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Comment Re:The reason for these laws (Score 1) 690

First of all, the Nazis actually managed to pull that trick before.They convinced enough people to vote for them to get into parliament, then leveraged politicians who underestimated Hitler, defects in the German constitution and apathy to take power.

I would argue that it wasn't something that could be prevented by muzzling them (if anything, I suspect it would have made them even more popular). Generally speaking, if your society is so close to the brink that it can be pushed over by an election, it's already well and truly fucked. The real fix is to not get there in the first place. In a healthy society, a Nazi-like party would gather some protest votes and such, but would never be in a position to define policy.

For instance, in a first past the post system (like the U.S.) third parties have virtually no chance to gain any influence at all. That means that many political viewpoints are ignored, and power remains with the entrenched parties, which are not required to act in a democratic manner (superdelegates).

This is not entirely true. In the American system, FPTP merely pushed a large chunk of political squabbles inside the parties, with primaries instead of general elections. And extremists can still gain political power that way - just look at Tea Party. For all the ridicule heaped on them, they did sweep quite a few states, enough for a strong faction of their own in the parliament. Again, this is an indication of an ill society, and not something that you can resolve by legislation - at best, you can sweep symptoms under the rug for a while.

If you really think that no form of speech is worth restricting, go look at how ISIS is recruiting people. That's pure speech.

I'm fine with restricting speech that directly leads to a crime. This is basically the "imminent lawless action" standard that is currently in force in US. The key part here is "imminent", and the onus is on the prosecution to prove such. It gives you the ability to prosecute people who actually manage to incite someone to a crime (because in that case the commitment of the crime is prima facie evidence of imminence), and it also gives some wiggle room for cases that are very borderline, but it's hard to abuse because it's so strict.

In case of ISIS speech, it boils down to this. People should be allowed to advocate for it, praise the virtues of the Caliphate, argue in favor of Sharia (including the promotion of death penalty and torture killing for apostasy and adultery) etc. That's all free speech. When it becomes a specific call to action that is illegal (e.g. an invitation to join ISIS), and that call is not just a random diatribe but is actually directed towards an audience that is likely to heed it, then that becomes fair game. And, of course, giving specific directions on where to go and whom to talk to in order to join, or providing specific instructions on how to wire money, is fair game.

Comment Re:The reason for these laws (Score 1) 690

A quick glance of the Wikipedia page on it disagrees with you, not that Afghanistan is related to Germany.

Instead of doing a quick glance, you can try reading the thing - it's linked from that very Wikipedia page, in fact.

"The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam"

"In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam."

[on political parties] "The program and charter of the party are not contrary to the principles of sacred religion of Islam"

"The provisions of adherence to the fundamentals of the sacred religion of Islam and the regime of the Islamic Republic cannot be amended."

And this is how these work out in practice.

But the Wiki entry on that doesn't say what you assert either.

The wiki entry does actually say exactly what I said: that in German constitution, there are certain provisions that are deemed immutable, and that one of them pertains to a "democratic nature" of society, which is interpreted to mean that no political party isn't allowed to organize on a platform that would promote changing that nature. It's actually a feature of the political system that is distinctive enough that it has its own unique name, "militant democracy".

Comment Re:pros and cons (Score 1) 423

WWII demonstrated that with Nazi Germany producing vastly superior tanks but because of their complexity, they were swarmed by cheaper, mass produced tanks.

Panther was superior to T-34, but I wouldn't call it "vastly superior"; and it is arguable whether it was superior to IS-2. But the most common German tank was PzKpfw IV, which was by no means superior to either of those. And Panthers weren't actually all that expensive, either. Tigers were (and they were also slow, and had a bunch of other issues), but there were never many of them.

Germans were out-produced by Soviets when it came to tanks simply because Soviets had more industrial capacity they could tap, once they managed to stall the German advance and buy themselves time to tap it.

Comment Re:Isn't this thing already deployed? (Score 1) 423

Regardless of which role CIA played in the Ukrainian events, the presence of Russian ground troops in Donbass does amount to an invasion of Ukraine (and said presence has been repeatedly confirmed informally by the rebels themselves - I've personally spoken to two people who have participated in the Debaltsevo operation on the rebel side who have said that it was only made possible by Russian troops and esp. armor).

Comment Re:The reason for these laws (Score 1) 690

Part of it, yes. I'm deeply suspicious of any constitution that declares parts of itself as off-limits. For example, in the new (post-US-invasion) constitution of Afghanistan, the part of the constitution that declares Islamic law to be the supreme law of the land is something that cannot be amended in any way.

In any case, you have to admit that a provision that explicitly sets something as not subject to any sort of vote is certainly anti-democratic. Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing can be argued differently in any given case.

Comment Re:Germany wants a lot... (Score 1) 690

They're offering their service on the Internet, and that's their prerogative. If Germany finds Internet to be too free and unrestricted to their liking, they can build their own national network that is tightly regulated, and firewall all gateways to the outside world (like DPRK and, to a lesser extent, China).

Comment Re:It's absolutely stunning how WAY OFF most of yo (Score 1) 690

Of course there is protection of free speech in Germany. And that freedom ends exactly where freedom of others starts. What is prohibited is public speech that aims at depriving minorities (religious, ethnical, etc.) from constitutional rights, or calls for criminal acts. If can't personally find this to infringe on my freedom.

Can you explain which ones of those goals have required id Software to strip all swastikas out of Wolfenstein in order to be able to publish it in Germany? Were they trying to deprive some minorities of their rights? Which ones were it?

Comment Re:Not quite (Score 1) 690

Example if you said all members of NOTWHITE race need to be rounded up and taken to "work camps" where they belong and you were known to have a fleet of vans then you could be arrested for HATESPEECH in my area.

No, you couldn't. And if you were, that'd be overturned pretty quickly.

Unless, that is, the area where you live is actually full of white supremacists who have specific and detailed plans for carrying out such things, and have made preparations to that effect.

Comment Re:How about "no"? (Score 1) 690

If I, as a US citizen, want to deny the holocaust on Facebook, FB then has two choices - Remove the offending comment entirely, or at least block it from viewers in Germany. Either of those infringe on my right to express whatever brand of bigotry I may subscribe to despite living in an entirely different country that doesn't feel the need to outlaw critical thinking.

How does them hiding that comment from users in Germany infringes on your right to express yourself?

Comment Re:How about "no"? (Score 1) 690

it's effectively an extra penalty for the motivation behind a hate crime, which is often supported by evidence of hateful speech.

Note the important distinction here. The extra penalty is for motivation, not for speech. Speech itself is not illegal.

In a similar vein, firearms are generally not illegal in USA, but committing a crime with a firearm will often trigger additional laws that increase the sentence.

Anything cut to length will be too short.