Koran burnt in Florida church

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Koran burnt in Florida church

#151

Post by poutine » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:32 pm

Ok, so I'm a little confused here. Does the 1st Amendment give anyone the right to stand, say,on the sidewalk outside my house and hassle me? Because I've got a neighbor who'd be all over that if he knew. :lol:He might have the right to do that one day. For some short period of time, like 30 minutes. Next time he does it, he'll be in jail. :)

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Koran burnt in Florida church

#152

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:59 pm

Ok, so I'm a little confused here. Does the 1st Amendment give anyone the right to stand, say,on the sidewalk outside my house and hassle me? Because I've got a neighbor who'd be all over that if he knew. :lol:He might have the right to do that one day. For some short period of time, like 30 minutes. Next time he does it, he'll be in jail. :)This very strongly reminds me of the situation in which more than one woman has found herself: unable to get protection from a court until an actual crime has been committed. Such a student came to me about two summers ago. Her ex-boyfriend had taken to coming to her dorm and calling her on the telephone. He could not get into the dorm, because it has electronic keys and a CCTV system, but he stood outside her window. She felt deeply threatened. When I called the campus chief of police about what could be done, he told me that the boy was on public property and that he could continue to come onto the campus until he committed a crime. He also pointed out that dialing a telephone number is not a crime.I referred the student to a lawyer who has a lot of experience with these cases. They are, unfortunately, all too common.Had I been a member of that mosque, I think that I might have felt the same kind of fear and frustration had not the city intervened in an attempt to keep the peace. To be sure, there is no Constitutional right not to be stalked. It is against the law, however, just as is the holding of a protest on public land without a police permit to do so. Even Pasture Manning can follow those rules.
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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Koran burnt in Florida church

#153

Post by poutine » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:26 pm

You can't "stalk" an inanimate object like a building, or a mosque. The attempt here to, yet again, find an end run around the Constitution to censor a protest is a failed one. Throw all the end runs you can think of at this situation. Peace bonds. Stalking statutes. Property lines. It still won't change. You can't censor protests of a mosque. I am a 13 year pro bono volunteer at a domestic violence shelter (I started as a first year law student and got hooked from the get-go), so I'm somewhat familiar with the legal angle of the domestic violence situation you mentioned, and you're right that there are no easy answers. However, one other option your student did have was to obtain a protective order (called different things in different states) against the stalker. The order could prohibit him from any contact at all, phone or otherwise. Any violation of that would result in an arrest.It is a historically and legally recognized fact that the First Amendment was primarily designed to protect speech of a political nature. Domestic violence abusers and stalkers of women will find no shelter therein.

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#154

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:36 pm

You can't "stalk" an inanimate object like a building, or a mosque. The attempt here to, yet again, find an end run around the Constitution to censor a protest is a failed one. Throw all the end runs you can think of at this situation. Peace bonds. Stalking statutes. Property lines. It still won't change. You can't censor protests of a mosque. I am a 13 year pro bono volunteer at a domestic violence shelter (I started as a first year law student and got hooked from the get-go), so I'm somewhat familiar with the legal angle of the domestic violence situation you mentioned, and you're right that there are no easy answers. However, one other option your student did have was to obtain a protective order (called different things in different states) against the stalker. The order could prohibit him from any contact at all, phone or otherwise. Any violation of that would result in an arrest.It is a historically and legally recognized fact that the First Amendment was primarily designed to protect speech of a political nature. Domestic violence abusers and stalkers of women will find no shelter therein.I don't think that Jones intended to protest a mosque. I think he intended to protest human beings and their religious faith. I think he intended to speak hatefully and to encourage others to join him in hate speech. The mosque was simply a dramatic location for the exercise of his hatred.My student had already tried for the campus equivalent of a protective order. The lawyer to whom I referred her got a real protective order, but it was not easy. The campus police had provided no suggestion of such a possibility. I suspect that they acted like many other police officers would act.
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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#155

Post by poutine » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:43 pm

I don't think that Jones intended to protest a mosque. I think he intended to protest human beings and their religious faith. I think he intended to speak hatefully and to encourage others to join him in hate speech. The mosque was simply a dramatic location for the exercise of his hatred.And that constitutes political speech. So do KKK rallies. But don't get me wrong, it's not just political speech that is protected. I was only addressing a point about domestic violence situations.My student had already tried for the campus equivalent of a protective order. The lawyer to whom I referred her got a real protective order, but it was not easy. The campus police had provided no suggestion of such a possibility. I suspect that they acted like many other police officers would act.I'm not surprised. There have been legislative reforms in the past few years to improve on both of these points, but the system remains woefully inadequate. Victims of abuse and stalking should always rely on their own ingenuity if possible for protection rather than solely relying on the police. Still, thousands die every year in this country from domestic violence.

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Koran burnt in Florida church

#156

Post by A Legal Lohengrin » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:23 pm

Interestingly, Jones was a Usurper in a protest that had already been planned. The Order of the Dragon, an anti-Shari'a group of perhaps 15 members from Port Huron, had planned [link]a protest for Good Friday,http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/in ... ticle=4131[/link] but withdrew after consultation with Dearborn religious and civic leaders when Jones announced that he would be there too. Their main aim is legislative: a law to ban the use of Shari'a in Michigan courts.This is clearly a pack of retarded lunatics who hate the United States Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion. If these morons got their way, Jewish people would be unable to resolve their disputes via a Beth Din. This has been allowed since the inception of this nation. These vile turds would do away with religious liberties that have existed for centuries, solely because of their Nazi-like hatred of Muslims.

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#157

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:05 pm

This is clearly a pack of retarded lunatics who hate the United States Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion. If these morons got their way, Jewish people would be unable to resolve their disputes via a Beth Din. This has been allowed since the inception of this nation. These vile turds would do away with religious liberties that have existed for centuries, solely because of their Nazi-like hatred of Muslims.I think many or most of the anti-Shari'a movements are Dominionist or Christian Reconstructionist. Jones is Dominionist. I don't know whether the Order of the Dragon would also want to dispense with the Beth Din or with disputes settled under Catholic canonical law. The world they want is a particular flavor of Protestant.
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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#158

Post by poutine » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:13 pm

This is clearly a pack of retarded lunatics who hate the United States Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion. If these morons got their way, Jewish people would be unable to resolve their disputes via a Beth Din. This has been allowed since the inception of this nation. These vile turds would do away with religious liberties that have existed for centuries, solely because of their Nazi-like hatred of Muslims.I think many or most of the anti-Shari'a movements are Dominionist or Christian Reconstructionist. Jones is Dominionist. I don't know whether the Order of the Dragon would also want to dispense with the Beth Din or with disputes settled under Catholic canonical law. The world they want is a particular flavor of Protestant.Ironic that this vermin is protected by the very same amendment of the Constitution that he seeks to destroy.

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Koran burnt in Florida church

#159

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:16 pm

Ironic that this vermin is protected by the very same amendment of the Constitution that he seeks to destroy.Irony pretty much pervades the agenda of the extreme right wing in the U.S., except that they don't know it or want to know it. I think that honesty is a prerequisite for a sense of irony.
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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#160

Post by TollandRCR » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:47 am

[link]Terry Jones says,http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... story.html[/link] that he plans to return to Dearborn on 4/29 to hold a First Amendment protest outside Dearborn City Hall. He might use [link]the free speech zone at the City Hall,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/de ... 71892.html[/link].The "free speech zones" are highly public areas where a lot of people can hear and gather, without causing hazards to public safety. There is a large area right in front of City Hall, which is on a major street in the heart of our Muslim population­. He was offered this area without paying a bond to cover the police protection that his event may require.He is said to be working with the Thomas More Law Center to file a suit against Wayne County and the City of Dearborn.
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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Koran burnt in Florida church

#161

Post by esseff44 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:55 am

[link]Terry Jones says,http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... story.html[/link] that he plans to return to Dearborn on 4/29 to hold a First Amendment protest outside Dearborn City Hall. He might use [link]the free speech zone at the City Hall,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/de ... 71892.html[/link].The "free speech zones" are highly public areas where a lot of people can hear and gather, without causing hazards to public safety. There is a large area right in front of City Hall, which is on a major street in the heart of our Muslim population­. He was offered this area without paying a bond to cover the police protection that his event may require.He is said to be working with the Thomas More Law Center to file a suit against Wayne County and the City of Dearborn.It makes more sense that he would work with the Thomas More Law Center than with the ACLU. It seems that having a jury decide that his demands were unreasonable in the circumstances would carry some weight. He has so many ways to 'express' his views, how would it constitute censorship if he cannot stand in that one spot and make a speech?Many churches have their own canon law. Not too long ago, a Presbyterian minister lost her position for continuing to perform same sex marriages. It would be hard to pass an anti-sharia law that would not also ban the laws of other religious bodies to govern themselves.

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#162

Post by esseff44 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:08 am

BTW, This Week is on right now and is doing a program on religion and government. Franklin Graham is lamenting government 'taking away' the role of churches to provide for the poor.

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#163

Post by poutine » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:19 pm

It makes more sense that he would work with the Thomas More Law Center than with the ACLU. It seems that having a jury decide that his demands were unreasonable in the circumstances would carry some weight. He has so many ways to 'express' his views, how would it constitute censorship if he cannot stand in that one spot and make a speech?Censorship is the muzzling of speech because of its content, basically. You, as the government, are examining the speech, deciding that you don't like it, and then coming up with every creative measure you can conjure up to suppress it. No American should be comfortable with the government's ability to do that. I would never want Sheriff Joe Arpaio to hold such powers over me. Thank God for the 1st Amendment.Many churches have their own canon law. Not too long ago, a Presbyterian minister lost her position for continuing to perform same sex marriages. It would be hard to pass an anti-sharia law that would not also ban the laws of other religious bodies to govern themselves.The same courts that will protect Jones' rights will also strike down these idiotic anti-Sharia laws if they are passed. Thank God for the rule of law in this country.

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#164

Post by TollandRCR » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:39 pm

Not much of a surprise: [link]"Terry Jones, pastor who ordered Koran burning has divided families, ex-church members say",http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/chu ... story.html[/link]Long before the Rev. Terry Jones threatened to burn a Koran, former parishioners say he presided over a church that he treated as a personal fiefdom, imposing a strict orthodoxy that tore apart one Gainesville family after another.Congregants at the Dove World Outreach Center, who have dwindled to 30 or so in number, are required to vow allegiance to Jones — a pledge that places restrictions on their diets, their ability to hold jobs outside the church and their personal relationships....For Chris Nassoiy, 25, and for most members, the last restriction is by far the most painful. He has seen his parents only once since they left the church in 2009, when he gathered his belongings from his childhood home.“I had to tell them that we won’t be able to communicate until they apologize, until they accept the Gospel,” he said, his voice cracking. “It was a little bit wrenching.”Two of Jones' daughters have left his church. Young members are required to work in the church's used furniture business, for which they are compensated with food and shelter.
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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#165

Post by poutine » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:02 pm

Not much of a surprise: [link]"Terry Jones, pastor who ordered Koran burning has divided families, ex-church members say",http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/chu ... story.html[/link]Long before the Rev. Terry Jones threatened to burn a Koran, former parishioners say he presided over a church that he treated as a personal fiefdom, imposing a strict orthodoxy that tore apart one Gainesville family after another.Congregants at the Dove World Outreach Center, who have dwindled to 30 or so in number, are required to vow allegiance to Jones — a pledge that places restrictions on their diets, their ability to hold jobs outside the church and their personal relationships....For Chris Nassoiy, 25, and for most members, the last restriction is by far the most painful. He has seen his parents only once since they left the church in 2009, when he gathered his belongings from his childhood home.“I had to tell them that we won’t be able to communicate until they apologize, until they accept the Gospel,” he said, his voice cracking. “It was a little bit wrenching.”Two of Jones' daughters have left his church. Young members are required to work in the church's used furniture business, [highlight]for which they are compensated with food and shelter[/highlight].Huh? Labor laws anyone?

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#166

Post by TollandRCR » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:11 pm

Huh? Labor laws anyone?That occurred to me, too. Also. It would be fitting if Terry Jones suffers the same fate as Al Capone: justly convicted of a crime for which he was not famous.
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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#167

Post by mimi » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:19 pm

An interview with his daughter. She was 17. The furniture business was ebay. But, she has quite a bit to say:[/break1]spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,716858,00.html]http://www.spiegel.de/international/wor ... 58,00.htmland another article from Germany:Various witnesses gave SPIEGEL ONLINE consistent accounts of the Jones' behavior. The pastor and his wife apparently regarded themselves as having been appointed by God, meaning opposition was a crime against the Lord. Terry and Sylvia Jones allegedly used these methods to ask for money in an increasingly insistent manner, as well as making members of the congregation carry out work.Doesn't sound much different than some politicians. At least not from what I've read and seen about the C-Street pols as well as Palin, and maybe Bachmann.[/break1]spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,716409,00.html]http://www.spiegel.de/international/wor ... 09,00.html

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#168

Post by Plutodog » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:28 pm

Y'know, I love the Constitution, 1st Amendment, etc. But I found it extremely sobering some years ago to come across the below quotation:


We have in this country but one security. You may think that the Constitution is your security — it is nothing but a piece of paper. You may think that the statutes are your security — they are nothing but words in a book. You may think that elaborate mechanism of government is your security — it is nothing at all, unless you have sound and uncorrupted public opinion to give life to your Constitution, to give vitality to your statutes, to make efficient your government machinery.[/break1]nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9D0DE6D61231E733A25750C2A9669D946797D6CF]http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-fr ... 946797D6CF





This was Charles Evan Hughes, campaigning to become the 36th Governor of New York in 1906. It was four years before he became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and 24 years before being appointed as Chief Justice. Hughes Sr. was a fascinating man, and I'm quite interested in what others know/think about him and his legacy.





But it seems clear that our Constitution and just laws do not always or even ultimately carry the day. They do not, absent people doing what it takes to demand it in significant number and with sufficient, persistent determination. It can be done, we've got history to prove it. Or at least a few pages of it.





Think also of other tragic pages such as the ones on the slaves in earlier America before emancipation or the ones regarding the Japanese experience in America during WWII. This too is "public opinion" in all it's righteous might; where it is not always adequate to balance and overcome the other golden rule*.





It is public opinion employed in mortal combat under the dark superstitious terrors and "morality" that is oft-employed or -born by religious institutions. It's useful to these and authorities/authoritarians of more secular or selfish stripe. The evil twin of "public opinion", in it's mob-rule persona, is frequently fueled and manipulated by these dark forces. Talk about "it's a pickle"! This is perhaps the ultimate brine-saturated cucumber.





So while we love and appreciate the Constitution, we're all--more or less--well aware of it's limitations. Those limitations are those of it's creator, "We, the People", a human, schizophrenic, fickle and bi-polar aggregation. Humanity is our birthright and our legacy--and more likely than not--even our ultimate doom if Pogo** is correct.





It's impossible to live for long under that dark thought-cloud, though. So "We, the People" have to keep working to muddle through, one person, one community, one generation at a time, do our best to "keep hope alive". The alternative is too horrible to long contemplate.





Rational thought by itself won't carry that day. Cold, rational thought which engages in a survey of history and associated realities almost surely leads to certainty of ultimate doom for the human race. As a people, we've clearly been living on borrowed time for a damned long time. Only a sliver of hope exists in that we've lasted this long in spite of humanity's shortcomings and the cataclysms of Mother Nature.





For the religious, that hope is often vested in one or another version of an ultimately merciful Higher Power and the dogma surrounding such Being. For the more agnostic or atheistic who must doubt or deny all known dogma and reputed god-beings, it's a trickier proposition, and perhaps mostly dependent on the physical survival instinct innate to living matter.





I'm reminded of Don Juan's teaching to follow the path with heart as being the only sensible life strategy. I'm also enamored with a precept born of the Serenity Prayer that more generically advises that if it's nothing you can change, It Doesn't Matter. Don't waste a moment worrying about things that Don't Matter. Instead, concentrate on what you can at least influence until your dying breath.





Or maybe the ultimate tragicomedy is the fellow who falls from high atop a skyscraper, and, halfway to the ground, optimistically reports "so far, so good". Unfortunately, religious nuts like Terry Jones also join the rest of us in that progress report.





* "He who has the gold, rules."


** Pogo by the great Walt Kelly:





http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... poster.jpg





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#169

Post by poutine » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:36 pm

I don't know much about Hughes, but that quote and your words make sense to me. The limitations of the Constitution are essentially the limitations of any legal system. There's only so much that can be done to right the injustices in society. The system isn't an effort to be perfect. It's merely the best shot at reducing imperfections that we can possibly come up with.One of the primary objectives of the Constitution was to limit the government in its natural tendency to invade various aspects of life in which citizens ought to enjoy some degree of freedom. That objective has clearly been accomplished. It didn't happen with the snap of a finger. Simply saying that all citizens are entitled to equal protection of the laws didn't suddenly, somehow, make it so. But the 14th Amendment forced the courts and our government to begin walking in that direction, and eventually we got there. (We're still walking, of course.)

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#170

Post by TollandRCR » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:08 pm

I have often heard it offhandedly remarked that many countries have better constitutions than the U.S. Constitution. I have mostly ignored that remark, because it does not seem particularly enlightening. For example, it is easy to read Article 35 of the 1982 (last amended 2004) [link]Constitution of the People's Republic of China,http://www.usconstitution.net/china.html[/link] as cynical propaganda:Article 35. Freedom of speech, press, assemblyCitizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.The Communist Party had no intention of honoring those freedoms. The thing that gives me pause is that this Article was quoted by the demonstrators in Tienanmen Square in 1989. Although that Article was then meaningless and is still mostly meaningless, it is a foundation upon which a people can build their freedoms. Perhaps someday someone will be able to say of the Chinese people that they "have sound and uncorrupted public opinion to give life to [their] Constitution."
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut

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#171

Post by poutine » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:23 pm

I have often heard it offhandedly remarked that many countries have better constitutions than the U.S. Constitution. I have mostly ignored that remark, because it does not seem particularly enlightening. For example, it is easy to read Article 35 of the 1982 (last amended 2004) [link]Constitution of the People's Republic of China,http://www.usconstitution.net/china.html[/link] as cynical propaganda:


Article 35. Freedom of speech, press, assembly





Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.The Communist Party had no intention of honoring those freedoms.





The thing that gives me pause is that this Article was quoted by the demonstrators in Tienanmen Square in 1989. Although that Article was then meaningless and is still mostly meaningless, it is a foundation upon which a people can build their freedoms. Perhaps someday someone will be able to say of the Chinese people that they "have sound and uncorrupted public opinion to give life to [their] Constitution."I think judicial supremacy is a key factor. Only a handful of nations in the world have adopted that idea, including the United States which was essentially its pioneer. We have Marbury v. Madison to thank for that, which is a far more radical Supreme Court decision than people really appreciate today. A constitution is meaningless if there is no fair, neutral infrastructure in place to enforce the rights expressed in that constitution. Otherwise, all you have is majority rule, as is true in most parliamentary democracies.





China? I hope you are right. I think a major revolution will be needed to truly effect the changes people in that country want, rather than the gradual constitutional evolutionary process we saw here in the United States. [EDIT: Of course, there was that civil war thingie where millions died before we agreed on one particular step of that evolution.] The American evolution (not revolution) is actually very unique, largely because we had the unique advantage of essentially starting from scratch when our republic was formed. As a result, we have by far the oldest living constitution in the world. (Unless you want to count San Marino.) China will probably have to undergo some radical shift to get to this point, by contrast, that will result in its constitution being tossed out.

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#172

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:37 pm

SCOTUS didn't begin to take the free speech right in the constitution really seriously until well after World War 1. The best example? The anti-sedition laws that were brutally enforced. They had their initial genesis in the Alien & Sedition Act of 1798 and continued through the Sedition Act of 1918, which made it a crime to use "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, its flag, or its armed forces. (That law was upheld in 1919.)The Government's right to control critical and inflammatory speech was not completely articulated until 1969! That was when Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969) was decided, reversing the conviction of a Klu Klux Klansman for making speeches which advocated "revengeance*" against blacks and Jews. (That was also the Warren Court at its best.)*A real Sarah Palin, wasn't he?

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#173

Post by MsDaisy » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:22 pm

Terry Jones threatens to sue MI officials after arrest over $1 peace bond[/break1]talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/04/terry_jones_threatens_to_sue_mi_officials_after_ar.php]http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.c ... ter_ar.phpMaybe he should hire O’rly, no?
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#174

Post by poutine » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:29 pm

What I fail to understand about this bizarre situation is why the court imposed a $1 peace bond. The amount alone showed that the bond was a farce. Did the government really want one dollar in compensation for the possibility of a breach of violence? And then, when he refused to pay it, they jailed him over it? Wtf? Could they have, perhaps, sent him a bill in the mail after he'd gone home? (Not a dollar bill. Rather, a bill for the dollar.)

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