Saturday, December 21, 2013

Short Hills Carjackers Arrested; More Duck Dynasty & Free Speech

(Update to Duck Dynasty Story Below)

Short Hills Carjackers Arrested

I think this has been all over the news by now, but I'm posting about it because I used to shop where this crime happened all the time, at The Mall At Short Hills, and I set my book, Fangsters, in that part of New Jersey. I'm very familiar with that part of New Jersey and I wasn't born too far from there. Short Hills is not only an affluent area, but probably the last place anyone would expect something as horrible as a carjacking/murder to happen. But a young man and his small family went to The Mall At Short Hills to shop and they were carjacked and the man was killed in front of his family.

The carjacking occurred just as Friedland and his wife, Jamie Schare Friedland, were ending a shopping trip. Mourners at Friedland's funeral on Wednesday said he had just opened the door of his SUV for his wife when he was shot.

Friedland had a law degree from Syracuse University and was project manager at his family's heating and air conditioning and heating company.

They caught the carjackers and one was arrested in Easton, PA, about twenty-five miles north of New Hope on the New Jersey border.

It's bad enough we don't feel safe in our cities anymore, now we can't feel safe in places that were always crime free.
When does it stop? When do we take back our quality of life and say enough?

You can read more here.

More Duck Dynasty & Free Speech

Phil Robertson, who was recently suspended from reality show, Duck Dynasty, for gay hate comments evidently has a history of gay hate speech and his most recent comments in GQ Magazine aren't isolated to that one particular article. A new video has surfaced with Robertson making even worse comments and more gay hate speech that leaves most normal people shaking their heads in wonder.

In the sermon, Robertson said gays and lesbians are 'full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless.'

He also said: 'Women with women, men with men, they committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions.'

You can see the video here, and read more. It's actually a little scary. But what's even scarier is that the ever controversial political pundit and radical Alaskan Tea Party leader, Sarah Palin, along with some important names within the Republican party like Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, have aligned themselves with Phil Robertson, defended his comments and gay hate speech as free speech, and even went so far as to twist the concept of free speech. Since then, many have been trying to disabuse Palin and Jindal with simple, solid facts.

In this article linked below, it's explained in simple terms what Sarah Palin lacks in knowledge about free speech (or failed to disclose because she doesn't think most Americans know any better). I made a brief comment in an earlier post about how free speech is always associated with responsibility, consequences, and reactions. In other words you are free to say whatever you like without government interference, but you'd also better be prepared for the consequences when people don't agree with your free speech. We have the right to do that...disagree.

As I explained, part of free speech is the ability of others to respond and to express disapproval. Part of free speech is the consequence of bad decisions that are part of any free marketplace.
You can read more here. Although I never agreed with much of what Palin stood for, I used to think she was fairly bright and even honest. I guess the truth always comes out sooner or later. This time by her own admission.

There's also an open letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal about his support for Phil Robertson and Jindal's unfortunate comments on free speech. (Side note: It's amazing how they just assume most of us don't know any better. Don't they realize we have all the information at our fingertips?)

The First Amendment to the Constitution does not guarantee the inaliable right to be on a reality-TV show.

It is meant to protect the free speech of American citizens from being silenced by an act of Congress. And A&E is a company–owned in part by other, larger, publicly traded companies. It does not in any way qualify as Congress, or “the government,” or an agent of the state.

It's a fascinating letter and I highly recommend reading it in full, especially if you don't know much about free speech.

Once again, in a world that seems to be changing daily, the Republican Party is either hiding the best of what they have, or Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin are as good as it gets in that department. And I'm far from being a political zealot on either end of the spectrum. I've never voted straight party line in my life and I've always had respect for smart Republicans and Democrats. But I think I'll pass on both Jinal and Palin after this nonsense.

Update: Ian Bayne, congressional candidate in Illinois, came out (not "as gay") in support of Phil Robertson on Friday, claiming that Robertson is the Rosa Parks of "our" generation. You can read more here.)

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