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Down with Political & Personal cartooning!

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posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Secondly, political cartoons are not "lies". They are not expected to be believed. That's like saying a novel is a lie. It didn't really happen, but it's generally known to be untrue. It's not portrayed as being true. And it isn't. Neither are political cartoons.


The difference is a novel does not portray real people saying and doing unreal things in order to add accusation and insult. Do they? I'm surprised I have to define what a lie is too.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Well, like I've said before, good luck in court with that logic.


*shrugs* Don't have the time or money for court in the same way a politician would not against cartoonists.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
A false claim by a corporation is generally expected to be true. Kind of like a biography.

A political cartoon is generally expected to be untrue. Like a novel.


I see no disclaimers stating this. We've got on our coffee cups, "Caution: Contents are Hot!" Why? People should know when they order a coffee that it is generally expected to be hot.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
We may have been through this, but you haven't yet told me how people are harmed, except of course that they might be offended. I have said I don't believed they are harmed. You say they are. Tell me how. Their feelings are hurt? Welcome to life.


Do you believe in personal integrity? How about character? How about being perceived properly by your friends, family, associates and others? How about the invasions of the press to verify whether or not a cartoon has any "truth" behind it? Constand phone calls, e-mails, and harrassments related thereof? You're children being hounded where-ever they go because of it. Again, it would really help to put on a different pair of shoes for a moment.




posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
I'm going to expand on this a bit, because I don't think BH has quite nailed this idea.

A political cartoon has a surface depicted fact which is absurd and which nobody is expected to believe, but it also has an underlying statement of fact and/or opinion that people are supposed to take seriously.


See "coffee" parallel in response to Benevolent Heretic's post.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
For example, in the cartoon that shows Bush riding a missile, the surface depicted fact is that Bush joyrides on ICBMs. Well, that's absurd, of course he does nothing of the kind, and nobody is expected to believe that he does.

But the underlying statement of opinion (not fact in this case) is that Bush is a warmonger. People are expected to take that seriously.


Why? Looks like a way to skirt ethical journalism.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
The cartoonist is saying, "George W. Bush is a warmonger," and the cartoon is his/her way of expressing that sentiment.

The statement "Bush joyrides on ICBMs" is a statement of fact, which is false.


So you agree the picture is untrue. False depiction, lie.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
The statement "Bush is a warmonger" is a statement of opinion, which is neither true nor false.


The statement from the cartoonist, "I believe Bush is a warmonger" is true. The statement "Bush is a warmonger" is a baseless accusation when left without any supporting evidence. There is a truth, this cartoon is presenting the opinion as if it were true. This is a problem.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
A cartoon might conceivably cross into the territory of libel if its underlying statement (not its surface statement) is one of fact, is malicious, and is incorrect.


This appears to be the great majority of political/personal cartoons. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I cannot name any.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I'm not at all sure I've agreed to that. The superficial (and not meant to be taken literally) picture isn't true, but I wouldn't call it a lie. It's a cartoon... Calling it a lie is much the same as calling Scoobie-Doo a lie because dogs don't really talk...


Is Scooby-Doo real?


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Look at the heading of your source. Privacy Law. In other words, personal rights ARE privacy rights.


I did. What about publicity rights that is listed in an "addition to"? How can that be a private right? Also, the article seems to contain all three. I'm not sure I agree how a personal right is a privacy right. Those are two distince words in the dictionary, but again, no law degree where.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
And don't miss the quote from your source:



Points to remember:

1. There’s no privacy in public.
If you’re doing it in a public place, you can’t claim privacy.


I'm not arguing privacy rights, which is why I'd omitted it in my post.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
What Constitutional right(s) do politial cartoons infringe upon?


Already addressed.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Just another point of clarification:

I don't believe Saint4God is talking about constitutional rights, but rather about moral rights, rights that we recognize or should whether or not they are protected in current law. He is not even talking about rights that SHOULD be recognized in law, if I understand him correctly, but rather about rights that we, as individuals, should recognize in our own behavior. Didn't he specifically state early on that he did not believe cartoonists should be subject to legal censorship? That implies he's not talking about what is, or even should be, rights under the law, but must mean rights in another sense.


I think this a fair and mostly accurate statement. To extend one note further, they go as far as a principle infringment upon the rights drafted by the early American history documents. Yes, I will get fuzzy on specific laws as it was never my direct course of study. I am being encouraged to investigate though, and there's always beneficial things that come from that.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
As an example, my friends have a right to generous behavior on my part, not because the law or the Constitution says they do, but because I say they do.

Saint4God is, if I understand him correctly (always a chancy assumption), saying that satirical cartoonists should not do what they do, that it causes harm to people, and that we as consumers should boycott their products. He further says that people have a right not to have their feelings, or those of their families, hurt by satire. This is what we need to be discussing.


Sounds like a great start. But, again, it's not just about offending people and having their feelings hurt. That is only one piece of consequence.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
I think it is a highly debatable assertion,


Hence the debate.



Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
but the set of rights defined and protected under the Constitution doesn't really have a bearing here.


See Constitution discussion with Benevolent Heretic and I.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Personally I feel the discussion has gone all over the place.
But...


Indeed, and not necessarily a bad thing as long as it remains central/related to this issue.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
He is not even talking about rights that SHOULD be recognized in law, if I understand him correctly, but rather about rights that we, as individuals, should recognize in our own behavior.


Not sure I understand this statement.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Perhaps. I honestly thought he (is he a he? - I didn't know) was talking about Constitutional rights as he mentioned the rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


That too. I think it encompasses a multitude of rights.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
For not wanting to discuss Constitutional rights, he certainly talks a lot about it.


It is a part of it, one that I think the three of us can relate to on more even ground than others.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
But I'll roll up my Constitution and go home if that's not what we're talking about.


Although this provides incentive to talk about something other than the Constituition (I'm kidding!
I enjoy having you here
), it is a part principally.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 10:13 AM
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Originally posted by saint4God
The difference is a novel does not portray real people saying and doing unreal things in order to add accusation and insult.


Do you understand what an analogy is? If you insist that 'differences' between a concept and an analogy of that concept disprove the analogy, then I won't use them anymore. Pointing out a 'difference' is simply proving that we're talking about an analogy and not the original concept.

Naturally there are differences, but it's the commonalities between the original concept (political cartoon) and its analogy (novel) that make the point. Neither is expected to be true.

What's the lie?



I see no disclaimers stating this.


You need a disclaimer on a cartoon? Do you think Scoobie-Doo really talks? Do you think George Bush really rides missiles through the sky?

Would you be content if there were a disclaimer on such political cartoons?
Caution: George Bush does not actually ride missiles through the air, but it is my opinion that he is a war monger.
...
So then, I've asked you a simple question (How are these people harmed) and you answered with several personal questions about how I feel about things. Is this supposed to answer my direct question to you? I don’t know if it will, but I will answer yours.



Do you believe in personal integrity?


I absolutely do. I have a great sense of personal integrity. (I don’t insist others do, though. That’s up to them.)



How about character?


I'm going to assume you mean "moral excellence and firmness" as stated in m-w. And do I believe in it? Well, yes, I believe it's important for me to maintain moral excellence. And I do. (I don’t insist others do, though. Their moral standards are up to them.)



How about being perceived properly by your friends, family, associates and others?


I hope to be perceived as what I am. However, their perception is something they own and actually has very little to do with me. It's entirely up to them to believe or disregard anything they might see or hear about me.



How about the invasions of the press to verify whether or not a cartoon has any "truth" behind it?


What? I'm not sure what the first part of that question means, but a cartoon isn't supposed to be "truth". It isn't expected to be "truth". A political cartoon is understood to be the opinion of the cartoonist or the periodical. It makes a statement. A statement of opinion. So, I guess no. It's not necessary to verify "truth" behind a cartoon. Is that your question?



Constand phone calls, e-mails, and harrassments related thereof?


If I were a public figure, no doubt I would understand that having accepted the power or fame that my position endows, I would expect (not love) a certain amount of harassment from the general public. That's why they have assistants, bodyguards, Mailwasher and telephone answering machines. I have the last 2 myself, as I hate to be hassled, even as a private citizen.

But public figures virtually give up their rights to privacy. That is understood.



You're children being hounded where-ever they go because of it.


Public figures virtually give up their rights to privacy. If I didn't want my children involved, I would either not have taken the position or I would work very hard to keep them out of the limelight. Ultimately, though, I made a choice to become a public figure knowing that my family's privacy would no longer be secure.



Again, it would really help to put on a different pair of shoes for a moment.


Well, I can put on the shoes, but they don't fit. I am a VERY private person. I don't know if you've listened to any of my PODcasts but I am a singer. I don't do badly. I could have been a professional singer and I still could. But I won't. Because I don't want the life.

Living in the society we live in, people must understand what becoming a public figure means. And if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Now, is my question answered? Let's see. Are you saying that public figures and their families are 'harmed' by political cartoons by:

- being perceived properly by their friends, family, associates and others
- constant phone calls, e-mails, and harassments
- their children being hounded

If that's what you're saying, then my response is pretty much shown above. People are responsible for their choices in life. Every choice we make has consequences. I'm not saying they deserve it, certainly, but when a person walks into a situation, knowing what the consequences are, although I can and do feel some compassion for them, I can hardly work up too much indignation on their behalf. They knew what they were choosing.

Most importantly, I believe in personal responsibility. The people who are making these phone calls, writing these emails and harassing public figures and their children are responsible for their actions, NOT the cartoonist nor the cartoon, nor the publication. If some jerk makes a threatening phone call or hassles a child, only HE is responsible for doing it.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 10:33 AM
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Originally posted by saint4God
Is Scooby-Doo real?


No, but dogs are. And they don't talk. What a lie that cartoon is!




Also, the article seems to contain all three....Those are two distince words in the dictionary, but again, no law degree where.


According to your source, both personal rights and publicity rights fall under the heading of Privacy Law. As a private citizen, you have the right to your image and words, etc., whatever is detailed on that page. BUT public figures don't have all of the same privacy rights as we private citizens do (as detailed on your page).

I didn't go to law school or have a law degree. In fact, I didn't go to high school, so it's not that I have all this big legal understanding. I have simply read and lightly studied the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as I have a strong conviction in their purpose and I have a strong sense of patriotism as our founding fathers intended.

I do know that when talking about law, rights and the Constitution, the regular dictionary is fairly meaningless, as legal definitions are many times different than layman definitions.



Already addressed.


None, then. No Constitutional rights are infringed upon. It's your opinion that the right to pursue happiness is being infringed upon, and I disagree. If this assumption is incorrect, please let me know.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 10:34 AM
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Originally posted by saint4God

Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
OK, let me make sure I understand you here, because I'm still by no means certain. Are you suggesting that we each have a right to define ourselves for public consumption, and not be defined by others?


No.


Then I am completely at sea regarding what you mean by "right of self-definition" and I need you to explain that.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
I'm not saying "don't be watchful" just not assume guilt & corruption.


It's necessary to assume the potential for guilt. If we assume the actuality of guilt, we don't elect the person in the first place.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Being that most politicians do not have the time to go to court (they do have a job to do), then the assumption is that these cartoons are true?


Politicians can hire lawyers for the purpose, but the fact remains that the law gives public officials less protection against libel than it does to private citizens. Going back once more to Clinton, do you remember the wacko stuff that was flying around about him being a serial murderer? If I were to publicly say that about you, I had better have really solid evidence to back it up or I'd be in trouble. But he had no such protection.



The intern was also employed by us. Erego, fooling around with her supervisor on company time. Are you saying this isn't a problem either?


Possibly, but a) that's her, not him; b) I don't have any knowledge of how interns are paid, and so don't know if she was on shift.

Anyway, I'd say she was doing what her boss wanted.





Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
All right. We're the politicians' boss. But since we're a huge collective boss, we must have discussions among ourselves, very public ones, about whether our employees are doing good jobs or not. I'm saying that political cartooning and other forms of satire are a necessary and valuable part of that discussion.


Why?


Because our public-service "employees" can't be dismissed in closed meetings. We only get a chance to do so once every X number of years (4 in the case of the president), and between election and reelection every discussion, public or private, about the president is a review of his performance. Satire is a part of that. The satirist is suggesting that the public official has qualities or has done things that we should be aware of and concerned about. We are supposed to think about this, about whether we agree or not. It's all part of the discussion leading to a vote in the next election.



You can be watchful without being afraid of corruption.


You cannot be watchful without watching for corruption, and being aware of the possibility that it's there. It's not a question of fear.




Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
It is, I believe, your position that people have a right not to be offended. On this basis do you contend that people's rights are being infringed by political cartoons. If people do NOT have that right, then their rights are NOT being infringed. So this goes very much to the heart of the matter.


Already addressed.


I don't recall you addressing it. In your post to me, all you did was to repeat yourself by talking about "violating people's rights." What rights do you contend politicians have, that political cartoons violate?

It's not that difficult a question, really. The form of the answer is, "Politicians have the right to do X" or "Politicians have the right to be secure from Y," where political cartoons would prevent them from doing X or subject them to Y. Most likely the second form, since the cartoons don't restrict freedom of action.

So, what do cartoons subject politicians to? Discomfort, insult, embarrassment, and, at worst, the persuasion of voters to consider not voting for the pol at reelection time. I don't see anything else that the cartoons do, but if I'm missing something, please let me know.

Are you saying, then, that politicians have a right not to be uncomfortable, insulted, embarrassed, or have their reelection threatened?




Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Oh, I do, believe me. In fact, that is the biggest reason why I am uneasy about conceding a "right not to be offended." I do not recognize a right not to be confronted, or even not to have one's children confronted (except in one's own home or church, of course), by MY religion and values.

But -- sauce for the goose, etc. I turned the example around, because the same principle really does apply the other way, too.


Sure, if they were parallel examples. But, they're not.


Excuse me?

Christians don't have a right to muzzle Pagans, no matter how offensive they find Pagan religion.

Pagans don't have a right to muzzle Christians, no matter how offensive they find Christian religion.

Looks pretty parallel to me. What am I missing here?

[edit on 21-6-2006 by Two Steps Forward]

[edit on 21-6-2006 by Two Steps Forward]



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Do you understand what an analogy is?


The fact that I've used illustrations in previous posts should be self-evident that I understand what they are?


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
If you insist that 'differences' between a concept and an analogy of that concept disprove the analogy, then I won't use them anymore. Pointing out a 'difference' is simply proving that we're talking about an analogy and not the original concept.


If there is a great difference, as in this case, then they're not comparable.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Naturally there are differences, but it's the commonalities between the original concept (political cartoon) and its analogy (novel) that make the point. Neither is expected to be true.


What point do the "commonalities" establish?


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
What's the lie?


A picture or saying in a cartoon that is not true. False, incorrect.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
You need a disclaimer on a cartoon?


Hehe, I'm not a fan of disclaimers. I'm advocating being free from the cartoon altogether.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Do you think Scoobie-Doo really talks?


Scoobie-Doo is a fictional character.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Do you think George Bush really rides missiles through the sky?


No, erego the falsehood.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Would you be content if there were a disclaimer on such political cartoons?
Caution: George Bush does not actually ride missiles through the air, but it is my opinion that he is a war monger.
...


Whoa! A piece of truth! The author should simply write, "it is my opinion that he is a war monger" rather than try to prove this point by a slanderous falsehood.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
So then, I've asked you a simple question (How are these people harmed) and you answered with several personal questions about how I feel about things. Is this supposed to answer my direct question to you? I don’t know if it will, but I will answer yours.


I've stated over and over beforehand how people are harmed so tried to reposition by question, offering a paradigm. If one method does not work, I will try another.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I absolutely do. I have a great sense of personal integrity. (I don’t insist others do, though. That’s up to them.)


Excellent. What if I were to broadcast constant false statements about you. Would you say that would make no difference in your daily life? If say "no", please discuss all the ramifications of this propaganda.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I'm going to assume you mean "moral excellence and firmness" as stated in m-w. And do I believe in it? Well, yes, I believe it's important for me to maintain moral excellence. And I do. (I don’t insist others do, though. Their moral standards are up to them.)


Do you believe you could be antagonized by constant attacks upon your character in a way that would inhibit your lifestyle? Why or why not?


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I hope to be perceived as what I am. However, their perception is something they own and actually has very little to do with me. It's entirely up to them to believe or disregard anything they might see or hear about me.


Do you believe they would be affected in their daily lives by constant lies regarding who you are and what you do?


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
What? I'm not sure what the first part of that question means, but a cartoon isn't supposed to be "truth". It isn't expected to be "truth". A political cartoon is understood to be the opinion of the cartoonist or the periodical. It makes a statement. A statement of opinion. So, I guess no. It's not necessary to verify "truth" behind a cartoon. Is that your question?


But the people want to know if there's any truth behind a cartoon...even though it's just an opinion


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
If I were a public figure, no doubt I would understand that having accepted the power or fame that my position endows, I would expect (not love) a certain amount of harassment from the general public. That's why they have assistants, bodyguards, Mailwasher and telephone answering machines. I have the last 2 myself, as I hate to be hassled, even as a private citizen.


Interesting, your solution to harrassment is to have someone handle your mail and phone calls for you. I understand this and "screen" myself, but should I have to? Take that example and magnify that by a thousand, for example, because of a cartoon release.

But public figures virtually give up their rights to privacy. That is understood.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Public figures virtually give up their rights to privacy.


What about the rights of the family, friends, associates? Because YOU (supposedly) gave up this right, does that mean they have too?


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
If I didn't want my children involved, I would either not have taken the position or I would work very hard to keep them out of the limelight. Ultimately, though, I made a choice to become a public figure knowing that my family's privacy would no longer be secure.


How considerate.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Well, I can put on the shoes, but they don't fit. I am a VERY private person. I don't know if you've listened to any of my PODcasts but I am a singer. I don't do badly. I could have been a professional singer and I still could. But I won't. Because I don't want the life.


I believe your rights are being violated then. You should be able to pursue that happiness without revoking the protections we inherently have as citizens. Do you agree?


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
The people who are making these phone calls, writing these emails and harassing public figures and their children are responsible for their actions, NOT the cartoonist nor the cartoon, nor the publication. If some jerk makes a threatening phone call or hassles a child, only HE is responsible for doing it.


Not a great chasm of difference. If I incite a riot, are only those who broke the store windows to blame? That's like saying the Congress isn't responsible for war, our troops killing people are. I do not believe this is the case. Here's what I say about personal responsibility. If you cause your sister/brother to stumble, you are not blameless, even though s/he was the one who stumbled.

[edit on 21-6-2006 by saint4God]



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by saint4God
Because it isn't spelled out in the Constitution in the same way it is spelled out in the Declaration of Independence? I'm unsure why our founding fathers should have to repeat themselves every time there's an amendment. Okay, game on. If we can agree that the Constitution does not negate, nullify, take away from and only adds to the Declaration of Independence then I'm good to go to move on.


The Constitution is the law of the land. The only part of the Declaration of Independence with any legal force is this language:



We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.


Jefferson's famous "We hold these truths" paragraph, while inspiring and worthy of consideration, has no legal force whatsoever. We may agree with Jefferson that governments are established to protect people's rights, "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." We may even go so far as to agree with him that "whenever any government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it." But that clause, certainly, is not embodied in U.S. law as defined in the Constitution.

It was my understanding that you were talking about moral rights, not legal ones, anyway. But just to make things clear, there is no legal force to any language in the Declaration of Independence except the words severing our allegiance to the British Crown. (And even that provoked some serious disagreement at the time.) That a right is spelled out in the Declaration gives it no legal protection at all.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
there is no legal force to any language in the Declaration of Independence except the words severing our allegiance to the British Crown. (And even that provoked some serious disagreement at the time.) That a right is spelled out in the Declaration gives it no legal protection at all.


There is no legal force to stop me from traveling well over the speedlimit on the interstate, even though it's a law. In recent years though, I have agreed that I should adhere to the contructs of the "speed limit". I may have the liberty to violate the speed limit, but it does not mean I'm not breaking the law. It seems like you're brushing over the words "truths" and "self-evident" but I know not why. I would hope one would at least appreciate, if not embrace the truths that are self-evident.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by saint4God
See "coffee" parallel in response to Benevolent Heretic's post.


Ah, yes.

Well, the reason we have warning labels on our coffee cups is because someone burned himself on a cup of McDonald's coffee, sued McDonald's, and won. Personally, I believe that verdict was a ridiculous miscarriage of justice and the warnings on the cups are entirely superfluous. I strongly suspect that the victim of the burning knew damned well the coffee was hot, spilled it accidentally with full knowledge of that fact, and exploited his accident to cash in. A warning on the cup would not have prevented the accident, nor does it prevent similar accidents now -- all it does is to protect the companies selling the beverage from similar lawsuits.




Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
For example, in the cartoon that shows Bush riding a missile, the surface depicted fact is that Bush joyrides on ICBMs. Well, that's absurd, of course he does nothing of the kind, and nobody is expected to believe that he does.

But the underlying statement of opinion (not fact in this case) is that Bush is a warmonger. People are expected to take that seriously.


Why? Looks like a way to skirt ethical journalism.


The standards by which political cartooning are judged are not those of news writing but of editorials. An editorial or op-ed piece is an expression of opinion, not fact.




Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
The statement "Bush joyrides on ICBMs" is a statement of fact, which is false.


So you agree the picture is untrue. False depiction, lie.


No, because the cartoonist is NOT saying "Bush joyrides on ICBMs." He's saying that Bush is a warmonger.




Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
The statement "Bush is a warmonger" is a statement of opinion, which is neither true nor false.


The statement "Bush is a warmonger" is a baseless accusation when left without any supporting evidence. There is a truth, this cartoon is presenting the opinion as if it were true. This is a problem.


It would only be a problem if the cartoonist were taken as some kind of authority. As it is, the supporting evidence (the fact that Bush has shown a propensity to start wars) is public knowledge, and the only defense available to Bush and his supporters is to claim that the wars were justified and necessary, not that they didn't happen. Anyone who sees that cartoon and supports Bush is likely to run exactly that set of thoughts through his mind; anyone who sees it and already has a problem with Bush is going to nod. The cartoon isn't conveying any factual information that isn't true. Bush DID start a war against Afghanistan, and another against Iraq, and has threatened war against several other countries.

Sometimes, though, cartoons do convey messages that are out of step with the facts. I'm reminded of a cartoon way back in Richard Nixon's first term, showing him removing a mask and having Herbert Hoover's face underneath. That was a terrible calumny -- against Hoover, who was the soul of integrity whatever else you might say about him. His chief political sin was to remain fixed to a set of ideals and a course of action that wasn't working, and that was certainly not a failing Nixon shared. But, understanding that for adults of that time, most of whom had lived through the Depression or part of it, Hoover was more symbol of awfulness than actual man, do you really think anyone was persuaded by seeing that cartoon that "Hey, Nixon's as bad as Hoover was"? Of course they weren't.

A cartoon isn't an authoritative text, nor does it claim to be one, nor should it be judged by the standards appropriate to an authoritative text.

[edit on 21-6-2006 by Two Steps Forward]



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by saint4God
There is no legal force to stop me from traveling well over the speedlimit on the interstate, even though it's a law.


The $200 I paid this month for a speeding ticket says you're wrong.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
The $200 I paid this month for a speeding ticket says you're wrong.


You drove over the speedlimit on the interstate I'm talking about? That's odd, I did that for over a decade and never got a ticket.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 11:28 AM
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Originally posted by saint4God
What point do the "commonalities" establish?


Neither is expected to be true.




Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Do you think George Bush really rides missiles through the sky?


No, erego the falsehood.


So you're upset about the surface picture of the cartoon and not the opinion of the cartoonist beneath (that Bush is a warmonger)? And you think people are harassing him and his family about him riding a missile?


Originally posted by saint4God
The author should simply write, "it is my opinion that he is a war monger" rather than try to prove this point by a slanderous falsehood.


That is what he's saying. Only he's saying it with a picture. We're allowed to do that. He's not trying to prove anything. Slanderous falsehood??? Hon, that just has no basis in reality. A cartoon is not a slanderous falsehood. It's a cartoon! It's a statement of opinion, satire or humor.

Da Vinci could have written "Picture a lady smiling into the camera" or he could have painted the Mona Lisa. His choice of expression.



What if I were to broadcast constant false statements about you.


Already discussed.


But I have illustrated in many ways how "broadcasting constant false statements" and political cartoons differ. You just don't accept it or understand it or something. You keep comparing libel and slander with cartoons, even though the difference has been explained many times. You refuse to accept it. I'm done dealing with that.


You keep insinuating that public figures (Bush) have the same rights as private citizens (me). Not true.

You keep asking me how I'd feel in the position of these public figures. (I've told you.) And I'm not a public figure, so the comparison is moot. All these personal questions about how I would respond under some hypothetical situation are simply diversionary.



But the people want to know if there's any truth behind a cartoon...even though it's just an opinion


Then they should do some research. Duh.



Interesting, your solution to harrassment is to have someone handle your mail and phone calls for you. I understand this and "screen" myself, but should I have to?


You don't "have to". Nobody does. We "choose" to.



I believe your rights are being violated then. You should be able to pursue that happiness without revoking the protections we inherently have as citizens. Do you agree?


No. I AM able to pursue happiness. I am free to pursue a singing career. But there are consequences of being as famous as I'm sure I'd be.
and I don't choose that. It would mean moving from the private sector to the public sector and there are KNOWN consequences. It's totally up to me. My choice. There are no promises that one can pursue happiness and be guaranteed certain conditions. Or even be guaranteed to find it.

Besides, I'm happy without pursuing a professional career in singing.

[edit on 21-6-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by saint4God

Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
The $200 I paid this month for a speeding ticket says you're wrong.


You drove over the speedlimit on the interstate I'm talking about? That's odd, I did that for over a decade and never got a ticket.


The point is, the legal force behind any law only applies if you get caught. That's understood. If you murder someone and nobody finds out you did it, there will be no legal consequences, but murder is still against the law.

In that sense, the Constitution is the law of the land, while the Declaration of Independence, except for the clause severing America from British rule, is not.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Neither is expected to be true.


I think there is the expectation that there's an "underlying truth" in a poli/personal cartoon. Do you agree?


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
So you're upset about the surface picture of the cartoon and not the opinion of the cartoonist beneath (that Bush is a warmonger)?


The direct falsehood is easy to establish. The underlying accusation cause additional harm.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
And you think people are harassing him and his family about him riding a missile?


I hope this was a rhetorical question.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
That is what he's saying. Only he's saying it with a picture. We're allowed to do that. He's not trying to prove anything.


I'm not convinced.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Slanderous falsehood???


*nods*


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Hon, that just has no basis in reality. A cartoon is not a slanderous falsehood. It's a cartoon! It's a statement of opinion, satire or humor.


...using real people saying and doing things that they did not or would not.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
The point is, the legal force behind any law only applies if you get caught. That's understood. If you murder someone and nobody finds out you did it, there will be no legal consequences, but murder is still against the law.


Thank you, I was hoping to establish the same exact point.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
In that sense, the Constitution is the law of the land, while the Declaration of Independence, except for the clause severing America from British rule, is not.


I'm curious, why would the Declaration of Independence be valid for the writers and not every citizen for which it was written? I don't remember reading in the Constitution that "the Declaration of Independence is nullified...except..."



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
I'm curious, why would the Declaration of Independence be valid for the writers and not every citizen for which it was written? I don't remember reading in the Constitution that "the Declaration of Independence is nullified...except..."


The Declaration of Independence had no legal force to nullify, and therefore no language to that effect was necessary. As for the one part of it with legal force, the Constitution did not nullify that, as we remain independent from Great Britain.

What the Constitution did nullify -- and interestingly, it contains no language to that effect -- was the Articles of Confederation. The circumstances of the Constitution's implementation is an interesting topic in itself, but quite wide of the mark of the present discussion.



posted on Jun, 21 2006 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
I think there is the expectation that there's an "underlying truth" in a poli/personal cartoon. Do you agree?


No. I don't agree. It's an opinion. How many times must this be said? There may be some truth in there (Bush is a war president) but it's still an opinion. What the reader expects/believes/perceives is entirely up to them.


The underlying accusation cause additional harm.


Too bad. Everyone is entitled to have and express their opinion. It's a Constitutional right. Highest law in the land. People can handle being hurt. I handle it. you handle it. Everyone can handle it. It's part of life.




Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Slanderous falsehood???


*nods*


If you read about slander, then you know what you're saying is untrue. An opinion isn't slander. Whether you believe it's an opinion or not.



Okay. I'm going by definitions and principles, not particular articles of state laws. I don't know them nor understand why that would be a problem.


In this post you're using definitions and principles, maybe. You've been all over the place as regards the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, morals, civility... I'm totally lost. But
for the great diversionary tactic. I can't help but notice you use this tactic in most of your 'debates'.

By the way, I'm not talking about state laws either.




Negative, asking you to place yourself in that position for a moment to see what it looks like.


I have. And I have told you what it looks like, what I would do, what I would expect and how I would feel. I have answered every question you have asked, even if I don't see the significance.



Your choices are conforming to your environment, instead of your environment being accepting your choices. Do you see the difference?


Yes, I see the difference. Welcome to life! We ALL conform to our environment. We all make choices based on what we think the outcome will be. Welcome to reality.


This debate was really enjoyable for me for the first 6 pages or so, but your diversionary tactics, your refusal to acknowledge basic tenets, your negation of certain analogies while embracing others, your refusal to talk about your personal opinions on religion while bombarding me with questions about my personal feelings and how I would feel in certain situations and your constant changing of viewpoints and positions has made the last few exchanges not only unenjoyable, but downright painful and unpleasant.

There are several basic tenets that are being ignored, refused or unacknowledged.

Public Figure vs. Private Citizen
Constitutional rights vs moral (subjective) rights
Libel and slander (legal charges) vs political opinion
Superficial message vs the underlying opinion of political cartoons
Being 'harmed' vs. being offended
Religious opinion vs. Political opinion

I honestly wish you would set out your argument in a few concise sentences so I know where you stand. I think it's:

Political cartoons are mean and 'hurt' people.
They make people look bad.
They should not be allowed because they are lies.

Am I close? Can you help me out here?

Going back to the original post:


Originally posted by saint4God
my question is, when does "free speech" become slander?


When it portrays something untrue about someone as fact.

Political cartoons do not.

[edit on 21-6-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



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