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Nov 26 Neil Gaiman cannot be pinned down, he scrawls across many genres, invoking life in old legends from foreign countries, well-worn fairy tales, twisted creatures from his own head, and as he clearly draws inspiration from great writers we are treated to interesting tales such as The Problem of Susan. He draws from his own life, he envisions warped futures and dimensions unlike our own. As we make our way from the wood to the ferryman and pass the wolves on the way, we are told to. The s atmosphere coupled with the personalities of the two boys and Enn as he talks to the girls and has an increasingly odd experience, is a fine fusing of an ordinary and earthy nostalgic tale with an eerie, out-of-this-world type fantastic element to it.

The result is an amusingly creepy tale. Reality, however, is not story-shaped and the eruptions of the odd into our lives are not story-shaped either.

The Envious Neighbour Story in English - Bedtime Stories - English Fairy Tales

And let's consider this script bit from "Inspector Lewis," which, fictional though it is, I think sheds some light on the traditional British character, the one that is now being undermined by official policy:. Inspector Lewis: "Why didn't you tell us about that? I strongly encourage Mr.

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Richards to place another, larger sign in his window discussing the fitness of the local constabulary. Maybe "Lincolnshire Police are censorious wankers," or "Lincolnshire Police: was the nursery not hiring? Even if Mr. Richards has been cowed, I'll offer my own counsel for the Lincolnshire Police, phrased a bit more crudely and less wittily since I'm an American:.

I find the sign-maker's need to proseltyze distasteful. But how is it more distasteful than any other religious message that says "we have the one true way? I think "bully" is vastly overstated and, with all respect, ridiculous. When an year-old-man is called a bully for putting a piece of paper questioning religion in his window, the word has no meaning.

Such rhetoric is exactly how such speech restrictions are justified. You say that the sign isn't an affirmation of his faith, but a proclamation of his beliefs to the outside world. How does that differ from any religious message, from a cross on a necklace to a bumper sticker about one's church? The problem we have in the UK is that over the last 20 years or so people have become so afraid of causing offence that laws are being over-interpreted in the hope that someone won't be offended. In effect the vocal and over-sensitive minority of the population, that any culture have, have now been given the legal right to try and suppress anything that may "reasonably" cause offence, whether offence was intended or not.

Whether they are successful then largely depends on how the legal system choose to interpret the laws.

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I don't mind the vocal minority having their say, all viewpoints should be heard in a true democracy, whether you like what they have to say or not. This poor man has been warned off by an overzealous constabulary, but complaints against The Humanist Societies' well-known atheism bus adverts were seemingly dismissed. Look up the Twitter joke trial if you want to see how seemingly well-meaning legislation in the hands of The Crown Prosecution Service can get out of hand.

Negative rights are things the government cannot do. These would be examples of negative rights: the government cannot stop you from talking. The government cannot stop you from having guns.

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The government cannot stop you from having abortions. The government cannot stop you from smoking marijuana. Positive rights are things the government has to do for you. IMNSHO negative rights are much better than positive rights, but there are people who disagree, and it might distract too much from the topic at hand to go into it so I'll merely state that each side has some points. That does tend to be a problem here. I love that Britain is a multicultural country, I love that I know people who are jewish, hindu, sikh, muslim, christian and atheist as a whole there are nice people among all of them and there are douchebags.

In regards to my first post, while I can't speak the language, I am half Polish myself because England took in my nan after she survived Auschwitz and my grandad after he survived being a POW in Russia, but at the same time the people in government don't help matters in people getting on when, so that no black people are offended, they ban baa baa black sheep which I have heard black people sing, by the way in schools.

This does seem to be just something else that caters to, for the most part, the easily offended or looking for trouble. There's a growing campaign for the repeal of Section 5, thankfully, supported by a very disparate array of groups, charities and political parties.


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I can't find an official petition, though, unfortunately, but with luck this should cease to be a problem over the next few years. To the person who complained about the sign, my reply would be: If your religious conviction is so flimsy as to be ruffled by a sign saying, "Religions are fairy stories for adults", then you need to take a serious look at your religion.

Rather than be offended, whaa whaa where's my whambulance, stand up and argue for your religion! Prove the sign wrong! If you truly believe, you'd just say, "No, it's not, that person is very misguided" and move on.

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The most likely reason the sign causes hurt and offense is that it's true. My opinion, of course. And Truth usually hurts. In my opinion, "positive" rights as described by Dan Weber aren't true rights, as they are not things you can do that others aren't allowed to interfere in which would be the "negative" rights described by Dan Weber.

Rather, "positive" rights entail things that other people have to do FOR you. Those aren't "rights" at all, but are in fact violations of OTHER people's rights all of which are part of the virtue we call Freedom. To say that people have a right to make people do things for you isn't something inherent in the people themselves while rights are , but rather only exist insofar as people have the force necessary to make other people do them. Margaret I was wondering when somebody would insist on trying to make religion the issue here.

Well done. Do you feel superior yet? Of course I accept there are instances of genuine harassment that are called "bullying". At the very least, what happened to you sounds like harassment and the perpetrators deserved a kick in the 'nads metaphorically speaking. But someone's sense of offence at hearing an idea they dislike is not the result of harassment. They aren't being bullied and there is no need for the authorities to step in. Especially as the degree of offence taken is often a matter of choice for the offendee. That authorities do step in is highly significant. If anything, I wanted to illustrate the snide way a state arms itself "not only with weapons to suppress speech it doesn't like, but with ambiguous standards allowing it selectively to harass enemies".

In the UK, that is often done by conflating, for ideological reasons, the notions of harassment and of taking offence, and the result is given an emotive cover story by callling it bullying. Everyone is against bullying, right? I do hope this demonstrates to Americans why your freedom of speech is so important and why it must always be defended. A nation doesn't lose it's rights in one swoop it loses them by tiny degrees, sometimes unnoticed, sometimes demanded by the indignant public; but each little chip you allow weakens your rights until that day you realise that your rights are just pale shadows of themselves, and you no longer have the right to even complain about that.

Yeah I understand where you are coming from, RogBoy and I didn't mean to sound like I was being snippy, so I apologise for anything that sounded such and yes I agree with the points you make, I believe that the only way that society advances is through the people with different ideas actually talking and coming to common ground where they can and accepting where they cannot, this seems to be a case where people don't seem to be able to do that, and siccing the constabulary on a pensioner over being butthurt is pretty much as low as you can get.

Ken in order of appearance : 1: The difference is that the speaker isn't advocating positively for his "one true way. Religions including atheism succeed in the modern age at least by persuading adherents that they are better — usually intellectually or spiritually — than the alternatives. Christians should likewise be criticized for saying "Islam is evil" instead of "Christianity is good". It's an overused and overhyped word. Maybe douche would've been more appropriate. Anyone who goes out of their way to insult others based on their religion deserves at least be ignored. I'm pretty sure atheism does not.

But even if it does, that signal certainly isn't broadcasting a negative message to your opponents although I'm reminded of a "Not A Republican" bumper sticker I recently saw , it should be a positive affirmation of your beliefs, or lack thereof.

Civil society is based on respect for others, not coersion. The speaker here lacked respect for others, just like the tattler. The tattler resorted to use of force making him the worse actor, but that doesn't excuse the speaker.