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Man Arrested For Parodying Mayor On Twitter Files Civil Rights Lawsuit 163

Posted by timothy
from the and-how-will-this-play-out dept.
mpicpp (3454017) writes with an update from Ars Technica to this story: "The Illinois man who made headlines when he was detained for parodying the town's mayor on Twitter sued the Peoria politician and local police, claiming on Thursday that his civil rights were violated. As part of the April raid, the authorities seized the mobile phone and laptop of the 29-year-old prankster, Jonathan Daniel, and reviewed their contents, which he says was in violation of his First Amendment rights. Daniel, the operator of the @peoriamayor handle shut down by Twitter after the city threatened a lawsuit, was initially accused of impersonating a public official in violation of Illinois law. The authorities never lodged charges, however."
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Man Arrested For Parodying Mayor On Twitter Files Civil Rights Lawsuit

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:18PM (#47234281)

    Is there a crowdfunding site where I can donate to his legal fund? I can't stand Illinois, and any time somebody scores a victory against the government there it brightens my day.

    • by Noah Haders (3621429) on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:31PM (#47234335)
      you could mock the mayor on twitter. sounds like he deserves it.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:46PM (#47234399)

      I can't stand Illinois

      Same here. I hate Illinois Nazis.

      • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:05PM (#47234481)

        I'm at 1060 w addison come and get me

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:58PM (#47234639) Homepage Journal

        In this case, it's an Illinois Republican. Elected with 100% of the vote, yet apparently has somewhat thin skin.

        And he's a numb skull if he thinks arrest is going to fly with higher courts. It's perfectly legal to parody a public official in the US.

        In fact, I'm pretty sure most of our elected officials are parodies of public servants.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @11:44PM (#47234767)

        Same here, born in Pekin, moved to Peoria then realized the whole state sucks and left for Troy Michigan.

        After living here and then revisiting IL for Christmas every few years I realize how bad it really is there. I'll only be in town for like 2 or 3 days yet I'll be harassed by cops, have them randomly floor their cars screeching their tires while riding next to me then slam on the breaks and then speed back up next to me and stare at me.

        For no reason besides that I drive an Evo which is a very fast Turbo AWD rally car. I'll just be cruising and instantly get all sorts of harassment. North Pekin and Marquette Heights are the worst. Had a car fly up on me when a car was next to me.... Car behind has high beams on, I figured I'd speed up a tad to make room to move right so he could get past, soon as I did I get busted for my first speeding ticket at 18yrs old. He refuses to budge even after commenting that I "got away from them for 2 years so I must have it coming". Mind you this was my first ticket ever back when I drove a 95 Ford Escort and I have zero police records or interactions. All I did was politely move forward with my signal on to let an apparently faster car with high beams on by.....

        Every year I visit I tell my Fiance that something will happen somewhat mockingly.... then before our very eyes Illinois Police then start driving like thugs within our view. Running red lights and screeching their tires. Then they get behind some random car and then tailgate him about 1 inch from his bumper. After a few intersections they stop at 7-11 and spend 25 minutes there chatting it up. I actually stopped to watch them, then phoned in their car number to the sarge and explained to him what was going on. I've learned to fight fire with fire.

        Same night one comes up behind me in a drive thru which I had already been waiting at for nearly 15 minutes. I saw him coming down the road and suddenly he noticed my sports car. He whips 3 lanes to quickly turn at the intersection and into the restaurant parking lot to get behind me. Then he doesn't order anything, flies out right behind me as I'm done with my order and throws his lights on. I've literally moved like 10ft and haven't even had a chance to get up to 25mph. Then he rolls next to me, flips me off, then burns his tires back towards downtown and shuts his lights off....

        I swear it's like a freaking police state. literally. figuratively. essentially....... Then I go back to Michigan where everyone is friendly, non-judgemental, and most importantly I'm not guilty of anything by driving my Red Mustang Cobra or Lancer Evolution until I actually break a law. In IL I'm profiled and stopped before I can even break a law. Literally pulling me over out of a drive thru that I sat at for a long time. How could I possibly have deserved that?

        I've still yet to ever be arrested or actually taken to jail. Yet I've had like 10-15 police encounters in the years since living there and almost a guaranteed one every time I visit for 2 to 3 days ONCE A YEAR. Like clockwork they never fail to perform exactly as I mention.

        It's basically Jocks with guns at this point. Jackbooted thuggery,

        • by pepty (1976012) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @12:23AM (#47234881)

          I'll only be in town for like 2 or 3 days yet I'll be harassed by cops, have them randomly floor their cars screeching their tires while riding next to me then slam on the breaks and then speed back up next to me and stare at me.

          For no reason besides that I drive an Evo which is a very fast Turbo AWD rally car. I'll just be cruising and instantly get all sorts of harassment. ... I saw him coming down the road and suddenly he noticed my sports car. ...

          You're driving a Mitsubishi compact sedan or hatchback. Unless you've tarted it up with bric-a-brac (spoilers, coffee can exhaust, stickers, etc) or you're a leadfoot the police think you're driving a Mitsubishi compact sedan or hatchback.

        • by Jim Sadler (3430529) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @08:26AM (#47235795)
          I've seen this type of behavior with cops in other places. Somebody has put the finger on you or maybe your family or past associates. They will continue to harass you and it can be dangerous. Sometimes this can start because you dated a girl that one of the cops liked. It can also be a false accusation made by an enemy. Another frequent source is a business that complains about lack of police presence or police behavior. In some cases the shift sergeant will actually instruct the shift to lean on an individual. Whatever you do simply do not allow yourself to get angry or be less than polite no matter how insulting they get. I once had a cop try to bait me into attacking him. There was a backup squad car hiding in the dark. If I had so much as twitched I would have been beaten down or arrested. Ex wife was dating a cop in a nasty divorce----
        • by Rigel47 (2991727) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @08:38AM (#47235831)
          Wow.. so adding IL to FL on my "do not visit" list due to their infantile and corrupt police.
    • by Frobnicator (565869) on Friday June 13, 2014 @11:13PM (#47234699) Journal

      I don't think you'll need to fund it. If you haven't read the PDF of his complaint, the listing of facts is surprisingly strong.

      Seriously, it is short, just read the few pages in the middle. Complaint in PDF [arstechnica.net].

      The claims include that there are written documents (probably email) between the mayor and the chief of police, where the mayor tells the cops to do something, the police chief says there is no legal basis, and the mayor tells him to do it anyway. Then the claims include that the cops made written statements (again, probably email) that show officers were ordered to arrest him, they balked saying there was no legal basis, but the police chief ordered it anyway. If he has those emails, that is rather damning.

      The list of claims continues by citing court records, where the police filed an empty form citing no probable cause even though the law requires proper documentation. Granting a warrant based on a blank probable cause statement is also pretty damning for those involved.

      If he actually has those papers, city officials and court officials declaring that they knew it was illegal but did it anyway, that is going to be hard for the individuals to deny.

      A few of them are likely just CYA papers, but if accurate, the exchange boils down to this: "Do this illegal thing." "Sorry boss, it is against the law." "I know it is against the law, do it anyway." If the allegations can be substantiated (and since the suit says those are all public official records, it should be easy to validate) then this case will be a quick settlement.

      • by rtb61 (674572) on Friday June 13, 2014 @11:58PM (#47234805) Homepage

        Based upon that, the fellow is tackling the problem all wrong. First up should be a call to Federal Authorities to file a complaint for infringement of his civil rights and let them do all the heavy lifting. Once the Feds have successfully prosecuted the case, his civil suit then becomes a simple manner of negotiating out the value of the claim.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2014 @04:56AM (#47235369)

        For a country keen on its seperation of powers, I'm constantly surprised there aren't independent police and prosecuting authorities. Appointments at the top are one thing, but direct orders from politician to police should be third world stuff.

      • by Rigel47 (2991727) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @08:42AM (#47235835)
        The real question is where the fuck are the indictments? This is *criminal* behavior and yet the taxpayer is going to shoulder "justice." Until cops and elected officials get put in cuffs when they break the law this sort of BS will continue to happen.
      • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @12:59PM (#47236867)

        I think this part is cool.

        "The claims include that there are written documents (probably email) between the mayor and the chief of police, where the mayor tells the cops to do something, the police chief says there is no legal basis, and the mayor tells him to do it anyway. Then the claims include that the cops made written statements (again, probably email) that show officers were ordered to arrest him, they balked saying there was no legal basis, but the police chief ordered it anyway. If he has those emails, that is rather damning."

        It shows the police still have a conscious and awareness they were breaking the law. I know it's bad that they went ahead and broke the law in the end.

        That warrant makes it sound like a judge was also in on it. So the system failed.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2014 @02:22AM (#47235131)

      His criminal charges were dropped, the only legal stuff he has left is his lawsuit against the city which the ACLU is taking care of. I would suggest becoming a member of the ACLU and donating to them so that they can continue standing up for everyone's civil rights.

      • by evilviper (135110) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @03:56AM (#47239485) Journal

        I would suggest becoming a member of the ACLU and donating to them so that they can continue standing up for everyone's civil rights.

        I wouldn't. Not that they don't do good stuff, and they certainly trumpet it on their front-page. But it isn't until you're a member that you start getting the full story. It seems the overwhelming majority of their cases are dedicated to suing every municipality that doesn't immediately take down any even vaguely religious symbol that someone else put on anything that even smells like public land. Or fighting even the most reasonable laws that impose some minor and sane restrictions on late-term abortions, and whatnot.

        I'd suggest sending your money to the EFF, instead. No bait-and-switch there. They advertise what they actually do, and they do plenty of good.

  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:21PM (#47234293)

    punishment for officials who abuse their power. Sort of a use your enemies to fight each other strategy

    • by Quixote (3389561) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @01:26PM (#47237013)
      And they will be quick to point out that the mayor has merely taken his cue from America's leading criminal-satire case, celebrated almost in the manner of a witch-hunt in New York and on "bible" blogs around the country. See the documentation at: http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpr... [wordpress.com] Despite being widely reported on in the press, the case — including the dissenting opinion (on free speech grounds, figure that) of the chief judge of the New York's highest court — has been largely ignored by legal commentators, so it's not surprising that thugs with badges now feel free to go after the creators of Twitter accounts embarrassing to wealthy and powerful members of the community, whether they be politicians, university presidents, or anyone else ordinary people might choose to mimic and mock on the Internet.
  • by sinij (911942) on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:22PM (#47234303) Journal
    This is open-and-shut case, and the only question is what the settlement and payout to Jonathan Daniel would be.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:29PM (#47234325)

      This is open-and-shut case, and the only question is what the settlement and payout to Jonathan Daniel would be.

      It is really what the taxpayers are going to be paying the lawyers...

    • by JMJimmy (2036122) on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:35PM (#47234361)

      I don't think it is open and shut... perhaps for illegal search but they detained him legally, I believe, and released him without charge. The question is whether they had grounds to detain him. He can claim parody but there's not much indication of that. He used actual pictures of the man, made slanderous statements, and may have made claims to be the real mayor (not sure on this as I've not read the tweets). Very little of it seems parody-like from what I've read. I'll bet there will be a counter suit for slander if the statute of limitations hasn't run out.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:51PM (#47234425)

        the question is not if they had grounds to detain him. You can FIND grounds to detain anyone. Searching his phone without a warrant though is (should be) serious trouble. The cops should have known better. And if you'd seen the tweets, it was pretty obvious this was NOT the mayor.... I think it has good standing as Parody, but IANAL.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @11:21PM (#47234723)

        The problem is the Mayor (depending on state laws for who controls to police, mayor, city council) abused his powers, and probably forced the police departments hand, and this is why Police Chiefs and their departments are corrupt. The police should have refused any request by the mayor, and made a public statement that they are not going to violate laws because the Mayor has no sense of humor.

        And the article is over the very fact the police illegally ceased his phone and laptop, then illegally went thru the entirety of the content. I'm sure the Mayor will abuse and hide behind some law over a political officials life being threatened to no avail. Just like in national politics local mayors can hold a monopoly from idiot companies and special local interest groups, and the brain dead residents who wont make any change becuase while the current moron hasn't done anything to hurt their city, he hasn't done anything to help it out, and he is wasting tax money on stupid stuff like this, only the Mayor knows what other wasteful spending/pocketed money he has done.

        Your comment seems to be for the Mayor as opposed to be more open, I've read other comments that indicate the man was making fun of the Mayor and not trying to do anything more. I find with today's citizens sick and tired of political corruption, in house fighting, ect., if the Mayor was going to sue is would be next to impossible for this dipshit to win.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2014 @12:58AM (#47234955)

        they detained him legally, I believe, and released him without charge

        False arrests need to be treated as felonies and the police responsible need to be placed in prison like other felons.

        With all of the thousands and thousands of laws which were designed to allow police and 'officials' to create charges out of thin air, none of them applied to this person. This person did absolutely nothing wrong in the eyes of the law, yet an armed paramilitary wing of the city government came to kick his door in. The problem with this paramilitary wing coming to kidnap you is that they have a checklist where they can start shooting you for 'officer safety' and get away with it. This checklist includes things such as 'he looked like a drug crazed domestic terrorist who had a firearm somewhere in the house' and 'he owned a dog'.

        Put the police in prison where they belong.

    • by PJ6 (1151747) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @08:55AM (#47235887)

      This is open-and-shut case, and the only question is what the settlement and payout to Jonathan Daniel would be.

      Normal people aren't allowed to pay their way out of jail for their crimes.

      Why are there settlements instead of sentences when a business or any other type of organization is involved?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:23PM (#47234307)

    If that guy was in Sudan, and the entire incident transpired in a backwater country like Sudan, it would seem to make some sense

    But this happened in the United States of America, the supposed land of the FREE

    What has happened to FREEDOM and LIBERTY ?

    Have they been stripped off by the Obama Administration, along with the Privacy of the citizens ?

    • by JMJimmy (2036122) on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:26PM (#47234313)

      Didn't you know? It's FREE*

      *With purchase of power, results may vary. By reading this you agree to give up all your legal rights.

    • Have they been stripped off by the Obama Administration, along with the Privacy of the citizens?

      They must have been, especially since the US had never ever seen any problems with corrupt local politicians before Obama became president!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:37PM (#47234363)

      What has happened to FREEDOM and LIBERTY ?

      Have they been stripped off by the Obama Administration, along with the Privacy of the citizens ?

      Bush happened. Obama promised change. He lied.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:19PM (#47234525)

        George Washington happened.

        FTFY. The role of president has been a continuous slide into chucklefuckery from the very beginning.

        I sadly can't think of a better alternative, though. Could you imagine a government where the legislative branch didn't have to fight with an autocratic dreamer? Shit would be even worse.

        • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Friday June 13, 2014 @11:14PM (#47234701)

          I sadly can't think of a better alternative, though.

          For a start, how about calling "campaign contributions" what they really are, "bribes," and make it illegal.

          • by philip.paradis (2580427) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @12:32AM (#47234897)

            Your suggestion will only result in a cycle of election of candidates who already have ever-increasingly large sums of money to spend on their campaigns. Are you sure you've thought this through?

            • by currently_awake (1248758) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @01:13AM (#47235005)
              I am thinking that rich men don't get rich by spending their own money on stuff if they can avoid it. If you are already rich you don't need to get elected to loot the country.
              • by philip.paradis (2580427) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @01:51AM (#47235069)

                I suggest you take a much closer look at how power is consolidated in politics, and at how many of your elected officials greatly benefit from "career public service" for the duration of their lives (and their children's lives, in many cases). These points aside, you also appear to have a limited understanding of the fundamental desire for power over others; this is a characteristic that is frequently presented as a desire to "help" fellow citizens, when the end results are all too often anything but helpful.

                I am certainly not opposed to people achieving great financial success, nor am I claiming that all or even most rich men desire elected office. It must still be noted that elected representatives, especially but certainly not limited to those holding certain federal offices, already heavily tend toward possession of far greater financial resources than the majority of the people they govern. The GGP suggestion that campaign contributions should be made illegal would only serve to further increase that trend, which is an outcome I believe NoKaOi would be unhappy with.

                "Boss" Tweed [wikipedia.org] serves as an interesting case study in some of these points. Unfortunately, while the sheer magnitude of his transgressions outstripped those of most of his contemporaries, his behavioral patterns remain disconcertingly common among politicians in the present day. This is an unfortunate side effect of basic human nature having remained wholly unchanged in the interim.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:50PM (#47234407)

      Have they been stripped off by the Obama Administration,

      No. Rather they've been stripped off by the Obama Administration, the Bush Administration, the Clinton Administration, etc etc.

      And we all let it happen. Sometimes we switch it up and vote for "the other guys", only to remember a few years later why that was a bad idea too.

      We're not smart enough to vote for anyone but the main two, so on it goes.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:08PM (#47234495)

        the Clinton Administration

        What did Clinton do to you? Still blame him for the DMCA? Maybe if you actually read the DMCA sometime, you'd know that the Internet is full of pirated movies because the DMCA takedown process provides the very legal loopholes that allow pirate sites to operate. Before the DMCA, pirate sites were shut down and stayed down. After the DMCA, pirate sites follow the takedown process and still stay up.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:32PM (#47234575)

          Still blame him for the DMCA?

          Yes, a law that allows censorship without so much as a court hearing, and makes it illegal to break most DRM.

          Before the DMCA, pirate sites were shut down and stayed down. After the DMCA, pirate sites follow the takedown process and still stay up.

          Spurious correlations...

    • by whistlingtony (691548) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @01:16PM (#47236965)

      You haven't had real freedom for a LONG time. Blaming Obama just makes you look like an idiot.

      Ask yourself how many wars we've been in since WW2. How many of them were fought for the freedom of Americans, and how many of them were fought for economic interests?

      Ask yourself if what the CIA did in South America from the 50's was about freedom, or economic interests?

      America hasn't been a bastion of Freedom for a long time. Don't blame Obama. Don't even blame Bush. We have less than 50% voter turnout. It's OUR fault.

  • by tquasar (1405457) on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:21PM (#47234533)
    According to Aristotle it's OK to do stuff like this. Make a person look like an ass because they do ass-like things in a public place. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] No due process in the streets.
  • by dbc (135354) on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:26PM (#47234545)

    Section 1983 lawsuits for deprivation of civil rights under color of authority allows piercing the immunity of public officers and going after their personal assets. In this case, the mayor, and any of the police that participated. Their. Personal. Assets. Not the taxpayers.
    http://legal-dictionary.thefre... [thefreedictionary.com]

    • by guygo (894298) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @12:02AM (#47234811)
      wonderful. that would be the only way to stop them, and it is certainly appropriate. and thank you for the education. I had no idea they could lose their OWN shirt. excellent.
    • by raymorris (2726007) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @02:21AM (#47235125)

      Also section 242 makes it a crime to violate someone's civil rights under color of law, with sentences ranging from one year to the death penalty.

      During settlement negotiations, his lawyer could mention that she has an appointment with federal prosecutors to discuss the case. The mayor, judge, and chief of police may sell their houses and cars to pay a settlement which makes the Curtin happy enough that he doesn't feel the need to press for a federal criminal case.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2014 @02:41AM (#47235171)

        What warrants the death penalty? Using the color of the law to get someone wrongly executed?

        • Here is the statute. Notice the race stuff is surrounded by the word "or" twice. That has been held to mean it applies if your rights or violated OR if you are punished on the basis of race.

          Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years , or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2014 @09:16AM (#47235927)

          I would guess that if the victim dies while being harassed ("stop resisting! stop resisting!" and dies [policestateusa.com]).

        • by dbc (135354) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @02:18PM (#47237171)

          The Civil Rights Act of 1871 was signed by President Grant to deal with the Klan and others in the aftermath of the civil war. So, yeah, if the sheriff is at the front of the pack wearing a white sheet when somebody gets hanged for trying to vote, that might get the death penalty for the sheriff.

    • by OurDailyFred (1997042) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @02:50PM (#47241415)

      That was exactly my thought when I saw the paragraphs seven through 12 containing : "He is sued in his individual capacity," with section 12 using a plural instead of singular for the two defendants. Section 13 likely has a bearing on the "individual capacity" in case the judge finds they were not acting under "color of right" although I am not schooled in Illinois law. I do know that the state has incarcerated a sizable percentage of recent governors, but I do not know the statistics on former mayors.

  • Left something out (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:52PM (#47234609) Homepage Journal

    Why does the summary not mention the name of the mayor? It's pertinent, no?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:58PM (#47234635)

    The can't you take a joke defense.
    It was just a joke. Can't you take a joke.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2014 @12:04AM (#47234823)

    It is starting to look like this wasn't just a case of going after j random twitter user.
    Instead, it was probably an attempt to discredit the local newspaper. [vice.com]

    I bet he had a bug up his ass about the newspaper for some story they wrote in the past and so he convinced himself that the anonymous twitter user was really this reporter and that if he could expose the guy he would get even with the paper. That would totally explain why he had such an over-the-top reaction to the parody, he was already primed and looking for revenge on the paper and thought this was the ticket.

    I hope the loses big time, that kind of vindictiveness does not belong in office.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2014 @01:26AM (#47235027)

    One of the surest signs of democracy is the open right to complain. Specifically about either elected public officials, public policy, or any business or person that has failed to live up to promises or contracts. The antithesis of this: the surest sign for a non-democracy is the objection to complaints directed towards either elected public officials, public policy, or any business or person that has failed to live up to promises or contracts. Clearly with the arrest of this man for bringing public scorn and criticism to the mayor, this man is not living in a democracy. Perhaps law enforcement where he lives is aping China, or the new government in Iraq. Lock him up and toss the key! Crap on the US constitution! Burn the Magna Carta! It all goes hand in hand with the cops that arrested this guy, and the politician who doesn't understand what democracy is. This *isn't* China. Its *not* an internal matter. Jon Daniel should sue the personal cops who were part of the raid, their boss who ordered them in, and the politician. Their collective houses are now his house, their collective bank accounts are now his bank account. It must be made clear to the politician and the cops that what they did --in a democracy-- is not allowed. Autocratic states can get away with this: 'autocratic' and 'atrocious' go hand to glove.

  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @01:28AM (#47235035)
    Given the genius level of legal reasoning in Peoria, I wonder if the defense will try and contact the judge by email and tell them that the city should be protected from financial liability because of taxes.
  • Arresting a man for parodying a local politician on Twitter sounds incredibly stupid. I'm glad the politician in question did the right thing and resigned after that, and if I were the blogger in question, I'd stop being vindictive and make peace with the politician. Hopefully, he can later help pass a law protecting people similar to him from future abuse while remaining on good terms with his target of criticism.

    As a citizen and resident of Israel, I should note that something like that seems highly unlikely to happen here. I have been a humorist, writer/blogger and amateur philosopher for a long time, and my site [shlomifish.org] and other sites and mediums where I've blogged features a lot of positively blasphemous stuff (or stuff that was formerly considered blasphemous) including: jokes about the holocaust, a reflection about holocaust denial, racist or nationalist cliches, sexism, sexualism, critiques of local politicians, critiques of a lot of the constitutional foundation of Israel, an in-your-face Illuminaty/Elders of Zion pan-historical conspiracy theory, and many parodies and criticisms of Judaism (including the Old Testament, the Oral Torah and later additions). I left almost no stone unturned.

    And almost nothing happened to me except some people who told me I Was being out-of-line (Often truly) or some threats from non-officials, or getting myself removed or banned from some Internet forums. The USA may wish to consider how much of a free country they are compared to other parts of the civilised world. The 2001 bombings made many Americans paranoid and paranoid people are miserable, and miserable people are insecure and unsafe. So if you want to be safe, be happy and don't be afraid. Israel now has much laxer national security, which makes us safer in the long run. And as opposed to popular belief, most of Israel since 1990 was never really a warzone, and certainly isn't now, and I believe that Jews, Palestinians and non-Jews mostly live in peace and even friendship even in the occupied territories. There's still a long way to go for close-to-100% harmony here, but we're much closer than before.

    Cheers from Tel Aviv, -- Shlomi Fish (a.k.a "Rindolf").

  • by Bardez (915334) on Monday June 16, 2014 @11:35AM (#47246345) Homepage
    You can help by showing that this Mayor Ardis is prone to making unwise choices. He released a press conference where he actually read some of the tweets aloud, and this video is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    I think people know what needs to be done.

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

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