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In Sanford, Florida, murder is not a crime as long as the victim is African American - Page 17

post #801 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

Not if his privacy settings are on "public". I agree with you for the most part, Schwartz. Even if I don't agree with what he said, he has a right to say it. Restricting free speech is dangerous precedent to set.


I don't think people are advocating restricting speech, they're advocating being held accountable for what you say in public (the "not being above criticism" thing) if you're a public official.  He can say whatever he wants, but if his job is public service, he either better keep it incredibly private, or find another job.

post #802 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post


It's been a while since I quit facebook, but I believe your preferences are what set the limits.  Generally only firends can read it, BUT, if they comment on it, THEIR friends can read their comments and the original posting even if they're not friends with the originator.  


Facebook allows users to have pretty control over what others see. You can change your settings so that only your friends can see and no one else. You can also change settings for one specific post as opposed to your whole feed. I'm pretty sure this moron has his whole profile set to public, so that anyone - even someone who is not a member - can see his post if they looked him up.

 

 

post #803 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post


I don't think people are advocating restricting speech, they're advocating being held accountable for what you say in public (the "not being above criticism" thing) if you're a public official.  He can say whatever he wants, but if his job is public service, he either better keep it incredibly private, or find another job.


I don't know about that. So a government official can't criticize the government? Or can only say what the government wants you to say? That requirement impedes free speech.

 

I think he should be held accountable - either suspended or punished in some other way. But fired? That is a controversial step.

post #804 of 2278

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post


It's been a while since I quit facebook, but I believe your preferences are what set the limits.  Generally only firends can read it, BUT, if they comment on it, THEIR friends can read their comments and the original posting even if they're not friends with the originator.  


not quite true. You set your own defaults (public, private or custom (which is generally narrower than private)). But if you tag someone in a post, it becomes visible to their friends. Merely commenting does not open it up.

post #805 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

I don't think people are advocating restricting speech, they're advocating being held accountable for what you say in public (the "not being above criticism" thing) if you're a public official.

 

This is one of the areas where the limits of the 1st Amendment* are practically tested by courts on a regular basis, and it's because it is a difficult area for even those who believe in free speech to draw bright lines. And I'm not even saying the guy shouldn't be fired.  I'm saying that because it's not at all clear that his statements were in his professional capacity, you shouldn't do it based on the his being a spokesman for the Department. I think you're better off arguing that the job requires him to be willing to risk the lives of himself and his men to help the general public without a second thought, and the statements create a very real concern that he would not service certain portions of the public with the same level of professional diligence as he would others.

 

You're still going to be in for a court battle, though, because the government doesn't have to explicitly state that it's goal is to censor free speech in order to run afoul of the 1st Amendment.

 

 

*talking about actual 1st Amendment issues here, not just professional blowhard's imagined rights to sponsorship or pussies who whine about free speech whenever someone on the internet calls them stupid
 

 


Edited by Schwartz - 4/17/12 at 1:08pm
post #806 of 2278

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/04/17/mayor-weighs-in-on-controversial-trayvon-martin-facebook-comments/

 

The mayor of Miami-Dade weighs in:

 

“If it brings discredit to the county as a whole, there are rules I know from the place I used to work before, then yea, things that you did, even on your own time could be held accountable for it if it brought ill repute to your organization. This obviously did,” replied Gimenez. He added, “We’re going to see if the same rules apply here.

 

Three bits: the guy is a captain, not a chief so that could impact his status as a representative. The Captain is employed by the county, not the city, so the mayor might not be completely up-to-date on the regs. I can't find whether the Facebook post was made private or public

 

ETA: The forum really desperately needs a "Scrub Formatting" option.

post #807 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post


I don't know about that. So a government official can't criticize the government? Or can only say what the government wants you to say? That requirement impedes free speech.

 

I think he should be held accountable - either suspended or punished in some other way. But fired? That is a controversial step.


If someone's job is to serve the public, and especially if they hold sway over public lives, and they despise said public...there is an obvious and dangerous conflict of interest and something should be done about it.  

 

post #808 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeI View Post

 

ETA: The forum really desperately needs a "Scrub Formatting" option.

 

When you copy something from another site, and want to post it here, right click in the reply box, hit "paste"...a new paste box should come up where it asks you to paste your copied text...right click and choose "paste as plain text"...this will delete the original formatting and replace it with chud regular.
 

 

post #809 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post


If someone's job is to serve the public, and especially if they hold sway over public lives, and they despise said public...there is an obvious and dangerous conflict of interest and something should be done about it.  

 

 

...which goes to the idea that some politicians (cough....tea party/some GOP) seemingly hate the whole concept of government and want to "drown it in a bathtub".

To want to be involved in government only to kill said government is verging on sociopathy.

 

....but this is all off tangent and for another thread. :) 
 

 

post #810 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

...which goes to the idea that some politicians (cough....tea party/some GOP) seemingly hate the whole concept of government and want to "drown it in a bathtub".

To want to be involved in government only to kill said government is verging on sociopathy.

 

....but this is all off tangent and for another thread. :)


I'm not a Tea Partier by any stretch, but it's perfectly reasonable for politicians to argue for the limited role of government.  I definitely think idealogues like Norquist take things to far by pledging hat they will never even consider any kind of tax increase ever under any circumstance, but it's a short walk from "you shouldn't be in government if you don't want it to provide healthcare/raise taxes" to "you shouldn't be in government if you don't want it to protect marriage/restrict abortions/outlaw marijuana."

 

post #811 of 2278
Thread Starter 

But, you know, the whole conversation is twisted because they want government involved in things they like but not in things they don't.  They have no problem handing trillions in taxpayer dollars to their cronies in the military industrial complex, big ag, big pharma, etc.; it's only when government throws a line to the most vulnerable people that tea partiers protest.  They're damn thieves, but this is nothing new.  Societies throughout the centuries have seen the very rich use their power to take money from the poor to subsidize their own luxury.  This is what tea party poster boy Paul Ryan is furthering.  If any one of the early American lawmakers got an eyeful of what these &^%$ers are up to, they'd convulse in their dusty graves.  It's extremely depraved and vile. 
 

post #812 of 2278

Recently there have been stories in the news about teachers fired because their Facebook pages show pictures of them doing jello shots, drunken lesbian kissing, etc. The idea being that teaching children brings with it a certain responsibility...I'd rather see pictures of my county's fire captain with a beer bong in his hand than a racist, hate-filled (stupid) rant. Fire him.

post #813 of 2278

My friend's dad is a fire fighter. I asked him to weigh in and this is what he said:

 

Quote:
There are fire department rules and regulations that differ from department to department. I'm sure that this man will claim to be speaking as an individual rather than for the department. I know of too many people that I work with that consider themselves better than the people we serve. It would be interesting to know if he posted that while at work or not. My department's rules state any thing that may put the department in a bad light, I can be held accountable for (suspension, demotion,firing). These rules are in effect at any time.

 

So it seems that the bad press could be enough to fire him, depending on that particular department's rules.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

If someone's job is to serve the public, and especially if they hold sway over public lives, and they despise said public...there is an obvious and dangerous conflict of interest and something should be done about it.  


I agree. I think what needs to be "done" is the tricky issue. To use that rationale, you have prove that this guy isn't fit for his job. While it is reasonable to assume that his private views may influence his responsibility to the public, there is no actual evidence that is has or will.

 

My point is that the rationale for his termination will be key to whether it is seen as legit or not. On the surface, firing someone for speaking something that is counter to public opinion seems like a huge infringement of free speech. But as outlined above, if the termination is related to department protocol that's a different matter altogether.

post #814 of 2278

I think there's a big difference between the government stifling dissent / limiting speech and the government firing an employee that is casting them in a bad light.

post #815 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeI View Post

I think there's a big difference between the government stifling dissent / limiting speech and the government firing an employee that is casting them in a bad light.



If you can explain that difference to me in a couple of sentences, I'd be very interested.

post #816 of 2278
I look at it like this. A uniform is a dual-edged sword. The reputation of the uniform you wear precedes you and grants you credibility. In return, you accept the obligation of representing the organization with your own conduct. It is limiting speech, in my opinion, but you're free not to put the uniform on and accept the obligations that go with.
post #817 of 2278


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

I look at it like this. A uniform is a dual-edged sword. The reputation of the uniform you wear precedes you and grants you credibility. In return, you accept the obligation of representing the organization with your own conduct. It is limiting speech, in my opinion, but you're free not to put the uniform on and accept the obligations that go with.


That's pretty much how I feel about it.  It's a trade off.  So many want the prestige and respect, but are unwilling to walk the walk.

post #818 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post


If you can explain that difference to me in a couple of sentences, I'd be very interested.


Using my extensive legal research capabilties (*COUGH* WIKIPEDIA *COUGH*), it looks like the case that made it to the SC that most closely resembles this case is Rankin v. McPherson, which sided with the employee. The differences that could possibly distinguish this case is if the statement inhibits the fire department to perform its duties.

 

I don't know if there's a Code of Conduct or what it would say, but failing that, it certainly looks like it would be more of a hassle than it's worth.

post #819 of 2278

I can't believe that firing someone for being a racist piece of shit is considered a free speech issue. Free speech is great. It also has consequences. No-one's stopping him from saying these things or holding these opinions, just saying he should have to deal with the consequences of such a reprehensible stance.

post #820 of 2278

I can see why someone would think that if they believe the purpose of free speech is only to protect speech that offends people other than themselves.

 

It's not that complicated.  When the person's employer is the government, we have an extremely high standard for allowing it to fire them based solely on them expressing their opinion.  Because we don't want the government even vaguely in the business of judging which opinions are acceptable to hold or voice. 

 

They're going to find a way to fire this guy.  But the government is going to have to step very lightly in doing so, which is appropriate.  I don't want the government to get comfortable punishing people for being racist based on a statement that doesn't even mention race directly. 

post #821 of 2278

In that case I think it's time for America to examine how it protects and reveres the forms of free speech that it does, because as far as I can see it's doing more harm than good to the way your society operates right now, and has led to some truly grotesque abuses over the last ten years. We as a country continue to function, with a far more inclusive and liberal core set of values, and if somebody in a public post were to express views like that in a public forum they would be rocketed out of their job so fast their head would spin. It's counterproductive to the job, it's completely innacurate, it's inflammatory and a conflict of interest in a man who is supposed to be protecting the very people he's attacking, and it's just plain vile.

 

This isn't a slippery slope argument here - just because the government takes some responsibility for punishing objectionable and offensive viewpoints, it doesn't mean that you're a couple of years away from 1984.

post #822 of 2278

He's still a public servant who publicly expressed contempt for a good chunk of the public he serves.

 

He can choose to express those feelings and he can also choose what other line of work he'd like to be in. Perhaps he'd be happier in a job where he didn't have to deal with welfare shitbags or whatever idiocy he wrote.

 

You want to write that sort of thing and still hold a job as a public servant, write it in your diary.

 

People in far lesser positions of authority have been fired for posting far more innocuous things on Facebook.

 

Actions have consequences, as Andrew said.

post #823 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

In that case I think it's time for America to examine how it protects and reveres the forms of free speech that it does, because as far as I can see it's doing more harm than good to the way your society operates right now, and has led to some truly grotesque abuses over the last ten years. We as a country continue to function, with a far more inclusive and liberal core set of values, and if somebody in a public post were to express views like that in a public forum they would be rocketed out of their job so fast their head would spin. It's counterproductive to the job, it's completely innacurate, it's inflammatory and a conflict of interest in a man who is supposed to be protecting the very people he's attacking, and it's just plain vile.

 

This isn't a slippery slope argument here - just because the government takes some responsibility for punishing objectionable and offensive viewpoints, it doesn't mean that you're a couple of years away from 1984.


Protecting and revering are two very different things.  And we as a country continue to function with our own set of values*, even with whatever abuses you are referring to.  And please, just keep any comment you may want to make about the Tea Party and obstructionist Congress signaling how irrevocably broken things are to yourself.  As irritating as those things can be when serving interests we don't agree with, peaceful protest and legislative gridlock have been deliberately built into the fabric of our democracy at a basic level.  Which fabric, not to put too fine a point on it, we built because we didn't want the British government deciding what was and wasn't okay for us to say.

 

*and I don't know that free speech is a particularly liberal or conservative value; both sides tend to be okay with infringing on it when it comes to stuff that rubs them wrong

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Blank View Post

He's still a public servant who publicly expressed contempt for a good chunk of the public he serves.


And that's the best basis for firing him, as I've said. 

 

post #824 of 2278

http://globalgrind.com/news/judge-jessica-recksiedler-will-step-down-trayvon-martin-case-details

 

 

Quote:
Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler is on her way out, ready to remove herself from the George Zimmerman second-degree murder case. Court officials issued a statement this afternoon, saying Recksiedler is expected to recluse herself on Wednesday.

 

According to the Orlando Sentinel, on Wednesday Recksiedler is expected to sign an order, surrendering control of the case because of a conflict of interest. On Monday, Zimmerman’s defense attorney Mark O'Mara filed paperwork asking her to step down. Recksiedler's husband is a partner of attorney Mark NeJame, who's under contract with CNN to provide analysis of this case.

 

She has little option but to grant the motion because of a possible conflict of interest. Several courthouse workers said that'll happen Wednesday.

 

The next judge will be one of three people, the remaining felony judges in Seminole County. They are:

 

  • John Galluzzo, a long-time Oviedo lawyer who's represented several murder defendants and been on the bench five years.
  • Kenneth Lester Jr., the 15-year veteran judge who sentenced Mike Reynolds to the death penalty for beating and stabbing a Geneva couple and their 11-year-old child to death in 1998.
  • Debra S. Nelson, a 13-year judge who was a civil litigation specialist when she was in private practice.

 


 

post #825 of 2278

I wasn't really refering to the Tea Party or Congress, but more the valuing of free speech above everything else that leads to people like Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Hannity, Fred Phelps, and countless others becoming legitimate shapers of public opinion (well, maybe not Phelps). I think there's more than just a loose connection between the sacrosanct nature of absollute free speech and the "all opinions, no matter how crazy or offensive, shall be treated as having equal merit" stance that has permeated American culture for the last fifteen years or so. These people peddle the most outrageous, offensive, bullheaded nonsense they can, then hide behind free speech when others call them on it. On this very forum not too long ago, you had otherwise rational people sticking up for Coulter and Michael Fucking Savage because Canada and the UK respectively let them know that they wouldn't tolerate their brand of unpleasantness. It's maddening.

 

I'm sorry if I've pissed you off, but as an outsider looking in it's galling to me, this sense that America's attitude to free speech somehow makes it better than other countries. It's right there between the lines of your last post, and I'm afraid that, in the modern age, I don't quite believe it to be true.

post #826 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

I'm sorry if I've pissed you off, but as an outsider looking in it's galling to me, this sense that America's attitude to free speech somehow makes it better than other countries. It's right there between the lines of your last post, and I'm afraid that, in the modern age, I don't quite believe it to be true.


It's in the lines.  One thing I love about America is that for the most part, we stand behind the belief in a free marketplace of ideas.  Even with the messiness it entails.

 

post #827 of 2278

Andrew, please tell me you're English. (I can't help it, your avatar makes me hear John Hurt's dulcet Dogville-narration tones in my head as I read your posts.)

 

Anyway, the prevailing wisdom here in America is that if you call for certain forms of speech to be punished, next they'll be calling for your speech to be punished. I'm not so sure. Some speech is more dangerous than other speech. The domino-effect theory has never much appealed to me.

post #828 of 2278

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post


It's in the lines.  One thing I love about America is that for the most part, we stand behind the belief in a free marketplace of ideas.  Even with the messiness it entails.


However, it's the literal marketplace of ideas that makes the "every opinion is equally valid" thing work. But I don't think that's a free speech issue, it's that there's money to be made by giving everyone's ideas equal time.

post #829 of 2278


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Blank View Post

Andrew, please tell me you're English. (I can't help it, your avatar makes me hear John Hurt's dulcet Dogville-narration tones in my head as I read your posts.)

 

Anyway, the prevailing wisdom here in America is that if you call for certain forms of speech to be punished, next they'll be calling for your speech to be punished. I'm not so sure. Some speech is more dangerous than other speech. The domino-effect theory has never much appealed to me.



I'm English. And I sound like John Hurt. And with that second paragraph you've summed up my point way more politely and succintly than I've managed to.

post #830 of 2278


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post


It's in the lines.  One thing I love about America is that for the most part, we stand behind the belief in a free marketplace of ideas.  Even with the messiness it entails.

 


I think it's fine to stand behind it, but it's irritating when Americans act as though the rest of the world are worse off for not adhering to it. We do things differently, and it works just fine. In some cases better than fine, in others worse. Get over it.

 

post #831 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

I think it's fine to stand behind it, but it's irritating when Americans act as though the rest of the world are worse off for not adhering to it. We do things differently, and it works just fine. In some cases better than fine, in others worse. Get over it.


I'll try.  But it's not like I was the one wringing my hands over how the UK's free speech laws might or might not protect a British citizen's Facebooking.

 

post #832 of 2278

No, you were the guy acting holier-than-thou because America's free speech laws are just the best, maaan:

 

 

Quote:
I can see why someone would think that if they believe the purpose of free speech is only to protect speech that offends people other than themselves.

 

You really think that's how I feel simply because I don't see the danger of firing this man?

 

I just think it's some real forest-for-the-trees shit when you're worrying about free speech as it pertains to this, and many other cases. Plus your argument for its absolute protection is essentially the same as the Helen Lovejoys screeching about people marrying their cats if gays are allowed equal rights.

post #833 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post Plus your argument for its absolute protection is essentially the same as the Helen Lovejoys screeching about people marrying their cats if gays are allowed equal rights.

 

Wait, what?
 

 

post #834 of 2278

It's very odd for me, Andrew, because I don't see any of the behaviors or attitudes you describe in the what Schwartz is writing. I don't doubt that you've seen them before, but I don't think you're actually seeing them now.

 

There are precedents on this issue of what speech the government as an employer can prohibit. It's a fairly narrow issue. If the guys worked for Starbucks, he'd be fired no problem. Our First Amendment is subject to interpretation and in certain cases it is interpreted one way, in some cases another depending on the specifics.

post #835 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Blank View Post

Anyway, the prevailing wisdom here in America is that if you call for certain forms of speech to be punished, next they'll be calling for your speech to be punished. I'm not so sure. Some speech is more dangerous than other speech. The domino-effect theory has never much appealed to me.


I agree, but who gets to decide what kinds of speech is "dangerous"? At one point in time racist speech (and other forms of racism, obviously) was the norm. And it took decades of civil rights protests, movements, and outright litigation to change that perception. And despite decades of evidence that racism is still prevalent in our society today, there are people who don't think it exists or is as damaging as say slavery. The definition of "dangerous" unfortunately can and will change over time and who's in power.

 

post #836 of 2278


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

 

Wait, what?
 

 


Slippery slope. You decide that being a racist prick is suddenly cause for a sacking, and pretty soon anyone who criticises the President will be locked up!

 

I'm sorry if I'm prickly on this. I am reacting in unduly confrontational terms. Your initial response to me just rubbed me the wrong way - with the opening "you just can't see how this could affect you" bit followed by the snide "It's not that complicated", I got a scent of the argument which I've seen on here and other places, that the rest of the world is horribly backward when it comes to free speech and America's approach is the only just and true way. You probably didn't mean it like that.

post #837 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post


I agree, but who gets to decide what kinds of speech is "dangerous"? At one point in time racist speech (and other forms of racism, obviously) was the norm. And it took decades of civil rights protests, movements, and outright litigation to change that perception. And despite decades of evidence that racism is still prevalent in our society today, there are people who don't think it exists or is as damaging as say slavery. The definition of "dangerous" unfortunately can and will change over time and who's in power.

 


Exactly.  You don't have to go back that far to find a time when people could be fired for holding "extremist" or "incendiary" views like expressing sympathy for the Black Panthers, or opposing Vietnam, or supporting the labor unions. 

 

Also, looking at this specific comment, it's hard to say what is dangerous about it.  Any reasonable person can take one look and see some really ugly racial motivations directly below the surface, but on its face, it doesn't mention race, doesn't advocate violence of any kind or directly indicate that he wouldn't help anyone in particular if the job required.  It is ostensibly motivated by outrage over Martin's death.  It doesn't take much effort to see right through that, but the government is rightly wary of getting into the business of punishing people for what they think someone meant even though they didn't actually say it.

post #838 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

Slippery slope. You decide that being a racist prick is suddenly cause for a sacking, and pretty soon anyone who criticises the President will be locked up!


Okay, but while I'm making an argument based on principle, it is expressly non-moralistic.  If anything, the absolutist stance I took toward personal freedom would argue for allowing people to marry cats, because the gist is that you preserve the integrity of the freedom by accepting that a certain amount of people are going to abuse it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

I'm sorry if I'm prickly on this. I am reacting in unduly confrontational terms. Your initial response to me just rubbed me the wrong way - with the opening "you just can't see how this could affect you" bit followed by the snide "It's not that complicated", I got a scent of the argument which I've seen on here and other places, that the rest of the world is horribly backward when it comes to free speech and America's approach is the only just and true way. You probably didn't mean it like that.

 

I meant "it's not that complicated" in the sense that the reasons for absolutely protecting speech are simple.  In practice, it becomes incredibly complicated and often distasteful, as when it requires me to alienate perfectly pleasant Brits by arguing abstractly on behalf of a thoroughly unpleasant stranger that probably deserves be out of a job.  But I don't think it's unfair or arrogant to say that one area where I believe America excels is that we are largely committed to upholding this particular principle, even when it is difficult.


Edited by Schwartz - 4/18/12 at 10:17am
post #839 of 2278

Free speech is supposed to protect everyone in the states, but the problem is, it allows standards in public officials and news outlets to sink like a stone.  

 

People like Glenn Beck are allowed free speech, but without question people like him hold sway over and mold societal thinking because of the nature of television, which is a very hypnotizing and programming mechanism.  It's called "the idiot box" for a reason.  Social responsibility tends to go out the window in media since the people behind it can hide behind free speech.  The public are ultimately responsible for what they think, but people are also amazingly fickle and gullible and have no incentive to think for themselves, again, because of the nature of television, the relative ease and comfort of every day living, etc.  People are not taught to think for themselves, they are taught to align themselves with a political party, and those parties can be controlled by incredibly influential people who do not have the best long term, sustainable, and healthy interest of the American people in mind.

 

It's one thing to allow free speech and accept the inevitable stupid shit when the people practicing it have very little influence over the direction of society.  A normal guy at a party on Friday night can say whatever the hell he wants because very few people are listening, and his ideology is not beaten into their heads on a 24/7 news outlet, it's a one time discussion for the most part and he goes off and lives his life...it's another thing to allow free speech and just have an "oh well" attitude about it when it comes to those who are the constant little (or big) voice in the public's ear, every minute, every hour, every day, shaping the way they think and react.  Loudly and brightly saying the same thing over and over molds thinking...just ask the Germans.
 

There is this fear that if the government starts enforcing standards of practice on public officials and personalities, that the floodgates will open and they will start dictating how we all talk.  But the government is not supposed to do that.  Their influence should be limited to the shapers of the country.  They're supposed to mold society in a positive direction without interfering in every day lives.  And it's scary to think that the gov't acting so irresponsibly is a legit concern.

post #840 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

Free speech is supposed to protect everyone in the states, but the problem is, it allows standards in public officials and news outlets to sink like a stone.  

 

People like Glenn Beck are allowed free speech, but without question people like him hold sway over and mold societal thinking because of the nature of television, which is a very hypnotizing and programming mechanism.  It's called "the idiot box" for a reason.  Social responsibility tends to go out the window in media since the people behind it can hide behind free speech.  The public are ultimately responsible for what they think, but people are also amazingly fickle and gullible and have no incentive to think for themselves, again, because of the nature of television, the relative ease and comfort of every day living, etc.  People are not taught to think for themselves, they are taught to align themselves with a political party, and those parties can be controlled by incredibly influential people who do not have the best long term, sustainable, and healthy interest of the American people in mind.

 

It's one thing to allow free speech and accept the inevitable stupid shit when the people practicing it have very little influence over the direction of society.  A normal guy at a party on Friday night can say whatever the hell he wants because very few people are listening, and his ideology is not beaten into their heads on a 24/7 news outlet, it's a one time discussion for the most part and he goes off and lives his life...it's another thing to allow free speech and just have an "oh well" attitude about it when it comes to those who are the constant little (or big) voice in the public's ear, every minute, every hour, every day, shaping the way they think and react.  Loudly and brightly saying the same thing over and over molds thinking...just ask the Germans.
 

There is this fear that if the government starts enforcing standards of practice on public officials and personalities, that the floodgates will open and they will start dictating how we all talk.  But the government is not supposed to do that.  Their influence should be limited to the shapers of the country.  They're supposed to mold society in a positive direction without interfering in every day lives.  And it's scary to think that the gov't acting so irresponsibly is a legit concern.



Disagree almost entirely.  In a democracy (or at least ours since we've established that there are others that function differently), the responsibility is absolutely on the public for what they think, and the government is not supposed to mold society.  Quite the opposite; government is supposed to be molded by society, which is why we have regular elections.

post #841 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post



Disagree almost entirely.  In a democracy (or at least ours since we've established that there are others that function differently), the responsibility is absolutely on the public for what they think, and the government is not supposed to mold society.  Quite the opposite; government is supposed to be molded by society, which is why we have regular elections.

 

Yes I understand.  But I feel like society molding gov't makes little sense now because the public is so dumbed down.  It's like a dog running a household.  And at what point do we look around and realize this and do something about it?  Because society is being shaped by talking heads like Glenn Beck and are definitely not forming their own genuine opinions.
 

 

post #842 of 2278

Schwartz knows what's up. I agree with him completely. For better or worse, I do not want a group that happens to be in power at any given point in time to have unilateral authority in making decisions for the populace. There are checks and balances in the structure of our government for a reason.

post #843 of 2278

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

Schwartz knows what's up. I agree with him completely. For better or worse, I do not want a group that happens to be in power at any given point in time to have unilateral authority in making decisions for the populace. There are checks and balances in the structure of our government for a reason.


Sure I get it, keeping gov't out of personal affairs and all.  But surely you must realize the public is so far gone that it is having little to no positive effect on the way society is being shaped.  It's actually doing more harm than good, and every decade it seems to get more and more out of control.  It's like the lesser of two evils.  Would you rather have your clueless and idiotic peers shaping your world or corrupt government?

 

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People who know what they are doing is wrong and do it anyway (read: legislate against the interest of the populace) are far more dangerous than dummies who are too stupid to effect real change.

post #845 of 2278

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

Yes I understand.  But I feel like society molding gov't makes little sense now because the public is so dumbed down.  It's like a dog running a household.  And at what point do we look around and realize this and do something about it?  Because society is being shaped by talking heads like Glenn Beck and are definitely not forming their own genuine opinions.


But respectfully, and not wanting to Godwin things up any more than necessary, that is exactly how bigots felt when Obama was elected, and that Catholic mutt Kennedy before him.  That society was going down the tubes because stupid people were voting for the young, pretty things that made them feel good despite the fact that they were so clearly (in their own minds) the wrong choices.  And the damn liberal media was abetting them in brainwashing all the folks who weren't as savvy as themselves.

 

Getting into talking heads muddies the water a bit with regards to the fire marshal's comment, because it is the government's role to regulate the media to a limited extent.  But the idea is still generally that the government is supposed to mostly leave us to talk amongst ourselves (and the media, ultimately is run by us) and then report back to them what we want them to do.  While a Philosopher King may remain more ideal, this system has mostly done alright by us, even while it pretty much guarantees that everyone in the conversation is constantly frustrated, disappointed and pissed off at each other.

 

 

 

post #846 of 2278

I don't think the system does alright by us anymore.  It used to.  The fact that I can go buy a six pack and a dvd doesn't mean everything is hunkydory...it's just the bubble in which we live to keep us safe from having to exercise vigilance.  I think the system was fine when media wasn't such an all encompassing entity.  These days, people don't know what to think.  In fact, they rarely think at all.  They've been conditioned this way for the most part.  It begins with education and people are not being educated properly, they are taught to pass tests and keep the status quo, not think freely and offer new insights.  So free speech simply becomes an echo chamber of ideas originated by idiots like Rush Limbaugh.

 

Anyway, I don't meant to go on a rant.  

post #847 of 2278

Zimmerman's neighbors corroborate his injury claims...

Jorge Rodriguez, Zimmerman's next-door neighbor, told Reuters that when he saw Zimmerman the day after the incident, "he had two big, butterfly bandages on the back of his head, and another big bandage...on the bridge of his nose." He was talking to a police detective in his driveway.

 

Rodriguez's wife Audria also said she saw the bandages and a third neighbor, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, agreed with the Rodriguez couple's account. "I saw two bandages on the back of his head, and his nose was all swollen up," said the witness, who had watched from a nearby second-floor window.

 

... but fail to account for why there were no signs of those injuries on the police surveillance video the night before.

 

I'm guessing either Zimmerman is living backwards through time, so it would appear to us that his injuries heal in reverse, or that video wasn't really surveillance from the Sanford Police Department but rather some powerfully rendered Tawainese animated news footage.

post #848 of 2278

Utopian fantasies of the past, my good Ambler. The country has been conditioned, corrupted and prone to wild venality since our forefathers first started slaughtering the natives. The media campaign that was run against George Washington and the Federalists, while he was still the sitting president and accepted Excellence, simply demonstrates the methods that have been tried and proven true. I find it helpful, in maintaining a positive outlook, to look seriously at history, and realize its always been bullshit, and filled with bullshitters, going about their bullshit business, and also there are a lot of assholes. I don't think this has changed since Enki brought the milk to Sumeria and got a bunch of animal priests drunk.

Do you really think this bloviating pervert, Limbaugh, has anything on William Randolph Hearst? Even Murdoch, with his douchebag global empire, is just a figure in the mold.

Here is a thought experiment. The idea that the 'system doesn't do alright by us' was most definitely true until the late 60's - and they murdered a bunch of our heroes for trying to fix that issue. I am personally prejudiced against the 80s; fuck the 80s. That entire mentality was predicated on the notion of not doing right by anyone, and this social wave was only set aside in the dick-sucking Clinton years because everyone was getting rich. So we got, let's say, one decade - the 70s - in which the system was 'working'. I fucking love the 70s, but its not like people put it on burn as being the greatest era in American history. I suggest, however, that when the Roman histories of our nations decline and fall are written, Jimmy Carter and the 1970s will prove to be the Cincinnatian parable of the Empire period.

EDIT: on topic, fuck Zimmerman, I don't care if he did get jumped, he's everything cowardly and weak that is worthy of disgust in the second-amendment hard-on militia. Even people who would appear reasonable at first, when found out to be strident gun-rights advocates, will repeat without fail the gutless theatrical fantasy (as justification, mind you!) of murdering some no-good lowlife with their constitutionally protected sidearm at the earliest provocation. Killing notional criminals is to gun nuts as Palestine is to Jihadists. Both those cohorts are chock full of assholes.

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For all those who don't speak Pretentious Grad Student, I think what he's saying is that Glenn Beck didn't invent yellow journalism.  Which is what I was getting trying to get at.

 

 

(love you, Zhukov)

post #850 of 2278

Nah mayn thats just how I type when I'm drunk. Also, I think it against the bro code to bring up the lingua franca of the Pretentious Grad Student within 48 hours of using the term Philosopher King.

(Schwaaaaaaaartz!!!)

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