense, but you should really be more concerned with WHY your son said fuck than you are with his choice of words.

Bomb this (1)

nanoakron (234907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239530)

I'm just pissed off that the standard English language word 'fuck' is referred to as an 'F-bomb'.

Seriously, do we just use 'initial+hyphen bomb' for anything nowadays?

'F-bombs', 'N-bombs', 'H-bombs', 'A-bombs'.

How about 'S-bombs' for shit or 'C-bombs' for cocks or 'T-bombs' for tits?

Then we can degrade the entire language.

I'm not sure how to feel on this one (1)

adeft (1805910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239552)

On one hand I very much stand behind total freedom of speech, on the other its not always a good thing to exercise it without care. I'm not a parent, but if I were, I would probably try to limit what profanity a young child hears. I swear like a sailor but in public I'm conscious of who is around me for this reason. Sometimes using an obscenity can escalate a situation, showing new severity that wasnt available with conventional words. Swearing at an officer may be exercising freedom of speech, but verbal assaults can be a dangerous thing as well and I'm not sure which side to stand on if an officer of the law makes a calculated decision to de-escalate you if you are perhaps in his face using extreme language. I see both sides to the argument, but again its not always so black and white.

It's odd... (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239680)

Certain words have crept into vocabulary and are now used to the exclusion of other words. It seems young folks are unable, now, to express themselves without swear words. It seems that they are completely unaware that there are actual words that actually MEAN what they are trying to say; but since they don't know them, they attach the same word that everyone else attaches for emphasis. So we end up with sentences that include the same word, for emphasis, three times... when all they really mean to say is "I was astounded."

To me, people who use swear words for pretty much everything sound uneducated and ... well, the follow-the-crowd type... someone who is clearly influenced, in the way they talk, by whoever is around them at the time.

It's also interesting to me that people argue that words have no meaning out of context, etc., and typically argue that with someone who is offended by that kind of speech... and yet, then they use those same words specifically to offend or be abrasive. That's not out-of-context, that is a very specific context. If you are using a word specifically to offend me while claiming I shouldn't be offended because it's out of context, you're being rather rude.

I personally dislike swearing. I find it ... well, vulgar and uneducated :) Here's my actual "political" response though: as long as I am not allowed to use certain terms for people because it's "politically incorrect" or "offensive" to them, etc - for example, "black" or "gay" or perhaps saying that some act or sexual orientation is a "sin" - then I don't see why you should be allowed to swear and cuss under to offend someone under the guise of free speech.

Double Standard? (1)

dclose73 (1738596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239682)

Ironically, the f-word was self-censored in this article. Why? Because there are in fact decency laws which forbid profanity in the media. Why doesn't the ACLU sue the FCC about that?
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