The Marmot's Hole

Korea... in Blog Format

Category: South Korea (page 1 of 210)

Korean adultery law (criminal) to be abolished in a historic decision

62 years since it was established, the criminal law code 241 was ruled anti-constitutional at the Constitutional court by 7 votes to 2, and is to be scrapped (or replaced) As it stood, any adulterer, that is any married person who cheats on the marriage partner with another person *and* his or her partner were both liable for up to 2 years in jail (with no other kinds of non-jail punishment possible), which smacked of an archaic law or an Islamic code of conduct.

The abolishment of such a controversial law had been up for votes four times in the past.

adultery constitution

Fig illustrating the yes-no votes on the anti-constitutional nature of the adultery law in Korea


The last vote in 2008, did have a majority of yes to abolishment (ruled anti-constitutional) but the majority was only 5 to 4 and the minimimum majority votes should be 6 for the abolishment to happen.

This means, (also according to a new law ruled to minimise chaos and compensation) that there will be people who can ask for compensation against the ruling that happened from one day after the day when the last constitutional vote was cast i.e. in 2008 According to the same article, even among such people, the compensation might be limited to only those who actually received the punishment, in this case jail time. How much? It would depend on the psychological and the financial loss of the defendant i.e. job/status but there is a rule which specifies upto 5 times the minimum wage, which can be calculated between 4 manwon and 20 manwon (per diem of the jail time).

For the whole day up to the decision of the ruling, there were a lot of headlines (yes, serious headlines, not the Daily Mail or the News of the World kind) which had words like “The law which has existed even in the times 고조선 Ko-Chosun” – and those who are not familiar with Korean history, this is the first ever proper historic era in Korea, which was founded by the son of the garlic eating bear in a cave. (Look it up on Wiki, otherwise I get pelted with eggs for digressing)

Well, yes, and of course one cannot forget how it goes all the way back to the time when Charlton Heston would part the sea and talk with burning bushes.

Quite a strong backlash was expected against this ruling (yes, seriously)
The real conundrum was that this law was not deemed an archaic law by any standards, though it should have been. Maybe having no other option of punishment than to send the *adulterers to jail* part was what made it seem archaic, but it still did not stop people from bringing many such cases to court and indeed, send their spouses to jail with the lovers.

Finally, here are some real archaic laws that I came across when I just googled for my favourite, the beating of the carpet over the balcony not within 1km radius of where the Queen lives between the hours of 2:35pm and 8:09pm or some such..

Just remember, no littering.

(img taken from Yonhap news)
P.S. Korea, Korea, where news headlines do not need to be funnied-up in any way

A Modern Day 플란다스의 개 (A Dog of Flanders)

플란다스의 개

플란다스의 개

플란다스의 개, and its main characters 넬로(Nello) the boy and his dog, 파트라슈(Patrasche) who was once abused by his former owner, a peddler that beat him to pull his cart, the dog then became the boy’s best friend and stayed with him until their tragic end – was one of the most treasured stories of my infanthood. Though I never watched it on TV, I remember having a book with the pictures from the animation in it, reading it again and again.

Along with 알프스 소녀 하이디 (Heidi from the Alps, whose animation character is used to advertise everything from air conditioner to apartments in Korea), these were the products of Japanese animation that were imported and shown on Korean TV during my infanthood. Other imported Japanese animations on TV included 은하철도 999, 우주소년 아톰, 요술공주 밍키, 사파이어 왕자 etc. despite Korean government’s attempt to keep Japanese culture out, I think my generation was undoubtedly shaped by these. What shapes a generation…and what is shared and common between the two…

So it was the memory of 플란다스의 개 and the same childhood tears which surfaced when I watched this JTBC clip which has some 1800 irate comments(as of 24 Feb) after it. The JTBC news team managed to film a beating of a horse which pulls one of those gaudy horse-cart for tourists. They suspect the horse was getting a beating just as a lesson into submission, or to pull when it is physically unable to do so. I watch clips like these (lots of them on Korean news) and think humans are indeed by far the worst animals in the world.

This also highlights problem with the tourism industry in Korea, related stories surface almost every other day. I visited the very same Kyungju-shi just over a year ago, flaunted as ‘the old capital of Korea, the Kyoto of Korea” and my non-Korean colleagues told me that our private tour-guide provided by the conference organizers was very rude and dismissive when they asked about the neon-lit building that were clearly sex-shops that they could see from the bus as they were being told about the Chomsongdae.

The problem with Korean tourism industry … only marginally different from that of North Korea, where they control each of your every footstep is this – what South Korea wants to show is like indeed putting lipstick on a pig, everybody can see the underlying ugliness. (not that pigs are ugly)
It wasn’t like this only 10, 15 years ago, but since an increase of tourism (from Asia, mainly China) I fear the place is being turned into one gaudy place where aggressive soliciting/touting for the custom of visitors take place everywhere. Visitors want to see and experience what the locals like, not to be herded to tourist sets and fleeced.

(image taken from Wikipedia)

Bitter, Sweet Seoul – A Movie

bittersweet seoulMuch thanks to Colin Marshall, who mentions this film Bitter, Sweet Seoul:

an hour-long film made by Park Chan-wook, his brother Park Chan-kyong (together they form the filmmaking unit known as PARKing CHANce), and 141 different contributors from all walks of life who submitted their own footage of Seoul . . .

The whole film is available – at the above link – for viewing.

Roombarella Rebellion

The Judgment Day
Image taken from Chosun.com
First there are TV’s that eavesdrop(see RElgin’s post below), next come the robot cleaners which pull your hair out.

The Guardian reports on the incident where a Korean woman had to call the emergency to rescue her from a robot cleaner which took its job too seriously.
The woman was not seriously hurt so it does make one laugh. Does anybody own one of these robot cleaners? Do they work well?

I am thinking of getting one as a companion for my dog who is terrified of the normal vacuum cleaner, to the point that he will not enter any large electrical goods store (he has seen that it’s the bowels of these hell where they originate from) Also, I have seen several funny Youtube videos with pet cats and dogs reacting funny to the robot cleaners.

(Terminator image taken from the Wiki, Incident photo taken from Chosun.com)

So He *Did* Intervene in The Election

Get_smart

For those that remember the story of Won Sei-hoon, former director of the NIS, that carried out a Tweeter campaign to bolster Park Guen-hye’s presidential campaign, it may come as a suprise that  the previous district court ruling that determined there was not enough proof that he tried to intervene in the election, was thrown out.

Won, instead won a brand-new go-to-jail card for three years:

The Seoul High Court, on Monday, dismissed the lower court’s decision and said he had also violated election laws. “It is fair to say Won had the intention to intervene in the election,”
(Judge Kim Sang-hwan)

I guess no one asked if anyone instructed him to do this, though Won was quoted as saying he did what he did “for the safety of my country and its people”.  Likewise, one might also say that the Seoul High Court overthrew the previous ruling for the integrity of the country and its people.

The Walls Have Ears and They Are Korean Made . . .

SS-smartv

Some time back I made mention of the strong possibility of smart TVs being able to spy on unwary users.   Cory Doctorow has pointed out that:

a “part of the Samsung Smarttv EULA: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

This is part of their speech-recognition tech, which uses third parties (whose privacy policies Samsung doesn’t make any representations about) to turn your words into text.” (cite)

and, even back in the late part of 2013, it was discovered in the UK that LG SmartTVs were gleaning information on user habits even after privacy settings were set to block the sharing of any information, which could be accessed by third parties.

Another reason I like my TVs dumber than I am.

TIGER – the musical

What happens when a Korean scientist looks for what could be the last tiger in Korea? . . . A new musical, written by expatriate Jazz pianist and composer/arranger Ronn Branton is opening tomorrow for a limited run at the Sejong Arts Center downtown.  Call for tickets or go to interpark.co.kr but hurry since this run will probably sell out quickly.

Sohn Sukhee 손석희 interviews Alain de Botton

In a JTBC interview that filled my little heart to the brim, 손석희 manages to interview Alain de Botton in English about de Botton’s new book on the subject of news, and cover several interesting topics (KAL/nut, Charlie Hebdo)
Apparently de Botton is one of the “favourite authors of Korea”, but it’s his comment on the KAL/nut incident (watch the clip to find out) that seems to be making him the No.1 search word in the news portal at the moment.
It’s just a pity that people like Sohn does not run for politics.

P.S. DL Barch :
Doesn’t de Botton comes across as a classic case of milquetoast you mentioned, telling other milquetoasts to be less of a milquetoast..

Here are the laws of ajossi-dynamics:
1. smart inv.proportional to aging/ajossification
2. opinionated prickfying proportional to aging/ajossification.
3. smart inv.proportional to opinionated prickfying independent of ajossification

I do think de Botton is suffering from a rash he developed from being subjected to the champagne-socialist-prominent-attitude of the British media when he pushes for media to have a stronger voice, because in places like Korea it’s a different story. 손석희 and the JTBC is like a long overdue aberration. One must learn to crawl before one walks.

A Round-up of some Korean news

1. Mystery deepens over the Korean teenager gone missing in Turkey

There is a possibility being raised that a 17 year old Korean boy who went missing from his hotel room in Turkey might have been interested in joining the terrorist group IS. At first the Korean news was simply reporting on the fact that he went missing, hinting at a possible kidnapping connection, but as more evidence mounts- including some picture of IS on the background of his twitter account, and his twitter messages which included :

I want to know how to go about joining ISIS, I would like to join ISIS.

Currently we live in the times when males are discriminated against, I abhor feminists therefore I like ISIS.

(emphasis mine. Disclaimer: I don’t like feminists either, but ffsake what a fool)
– this is now replaced by another scenario, at least for the first part of the story.

Besides this (possibly greatly misguided fool of a) person, who I hope (to the Lords of Kobol), doesn’t himself star in an ISIS video in an orange suit in a few weeks with a masked man demanding ransom from the Korean government, I have been also thinking about the “journalists” who go to places like Syria to report and get themselves captured and killed. My one more possibly controversial opinion/affront against the journalistic blah-di-blah integrity (I can’t help it) is that “I don’t want to know what is happening in that neck of the woods, I’d rather they didn’t go.” There! I said it!

2. Lee Minjung announces pregnancy

Almost straight after the guilty-of-blackmail verdict against the women who threatened her husband, the actress Lee Minjung has announced that she will give birth to a baby in April. She and Lee Byunghun were seen spending time in the US, supposedly away from all the palaver, to the tune of “stand-by-your-man” but now the reason becomes more clear. The timing of the pregnancy is seen as bad form on LBH’s part, as the punters who got A’s in maths did the sum and they say he was chatting up the other women while his wife was pregnant.

3. Kindergarten and Children’s Day-Care centre under scrutiny after several recent abuse scandals

This is just terrible. There have been several cases against children’s day-care centres in various parts of the country (I’ve actually lost the exact count, I know I am missing a few)

First there was a woman helper at day-care centre in Incheon who used her fist to hit the head of children (4 years old) because they could not do the colouring-in properly (amongst other things)

Then there is investigation launched against the Kimhae day-care centre where the cook is meant to have punished those who ate slowly by making them eat out in the cold corridor, or hitting them on the head or bum making them swallow the throw-up.

There is now a police investigation launched against the head of a Ulsan day care centre as she is accused of stuffing wet wipes in the mouth of a 22-month-old infant because the baby cried too much, or to use her leggings to tie 10-month-old twin babies onto a bed.

I have missed a couple of cases.

The politicians are scrambling over themselves to come up with various ways of fixing the system, from employing grandmothers at the day-care to watch over the kids, to making CCTV a compulsory requirement. Also under scrutiny are the way the centres are graded (like restaurants) and the relative ease with which the qualifications are doled out to the centre employees and carers.

General Cho Young-ja Wants A Picture with Meryl Streep

margaret-cho-golden-globes

General Cho is not amused and wants a picture with Meryl Streep. Naturally, some Rollos were not pleased with the general and called this presentation “racist”

Please click the photo for a sample of General Cho’s anger.

Shhhhhhh . . .

gagConsidering the current concern with satire and free speech, Hyung-Jin Kim’s (AP) article on Shin Eun-mi, the Korean-American woman that has been accused of saying nice things about the DPRK, is a recent report concerning the National Security Act, free speech in South Korea and the politically inspired abuse of such in South Korea.

Shin Eun-mi is due to voluntarily leave today (?) after the Prosecutor’s Office issued a request to have her deported from South Korea today, due to her praise of the DPRK. The Prosecutor’s Office has also requested that she be barred from returning to South Korea for five years and that she be required to apply for a visa to return after that time, even though US citizens do not need a visa to visit South Korea (link). Shin Eun-mi’s “praise” has been construed as being a violation of the controversial National Security Act (an abbreviated translation of it is here). This has also not been the first time a foreign national has been expelled from South Korea for expressing pro-DPRK views – last year, a Chinese student was expelled for such for “suspicions of ‘aiding the enemy'”. (link) The National Security Act has long been a means by which critics of the ROK Government and DPRK supporters, both, have been prosecuted and imprisoned for up to seven years.

This issue illustrates the political intolerance that has characterized the current administration in squashing not only those that say good things about the DPRK but those that criticize the politicians in power and those that would expose the majority party’s incidences of violating the law though means of illegally manipulating government agencies, such as the NIS, or the use of media allies to help thwart investigation into their own violations of law.
Even the closest ally of South Korea thinks that the South Korean Government has gone too far in suppressing what most Americans would consider to be a freedom of speech issue:

. . . In a rare note of criticism of a key ally, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that despite South Korea’s generally strong record on human rights, the (South Korean) security law limits freedom of expression and restricts access to the Internet.

A fair description about the current state of South Korean politics and its effect upon free speech and political commentary, by Jamie Doucette and Se-Woong Koo, describes how the security act and government have grown bolder in using the issue of state security to supress those that would indulge their opinions:

. . . In this essay, we argue that this rhetorical shift has been accompanied by an expansion of what South Korean intellectuals term ‘politics by public security,’ a phrase used to describe the use of public security as a ground for stifling dissent and criticism. What is unique about the present moment is not simply the evocation of a threat to national security but the extent to which state agencies have been actively involved in this process, whether it be in the form of direct electoral interference, the leaking of confidential state documents, or the initiation of probes into prominent critics of the government from across the liberal-progressive opposition. In what follows, we examine the recent sequence of events from NIS electoral interference to the more recent move to disband the United Progressive Party in order to better understand distorting effects to Korean democracy brought about by this recent rhetorical shift and its intricate relation to ‘politics by public security.’

A link to this essay can be found here

A tentative return

Have you missed me?

I have been taking a break mainly because I felt reading the Korean news made me upset, to say the least, causing additional havoc to my already sensitive digestive system.
As I have not followed the blog at all and only just quickly skimmed the last few entries please excuse me if these have been covered.

1) First of all, the IKEA saga in Korea.

Fools! I’m sorry but nothing highlights everything that is wrong with the way Koreans act than the drawn out saga being played out as the McDonalds of the furniture world comes to the last bastion, reminding me of a title of a book by Douglas Adams.

On the one hand, we have masses of Koreans without an ounce of originality in their heads when it comes to design idea thirsting for the flatpacked furniture ubiquitous to the family homes, student digs and mobile abodes in the rest of the civilized world… that they are descending upon the city of Kwangmyung like shameless swarms of flies to a fresh pile of shite… On the other hand, we have all the knucklehead defensive strutting by the domestic furniture businesses (like everything Korean which has survived on scamming the Korean public with virtually zero competition from the outside) all coming together with the local government officials and the press to fight IKEA tooth and nail..from bringing out the J-card… yeah that old trick..to complaints about the price to..you name it IKEA’s done it.

The latest is that in a laughable move the city of Kwangmyung has given IKEA an ultimatum to fix the traffic congestion and parking problem or to move out. They also want two Sundays closed which is a ridiculous rule currently applied to multi-supermarket stores like Lotte Mart… saying IKEA should be grouped along with those stores as they sell things other than furniture.

2) The actor Lee Byunghun’s saucy (but unconfirmed) mobile message to one of the two girls awaiting verdict for blackmailing him was released by the television program Dispatch.

One of the first exchanges:

LBH(actor): What’s for dinner?
LJY(model): What would oppa(LBH) like?
LBH: You

(me): gags

If true, it highlights the danger of married male celebrities flirting over mobile chatting in South Korea where the reputation of being a bad boy does not play well as it does in Western countries. Recently a rising star of the TV program 비정상회담 (Abnormal Summit) disappeared from the public eye due to the women he text-flirted with whilst married, coming forward to reveal his double standard- that even an intent and not the deed can ruin one’s career, hand in hand with the reputation.

Just remember boys, real men flirt with their wives.

3) This youtube video of Shapiro’s message to the South Korean president, which apparently was published a while back, is only just gaining attention of the Korean news portal (Good Lord, No!).  I cannot think of any comment on it apart from the fact that it is a little bizarre. Do you think he reads this blog?

Note

I am trying mobile blogging for the first time. Please let me know if the links don’t work.

Note 2

I read Robert wants an image to pretty the posts… can I do that later when I get around to it?

Is Drawing on A Dirty Jet A Security Concern?

dirty tailThere is a report of thirteen former United Airlines attendants having been improperly fired for refusing to fly on a jet that had vaguely menacing artwork painted on its tail (thirty feet of the ground). According to Bloomberg:

The fired flight attendants say they had a right to disobey orders to make the July 14 San Francisco-to-Hong Kong trip after the words “bye bye” were found written in an oil slick on the fuselage, according to a complaint to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Oddly enough, the artwork was probably applied here in South Korea:

With the 747 in a secured area of the airport and the graffiti on the tail about 30 feet off the ground, the images should have triggered a more-comprehensive reaction, according to the complaint. A pilot’s suggestion to the crew that images were applied when the plane was in South Korea before arriving in San Francisco should have raised alarms about safety in that country, the attendants said.

Maybe the plane was just dirty and someone felt like writing in the grease left on the jet?

South Korea to sell K-9 Thunder chassis to Poland

Announced earlier last month, but not seen until it was mentioned in Dave Axe‘s excellent War is Boring blog, South Korea and Poland just inked a deal to sell 120 K-9 Thunder chassis (and accompanying technology) worth $320 million USD.

(K-9 Thunder)

With the Ukraine getting sliced up by Russia like the proverbial holiday turkey, and with Poland essentially NATO’s eastern firewall with Russia, they have been beefing up on its defense procurement and expenditures.  Self propelled artillery is key in Poland’s defense plans and the K-9’s chassis (and perhaps other engine and transmission technology also?) will be incorporated to build a chimera product of sorts.  Poland’s self propelled artillery solution will be called the AHS Krab and will incorporate a K-9 chassis, with a British turret, a German Rheinmetall gun barrel and a Polish fire control system called “Topaz.”

(AHS Krab)

This deal represents the second export of K-9 components and technology, the first to Turkey in 2004.  Turkey has named their K-9 variant the T-155 Fırtına and it has been involved in pounding Kurdish-held territory and Syrian positions.

Probably another story for another time, but this deal represents the increasing size of South Korea’s arms exports, which hit a record high of $3.6 billion USD in 2014.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons.

‘Hate speech’ a.k.a. when eating pizza is a crime

Over at the Korea Herald, Claire Lee has penned a piece on hate speech, hate crimes and Korea’s lack of hate speech and anti-discrimination laws.

Much of the focus of the piece is on Ilbe, a right-leaning online group discussed here before. While I certainly condemn firebomb attacks on anyone, even against alleged pro-North Korean sympathizers, and think folk who praise such acts of wanton mayhem probably should sit down and seriously reflect for a while, I found some of the ideas expressed in the Korea Herald piece quite disturbing, frankly, from a civil liberties perspective.

Over at The Korean Foreigner, John Lee – lovely gent whom I had the pleasure of meeting recently – did a superb job, IMHO, of looking at “hate speech” and “hate crimes” from an informed libertarian perspective. In it, he points out something I think is quite important:

Hate crimes and hate speech often get lumped together, but I think it is important to distinguish the two. For one, the former is an act that is committed against another individual that violates his right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. On the other hand, the latter is simply a form of speech – though admittedly one of the more vile types.

I think most of us can agree that firebombing a lecture or attacking a leading conservative politician with a razor (as happened to now-President Park Geun-hye in 2006) should not only be condemned, but the people who engage in those acts should serve lengthy prison sentences. I fail to see, however, why, say, eating pizza in front of hunger strikers should be considered a crime. Professor Choung Wan of Kyung Hee University Law School argues that it should be, however, and for reasons I find quite chilling:

However, Choung Wan, professor at Kyung Hee University Law School, said both the terror attack by Oh and the “binge-eating” protest against the Sewol victim’s father, can be clearly viewed as acts of hate crime.

“Expressing your opinion is one thing,” the law expert said in a phone interview. “But if you are hurting others in the process, it’s called violence and discrimination.”

Like Choi, Choung also said it is important for South Korea to promulgate comprehensive legislation against hate speech crimes, as the country is becoming more diverse socially, ethnically and culturally.

“Hatred often consists of regional prejudice and this is also linked to racism,” Choung said.

“And there is no ‘natural’ way of combating prejudice. For many, it does not go away ‘naturally.’ That is why we need to regulate hate speech. Seemingly innocuous prejudice may snowball into more pernicious forms (when expressed and shared by many), and result in dangerous consequences.”

Banning speech in an attempt to shape the way people think is the very definition of Orwellian Newspeak. And while it is bad to “hurt other people” in expressing your feeling – indeed, it’s illegal – “hurting other people’s feelings” should not be the standard by which we legally define the limits of speech in a free society.

I do realize there is a fine line between “free speech” and “incitement.” But even with the latter, it seems we must very, very careful in how we assign blame with even seditious speech, especially when legal sanctions are concerned. One of my favorite conservative commentators, National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke, discusses this very issue in regards to the recent shooting of two New York City police officers, which has sparked a similar debate over the limits of acceptable speech in the United States:

That being said, the suggestion that those who chanted these words somehow “caused” or are “culpable” for the actions of a killer strikes me as a real stretch — as, for that matter, does the proposition that “anti-police protestors” bear some sort of collective “responsibility” for what happened on Saturday. Unless I am very much mistaken, nobody who chanted their death-wishes proposed any concrete action whatsoever. Nobody singled out a target or discussed tactics or agreed to return later with weapons. Nobody established a training camp or organized a rendezvous point or planted a bomb. Indeed, nobody did anything much at all. As is now clear, there were no ”mobs” or “groups of rioters” involved in the murders at all. Rather, some members within a group of peaceful protestors said something terrible (if abstract), and a troubled man in another locale went on a killing spree. Were these two events in some way correlated? Perhaps, yes. There is no doubt that the man intended to target cops in New York. But can we establish causation, or even blame? Nope.

All told, those of us who value robust free expression should be extremely reluctant to so casually transmute “there may have been a vague connection between these words and these actions” into “those who spoke the most forcefully are morally culpable and their entire movement should be shunned in consequence.” This latter approach was preposterous back when Sarah Palin was blamed for the shooting of Gabby Giffords. It was bizarre when the shooting at the Family Research Council was blamed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (sophomoric) “hate map.” It was farcical when the Isla Vista shooting was blamed on “white privilege” and “rape culture.” It was ridiculous when Timothy McVeigh was blamed on “militias” or on talk radio. And it is wrong in this case, too. Words, as ever, do not pull triggers, however harsh those words may be.

Photo by kungfubonanza.

KCNA irony alert

On a related topic – the Constitutional Court’s dissolving of the left-wing United Progressive Party – North Korea’s KCNA has weighed in. This is not surprising, of course, but I did find this bit mildly interesting (HT to you-know-who-you-are):

Park, figured herself a bandog, revenged herself upon the UPP for campaigning against her during the “presidential election”, which arouses much criticism even from the Amnesty International and other international human rights bodies.
[…]
The decision on the UPP disbandment only lays bare the political backwardness of south Korean society before the international community.

Clearly the KCNA hasn’t read what Amnesty has to say about their bosses.

UPDATE: In the comments, John Power writes:

Irrespective of the merits or otherwise of hate speech legislation, this particular discussion seems almost academic given the endless ways in which Korea already regulates expression. It’s already a crime — not a civil matter — to “defame” someone by speaking the truth, to insult someone, to speak ill of the dead, to praise North Korea. The list goes on.

From my perspective, there is relatively little appreciation of freedom expression at the legal and — yes, controversial though it may be to say — societal level. Korea is not an individualistic society. Certainly, there is nothing remotely comparable to the American tradition. But more than that, I genuinely wonder if there is a developed country anywhere with comparably weak protections of speech. (There may be, but I imagine Korea would give it fair competition.)

Now, to be fair, Korea’s defamation laws are widely misunderstood – telling the truth will rarely, if ever, get you convicted for defamation, even if the powerful frequently use defamation laws to harass critics (admittedly a big problem). That said, I suppose one could find it odd that given the restrictions on speech already in place – in regards to reputation, North Korea, etc. – that hate speech laws aren’t already in place.

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