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Comment: Re:Barbara Streisand award (Score 1) 423

by Grishnakh (#47478651) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian countries seem to fit the bill. Italy probably works too; there's a lot of Catholicism there of course, but you never hear about them being violent these days. They seem to have gotten over that centuries ago. Also, the Eastern European countries generally aren't very religious either, with a few exceptions.

Comment: Re:Barbara Streisand award (Score 1) 423

by Grishnakh (#47476265) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

The LDJ ( French version of the Jewish Defense League, which is prohibited in the USA) attacked first a peaceful anti-war protest, and when some protesters retaliated, LDJ members protected themselves behind police line,

Well there's either a problem with violent Muslims or violent Jews there, and violent protests in general. Whoever started it, it doesn't make me want to visit. I'd rather visit a country which doesn't have a lot of religious extremists running around.

Comment: Re:Walled garden? (Score 1) 170

by Grishnakh (#47474735) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

The only time I wear my suit is for interviews. I don't have any friends that had big $100,000 marriages (just small private ceremonies like I did), so no, I don't go to friends' marriages. What other formal events are there to go to? Real life isn't like a movie about rich people for most of us. We're mostly software developers here, not billionaire playboys.

Comment: Re:Barbara Streisand award (Score 1) 423

by Grishnakh (#47474253) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

Well since you like French cities, you might as well try to get up to Montreal while you're here. It's only a very short plane ride away from NYC (or about 6 hours by car if you want to take the scenic route and avoid another molestation by TSA; in fact, you can fly in and out of Montreal if you want to avoid the TSA and American airports altogether, as many European travelers do), and while I haven't been there yet myself (soon hopefully), everything I hear about it is great as long as you can understand some basic French since all the signs are in French (though there's a lot of smaller-text English since the rest of Canada uses English).

Comment: Re:Barbara Streisand award (Score 1) 423

by Grishnakh (#47470219) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

Have fun with the TSA. Why Europeans would want to travel here, I have no idea, except maybe to visit some of the national parks in the western states. New York City? I live right next to it; you're not missing much. It's a dirty, smelly city with a ridiculously high cost-of-living (European cities are much cheaper) and not much to see. There's a few interesting things: a couple of cathedrals (St. John the Divine is I believe the largest cathedral in the world), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art is pretty fantastic, but that's about it. I guess Times Square if you really like seeing giant moving displays all over and a bunch of typical mall stores. At least you won't see many fat people; having to walk around a lot keeps people in better shape.

Honestly, if you like spending your vacation time visiting cities, most of the ones worth visiting are in your back yard. The ones that aren't are probably all in Asia. Vancouver Canada is pretty cool too, but that and maybe Montreal are the only North American cities I can think of that are worth a cross-continental trip.

Comment: Re:Barbara Streisand award (Score 2) 423

by Grishnakh (#47468937) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

You should try going to a German or a Dutch neo-nazi club wearing the traditional garments and hair style of an Orthodox Jew when you visit those countries.

Yes, because that's such a huge problem there. There's probably hundreds of times more neo-nazis and white supremacists in the US, especially in Idaho. The US even still has an active KKK.

Comment: Re:Freedom of Expression... (Score 1) 423

by Grishnakh (#47467893) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

You're talking about immigrants who came over in the 1800s, probably late 1800s or maybe even early 1900s. Minnesota was not a state, or even a territory I believe, in 1776.

The discussion was about the early days of the US, when supposedly the different states were very different from each other according to some poster above. Back then, there were no immigrants from Serbia or Croatia; most everyone was from Britain. That's why English was the standard language of the nation, and all its states. Yes, later on, the US became very immigrant-friendly and had people move here from all over Europe plus other places, but we're talking about the early days here, both pre-revolution and for a time after. The different colonies were different from each other in some ways, mainly due to who founded them (some were founded by religious people who wanted a place to practice their weird religion without oppression or criticism, other were founded by people who wanted to take advantage of business and trade opportunities), but they were not as radically different culturally as the poster above alleged.

(As another aside, the far right's screaming about illegal immigration is one of the dumber things that I've ever seen in my life. After all, compared to the Indians and Eskimos we're all newbies.)

How did illegal immigration (aka colonization) from Europe work out for the Indians? Not too well. They probably wished they had had a better way of enforcing their borders.

Comment: Re:Freedom of Expression... (Score 1) 423

by Grishnakh (#47467197) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

The problem with this is who gets to decide what is "true"?

There's no shortage of physical evidence (including photographs) for the Holocaust. Denying this evidence isn't much different than believing that New York City doesn't exist because you've never been there.

Even with the current law what happens if a historian uncovers documents suggesting that what was previously thought to be a massacre of 20 Jews outside a French village was actually the killing of 20 French resistance fighters? Can they get prosecuted for denying part of the holocaust even if they have evidence to back up their claims?

I'm not an expert in European law, but I suspect the answer is no, because they have evidence. The existence of the Holocaust is proven just by all the concentration camp evidence, so as long as they're not denying that, I don't see how there'd be a problem.

Comment: Re:Freedom of Expression... (Score 2) 423

by Grishnakh (#47467111) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

I don't think so, at least not in the US. In the US, to successfully pursue a libel/slander case (which BTW is a tort, not a crime), the burden of proof is on the plaintiff who's suing for damages. It's up to him to prove the statement was both false, and that the person making the statement knew it was false. That's pretty hard to do.

"The coffee was served cold": how do prove this is false? At best, you can get a bunch of other customers who were there at the same time and have them testify that their coffee was hot. How does a restaurant get a bunch of customers to come to court to testify on its behalf? Good luck with that. You, the owner, can testify against that, but that doesn't prove anything, because of course you're going to deny that it was cold, so it's just he-said-she-said.

This is why libel/slander cases don't happen much in the US. It's just too hard to prove the person was lying. And if you do, how much is it going to cost you? In the US, you can look at Google Maps reviews or Yelp reviews or whatever and see tons of negative reviews for restaurants. It's extremely common; you won't find many restaurants that don't have some negative reviews, especially since people tend to do reviews more when they're pissed than when they're satisfied. Restaurants(and other businesses) sometimes fight back by posting bogus reviews, or trying to encourage customers to write positive reviews. Anyone who frequents reviews sites knows that a single bad review is just par for the course, as there's always someone who's disgruntled no matter what, and restaurants aren't perfect and have off nights or bad servers sometimes, so you just have to weigh the good with the bad (and also try to spot if they're stuffing the reviews; that's a very bad sign).

For your bar patron/bouncer example, I don't see how that's relevant. You're talking about physical assault there, which is a crime and has zero to do with libel or slander. Those cases usually wind up being about who can get witnesses to testify who started the fight and who was defending himself, and usually it's pretty messy as it's hard even for eyewitnesses to figure out who was in the wrong. Libel/slander isn't about who started what, it's about proving that a statement is a deliberate lie, and that's very hard to do.

Comment: Re:Freedom of Expression... (Score 1) 423

by Grishnakh (#47466973) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

Not necessarily, or if it does, it'll take a very long time. Remember, the US states' cultures were all mostly from Britain, and everyone spoke English with a few exceptions (like the Pennsylvania Dutch). Early on, there were settlements by the French, Dutch, Spanish, etc, but the British settlers pushed everyone out (the French only survived in Quebec, which isn't part of the US). So while the different states had somewhat different cultures, some more industrial, some more agricultural, some more religious, they all spoke English. Europe isn't like that; there's dozens of different languages in use there, and a handful with an extremely large number of speakers: English, French, German, and Italian are probably the biggest. There's no way the Germans and French are going to give up their language any time soon. Most likely what'll happen is the place might resemble India: different regions having different official or de-facto first languages, and using English as a common go-between second language. Things already seem to be going this way, as English is the de-facto international language of business. I definitely can foresee some of the small minority languages disappearing in the decades to come, however, such as Romansch, Flemish, Welsh, etc. However, even here, because of the EU, the regions where these minority languages are still used might instead decide to push for independence (like Scotland is doing now) so they can preserve their language as part of their national identity, whereas being part of a larger country (Welsh/Scottish in the UK, Basque in Spain/France) usually results in their language being suppressed.

Comment: Re:Freedom of Expression... (Score 1) 423

by Grishnakh (#47466849) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

the major difference being that they all speak (mostly) the same language.

Used to, not any more. The US is completely bilingual now, with a big portion of the lower class speaking only Spanish, and that proportion is growing every day. It's rather worrisome since instead of being region-based (as in Europe), it's class-based.

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