Supreme Court: Westboro Church can picket funerals

I can’t say I’m very surprised with this recent Supreme Court ruling:

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a grieving father’s pain over mocking protests at his Marine son’s funeral must yield to First Amendment protections for free speech. All but one justice (Samuel Alito) sided with a fundamentalist church that has stirred outrage with raucous demonstrations contending God is punishing the military for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

The 8-1 decision in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., was the latest in a line of court rulings that, as Chief Justice John Roberts said in his opinion for the court, protects “even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”

I find myself torn very slightly on this one. Deep down I knew the Westboro Church was going to win, but I hoped they would lose. I hoped it would be found that they were harassing families, not exercising their free speech rights. Because, come on. That really is what they were doing. But, still, I’ve been torn. As far as the law is concerned (something the church pretends to know something about), they weren’t targeting anyone. Even though everyone knows they were.

I appreciated when I read that Bill O’Reilly offered to pay the legal bills of the family. But that was when the costs were relatively low. Now the family may be in debt to the church for around $100,000. I wouldn’t expect O’Reilly to pay that amount, but I hope he does. And if not him, then someone. The Westboro Church is made up of pure scum, one step above the religious fanatics who physically harm others. Maybe they deserved this court victory, but they don’t deserve the sick satisfaction from further hurting the families who have lost loved ones.

The Republican Plan

  • Weaken the middle class.

Check.

in life, in wonder, in people

in discovery, in love.

My favorite Charlie Sheen quotes

These past couple of days have been magnificently entertaining to me.

I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available. If you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded bodies.

and

I’m not fair game. I’m not a soft target. It’s over. There’s a new sheriff in town and he has an army of assassins.

and

Look what I’m dealing with, man. I’m dealing with fools and trolls.

He must have been blogging when he said that last one.

They lay down with their ugly wives and their ugly children and their loser lives and they look me and say, “I can’t process it!” Well, no, you never will. Just stop trying. Sit back and enjoy the show.

And my all time favorite…

I have one speed. I have one gear: GO.

Not okay, Facebook

Facebook wants to once again screw with everyone’s personal information.

Facebook announced today in a letter to Congress that the social-media platform is moving forward with plans to give third parties access to user information, such as phone numbers and home addresses.

In a letter to Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.), who both expressed concerns over Facebook’s plan to make such data available, company officials reiterated their now-familiar pledge to leave it up to users to decide whether they want their personal contact information to go out to app developers and outside websites. Markey has previously said that “Facebook needs to protect the personal information of its users to ensure that Facebook doesn’t become Phonebook.”

I discovered a few weeks ago that my number was actually posted on my profile. Presumably it happened when I got a BlackBerry and added the Facebook app. I’ve looked and seen that other friends with smart phones also have their numbers available; I doubt most of them know. And now Facebook wants to take advantage of this fact. It’s horseshit. I’ve removed my number, and I never had my address up there in the first place, but this is much too far. Facebook needs to pull itself back. It has 500 million users – there’s plenty of ad revenue to be had. There is no need to give seedy companies access to this sort of information.

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