ISP port blocking practice/Free Speech

Keith Medcalf kmedcalf at
Sun Oct 25 09:19:13 CDT 2009

Your scholar is wrong -- or he is giving the simplified explanation for children and others incapable of rational though and understanding, and you are believing the summary because it is simpler for you than understanding the underlying rational.

Notice that in both cases your presumption of prohibition is based on the actualization of a consequence.  It is the intentional causing of the consequence that is the Criminal Act, and not the method by which that consequence is actualized.  In other words, it is the causing of panic, mayhem and injury that is the Criminal Act which cannot be saved by your first amendment protections, and the shouting FIRE is but an example of an item WHICH MAY CAUSE such a result.  It is not the shouting FIRE which is wrong, it is the mayhem that it causes.  In any event of the cause, prior restraint is prohibited in any system of positive law.  (Though I have already pointed out that both the UK and the United States are no longer systems of positive law, but rather have become Fascist Dictatorships and a priori prohibition is a hallmark of such regimes).

Anyway, if you fail to understand cause and effect and the difference between them when you have obviously passed the age of four years, it is unlikely that I will be able to educate you at this point in your life.

This is OT and we will not continue this any further.

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard E. Brown [mailto:Richard.E.Brown at] 
> Sent: Sunday, 25 October, 2009 10:05
> To: nanog at
> Subject: RE: ISP port blocking practice/Free Speech
> >  > Free speech doesn't include the freedom to shout fire in 
> a crowded theatre.
> >
> >  It most certainly does!  There is absolutely nothing to 
> prevent one from
> >  shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theatre.
> Actually, it doesn't. When I was on-staff at the computer 
> center at Dartmouth,  
> our provost also happened to be a first-amendment scholar, 
> and he gave us an impromptu  
> speech about the first amendment at a staff meeting :-)
> The US Supreme Court recognizes a couple exceptions to the 
> broad permission to  
> speak freely:
> - Shouting fire in a crowded theater is explicitly prohibited 
> because of the obvious  
> danger and risk of injury.
> - "Fighting words", that by their very utterance inflict 
> injury or tend to incite  
> an immediate breach of the peace". [Wikipedia] The example he 
> gave was this: someone  
> standing on a soapbox in Hanover NH, saying that we should 
> storm the gates in  
> Washington and burn the place down is just exercising their 
> free speech rights  
> - there's no credible *imminent* threat. However, standing 
> there and saying that  
> we should burn down the Town Hall could clearly be believed 
> to be a real threat,  
> and the government would be justified in stepping in.
> Rich Brown                    richard.e.brown at
> Dartware, LLC       
> 66-7 Benning Street           Telephone: 603-643-9600
> West Lebanon, NH 03784-3407   Fax: 603-643-2289

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