Op-Ed

Ice and Dispassion

6 Jan , 2018  

So, I bought the book. Yes, that book. I normally refuse to follow the crowd when it comes to “the most talked-about bestseller on the planet right now,” but when my husband asked me, over dinner, if I’d pre-ordered the book, I realized that it fit in nicely with two of my 2018 goals for reading more, in general, and for supporting Banned Books week and the freedom of speech. That its sales so annoy President Trump is just icing on the cake.

Okay, what my husband actually asked me was, “Have you pre-ordered Fire and Fury?” and what I think I said, after a very long pause, was, “Wait – is there a new Diana Gabaldon novel out? How’d I miss it?” I probably conflated Outlander with Game of Thrones and a hefty dose of wishful thinking. I do hope Fire and Fury lives up to such lofty expectations. I really wasn’t interested in reading anything at all about the goings on in the White House this past year.

Thank you, President Trump, for challenging its publication; you’ve made its author very rich and added one more point of evidence to prove you do not have an inkling of how our Constitution works. #IStandWithMueller (who, by the way, is a veteran, former FBI director, and Republican, so Republicans trying to discredit and dishonor him will be roundly laughed off this blog). I not only bought the Kindle edition (to start reading now, since the first print run sold out in something like two minutes), but also a copy of the hardcover edition in case anyone decides to kowtow to tantrums and make the electronic versions vanish.

The few excerpts I’ve read, so far, have been very entertaining and utterly unsurprising. Including the one that, of course, turned out to be satire so believable several #resisters fell for it and retweeted it:

Legal Imponderables Raised on Twitter that Might Actually Show Up on Law School Essay Exams One Day

If the President of the United States uses Twitter as his preferred channel of communication with the public, does this make Twitter a “public forum” and is it unconstitutional for him to block US citizens or residents of the USA? Can he legally block anyone?

If the President, who is routinely referred to as a “leader,” “leader of the free world,” or “world leader” is allowed to violate Twitter’s own Terms of Service, without any repercussions, then can it be argued that those provisions of the Terms of Service violated by said “world leader” are null and void for all users of Twitter? We could simply argue that we were listening to and following the example set by this “world leader,” whose words Twitter’s CEO deemed important for us all to hear and discuss. Further, if the answer to the first question is, “Yes, Twitter is a public forum,” then could @Jack legally terminate the account of any US citizen or resident of the USA? Or anyone?

I’m not urging that @POTUS or @realDonaldTrump be banned from Twitter; let him make a farce of the venerable office of President of the United States, if he must – but enforce your TOS even-handedly, @Jack, and hold him (and everyone else) accountable for the use of your service. Or don’t enforce it at all.

First Amendment, For Reference

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

(Source: https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment)

Here’s the thing: Congress has to allow it, up to a point. Twitter doesn’t. Nor do I.


I welcome and encourage comments, but the same rules apply here as on my Facebook wall: no attacking me or each other. That’s right – this is not a “public forum” and I’m not Congress. I hold the first amendment near and dear to my heart, but I also know that its real purpose is civil political discourse without fear of reprisal from one’s own government. Doesn’t mean I have to allow rudeness here. The first few comments from newcomers are always held in moderation; please don’t worry or think it’s personal if yours don’t show up immediately.

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7 Responses

  1. I don’t buy the political books anymore because the library orders all of them so I can read for free. The problem is my lack of trust in the authors, especially those writing about themselves or who’ve come out of nowhere with outlandish and scandalous “tell-all” stories. Searching for truth in this world is not easy. The last political/public figure book I read was Donna Brazile’s Hack. That one is worth the read because it provides so much information about how the DNC was hacked and why it took so long to deal with it. Excellent book!

  2. I refuse to buy it because I don’t want anything with that man’s name in the book (or title) coming into my house. I’ve seen a few things in the news that are supposedly in the book and that’ll have to do for now.

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