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Shopping mall mulls Supreme Court bid to back no-speaking ban

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Coat

Was I the only one who read

Sacramento Bee as Sarah Bee?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Was I the only one who read

I am my own news.

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Joke

@Sarah Bee

I am my own muse :-o

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Silver badge

@Sarah

A legend in your own ... Ah, fsck it. Too easy.

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Anonymous Coward

And I thought the Irainians banning the Mullet was extreme

....Some people really do need to be given a right good smack in the mouth.

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why have the Iranians

banned a fish?

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Happy

it's quite simple really

most people can't keep their fish in their trousers.

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I know I won't be the first to say

But surely this is just a simple case of trespassing??

Mall: Please leave.

Dude: No.

At that point, it is trespassing, no?

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Anonymous Coward

Depends

Wouldn't it have to be the person who owned the mall?

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Nope

The owner can delegate others to that authority. Usually it's only managers and supervisors who can do that, 'regular' staff can't do that.

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Boffin

Justification

In a simple world, asking the would-be trespasser to leave would be that simple. In practice, however, it's a Pandora's can of worm. Consider this scenario:

Mall: Please leave.

Dude: Is it 'cos I is black?

Mall: ...

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TBH

I don't want to talk to anyone who's remembered to fill in a form for a shopping mall.

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Fairies

I wonder why they don't they just place a ban on people espousing sky-fairy drivel?

Alternatively, mall workers could attend this chap's place of worship and start trying to sell the congregation their retail goods.

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Maybe because

Unlike the majority of militant atheists, the general public are quite willing to entertain the old fashioned notion of 'Freedom of Speech' ?

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Anonymous Coward

Freedom of speech

How about freedom from hearing the discredited waffle of "believers"?

About a year ago I saw a woman with a young child (about 8 or 9) and a table piled with Christian propoganda, (in a street, not a privately ownded mall), telling the passing masses about he beliefs. I asked her how old she thought the Earth is and she replied "5-6000 years". So I asked her how old she thought dinosaur bones are that have been found and she replied "4-5000 years".

I told the child that, as we know many dinosaur bones are many millions of years old, what her mother was saying made no sense.

Far from respecting my "freedom of speech" the woman got rather angry with me.

BTW - If being an atheist makes me "militant" (because I absolutely believe there is no god....seems a fairly balanced position given there is no evidence whatsoever to the contrary), surely anybody who absolutely believes there is a god is also a militant?

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@AC

>How about freedom from hearing the discredited waffle of "believers"?

You mean like saying 'No thanks, I'm not interested" ?

>If being an atheist makes me "militant"

It doesn't. Who said that it did?

On the one hand, you rally against being somehow compelled to listen to others, in a manner as yet unexplained, and yet you feel that you have the right to force your own beliefs upon others, as you illustrated in your response above.

I think that just about sums up the staggering hypocrisy of the modern day 'atheist'.

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Thumb Down

@AC 14:40

Good lord. You may not be 'militant' but you certainly are an asshole. You saw this lady there, take the initiative to go up and pick a fight, and then act indignant when she argues with you? What the hell is wrong with you, anyway?!

Guys like you are the reason I have to explain to people that despite the fact that I'm an atheist, I am not, in fact, a monstrous dickhead. Well done for the cause, there, numbskull.

Argh...

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Anonymous Coward

@Freedom of Speech

>How about freedom from hearing the discredited waffle of "believers"?<

We have to put up with the drivel from believers in Evolution, you can just walk off if you want.

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Twit

Whether you have a reasoned or balanced belief has nothing to do with being militant, which has everything to do with your behaviour and demeanour. See dictionary definitions of militant: "aggressive", "belligerent" etc.

Instead of engaging the woman in reasoned argument you sought to embarrass and undermine her in front of her child.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Twit

Mmm. You can't really tell someone else's *child* what to think and tell them their parents are wrong. That's incredibly rude, at the very least. Nothing to do with freedom of speech. You don't have the freedom to parent whoever you like for a second.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

It is very uncomfortable for some.

I'm a recovering Jew myself and even before learned to think for myself, I considered it embarrassing to be approached by someone who apparently thought I was "lost" enough that I needed unsolicited approaching. It can be as embarrassing as someone telling you "You put your underwear on outside of your pants", or "Did you know that's a woman's shirt?". It's like "Don't you realize that your soul is obviously in danger?"

Recently, I had suffered a major back problem similar to a slipped disc. While walking from the clinic (not a druggy one, but one you pay for, even in a country where medicine is free because you don't like sitting and waiting in pain) to the train station, I was moving at a pace which made the average snail look slow. I was in pain. A relatively nice couple stopped me, assuming I was a druggy and tried "to save my soul", they were nice enough, and I didn't want to offend them, they seemed like they genuinely thought they were doing the right thing and really wanted to help, but I couldn't get rid of them for nearly 20 minutes and as opposed to trying to convert me to their religion, they never once offered me a should to lean on. Those 20 minutes were agonizingly painful for my back and I hadn't reached the pharmacy yet to get my pain killers (which was near the train station I was walking to).

The fact is, no means no. To some people, these types of meetings make a lot of people really uncomfortable and it's terribly inconsiderate of anyone who insists on doing this. I guess I don't mind a priest approaching some strangers in the mall and saying hello, and if those people engage him in a conversation, fine. But if he's sharing his religion (which to many of us, even other types of Christians I know) unsolicited is like a guy with malaria coming up to you and kissing you.

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Silver badge
Happy

What if you're both right and too dumb to see it?

First, I don't care if there's a God or not, but the creation/evolution topic always bothered me. It's 100% guaranteed that a bunch of desert wandering blue collar workers from Egypt that weren't even smart enough to avoid eating improperly prepared pork 5700 years ago must have been given a set of rules and a book that they can understand well enough to believe in it. It also seems obvious to me that your God, if he did provide the book would intentionally do what he needed to give those people faith and to keep them alive. All religions were based on the theory of "who are you?" followed by "I'm the guy who made you, here's the story". So your god had to give some details they would understand.

Let's imagine for a moment that he in fact did create the universe, but he did it exactly the way the scientists say he did. Let's face it, if he's all powerful and all mighty, would you rather be something he slapped together in a few days and said "bah, good enough" and left it at that? Or would you rather believe you are something that he spent billions of years planning and eventually set off an event at the center of the universe which flowered out and made something of near perfection?

If you want to believe in something, would you rather take literally a book written to make a undereducated population dieing in the dessert survive long enough to find 'the promise land" or would you rather learn your morals from the guidance he gave you and leave it up to the scientists he created to read the heavens for you?

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IT Angle

Wrong section

This should be in Bootnotes, surely?

* Shopping centres are private property. The First Amendment only limits what laws the US Federal Government can pass. A ban on activities on private property might run afoul of state or federal law, but cannot by definition be unconstitutional.

* The Sacramento Bee is a satirical publication.

IT? used ironically because someone invariably sticks it on a comment on a Bootnotes story

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Silver badge

Sacramento Bee

<Quote>* The Sacramento Bee is a satirical publication.</Quote>

No, it isn't. Its a progressive newspaper that has won numerous major awards in its lifetime, including several Pulitzers. So your point was?

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FAIL

State != Federal

This case deals with California law, not federal. The CA constitution has a stronger freedom of speech protection, making it a "positive right", not just forbidding the government from restricting speech. For this reason people soliciting donations or signatures for some cause or another are a common sight in front of stores around here, even though businesses would prefer not to have them there.

I don't know what the situation is in other states, but in California at least, private property doesn't automatically trump freedom of speech, not once you invite the public onto your property in the first place.

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"Right of Admission Reserved"

Just put up a sign saying that and you have the right to evict people you don't like.

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Silver badge

Really confused here

As far as I knew, companies couldn't make up their own laws, then when someone breaks them, arrest them and hand them to police. Maybe I'm wrong here. Although the police's actions and subsequent lawsuit suggest otherwise.

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FAIL

Freedom!!!

Makes you wonder what their boys and girls are dying abroad for if they can ban speaking to people at home. Gas chambers, torture and loss of freedoms, I wish the US would reflect on itself a little. It could be an amazing place, but instead....this.

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FAIL

FYI

Westfield is not the government, it's a corporation. When you figure out the difference, your perspective will be considered. If you read the article (a challenging task, I know, since your Marmite-stained fingers could hardly restrain themselves from assaulting the keyboard), you'll note that the local *government* did not press charges and let the would-be proselytizer go.

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Gates Horns

GM loves me this I know, for my paycheck tells me so...

In the USA, the corporations ARE the government. Not that they are right. Might does not make right. But, still, they are in control.

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Anonymous Coward

Haha, 'marmite-stained'

Will this be the new stereotype you have of us for the next century? Does this mean you have finally realised that we don't all wear bowler hats and drink afternoon tea? Yeeehaaar!

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Anonymous Coward

Strange

I wasn't prevented from talking to strangers in Chinese shopping centres, or Russian ones. I must have misunderstood something because we all know that America is the land of the free.

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Anonymous Coward

Only in America.......?

Hmmm.... er, but, maybe....

Westfield have UK operations.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, but...

...you tell someone they can't speak to others in the UK, you're unlikely to get sued, more likely to get a good kicking.

Then again, the god bother was equally likely to get a smack in the mouth.

Sometimes the UK yob culture has it's upside.

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Big Brother

Classic Angolo-American Rivalry

Who can be the most opressive police sta^H^H^H^^H^democracy *cough*

I think I'm gonna move somewhere more liberal, I hear China's nice this time of year!

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ahhhh

now i can see the point, at first i thought it was out of order....

i personally hate anyone preaching to me, especially about some imaginary sky fairy.

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Grenade

How to get lots of up and down votes

Talk about god in a strongly positive or strongly negative way.

Always good to get the fight going. There are those on both sides of the argument who are not open to the idea that they could be wrong if slapped about with a large piece of evidence. They will defend their belief (in or against) with their last breath.

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eh?

im more than willing to believe. but personally if you dont have even any sketchy evidence after what, at least 6000 years of humanity then i dont expect to see any soon.

its funny how atheists get stick for not believing in something. its not us preaching in town centres telling people they are all wrong and organising some kind of massive paedo network.

organised religion is 100% man made, spirituality is another thing entirely. i dont need to read a book written hundreds of years after the fact by men in a room to know how to be a good person.

why do you have the right to believe yet i dont have the right to disbelieve?

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I do have to admit that there is a lack of people...

..preaching about the non-existence of god to balance up the numbers preaching he does.

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Headmaster

Are you addressing me sir? I don't believe we've been introduced.

It's good to see that the colonies are finally catching up with the basic rules of etiquette and public decency.

"...seeking "damages in [sic] an unspecified amount for false imprisonment, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, malicious prosecution, and a general violation of his rights under California's Civil Rights Act".

God moves in mysterious ways!

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Silver badge

Mall == private property.

Just like my living room.

You can NOT spout your religious bullshit to anyone in my living room ... I do not allow shamanism here in any shape or form. If you try, you will be shown the door, and indeed escorted off my property. If you struggle, I have the option of making a citizens arrest, charging you with trespassing, and/or assault, depending on how violent you are in insisting on delivering your variation of "the good word".

Don't like my house rules? Don't come here. We won't miss you.

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Black Helicopters

For those with memories

This is precisely why good ole HM.gov.uk held its ID card roadshows in malls. No protesterism allowed in any shape or form etc etc

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You have the power to charge people with crimes?

Well, I must say, the news that the CPS (or PF in Scotland) are outsourcing their work to private individuals to be a most disconcerting development.

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Anonymous Coward

@jake

"If you struggle, I have the option of making a citizens arrest, charging you with trespassing, and/or assault, depending on how violent you are in insisting on delivering your variation of "the good word".

You can't have them charged with trespass if you invited them in in the first place, but changed your mind after the fact.

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Silver badge

@AC 00:05

"You can't have them charged with trespass if you invited them in in the first place, but changed your mind after the fact."

No? You are welcome to visit my Ranch for horse related activities and various types of dog training (we also offer occasional classes in turning lambs & steers into food, grapes into wine, malt and hops into beer, and salt, flour & water into bread). You are not welcome to preach here. Try it, and I'll personally show you the property line. Complain or otherwise act up, and I'll arrest you[1]. Sue me. I dare you.

[1] Yes, here in California, I can do this as a citizen. And have. Never lost the resulting lawsuit (and the idiots always try to sue me). The trick is having clued-in witnesses and understanding the law, to say nothing of when to apply it.

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The dude

Can't actually make any arrest, he has no grounds to do so, and would lay himself open to charges of false imprisonment and common assault, but let's not detract from the fantasies of hormonally challenged14 year old 'atheists'.

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Mall == private property

In California, owners of properties like shopping malls may not prohibit solicitors such as religious, political (candidates, ballot measures, etc), or various causes (animal rights, etc.) from soliciting... The property owner can limit where they can set up operations (i.e., a fixed site with a table), and require that they not approach shoppers, but allow shoppers to express an interest by approaching the solicitor. Usually, the mall owner will limit the number and placement of tables, and require that the solicitor not block pedestrian traffic in any way. Most malls have a large open area, or several, where the solicitors set up their tables, and are ignored for the most part.

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@AC 19th August 00:05

I don't know what legal system you are talking about, but it seems unlikely that your assertion is true. Consider the (seriously hypothetical) situation where you invite in, say, a plumber to fix a dripping tap. The plumber does this, but then, without your permission, sits down on your sofa, switches the telly on, and proceeds to watch something you don't want to watch. The plumber is no longer there for the activity he was invited in for, and it is now a trespass.

Incidentally, certainly in the UK, common trespass isn't a criminal offence - it is civil.

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Anonymous Coward

@jake - thanks for the invite

but you sound like a bit of a cock

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Slight difference

The mal advertises, it has its doors wide open and actively seeks to attract people to enter. I would assume your living room is slightly different in that respect.

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