Censorship

Arlington, Virginia, Seems to Think F-Bombs Are Actual Weapons

City increases fine for cursing in public.

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Wait, is this a ban on cursing or a ban on Q*bert?
Credit: Alice Chaos / photo on flickr

All good, proper, and righteous Americans are invited to tell the County of Arlington in Virginia where it may shove its ordinance against saying bad words in public. The county made the news this week not because it has outlawed public swearing. It turns out it already had a law against swearing in public. But the news is that the county board has increased the fine from $100 to $250. As The Washington Post explains, the anti-swearing law is bundled in with its ordinance in public drunkenness, and they've updated the other part of the law:

The board said its long-standing Public Drunkenness and Profanity ordinance was constitutionally vague, and, in addition to increasing fines, it changed the wording from "drunkenness" to "intoxication" to more clearly cover intoxicants other than alcohol.

The board wrote in a memo on the ordinance that it's not more offended by profane language these days, but raised the fine so the county penalty would align with that of the state. Virginia state law defines intoxication or profane swearing in public as a Class 4 misdemeanor, which for a first-time offense is subject to a fine of up to $250. In Fairfax County, cursing will cost you $117.

And, as Washingtonian points out, Maryland isn't immune from such public profanity laws either. In Rockville, cursing or swearing on a sidewalk within earshot of someone else is a misdemeanor.

What is not clear in the coverage is what the bloody hell they think they're doing. A few years ago the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania successfully fought back against state troopers who were citing hundreds of people each year for profanity as violations of the First Amendment. They won an agreement from the police to stop. I've contacted the Virginia ACLU to see about a response to the news. I will update if I hear back.

Because we're also in a cultural place where we're examining how petty laws are used to torment the poor and minorities and for rapacious local governments to try to extract what little money they have, CityLab over at The Atlantic takes note of the racial disparity in the enforcement of such laws in Arlington County:

Of the total number of drunkenness arrests, 28 percent were of African Americans, while 70 percent were of white offenders—this in a county where African Americans make up only 8.9 percent of residents while whites make up 77.3 percent, according to Census figures.

When it comes to disorderly conduct arrests, which could include abusive language, the arrest rates are even more obscenely lopsided: 2,283 arrests of African Americans, or 55 percent of all disorderly conduct arrests, compared to 1,832 arrests of whites, or 44 percent.

Arlington would benefit from creating fewer reasons for police to transact with its residents, especially its black residents. According to an analysis of police data by USA Today last year, Arlington's arrest rate for African Americans was 202.9 per 1,000 residents 2011-2012, compared to 30.6 per 1,000 residents for arrests of non-blacks. Misdemeanor arrests are no small deal, given that failure to pay the fines could lead to driver's license suspensions—which you don't want to happen in a state like Virginia where you need a photo ID to vote, or to be able to drive to and from a job.

It should be remembered that laws like these have a history of racism embedded in them. Petty crimes like swearing in public, or just talking too loud in public, were among a long list of offenses that under "black codes" and "pig laws" would earn African Americans stiffer punishments than whites who committed the same offenses in the late 19th century.

Below, Middleborough, Mass., was named our Nanny of the Month for June 2012 after passing a similar law:

NEXT: Male Teen Has Consensual Sex with Female Teen. He Gets 25 Years as Sex Offender, Banned from Internet.

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  1. This ordinance stinks like poopy.

    1. Well, the don’t call it an f-bomb for no reason, amirite?

      1. Shell I mention that I saw what you did just then?

  2. which you don’t want to happen in a state like Virginia where you need a photo ID to vote, or to be able to drive to and from a job.

    Going without one of these things is likely to have much more impact on a person’s life than the other.

    1. depending on the current location of Puff Daddy’s Vote or Die, Bitches! campaign, yeah?

  3. I like these laws in principle, I’m just not sure I trust the cops to apply the laws fairly.

    From all the police videos, I hear them cursing and even invoking the Lord’s name without penalty. So I’m skeptical that they’ll evenhandedly enforce these laws against “civilians.” The law might simply be employed as a weapon against people who complain about police misconduct.

    1. “might”?

    2. They can’t be expected to uphold this law without the freedom to break it.

    3. What principle makes it okay for the government to literally police what comes out of peoples’ mouths?

      1. Maintaining public order and decency – and if I had confidence in the cops I’d be for it. But I don’t.

        1. Maintaining public order and decency

          Order I would agree with, but decency is subjective. That is something that society itself has to police.

          1. Order is also subjective.

            1. Order is also subjective.

              I thought about that it after I posted, and I think you are right. In my mind, order is whatever allows people the peaceful enjoyment of their property; but I can see it would be very hard to define, and is something that would vary from place to place.

              Kind of like pornography, I know it when I see it.

        2. Have you suffered some kind of head trauma? Why would you ever trust anybody, even in theory, to decide what constitutes ‘order’ and ‘decency’ and have their decisions enforced with police power?

          1. Remember, Hugh, this is the same person who believes that prostitution should be illegal because it, somehow, harms traditional* marriage.

            (*)Monogamous marriage, which is not actually traditional throughout history, even in the Abrahamic religious tradition to which that person subscribes.

            1. No, I said there’s no *right* to prostitution under the consenting-adult paradigm.

              There are *other* arguments against the prostitution laws, including, come to think of it, the police corruption these laws tend to involve.

              I think I also said that some of the Popes allowed prostitution in Rome.

              1. I think that’s what the Vatican was all about…

          2. “Why would you ever trust anybody, even in theory, to decide what constitutes ‘order’ and ‘decency’ and have their decisions enforced with police power?”

            That’s strange, I thought I said “if I had confidence in the cops I’d be for it.”

            You’re all really mad that I’d support these laws in an imaginary world of incorrupt police.

            Apparently it’s not enough to oppose these laws in the real world, I have to oppose them in an imaginary world, as well.

            1. If I had the ability to mentally reach through time and space, I’d kill you and burn your church down. But since I don’t have that ability, there’s nothing wrong with supporting such actions in principle, right? Is that what you teach the kids in Sunday school?

              1. Wow, you must have taken Sister Beatrice’s class, too!

        3. Hey Notorious- FUCK YOU.

          1. sorry, I meant, FUCK YOU, GOD DAMNIT! You COCK-SUCKING SONOFABITCH!

            1. Al Swerengem taught us that cock sucker is all you need, swearwise.

        4. Maintaining public order and decency – and if I had confidence in the cops I’d be for it. But I don’t.

          If all cops were Notorious GKC clones and they wanted to enforce “public order and decency”, I’d still have completely and utter doubt in their good intentions or the efficacy of such a policy. Because you know…. principles.

          1. If all cops were Notorious GKC clones and they wanted to enforce “public order and decency”, I’d still have completely and utter doubt in their good intentions

            Wait. You think Eddie has good intentions???

            1. I think he thinks he does.

              1. Eddie fantasizes about being the one who lights the pile of kindling at the bottom of the stake.

                1. You mean the Eddie of your fevered imagination?

                  Not even people who *want* these laws enforced meet your stereotype, and as I said, I *oppose* them.

                  If I told you once, I told you a million times, don’t exaggerate.

                2. Stop stalking him!

                3. Well to be fair, he’d throw in some bullshit qualifiers to make the case that he isn’t violating anyone’s rights or being a petty little theocrat…right before he lights the fire.

                  1. Here’s the only fire *I* see being lit:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LHeRoUhB8E

                    1. Now say something about Girondins, Eddie. Do it. DO IT.

        5. I don’t think using the “Lord’s name” in vain is indecent and I’m not sure why you think your spiritual beliefs trump my freedom of speech in this regard.

          “Decent” and “indecent” are nebulous concepts that exist to describe “things that people shouldn’t be allowed to say because they make me angry and uncomfortable.”

          1. “I’m not sure why you think your spiritual beliefs trump my freedom of speech in this regard”

            I didn’t say that. I objected to cops invoking religion while performing their duties. Like I said elsewhere, it would be like saying, “in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, you’re under arrest!”

            You wouldn’t approve *that,* would you? So why would you allow cops to curse in the name of God?

            1. So why would you allow cops to curse in the name of God?

              Why would you allow cops to curse in the name of Zeus?

              1. Now you’re just getting incoherent.

                1. Now you’re just getting incoherent.

                  Now you’re just getting dodgy. If you seriously don’t get the analogy then you’re too stupid to have this conversation. If you do understand the analogy but act like you don’t to avoid this line of questioning, then you aren’t arguing in good faith. But I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and give you another opportunity to address the argument.

                  1. You said I was a theocrat, – you denied the obvious implication that Arlington was a theocracy, you said I supported cops cursing in the name of Zeus.

                    I wouldn’t bring up good faith if I were you.

            2. You wrote:

              I like these laws in principle, I’m just not sure I trust the cops to apply the laws fairly.

              From all the police videos, I hear them cursing and even invoking the Lord’s name without penalty. So I’m skeptical that they’ll evenhandedly enforce these laws against “civilians.” The law might simply be employed as a weapon against people who complain about police misconduct.

              What I’m taking away from this is that you think taking the Lord’s name in vain is “indecent” just like cursing, so you don’t trust the police to patrol their language as much as they would patrol ours.

              So again, I’ll ask you, why do your religious beliefs trump my freedom of speech?

              1. Ah, so you misunderstood. I don’t trust the police to patrol *anyone’s* language, even civilians’.

                I think, in fairness, I hinted at this when I said the cops might use this law to suppress criticism of their actions.

                1. Okay, so I did understand. Re-read what I said.

                  You think cursing is indecent. You think taking the Lord’s name in vain is indecent. You think laws against indecency are fine in principle. Your only concern is that the police would not enforce these righteous laws justly.

                  In principle, though, you think your religious beliefs trump my freedom of speech. In principle, I should not be able to say “for god’s sake!” or “god-fucking-damnit.” Those are wrong to say, and there should be laws against them in a just world, but we just can’t trust the people in charge to apply the laws fairly.

                  I perfectly understand you and I completely disagree with you. I hope you understand.

                2. Ah, so you misunderstood. I don’t trust the police to patrol *anyone’s* language, even civilians’.

                  Yes but you still support restricting people’s free speech to say ‘bad words’ or blaspheme against your god.

                  1. “Yes but you still support restricting people’s free speech to say ‘bad words'”

                    In Imagination Land, yes. A land where cops are incorrupt and Internet commenters are a bit more astute.

                    1. Yes so you support such laws but you don’t think the police are up to the task. That’s like saying, “I want to kill you, but I just don’t think I have the physical strength to do it”. The fact that you put a caveat in there about the unattainability of your evil intentions, doesn’t make your intentions less evil. Get it?

                    2. I don’t know if you want credit for correctly realizing that authority figures shouldn’t be trusted, but you’re not going to get it.

                      Once you go out of your way to state that, in principle, you believe force should be used against people for speaking freely in a way that upsets you, you’ve lost the audience.

                    3. Look, if you want to support the people of Imagination Land, can’t you go to Imagination Land to do it? Why argue about it in the real world, the world where I *oppose* this law?

                    4. Why argue about it in the real world, the world where I *oppose* this law?

                      No you don’t. You literally said that you support the law in principle but you don’t think the police are up to the task.

                      I support launching you and your family into the Sun. But since I have no ability to do this, there’s nothing at all evil, unjust or wrong about that. That’s how that works right?

                    5. “No you don’t.”

                      So, you’re calling me a liar?

                    6. You are a liar, Eddie.

                    7. That implication does seem to resonate with you. But I’m not willing to rule out that your self-awareness is lacking. But the more you post, the more I lean towards that conclusion yes. Does the shoe fit?

                    8. The shoe which I’m shoving up your ass?

                      In Imagination Land, that is. Just to be clear.

                    9. The shoe which I’m shoving up your ass?

                      In Imagination Land, that is. Just to be clear.

                      Since you can’t trust the cops to punish people for foul language, I guess we can trust you to do that right? Time to start punishing yourself I guess.

                    10. The shoe which I’m shoving up your ass?

                      Put a quarter in the swear jar.

                    11. Because your principles matter? If we only discussed the realm of the “real world,” we wouldn’t even have half the discussions we do on Reason. We’re usually reacting to these news stories with our libertarian principles with what ought to be. You’ve just said that you think indecency laws are fine – nay, good! That freedom of speech is not an important, overarching principle. And now you’re wondering why a bunch of rabid free-speech-loving libertarians are getting on your case?

                    12. I thought distrusting the government *was* a principle.

                      If you don’t think *that,* I must be in the wrong place.

                    13. You are absolutely in the wrong place. No question.

                    14. Absolutely the wrong place. Head over to the Blaze. They’re predominantly theocrats who distrust the government and the site is even owned by a theocrat who mistakenly believes he is a libertarian, just like you. It would be a perfect fit.

                    15. “If we only discussed the realm of the “real world,” we wouldn’t even have half the discussions we do on Reason.”

                      Ain’t that the truth.

                    16. GKC can’t seem to grasp the fact that he’s an immoral shitheel, and that that’s really all there is to it.

            3. Distrusting government is a principle, but it sounds like you only distrust government because they wouldn’t fairly and equally enforce your other principles, which are authoritarian and most decidedly un-libertarian.

              1. Well distrusting the government is the outcome of adhering to a few different principles, like the NAP for example, but not a principle in and of itself necessarily.

                1. “distrusting the government is the outcome of adhering to a few different principles, like the NAP for example”

                  Some people distrust the government for other reasons, you just don’t share these reasons.

                  Which is at the root of this dispute. That plus the need to exercise the right to curse.

                  1. You don’t get to change the subject liar boy.

          2. GKC said;

            I didn’t say that. I objected to cops invoking religion while performing their duties. Like I said elsewhere, it would be like saying, “in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, you’re under arrest!”

            You wouldn’t approve *that,* would you? So why would you allow cops to curse in the name of God?

        6. This is really the worst thing you have posted.

          1. Opposing these laws by considering their impact in the real world?

            Again, imagine if I’d said I *approved* these laws.

            1. Again, imagine if I’d said I *approved* these laws

              You did.

              I like these laws in principle, I’m just not sure I trust the cops to apply the laws fairly.

              Maintaining public order and decency – and if I had confidence in the cops I’d be for it. But I don’t.

              You said yourself that you approve such laws, you just don’t think police, as we have them, are up to the task. Which is a nice little caveat to cover up your inner theocrat from view.

              1. You have *got* to be kidding me. You think Arlington is a theocracy?

                No, it just has an ordinance *which I oppose.*

                1. No I said you are a theocrat. Re-read it few times if you have trouble understanding.

                  1. I also pointed out that you do approve such laws, and provided evidence. Care to to walk it back or would you rather delve into semantic games to distract from it?

                    1. It’s a bit early to start distorting my remarks, when they’re up there in black and white.

                      You might have better luck waiting for another thread where your distortion can’t be easily checked.

                    2. I posted exactly what you wrote. Which was your support for such bullshit laws “in principle” but a lack of faith in cops to properly enforce them. I was perfectly clear about that. No distortion. Address the argument. Or is dodging and obfuscation all that you’re capable of?

                    3. Like I said, you might wait to post this in another thread where fact-checking will be more difficult.

                    4. Which facts did I get wrong? Be specific.

                    5. Let’s see, where you said I was a “theocrat” because I opposed an Arlington law for the wrong reason – a law which isn’t theocratic.

                      And you dodged the implications of your own remark – you denied suggesting that Arlington was a theocracy.

                      But you did.

                      So either walk it back or we’re done here.

                    6. Let’s see, where you said I was a “theocrat” because I opposed an Arlington law for the wrong reason – a law which isn’t theocratic.

                      No I said you’re a theocrat because you said you’d support blasphemy restrictions. You even mentioned your favorite deity with a capital ‘G’ in explaining your position.

                      And you dodged the implications of your own remark – you denied suggesting that Arlington was a theocracy.

                      No I said you were a theocrat because of your support for blasphemy laws, in addition to prohibitions against cursing etc. I even reiterated and put the ‘you’ in bold so you couldn’t possibly miss it.

                      Now you still have not addressed the issue of you approving of such laws in principle, but doubt the police could enforce it properly. You know, that stuff I quoted verbatim.

                    7. “because of your support for blasphemy laws”

                      You have got to be kidding me.

                    8. You have got to be kidding me.

                      From the source;

                      I objected to cops invoking religion while performing their duties. Like I said elsewhere, it would be like saying, “in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, you’re under arrest!”

                      You wouldn’t approve *that,* would you? So why would you allow cops to curse in the name of God?

                    9. You know, Eddie, it’s okay to say something stupid and unthinking. It’s also okay to be wrong. We’ve all had our turn, and will do so again in the future, I’m certain of it. This one, Eddie, this one is your turn. And I can’t speak for the group, but your inability to take a hint or ever – EVER – admit the possibility that you may not be infallible is why I give you crap. You make it far too easy.

                      Take your lumps like a man, brah. Take a chance, be wrong, learn to laugh at yourself. Free speech is the shit.

                    10. If you thought I was being vague in my remarks you could have asked me to clarify. Then I’d specifically say that I support these laws in Imagination Land but not in the real world.

                      Then you could criticize what I actually said, not all the rantings of the Eddie in your head.

                      Or, of course, you could accuse me of lying and concealing my views, but then I could call you a liar too, and it would get pretty boring pretty fast.

                    11. Then I’d specifically say that I support these laws in Imagination Land but not in the real world.

                      “I support burning your house down and shooting your dog, but since I don’t have the ability to do these things there’s nothing at all sinister about my intentions. Stop living in imagination land!”

                    12. “I support burning your house down and shooting your dog, but since I don’t have the ability to do these things there’s nothing at all sinister about my intentions. Stop living in imagination land!”

                      Just call the police with an anonymous tip about a meth dealer at his house. Sure, the odds of it being burnt down are perhaps less than 50/50, but chances are good they’ll at least shoot his dog.

                    13. It’s my fault now? That’s your actual answer. It’s my fault that you are making such a tool of yourself arguing against free speech.

                      Seriously, Eddie.

                    14. I would think that a debate about the rights of the people of Imagination Land would be a fairly low-stakes debate, so we could afford to be civil.

                    15. Civility implies that your arguing with a person who is arguing back at you in good faith. Which you are not. I support that Eddie be placed on a rocket and shot into the Sun. But that’s not possible, so there’s nothing wrong, morally or otherwise, with supporting his murder.

                    16. So citing someone for public swearing is like putting them in a rocket and shooting them at the sun?

                      You’re not wildly exaggerating or anything.

                      You know who else exaggerated? Hitler!

                    17. What does it matter if I exaggerated the severity? Explain how it’s an invalid analogy.

                    18. Please explain to me how Arlington, Virginia is different from Nazi Germany.

                      Under your principles, they’re the same.

                    19. For starters, they are places that are separated by both time and space, constituting two mutually exclusive points in the space-time continuum. For a more detailed analyses, you may want to clearify what point you’re trying to make because I didn’t offer any principles, I made an analogy that you still have not attempted to demonstrate the invalidity of.

                    20. I thought citing people for cursing in public was the same in principle as putting someone in a rocket and shooting them at the Sun, or tearing someone apart, or murdering them.

                      So if it’s the same as murder, then how is Arlington different from Nazi Germany?

                    21. I’m tired of repeating myself to you. So I’ll leave you with an answer that I’ve already explained more than once.

                      Free ?Woodchippers! Society|6.16.15 @ 2:03PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

                      You’re the one to repeatedly tell others that they shouldn’t find anything evil or unjust about your policy preferences because they are not readily actionable. So if I had some policy preferences that involved your gruesome dismemberment, you similarly shouldn’t find such preferences to be evil or unjust. The difference between our scenarios is one of degree, not of a kind. Therefore saying “swearing is not like murder” doesn’t refute the logic that has made it plain how loathsome your policy preferences really are.

                    22. Under your principles, they’re the same.

                      They ARE the same…to a different degree, you fucking moron.

                      They are BOTH violating the rights of another.

                      Yet you applaud one and reject the other. That’s what makes you an unprincipled shit-weasel.

                    23. Yet you applaud one and reject the other. That’s what makes you an unprincipled shit-weasel.

                      This.

            2. They’re only impacting you because of your tender sensibilities. They don’t impact me at all.

        7. Goddammit Eddie. Just when I think people are wrong about you you go and say some shit like this.

          1. And in today’s performance of Tartuffe, the part of Orgon will be played by Suthenboy.

        8. So, fuck the constitution, then. Yeah, nice one, Eddie.

      1. I see you baby, shaking that asterisk…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr4ECiHDiY4

      2. That’s a Vonnegut asshole, isn’t it?

    4. We don’t have Lords in America.

      1. We do – they’re called cops – and I just said I wanted to *limit* their power to harass the “civilians.”

        1. Wait – so you’re saying cops take their own name in vain?

      2. But if we did, he’d be okay with them handling potentially abusive authority. Their higher breeding and innate sense of rightness and decency would be a boon to us all.

        1. And if pigs had wings we could have pig wings for dinner.

          1. And cussing’s okay for Eddie. Because civility is important to him. And God. God, and civility.

            1. He whips himself for every bad word he utters to try and fit in with us godless savages.

    5. Of course you do. There’s no tyranny that you don’t love as long as it’s done for your imaginary friend in the sky.

      1. Did you read the posts I made, or the posts from the Eddie in your head?

        1. The posts where you said that you like these laws in principle? Yes, you totalitarian scumbag, I did.

          1. I don’t think there’s an abstract *right* to curse in public, so if cops were angels I’d be happy for them to enforce the law.

            Considering I specifically *rejected* the idea of cops being angels, then can you think of any real-world circumstance where I’d support these laws?

            1. Of course. If the pope told you to.

              1. If the Pope told you not to jump off a bridge, I bet you’d do it.

            2. “I don’t think there’s an abstract *right* to curse in public,”

              Are there specific words that are not included in free speech?

            3. What part of “shall make no law” is unclear to you?

              Fuck off, slaver.

            4. “I don’t think there’s an abstract *right* to curse in public”

              Yes, there fuckin’ is. We refer to it as freedom of expression, freedom of conscience.

              You think one should be prevented from cursing in public because, why? Someone’s feelings might be hurt? Words are magic and the devil might be conjured up?

              What the fuck?

              1. I don’t know why you are so surprised by this. Eddie has always been a nasty little authoritarian shit, but there’s been a faction on here willing to overlook it because of their own bigotry.

              2. “You think one should be prevented from cursing in public because, why?”

                In the imaginary world of incorrupt cops, yes.

                In the real world, no.

                Why are you so concerned about protecting the inhabitants of Imagination Land?

                1. So yes you do want to restrict free speech to prevent obscenities and blasphemy.

                  1. Yes, in Imagination Land.

                    But not on *this* plane of reality.

                    You object to this…why?

                    1. I would support having you torn apart by dogs. But I have no means of accomplishing this. Therefore there’s nothing unreasonable, unjust or evil about my intentions.

                    2. I’d settle for knowledge he cries himself to sleep because we’re so mean. So. MEAN.

            5. I don’t think there’s an abstract *right* to curse in public

              Then you are blatantly fucking wrong!

    6. Jesus Titty Fucking Christ GKC. You’re just a totalitarian lamenting that humanity is not totalitarian enough for your ideal legal environment to be efficient. My ideal legal environment would be a situation where people like you have absolutely no say-so about the laws we’d live under.

      1. Imagine what you’d say if I *approved* these laws, rather than specifically *disapproving* them.

        1. You keep saying that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

          1. I *support* this law in a world of incorrupt cops – an *imaginary* world.

            I *oppose* this law in the real world.

            OMG, Eddie, stop oppressing all the imaginary people in an imaginary world!

            1. Dictatorship would be fine, if we only had the right dictator.

              Eddie. *shakes head* Really.

              1. Lots of things would be fine in Imagination Land.

                You really get angry about my oppressing these imaginary people.

                Or if you think I support dictatorship in the real world, you’re either misunderstanding what I said or you’re accusing me of lying about my views, and in the latter case, go [bleep] yourself.

                1. Having some feelz, are we. There, there. Cry on Momma’s shoulder. I’m here for you.

                  1. GIRONNNNDINNNNNNNS

                  2. It’s not feelz, if you call me a liar you can objectively, literally, [bleep] yourself. If your equipment is inadequate for that purpose, you can get your imaginary equipment and do it.

                    1. God knows exactly what word you meant, Eddie. God knows.

                    2. You are a liar, Eddie.

                    3. Yes, because I’m saying different things than the Eddie in your head.

                      Don’t get your tentacles in a twist, weirdo.

                    4. The Eddie on here is whining about persecution and civility while he laments that the police in the real world can’t carry out the persecution he’d like and tells people to go fuck themselves. Now whine about how we’re spewing invective and how you can’t wait for us to be murdered by Jacobins and I’ll have Eddie Bingo.

                    5. Everyone here has been astoundingly unanimous about what you said. If that’s not what you meant to say then man up and admit it. Though at this point you’ve dug a pretty deep hole. Maybe if you do enough mental gymnastics you’ll be able to weasel your way out of it. That’s looking doubtful though.

                    6. Eddie could write in one post that he hates Jews and then he’d tell you in the next post that he doesn’t hate Jews. There’s a word for his type. It starts with L. I’ll let you figure the rest out.

                    7. Telling people to go fuck themselves in an argument that he doesn’t want it to be legal to do so is an impressive hole. Let’s see how he tops that.

                    8. I thought this was about public places – you know, public streets and sidewalks.

                      Again, you could have asked, “Eddie, surely you aren’t speaking about harsh language on the Internet?” And I would say, “no, I meant the public streets and sidewalks, like in the article.”

                      At which point a sane person would say, “oh, I’m sorry, I misunderstood.”

                      Though I suspect the responses are more like, “no, you lying liar, you want to burn us at the stake, and the fact that you deny it just shows you’re a lying liar!”

                    9. I thought this was about public places – you know, public streets and sidewalks.

                      Right, people have no rights in public spaces.

                    10. Unless it’s Eddie. It’s always okay when Eddie’s the one doing it.

                    11. I’m sure you mean, “I’m sorry, I misunderstood, I though you were talking about cursing on the Internet.”

      2. Stop persecuting Eddie for his religious beliefs!

    7. Let me spell it out – I *oppose* this law because I don’t trust cops to enforce it fairly.

      I would *support* this law in a magical world where cops aren’t corrupt.

      But in such a magical world, the “civilians” wouldn’t be corrupt either, so they wouldn’t curse in public.

      So I don’t see how the question would arise.

      All this anger for opposing a law in the real world and supporting it in an imaginary world.

      Maybe Postrel was onto something about you guys.

      1. But in such a magical world, the “civilians” wouldn’t be corrupt either, so they wouldn’t curse in public.

        Are you fucking on crack?!? A motherfucker having a garbage mouth can be the most upstanding mofo on earth! Cursing and corruption are fucking orthogonal!

        1. Again – all this anger, over the rights of people in an imaginary world?

          1. I’m not angry, Eddie… I’m mocking you. Cursing != corruption.

            1. He projects often. Don’t take it personally, tarran.

      2. You know, if you think I said something horrible – like wanting people in the real world to be punished for cursing in public – you could at least say, “gosh, Eddie, do I understand you to say you want the police to arrest people for cursing in public?”

        And I’d say, “no, except in Imagination Land where cops are incorrupt.”

        Then if you want to work yourself into a lather defending the people of Imagination Land from my theocracy, feel free.

        1. We’re talking about justice. Justice is an abstract concept. You claim that it would be in-keeping with principles of justice to prosecute blasphemy and course language.

          1. You mean disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace?

            If you mean that, say so.

            If you think laws against disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace are theocratic, even in Imagination Land, just say so.

            And when I say I don’t trust the real-world police and therefore oppose these laws in the real world, you can disagree, or you can accuse me of lying about my *true* views. In the latter case you can take your [bleep] accusations and [bleep] yourself up the [bleep[.

            1. You mean disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace?

              You think exercising free speech qualifies as the aforementioned crimes? That’s one of the issues you’ve been dodging throughout all of this.

              1. No, you mean, “I disagree with you about the abstract right to curse in public,” not “you didn’t answer.”

    8. Are you listening to yourselves?

      Yes, in Imagination Land I would fine people for cursing on the public streets and sidewalks.

      In the real world I don’t support this.

      I can certainly see how you disagree.

      But here’s where Postrel has a point – people are foaming at the mouth and talking about murder, and theocracy, and how I’m a liar, etc.

      About people cursing on the public streets and sidewalks in Imagination Land.

      Don’t you think you’re all getting a bit…overwrought?

      1. Yes, in Imagination Land I would fine people for cursing on the public streets and sidewalks.

        Because you’re a petty tyrant with no respect for the rights of others, yes.

        In the real world I don’t support this.

        Not out of principles of justice clearly. But out of the practical consideration that you don’t think the police could do it well.

        I would support kicking in the door of your house to murder you and and your dog. Then I’d burn down your church and urinate on your grandpappy’s bible. But since I have no ability to do these things, there’s nothing wrong with me supporting such actions, morally or otherwise. Becuz imagination land. That’s how that works right?

        Are you listening to yourself?

        1. Yes, so enforcing an ordinance against public swearing is just like murder. You’re simply being logical, not hysterically going off the deep end.

          1. Yes, so enforcing an ordinance against public swearing is just like murder.

            Because little violations of the rights of others are fine. Just not the big ones.

            Christ, you are an immoral little fucking weasel.

            1. There’s a fine line between courageously adhering to libertarian principle and going insane.

          2. You’re the one to repeatedly tell others that they shouldn’t find anything evil or unjust about your policy preferences because they are not readily actionable. So if I had some policy preferences that involved your gruesome dismemberment, you similarly shouldn’t find such preferences to be evil or unjust. The difference between our scenarios is one of degree, not of a kind. Therefore saying “swearing is not like murder” doesn’t refute the logic that has made it plain how loathsome your policy preferences really are.

            1. So, Arlington, Virginia is indistinguishable in principle from Nazi German.

              1. So, you once again won’t actually address the argument you’re supposedly posting a response to.

                1. So explain why Arlington, Virginia is distinguishable from Nazi Germany.

                  If you find no difference, there’s really no point arguing.

                  1. A tough question for you, isn’t it?

                    1. Notorious G.K.C.|6.16.15 @ 2:17PM

                      So explain why Arlington, Virginia is distinguishable from Nazi Germany.

                      If you find no difference, there’s really no point arguing.

                      reply to this

                      Notorious G.K.C.|6.16.15 @ 2:21PM|

                      A tough question for you, isn’t it?

                      reply to this

                      getting a little eager? A full 4 minutes passed that I haven’t yet sent back a response and you start congratulating yourself. I just realized that I’m debating a child.

                    2. It’s been almost half an hour, but whatevs.

                    3. It’s been almost half an hour, but whatevs.

                      those posts are time stamped. Do you read?

                    4. I asked at 2:17. Now it’s 3:36.

    9. Just wanted to say thanks, Eddie. You’ve done people a great service here today by showing your true colors.

    10. EDDIE: Hitler was greatly wicked.

      COMMENTER: Did you hear that? Eddie said Hitler was great!

      EDDIE: No, I didn’t.

      COMMENTER: So you’re backtracking?

      EDDIE: No, I never said it.

      COMMENTER: You did indeed say “great,” you lying shitweasel. But that’s not surprising, since you’re a Catholic just like Hitler.

      EDDIE: Actually, Hitler was an apostate.

      COMMENTER: So Hitler is an apostle, now? Holy shit, you’re really showing your true colors.

      EDDIE: No, not apostle, apostate, as in he abandoned the Church.

      COMMENTER: Don’t give me all that theological gobbledegood, just man up and admit you’re a Nazi, I’d respect you more.

      1. If that’s what you took away from this thread, you are a mendacious twat, mentally retarded, 8 years old or some combination thereof.

        1. I know you are, but what am I?

  4. Arlington County sucks, but it is the gov. that the people who reside there deserve.
    -signed current residents everywhere

    1. Every time I find myself missing Arlington I am going to read this article.

      And think about their Meter Maids.

      And tow truck companies.

      And taxes.

      1. And dudes in brown flip flops.

        1. I left at the height of the popped collar thing.

          I do find myself occasionally getting nostalgic for all those evenings at Whitlow’s though.

          1. Now I need to go back and watch Remy’s best work.

            “At the Starbucks or the Starbucks or the Starbucks or the Starbucks….”

          2. I went there once. Whitlow’s is a dump filled with terrible people. And by terrible people I mean dudes in brown flip flops and pastel shirts and some of the worst woo girls you have ever met. No thanks.

            1. Whitey’s was way better than frat boy central at Whitlow’s.

              1. When I was stumbling around Whitlow’s I was only a year removed from my own frat days. It’s still much more bearable than Spider Kelly’s, Ballroom or Clarendon Grill. Unfortunately, I only got to enjoy Whitey’s for a couple of years before it was closed down. Now it’s a wine bar.

      2. The taxes are onerous.

  5. Can’t we just argue that a law is stupid without dragging race into it?

    1. we CAN- but where’s the fun in that?

    2. No, since we can’t seem to talk about anything these days without dragging race into it.

      1. Indeed.

        If Rachel Dolezal had been Black, her resignation would have been a non-story.

        1. From the sparkies over at Salon:

          Hoyt
          1 hour ago

          She looks and speaks like a friendly, sensitive, intelligent woman.
          2LikeReply

          1. Is that like saying “She’s really clean and articulate for a black woman”?

            1. Nah, Hoyt is saying she’s “acting white”.

    3. Sure, but if a law is both stupid and enforced in a clearly racist way, why not bring up both?

      1. enforced in a clearly racist way

        I don’t see any proof of that. Just some statistics that don’t actually say anything relevant.

    4. Your use of the word “dragging” in the context of “race” is triggering the fuck out of me, Rhywun.

      Shit! I said “fuck.” Fuck!

      Oh, goddammit.

  6. cursing or swearing on a sidewalk within earshot of someone else is a misdemeanor.

    “Hey, punk, get out of the fucking street!”

  7. I remember well a trip to Galveston in my youth (about 1999) where my good friend tripped on a curb and yelled “OH FUCK!” as he fell. From around the corner appeared 2 patrol officers. They claimed that there were children within earshot (probably were) and cited him with a misdemeanor requiring a nice fine AND court mandated anger management classes.

    At first we thought they were messing with us and it was all fun- then we realized they were assholes.

      1. we were young and naive.

    1. Spencer – So did your friend learn how to control his anger about falling off curb? As he goes down, he screams, “THIS IS OKAY WITH ME! I’M JUST HAPPY TO BE LIVING IN THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!” Money well spent, I’m sure.

      1. I would’ve screamed “GOVERNMENT IS THE ONLY THING WE ALL BELONG TO!”

  8. This stuff is a precursor lead-in to enforcing prohibitions against non-PC speech.

    Think of the REVENUE!

  9. The Atlantic takes note of the racial disparity in the enforcement of such laws

    Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence. Is the racial disparity the enforcement of the law, or the breaking of it?

    1. Were I a betting man, I would put everything I own on the former.

    2. I don’t see why it can’t be both. In fact that’s what the evidence seems to suggest. Is anyone with a brain willing to claim that blacks commit violent crime at exactly the same rate as other racial/cultural groups in this country?

      1. NO, but we’re not talking about violent crime, are we? And also, I believe when one accounts for socioeconomic status, the differences by race fade away… no? I think so- but I’m not going to google a citation right now.

        1. I read “the law” and so I assumed we were speaking of law more generally and I cite violent crime because it’s a class of crimes that clearly have a victim, unlike drug crimes and regulatory infractions et cetera.

          Socio-economic status is a factor, but it doesn’t ameliorate differences. Since all people of a lower socio-economic status do not necessarily have a shared culture, that claim ignores reality.

          There are poor communities with very low violent crime rates and other poor communities with very high ones. Sometimes the cultural difference is a north-south thing, sometimes it’s an urban-rural thing and sometimes it’s a ethno-cultural difference. Culture is many times over a more important factor in determining a society’s crime rates than socio-economic status. The reason that it’s harder to pinpoint is that cultures themselves, their features, their members, their boundaries are all harder to pinpoint.

          But taken generally, comparing the cultural differences between say the Congolese and Uruguay, you can see that one culture is better equipped philosophically to exist peacefully with their neighbors.

      2. While few would explicitly claim that, most of the “racial disparity” arguments have that as an unspoken assumption.

  10. Fuck Arlington.

    1. I know, they got the cowboys stadium and the rangers… wait… nevermind.

  11. Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?

    1. Is the law of our side, if I say ay?

    2. +1 Romeo and Juliet

  12. Virginia has a long history of this. They’ve been enforcing a similar ordinance in Virginia Beach for YEARS, at least a decade. Still are to this day!
    http://www.virginiabeach.com/a…..ursing-law

    1. That ordinance is generally enforced only at the actual beach area, and was designed to give the cops a cause to arrest rowdy youths (blacks).

      Virginia Beach also has a Witchduck road. As in a road which formerly lead to the place where witches were ducked (dunked to the point of drowning) to determine if they were witches. If they survived the ducking they had obviously used witchcraft to survive and were executed; if they died they were innocent, oops, our bad.

      1. Oops, can’t find any actual executions of witches in Virginia, but haven’t looked really hard either. Still, though…

        1. There was a woman executed on a boat on her way to Virginia… that’s pretty close.

          Virginia seems to have handled her witch trials much better than New England. Going so far as to release a woman who even admitted to knowing witchcraft.

    2. Hah, yeah, my first trip to Virginia and I have a photo of me flipping off one of those @#$!% signs.

  13. The First Amendment has limits you ridiculous libertarians! For reasons we can all understand, you can’t yell “shit!” in a crowded theater.

    1. think of the children!

      1. If there was no FUCK, there would be no KIDZ.

        We are.

    2. Yeah you can, if you see shit on the floor, you’re allowed to mention it.

    3. Yeah you can, if you see shit on the floor, you’re allowed to mention it.

      1. Fucking piece of shit squirrels.

  14. I’ve contacted the Virginia ACLU to see about a response to the news

    Let me know if they show any interest whatsoever. My opinion is that they’re lazy and complacent and just sit back and collect their donations whenever a new “issue” comes up, but fail to actually litigate anything at all.

  15. You might send a bit of snark their way on the Twatterz: @ArlingtonVA

  16. City increases fine for cursing in public.

    For fucks sake. What about Section fucking 12 of Article fucking 1?

  17. “What did you fucking say?!? I fucking said what did you fucking say?!? I fucking heard what you fucking said, and that’s fucking illegal! What? I say what the fucking law is you piece of shit! You’re under arrest! Stop fucking resisting! “

    1. “Pull my finger and I’ll give you a fucking F bomb you’ll never forget, officer”.

      God Bless America and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  18. “When it comes to disorderly conduct arrests, which could include abusive language, the arrest rates are even more obscenely lopsided”

    So, is there any way to breakout the number of people who were arrested for specifically profanity? “Disorderly conduct” is a broad, catch-all term.

  19. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, tuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fukc, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck – say it enough times and it loses all meaning. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck…I think….fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck…Maybe not…

    Bah. It’s for the children.

    1. Fuck is the worst word that you can say,
      so just use the word MMmmmkaayyyy

  20. Well, it’s a good thing for the county board that public stupidity isn’t illegal!

  21. “Of the total number of drunkenness arrests, 28 percent were of African Americans, while 70 percent were of white offenders?this in a county where African Americans make up only 8.9 percent of residents while whites make up 77.3 percent, according to Census figures.”

    So the remaining 13.8% of the population only make up 2% of the drunkenness arrests?

    1. Asians = teetotalers.

      1. If that’s true then it’s also possible that black = drunks.

        Thankfully, we know better. All of the races, on average, are completely the same. This must be some elaborate racist plot.

    1. Wait – so they are saying private,non-government sites have to be Section 508 compliant???

        1. Godammit. I had to read that word salad about 5 times and I still don’t know if I understand it correctly. Sounds like stuff along the lines of gay wedding cakes and “public accommodations”.

    2. robot voice: this is a buxom bikini-clad woman kissing a lobster

    3. The porn oughta be a hoot

    4. Time to start making ADA complaints against all the proggie, SJW, etc., websites!

  22. Arlington residents went apoplectic when a gun shop signed a lease in a shitty* little strip mall recently.

    http://www.arlnow.com/2015/06/…..tle-rages/

    *okay, Lost Dog Cafe is there so it’s not that shitty.

  23. This refers to historical events only. A long long time ago.

    “What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” ? Thomas Jefferson

    1. subpoena issued

  24. Arlington, Virginia, Seems to Think F-Bombs Are Actual Weapons

    Yes, yes. But what about wood chippers? What are they saying about wood chippers?

    1. Fuck woodchippers, yo’.

  25. I started with my online business I earn $58 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.

    ??????? http://www.workweb40.com

    1. I earn $58 every 15 minutes

      Pics or it didn’t happen.

    2. Heyo! It’s our Boy From Brazil, Adolpho!

  26. Hey, Arlington Virginia city poobahs – pull my finger and I’ll show you what an F-bomb.

    Yes, that’s right. The middle one, pointed at you.

  27. A nuisance isn’t a weapon, but it is a problem if people insist on spoiling things by “exercising their rights”. For that matter, there is the 2nd amendment, and having people brandishing rifles and handguns – very open carry – makes some people feel nervous.

    But in losing the idea of shame – turning everything into a crime – we’ve also lost the idea of being civil or polite.

  28. Does this law apply to words shouted mid-orgasm?

    You know, since “Virginia is for lovers”.

  29. So I thought scotus settled this a million years ago with the Michigan kid cursing at the State park cause he fell out of his canoe or something?

    1. People vs Boomer

      http://www.firstamendmentcente…..-amendment

  30. Intercourse Virginia!

    Come and get me…

  31. And to think I used to live in this scathole.

  32. The county made the news this week not because it has outlawed public swearing. It turns out it already had a law against swearing in public.

    When I looked into this before, I was surprised at how prevelant this type of statute is… like Middleborough, Massachusetts

  33. Dear Mr. Shackford:

    Did you look up what percentage of people arrested for public drunkenness had moustaches and what percentage of the local population has moustaches? I believe there is rampant discrimination by police against people with moustaches. Using your “reasoning” with the percentage of black population and their percentage of arrests, I’m sure we will find moustacheism just as surely as you have found racism.

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