Texas History Professor Fired For Criticizing Mike Pence Files First Amendment Challenge

There is a new free speech case out of Texas where a former history professor, Lora Burnett, is suing Collin College over her termination. Burnett alleges that the college fired her after she lashed out at former Vice President Mike Pence and tweeted that a moderator in his debate with now Vice President Kamala Harris should shut his “little demon mouth up.” While I disagree with Burnett’s rhetoric and tenor, the lawsuit has the makings of an important free speech challenge.

Burnett became a target of criticism after she tweeted: “The moderator needs to talk over Mike Pence until he shuts his little demon mouth up.” She also retweeted a post that referred to Pence as a “scumbag lying sonofabitch.”

In her 30-page filing, Burnett alleges that Collin College, its president H. Neil Matkin and other college officials refused to renew her contract due to her controversial tweet. The complaint alleges that the college received considerable pressure from donors to fire her after her commentary on the vice-presidential debate. The complaint cites an email on the same day in which Matkin referenced upset “college constituents” and “legislators” who contacted the college after the tweet.

In one of the most telling pieces of evidence, Texas State Rep. Jeff Leach (R) texted Matkin to ask if Burnett was “paid with taxpayer dollars.” Matkin responded that Burnett was “[a]lready on my radar” and he would “deal with it.”

When Burnett was later terminated, Leach declared it a “Big Win” publicly.  The problem is that the termination may have been public knowledge since Burnett had not been informed of the decision. Burnett responded to Rep. Leach on Twitter stating that she had not been terminated and Leach tweeted back an image of a ticking clock.

Burnett also crossed swords with the college over Covid. In August 2020, Matkin sent out an email to staff declaring that the COVID-19 pandemic had been “blown utterly out of proportion.” He invited people to show “better numbers” to the contrary but criticized the “inflation” of numbers by some commentators. When a faculty member later died from COVID-19, Burnett wrote “Another @collincollege professor has died of COVID.”

After her COVID-19 tweet, Burnett was issued a formal “Level 1” warning. The college objected that the individual was in fact a former professor, Ralph Gregory Hendrickson, who has not taught at the college for a number of years.  While I do not see the need for a formal warning, the objection is a valid one. Burnett’s tweet could have left people with the impression that there was an outbreak on campus.  The college has also cited other grounds for not renewing the contract, including “insubordination” and making private personnel issues public that impair the college’s operations.

Yet, the emails with the state representative add a credible basis for the free speech challenge. The college is a state school subject to First Amendment protections for free speech.

It is important that we maintain content neutral approaches to such free speech controversies. We have previously discussed the concern that academics are allowed (correctly) to voice extreme views on social justice and police misconduct, but that there is less tolerance for the voicing of opposing views on such subjects.  There were analogous controversies at the University of California and Boston University, where there have been criticism of such a double standard, even in the face of criminal conduct. There was also such an incident at the University of London involving Bahar Mustafa as well as one involving a University of Pennsylvania professor. Some intolerant statements against students are deemed free speech while others are deemed hate speech or the basis for university action. There is a lack of consistency or uniformity in these actions which turn on the specific groups left aggrieved by out-of-school comments.  There is also a tolerance of faculty and students tearing down fliers and stopping the speech of conservatives.  Indeed, even faculty who assaulted pro-life advocates was supported by faculty and lionized for her activism.

Nevertheless, in the past, I have defended extremist views on academic freedom grounds like those of University of Rhode Island professor Erik Loomis, who has defended the murder of a conservative protester and said that he saw “nothing wrong” with such acts of violence. (Loomis also writes for the site “Lawyers, Guns, and Money.”) I have defended faculty who have made similarly disturbing comments “detonating white people,” denouncing policecalling for Republicans to suffer,  strangling police officerscelebrating the death of conservativescalling for the killing of Trump supporters, supporting the murder of conservative protesters and other outrageous statements.

We have seen the same pattern involving conservative faculty members whose contracts were not renewed after free speech fights. There is a particular concern in some of these past cases over investigations or punishments linked to commentary on social media as private citizens. Faculty should be allowed to engage in the political debate and express their personal views, even obnoxious views, outside of their respective schools.

The emails to the state representative (and his knowledge of the firing before Burnett was informed) raise troubling concerns over free speech. There may be other reasons for the decision but the complaint would seem to offer sufficient evidence to go to trial on the issue.  The response of the college to her criticism of Pence was inappropriate and chilling. The college should have defended Burnett’s right to free speech regardless of any disagreement with the content of her views.

We will continue to follow the case.

170 thoughts on “Texas History Professor Fired For Criticizing Mike Pence Files First Amendment Challenge”

  1. “Rose, please do me the favor of just listening to this 5 minute tirade by Mark Levin on Turley’s Fox News:

    https://youtu.be/2b7Owc1m3Gg

    No need to listen to the full 5 minutes. Just listen to a few seconds. Everything is true. Paraphrasing Levin: ‘General Milley is no George Patton.’, ‘How many Anne Franks are there in Afghanistan?’

    Jeff silver… can’t stand the truth and thinks the two statements above are wrong. How stupid is that?

  2. Anonymous says:

    “I and others sometimes choose to make off-topic comments. I do so to draw attention to issues that I think are important.”

    Amen.

    Understandably, no one enjoys being reminded of their silence on matters that they ought not to keep silent. Turley has a deplorable habit of ignoring items in the News inimical to his own or his employer Fox’s narratives. Turley rightly points out that the MSM is ignoring the Hunter Biden scandal and its seeming implication of corruption on the part of Joe. There is no doubt that MSM will cover that story if it emerges into a criminal matter, but it is undeniable that they are not willing to fan the flames of it. I, for one, want all criminal conduct investigated.

    However, Turley ignores the 1/6 commission and the legal merits or lack thereof of Bannon’s refusing a subpoena and the House holding him in contempt. There are many other avenues of inquiry by this commission, not the least of which is the Eastman memo and his 1/6 conduct for which he has suffered professional repercussions. Turley says nada.

    Thus, Turley is a hypocrite. He is no better than those he criticizes for their silence on matters he thinks they should cover.

    BTW, thanks for that John Stuart Mills quotation! Touche’

    1. “Turley has a [healthy] habit of ignoring” those who presume to tell him what he should be interested in.

      There, fixed it.

      1. No, Sam. Turley tries to nurture the reputation of being apolitical and impartial, but as Jeff Silberman and others, including myself, point out, since going on the Fox payroll, he’s become nothing but a pundit. Turley hurts his own credibility by ignoring things like the Big Lie, and the antics of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. He also reserves the majority of his stinging criticism for women, especially women of color and minorities, which creates bad optics for someone who teaches at university.

      1. Bannon was not even a WH employee at the time.

        Barr was also held in contempt by the House, and the DOJ didn’t prosecute either sitting AG (Barr or Holder). Bannon’s case is nothing like theirs.

      2. “Bannon should suffer the same consequences Eric Holder did.”

        Two wrongs don’t make a right,

  3. Anonymous says:

    “I wonder what Turley thinks about all of this. Does he agree that Eastman engaged in professional misconduct, or does he instead think this is an example of “cancel culture”? I doubt he’s going to say.”

    I’ve been raising this same question for several days. Turley has had plenty of time to reflect and comment about Eastman’s memo, his conduct on 1/6 as well as the repercussions to him.

    At this point, we can safely presume that Turley will not defend the indefensible though he is too much of a coward to publicly say so and garner the wrath and- dare I say it- the “cancellation- of his Trumpist readers and risk jeopardizing remaining in the good graces of his employer, Fox News.

    Turley will be remembered as the law professor to Fox News who failed to speak up at at time when it was incumbent upon good people to take a moral stand- do you defend one of your Bar colleagues on his legal views and his complicity in the events of 1/6 or do you chastise him (as you did Trump)?

    Crickets……..crickets……..crickets……

    1. Jeff, that’s the frustrating thing about Johnathan Turley: ‘He never writes about those issues most deserving of analysis’. Instead he cranks out these paint-by-number columns regarding censored academics.

      1. As well, Turley looks high and low for trivial stories like crap falling from an airplane instead of confronting the crucial issues of the day. He defends free speech in which he cuts and pastes in every new article dozens of previously cited examples, but he deliberately ignores the free speech controversy of lawyer and scholar John Eastman which is currently headlining the news!

        It must be pointed out that his employer, Fox News, has banned all the Trumpist lawyers, e.g., Giuliani, Powell and Eastman, from appearing on its network. Again, no criticism of Fox from Turley for its de-platforming of Trumpist lawyers. And there is no criticism by the Trumpists here of Fox’s censorship of these lawyers or criticism of Turley for not condemning Fox for “cancelling” these lawyers!

        Of course, I AGREE with shaming and ignoring these Trumpist lawyers! I am just pointing out Turley’s abject hypocrisy in defending exclusively Conservative *academic* free speech (with a couple of exceptions for Liberal free speech) while apparently not disapproving- by virtue of his silence- “Little Brother” Fox News banning the Trumpist lawyers.

  4. Mike who?

    George Washington et al. took bold action when the situation demanded it.

    Mike Pence failed when history called; Mike Pence followed orders from the Deep Deep State.

    The communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) won’t give America back; it will have to be taken.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    – Declaration of Independence, 1776

    1. BTW

      Both of Kamala Harris’ parents were foreign citizens when she was born. Kamala Harris will never be eligible for president or vice president. Kamala Harris is a “citizen.” Kamala Harris will never be a “natural born citizen.”

      1. It might be helpful to consider that Vice President Harris was born in Oakland, CA. Her parents were not granted diplomatic immunity at the time of her birth nor were they part of the diplomatic corps of any foreign government. Therefore according to United States v. Won Kim Ark’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, she is a citizen of the United States and eligible to hold the presidency in so far as the citizenship requirement is concerned, should that position become available to her.

        1. Darren, George rejects SCOTUS’s ruling in United States v. Won Kim Ark. He also claims that Obama was not eligible to become President, despite having been born in Hawaii to an American mother. George regularly argues against women having been granted the right to vote and claims that Black Americans should have been sent to Africa after the Civil War. I doubt that you will be able to convince him of anything.

          1. Anonymous says:

            “I doubt that you [Darren] will be able to convince him [George] of anything.”

            What are you saying? Are you insinuating that Darren’s “good speech” is useless against George’s “bad speech” despite all of Turley’s assurances to the contrary??

                1. Anonymous says:

                  “I don’t know who your “we” includes, but it doesn’t include me. Jeff is not an idiot.”

                  Correction: I am an idiot to contribute to this blog.

                    1. “Do you see Anonymous the Stupid? Even Jeff is calling himself an idiot.”

                      You see with whom we are dealing? I may be an idiot to contribute to this blog, but not so idiotic as to reply to S.Meyer. At least I have that to my credit.

                    2. You don’t have the brain power to reply competently to S. Meyer. You are full of hot air and act like a buffoon.

                2. Anonymous the Stupid, if you look back you can figure out who the ‘we’ is. Idiots frequently do not recognize other idiots which is a problem of yours.

          2. SECESSION IS CONSTITUTIONAL – LINCOLN WAS ILLEGAL

            Once you answer the question of the constitutionality of secession, you understand the illegitimacy of everything forcibly imposed on America by Lincoln and his successors.

            I am not aware that brute force under the duress of illegal war and post-war military occupation is a compulsory segment of the process of amending the Constitution.

            Absolutely, the day of issuance of the emancipation proclamation, the Naturalization Act of 1802 was in full force and effect.

            The America of the Founders was illegally terminated by Lincoln.

            My interest is the law, the whole law and nothing but the law.

            Lincoln had no authority to deny secession or start a war resulting, ultimately, in the still illegitimate “Reconstruction Amendments.”

            Perhaps anonymous can explain how America goes forward with more people dying than are born – with a fertility rate in a “death spiral.”

            China – 1.4 billion

            India – 1.3 bilion
            _____________

            The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court attempted to stop Lincoln – Lincoln was too criminally brutal for Chief Justice Taney, the other Justices and the entire nation.

            “Lincoln and Taney’s great writ showdown”

            “The clause in the Constitution which authorizes the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is in the ninth section of the first article. This article is devoted to the Legislative Department of the United States, and has not the slightest reference to the Executive Department,” Taney argued. “I can see no ground whatever for supposing that the President in any emergency or in any state of things can authorize the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or arrest a citizen except in aid of the judicial power,” Taney concluded.

            However, Taney noted that he didn’t have the physical power to enforce the writ in this case because of the nature of the conflict at hand. “I have exercised all the power which the Constitution and laws confer on me, but that power has been resisted by a force too strong for me to overcome,” he said. But Taney did order that a copy of his opinion be sent directly to President Lincoln.

            – constitutioncenter.org

        2. Darren, with reference to your comment, would you be so kind as to explain how Kamala Harris, a “citizen” by birth, is transformed into a “natural born citizen” by U.S. v. Won Kim Ark, (dissent by three Justices) or by any other official act, understanding that the requirement for Congress and the Senate is simple “citizen” while the requirement for president and vice president is the several, greater and superior status of “natural born citizen?” *

          Also, is it your understanding that the judicial branch has the power, any power, to amend the U.S. Constitution, by any means?

          *

          Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5

          No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

    1. A wonderful place to go. Durbin, the opening speaker could only speak about Trump in generalities because he only had empty statements. The testimony is supposed to involve the DOJ and Garland. That speaker forgot what the subject was all about.

      Grassley started speaking at around 13 minutes. He summarizes many of the things that make Garland look and sound like a political hack

      Garland sits there with a mask. I don’t think the mask is there to protect Garland from Covid, rather it is there to cover Garlands face and his shame.

  5. “… but will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Incitement speech should rightly be well considered, but free speech should never be squelched. That is but one of the deep divisions between left and right. I welcome dissenting points of view irrespective of their merit, which can be debated with decorum. Leftists, by and large, seek to silence dissent (and Orwell would argue they seek to eliminate and prevent dissent). I see no reason to be disagreeable while disagreeing. However, leftists seem to go out of their way to be disparaging, disrespectful, and downright disgusting should anything discordant from outside their worldview bubble ever disturb the echoes they’ve come ever so accustomed to hearing.

    Even so, that is their right. I only ask for the same allowance in return.All too often that hope is unrequited. (Alas, and alack)

    1. Some people on the left AND the right “seek to silence dissent.” Other people on the left AND the right do not.

      Some people on the left AND the right “seem to go out of their way to be disparaging, disrespectful, and downright disgusting should anything discordant from outside their worldview bubble ever disturb the echoes they’ve come ever so accustomed to hearing.” Other people on the left AND the right do not, and speak out against such disparaging, disrespectful, and disgusting responses.

      I’m on the left. I think society is better off when we choose to listen to views that are different from our own and address (rather than silence) views we believe are dangerous.

    2. Hickdead says:

      “However, leftists seem to go out of their way to be disparaging, disrespectful, and downright disgusting should anything discordant from outside their worldview bubble ever disturb the echoes they’ve come ever so accustomed to hearing.”

      Leftists are sick and tired of incessant Trumpist lies, and we are not going to take it anymore. There are consequences for blatant lying- disrespect, disparagement and disgust.

      1. Yes, Jeff, but there are more consequences for blatant lying other than “disrespect, disparagement and disgust”. In the case of the Big Lie, we had the first-ever insurrection in this country, orchestrated by a losing political candidate, aided and abetted by members of the Republican party. We had the U.S. Capitol breached, invaded and defaced, windows smashed, doors broken down, a woman shot after trespassing and ignoring police commands to stop, John Lewis’s memorial defaced, human waste deposited in the building, the Speaker’s office invaded and her laptop stolen and a Republican Party pretending this was just a bunch of protesters who got out of hand instead an the orchestrated effort to defeat the will of the American people. Because Republicans continue to refuse to repudiate the Big Lie, even though they all know it IS a lie, we have Republican legislatures passing laws that would allow votes to be switched or not counted, which is what Trump tried to do by bullying after losing the election and multiple court challenges. Republicans also know that if it is easy and convenient for people to vote, more Democrats will vote, so they are doing everything possible to make it more difficult and inconvenient to vote. They also fund “forensic audits” of ballots, knowing that there was NO widespread voter fraud–all of which is calculated to lend credence to the Big Lie and cause people to worry that elections are rigged. Republicans are actually trying to rig the next election because they know that most Americans won’t vote for them. This is in addition to Trump’s media allies constantly lying and attacking Biden and the Democrats. Republicans in Congress are doing everything possible to hamstring Biden’s presidency, not because of ideological differences, because they don’t even try to work with his administration to tweak bills–they just simply oppose everything and then lie about the reasons why.

        When it comes to COVID, we have a Republican party that is wise enough to realize that the economy won’t fully recover until COVID is fully brought under control, doing everything possible to help spread the disease and prevent vaccinations, including passing laws banning mask-wearing, banning quarantining, requiring in-person classes and trying to subvert efforts to require vaccination for certain employees. Trump media allies push lies about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, even though Republicans in Congress and Trump media allies are all vaccinated. The result is that, while COVID numbers are improving, it’s still not as well-controlled as it could and should be, and people are still getting sick and dying unnecessarily. Trump’s incompetence and lying alone are responsible for 130,000 unnecessary deaths, according to the testimony of Dr. Deborah Birx.

        People like Karen argue that the lies and junk science she heard on Hannity and other alt-right media should be debated, and that such “opinions” should be respected. Science has shown that Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin are NOT effective as COVID treatments. Science has shown that natural immunity from getting sick with the COVID virus does not provide superior protection against re-infection. Science has shown that the vaccine injected into the deltoid muscle does NOT spread systemically, and immunity arises from the muscle cells in the upper arm and the lymphatic vessels that drain the area. Science has shown that the vaccines available in the US are both safe and effective, and that serious side-effects are very rare, so that the benefits outweigh the risks. Facts established by proper scientific studies are not matters subject to debate, but all of the lying about these things causes people to worry and be afraid of having themselves and their children vaccinated. Science doesn’t really care whether you believe in it. Spreading fear by lying about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, mask-wearing and quarantining for political reasons is immoral.

        1. You said it! The first casualty of war is truth. We are in the midst of a cold cultural and socio-economic war.

  6. Turley will discuss “Texas History Professor Fired For Criticizing Mike Pence Files First Amendment Challenge,” but he won’t discuss Trump’s effort to pressure Pence into acting unconstitutionally to enable Trump to remain in office, or Pence’s obeisance to a dangerous President.

    Here’s some of what Trump said publicly in his attempt to pressure Pence into acting illegally (and we don’t know yet what he said in private, and may never learn that):

    “Our Vice President has several options under the U.S. Constitution. He can decertify the results or send them back to the states for change and certification. He can also decertify the illegal and corrupt results and send them to the House of Representatives for the one vote for one state tabulation.”
    “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you. I hope that our great Vice President comes through for us. If he doesn’t come through, of course, I won’t like him very much.”
    “The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.”
    If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency. Many States want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying incorrect & even fraudulent numbers in a process NOT approved by their State Legislatures (which it must be). Mike can send it back!
    “States want to correct their votes, which they now know were based on irregularities and fraud, plus corrupt process never received legislative approval. All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!
    “I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so. Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election. All he has to do, all this is, this is from the number one, or certainly one of the top, Constitutional lawyers in our country. He has the absolute right to do it. … All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president. … I just spoke to Mike, I said: ‘Mike, that doesn’t take courage. What takes courage is to do nothing.’ … Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a, a sad day for our country. … They [Pennsylvania] want to recertify their votes. They want to recertify. But the only way that can happen is if Mike Pence agrees to send it back. Mike Pence has to agree to send it back.”

    It is a total lie that Pence himself could “decertify the results or send them back to the states for change and certification. … [or] send them to the House of Representatives for the one vote for one state tabulation.” Trump even brought in a lawyer, John Eastman, to help Trump convince Pence to do this. Eastman is now being investigated by the CA Bar. He was recently caught on tape saying that Pence didn’t take his legal advice to overturn the election because Pence is “an establishment guy”: https://twitter.com/lawindsor/status/1453110960638496770

    Trump spent months lying to his supporters claiming that the election had been stolen and then invited his supporters to a rally in DC based on that Big Lie, choosing the date, time, and location of his Jan. 6 rally to coincide with Congress certifying the Electoral College vote. Trump and his allies repeatedly announced the date to his supporters ahead of time and asked them to show up to the rally. At the rally, Trump and his invited speakers riled the attendees up, and then he encouraged them to go to the Capitol in the midst of the certification and lied to them that he’d go with them. The insurrectionists broke into the Capitol, fought with law enforcement and injured many officers, forced the Secret Service to take Pence away from the Senate to a secure location and forced all members of Congress to stay away from the floor of the House and Senate. They succeeded in delaying the certification of the EC vote by Congress.

    As someone else said, “far-right groups planned to breach the Capitol during this planned protest. The consequences of that are foreseeable, but it’s somehow not an attempt to overthrow the government because they didn’t have a clear plan for what came next. It was a putsch! This is what a putsch IS! Conspirators rally a mob in an attempt to overthrow a government! The mob itself is not, like, part of the advance planning.”

    Trump tried to stay in power despite having lost the election. Just because he failed doesn’t mean he isn’t a danger. If bank robbers try and fail to rob a bank, they still broke the law. Trump continues to spread the Big Lie and the GOP continues to defer to him. He is still a danger to our democracy, and as long as Pence and others don’t speak out about just how dangerous he is, they’re enablers.

    AG Garland should appoint a Special Prosecutor to determine whether Trump should be indicted for any federal crimes (federal tax fraud, obstruction of justice, …) now that he’s no longer President. No one should be above the law.

    1. Anonymous: Try to stay on topic. When you critique a text, you critique what’s actually in the text, not what you’d like to see in the text.

      1. “It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.” — Charles Frederic Aked, often attributed to Edmund Burke

        “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.” — John Stuart Mill

        I and others sometimes choose to make off-topic comments. I do so to draw attention to issues that I think are important. You are free to criticize them (though I don’t think I’ve never seen you complain about off-topic comments from conservatives), and Turley can delete off-topic comments or even block me and others entirely if he wants.

          1. Turley can block me if he objects to my sometimes posting off-topic comments. The choice is his to make, not yours.

            I’ll believe that you truly object to off-topic comments when I see you saying the same to conservatives. Until then, I’m inclined to think that you just object to comments from liberals.

          2. Hickdead, we’ve never seen your name before. You just popped out of nowhere to attack Anon?

            How do even know who Anon is if you’re brand knew? No commenter has used that name in more than a year.

            1. We may not have recognized your picture, but we recognize your question. “we’ve never seen your name before. “

              LOL

            2. I’m the Anonymous who posted the 10:15am, 10:56am and 11:09am comments above. I’ve seen Hickdead’s name before, recently.

              You seem to be the person who previously posted as Seth and frequently responds to names *you* haven’t seen before with “we’ve never seen your name before.”

          3. Hickdead says:

            “Anon(s): Start your own blog and bugger off.”

            More Conservative Cancel Culture! De-platforming…

      2. Giocon says:

        “Anonymous: Try to stay on topic. When you critique a text, you critique what’s actually in the text, not what you’d like to see in the text.”

        Typical Conservative Cancel Culture. Stop trying to make anonymous self-censor!

    2. “Turley will discuss “Texas History Professor Fired For Criticizing Mike Pence Files First Amendment Challenge,” but he won’t discuss Trump’s effort to pressure Pence….”

      Here we have the authoritarian mind trying to tell others what to write on their blog. It is amazing the chutzpah some leftists have. It’s insulting to the blog owner.

      The points Anonymous is making are moot. There was no meeting of the minds, no consideration, no nothing. We are left with an Anonymous individual spewing hate who is afraid of using an alias.

      1. “The points Anonymous is making are moot.”

        No, they aren’t.

        Trump remains the head of the GOP. He clearly is not committed to our Constitution. He attempted to pressure Pence to act unconstitutionally, and the GOP will not condemn him for it and is choosing not to break from him.

        “Trump didn’t have control over Pence…”

        No one claimed he did. The claim is that Trump wanted Pence to act unconstitutionally and tried to pressure Pence into doing so. That Trump failed does not make his actions acceptable, any more than it’s acceptable for someone to try but fail to rob a bank.

        “Trump didn’t lie to me.”

        He did. Your unwillingness to admit it doesn’t change the fact that he has spent almost a year promoting the Big Lie.

        “Anonymous is so intellectually compromised he can’t see real corruption.”

        Actually, I’ve called for ALL corrupt politicians to be investigated, and for Congress to pass a law making ALL influence-peddling by family members to be illegal. Not sure why you have a problem with that.

        “the Democrats don’t want the American public to know what happened on Jan 6. Why? For the most part, it was peaceful, though a few broke the law.”

        I’m a Democrat. I do want the American public to know what happened. Hundreds of people broke the law, and only someone in denial would characterize over 600 people as “a few”:
        https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/capitol-breach-cases
        I wish that the Republicans in the Senate had agreed to the formation of the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act, as proposed here:
        https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3233/text
        Republicans in the House proposed what they wanted in that bill, their proposals were incorporated into the bill, they voted in favor, but then the Republicans in the Senate filibustered it, so it was not allowed a vote in the Senate. Blame the Senate Republicans for not supporting a national commission that would report to the American public the entirety of what happened on Jan. 6.

        “The question remains, how much law-breaking was done by high-level Democrats, the FBI and the left.”

        No, the question remains how much law-breaking was done by high-level Democrats AND high-level Republicans AND high-level Independents, the FBI, the left AND the right. I want ALL of that investigated. But you apparently do not want it ALL investigated, which is why you cannot bring yourself to include Republicans and the right in your question.

        “The one death at the Capitol building was Ashly Babbitt, an unarmed Trump supporter”

        Several people died at the Capitol that day, including Babbitt. Babbitt was the only person shot at the Capitol. Figure out how to discuss it accurately. Yes, some “information regarding her killing is being withheld” from the public. So is a lot of other information from the lead-up to Jan. 6 and on Jan. 6 (e.g., Trump’s private statements to Pence, Bannon, Meadows, and members of Congress). For better or worse, some information is classified, and some information is subject to court battles. We live in a constitutional democracy, and we will have to wait for the court battles to play out.

        1. What we hear from Anonymous are empty statements.

          “No, they aren’t.”

          That is an argument that leads to they are; they aren’t; they are. That is what one gets from another that uses rhetoric absent fact. Nothing happened. The point is moot.

          Look at the lies of Biden. Things happened and are happening while we speak.

          TDS is the largest occupier of space in Anonymous’s head.

          >> “Trump didn’t have control over Pence…”
          >No one claimed he did. The claim is that Trump wanted Pence to act unconstitutionally and tried to pressure Pence into doing so. ”

          What a person wants, according to Anonymous, is what happens. Therefore if Anonymous wants to be female, he is female. If he wants to be male, he is male. What he wants can change at the drop of a hat. That is pretty stupid in the real world.

          >>” “Trump didn’t lie to me.”
          >He did.”
          That type of silliness makes you believe that men should have the right to be in women’s dressing rooms and gape at naked females, adults and children.

          You can’t read between the lines, so you let him in if the man or sex predator says he is female and wants to go in—pure foolishness.

          “Actually, I’ve called for ALL corrupt politicians to be investigated”

          Talk is cheap, and you are very cheap. Everyone on this blog has seen you in action. You don’t attack your political allies. You make up stories about those who are not. Corruption has never been your concern. Your ideology is first and foremost in your mind.

          “I’m a Democrat. I do want the American public to know what happened. Hundreds of people broke the law, and only someone in denial would characterize over 600 people as “a few”:”

          How many people entered the Capitol building? How many were from the left? How many were assets or employees of the FBI? You are not interested in any of that. How many officers of the law let people come in?

          “I wish that the Republicans in the Senate had agreed to the formation of the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack ”

          If you weren’t lying, you would be angrier that films were withheld, which could easily have been released. You would demand that the records of how Ashley Babbitt was killed would be open to the public. You would demand to know how the FBI was involved. Afterward’s there might not even be a need for a commission of that nature, but another commission to investigate the FBI activities and Democrat operatives. Some of that information is slowly being released, showing FBI activity and innocence of those arrested based on contrived data. (We saw the same with the Steele Dossier and remember all the crazy things you said that have since been proven untrue.)

          “No, the question remains how much law-breaking was done by high-level Democrats AND high-level Republicans AND high-level Independents, the FBI, the left AND the right. I want ALL of that investigated. ”

          WE have already seen the release of data implicating some on the right. It’s the other side that has been hidden in the dark. We need to shine a light on what happened. Garland is shining darkness. You are not telling the truth.

          “Several people died at the Capitol that day, ”

          Stop changing the subject and deflecting. There was only one death IN the Capitol Building, which is where the threat was. Of course, if you are a fascist, you don’t care about the truth or political protest.

          “We live in a constitutional democracy, and we will have to wait for the court battles to play out. ”

          Wrong, there is no need to wait for the courts. Democrats using selective prosecution and release of information are acting like fascists, and you believe fascism is good for the little guy.

          1. It’s your opinion that “The point is moot.” My opinion is that it isn’t. You can have your opinion, and others can have different opinions than you.

            “What a person wants, according to Anonymous, is what happens.”

            You’re lying about me again.

            “If you weren’t lying, you would be angrier that films were withheld”

            You apparently want all films released, even though doing so would tell enemies of the US where all cameras are located. I’m not angry that some classified information is withheld from the public. How silly for you to tell me how I should feel.

            “You are not telling the truth.”

            You are talking about yourself, as you generally do when you insult others.

            “Stop changing the subject and deflecting.”

            I did neither. I corrected your false claim that “The one death at the Capitol building was Ashly Babbitt.” Three other people — Kevin Greeson, Benjamin Phillips, and Roseanne Boyland — also died “at the Capitol building.” You’ve now clarified that you meant inside. OK.

            “Wrong, there is no need to wait for the courts.”

            When an issue is contested in the courts, we have to wait for them to rule. If you cannot admit that, you’re in denial.

            “Democrats using selective prosecution and release of information are acting like fascists”

            Your opinion. Yet another example where people’s opinions about this differ.

            “You believe fascism is good for the little guy.”

            Once again, you’re lying about me. You do that a lot. I’ll remind you that you’ve been asked for a link to a comment from ANY anonymous commenter saying “fascism is good for the little guy” and you have refused to provide a link. All you do is make excuses and pretend that you provided evidence at some unknown earlier time, while never linking to any earlier exchange where you did it. You imagine you did it, and you run away from proving it. Rather than re-argue this, I will just refer you back to the previous exchange where you ran away from providing any actual evidence that ANY anonymous commenter said what you claim or any evidence that you’d previously proved the claim: https://jonathanturley.org/2021/10/12/go-fund-me-takes-down-fundraising-campaign-for-litigation-over-vaccine-mandate/comment-page-2/#comment-2130011

              1. Thanks Jeff. I know that I won’t get the time back. He isn’t going to change his mind, but I sometimes still prefer to point out that he is making false claims; other times I ignore him.

                1. Anonymous says:

                  “Thanks Jeff. I know that I won’t get the time back. He [S.Meyer] isn’t going to change his mind, but I sometimes still prefer to point out that he is making false claims; other times I ignore him.”

                  I ignore S.Meyer ALL the time because I’ve have never encountered someone as maddening. Oscar Wilde said it best:

                  “I can stand brute force; but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use; it is hitting below the intellect.”

                2. Anonymous, you are known to be not credible, lying and deception. I am happy when you or Jeffy ignore me.

                  Without his book of famous quotes, Jeff contributes nothing.

            1. “It’s your opinion that “The point is moot.” My opinion is that it isn’t. ”

              Your opinion doesn’t count. It is too laced with lies and deception. You say that I lied about you and quoted a sentence, but your rhetoric proves that I accurately reflect what you say.

              “You apparently want all films released, even though doing so would tell enemies of the US where all cameras are located. ”

              That is a strange argument since, generally, your leaders don’t care about our security. Biden dealt with the Chinese and was paid money so that a former American company now supplies the Chinese military with technology. Oops, I forgot it was Hunter Biden who got paid, not Biden. Biden only shares Hunter’s bank account, and that 10% to the big guy is a lie, just like Hunter’s laptop.

              By the way, if they are worried about security, they need to move their cameras with or without the release of the films. You are proving yourself to be silly.

              It is amazing how the pictures of what happened inside the Capitol weren’t directed equally but were politically motivated. They cannot show all the videos because they will show a bunch of lies created by the left.

              “You are talking about yourself, as you generally do when you insult others.”

              Prove it. I have proven you to be a liar, but it’s hard to pick which of your pretend friends said, whatever, with all the pretend friends you have that are all generic and called anonymous. If it were possible to name the friends individually, you would create more. That is why you are known as Anonymous the Stupid or ATS. You need to be labeled so people know who I am talking to. It is Stupid for you to call me a liar when my alias exists with an identifiable icon. Despite that, you are unable to dispel the truth even with your pretend friends. You lie and deceive.

              I will demonstrate how Anonymous the Stupid lies and deceives.

              “I corrected your false claim that “The one death at the Capitol building was Ashly Babbitt.” Three other people — Kevin Greeson, Benjamin Phillips, and Roseanne Boyland — also died “at the Capitol building.” You’ve now clarified that you meant inside. OK. ”

              You twist words into a pretzel. It was clear what I said and what I and others have always said, but you chose to be deceptive. That is why the clarification had to be made by capitalizing the operative word you have neglected countless times. My follow-up statement was: “There was only one death IN the Capitol Building, which is where the threat was. ”

              “Kevin Greeson, Benjamin Phillips, and Roseanne Boyland.”

              They weren’t in the Capitol building or immediately outside the building. Kevin Greeson was quite distant and died from a heart attack. Benjamin Phillips was a Trump supporter and died from a medical emergency. Roseanne Boyland also died of a medical emergency. None of them were proximate to the Jan 6 entrance into the Capitol.

              You lie and conflate. Anyone that looks at how you have twisted this one discussion can see it for themselves. I have discussed this problem of yours with another. The question is whether you are simply a liar or your lying is part of a medical problem. Do you see a doctor for this problem?

              >> “You believe fascism is good for the little guy.”
              >Once again, you’re lying about me.”
              Most people who can think and have been here for a while recognize what I say is true. This argument occurred long ago, and you fought it then like you have been fighting it recently. You have fought about every item you lied about, blaming the lie on another anonymous poster. It is not surprising that you are the anonymous poster that says all of this.

              You are a pathetic loser.

        2. Anonymous,

          You must be new around here. Take it from me that the less said to S.Meyer, the better. He is not coherent.

          1. Jeffy, I’ll paraphrase what you say every time you are pushed to provide evidence of what you say.’ I can’t answer. I haven’t studied the subject matter’. You talk, but are unable to say anything. You act like a pompous goofball.

    3. “I hope that our great Vice President comes through for us. If he doesn’t come through, of course, I won’t like him very much. …”

      Is this what Anonymous thinks is earth-shattering? Is Anonymous still in grade school?

    4. “I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. …”

      Take note of the word hope. That means Trump didn’t have control over Pence, so Anonymous’s entire comment is anonymous BS that doesn’t meet any criteria that laws were intended to be broken. Being a longstanding politician, Pence had a better grasp of the situation than Trump, so he discarded Trump’s rhetoric.

      “Trump spent months lying to his supporters claiming that the election had been stolen”

      I am a Trump supporter, and Trump didn’t lie to me. He was transparent, telling me what was on his mind. That is a lot better than Biden, who tells us almost nothing spontaneously and then passes or tries to pass legislation he promised the American public he would never do. It is a lot better than permitting the Presidency to be compromised by a son who has made millions off of his father’s position. It is a lot better than having those millions made be in accounts shared with his father. Corruption! Right in front of Anonymous’ eyes, but Anonymous is so intellectually compromised he can’t see real corruption.

    5. Jan 6 is another big topic for this Anonymous character who seldom gets things straight. Right now thinking people want to know who Epps is and his connection to the FBI or Democrats. He is in a lot of videos pictured trying to get the crowd to riot. Many want to know what FBI personal or assets were in the crowds along with leftist groups. It is said, Epps was communicating with others, so no matter what his politics, he seems to be a person of interest. Why he and the other FBI assets and known leftists involved are not room for discussion tells us that the left may have been responsible for a lot of the mess. They may have been part of the Democrat dirty tricks.

      In any event, the Democrats don’t want the American public to know what happened on Jan 6. Why? For the most part, it was peaceful, though a few broke the law. The question remains, how much law-breaking was done by high-level Democrats, the FBI and the left. We all know that those on the right have been and will be punished. We don’t see anyone else being investigated. Information is being withheld that shows a different story than what the Democrats and the left want to portray.

      The one death at the Capitol building was Ashly Babbitt, an unarmed Trump supporter. She was killed under suspicious circumstances because the information regarding her killing is being withheld. Even Garland refused to provide the most basic information of responsibility for Jan 6. He is hiding things and, in the process, shows why he should never have been selected as a Supreme Court Justice.

      Garland is a leftist activist hack.

      1. Alan, if Republicans want all these questions answered, they should cooperate with the January 6 Congressional Committee. But Republicans would prefer to sabotage the hearings. What’s more, the rightwing narrative keeps constantly changing on what happened that day. “It was a peaceful demonstration of older guys”. “It was mostly tourists”. “It was ANTIFA forces disguised as bloated rednecks” “It was angry conservatives but most stayed back”.

        In other words, the narrative is a shell game.

        1. “Alan, if Republicans want all these questions answered, they should cooperate with the January 6 Congressional Committee.”

          You have too many names to make response worthwhile. Let them release all the films and information to the public. Then let’s talk about a real commission.

          In the meantime you can review all those follow-ups that you refuse to answer.

          Let’s give you the summary provided earlier. You can now respond.

          Yes, defining fascism is difficult, but it has defining characteristics that differ drastically from the classical liberal/ libertarian. It is the characteristics that determine the different brands of fascism. No ideology is entirely pure, but Marx at times referred to socialism and communism interchangeably. The meanings behind socialism have radically changed.

          Democratic socialism incorporates some of socialism and is a new construct. Democratic states such as Sweden often pointed to HAVING private property. Capitalism depends on private property. Libertarianism and classical liberalism also rely on private property. There are varying degrees and types of control over businesses in the fascistic states, fascism, nazism, socialism and communism. Though some would say, the state ceases to exist in a pure communist state.

          When you look at the various ideologies, you need to note the similarities and differences of their significant characteristics.

          There is private property and less central control in classical liberalism, libertarianism and capitalism (economic).
          Nazism, socialism, fascism have central control. These forms of government look towards larger government and powers over what is printed along with freedom of speech.

          Separate nationalism from the ideologies because all of the ideologies can be nationalistic and militaristic or not. Part of the split between Stalin and Trotsky had to do with their perception of nationalism and militarism along with expansionism.

          In the end, fascism is hard to define because it can be defined in many different ways, but Italian fascism, nazism, and socialism come from the same seed.

          1. Alan, the subject was January 6. But oddly you’re answering with some garbled lecture on ideologies.

            1. The response was in the first half. The second half contains other information provided since you are afraid to use your regular alias. The same question can be posed when that or similar aliases appear.

              1. Over and over again this turkey with a new name over and over again doesn’t have enough knowledge to respond to any question unless he has already been given the answers. The knowledge base of you lefties is near nil.

                You and Jeff could talk to one another for hours without ever saying anything. LOL

    6. Anonymous says:

      “Trump continues to spread the Big Lie and the GOP continues to defer to him. He is still a danger to our democracy, and as long as Pence and others don’t speak out about just how dangerous he is, they’re enablers.”

      Sadly, you can add Turley’s silence to those who won’t publicly and forcefully condemn the Big Lie.

      His silence is atrocious. It will not be forgotten.

  7. Send lawyers guns and money! Lord get me out of this!
    And speak free or forever hold your piece. i.e. your AK-47.

  8. Whig says:

    “The remedy for bad speech is more speech.”

    You suppose Trumpists will hear speech contrary to Trump’s on Fox News? Do you really imagine that Trumpists will listen to any speech on CNN and MSNBC or the MSM after Trump has declared them “fake news” and the “enemy of the people”?

    Because neither side is willing to listen to “more speech” if it comes from the opposing side, the country is implacably polarized.

    In Turley’s courts of law, both sides of an issue are guaranteed to be heard by the jury, but in the court of public opinion, a citizen can refuse to listen to what she does not wish to know.

    Turley deliberately avoids addressing this obvious flaw in his theory that more speech will counter bad speech.

    1. Jeff,
      I thought Professor Turley argued that good speech counters bad speech.

      Regarding the media, that is very complicated. Yes, people are prone to confirmation bias. And, it is very troubling that President Trump “has declared [CNN and MSNBC or the MSM] “fake news” and the “enemy of the people”?”

      Yet, there are more than just the following as examples of the media behaving just so:

      https://youtu.be/jnYZVNVqBgU

      1. Rose says:

        “I thought Professor Turley argued that good speech counters bad speech.”

        He does, but his theory in inapplicable where people are refusing to listen to whom they perceive is the “enemy.” Didn’t Trump- at least on one occasion- explicitly beseech his followers not to listen to the MSM?

        Turley will state his disagreement and disapproval of bad speech but advocates no other “cancelling” consequences. Though he did call on Congress to “censure” Trump for inciting the Trumpist mob and causing their “desecration” (his word) of the Capitol. That is the only time I can recall Turley arguing for any public or private repercussions for someone’s purely bad speech.

        Unlike Turley, I believe publicly shaming and personally ostracizing bad speakers IS a vital form of speech! Citizens must do so in order to have a civilized and decent society.

        1. JeffSilberman: And it goes without saying that you presume the right to decide for the public who those “bad speakers” are. Therein lies the problem with your POV. But you are totally within your right to hold it. Free speech means exactly that, no exemptions for stupidity or irrationality.

          1. Giocon says:

            “And it goes without saying that you presume the right to decide for the public who those “bad speakers” are. Therein lies the problem with your POV.”

            Nope. I decide for MYSELF who are bad speakers though I do inform others what I think so that they may agree with me. But you inadvertently have stumbled across another problem that contributes to our currently irremediable polarization, that is, the Leftists’ cited “bad speakers” are the Trumpists’ “good speakers.” We can agree on nothing.

        2. Jeff,
          “I believe publicly shaming and personally ostracizing bad speakers IS a vital form of speech! Citizens must do so in order to have a civilized and decent society.”

          That’s already happening and it is not making our society civilized or decent. Actual discussion and good-faith debate will allow the airing of disagreements, allow people’s concerns to be heard. Then, the points and counter-points can be refined and elucidated such that the truth of the matter finally begins to emerge.

          1. Prairie Rose, how do you propose we respond to people who refuse to engage in good-faith debate? (Ignore them? criticize their refusal? …)

            1. Anonymous,
              That is a good question. Perhaps pointing out, calmly, what they’ve said that is not a good faith argument would help (e.g., character attack, globalizing, other fallacies).

              Maybe telling a story as Nathan did with King David would help bring them to their senses.

              2 Samuel 12:1-8

              Perhaps patience and steadfastness to truth would help.

              What do you think might help?

              1. Rose says:

                “Perhaps patience and steadfastness to truth would help.”

                Has anyone close to Trump or worked for him reported that patience and steadfastness to truth EVER worked on Trump?

                Liars are not amenable to truth. You don’t seem to be able to grasp that fact.

                1. Jeff,
                  I am talking about the personal level, where most people live. Most people struggle to communicate with colleagues and family members of different political persuasions. Thanksgiving is coming up and the opportunity for better conversation.

                  The complexity surrounding Trump and the media, Big Tech, the Federal government, etc is such that they cannot really be part of the same conversation.

                  1. Rose says:

                    “The complexity surrounding Trump and the media, Big Tech, the Federal government, etc is such that they cannot really be part of the same conversation.”

                    I’m not sure what you mean by that statement. Do you listen to Rightwing radio? Do you watch prime time Fox News? You should learn what lies are being said. It’s horrendous.

                    1. Jeff,
                      “Do you listen to Rightwing radio? Do you watch prime time Fox News?”

                      Nope. I do not have TV, for one. I do not listen to pundits. Too many assertions and not enough data. Too strident too often. Too much trying to tell me what I ought to think about something. I can draw my own conclusions. That goes for right and left wing punditry.

                    2. Rose says:

                      “Nope. I do not have TV, for one. I do not listen to pundits. Too many assertions and not enough data. Too strident too often. Too much trying to tell me what I ought to think about something.”

                      Like me, you should force yourself to listen to talk radio host Mark Levin. And then honestly ask yourself whether he is not contributing to the “age of rage” that Turley rightly condemns.

                      And then ask yourself, if Turley is so concerned about reducing the rage in this age, why is he silent about the hateful provocations of Mark Levin? Worse, why does Turley hypocritically earn a paycheck from Fox News which broadcasts and profits from Levin’s tirades?

                      Those are the questions I would ask Turley if ever I had the opportunity to confront him face to face.

                    3. Jeff,
                      “Like me, you should force yourself to listen to talk radio host Mark Levin. And then honestly ask yourself whether he is not contributing to the “age of rage” that Turley rightly condemns.”

                      There is plenty of other stuff that has royally ticked me off than to potentially add to it. Is it like someone saying, “Ewww! Gross! Smell this!”? I don’t know. Too much on my plate as is.

                    4. Rose says:

                      “There is plenty of other stuff that has royally ticked me off than to potentially add to it. Is it like someone saying, “Ewww! Gross! Smell this!”? I don’t know. Too much on my plate as is.”

                      Rose, please do me the favor of just listening to this 5 minute tirade by Mark Levin on Turley’s Fox News:

                      https://youtu.be/2b7Owc1m3Gg

                      This unhinged rant is textbook rage! It cannot be described as anything but pure rage. Does Turley call out his Constitutional scholar/Fox colleague Levin? Not a peep.

                      Honestly, what could Turley say to explain his silence on Levin’s adding to the “age of rage?” He does not have to think of an excuse when he does not submit to take questions from reporters or contributors like me. Turley shields himself from accountability by his unavailability.

                      Why am I wrong in pointing out Turley’s hypocrisy?

                2. “Has anyone close to Trump or worked for him reported that patience and steadfastness to truth EVER worked on Trump?”

                  Yes.

                    1. You don’t know? You are poorly informed. You are too busy spending the day reading what you have written and then repeating it.

              2. Beyond pointing out that they’re not engaging in a good faith discussion and pointing out some of their counterproductive comments (false, insulting, etc.), I don’t know what helps. My sense is that it’s sometimes more possible to make headway in person than online — that we are still very much the animals we evolved to be, and we respond to tone of voice, facial expressions, etc., that are missing in online interactions.

                It might sometimes work to involve an intermediary. For example, I believe that you consistently act in good faith, and I’ve seen you have reasonable exchanges with S. Meyer, but he refuses to have good faith exchanges with me. If the 3 of us were in a joint exchange, perhaps you’d be successful where I have failed. Hard to know. On the other hand, I’ve never seen George have a good faith discussion with anyone here.

                1. Anonymous,
                  “My sense is that it’s sometimes more possible to make headway in person than online — that we are still very much the animals we evolved to be, and we respond to tone of voice, facial expressions, etc., that are missing in online interactions.”

                  I agree.

                  “If the 3 of us were in a joint exchange, perhaps you’d be successful where I have failed.”

                  Perhaps. I agree that having an intermediary is sometimes helpful. Speaking past one another or even being in “violent agreement” can sometimes be recognized and brought to the fore by a third party. Clarity over agreement.

                  Regarding your ‘name’, Anonymouses can too easily be confused with one another. I recognize and appreciate your desire for anonymity, but that generic title has its hazards.

                  Peace.

                2. ” I believe that you consistently act in good faith, and I’ve seen you have reasonable exchanges with S. Meyer, but he refuses to have good faith exchanges with me.”

                  ATS, you have that wrong. There is no good faith where you are concerned. If there was, one could have a reasonable discussion since we probably agree on what we want and our disagreement its lie more in the area of how we get there, You, however prefer to be a cheap liar and deal in deception.

                  Prairie is honest and even where we disagree we agree on the ultimate results we are looking for. She maintains a specific icon and alias which makes it a lot easier to understand where she is going. You utilize your anonymity to blame others that are nothing more than pretend anonymous friends you have created in your own head.

                  Be honest, identifiable and consistent from post to post and likely you wouldn’t have as many problems.

                  1. S. Meyer,
                    “There is no good faith where you are concerned.”

                    That is not a fair thing to say. There might be 10 different Anonymouses for all we know.

                    Wouldn’t it be most prudent to err on the side of caution and kindness?

                    Some of the comments by “Anonymous” may be in bad faith but assuming as such for all is not fair. One Anonymous may simply be posting anonymously from an abundance of caution towards anonymity while another Anonymous may be doing so to hide trolling while another Anonymous may be putting on an “invisibility cloak” or maybe just neglected to type in their name or pseudonym.

                    1. “That is not a fair thing to say. There might be 10 different Anonymouses for all we know.”

                      Prairie, that is your opinion. You tend to arrive at an answer by adding everything up and taking an average. Sometimes it works, but for the most part, it is unreliable. When a general is deciding where to create a defensive line and sees two hills, he doesn’t average them out to choose the low level in-between.

                      I know some of the aliases because I am one of them. Almost always, it is in reply to Anonymous the Stupid or Paint Chips. If someone is confused with Anonymous the Stupid on a rare occasion, he should blame himself for acting so Stupid. He can always correct the record by providing himself with a proper alias and explaining his words.

                      “Wouldn’t it be most prudent to err on the side of caution and kindness?”

                      No! Absolutely not. When someone is trying to take away your liberties, you don’t compromise with them and say, ‘I will give you half of them. That would be most foolish. We are not dealing with ordinary people. We are dealing with a few who do not care about the truth or logic, and to make things worse, they are uninformed by their own choice because they hold their ideologies more strongly than they hold to the truth.

                      “Some of the comments by “Anonymous” may be in bad faith but assuming as such for all is not fair.”

                      Why not?

                      If he proves himself a liar, it is up to him to prove himself anew. More important is his choice to lie under an anonymous icon because he gets people who think like you to compromise with him and meet him halfway.

                      Anyone who uses multiple anonymous figures is open to the same criticism. That is why, when I sign my alias S. Mayer, Allan S. Meyer or Allan, I am letting people know who I am. If someone responds to an anonymous comment in good faith, I will respond using my identifiable alias. Additionally, I defend even my anonymous aliases because the truth is more important than the superficial ‘we should be nice to each other.’

                    2. “‘Wouldn’t it be most prudent to err on the side of caution and kindness?’”

                      “No! Absolutely not.”

                      Hear, hear!

                      Those malicious sea lions are counting on your benevolence and innocence — i.e., on your sanction. Don’t give it to them.

                    3. S. Meyer,
                      ““Wouldn’t it be most prudent to err on the side of caution and kindness?”

                      No! Absolutely not. When someone is trying to take away your liberties, you don’t compromise with them and say, ‘I will give you half of them.”

                      Caution and kindness are not synonyms for compromise. Caution and kindness are relational words that do not mean you will be your values. Sometimes a kindness is a hard, stern thing to do–like having your sister arrested for biting you. I have not compromised my values. If I ever have, I would and have felt chagrin and remorse and seek to rectify the situation.

                      “We are dealing with a few who do not care about the truth or logic, and to make things worse, they are uninformed by their own choice because they hold their ideologies more strongly than they hold to the truth.”

                      That is true, which makes things tricky. Yet, I would feel that I had comprised myself to not give someone the benefit of the doubt or to engage in civil conversation. I know I am probably not guarded enough, but neither do I want to unduly shrivel or wither that part of me.

          2. Rose responds to my suggestion of shaming and shunning bad speakers:

            “That’s already happening and it is not making our society civilized or decent. Actual discussion and good-faith debate will allow the airing of disagreements, allow people’s concerns to be heard. Then, the points and counter-points can be refined and elucidated such that the truth of the matter finally begins to emerge.”

            You cannot have a rational discussion with conspiracy theorists. Liars are not interested in counterpoints.

            Are you saying that we should not shame, shun and ostracize Neo-Nazis, Antifa, Q-Anon supporters and demonstrable liars?

            1. Jeff,
              “You cannot have a rational discussion with conspiracy theorists.”

              Not sure why you are so certain. Communication is more than laying out a rational counter-argument. Discussions aren’t about “winning”, and, quite often moving the needle can take months or even years.

              1. Rose says:

                “Not sure why you are so certain. Communication is more than laying out a rational counter-argument. Discussions aren’t about “winning”, and, quite often moving the needle can take months or even years.”

                I agree that deprogramming a member of a cult such as Q-Anon or Trumpism would take months or years.

                Unlike brainwashed cultists, liars know the truth; they just don’t care about it or believe that the truth is worth sacrificing for the sake of a higher purpose in their mind- winning at all costs. Take Trump. He will lie as much as he has to in order not to be a loser which is anathema to him. You disagree?

                1. Jeff,
                  “He will lie as much as he has to in order not to be a loser which is anathema to him.”

                  That is rather loaded phrasing. If he has lied, I don’t think that would be the reason (I did not pay much attention to the breathless media circus surrounding his comments; I tried to pay attention to substantive news stories). Also, you are mind-reading. Not wise to make assumptions about motives.

                  Trump is linguistically fascinating. I’m not sure what to make of him. He is no fool, as much as people like to paint him as such.

                  1. Rose says about Trump:

                    “That is rather loaded phrasing. If he has lied, I don’t think that would be the reason (I did not pay much attention to the breathless media circus surrounding his comments; I tried to pay attention to substantive news stories). Also, you are mind-reading. Not wise to make assumptions about motives.”

                    Trump is a pathological liar, and if you can’t see that by now, I am absolutely dumbfounded by your naïveté. Even Turley has cited his dishonesty on several occasions. I don’t deny that all politicians lie more or less, but Trump is sui generis. The evidence is inexhaustible, undeniable and irrefutable.

                    To entertain any question about Trump’s bad faith lying is to be a Trumpist. I’m sorry.

                    1. Jeff and Anonymous,
                      I am not a Trumpist. I am observing him warily.

                      He is quite skilled in his use of rhetoric. I am not sure of the goals, though. They are oblique to the mainstream narrative, I think.

                    2. Rose says about Trump;

                      “He is quite skilled in his use of rhetoric. I am not sure of the goals, though. They are oblique to the mainstream narrative, I think.”

                      Trump repeatedly says the quiet part out loud. No politician’s intentions could be more obvious. This man has you bamboozled. The mystery lies not with Trump’s motives, but those Trumpists who are too blind to see him for the conman that he has been found by the law to have been, e.g., Trump University, the Trump Foundation, etc.

                      Open your eyes to the truth about Trumpism.

                    3. Jeff, wrote: ” Trump University”

                      Tell us about Trump University, Jeff. There were claims against it, no doubt, but there was no fraud, and Trump was lending his name. Those students learned more than the Biden students learned, and dollar for dollar might have learned more than what many kids get from the university today. There were suits, but they died because they didn’t deserve to exist. A nuisance suit was created when Trump ran for President. That tells us nothing about the university, but your limited ability to think doesn’t let you see the truth.

                      Now let us go to the Maverick Schools created by the Biden family. They would not have existed but for the political clout of Joe Biden.

                      “This is Frank Biden, the brother of Vice President Joe Biden. He’s at a ribbon-cutting event August 31 to promote the first Palm Beach County location of Mavericks in Education Florida, a for-profit charter school chain that’sthat’s already colonized “Miami-Dade.”…
                      But so far, Mavericks’Mavericks’ lofty goals haven’t materialized. Most of their schools graduate less than 15 percent of eligible students. On state report cards, the schools get “incompletes”” because so few of their students take the FCAT. In Homestead, meanwhile, two former teachers filed whistleblower lawsuits alleging the school there is inflating attendance records and failing to report grades properly.”

                      https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/mavericks-charter-schools-dont-live-up-to-big-promises-6385627

                      After using Joe’s political help to get things started, I think the Bidens had to sell the schools.

                    4. “the Trump Foundation,”

                      For a lawyer, Jeff doesn’t seem to know much about private charitable foundations or tax law.

                  2. Prairie Rose,

                    Trump is a pathological liar: https://projects.thestar.com/donald-trump-fact-check/
                    He likely also meets the criteria for malignant narcissism (this is a subset of standard narcissism — lots of politicians are narcissists, but malignant narcissism is a combination of narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathy, paranoia, and sadism, and is dangerous in a way that typical narcissism isn’t): https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/5-types-people-who-can-ruin-your-life/202005/malignant-narcissism-does-the-president-have-it

      2. “I thought Professor Turley argued that good speech counters bad speech.”

        Prairie, you are right. Your good speech here countered Jeff’s bad speech that is so repetitive, boring and banal.

        I feel so much better. Thank you.

      3. Prairie Rose,

        Yes, Professor Turley does argue that good speech counters bad speech. The question is: is that claim correct, if people block their eyes and ears to text and speech that they don’t want to see and hear, or are regularly fed such text and speech?

        Unfortunately, one of the effects of technology is that it makes it much easier for people to insulate themselves in bubbles where they only encounter speech that they agree with, and even for businesses like Facebook to make money feeding people speech that further polarizes them:

        “Facebook has long known its algorithms and recommendation systems push some users to extremes”
        https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-knew-radicalized-users-rcna3581

        1. “Yes, Professor Turley does argue that good speech counters bad speech. The question is: is that claim correct, if people block their eyes and ears to text and speech that they don’t want to see and hear, or are regularly fed such text and speech?”

          Anonymous logic is the logic of Orwell’s 1984 all over again. Anonymous is afraid bad speech will win over good speech, so he wishes to make sure that ears and eyes are not blocked from his speech while he supports blocking the speech of others.

          All Pigs are created equal. Some Pigs are more equal than others. Some people are just pigs.

          1. “he wishes to make sure that ears and eyes are not blocked from his speech while he supports blocking the speech of others.”

            You are lying, S. Meyer. I know my wishes better than you do, and I do not support blocking the speech of anyone in the actual public square, though I accept that the Supreme Court allows a few kinds of speech to be punished (e.g., incitement to immediate violent action, defamation, and perjury) even if the speech occurs in the public square.

            Turley’s blog is not the public square, so Turley is free to delete or block comments, and we’ve seen Darren do both. Private businesses like Facebook are not the actual public square either. Businesses have their own 1st Amendment rights, and it is legal for businesses like Facebook to make money feeding people speech that further polarizes them.

            1. “You are lying, S. Meyer. I know my wishes better than you do, and I do not support blocking the speech”

              Everyone has seen how you lie, Anonymous, and how partisan you are. We have watched you lie on virtually every critical issue regarding the Trump administration, and then we saw the truth proving you were wrong. No admission for your errors can be found, but proof of your lies live on in the archives. You loved Cuomo for his actions regarding Covid, but you hated DeSantis for his. The difference in your head was a D or an R, not the statistics or the logic.

              You fit perfectly into Orwell’s world of 1984.

            2. Facebook and other Tech giants have presented themselves as online public squares. Deliberately polarizing or manipulating people undermines democracy. That sounds like a bad business model to me.

              1. “That sounds like a bad business model to me.”

                Zuckerberg is the 5th richest American. Do you still think it’s a bad business model? It is a hateful and dangerous model, but it made him and others a fortune.

                1. S. Meyer,
                  Wicked. Undermining democracy and polarizing people is a wicked thing to do.

                  That may not have been their intention, but the outcome stands.

                  I don’t have a solution to that mess, sadly. I would hope for a better way than the madness of crowds eventually fizzling out. 🙁

                  If enough people spoke Truth with love, perhaps that would be heard..

                  1. “If enough people spoke Truth with love, perhaps that would be heard..“

                    That is a good thought, but try stating the truth, with love of course, to Stalin, Hitler or Mao.

                    1. S. Meyer,
                      I mean between our family, friends, acquaintances, and all us other “plain people” to help break down the madness of crowds perpetuated by the Tech and Media giants and even the “global shapers” who have their own ulterior motives to control, steer, and nudge people.

                    2. Prairie, I am sure you realize that even Stalin, Hitler and Mao had friends and family.

        2. Anonymous says:

          “Unfortunately, one of the effects of technology is that it makes it much easier for people to insulate themselves in bubbles where they only encounter speech that they agree with, and even for businesses like Facebook to make money feeding people speech that further polarizes them.”

          Precisely.

        3. Anonymous,
          “Yes, Professor Turley does argue that good speech counters bad speech. The question is: is that claim correct, if people block their eyes and ears to text and speech that they don’t want to see and hear, or are regularly fed such text and speech?”

          Yes, bad speech should be countered with good speech. It is incumbent upon the people to consider both sides of an argument and try to be aware of when they are leaning into their biases (and then try to set them aside, for the sake of argument). That people are prone to bias does not refute Professor Turley’s assertion about countering bad speech with good. It is more difficult to counter bad speech if people close themselves off from considering other viewpoints or subtexts.

          1. Prairie Rose, many people clearly do close themselves off from considering other viewpoints, and the link I included also discusses how the algorithms used by companies like Facebook feed people’s biases to such an extent that they are likely to become even more biased.

            Good speech cannot counter bad speech unless people are willing to listen to the good speech.

            1. Anonymous,
              I agree with your concerns. It isn’t just Facebook–it is Google, Youtube, etc that steer us with algorithms (or is it nudge?!). The antidote, or at least a step in somewhat the right direction, is to be an omnivore and sample many different news sources and perspectives.

              The Creepy Line explores additional concerning aspects of the tech giants: (though, it, too, appears to include some steering)
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v6KBGr5IzY

              “Good speech cannot counter bad speech unless people are willing to listen to the good speech.”

              Before people can be cognizant of good speech, they have to be willing to listen to people they may not be initially inclined to agree with. These opposing arguments and perspectives should be weighed, perhaps debated and refined, before accepting or rejecting them. Then the good speech will be winnowed and the chaff blown away.

              “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ~Aristotle

              “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” ~Robert Frost

              Makes me think of the Parable of the Sower a bit, too. “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word [good speech] and understands it.” Matthew 13:1-23

              1. Prairie Rose, the problem is that many people are not “willing to listen to people they may not be initially inclined to agree with.”

                Although in theory, good speech should be able to counter bad speech, in actuality, good speech is not able to counter bad speech for a subset of the population.

                1. Anonymous says:

                  “Prairie Rose, the problem is that many people are not “willing to listen to people they may not be initially inclined to agree with.”

                  Exactly. Nowadays, solidarity with one’s tribe, party or ideology is paramount. Liz Cheney listened to what she regarded as better speech, i.e., truthful speech, and she was vilified by her colleagues as a RINO and summarily cancelled from leadership for expressing her opinion. Total allegiance is demanded by Trumpists. In the zero sum game of our contemporary politics, any agreement with the opposite side is considered a betrayal because it undermines one’s narrative and lends credence to the opposition’s narrative both of which consequences are intolerable.

                  1. Jeff,
                    “Total allegiance is demanded by Trumpists.”

                    Total allegiance gets demanded by nearly any tribe nowadays.

                    Have concerns about the coronavirus jabs and you get globally labelled an anti-vaxxer who is selfish and doesn’t care about others. WTF.

                    Talk about shutting down discussion and seeking the truth. The madness of groupthink is tiresome. And the media (though Big Tech and plenty of politicians are part of this, too) does a lot to drive this nonsense, so I do not completely disagree with President Trump for labeling the big networks “fake news”. Mainstream manipulation comprises far too much of “news” coverage.

                    1. Rose says:

                      “Have concerns about the coronavirus jabs and you get globally labelled an anti-vaxxer who is selfish and doesn’t care about others. WTF.”

                      “Jabs” is a anti-vaxxer smear. I’m disappointed in your using that rhetoric. Not all “concerns” are rational. Those that are not are correctly dismissed as “selfish.”

                      You say:

                      “I do not completely disagree with President Trump for labeling the big networks “fake news”. Mainstream manipulation comprises far too much of “news” coverage.”

                      This is very discouraging to hear. I hadn’t realized that you were taken in by Trump.

                    2. Jeff,
                      ““Jabs” is a anti-vaxxer smear. I’m disappointed in your using that rhetoric.”

                      I am not particularly inclined to call them vaccines because most of them do not behave at all like traditional vaccines. They are closer to something like gene therapy. The mRNA tells your cells to express a genetically engineered spike protein. That is not at all like a traditional vaccine which would typically contain a live attenuated or otherwise inactivated microbe.

                      “Not all “concerns” are rational. Those that are not are correctly dismissed as “selfish.””

                      The concerns with the brand-new and rushed mRNA “vaccines” are rational and should be discussed. For instance, coronaviruses have a documented history of antibody-dependent enhancement. And, there is reason to be concerned about autoimmunity since our own cells are expressing the spike protein and immune cells could mistakenly lump together our own cells with the spike as part of “the enemy”. Then there is the potentiality for wayward lipid nanoparticles migrating far from the injection site before releasing the mRNA and how that can affect these sites.

                      A concern that is not rational does not mean that it is therefore selfish.

                    3. Unless you are professionally qualified to render an opinion in the field of epidemiology and mRNA technology, you’ll forgive me if I rely upon the accredited experts in their respective fields.

                      A “jab” is a pejorative. Do you describe all injections as “jabs?” Like the Flu vaccine? Or against tetanus?

                    4. Jeff,
                      “This is very discouraging to hear. I hadn’t realized that you were taken in by Trump.”

                      Huh? Being highly skeptical of the news because of their long history of funny business does mean I am “taken in by Trump”.

                      That news about Arbenz in Guatamala was made up out of whole cloth by Bernays. Plenty of other instances of honest-to-goodness fake news.

                    5. Rose says:

                      “Being highly skeptical of the news because of their long history of funny business does not mean I am “taken in by Trump.”

                      It is a matter of good faith. There is a difference between making an honest mistake and “fake news” which implies bad faith, that is, lying.

                      Anyone who throws around the slur “fake news” is the very definition of a Trumpist in my book (in addition to “witch hunt” and “hoax” all of which have now been mainstreamed by Trump)

                    6. Argh.

                      “does not mean”

                      That was a rather important ‘not’ to accidentally omit.

                    7. Jeff,
                      “There is a difference between making an honest mistake and “fake news” which implies bad faith, that is, lying.”

                      True. But, then, the media is still guilty of sometimes promoting ‘fake news’. They have probably been sometimes used as useful idiots, promoting things fed to them that they didn’t double-check. But, too often, they have, of their own volition, promoted ‘fake news’.

                      From 1995:

                      “When journalists reported on a new program, they usually characterized it as good news—the government tackling another problem—rather than as an addition to the budget and the deficit. Journalists conspired with politicians to create an image of a government fighting to end the deficit crisis, but they ignored the routine procedures that increased the deficit. As a result, Weaver writes, “there were no news stories about government adding to the deficit even though that was what was happening.”

                      The news media and the government have created a charade that serves their own interests but misleads the public….

                      Both parties know the articles are self-aggrandizing manipulations and fail to inform the public about the more complex but boring issues of government policy and activity.”

                      https://hbr.org/1995/05/why-the-news-is-not-the-truth

                    8. Rose quotes:

                      “Both parties know the articles are self-aggrandizing manipulations and fail to inform the public about the more complex but boring issues of government policy and activity.”

                      True. There is the adage “KISS”- Keep It Simple, Stupid.

                    9. “True. There is the adage “KISS”- Keep It Simple, Stupid.”

                      It does keep things simple for politicians and the MIC.

                      It is a subversion of democracy and demonstrates contempt for the populace–those who are to form the basis of a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”.

                    10. “No one in this world, so far as I know – and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me – has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.“

                      -Mencken

                    11. Jeff,
                      I am one of the “plain people” and I object. I am fully capable of making my own decisions and participating in self-governance. People need to be led, and they want good and wise leaders, but their participation should not be circumvented, undermined, nor manipulated. You will eventually break people’s trust, one of the most valuable things in a successful society.

                    12. Rose says:

                      “I am one of the “plain people” and I object. I am fully capable of making my own decisions and participating in self-governance. People need to be led, and they want good and wise leaders, but their participation should not be circumvented, undermined, nor manipulated. You will eventually break people’s trust, one of the most valuable things in a successful society.”

                      The masses are the asses. You are an exception to the rule as there always are.

                      There is no trust in this society anymore thanks to Trump. There were doubts among us before Trump’s arrival, but when he deployed the Nuclear option of “fake news” and “the media is the enemy of the people,” whatever faith in each other that remained was irrevocably shattered.

                      We are at war. The stakes could not be higher. Either the Never Trumpers are right or the Trumpists. There is no middle ground any longer. With Trumpists, you are either with them 110% or you are against them. The Never Trumpers for their part will never agree to move-on until everyone who pushed the Big Lie which caused the 1/6 riot is held accountable.

                      One side has to be totally delegitimized in order for our Republic to function again. There’s no other way.

                    13. I guess logic is not an attribute of those on the left.

                      If “The masses are the asses” – then quit arguing for democracy.

                    14. “There is no trust in this society anymore thanks to Trump.”

                      Actually that would be because of YOUR effects to depose Trump.

                      Trust in the media was destroyed BY THE MEDIA.

                      If you seek to be trusted – that is easily accomplished – Don’t Lie.

                      It is not complex.

                      Trump’s “nuclear option” only worked because it was true.

                      As Lincoln said – you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

                      If you call someone a liar once – many maybe all people might buy it – if you are credible at the time.
                      If you call someone a liar often enough – some people will buy it no matter what, but most people will reject you – UNLESS you are right.

                      Trump did not “nuke” trust in the media.

                      They did that to themselves.

                    15. Keep harping on the war rhetoric – and you will get an actual war.

                      1/6 was NOT an insurection. That is another of democrats and the media’s “stupid lies”.
                      Like the idiotic claim that Putin favored Trump in 2016.
                      Right the leader of Russia bent over backwards to elect as president a person whose openly expressed policies were directly harmful to Russia.

                      Just as you expect us to beleive that several hundred “insurectionists” all of which likely have a dozen of more guns at home, showed up at the capital for a planned insurrection without bringing their guns ?

                      How gullible do you think everyone is.

                      Regardless, to the extent there is a “war” – it is with YOU, not Trump.

                      Trump did not bring back slavery, or Jim Crow. Trump did not make the country more transphobic, homophobic, racists, anti-semetic than it was 40 years ago – or even 5 years ago.

                      We have a significant problem with growing hate in this country – YOUR HATE.

                      Obama made clear the democratic objective – Change – Bad change.

                      This is not about Trump. All he did was provide a voice for the people you were stepping on.
                      If Trump did not exist – it would have been someone else.

                      1/6 was NOT an insurection – but it is self evident that you, the left, democrats, the media are correct to fear an insurection.
                      If you continue your authoritarian streak.
                      If you continue to win elections solely through lawlessness and probably fraud – when all non-violent means have been exhausted – violent ones will be used.

                      Read the declaration of independence – the use of force to remove a government that has lost the trust of the people is legitimate.

                    16. We are in a period of significant danger – because so many people – the left, the press, democrats, even our courts have betrayed the public trust.

                      As the declaration of independence states – the legitimacy of government rests on the consent of the governed.

                      That consent only exists if there is trust.

                      Today there is not.

                      For good reason.

                      It is hard to hold Biden accountable – he is in decline. Does anyone expect he will still be be president though to 2024 ?
                      While he has personal culpability, no one is going to press that.

                      But we do not trust the press – because they have lied to us, over and over and over.
                      We do not trust the FBI, the DOJ, the CIA, the NSA, the “deep state” – because they lied – over and over.
                      because they abused their power – over and over.

                      We do not trust government more generally – because it has not behaved trustworthy.

                      We do not trust our courts – because they failed to even allow inquiry into an openly lawless election.

                      We do not trust democrats – because they have been caught in so many lies.

                      When trust in government is this low – the situation is very dangerous.

                      There was no insurrection on 1/6 – but there could have been – and it would have been justifiable.
                      And there still could be one.

                      The best remedy is to restore trust in government – that requires government to behave trustworthy.
                      That is not happening.

                      The longer government continues to erode our trust the more dangerous the situation becomes.

                    17. Jeff,
                      “There is no middle ground any longer.”

                      I disagree. That is where the Truth of many things is likely to be found.

                    18. Rose says:

                      “Jeff,
                      “There is no middle ground any longer.”

                      I disagree. That is where the Truth of many things is likely to be found.”

                      The Trumpists and Never Trumpers are each calling the other “liar.” Truth does not reside in the middle as if each side is half-right! When it comes to the election, it was either stolen by virtue of massive fraud or it was not. One side is lying.

                    19. “One side is lying.”

                      No, one side refuses to look to see where the truth lies. That is the Democrats and the leftists. That is you. You refuse to look while those you argue with have not drawn definitive conclusions.

                2. Anonymous,
                  “for a subset of the population.”

                  Depends upon the size of the subset. There will always be a percentage of people who won’t listen to good sense of some kind. That’s okay. Live and let live, maybe eventually they will be open to other points of view.

                  I suspect a fairly decent-sized portion of the population is open to discussing and weighing arguments. They need practice and perhaps good models because too often schools did not effectively teach persuasive writing and many people have not learned how to have exploratory conversations.

                  1. Let’s take an example that we’re all familiar with: George, who repeatedly argues in his comments here that only white men with property should be able to vote. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you respond to him. Do you think he should simply be ignored? Personally, I don’t think it’s good for society to simply ignore people who want to take other people’s rights away and who advocate such extreme bigotry. Views like his contribute to misogyny, racism, and classism in our society. I don’t assume that George is violent (there’s no way for me to judge that), but we know that some people with strongly bigoted views act violently towards those they want to oppress.

                    1. Anonymous,
                      I’ve responded to him a handful of times. He seems rather entrenched in his views (which are definitely a small subset in the nation overall). Trying to engage him on this is likely to be an extremely long, involved conversation. I am not opposed to this, but my time is precious and I am more interested in other topics. I already struggle to adequately discuss things I am interested in for lack of time and energy (I too often burn the candle at both ends to try to hold up my end of a good discussion). I have backed out of conversations on occasion because of time and knowing I would likely exhaust myself. The 19th Amendment was ratified 100 years ago; the general consensus seems to be that women can vote.

                    2. Aninny:

                      “Personally, I don’t think it’s good for society to simply ignore people who want to take other people’s rights away and who advocate such extreme bigotry.”
                      *********************************
                      So tell me? Should people with no skin in the game, i.e. those living off the largesse of society but perfectly able to work and pull their own weight be able to vote themselves more benefits at the expense of the productive? If so, why should anyone work? If there is no incentive to work, how can any society survive? Is universal suffrage such a moral imperative that you would destroy a society over it? True people have natural rights of self-determination but don’t you surrendar those rights by expecting others to care for you when you’re able to do so yourself and enforcing that form of economic slavery with the cudgel of your vote and those of your exploitive ilk?

                    3. Mespo wonders out loud:

                      “True, people have natural rights of self-determination, but don’t you surrendar those rights by….”

                      Nope. What god giveth, man has no power to taketh away.”

                      Proverbs X.X

                    4. JS:

                      Except, of course, the man who, by his own actions, gives them away for good or bad. That’s the entire point of the New Testament.

                    5. Is it? I wouldn’t know. I haven’t read it. I don’t like fiction…..

                3. Anonymous,
                  “that many people are not “willing to listen to people they may not be initially inclined to agree with.””

                  They have forgotten what it means to be fair-minded. Though, it is sometimes very hard to shift one’s thinking to see the other perspectives. Steel-manning helps, though.

          2. Rose says:

            “That people are prone to bias does not refute Professor Turley’s assertion about countering bad speech with good. It is more difficult to counter bad speech if people close themselves off from considering other viewpoints or subtexts.”

            It is incumbent for Turley to acknowledge this inescapable problem with his position and address it instead of mindlessly repeating “better speech” as a cure-all.

            What good is a vaccine if not enough Americans are willing to look out for the common man and take one for the team?

            1. “What good is a vaccine if not enough Americans are willing to look out for the common man and take one for the team?”

              You are an absolute idiot. I’m vaccinated but I recognize that vaccinated people can transmit the virus. You are terribly stupid and uninformed.

    2. “this obvious flaw in his theory that more speech will counter bad speech.”

      So what is your recommendation for countering what you consider “bad” speech? Is there a theory you endorse? Maybe a person — Cardinal Bellarmine?

      1. Yes. Humans should do what humans have learned to do in order to survive, namely, discriminate. Discriminate against those whose views are abhorrent. We won’t agree on what speech is worthy of ignoring and marginalizing, but that is beside the point. It is only important that we agree that shaming, shunning and ostracizing bad speakers, e.g., liars, are Constitutionally protected expressions of free speech and justifiable repercussions for lying.

  9. According to the plaintiff’s own filing, quoting from the Collin College Board Policy Manual, “The board of trustees may decide by vote or inaction not to offer any employee further employment with the college district beyond the term of the contract for any reason or no reason.” I assume nothing in the employment agreement conflicts with that. In fact, employment agreements I’ve been party to explicitly state I agree to abide by corporate policy manuals.

    On February 25, 2021, Collin notified Burnett her contract would not be renewed.

    ==============

    She wasn’t “fired”. The college notified her it was choosing not to renew her contract upon its expiration.

    Put the shoe on the other foot. Imagine at the contract’s expiration Collin offered to renew it but she decided not to accept because she wanted to do something else. Could Collin compel her to contract with it? Of course not. They’re free agents. They are both relieved of any obligation to the other upon the contract’s expiration.

    It looks to me like she’s trying to turn a contact dispute into a free speech case because her contract dispute has no legs.

    1. Troll McTrollface, Well said and it might also be worth noting that Collin County is among the most conservative, affluent counties in Texas. The county taxpayers fund Lora Burnett’s former employer. In opting to part ways, Collin County Community College was acting on an assessment that Burnett was a poor fit for its community. Two other professors met the same fate at the same time. The facts of inappropriate classroom behaviors will likely be presented at trial as well. The College depends upon the support and goodwill of the community it serves. The College removed these corrosive individuals, not because of the content of their speech, but because of their vulgarity, unprofessionalism, and general hostility toward their employer and their employer’s community-focused mission.

  10. I think this is interesting because free speech is one thing and unprofessional demeanor is another thing. When my father was a college professor there was a certain way that people behaved. When I was teaching it was completely different. People complain about millennials but frankly the faculty, none of whom could be remotely deemed “millennials,” seemed incapable of any kind of civil discourse let alone any kind of standards of professional decorum. Let’s take a few steps away and look at this without the right/left perspective. If she had said something like, “Mike Pence is utterly wrong for the following reasons,” that would be one thing. But her comment itself was a comment against free speech (Kamala Harris should talk over him until he is silenced) expressed in a profane and unprofessional manner. So what you’re basically saying is that her anti-free speech comment should be protected whereas the university’s right to hire people who express themselves like college professors and not fishwives is not?

      1. Rose,

        It is hardly surprising that Turley would argue for NO consequences for ANY speech by an academic regardless how utterly revolting or despicable. After all, he wants to protect as inviolate his own position as an academic.

        Correct me if I am wrong, has Turley EVER come across an incidence of speech so reprehensible that an institution could not in good conscience continue to employ such a professor despite the fact that he had otherwise been a model employee in every respect?

        There appears to be no limit to what a professor can say without suffering any consequences whatsoever unless he publishes child pornography or calls for imminent violence. Short of those two bright lines, Turley has never advocated- as I recall- shaming, shunning, ostracizing or disinviting anyone one for anything they may have said no matter how disgusting.

        1. It’s striking that Turley remains silent about John Eastman being pressured to resign from Chapman University for his role in Jan. 6:

          Chapman President Struppa on January 13:
          “After discussions over the course of the last week, Dr. John Eastman and Chapman University have reached an agreement pursuant to which he will retire from Chapman, effective immediately. Dr. Eastman’s departure closes this challenging chapter for Chapman and provides the most immediate and certain path forward for both the Chapman community and Dr. Eastman. Chapman and Dr. Eastman have agreed not to engage in legal actions of any kind, including any claim of defamation that may currently exist, as both parties move forward.”
          Eastman on January 14:
          “It is with mixed feeling that I announce my retirement from Chapman University today. … I have also enjoyed a strong working relationship with the University’s current President, Daniele Struppa, dating to my Deanship when he was serving as the University’s Provost and Chancellor. And I applaud his defense of me in particular and academic freedom more generally in this recent controversy. But I cannot extend such praise to some of my “colleagues” on the campus or to the few members of the Board of Trustees who have published false, defamatory statements about me without even the courtesy of contacting me beforehand to discuss. The political science faculty, for example, made numerous false statements of fact and law in their diatribe against me. They asserted, for example, that I have made “false claims” about the 2020 presidential election which “have no basis in fact or law and seek to harm the democratic foundations of our constitutional republic.” … The letter signed by 169 members of the Chapman faculty and Board of Trustees is even more scurrilous. It claims, falsely, that I “participated in a riot that incited” last week’s violence at the nation’s Capital. …these 169 have created such a hostile environment for me that I no longer wish to be a member of the Chapman faculty, and am therefore retiring from my position, effective immediately. …”

          Eastman’s memo, trying to convince Pence to reject the votes of some Electoral College electors didn’t become public til a few weeks ago: http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2021/images/09/21/privileged.and.confidential.–.jan.3.memo.on.jan.6.scenario.pdf
          A number of lawyers then wrote the CA Bar, asking them to investigate Eastman for professional misconduct:
          https://statesuniteddemocracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/10.4.21-FINAL-Eastman-Cover-Letter-Memorandum.pdf

          I wonder what Turley thinks about all of this. Does he agree that Eastman engaged in professional misconduct, or does he instead think this is an example of “cancel culture”? I doubt he’s going to say.

    1. Deborah,
      Well said.

      My daughter experienced an incident in college.
      She expressed a POV counter to the professors.
      The professor told her she was wrong and to shut up.
      Took the air right out of the room. Another student after class said that was f-ed up.
      The professor did apologize to my daughter later.

  11. “Nevertheless, in the past, I have defended extremist views on academic freedom grounds lie those of University of Rhode Island professor Erik Loomis, who has defended the murder of a conservative protester and said that he saw “nothing wrong” with such acts of violence. (Loomis also writes for the site “Lawyers, Guns, and Money.”) I have defended faculty who have made similarly disturbing comments “detonating white people,” denouncing police, calling for Republicans to suffer, strangling police officers, celebrating the death of conservatives, calling for the killing of Trump supporters, supporting the murder of conservative protesters and other outrageous statements.”

    Defend the murder of a Conservative Protestor…..defend Murder Professor Turley?

    Defend “nothing wrong ” with such acts of violence….really Professor Turley?

    Defend “detonating white people”?

    Defend “strangling Police Officers”…really?

    Defend “celebrating the death of Conservatives”….are you serious?

    Defend the “calling for the killing of Trump”

    If you genuinely believe that kind of speech is protected because it came from a College Professor….then Professor you have lost your mind.

    Let’s turn this around on. you….I am not a College Professor….I preferred to be in Law Enforcement and the Military…..what if I said exactly the same things except I targeted Liberal, Blacks, College Professors, Antifa/BLM Protestors and Obama…..what would. you day about my Free Speech Rights?

    Just because one happens to be a College Professor does not in any way grant them protection for advocating violence against others.

    I can assure you that were I on the Jury….such speech would not get my approval and the Dismissal would prevail.

    Professor Turley prides himself on being a principled Man and one who adheres to the “Honest Man” method….he should apply that to this kind speech and recall there are limits to Free Speech.

    1. I agree with you Ralph. Perhaps JT would defend the free speech rights of this individual who was arrested for essentially the same thing:

      A California man was busted for threatening to kill Rep. Matt Gaetz and shoot his children in a profanity-laced phone message to the Florida congressman’s office, reports said.
      https://dailytruthreport.com/man-arrested-for-threatening-rep-matt-gaetz/

      Burnett does have a right to free speech, but the college has the right to not renew her contract.

      1. Olly says:

        “Burnett does have a right to free speech, but the college has the right to not renew her contract.”

        BUT Turley says the college would be wrong to do so on account of her speech!

        1. BUT Turley says the college would be wrong to do so on account of her speech!

          Where in JT’s post does he say the college would be wrong to not renew her contract on account of her speech?

          For the record, I would agree that it would be wrong if they didn’t renew her contract based solely on her speech. He does state:

          After her COVID-19 tweet, Burnett was issued a formal “Level 1” warning. The college objected that the individual was in fact a former professor, Ralph Gregory Hendrickson, who has not taught at the college for a number of years. While I do not see the need for a formal warning, the objection is a valid one. Burnett’s tweet could have left people with the impression that there was an outbreak on campus. The college has also cited other grounds for not renewing the contract, including “insubordination” and making private personnel issues public that impair the college’s operations.

          If the college has properly documented other reasons that would support not renewing her contract, then their case would be solid. If they haven’t and this boils down to speech the school didn’t like, then I believe this would be a 1st amendment case.

  12. As much as I disagree with everything she had to say, I happen to agree with Jonathan Turley on this. She has a right to free speech, no matter how much I do not like one word, she had to say concerning VP Pence. So, it pains me to say this, I would have to be in the crowd supporting her right to free speech. Yes I am a Conservative.

    1. I couldn’t agree more with you my friend. I couldn’t. So far I have been so surprised that all of us have not turned to our news that we watch and all of a sudden we see where there’s been a sizable physical attack that led to people being murdered or people being shot, over this issue pertaining to free speech. I mean it. I really feel that for sometime now, our Nation as a whole has been soooooooooo lucky lucky lucky.

  13. Lora Burnett has a right to speak her mind. Let the court room of public opinion be the judge.

  14. A lady named Betty Parks refused to give up her seat on an airplane headed to New York. She had no mask, no vaccine and was coughing. She got removed from her seat and was put back in the terminal. She sued. She cited Rosa Parks case.

    1. “She had no mask, no vaccine and was coughing. She got removed from her seat and was put back in the terminal. She sued. She cited Rosa Parks case.”

      I’m pretty sure coughing in others is not protected free speech.

    2. I did not find a story about this incident.

      Airlines are requiring people to mask – you can not board a plane without a mask.

      Given all the lies and other fake stories why should this be beleived ?

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