Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shocking the First Amendment

Shocking the First Amendment

This month Tennessee amended an anti-harassment law to make it a crime to “communicate with another person or transmit or display an image in a manner in which there is a reasonable expectation that the image will be viewed by the victim without legitimate purpose.” The law applies to any communications including posts to social networks or personal web pages which are essentially public forums. It covers not only posts “with the malicious intent to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” but also to anything that the poster “knows, or reasonably should know, would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities.”

To prove a crime has been committed simply requires that someone viewing a post claim they were "frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed by it. [Full]

Offensive (I hope) Kagan Parody

I remember being in (it was Tennessee Eugene)  one day, ca. 1990, when the local hot topic of debate was a bill making the thrashing of a flag burner a misdemeanor carrying no civil liability and a $5.00 fine. The bill did not pass.

For several years Blogger automatically displayed a header on all blogs that invited anyone to click "Report offensive material."  I was able to avoid being reported several times a day by ratbastard democrat.commers by using third-party code to remove the  invitation. .

These examples were at the time anomalies; today they're trends.  I can't cite names, but over the past few years more than a few congressional Democrats have suggested, attempted to, or otherwise endorsed legislation that would criminalize content they deemed  offensive. 

To quote Sergeant Phil Esterhaus (Hill Street Blues), "Hey, let's be careful out there. The place is teeming with ratbastard commie cork suckers."  Lock and Load.  Click Click


Anonymous said...

Better not look at the new pics on your pack of smokes. Oh wait, that was a ratbasturd idea in the first place. Nevermind then...

Anonymous said...

A fellow Tennessean of my acquaintance once pointed out that whilst most states have a bicameral legislature, we hold an annual tent revival.

"The Bible tells us the wages of sin is death. In Tennessee it's much worse. In Tennessee the wages of sin is legislation."

Some background here:

I have a theory that the instant someone is elected to a legislative body their IQ drops 50 points.

- One Man Gang

Anonymous said...

There's a way to fight this: use it. Use it a lot. Overwhelm them with complaints. Try not to make frivolous charges, it really shouldn't be hard to find plenty of material that fits the description. Create a storm. Force them to spend huge time and resources.


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