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  • Freedom of Speech (except for LEOs)

    I'm a big fan of the 1st Amendment. I like being able to opine freely without fear of the Stasi kicking in my door and taking me to a re-education camp. Freedom of speech is uniquely American in its roots, and doesn't exist in most places around the world (an example this week was the journalist in China who was "forcibly quarantined" after talking smack about how the Chinese govt handled the coronavirus outbreak). And good luck when the goon squad comes for criticizing Putin or Kim Jung Il or the royal Thai family and dozens of other regimes, if you live under their despotic domain.

    This week, POTUS fired off an angry tweet criticizing the 7-9 year DOJ sentencing guideline for political operative/convicted felon Roger Stone. Within a couple of hours, poof!- the guidelines were gone (and, shortly later, so were four prosecutors). Senator Chuck Grassly was cool with it and said POTUS enjoys free speech, just like everyone else.

    Then yesterday, AG Barr said POTUS' tweets were making it impossible for him to do his job. The Whitehouse (in an act of obvious kabuki theatre) was cool with it and said Barr enjoys free speech, just like everyone else.

    So apparently free speech is in full bloom at the top tiers of government, and everyone is free to say whatever they so wish, without consequence.

    But what about in the bottom tiers of government, where the rank and file exist?

    Not so much. I can think of two examples off the top of my head where cops exercised their free speech and it didn't go so well. One was a state trooper who posted on FB that he was a garbage man, and his job was to take out the trash everyday. The other was a rookie cop who posted a pic in uniform with the caption "I'm headed out to wrangle up some monkeys." Three days later, his chief notified him the only thing he would be wrangling is a new job working midnights at Circle K.


    Question: can you speak freely here about your department (or whatever topic you so chose), or are agency minders watching and waiting with baited breath to pounce on anyone with a critical opinion or a non-PC comment??

    Last edited by Ratatatat; 02-14-2020, 07:29 AM.
    Chance favors the prepared mind.

    -Louis Pasteur

  • #2
    Freedom of speech is still there, but if you exercise it, be ready for the potential consequences. In its current state, freedom of speech is dying and will be dead soon. I call it the slow erosion of our fundamental rights, kind of like the slow whittling away of our second amendment rights, like gun control.

    Currently you can say things offensive and not face a jail sentence, but you better believe the "court of public opinion" will destroy you and your livelihood. Good luck holding down a job that's a career after being outed on social media for past offensive comments. This is how it starts when your rights are slowly taken away. What comes next is jail.

    If you are smart enough to care about your source of income/livelihood then you will keep your mouth shut. Doesn't sound much like freedom to me.

    However, on the flip side. When working for a public agency I do respect the need to be and speak impartially. You are the face of the government to the public and you should reflect what your employer wants. After all, as a LEO you are on duty all the time. And past/current comments contrary to your employer's beliefs can put some shade on your impartiality when you are out there enforcing laws/saving lives etc. etc.

    In this job, you must be impartial. That way you can enforce the laws even handedly and it helps you in thinking clearly when making a decision on a course of action. Ultimately freedom of speech is there, but it is wise to not take advantage of that freedom, it could bite you when exercising it.

    Like the old saying goes, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all."

    Comment


    • #3
      We’re all, ALWAYS free to speak our minds.

      But we must balance our thoughts, both spoken and written against the context in which they will be received by others.

      We’re ALL accountable to someone, regardless of our employment.

      Employees, CEO, purchasing public.
      Deputy, sheriff, voters

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Government is answerable to the people and, as a generality the most prominent influencers on Government are special interest groups and the media, of which, the most vocal and reactive of which tend to be of a leftist, progressive and/or liberal bent...and liberals haven't been really strong supporters of true freedom of speech for the last few decades, if not longer.
        The Government simply takes the easiest way out...which is to appease the anti-free-speech zealots who would otherwise be hammering them, while those who support freedom of speech are mostly left in the background, impotent and ignored.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
          I'm a big fan of the 1st Amendment. I like being able to opine freely without fear of the Stasi kicking in my door and taking me to a re-education camp. Freedom of speech is uniquely American in its roots, and doesn't exist in most places around the world (an example this week was the journalist in China who was "forcibly quarantined" after talking smack about how the Chinese govt handled the coronavirus outbreak). And good luck when the goon squad comes for criticizing Putin or Kim Jung Il or the royal Thai family and dozens of other regimes, if you live under their despotic domain.

          This week, POTUS fired off an angry tweet criticizing the 7-9 year DOJ sentencing guideline for political operative/convicted felon Roger Stone. Within a couple of hours, poof!- the guidelines were gone (and, shortly later, so were four prosecutors). Senator Chuck Grassly was cool with it and said POTUS enjoys free speech, just like everyone else.

          Then yesterday, AG Barr said POTUS' tweets were making it impossible for him to do his job. The Whitehouse (in an act of obvious kabuki theatre) was cool with it and said Barr enjoys free speech, just like everyone else.

          So apparently free speech is in full bloom at the top tiers of government, and everyone is free to say whatever they so wish, without consequence.

          But what about in the bottom tiers of government, where the rank and file exist?

          Not so much. I can think of two examples off the top of my head where cops exercised their free speech and it didn't go so well. One was a state trooper who posted on FB that he was a garbage man, and his job was to take out the trash everyday. The other was a rookie cop who posted a pic in uniform with the caption "I'm headed out to wrangle up some monkeys." Three days later, his chief notified him the only thing he would be wrangling is a new job working midnights at Circle K.


          Question: can you speak freely here about your department (or whatever topic you so chose), or are agency minders watching and waiting with baited breath to pounce on anyone with a critical opinion or a non-PC comment??
          Both of those quotes are incredibly tasteless and would get anyone fired anywhere else.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Saluki89 View Post
            Both of those quotes are incredibly tasteless and would get anyone fired anywhere else.
            Agreed. While I think some (many?) agencies are going overboard in censoring their officers in what should be protected under their 1st Amendment rights as private citizens, there have been and always will be certain limits on freedoms. Comments like these that are obviously going to portray the officers and department in a very negative light when viewed by the public are bound to have consequences from a employer/employee aspect.
            "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
            -Friedrich Nietzsche

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by SOCAleo View Post

              Currently you can say things offensive and not face a jail sentence, but you better believe the "court of public opinion" will destroy you and your livelihood. Good luck holding down a job that's a career after being outed on social media for past offensive comments.
              Twitter is especially bad with this. A person can say something like "trans women shouldn't be able to participate in womens sports", have the mob come after you and get a ban. Meanwhile Twitter doesn't ban/censor a video of women being stoned to death or a person being decapitated.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
                I'm a big fan of the 1st Amendment. I like being able to opine freely without fear of the Stasi kicking in my door and taking me to a re-education camp. Freedom of speech is uniquely American in its roots, and doesn't exist in most places around the world (an example this week was the journalist in China who was "forcibly quarantined" after talking smack about how the Chinese govt handled the coronavirus outbreak). And good luck when the goon squad comes for criticizing Putin or Kim Jung Il or the royal Thai family and dozens of other regimes, if you live under their despotic domain.

                This week, POTUS fired off an angry tweet criticizing the 7-9 year DOJ sentencing guideline for political operative/convicted felon Roger Stone. Within a couple of hours, poof!- the guidelines were gone (and, shortly later, so were four prosecutors). Senator Chuck Grassly was cool with it and said POTUS enjoys free speech, just like everyone else.

                Then yesterday, AG Barr said POTUS' tweets were making it impossible for him to do his job. The Whitehouse (in an act of obvious kabuki theatre) was cool with it and said Barr enjoys free speech, just like everyone else.

                So apparently free speech is in full bloom at the top tiers of government, and everyone is free to say whatever they so wish, without consequence.

                But what about in the bottom tiers of government, where the rank and file exist?

                Not so much. I can think of two examples off the top of my head where cops exercised their free speech and it didn't go so well. One was a state trooper who posted on FB that he was a garbage man, and his job was to take out the trash everyday. The other was a rookie cop who posted a pic in uniform with the caption "I'm headed out to wrangle up some monkeys." Three days later, his chief notified him the only thing he would be wrangling is a new job working midnights at Circle K.


                Question: can you speak freely here about your department (or whatever topic you so chose), or are agency minders watching and waiting with baited breath to pounce on anyone with a critical opinion or a non-PC comment??
                I'm not an old salt yet, but I've worked for the "gubbmint" (federal and local) throughout my adult life. I can think of several examples where someone's mouth (or social media posts) got them into trouble. I have a hard time believing this is something new. If you stick your foot in your mouth and embarrass your employer: you can get fired...that seems reasonable to me, regardless if your employer is a private company or the state. A citizen's right to speak freely without criminal prosecution at the hands of the state is not the same as a state employee's freedom to speak without administrative action. That's just my opinion...take it for what you paid for it.

                I'm a first generation American and grew up around family members who were rounded up and thrown in jail for simply speaking their mind against a communist regime. I have heard a lot of comments from contemporary politicians that **** me off...but seeing a cop fired for publicly calling American citizens (criminals or not) "trash" or "monkeys" is reasonable. If you don't possess the common sense to keep those kinds of comments off Facebook these days, I have no sympathy for any administrative action taken against you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Levithane View Post

                  Twitter is especially bad with this. A person can say something like "trans women shouldn't be able to participate in womens sports", have the mob come after you and get a ban. Meanwhile Twitter doesn't ban/censor a video of women being stoned to death or a person being decapitated.
                  Yea, double standards are the new norm in this society. Here is a link to an article with a video recording of a black woman saying that there are too many white people in the new Multicultural Center at the University of Virginia. She added that the white people needed to leave in order to create more room for people of color. Last I checked multicultural means all cultures. UVA put out a statement afterwards declaring that the center was built for white people too.

                  https://www.redstate.com/brandon_mor...uncomfortable/

                  Now, after watching it, would one consider this freedom of speech?

                  I support the woman's right to make her statement. I don't agree, but I celebrate her right to say it.

                  Imagine if this was a white person saying this to people of color? That person would be booted out of the college forthwith, fired from his/her professional job and banned from all social media etc. etc.

                  This is how it started for the Jews in Nazi Germany, the next step was they were banned from businesses and certain areas of the town in which they lived. After that the Nazi's created a gun registry and eventually confiscated all the Jews' weapons. Finally, we all know how it ended after the gun confiscation.

                  My point is, certain segments of society have full freedom of speech and other segments do not. Class warfare, or divide and conquer both are strategies of socialism/liberalism/leftist. Pit one class of people against the other so the mass is focused on each other rather than the real enemy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm retired- I can say whatever I want.

                    Comment


                    • Ratatatat
                      Ratatatat commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It's a beautiful thing, is it not, to not be concerned about an opinion....

                  • #11
                    Originally posted by SOCAleo View Post

                    Yea, double standards are the new norm in this society. Here is a link to an article with a video recording of a black woman saying that there are too many white people in the new Multicultural Center at the University of Virginia. She added that the white people needed to leave in order to create more room for people of color. Last I checked multicultural means all cultures. UVA put out a statement afterwards declaring that the center was built for white people too.

                    https://www.redstate.com/brandon_mor...uncomfortable/

                    Now, after watching it, would one consider this freedom of speech?

                    I support the woman's right to make her statement. I don't agree, but I celebrate her right to say it.

                    Imagine if this was a white person saying this to people of color? That person would be booted out of the college forthwith, fired from his/her professional job and banned from all social media etc. etc.

                    This is how it started for the Jews in Nazi Germany, the next step was they were banned from businesses and certain areas of the town in which they lived. After that the Nazi's created a gun registry and eventually confiscated all the Jews' weapons. Finally, we all know how it ended after the gun confiscation.

                    My point is, certain segments of society have full freedom of speech and other segments do not. Class warfare, or divide and conquer both are strategies of socialism/liberalism/leftist. Pit one class of people against the other so the mass is focused on each other rather than the real enemy.

                    I've seen that video, she A lacks self awareness, and B the reason she is able to get away with it scott free is due to the intersectional hierarchy theories plaguing educational institutions and media. The more oppressed you're considered/categorized in those theories, the more leeway is given regarding grotesque behaviour.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Levithane View Post


                      I've seen that video, she A lacks self awareness, and B the reason she is able to get away with it scott free is due to the intersectional hierarchy theories plaguing educational institutions and media. The more oppressed you're considered/categorized in those theories, the more leeway is given regarding grotesque behaviour.
                      It's really bad in university today. Even in grad school the hivemind of perpetual victimhood is prevalent in classroom discussion.

                      It's a worrying trend and the administration is either complicit with their nonsense or too afraid to confront it.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Saluki89 View Post

                        It's really bad in university today. Even in grad school the hivemind of perpetual victimhood is prevalent in classroom discussion.

                        It's a worrying trend and the administration is either complicit with their nonsense or too afraid to confront it.
                        The answer is fear.

                        Its a strategy. Fundamental rights, such as the 1st amendment right, afforded to the populace from the constitution cannot just be cancelled by those in power. Those in power would have to get two thirds of the states and super majorities in congress to actually change the constitution, or a judge who legislates from a bench. This would be a direct assault on the citizens of this country and a direct assault is easier to identify and fight back against. There is no way two thirds of the states and super majorities in congress would allow that to happen.

                        However, if you cause people to fear their exercising of that right, it is much easier to take that right away. This is an indirect assault and it is not as noticeable and as easy to identify, therefore not as easy to fight against. And if you are in control of the areas where people tend to exercise their 1st amendment rights, such as, schools, public institutions, media and universities, you really can do a number on deleting that right, without ever having to legislate it out of existence.

                        The other day I witnessed someone who really showed bravery in regard to exercising his 1st amendment right. I was impressed with his courage.

                        I was at my daughter's Army basic training graduation. A high ranking officer got up in front of all the parents and family members who had traveled to the Army base to see their son's/daughter's/relative's graduation ceremony. The high ranking officer said in the beginning of the speech that he wanted to thank "The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" for where he is in his life.

                        I thought that was awesome, but then another thing happened, which I thought was totally awesome too. The crowd of parents/relatives/spouses etc. began cheering and clapping in agreement. Not everyone of course, but I'd say a good majority of them did.

                        It was like a true breath of fresh air.

                        I only mention this because, the 1st amendment does protect him in saying what he said. But people won't say that typically due to backlash and fear of what could happen to them. A lot of people clapped and cheered not just because they believed the same as the speaker, but also because they were impressed with his courage. They too probably thought as I did that him saying such was a breath of fresh air to hear. The courage it took him to make that statement publicly was not the norm.

                        Fear is the reason people don't say what they really want to say.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Saluki89 View Post

                          It's really bad in university today. Even in grad school the hivemind of perpetual victimhood is prevalent in classroom discussion.

                          It's a worrying trend and the administration is either complicit with their nonsense or too afraid to confront it.
                          Theres a few reasons as to why those lines of thinking are gaining traction. One of the reasons today is that those theories i mentioned prey upon a persons capacity for compassion. On that premise if you can persuade a person to the point where giving up their own rights is compassionate, there will quite the number of people forgoing them (ex: hate speech). This is why you see people self censoring themselves, because they don't want to offend someone or a particular group (despite not intending to be malicious) that has been deemed oppressed.

                          As SOCAleo stated, there is also the strategy of inducing fear into people. I have noticed the fear stoking mainly when it comes around to the gun ownership debate. Along with the fear comes the never ending social shaming which ends up causing great harm to a persons way of life.

                          For the older people in the group, another reason that this is happening is because individuals from your generation (vietnam war era, and prior) now hold positions at universities. That might not sound terrible, but it is when you get people as professors who are self described marxists, communists, or revolutionaries who spew the evils of capitalism and lack the self awareness the suffering their ideologies have caused. Let me be clear I thought the communist argument was a crock of ****, until I saw a concerning number of people around my age (millennial) protesting with hammer and sickle flags on social media.

                          If you have an understanding of history, one of the things the intersectional movement seems to mimic the workers revolts of the past. The main difference being that instead of it being workers, the demographics being used to "fight the power" are those who are deemed oppressed based on their gender, religion, race, and sexual preference.
                          Last edited by Levithane; 02-16-2020, 02:04 PM. Reason: grammar

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Levithane View Post

                            Theres a few reasons as to why those lines of thinking are gaining traction. One of the reasons today is that those theories i mentioned prey upon a persons capacity for compassion. On that premise if you can persuade a person to the point where giving up their own rights is compassionate, there will quite the number of people forgoing them (ex: hate speech). This is why you see people self censoring themselves, because they don't want to offend someone or a particular group (despite not intending to be malicious) that has been deemed oppressed.

                            As SOCAleo stated, there is also the strategy of inducing fear into people. I have noticed the fear stoking mainly when it comes around to the gun ownership debate. Along with the fear comes the never ending social shaming which ends up causing great harm to a persons way of life.

                            For the older people in the group, another reason that this is happening is because individuals from your generation (vietnam war era, and prior) now hold positions at universities. That might not sound terrible, but it is when you get people as professors who are self described marxists, communists, or revolutionaries who spew the evils of capitalism and lack the self awareness the suffering their ideologies have caused. Let me be clear I thought the communist argument was a crock of ****, until I saw a concerning number of people around my age (millennial) protesting with hammer and sickle flags on social media.

                            If you have an understanding of history, one of the things the intersectional movement seems to mimic the workers revolts of the past. The main difference being that instead of it being workers, the demographics being used to "fight the power" are those who are deemed oppressed based on their gender, religion, race, and sexual preference.
                            You said you are of the Millennial generation. I'm Gen X, it brings me hope that you are of the mentality that you espouse in your posts. Thank you sir, maybe their is still hope for us yet! I have a feeling too, that there are more of you out there, but are in the shadows. Maybe they are called the silent majority.

                            Comment

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