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Changing The Rules

Jim Treacher: We are the vermin we've been waiting for.

As far as I know, the only precedent in presidential politics is the buffoonish antics of Lyndon LaRouche followers. And I don't think even he ever put out a "LaRouche Action Wire." Probably because he didn't think of it first. Not to mention that he's never had a chance in hell of winning.

Where is the outrage?

 
 

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74 Comments

Bill Maron wrote:

Jonah looks smarter and smarter every week. You can't call this anything but fascism, LIBERAL fascism.

Conrad wrote:

It's not just that they want to silence a particular critic. There's a real danger that Obama's supporters plan to use brownshirt tactics to seize control of the political process. Consider:

1. A recent form letter sent out to a list of donors to conservative causes, stating, in effect, if you contribute to organizations we don't like, we will investigate you and expose all of your dirty little secrets to the world.

2. Democrats plan to reimpose the so-called Fairness Doctrine, thus effectively pulling the plug on conservative talk radio.

3. The flagrant resort to criminal acts directed against political opponents, such as the hacking of Sarah Palin's private email account or the Congresswoman's son who slashed the tires of buses the local GOP was planning to use in 2004 to get Republican voters to the polls.

4. Increasingly violent and extreme rhetoric from the previously "post-partisan" Obama camp, saying they are "taking off the gloves," that Obama supporters need to confront independents and Republicans and "get in their faces", and the demonizing of McCain as a "dishonorable" racist, etc.

5. Suggestions emanating from liberal circles implying that Obama's defeat in November would unleash civil unrest.

I'm sincerely worried that these people are trying to destroy our civic traditions and turn this into some kind of third world dictatorship.

Jim Harris wrote:

This is not free speech. This is not "people expressing their opinion." This is people expressing Obama's opinion.

Jim Treacher expresses a willful misinterpretation of the First Amendment that, unfortunately, also arose in some recent aggressive judicial activism on the part of the Supreme Court. The First Amendment gives you the right to express any opinion that you want to express, whether it's your opinion or Obama's opinion or anyone else's. The only action that the Obama Action Wires have taken or planned is to rebut criticism. Rebuttal isn't censorship. If you conflate them, then you are on the road to turning the First Amendment upside-down and using it as an instrument of censorship.

The Supreme Court's decision in this direction was its strike-down of the Millionaire's Amendment in campaign finance law. Their decision in Davis v Federal Election Commission said that it's censorship for the government to "diminish the effectiveness" of one person's free speech by financing opposing speech.

The judicial activists who wrote this opinion have no real respect for precedent or consistency, so they may well ignore their own reasoning in future free speech cases. But if they, Congress, or the President did pursue the "diminish the effectiveness" theory, they could use it to nullify the First Amendment outright. They could declare that anything that they don't want said diminishes the effectiveness of someone else's protected speech.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-320.ZO.html

Rand Simberg wrote:

Leave it to Jim Harris to defend fascists.

Jim Harris wrote:

Leave it to Jim Harris to defend fascists.

That remark leads to an important unintended point. It's obvious in the West that Putin, for instance, has crushed political opposition and media independence in Russia. He is a classic anti-democratic strongman and almost a dictator. Did he accomplish this by declaring outright that he is a fascist who hates democracy? No, he is more cunning than that. Instead, his anti-democratic measures are cast as a campaign against fascism and oppression. That Russian journalist who was ambushed and beaten the other day? The police will look for his attacker in their own sweet time, but it's no big deal, his journalism was biased and he was a fascist. He was looking for trouble.

Since the day that you saw Goldberg's unaccountable book, or rather after you learned its title, you have used the word "fascist" about a thousand times on this blog. If everyone called people fascist at the drop of a hat like you do, it would open the door to actual state repression. And no, I'm not accusing you of repression. Not all that many Americans (at least) follow your example, so that your "liberal fascism" shtick isn't fascist, just stupid.

Rand Simberg wrote:

I didn't say they were liberal fascists. Just the common garden variety.

Carl Pham wrote:

Jim, as they say, when the facts are against you, argue the law. That's what you're doing, defending a narrow nitpicky legalistic point of view on what -- if, for example, George Bush was doing it -- you would otherwise view as outrageous thuggish behaviour.

The point Treacher was making by saying "this is not free speech" is hardly that what happened is without any kind of legal protection under the First Amendment. (Although, in fact, I suspect it is not protected. Harassment is not protected by the First Amendment, and I think any reasonable jury would conclude that this is harassment, from the fact that its purpose is expressly to shut down open discussion, and the fact that what is being said is not original, but merely the mass chanting of slogans.)

The point Treacher was making is that this is not the kind of speech the Founders meant to protect by the First Amendment, and it's not what most Americans would like to see legally protected. This isn't a minority viewpoint struggling to get itself heard. This is about a would-be majority trying to stifle dissent. It's ugly. The fact that it may technically enjoy some protection under the First Amendment is more a sign of the difficulty of designing a legal framework that protects liberty while discouraging license and verbal terrorism. (If you defend college "hate speech" codes, a clear restriction on free speech, you'll understand the difficulty.)

Decent Democrats should be ashamed of this -- especially because they're all about preventing "hate speech" and making sure minority viewpoints are comfortable expressing themselves, and there's very little that's more minority than a Republican opinion in Chicago. Decent Democrats should disown it, not defend it. It can only be defended if you take a cynical "ends justify the means" point of view, and think anything at all is reasonable if its goal is electing Barack Obama. Is that how you feel?

Raoul Ortega wrote:

Four legs good! Two legs bad! Four legs good! Two legs bad!

David wrote:

I can't believe anyone is defending this. Ok, let me put this simply:

This is a DDOS on conservative media.

A distributed denial of service, using email based communication to robots. If they did this to a web site (say, Amazon) they would be arrested as hackers.

It really seems to me that something we are missing in the US is a publicly condoned response to rudeness. Humans have evolved a very intricate social interaction mechanism where doing something that advances your own interests yet harms others (for example, drowning out all speech that you don't agree with) - it's called beating them up (or anger). It is a good response, because it allows society to move forward - some things must be sacrificed for the good of society.

Think about this - if conservative respond the same way, the result is speech gridlock. No one can talk, we vote at random with no information. Is that good? We need to be able to harm these people sufficiently to keep them from doing that harm to society. If not, our society will fail - any society that cannot defend itself does.

I don't know what is wrong with these people. I was actually wondering about Obama last night, considering if his presidency would really be that bad - this answers that question. Liberals think they are so much smarter than you that they shouldn't bother to let you speak - I mean what could you possibly bring to the conversation...

Jim Harris wrote:

If, for example, George Bush was doing it -- you would otherwise view as outrageous thuggish behaviour.

For instance, CBS was flooded with protest calls about "The Reagans" before it even aired, but no, it was not outrageous thuggish behavior. The protest calls were closed-minded and stupid, but they were still protected speech. CBS was also spineless for backing down, but that was its own mistake and not the fault of the protesters.

I think any reasonable jury would conclude that this is harassment

That is a cheap hypothetical until and unless a prosecutor files actual criminal charges. You could just as well declare that the calls were death threats.

The point Treacher was making is that this is not the kind of speech the Founders meant to protect by the First Amendment

If that was his point, he should have said so, but in any case it's your point. Well, that's another way to pervert the entire Bill of Rights: Hold a ouija seance for the Founding Fathers. The truth is that none of us speak for the dead; that's really a terrible way to defend individual rights. And the truth is that the Obama Action Wires people are only saying what they want to say.

Jim Harris wrote:

A distributed denial of service, using email based communication to robots. If they did this to a web site (say, Amazon) they would be arrested as hackers.

Actually, e-mail DDOS is just as illegal as any other kind; it has nothing to do with whether the target is a web site. If WGN Radio wants to claim DDOS, they should take their case to the police. Short of that, they are just pretending that Obama Action Wires broke the law. This is a very common form of calumny: "You didn't actually punch me in the face, but I'm going to talk as if you did."

Lying On Floor Kicking And Pounding In Terror wrote:

To annoy Simberg further, here's what 538 has to say:

Sarah Palin now has the worst net scores among the four principals in the race:

Palin's average favorability score is now a +7 -- about 10 points behind Joe Biden's numbers. Perhaps more importantly, these numbers are 10-15 points Perhaps more importantly, these numbers are 10-15 points behind where Palin's numbers were just a week or so ago. If voters come in not knowing very much about a candidate -- and the more they see of the candidate, the less they like of the candidate -- this is a major concern.

I just love it. The LIAR is seen as such by the American people. It's going to get even worse from here for this woman and the hero who picked her.

Any more predictions from you Simberg?

Bob wrote:

There is something about all this that I don't understand: wouldn't it make the advertisers and the radio show itself really happy? Wait, wait, don't answer yet. Here's my point: If the audience for one of these shows spiked "naturally", in a disorganized fashion, you'd get lots more people calling in, at least half of whom would disagree with whatever was being said (maybe more than half, because people might be more likely to call if something makes them angry). The radio shows would respond by setting up bigger call centers with more vetters. The advertisers would be thrilled, and the radio shows would be able to make more money on advertising.

In this case, a political campaign is encouraging people to pay attention the radio show. Yes, yes, it is all terribly rude. But isn't it a big money maker? And this controversy can only raise awareness of the radio shows, creating free advertising which will make even more money?

Seems to me that the only problem here is that transitional situations are difficult, and temporary situations are hard to take advantage of. But if the radio shows had known in advance that this would happen, and could have hired more vetters in advanace, or, alternatively, if Obama wins and his supporters continue to behave in the same organized way so that the radio shows can hire vetters accordingly, then no problem. And lots of profit. Right?

This is America. We invented the telephone network. We can handle any number of calls, given sufficient planning!

Edward Wright wrote:

ZDNET is reporting that Sarah Palin's email was hacked and messages stolen.

An "activist group" calling itself "anonymous" claims responsibility.

Sound familiar?

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Bob wrote:

A follow up: I just reread the Tribune article, and I realized that people could call to complain without listening to the radio show.

I should think that the solution would be that the radio show could place an advertisement for something at the beginning of the call. They could probably target the demographic calling to make it palatable. "Do the conservatives infuriate you too? Then you'll want to tune in to Kieth Olbermann tonight for "'Liar, Liar', a shocking expose!"

ken anthony wrote:

Blatant. These are mobsters and Obama is an organized crime boss.

Shutting down a radio station with a DOS attack is not the worst of it. They could screen the calls and have an in studio guest to get past all the calls that they don't take. If it ends up nobody gets to make a call it will be the idiots own fault, but at least they don't get to spam the airwaves.

If nothing is done, it's only going to get worse.

Jim Harris wrote:

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Ed, you don't need to lie on the floor and kick and pound in terror over this. Yes, guessing the password to a Yahoo account is a crime. The FBI should find the perpetrators and throw the book at them. But it's also true that "gov.palin@yahoo.com" is a bad place for state business, that subpoena loopholing is an even worse reason, and that choosing an easy password takes you from bad judgment to really bad judgment.

Is this what passes for executive experience these days? Palin might well make it to Washington one day, and the next time someone guesses her password, it could expose classified information. Now, I'm not remotely scared at any personal level, because the government doesn't run my life. But it feels unpatriotic not to be disappointed.

Carl Pham wrote:

For instance, CBS was flooded with protest calls about "The Reagans" before it even aired, but no, it was not outrageous thuggish behavior.

Ah yes, Jim, but those were spontaneous calls by people who were individually outraged. They were not requested and centrally directed by a politician. That makes all the difference in the world, mate. It's the difference between a spontaneous grassroots uprising and astroturfing.

We already know Axelrod (Obama's campaign manager) is a master of blogosphere astroturfing -- should it surprise us that he deploys the same cynical and juvenile tactics here? No it should not. These people are disgusting, although, honestly, pretty much par for the course in Chicago politics. (When I lived there, a guy ran for alderman from prison on the platform that gang members, since they were a serious force in the community, ought to have a representative in government. It tells you what Chicago, particularly South-side politics are like, that he was taken seriously. This is Obama's training ground, and it shows.)

That is a cheap hypothetical until and unless a prosecutor files actual criminal charges.

Mmm, no, Jim, it's not. I understand a little bit of what First Amendment law is like, probably from reading Eugene Volokh all the time, who's a nut on the subject and an experienced FA law professor. I'm also tolerably aware of how juries work, having been called from time to time, and I understand something of what my neighbors are like. If a jury were called from my community to decide whether this behaviour was harassment or protected political speech, I think there's a decent chance they'd vote for the former. It's a close call, to be sure, but if I were running this sordid Obama show, I'd be nervous about my chances in front of 12 solid citizens, unless they were from the South side of Chicago, of course.

If that was his point, he should have said so

He did say so, Jim. Everyone else got it, except for you. Maybe you should read more carefully? Without the Obama Must Be Elected Or The World Will End glasses on?

The truth is that none of us speak for the dead; that's really a terrible way to defend individual rights.

Oh good grief, Jim. How do you suppose the Supreme Court decides their FA cases? They have to begin by figuring out what was meant by the FA, how Madison or Marshall (say) would have ruled had he had the exact same facts in front of him. And they don't need to commune with the dead to do this, Jim, because we have this amazing invention called the written word which preserves what people think long after they are dead. You can look up what Madison said and thought in thousands of pages of discourse written in his own hand, and infer from there what he would think about a slightly different set of facts. It's not perfect, but it's not usually very wrong, and it's not rocket science. I dare say even you, from time to time, infer what people would think about a new situation from what they wrote about an old one.

And the truth is that the Obama Action Wires people are only saying what they want to say.

Of course. And if the McCain campaign recruited a bunch of six-foot tattoed weight-lifting skinhead volunteers to go down to a meeting between Obama and some undecided elderly nurses, where he was explaining his positions, and have them barge into the meeting hall and chant so loudly they drown Obama out Don't listen to that no-good nigger! He's fathered four children out of wedlock and has gay butt sex with domestic terrorists! why, those grassroots protesters would also only be "saying what they want to say." Would you be cool with that?

You need a little intellectual consistency if you want respect from anyone other than your fellow travelers. What's sauce for the goose needs to be sauce for the gander. If it's wrong when McCain and Bush do it, it's wrong when Obama does it. You've seen, for example, Rand berate McCain for being an economic idiot when he is. That gives him credibility when he berates Obama for the same thing. It's called principle, putting what's right and true before what's most helpful to your side in acquiring power.

Carl Pham wrote:

But it's also true that "gov.palin@yahoo.com" is a bad place for state business

Jim, first of all, what's your evidence that the Governor transacted state business from her private e-mail account? E-mailing her secretary to confirm an appointment next day doesn't count, of course. Anything important go out over that wire?

Secondly, what's up with this fanatical bright line between "personal" and "official," hmm? You ever originate or take business calls from your personal cell phone, home phone? Ever log in to the business network from your own laptop, on vacation? Ever -- gasp! outrage! -- actually send an e-mail about some low-level but business-related subject from your gmail or Yahoo account? Unless you're not a very busy businessman, or maybe not in private industry at all, just some sheltered academic, or you're a very strange obsessive-compulsive, then, yes, you have.

Granted, once you reach the levels of the White House, you've got to do stuff differently. George Bush used e-mail quite a bit as Governor of Texas, but he has not sent or received a single e-mail for any purpose whatsoever since becoming President. You need to be much, much more careful.

And not, by the way, because the evil Iranians are going to hack into the White House e-mail system and sniff out the order to bomb Tehran, but because some shitheads in the opposition and media are going to get your idle speculation about military options in Iran leaked to them, blow it all out of proportion in a media firestorm, and cripple your ability to get real stuff done.

Is this what passes for executive experience these days?

Yeah. What would you know about it? I know the CEO of my company personally, and he sends e-mail from "home" all the time, doesn't think twice. He needs to be in touch with people all the time, be on top of stuff. If he spent intellectual energy fussing about keeping some bright wall between official and personal, we wouldn't be beating the pants off our competition, like we are.

It's a typical obsession of the Left that things be Done Right rather than Done Well. This explains their bizarre fussing over whether the Iraq War was pursued In The Right Way rather than, say, whether it was won or not. In this case, the focus is not on whether Governor Palin governed Alaska well but on whether she did it in the approved manner. The concerns of academic dreamers, obsessive-compulsive sufferers without the ability to zero in on what's really important.

Jim Harris wrote:

Ah yes, Jim, but those were spontaneous calls by people who were individually outraged. They were not requested and centrally directed by a politician.

"The Republican National Committee Friday asked CBS to allow a team of historians and friends of former President Ronald Reagan and his wife to review a miniseries about the couple before it airs. ... [RNC Chair Ed] Gillespie said that if CBS denies the request, he will ask the network to run a note across the bottom of the screen every 10 minutes during the program's presentation informing viewers that the miniseries is not accurate. "

Yeah, that's real spontaneous, Carl. That's about as spontaneous as a brothel. But don't get me wrong, even Ed Gillespie's tricks were protected speech. And I'm also in favor of legalized prostitution.

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/10/31/reagans/

Jonathan wrote:

Yes, what Obama is doing is promulgating DDOS attacks. Unfortunately Obama's opponents allow themselves to be distracted by "free speech" arguments. This has nothing to do with free speech. Obama already has abundantly free speech via a web site, books and full media cooperation. What Obama is doing here is shouting down other speakers. It is no different from sending out hecklers to disrupt his opponents' speeches. It is thuggery.

Jim Harris wrote:

Anything important go out over that wire?

----

From: [Chief of Staff] Michael Nizich
To: sarah.palin@yahoo.gov
Subject: Using Royalty Oil to Lower the Cost of Fuel for Alaskans

From: Michael Nizich
To: sarah.palin@yahoo.gov
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL Ethics Matter

----

Nope, nothing important.

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/09/group-posts-e-m.html

Bob wrote:

Carl,

The NYT described, at length, Palin's obsession with using private email for anything important, so that, IIRC, all important email would be secret. If you (currently) type the following keywords into Google (palin, new york times, email), you get the following as the first hit:

Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes - NYTimes.com
The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/us/politics/14palin.html

Hey, Carl, please don't be offended, as I'm asking in the spirit of good fun, but in one comment, you extoll the value of being principled, and in your very next comment, you criticize the left for obsessing over doing things "right" rather than "well". You also place a lot of stock in being intellectually consistent! What is gong on? But don't stress out - this should be a fun conversation.

Leland wrote:

you extoll the value of being principled, and in your very next comment, you criticize the left for obsessing over doing things "right" rather than "well".

Perhaps Bob, you could explain your logic in trying to contrast Carl's first comment with his third?

My understanding of what Carl wrote is:
"Right" = Defending Obama on the basis that the action is speech and therefore "protected" by the first amendment.

"Well" = Disowning the action to squelch debate and other people's voices, because such action limits others first amendment protections.

"Right" = Conducting business using business assets only.

"Well" = Using the tools available to conduct business.

Perhaps you think freedom means the ability to drown out other peoples voices, and that's principled. Perhaps you think freedom doesn't mean using personal assets to conduct business.

Please Bob, tell us what is unprincipled about using yahoo email for business? I want to know what you think is wrong about that.

Bob wrote:

Leland,

It looks to me like Gov. Palin was using private email to make the citizens of Alaska's business unavailable to judicial review. I don't know if this is legal, but it certainly is unprincipled.

The New York Times article cited above contains this passage:

While Ms. Palin took office promising a more open government, her administration has battled to keep information secret. Her inner circle discussed the benefit of using private e-mail addresses. An assistant told her it appeared that such e-mail messages sent to a private address on a "personal device" like a BlackBerry "would be confidential and not subject to subpoena."

Ms. Palin and aides use their private e-mail addresses for state business. A campaign spokesman said the governor copied e-mail messages to her state account "when there was significant state business."

On Feb. 7, Frank Bailey, a high-level aide, wrote to Ms. Palin�s state e-mail address to discuss appointments. Another aide fired back: "Frank, this is not the governor�s personal account."

Mr. Bailey responded: "Whoops~!"

So, Palin uses private email in an attempt to avoid subpoenas. Regardless of whether this is legal or not, it seems unprincipled to make the people's business unavailable in the event of a lawsuit.

--

Of course I don't think it is ok to drown out other people's voices! Even on this thread, where I was discussing the business aspects (I think it is a boon for the so-called victim), I said it was rude (rude to the listeners, not to the radio station).

An Obama action wire, properly done, would ideally regulate the flow of people offering rebuttals to keep the conversation orderly and informative. The mechanics of this would be difficult. On the other hand, the radio station is quite capable providing orderly regulation, although I acknowledged that they might be swamped if a deluge came without warning.

Rand Simberg wrote:

It looks to me like Gov. Palin was using private email to make the citizens of Alaska's business unavailable to judicial review. I don't know if this is legal, but it certainly is unprincipled.

Does that also mean that it is "unprincipled" to not record every conversation she has concerning state business and storing the tapes for later "judicial review"? What is special about her emails?

At the federal level, the courts recognize something called "executive privilege," that allows free-ranging discussion without fear of having it exposed to the public, which might reduce frankness. Why should not a governor have the same thing?

Bob wrote:

Also, I was contrasting the last paragraph of Carl's second post with the last paragraph of Carl's third post. I have zero interest in attacking Carl - I always enjoy reading his comments. I just thought the lines of argument in his two successive posts were oddly juxtaposed. Palin's ethics are actually irrelevant to this observation.

Bob wrote:

Rand,

I agree with you. I can't imaging being the executive of anything if I couldn't have free conversations without worrying about an unseen future audience (ObSF: Asimov's The Dead Past; Clarke and Baxter's The Light Of Other Days). And I agree that there is nothing special about email.

That said, to be ethical and principled, one should play by the rules, and observe their spirit as well their technicalities. Palin could certainly have lobbied to make all of her email to be private, regardless of email address. But if the rules stated that email containing state business needed to be public, she would be unprincipled to deliberately subvert those rules. Her spokesperson apparently agrees, and offered the "untruth" in Palin's defense that all substantial business was copied to her public email.

Edward Wright wrote:

Is this what passes for executive experience these days?

Well, Jim, if you had any experience other than spamming boards that disagree with your ideology, I might take your comments seriously.

Jim Treacher wrote:
And the truth is that the Obama Action Wires people are only saying what they want to say.

No, they're saying what Obama wants them to say. And if the calls that went through to Rosenberg's show are any indication, very few of them gave any thought to it beyond those talking points. Yes, they want to say "Obama must win." Yes, they want to say "Obama's critics should not be allowed to disagree." Yes, they want to say whatever else is written down on Obama's official site. If you want to call that "free speech," I'd hate to see your idea of thuggish cult tactics.

But you'd know this if you'd listened to the show in question, which is available on their website and which I've linked to several times.

Rand Simberg wrote:

If you want to call that "free speech," I'd hate to see your idea of thuggish cult tactics.

Don't mind Jim Harris, Jim. He's my pet troll. We keep him around to prove that no one is completely worthless--they can always serve as a bad example.

Thanks for stopping by.

Edward Wright wrote:

That said, to be ethical and principled, one should play by the rules, and observe their spirit as well their technicalities. Palin could certainly have lobbied to make all of her email to be private, regardless of email address. But if the rules stated that email containing state business needed to be public, she would be unprincipled to deliberately subvert those rules.

So, Bob, when do we get to read all of Obama's emails? Or do these "rules" only apply to other people?

It's amazing how easily you turn a burglarly into an attack on the burgled. If Nixon was as good as you guys, he could have claimed that he was acting in the public interest. After all, those Democrats were discussing politics and government business on private phone lines so they must be trying to hide something!

Larry J wrote:

Gateway Pundit is saying that the punk who broke into Palin's email account is the son of a Tennessee state senator. If true, that's hardly a surprise. The punk said he did it trying to find something incriminating about Palin but in his own words:

I read though the emails ALL OF THEM before I posted, and what I concluded was anticlimactic, there was nothing there, nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I had hoped, all I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor. And pictures of her family.

Jim Harris wrote:

Why should not a governor have the same thing?

You're right, Rand. The official e-mail accounts of governors' offices should be and are protected by limited executive privilege. But Governor Palin wanted more than official protection. And in her quest to subpoena-proof herself, computer security didn't matter.

Bob wrote:

Edward,

The New York Times piece containing the revelation that she used private email for public business (to avoid subpoenas) came out well before her private email was hacked. Look at the quote from the NYT article excerpt I quoted above - it was clear what was going on just by looking at the "whoops" email in the public record. No burglary ws needed.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this
revelation is what put the idea in the hacker's head, but that's just speculation.

Larry J, the clerical stuff is the stuff of interest - see the Wired link that Jim posted above.

Bill Maron wrote:

Jim,
If you don't believe sending a mass email with contact information and an exhortation to mass call a radio show in an effort to stop someone else's free speech TWICE, to be anything other than fascist tactics you're being disingenuous. The more you try to defend it, the worse you look. His campaign calls the information lies and smears but doesn't explain why. They can't refute it so this is the only option left. But, if you want to keep defending the indefensible, go right ahead. It is humorous.

Edward Wright wrote:

The New York Times piece containing the revelation that she used private email for public business (to avoid subpoenas)

The New York Times also revealed that man would never reach the Moon because rockets cannot work in a vacuum.

We should believe the New York Times because...?

it was clear what was going on just by looking at the "whoops" email in the public record

It may be "clear" to a partisan apparatchik. It's not at all clear to someone who isn't on a witch hunt.

Anyone familar with government knows that ethics rules *require* certain types of business to be conducted outside of office channels. You may not know that, but a political reporter for The New York Times certainly ought to.

So, I repeat: When do we get to read all of Obama's emails? Or do you have one set of "rules" for your political enemies and another for your friends?

If you won't answer my questions, does that give me the right to defame you and burgle your email?

Bob wrote:

Edward, the comment by Palin's spokesperson makes it clear that the business Palin was conducting was, at the very least, appropriate for government email.

The rest of your post is a non sequitur, but yes, hacking is bad; denial of service is also bad; while a bit tardy, the New York Times printed the retraction quoted below shortly after Apollo 11's liftoff; and no, you may not burgle or even defame me, to the extent that a pseudonymous commenter on Rand's blog can be defamed.

"Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton, and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in the atmosphere. The Times regrets the error."

Edward Wright wrote:

Edward, the comment by Palin's spokesperson makes it clear that the business Palin was conducting was, at the very least, appropriate for government email.

As I said, it's "clear" only to a partisan zealot.

No fair impartial observer would interpret a statement telling someone not to email a government account as proof that it *was* appropriate to email a government government account.

no, you may not burgle or even defame me

Yet, it's fine for you to defame anyone who doesn't share your political views -- and whatever crimes your side commits are unimportant compared to whatever smear you come up with up?

Why is that, Bob? I keep asking and you keep refusing to answer. I wonder why.

"Quod Licet Jovi, Non Licet Bovi"?

Bob wrote:

Edward, you're not understanding what I'm writing.

I was not referring to Palin's aide, Frank Bailey who wrote "whoops", and I was not referring to the aide chastised Bailey. I was referring to spokeman described in this excerpt of the NYT article, also quoted above: A campaign spokesman said the governor copied e-mail messages to her state account "when there was significant state business."

Edward, I don't know why you think I smeared Palin. I don't know why you think I'm associated with anyone who committed a crime, against Palin or anyone else. Smears are bad. Crimes are very bad. Everyone should play fair. I don't know what in the world you want me to say beyond that. I hope you won't think this is too rude, but lets stop talking to each other. Thanks.

Brad wrote:

If Obama gets elected expect a lot more 'Chicago Way' thug politics and with the full power of the Federal government to back him up. And since the Democrats hold majority control of Congress you can forget about any oversight or checks and balances to get in Obama's way.

Karl Hallowell wrote:

Excuse me, but I'm puzzled what sort of subpoena protection having a Yahoo account provides Palin. It's simple to subpoena Yahoo to get whatever is in that account and the fact that Palin uses the account seems reason enough, assuming there's sufficient legal reason present to subpoena any of her email communications in the first place.

Edward Wright wrote:

A campaign spokesman said the governor copied e-mail messages to her state account "when there was significant state business."

Gasp! She copied state business to your state account?

How awful! So, now you want her strung up because she used her *state account* for state business? Funny, that's just the opposite of what you accused her of previously.

If you want to make slurs and accusations, then show some guts. Come out in the open and tell us your real name. A man who attacks women should at least show his face while he's doing it.

Edward, I don't know why you think I smeared Palin

It's very simple, "Bob." I've read your posts. Every one has been a hatchet job on Sarah Palin, starting with your demands that she be disenfranchised because of your wild accusations about alleged connections to the Alaskan Independence Party.

I'm still waiting for you to answer my question about Washington, Jefferson, and Adams, by the way. Should they have been disenfranchised because they were associated with an independence movement?

Even hiding your identity, you still don't have the guts to answer questions about your statements?

Everyone should play fair.

So, you think making secret accusations and declaring people guilty until proven innocent is fair? At least when Republicans are the target, I'm sure you wouldn't sanction such hits on your guy.

If you want to play fair, come out of the bushes. The Constitution says a person has the right to confront their accusers. Show your face and produce evidence to support your charges instead of just maligning people. If you have evidence.

No, "anonymous" witnesses are not proof of anything.

I hope you won't think this is too rude, but lets stop talking to each other. Thanks.

Sorry, Bob, but you haven't repealed the First Amendment yet. I have as much right to respond to your anonymous slurs as you have to make them. Your permission is not necessary.


Jim Harris wrote:

Excuse me, but I'm puzzled what sort of subpoena protection having a Yahoo account provides Palin.

Because they would argue in court that their personal e-mail is not part of the public record. This is what the Times said on this point:

While Ms. Palin took office promising a more open government, her administration has battled to keep information secret. Her inner circle discussed the benefit of using private e-mail addresses. An assistant told her it appeared that such e-mail messages sent to a private address on a "personal device" like a BlackBerry "would be confidential and not subject to subpoena."

At a bare minimum, the next governor will inherit the e-mail archives of all "state.ak.us" accounts. Even when state correspondence is protected by limited executive privilege, there is no ethical or legal rationale for Palin or her staff to confiscate it into retirement.

That was what Palin planned to do with gov.palin@yahoo.com, given that the account had no state registration, and that it had personal hockey-mom e-mail mixed in with everything else. Although now that there is direct proof that she put state business there, that should change the legal landscape.

The situation resembles what has happened to Alberto Gonzales. He was caught with classified papers in his briefcase, and his excuse was that he forgot the combination to his safe in his house. Neither his safe nor his briefcase were cleared for classified information. Maybe Gonzales is just a hockey mom.

Leland wrote:

I hope you won't think this is too rude, but lets stop talking to each other.

That's pretty funny. Bob gets the debate he wanted, and then runs off the stage. I'm still waiting for him to answer Karl's question. Indeed, I still haven't figured out how Yahoo email protects her legally? If Yahoo offerred protection from subpoenas, then every company would be using it.

And as Edward asked, what is unethical about copying personal email stuff into ones business account email? Half the emails I received from my business account this week is how to take care of my home in the aftermath of a hurricane. What's wrong with that Bob? Please, tell us.

When you are done explaining the evils of Palin, perhaps you can tell us the virtues of Obama's Action Wires? Indeed, that's the original topic of this thread. Or were you on topic by trying to claim Palin shouldn't be using Yahoo email? Wouldn't want a Rethuglican to be able to voice their opinion or send email, particularly with public means? Was that your point?

Bob wrote:

Karl,

The point is that Palin and her aides had the intent of avoiding subpoenas, not that it was necessarily going to be a successful strategy. I'm basing this claim on the New York Times article cited above. In ethics, intent matters.

If they thought this was a good strategy and in fact it is not a good strategy, that shows incompetence -- they should have talked to a good lawyer.


Leland,

I hope your home and neighborhood are ok.

There is nothing unethical about copying the state business from personal email back into the government email system. That's why the campaign spokesman claimed that this was what happened. I thought the spokesman's claim was notable because this confirms the NYT article claim that personal email was used for state business, while various commenters above questioned whether there was proof that it even happened at all.

Now you have to figure out what to conclude from the New York Times article, from the Wired link posted above, and the rest of the news coverage on the issue. If the New York Times article is to be believed, Palin was acting with unethical intent by using personal email for state business.

Regarding the original thread topic: I posted two on-topic comments above, as well as a bunch of asides about orderly conversation in other comments, and they got no response. You can still respond to them. Yes, the conversation about Palin's email is off-topic. Look upthread, and you can see when the topic changed.

Rand Simberg wrote:

I'm basing this claim on the New York Times article cited above.

Bob, is that the same New York Times that claimed that Sarah Palin was a member of AIP?

It's been quite a while since the Gray Lady has been considered a credible source around here.

Bob wrote:

What is a credible source around here? No source is perfect.

Rand Simberg wrote:

No source is perfect.

Not seeking perfection. Just one that hasn't been on a non-stop Jihad against Sarah Palin since the day her name was announced.

Bob wrote:

This article covers the same subject using different sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/09/AR2008090903044.html

Bob wrote:

And this article provides a more general non-partisan discussion of using private email for confidentiality purposes.
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080916-palins-e-mail-habits-come-under-fire.html

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Bob how in the world can you claim "a more general non-partisan discussion" for a link which includes specific reference to Palin in its title?

Yeah I know Ars Technica and I wouldn't assume any more lack of bias (towards getting eyeballs) from them than I would from Slashdot (i.e. no lack of bias at all: bias is actively encouraged).

The Washington Post isn't worth much more comment that the New York Times, there should be other choices than "defecated on and drenched in vomit" and "sprinkled with feces and lightly marinated in bile" unless of course such is portrayed as the "important news" in the first place.

Bob I'm unable find a reasonable explanatory justification except the very obvious for why you and others like you think speculation on possible intent (Palin) is a more important matter than openly encouraged and enabled fascism (Obama campaign).

And yes that is what it is, if the SA of the NSDAP had computers and the internet back in the late thirties it is exactly what they would have done.

Bob wrote:

HH,

The Ars Technica article has "Palin" in the title because Palin's use of yahoo triggered the conversation in the press. Do you have criticism of the article rather than its title?

Perhaps you (or perhaps even Rand, when he has the time, and if he has the inclination) would like to suggest what counts as a credible source around here.

I don't think one matter is more important than the other. Two other commenters changed the subject.

I don't think there is any Fascism at work here. If there was, I would be concerned.

I don't think the Obama Action Wire was intended to create a Denial Of Service attack. Why does everyone think it was? If it is having that effect, the Obama campaign should react by encouraging its supporters to not do that. But does each supporter know what the other supporters are doing? If lots of people are calling the radio station with pro-Obama comments, and they are getting on the air, no need to call, unless you have something unique to say, and the Obama campaign should say so. On the other hand, if no one is getting on the air, how can the other Obama supporters know not to call? If the radio show is swamped, it could be very well be an unintentional emergent property from lots of individual actors who don't know what the other actors are doing.

I do think - as I explained in a previous comment - that all of this activity is a potential boon for the radio stations in question. I think that over time, the radio station can fulfill their goal of providing an orderly and informative conversation by hiring more vetters, and they can fulfill their ultimate goal of making money by providing targeted advertising, as described in a previous comment above.

Finally, no that's not what the SA would have done.
Just as an experiment, I went to the Holoocaust museum website and picked the first article I found on the Sturmabteilung. Here's what I found:

"On May 6, 1933, students led by Storm Troopers (On May 6, 1933, students led by Storm Troopers (Sturmabteilung; SA) broke into the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin and confiscated its unique library. Four days later, most of this collection of over 12,000 books and 35,000 irreplaceable pictures was destroyed along with thousands of other "degenerate" works of literature in the book burning in Berlin's city center."

Calling a radio station in support of your political candidate is not equivalent to burglary, theft, and mass book burning. Look, even if the entire Obama Action Wire participation is entirely orchestrated, it isn't different - at worst - than marching around and chanting loudly while clogging the streets. The police cordon off such people, and if they obey police direction, they generally don't get arrested even though they don't have a permit. Such people are protesters. They are not brownshirts. In the case of the radio station, the cordoning should be provided by the radio station, which should be gleeful at the advertising opportunities (as described upthread.)

Leland wrote:

than marching around and chanting loudly while clogging the streets. The police cordon off such people, and if they obey police direction, they generally don't get arrested even though they don't have a permit. Such people are protesters.

Do you really think ordinary citizens should support Obama because he incites people to take the streets, chant loudly, and clog traffic?

Bob wrote:

Haha! No, Leland, I think protesters are usually morons. It takes extreme situations like the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989 to justify street protests.

But the original Obama Action Wire didn't actually suggest that people chant or clog things up. I'm not denying that moronic chanting and clogging happened, but I think it was inadvertent.

Obama doesn't necessarily share the views of his omst avid supporters. I was watching Obama on cable news today, and some protesters were waving KKK signs, and the crowd started chanting back. Obama immediately said (paraphrase) "Hey young people, it is ok for you to wave your signs, and everyone else just settle down and be quiet" and then he went back to talking about the financial crisis. I was glad he silenced the anti-KKK chanters -- chanting is annoying.

Jim Harris wrote:

But the original Obama Action Wire didn't actually suggest that people chant or clog things up. I'm not denying that moronic chanting and clogging happened, but I think it was inadvertent.

But you could well have denied it, because the Obama Action Wire never called for any rallies. All that they called for was an organized phone and e-mail protest. They responded to WGN Radio in exactly the same way that conservative groups have responded to media targets on many occasions, including for instance "The Reagans".

Except that in the case of the Reagans, the campaign was not to criticize a show that was aired, it was to prevent it from being aired. Talk about a Messiah complex: Reagan was long out of office, but it was still "Thou Shalt Not Criticize Reagan." It's true that emotions and opinions on both sides are running high six weeks before the election. But demagogues can malign any dead or retired Democrat or liberal and I would have little impulse to argue against it, much less protest it before it airs.

Jim Treacher keeps saying that scripted protests are censorship and not protected speech, but obviously they have always been protected speech. You don't have to be original or thoughtful to have freedom of speech. Even if you bleat with a thousand other sheep, it's still free speech. After all, one human version of it is called "singing".

There one other silly debating trick that has appeared several times in this discussion, that refutation equals acceptance. It reads like this:

Jane: Barack punched Stanley on the nose.
Joe: No, he said that Stanley's nose is ugly.
Jane: Leave it to Joe to defend nose-punching.

Leland wrote:

Obama doesn't necessarily share the views of his omst avid supporters.

But that's the issue with the Obama Action Wire. With the OAW, he is inciting his most avid supporters do to things that limit the speech of individual citizens. I think it is becoming more obvious that it doesn't bother you that a politician is requesting people does this.

Indeed, not only does that not seem to bother you, but you spent a great deal of time complaining about Palin using Yahoo email, rather than even being upset that emails on private accounts are now apparently free game for discussions. Is there any low that the left can go, and you finally decide that it is too much for you to continue to condone?

Karl Hallowell wrote:

Ok, the Ars Technica article does give a way this could happen. It still strikes me as flimsy protection. After all, once you find out one "private" email account has been used for public business, then you can subpoena all of them. Just discovering the aide's comment above about private email is sufficient, I suspect for a subpoena.

To be honest, that seems to be the extent of the controversy, at least in the absence of futher evidence. Palin uses private mail accounts *and* we have a suspicious comment about the resistance of private email accounts to subpoena. We still don't have that Palin actually uses those accounts in the way that has been claimed.

Several people are claiming "intent" without anything more than this flimsy proof. Often when there's a whisp of smoke there is some sort of fire, but we need to keep in mind that Palin's administration has been subject to a great deal of subpoeana mining by opponents of her administration. My take is that it's pretty easy even in the complete absence of wrongdoing to find mildly suspicious discussion and other communications when you have something like a year of material and the opportunity to portray what you find in out of context and in an unflattering light. I need more to take these accusations seriously.

Jim Harris wrote:

Rather than even being upset that emails on private accounts are now apparently free game for discussions.

Leland, if the subject line happens to be "Draft letter to Governor Schwarzenegger / Container Tax" and the sender happens to be Palin's Deputy Chief of Staff Randy Ruaro, then yes it is free game for discussion. The question is not whether that e-mail was in her private Yahoo account, it's whether it should have been there. The answer is no.

Let's say that pranksters broke into a Congressman's home and found $90,000 in cash in his freezer. Would you tell me that we shouldn't discuss that money because the Congressman has a right to kitchen privacy?

Jim Harris wrote:

We need to keep in mind that Palin's administration has been subject to a great deal of subpoena mining by opponents of her administration.

Yes we do, Karl. That means that there is not only smoke, but also kindling.

But let's say for the sake of argument that there was no talk about subpoenas from either side. Let's say that Palin just started shunting state e-mail to a Yahoo account for no reason, that it was just a hockey-mom thing. Then it would still be improper handling of government documents. Among other reasons, it would undermine the very "frankness" that justifies executive privilege. If you were a state official or businessman who shared sensitive opinions with Governor Palin, would you want your e-mail forwarded to gov.palin@yahoo.com?

Rand Simberg wrote:

That means that there is not only smoke, but also kindling.

No, it means that unlike most politicians, she not only has enemies in the opposite party, but from within her own, given her demonstrated propensity to clean the place up.

Jim Harris wrote:

No, it means that unlike most politicians, she not only has enemies in the opposite party, but from within her own, given her demonstrated propensity to clean the place up.

Yes, it's the old story of the enemy within. How do you tell the difference between a real reformer and a treacherous schemer? Basic common sense tells you that the real reformer makes a lot of friends and just a few enemies; the treacherous schemer makes enemies on all sides, including within his own camp.

How deep within in this case? One of Palin's big enemies is Walt Monegan, a guy who she hired herself about a year before he was fired. A year is all it took, and she had to fire his replacement after two weeks. If she is cleaning up the place, she's now sweeping up her own dirt in a circle.

But let's suppose that Palin was a great reformer, that she was the best house-cleaner that ever hit Juneau. Let's also suppose that every last subpoena swarming around Palin right now were completely groundless and partisan. Then it would still be wrong to stash e-mail in a Yahoo account to avoid those subpoenas. Even if you're a saint and a scoundrel stacks kindling in front of you, it's still wrong to play with matches.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Wow Bob can you look yourself in the eyes while saying that out loud?

Don't you see that removing words you disfavor and removing speech you disfavor is essentially the same thing?

If you don't recognize the act of removing speech in what others here have correctly identified as similar to a (Distributed) Denial of Service attack then you do not understand how (D)DoS attacks work and what they aims to achieve.

And no the US or anybody else cannot manage that kind of behavior be it from botnets or their flesh equivalents if it gets widespread enough or concentrated enough. Party organization, approval, and encouragement certainly won't help limit it (it was bad enough that Ron Paul didn't clearly distance himself from the automated spamming on behalf of his candidacy but what the Obama campaign has done is far worse).

Ever heard and understood "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."?

There's a campaign of a presidential candidate advocating the opposite. Starts with O but it ought to have started with J for Janus because two-faced is the name of the game they play.

Rand Simberg wrote:

How do you tell the difference between a real reformer and a treacherous schemer?

Well, by experience here, the easiest and most reliable way is to see who is supported by Jim Harris. If it's the latter, it's most likely the latter...

Bob wrote:

HH,

Please show me where any Obama campaign material encouraged a denial of service attack. Obviously they wouldn't say it explicitly, but where do they even implicitly talk about shutting down free speech via swamping behavior. Please show me where any Obama campaign material that in any way advocates the opposite of Evelyn Beatrice Hall's famous saying. (Yes, I had to look up the author!)

Bob wrote:

Seriously, all this talk about "credible sources", and you guys haven't provided any. Lets stick with original sources, from the Obama campaign. I'll admit I was wrong if you can provide any evidence.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

You're welcome Bob.

Here's "Hit 'Em Where It Hurts - Stop this Ad--Contact Other Advertisers" and the full text of that page is:
"Some TV stations are running a full-fledged attack ad from a right-wing group connected to John McCain that pulls in every baseless lie and re-hashed false assertion in the playbook to smear Barack Obama.

Contact companies advertising on these stations and tell them to take their money elsewhere.

Our online tool will help you share your voice.

To begin, click Participate. We'll provide you with talking points on this maliciously false hit ad to help guide you through the process."

Clicking "Participate" you first get a page with a list of companies and fields to fill out your name, mail address etc. Next you get a pre-written letter explaining this and that including why the spam targets AT&T, Comcast, Ford - Advertising, Ford - Media, GM -Buick/Pontiac/GMC, GM - Cadilac/Hummer/Saab, GM - Chevrolet, Toyota, and Verizon. In a panel on the same page are a few talking points, one can freely edit the mail content. The last page gives a preview of the letter as it will be sent with your e-mail address, name etc.

It's simply a semi-automated spambot and you can fill in whatever you want and claim to be whoever you want (but it all goes to at least one of those companies and they probably put the originating server(s) on their blacklists after a few hundred messages).

The companies were chosen because (from the pre-written letter) "...your company is advertising on some of the same TV stations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Virginia that are airing..." an ad from The American Issues Project.

The big deal is this guy (good picture eh? Seems like an honest guy and despite it all I can respect that).

I have no idea how many actually used the Obama spambot and it didn't manage to stop the ad but the intent of it all was pretty clear wasn't it?

I looked at some of the other stuff and it's all "meat-puppet nirvana" although they require more information from time to time and don't write your letters for you most of the time from what I could see (but I got bored and might not have a representative opinion of all of it, no way I'm going to spend the entire night typing in zip-codes from around the US to see what's going on).

About one of those phone spams of radio shows here's a link to the Obama Campaign's site. Here's another. I bet "be civil" turned out to be a really bad joke but it hardly matters.

I know these are not the only examples and why would they be? (But I'm not going to sign up to the Obama site to get you more).

Jim Harris wrote:

Contacting the advertisers is not censorship. You have the right to tell Ford that you won't buy its cars because its ads share air time with ads that you oppose. You have the right to say so even if you're wrong and you will buy Ford's cars, or even if you bleat it from a script along with a thousand other sheep. It's a hyper-partisan tactic and I don't admire it or participate in it. But it's neither illegal, nor unconstitutional, nor fascist. It's both protected speech and common political behavior.

This accusation against Obama is going nowhere. McCain still has a chance of winning, but not this way. Basically the whole "liberal fascism" meme is as bankrupt as Lehman Brothers.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Jim Harris except for your last four and a half sentences I sort of agree. Likewise national socialists also have a right to free speech. I think that's good and it's one of the opinions I've changed during the last ten years because I've come to realize how truly self-defeating censorship of opinions is.

Still the intent is clearly to encourage and assist in stifling opposing views, that is totalitarian and fascist. Not "liberal fascism" but straight garden-variety old fascism. National socialists wear those words as a badge of honor because it is what they believe in, good for them, but it is thoroughly unfitting for a party that calls itself the Democratic party and who claim to be against totalitarianism and fascism.

Yes the "Democrats" aren't the only ones who do it but please provide a similar example of another presidential campaign going to this length.

And one sees where it ends up: overeager brownshirts publicly advocating and justifying acts of violence against those that disagree. They even manage to do it in a way that is both fascist, racist, and sexist all at the same time.

There's your "protected speech" right there, all yours as long as you make sure to vote Obama'1932.

Bob wrote:

HH,

I appreciate your effort to research the issue, and thank you for trying to answer my question. I'm not persuaded, and here's why: Either we're talking about a denial of service attack, or we're simply talking about protesting what someone is saying (while allowing them to say it).

I'd say your links bolster the case that no denial of service attack was intended. The documents from the Obama campaign presuppose that a conversation is going to take place, or that the email is going to be read, things that wouldn't happen during a denial of service attack. Do a thought experiment: imagine the recipient of a denial of service attack has an infinite number of servers, and an infinite amount of bandwidth, all which are completely free (it is a thought experiment). Under those conditions, no one would bother with a denial of service attack. But under those same conditions, the Obama campaign would be encouraged -- it would be mean that each and every phone call and email would be received.

If we're not talking about a denial of service attack, then we are simply talking about run-of-the-mill protest, which of course, you want to protect. If two guys stand on the corner and yell back and forth at each other "Shut up"; "No, you shut up"; "No, YOU shut up!"; it isn't fascistic - it is just free speech. If an Obama supporter tells a sponsor that he is advertising on a show that is lying about Obama and might buy from a competitor if the lies aren't stopped, again, that isn't fascistic - it is just free speech. There are often economic consequences to speech, and that's part of capitalistic democracy. There isn't anything unique here -- people attempt economic boycotts all the time (and they seldom work).
I don't admire such boycotts. In contrast, I do admire calling the radio station and giving your side of the story. Assuming there is no denial of service attack intended, calling the station is just part of conversation you and I both think should take place.

Finally, you said "overeager brownshirts publicly advocating and justifying acts of violence against those that disagree. " I'm totally lost here. Where are the acts of violence?

Habitat Hermit wrote:

I just realized something intriguing about one of the topics while typing up a reply and I need lots of time to check it out (been unusually busy lately) so sorry Bob but this is my final comment in this thread. No loss I'm sure ^_^

And thanks!

Andy Freeman wrote:

Did "Bob" ever get around to telling us whether he thought Obama's attempts to shut down critical media outlets was good? Yes, we know that he thinks that doing so is free speech (a position that no one has argued with) and that he thinks that Reagan did the same thing.

Since he's equated the two, maybe he'll tell us whether or not what Reagan supposedly did was good. If it wasn't, then maybe he'll tell us why Obama's thing was different. Or, simply concede that it was bad when Obama did it too.

Bob wrote:

Andy, you are confusing me with Jim.

Bob wrote:

Also, apparently, you are confusing Reagan with a televsion show about Reagan. But you wouldn't be the first to do that!

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