What was he thinking? Part II

February 23, 2011
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I had a long blog typed out debating free speech and comments you make on your personal time and whether those comments should impact your job. The topic of the blog is Jeff Cox, a now former deputy attorney general who advocated using “live ammunition” on his Twitter account to clear out protesters in the Wisconsin capitol building.

His tweet was in response to tweets from Mother Jones staffers Feb. 19 that riot police might remove demonstrators from the Wisconsin capitol building.  Cox tweeted “Use live ammunition.” A staffer questioned Cox, found out he was a deputy attorney general here, and then wrote a story about his Twitter comment and other statements made on his blog, Pro Cynic.

Apparently, Cox doesn’t hold back on how he feels about what’s going on in the world, comparing “enviro-Nazis” to Osama bin Laden and calling President Barack Obama an “incompetent and treasonous” enemy to the nation.

Cox told the Mother Jones writer that he could defend all his comments on Twitter and his blog, but later didn’t respond to follow-up questions posed by the reporter. He made all the comments on personal accounts.

The AG’s office said earlier today it was going to conduct a review of the matter. Just as I was about to post my blog, I found out Cox was fired. In a statement released announcing the firing, the office says “Civility and courtesy toward all members of the public are very important to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. We respect individuals’ First Amendment right to express their personal views on private online forums, but as public servants we are held by the public to a higher standard, and we should strive for civility.”

Out of curiosity, I tried to go to his blog, but it’s been removed. His Twitter account is still active, @JCCentCom, so I perused his previous postings. Now, I don’t use Twitter and honestly have used it to only look at the Indiana Supreme Court’s Twitter account and IU basketball coach Tom Crean’s account. I found his original tweet that led to the article. He also responded to someone saying “against thugs physically threatening legally-elected state legislators & governor? You're damn right I advocate deadly force” and “Murder is by definition "unlawful," brainiac. Using force to clear out threatening individuals would be "lawful."”

First, it was the Illinois attorney indicted for smuggling drugs into a Terre Haute prison, and now a deputy attorney general making inflammatory comments on public forums. Did Cox think it didn’t matter because he was using personal accounts? Doesn’t he realize that as a government official, he’s held to a higher standard than the average Joe? Did Cox think it didn’t matter because he was using personal accounts? Why aren’t people thinking before they act?

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  • Party is irrelevant
    All political associations are swept aside when death is the response to political debate. He got what he deserved.
  • Public service
    Mr. Cox certainly demonstrates the flip side of public service - the state does NOT serve Mr. Cox (or pay him now for that matter). Maybe he should have been working rather than spending his time as a Twit on social media?

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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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