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Now THIS is inventive free speech!

by Evie / August 2, 2004 9:43 PM PDT

Even if you don't agree with his views, it's still kinda innovative.

Not guilty plea to spreading manure on gay rights parade
Farmer says he was acting within constitutional rights


A farmer who acknowledged spreading 3 tons of manure along the route of a gay rights parade pleaded innocent Monday, saying he was exercising his constitutional right to free speech.

The farmer, Wesley Bono, 35, of Greenbrier, is accused of dumping the manure in front of a gay couple's home and spreading it along two city streets for the June 27 parade.

Bono said before his court appearance on a misdemeanor harassment charge that he was exercising a constitutional right.

"Under the First Amendment, a man is allowed to protest. That's what I was doing," Bono told KATV. "I didn't do it as a hate crime, or any crime at all."


If it was on his land along the parade route, I'ld say he has a case.

Evie Happy

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Re: Now THIS is inventive free speech!
by TONI H / August 2, 2004 9:56 PM PDT

I thought protestors who plan to use the city or town city streets to do the protesting on needed a permit to do so. If so, this is where they will get him...

TONI

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(NT) (NT) 3 Tons of manure is also a lot of litter = hefty fine :
by Evie / August 2, 2004 10:47 PM PDT
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Re: inventive free speech -- no, a hate crime
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / August 3, 2004 12:02 AM PDT

You clearly didn't even read the story, Evie. Far from his land being along the parade route, he is "accused of dumping the manure in front of a gay couple's home and spreading it along two city streets for the June 27 parade."

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: inventive free speech -- no, a hate crime
by C1ay / August 3, 2004 12:09 AM PDT
You clearly didn't even read the story, Evie. Far from his land being along the parade route, he is "accused of dumping the manure in front of a gay couple's home and spreading it along two city streets for the June 27 parade."


Hmmm, that's the same thing that Evie posted here. Skimming again?

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Re: inventive free speech -- no, a hate crime
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / August 3, 2004 4:39 AM PDT

Hi, Clay.

Yes, it is what Evie posted -- and completely contradicts her comment about the same story. So if anyone was skimming, it was she -- or else she intentionally proposed a scenario she knew to be wrong.

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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How does it contradict...
by Edward ODaniel / August 3, 2004 7:59 AM PDT

anything she said?

Are you unaware that many farmers and other businessmen are also owners of property that they rent or lease to others. Believe it or not those properties are usually along city streets.

Just admit it--you SKIMMED!

By the way, another indication that you skimmed it is in your subject line because the farmer specifically stated that it wasn't a "hate crime" but a simple exercise of "free speech".

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(NT) (NT) I said IF
by Evie / August 3, 2004 9:12 AM PDT
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Re: inventive free speech -- no, a hate crime
by Evie / August 3, 2004 12:13 AM PDT

I read the article Dave, you didn't read my post. I said
If it was on his land along the parade route, I'ld say he has a case.

He should be responsible to pay for the cleanup and/or whatever penalty there is for illegal dumping and/or littering. As to the dumping in front of the gay couple's home, the charge and penalty should be no more or less than what would be levied had he done the same to his neighbor that he was just peeved at.

Evie Happy

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(NT) (NT) A rather unique but odorous approach to things
by Del McMullen / August 3, 2004 12:05 AM PDT
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Definitely a hate crime (but cute)
by Diana Forum moderator / August 3, 2004 12:24 AM PDT
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Re: Definitely a hate crime (but cute)
by Evie / August 3, 2004 12:33 AM PDT

Why a hate crime?

I can understand elevating things like cross burning or vandalizing private property with swastikas to crimes carrying stiffer penalties as these acts carry with them a threat of violence. If this man repeatedly harrasses this couple, then again, that should constitute a greater crime. Dumping manure was, as you even put it, a cute form of protest and expression. Not appropriate, but no indication that it was intended to incite violence against a protected group which is the cornerstone of the argument of designating such "hate crimes"

Evie Happy

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(NT) (NT) Maybe not, but he should still clean up the mess
by Diana Forum moderator / August 3, 2004 3:48 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) And I agreed
by Evie / August 3, 2004 9:12 AM PDT
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Re: Definitely a hate crime (but cute)
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / August 3, 2004 4:41 AM PDT

Hi, Evie.

The hate crime is dumping manure on their lawn -- that's not just "protest."

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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(NT) (NT) What about a burning brown bag of dog poop? hate crime?
by James Denison / August 3, 2004 5:56 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) Only if the poop doesn't belong to the porch owner
by Diana Forum moderator / August 3, 2004 7:58 AM PDT
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Crappie PC term "Hate Crime"....
by John Robie / August 3, 2004 7:48 AM PDT

All of a sudden the PC crowd likes to term everything a "HATE". IMO a "hate crime" is like dragging someone behind their pickup with a chain around their neck or burning a church. This crap...manure PC...crap PC "hate" is full of crap.

.......if someone even talks bad about someone then the PC crowd yells "Hate"...hell.. 99 out of 102 it is not "HATE".. just dislike.

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Re: Crappie PC term "Hate Crime".... -- Baloney
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / August 3, 2004 9:38 AM PDT

John, a hate crime is simply a crime motivated by hatred for a member of a particular minority group -- usually race, religion, or lately, homosexual. The problem is that simply using a trespass law or a vandalism law (both usually lightly punished misdemeanors) is no real disincentive against such hateful anti-social behavior. Nothing "PC" about it at all. Or would you think it perfectly ok for someone to spray-paint "fascist Republican b*astard on your door and dump dog poo on your porch?

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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No, it wouldn't be "perfectly okay",
by Cindi Haynes / August 3, 2004 9:53 AM PDT

But I'd consider it vandalism and not try to elevate it to a hate crime. By overusing that term, you diminish all the truly horrific things that could and have qualified.

--Cindi
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email the mods

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Re: No, it wouldn't be "perfectly okay",
by David Evans / August 3, 2004 10:07 AM PDT

Exactly.

"Hate crime" laws are PC baloney and should never be considered. There can be a range of punishments for trespass and vandalism, with the worst offender receiving sentences in the high end of the range.

And as for Dave's spraypaint and dog-poo hypothetical: a Republican would have taken care of that very effectively all by himself, lol.

DE

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Re: No, it wouldn't be "perfectly okay",
by Roger NC / August 3, 2004 3:11 PM PDT

And that's the problem with most laws like this.

A law, with every good intention, is passed to punish more severely individuals that do some crime because of bigotry.

Every DA in the country looks for reasons to add the charge for every crime. Many newspapers scream hate crime headlines everytime the victim is minority and the accused is not.

There are plenty, and if someone walked up to someone in a bar and said I'm going to beat the hell out of you because you're a ......, then starts a fight, ok, you probably got a case.

But adding it to every possible crime by stretching it till it breaks makes it useless, it becomes just a round about way of increasing the sentence for a crime.

Same thing for the terrorists protection laws passed. They'll be stretched to apply to every one they can, until no one will believe it when the accusation is made in a true case of terroist plotting.

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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What article were you skimming?
by Edward ODaniel / August 3, 2004 8:03 AM PDT

Nothing was stated about dumping anything on their lawn.

Matter of fact if that was what he was doing I wish my lawn was along the route--green grass is always nice.

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And if my neighbor dumped manure on my lawn ...
by Evie / August 3, 2004 9:25 PM PDT

... for some reason then that would be a hate crime?

There was no threat -- or am I missing out on some new gay equivalent to cross burning -- or mention of multiple times (harrassment). So it's a plain old crime. Unless the couple suffers from the hyperperception of threats that the parking lot woman did in a recent story of yours, they probably just used it to fertilize their garden and moved on.

Evie Happy

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NOT Definitely a hate crime (but cute)
by John Robie / August 3, 2004 7:53 AM PDT

The "Hate" term is being misused IMO...see my comment above.

JR

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Re: Now THIS is inventive free speech!
by Josh K / August 3, 2004 3:56 AM PDT
If it was on his land along the parade route, I'd say he has a case.

Since it's unlikely that the town would issue a permit allowing anyone to hold a parade on someone's private property against their wishes, I'd say he doesn't have a case.
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What????
by Evie / August 3, 2004 10:02 AM PDT

If his PRIVATE property was along the parade route, then why should he need a permit?

I think he can and should pay the proper penalty for his act of civil disobedience.

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Sorry Josh ...
by Evie / August 3, 2004 9:27 PM PDT
In reply to: What????

... I misunderstood your misunderstanding of my comment.

Parades in small towns often run along private property. So my point was that IF the route was along his farm, and IF he had put the manure out on the curb of his property, he would have a case.

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Sorry here too
by Josh K / August 3, 2004 11:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Sorry Josh ...

I did misunderstand; I thought you were suggesting the parade route could have actually included part of his property.

I guess the answer is in whether it's legal to deposit manure at your curb in that town. But since that's not what he apparently did, it's a non-issue anyway.

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