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Don't shoot until you see the whites of their union cards
February 24, 2011 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Indiana Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox has lost his job after urging National Guardsmen to use live ammunition during their potential clash with Wisconsin union members and protesters.
posted by FatherDagon (166 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Seriously WTF!!! Dude should be in jail for conspiracy. He should be barred from ever holding or running from office again. And whatever pension he may have had should be seized.
posted by spicynuts at 7:52 AM on February 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Jeffrey Cox concedes that his "use live ammunition" tweet was not a good idea.

Jeffrey Cox, you are so dumb. For real.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:53 AM on February 24, 2011 [79 favorites]


Since people seem to assume otherwise whenever they're discussed, Deputy/Assistant Attorneys General are not elected or appointed, they're just career lawyers and each state probably has hundreds of them.
posted by ghharr at 7:54 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Buh bye. Don't let the door hit ya... etc., etc.
posted by zarq at 7:56 AM on February 24, 2011


More on.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:59 AM on February 24, 2011


Well, it's nice to see somebody finally punished for eliminationist rhetoric. Of course, it's a low-level idiot, and my guess is this will be the only person ever punished like this.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:59 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


"I think that in this day and age that tweet was not a good idea." Cox told CNN affiliate WRTV in Indianapolis
"And in terms of that language," Cox said. "I'm not going to use it any more."


Yeah right. I give it about a week before he's on Red State or some wingnut-welfare outlet, backtracking on the apology, saying he hopes the National Guard uses high-caliber ammo.
posted by PlusDistance at 8:01 AM on February 24, 2011 [23 favorites]


I imagine if he had walked it back and said it was just a joke and he should've used more carefully considered language he could've kept his job, but when someone called him on it he confirmed that he wasn't joking and really did believe that peaceful protestors should be gunned down. Fortunately, dude is a moron and we're all better off for it.

In other news, I just spent the morning arguing on Facebook with a dude I knew in high school who thinks that the Democratic legislators should be prosecuted for terrorism because they're literally holding the people of Wisconsin hostage.
posted by electroboy at 8:01 AM on February 24, 2011 [26 favorites]


Deputy/Assistant Attorneys General are not elected or appointed, they're just career lawyers and each state probably has hundreds of them.

Whoops...my bad. I wish he could be charged with a felony and convicted though so that he could not ever hold office. Won't hold my breath.
posted by spicynuts at 8:02 AM on February 24, 2011


Yeah right. I give it about a week before he's on Red State or some wingnut-welfare outlet, backtracking on the apology, saying he hopes the National Guard uses high-caliber ammo.

I assumed he'd already have a job offer from Pox News.
posted by elizardbits at 8:03 AM on February 24, 2011 [21 favorites]


From my own Twitter account, I confronted the user, JCCentCom. He tweeted back that the demonstrators were "political enemies" and "thugs" who were "physically threatening legally elected officials." In response to such behavior, he said, "You're damned right I advocate deadly force." He later called me a "typical leftist," adding, "liberals hate police."

There is so much telling information revealed here. He calls protesters "thugs" yet he's the one encouraging the use of deadly force, and then comments that people who might be on the receiving end of such treatment are police haters.

These people have so much hate and ugly inside it actually scares me that they can get to such levels of power.
posted by quin at 8:03 AM on February 24, 2011 [51 favorites]


er. FOX News.
posted by elizardbits at 8:03 AM on February 24, 2011


I thought the national guard was on alert to perform services of locked out/on strike workers rather than clash with protesters. Is this not correct?
posted by Mitheral at 8:04 AM on February 24, 2011


This is Indiana, gang. Sadly, he's not an outlier. This place has gone wingnut/teabagger crazy. If our beancounter-in-chief actually does run for President, expect to hear much more such crazy spewing forth from our borders.

I still have no clue how Indiana went for Obama in '08.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:06 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


He tweeted back that the demonstrators were "political enemies" and "thugs" who were "physically threatening legally elected officials." In response to such behavior, he said, "You're damned right I advocate deadly force."

There is so much telling information revealed here.

Yeah, like "political enemies" -> deadly force.

He later called me a "typical leftist," adding, "liberals hate police."

Typical authoritarian, loves authority even when it's abused.
posted by DU at 8:06 AM on February 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


It's not like state governments are no strangers to killing union members.
posted by Virtblue at 8:06 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


In other news, I just spent the morning arguing on Facebook with a dude I knew in high school who thinks that the Democratic legislators should be prosecuted for terrorism because they're literally holding the people of Wisconsin hostage.

Well, this is an exciting turn of events. Was there an FPP I missed?
posted by jaduncan at 8:06 AM on February 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


elizardbits: "er. FOX News."

You had it right the first time....
posted by zarq at 8:06 AM on February 24, 2011 [19 favorites]


Kinda the Lynndie England syndrome here. Those low level enough can be punished for their misdeeds (and Cox certainly deserves to be fired), but no one in real power has to worry too much.
posted by edgeways at 8:07 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just realised that sounded kind of snarky - I was more amused by the absurdity of the 'literal' claim of your friend.
posted by jaduncan at 8:07 AM on February 24, 2011


Good.
posted by jefficator at 8:08 AM on February 24, 2011



In other news, I just spent the morning arguing on Facebook with a dude I knew in high school who thinks that the Democratic legislators should be prosecuted for terrorism because they're literally holding the people of Wisconsin hostage.


Hey.. I'll give him that, as long as we can do exactly the same thing to the National Republican Senators of the last Congress.
posted by edgeways at 8:08 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: "er. FOX News"

Hell, the typo's telling. Can I use that?
posted by notsnot at 8:08 AM on February 24, 2011


Don't get to say it every day, but good job, Indiana.

What a fucker. Please don't shoot my mom, asshole.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:09 AM on February 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


In case you were wondering, "centcom" is military jargon for "Central Command." I believe this guy is a raging, impotent, chickenhawk nutball that plays at being a tough guy without actually being one.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:09 AM on February 24, 2011 [24 favorites]


pox on cox on fox in box!

this is an exciting new side effect of meclizine.
posted by elizardbits at 8:10 AM on February 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


OK, I think when this guy was reading "Recommended Strategies for Dealing With Protestors" he skipped over the "not" in "Do not imitate Quaddafi."
posted by schroedinger at 8:14 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Good. Now prosecute him for treason and attempted terrorism.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 8:15 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


In other news, I just spent the morning arguing on Facebook with a dude I knew in high school who thinks that the Democratic legislators should be prosecuted for terrorism because they're literally holding the people of Wisconsin hostage.

I wish. I wouldn't have had to go to work today.
posted by desjardins at 8:15 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just realised that sounded kind of snarky - I was more amused by the absurdity of the 'literal' claim of your friend.

No offense taken. It's always interesting arguing with that guy. Although it becomes tiresome pretty quickly when you can't agree on things like the definition of literally.

He also thinks that the dude who pranked the governor should be charged with a felony.
posted by electroboy at 8:16 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


this is an exciting new side effect of meclizine.

See why socialized meclizine is a bad idea?
posted by nickmark at 8:16 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jeffrey Cox? More like, Jeffrey Cock! Amirite?
Seriously, what an ass.
posted by NoMich at 8:16 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Muammar Gaddafi approves.
posted by Rykey at 8:17 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Good riddance, jerk.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:17 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]



I thought the national guard was on alert to perform services of locked out/on strike workers rather than clash with protesters. Is this not correct?


This is mostly correct. Though, the governor may have not said exactly that the first time he mentioned it.
posted by drezdn at 8:17 AM on February 24, 2011


Good. Now prosecute him for treason and attempted terrorism.

Ironically, this is similar overreaching to some of the orther tweets on the sacked official's account.
posted by jaduncan at 8:20 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's only a matter of time before some 2nd amendment patriot opens up on a union/american hating crowd.
posted by batboy at 8:26 AM on February 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Good. Now prosecute him for treason and attempted terrorism.

Ironically, this is similar overreaching to some of the orther tweets on the sacked official's account.


Treason, yes. Attempted terrorism? Maybe not. If a brown Muslim dude had a tweet that said something like "the Secretary of State is doing a terrible job in the Middle East--someone should fly a plane into her" you don't think there'd at least be an investigation?
posted by DU at 8:27 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's like Reverse-Libya.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:27 AM on February 24, 2011


If a brown Muslim dude had a tweet that said something like "the Secretary of State is doing a terrible job in the Middle East--someone should fly a plane into her" you don't think there'd at least be an investigation?

If you're in the UK you don't even have to be brown or Muslim, and you'll be fined £3,000.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:29 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


A Fox on both your houses!
posted by brundlefly at 8:37 AM on February 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


plays at being a tough guy without actually being one

Stuff White People Like could write a whole slew of books in that genre once Tom Clancy retires.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:38 AM on February 24, 2011


Meanwhile, the teabagger right is outraged about a typo.

No, really.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:48 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jeffrey Cox? More like, Jeffrey Cock! Amirite?

Tune in tomorrow for our new ensemble show starring Jeffrey Cox, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly: "Cocks in the Foxhouse". Consult your local listings.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:52 AM on February 24, 2011


Use live ammo, cuz Kent State worked out well!

Has Cox started whining about his first amendment rights being violated yet? Because if there's one thing right wing nutjobs are confused about, it's the difference between free speech and being responsible for the content of your free speech.
posted by Nelson at 8:52 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Good. Now prosecute him for treason and attempted terrorism.

Ironically, this is similar overreaching to some of the orther tweets on the sacked official's account.


You know, honestly, there probably should be some rather strict penalties for high-ranking officials who call on the military to fire on civilians. Given what has passed for "attempted terrorism" in the past, I think that definition might be perfectly suitable.
posted by schmod at 8:53 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


The FPP text is a little misleading in saying he was "urging the National Guardsmen to use live ammunition." He tweeted it. It's not like he was in direct contact with the Governor or commanders of the guard.

Don't get me wrong. Still a douche, and it still should have totally cost him his job, but he was just shooting his mouth off, not creating strategy for responding to protesters in back rooms.
posted by dry white toast at 8:56 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


So he is no longer a Deputy Attorney General, but he is still a member of the Indiana bar, right? Will publicly advocating murder be consistent with that status?
posted by Rumple at 8:59 AM on February 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


Bet he wishes he was in a union so he couldn't be fired so easily over a three-word tweet. Good riddance.
posted by antonymous at 9:03 AM on February 24, 2011 [18 favorites]


Has Cox started whining about his first amendment rights being violated yet?

Why yes, yes he has.
Cox told WRTV he realizes the tweet wasn't a good idea, but he doesn't think public employees should lose their free speech rights.
posted by Kimberly at 9:06 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Has Cox started whining about his first amendment rights being violated yet?

Here's the thing- he wasn't fired for his "free speech". He was fired for violating the code of conduct I'm sure he signed. Right to talk /= right to be employed
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:09 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm sure this is an isolated incident.

/sarcasm
posted by warbaby at 9:11 AM on February 24, 2011


I'm not sure I feel comfortable about witch-hunting this guy about his political beliefs, vile as they are. It feels unpleasantly close to McCarthyism. I think the whole immediate firing thing is probably sufficient.

This was an off-the-cuff comment by someone who had no power to implement it nor any particular influence to cause it to happen. People shoot their mouth off sometimes - I certainly have - and I'm not sure it needs legal penalties attached.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:11 AM on February 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


So he is no longer a Deputy Attorney General, but he is still a member of the Indiana bar, right? Will publicly advocating murder be consistent with that status?

Serious question here, with advocating violence from my limited knowledge being not protected by the first amendment, could he be disbarred? Because it really seems like that would be a good enough reason.
posted by usagizero at 9:12 AM on February 24, 2011


Cox still has his free speech rights. No one has taken those away. He is part of the problem in political discourse in the U.S.; pro-gun, pro-violence and pro-ignorant venality.

Employers in an "at will" state can fire anybody any time for any reason. Free speech isn't what people think it is. Free speech does not protect one from consequences of speech.
posted by blurb at 9:12 AM on February 24, 2011 [15 favorites]


he doesn't think public employees should lose their free speech rights

I just don't even know what to say here.
posted by enn at 9:13 AM on February 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Cox is the son of WRTV reporter Norman Cox.

Maybe he can blame his liberal upbringing.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:14 AM on February 24, 2011


Has Cox started whining about his first amendment rights being violated yet?

Kimberly: Why yes, yes he has.
Cox told WRTV he realizes the tweet wasn't a good idea, but he doesn't think public employees should lose their free speech rights.
And the official message from his former employer clarifies their stance, too:
Civility and courtesy toward all members of the public are very important to the Indiana Attorney General's Office. We respect individuals' First Amendment right to express their personal views on private online forums, but as public servants we are held by the public to a higher standard, and we should strive for civility.
As a public servant, you're a class of pseudo-celebrity, where what you do in your private life can reflect on your public image. And twitter isn't by any means private, but rather a public broadcast of your comments, which I think is similar to shouting on the street corner, versus talking amongst friends.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:16 AM on February 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


What he said was terrible, but it's not like he was in an actual position of authority to do anything about it. I'm very uncomfortable with firing people for expressing opinions, even when they're vile.

Now, if he'd been in the military chain of command somewhere, then yes, he absolutely should have been kicked to the curb. But, for purposes of this tweet, he had no more power than any other random citizen, and I don't think he should be singled out for retribution.

Just because you're in government doesn't mean you can't have opinions. No authority was abused here, and after a little thought, I strongly believe firing the man was entirely inappropriate.
posted by Malor at 9:17 AM on February 24, 2011


So...serious question: How do all these lawyers get through law school and pass bar exams with no understanding of the law or the constitution?
posted by threeturtles at 9:18 AM on February 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


my guess is this will be the only person ever punished like this.

If an office holder commits a felony and you are aware of it, in theory, the local Grand Jury exists to investigate the matter.

As long as you "are a credible witness" - you too should be able to approach your local Grand Jury so citizens armed with a ham sandwich may see a true bill out of the process.

(Death threats to an out of state party may rise to a local felony. But hey, that's what the Grand Jury is for - to look into the matter, no?)
posted by rough ashlar at 9:19 AM on February 24, 2011


but he is still a member of the Indiana bar, right?

File a bar grievance. If enough get filed he should become uninsurable.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:21 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


And twitter isn't by any means private, but rather a public broadcast of your comments, which I think is similar to shouting on the street corner, versus talking amongst friends.

I sometimes wonder how many people don't really "get" this whole thing.

Maybe it's the text-message length of tweets, maybe it's that a lot of people use their mobile phones to post them... I don't really know, but it seems that I read about a lot of people who don't quite grok that Twitter is a globally-public forum in which anyone can read what you've written, give or take a few direct messages.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's only a matter of time before some 2nd amendment patriot opens up on a union/american hating crowd.

They are called Pinkertons and (I believe) Wackenhut.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:22 AM on February 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Oh, and:

Free speech does not protect one from consequences of speech.

That was the exact argument used against the Dixie Chicks, back in 2001/2002. I didn't agree with it then, and I don't agree with it now. To whatever degree possible, there shouldn't be consequences for speech. Holding an opinion is not something you should ever be punished for... only specific actions.

From my perspective, this is the liberal version of thoughtcrime. He didn't shoot anyone, and was in no position to cause anyone to be shot. For what, exactly, is he being punished?

As far as I'm concerned, this is misusing the power of the state to shut someone up we don't agree with. Tolerance of dissent, even when it's that nasty, is a critical component of freedom. If you're only free to have popular opinions, you're not free at all.
posted by Malor at 9:24 AM on February 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


Malor: Just because you're in government doesn't mean you can't have opinions. No authority was abused here, and after a little thought, I strongly believe firing the man was entirely inappropriate.

But when you're a government employee, you're held to a higher standard when it comes to public conduct, even on private time. Moreso when statements you've made come under fire from news coverage. Even though you've been hired and not elected, your position and statements are tied into the larger political jumble.


hippybear: I sometimes wonder how many people don't really "get" this whole thing.

With enough cases like this, where the press covers it as "[someone] was fired due to comments made on [internet service]," people will realize it's not only celebrities whose Twitter feeds and Facebook updates matter.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:25 AM on February 24, 2011


Just because you're in government doesn't mean you can't have opinions.

Everybody is entitled to their opinion. But is a government official advocating violence against peaceful fellow citizens (apparently, seriously) not crossing a line we really don't want crossed?

Serious question.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:26 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Treason, yes. Attempted terrorism? Maybe not. If a brown Muslim dude had a tweet that said something like "the Secretary of State is doing a terrible job in the Middle East--someone should fly a plane into her" you don't think there'd at least be an investigation?

Maybe. It would be for incitement of terrorism if so, not attempted terrorism.
posted by jaduncan at 9:26 AM on February 24, 2011


Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee.
posted by Flunkie at 9:26 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


They are called Pinkertons

I really don't get why the Pinkerton company hasn't changed their name in the past one hundred years.
posted by drezdn at 9:27 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jeffrey Cox concedes that his "use live ammunition" tweet was not a good idea.

Which part, feeling that way or Tweeting about it? Jerk.
posted by VTX at 9:28 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]



That was the exact argument used against the Dixie Chicks, back in 2001/2002.


The Dixie Chicks never endorsed violence against anyone.
posted by drezdn at 9:28 AM on February 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


The Dixie Chicks never endorsed violence against anyone.

I dunno, I've seen the video to Goodbye Earl.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 9:30 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I'm not sure I feel comfortable about witch-hunting this guy about his political beliefs, vile as they are. It feels unpleasantly close to McCarthyism."

Unpleasantly close to McCarthyism? Do you just not know very much about McCarthy?

"To whatever degree possible, there shouldn't be consequences for speech. Holding an opinion is not something you should ever be punished for... only specific actions. "

Guess what? He's being punished for the specific action of advocating violence against protestors. His position makes this dangerously close to a statement of policy, and he certainly fucked himself out of any reasonable ability to represent Indiana in any case that might have arisen out of violence against protestors. Public statements by government officials can reasonably be construed to reflect the position of their offices. If he had not been fired, there would have been legitimate question as to whether his views were policy.
posted by klangklangston at 9:32 AM on February 24, 2011 [14 favorites]


Cox told WRTV he realizes the tweet wasn't a good idea, but he doesn't think public employees should lose their free speech rights.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

To whatever degree possible, there shouldn't be consequences for speech.

what

He's still free to say whatever he wants; he just doesn't get to do it as a government employee. While I didn't like all the stupid shit that was said about the Dixie Chicks, and thought the boycott was heinous, it's absolutely no different from boycotts and letter-writing campaigns and such that I've participated in, and I completely support the right of Dixie Chicks haters to do what they did.
posted by rtha at 9:32 AM on February 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


I really don't get why the Pinkerton company hasn't changed their name in the past one hundred years.

Going way out on a limb here, but I'm going to say it's because they're proud of it.
posted by stet at 9:32 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Dixie Chicks weren't "fired" for their speech--they were boycotted. Boycotting institutions, companies, bands, etc. is also free speech.

When someone works for the government, however, and makes public comments as this attorney in the AG office did, boycotting isn't feasible.

Firing was appropriate.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:33 AM on February 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


"I really don't get why the Pinkerton company hasn't changed their name in the past one hundred years."

Big Weezer fans.
posted by klangklangston at 9:33 AM on February 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


Malor: From my perspective, this is the liberal version of thoughtcrime. He didn't shoot anyone, and was in no position to cause anyone to be shot. For what, exactly, is he being punished?

While I did say I don't want him to be legally punished, I do think the firing is appropriate. He's revealed himself to be a violent political radical in a job in which being a violent political radical could result in significant harm to others. He's proven himself unsuitable for his job.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:33 AM on February 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


Losing his job is a suitable and just punishment for what he said. Calls for criminal charges or disbarment seem a little extreme.
posted by rocket88 at 9:36 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really don't get why the Pinkerton company hasn't changed their name in the past one hundred years.

Because they don't sell their services to laborers, they sell them to business owners. Also, they were bought by Securitas, a Swedish mercenary outfit security services firm.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:36 AM on February 24, 2011


Where is the cadre of Metafilter lawyers complaining that without an IANYL disclaimer, Cox was giving legal advice or a legal opinion?

I guess he wasn't cutting into anyone's billable hours.
posted by Rumple at 9:37 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Big Weezer fans.

Well, there has been an inappropriate interest in underage Asians shown by at least one security firm.
posted by stet at 9:38 AM on February 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


If a Democratic assistant AG here in RI advocated that some Teamsters rough up the tea-partiers, I'd expect him to be fired as well, even though I support the Unions. Government officials must not advocate violence against political opponents. That's how civil wars start, including the one we had a century and a half ago.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:40 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, back in the day, when the hippies and liberal lefties started making noise, the right used to field well-trained and well-organized squads of burly construction workers who were ready and able to wade right in and crack some skulls.

They lost that fight.

This time around, the best they can come up with is a bunch of doughy, middle aged, suburban information workers who get all spittle flecked on the Internet when they think no one's watching, then scuttle under the refrigerator like cockroaches as soon as someone switches on the kitchen light.

I don't much like their odds this time.
posted by Naberius at 9:42 AM on February 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Ah, memories of Kent State and the national guard killings.
I suggest that this is what is happening:
we have had a growing split into two nations--no not rich and poor--but Blue and Red. The animosity expressed by those on either side has been viewed, read, seen, somewhat--tv, blogs etc., but thus far expressed via the election booth.

With the advent of a Black president and an economic downturn, failure in the housing market etc the split has widened and got more expressive.

In Wisconsin, the first state to allow for public workers to have collective bargaining, the split between the two ideological factions has sharpened and taken a public stance.
It is now also happening in some 4 or more other states and it will further spread.

Where will it go from here? We have seen the use of social media and the role it plays in the Middle East ...will it begin to resemble this? It may be a bit too early to know...
Is there anything which can heal this ideological rift splitting the nation asunder? I think not.
Remember though that all indications are that a majority of Americans are fairly conservative. And also recall that Americans often do not vote with self-interest in mind. Thus, labor unions are in a state of decline in the private sector, and yet salaries stay stagnet.
posted by Postroad at 9:42 AM on February 24, 2011


This is such an excellent source of information that I've been posting it in every Wisconsin thread: liveblog from Madison's daily paper The Isthmus
posted by desjardins at 9:45 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can see this going to court as a First Amendment issue. That would be interesting to watch.
posted by reductiondesign at 9:48 AM on February 24, 2011


Malor, saying there shouldn't be consequences for speech is tantamount to saying that rhetoric isn't important, that talking has no meaning, that all written and spoken word is pointless. Of course we know that's not true. Words are important. Speeches have consequences.

It does seem odd to me that one stupid tweet ends up being instant firing. The primary consequence of stupid speech should be more speech. Call the employee in, tongue-lash him, require a public apology and explanation. FWIW I think Nir Rosen resigning for his offensive speech is an over-reaction, too. Much better to have a public discussion and apology for the offense.

The real issue here is there's a scary part of America who thinks rhetoric around gun violence is OK. It's the same bullshit that led Sarah Palin to literally put crosshairs over congressional districts and declare "don't retreat.. reload!" I believe the folks mouthing off this way don't think they're literally advocating for murder, but they fail to understand how the escalation of violence in rhetoric is leading to a more violent society.
posted by Nelson at 9:48 AM on February 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


electroboy: "...In other news, I just spent the morning arguing on Facebook with a dude I knew in high school who thinks that the Democratic legislators should be prosecuted for terrorism because they're literally holding the people of Wisconsin hostage"

Nobody tell that guy about the filibuster.
posted by symbioid at 9:51 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


we have had a growing split into two nations--no not rich and poor--but Blue and Red.

And yet, this and plenty other issues do not conform to an easy blue/red divide. I heard about/know plenty of instances in WI of stanch republicans who oppose the bill, and equally solid democrats who support it. The Police union, which is fairly conservative has offered to take comparable pay cuts so that the other unions can keep the collective bargaining rights. Hell the police union, which supported Walker last election, has retracted it's endorsement.

I know the blue/red divide is shorthand, and an easy thing to refer to. It may be too easy to dismiss the majority of Americans as conservative (recent Gallop poll showed that 61% of Americans supported the Unions int his fight), but rather it is more complicated then that. I'd wager the country is pretty evenly split, (which makes it frustrating for everyone), keep in mind a sizable portion of Americans thought Obama was a socialist Muslim prior to the '08 elections, and he still won.
posted by edgeways at 9:53 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I can see this going to court as a First Amendment issue. That would be interesting to watch.

eh, I dunno. no one took away his right to speech, they have just said you can not endorse violence while serving in this role. I think that is a responsible and reasonable condition of employment for government work. Plenty of other instances have come up with people being fired because of their speech, this is hardly a unique case. I'd be pretty shocked if such a case made it far in the courts (IANAL)
posted by edgeways at 9:58 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Flunkie: "Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee"

Nah. It's our Veeps that come from Indiana. Stupid. Republican. Indianan. Veeps.
posted by symbioid at 10:00 AM on February 24, 2011



What he said was terrible, but it's not like he was in an actual position of authority to do anything about it. I'm very uncomfortable with firing people for expressing opinions, even when they're vile.


I'm kind of sympathetic to this level of prudence, but the fact is that Jeffrey Cox was a Deputy Attorney General of Indiana. He publicly broadcast a belief that US citizens should be violently murdered in the streets by police for legally standing up for their rights. Those beliefs show an obvious incapacity to perform his job as state prosecutor. He further compounded this ideology unacceptable to his office by directly insisting upon its correctness to the press.

This situation does not deserve the fantastic label "thoughtcrime" because he has not been charged by authorities with any crime, as far as I know. He was justly fired, as any public employee who publicly demonstrates an incapacity to do his job might be. Like if a math teacher declared that fractions weren't real, or if a social worker advocated throttling disobedient children, the suggestion of killing people for exercising their civil rights by a state prosecutor demonstrates the same level of basic, incorrigible, fundamental misunderstanding of what he is employed to do, and once he has made that a matter of public knowledge, no sane system government can abide his continued employment.

In short, he fucked up big time.
posted by millions at 10:02 AM on February 24, 2011 [42 favorites]


any news about the supposed armed counter protest in Atlanta today?
posted by edgeways at 10:06 AM on February 24, 2011


symbioid: Indianan.

"Hoosier."
posted by paisley henosis at 10:07 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned, this is misusing the power of the state to shut someone up we don't agree with.

Isn't that what Cox was attempting to do?
posted by cashman at 10:10 AM on February 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Lost his job? How come he hasn't lost his liberty for incitement to murder?
posted by Decani at 10:11 AM on February 24, 2011


Yeah! Hoosier daddy, now?
posted by Herodios at 10:11 AM on February 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


this is misusing the power of the state to shut someone up we don't agree with.

I know it may be hard to grasp but there is a fine line difference between saying "I support same sex marriage", or "I think abortion is wrong" vs "we should shoot protesters in the street." And... uh.. it's not exactly as he has actually shut up, and disappeared.

Really there are differences and degrees of freedom of speech and where it is applied. Perhaps you (the generic you) are an absolutist: that we should be able to say anything anywhere at anytime without consequence. Personally, I think it is just fine to fire public employees for causally advocating murder. I would equally be kosher with shit-canning someone who said he thought rape was fun.
posted by edgeways at 10:23 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


(what's funny is "hoosier" means "white trash" in St. Louis jargon....so this guy was part of the Hoozheoisie, now he's part of the hoositariat.)
posted by notsnot at 10:28 AM on February 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


What he said was terrible, but it's not like he was in an actual position of authority to do anything about it.

Deputy or assistant Attornies General often manage day to day decisions on what to prosecute. There's at least potentially enough authority to really ruin people's lives.
posted by Skorgu at 10:28 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


so this guy was part of the Hoozheoisie, now he's part of the hoositariat

I am going to walk around saying these words because they are so damned fun to say.
posted by desjardins at 10:32 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Don't mean to derail, but does anyone else use "hoosier" like that? I mean, when my dad made me watch the basketball movie "Hoosiers" when I was ten, I almost wet myself at the hilarity of people self-identifying as "hoosiers".
posted by notsnot at 10:35 AM on February 24, 2011


Lost his job? How come he hasn't lost his liberty for incitement to murder?

Same reason we don't arrest people who advocate the use of the guillotine for sedition, or who bluster about torches and pitchforks for conspiracy to commit arson. If a left-leaning DA was using such intemperate rhetoric it would also be cause for dismissal.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:35 AM on February 24, 2011


I still have no clue how Indiana went for Obama in '08.

I canvassed for him in Indiana, with my kid. That's how. Seriously, it was by a tiny number of votes. Those of us who believed it was possible made it possible.

But a backlash is to be expected in a state that has some of the most entrenched pockets of severe racism in America. Birthplace of the KKK and all that.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:38 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Uh, Tennessee was the birthplace of the KKK.
posted by absalom at 10:39 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


paisley henosis: "symbioid: Indianan.

"Hoosier.
"

Oops, sorry!
posted by symbioid at 10:43 AM on February 24, 2011


To whatever degree possible, there shouldn't be consequences for speech. Holding an opinion is not something you should ever be punished for... only specific actions.

I can't tell whether you have too much respect for the power of speech or not enough.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:43 AM on February 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned, this is misusing the power of the state to shut someone up we don't agree with. Tolerance of dissent, even when it's that nasty, is a critical component of freedom. If you're only free to have popular opinions, you're not free at all.

What if instead of saying to use violence on protesters he began advocating white supremacy, rape, genocide or child abuse on Twitter? He is saying openly that people exercising their First Amendment rights peacefully should be shot. Is it okay for someone to spout off like that on a public forum and still be an assistant DA?

There is a difference between dissent and advocating violence.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:44 AM on February 24, 2011


he realizes the tweet wasn't a good idea, but he doesn't think public employees should lose their free speech rights.

Oh, the irony. This from a guy who espouses the view that it might be OK if people lose their lives for exercising their free speech rights. I'd say job loss is relatively light in comparison.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:46 AM on February 24, 2011 [15 favorites]


edgeways: "Personally, I think it is just fine to fire public employees for causally advocating murder."

I am bending my brain trying to figure out a way to advocate murder that wouldn't be causal.
posted by mkb at 10:48 AM on February 24, 2011


I am bending my brain trying to figure out a way to advocate murder that wouldn't be causal.

Black tie and tails, of course.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:54 AM on February 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Those beliefs show an obvious incapacity to perform his job as state prosecutor.

As long as he can keep his political ideals separate from his job (which may well be impossible to do but that isn't the point), he can have whatever misguided, wrongheaded opinions he wants. That isn't why he was fired. He was fired because he espoused those opinions in a very public forum, people could perceive him as a representative of his employer, and it makes the AG office look bad.

If I express my opinion on my own time, my employer can't do a thing about it. If I do it on company time and it makes them look bad, they can and should fire me. If I'm an big enough player that I'll be identified as a representative of that company, I'm always on company time with so public a forum as Twitter.
posted by VTX at 10:55 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie: "Black tie and tails, of course."

From the future, perhaps.
posted by mkb at 11:00 AM on February 24, 2011


There's at least potentially enough authority to really ruin people's lives.

You may not do the time, but you will ride the ride.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:03 AM on February 24, 2011


I'm okay with firing Cox (from a cannon! *rimshot*). No need to subject Cox to, um, stiffer penalties.

You know, it's all good though. If he plays his cards right he can probably get a gig with The Atlantic next to Megan McArdle.

In other news, I just spent the morning arguing on Facebook with a dude I knew in high school who thinks that the Democratic legislators should be prosecuted for terrorism because they're literally holding the people of Wisconsin hostage.

See, this is why you shouldn't befriend old High School dudes on Facebook.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:11 AM on February 24, 2011


This country will see another civil war within 10 years
posted by funkydollarbill at 11:14 AM on February 24, 2011


I believe the folks mouthing off this way don't think they're literally advocating for murder, but they fail to understand how the escalation of violence in rhetoric is leading to a more violent society.

Exactly. It should be strongly condemned, and in this case I think it probably is grounds for demotion or firing. In an ideal world, society might be better off if the guy were assigned exclusively to prosecuting cases involving police brutality or similar abuse of authority for a few years, so that he would gain some insight into how power asymmetries can easily lead to oppression. But in an ideal world, wackos wouldn't be gunning down members of Congress, the Judiciary and fellow citizens, and poorly-informed blood lust would not have any place in mainstream political discourse. If an assistant DA is so indifferent to the dignity of his office and the require to serve the public as a whole (not just the part that votes like he does), then he's not fully engaged with the responsibilities of his job and we don't have the time or resources to lavish on the completion of his moral development.

That said, don't be surprised if he continues to show up in public life. A right-wing narrative will quickly emerge of a dedicated public servant hounded out of his job for a joking remark, and will confer instant folk hero status on the guy if he chooses to play to that gallery. Inflating a casual expression of political sentiment made on Twitter into something greater don't do much good.

By inflating, I mean claims that it equates to criminal conspiracy or incitement to murder, or even serious policy advocacy. That shows a complete lack of proportion and plays into the hands of the rights. The guy made a political joke: a massively insensitive, inappropriate joke, which is unacceptable because it it is the thin end of a violence-normalizing wedge, and we do not want a society where violence is an acceptable part of the political calculus. It is right to criticize him, but it's better to criticize him as someone too immature and too narrow-minded for the responsibilities of his job than to elevate his irresponsibility into grand conspiracy - because those overheated condemnations will be elevated and inflated in turn to seem like evidence of an intolerant party dictatorship and to support the narrative of statist oppression so popular on the right these days, or at best mocked as an example of left-wing overreaction.

This was a good result: within a day of the guy's nasty and irresponsible remarks being made on Twitter, he was kicked off the public payroll and unsuitable to hold office in a criminal justice system. This is as it should be. Further rhetorical escalation will achieve nothing whatsoever.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:15 AM on February 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Birthplace of the KKK and all that.

The KKK started in Tennessee. But the KKK did run Indiana for a while in the 1910-1920s, holding majorities in the legislature and the governor was a member as well.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:15 AM on February 24, 2011


> From the future, perhaps.
Clearly, this isn't the formal system we're looking for. Now stop Quining!
posted by anigbrowl at 11:21 AM on February 24, 2011


This country will see another civil war within 10 years

If one listens to the RRRR (rabid right radio ranters) "we" are already there.

As energy becomes far more expensive and the 100 year typical collapse of Fiat Currencies starts to bite - the "let you and him fight left/right" crap that has been pushed for years will be just part of the flock of chickens comming home to roost.

Going from 10% of income to food to the historic 30% means many people will be cold and hungry won't help.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:23 AM on February 24, 2011


plays into the hands of the rights
Er, that should have read 'right wingers'. I really wish MeFi allowed comment editing: composition and proofreading don't overlap perfectly for everyone.

posted by anigbrowl at 11:26 AM on February 24, 2011


For what, exactly, is he being punished?

He's not being punished. He is losing his job. The two things are not the same. You don't have the right to keep your job, except in some narrowly defined circumstances where you can be compensated for unlawful termination.

No, what he's losing his job for is performing a public activity that lowers his credibility as an agent of justice. Public attorneys that are not thought to be credible and appropriately objective can't be employed in that role.

In other words, he's losing his job because he can no longer do it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:27 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Now stop Quining!

But... but... I can't.

posted by quin at 11:33 AM on February 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Indiana fired me, Lord I can't tweet shit there
Indiana fired me, Lord I can't tweet shit there
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:37 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


See, this is why you shouldn't befriend old High School dudes on Facebook.

No way, man. Facebook is like my own personal version of It's a Wonderful Life where the angel shows me what would've happened if I had never moved out of my parents house.
posted by electroboy at 11:43 AM on February 24, 2011 [26 favorites]


notsnot: Don't mean to derail, but does anyone else use "hoosier" like that? I mean, when my dad made me watch the basketball movie "Hoosiers" when I was ten, I almost wet myself at the hilarity of people self-identifying as "hoosiers".

The official adjective for "person from Indiana" is "hoosier." It's a dumb, made up word, but it is indeed the correct word. Michigander is the right word for people from there, lots of states have odd demonyms, Indiana just happens to have the oddest.

The sports teams at Indiana University are named "Hoosiers." It's still a dumb, made up word, but it isn't any less arbitrary than anything else.

The latter use is as common as "Huskies" or "Hoyas" or "Fighting Irish" and used the same way, as shorthand for someone associated with the school, the sports teams or maybe just a fan. The former use is mainly used by politicians referring to potential voters: "Jack Mehoffer has done more for hoosiers than…" type of drivel.

No, no one walks around and says "whattup my hoosier!?" ever at any time. Maybe a few guys in Bloomington, but it would be as ridiculous as "whattup my Boilermaker" or whatever else.

notsnot: (what's funny is "hoosier" means "white trash" in St. Louis jargon....so this guy was part of the Hoozheoisie, now he's part of the hoositariat.

I don't find it constructive for relatively similar states with relatively similar problems to lash out at one another: "oh sure you might think Tennessee is backwards as shit, but at least it ain't fuckin' West Virginia" just doesn't help anyone.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:47 AM on February 24, 2011


Malor wrote "If you're only free to have popular opinions, you're not free at all."

If the opinion in question is "Government employees should not advocate the senseless murder of American citizens" then I personally have no fucking problem with limiting freedom on that one. Private citizens can say whatever the hell they want. People who work for the government (and for full disclosure here, I work for the government) are expected to maintain a degree of impartiality, even more so when the job is part of the justice system.

If this guy didn't know that he is a dumbass. We get reminders almost weekly telling us things like "don't look at or discuss Wikileaks content" and "Remember there is an election on and you cannot openly endorse any specific candidate or position" and things like that, even in some cases for things that are part of our private lives (as in, "Don't identify as a government employee on Facebook and always add disclaimers to indicate personal rather than official positions")... the list of regulations is endless, and every time some asshole like Cox does or says something stupid the list gets longer.

Thanks, Cox, now I need to take another half hour annual training session.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:50 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


symbioid: Oops, sorry!

No worries, and I agree with your main point.

Fun true story: once upon a time my dad and I got lost driving around back roads in the middle of the state. This being Indiana, that means driving past lots of scenic fields, a few scenic pastures, and from time to time a few shops representing a small town. We're enjoying the adventure of being lost enough to not bother finding out way back to a highway, but we are getting pretty hungry, so the next small town we turn off the main road and look for a diner. All of a sudden, what do we see but the Dan Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center. We found a place to park and went to the door, but it turns out it's closed on weekends, so we didn't get to see the book.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:54 AM on February 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't find it constructive for relatively similar states with relatively similar problems to lash out at one another: "oh sure you might think Tennessee is backwards as shit, but at least it ain't fuckin' West Virginia" just doesn't help anyone.

Texas sucks and Arizona blows. That's why New Mexico is so windy.
posted by hippybear at 12:01 PM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Michigander is the right word for people from there, lots of states have odd demonyms, Indiana just happens to have the oddest. "

It's not, actually. Michiganian is. Michigander is a slander from Abe Lincoln.
posted by klangklangston at 12:13 PM on February 24, 2011


The liquidation of society versus the global labor revival

A quote!
The GOP likes to foster corruption through privatization of public services, a shadow large government in the form of security contractors, corporations, and banks that are supported with taxpayer money but consider themselves part of the “private sector”. The elite Democratic model of governance is more subtle; it is embodied in high expertise-driven regulatory programs like the health care bill, cap and trade, GSE reform and Dodd-Frank. Low pay for regulators means corruption in the form of the revolving door. Whether it’s Scott Walker demanding the right to give state power plants and Medicaid money to oligarchs, or revolving door corruption through low pay to regulators, the real agenda of the elites seems to be: cuts for you, corruption for me. Whether the state Senate Democrats in Wisconsin represent an anomaly, or a trend, is an open question. Efficient this is not, but again, it’s not about efficiency, it’s about control.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:22 PM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: It's not, actually. Michiganian is. Michigander is a slander from Abe Lincoln.
Michiganian and Michigander are demonyms for residents of the U.S. state of Michigan. Less common alternatives include Michiganer, Michiganite, Michiganese, and Michigine.[1][2] There is no "official" term.[3] While previous governors Jennifer Granholm, John Engler, and Jim Blanchard used Michiganian, current governor Rick Snyder uses Michigander.[4] A 2011 poll indicated 58% of Michigan residents preferred Michigander, compared to 12% for Michiganian, with similar percentages having no preference and not liking either term.[5]
[wiki, emphasis added]
Interesting about the Lincoln thing, though.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:35 PM on February 24, 2011


Low pay for regulators means corruption in the form of the revolving door.

Could you elaborate on that? I'm not sure I understand.
posted by Mooski at 12:37 PM on February 24, 2011


Mooski, think about the whole lobbying industry.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:43 PM on February 24, 2011


Also if you go to the blog post, this is the link in that sentence.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:45 PM on February 24, 2011


The hypothesis is that underpaid regulators are more vulnerable to bribery.
posted by electroboy at 12:47 PM on February 24, 2011


Bribery? I don't see that mentioned anywhere. What I do see is a mention of the revolving door, which I assume is a reference to how we seem to have hit a place where people move from the private sector into regulating the very industry they used to work in, and then back into that same industry again once they've had their turn making the rules for the game they're playing.

Maybe that's a subtle form of bribery, and I certainly don't quibble with the idea that it may not always be wise to have industry members having oversight of the very industry they will return to once their public service shift is over... But capital-B Bribery? I don't see that anywhere in that article.
posted by hippybear at 12:58 PM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


My simplified explanation: Corruption in the form of revolving door means you leave your low paying government job with you connections/knowledge of system and the private sector rewards you handsomely when you help increase profits. Guess who the loser is in that equation?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:58 PM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mooski, think about the whole lobbying industry.

Also if you go to the blog post, this is the link in that sentence.


Thanks for that. I think I must need new glasses; I actually did not see the blog link until you mentioned it was there. Sheesh.
posted by Mooski at 1:01 PM on February 24, 2011


Couldn't revolving door corruption just mean that you ineffective enforcement of regulation because of high-turnover?

If the regulators are always new to their jobs they simply won't be very effective. That was how I read it anyways.
posted by VTX at 1:02 PM on February 24, 2011


*you have ineffective enforcement
posted by VTX at 1:03 PM on February 24, 2011


No worries, I was the one too lazy to paste the links in my quote.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:04 PM on February 24, 2011


I think the Naked Capitalism piece makes a lot of great points, the biggest one being that despite what Fox news etc wants to tell you, Democratic party leaders have very little to do with the protesters in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, etc. So far apart from Tammy Baldwin and Nancy Pelosi, I haven't seen any strong statements of support. This is truly a grassroots movement, which gives me hope that it is only just beginning.

My hope is also that this movement becomes strong enough to give the dems a few tugs back from the right-leaning moderate stance they've adopted lately. If nothing else, maybe Obama's admin will stop shitting on teachers' unions. Yes they can!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:17 PM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


My hope is also that this movement becomes strong enough to give the dems a few tugs back from the right-leaning moderate stance they've adopted lately.

Don't count on it. What dems want are your votes and your money. What they are willing to do get it starts with conceding to every republican demand and ends with conceding to every republican demand.

We've had 10 times the protesters that the tea party has had and 1/10th the support from the Dems. Tin soldiers and Nixon coming.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:25 PM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


To whatever degree possible, there shouldn't be consequences for speech.

It's possible to the degree that speech is meaningless, vacuous, and ineffectual. If, on the other hand, you want speech to have any power, then it's going to have consequences.
posted by steambadger at 1:28 PM on February 24, 2011


Isn't "You can't yell 'fire' in a crowded theater" pretty much the standard example for why free speech is not an absolute? Isn't this pretty much yelling "fire" in a crowded theater?

Geeze, why is this difficult??
posted by LordSludge at 1:33 PM on February 24, 2011


That was the exact argument used against the Dixie Chicks, back in 2001/2002. I didn't agree with it then, and I don't agree with it now. Yeah, those two statements are exactly alike, and deserve the same level of "consequences." Stupid liberal thoughtcrime.
posted by PlusDistance at 1:49 PM on February 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


Good riddance. Christ, what an asshole.
posted by clvrmnky at 2:26 PM on February 24, 2011


If nothing else, maybe Obama's admin will stop shitting on teachers' unions.

You know, I wouldn't exactly hold up the Central Falls teachers union as some sort of ideal model...
posted by SweetJesus at 2:41 PM on February 24, 2011


paisley henosis: "I don't find it constructive for relatively similar states with relatively similar problems to lash out at one another: "oh sure you might think Tennessee is backwards as shit, but at least it ain't fuckin' West Virginia" just doesn't help anyone"

No shit. One of those days you may find your esteemed state *cough*Wisconsin*cough* start turning into a state you had previously mocked *cough*Texas*cough*
posted by symbioid at 4:06 PM on February 24, 2011


The official adjective for "person from Indiana" is "hoosier." It's a dumb, made up word

The origin is undetermined, although several theories have been advanced. What is interesting is that it's been in place as demonym at least since 1833 -- as well as the demonyms for Wisconsin (badger), Southern Illinois (sucker), Michigan (wolverine), and Ohio (buckeye).

I don't find it constructive for relatively similar states with relatively similar problems to lash out at one another

Hasn't ever stopped the flatlanders and cheeseheads.
posted by dhartung at 4:24 PM on February 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Flatlanders and cheeseheads aren't similar. Cheeseheads know how to drive.
posted by desjardins at 4:36 PM on February 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


From my perspective, this is the liberal version of thoughtcrime. He didn't shoot anyone, and was in no position to cause anyone to be shot. For what, exactly, is he being punished?

I don't know about Indiana, but here in Australia, public servants sign up to a code of conduct. That code includes not doing something that would bring the public service into disrepute.

Is he entited to say what he likes? Sure. But he is the Deputy Attorney General, and he was commenting on a law enforcement issue within his portfolio. Your unfettered right to free speech can sometimes bring you into conflict with your obligations to your employer. You have to strke a balance.

Quite apart from that, he was advocating the murder of the people he is supposed to serve, and he is in a position to influence law enforcement policy. He is unable to fulfil his job requirements. He wasn't fired for expressing his opinion, he was fired for being incapable of doing his job because he is a nutcase or, at the very least, percieved to be one by the public (which, in effect, is just as bad).
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:39 PM on February 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's good for the Michigoose is good for the Michigander.
posted by box at 6:26 PM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Michiganian just sounds kind of dumb to me. I grew up as a Michigander, and I like it. Of course, over time, I became a FIB, and I'm pretty okay with that too, ya freakin cheeseheads.

Also, Pinkertons? Still around? I had absolutely no idea. I knew it was a real company, but I figured that they just became so evil that the company couldn't keep doing business. They're actually still around? With the same name? That's like being pure evil, and proud of it. Who hires them? I mean, I could see Emporer Palpatine, having already blown up Alderan, saying 'Pinkertons? Nah, they're too vile. We'd lose points in the polls for associating with them.'
posted by Ghidorah at 8:00 PM on February 24, 2011


desjardins: "Flatlanders and cheeseheads aren't similar. Cheeseheads know how to drive"

And those sensible hats.
posted by symbioid at 8:01 PM on February 24, 2011


Aren't Pinkertons more like mall-cops these days? It seems like Xe/Blackwater is more like what the Pinkertons used to be.
posted by symbioid at 8:02 PM on February 24, 2011


Aren't Pinkertons more like mall-cops these days? It seems like Xe/Blackwater is more like what the Pinkertons used to be.

Pinkertons are basically like mall cops these days. I used to know one who did stints at the security entrance shack at Honeywell and Boeing before landing a job as mall cop manager at a big mall. He seemed like a nice enough guy superficially, but if you got to know him better you found out that he had a ridiculously strong authoritarian bent.
posted by Marla Singer at 9:28 PM on February 24, 2011


Indiana Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox has lost his job after urging National Guardsmen to use live ammunition during their potential clash with Wisconsin union members and protesters.

Its times like this that I want all mefites to hold hands and pray.

Pray that there's a hell so this guy can burn in it for a long, long long time.

Fuck you dude.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:06 PM on February 24, 2011


It's only a matter of time before some 2nd amendment patriot opens up on a union/american hating crowd.

And a matter of time before some 2nd amendment patriot returns fire on a plutocracy thug aggressive puppet crowd.

The real issue here is there's a scary part of America who thinks rhetoric around gun violence is OK. It's the same bullshit that led Sarah Palin to literally put crosshairs over congressional districts and declare "don't retreat.. reload!" I believe the folks mouthing off this way don't think they're literally advocating for murder, but they fail to understand how the escalation of violence in rhetoric is leading to a more violent society.

Definitely.
That and the fact that other people have guns too, seems to throw them off. Usually they themselves assume they're out of the picture.
Take Cox here. 'Hey, National guard should use live ammo! Yeah!"

Really? So, why not you? Howabout you personally go and aim a live rifle into an innocent crowd of protesters exercising their right to free assembly. Maybe gun down a mother of four and some young girl who was just about to be bat Mitzvahed. Sweet.
But there wouldn't be repercussions or anything, right?
It's truly insane how these people must think. There's the obvious disconnect in action - which is implicit in their world view - but also the disconnect in thought. Which folks like Cox seem to think insulate them from the real world impact of their actions and absolve them from responsibility.

And yeah - people can and do fire back. This "reload" bullshit only stands if your opponent is just a target, not a live shooter returning fire at you and perhaps coordinating with others to flank you so as to kill you more efficiently.

That there is where it gets real.
And the one place guys like this never go is into reality.

I mean it's always the same thing. "Those guys should" "Our troops should" "They're not being hard enough" "They're not being tough enough" etc. etc.
Oh, they'll watch Monday night football and point out all of Payton Mannings failures. Actually playing? No, they don't do that. So they can go on blabing all day and never be proven wrong because they never address anything substantial or meaningful beyond these power fantasies where they're the misunderstood hero hated by the weak minded, etc etc.

Sick shit.

How someone can be raised in the United States and not feel the right to protest in his core, I don't know. They're not American, that's for sure. Oh, they're here. Citizens even. But they don't draw from the same spirit as the believers. Which is most of us.
Asserting troops fire live ammunition at protesters is wrong on so many levels.

How do you get them to do it in the first place? You heard the police kicking the tar out of the governor of Wisconsin asking him what he had been thinking over, what kind of plans, for possible agitators and violence. Magnificent, that. His concern was for his men, the safety of the protesters and upholding the constitution. If I could promote him I would. He's too good a man sitting around shitheads like that.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:37 PM on February 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


At Rep. Paul Broun’s town hall meeting on Tuesday, the Athens congressman asked who had driven the farthest to be there and let the winner ask the first question.

We couldn’t hear the question in the back of the packed Oglethorpe County Commission chamber, but whatever it was, it got a big laugh. According to an outraged commenter on the article, the question was, when is someone going to shoot Obama?
posted by Rhaomi at 7:07 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Koch Industries to America on its union busting plans: We will not back off.

The only questions left now are, will we? And which side are you on?
posted by saulgoodman at 9:15 AM on February 25, 2011


"...Then they came for the Trade Unionists -- And I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist."
posted by saulgoodman at 1:11 PM on February 25, 2011


Rallies held across the nation today in support of Wisconsin public employees.
posted by Rykey at 1:08 PM on February 26, 2011


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