I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we, as Americans, have the right to speak our minds – and I’ll defend that right, no matter the cost…what we, as Americans, do not have is the right to escape the consequences of said free speech. Just ask now-former Tampa Tribune columnist Douglas MacKinnon:
Douglas MacKinnon, one of the most conservative and controversial columnists to grace the pages of a Tampa Bay daily newspaper in many a year, has been fired from theTampa Tribune, sources tell CL.
The Trib isn’t saying anything officially. Metro Editor Dennis Joyce told CL that “It’s a personnel matter,” and refused to confirm or deny MacKinnon’s firing. But his name and work have been scrubbed off the paper’s website (On Tuesday his work was back on the site).
In all probability it’s because of the embarrassment to the paper.
That’s because of a book he’s just published in which he calls on the Southern U.S. states to secede from the rest of the country, because of the South’s more conservative stance on same-sex marriage and other rights pertaining to the LGBT community. Entitled The Secessionist States of America: The Blueprint for Creating a Traditional Values Country…Now, the book envisions a new Southern region called Reagan,after our 40th president, and would consist of Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. Not Texas, however, because, well, frankly, there are too many Mexicans there.
After his appearance on a conservative radio program in which he discussed the book, the website Right Wing Watch picked up on his remarks, which then drew the attention of Huffington Post, Salon and Talking Points Memo.(CL Tampa)
Maybe its’ just me, but I’m betting his next stop will probably be over at Fox News to play the victim card…
H/T to Crooks & Liars
What part of the 1st Amendment does Bryan Fischer not understand?
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer recommended that the United States adopt an immigration policy based upon the Bible, meaning that all immigrants must convert to Christianity and completely leave behind their native practices, beliefs, culture, and language.
If we “did immigration God’s way,” Fischer said, that would mean that “those who came to our shores would be expected to adopt our religious values and traditions — that would mean Christianity and not Islam — and they would leave behind their religion and their god.”
“That would mean leaving behind Islam and Allah,” he explained, as well as adopting Judeo-Christian values, which means they they would not be allowed to complain about the sale or consumption of bacon or the inability to obtain Halal foods.
“If this were to happen,” he concluded, “we would have one god, we would have one law, we would have one culture, and we would have one language.”(Right Wing Watch)
You can watch the gory details above…ironically, it ain’t the first time Fischer’s gone off-the-rails like that; he did the same thing back in 2011 and went so far that the American Family Association yanked his words from their site, albeit so that they could clean the words up later on.
Normally, I don’t like to touch the issue of race directly as NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote about recently in Time Magazine but there’s a blurb about what he wrote over at Crooks & Liars and it is well-worth reading, if not for any other reason than to make you think about the topic at hand. Quoting the excerpt over at C & L:
This fist-shaking of everyone’s racial agenda distracts America from the larger issue that the targets of police overreaction are based less on skin color and more on an even worse Ebola-level affliction: being poor. Of course, to many in America, being a person of color is synonymous with being poor, and being poor is synonymous with being a criminal. Ironically, this misperception is true even among the poor.
And that’s how the status quo wants it…
The U.S. Census Report finds that 50 million Americans are poor. Fifty million voters is a powerful block if they ever organized in an effort to pursue their common economic goals. So, it’s crucial that those in the wealthiest One Percent keep the poor fractured by distracting them with emotional issues like immigration, abortion and gun control so they never stop to wonder how they got so screwed over for so long.(Time Magazine via. Crooks & Liars)
If you think about it, Kareem Abdul Jabbar nails it right on the head and reminds us that one reason why you see politicians and other Americans attempt to demonize people along various lines is not just to keep us divided but also to keep working-class Americans of all stripes from wanting to help and support those at the very bottom of the economic and societal ladder. Put simply, we Americans need to break and shatter the status quo once and for all and that means all of us of good will, all of us who seek to build a better society for our fellow Americans, need to really start working together..and the sooner, the better.
To quote Snowden’s own words: “The NSA set fire to the Internet’s future. The people in this room are all the firefighters.” (Edward Snowden at SXSW)
…I couldn’t agree more.
H/T to Firedoglake
You think the geniuses in Raleigh would know that there are certain political & free speech lines you don’t cross in regards to license plates…advocating for certain positions is one of them:
(AP) — A North Carolina assistant attorney general urged a federal appeals court to allow the state to offer anti-abortion license plates without providing plates that express the opposite view.
U.S. District Judge James Fox ruled last December that offering just the “Choose Life” license plate violates the First Amendment. The state appealed, and a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond heard arguments Wednesday.
Kathryne Hathcock of the attorney general’s office said the state is entitled to use specialty license tags to advance its preference for childbirth over abortion.
Chris Brook, (an) attorney (with the ACLU), argued that allowing plates expressing only one side of the contentious abortion issue is a classic example of viewpoint discrimination. The court usually takes several weeks to rule.(WTOP, Washington D.C.)
Now, I know I’m not the sharpest tool in the proverbial toolshed but it would seem to me that there comes a point where one’s words and/or actions constitute what is known in legal circles as imminent lawless action…case in point: former Judicial Watch chairman Larry Klayman, who seems to have taken his ignorant hatred for President Obama to levels now where I have to seriously wonder why both the FBI and the Secret Service haven’t paid him a visit yet…
Some of his past rantings have included:
If you can see where this is going, it got worse Sunday…in a protest at the White House (one where, among other things, former AK Gov. Sarah Palin and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz joined Tea Party protesters in front of the White House alongside others waving Confederate battle flags), Klayman had this to say:
“[Obama] will finally know that his time has come to leave his perverted, Islamic concept of Mecca, our nation’s hallowed capital,” Klayman concludes. “I do not advocate violence, but it is time we show Obama that we mean business. He would be well advised to ride off into his Islamic sunset, link up with 72 virgins and party on at his expense – not ours!”(Crooks & Liars)
Now, you might be wondering…how can what Klayman says be construed as sedition? Well, under the legal doctrine of imminent lawless action, free speech rights are not protected by the 1st Amendment if one’s words can be construed as potentially causing violations of the law that are imminent and/or likely to happen. If what Klayman said above doesn’t constitute sedition in some form or manner, what does?
Sometimes you can’t (excuse my language) make this shit up….
An atheist group is agitating for the removal of the Star of David from a Holocaust memorial at the Ohio state house, reports the Columbus Dispatch.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) objects to the memorial’s inclusion of the Jewish symbol on the grounds that “permitting one permanent sectarian and exclusionary religious symbol . . . would create the legal precedent, for instance, to place an equally large or larger permanent Latin cross on Capitol grounds.”
In a letter to former Ohio state senator Richard Finan, chairman of the board that oversees the capitol’s grounds, FFRF suggests that “the monument could resemble numerous powerful war memorials across the U.S. which do not use any sectarian images, including the national World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Each is secular in nature and without religious reference, which offends no one and is respected by all.”
The lack of religious imagery on those monuments “neither diminishes their significance nor detracts from the respect and honor shown for the victims of those conflicts,” they argue.
The inclusion of the Star of David, FRFF explains in a press release, excludes 5 million victims of the Holocaust who were members of other persecuted groups, such as “gays, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roma Gypsies, the disabled and many others.”
Allowing the Star of David on the state-house monument, they contend, would “dishonor the truest protection our country has against a similar Holocaust on our shores: the precious constitutional principle separating religion from government.”(National Review)
Maybe its’ just me, but this is one time where I really hope someone tells FFRF to go jump off a damned cliff…just saying.