August 16, 2012

The FRC shooting and "hate crimes"

Yesterday's shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) has grabbed a lot of attention, and rightfully so. The shooter's actions were (obviously) abhorrent, and not something that we can or should accept, dismiss, overlook or pooh-pooh. I have had plenty of policy disagreements with the FRC throughout the years, and no doubt I will continue to have them, but the bottom line is that we live in a free country and nobody in a free society should fear for their lives or their personal safety because they engage in debates in the public square, express their religious or philosophical beliefs, or participate fully in public life. This is America, and we don't tolerate that kind of thing here. Period.

My personal hope is that the shooter gets mental help that enables him to understand and appreciate in due course that the same freedoms and protections he holds dear apply just as equally to every other member of our society, whether he likes it or not. Liberal democracies do not function where there is not consistent recognition that even that asshole over there who makes you really, really, really mad has the same rights as you do, and when you violate his, you undercut and diminish your own. I'd also add that with the number of horrific shootings we have had in recent years, which have led to the usual debates about gun control, another personal hope is that this one does more to spark a national conversation about how we identify and treat mental illness (but that's something of a side note)....

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July 21, 2012


A man reported to have the world's largest penis was flagged for additional screening as a potential security threat by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials in the San Francisco International Airport earlier this month.

Jonah Falcon, the subject of an HBO feature on his distinctive anatomy, apparently triggered concern after passing through a body scanner machine and metal detector.

The TSA reportedly asked Falcon whether he had anything in his pockets, or if he had a growth of some sort.

More here. [intro]


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