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Boardman writes: "In Texas last winter, a working 18-year-old was jailed, and is still being held on $500,000 bail, because a Canadian woman reported a single, frivolous Facebook post that he had marked 'LOL' (laughing out loud) and 'jk' (just kidding). Ignoring those cues, local police went ahead and charged him with 'terroristic threatening.'"

Last winter, 18-year-old Justin Carter was arrested for making a 'terroristic threat' on Facebook. (photo: Muslim Public Affairs Council)
Last winter, 18-year-old Justin Carter was arrested for making a 'terroristic threat' on Facebook. (photo: Muslim Public Affairs Council)


Criminalizing Free Speech

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

09 July 13

 

You think the Wall Street Journal has no sense of humor? Think again.

n the Fourth of July - Independence Day - the Wall Street Journal ran a freedom-oriented story with a headline that began: "Teen Jailed for Facebook Posting …"

In Texas last winter, a working 18-year-old was jailed, and is still being held on $500,000 bail, because a Canadian woman reported a single, frivolous Facebook post that he had marked "LOL" (laughing out loud) and "jk" (just kidding). Ignoring those cues, local police went ahead and charged him with "terroristic threatening." Really? That is darkly humorous even in post-terrified America.

The Journal didn't frame the story as a First Amendment travesty however, even though by any rational measure a Facebook posting is speech, and the Journal, like most of the rest of us, has a thing about free speech sometimes.

In all too typical mass media fashion, the Journal framed the story with an irrelevant, sensationalist, semi-hysterical reference to the real shooting of real kids half a continent away, two months earlier, in a school in Newtown, Connecticut. The Journal omitted the possibility that Justin Carter was hardly aware of Newtown, but maybe that's more dark humor.

Maybe He Was Unaware of the News, or Maybe He Was Referring to Syria

"Justin was the kind of kid who didn't read the newspaper. He didn't watch television. He wasn't aware of current events. These kids, they don't realize what they're doing. They don't understand the implications. They don't understand public space," his father, Jack Carter, told KVUE-TV in Austin on June 24. This was the first significant news coverage of the case, which has now gone national.

To be fair to the Journal in its unfair framing and lazy journalism, the Austin Police bought into the "Newtown Massacre" framing from the start, not bothering, apparently, to investigate whether that panic-reaction had any basis in Justin Carter's reality. Or maybe the Austin police were being darkly humorous, too, since they didn't bother to interview their "terrorist" suspect for a month. The New Braunfels police waited about the same length of time to search his apartment, where they reportedly found no weapons or any other incriminating evidence.

This sorry story of law enforcement overreaction and incompetence began innocently enough in February 2013, when Carter and a friend, as they often did, were playing an online video game called "League of Legends." The game involves other online players interacting in real time. It is in the nature of the game, apparently, to talk trash to anyone involved, including strangers.

One Person's Trash Talk Turns Out to Be Terrorist Threatening in Texas

This time the trash talk spilled over onto Facebook, where someone apparently called Carter crazy or said he was "messed up in the head." Carter's mother, Jennifer Carter, talked about the event on freetoplay.tv on June 29:

February 13th was when he was playing League of Legends and I'm not sure, and no one seems to be sure, why it spilled over into Facebook, but it did. There were a few people involved in this argument and there was some post made on the site while they were playing and so when he was on Facebook the person whose Facebook page it was said "Well you're f****d in the head and crazy." And Justin, if you knew my son, is incredibly sarcastic.

He has a very sarcastic, dark sense of humor and he unfortunately said the equivalent of "Oh yeah I'm so messed in the head I'm going to go kill a kindergarten and eat their hearts." Immediately after his statement he posted "lol" and "j/k" and the argument continued from there, but the only evidence we have from the DA's office is a screen capture of his statement and the previous statement. Just Justin's and the previous statement.

Lynching Is Easier with Limited Evidence and No Context

The nature of that online exchange is all there is to this case. Facebook has removed the full exchange from public view. The police and prosecutor have chosen to cherry-pick the exchange in their court filings, omitting any context and perhaps part of the post itself.

As CNN reported it: "According to court documents, Justin wrote 'I'm f---ed in the head alright. I think I'ma [sic] shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them.' "

None of this would have mattered any more than the billions of other Facebook posts except that a Canadian woman, self-described as a "concerned citizen," launched into vigilante mode and discovered that there was apparently an elementary school close to an address in Austin where Carter once might have lived. So she called the Austin police and made her accusation.

At the time, Carter was 18, working in San Antonio, and living in with a roommate in New Braunfels.

The Authorities Arrested Him at Work, Then Acted as if It Were All Over

"The next day, February 14th, he (Justin) went to work," his mother explained. "The Sheriffs came to his job and arrested him. Then he was transported from San Antonio to Austin because the woman in Canada found his father's address where he used to live which is 100 yards from an elementary school. At that point, he sat in jail and bond set at $250,000. His father and I don't have that kind of money. We thought honestly that yeah that was a pretty bad thing that he said and we can see why they would be concerned after the shooting in Newtown happened a couple months before. So ya everyone was on edge."

Not unreasonably, Carter's parents expected the police to question him, investigate, and figure out that their son had a smart mouth, but wasn't a threat to anyone.

"We thought that once the police talked to him, which we thought would be that day, they would understand it was a stupid comment that he made, a dumb joke, and once they searched his home they would see there were no weapons and he wasn't a threat."

Why Would Anyone Expect Police to Be Conscientious or Thoughtful?

Instead, the police did nothing. The prosecutor did nothing. No one in the government did anything, except let an 18-year-old kid sit in jail where he was frequently attacked by other prisoners.

There was only one exception to the state doing nothing according to Jennifer Carter: "They went to his father's house [in Austin] a week after he was arrested and asked did Justin live here which his father said no, and they asked if he had any guns or permits for guns which Justin's father said no and that was it."

No one questioned Justin Carter at all for almost a month. He remained in jail, essentially ignored, and no one explained why. His parents advised him not to talk to the police without an attorney present, but he ignored that advice. Eventually, according to Jennifer Carter:

On March 13th he was questioned by the detectives and he thought best thing for him to do would be to tell the truth. He told them that yes he made the statement and it was a joke and I feel terrible. It was taken badly and I'm sorry for scaring people I didn't mean to. I didn't think people would see it or that anyone would be afraid of it. He told them that he did not live in Austin that he lived in New Braunfels and that was it.

Waiting a Month for a Search Warrant - Standard Police Practice?

Also on March 13, the police in New Braunfels applied for a search warrant to go into Carter's apartment there. In the search, the police found no weapons, explosives, manifestos of violence, or anything else to support the idea that the Facebook post was a real threat. The only evidence the police took from the apartment was Carter's computer. A week later, the Comal County Court in New Braunfels issued an arrest warrant for Carter, who was still in jail.

During that same period, the state transferred Carter from jail in Austin to jail in New Braunfels, because that's where he lived on February 13, and that's where he was when he made the critical post. The state also asked the court to raise Carter's bail to $500,000, and the court granted the increase, even though Carter's parents were unable to raise enough to meet bail at half that level.

At some point, the court appointed an attorney to represent Carter because he couldn't afford one. On April 10, a grand jury indicted Carter for making a "terroristic threat," a third degree felony under Texas state statute 22.07(a)(4-6), even though there's no credible evidence that he meets any of the law's six criteria for intent. Without intent, as defined by law, there is no crime. The charge carries a potential penalty of 2-10 years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000.

Some Indictments, as Is Well Known, Are Works of Fiction

The indictment claims that Carter intended - with a trash talk Facebook post to a stranger - to "cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service; place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state."

In May, Carter's court-appointed lawyer waived formal arraignment and a few weeks later Carter turned nineteen.

The prosecutor in the case, the Comal County Criminal District Attorney, is Jennifer Tharp, the first female prosecutor in the county. She was elected with about 81% of the vote in an uncontested race in 2011. The second oldest of 11 children, she described herself this way in campaign literature:

I was born and raised in Comal County, my husband Dan was raised here, and almost all our immediate family live in this county. My husband and I will raise our two sons here and I am personally vested in making sure that our county remains as safe as it was when my husband and I grew up here. We have wonderful memories of growing up enjoying the freedoms that come from living in a safe community. My mission as Criminal District Attorney will be to fight to preserve those freedoms.

County Prosecutor Jennifer Tharp Seemed to Want to Look Tough

She has taken a hard line on the Carter case, avoiding public comment and showing little sympathy for any of the case's anomalies. At some point she offered Carter a plea bargain: a sentence of only eight years. Carter turned it down.

Carter tuned it down even though he continued to be assaulted and battered in jail. His father Jack Carter told NPR on July 3:

Without getting into the really nasty details, he's had concussions, black eyes, moved four times from base for his own protection. He's been put in solitary confinement, nude, for days on end because he's depressed. All of this is extremely traumatic to this kid. This is a horrible experience.

Justin Carter is currently being held in solitary confinement, on suicide watch.

And Then County Prosecutor Tharp Seemed to Soften a Little

On July 3, Yahoo News reported what might be a softening in the prosecutor's office: "District Attorney Jennifer Tharp would not comment on the details of a pending case but said in a press release that the charge carries a potential penalty of two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A defendant never previously convicted of a felony may be eligible for 'deferred adjudication community supervision,' which, if served successfully, would not result in a criminal record."

That's better than eight years, but it's not the same as dropping charges that should never have been brought.

One apparent result of Carter's parents' efforts to publicize the case is that Justin Carter now has a new attorney, Donald H. Flanary III, who has taken on the case at no charge. On his San Antonio firm's web site (Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley) Flanary's statement begins: "I believe that when a citizen is accused of a crime, the best defense is a relentless offense."

Flanary filed his notice of appearance and promptly filed six motions in the case. Two days later he made another flurry of filings, including an application for writ of habeus corpus. A hearing on that writ is scheduled for July 16, and one of Flanary's goals is to get Justin Carter released.

Flanary Might Hold the State Accountable for Excessive Charges and Bail

"I have been practicing law for 10 years, I've represented murderers, terrorists, rapists. Anything you can think of," Flanary told NPR on July 3. "I have never seen a bond at $500,000."

New Braunfels police Lt. John Wells tried to sound sympathetic, calling the situation "unfortunate," but then went on to proclaim Carter guilty of the terrorist threat. "We take those very seriously," he said, although the interviewer didn't ask why he hadn't taken it seriously enough to investigate it carefully.

Instead, NPR's Elise Hu concluded with a comment that serves as a paradigm of the soft-headed unctuousness of most mainstream media coverage, tagging the story like this: "A painful reminder of how online comments can have real-life consequences."

At Least the National Review Showed a Bit of Moral Muscle

Getting it right was an Englishman, Charles C.W. Cooke, writing for the National Review Online. He opened by noting that Justin Carter was "ruthlessly stripped of his freedom for making an offensive joke."

He closed with: "Carter must be set free and this insidious precedent smashed to pieces. Our liberty depends on it."

In between, he noted that "it is not the place of authority to judge what is and what is not acceptable [speech], and it is certainly not the place of the state to designate casual discussion as 'terrorism.'"

He also pointed out that the universal application of sentimentalized pathos, referencing real tragedies like the Newtown killings, is as specious as it is irrelevant, and "does not come close to excusing the Texas police."

Cooke's critique applies equally to the Texas prosecutor, Texas jailers, Texas lawmakers - and all their ilk in other states - as well as most of the media, who can't seem to perceive injustice except, sometimes, when it happens to them.



William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+11 # barbaratodish 2013-07-09 12:34
I wonder if saying that ALL communication is flawed may get me in trouble! Guess the only way to "communicate" is subliminally.
 
 
+88 # Maturus 2013-07-09 12:49
Lucky he didn't happen to have a pressure cooker in the house!

For the benefit of North American readers, that comment was meant in jest and in no way condones the ownership of pressure cookers or any other cooking implement that may be found to be harmful when misused.

Oh, and if you're in Texas and someone is reading this to you, let the kid go, say sorry and hope he can get on with his life without having been too damaged by your idiotic over-reaction.
 
 
+51 # angelfish 2013-07-09 14:08
If God is Just and I KNOW HE is, I hope this young man sues ALL involved in his ILLEGAL arrest and detainment, and when released, NEVER again will have to work a day in his life, unless he wants to! This is DISGRACEFUL! Welcome to AmeriKa!
 
 
+10 # Malcolm 2013-07-11 08:30
Quoting angelfish:
If God is Just and I KNOW HE is, I hope this young man sues ALL involved in his ILLEGAL arrest and detainment, and when released, NEVER again will have to work a day in his life, unless he wants to! This is DISGRACEFUL! Welcome to AmeriKa!


If god exists, he/she is obviously not JUST. Were she/he just, Justin would never have been suggested to arrest, much less the rest of the crap he's gone through.

Just god. Yeah, right.
 
 
+54 # ladypyrates 2013-07-09 14:20
It would be really appropriate if Texas were besieged with phone calls pointing out that their judicial system is nothing more than a stud farm for jackasses...
 
 
+11 # NOMINAE 2013-07-10 14:47
Quoting ladypyrates:
It would be really appropriate if Texas were besieged with phone calls pointing out that their judicial system is nothing more than a stud farm for jackasses...


Sad part about that idea, is that Texas *knows* they are vile jackasses, but they are PROUD of it !
 
 
+5 # NOMINAE 2013-07-10 16:52
Quoting NOMINAE:
....Sad part about that idea, is that Texas *knows* they are vile jackasses, but they are PROUD of it !


CORRECTION: Amend the above to read the Texas JUDICIAL SYSTEM *knows* they are vile jackasses......."

My most abject apologies to the good people of Texas, of whom there are millions.

Nominae
 
 
+69 # DLT888 2013-07-09 14:23
This whole thing was BULL! Who arrested Palin and McCain (and other Fascists and Tea Baggers) when they made VIOLENT threats in their speeches against Muslims and blacks?!!! WHO? Who put their faces in the pavement and put cuffs on them and arrested them for inciting violence? Where were the police and DA's then? I am sick and tired of the -- one rule for the bad people -- and another set for everyone else.
 
 
+6 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-07-12 06:33
Very true and well said, DLT888!
 
 
+50 # Artemis 2013-07-09 14:24
Free this young man immediately!

If I were the Canadian woman who reported him, I would be doing everything in my power to reverse the damage I had caused.

This is so sick I cannot believe it. We allow our governments, film business and media to bombard us day and night with violent scenes for which they take no responsibility and then they punish us for replicating.
 
 
+45 # Vardoz 2013-07-09 14:31
I think we can expect, in the current climate, that our civil liberties will be ignored. We not longer have a Democratic Republic. We have a right wing corporate dicatorship that wants to make sure, we the people live in fear of speaking out, of protesting but people are exercising their rights never the less. look at the protesters in Wisconsin and TX and those who protested the XL pipe line in big numbers. People are protesting all over our nation. Service workers, protesting fracking, lack of jobs, same sex marriage. There are exceptions and cvoporations will try to tag people as terrorists but people are still speaking out. Except for whistle blowers that Obama has shockingly punished. Either he's scared and is just taking orders or they have brain washed him in some way. The days of the community organizer are dead and buried. Now he's just a tow faced liar like the rest of those running things.
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2013-08-07 13:47
Quite. The other day, in Wisconsin, in response to questions about Snowden, this fellow said that HE had nothing to complain about---since HE didn't commit illegal acts or "ILLEGAL SPEECH" --Apparently, THESE DOLTS KNOW ALL THERE IS ABOUT THE 2ND AMENDMENT, BUT NO ONE TAUGHT THEM MUCH ABOUT THE 1ST!!
tHOSE OFTEN-TOUTEC 'FREEDMS' AND 'LIBERTY' WILL BE A THING OF THE PASST. Watch out!!--- IT IS 1933 IN GERMANY AND THE BROWNSHIRTS ARE EVERYWHERE!!!!
 
 
+21 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-07-09 14:55
This is so outrageous. Unfortunately they will probably over charge him like Aaron Schwartz to try to get a plea deal so they can put another notch in their convictions column. We have over criminalized so much in this country it is estimated people on average commit 3 felonies a day. The problem with so many laws easily violated is that no human being can possibly know every nuance of the law. Not even actual lawyers can keep up with all the new laws. This gives the enforcers of the laws great powers of selective prosecution. With the use of the handy dandy NSA spying they can easily target whomever they wish for selective prosecution.
 
 
+37 # Billsy 2013-07-09 15:00
So, we can't charge or prosecute any investment bankers for major fraud, nor can we pass reasonable legislation to control the possession and use of hand guns, but we can target a youth with a terrorist act for something facetious posted on Facebook. The state of american governance gets uglier and stupider by the day.
 
 
+9 # Sully747 2013-07-09 15:03
What's the Matter with Texas...????
LOL.... jk
Of course I LOVE Texas and it's Rangers and Horses...a--s
 
 
+9 # RobertMStahl 2013-07-09 15:20
Thank you, William Boardman, for a real education when we need it more than ever. More importantly, perhaps, thank you Charles C.W. Cooke. If there is a mutiny on the Pequod, I will follow your lead. Some things are so dumb, however, they make Ahab seem white like a whale. Go figure.
 
 
+21 # tomwalker8 2013-07-09 15:30
I am so with Angelfish on this - set Carter free and sue these moronic, repressive "authorities" for many millions. I just wish I could sit on the jury when (if - I doubt they'll let it go that far) the suit goes to trial. Talk about flagrant and brainless abuse of power.
 
 
+20 # DaveM 2013-07-09 16:07
I was arrested on May 3rd for the same "offense". Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who can get the matter into the headlines. I strongly suspect that I am not alone, and that there are many out there who carelessly posted something stupid on Facebook and now are considered violent felons.

Oh brave new world....
 
 
+20 # AuntieTom 2013-07-09 16:43
This is totally unacceptable. I hope Flanary gets him released immediately and then sues the pants off Texas. I don't have much hope for the victim but perhaps he'll get his head straight after this serious mistreatment at the hands of his society and somehow miraculously be able to contribute something worthwhile to its betterment by trying to see to it that nothing like this happens to anyone else. I hope.
 
 
+18 # Jack Gibson 2013-07-09 17:11
Excellent article, William Boardman. (Yes, it's me saying that, believe it or not.) No propagandizing, only sticking to the real facts, and showing that as usual today the state is seeking to destroy another innocent person's life, violate freedom of speech, presume guilty, blow things way out of all proportion, and increasingly out of all proportion, make innocent free speech out to be the worst possible crime(s) imaginable, and (more and more) conduct witchhunts and make people out to be things that they aren't (because truth, particularly for "showmen", fame-seeking prosecutors, truth and innocence no longer matter---for most of them, it never really did, but it's only gotten worse).

Who says this entire country (the U.S.) isn't truly going totally insane on an express train to ever-greater hell on earth? For, if this case, and many others like it (most of which we don't even hear about, or much of anything about), don't prove that the whole country is going insane, I don't know what does. As, even in "investigations " where nothing turns up, the "presumption-of -guilt- and prosecution-and -conviction- machine" will roll inexorably on anyway, even without any evidence other than an off-the-cuff free-speech comment. This is madness, but it is just getting worse and worse; and it's only going to "end" with the country going completely "off the rails", if it hasn't already; which it has.

Everything has become so-called "terrorism" now, and free speech is supposedly dead.
 
 
+21 # MidwesTom 2013-07-09 18:08
This man should be freed immediately and given $1.0 million for his experience. The Prosecutor should be defeated in a special election. If Governor Perry wants to be seen on the national stage here is a perfect case to intervene in, and look like a hero.
 
 
+20 # JSRaleigh 2013-07-09 18:09
That's STUPID even for Texas!
 
 
+6 # MidwesTom 2013-07-09 18:17
We are suffering from the result of an electorate that does not follow or care about politics a long as they get their entitlement. A politician is elected today if he appeals to the right groups of the population, not because of what he stands for or believes. The more disinterested and uninformed the voters, the more power the politicians have, and the more power they have the less responsive they are to the citizens. This case is the end result of elected and hired government employees drunk with their own power. The more idiots that vote, the more power the elected officials have.
 
 
+4 # Malcolm 2013-07-11 08:34
Quoting MidwesTom:
We are suffering from the result of an electorate that does not follow or care about politics a long as they get their entitlement. A politician is elected today if he appeals to the right groups of the population, not because of what he stands for or believes. The more disinterested and uninformed the voters, the more power the politicians have, and the more power they have the less responsive they are to the citizens. This case is the end result of elected and hired government employees drunk with their own power. The more idiots that vote, the more power the elected officials have.


Yeah right. NOT. You suddenly seem to think that our votes actually get counted honestly?
 
 
+29 # Jim 2013-07-09 18:21
As a Canadian I am embarrassed by this woman's misguided zeal; perhaps I could recommend a good psychiatrist.

It also disturbs me to know that many fellow Canadians have been taken in by American hysteria perpetuated by the propaganda machine that is mainstream media in the US. One of the negative spinoffs of living next door to the world's most dominant culture.
 
 
+16 # Moefwn 2013-07-09 20:11
All I can do is apologize for our country, Jim. I'm still trying to figure out why almost no one seemed to understand that 99% of the stuff on tv after 911 was propaganda designed expressly to rile people up and excuse a pre-planned invasion of Iraq. It certainly seemed obvious to me at the time, yet to this day I have friends and acquaintances who can't get off the 9/11 bandwagon, which the government makes sure to stir up again every year with lots of news memorials and so forth. It genuinely frightens me how easy it seems to be to program a television-watc hing population. I'm very sorry to hear that Canada has some less thought-prone citizens as well. Good luck with them.
 
 
+6 # Jack Gibson 2013-07-09 21:18
Please don't insult True Human Beings with saying the U.S. has true culture anymore. We certainly aren't any example worth following any longer, at least by the example of "our" government; anymore than the "Canadian" government is any longer, following so much in the footsteps of fascist "Amerika" as they are. :)
 
 
+18 # propsguy 2013-07-09 18:37
years ago, in the early days of internet, a friend asked me to e-mail a digital photo of her new dog to her sister.
we titled the e-mail something real provocative like "your sister's new man" and sent it off.
well, the damned self righteous up-tight prude reported me to AOL as a PORNOGRAPHER!!! she certainly didn't bother to look at the photo.
my account was shut down until i was able to explain the absurdity of the situation to a human being who had some intelligence. needless to say, i never sent anything to anyone on behalf of that friend again!
just think, i could have spent all those years in prison being gang raped and held at a higher bail than a murderer! my god, what has this country come to? no one has a sense of humor?
i hope this kid makes it out alive. i hope his new aggressive attorney sues the crap out of everyone involved and bankrupts the "justice" system of texas
 
 
+9 # oakes721 2013-07-09 20:29
Ignorance With Spurs On! After inserting the Town Fool into THE top leadership position to terrorize the world with our leadership's unstable volatility ~ choosing random victims has become the order of the day.
 
 
+3 # reo100 2013-07-10 05:44
America is dead, so get over it people. The 1% controls everything and our material fantasies allowed it to happen. Stop buying anything that isn't required to survive. We seriously need to stockpile our money, yes every penny. Bringing the corporations down is crucial in order to restore our civility and constitution. I would gladly donate to the cause of helping those who become unemployed because we prevailed!
 
 
+9 # Political Cynic 2013-07-10 05:58
The sad thing is that the left and the right are BOTH guilty here-but we seem to only be outraged when the silencing is from the right. I see endless expansions of claims of "hate speech" being used to silence those who don't agree with feminists, or gay rights advocates. I see people fired from their jobs, censored on Facebook for disagreeing with the left-but the left is outraged if the right does it.

Where was the outrage when Facebook censored posts that were "offensive to women" (mostly posted by MHRAs and men) but left up posts about castrating men? Where was the outrage when feminists in the Scandinavian countries proposed laws making it "illegal to criticize feminism" (which is, by the way, simply a political ideology)? Where was the outrage when protesters tried to shut down businesses because the CEO didn't agree with their view on gay marriage (even though closing the business weuld cost innocent people their jobs)?

Yet here we are, screaming about Texas. My my...the inconsistency boggles the mind.

The young man should be released-he did NOTHING that warrants being in prison. However, as a society we need to take a long, hard look at what we are doing on BOTH sides of the political aisle-because BOTH sides are EQUALLY guilty of this kind of behavior. Using force to silence those we don't agree with is ALWAYS tyranny-no matter WHICH side you're on. If you aren't aware of this and what's really going on now, then you aren't paying attention.
 
 
+5 # NOMINAE 2013-07-10 15:05
Quoting Political Cynic:
The sad thing is that the left and the right are BOTH guilty here-but we seem to only be outraged when the silencing is from the right......


What a GREAT post ! BRAVO !

Absolutely accurate, SO IMPORTANT to be said ! When Obama became "uber-Bush", the left's roaring disapproval of Bush suddenly became a kitten's purr on the National level, leaving only a small, but vocal portion of the Left ready to call "B.S." upon *whomever* was shoveling out B.S. !

It's *supposed* to be about PRINCIPLE, people. Not freakin' *TEAM SPORTS* ! Whomsoever is violating *principle* needs to be taken down, hard and flat, even if s/he *IS* "your" guy or gal.

KUDOS Political Cynic, you are *not* alone !
 
 
+3 # AUCHMANNOCH 2013-07-10 06:18
Seems like America never did get over the Salem Witch trials and McCarthy era type head space. Reading this kind of shit that happens in America is like examining some strange and exotic planet that doesn't belong here on Earth in the 21st Century.
In fact seen from my end of planet Earth, what some aspects of today's U.S.A. strongly reminds me of is Bizarro World in those old Superman comics!
You all are living on Htrae!
 
 
+5 # NOMINAE 2013-07-10 15:19
Quoting AUCHMANNOCH:
Seems like America never did get over the Salem Witch trials and McCarthy era type head space. Reading this kind of shit that happens in America is like examining some strange and exotic planet that doesn't belong here on Earth in the 21st Century.
In fact seen from my end of planet Earth, what some aspects of today's U.S.A. strongly reminds me of is Bizarro World in those old Superman comics!
You all are living on Htrae!


Would that it were so, Mate ! If the U.S. were actually *in* "Bizarro World", or *on* "Htrae", our increasingly insane actions would *not* be so drastically affecting the *rest* of the world
so "right up close and personal" !

Time to dump national "zeal" and embrace one another as fellow travelers on a very small, and very finite Planet, hurtling
around the Sun at 67,000 mph. (You can convert that to kph !)
 
 
+4 # cordleycoit 2013-07-10 08:07
This is what America has come to, my fourteen year old wrote a death poem and it cost ten grand to get him out from under a terror threat charge brought by the local coo's mean daughter. He had to move out of state and it made a mess out of his life. This is a tactic to recruit prisoners by women pricuters wanting to look butch. Unlucky country to live in, America.
 
 
+12 # NOMINAE 2013-07-10 14:45
This sounds like an update on the story of *another* Carter, Reuben "Hurricane" Carter, unjustly accused of murder in New Jersey. Bob Dylan wrote a song about it, called "The Ballad of Hurricane".

The song just kept reverberating in my mind as I read this article.

When we have reduced ourselves to turning the full might of our American Arms against our own immature teenagers without the benefit of adult common sense, it is literally like sending a bulldozer after them, coming at full speed, downhill, in the DARK, without a DRIVER while the kid is trapped against a wall !

The only thing CRIMINAL going on here are the actions of the supposedly "responsible" adults !

No amount of money will *ever* erase the psychological damage being done to this kid who is being repeatedly attacked in a TEXAS JAIL while incarcerated on a totally PHANTOM charge !

There are some *adults* in THAT picture who are in need of some serious "time for reflection" in those self-same Texas jails.

Like THAT will ever happen !
 
 
+4 # Jack Gibson 2013-07-10 21:46
Right-on, "Nominae"! How about the movie, "The Hurricane", too? Wonderful movie! Probably Denzel Washington's best role and acting EVER, playing Reuben Carter; for which, though he did get a well-deserved "Golden Globe Best Actor" award, he should have gotten an Academy Award for Best Actor as well! It's one of the most excellent movies that I've ever seen, and that IS saying a lot! If anybody still hasn't seen the movie, please get a hold of it and watch it!
 
 
+4 # NOMINAE 2013-07-11 13:56
Quoting Jack Gibson:
........How about the movie, "The Hurricane", too? ........


Thanks for the movie reminder, Jack ! Yeah, Denzel can *really* "bring it". Especially when he's got a script like "The Hurricane" which allows him to stretch into his prodigious acting chops !
One of his best.

And also perfectly pertinent to the point of this discussion -focusing on the exposure of cretins who insist upon manipulating and mis-handling our massive legal machines, at the literal threat to life, limb, and physical freedom of their "targets", all to further their own petty personal agendas.

The more we shine light into these dark, dank, little corners, the fewer places these ghouls have to hide !
 
 
+4 # Lowflyin Lolana 2013-07-11 19:41
Thanks for that movie suggestion, I never saw that one.

*NPR*: Oh, god. What she said!!!!

I cannot understand for the life of me how one could look at this entire situation and not ask why this person was left to be repeatedly beaten up but not questioned for an entire month.

That's the part that makes this whole thing absolutely frightening. Welcome to Texas.
 
 
-6 # kochadoodledoo 2013-07-12 03:25
Seems like the only right we have left is to own and use assault weapons.
 

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