Late Night: Phelps and Free Speech

The United States Supreme Court has said it would consider an appeal from the father of a slain Marine who hopes to reinstate a $5 million verdict against Fred Phelps’ Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church.

At issue are rights of free speech versus the right of privacy. Richard Levy, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Kansas told the Topeka Star:

This is a hot area of First Amendment law. There are a lot of issues swirling around this type of case, and the court may feel it should step in and clarify the law.

The SCOTUS ruling could affect state laws designed to curb funeral protests and potentially affect free speech. I don’t like how Phelps protests, I don’t care for what he says in the least; it’s shoddy theology designed for maximum PR. But so what? WBC has the right to say it, in the same way Anonymous has the right to protest outside the Church of Scientology with signs that say “Holy Xenu! Stop the Cult of Greed and Lies!” or morans have the right to march holding placards depicting whoever is president now as Hitler/Stalin/Mother Theresa.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend unto to death your right to say it

wasn’t actually written by Voltaire, to whom the above quote is oft attributed; it’s a paraphrase of Voltaire’s attitudes by Evelyn B. Hall, possibly based on a letter the French philosopher wrote to Abbe le Riche in 1770:

Monsieur l’abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.

Free speech–even Phelps’ troglodyte, hate-filled screed–is a necessary component of democracy. But as groups like Steal This Protest, the Pastafarians, Sabotage & Dialogue and others show, Phelps’ hate can be diffused.

Lets Keep it Fun, Funny, Clever, Stupid, and Absurd
and avoid the mean, hateful, political, or confrontational.

This is a party not a protest.
This is a celebration not a confrontation.
This is humorous and provocative street theater where we will respond to hate with love, humor and absurdity.

At the San Diego Pride Parade, the Phelpsbots are kept in a specific area with a horse patrol keeping them apart for the parade. The “God Hates <insert noun here>” crowd can bullhorn and shake their huge signs all day as they face the rear ends of the police ponies who um, kinda poop a lot when stationery.

Meanwhile, the publicity-loving, America-hating Phelps family is eagerly awaiting their moment before the Supreme Court:

Shirley Phelps-Roper, a church leader and daughter of Westboro founder Fred Phelps, said her sister Margie Phelps is likely to argue the church’s case before the Supreme Court. Shirley Phelps-Roper and Margie Phelps are licensed attorneys.

Phelps-Roper said it’s God’s will that the church gets to appear before the nation’s highest court. Regardless of the ruling, she said it’s a “win-win” for the publicity-hungry church.

“You know how hard we’ve worked to get in front of them?” she said. “We came to the kingdom for this hour.”…

Westboro’s adherents argue that the First Amendment is designed to protect speech the majority may not want to hear. But Phelps-Roper is ambivalent, noting that man’s law won’t matter much when America meets divine wrath.

“Her destruction is imminent,” she said. Laughing, she added: “And it’s going to be marvelous.”

The Phelps are bughouse loony, and satire and humor are great uses of free speech to point out their utter craziness. With clever counter-protests, rather than matching their hate with anger, the WBC can be handled, cooled and made to go away.

Limiting speech simply because the message is uncomfy sets a dangerous precedent.

And dancing frat boys kinda makes free assembly worth keeping too.

100 Responses to "Late Night: Phelps and Free Speech"
newtonusr | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:07 pm 1

Hey Lisa!
I love/hate reading about the Phelps’.


egregious | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:08 pm 2

Exasperating. Thanks for covering this story Lisa!


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:09 pm 3

same here…and this is a weird one to parse.


DrDick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:10 pm 4

All right! I can haz commentz turned on!

Agree completely, though I am not sure but what laws creating a safe zone around private events like this (say no protesters within 300 feet like at abortion clinics) would not be an acceptable compromise


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:11 pm 5

Free speech vs privacy…


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:15 pm 6
In response to DrDick @ 4

That’s what I am hoping for…and that counter protesters don’t buy into the anger, but instead LAUGH


OldFatGuy | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:15 pm 7

I wish someone would dig into this and expose where they get their money.

I’d bet dollars to donut holes someone associated with the Republican Party is at least one provider.


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:15 pm 8

Can’t remember where it happened, but at least one Phelps Hate Brigade appearance was countered with a telethon of sorts sponsored by a local bar. The owner took pledges of a certain amount for every minute the Phelpsists were within city limits, the total to be given to a gay-friendly charity. I hope it pissed Phelps off something fierce to work against his own cause.


lbjdem | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:18 pm 9

Betting the SCOTUS decision will somehow either:

a) limit the finding in favor of Phelps/Westboro to this one case, without saying anything clear or meaningful about free speech in general

or

b) make it clear that Phelps/Westboro’s free speech rights only exist because they incorporated


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:19 pm 10
In response to OldFatGuy @ 7

I thik they have made some money suing municipalities for free speech issues..

I oftne wonder where the anti globalization anarchists and the Revolutionary Communist Party get their $, too…maybe the same source LOL


DrDick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:20 pm 11
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 8

They showed up here about 8 years ago and the students basically ran them off. No violence or abuse, just constantly challenging them and contesting everything they said.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:21 pm 12
In response to lbjdem @ 9

re (b): Is that because corporation are considered to be “individuals.”? And how does that cover them?


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:21 pm 13
In response to lbjdem @ 9

b) make it clear that Phelps/Westboro’s free speech rights only exist because they incorporated

A depressingly plausible outcome.


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:22 pm 14
In response to OldFatGuy @ 7

Roy Ashburn, is that you?


DrDick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:22 pm 15
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 12

According to the Roberts court, corporations are the only true persons under the constitution.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:25 pm 16

From 2007 Baltimore Sun

Eight pages of documents submitted in U.S. District Court in Baltimore by the church and three of its members – and made public at The Sun’s request – reveal they have a net worth of almost $1 million but do not fully explain how the church is able to fund its picketing near military burials across the country.


OldFatGuy | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:25 pm 17
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 14

Who in the heck is Roy Ashburn???

And what in my comment makes the connection?


CTuttle | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:25 pm 18

Which side is the Solicitor General is arguing, Lisa…?


DrDick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:27 pm 19
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 16

Richard Mellon Scaife?


Kelly Canfield | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:28 pm 20

As much as I simply loathe and detest the Phelps Circus, I agree that they should be able to spew their vile tripe.

Phelps and their clones are very intense and it’s wild getting up close with them.

From the DNC in Denver 2008, I got in the middle of them closing the 16th Street Mall for a bit.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:30 pm 21
In response to CTuttle @ 18

The Phelps are representing themselves.

re: funding, the WBC website is a little slow tonight (hmm DDNS?), but they answer that question their FAQs


Hugh | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:31 pm 22

In Brandenberg v. Ohio (1969) the Supreme Court distinguished between speech (violent overthrow of the US government by the KKK) and actions to that end. It found that the speech was protected but the action was not. So while Phelps has a 1st Amendment right to assemble and protest, the real questions are where and when he and his followers may do so. As for the family of the slain Marine, the question for them is do they a right of action and was the reward appropriate. With this flakey Court, it hard to predict how they will come down. They could decide against Phelps on the action but for him on the judgment in the sense that they could send the reward amount back to the lower courts for reconsideration.


Cujo359 | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:32 pm 23
In response to DrDick @ 15

Plus, there’s no such thing as the right to privacy, because the word P-R-I-V-A-C-Y is not in the Constitution. (Of course, murder isn’t mentioned there either, yet it seems to be illegal.)


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:33 pm 24
In response to DrDick @ 19

LOL.

Why not fund both sides equally and see if Darwin was right?


aardvark | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:33 pm 25
In response to OldFatGuy @ 7

Have to wonder if Koch is somewhere back in this hole.


OldFatGuy | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:34 pm 27
In response to Cujo359 @ 23

The word “firearms” appears nowhere in the Constitution either, even though, according to my Webster’s Dictionary, the word “firearms” was around looooooooooonnnnngggg before the U.S. Constitution was written.


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:35 pm 28
In response to OldFatGuy @ 17

Ashburn is the anti-gay-rights California state senator who got forced out of the closet after he was picked up on a DWI outside a gay bar a few days ago. He insists he will continue voting the “will of his constituents,” the self-loathing bastard.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:36 pm 29

FYI, per Wall Street Journal

The Westboro group, bearing such signs as “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “God Hates You,” along with more vulgar messages, complied with local ordinances. It wasn’t until Cpl. Snyder’s father, Albert Snyder, saw television coverage of the protest that he learned of it. Mr. Snyder later discovered a screed on the church’s Web site attacking him for raising his son a Catholic and supporting his service in the armed forces.


OldFatGuy | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:37 pm 30
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 28

Oh.

Yeah, heard about that (read it here IIRC).

Must’ve forgotten the name. They say the memory is the first thing to go, and then next thing is……. I can’t remember.


DrDick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:37 pm 31
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 28

the self-loathing bastard

At least we can all agree with him about that.


Cujo359 | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:37 pm 32
In response to OldFatGuy @ 27

Guess they figured “arms” was close enough.


CTuttle | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:37 pm 33
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 21

Did the ACLU file an Amicus brief for the Phelps…?


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:37 pm 34

But Phelps-Roper is ambivalent, noting that man’s law won’t matter much when America meets divine wrath.

“Her destruction is imminent,” she said. Laughing, she added: “And it’s going to be marvelous.”

Hey, Shirley, how many fingers am I holding up?


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:37 pm 35

Howdy ‘pups.

The Phelps clan is real piece o’work. I lived in NE and NC Kansas for 11 years all told. They were a plague upon the land then. Now they’ve gone national, and I’m so very sorry.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:38 pm 36

Okay, now watch THIS IS WHERE IT GETS WEIRD: The Kansas City Star reports:

The day of the funeral, Snyder was forced to enter the church’s service entrance to avoid protesters. Not knowing what to expect from the Kansas congregation, local police set up a mobile command post and deployed a SWAT team, Snyder recalled.

Even though his mind was on his son, Snyder said he couldn’t ignore the protesters and their signs. One proclaimed that his son was “raised for the devil.”

“You don’t stand 30 feet from the entrance to a church with a sign depicting two men having anal intercourse,” Snyder said. “That wasn’t freedom of speech; it was harassment.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:38 pm 37
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 28

He’s the gay anti-gay rights California State Senator from Bakersfield.

He raises self-loathing to an entirely new level.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:39 pm 38

so whihc was it? Did he see the funeral on TV and get upset, or have ot enter through the side door because they were out there, along wiht SWAT teams?


aardvark | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:40 pm 39

Maybe I missed something here, but isn’t the central issue in the original law suit being damaged by the speech? That is, the plaintiff sued based upon the emotional trauma inflicted by Phelps. Would seem to me we could agree that words can hurt, and that if I am hurt by words–I know, this is a treacherous slope–that I have the right to recourse, and then let a jury decide what my damages are. This is very difficult, and having been the subject of vicious and patently untrue attacks on the internet, I suppose, when push comes to shove, I have to come down on the side of free speech, hurtful as it might be. Phelps makes me wish I could believe again in hell.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:41 pm 40
In response to DrDick @ 4

I can haz cheezburger


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:43 pm 41
In response to aardvark @ 39

Phelps’ Westboro Community Church makes an outstanding argument in favor of hell so that there would be an appropriate place for them to end up.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:43 pm 42
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 40

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.


OldFatGuy | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:44 pm 43
In response to Cujo359 @ 32

The point is though, that “arms” means weapons, bascially all kinds of weapons. “Firearms” are specifically guns, or, IIRC technically something that shoots using gunpowder.

The assholes that for years and years decried “judicial activism” never blinked an eye when the SCOTUS took the term “arms” and reduced it to guns, and not just guns, but certain guns (while it maintained others could remain regulated).

I don’t know how you can more “activist” than that.


ThingsComeUndone | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:46 pm 44

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend unto to death your right to say it

Mess with a funeral you very well may get your wish the Supremes do not need Phelps getting hurt protesting another funeral for our troops. This could discredit the Right with the troops so I expect the Supremes to rein him in.
Karl is a spider pulling strings he does not want Hate Protesters tainted by attacking the troops and even worse loosing.


aardvark | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:46 pm 45
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 41

I did once write a letter to the editor suggesting Phelp’s obsessions with gays was merely projection of his own orientation. They didn’t print it.


Hugh | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:47 pm 46
In response to Cujo359 @ 23

Plus, there’s no such thing as the right to privacy, because the word P-R-I-V-A-C-Y is not in the Constitution. (Of course, murder isn’t mentioned there either, yet it seems to be illegal.)

The Supreme Court often acts as if there was no 9th Amendment but there is:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:47 pm 47
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 26

That’s difficult to say. Freddy Phelps was an attorney once-upon-a-time, but he got disbarred in Kansas Courts for abuse of process and some shady dealings that I’ve forgotten about now. Thank doG for that.

He then practiced exclusively in the Federal Courts until the Federal judges couldn’t stand his shenanigans any longer and he had to give up his law license entirely.

Most of the Phelps clan are lawyers.


Kelly Canfield | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:48 pm 48

Eugene Volokh has a few posts about this case


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:48 pm 49
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 42

I can haz newzlezzer?


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:51 pm 50

Oh, and I’ll give a free eternal subscription to my newzlezzer to anyone who knows where Freddy Phelps Sr got his undergraduate education.

If memory serves correctly, his J.D. is from Washburn University of Topeka. But his baccalaureate is from someplace else.

A hint: Think obvious, think bias, think segregation.


DrDick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:52 pm 51
In response to Hugh @ 46

The Roberts Court would flatly deny any such provisions. all rights are clearly enumerated in a fashion discernible only to those of sufficiently conservative perspective.


aardvark | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:52 pm 52
In response to Hugh @ 46

But, in point, the SCOTUS did find there was a right to privacy; this is a doctrine; question is whether Roberts and his gang will overturn that doctrine.


newtonusr | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:53 pm 53

If ‘Lefty’ had shown up at Bob Novak’s funeral and shouted “D-Bag of Liberty’, and the like, they would have been removed.

just sayin


CTuttle | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:53 pm 54
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 50

Regent U…? ;-)


oldgold | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:54 pm 55

There is a right to privacy in the Constitution. It is called the Fourth Amendment.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:54 pm 56

wow, WBC’s website is def having some slow loads…hmmmm. If my tin foil wasn’t at the milliners, I’d say DDNS

here’s an interesting thing from the site:

1955-2010 © Copyright Westboro Baptist Church. You may use any of our material free of charge for any reason.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:55 pm 57
In response to CTuttle @ 54

Too new a school. Freddy’s got to be in 70s if he’s a day.


DrDick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:56 pm 58
In response to aardvark @ 52

The Roberts’ court has consistently disregarded and disdained any and all precedents which did not advance their desired outcome. To call them activist would be to understate their position.


OldFatGuy | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:57 pm 59
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 56

Ok, I gotta ask cause I just went to the urban dictionary and it wasn’t there.

What is DDNS?


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:57 pm 60

From WBC FAQ:

Can I donate money to you? Can I buy one of your awesome shirts?

No, you cannot donate money to us. We don’t accept donations. We don’t want your money. We don’t make merchandise of the Gospel. “Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” (John 2:16). “Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.” (3 John 1:7). Likewise, we don’t sell shirts. If you want one, go to a local shirt-maker near you and custom-make your own.


OldFatGuy | Tuesday March 9, 2010 08:59 pm 61
In response to oldgold @ 55

Yep.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:00 pm 62
In response to OldFatGuy @ 59

probably my bad tyoing. i meant Distributed Denial of Service DDOS and my fingers hit the N instead of the O


ThingsComeUndone | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:01 pm 63

Does Free Speech mean that people can disrupt a funeral which is often a religious thing and even for Atheists its sacred?
Church is separate from the State I think funeral’s qualify as church even for Atheists besides what public good does Free Speech at a funeral serve.
The public good is better served if Phelps does not end up saying the wrong thing to stressed out Troops who very well might have guns.


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:02 pm 64
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 60

Why do I doubt that these are “frequently asked” questions…?


DrDick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:02 pm 65

Time for me to toddle off. The corrupting continues in the morn. Take care all.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:03 pm 66
In response to DrDick @ 65

Good night, Dr.D.


Hugh | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:04 pm 67

BTW there is a good screed by Bob Herbert at the NYT on jobs.

http://www.nytimes.com//2010/03/09/opinion/09herbert.html

Herbert is coming to be the only editorial writer at the Times I look forward to reading.


Hugh | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:07 pm 68

DrDick at #58

The Roberts’ court has consistently disregarded and disdained any and all precedents which did not advance their desired outcome. To call them activist would be to understate their position.

I usually refer to these 5 as radically consevative: Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Scalia, and Kennedy.


Kelly Canfield | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:08 pm 69
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 63

Read Eugene Volokh here:

If the speech fits within “one of the categorical exclusions from First Amendment protection, such as those for obscenity or “fighting words’” (p. 18 n.12) it might be actionable. But if it’s outside those exceptions, then it can’t form the basis for an intentional infliction of emotional distress or intrusion upon seclusion lawsuit — regardless of whether it’s “offensive and shocking,” or whether it constitutes “intentional, reckless, or extreme and outrageous conduct causing … severe emotional distress” (p. 23).


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:09 pm 70

speaking of jobs, Phelps has this theory that Obama will have American breeding for cash to feed the babies to starving Africans! wow, that is INSANE

Can you name a single place in the world that needs food more than Africa? Imagine how Bloody Beast Obama will be licking his chops at the thought of using the billions of dollars of fake money to pay a lot of worthless young white women to bear children, and nurse them for a year or so, in order to ship those freeze-dried plump white babies to Africa to meet their food needs? And just imagine the slimy slippery words he will use to lull this nation into thinking that is just a great idea! After all, we need jobs!


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:10 pm 71
In response to Hugh @ 68

Kennedy is quasi-rational part of the time. I’m not sure if it’s based on when his most recent Halcyon dose was taken or not.

In any event he’s not nearly in the same league as Roberts, Alito and Scalia. Thomas is Scalia’s Shabbes goy.


Kelly Canfield | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:14 pm 72

Somehow, I never saw Shabbes Goy coming…


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:15 pm 73
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 70

I see that Freddy hasn’t improved in the least with age. At least Dean Swift was funny (and original) when he wrote A Modest Proposal.


newtonusr | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:15 pm 74
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 71

Thomas is Scalia’s Shabbes goy.

That is very good.


Hugh | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:18 pm 75
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 71

My impression of Kennedy is that if you can frame an argument to depict an action as infringing on the Court’s turf you can get him on board. But the rest of the time he is every bit as bad as the other 4, and has on big cases, it seems, been voting more with them.


Kelly Canfield | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:18 pm 76

Now, mishugina, I coulda seen THAT coming…


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:20 pm 77
In response to newtonusr @ 74

It’s more socially acceptable than what I was thinking, and just as accurate. Actually, maybe more accurate.


newtonusr | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:23 pm 78
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 77

My first take would have been ‘piss-boy’, but Shabbes goy – yeah, that’s it.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:24 pm 79
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 76

Mishuganeh fits too.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:24 pm 80
In response to newtonusr @ 78

I like Mel Brooks too : )


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:26 pm 81

how long will this case take to hear and be decided, and will we be able to follow the arguments?


Kelly Canfield | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:29 pm 82
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 79

Und meshuggeneh. ‘Vey’z mir.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:33 pm 83
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 81

Too long.

Not a chance that the opinion(s) authored by Roberts and Company will be understandable to anyone not thoroughly polluted by Corporatist legal views.

In other words, a typical Roberts decision.


Kelly Canfield | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:41 pm 84
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 81

Well, can’t find an exact time rule, but the certiorari rule is here:

If four justices vote in favor, cert is granted. This “rule of four” is an informal rule of long standing developed and adhered to by the justices. Cert votes are not made public. Some justices have recorded cert votes and left them in their private papers, but usually it is impossible to know how the justices voted. From time to time, a justice will feel strongly enough about a case to note publicly a dissent from the denial of certiorari. This may be accompanied by an opinion outlining why the case should have been taken. Some justices, however, disapprove of any public airing of cert votes and refuse to write dissents from denials.

I would guess the hearing would be granted this term. Just a guess.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:44 pm 85
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 84

hmmmm…so how long do arguments take? Can we read them?


nahant | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:52 pm 86

is everyone
L
O
S
T
?


Kelly Canfield | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:53 pm 87
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 85

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:54 pm 88
In response to nahant @ 86

is that on tonight?


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:54 pm 89
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 87

Thank you!


Kelly Canfield | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:55 pm 90
In response to nahant @ 86

I was on the phone! LOL! Hopefully my boss will leave me alone now. I think I gave her everything she needs for our gig tomorrow.

Anyhoo, it would be more fun to have audio transcripts of the SCOTUS arguments, neh?


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:56 pm 91
In response to nahant @ 86

Boy!
Am I the lost,
Whatever will become of me?
Last night I was abducted,
Snat-ched from my bed,
By a clumsy fool
Who dropped me from my balcony.

Donna Ribalda’s Aria from The Stoned Guest


Kelly Canfield | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:58 pm 92
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 91

LOL! Good one! I haven’t thought of that in forEVAH!


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 09:58 pm 93

Thank you all! see you next week..and don;t forget Monday Movie Night, we have MANIFEST HOPE about the art the inspired people to vote for Obama, and the power of art for social change


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday March 9, 2010 10:00 pm 94
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 92

And thus did I escape
Impending rape
For when he gaped
I made my getaway.


nahant | Tuesday March 9, 2010 10:01 pm 95
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 88

Yes and just ended… STILL
L
O
S
T
!

These writers/actors and all are good!!


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 10:01 pm 96
In response to nahant @ 95

purgatory


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday March 9, 2010 10:02 pm 97

suzanne is up on the mothership..wiht a good one!


aoyama | Tuesday March 9, 2010 10:14 pm 98

Indulging organized bigotry in the name of free speech is no different from making corrupt excuses for subjugating someone to psychological torture. It is what it is.


zak822 | Wednesday March 10, 2010 10:02 am 99

Late to the thread, but I have to say it. Funerals are private, wherever they occur. We can parse the fine points of First Amendment intent and usage, but funerals are a special catagory.

And I guarentee that if they had protested my cousins funeral in rural Virginia, saying these vile things about him and his family there would have been violence. I am amazed there hasn’t been already.


kuvasz | Wednesday March 10, 2010 10:12 am 100

The blogger who wrote this ought to have at least read the appelate court decision, or cited it before writing her own essay. This is not simply an issue of speech, but also of actions done INTENTATIONALLY to cause harm to others. You cannot shout “fire” in a crowded theatre and expect not to be sanctioned by the state or be sued by fellow theatre goers trampled in a stampede induced by shouting “fire.” The appelate court was wrong.


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