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Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

WordPress Ate My Blog, and…

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Folks, I had a very long blog post about the First Amendment to the United States, and how important it is to believe in freedom of speech. But something happened during the “auto-save” process, and WordPress ate half my blog. So I decided to trash the blog, and start over.

I do believe in freedom of speech, even when it’s speech I don’t agree with at all. No matter how vile the speech is, it is protected under the First Amendment.

So, going back to the events of January 6, 2021, here are my thoughts:

1. The protestors carrying flags and chanting who did not go into the Capitol building were exercising their freedom of speech along with their freedom of assembly.

2. The protestors who stayed on the sidewalk and chanted, or sang, or prayed, while others went into the Capitol and trashed it (among other things) are not to blame for other people’s actions. Again, they were exercising their freedoms of speech and assembly. More power to them.

3. Those who crossed the line from speech into action, and stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C., should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Five people died that day, including one police officer. Millions of property damage was done, too. And if not but for the grace of God/dess, it’s possible that the protestors who were in the Capitol Building shouting “Hang Mike Pence!” might’ve gotten their wish.

So, the upshot of all of that is, if all you did was yell “Hang Mike Pence!” but did not go into the Capitol, your free speech is protected. But if you yelled “Hang Mike Pence!” and then went into the Capitol, vandalized some stuff, and/or roughed up some police officers (quite a few were injured; one lost an eye; one was nearly crushed to death in a door), you should be prosecuted.

This does not seem like rocket science, to me.

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 28, 2021 at 5:59 am

8 Responses

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  1. Basically the ones who charged Capitol Hill are guilty under any number of laws, but there does not appear to be the appetite to pursue them to set an example.
    I’ll shut up now, because I have very strong views on the use of violence by mobs, no matter what political stripe or cause.
    Hope you are feeling much better now Barb.


    February 28, 2021 at 11:47 am

    • Thanks, Roger.

      I agree with you about the use of violence by mobs, no matter what their political stripe may be and no matter what their cause may be.

      There have been over 100 arrests, I think, last I checked, with more on the way. FBI put up a billboard here in Racine, WI, asking for help to find more of the perpetrators. If they’re doing that here, they’re probably doing that in many other areas of the country.

      I do think there will be an example set. But justice is taking its slow course, and that’s quite frustrating for those of us who watched all the violence unfold.

      And as I said, I really do think “if but for the grace of the Deity” that Pence and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and any number of other government officials were at risk. We’re fortunate none of them were killed.

      Barb Caffrey

      February 28, 2021 at 10:12 pm

      • Other than the person shot and killed by the Capitol police. One cop died due to as far as we know by unknown causes well after the riot was over. Right now the FBI are looking for a person who had bear spray. And 3 people died of medical emergencies IE heart attacks. Grace of GOD? If it had been an actual insurrection hundreds would have been killed. sheesh compared to Minneapolis this was a minor riot. There’s “a lot of mileage” between the Washington D.C. protest and the kind of widespread rioting that erupted after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which caused more than $2 billion in projected damages, said Thomas R. Johansmeyer, leader of Verisk’s Property Claims Services. Only reason this might cost near that amount is the democrats keeping National Guard soldiers active near DC.

        thomas Monaghan

        March 1, 2021 at 12:18 am

      • Tom, it’s apples and oranges to compare the two things. First, no one had any idea that there would be “professional protestors” in MN. (Folks who go from protest to protest, stirring up the water and people’s emotions.) That’s far different from DC, where there were two different but distinct things going on. One was a relatively peaceful protest. The other were a bunch of people who have declared themselves, after being placed in custody, as former Trump supporters. I have a hard time believing that the police and the FBI and judges wouldn’t know the difference between one of those “professional protestors” and a Trump supporter who went to DC and caused mayhem and rioting and looting. (Again, there were two different/distinct things going on, and fortunately for us all there were far more people there interested in being peaceful than not.)

        Second, MN’s police department had warning the second night of the protests, and didn’t take proper precautions as best I can tell. Whereas the DC police department doesn’t seem to have realized how bad things could get, and the Capitol police definitely didn’t know. (Why didn’t they? No one’s able to pinpoint that, as there were plenty of warning signs online from groups like the Proud Boys and such. Not that most of the folks stirring up the water there actually did much harm, but _some_ did do harm. That’s why it’s tough for the police and FBI to identify who did what to whom.)

        At any rate, I don’t like seeing all the National Guard there in DC almost two months after the combination relatively peaceful protest with the folks going into the Capitol building and causing a lot of trouble. (I note you don’t point out the policeman who had his eye gouged out, or the policeman who almost got crushed in a door, or the other policeman who was stunned by a Taser and had a heart attack — a mild one, thank goodness.)

        Going back to the video we have of the incident, Mike Pence and his family only cleared the area less than a minute before protestors went rampaging through where they’d just been. Those people were shouting, “Hang Mike Pence,” Tom. They were not going to be kind to him if they had found him. Or his family, either.

        You may remember that I strongly disapproved of looting/rioting after the George Floyd killing. I also strongly disapproved of looting/rioting after Jacob Blake was shot seven times (wasn’t it seven times?) in the back down in Kenosha (which is very close to where I live).

        We do need reform all over the map. We need reform in DC. We need reform in MN. We need reform in Kenosha. We need lots and lots and lots of transparency, oversight, knowledge, etc., along with the belief we can and must do better.

        Make no mistake, Tom. The folks who went to MN and burned things to the ground were awful. Many were “professional protestors,” as I said. They shouldn’t have done it, and they, too, should be prosecuted and jailed.

        What you, me, and everyone else needs to realize is that if a group of people becomes a mob — whether that’s in MN, DC, Kenosha, or anywhere else — that mob is not reasonable. The people in it have been swept up in something that is so destructive that individuals who do not mean to be destructive maybe can’t get the Hell out of the way. (Thus some of the reasons for the other deaths. At least one woman was trampled to death in the crowd, I read.)

        You and I, and Roger, and anyone reading this blog, are all reasonable people. We are not in the middle of that mob. (Thank the Goddess for that.) We can think clearly. We can analyze the facts and decide for ourselves what the ever-living Hell just happened.

        And again — while the MN riots were dreadful, and there was much more property damage there than in DC, what happened in DC was both symbolic and disquieting, to say the least.

        The thought that this could’ve been much, much worse keeps coming to mind, Tom, because it really could’ve been. What if there had been more coordination between the various groups intent on rioting/looting there?

        That’s the scenario that keeps me up nights.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 1, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      • Yes I agree ‘but for the grace’ and also the courage and adherence to duty of those brave few law officers to hand.


        March 1, 2021 at 4:34 am

      • That’s for sure. Those policemen and women did a great job under the circumstances.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 1, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      • True patriotic heroes


        March 1, 2021 at 1:40 pm

      • Absolutely.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 1, 2021 at 9:40 pm

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