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Yesterday while driving I turned on NPR and they were conducting an interview with a representative of ACLU regarding their defense of the Ku Klux Klan and their First Amendment rights.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia has decided to defend a Chapter of the KKK in its bid to adopt a stretch of Georgia highway.

The application was filed by Harley Hanson, who calls himself the exalted cyclops of the Georgia Realm of the International Keystone Knights of the KKK, and his wife.

In June the officials of the Georgia DOT turned down the KKK's request, saying

"encountering signage and members of the KKK along a roadway would create a definite distraction to motorists."
"In rejecting the Klan, which has a history of violence against blacks and minority groups, the highway cleanup program was open only to 'civic-minded organization in good standing.'"
Debbie Seagraves, executive director for the ACLU of Georgia:
the Klan reached out to the civil liberties group last week after the DOT rejected its application to participate in the statewide highway cleanup program in Union County.

"Yes, we are representing them, but we are still working on the strategy," she tells The Journal-Constitution, describing the case as a First Amendment issue.

When a group is approved for the adoption of a stretch of highway it is provided with a highway sign that honors the volunteers keeping the highways clear of trash.  If the KKK were approved, their highway sign would read:  
"IKK Realm GA, Ku Klux Klan."
"A likely precedent was established in 2005 when a federal court ruled that Missouri had no right to ban the KKK from the Adopt-a-Highway program based on the Klan's political beliefs.
What lengths would you go to to preserve free speech?

http://www.theblaze.com/...

http://www.npr.org/...

http://content.usatoday.com/...

Originally posted to Olympia on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:02 PM PDT.

Poll

Should the KKK be allowed to Adopt-A-Highway

82%52 votes
12%8 votes
4%3 votes

| 63 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Staying true to their mission (6+ / 0-)

    They also support Citizens United. Everybody freak out!

    Oklahoma: birthplace of Kate Barnard, W. Rogers, W. Guthrie, Bill Moyers & Eliz. Warren. Home to proud progressive agitators since before statehood. Current political climate a mere passing dust cloud; we're waiting it out & planning for clearer days.

    by peacearena on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 04:55:23 PM PDT

    •  peacearena - so did the AFL-CIO (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, FG

      but everyone here doesn't want to be reminded that both the ACLU and the AFL-CIO filed amicus briefs that supported the majority in Citizens United.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:33:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They're each permitted to get a few things wrong (0+ / 0-)

        Beaides, CU enhanced the relative power of the AFL-CIO within the progressive movement; and once the Court in Buckley v. Valeo ruled that money was speech, the ACLU can't be seen defending a limitation on "speech."

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:01:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Whoa. Didn't know this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea

      CU's attempt to describe corporations as people, with equivalent rights, seems to me an entirely different thing than the ACLU usually supports.  Not doubting you a bit, but would like to read more.  Do you have any links that explain the ACLU's stance on this?  Ok if you don't, not to worry, but I'll keep my eyes open on this from this point forward.

      To me, if the ACLU thinks corporations are equal to individual rights, then I want to see them fight for corporations to be held responsible for the crimes they commit, like individuals  are.  

      Which means, if say, you're a pharma corporation that releases a bad drug that kills people, those in charge go to trial on charges of man slaughter.  Not talking about the ubiquitous civil suits that big pharma pays off every day.  Talking about criminal law, and its consequences.  Because that's what would happen to a real person in this culture under similar circumstances.

       

      •  The ACLU has a web site (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StellaRay

        where they post their positions. Try that.

        Oklahoma: birthplace of Kate Barnard, W. Rogers, W. Guthrie, Bill Moyers & Eliz. Warren. Home to proud progressive agitators since before statehood. Current political climate a mere passing dust cloud; we're waiting it out & planning for clearer days.

        by peacearena on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:57:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's worth reading their position paper (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StellaRay, LinSea, netop, Robobagpiper

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 06:03:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, pico. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pico, LinSea

          I'm so tired after a long work day, I just don't have the energy to follow up right now.  But I have book marked your link, and I'll be on it, as soon as I'm a bit refreshed. It intrigues me that you would defend their position.  I must learn more.

          I learn so much here.

          •  Well, I haven't been in step with (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LinSea, Loge, Robobagpiper

            most of the site on Citizens United, which I thought was fundamentally correct, if unnecessarily broad (despite Roberts' attempts to write a narrower judgment, apparently.)  I was being a little tongue-in-cheek when I said you should read it because I agree with it, heh.

            But I think they did face a real problem without an easy solution, and the ACLU's brief explains why.  The corporate personhood issue doesn't actually matter: the pivotal questions are 1) what is a political expenditure? and 2) what are the limits on regulating one under the First Amendment?  The dissent did address corporate personhood, but the really big issues Stevens had were with the majority's refusal to acknowledge even the appearance of corruption and the lack of deference toward Congressional law (funny, in light of the ACA case.)

            Anyway, this is getting way away from the diary topic.  Just wanted to drop that link for you.  Cheers!

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 06:41:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The original sin (0+ / 0-)

              Was Buckley v. Valeo, treating expenditures as speech in the first place.  I'm glad the Court could tell Congress that Watergate, which was at root a campaign finance scandal (which nobody remembers anymore), wasn't so bad as Congress and President Ford thought it was.

              Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

              by Loge on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:04:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Another thanks. Never read that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pico

          Heard it reported about, but never read their position paper.  

          "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

          by netop on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:24:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  StellaRay - CU did not describe corporations (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Robobagpiper, lotlizard

        as people. You should read the majority opinion, or a summary of it. The Court went to great lengths to make a clear distinction between "natural persons" and "groups of people" like clubs, unions, and corporations. Neither the ACLU nor the SCOTUS think that corporations are equal to individuals and that was not even an issue in the Citizens United case. What Citizens United was about was freedom of political speech and could different "speakers" be held to different standards. The McCain-Feingold legislation had declared that corporations had more limited political speech. The SCOTUS said that the First Amendment which states "Congress shall make no law ......" did not have the Constitutional authority to create different classes of "speakers" based on their affiliations.

        The issue of "corporate personhood" starts with Santa Clara v Southern Pacific an 1886 case. In that case and in hundreds of federal and state cases and statutes it has been the law that corporations have some of the same rights as people such as being taxed, owning real and personal property, being subject to regulation, and being sued to name a few. The issue of "corporate personhood" was not litigated in CU and the opinion of the SCOTUS had nothing to do with this issue. Unfortunately we have had a mountain of misinformation about CU that has circulated here at DKOS.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:39:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is it true that Santa Clara v Southern Pacific (0+ / 0-)

          … didn't really declare corporations persons, but a biased clerk who wrote the published abstract made it appear so, and somehow that abstract ended up being cited as precedent even though it misrepresented the court's decision?

          That's what I have read from a number of sources — Thom Hartmann is the first name that comes to mind.

          The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

          by lotlizard on Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 10:30:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  lotizard - that's all true but doesn't matter (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lotlizard

            The footnote story is true but we now have more than 125 years of follow on court opinions and both federal and state laws that have further codified the issue of the rights of corporations. This horse has long been out of the barn. Very few people have any issue with corporate rights like owning property but an exception is regarding political speech. On that topic there is a deep divide.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 01:31:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This what the ACLU Does (14+ / 0-)

    Defends everybody's rights not just the people you and I like or agree.

    AND GOOD FOR THEM!

    Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

    by jsfox on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 04:55:32 PM PDT

  •  See? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, LinSea, johnny wurster, ferment

    They DO occasionally defend Christian organizations too.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 04:59:48 PM PDT

  •  this is why this one-time supporter no longer (4+ / 0-)

    supports the ACLU. They did something similar previously, defending some Neo-Nazi's. Not that the KKK and Neo-Nazi's don't have the right to legal representation like everyone else. They do. However, the ACLU is no obligated to be supporting people who hate everything the ACLU and most of its members stand for.

    The ACLU has limited resources. There are other more worthwhile causes that they could be fighting for. Instead, they decide to waste their supporter's donations representing the likes of the KKK and the ACLU when they don't have to and shouldn't.

    That's why this one-time ACLU supporter and donor no longer supports the boneheads who are currently mismanaging that organization and misusing the donations of its supporters.

    •  Free speech for me but not for thee (12+ / 0-)

      Nice values.

      Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

      by jsfox on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:22:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  free speech for everyone... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Futuristic Dreamer

        ...you didn't listen very well. However, just as we should allow free speech for everyone, doesn't mean we should be selling free advertising space on public lands to hate groups. The ACLU has demonstrated to me atrociously bad judgment on whom they should be spending their limited resources to defend. Let the KKK get their own lawyer.

        •  I actually read very well (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Commoditize This, netop, Loge

          What you don't seem to understand is the ACLU's mission which is not to just defend people you happen to think deserve their defense or with whom you agree. If they did their credibility would be shot.

          Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

          by jsfox on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 07:00:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If getting their own lawyer (0+ / 0-)

          is the answer in this case, then it's the answer in the next one, and soon the ACLU has no reason to exist. Nom not sure what Constitutional basis distinguishes the Klan from other groups, and you haven't offered one, just that the ACLU is a bit turn-the-other-cheek.  But if they weren't, wails of hypocrisy . . .

          The really hard case is for lawyers in private practice.  I'd only let my personal hatred of the Klan take hold and sow them the door precisely because I know he ACLU would be there.  The ACLU is in this way preserving the liberal bona fixes of various lawyers who enjoy suing the government.  It's a good system -- the Klan gets their rights enforced and everyone else gets to feel superior.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:11:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You Are Wrong (9+ / 0-)

      if The ACLU supported hate speech I would have a problem. But that isn't what is going on here. I can't remotely stand the KKK. but they have the right to say what they want as long as what they said doesn't support violence. Just like I have the right to say what I want.

      Glenn Greenwald talks about this a lot. You have to be willing to support ideas that are at the exact opposite of what you think to be open to free speech. Often it ain't pretty.

      But if you really want open and free speech, that is just how you have to roll.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:28:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that is exactly what the ACLU woman (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LinSea

        being interviewed said.  All members of the ACLU staff were asked if they were opposed to assisting in this case given all the facts  - there were none that said yes.

      •  am not saying the KKK has no right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Olympia

        to free speech. Am saying that the ACLU has a right to determine whom it wishes to use its resources defending. There are plenty of other folks out there who need the ACLU's help which are more deserving. Let the KKK defend hire its own lawyer.

        •  Why are they more deserving? (0+ / 0-)

          From the viewpoint of defending free speech, why are other groups more deserving?  

          "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

          by netop on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:04:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  because other groups and individuals (0+ / 0-)

            actually support civil liberties, unlike the KKK and Neo-Nazi's, for instance. Why should a group that claims to advocate "civil liberties" want to waste its resources providing free legal advice to organizations that are the antithesis of civil liberties? The ACLU has no obligation to provide free legals services to hate groups that oppose civil liberties. They should use their resources to support civil liberties and provide free legal services to those who deserve that.

            When the ACLU first decided to give free legal services to Neo-Nazi's, this long-time supporter tried to be reasonable with them, asking if there was at least some way that my money and donations could at least not be used to defend hate groups like the Neo-Nazi's. They never responded. They, apparently, don't care if some of their donors think they have misused the money donated to them and don't care if their supporters think they are incompetently mismanaging the organization by making boneheaded decisions like these.

    •  You never supported the ACLU (9+ / 0-)

      you supported some mythical organization.

      Now, mind you, I also give to lots of liberal groups. And I don't expect them to help the KKK or the Neo-Nazis or whatever.

      But this is what the ACLU and yes, they are obligated to do it; maybe not legally obligated but by the nature of the organization. They defend unpopular speech.

      •  not true... (0+ / 0-)

        up until the boneheaded decision by those mismanaging the ACLU to misuse the resources of its supporters by needlessly choosing to devote those resources to neo-Nazi's instead of other worthwhile folks...this particular citizen was a supporter of the ACLU. When those mismanaging the ACLU decided to misuse my donation by choosing to spend it on neo-Nazi's instead of others who needed and deserved their support...the ACLU lost mine.

        •  They've been at this since the '80s (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          plf515, wdrath

          If not before.  If you took out all of the adjectives, all you did is repeat your same point without any new information to rebut plf515's factual claim.  This saves the trouble of making an informed opinion, not just about this case, but about organizations to support.  If scarcity of resources is a concern, why wasn't it when the ACLU went around priding itself on representing Skokie Nazis and Oliver North, to show just how committed, no make that BAD-ASS, they were?  Possibly because you never supported the ACLU, much less read their promotional materials by are claiming to have in order to (falliciously) give your argument more weight.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:18:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't think of it as defending... (0+ / 0-)

          ...the rights of neo-nazis or klansmen, think of it as defending your rights.  Because if the neo-nazis and the klansmen don't have those rights, then neither do you.

          •  the crux of the matter is this: (0+ / 0-)

            ...they are there to promote civil liberties...there are a lot of people and organizations out there that they could provide free legal counsel to in order to promote civil liberties, but the KKK and Neo-Nazi's are not among them.

            The ACLU has choices to make: who to devote their time, energy, effort and resources to. They have no obligation to be providing free legal services to the KKK and Neo-Nazi's but their incompetent leaders decided they would devote their resources to those groups instead of others more deserving.

            The people mismanaging the ACLU are incompetent to make such a decision and to deliberately waste the donations of its members.

            When the American Civil Liberties Union decides to provide free legal counsel to the KKK instead of others more deserving, they've become the Anti-Civil Liberties Union in my opinion.

    •  This is about the KKK picking up trash (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Burned

      on the highway.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:34:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Abridging the freedoms of a marginalized group is (6+ / 0-)

      the first step to abridgment of everyone's. Granted the KKK are among the worst of the worst, but the point of the ACLU's attention is not to defend the KKK, it is to defend a right.

      Man is simply a monkey with an attitude.

      by rbutters on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 07:04:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What they're supporting (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea, netop, Loge

      is the Bill of Rights. And it's what they've always done.

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 07:42:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The ACLU doesn't defend anyone, they defend rights (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Olympia

      It's right there in the name of their organization.  
      I admire the fact that the ACLU does its duty, even when many involved might not like the person or organization they are helping.  

      And I am comforted by the fact that the ACLU doesn't care what I want to say, but will assist in my ability to say it, should that ability be hampered by the state violating my civil liberties.

      "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

      by netop on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 08:52:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The more that the ACLU takes on (14+ / 0-)

    controversial clients, the more I like the ACLU. Especially when what they do pisses me off. Thank goodness there is an organization that always does the right thing, even when it is hard to stomach.

  •  As Noam Chomsky said (21+ / 0-)
    If we don't believe in free speech for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all
    The question is whether adopt a highway is speech; the ACLU takes a broad view of speech. That's their job
    •  Is it speech? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515

      the ACLU defends more than speech. They could see it as civic engagement issue. If a government invites groups to engage in civil projects, like highway beautification, it can't be capricious about who it selects for the honor.

      I could see where certain groups could be blocked from participating because they are disliked. I used gays and Muslims below, who are certainly probably not particularly popular in Georgia.

      "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 06:57:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My first thought? Yes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515

        But IANAL by a far shot

        As much as it kinda makes me queasy, the Supreme Court has declared that spending money, in particular making donations, is an exercise of free speech.  And unless a public health concern trumps it, I can advertise.  (Mind you, I have no idea how the fine points of that are spelled out.)

        So, because a donation is being made (in this case it seems by labor as an "in-kind" donation.  In my state, I believe the adopt a highway program involves a cash payment to the the Dept of Transportation) to buy a sign and get a bit of advertising it seems like speech to me.    

        "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

        by netop on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:14:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The jargony term (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515, Robobagpiper

        is "viewpoint discrimination.". The theory would be by cutting out the Klan because of their viewpoint, the government chills other expression of that viewpoint.  It's a speech issue, but one step removed.  

        There are undoubtedly ways to make it so that the Klan is ineligible without making it explicitly viewpoint.  Limiting participation organizations to those with open membership policies, e.g.  Or the simpler one of not having highways with 65mph speed limits up for adoption, as seems to be the case here.  I'm with the ACLU in principle, but as long as there is a non-discriminatory reason to deny the permit, I don't know what a lawyer is supposed to do to help them.  

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:24:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's an idea: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Futuristic Dreamer

          Limit participation to groups with non-discrimination policies that comport with the state of GA's non-discrimination laws!

          Now, that would take care of the KKK, if GA has a non-discrimination policy covering race. Does it? Or is GA still sulking over the Civil Rights Act?

          "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

          by Scott Wooledge on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:30:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but there is no "right to civic (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        eXtina

        engagement".

        The ACLU takes a broad view of "speech"; our system of justice is adversarial.

  •  They've done this before (6+ / 0-)

    That's what they're about; letting everyone, even the KKK, express their views.

  •  The ACLU needs to defend liberties without (6+ / 0-)

    resorting to politics, agendas, political correctness without any bias.    Our Constitutional rights need to be examined in total in a vacuum.   Not based upon influence, politics or those who are able to extract wealth and donations based upon their politics or organization,   but instead upon non-politics.   The best judicial decisions tend to piss everyone off.    If the KKK wants to clean highways then let them.  

    Victims of bigotry are the poorest, least influential members of society.......never the wealthiest, most educated, most overrepresented in high levels, and most influential. Bigotry hurts the least influential. To claim or say otherwise is absurd.

    by dailykozzer on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:10:40 PM PDT

  •  The cure (5+ / 0-)

    for bad speech is more good speech. Justice Brandeis said that.

    In this case, if the adopt-a-highway program got more applicants than it had miles of adoptable highway, presto! Problem solved. They could pick and choose whom to award those roads to without resorting to an outright, up-front ban.

    "The truth will set you free...but first it'll piss you off." - Gloria Steinem

    by Sharoney on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:10:51 PM PDT

  •  I applaud the ACLU for defending the KKK (6+ / 0-)

    All American citizens have equal rights before the law and the constitution, the law protects both the civil liberties of the bigot and the saint, the hate group and the human rights organization.

    Way to go ACLU! Keep up the good work.

  •  Good on the ACLU (8+ / 0-)

    Despise the KKK, but love the 1st Amendment

    Think they should rename the road "Obama Way" though, that would be nice.

    Democracy, if done properly, is rude, messy, and loud

    by allensl on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:14:51 PM PDT

  •  All I... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, Mannie

    ..can say is I hope the ACLU loses.

    Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate. ~ Proverbs 22:22

    by wyvern on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:15:30 PM PDT

    •  Why??? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StellaRay, netop

      Would you also hope that, let's say an LGBT group loses, or an anti war group loses in a situation like this? In other words, do you only support the 1st amendment when "you" agree with what a certain group is saying?

      I love what my two examples above do and stand for, and I also really do not like at all what the KKK does and stands for, yet I support their right to say what they want, or in this case actually do our dirty world some good.

  •  Of course, I don't like the KKK, (10+ / 0-)

    I get the visceral disgust, and share it.

    But, I also have full confidence that this standard used by Georgia:

    "'civic-minded organization in good standing.'"
    or
    "encountering [such] signage ... would create a definite distraction to motorists."
    Could be used to bar an LGBT group, like Georgia Equality from doing the same. Such a standard could well be used on Muslims, who of course, can't be in good standing either and whose presence would be very distracting to the good Christians of Georgia.

    As such, I presume the ACLU is focused on holding the gov't accountable to have fair, object standards on such things, not subjective and capricious ones, like "in good standing" or they will "distract people."

    I mean, one of the downsides of freedom in America is we shouldn't be keeping blacklists of people who are in "good standing" and who aren't. Even if, unfortunately, their name is on a KKK membership role.

    • Here's an idea: Drop a lot of trash out your window as you drive by the highway to keep them too busy to burn crosses or disgrace their stewardship of that stretch of highway. >:-)

    "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

    by Scott Wooledge on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:21:16 PM PDT

  •  I like the re-naming ideas. I'd also like to see (0+ / 0-)

    them have to wear their hatefilled white garb when removing litter from the highway -- as full disclosure that these are NOT only ordinary civic minded folks.  But then, I'm feeling especially mean just now.

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:22:07 PM PDT

    •  I understand your anger. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kentucky Kid, LinSea

      Freedom of speech is a tough pill to swallow when you don't agree with the speech.  Hell, I listen to the GOP use those freedoms every day, and frankly, they're a lot more threatening to this country today than the KKK is.  And they use their freedom of speech to lie every day, in every way.  GULP.  Sometimes I almost choke on it.

      Still, we cannot demand how someone dresses when expressing themselves, and I know you know this.  If the KKK wants to improve its civic image, let them try.  We all know it takes a lot more than cleaning a mile of highway to erase what the KKK stands for.  

      They're a dying breed.  And nothing could be more stupid than thinking cleaning a highway is going to change that.  Let them make fools of themselves, and in the process, clean up our highways here and there.  It will be the only thing they've ever done that amounted to anything good.  And the beauty of it is, no one will buy it for anything other than the stupid PR move that it is.

      •  I really do agree. Tired, Grumpy self just (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StellaRay

        needed to express displeasure a bit.  Cheers, luv, and carry on. :^)

        Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

        by LinSea on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 07:50:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And I SO get "Grumpy self," (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LinSea

          and the need to express displeasure.  Sorry if I answered with what may have seemed like a lecture, I didn't mean it as that.  

          But had I been in the mode to express my  "grumpy self" and just wanted to be angry about how we must defend the free speech rights of assholes in the kkk, I might have wanted to slug me for my response.

          Thanks for your positive and "carry on" response.

          •  Never. I had a bit of rest, came back to find your (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StellaRay

            comment and only appreciated your willingness to share your thoughts so fully and with such clarity.  Didn't even begin to feel judged harshly.  

            I knew, on some level, when I posted that I was throwing a tantrum, but frustrated lil' kid won out for a while there.

            Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

            by LinSea on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:00:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  As long as they don't call themselves a union... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the ACLU is ready to stand up for practically anyone.

    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

    by Minerva on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:31:23 PM PDT

  •  You have given me an idea for a diary n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, Olympia, ferment
  •  Cases like this are why I respect the ACLU. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    susanala, LinSea

    Freedom of speech does not just mean "freedom to say nice things" or "freedom to say things I agree with". It also means "freedom to say things that are hateful and ugly and wrong."

    And frankly, I hold too many views despised by the majority to ever be comfortable with limits on the First Amendment.

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges. - Anatole France

    by DarkLadyNyara on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:47:23 PM PDT

  •  They also defended Rush Limbaugh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferment

    on privacy grounds when, I believe, he got caught in Customs with some pills.

    After they won the case for them, he went right back to bashing them, no doubt.

    Both keep right on doing what they do.

    Oklahoma: birthplace of Kate Barnard, W. Rogers, W. Guthrie, Bill Moyers & Eliz. Warren. Home to proud progressive agitators since before statehood. Current political climate a mere passing dust cloud; we're waiting it out & planning for clearer days.

    by peacearena on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:48:11 PM PDT

  •  in 2005 or '06 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, StellaRay, susanala

    Camp Casey wanted to get a piece of highway to clean up, complete with a sign with their name plopped on a major roadway in Crawford, Texas. Trust me, most of the locals felt about Camp Casey the way you and I feel about the Klan.

    So who gets to decide whether a particular group is worthy of participating in that program? That's why ACLU doesn't go by the content of the speech. If the activity is otherwise legal, they should be able to do what any other group can do.

    Oklahoma: birthplace of Kate Barnard, W. Rogers, W. Guthrie, Bill Moyers & Eliz. Warren. Home to proud progressive agitators since before statehood. Current political climate a mere passing dust cloud; we're waiting it out & planning for clearer days.

    by peacearena on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 05:54:21 PM PDT

  •  I think there is one reason why they may lose. (0+ / 0-)

    In order to adopt the highway I'm pretty sure you have to lower the speed limit. (Because there will be people out cleaning.) And that part might suck for the people who are used to driving 65 which is what I think it is now.

    But that would suck no matter who adopted it. I am a proud ACLU member!

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 06:24:27 PM PDT

  •  FWIW, I didn't personally love (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea

    the Supreme Court finding that Westboro Baptist Church had a Constitutionally protected right to protest military funerals to express how much they hate gay people.

    But, I'd rather our country err on the side of being too indulgent on people's freedom of speech than on too restrictive.  That I find them absolutely repellant is not a standard for shutting them up.

    So, whaddya gonna do?

    "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

    by Scott Wooledge on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 06:49:28 PM PDT

  •  I firmly believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea

    laws which protect the least of us, or least deserving of us, will always protect the most. From time to time the ACLU takes on cases that its attorneys probably choke on, but they do it for the rest of us.

    Man is simply a monkey with an attitude.

    by rbutters on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 06:57:17 PM PDT

  •  the oft-quoted line from voltaire: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    imfunnytoo, LinSea

    sir i strongly disagree with you but will fight to the death for your right to say it.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 07:03:23 PM PDT

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