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  1. #1
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    Harassment of Government Employees

    Recently, officials in the Trump administration have been harassed while out in public at restaurants, and while in their own homes.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a8407446.html
    https://www.washingtonian.com/2018/0...me-came-to-be/
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a8409306.html

    A list of 1600 ICE employees names and addresses has been circulating among activists, apparently for the purposes of harassing them, or worse.

    My position is that the harassment of government employees while away from work, just living their private lives during time off, is immoral. It crosses an important line, and should just not happen. Not to those working for Democrat administrations, not to those in Republican administrations, and not to those in career government jobs.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  2. #2
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Recently, officials in the Trump administration have been harassed while out in public at restaurants, and while in their own homes.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a8407446.html
    https://www.washingtonian.com/2018/0...me-came-to-be/
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a8409306.html

    A list of 1600 ICE employees names and addresses has been circulating among activists, apparently for the purposes of harassing them, or worse.

    My position is that the harassment of government employees while away from work, just living their private lives during time off, is immoral. It crosses an important line, and should just not happen. Not to those working for Democrat administrations, not to those in Republican administrations, and not to those in career government jobs.
    This is a terrible precedent and it is made worse when politicians like Maxine Waters actually encourages it. This is on the verge of getting violent. Huckabee-Sanders was recently provided Secret Service detail. If a group of people decides to take Water's advice and try to physically force her from a restaurant or other public space, what will the reaction from the SS detail be? If violence ensues, we already know how the press will report it. Bottom line is that publicly harassing public officials with mobs isn't how we conduct politics in America. The election cycle is where we get to voice our displeasure and potentially enact changes. This shouldn't even be a Democrat v Republican issue. It should just be an issue where Americans are united and say no. Not acceptable.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

  3. #3
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Aren't they public officials? How about when Alex Jones berated Bernie Sanders at the airport?

    And aren't we supposed to be well-armed so we can kill these people if we don't agree with them?
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Of the three, only the second comes close to being problematic in my view, and it didn't sound as if they were persistently making her life miserable other than protesting on one specific morning.

    If you are a public official in politics, you represent the people. You don't get to just live in an ivory tower isolated from everyone. You took the job as a part of the government and people have a right and obligation to let you know how they feel about your decisions and actions. It might be a bit uncomfortable and akward, but it's part of the job in many respects.

    That does not give people the right to endanger your life, threaten your life, stop you from doing your job, limit your freedom of movement, or to harass you at all hours of the day and night. There are limits to what is reasonable and what isn't. Speaking to you in a restaurant is reasonable. Holding a protest near where you live of work is reasonable. It's not polite, but taking parents from their kids at the boarder isn't polite either. That's pollitics in the real.
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    It's not polite, but taking parents from their kids at the boarder isn't polite either. That's pollitics in the real.
    Is it unusual for the gov't to take custody of children when their parents are arrested for a felony and no other legal adult family is immediately available to take care of the children?
    (I am not a Trump supporter, and did not vote for him.)

    The Op says "harassment". I would say that goes beyond the right of the people to air their grievances. I don't see why having a gov't job should make it legal to be "harassed" in a legal sense.

  6. #6
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Of the three, only the second comes close to being problematic in my view, and it didn't sound as if they were persistently making her life miserable other than protesting on one specific morning.

    If you are a public official in politics, you represent the people. You don't get to just live in an ivory tower isolated from everyone. You took the job as a part of the government and people have a right and obligation to let you know how they feel about your decisions and actions. It might be a bit uncomfortable and akward, but it's part of the job in many respects.

    That does not give people the right to endanger your life, threaten your life, stop you from doing your job, limit your freedom of movement, or to harass you at all hours of the day and night. There are limits to what is reasonable and what isn't. Speaking to you in a restaurant is reasonable. Holding a protest near where you live of work is reasonable. It's not polite, but taking parents from their kids at the boarder isn't polite either. That's pollitics in the real.
    This response is problematic to me. A public official does not magically lose their own individual rights. I agree that the restaurant owner had a right to ask Sanders to leave. It is rude, petty, and bad business, but within the rights of the owner and does not rise to the level of violence or inciting violence. However, when a mob of people shouted down Nielson and demanded she leave a restaurant, that is a problem. When people protested in front of someone's private residence, I have an issue with that. When Waters encouraged people to harass politicians in public whom they disagree, I have a huge problem with that. Politicians have a right like anyone else to live in peace, have a meal, and to exist in public without the fear of a mob harassing them. If people want to protest where they work, no problem. Even better, vote. A group of people shouting down a politician and demanding they leave some public space like a restaurant is nothing less than a violent act. It is forcing someone to do something against their will with the implicit use of physical violence. If you disagree then ask why numbers matter. If a restaurant owner politely asks someone to leave the restaurant, the patron has a reasonable choice to comply or not. They can do so without a reasonable fear that violence will occur. If a mob surrounds you and shouts at you, your complicity with the mobs demands are not born from a desire to reciprocate, but from fear. Two very different circumstances. And when a mob of people actually comes to your home, now that fear is extended to your family and neighbors. Political differences cannot be reconciled by using fear as a negotiating tactic. It is bad precedent and incompatible with our democracy and republican values. By republican, I mean our values as a collection of states to agree to live within a national set of rules and and limitations intended to allow us to coexist even with people with whom we may posses different political and ideological views.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Is it unusual for the gov't to take custody of children when their parents are arrested for a felony and no other legal adult family is immediately available to take care of the children?
    (I am not a Trump supporter, and did not vote for him.)
    You simply don't keep them in jail awaiting trial. That's how it works with all kinds of crimes, they allow bail or for a small bail value so people can go about their lives waiting for trial.

    The Op says "harassment". I would say that goes beyond the right of the people to air their grievances. I don't see why having a gov't job should make it legal to be "harassed" in a legal sense.
    Read the specific examples he posted. They don't rise to the legal sense of harassment, they are people speaking their mind in public spaces to officials.

    ---------- Post added at 11:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:45 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    This response is problematic to me. A public official does not magically lose their own individual rights. I agree that the restaurant owner had a right to ask Sanders to leave. It is rude, petty, and bad business, but within the rights of the owner and does not rise to the level of violence or inciting violence. However, when a mob of people shouted down Nielson and demanded she leave a restaurant, that is a problem. When people protested in front of someone's private residence, I have an issue with that. When Waters encouraged people to harass politicians in public whom they disagree, I have a huge problem with that. Politicians have a right like anyone else to live in peace, have a meal, and to exist in public without the fear of a mob harassing them. If people want to protest where they work, no problem. Even better, vote. A group of people shouting down a politician and demanding they leave some public space like a restaurant is nothing less than a violent act. It is forcing someone to do something against their will with the implicit use of physical violence. If you disagree then ask why numbers matter. If a restaurant owner politely asks someone to leave the restaurant, the patron has a reasonable choice to comply or not. They can do so without a reasonable fear that violence will occur. If a mob surrounds you and shouts at you, your complicity with the mobs demands are not born from a desire to reciprocate, but from fear. Two very different circumstances. And when a mob of people actually comes to your home, now that fear is extended to your family and neighbors. Political differences cannot be reconciled by using fear as a negotiating tactic. It is bad precedent and incompatible with our democracy and republican values. By republican, I mean our values as a collection of states to agree to live within a national set of rules and and limitations intended to allow us to coexist even with people with whom we may posses different political and ideological views.
    It's not like these "mobs" are runing around with pitchforks and toches. They are not threatening violence, they are shaming and confronting people. There is no implied or direct threat of violence that I've read about. Not like at a Trump rally where the guy speaking is making jokes about beating up protesters or duedes marching around Charlotesville with TikiToches and riot gear. Or Antifas with clubs and pepper spray. Those are instances of threats of violence and intimidation through violence. Those are unnacceptable in a democracy.

    But yelling at someone is in the realm of what you can do, even if they happen to be in their house. So long as you are not on their property you can march around with a sign.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post




    It's not like these "mobs" are runing around with pitchforks and toches. They are not threatening violence, they are shaming and confronting people. There is no implied or direct threat of violence that I've read about. Not like at a Trump rally where the guy speaking is making jokes about beating up protesters or duedes marching around Charlotesville with TikiToches and riot gear. Or Antifas with clubs and pepper spray. Those are instances of threats of violence and intimidation through violence. Those are unnacceptable in a democracy.

    But yelling at someone is in the realm of what you can do, even if they happen to be in their house. So long as you are not on their property you can march around with a sign.
    Pitchforks and torches is a red herring. Someone can be violent without weapons. When a mob forms around someone and forces them to leave an otherwise public space, it is a form of violence. Yelling at someone can be a form of inciting violence. Particularly when it is done by a group of people. The mobs in several of these incidents have denied individuals use of a public space. That is a use of force. Waters specifically said public officials working for Trump shouldn't be allowed to eat in restaurants. This is calling people to use violence. And no, people's homes are not fair game. You think the family members and friends feel free to enter and leave their own homes when there is an angry mob outside chanting, yelling, and insulting the inhabitants? We have to draw some lines about reasonable, civil discourse.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Sig, do you deny that the demonstrations and harassment are a form of intimidation? "Intimidation (also called cowing) is intentional behavior that "would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities" to fear injury or harm." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intimidation

    Which should be more important in deciding whether that type of behavior is acceptable: 1) Whether causing fear is intended by the protester 2) Whether the target feels fear?

    It seems to me that the politically correct view promoted by the Left in most other situations would be #2. For example, in sexual harassment cases the Left believes that the emotions and effects on the victim are more important than the intentions of the accused. Partisan poll watching is described as discriminatory intimidation aimed at suppressing the minority vote. And we could talk at length of how the Left claims police discrimination, intimidation, and violence against minorities is claimed to be institutional and even subconscious, regardless what an individual officer intends.

    So why, in this current situation, do activists on the Left get a hypocritical pass just by saying they don't intend violence?
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  10. #10
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Pitchforks and torches is a red herring. Someone can be violent without weapons. When a mob forms around someone and forces them to leave an otherwise public space, it is a form of violence. Yelling at someone can be a form of inciting violence. Particularly when it is done by a group of people. The mobs in several of these incidents have denied individuals use of a public space. That is a use of force. Waters specifically said public officials working for Trump shouldn't be allowed to eat in restaurants. This is calling people to use violence. And no, people's homes are not fair game. You think the family members and friends feel free to enter and leave their own homes when there is an angry mob outside chanting, yelling, and insulting the inhabitants? We have to draw some lines about reasonable, civil discourse.
    People yelling at you is not a form of violence. Are you for clearing out all the abortion protesters across the country, all the street preachers who shout about people going to hell?

    I don't endorse any of this behavior. It's not my style, but its also not that unusual. People in positions of power will face social consequences for their actions. They always have, they always will.

    And they call liberals snowflakes. Yeesh.

    ---------- Post added at 12:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:01 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Sig, do you deny that the demonstrations and harassment are a form of intimidation? "Intimidation (also called cowing) is intentional behavior that "would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities" to fear injury or harm." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intimidation
    It all depends on the content and character of it. If no one is threatening violence, brandishing weapons, or the like, then no, a person of ordinary sensibilities should not fear injury or harm. If folks are threatening violence or if they are brandishing weapons, they yes they should be concenred and it should be stopped.

    Which should be more important in deciding whether that type of behavior is acceptable: 1) Whether causing fear is intended by the protester 2) Whether the target feels fear?
    1) Whether causeing fear is intended.

    So why, in this current situation, do activists on the Left get a hypocritical pass just by saying they don't intend violence?
    Because there is no law against hypocrisy? Why does the left cheer on abortion protestors forming lines outside of clinics but not protesters at restaurants? Because they are not about the principles of civic action they are about their political tribe's objectives. Neither side of partisans cares about principles Evensaul. They just use whatever argument is most convinient.

    I have my own views of things. I don't belong to a tribe. I call out the left, right and center however it seems to me they need it and whever they are wrong in my view. When arguing with me, telling me what the left does or what the right does is useless.

    I have my own set of principles. I find this kind of bwehavior rude and uncouth, but it is legal and not outside the bounds of legitimate political behaior in the US. I accept that abortion protestors can march around with pictures of dead fetuses, and I acccept that democrats can yell at republicans in resturaunts. I may not like either one, but if I felt as strongly as they do about things, I might take those measures myself.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Why does the [right] cheer on abortion protestors forming lines outside of clinics but not protesters at restaurants?
    If protesters went to an abortion doctor's home to protest or drove him from a restaurant, that would be wrong also.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I find this kind of bwehavior rude and uncouth, but it is legal and not outside the bounds of legitimate political behaior in the US. I accept that abortion protestors can march around with pictures of dead fetuses, and I acccept that democrats can yell at republicans in resturaunts. I may not like either one, but if I felt as strongly as they do about things, I might take those measures myself.
    I don't understand this logic. If you find it rude and uncouth, then how is it legitimate behavior? It is happening in a person's private time, not their political time. Shouting at an elected official appearing at a town hall is one thing. Shouting at them while having dinner with family and friends is completely different. I honestly don't understand how you can think that is legitimate political behavior.

    Or how about when activists start targeting the homes of business owners with government contracts? Is that still acceptable behavior? https://www.statesman.com/news/local...9eZj4nHndydMJ/ What if it isn't the CEO, but employees of the company?

    What if a protest at a government employee's home is scary enough to make young children cry. Is that just part of legitimate political behavior? The cost of being in politics?

    I read a story last week about a government official who had a protest outside his home. It wasn't a big step from that to his waking up one morning to find a sign attached to the telephone outside his house saying something like: "We know where you live ... and we know your children's names", then listing those names. Isn't that an implied threat?

    And now we actually have the direct threat to kill the children of a different official: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...charged-688040

    At what point would you draw the line, and why Sig? I'd really like to understand.
    Last edited by evensaul; June 30th, 2018 at 05:00 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    People yelling at you is not a form of violence. Are you for clearing out all the abortion protesters across the country, all the street preachers who shout about people going to hell?

    I don't endorse any of this behavior. It's not my style, but its also not that unusual. People in positions of power will face social consequences for their actions. They always have, they always will.

    And they call liberals snowflakes. Yeesh.
    Let's be clear. There are many forms of protest. Let's remove the type of protest where a group of people seek public redress of a public official or agency on public property (i.e. marching on a statehouse or to the White House). I think we both agree this is well within the bounds of civility and is an appropriate means of conveying a message. Obviously, there are nuances involved, but let's agree, in general, this isn't a problematic form of protest.

    There is another type of public protest you mentioned. The protester(s) standing on some corner or in some public space, directing some sort of message to everyone in the public square or, briefly directing it at individuals who cross their path. This type of protest does not intend to prevent access from the public square in meaningful way, even if the message may be acerbic. If you don't like the message you simply keep walking. There is no expectation that the protesters will follow. There is no conveyance of force.

    Another type of protest is the sort of protesting we see in front of an abortion clinic. The protest isn't directed at anyone specifically, but is used to intimidate people from using the facility. And let's even break this down a little. If a group is protesting an abortion clinic (to use your example) and they are compassionately handing out fliers, even fliers which may have disturbing or controversial images, this is not a form of violence or implied force. No one is being intimidated from using the facility. However, where protestors are physically blocking entrance to the facility or giving the appearance that entrance is being blocked to coerce people not to use the facility, then we can relate this to force. And I am definitely not in favor.

    And then there is the type of protest being described here. Individuals are being targeted, not on public land, but in private businesses and at home by a mob of protestors. In some cases, the protestors are demanding that the individual leaves or are using force to coerce the individual into leaving. This isn't a protest in any sort of free speech right sort of way. This is using numbers and brute force to deny some individual their own freedom. Again, this isn't about Sanders. The restaurant owner may have been distasteful and rude but, hey, its her restaurant. On the other hand, with Kristen Nielson, being coerced to leave a restaurant by a mob of people. That's not protest. At least it isn't peaceful protest. That's a mob forcing someone to do something against their will by the implicit use of force. That isn't acceptable. It is a form of protest, but not one that I believe is protected by the 1st amendment. Honestly, to use your odd analogy, if that same angry mob did have pitchforks and torches, how would that have made things any worse? The threat of violence was there either way. You think Nielson was sitting there thinking, oh gee, I'm perfectly safe, none of them are armed with pitchforks or do you think she left because she was legitimately afraid that if she failed to leave that things would escalate and that the mob would move from implicit force to actual force? I've never been surrounded by a mob, but I have been in the middle of a brawl. No pitchforks or torches. But, plenty of broken teeth, blood and concussions.

    How else to describe surrounding someone, yelling angry chants at them, and demanding that they leave? Really? That isn't a use of implied force? It certainly isn't a conversation or negotiation. And to have a Congressperson promote this behavior.... that is sick.
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  14. #13
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    If protesters went to an abortion doctor's home to protest or drove him from a restaurant, that would be wrong also.
    It would be no more or less wrong than the other situations discussed. It is the same action, the cause doesn't matter in terms of how civil or legal the action is.

    I don't understand this logic. If you find it rude and uncouth, then how is it legitimate behavior? It is happening in a person's private time, not their political time. Shouting at an elected official appearing at a town hall is one thing. Shouting at them while having dinner with family and friends is completely different. I honestly don't understand how you can think that is legitimate political behavior.
    In America you can be rude and uncouth. It's legal, hell the founding fathers were oftem pretty fond of it. Democracy isn't always super polite or delecate. Personally, I beleive strongly in being a civil person and leading by example, but I also think we have the freedom, and sometimes the moral obligation to break civility in the name of something we feel strongly about. So while it is not my style, and I don't think it is usually the best tactic, I will not say it is outide the bounds of ethical behavior.

    Or how about when activists start targeting the homes of business owners with government contracts? Is that still acceptable behavior? https://www.statesman.com/news/local...9eZj4nHndydMJ/ What if it isn't the CEO, but employees of the company?
    Same deal, I wouldn't do it myself, but I don't see anything there that truly endangers the man, just people speaking their mind and trying to hold him accountable for his participation in the detentions.

    What if a protest at a government employee's home is scary enough to make young children cry. Is that just part of legitimate political behavior? The cost of being in politics?
    Yes. Children cry very easily. I don't think it makes them a measure of what is in the bounds of political expression. Childeren also sometimes cry when their parents are taken away to detention and they are put into holding fascilities. They also cry when they don't get a popsicle and they want one really bad.

    I read a story last week about a government official who had a protest outside his home. It wasn't a big step from that to his waking up one morning to find a sign attached to the telephone outside his house saying something like: "We know where you live ... and we know your children's names", then listing those names. Isn't that an implied threat?
    Yes, that is an implied threat and crosses an important line. Those people should be investigated and prosicuted for harrassment/stalking etc...

    And now we actually have the direct threat to kill the children of a different official: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...charged-688040
    Totally reprehensible. He is being prosecuted for his crimes, as he should be.

    At what point would you draw the line, and why Sig? I'd really like to understand.
    I told you already, but apparently you didn't listen the first time.
    From post #4: "That does not give people the right to endanger your life, threaten your life, stop you from doing your job, limit your freedom of movement, or to harass you at all hours of the day and night. "

    Take the time to read and consider what others say. It really helps reach some understanding.

    ---------- Post added at 07:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:12 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Let's remove the type of protest where a group of people seek public redress of a public official or agency on public property
    OK

    There is another type of public protest you mentioned. There is no conveyance of force.
    Yup

    Another type of protest is the sort of protesting we see in front of an abortion clinic. The protest isn't directed at anyone specifically, but is used to intimidate people from using the facility. And let's even break this down a little. If a group is protesting an abortion clinic (to use your example) and they are compassionately handing out fliers, even fliers which may have disturbing or controversial images, this is not a form of violence or implied force. No one is being intimidated from using the facility. However, where protestors are physically blocking entrance to the facility or giving the appearance that entrance is being blocked to coerce people not to use the facility, then we can relate this to force. And I am definitely not in favor.
    Agreed, mostly. Some protesters, the ones with pictures of dead babies and who yell "sinner" or "Your going to hell" or the like are indeed trying to intimidate people. But it doesn't rise to the use of force, it is psychological intimidation, which is meanspirited, but not force. But yes blocking the fascility is against the law. It's a mild act of violence, but it's a sort of violence.

    And then there is the type of protest being described here. Individuals are being targeted, not on public land, but in private businesses and at home by a mob of protestors.
    It doesn't make much difference to me if the land is public or private other than if it is private the owner has the right to call for the removal of the trespassers. But that doesn't really change to me whether it is an act of violence or is more or less moral. Also, a "mob" doesn't much matter to me either if all you mean is it is a larger group of people.

    In some cases, the protestors are demanding that the individual leaves or are using force to coerce the individual into leaving.
    When tey use force, that's wrong, when they don't it isn't. Two different situations. None of the examples in the OP, in so far as I read, involved force or a threat of it. From the video I watched Kristen Nielson was chanted at by a group of people that would not let her "eat in peace." No one attcked her or touched her, all they did was yell "shame" etc... No threats, no personal remarks even, just calling out their displeasure with her part in public policy.

    How else to describe surrounding someone, yelling angry chants at them, and demanding that they leave? Really? That isn't a use of implied force? It certainly isn't a conversation or negotiation. And to have a Congressperson promote this behavior.... that is sick.
    I describe it as social outrage and protest. It was not violent. They didn't demand she leave (in the video I saw). They called shame on her for her actions. There was no implied force. It was not a conversation or a negotiation. I find it rude but not sick, for no one was injured or truely harmed beyond embarasment. If you can't handle people yelling at you, don't become a politician.
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    It would be no more or less wrong than the other situations discussed. It is the same action, the cause doesn't matter in terms of how civil or legal the action is.
    So it would be no more or less wrong to protest at the home of any individual, regardless of what their job is, and for any reason. It is morally okay to get a bullhorn and a group of neighbors to protest in front of an apartment of a store manager for McDonald's, because one of his employees didn't put a pickle on my hamburger?

    I think your position is flatly immoral. People have a right to live their private lives away from work without being harassed regarding job related issues. That goes for the abortion doctor, the plumber, the Red Cross volunteer, the politician and the White House employee. This issue is the epitome of "golden rule" application. You wouldn't want people protesting at your home, so don't do it to others. And if you wouldn't do it to others for that reason, Sig, then you should be willing to say they are in the wrong.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    So it would be no more or less wrong to protest at the home of any individual, regardless of what their job is, and for any reason. It is morally okay to get a bullhorn and a group of neighbors to protest in front of an apartment of a store manager for McDonald's, because one of his employees didn't put a pickle on my hamburger?
    Correct. in terms of legality and moral culpability, there is no significant difference. Protesting a pickle is pretty stupid, you won't find many people willing to do it. but I don't see any moral dimension to it.

    I think your position is flatly immoral. People have a right to live their private lives away from work without being harassed regarding job-related issues. That goes for the abortion doctor, the plumber, the Red Cross volunteer, the politician and the White House employee. This issue is the epitome of "golden rule" application. You wouldn't want people protesting at your home, so don't do it to others. And if you wouldn't do it to others for that reason, Sig, then you should be willing to say they are in the wrong.
    I hold myslef to somewhat higher standards than I hold others too. That said, I also don't draw a bright line between what I do for a living and my "private" life. Really I am still the same perosn at work as I am at home. My moral responsibilities don't begin or end at my workplace. If someone was protesting at my house, I'd come out and talk to them about whatever upset them and would try to see if we could resolve the situation or come to an understanding. Typically, I live my life in such a way no one has cause to protest me or my actions.
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Seems to me you’re focusing on the pickle (you never make an extreme comparison to make a point?) and are absorbed in pride at being a moderate and nonjudgmental in all things, rather than considering what codes of conduct may really be best for society.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Seems to me you’re focusing on the pickle (you never make an extreme comparison to make a point?) and are absorbed in pride at being a moderate and nonjudgmental in all things, rather than considering what codes of conduct may really be best for society.
    I'm always focused on the pickle if you know what I mean. Honestly though, you made the pickle story, I just answered it.

    As for me being nonjudgemental... lol I'm not sure you know what that word even means if you think I'm an example of it. Moderate, sure, but I am as judgemental as the day is long sir. Sometimes I hold my tongue because what I have to say is not going to do anyone any good. That's discression. a virtue I ascribe to.

    I think there are lots of codes of conduct that are best for society. I argue about those all the time here and elsewhere to try and enlighten others to my way of thinking.

    What is it about not being at an office that absolves you of responsibility for what you did at the office? When someone commits a crime at work, we don't give them amnesty if they quit their job or when they have time off.
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    What is it about not being at an office that absolves you of responsibility for what you did at the office? When someone commits a crime at work, we don't give them amnesty if they quit their job or when they have time off.
    It's not about absolution. It's about recognizing the right time and place for corrective action. Our society has norms for when and where to do things. I could make a partial list, if you need one. Are you okay with throwing all of those norms away, or is this just a special case?
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    Re: Harassment of Government Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Agreed, mostly. Some protesters, the ones with pictures of dead babies and who yell "sinner" or "Your going to hell" or the like are indeed trying to intimidate people. But it doesn't rise to the use of force, it is psychological intimidation, which is meanspirited, but not force. But yes blocking the fascility is against the law. It's a mild act of violence, but it's a sort of violence.

    Intimidation is force. More precisely, intimidation is the implication of force. If you don't behave like I am demanding, then I may use force to compel you. That is intimidation. And intimidation is not even close to peaceful protest. Something like telling someone is a sinner or are going to hell, probably does not rise to the level of intimidation. However, if the "protestors" are getting into people's faces and yelling, then I think we cross into intimidation. At the very least, it is a grey area. At least we both agree that blocking someone from entering a building is a form of violence, mild or otherwise.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    It doesn't make much difference to me if the land is public or private other than if it is private the owner has the right to call for the removal of the trespassers. But that doesn't really change to me whether it is an act of violence or is more or less moral. Also, a "mob" doesn't much matter to me either if all you mean is it is a larger group of people.

    But of course being confronted by a large group of people is usually more intimidating than being confronted by a single person. And isn't that sort of a signal that intimidation is being used as a tactic? You have the right to protest the government. Sure. Protesting individuals right to exist, even as employees of the government, crosses a line. And you may argue that isn't what they are protesting. However, if I cannot peaceably go home, go to dinner, take a walk around the block, isn't my ability to function freely as an individual being impeded? Would you go outside and take the dog for a walk, or walk around the block with your wife if there was angry mob of people following you with signs and bullhorns? Screaming at you? My guess is that you'd feel a bit intimidated and you'd sort of be forced to exile yourself from the public for fear of your own safety. And this isn't a product of peaceful protest.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    When tey use force, that's wrong, when they don't it isn't. Two different situations. None of the examples in the OP, in so far as I read, involved force or a threat of it. From the video I watched Kristen Nielson was chanted at by a group of people that would not let her "eat in peace." No one attcked her or touched her, all they did was yell "shame" etc... No threats, no personal remarks even, just calling out their displeasure with her part in public policy.
    So, it is only force if you get physically touched? No. We actually made that point in the first paragraph of this post. Force can be via intimidation, the implied use of force or by leading someone to believe they have a reason to be fearful. I mean, could Nielson have been expected to ignore the protestors and just eat her meal? Of course not. She was FORCED to leave. She was compelled. You cannot just walk up to someone and start screaming at them. Usually this would result in the police being called and the person or people yelling to be escorted out. Perhaps even arrested. That Nielson is a federal employee shouldn't matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I describe it as social outrage and protest. It was not violent. They didn't demand she leave (in the video I saw). They called shame on her for her actions. There was no implied force. It was not a conversation or a negotiation. I find it rude but not sick, for no one was injured or truely harmed beyond embarasment. If you can't handle people yelling at you, don't become a politician.
    This just such a coarse argument. I am sure Nielson can handle getting yelled at. Had the protestor yelled "shame on you" and walked away, I'd probably agree with you. But they continued with their yelling until she left. They compelled her to leave. It isn't about whether she can handle being yelled at. No one in her situation would have felt comfortable remaining in that restaurant. And that was the purpose of those protesting. Not to convey a message, but to win a physical battle. Get her to leave. Be able to claim they won a victory of some moral calling by extracting her from the public square. That is just absurd.

    And I've noticed you have not addressed Max Water's little call to arms at all. Does this mean you agree she is out of bounds?
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