Posts Tagged ‘Free Speech’

lawschoolphpShe’s tough, tenacious, smart and demonstrated a willingness to take the Government to task.  I’m talking about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

She’s served on the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit for 10 years, heard over 3,000 cases and written over 380 opinions.  She has associated herself with and championed the cause of society’s oppressed and outcast. Sotomayor has written and spoke many times about her identity as a Puerto Rican and the “shock” she and others felt at the less-than-lofty place they held in America’s social fabric.  However, her writings are not limited to concerns about people who share her background. Sotomayor has often commiserated with other “minorities” who — through no fault of their own — found themselves disadvantaged.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently released papers which outline how Sotomayor has dealt with labels, discrimination or the bias of stereotypes.  She has taken strong anti-Government positions in several decisions including one case involving the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC).  The NYTimes reported in the 1994 case which Judge Sotomayor presided over, that jurors found in favor of the Motorcycle Club rejecting the government’s efforts to seize the 77 East Third Street clubhouse.  A federal lawsuit was filed under a 1984 law allowing the Government to seize property used in drug trafficking.  At the time the New York City Chapter of the motorcycle club was incorporated under NY state law as a religious, nonprofit organization, and the group that fought the seizure was formally known as the Church of Angels.

Given recent West Coast law enforcement events against motorcycle clubs that seems to be challenging the First Amendment’s guarantee to peacefully assemble, which the Court has interpreted to include “freedom of association”…. and other important issues like a motorcycle club’s identifying patches as a protected form of free speech…. being a motorcycle enthusiast who has faced two-wheel discrimination by public officials I applaud Sotomayor.  She has worked tirelessly for an America who often has a deeply confused image of itself that is in perpetual tension.

Photo courtesy of irreference.com

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Good morning.  It appears that I’m not the only one up early this morning surfing the web.  Wow, I hit the sleep number mattress for a few hours and the site is ambushed by “FU” or “Anonymous.”  He’s one busy guy!

A few comments about blog trolls and SPAM.  First of all I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to those posting who have kept things respectful and provided level headed, well thought out responses (while disagreeing) which added to the collective intelligence and discussion on this blog.  Thank you!

However, I must confess that my herculean due diligence efforts to moderate all the comments each day and then make a determination after reading the author’s mind as to their real motive means — I may have made a couple errors and ‘inadvertently’ deleted some posts.  I hate when that happens!  Below are some examples, the full contents of which are not available for posting, but represents their sentiments:

  1. To the dude out of Las Vegas…give it up…please cease and desist your dullard (look it up) posts. They are not going up.  Oh, so sorry about that IP address getting published above…
  2. To the financial institution who needs my bank account information for a lung transplant – Not gonna happen.
  3. To the high school kid in Quebec that rallied all her “friends” to email me – I’m not as dumb as your parents so get over it.
  4. To the woman who faked cancer (three times) – I’m not cruel, but just between us, are those tears real?  See #2 above.
  5. To number “23” – how many souls are truly looking to be adopted into the “brotherhood?”
  6. To “big 1” and the x-rated site redirects – Thx for the URL’s! A person can never have enough animal romance DVD’s – NOT.
  7. To the Italian site who copies all my posts/content including photo’s.  I must admit you’ve become my technology challenge of the month, but know that I’m working it!

The point being?  I’m down on you blog Trolls, but let’s be clear — I’m not a free speech squishier.  It’s a fine line I walk and lately its one that has become increasingly difficult.  I’ve seen comments posted under the guise of “concern” for others or be incendiary and deliberately flame the author to disrupt dialogue or undermine the thread.  They generally start out as condescending and quickly resort to name calling.   The intent is to derail, stifle or control the dialogue.  In some cases these posts are there for the sole purpose of agitating people, sparking arguments, inflaming without substance and in general lack the ‘class’ to address the essence of the topic.  Please know that your comments will not be approved or deleted if you elect to try and “fake” the moderator.

I’m sure some do not share in my sentiments.  That is fine.  It’s one of your freedoms and a choice to disagree.  For those of you who feel trolls are quite intelligent and fully aware of their excessive self-importance as forum “enthusiasts” I say — there are many, many other blogs and forums to post your mindless dribble — your “noble” efforts are not welcome here.  See ya.

Full disclosure – I lack the ability to read minds.

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