Monthly Archives: March 2015

LIONEL PODCAST: Indiana’s Constitutional and God-Given Right to Hate

“I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” – Indiana Governor Mike Pence

It is written. In the spirit of the good book, I’d like to reference this moment of inspiration. “She lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.” (Ezekiel 23:20 NIV)

I gain such strength from the clarity of his word. And marvel at its continued relevance in my life. Truly. As I am amazed at the room for expansionary re-organization into a modern perspective. Never hoary, never anachronistic, never antediluvian. Never.

Pass the ammunition. Mike Pence (that feller supra) may be seeking the GOP nomination if only in his dreams. He’s repeatedly defended Indiana’s law and has referred to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by Bill Clinton and similar legislation once supported by then-Illinois state legislator Barack Obama. As his Aha! moment, ostensibly. But at the time Obama supported the law, it seems Illinois had a provision barring discrimination based on sexual orientation which the Indiana statute lacks. Oops. Pence and his folks say the law, which was passed overwhelmingly by the Republican-led state legislature (imagine that!), will merely keep the government from forcing businesses to act against strongly held religious beliefs they may claim warrant and justify discrimination. Sounds fair to me. Right?

Let us prey. Let’s review the statute, shall we? Indiana’s version of RFRA states in part as follows.

Sec. 8. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability. (b) A governmental entity may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

E pluribus whatever. Now, let’s compare it to the Federal RFRA.

(a) IN GENERAL – Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b).

(b) EXCEPTION – Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person–

(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.


See the difference? Because there is none. It’s a waste of time and potentiality patently palpably unconstitutional on all counts. The government is attempting to address a series of criteria and standards for private business owners to apply before exercising rights that should remain unencumbered. And as horrible as discrimination may seem and in fact is, the legislation that is concocted to address it is worse than the problem itself.

All this about a wedding cake? Seriously? What inane and insane commercial kamikaze would dare ruin business over something as stupid as a cake. what’s more, who in their right mind would want to frequent and patronize an establishment that didn’t want their business? Not to mention, the chance and temptation for a terrorist Pillsbury Carlos the Jackal wannabe to plop a dollop of egesta into the batter matter (à la “The Help“) should dissuade all but the most ardent of point makers. The argument is silly, the cause a waste of time. Shop owners and private commercial establishments have the right to exclude anyone they want. And then suffer the consequences.

LIONEL PODCAST: Scientology, Cults & the Paralysis of Faith

A cult is defined as a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object or a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing. Any questions?

What is a cult? According to the HBO documentary “Going Clear” and Alex Gibney Scientology is. It’s not a religion, clearly. At least that’s what it suggests. And what’s a religion? Dunno. When is a faith system bogus? Not sure. How does Scientology compare with others? Hard to say. But don’t let these great questions get in the way of a mediocre documentary. You see, collectively we all agree that it’s OK to pile on these folks. And just for the record, yeah, I think they’re nuts. Not Scientologists, all religions. But nuts or not, it’s their right. And how the IRS is to apply a series of rational criteria to determine what is and isn’t valid is beyond me. Note how just some religions are mocked. Certainly never climate change fanaticism. And, yes, that’s a cult also.

Scientology allegedly makes its money as a nonprofit and not paying its workers a salary. Sound familiar?

Be very careful of the definition you craft.  The notion of compulsory behavior and brainwashing would apply to a host of behaviors and areas of our world, viz. the military. Look at a group of Marines at Parris Island. Heads shaved, dehumanized, broken down and built up. But that’s different, right? That’s for a noble cause. And speaking of draconian servitude, did anyone mention the NCAA? Be very careful when you a charismatic group or cause is labeled over-the-line. I would submit that under this very tenuous definition, more organizations, upon closer inspection, would qualify as cult.

What do you call this? Fealty, obeisance. The cult of personality. Devotion has no parameters or rules. It’s a wave that pours over people. There’s a collective mentality, an organic collective that absorbs people. And its been studied and perfected since time immemorial. What HBO did was chronicle the obvious, in all its no-scheiße splendor. But don’t expect anything similar to cover Muslims or the ultra-ultra-Orthodox Jews. Not on your life. Catholics, I submit, are always fair game, but I digrees.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Where have I heard that before?

Behold the psychology of the rally. Before Nuremberg and Goebbels, who said, ““The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” It’s axiomatic. It takes people over. Why are churches en masse? There’s a Catholic pun there. It’s the psychology of the event. Sports, pep rallies, concerts. Are you seeing what’s happening here?

He is risen. Hat’s off to Obama’s people. Now compare this with that of Scientology. No difference. Not since the referenced infra can I remember an eye-fluttering swooning over a figure, political or otherwise. I mean, we’re talking Beatles quality vapors. And I still see it. And it shows you the brilliance of recruiting this man, in particular. It’s fanaticism, tribal. Leagues, factions, persuasions and demographics. Yankees, Manu, FOX, MSNBC, left-right. There’s nothing special about Scientology, there’s something special about our brain.

Fanaticism knows no party affiliation. And the professional Right is not off the hook. Their apotheosis and deification of St. Ronald of Reagan knows no equal. What we’re seeing here is the psychology of humans, not a cult or phony religion. Had we not the hardware intellectually and emotionally, it would have no success. With Reagan and Obama and God, not in that particular order, the human penchant for irrational belief, cultivated and developed through fear, indecision and a desire for the appropriate locus of control, is the foundation upon which everything is based. And the First Amendment is our attempt to codify and protect our unique penchant.

LIONEL PODCAST: What Really Happened to Germanwings Kamikaze FLT 9525

A comparison. The mainstream media report on stories, detailing specific facts, and then ignore the skepticism that reading their stories would inspire! They don’t even follow up on facts they report. They ignore their own stories. Let that sink in as I provided this comparison.

Let’s look at the crash site and debris field. This is what was left of Germanwings FLT 9525, an Airbus A320. Notice the referenced graphic from BBC News. A significant debris field, to be sure.

Reference, anyone? Compare it with the remains of FLT 93, a Boeing 757–222, at the edge of a strip-mining quarry in rural Pennsylvania, about two miles due north of Shanksville, PA, in Stony Creek township, on September 11, 2011. Quite a difference in appearance, I must admit. And I always had questions about that since we’re on the subject of airline crashes. Where are the 6-ton Rolls-Royce Engines and 60-ton high grade aluminum/titanium alloy frame? That must have been some collision to completely destroy and atomize and disintegrate every scrap and fragment of the plane almost at the molecular level. And what’s more interesting to me is how many self-styled aviation collision experts will make up answers on the spot. I’ve been assured by these luminaries and aviation crash authorities that at the right speed a plane will disintegrate upon impact. Well, some. And even though this defies any and all logic. And for the life of me, after careful review and a scrupulous command of the facts, I cannot recall any representative of the lucid media asking about this much less noticing the obvious inconsistencies.

This isn’t a conspiracy theory. No accusations of inside jobs or cabals and corrupt covens. No criminal conclaves or consortia. This isn’t skepticism or a refutation of anything. This is just and merely a discussion of the patently obvious, the blatantly apparent. At least to you and me.

Didn’t someone mention this?  Yes. It was reported repeatedly but the gravamen of the story never stuck. CNN reported this and I reference it verbatim with emphasis added. Read this carefully.

Meanwhile, investigators say they’ve found debris from the crash at least eight miles away from the crash site.

A second debris field was around Indian Lake about 3 miles from the crash scene. Some debris was in the lake and some was adjacent to the lake.

More debris from the plane was found in New Baltimore, some 8 miles away from the crash.

State police and the FBI initially said they didn’t want to speculate whether the debris was from the crash, or if the plane could have broken up in midair.

Investigators later said the debris was all very light material, such as paper and thin nylon the wind would easily blow. The wind was blowing towards Indian Lake and New Baltimore at 9 knots. “According to the NTSB, it is not only possible that the debris is from the crash, it is probable,” Crowley said.

What?! Read that again. That must have been some wind. A mighty wind to reference Christopher Guest. Amazing, is it not, the differences in the crash sites? I’m sure there is a perfectly sound basis for the disparity in destruction.

Magic. Engines askew. Significant scattering. Fascinating stuff one would think. In fact, it was reported in on Friday, September 14, 2001, “before it magically disappeared” sometime after October 20th or so from a website with articles from much earlier dates still archived, the following. Interesting. Anyhoo.

[State police Maj. Lyle] Szupinka said investigators also will be searching a pond behind the crash site looking for the other recorder and other debris. If necessary, divers may be brought in to assist search teams, or the pond may be drained, he said.


“It appears to be the whole engine,” he added.

Szupinka said most of the remaining debris, scattered over a perimeter that stretches for several miles, are in pieces no bigger than a “briefcase.” [Source]

Here we go again. And enter those pesky conspiracy theorists again. In 2002 The Independent reported that some “will say that the plane was shot down by a missile, perhaps a heat-seeking missile that honed in on one of the plane’s engines – a theory possibly substantiated by the 2,000yd flight of the 1,000lb engine part, but arguably refuted by consistent eye-witness accounts, including Lee Purbaugh’s, that when last sighted the plane was not emitting smoke.” How have the media missed that which they reported. How weren’t and aren’t curiosities piqued?

So, what does all this mean, Alfie? It means that I find these stories fascinating, truly fascinating. As well as the media’s organic sense of incuriosity. I’m no aviation crash expert nor do I play one on TV, but I do know rudimentary laws of physics and that debris fields of plane crashes eight miles away likely don’t involve gusts and zephyrs causing engines to waft through the air. It’s evidence again of why I believe absolutely nothing in the ossified American mainstream media.

Today’s podcast subjects. Glad you asked. Take note.

  • The lack of interest on the part of the Jurassic mainstream media in the psychiatric treatment of Andreas Lubitz, specifically what psych meds (if any) he was on or coming off of. Read this wonderful disquisition on the subject from Paul Joseph Watson. But why should they be intrigued by this aspect of the case when they’ve missed so much about other cases?
  • The difference in coverage if Andreas Lubitz had been Muhammad bin Whatever. The obvious discrepancy should be glaring.
  • The remote control capabilities of today’s planes. This is most interesting, I believe.
  • A comparison to FLT 93 near Shanksville as indicated supra.
  • The horrid coverage in general of the incident.
  • And stuff.

LIONEL PODCAST: Orwell Couldn’t Believe This!

Facebook was indirectly funded by the CIA with the goal of learning and storing everything there is to know about you. Why? To monitor and ultimately control.  – Sandeep Parwaga, (February 17, 2011)

Did you hear the latest? From Liberty Blitzkrieg, the following amazing news and reportage. It’s been reported that Facebook will be hosting mainstream and other media coverage and content on Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site, thus depriving them of the ability to track user demographics and data. And this can’t be emphasized enough. Or in the case of the Jurassic mainstream media, mentioned at all. It’s a story that was reported without delving into its implications, into the dark interstitial message that the implications portend. Because when you control the news, you control perception. And when you control the ability to profit from news reporting, you control everything. It’s been reported of Facebook’s plan to cut out the middle man, explaining how it might work and why publishers would feel compelled to participate.

Am I making any sense?

What this means. This mind-boggling proposal by Facebook carries yet another risk for publishers: the loss of incredibly valuable consumer data and demographic metrics.  When readers click on a specific article or feature, an array of tracking tools and devices allow the host site to collect valuable data and demo information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web. This information and data are critical, more important than the information being referenced itself.This is in fact the heart and soul of the Internet media display. Remember, it’s not about the information provided in the article, it’s about the information provided on the consumer of the article who visits the site. That is the bread and butter of today’s news propagation and media industry. “But in the short term,” said Alan D. Mutter, a newspaper consultant who writes a blog called Reflections of a Newsosaur, “it’s a scary proposition because publishers want to control their brand, and their audience and their advertising dollars.”

Two Internets. And if Facebook indeed pushes beyond the experimental stage and makes content hosted on the site commonplace, those who do not participate in the program could lose substantial viewer and commercial and consumer traffic — a factor that, sources provide, has played into the thinking of many media sources and publishers. Their articles might load more slowly than their competitors’, and over time readers might avoid those sites altogether.

OMG, indeed. This would make the harshest of Machiavellian business models pale by comparison. This is now, not the future. This poses an existential threat to mainstream media as we knew it heretofore. The potential for retooling and re-fabricating the information delivery platforms is beyond comprehension. And yet, the MSM, who are in the cross-hairs of this new and bold feature, rather than reporting on it as a threat blink their eyes and suck their thumbs and detail the augury of their ultimate demise. Amazing.

Today’s podcast. Myriad miscellany. My convergence and conversion. Pass it on.

LIONEL PODCAST: It’s All Propaganda and Lies and Deception!

“Whatever of social importance is done today, whether in politics, finance, manufacture, agriculture, charity, education, or other fields, must be done with the help of propaganda.” ― Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

It’s all propaganda. Propaganda derives from a new administrative body of the Catholic Church created in 1622, called the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation for Propagating the Faith), or informally simply Propaganda. Its goal was aimed at “propagating” the Catholic faith in non-Catholic countries, and you know how well that went. And with propaganda comes perception and awareness. How you see something and it registers. Based on your framework, vantage, ken, experience, frame of reference, history, experience, bias and predilection. If politics is ever to resonate it must register with the perception and awareness of the target. And with that comes the symbolism that is used with a particular ideology or persuasion or direction. If talk radio had been around in the 60s it would’ve been primarily “liberal.” The reason why is that it was the liberal who was angry and felt disenfranchised.

Days of yore. It was the liberal who fought against the Vietnam War, who supported women’s rights and civil rights and the environment. It was a liberal who was angry. It was the liberal who had a passel of symbols, semiotics. But then the worst thing happened for liberalism. Liberals won. And with that came the diffusion and dilution of what was once its collective passion. In the 80s with the advent of Rush Limbaugh it was the angry white man and conservative who dominated talk radio because they were the ones who felt alienated and castigated and left out. Their symbols are still seen today: the flag, God, the family, Ronald Reagan and a series of syrupy, sappy, saccharine imagery that replaces well thought and well formed ideology. Let me repeat, it’s all about perception and awareness which are crafted and channeled and directed to the artful use of and deft application of surgical propaganda.

LIONEL PODCAST: Vaccines Fascists & Martial Law For Starters

North who? NORTHCOM. “Created in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) is charged with responsibility for overall military defense of the U.S. homeland and defense support of civil authorities (DSCA).” Those simple words belie the potential for incomprehensible and inconceivable excess. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Bless him. He called the feds a “sock puppet” for the vaccine industry, Robert Kennedy Jr. spoke out Monday against making it harder for parents to exempt their children from vaccinations. “All of the studies show the primary reason people don’t vaccinate — the primary reason — is mistrust of the regulators. The solution to this problem, to the extent that it’s a problem in New Jersey, is to restore the regulatory process, not to compel people to do something that they may feel they have very good reason not to do.”

Therefore, herein the problems lie. Problems that are glaringly obvious to those of us in the business of constitutional conversance, know exactly what these issues convey and connote. But those are just a few of the issues addressed. And thus, this podcast.

LIONEL PODCAST: ShotSpotter, Gunshot Detection and Other Unbelievable Scheiße You’re Expected to Believe

You’re not falling for this I hope. It sounds at first so incredibly beneficial and even admirable. New York City’s getting ShotStopper. Here’s how it’s supposed to work. Microphones secreted about town whose sole purpose is to identify and triangulate gunshots in order to zero in on crime and make us all safe from the dastards who prey on the innocent. And without so much as questioning a single aspect of the plan or showing just a speck of well-earned incredulity, citizens in addition to the overpriced robots of the Jurassic mainstream media nod in polite Pavlovian obeisance to the latest in high-tech law-enforcement. They ooh and aah over this latest weapon and hi-tech promise to address the scourge of criminal vermin. They do not research, they investigate nothing further and, per usual, they accept the promises of law-enforcement hook line and stinker. So is this even plausible much less effective? Glad you asked?

According to statistics, in 75 percent of cases when people hear a gun shot sound, they do not report it to the police. The ShotSpotter is aimed at fixing that. Its sensors are connected to thousands of cameras set up around the city as part of the its Domain Awareness System, an all-seeing intelligence-analysis complex that collects and analyzes data captured by surveillance cameras, gunshot detectors, license plate readers, Geographic Information Systems mapping and social media feeds. [RT]

But does it work? So, what’s the track record so far? From November 2014, let’s review the following piece from Mikael Thalen.

Although the technology has had some success, multiple police departments across the country have gone as far as completely removing the system due to its multitude of problems.

Police in Oakland, who spent more than $264,000 on ShotSpotter, announced earlier this year that the system would likely be scrapped, calling it expensive and redundant.

In 2012, police in Troy, New York discontinued their system after several years of false alarms, many of which were triggered by firecrackers and squealing car brakes.

That same year, police in Trenton, New Jersey refused a ShotSpotter expansion after the system failed to alert officers to a shooting that left a man dead in the street for hours.

Even ignoring the failures, Seattle residents are unlikely to support the system’s instillation given the city’s involvement with surveillance. Whether it be their controversial mesh network or their secret participation in the TrapWire facial recognition program, the city of Seattle has long traded its residents privacy for alleged security.

Today’s podcast. It’s a surveillance tutorial. The basics, the rudiments the abecedarian fundamentals. Slowly but surely by virtue of our newfangled technology we are consenting to surveillance via the corporate structure versus the government per se. Gone are the Orwellian nightmares of Stasi-like invaders in the middle of the night, planting mics and wiring a room for illegal sound and voice capture. The ultimate goal is your being on a 24 hour real-time panopticon worldview matrix. The nefarious and awful grid. Through keyless entry, cashless bank cards, auto key fobs, and the ubiquitous RFID chip, through everything you do, every step you take not only will Sting be following and watching you but so will Big Brother. Your car will be susceptible to takeover and, in essence, hijacking. Especially after the notion of the driverless car becomes more accepted and cool to the unsuspecting sheeple masses. Since everything you do will be monitored and watched, you will be easily subject to carbon taxes by virtue of the mysterious and magical carbon footprint that you will be leaving and that will be well documented thanks to an intrusive surveillance grid that you allowed to occur when you bought those cool items with cool gadgets and cool features whose dangers you ignored when people like me warned you of what they ultimately meant. How do you feel now?

LIONEL PODCAST: A Ventilation Friday for the Ages

“I am the flail of god. Had you not created great sins, god would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.” ― Genghis Khan, Genghis Khan’s Rules for (Warriors) Writers

I apologize in advance. There’s nothing I can write to properly prepare you for this word journey and salad. Nothing to explicate or limn today’s disquisition. Nothing. The streamiest of consciousness. Fluid, untethered, open, unpretentious, deconstructed and free. Enjoy.

LIONEL PODCAST: Amy Schumer’s “C**t”

The perfect word for perfect deception. That’s the truth. Bullshit, that is. All that you’re told is mendacious connivance. Period. Partly with the desire to confuse and distort but mostly out of laziness and intellectual torpor. No need to clarify or explain. No need to illuminate and counter the status quo. The Jurassic mainstream media in particular are mere trying to tread water, unaware that there’s a landslide upon them, nearing down and in its crosshairs. They’ve no interest in challenging convention or the status quo. No concerns either way about much of anything. You’re awash in an avalanche of bullshit. How’s that for imagery. And it’s not necessarily from the media front tier itself. Everything, repeat, everything is perfumed with the contaminant and taint of bovine egesta. Herein, today’s playlist inter alia.

  • Amy Schumer. She’s box office and boffo. Without a doubt. And one more thing. Profoundly unfunny and ordinary. Pedestrian humor. And that’s a compliment. White trash and been there, done that. Bowling alley. The message is the shock, the words used, the unabashed scabrous delivery. Unimaginative. “I’m gonna get it tattooed on my clit.” Feminism, that is. Wow, cutting edge. Bravo, Amy! Brilliant! And her deep thoughts on feminism. “I don’t think people know what the word feminism means: a social and political equality for women. I think if you’re against that, you’re a crazy person, or you don’t know what it means, and that we don’t actually have it is a bummer. It feels like we should be further along.” Double wow. This is her attempt at latching on to the meme, the idea, the label. Bumper sticker and playbook. Echo chamber and cookie-cutter. Feminism for dummies. Titular and scripted.
  • The human self has five components. Machines now have three of them. How far away is artificial consciousness – and what does it tell us about ourselves? This is very bad news. As I describe herein, when warfare was made impersonal and separate and far apart the frequency of war increased. When you dehumanize the contact and separate the context, you ensure that more wars will follow. With drones, satellites and a deadly telemetry, add to the list the robot two completely separate us from the heart and soul of devastation. Throw into the mix a concept that is never referred to by the Jurassic mainstream media, transhumanism (the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology), and hang on for your dear life.
  • The brilliance of “Schitt’s Creek,” cheap humor and feigned reluctance to pronounce the word. Amen.
  • Charlie Sheen joins the racist league. The most overused word next to awesome, hilarious and epic. Charlie refers to Obama’s admitted provenance and his stepfather’s surname and the knee-jerk, Pavlovian obeisant usual suspects weigh in with pitchforks and torches aloft, screaming racist!
  • GMOs at SXSW. The most misunderstood threat to humanity in years. And you would think with all of the counterfeit healthy types with their yoga mats and smoothies and cleansings and detoxifiers and purgings, you would think they would know a thing or two about GMOs. Critical concepts: you would think.
  • The Obama-Bibi “work.” You should not expect the professional left to have a clue as to what the reason Israeli elections were all about. But in what could be one of the greatest examples of Machiavellian conspiracies, wouldn’t it be interesting if Obama and Bibi contrived and constructed the entire event for the latter’s benefit?
  • Feckless news media. Admittedly a fixation of mine. In view of the hubris and self-styled expertise that these autodidacts and children purport to evince, I must enjoy the topic because it consumes me daily.
  • The five shits. Bull, horse, ape, bat and chicken. The scatological quintet. Now, while I’m not wont to wax profane I do love eloquence and breviloquence in particular. But bullshit and horseshit connote falsity. Apeshit and batshit indicate becoming over-enthused and losing one’s mind. And chickenshit is the ultimate in de minimis.

LIONEL PODCAST: Ashley Judd Needs a Lesson in Criminal Law

This is not in any way a crime. Ashley Judd says that she intends to press charges against those who have been harassing her on Twitter with threats of sexual violence. Threats of sexual violence. I’m not too sure about that. Long-distance, ethereal “threats.” And I’m not being too priggish as it comes to her allegations. They are severe and demand scrupulous deconstruction. She wades into March Madness nonsense with mouth-breathers and knuckle-draggers and is surprised when monosyllabic rubes weigh in. Puh-leeze, Ms. Judd. “The amount of gender violence I experience is absolutely extraordinary,” she told the Today show, “and a significant part of my day today will be spent filing police reports at home about gender violence that’s directed at me on social media.” [e.s.] Gender violence. Whoa! But here’s my favorite part. Though she tells Today that she doesn’t expect anything to come of the police reports, she still wants to send a message by filing them. [e.s.] So, does that mean she’s filing a false police report if she knows it has no merit? It gets worse. She adds: “Everyone needs to take personal responsibility for what they write,” she tells MSNBC, also calling out the need to fight against the practice of shaming others on social media. Shaming?! Are you reading this? Shaming?!

Assault at common law involves a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the immediate harm.

Sorry, Ashley. Would his horrid speech be assault if it were said in front of Ms. Judd? No. So, how is it a crime when Tweeted to her and for the world to see? I loathe these coward trolls as much as anyone, but this is simply not a crime. Nor should it be. It is certainly offensive, troublesome and most problematic. It absolutely causes concern and rational fear especially among those who by virtue of their status are all too often subjected to such insanity. But as is usually the case, the question to ask is how do you draft a statute that protects your right to speak yet exposes me to criminal liability by virtue of a subjective sense of alarm or being offended? If I were to walk up to a complete stranger and utter a series of vile and scabrous rants, unless I directly threaten someone, which involves a real and immediate promise to do physical violence, most would say that your best reaction is to retreat. That is not to say that harassment or stalking charges would not be available depending upon the duration and severity of the conduct.

The social media are different kettles of fish. I have the ability to mute or block offensive speech. I also, by virtue of participating in these verbal scrums, could be seen as consenting to the behavior at hand. Let me reiterate, I in no wise countenance or approve of this horrible behavior. But what concerns me even more is a poorly drafted statute that subjects the proponents of free speech to criminal sanctions because I were to feel uneasy or offended or somehow the victim of gender violence via words alone. Without getting too graphic, it is common in our American parlance to tell people to kiss our arse, suck a host of appendages or worse. The expressions are certainly crude and boorish but they do not necessarily constitute a threat of imminent violence or harm. Sorry, Ashley. You’ve got the attention, your PR folks have succeeded, but you’re traipsing potentially on my beloved First Amendment. And that dog don’t hunt. As I have said for years, no one will take our freedom of speech from us; we will give it away gladly. Because we will confuse that which is bothersome with that which is subject to criminal sanction and penalty. We will take every bit of noisome speech, everything that is annoying, that which is hurtful and mean spirited, and we will almost reflexively and through a Pavlovian obeisance demand the criminal sanctions be applied. We are the First Amendment’s worst enemy. We are.