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Thread: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    It's not my argument, it's the Supreme Court. You can't yell fire in a crowded movie house - context.

    Incite to riot, public nuisance... ring a bell?
    Burning a Koran is not the same thing as yelling fire in a crowed movie theatre. Not even close.
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Indeed, a few isolated incidents, all of which are outside the U.S.
    Isolated? Almost every incident had to with someone's freedom of speech inciting some form of violence. Their use to freely express themselves put other people's lives at risk. That is reason enough to terminate employment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    You're claiming there's never been an issue where someone has pissed an individual off in some way and they've came to their work shooting?
    No, I'm saying it's a stretch to say:
    "any employee that has ever cut someone off or told a customer "no" should be fired for violating their code of ethics because that person could become enraged, come back to the business, and shoot up the place."
    It's possible, but not probable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Hey, I know, code of ethics should bar anyone that's jewish from working anywhere. I mean, there was that crazy guy that shot up a museum because he hates jews. Being jewish is putting people at risk, fire them all.
    That is just ridiculous hyperbole. Code of ethics do not discriminate based on race/religion/sex/etc. That would be an oxymoron since it is highly unethical to discriminate based on those criteria. Here are some words that may help you when constructing scenarios such as above: probable, plausible, possible

    There's a difference in all of them. Learn it.

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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    Burning a Koran is not the same thing as yelling fire in a crowed movie theatre. Not even close.
    It certainly can be.

    Stop playing games, I never made that direct comparison to this particular story. I pointed out that in the context, this guy was pushing the limit, coming close. And we have very few details about how it all went down.

    Burning a Koran, if it incites those around him to take further action to persons or property... that's what 'fire in a crowed movie house' means, context and the direct result of the speech. Thankfully the police stopped him and took him out of the mix.

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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    It certainly can be.

    Stop playing games, I never made that direct comparison to this particular story. I pointed out that in the context, this guy was pushing the limit, coming close. And we have very few details about how it all went down.

    Burning a Koran, if it incites those around him to take further action to persons or property... that's what 'fire in a crowed movie house' means, context and the direct result of the speech. Thankfully the police stopped him and took him out of the mix.
    Basically you're all for people burning the American Flag, because let's face it, pissing on the country is A-OK. But burning the Koran is beyond the pale.

    That's fine you have the right to espouse that view, you can even say it's good and right this guy was fired, cause you don't like what he had to say. Hey you got that right.

    But none of those factors make you right. For you are most certainly in the wrong here. 100%
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    It certainly can be.

    Stop playing games, I never made that direct comparison to this particular story. I pointed out that in the context, this guy was pushing the limit, coming close. And we have very few details about how it all went down.

    Burning a Koran, if it incites those around him to take further action to persons or property... that's what 'fire in a crowed movie house' means, context and the direct result of the speech. Thankfully the police stopped him and took him out of the mix.
    So would protesting the Republican National Convention not be protected because it could cause people to take further action against persons or property?
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    Basically you're all for people burning the American Flag, because let's face it, pissing on the country is A-OK. But burning the Koran is beyond the pale.

    That's fine you have the right to espouse that view, you can even say it's good and right this guy was fired, cause you don't like what he had to say. Hey you got that right.

    But none of those factors make you right. For you are most certainly in the wrong here. 100%
    None of his posts made any moral equivalencies between flag burning and Qur'an burning.

    Sure the guy has a right to freedom of speech. But he forfeits that right once he used it in a way that could possibly endanger other lives and/or property.

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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    the former employee brought disrespect upon his employer by his actions
    nothing deprived him of free speech ... he was free to say what he wanted, and he did
    it was the potential loss of the public's faith in his government employer - for what he freely communicated - that caused him to lose his job
    it was that expression of religious intolerance which the employer could not abide
    muslims - or Christians, jews, taoists - followers of any religion, have a reasonable expectation that their use of the transit/government facilities will not be impaired because their religious beliefs
    should that former employee have retained his position, the muslims using the public transit system had a legitimate basis to question whether they would be treated equitably by the transit staff. this muslim hater cannot be allowed to remain in a position to deprive people of their equal rights
    the former transit employee engaged in protected speech ... but he remains responsible for the legitimate consequences of what he had to say
    maybe some reich wing business owner intolerant of the muslim presence in the USA will give the former transit employee a job ... because he will need one. no way he will get his job back, or prevail in court
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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    Basically you're all for people burning the American Flag, because let's face it, pissing on the country is A-OK. But burning the Koran is beyond the pale.
    Ah, yes, the partisan far-rightie arrives with the usual straw man garbage argument, putting words in our mouths....

    You're not even close to paraphrasing what I've said so far. But you don't care.

    And thus, the intelligent conversation comes to end.



    But none of those factors make you right. For you are most certainly in the wrong here. 100%
    Okay, my Constitutional scholar friend, then you explain the 'harm principle'... 'imminent lawless action'.

    Why don't you tell us everything you know about limits on free speech? 'Miller test, anyone'??

    And as Teabrains remind us everyday, speaking when you have no clue what you're talking about is covered.

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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkenAsparagus View Post
    That would be stupid and a very bad political move, but yes, he does have that right.
    That's just incorrect. The government cannot fire people for exercising constitutionally protected rights or for being members of a particular race or religion in the vast majority of situations.

    From Garcetti v. Ceballos:

    It is well settled that "a State cannot condition public employment on a basis that infringes the employee's constitutionally protected interest in freedom of expression." Connick v. Myers, 461 U. S. 138, 142 (1983).
    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Hi, Right. You've put forth an excellent argument -- especially the part about you being a Federal employee and clearly knowing what the law is through sessions at work (I think you said). I did notice in your link that there is some wishy-washy wording they may be relying on....and that the ACLU say his rights may have been violated. At any rate, great job. You've 'just about' convinced me. I hope we see more about this online in the future. Bet we do. (I wonder if the Code of Conduct he really violated was that he was supposed to be at work that Saturday. Ha!)
    To clarify, I think it might have been zyph who was mentioning his federal employment. I'm not a government employee.

    I also look forward to seeing more about this, and given the evidence that I've seen, I would be surprised if this guy doesn't succeed in his suit with the NYCLU behind him.

    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    If I missed something while typing a response to the first post I saw directed at me, then point it out, but don't be a smart ass about it -- and don't assume every link or post had value or relevance. Especially here.

    I gave my response to the OP, then responded to the first post directed at me. What is your problem?
    You've raised several arguments which are flat out wrong according to the law. I've offered you links to a legal blog post and a law review article that discuss the current status of the law and the application of that law to this scenario. Rather than read or respond to those facts, you just continue to repeat your arguments.

    The code of conduct doesn't stop anyone from posing nude or burning a koran. But if you do it in public (or playboy) in a manner that reflects negatively on the office you work for...
    Again, that's not the legal standard. No matter how many times you repeat it, it will never be any less wrong.

    The relevant First Amendment test for when the government may fire an employee for off-duty expression on a matter of public concern (such as the expression here) is unfortunately quite vague: The government may restrict such speech, but only if the restriction is “necessary for their employers to operate efficiently and effectively” (with “necessary” being read a bit loosely). It’s hard for me to see much of an argument that Fenton’s expression interferes with the employer’s effectiveness by undermining public confidence in the employer; Fenton isn’t a spokesman for the employer, or in a position where the public must be able to count on his fairness in exercising discretion with regard to members of the public (e.g., a police officer).
    The Volokh Conspiracy » New Jersey Public Transit Employee Fired for Blasphemy

    Context. Read the whole post and don't try to put words in my mouth with your typical feeble straw man b.s.

    Burning the U.S. flag at a hippy war protest = protected.
    Burning the Puerto Rican flag at a protest with Puerto Ricans and counter protestors present = not protected
    If I were putting words in your mouth, they wouldn't be so consistently wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Degreez View Post
    Any Islamic extremist could or want to cause him harm. What's to stop some disgrunted extremist from blowing up the place he works at? Look at the South Park episode they aired. They bleeped almost everything because the writers put the creators' lives at stake. They are not and have not infringed on his right to express himself. They fired him for violating their code of ethics.
    That's the best argument they could make, and I doubt it would be a success:

    Quote Originally Posted by Volokh
    The one argument I can see the government potentially persuasively making is that Fenton’s expression might lead to a risk of terrorist attack on NJ Transit trains; such a “heckler’s veto” might be permissible when it comes to the government’s actions as employer, as opposed to the government’s actions as sovereign policing the speech of private people. But if that’s so, then unfortunately it’s one other item we have to add to the growing Extremist Muslim Thugs Win file; and unfortunately the bigger the file gets, the more incentive the thugs — including at some point thugs of other ideological stripes — have to keep being violent and threatening violence.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    So would protesting the Republican National Convention not be protected because it could cause people to take further action against persons or property?
    The test is 'imminent lawless action'.

    Free speech is limited when it conflicts with other rights--life, property. When speech causes harm/offense as in obscenity, fighting words.

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