Item the First: John Cougar Mellencamp is a censorious twit:
“I don’t think people fought and gave their lives so that some guy can sit in his bedroom and be mean. I don’t think that’s what freedom of speech is,” he continued. “Freedom of speech is really about assembly — for us to collectively have an idea. We want to get our point of view out so we can assemble and I can appoint you to be the spokesman. That’s freedom of speech — to be able to collectively speak for a sector of people. But somehow it’s turned into ‘I can be an asshole whenever I feel like, say whatever I like, be disrespectful to people and not be courteous.’ It’s not good for our society. Not being courteous is not really freedom of speech. …
John, if it's any comfort to you, I'm sitting on the living-room couch as I type that you are a whiny douche. (hat tip: Kathy Shaidle.)
Item the Second: Hey, turns out that Obama is a terrorist threat to America after all:
Court papers filed Thursday show that prison officials twice rejected requests by inmate Ahmed Omar Abu Ali to read "Dreams from my Father" and "The Audacity of Hope."
The books contained material "potentially detrimental to national security," prison officials said in two separate rejections from August and September.
Are boredom and mild nausea dangerous to national security? And are Obama's books dangerous only if read by Supermaxed terrorists, or by anybody? Because there's a shitload of Freepers out there going over it like the Bible code, looking for seeekret Moooslem messages.
On Friday, bureau spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said the bureau reversed course in November and let him read the books.
Abu Ali is serving 30 years in the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colo., for joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate then-President George W. Bush.
That's bad. Nevertheless, making him read "The Audacity of Hope" seems a bit harsh.
Item the Third: South Dakota Judge John Delaney gave marijuana activist Bob Newland a choice: take two years in prison, or take 45 days in prison, probation, and a gag order prohibiting him from advocating the legalization of marijuana.
Judges generally have broad discretion to frame conditions of probation. Eugene Volokh — blogging about the subject in the context of a woman ordered to have no more children as a condition of probation — asserts that "generally probation conditions are constitutional — even when they restrict constitutional rights such as the freedom of speech or the freedom of association — whenever they are "reasonably related to legitimate penological interests," a test that is easy to meet." Here, Judge Delaney's order prohibits Newland from not just telling people they ought to smoke marijuana — it prohibits him from arguing that marijuana laws should be changed:
While under the court's supervision for the next year, Newland must not exercise his First Amendment right to advocate for marijuana law reform in South Dakota.
Here's the question: how is it legitimate, in a free society, for the state to prevent a citizen from advocating a change in the law? Judge Delaney expresses concern that Newland will encourage marijuana use among youth by advocating the repeal of marijuana prohibition. Which is more corrosive to our youth: the message that some people question the legitimacy of marijuana laws, or the message that it is appropriate for the state to restrict them from doing so?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Hate Speech Debate on More Perfect Live - September 5th, 2017
- Popehat Goes To The Opera: Un ballo in maschera - August 19th, 2017
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017