January 15, 2021 6:48 AM HomePoliticsMorning Reads for Friday, January 15, 2021 Morning Reads for Friday, January 15, 2021 By Ginny Politics 19 Comments Remember Tara Baker. Mayor Bottoms nominated for National DNC position. Who wants to move to Huntsville? Well, just Bless Her Heart.Yes, just take a step back. What will historians think of the dreadful 2020? Can you imagine the vapors at the next HOA?If this sounds like a rich guy being a jerk, it’s exactly that. A rich guy being a jerk.The evolving, current Enlightenment should be careful not to repeat mistakes of the past. Aaron Rodgers to host a future episode of Jeopardy! Share this:TwitterFacebookTumblrRedditEmailPrint Related About Author Ginny Get off my lawn. 19 Comments Will Durant Well if we are picking extremes, just Bless Her Heart: Republican Georgia congresswoman to work to impeach President-elect Joe Biden https://abc7.com/republican-georgia-congresswoman-marjorie-taylor-green-wants-to-impeach-biden-president-elect-joe-qanon-impeachment/9650673/ January 15, 2021 7:34 AM Log in to Reply chefdavid Wait what? This democrat is claiming there were election irregularities. https://www.ajc.com/politics/georgia-psc-candidate-says-race-may-have-been-left-off-some-ballots/AHUOVJK3TRGS7NPPYUNJVSTZDU/?fbclid=IwAR3e3DrUqjKj6OSonxvtitTfPJUaYAgaVyn3Wks06mugWALdKjwtNkHsmTE January 15, 2021 7:37 AM Log in to Reply bethebalance Not an irregularity that I’m sure you would like to lump together with charges of systemic fraud, but what is specifically being claimed is that his name was left off the ballot entirely in some cases, possibly because the runoff for the PSC race was rescheduled to be with the Senate runoffs, but that ballots that were created before the reschedule were used. That is actually plausible, and provable, but man, they are gonna have to dig through absentee ballots to find any. My guess is they’re trying to figure out which counties made the mistakes and focus in on those. That’s not much procedurally different than the other investigations the SoS has done. If there were incorrect ballots on cards used for electronic voting, though, I think that would be near impossible to prove. January 15, 2021 8:57 AM Log in to Reply armanidog “If this sounds like a rich guy being a jerk, it’s exactly that. A rich guy being a jerk.” How much money would it cost for the set of a “Mission Impossible ” to break up and resume shooting if they had a Covid outbreak on the set? From that article, “At first, it just sounds like a rich actor being a jerk, pushing around some underlings to feel like a big man. But once you learn more of the facts, it turns out the guy wasn’t just being a bully or throwing a diva fit. He had a good point. Moviemaking is a business, there are a lot of moving parts to keep running smoothly, and everybody needs to stay focused and professional. That’s especially true now, when one sneeze can delay a movie for years. At a time when the rest of Hollywood is recording Zoom calls and releasing them as TV shows, Cruise is still thinking big and he knows he can’t do it alone. I’m with Team Cruise on this one. He might be crazy, but crazy gets $#!+ done… Robots can’t spread an airborne virus (yet), and this way Cruise can keep an eye on all those lazy, insolent crew members who keep trying to destroy his precious spy movie by coughing on each other. Order must be maintained. Quotas must be met. The wheels of progress must move ever forward. If that means enlisting our unsleeping, ever-watchful robot pals to do the work we can’t do ourselves, what’s the harm?” Do you even read these before you post? Cruise is probably a producer and has a schedule to follow since he may another movie scheduled after this one. Anyone on the set can leave at any time. January 15, 2021 7:54 AM Log in to Reply Mr. Bear There is an interesting Supreme Court case, United States v. Alvarez, that merits attention. Please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Alvarez Specifically, the case deals with a law passed, the Stolen Valor Act, where it is illegal to “falsely represent oneself as having received any U.S. military decoration or medal.” The case illustrates the dynamic between truth and lies, and protecting the public from mistruth. Something we’re looking at right now. What caught my eye was a plurality opinion by Anthony Kennedy, which includes this statement: “”Permitting the government to decree this speech to be a criminal offense, whether shouted from the rooftops or made in a barely audible whisper, would endorse government authority to compile a list of subjects about which false statements are punishable. That governmental power has no clear limiting principle.” So, in my read of this, at some point either private enterprise or the government is going to need to create a list of approved speech. And what is “approved” or “disapproved” can really vary by your personal opinion. And, with the passage of time, what is bad today is not so bad tomorrow. It all seems to be predicated on the notion that people aren’t smart enough to figure things out, that someone needs to make the call for them. Which currently seems to be the direction we’re headed. That’s not so pleasant to me, but that seem to be the way to bet. January 15, 2021 8:06 AM Log in to Reply armanidog The original law was in 2005. After the court decision, the 2013 revision said . “In addition to a wrongful claim of receiving one of the listed military awards, intent to gain some benefit or something of value by fraud was required.” So if you can prove criminal intent, it seems the freedom of speech does not override the criminal act. January 15, 2021 8:19 AM Log in to Reply armanidog As far a list of approved speech, doesn’t the criminal code inherently contain such a “list”? January 15, 2021 8:21 AM Log in to Reply bethebalance These are all types of fraud. You can say anything freely, but if it’s a lie intentionally used to deprive someone of property or some other right or benefit, it’s a crime of fraud. I am guessing that the real problem may have been the distinction between “false representation” and “fraud”, where the former may not have gone much to intent, or on deprivation of benefit, and instead focused on content, i.e. military status. Thus, the revision. Just a guess. Because “false representation” in some contexts is a type of civil tort, not a crime. Al that said, I have always supported stricter regulation of political speech, and have done thought experiments for years trying to figure out how to do so without offending the 1st Amendment. Ever since the Swift Boat drama with John Kerry, I’ve been thinking about ways to improve formal political speech (from political committees). I actually think I have a couple of incremental improvements. January 15, 2021 9:11 AM Log in to Reply armanidog But in the case Mr. Bear used, “Even though there are several examples of the use of penalizing false speech (like perjury), Kennedy argued that “[t]he Government has not demonstrated that false statements generally should constitute a new category of unprotected speech…” The plurality opinion also expressed the wide applicability of the Stolen Valor Act. “The Act by its plain terms,” Kennedy wrote, “applies to a false statement made at any time, in any place, to any person”. Such breadth means that the law is “sweeping… [the] reach of the statute puts it in conflict with the First Amendment… the statute would apply with equal force to personal, whispered conversations within a home.” It looks like the Supreme Court had a problem with just using speech as a qualifier, thus the Congress revised it to narrow the scope of the law. “Al that said, I have always supported stricter regulation of political speech, and have done thought experiments for years trying to figure out how to do so without offending the 1st Amendment.” I think that would be problematic since such a regulation would not only infringe freedom of speech but also inhibit who is able to run for office. January 15, 2021 9:27 AM bethebalance Looks like there are limited spaces for Replies, but the angle for regulation of political speech is disclosure, not limitation or prohibition. January 15, 2021 10:03 AM armanidog Corey Ryan Forrester on The Capitol Riots. Full CNN Interview 1/12/21. He is a comedian from Chickamauga, GA: January 15, 2021 8:43 AM Log in to Reply blue I have seen that but had no idea he was a comedian. I saw it and said my husband could say the same thing about the people he went to high school with. January 15, 2021 8:08 PM Log in to Reply Ellynn I find no issue with Mr. Rodger’s as a guest host. Also, Go Pack Go! January 15, 2021 11:30 AM Log in to Reply Mr. Bear A thoughtful series of responses to my comment about US v Alvarez. It was something else that got me started and then, as usual, I veered off track. Originally, I was thinking about the quote “History is written by the victors”, often wrongly attributed to Churchill, and occasionally to fatso Herman Goering. Apparently, it goes back to the late 1800’s in a statement by a Missouri senator, George Vest. To wit: “..history is written by the victors and framed according to the prejudices and bias existing on their side.” Which pretty much sums up our current realities. Our society’s issues with things like the First Amendment center on dealing with things that make us uncomfortable. And, in recent years, the number of things which make us uncomfortable have significantly grown. So, we now have trigger alerts and such. In earlier times, there were a lot of things that we just didn’t hear about, much less now have it right there in our faces. And if you didn’t see the offensive thing the first time, it’s there for you on YouTube. Capitol Hill riots aside, our challenge has now come to dealing with thoughts and ideas which are not congruent with our own. And, in many cases, there is an intellectual laziness operating out there, where it is easier to simply label something as “hateful” and move on with it. As a conservative, I’ve been on the receiving end of a mentality that has at one time simply labeled me as intellectually inferior. And, to be honest, since Bill Buckley died, the conservative point of view has been intellectually handicapped. Yes, in some cases, the movement’s precepts have needed improvement, but other ideas stand the test of time. If you’re not sure, read a few pages of Buckley’s “God & Man at Yale”. The notion of censorship is actually present all over our world. If you pick up a magazine (based on the assumption that you can actually find a magazine), you are picking up an edited copy of something written for your amusement and possible education. At the same time, you’re picking up the selected thoughts controlled by an editorial staff with presumably educated opinions about their topic matter. Needless to say, Mother Jones is different in comparison to National Review, but you get my drift. Our challenge today is dealing with the torrent of information that is allowed into our lives, and it has become easier to shut things up. There is a trade-off, however, since shutting down communication channels also means driving the truly bad actors further into the underground. But the bigger personal challenge is that we don’t yet have a handle on the subtle methodology of things like Facebook. Things which are use to influence us in ways unknown. One solution is to have an educated populace that is able to discern. January 15, 2021 11:30 AM Log in to Reply armanidog It used to be that if you made a statement it was usually limited to a small group of people. But even in the 1700’s printing presses allowed you to publish whatever you wanted. Read about the role of newspapers during the election of 1796 and 1800. Cutting down on hearing/seeing rhetoric is not a passive action. We have to turn it off, change the channel, throw the political mail in the trash, quit reading Twitter, etc. Education does help but a lot of times highly educated folks are the source. And how do you teach discernment which really is dependent on individual judgements? January 15, 2021 12:42 PM Log in to Reply armanidog I love this debate: January 15, 2021 12:49 PM Log in to Reply blue I agree with you on some of your points. It used to be that if you did something stupid only a small group of people knew if anybody. Now it can be blasted out to the entire world in a matter of seconds. Frankly we all need to sit down and agree on some boundaries in our society. January 15, 2021 8:13 PM Log in to Reply bethebalance I appreciate your reflectiveness, Mr. B. A couple of small responsive thoughts– on the question of education and understanding information bias, it at least used to be that there was a module incorporated into , I believe, the 5th grade curriculum. It may go without saying that this module should be beefed up and taught every year beginning early. If your kid can use your tablet, they should have an age-appropriate understanding of what they might be absorbing. That’s a start. For all the adults, it’s much harder, and I’ve had friends rail at Facebook “censoring” their reposted-without-reading-or-factchecking-truly-fake-news. I believe some of that begins with a sense of personal responsibility to actually believe you have a moral imperative to fact check. Those notions of personal responsibility and moral compass are things that either party could embrace, but it was a Republican tag line for at least a generation. Don’t know what happened there…. And next, we must be careful to not label or otherwise equate editorial decisions, or curating, as “censorship”. Making commercial choices is simply not the same as government-enforced speech suppression. To not use critical thought to distinguish those things is where so many struggle, and for those that know the difference, we may be obliged to help explain it to the best of our ability, which is within a reasonable degree of our time, energy, mental health, and tolerance. I personally want my news feed and social media curated. For one friend that cried censorship, I asked: Would you rather a social media platform filled with expletives, porn, and criminal activity? Because that’s what the absence of curated guidelines will surely invite. When it comes to falsehoods embedded in political preferences, that’s trickier because people think their comments are cancelled because of the politics, not the falsehoods. Besides the moral argument that you should check yourself and your posts, there’s the policy concern that some want to eliminate liability protections for social media, and simultaneously insist they allow publication of anything that may be false or in reckless disregard for the truth. That means the platforms would be sued for defamation ad infinitum, and lose every time. I don’t believe it’s possible for the platforms to ever monitor posts 100% for falsity or obscenity or whatnot, but they have gotten better. Liability will wind up hinging upon whether the platform took reasonable efforts to ensure that defamatory statements weren’t published. But even if every platform winds up with similar obligations to curate, people may still self-sort into their preferred political echo chambers. I purposely and intentionally read diverse sources, but perhaps that is another aspect of personal responsibility where we all can improve. January 15, 2021 9:07 PM Log in to Reply Mr. Bear Thank you to you all for thoughtful, gracious discussion. Going forward, this is what it is going to take to retrieve what we once had and took for granted. January 16, 2021 12:26 AM Log in to Reply Add a Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.