Category Archives: US News

Your Voice, Your Vote: Your CHS Election Guide

EthanBenn, Editor-in-Chief

Georgia voters are gearing up for an increasingly tense midterm election. Here at Chattahoochee High School, which sits comfortably in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, the most expensive House race in history is still fresh in the minds of many. The attack ads are blaring, the volunteers are canvassing and first-time voters are registering to make sure their voices are heard. As election day comes ever closer, it’s time for Georgians – including some Chattahoochee High School students – to make decisions that will shape their future.

Democratic, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Socialist: it seems that there’s a political party or stance that can fit anyone these days. The following is a brief, objective summary of the candidates for governor and representative in GA-6.

Gubernatorial Election

Stacey Abrams (D)

Serving as House Minority Leader from 2010, Abrams supports many traditionally Democratic causes. As such, she favors legislation to reduce climate change and advance renewable energy; limit discrimination against the LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities; promote community policing and firearm regulations; and invest in Georgia’s economy through earned tax credits and infrastructure and education spending.

Brian Kemp (R)

The current Secretary of State and former state senator, Brian Kemp is a conservative business and family man. His agenda consists of four points: make Georgia number one for small business by removing regulations; reform the state government by capping spending and updating the tax code; improve rural Georgia by promoting economic development; and put Georgia first by cracking down on crime, funding education and lowering healthcare costs.

Ted Metz (L)

Though he has no prior experience in government, Mr. Metz, the Libertarian Candidate for governor, has plenty of ideas. In general, they are a mix of Abrams’s and Kemp’s views, as Metz supports investment in infrastructure and education (like Abrams) but is strongly in favor of removing regulations (like Kemp). His platform is relatively standard for a Libertarian candidate, focusing on limited government and greater social and economic rights for all Georgians.

Larry Odom (I)

At this time, Mr. Odom’s campaign has not put out any accessible information regarding his run for office.  

Congressional Election

Lucy McBath (D)

Though she lacks prior government experience, McBath is best known for her activism after her son’s death in a tragic shooting. As such, she advocates for stronger regulations for firearms, funding for Planned Parenthood and the continuation of the Affordable Care Act and Deferred Action for Child Arrivals Act. On economic issues, she opposes both the Trump administration’s tax cut and tariff policies and is concerned with climate change and the environment.  

Karen Handel (R-Incumbent)

Elected to office in a special election after Tom Price’s resignation as Health and Human Services Secretary, Karen Handel has worked to implement conservative policies on a national scale. Unlike her opponent, Handel supports and helped to create the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and is less outspoken on environmental issues. Handel, while she does not support the Affordable Care Act, intends to tackle the opioid crisis and secure funding for community health centers in Georgia’s sixth district.

Jeremy Stubbs (I)

At this time, Mr. Stubbs’s campaign has not put out any accessible information regarding his run for office.  

But what do CHS students think of these candidates? According to a survey done by The Speculator, it seems that Abrams and McBath have a solid lead. With 21 responses, 14 students said they preferred McBath to the seven students who would have voted for Handel in the congressional election. For governor, 15 supported Abrams, four supported Kemp and two supported Odom. Jeremy Stubbs and Ted Metz received no votes for either question.

Students were also asked about their own political ideologies by selecting all the terms that described them. The majority (12 students) identified as Democrats, followed by Republicans (five students) and Independents (three students).  Students identifying as Socialists and Libertarians numbered two each, and one student identified as a Centrist. A single student simply did not know, writing “idk.”

Regardless of the parties they may or may not identify with, youth participation in elections on all levels is significantly lower than other age groups. Mrs. Adams, Mr. Salba and Ms. Boudreaux were all asked a series of questions about how their students were engaged in politics and the need for young people to do their civic duty. These questions and answers are as follows:

  1. The U.S. Census found that 46.1% of 18 to 29 year olds voted in the 2016 presidential election, almost 12% lower than 30 to 44 year olds and significantly lower than other age groups. Why do you think this is?
  2. To what extent are your students engaged with politics?
  3. Why should students care about local, state and national elections?
  4. How can teachers, parents and other mentors encourage youth to “get involved” in politics?
  5. With the current political climate, some have said that politics are simply too nasty or upsetting for teenagers to have a voice. What do you say to this?
  6. Similarly, younger people are often ridiculed or dismissed for holding earnest political views. What effect do you think this has on youth participation?
  7. Do you have any words of encouragement for CHS students interested in politics?

Mrs. Adams

  1. Teenagers are unaware: I think that a lot of times young kids don’t think voting matters. Government and politics isn’t always the most fun to talk about, and it’s easy to disengage. As they get older, and things like healthcare and childcare become issues and they start to have more life experience, people tend to participate more.
  2. Not really. Kids start to become more engaged when we hit things like elections or Congress. There’s an, “oh – we see these hearings on TV,  we talked about this, and now it’s going on” moment. When we get to more tangible subjects about government, they tend to get more engaged.
  3. I think I’m starting to see now that students get that they have a voice. I think they’re starting to realize that their vote counts in the overall election. A lot of the issues are things that they can’t wrap their head around – but things like Black Lives Matter or Parkland are things they see and experience. When it hits closer to home, they understand why these elections matter.
  4. I think the best way for adults to help kids to get involved is for adults to get involved. If I want my daughter to care about elections, then we might go hand out flyers. It becomes a thing that you do, like voting, that they look forward to. If you don’t actively engage yourself, it falls on deaf ears, since it’s a little hypocritical. When kids see adults doing that, they see it’s actually doable.
  5. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Politics and government set the tone for the next generation: what’s acceptable and the way we’re moving. To say that something’s too divisive for teenagers means that something is divise. If something’s so divisive, it can be an example of what not to do. History might be scary, but we have to learn to do better. Life isn’t always nice, but you still have to find out how to navigate it.
  6. The ideas of the Founding Fathers were out there during their time, too. The idea of the type of democracy that we have was a completely unique and original idea. I understand that there are always times that things are out there: desegregating schools, African Americans not being property. I don’t really give credence to the idea that some beliefs are just too off the wall. Anything that gets teenagers engaged is worth it. They might not be the most well thought out beliefs, but bits and pieces of these ideas can be good. Young people are willing to take more risks and greater risks, but that doesn’t mean that their ideas aren’t any less valid. They’re willing to do more to get their points heard, and the government could definitely step in to hear that.
  7. I personally don’t feel like it’s an old guy sport. If anything, the last few years have showed us that it’s anyone’s game. If you can get enough students who are passionate enough you will get there and make a change eventually. You will see your hard work payoff. Just know that it’s not SnapChat or Instagram quick.

Mr. Salba

  1. Often, people in the 18-29 group are working jobs that they can’t take off for. Before I was a teacher, I was working one of those jobs. I think younger people are told their opinions don’t matter and are disengaged. Colleges and high schools don’t do too much to inspire civic engagement, though I think our teachers do a good job. 18 year olds have a hard time relating to people who are older than them or just giving lip service to them.
  2. I think mine are more engaged than most. A lot of my students come out of AP Gov where they’re forced to engage with politics. Doing Model UN, I see kids who want to be engaged in the world: I think they know what’s going on and want to be a part of it.
  3. Because all three levels of elections do have direct effects on them. The closer you get to local elections, the more it affects minor things in your life. If you’re in a city that puts in a dress code – like no sagging pants – that’s aimed at young people. (Which is code for mainly African-American youth). That’s relevant, and if you let other people make those decisions for you, you’re not practicing what our system is meant to do. The states determine curriculum, licensing and funding for your university. Nationally, I think don’t vote, don’t complain. I don’t feel the federal government has as much impact as we think it does, but you can’t minimize the effect of the state on your life. Don’t overlook the fact that local elections matter, like those for judges. I think most people are self-interested voters, too.
  4. We can teach that it matters and what the system is. Direct endorsements aren’t okay, but broad encouragements – that don’t really mean anything – are our only option. Parents need to teach their kids why elections matter, why politics matter from a young age. We watched the political conventions and Sunday morning news shows when I was growing up, and while I’m much less involved than I should be, I am a registered voter.
  5. I think it’s reflective of society as a whole, and that’s one reason why teenagers should participate. It’s always been nasty and mean, though normally subtly or behind closed doors. In 2000, there was a robocall in South Carolina against John Cain that implied he had mixed race illegitimate children. The Atwater Effect, of using racism to win votes, gets used by Democrats, too, though normally on class. You can look to be above it, but you have to recognize that it will get dirty. People will do anything in order to win. It’s brutal, full of lies and misstatements. I think teenagers would love it if they really got into it, especially now. If you believe winning is the most important thing, you do what you have to do to win.
  6. It is discouraging. You can only be told so many times that you don’t matter and that you need to come back later. I think young people – though I may not agree with them – sometimes have the best views and the strongest views. At one point, we were younger people with political views. I absolutely had stupid views in high school and college, but it didn’t mean that they weren’t sincere. Churchill said: “anyone who was not a liberal at 20 years of age had no heart, while anyone who was still a liberal at 40 had no head.” Conservatives push youth aside since they tend to have more radical views – they’re not as jaded. The young believe in equal marriage and Medicare for all: these aren’t slim margins, they’re huge. If you have a view with a large group of people, you want to discourage them. Is it a deliberate attempt to discourage participation? No. It’s older people fixed in their ways. Everyone has views that aren’t well-informed or thought out.
  7. Don’t give up making your voice heard. If you believe in something and it’s well thought out, go with it. Just because an adult tells you it’s a bad idea doesn’t mean it’s wrong, though people who have totally ridiculous ideas should be ignored. But even then, just because a well reasoned idea is silly doesn’t mean you should give it up.

Ms. Boudreaux

  1. This particular election was really disillusioning for a lot of people, and younger people in particular. Because they’ve grown up with the internet, I think the 18-29 age group is generally skeptical of government (which made a lot of people hesitant to vote for Hillary) and is generally socially progressive (which made a lot of people hesitant to vote for Trump). When people don’t see a candidate that they feel represents their interests and/or experiences, they’re unlikely to show up to vote.
  2. As with everything, it varies by student. I find that most of my students have a general awareness of what’s going on, but I don’t think many of my students spend much time really delving into political issues. I get it: politics are complicated, and y’all have a lot on your plates. I’m sympathizing with, not condoning, this.
  3. Our entire voting system is based on the idea that every eligible citizen has an equal voice in politics. But when people don’t show up to vote, they’re silencing themselves. I understand the hesitation to show up when people don’t see their interests or experiences reflected in the candidates, but voting is one huge way to potentially change this. As for local and state elections, I think that any major change that is made to our political system is going to come from the ground up, not from the top down.
  4. I think this starts with letting young people know that their opinions matter. Another huge thing would be helping young people figure out how to navigate the treacherous world of online media. I would imagine that a lot of teenagers avoid politics altogether because there is just so much information (and misinformation) floating around out there that they don’t know what’s real and what’s not.
  5. The fact that it’s nasty and upsetting is exactly the reason that teenagers should be involved in politics. If it’s nasty, it’s because the people who have been running things have made it that way. So what should we do? Shelter young people from it, and let the people who have been calling the shots continue to do what they’ve always done? Absolutely not. We should encourage teenagers to pursue issues they’re passionate about and affect change for the better.
  6. I would imagine this is discouraging. Sometimes younger people haven’t been shown how to have productive political discussions, and this can cause them to appear (to adults at least), overly emotional or foolish. Rather than silencing teenagers, we should consider it our responsibility to model productive ways of having difficult conversations. This can be a really slippery area for teachers, though, because we can get in trouble if we appear to be getting too political with students.  
  7. Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations with people, and don’t feel like you can’t engage in discussions just because you aren’t totally sure how you feel about an issue. Talking ideas out (especially with people who have differing views) is a great way to figure out where you stand on issues. If you aren’t already connected with peers who are also interested in politics, seek them out. There are few things more empowering than being surrounded by like-minded people.

From the candidates to charts and even a few chats, there’s a lot to know and discuss before election day. And that’s the most important part: election day is officially Nov. 6, but Georgians can still register to vote (and check if they’re already registered) online or by mail. Whether you vote red, blue or some shade in between, The Speculator sincerely hopes that this article has given the reader a better idea about the races – big and small – going on right around them.

 

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After NRA Policy Change, Delta’s Tax Cuts Crash and Burn

EthanBenn, Staff Reporter

In the wake of the tragic shooting in Parkland, Fla., Delta Airlines began to reconsider its relationship with the National Rifle Association of America (as have other companies in various sectors). Ultimately, Delta “rescinded a one-time group travel discount for the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting, and asked the organization to remove [their] name and logo from their website.” This prompted Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly to pull a tax exemption for jet fuel directed towards the airline.  

Compared to fiery condemnations from elected officials, student protesters and celebrities, Delta’s handling of its relationship with the NRA could be described as being less dramatic. In fact, the rescinding of the discount came as part of a renewed push to “remain neutral” and stay away from such a divisive issue like gun control – Delta CEO Ed Bastian voiced that “we are supporters of the 2nd Amendment, just as we embrace the entire Constitution of the United States.” While it appears that Delta intends to refrain from taking either side in this debate, Casey Cagle, the Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, was quick to retaliate.

“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back,” Cagle tweeted soon after Delta announced its new policy toward the NRA and its members. Because Cagle holds an incredibly important position in the Georgia legislature, his statement was of particular importance – without Cagle’s approval, the tax cut for fuel aimed at Delta would be doomed to fail.

As Republicans scrambled to strip the provision that would have given the airline millions of dollars, the public and other state officials were quick to comment on Cagle’s tweet, accusing him of extortion and offering Delta the chance to relocate its headquarters out of Atlanta. “@Delta, if Georgia politicians disagree with your stand against gun violence, we invite you to move your headquarters to New York,” tweeted the Democratic governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo was not the only governor to make such a plea though it is unlikely that Delta would move away from its base at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

Delta declined to shift its operations to another state, and the Georgia General Assembly moved to strike the $50 million dollar exemption for jet fuel from a larger tax bill, following up on Cagle’s threat. The Republican-led Senate voted for the new version of the exemptions, and the Republican House overwhelmingly agreed to approve the jet fuel free version after having already voted for the original bill.

Though Governor Nathan Deal (R) signed the exemptions into law, he stressed the importance of “Southern Hospitality” in how Georgia deals with private companies, as well as cautioning against poorly thought out policies and political maneuvering. Several Democratic representatives raised points that companies such as Amazon might avoid Georgia in the wake of this decision, further stressing the importance of this issue.  

Hope for the Democrats

MaddieYashinsky, Sports Editor

Jon Ossoff, who is currently running a firm specializing in anti-corruption investigations, was one of five Democrats running in a special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district. On Jan. 5, 2017, Ossoff announced his candidacy for the special election after previous seat holder, Tom Price announced that he had been named Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary. Ossoff quickly became the most desirable democratic candidate in the race. He was endorsed by prominent figures such as congressman Hank Johnson and John Lewis as well as state House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams. Ossoff has raised over $8.3 million by early April of 2017.

Ossoff fell just short of capturing a House seat in a longtime conservative area of Georgia. Ossoff received 48.1% of the vote. He needed to get 50% in order to win outright. He and Republican candidate Karen Handel, who received 19.8% will now face off in a runoff election in June.

It wasn’t the election results however that made this special election such a popular topic of discussion. Rather, It was the statistics leading up to it that impacted the Republicans living in the area. The election is seen by many as an early test of how the first few months of Donald Trump’s presidency may have shifted the opinions or voter enthusiasm of educated suburban voters who live in swing districts. Trump under-performed in districts with demographics similar to the 6th during the 2016 election, having won the 6th District by only 1 percentage point. Fulton county Georgia has always been primarily Republican. In 2012 Mitt Romney won by 23 points in this district, and Republican Rep. Tom Price was re-elected with nearly 62% of the vote in 2016 here before being named Trump’s health and human services secretary.

“There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages,” Ossoff told supporters the night of the election. “That no matter what the outcome is tonight- whether we take it all or whether we fight on — we have survived the odds. We have shattered expectations. We are changing the world. Your voices are going to ring out across this state and across this country.” Many supporters of Ossoff and what the campaign stood for coined the phrase “Flip the 6th” as the election was being held.

Flooding Strikes California

MatthewKohn, Staff Reporter

After a five year drought, California is receiving more rain that it can handle. In fact, there has been so much rain in northern California that the water level in Lake Oroville has risen significantly. This caused water to overflow and flood over the emergency spillways and with the water flowing over the spillway, a hole has formed from erosion near the wall. If the erosion reaches it, the entire wall could collapse, causing millions of gallons of water to flood the surrounding area. This has brought great concern and led to the call for nearby towns to be immediately evacuated, almost 200,000 residents left their homes and fled to safer grounds.

In the past few days, state officials and the Oroville Dam workers have done everything that they can to try to minimize the flooding. They have intentionally released water from the lake to drop the level of it, and have begun to patch up the erosion with cement and rocks. These attempts to reduce the risk are helping and the locals should be excited, however there is a storm on the way that might cause problems with the lake and the damaged dam. This storm approaching could cause the same type of problems with the dam that the last one caused Residents should still take cover for the time being due to this storm, as it imposes a major threat.

Hopefully with the worst of it behind them, Californians can look to resolve the problem at hand. This flood has been a major wake-up call to the state about the current state of the Oroville dam. Renovations should be made to the dam to improve the almost fifty-year-old structure. The dam should be ready to endure these types of storms and should have more features that serve as insurances. For the time being, the problem with the incoming storm needs to be resolved before any permanent adjustments can be made. Even though, the current crisis was averted, the dam needs to be updated to ensure that this problem will not happen again.

Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways

DrakeMackley, Staff Reporter

Idaho technology company, SolarRoadways, is being contracted to test their solar panel road design on iconic, Route 66. Local Missouri government is looking to the public for funding assistance to pay for the final amounts needed to start placing panels on the roads before the first snowfall of 2016. The solar roadway product was first announced in 2014 on Indiegogo, then promoted via a promotional video since the release of the video SolarRoadways has raised over $2.2 million in public funding.

According to the American Geophysical Union’s June 2004 article, there are 32,000 square miles of roads, sidewalks and other pavements that could be replaced with solar roadway panels. After adjusting solar yields due to road angles, glass thickness and weather, the solar roadways would produce 14,085 billion kilowatt-hours along the Canadian border. If the same tests were recreated in southern states, the yields would increase.

So how much energy is 14,085 billion kilowatt-hours? The Energy Information Administration stated in 2010 that the total energy consumption for all 50 states was 3,741 billion kilowatt-hours. If SolarRoadways placed their product on every road and sidewalk in the United States, our roads would be able to provide over three times the energy that Americans use. According to SolarRoadways, 50% of the greenhouse gases that are produced worldwide are a result of burning fossil fuels for electricity. Solar panel roads have the ability to cut greenhouse gases emitted through the burning of fossil fuels.

The second highest producer of harmful pollution is carbon emissions from motor vehicles and SolarRoadways panels also have a solution for that. The design released by SolarRoadways has the capability to charge electric vehicles, while they are driving in order to increase the range of electric cars and make them more practical. Solar roadway panels have the capability to reduce contribution to greenhouse gases by 75%. Solar roadways are more than just a road and solar panel mixed together. These hexagonal, LED filled, glass covered devices are intelligent. They remain snow and ice-free due to internal heating which keeps the roads over 32 degrees fahrenheit, and they require no paint. The panels also give a heads-up on the road for upcoming obstructions such as animals and fallen trees and provide safe placement for telephone and internet cables. Regions that receive more than five inches of snow annually are 70% of the US roadways. In winter, panels heat up then melt the snow/ice to prevent reductions in arrival times, speeds, and the 24 percent of automobile accidents that occur on snow-related roads every year. Not only would solar roads increase quality of life, but it is also more economically efficient. The US Department of Transportation stated that in 2009 the US spent 2.3 billion dollars on snow and ice control and additional funds repairing roads due to harmful climate effects.

SolarRoadways could be the solution to worldwide electricity; however, according to VOX, the cost to place this product in every American road would come close to $56 trillion. The American people will have to decide whether the huge price tag is worth the benefits that solar roadways provide.

Where Does the Gun Point Now?

JourneySherman, LeahZarzour and LavanyaChellam

 On Friday Nov. 13, ISIS attacked a Paris concert venue, Batlacan, slaughtering 129 people. Lesser acknowledged attacks occurred the day before in Beirut and Baghdad. Over 60 individuals were killed by suicide bombers.

It seems like there is an unfortunate, never ending stream of breaking news regarding ISIS. By adding more nations to their “hit list,” they make it known that no one is safe or out of harm’s way. It seems like their weekly threats have become daily. ISIS has rattled the world, and the world is holding its breath in lamentation for the prodigious heap of unnecessary deaths. The attacks have left many feeling as though they live in homes made of twigs, and until now ISIS was just the big bad wolf that only existed in storybooks.Their infamous beheading videos would  seem like child’s play if we had only believed what was coming.

The organization describes the current situation in layman’s terms as “the calm before the storm.” If the massacring of almost 200 people within 48 hours isn’t “as bad as can be,” according to ISIS, the world needs to brace itself for that which will come.

     The ringleader of The Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was recently killed in a raid in a  Paris suburb Nov.18. He is accused of leading the phalanx of gunmen and suicide bombers into the concert venue and surrounding cafes, killing over 100 innocent individuals.

With the western media constantly covering the massacre in Paris, little concern was shown in regards to the terrorist attacks in Beirut and Baghdad. When the stories were pushed through The New York Times and The Washington Post, they were quickly overshadowed by the horrific attacks in Paris, one of our nation’s favorite cities.

Although these attacks occurred across the world, Chattahoochee was still impacted. Theodore Rizo (SO), believes “Paris holds a special place in many Americans’ hearts. If you even whisper the name Paris, their eyes glaze over as they go on a daydream-vacation to the city of lights. The western media has taken advantage of that and continues to strike fear in the hearts of many so as to gain more views and make more money.”  

Social media outlets Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were overflowing with concerns for Paris to the point where it consumed the media. Little did the world know that terror would pursue before they could swallow their fears down.

 On Sunday Nov. 21, terror struck even closer to home when an online group, called Anonymous, unearthed a possible ISIS threat to a WWE event at Philipps Arena. The threat was later proved false, but the fear and investigative tension grew nonetheless, because the wolf does come eat the boy when the villagers refuse to believe the child’s wail.

The world is plagued with worry and fear and fights—of  what will come, and even worse—when and how it will.

 

Be Careful What You Post: Social Media and Free Speech

MarisaSnelson-Ono

How far can a threat posted on Facebook go to be considered a legitimate safety concern?
Would restricting an individual’s rights to posting be considered a violation of the First Amendment? One man argues just that, taking his case to the Supreme Court.

A Pennsylvania man, Anthony Elonis, was arrested and convicted for posting threatening posts towards his estranged wife on his Facebook page. He began writing these posts back in 2010 when his wife left him and took their two children. Elonis used violent, descriptive language in the posts, including statements such as, “I’m not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts.”

His wife, fearing for her safety, successfully filed a restraining order against Elonis. After violating the restraining order, he was arrested, and was sentenced to four years in prison. Yet, he continued to post threatening messages, now directed at even more people. One of these posts directed at his wife stated, “Fold up your protective order and put [it] in your pocket. Is it thick enough
to stop a bullet?”

Elonis insists that the posts were not meant to be taken seriously, that he was writing rap lyrics as a form of venting—not something to be taken too seriously. He says that the process was “therapeutic” for him in working out the sadness of his wife leaving him.

The main question behind this case is the intent of the man behind the words. When the man posted the threats, was there a motive to actually harm his wife? That is where the prosecutors come in. “How does one prove what’s in somebody else’s mind?” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked Mr. Elonis’s lawyer.

In addition, if posting threatening messages online were to be banned by law, some fear that it could lead to the suppression of the First Amendment right to free speech. By expressing his thoughts and ideas online, Elonis insists that he was simply exercising this right.

“That concern is all the more pressing in the online context,” his lawyer said, since, “many of the people who are being prosecuted now are teenagers who are essentially shooting off their mouths or making sort of ill-timed, sarcastic comments, which wind up getting them thrown in jail.”

Hence, Should verbal intimidation be an accepted form of free speech? That is up to the judges in this case to decide.