Lt. Governor Of Texas Gets Offended By An Anti-Police Shirt, Decides He Needs To Start Violating The First Amendment

from the fuck-the-drafting-of-residents-into-Dan-Patrick's-war-over-words dept

Another challenger to the First Amendment has appeared. And his name is Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas.

Apparently offended by a Senate hearing witness garbed in an anti-police t-shirt, the Lt. Governor welcomed all challengers via Twitter to sue him for violating people's free speech rights.

In case you can't see the tweet, it says:

Outraged to see this T-shirt at a Senate Hearing Thur. Future witnesses beware. No one will ever be allowed to wear such a vulgar shirt in a Senate hearing again-especially one that denigrates the brave men & women of law enforcement. Want to take me to court? Ok. Make my day.

If you can't see the shirt (and you can't, because Dan Patrick blurred out the offending words/images), it's a hand with the middle finger extended above the phrase "Fuck the police."

Clearly of the belief that Supreme Court precedent almost exactly on point has no bearing on Texas Senate proceedings, the state's second-in-command has promised to ban any t-shirt he subjectively feels is "vulgar," but "especially" the ones that "denigrate" law enforcement.

The Supreme Court precedent -- delivered nearly 50 years ago -- dealt with a 30-day jail term given to a courthouse attendee who wore a "Fuck the Draft" jacket. That clearly denigrated the brave men and women who decided who was eligible to go die for their country in the United States' most infamous losing effort. The Supreme Court ruled that the government violated the First Amendment by demanding citizens only wear/make the most innocuous of statements while in the government's presence.

Patrick's proposal sounds exactly like a content-based ban on speech, which is exactly the sort of thing the First Amendment guards against. But there are those who believe time-and-place restrictions could allow Patrick's ban to bypass the First Amendment. Why? Because the state legislature can do whatever the hell it wants, apparently.

Chuck DeVore, vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Austin, disagrees with Patrick’s critics.

Legislative chambers, DeVore said, have the power to set their own rules of decorum as a co-equal branch of government. While the courts have the power to review laws passed by a legislature, they cannot tell lawmakers how to pass those laws or run their affairs, he said.

Well, that assertion aside, the desire to ban things that offend one government official sure sounds like something a court should rule on. The Lieutenant Governor is on (Twitter) record as welcoming legal challenges to his "won't someone think of the cops?" content-based restriction. These are the oh-so-brave words of a man willing to spend other people's money to defend a move many of those people likely don't agree with. That's the luxury legislators have: the ability to force people to defend indefensible positions by proxy (but also directly via their tax dollars).

At some point, Patrick and his stupid new rule triggered by his triggering will have their day in court. And it seems highly unlikely he'll prevail. When he's done blowing money on forcing the public to respect cops, maybe the state's residents will be kind enough to vote his censorial ass out of office. Until then, the lieutenant governor will remain dissed like the cops he loves so much that he's willing to violate the Constitution for them.

Filed Under: 1st amendment, dan patrick, free speech, fuck the police, texas


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  1. icon
    Mark Harrill (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 10:54am

    Welcome to Texas!

    We have glorious views, great music, the world's best BBQ and the dumbest politicians this side of the Mississippi!

    I wonder what would happen if I showed up to a hearing wearing a Fuck Dan Patrick shirt?!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Oninoshiko (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 10:56am

    Correct responce

    Everyone wear offensive shirts when at the senate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 11:04am

    Re: Welcome to Texas!

    The best bbq is the one in your own backyard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    arp2 (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 11:15am

    Winning isn't the Point

    Like Trump, et. al. the purpose of this sort of litigation isn't to actually win, it's to harass, intimidate, and score political points (emphasis on the last part).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 11:19am

    Legislative chambers, DeVore said, have the power to set their own rules of decorum as a co-equal branch of government.

    Except both branches of the state government are bound by laws of the US Constitution which they do not have the power to change nor overrule, and it's position on the matter is very clear: It's illegal for the government to ban such speech, feelings of bureaucrats be damned.

    While the courts have the power to review laws passed by a legislature, they cannot tell lawmakers how to pass those laws or run their affairs, he said.

    Actually, they can. The courts can uphold the law as written and refuse to enforce laws that violate the state or US Constitution. The courts are also the check against lawmakers trying to stretch the boundaries of existing law. (I.e. Not criminalizing acts which are legal when it's politically convenient to say otherwise.) The courts also have the responsibility to enforce treaties when local law conflicts. The courts also have the utmost responsibility to hold the legislators accountable to the law when they choose to violate it, just as they do for anyone else. So yes, the courts very much can and will tell lawmakers what legislation they can pass and how they can run their affairs. That's the real co-equal branch of government at work. The branches of government have the power to keep each other's behavior in check.

    If Mr. DeVore would like to change the law he's more than welcome to try, but considering he'd need to either change the US Constitution, (good luck with that), or have Texas finally secede from the union as they have been threatening to do for decades, I'd advise that he instead try to correct the reason why the public would feel that such vulgar and degenerate shirts would be appropriate in the first place. Maybe he could start with a police behavior audit. Followed by a pruning of bad apples, and permanent repeal of qualified immunity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    have Texas finally secede from the union as they have been threatening to do for decades,

    Make Texas Mexican Again!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 11:34am

    Re: Correct responce

    All the better if you can tailor the message to offend the pathetic joke in question, and along those lines I'd suggest a shirt with the bill of rights on it, since apparently he feels that that it's worth dragging that through the mud to sooth his hurt feelings.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 11:54am

    Re: Welcome to Texas!

    I wonder what would happen if I showed up to a hearing wearing a Fuck Dan Patrick shirt?!?

    Not just you. I was imagining an entire group of people doing the same, including some state legislators.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 12:01pm

    LIke waving a 'Cowardly thug' flag around...

    If a gorram t-shirt is enough to get to the 'brave men and women' so badly that it's worth attacking the first amendment then all that shows is that the 'bravery' in question is nothing of the sort, and they're nothing more than immature children with guns and uniforms who have no business being in a job where people saying mean things is not only expected it's on the tame end of things.

    Even if the message wasn't warranted the insult it sends to the police is nothing compared to the insult of trying to undermine the first amendment just because the delicate sensibilities of the police might be hurt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    David Longfellow, 9 Mar 2020 @ 12:56pm

    T-Shirts

    Evidently, the governor must be emulating Democrats who are offended by practically everything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Welcome to Texas!

    Depends:

    • If you're a women, he'll take you up on the offer.
    • If you're a man. Well, this is Texas we're talking about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:15pm

    Re: T-Shirts

    When everything you do is offensive ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:32pm

    Vulgarity has always been subject to interpretation by the government. Want to check that out, try putting a fuck the police sticker on the rear of your vehicle and count the days it is allowed to remain there. Local communities also have decency laws that push for limits to what a person can wave in public, like this shirt this balsy motherfucker is wearing! But, didn't scotus rule that flipping off police was constitutional? So let the lawsuit fill this guy's day! I say.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Chuck DeVore, 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:34pm

    Re: You ought to read my piece first

    Think about it, there is no First Amendment right to address a legislative body during its business, otherwise, what's the point in running for office and having a representative form of government if anyone, whenever they please, can march down to the legislature and right on to the floor to speak their piece.

    I was invited to testify before the U.S. House last week. The plan was to go with one Republican and five Democrats. In the end, the committee chairman decided to go with four Democrats and no Republicans. If the chairman wanted to, subject to the rule of the chamber, he could have had 100 Democrats and no Republicans. That's the way it works. I guarantee you, the courts aren't about to force the legislative branch at either the federal or state levels to accept whomever wishes to testify. Won't happen. Ever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:35pm

    Re: T-Shirts

    Well said, David.. now count the days techdirters allow your COMMENT to go unflagged!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:39pm

    Remind me, who is it that’s suing Twitter over a satirical account about a cow? 🤔

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    Obviously, a nobody.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:44pm

    Re: LIke waving a 'Cowardly thug' flag around...

    If you think the cops were a wee bit tense then, try adding Coronavirus to the pot..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:54pm

    Nope! The correct answer is “Devin Nunes (R-CA)”.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Philosopherott (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:56pm

    Question

    Do government employees have a fiduciary obligation to tax dollars use? The Lt. Governor say "Want to take me to court?" But can I take him to court or do I need to take the state government to court? Can I sue "him" for something, such as being a poor fiduciary of the tax dollars inviting such a law suite?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    Philosopherott (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Question

    If I get pulled out or arrested for an unjust law or rule he demands (a shirt he doesn't like) can I sue him personally?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 2:05pm

    Vulgarity has always been subject to interpretation by the government.

    You’re thinking of “obscenity”, and yes, defining obscenity is an exercise in subjectivity. A Christian may consider a shirt that says “God is Dead” to be obscene, whereas an atheist may not. Whose subjective opinion deserves to be treated as an objective fact by the government? (The correct answer is “neither one”.)

    The First Amendment can’t coexist with the idea of “community standards for speech”, especially when the most stringent of those standards would censor plenty of protected speech. People must have the right to offend. The government must not interfere with that right. And anyone who believes otherwise can kindly go fornicate themselves with an inanimate carbon rod.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. icon
    tz1 (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 2:13pm

    Try it when you go to court...

    A similar T shirt but F-the Judge. The cited decision was a government worker, not someone at a hearing. You don't have the right to do anything at the hearing, especially if you are testifying. I don't think there would be a similar question outside a hearing, but inside during a hearing the rules are more narrow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 2:22pm

    Re:

    Also, isn't Trump suing every media outlet he doesn't like for defamation?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. icon
    Thad (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Winning isn't the Point

    ...what litigation?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Personanongrata, 9 Mar 2020 @ 2:31pm

    Fuck Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas

    Another challenger to the First Amendment has appeared. And his name is Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas.

    Apparently Dan Patrick believes only he is allowed freedom of expression in Texas.

    Italicized/bold text was excerpted from the Constitution of the State of Texas Bill of Rights:

    Sec. 8. FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS; LIBEL. Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press. In prosecutions for the publication of papers, investigating the conduct of officers, or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

    https://tlc.texas.gov/docs/legref/TxConst.pdf

    What does Lt. Dan not understand about these words and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press.?

    Perhaps he thinks the authority granted him via consent of the governed supersedes the law and empowers him to silence the speech of those persons he disagrees?

    Dear dim-bulb Dan in your capacity as Lt Governor you represent all persons in your state not just those persons you agree with or of like political affiliation. When you swear your oath of office you are agreeing to uphold all persons rights - including those in the minority.

    Lt. Dan acts in all manner as a tyrant - Fuck Him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 2:51pm

    Re: T-Shirts

    There's no shortage of butthurt. It's all the rage! Everyone is doing it! Especially politicians of every color.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 2:51pm

    And a base he is appealing to think this is exactly what he should do, mainly because they haven't figured out paying off the multiple legal fees & settlements is coming out of their pocket.

    I've noticed a lot of peoples attitudes on things change when they are on the hook for the outcome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    arp2 (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Winning isn't the Point

    Apologies- you're right. He hasn't filed yet. I guess I was grouping this with all the other frivolous lawsuits (and threats of lawsuits), that are done not because they will win, but to rally the base.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Fuck Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas

    Oh!!!
    Dan Patrick? I was reading donald trump.

    So sorry...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. icon
    Bergman (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 4:18pm

    Two things

    First, don't sue Mr Patrick. Arrest him on the Senate floor. Officially issuing an illegal order to violate rights is a misdemeanor and incites a breach of the peace, if a guard carries it out it becomes a conspiracy against rights which is a felony for both the one obeying the order and the one giving the order.

    The Texas statute that authorizes peace officers to make arrests without a warrant also grants that authority to ANY citizen under the same restrictions.

    https://www.justice.gov/crt/statutes-enforced-criminal-section
    https://www.lawserver.c om/law/state/texas/tx-codes/texas_code_of_criminal_procedure_14-01

    Second, the Vietnam war/conflict wasn't a losing one for the US until the Democrats got the majority in a Congressional election -- prior to that we were winning very handily.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    bob, 9 Mar 2020 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Two things

    Define "winning". From what I've read and seen the US went into Vietnam, didn't understand who they were fighting, had some initial victories, underestimated the local's resolve and fighting style, lost a bunch of troops, got bogged down into a stalemate, spent tons of money, finally realized how useless it would be to stay and then redefined what victory meant so that they could leave the country while pretending they did a good job at not reaching their primary objective for going into the country in the first place.

    Or am I describing Iraq/Iran?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. icon
    John Roddy (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: Question

    Funny you should ask. Greg Abbott, the current governor of Texas, was sued by the FFRF for his personal involvement in directly censoring them (and then bragging about it), and the district court refused grant him qualified immunity. It's on appeal with CA5 right now, where it stands basically zero chance of being reversed.

    https://ffrf.org/legal/challenges/ongoing-lawsuits/item/25899-ffrf-vs-abbott-challenges-bi ll-of-rights-display-censorship

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 9:26pm

    Re:

    Uh, isn't that what I said?!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 9:30pm

    Re:

    I think "vulgarity" and you think "obscenity." That is on a scale two times more extreme. And that is where we are, you and me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 9:39pm

    Re:

    The community lets cops interpret laws. Since the mid to early 1980s, following the Chevron vs EPA ruling, agencies with unelected undemocratic are now interpreting obscure laws and writing policies. They are ALL IN CAHOOTS. How are you going to force Congress to get back to doing their jobs taken over by these agencies?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 9:42pm

    Re:

    ".. anyone can fornicate with inanimate carbon rod."

    I'm certain that it cruelty to inanimates.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 9:44pm

    Re: Fuck Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas

    Is symbolism actually speech?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 9:47pm

    Re:

    And Stone, I was thinking VULGARITY as the rule of law for obscenity has been defined, but not vulgarity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 9:51pm

    Re: Two things

    I fucking guarantee if you try to make a citizen's arrest on a Senator on the floor of Congress, you will be taken down and charged with felonious assault. Try it Berg.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Pixelation, 9 Mar 2020 @ 10:02pm

    Re: Re: Welcome to Texas!

    " If you're a man. Well, this is Texas we're talking about." So he'll take you out to the barn where no one can see him take you up on the offer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 10:13pm

    Re: Re: You ought to read my piece first

    This is some professional-level conflating of irrelevant scenarios. Bravo.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 10:45pm

    Re: Re: Two things

    Probably is a hate crime against a Senator and it will come with the death penalty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 12:25am

    I get the feeling that the courts will clearly conclude that decorum does not cover political speech. Otherwise we could ban politicians from doing the same. They would be pretty much silent forever if such a rule could sidestep the first amendment because everything they say is offensive to someone to some degree. I get our education system is failing hard but politicians at the very least ougth to know the very 1st ammendment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Mar 2020 @ 12:47am

    Re: Re: Fuck Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas

    You can exercise your free-speech rights by dressing up in a bad toupee and diapers, and then roll around the town-square throwing tantrums. The symbolism wouldn't be lost to anyone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 1:37am

    I think "vulgarity" and you think "obscenity." That is on a scale two times more extreme.

    It’s also the only “scale” that matters in re: the law, since vulgarity in public isn’t outlawed. Or did I miss that day when the Supreme Court ruled “fuck the police” was constitutionally unprotected speech only in public and only because it was vulgar and crass? 🤔

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 1:40am

    You can exercise your free-speech rights by dressing up in a bad toupee and diapers, and then roll around the town-square throwing tantrums.

    Also known as “the Charlie Kirk special”.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 5:54am

    Re: Welcome to Texas!

    "I wonder what would happen if I showed up to a hearing wearing a Fuck Dan Patrick shirt?!?"

    That's why we got ourselves some darn tootin' good hempen rope and stout trees, pardner. Your boots won't even touch the ground, gua-ran-teed.

    "We have glorious views, great music..."

    I get this vision of The Dalton brothers from the old Lucky Luke comics, torturing some perfectly innocent banjos, while in the background the oil derricks quietly dip and yaw against the setting sun twinkling off the iridescent oil-puddled ground.

    "...the world's best BBQ and the dumbest politicians this side of the Mississippi!"

    You realize that you've got Arkansas and Utah on your side, right? Go take your third place like a man.

    Not even gonna start the "whose BBQ's the best" argument. That only ever leads to a good roastin'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 6:09am

    Re: T-Shirts

    "Evidently, the governor must be emulating Democrats who are offended by practically everything."

    Democrats usually being personally offended over placards saying "God Hates Gays" isn't really on the same page as trying to ban, by law, certain type of speech because it's personally offensive.

    When you find a democrat convinced a "Fsck the whatever" T-shirt requires legal intervention then your analogy will fly. until then it's just yet one more case where an alt-righter failing constitutional rights 101.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: T-Shirts

    "Well said, David.. now count the days techdirters allow your COMMENT to go unflagged!!"

    Since his analogy was bullshit then it will probably get flagged, yes.

    Tell me, are you guys from the alt-right truly so blind you don't see the difference between a democrat being personally offended by an expression and a republican politician who ought to know better swearing legal intervention against what he finds personally offensive?

    I'll give you a hint. Being personally offended is an opinion.

    Trying to ban the expression of an opinion through legal means is pissing - again - all over that by now rather wet rag you call a constitution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re:

    "Also, isn't Trump suing every media outlet he doesn't like for defamation?"

    You don't get it, Sam.

    When a democrat or liberal expresses free speech they're punks who need jail time and a good beating.

    When a republican tries to get the law to hand the dems or libs a good beating over expressing an opinion he or she is just being a staunch salt-of-the-earth conservative appreciating traditional values. Just being part of the Very Fine People.

    And obviously other people than republicans having opinions which aren't republican...well, there ought to be a law against that.

    I wish the /s wasn't needed...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 6:27am

    Re: Try it when you go to court...

    "A similar T shirt but F-the Judge."

    Any judge worth his/her salt would gravely applaud the person wearing the shirt for his astute observation of his first amendment rights.

    ...then turn around and slap the guy with an in facie curiae "Contempt of court" charge.

    Generally speaking court proceedings are usually held as protected beyond most other legal rights unless SCOTUS has directly and specifically ruled otherwise. The argument being that proper courtroom proceedings are themselves protected in the constitution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 6:31am

    Re: Fuck Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas

    "What does Lt. Dan not understand about these words and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press.?"

    That, like so many other republicans today seem to assume, it sounds like something completely irrelevant not enshrined in the principles he himself chooses to observe? Not like the man ever read the constitution or believed it applied to him.

    I'm afraid the alt-right herd often get lost at principles more complex than "Two legs bad, four legs good".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re: Two things

    What Bob says. Add Afghanistan to the above list.

    America needs to stop getting into foreign wars -- and keep the damn neocons out. Their "leadership" is what gets you into these messes. Now repeat after me: "We can't create our own reality" until you actually believe it. The trouble with the neocons is that they don't; they totally believe that the rightness of their cause will somehow magically reduce any harm and only do good despite the wealth of evidence against this. They also hate facts and aren't interested in the fine details and nuances of the situations they insert themselves into. This has been true from Korea to Vietnam to South American, North African, Asian, and Middle East interventions. You've won none of them, unless you count "Creating an almighty mess, thousands if not millions of refugees, and a political quagmire that will take generations to resolve" as a victory of any kind.

    /End rant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 7:15am

    Re: Two things

    "Second, the Vietnam war/conflict wasn't a losing one for the US until the Democrats got the majority in a Congressional election -- prior to that we were winning very handily."

    That's sort of revisionist right there. The US certainly took ground but never even came close to achieving anything you could call a "win".

    The vietnamese had been invaded by superior forces many times, some of whom - like China and France - occupied the entire country. In the end all they had to do was get good at guerilla and remain too expensive for anyone to stay and fight indefinitely.

    Given that the average vietnamese was decidedly opposed to the corrupt feudal tyrants the US was backing the only way the US could conceivably walk away with a "win" was if they had paved the entire country.

    It's a bit of a lesson in foreign politics the US completely failed to learn in Iran, Iraq, Cuba and Vietnam. If you back the murderous and corrupt regime hated by the normal citizenry then you'll end up with a successful revolution backed by the USSR or China. the only choice the US ends up with is whether to pull out before or after they've lost a lot of people, international respectability, and political will.

    Saying "We could have won, if not for X" is just revisionism when "X" - in this case the swing of public opinion - was a direct outcome of the Vietnam war. Look at the returning vietnam vets and the legacy of My Lai - or worse, "Speedy Express" - and tell us, once again, what, exactly, the US was "handily winning".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: You ought to read my piece first

    " there is no First Amendment right to address a legislative body during its business"

    Based upon the following, I must be missing something.

    In the United States the right to petition is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which specifically prohibits Congress from abridging "the right of the people...to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".

    Right to petition in the United States
    [wikipedia[(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_petition_in_the_United_States)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Two things

    Can you toss a snowball at him?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Two things

    "...finally realized how useless it would be to stay and then redefined what victory meant..."

    You forgot that in order to bolster the support for the war back in the US the troops were heavily incentivized to rack up the body count at all cost.

    Which in the end leaves us here:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23427726

    When the standing orders on the lips of a commanding officer is "Kill anything that moves" and "If it's dead and vietnamese it's VC" you get...predictable results.

    "Or am I describing Iraq/Iran?"

    More like you're describing Afghanistan. The Iraq war was simply a case where the US marched in without any plan on what to do with the country once they'd won - which is what had many Iraqis a few years afterwards yearning for the "good old days" under Saddam who, as a whimsical and murderous despot, was still preferable to the resulting chaos.

    Afghanistan is more akin to Vietnam - although I'd say the Viet Cong could tell the taliban to "Git gud, n00b".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 7:25am

    Re: Two things

    "the Vietnam war/conflict wasn't a losing one for the US until the Democrats "

    Please explain how everyone was winning when the republicans were in charge. Do not tell me about how the stock market was doing great at the time, I want to know how how all people were winning.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Two things

    "You've won none of them, unless you count "Creating an almighty mess, thousands if not millions of refugees, and a political quagmire that will take generations to resolve" as a victory of any kind."

    But Wendy, if it hadn't been for those democrats, the US would handily have won ALL of those and everyone of those slant-eyed c....s and sand ni....s would have been happy, free, and supremely grateful to the red, white and blue which saw to their liberation.

    Unfortunately this too needs an /s because all too many republicans will make exactly that claim. Well, they won't necessarily say the ethnic slurs out loud, except when among other Very Fine People.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Two things

    "I want to know how how all people were winning."

    To use the vernacular of the time, US soldiers were racking up the body count. This apparently counts as "winning" by that side of the right wing.

    Especially so given the early adopted motto among US troops that "If it's dead and vietnamese, it's VC" which led to a huge number of dead vietnamese civilians.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 7:46am

    Re: T-Shirts

    Actually, the irony is he comes from the "fuck your feelings" party, where self-awareness is one of them liberal elite big word thingys.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 8:12am

    Opportunity knocks

    “take me to court make my day”

    In the spirit of republican capitalism I am now required to make shirts with that phrase and profit of his stupidity as all great exploiters before me have done. And sell them to his opponents for a quick buck,

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: You ought to read my piece first

    what's the point in running for office and having a representative form of government if anyone, whenever they please, can march down to the legislature and right on to the floor to speak their piece.

    Anyone? Speaking on the legislative floor?? IN AN OFF-COLOR T-SHIRT?! The horror! Can't have the serfs getting uppity and thinking the government is there to serve them, can we?

    To respond less flippantly:
    It would be a whole lot faster to address the floor and have every legislator hear you all at once than it would to try to speak with each of them individually.

    Also, if being able to speak on the legislative floor means there's no need for representatives, then it must mean that speaking on the floor allows me to vote on legislation as well. Who knew?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Ravi Kumar (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 9:03am

    Nice POst

    Such a great website. Regular reader of website posts

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66. icon
    nasch (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Welcome to Texas!

    You realize that you've got Arkansas and Utah on your side, right? Go take your third place like a man.

    Iowa might be ahead of Texas too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. icon
    Bergman (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Correct responce

    I have an image file on my computer that is the full text of the first amendment...in Arabic. I haven't gotten around to getting it printed on a t-shirt, but I figure that and a Make America Smart Again hat ought to set just about the right tone...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Make Texas "Estupendo" again!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: T-Shirts

    I imagine you spent a lot of time on your back on the school playground getting taught lessons you never learned.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    Audibly, "Fuck the Police" being shouted in public does sound quite a bit more combative than a T-shirt with the slogan and middle finger symbol. Better bring some clean-x tissue if you plan to start shouting that in front of Police precincts, I should think!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Question

    Yes, but maybe you have to wait until he is no longer serving in government. Suing the Pres of US I think you have to wait until he's out of office.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:17pm

    Re:

    Nice!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Two things

    I think if I told you to try it, to find out, I would go to jail! So to answer your question, "Can you toss a snowball at him?" 🤔

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Opportunity knocks

    You might have to ask Clint Eastwood for permission for that! But just to copy his quote, like politicians do, I don't think he'll sue them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:27pm

    Re:

    Sure they know how to skidaddle around it for sure!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Two things

    Having an OIL BACKED CURRENCY is what all the wars are about Not neoconservatism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77. identicon
    bobob, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:41pm

    This is nothing new for Dan Patrick (along with his overlord Greg Abbot and would be felon and attorney general Ken Paxton). All three are reactionary assholes who waste millions of dollars fighting lawsuits in which the law is clear and against them and so they eventually lose only to rinse and repeat. Imagine how much money the states (especially Texas) would save and be able to spend productively if we didn't have demagogues in office for whom the law is irrelevant when it doesn't lead to more votes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2020 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: T-Shirts

    His ANALOGY was Spot On.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Correct responce

    ... I want that shirt. Even more, I want that shirt to be handed out to so many people to enable a rousing game of 'spot the bigot' as people lose their gorram minds over arabic words only to be told that it's the first amendment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: You ought to read my piece first

    there is no First Amendment right to address a legislative body during its business

    1. In the First Amendment, we have both the right to free speech and the right to petition the government.

    2. From what I understand, at that time, the legislative body’s “business” was to listen to constituents speak their grievances and opinions. This wasn’t some random guy breaking into the building and interrupting the legislature’s important business to say his piece. Listening to this man was its business right then. You may feel that representatives shouldn’t have to hear testimony from the people on the floor—which doesn’t make much sense to me—but that’s neither here nor there in this particular case.

    3. That’s kinda missing the point. That’s solely about who, where, and when. The thing is that no one there had a problem with this man’s addressing the legislature here at the time he did. If you had a problem with the person, that’d be one thing. The problem is that, given that he has been allowed to speak there and then (something that is not disputed; no one was stopping him or kicking him out or anything), you’re arguing that what he said and how he said it—at least in these circumstances—is not a right he has by the 1st Amendment. That right there is a content-based restriction on speech, and those are rarely constitutional, especially when the government is restricting speech on a public matter when addressing the government.

    Otherwise, what's the point in running for office and having a representative form of government if anyone, whenever they please, can march down to the legislature and right on to the floor to speak their piece.

    Well, to actually draft, amend, and vote on legislation. I fail to see why having constituents speak their opinions on current or future legislation or issues they feel the legislature should address in any way impedes or makes redundant any of the core duties of the legislative branch of a representative government. Sure, legislatures also talk about those things, but that’s not their core function, per se. It’s just something they do to facilitate the process of crafting legislation.

    The plan was to go with one Republican and five Democrats. In the end, the committee chairman decided to go with four Democrats and no Republicans. If the chairman wanted to, subject to the rule of the chamber, he could have had 100 Democrats and no Republicans.

    Sure, but that also has nothing to do with the T-shirt, nor does it have any 1st Amendment implications. It’s completely irrelevant here.

    I guarantee you, the courts aren't about to force the legislative branch at either the federal or state levels to accept whomever wishes to testify. Won't happen. Ever.

    Apparently, you don’t understand how the courts or the law actually works. Whatever. You’re still missing the point. The problem you stated wasn’t that this man—or anyone else—had to be allowed to testify. If he wasn’t allowed to testify, I’m sure that security or law enforcement would’ve removed him, and since that didn’t happen, that clearly was never the problem. You had a problem with the message on his shirt. In other words, it wasn’t who was testifying but what was being said that’s being discussed. Even assuming that the legislative branch can regulate the former, that doesn’t mean they can also regulate the latter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 5:25pm

    Re: T-Shirts

    Funny. In my experience, Republicans have been at least as easily offended as Democrats. Having thin skin seems to be a bipartisan issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: T-Shirts

    Wow. Great comeback there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re:

    The point is that he’s a Republican, not a Democrat, so clearly the Democrats don’t have a monopoly on being easily offended.

    Come to think of it, what party is this guy from, again?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re:

    The “rule of law” regarding vulgarity is that whether or not speech is vulgar doesn’t change whether or not it’s protected. Basically, the rule of law for vulgarity has been clearly defined as nonexistent.

    Look, there are only a select few exceptions to the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech, and the Supreme Court has made clear that they have no interest in allowing any new ones. One of those exceptions is obscenity; vulgarity is not one of the exceptions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Mar 2020 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Question

    Nope. The law is crystal clear that government officials are just as liable for or immune to civil suits while in office as they are after they leave office. As far as civil law is concerned, there is no rule that says, for any suit or claim, you have to wait until they leave office. Either they are immune or they are liable. If they are liable, you don’t have to wait for them to leave office to file suit, nor for any subsequent steps to a lawsuit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 1:34am

    “Combative” has nothing to do with it. “Fuck the police” is protected speech; any cop that beats someone who says it, and only because they said it, is violating the First Amendment and deserves every legal consequence for their actions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 3:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Welcome to Texas!

    From what I hear Iowa is mainly reputed for being the dullest and most uninteresting part of the USA. Once politicians hit a certain treshold of "dumb" you get many things, but "dull" isn't one of them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 3:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: T-Shirts

    "I imagine you spent a lot of time on your back on the school playground getting taught lessons you never learned."

    The response from the right is still "sitting in a tree and throwing poop", I see.

    Let's try it again, dumbed down;

    Do you see any difference between someone being personally offended by offensive speech and someone trying to dictate, in law, what can and can not be said?

    Or is your argument going to remain "I'm too dumb to understand so i'll keep screaming and throwing poop"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 3:20am

    Re: Re: T-Shirts

    "Republicans have been at least as easily offended as Democrats."

    Well, no, not really. The list of what is considered offensive is arguably wider among the republicans.

    As is their response. Democrats meeting offensive speech usually react with calls of "further education needed".

    Republicans hearing an opinion they don't like often react with calls of "BEAT THE GODLESS INFIDEL SCUM!".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 3:25am

    Re:

    "...any cop that beats someone who says it, and only because they said it, is violating the First Amendment..."

    Well, the man's got a point. We've got all too many examples of exactly how high a certain type of cop rates constitutional rights.

    "...and deserves every legal consequence for their actions."

    You mean the DA will prosecute the citizen for bleeding on the cop's uniform? And Qualified Immunity will shield the cop from a civil suit?

    I think we need to acknowledge that "being in the right" matters little when you've got half a dozen boys in blue beating the ever-living shit out of you in an alley for being uppity. Or shooting you because they were afraid you'd get up on your crushed kneecaps and brain someone with your broken arms.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 3:30am

    Re:

    "Imagine how much money the states (especially Texas) would save and be able to spend productively if we didn't have demagogues in office for whom the law is irrelevant when it doesn't lead to more votes."

    The reason this is so is pretty easy to understand though. The american citizenry is madly in love with the idea that the law is an optional extra and shit gets done by real men willing to call a spade a spade and get their hands dirty.

    And that's why Texas governors tend to be the people who talk the toughest and know the least.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92. icon
    nasch (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome to Texas!

    I was thinking of Steve King:

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/14/politics/steve-king-rape-incest-iowa/index.html

    https://www.nbc news.com/politics/meet-the-press/republicans-say-steve-king-s-stupid-racist-remarks-may-result-n9581 56

    and I was thinking Todd "Legitimate Rape" Aiken was from Iowa, but he's from Missouri. So I guess that's all I have.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93. icon
    Oninoshiko (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Correct responce

    You need to put these up for sale.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Mar 2020 @ 2:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome to Texas!

    I guess there's always the outlier.

    I grant you, Steve Kings little turd nugget of "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?" does rate a solid 9 toilets out of ten.

    It drowns in the wake of dumbass texas politicians though, Rick Miller, Louie Gohmert, Jane Nelson, Carol Everett, Ted Cruz, Greg Abbot...the list goes on. No, I think Iowa's admittedly quality offer of Steve King as a gold standard for "dumbass" still has to yield to the sheer quantity Texas has on show. I hear americans like choice which arguably makes Texas the far better stop to shop for politicians high on the dumb and/or malicious scale.

    But I think you have a point. Whether Texas ranks 3rd or 4th as the state with the dumbest politicians has to go to the judges...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95. icon
    nasch (profile), 12 Mar 2020 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome to Texas!

    Ted Cruz may be execrable but I don't think he's stupid. But Louie Gohmert, you win right there. No contest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2020 @ 3:18pm

    Ironically, Dan Patrick will be caught fucking a police officer. Right up his ass.

    Then he'll claim somehow he was "thinking of children" which will make it worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97. identicon
    LarryLinn, 24 Mar 2020 @ 11:37am

    Lt. Gov.

    Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, I respect your opinion. I grew up among Japanese-Americans, and the honorable thing for you to do is to commit sepukko.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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