Re: nuremburg files judgement

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 01 Mar 1999 09:09:59 -0500

Timothy Bates wrote:

> Is that a reasonable position: free speech = all speech which does not
> directly aid specific acts of violence?


> Food for thought:
> What is speech that it is free where action is not? When is speech action?

An offer of contract for an illegal action is conspiracy. Conspiracy is in fact an act of speech and/or assembly with the sole intent of planning an illegal act. Even though speech and assembly are protected rights, when they are done to illegal ends they are not protected (illegal in that the intent is to infringe on the rights of others, I don't count victimless crimes and/or political advocacy in this category myself, however others may see differently).

> Why are we not free to speak lies (that is libel)?

When they cause damage to another's reputation or ability to earn income. The thing I don't like about libel in US courts is that not only must the speech be false, but must be made with malicious intent, which is almost impossible to prove.

> Note too that under British Common Law, unlike US law, being correct is not
> a sufficient defense against libel. So in Britain you are not even free to
> speak the truth, if it harms another person's reputation. For reasons
> related to this, publication of books similar to the Bell Curve can be
> deemed a crime in the UK, though this is seldom enforced these days.

Yes, this is a vestige of the aristocracy protecting itself from its follies. As long as the Brits are getting rid of the hereditary peers in the House of Lords, if they are going to throw the baby out the window, they might as well toss the bath water with it too....

I doubt they will be so logical.

Mike Lorrey