Another Lone Whacko

rush-cigarO’Reilly partially responsible for the death of Dr. George Tiller? Perish the thought! Limbaugh partially responsible for the Holocaust Memorial shooting that took the life of Stephen Tyrone Johns? No way!

But the facts say otherwise.  Guess who posted frequently under the username “Rush is Right”?

James W. von Brunn, Rush Limbaugh listener.

82 comments:

11:52 am • Thursday • June 11, 2009

OK, who wants to tell me how great it is that hate speech has First Amendment protections?

12:02 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

Do I suppose their right to free speech? Absolutely. Do I support the right of victim’s families to test their culpability in a court of law. You betcha.

12:06 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Dodgerblue: Alright, I’ll take the bait. First off, I won’t say it’s “great” but it’s necessary. It can be hard sometimes to live by this principle (Ex. A: Jewish ACLU attorney defending the Nazis’ right to march in Skokie), but regulating hate speech violates the fundamental First Amendment principle that any restrictions must be content-neutral and viewpoint-neutral and be narrowly limited to “fighting words.”

Plus it’s paternalistic to the insulted group(s) and counter-productive.

ADD: To Bloggie – and absolutely they should pursue tort claims, call for boycotts, whatever.

12:24 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty: No bait really – and as someone who hasn’t listened to all of O’Reilly’s Tiller rants (or even an hour of Rush) I can’t tell you all the facts. As for the law, what is the point at which hate speech other than “Go kill Dr. Tiller!” becomes actionable? Admittedly, the von Brunn case is murky – his “birther” beliefs, the same crap Rush pushes, may have had nothing to do with his actions.

So are the right wing talkers partly to blame? I think s0. Should they (specifically O’Reilly) be sued? If I were a member of Tiller’s family, I’d want to know.

12:45 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

Back up. This post makes it sound like this came from Rush’s own boards. It’s not — it was on Topix (owned by Gannett / McClatchy / Tribune, FYI). But the number of people who do post on Rush’s boards (or Hannity’s, or Beck’s, or whoever) with similar thoughts is probably high. And a handful of these might be prone to violent action, just as yesterday’s loser was.

As for lawsuits? Sadly, no. We can stipulate right now that Rush does not physically control every nut on the planet. And Rush does not come out and call for violent action. He doesn’t even imply it. He merely engages in Big Lie journalism day after day, which may (or may not) push people over the edge. The cause / effect connection is tenuous at best. A suit would probably turn him into a martyr, and thus would do more harm than good.

(Although — note that Rush is in Florida. This could flavor a jury in any number of ways; some of them would favor Rush, and some of them would disfavor Rush. It’s a crapshoot.)

1:01 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

I’m a bit bothered that we ran with this story, simply because it seems to come from the same place as, “The Columbine killers were all into video games; ban video games.” Limbaugh fan doesn’t mean killer, as millions of slavering dittoheads prove every day. It’s an interesting part of the picture, but as they say, correlation is not causation.

Bloggie, in case I’ve misunderstood the meaning of your article, I’m obviously interested to know that — I still feel like a babe in the woods on this stuff a lot of the time.

1:11 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

tj/North Korea is looking better by the day for one Bill Richardson:

“The hot potato of whether there will be indictments in the CDR bond pay to play case is now indeed in the hands of US Attorney General Eric Holder. That’s been reported, but has now been stated in public by Stephen Flance, chairman of the New Mexico Finance Authority.

“Flance told state lawmakers that the FBI had completed its investigation and that the findings were with Attorney General Holder…Flance said that the agency’s general counsel, Rey Romero, had informed him of the news. Romero…wouldn’t say who he had talked to or how he had gotten the information. But when asked if he trusted the source and the information that person was telling him, Romero said, “Yes.”

“Big Bill has got to be as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof. If there are any indictments and they results in trials, the rest of Bill’s term will be engulfed in pay to play stories. Even if the CDR case goes away, there are multiple remaining investigations that are going to make it mighty hard for the Governor to improve his standing with the public.”

http://joemonahansnewmexico.blogspot.com/

http://newmexicoindependent.com/29290/nmfa-chairman-cites-agency-counsel-as-source-that-fbi-phase-of-gripgate-investigation-is-over

@chicago bureau: The freepers were throwing racists, birthers and anti-seemites over the rail yesterday after the museum shooting. Did not check townhall. Rense (conspiracy/anti-semite/reptillian monitoring site) ran a “lone nut – what a coincidence” piece.

http://revisionistreview.blogspot.com/2009/06/now-playing-at-holocaust-museum-lone.html

Best thing about FB and stinque is that I have less time for all the crap that gets mixed up with otherwise vital coverage on what the reptillian illuminati is up to. I don’t even know if Obama is a shape shifter or not.

1:18 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@chicago bureau: I don’t see where the post makes it sound like the item comes from Rush’s discussion boards – that certainly wasn’t my intent. Makes me wonder if he did though …. What I’ve read so far seems to have him trying to convince non-believers, not preaching to the choir.

I also note for the sake of clarity that, at the topix link, it’s not him posting, it’s a repost, just like at Free Republic. I’ll look for the original source on my break.

1:28 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@blogenfreude:

Yeah the high profile people are not in jeopardy, unless things changed within the last ten years.

On the other hand, anyone who assisted knowingly or entered into a conspiracy to commit these acts would have problems.

With this guy, might not be any assistance with the level of knowledge to lead to charges. The guy in Michigan who has control of the website will get looked at.

But with our shooter in Kansas, I would expect Justice to be looking closely at the organizations that might have supported the shooter. Like, say, the ones that have already called for the next shooting, and named the target.

1:28 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

blogenfreude: “Limbaugh partially responsible….” is what I noticed.

Rush listener posting on Rush-operated message board without Rush lackey breaking out E.I.B. Banhammer (TM) = “partial responsibility.”

Rush listener popping off on Topix doesn’t get you there. Unless (as you may investigate) the original source was a Rush board. Which would mean that E.I.B. Banhammer was not implemented and there you go then.

1:33 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@IanJ: Maybe an over-reaction, but I can’t shake those images of O’Reilly ranting about Tiller. I recall also that Adkisson, who wanted to kill liberals, had an interesting reading list:

“Inside the house, officers found ‘Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder’ by radio talk show host Michael Savage, ‘Let Freedom Ring’ by talk show host Sean Hannity, and ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ by television talk show host Bill O’Reilly.”

Also:

In his [farewell] letter, Adkisson also included the Democratic members of the House and Senate, and the 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America of Bernard Goldberg in his list of wished-for targets.

True, Adkisson didn’t shoot anyone on Goldberg’s list, but he acknowledged it as a place to find targets.

At what point do these authors take even a little bit of the blame?

1:37 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@chicago bureau: A fair critique. Also, Rush keeping this guy frothing 24/7 isn’t enough – he may have been frothing even if Rush didn’t exist.

1:44 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty:

I’m glad you picked that one up…I don’t have the energy to defend people I despise today…

1:46 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@redmanlaw:

Bill Who?

Also, how can you be sure I’m not a lizard person?

2:00 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@blogenfreude: Oh, I’m not poo-pooing even for one second that the bloviating bastards are on the crazies’ reading/listening/watching list. I’d be surprised if they weren’t. I just don’t want us to sink to that level of reactionism where we lay blame without good cause. It doesn’t seem like there’s been a beyond-reasonable-doubt smoking gun yet.

I guess it boils down to the fact that I’m not willing to censure the bloviators for the actions of a negligible minority of their followers. Some people are fucking nuts, and they’re gonna blow up the enemy whether their inspiration is right-wing hatemongers or religion (the traditional favorite) or that bad peyote they ate in the 60s. Like I said before, Rush has millions of listeners, and he has plainly failed to inspire almost all of them to run around killing minorities.

I can’t speak much to O”Reilly, never watched him, and all I know about him comes via the Stinque crew (so I suspect it may be a little bit biased). I still admire those of you who can stomach that shit without going a bit postal yourselves. Certainly one of the ways I keep my balance is by avoiding all that crap.

2:09 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@IanJ: Maybe this is my way of going postal. If I crossed the line, well, I crossed the line.

Another thing that weighs heavily on me is this – O’Reilly’s reaction to Tiller’s murder. Watch it if you haven’t seen it – it’s disgusting.

2:10 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

TJ – On a much lighter note, aren’t there some weiner dog, ahem, Dachsie fans around here? The photos and videos of them racing are hilarious.

2:44 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty: I had a dachshund when I was a kid, great dog. Got hit by a car, recovered from a broken back within (weeks?), immediately returned to raiding our neighbors’ garages for sacks of dog and cat food as well as the occasional holiday turkey. Even in her advanced years she could hunt down and trap the moles that insisted on invading our lawn.

2:46 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Dodgerblue: It’s great because it protects the patently ridiculous speech on all parts of the political spectrum. Having said that, I think we need to shed a light on the growing tendency by so-called political commentators who use the rhetoric of the fringe and the delusional to make arguments against rather run-of-the-mill policy positions.

The sky is not falling and the republic is and will remain strong. But you wouldn’t know that from the daily barrage of entertainers like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and (yeah, i’ll say it), Keith Olbermann who spout this nonsense on so-called “news” networks. It’s irresponsible in this day and age to think it’s not going to have an effect on the mentally unbalanced.

2:53 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Jamie Sommers: You can say a lot of things about Olbermann (and I’ve said a few of them), but you can’t say he regularly makes shit up like O’Reilly, Limbaugh, and Hannity do.

2:55 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@blogenfreude: Think of me as a sanity-checker, then. Notice I didn’t call for anything to be pulled down — I just want us to be careful about how we phrase things. If we descend to the wingnut tactics, then we’re no better than they are (and we haven’t, this is just a hint in that direction).

I’m not sure what to think of that O’Reilly video. He’s clearly a disconnected douchebag, with no empathy for anyone who’s not more or less himself. But that’s not all that uncommon, as our daily news demonstrates on a more or less constant basis. Don’t imagine for an instant I’m defending him, I just don’t find myself getting worked up about his callousness. I might well have a different opinion if I had a broader background on him, ’cause he sounds like a right bastard from the way most people describe him.

2:58 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@IanJ: From Wikipedia…

The 1972 comedy album National Lampoon’s Radio Dinner includes a Baez parody, “Pull the Triggers, Niggers” (deliberately misspelled as “Pull the Tregroes” on the LP’s outside liner notes) performed by Baez sound-alike, Diana Reed. The satiric song made specific reference to Baez’s ex-boyfriend Bob Dylan’s defense of Black Panther and convicted murderer, George Jackson.

I have the album, and I may have to transcribe that song — it’s been in the back of my mind the past couple of weeks. You have to go back that far to find a Violent Left moment roughly equivalent to today’s implicit advocacy of the Violent Right.

Short of dusting off the vinyl, here’s the refrain:

Pull the triggers, niggers,
we’re with you all the way…
Just across the bay.

3:07 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@IanJ: I saw a debate on Little Howie’s show this weekend about O’Reilly’s culpability – maybe I’ll put the video up later. In any case, I think his behavior is the most egregious (excepting that douchebag they threw in jail for threatening CT lawmakers).
@nojo: I know it’s property damage – not killing people – but would you include the groups that burn down new houses and spike trees as “lefty”?

3:09 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Dodgerblue: OK, who wants to tell me how great it is that hate speech has First Amendment protections?

Me.

The alternative is that someone would have to decide, case by case, what’s prosecutable hate speech and what’s protected free speech. And there we run into the pornography problem, with “community standards” and all that rot.

Historically, it doesn’t work — John Adams trying to criminalize his political opponents, Mitchell Palmer trying to criminalize opposition to the Great War. If you grant the power to distinguish, those in power will be more than happy to oblige.

3:15 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@blogenfreude: I know it’s property damage – not killing people – but would you include the groups that burn down new houses and spike trees as “lefty”?

Yes, and I mentioned monkeywrenchers somewhere else in this rolling conversation. (We’ll also throw in animal-rights extremists who firebomb labs.) I may be sympathetic with their goals, but I condemn their actions — self-righteousness makes a great cover for self-justification.

I will say that there are cases where political violence is wholly justified. But the examples would be extremely rare, and none come to mind.

3:22 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo:

OK, I’ll admit it: I don’t believe in free speech as an absolute.

Look at countries like Canada and Germany that have serious restrictions on hate speech. Are they having tribunals or kangaroo trials to prosecute people over speech? No, and their national dialogue is about 10 zillion times more intelligent than ours, which is sadly submoronic.

You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater and so forth, so why is saying “kill all the fags” A-OK, but saying “kill John Smith” is a crime? The outcome is the same, directly or indirectly.

Washington State’s Supreme Court a couple of years ago ruled that flat-out lying about political opponents was protected speech. We can’t even draw the line there? This is not making our nation better in any sense, it’s creating a race to the bottom, and a national dialogue and political system designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

3:25 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo: I will say that there are cases where political violence is wholly justified. But the examples would be extremely rare, and none come to mind.

These latest nuts, including the converted moslem who shot up the recruiting station, were engaged in political violence they believed to be justifiable. One could argue that OBL is doing the same. It’s a tough nut to crack.

3:27 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo: Hate speech certainly has First Amend. protections, but I’m interested in civil liability here.

3:29 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo:

The first example that pops into my mind are French resistance fighters during WWII. They were “terrorists” or “insurgents” in every sense of the word, yet resisting the Nazis was unquestionably justifiable.

Don’t people living under foreign occupation have an inherent right to resist?

3:32 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@blogenfreude: True, Adkisson didn’t shoot anyone on Goldberg’s list, but he acknowledged it as a place to find targets.

More to the point, if memory serves: Adkisson chose the churchgoers as substitutes for Goldberg’s list, since he couldn’t get to the listees themselves.

But in all these cases, our indictments are political, not criminal. We’re saying that the Usual Suspects are actively creating a climate of violence in this country, while keeping a safe distance from the violence itself. (Thus the NatLamp reference — Tony Hendra, if you’re keeping score.)

That’s where Columbine falls short as a comparison — the supposed cause & effect of videogames (or Hollywood, or whatever) is very tangential. But the daily demagoguing of people as worthy of death, to an audience that takes that shit seriously (per Shep), is a demonstrable influence. Not legally demonstrable — prosecutable standards are rightfully high — but politically.

Again: We all saw it happening with the Palin rallies last fall. The cynicism of the charlatans leading the charge, but backing off from the obvious consequences, is overwhelming. The only honest man out there is Randall Terry.

3:59 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Nabisco: Case in point, which is why I say extremely rare. If you set the French Resistance as a reasonable exception, you’ve set a very high standard for everyone else to meet — a standard nobody in this country in our time comes near.

@Original Andrew: You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater and so forth

Sure you can. If it’s in the script.

Which is to say: Context is everything.

But I totally agree that this is a fine distinction, and in truth I’ve never made my peace with Skokie. I can’t judge Germany’s law — very special historical exception in play — and I’m flat-out uninformed about Canada.

why is saying “kill all the fags” A-OK, but saying “kill John Smith” is a crime? The outcome is the same, directly or indirectly.

Legally, there’s a distinction between a group and an individual, but we’ll set that aside. More broadly, I’m afraid I can’t provide a satisfying answer to your question. We all condemned Palin for fomenting violence at her rallies, but nobody called for arresting her. Does this make what she said “A-OK”? Of course not. Can I conceive of a law that would fit the situation without being abused for other purposes? Alas, no.

@blogenfreude: I’m using “political” as a stalking horse for “civil liability,” and I have no problem with that approach. I just want to be clear that criminal liability is another thing entirely.

4:02 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

By the way, this is a great conversation, and I wish I had more time to devote to it. But hackwork calls.

4:26 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo:

I’d just like to add for example that Canada’s hate speech laws, specifically against inciting hatred and violence towards minorities, are the prime reasons that Fred Phelps and family can’t take their psychotic road show north of the border. Even they’re not stupid enough to tempt fate.

Are Canadians less “free” because of these laws? That’s debatable. Is their society better? Hell. Yes.

4:27 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

Okay, one more…

J. Edgar Hoover was very much alive during my childhood, and FBI surveillance and infiltration of manifestly legitimate left-wing groups was very much an issue. In turn, my judgment of laws that touch on free-speech matters is very much colored by that. It’s not the noble intent of laws against the bastards that trouble me, it’s their inevitable perversion in practice.

Really, libertarians would have a great case to make, if they weren’t such fucking idiots about it.

4:28 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Original Andrew: Manchu? Step in and tell me more.

4:35 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo:
OA is correct. You can talk shit about individuals (within reason), but start aiming for broad swaths of folks you’re not welcome.

The laws as part of our Charter of Rights, were put in place due to attacks against various minorities in our past including Ukranian, Polish, Jews, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, Natives, Sikhs, Indians, etc, etc, etc.

Our wingnuts hate the Charter of Rights with a passion. Our current PM (and closet wingnut) worked towards abolishing it, but hilariously tried to invoke it (free speech) when the Liberal Party put in an election law that prevent 3rd party folks from influencing aka advertising (all political parties can not do so) during the last 72 hours of an election (he and his “taxpayers” federation lost.)

4:42 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo:

My super-Constitutional boyfriend, Glenn Greenwald, has a pretty good summary of arguments against hate speech laws.

My response to his argument that all hate speech laws are bad, bad, bad, is that it hinges on the specious notion that all speech is equally valid, which inciting hatred against specific groups (Jews, Muslims, humuhsekshals, etc.) certainly isn’t.

4:51 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@blogenfreude: I wasn’t talking about making shit up. I was talking about overblown rhetoric. And he’s just as guilty of it. He practically revels in being the flip side of the Bill O’Reilly coin.

It doesn’t do anyone a damn bit of good to broadcast this stuff night after night and think that everyone “gets it”. They don’t. It’s not helping anyone, especially when the majority of good people in the middle who can and should be engaged but are instead turned off, leaving public policy to the outliers.

5:04 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Original Andrew: Well, that’s the fancy way of putting it.

And to continue my Parade of Ignorance, my general understanding of American hate-speech laws is that they’re designed to “federalize” already criminal offenses — either to tack on an additional charge to your local arson, or give the feds an opportunity to investigate a crime the local yahoos are ignoring.

Which, on the whole, doesn’t get my panties in a bunch.

So I can’t say I’m a free-speech absolutist. Just a free-speech extremist. I’m wholly in favor of limiting the patio speech of my uphill neighbors and their two dozen friends at 2 a.m.

And, well, Glenn’s update pretty much nails my practical concern:

Moreover, left-wing academics are beginning to learn firsthand what it’s like to have their own censorship vehicles used against them. For example, University of British Columbia Prof. Sunera Thobani, a native of Tanzania, faced a hate-crimes investigation after she launched into a vicious diatribe against American foreign policy. Thobani, a Marxist feminist and multiculturalism activist, had remarked that Americans are “bloodthirsty, vengeful and calling for blood.” The Canadian hate-crimes law was created to protect minority groups from hate speech. But in this case, it was invoked to protect Americans.

Granted there may be more to that story than we’re told, but let’s borrow a principle from libel law: In Canada, is truth a defense against hate speech? Because “bloodthirsty, vengeful and calling for blood” can be documented.

5:19 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo:

That’s true, but read up on those Canadian cases and you’ll find that almost all end up either being dismissed or with a minor fine or polite request to stop demonizing people. They’re very, very careful about actual prosecutions.

I would also add that hate crimes laws and their implemenation differ significantly from hate speech laws, because the government isn’t required to show causation with hate speech laws since it’s a given. They accept that hate speech–that is meant to threaten or humiliate or incite violence against groups of people–leads to hate crimes against those people and communities.

Additionally, any set of laws, system of government, or lack thereof can be perverted and misused (see America, United States of–2000 to present).
Having hate speech laws in and of itself isn’t a threat to a population, but it does raise the bar in protecting vulnerable groups, since we humans in general seem to have a predisposition towards animosity towards those most consider weaker, different or simply other than or less than.

5:23 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Jamie Sommers:

And there’s the rub: Not one of these guys is actually involved in the process of governance. They are showmen, Keef included. So we end up with a false discourse- a commentariait, if you will, that distracts from what is really going on. Watching KO, you’d think that the noble Democratic Horsemen are waging a war against the vile Republican Orcs while Obama trudges toward a volcano to drop the private heath care system into the forge of its creation. As we all know, nothing could be further from the truth- the Dems are selling us out on that issue as I type.

With all respect and apologies to Mr. Tiller and Mr. Johns families, this verbal circus is a greater danger to the public welfare that the fringe constant listener who decides to get a gun- and that is saying something, because I think that these murderous wackos are dangerous indeed…

5:24 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Jamie Sommers: It’s irresponsible in this day and age to think it’s not going to have an effect on the mentally unbalanced.

Let’s zero in on that. Shep gave us a peek into the kind of hatemail Fox provokes — never mind what we already know from their bulletin boards. This is the kind of thing that leads me to call Fox & Friends charlatans: They know damn well what they’re doing, and who they’re reaching with it. It’s a profoundly cynical (and dangerous) ploy for ratings and political influence.

And you could say Keef is a similar news entertainer for the liberal left, although you’d need a smash-the-state radical on MSNBC to draw a true comparison. But does he elicit the same response from his audience? The dude was planning to beat up Letterman for a Palin joke last night, until Letterman’s semi-apology reached the producers during the broadcast.

Yet another example: Lou Dobbs. He never comes up around here, despite his immigration rants. Does he play within bounds? Is he actually the better right-wing comparison to Olbermann?

These aren’t necessarily rhetorical questions with implied answers. But as before, I fret that we’re rushing to draw false equivalences where none exist.

5:27 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo:

You’d need MSNBC to begin producing Network’s Mao Tse Tung Hour for a truly accurate comparison.

The greatest mistake made by Paddy Chayefsky was assuming that American culture would veer to the Left, when instead it swerved to the Right, tossed the steering wheel out the window, and then went over a cliff, Toonces-style. Reagan, er, I mean, Toonces, look out!!111!!

5:33 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Tommmcatt doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene:

Tommmy, did I read in a previous thread that you were banned from W______e for questioning Newell’s brilliance?

Sweet FSM, how I miss the heady days of AMC.

5:37 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo: Lou Dobbs is like Yanni, or Michael Bolton to me. I am vaguely aware of their existence, but I don’t actively seek them out. Once in a while I see Dobbs taken down a few pegs, but it doesn’t enrage me. He’s not trying hard enough.

5:39 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Original Andrew:

Yah, I was reminiscing about the old days and broadly hinting that a commenter purge might not be a bad thing. I think he took it as a criticism and banned me.

Of course, he might just have thought me “unfunny”, which is ironic as he works for Ken Layne…

5:39 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Original Andrew: Having hate speech laws in and of itself isn’t a threat to a population, but it does raise the bar in protecting vulnerable groups

The classic argument for free-speech laws — or any civil-rights legislation — is similar. But quite true that we’ve seen a wonderful demonstration on how any law can be perverted, provided you have willing folks at Justice to cover yer ass.

Or you can just skip the formalities, and be Bill Maher saying the wrong thing at the wrong time on the wrong network.

But despite the absence of prosecutions in Canada, there is something known as a chilling effect, and it can cut both ways. Then again, I was going to mention earlier that I’m not necessarily troubled by FBI agents showing up at your door and having a conversation about you saying “Tiller the Baby Killer” repeatedly on your broadcast.

There’s a lot of gray area here, and not just with the standard fire-theatre line. But I remain very cautious about what gets enshrined into law.

5:41 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo: “I’m wholly in favor of limiting the patio speech of my uphill neighbors and their two dozen friends at 2 a.m.”
There will be a lot of that at Casa RML this Saturday. Stinquers are welcome.

5:42 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Original Andrew: The greatest mistake made by Paddy Chayefsky was assuming that American culture would veer to the Left

A certain 17-year-old who first saw the movie in 1976 made the same presumption. Four years later, he was harshly disabused of his fantasy.

5:47 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo: He should have apologized only for getting it wrong. Palin doesn’t look like a slutty stewardess. She looks like an aging suburban hooker who shops at the local St Vincent De Paul.

5:51 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

Oh, and no argument here that Keef panders. Of course he does, and he makes for fine West Coast dinner-hour entertainment. I especially enjoy how his regular correspondents bat away his leading questions. That’s part of the fun.

5:54 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Tommmcatt doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene: I was going to say last night, after my rare excursion over there, that Wonkette commenters have turned into dittoheads. Recent threads here challenging the presumptions of posts are much more fun. But that’s the seminar jockey in me talking.

5:57 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@redmanlaw: BTW – a correction – media reported yesterday that von whathisface had a shotgun (and I parroted) – it was a .22 rifle. Apparently an ancient one.

5:58 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@FlyingChainSaw: And there we have it. Unlike the trucknuttery over at Wonkette and the vacant stare of the catatonic Cynics’ Party, there’s some damn fine discussion going on here topped off with a brilliant dose of humor.

ADD: The Lou Dobbs-KeefO comparison is apt, although the former is really a one-trick pony – the Rudy 9u11iani of immigration. But he’s a survivor; the missus and I have been hating on Lou across many timezones and international borders for at least a decade. Only thing that’s changed is he’s become more orange.

6:12 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Original Andrew:
“Having hate speech laws in and of itself isn’t a threat to a population, but it does raise the bar in protecting vulnerable groups, since we humans in general seem to have a predisposition towards animosity towards those most consider weaker, different or simply other than or less than.”

But see, for me, that is another argument AGAINST banning hate speech. By banning it, we are saying that these groups (whether it be wimmins, teh gheyz, immigrants, blacks, etc.) are so weak that they have to be protected. That is what I meant way upthread that I thought bans/regulations are patronizing or paternalistic. It implies that these shat-upon groups cannot stand up for themselves or persuade listeners that the hate-speech mongers are full of shit. Let that imbecilic vitriol be seen for what it is in the light of day, and duly rejected.

There’s also the question of how on earth you enforce it, see Canada.

And I think that in this discussion/analysis, you have to make a distinction between garden variety hate speech (i.e. “teh gheyz and abortionists caused 9/11″) and incitement to violence (i.e. “teh gheyz and abortionists must be killed.”), which First Amendment law has made clear can be restricted. And of course hate speech is very different than the hate crime enhancement to criminal prosecutions of violence.

/scurries back to work

6:14 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty:

Thanks for the trouncing, by the way. Another?

6:20 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@blogenfreude: Two kids died in firearms related accidents involving .22 rifles here this past couple of weeks. I believe the kids, including the son of a former rural county sheriff , were unsupervised. Bottom line: .22s can kill people at short ranges.

I just wonder about the accuracy of the reporting on what von B used, since most reporters don’t know anything about firearms. Remember this went from rifle to shotgun to rifle again. Also, witnesses reported a loud bang, and a .22 makes more of a loud POP! I’ll bet it finally comes out that he used a .223 cal rifle (AR 15, Ruger Mini-14). Of course, a .22 could be loud if you fired it in a big ass marble and tile room.

Fashionistas: there’s a new metal band called “The Devil Wore Prada”. They just played them on the Sirius Liquid Metal channel.

6:22 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty: Whatchit, Lefty, or Clarence Thomas will be asking you to weigh in with an amicus brief in the next affirmative action suit that comes to the Supremes!

6:22 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty: Which reminds me of the Empathy Issue: As a white male in this great nation of ours, I just don’t have to deal with this shit.

So while I certainly have my views about the fundamental value of free-speech protection (and the disturbing impracticality of enforcement to the contrary), I’m also not somebody who would require protection in the examples we’re bringing up.

Hell, I’m not even in a position to raise or dispute the “paternalism” issue, since doing so would be an example of it. Which is why I enjoy listening.

6:23 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@redmanlaw: How do you kill someone with a 22 without repeated shots?

Are metal bands still quoting the Blue Oyster Cult?

6:23 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

It’s funny, on jury duty, I was foreman, and ended up applying the same logic to some of the jury members. “The reason we have reasonable doubt to worry about is… Well, how do you feel when I come at you with a false charge? How much proof do you want to require now?”

It was a good jury, though, everyone was reasonable and willing to change their mind based on sufficient evidence that another view was more accurate. I certainly changed my mind a few times.

To the point of this thread, I always find it useful to look at this kind of discussion from the other side — in this case, from the point of view of the person espousing the unpopular view.

6:28 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@FlyingChainSaw: Headshot, baby, headshot. Or, as in the case of Reagan, hope you get some internal ricochets that rip things apart. .22 is actually “weak” enough to ricochet off something like a spine. In a way, you get a kill the same way you get a kill with a knife: hit something vital.

As I recall, some assassination orgs use .22 for close-up work because it’s so much less obtrusive, but I don’t have anything to back that up. It makes logical sense to me, though: a .22 at 50 yards will still go through a 2×4 without stopping. It’d probably take 4-6 thicknesses of 2x lumber to stop a .22 bullet.

6:30 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@IanJ:
The mob liked a Ruger .22 LR pistol with silencer. Makes less noise, less of a mess and easier to conceal.

6:36 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty:

bans/regulations are patronizing or paternalistic

If we were living in a sane country, I might agree.

However! As that random law professor stated when interviewed about the upholding of Kuleefurnya’s notorious Proposition 8, much of American law and society depends upon people not doing anything too mean or too stupid–and that’s a sucker bet I’m sure as hayll not gonna take.

6:41 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

And by the by, are we gonna get an Election Night: Iran conversation going up in here?

Last I read, Jaddy came down solidly on the side of cutting off your political adversaries’ hands. Ooh, the Drama Queen of Persia strikes again.

6:51 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

And now Barry is going after their cigarettes, not just the guns.

@Tommmcatt doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene: I can’t get the board to come up on my work computer, but it works on my home computer. But sure, let’s go for another one. BTW, I’d like to announce that Nabisco, as of his last move, is kicking my ass in Scrabble.

6:53 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@ManchuCandidate: Maybe that’s what I’m thinking of. Certainly .22 with a silencer is quieter than a pellet gun.

6:56 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Original Andrew: The election is “Friday,” which may very well be now. What’s your sense of the timing? Post an Iran thread now, or wait for the morning?

6:57 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty:

It implies that these shat-upon groups cannot stand up for themselves or persuade listeners that the hate-speech mongers are full of shit.

Oh, and that was one of the exact reasons stated by the Washington State Supreme Court for upholding our state’s DOMA. That we gaze didn’t need the court’s constitutional protection because we had political power, and could hold a rational discussion with our representatives. WTF????

Sure wasn’t fun hearing that from a court, especially in light of the 1998-era arguments by our state legislators in favor of DOMA, like that we gays died young, that we spread disease, that we used feces sexually, that we’re child molesters, and so forth. My faith in our legal and legislative “system” pretty much died that day.

7:02 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@nojo:

Perhaps we should wait for the results. Though after crashing their nation’s economy and making them an international pariah–wow this sounds oddly familiar for some reason–one wonders what exactly Jaddy would have to do to get turned out of office.

Hopefully, it’ll be back to clearing brush outside Isfahan for him.

7:07 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Original Andrew: You’re comparing apples and oranges. They might have made the same argument justifying DOMA, Prop. 8, etc., but it’s totally different. In those cases (which were decided in contradiction to clear Constitutional principles if applied consistently) involved the government (and tyranny of the majority of CA voters) affirmatively restricting the civil rights of the shat-upon group.

Ideally, the judicial branch should (not saying they do, see Prop. 8) at that point step in and protect the disfavored and unpopular minority from the tyranny of the populace or legislature – because the populace/legislature is interfering with the fundamental rights of the members of the disfavored group.

That is very different than (who? the thought police? the FBI? the FCC?) stepping in and protecting the disfavored group from the hate speech.

7:09 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

BTW, where’s Dodgerblue? He’s the one who set this whole chain off.
/really, I have to scurry back to work

7:19 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@FlyingChainSaw: The sheriff’s son died from one shot to the chest that hit his heart.

@IanJ: .22 LR penetration testing
http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=503007&nt=4&page=1

@FlyingChainSaw: Re: BOC: Mmm, not really, but these Death Angel guys (c.1990) really sound like Rush. I think most of the current crowd follow Metallica, Slayer, and Cannibal Corpse. Thrash is back, btw.

http://www.myspace.com/metallica
http://www.myspace.com/slayer
http://www.myspace.com/cannibalcorpse

7:21 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty:

That’s a good point, but hate speech laws are a pro-active form of protection versus relatively passive equal protection and anti-discrimination laws.

The way it works in Canada appears to be that each province has a human rights commission that examines the compliants, and decisions can be appealed or dismissed, subject to their courts. There are multiple levels of protection for individual rights in place.

I guess what really pisses me off the most about the American legal system is the whole concept of legal positivism, in which judges uphold blatantly unfair and unconsitutional laws solely because they’re laws. It ‘empties the law of all meaning’ to borrow a phrase.

If there were one question that I could ask a judicial candidate, it would be where they stood on the concept of legal positivism vs. legal realism.

7:27 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@FlyingChainSaw: Here’s Metallica covering BOC’s “Astronomy” from the awesome in its hardcoredness “Garage Inc.” 2-cd covers set.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBe36dggnsI

7:36 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty:

Same thing happened to me! Weird. But I will start a game tonight.

7:42 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@redmanlaw: Thanks for the link, that’s pretty interesting. Not fantastically surprising, either. My mention of 50 yards was mostly because that’s where I’ve actually shot .22 the most. Tried 100 yards a few times, and found that my setup wasn’t flexible enough to switch between those ranges easily, so I gave up and stuck to 50.

7:57 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

TJ: Hey gheyz and gals, check out this hottie openly gay man running for Congress. (All linques completely SFW). I propose that from now on, for every Stormy post by Bloggie, there be equal time for Tony.

8:00 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@Tommmcatt doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene: True, they’re not governing but they seem to be influencing the rhetoric of those who are. I don’t know, though; maybe it’s a chicken and egg argument. Maybe Tom & Michelle & Charlie & Maxine started it and the teevee assholes followed their lead.

You got banned for requesting a herd thinning in the thread in which he was doing just that?! The mind boggles.

@nojo: No, he’s not playing within bounds. If you saw/heard the anti-Mexican turds shouting “no amnesty” around here, you’d know that they lurve that old oompa loompa. I think maybe he doesn’t get mentioned enough because he’s on CNNHL. Few pay attention to them anymore, for which my dog ( a hater of the dog whistle that is Nancy Grace’s voice) is grateful.

@FlyingChainSaw: Mr. Johns opened the door for the fucktard so I’m sure it was at v. close range.

8:22 pm • Thursday • June 11, 2009

@SanFranLefty:

Nom nom nom. And on my team, too!

4:36 am • Friday • June 12, 2009

great discussion to wake up to kids. coupla things:
ratbastard watches bill O-shut-the-fuck-up.
he says, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

2 weeks ago there was an israeli day parade in nyc. my dad sent me pics of the crowd carrying signs that said “re-open auschwitz.” in NEW YORK!
ya know, hymieville? there are more jews in ny than in israel.
now suppose i was standing next to this knuckledragger with my grandmother, who was in auschwitz? can i kick him in the balls? no. he’s protected under our laws, i’d be arrested for assault.
the only thing good about free speech as we know it, is that it’s better than the alternative. but the pen is mighty indeed. it cuts both ways like the sword.

9:07 am • Friday • June 12, 2009

@redmanlaw: Late to this thread (little league night game; our team won, inches closer to the playoffs); have you tried on this “Sun O)))” that our mutual FB friend is crowing about? Best described as “dronecore”, there’s an underlying metal thunder to it that seems to bridge the gap between classic Sabbath and Sonic Youth. With absurdist stage apparel.

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