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Monday
Feb042013

Free Speech Rep Vaillancourt

In my online discussions with Rep Vaillancourt, I noticed a couple of my responses disappear.  At first I thought maybe it was me leaving the page without saving but then I saw another comment that I had seen posted, suddenly disappear.  Ironically it was a comment on his article about tolerating bad speech, where he's claiming "defending to the death your right to say something with which I disagreed."  Hmmm, a bit hypocritical that he would claim he'd defend to the death the right of someone to say something he disagrees with then turn around and remove comments he dislikes.

Fitting that someone who sees no problem with Rep Chase calling for limits on freedoms of a minority group would himself turn around and remove comments he dislikes.

In one of my comments I asked a question.  Since he cannot remove my articles I'm going to publicly ask him here the same question, and I welcome other Rep Chase defenders (and Rep Chase herself if she has the courage to come here and defend her remarks) to answer it as well.

We already have limits/ consiquences with free speech.

You cannot yell fire in a crowded theater because it creates a clear and present danger as people rush to get out.

If you walk into your bosses office and spout off choice words about how he or she doesn't know how to run a business you cannot claim freedom of speech and not be held accountable for that speech which would most likely lead you be be fired.

An elected representative answers to the people, they are her boss.  Her action of telling the people that there is a minority group she disagrees with and would like to limit freedom on equates to the person telling their boss off.

This leads to the question...

Let's say you are in a position of power in the boy scouts.  You have total control over the organization in this state.

Now lets say there is a very outspoken member of NAMBLA who believes men should be allowed to have sex with young boys and who has written guides on how to pick up young boys.

Freedom of speech protects this man and he can stand up in any forum willing to listen to him and spout his beliefs.

But Rep Vaillancourt, disagreed with me that free speech does not absolve one of consequences for that speech.

That brings us to our question... would you go so far to protect free speech that you would allow this man a leadership role in the boy scouts or would you agree in the consequences that his speech would prevent him from holding a leadership role?

Rep Vaillancourt's own actions of removing posts he disagreed with support my argument that speech does carry with it consequences.  No one is saying that Rep Chase cannot stand up and say certain groups should have their freedoms limited, however in saying it she should be held accountable for the reaction back.

Reader Comments (5)

Just to be clear, Rep Vaillancourt asked me to put more restraints on comments to his blog as he was getting a lot of nasty anonymous comments. I obliged, so all comments to his blog must now be approved by me first. Thus when someone comments on SteveV's blog it first goes to a queue awaiting my approval. They get reviewed everytime I log in, which is about 3 times a day.
I only eliminate those posts that are obvious spam or obvious "hate speech", filled with vile name calling etc. Never do I base my decision on the actual position taken in the comment only the libelous/slanderous types of comments.
As you are aware each blogger on NHI has full editorial control so Steve V as well as yourself can eliminate any post they don't like. Including those that disagree with the Bloggers position.

Work Hard Have Fun!
/bobdm
NHInsider.com Owner/Operator
February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob DeMaura
Thanks for the clarification Bob but I did see several of my comments go up, some were even responded to initially only to disappear later after I made follow up points.
February 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterRick Barnes
Why then do I have my comments removed and Steve is allowed to go endlessly about what a louse I am?... because I found his behavior in the House last term disgraceful, he feels obliged to stifle my opinions?
February 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFred Leonard
Fred, you are welcome to post your comments here. If you go to the "Contact Us" tab you can also submit a written up article as a letter to the editor to be published on this site.

I don't understand why Steve V. would have comments even turned on if he doesn't want discussion in response to his blogs. When we publish articles, directly next to the box that says "Publish" we have another option to enable or disable comments. Keeping it turned on but only allowing the few comments you like and/or agree with to be printed to me is some of the worse form of censorship. It's what BlueHampshire.com does and I think it creates a false sense of reality when facts or opinions you dislike are filtered out.

I've always welcomed comments, even those telling me I'm wrong or that my views suck. The only times I've ever deleted comments is when they were obvious spam and once only after warning the commenter that his remarks were completely off the topic of the article and if he continued I would remove any further rantings, which I then did (but I left his earlier off topic comments).

As long as people stay respectful I'm all for disagreeing and debating views and I openly welcome people to discuss all they wish in response to anything I write about.
February 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterRick Barnes
Rick,

Rep. Vaillancourt deleting posts with which he disagrees?!?!? Say it isn't so!

"you just can't make this stuff up"

Dan

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