Jaffe: Gamers' Rights Efforts are "Pointless and Naive"

SimuLord

Whom Gods Annoy
Aug 20, 2008
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David Jaffe is a complete imbecile, so whenever he opens his mouth I just look at him like "that's nice, now go back to the kids' table, the grownups are having a discussion."
 

Madara XIII

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Sep 23, 2010
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Wow.....leave it to reality to smack me in the face...Oh well I can't help but agree with him in that he does have a valid point
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Jodah said:
The second issue is that, while ratings are enforced for the most part, they are not 100%.
No system is 100 percent. Pornography is excepted under the First Amendment in the US, which means it actually is illegal to sell it to kids, but what normal kid doesn't flip through a copy of Playboy or Penthouse at least once in his life? Kids are able to get cigarettes and booze if they want it. Hell, they can get guns and heroin if they want it. There is no 100 percent. But while there are a lot of people who would deny it or prefer that you weren't aware of the fact at all, the games industry has a better rate of compliance than any other.
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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SL33TBL1ND said:
That's what I've been thinking. Practically every other country has legally enforceable classification systems. What's the big deal?
This has been covered many times before, but we'll do it once more here, because I like you:

(the short version)

If the sale of M-rated games is made illegal, you could very well see major retailers, Walmart leaps to mind, possibly Target, Best Buy, etc., deciding not to sell them simply because the risk of accidentally selling one to a 16-year-old, an act which would be illegal at that point, wouldn't be worth the repercussions. Faced with the potentially devastating loss of those big-box distribution points, game makers would begin to self-censor, and what would have been an M-rated game is dialed down to a T, or, in cases where that's just not possible, dropped altogether.

No censorship. Nobody telling you that you can't play any game you want if you're an adult. But it's beyond naive to think that the criminalization of videogame sales won't have a huge, huge impact on the game industry, and the games you play.

Oh, and as for the "other countries do it" argument: Other countries can afford to do it, because we have the Americans to make the games we love. Lose the Americans, lose the games. Believe me, you have no idea how much it hurts me, as a Canadian, to admit that kind of dependence, but there it is.

And that's just one angle. That doesn't even touch on things like the potential this has to impact other media - if the government can find ways around the sanctity of the First Amendment for games, then why not music? Television? Movies? This is Serious Shit, son.
 

asinann

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hitheremynameisbob said:
asinann said:
Wolfram01 said:
I must be missing something, but isn't this basically they want to make ESRB law? (I mean, in essense)... so selling M games to minors is a crime. I'm not sure how that really affects much. But I must be missing something deeper on this issue.
It won't be the ESRB rating the games or enforcing the rules, the state will take over both duties costing taxpayers millions of dollar a year and delaying the release of games in that state. More likely it will just mean that people in California will do what people in states that have tougher anti-porn laws than others do: they will go out of state or online to get the games.
Except this is the SUPREME Court making this call. They're going to be dealing with a constitutional issue, not a state policy one. The defense that has been used to prevent the implementation of almost a dozen similar laws in other states (and this one, too) has been a constitutional defense based on the first amendment's obscenity clause. If they say that California can regulate sales like this, they are giving that power to EVERY OTHER STATE, too. How much you wanna bet that in the months following a ruling in California's favor, we see similar bills pop up in almost every state? If the supreme court invalidates that defense, they're not going to stop with just California.
That's why I love the states where the citizens can put things on the ballot. Last year the state of Washington's representatives added sales tax to certain food items, candy and the like mostly, and this year the people of the state are trying to remove it from the books. A law would pass, gamers would unite and at least try to remove it from the books. The real issue is that if the California law passes, the federal government will probably make a law parroting the California law and enforce it nationwide.
 

ProfessorLayton

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Nov 6, 2008
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He's actually right. No one cares and if someone tries to use the fact that gamers sent some guy a bunch of controllers as an argument in court, they'll be laughed out of the room. Why don't we just trust that people will do the right thing? Protesting and crying doesn't do anything. We can talk about it, but we're not going to convince anyone who has anything to do with this case.
 

hitheremynameisbob

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asinann said:
That's why I love the states where the citizens can put things on the ballot. Last year the state of Washington's representatives added sales tax to certain food items, candy and the like mostly, and this year the people of the state are trying to remove it from the books. A law would pass, gamers would unite and at least try to remove it from the books. The real issue is that if the California law passes, the federal government will probably make a law parroting the California law and enforce it nationwide.
Eh, I don't know about that. The supreme court can't make new laws. Congress can, but congress needs to be mindful of votes, while the supreme court doesn't. There's a reason they gave the gaming industry a chance to regulate itself before they imposed a ratings board on it back in the nineties: they don't want to piss off interest groups like the ESA and EMA. They're not the most powerful ones on the Hill by any stretch, but they're strong enough to be worth not alienating, and preventing a law like that is pretty much their sole reason for existing (well, that and promoting copyright enforcement). If congress passes a law like that, it likely means everyone involved will lose the support of these groups forever, and it's not like this would be compensated for by the parents organizations on the other side of the issue - they're already lobbying the hell out of congress with what funds and power they have, I don't think they've got a secret reserve they're ready to bust out with a 527 to help anyone who votes their way.

No, I'm pretty sure that if the court rules for California here, it'll just go back to being a state issue. There might be some rumblings in congress about this from the members that are already dedicated to the "family values" side, but I doubt any bill they got running would ever survive committees, much less a vote. Whereas, on the state level, the parents organizations are MUCH more powerful than the ESA and EMA. This is why these other laws keep making it through the legislatures, but not the courts - the people who want the laws are strong in state legislatures (parents organizations are often grassroots and locally strong), but the second the ESA can throw some concentrated money at it (I.E., in a court setting) the thing gets killed. The industry has, smartly, focused its power on D.C., which carries the downside of being less effective at influencing state legislatures, (If they'd bothered with those, though, they'd be spread too thin) but they can and do shake things up on the Hill when legislation that will really hurt them gets traction there. Parents organizations will keep playing to their strengths and stick to state laws and hoping that the new precedent has effectively neutered their opponents' ability to attack the law in court.
 

thahat

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the guy has a point, it wont make a difference.
also, the USA is NOT a democracy, just like the netherlands is not a democracy.
you cote for people saying: il make this happen!
and for no one it fits like a glove, and most of the time, even what they say they will do wont happen.

so jeah, unless everyone gets a vote button, no one is a democracy..
 

SL33TBL1ND

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Nov 9, 2008
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Andy Chalk said:
SL33TBL1ND said:
That's what I've been thinking. Practically every other country has legally enforceable classification systems. What's the big deal?
This has been covered many times before, but we'll do it once more here, because I like you:

(the short version)

If the sale of M-rated games is made illegal, you could very well see major retailers, Walmart leaps to mind, possibly Target, Best Buy, etc., deciding not to sell them simply because the risk of accidentally selling one to a 16-year-old, an act which would be illegal at that point, wouldn't be worth the repercussions. Faced with the potentially devastating loss of those big-box distribution points, game makers would begin to self-censor, and what would have been an M-rated game is dialed down to a T, or, in cases where that's just not possible, dropped altogether.

No censorship. Nobody telling you that you can't play any game you want if you're an adult. But it's beyond naive to think that the criminalization of videogame sales won't have a huge, huge impact on the game industry, and the games you play.

Oh, and as for the "other countries do it" argument: Other countries can afford to do it, because we have the Americans to make the games we love. Lose the Americans, lose the games. Believe me, you have no idea how much it hurts me, as a Canadian, to admit that kind of dependence, but there it is.

And that's just one angle. That doesn't even touch on things like the potential this has to impact other media - if the government can find ways around the sanctity of the First Amendment for games, then why not music? Television? Movies? This is Serious Shit, son.
Thanks, Andy. That clears up pretty much all my questions!
 

Lord Thodin

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Im a pessimist so I wouldn't be surprised if the bill got passed due to some old dudes in the legislative system that dont understand the medium, but at the same time Im still a bit hopeful we will win. I just wish Jaffe was on our side of at least trying. When big names in the industry fight with you, your voice is louder.
 

JDKJ

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Wandrecanada said:
Andy Chalk said:
Jaffe: Gamers' Rights Efforts are "Pointless and Naive"


The always-outspoken David Jaffe says efforts by gamers to make themselves heard on California's upcoming Supreme Court case are "pointless and naive."

On November 2 the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments on California's proposed law to God of War [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/101654-When-Games-are-Sold-Like-Guns-An-Interview-with-the-ECAs-Hal-Halpin], thinks it's a waste of time.

"While I understand and appreciate and support the emotion and feeling behind gamer's desires to sign petitions and write their representatives to let their views be known on the California games bill in front of the Supreme Court, am I the only who who thinks such efforts are pointless and naive?" he wrote on TwitLonger [http://www.twitlonger.com/show/6it7dd]. "The Supreme Court does not rule based on how a vocal majority - let alone a vocal minority like gamers and other media folks - feel about a case in front of them. At best the court will use solid judgment, facts, and president to make a decisions. At worse they will let their own political agendas rule the day. But either way, what do they care what the public thinks?"

"They didn't care that a majority of Americans wanted a recount for the Presidential election in 2000, you think they'll care that 3000, 5000, 10,000, hell even 5 MILLION people sign some petition?" he continued. "Again, perhaps there is value and I'm missing something but from my view it just seems like a big exercise to make people feel like they are making a difference when - in the end - none of our views on this will matter one bit. The Supreme Court is not a democracy where the people vote on the laws they want enacted."

He has a point. The Supreme Court will, hopefully, rule on law and precedent, not sensationalism and shouting. But there's no doubt in my mind that he's also missing something. The Supreme Court is not a democracy but the United States is, and a lot of what makes it tick is influenced directly or indirectly by citizens who speak out. The die may be cast in this particular case but encouraging political engagement among gamers is never a waste of time. Are campaigns like the one to send game controllers to Leland Yee [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/104144-Mail-Your-Busted-Controllers-to-Leland-Yee] a bit goofy? Sure. But they also send a message: We're here, we vote - and we take this stuff seriously.

via: GamePolitics [http://gamepolitics.com/2010/10/21/jaffe-facts-will-impact-scotus-decision-not-petitions]


Permalink
What a naive position to take! No one is voicing their opinion or concern to either the Supreme Court or any foundations that support minority concerns. To insert context for people voicing their opinions to politicians who clearly ARE swayed by public opinion is clearly a lack of context as to what these people are talking to.

Mr. Jaffe should start to think before he types crap in the public forum especially as someone with more built in audience than your average blogger. If an organization asks you to send something to your local politician don't confuse the issue by saying they are talking to the Supreme Court.

Seriously... English comprehension!
I understood, based on their own statements when they announced the initiative, that the ECA's intention was to use the petition signatures to somehow bolster their amicus brief. It does appear that they're doing precisely what Jaffe thinks they're doing. And, in my opinion and in agreement with Mr. Jaffe, pointlessly so -- unless the "petition" (which also encourages signing up for an ECA membership) is less about bolster and more about recruitment. In which case and from the ECA's perspective -- given what I must assume to be difficulty recruiting new members in the aftermath of the I Can't Easily Cancel My ECA Membership fiasco -- it makes perfect sense.
 

Atmos Duality

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Old news to me.
People wonder why I don't do petitions? This.

If it's a public outcry against a private firm, or topic that is coming up as a point in an election, then that's where a petition is appropriate. Representatives can act on that knowledge, and you can bet that if a significant number of their sheep voters want it, it will be taken into consideration (assuming it doesn't violate some political party line).

However, that is not the case for the Supreme Court. I would like to hope they are unbias (as a Justice is supposed to be), but chances are, they are going to follow the party line if they don't understand nor care about the case.

Be aware of what the future might bring.
 

Wandrecanada

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JDKJ said:
Wandrecanada said:
Andy Chalk said:
Jaffe: Gamers' Rights Efforts are "Pointless and Naive"


The always-outspoken David Jaffe says efforts by gamers to make themselves heard on California's upcoming Supreme Court case are "pointless and naive."

On November 2 the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments on California's proposed law to God of War [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/101654-When-Games-are-Sold-Like-Guns-An-Interview-with-the-ECAs-Hal-Halpin], thinks it's a waste of time.

"While I understand and appreciate and support the emotion and feeling behind gamer's desires to sign petitions and write their representatives to let their views be known on the California games bill in front of the Supreme Court, am I the only who who thinks such efforts are pointless and naive?" he wrote on TwitLonger [http://www.twitlonger.com/show/6it7dd]. "The Supreme Court does not rule based on how a vocal majority - let alone a vocal minority like gamers and other media folks - feel about a case in front of them. At best the court will use solid judgment, facts, and president to make a decisions. At worse they will let their own political agendas rule the day. But either way, what do they care what the public thinks?"

"They didn't care that a majority of Americans wanted a recount for the Presidential election in 2000, you think they'll care that 3000, 5000, 10,000, hell even 5 MILLION people sign some petition?" he continued. "Again, perhaps there is value and I'm missing something but from my view it just seems like a big exercise to make people feel like they are making a difference when - in the end - none of our views on this will matter one bit. The Supreme Court is not a democracy where the people vote on the laws they want enacted."

He has a point. The Supreme Court will, hopefully, rule on law and precedent, not sensationalism and shouting. But there's no doubt in my mind that he's also missing something. The Supreme Court is not a democracy but the United States is, and a lot of what makes it tick is influenced directly or indirectly by citizens who speak out. The die may be cast in this particular case but encouraging political engagement among gamers is never a waste of time. Are campaigns like the one to send game controllers to Leland Yee [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/104144-Mail-Your-Busted-Controllers-to-Leland-Yee] a bit goofy? Sure. But they also send a message: We're here, we vote - and we take this stuff seriously.

via: GamePolitics [http://gamepolitics.com/2010/10/21/jaffe-facts-will-impact-scotus-decision-not-petitions]


Permalink
What a naive position to take! No one is voicing their opinion or concern to either the Supreme Court or any foundations that support minority concerns. To insert context for people voicing their opinions to politicians who clearly ARE swayed by public opinion is clearly a lack of context as to what these people are talking to.

Mr. Jaffe should start to think before he types crap in the public forum especially as someone with more built in audience than your average blogger. If an organization asks you to send something to your local politician don't confuse the issue by saying they are talking to the Supreme Court.

Seriously... English comprehension!
I understood, based on their own statements when they announced the initiative, that the ECA's intention was to use the petition signatures to somehow bolster their amicus brief. It does appear that they're doing precisely what Jaffe thinks they're doing. And, in my opinion and in agreement with Mr. Jaffe, pointlessly so -- unless the "petition" (which also encourages signing up for an ECA membership) is less about bolster and more about recruitment. In which case and from the ECA's perspective -- given what I must assume to be difficulty recruiting new members in the aftermath of the I Can't Easily Cancel My ECA Membership fiasco -- it makes perfect sense.
If that's the case the comments should be kept firmly in the realm of criticism of the ECA and not Gamer Rights movements. The Leland Yee initiative does not touch the Supreme Court in it's primary goal but attempts to sway the politics of a specific government representative. Misusing that information for the purposes of self promotion is an ethics issue and should not taint the movement. Perhaps Jaffe did indeed direct this attack at the ECA leveraging information for "nefarious" purposes or perhaps it's only the author's particular narrative that demands this?

Whatever the case it falls under Jaffe or this article's author as someone spinning the information to tailor a narrative that taints the goal of Gamer Rights and representation of Gamers in the political arena. The ECA is still championing us in the legal arena and while that is still no excuse for ethical violations I don't think we should rule out their help entirely because they're not doing it all for us 100%.
 

JDKJ

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Wandrecanada said:
JDKJ said:
Wandrecanada said:
Andy Chalk said:
Jaffe: Gamers' Rights Efforts are "Pointless and Naive"


The always-outspoken David Jaffe says efforts by gamers to make themselves heard on California's upcoming Supreme Court case are "pointless and naive."

On November 2 the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments on California's proposed law to God of War [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/101654-When-Games-are-Sold-Like-Guns-An-Interview-with-the-ECAs-Hal-Halpin], thinks it's a waste of time.

"While I understand and appreciate and support the emotion and feeling behind gamer's desires to sign petitions and write their representatives to let their views be known on the California games bill in front of the Supreme Court, am I the only who who thinks such efforts are pointless and naive?" he wrote on TwitLonger [http://www.twitlonger.com/show/6it7dd]. "The Supreme Court does not rule based on how a vocal majority - let alone a vocal minority like gamers and other media folks - feel about a case in front of them. At best the court will use solid judgment, facts, and president to make a decisions. At worse they will let their own political agendas rule the day. But either way, what do they care what the public thinks?"

"They didn't care that a majority of Americans wanted a recount for the Presidential election in 2000, you think they'll care that 3000, 5000, 10,000, hell even 5 MILLION people sign some petition?" he continued. "Again, perhaps there is value and I'm missing something but from my view it just seems like a big exercise to make people feel like they are making a difference when - in the end - none of our views on this will matter one bit. The Supreme Court is not a democracy where the people vote on the laws they want enacted."

He has a point. The Supreme Court will, hopefully, rule on law and precedent, not sensationalism and shouting. But there's no doubt in my mind that he's also missing something. The Supreme Court is not a democracy but the United States is, and a lot of what makes it tick is influenced directly or indirectly by citizens who speak out. The die may be cast in this particular case but encouraging political engagement among gamers is never a waste of time. Are campaigns like the one to send game controllers to Leland Yee [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/104144-Mail-Your-Busted-Controllers-to-Leland-Yee] a bit goofy? Sure. But they also send a message: We're here, we vote - and we take this stuff seriously.

via: GamePolitics [http://gamepolitics.com/2010/10/21/jaffe-facts-will-impact-scotus-decision-not-petitions]


Permalink
What a naive position to take! No one is voicing their opinion or concern to either the Supreme Court or any foundations that support minority concerns. To insert context for people voicing their opinions to politicians who clearly ARE swayed by public opinion is clearly a lack of context as to what these people are talking to.

Mr. Jaffe should start to think before he types crap in the public forum especially as someone with more built in audience than your average blogger. If an organization asks you to send something to your local politician don't confuse the issue by saying they are talking to the Supreme Court.

Seriously... English comprehension!
I understood, based on their own statements when they announced the initiative, that the ECA's intention was to use the petition signatures to somehow bolster their amicus brief. It does appear that they're doing precisely what Jaffe thinks they're doing. And, in my opinion and in agreement with Mr. Jaffe, pointlessly so -- unless the "petition" (which also encourages signing up for an ECA membership) is less about bolster and more about recruitment. In which case and from the ECA's perspective -- given what I must assume to be difficulty recruiting new members in the aftermath of the I Can't Easily Cancel My ECA Membership fiasco -- it makes perfect sense.
If that's the case the comments should be kept firmly in the realm of criticism of the ECA and not Gamer Rights movements. The Leland Yee initiative does not touch the Supreme Court in it's primary goal but attempts to sway the politics of a specific government representative. Misusing that information for the purposes of self promotion is an ethics issue and should not taint the movement. Perhaps Jaffe did indeed direct this attack at the ECA leveraging information for "nefarious" purposes or perhaps it's only the author's particular narrative that demands this?

Whatever the case it falls under Jaffe or this article's author as someone spinning the information to tailor a narrative that taints the goal of Gamer Rights and representation of Gamers in the political arena. The ECA is still championing us in the legal arena and while that is still no excuse for ethical violations I don't think we should rule out their help entirely because they're not doing it all for us 100%.
Actually, if you read Jaffe's tweet, he makes no mention of any specific organization by name. The reference to the ECA and the Video Game Voters Network is made only by GamePolitics (a publication owned and operated by the ECA and the original source of the article).

Outta curiosity and since you cast it as some percentage of 100%, lemme ask you this: at what point should we rule out their help? 75% - 25%? 50% - 50%? 25% - 75%?
 

StriderShinryu

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Andy Chalk said:
Oh, and as for the "other countries do it" argument: Other countries can afford to do it, because we have the Americans to make the games we love. Lose the Americans, lose the games. Believe me, you have no idea how much it hurts me, as a Canadian, to admit that kind of dependence, but there it is.
And, just as an addition to this comment it is may or may not cover it depending on the viewpoint of the reader, this ruling would not just impact games made inside the US.

With the US effectively taken out of the market for violent games (and whatever other sort of content that gets deemed obscene should this ruling go through), it's not just going to be US game makers that stop making mature rated games. Let's say you're Bioware up in Canada and are making your next RPG. Making the game M rated, as most Bioware RPGs are, will effectively mean you can't sell the game in the US, which is your game's largest potential one stop market. With this being the case, is there any point in making it M rated at all or will you water the content down to match USA standards to avoid taking such a severe sales hit? Given how much it costs to make a AAA title these days, it's pretty easy to see what the answer will be.
 

Wandrecanada

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JDKJ said:
Actually, if you read Jaffe's tweet, he makes no mention of any specific organization by name. The reference to the ECA and the Video Game Voters Network is made only by GamePolitics (a publication owned and operated by the ECA and the original source of the article).

Outta curiosity and since you cast it as some percentage of 100%, lemme ask you this: at what point should we rule out their help? 75% - 25%? 50% - 50%? 25% - 75%?
Does it really matter how much as long as it is in support of maintaining first amendment rights for games? Would you turn away any measure of help? Seems like a pointless question.
 

JDKJ

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Wandrecanada said:
JDKJ said:
Actually, if you read Jaffe's tweet, he makes no mention of any specific organization by name. The reference to the ECA and the Video Game Voters Network is made only by GamePolitics (a publication owned and operated by the ECA and the original source of the article).

Outta curiosity and since you cast it as some percentage of 100%, lemme ask you this: at what point should we rule out their help? 75% - 25%? 50% - 50%? 25% - 75%?
Does it really matter how much as long as it is in support of maintaining first amendment rights for games? Would you turn away any measure of help? Seems like a pointless question.
Yes, I would. When it reaches the point where the "help" is apparently intended more to benefit the helper than the helped. Although "not support" would describe my position better than "turn away" does. Kinda like I don't support those disaster and hunger relief organizations that keep for themselves 95 cents outta every dollar they collect. I figure they aren't "helping" anyone but themselves while trying to play me for a chump at the same time. I'd rather cut out the middle man and just give my dollar to the homeless guy who hangs out in front of my local 7-11.
 

Necromancer1991

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Frankly I do somewhat agree, but it enough to take the edge off of some of our more....unbalanced members, the ones apparently sending death threats to the senators (sarcasm).