Respectful Insolence

I detest Holocaust denial.

Relative newbies who haven’t been reading this blog that long may be wondering why I, a physician, booster of science-based medicine, and scourge of the anti-vaccine movement (well, at least in my mind, anyway) would blog about Holocaust denial, but in actuality my interest in combatting Holocaust denial predates my interest in combatting quackery by at least two years. Indeed, one of my earliest long-form posts for this blog, written more than a year before I joined ScienceBlogs and reposted after I joined relates how I discovered Holocaust denial, my confusion and revulsion upon that discovery, and how I became involved in refuting it. Although these days I don’t write about it as often as I used to, I’ve never lost my interest in it and have still on occasion done rather lengthy posts on it. And it can’t be said often enough: Holocaust denial derives from either anti-Semitism, Hitler admiration or apologia, or both. Always. After all, as I’ve echoed a Usenet regular named Allan Matthews, whoonce asked so brilliantly:

See, you’d think that after many months of posting this at least one revisionist who isn’t a neo-Nazi or anti-Semite would have come forward and said “Here I am!”
But, no. It appears that there just aren’t any such revisionists around.

Based on their past posting history, the few bozos who have bothered to claim that they aren’t neo-Nazis or anti-Semites were, upon examination of their claims, found to be clearly lying. Of course, given the general behavior of revisionists, this lack of honesty isn’t surprising in the least.

However, just in case some revisionist ‘scholars’ have missed my question to date, here it is again:

Where are the revisionists who aren’t neo-Nazis or anti-Semites?

It’s a fair question. After all, how can revisionists hope to be taken seriously if they all have such apparent biases, agendas and axes to grind?

So, then, if Holocaust revisionism is an intellectually honest endeavor, where are the revisionists who aren’t neo-Nazis or anti-Semites?

I have never found such a Holocaust “revisionist.”

So, make no mistake, I get it. I get that Holocaust denial is a vile, racist, and bigoted conspiracy theory that denigrates the murder of approximately six million people. I agree that it should be opposed wherever possible. Why else would I have spent so much effort combatting Holocaust denial online over the last decade? It also fits right into my skeptical activism as an example of pseudohistory, paranoid conspiracy theories, and outright abuses of science and methods of historical investigation, making it a classic example to use to teach critical thinking skills. However, as much as I despise Holocaust denial, I value free speech, because it is the wellspring from which all of our other political freedoms flow. Democracy is meaningless without a high degree of freedom of speech, and enshrining freedom of speech in the Bill or Rights, where transient legislators can’t easily mess with it and it requires a Constitutional Amendment to change, was arguably one of the most brilliant strokes of genius by our Founding Fathers. Yes, no freedom is absolute, but the ideal is to place as few limits on freedom of speech as possible.

Even vile speech like that of Holocaust deniers.

That’s why I really, really hate to read about stories like this:

British Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson faces trial in Germany for an outspoken TV interview in which he denied that the wartime extermination of the Jews took place.

The ultra-conservative Catholic cleric was hit with a fine of nearly £12,000 today by a court for his comments made to a Swedish television interviewer – but he refused to pay it.

Because Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany – and because he gave the interview while on German soil – he was prosecuted in Regensburg, near to the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI, where he gave the interview.

Under the German legal system, he was served with an ‘order of punishment’ informing him of the penalty.

Such orders are intended to cut down on bureaucracy and costs if both sides agree with the fine, which also would mean a criminal conviction.

But Williamson did not agree. He is to appeal, paving the way for a full hearing which could prove highly embarrassing for the church once more – even though Williamson can absent himself from proceedings to be represented just by his lawyer.

We’ve met Bishop Williamson before. Early this year, he gave an interview with Swiss television filled with the most blatant Holocaust denial I’ve heard in a long time, spewing a number of denier canards so mind-bogglingly easy to refute that I wondered if Williamson had even learned Holocaust denial 101. The reason Williamson came into such prominence because of his interview was that, in an EPIC FAIL of unbelievably bad timing, Pope Benedict XVI had opened the way to the reinstatement of Williamson and other bishops who had been excommunicated by Pope John Paul II for rejecting Vatican II, among other things. Shortly after the announcement, Williamson’s Holocaust-denying interview aired. Ultimately, in an equally EPIC FAIL of closing the barn door after the horses have left, the Vatican demanded that Williamson recant his Holocaust denial. Ultimately, Williamson gave a classic “non-apology” apology, which was rejected by the Vatican. Meanwhile, Argentina, embarrassed by the whole affair, kicked Williamson out the country, and he was forced to return to England. There, he was met by met by Michele Renouf, a former model known for her Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, with whom he had been put in touch by fellow holocaust denier David Irving. Worse, Williamson had apparently been in contact with David Irving for advice on how to “present” his views, which is akin to asking the an anti-vaccinationist to how to “present” vaccine science. As an excuse, Bishop Williamson’s was one of the weakest I’ve heard:

Williamson said through his lawyer that he was assured his offending remarks would not be broadcast in Germany but only in Sweden, where there is no law against Holocaust denial.

Prosecutors had received a letter from the Swedish television producers in which they denied offering any assurance to Williamson that the interview, conducted in English, would be broadcast in Sweden only.

Even I know that you have to get promises like that in writing. I mean, come on!

My reaction to the prosecution of Bishop Williamson is pretty much the same as my reaction was when David Irving was put on trial for Holocaust denial nearly four years ago, when I described Austria’s prosecution as “stomping free speech flat.” From my perspective, it looks as as though Germany wants to stomp it even flatter still, perhaps seeing if it can reduce its thinness to subatomic dimensions.

What prosecutors in Germany appear not to realize is that not only are laws against Holocaust denial an offense against free speech, but they just don’t work. They suppress nothing. As I pointed out nearly four years ago, David Irving got far more publicity in Austria over the few months after his arrest and during his trial than he had gotten in the prior six years. Before, having been utterly discredited as a “historian” after having lost his libel action against Holocaust scholar Professor Deobrah Lipstadt, Irving had been fading into well-deserved obscurity–exactly where he belonged. During the trial he became a martyr for the far right, all wrapped in the mantle of “free speech.”

The argument of apologists for such laws notwithstanding, criminalizing Holocaust denial serves no purpose other than to “stomp free speech flat” and to confirm the claims of the Holocaust deniers that the government is “afraid” of their message. It is true that Germany’s and Austria’s shared histories of the last 76 years lead them to understand far more than we in the United States do just what can happen when fascist ideology takes hold of the reins of power. I’ll even concede that laws banning Nazi-ism, the symbols of Nazi-ism, and Holocaust denial were not at all unreasonable in the immediate aftermath of Germany’s defeat in World War II. West Germany and Austria were fledgling democracies, and there were a lot of former Nazi Party members left living there. There was also a real fear that fascism might rise again, given that the nation was still shattered. Unfortunately, what should have been a temporary measure to help stabilize a defeated nation with most of its major cities reduced to rubble and twelve million homeless and hunger running rampant has become permanent. More than 64 years after Germany’s defeat, these laws still stand, and hapless and vile idiots are still prosecuted under them. Why do these nations still need these laws, which have produced on occasion produced miscarriages of justice that would be hilarious if they weren’t so tragic? After nearly three generations, isn’t it time for these affronts to free speech to be eliminated?

After all, free speech does not mean freedom of speech just for people whose views are within the “mainstream,” whatever that is. That is not freedom of speech. Rather, freedom of speech means protection for those who espouse views that are very unpopular. That includes even disgusting views that are quite rightly unpopular because they are so vile.

Views like those of Holocaust deniers. The way to fight Holocaust denial is not to criminalize Holocaust denial but to fight it with facts and to marginalize Holocaust deniers in society by not giving them any respect.

Bishop Williamson was treated appropriately when the Church demanded his recantation, and Argentina forced him to retreat back to England and, even more importantly, into well-deserved obscurity. He has been paid little mind by the world over the last nine months, and that is entirely appropriate. Even the Catholic Church appears to have more or less ignored him since last February or March. By prosecuting Williamson for Holocaust denial, Germany will not deter Holocaust deniers or limit Holocaust denial. In fact, if I were a Holocaust denier, I wouldn’t be able to envision a more effective way of promoting it than by outlawing it. Not only does it bestow on an odious belief set the appeal of being “so dangerous the government is afraid of it,” but it allows the even more odious little men and women who hold such views to don the mantle of free speech martyr.

Comments

  1. #1 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    It’s tempting to simply say, like Orac, that free speech should include even Holocaust deniers, but there’s another view.

    To put it by way of analogy: two robbers walk into a jeweller’s. One has a gun and points it at the jeweller. The other man says, ‘Shoot him.’

    That’s not free speech, that’s incitement to murder.

    In a Europe where Jewish graves are continually vandalised, Swastikas frequently spray-painted on synagogues (this happens in my part of London, for example) a Holocaust denier could by analogy be said to be the second man above, in effect saying ‘Shoot him’ to the thugs who come in the night.

    Free speech or criminal incitement? Not as simple as you might think.

  2. #2 Liz
    November 12, 2009

    What I’ve never understood with this: If he’s saying that it didn’t happen, where’d those people go? Did they not exist? I’m left wondering if the families of the deceased could bring a libel suit against someone like this, since claiming someone doesn’t exist seems like defamation of character to me.

  3. #3 Joshua White
    November 12, 2009

    “Shoot him” directs an action and can clearly be considered incitement.

    “The Holocaust never happened” directs no action and is clearly either an opinion or a statement of a perceived fact.

    You are wrong, they are not the same.

    Even the first would not be legal in the US because there are narrowly defined exceptions to freedom of speech. There are no exceptions for opinion and dumb-ass statements fortunately.

  4. #4 Scott
    November 12, 2009

    Not even vaguely close, UK Visitor. The difference between the risks of a Holocaust denier and “Shoot him” is so gargantuan as to make the argument ludicrous.

    Speech that somebody somewhere might possibly interpret in such a way as to make them feel more willing to commit a crime? If you’re going to call that “criminal incitement”, then “Hello” is also criminal incitement. The link between the speech and the criminal behavior has to be many, many, many, orders of magnitude stronger.

  5. #5 Stacey C.
    November 12, 2009

    Apparently it’s a catching disease lately to try to suppress the free speech of people with difficult views and pasts. I’m thinking of the kerfuffle in Chicago with Teh Communist! And here in MA there’s been a big deal about a former ‘domestic terrorist’ who was supposed to speak at UMASS Amherst. He was ultimately denied the right to travel to the state since he’s still on parole. But the amount of outrage, up to the level of the Governor, is disgusting. Convicted criminal or not he has the right to free speech.
    I want to start printing cards to send to people with the statement: Free Speech is not just for people with whom your opinions agree. Free Speech is specifically designed to protect people with whom your opinions Disagree. The more revolting to your sensibilities an opinion is (unless a specific incitement to riot or violence) the more vociferously we should defend that person’s right to state it. This is the essence of true Free Speech.
    Or something…

  6. #6 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Joshua White –

    I’m aware the two statements, ‘Shoot him’ and ‘the Holocaust never happened,’ are not the same.

    But to the racist perceiver – the intended audience for Holocaust denial – they are much closer and in some circumstances (not all) the distinction you make could be dangerously naive.

    Even the UN Declaration on Human Rights accepts that the right to freedom of expression does not include the right to racist speech, exactly for this reason: it has consequences.

    When a BNP (British National Party) councillor was elected in Millwall, East London (on a minority of the total vote, I should add) racist attacks in the area went up 300%.

    Incitement to racial hatred is not an academic question; in certain places, at certain times, it has very real consequences.

  7. #7 Richard Eis
    November 12, 2009

    Germany simply has a very weird law for dealing with a particular type of racist. To be honest I can’t blame them even though i don’t agree with it.

    Personally I like the idea of free speech against these people because they are so spectacularly wrong that having them mouth off in public shows everyone what hateful stupidity looks like.
    Absolute and total derision however should be meted out at all opportunities.

  8. #8 attack_laurel
    November 12, 2009

    I agree with you, but the net result of ignoring holocaust deniers in the US has been to allow them to grow and become more bold in their actions without the restraint of social opprobrium.

    The median between the two would be to report on them regularly, but without giving them anything to matyr themselves on, so people can see their vile underbelly (they’re all vile underbelly, no dorsal organs at all, as far as I can tell). It’s difficult, however, to do this, and it’s easier to say “ignore them and they’ll go away”, but, like bullies, without censure, they simply escalate when no-one’s looking.

    Also, in Europe, the concept of “free speech” is substantially more limited. This is one of the reasons I like the US, despite its warts (I emigrated from the UK 20+ years ago). While the US might look at this and (correctly) see free speech being stomped on, the aerage German isn’t necessarily going to look at it the same way. Of course these days, events such as this take place on the world stage, so you have a lot more people than just the members of the nation involved.

    However, despite all that, like you, I don’t think the answer is to try and stomp on free speech, as that simply allows this kind of slime to pretend they’re “noble” martyrs for their cause. >:(

  9. #9 Dallas
    November 12, 2009

    The practical effect of extending free speech to even hateful ideologies is that they are far more likely to advocate out in the open and be influenced externally than radicalizing in secret compounds plotting violence.

  10. #10 Sigmund
    November 12, 2009

    UK Visitor, there is a big difference between plain racism and incitement to racial hatred.
    Are you certain that the UN declaration on Human Rights bans racist speech? I tried to find mention of it in the declaration but didn’t see it (I could be mistaken, but I simply don’t find what you claim.)
    As an example the marriage registrar in the US who recently refused to marry a mixed race couple undoubtedly said racist explanations as his reasoning. At the same time I don’t think we could describe it as incitement to racial attack (more likely its incitement to point at him and laugh).

  11. #11 KristinMH
    November 12, 2009

    Liz – my favourite denier answer to that question is that lots of Jewish people were in unhappy marriages, ran away when they had the chance to start over again and were absorbed into the larger population. No, seriously.

    I can’t remember where exactly I saw that one, but it is apparently a real denier “theory”.

    As for the larger issue:

    The argument of apologists for such laws notwithstanding, criminalizing Holocaust denial serves no purpose other than to “stomp free speech flat” and to confirm the claims of the Holocaust deniers that the government is “afraid” of their message.

    Yeah, you’re probably right. As much as it pains me to say it. I appreciate the point that UK Visitor is making, but making martyrs out of denialists is probably counter-productive.

    Maybe we need a historian version of Clowns Against the Klan.

  12. #12 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Sigmund, you hit on a good point regarding interpretation of the UN Declaration.

    The UK outlaws material likely to be seen by someone in whom it’s likely to cause racial hatred. This is the UK’s interpretation of a sub-clause in the UN Declaration, fitting in with the aim of a state having to avoid racial discrimination.

    Not everyone agrees with this interpretation but it applies to the real world (well, the real world of Europe’s big cities) with more relevance than the simple ‘free speech’ interpretation.

    I don’t say that all racist views can classified as incitement, merely some.

  13. #13 Richard Eis
    November 12, 2009

    -As an example the marriage registrar in the US who recently refused to marry a mixed race couple undoubtedly said racist explanations as his reasoning. At the same time I don’t think we could describe it as incitement to racial attack (more likely its incitement to point at him and laugh).-

    But, he did let his “piles of black friends” use his bathroom.

  14. #14 Orac
    November 12, 2009

    Even the UN Declaration on Human Rights accepts that the right to freedom of expression does not include the right to racist speech, exactly for this reason: it has consequences.

    Personally, that’s one reason why I think the U.N.’s position on free speech is completely muddled. Another is that it has in the past seriously considered a resolution that would say that disparagement of religion is not considered protected free speech. If I recall correctly, it was a resolution promoted by mainly Muslim countries to short circuit criticisms of Sharia law and the anti-Semitism routinely espoused under the rubric of religion. Unfortunately the same declaration was also supported by the Catholic Church and other mainline religions.

    So, no, citing the U.N. position on free speech is not likely to persuade me, as the U.N. does not appear to be particularly concerned with championing free speech.

  15. #15 Joshua White
    November 12, 2009

    They are not analogous is what I am getting at.

    For something to give incitement it has to suggest action. An opinion might inflame, but just about any opinion can inflame for any reason. People can be inflamed from perceived religious insult to sports team insult. The potential for inflaming a situation is no reason to ban such speech because banning statements that might inflame would lead to a world that would be intolerable to live in. This is also not academic because there are elements within the UN trying to move on to religious insult. My opinion? If it says what you say, fuck the UN declaration on human rights. Like much of what the UN does it does not work as intended and needs to be replaced if possible, and ignored if necessary (those parts of it anyway).

    I would rather racists get to say what ever they want because that lets me know who the idiots are. The “racist perceiver” already has problems upstairs and I refuse to punish society because of the problems of racists. Justice is punishing the racists for real incitement and behavior.

    If a BNP councilor was elected that makes me think that you have bigger problems. That means most of the constituency in his area was already racist, and therefore more prone to such actions. I am of the opinion that racist individuals are more capable of justifying violence against individuals of other races because they do not seem them as “human” as they are. It is not surprising that they found it easier to do violence if they thought they had more government support. The proper response is not to ban racist speech however. That just drives it underground where it festers and will not go away. The proper response is to not be a coward and confront racism publicly, and often. I would rather the next generation see that they need to develop the intellectual tools to fight such problems instead of thinking if they hide it, it will go away. Seriously the whole strategy is childish. It makes me think of a child screaming for to just go away instead of confronting it in a more mature fashion.

    It’s like the people who have problems with violent video games. It’s not the video games or the normal people who use them that is the problem. It’s the people who are already fucked up in the head that are going to react to something that will push them over the edge. Such people could snap at lots of things that stimulate them in the right way and video games are just the scape goat.

  16. #16 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Orac, that’s unfair. You’re mixing up a proposal from some countries (to protect religious delusions) with an agreed UN Declaration on fundamental freedoms supported by all free countries.

    It’s like saying because some kooks in the Oklahama legislature tried to ban Richard Dawkins, other, perfectly sensible laws from the same place should be derided.

    Tsk tsk. I expect that sort of technique from anti-vaxxers, not you.

  17. #17 Rene Najera
    November 12, 2009

    If you go to the YouTube page for your constant commenter, “Brian” (http://www.youtube.com/user/jalusbrian), you can read all sorts of antisemitic ramblings about “Zionists” this, and “Zionists” that. Even in his constant commenting on my videos about Desiree Jennings, he blames Jews for a vaccine conspiracy. Same can be said of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (http://tinyurl.com/yfswen7), who is convinced that vaccines are a plot to depopulate the Earth by the “Zionists”. Yes, words, like actions, have consequences… Ideas do too.

  18. #18 Natalie
    November 12, 2009

    Attack_laurel, can you provide some evidence that “…ignoring holocaust deniers in the US has [allowed] them to grow and become more bold in their actions without the restraint of social opprobrium.”?

    My experience has been that people don’t ignore racists so much as they either agree with them or openly ridicule them. Personally, it seems more likely to me that, if US racists and anti-semites have actually become more bold, the causes lie elsewhere.

  19. #19 Joshua White
    November 12, 2009

    You’re mixing up a proposal from some countries (to protect religious delusions) with an agreed UN Declaration on fundamental freedoms supported by all free countries.

    Ah but the devil is in the details isn’t it. Just like everyone in this board agrees with free speech. Oh except for that free speech over there that you don’t like. That speech isn’t really free speech. The situation is clearly more complicated than you let on.

  20. #20 Joshua White
    November 12, 2009

    I have a comment that is being held up. Would you mind telling me why Orac? Just so I can avoid what ever it is in the future.

  21. #21 JohnV
    November 12, 2009

    3 or more active links and (in my experience) f-bombs get you into moderation purgatory.

  22. #22 Joshua White
    November 12, 2009

    Ahh. Thanks. I did not think my F-bomb was gratuitous so maybe I will try again if Orac does not like it.

  23. #23 Debrecht Fallours
    November 12, 2009

    Stick to the subject Orac. No one trusts your medicine anymore because of it’s long history of incompetence and money grubbing.

    “European scientists and health authorities are facing angry questions about why H1N1 flu has not caused death and destruction on the scale first feared, and they need to respond deftly to ensure public support.

    Accusations are flying in British and French media that the pandemic has been “hyped” by medical researchers to further their own cause, boost research grants and line the pockets of drug companies.

    Britain’s Independent newspaper this week asked “Pandemic? What Pandemic?.”

  24. #24 Richard Eis
    November 12, 2009

    -Ah but the devil is in the details isn’t it. Just like everyone in this board agrees with free speech. Oh except for that free speech over there that you don’t like.-

    Everyone? Funny, i don’t see anyone saying that free speech isn’t open to all. One person wanted to explore where incitement ends and free speech (without punishment) starts.

  25. #25 KariA
    November 12, 2009

    Quote: Even the UN Declaration on Human Rights accepts that the right to freedom of expression does not include the right to racist speech, exactly for this reason: it has consequences.

    The UN Decleration of Human Rights does not say this. It says that everyone has the right to freedom of expression. It does however say that limitations of these human rights may be imposed *by law*, under certain conditions. If freedom of expression excludes a right to racist speech, then this has to be determined by law in that perticular country, and only for the purposes listed in Art. 29-2 of the declaration. How the lawmakers in each country balances these objectives, falls within the sovereignty of that particular country.

  26. #26 Richard Eis
    November 12, 2009

    -Accusations are flying in British and French media that the pandemic has been “hyped” –

    and your proof is what exactly? and excuse me but this thread is about holocaust denial. You are the one whining on the wrong thread.

    How terrible, the H1N1 didn’t kill millions so we shouldn’t have prepared for it. In fact let’s blame them for putting anything in place.

    Dumbass.

  27. #27 Joshua White
    November 12, 2009

    Yes, words, like actions, have consequences… Ideas do too.

    No one disputes this. Everything has consequences. The question is where do we place restrictions? How much do we restrain people for the sake of someone’s opinion on proper public behavior?

    I prefer to only punish the things that most directly lead to actions that cause real tangible harm to people. I do not consider hurt feelings tangible harm.

    Saying “I wish that something horrible happened to cause the death of any leader in Washington that threatened my constitutional freedoms” is not incitement. Standing up in front of a group of politically like minded individuals and saying to them “I want you to go to Washington and kill any senator whose actions impact on my first amendment freedoms”, now that’s incitement.

    The second should be illegal, never the former.

  28. #28 Joseph C.
    November 12, 2009

    Stick to the subject Orac. I don’t trust your medicine anymore because I’d rather believe dumb conspiracy theorists than real experts.

    Fixed that for ya!

  29. #29 J Cline
    November 12, 2009

    British libel laws are rather a joke, because they place the onus on the speaker to prove negative impact — that NO harm was done based on his words. Whereas in the U.S. the burden of proof of actual harm or damage is placed, in my view corectly, upon the offended listener who claims injury.

    Europeans (and regrettably the British are ranked among them on this quality) have never had a strong tradition of free speaking or dissent in the face of public (let alone governmental) disapproval. Groupthink that promotes “social harmony” is still very much in vogue in Europe, but that does not mean that one should endorse it, any more than one endorses Chinese, Russian or Iranian suppression of free speech.

  30. #30 Kowalski
    November 12, 2009

    “Moreover, laws banning Nazi-ism and Holocaust denial were quite understandable in the immediate postwar years. West Germany and Austria were fledgling democracies, and there were a lot of former Nazi Party members left living there. There was a real fear that fascism might rise again, and the nation was still shattered.”

    You’re muddling up two separate things here.

    1.) Many European countries and of course Israel have laws that ban Holocaust denial. All these laws were introduced fairly recently, within the last 20-25 years to be precise.
    In Germany, Holocaust denial is part of the § 130 Public Incitement law. (Introduced 1985, Revised 1992, 2002, 2005) The special provisions for holocaust denial were added in the 1990s and speech justifying or glorifying the Nazi government 1933-1945 were added only recently.

    2.) The banning of Nazi symbols was part of the post war denazification, “an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of any remnants of the Nazi regime. It was carried out specifically by removing those involved from positions of influence and by disbanding or rendering impotent the organizations associated with it. The program of denazification was launched after the end of the Second World War and was solidified by the Potsdam Agreement.” (Wikipedia)

    In the older post you linked to, you said that “After four years of occupation, when West Germany became a state, bans on Holocaust denial, the Nazi Party, speech glorifying Nazi-ism, and Nazi symbols were included in the Grundgesetz, or Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany.”

    This is also not quite true. Holocaust denial was banned following a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court court in 1994. It isn’t part of our constitution, though, but of the above mentioned Public Incitement law.

  31. #31 Joseph C.
    November 12, 2009

    Stick to the subject Orac. No one trusts your medicine anymore because of it’s long history of incompetence and money grubbing.

    Well done, Happ*h. It took me at least 60 seconds to figure out it was you this time.

  32. #32 KristinMH
    November 12, 2009

    How terrible, the H1N1 didn’t kill millions so we shouldn’t have prepared for it. In fact let’s blame them for putting anything in place.

    It’s sort of the reverse of the tiger-repelling rock. Awesome.

  33. #33 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Joshua White, your example is not one to argue over. The real world unfortunately provides worse. They are the examples of racial incitement where I would argue free speech should not apply.

    A Jewish schoolchild boards a bus in London, and is subjected to a torrent of racial abuse. His attacker is then banned by English law (using a so-called ‘ASBO’ or anti-social behaviour order) from using any racist words (or actions) in the future.

    Yes, this goes against the racist’s free speech, but it protects the innocent and the only person to suffer is the racist.

    Sorry, no contest.

  34. #34 Debrecht Fallours
    November 12, 2009

    Eis – “and your proof is what exactly? and excuse me but this thread is about holocaust denial. You are the one whining on the wrong thread.”

    Oh. You want to talk about WWII? OK.

    Orac – “Why else would I have spent so much effort combatting Holocaust denial online over the last decade”

    Because you are jewish or you work for jewish people? Same reason all the other outraged people here want to talk about WWII.

    Orac – “Meanwhile, Argentina, embarrassed by the whole affair, kicked Williamson out the country”

    Baloney. Argentina kicked out Williamson for the same reason all countries take actions beneficial to Israeli interests. Israeli threats or Israeli control of the country. Nobody in Argentina gives a damn what Williamson said or who he is.

    Orac – “He has been paid little mind by the world over the last nine months, and that is entirely appropriate”

    Translation. “The Israeli controlled media of the western countries stopped talking about Williamson over the last nine months, and it is a great thing that the Israeli controlled media determines what people in the western countries think.”

  35. #35 Orac
    November 12, 2009

    Orac, that’s unfair. You’re mixing up a proposal from some countries (to protect religious delusions) with an agreed on fundamental freedoms supported by all free countries.

    Unfair? Please, give me a break. You’re the one who brought up the UN Declaration, not I. In response to your using the U.N. Declaration, I simply pointed out why I don’t think much of the U.N.’s declarations when it comes to free speech. You can agree or disagree if you want, but to say it’s unfair of me is ridiculous. It was perfectly fair game.

  36. #36 Denice Walter
    November 12, 2009

    re: Orac as “scourge of the anti-vaccine movement”-it’s *not* only in your own mind- while perusing Whale.to,I found that Orac is listed *twice* in the “‘Experts'” section (i.e. experts they don’t like), as “Orac” and his “friend”.Even Barrett and Goldacre only get one listing each.I suggest “scourge of the anti-vaccine movement” *and* “bane of the woo-meisters” (or “bane of all woo”).

  37. #37 Pliny-the-in-Between
    November 12, 2009

    How many times has tyranny begun with “we’re doing this for your own good.” It’s unfortunate but as long as vile speech is safe, we can be pretty sure that meaningful conversations are safe as well.

  38. #38 JGlenn
    November 12, 2009

    Holocaust denialism (while idiotic) is not inherently racist. When used by racists (as is the case in all examples I’ve seen) there is clear hate-speech and vindictive language that makes it absolutely clear that the denialism is not a reasoned argument. So, why not focus on the hate speech and racist rhetoric? That is the purpose of these laws, right?

    It is ironic that portions of the world get up in arms when Islamic countries and organizations become incensed at the publication of a cartoon Mohammed, yet accept other free speech restrictions readily.

    The laws are counterproductive at this point anyway. Those that would believe the denialist claims are most certainly racist anyway. Outlawing the *ahem* “discussion” simply makes it more difficult to claim the moral high ground on free speech issues.

  39. #39 rrt
    November 12, 2009

    Poor analogy, UK visitor. A better one would be: In light of its anti-Dawkins resolution, should we treat other Oklahoma legislation involving atheism or evolutionary biology with suspicion?

    I think most of us here understand your point and the logic behind it, friend. We just disagree. Cultural differences, I imagine, though that doesn’t change my opinion that the link you draw is too thin. I don’t think the “cost-benefit” analysis would come out in your favor.

  40. #40 pelican
    November 12, 2009

    I disagree with the idea that free speech “exposes the underbelly of hate” and so society wises up and sees how ridiculous Holocaust denial, or the anti-vaccine movement, or racism really is.

    UK Visitor raises a real point- Holocaust denial is hateful speech, and in an environment where hateful speech is more common, those individuals who would like to engage in hateful acts will feel emboldened to do so.

    That said, free speech is crucial for democracy and a peaceful, just, and livable society because the power to say “you can’t speak” is so immense that it should not be trusted to anyone (and, no, I am not a libertarian and I have no problem with government regulation in most areas of life).

    Free speech must be unregulated to the greatest degree possible, even when this leaves speakers free to cause some harm (like anti-vaxers) because the alternative is such a huge step down the road to authoritarianism and fascism.

  41. #41 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Orac, you mix up a) something that does exist with b) something that doesn’t.

    That allows you to say that because b) is rubbish, therefore a) is rubbish.

    It’s a rubbish argument, but I was being charitable and called it unfair instead. My mistake.

  42. #42 Richard Eis
    November 12, 2009

    -Because you are jewish or you work for jewish people? Same reason all the other outraged people here want to talk about WWII.-

    HAHAHAHAHAH. Don’t go to Germany boy, they know how to deal with your sort. Why do I get the impression you also have “piles of black friends” too.

  43. #43 JohnV
    November 12, 2009

    “Because you are jewish or you work for jewish people? Same reason all the other outraged people here want to talk about WWII.”

    “So, then, if Holocaust revisionism is an intellectually honest endeavor, where are the revisionists who aren’t neo-Nazis or anti-Semites?”

    Point goes to Orac (or Orac’s quote of some other guy). Also worth pointing out that I am neither Jewish nor do I work for Jewish people. Not that there’s anything wrong with that :p

  44. #44 Debrecht Fallours
    November 12, 2009

    Oh look! More evidence that allopathic medicine is about money and killing people!

    “Up to 150,000 people with dementia are being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs unnecessarily, a Government-ordered review disclosed

    Only around 36,000 of the 180,000 people on the drugs in the UK derive any benefit from them, it said.

    Overprescribing of the drugs is linked to an extra 1,800 deaths a year among elderly people.”

  45. #45 titmouse
    November 12, 2009

    Anti “hate speech” laws will ruin us.

    Hate alone is not a bad thing. It’s part of our capacity to love. For when you love something you hate that which might threaten it.

    Hating bad ideas isn’t the same as wanting to hurt fellow human beings.

    There are ideologies worthy of hate. One day supporters of those ideologies will hold power and they’ll jail us for “hate speech” against them.

  46. #46 Joshua White
    November 12, 2009

    Everyone? Funny, i don’t see anyone saying that free speech isn’t open to all. One person wanted to explore where incitement ends and free speech (without punishment) starts.

    I have no problem with that exploration.

    I was responding to UK Visitor thinking that Orac is being unfair when he compares the attempts of some Muslim countries to limit religious criticism, to limitation on opinions related to the existence of the Holocaust. To me it is the same kind of encroachment on freedom of speech. Make certain speech illegal because someone might get pissed off or excited and get violent. The answer to the racist/religious fanatic problem does not include caving in to murderers and thugs, or being paranoid about what you let them say. All you do is create a new mechanism to suppress speech. Next you could see denial of the benefits of animal experimentation becoming illegal because of the violence of animal rights activists.

  47. #47 Richard Eis
    November 12, 2009

    -Oh look! More evidence that allopathic medicine is about money and killing people!-

    Well, someone is definitely “over medicated”. Orac, cleanup on isle 4.

  48. #48 rnb
    November 12, 2009

    My grandfather was a holocaust denier, but I think it was because he just didn’t want to believe his former country had done such a thing. And his brother died during that time, outside Leningrad.

  49. #49 titmouse
    November 12, 2009

    A Jewish schoolchild boards a bus in London, and is subjected to a torrent of racial abuse.

    That’s harassment. We already have laws against that.

    The difference between harassment and hate speech: one is a visible behavior that can be objectively verified; the other is a thought crime.

    Bad idea to give governments the authority to regulate feelings and thoughts.

  50. #50 Sir Eccles
    November 12, 2009

    Probably a comment better suited to a different thread but, will H1N1 be held up alongside the Y2K bug? Will the huge effort that went in to preventing a pandemic be compared to the huge effort that went in to reprogramming all those computers and ridiculed because in the end people were rather disappointed that planes didn’t fall out of the sky and all the nuclear power plants didn’t actually explode.

  51. #51 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Joshua White, I don’t understand why you (and especially Orac) suddenly decide to opt out of basic distinctions when it comes to this discussion, but if it was a thread about e.g. the proper use of a drug, rigour would be expected.

    There is no comparison between limitation on free speech between a racist and someone criticising religion (which is only a proposal in the UN, by the way).

    The former refers back to other fundamental human rights, such as being free from racial discrimination; the latter has no such substance, just the fact that some opinions may offend the religiously deluded. One exists in the UN Declaration; the other has no basis in it.

    Why is it so difficult to grasp this?

    Since you seem to have missed a practical example of where free speech should come second, I’ll give it again:

    A Jewish schoolchild boards a bus in London, and is subjected to a torrent of racial abuse. His attacker is then banned by English law (using a so-called ‘ASBO’ or anti-social behaviour order) from using any racist words (or actions) in the future.

    Yes, this goes against the racist’s free speech, but it protects the innocent and the only person to suffer is the racist.

  52. #52 Joseph C.
    November 12, 2009

    Oh look! More evidence that allopathic medicine is about money and killing people!

    Those two goals are at odds with one another, idiot. You can’t sell evil allopathic drugs to a corpse.

  53. #53 Sigmund
    November 12, 2009

    The recent resolution aimed at protecting religion from mockery is gaining momentum outside the Islamic world. It was recently put into law in the Irish republic where it is now illegal to publish anything that offends substantial numbers of any religion. There is no prison sentence for the crime but there is a substantial fine – something like 30,000 dollars per offense.
    In the case of Ireland it was not Islamic individuals but the ruling conservative Fianna Fáil party and its coalition partners, the environmentalist green party, that pushed for this restriction on free speech.

  54. #54 titmouse
    November 12, 2009

    There is no comparison between limitation on free speech between a racist and someone criticising religion…

    A Jewish schoolchild boards a bus in London…

    Uh… “Jewish” is a religion.

  55. #55 David Miscavige
    November 12, 2009

    The recent resolution aimed at protecting religion from mockery is gaining momentum outside the Islamic world. It was recently put into law in the Irish republic where it is now illegal to publish anything that offends substantial numbers of any religion.

    That’s great news for Scientology, Sigmund. Finally we can get those mask-wearing clowns behind bars where they belong.

  56. #56 Scott
    November 12, 2009

    Logically and ethically, if preventing offense is a sufficient cause to restrict free speech, one should also make sure to prevent offense to, say, politicians. For example, what if someone were so insensitive as to criticize government policy? That might hurt Congress’ feelings! Gotta ban that!

    An extreme example, and overstated (it is a slippery slope argument) but I think it serves to illustrate the underlying problem.

    Simply causing offense, or inflaming emotion, cannot be considered grounds to restrict free speech. Either you have to decide that offending some people is OK but others can’t be (morally repugnant on its face) or you have to ban all speech.

    Fundamentally, free speech must protect offensive speech, or it protects nothing – because if speech offends nobody, there’s no reason for anyone to suppress it.

  57. #57 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    titmouse –

    Yes, I’m sure the person banned for speaking their views on the bus restricted their insults solely to the Jewish religion, and their comments were nothing to do with race.

    (Irony meter set on high).

  58. #58 Joshua White
    November 12, 2009

    A Jewish schoolchild boards a bus in London, and is subjected to a torrent of racial abuse. His attacker is then banned by English law (using a so-called ‘ASBO’ or anti-social behaviour order) from using any racist words (or actions) in the future.

    Your example sucks, it needs more context. Is it one incident of “a torrent of racial abuse” or is it a pattern of this happening everyday, causing a big disruption? Did the bus driver kick the guy(s) off the bus for causing a disturbance? Did the kids parents respond to his torrent? Harassment laws can come into play for repeated, threatening behavior. If the words are followed by actions those can be punished. Did the community that hears about what happened to the kid rise up and denounce and socially ostracize the offender?

    No, as it sits I do not think that your example is of something that should be illegal. The kid can learn to respond to racist speech (if he is old enough to explain why his parents were not present). The laws can respond to violent acts. The community can muster up the courage to publicly oppose such behavior and opinions without banning them. When the KKK marches in the US there are more protesters than members. That is the appropriate response. Social ostracization, learning how to respond, not government banning. The kid will grow up a better person if he learns that some people can act like monsters, and learns how to verbally make them look like idiots in public. If “enlightened” Europe really wants to stamp out racism and religiously inspired insanity, it will not remove the emotional sting of seeing such. That is part of what encourages people to learn how to respond.

  59. #59 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Joshua White, my example was a real one.

    I think it’s awfully easy to say

    The kid can learn to respond to racist speech

    Or

    The kid will grow up a better person if he learns that some people can act like monsters, and learns how to verbally make them look like idiots in public.

    from the safety of suburbia (I’m not getting at you, I live in suburbia).

    My view is that the law should be there to protect the innocent.

  60. #60 Joseph C.
    November 12, 2009

    My view is that the law should be there to protect the innocent.

    Unfortunately, it’s just not this easy. When you allow governments to ban viewpoints that you disagree with, you swing the door wide open for them to ban viewpoints that you cherish. Yes, governments should protect citizens from harassment, but they have no place in regulating thought.

  61. #61 Scott
    November 12, 2009

    My view is that the law should be there to protect the innocent.

    But protect them from what? Mere offense or hurt feelings? Is that REALLY a good enough reason to outweigh crucially important basic human rights?

    NO.

  62. #62 Travis
    November 12, 2009

    And I think it is unfair to act as though the people who are disagreeing with you are not there to protect the innocent as well. However, as Joseph and Scott have said, it is more complicated than just that principal.

  63. #63 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Please, ‘hurt feelings’ is a canard.

    When a BNP (British National Party) councillor was elected in Millwall, East London (on a minority of the total vote, I should add) racist attacks in the area went up 300%.

    I know such events do not occur everywhere, but where they do, talk of ‘hurt feelings’ is rather glib.

  64. #64 Eamon Knight
    November 12, 2009

    So, then, if Holocaust revisionism is an intellectually honest endeavor, where are the revisionists who aren’t neo-Nazis or anti-Semites?

    Tangential to the main point of the post, but: I’ve never seen anything anti-semitic or pro-Nazi from James P. Hogan. OTOH, I’ve never seen any explicit Holocaust-denial from him, either, so maybe he’s not really one. On that front, Hogan limits himself to defending the known deniers like Irving, using rhetoric that is a combination of appeals to free-speech and free inquiry. As far as I can tell, his sympathy for them arises from his general uncritical contrarianism (he’s also into AIDS-denial, evolution-denial and Velikovskianism), rather than anything explicitly connected with the issue.

  65. #65 prasad
    November 12, 2009

    It’s hard to imagine the kind of confusion that’d lead someone to think ‘the holocaust didn’t happen’ is even roughly the same sort of speech act as ‘shoot him’

  66. #66 Joseph C.
    November 12, 2009

    When a BNP (British National Party) councillor was elected in Millwall, East London (on a minority of the total vote, I should add) racist attacks in the area went up 300%.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about. Do you think that racist politicians will pass restrictions on expression that you approve of?

  67. #67 Mc
    November 12, 2009

    “So, then, if Holocaust revisionism is an intellectually honest endeavor, where are the revisionists who aren’t neo-Nazis or anti-Semites?”

    Pretty stupid question, what do you expect? Only neo-nazis would open their mouths after hearing:

    “I get that Holocaust denial is a vile, racist, and bigoted conspiracy theory that denigrates the murder of approximately six million people. I agree that it should be opposed wherever possible….pseudohistory, paranoid conspiracy theories, and outright abuses of science and methods of historical investigation” etc etc

  68. #68 Joshua White
    November 12, 2009

    Joshua White, I don’t understand why you (and especially Orac) suddenly decide to opt out of basic distinctions when it comes to this discussion, but if it was a thread about e.g. the proper use of a drug, rigour would be expected.

    I get the distinction fine thank you. I just think that the distinction is meaningless. I don’t care about it. I totally understand that one is speech perceived to be naughty because it is based on race and that some believe is banned by a UN piece of paper, and the other is speech perceived to be naughty because it get the feelings of the religious all worked up. I will be clear. I do not care. I do not think the distinction warrants a government ban in either case. The idea of banning such speech offends me and I have nothing but scorn for the proposal. It is a thought crime and too easily spread to other forms of speech.

    There is no comparison between limitation on free speech between a racist and someone criticising religion (which is only a proposal in the UN, by the way).

    The comparison is that they are attempts to punish opinion or perceived statements of fact in order to prevent violence or bruised feelings. I still say its garbage.

    The former refers back to other fundamental human rights, such as being free from racial discrimination; the latter has no such substance, just the fact that some opinions may offend the religiously deluded. One exists in the UN Declaration; the other has no basis in it.
    Why is it so difficult to grasp this?

    Discriminatory actions, fine. Discriminatory speech, Screw the UN. There is no fundamental human right against getting your feelings hurt and I do not accept that banning racist speech is the proper way to prevent hurt feelings or prevent violent actions.

    I grasp it fine. I just would prefer to wad up the concept, and throw it in the waste bin. It is too dangerous for my liking and I will argue against it will all due disrespect because I consider it a potential threat to my speech.

  69. #69 Scott
    November 12, 2009

    I know such events do not occur everywhere, but where they do, talk of ‘hurt feelings’ is rather glib.

    Not at all. Existing laws cover such things; there is no need to suppress tangentially related speech. You also don’t seem to notice that the logical conclusion of this argument would be that the BNP should be banned! And, for that matter, that Islam should be outlawed, as should Christianity. After all, people have used them as justifications for violence too.

  70. #70 Mike
    November 12, 2009

    When free speech protects liers, and especially liers misinforming the public about the holocaust and medical facts, we’re morally obligated to speak up and push back. Sanjay Gupta is telling the public that brain death is actually just vegetative state, and patients rise up from brain death. Brain death denial, popular among prolife activists and Big Foot trackers, is just as much a lie as anything from an anti-vaccine nut. The lack of criticism has encouraged Gupta to continue.

  71. #71 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Joseph C., luckily they are in a minority and will remain so. The real danger lies at street level.

    Throughout this discussion I’m conscious that anti-semitism and racism in general is being discussed in a vacuum. It’s surely about links between Holocaust denial and what occurs in the real world.

    For most of those backing free speech as the supreme principle, the real world with its racist thugs and night-time graffitting, its packs of racists chanting in pubs (okay, this is UK) or at football grounds does not appear to exist.

    The free speechers treat the subject as if it’s about two academics at a university debate. It’s not.

  72. #72 Scott
    November 12, 2009

    For most of those backing free speech as the supreme principle, the real world with its racist thugs and night-time graffitting, its packs of racists chanting in pubs (okay, this is UK) or at football grounds does not appear to exist.

    I would appreciate it if you didn’t claim to know what I think. Particularly when you have zero grounds to do so, and in fact couldn’t be more wrong.

    Speaking for myself, I fully recognize that such things exist. The disagreement is that I believe that packs of racists MUST be allowed to chant in pubs if they want to!

    Particularly ironic, though, is this:

    Throughout this discussion I’m conscious that anti-semitism and racism in general is being discussed in a vacuum. It’s surely about links between Holocaust denial and what occurs in the real world.

    Coming from the person who’s arguing that no causal link needs to exist in order to restrict speech, just a nebulous generalized indirect similarity.

    Speech that is actually, directly, and causally linked to violence may be restricted; nobody here has argued otherwise. The question is whether it’s OK to restrict speech that is NOT so linked.

  73. #73 David Marjanović
    November 12, 2009
    Because Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany

    I don’t know about Germany (though see comment 30), but in Austria, what’s forbidden is to make National Socialism appear less harmful. This is important because…

    homeschooling is not allowed in Austria (or Germany). This means that, if you deny the Holocaust or any other halfway well-known Nazi atrocity, you must be lying. The law we’re talking about thus considers it proven that you are lying for an ulterior motive: seizing power and abolishing the very free speech you want to claim for yourself. Ignorance is simply not a reasonable assumption.

    Why isn’t it illegal to make Stalinism appear less harmful?* Because the occupation by (the USA, the UK, France, and) the Soviet Union still wasn’t over when the law was passed on Allied pressure, and because there have never been enough Stalinists (or even communists in general**) in Austria to pose any real danger. There have been enough Nazis in Austria to pose a real danger, and the extreme right continues to be a lot more popular than the extreme left, what with xenophobic parties regularly reaching 1/3 of the vote (mostly by protest voters who are fed up with the two biggest parties, but it’s still telling that they consider those morons electable at all).

    Homeschooling exists in the USA, and the public schools are horribly underfunded, so the assumption that “making National Socialism appear less harmful” is automatically a malicious lie wouldn’t be defensible over there. It is where I come from.

    * It isn’t in Austria. I don’t actually know about Germany.
    ** The Communist Party tried to launch a general strike in 1950, with full support from the occupying Soviet army. Didn’t work. They’ve continually been losing votes ever since, and have been below 1 % for decades.

    Uh… “Jewish” is a religion.

    Not if you’re a racist.

    Come on. Did you really not know that the Nazis defined “Jew” by ancestry, by “blood”, and not by religion or lack thereof?!? If you had converted to Christianity (or anything else), or were a child or grandchild of converts, they gassed you anyway.

  74. #74 Joshua White
    November 12, 2009

    Please, ‘hurt feelings’ is a canard

    When that is all there is it is not a canard. If there is an action then we can talk.

    Get off your ass, relentlessly pester your neighbors/friends/family, and all of you get involved in the relevant social groups that work to oppose racism, and go out on the streets of the areas full of racists and talk to people. Argue against it. Change minds. Don’t threaten my freedom of speech through your misguided thought control.

    It’s just laziness and foolishness to try to just leave it to the guys with guns (government) and risk those guns getting pointed at you. If you already do all of the above I apologize and direct the comment to anyone else supporting your position that does not. You might just have to be satisfied that change might take time, and may have to be in the following generations.

    Also, what Joseph C and Scott said

  75. #75 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Scott,

    Speaking for myself, I fully recognize that such things exist. The disagreement is that I believe that packs of racists MUST be allowed to chant in pubs if they want to!

    Then this is our disagreement, and perhaps the difference between the USA and the UK. At least in theory, the UK can ban this and prosecute those who chant racist slogans.

    You will say, ‘but this goes against freedom of speech’.

    Whereas I would say, it protects anyone Jewish/Asian/black who also wants to use the pub without fear – fear not from direct violence but through racist speech.

  76. #76 Joseph C.
    November 12, 2009

    For most of those backing free speech as the supreme principle, the real world with its racist thugs and night-time graffitting, its packs of racists chanting in pubs (okay, this is UK) or at football grounds does not appear to exist.

    Having been all over Europe, I’ve never seen anything there that is nearly as scary as some of the US ghettos.

    Are you really putting your football thugs up against Detroit, South Chicago, etc?

  77. #77 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Joseph C.,

    Wish I could.

  78. #78 Todd W.
    November 12, 2009

    @UK Visitor

    So, can the government ban people who gather in a pub and chant derisive comments about the opposing football team?

  79. #79 Scott
    November 12, 2009

    Whereas I would say, it protects anyone Jewish/Asian/black who also wants to use the pub without fear – fear not from direct violence but through racist speech.

    If basic human rights may be denied on such weak grounds, then how can you call them rights at all? Visiting a particular pub without hearing something you don’t like is NOT a basic human right, or even in the same league. The very same reasoning would permit arbitrary imprisonment of Muslims, because seeing them in a pub might make people afraid that they’re a suicide bomber. (And that’s fear of grievous bodily harm and/or death, not just hearing something disagreeable.)

    Human rights are not a matter of “protect them if it’s convenient and nobody has any objection.”

  80. #80 Prup (aka Jim Benton)
    November 12, 2009

    I think my first blog experience was reading you on Holocaust denial, and then being directed to Deborah Lipstadt’s site. Then and ever since I have had a problem with this issue. On one hand my civil libertarian side makes me want to be 100% on your side. On the other hand, speech can have consequences, sometimes deadly ones.

    Hate speech laws are not the answer — though a part of me wonders how things would have changed if Streicher (NOT the VB) had been arrested and tried in 1930 and his lies had been given full exposure. Would people have tried to make him a martyr like thhey are doing with Irving? Yes, but while Irving’s stock may have risen with anti-Semites, what little shred of credibility he had elsewhere disappeared with the Lipstadt suit. Unfortunately, while Nazis are stupid, we can’t count on many of them ‘walking into the punch’ like Irving did.

    I look around and, until yesterday, every news network had its ‘pet hate bringer'; Beck (and almost everyone else) on FOX, Dobbs — who ‘mainstreamed a lot of material from the Stormfront crowd — for CNN and “Good Ol’ Uncle Pat” — the one true Holocaust Denier — on the ‘liberal’ (comparatively) MSNBC.

    Last year Stormfront supporters freely distributed literature at campaign meetings for the Texas Doctor — won’t mention his name and draw his supporters here. Even David Duke would have had them escorted out of public view.

    Then came the tea-baggers, who have combined every form of irrationality in the political world — including some of them supporting the raving insanity of Jane (?) Burgermeister.

    I don’t have a solution — hate speech laws aren’t it — and I wasn’t going to comment until I saw the following quote right after I read this.

    Wars were fought over the land of Israel, the land between the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, because whoever ruled Israel controlled the world’s markets.

    Think about the implications of this, the classic anti-Semitism in this, and then try and guess who said it (hint:NOT a ‘media personality’ or a candidate for office, she’s political, but in a different way — no, not a Schlaffly) while I go feed the cats, and then I’ll give the answer — and ask you if things aren’t getting scarier by the moment.

  81. #81 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    In theory you can be fined $1500 for it. E.g.

    West Ham United’s season took a turn from the shambolic to the shameful on Sunday when large groups of supporters were filmed chanting racist and anti-semitic slogans at half-time of the club’s 4-3 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. The Metropolitan Police confirmed that its football unit is investigating a complaint made by the Community Security Trust, an organisation that protects Britain’s Jewish community from anti-semitism.

  82. #82 Orac
    November 12, 2009

    Speaking for myself, I fully recognize that such things exist. The disagreement is that I believe that packs of racists MUST be allowed to chant in pubs if they want to!

    Actually, that’s not what the First Amendment says or what freedom of speech necessarily means. The First Amendment correctly prevents the government from restricting speech. Pub owners and other private parties may allow or restrict any speech they wish on their own private property but may not interfere with it on public property. There’s nothing in the First Amendment that says that pub owners must allow racists to chant in pubs if they want. Because it’s private property, the pub owner decides what he will and will not permit. Just because speech cannot be banned by the government except under very narrow and specific instances does not mean that the pub owner is obligated to provide a platform for speech he doesn’t agree with.

    As for whether or not my previous argument is “rubbish,” UK Visitor seems to be setting up a straw man to knock it down. My point was that the U.N. is not a particularly worthy institution when it comes to protecting free speech and is becoming even less so given its recent anti-free speech activities as exemplified by its giving serious consideration to supporting nations that want to ban disparagement of religion. Holding up the U.N. Declaration as a strong ideal for what is and is not acceptable regulation of speech is questionable at best.

  83. #83 Scott
    November 12, 2009

    Actually, that’s not what the First Amendment says or what freedom of speech necessarily means. The First Amendment correctly prevents the government from restricting speech. Pub owners and other private parties may allow or restrict any speech they wish on their own private property but may not interfere with it on public property. There’s nothing in the First Amendment that says that pub owners must allow racists to chant in pubs if they want. Because it’s private property, the pub owner decides what he will and will not permit. Just because speech cannot be banned by the government except under very narrow and specific instances does not mean that the pub owner is obligated to provide a platform for speech he doesn’t agree with.

    True, and I considered bringing it up – but it didn’t seem germane to the primary discussion, and I didn’t want to get off on a tangent.

  84. #84 JGlenn
    November 12, 2009

    [quote]For most of those backing free speech as the supreme principle, the real world with its racist thugs and night-time graffitting, its packs of racists chanting in pubs (okay, this is UK) or at football grounds does not appear to exist.[/quote]

    I find it amazing that you can claim that Europeans are superior in dealing with racism.

    After living in multiple countries and seeing racism in all, these comments remind me of a realization I came upon:

    Say what you will about racism in America, at least it is (for the most part) in the open and talked about, and can be dealt with. The approach of authoritarian legislation is not going to change attitudes – it will simply make the racism fester unwatched. Blackface in Vogue, riots in Paris, the rise of Nationalist parties, etc.

    Instead of actually confronting the issue, these laws try to sweep it under the rug and ensure that a discussion can never happen.

  85. #85 Synackaon "Syn"
    November 12, 2009

    UK Visitor – You are arguing from a standpoint that justifies group think, conformity and above all, repression. I do not like this – it is from similar veins of thought that led to the Irish legislating and the UN trying to limit criticism of religion. From another’s point of view, criticizing their religion could be a terrible sin against their deity/ies, and as a sin it must be punished. Not a Fundamentalist Baptist Christian? You’re going to hell. Don’t believe in Allah? Death for you. Want to really walk down your path of social harmony?

    Want to try arguing from a “real world” perspective? Fine, lets try a slippery slope argument. For example – if we limit criticism of religion first, then it will be easier to allow Sharia courts. After all, ANY criticism can and will be seen as “attacking [their] religion”. I think this argument holds as much water as your arguments and anecdotes about harassment (oh, I’m sorry, you called it “racist speech”. A rose by any other name…) and an unnamed Jewish child.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or sometimes, very very dumb and misguided ones.

  86. #86 Karl Withakay
    November 12, 2009

    I am a firm believer in everybody’s right to let everybody else know just how stupid, irrational, or delusional they really are.
    —————————————–
    @UK Visitor

    Why is it so hard for you to understand that many in the US don’t really care what the UN has to say about free speech (or many other things). We understand that the UN did not enact the anti-blasphemy declaration, but the fact that it even came up for serious consideration by more parties than just some Muslim nations is reason to not hold the UN in high regard with respect to their free speech positions.

    “A Jewish schoolchild boards a bus in London, and is subjected to a torrent of racial abuse. His attacker is then banned by English law (using a so-called ‘ASBO’ or anti-social behaviour order) from using any racist words (or actions) in the future.”

    There are other mechanisms under US law where this behavior would be prohibited and the child be provided relief without the need to enact limitations on free speech, and those mechanisms would apply equally to excessively aggressive salesmen, missionaries, politicians, or anyone else seeking to harass the child without restricting the attacker’s right to freely express themselves in other contexts.

    Free speech is one of the most sacred rights in the United States, and we are very weary of trampling over that right when it is not necessary to do so. The attacker in your example would not be able to legally get away with such behavior even in the absence of an anti-racism limitation on free speech.

    Your example just doesn’t hold any water in the US.

  87. #87 Poogles
    November 12, 2009

    “For most of those backing free speech as the supreme principle, the real world with its racist thugs and night-time graffitting, its packs of racists chanting in pubs (okay, this is UK) or at football grounds does not appear to exist.”

    I really don’t understand how you can think that most people who back free speech for all points of view are living in some fantasy world where racism, etc don’t exist? Just because we think everyone should have the right to speak their mind, no matter how vile it may be, does not mean we don’t think vile things exist…I mean that doesn’t even make sense. How could we even argue that racists etc should be allowed to say what they want if we didn’t recognize that racism etc exists all over the world?

  88. #88 Harry Eagar
    November 12, 2009

    Like Orac, I am want to be an absolutist on free speech, but I am OK with making one exception:

    When it comes to actual Nazis in actual Germany.

    At some point, Germany can begin to ease off on its denazification drive. Maybe that point is upon us. I hope so. But I’m not sure.

  89. #89 UK Visitor
    November 12, 2009

    Not for a second do I want to imply that Europeans are

    superior in dealing with racism.

    I doubt either approach will stop it, I’m arguing that whatever the merits of the (USA?) ‘free speech’ side – let it all hang out – there’s something to be said on the other side too. It’s surely good that minority groups feel in principle, when faced by a racist spouting his hatred, the state should be on their side, taking action.

    PS and by the way Joshua White, I have ‘done my bit’ in protesting against fascist groups. Regardless, I still think it’s better to stifle the more aggressive manifestations of racism using the law.

  90. #90 Raging Bee
    November 12, 2009

    I don’t support the idea of laws against Holocaust-denial here in the USA; but I do think that in some parts of the world, there are some grounds on which such laws may be justifiable:

    Slander/Libel: Holocaust-denial isn’t just an unpopular or contrarian opinion; it’s a lie — a misrepresentation of verifiable material fact that could cause serious harm to undeserving people. And to the extent that people believe it, it DOES cause harm, in the form of resentment toward people who are believed to be making up persecution stories.

    Emergency legislation/Inciting to Riot: the depth of anti-Jewish sentiment in Central and Eastern Europe is such that a concerted attempt to misrepresent history could cause a breakdown of social order, just as the Nazis’ lies did back in the ’30s. This longstanding antisemitism creates a potential emergency situation that demands some sort of countermeasures, which may not be appropriate in other places.

    Apology/Reparations: Germany started WWII due, in part, to policies of bigoted lies directed against whole classes of people, with the aim of inciting hatred against them and justifying their extermination. They lost the war, which means the victors get to dictate terms to them. And it seems perfectly appropriate to demand that the vanquished nation henceforth tell the truth, and prevent lies, about the things they did that caused all that trouble in the first place. And it is equally appropriate for the Germans to show their remorse for those actions in a meaningful way, by taking extra measures to ensure that their own people are educated and armed with the truth.

    Whitewash/Coverup: let’s face it, people in general tend to try to ignore the most shameful acts of their countries and ancestors, and to rationalize them, misrepresent them, or pretend they weren’t as bad as they were. We see this in our own whitewash of the Indian holocaust, and in Turkey’s harassment of people who talk about their Armenian holocaust. As long as people are supporting active denialism, why not have a law or two as a clumsy-but-possibly-useful countermeasure?

    As long as it’s actual lies about verifiable facts they’re punishing, and not just opinions, is the net loss to free speech really that great?

  91. #91 Raging Bee
    November 12, 2009

    One more point: the Germans are in physical posession of large amounts of the material evidence needed to prove what really happened in Europe in the ’30s and ’40s. Therefore they have a special obligation to ensure that that evidence is available to uphold historical truth and honest education.

  92. #92 Karl withakay
    November 12, 2009

    @UK Visitor
    “For most of those backing free speech as the supreme principle, the real world with its racist thugs and night-time graffitting, its packs of racists chanting in pubs (okay, this is UK) or at football grounds does not appear to exist.

    The free speechers treat the subject as if it’s about two academics at a university debate. It’s not.”

    Perhaps you’re unaware that we deal with racial issues quite a lot here in the US; have you not heard that we have a few racial issues here as well? I am frankly offended by your ignorant implication that those advocating free speech here don’t have a relevant or practical perspective and are speaking from ignorance of reality. Of course, you have the right to offend me and others here, intentionally or otherwise.

    “Whereas I would say, it protects anyone Jewish/Asian/black who also wants to use the pub without fear – fear not from direct violence but through racist speech.”

    Harassment is prohibited; we’ve covered that already. Beyond that, the bar owner is free to determine what kind of environment they provide to their patrons. If a member of a particular religion felt that music was the tool of the devil and inherently offensive to their religious beliefs or threatening to their very soul, they do not have the right to insist their local pub not play music. If they believe the devil speaks through music to threaten their souls and bodies, they do not have the legal right to a music free pub. So now we have to agree on what can be reasonably be considered hate speech, which isn’t as simple as you paint it to be either.

    Another example: Someone mentions that most violent crimes in the US are committed by African Americans. Is this a racist remark? It is a falsifiable fact, and it is either true or false. Some one else mentions that African Americans are more likely to commit crimes than Caucasians. This is again a falsifiable fact, but it feels a little more racist. A third person says that African Americans are no good because they are all thieves, killers, and rapists. This is an easily falsifiable statement, and clearly racist. Which of these statements do you propose banning and why (and why not the rest)?

    And to repeat what others have said, nobody has the right to not be offended (little girl or otherwise), religiously, racially, or otherwise.

  93. #93 ema
    November 12, 2009

    The real world unfortunately provides worse. They are the examples of racial incitement where I would argue free speech should not apply.

    The real world also provides examples of deranged levels of incitement and speech directed at Ob/Gyns and their patients by, among others, State AGs, like, say, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning:

    I’m disgusted and I’m saddened, and I hate it that [xxxxx]’s here in Nebraska and I hate it that he’s in America. I mean, this guy is one sick individual.

    (I can only imagine the fainting in the streets if a sitting State AG had made that comment about a guy because of his race or religion, rather than him providing proper medical care to women.)

    And still freedom of speech should trump any other considerations (you know, like the bombings and assassinations and what not). That’s what I would argue.

  94. #94 Joseph C.
    November 12, 2009

    And to repeat what others have said, nobody has the right to not be offended (little girl or otherwise), religiously, racially, or otherwise.

    Quoted for truth.

  95. #95 Prup (aka Jim Benton)
    November 12, 2009

    Since no one r4esponded to my challenge, I’ll give the answer.

    The quote:Wars were fought over the land of Israel, the land between the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, because whoever ruled Israel controlled the world’s markets.

    comes from the new Chairwoman of the Texas State Republican Party, Cathie Adams. (See TFN Insider.)

    I’d still like to see anyone defend that quote as anything but the vilest anti-Semitism.

  96. #96 DLC
    November 12, 2009

    Orac : I’m with you. let the anti-Semites and neos and other white power rangers bleat what they will. It’s hard to point and laugh at them otherwise.

    Speaking of Point and Laugh :
    Happeh/Debrecht, you’re worthy only of derision and being made fun of.

  97. #97 Kismet
    November 12, 2009

    Slander/Libel? Did you read ORAC’s post? No one in his sane mind who is not an antisemite and neonazi to begin with will believe Holocaust deniers.

    Longstanding antisemitism in Austria and Germany? The majority of people rightfully despises antisemites and they’d much rather lynch them than ever allow antisemitic laws to be passed (I think).

    Apology/Reparations. You mean, employing fascist methods – like oppression of speech – is an apology, because…? I consider those laws spitting in the face of the Nazi victims.

    “is the net loss to free speech really that great?”
    Yes, because not a single of your arguments holds water.

    Among all developed countries Germany may have the most vile and repugnant pro-censorship laws. It’s not just freedom of speech they oppress; the media are even worse off.
    If you support those disgusting laws, you’re enabling those monsters to continue their censorship *everyhwere*.

  98. #98 Henry Barth
    November 12, 2009

    David Irving says that between 3 and 4 million Jews were killed by the Nazis during WWII.

    Is the “denial” part a quarrel over numbers?

    Just what is a “Holocaust denier” anyway?

  99. #99 Scott
    November 12, 2009

    David Irving says that between 3 and 4 million Jews were killed by the Nazis during WWII.

    Is the “denial” part a quarrel over numbers?

    See the little “search” box up there on the left? Enter “David Irving” into that and take a look for yourself.

  100. #100 Dangerous Bacon
    November 12, 2009

    “No one in his sane mind who is not an antisemite and neonazi to begin with will believe Holocaust deniers.”

    You don’t have to be a full-fledge bigot to believe smoothly presented lies from these people. Few of them wear swastikas and foam at the mouth. They may appear quite human.

  101. #101 Karl Withakay
    November 12, 2009

    @Joseph C.
    “Quoted for truth.”

    It seems to be a misconception a lot of people seem to have along with the misconception that you have to respect people’s beliefs.

    I don’t have to respect anybody’s beliefs or belief systems. What I have to respect is their right to have those beliefs or belief systems no matter how much I disagree with them. I then have the right to criticize or even ridicule those beliefs if I want to do so.

  102. #102 Terrie
    November 12, 2009

    “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis

  103. #103 Adela
    November 12, 2009

    How about like this: fraud is not opinion. Fraud is not protected speech. Holocaust denial is fraud.

  104. #104 Todd W.
    November 12, 2009

    @Adela

    One problem with that is definition:

    Fraud is generally defined in the law as an intentional misrepresentation of material existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act, and upon which the other person relies with resulting injury or damage.

    From http://definitions.uslegal.com/f/fraud/

  105. #105 Pablo
    November 12, 2009

    Whoops, Todd beat me to it. I was going to say that in order to argue fraud, you have to show damage of some sort. That’s more of a challenge.

  106. #106 DNA
    November 12, 2009

    It’s the Palestinians that are genetically semitic.

    The people who run Israel today have overwhelmingly eastern european genetics.

    Go look it up.

  107. #107 Raging Bee
    November 12, 2009

    Among all developed countries Germany may have the most vile and repugnant pro-censorship laws.

    “May?” Really? Care to offer some examples in addition to the one discussed here?

    If you support those disgusting laws, you’re enabling those monsters to continue their censorship *everyhwere*.

    Um, no, I explicitly admitted such laws would be applicable only in limited circumstances, which I described in some detail.

    Did you read ORAC’s post?

    Yes. Did you read my comment?

    No one in his sane mind who is not an antisemite and neonazi to begin with will believe Holocaust deniers.

    We liberals have an embarrassing and self-defeating tendency to smile smugly and take it for granted that NO ONE could POSSIBLY believe what the bigots and wingnuts are saying, because it’s SOOO OBVIOUSLY a load of horseshit, right? RIGHT??!! Then we gape in comical surprise when the bigots and wingnuts give the rubes a supremely polished remake of their lies and the people start to find it convincing. You don’t have to support laws against Holocaust-denialism to understand that people’s intelligence, and their ability (and willingness) to recognize and isolate the crazies, should NEVER be taken for granted.

    Adela: Holocaust-denial can indeed be considered fraud, even by the definition Todd W. offred: the deniers are knowingly spreading lies with the intent of getting people to hate Jews, and support discrimination against them, and think it’s okay because the results weren’t “really” as bad as those mean old libruls say they were.

    It’s also pretty clearly slander/libel: such statements are false; made with reckless disregard for the truth; intended to cause harm; would cause harm according to the prediction of a responsible adult; and do indeed cause harm to the extent that they’re believed.

  108. #108 #1 Dinosaur
    November 12, 2009

    Slander/Libel: Holocaust-denial isn’t just an unpopular or contrarian opinion; it’s a lie — a misrepresentation of verifiable material fact that could cause serious harm to undeserving people. And to the extent that people believe it, it DOES cause harm, in the form of resentment toward people who are believed to be making up persecution stories.

    Hey, there’s an argument you can use against the anti-vaxxers:

    Slander/Libel: Vaccine-denial isn’t just an unpopular or contrarian opinion; it’s a lie — a misrepresentation of verifiable material fact that could cause serious harm to undeserving people. And to the extent that people believe it, it DOES cause harm, in the form of leaving children vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.

  109. #109 Karl Withakay
    November 12, 2009

    @Adela
    Your assumed premise that Holocaust denial is fraud is false. Neither Incorrect statements nor lies constitute fraud in and of themselves; other conditions must also exist to constitute fraud.

    By your illogic, any untrue statement (intentional or not) would constitute fraud, and therefore be illegal.

  110. #110 Karl Withakay
    November 12, 2009

    To anyone arguing holocaust denial constitutes fraud: In addition to the requirement of showing harm, usually monetary to the benefit of the fraudster, you have to prove they know their claims are untrue (intent).

    If they really believe their claims, the claims may be BOGUS (emphasis in honor of Simom Singh), but they are not fraudulent.

  111. #111 Henry Barth
    November 12, 2009

    Scott: (Post 99)

    Thanks for the link to Irving’s website. Now I can read what he has written and decide for myself how by claiming that “3 to 4 million Jews were killed by the Nazis during WWII” he can still be “denying the holocaust against the Jews.”

    I’ve recently read Churchill’s 6 volume “The Second World War” and of course there is no mention of any holocaust there. Holocaust denial really runs deep in Britain!

  112. #112 Karl withakay
    November 12, 2009

    One other point:

    If holocaust denial was fraud(and in my opinion it isn’t), that would seem to support the position that we do not need additional laws to suppress holocaust denial as that would be covered under the existing, narrow restrictions on free speech we already have in place.

  113. #113 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    I love skeptics who firmly believe in the vast German plan to secretly exterminate an entire race in the hope future historians would be at a loss to determine what had happened to it, allegedly resulting in 6 million murdered Jews, with no procedural plan, no written orders at any level, no assigned method of mass murder or bureaucratic control, leaving it to the imagination of a whole bunch of telepathic improvisers who came up with mass execution by such methods as steam, electrocution, non-toxic Diesel exhaust and Zyklon B pesticide. And, of course, not leaving the slightest vestige of such a carnage accessible to forensic examination in any of its precisely located alleged sites, since in the last months of the war a small band was marched all around Europe to exhume the victims and destroy the evidence on makeshift pyres, with explosive devices, and even through the use of “bone-crushing machines”…

  114. #114 Mu
    November 12, 2009

    The limits on free speech in Germany are part of the “wehrhafte Demokratie” concept, the idea of a democracy actively defending it’s principles. It’s based on the experience of the Weimar Republic, where, under the cover of participating in the democratic process, both communists and nazis were actively working to undermine the democracy. Glorification of the Nazi time has always been off-limits as “Volksverhetzung”, the holocaust denial has, as mentioned above, only recently been added as a specific way to violate that rule.

  115. #115 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    The question that I would address to those self-styled “skeptics” who would rather believe in miracles than debunk the sacrosanct “Holocaust” would be the following: what sense does it make to affirm that a buzzword standing for a free-form undefined concept constitutes an “historical fact”?

    Look at it this way: we can always construe complex sets of events into “single historical facts” and maintain an epistemological validity to our discourse if a definition of our meaning exists. Historical narrative would be a desert of intractable minutiae if we didn’t do just that. Thus, the Second World War may be called a fact, much like the fact that I entered a comment on this blog or any other simple empirical truth. This is because, in spite of the great complexity of the historical events, we establish definitions and understand them: a “war” is a state of belligerence between states, a “world war” is a war of global world significance, and “the Second World War” is the particular world war that took place between 1939 and 1945.

    Similarly, if we are to take the “Holocaust” as an historical fact, rather than a vague set of religious-like beliefs, we should define our meaning. For instance, a biblical holocaust is simply a sacrifice consumed by fire, and “ill-will towards the Jews,” “persecution of the Jews,” “the shooting of one’s Jewish grandfather in Russia” or “some mass killings of Jews” are not “the Holocaust,” the one historians are talking about when they capitalize the noun. I presume you will agree that it is impossible to debate the supposedly historical “Holocaust” if — alone among alleged historical facts — it is allowed to remain an open concept devoid of meaning and form.

    The “Holocaust” is assumed to be a relatively precise set of events involving an attempted extermination of the Jews, resulting in approximately 6 million of them being murdered, mainly in the German supposedly homicidal gas chambers. I believe anyone who has been around for the last half century, living anywhere but in the deepest Amazonian jungle, is familiar with this.

    In this sense then, we are perfectly entitled to claim the “Holocaust” is a fiction, since all the above claims are almost certainly false: no extermination (real or attempted), no 6 million (not even approximately), and no homicidal gas chambers (not even in the supposed “extermination camp” of Auschwitz-Birkenau where by far the largest part of the alleged gassings is supposed to have taken place). To understand this, however, it is not enough to sit comfortably on your “acquired knowledge.” You’ll need to actively, and perhaps painfully, search for yourself.

    Of course, if we choose to define the “Holocaust” in a different manner, say as a proto-religious teaching based on extreme but vague war propaganda, claiming that undefined, formless but terrible, events, many of them miraculous, happened to Jews in such a manner that they are now held to be collectively entitled to financial compensation, as well as the Jewish state of Israel exempted from the basic standards of civilized behavior, then the “Holocaust” sacred cloud may indeed be considered “a fact” — though hardly an appropriate subject for any historical debate.

    Insisting that an unknown, never to be defined, undeniable, called the “Holocaust,” is to be accepted as sacred history and underlining this odd a-historical (in the common usage of the word) perspective, while simultaneously trying to create the appearance that it is being treated in a reasonable, scientific fashion that only madmen and criminals don’t recognize, seems quite hypocritical to me.

    Oh, I almost forgot. No, I’m not a Nazi, and no, I’m not an anti-semite. Indeed anti-semitism is a very cheap accusation. It’s supposed to protect Jews from criticism, by relegating the “anti-semite” and what he is saying to a sort of dark region of naive 19th century pseudo-science and racialist bigotry, whereas “anti-Jewish” — even if not particularly accurate in all cases — is a much better way of putting the matter. Shouldn’t really sound any different from “anti-Christian” ou “anti-Muslim,” all entirely valid positions that I subscribe to.

  116. #116 Murph
    November 12, 2009

    Chip Smith (website The Hoover Hog) doubts the Holocaust but isn’t a neo-Nazi or an anti-Semite.

  117. #118 Kismet
    November 12, 2009

    Raging Bee, none of those special circumstances apply as I’ve alrady stated. And it doesn’t matter where you *think* the laws would apply: unfortunately they’re part of a dangerous slippery slope enabling even more grotesque censorship. You’re enabling them.

    Enabling them to continue censoring some outstanding metal acts (Eisregen, Slayer, outstanding NSBM acts, etc). Enabling them to continue censoring games; they’re practising bona fide censorship (“Beschlagnahmung”) and they have set up laws which are so uninquely unscrupulous that every single publisher is forced to censor hir own games (“indizierung”).
    All under the banner of the aribtrary “Volksverhetzung”.
    List of games that were victim of the latter: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kategorie:Indiziertes_Computerspiel
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisregen_(Band)

    The minds of some Germans (and Austrians in this case) are so warped that they even censor (or accept the censorship of) the German Wikipedia (e.g. not linking primary sources to holocaust deniers they don’t like, even if they’re discussed in the article and linked in the English wiki — and this is not a legal matter!)

    Mu, what is there to defend anymore? They’ve trampled democracy and the pillar it is build on, freedom of speech.

  118. #119 Murph
    November 12, 2009

    In a past entry (60 years ago today: The evacuation of Auschwitz and start of the death march) you wrote:

    “The Nazis also began removing prisoners from Auschwitz 60 years ago today, on January 18, 1945. Tens of thousands of prisoners from Auschwitz and other camps were forced to march on foot in brutal winter weather, without adequate clothing, food, or shelter, to concentration camps in Germany proper. Thousands who were too weak to march or who committed any infraction at all during the forced march were shot and left at the side of the road.”

    According to Elie Wiesel the evacuation from Auschwitz was voluntary. In Night he wrote:

    “The choice was in our hands. For once we could decide our fate for ourselves. We could both stay in the hospital, where I could, thanks to my doctor, get him (his father) entered as a patient or nurse. Or else we could follow the others. “Well, what shall we do, father?” He was silent. “Let’s be evacuated with the others,” I told him.”

    Since it’s come up, why did Auschwitz have a hospital that treated elderly and injured (Elie) prisoners?

  119. #120 titmouse
    November 12, 2009

    Thanks for the link to Irving’s website. Now I can read what he has written and decide for myself how by claiming that “3 to 4 million Jews were killed by the Nazis during WWII” he can still be “denying the holocaust against the Jews.”

    Irving has revised his estimate of the Jewish dead since his interview of Feb 26 2006:

    Today, the British academic repeated his assertion that the number of Jews killed at the camp was relatively small, and certainly much smaller than the figure of 1.1 million that is generally accepted by Holocaust historians.

    At this rate in another couple of years David Irving should approach the “about 6 million” figure. Won’t it be nice to put this bickering behind us?

  120. #121 titmouse
    November 12, 2009

    Doh! Didn’t realize the second number was for a particular camp until I hit “post.” My bad.

  121. #122 Eamon
    November 12, 2009

    J Cline @ 29

    British libel laws are rather a joke, because they place the onus on the speaker to prove negative impact

    No, you’re thinking of English Libel Laws.

    Europeans (and regrettably the British are ranked among them on this quality) have never had a strong tradition of free speaking or dissent in the face of public (let alone governmental) disapproval.

    I cannot speak to the European point, but as far as dissent in the UK is concerned you are talking rubbish. We have BNP marches in the UK, had Pro-IRA marches in Britain during the troubles, and way back in the day had masses of people openly supporting the rebelious colonists in the 13 Colonies.

  122. #123 halfwhitt
    November 12, 2009

    With this debate going off the track on a few occasions. My question is. Where in all of David Irving’s writings has he actually DENIED that many Jews and others died in prisons in Germany during the war? My understanding is that he is asking us to look into facts that have been discovered since the war to find for ourselves some truths. I have not read anywhere that he hates any race or religion that people follow. He sometimes says of anyone who wants the truth not to come out that they are traditional enemies of the truth. But I do not see any hatred. Enlighten me please.

  123. #124 KristinMH
    November 12, 2009

    Gee, Orac, first you attract a swarm of anti-vax trolls, then a swarm of Holocaust denier trolls! You are on a roll!

    I can’t imagine what’s caught in your spam trap if halfwhitt and ASMarques are what’s getting to the top. It’s going to take a hell of a pool skimmer to clean it out.

  124. #125 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 12, 2009

    Replies to various comments:

    here in MA there’s been a big deal about a former ‘domestic terrorist’ who was supposed to speak at UMASS Amherst. He was ultimately denied the right to travel to the state since he’s still on parole. But the amount of outrage, up to the level of the Governor, is disgusting. Convicted criminal or not he has the right to free speech.

    Absolutely no one is obstructing his right to free speech. The right to speak freely does not mean the right to speak it from a particular podium. It doesn’t even matter if the special reason that he lost this speaking opportunity was the content of his views – there are plenty of other people out there who have no less right to free speech than Levasseur, to whom UMass wouldn’t even consider giving a forum in the first place because of the content of their views.

    Levasseur is, when you get right down to it, someone who disavowed the role of free speech in a free society when he chose bombings as his means of convincing others. That doesn’t mean taking his free speech away would be right, but again, the speaking opportunity someone unwisely offered him was never his “right”.

    How many times has tyranny begun with “we’re doing this for your own good.” It’s unfortunate but as long as vile speech is safe, we can be pretty sure that meaningful conversations are safe as well.

    Particularly well-said. We don’t keep free speech free so that we can listen to the foolish, the ignorant, and evil. We keep it free so that tyrants can’t slap the labels “foolish”, “ignorant”, “evil” on the things that need to be said and invoke the force of the state to suppress them.

    In this sense then, we are perfectly entitled to claim the “Holocaust” is a fiction, since all the above claims are almost certainly false: no extermination (real or attempted), no 6 million (not even approximately), and no homicidal gas chambers (not even in the supposed “extermination camp” of Auschwitz-Birkenau where by far the largest part of the alleged gassings is supposed to have taken place). To understand this, however, it is not enough to sit comfortably on your “acquired knowledge.” You’ll need to actively, and perhaps painfully, search for yourself.

    And you’ll also need to be delusional, since anyone who “actively, and perhaps painfully, search[es] for [themselves]” will find incontrovertible evidence that the Nazis planned and conducted a campaign of extermination against politically and racially selected populations. One has to be delusional to try to claim that there was “no extermination (real or attempted)”.

  125. #126 Murph
    November 12, 2009

    Feldspar, if there is “incontrovertible evidence that the Nazis planned and conducted a campaign of extermination”, please cite it.

  126. #127 Karl Withakay
    November 12, 2009

    Particularly well-said. We don’t keep free speech free so that we can listen to the foolish, the ignorant, and evil. We keep it free so that tyrants can’t slap the labels “foolish”, “ignorant”, “evil” on the things that need to be said and invoke the force of the state to suppress them.

    Particularly well said yourself.

  127. #128 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    Said Antaeus Feldspar: «And you’ll also need to be delusional, since anyone who “actively, and perhaps painfully, search[es] for [themselves]” will find incontrovertible evidence that the Nazis planned and conducted a campaign of extermination against politically and racially selected populations. One has to be delusional to try to claim that there was “no extermination (real or attempted)”.»

    In my modest opinion, one has to be delusional to pretend that the Jews were exterminated but then underwent a miraculous ressurrection, as their own figures suggest.

    1) DATA OF JEWISH ORIGIN:

    Whenever it’s possible to peek into the Kadosh Hakadashim without having to pass by the censoring high and not-so-high priests, since no other real data exists:

    http://vho.org/aaargh/fran/revu/TI97/TI971122.html
    [Scroll further down after the Israeli estimate to the commentaries by Faurisson and Nordling.]

    2) DEMOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS:

    Here are the very few book studies you’ll be able to find:

    — The only meticulous book-length study from the viewpoint of population statistics ever done is The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry by Walter Sanning (1983). Sanning uses Jewish originated data and estimates at 3.500.000 the total number of Jews in the German sphere of influence for the duration of the War, and at 2.400.000 the number of Jews alive at the end of the War in the countries previously occupied by Germany (with the exclusion of the USSR). His conclusions are confirmed by Carl Nordling — a Finnish demographer, applying statistical inference to samples of known individual histories — who places the total of Jewish victims of the concentration camps at between 300.000 and 600.000 (see articles by Nordling below).

    — For your reference, an anthology titled Dimension des Völkermords was edited in 1991 for the Institut für Zeitgeschichte by Wolfgang Benz, obviously as an attempt to fill the obvious vacuum. It’s a weak pot-pourri of recycled extermination allegations with no connecting rationale other than the 6 million necessary figure (even though Benz denies this).

    — You’ll find an interesting comparison of those two books by Germar Rudolf, who doesn’t exactly follow either of them, here (Rudolf was deported from the United States where he had taken refuge, and jailed in Germany for crimethought):

    http://vho.org/GB/Books/dth/fndstats.html

    — I also found Richard Korherr and his Reports by Stephen Challen (1993) quite convincing. It’s a translation of, and commentary on, the secret reports sent by Richard Korherr (who had the post of “Inspector of Statistics for the Reichsfuehrer-SS”) to Himmler on the Jewish deportations. Challen reaches the following figures: 1.200.000 Jews dead for the whole of Europe during the War, 450.000 of them in parts of European Russia not occupied by the Germans, and 750.000 in the area of German direct or indirect responsibility. According to him, out of 2.300.000 deported Jews, 360.000 died, and a total of 200.000 of those died in the concentration camps. He considers the Jewish losses “heavy”, but in proportion to the German or Soviet ones, and no more than about 20 % of what is usually believed.

    A few more references that you may find useful follow. You’ll find them easily by Googling the title of each article:

    — ‘The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry': An Exchange (W. D. Rubinstein, Walter N. Sanning, Arthur R. Butz)

    — Critique of John S. Conway’s Review of Walter Sanning’s Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry, From The International History Review, August, 1985 (Dan Desjardins)

    — History, Hitler, and the Holocaust (John S. Conway’s review previously criticised)

    — How Many Jews Were Eliminated by the Nazis? A Preliminary Survey Of The Question (Frank H. Hankins)

    3) STATISTICAL INFERENCE BASED ON RELEVANT SAMPLES:

    — The Jewish Establishment under Nazi-Threat and Domination 1938-1945 (Carl O. Nordling)

    — How Many Jews Died in the German Concentration Camps? (Carl O. Nordling)

    I advise you to explore the revisionist sites such as CODOH by yourself.

    These short leaflets are a good introduction to the theme:

    http://www.ihr.org/main/leaflets.shtml

    Also prominent revisionist Robert Faurisson’s blog to see for yourself what apolitical revisionists — an important group among others — have been saying:

    http://robertfaurisson.blogspot.com/

  128. #129 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    Said Antaeus Feldspar: «And you’ll also need to be delusional, since anyone who “actively, and perhaps painfully, search[es] for [themselves]” will find incontrovertible evidence that the Nazis planned and conducted a campaign of extermination against politically and racially selected populations. One has to be delusional to try to claim that there was “no extermination (real or attempted)”.»

    In my modest opinion, one has to be delusional to pretend that the Jews were exterminated but then underwent a miraculous ressurrection, as their own figures suggest.

    1) DATA OF JEWISH ORIGIN:

    Whenever it’s possible to peek into the Kadosh Hakadashim without having to pass by the censoring high and not-so-high priests, since no other real data exists:

    http://vho.org/aaargh/fran/revu/TI97/TI971122.html
    [Scroll further down after the Israeli estimate to the commentaries by Faurisson and Nordling.]

    2) DEMOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS:

    Here are the very few book studies you’ll be able to find:

    — The only meticulous book-length study from the viewpoint of population statistics ever done is The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry by Walter Sanning (1983). Sanning uses Jewish originated data and estimates at 3.500.000 the total number of Jews in the German sphere of influence for the duration of the War, and at 2.400.000 the number of Jews alive at the end of the War in the countries previously occupied by Germany (with the exclusion of the USSR). His conclusions are confirmed by Carl Nordling — a Finnish demographer, applying statistical inference to samples of known individual histories — who places the total of Jewish victims of the concentration camps at between 300.000 and 600.000 (see articles by Nordling below).

    — For your reference, an anthology titled Dimension des Völkermords was edited in 1991 for the Institut für Zeitgeschichte by Wolfgang Benz, obviously as an attempt to fill the obvious vacuum. It’s a weak pot-pourri of recycled extermination allegations with no connecting rationale other than the 6 million necessary figure (even though Benz denies this).

    — You’ll find an interesting comparison of those two books by Germar Rudolf, who doesn’t exactly follow either of them, here (Rudolf was deported from the United States where he had taken refuge, and jailed in Germany for crimethought):

    http://vho.org/GB/Books/dth/fndstats.html

    — I also found Richard Korherr and his Reports by Stephen Challen (1993) quite convincing. It’s a translation of, and commentary on, the secret reports sent by Richard Korherr (who had the post of “Inspector of Statistics for the Reichsfuehrer-SS”) to Himmler on the Jewish deportations. Challen reaches the following figures: 1.200.000 Jews dead for the whole of Europe during the War, 450.000 of them in parts of European Russia not occupied by the Germans, and 750.000 in the area of German direct or indirect responsibility. According to him, out of 2.300.000 deported Jews, 360.000 died, and a total of 200.000 of those died in the concentration camps. He considers the Jewish losses “heavy”, but in proportion to the German or Soviet ones, and no more than about 20 % of what is usually believed.

    A few more references that you may find useful follow. You’ll find them easily by Googling the title of each article:

    — ‘The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry': An Exchange (W. D. Rubinstein, Walter N. Sanning, Arthur R. Butz)

    — Critique of John S. Conway’s Review of Walter Sanning’s Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry, From The International History Review, August, 1985 (Dan Desjardins)

    — History, Hitler, and the Holocaust (John S. Conway’s review previously criticised)

    — How Many Jews Were Eliminated by the Nazis? A Preliminary Survey Of The Question (Frank H. Hankins)

    3) STATISTICAL INFERENCE BASED ON RELEVANT SAMPLES:

    — The Jewish Establishment under Nazi-Threat and Domination 1938-1945 (Carl O. Nordling)

    — How Many Jews Died in the German Concentration Camps? (Carl O. Nordling)

    I advise you to explore the revisionist sites such as CODOH by yourself.

    These short leaflets are a good introduction to the theme:

    http://www.ihr.org/main/leaflets.shtml

    Also prominent revisionist Robert Faurisson’s blog to see for yourself what apolitical revisionists — an important group among others — have been saying:

    http://robertfaurisson.blogspot.com/

  129. #130 Joseph C.
    November 12, 2009

    @ASMarques,

    Write something punchier next time. As it stands, you’re just a terrible, meandering bore.

  130. #131 Orac
    November 12, 2009

    Oh, goody. We have Holocaust deniers to play with! You know, I should make another corollary to Scopie’s law and point out that if anyone involved in a discussion of the Holocaust cites Robert Faurisson (an arch Holocaust denier), the Institute for Historical Review (an infamous Holocaust denier organization), CODOH, David Irving, or VHO, as “evidence” in support of his arguments, he loses the argument immediately and should be laughed off the discussion forum.

  131. #132 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    Here is an interesting debate that you may like to listen to. It gives us the idea of what civility and genuine curiosity on the subject — instead of the all-out Jewish effort to impose universal censorship — may sound like:

    — Faurisson vs. Andersson (Copenhagen, 2002)
    http://member.newsguy.com/~kreiberg/fdebat1.ram

    We need more of this, not less.

    Just a couple of questions more for your consideration, and I’ll be on my way.

    — How come the figure of 6 million was already known to the US Congress in March 1945, at a time when the war was still on, no German top officials or camp administrators had been captured, and no confessions had been obtained, 3 weeks before the Americans took over Dachau and the British took over Belsen, and 6 weeks before the Soviets released their Special Comission Report on Auschwitz?
    See clip at 08:46:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=631336312738853628&hl=en#

    — How could the all-important alleged extermination method pictured in the link below have taken place in the real world of human experience without breaking the ordinary rules of physics, and without even leaving any evidence at all of the alleged holes in precise places on the large morgue’s roof (still in existence)?
    See the top image with your brain in active mode:
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2651&highlight=1000

  132. #133 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    Here is an interesting debate that you may like to listen to. It gives us the idea of what civility and genuine curiosity on the subject — instead of the all-out Jewish effort to impose universal censorship — may sound like:

    — Faurisson vs. Andersson (Copenhagen, 2002)
    http://member.newsguy.com/~kreiberg/fdebat1.ram

    We need more of this, not less.

    Just a couple of questions more for your consideration, and I’ll be on my way.

    — How come the figure of 6 million was already known to the US Congress in March 1945, at a time when the war was still on, no German top officials or camp administrators had been captured, and no confessions had been obtained, 3 weeks before the Americans took over Dachau and the British took over Belsen, and 6 weeks before the Soviets released their Special Comission Report on Auschwitz?
    See clip at 08:46:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=631336312738853628&hl=en#

    — How could the all-important alleged extermination method pictured in the link below have taken place in the real world of human experience without breaking the ordinary rules of physics, and without even leaving any evidence at all of the alleged holes in precise places on the large morgue’s roof (still in existence)?
    See the top image with your brain in active mode:
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2651&highlight=1000

  133. #134 hafwitt
    November 12, 2009

    I am not anti Jewish or pro D.Irving.or a supporter of any outrageous behavior from either side of politics. A few years away we will all say Irving was on the right track. Give him some posthumous award. I think it is pretty gutsy to challenge what we think now. Bob Dylan said well when he said “The Germans too, have God on their side” from the Master’s of War song. Copernicus and others all challenge the “right way” of thinking.
    I found the following fascinating reading:
    Holocaust Predicted The following is an article from The American Hebrew of October 31, 1919, predicting the holocaust.

    The Jew Ben Hecht, in his book Perfidy, quotes Max Nordau at the World Zionist Congress of 1911: “The same righteous governments are preparing complete annihilation for six million people.”

    There is no mention of any gas chambers or mass extermination of the Jews in the letters, notes or memoirs of Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower or Churchill. In fact, historian David Irving writes:

    “As late as August 1943 the head of the PWE minuted the Churchill Cabinet secretly that there was not the slightest evidence that such contraptions (gas chambers) existed and they continued with a warning that stories from Jewish sources in this connection were particularly suspect!”

    ————–

    From The American Hebrew by Martin H. Glynn, Former Governor of New York.

    The Crucifixion of Jews Must Stop!
    From across the sea six million men and women call to us for help, and eight hundred thousand little children cry for bread.

    In the face of death, in the throes of starvation there is no place for mental distinctions of creed, no place for physical differentiations of race. In this catastrophe, when six million human beings are being whirled toward the grave by a cruel and relentless fate, only the most idealistic promptings of human nature should sway the heart and move the head.

    Six million men and women are dying from lack of the necessities of life; eight hundred thousand children cry for bread. And this fate is upon them through no fault of their own, through no transgression of the laws of God or man; but through the awful tyranny of war and a bigoted lust for Jewish blood.

    In this threatened holocaust of human life, forgotten are the niceties of philosophical destination, forgotten as the differences of historical interpretations.

    http://www.stormfront.org/truth_at_last/predicted.htm

  134. #135 Joseph C.
    November 12, 2009

    You know, I should make another corollary to Scopie’s law and point out that if anyone involved in a discussion of the Holocaust cites Robert Faurisson (an arch Holocaust denier), the Institute for Historical Review (an infamous Holocaust denier organization), CODOH, David Irving, or VHO, as “evidence” in support of his arguments, he loses the argument immediately and should be laughed off the discussion forum.

    The same should be true for people who post links to white power websites, like Stormfront.

  135. #136 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    Says Orac: «[…] if anyone involved in a discussion of the Holocaust cites [Holocaust revisionists / deniers] as “evidence” in support of his arguments, he loses the argument immediately and should be laughed off the discussion forum.»

    Well, not a very clever reply, if you pardon my saying so. More like a transparent cop-out, since no one is presenting “revisionists as evidence,” i.e. as if they were the Oracle of Truth. Quite on the contrary, it’s the quality of their arguments and the data they present — not any sacrosanct status — that matters when confronted with the astonishing weakness of the mythologists and the absurdity of believing in the miracles of the “Holocaust” tale.

    For instance, how do you conciliate the gas chamber narrative with the simple fact that the holes in the alleged gas chamber roof of Krema II in Birkenau — the “Epicenter of the Holocaust” according to Robert van Pelt — are no longer there, as even “Holocaust” peddler van Pelt himself agrees?

    By the way, I notice you didn’t publish my very short post linking to the Faurisson-Andersson debate and a few other interesting items. Very much in character with the usual standards of free speech of the “Holocaust” crowd, I must say.

    See you.

  136. #137 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    [Let’s give this previously failed post another try. Since we are among believers in free speech, maybe it was just some glitch, and in that case please accept my apologies.]

    Here is an interesting debate that you may like to listen to. It gives us the idea of what civility and genuine curiosity on the subject — instead of the all-out Jewish effort to impose universal censorship — may sound like:

    — Faurisson vs. Andersson (Copenhagen, 2002)
    http://member.newsguy.com/~kreiberg/fdebat1.ram

    We need more of this, not less.

    Just a couple of questions more for your consideration, and I’ll be on my way.

    — How come the figure of 6 million was already known to the US Congress in March 1945, at a time when the war was still on, no German top officials or camp administrators had been captured, and no confessions had been obtained, 3 weeks before the Americans took over Dachau and the British took over Belsen, and 6 weeks before the Soviets released their Special Comission Report on Auschwitz?
    See clip at 08:46:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=631336312738853628&hl=en#

    — How could the all-important alleged extermination method pictured in the link below have taken place in the real world of human experience without breaking the ordinary rules of physics, and without even leaving any evidence at all of the alleged holes in precise places on the large morgue’s roof (still in existence)?
    See the top image with your brain in active mode:
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2651&highlight=1000

  137. #138 halfwitt
    November 12, 2009

    -The same should be true for people who post links to white power websites, like Stormfront.

    – – How dare white supremacist mobs quote “facts” from the American Hebrew of 1919. Holocaust Predicted The following is an article from The American Hebrew of October 31, 1919, predicting the holocaust.I think Joseph C. might benefit from actually reading the story rather than criticize me or the org who reprinted the story. It does lead to a sensible discussion to simply attack me for being a white supremo or a supported of such. I am simply asking our fellow writers on this blog to consider that maybe ….just maybe D. Irving and others like him just . . .MIGHT . . .have some valid things to say. Argue against him with fact but don’t encourage angry unthinking mobs to attack his seminars in the U.S.A. He is banned from my country (Australia) for being a criminal in another country where the laws are quite foolish. Nelson Mandela (by the way he is not white) was permitted entry into this country – even though he was found to be a criminal in another.
    Steal a little they put you in jail steal a lot and they make you a king. Dylan

  138. #139 Joseph C.
    November 12, 2009

    halfwitt,

    I don’t read clearly non-credible sources, sorry.

  139. #140 Militant Agnostic
    November 12, 2009

    Ass Marques

    non-toxic Diesel exhaust

    – Why don’t you do the world a favor and huff some non-toxic Diesel exhaust. And not from a modern high pressure injection low emissions diesel engine either.

  140. #141 halfwitt
    November 12, 2009

    from wiki – but of course they might be lying too so don’t you read it Joseph C. as you might become informed with fact. The other folks on the blog might like to consider that it is rather amazing that in 1919! 6 million could be predicted… fascinating – if nothing more.
    Bye for now as I need to have a coffee and thank you moderator for allowing free speech. Maybe I am talking rubbish but you extended the courtesy of that freedom and I salute you for allowing the opportunity for sensible debate to take place even if some choose to be somewhat attacking or closed. see-ya-later mate and avagoodweekend! (Aust)

    The Crucifixion of Jews Must Stop! is an article by Glynn that appeared in the October 31, 1919, issue of The American Hebrew lamenting the poor conditions for European Jews after World War I. Glynn referred to these conditions as a potential “holocaust” and asserted that “six million Jewish men and women are starving across the seas”.[2][3] Because of these coincidences, the article has been by cited Holocaust-denial groups.

  141. #142 Gil
    November 12, 2009

    Shooting a gun up into the air is a relatively harmless activity – should it be legal? Also, how is the Catholic Church’s impositions on Bishop Williamson not censorship?

  142. #143 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    Said Militant Agnostic: «Ass Marques»

    Is that your juvenile idea of licking the opposition? Frankly I’d rather have you explain the absence of holes in the Krema II “Epicenter” (Robert van Pelt dixit)?

    «Why don’t you do the world a favor and huff some non-toxic Diesel exhaust. And not from a modern high pressure injection low emissions diesel engine either.»

    I don’t think you got the point.

    Let me put it this way: if you were in Dresden and the Allies were bombing the place with anvils and pianos, I wouldn’t have expected you to survive a direct impact. Granted. But would that have made such a method of strategic bombing a practical idea?

    Hope that helps. Do make an effort to get the point, Militant.

  143. #144 Amenhotepstein
    November 12, 2009

    “Vonce ze rockets go up, who cares where zey come down?
    Zat’s not my department”, says Wernher von Braun…

  144. #145 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    [I’ll give a previously failed post another try in two segments. Since we are among believers in free speech, maybe it was just some glitch, and in that case please accept my apologies.]

    Here is an interesting debate that you may like to listen to. It gives us the idea of what civility and genuine curiosity on the subject — instead of the all-out Jewish effort to impose universal censorship — may sound like:

    — Faurisson vs. Andersson (Copenhagen, 2002)
    http://member.newsguy.com/~kreiberg/fdebat1.ram

    We need more of this, not less.

  145. #146 ASMarques
    November 12, 2009

    Just a couple of questions more for your consideration, and I’ll be on my way.

    — How come the figure of 6 million was already known to the US Congress in March 1945, at a time when the war was still on, no German top officials or camp administrators had been captured, and no confessions had been obtained, 3 weeks before the Americans took over Dachau and the British took over Belsen, and 6 weeks before the Soviets released their Special Comission Report on Auschwitz?
    See clip at 08:46:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=631336312738853628&hl=en#

    — How could the all-important alleged extermination method pictured in the link below have taken place in the real world of human experience without breaking the ordinary rules of physics, and without even leaving any evidence at all of the alleged holes in precise places on the large morgue’s roof (still in existence)?
    See the top image with your brain in active mode:
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=2651&highlight=100

  146. #147 Gingerbaker
    November 12, 2009

    “And still freedom of speech should trump any other considerations (you know, like the bombings and assassinations and what not). That’s what I would argue.”

    This sentiment seems fairly emblematic of the free speech absolutists here. And it is parochial nonsense.

    Free speech is limited in the US for considerations as trivial as protecting adolescents from the possibility seeing a facsimile of a bare female breast. Yet you think preventing racial lynchings doesn’t pass a high enough bar?

    Some speech isn’t worth protecting in the US right now, today, and it’s been that way for decades. So, self-righteously criticizing the European position that Holocaust denial is a specific form of speech not worth protecting is hypocrisy on a grand scale. And a very livid demonstration of the pompous Ugly American.

    There are some topics that a civilized society may decide do not have enough redeeming value to offset their pernicious effects. Big deal – freedom of speech is not absolute anyway, even in the US. In Germany, they have decided that they will carefully and specifically proscribe Nazism and Holocaust denial. In the US, we won’t show people swallowing beer in a commercial, or allow women to breastfeed in public in some places. Which decision makes more sense?

    And frankly, who gives a shit about preserving a right to espouse Holocaust denial? There are some truly shitty ideas that even a bunch of drunken atheists can agree are too fracking stupid or useless to listen to for the ten thousandth time. Especially when that speech is hurtful, hateful, and potentially dangerous to people.

    Cue the libertarians to now break out the Slippery Slope song and dance, as if intelligent people can’t discern truly un-valuable speech from the properly protected.

    UK – your position is, IMO, just as valid, and more rational, than the free speech (so-called) absolutists here.

  147. #148 Phoenix Woman
    November 12, 2009

    About the only way I can imagine being a Holocaust denier without being motivated by bigotry is if one is such a diehard pacifist that there is no such thing as a “good war”. Nicholson Baker just detonated his career by trying to argue, in his book Human Smoke, that World War II wasn’t necessary and may have in fact caused Hitler to kill Jews; as Katha Pollitt demonstrates, his case is built on cherry-picked quotes from letters written by various personages alive at the time and carefully leaves out anything that hurts his thesis:

    For example, Baker insinuates that Roosevelt intentionally frightened Japan into bombing Pearl Harbor by putting the Navy there and by sending bombers to Chiang Kai-shek. In his version, China is the aggressor–never mind that Japan had occupied Manchuria since 1931 and savagely invaded China in 1937. Similarly, Baker cites numerous anecdotes to demonstrate the lack of anti-Semitic fervor among ordinary Germans throughout the 1930s. Fine, but that important point is then made to suggest a general lack of enthusiasm for Nazism and its dreams of German supremacy; you’d think the only Germans who adored Hitler were hard-core party thugs. In fact, Hitler was extremely popular throughout the period covered by Baker and remained so as long as the war was going well. Few Germans were interested in the passive resistance Gandhi urged on them (he gave the same advice to the Jews–stay and die). The Gestapo would have been happy to murder any who tried it, as it did other enemies of the state.

    Baker’s cut-and-paste method suggests without stating outright, much less making a coherent argument. Thus, he never exactly says that lives would have been spared had Churchill made a separate peace and Roosevelt stayed out of the war. But that is the implication. He allows the reader to imagine that the Nazis were serious about settling the Jews in Madagascar and came up with the Final Solution only when war made that plan impossible–so the Allies were, in a way, responsible for Auschwitz. He doesn’t mention that Madagascar was supposed to be a slow-motion death camp ruled by the SS, nor does he note the Nazis’ plans to murder and enslave millions of Slavs once the Jews had been disposed of. It is not so clear, in other words, that fewer people would have died had Britain and the United States let Germany take over Europe. Moreover, why trust Hitler to abide by a nonaggression treaty? The Hitler-Stalin pact didn’t keep him from attacking the Soviet Union.

  148. #149 Michael Ralston
    November 12, 2009

    Wars were fought over the land of Israel, the land between the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, because whoever ruled Israel controlled the world’s markets.

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but I don’t see any anti-semitism in this quote at all.

    It sounds like the person is making a claim about trade patterns – that a lot of major trade routes pass through Israel due to geography, and that there have been wars to control those trade routes.

    That sounds pretty sane to me.

  149. #150 DLC
    November 13, 2009

    please do be on your way, ASM.
    Your holocaust denial web pages have been debunked thoroughly.
    Please see the list of sites in the sidebar listed under “combating holocaust denial” above, and then be on your way to there. Go and look.
    And then, when you’re done, go to the national archives and dig around. the TLD is Archives.gov .

  150. #151 ASMarques
    November 13, 2009

    Phoenix Woman said: «About the only way I can imagine being a Holocaust denier without being motivated by bigotry is if one is such a diehard pacifist that there is no such thing as a “good war”.»

    What I find fascinating is the utter inability of the believers to conceive of the love of truth as a motivation in itself, indeed the motivation, in spite of the overwhelming assimetry visible in each side’s disposition to debate and compare arguments in a rational fashion.

    Nothing less than total religious adhesion and a general “go away, don’t even mention it” attitude to the heretical views will apparently satisfy the happy masses. That odd fact in itself ought to give you some food for thought.

    On my way now, I hope. See you.

  151. #152 ASMarques
    November 13, 2009

    Oops, sorry. I almost forgot.

    Nuremberg IMT fans should take a real look at the proceedings. Start here:

    http://www.cwporter.com/partone.htm

    If you understand French — in fact even if you don’t, it’s that clear — you may also like to take a look at the magical gas chambers:

    — Faurisson sur les CHAMBRES A GAZ (1981)

    http://is.gd/oH89
    http://is.gd/oH8r
    http://is.gd/oH8T
    http://is.gd/oH9b
    http://is.gd/oH9G
    http://is.gd/oH9T

  152. #153 ASMarques
    November 13, 2009

    Oops, sorry. I almost forgot.

    Nuremberg IMT fans should take a real look at the proceedings. Start here:

    http://www.cwporter.com/partone.htm
    (1st of 4 parts + appendix)

    If you understand French, you may like to take a look at the magical gas chambers. “Faurisson sur les CHAMBRES A GAZ (1981)” here:

    http://is.gd/oH89
    (1st of 6 parts. Links to the other 5 below the clip)

  153. #154 ASMarques
    November 13, 2009

    Said Joseph C.: «@ASMarques,
    Write something punchier next time.»

    Oh no. Sorry, I didn’t see your request. But it’s okay. Here is something (hopefully) punchy:

    1) Krema II at Birkenau is well known as the famous Epicenter of the “Holocaust”.

    2) Hundreds of thousands (at the very least) were gassed there non-stop by means of the Zyklon pellets thrown in through the holes in the roof.

    3) But there are no holes in the roof.

    Any conclusions? Any takers? Or is it simply “go away! please, please go away!” and no reply forthcoming?

  154. #155 Luna_the_cat
    November 13, 2009

    @Michael Ralston:

    Wars were fought over the land of Israel, the land between the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, because whoever ruled Israel controlled the world’s markets

    It sounds like the person is making a claim about trade patterns – that a lot of major trade routes pass through Israel due to geography, and that there have been wars to control those trade routes.

    The problem is, it’s false. The majority of trade in that region passes through ports, and much of it has ever since the advent of large-ish ships — and I’m not talking about steamers, I’m talking about since the days of the Carthaginians; the Mediterranean is famous for it. Since the Suez canal was built in modern times even the more remote parts of Africa and Asia are easily available by sea.

    This bypasses Israel. The argument that control of Israel is control of trade between continents is disingenuous in the light of how much trade is by sea, and that is simple historical fact.

    @ASMarques: repeating stuff which has already been debunked thousands of times over, including here, only demonstrates how fundamentally dishonest you are.

  155. #156 ASMarques
    November 13, 2009

    Luna_the_cat said: «@ASMarques: repeating stuff which has already been debunked thousands of times over, including here, only demonstrates how fundamentally dishonest you are.»

    Even a perfunctory reading of Keren, MacCarthy and Mazal should allow you to understand the meaning of clutching at straws, like pretending that the holes cannot be “easily seen” but are there, or that any “holes” at all, however distant from the necessary locations and obviously provoked by the fractures in the concrete, will do. I won’t even bother you with Keren’s past attempts to confuse the Stammlager and Krema II alleged “gas chamber” holes.

    Perhaps a quick reminding of the desperate quest for the holes will help:
    http://www.codoh.com/revisionist/comment/tr07someholes.html
    http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/docs/controversies/holes/MazalPhoto2.html

    Compare with Robert Van Pelt, who has been recognised as an expert witness for Deborah Lipstadt’s defense during the Irving vs Lipstadt & Penguin trial:

    “Today, these four small holes that connected the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys cannot be observed in the ruined remains of the concrete slab. Yet does this mean they were never there? We know that after the cessation of the gassings in the fall of 1944 all the gassing equipment was removed, which implies both the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys. What would have remained would have been the four narrow holes and the slab. While there is no certainty in this particular matter, it would have been logical to attach at the location where the columns had been some formwork at the bottom of the gas chamber ceiling, and pour some concrete in the hole and thus restore the slab.”

    Can you picture in your mind this filling of holes in a reinforced concrete slab without leaving any detectable signs, not to speak of the effect of gravity in such an exercise, all of this before blowing up the whole thing yourself (fortunately leaving the concrete slab sufficiently intact to allow close inspection).

    In other words, what the expert witness under Irving’s cross-examination is admitting is the alleged holes are simply no longer there, maybe — according to him — because they have been refilled like the ones drilled after the war in the ceiling of the Auschwitz I alleged gas chamber are now (after revisionists discovered and publicized the original blueprints) mumbled by the Museum authorities to have been. But careful close inspection — not to speak of modern science — is not deemed capable of finding these refilled holes in the reinforced concrete slab, even when their precise location is known!

    Now, also missing is the cyanide that should have reacted chemically with the iron rich walls producing extremely durable compounds, as indeed happened in the other gas chambers, the ones everybody now (again after revisionists brought them into the open in the 70s) agrees were only used for the disinfestation of clothes, mattresses etc., where cyanide compounds (like ferric ferrocyanide or “Prussian blue”) make their presence visible even to the naked eye.

    Since the holes are not there, no refilling can be detected, and the cyanide that should have been there is also absent, which way does the “convergence of evidence” point: should the mass gassings in Krema II be deemed true or false?

  156. #157 ASMarques
    November 13, 2009

    My apologies for the repetition of posts. For some reason some of the posts were further delayed than later ones, I attributed this to the number of links and tried to correct by breaking them down.

  157. #158 Luna_the_cat
    November 13, 2009

    @ASMarques: repeating stuff which has already been debunked thousands of times over, here too, only demonstrates how fundamentally dishonest you are.

    I’m not going to spend my day picking over all your logical fallacies and the falsehoods you just posted above, it’s already been done on the denialist-bebunking sites which Orac has listed on the left of this page.

    The simple fact is, I’ve seen photos, films and skeletons from the liberation of the camps by Allied forces and the discoveries of mass graves afterwards. I’ve seen and heard the testimony of survivors, and traced the names of a small portion of the dead. All of your apologia for the Nazis becomes the worm-like little thing that it is in comparison.

  158. #159 Jud
    November 13, 2009

    ASMarques – Thank you for revealing my Mom and Dad for the arch-conspirators and liars they are! To think I was so easily misled by their tales of the extermination of much of their families, and the entire Jewish populations of the towns in which their families used to live (Grodzisk, a Warsaw suburb, and Palangen, a suburb of Riga, Latvia)! And our neighbors when I was 3 years old, and the old men in the synagogue – having numbers tattooed on their arms in some tattoo parlor in the States, no doubt, probably because they thiught it would get them women! (But wait, our neighbors when I was 3 years old were women.)

    Yes, thank you for opening my eyes, sir.

  159. #160 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    Perhaps a quick reminding of the desperate quest for the holes will help:
    http://www.codoh.com/revisionist/comment/tr07someholes.html
    http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/docs/controversies/holes/MazalPhoto2.html

    Now I know you’re a denier idiot. That’s one of the oldest and silliest denier canards that’s been debunked over and over again, most recently by online friends of mine:

    http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/holes-report/holes.shtml

    Nice falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus (false in one thing, false in all things; it’s in essence arguing that if any one significant fact about the Holocaust can be proven to be wrong then all the know facts about the Holocaust are cast into doubt and therefore the Holocaust never happened), which the infamous denier “no holes no Holocaust” nonsense is. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is also a legal, rather than a scientific, historical, or evidentiary, principle. It’s basically used by lawyers, often fallaciously, to cast aspersion on witnesses and sow reasonable doubt.

  160. #161 Corylus
    November 13, 2009

    Now there’s a blast from the past. ASMarques spent quite some time trolling RD.Net with this stuff.

    http://www.richarddawkins.net/userComments,page1,38300

    —-
    Great blog, Orac, lots of interesting info.

  161. #162 Raging Bee
    November 13, 2009

    In this sense then, we are perfectly entitled to claim the “Holocaust” is a fiction…

    Translation: “I’m using word-games to make reality go away.” This is pretty much the definition of insanity — the inability or refusal to accept reality on its own terms, and the delusion that reality is as malleable as fantasy.

    I’m not an anti-semite. Indeed anti-semitism is a very cheap accusation. It’s supposed to protect Jews from criticism…

    And here we see a fundamental characteristic of prejudice: the belief that the target of one’s fear or hatred is somehow unjustly protected from the reality the rest of us humans endure every day.

    Long story short: ASMarques is an ASSHat, using carelessly parsed fake PoMo word-games to make his simpleminded bigotry sound innellekshal and stuff.

  162. #163 Raging Bee
    November 13, 2009

    Big deal – freedom of speech is not absolute anyway, even in the US. In Germany, they have decided that they will carefully and specifically proscribe Nazism and Holocaust denial. In the US, we won’t show people swallowing beer in a commercial, or allow women to breastfeed in public in some places. Which decision makes more sense?

    Yeah, what she said. I will also add that, while laws against Holocaust-denial will surely not make such lies go away altogether, a sensiblly selective enforcement pattern will deter big mainstream media outlets — who have the most to lose from legal action — from shortsightedly allowing themselves to be used to spread such lies on a large scale, or from becoming instruments of evil emotions and mob rule.

  163. #164 Luna_the_cat
    November 13, 2009

    Sweet green ribbiting jesus on a lilypad. I just took a look at Corylus’s link; it seems like ASSMarques works much the same way brian does, by just burying a thread under a mountain of crap until it collapses.

    Of course, the problem is that for every thing that is true, there are countless millions of versions that aren’t true; the available search space for “not true” is consequently so much larger and easier to access that proponents of denialism and anti-science (and revisionist history, obviously) can vomit up endless streams of the stuff. Those constrained to “true”, on the other hand, are constrained to the single set of accurate facts — and in the time it takes to debunk and dissect a single falsehood the troll can post over 100x more. The Gish Gallop of idiocy is exhausting to those trying to combat it, which is precisely why people like this use it. (Of course, the people who use it also seem to have the attitude that rhetorical games change underlying physical reality — that if you can bury people in words enough to “win” that it somehow makes the objective physical world the way you say it is. @_@)

  164. #165 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    I will also add that, while laws against
    Holocaust-denial will surely not make such lies go away altogether, a
    sensiblly selective enforcement pattern will deter big mainstream media
    outlets — who have the most to lose from legal action — from
    shortsightedly allowing themselves to be used to spread such lies on a
    large scale, or from becoming instruments of evil emotions and mob
    rule.

    Hmmm. And who judges what is and is not a “lie”? The government?

    Let’s put it this way. The right wing is clearly lying (or at the very least spreading easily demonstrably incorrect information) for purposes of killing President Obama’s signature initiative, health care reform. Arguably, some of this is hate speech, with racism and comparisons of Obama to Hitler and the Nazis Should the executive branch, now controlled by President Obama, have the power to declare these “tea parties” to be “lies” and tell the “mainstream media” that it can’t report on them and to tell FOX NEWS to shut up? That is one possible implication of what you are saying. Or, to go back a few years, if the government had that power under the Bush Administration, what would have stopped him from proclaiming that protesters against the war were “spreading lies” and shutting them down?

    I’m very, very leery of giving the government–any government–too much power to proclaim what is and is not true or what will and will not provoke mob violence. The very limited exceptions to the First Amendment (Brandeburg v. Ohio, for example) in the U.S. get it close to right

    The problem with giving the government the power to regulate political speech is that the government, even the most benign government, is seldom satisfied with limiting its power in that arena to just one topic or just to hate speech. There are always aggrieved parties and lobbying groups that would love to use the government to stifle their opponents, and sometimes these are very powerful forces that can persuade the government to pass legislation to achieve their ends. Or, under the guise of trying to protect minorities, racial or other, from such speech, governments can muzzle legitimate criticism.

    No, I do not have the faith in the government to rule what is and is not true, what speech should and should not be allowed, as you seem to have.

  165. #166 David Marjanović
    November 13, 2009

    Europeans […] have never had a strong tradition of free speaking or dissent in the face of public (let alone governmental) disapproval.

    The West has since 1968, the East since 1989. Wake up.

    The NPD (“National Democratic Party of Germany”) marches in Germany despite its ideology which comes very close to National Socialism; not quite so obvious xenophobes regularly reach 1/3 of the vote in Austria; all that while communist extremists (all 3 of them) call for the Revolution®.

    (Even Putin doesn’t so much openly prohibit free speech as preventing it from reaching the media… apart from the occasional unexplained murder.)

    Say what you will about racism in America, at least it is (for the most part) in the open and talked about, and can be dealt with. The approach of authoritarian legislation is not going to change attitudes – it will simply make the racism fester unwatched. Blackface in Vogue, riots in Paris, the rise of Nationalist parties, etc.

    Racist riots? Here in Paris??? What have I missed?

    Instead of actually confronting the issue, these laws try to sweep it under the rug and ensure that a discussion can never happen.

    This is the “teach the controversy” fallacy. The education you actually mean happens in school.

    non-toxic Diesel exhaust

    Soooo stupid. It’s full of carbon monoxide. And even without that, there’s hardly any oxygen in it, so you suffocate if you don’t get anything else to breathe.

    Evidently you never had any chemistry or biology in school. That’s not feasible where I come from…

    Raging Bee, none of those special circumstances apply as I’ve alrady stated. And it doesn’t matter where you *think* the laws would apply: unfortunately they’re part of a dangerous slippery slope enabling even more grotesque censorship.

    The slippery-slope argument is a logical fallacy.

    The censorship of violent computer games in Germany (not so much Austria, AFAIK) isn’t even related to this as far as I can see — it results from the same “won’t someone please think of the children” mentality that allows violent (if bloodless) death but hardly an allusion to the very existence of sex in daytime US TV series (see comment 147).

    My understanding is that he [ = Irving] is asking us to look into facts that have been discovered since the war to find for ourselves some truths.

    Look, this is a guy who doesn’t even know that ausrotten means “to exterminate/extirpate” in German, as in “to kill every last one of them”, and makes up a ridiculous argument that it might possibly mean “uproot” or something. This guy? Discovering facts? Either he doesn’t even read German, or he’s lying, or both.

    Here is an interesting debate that you may like to listen to.

    LOL! A debate! A debate shows who can shout the loudest, not who is right. There’s a reason scientists never hold such debates with each other.

    Besides, stop double-posting. The ScienceBlogs software is sometimes too stupid to tell you that your comment got through, but it still got through, always.

  166. #167 David Marjanović
    November 13, 2009

    No, I do not have the faith in the government

    I see this argument so often from, of all people, US citizens. In a democracy, if your government does something stupid, you can just get rid of it and elect a new one. :-|

    Also, slippery slope again.

  167. #168 David Marjanović
    November 13, 2009

    More to the point: should a government really be completely postmodernist, operating from the premise that all claims are equally valid?

  168. #169 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    I see this argument so often from, of all people, US citizens. In a democracy, if your government does something stupid, you can just get rid of it and elect a new one. :-|

    If we give the government too much power to determine what speech is and is not allowed, we might find that getting rid of it and electing a new one is not so easy.

    Also, slippery slope again.

    Ah, but the slippery slope argument is not inherently a logical fallacy. Moreover, when the end consequence is so grave that even a relatively small chance of its happening is unacceptable (such as loss of freedom of speech), it is a legitimate cautionary argument.

    True, the slippery slope is often abused by people who can’t suggest a clear chain of events that lead down the slippery slope or present the chain of events leading to the feared outcome as far more certain an inevitable than they in fact are, and that’s when it’s a logical fallacy. However, to suggest that giving the government the power to ban one form of political speech because it is false and can stir up hatred is a bad idea because then there would be nothing to prevent it from banning other forms of political for the same reason; moreover, because the truth and falsity of claims or whether they would stir up hatred can be somewhat subjective, I simply state that I don’t want the government to have so much power to make such distinctions.

    Yeah, that’s an American viewpoint, and I make no apologies for it.

    In any case, if the government were allowed to ban Holocaust denial because it’s false and spreads fear and hate, why, under the very same rationale, wouldn’t it be allowed to ban all sorts of other speech because of the same reasons? No one has given me a good explanation why it wouldn’t.

    More to the point: should a government really be completely postmodernist, operating from the premise that all claims are equally valid?

    Wow! Nice straw man argument you’ve constructed there!

  169. #170 Gingerbaker
    November 13, 2009

    “No, I do not have the faith in the government to rule what is and is not true, what speech should and should not be allowed, as you seem to have.”

    As predicted, the Slippery Slope argument raises its ugly head. Give the government an inch, and it will take a Fascist mile, right? The “government” is us – we the people. As David says above, you can always vote ‘em out.

    And for the second time – The government already “rule[s] what is and is not true, what speech should and should not be allowed…” Paranoia does not a strong argument make.

  170. #171 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    The “government” is us – we the people. As David says above, you can always vote ‘em out.

    You might want to ask the citizens of Venezuela or Russia about voting out governments that control what can and cannot be said.

    And for the second time – The government already “rule[s] what is and is not true, what speech should and should not be allowed…” Paranoia does not a strong argument make.

    Oh, so since some forms of speech are legitimately controlled, ALL forms may be legitimately controlled? You’ve just proven why the slippery slope argument is not a fallacy in this case.

  171. #172 Gingerbaker
    November 13, 2009

    “In any case, if the government were allowed to ban Holocaust denial because it’s false and spreads fear and hate, why, under the very same rationale, wouldn’t it be allowed to ban all sorts of other speech because of the same reasons? No one has given me a good explanation why it wouldn’t.”

    Begging the question. That is not the entire justification for banning Holocaust denial in Germany.

    Nor have hate speech laws – if written carefully to proscribe only specific types or topics of speech, led to your Slippery Slope (again) predictions. Written over-broadly – along the lines you used above – yes, there have been problems, usually with religious groups demanding protections from insult.

    The history of hate speech laws in Europe is an interesting one, with some laws working very well, and others needing revisions, which have occurred. Have they all worked perfectly? No, but it is early yet. The more important question is have they been successful in changing culture? The banning of Holocaust denial in Germany, for example, must have a positive effect on the perception and practice of social justice in that country, I would argue. A benefit which far outweighs the loss of the opportunity to hear yet another asshole publicly spout the same useless antisemitic garbage.

    Germany is about the most progressive nation in Europe – maybe these free speech restrictions are working.

  172. #173 titmouse
    November 13, 2009

    More to the point: should a government really be completely postmodernist, operating from the premise that all claims are equally valid?

    We don’t need the state to tell us what is true or not true. Our understanding of what is true changes too frequently. The state simply could never keep up.

    However, we can ask the state to help enforce rules of evidence. We can ask it to referee our debates so the rules are applied fairly and consistently by all parties concerned.

  173. #174 titmouse
    November 13, 2009

    Nor have hate speech laws – if written carefully to proscribe only specific types or topics of speech, led to your Slippery Slope (again) predictions. Written over-broadly – along the lines you used above – yes, there have been problems, usually with religious groups demanding protections from insult.

    If the word “hate” appears anywhere in the legislation, I am gravely concerned, as it leaves an obvious loophole for future abuses of power by the state.

    Loopholes are not slippery slopes. They’re ticking time bombs.

  174. #175 Ryan Nagy
    November 13, 2009

    Wow. This is quite a conversation. Has anybody mentioned, “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering”, by Norman Finkelstein? You do not need to be a holocaust denier to question the facts, representation of the facts and the use to which those facts have put in the modern world as Finkelstein does.

    Let’s remember that the holocaust was not only about Jews. Hitler and his henchmen murdered disabled people, the mentally ill and the roma (gypsy’s) amongst others.

    For those of you who are deniers may I ask you to read, “The Destruction of the European Jews by Rual Hillberg and to actually go to source documents yourself?

    cheers – Ryan Nagy

  175. #176 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    Nor have hate speech laws – if written carefully to proscribe only specific types or topics of speech, led to your Slippery Slope (again) predictions. Written over-broadly – along the lines you used above – yes, there have been problems, usually with religious groups demanding protections from insult.

    Reminds me of the “benevolent dictator” concept. Sure, it sounds good, but who makes sure the dictator is benevolent?

    The fact of the matter is that hate speech laws HAVE led to laws which effectively ban any disagreement with anyone’s religion. Indeed, if actually enforced, they ban religion itself – which means that the laws violate themselves. The slippery slope argument is not hypothetical, but has actually happened!

    Protestations that “well, those are BAD hate speech laws” are unavailing. There’s no way to ensure that they’ll be good and NOT badly written.

  176. #177 Igor
    November 13, 2009

    It’s like saying, “But, these are bad people we are stopping and arresting without probable cause.” Would it be a fallacious slippery slope argument if we argue that innocent people will get frequently stopped and arrested, at times based on their race or ethnicity? The reason U.S. has such liberal laws regarding freedom of speech is because in the past the government has attempted to seize control and ban unpopular, yet harmless, speech. The laws we have in place now are borne from centuries of legal battles and it wasn’t all Nazi’s and hatemongers you know.

  177. #178 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    Nor have hate speech laws – if written carefully to proscribe only specific types or topics of speech, led to your Slippery Slope (again) predictions

    Really? Where have hate speech laws not led to more restrictions on speech or interpretations of the law that become more and more expansive?

  178. #179 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    if the government were allowed to ban Holocaust denial because it’s false and spreads fear and hate, why, under the very same rationale, wouldn’t it be allowed to ban all sorts of other speech because of the same reasons?

    Banning ‘all sorts of OTHER speech for the SAME reasons’?

    Orac is acute and analytical when it comes to anything medical but this is like saying, ‘homeopathy works because Vioxx side-effects were covered up by Merck’.

    Banning material intended to incite hatred against a particular race – in this case Holocaust Denial – does not open the door to anything else – except material intended to incite hatred against a particular race (etc).

    That’s the point, surely, and a worthy enough aim.

  179. #180 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @UK Visitor

    Banning material intended to incite hatred against a particular race – in this case Holocaust Denial – does not open the door to anything else – except material intended to incite hatred against a particular race (etc).

    I think the key point, and it is a fine one, that you are missing is who decides what is intended to incite hatred? How is that defined in a purely objective fashion?

  180. #181 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    Exactly. UK Visitor seems to have a lot of faith in people in power in the government to identify and define such concepts fairly and objectively, when such concepts invariably involve subjectivity and value judgments. Perhaps it would help if he were to define exactly what sort of speech he thinks should be regulated or banned by the government and do it as precisely, specifically, and objectively as possible. We can then see whether his faith is justified.

  181. #182 igor
    November 13, 2009

    It is worth noting that “The Government”, whether benevolent or not, is not a perfect intangible entity. It is composed of people who are empowered by other people. All these PEOPLE are subject to purely human biases, emotions, etc. All you need is for a few people in government to act on those biases and emotions, as it happens quite frequently.

  182. #183 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    Okay, then, this seems a perfectly acceptable example where behaviour is not covered by say, direct harrassment –

    (Lancashire Telegraph)

    Simon Sheppard, 51, of Selby in North Yorkshire, received four years and 10 months, and Stephen Whittle, 42, of Preston, two years and four months.

    The men printed leaflets and controlled websites featuring racist material….

    The men were charged with publishing and distributing racially inflammatory material, and possessing racially inflammatory material with a view to distribution.

    Leeds Crown Court was told Whittle wrote offensive articles that were then published on the internet by Sheppard.

    The published material included images of murdered Jews alongside cartoons and articles ridiculing ethnic groups.

    More on the prosecutor’s rationale, quoted in Cyberblog:

    ‘People are entitled to hold racist and extreme opinions which others may find unpleasant and obnoxious,’ said reviewing lawyer Mari Reid, of the CPS’ Counter Terrorism Division, which deals with race hate crimes.

    ‘What they are not entitled to do is to publish or distribute these opinions to the public in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner, either intending to stir up racial hatred or in circumstances where it is likely racial hatred will be stirred up.

  183. #184 igor
    November 13, 2009

    P.S.: empowered by other people, of course, depends on whether it is some form of a representative democracy.

  184. #185 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @UK Visitor

    ‘What they are not entitled to do is to publish or distribute these opinions to the public in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner, either intending to stir up racial hatred or in circumstances where it is likely racial hatred will be stirred up.

    Again, who defines what is “threatening, abusive or insulting” and what constitutes intent to stir up hatred?

  185. #186 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    who defines what is “threatening, abusive or insulting” and what constitutes intent to stir up hatred?

    Throughout this discussion, those in favour of ‘free speech at all costs’ consistently leave out the critical term: RACE hatred.

    If you start defining this discussion in terms of ANY hatred, it will go start off round in circles again.

    I note how the quotation you were responding to included the exact term, then you left it out. I wonder why?

    E.g.

    intending to stir up racial hatred or in circumstances where it is likely racial hatred will be stirred up

  186. #187 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @UK Visitor

    Very well. Stick “race” back in there. Now, can you answer my questions?

  187. #188 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    Okay, then, this seems a perfectly acceptable example where behaviour is not covered by say, direct harrassment -

    You need to provide a good justification why this example needs suppression.

    Throughout this discussion, those in favour of ‘free speech at all costs’ consistently leave out the critical term: RACE hatred.

    OK then, why don’t you provide some sort of argument or justification for that limitation? What is it that makes race hatred so bad that it must be banned, while religious is OK, or for that matter hatred of people who don’t have the same political opinions?

    If you’re going to elevate racially-motivated hatred to such a special position relative to other forms of hatred, you’re going to have to justify that.

  188. #189 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    Once those questions are answered, why limit it to only race? Why protect one class of peoples but not other classes? What, specifically, is so special about “race” as a class compared to, say, “religion” as a class? Or “birthplace” as a class? How about “sexual orientation” as a class to be protected?

    The issue is not confined only to “race hatred”, and so the broader context of hate language in general should be considered. But, answer my first question before responding to this post.

  189. #190 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    Oh, and an additional note. Your rationale for treating racial hatred specifically needs to be good enough to convince the subjects of OTHER forms of hatred that they don’t deserve the same protection.

    Otherwise you’re not going to have any ammunition to oppose their claims for similar consideration.

  190. #191 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    One notes that UK Visitor did not answer my question; so I’ll ask it again:

    Please define exactly what sort of speech you think should be regulated or banned by the government and do it as precisely, specifically, and objectively as possible. I’ll also add: Please include your reasoning regarding why this particular form, and not other related forms, should be regulated or banned and how this form will be defined in such a way as not to trample on legitimate free speech regarding controversial topics that may impact this form of speech.

    Again, I want specifics. If there’s one thing about those advocating for hate speech laws, they never seem able to define what they mean and explain why such laws wouldn’t have a lot of collateral damage on other forms of speech.

  191. #192 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    It’s a fair point, but to demand a definition in principle of the difference between the two stretches my (poor) legal knowledge.

    However, I can illustrate what happens IN PRACTICE when someone is accused of race hatred but the offending material is technically about religion: they get off.

    (BBC News 10th Nov 2006)

    BNP leader Nick Griffin and party activist Mark Collett have been cleared of inciting racial hatred after a retrial at Leeds Crown Court.

    Mr Griffin, 46, from Powys, Wales, had denied two charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred in a speech in Keighley

    During the trial, the jury heard extracts from a speech Mr Griffin made in the Reservoir Tavern in Keighley, on 19 January 2004, in which he described Islam as a “wicked, vicious faith” and said Muslims were turning Britain into a “multi-racial hell hole”.

    At the same event, Mr Collett addressed the audience by saying: “Let’s show these ethnics the door in 2004.”

    In his closing argument, Nick Griffin’s barrister said his client’s words were part of a “campaign speech of an official and legitimate party”.

    What’s most striking about this is that everyone knew what Griffin’s views on race were, yet because his language had been careful to target religion, he was found not guilty.

    Rather than ask me to suggest an overarching legal principle, I’m quoting what happens when it goes before a jury, which is of course the ultimate test.

  192. #193 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    Suppose Muslims demand that the law be expanded to block that speech too. How do you respond? Do you tell them that stirring up religious hatred is OK as long as it’s not racial (if so, how do you justify this), or something else?

  193. #194 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @UK Visitor

    You are arguing very strongly in favor of something you cannot even define appropriately. If you cannot clearly state what is “threatening, abusive or insulting” speech and what constitutes intent to stir up (race) hatred, then how can you defend any law on (race) hate speech? If you cannot define what is an acceptable law, how can you determine if the law steps beyond its bounds?

  194. #195 A. Schaefer
    November 13, 2009

    a legal point:
    What prosecutors in German think of the ‘rightness’ of FreeSpeech supression is irrelevant: Holocaust denial is “offizial-delikt” if a state-attourney** in Germany gains knowledge of such deed he is required by his oath of office to prosecute: It is his job.

    I do agree that supressing speech does not work. Changing things though needs political action: The laws that require state-attourneys and every policement to act on percieving the breach of law can be changed only by the people who make laws. The parliament and the factions and parties in there.
    Now the only party or faction who would NOT act against their own interests would be (neo)Nazis or those who sympathise with them. Who would rejoice not being any longer forbidden to deny the holocaust. And spew racist hate. Good thing they currently have no chance have a majority on any level above public dogcatcher.
    In theory the Constitutional court could decide that limiting free speech is against the constitution. If a case was brought before them.
    In practice they might well decide avoid such a decision and shove it towards the politicians. ( Parliament and parties AGAIN)

    It might well be that the overwhelming number of members of the Bundestag (MdB) can* reason that the laws limiting free speech are useless, but none would say so in public. Any “legal initiative” ( aka members bill ) supporting the change of the laws would be percieved as supporting hate-spewers. And certainly be portraied as such by next to everybody. Abolishing the anti-nazi laws would send the wrong signals ( or seem to ).

    As long as one cannot win an election on a more free speech bill we are not going to see this change.
    (I seem to remember an incidence or two during the Bush administration where students were hindered to show their opinion by turning their back to the president. Where was the free speech protection then ? )

    * in the absence of clear data one must assume that even professional politicians have some ability to reason. Past and present administrations/parliaments and congresses of any contry notwithstanding.

    ** state-attourneys are not elected in Germany, they are civil service bound by law and subject to some political guidance by the respective minister of justice ( state or national ).

  195. #196 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    Scott, again it’s a fair point, but like so many other things is subject to the fluid judgement of (say) a jury, that jury operating within a law that talks of race hatred.

    There has indeed been pressure from Muslims in the UK to prosecute e.g. an Islam-offending play, but the prosecutor has always taken the view that it’s a non-starter as a jury will find (in this case) the theatre not guilty, and anyway the theatre would appeal to European Court of Human Rights and win.

    Like many contentious subjects, it’s a constant balancing act, but at least the effect is to signal to minority groups, often the target of racists, that the state can be on their side.

  196. #197 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @UK Visitor

    “the effect is to signal to minority groups, often the target of racists, that the state can be on their side…except when it’s not.”

    There, fixed that for ya.

  197. #198 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    Who’s talking about a jury? I’m talking about requests to change the law. You know, just like the one in Ireland.

    Even more importantly, you still haven’t made any attempt to provide any justification for giving such a privileged status to RACIAL hatred specifically.

  198. #199 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    Todd W.,

    If you cannot define what is an acceptable law, how can you determine if the law steps beyond its bounds?

    Well, the reason I used that example (above) is that the law is framed for the court and ultimately the jury to determine, within the limits of other laws (such as the right to freedom of expression).

    It’s horribly messy but it also achieves something, i.e. the law can then stand up for those who suffer most from racism.

  199. #200 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @UK Visitor

    But how is a court or jury to determine it fairly and objectively? What if you are on one of those juries? My question still stands, and you still have not answered it.

  200. #201 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    BTW, one reason – and possibly a basic principle – that differentiates racism and hatred of religion is that while both parties may be offended, in the case of religion they have chosen their opinion, yet no-one chooses their race.

    And those who choose an opinion, such a kooky religious one, only have themselves to blame if they find something offensive.

  201. #202 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @UK Visitor

    BTW, one reason – and possibly a basic principle – that differentiates racism and hatred of religion is that while both parties may be offended, in the case of religion they have chosen their opinion, yet no-one chooses their race.

    And those who choose an opinion, such a kooky religious one, only have themselves to blame if they find something offensive.

    So, if someone chooses a particular religion, kooky or otherwise, it’s their own damn fault if someone riles a group of people up against them. They should have just shut up and gone with the majority religion instead of believing what they wish to believe, eh?

  202. #203 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    BTW, one reason – and possibly a basic principle – that differentiates racism and hatred of religion is that while both parties may be offended, in the case of religion they have chosen their opinion, yet no-one chooses their race.

    EXCUSE ME!?!?!? Did you SERIOUSLY just argue that hate speech against religion is OK is because the targets picked the wrong religion?

    So I guess you reject freedom of religion along with freedom of speech too.

  203. #204 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    Todd W.,

    I’m failing to come up with a definition that would settle your question

    how is a court or jury to determine it fairly and objectively?

    Because it’s not as simple as that – there are different levels of law and different principles all involved, from the aim of avoiding racial discrimination to the aim of protecting freedom of expression.

    Of course it seems like a muddle when these things clash. And I see how much simpler it is to cry, ‘Free Speech’.

    Just because something’s simple doesn’t make it right, and just because something’s a muddle doesn’t invalidate it, especially where the aim is good.

  204. #205 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    Todd W. & Scott,

    I don’t understand your last comments. I’m not standing up for the protection of religion for any reason.

    People choose to worship a god – so in effect it’s their choice to find irreligious things offensive if they want to. That’s just the froth of opinion. No law should protect them from criticism.

    On the other hand if people are singled out because of their race, that is nothing to do with their choosing an opinion, and the law should protect them.

  205. #206 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @Scott

    Yes, UK Visitor did just blame the victim. Here, I’m going to go back and slightly edit one of UK Visitor’s quotes:

    ‘People are entitled to hold anti-Catholic and extreme opinions which others may find unpleasant and obnoxious,’ said reviewing lawyer Mari Reid, of the CPS’ Counter Terrorism Division, which deals with religious hate crimes.

    ‘What they are not entitled to do is to publish or distribute these opinions to the public in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner, either intending to stir up religious hatred or in circumstances where it is likely religious hatred will be stirred up.

    Under UK Visitor’s rationale, I am completely and totally justified and protected by law to rile people up in a treatening, abusive or insulting manner with the intent to stir up religious hatred toward Catholics, or Muslims, or atheists, even. Got it.

  206. #207 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    I don’t understand your last comments. I’m not standing up for the protection of religion for any reason.

    People choose to worship a god – so in effect it’s their choice to find irreligious things offensive if they want to. That’s just the froth of opinion. No law should protect them from criticism.

    On the other hand if people are singled out because of their race, that is nothing to do with their choosing an opinion, and the law should protect them.

    No, I think we got that. You’re perfectly fine with religious hatred because the targets picked the wrong religion, and therefore whatever happens to them is OK.

    Now, we do tend to agree that criticizing religion is a fine thing to do. But your RATIONALE for it comes very, very, very close to a complete rejection of the concept of freedom of religion.

  207. #208 Raging Bee
    November 13, 2009

    I think the key point, and it is a fine one, that you are missing is who decides what is intended to incite hatred? How is that defined in a purely objective fashion?

    The same question arises in defining what is slander/libel, and asking who does the drfining. And even we supposedly-free-speech-absolutist Americans seem able to do this; so maybe we should stop pretending such questions are impossible to answer. Difficult and complex, yes; but not impossible.

  208. #209 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    Under UK Visitor’s rationale, I am completely and totally justified and protected by law to rile people up in a treatening, abusive or insulting manner with the intent to stir up religious hatred toward Catholics, or Muslims, or atheists, even. Got it.

    Well, that I have no problem with. It’s the way (he?) gets there that literally made my jaw drop.

    I also notice that it makes a mockery of the original position. Apparently anti-Semitism shouldn’t be permitted if it’s targeted at the Jewish religion, but as soon as it’s about the Jewish race it’s banned. Not terribly hard for Neo-Nazis to make that distinction, so the entire reason it was a good idea to limit freedom of speech just went out the window.

    Unless, that is, the justification is switched from “inciting religious hatred is OK but racial isn’t” to being “inciting racial or religious hatred is OK, as long as the targets aren’t Jewish”. Which is even MORE problematic.

  209. #210 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    The same question arises in defining what is slander/libel, and asking who does the drfining. And even we supposedly-free-speech-absolutist Americans seem able to do this; so maybe we should stop pretending such questions are impossible to answer. Difficult and complex, yes; but not impossible.

    Yes, but those advocating hate speech restrictions seem utterly unable to define what sorts of speeches fall under that category with anywhere near the precision that the law can define slander and libel. Until they can do that, why should we take them seriously?

  210. #211 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @Scott

    Yeah, I realized after I posted that I was not particularly clear in why the manner in which that conclusions was reached was wrong. Thanks for clarifying.

  211. #212 Joseph
    November 13, 2009

    Some of it might fall under the category of speech which is dangerous to others and false, such as yelling fire in a crowded theater.

  212. #213 Jud
    November 13, 2009

    UK Visitor –

    Your specific example at #192 is a very good one to demonstrate that we ought to be very hesitant to restrict free discourse with “hate speech” laws. Griffin and Collett’s remarks are actually relatively mild next to those of any number of politicians and media personalities regarding the immigration issue in the U.S., and I really would not wish to live in a nation where people would come under threat of imprisonment for that.

  213. #214 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    Unless, that is, the justification is switched from “inciting religious
    hatred is OK but racial isn’t” to being “inciting racial or religious
    hatred is OK, as long as the targets aren’t Jewish”. Which is even
    MORE problematic.

    Indeed, which is an example of why the slippery slope is not so fallacious in this case.

    For instance, if the reason given as to why racial hate speech (whatever that is) can’t be permitted is because people can’t choose their race, then women should be protected under such laws too. Ditto homosexuals. Unless you’re going to argue that they can choose their sexuality, it’s hard to come up with an argument against it if ineffable traits one is born with are the criteria for defining what sorts targets of hate speech should be protected, then there is no logical reason not to extend that protection to women and homosexuals.

    After that, it’s not such a far leap to say that most people don’t really choose their religion in practice. They’re born and raised into it. Moreover, in many cases it’s an integral part of their ethnicity and culture; changing is not so easy. There, that’s at least three more classes of people that it would be hard to argue against covering against hate speech against. I bet we could easily think of more.

  214. #215 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @Joseph

    Even yelling fire in a crowded theatre is protected, if, indeed, there is a fire or reasonable belief that there is a fire.

    Let me try a different approach. UK Visitor argues that laws banning racial hate speech are okay because people cannot choose their race. In that vein, hate speech against people based upon where they were born (e.g., the next town over, the country they’re from), their hair color, whether or not they have freckles, who their parents are, any diseases they may have, etc., can also be banned, because it is beyond the control of the individual targeted by the hate speech.

    Do I have that right, UK Visitor?

  215. #216 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    You know, this thread has been very polite and productive relative to many other recent threads of its length. I’m very glad this extremely interesting discussion hasn’t degenerated into a flamewar filled with trolls.

  216. #217 Joseph
    November 13, 2009

    I would limit it to speech that is dangerous to others, and demonstrating reckless disregard for the truth; a very high bar, like that of libel laws in the US.

    Not surprisingly, it appears hate speech laws are also known as group libel laws.

  217. #218 John Smith
    November 13, 2009
  218. #219 TSK
    November 13, 2009

    Perhaps I may explain why Germany has such laws. In the USA,
    the First Amendment is:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press[…]”

    It is the *First* one, but it isn’t the first in German law, it is the *fifth* one which is even exclusively restricted in the following paragraph that freedom of speech is limited in certain cases.

    What is the first one in Germany ? It is:
    “Human dignity is inviolable.”

    So if human dignity clashes with freedom of speech, the answer of the USA is pretty clear: Freedom of speech has priority. But in Germany it is exactly the opposite: Human dignity has priority. And *both* countries act accordingly to their priorities.

    Is there a “natural” order which is violated by one of the countries ? No. Both statements are agreeable for both countries (and are specified by law), the conflict arises if you try to find out which your culture finds more important.

    In accordance with this priority:

    – As someone above said, games which are violent, degrading
    etc. may be only bought by people aged 18, “cleaned up”
    for the market (special German editions),getting on the
    index or banned (which is a constant source of anger for
    fans who even buy the original in the UK or other
    countries).

    – You may not insult people here without consequences. An
    “asshole” to a policeman will cost you something like
    1000€ (it theoretically goes up to one year prison, but
    I have never heard of sth outside a fine ). Private
    insults may be punished by civil lawsuit (if you are not
    afraid to be judged as coward and don’t insult back) and
    may cost several hundred €.

    – There are several attempts of states to filter Internet
    content and prohibit access to neonazi sites and
    (naturally) child pornography. Explanation: Our
    politicians are overaged and cannot comprehend how the
    Internet functions (Dumbness is also a possible
    explanation)

    The reason we are not (yet) living in a police state is that if it bothers Germans, they simply circumvent it and
    the highest court have very narrowly defined how the freedom
    of expression may be limited.

    You may absolutely not like it, but it is in accordance with the first basic law. Yes, I am aware of all sort of
    problems and miscarriage which may result from that position (which in fact happened), but you very well know that problems also arise from preferring freedom of expression before human dignity.

    Has the German position any merit ? If you don’t place much value in human dignity, violence rates may be higher. In fact the USA is one of most violent western countries; it has compared with Germany (2006) six times more murders, three times more rapes and seven times more prisoners (more in absolute and relative terms as in all other countries, even China und Russia).
    Compare the amount of hostility and expletives in a US blog
    with other native blogs and how people react to different opinions.

    Another reason why the law is untouched: Fighting against it is equivalent to political suicide. Many jewish
    instituitions (e.g. a Thorah school, a Jewish Museum) have permanent supervision by several policemen from a mobile home or police car. Why ? Because the politicians are scared shitless that an instituition or Jewish people may be attacked.

  219. #220 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    Orac,

    After that, it’s not such a far leap to say that most people don’t really choose their religion in practice.

    With this kind of reasoning, everything is a ‘slippery slope’, something every 2nd politician invokes when faced with something they dislike.

    Race hate law is really about race hate. That’s why we (somehow) manage to get it to work.

    I still don’t understand why, say, a small attempt to make life less unpleasant for minorities sticks in so many people’s throats here – for instance,

    A FATHER-OF-FIVE has been banned from watching football for three years after hurling racist abuse at a black player during the Swans match against Reading 10 days ago.

    An off-duty police officer seated near him at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium warned Andrew Passmore about his behaviour.

    Passmore was arrested and came before city magistrates to admit having engaged in racist chanting.

    He has been banned from attending football matches for three years and told not to go within 1,500 metres of the Liberty Stadium on match days.

    Perhaps some of the posters here would stand up for this man’s right of free speech?

  220. #221 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    Race hate law is really about race hate. That’s why we (somehow) manage to get it to work.

    Except that you still haven’t provided any kind of defensible justification for that limitation…

    I still don’t understand why, say, a small attempt to make life less unpleasant for minorities sticks in so many people’s throats here – for instance,

    Maybe it will help if you consider a scenario where the practice of Islam is banned in order to avoid offense to Christians. It’s pretty much the same thing – strictly restricting a fundamental human right simply so somebody won’t have to hear something that might bother them.

    Perhaps some of the posters here would stand up for this man’s right of free speech?

    Absolutely.

  221. #222 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    With this kind of reasoning, everything is a ‘slippery slope’, something every 2nd politician invokes when faced with something they dislike.

    Race hate law is really about race hate. That’s why we (somehow) manage to get it to work.

    One notes that you completely ignored my other two examples, which followed your logic in justifying laws banning race hate speech exactly, and instead chose to zero in on the one that intentionally did not. In fact, I intentionally tacked that last example on the end as bait to see if you would go after it, and you did not disappoint.

    Tell you what. Let’s eliminate that example and go back to my other two examples. If your criteria for deciding that race hatred laws are justified is based on the fact that people can’t choose their race, then shouldn’t women be included as protected by such laws? They can’t choose their sex, after all. Or how about homosexuals? They can’t choose their sexual orientation. If you don’t think such “hate speech” laws should be extended to women and homosexuals, then explain why not, given that both classes of citizens fall under your stated justification for race hate laws.

    You really are digging yourself in deeper, you know.

  222. #223 UK Visitor
    November 13, 2009

    Scott,

    Or to put it another way,

    restricting a fundamental human right simply so somebody won’t be picked on for the colour of their skin

  223. #224 Orac
    November 13, 2009
    Perhaps some of the posters here would stand up for this man’s right of free speech?

    Absolutely.

    Except that I’d also stand up for the property rights of the stadium owner and team to keep their stadium a pleasant place to watch a match, which means they could ban this wanker if they so desired. Again, it’s the same principle as the pub owner. The government shouldn’t be able to ban such speech, but that doesn’t mean a private property owner has to put up with it on his own property. Indeed, such a clown, if obnoxious enough, would be ejected from a stadium right here in the U.S., and there would be nothing in the First Amendment to prevent it.

  224. #225 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    @UK Visitor

    What is the difference, in your opinion, between hate speech and harassment?

  225. #226 Michael Santomauro
    November 13, 2009

    Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides By Thomas Dalton

    Softcover book, 280 pages
    ISBN: 1591480051 / 978-1591480051

    In this remarkable, balanced book, the author skillfully reviews and compares “traditional” and “revisionist” views on the “The Holocaust.”

    On one side is the traditional, orthodox view — six million Jewish casualties, gas chambers, cremation ovens, mass graves, and thousands of witnesses. On the other is the view of a small band of skeptical writers and researchers, often unfairly labeled “deniers,” who contend that the public has been gravely misled about this emotion-laden chapter of history.

    The author establishes that the arguments and findings of revisionist scholars are substantive, and deserve serious consideration. He points out, for example, that even the eminent Jewish Holocaust scholar Raul Hilberg acknowledged that there was no budget, plan or order by Hitler for a World War II program to exterminate Europe’s Jews.

    This book is especially relevant right now, as “Holocaust deniers” are routinely and harshly punished for their “blasphemy,” and as growing numbers of people regard the standard, Hollywoodized “Holocaust” narrative with mounting suspicion and distrust.

    The author of this book, who writes under the pen name of “Thomas Dalton,” is an American scholar who holds a doctoral degree from a major US university.

    This is no peripheral debate between arcane views of some obscure aspect of twentieth century history. Instead, this is a clash with profound social-political implications regarding freedom of speech and press, the manipulation of public opinion, how our cultural life is shaped, and how power is wielded in our society.

    http://www.amazon.com/Debating-Holocaust-Look-Both-Sides/dp/1591480051/

    Peace.

    Michael Santomauro
    Editorial Director
    Call anytime: 917-974-6367
    ReporterNotebook@Gmail.com

  226. #227 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    Then why not

    restricting a fundamental human right simply so somebody won’t be picked on for their speech impediment

    or

    restricting a fundamental human right simply so somebody won’t be picked on for treating everyone he meets like an idiot

    or

    restricting a fundamental human right simply so somebody won’t be picked on for claiming that Hitler was the greatest leader in history

  227. #228 Luna_the_cat
    November 13, 2009

    Scott: people have the right to say what they want, but they do not have the right to be free of consequences. What those consequences are has much to do with simple pragmatism, in practice.

    Racial epithets are an absolute no-no in UK sports arenas, because that became necessary as a control on the players’ and spectators’ behaviour, and in order to respect the rights of non-white players to be in the game without facing systematic harassment over, not who they were as individuals, but their unchangeable group membership. Sure, the guy had the right to free speech. And the football clubs had the right to ban him from attending. I don’t think you have any idea how effective such actions have been at decreasing the level of mindless violence which accompanied games over here for a few decades. Real people were getting really hurt because of incitement by name-calling.

    And I think the issue of systematic harassment of groups is one you don’t quite get, here. Red-heads and people from Stoke-on-Trent don’t face, and historically haven’t faced, the kind of systematic persecution that various racial (and yes, even religious) groups have.

    It isn’t fair to cut Europe’s history out of this picture, because Europe can’t do that. There are centuries of records of not just persecution and one big genocide, but lots of little, local attempts at genocide — especially aimed at Jews. This is the context in which certain speech is prohibited or made subject to sanction. The wars over here are much closer to home, so to speak.

    Abstract principles are inevitably subject to certain limitations when instantiated in real life, and there are just as inevitably local differences in need. Dealing with the history and context of racial violence over here has resulted in decisions different than what you would take over there.

  228. #229 dean
    November 13, 2009

    Orac, is there any commonality between vaccination deniers, “alternative medicine” supporters, and holocaust deniers (like ASMarques and M Santomauro above)? Not necessarily overlap in the groups, but traits in general?

  229. #230 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    Sure, the guy had the right to free speech. And the football clubs had the right to ban him from attending.

    And that, I would have no problem with – but the quotation appeared to indicate that the GOVERNMENT banned him, not the clubs. (At least, that’s how I interpreted the reference to the magistrate.)

    If the government wasn’t involved, then I’ll agree that the situation was handled appropriately.

  230. #231 Eric Hunt
    November 13, 2009

    There is nothing more un-scientific than belief in the Exodus and Holocaust stories.

    I am suing a woman who claims to have escaped from inside a gas chamber, was thrown over an electrified barb wire fence to another train, claims to have avoided becoming a lampshade, claims Mengele removed her tattoo, and claims General Patton gave her his four star buttons? at a hospital I’ve proven she was far away from at the time.

    “Scientists” such as yourself also like to claim that “everyone is equal” or prop up the myth with your silence, or say, focus on global warming instead.

    People who want to imprison priests and historians for presenting a different point of view prove that the Holocaust story does not add up, and was promoted by the same created Jews who created the Bible.

    If “Holocaust Denial” is as silly as denying the moon landing, or belief in aliens, it would not need to be punishable by years in prison.

    You can’t allow an open debate on the Holocaust story, because you would lose.

    I am suing Steven Spielberg and Irene Zisblatt for libel.

    I’ve begged them to sue me for libel, but rather than let a jury decide, they will try and get it thrown out on a technicality.

    I have faith that a jury, who sees video of the incredible “lampshade lies” and ridiculous fantasies of a Jewish teenager fed and kept alive for a year and a half by the Germans will find in my favor.

    erichunt.net

  231. #232 Luna_the_cat
    November 13, 2009

    Orac: I personally would be in favour of banning hate speech against women and homosexuals as well as “races”, where it could be demonstrated that this contributed to incitement to violence.

    The problem is, there IS no definition of “hate speech” or “incitement” which cannot be twisted until it breaks — because, let’s face it, there is not and never has been even a single system or set of rules created by humans at any time in history that humans couldn’t bend until it breaks. That’s just what humans do.

    Having said that, it’s not a good excuse not to have sytems or rules. It just means, many things have to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

  232. #233 Eric Hunt
    November 13, 2009

    Also, why do you remain anonymous, Mr. Scientist?

    If you want to debate me on “The Fifth Diamond” or Spielberg’s propaganda film “The Last Days”, I will do it anytime, anywhere, as long as you can pay my travel costs.

    Eric Hunt
    erichunt.net

  233. #234 Scott
    November 13, 2009

    And I think the issue of systematic harassment of groups is one you don’t quite get, here. Red-heads and people from Stoke-on-Trent don’t face, and historically haven’t faced, the kind of systematic persecution that various racial (and yes, even religious) groups have.

    It isn’t fair to cut Europe’s history out of this picture, because Europe can’t do that. There are centuries of records of not just persecution and one big genocide, but lots of little, local attempts at genocide — especially aimed at Jews. This is the context in which certain speech is prohibited or made subject to sanction. The wars over here are much closer to home, so to speak.

    Exceedingly weak arguments. Proximity really isn’t a meaningful distinction here; indeed, the argument could be made that such history makes the need for such restrictions LESS, as the general public is more keenly aware of that history.

  234. #235 Luna_the_cat
    November 13, 2009

    Oh dear, it’s Eric Hunt. Seriously, don’t waste time; hit the banhammer NOW. Of all the trolls which are tolerated here, he ain’t worth it. He makes ASMarques and brian look sane.

  235. #236 Eric Hunt
    November 13, 2009

    Oh, I almost forgot.

    Irene Zisblatt claims she repeatedly swallowed and defecated four diamonds in the camps.

    All of her stories come after a fifty year silence.

  236. #237 Todd W.
    November 13, 2009

    Quick question: what actually constitutes hate speech? If someone makes an off-hand remark in the course of casual conversation that is racially derogatory, is that punishable under the law? Or does it require the intent or potential to stir people up to violence? If the latter, does it matter who is stirred up to violence (i.e., only if it stirs up people to violence against the target of the derogatory comment? only if it stirs up the targets of the comment? both?)?

  237. #238 Luna_the_cat
    November 13, 2009

    Scott:
    the argument could be made that such history makes the need for such restrictions LESS, as the general public is more keenly aware of that history.

    More keenly aware, and some sectors of the population quite eager to repeat. You have never lived over here, have you? This is one of those arenas where until you’ve had personal experience of the situation it will be hard for you to understand.

    A certain flavour of viciousness towards national or racial groups is an established tradition stretching back hundreds of generations, in areas. The fact that people are keenly aware of it does NOT mean that it is universally frowned on. Tolerating and not quashing the verbiage that goes with the attitudes keeps it alive and fresh for each new generation; it’s only when there is a certain official (i.e. policy-driven) level of feedback being trickled down to and through the average citizen that this is unacceptable, do attitudes start to mellow.

    Think: it was a government-driven decision to force integration at Little Rock. There was no impetus for any level of racial tolerance, however feeble, until it started to be enforced from the top down. Do you think that was the wrong thing for the US government to have done?

  238. #239 TSK
    November 13, 2009

    At least I must agree the current paragraph 130.3 *is* extremely stupid because is forbids not only

    a) approval (ok for my standards)

    but
    b) trivialization (dangerous loophole)
    c) denial (really extremely stupid)

    There is in fact an argumentation inside the German standard works about the penal code that the law is really going too far. But the political climate is, as I said, not able to introduce a change.

  239. #240 Poogles
    November 13, 2009

    “Think: it was a government-driven decision to force integration at Little Rock. There was no impetus for any level of racial tolerance, however feeble, until it started to be enforced from the top down. Do you think that was the wrong thing for the US government to have done?”

    My argument would be that this govt driven decision was about people’s actions, not their speech. This is an important distinction, I think.

  240. #241 Luna_the_cat
    November 13, 2009

    Todd W.:

    If someone makes an off-hand remark in the course of casual conversation that is racially derogatory, is that punishable under the law?

    As I’ve seen things practiced here in the UK, I would personally say no — bearing in mind that I’m a casual observer here, not a lawyer. But if it is said in the context of a co-worker or boss saying it about an employee, a case could be made (and almost certainly would be) that it is harassment. And if such a casual statement is said by a person in a position of authority, such as a professor, council member, or MP, then it generally stirs up a certain level of outrage and requires a public apology. Only Prince Philip gets away with it, and I think at least 60% of the country wishes the Queen would just stop letting him talk to people. (Except the comedians. Comedians love Philip; free matieral!)

    Or does it require the intent or potential to stir people up to violence? If the latter, does it matter who is stirred up to violence (i.e., only if it stirs up people to violence against the target of the derogatory comment? only if it stirs up the targets of the comment? both?)?

    I believe that some test cases of that might occur in the foreseeable future — given the fact that BNP tw*ts have been elected to office. So far they have been very careful to maintain “plausible deniability” to inciting racial violence, but racial violence has gone way, way up in the areas where they were elected and regularly speechify.

    In answer to the second part of that question, I think if there were violence by the targets of said hate speech, they would be punished for the violence but the speaker would not be punished for the speech; if there were violence against the targets, as per the hate speech, both the perpetrators and the speaker would be punished if a connection could be shown to be reasonable.

    Standard disclaimers apply: IANAL. This is simply my observation of practice here.

  241. #242 Luna_the_cat
    November 13, 2009

    Poogles: And this is a relevant point. The problem in Europe, I think, is that speech and action in this arena ar traditionally way too closely linked.

    Sadly, though, I’m going to have cut my participation in this conversation (very) short at this point. I’ve gotta go do stuff.

  242. #243 666isMONEY
    November 13, 2009

    I’m an H-denier who doesn’t consider herself anti-Semetic. Religion or race has nothing to do with a forensic examination of the alleged murder weapon, logistics of body disposal or demographics. I am pretty much anti-religion as they are all irrational but I like what Jesus (if he existed) says. Jesus was the Logos or logic of God (John 1:1) and the devil is a slanderer (see etymology of “devil”), like Hitler or anyone who opposes the Money $ystem (even Jesus) is crucified & slandered by devils.

  243. #244 TSK
    November 13, 2009

    > Quick question: what actually constitutes hate speech?

    I can answer that for the German case (nazi crimes excluded).

    > If someone makes an off-hand remark in the course of
    > casual conversation that is racially derogatory, is that
    > punishable under the law?

    No. The first condition is that it must be able to disturb
    public peace. So it must reach a sufficient number of people or protected groups which can be easily influenced
    (people under 18).

    That means public speeches, internet or presentation in mass media (TV, leaflet).

    Secondly it must have the actual ability to disturb peace.
    People must have the impression that the request is serious and achieveable.

    > Or does it require the intent or potential to stir
    > people up to violence?

    You must either
    a) Promote hate
    b) Request people to act with violence or discrimination
    c) Denigrate, defame or degrade

    (against) a *part* of the population.

    > If the latter, does it matter who is stirred up to
    > violence (i.e., only if it stirs up people to violence
    > against the target of the derogatory comment? only if
    > it stirs up the targets of the comment? both?)?

    No, it does not matter. The attempt alone and the possibility that it may succeed is sufficient.

  244. #245 Igor
    November 13, 2009

    Six Cube Monetary: so you like Jesus, quote the New Testament, and claim devils crucified and slandered him but you are not in any way a believer in a religion or anti-Semitic. I’m surprised that a paradox of your caliber has not imploded and ceased to exist. Don’t deny H. Hydrogen has been shown to exist even if we can’t see it.

  245. #246 Karl Withakay
    November 13, 2009

    It’s a little late in the thread, but:

    Karl Withakay’s Laws of Concern Trolls:

    More often than not, when someone says they don’t have an opinion on something, it usually means they really do, but deny it so they can maintain the appearance of impartial objectivity.

    When someone prefaces a comment by stating what they are not, or what they don’t believe, or what they’re not sure of, it tends to be followed by a statement that shows they do have an underlying true belief and their preface was dishonest BS.

  246. #247 Igor
    November 13, 2009

    TSK: The problem that hasn’t been addressed here is not just that hate speech laws will subject certain people to criminal prosecution, but that they also have what we call a “chilling effect” on protected speech. Ultimately, speech which may not necessarily fall in the category of racist hate speech will be curtailed for fear that it may be criminalized. The reason that happens is because, as it was pointed out numerous times, legal language is often subject to imprecision and an objective interpretation may be difficult. Hence the SCOTUS decisions which found vague and overboard bans on speech unconstitutional.

  247. #248 titmouse
    November 13, 2009

    I personally would be in favour of banning hate speech against women and homosexuals as well as “races”, where it could be demonstrated that this contributed to incitement to violence.

    We have laws against inciting violence. We have laws against harassment. Why do we need additional laws against “hate speech”?

    What is wrong with hate? My hate is precious to me. It is my survival in the face of the unspeakable. Are you trying to take it from me?

    Are you trying to frighten people against me and my hate?

    Who are you to judge these emotions within me?

    Why must you become more than a mere mortal like me? Why must you become an army, a police force I cannot hope to resist?

  248. #249 titmouse
    November 13, 2009

    I wonder what the word “race” means.

  249. #250 Mu
    November 13, 2009

    Kismet, the Germans think they are defending democracy even at the cost of free speech because under the “Volksgut” doctrine, the individual rights have to stand back in the interest of the people as a whole. So for the people to never lose the basic democratic right to vote freely for their government, the individual right at absolute free speech gets curtailed.
    As for the Holocaust deniers here, they make the creationists at Pharyngula look bright. It takes years of study to understand fossil remains, everyone with a 4th grade education should be able to decipher the Nazi’s own documents. Most of those estimates are based on the German records, after all, the railroads got paid to transport prisoners, ditto the people providing food to concentration camps etc.

  250. #251 titmouse
    November 13, 2009

    Hate speech laws do not offend me because they constrain free speech. They offend me because the basis for that constraint is improper.

    My position is not, “free speech no matter what.” My position is, “fuck you and your thoughtcrime laws.”

  251. #252 titmouse
    November 13, 2009

    Orac’s hate speech filters ate my last post. So to recap:

    Hate speech laws do not offend me because they constrain free speech. They offend me because the basis for that constraint is improper.

    My position is not, “free speech not matter what.” My position is, “F*ck thoughtcrime laws”

  252. #253 Igor
    November 13, 2009

    All I’m saying’ is don’t be hatin’ the hataz, they is people too.

  253. #254 Murph
    November 13, 2009

    “everyone with a 4th grade education should be able to decipher the Nazi’s own documents.”

    Except there aren’t any documents proving the holocaust happened.

  254. #255 Hater
    November 13, 2009

    Some of my best friends are haters.

  255. #256 Liebe meine abschmenkee
    November 13, 2009

    Except there aren’t any documents proving the holocaust happened.

    Your narrative has become tiresome.

    Now is the time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!

  256. #257 Murph
    November 13, 2009

    Irene Zisblatt blatantly lies about the holocaust and the “skeptics” don’t object to it at all.

  257. #258 the makers of Reynolds Wrap
    November 13, 2009

    I am pretty much anti-religion as they are all irrational but I like what Jesus (if he existed) says. Jesus was the Logos or logic of God (John 1:1) and the devil is a slanderer (see etymology of “devil”), like Hitler or anyone who opposes the Money $ystem (even Jesus) is crucified & slandered by devils.

    The above (batshit) is hardly convincing (persuasive) to anyone (the Jews) reading (hallucinating) this thread (burp).

  258. #259 Jannsen Pharmaceuticals Inc
    November 13, 2009

    Irene Zisblatt blatantly lies about the holocaust and the “skeptics” don’t object to it at all.

    The hell you say.

  259. #260 TSK
    November 13, 2009

    > but that they also have what we call a “chilling effect”
    > on protected speech.

    Yep. The problem is that you may misapply the law because of political pressure. Or invent similarities to apply the case when in reality the law is not applicable etc. etc….
    all that to silence critics even if they tell the truth.
    And sure there *are* cases here where the law was IMHO misapplied.

    Still I think there are many factors that prevent the chilling effect to reach its full power.

    It can be countered by the exact same tactic: You can rephrase the text so vague that the message still comes through but cannot be prohibited. Nazi leaflets didn’t disappear; now they are talking about crime rate, vicious crimes committed by brutal aliens, citizens living in fear etc. etc. Everyone knew that Arthur Millers “The Crucible”
    described the HUAC, but even this mighty juggernaut was powerless to respond.

    Second, as in the US, the courts refine the exact meaning of the law with test cases which gives a more and more accurate picture how to apply the law.

    And last, unfortunately, powerful people *still* trample on exactly defined rights. During the G8-Meeting 2007 our chancellor had the brazenness to prohibit demonstrations in an area of more than a mile (!), enacted unlawful searches and arrests and violated the constituition by using the army for police work. Didn’t the fourth amendment prohibit
    wiretrapping and the government *still* did it ?

    > Why do we need additional laws against “hate speech”?

    Perhaps you don’t need them ? If the citizens find that at least in the USA freedom of speech is more valuable than anything else, why not ?
    The only thing is that other countries may come to another decisions which may be based on other, not less precious, base laws and own experiences.

  260. #261 Luna_the_cat
    November 13, 2009

    One very quick (and temporary) reappearance to respnd to something which started niggling at me —

    @Scott:

    Sure, the guy had the right to free speech. And the football clubs had the right to ban him from attending.

    And that, I would have no problem with – but the quotation appeared to indicate that the GOVERNMENT banned him, not the clubs. (At least, that’s how I interpreted the reference to the magistrate.)

    That’s actually a both/and. Because of the extent and nature of football violence, and the fact that in the 80s it started moving out of the stadiums onto city streets in a really major way, there was a lot of pressure being put on football clubs to take responsibility for the crime and destruction their fans were causing (it was getting to the point that cities and police forces wanted to bill the football clubs for the property damage caused, so all of a sudden the clubs were interested in finding a better solution.) Eventually police and the football clubs cut a deal whereby the local judiciary can impose bans on people who are identified as starting or trying to start fights, essentially restraining orders to keep them away from games and club premises. It does seem to work.

    What you are seeing in that particular incident, though, is a combination of crimes: the football hooliganism, racial hatred (not a perfectly overlapping set, but often overlapping) because of what he was shouting and the fact he was encouraging kids to join in, plus the guy cussed out an off-duty policeman who was sitting near him at the game and who told him to settle down. So what he received from the judge was a fine for public disturbance + inciting racial hatred (getting a group of kids to chant with him is really a no-no), plus the standard ban for hooliganism that was agreed with clubs.

    And now, forgive me, but good night.

  261. #262 Murph
    November 13, 2009

    Zissplat swallowed and pooped diamonds every day for 15 months. Sure. She doesn’t have an Auschwitz tattoo because the SS removed it. Ok. She never told her amazing story to anyone until after watching Shindlers List.

  262. #263 Mark
    November 13, 2009

    Is it OK if I don’t care anymore about the Holocaust?

    Is it OK if I don’t want to hear about it or have it force-fed down my throat all day?

    I wasn’t even born then. I don’t care about the Holocaust.

    I care about the Holomodor. I care about what happened to 50 million Europeans murdered by Stalin and his henchmen. Some of my ancestors were victims. I’m not going to be concerned about somebody elses holocaust when I have my own to remember. I no longer care about what happened or not to jewish people.

  263. #264 Gingerbaker
    November 13, 2009

    “Yes, but those advocating hate speech restrictions seem utterly unable to define what sorts of speeches fall under that category with anywhere near the precision that the law can define slander and libel. Until they can do that, why should we take them seriously?”

    Why are you trying to invent the wheel here? The European laws restricting certain types of speech have been on the books for many decades. Have you looked at them?

    And why shouldn’t we take them seriously – because they may not fulfill your definition of perfection? They probably are not perfect in all cases – so what? Do you think the US libel/slander laws have never been refined through case law?

    So far all I see from your side is a stubborn obsession with any possible deviation from absolutism, despite the fact the absolute free speech doesn’t exist anywhere. Our speech is restricted a thousand ways from Sunday in the US – most of it for truly stupid reasons. The Republic has not fallen.

    And neither has Germany decayed into Orwellian totalitarianism, although by now it would have had plenty of time to do so if we were to take your paranoias seriously.

    The restriction against Holocaust denial in Germany has done very little to harm the totality of anyone’s free speech rights, and has done plenty of good for their country.

    This American nationalist pride about the supposed sacredness of the First Amendment is a parochial mirage at best, and makes a very poor export.

  264. #265 Amy Aremia
    November 13, 2009

    The 20th Anniversary this month of the tearing down of the Berlin wall brings to mind a small article written at the time, in the Shelby Daily Star, Shelby, NC, that stated simply: After the wall came down West Germany found records in East Germany that listed 365,000 Jewish deaths,up until the end of World War II. This is the figure used by British Bishop Williamson. Why should he be”convicted” as a criminal and be fined?
    To discredit the intellect of those who are willing to question the “historical facts” as presented by Israel, and all other opinions, by using stock answers such as calling them neo-nazis, anti-semites, or racists,and then consider it as a criminal act, punishable by imprisonment or a large fine as given to the Bishop,serves as an injustice to freedoms.
    If a government like Israel can have power to determine what free speech is and is not allowed, by enforcing their Hate crime law upon other governments, is basicaly an act of world power; getting rid of it will not be easy, for it has already ignored national borders by making its unjust law to supercede other country’s laws protecting freedom of speech.
    Freedom of speech is just that—freedom to speak one’s thoughts and to question, which Israel uses freely against its hate for Jesus and Christianity and other religions…
    If the Hate Crime laws are not abolished what will be the next crime? To question what Israel wants the world to believe about the genocide war in Palestine?

  265. #266 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 13, 2009

    So the Holocaust deniers seem to be advancing an argument something like the following:

    1) Irene Zisblatt’s story is one of several million accounts of the Holocaust.
    2) Irene Zisblatt’s story is false.
    3) Therefore, all accounts of the Holocaust are false.

    That fails just on the level of basic logic. Finding one member of Set A that has trait B proves nothing about any other member of Set A, let alone all members.

    By the same logic, we could automatically make every Holocaust denier’s claims instantly false, simply by having someone make denier claims which were knowingly false (I know, I know: coals to Newcastle, eh?). Once “Mavid Mirving” was shown to be a fraud who didn’t even believe his own BS, it would (by the Holocaust deniers’ own logic) show that every Holocaust denier was a deliberate liar who didn’t even believe their own claims.

  266. #267 Burn Down the Brainwashing Factory
    November 13, 2009

    I didn’t believe Ann Frank’s diary and I don’t believe Zisblatt. I’m sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust. I admire Bishop Williamson and Eric Hunt and I wish them great success in their struggle with tyranny. The Jews are a TRIBE and so any discussion of Jews that doesn’t praise them is called bigotry. But this is just a way to shut down criticism of the tribe by outsiders. Luckily, we haven’t come to total censorship, yet.

  267. #268 Murph
    November 13, 2009

    “1) Irene Zisblatt’s story is one of several million accounts of the Holocaust.
    2) Irene Zisblatt’s story is false.
    3) Therefore, all accounts of the Holocaust are false.”

    Whenever a particular account of the holocaust turns out to be a hoax, which happens a lot, it’s claimed not to matter because all the other accounts are true. Believers in other unfalsifiable conspiracies, like UFO abductions, use the same tactic. Question one far fetched account of alien abduction, and you will be told there are thousands of other valid claims of alien abductions.

    How about naming three accounts of the holocaust that are true, so we can examine the validity of what is claimed in them?

  268. #269 Hater
    November 13, 2009

    Perhaps you don’t need them ? If the citizens find that at least in the USA freedom of speech is more valuable than anything else, why not ?

    It’s the basis, not the limit, that offends me. A basis as incoherent and elastic as “hate” can be twisted to mean anything the powerful find threatening.

    To repeat:

    I DO NOT OBJECT TO LIMITS UPON FREE SPEECH.

    I OBJECT TO THE BASIS FOR THE LIMIT BEING “HATE.”

  269. #270 Hater
    November 13, 2009

    Murph, you’re trying to sell you case to a pub crowd.

    Take it to the peer reviewed journals. That’s where these controversies are settled.

    Now do us a favor and piss off.

  270. #271 Murph
    November 13, 2009

    Speaking of Anne Frank, can anyone here explain the story of Otto Frank?

    “in August 1944. Frank, his family…were arrested by SS Officer Karl Silberbauer…the Jewish prisoners were sent to the Dutch transit camp of Westerbork and finally to Auschwitz. Here Frank was separated from his wife and daughters. He was sent to the men’s barracks and found himself in the sick barracks when he was liberated by Soviet troops on 27 January 1945.” Source Wikipedia.

    Read that carefully. Otto Frank wasn’t able to work like the others, so he was put in the SICK BARRACKS. Not thrown into a gas chamber, but cared for in a SICK BARRACKS. Does that make a shred of sense?

  271. #272 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    Geez, Murph is one of the stupider Holocaust deniers I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something.

  272. #273 Murph
    November 13, 2009

    Instead of insults, could you name three accounts of the holocaust that are reliably true?

    Could you list ten of the many, many, Nazi documents that prove the holocaust happened?

    Why was Otto Frank placed in a sick barracks, and not gassed?

    If telling the truth about the holocaust is important, why do you tolerate the lies of Zissblatt?

  273. #274 Joseph C.
    November 13, 2009

    Orac, your freak magnet is workin’ overtime these days. I think you should replace it with a less powerful model.

  274. #275 Murph
    November 13, 2009

    I would be interested in seeing you debate Chip Smith. See the writings at the Hoover Hog site linked above.

  275. #276 Dedj
    November 13, 2009

    “why do you tolerate the lies of Zissblatt? ”

    Who says we do? You’ve already been called out on this illogic by Antaeus upthread.

    Acceptance of the general historical consensus that there was a movement to eradicate ‘undesirables’ does not imply or require acceptance of any and all holocaust stories.

    People lie about having been in whateverevent all the time, but no-one would be crazy enough to argue that this therefore means the event didn’t occur.

    I gave up trying to learn from historical revisionists years ago. It seems they expect all the usual factors that historians deal with all the time to suddenly be silver bullets to the Holocaust hypothesis.

    It’s sad that such rigidity of thought is still obviously prevelant.

  276. #277 Bowl of Hate
    November 13, 2009

    Instead of insults, could you name three accounts of the holocaust that are reliably true?

    Pardon me, but you seem to have mistaken me for someone who gives a sh*t about you and your feewings.

  277. #278 Murph
    November 13, 2009

    I’m interested in the truth. What first hand account of the holocaust should I read? It should be easy enough to name, if not three, one. One truthful account. It should also be easy enough to explain why an ailing Otto Frank was placed in a sick barracks instead of a gas chamber. Instead, insults. It’s plain why questioning the holocaust is illegal in many countries.

  278. #279 Hate a la mode
    November 13, 2009

    Right, Murph. No one wants to talk cuz they is in on the conspiracy. Hundreds of millions of people are suppressing the troof.

  279. #280 Orac
    November 13, 2009

    I am suing Steven Spielberg and Irene Zisblatt for libel.

    I’ve begged them to sue me for libel, but rather than let a jury decide, they will try and get it thrown out on a technicality.

    BTW, I just remembered who Eric Hunt is:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070227222832/http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/02/17/wiesel.arrest.ap/index.html

    SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) — A man accused of roughing up Nobel laureate and Holocaust scholar Elie Wiesel at a San Francisco hotel earlier this month was arrested Saturday, authorities said.

    Montgomery Township police arrested Eric Hunt, 22, of Sussex County, New Jersey, at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday. He faces charges that include attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment, elder abuse, stalking, battery and the commission of a hate crime, according to San Francisco police.

    He was being held without bail in the Somerset County Jail in New Jersey, awaiting extradition to San Francisco.

    Wiesel, 78, was a featured speaker at a February 1 peace forum at the Argent Hotel in San Francisco. He was approached in the lobby by a white man in his 20s who asked for an interview, police said.

    Authorities said Wiesel agreed to talk in the lobby, but the man insisted the interview be conducted in a hotel room, and got into the elevator with Wiesel. Once on the sixth floor, the suspect dragged Wiesel from the elevator, police said.

    Wiesel began yelling, and the suspect ran away down the elevator, police said.

    Police have said they were aware that a man claimed responsibility for the attack in a posting on an anti-Semitic Web site registered in Australia. Police have not commented further on that claim.

    San Francisco police Lt. Dan Mahoney said he doesn’t believe Hunt belonged to a larger organization.

    “He is a lone wolf and not part of an organization or group,” he said.

    Wiesel couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Saturday at Boston University, where he teaches, or through his institute in New York. Police in New Jersey and San Francisco said they did not know if Hunt had retained an attorney.

    Wiesel, who survived the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald during World War II, has worked for human rights in many parts of the world and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

    Gee, how do I rate this “honor”?

  280. #281 Dedj
    November 14, 2009

    “It should also be easy enough to explain why an ailing Otto Frank was placed in a sick barracks instead of a gas chamber.”

    Not really. We don’t know if he had a transferable skill, how long and what he was in the sick barracks for or the date he entered them.

    Without this knowledge, there are several possible scenarios that could explain the ‘discrepancy’ (which only exists as a discrepancy if you hold to a strawman version of the Holocaust consensus that it was either work or be gassed), in order to work out which one is most likely, one would need more in depth knowledge of both Otto Frank and camp operations at that time.

    Far from ‘easy’.

    Again, the binary thinking and inflexibility in considering alternative scenarios is typical of historical revisionists.

    I’m pretty much going to leave this. I had enough of this years ago, and it’s pretty obvious that neither the logic nor argumentation of the revisionists here is going to be anything less than the shaky entitlementism I came across before.

    There are peer-reviewed journals for this sort of thing.

  281. #282 Murph
    November 14, 2009

    Interesting article Orac. “Wiesel, who survived the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald”

    Exterminationist historians agree Buchenwald wasn’t a death camp. Can we get our facts straight? Is Night a reliable memoir, Orac? Wiesel never mentions gas chambers. How odd. As I note above, he also states the evacuation was voluntary, and describes getting surgery in the Auschwitz hospital for an injured leg. How charitable of mass murderers.

    I don’t believe in conspiracies, Hate a la Mode which is why I don’t believe the Nazi’s could have murdered 6 million people without leaving a paper trail or any physical evidence.

    Dedj says “there are several possible scenarios that could explain the ‘discrepancy'”

    Of course there are. Assume a certain view, that a vast conspiracy called the holocaust took place, and scenarios can be imagined to explain any discrepancy. It’s classic conspiracist thinking.

  282. #283 tim gueguen
    November 14, 2009

    Wow, ASMarques. A blast from the Usenet past I’m sure Orac didn’t want to see. But when you think about it its surprising he and his fellow idiots don’t turn up on this blog regularly just to make mischief. Then again some of them have probably either run afoul of the law or have succumbed to whatever mental malady made them believe such irrational nonsense in the first place.

  283. #284 skeptifem
    November 14, 2009

    Is there anything preventing white people from claiming protection under the anti-hate laws? I am 99% certain that if those laws were put into place in the US a bunch of white guys would be using them against their ex wives/employees/whoever and claiming some damaging misandry/racism that just isn’t there and can’t hurt them the same way. They are the ones with the legal resources to make use of such laws (generally) anyway, and the “oh i am such an oppressed white chirstian dude’ thing has been popular for long enough to catch on. Banning hatred of people based on being a majority doesn’t really work either, women are generally a little more than half the population and that doesn’t stop any hate towards them. Having historically discriminated against people get their own laws is problematic as well; defining who belongs in a race/gender isn’t always easy.

    I am a woman (and a feminist) and I do not want misogynist hate speech banned. Making it against the law to talk like that is making a violent bully force people into submission; they are still racist/sexist, and the damage is still done by the speech. Having someone put into jail or fined for their misunderstanding isn’t sticking up for me, it is sticking up for the power of the state to put people into jail or steal their money for having an opinion. I do not want people to get in trouble in that way for being misogynist. I would much prefer them actually changing their mind, which I can attempt to do with debate/activism, but bullying them with the state wouldn’t improve my condition in society or make anything better really. it makes me think of when parents make their kids appologize even though they clearly do not mean it. if every dollar spent on these stupid hate speech laws was put towards, I dont know, improving the economic and educational condition of women & minorities I would be pleased. THAT is a start towards a real change in society.

    To me, at heart, the american attitude of letting people say (almost) whatever they want has a lot to do with being wrong in the past on so many things. Banning whatever the status quo decides to be correct is obviously bad in retrospect, and hindsight is 20/20 after all. what we think now about society seems just as right to us as all the other garbage from the past did to people who lived then.

  284. #285 Major Hate
    November 14, 2009

    Look deniers:

    You’re on the Titanic and its going down. Yet you’re moving the deck chairs to see if they look better closer to port rather than starboard.

    Four million or six million –WTF?

    Your disregard for the possibility that you might be suffering a mental condition characterized by fixed, false beliefs impervious to reason is tragic. It also represents an ethical and a scientific failure on your part.

    Your egocentrism stinks. We are having none of it.

  285. #286 Kismet
    November 14, 2009

    @Gingerbaker, yes, we have looked at them. Yes, they are ridiculous. Yes, those laws are *hurting* real people (and not just me). And, yes, Germany is not one, but several steps, closer to totalitarian Orwellianism thanks to their censorship (*not* just the laws against Holocaust denial, but they’re an important part of the slippery slope enabling even worse media censorship).

  286. #287 UK Visitor
    November 14, 2009

    Kismet,

    Not the ‘slippery slope’ argument again. It ranks as equal to ‘Hitler was an atheist, so there’ when it comes to cop-outs.

    What the slippery slope accomplishes is turn a discussion about a law to ban Holocaust Denial into a case of ‘well, then, anything could happen next, so it must be wrong’.

    It’s lazy and avoids the issue, but maybe that’s why it’s used.

  287. #288 Haters R Us
    November 14, 2009

    Not the ‘slippery slope’ argument again. It ranks as equal to ‘Hitler was an atheist, so there’ when it comes to cop-outs.

    No, my objection and I believe Kismet’s objection is not a slippery slope argument.

    A law or a rule is a kind of test for sorting X-things from not-X-things. All tests come with an error rate: false positives (non-X misclassified as X) and false negatives (X classified as not-X).

    I argue that “hate” verses “not-hate” is problematic because the concept of “hate” is elastic and incoherent. There’s no slippery-slope here. This incoherence is in the present, not the future. The word “hate” has too many subjective connotations to be useful as a legal test.

    I have been accused of “hate speech” when I’ve offered criticism of Islam and Scientology –not yet by my government, but by people who believe my criticism = “hate” and “hate” = “immoral.”

    I oppose any attempt to tag a human feeling state as illegal or immoral.

  288. #289 Hate's Defender
    November 14, 2009

    UK Visitor,

    Because I’ve repeated my argument 9000 times in this thread without apparent comprehension on your part, I am truly beginning to hate you.

    Hatefully yours,
    Hater

  289. #290 TSK
    November 14, 2009

    I think I should clarify some misconceptions about “hate speech” laws in detail because Orac explicitly criticized German Law and I may be able to explain its usage outside Holocaust Denial (in which the 1994 law is IMHO in fact very bad).

    skeptifem:
    > Is there anything preventing white people from claiming
    > protection under the anti-hate laws?

    No, absolutely not. Why should there *any* excemption ?

    > I am 99% certain that if those laws were put into place
    > in the US a bunch of white guys would be using them
    > against their ex wives/employees/whoever and claiming
    > some damaging misandry/racism that just isn’t there and
    > can’t hurt them the same way.

    First of all: We are talking about *governmental* control and therefore penal law, NOT civil law. Ex wives/employees/whoever have a personal relationship with the violator and have therefore no link to governmental repurcussions. Neither the publicity clause nor the clause to target a specific part of the population (= less than approx. 1000 people) is fulfilled.
    Example: Ex-husband writes on the internet (publicity clause fulfilled).
    “XXX is a (insert insult here)”. Legal, but still open to civil court
    “I hate XXX. Hate her, hate her, hate her !!!” Still legal
    because it is a personal opinion.
    “All women are (insert insult). Rape them !” NOT legal.

    > They are the ones with the legal resources to make use of
    > such laws (generally) anyway

    Please understand the important difference between civil and penal law. Do you think the attorney of a murdered man
    comes to court and says: “Ops, my client didn’t have enough
    money, so we cannot sue him for his murderous act” ?
    Sedition is a penal issue, so legal resources matter only for a defendant.

    > Making it against the law to talk like that is making a
    > violent bully force people into submission; they are
    > still racist/sexist, and the damage is still done by
    > the speech.

    So what is exactly the deal with discrimination laws ? It also forces racist/sexist views in submission; they are still racist/sexist, and the damage is still done by their actions.
    The reason: The racists/sexists get the very clear message that discriminating is *not* ok and it has repercussions.
    And we can compare the effectivity of debate/activism with governmental laws (Hint: Paying damage was much more successful to suppress discrimination than debate).

    Kismet:
    > And, yes, Germany is not one, but several steps, closer
    > to totalitarian Orwellianism thanks to their censorship
    > (*not* just the laws against Holocaust denial, but
    > they’re an important part of the slippery slope enabling
    > even worse media censorship).

    Oh, I suspected that the attempts of our former Interior Minister to transform Germany into a police state were noticed. :) Yes, there were many very shaky and stupid laws
    and notions passed in the wake of 9/11.
    But the USA (if we exempt satellite TV and internet) doesn’t need censorship because they don’t use the freedom of opinion in their mass media at all. Try to find articles in the newspapers or TV which explain the world from the viewpoint of *all* political viewpoints (not only two or one) and *many* nationalities. Any foreigner visiting the USA can tell you it’s depressing; reading a specific event in several newspapers of different political viewpoints and
    nationalities is nigh impossible. I don’t wonder that Americans prefer more and more the internet because it is *much* better than the mass media.

    Hater:
    I didn’t exactly understand why you have rambled against the notion that the USA has the right to put freedom of expression on the first place, but I did understand that you find “hate” as notion too subjective, ill-defined, elastic and incoherent. While in your specific case German law does NOT deny you the right to be hateful you are surely more interested in the generic case.
    So you can tell me why exactly the first amendment should protect “hate speech”, but NOT “obscenity” which is exactly as ill-defined, elastic and incoherent ?

  290. #291 ekcol
    November 15, 2009

    Orac said:

    “If your criteria for deciding that race hatred laws are justified is based on the fact that people can’t choose their race, then shouldn’t women be included as protected by such laws? They can’t choose their sex, after all. Or how about homosexuals? They can’t choose their sexual orientation.”

    Perhaps you’re not aware that UK hate speech laws already do apply to women and homosexuals, precisely because hate speech laws are created using that justification. So only groups of people fitting this criterion are protected. Where’s the slippery slope?

  291. #292 UK Visitor
    November 15, 2009

    ekcol,

    Exactly. When the law is operated, there’s no slippery slope. If anything, the reverse: the lower courts will be overruled (ultimately at the European level) if they let the definition of hate slide too much and interfere with non-racial-hate speech. This is why the BNP leader got off his race hate speech charge: even though everyone knew he was a race hater, the court judged a specific speech not his general views.

    I’ve heard the slippery slope argument used everywhere, on almost any issue, and it comes down to the same thing: the person using it can’t be bothered to think in specifics, they just want a term to shut down the argument.

  292. #293 white angel
    November 15, 2009

    -Whenever a particular account of the holocaust turns out to be a hoax, which happens a lot, it’s claimed not to matter because all the other accounts are true. Believers in other unfalsifiable conspiracies, like UFO abductions, use the same tactic. Question one far fetched account of alien abduction, and you will be told there are thousands of other valid claims of alien abductions.-

    Straw Man. No one does that.

    PS, it’s only 3. Not “a lot”

    It’s asinine to compare Holocaust Denial to belief in UFO abductions.

    Besides, neither UFO abductors nor UFO abduction victims were tried in courts and found guilty or right, They were never thoroughly assessed by courts of law, so like the shitheaded denier you are, you’re comparing apples and oranges.

    -Instead, insults.-
    Orac and the others are tired of repeating the same stuff to you insects over and over and over again, Instead of addressing dedj’s logic about how a false account does not tarnish the countless accounts that were verified to be true by the Trials against Nazi Criminals, you respond with some nonsense about UFO abductions. Red Herring, Weak analogy, Guilt by Association

    -It’s plain why questioning the holocaust is illegal in many countries-
    Because it slanders and demeans the people who suffered in it. Nothing more and Nothing less. You’re welcome to believe whatever you want. That’s all you have, after all, Belief.

    -Hate a la Mode which is why I don’t believe the Nazi’s could have murdered 6 million people without leaving a paper trail or any physical evidence.-

    So the mass graves that were found in Europe, the 22 sq.kilometers of human ashes found at Belzec, the bones and other human remains at about 7.5 meters deep in Treblinka don’t count as physical evidence?

    -SS-Unterscharfuehrer Mueller, who did not belong to the accused’s unit, but had his permission to take part in the execution, snatched children from their mothers. Then, holding them in his left hand, he shot them and threw them into the grave. The accused took him to task about this but nevertheless did not stop him.-

    -The accused shall not be punished because of the actions against the Jews as such. The Jews have to be exterminated and none of the Jews that were killed is any great loss. Although the accused should have recognized that the extermination of the Jews was the duty of Kommandos which were set up especially for this purpose, he should be excused for considering himself to have the authority to take part in the extermination of Jewry himself. Real hatred of the Jews was the driving motivation for the accused.-
    – 1943 judgement of the SS and Police Supreme court against SS Unterstrumfuehrer Max Teaubner

    stroop report

    jaeger report

    So these, and all those Einsatzgruppen reports and the transit lists, don’t count as a paper trail?

    that’s why it’s denial. Not Revisionism

    You’re not a skeptic. You’re an idiot. You don’t have the right to whine about insults, you deserve every single iota of ridicule and contempt hurled at you. Take your trash elsewhere.

  293. #294 white angel
    November 15, 2009

    Orac

    -Oh, goody. We have Holocaust deniers to play with! You know, I should make another corollary to Scopie’s law and point out that if anyone involved in a discussion of the Holocaust cites Robert Faurisson (an arch Holocaust denier), the Institute for Historical Review (an infamous Holocaust denier organization), CODOH, David Irving, or VHO, as “evidence” in support of his arguments, he loses the argument immediately and should be laughed off the discussion forum.-

    I’d like to suggest that, because of this:

    I looked at the web site, and the image you sent. It is only one small part of his ‘grid’. The picture shows him using a 200 MHz antenna and collecting about 1 meter spaced transects in a huge grid. That image is not processed, and only shows about a 5 meter long section in one line. And even in that profile it looks like a bunch of “things” in the ground on the right hand side that could easily be mass graves. It is apparent that this guy either does not know anything of GPR, or at the very least does not know how to process it. To really do a good job, the data need to be put into a 3-D cube of reflections and processed in a batch, including ALL the profiles collected. If you really wanted to get to the bottom of this you either need to get his data and let someone else process it, or re-collect it all and re-process your own data. This is NOT a scientific or representive study of the ground by any stretch.

    That you add Krege’s “study” at Treblinka to your list

  294. #295 moar HATE
    November 15, 2009

    UK Visitor,

    Anonymous has criticized Scientology for practices like:
    – fair game
    – disconnection
    – worker exploitation
    – fraud

    Anonymous has stated that it seeks the destruction of this criminal cult.

    Is the above a hate crime?

  295. #296 Murph
    November 15, 2009

    It’s not a straw man. It’s being done in this thread. It’s said the convergance of evidence proves the holocaust, because no specific accounts can withstand scruitny. I asked earlier for anyone to name three reliable first hand accounts of extermination camps. Still waiting for a response.

    The transit lists don’t prove anything unless you read them the way holocaust conspiracists do as being full of “coded” messages.

    The SS allegedly tried Taubner for large scale murders of Jews. An odd thing to do if mass murdering jews is one of your goals. It would be nice to see the original verdict document. The authors of one book seem to be the only people to have seen it.

    It’s not revisionists who have resisted proper forensic examinations of former. When analyzing these things remember a large number of dead bodies is not proof of extermination, see Buchenwald.

  296. #297 white angel
    November 16, 2009

    -The transit lists don’t prove anything unless you read them the way holocaust conspiracists do as being full of “coded” messages.-

    -Who are these “conspiracists”, and how do they read these transit lists? Can you share some examples with us?

    Transit lists prove that X people were sent to a certain place…..where eyewitnesses and Nazi Criminals-who were thoroughly examined by courts ascertaining the guilt of the latter- said they were murdered. A large amount of human remains were found at these places. What else can you conclude?

    – The SS allegedly tried Taubner for large scale murders of Jews. An odd thing to do if mass murdering jews is one of your goals. It would be nice to see the original verdict document. The authors of one book seem to be the only people to have seen it.-

    Let me reiterate:

    -SS-Unterscharfuehrer Mueller, who did not belong to the accused’s unit, but had his permission to take part in the execution, snatched children from their mothers. Then, holding them in his left hand, he shot them and threw them into the grave. The accused took him to task about this but nevertheless did not stop him.-

    -The accused shall not be punished because of the actions against the Jews as such. The Jews have to be exterminated and none of the Jews that were killed is any great loss. Although the accused should have recognized that the extermination of the Jews was the duty of Kommandos which were set up especially for this purpose, he should be excused for considering himself to have the authority to take part in the extermination of Jewry himself. Real hatred of the Jews was the driving motivation for the accused.-

    Taubner wasn’t tried for large scale murder of Jews, he was tried for participating in large scale murder of Jews, despite not being part of the unit that was in charge of the large scale murder in question. In short, he was tried for insubordination . Get it?

    Are you blind, or are you lying?

    -It’s not revisionists who have resisted proper forensic examinations of former.-
    Because it’s not permitted to disturb the bodies of the dead in Judaism, and the Poles see things in a similar matter, claiming the extermination sites to be holy ground, resting places of polish martyrs, seeing that they already examined all of the extermination sites when they were prosecuting Nazi Criminals.
    By the way, some investigations were done at Belzec by Andrej Kola, who was actually authorized by the Polish Government. Guess what, he was able to identify some of the mass graves, with bodies in “wax-fat transformation”. He also got into trouble because, as said earlier, it’s not allowed to disturb the bodies of the dead.
    How come his methodology, and those of the Polish courts investigating the killing sites aren’t good enough for you?

    – When analyzing these things remember a large number of dead bodies is not proof of extermination, see Buchenwald.-

    Who said they did? all they prove is that a large group of people died, in the same sense that semen in a vagina doesn’t prove rape, only that sexual intercourse took place.
    It’s other types of evidence, like testimony from eyewitnesses and Nazi Criminals, including some complaint from a Wermacht officer in a post 20 kilometers away from Treblinka about the stench of corpses that weren’t being incinerated properly, that helps form a bigger picture, that these people were sent here, and afterwards murdered.

  297. #298 Murph
    November 16, 2009

    Transit documents using the terms “evacuation” and “resettlement” are interpreted as meaning “killed”, at least for certain camps. For camps that are conceded not to be extermination camps then the terms do not mean killed.

    “where eyewitnesses and Nazi Criminals-who were thoroughly examined by courts ascertaining the guilt of the latter”

    The Nueremburg trials were a farce. Besides the coercion of confessions, the admittance of false confessions, the USSR was a participant. The same USSR that, coincedentally, liberated all the death camps. Given the nature of the USSR, there is every reason to be skeptical.

    No sane person denies that some Jews were murdered. The question is has it been proven a systematic campagin of genocide existed, a campaign wich involved mass gassing at extermination camps.

    Do you have the original language of thAT document? It is quoted in that form in only one book.

    “Because it’s not permitted to disturb the bodies of the dead in Judaism”

    In Judiac law graves can be moved if the proper Rabbinic authorities say so, and if the proper rites are performed. In Isreal, for example, remains have been moved in order to put buildings on the land where the graves were. See thisThe conflict over moving ancient human remains discovered at the construction site of an Ashkelon hospital emergency room slated to be reinforced against rockets has been resurrected.

    The renewed debate follows the apparent back-tracking of the Chief Rabbinate on its decision to allow the bones, discovered at Barzilai Medical Center, to be moved to another site.
    The Chief Rabbinate yesterday asked the Prime Minister’s Office for a two-week extension before officially announcing its decision, originally made last week, to allow the re-interment of the ancient bones.
    A source in the Chief Rabbinate said the delay was needed to “obtain further clarifications,” however; the change seems due to internal ultra-Orthodox politics.
    A halakhic (Jewish law) decision published yesterday by Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and two other ultra-Orthodox rabbis holding by Lithuanian standards stated that the bones should not be moved.
    The decision contradicts an edict by Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who two weeks ago published a decision permitting the moving of the graves.
    Obviously it is a choice not to do proper forensic excavations.

  298. #299 ekcol
    November 16, 2009

    Anonymous has criticized Scientology for practices like:
    – fair game
    – disconnection
    – worker exploitation
    – fraud

    Anonymous has stated that it seeks the destruction of this criminal cult.

    Is the above a hate crime?

    No. And there is no part of the above discussion that suggests anyone would think it was.

    In case you really need it spelled out, people’s actions and their political ideas and beliefs can be rationally and legitimately criticized, and such criticism should be protected free speech. The colour of their skin or what kind of genitalia they have can’t be, and there’s no reason to protect bigots’ right to encourage persecution of those who have different skin or genitals.

  299. #300 John
    November 16, 2009

    “It means precisely what I mean it to mean, nothing more nothing less”.

    When the definition is so elastic that the most innocuous or innocent comment can, at the will of the accuser, be deemed to be anti-semitic, then almost anyone not only holocaust skeptics can be so labeled. More and more people are coming to see this accusation as a ploy to undercut an opposing position without having to address it’s merits. In the case of the gas chamber controversy it’s used to side step inconvenient questions or having to present compelling evidence supporting the belief that they in fact existed.

    Therefore, I suggest get off the childish name calling and present some documentary or forensic evidence or get off your high horse.

  300. #301 John
    November 16, 2009

    “It means precisely what I mean it to mean, nothing more nothing less”.

    When the definition is so elastic that the most innocuous or innocent comment can at the will of the accuser be deemed to be anti-semitic, then almost anyone not only holocaust skeptics can be so labeled. More and more people are coming to see this accusation as a ploy to undercut an opposing position without having to address itÆs merits. In the case of the gas chamber controversy itÆs used to side step inconvenient questions or having to present compelling evidence supporting the belief that they in fact existed.

    Therefore, I suggest get off the childish name calling and present some documentary or forensic evidence or get off your high horse.

  301. #302 Ender
    November 16, 2009

    “In the case of the gas chamber controversy it’s used to side step inconvenient questions or having to present compelling evidence supporting the belief that they in fact existed”

    Should be

    “In the case of the gas chamber controversy it’s used as an explanation for why the denier is continuing to hold their position after you have answered their questions and have presented compelling evidence supporting the belief that they in fact existed; if they claim they want evidence, but refuse to examine any evidence – then they’re probably not in this because they love Jews.”

  302. #303 Sergey Romanov
    November 16, 2009

    For all denier posturing they still cannot offer a simple answer (with evidence) to a simple question: where are the Jews transported into those camps?

    None of the “revisionist” gurus have ever answered this question. Not Mattogno, not Faurisson, not Irving, not even Sanning.

  303. #304 Sergey Romanov
    November 16, 2009

    “Question one far fetched account of alien abduction, and you will be told there are thousands of other valid claims of alien abductions.”

    I had to laugh at this. So for any given historical event we only have to find a false testimony about this event to debunk its historicity. Yeah, right. Where to begin…

  304. #305 göğüs estetiği
    November 16, 2009

    People don’t ignore racists so much as they either agree with them or openly ridicule them.

  305. #306 nitramnaed
    November 16, 2009

    Is this Eric Hunt guy writing this from the hoosegow!

  306. #307 nitramnaed
    November 16, 2009
  307. #308 Hater
    November 16, 2009

    In case you really need it spelled out, people’s actions and their political ideas and beliefs can be rationally and legitimately criticized, and such criticism should be protected free speech.

    Wait. I thought “Holocaust denial” = “hate speech.” No?

  308. #309 TSK
    November 16, 2009

    Perhaps it has gone down in the discussion, but I would like to ask it again.
    While the criticism on Holocaust denial laws has its own merits, it quickly was argued that “hate speech” is according to the US view unacceptable and the main reason for that is that they are (in contrast to other nations) strong defenders of the freedom of expression:

    “However, as much as I despise Holocaust denial, I value free speech[…]”
    “Europeans (and regrettably the British are ranked among them on this quality) have never had a strong tradition of free speaking”
    “Among all developed countries Germany may have the most vile and repugnant pro-censorship laws.”

    But should free speech have limits for…hm..icky,vile things or things a specific culture finds disgusting ?

    “Free speech must be unregulated to the greatest degree possible”
    “Rather, freedom of speech means protection for those who espouse views that are very unpopular. That includes even disgusting views that are quite rightly unpopular because they are so vile.”

    That sounds for me like “No”.

    In the light of this, I ask again:
    Why should “hate speech” be protected under the first amendment while “obscenity” is NOT protected under the first amendment ?!

    This is especially important because Germany and Scandinavia
    have no “obscenity” laws at all. What two or more consenting adults do nonviolently is freely distributable and openly accessible for adults.

    Would some of the purporting “freedom of expression” defenders explain what the core difference between “hate speech” and “obscenity” is ? What is your position on
    “obscenity” at all ? Didn’t you know that obscenity laws
    exist or do you find them ok ? Why ?
    So “isn’t it time for these affronts to free speech to be eliminated “?

    Criticism of the laws has its own merit and I accept that. But if you present yourself as free speech defender (and *especially* if you come off as self-righteous and patriotic) I don’t see the obligation to respect your cultural taboos.

  309. #310 Michael
    November 17, 2009

    Deniers of The Holocaust will have to excuse me if I deny their IMAGINARY ‘Dog’ Geebus!!!!! :-) There’s a great deal more proof of the Holocaust than there is that Geebus is ‘Ghourd’ God-damn-it!

  310. #311 hater
    November 17, 2009

    I can live without pr0n. I can’t live without hate.

    “The Holocaust did not happen.”
    “Anonymous will destroy Scientology.”

    Are either or both of the sentences above “hate speech”?

  311. #312 hater
    November 17, 2009

    Oh BTW, let me repeat myself for the 9001 time:

    I DO NOT OBJECT TO LIMITS UPON FREE SPEECH.

    I OBJECT TO THE BASIS FOR THE LIMIT BEING “HATE.”

  312. #313 UK Visitor
    November 17, 2009

    hater,

    You seem to have have missed the continual clarifications, from myself and others, viz:

    It’s not about ‘hate’, it’s about race hate, a term that can be defined so well that various European countries successfully operate anti-race-hate speech laws without getting in the way of any other ‘hate’ speech (eg the UK BNP leader’s anti-Islamic speech).

    Of course hate as a general category is entirely subjective; what’s not subjective is where hate is being directed against that-which-is-not-opinion, e.g. race.

    Orac’s earlier point that

    it’s not such a far leap to say that most people don’t really choose their religion in practice. They’re born and raised into it.

    Then goes on to redefine the idea so widely that it’s a red herring, one not encountered in the real world where RACE hate laws have operated.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: anti-race-hate laws aren’t some kind of empty abstract principle but an attempt to protect those who suffer most from racism. The only ones who suffer from these laws are out-and-out racists.

  313. #314 ekcol
    November 17, 2009

    Wait. I thought “Holocaust denial” = “hate speech.” No?

    No, they are separate concepts and separate laws. Many European countries have laws against one but not the other. The UK for example, has hate speech laws, but there is no law against Holocaust denial, and the British government will not extradict people who are accused of Holocaust denial.

    Sorry if this wasn’t clear, but I don’t support Holocaust denial laws. Although the OP is about Holocaust denial, most of the discussion has been about whether hate speech laws are ever justified, with British people arguing the British system is fair enough.

    The reason everyone is ignoring you when you blather on about “objecting to the basis for the limit being hate” is because ‘hate’ the emotion isn’t the basis, it’s just a word used to describe the laws.

    ‘Hate’ has a separate meaning in the case of hate crimes: “Hatred is the targeting of individuals, groups and communities because of who they are.” – from the British home office website.

    Regarding religion:

    it’s not such a far leap to say that most people don’t really choose their religion in practice. They’re born and raised into it.

    When someone criticises the tenets of a religion, or the beliefs or actions of religious believers, even in the most insulting and offensive terms, it’s protected free speech. When it’s simply a bigoted attack on a group of people, it’s hate speech. I’m sure that’ll prompt another round of “but who decides which is which”, but the fact is, it works in practice. We’ve had these laws for years and it causes no problems.

    As UK visitor has pointed out, even Nick Griffin has never been found guilty of hate speech, and it’s the official position of his party that all non-whites should be deported (including mixed race children of white British citizens).

  314. #315 TSK
    November 17, 2009

    > I can live without pr0n. I can’t live without hate.

    Unfortunately for you laws aren’t based on personal preferences. There are people who think that they cannot live without drugs and who will argue that having no education and therefore having no job opportunity gives them the right to sell drugs. For unexplainable reasons courts very often don’t share this viewpoint.
    So please argue on something other people from other cultures can understand.
    And again, sedition laws don’t prohibit your hate.

    To your questions:

    “The Holocaust did not happen.”

    Before 1994 generally no, after 1994 yes.
    The critical introduced parts are 3 and 4 which explicitly prohibit even denying the Holocaust publicly. As already said, many and prominent Germans were criticizing it with the same arguments here as going too far.

    “Anonymous will destroy Scientology.”

    If I may assume that Anonymous will destroy Scientology by legal means, no, it is legal. And statement of facts cannot be punished anyway.

  315. #316 ekcol
    November 17, 2009

    @Anonymous & Scientology

    FYI, just came across the relevant clause in the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006:

    Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system.

  316. #317 Jon H
    November 17, 2009

    “Zissplat swallowed and pooped diamonds every day for 15 months. Sure. She doesn’t have an Auschwitz tattoo because the SS removed it. Ok. She never told her amazing story to anyone until after watching Shindlers List.”

    So? Other people lie about what they did in the military in WW2, Korea, or Vietnam. Yet WW2, Korea, and Vietnam all happened.

    What exactly is your point?

  317. #318 little grey rabbit
    November 18, 2009

    what I find amusing is that it looks like that Orac is a regular reader of Codoh forum, the capital of holocaust denial on the web.
    It has about 10-20 persons posting there but a thread with zero replies will always get over 130 views. Suggesting there is largish pool of silent onlookers of which Orac is one.

    I say this has the dailymail link he uses for his blog post and appeared less than 24 hours before on Codoh forum. And I doubt Orac wakes up in the morning and decides to check out all the english tabloid websites

  318. #319 Luna_the_cat
    November 18, 2009

    Well, yes, and? If you want to know what the idjits are doing and saying, it does help to keep an eye on them.

  319. #320 Quack Quack
    November 20, 2009

    For a ‘science blog’ this place attracts a surprisingly high number of comments assuming the form “I’m right the other guys are evil idiots how can we humiliate them I’m feeling almost indestructible right now I’m so right” ;) I myself have nothing against so called “holocaust deniers”. I’m interested in the science. Show me.

  320. #321 ASMarques
    November 20, 2009

    Quack Quack said: “I’m interested in the science. Show me.”

    See here:
    http://richarddawkins.net/userComments,page1,38300

    Search the page for “Here is a brief history leading to a conclusion that you’ll have to assess by yourself” (comment #184118).

  321. #322 little grey rabbit
    November 21, 2009

    Quack Quack

    I wont pretend to give you a scientific refutation in the comments section of someone elses blog, even assuming I had such a scientific refutation to hand.

    However you might find these two aerial photos of the gas chambers at Auschwitz Birkenau released by the CIA in the late 70s. One in May 1944 and one in August 1944

    http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/Rodoh_Hans/gaschamber.jpg

    If you knew the layout of these particular buildings you might say it appears like the gas chamber is in a different position in the two photos.

    But doubtless there is a scientific explanation for this. Tectonic plates?

  322. #323 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 21, 2009

    If you knew the layout of these particular buildings you might say it appears like the gas chamber is in a different position in the two photos.

    It appears to me like someone obtained two photos of the same building, gave the features of the building two different labels between the two different photos, and then tried to argue that the inconsistency in the labels meant an inconsistency in the features of the building.

  323. #324 Dedj
    November 21, 2009

    Apart from the differences in gamma, drop shadows, and a slight difference in angle – the part of the photo where this would be made obvious “conveniently” covered by one of the labels – both photos line up as neatly as one could expect given that they were taken months apart.

    It still amazes me that there are people out there who lack the imagination to think of any reasonable explaination involving a basic phenomenon of aerial photography, yet have the imagination to be sarcastic about it.

    It’s almost as if people are coming to a pre-determined conclusion on the basis of political beliefs. Possible? Nah, no-one ever does that……..

    Tectonic plates it is then!

  324. #325 little grey rabbit
    November 22, 2009

    well, with respect, the source of the photos is well established.
    The lower august photo was taken from the US archives website and is also found on Yad Vashem. The May photo (upper) is an enlargement found in Mazal et al. from the Journal of Genocide Studies (I can provide the exact reference if you wish). The alignment was made by the skilled, intelligent and reasonably well known in anti-denier circles, Antifa campaigner “Hans of Rodoh”

    Should you really be interested in the issue, some of it is discussed here, but you do need to have a good knowledge of Birkenau geography and history to follow some of it
    http://rodohforum.yuku.com/topic/10231

    I’m afraid the claim that the black lines that appears to delineate the gas chamber are an artefact of aerial photography doesnt work. Mainly because the four black smears in the August photo are supposed to represent the Zyklon B insertion holes in the middle of the gas chamber, whereas in the May photo they appear to delineate one edge of the gas chamber.

    If I were to suggest explanations they would be the following
    1. A disgruntled anti-semitic CIA employee tampered with the photos really badly in the hope of discrediting the holocaust and increasing anti-semitism
    2. A large temporary earth wall or brushwood fence had been installed and cast a shadow. Said wall or fence being subsequently removed.
    3. or a ditch for drainage had been dug and was later filled.

    Bless
    little grey rabbit

  325. #326 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 22, 2009

    well, with respect, the source of the photos is well established.

    With respect, no one questioned the source of the photos. Alleging that someone has is a straw man argument.

    I’m afraid the claim that the black lines that appears to delineate the gas chamber are an artefact of aerial photography doesnt work. Mainly because the four black smears in the August photo are supposed to represent the Zyklon B insertion holes in the middle of the gas chamber, whereas in the May photo they appear to delineate one edge of the gas chamber.

    Appear to whom to delineate one edge of the gas chamber? Supposed by whom to represent Zyklon B insertion holes? You have replied to an argument that no one made about the source of the photos, but you have not responded to my argument, that the only “unexplainable” inconsistencies are not in the photos but only in the labels. What is the source of the labels?

  326. #327 little grey rabbit
    November 22, 2009

    The yellow labels are from the authors of:
    Daniel Keren, Jamie McCarthy and Harry W. Mazal, The Ruins of the Gas Chambers: A Forensic Investigation of Crematoriums at Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Oxford University Press, Volume 18, Number 1, Spring 2004, pages 68-103

    the blue labels are corrections from an anonymous anti-denier campaigner based in Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany, known to me only as Hans of Rodoh, in response to some fairly obvious errors in interpretation in the above article.

  327. #328 Dedj
    November 22, 2009

    “that the only “unexplainable” inconsistencies are not in the photos but only in the labels.”

    Indeed, every feature of the lower photo matches up reasonably well to the same features in the top photo. Even the egg-shaped turning point on the track to the left is in the same place relative to the building on both photos.

    The 4 alleged holes present and visable in the lower photo are also present in the upper photo in the same relative location. Even though the contrast and brightness of the upper photo is much darker all 4 ‘holes’ are still visible.

    If people are going to claim discrepancies between two photos, it helps if such discrepancies actually exist. It’s entirely possible that the ‘earthbank’ seen in the upper photo was moved or used to round off the top of the chamber. This could explain the existance of the two banks, and why the outerwalls are more prominent in the lower photo despite it having a higher brightness.

    “I’m afraid the claim that the black lines that appears to delineate the gas chamber are an artefact of aerial photography doesnt work”

    Well no. Lucky for me, I didn’t make that arguement. I was looking at the features of the photo, not the labels, which is what you asked us to do.

    You appear to have found a mistake in the labelling, if that is indeed what you found, and not just two photos with different labels. Well done. So, er, why are you making an arse of yourself here when the best people to write to would be the authours?

  328. #329 little grey rabbit
    November 22, 2009

    Oh, the authors have been made aware of the error and admit in private correspondence they made an error, but do not see the need to making a correction.

    I am just pointing out that this response:
    ²Apart from the differences in gamma, drop shadows, and a slight difference in angle – the part of the photo where this would be made obvious “conveniently” covered by one of the labels – both photos line up as neatly as one could expect given that they were taken months apart.²
    is incorrect.

    That there is, in fact, some physical object that gives the appearance of delineating a wall of the gas chamber but which is a completely different structure (see my three explanations given above)

    As David Matas put it so well:
    “the antisemite is immune to refutation from either facts or logic. An antisemite has chosen to live in hatred, without regard to either facts or logic”

    An antisemite or something….

    bless

    Little Grey Rabbit

  329. #330 Dedj
    November 22, 2009

    “I am just pointing out that this response…..

    is incorrect”

    But you didn’t even address the response, instead you went off at a tangent talking about something that wasn’t even mentioned in my response.

    So no, you were not addressing the response (except the one that exists only in your head), nor did you demonstrate how the response I actually made was incorrect. You appear to be having an arguement that isn’t apparent to anyone else. You certainly haven’t correctly adressed any response put to you in a way that would indicate that you have properly understood them.

    I have no idea where you go the idea that the line on the left is supposed to delineate a wall of a gas chamber. I never mentioned that, no one here has mentioned that, and it’s not labelled as such in the photos. What exactly is your reference that anyone makes this claim? Publication, page and line please.

    If you already know the authours have admitted an error, why the fandangle are you continuing to argue the point? What error – exactly – did they admit to?

    I fail to see any place where anyone is making the arguement you percieve yourself to be arguing against. You have certainly misattributed it to me despite me niether claiming or implying any such thing. I’m going to have to politely request that you stick to arguing against points that are raised by people other than the ones that so far only seem to exist in your imagination.

  330. #331 little grey rabbit
    November 22, 2009

    My apologies Dedj, I assumed English was your first language. I promise in future I shall be very conservative in attempting to extract meaning from your posts.

    “What exactly is your reference that anyone makes this claim?”

    Daniel Keren, Jamie McCarthy and Harry W. Mazal, The Ruins of the Gas Chambers: A Forensic Investigation of Crematoriums at Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Oxford University Press, Volume 18, Number 1, Spring 2004, pages 68-103

    I am not sure what page the annotated May 1944 aerial photo that incorrectly marks the earth banks on each wall of the gas chamber appears. I am sure you will find it fairly quickly if you flick through.

    Bless

    Little Grey Rabbit

  331. #332 w hingerty
    November 30, 2009

    You say that you are a doctor? Really? Where do you practice? I think you are a liar. Any educated person would find holes in the holoco$t. The soap?..The lampshades? The kangaroo trials at Nuremberg? The gas chambers constructed after the war? The fact that there are a million better gases to use than Zyklon B which is barely poisonous to humans. Have you read what any of the deniers have to say? Checked their refs? I used to be a rabid denier hater like you. I lived in Germany, visted Dachau, saw the alleged gas showers(later poopooed by their own people) Isnt this rash of holohoax movies just German HATE? Sure pick on white people,(they killed the Inyuns’)The Germans(what a disgusting race)Theyre easy. Now they ban free speech. Sounds like someone is afraid of open discussion. Anne Frankies..ballpoint pen.(not invented yet) There are so many canards. Its obvious you havent done any research. Just Hollywood.

  332. #333 Loopy
    January 7, 2010

    I agree with you, but using the repeated mantra of “six million” is a form of Holocaust denial itself: you’re denying the approximately seven million other Slavs, Romanis (Gypsies), homosexuals, mentally and physically disabled, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. who were also murdered along with the Jews by the Nazi regime, you’re saying that the world should care more about the deaths of a Jewish person than the deaths of a Gypsy. They’re both humans. I’m not saying you’re doing this intentionally, but look at Elie Wiesel and his “uniqueness doctrine” combined with his campaigning against Gypsies, and it is clear that repeating the six million mantra is a way to block out the suffering of millions of other human beings.

  333. #334 white angel
    February 7, 2010

    I was right to say that Orac got tired of losers like you. It’s been months and the Trash are still the same.

    – The fact that there are a million better gases to use than Zyklon B which is barely poisonous to humans.-

    dead horse

    -The kangaroo trials at Nuremberg?-

    over

    and over

    and over again

    can’t you losers think of anything new?

    -The soap?..The lampshades? –

    You’re really a desperate loser aren’t you?

    – Anne Frankies..ballpoint pen.(not invented yet)-

    I’m not sure whether to laugh at you or feel sorry for you (comment 37)

    Thanks for the projections :)

  334. #335 Byrdeye
    February 27, 2010

    If you really have evidence to disprove them, then why can’t you simply fight Holocaust Truthers with that?

    Why do you need Stalinesque censorship, when you could shut them up once and for all with actual proof?

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